A.C. Bent’s Who’s Who

Notes by Jack Daynes

“Who ARE these guys?” (Butch Cassidy)

I’ve been enjoying reading the collection of books known as Bent’s Life Histories. These works form a set of 26 books that were produced starting in 1919 and ending 1968 and provide detailed accounts on the birdlife of every North American species. These books are the result of many contributors with whom Arthur Cleveland Bent collaborated. When he passed away in 1954, some of these collaborators completed the final two volumes (4 books) of this great work.

While the first account was published in 1919, the stories and accounts contained throughout are drawn from as far back as the late 1600’s and early 1700’s, but most are derived from whole of the 1800’s. I have found it very enlightening to see the natural world though the eyes of those that lived in those times … times that preceded most of the destructive forces of Western Civilization.

I experienced mixed emotions as I read some of these tales. Hindsight allows me to see how many of the practices of times past might now be considered wrong. Certainly, a number of these practices have been discontinued or curtailed. At the same time, I try to be mindful that the advancement of science required many of these practices, as modern tools available today were not an option.

In prior times, there were episodes when ‘collecting’ was done to the detriment of endangered (now even extinct) species. The concept of ‘economic value’ of a species was considered relevant based on its dietary practices. In efforts to produce collections for oologists, whole clutches, multiple clutches from nests, whole nests and even the nesting birds were ‘collected’. Privateers were recruited for these tasks and some of these ‘enterprising’ individuals could decimate populations in the name of profit. In times past, birds were slaughtered in mass for the food market or even millinery trades. For better or worse, this is our history and I am thankful that much of what has been learned from these past practices can still be used as a resource today.

While reading through these volumes I encountered names of individuals whose stories contributed to the content of these accounts. My curiosity about who these people were, began to get the best of me. I decided to embark on a campaign of discovery and learn what I could about some of these people. I found it interesting how many of these people were trained physicians and how many were talented artists. This list of 125 people is probably lacking some important names, but I had to stop somewhere, at least temporarily. I have presented the individual accounts of these naturalists chronologically in order to portray an historical perspective. When known, I have listed species that have been named in honor of the person mentioned.

I hope you will find these observations interesting. I welcome any information that you may want to contribute that could expand on the accounts contained in the following pages.

 

Catesby (Mark) (1682-1749) Mark Catesby was an English naturalist born in Essex. In 1712 he visited his sister, whose husband was the Secretary of State for the new colony of Virginia. Before returning to England, he traveled to the West Indies. During these trips he collected seeds and specimens and sent them to the noted nurseryman Thomas Fairchild. This made him well known to other scientists in England. Beginning in 1726, he spent 17 years preparing his great work “Natural History”. Linnaeus included much of the information in the Natural History in the 10th edition of his “Systema Naturae” (1758).
Linnaeus (Carl) (1707-1778) Carl Linnaeus (or Carl Nilsson Linnæus) is known as the father of modern taxonomy, and is also considered one of the fathers of modern ecology. The system he developed of scientific nomenclature (Systema Naturae) is still in use today. His earliest studies were of botany and medicine, but extended to other life sciences as well. His rather interesting life had its beginnings in peasant life, and through his brilliance as a student and eventually teacher, he attained a great following of admirers. He had many disciples, known as the Apostles of Linnaeus who carried his work forward after his death.
Steller (Georg Wilhelm) (1709-1746) German born Georg Wilhelm Steller’s travels with Russian Vitus Bering are legendary. In Steller we have another physician turned naturalist (botanist, zoologist). It is unfortunate that the reports of new ‘fur bearing’ species brought back to Europe precipitated one of the darkest periods of human pressure on the animal kingdom in history. Most of those species were hunted to near extinction. The Steller’s Sea Cow was in fact fully extirpated within 27 years of its discovery.
Steller’s Sea Cow(Hydrodamalis gigas)Steller Sea Lion (Eumetopias jubatus)

Steller’s Eider (Polysticta stelleri)

Steller’s Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus pelagicus)

Steller’s Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri)

Forster (Johann Reinhold ) (1729-1798) Johann Reinhold Forster is best known as the naturalist on James Cook’s second Pacific voyage. Birds that Johann Forster described and named include Great Gray Owl, White-throated Sparrow, Blackpoll Warbler, Boreal Chickadee, and Eskimo Curlew. Thomas Nuttall, in 1834, named the Forster’s Tern (Sterna forsteri), in recognition of Forster’s work.
Forster’s Tern(Sterna forsteri)
Bewick (Thomas) (1753-1828) Thomas Bewick (pronounced ‘buick’) was an English artist whose wood engravings were well known. His engravings of birds were greatly admired by the likes of John James Audubon.
Bewick’s Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)
Bewick’s Swan (Cygnus bewickii)
Barrow (John ) (1764-1848) Sir John Barrow was a British statesman attached to Capetown in South Africa. In 1804, was appointed Second Secretary to the Admiralty, a post which he held for nearly forty years. In this position, Barrow was a great promoter of Arctic voyages of discovery, including those of John Ross, William Edward Parry, James Clark Ross, and John Franklin.
Barrow’s Goldeneye (Bucephala islandica)
Wilson (Alexander) (1766–1813) Alexander Wilson was a Scottish-American poet, ornithologist, naturalist, and illustrator. Wilson is now regarded as the greatest American ornithologist prior to Audubon. Born in Paisley, Scotland, he was trained as a weaver. Some of his early writings commenting on the unfair treatment of weavers got him into trouble with the local authorities. In May 1794 Wilson left Scotland for America and found work as a teacher near Philadelphia. There he met the famous naturalist William Bartram and developed his interest in ornithology. In 1802, intent on publishing an illustrated book on birds, he began to travel widely, painting birds and gathering support for publishing his book. Wilson died before the ninth and final volume of “American Ornithology” was released. This work illustrated 268 species of birds, 26 of which had not previously been described.
Wilson’s Storm Petrel (Oceanites oceanicus)Wilson’s Plover (Charadrius wilsonia)

Wilson’s Phalarope (Phalaropus tricolor)

Wilson’s Snipe (Gallinago delicata)

Wilson’s Warbler (Cardellina pusilla)Genus (Wilsonia)

Clark (William) (1770-1838) William Clark was an American explorer, soldier, Indian agent, and territorial governor. Along with Meriwether Lewis, Clark led the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1803 to 1806 across the Louisiana Purchase to the Pacific Ocean, and claimed the Pacific Northwest for the United States.
Clark’s Nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana)
Bullock (William) (1773-1849) Known as a naturalist and collector of oddities, William Bullock was an Englishman who traveled widely. In 1822 Bullock went to Mexico and again in 1827, when his trip included a visit to the United States. He brought back many artifacts and specimens for exhibit.
Bullock’s Oriole (Icterus bullockii)
Lewis (Meriwether) (1774-1809) Meriwether Lewis was an American explorer, soldier, and public administrator. He was best known for his role as the leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition also known as the Corps of Discovery, with William Clark.
Lewis’s Woodpecker (Melanerpes lewis)
Temminck (Coenraad Jacob) (1778-1858) Dutch aristocrat and zoologist Coenraad Jacob Temminck was the first director of the National Natural History Museum at Leiden from 1820 until his death. In addition to the impressive list of birds bearing his name, are 8 fish, a snapping turtle and a skink.
Temminck’s Cormorant (Phalacrocorax capillatus)Temminck’s Tragopan (Tragopan temminckii)

