Draw birds with a master
My son developed his lifelong love of birds when he was a teenager. Anyone with even a minor interest in ornithology knows about David Sibley, so when he came to town for a talk, we attended.
Despite his presentation as a soft-spoken, thoughtful man, Sibley’s passion for birding came through loud and clear. I recall being struck by the fact that although Sibley was never a homeschooler, his story echoed those of so many I have known over the last 20 years.
Sibley dropped out of college to pursue his love of art and nature. In his quiet, compelling way, he told us about travelling the country with no set plan or career direction. He was living in the moment, discovering himself by doing what he loved best — looking for birds, finding them, and drawing them.
That seemingly aimless path resulted in a book. The Sibley Guide to Birds has become a definitive guide for birders. I don’t think my son is alone in counting it as his favorite.
If your teen is a nature lover, birder, or artist of any stripe, next weekend offers a chance to work with Sibley. At “Teen Birders: Drawing With David Sibley,” he’ll talk about how he began drawing birds, give instruction, and share tips for success in the field. Kids ages 12-17 are invited to bring sketchbooks and hone their skills.
Another opportunity for teen birders happens at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln. Superbowl of Birding is a competition for ages 11-17. Those who find the greatest number of species and/or the rarest birds win, but we all know that the real prize is the experience.
Teens are also invited to join a trip heading north of Boston to look for birds of prey. Teen Birders: Raptor Fun is offered in conjunction with the Merrimack River Eagle Festival.
Pre-registration required for all programs. Happy birding!