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Notes from William Brewster: Signs of Spring


Here in the Greater Boston area we’ve had a week or so of beautiful spring weather. Robins are out foraging over soft ground, Red-winged Blackbirds flash their wings in wetland areas, and Song Sparrows are singing again. While we’re still likely to have more cold snaps and snow, we’re definitely feeling the season shift.

For ornithologist William Brewster, a productive day’s work often looked like a long ramble outside with a notebook and a gun, or later on, a notebook and a pair of binoculars. His daily journal entries often run many pages long as he notes the places he visited and every natural detail that stood out to him.

On March 25, 1891, Brewster spent the day riding and walking from Lexington to Belmont with a friend, and noted many of the signs of spring that we’re seeing this week.

Song Sparrow, photographed in Sagamore, Mass. Photos courtesy of Evan Lipton. © Evan Lipton 2013.

Song Sparrow, photographed in Sagamore, Mass.

Red-winged Blackbird, photographed in Milton, Mass. Photos courtesy of Evan Lipton. © Evan Lipton 2015.

Red-winged Blackbird, singing and displaying, photographed in Milton, Mass. Photos courtesy of Evan Lipton. © Evan Lipton 2013 and 2015.

(This journal entry has been abridged and broken into shorter paragraphs for readability.)

March 25, 1891

Started at 8.20 this morning with F. Bolles and drove to the Bryant farm in Lexington. The past six days have been cloudy and dismal with snow, sleet, and rain falling much of the time, but this morning the sun rose clear and there was a light breeze from the N. W. which by 9 a.m. had increased to a typical March wind, roaring through the leafless woods, ruffling the most sheltered forest roads and beating the tall, withered meadow grass savagely to and fro.

The greater part of the day, however, was just warm enough to be delightful, especially in openings in the woods and on sheltered hillsides. The air was bracing but at no time raw and there was a smell of earth mould and wet leaves. In short Spring was in the air.

The roads were dry and hard in most places and the grass tinged with green on sunny exposures while about spring holes it was vivid green. There is little snow or ice left except under evergreens in the woods and on the north side of high banks. The ground is still very wet and sodden and there is hard frost under the leaves everywhere in the woods.

We heard a Bluebird or two before reaching Waverly and two Song Sparrows, one opposite the Adams place being an exceptionally fine singer. As the horse was walking slowly up the steep pitch past the lower mill pond there was a sudden whirring of wings behind us on the right and a bevy of twelve Quail hurtled over our heads like a shower of cannon balls. They crossed the ravine just below the house and disappeared over the knolls beyond flying very fast and nearly 100 feet above the earth when above the bed of Beaver Brook. What disturbed them I do not know; certainly not our carriage for they rose among the pines at least 100 yds. from the road.

The willows were wonderfully beautiful as we entered their eastern end, the sunlight bringing out their old gold tints and lying lovingly on the long, straight reach of road that led away across the great, half flooded meadow. There were hosts of Song Sparrows here. Indeed we must have heard nearly a dozen and others were continually flitting across the road or rustling through the dry grass on its borders. Two Rusty Blackbirds rose from the flooded meadow and alighted in the top of a maple uttering their tinkling medley.

In the woods at the western end six or eight Crows were sitting in pairs in the tops of the tall oaks. A Red-wing, the only one seen during the day, was singing in the top of a hickory under which we drove without disturbing him. We drove past the Bryant farm to the Theodore Parker place and then returned. Just before searching the Bryant farm we started a musk rat from the road where, on the edge of a pond of rain water, he was sitting in the sun. He floundered and skipped over and through the shallow water in haste and finally disappeared in a half submerged stone wall.

Our drive home was a fitting close to the long, restful, delightful day. As we entered the Willows the sun was setting and its level beams threw a strong light on the tops of the trees, the road itself being in shadow.

A great flock of Crows (Bolles counted forty five) straggled off in a long, swarming line northward apparently starting on a migrating flight but perhaps on the way to a roost.

A musk rat kept abreast of us for a little way clearing deep furrow in the smooth surface of the ditch on the right of the road and finally humping his back and diving so smoothly as to leave scarcely a ring on the spot where he disappeared. Near the Payson place more Crows, a small flock, starting on a flight but heading first west and then nearly south-west.

The wind blew cold and strong and the light was fading fast when we reached home at about six o’clock.

You can read the full journal entry here on the Biodiversity Heritage Library website.

If you’re not familiar with the New England spring singers noted in Brewster’s journal entry, check out the videos below.

-Elizabeth Meyer

Notes from William Brewster: Winter Irruption


For a few days in January of 1893, Cambridge was abuzz with an unfamiliar sight: a sudden ‘irruption’ of red and gold birds that drew lots of attention.

William Brewster recognized them as Pine Grosbeaks. They’re beautiful birds: the males a have a soft red head and breast that fades to light gray underneath, and dark wings with two white stripes or ‘wing bars’. In females and juveniles, the red head is replaced with a gold color. Large finches, they have stubby, thick, seed-cracking in beaks, similar in shape to a Northern Cardinal’s. In the winter, large foraging flocks of Pine Grosbeaks often strip entire trees of their fruits, crushing through pulp and seeds and moving on when the food source has been exhausted.



Male (above) and female Pine Grosbeaks, photographed in Newburyport, Mass. Photos courtesy of Evan Lipton. © Evan Lipton 2013.

(These journal entries have been abridged and broken into shorter paragraphs for readability.)

Cambridge, January 10, 1893.

There were a good many Pine Grosbeaks scattered along the line of ashtrees on the ridge to my left and as I approached Mt. Auburn Street their numbers increased until upon reaching Mr. Hayes’s place I found the trees literally alive with them.

Soon after I stopped to look at them they began flying from every direction into a large white ash which stands near the foot of the avenue. This tree was loaded with fruit and with snow clinging to the fruit clusters and to every twig. In a few minutes it supported also more than a hundred Grosbeaks which distributed themselves quite evenly over every part from drooping lower to the upright upper branches and began shelling out and swallowing the seeds. The rejected wings floated down in showers and soon began to give the surface of the snow beneath a light brownish tinge. The snow clinging to the twigs and branches was also quickly dislodged by the movements, of the active, heavy birds and for the first few minutes it was continually flashing out in puffs like steam from a dozen different points at once. The finer particles, sifting slowly down, filled the still air and enveloped the entire tree in a gauzy veil or mist tinted, where the sun-beams pierced it, with rose, salmon and orange, elsewhere of a soft, dead white and of incredible delicacy and beauty, truly a fitting drapery for this winter picture- the hardy Grosbeaks at their morning meal.

They worked in silence when undisturbed and so very busily that at the end of an hour they had actually eaten or shaken off nearly half the entire crop of seeds. Some men employed in a marble cutter’s shop near the tree were neglecting their tasks to watch and discuss them. One of these men told me that a few Grosbeaks were seen in the tree late yesterday afternoon.

