Reports of Societies
The Audubon Society of Pennsylvania was organized in October, 1896, and was the first society to follow the admirable example set by Massachusetts. During the first year 2,200 members were enrolled and nearly 30,000 circulars distributed. The first annual report was sent out in November, 1897, and it mentions a ‘Hat Show,’ and a course of lectures to be given in Philadelphia during the spring. Both of these were carried out with marked success, the ‘Hat Show’ attracting much attention to the work of the society, and the lectures adding materially to its income, as there are no dues of any kind connected with membership. The second annual report appeared in November, 1898, and announces an increase of 1,100 members during the year. It referred to the fact that as a direct result of the ‘Hat Show’ several of the best milliners had established special Audubon departments. Lectures were given in many parts of the state with most satisfactory results, and finally, the cooperation of school teachers was solicited to observe May 5, 1899, as Bird-Day. A course of five lectures, by Mr. Stone, will be given this year at the Acorn Club, Philadelphia, beginning March 16. A number of new slides have been bought by the society to illustrate these lectures, and the course promises to be more interesting than ever. Since the second report was issued seven new local secretaries have been secured, making 42 in all. It is hoped that this number will be doubled during the coming year, for as the membership, which is now nearly 3,800, continues to increase, the need of workers throughout the state becomes more important every day.
Julia Stockton Robins, Sec′y.
In 1889 the Indiana Academy of Science appointed a committee, of which I was chairman, to secure the passage of a satisfactory law for bird protection. The committee accomplished nothing. It was continued, and in 1891 secured the enactment of the enclosed law. The Academy of Science has, through its efforts in the way of advancing science work in the public schools of the state, encouraged and taught bird protection. In this it has had, since 1890, the co-öperation of the Indiana Horticultural Society.
In 1897 at different times several bodies were interested in the movement in favor of bird protection. These appointed committees. These committees united in a call for a meeting to be held at Indianapolis. A programme was prepared, and the meeting held in the State House April 26, 1898. I send you a copy of the call and programme ; also of the constitution of the Indiana Audubon Society. The Governor, and Superintendent of Public Instruction have both been much interested, and as a consequence Bird Day and Arbor Day were celebrated October 28, 1898. The “Outline of Township Institute Work” has gone into the hands of every teacher and school officer in the state . . . You will see that the work we are doing is practical, even though it is not so much as some States are accomplishing. I have not the enrollment or statement of publications issued, but counting the issue of the State Department of Public Instruction, 20,000 copies of different articles, at least, have been distributed.
Amos W. Butler, Sec′y.
The past year has shown a very marked improvement as the results of bird protection and the general work of our Illinois Audubon Society. While the fashion for decorating hats with feathers still continues, yet there is a very noticeable decrease in the display of aigrettes and the feathers of wild birds. I have visited the establishments of several of our Chicago wholesale milliners and find that the larger portion of their stock, this fall, is made up of the feathers of the domestic fowl and game birds. Our Audubon Society has had two public meetings this year, which were well attended, and the interest in its work has rather increased than abated. Our membership has increased to 3,426. We have liberally distributed leaflets, including 500 of our circulars, stating the purpose of the society, to the editors of local newspapers in the state, with request that they aid the society by publishing same and calling attention to it editorially.
On February 7, 1898, an Interstate Convention was held in Chicago, represented by the game and fish wardens, and delegates appointed by the legislatures of the six states which responded to the call. At the request of Mr. Witmer Stone, I presented at this convention the text of a new law for the protection of birds and their nests and eggs, as drafted by our committee on Bird Protection. The convention agreed to submit the proposed law to each of their respective legislatures.
Great credit is due to the efficient work which has been done in our state by Warden H. W. Loveday and his deputies. Since the first of the year over one hundred prosecutions and convictions have been made, for the wanton killing and trapping of song and insectivorous birds by men and boys largely Italians and Bohemians. In 1897 there were 580 convictions in the state for the illegal killing and transportation of game birds. This year the game has been so carefully watched and such prompt action taken of reported cases of violation, that the poachers and market hunters have been less bold, and the number of arrests and seizures of game have been reduced over one-half.
On April 9, 1898, as a result of the efforts of County Superintendent of Schools Mr. Orville T. Bright, a meeting was held in Chicago in the interest of the school teachers of Cook county. Over three hundred were present, and the meeting was devoted exclusively to birds, and addresses given by several members of the Audubon Society. A " Finding List " of sixty species of birds, compiled by Mr. Frank E. Sanford, Superintendent of the La Grange, Ill., Schools, was distributed. This is a most effective method to inspire the teachers and in turn impart their love for birds to the scholars. Ruthven Deane, President.
Under the auspices of the Keokuk Woman′s Club, the Audubon Society of Iowa was organized April 5, 1898. The first work taken up was the establishment of Bird Day in the public schools.
The second meeting was held in Rand Park. Short talks were made by Hazen I. Sanger, John Huiskamp, Rabbi Faber, Doctor Ehinger, and a paper was read by Miss Read.
We have bought and distributed through the schools, from kindergarten up, bird pictures and bird literature.
One of our men milliners asked to become a member.
On August 6 the officers of the society met and adopted articles of incorporation, this being the first Audubon Society to be incorporated under the laws of Iowa. The laws of Iowa give fair protection to the birds; our work is in creating the right sentiment. Nellie S. Board, Sec′y.
Mr. John W. Taylor, President of the Minnesota Audubon Society, reports the passage of a law establishing Arbor and Bird Day in Minnesota, and writes: “It is, as you can well imagine, a source of great gratification to the lover of birds in the state, and especially to the Audubon Societies. Through this law we can do more towards bird protection than we could accomplish in many years′ labor without it. It brings the subject before the teachers and children, and as you educate the child so you mould the man. We have now in this state 58 branch societies, besides many school organizations and children′s bird clubs. The number of members I am not able to give, as I have not all the reports in. We have sent out considerable literature, and used the press largely to interest our people. We feel that we are doing wonders for the first active year we have had, and congratulate ourselves that the hardest work is done. We hope by April 1st to have a branch in every county in Minnesota.”
Reports from the New Hampshire and Wisconsin Societies and a notice of the American Society of Bird Restorers are necessarily postponed until June.