John Kirk Townsend Photo

John Kirk Townsend

Born: Aug 10, 1809

Death: Feb 6, 1851

Birthplace: Philadelphia

Nationality: United States

John Kirk Townsend

Date of Birth : Aug 10, 1809
Date of Death : Feb 6, 1851
Birth Place : Philadelphia

John Kirk Townsend was an American naturalist, ornithologist and collector. Townsend was a Quaker born in Philadelphia, the son of Charles Townsend and Priscilla Kirk. He attended Westtown School in West Chester, Pennsylvania and was trained as a physician and pharmacist. He developed an interest in natural history in general and bird collecting in particular. In 1833, he was invited by the botanist Thomas Nuttall to join him on Nathaniel Jarvis Wyeth's second expedition across the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. Townsend collected a number of animals new to science. These included birds such as the mountain plover, Vaux's swift, chestnut-collared longspur, black-throated gray warbler, Townsend's warbler and sage thrasher, and a number of mammals such as the Douglas squirrel; several of these were described by Bachman from samples collected by Townsend.

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