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April 2022

Vol. 50, No. 2

Notes on the Birds of Hull, 1896

John Galluzzo

Hull had already started to become a seasonal tourist destination by 1865, but the beach remained wild at that time. All photos courtesy of the Hull Historical Society.
Hull had already started to become a seasonal tourist destination by 1865, but the beach remained wild at that time. All photos courtesy of the Hull Historical Society.

“This list, for it is but little more than a list,” wrote Everett W. Ricker in the introduction of his 36-page Notes on the Birds of Hull, Massachusetts in 1896, “I have made up of birds that have either been seen by myself or by my friend Mr. B. and his son, both of whom are well aquainted [sic] with our birds, while a very few have been reported to me by gunners. I have however, only given those in this list that I feel quite sure occur, as I know that it is very easy to make mistakes and the temptations are strong to make as large a list as possible.”

With those words, Ricker dove into a project that has left us, a century and a quarter later, with information not only about the everyday birdlife around Hull in the 1890s, but also a little more than we knew about the everyday human life around town at the time.

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