Recipe for Action: Bird-Dogging.

September 10, 2019

Bird-dogging is seeking out elected officials and asking them questions on the record. This provides an opportunity to capture a representative’s response on camera, which can be used for social media.


  • 1 lb. of courage
  • A cup of determination
  • Two cups of research
  • One smart phone with camera


Recruit a team of bird-doggers: Start by recruiting a team of 5-10 people or more who are “on call” ready to show up at a bird-dogging opportunity on short notice.

Research your target’s schedule: You can start by looking at their website, reading the paper, Googling, or even calling their office directly.

The best bird-dogging opportunities are events where the member will be relatively accessible so that you can approach them directly. Also, it’s great if events are covered by the media so that your confrontation of the member will be noticed by them and hopefully covered in the news.

Be prepared: Practice beforehand so you don’t need to reference a script.

Make signs, wear t-shirts, flyers, and other visibility tools.

Arrive early, get in the candidate’s path, and be prepared to shake hands for a one-on-one opportunity.

Have your recording device ready! Film horizontally so that the footage can be shared on social media.

Be confident and persistent!

Keep showing up at every public event you can until you get a straight answer.

(Parts adapted from and the Population Connection Action Fund)

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