Birdwatcher Falsely Accused by ‘Central Park Karen’ Lands Nature Series on National Geographic

Birdwatcher Christian Cooper on Extraordinary Birder. (Credit: National Geographic)

Christian Cooper, a Black birdwatcher who was falsely accused by a white woman of threatening her in Central Park, will host a new show about bird watching for National Geographic.

The series is titled Extraordinary Birder, the network announced this week in a press release.

Cooper, a life-long birder, made headlines in May 2020 when Amy Cooper (no relation) called 9-1-1 and falsely accused him of threatening her and her dog in a viral video.

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The dispute began when Christian asked Amy to follow the rules and put a leash on her dog. Instead, she dialed 9-1-1 and lodged a complaint about the birdwatcher.

Amid national anger, she was charged with a misdemeanor for making a false report. The charges were dropped in Feb. 2021, after she completed a diversionary counseling program meant to educate her on the harm that can come from making false accusations.

In his new series, Christian will go “into the wild, wonderful and unpredictable world of birds,” per National Geographic.

“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.

A premiere date will be announced later.

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Travel blogger Jeff Jenkins will also be bringing a new show to  the channel. The currently untitled project will follow Jenkins as he spends a week completing one epic adventure he never thought he could do. “Along the way, experiencing out-of-the-box cultural experiences, Jeff will cross paths with larger-than-life-locals, sharing every awe-inspiring adventure with viewers,’ the network said.

Rob Shaftel and Jon Kroll are executive producers for Hit+Run. For National Geographic, Sean D. Johnson is executive producer, Bengt Anderson is vice president of production, and Alan Eyres is senior vice president of production and development.