North Queensland Naturalist 52: 19-33

Abstract

Sid Jackson (1873-1946) was once renowned as a field ornithologist and collector. Beyond his attainments in those domains, he is exceptionally interesting from an historical perspective for the meticulousness with which he recorded not only his ornithological activities but also his subjective state while carrying them out. His diaries offer a window onto the world of a field worker of a bygone age, through which we can glimpse both the similarities and the differences between the ornithological enterprises of then and now. This article, focussing on one of his collecting expeditions, gazes through that window to recount how Jackson conducted his ornithological activities and to explore the passions and ambitions that drove them. It shows that despite the disparities between his modes of birding and those of today, there are many parallels and congruences.