Frank Chapman (ornithologist)
|Born||Frank Michler Chapman
June 12, 1864
West Englewood, New Jersey
|Died||November 15, 1945
New York City
|Institutions||American Museum of Natural History|
|Known for||Audubon Christmas Bird Count|
|Notable awards||Daniel Giraud Elliot Medal (1917)
John Burroughs Medal (1929)
Chapman was born in West Englewood, New Jersey and attended Englewood Academy. He joined the staff of the American Museum of Natural History in 1888 as assistant to Joel Asaph Allen. In 1901 he was made associate Curator of Mammals and Birds and in 1908 Curator of Birds.
Chapman came up with the original idea for the Audubon Christmas Bird Count. He also wrote many ornithological books such as, Bird Life, Birds of Eastern North America, Bird Studies With a Camera, and Life in an Air Castle. For his work, Distribution of Bird-life in Colombia, he was awarded the Daniel Giraud Elliot Medal from the National Academy of Sciences in 1917.
In the winter seasons, starting from his mother's home in Gainesville, Florida, he made numerous field trips to collect small mammals and birds; thus he went to various localities in Florida, Texas, Cuba, Trinidad, B. W. I., Yucatan and Vera Cruz, Mexico, and later to many countries in South America. The story of his local expeditions in the United States and of his one visit to England is told in his Camps and Cruises of an Ornithologist (1908) and much later his many expeditions to Mexico, Central and South America are dealt with in his all too brief, authentic Autobiography of a Bird Lover (1933).
Chapman fathered one child, Frank Chapman, Jr., who first married playwright Elizabeth Cobb and had a daughter, actress and TV personality Buff Cobb, and after divorcing married mezzo-soprano opera singer Gladys Swarthout.
Chapman was interred at Brookside Cemetery.
As well as numerous papers in scientific journals and magazines such as the National Geographic Magazine, books and major reports authored by Chapman include:
- (1894). Visitors' Guide to the Local Collection of Birds in the American Museum of Natural History.
- (1895). Handbook of Birds of Eastern North America.
- (1897). Bird-Life: A Guide to the Study of Our Common Birds.
- (1898). Four-Footed Americans and Their Kin.
- (1900). Bird Studies with a Camera.
- (1901). The Revision of the Genus Capromys.
- (1903). Color Key to North American Birds
- (1903). The Economic Value of Birds to the State.
- (1907). Warblers of North America.
- (1908). Camps and Cruises of an Ornithologist.
- (1910). The Birds of the Vicinity of New York City: A guide to the Local Collection.
- (1915). The Travels of Birds.
- (1917). The Distribution of Bird-life in Colombia.
- (1919). Our Winter Birds.
- (1921). The Habit Groups of North American Birds.
- (1921). The Distribution of Bird Life in the Urubamba Valley of Peru. A report of the birds collected by the Yale University - National Geographic Society's expedition.
- (1926). The Distribution of Bird-life in Ecuador.
- (1929). My Tropical Air Castle.
- (1931). The Upper Zonal Bird-Life of Mts Roraima and Duida.
- (1933). The Autobiography of a Bird-Lover.
- (1934). What Bird is That?.
- (1938). Life in an Air Castle: Nature Studies in the Tropics.
- Vuilleumier, François (2005). "Dean of American Ornithologists: The Multiple Legacies of Frank M. Chapman of the American Museum of Natural History," The Auk, Vol. 122, No. 2, pp. 389-402.
- Chapman, Frank Michler (United States 1864-1945), Western Kentucky University. Accessed March 12, 2008. "born in West Englewood, New Jersey, on 12 June 1864."
- "Daniel Giraud Elliot Medal". National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 16 February 2011.
- Gregory, William King (1947). "Frank Michler Chapman 1864–1945". Biographical Memoirs V.25—Fifth Memoir (PDF). National Academy of Sciences (NAS). pp. 111–143.
- Hevesi, Dennis. "Buff Cobb, Actress and TV Host, Dies at 82", The New York Times, July 21, 2010
- "Frank M. Chapman," in Tom Taylor and Michael Taylor, Aves: A Survey of the Literature of Neotropical Ornithology, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Libraries, 2011.
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