John James Audubon was born in 1785 in what is now the country of Haiti. He spent much of his early life in France before moving to the U.S. at the age of 18. While his surroundings may have changed frequently, one thing remained very constant – his love of birds. From his earliest memory, Audubon loved birds; in fact, you might say that Audubon was completely obsessed with birds and remained that way his entire life!
When he moved to the U.S., Audubon met a girl named Lucy Bakewell who loved exploring the natural world just the way he did. Eventually, she became Audubon’s wife and they had a family together and lived in Kentucky. She became a teacher while Audubon worked hard at various jobs and his long term work of illustrating birds.
After many hard times and moves around the US, Audubon managed to turn his bird obsession into a dream come true when his book, Birds in America, was published and became an international success.
Many years later, one of Audubon’s other bird books helped to inspire one of of Lucy Audubon’s former students to begin the National Audubon Society for the appreciation of birds and the preservation of their natural habitats. The organization changed and grew and today has over 500 chapters throughout the US.
The John James Audubon State Park in Kentucky celebrates the life and work of the creator of Birds in America.
This is the third stop on our Kentucky Trail!
Rebecca Blake Beech