Joseph Beal Steere

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Joseph Beal Steere
Joseph Beal Steere.png
Professor Joseph Beal Steere
Born 9 February 1842 (1842-02-09)
Lenawee County, Michigan
Died 7 December 1940 (1940-12-08)
Ypsilanti, Michigan
Nationality American
Fields Ornithologist
Alma mater University of Michigan

Joseph Beal Steere (9 February 1842 - 7 December 1940) was an American ornithologist.

Steere was born in Rollin, Michigan. He received a B.A. from the University of Michigan in 1868 and a B. of Law in 1870. From 1870-1873 he traveled in South America, China and Taiwan. He went on another scientific expedition to the Philippines and the Moluccas from 1874-1875. He returned to Michigan to teach zoology and was a professor of Zoology there from 1876 until 1893, when he was forced to resign by the university regents.

He married Helen Buzzard on 30 September 1879.

He took one final excursion in 1901, leading a group of students to the Amazon to collect specimens for the Smithsonian Institution.

Steere described a number of new birds. He is commemorated in the names of a number of birds, including Steere's liocichla Liochicla steerii, wattled broadbill Eurylaimus steerii, black-hooded coucal Centropus steerii and azure-breasted pitta Pitta steerii.

One of his manuscript, Formosa and its inhabitants, deposited in Bentley Historical Library in University of Michigan was translated into Chinese and published in 2009.


  • Steere, J. B., 1903. Narrative of a visit to Indian tribes of the Purus River, Brazil. A. Rept. U. S. natl Mus., Washington, D. C. 1903: 359-393.
  • Steere, J. B., 1927. The archeology of the Amazon. Univ. Michigan off. Publs 29 (9, Pt. 2): 20-26.
  • Steere, J. B., 1949. Tribos do Purus. Sociologia, São Paulo 11 (2): 64-78, 212-222.


  • Nationaal Herbarium Nederland
  • Reed University
  • Hubbell, T. H., [1964]. The University of Michigan Beal-Steere Expedition, 1870-1875. Itinerary and chronology of Joseph Beal Steere's first expedition. [].
  • Marquis, A. N., ed., 1918. Who's who in America. A biographical dictionary of living men and women of the United States. Vol. 10. A. N. Marquis and Co., Chicago. p. 2574.