Birding event, Toronto Bird Celebration 2019 Photo: Andrés Jiménez
One year has passed since Birds Canada released our Statement on Racism, Diversity and Inclusion in Birding. There is still much work to be done, but we’re pleased to share steps we’ve taken so far towards our commitments.
In 2021, we are repeating our Special Membership Offer: one-year complimentary memberships to welcome Black People, Indigenous People, People of Colour, members of the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities, and others who have experienced barriers to enjoying nature and joining Birds Canada. Find out what the membership includes and how to access the offer.
We once again coordinated the Toronto Bird Celebration in May. In collaboration with our celebration partners and sponsors, we created virtual events that people living anywhere who are interested in birds could enjoy. This year’s lineup mirrored the diversity of Toronto in terms of its topics and presenters. As a result, the Toronto Bird Celebration reached people with disabilities and racialized communities to share the love of birds.
Birds Canada also partnered on the Vancouver Bird Celebration (formerly Vancouver Bird Week) again this year. Staff member Yousif Attia spoke to Vancouver is Awesome about the Celebration and other efforts to welcome a greater diversity of people to birding in Vancouver and beyond (watch the interview).
In April 2021, four Birds Canada staff participated in a Community Congress on English Bird Names hosted by the American Ornithological Society (AOS), adding their voices to those asking that harmful and exclusionary bird names, particularly those of birds named for people, be replaced. Following the Congress, the President of the AOS announced a committee would be struck to recommend a process for changing harmful bird names.
We continue to work towards our commitments in 2021, and are grateful to all who are part of the effort to make birding, ornithology, and conservation more welcoming to all.