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Ornithology @ BHL



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Guess Whose 228th Birthday is Today?

  Posted by Chris Merkord , 26 April 2013 · 654 views

John Woodhouse Audubon, John James Audubon (1785-1851). Oil on linen.  It's time to take a break from work and celebrate John James Audubon’s Birthday with the BHL! This was the man who is best remembered for his masterpiece Birds of America which is arguably the most prized Natural History work in existence. Just last year,...


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Our Little Town

  Posted by Chris Merkord , 07 February 2013 · 1,726 views

By Rick Wright, BHL Guest Blogger



Alexander WilsonIt’s almost a year now since we moved to Bloomfield, and I’m still not over my disappointment at our new New Jersey home’s failure to honor its most distinguished citizen. Not a statue, not a plaque to be found anywhere; and that short boulevard leading to the cemetery turns out, alas, to be...


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Things That Go Burp In the Night

  Posted by Chris Merkord , 03 January 2013 · 847 views

A Tribute to the Nighthawk and "Whip-poor-will" by Rick Wright

Imagine away the accumulated knowledge of the past 250 years. Forget that there is such a thing as a field guide. Let google vanish from memory.



And put yourself into the forest primeval of southeastern North America on a warm summer night in the middle of the eighteenth ce...


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Honoring the Man Who Revolutionized Bird Identification

  Posted by Chris Merkord , 16 December 2012 · 351 views

A Celebration of Chester A. Reed on the 100th Anniversary of his Death by Michel Chevalier

Michel ChevalierIn the early 1930s, the name of Chester A. Reed was known to all amateur and professional ornithologists in the United States and Canada. Today, there are few who remember him. And yet, he was the first to develop the concept of the "Field Gui...


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Bird Watching & Conservation with Michael Mills

  Posted by Chris Merkord , 20 November 2012 · 375 views

Michael MillsFor many of us, leading bird watching expeditions throughout Africa would be a dream job. For Michael Mills, Angola Country Program Manager for the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, The A. P. Leventis Ornithological Research Institute, and BirdLife South Africa, it's all part of the job. It probably comes as no surpr...


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Digitizing Catesby's Magnum Opus

  Posted by Chris Merkord , 08 November 2012 · 2,955 views

The Catesby Tercentennial Celebration The blogosphere is abuzz with tributes and commendations for famed artist Mark Catesby. Why? We are in the midst of celebrating the three hundred year anniversary of Mr. Catesby's journey to America.  Like so many well-known naturalists, Catesby was an intrepid young man with an insatiable curiosity for Natu...


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Biologia Centrali-Americana & Hispanic Heritage Month

  Posted by Chris Merkord , 20 September 2012 · 294 views

Book of the Week: Biologia Centrali Americana

Biologia author Frederick GodmanIn 1876, two men by the names of Frederick Godman and Osbert Salvin began work on perhaps the most comprehensive account of the flora and fauna of Mexico and Central America ever undertaken. Entitled Biologia Centrali Americana, this 63 volume work, published over the cour...


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BHL and Our Users: Margaret Koopman

  Posted by Chris Merkord , 24 July 2012 · 270 views

This past June, BHL-Staff visited Cape Town, South Africa for a series of meetings aimed at developing a BHL for sub-Saharan Africa. The meeting brought together 20 African participants from six countries with a variety of backgrounds including Librarians, Researchers, and Information Technologists. One such individual was Margaret Koopman, a librarian at...


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Book of the Week: A monograph of the Trochilidæ

  Posted by Chris Merkord , 28 June 2012 · 450 views

“A feast of beauty and a source of wonder” was the phrase used by Sacheverell Sitwell, Handasyde Buchanan, and James Fisher to describe the images in ornithologist and artist John Gould’s A monograph of the Trochilidæ, or family of humming-birds.* It seems there are few who would disagree with this statement, as a five volume set plus supplement sold at C...


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Book of the Week: Mother Carey's Chickens

  Posted by Chris Merkord , 26 July 2011 · 171,736 views


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There are some things you just don't expect to find in BHL, and a witch on a broomstick is one of them. So when one of our...