WILLIAM SWAINSON, ORNITHOLOGIST: 224 YEARS OLD TODAY
Happy Birthday, William Swainson, 224 years old today, honoured with a Google emblem, and… oh, sorry, we’ve run out of tiny candles for your cake…
Swainson (1789 – 1855) was an English ornithologist, entomologist, conchologist, natural historian, and a gifted illustrator of the natural world. He was a pioneer of the new lithographic technology, which enabled quicker reproduction of his work than engraving.
Moluccan King Parrot from Zoological Illustrations
Swainson lent his name to a number of avian species, three of which may be found on Abaco. These are the Swainson’s Hawk, Thrush and Warbler. The hawk is a rare visitor; the thrush is a transient, passing through the Bahamas during migration; and the warbler is a hard-to-find winter resident. Here are the three species, courtesy of AUDUBON.ORG and for each, an illustrative video.
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SWAINSON’S HAWK Buteo swainsoni
SWAINSON’S THRUSH Catharus ustulatus
SWAINSON’S WARBLER Limnothlypis swainsonii