Posts

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Alexander Wilson and the Cape May Warbler: A Tiger’s Tale

paisley-museum.jpg

Alexander Wilson and the Cape May Warbler: A Tiger’s Tale

Paisley Natural History Society is starting up its autumn programme of evening talks with an illustrated talk by Tom Byars on Thursday the 5September at 7.30pm in Paisley Museum.

Alexander Wilson (1766 – 1813) was born in Paisley, but is known as the “Father of American Ornithology”. He named the Cape May Warbler, after the site in which he first recorded the bird, in New Jersey, America in 1811. However, in June 1977, this American species was discovered singing in Glen Park – remarkable but true the story has come full circle.

To commemorate the bicentenary of the death of this important local hero, Tom Byars will provide an insight into this remarkable little bird.

The talk is free and open to everyone, just come along.

paisley-museum.jpg

Paisley Natural History society

Paisley Natural History society was formed in the early 1970’s by local naturalists and is still going strong. The aims of the society are simple:

1. To encourage the study of natural history in Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and Inverclyde.

2. To support the conservation of wildlife and habitats; and

3. To maintain links with the Natural History department of Paisley Museum.

Regular indoor meetings are held in Paisley Museum on Thursday evenings during the winter months covering a variety of natural history topics from butterflies and birds to fungi and fossils and outings are organised during the summer months visiting sites throughout Scotland.

You don’t need to be a member to come along to the talks, they are open to anyone with an interest in natural history.

Copies of the winter talks programme can be obtained from Paisley Museum and the talks are also listed on the Renfrewshire Council website.

 

Contact:

For more information about the Paisley Natural History Society visit our website at www.paisleynaturalhistorysociety.org.uk or contact Lesley Hill (Club Secretary) on 0141 884 3352.

, , , , , , , , , ,

Celebrating the life and achievements of Alexander Wilson

033a2ed0cc5911e2bb9112313d2b58c5.jpg

Across the Pond from Paisley; celebrating the life and achievements of Alexander Wilson.

A new exhibition, entitled Alexander Wilson – Paisley’s Poet, America’s Ornithologist, opens at Paisley Museum on Friday 14 June. The exhibition will run until Sunday 1 September and admission is free.

One of Paisley’s most famous sons, Alexander Wilson was a weaver and a poet, but is best known for his illustrations of North American birds. This exhibition commemorates the bicentenary of Alexander Wilson’s death, looking at his life both in Scotland and America and highlighting his outstanding contribution to the science of ornithology.

Born in 1766, Wilson first found employment as a cow-herder before being apprenticed at the age of 13 as a weaver. It was during this time that he first turned his hand to poetry, a pastime which was almost a tradition amongst Paisley weavers. Some of his work however, was deemed to be libelous by the authorities of that time, and in 1794, after a couple of brushes with the law, Wilson made the decision to immigrate to America.

His interest in nature, in particular bird life, was further enhanced by his exposure to the wilds of the American countryside, vast areas of which were still unexplored at that time.

His first epic journey took him to Niagara, where he travelled all 1200 miles on foot, and provided the catalyst for what would become his life work – to describe and record all the birds of North America.

His publication ‘American Ornithology’ ran to nine volumes and illustrated all North American birds for the first time. This led Wilson to become known as the ‘Father of American Ornithology’.

This exhibition will celebrate the life and times of one of Paisley’s most famous sons, and the legacy he left to the science of ornithology.

For more information on Alexander Wilson, future exhibitions or events please visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/events or follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/renfrewshirearts