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The next 7 days hold great significance for birdwatchers and people across the globe as Black Birders Week is observed. In this newsletter, we’re diving into the background and significance of Black Birders Week, highlighting a few Black Birders and Naturalists that Nocs has had the privilege of hanging out with and more.

We will also highlight a few Black Birders and Naturalists that Nocs has had the privilege of hanging out with. And as a bonus, you’ll get a sneak peak at our friend Isaiah Scott’s bird illustrations.

Black Birders Week: History

I’m sure you remember the shocking events of 2020 quite well. A series of hate crimes and murders were committed against the African American community. This includes the Central Park birdwatching incident and the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery.

Sadly, instances like these are nothing new, as we all know — and society still has a lot of work to do. However, the back to back to back occurrence of these instances reverberated across the globe, which led to the creation of Black Birders Week.

According to co-founder Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman, the goal of the initiative is “normalizing the fact that Black people exist in the birding and natural sciences community”. Black people have historically been excluded from academic and professional spaces and lack visibility and representation in the natural sciences community and among birders in particular.

Black Birders Week: Nocs Naturalists

We at Nocs have had the honor of connecting with birders and naturalists from all different backgrounds. Some of which are advocates for inclusivity and community, while others pour their hearts into the preservation of our natural world.

So without further ado, we’d like to introduce you to a few influential individuals that make up part of the Black Birder’s and Naturalists community.

Alex Troutman

About:

“What’s Up, Y’all? I’m Alex Troutman, aka N8ture_AL; I’m a Black Wildlife Biologist and Environmental Educator from Austell, GA. I love that my job is in a field that I am passionate about. My job allows me to travel and also gives me the opportunity to engage with the younger generation!”

Our favorite quote from Alex:

“I believe that NATURE (and public lands) is (are) FOR EVERYONE; that’s why I try my best to make sure that everyone feels welcome in the outdoors.”

CHECK OUT FULL INTERVIEW




Troy Bynum

About:

Troy Bynum is a bird Photographer and Naturalist based in Philedelphia. His fuses birdwatching passion with his top-notch photography skills to create images that inspire people about the world around us.

Our favorite quote from Troy:

“If we want a sustainable future we need to tie nature and education together. We should prioritize learning how to live on this planet and coexisting without drastically depleting natural resources and directly causing the extinction of plants and animals.”

CHECK OUT FULL INTERVIEW




Josiah Patrick

About:

“My name is Josiah Patrick. I am a nature photographer and budding naturalist based in Atlanta, Georgia. I am passionate about the conservation of the natural world.”

Our favorite quote from Josiah:

“The more connected we are to nature, the more we care about the impact that we have on it. Without that connection, we will continue to destroy this beautiful planet because it does not directly impact us.”

CHECK OUT FULL INTERVIEW




Jason Hall

About:

“My name is Jason Hall and I’ve been an avid birder for just about 20 years. For many of those years I considered myself the “exception to the rule” as one of the only Black or Brown birders around. It wasn’t until Black Birders Week in 2020, that I realized I was not alone. Not only were there others out there like me, there was a budding community specifically being built to buck the “rule” and open outdoor spaces to all.”

Our favorite quote from Jason:

“In 2021 I founded the In Color Birding Club in Philadelphia to try and do my part to provide safe and accepting pathways into the outdoors. So far we have partnered with a few different organization in the area to ensure we are all learning together and taking the best of our struggles to change the way things have always been. “



Isaiah Scott

About:

Isaiah lives a busy life as a student (at Cornell Lab of Ornithology), artist, and founder of Ike’s Birding Hikes.

Our favorite quote from Isaiah:

“Right now, there’s a need for more people to be outdoors and connect with nature. There need to be more people who care about nature and further conservation of our natural world. Birdwatching is a great way to go about that.”

CHECK OUT FULL INTERVIEW




Illustrations by Isaiah

When we spent time hanging out with Isaiah, he expressed how birdwatching and art go hand in hand —

“I recently started nature journaling; you document or draw what you see out in nature onto a piece of pa per. I think it’s a nice skill to have while you’re birding to interpret what you see on a piece of paper — to look at the details of the birds, like their anatomy.”

And when we took at look at his drawing skills, needless to say, we were impressed! Check out some of our favorite’s from The Rookery Collection.


Stellar’s Jay

Prothonotary Warbler

Northern Flicker

CHECK OUT HIS ART

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