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Biographical entry MacGillivray, William David Kerr (1867 - 1933)

27 November 1867
Kallara Station, New South Wales, Australia
25 June 1933
Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia
Naturalist, Physician and Ornithologist


William McGillivray was a medical practitioner in Broken Hill 1901-1933, where he had a good reputation as a surgeon. He was a keen amateur ornithologist, who wrote a number of articles and papers on birds. At the time of his death he was working on a book on Australian birds for use in schools.


Born Killara Station, Darling River, New South Wales, 27 November 1867. Died Broken Hill, New South Wales, 25 June 1933. Educated University of Melbourne (medical degree 1890). Practised Kanwa and Bendigo, Victoria, Launceston, Melbourne (where he was on the staff of the Children's Hospital for two years), Coloraine, western Victoria 1895-97, Hamilton, Victoria 1897-1901, Broken Hill 1901-33 (particularly in surgical practice); war service, France 1916-18. President, Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union 1916-18. Made a number of trips to the Great Barrier Reef, studying migrant and shore birds. As his hearing deteriorated towards the end of his life, he could no longer hear some bird notes, and turned his attention to native flora, establishing his own herbarium. Wrote articles on birds for The Emu and for the Great Barrier Reef Commission.

Archival resources

Adolph Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science

  • Australian Botanists - Biographies, MS 064; Adolph Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science. Details

Published resources


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.