Cambridge, January 11, 1893

This was the great Grosbeak day; the city was simply flooded with them. Whenever or wherever I stepped out of doors I saw flocks of varying sizes flying overhead and the sound of their piping was always in my ears. Just after breakfast I took a walk up Brattle Street and found an immense flock feeding in an ash heavily laden with fruit in Mr. Piper’s place on the corner of Fayerweather Street. I counted 149 birds in this tree and there were fully half as many more in another ash in front of Mr. Richardson’s house on the opposite side of Brattle Street to Miller’s hearing Grosbeaks continually & seeing several flocks of from 30 to 50 birds each. They were in Hubbard Park the whole day and I saw a few on my own place but more visited the old cedar tree.

I had sent word to Faxon of this condition of things and at half-past three he arrived and we went together to the Piper place where we found the birds even more numerous than had been in the morning. They had stripped both ash trees and were operating on the fallen fruit.

Over the space covered by the spread of the branches of the Piper ash they were crowded together so closely as almost to conceal the snow[.] We divided into halves and made a rough count Faxon getting 108 and I 115 birds. We missed some and there were others in the trees and on the roofs of the neighboring houses. 250 would be a low estimate for the total number assembled here at this time.

They attracted much attention from the passers by and people in sleighs & on foot were continually stopping to look at them. One man asked if they were “harbingers of spring”, a question which gave us some grim amusement insomuch as we were suffering from the bitter cold and unable to stand still for more than a minute or two at a time.

As we were returning, about sunset, Grosbeaks were continually passing overhead coming from the direction of the Botanic Gardens and flying towards the West. I afterwards learned from Mr. Fernald that over 300 Grosbeaks spent the entire day in the Gardens and from Mr. Hoffman that there were about 70 in the College yard during the afternoon. These figures indicate that there total number in the city to-day must have exceeded 1000[.]

I visited the Hayes place this morning and again with Faxon in the afternoon but saw only a few stray Grosbeaks there. The men at work in the marble yard told me that the birds finished the fruit of the big ash before sunset yesterday. They spent most of the afternoon eating the fallen buds.

Cambridge, January 12 1893

Although Grosbeaks have continued very numerous through the day in the vicinity of my place their numbers have decreased very considerably as compared with yesterday – quite one half I should say. They have evidently exhausted the food supply hereabouts and are departing in search of fresh fields.

Brewster’s notes were the basis for an article published by the American Ornitholigsts’ Union in the ornithological journal ‘The Auk’. You can read Brewster’s article, ‘A Remarkable Flight of Pine Grosbeaks (Pinicola enucleator)’ at the Biodiversity Heritage Library website.

-Elizabeth Meyer

New book list, March 3, 2016


An account of the decline of the Great Auk, according to one who saw it.
By Jessie Greengrass. London: JM Originals, 2015. HOLLIS# 014576531
PR6107.R44433 A6 2015

The alewives’ tale: the life history and ecology of river herring in the Northeast.
By Barbara Brennessel. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, [2014]. HOLLIS# 014597364
QL638.C64 B74 2014

The amphibians and reptiles of Oman and the UAE.
By Andrew S. Gardner. Frankfurt am Main: Edition Chimaira, 2013. HOLLIS# 014579980
QL661.O5 G37 2013

Animal electricity: how we learned that the body and brain are electric machines.
By Robert B. Campenot. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2016. HOLLIS# 014381606
QP341.C36 2016

Animal movement across scales.
Edited by Lars-Anders Hansson and Susanne Åkesson. First edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. HOLLIS# 014564276
QL754.A555 2014

Application of genetic engineering to research on tropical disease pathogens with special reference to plasmodia: a laboratory manual of selected techniques.
Editors, S. Panyim, P. Wilairat, Y. Yuthavong. Geneva: Director of Special Programme, TDR, World Health Organization, [1985]. HOLLIS# 014598311
QR201.T57 A4 1985

Arboviral encephalitides in Ontario with special reference to St. Louis encephalitis.
Edited by M.S. Mahdy, L. Spence, J.M. Joshua. [Toronto]: [Ontario Ministry of Health], 1979. HOLLIS# 014598355
RC141.E6 A72 1979

Atlas of early zebrafish brain development: a tool for molecular neurogenetics. [E-book]
By Thomas Mueller, Mario F. Wullimann. Second edition. London: Academic Press, [2016]. HOLLIS# 014602932

The bee: a natural history.
By Dr. Noah Wilson-Rich, with Kelly Allin, Norman Carreck & Dr. Andrea Quigley. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2014. HOLLIS# 014579151
QL568.A6 W557 2014

A biodiversity assessment of Yongsu–Cyclops Mountains and the southern Mamberamo Basin, Papua, Indonesia.
Editors, Stephen J. Richards and Suer Suryadi. Washington, DC: Conservation International, Center for Applied Biodiversity Science, Dept. of Conservation Biology, ©2002. HOLLIS# 014613598
QH186.5.B57 2002x

Biodiversity of the Southern Ocean. [E-book]
By Bruno David, Thomas Saucède. London: ISTE Press; Oxford: Elsevier, 2015.HOLLIS# 014602933

Bioinformatics and functional genomics. [E-book]
By Jonathan Pevsner. Third edition. Chichester, West Sussex, UK; Hoboken, NJ, USA: Wiley Blackwell, 2015. HOLLIS# 014598347

Biology and culture of percid fishes: principles and practices [E-book]
By Patrick Kestemont, Konrad Dabrowski, Robert C. Summerfelt. Dordrecht: Springer, 2015. HOLLIS# 014602328

Biology and ecology of sardines and anchovies.
Editor, Konstantinos Ganias, School of Biology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Boca Raton: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, [2014]. HOLLIS# 014564272
QL638.C64 B455 2014

Bird families of the world: an invitation to the spectacular diversity of birds.
By David W. Winkler, Shawn M. Billerman, Irby J. Lovette. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions, [2015]. HOLLIS# 014561578
QL672.5.W56 2015x

The birds of the Iberian Peninsula.
By Eduardo de Juana and Ernest Garcia. London: Christopher Helm, 2015. HOLLIS# 014579152
QL690.S7 J83 2015

Bonobo cognition and behavior. [E-book]
Edited by Brian Hare and Shinya Yamamoto. Leiden: Brill, 2015. HOLLIS# 014602943

Catalogus fossilium Austriae: ein systematisches Verzeichnis aller auf österreichischem Gebiet festgestellten Fossilien. Band 4, Rodentia neogenica.
Schriftleitung, Werner E. Piller. Wien: Verlag der Österreichen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2001- . HOLLIS# 013883856
QE755.A8C3 2001 Bd. 4

Chemical signals in vertebrates 13.
Bruce A. Schulte, Thomas E. Goodwin, Michael H. Ferkin, editors. Cham, Switzerland; New York: Springer, [2016]. HOLLIS# 014609676
QL776.I48 2014

