Choosing a New Name

Choosing a New Name

Double-crested Cormorants with Common Terns at Jamaica Bay. Photo: Don Riepe
Updated March 21, 2024

In Spring 2023 after a months-long assessment process, NYC Audubon’s leadership began the process to change the organization’s name by dropping “Audubon” and choosing a new name that better reflects our organizational values and our work.  

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. We will announce a new name in Spring 2024. 

We remain a chapter of the National Audubon Society, and our work remains focused on protecting wild birds and habitat.


As we evaluated name suggestions and collected feedback, here were the key considerations so that our 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)


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. We received suggestions and ideas from 140 different people including members, volunteers, organizational partners, bird guides, outing participants, board members, advisory council members, staff, and more.

Shortening the List of Name Suggestions (Fall 2023)

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 below. The Task Force also heard from marketing and branding experts who shared important elements of branding best practices to take into account. In December, the Task Force narrowed the list down to a shortlist (the five names listed above). 

Top Five Names (December 2023)

After rigorous assessment including incorporating expertise from branding and marketing experts, and considering the new names of other chapters across the nation, our Name Change Task Force narrowed down the hundreds of name choices to these top five:

  • 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)

Input from Members and Stakeholders (January/February 2024)

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 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 those affiliated with community partner organizations but not yet connected to NYC Audubon.

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 of directors and staff weighed in at key points to provide input and receive the Task Force's recommendations. 

Finalizing the Name Choice (March 2024)

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 input from nearly 1,000 people including members, supporters, volunteers, partners, birders, and community members, the Name Change Task Force made a recommendation of two names to the board of directors. The board voted on their choice for the final name at its scheduled quarterly meeting in late March 2024.  

Becoming Official (June 2024)

NYC Audubon direct contributing members will ratify the changing of the organization's articles of incorporation with the new name, with a vote at our Annual Meeting of Members in early June. Current members will receive a proxy ballot by mail/email in early May. To be eligible to vote, please confirm your membership status


Our Name Change Task Force is 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


Throughout the process of our name assessment and choice of a new name, we have been in close communication with the growing number of other Audubon chapters who are assessing and changing their names, to learn from their process and identify possible names that might work for us, too. You can see the growing list of some other chapter names on the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia website here.


We value the input of everyone in our flock! If you have additional feedback about the new name or our process, we'd love to hear it. Please email us at

We look forward to together creating a new name that reflects our mission to protect the wild birds and habitat of New York City, improving the quality of life for ALL New Yorkers! Please subscribe to our eGret eNewsletter, follow us on social media @nycaudubon, and keep an eye on this page for updates on our name selection process.