“Bird Is the word”: An interview with British-Bangladeshi ornithologist, environmentalist and diversity activist Dr. Mya-Rose Craig AKA “Birdgirl”

“You can’t care about what you don’t know about.”

Ornithologist, environmentalist, diversity activist as well as an author, speaker and broadcaster Mya-Rose has certainly had an amazing career. Not only has she had many accomplishments, but she was by the age of 17 the youngest person in the world to see half of the world’s 5,800 bird species.

Mya-Rose is an exceptional individual who is raising awareness, inspiring women and encouraging more people from the Visible Minority Ethnic (VME) background from around the world to connect back to nature.

She experienced her first bird sighting when she was 9 days old, and her sister and parents were incredibly supportive and heavily involved in campaigns and connecting with nature, so it would only be natural that Mya-Rose would follow their guidance.

Growing up, by the age of 3 Mya-Rose was obsessed with birds and by the age of 8 she was travelling with her family to see birds in the wild.

Mya-Rose started a charity when she was just 14 years of age, called Black2nature. She is the president, and she campaigns for equal access to nature for all, but her focus is on VME (Visible Minority Ethnic) communities. This organisation creates nature camps, nature activities and runs race equality conferences.

Mya-Rose received an honorary doctorate in science from the University of Bristol, for her contribution to the greater ethnic diversity in nature, conservation and  the environment.

Mya-Rose is passionate about bringing light and awareness to racism in the environmental sector. She brings to account how racism and climate change are linked and how we can all play a part in changing this in society.

When it comes to having strings to your bow, Mya-Rose has many. She is also a very established author and her insight into the world of climate activism and bringing nature into our lives is so prevalent.

In her latest book titled “Flight”, Mya-Rose talks about the incredible journeys birds take each year as they migrate, such as the iconic swallow that migrates across Europe and over the African continent right to the tip of South Africa in search of food.

This book been nominated for the Wainwright Prize in the conservation sector as well as being nominated for the Janklow Prize and winning the Somerset Maugham Award.

Mya-Rose in the Artic with Greenpeace raising awareness of climate change.


Mya-Rose is an ambassador for an astonishing number of companies, organisations and charities, including Greenpeace (Oceans Ambassador), RSPB (community member) Froglife (Patron) and the Wildlife Trusts (Ambassador), plus many more.

Her commitment is outstanding to people and the environment, and you quickly witness how humble she is towards her accomplishments; she just wants to make a difference to nature and the community through connection activities.

But you don’t just have to hear it; you can read what Mya-Rose has done throughout her life and see how you too could follow in her footsteps.

Mya-Rose meeting Sir David Attenborough. Copyright Sir David Attenborough.

Why do you work in conservation?

“I think that working in Conservation is extremely important. We only have one planet and so it’s crucial to try and save living things. They cannot be brought back once they are gone.

“I therefore feel I have no option but to work in conservation to help stop climate change and the species devastation that will cause as well as to stop biodiversity loss.”

Mya-Rose helping plant trees – an activity that is essential for combating climate change.

What are the main activities in your current role? 

“My role now is PR and communications as well as carrying out science through the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), such as bird ringing and nest surveys. I promote projects and highlight issues that are occurring within conservation and highlighting biodiversity loss.

“My role as ambassador for conservation NGOs is also important for this, as I can promote important projects for the big conservation organisations.”

What’s the best part of your job or role?

“The best part of my role is communicating with people that care about habitat loss when they learn about it. Sadly, these things are happening, but it feels positive to be able to contribute towards stopping species loss.”

What is the worst part?

“The thing that I hate most about my role is how busy it can be against my other demands whilst studying at Cambridge University. It can get stressful, particularly when I have exams and study deadlines at the same time.”

What are the key steps in your career you have taken?

“When I started working in Conservation, I was just posting blog posts about conservation issues.

“Then I was asked to do guest blog posts about issues that organisations were fighting for or that I was working on.

“Then when I started to become an ambassador for quite a few different organisations and societies. I started doing top-level campaigning for those organisations. This has led to other opportunities such as going to the Arctic with Greenpeace and going to Glastonbury, and in the last couple of years with Greenpeace and Oxfam.”

Mya-Rose’s activities take her all over the world, including getting to meet the country leaders.

What advice would you give someone wishing to follow in your footsteps?

“I think that the first step would be to write blog posts for your website, and then from there start writing guest blog posts for other websites or articles.

“Social media posts and videos on TikTok and Instagram are important. I don’t enjoy this aspect of my work, so, therefore, I don’t spend a lot of time doing this. I think it’s important to find an area that you enjoy and then focus on that.

What are your hopes for the future in terms of the climate and ecological crisis? What can we do?

“I think that remaining positive is important as every action helps. I think the most important thing is to try and amplify your voice and get your message out there.”

If you want to follow Mya-Rose on her journey through her charity work and climate change activism, then you can visit her website, and follow her on LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook.


Author Profile | Ryan Eddowes

Ryan Eddowes is a Qualified Zoologist, Herpetologist, Animal Carer, Climate Change educator and UK Ambassador for Steps Charity Worldwide, a charity that supports everyone with lower limb conditions. Ryan hopes to use his experience and passion for the natural world to promote inclusivity in conservation, as Ryan was born with bilateral clubfoot, a condition that causes mobility issues. He was told working animals would be difficult due to the condition, but yet he just recently celebrated a decade long career in the wildlife industry.

“I truly believe that even if you have a hidden or physical disability and have a passion for the natural world, you can still achieve your dreams and make a difference to our planet”. You can follow Ryan on FacebookLinkedIn and Instagram.


Interviews, Early Years, Celebrating Diversity in Conservation, Communicator, Educator, Scientist, Climate Change