Chicago Audubon Society History

Founded in 1971, the Chicago Audubon Society’s mission is to connect people in all our communities with birds and nature through educational programming, field trips, advocacy, stewardship and research.

Since its inception, CAS has led education campaigns, conducted research programs, provided stewardship to enhance birding opportunities and habitat for birds and other wildlife, and catalyzed the development of new networks, bird counts, monitoring activities, conferences, publications and award ceremonies. This multitude of activities and programming all ultimately aim at expanding the constituency that appreciates nature, to provide critical management information to local, regional and state planning and legislative bodies, and to promote conservation of valuable habitat and wildlife.

From helping beginners learn basic birding techniques to helping create the Illinois Breeding Bird Atlas to bi-annually honoring the stewards and conservationists who do the hard work of saving and restoring nature to promoting a Bird Friendly Design ordinance, the Chicago Audubon Society has been one of the most important conservation leaders in this region.

Chicago Audubon Society is a chapter of the National Audubon Society. A small portion of local National Audubon Society member dues helps to support our work. We invite all National Audubon Society members and all others interested in our work to join our organization and receive regular notices of our activities.

Chicago Audubon is also supported by fundraising efforts designed to further involve Chicago Audubon Society members in their favorite pastime, observing and studying birds and other wildlife - and by individual donors who believe in the value of an independent voice for Chicago area birds and nature.

Presidents of the Chicago Audubon Society

1971-1976: R. Sethuraman

1976-1978: Samuel W. Kipnis

1979-1982: Marjorie B. Molyneaux

1982-1986: Austin L. Wyman, Jr.

1986-1990: Douglas Anderson

1990-1992: Austin L. Wyman, Jr.

1992-1996: Al Rothenbach

1996-1998: Alan Anderson

1998-2000: Jerry Garden

2000-2004: Christine Lee

2004-2008: Joe Lill

2008-2010: Christine Van Wassenhove

2010-2014: Roger Shamley

2014-2019: David Willard

2019-present: Judy Pollock

Header photo by Jerry Goldner