Famous American Ornithologists

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 1 
Robert Stroud
(US Convicted Killer Who Became an Ornithologist and an Author in Prison)
Robert Stroud
6
Birthdate: January 8, 1890
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington, USA
Died: November 21, 1963

Better known as the Birdman of Alcatraz, US convicted killer Robert Stroud was also an ornithologist and an author. Starting his career as a pimp in his teens, he killed a man. While in prison for manslaughter, he killed a guard. He spent most of his later life in solitary confinement and studied birds.

 2 
John James Audubon
(US Artist and Ornithologist Known for His Drawings of North American Birds)
John James Audubon
4
Birthdate: April 26, 1785
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Les Cayes
Died: January 27, 1851

American artist and ornithologist John James Audubon is remembered mostly for his illustrations of North American birds. Born as an illegitimate child in France, he later moved to the US and then to Canada, for business, but ended up documenting birds. His best-known work is the pioneering ornithological work The Birds of America.

 3 
James Bond
(US Ornithologist and an Expert on Birds of the Caribbean)
James Bond
3
Birthdate: January 4, 1900
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Philadelphia
Died: February 14, 1989

US ornithologist James Bond is remembered as the author of Birds of the West Indies. British author Ian Fleming, himself a bird enthusiast, borrowed his name to create James Bond, the iconic fictional spy. He was mostly associated with the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia’s Drexel University.

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 4 
Ernst Mayr
(Biologist)
Ernst Mayr
3
Birthdate: July 5, 1904
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kempten
Died: February 3, 2005

Ernst Mayr was a renowned taxonomist, ornithologist, tropical explorer, historian of science, and philosopher of biology. He was also one of the leading evolutionary biologists of the 20th century. His work contributed immensely to the progression of the biological species concept. Ernst Mayr is also credited with originating the modern philosophy of biology, especially the part concerning evolutionary biology.

 5 
William Beebe
(US Explorer and Ornithologist Who Co-Discovered the Bathysphere)
William Beebe
3
Birthdate: July 29, 1877
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York, United States
Died: June 4, 1962

American marine biologist, ornithologist, and entomologist William Beebe is remembered for his exploratory expeditions conducted for the New York Zoological Society. He also co-discovered the Bathysphere, penned many books, was a renowned lecturer, worked with the New York Zoological Gardens, and led tropical research at the New York Zoological Society.

 6 
William Bartram
(The First Naturalist Who Penetrated the Dense Tropical Forests of Florida)
William Bartram
3
Birthdate: April 20, 1739
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: July 22, 1823

William Bartram was an American ornithologist, botanist, explorer, and natural historian. He is best remembered for authoring an acclaimed book, which is now known as Bartram's Travels. The book chronicles Bartram's explorations of the British colonies in North America. William Bartram was also one of America's first ornithologists.

 7 
Roger Tory Peterson
(US Ornithologist and a Leading Figure of the 20th-Century Environmental Movement)
Roger Tory Peterson
2
Birthdate: August 28, 1908
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Jamestown, New York, United States
Died: July 28, 1996

US ornithologist, environmentalist, and wildlife artist Roger Tory Peterson was one of the leading figures of the environmental movement of the 20th century. Known for his iconic books such as Wild America and the Peterson Field Guide Series, he received countless honors and awards, too, such as the US Medal of Freedom.

 8 
Spencer Fullerton Baird
(US Naturalist, Ornithologist, and Zoologist Who Mostly Studied North American Birds and Mammals)
Spencer Fullerton Baird
2
Birthdate: February 3, 1823
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Reading, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: August 19, 1887

American naturalist, ornithologist, and vertebrate zoologist Spencer Fullerton Baird was an expert on North American birds and mammals. Initially a professor of natural history, he was later associated with the Smithsonian Institution as a curator and assistant secretary. He was also instrumental in the establishment of the US Commission of Fish and Fisheries.

 9 
Clinton Hart Merriam
(Father of Mammalogy)
Clinton Hart Merriam
2
Birthdate: December 5, 1855
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: March 19, 1942

Clinton Hart Merriam was an American mammalogist, zoologist, ornithologist, ecologist, entomologist, geographer, ethnographer, physician, and naturalist. Referred to as the father of mammalogy, Merriam owned a private collection of mammal specimens. Clinton Hart Merriam is also credited with co-founding the National Geographic Society and the American Ornithologists' Union.

 10 
Elliott Coues
(American Ornithologist Who Advanced the Study and Classification of 'North American Birds')
Elliott Coues
1
Birthdate: September 9, 1842
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Portsmouth, New Hampshire, United States
Died: December 25, 1899

Renowned ornithologist Elliott Coues, known for his pathbreaking written works such as Key to North American Birds, had established the American Ornithological Union. He had also previously worked as an army surgeon and later taught anatomy. He was also briefly part of the Theosophical Society, though he later lost interest.

 11 
Sidney Dillon Ripley
(American Wildlife Conservationist and Ornithologist)
Sidney Dillon Ripley
1
Birthdate: September 20, 1913
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: March 12, 2001

Sidney Dillon Ripley was an American wildlife conservationist and ornithologist. He is best remembered for his association with the Smithsonian Institution, where he served as secretary between 1964 and 1984. He was part of the institute through its period of greatest expansion and growth. Sidney Ripley’s leadership role at the Smithsonian earned him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1985.

