At Golden Gate Bird Alliance (GGBA), we believe deeply in our dual responsibility to protect and enhance the welfare of bird populations and their habitats and to promote a safe, inclusive, welcoming, and holistic birding experience. As members of this community, we all play a part in making sure GGBA programs, events, and spaces (online or in-person) reflect our desire to care for not only the birds and our shared environment, but also each other. 

The purpose of this Code of Conduct is to unite us around these responsibilities, create social expectations for our community to thrive, and keep us accountable to each other as we move in the direction of our organization’s vision: a world where birds, wildlife and all people flourish together. 

1. Keeping the GGBA Community Safe 

In order to maintain a safe environment we must treat each other with care and kindness. This means that harassment and discrimination will not be tolerated, including but not limited to the following:

Insults, slurs, threats, intimidation, physical or verbal assaults, touching without expressed consent, or offensive references to race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, or physical or cognitive ability. 

Framing offensive remarks as a joke is no excuse. 

2. Respecting Boundaries

As birders and conservationists, we understand the need to set clear boundaries when interacting with wildlife and the importance of adhering to best practices to prevent disturbing birds in their habitat. In the same vein, we expect our community to respect others’ boundaries and be aware of those around us. 

In more practical terms, we ask all members of our community to:

  1. Be considerate of other people’s personal space;
  2. Practice active listening and watch for nonverbal cues of discomfort.  

3. Creating an Inclusive Experience 

We firmly believe that birding and bird conservation should be for everyone. To make sure all participants feel a sense of belonging and have the best experience possible in our programs,we wish to emphasize the following: 

  1. Be mindful that members of our community span different birding abilities and birding style, ethnicities, economic backgrounds, sexual and gender identities, religions, cultures, physical and mental abilities, and other identities that may or may not be visible. 
  2. Whether intentional or not, inappropriate comments and microaggressions can harm individuals and the community/group as a whole and create an uncomfortable and exclusive environment.  
  3. Unless the above information of a particular individual is known to you, it is best not to assume any of these identities in relationship to other participants. 
  4. Share knowledge, experience, and bird observations with others.

4. Birding Ethics

The core of our community is a shared love of birds, it is important that we include a birding ethic to protect birds and other wildlife that we consider part of our community. The following serves as a shortlist of guidelines for birding ethically. 


  1. Promote bird-friendly practices in the field and at home (keep cats indoors/enclosed, keep dogs on leash, use bird-safe windows, use native plants, advocate).
  2. Stay on trails. 
  3. Be aware of your surroundings so birds aren’t forced to fly or change their behavior in response to your presence. 
  4. Pick up after yourself and others to keep bird habitat as pristine as possible. 


  1. Do not post the locations of nests.
  2. Do not post the locations of day-roosting owls. 
  3. Do not post the locations of sensitive species.
  4. During nesting season, do not use audio recordings to lure birds into view.

5. Process, Accountability, and Outcomes

We all have a responsibility to adhere to the Code of Conduct and to encourage others to do the same. If you see an incident that violates this code of conduct or makes you feel unwelcome or offended in any way, we encourage you to report it. 

Incidents can be reported through our anonymous online report form——or emailed to any of the people listed below. If you wish to remain anonymous we will respect your privacy throughout our process. 

Disagreements and criticisms are best delivered privately and respectfully, not in public forums. Any participant in our programs can reach out to their field trip leader or class instructor, or reach out directly to staff or Board of Directors: 

Upon receiving an incident report, Golden Gate Bird Alliance will convene a small committee including one board member, one staff member, and one representative from our DEI Committee. If you are willing to share your name and contact information, a member of the committee may reach out to you. The subcommittee will be tasked with 

  • Reviewing the details of the report and gathering more information if possible; 
  • Assessing the severity of the incident and recommending outcomes to the staff leadership and Board of Directors;
  • Identifying the factors leading up to the event and making a recommendation to staff and board for improving our programs. 

Any unlawful act such as the use of violence or assault will be reported to law enforcement.

Assault, harassment, or discrimination will be considered severe violations of the code of conduct and may result in a ban from our organization or any of our programs and events.

Other inappropriate behavior or comments may result in temporary or permanent bans from our programs or events.