Publications

Alexander Wilson

05/05/2019
The Scot who founded AMERICAN Ornithology
Edward H. Burtt, Jr. William E. Davis, Jr.
Published by The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts
A very readable book with many references.
Alexander Wilson left a legacy to the American people. He is considered the father of American Ornithology.
His attributes are that...
He collected and described birds from most States and territories in the United States.
Classified species according to the Linnaean system and placed new species within the system.
He illustrated all the species he described.
Introduced a truly scientific approach to ornithology.
He nearly completed his mammoth task in his 9 volumes American Ornithology before he died. Number nine was completed by his friend, George Ord
Does he compare with his contemporary, John James Audubon? They are both driven men with the focus on showing and describing birds of America so that the general reader who is interested in birding and encouraging those that are not to look into birds as an introduction to the vast new continent that was America then.
Does he compare? I put this question, as when American ornithology is brought up, who first comes to mind? John James Audubon. The answer in my mind is yes he does, but exceeds.