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A Love Affair with BirdsThe Life of Thomas Sadler Roberts$
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Sue Leaf

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780816675647

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816675647.001.0001

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The Young Naturalists’ Society

The Young Naturalists’ Society

(p.27) Chapter 3 The Young Naturalists’ Society
A Love Affair with Birds

Sue Leaf

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter examines the discussions of The Young Naturalists’ Society, a club formed in March of 1875 with the purpose of supporting the pursuit of natural history. In its three-year existence, Thomas Sadler Roberts was president. Discussion at the Society’s meetings was not limited to birds, but also covered plants, insects, and fossils; debate also extended to theoretical matters, including the ethics of contemporary natural history, and the theory of evolution by Charles Darwin. In his essay in front of the Society, Roberts stated that the increasing scarcity of game and other species was due to overhunting, as he documented golden-lovers and other once plentiful birds driven into scarcity by hunters and collectors. The chapter also mentions the documenting of behavioral observations of birds by Roberts—birdsong, bird food, how they foraged, and where they roosted. Sixty years later, he would include these data in The Birds of Minnesota.

Keywords:   Young Naturalists’ Society, natural history, Thomas Sadler Roberts, Clarence Herrick, theory of evolution, Charles Darwin, overhunting, behavioral observations, birds, The Birds of Minnesota

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