thEM x Feminist Bird Club Badge
"Our logo was kindly illustrated by Aidan Koch, an incredible, animal-loving artist who founded the Institute for Interspecies Art and Relations.
Each letter includes a bird species that has been on one of our yearly fundraising patches. The F has two Painted buntings, the B is a Black skimmer soaring towards the shoreline, and the C has a Snowy owl sitting on it."
Spot clean only (do not dry clean!) Do not iron. Contains magnets.
The Feminist Bird Club was founded by Molly Adams in 2016 as a way to leverage both their passion for birds and their passion for social justice into a cohesive whole. Since then, the Feminist Bird Club has expanded to chapters across North America and in the Netherlands.
"Our goal is two-fold: Make birding and the outdoors inclusive and affirming to people who may not have safe access to it, and leverage people’s passion for the environment and social justice to help create lasting social change. More simply put: There is no reason why we can’t celebrate birds and support our most cherished beliefs in equity and justice at the same time. For us, it’s not either/or. "
Proceeds from this badge go to Feminist Bird Club.
"Traditionally, we ask different artists each year to illustrate a selected bird species for a patch. All sales from each year’s patch goes to a different social justice organization whose mission we support. For example, we have raised funds for the National Network of Abortion Funds, Native Wellness Institute, Make the Road NY, and this year’s funds will go to Honor the Earth.
That being said, we are honored that this badge will help raise funds for our own mission."
Tell us about you!
Karla: I live in Philadelphia, PA and work for a river conservation non-profit, as well as a music management company. I am the type of person that has to be doing many things at once, but I have a chronic illness, so I have to be intentional about how I use my energy and I need a lot of rest. I primarily spend my spare time watching reality television, reading, spending quality time with my loved ones, playing magic the gathering, and sitting outside watching birds.
Molly: I primarily live in the Catskill Mountains in New York and am on medical disability. Before losing my job due to Long Covid and other chronic illnesses, I worked in conservation outreach and policy at New York City Audubon. Today, I’m working on resting and recovering while continuing to organize for the Feminist Bird Club, co-authoring a book on birding and the club, and slowly growing things in my garden.
How do you lean out, stay active, get out and explore nature?
Karla: With my chronic illness, being outside/being active has become really challenging. I have learned to adjust by spending a lot of time sitting in nature, birding, car camping or paddle camping, and paddling in lakes and rivers, which I learned I can do comfortably. Pivoting my method of leaning out has been challenging but spending more time paddling has been really relaxing and helpful for my mind and body.
Molly: Staying active in nature has been challenging since being diagnosed with Long Covid and ME/CFS a year and a half ago. Since exercise causes an increase in my symptoms, I’ve needed to learn to slow down and adapt the ways I spend time outside. Birding looks a lot different now, but I’m grateful for any opportunity to get outside for very short walks and long sits at the beach and in the woods.
What are your tools for leaning out?
Karla: My friends are my greatest tool for leaning out. They help me explore the outdoors within my limits and will adjust our activities based on my capacities. I am so grateful for them.
Molly: During the warmer months, I spend a lot of time on my porch in a very comfortable camping chair with my binoculars and portable speaker. I often have my phone with me open to the Merlin app to help identify migrating bird songs.
Tell us about your gear – what do you tend to bring/wear?
Karla: My favorite piece of gear is a Brain Dead vest that my friend gave me. It’s colorful with lots of pockets, it allows me to hold my phone, a guide book and even my binoculars when my binocular strap starts bothering my neck. My NOAH x FBC leopard print strap is also one of my favorite items - it adds a fun flair to birding outings. I also carry Vortex binoculars, a Peterson field guide or the Warbler guide during migration, my phone for photos and the Merlin bird ID app. I am sensitive to the sun, so with my vest I will wear loose fitting clothes that keep me cool (my MEALS chef pants are my everyday pants now), my Gortex Hoka Ones, and always a hat and sunglasses (my favorite hat right now is my Outdoor Research Sun Runner hat with a neck cover)
Molly: My comfortable camping chair is a Helinox Sunset Chair, but if I’m traveling I have a small 20$ collapsible stool from a local outdoor store. I have a cane from the drug store and a chamonix walking stick that I’ll select from depending on the amount of walking and terrain. I’ll bring my Zies binoculars, that were a refurbished gift from a mentor or my Kowa scope if I have someone to carry it. I wear my Montbell fanny pack all the time too, it’s perfect to hook a water bottle to and store dog treats. I’ll typically wear loose fitting clothes with my dirty Lowa hiking boots and either a sun hat or baseball cap. I’m a huge fan of our Noah Clothing collaborations like this Labrador duck hat and one of the FBC sibling chapter Cardenalitos Birding Club’s shirts.
What is one of your most memorable adventures or favorite places to lean out?
Karla: One year I made an annual bucket list rather than new year’s resolutions, and on there was a goal to see an Atlantic Puffin. I had planned to go alone on a puffin boat in Maine (a 4-5 hour drive from where I lived), but my non-birder friends were so excited about my bucket list that they asked to join, so four of us drove up to Maine and got on this boat and saw hundreds of Puffins and Terns, and we all cried. It was one of the best experiences of my life.
Molly: Right now, my favorite place to lean out is my backyard. Besides birding from my deck, I’m learning a lot from both my herb/flower garden and my new raised bed for vegetables. The raised bed has a built in ledge so that I can sit on the edge while planting and pruning. There are few things better than cutting greens that you planted from seed while I Ruby throated hummingbird buzzes by your hat and Barred owls hoot back and forth to one another in the nearby pines.
What do you do to stay safe so you can really relax in nature?
Karla: I always go outside with one other person. If I am ever left alone, I carry a pocket knife and a Birdie personal alarm.
Molly: Staying safe for me means birding with at least one other person. It also requires a bit of research before my trip to make sure that the trail isn’t on an incline, that there are places to rest on benches or in the shade, and that I don’t have to go far from a parking lot to see birds.
Who inspires you in the outdoors?
Karla: Alexis Nickole @blackforager on Instagram. She is so funny and fun and teaches me so much about foraging and joy!
Molly: Kelcie Miller-Anderson @ thechronic_explorer on Instagram. She is a disabled environmental scientist who uses social media to celebrate the freedom she has in the outdoors because of her mobility aids.