Research Is a Passion With Me: The Autobiography of a Bird Lover

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Dundurn, Jun 30, 1979 - Biography & Autobiography - 336 pages

In her incredibly productive lifetime (1883-1974), American-born ornithologist Margaret Morse Nice earned the admiration of ornithologists and naturalists in far distant lands.

Research Is a Passion With Me is an enthralling autobiography of one of the great individuals in her field and of her time. The prominent California nature writer, Donald Peattie, in commenting on Margaret Nice’s writing ability, stated: "Your art of telling is so good that it conceals how good the science is." And Professor Ernst Mayer of Harvard University said: "Margaret Nice was a remarkable person and only those who know the state of American ornithology when she started her work will appreciate her contribution."

"An extraordinary bird watcher. Every summer she and her husband would gather the girls, pack their old car with camping gear, and head off into the wilds to look for new birds. This eccentric way of living was unusual in the early 1920s, but even their youngest daughter adjusted to it. Their older girls shinnied up trees to observe nests and helped in housekeeping tasks around the campsite."

- Marcia Bonta, Bird Watcher’s Digest

 

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Contents

A CHILD OF NATURE
1
OUR CHERISHED HENS
10
WHEN WEDNESDAY WAS A HOLIDAY
16
I FIND MY GOAL
26
THE JOURNEY TO OKLAHOMA
37
THE AWAKENING
42
SUMMER BIRDS OF OKLAHOMA
49
THE OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE
60
THE MONTH WITH THE LORENZES
172
BIRDS OF AN HUNGARIAN LAKE
181
MUSICAL PRODIGIES
189
SONG SPARROWS IN MY STUDY
196
SONG SPARROWS AT WINTERGREEN LAKE
204
AT LAST A LADY SONG SPARROW
211
JAN JOOST TER PELKWYK NATURALIST
220
THE WRITING OF SS II
233

THE FIRST BIRDS OF OKLAHOMA
68
THE YEAR IN MASSACHUSETTS
77
I WONDER AS I WANDER OUT UNDER THE SKY
83
WE FIND INTERPONT
89
AGAIN THE BIRDS OF OKLAHOMA
98
THE SONG SPARROW ON INTERPONT
104
TO EUROPE IN 1932
112
ZUR NATURGESCHICHTE DES SINGAMMERS
120
THE ORNITHOLOGICAL CONGRESS AT OXFORD
128
4M SINGS 2305 SONGS IN ONE DAY
136
THE POPULATION STUDY OF THE SONG SPARROW
144
A WARM WELCOME TO CHICAGO
153
THE ORNITHOLOGICAL CONGRESS IN FRANCE
164
LATE SPRING IN ARKANSAS
240
THE AFTERMATH OF WORLD WAR II
247
MY SECOND BIRD LIFE
253
IN CONCLUSION
259
Appendix 1
265
Appendix 2
267
Literature Cited
272
Acknowledgements
290
Index
293
The House of Ely
323
The House of Morse
324
Copyright

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About the author (1979)

A veteran traveller with an aptitude for languages, Margaret Nice, researcher-scientist-author, amassed considerable knowledge of many of the birds of the world. Significantly, her most important paper was published in Germany, far from her birthplace of Amherst, Massachusetts. The paper dealing with the Song Sparrow appeared in two parts in the Journal fur Ornithologie.

Through the years, Dr. Nice, a Past President of the Wilson Ornithological Society, and a Life Fellow of the American Ornithologist's Union, was elected to Honorary Memberships in the ornithological societies of most of the countries she visited. These included Britain, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy and the Netherlands. She was a much-admired corresponding member of the Hungarian Institute of Ornithology. In Toronto, Canada, The Margaret Nice Ornithological Club was formed in her honor.

Though widely known as "The Song Sparrow Lady," she was more than the ultimate authority on the Song Sparrow and probably the most famous woman ornithologist in the world. A trained zoologist, active environmentalist and prodigious letter writer, she was also a loving wife and mother.

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