Who are the pioneering scientists who have contributed to our knowledge about birds? How has the science of ornithology developed over the past centuries? This educational and entertaining book explores the history of ornithology from the earliest times to the present day, vividly describing the ornithologists who have been most influential in their field and the discoveries they have made.
The book begins by surveying writings on birds by the ancient Chinese, Greeks, and Romans and by individuals writing during the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the Age of Exploration. It then assesses such ornithological pioneers as Linnaeus, Brisson, and Buffon, whose contributions to the foundations of ornithological systematics and collecting are seminal. Subsequent chapters discuss the expeditions of the eighteenth century; the work of the Germans and the Dutch; the beginnings of ornithology in America; the development of nineteenth-century systems of classification; the new theories that emerged from the Far East; and the great advances made in the twentieth century. Attractively illustrated and engagingly written, the book will be of great interest to all birders and naturalists.
"This exhilarating account of the history of ornithology is a most enjoyable and important work."—Jon Ahlquist, coauthor of Phylogeny and Classification of Birds of the World