Spencer G. Sealy
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3T 2N2; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract: John Henry Keen, clergyman and naturalist, collected specimens of birds on the Queen Charlotte Islands/Haida Gwaii (1890–1899) and at Metlakatla on the north-central coast of British Columbia (1899–1914). Keen’s unpublished list of 52 species of birds, prepared in 1891, and additional observations made in the years until he left Massett in 1899, were examined by Sealy (2016). Although Keen collected a few birds, he devoted most of his spare time to invertebrates (mostly beetles) and mammals. Nine preserved specimens of birds, including three eggs, were located in museum collections. Three specimens were collected on Haida Gwaii, the others in the vicinity of Metlakatla. A new subspecies of Northern Saw-whet Owl (Aegolius acadicus) on Haida Gwaii was described by Osgood (1901), whereas the other specimens provided new distributional records. The identity of a specimen of Wilson’s Plover (Charadrius wilsonia), allegedly taken near Metlakatla, was never confirmed and the species has not been recorded since in British Columbia.
Key Words: bird specimens, British Columbia, early correspondence, distributional records, unconfirmed records, J.H. Keen, Massett, Metlakatla, natural history.
Sealy, S.G. 2016. Significance of the bird specimens collected by the Reverend John H. Keen on the Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii) and at Metlakatla, British Columbia, 1890–1914. British Columbia Birds 26:24–31. First published on-line August 2015.
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