“History for Lunch” features author and birder
Thomas H. Kent November 19

For immediate release November 5, 2008


Contact: Jeff Morgan, Jeff.Morgan@iowa.gov, (515) 281-3858

(IOWA CITY) The State Historical Society of Iowa’s popular “History for Lunch” lecture series continues this month with author and birder Thomas H. Kent, who will discuss the records of early Iowa ornithologists.

Kent, emeritus professor of pathology at the University of Iowa, will discuss “Serendipity: Bird Records of Early Iowa Ornithologists” at Noon on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2008, at SHSI’s Centennial Building, 402 Iowa Avenue (Iowa and Gilbert streets) in Iowa City. The lecture is free and the public is encouraged to bring a brown bag lunch. Call 319-335-3911 for more information.

Since writing chapters on the history of Iowa birding in 1984 and 1996, Kent came into the possession of bird records of many other early Iowa birders. Their stories are the subject of this presentation.

Kent began studying and photographing birds with his father, Fred Kent, in 1948. In the 1970s, he began to visit favorite birding spots in North America.

His Iowa birding intensified after 1976 and since then he has co-authored three books and numerous articles documenting the occurrence of Iowa birds, including one about William Savage in “Iowa Heritage Illustrated” (Summer 2000).

In 1804, Lewis and Clark were the first to provide definite records of Iowa birds. The first Iowa resident birder was William Savage, who recorded and painted birds from 1855 to 1908. The original Savage paintings of birds are housed in the State Historical Museum in Des Moines.


The State Historical Society of Iowa is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and is a trustee of Iowa’s historical legacy and an advocate for understanding Iowa’s past. It identifies, records, collects, preserves, manages and provides access to Iowa’s historical resources. Its dual mission of preservation and education serves Iowans of all ages, conducts and stimulates research, disseminates information, and encourages and supports historical preservation and education efforts of others throughout the state. Visit www.iowahistory.org or call 515-281-5111 for more information.


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