Choosing a New Name

Double-crested Cormorants with Common Terns at Jamaica Bay. Photo: Don Riepe
Updated April 26, 2024

In March 2023 after a months-long assessment process, the leadership of NYC Audubon (now known as NYC Bird Alliance) began the process to change the organization’s name

We embarked on a collaborative and robust process to select a new name that encapsulates who we are and what we do, and that is inclusive and welcoming to all New Yorkers. 

Collecting Ideas for a New Name (Summer/Fall 2023)

Throughout 2023, we solicited input and suggestions for a new name for our organization. We collected nearly 250 name suggestions via communications with members, our print and email newsletters, social media posts, surveys of public program participants, and a form on this webpage. Those suggestions came from 140 different people including members, volunteers, organizational partners, bird guides, outing participants, board members, advisory council members, staff, and more.

Considerations for our New Name
As we evaluated name suggestions and collected feedback, here were the key criteria for the organization's new name:

  • Reflects our mission of conservation research, engagement of all New Yorkers, and advocacy efforts for legislative and policy change that protects wild birds and habitat
  • Expresses our focus on birds
  • Is not in use by related organizations
  • Acronym (if we have one) should also not be in use by other related organizations and should be both recognizable and benign
  • Signifies our geographic zone of work across the five boroughs of New York City
  • Feels welcoming and inviting, and avoids terms that may convey exclusion; for example, as many Audubon entities have done recently, we will likely no longer include a word like “Society”
  • Does not include honorifics or eponymous names (i.e., names that honor individual people)


In Fall 2023, we formed a Name Change Task Force (see details below) to help curate the name suggestions, making sure they were appropriate for our work and that they follow the considerations laid out above. The Task Force also heard from marketing and branding experts who shared important elements of branding best practices to take into account. 


In December 2023, the Task Force narrowed down the hundreds of choices to a shortlist of five names:
  • Birds Connect NYC
  • Birds for All NYC (or NYC Birds for All)
  • Birds NYC (or NYC Birds)
  • NYC Bird Alliance (or Bird Alliance of NYC)
  • NYC Bird Conservancy (or Bird Conservancy of NYC)


Over a period of two months, we collected input on our short list of names from nearly 1,000 people through an online poll and a series of Zoom and in-person events for members, donors, funders, volunteers, bird guides, and partner organizations. We engaged both our existing supporters and stakeholders and reached out to other birders and conversations including those affiliated with community partner organizations but not yet connected to our organization. Throughout the process, our board of directors and staff weighed in at key points to provide input and receive the Task Force's recommendations. 

You are invited to watch our brief Name Change Zoom presentation for stakeholders (Jan 31, 2024) for more information about our process and considerations in choosing the five names.  


Our board and staff completed due diligence for the five name options, including review by legal counsel, obtaining any rights or permissions, setting up domains, registering trademarks, and making required technical checks. After reviewing those considerations and all of the input collected, the Name Change Task Force made a recommendation of two names to the board of directors: NYC Bird Alliance and Birds NYC. 

At its scheduled quarterly meeting in late March 2024, the board voted on New York City Bird Alliance, Inc. (usually shortened as NYC Bird Alliance) to be the final name, subject to member approval.  


On June 5, 2024, NYC Bird Alliance direct contributing members ratified the changing of the organization's Certificate of Incorporation with the new name, with a vote at our Annual Meeting of Members.  Members received notice of that meeting, and a proxy ballot, in early May, and were given the option to vote online, by email, by mail, or in person at the June 5 Annual Meeting. 

There were a record number of voters for this annual election, and an overwhelming majority of members voted to approve the new name. Thank you to our members for being an active part of our process! 


Our Name Change Task Force was composed of organizational leaders, community partners, members, supporters, and staff. The Task Force was designed to represent a diverse range of perspectives, backgrounds, and tenure with the organization.

Board of Directors
· Karen Benfield, President, NYC Audubon Board of Directors
· Angie Co, board member and chair, EDIA Committee
· Chris Cooper, Vice President board of directors
· Simon Keyes, board member and Young Conservationist Council
· Jeff Kimball, Immediate Past President and chair, Nominating Committee
· Kyu Lee, board member and chair, Engagement Committee
· Vivek Sriram, board member and member, Finance Committee
· Mike Yuan, Executive Vice President, board of directors

NYC Audubon Staff
· Jessica Wilson, Executive Director
· Roslyn Rivas, Manager of Public Programs
· Myles Davis, Senior Manager, Green Infrastructure
· Andrew Maas, Associate Director, Communications

Advisory Council
· Marcia Fowle, Advisory Council member (as well as past Board member, and past Executive Director)

Community Partners and Volunteers
· Melissa Breyer, Project Safe Flight volunteer, bird advocate, and member, Engagement Committee
· Jamie Johnson, Project Safe Flight volunteer
· Alex Zablocki, Executive Director, Public Housing Community Fund

Questions about NYC Bird Alliance's name assessment or name change process?
Drop us a line at