Bird-a-thon 'Big Sit' Fundraiser
[Image description: An infographic (black and blue text on a white background) with an image of a nuthatch on the top left. The text reads: It's not enough to just think you're being inclusive. You have to be intentionally inclusive. @birdability birdability.org ]
Many of you may know me as a fierce advocate for safety, accessibility and inclusivity in the outdoors, especially in birding spaces. Among other things, I facilitate the Anti-racist Collective of Avid Birders (bit.ly/ACAB413), I am a Birdability captain (birdability.org), and a co-coordinator for the Murmuration Project (bit.ly/BirdObs).
I believe that anti-oppression work can’t go far without deconstructing systems and institutions that aren’t built with BIPOC, disabled folks, the LGBTQ+ community, immigrants, and trauma survivors in mind.
It’s all too easy for those with privilege or power to say that they aren’t explicitly exclusionary, then absolve themselves of responsibility. In this regard, Mass Audubon is an institution that has shown great humility, initiative, and a commitment to taking actionable steps to diversify the outdoors. I appreciate the work they have done so far (http://bit.ly/MassAudubonDEI), and much more is in the works that could really do with your support.
On May 14-15, I'll be participating in Mass Audubon's annual Bird-a-thon fundraiser (http://bit.ly/BirdathonWest). Nature enthusiasts from across the state will try to identify as many species of birds as possible in a 24-hour period (and complete other nature-based activities). Bird-a-thon serves as a reminder of the variety and abundance of wildlife that surrounds us, and our responsibility to preserve their habitats, and can also bring us together across all differences.
This year, I am participating in Bird-a-thon with the intent of raising awareness for those whose identities have been historically excluded from nature and conservation efforts.
In an effort to include all birders, especially those:
- with disabilities
- who have backgrounds or identities that cause them to feel unsafe outdoors
- with young children, and,
- who are at high-risk for COVID,
I will be organizing a stationary birding team in a wheelchair-accessible location - Mass Audubon's Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary in so-called Western Massachusetts.
This team will be competing for a statewide award to see the largest number of species possible from within a 25 ft circle!
If you are interested in participating in our ‘Big Sit’ event, or if you want to connect over my work, I can be reached on Instagram @meghadeepa.m and via email at email@example.com. No level of participation is 'too little', and no bird-enthusiast is 'too inexperienced' to help out. If there's anything we can do to make this event accessible for you, PLEASE REACH OUT!
Please contribute towards this important work by making a donation through this fundraising page!
Additionally, if you want to encourage our Stationary birding team to more thoroughly engage with the wonders of Spring migration, consider reaching out to me with a pledge (any dollar amount) per species of birds we can find from a 25 ft circle in the designated 24-hr period.
And, don’t forget to spread the word!