John Fitzpatrick

Dr Fitzpatrick is an ornithologist, receiving his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1978. Through 1989 he was Curator of Birds at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History, studying ecology and biogeography of South American birds. At Archbold Biological Station in central Florida, he was Executive Director (1988–95) and still maintains a 50+ year collaborative study of the endangered Florida scrub-jay. As director of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (1995–2021), he developed the Lab into a leading centre for ornithology, conservation biology and citizen science. He has authored more than 150 scientific papers, and co-authored four books including the world’s leading college-level textbook on ornithology. In 2002, he and colleagues launched eBird, now one of the world’s largest citizen-science projects and a global standard for ecological monitoring. His honours in ornithology and conservation include awards from American Ornithological Society, The Nature Conservancy, Linnaean Society of New York, and National Audubon Society. He was President of the American Ornithological Society (2000–02), has served on numerous non-profit boards and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

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Most bird species (country)

According to BirdLife International, Colombia harbours a total of 1,884 bird species, which is 16.9% of the 11,158 bird species in the world (2020 edition of the checklist of birds of the world by BirdLife International). Peru is close on Colombia’s heels with 1,861, followed by Brazil with 1,817. These countries illustrate why South America is often called the "Bird Continent", as it harbours a total of 3,445 bird species, or almost one-third of all species in the world, making it the continent with the most bird species.