Taverner, Percy Algernon

Percy Algernon Taverner, ornithologist (b at Guelph, Ont 10 June 1875; d at Ottawa 9 May 1947). Taverner first earned a living as an architectural draughtsman while studying birds in his spare time. In 1911 he was appointed ornithologist at the National Museum of Canada, where he developed a unique system of distributional maps linked to card indexes on individual species containing up-to-date information on bird distribution in Canada. Taverner played an important part in Canadian ornithology and in wildlife conservation, such as the designation of POINT PELÉE as a national park (1918) and the protection of Bonaventure I and Percé Rock in the Gulf of ST LAWRENCE as bird sanctuaries (1919). His ornithological writings culminated in Birds of Canada (1934). Comprehensive and readable, with coloured illustrations by Allan Brooks, it did much to develop a better understanding of ornithology and make birdwatching a popular recreation.