Charles Wallace Richmond

Charles Wallace Richmond (December 31, 1868 – May 19, 1932) was an American ornithologist. He is best remembered for a compilation of the Latin names of birds that is called the Richmond Index.

Charles Wallace Richmond
BornDecember 31, 1868
DiedMay 19, 1932 (aged 63)
Scientific career
InstitutionsUnited States National Museum

Life and work

He was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin and was the eldest son of Edward Leslie and Josephine Ellen Richmond. His mother died when he was 12. His father who was a railway mail clerk moved to Washington, D.C. and joined the Government Printing House there. His father remarried and he had the additional duty of taking care of younger stepbrothers. During his early life he earned extra income for the family by leaving school and working as a page in the House of Representatives. At the age of 15 he got a position as a messenger in the Geological Survey. In 1897 he graduated after studied medicine in Georgetown University and in the next year he married Louise H. Seville.[1]

While still at Wisconsin he had collected the eggs of a Kingbird and when he moved to Washington, in 1881.[2] He visited the Smithsonian Institution museum and seeing the large collection of nests and eggs he decided that he would never produce such a collection himself and decided to hand over his own collections to the museum. This led him to meet Robert Ridgway. He subsequently met Ridgway often and this early influence was very strong. His work in the House of Representatives let him use the library there which had a good collection of books on birds.[1]

In 1888, Richmond took part in a United States Geological Survey expedition to Montana.[2] He became an ornithological clerk at the United States Department of Agriculture.[2] After a collecting trip to Nicaragua he joined the staff of the United States National Museum in Washington, D.C. as a nightwatchman.[1][2] He was promoted to Aid, followed by Assistant in the birds department. He became Associate Curator of Birds in 1894. Richmond then became Associate Curator in 1918. He moved up to Curator in 1929, but stepped back to stay as Associate Curator, so that Herbert Friedmann could become Curator.[2]


Richmond started a card catalog when he was twenty one. He continued to maintain the catalog throughout his life.[1][3] Research wise he focused on naming authorities for bird names, and was considered the foremost expert on the subject. His card catalog continues to be utilized by ornithologists, today.[2]


The scientific name of the northern cardinal, Richmondena cardinalis, was named in his honor.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d Stone, Witmer (1933). "In memoriam: Charles Wallace Richmond 1868–1932" (PDF). Auk. 50 (1): 1–22. doi:10.2307/4076543.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Charles Wallace Richmond Library Catalog and Lists, 1906–1908 and undated". SIA RU007382. Smithsonian Institution Archives. Retrieved 23 May 2012.
  3. ^ Richmond, Charles W. (1992). The Richmond Index to the Genera and Species of Birds (R.J. O’Hara, ed.). Boston: G.K. Hall & Company. Introductory note by R J O'Hara
  4. ^ Bailey, Florence Merriam (1921). Handbook of Birds of the Western United States. Houghton Mifflin. p. 500.

External links

Baird Ornithological Club

The Baird Ornithological Club is a United States ornithological club. Founded in 1921, the club seeks to advance the field of ornithology and foster relationships between fellow ornithologists. The organization was named after Spencer Fullerton Baird. The organization was founded by Earl Lincoln Poole and Harold Morris in Berks County, Pennsylvania.

The organization is located in Reading, Pennsylvania, the birthplace of Baird. The clubs efforts focus specifically on the birdlife of Berks County. They also had a club in Washington, D.C., which was founded in 1922 and is now defunct.Ornithologists who were members include Edward Alphonso Goldman, Ned Hollister, Arthur H. Howell, Edward William Nelson, Harry Church Oberholser, Theodore Sherman Palmer, Edward Alexander Preble, Charles Wallace Richmond, Leonhard Stejneger, and Alexander Wetmore.

Binomial nomenclature

Binomial nomenclature ("two-term naming system"), also called binominal nomenclature ("two-name naming system") or binary nomenclature, is a formal system of naming species of living things by giving each a name composed of two parts, both of which use Latin grammatical forms, although they can be based on words from other languages. Such a name is called a binomial name (which may be shortened to just "binomial"), a binomen, binominal name or a scientific name; more informally it is also called a Latin name. The first part of the name – the generic name – identifies the genus to which the species belongs, while the second part – the specific name or specific epithet – identifies the species within the genus. For example, humans belong to the genus Homo and within this genus to the species Homo sapiens. Tyrannosaurus rex is probably the most widely known binomial. The formal introduction of this system of naming species is credited to Carl Linnaeus, effectively beginning with his work Species Plantarum in 1753. But Gaspard Bauhin, in as early as 1622, had introduced in his book Pinax theatri botanici (English, Illustrated exposition of plants) many names of genera that were later adopted by Linnaeus.The application of binomial nomenclature is now governed by various internationally agreed codes of rules, of which the two most important are the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) for animals and the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICNafp). Although the general principles underlying binomial nomenclature are common to these two codes, there are some differences, both in the terminology they use and in their precise rules.

In modern usage, the first letter of the first part of the name, the genus, is always capitalized in writing, while that of the second part is not, even when derived from a proper noun such as the name of a person or place. Similarly, both parts are italicized when a binomial name occurs in normal text (or underlined in handwriting). Thus the binomial name of the annual phlox (named after botanist Thomas Drummond) is now written as Phlox drummondii.

