Theodore Roosevelt Tour of the Museum: TR and the Wading Birds Diorama
by AMNH on
The restored Theodore Roosevelt Memorial is now open, and a new self-guided tour—available as part of the Museum's Explorer app, or on our website—highlights exhibits and places around the Museum with a connection to TR, who was President from 1901 to 1909. In this post, the sixth in a series, we visit the Wading Birds Rookery diorama, in the Leonard C. Sanford Hall of North American Birds.
Frank Chapman, the Museum’s first curator of birds, opened the original Hall of North American Birds—the Museum’s first habitat diorama hall—in 1902. He enhanced the dioramas with background paintings of actual locales in North America to call attention to the plight of species endangered by the high demand for feathers on women’s hats.
Florida’s Cuthbert Rookery, depicted in the diorama (shown above), was habitat for egrets, roseate spoonbills, ibis, herons, and more. The site, located in extreme south Florida and now in Everglades National Park, was the scene of the 1905 murder of a game warden by commercial plume hunters.
In response, President Roosevelt appointed more wardens in Florida and assured the Audubon Society that he was committed to ending the sale of endangered bird feathers for fashion.
Visit the Sanford Hall of North American Birds at the Museum.