Scholarships and more

From Scott Weidensaul

If you’re thinking about coming to Hog Island’s Audubon Camp this summer, there’s an important deadline approaching fast. A variety of scholarships up to $500 for both teens and adults are available through National Audubon and many chapters, as well as a number of independent bird clubs, but the National Audubon deadline is March 1. There’s more information at

If you don’t see your local bird club or Audubon chapter listed, check with them because some have offered scholarships in the past and may be willing to do so again – believe it or not, these offers often go unclaimed and unused.

Looking for Upland Sandpipers at Clary Hill
Looking for Upland Sandpipers at Clary Hill

This will be an exceptional year at Hog Island, and I’m not just saying that because I’m now directing the ornithological programs there. We’ve never had a more stellar lineup of internationally known birding and ornithological superstars, including Pete Dunne from Cape May Bird Observatory; Wayne Petersen from Mass Audubon and ABA; ecologist John Kricher (author of The Neotropical Companion, the Peterson Guide to Eastern Forests and many other books); bird vocalization expert Don Kroodsma; renowned sound recordist Lang Elliott; Steve Kress of Project Puffin; Bill Thompson III from Bird Watcher’s Digest; author, NPR commentator and bird artist Julie Zickefoose; Birds of Maine author Peter Vickery; and Pennsylvania’s own birding phenom Tom Johnson, along with a dozen or so more.

We’ve also completely updated the Field Ornithology curriculum, which will give participants more chances to dig deep into subjects like vocal and visual communication, avian reproduction and annual cycles – all in the field, while visiting a host of new locations from the outer bay to inland bogs. If you took FO in the past, consider coming back for a very different experience.

Monhegan Island
Monhegan Island

We’re also offering two sessions of our popular “Joy of Birding” program, which is designed to turn you into a better birder by eye and ear, along with two teen ornithology sessions for 14- to 17-year-olds.

I haven’t even mentioned the Educator’s Week, Family Camp, or the Road Scholar sessions – all of which have outstanding instructors and programs. Check out the descriptions and register at

I know summer seems far away, but some of the programs are nearly full, so if you don’t want to be on a waiting list, I’d suggest registering immediately. Birders and non-birders will equally enjoy the sessions. Tell your friends and family.