The Feminist Bird Club has prioritized social equity in birding since its inception in 2016. After a summer of senseless police violence, and the 911 calls Amy Cooper made to threaten birder Chris Cooper in Central Park, anti-racism has become a more urgent issue in the global birding conversation.
Large, established conservation organizations were forced to confront racism within their ranks, while BIPOC-led initiatives like Black Birders Week and Flock Together were formed. We're thrilled to see such beginnings of positive change, and truly hope that resources will continue to be redistributed to enable BIPOC and queer birders opportunities that they have historically been excluded from. The survival of many species literally depends on the conservation community's effectiveness in successfully breaking down historical structures of discrimination and racism.
Despite these challenges, the pandemic's restrictions have inspired thousands of people to take up birding, and we're happy to say many of them have found the Feminist Bird Club. We've gained at least five or six thousand more followers since the lockdowns started, and over thirty requests to start new chapters around the world.
This makes sense in such difficult times: birding allows you to get outside while maintaining social distance. It facilitates patience and stillness, while requiring 'active looking' and a focused mind; helping you find moments of peace wherever you are. Birding is often a pathway to conservation, and though studying this subject can bring with it a burdensome awareness of the reality of environmental devastation, it's now more important than ever to be able to access the joy of observing and communing with the natural world.
–Molly Adams, Founder, FBC
FBC Member Rhamier Auguste:
My name’s Rhamier Auguste (They/Them), and I’m from Queens, New York. I’m a poet/artist, a volunteer for Audubon NYC, and an organizer.
I’ve been a birder for most of my twenties, though I didn’t realize it was an organized activity until two years ago. While reading the Times, I came across an article written about Molly and the Feminist Bird Club. I sent her a DM out of excitement, and the rest is history. I’ve been a member of the FBC for two years.
What I love best about birding is the serenity and sense of calm one feels in places like the Ramble in Central Park. It's just you, the rustling of trees, and the occasional squirrel mistaken for a lifer. However, woodcocks have been evading me lately, and i’m not sure how i should feel about that!
FBC Member Purbita Saha:
I'm Purbita Saha, and I'm a science journalist from Montclair, New Jersey. Birding takes up most of my free time outside of watching roller-dancing TikToks, scratching my pup Jolene's belly, eating samosas, and assisting in mutual aid efforts in my communities. I dove into the sport (it's a sport, fight me) while taking an ornithology class at the University of Connecticut. After moving back to NJ post-college, I mostly birded alone. But in 2017 a friend sent me news clipping about Molly's club in Brooklyn, and I instantly embraced her big-picture mission. She and the other leaders and members at FBC showed me that birders can be more appreciative, compassionate, and responsible, all while having fun in the field, and while fearlessly bringing to light the difficulties queer, disabled, and BIPOC people face day to day.
From a conservation perspective, the Noah x FBC collaboration highlights the cautionary tale of widely documented extinctions, and warns of the dangers ahead for the planet. I wish I could see a Labrador duck to this day, but birding has helped me better understand my home state, along with my Indian motherland, where I often visit family. FBC has given me a cause, and brought me closer to the people who want to share these experiences with me.
10% of proceeds will be donated to the Feminist Bird Club.