On the Racist Legacy of Some Avian Names

Drawing of a Common Yellowthroat by John J. Audubon, a prominent name in North American birding who had a slave-owning and anti-abolitionist past (Public domain, CC0)

A recent feature in The Washington Post explores the racist legacy behind the names of many birds. Some of these birds were named after enslavers, supremacists, and grave robbers; this history has led to great debates in birding communities across North America. The article explores many of the people behind the names, including John James Audubon, as his name is eponymous of influential avian advocacy groups, organizations, and even birds themselves. In addition to his detailed drawings of North American birds, Audubon’s legacy includes slave-owning and anti-abolitionist worldview.

Read more of this fascinating article on The Washington Post.