It's a New Day

June 2021

Vol. 49, No. 3

Zaps: 49-3

Zaps are notes of awareness and pleas for action that appear in the corresponding print edition of Bird Observer. Here they are from the current issue.

Bird Observer supports the right of all people to enjoy birding and nature free from discrimination and harassment, be it sexual, racial, or barriers for people with disabilities, and therefore endorses the following statement on ornithological field safety:

Joint Society Statement on Ornithological Field Safety

The professional ornithological societies of the Americas are committed to maintaining a safe and welcoming environment for everyone in the field of ornithology and for all who participate in birding and other forms of nature appreciation. Among its many gifts, the natural world provides immeasurable solace, connection, comfort, wonder, and peace to those who enjoy it, and this should never come with risk, anxiety, or endangerment. While we represent different societies, we are united as a community around these principles. Individual behaviors that prohibit others from safely engaging in ornithology will not be tolerated by our societies, and we will each do our part in advancing these shared ethical ideals.

Signed by:

American Ornithological Society
Association of Field Ornithologists
Neotropical Ornithological Society
Raptor Research Foundation
Society of Canadian Ornithologists-Société des ornithologistes du Canada
The Waterbird Society
Western Field Ornithologists
Wilson Ornithological Society

Birdability announces nonprofit status to continue much-needed diversity and inclusion work in the birding community and the outdoors

Austin, Texas. January 21, 2021

Travis Audubon is proud to serve as the fiscal sponsor for Birdability, allowing Birdability to continue much-needed work in diversity and inclusion in the birding community and the outdoors for people with disabilities and other health concerns.

  • Birdability focuses on removing barriers to access for birders with mobility challenges, blindness or low vision, intellectual or developmental disabilities (including autism), mental illness, being Deaf, deaf, or Hard of Hearing, and other health concerns.
  • Birdability addresses physical barriers at birding locations through education, documenting, advocating for, and improving the accessibility of trails, bird blinds and other outdoor spaces.
  • To address social, cultural and institutional barriers, Birdability works to educate and advocate around inclusion and diversity in the birding community and the outdoors for people with disabilities and other health concerns.
  • Birdability works to ensure that birding really is for everybody and every body, and is excited to inspire and provide resources to bring the many joys of birding to future birders with disabilities.

The resources on the Birdability website ( include guidance documents about accessibility of birding locations, steps to implement inclusive and accessible bird outings in your community, and the crowd sourced Birdability Map, with detailed accessibility information for birding locations. Ongoing virtual programs highlight accessible trails and birders who experience accessibility challenges, and engagement via social media continues to demonstrate the need for this work. Use the hashtag #Birdability on your social media platforms to join in on the conversation.

Birdability is a registered nonprofit in the State of Texas. Travis Audubon Society, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization that serves as Birdability’s Founding and Fiscal Sponsor, providing fiduciary oversight, financial management, and administrative services to help Birdability grow and build capacity. Birdability is now seeking corporate sponsorships, grants, collaborative opportunities, and donations to continue their work to ensure that birding really is for everybody and every body.

Instagram: @birdability
Phone: (201) 269-3294

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