This week, I was birding with legends. Well, Legend. I drove down to the National Audubon Society Sanctuary at Mill Grove. While a nice and very walk-able sanctuary, there is a hidden secret. This site was Audubon's First home in the US. You might call it the birthplace of American Birding, Conservation, and Environmentalism and there's definitely an argument to be made for that. Audubon's prints and magnificent publication, The Birds of North America, has definitely changed the way Americans view their environment. Its hard not to look at the book and its prints and find yourself getting lost in the blend of nature, science, and art and also realize how much our world has changed. The center had up Audubon's prints of the Passenger Pigeon along with skins from the collections of local colleges.
Despite those changes, there are plenty of birds still around Mill Grove. Carolina Chickadees, Cardinals, Hawks, Bluebirds, Swallows. Its easy to see how a Young Audubon would have fallen in love with the natural world. Also his future wife lived up the road so he would've had to climb through the grounds several times to see her. But the variety of habitat makes this a great place to go birding. There is a museum and exhibits about Audubon's life and work that is worth a visit as well. Spending time following in Audubon's footsteps is a great way to reflect on the nature of birding and the future of birding, the environment, and conservation.
A Northern Cardinal
2013 Year List: 137 (63 to go!)
Forster's Tern (Lifer)
Black-Necked Stilt (Lifer)