| Donald Ryder Dickey (1887-1932)
was a naturalist, a collector, a hunter, and a wildlife
photographer. Born in Iowa, he came to California early
with his parents and made it his home. During his relatively
short life, he built a substantial bird and mammal collection
numbering over 50,000 specimens with an eye toward starting
a museum program and center for the study of natural history
in Southern California.
As part of this he created a photographic record of
his work using motion picture and still photography. He
pursued his fieldwork, collecting and photographing birds
and mammals, in California, the North Eastern U.S., Eastern
Canada, and Baja California, Mexico. The images focus
on the life and breeding habits of birds, the behavior
of a variety of mammals, as well as landscapes depicting
various habitats, and specimen collecting techniques and
He was the official photographer on the Smithsonian Institution
sponsored Tanager expedition to Laysan Island, Hawaii
in 1923. Just before his death he sponsored an extensive
collecting trip to El Salvador. The 300 images on this
site were selected from the over 4000 still images he
took from 1911 to 1929.
Below are links to articles about Donald Dickey. One
was written about Dickey during his lifetime and one after
- Millard, Bailey. The
Martin Johnson of America: How He "Catches Wild Animals,”
The Worlds Work, Vol. 52, September, 1926, p. 567-570.
- Wild Life of America:
Photographs by Donald R. Dickey, The World's Work,
Vol. 52, September, 1926, p. [ 558-566].
- Harris, Harry. An
Appreciation of Donald Ryder Dickey, The Condor, Vol.
36, No.2, March 1934.