Temminck’s Courser (Cursorius temminckii)

Temminck’s Stint (Calidris temminckii)

Malaysian Eared Nightjar (Eurostopodus temminckii)

Purple-winged Roller (Coracias temminckii)

Temminck’s Hornbill (Penelopides exarhatus)

Ochre-collared Piculet (Picumnus temminckii)

Sulawesi Woodpecker (Dendrocopos temminckii)

Temminck’s Fruit-dove (Ptilinopus porphyreus)

Cerulean Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina temminckii)

Australian Logrunner (Orthonyx temminckii)

Temminck’s Sunbird (Aethopyga temminckii)

Temminck’s Lark (Eremophila bilopha)

Temminck’s Babbler (Pellorneum pyrrhogenys)

Temminck’s Seedeater (Sporophila falcirostris)

Audubon (John James) (1785-1851) Perhaps the most famous name in American birding, John James Audubon was born in a French colony in what is today called Haiti. He is credited with identifying 25 new species of birds. In 1803 the family finagled their way into the United States to avoid conscription to the French army in the Napoleonic Wars. He showed a great interest in birds at a very early age. Early in his ornithological career, his goal was to surpass the works of his ‘predecessor’ Alexander Wilson. His landmark work, “Birds of America” was ready to find a publisher in 1824, but it was published in sections from 1827 to 1838. Audubon is the first person in the Americas to have ‘banded’ birds. He often tied yarn or thin silver wire to birds he captured (Eastern Phoebe) in order to track nesting.
Audubon’s Warbler (Setophaga coronata auduboni)
Audubon’s Oriole (Icterus graduacauda)
Nuttall (Thomas) (1786-1859) Thomas Nuttall was an English botanist and zoologist, who contributed greatly to the study of plants and animals in North America. In 1811 he was a member of the party in the Astor Expedition led by William Price Hunt, which followed up the Lewis and Clark expedition and brought back specimens that were lost on the original expedition (1804–1806). In 1834 he traveled with J. K. Townsend through Kansas, Wyoming and Utah, and then down the Snake River to the Columbia. He followed this trip with a voyage to Hawaii, and returned to the Pacific Northwest to study the botany there, then ended up in San Diego (1835).
Nuttall’s Woodpecker (Picoides nuttallii)Yellow-billed Magpie (Pica nuttalli)

Common Poorwill (Phalaenoptilus nuttallii)

Pacific Dogwood (Cornus nuttallii)

Nuttall’s Larkspur (Delphinium nuttallii)

Nuttall’s Oak (Quercus texana)

Catclaw Briar (Mimosa nuttallii)

Nuttall’s Violet (Viola nuttallii)

Nuttall’s Rayless Goldenrod (Bigelowia nuttallii)

Richardson (William John) (1787–1865) Yet another physician turned naturalist, John Richardson was born in Scotland. He was a contemporary of J. W. Swainson. Though Richardson is mostly known for his studies of fish, he has some plants named in his honor. The Boreal Owl was once called the “Richardson Owl” in his honor. Now The Boreal Owl has several recognized subspecies (races) worldwide, one of which is Aegolius funereus richardsoni.
Richardson’s Owl (Aegolius funereus richardsoni)Common Snowtrout (Schizothorax richardsonii)

Richardson’s geranium (Geranium richardsonii)

Yellow thimbleweed (Anemone richardsonii)

Alum Root (Heuchera richardsonii)

Say (Thomas)  (1787-1834) Thomas Say was an American naturalist, entomologist, malacologist, herpetologist and carcinologist. A taxonomist, he is often considered to be the father of descriptive entomology in the United States. Besides the phoebe, Say has named in his honor, a crab, an amphipod, a snail, and a snake.
Say’s Phoebe (Sayornis saya)
Swainson (William John) (1789–1855) Swainson, was an English ornithologist, malacologist, conchologist, entomologist and artist. While born in England, he traveled to Sicily, Brazil (twice), and emigrated to New Zealand. From there he did studies in Tasmania, New South Wales, and Victoria. Swainson was a pioneer in the use of lithography, which did not require the use of an engraver to reproduce the art. William Elford Leach encouraged him in this pursuit. In 1831, Swanison (with John Richardson) authored “Fauna Boreali-Americana”.
Swainson’s Warbler (Limnothlypis swainsonii)Swainson’s Hawk (Buteo swainsoni)

Swainson’s Thrush (Catharus ustulatus)

Swainson’s Spurfowl (Pternistis swainsonii)

Swainson’s Sparrow (Passer swainsonii)

Swainson’s Antcatcher (Myrmeciza longipes)

Swainson’s Fire-eye (Pyriglena atra)

Swainson’s Flycatcher (Myiarchus swainsoni)

Swainson’s Toucan (Ramphastos ambiguus swainsonii)

Bachman (John) (1790-1874) The Rev. John Bachman was an American Lutheran minister, social activist and naturalist who collaborated with J. J. Audubon to produce “Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America” and whose writings, particularly “Unity of the Human Race”, were influential in the development of the theory of evolution.
Bachman’s Warbler (Vermivora bachmanii)Bachman’s Sparrow (Peucaea aestivalis)

Brush Rabbit (Sylvilagus bachmani)

Leach (William Elford) (1790-1836) Born at Hoe Gate, Plymouth, Englishman William Elford Leach, was a zoologist and marine biologist. He was an expert on crustaceans and molluscs. In his youth he studied anatomy and chemistry.
Leach’s Storm Petrel (Oceanodroma leucorhoa)Blue-winged Kookaburra (Dacelo leachii)
Kirtland (Jared Potter) (1793-1877) Jared Potter Kirtland was a physician, naturalist and politician (Ohio House of Representatives). During his career he campaigned for such things as clean drinking water and prison reform. His studies included extensive work with freshwater mollusks, and the cataloging of the mammals, birds, reptiles, fishes, Testacea, and Crustacea in Ohio.
Kirtland’s Warbler (Dendroica kirtlandii) Kirtland’s Snake (Clonophis kirtlandii)
Henslow (John Stevens) (1796-1861) John Stevens Henslow was an English clergyman, botanist and geologist. He is best remembered as friend and mentor to his pupil Charles Darwin.
Henslow’s Sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii)
MacGillivray (William) (1796–1852) William MacGillivray is another of our famous early naturalists who studied medicine. He was a friend of Audubon and wrote a large part ofAudubon’s Ornithological Biographies from 1830-1839. Audubon named MacGillivray’s Warbler for him.
MacGillivray’s Warbler (Geothlypis tolmiei)
Cooper (William ) (1798-1864) William Cooper was an American naturalist, conchologist and collector. Not an author himself, his specimens were used by others, such as John James Audubon, Charles Lucien Bonaparte and Thomas Nuttall. Bonaparte named the Cooper’s Hawk for him.
Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)
Harris (Edward) (1799-1863) Edward Harris was an American farmer and amateur naturalist and friend to J. J. Audubon. The Harris’s Hawk and the Harris’s Sparrow were named by Audubon in his honor. J. Cassin named the Buff-fronted Owl (Aegolius harrisii) in his honor.
Harris’s Hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus)Harris’s Sparrow (Zonotrichia querula)