In scientific works, the authority for a binomial name is usually given, at least when it is first mentioned, and the date of publication may be specified.

In zoology

"Patella vulgata Linnaeus, 1758". The name "Linnaeus" tells the reader who it was that first published a description and name for this species of limpet; 1758 is the date of the publication in which the original description can be found (in this case the 10th edition of the book Systema Naturae).

"Passer domesticus (Linnaeus, 1758)". The original name given by Linnaeus was Fringilla domestica; the parentheses indicate that the species is now considered to belong in a different genus. The ICZN does not require that the name of the person who changed the genus be given, nor the date on which the change was made, although nomenclatorial catalogs usually include such information.

In botany

"Amaranthus retroflexus L." – "L." is the standard abbreviation used in botany for "Linnaeus".

"Hyacinthoides italica (L.) Rothm. – Linnaeus first named this bluebell species Scilla italica; Rothmaler transferred it to the genus Hyacinthoides; the ICNafp does not require that the dates of either publication be specified.

Charles Richmond

Charles Richmond may refer to:

Charles Wallace Richmond (1868–1932), American ornithologist

Charlie Richmond (inventor) (born 1950), American entrepreneur and inventor

Charlie Richmond (referee) (born 1968), Scottish former football referee

Eurasian tree sparrow

The Eurasian tree sparrow (Passer montanus) is a passerine bird in the sparrow family with a rich chestnut crown and nape, and a black patch on each pure white cheek. The sexes are similarly plumaged, and young birds are a duller version of the adult. This sparrow breeds over most of temperate Eurasia and Southeast Asia, where it is known as the tree sparrow, and it has been introduced elsewhere including the United States, where it is known as the Eurasian tree sparrow or German sparrow to differentiate it from the native unrelated American tree sparrow. Although several subspecies are recognised, the appearance of this bird varies little across its extensive range.

The Eurasian tree sparrow's untidy nest is built in a natural cavity, a hole in a building or the large nest of a European magpie or white stork. The typical clutch is five or six eggs which hatch in under two weeks. This sparrow feeds mainly on seeds, but invertebrates are also consumed, particularly during the breeding season. As with other small birds, infection by parasites and diseases, and predation by birds of prey take their toll, and the typical life span is about two years.

The Eurasian tree sparrow is widespread in the towns and cities of eastern Asia, but in Europe it is a bird of lightly wooded open countryside, with the house sparrow breeding in the more urban areas. The Eurasian tree sparrow's extensive range and large population ensure that it is not endangered globally, but there have been large declines in western European populations, in part due to changes in farming practices involving increased use of herbicides and loss of winter stubble fields. In eastern Asia and western Australia, this species is sometimes viewed as a pest, although it is also widely celebrated in oriental art.

List of authors of names published under the ICZN

This is a list of authors of names published under the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature.

List of biologists

This is a list of notable biologists with a biography in Wikipedia. It includes zoologists, botanists, ornithologists, entomologists, malacologists, naturalists and other specialities.

List of ornithologists

This is a list of ornithologists who have articles, in alphabetical order by surname. See also Category:Ornithologists.

Martinique macaw

The Martinique macaw or orange-bellied macaw (Ara martinicus) is a hypothetical extinct species of macaw which may have been endemic to the Lesser Antillean island of Martinique, in the eastern Caribbean Sea. It was scientifically named by Walter Rothschild in 1905, based on a 1630s description of "blue and orange-yellow" macaws by Jacques Bouton. No other evidence of its existence is known, but it may have been identified in contemporary artwork. Some writers have suggested that the birds observed were actually blue-and-yellow macaws (Ara ararauna). The "red-tailed blue-and-yellow macaw" (Ara erythrura), another species named by Rothschild in 1907 based on a 1658 account, is thought to be identical to the Martinique macaw, if either has ever existed.

The Martinique macaw is one of thirteen extinct macaw species that have been proposed to have lived in the Caribbean islands. Many of these species are now considered dubious because only three are known from physical remains, and there are no extant endemic macaws on the islands today. Macaws were frequently transported between the Caribbean islands and the South American mainland in both prehistoric and historic times, so it is impossible to know whether contemporaneous reports refer to imported or native species.

Northern cardinal

The northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) is a bird in the genus Cardinalis; it is also known colloquially as the redbird, common cardinal or just cardinal (which was its name prior to 1985). It can be found in southern eastern Canada, through the eastern United States from Maine to Minnesota to Texas, and south through Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Big Island of Hawai’i. Its habitat includes woodlands, gardens, shrublands, and wetlands.

The northern cardinal is a mid-sized songbird with a body length of 21–23 cm (8.3–9.1 in). It has a distinctive crest on the head and a mask on the face which is black in the male and gray in the female. The male is a vibrant red, while the female is a reddish olive color. The northern cardinal is mainly granivorous, but also feeds on insects and fruit. The male behaves territorially, marking out his territory with song. During courtship, the male feeds seed to the female beak-to-beak. A clutch of three to four eggs is laid, and two to four clutches are produced each year. It was once prized as a pet, but its sale as a cage bird was banned in the United States by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.

