Washington Wachira: For the love of birds
Washington Wachira - Wildlife ecologist, nature photographer and safari guide
Birder and ecologist Washington Wachira started the Youth Conservation Awareness Programme to nurture young environmental enthusiasts in Kenya. Full bio
beautiful birds we have in Kenya,
of different sizes,
astonishing pieces of technology
has helped birds to keep dry,
can actually make a feather.
who can make something
and any other animals we have on earth,
you cannot call yourself a bird.
to conquer gravity
in an extraordinary way.
you could fly like a bird?
each one of you thinks about them.
is because they are beautiful.
is uniquely beautiful.
to all the birds of the world.
part of our lives and cultures
childhood stories of different birds
would follow flocks of vultures
have been dropped by large carnivores,
and eat part of that meat.
and labels all over the world.
emblem for the US
in virtually all habitats of this earth,
these beautiful penguins
you can imagine.
have conquered this world.
we call the weaverbirds,
in which they weave their nests.
just like us humans.
that males dress to impress the women,
just like humans.
wondering about this one.
to cheat on their spouses.
to find other males to mate with
to take care of the chicks.
in our ecosystems each day.
that would otherwise cost us lots of money
is capable of bringing down a carcass
the environments of rodents
because it saves us money --
to buy harmful chemicals
we see in our environments
pollinators like insects,
that we depend on for many years.
is by far not perfect.
every day wherever they live.
especially migratory species
to flocks that like to stick together,
are electrocuting birds
of climate change
from better breeding and feeding grounds
where they used to live
towards birds was changed
of a bird we called the augur buzzard.
in a similar situation,
any biologist by then,
and we decided to house the bird
and then let it free.
to feed on beef from our school kitchen,
for its dinner every day.
changed the way we looked at birds.
within our own high school.
made me the conservationist I am today.
should especially matter for Africa
of the most amazing bird species
in highest numbers of diversity
to provide the continent
services that Africa needs.
in avian tourism.
will benefit from groups of tourists
just to see the endemic birds
to their continued survival,
by becoming a citizen scientist.
around the world,
where people are sharing information
about traffic updates,
we realized as bird-watchers,
are found everywhere,
and everyone else in Africa
they find where they live,
or even where they work,
with a map of every single species,
in the continent of Africa,
that occur in my country, Kenya.
now have online databases
into very interactive websites
and make decisions from.
there was a big challenge.
and I cannot access a computer.
what birds live in my home,
and come up with a sustainable solution.
common in Africa
could get access to one.
mobile phone applications
and on your Android phone,
enthusiast out there.
which is used by the Kenya Bird Map,
the African Raptor Observations,
by the African Raptor DataBank.
enormous amounts of data
out there in the regions.
that citizen science
citizen science is adaptive.
convert many bird-watchers
could be a huge gateway
of other forms of animals.
in the Virtual Museum for Africa,
we are even mapping mushrooms.
we've created a community of people
to love and care for that which we know.
in your free time
at school, or maybe at home,
and see which beautiful birds are there.
in the places where you visit.
how beautiful these birds are.
they will want to care
to love our feathermakers,
to appreciating all forms of nature.
About the speaker:Washington Wachira - Wildlife ecologist, nature photographer and safari guide
Birder and ecologist Washington Wachira started the Youth Conservation Awareness Programme to nurture young environmental enthusiasts in Kenya.
Why you should listen
If you take a walk, the animals you're most likely see are birds. Birds are some of the most fascinating creatures on earth. We wake up to their songs in the morning; they're in our cities, farms and even schools. They are, however, facing many challenges, and we should do something to help them.
By age 14, Washington Wachira was already on a career path towards nature interpretation and conservation. Wachira holds a BSc in environmental science and is currently taking an MSc animal ecology from Kenyatta University. Washington founded Youth Conservation Awareness Programme (YCAP) to nurture young environmental enthusiasts in Kenya. He is a keen writer and has published multiple articles in a variety of local and international publications. As a result of his conservation passion, he has won many awards including Mr. Environment and Ambassador for Nairobi Province in 2012 and The Daisy Rothschild Award in 2015. He is a passionate and talented nature photographer featured in many publications worldwide. He has won multiple photo awards including the first position in the underwater category of the 2016 East African Wild Life Photo Competition and Honourable Mention in the Best of Nikon Kenya 2016 Photography Competition.
Wachira is an experienced safari guide and has led many expeditions and research projects across Kenya. He founded Cisticola Tours, a tour company that leads professional birding and nature tours across Kenya and the rest of East Africa. Through Cisticola Tours, he has been leading multiple sustainability projects to support bird conservation and help communities to appreciate birds and nature. He is also a member of the Bird Committee of Nature Kenya, Chair of the National Bird of Kenya Sub-committee, the Country Representative for Kenya at Youth Africa Birding and Manager for the Kenya Bird Map Project. He is a National Geographic Explorer for his work with African Crowned Eagles, and he is a birds of prey graduate student with The Peregrine Fund.
Washington Wachira | Speaker | TED.com