“Skutch combines his personal knowledge of pigeons that he has watched near his Costa Rican home with a masterful summary of the published literature on Columbids of the world. The doves and pigeons of the world are fascinating lot. Alexander Skutch, aided by Dana Gardner, captures the essence of their life and presents it in an easily digestible form. Although scientists may be exasperated by some of the elements of the presentation, any student of birds will be enlightened and entertained by reading Life of the Pigeon.” — Ornithological Literature
Large format, beautifully illustrated with many full-page color plates and black and white drawings, 130 pages.
- Condition: New – Still Wrapped in Plastic
- Hardcover: 130 pages with dust jacket
- Publisher: Comstock Publishing Associates / Cornell University Press, Ithaca (1991)
- Language: English
- Illustrations: Color plates and B&W drawings
- ISBN-10: 080142528X
- ISBN-13: 978-0801425288
- Product Dimensions: 31.5 x 23.5 x .9 cm
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 Kg
About the Author:
Alexander Skutch was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He received a Doctorate in Botany from Johns Hopkins University. He then found employment with United Fruit Company, which had a problem with banana diseases, for which it needed the expertise of a botanist.
After an initial stay in Jamaica, Skutch traveled to Guatemala, Panama, and Honduras. During this time, he fell in love with the tropics and developed a deep interest in birds. He began studying their habits.
Skutch collected plants for museums to make money, but observing birds remained his life’s main focus. In 1941 he purchased a farm in Costa Rica, where he lived for the rest of his life. In 1950, Skutch married Pamela Lancaster, who was also a naturalist.
One of the writers of his obituary said: “A lifelong vegetarian, Skutch grew corn, yucca, and other crops, and, without running water until the 1990s, bathed and drank from the nearest stream. He believed in “treading lightly on the mother Earth.” With his wife Pamela, daughter of the English naturalist Sir Ray Lankester, whom he married in 1950, and their adopted son Edwin, he stayed there for the rest of his life.”
Skutch wrote over 40 books and over 200 papers on ornithology, preferring a descriptive style and eschewing statistics and even banding.
Alexander Skutch died one week before his 100th birthday; in the same year, he received the Loye and Alden Miller Research Award. He is universally regarded as one of the world’s greatest ornithologists.
Reference: New York Times: Alexander Skutch, 99, Expert On Central American Birds