Buff-fronted Owl (Aegolius harrisii)

Ross (James Clark) (1800-1862) Sir James Clark Ross was a British naval officer and explorer who explored the Arctic with his uncle Sir John Ross and Sir William Parry, and later led his own expedition to Antarctica.
Ross’s Gull (Rhodostethia rosea) Ross Seal (Ommatophoca rossii)
Bonaparte (Charles Lucien) (1803–1857) This nephew of Emperor Napoleon lead a very interesting life. He was a friend to both Alexander Wilson and Audubon. He was born in Italy, but about 1822 traveled to America and immersed himself in ornithology before returning to Europe in 1826.
Back in Italy, he continued in his scientific pursuits, but he gained political notoriety when in 1849 he was elected to the Roman Assembly and proclaimed the Republican cause (perhaps due to his time in America). When this ‘revolt’ failed, he was exiled from Italy spent the following years various in scientific institutions, including membership in the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
Bonaparte’s Gull (Chroicocephalus philadelphia)
Lawrence (George Newbold) (1806-1895) George Newbold Lawrence was an amateur ornithologist and authored “Birds of North America” in 1860 with Baird and Cassin.
Lawrence’s Goldfinch (Carduelis lawrencei)
Botteri (Matteo) (1808-1877) Matteo Botteri was an ornithologist and collector from an an Italian family, though he was born in Dalmatia (modern day Croatia). On his travels to Mexico to collect plants on behalf of the Royal Horticultural Society, he collected a specimen of the bird that bears his name.
Botteri’s Sparrow (Aimophila botterii)
Townsend (John Kirk) (1809-1851) Townsend was another physician turned naturalist. He collected a number of animals new to science. These included birds such as the Mountain Plover, Vaux’s Swift, Chestnut-collared Longspur, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Townsend’s Warbler and Sage Thrasher, and a number of mammals such as the Douglas Squirrel; several of these were described by Bachman (1839).
Townsend’s Warbler (Setophaga townsendi)Townsend’s Solitaire (Myadestes townsendi)

Townsend’s Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus townsendii)

Townsend’s Chipmunk (Tamias townsendii)

Townsend’s Pocket Gopher (Thomomys townsendii)

Townsend’s Mole (Scapanus townsendii)

Townsend’s Vole (Microtus townsendii)

Whitetail Jackrabbit (Lepus townsendii)

Strickland (Hugh Edwin) (1811-1853) Hugh Edwin Strickland was an English geologist, ornithologist, naturalist, and systematist. Whilst traveling in 1835 he discovered the Olive-tree Warbler on the island of Zante, and the Cinereous Bunting in the vicinity of Izmir in western Turkey. In 1848 he was perhaps the first to propose that man has been the cause of species extinctions (The Dodo and its kindred).
Arizona Woodpecker  (Picoides arizonae)(Formerly Strickland’s Woodpecker)
Sprague (Isaac) (1811–1895) Isaac Sprague was a well known landscape, botanical, and ornithological painter. In 1843, Sprague served as an assistant to Audubon on an expedition up the Missouri River, taking measurements and making sketches.
Sprague’s Pipit (Anthus spragueii)
Vaux (William Sansom) (1811-1882) William Sansom Vaux was an American mineralogist who was born in Philadelphia. He was a friend of John Kirk Townsend who named the Vaux’s Swift in his honor.
Vaux’s Swif t(Chaetura vauxi)
Lincoln (Thomas ) (1812-1883) Audubon named the Lincoln’s Sparrow in 1834, in honor of his younger friend, Thomas Lincoln of Dennysville, Maine, whom he’d met before a trip to Labrador in 1833.
Lincoln’s Sparrow (Melospiza lincolnii )
Cassin (John) (1813–1869) John Cassin was born near Philadelphia into a Quaker family. He was the illustrator and author of a number of publications including “Illustrations of the Birds of California, Texas, Oregon, British and Russian America”, and co-authored with Spencer Fullerton Baird. He was the curator of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences in 1842, and later director.
Cassin’s Auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus)Cassin’s Finch (Haemorhous cassinii)

Cassin’s Kingbird (Tyrannus vociferans)

Cassin’s Vireo (Vireo cassinii)

Cassin’s Sparrow (Peucaea cassinii)

Bell (John Graham) (1812-1889) Well known to this day for his talents as a taxidermist, John Graham Bell traveled with Audubon up the Missouri River in 1843. He also taught taxidermy to Theodore Roosevelt.
Sage Sparrow (Amphispiza belli)Bell’s Vireo (Vireo bellii)
Brewer (Thomas Mayo) (1814-1880) Perhaps best known for authoring, along with Baird and Ridgway, of “A History of North American Birds” (3 volumes, 1874). He abandon his medical career to pursue ornithological studies. Brewer was a companion to Audubon, who gave Brewer’s name to a duck, a blackbird and a rodent (Brewer’s shrew mole).
Brewer’s Shrew Mole (Scallops Brewerii)Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus)

Brewer’s Sparrow  (Spizella Breweri)

Brewer’s Duck  (Hybrid Mallard & Gadwall)

McCown (John Porter) (1815–1879) John Porter McCown was West Point graduate and a well known Confederate General in the Civil War. Prior to the war he served in the U.S. Army and while on assignment in Texas, he fired a shot into a field of Horned Larks in West Texas. When he retrieved the ‘victims’, two were unfamiliar. When sent to east, to George Newbold Lawrence, he identified this ‘new’ species and named it for his friend. In all likelihood, Meriwether Lewis discovered and described this bird, but he failed to collect one on the famous expedition.
McCown’s Longspur (Rhynchophanes mccownii)
Abert (James William) (1820-1897) James William Abert was an American soldier, explorer, ornithologist and topographical artist. As a member of the Corps of Topographical Engineers, he was part of several expeditions into the west, including John Fremont’s third. In 1846 he was sent west to join the army. It was during his campaign with General Kearney in the war against Mexico, that he collected a new bird species that was named in his honor. He served in the Union Army during the Civil War and retired as a colonel in 1884.
Abert’s Towhee (Pipilo aberti)
Baird (Spencer Fullerton) (1823–1887) Baird was a naturalist specializing in fish and birds. He was the first curator at the Smithsonian Institution. Born in Pennsylvania, Audubon was one of his teachers. In college he studied medicine. As the reader here will find, there were quite a few would be doctors who found their way into ornithology and other life sciences.
Baird’s Sandpiper (Calidris bairdii)Baird’s Sparrow (Ammodramus bairdii)
Gambel (William) (1823-1849) William Gambel was a travel companion and collaborator with Thomas Nuttall and he was a qualified physician. He discovered the Gambel’s Quail, Mountain Chickadee and Nuttall’s Woodpecker.
Gambel’s Quail (Callipepla gambelii)Mountain Chickadee (Parus gambeli)
Williamson (Robert Stockton) (1825-1882) Robert Stockton Williamson was an American soldier and engineer, noted for conducting surveys for the transcontinental railroad in California and Oregon.
Williamson’s Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus thyroideus)
Xantus (John) (1825-1894) Hungarian John Xantus de Vesey was a frriend & associate of Dr. W. A. Hammond and S. F. Baird. He did some ground breaking expeditions to Baja California on behalf of the Smithsonian.
Plants named in his honor are: Xantus Clarkia, Shrubby euphorbia, Xantus Pincushion, Xantus Spineflower, Xantus’s Milkwort, and Mimosa xantii.
The family name Xantusiidae (Night lizards), subfamily Xantusiinae and genus Xantusia are named in his honor.
Xantus’s Murrelet (Synthliboramphus hypoleucus)Xantus’s Hummingbird (Basilinna xantusii)

