Christian Cooper and Amy Tan came to birding from very different paths. Cooper had found refuge in birding as a child, long before the Central Park incident that brought him to national attention. For Tan, birding was a more recent discovery, prompted by a need for an outlet away from political events.
For both, birding has been a powerful source of solace and community. In a free, live discussion on Thursday, June 22, 1 p.m. Eastern, Cooper, the author of the new book “Better Living Through Birding,” and Tan, author of the forthcoming book “The Backyard Bird Chronicles,” will talk about the transcendent power of birding and the challenges and the rewards of navigating a predominantly white pastime as people of color. The conversation will be hosted by Dodai Stewart, a birding enthusiast and a Metro writer for The New York Times.
We’ll also tell you how you can start birding as part of The New York Times summer birding project. Thousands of people have already signed up to learn more about birds and to help scientists collect birding data during the summer season, when fewer observations are typically submitted. Alan Burdick, an editor on the science desk at The Times, will speak with Jenna Curtis of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology about the importance of gathering this data. Plus, you’ll hear tips from other birders.