A great egret looks at its reflection

The History of 探花精选 and Bird Conservation

Tracing the emergence of the modern bird conservation movement.

The 探花精选 launched in 1905, on the heels of American conservationism and a growing movement to protect birds. As with many efforts to conserve nature, women led the way: The first 探花精选 Society was organized by two Boston environmentalists, Harriet Hemenway and Minna B. Hall, in response to the widespread slaughter of waterbirds, the gorgeous feathers of which were used to make women鈥檚 hats. The pair鈥檚 efforts in Massachusetts soon helped inspire similar organizations across the country.

By the time the 探花精选 incorporated in New York State, local members had already established key bird conservation efforts across the country, including the Christmas Bird Count, where volunteers take stock of early winter bird populations, and the United States鈥 first National Wildlife Refuge, Pelican Island in Florida.

In the decades that followed, the organization was on the front lines of the conservation movement, influencing policymakers to pass key legislation. Notable conservation laws in which 探花精选 helped pass include the 探花精选 Plumage Law in 1910 that protected wading birds from the depredations of the plume industry, the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act鈥攕till one of the strongest bird-protection laws in the world today鈥攖hat made it illegal to kill any non-game bird in the U.S., the Endangered Species Act in 1973, and the mammoth climate-change-focused Inflation Reduction Act in 2022. 探花精选 has also recently launched Conserva Aves in multiple countries in Latin America, a partnership that will protect 2 million hectares across nine countries. Meanwhile, 探花精选 also built nature centers and sanctuaries across the country; and helped to increase populations of many imperiled bird species, including Bald Eagles, Piping Plovers, California Condors, Least Terns, Great Egrets, and many more. 探花精选鈥檚 work continues today across the hemisphere in the form of scientific research, policymaking, education, community engagement, and the conservation and management of 300 million acres of bird habitat.

Highlights from more than聽a century's worth of 探花精选

1896聽Harriet Hemenway and Minna B. Hall organize聽a series of afternoon teas to convince Boston society ladies to eschew hats with bird feathers. These meetings culminate in the founding of the Massachusetts 探花精选 Society.

1900聽Frank Chapman proposes the first annual Christmas Bird Count as an alternative to the traditional Christmas side hunt in his publication, Bird Lore, predecessor to聽探花精选聽magazine. Congressman John F. Lacey, at the urging of 探花精选 members, sponsored legislation that prohibits the illegal killing of birds and animals and the importation of non-native species.

1901聽The 探花精选 Model Law is passed, protecting water birds from plume hunting.

1902聽Guy Bradley becomes first hired 探花精选 game warden.

1903听President Theodore Roosevelt creates the first National Wildlife Refuge, on Florida's Pelican Island.

1905聽The National Association of 探花精选 Societies is incorporated in New York State. William Dutcher is named first President. Guy Bradley, one of the first 探花精选 wardens, is murdered by game poachers in Florida.

1910聽New York State legislature enacts the 探花精选 Plumage Law, prohibiting the sale or possession of feathers from protected bird species.

1913-1918聽Congress passes a landmark law placing all migratory birds under federal protection. Three years later President Woodrow Wilson re-signs the law to include an international treaty provision between the U.S. and Canada.

1914聽Martha, the last living Passenger Pigeon, dies.

1918聽The Migratory Bird Treaty Act is ratified.

1923 探花精选 hires its first coastal warden聽to protect nesting birds from poachers on Green Island in south Texas

1923-1924听探花精选 opens its first sanctuaries: Rainey Sanctuary in Louisiana and Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary in Long Island.

1934聽Roger Tory Peterson's field guide is published, popularizing birding like never before.

1936聽探花精选 opens a nature camp on Hog Island, Maine.

1940听The National Association of 探花精选 Societies becomes the 探花精选.

1943聽The Greenwich 探花精选 Center in Connecticut opens as 探花精选鈥檚 first nature center.

1945聽探花精选聽magazine sounds the first alarm about the hazards of DDT. 探花精选 partners with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the Whooping Crane Project.

