We are dedicated to amplifying the future of STEAM and conservation by raising funds in support of historically excluded people with a connection to birds. We offer networking and professional development opportunities, share outdoor experiences, and aim to bring equity in all that we do.

We are a small team of talented professionals and birders with a BIG love for what we do!

Black Woman in Glasses with hat on in green field lined with trees.

Fatin Abdal-Sabur (She/Her)

Birders Fund Committee Member, Outreach.

Originally from Bergen County, NJ, Fatin moved to the Washington DC
area in 2014. A former educator of nearly two decades, she is
currently a content writer in the nonprofit and education fields.

When Fatin was a child, her mother noticed that she would sit at her
bedroom window looking and listening for birds. She bought Fatin her
first birding guide and the rest is history. She is also co-admin of
the IDEA Birders Facebook group, a member of Outdoor Afro DMV, and
founder of an informal group for Black birders.

When not spending time outdoors, Fatin dabbles in mixed media art and
advocates for mental health as an active volunteer with NAMI in Prince
George’s County.

Latinx man with beard, black-rimmed glasses, and a headlamp, wearing a black and gray jacket, holding up a silky-white dog with pointy ears and a red harness on a fallen log.

Andrés Anchondo (He/Him/Él)

Birders Fund Founding Committee Member, Partnerships & Website.

Originally from Chihuahua, Mexico, Andrés moved to the United States in 2016 with his wife. He works with American Bird Conservancy to conserve migratory birds and their habitats in Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. Before joining ABC, Andrés worked with NRDC’s Latin America Project researching mechanisms to finance climate-smart projects in the region.

Andrés is an avid birder, a member of the birding community in Washington, D.C., and serves on the DC Audubon Society board since 2017.

Black Woman with glasses smiling with binoculars and a green jacket

Samantha DeJarnett

Birders Fund Committee Member, Media Partner.

Birds are extremely awesome. But birding can be intimidating and difficult. Always Be Birdin’ aims to change the narrative of birding. How we bird, where we bird and who is birding. Join me as I go out into the field with BIPOC birding experts, novice baby birders like myself and nature enthusiasts to do some chaotic, goofy birding while dropping a knowledge bomb or two to show that no matter what, you can Always Be Birdin’. PodcastInstagramTwitter.

Latinx Woman in brown cap with O, long black hair, in scarf. Harbor background.

Orietta Estrada (She/Her/Ella)

Birders Fund and Amplify the Future Co-founder, Treasurer, Partnerships & Website.

Before starting her career as a content and media professional in 2013, Orietta worked for seven years in the tech industry as a technical writer and editor. She has bird-related bylines in several online and print publications from BirdWatching to Sierra. She is co-founder of IDEA Birders and the IDEA MD RBA, a birding group and RBA based on the values of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility; and co-founder of the Black & Latinx Birders Scholarship Fund.

Orietta volunteers as a master naturalist participating in community outreach focused on delivering information about raptors. She also volunteers as a judge and mentor for the American Birding Association’s Young Birder of the Year program. She holds a B.A. in Literature from New York Institute of Technology, an M.A. in Postcolonial Literary Theory from Stockholms Universitet, and has both undergraduate and graduate coursework in geographic information systems and environmental biology from Hood College.

When she’s not thinking about birds or birders, she’s tinkering with the latest in tech-media, reading, taking courses, spending time with her family, and playing music.

Twitter: @BirdsNatureLife Instagram: @Birds_Nature_Life

Black man with beard in white hat, red shirt that reads, "Kingfisher" in black shorts and binoculars.

Tykee James (He/Him/His)

Birders Fund and Amplify the Future Co-founder, Partnerships.

Tykee James serves on the board of directors of the DC Audubon Society, Wyncote Audubon Society, Audubon Maryland-DC, the Birding Co-op, and the Academy of Natural Sciences. 

He has built residency in this work starting from his experience as an environmental educator in Philadelphia, his hometown. In fact, that was his first job in his own neighborhood where he became aware of the significant connection between public health and environmental conditions. Before moving to DC almost two years ago, he worked for a State Representative as her environmental policy advisor and developed his leadership capacity with the Environmental Leadership Program.

Tykee has been a part of the birding community for almost a decade. Most recently, he was one of the organizers of the first #BlackBirdersWeek.

In his personal time he is a podcast host for Wildlife Observer Network, a wildlife media project he started with some wildlife-friendly friends in Philly. Tykee hosts two podcasts: Brothers in Birding and On Word for Wildlife.

Website: WildlifeObserverNetwork.com Twitter: @Tykee_James Instagram: @TykeeJames

Black Woman standing in a nature setting smiling.

Juita Martinez (She/Her)

Birders Fund, Committee Member.

Juita Martinez is a 4th year environmental and evolutionary biology Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She holds a B.Sc. in zoology from Humboldt State University. Her current research focuses on Brown Pelican demography and conservation. Juita was a field technician for Richardson’s Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary and a co-organizer of #BlackBirdersWeek in 2020. When she’s not in the field or working on her dissertation you can find her maintaining her backyard bird feeders. She’s also a hobbyist wildlife photographer.

Yamina Nater-Otero (She/her and They/Them)

Birders Fund and Amplify the Future Committee Member, Secretary, Partnerships.

When she is not out in her local park or at a nature preserve looking for birds, Yamina spends her time advocating for equity in the outdoors. She puts her MA in Environmental Studies to good use by engaging diverse communities in topics such as bird conservation, redefining “the outdoors”, and urban environmental education.  In her free time, she enjoys consuming far too much pop culture and spending time with her Boston Terriers. 

Latinx Woman with long brown hair in a black shirt.

Ashleyann Perez-Rivera (She/Her)

Birders Fund and Amplify the Future Committee Member, Outreach.

Ashleyann Perez-Rivera works at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) headquarters within the National Wildlife Refuge System’s Branch of Communications and Digital Services. During her fellowship with the Urban Wildlife Conservation Program in 2017 she became more familiar with wildlife dependent recreation and grew her love for birding specifically, in urban areas. Ashleyann has a B.S in Historic Preservation with a focus on sustainability which enabled her to work on Place, Story and Culture, a white paper that addresses the significance of protecting Latino heritage sites across the U.S. Her passion and experience for the natural and cultural landscapes provides a unique perspective on social and ecological conservation issues.