Audubon Southwest’s New Mexico offices celebrated Pride this year with two Let’s Go Birding Together bird walks. The LGBT walks, created by Jason St Sauver of Audubon Nebraska in 2016 as an event for the LGBTQIA++ community, have gained popularity and many Audubon offices and centers around the country participate.
In Albuquerque on June 6, over 30 people met at the Rio Grande Nature Center. Led by Laurel Ladwig, Backyard Refuge Coordinator for the Friends of the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, the group’s birdie highlights were a Cinnamon Teal, Snowy Egret, and Belted Kingfisher!
Similarly, in Santa Fe, a group of about 20 people, led by Cheryl Grindle, bird expert and owner of The Bird Hub, walked the perimeter of Patrick Smith Park. The highlights of the Santa Fe walk were a pair of Western Kingbirds and a Bullock’s Oriole. People in both groups learned much, got to make new friends, and expressed interest in participating in future Let’s Go Birding Together events.
On Pride Day in Santa Fe, June 26, staff from Audubon Southwest decorated a car for the Pride Drive with a Broad-tailed Hummingbird, balloons, and paper flowers. The wannabe float created much excitement and applause from onlookers.
In addition, to further staff education, Audubon Southwest’s June staff meeting included a guest speaker who presented a Transgender 101 informative session. Audubon Southwest is committed to equity, diversity, inclusivity and belonging in all aspects of our work. We will continue to honor and celebrate not only the diversity of birds in our world, but also the diversity of people. If you’d like to support our EDIB efforts, you can purchase your own colorful Let’s Go Birding Together swag here. Funds from sales go toward the various affinity group projects across the Audubon network.