Mollee Brown is a lifelong birder based in West Virginia, USA.
Mollee is the owner of Nighthawk Agency, which provides marketing and business development services exclusively to birding-related organizations. Nighthawk started in 2017 after Mollee spent several years working at Bird Watcher’s Digest, mainly focused on the American Birding Expo, and realized that there are specific needs for small businesses and organizations in birding that aren’t met by traditional marketing companies. Mollee also recognized that are many startups in birding that are staffed by passionate guides who want to bring the birding market to their communities and need help getting their business, marketing, and communications plans running steadily. Nighthawk aims to fill that role.
Since its start, Nighthawk has worked with about 50 birding businesses and organizations. The company works closely with several birding festivals including the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival, Biggest Week in American Birding, Southeast Arizona Birding Festival, and also Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival, San Diego Bird Festival, Cape May Birding Festival, and has been involved with many others. Nighthawk also provides services to more than a dozen tour companies as well as several nonprofits and Audubon Society groups. In 2019, Nighthawk began leading marketing workshops for vendors and tour professionals in conjunction with birding festivals. Nighthawk has brought Mollee close to many people who are leading in the birding realm, and she enjoys working closely and regularly with these leaders.
Mollee is also the founder and president of The Birding Co-op, a nonprofit devoted to bringing community around birding and opening up birding travel opportunities to new audiences outside of traditional birding tours. The Co-op launched in 2020 after months of preparation from a group of individuals who want to connect the global birding community online and in-person through a variety of ways, including creating a new type of birding tour that is designed to be highly immersive in the locations visited. The Birding Co-op is working with multiple birding organizations and international birding events to launch a series of tours in 2022. The Co-op has a variety of other projects underway, including an annual optics drive, which this year is supplying donated optics to Uganda Women Birders and Birding in El Salvador. The Co-op has allowed Mollee to reach new audiences of thousands of avid birders and nature enthusiasts that are not at all targeted by most tour companies and festivals.
Outside of Nighthawk and The Birding Co-op, Mollee is involved in the birding world in many other ways. She is a founder and board member of the Frontiers in Ornithology Institute, which held the first Frontiers in Ornithology Symposium for Youth in 2019, aimed at bringing the leaders in ornithology to youth who are interested in careers in ornithology. The inaugural symposium was a tremendous success and the planning team is looking forward to resuming and expanding the organization.
Mollee is a co-host of Life List: A Birding Podcast. Launched in 2020, Mollee joins George Armistead of Hillstar Nature and Alvaro Jaramillo of Alvaro’s Adventures. The podcast describes itself as birdy, proudly nerdy, and not-so-subtly obsessive, delves into all things birding and birding culture. Every other Monday, we launch a new episode with light-hearted conversations on birds, conservation, travel, and more.
Mollee has guided tours for several companies, including Bird Watcher’s Digest Reader Rendezous, Alvaro’s Adventures, and Hawaii Bird Tours, as well as at many birding festivals. She contributes regularly to magazines such as Bird Watcher’s Digest and Birding Magazine (American Birding Association) and online on websites such as Olympus Camera and Kowa Optics. She also works with local birding organizations near her home in West Virginia, including a large avian rehabilitation center and local Audubon club. She presents at a range of events on topics such as Lessons Learned as a Woman Birder and How to Prepare for an International Birding Tour. Mollee is strongly devoted to being an advocate for inclusivity in birding and showing that birding is for everyone and can bring the world together.