Bird Observer: The Birding Journal for New England

Bird Observer

The Birding Journal for New England

April 2015

Vol. 43, No. 2

A Commemoration of Birders at Mount Auburn Cemetery

Regina Harrison

Juliet Appleby Kepes, 1919 - 1999 (detail) (All photographs courtesy of Mount Auburn Cemetery)

From its founding in 1831, Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has been frequented by birds and by those who watch, admire, and study them. Many of those ornithologists and birders chose to remain at Mount Auburn in perpetuity, becoming a part of the landscape that supports so much avian life throughout the seasons. As you visit Mount Auburn this spring to enjoy its bounty of warblers and other migrants, keep an eye out for the names of the following individuals who contributed greatly to the study of birds and the avocation of birding in New England and beyond. This list is by no means exhaustive, but provides a sampling.

Path names of burial locations are provided here. If you like, you can obtain a specific location for an individual by visiting www.mountauburn.org, clicking on “Graves” in the upper right-hand corner, and entering the individual’s name and a range of dates that include when that individual was interred. A pamphlet with a map is also available at the Mount Auburn Visitor Center for a small fee; it includes most of the individuals listed here. On the other hand, coming across one of these names by chance can provide a wonderful moment of unexpected communion with a past counterpart. For just as generations of birds continue to visit Mount Auburn, so too do generations of birders continue to arrive in spring, walking in one another’s footsteps along the paths and roads of the cemetery with a continuity that feels timeless.

Glover Morrill Allen 1879–1942 (Maple Avenue)

Allen was a zoologist and ornithologist, and president of the Nuttall Ornithological Club from 1919 to 1942. He was a professor of zoology at Harvard University and the author of many scientific publications, including The Birds of Massachusetts (with R. H. Howe, Jr., 1901), Birds and Their Attributes (1925), and Bats: Biology, Behavior and Folklore (1939). He also published numerous distributional records and regional checklists of birds and was a prolific reviewer of ornithological works. William E. Davis Jr. profiled him in "Glover Morrill Allen: Accomplished Scientist, Teacher, and Fine Human Being” in Bird Observer December 2011.

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