James Ferguson-Lees, British ornithologist , Died at 88

James Ferguson-Lees was born on January 8, 1929, in Italy, and died on January 11, 2017.

He was a British ornithologist.

Lees became known as a member of the British Birds Rarities Committee who was responsible, with John Nelder and Max Nicholson, for publicly debunking the Hastings Rarities.

He had spent his early years in Italy and France but was educated in Bedford, England.

Ferguson-Lees turned down the chance to study zoology at Oxford University in order to get married, and became a teacher for seven years.

At a young age, he was taught about birds by Bernard Tucker.

Ferguson-Lees was also a twitcher, once driving through the night to see a dusky thrush at Hartlepool.

During 1952 Max Nicholson persuaded him to become Assistant Editor of British Birds, then two years later, Executive Editor.

He was a member of the British Birds Rarities Committee from (1959-1963) and was responsible, with John Nelder and Nicholson, for debunking the Hastings Rarities – a series of rare birds, preserved by a taxidermist and provided with bogus histories.

Ferguson-Lees has made a particular study of peregrines and dunnocks.

Ferguson-Lees had two sons and two daughters.

James Ferguson-Lees passed away at 82 years old.