Oliver L. Austin

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Oliver Luther Austin Jr. (May 24, 1903–December 31, 1988) was an ornithologist who wrote the definitive study Birds of the World, eventually published in seven languages. At various times he was Director of the Austin Ornithological Research Center in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, Professor of Zoology at Air University and Curator of Ornithology at the Florida Museum of Natural History. At the time of his death, he was Curator Emeritus.[1]

In 1931 he was elected to the American Ornithologists' Union and was the editor of their journal The Auk from 1968 to 1977.

Austin grew up in Mt. Vernon, New York and attended A. B. Davis High School and the Berkshire School. While in high school he was a member of the orchestra, glee club and the Rho Chapter of the Omega Gamma Delta Fraternity and played football. He was a graduate of Wesleyan University, where he was a member of the Phi Nu Theta (Eclectic) Fraternity, and had a PhD from Harvard University. After serving in the US Navy in World War II he went to Japan. He worked there in the Allied Military Government.

In addition to Birds of the World, among his nine books, he wrote famous studies of birds in both Japan and the Republic of Korea.[2]


  1. ^ In Memoriam: Oliver L. Austin Jr. An obituary by Mary H. Clench and J. William Hardy in The Auk, Vol. 106, No. 4 (Oct., 1989), pp. 706-709 published by University of California Press on behalf of the American Ornithologists' Union
  2. ^ Oliver L. Austin, 85, Ornithologist, Is Dead Published Wednesday, January 4, 1989 Obituary New York Times


Austin, Oliver L. (1948) The Birds of Korea, Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoölogy at Harvard College

Austin, Oliver L. (1953) The Birds of Japan,: Their status and distribution, Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoölogy at Harvard College

Austin, Oliver L. (1961) Birds of the World: Birds of the world; a survey of the twenty-seven orders and one hundred and fifty-five families. Illustrated by Arthur Singer. Edited by Herbert S. Zim, New York, Golden Press; 1st Edition

Austin, Oliver L. (1978) University of Florida Oral History Project. http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00005958/00001/1j