LAST UPDATED: April 2024

Expectations and Guidelines FOR Festival Events


In addition to reviewing guidelines below. we urge all attendees and participants to review the ABA Birding Code of Ethics.  Anyone behaving in a way contrary to these standards during the Festival may be asked to leave.

The Boston Birding Festival does not tolerate bullying, discrimination, and harassment in presenting its programs and activities. This policy extends to attendees, staff, trip leaders, speakers volunteers, exhibitors, contractors, security, and third-party services, etc. in all spaces where programming takes place or is created or presented as well as in any service areas and in any Festival-related van, bus, boat, etc. We strive to make all participants feel welcome at our events. 

Staff, presenters, and volunteers also receive training on our expectations and are required to uphold our policies.

If you witness or experience conduct that makes you feel uncomfortable, find a staff member and request assistance.

Conflict between people does happen despite our best efforts. Not all conflict is personal. When conflict does become personalized, we prioritize those who have been harmed. Some behavior, even when unintentional, will always result in the offender being asked to leave.

The following are never permitted:

    • Repeated unwelcome physical contact or sexual attention
    • Harassment, intimidation, or bullying online or in person of Festival staff, volunteers, trip leaders, exhibitors, presenters, attendees or participants.
    • Bullying or harassment involving age, ability, appearance, health status, citizenship, color, race, or gender identity, and behaviors such as stalking, intimidation, physical threats, hate speech or abuse, and threats of violence are all very likely to result in immediate expulsion.
    • Repeated disruption of Festival programming
    • Property theft
    • Harassing birds or animals or deliberately damaging habitat

If you engage in any of these behaviors, security staff may ask you to leave immediately and you will be escorted from the premises. Please be aware that all problems that arise offsite may involve local law enforcement.

While this list is not intended to be complete, it does help to convey where we might respond in ways that do not involve immediate expulsion or referral to outside authorities—and where we might not. A single rude, awkward, or uncomfortable exchange, for example, may not rise to the level of expulsion no matter how unpleasant.

We also believe that most people are open to course correction and personal change when offered feedback, guidance, and grace We do not expect anyone to offer feedback or grace, but we do encourage it. A trained facilitator will be available at our large events—please ask.

“Canceling” and “Calling Out” will never be our goals. We reject bullying in the guise of calling out or shaming. We prefer opportunities to “call in”  and, if progress can be made, we will work to support that. We recognize and accept that not everyone agrees with this approach. 

We ask that everyone seeking to participate at any level in the Festival be kind, cordial, and considerate and also to be generous of spirit by assuming the best, not the worst, of each other.

By registering for the Festival or any of its events, you agree that you understand and will conform to these expectations for conduct. Thank you!