Part II, Chapter 7: Malaise

During my visit to the menagerie in Paris, I entered an enclosure for tropical birds, and produced a field sketch.  Looking back, this artificial island reminds me of the constructed island at Walton that I sketched in my notebook from my bedroom window. Reflecting on my travels, my journey has been fruitful, but I am …

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Part 2, Chapter 6: Jardin des Plantes et Animaux

In the year 1867, Andrew Downs traveled from Halifax to Paris, where he helped to install the Nova Scotian display at the World Exhibition. Later that year, Halifax’s local newspaper, The Acadian Recorder, announced the seasonal opening of Downs’ Zoological Gardens, remarking on June 12th, 1867 that: “We presume that during his visit to Paris, … Continue reading Part 2, Chapter 6: Jardin des Plantes et Animaux

Part 2, Chapter 3: Preservation

During his 1864 voyage, Downs was a distinguished guest at the home of naturalist Charles Waterton. As mentioned earlier, the two ornithologists corresponded regularly and maintained a professional friendship over the years. Waterton inherited woodland which he protected as a large sanctuary for birds, enclosing the property with a nine foot stone wall. His estate … Continue reading Part 2, Chapter 3: Preservation

An Aside: Museology

As I retrace Andrew Downs’ professional development opportunities in Europe at the peak of his career, I am recalling the wildlife specimens he procured for institutions abroad. Halifax’s local papers and articles speak of Downs’  prolific distribution of Nova Scotian specimens, yet there is no mention of where. The naturalist, editor, and friend of Andrew … Continue reading An Aside: Museology

Part 2, Chapter 2: Records

I’ve visited the ZSL Archives in London and after reading through Minutes of Council and Annual Reports, I have confirmed that Andrew Downs was a Corresponding Member of the Society, elected in 1862, evidence of which is seen below: According to my research in the Nova Scotia Archives, during his 1864 overseas visit, Downs traveled … Continue reading Part 2, Chapter 2: Records

Part 1, Chapter 8: Ornithologist

Andrew Downs was considered one of the leading Canadian ornithologists of his time, and his zoological gardens were filled with numerous species of birds. To quote an article published in the journal NATURE, the naturalist Charles Hallock wrote about the zoo’s bird life while recounting one of his visits to the premises: …tumbler pigeons throw summersets … Continue reading Part 1, Chapter 8: Ornithologist