The choanoflagellates: evolution, biology, and ecology.
By Barry S.C. Leadbeater, University of Birmingham, UK. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2015. HOLLIS# 014610262
QL368.C5 L43 2015

Coevolution of life on hosts: integrating ecology and history. [E-book]
By Dale H. Clayton, Sarah E. Bush, and Kevin P. Johnson. Chicago; London: The University of Chicago Press, 2016. HOLLIS# 014602934

Contemporary ecology research in China. [E-book]
Wenhua Li, editor-in-chief. Berlin: Springer, [2015]. HOLLIS# 014602334

Cooperative breeding in vertebrates: studies of ecology, evolution, and behavior. [E-book]
Edited by Walter D. Koenig, Janis L. Dickinson, Lab of Ornithology, Cornell University; with illustrations by Stef den Ridder. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, [2016]. HOLLIS# 014602935

Cuba: Camagüey, Sierra de Cubitas.
Luis M. Díaz, William S. Alverson, Adelaida Barreto Valdés y and Tatzyana Wachter, editors. Chicago, Illinois: Field Museum, Environmental and Conservation Programs, 2006. HOLLIS# 014602320
QH109.C9 C82 2006

Cuba: Pico Mogote.
David Maceira F., Ansel Fong G., y/and William S. Alverson, Editors. Chicago, Ill.: Field Museum, Environmental and Conservation Programs, ©2006. HOLLIS# 014613665
QH109.C9 C83 2006x

Dengue hemorrhagic fever, 1981: proceedings of the First ICMR Seminar, November 21-22, 1980, Kobe, Japan.
Kobe, Japan: International Center for Medical Research, Kobe University School of Medicine, [1981?]. HOLLIS# 014598303
RC137.I36 1980

The early Cambrian tommotiid genus Dailyatia from South Australia.
By Christian B. Skovsted, Marissa J. Betts, Timothy P. Topper & Glenn A. Brock. Canberra: Association of Australasian Palaeontologists, 2015. HOLLIS# 014610242
QE726.S56 2015x

Edited by Andreas Schmidt-Rhaesa. Berlin; Boston: De Gruyter, [2015]- . HOLLIS# 014595942
QL384.E2 S38 2015

Ecological parasitology: reflections on 50 years of research in aquatic ecosystems. [E-book]
By Gerald W. Esch. Chichester, West Sussex UK; Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2016. HOLLIS# 014602936

The eponym dictionary of birds.
By Bo Beolens, Michael Watkins and Michael Grayson. London; New York: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2014. HOLLIS# 014579156
REF QL672.2.B46 2014

Die Eulenfalter der Schweiz: Lepidoptera, Noctuidae, Pantheidae, Nolidae.
[By] Hans-Peter Wymann, Ladislaus Rezbanyai-Reser, Max Hächler; unter Mitarbeit von Anne Luginbühl. Neuchâtel: Info fauna–Centre suisse de cartographie de la faune: Schweizerische Entomologische Gesellschaft, 2015. HOLLIS# 014610230
QL561.N7 W96 2015

Evolution by natural selection: confidence, evidence and the gap. [E-book]
By Michaelis Michael. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, [2016]. HOLLIS# 014602937

Evolution: making sense of life. [On reserve]
By Carl Zimmer, Douglas J. Emlen. Second edition.Greenwood Village, Colorado: Roberts and Company Publishers, 2015. HOLLIS# 014569539
QH366.2.Z526 2015

Fishes: an introduction to ichthyology. [On reserve]
By Peter B. Moyle, Joseph J. Cech, Jr. Fifth edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, [2004]. HOLLIS# 014577330
QL615.M64 2004

Forensic entomology: international dimensions and frontiers.
By Jeffery Keith Tomberlin (Department of Entomology, Texas A & M University), M. Eric Benbow (Department of Entomology and Department of Osteopathic Medical Specialties, Michigan State University). Boca Raton: CRC Press, [2015]. HOLLIS# 014564273
RA1063.45.F665 2015

Guidelines for arbovirus surveillance programs in the United States.
By C.G. Moore [and others]. Fort Collins, Co.: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases,1993. HOLLIS# 014598360
QR201.A72 M66 1993x

Handbook of larval amphibians of the United States and Canada.
By Ronald Altig, Roy W. McDiarmid; foreword by Aaron M. Bauer. Ithaca; London: Comstock Publishing Associates, a division of Cornell University Press, 2015. HOLLIS# 014564274
QL641.A45 2015

Indicators and surrogates of biodiversity and environmental change. [E-book]
Editors, David Lindenmayer, Philip Barton and Jennifer Pierson. Clayton, Vic.: CSIRO Publishing, 2015. HOLLIS# 014602938

Lyme borreliosis 1990: proceedings of the IV International Conference on Lyme Borreliosis, held in Stockholm, Sweden, June 18-21, 1990.
Guest editors, Birgit Sköldenberg, Göran Stiernstedt. Stockholm, Sweden: Almqvist & Wiksell International, [1991]. HOLLIS# 014598334
RA644.L94 I56 1990x

Malaria and development in Africa: a cross-sectoral approach.
American Association for the Advancement of Science, Sub-Saharan Africa Program. Washington, D.C.: The Association, [1991]. HOLLIS# 014598342
RA644.M2M215 1991

Malaria: meeting the global challenge.
[Alexanderina V. Shuler]. [Washington, D.C.]: Agency for International Development, U.S.A.; Boston: Oelgeschlager, Gunn & Hain,[1985 or 1986]. HOLLIS# 014598320
RA644.M2 S48 1985

Marine ecosystems: diversity and functions. [E-book]
Edited by André Monaco, Patrick Prouzet. London: ISTE, 2015. HOLLIS# 014602939

Metamorphosis: astonishing insect transformations.
Written and photographed by Rupert Soskin; foreword by Dr. George McGavin. London; New York: Bloomsbury Natural History, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2015. HOLLIS# 014610267
QL494.5.S67 2015

Microbial life of cave systems. [E-book]
Edited by Annette Summers Engel. Berlin; Boston: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co., KG, [2015]. HOLLIS# 014602940

Monarchs in a changing world: biology and conservation of an iconic butterfly.
Edited by Karen S. Oberhauser, Kelly R. Nail, Sonia Altizer. Ithaca; London: Comstock Publishing Associates, a division of Cornell University Press, 2015. HOLLIS# 014597366
QL561.D3 M6635 2015

Naturally curious: a photographic field guide and month-by-month journey through the fields, woods, and marshes of New England.
By Mary Holland. North Pomfret, Vt.: Trafalgar Square Books, c2010. HOLLIS# 012712988
QH104.5.N4 H65 2010

Omsk hemorrhagic fever: ecology of the agent and epizootiology.
N.N. Kharitonova and Yu. A. Leonov. New Delhi: Published for the National Library of Medicine by Amerind, 1985. HOLLIS# 014598328
RC147.H44 K45 1985

