James “Jim” Baird, President of the AFO (then the Northeast Bird Banding Association) from 1967 to 1971, passed away at the age of 97 on January 25th, 2023. Jim led a remarkable life. He was a prolific bird bander and observer of birds, authoring or co-authoring several formative publications on bird migration and other topics in the 1950s and 1960s. He developed one of the first courses in “field” ornithology which, not surprisingly, was hugely popular. He established what was likely the first ecotourism program in the United States. He was also involved in the creation of the Massachusetts Breeding Bird Atlas, which was the first of its kind in North America. However, it is perhaps his extensive and impactful legacy in conservation that most stands out. Among many other accomplishments in this area, he was instrumental in drafting legislation in Massachusetts to protect wetlands that later became the model for federal law. Following Rachel Carson’s warnings in Silent Spring on the harmful effects of pesticides, he got state laboratories to conduct tests proving the presence of pesticide residues in bird tissues. He was one of the first ornithologists to recognize the importance of protecting the wintering habitat of neotropical migrants and played a major role in conserving such habitat in Belize. He worked on many other key environmental issues of his day under the auspices of the Massachusetts Audubon Society including the negative impacts of lead shot and oil spills on bird populations. In short, over half a century ago Jim was leading a life that many current AFO leaders and members are continually striving for. We are proud to have had him as one of our early leaders.