Today marks the 200th birthday of two of the most important people from the 19th century: Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin. The latter, known primarily for his ground-breaking On the Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection, took a great interest in birds. During his voyage of discovery, he found a diverse group of ground finches that later became a key piece of evidence for the theory of evolution. Later in life he bred pigeons as part of his research on how natural selection could produce the diversity he observed in nature.
Here is a list of the birds named for Darwin:
- Darwin's Nothura (Nothura darwinii)
- Darwin's Tanager (Thraupis bonariensis darwinii or Thraupis darwinii)
- Darwin’s koklass (Pucrasia macrolopha darwini)
- Darwin's Rhea or Lesser Rhea (Rhea pennata)
- Darwin's Large Ground-finch (Geospiza magnirostris magnirostris)
- Speckled Rail or Darwin's Rail (Coturnicops notatus)