This stunning collection of birds was collected by Frank Oates over a period of six months during 1872 during his travels in Central America, principally Guatemala. The specimens were shipped to England for taxidermy, then presented in a splendid Victorian glass display case designed for the purpose.
Frank Oates was brought up in the large family home in Meanwoodside, Leeds. He always had an interest in natural sciences, particularly birds. He started studying Natural Science at Christ Church College, Oxford in 1860, but never completed his studies because of serious ill-health.
Rather extraordinarily, he set off to the Americas in 1871 – partly to recover his health. He travelled in Central America and the southern part of North America for approximately one year, spending most of the time in Guatemala and California. It was from these travels that this splendid collection arose.
The case includes some glorious specimens, including some Resplendent Quetzels, which truly live up to their name, and a Scarlet Macaw – both birds venerated in Guatemala since the time of the ancient Aztecs and Maya.
The Resplendent Quetzel is the national bird of Guatemala.
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