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Theodore Roosevelt: Birder

Roosevelt's List of Birds
Roosevelt's List of Birds

Roosevelt was devoted to natural history from childhood. He was particularly devoted to birding and became an expert in identifying birds and their songs. He kept detailed notes and descriptions about birds and their songs in his youth journals. His interest in birds led him directly into his great work as an amateur natural historian.

These two little works are among the rarest of Roosevelt’s publications. The first, Summer Birds of the Adirondacks, was his first publication, written in 1877 with his good friend, Henry D. Minot, when he was a sophomore at Harvard. The list was the first description of Adirondack birds to be published and was based upon observations done over three summers spent chiefly around the St. Regis Lake region. The two companions listed 97 birds spotted, some of which were unknown even to longtime residents of the region.

His second publication, in 1879, a broadside, was a list of birds found around his home in Oyster Bay. In this briefer work, a single page, TR identified 17 birds.

The List of Birds Seen in the White House Grounds and about Washington during His Administration was printed by Mrs. L.W. Maynard, whose Birds of Washington and Vicinity was published in 1908. All but a dozen copies of the list were inserted in Maynard’s book. The one on display here is one of the few that was not.


Roosevelt's Birds Continued
Roosevelt's List of Birds: Pages 2-3
Last Updated: November 3, 2021