University of Arizona

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Papers of William Davis

Three Owls, circa 1985

Dr. William A. Davis (1908-1999) was an accomplished physician and avid birdwatcher. During World War II, he was awarded the Order of the British Empire for his service and was one of the first outside doctors to witness the conditions in the German concentration camps. After the war, he worked in the Veterans Administration Hospital in Grand Junction, Colorado. In 1972 Dr. Davis was transferred to Tucson, Arizona to set up a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program at the local VA hospital. This life member of the American Ornithologists' Union retired from medicine in 1975 and began his studies of bird distribution. His interest in the interrelationships between birds and their habitats and migration patterns is vividly apparent in his collection of papers.

Dr. Davis was a very active member of the Tucson Audubon Society. In addition to serving as president from 1976-1979, He served as a field trip leader, speaker, committee chairman, newsletter columnist and vice president. He worked with Dr. Stephen Russell, another committed member of the society, on several projects including "Checklist of Birds of Southeastern Arizona" and the first (1979), second (1984) and third (1990) editions of Birds of Southeastern Arizona. Profits from this endeavor have gone exclusively to the Tucson Audubon Society. He died in Tucson at the age of 91.

Series I, Journals (1975-1994), contains the accumulated personal notes, correspondence, photographs and newspaper and magazine clippings from 1975-1994. Series II, Birding (1971-1994), contains bird lists and general notes, clippings and references that reflect his personal interests. Series III, Research (1971-1994), contains notes, clippings and photographs of birds of the United States. Series IV, Publications (1969-1994), contains extensive notes and records on Arizona birds. Series IV, Publications (1969-1994), contains extensive notes and records on Arizona birds. Much of this information is derived from personal research was shared with the Tucson Audubon Society. Field notes, published in the society's newsletter, The Vermillion Flycatcher is one source cited. Birds in Western Colorado by Dr. Davis, published in 1969 is included, as is the first (1979), second (1984) and third (1990) editions of Birds of Southeastern Arizona, coauthored by Stephen M. Russell and published by the Tucson Audubon Society. Series V, Tucson Audubon Society, contains the agendas, committee reports and minutes of the Board of Directors meetings of the society (1983-1985). September 1983 and August 1984 include reference to the publication and sales of Birds of Southeastern Arizona.