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Biographical entry Carter, Thomas (1863 - 1931)

6 April 1863
Masham, Yorkshire, England
29 January 1931
Yorkshire, England


Thomas Carter was a keen ornithologist who collected and published extensively on birds in Western Australia. Four species and Fourteen sub-species of bird were named after him. He also drew charts of entrances through the dangerous reefs off Cape Range.


Born Masham, Yorkshire, England, 6 April 1863. Died Yorkshire, 29 January 1931. Worked in his father's business and made several ornithological trips, including one to Iceland. Arrived Carnarvon, Western Australia, February 1887. Jackeroo, Boolathanna Station 1887-1889; 135,000 acre pastoral lease, Point Cloates 1889-1902, identifying 180 bird species and collecting 170; to England 1903 with 500 bird skins (now in the American Museum of Natural History); sheep station, Broomehill, south-west of Western Australia 1904-13, making ornithological observations which later appeared in The Emu; returned to settle in England 1914, with several visits to Western Australia to look for birds 1916-1928. On his 1916 visit he researched, at Gregory Mathews' suggestion, the birds of Shark Bay and Dirk Hartog Island. Discovered two new species, Eremiornis carteri (Carter's Desert-bird, now known as the Spinifexbird) and Stipiturus ruficeps (the Rufous-crowned Emu-wren). Foundation member, Australasian Ornithologists' Union.

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See also

  • Robin, Libby, The Flight of the Emu: a Hundred Years of Australian Ornithology 1901-2001 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2001), 492 pp. Details

McCarthy, G.J. & Rosanne Walker