Great artist, bad guy: John James Audubon falls from his lofty perch

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Artist John James Audubon (1785-1851) made it his mission to completely document every bird in North America, resulting in his masterwork The Birds of America, and a conservation movement in his name was born. But this summer, the national Audubon Society revealed new information about Audubon that led to questions of whether the organization — and several birds with Audubon in their name — should be renamed. 

IIn a wide-ranging interview, Patrick Comins, executive director of the CT Audubon Society, Zooms in and talks turkey about Audubon; about new books on birds; about an upcoming Zoom series, Young, Gifted, and Wild About Birds; and about places in Connecticut well-worth a winter beach walk.

Comins’s favorite Audubon print, of a now-extinct Great Auk. It hangs in the CT Audubon Society boardroom.

The Audubon Society isn’t just for the birds. Comins effuses about this lovely butterfly, the Northern Metalmark.

Here’s how to access Young, Gifted, and Wild About Birds
Two books Comins recommends for the nature-lover on your holiday gift list.
Please don’t forget to add WESU to your list of worthy causes to support. Go to and give what you can. Thanks! 

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