Territories are re-established in the late autumn, and from spring until July they are defended against all other blackbirds. I am very excited and thrilled to know that people of all races are using their voices to educate and contribute to making a positive change towards our planet. It has been a wacky rollercoaster ride with how I got into the conservation world to be honest, it seemed like it lasted forever when I was first started out. In reality, it is not. I have a real soft spot for the wild dogs, and everybody that knows me knows this very well. Tolga Aktas: Conservation Biologist | Black Birders Week, AMA with Dr. Russ Mittermeier from “Primates”. A message from Black Swamp Bird Observatory in regard to the 2021 Biggest Week In American Birding and Coronavirus / COVID-19. The inaugural Black Birders Week will inspire a new generation of birders … It adapts well to habitats altered by humans, and in places it may walk about on suburban sidewalks or scavenge for crumbs around beachfront restaurants. TA: A lot of people in STEM fields were inspired by a white person, myself included, and hopefully through Black Birders Week people are able to be inspired by STEM professionals from all other races too. And, by chance, it comes at the time when there are riots across the USA after the death of George Floyd at the hands, or knee, of a white policeman. Tolga Aktas is a UK-based conservation biologist who participated in Black Birders Week. I spent a couple of months there getting valuable work experience. But all is well. It still hasn’t hit me that I am finally living my dream, but I am grateful for everything that has been presented to me. Boyd was a Scottish colonist who wanted cheap labourers to work at his large … Tolga Aktas feeding wolves at a sanctuary in Berkshire, England. Q: So how did you make it in the wildlife conservation world? Environment Black Birders Week: Changing the face of bird-watching. The decline in the UK started during the early 1980s and has continued ever since Long-term monitoring shows starling numbers have fallen by … Tolga Aktas is a UK-based conservation biologist who participated in Black Birders Week. The Common Pheasant – its status in the UK and the potential impacts of an abundant non-native About half of the European population of the Common Pheasant is found in the UK, where breeding numbers have doubled in the past 40 years.Some 43 million young Pheasants are released into the UK countryside each … Q: What impact has Black Birders Week had on you? This week, black birders around the world are rallying around Christian Cooper, a black man and avid birder, who was harassed by a white woman while birding in Central Park. The first major blackbirding operation in the Pacific was conducted out of Twofold Bay in New South Wales.A shipload of 65 Melanesian labourers arrived in Boyd Town on 16 April 1847 on board the Velocity, a vessel under the command of Captain Kirsopp and chartered by Benjamin Boyd. I cover the living world, from microbes to ecosystems. Hopefully, things will be different for the generations that are coming forth now, who have the exposure to a much diverse community of nature enthusiasts and people that work in STEM fields. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. As results from the BTO’s weekly Garden BirdWatch (GBW) survey show, relax - it happens every year! Blackbirding, the 19th- and early 20th-century practice of enslaving (often by force and deception) South Pacific islanders on the cotton and sugar plantations of Queensland, Australia (as well as those of the Fiji and Samoan islands). Include a fun fact about the bird you post. But it has been totally worth it and wouldn’t trade all of my experiences for anything in the world. Published on 01 July 2019 in Latest issues. Soft fats can destroy the waterproofing and insulating properties of feathers. My favorite memories were created in Northern Cyprus during my upbringing, as I spent a lot of time away from my cousins in the fields near our homes. Slowly after this my experiences took me to work at The Monkey Sanctuary in Cornwall in the UK, a wolf sanctuary in Reading in the UK, and back to Northern Cyprus to protect sea turtles not too far from my Cypriot village home. One of the most common UK birds, its mellow song is also a favourite. Tolga Aktas holding a bateleur eagle, a species native to Africa and small parts of Arabia. Before I knew it there were brothers and sisters from all races standing up for each other and what is right. During this period, territorial drive is low, and many birds will feed outside their territories at abundant food sources. Black-tailed Godwit (limosa limosa) has a long beak it uses for probing into water and soft mud to find food. A partial list of our events up to Autumn/Winter 2020. You may opt-out by. Resource about Birds for Birders. As our species continue to populate the world, and space becomes limited alongside the natural world, my biggest mission now is to build my career around a world where we can co-exist with every species. A Zino's Petrel is the ultimate reward for the efforts the team put in year on year, and only the third confirmed record away from Madeira. Q: What experiences sparked your passion for the natural world? When I saw that video of Christian Cooper and Amy Cooper in Central Park, it was really a disturbing experience and I think everybody that watched it must have felt as threatened as Christian Cooper. Thursday, June 4: Features a livestream discussion on #BirdingWhileBlack from7:00 to 8:30 pm EST. Published 31 Aug 2019, 07:52 BST, Updated 5 Nov 2020, 05:13 GMT. In between all of these experiences I have been earning my Animal Biology degree from the University of Gloucestershire. Once I broke into the wildlife conservation field, I knew that I had achieved some form of success in my life. Credit: The English School of Falconry. I was always in awe with what I saw around me, alongside my uncle’s farm livestock. Providing bird food from the ground in an open area could attract some unwanted visitors such as crows too, this can be avoided by providing the food beneath bushes and shrubs. I recall watching the video clip with my jaw open, thinking if such an experience happened to me, I don’t know what I would have done or if I would have handled it as well as Christian did. My research has brought me to scenic environments from deserts to boreal forests. British Birds July 2019. Relax later It would’ve brought things closer to home and I would’ve had more diversity in the people I call my heroes. Black Birders Week is a way for Black birders, who may have not seen another Black birder, to join together and encourage more participation and diversity in outdoor spaces. New friendships were established, people were getting recognized, and the discussion about racism was circulating everywhere. This allowed me to discover different habitats, ecosystems and fundamentally the wildlife that were native to these countries. Black Friday is Here! Credit: The UK Wolf Conservation Trust. It was so nice to be put in touch with the many amazing people that work in STEM fields. With so much uncertainty about the safety of travel and large gatherings, we have not committed to a decision just yet. Continuing this summer's astonishing trend for uber-rare seabird action, the Scilly pelagics were always likely to score big. We need to show them that jobs in these fields are achievable for them too, no matter what color their skin is or where they’re from. Rest in peace to every angel and solider that has fallen and lost their lives to racism. