Friday, March 12, 2010

Not too Late to Register for Youth Birding Competition!

The registration cutoff for the 2010 Youth Birding Competition is near! Teams have only until March 31 to sign up for the statewide conservation event, set for April 23-24.

Competition coordinator Tim Keyes urged would-be participants to turn their interest into action.

“It’s not too late but the deadline is rapidly approaching,” said Keyes, a wildlife biologist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Nongame Conservation Section.

The Youth Birding Competition is free, and open to teams from kindergarteners to high school seniors. Everyone from experienced birders to first-timers is welcomed.

This fifth annual bird-a-thon starts at 5 p.m. Friday, April 23, and ends at 5 p.m. Saturday, April 24. Teams, competing against others their age, can use as much or as little of that time to count as many birds as possible throughout Georgia. But all must arrive at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center near Mansfield by 5 p.m. Saturday. A banquet and awards ceremony packed with prizes is held that evening at the wildlife center.

The competition is sponsored by DNR’s Wildlife Resources Division and The Environmental Resources Network Inc., or T.E.R.N., the friends group of the Nongame Conservation Section.

Goals include focusing children on birds and cultivating a deep interest in wildlife and conservation.

About 140 birders ages 4-18 took part last year. The event has grown each year. As part of the competition, teams can raise money to support organizations. There is also a bird journal option and a T-shirt Art Contest (the submission deadline for the art contest has passed).

For registration details, check out the event links at or contact Lacy Mitchell at the Charlie Elliott Conference Center, (770) 784-3152 or Tim Keyes, at (912) 262-3191 or, can answer questions about the competition.

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