Natchez National Historical Park Celebrates James Audubon
Natchez, Mississippi


Saturday December 8, 2018
Natchez, Mississippi


On Saturday, December 8, 2018 Natchez National Historical Park will commemorate James Audubon’s life and legacy in Natchez with special programs in the theater of the Natchez Visitor Center from noon to 2:00 p.m.

Kent Ozment of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at St. Catherine’s Creek National Wildlife Refuge will open the program at noon with a special program on birding and natural attractions in the wildlife refuge as well as other lands under their management and protection.

At 1:00 p.m. Judy Wiggins will conduct an innovative educational program on the life and times of James Audubon while Adam Gwin performs a living history portrayal of the famed painter. James Audubon spent a significant amount of time in Natchez during the early 1820s while working on his Birds of America. During his stay he taught at the Elizabeth Female College, gathered specimens for his bird portraits, and painted a cityscape of Fort Rosalie and downtown Natchez which hung in the dining room of the Melrose mansion for more than 100 years.

Audubon’s legacy in Natchez is enduring, from his artwork and his stories of his time here in town. His wider legacy is that his work brought worldwide attention to wide variety of birds living along the lower Mississippi River and in the organization that holds his name: The Audubon Society.

Founded in 1886, during the early days of the conservation movement in America, the Audubon Society was formed to memorialize the man who brought worldwide attention to the birds of America. Fourteen years later an officer in the society proposed establishing a new Christmas tradition: an annual bird census, to count the birds instead of hunting them during the Christmas season. The first count consisted of 27 participants; nowadays tens of thousands of dedicated birders brave the cold to tally the birds they see on one day between December 14 and January 5 of each year. This year’s count in Natchez is scheduled for December 29.

Please come out to the Natchez Visitor Reception Center on December 8 to learn more about the annual Natchez Christmas Bird Count, birding resources in the US Fish and Wildlife Service at nearby refuges, as well as the life and times of James Audubon during his stay in Natchez. Perhaps you too will sign up to count birds next Christmas, and carry on the legacy of that most remarkable man?

For more information, please contact David Slay by phone at 601-446- 5790 ext. 19 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or visit

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