"Founded in 1889 by women denied membership in the British Ornithologists’ Union, the R.S.P.B. was granted a royal charter in 1904, around the same time that, in the U.S., Teddy Roosevelt proclaimed his support for the Audubon Society. Today, the R.S.P.B. is one of the most influential protectionist groups in the world, with more than a million members; in Scotland, it is the eighth-biggest landowner.
The organization’s headquarters are in Sandy, an hour north of London, on a sprawling forty-acre nature reserve. Six hundred employees work there, in buildings named for birds. The investigations office—a small open space with six desks, in the Bittern building—overlooks a manicured garden and a pond. “Once, an e-mail went out to the entire staff that there was a honey buzzard outside, and within minutes four hundred people were there,” Thomas told me, shaking his head."
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