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114 Total Pages 26 Contributing Members

Alexander Wetmore - Western United States, 1918: Breeding waterfowl, field diaries

Following his time in southern Texas and Arkansas, ornithologist Alexander Wetmore moves on to spend four months, from late spring to the very end of summer, observing waterfowl breeding in the southwestern United States. Nonetheless, the contentious relationship between migrating birds and farmers through out the Southwest continues to crop up in his notes. This field diary includes wonderfully detailed descriptions and sketches of birds' mating rituals that Wetmore observed interspersed with terse notes about the farmers. One "wants government to send in soldiers to kill off ducks." Another farmer wants the privilege of doing it himself. This field diary proves to be a real transcription challenge because Wetmore's penciled notes are in some places both faint and smudged. Are you up to it? Join other stalwart #volunpeers in this effort.


22% Complete

138 Total Pages 18 Contributing Members

Alexander Wetmore - Western United States, 1918 : Correspondence, field reports, and reference materials (1 of 2)

In 1918, farmers were frustrated by the damage migrating birds were causing to their crops. With the August harvest time quickly approaching, farmers across the Southwest, California and Washington were feeling an increasing urgency to protect their crops. No one wanted to lose acres of their harvest to birds, especially ducks. With the United States engaged in World War I, licensing for the purchase, transfer and use of explosives was tightly regulated. The use of "duck bombs" seemed like a promising deterrent. Alexander Wetmore of the Bureau of Biological Survey, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), gathered the information in this field book while on assignment for the Bureau. It includes newspaper clippings, documents of public opinion about farmers' use of explosives, correspondence with the California Board of Fish and Game and USDA officials, and a report on the lake area of the Chusca Mountains. Join other volunpeers in transcribing another of Wetmore's field books about the contentious relationship between migrating birds and American farmers.