Audubon has always been known for its stunning visuals. And this issue—particularly the winning shots from the 2015 Audubon Photography Awards—shows how true that is. In every issue of the magazine, you’ll see incredible images taken from across the country and around the world.
While we may be captivated by images of exotic birds, it is the cardinals, chickadees, and other familiar species that remain closest to our hearts. Audubon scientists recently did an analysis of Google searches for birds. They were surprised to find that the most searched-for birds weren’t the iconic species, like Bald Eagles or Common Loons—instead they were your backyard favorites.
And that’s the strength of Audubon: Birds are our common ground. You and millions of other people like you act out of love for birds, and you bring your passion to the fight for habitat—whether that’s in your backyard or in an Important Bird Area near you.
The Audubon community is remarkably effective. You are people who DO conservation, and don’t just talk about it. Together we work from backyards to state and national capitals—our 464 chapters, 22 state offices, 41 nature centers, and 23 sanctuaries are all focused on conservation through birds.
It adds up. Working as One Audubon, we have been responsible for 131 million acres of direct conservation impact and have helped inject $2 billion in public money into support for our conservation priorities. (If you want to see those priorities, go to audubon.org/conservation.) Just last year Audubon members put in more than 905,000 volunteer hours on local conservation efforts. That is pretty impressive.
Birds lead us to our work. And with climate change, we are facing the biggest conservation challenge of our time. I’m confident that our network will rise to the challenge. Working as One Audubon we can, and will, change the world.
Now, more than ever, YOU are what hope looks like to a bird.