About the Club

Our mission is to expand and empower a sustainable community of young birders (10-18 years old) in Massachusetts. Our purpose is to guide youth in building their understanding and love of birds and nature.
 

Birdwatching has fostered connections to the outdoors for generations, but today, younger birders are scarce in birdwatching circles. Testimonials from young birders reveal a common theme: feelings of isolation and a wish to know other young birders. Many other young people also have an untapped passion for birds and nature, do not have regular access to the outdoors, or don't have friends and mentors that can share knowledge, enthusiasm, and creativity for birding.

 

The Massachusetts Young Birders Club was created for young birders to connect, and for young people of all backgrounds who haven't birded before to discover a new passion alongside a community of their peers. This Club is run by its members with the support of near-peer mentors. The community provides inclusive opportunities to lead, to build knowledge about birds and nature, and to form connections and a sense of stewardship to the land around us. Our primary tenet is simple: birding is for everyone.

Club membership as well as our activities are always free. Please contact us if you want to help the club, either by becoming a club mentor, or donating to support our mission.

Our hope is that Club Members will eventually have the largest say in how the club is run, what kind of events we hold, etc. This is a club by young birders for young birders.

A bright Magnolia Warbler singing in a tree in spring.
Magnolia Warbler by Evan Dalton

Meet the Coordinators

Jeremy Spool holding a Sawhet Owl during a raptor demonstration.

Jeremy Spool

Jeremy is a Postdoctoral Researcher at UMass Amherst with a PhD in Zoology studying bird behavior, hormones, and the brain. He discovered his own love of birds, and what "birding" meant in college, and loves how birds connect people to the natural world. Jeremy also brings previous experiences working with youth as a coordinator of MYBC. In 2010-2013, he managed a volunteer team for EBAYC in Oakland, California, which runs afterschool programs for underserved youth. From 2014-2017 he partnered with Young Science Scholars, a program that pairs graduate students and elementary school teachers to enhance science lessons in classrooms. Jeremy is dedicated to making natural spaces and birding safer and easier to access for all through partnerships and community organizations.
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Kristen DeMoranville

Kristen got her PhD at the University of Rhode Island studying how the quality of a bird’s diet helps get their bodies in top-condition so they can complete migratory flights. Her love of birds was sparked by an ornithology course in college and was fueled by experiences working on water-bird projects with MA Audubon Society, MA Division of Fish & Wildlife, and Bird Research Northwest. Experiential learning was instrumental Kristen’s education, and she has implemented it as a Teaching Assistant for field-based Biology courses and as an Outdoor Educator for children ranging 6-18 years. Her career is dedicated to making science accessible to a variety of public audiences to fuel the personal discovery of scientific knowledge and ignite enthusiasm for positive environmental change.
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Clare Cunningham

Clare has a bachelor’s degree in biology with a concentration in ecology and evolutionary biology and fell in love with birds through an ornithology course in college. Following graduation, Clare studid the vocalizations of Song sparrows and was amazed by the intricate behaviors and complex songs of these often-overlooked passerines. After some field work, she then worked with ornithology collections in natural science museums in Massachusetts and Texas! Clare has always kept one foot in the education world and one foot in the birding world, which led her to join Manomet’s education team in February 2022. She is excited to continue to combine both her passions through working with members of MYBC and learning about the natural world through the lens of younger generations.
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Evan Dalton

Evan Dalton has been a student of nature for as long as he can remember. He majored in biology at Earlham College, where he studied herpetology and ornithology. Evan earned his M.S. studying Wood Thrushes in western Massachusetts, and has worked in field jobs ranging from capturing iguanas in the Bahamas to radio-tracking overwintering American Oystercatchers on the gulf coast. An NABC certified bird bander, Evan now works at Manomet Bird Observatory in Plymouth, Massachusetts where he helps supervise the 55-year-old migration banding operation and shares the results through educational programing. An avid birder, Evan has led bird walks for over 15 years. He enjoys teaching birders (of any skill level and age) all about bird identification, vocalizations and ecology.