Program: The Bald Eagle: The Improbable Journey of America’s Bird

Date & Time

Thursday, November 3, 2022
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm


Fleischmann Auditorium, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

2559 Puesta del Sol, Santa Barbara, CA 93105

Masks will be required at this event!

Jack E. Davis is the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Gulf: The Making of An American Sea and An Everglades Providence: Marjory Stoneman Douglas and the American Environmental Century.
Davis holds the Rothman Family Chair in the Humanities at the University of Florida where he teaches environmental history and sustainability studies.

This illustrated lecture is a presentation of UCSB Arts & Lectures, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and Santa Barbara Audubon Society.
This event is free to the public BUT ADVANCED REGISTRATION IS RECOMMENDED!
See the bottom of this listing for a link to register for this event.

Jack E. Davis’ book, THE BALD EAGLE, is an astonishing work of cultural and natural history that forces us to reconsider the story of America through the lens of our relationship to the natural world. As Davis reveals, no other animal in American history, certainly no avian one, has been the simultaneous object of such adoration and cruelty as the bald eagle – first beloved and hailed as an emblem of the rarefied natural environment of North America, then hated, and, finally, revered and protected.

For centuries, Americans have celebrated the bald eagle as “majestic” and “noble,” yet savaged the living bird behind the national symbol as a malicious predator of livestock and, falsely, even a snatcher of babies. Taking us from before the nation’s founding, when Indigenous peoples lived peacefully beside the eagle, through two nearly inconceivable resurgences in the 20th century when it was – not once, but twice – nearly brought to extinction by hunting and DDT, Davis recounts a panoramic history of the bird and the icon, unearthing nothing short than the story of the nation and its tenuous relationship to the environment through nearly five centuries.

THE BALD EAGLE does more than tell the story of the fate of a particular species. In resurrecting the voices of environmental prophets who warned against DDT; the efforts of a remarkable cast of bird advocates and rescuers who – state by state, nest by nest – climbed trees, rescued eggs, and reintroduced fledges into the wild; and finally, charting the ecological redemption born from bipartisan legislation, Davis reveals the glimmer of a potential path forward as we grapple with environmental peril on a larger scale. THE BALD EAGLE is, too, Davis notes, a tale of American values and while patriotism and environmentalism may seem at odds today, “in the American historical context they are complementary at their core.”

 REGISTRATION is highly recommended to ensure you have a seat. Please follow THIS LINK to register.


Doors open at 7:00 pm – join us for refreshments