On June 5, 1912 (101 years ago today) Frances S. Davidson wrote in his notebook, “cloudy, cool. West wind,” and then began a checklist of birds observed from the “fields” in Annandale, MN. Davidson started a Daily Catalogue of Birds on May 18, 1912.
The Catalogue, a bound notebook, resides in Box 73, Folder 737, of the Bell Museum of Natural History records, and is one of many notebooks that contain bird checklists, migration reports, banding records, and other observations recorded by individuals from throughout the state of Minnesota. On the collection finding aid, you will find a sub-series titled, Diaries, Notebooks, and Manuscripts given to the Museum. A list of the individuals who made and recorded observations of their natural environment, and who later shared those observation with the museum, is included.
In time, each page of Davidson’s daily bird lists from Annandale and vicinity in 1912, as well as the pages of the other diaries, notebooks, and manuscripts will be available to view through the University’s online digital media management system, UMedia. Researchers are still more than welcome to make an appointment to come to the Archives, view Davidson’s notebooks in the reading room, and take a non-flash photograph for personal research (see below). Though being as June 5, 2013 in Minnesota is also “cloudy, cool,” the ability to digitally access these types of materials (for instance, from inside a warm home near a field in Annandale), may prove more welcoming.
Migration Records/Bird Checklists, Frances S. Davidson, Bell Museum of Natural History Records, Box 73, Folder 737, pg. 20.
Did you see any of these birds in your Minnesota vicinity today? Select a link below or perform your own search to access descriptive information on these birds from the National Audubon Society’s Online Guide to North American Birds.
1. Redwinged blackbird
2. Chipping sparrow
3. Cowbird [ brown-headed ] [ bronzed ]
4. Baltimore oriole