Monday, March 27, 2017

Goodbye Chandler Robbins

The great Chandler Robbins died March 20th. He was 98. No one did more for bird conservation and sound science than Chandler Robbins

Chandler Robbins joined the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1945 as a junior biologist at what is now the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Maryland.

Early in his career, he co-authored journal publications on the effects of DDT on breeding bird populations; work later drawn on by Rachel Carson in her book Silent Spring.  Later, he co-authored one of the first field guides to birds, the Golden Guide, which sold more than 6 million copies.

Chandler Robbins was one of the very first biologists to document the effect of forest fragmentation on eastern woodland birds . Chandler was also the first person to band the Laysan Albatross named "Wisdom" on Midway Island in 1956. As of 2016, Wisdom is at least 65 years old and still producing young!

Strip it all away, however, and Chandler Robbin will forever be known as the father of the North American Breeding Bird Survey whose data set is is one of the most important in North American science, biology, and conservation.

Fly on Chandler Robbins.  You made the world a better place.

Hope is the thing with feathers 

That perches in the soul, 
And sings the tune without the words, 
And never stops at all. 

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