Conservation Award


The Orleans Audubon Society
has created an award to honor
individuals who have made an
outstanding contribution to
the conservation of Louisiana’s
wildlife and wild places.

We can all take inspiration
from these wonderful individuals.

Rufus C. Harris, Jr.

The Orleans Audubon Society presented the very first Swallow-tailed Kite Award to Rufus C. Harris, Jr., at the Society’s spring banquet on May 21, 2013.

Mr. Harris was honored for his service to Orleans Audubon and especially for his dedication to the Swallow-tailed Kite Project. He has volunteered for the kite project for over 20 years, assisting in every way imaginable, including: finding and monitoring nests, banding and radio-tracking kites, conducting boat and airplane surveys, fund-raising, photography, and landowner liaisons.

He served on the Board of Directors for five years, during which time he chaired the Legal Committee and served on the Fund-raising and Sanctuary committees. Rufus also helped oversee the construction of the boardwalk at the Marguerite Moffett Audubon Sanctuary.

Frank P. Fischer, Jr.

The Orleans Audubon Society presented the Swallow-tailed Kite Award to Frank P. Fischer, Jr., at the Society’s fall banquet on October 8, 2013.

The Society was founded in 1949 but fell inactive at some point. We have Phil Fischer to thank for reviving the Society in the 1960s.

His long-time commitment to Orleans Audubon has included serving on the Board of Directors and holding the offices of President and Treasurer for many years.

One of his many distinguished conservation actions was to create the Society’s first wildlife sanctuary—he and his family donated 86.5 acres along the scenic Morgan River in the Honey Island Swamp, and this became our Fischer Wildlife Sanctuary.

A great lover of nature, Phil started the New Orleans area butterfly counts in 1975 and this year (2013) was the 39th year of the count.

Michael L. Crago

The Orleans Audubon Society presented the Swallow-tailed Kite Award to Michael L. Crago, posthumously, at the spring banquet on May 19, 2015. Michael was active in Orleans Audubon for 45 years. He joined Orleans Audubon in the late 1960s and took on a leadership role in the 1970s. From the 1970s on, Michael often served as President or Treasurer and served on the Membership and Publicity committees. He worked closely alongside the late Frank Ehret to help establish the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. He was also a supporter of the Grand Isle sanctuary project from its inception.

Michael recognized that what we have in Louisiana is special and worthy of saving. For many decades he urged National Audubon to take an interest in coastal restoration. Fortunately he lived to see this happen. Audubon now has a state office in Louisiana and lobbies for wetlands conservation and coastal restoration.


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