In this special edition of Birdy Hour, hear from Sebastian Casarez, an accomplished 17-year-old birder and bird educator from Texas. Learn how a love for birding changed his life and how that passion for birds grew into a birding movement throughout his community and the state of Texas. He will share his experiences being a young birder and all the breakthroughs he was able to accomplish by educating his community about birds and birding. He will also explain the benefits and importance of having a birding mentor or becoming a birding mentor to youth.
Sebastian’s love for birds began at the age of 7 with an Audubon bird book. As the only member in his family interested in birds at the time, Sebastian taught himself about birds by reading several field guides and birding in his backyard. This sparked his interest in inspiring other people to care about birds and birding, too. At just 9 years old, he started co-leading and leading bird walks and sharing educational bird presentations at schools, community events, and Texas birding festivals. In 2017, Sebastian started The Texas Blue Jay Project to encourage Texans to explore birds and birdwatching in their backyards, cities, and state parks. His passion has been recognized by the community through numerous awards and speaking invitations. This December, Sebastian will give a talk titled “Birding in the Barrio (Neighborhood)- How to Spark a Love of Birding Among Young Minorities” at the Texas Children in Nature Summit Conference.