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Protecting Wild Birds

the National

Audubon Society

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Picture the year of Audubon’s founding, 1905; Theodore Roosevelt
was President, milk cost about 10 cents a gallon, and Albert
Einstein published his Theory of Relativity. In the world of high
fashion, ladies donned hats adorned with heron and egret plumes,
and many even wore elaborate millinery creations containing
entire bird bodies.

In response to the plunder and subsequent decimation of plume
bird colonies, several local Audubon Societies agreed to take
aggressive action and form a united front to protect birds and
their habitat throughout the nation. On January 5, 1905 they
officially incorporated to form the National Association of
Audubon Societies for the Protection of Wild Birds and Animals,
later shortened to the National Audubon Society.

During its first several years, the fledgling Audubon
organization racked up an impressive list of accomplishments,
including passage of the Audubon Plumage Law (1910), the
Migratory Bird Treaty Act (1918), and establishment of its first
two bird sanctuaries (1924): the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary
near the president’s former home in Oyster Bay, New York, and the
Paul J. Rainey Sanctuary in coastal Louisiana.

“Our heritage at Audubon has always been to connect people with
nature,” continued Flicker. “From our earliest days our chapters,
staff, and grassroots volunteers have worked to help people make
the connection between the health of bird populations, and the
health of human populations. Declines in bird populations are
often early warning signals of threats to other species,
including people.”

Audubon continues to take up the torch for avian conservation,
monitoring bird populations and sounding alarm bells about
hazards like DDT, fighting for clean air and water, and providing
environmental education to Americans through Audubon magazine,
Audubon Adventures, and our network of chapters and nature
National Audubon Society

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