Sheridan Alford helps organize Black Birders Week, which celebrates Black people who love birds with a week of interactive events. She’s passionate about the mental health benefits of birding, especially for people who have experienced trauma. Sheridan says that sitting and journaling about what you observe can help you feel grounded. Becoming aware of the birds living around you can help you tap into their resilience in a changing world. Learn how to participate in Black Birders Week here.
Sheridan Alford on Birding and Mental Health
Adapted from Bring Birds Back podcast
This is BirdNote.
[Red-eyed Vireo song, ML 159480311, 0:14-0:17]
Sheridan Alford helps organize Black Birders Week, which celebrates Black people who love birds with a week of interactive events. And she’s passionate about the mental health benefits of birding.
[Nature SFX 45 Deciduous Forest Country Morning]
Sheridan Alford: So as a community, we deal with a lot of trauma, trauma that you didn't even ask for, but it's there regardless. And so I think knowing that there's a place that you can go, knowing that you can step outside, step out the door. My recommendation is always outside. If you need something to distract you, it has that. If you need something to kind of just have peace and be still, it has that.
While you can approach the outdoors any way that makes sense to you, Sheridan says that sitting and journaling about what you observe can help you feel grounded.
Sheridan Alford: and you sit in one spot and you have a journal and you just sit there for like 30 minutes. You can write, you can draw, you can not write anything if you don't want to.
Having a deeper awareness of the birds living around you can help you tap into their resilience in a changing world.
Sheridan Alford: First of all, think of the birds outside your window, outside your work place, whatever. It's just, notice how they're like, they're always there. The resilience is usually something that I kind of lead with. I'm just, I'm a big proponent of taking advantage of the world around you.
Learn how you can participate in this year’s Black Birders Week on our website, BirdNote dot org. I’m Tenijah Hamilton.
Senior Producer: John Kessler
Content Director: Allison Wilson
Producer: Mark Bramhill
Managing Producer: Conor Gearin
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Red-eyed Vireo ML 159480311 recorded by S. Fisher.
BirdNote’s theme was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
© 2022 BirdNote May 2022 Narrator: Tenijah Hamilton
ID# alfords-01-2022-05-31 alfords-01