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Justin Ponder - Young Birder of the Week - 15 March 2024

We are proud to announce our next African Young Birder of the Week. Over the next few weeks, the birders that we will be highlighting are our Birding Life Ambassadors. We are proud to have some of the region's best young birders representing our brand.


This feature aims to showcase content from each featured birder, allowing us to celebrate young birding talent across the continent. Please share this post to spread the word about these amazing birders!


This feature is always done in proud collaboration with Young Wildlife Photographers of Southern Africa.



This week's Young Birder of the Week is Justin Ponder.


I was born and raised in the Garden Route of South Africa, although my passion for birds started on a trip to the Kruger National Park in 2016. Although I had always been a huge fan of the outdoors and large mammals, it was on this trip that I discovered my love for birds. In the years after that, my passion grew and I joined a bird club.


In 2021, I started to expand my passion and started botany as well, with a keen interest in indigenous orchids. Since then, it’s been expanding further to include herps, arachnids, butterflies, and more! However, birds have remained my main interest and I am continuously trying to grow my life list.


I finished high school in 2023, and since then I’ve been spending time trying different career options such as guiding and environmental surveys, before I decide what to commit to full time. On top of that, I’ve been using my spare time to travel a bit and enjoy my youth, participating in a range of outdoor activities such as diving, snorkeling, rock climbing, adventure hiking, and more.


Life list: 616 (as of the 19th Feb)

Favorite species: Albatrosses, Wandering Albatross in particular.

Dream bird: Wandering Albatross

Favorite birding spot: Swartberg Pass, Western Cape

Dream birding destination: Namibia, Australia


Click here to follow Simon on Instagram (@justinjacobin). Keep scrolling to see five of our favorite photos from Justin's Instagram profile.


Follow the Young Wildlife Photographers of Southern Africa on Instagram, and Facebook, or check out their informative website.



We selected five of our favorite photos from Simon's Instagram profile. Comment on the post and tell us your favorite of the five images.


Cape Sugarbird
Chorister Robin-chat
African Hawk-eagle


African Paradise-flycatcher

Kalahari Scrub-robin


Click here to follow Justin on Instagram (@justinjacobin).




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