Roger Tory Peterson

When you or I think of field guides, we most likely think of Peterson Field Guides. Roger Tory Peterson, the author of the series, became a birder as a child, and after years of watching and studying birds, he set out to create his own practical guide to bird identification that could be used in the field. His book Guide…

Seychelles Parakeet

From the Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean. The last known individuals were shot in 1893. The forests of the Seychelles were cleared in the 19th century for coconut plantations, and the birds were shot by the plantation owners to protect their crops. Common in 1811, rare by 1867, gone by 1906.   The Seychelles Parakeet is at the top…

October update

As of this month I’m working non-stop; the birds are first, and the text will be set starting in November. Here’s what has been going on: Spectacled Cormorant. Choiseul Crested Pigeon, after two color runs. New Zealand Quail The Dodo.  

Wake Island Rail

Wake Island is a tiny Pacific atoll just north of the Marshall Islands, technically a territory of the United States. The Wake Island Rail was a tiny flightless bird who lived there, up until the mid-twentieth century. It fed onĀ molluscs, insects, worms and seeds which it found by digging up leaves and soil with its bill. The ornithologist Alexander Wetmore…

Norfolk Island Kaka

Norfolk Island is a tiny island in the Pacific between Australia, New Zealand, and New Caledonia. The Norfolk Kaka is a large kind of parrot with a big beak who once lived there. Its closest relative is the Kaka of New Zealand. Captain James Cook, on his second voyage through the Pacific in 1774, brought along the naturalist Johann Reinhold…

Spotted Green Pigeon

The Spotted Green Pigeon is one of the rarer of the rare; an extinct species of pigeon that we only know from a handful of historical records and one existing specimen, currently in the World Museum Liverpool. Scientists think it was collected in French Polynesia sometime in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth centuries.            …