Today the Brooklyn Bird Club is 104 years old. "Founding Day " occurring on June 5th. Below is an excerpt from the 2009 's Centennial Year:
On this day, June 5th, 100 years ago, the Brooklyn Bird Club was born.
Five original founders, led by Doctor Edward W. Vietor met at the Vietor residence at 166 St James Place in the northern Brooklyn section of Clinton Hill, and created the first club charter. Along with Kate Vietor, Edward Fleischer, Lewis Bowdish, Ms.Charles Hartwell and Dr. Vietor, the founders elected Edward Fleischer as their first President in 1909 of the then called “The Bird Lovers’ Club of Brooklyn”.
Here is an account written by Edward Fleischer from the 1915 Bird-Lore Vol. XVII magazine. (Bird Lore”, a now defunct bi-monthly birding magazine “devoted to the study and protection of birds” appeared in the early part of the 20th century (1899) . A major media communiqué for the early Audubon societies, Bird Lore covered birding issues much like those appearing in today’s Audubon magazine. Bird Lore’s founder and chief editor was Frank Chapman, famous for starting the Christmas Bird Census and as curator from 1908-1942 of the ornithological division of the American Museum of Natural History.)
“Reports of State Societies and Bird Clubs”
Bird-Lover’s Club of Brooklyn- This Club was organized June 5th, 1909. For several years before, a small but earnest group of bird-students had ridden their hobby in Prospect Park .They did not know one another, but the field-glasses carried were “open sesame“ to acquaintanceship, and in an informal way notes and records were exchanged at the chance meetings. Finally the Club was formally launched at the home of Dr E.W Vietor .Dr and Mrs.Vietor, Mrs. Charles S. Hartwell, L.F. Bowdish, and the writer, were the charter members. The Club now numbers forty-two. For awhile it met monthly at the homes of the several members until a permanent meeting-place was found at the Children’s Museum.
The work of the members has necessarily been limited largely in Prospect Park, where, however, surprising results have been obtained, and about 160 species of birds have been identified. From the beginning the Club had furnished the Central Museum and other institutions with a monthly record of the Prospect Park birds. More recently the Club has undertaken the education of the public in birds and their protection. In this connection, and with the cooperation of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, a lecture by Charles H Rogers was delivered in the Academy of Music. For the spring of 1916 the Club has planned a Bird Exhibit, the first of its kind in New York City. It is to be held in the Central Museum, Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn during the Easter week of 1916 and the week following, and will, it is hoped, cover the subject of birds, their study, value, protection, and attraction, in all its phases—EDWARD FLEISCHER, Secretary