ZEISS UK Young Birder Awards

More Discoveries for Youngsters!

Apply now for the ZEISS Young Birder Awards for a chance to win a ZEISS Birding package or the Cameron Bespolka Scholarship to the Cornell Young Birders weekend in Ithaca , New York, USA in 2023*.


* prizes vary depending on the age group; please see criteria below. With the ZEISS Young Birders Awards, we would like to reward young nature enthusiasts and birders and encourage them to share their skills, creating a network of young ornithologists in collaboration with our partners.

Why apply?

As one of the leading brands in the fields of optics, ZEISS would like to give something back in supporting education and conservation. We are all aware of the importance of to supporting and encouraging the next generation of birders and conservationists. Together with our partners – British Birds, the British Bird Rarities Committee (BBRC), the Cameron Bespolka Trust (CBT) and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology – we are launching the ZEISS Young Birder Award, which will be held for the first time at the Global Birdfair in 2022. Submissions are welcome until 23:59 on July 3rd 2022.

Any birds and nature enthusiastic up to the age of 18 can participate; please note that participation is open to residents from Great Britain and Northern Ireland only.

Each participant will receive a free one-year access to Cornell Lab of Ornithology Birds of the World database worth 50 USD!
 

How to apply?
Up to 12 years old

Please describe or draw your best bird or nature experience.

The winner from this age group will receive a Wildlife Package, including a pair of Terra 8x25 binoculars, and a bug box from the CBT shop.

Age 12–16

Please record the best bird species you found within the last year. For us, it is important to get an overview of the situation, the location, the bird, how you identified it and what exactly you saw and observed. This can be a notebook entry including a sketch or drawing of the bird, or simply the descriptive story about your observation.

The winner from this age group will receive a Wildlife Gear Package, including a pair of Terra 8x32 binoculars, and a bird house from the CBT shop.

Age 17–18

Please record the best bird species you found within the last year. For us, it is important to get an overview of the situation, the location, the bird, how you identified it and what exactly you saw and observed. This can be a notebook entry including a sketch or drawing of the bird or simply the descriptive story about your observation.

The winner of this age group will receive a ZEISS Birding Gear Package, including a pair of Terra 8x32 binoculars, and a scholarship for the Cameron Bespolka Cornell Young Birders Weekend in Ithaca, New York, USA.

Please note the different criteria for the three age groups:

Up to 12 years old

Please describe or draw your best bird or nature experience. This can be anything related to birds or nature in general, for example feeding birds or simply a fantastic species you saw.

The winner from this age group will receive a Wildlife Package, including a pair of Terra 8x32 binoculars, Britain’s Birds ID Guide and a bug box from the CBT shop.

Age 12–16

Please record the best bird species you found within the last year. For us, it is important to get an overview of the situation, the location, the bird, how you identified it and what exactly you saw and observed. This can be a notebook entry including a sketch or drawing of the bird, or simply the descriptive story about your observation. As an alternative, please describe where you contributed something to nature, for example building a nest box or helping frogs cross the street.

The winner from this age group will receive a Wildlife Gear Package, including a pair of Terra 8x32 binoculars, Britain’s Birds ID Guide, 1-year digital subscription to British Birds magazine and a bird house from the CBT shop.

Age 17–18

Please record the best bird species you found within the last year. For us, it is important to get an overview of the situation, the location, the bird, how you identified it and what exactly you saw and observed. This can be a notebook entry including a sketch or drawing of the bird or simply the descriptive story about your observation.

The winner of this age group will receive a ZEISS Birding Gear Package, including a pair of Terra 8x32 binoculars, Britain’s Birds ID Guide, 1-year digital subscription to British Birds magazine and a scholarship from the Cameron Bespolka Trust for the 2023 Cornell Lab Young Birders Event in Ithaca, New York, USA.. The Young Birders Event will feature:

  • Two days of field trips
  •  Presentations by Cornell Lab of Ornithology staff including professors, researchers, and students who will share various ways to incorporate birds into a career
  • eBird and field notes workshop
  • Sound recording workshop
  • Tour of the Cornell Lab including the Macaulay Library and Museum of Vertebrates
  • Dinner with Cornell Lab Directors and staff

All costs including flights, transfers, the whole event which includes meals, accommodation, all transportation during the weekend will be covered.

Here you can find more information on the 2022 event.
 

Jury Members

Our jury is composed of international birders and ornithologists working for well-known organizations and charities:

Richard Porter

Patron of the Award

Ornithologist, conservationist and author of several books such as Birds of the Middle East.

Corrine Cruickshank

Founder and Trustee of the Cameron Bespolka Trust.

Debby Doodeman

Ornithologist, tour guide, author and ZEISS Ambassador from the Netherlands.

James Lidster

Ecologist, former BBRC and Dutch Rarities Committee voting member, and ZEISS Ambassador.

Paul French

Chair of the British Birds Rarities Committee.

Stephen Menzie

Editor of British Birds journal, BBRC voting member, ZEISS Ambassador and manager of Falsterbo Bird Observatory, Sweden.

Toby Carter

Young ornithologist, ZEISS Ambassador based in UK, and former CBT Ambassador.

BBRC:

The BBRC is the official adjudicator of rare bird records in Britain. Its members are democratically elected by birders’ representatives in each county and serve for a fixed term. It publishes its annual report in the monthly journal British Birds.

British Birds:

British Birds is a journal for everyone interested in the birds of the Western Palearctic. Published monthly since 1907, the journal contains a range of material on behaviour, conservation, distribution, ecology, identification, movements, status and taxonomy, as well as the latest news items and book reviews.

Cameron Bespolka Trust:

The Cameron Bespolka Trust is a charity set up in Cameron’s memory to inspire young people to love and appreciate animals, in particular birds, nature, and our environment. By experiencing the outdoors firsthand, teenagers can connect with nature and make a difference to our planet.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology:

Dedicated to advancing the understanding and protection of the natural world, the Cornell Lab joins with people from all walks of life to make new scientific discoveries, share insights, and galvanize conservation action.

Winner Announcement

The jury will decide on the winners in the week of July 4th 2022. All participants will be notified and invited to a meet & greet event at the Global Birdfair at Rutland Showground on Saturday July 16th.

ID Masterclass – anyone can join!

In addition to the Award, jury members Debby Doodeman, James Lidster and Stephen Menzie will offer a guided workshop on site at the Global Birdfair on taking notes, as well as offering bird identification tips. The workshop will be free for anyone aged 18 or under and not connected to a submission! Anyone who is interested to join please come to the ZEISS stand on Saturday, 15th of July 14:45 o’clock.

Apply now!
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