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. NurPhoto via Getty Images. © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. This was when I didn’t know much about ecology and biodiversity and its importance in ecosystems. For additional reading on how birding experiences differ dramatically based on race, a fellow Forbes contributor covers how Not Everyone Experiences the Joys of Birding Like Me—A White Woman. Fatbirder is the premier birders’ web resource about birds, birding and birdwatching. TA: I am sure that the journey differs with every individual that is working in the wildlife conservation field, but for me it all started at a local city farm in London, 15 mins walk from my house. Black bird watchers are rare birds themselves, and there are special rules that the black birder must observe to remain safe when out in the field chasing rare birds. Published on 02 May 2019 in Latest issues. The Blackbird (Turdus merula) The common European Blackbird is one of the most intensely productive birds in the UK, with approximately 6,000,000 breeding pairs. The facts that are posted range from folklore to weird biology facts! I owe a lot to watching wildlife documentaries when I was younger, because if it wasn’t for those then I probably wouldn’t have embarked on all of the experiences which led me to the position where I am today. For a bird that features in the majority of British gardens, the sudden loss of ‘your’ local Blackbird must come as quite a shock. These dreams were nurtured in Cihangir, a village in Northern Cyprus where his extended family lives. The hashtag was filled with individuals from Black scientists to nature-lovers showing what they love about nature and how they were introduced to it. I earned my Ph.D. in biological sciences studying airborne microbes, particularly those that cause disease. Blackbird: RSPB Blackbirds are members of the thrush family, and like their cousins the song and mistle thrushes, fieldfares and redwings they have a varied diet, eating insects and worms in the summer and fruit in the winter. Tolga Aktas exploring the natural landscapes in the Cotswolds, United Kingdom. Happening now, Black Birders Week was featured by the Audubon Society and government agencies, including the U.S. If you have a dream and believe that your story and voice can make a difference towards the natural world, follow your heart, work hard and don’t look back. The Blackbird is one of a small number of species that sometimes sing during the night, a behaviour that occurs more often in the presence of street-lighting.Blackbirds have large eyes, relative to their body size, and BTO research has revealed them to be the first species to arrive at garden feeding stations on dark winter mornings. TA: Black Birders Week was absolutely fantastic to watch develop. Last week, Black researchers and avian enthusiasts flocked to social media to participate in the first ever Black Birders Week (May 31-June 5). It’s Latinate name, Turdus merula is a binomial name deriving from two Latin parts: Turdus ‘thrush’ and merula ‘Blackbird’. Contact the Framlingham & Saxmundham Branch of … But all is well. Leftover fat from cooking; Polyunsaturated margarines or vegetable oils. TA: I have been very fortunate to not have experienced any racism during my times conducting fieldwork. After spending a month with the team at Wildlife ACT, tracking wild dogs and lions from dawn and dusk, I knew in my heart that I would be coming the following year to study these species for my university thesis. When a white woman called the cops on an African American bird-watcher in New York, a group of Black … Black Swamp Bird Observatory, the proud host of The Biggest Week, is thrilled to announce a series of workshops for birders of all skill levels. Open to everyone and held through the Observatory's secure Zoom account, these wonderful workshops will be fun, informal, totally unintimidating, interactive, and free to Observatory members. This global team, united by birds, found an astounding […] There are around 65 species of thrushes, which are categorised It really gave me a true appreciation of the natural world, even to a point that I traded the use of my Gameboy Advance to my cousin so I could get my hands on a chicken egg. It reassures me that everybody can make a difference towards our planet.” Aktas’s interest in becoming a conservation biologist, storyteller and explorer was not born overnight. Whether you are looking for facts about hummingbirds, songbirds, shorebirds or raptors in your backyard or are planning a trip or birding tour anywhere in the world Fatbirder is the site for you. Many Biggest Week fans are wondering about the status of the 2021 festival. The inaugural Black Birders Week will inspire a new generation of birders and nature-lovers. A young Robin redbreast (Turdus migratorius) observed in Spring 2020. Every summer holiday, Aktas spent the season exploring the natural wonder of the region, always studying the animals that call the island home. EY & Citi On The Importance Of Resilience And Innovation, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change, Michigan Economic Development Corporation BrandVoice, Not Everyone Experiences the Joys of Birding Like Me—A White Woman. A young Robin redbreast (Turdus migratorius) observed in Spring 2020. They are very clever, highly social and emotionally connected with one another. Vagrancy to the North Atlantic probably is greater than suggested by the few documented records. I think anybody that hasn’t seen the species before in the wild or in captivity and eventually sees them for the first time almost certainly becomes an advocate in protecting them. The male is jet black with a bright orange beak and ring around the eye, and the female is a chocolate brown colour. Outdoor sports and recreation are overwhelmingly white, and, in birding, the majority of participants are over 55.