Parrots of the wild: a natural history of the world’s most captivating birds.
By Catherine A. Toft and Timothy F. Wright; foreword by James D. Gilardi. First edition. Oakland, California: University of California Press; [Lake Alfred, FL]: In collaboration with the World Parrot Trust, [2015]. HOLLIS# 014597367
QL696.P7 T64 2015

Patterns in nature: the analysis of species co-occurrences. [E-book]
By James G. Sanderson, Stuart L. Pimm. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2015. HOLLIS# 014602941

Problematic wildlife: a cross-disciplinary approach. [E-book]
Francesco M. Angelici, editor. Cham: Springer, c2016. HOLLIS# 014602942

Quantitative viral ecology: dynamics of viruses and their microbial hosts.
By Joshua S. Weitz. Princeton; Oxford: Princeton University Press, [2015]. HOLLIS# 014609692
QR478.A1 W45 2015

A rapid biological assessment of the Konashen community owned conservation area, southern Guyana.
By Leeanne E. Alonso [and others]. Arlington, Virginia: Conservation International, Center for Applied Biodiversity Science, 2008. HOLLIS# 014613651
QH125.4.R37 2008

Rapid biological assessments of the Nakanai Mountains and the upper Strickland Basin: surveying the biodiversity of Papua New Guinea’s sublime karst environments.
Editors, Stephen J. Richards and Banak G. Gamui. Arlington, VA: Conservation International, ©2011. HOLLIS# 014613637
QH186.5.R375 2011

Research on arthropod-borne viruses with special reference to dengue and related tropical viruses.
By Susumo Hotta. Kobe: Yukosha Printing House, 1978. HOLLIS# 002496064
RA644.D4 H68 1978x

The Robertson and Woolfenden Florida bird species: an annotated list.
By Jon S. Greenlaw, Bill Pranty, Reed Bowman; Jerome A. Jackson, editor. Second edition. Gainesville, Florida: Florida Ornithological Society, 2014. HOLLIS# 014601641
QL684.F6 R63 2014

The seasonal incidence of ixodid ticks of cattle in northern Nigeria and in the Netherlands, with particular reference to their role in the transmission of bovine piroplasms.
By Adamu Nayaya Mohammed. 1974. HOLLIS# 014600074
SF967.B17 M64 1974x

60 Cypriot spiders: an introduction to the spiders of Cyprus and their relatives.
By Duncan McCowan. Limassol, Cyrus: Mikrokyklos Books, [2014]. HOLLIS# 014494058
QL453.4.C9 M33 2014x

Snakes & snakebite in southern Africa.
By Johan Marais. Snakes and snakebite in southern Africa Second edition. Capetown: Struik, 2014. HOLLIS# 014579155
QL666.O6 M2556 2014

The toxicology and biochemistry of insecticides.
By Simon J. Yu. Second edition. Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis, [2015]. HOLLIS# 014564275
SB951.5.Y8 2015

Venomous reptiles and their toxins: evolution, pathophysiology, and biodiscovery.
By Bryan G. Fry. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, [2015]. HOLLIS# 014597368
QP632.V46 V45 2015

Visual ecology.
By Thomas W. Cronin, Sönke Johnsen, N. Justin Marshall, and Eric J. Warrant. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014. HOLLIS# 014564277
QP475.C76 2014

Where have all the animals gone? : my travels with Karl Ammann.
By Dale Peterson; with an afterword by Karl Ammann. Peterborough, New Hampshire: Bauhan Publishing, 2015. HOLLIS# 014610266
QL84.6.A1 P48 2015

Notes from William Brewster: A Day on a Boston Harbor Garbage Scow


On a bitter January morning in 1893, amateur ornithologist William Brewster took an excursion out past the Boston Harbor Islands, intending to take notes on marine birds and to collect a few if any caught his interest.

What better way to find Gulls and other seabirds than to hop onto a maritime garbage truck? The day’s bird notes are detailed and definitely an intriguing read for birders, but it’s his description of the city’s garbage disposal that make this entry particularly memorable.

(The passage is abridged and broken into shorter paragraphs for readability.)

January 19, 1893. Boston Harbor.

Met E. A. [Edward A. Bangs] & Outram Bangs by appointment at Fort Hill Wharf, Boston, at 10.30 A.M. Half an hour later we started down the Harbor (Dr. Sidney Holditch accompanying us) in a large scow loaded with city garbage consisting chief of decayed fruit, vegetables[,] scraps of meat etc. from the market and such from private houses, besides a great quantity of coal ashes and a miscellaneous assortment of waste paper, paper boxes battered tin cans etc. -in all some four hundred cart loads gathered during the preceeding twenty-four hours by the city scavengers.

This scow alternates with another of similar build in making daily trips, in tow of a tug, to the dumping grounds well outside the outer islands.

Despite the ice which, in cakes of varying size and thickness, covered the water for the first half of the way, we made such good progress that by 1 P.M. we reached the Graves and got rid of our redolent cargo.

This was accomplished quickly & easily by two men for the scow is so constructed that by the aid of a simple piece of mechanism the hull can be split in two longitudinally allowing a broad stream of water to flow directly through the hold from stem to stern and sweep everything out. The halves are hinged together of course & are prevented from sinking by capacious air chambers.

The tug steams steadily ahead during the operation so that the contents of the scow are not deposited in one spot but trail out behind forming a broad belt on the water for a distance of several hundred yards the ashes sinking quickly of course but much of the vegetable matter and all the paper floating, at least for a short time.

The great quantity of garbage thus spread out over the water usually attracts immense numbers of Gulls. Indeed we had been assured by several passengers who had made the trip that most of the birds in the harbor followed the scow to the dumping ground where others joined them from the open ocean until the assembled birds numbered thousands. The scow men confirmed this and added that the birds, having never been molested, ordinarily behave in the most fearless manner flapping past within a yard or two of the boat and were attempting to snatch choice morsels from her deck load.

It was to see all this and perhaps shoot a few specimens if anything rare was found among the birds that we undertook this expedition but we were utterly disappointed for the Gulls showed scarce any interest in the movements of the scow to-day.”  

Disappointingly, he did not see many birds he’d been hoping to encounter: no Guillemots, Auks, Puffins, Loons or Grebes, which he’d seen on a similar Boston Harbor trip in 1879.

He did note a large mixed flock of Herring Gulls and Black-backed Gulls (Great or Lesser), as well as a Kittiwake, large groups of Goldeneye Ducks and Red-breasted Mergansers, a ‘Gooseander’ (Common Merganser), a Black Duck, a ‘Velvet Scoter’ (today, the common name of a Eurasian species; it may have been one of our three New England species, a White-winged, Black, or Surf Scoter), and at least 25 seals, which he thought might be Harbor Seals

You can peruse his full journal entry here on the Biodiversity Heritage Library website.

