The Zoologist/4th series, vol 4 (1900)/Issue 704/Obituary for Dr. Karl Russ, Butler

Obituary for Dr. Karl Russ  (1900) 
by Arthur Gardiner Butler

Dr. Karl Russ, the eminent German student of bird-life, died on Sept. 29th, 1899. By his death both scientific aviculture and ornithology have sustained a severe loss.

Dr. Russ was always careful either personally to describe, or to obtain accurate descriptions of, the young plumage of all birds bred in captivity, from the egg until the change to the adult plumage; he noted the character and number of eggs, the duration of incubation, the age at which the young left the nest, and that at which their adult plumage was attained. Lastly, he carefully noted the colouring and variation in the soft parts in every adult bird which he described.

Russ was the son of an apothecary, and was born on Jan. 14th, 1833; he was therefore only in his sixty-seventh year when he died; yet he lived to complete the last volume of what he himself calls "the principal work" of his life in 1898, and saw it published in 1899.

'Die Fremdländischen Stubenvogel,' in four volumes, with effective (though hardly scientific) chromo-lithographic plates, is well worth the consideration of the most exclusive ornithologists; they may find much therein which will be new to them—facts as to seasonal changes of plumage, which some have hesitated to believe in, are proved by actual experience; several differences in the colouring of soft parts are indicated; with many other details of importance.

A.G.B.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1926.


The author died in 1925, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 95 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.