Largemouth Blenny (Labrisomus xanti)

Earmuff wrasse (Halichoeres xanti)

Golden Croaker (Umbrina xanti)

Leaf-toed Gecko (Phyllodactylus xanti)

Xantus swimming crab (Portunus xantusii)

Le Conte (John Lawrence) (1825-1883) John Lawrence LeConte was the most important American entomologist of the 19th century, responsible for naming and describing approximately half of the insect taxa known in the United States during his lifetime.
Le Conte’s Thrasher (Toxostoma lecontei)
Ross (Bernard Rogan) (1827-1874) This Irish born chief trader and naturalist, worked for the Hudson’s Bay Company, but his primary significance is in the field of natural history rather than the fur trade. While at Fort Simpson (Mackenzie River District) he collected mammals, insects, and birds, and forwarded specimens to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, the Royal Scottish Museum in Edinburgh, and the British Museum in London.
Ross’s Goose (Chen rossii)
Hammond (William Alexander) (1829-1900) In Hammond, we have another physician with an abiding interest in the study of nature, but it for his work as a surgeon and neurologist that he is best remembered.
Hammond’s Flycatcher(Empidonax hammondi)
Belding (Lyman) (1829-1917) Belding was born in Massachusetts, but move to California at 7 years of age. He spent many years on whaling ships. After acquiring his first bird book in 1876, he began to focus on the subject. By the time he retired in Stockton, California, he was considered a foremost authority on California bird life.
Belding’s Yellowthroat (Geothlypis beldingi)Belding’s Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis beldingi)
Cooper (James Graham) (1830-1902) Dr. James G. Cooper was another example of one trained in medicine that excelled as a naturalist. The prestigious Cooper Ornithological Society was named so in his honor. His training as a naturalist, he later learned, would hinder his effectiveness as a physician, as “naturalist” were considered on par with taxidermists.
Clark (John Henry) (1832-1925) Born in Halifax, North Carolina, John Henry Clark, was a 19th-century American surveyor who was also a naturalist and collector. Clark discovered the bird while in Chihuahua, Mexico.
Clark’s Grebe (Aechmophorus clarkii)
Kennicott (Robert) (1835-1866) Noted more for his studies on snakes than on birds, Robert Kennicott was an admirer of J. P. Kirtland and did work at the Smithsonian for S. P. Baird. He went on several expeditions to Canada and Alaska. It was on one of these expeditions that he became gravely ill and succumbed to congestive heart failure. The Kennicott Glacier, Kennicott Valley, MV Kennicott, and the Kennicott River were named after him.
Western Screech-Owl (Megascops kennicotti)Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl (Glacidium brasilianus ridgwayi)
Hargitt (Edward) (1835-1895) Edward Hargitt was a very well known painter of landscapes who also became a well trained ornithologist with special attention on woodpeckers.
Bendire (Charles Emil) (1836-1897) Born in Germany as Karl Emil Bender, he Americanized his name after moving the USA at age 18 (1854) and enlisting in the Army. Known as “Major Bendire”, he achieved that rank, but started as a private, serving prior to and during the Civil War. After the war, he served in the campaigns against the Native Americans, including the pursuit of Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce from Oregon into Canada when he sought asylum there.
It was during his time in the service that he acquired a love of the natural world. His writings contributed to those of Joel A. Allen, Thomas M. Brewer, Elliott Coues, and Robert Ridgway, but in 1877 he began to publish under his own name.
From 1892 to 1895 he wrote “Life Histories of North American Birds …” which was the precursor to Bent’s great work.
Bendire’s Thrasher (Toxostoma bendirei)
Beal (Foster Ellenborough Lascelles) (1840-1916) Professor F. E. L. Beal was what was known as an ‘economic ornithologist’. Under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, he performed extensive studies of the diets of birds. The goals of these studies was to determine the economic value of various bird species. His results are repeatedly referred to in ‘Bent’s Life History’ series.
Sennett (George Burritt) (1840-1900) George B. Sennett was a businessman and naturalist born in New York. He is best known for his studies of Texas birds, particularly those of the lower Rio Grande valley. He was one of the original members of the American Ornithologists’ Union and served as chairman of the Committee on the Protection of North American Birds from 1886 to 1893. He worked extensively with Elliott Coues.
Smith (William Gilbert) (1841-1900) William G. Smith spent the first 30 years of his life in England, but came the New York in 1871. A stair builder by trade, he spent his free time doing taxidermy and bird studies. He made his mark on Colorado ornithology when he lived there from 1884 to 1892. Many of his writings contributed to Major Bendire’s “Life Histories of North American Birds.”
Coues (Elliott) (1842–1899) Born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Elliott Coues was an American army surgeon, historian, ornithologist and author. He resigned from the army in 1881 to devote himself entirely to scientific research. [According to a biographical account, he was actually forced out of military service after giving a speech critical of Cristianity.] He had an interest in Spiritualism and began speculations in Theosophy. He was one of the founders of the American Ornithologists’ Union, and edited its organ, The Auk, and several other ornithological periodicals. In 1873, he pioneered the publishing of the first Check List. (“Check-List of North American Birds”). Most agree he was one of the most colorful characters in American Ornithological history.
Coues’ Flycatcher (Contopus pertinax)[a.k.a. Greater Pewee]
Coues (Grace Darling) (1846-????) The warbler that was discovered by Elliott Coues in the Rocky Mountains in 1864, was named for his sister at his request. It was S. F. Baird who honored this request in 1865.
Grace’s Warbler (Setophaga graciae)
Turner (Lucien McShan) (1848-1909) Lucien M. Turner was a member of the Army Signal Corps who was stationed in St. Michael, Alaska and Fort Chimo, Labrador. His observations and the specimens he collected were sent to the Smithsonian Institute, and several times Bent references his work in his “Life History” series.
Ridgway (Robert) (1850-1929) Robert Ridgway was a protégée of zoologist S. F. Baird. On becoming the secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, he appointed Ridgway the first full-time curator of birds at the United States National Museum. He was founding member of the American Ornithologists’ Union (AOU) in 1883. Ridgway was the joint author (with T. M. Brewer and S. F. Baird) of “History of North American Birds” (1875–1884), and other important works.
Buff-collared Nightjar (Caprimulgus ridgwayi)Ridgway’s Hawk (Buteo ridgwayi)

