The BCFO Young Birder Award welcomes talented young birders into the BC birding community providing them with recognition, opportunity, encouragement, and mentoring.
The Young Birder Awards are presented to youth who meet certain qualifications. To be selected for a BCFO Young Birder Award, recipients must be between 11 and 18 years of age, and have:
• exceptional observational and birding skills well beyond the ‘novice’ level;
• shown substantive engagement in the activities of the birding community through their accomplishments, participation, and contributions;
• been nominated and sponsored by a BCFO member, and approved by the Board of Directors.
2022 is the eighth year of the BCFO Awards Program as we continue to find many young, keen, committed birders from around BC. Each recipient receives a free membership to BCFO until age 18, a memorial plaque, and a stylish BCFO ball cap.
Congratulations go to James Park who joins the ranks of a very talented and growing group of British Columbia young birders.
In nominating James, Carlo Giovanella says:
James Park is from Korea, and has been birding around the Lower Mainland for about two years. When I first met him, at age 13, he told me he came there specifically because he “wanted to be an ornithologist”. To that end his mother has brought him here so he can get Canadian schooling. Since arriving he has become known to most of the birding community, as he shows up at all ‘rare’ sightings.
In the field, James is exceptionally motivated and focused. He approaches bird-finding with skills that are well advanced for his age, and he can identify most birds immediately by sight and by sound. He understands when IDs are difficult, and carefully tries to work them out, freely asking and accepting help from others. James usually birds alone, and submits many reports to eBird, (97 lists, 232 species in 2021) which demonstrates that he finds lots of ‘good’ birds.
I am taking the role of his sponsor/nominator because he generally birds alone, and does not have an on-going relationship with any other BCFO member. I have met and interacted with him in the field on three occasions, and each time was impressed by his relative-to-age skills, and the rapid progress he is making. There is no doubt that this young lad has birding skills well beyond what we would consider a threshold for our Award.