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Code of Conduct

CFO Code of Conduct

Approved by CFO Board 2020-07-18

CFO provides an inclusive, welcoming environment to study, conserve, and enjoy Colorado’s birds. CFO expects that all members and guests using CFO’s digital platforms and attending CFO events abide by this CFO Code of Conduct. This code of conduct outlines CFO expectations for participants within the CFO community, both online and at in-person events, as well as steps to reporting unacceptable behavior. Anyone who violates this code of conduct may be removed from the membership or prevented from participating in CFO activities. 

Participation Guidelines

CFO welcomes all people to the birding world and does not nor shall not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, religion, gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), ability status, citizenship, marital status, sexuality, or military status as according to the CFO Nondiscrimination Statement In following CFO’s code of conduct, keep the following expectations about behavior in mind, which are essential for creating a welcoming and safe environment:

  • Work together to create a welcome, inclusive, and safe environment for all people.
  • Be considerate in social and online interactions. Be considerate in social spacing and personal boundaries and in the use of language when interacting with others. 
  • Carpool when possible to reduce carbon footprint (with necessary exceptions made for public health reasons). 

Unacceptable Behaviors include, but are not limited to

  • Physical, sexual, and verbal harassment.
  • Discrimination and inflammatory language. 

CFO’s digital platforms have platform-specific posting guidelines. CFO expects users to abide by specified guidelines when interacting with the CFO community on these platforms. 

Ethical Birding & Bird Photography 

During in-person events and during any birding activity or bird photography that will be shared with the CFO community, all participants will bird and conduct any bird photography in an ethical manner, including abiding by the following guidelines: 

Any digital content deemed to have been obtained in manner that violates these guidelines may be removed from CFO platforms. Individuals who violate these guidelines during in-person events will be reminded of them by trip/event leaders. If persistent violation occurs, individuals may be asked to leave an event or prevented from participating in future CFO events. For more details see Responding to Reports, below.

Anti-Harassment Policy: At Events & Online

CFO values member and non-member participation. CFO will not tolerate harassment of CFO community members in any form—online or at in-person events. Community members asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

Our Code of Conduct and Anti-Harassment Policy extend to all aspects of CFO where individuals’ behavior affects the ability of others to participate. This includes online interactions (e.g. COBirds Google Group/Listserv, CFO Facebook page, other CFO digital platforms). 

Harassment Definitions

For purposes of this code of conduct, harassment is defined as verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, personal appearance, political affiliation, marital status, family responsibilities, veteran status, matriculation, disability, mental illness, neuro(a)typicality, or any other legally protected status, and that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for participation or unreasonably interferes with an individual’s ability to participate in the community. In addition, sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when such conduct interferes with an individual’s ability to participate in the CFO community or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.


Anyone experiencing or witnessing behaviors that violate this code of conduct are encouraged to contact the CFO Board of Directors by phone, email, in person, or through the contact form.

In your report, include as much of the following information as possible:

  • Your and other witnesses contact information
  • Identifying information of the participant who has violated this code of conduct
  • The behavior that was in violation
  • The approximate time of the behavior (if different than the time the report was made)
  • Where the code of conduct violation happened
  • The circumstances surrounding the incident
  • Other people involved in or witness to the incident
  • If the incident is ongoing, please let us know
  • Any additional helpful information

How CFO Respond to Reports

Actions in response to reports can range from warnings with instructions on how to correct behavior that violated the code of conduct to immediate removal from CFO events, online communities (e.g. email lists, community calls), and future engagement.

The following is a list of potential sanctions for anyone who violates the code of conduct, depending on the severity of the violation.

  • Warning the accused to cease their behavior 
  • Ending a presentation, workshop, or conference talk that violates the policy early
  • Removing or not publishing digital content that violates the policy
  • Immediately ending any responsibilities and privileges the accused holds
  • Requiring that the accused immediately leave the event and not return
  • Banning the accused from future events (either indefinitely or for a for a period determined by the CFO Board of Directors)
  • Being banned or blocked on online community platforms 
  • Being reported to the proper authorities (when violations of law are suspected or observed)

Acknowledgement: This code was adapted from the OpenCon’s Code of Conduct.