How MYBC Was Born
When birder and naturalist Lena Moser moved to Maine in 2012, she was saddened to learn that the state did not have a formal organization in place for young birders. She vowed to someday change that. Nathan Hall, who had been teaching middle-school students for a number of years, was running a naturalist club at his school and hoping to make it grow.
Fast forward to the Biddeford/Kennebunk Christmas Bird Count of 2015. Lena and Nathan paired up for the count, and the more these two educators talked, the more clearly they realized that they shared the same, fundamental vision: to help youth get outdoors in order to watch and appreciate birds! This realization prompted them create this organization for young birders in Maine.
They couldn’t have done this, however, without the sincere support, encouragement, and help of many individuals and organizations. Lena and Nathan would like to thank Kim Kaufman and Laura Guerard of Ohio’s Black Swamp Bird Observatory and the Ohio Young Birders Club for their instrumental guidance early on in the process. They gave MYBC the rocket fuel it needed to get off the ground!
MYBC is also grateful for the unflagging support of York County Audubon (YCA) and its dedicated Board of Directors, without whom MYBC simply wouldn’t exist because YCA serves as MYBC's organizational, fiscal, and advisory board. Finally, MYBC would like to recognize Seth Benz of the Schoodic Institute and Doug Hitchcox, Eric Topper, and Jeremy Cluchey at Maine Audubon for their invaluable suggestions and advice. Without these supporters and many others, this long-held dream would never have become a reality. Thank you!
Co-Founder and former Club Coordinator (Fall 2016 - June 2018)
The birding bug found Lena when she was 13 years old, and it hasn’t let go since! As a young birder, Lena spent countless hours exploring her local Connecticut woods, feeding backyard birds, and foraging for wild edibles. Lena’s field journals and artwork won awards from the American Birding Association and enabled her to attend career-shaping summer camps and conferences for young birders. These experiences, along with the mentorship she received from adults at the time, were strong driving forces in her work with MYBC.
Lena’s love of birds took her to Cornell University, and she worked at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology for four years. She served as the Birding Program Director at Chewonki’s summer camp and as a volunteer at the Children of the Earth Foundation—a nature awareness and wilderness survival school for kids and teens. Lena has worked for two birding tour companies—Wildside Nature Tours, Inc. and Field Guides, Inc.—and has co-led tours to Alaska, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Panama, Siberia, and Australia, to name a few. Also, her Princeton University graduate work on avian community ecology had taken her to Tanzania, Kenya, and Costa Rica.
Feeling extremely blessed to have had these experiences, Lena is always deeply motivated to “pass it forward” and help nurture the passion of young birders. She truly enjoyed being a co-creator MYBC and running the club for its inaugural two years.
Favorite birds: wood-warblers (all of them!), cotingas (Neotropical species), and Green Catbird (Australian species)
Co-Founder and former Club Coordinator (Fall 2016 - Aug 2017)
Born and raised on the edge of the tall-grass prairie in eastern Kansas, Nathan now lives in Portland with his wife, dog, and cat (indoor only). When he is not teaching 6th graders in Kennebunk, he is out looking at birds, reading, cooking food and eating it, kayaking, or biking.
Favorite birds: Black-throated Blue Warbler, Snow Bunting, Northern Shrike, and Peregrine Falcon