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Fledging Birders Institute      P.O. Box 1774     Bellmawr, NJ 08099
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Osprey, Northern Cardinal, and Great Blue Heron images
courtesy of
A Focus on Diversity:
Changing the Face of American Birding
March 25, 2017
Patuxent Research Refuge
Laurel. Maryland
Why Focus on Diversity: Changing the Face of American Birding Conference?

According to the USFWS, there are approximately
47 million birdwatchers in the United
States. Assuming this number is accurate, this means that over 270 million Americans
are NOT experiencing the pure joy and profound benefits that birdwatching delivers to
those who do participate in the hobby.

Based on the 2010 census, more than 35 percent of the American populace falls into
“non-White” categories including Hispanic, African-American, Asian, and Native-
American. Some of those populations are also growing rather quickly and these
collective "minorities" will soon be the majority in our country. Yet, even the most
generous figures show that “non-Whites” comprise significantly less than 10 percent of
the birding community. Clearly, birding does not look like the rest of America.

This disproportionate representation poses a real threat to the sustainability of bird
conservation and the birding community itself.

Focus on Diversity conference will continue a national dialogue and facilitate
more effective bird outreach to new audiences in order to promote a broader
appreciation of nature and increase bird conservation awareness.  These conferences

Focus on Diversity: Changing the Face of American Birding model has
proven to be valuable to naturalists, park staff, bird club members, educators,
community leaders, and others in the birding community and environmental education

Participants return to their nature centers, refuges, schools, observatories, local parks,
and communities better prepared to successfully deliver “pro-birding” messages.

Focus on Diversity: Changing the Face of American Birding Conference
objectives include:
- Participants will further their understanding of the current birding community.
- Participants will examine how birding's demographics can impact bird conservation.
- Participants will identify effective bird outreach strategies used by bird educators.
- Participants will develop realistic goals and pragmatic action steps to increase their   
effectiveness as bird ambassadors for “non-traditional” audiences.
Black Hiker with Blair Underwood from Blair Underwood

Focus on Diversity 4


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