-Elizabeth Meyer

Notes from William Brewster: American Robin


“It is sunset and as I sit in my study in the Museum a Robin is singing in an elm in the garden. What a hopeful, earnest strain! It always cheers and encourages me. Our Robin must have a brave heart and a pure conscience.”

– William Brewster, in correspondence to his friend, ornithologist Frank Michler Chapman. March 26, 1893. Cambridge, Mass.

William Brewster (1851-1919) grew up in a Cambridge of farm fields filled with singing Eastern Blue Birds and large flocks of Snow Buntings where we now have introduced House Sparrows. As a teen, he collected birds and practiced taxidermy, and carefully noted the dates when his family ate the year’s first lettuce and strawberries. If you’ve browsed the galleries at Harvard’s Museum of Natural History, then you’ve passed by some of his life’s work; after working as an animal specimen curator at the museum for many years, he bequeathed his collection of birds and other animals to the museum.

Brewster’s fascination for birds and his observant note-taking laid the groundwork for his career as a prominent North American amateur ornithologist. He was the first president of the Massachusetts Audubon Society and a president of the American Ornithologists’ Union.

An ongoing project at the the Ernst Mayr Library has been the digitization and transcription of Brewster’s diaries, field journals, and correspondences. Some of these journals and diaries are available to read on the Biodiversity Heritage Library, and we are working toward making all his notes accessible for study.

I joined the library a year ago as an assistant for this project, and I’ve spent this time immersed in Brewster’s world. As a Boston-area native, I’ve found some of it surprisingly familiar. Brewster watched the landscape and ecology change dramatically over the course of his life, yet some of his favorite local haunts still draw bird-watchers and dog-walkers today: Fresh Pond and Mt. Auburn in Cambridge, Walden Pond in Concord, and Ponkapoag Pond in the Blue Hills, to name just a few. His notes are an enormously valuable resource for scientists interested in studying ecological and climatological change, but they’re also sprinkled with amusing observations, beautiful scenes, intriguing facts and bizarre stories that I’d like to share with you in a series of short blog posts.

Roger Tory Peterson’s original field guide called the American Robin “the one bird that everyone knows.” The Robin that Brewster heard on that March evening seems a perfect place to begin this series. Not only does the passage express a beautiful sentiment, but the familiarity of Robins and their sounds can make it feel quite comfortable for us to sit at an unfamiliar desk in Brewster’s museum office, watching the sun set in 1893. His comment on the “brave heart and a pure conscience” of the bird certainly isn’t objective science, but it connects us to a moment that I think we’ve all experienced before: an animal encounter that punctures our daily routine to remind us, briefly, of how wide the world is.  

Play the video below to hear a Robin’s “hopeful, earnest strain” similar to the one that uplifted Brewster’s spirits in March of 1893. Those of us who are feeling winter-weary sure could do with the brave winter Robin’s encouragement.

American Robins are so ubiquitous that you might never have thought to learn about them. Check out the Peterson Field Guide video below to see how much you know. 

See you again soon!

– Elizabeth Meyer

New book list, January 27, 2016


Annotated bibliography of Egyptian vertebrate fossils up to the end of 1980.
By Baher El Khashab, Elwyn L. Simons, John G. Fleagle. Cairo: Geological Survey of Egypt, 1983. HOLLIS# 014561520
Z6033.P2 E38 1983

Auge in Auge mit der Natur: Senckenberg Naturmuseum Frankfurt.
Herausgeber: Volker Mosbrugger, Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung. Frankfurt am Main: Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung, [2015]. HOLLIS# 014580725
QL71.G42 F72 2015x

The biology and identification of the Coccidia (Apicomplexa) of marsupials of the world.
By Donald W. Duszynski, Professor Emeritus of Biology, The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA. London; San Diego, CA: Academic Press/Elsevier, [2015]. HOLLIS# 014561533
QL368.C59 D867 2015x

Bird relics: grief and vitalism in Thoreau.
By Branka Arsić. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2016. HOLLIS# 014381640
B931.T44 A77 2016

Carabidae of Vermont and New Hampshire.
By Ross T. Bell. First Edition. Manchester Center, VT: Shires Press, [2015]. HOLLIS# 014561574
QL596.C2 B45 2015x

Catalogue of archaeological remains in the Department of Archaeology of Western Asia. Pt. 10. Potsherds and clay objects from Tall-i Qaleh and Tall-i Shogha, Fars, Southwest Iran.
Tokyo: University Museum, University of Tokyo, 1981- . HOLLIS# 001047375
DS69.T65 T65 1981x pt. 10

Cerambycidae sul-americanos (Coleoptera): taxonomia: subfamília Cerambycinae. Volume 14.
Ubirajara R. Martins, organizador. São Paulo: Sociedade Brasileira de Entomologia, 1997-. HOLLIS# 012107944
QL596.C4 C47 1997 v. 14

Changing climates, ecosystems, and environments within arid southern Africa and adjoining regions.
Editors, Jürgen Runge; in collaboration with Marion K. Bamford. London, UK: CRC Press/Balkema, [2015]. HOLLIS# 014523752
QC903.2.A35 C47 2015

Climate change and insect pests.
Editors, Christer Björkman and Pekka Niemelä. Wallingford, Oxfordshire: CAB International,[2015]
QL469.C55 2015

Danmarks netvinger.
By Ole Fogh Nielsen. Vester Skerninge [Denmark]: Apollo Booksellers, 2015. HOLLIS# 014561529
QL512.4.D4 N54 2015x

Fishers’ knowledge and the ecosystem approach to fisheries: applications, experiences and lessons in Latin America.

Edited by Johanne Fischer, John Jorgensen, Helga Josupeit, Daniela Kalikoski and Christine M. Lucas. Rome, Italy: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2015. HOLLIS# 014561535
SH234.F57 2015x

Fotoatlas der Amphibienlarven Deutschlands.
[By] Burkhard Thiesmeier. Bielefeld [Germany]: Laurenti-Verlag, [2014]. HOLLIS# 014566795
QL658.G3 T34 2014x

GigaSaurier: die Riesen Argentiniens.
Autoren, Oscar Alcober [and five others]; Übersetzung und Edition, Ilona Hauser, Bernd Herkner. Venedig [Italy]: Cubo Srl; Frankfurt am Main: Senckenberg Forschungsinstitut und Naturmuseum, [2010]. HOLLIS# 014561601
QE861.9.A7 G55 2010x

A history of sockeye salmon research, Karluk River system, Alaska, 1880-2010.
By Richard Gard and Richard Lee Bottorff. [Silver Spring, Md.]: U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service, [2014]. HOLLIS# 014580872
QL638.S2 G37 2014x

Longicornios de Cuba: (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae).
[By] Sergio Devesa, Elier Fonseca, Alejandro Barro. Lleida [Spain]: Greta Editores, [2015]. HOLLIS# 014546740
QL596.C4 D49 2015x

