Audubon Magazine Summer 2021

Audubon is the official magazine of the National Audubon Society. Get Audubon Magazine digital magazine subscription today for news coverage of the natural world. We help our readers appreciate, understand, and protect the environment with a particular focus on birds, other wildlife and their habitats

United States
National Audubon Society
5,37 €(TVA Incluse)
17,95 €(TVA Incluse)
4 Numéros

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3 min
the great brood

The last time they saw the light of day, George W. Bush was president, atmospheric carbon dioxide measured 377 parts per million, and this year’s high school graduates wore diapers. For 17 years Brood X cicadas have tunneled deep in U.S. soils and fed on sap drawn through tree roots. Slowly the nymphs grew in the dark until May, when billions emerged above ground for the last stretch of their lifecycle: a short-lived cacophony of song, mating, and, finally, death. The sudden surge in biomass supplies food to birds, fertilizer for soils, and a rare chance for scientists and the public to witness a phenomenon unmatched in the natural world. For Chris Linder, it was an opportunity to photograph a hot spot in his Maryland backyard, where he often stayed…

2 min
new member of the flock

WHEN I STEPPED INTO MY role at Audubon in March, I became the first woman to hold the title of president in Audubon’s 116-year history. Two months later I was asked to become its first woman interim CEO. So it feels appropriate that the first issue of Audubon magazine published after my arrival is also the inaugural year of the Female Bird Prize in the Audubon Photography Awards. (Turn to page 26 to see the prize-winning photo, which also happened to be taken by a woman photographer.) I am thrilled to become part of the Audubon network and have the chance to work alongside each and every one of you. I wanted to take this space to briefly introduce myself and share why I joined Audubon in this leadership role. In…

4 min

Soul Searching In our spring issue, J. Drew Lanham, a Black ornithologist and author, asked “What Do We Do About John James Audubon?” His essay challenged readers to look at the life of our namesake in full and use that knowledge to make birding and conservation more inclusive. We knew it would provoke strong reactions among our readers, and it did. In total, we received more than 75 letters and phone calls expressing both impassioned support for and opposition to the piece. Many readers felt that it was unfair to judge Audubon by today’s standards and that our focus should be squarely on birds. Many others expressed appreciation for tackling such a difficult but societally important and timely topic. We’ve included an edited sampling of these letters below. Confronting uncomfortable legacies…

2 min
more than a pretty picture

A YEAR AGO, CAROLINA FRASER was lying on the hot, dusty earth in Los Novios Ranch in Texas, angling for a perfect shot. The roadrunner in her frame obliged, casting a glance back, just as the golden hour (and careful camera settings) dramatically backlit the arid scene. This year’s grand prize image was Fraser’s second winning snap for the Audubon Photography Awards. Five years ago, when she was 15, she took home the prize in the youth category. Coming full circle to win the 2021 contest—after a year that tested the resolve and creativity of many photographers—was especially meaningful to Fraser. Her win was also meaningful to us. We strive for the awards to be not just a platform for spectacular photography (although it is definitely that!) but also a vehicle…

4 min
beyond bees

AMONG NEARLY 800 WHITE-tailed deer spleens mailed to a Minnesota state lab in 2019 were three from Barry Sampson, who hunts with his nephews on his forested property. His samples—along with 61 percent of the total from varied landscapes across the state—were found to contain pesticides called neonicotinoids. “I am puzzled at how this got into the deer,” he says, “and I’m not happy about it.” The results, released in March, suggest how ubiquitous these chemicals have become in the environment, says Michelle Carstensen, the study’s leader at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Neonicotinoids, also called neonics, began replacing older bug-repelling chemicals in the arsenals of farmers, homeowners, and groundskeepers in the early 1990s. They are now the most widely used class of insecticides globally, found on nearly all conventionally…

5 min
make hay for bobolinks

WHEN AMY MUSANTE CATCHES the bubbly song of the Bobolink in spring, she hops into her SUV at dawn and heads to a hayfield on her 185-acre farm in western Massachusetts. She likes to watch the birds as the sun comes up, tinting Day Mountain in the middle distance a rosy orange color. “You always hear them before you see them,” says Musante, who moved east from California five years ago to revive her family’s operation. Musante has more than a passing interest in the striking black-and-white birds. She is participating in an effort to help the ground-nesters successfully breed. Among the longest-migrating songbirds in the Western Hemisphere, Bobolinks travel from wintering grounds as far south as Argentina’s rice fields and nest in U.S. and Canada grasslands. Centuries ago, the birds…