[Tweeters] Old bird book by Jennie V. Getty, 1916

Mark Vernon ma_vern at yahoo.com
Wed Jun 6 15:00:15 PDT 2007

There is a subject I keep meaning to bring up, that of Jennie V. Getty. Can anyone out there give me more information about her? If any of her notebooks have survived they must be pretty interesting.

She wrote the book, "Bird Life in Washington", posthumously published in 1916. Notes say that her illustrations were donated to the University of Washington. The book was written largely for children but has a lot of keen observations. For example she states that she can count the number of times she saw Bald Eagles on one hand.

Her one prejudice seems to be against Sharp-shinned Hawks! Otherwise she is very fond of the persecuted birds, such as raptors and Crows.

I first encountered the book on the shelves of the Suzzalo Library when I was a student at the UW. I went an looked up that copy again today, it's call no. is QL 684 W2 G4. Another copy can be found in Special Collections. While it is dated in some things Ms. Getty had a sense for birdwatching that must have been highly unusual for her time period. Her artwork is wonderfully primitive, sadly they were printed in black and white. I certainly hope the originals survived. Another book by her was mentioned, 'Little Friends of the Snow".

Mark Vernon
Renton, WA
mailto ma_vern at yahoo.com

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