J. Drew Lanham is a conservation ornithologist and endowed faculty at Clemson University, where his work focuses on the intersections among race, place, and nature. He is the author of The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature and Sparrow Envy: Field Guide to Birds and Lesser Beasts.

Articles by J. Drew Lanham


What Do We Do About John James Audubon?

By J. Drew Lanham
April 23, 2021 — The founding father of American birding soared on the wings of white privilege. The birding community and organizations that bear his name must grapple with this racist legacy to create a more just, inclusive world.
Year of the Bird

The United State of Birding

By J. Drew Lanham
December 19, 2017 — After a racist encounter in the field, a birder reflects on the disturbing incident and the community that helped lift him back up.
Image of marsh grasses and water on a sunny day.

What We Lose When We Forget the History of Our Public Lands

By J. Drew Lanham
September 29, 2017 — Public lands let us experience wildness in spaces where nature and history converge. How do we make them more inclusive to all?
Courtesy of J. Drew Lanham
Why I'm a Birder

The Freedom to Bird

By J. Drew Lanham
January 01, 2015 — For ornithologist Drew Lanham, it started with the (in)ability to fly.