As hopefully a final post in this recent series on birds and Audubon, I'd just like to highlight some of what I really love about Audubon. Mostly people who are doing great work, some of which you may not have heard of. There are thousands of them across the country, passionate and effective Auduboners at the National, State and local chapter level. Here are just a few:
1) Stephen Kress. For decades, against all odds, Dr. Kress has put together one of the most effective bird conservation programs in Audubon. He has brought puffins and nesting terns back to the coast of Maine, and has solid data to show the effectiveness of his work. He has trained hundreds of young interns over the years, and his work is an inspiration for similar projects around the world.
2) Paul Green. After serving as the president of the American Birding Association, and then as the Director of Citizen Science for Audubon, Dr. Green moved to Tucson where he heads up the Tucson Audubon Society and its groundbreaking efforts to protect the birds of Southeastern Arizona, including a landscape design course for homeowners and landscape professionals.
3) Stephen Saffier. I worked with Steve in Audubon's Science Office, and now he heads up efforts to create communities and neighborhoods that are good for birds and people at Audubon Pennsylvania. Instead of getting mired in the politics of Audubon, he has been able to implement some of the best ideas we ever had, including a backyard bird conservation program and a database linking birds to the native plants that they use and that people can plant to support them.
4) Jane Tillman. When I was at Travis Audubon Jane took on leading an Urban Habitat Committee that works tirelessly to make Austin better for birds and people. Jane and her committee have undertaken many local projects over the years, including creating backyard habitats and installing Chimney Swift towers in local parks.
5) Brian Rutledge. I love Sage Grouse, and Audubon is definitely stronger for having Brian Rutledge (Audubon VP of the Rocky Mountain Region) and his crew working tirelessly to protect them from environmental threats including damage done by extensive energy development in Wyoming.
6) Stella Miller. When Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon president Stella Miller heard that hundreds of hawks and other birds of prey were being seriously injured by methane burners at landfills and other industrial facilities, she didn't just wring her hands in despair. She took on the challenge and is working with industry groups to bring this issue to their attention and put in measures to protect the birds.
There are thousands of people in Audubon that are just as effective and passionate as these examples. I will be highlighting each of these, and many more, here and on my Urban Birdscapes blog. Audubon is well served by these people, and will be well served by supporting them and giving them the resources they need to be effective in protecting the birds and habitats we share with them.