Hello folks who wonder what kind of exciting work lives do people have when you see them rushing in traffic towards work in the early hours of the morning,

Assume you are just walking along a park minding your own business and then you pass by a group which look like they are trying to catch pokémons. So you stop and ask them whether they have heard about Netflix?
Turns out these are folks are members from the local chapter of the Audubon society who are indulging in the oldest form of Pokémon Go i.e. birding.
Below is a herd of bird nerds trying to spot some warblers in a park.


And then you wonder how did this all start?
One of the key characters in this story is a small white egret called the Snowy Egret who you will often see staring in shallow water for food just as how I would stare at someone wolfing down a pizza when I am on a diet.

Below is a Snowy Egret looking for food among the marshes at Palo Alto Baylands.


Turns out the feathers from these birds were extensively used in the 1800s for women's hats. These hats were a sign of status and opulence which caused the populations of the egrets to drop quite a bit.
Below is a hat adorned by egret feathers worn by a stylish woman in the 1800s.


One of the folks responsible for starting the society was George Grinnell who spent a majority of his childhood at the mansion of John James Audubon. He never met Audubon himself since he had long passed away but was tutored by Audubon's widow during his schooling days.

So being surrounded by the paintings of Audubon in the mansion, he had learnt to appreciate the beauty of birds at an early age.
George went on to become a conservationist later in life and started the Audubon society in 1886 to educate the public about the relentless killing of the birds for their feathers in the hat trade as well as the decline of songbirds.

The society lasted till 1889 but was closed after that because it was too much for him to handle, but that had already ignited the spark about awareness and two women from Massachusetts started the Massachusetts Audubon Society which urged women across the state to stop being a part of feather trade and the rest is history. And that's how you get the posts in your mail asking you to contribute $35 for an annual membership.

Below is the picture of George Grinnell who could have made the duck face and looked like the coolest kid on the block.


Who was John James Audubon you ask?
Well, he was a naturalist and a painter how made his life's purpose to paint all the birds in North America.
Below is the sketch of the artist and some of his paintings in one of the books published.





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