In September 2022, an eight-episode series titled Gutsy debuted on Apple TV+ in which Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton interview famous and not-so-famous women from various walks of life about what it takes to be a “gutsy woman.” The fifth episode focuses on women who have devoted themselves to the natural world in one way or another.
In one segment, Chelsea Clinton speaks with primatologist and famed environmentalist Jane Goodall alongside 20-year-old British-Bangladeshi birdwatcher Mya-Rose Craig. Goodall and Craig sit at a table in Goodall’s home while Clinton chats with them on a video call. Craig, whose birdgirluk.com website documents her very public young life as a birder, was 17 when she became the youngest person to see half the world’s bird species. In a voiceover before the interview, Clinton says: “Mya-Rose Craig could be called a Jane Goodall in the making” and describes her as a “fierce environmentalist.”
It’s a testament to Craig’s activism that she appears here with Goodall, who has been educating the world about animals and the threats they face for decades. Since she was 11, Craig has been blogging about her life — her birding travel, media appearances, events she has spoken at, and more. In 2020, the University of Bristol awarded her an honorary doctorate of science. Her life list stands at 5,668 species, which ranks her 181st on the Surfbirds overall World list and first on Surfbird’s Young Birders list. She published a book, Birdgirl, earlier this year in the U.K.; it is slated to be released in the U.S. in March 2023. And she has spoken at events alongside Greta Thunberg, Malala Yousafzai, and George Monbiot, among others.
We would have liked the Gutsy episode to have shared more details about Craig’s birding adventures and activism. Nevertheless, it’s incredible to see a young birder receive attention alongside a beloved legend in the environmental movement.