Article ID: CBB073172984

Audubon's Famous Banding Experiment: Fact or Fiction? (2018)


John James Audubon has been hailed as the progenitor of bird banding in America, but the high rate of natal philopatry in banded Eastern Phoebes (Sayornis phoebe) that he reported is an outlier when compared to modern data. More troubling, a reconstruction of the timeline of events with multiple independent primary sources, shows that Audubon was not in Pennsylvania when he claimed to have re-sighted two banded phoebes there in 1805. These facts cast doubt on the veracity of his story.

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Authors & Contributors
Peter B. Logan
Martin A. Sidor
Tyler, Ron
Audubon, John James
Irmscher, Christoph
Partridge, Linda Dugan
Archives of Natural History
Huntington Library Quarterly
Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society
Social Studies of Science
William and Mary Quarterly
University of Texas Press
Villard Books, Random House, The New-York Historical Society
University Press of Florida
University of Arizona Press
University of South Carolina Press
North Point/FSG
Natural history
Science and art
Audubon, John James
Bartram, William
Catesby, Mark
Bartram, John
Muir, John
Chapman, Alvan Wentworth
North America: United States; Canada
United States
Philadelphia, PA
19th century
20th century, late
18th century
Federal Aviation Administration

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