Aztec Thrush (Ridgwayia pinicola)

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus ridgwayi)

Elepaio (Chasiempis sandwichensis ridgwayi)

Henshaw (Henry Wetherbee) (1850-1930) Henshaw was a fellow student and life long friend of William Brewster. He was an early pioneer of preparing ‘skins’ for museums and was considered one of the best at doing so (better than his contemporaries; Ridgway, Coues, and Brewster). His field work in Southern Arizona is some of the earliest, extending further south than Bendire had gone during his stay there. Henshaw was also a friend and associate of Major John Wesley Powell and did work for him on American Indian linguistics. Near the turn of the century (1894), Henshaw traveled to Hilo Hawaii for health reasons, but continued his observations on birds there. Though several ‘high profile’ ornithologists made observations on the Williamson’s Sapsucker, the male and the female were considered specifically distinct. Henshaw recognized the ‘two species’ were actually male and female of the same species.
Granite Night Lizard (Xantusia henshawi)
Nelson (Edward William) (1855-1934) Dr. E. W. Nelson was a naturalist and ethnologist, born in New Hampshire. As manager of the United States National Museum (Smithsonian), Spencer Fullerton Baird was responsible for selecting Signal Officers for the remoter stations, and would choose men with scientific training who were prepared to study the local flora and fauna. Baird sent Nelson to St. Michael, Alaska. Nelson was also a member of Clinton Hart Merriam’s Death Valley Expedition (1890). His field work included 14 years in Mexico, studying terrestrial vertebrates.
Desert Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni)Nelson’s Milksnake (Lampropeltis triangulum nelsoni)
Brewster (William) (1851-1919) One of the founders of the American Ornithologists’ Union (AOU) in 1883 and served as its president from 1895 to 1898. His interest in birds at an early age came with the study of taxidermy.
Brewster’s Warbler (hybrids between Golden-winged and Blue-winged Warblers)
Merriam (Clinton Hart) (1855-1942) In Clinton Hart Merriam, we have yet another physician turned zoologist, ornithologist, entomologist and ethnographer. In 1883, he was a founding member of the American Ornithologists’ Union. He was one of the original founders of the National Geographic Society in 1888. Perhaps his greatest contribution to science was to develop the concept of “life zones” to classify biomes found in North America along an altitudinal sequence corresponding to the zonal latitudinal sequence from Equator to Pole.
Merriam’s Wild Turkey (Meliagris gallopavo meriami)Merriam’s Elk (Cervus elaphus merriami)

Merriam’s Chipmunk (Tamias merriami)

