Sunday, June 24, 2018

Great Egret

The Great Egret is the American symbol of conservation, specifically, the National Audubon Society, incorporated in 1905.

Great Egret
Great Egret sporting breeding plumes. March 7, 2018. Kit Carson Park, Escondido, California.
Bird populations in the United States were plummeting due to market hunting and birds killed for women's fashions. One of the hardest hit species was the Great Egret. Entire breeding colonies were wiped out on their nests. The reason? To obtain the handful of long plume feathers that sprouted only during the breeding season for use on ladies' hats.

The Audubon Society brought about a change in people's perceptions about the natural bounty of the world: the natural world should be preserved, not exploited.

Exactly 100 years ago--in 1918--virtually all birds were afforded protections thanks to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The Act started with the United States and Canada, but spread to include Mexico and some other lands. That Act makes it illegal to harm or possess wild birds, eggs, feathers, or nests. This treaty can be traced to the efforts of the Audubon Society.

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