Journal of the History of Biology

, Volume 52, Issue 3, pp 489–490 | Cite as

Marilyn Bailey Ogilvie, For the Birds: American Ornithologist Margaret Morse Nice

University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, OK, 2018, 300 pp., 17 b&w illus., $39.95 Cloth, ISBN: 9780806160696
  • Mark V. BarrowJr.Email author
Book Review

Margaret Morse Nice (1883–1974) was an American ornithologist who made fundamental contributions to the study of animal behavior through meticulous research on the Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia). Using colored celluloid bands that allowed her to track the development, movement, and behavior of individual birds—a technique that she pioneered and subsequently become widely adopted—Nice spent thousands of hours in the field at Interpont, a “wild, neglected piece of flood plain” near her home in Columbus, Ohio (p. 95). She also observed captive birds that she managed to raise in the midst of her bustling household. Nice incorporated her initial findings into a study published as two separate issues of the prestigious Journal für Ornithology in 1933 and 1934 and in an expanded two-volume work, Studies in the Life History of the Song Sparrow(1937 and 1943). Her research received both support and copious praise from such twentieth-century biological luminaries as Konrad Lorenz, Niko...

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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Virginia TechBlacksburgUSA

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