Fisher (Albert Kenrick) (1856-1948) Albert Kenrick Fisher was one of the founders of the American Ornithologists’ Union. In him we have yet another would be physician who opted to work in the natural sciences. He was persuaded by his friend, Dr. C. Hart Merriam to join him in setting up the Division of Economic Ornithology for the USDA.
Bolles (Frank) (1856-1894) Frank Bolles was educated with degrees in Law, but he also made his mark in natural science, which he loved his whole life. For Auk, he contributed articles on whip-poor-wills, owls, woodpeckers, and flycatchers.
Batchelder (Charles Foster) (1856-1954) Charles F. Batchelder was born and grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts. As a youngster, he developed friendships with fellows such as William Brewster and the group of friends would form the Nuttall Ornithological Club in 1873, a group he later became treasurer of and so remained for 50 years. He was one of the founding members of the AOU and served as its president from 1900 to 1905.
Mearns (Edgar Alexander) (1856-1916) Doctor Edgar A. Mearns was one of the founding members of the AOU. In him we find another example of one trained as a medical doctor, but better known as an naturalist. He was born near West Point in New York state and educated at Columbia University. As an Army surgeon (1882-1899) he traveled to the Philippines and Guam. As medical officer to the International Boundary Commission, he reported on the fauna and trees of the boundary between Mexico and the United States.
Mearns’ Pocket Gopher (Thomomys bottae mearnsi)Banded rock lizard (Petrosaurus mearnsi)
Roosevelt (Theodore) (1858–1919) This ‘Roughrider’ was a sickly child who suffered from asthma and stayed at home studying natural history. In his way, he loved nature his entire life. It is well known that he lobbied vigorously for the establishment of our national park system. During his life (1877-1918) he published five time specifically on birds (1877 – The Summer Birds of the Adirondacks in Franklin County, New York; 1879 – Notes on Some of the Birds of Oyster Bay, New York; 1908 – Notes on Some Birds on the grounds of The White House, Washington, D.C.;1910 – English Songbirds; 1918 – Common Sense and Animal Coloration).
Roosevelt Elk (Cervus canadensis roosevelti)
Forbush (Edward Howe) (1858-1929) Best known for his book “Birds of New England”, Edward Howe Forbush was born in Quincy, Massachusetts. As a teen, he became a member of the Worcester Natural History Society, and was appointed Curator of Ornithology of the Society’s museum. He was also known for his studies of the Heath Hen and his attempts to save the species.
Dwight (Jonathan Jr.) (1858-1929) Jonathan Dwight Jr. attended Harvard and Columbia Medical School. He authored or co-wrote numerous publications, including “The Sequence of Plumages and Molts of the Passerine Birds of New York” (1900).
Anderson (Virginia) (~1858) Virginia Anderson was the wife of Dr. W. W. Anderson (yes, another physician turned naturalist), who discovered the Virginia Warbler while on a collecting expedition in New Mexico. The bird was later named in honor of Mrs Anderson by S. F. Baird.
Virginia’s Warbler (Oreothlypis virginiae)
Bicknell (Eugene Pintard) (1859-1925) The youngest founding member of American Ornithologists’ Union, Bicknell wrote numerous papers on ornithology from 1876 to 1924.
Bicknell’s Thrush (Catharus bicknelli)
Townsend (Charles Haskins) (1859–1944) Charles Haskins Townsend, was an American zoologist, born in Pennsylvania, who specialized in fisheries, whaling, fur seals, and deep-sea exploration.
Townsend’s Shearwater (Puffinus auricularis)
Townsend (Charles Wendell) (1859-1934) In reading through the volumes of books in the “Bent’s Life History …” series, Charles Wendell Townsend’s name comes up repeatedly. He was a good friend to A. C. Bent, and contributed directly though written contributions and indirectly though his notes that he passed along to Bent. In this man, we have another physician turned naturalist. He was elected to the American Ornithologists’ Union in 1928.
Seton (Ernest Thompson) (1860-1946) Ernest Thompson Seton was a naturalist, artist, writer, and lecturer, who is most remembered as one of the founding members of the Boy Scouts of America. He was born in England, but with his family, moved to Toronto, Canada at six years of age. He was, in his earliest years, immersed in the natural world and was a student in its ways all his life. His writings (e.g. “Wild Animals I Have Known”, which I remember reading as a child) were very popular. In 1884 he was invited to join the new American Ornithologists Union, and contributed many articles the its journal, the Auk.
Saunders (William Edwin) (1861-1943) W. E. Saunders, born in London, Ontario (Canada), was an entomologist, a botanist, a chemist, a pharmacist, a mammalogist and an ornithologist (a founding member of the AOU). His writings include over 163 titles on birds.
Thayer (John Eliot) (1862-1933) John Eliot Thayer was a wealth banker from Boston who developed a strong interest in ornithology in the 1890’s. He built up a large inventory of specimens, including a legendary egg and nest collection. He sponsored numerous expeditions and campaigned strongly about the damage caused by introduced species on Guadalupe Island (Mexico), especially to goats and cats.
Thayer’s Gull (Larus thayeri)
Bailey (Florence Augusta Merriam) (1863-1948) Born in in Locust Grove, New York, Florence M. Bailey was first woman associate member and the first woman elected as a Fellow of the American Ornithologists’ Union. She preferred observation of live subjects to taking specimens (as was the standard practice of science in the day). She studied and wrote articles on regurgitative feeding, avian night behaviors, among several others. She wrote what is believed to be the first modern birding field guide when she was 26 years old. She had correspondence with John Muir – who was a friend of her father. She campaigned against feathers in millinery and fashion industry and championed the cause of bird protection programs.
California Mountain Chickadee (Parus gambeli baileyae)
Chapman (Frank Michler) (1864-1945) Dr. Frank M. Chapman wrote over 70 articles for Auk between 1886 and 1941 and ranged over many subjects. He also wrote for National Geographicand Condor. He is credited with the idea of the Christmas Bird Count in 1900 (as opposed to the existing practice for bird kills.
Bangs (Outram) (1863-1932) Outram Bangs was born in Watertown, Massachusetts. He and his brother Edward grew up loving the natural world. Outram, who is considered one of America’s greatest ornithologist, was also a renown mammalogists, with 275 titles authored by him. During his day ‘collecting’ specimens meant trapping or shooting the ‘subject’.
Wayne (Arthur Trezevant) (1863-1930) Arthur T. Wayne was born South Carlina during the Civil War. His interest in natural history was encourage when as a boy, he was befriended by Dr. Gabriel Manigault who was the director of the Charleston Museum. He was further inspired after meeting William Brewster in 1883. He was known for his insistence on accurate record keeping, which he was learned in his first employment keeping accounts for cotton export firms. During his field trips, he ‘collected’ as many as 15 Ivory-billed Woodpeckers, 54 Bachman’s Warblers and 6 Carolina Paroquets. Given the last confirmed sighting of the warbler was in 1961, it is likely that all these species are now extinct. In fact Wayne became aware of the decline while still in the process of ‘collecting’. His book “Birds of South Carolina” was published in 1910.
Bent (Arthur Cleveland) (1866 –1954) Bent was responsible for producing the landmark “Life Histories of North American …” series of books, of which there are 20 volumes. They were funded by the Smithsonian Institute and published between 1919 and 1968 by the United States National Museum (as bulletins). These were later published by Dover Press.
To anyone interested in bird behavior, these are mandatory reading, full of accounts from many of the players discussed in this article.
Allen (Francis Henry) (1866-1953) Francis H. Allen’s name will be forever linked with Henry David Thoreau and John Muir and their causes. He was born near Boston, Massachusetts and was a member of the AOU. He was known for his expertise in bird songs and call notes. Though A. C. Bent was not able to persuade him to write even one segment of the “Life History” series, his comments are sprinkled throughout those volumes.
Wheelock (Irene Grosvenor) (1867-1927) Irene Grosvenor Wheelock, a Midwesterner, lived in San Jose and in the Santa Clara Valley from 1894 to1902 and through her father, was a friend of John Muir. Her book, “Birds of California” (1904), summarized the biology and status of California birds such as Black Rails and Yellow-billed Cuckoos in the South Bay. Her observations regarding regurgitative feeding of young birds were considered by some as pioneering. Her work was restricted to observations, and she endured some criticism for not ‘collecting’ (killing) specimens.
Oberholser (Harry Church) (1870-1963) Dr. H. C. Oberholser was a ornithologist and biologist born in New York. From 1895 to 1941 he worked for United States Bureau of Biological Survey (later USF&WS). He was a great admirer of Robert Ridgway and his concepts of classification. Not only was his expertise applied in North America (he took pride in the fact that he had observed birds in every state and province in the US & Canada), he went on expeditions around the world and his work in known far and wide. While in Alaska, he did a lot of important studies on the Winter Wrens (now Pacific Wrens) of that area.
Dusky Flycatcher (Empidonax oberholseri)
Beck (Rollo Howard) (1870-1950) Born and raised in northern California, Rollo H. Beck was one of those special individuals who excelled in contributing to the study of natural science without the benefit of higher education (8th grade). In his career he participated on expeditions to the Channel Islands, Galapagos Islands, Cocos Islands, Andes Mountains, Falkland Islands, Juan Fernandes Islands, Tahiti, New Guinea, New Zealand, and many south-west Pacific islands. His career was not without controversy though. He may have ‘collected’ the last of the Guadalupe Caracaras and the last four individuals of the subspecies of Galapagos tortoise (Geochelone nigra abingdonii)..
Beck’s Petrel (Pseudobulweria becki)
Hoffmann (Ralph) (1870-1932) Ralph Hoffmann was an American natural history teacher and amateur ornithologist and botanist. He was the author of one of the first true bird field guides in 1904. He was killed in a fall while on an expedition to San Miguel Island (California Channel Islands), searching for fossil remains of the prehistoric Pygmy Mammoth.
Keys (Charles Reuben) (1871-1951) Charles R. Keyes was an educator, archaeologist, ornithologist, and linguist. Most agree that his work in archeology, particularly in Iowa, is his greatest legacy. However, his work in ornithology, especially with Great-horned Owls, is memorable.
Sumner Sr. (Eustace Lowell) (1871-?) There are two “E. Lowell Sumner” authors found in my research, neither could I find when they passed away. Senior was born in 1871 and junior in 1907. Both wrote on zoological topics. Senior wrote about Golden-crowned Sparrows. Junior wrote extensively on raptorial birds, but also has championed the cause of protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR).
Sumner Jr. (Eustace Lowell)
McIlhenny (Edward Avery) (1872-1949) Edward Avery McIlhenny was the son of Tabasco Sauce inventor Edmund McIlhenny. He dropped out of college to join Fredrick Cook’s 1894 Arctic expedition as an ornithologist, and in 1897 he financed his own Arctic expedition to Point Barrow, Alaska. McIlhenny founded the Bird City wildfowl refuge on Avery Island around 1895, which helped to save the snowy egret from extinction due to the pressure from the millenary trade. As a businessman, he was recognized as the one who took his father’s invention and established a successful business enterprise. His observations on nesting Ivory-billed Woodpeckers were sent to Major Bendire, as were observations on the Red-cocked Woodpecker.
Fleming (James Henry) (1872-1940) J. H. Fleming was a Canadian ornithologist. He joined the AOU in 1901 (Fellow in1916) and was its president from 1932 to 1935. He authored or co-authored 32 articles for Auk, Condor and Wilson Builletin.
Dawson (William Leon) (1873-1928) William Leon Dawson was born in southern Iowa and spent his early years as a Seventh-day Adventist minister, before turning to ornithology as a full time career in the early 1900’s. He was a noted photographer and was well published. Many of his works were centered on birds in the west.
Willard (Francis Cottle) (1874-1930) Frank C. Willard was born in Germany while his parents were traveling there. He lived in Tucson Arizona from 1896 to 1916. When A. C. Bent traveled in Arizona, Frank was frequently his guide and companion.
Ridge-nosed Rattlesnake (Crotalus willardi)
Fuertes (Louis Agassiz) (1874-1927) Born in New York, Louis Agassiz Fuertes was an American ornithologist, illustrator and artist. He is considered as one of the most prolific American bird artists after Audubon. As a student at Cornell University, he was introduced to Elliott Coues, who encouraged and promoted him and his art.
Orchard Oriole(Icterus fuertesi)
Du Bois (Alexander D.) (1875-1966) Alexander D. Du Bois was a distinguished amateur ornithologist and pioneer bird photographer. He contributed to many volumes of Bent’s Life Histories of North American Birds.
Taverner ( Percy Algernon) (1875-1947) P. A. Taverner was a self-taught naturalist, was the first ornithologist at the National Museum of Canada, now the Canadian Museum of Nature. He helped to establish the Point Pelee National Park and a number of bird sanctuaries across Canada, including Bonaventure Island.
Cackling Goose (Taverner’s) (Branta hutchinsii taverneri)Timberline Sparrow(Spizella breweri taverneri)
Swales (Bradshaw Hall) (1875-1928) B. H. Swales often worked with P. A. Taverner and Alexander Wetmore. Though his degree was in law, it is for his work as an ornithologist that he is remembered.
Taverner (Percy Algernon) (1875-1947) Percy A. Taverner was a architect and an important Canadian ornithologist. He helped establish Point Pelee National Park, Bonaventure Island and a other bird sanctuaries across Canada.
Tyler (Winsor Marrett) (1876-1954) Winsor Marrett Tyler was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and spent much of his childhood years near Lexington. In this man we find another doctor who devoted the lion’s share of his life to the study of nature and ornithology. A.C. Bent considered him a partner in his endeavor to document the life history of birds. When not contributing accounts directly (he did 37 accounts), he would participate in the research and editing.
Grinnell (Joseph) (1877–1939) Joseph Grinnell was born in Indian Territory on the Kiowa, Comanche and Wichita Indian Agency in Oklahoma. In 1880 the family moved to the Dakotas, where the father was treating the great Sioux Chief Red Cloud. Young Joe grew up among the Sioux and he was a favorite of Red Cloud.
He was one of the giants in the history of scientist studying fauna, especially in California. In 1924 he published his theory of the “ecological niche”, which proposed that no two species can occupy the same niche for a period of time without one excluding the other. Grinnell’s most important contribution in scientific methodology, perhaps, lay in his study of barriers (such as canyons and rivers) and their effect on the evolution of species.
Swarth (Harry Schelwald) (1878-1935) Born in Chicago, Illinois, Harry Swarth moved to Los Angeles in 1891. He was a frequent collaborator with Joseph Grinnell. He went on several collection expeditions to Southern Arizona and one reads of his accounts there frequently in Bent’s Life History series.
Willett (George) (1879-1945) George Willett was born in Ontario, Canada and spent his early youth exploring the woods near his home there. In 1888 his father moved the family to Redlands, California where he began his career with his brothers (Fred & Harry) as an ornithologist and oologist. It is interesting to note that he was allowed to collect only one egg from each nest, in contrast to the standard practice of the day of collecting full clutches, or even multiple clutches from a single nest. In 1883 the family moved to San Luis Obisbo, where is exposure to birdlife expanded from coots, phainopeplas and blackbirds, to Yellow-billed Magpies and condors. A year later, the family moved back to southern California, where George attended Whittier Academy (later Whittier College). In 1898 he joined the California Coast Guard and shortly after enlisted in the 35th U. S. Volunteer Infantry and traveled to the Philippines to participate in the war with Spain. On his return to the USA he served with the United States Geological Survey and the Los Angeles Police Department. In 1905 his membership to the Cooper Ornithological Club was accepted. It was here that his deeper understanding in the science of bird study really took off.
Late Miocene Gannet (Sula Willetti or Morus willetti)Pleistocene Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus pliogryps willetti)