Mahale chimpanzees: 50 years of research.
Edited by Michio Nakamura, Wildlife Research Center, Kyoto University, Japan; Kazuhiko Hosaka, Kamakura Women’s University, Japan; Noriko Itoh, Wildlife Research Center, Kyoto University, Japan; Koichiro Zamma, Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies and Wildlife Research Center, Kyoto University, Japan. Cambridge, United Kingdom; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015. HOLLIS# 014561596
QL737.P94 M34 2015

The Myriapoda. Volume 2.
Edited by Alessandro Minelli. Leiden ; Boston : Brill, 2011- . HOLLIS# 012784492
QL449.M97 2011 v. 2

Organism and environment: ecological development, niche construction, and adaption.
By Sonia E. Sultan, Department of Biology and Program in Environmental Studies Wesleyan Studies. First edition. New York, NY, United States of America: Oxford University Press, 2015. HOLLIS# 014561510
QH541.S83 2015

The secret lives of bats: my adventures with the world’s most misunderstood mammals.
By Merlin Tuttle. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015. HOLLIS# 014580771
QL737.C5 T896 2015

The society of genes.
By Itai Yanai and Martin Lercher. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2016. HOLLIS# 014381621

QH437.Y36 2016

Vertebrate palaeontology. [E-book]
By Michael J. Benton, School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK. Fourth edition. Chichester, West Sussex; Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Blackwell, 2015. HOLLIS# 014577922
QE841.B44 2015

Witmer Stone: the fascination of nature.
By Scott McConnell. [Place of publication not identified]: Scott McConnell, 2014. HOLLIS# 014579992
QL31.S7 M33 2014

Love Bugs


The Bronx Zoo offers you the opportunity to give your Valentine a special gift:

New book list, December 16, 2015


Among the bone eaters: encounters with hyenas in Harar.
By Marcus Baynes-Rock; with a foreword by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas. University Park, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press, [2015]. HOLLIS# 014546040
QL737.C24 B39 2015

As far as the eye could reach: accounts of animals along the Santa Fe Trail, 1821-1880.
By Phyllis S. Morgan; foreword by Marc Simmons; illustrations by Ronald Kil.Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, [2015]. HOLLIS# 014546026
QL157.S69 M67 2015

Biology and ecology of carp.
Editors: Constanze Pietsch, Zurich University of Applied Scinces (ZHAW), Institute of Natural Resources (IUNR), Waedenswil, Switzerland, Philipp E. Hirsch, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland. Boca Raton: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, [2015]. HOLLIS# 014546013
QL638.C94 B53 2015

The conservation biology of molluscs: proceedings of a symposium held at the 9th International Malacological Congress, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1986.
Edited by E. Alison Kay ; including a status report on molluscan diversity, written by E. Alison Kay ; IUCN/SSC Mollusc Specialist Group. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN, ©1995. HOLLIS# 014555859
QL403.C66 1995

Dam builders: the natural history of beavers and their ponds.
By Michael Runtz. Markham, ON; Brighton, Massachusetts: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, [2015]. HOLLIS# 014546050
QL737.R632 R86 2015x

Elephant house.
By Dick Blau and Nigel Rothfels; foreword, Mike Keele. University Park, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press, [2015]. HOLLIS# 014550740
SF408.6.E44 B53 2015

Editors, C. David Allis, The Rockefeller University, New York, Marie-Laure Caparros, London, Thomas Jenuwein, Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Freiburg, Danny Reinberg, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, New York University School of Medicine-Smilow Research Center; associate editor, Monika Lachner, Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Freiburg. Second edition. Cold Spring Harbor, New York: CSH Press, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, [2015]. HOLLIS# 014546043
QH450.E655 2015

Epizootic ulcerative fish disease syndrome.
By Devashish Kar. London: Academic Press, 2015. HOLLIS# 014535046

The evolution of sex determination.
By Leo W. Beukeboom, Nicolas Perrin. First edition. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, 2014. HOLLIS# 014522104
QP278.5.B48 2014x

Evolutionary biology of the Atlantic salmon.
Editors, Tomislav Vladić, Erik Petersson. Boca Raton: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, [2016]. HOLLIS# 014546016
QL638.S2 E975 2016

Eye of newt and toe of frog, adder’s fork and lizard’s leg: the lore and mythology of amphibians and reptiles.
Marty Crump; in collaboration with Danté B. Fenolio. Chicago; London: The University of Chicago Press, 2015. HOLLIS# 014549318
QL644.C73 2015

Federal ecosystem management: its rise, fall, and afterlife.
By James R. Skillen. Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas, [2015]. HOLLIS# 014513633
QH76.5.W34 S55 2015

A guide to the dragonflies & damselflies of South Africa: covering all dragonfly & damselfly species found in South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.
By Warwick and Michèle Tarboton. Cape Town: Random House Struik, 2015. HOLLIS# 014546009
QL520.26.S6 T37 2015x

Jahresbericht: Projekte und Aktionen 2012/2013.
Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Stuttgart. Stuttgart: Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde, 2013. HOLLIS# 014558428
QH70.G3 S72 2013x

Jahresbericht: Projekte und Aktionen 2011/2012.
Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Stuttgart. Stuttgart: Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde, 2012. HOLLIS# 014558429
QH70.G3 S72 2012x

Jahresbericht: Projekte und Aktionen 2010/2011.
Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Stuttgart. Stuttgart: Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde, 2011. HOLLIS# 014558440
QH70.G3 S72 2011x

Jahresbericht: Projekte und Aktionen 2009/2010.
Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Stuttgart. Stuttgart: Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde, 2010. HOLLIS# 014558443
QH70.G3 S72 2010x

Kaufman’s atlas of mouse development supplement: with coronal sections.

Edited by Richard Baldock, Jonathan Bard, Duncan R. Davidson and Gillian Morriss-Kay. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2016. HOLLIS# 014535047

The laboratory mouse.
By Peggy Danneman, Mark A. Suckow, Cory F. Brayton. 2nd ed. Boca Raton : Taylor & Francis, 2013. HOLLIS# 014394102
SF407.M5 S83 2013

Nonlinear physics of ecosystems.
By Ehud Meron. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, [2015]. HOLLIS# 014546027
QH541.15.M3 M46 2015x

Physiology of elasmobranch fishes: internal processes.
Edited by Robert E. Shadwick, Anthony P. Farrell, Colin J. Brauner. Amsterdam: Elsevier, [2016]. HOLLIS# 014546069
QL639.1.H6 v. 34B

Physiology of elasmobranch fishes: structure and interaction with environment.
Edited by Robert E. Shadwick, Anthony P. Farrell, Colin J. Brauner. Amsterdam: Elsevier, [2016]. HOLLIS# 014546063
QL639.1.H6 v. 34A

Resurrection science: conservation, de-extinction and the precarious future of wild things.
By M.R. O’Connor. First edition. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2015. HOLLIS# 014546033
QL82.O26 2015

