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Biographical entry D'Ombrain, Ernest Arthur (c. 1867 - 1944)

c. 1867
Rathdrum, County Wicklow, Ireland
23 June 1944
Ophthalmologist and Ornithologist


Ernest D'Ombrain was an eye specialist and a keen amateur ornithologist. He took part in a three week excursion to King Island organised by the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria 1887. He taught W. McLennan (qv) how to make field notes and skin birds.


Born Rathdrum, County Wicklow, Ireland, ca 1867. Died Killara, Sydney, 23 June 1944. Arrived Australia ca 1877. Educated University of Melbourne (MB, BSc), England and Vienna. Casterton, Victoria, from 1898; eye specialist, Sydney from 1910; honorary doctor, Sydney Hospital for 18 years. Pioneered several surgical operations, inventing an instrument for the removal of the tarsal plate in trachoma. Council member, Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales 1917-31 and later Fellow and Honorary Member; member, Wildlife Preservation Society of New South Wales; member, Linnean Society of New South Wales; foundation member, (Royal) Australasian Ornithologists' Union 1901, president 1927-28; foundation Fellow, Royal College of Surgeons of Australia. Very interested in birds and native flowers. At his death his collection of bird-skins was donated by his son to the Serventy-Whittell Collection.

His son, Athel Fetherstonhaugh, was born in Casterton, Victoria, 26 October 1901 and educated at Hawkesbury Agricultural College. Also interested in ornithology and contributed articles to The Emu 1918-47.

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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

Rosanne Walker