Northern cardinal female and chick by Megan Buers
Northern Cardinal Female and Chick by Megan Buers


Youth Ornithology Career Orientation

Are you interested in birds and our natural world? Would you like to explore the world of ornithology? How about embarking on an outdoor adventure, in one of Environment and Climate Change Canada’s protected areas, gaining hands-on experience with birds and learning the science behind understanding them?

Young people between the ages of 14 and 16 are invited to apply for an inspiring training program about birds, their role in our natural world, and our efforts to study and protect them and their habitats.

The Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory (PEPtBO) is pleased to host the Youth Ornithology Career Orientation (YOCO), consisting of two sessions that will introduce youth to the science of ornithology. Topics covered include bird identification, safe bird handling, banding, surveys, point counts, habitat restoration, and conservation.

The programs will also incorporate indigenous teachings about our natural world, emphasizing the diverse ways of understanding and connecting with nature.

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The Spring Session of YOCO will take place over the weekend of May 24-26, 2024, coinciding with the spring migration. The Summer Session, a week-long session, will be held July 22-26, 2024.

Each program will accommodate a class size of 9 youth interested in studying or working in biology/ecology, habitat management, conservation, and ornithology. Both sessions will be held in Prince Edward County, with participants camping outdoors at a location near Milford, ON and spending their days at the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory, located within the Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area.

Participants are responsible for their transportation to and from Milford, ON for the sessions. However, all food, camping equipment, and transportation during the sessions will be provided.

Youth aged 14 to 16 during the program dates are encouraged to apply for one or both sessions. Applications are open to anyone interested in outdoor camping and learning experiences. Participants will be selected based on their applications. A small participation fee of $50 for the spring session and $100 for the summer session will be requested with financial assistance available on a case-by-case basis.

Applications for the Spring Session (May 24-26, 2024) must be submitted before May 22, 2024, to be considered. Applications for the Summer Session (July 22-26, 2024) will remain open until June 14, 2024.