Leach’s Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma leucorhoa willetti)

Santa Catalina Shrew (Sorex willetti)

Skinner (Milton Philo) (1879-?) Though Milton Philo Skinner wrote extensively on game in Yellowstone N.P. , he also wrote many articles on birds. He was elected to the AOU in 1916. Several of his writings are found within Bent’s Life History series.
Smith (Austin Paul) (1881-1948) Austin Paul Smith was born in Ohio and widely known as a plant collector who spent much of his life in Central America. He published 27 articles for the “Auk” and “Condor”. He died in a hospital for the mentally ill, and was buried in an unmarked pauper’s grave. The cause of death: pellagra, a niacin deficiency that may cause mental aberrations.
Abbott (Clinton Gilbert) (1881-1946) Born to American parents while in England, Clinton G. Abbott was the director of the San Diego Natural History Museum from 1922 to 1946. He was actively involved with conservation movements to protect natural resources both in the USA and Mexico.
San Diego Banded Gecko (Coleonyx variegatus abbotti)
McAtee (Waldo Lee) (1883-1962) W. L. McAtee grew up in Indiana and in his early teens, was greatly influenced by Dr. Frank M. Chapman. In 1903 he began work with the Bureau of Biological Survey (now known as USF&WS) where he wrote much on the ‘economic value’ of species.
Rockwell (Robert Blanton) (1883-1941) Robert B. Rockwell was born in Grand Junction, Colorado. He did extensive work for the Colorado Museum of Natural History and was a noted photographer.
Saunders (Aretas Andrews) (1884-1970) Aretas A. Saunders was an artist, musician and teacher. Many of his observations contained his sketches. He was known to use a tuning fork and a stop watch to describe bird songs. After graduating from Yale, he joined the US Forest Service and spent several years in Western Montana. In 1921 he wrote of his observations in “Birds of Montana”.
Dixon (Joseph Scattergood) (1884-1952) Joseph S. Dixon and his brother James B. Dixon, were born in Kansas but moved to Escondido, California at an early age. He was a good friend of his former teacher, Joseph Grinnell and joined him at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at Berkeley when it was started in 1910 (or 1908). He participated in several landmark biological surveys with Grinnell and others.
Allen (Aurthur Augustus) (1885-1964) Born in Buffalo, New York, Aurthur Augustus Allen founded the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in 1915. He pioneered the field of motion pictures (Ivory-billed Woodpecker) and audio recording of bird songs.
Dixon (James B.) (1886-1978) There is a lake named for him in Escondido California due to his history as Superintendent of the Escondido Water Company. He was a noted ornithologist and amassed a large collection of bird eggs.
Wetmore (Frank Alexander) (1886-1978) Frank Alexander Wetmore was an American ornithologist and avian paleontologist. His book (1930) “A Systematic Classification for the Birds of the World” was widely accepted and popular until the end of the twentieth century.
Several taxa of birds have been named in his honor, including the Cretaceous genus Alexornis and the tanagers Wetmorethraupis sterrhopteron and Buthraupiswetmorei. Insects, mammals, amphibians, mollusks, and one plant (an Argentinian cactus), as well as a bridge in Panama and the Wetmore Glacier in the Antarctic, have also been named after him.
Cretaceous genus (Alexornis)Orange-throated Tanager (Wetmorethraupis sterrhopteron)

