In past blog posts we have shared the extreme measures that T.S. Roberts and his bird observation companions took in order to achieve their desired “shots” of the birds they were studying.
Prior to becoming curator of the Zoological Museum in 1921, William Kilgore Jr., a long-time friend of T.S. Roberts with a shared interest in ornithology, joined Roberts on a collecting trip to Cass Lake in the summer of 1916. As there is a 16 year difference between the dates of the the first image we found of Roberts climbing to the highest limbs of trees and the images from Cass Lake in 1916, it appears that the much younger Kilgore was tasked with the aerial work on this particular excursion.
– Kilgore pointing to nest on upper limb of Jack Pine tree, Cass Lake, July 1916
In a blurry yet informative close up, we find out how Kilgore got up so high. Notice the pieces of wood that are nailed to this tree to construct a makeshift ladder:
What was Kilgore after at such heights?
– Nest and eggs of Blackburnian Warbler in Jack Pine, Cass Lake, July 1916
A description of Kilgore and his relationship to Roberts and the Museum of Natural History was shared by Walter Breckenridge in a memorial article upon Kilgore’s passing in 1953. Read Breckenridge’s recollections in The Flicker, a publication of the Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union (renamed The Loon in 1964). Page 1 Page 2 Page 3