Christian Cooper is a science and comics writer, editor, and birdwatcher (or “birder”).
He’s also a proud black man.
Unfortunately for him, he’s most known for the infamous Central Park birdwatching incident in May 2020 on the same day as George Floyd’s death; the 59-year-old New Yorker was involved in a racial incident with a white woman (coincidentally named Amy Cooper, no relation) who falsely accused him of threatening her after he politely asked her to leash her dog whilst he was birdwatching in the park.
The woman was later charged with filing a false police report and received nationwide condemnation for her behaviour; she was eventually found not guilty but lost her job at Franklin Templeton anyway.
Cooper also declined to cooperate in the woman’s prosecution.
But what he’s most known for could be about to change.
Now, National Geographic has announced an upcoming series called Extraordinary Birder with Cooper as host, as he takes viewers into the “wild, wonderful and unpredictable world of birds”.
Cooper confirmed that National Geographic reached out to him about a potential series around the time of the incident, as the term “birding” trended on Twitter following the park altercation.
“I was all in,” he said.
“I love spreading the gospel of birding.
“Birding has exploded in popularity recently, and I’m looking forward to putting a spotlight on these extraordinary birders who love them and work to protect them!”
The broadcaster has not announced a premiere date for the series, only releasing a tranquil statement ahead of the first promotional material that aired a fortnight ago.
“Whether braving stormy seas in Alaska for puffins, trekking into rainforests in Puerto Rico for parrots, or scaling a bridge in Manhattan for a peregrine falcon, he [Cooper] does whatever it takes to learn about these extraordinary, feathered creatures and show us the remarkable world in the sky above,” the statement said.