Pledge to Fledge Campaign

Getting other young people interested in birds and nature

My parents took me birding from when I was a baby.  I went on my first twitch to the Isles of Scilly when I only was 9 days old.  By the time I was old enough to decide: birding and nature was what I was interested in and wanted to do.  I want to share that love of birding with other young people.

Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig twitching a Lesser Kestrel on the Isles of Scilly in May 2002 at 9 days old with big sister 
Ayesha Ahmed-Mendoza 
(then a 12 year old Birder and Twitcher)
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig

Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig twitching a Glossy Ibis in Devon
at 10 months old, March 2003

Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig

I am committed to the “Fledge to Pledge” campaign to introduce non birders to birding.  It’s an American initiative, but I like the idea.

At my Guides group, I did a birding session with my mum and dad, where there were pictures of garden birds on the walls with a list of birds, from which they had to identify the birds.  They we played bird calls at the beginning of the session telling them what the birds were.  Then at the end, we played the calls again and they had to identify the birds.  Everyone was really interested and made bird feeders as well ready for Big Garden Bird Watch. 

I am hoping to do a similar thing with my Scouts group. 

With both groups, we are planning to look for Nightjar in May, go to watch ringing in June and go owling in the autumn.

I am also planning workshops at other Guides and Scouts Groups in the area as well as at a regional Scouts Wamjam (camp).

Spoon-billed Sandpiper work with local children in Bangladesh
Photograph courtesy of Bangladesh Spoon-billed Sandpiper Conservation Project Facebook Page

I used to have a bird watching club in primary school where we looked at and logged birds on the garden feeders.  I am now trying to set up a lunchtime birding club at my secondary school.

I am also involved in A Focus on Nature (AFON) and Next Generation Birders (NGB) and hope to become more involved as I get older.  I really loved the contact that I had with other young people on Facebook.  My Facebook account was heavily supervised by my mum and I did not even know the password, so could not go on by myself.  It was just for birding related stuff and I didn't let any of my friends know about the Facebook account. Unfortunately, a birder decided he should have more say on my upbringing than my parents and got Facebook to shut down my account.  I think that if he was really worried about my safety, then he should have contacted my mum (would you believe he was a Facebook friend of hers?).  Now I can’t have contact with other young birders apart from the occasional conference.  That is really isolating for me.  The ironic thing is that now I am virtually the only person in my year not on Facebook and no one else is supervised.

BTO/AFON Conference for Young Ornithologists,
Thetford, Norfolk, April 2014
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig

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Thank you for posting a comment. Please can you make sure that it is positive and is about me or my blog and not about promoting you or your business. Thanks. Mya-Rose Craig