Ken Simpson

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Kenneth (Ken) Nigel Graham Simpson (1938 – 9 July 2014) was an Australian ornithologist and ornithological writer best known as the coauthor, with artist Nicolas Day, of the Simpson & Day field guide to Australian birds.

Simpson was born in Sydney and educated at University High School in Melbourne. He subsequently worked as a research technician in various institutions as well as lecturing in primary science at Deakin University and leading birdwatching tours. During the mid-1960s he studied royal penguins and wandering albatrosses on subantarctic Macquarie Island. He had a long association with the Bird Observers Club of Australia (BOCA), which he joined at the age of 11 in 1949, and was involved in editorial work with the BOCA journal Australian Bird Watcher.[1][2]



As well as numerous articles and scientific papers, books authored or coauthored by Simpson include:

  • 1972 – Birds in Bass Strait. Reed: Sydney. ISBN 0-589-07108-4
  • 1984–2010 – Field Guide to the Birds of Australia (with Nicolas Day), first published as The Birds of Australia – a Book of Identification by Lloyd O’Neil: Melbourne, ISBN 0-85550-492-7, with several subsequent editions published by Penguin Australia (Viking)
  • 1987 – Birds of Australia Logbook. Viking O’Neill Australia. ISBN 0-670-90015-X
  • 1998 – Birdwatching in Australia and New Zealand. (With Zoe Wilson). Reed New Holland: Sydney. ISBN 1-876334-06-1


  1. ^ Walker, Rosanne (2012-07-04). "Simpson, Ken". Encyclopedia of Australian Science. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  2. ^ "Vale Ken Simpson, 1938–2014". BirdLife Australia. 2012-07-14. Retrieved 2014-07-22.