Today’s Alabama Audubon was organized in 1927 by Birmingham Mayor George Ward who was influenced by birdhouse salesman, Joseph Dodson. After purchasing a collection of his products for his private residence in Vestavia, Ward became an avid bird enthusiast. He solicited the help of Dr. H.E. Wheeler, who was a curator of the natural history museum at the University of Alabama, to present an illustrated ‘bird talk’ and the Birmingham Audubon Society was born with 49 members, and George Ward as President.
Thanks to his efforts and those of his neighbor, E.J. Smyer, who had an interest in preserving wildflowers, a law was passed to preserve wildflowers in 1927 and wild birds in 1929 which exists to this day. Of the 800 recorded species in the United States, 327 were documented by the National Audubon Society to reside in Alabama.
Birmingham Historical Society’s November 2021 newsletter elaborates on the history of this organization and lists the 49 charter members. Interested in birding trails nearby? Here’s a map and list of popular areas to explore in Jefferson County. This guide or this list might be helpful as well. Finally, the Alabama Audubon’s quarterly guide lists upcoming events through the end of the 2021 year.