Richmond (surname)

Richmond is an English surname, and may refer to any one of the following:

Aaron Richmond (1895–1965), American impresario

Barry Richmond (1947–2002), American systems scientist

Bill Richmond (1763–1829), American–born boxer

Bill Richmond (writer), American film and television comedy writer

Bill Richmond (director) (born 1958), American television producer and director

Bonnie Richmond, fictional character in the American drama Jericho

Branscombe Richmond (born 1955), American character actor

Cedric Levon Richmond (born 1973), American politician

Charles Wallace Richmond (1868–1932), American ornithologist

Charlie Richmond (inventor) (born 1950), American sound designer

Claude Richmond, Canadian politician

Dannie Richmond (1935–1988), American jazz drummer

Danny Richmond (born 1984), American ice hockey player

David Richmond (1748–1818), American Revolutionary War soldier

Dave Richmond, British bass player

Dean Richmond (1804–1866), New York railroad magnate

Dennis Richmond (born 1943), American television news anchor

Deon Richmond (born 1978), American actor

Dorothy Kate Richmond (1861–1935), New Zealand artist

Duke of Richmond, English title, held by several individuals over the centuries

Earl of Richmond, English title, held by several individuals over the centuries

Fiona Richmond (born 1945), English glamour model and actress

Fred Richmond (born 1923), American politician

Fritz Richmond (1939–2005), American musician

George Richmond (1809–1896), English painter

Graeme Richmond (died 1991), Australian rules footballer

Henry Richmond (bishop) (born 1936), Bishop of Repton in the Church of England

Henry Robert Richmond, 19th century New Zealand farmer and politician

Herbert Richmond (1871–1946), British naval officer

Hiram Lawton Richmond (1810–1885), American politician

Howie Richmond (1918–2012), American music publisher and executive

James Buchanan Richmond (1842–1910), American politician and lawyer

James Crowe Richmond (1822–1898), New Zealand politician, engineer and artist

Jeff Richmond (born 1960), American composer

John Richmond (disambiguation), name of various individuals

Jonathan Richmond (1774–1853), American politician

Kenneth Richmond (1926–2006), British wrestler

L. Bruce Richmond (1920–2008), American businessman and politician

Marcus Richmond (born 1956), American politician

Mike Richmond (skater) (born 1960), Australian skater

Mitch Richmond (born 1965), American basketball player

Sarah Richmond (1843–1921), American teacher

Stanley Richmond fictional character in the American drama Jericho

Tim Richmond (1955–1989), American race car driver

Tom Richmond (disambiguation), name of various individuals

Van Rensselaer Richmond, New York engineer and politician

Volney Richmond (1802–1864), New York politician

Warner Richmond (1886–1948), American actor

William Richmond (1821–1895), New Zealand politician

William Richmond (physician) (1941–2010) Scottish physician

William Blake Richmond (1842–1921), English painter

William Henry Richmond (1821–1922), American coal mine operator

Robert Ridgway

Robert Ridgway (July 2, 1850 – March 25, 1929) was an American ornithologist specializing in systematics. He was appointed in 1880 by Spencer Fullerton Baird, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, to be the first full-time curator of birds at the United States National Museum, a title he held until his death. In 1883, he helped found the American Ornithologists' Union, where he served as officer and journal editor. Ridgway was an outstanding descriptive taxonomist, capping his life work with The Birds of North and Middle America (eight volumes, 1901–1919). In his lifetime, he was unmatched in the number of North American bird species that he described for science. As technical illustrator, Ridgway used his own paintings and outline drawings to complement his writing. He also published two books that systematized color names for describing birds, A Nomenclature of Colors for Naturalists (1886) and Color Standards and Color Nomenclature (1912). Ornithologists all over the world continue to cite Ridgway's color studies and books.

Rodrigues rail

The Rodrigues rail (Erythromachus leguati), also known as Leguat's gelinote, Leguat's rail, or grey rail, is an extinct species of the rail family that was endemic to the Mascarene island of Rodrigues, east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. It has sometimes been assigned to the genus Aphanapteryx, along with its close relative the red rail (A. bonasia) of Mauritius, but is generally kept in its own genus, Erythromachus. Their relationship with other rails is unclear. The Rodrigues rail was described as having grey plumage, a red beak, red legs, and a naked red patch around the eye. The beak varied between specimens from straight to curved, but the reason for this is unknown. It was flightless and fed on tortoise eggs. It was described as being attracted to red objects, which humans exploited while hunting it.

The Rodrigues rail is believed to have become extinct in the mid-18th century because of predation by introduced cats and destruction of its habitat by tortoise hunters. Apart from information gathered from subfossil bones, the bird is poorly known and was only documented from life by two contemporaneous accounts, but no such illustrations. The bird was first mentioned by François Leguat, a French Huguenot refugee marooned on Rodrigues in 1691, and was named E. leguati in his honour in 1874. The second account was by Julien Tafforet, also marooned on the island in 1726. Subfossil remains were later discovered and connected with the old accounts.

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