Connecticut Audbon Society

125th Anniversary

Start Migration Madness with a Zoom presentation on the Connecticut Senator who sponsored the most important bird legislation ever

One of the most important achievements of the young bird conservation movement was the passage of the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Connecticut Audubon and other Audubon societies advocated heavily for it. Their champion in Washington D.C. was U.S. Senator George P. McLean of Connecticut, the bill’s prime sponsor.

As part of our 125th Anniversary celebration, we’re presenting a talk by Will McClean Greeley, the Senator’s great-great nephew and the author of the recent biography, A Connecticut Yankee Goes to Washington: Senator George P. McLean, Birdman of the Senate.

The Zoom presentation is set for 7 p.m., Tuesday, May 16. 

It is the opening of our annual Migration Madness celebration of Connecticut’s birds, and part of our 125th anniversary celebration.

The presentation is free for people who sign up for or make a contribution to this year’s Migration Madness Birdathon, which is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, May 20 and 21.

Sign up or make a contribution to the Birdathon here.

Or you can sign up for just the presentation, for a $5 contribution.

The Migration Madness Birdathon benefits Connecticut Audubon’s statewide bird conservation programs.

McLean (he was born in Simsbury in 1857 and died there in 1932) served in the U.S. Senate from 1911 to 1929. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act is probably the most important bird protection legislation ever passed, and it was the culmination of years of advocacy on the part of Audubon societies throughout the country, including Connecticut.

On a list from 1900, McLean is shown as an honorary member of the Connecticut Audubon Society. At the time, he was a former state Senator and state Representative in Hartford; he would be elected governor in 1901.

Connecticut Audubon’s archives also include a thank you letter from McLean on U.S. Senate letterhead, written in 1916 to Helen Glover, a founder of Connecticut Audubon. You can see a PDF of McLean’s letter, with a rough copy of the letter that preceded it from Connecticut Audubon, here.

His great, great nephew, Will McLean Greeley, grew up in West Michigan with a passion for American history, politics, and birds. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Michigan and then a master’s degree from Michigan in archives administration.

After retiring from a 35-year career in government and corporate market research, he embarked upon a three-year research and writing journey to learn about his great-great-uncle George P. McLean and his legacy.

Married and the father of two sons (and two grandchildren), Greeley lives in Midland, Michigan.

A Connecticut Yankee Goes to Washington is his first book. It’s published by Rochester Institute of Technology Press.


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