Saturday, May 12, 2007

Spencer Fullerton Baird—Ornithologist and Ichthyologist

Here’s a wonderful photograph of Spencer Fullerton Baird (1823-1887) taken in 1867, when full beards were in vogue. Baird was a contemporary of John James Audubon, a founding member of the American Ornithologists’ Union, U.S. Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries (1871-1887), and Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution (1878-1887). Long gone are the days in which a person can expect to be considered an expert in two different fields of natural history.

Baird’s Sandpiper (Calidris bairdii), Baird’s Trogon (Trogon bairdii), and Baird’s Sparrow (Ammodramus bairdii) are named for Baird.

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