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Norman A. Wood

Norman A. Wood was born in Lodi Township, Ann Arbor, to parents Jesup Scott Wood and Lydia P. Ingraham Wood. Norman graduated from Saline High School. He married in 1885 to Lillian D. Phelps, with whom he later had one daughter. Wood attended University of Michigan for his Bachelor's Degree in 1895; working under Dean C. Worcester as a taxidermist and ornithologist. Wood stayed connected to the University for 48 years, with a brief exception from 1923-25 where he lived in Nanking, China, establishing a college museum.

In 1903 Wood made a notable contribution to ornithology after obtaining an unfamiliar specimen from two university students. When Wood received the skin, he knew what is was, and shortly thereafter made is way to the North County. Since 1851 the bird, the Kirtland's warbler was known but its breeding range was still a mystery. But on the sixth day of Wood's trip, he observed a male warbler, carrying a moth caterpillar in his mouth, and led him to a nest tucked into low blueberry bushes as the base of a jack-pine. He was the first to confirm a Kirtland's warbler nest in Oscoda County in northern lower Michigan.

While working for the University of Michigan, Norman was an ardent field naturalist collecting volumous records about his observations as well as specimens of the local flora and fauna. He published numerous pamphlets and scientific papers as a result of these collections. At one point in time, Wood worked with the Michigan Geological Survey and visited many Michigan counties mapping territories and studying the local bird migrations. Wood also spent some time at Amherst College where he worked on the original Audubon Collection. In 1937 the University of Michigan awarded Wood with an honorary Master of Science degree. On September 7, 1943, Norman A. Wood passed away at the age of 86.

To learn more about Norman A. Wood, please visit: http://archive.audubonmagazine.org/features0405/bird-conservation.html and http://www.lsa.umich.edu/ummz/birds/collections/history.asp

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