A Love Affair with BirdsThe Life of Thomas Sadler Roberts

A Love Affair with BirdsThe Life of Thomas Sadler Roberts

Sue Leaf

Print publication date: 2015

ISBN: 9780816675647

Publisher: University of Minnesota Press

Abstract

This book presents a full biography of a key figure in Minnesota’s past: Thomas Sadler Roberts (1858–1946), a doctor for three decades, a bird lover virtually from birth, the father of Minnesota ornithology, and the man who, perhaps more than any other, promoted the study of the state’s natural history. Roberts came to Minnesota as a boy and began keeping detailed accounts of Minneapolis’s birds. These journals, which became the basis for his landmark work The Birds of Minnesota, also inform this book, affording a view of the state’s rich avian life in its early days—and of a young man whose passion for birds and practice of medicine among Minneapolis’s elite eventually dovetailed in his launching of the beloved Bell Museum of Natural History. Bird enthusiast, doctor, author, curator, educator, conservationist: every chapter in Roberts’s life is also a chapter in the state’s history.