Bird by Bird

Three young children are sitting in a grassy area by a body of water. One is looking through binoculars and two are referencing a bird identification guide Bird by Bird is an exciting program that shares the joy of birding with classrooms and communities. Through place-based environmental education, youth leadership, and community engagement, Bird by Bird strives to inspire future leaders and build a welcoming and inclusive community of environmental stewards. 


High school students and recent graduates

Are you a high school student or recent graduate interested in exploring the outdoors and natural resource careers? Join our BOLD leaders!

Birding & Outdoor Leadership Development (BOLD) leaders receive leadership training along with field experiences for college and career readiness and skills to be bird conservation ambassadors in their communities. Youth leaders will receive a stipend for their leadership in co-hosting community events. This is a six-week program, running from June 24-August 23, 2024. There will be no program the week of July 1-5 in honor of the July 4th holiday. 

Sound like something you’re interested in? Click this link to learn more!

Don’t have time to be a BOLD leader? No problem! We have other resources for learning more about the outdoors:

Nature ID apps

Natural areas to know


Bring birding (bird watching) to your classrooms!

Students participating in Bird by Bird  will explore the fascinating world of birds through hands-on indoor and outdoor exploration with the support of DNR volunteers. We will provide birding kits (binoculars, bird feeders, bird seed, and identification guides) to participating classrooms and bring your students on birding trips throughout the year.  In addition, a field trip at the end of the year will be provided to further enhance student’s experience. 

Interested? Sign up here!

Education resources

Find more education resources over on our Wildlife Education webpage!


  • Is participation limited to the Metro area?
    • Yes, right now we currently support elementary schools in the metro area, with the hopes of expanding the program in the future.  
  • Are the kits for us to keep?
    • Kits are available for participating classrooms for the school year and will need to be returned at the end of the year.
  • How many pairs of binoculars will be provided?
    • Each student will receive their own pair.
  • How many identification guides will be provided?
    •  Foldable field guides will be provided for each pair of students as well as a set of Peterson First Identification Guides and Sibley’s East Identification Guide.
  • What happens if our bird feeders break?
    • Contact the Bird by Bird Program Lead for a replacement.
  • What happens if we run out of bird seeds?
    • Contact the Bird by Bird Program Lead for a delivery. Bird seeds will be delivered at the beginning of the school year and mid-year after winter break. 
  • Teachers are really busy. What is the time commitment for participating teachers?
    • 3 classroom visits and one field trip
    • Observe, record, and submit bird observations at bird feeding station.
    • Properly maintain and care for bird feeding equipment.
    • Provide program feedback.

Want to share your love of birdwatching with youth and communities? Become a Bird by Bird volunteer! 

Our volunteer slots are currently filled, however we will be looking for more volunteers June 2024. 

Bird by Bird volunteers will: 

  • Spark and support student’s interests in birds and wildlife through hands-on indoor and outdoor exploration.
  • Assist the program lead and/or lead education activities in classrooms.
  • Learn alongside and make a difference in a youth and/or young adult’s life through mentorship.
  • Support program logistics.

 Volunteers have the option of:

  • Volunteering in elementary schools and assisting in education activities and field trips.
  • Engaging families and communities in bird watching, bird walks, and bird education related activities.
  • Working behind the scenes on volunteer projects that support the program such as:
    • Deliver bird seed and program supplies to schools.
    • Install and maintain bird feeding stations.
    • Support field trips.
    • Prep materials (ex. putting together binoculars and assembling classroom kits).

 Qualifications Desired:

  • Adult 21 years of age or older.
  • Experience with and/or the strong desire to work with youth and engage with communities.
  • Some knowledge or willingness to learn about birds of Minnesota and the willingness to share this information with students, young adults, and community members.
  • Ability to meet program participants where they are and foster a welcoming learning space.
  • Ability and desire to lead or assist bird/nature walks for community and students.
  • Enthusiasm and the willingness to learn alongside participants and other volunteers.

Time commitment:

  • Single day or continuous volunteer projects are available with varying time commitment. Contact Bird by Bird Program Lead, May Vang to learn more: [email protected] or (651) 259-5156. 

Volunteering sites:

  • School programs take place at various elementary school locations in the St. Paul and Minneapolis Public School districts. School programs begin in September 2024 and end in May 2025.
  • Volunteers must be able to transport themselves to assigned schools, community event, and field experience sites. Travel reimbursement available if needed. 

To sign up:

  • Complete a Bird by Bird Program application
  • Create a volunteer profile.
  • Please note that this application will time out after 30 minutes of no activity.
  • Make note of the username and password you create for this site so you can go back to update your profile and apply for other DNR volunteer opportunities.  This will be your DNR Volunteer profile from now on. Log in to to access anytime.


  • I can’t commit to the entire school year, I’m only available certain times is that okay?
    • Yes!
  • What are the benefits of being a volunteer?
    • You can make a difference in a young person’s life through mentorship.
    • You will benefit from both mental and physical health benefits from time connecting to nature.
    • Take part in sparking a young person or community member’s interest in bird and wildlife viewing.
    • Build commodore with other volunteers.
  • Do I have to be an expert birder?
    •  No, you just have to be excited, enthusiastic, and be willing to learning alongside youth and community members.


For more information: Contact May Vang, Bird by Bird Program Lead, at [email protected] or (651) 259-5156 


Sign up for our seasonal e-newsletter Let's Get Wild! for updates on the Bird by Bird Program:  


the logo for the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, which is two cartoon loons against a blue background Funding for this program was provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) and the MN DNR’s Nongame Wildlife Program

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