Black Birders Week and eBird. Plus birding groups trying to make birding more diverse around the world

Black Birders Week is happening from May 30-June 5th. It is nice to see Canadian organizations taking part featuring Black Canadian naturalists. I was honoured to be featured by Nature Canada in their piece "Diversity in Nature" for Black Birders Week." You can read it HERE.


The North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA) also did a feature on me for Black Birders Week as did The Discovery Channel which I was equally honoured about which you can see below:


If you haven't read this fantastic article "The racist legacy many birds carry" check it out HERE at the Washington Post.

Nature Canada recently came out with a beautiful online book of poetry called "Our Climate Stories." This online book focuses on climate change and birds and nature. It is written entirely by BIPOC youth. When you hear about the 215 innocent Indigenous children found in a mass grave at Kamloops residential school; you know we need to talk more about the deep seated racism in this country of Canada. One of my sisters is First Nations and the other works solely with First Nations children so this was not a shock to us. This is the trauma Indigenous Peoples in this country face every day since Canada was colonized. It is so important to elevate and empower these young voices. You can check out this beautiful project and read the book in full for free HERE.

This is the first year that eBird has taken part in Black Birders Week. They want all birders regardless of race to take part on June 5th and to do a point count. As one of the very few Black and only female Black eBird reviewers, I think this is great. eBird acknowledges the safety issues for birders of colour and wants to make birding more accessible and diverse. Please read HERE how to participate and what prizes you can win!.

Nature Canada has also made some great strides by partnering with Parks Canada and creating a BIPOC youth job program (for ages 15-30). It is called "The Work to Grow Program." BIPOC youth face many challenges and barriers finding jobs in nature-related fields. This program will connect BIPOC Canadian youth with environmental jobs that protect nature and help them to see more representation of people that look like them. You can check this out HERE.

Nature Canada came out with a great template and tool birding and other naturalists organizations can use to help promote more diversity in their organizations. It is time this is spoken about more widely in Canada and I'm glad they have stepped up to the plate. Please read their full report called Race and Nature in the City-Engaging youth of colour in nature-based activities HERE

There is a new birding project from the US called "Freedom Birders" which is trying to make birding more inclusive. One of the co-creators of the Freedom Birder project  Tykee James was recently featured on the ABA Podcast. This is a fantastic project that is striving to make birding more diverse and welcoming for all. To read more about this project visit the website HERE.

To listen to the podcast click it below:



Also in Canada a new group called "Flock Together" a BIPOC birding group which originated in England has started up with great success. CBC did a story on them that you can watch below. It is nice to see more diversity in this hobby that we all love. It is nice to see Black people claiming their rightful spot in this hobby too. For far too long we were thought to not like the outdoors or be less capable in this space than our white counterparts.

Flock Together has formed chapters in BC now in Victoria and Vancouver. To listen to an interview with CBC news about the BC Chapter click HERE and to learn how you can take part in the walks go to their Facebook page for Vancouver and Victoria

The original British "Flock Together" Group did a video with poetry showcasing the feelings of Black Joy while out in nature. You can watch it below. We hear so much about Black pain (such as the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa riot) it is nice to have some Black Joy featured for once.


The David Suzuki Foundation is hosting a zoom webinar called "One Earth - People of Color Protecting Our Planet" on June 9th at 5pm Pacific Time that you can register via this link. This webinar is intended "to celebrate Black, Indigenous and people of colour who are environmental defenders. Join One Earth author Anuradha Rao and guests for a conversation about the intersections between race, culture and environment, including systemic racism and white supremacy within the mainstream western environmental movement.

This event is intended to provide a space for Black, Indigenous and people of colour to hear from environmental role models of colour, and share their own stories about their environmental work and passions.

It is open to everyone but is particularly intended for teenagers and young adults who are Black, Indigenous and people of colour."

Also myself and a group of BIPOC environmentalists and scientists in Canada have created a website to help promote Diversity in Nature. It is called Kaleidoscope Canada. You can check it out HERE

By the way if you haven’t read this article on racism and the environmental movement from a Canadian perspective please check it out HERE

Comments

  1. It’s nice to see so many organizations participating in Black birders week and promoting diversity in birding. You should especially be proud of yourself for your achievements as a female Black birder and encouraging and promoting minorities and youth to take part. Your feature by prestigious organizations such as Discovery Channel and NANPA is well deserved.

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    1. thank you it means a lot your support and standing by me through some very difficult times where you saw the raw and real racism first hand. also thank you for stepping up and helping me when I needed an extra hand on my young birder trips and for supporting the need for an increase in diversity in birding in BC and everywhere.

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  2. What a round up of developments and opportunities emerging from nature based groups as a result of the tireless advocacy of birders like you. Your voice from Canada and in particular for birds and BIPOC and underrepresented youth has been key in these results. I echo Ilpo above, may you take credit as you deserve.

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    Replies
    1. thanks bry for being an ardent supporter of dei in birding and a true friend

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  3. Congrats on all these features they are wonderful!!

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