Black Birders Week: Soaring to Greater Heights

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Smiling person in red flannel and fishing hat looking through pair of binoculars in wooded area

 

Learn the stories and the individuals behind the online movement BlackBirdersWeek, which began in 2020 and has only flourished since then. 

General Resources

As you begin to learn about Black Birders Week, you'll start to recognize some of the greatest players in the field, such as: 

  • BlackAFinSTEM Collective, Nicole Jackson, Tykee James, Corina Newsome, Deja Perkins, Kassandra Ford, Armand Cann, Christian Cooper, J. Drew Latham, and Zee Zetino. 

Social media can connect individuals all over the world and Black Birders Week is no different. When you follow a hashtag, content using that same hashtag will populate in your social media feed. To stay in the loop on Black Birders Week, check out: 

  • #BlackBirdersWeek
  • #BlackInNature
  • #NatureForAll
  • #BlackBirders

For some general resources on what has occurred in past Black Birders Weeks, consider reading:

The Impact of Black Birder's Week by Deja Perkins and Lauren Pharr

Meet the Birders (Past, present, and future perspectives)

In articles, podcasts, and videos, young Black birders are sharing their stories and connecting communities. 

Get to know Black Birders Week organizers Corina Newsome, Tykee James, and Deja Perkins in this Scientific American interview. 

Meet Nicole Jackson in this PBS interview and learn how she became involved with Black AF in STEM and organizing Black Birders Week.

Sheridan Alford discusses how mental health plays into the birding experience in this Bird Note clip, with more detail and description in the full podcast episode

Three bird enthusiasts, Kassandra Ford, Armand Cann, and Nicole Jackson, take the time to discuss what has changed since the first Black Birders Week and their hopes for the future in this Audubon Portland interview

Looking for inspiration to begin birding? J. Drew Latham shares what began his love of birds, birding, and encouraging others to join. Watch this Nature Conservancy Special Presentation. 

If you know a teenager interested in birding, they're not alone. This Bird Note interview reveals how one teen created a community

In the NatGeo video, renowned birder, J. Drew Latham discusses the essential tools for Birding While Black. 

Urban ecologist and Black Birders Week organizer, Deja Perkins, talks with North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences about the role institutions can play in advancing racial equity and the challenges Black birders face when accessing and enjoying natural spaces.  

J. Drew Latham recounts his experience as a Black man engaged in the birding community and the awareness he considers each time he adventures out. 

Tykee James serves on the board of Amplify the Future, an organization dedicated to conservation and STEAM, specifically connecting historically excluded people with the marvelous world of birding.  

This article assesses the book, The Birders or Africa: History of a Network, a text that investigates the history of Black birders and how science, imperialism, and nature overlap over time. https://audubonportland.org/blog/reflections-from-black-birders-week-bir...

Birding is a global pastime. Hear from the Birders who popularized this activity in India

Inclusive birding

How can we be more welcoming and inclusive in our communities? 

Birdability provides a guide for planning and enjoying an inclusive birding experience for all identities and abilities. 

For a detailed but easily digestible set of actions for inclusive birding, Talkin Birds share a thorough guide. Tips include interacting with other birders, guidance for establishing a Bird Club or chapter, and localized resources by state and region.  

Bird species named after their racist discoverers are now being renamed. CNN hosts this article on the long process to right the naming wrongs of the past across North America. 

Corina Newsome contributes her thoughts to this Audubon Society Field Notes article, reminding us of not only how but why to be inclusive and what it will take to keep this movement growing. 

In the book, Black Faces, White Spaces, Carolyn Finney dissects the ways that the natural environment is racialized in America.

Events and resources from 2022

See the full Black Birders Week 22 schedule from the Black AF in STEM Collective.

[Webinar] Join the discussion about Representation in Nature.

[Webinar] Learn how feathers get their fantastic colors.

[Interview] Tykee James talks about his passion for birding

[Webinar] Tykee James discusses the root of our motivation for conservation.

[Webinar] Meet Bird House Animal Keeper, Gwen Cooper.

[Video] Listen to Christian Cooper elaborate on his passion for birding. 

[Article] Read Carolyn Finney's words on how representation impacts a sense of belonging in nature. 

[Article] NAAEE CEE-Change Fellow Zee Zetino speaks passionately about creating a community of diverse birders in Los Angeles. 

 

What other events, articles or leaders should this list include? As Black Birder Week continues each year, we can't wait to update this list and continue to support the diverse field of birding.