Bette Midler, conservationist and star of screen and stage, has a thing for birds. “I love birds. I’m absolutely mad about them — I have been my whole life,” she told a packed ballroom at New York City’s Plaza Hotel last Thursday at a National Audubon Society dinner to honor two leading conservationists. (She’s pictured above with Audubon President and CEO David Yarnold after her performance. Photo by Diane Bondareff/Invision for The National Audubon Society/AP Images.)
The Divine Miss M performs at Audubon’s dinner on Jan. 17. Photo by Diane Bondareff/Invision for The National Audubon Society/AP Images
During her performance, Bette she revealed that she puts filtered water in her bird bath, and she performed four songs, each somehow featuring birds: “Skylark,” “When the Red, Red Robin,” “Wind Beneath My Wings,” and a parody of “People,” for which she tweeted her lyrics the next day:
The event was held to award two of the nation’s most prestigious environmental honors: the inaugural Dan W. Lufkin Prize for Environmental Leadership and the Audubon Medal.
George Archibald, co-founder of the International Crane Foundation, received the first Lufkin Prize and its $100,000 award, and philanthropist Louis Bacon received the esteemed Audubon Medal.
Bette Midler herself is a recipient of Audubon’s 2008 Rachel Carson Award for her work with the New York Restoration Project. Forbes writer Erin Carlyle reviewed Bette’s performance, noting:
[W]hen she sang her last number, Wind Beneath My Wings, the audience did too. They sang along, and so did I, and as we all did Bette Midler flapped her arms like they were wings, managing to look not silly at all, but as graceful as a ballerina. —Read more
As an Audubon staff member, I was proud and encouraged to see Bette and so many others turn out to celebrate the difference that conservation makes in this world we all share, and to honor the difference that humble, effective conservationists like George Archibald can make. (If you don’t know much about Dr. Archibald’s work, see his recent interview on The New York Times Green Blog and Audubon magazine.)
Uma Thurman and Bette Midler (Diane Bondareff/Invision for the National Audubon Society/AP Images)
David Yarnold, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Bette Midler, George Archibald, and Tom Brokaw (Diane Bondareff/Invision for the National Audubon Society/AP Images)
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