• Rahul Jauhari

The Colonel behind Tickell's Flycatcher

Updated: May 8, 2020

Colonel Samuel Richard Tickell was born in Cuttack in 1811, studied in England and subsequently returned to India at the age of nineteen to serve in the Bengal Native Infantry.

But more significant than his direct work was his contribution to India’s ornithology and mammalogy. Writing under the pen names ‘Old log’ and “Ornithognomon,’ Colonel Tickell contributed to the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal.

Unfortunately, an eye inflammation eventually robbed of him of his sight, forcing him to abandon his ongoing work titled “Illustrations of Indian Ornithology.”

Prior to his death he donated all his unfinished work to the Zoological Society of London. This covered 488 species of birds, with 276 of them illustrated. His work also covered mammals, insects, reptiles, arachnids and crustaceans.

Featured above:

Tickell’s blue flycatcher | Binomial name: Cyornis tickelliae

A little beauty, duly named after the good colonel, in recognition of his contribution to ornithology in India.

Image captured in Old Magazine House, Ganeshgudi, Karnataka, India.

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