Notes on Some of the Birds of Oyster Bay, Long Island.



Theodore Roosevelt.


Notes on Some of the Birds of Oyster Bay, Long Island.


March 1879.


As a Theodore Roosevelt scholar, I am intrigued by his love of birds. Aside from his family, politics and birds were the great loves of his life. As president, he established fifty-one protected federal bird sanctuaries. And as an ornithologist in his own right, Roosevelt authored three bird lists. It is interesting to note his transcription of bird sounds and the absence of any significant physical descriptions. Because of his very poor eyesight, young Roosevelt learned to identify birds by their song rather than their plumage.

Published while a student at Harvard, Birds of Oyster Bay is one of the great Roosevelt rarities, and this is the only known copy in a private collection. A 1927 auction catalogue offering this broadside observed that “it is probable that not more than one collection of Roosevelt first editions can ever be complete and none can approach perfection without a copy of this rarest of early first editions.”


Gregory A. Wynn