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Scott, W. E. (ed.) / The passenger pigeon
Vol. V, No. 1 (April 1943)

Professor George Wagner,   pp. 18-19 PDF (698.0 KB)


Page 18


18
PROFESSOR GEORGE WAGNER
Professor George Wagner was born at New Ulm, Minnesota, o-r
February 4, 1873. After completing his secondary education, he attended
the University of Michigan in the School of Pharmacy, received a cer-
tificate in 1893, was instructor in botany and pharmacology at North-
western University for two years, then went to the University of Kansas
as an instructor in pharmacy. In 1899 he became an Associ'te Profes -or
and took his Bachelor of Arts degree. During these years his interest
in zoology grew and he finally decided to return to Michigan and make
zoology his life's work. Returning to Ann Arbor as instructor in
zoology, he remained there until
1903. at which time he was granted
the degree of Master of Arts. He
came to the University of Wiscon-
sin in 1903 as an instructor and
rose to the rank of a full Profes-
sor by 1931.
Professor Wagner will retire
this June after 40 years of teach-
ing various subjects in vertebrate
zoology at the university. His
courses in comparative anatomy,
evolution, history of zoology in
proseminary, and general zoology
are classics and the course on the
vertebrates gave much on bird
anatomy and physiology. His in-
tense interest in Wisconsin birds,
mammals, reptiles, and fish is well
known. He has gathered probably
one of the best collections of mol-
luscs to be seen anywhere.
Professor Wagner's ornitholo-
ical activities center around his
work and interest in banding birds.
From 1925 to the present. he and
his students have banded some 30,
000 individual birds. Some of the
more numerous of the species that     Professor George Wagner
have been banded follow: White-
throated Sparrow, 4,900; Slate-
colored Junco, 2.500; Chimney Swift. 2,300: Blue Jay, 800; Bob-white
Quail, 750; Bronzed Grackle, 600; and Robin, 300.
Last month an interesting bird banding return was brought to Pro-
fessor Wagner's attention. In May of 1930 Henry Bunting banded an
adult Blue Jay at 2020 Chadbourne Avenue. This bird was found dead
on February 16. 1943 at 110 N. Allen Street in Madison less than three
blocks from where it was banded. As the bird was an adult when banded,
it was 14 vears old at its deaih. Another Blue Jay was banded as an
adult on May 4, 1929 and was recovered on October 16. 1938 whi(h
would make the bird at least nine years of age at death. There have
been returns on Chimney Swiffs from Minnesota, Missouri. and Mi'+i-
gan. Swifts have been retaken the following year in the same chimney
in vhich they were banded.
Professor Wagner has taken a keen interest in the bind sh-in .olllr-
tion aO i'e un;T-rsity which now numbers som- 1.000 intlir-uals Pos
of whinh are Wis-onsin -pecimens. He personally has cstal'sgued thrse
skins and I am informed that there a- - number of skins yet to be
donosi5eO in "'e coll'ction from Dr. H. H. T. Jackson who collected
these birds while studying in the state.
Professor Wagner began teaching a course ii ornithology at the
T,1A oVi,-'q-n in 191Aq ,-d rn--v of his earlier students have
since risen to prominence in the field of ornithology, while many still


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