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Drummond, Thomas (1790–1835)

Drummond was born in Scotland about 1790, and trained there as a botanist. In 1825, he was appointed assistant naturalist to Dr. John Richardson on the Second Franklin Arctic Land Expedition. Drummond was at Cumberland House, June 27 to August 20, 1825; at Carlton, August 29 to September 1; and left present-day Saskatchewan about September 9 to spend a year and a half in the Rocky Mountains collecting specimens near the present site of Jasper, Alberta.

Drummond returned in the spring of 1827, entered Saskatchewan in the last week of March, and collected about 103 bird specimens at Carlton between April 5 and July 15. These included the world’s first described and illustrated specimen, and the first-ever nest, of Swainson’s hawk; the first specimens of the spotted towhee on May 19 and July 1, 1827; and the first nest (with six eggs) and first specimen of the plains subspecies of the loggerhead shrike in June. Finally, on July 18, when he was about fifty miles upstream from Cumberland House (where he stayed until August 8), he collected the first specimen of Forster’s tern.

Drummond subsequently collected plants in the United States, especially Texas, from 1831 to 1834. He died in Havana, Cuba, in early March 1835.

C. Stuart Houston

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