Wilson, Alexander, 1766–1813, American ornithologist, b. Scotland. He came to the United States c.1794 and taught in rural New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Encouraged by William Bartram, he studied the birds of his adopted country, learned to portray them, and began his American Ornithology (9 vol., 1808–14), a work that is noted for its accuracy and sensitive draftsmanship. The last two volumes of this series of books were completed by his friend and biographer (1829), George Ord, after Wilson's death. Wilson is also known for his poems and essays on nature.
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