The Young Birders Fund was first conceived by Andy and Ellen Stepniewski and was established by the Washington Ornithological Society in 2005 to encourage and support young people interested in birding.
After Patrick Sullivan’s death in September 2007, the name of the fund was changed to the Patrick Sullivan Young Birders Fund (PSYBF) to honor his contributions to birding in Washington. Many WOS members have fond memories of birding with Patrick when he was quite young and watching him mature into one of Washington’s premiere birders.
Funds are generated through Andy and Ellen Stepniewski’s donation of Andy’s portion of the profits from sales of A Birder’s Guide to Washington, which Andy co-authored, and donations from WOS, WOS members, and the general public. Grants are available to individual young people or adults to help fund group birding activities or education for young people.
We define “young birders” as anyone in the age group from pre-teens through early 20s, showing a serious interest in birds and birding. Both students and non-students are eligible and are encouraged to apply.
This grant program is not intended to support graduate school activities. PSYBF grants are intended to support activities directly related to birding, such as, but not limited to:
- Registration fees and expenses for birding conferences and related events;
- Fees and expenses for youth birding camps such as those offered by the National Audubon Society or the American Birding Association and Victor Emmanuel Nature Tours, and related activities;
- Research on specific species or species groups that spend a significant portion of their life cycle in Washington; and census work at a park or natural area;
- Bird banding, when supervised by a qualified adult;
- Supplies and related expenses for adult-taught youth group activities centered on birding and bird study.
The fund has now grown to over $10,000 and will hopefully be self-supporting. WOS members are encouraged to donate to the PSYBF with their WOS membership renewal.