Yes, where are the GIRL birders? I'm out there with my sisters and girlfriends, but rarely do we encounter other women our age (let alone younger) in groups. I'm looking for females of the next generation, not my parent's generation (though women of this latter group are my greatest influences). Who is going to carry the birding torch into the future? Who is the next Hazel Wolf or Phoebe Snetsinger? Cornell Lab asked this question recently, how women and men approach birding differently, and the author suggests women are generally participatory (taking classes, counting in group efforts like bird census) while men engage in competitive birding contests, listing comparisons and long lens photography.
I'm looking for the gals making birding as mainstream as hiking or brunching! Where else can you combine being outdoors, sight-seeing, meditating on sights and sounds of bird life, socializing, and supporting eco-tourism in one fell swoop (using a bird pun there, totally intentional). And we ladies have some catching up to do.
There is a growing cliche of guy my age who has taken up wildlife photography with his disposable income from his high-tech job and is now out there with his long lens snapping up evidence of his bone-chilling time in the field with this close up shots of owls. Today's expensive camera gear and resulting outdoor digital photos are yesterday's "do you want to hear my band play?" among the crowd trying to gain instant credibility among we birders who've been at it all our lives.
Why aren't there more younger women birding? All that expensive gear of young men is not a requirement. Heck, if it's boys they're after (according to Gloria Steinem), birding is where the boys are. Or those boys' mothers, who can introduce those girls to sons!
Stepping away from the sex appeal of birding for a minute, my experience of a day of birding is one of laughs, camaraderie, great food and beverage, amazing entertainment (The birds, after all!), and cute outfits--basically a girls' night out. If I frame it this way, will more women join me?