 12 
Florence Augusta Merriam Bailey
(American Birdwatcher, Ornithologist, and Nature Writer)
Florence Augusta Merriam Bailey
1
Birthdate: August 8, 1863
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York, United States
Died: September 22, 1948

Florence Augusta Merriam Bailey was an American birdwatcher, ornithologist, and nature writer. Over the course of her career, Merriam wrote more than 50 articles for journals like The Condor. Among her best known works are Birds Through a Looking-Glass and Birds of New Mexico. Florence Augusta Merriam Bailey was the first woman to be honored with the prestigious Brewster Medal.

 13 
Frank Chapman
(American Ornithologist and Writer of Field Guides)
Frank Chapman
1
Birthdate: June 12, 1864
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Teaneck, New Jersey, United States
Died: November 15, 1945

Frank Chapman was an American ornithologist and writer of field guides. He is best remembered for his immense contribution to magazines and scientific journals like the National Geographic Magazine. Frank Chapman also wrote numerous ornithological books, such as Birds of Eastern North America, Bird Life, and Life in an Air Castle.

 14 
Alexander Wetmore
(American Ornithologist and Paleontologist Known for His Research on Birds of the Western Hemisphere)
Alexander Wetmore
1
Birthdate: June 18, 1886
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: North Freedom, Wisconsin, United States
Died: December 7, 1978

Alexander Wetmore was an American avian paleontologist and ornithologist who served as the Secretary of the popular Smithsonian Institution from 1945 to 1952. He also served as the president of The Explorers Club from 1944 to 1946. Alexander Wetmore is also remembered for his influential 4-volume book, Birds of the Republic of Panama.

 15 
Margaret Morse Nice
(American Ornithologist Who is Remembered for His Extensive Study of Song Sparrow)
Margaret Morse Nice
1
Birthdate: December 6, 1883
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Amherst, Massachusetts, United States
Died: June 26, 1974

Margaret Morse Nice was an American ornithologist, child psychologist, and ethologist. She is best remembered for her extensive study of song sparrow. Nice is credited with writing Studies in the Life History of the Song Sparrow. Over the course of her career, Margaret Morse Nice wrote almost 250 papers on birds. She also wrote several books, including Birds of Oklahoma.

 16 
Jean Theodore Delacour
(French-American Aviculturist and Ornithologist Who Reared and Studied Rare Birds)
Jean Theodore Delacour
1
Birthdate: September 26, 1890
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: November 5, 1985

French-American aviculturist and ornithologist Jean Theodore Delacour is remembered for his study of some of the rarest birds in the world. His first aviary, of over 1,000 live birds, was destroyed in World War I, but he built a second one in Normandy. He also penned works such as The Birds of French Indochina.

 17 
Harriet Mann Miller
(American Children's Author, Ornithologist, and Naturalist)
Harriet Mann Miller
0
Birthdate: June 25, 1831
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Auburn, New York, United States
Died: December 25, 1918

US author and ornithologist Harriet Mann Miller, also known by her pseudonyms such as Olive Thorne and Olive Thorne Miller, began her career as a children’s author, before switching to making nature sketches. She later also penned a series of bird-oriented books and the Kristy series.

 18 
Peter Marler
(British-born American Zoosemiotician and Ethologist)
Peter Marler
1
Birthdate: February 24, 1928
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Slough, England
Died: July 5, 2014

Peter Marler was a British-born American zoosemiotician and ethologist. He is best remembered for his research on the science of bird song and animal sign communication. Peter Marler is also remembered for his association with the University of California, Davis, where he was emeritus professor of physiology, neurobiology, and ethology.

 19 
Fannie Hardy Eckstorm
(US Author, Folklorist, and Ornithologist Known for Her Writings on Maine)
Fannie Hardy Eckstorm
0
Birthdate: June 18, 1865
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brewer, Maine, United States
Died: December 31, 1946

US author and ornithologist Fannie Hardy Eckstorm is remembered for her extensive writings on the folklore and culture of Maine, her native land. She also scripted history as the first female school superintendent in Maine and later penned countless books, such as The Woodpeckers and The Penobscot Man.

 20 
Richard Pough
(US Ornithologist and Conservationist Known for His Pioneering Work on Bird Preservation)
Richard Pough
0
Birthdate: April 19, 1904
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: June 24, 2003

US ornithologist and conservationist Richard Pough is known for his best-selling bird guides, written for the National Audubon Society. Apart from being the founder-president of the Nature Conservancy, he also drove socialite Rosalie Edge to launch the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary for birds. He was also associated with the American Museum of Natural History.

 21 
Frank Knowlton
(American Botanist, Ornithologist and Naturalist Who Discovered Much About the Distribution and Structure of Fossilized Plants)
Frank Knowlton
0
Birthdate: September 2, 1860
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Brandon, Vermont, United States
Died: November 22, 1926

Renowned paleobotanist Frank Hall Knowlton is remembered for his pioneering study of fossilized plants and geologic climates. He not just taught botany but had also been associated with the U.S. Geological Survey. His interests also included birds, and he contributed to a volume named Birds of the World.