Birdwatcher Christian Cooper was thrust into the spotlight in 2020 when he filmed a racially charged encounter with a White woman in New York’s Central Park.
Nat Geo announced this week that Cooper–who previously said in interviews he’s been bird watching since he was 10–will host a new series for the channel called Extraordinary Birder, where viewers will be thrust into Cooper’s “wild, wonderful and unpredictable world of birds.”
“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 does whatever it takes to learn about these extraordinary feathered creatures and show us the remarkable world in the sky above,” the network said in a statement.
The channel has yet to announce a premiere date for the new series, but Cooper told The New York Times when Nat Geo approached him with the idea that he was “all in.”
“I love spreading the gospel of birding,” he told the publication.
The birdwatcher garnered national attention back in 2020 after he recorded a video in New York City’s Central Park of a white woman named Amy Cooper (no relation) calling the police and making false claims about him threatening her and her dog.
“I’m in the Ramble,” Cooper is seen saying on the phone. “And there is a man, African American — he has a bicycle helmet. He’s recording me and threatening me and my dog.”
The 2020 video was uploaded online mere hours before George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis and helped to kickstart the national Black Lives Matter protests that swept across the country.
Amy Cooper was fired from her job and charged with a third-degree misdemeanor over making a false claim. The charge was later dropped as a result of her non-existent criminal history.
After the Central Park incident he wrote a graphic novel partly inspired by his experiences. DC Comics published the novel, “It’s a Bird,” in September 2020.