William Eagle Clarke

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Dr William Eagle Clarke FLS FRSE PBOU I.S.O LL.D. (16 March 1853 – 10 May 1938) was a British ornithologist.


Clarke was born in Leeds where his father William Clarke was a solicitor and educated at the Grammar School and at Yorkshire College, Leeds where he studied under Professor L C Miall. He was originally a civil engineer and surveyor, but later took up natural history as a profession. He became Curator of Leeds Museum in 1884, moving to the Natural History Department of the Royal Scottish Museum in 1888, where he was Keeper from 1906 to 1921.[1]

He went on several expeditions including the Rhone Valley, Sclavonia, Hungary and Andorra. He observed that the Rhone Valley was important for migratory birds. He also worked on collections obtained by others and described the Negros bleeding-heart. He was instrumental in recognizing that lighthouses and lightships were capable of collecting a great deal of migration information. For his work on bird migration he became the first recipient of the Godman-Salvin Medal in 1922.[1]

In 1903 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh his main proposer being Ramsay Heatley Traquair.[2] He was President of the British Ornithologists Union in 1918.


The Eddystone Lantern, October 12, 1901 from a painting by Marian Eagle Clarke, as published in Studies in Bird Migration (1912).


External links[edit]

Media related to William Eagle Clarke at Wikimedia Commons