Charles M. Inglis

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Charles McFarlane Inglis FES, FZS (8 November 1870–13 February 1954) was a naturalist and curator of the Darjeeling museum in India from 1923 to 1948.[1] The museum was run by the Bengal Natural History Society and many of his writings were published in that society's journal which he started and edited.

Inglis in 1919 (sitting fourth from left)

Inglis was born in Elgin, Scotland, the son of Archibald Inglis, a retired indigo planter in India who went to India at the age of 18.[2] Little is known of Inglis' early life but he gave up an office job in Inverness and moved to India where he worked initially at Roopachera Tea Estate in Hailekandi. He became interested in birds after a collector working for Allan Octavian Hume showed him a specimen of an oriole. He subsequently contacted E C Stuart Baker. In 1898 he became a indigo planter in Baghownie. During this time made studies of birds and collected many specimens of butterflies and dragonflies.[1] In 1923 he took over as curator of the Darjeeling Natural History Museum. He then retired to Coonoor where he died in 1954.[3][4]

His ability to sketch and illustrate birds led to Thomas Bainbrigge Fletcher inviting him to produce a series of articles on birds of importance to agriculture in India. These were published in the Agricultural Journal of India and were later revised and published as a book Birds of an Indian Garden in 1924.[4]

Inglis shot eight specimens of the pink-headed duck in Bihar from 1903, including the last known specimen collected in June 1935 from Baghownie.[5]


  • Baker, H. R. & C. M. Inglis. The Birds of Southern India including Madras, Malabar, Travancore, Cochin, Coorg and Mysore. Government Press, Madras (1930)
  • Fletcher, T. B. and C. M. Inglis Birds of an Indian Garden. Calcutta & Simla: Thacker, Spink & Co. (1924)
  • Inglis C. M. The leaf insect – Phyllium scythe Gr. J. Darjeeling Nat Hist. Soc. 5 : 32–33 (1930)


  1. ^ a b "Obituary". Journal of the Bengal Natural History Society. 24: 1–8. 1954. ISSN 0409-0756.)</re>Warr, F. E. 1996. Manuscripts and Drawings in the ornithology and Rothschild libraries of The Natural History Museum at Tring. BOC.
  2. ^ Wilson, Minden (1908). History of Behar. Calcutta: Calcutta General Printing Company. pp. 263–266.
  3. ^ Ali, Salim (1983). "Bombay Natural History Society - the Founders, the Builders and the Guardians. Part 4". Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society. 80: 320–330.
  4. ^ a b "Charles M. Inglis". Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society. 52: 565–568. 1955.
  5. ^ Inglis, C.M. (1940). "Records of some rare, or uncommon, geese and ducks and other water birds and waders in North Bihar". Journal of the Bengal Natural History Society. 15 (2): 56–60. ISSN 0409-0756. OCLC 10654633.

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