Macdonald, J. D. (James David) (1908-)

Also known as
Macdonald, James David (1908-)
Macdonald, James David (1908-2002)
Field of activity
Ornithologist
Libraries Australia
http://nla.gov.au/anbd.aut-an35066319
NLA Persistent Identifier
https://nla.gov.au/nla.party-816636

Biographies

James Macdonald was in charge of the Bird Room in the British Museum of Natural History in London from the 1930s until his retirement in 1968. In 1963 he led the first 'Harold Hall [bird collecting] Expedition' to Australia.

James David Macdonald was in charge of the Bird Room in the British Museum of Natural History in London from the 1930s until his retirement in 1968. His academic qualifications from Aberdeen University were in Marine Biology, and he learned his birds through his work at the museum. In 1949 he led an important expedition in South West Africa, with the support of his wife, Dr Betty Macdonald, who was the expedition's doctor and cook. She also collected plants for the Kew Gardens. Mrs Pat Hall, an associate of the Bird Room, also accompanied the African expedition as mechanic. (She had trained as a mechanic during the war, and had joined the Bird Room soon after as a volunteer. She had private means, so was never a formal employee). Through Macdonald's African connections, he learned of an Australian philanthropist, Harold Hall (no relation to Pat Hall), who was interested in supporting research in natural history. Hall had made considerable money through the Mt Morgan gold fields. In the early 1960s, Macdonald approached him and secured sponsorship of £25,000 (£5,000 p.a. for 5 years) to undertake the 'Harold Hall Expeditions' of the British Museum. The collecting expeditions were designed to rebuild the Australian bird collections, which had been lost because of the sale of the Mathews and Rothschild collections to America.

J D Macdonald led the first of these in 1963, and Betty Macdonald was cook, doctor and plant collector. The Australian party comprised Allan McEvey and Bill Middleton (qqv), and Dom Serventy (qv) was a great supporter of all five expeditions. The other expeditions were led by other Bird Room staff, including one by Mrs Pat Hall (who subsequently edited the book on the findings of all five expeditions). Shane Parker (qv) had his first taste of Australia through the second Hall Expedition in 1964.

In accordance with his promise to Harold Hall, Macdonald retired to Australia in 1968 to write a book, , which was published in 1973 and dedicated to Harold Hall. The Macdonalds live in Brisbane. Along with Jiro Kikkawa (qv) and others, they were actively involved in the establishment of the Queensland Ornithological Society in 1970, and J D Macdonald was its first President.

View the full record at Encyclopedia of Australian Science

Resources for J. D. Macdonald

Selected resources (4)

Encyclopedia of Australian Science

  1. Macdonald, James David
    Published: The University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre
    Series: Encyclopedia of Australian Science
  2. Obituary - James David MacDonald
    Dow, D. D.
    Published: 2003
    Series: Emu, 103, 93-95
  3. Strickland on Gould
    MacDonald, J. D.
    Published: 1975
    Series: Emu, 75, 4, 230-231
  4. J. R. Elsey and His Bird Observations on Gregory's Overland Expedition
    Macdonald, J. D. and Colston, P. R.
    Published: 1966
    Series: Emu, 65, 4, 255-278

Resources by J. D. Macdonald (12)

  1. J. R. Elsey and his bird observations on Gregory's overland expedition, Australia, 1856 / by J. C. Macdonald and P. R. Colston
    Macdonald, J. D. (James David), 1908-
    [ Book : 1966 ]
    At State Library of QLD
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 58,688.84)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 58,688.84)

  2. Birds of Britain : a guide to the common species. / Illustrated by Phyllida Lumsden
    Macdonald, J. D. (James David), 1908-
    [ Book : 1949 ]
    At WA Museum Library
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 57,502.297)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 57,502.297)

  3. Australian birds : a popular guide to bird life / J.D. Macdonald
    Macdonald, J. D. (James David), 1908-
    [ Book : 1985 ]
    At 26 libraries
    Australian birds : a popular guide to bird life / J.D. Macdonald
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 57,363.23)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 57,363.23)

  4. Birds for beginners : how birds live and behave / J.D. Macdonald
    Macdonald, J. D. (James David), 1908-
    [ Book : 1980 ]
    At 25 libraries
    Birds for beginners : how birds live and behave / J.D. Macdonald
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 57,321.5)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 57,321.5)

  5. Old English china and pottery in Australasia / by J. D. MacDonald
    Macdonald, J. D. (James David), 1908-
    [ Book : 1945 ]
    At 20 libraries
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  6. Understanding Australian birds : their biology, behaviour and habits / J.D. Macdonald
    Macdonald, J. D. (James David), 1908-
    [ Book : 1981-1982 ]
    At 10 libraries
    Understanding Australian birds : their biology, behaviour and habits / J.D. Macdonald
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 48,265.562)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 48,265.562)

  7. Curiosities of bird life / by J.D. Macdonald, Derek Goodwin and Helmut E. Adler
    Macdonald, J. D. (James David), 1908-
    [ Book : 1967 ]
    At 6 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 47,806.559)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 47,806.559)

  8. Bird behavior / by J.D. Macdonald, Derek Goodwin, and Helmut E. Adler
    Macdonald, J. D. (James David), 1908-
    [ Book : 1962 ]
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 47,642.023)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 47,642.023)

  9. Contribution to the ornithology of western South Africa : results of the British Museum (Natural History), South West Africa Expedition, 1949-50 / by J. D. Macdonald
    Macdonald, J. D. (James David), 1908-
    [ Book : 1957 ]
    At 5 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 47,521.566)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 47,521.566)

  10. Bird life (for young people) / [by] Helmut E. Adler, J. D. Macdonald [and] Derek Goodwin. With illus. in color by Eva Hulsmann
    Adler, Helmut E
    [ Book : 1969 ]
    Bird life (for young people) / [by] Helmut E. Adler, J. D. Macdonald [and] Derek Goodwin. With illus. in color by Eva Hulsmann
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 38,536.23)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 38,536.23)

More...

Resources about J. D. Macdonald (1)

  1. Series 5: Original watercolour drawings for the publication Birds of Australia : a Summary of Information [by] J. D. MacDonald, 1973 / by Peter Slater
    [ Art work : 1973 ]
    At State Library of NSW
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 89,934.789)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 89,934.789)

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