‘Birds are here for everyone’: how Black birdwatchers are finding a community

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In a 2011 study by the Fish and Wildlife Service, 93% of birders surveyed were white while just 4% were Black

“This is my form of therapy,” says Mariana Winnik, a third-grade teacher and avid birdwatcher from Brooklyn. Wearing a T-shirt with illustrations of birds and wielding a pair of binoculars and a trusty bird identification app, Winnik makes her way through north Central Park, on a mid-morning Saturday walk led by Christian Cooper.

Cooper says he doesn’t usually lead bird walks because of the responsibility that comes with it. “I feel awful if we go out and we don’t see a lot of good birds,” he says.

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