Masters Student Sheridan Alford co-Founds #BlackBirdersWeek

Images courtesy of Sheridan Alford and Biodiversity Heritage Library

Masters Student and Graduate Assistant at the Graduate School Sheridan Alford co-founded the bird-watching movement #BlackBirdersWeek after the viral video of a black man bird-watching in Central Park was threatened by a white woman. This movement highlights and showcases black birders. Read her interview with High Country News here.

Alford started bird watching during her undergraduate studies at UGA. She attended field trips with UGA’s Dr. Steven Castleberry (Warnell) and Dr. Robert Cooper (Ornithology) which introduced her to the variety of ways to interact with birds like bird banding. A year ago, she got her first pair of binoculars and has been watching them ever since.

Alford developed a passion to expose others to the Great Outdoors through an internship with the USFWS and work with Dr. Gary Green. Now in her second year of her masters degree, her love of bird watching and passion for educating others to get outdoors inspired her current research which assesses the current interest level of African Americans in bird watching. She looks at drivers and deterrents to hopefully better target programs to increase involvement.

Her favorite bird is the charismatic Northern Cardinal. Why? It reminds her of home here in Georgia, and it is her favorite colors…red and black. Ours too, Sheridan!


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