Brian “Fox” Ellis

Storyteller Brian “Fox” Ellis portrays Robert Ridgway in these entertaining and meticulously researched monologues drawing from his journals, essays, and letters to his friends and colleagues. This program was developed with a grant from the Illinois Audubon Society as part of their celebration of the 125th anniversary. Fox has performed as Ridway at the spring gathering and a dozen IAS chapter meetings, in nature centers, schools and libraries across Illinois, including Ridgway’s home towns in Olney and Mt Carmel, Illinois. Fox is also the editor of Illinois Audubon magazine, author of more than 30 books, and has been touring the world as a storyteller and educator for more than 40 years.



110 North Olson St
Bishop Hill, IL 61419

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Robert Ridgway: Can Birdwatching Help Save Our Planet?



Join Illinois’ most pre-eminent bird man as he recalls the history of the Illinois Audubon Society. Hear stories that illuminate how bird watching grew from a hobby to a scientific discipline. Bird watching has created a cadre of citizen scientists, encouraging the next generation of conservationists, and protected habitat for future generations. Storyteller and author Brian “Fox” Ellis portrays Robert Ridgway, telling the story of his journey across the western wilderness in 1868, when he was still a teenager, his life-long work at the Smithsonian Institution, and his friends who founded the Chicago Academy of Science. Ridgway was a student of Spencer Baird, who travelled with John James Audubon, who knew Charles Darwin. Ridgway’s research transformed ornithology, evolution and systematics.


30-60 minutes depending on the needs of the host.

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