1953聽探花精选 adopts a flying Great Egret, one of the chief victims of turn-of-the-century plume hunters, as its symbol.

1954聽探花精选 accepts the donation of the last great stand of bald cypress trees in Florida's Corkscrew Swamp to create the crown jewel of its sanctuary system.

1960聽The 探花精选 Society begins documenting the decline of bird species, including Bald Eagles, attributing this to DDT.

1969聽探花精选 opens a public policy office in Washington, D.C.

1972聽A campaign by the Environmental Defense Fund and the 探花精选 ends in victory when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency bans the use of the insecticide DDT.

1973聽Endangered Species Act, considered the nation's toughest wildlife law, is passed, protecting hundreds of threatened and endangered species. Stephen Kress founds Project Puffin off the coast of Maine.

1980聽The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act is passed, protecting 79.5 million acres, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

1981聽Atlantic Puffins return to nest on Eastern Egg Rock for the first time in nearly a century, marking the success of Project Puffin

1984聽探花精选 starts the popular new children's educational program and publication聽探花精选 Adventures.

1987聽探花精选 biologists help capture the last wild California Condor, which is placed in a captive breeding program with other survivors.

1988听The first condor chick is born in captivity in California, raising new hope for the species' survival.

1994聽The Bald Eagle is down-listed from endangered to threatened.

1998聽探花精选 holds its first-ever Great Backyard Bird Count: 14,000 people participate.

1999聽Almost 50,000 participants take part in the 100th Christmas Bird Count, now the longest-running bird survey in the world.

2000聽With 探花精选 at the forefront, President Bill Clinton authorizes the Everglades Protection and Restoration Act, committing $7.8 billion.

2002听探花精选 opens its first urban 探花精选 Center, in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, New York; the center serves 50,000 visitors annually. The last free-flying Californian Condor is released back into the wild with more than 40 others.

2004聽探花精选's science team releases the first "State of the Birds" report, the best data available since聽Silent Spring聽to document bird health and habitat.

2008 Toyota TogetherGreen, 探花精选鈥檚 most ambitious corporate partnership, begins transforming communities and bringing new diversity to conservation.

2009 The Brown Pelican is removed from the endangered species list decades after the banning of DDT. Years of concerted conservation efforts made the recovery of this iconic coastal species possible.

2010 探花精选 signs a collaborative agreement with Birdlife International

2010聽BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig explodes, setting off the largest environmental disaster in US history, which killed 11 people, spilled 210 million gallons of oil, and killed nearly 1 million birds. 探花精选's Coastal Bird Stewardship Program began on the Gulf Coast to monitor the impact on birds, in addition to policy and conservation work to ensure the birds and their habitats in the Gulf of Mexico are made whole.

2011 A multimillion-dollar strategic partnership between 探花精选 and Esri creates network-wide GIS mapping capability.

2014 探花精选 releases its watershed climate report. Based on decades of data, 探花精选 scientists predict that, by 2080, 314 species will be threatened, endangered, or possibly extinct, due to habitat loss wrought by climate change.

2015 BP agrees to pay a record settlement of $18 billion to the US government and 5 Gulf states.

2016 探花精选 adds a Spanish-language field guide

2018 探花精选 launches the Migratory Bird Initiative

2018 探花精选 launches its 探花精选 On Campus program on college and university campuses across North America

2019聽探花精选 releases its new Gulf restoration plan

2019 探花精选 publishes Survival By Degrees: 389 Bird Species on the Brink, a report detailing the effects that climate change will have on North American birds.

2021 探花精选 publishes its Natural Climate Solutions report, which details how protecting bird habitat is an effective way to tackle atmospheric carbon pollution at the same time.

2021 Dr. Elizabeth Gray joins 探花精选 as the 11th聽Chief Executive Officer, the first female CEO in the organization鈥檚 history.

2023 The Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion project, the largest conservation project in North America, breaks ground in Louisiana.