Paper pub. date
November 2022
ISBN 9780870714009 (paperback)
ISBN 9780870714016 (ebook)
6 x 9 inches, 296 pages. 52 b&w illustrations. 8-page color insert. Notes. Index.

A History of Oregon Ornithology

From Territorial Days to the Rise of Birding

Alan L. Contreras, Vjera E. Thompson, and Nolan M. Clements

The study of birds was, in its early years, often driven by passionate amateurs in a localized context. A History of Oregon Ornithology takes readers  from the Lewis and Clark expedition, through the professionalization of the field, and to the mid-twentieth century, focusing on how birding and related amateur field observation grew outside the realms of academia and conservation agencies.

Editors Alan Contreras, Vjera Thompson, and Nolan Clements have assembled chapters exploring the differences and interplay between the amateur and professional study of birds, along with discussions of early birding societies, notable observers, and ornithological studies. The book includes chapters on such significant ornithologists as Charles Bendire, William L. Finley, Ira Gabrielson, Stanley Jewett, and David B. Marshall. It also notes the sometimes-overlooked contributions of women to our expanding knowledge of western birds. Special attention is paid to the development of seabird observation, the impact of the Internet, and the rise of digital resources for bird observers.

Intended for readers interested in the history of Oregon, scientific explorations in the West, and the origins of modern birding and field ornithology, A History of Oregon Ornithology offers a detailed and entertaining account of the study of birds in the Pacific Northwest.

About the author

ALAN L. CONTRERAS, now retired from a career in higher education, is a writer, editor, and birder. His numerous books include Birds of Oregon: A General Reference and Afield: Forty Years of Birding the American West.

Read more about this author

Vjera E. Thompson was an early volunteer with the BirdNotes database. She is a reviewer for the eBird database and local data organizer for the Christmas Bird Count.

Read more about this author

Nolan M. Clements is a young ornithologist who received his BS in fisheries, wildlife, and conservation science from Oregon State University, where he was a recipient of the Robinson Ornithology Fellowship.

Read more about this author

Sign Up for Our Newsletter