Snakes of the Southeast.
By Whit Gibbons and Mike Dorcas. Revised edition. Athens, GA: University Of Georgia Press, [2015]. HOLLIS# 014546038
QL666.O6 G533 2015x

Taxonomy of Australian mammals.
By Stephen Jackson and Colin Groves. Clayton South, VIC: CSIRO Publishing, [2015]. HOLLIS# 014546052
QL733.J33 2015

Threatened birds of Uttar Pradesh.
By Asad R. Rahmani and Sanjay Kumar ; with major contributions by Neeraj Srivastav, Rajat Bhargava, and Noor I. Khan ; maps prepared by Mohit Kalra and Noor I. Khan ; layout and design by V. Gopi Naidu ; sponsored by Rajan Overseas Inc. [and four others]. Mumbai: Bombay Natural History Society; Oxford: Oxford University Press, [2013]. HOLLIS# 014546020
QL676.57.I4 R337 2013x

Three lectures.
By Cori Bargmann (The Rockefeller University). [Cambridge, Massachusetts]: Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University, [2011]. HOLLIS# 014461179
QH457.B37 2011x [3 dvd’s]

Vultures: their evolution, ecology, and conservation.
By Michael O’Neal Campbell. Boca Raton: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, [2015]. HOLLIS# 014533392
QL696.F32 C35 2015

Webs: a guide to the spiders of Tasmania.
By John C. Douglas.[Launceston?], Tasmania: [The author], [2014?]. HOLLIS# 014531210
QL458.4.D68 2014x

New book list, November 19, 2015


American zoo: a sociological safari.
By David Grazian. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, [2015]. HOLLIS# 014522950
QL76.5.U6 G73 2015x

Apidae.2, Colletes, Dufourea, Hylaeus, Nomia, Nomioides, Rhophitoides, Rophites, Sphecodes, Systropha.
By Felix Amiet, Andreas Müller, Rainer Neumeyer. Neuchâtel (Suisse): Centre suisse de cartographie de la faune, [2014]. HOLLIS# 014530285
QL568.A6 A65 2014x

Beiträge zur Geschichte der Zoogeographie. Vol. 2.
[By] Michael Wallaschek. Halle (Saale): Michael Wallaschek, 2015- . HOLLIS# 014474803
QL101.W255 2015x v. 2

Biogeochemistry of marine dissolved organic matter.
Edited by Dennis A. Hansell and Craig A.Carlson. Second edition. Amsterdam; Boston: Academic Press, [2015]. HOLLIS# 014487719
014487719 [E-book]

Biology and ecology of bluefin tuna.
Editors, Takashi Kitagawa, Atmosphere & Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Chiba, Japan, Shingo Kimura, Atmosphere & Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Chiba, Japan.Boca Raton :CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group,[2016]. HOLLIS# 014499665
QL638.S35 B56 2016

Biology of perch.
Editors, Patrice Couture, Greg Pyle. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, [2016]. HOLLIS# 014499666
QL638.P4 B575 2016

The Braconid and Ichneumonid Parasitoid Wasps: Biology, Systematics, Evolution and Ecology.
By Donald L.J. Quicke. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons Inc., 2015. HOLLIS# 014513820
QL496.12.Q55 2015 [E-book]

Britain’s hoverflies: a field guide.
By Stuart Ball and Roger Morris. Second edition. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2015. HOLLIS# 014513821
QL537.S9 B75 2015 [E-book]

Burning buried sunshine: yesterday’s energy changing tomorrow’s ecosystems.
By Jeffrey Dukes. [Cambridge, Massachusetts]: Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, [2008]. HOLLIS# 014454552
TD887.F69 D85 2008x [DVD]

Bushmaster: Raymond Ditmars and the hunt for the world’s largest viper.
By Dan Eatherley. New York: Arcade Publishing, [2015]. HOLLIS# 014499667
QL31.D5 E37 2015

Changing climates, ecosystems, and environments within arid southern Africa and adjoining regions.
Editors, Jürgen Runge, in collaboration with Marion K. Bamford, Linda Basson, Joachim Eisenberg, London, UK: CRC Press/Balkema, [2015]. HOLLIS# 014523752
QC903.2.A35 C47 2015

Checklisten der Fauna Österreichs. No. 8, Tardigrada.
Herausgegeben von Reinhart Schuster ; Serienherausgeber Hans Winkler & Tod Stuessy. Wien: Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2004- HOLLIS# 009696223
QL261.C44 2004 no. 8

Cuvier’s history of the natural sciences: nineteen lessons on the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries = L’histoire des sciences naturelles de Cuvier: dix-neuf leçons sur les seizième et dix-septième siècles.
[By] Georges Cuvier; edited by Théodore W. Pietsch; translated by Béatrice Marx foreword by Jean-Pierre Gasc. Paris: Publications scientifiques du Muséum, [2015]. HOLLIS# 014525231
Q125.2.C88 2015x

Es begann am Heeseberg: Stromatolithe und der Ursprung des Lebens.
[By] Urs Hochsprung [and six others]. München: Verlag Dr. Friedrich Pfeil, [2011]. HOLLIS# 014523535
QE955.H63 2011x

Evolution of parasitism in the Lycaenidae (Lepidoptera).
By Zofia Adelajda (Ada) Kaliszewska. August 2015. Ph. D.Harvard University (O.E.B.). 2015. HOLLIS# 014523537
QL496.12.K35 2015x

Evolutionary developmental biology of invertebrates. Volumes 1, 5, 6.
Andreas Wanninger, editor. Wien; New York: Springer, [2015]. HOLLIS# 014473843
QL362.75.E86 2015x

An eye for nature: the life and art of William T. Cooper.
Penny Olsen; foreword by David Attenborough. Canberra, ACT: National Library of Australia, [2014]. HOLLIS# 014427095
ND1105.C546 O47 2014

Genetic connectivity in deep-sea island ecosystems.
By Amy Baco-Taylor (Florida State University). [Cambridge, Massachusetts]: Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, [2010]. HOLLIS# 014454515
QH541.5.I8 B33 2010x [DVD]

A glimpse into the pelagic abyss: discovery, observation, and evolution of midwater animals.
By Karen Osborn (Scripps Institute of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego). [Cambridge, Massachusetts]: Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University,[2010].
HOLLIS# 014461214
QL125.5.O73 2010x [DVD]

By F. Harvey Pough (Rochester Institute of Technology, emeritus), Robin M. Andrews (Virginia Tech, emerita), Martha L. Crump (Utah State University), Alan H. Savitzky (Utah State University), Kentwood D. Wells (University of Connecticut), Matthew C. Brandley (University of Sydney). Fourth edition. Sunderland, Massachusetts, U.S.A: Sinauer Associates, Inc., Publishers, [2016]. HOLLIS# 014499668
QL641.H47 2016

