Black Birders Week is back.
The second annual event will run from Sunday, May 30 through Saturday, June 5. Last year, a group of Black birders established Black Birders Week after a video of a white woman in New York’s Central Park went viral. In it, she called police on Black birder Christian Cooper over a disagreement about her off-leash dog. The week featured livestreams with Black birders discussing their experiences in the outdoors and a number of social media hashtags, including #BlackWomenWhoBird. Unprecedented media coverage followed, as well as social media attention to the issues raised.
Over the following months, the event inspired similar awareness-raising campaigns Black Botanists Week, Black in Neuro Week, Black in Marine Science Week, and others.
This year’s Black Birders Week will showcase the many unique ways Black people connect in the outdoors. The BlackAFInSTEM Collective (BAFiS) aims to inspire new audiences to engage in nature and share the stories of Black conservationists from across the country. The week’s lineup includes nationwide birding events, live streamed panel discussions, and daily interactive themes.
Partners include the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Bird Collective, the U.S. Fish Wildlife Service, National Wildlife Federation, Tucson Audubon Society, and more. Here are the plans for the week:
Sunday May 30 – #BlackInNature
Highlighting the #BlackInNature community with prompts to share stories, favorite spots and activities, and what being in nature means to you.
Plus, the opening of a giveaway of Alice + Whittles footwear (to be decided at the end of week with two winners), and the first daily giveaway of the official BBW21 x Bird Collective t-shirt.
Monday May 31 – #BirdsOnMyBlock
Birding is a hobby anyone can engage with at any level. With the Cornell Lab and highlighting tools like Merlin and eBird, BAFiS members demonstrate how to utilize these apps and resources so everyone can get outside and go birding. We also want to see what you’re seeing outside! Use the hashtag and tag BAFiS in your tweets and pictures.
Second BBW21 x Bird Collective shirt giveaway and Cornell Lab course giveaway.
Tuesday June 1 – #BirdsEyeView
In celebration of Pride Month in June, the organizers are honoring and highlighting LGBTQIA+ birders. Showcasing the diversity of who a birder can be and what a birder can do, we are also having short Q&A livestreams with special guests from different parts of the birding world. Later there is a longer session with falconer Rodney Stotts, subject of the film The Falconer for which we’ll be having a watch party sometime after the stream.
Third BBW21 x Bird Collective t-shirt giveaway.
Wednesday June 2 – #LiferMemories
Share your best or favorite lifer memories, or if you’re new to birding, learn what a “lifer” or “life list” is. Go virtual birdwatching with Black birders and Monterey Bay Aquarium. Play a birding-themed trivia game with the community!
Wednesday’s giveaways are the fourth BBW21 x Bird Collective t-shirt, the Wingspan board game, and a Bird Collective Lifer Journal.
Thursday June 3 – #SafeInNature
Being safe while enjoying your favorite outdoor activities is important. Join us in collaboration with NWF’s Safe Spaces Initiative for a livestream discussion with Monique Pipkin and Dr. Amelia Juilete on fieldwork safety. We will also be asking you to share your strategies and ideas, and create a summary document of what we’ve learned and gathered, in conjunction with other information from NWF’s past Safe Space livestreams.
Fifth BBW21 x Bird Collective giveaway.
Friday June 4 – #OnTheirWings
Bridging the gap between the past, present, and future. Introducing young up-and-coming birders by featuring them and their profiles. Share your own or a young birder in your life with the hashtag. Later in the day, attend a storyteller event with Black naturalists, historians, and nature lovers who paved the way for us today.
Coloring pages made by Black artists will be available for everyone on the BAFiS website (and possibly some partner ones). Sixth BBW21 x Bird Collective t-shirt giveaway, as well as a birdhouse kit for kids.
Saturday June 5 – #BirdsOfAFeather
With eBird, we invite you to try to make a list of the birds you’re seeing today. We hope to see checklists from as many states and countries as possible. If you don’t see anything, that’s OK! You can still submit an empty list, and we’re going to be accepting a link to or screenshot of your list for this day’s giveaway. There will be a short IG live with BAFiS members going out birding and a livestream with Jerome Ford, assistant director of Migratory Birds at FWS.
Your list entry will be for giveaways of Cornell courses, Vortex, and FWS swag. The final BBW21 x Bird Collective t-shirt giveaway is today, as well as the announcement of the two winners of the Alice + Whittles boot giveaway.
Supporting the work and how to follow
BAFiS also released this statement regarding donations to the organization:
“Thank you for your interest in donating to our organization! Currently we are still working out the details to be able to withdraw the funds from our PayPal account and thus have not used any of the funds donated to us up to this point. We are still accepting donations since they will help us get started immediately on the projects we are looking forward to putting in place, including our Adventure Packs.
“If you would like to donate to another Black-led organization that is doing the work right now, here is a short list of ones we admire: Backyard Basecamp, Rodney’s Raptors, Black Kids Adventures, Black & Latinx Birder’s Fund.”