The Gay Birders’ Club was formed in 1994 in response to an advert placed in Gay Times urging LGBT birdwatchers to get in contact.
From an initial 15 members, all men, our membership has grown to around 350 with almost equal numbers of men and women.
The main purpose of the Club is to bring LGBT+ birdwatchers together. This is done through the events held throughout the year. Since 1998 there have been around 100 events each year. These range from day events, evening walks, weekend events at birdwatching locations and extended GBC holidays to international destinations such as Nepal, California, India, the Gambia, Costa Rica and Australia.
Every two years the Club also holds a Grand Get Together, bringing together as many members as possible in one place for a weekend of socialising and birdwatching. Full details of events are available only to members, but the GBC Events page will give you an indication of the range of events on offer.
With such a friendly all-inclusive atmosphere, the Club attracts and welcomes members with all levels of birding experience.
As a member, you will also receive the quarterly newsletter Out Birding, and be able to join the GBC e-group. Non-members are also welcome to join our lively Facebook page where photos, videos and news items are shared.
The Club respects the need for discretion and confidentiality. Your name and details will not be passed to anyone else without your prior permission. We would, however, encourage you to permit your name and contact details to be forwarded to your Regional Representative to ensure that the events they organise suit you and others in your area. All mailing is done in plain envelopes. The Club is non-profit making and all monies raised go towards the production of the newsletter, the cost of advertising in the gay and birding press and to conservation work.
Since 2002 over £5,000 has been donated to conservation projects, including supporting RSPB and BTO appeals and sponsoring two species in the 2007-11 BTO Atlas project.
If you would like to join the Gay Birders’ Club or contact us to find out more, please visit our Join Us page .
Below we have tried to answer the most common questions visitors to our website may have. If you find that your question is not answered on this page, please email us.
Thankfully, the UK is not the only country where there is organised gay birding. Here’s a run-down of places where we have contacts:
In The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg there’s a group called GBC Benelux which is a branch of the UK's Gay Birders' Club. You can contact them at their email address.
Particularly active in North America is a group based around an email list called Gay Birders of North America (GBNA) which also has a Facebook page. It's open to anyone who is lesbian, gay or bisexual and their friends. They occasionally organise well-attended events in a variety of locations including, in the recent past, North Dakota, Half Moon Bay California and Chiappas, Mexico.
Another active group is GAGGLE (Greater Atlanta Gay Lesbian Birders) in Georgia, there’s a women’s group in Oregon (LES) and fledgling groups in the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle and New York. The UK GBC has now visited the USA a number of times and we’re sure there will be more visits in the future.
Elsewhere? We don’t know of any other organised groups. If you know of any, please let us know because we’re very pleased to pass on details or include information here. Or perhaps you’d like to set up a gay birding group for your country or area? If so, we’ll happily publicise your group and give help and advice as best we can.
Yes, it certainly is possible. If you email our events organiser, we can suggest an event for you to go on and put you in contact with the organiser. Why not take a look at our current GBC Events page to see if any of these grab your fancy!
I’d like to come along on an event but I don’t know a lot about birdwatching
If you’re a beginner to bird watching, you’ll find that Club events are a great way to learn about the birds you see in a supportive and relaxed environment. We all had to start somewhere.
I’d like to come along on an event but I’m not openly gay
The Club has a policy on outing other participants at events. If you’re concerned about being outed, it’s a good idea to make sure the event organiser knows so that she/he and other participants don’t let slip any information which might cause embarrassment.
Attending a GBC event is not completely risk-free as anyone who interacts with other lesbian and gay people runs the risk of being discovered. We don’t wave rainbow flags at our events and, to all intents and purposes, look like an ordinary group of bird watchers. However, we’re a diverse bunch and some of our members are well known in the birding world and are openly gay or lesbian (without harming their reputation). We can’t prevent other birders putting two and two together and making four, but we hope this slight possibility won't deter you from joining us for great birding in excellent company.
We take abuse through our website very seriously. Abuse of someone on the basis of their sexuality is very damaging, whether the victim is LGBT or not.
If you feel you’ve been at the wrong end of a malicious prank, you can pursue the matter with the police and with the internet service provider of the prankster. We will supply you with details of the host internet service provider, an IP address (this is number given to the computer that was used to send the information) and a date and time when your details were sent to us. This is normally sufficient to trace the offender.
Please note, when we receive an application (either by post or via the internet) we do not send an e-mail requesting confirmation.
In the past we have provided information that resulted in a number of people losing their internet account, and in the past an abuser was successfully prosecuted as a result of information provided from GBC internet log files.
Get in touch with the event organiser (details are listed with the event in Out Birding) and see if it’s possible to arrange a lift for part of your journey. If someone does drive you to an event, please offer to pay a fair share of the petrol: your offer will probably be refused, but you're more likely to be given a lift the next time.
Unfortunately not. Perhaps some time in the future we might be able to streamline the way we do our publications to allow for dual formats. If you’re concerned that our mailings will have words like “gay” or “lesbian” on the outside, please rest assured that they arrive in plain brown envelopes with nothing on the outside except a postage stamp and your postal address label.