Marine bivalve molluscs.
By Elizabeth Gosling. Second edition. Chichester, West Sussex, UK; Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Blackwell, 2015. HOLLIS# 014523550
QL430.6.G68 2015

Molluscan communities of the Florida Keys and adjacent areas: their ecology and biodiversity.
By Edward J. Petuch and Robert F. Myers. Boca Raton: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, [2014]. HOLLIS# 014499669

Neglected invertebrates: using integrative systematics to elucidate patterns in biodiversity from land to the deep sea.
By Elizabeth Borda (Scripps Institute of Oceanography). [Cambridge, Massachusetts] :Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University,[2010]. HOLLIS# 014454520
QL362.B67 2010x [DVD]

Nests, eggs, and incubation: new ideas about avian reproduction.
Edited by D.C. Deeming and S.J. Reynolds. First edition. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, 2015. HOLLIS# 014514270
QL675.D4 2015x

New perspectives on the development and evolution of eyes and photoreceptors.
By Walter Gehring (University of Basel). [Cambridge, Massachusetts]: Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, [2008]. HOLLIS# 014461231
QL949.G34 2008x [DVD]

New perspectives on the evolution of functional specialization in Siphonophora (Cnidaria).
By Casey Dunn (Brown University).[Cambridge, Massachusetts]: Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, [2010]. HOLLIS# 014454561
QL377.H9D85 2010x [DVD]

Ni vu ni connu: le camouflage au regard de l’objectif.
[By] Hanna Rose Shell; traduit de l’anglais (États-Unis) par Jean-François Caro. [Bruxelles]: Zones sensibles; Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, France: Les Belles Lettres, [2014]. HOLLIS# 014530298
TR148.S54 2014x

The origins of complexity: mechanisms of functional evolution in the steroid human receptors.
By Joe Thornton (University of Oregon).[Cambridge, Massachusetts]: Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, [2007]. HOLLIS# 014461126
QH450.T46 2007x [DVD]

The ornithological and other publications (1973-2014) of William Edwin Davis, Jr.
North Billerica, Massachusetts: Privately published by Accent Printing, 2015. HOLLIS# 014525169
QL682.D38 2015x

Our sea turtles: a practical guide for the Atlantic and Gulf, from Canada to Mexico.
By Blair and Dawn Witherington. Sarasota, Florida: Pineapple Press, Inc., [2015]. HOLLIS# 014523553
QL666.C536 W568 2015

Pigeons and doves in Australia.
By Joseph M. Forshaw; illustrations by William T. Cooper. Collingwood, Vic.: CSIRO Publishing, [2015]. HOLLIS# 014525238
QL696.C63 F67 2015x

Peixes do Brasil: subordem Characoidei : bacia do rio Mogí Guassú (volume 1-4).
[By] M.P. de Godoy. Primeira edição. Piracicaba: Editora Franciscana, 1975. HOLLIS# 014510005
QL632.B8 G636 1975x

The rarest of the rare: stories behind the treasures at the Harvard Museum of Natural History.
Introduction by Edward O. Wilson; text by Nancy Pick; photographs by Mark Sloan. Third edition. New York: Scala Arts Publishers, [2015]. HOLLIS# 014514169
QH70.U6 P53 2015x [Special Collections Reference]

Respiratory adaptation of zoobenthos to access to oxygen and habitat structure in dimictic eutrophic lakes affecting vertical distribution.
By Pétur M. Jónasson [and five others]. [Copenhagen]: Det Kongelige Danske Videnskabernes Selskab, 2015. HOLLIS# 014523534
QH91.8.B4 J65 2015x

Révision du genre Pedaria Laporte, 1832.
Par Jean-François Josso & Patrick Prévost. Conflans Ste Honorine [France]: Magellanes, 2015. HOLLIS# 014514267
QL596.S3 J678 2015x

The role of geographic range and species richness in recoveries from mass extinctions.
By Michael Foote (University of Chicago). [Cambridge, Massachusetts]: Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University,[2011]. HOLLIS# 014461104

QE721.2.E97 F66 2011x [DVD]

Sponges and the early evolution of developmental signaling.
By Scott Nichols (University of California, Berkeley). [Cambridge, Massachusetts]: Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, [2010]. HOLLIS# 014461260
QL371.N43 2010x [DVD]

Stadtnatur im Wandel: Artenvielfalt in Frankfurt am Main.
By Indra Starke-Ottich [and five others]; mit Beiträgen von: Nicole Frölich [and ten others].Stuttgart: E. Schweizerbart’sche Velagsbuchhandlung, [2015]. HOLLIS# 014510037
QH149.S73 2015x

Pforzheimer Fellow Deirdre Moore at the Ernst Mayr Library


Deirdre Moore, a graduate student in Harvard’s History of Science Department, spent the summer of 2015  working with the Ernst Mayr Library’s lantern slide collection.   Harvard entomologists William Morton Wheeler (1865-1937),  Charles T. Brues (1879-1955) ,  Frank M. Carpenter(1902-1994) and Pellegrino University Professor Emeritus Edward O. Wilson (1929- ) were primary contributors of the images. Because of the research interests of the contributors, many of the images were of ants, fossil ants, and illustrations of biogeography such as island landscapes.  Support for the project was generously provided by the Harvard Library Pforzheimer Fellowship program.

Before the project began, the number of lantern slides was estimated to be 1800, with several hundred additional photographic slides and transparencies. In spring 2015, more lantern slides were transferred from the Entomology Dept. of the Museum of Comparative Zoology to the Library, bringing the total to nearly 3000. Under the direction of librarians Robert Young and Joseph DeVeer, Moore has recorded data from 2885 lantern slides into spreadsheets, transcribing the text on them and identifying the contributor, location and date as possible. Handling such a large number of objects, Moore became very familiar with Wheeler’s handwriting, among others. In addition to cataloging, Moore cleaned over 1000 slides, and housed approximately 800 in numbered envelopes. Library staff will produce a finding aid for the collection based on her work.

For the scholarly context of the slides, Moore consulted with faculty and staff in the Entomology Dept., which led to the discovery of significant correspondence and other archival materials. Entomologist Philip Darlington  (1904-1983) was in Colombia in 1928-29 during the “Banana Massacre”.  Aware of the violence and fires being set locally, Darlington buried his notes and slides underground, so that his materials are some of the only surviving records of that era. Present day militias such as the FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) are seen as a legacy of the brutal response of the Colombian military to the banana growers’ labor dispute with United Fruit in 1928.

Deirdre Moore was an ideal fit to work with the MCZ collections. A graduate of Kings College and Dalhousie University, Moore’s research interests concern the relationship of insects and cultures. Moore entered her 6th year of graduate study in September, and will continue her collaborations with Harvard libraries. In the 2015-16 academic year, she will be a Tyler Fellow at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library in Washington, DC, where she will examine the insect-related materials in their collection and construct a pollinator garden on the grounds.

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