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Free Binoculars for Black Birders!

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The birding community is overwhelmingly white and we want to change that! $100 can provide a lifetime of birding to one individual! But any amount, no matter how small, will help!


We are two white birders in New York City who want to give back to the black community in a concrete way. Birding is a hobby that has brought us such joy, particularly living in an urban environment. In light of Chris Cooper's discriminatory experience as a black birder in Central Park, we want to pool resources to welcome more black people into the birding community and to help them bird safely. We believe that everyone has the right to enjoy our public parks and spaces in peace and that everyone has the right to education via nature. If this effort provides an opportunity to even one curious person, we will have succeeded.

The price of binoculars is the singular financial barrier of entry into the birding community. We want to provide a high quality pair to anyone who couldn't afford it otherwise. We have chosen the Nikon Prostaff 3S 8 x 42, which is the pair that we both have and love! They are perfect for beginners but do not compromise quality and field of view! Designed with eye-relief so they are good for those with glasses as well. The Audubon Society ranked them as the best binoculars under $150:

If you know of a black-owned business who sells these or comparable binoculars, please let us know. We are open to suggestions!

Black people from all locations and of all ages/experience/knowledge of birds are welcome to submit a request and we will fulfill them first-come-first-serve. We will, however, prioritize black youth (age 18 and under) and those who do not already have a pair of binoculars. We are also happy to receive requests on behalf of other people, if there is someone in your life who you think could benefit. 

We have created a Google Form through which anyone can submit a request: As we collect funds, we will move down our list, purchase binoculars online, and send them directly to the address submitted. Tracking information will be sent to all recipients via email.

If we find ourselves with leftover funds, we will donate them to an appropriate organization such as the Audubon Society or Outdoor Afro.

Header photo credit: Tom Koerner/USFWS


  • Lee Stevens
    • $100 
    • 4 yrs
  • Melanie Dearman
    • $20 
    • 4 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • $30 
    • 4 yrs
  • Jamie Barrett
    • $10 
    • 4 yrs
  • Alice Williams
    • $10 
    • 4 yrs


Emma Mooney and Hugo Alvarez
New York, NY

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