Masked Mountain Tanager (Buthraupis wetmorei)

Dickey (Donald Ryder) (1887-1932) Donald R. Dickey was a naturalist, a collector, a hunter, and a wildlife photographer whose family moved from Iowa to California when he was very young. He participated in expeditions to the North Eastern U.S., Eastern Canada, and Baja California, Mexico, Hawaii, Canada and more. He was a pioneer wildlife photographer and contributed these skills often on these expeditions.
Storer (Tracy I.) (1889-1973) Born in San Francisco, Storer received his education and spent his entire professional career in the bay area. He was not only founder of the Department of Zoology at Davis but its sole faculty member until expansion began in 1935. As part of Joseph Grinnell’s goal of a broad survey of California fauna, Storer was a key researcher in the survey that included Yosemite, resulting 1924 book, “Animal Life in the Yosemite”, (written by Grinnell and Storer).
Van Rossem (Adriaan Joseph) (1892-1949) Adriaan Joseph Van Rossem grew up in Pasadena, California with a strong urge to study natural history. At 11 years old he met Joseph Grinnell and received encouragement to continue this pursuit. It was a relationship that lasted many years. In his career he went on expeditions the Coronado Islands, Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Salton Sea, and the Chiricahua in Arizona, but it was his time in Central America that he made his mark. He taught for many years at Occidental College in Los Angeles .
Simmons (George Finlay) (1895-1955) George Finlay Simmons authored “Birds of the Austin Region” Austin, Texas, was Curator of the Natural History Museum of Cleveland, and participated in expeditions to the South Atlantic.
Fowler (Frederick Hall) (1897-1945) F. H. Fowler, was by profession, a civil engineer specializing in hydro-electric projects (Grand Coulee and Bonneville dams). His contributions to the ornithological knowledge base include studies on Prairie Falcon nesting and various birds in Southern Arizona. His father (Major Joshua L. Fowler) was a well known ornithologist, served on posts in Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana, California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona and Colorado. It is quite likely that his son accompanied him to these locations. His name is mentioned in the “Charles Bendire Papers”.
Kellogg (Peter Paul) (1899-1975) Born in Pennsylvania, P. Paul Kellogg worked closely with Aurthur Allen at the Laboratory of Ornithology at Cornell. He was an authority and pioneer in bioacoustics.
Bond (James A.W.) (1900-1989) Believe it or not, the real James Bond was an American ornithologist whose expertise was in birds of the Caribbean and wrote the book “Birds of the West Indies”. Ian Fleming, an avid birder himself, was familiar with the book and appropriated the author’s name for his fictional hero.
Errington (Paul Lester) (1902-1962) Paul Lester Errington was a skilled naturalist who was born in South Dakota. He was trained as a trapper in his youth and learned to read ‘sign’. In his lifetime he published over 200 titles. Species he wrote about included owls, game birds, hawks, waterfowl, marsh birds and various mammals.
Weydemeyer (Winton) (1903-1991) Winton Weydemeyer was a Montana rancher, farmer, tree farmer, backcountry user and wilderness lover. He wrote articles for Auk, Condor andWilson Bulletin (47 in all between 1923 and 1971). He championed but failed in the cause to create a roadless wilderness in Montana’s Whitefish mountains.
Walkinshaw (Lawrence Harvey) (1904-1993) Lawrence Harvey Walkinshaw was American ornithologist and an expert on cranes, about which he published two books: The Sandhill Cranes and Cranes of the World. He was the president of the Wilson Ornithological Society from 1958 to 1960.
He contributed accounts on the Marsh Wren to Bent’s Life Histories.
Walkinshaw was by profession a dentist, having graduated from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry in 1929.
Aldrich (John Warren) (1906-1995) John W. Aldrich worked with Roger Tory Peterson, Harry Oberholser. In the 1930’s he worked at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, advancing to Curator in 1937. In 1941 he began work at the US Fish and Wildlife Department. He remained there until his retirement in 1972. He joined the AOU in 1929 and was elected as president in 1968.
Shelley (Lewis Orman) (1908-1943) I could not find any biographical material on Lewis O. Shelley, but references to his work are numerous. Among his works are articles on juncos, gulls, flycatchers, parasitic flies, waterfowl, shorebirds, woodpeckers, owls, swallows, raptors, alcids, and pheasants. He contributed many articles to the “Auk” (an AOU periodical) and was often referenced in the text of Bent’s Life History books.
Peterson (Roger Tory) (1908-1996) Perhaps the most beloved of all American Ornithologists, Roger Tory Peterson’s drawings in his field guides (beginning with “A Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern and Central North America” in 1934) helped millions to learn about and love birds. He has been described as ‘the inventor of the modern field guide.’
Clarke (Charles Henry Douglas) (1909-1981) Clarke’s interest in natural history led him to become “a bird watcher, and in time a hunter, and then also a collector, and the lines of least resistance made me a wildlife biologist.” As a steward of the natural world he was ahead of his time and argued in favor of protection of caribou and against the preconception that white folk’s interests should prevail over those of indigenous peoples. Said he, “We should always be careful that in our search for new resources we do not destroy what we already have…. If we can keep it [the North] a true wilderness, its spiritual value will remain, but if the wild herds are lost it will not be a wilderness, but a desert.”
Lewis (Harrison Flint) (1913-1987) Harrison F. Lewis was born in Long Island, New York. He was Chief Migratory Bird Officer for Ontario and Quebec from 1920 to 1943 and Chief of the Canadian Wildlife Service from 1947 to 1952. He was a life-long ornithologist, and served on many local and regional naturalist organizations. He was also a prolific researcher and writer.
Tanner (James Taylor) (1914-1991) James Tanner was born Homer, New York. He was a member of the AOU since 1933. Like his associate P. P. Kellogg, he was a student at Cornell under A. A. Allen. His Ph.D. thesis was on the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, which he studied for 21 months.
Storer (Robert Winthrop) (1914-2008) Dr. Storer, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was an American ornithologist whose work on avian systematics and evolution, especially of grebes, is well known.
LeConte (John Lawrence) (1825-1883) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lawrence_LeConte

 

Leave a Comment