BANCROFT, Griffing

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BANCROFT, Griffing (1879-1955), Connecticut-born son of famed historian, Hubert Howe Bancroft (1832-1918) and his second wife, Matilda Coley Griffing.
BANCROFT, Griffing (1879-1955)
Ornithologist and oologist by avocation, Bancroft and his namesake son had one of the largest private egg collections in the country before World War II. He became a member of the Cooper Ornithological Club in 1920. He made collecting trips to San Clemente Island in February and March of 1923, In February 1923 he collected on San Clemente Island, including five sets of bald eagle eggs. FIX

Bancroft authored numerous ornithological articles in the journal, Condor, as a result of a trip taken aboard his yacht to Baja California, Mexico. His egg collection is located and the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology. A southern form of yellow-crowned night heron (Nyctanassa violacea bancrofti), was named in his honor.

Bancroft collected specimens on:

  • San Clemente Island (1923)
  • Santa Catalina Island (1932)
  • Isla Natividad (1905, 1925, 1932)

His egg collection is located in the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology.


Palmer, T. S. Nomenclature of California Birds in Condor 30(5):267-268 September-October 1928:

BANCROFT, Griffing “Born at New Haven, Connecticut, January 21, 1879. An active oologist and ornithologist of San Diego and member of the Cooper Ornithological Club since 1920. In recognition of his interest in the birds of southern and Lower California, Huey has recently named a southern form of Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Nyctanassa violacea bancrofti, in his honor .”


» Bancroft, Griffing Lower California: A Cruise.

» Bancroft, Griffing The Flight of the Least Petrel, 1932




In the News~

May 5, 1955 [WP]: “May 4. La Jolla, CA. Griffing Bancroft, 76, naturalist, author and attorney and a member of one of California’s most noted families, died at his home here today. A native of New Haven, Connecticut, he was the son of Hubert Howe Bancroft who came to San Francisco during the ’49 gold rush… Griffing Bancroft authored several books including a novel about the Japanese migration to California… He married his first wife, the former Ethel Works, daughter of United States Senator John D. Works, who now lives in New York, in 1901. She is the mother of his three children. They were divorced and Bancroft married Margaret Wood in 1917. In addition to his widow other survivors include three children, Griffing Jr., CBS radio news reporter and commentator in Washington, D. C., Hubert Howe with the Voice of America in Washington, and Mrs. Louis Molloy, New York City.”



Island Collections~
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
San Clemente Island Griffing Bancroft WFVZ February 23, 1923 WFVZ-8160 Haliaeetus leucocephalus Eggs
San Clemente Island Griffing Bancroft WFVZ February 23, 1923 WFVZ-52452 Haliaeetus leucocephalus Eggs
San Clemente Island Griffing Bancroft WFVZ February 23, 1923 WFVZ-52454 Haliaeetus leucocephalus Eggs
San Clemente Island Griffing Bancroft WFVZ February 24, 1923 WFVZ-10084 Haliaeetus leucocephalus Eggs
San Clemente Island Griffing Bancroft & Gordon Burnham WFVZ February 26, 1923 WFVZ-9883 Haliaeetus leucocephalus Eggs
San Clemente Island Griffing Bancroft & Gordon Burnham WFVZ March 15, 1923 WFVZ-6910 Carpodacus mexicanus Eggs
San Clemente Island Griffing Bancroft & Gordon Burnham WFVZ March 15, 1923 WFVZ-8722 Carpodacus mexicanus Eggs
San Clemente Island Griffing Bancroft & Gordon Burnham WFVZ March 15, 1923 WFVZ-8724 Carpodacus mexicanus Eggs
San Clemente Island Griffing Bancroft & Gordon Burnham WFVZ March 27, 1923 WFVZ-97061 Pandion haliaetus Eggs


ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Santa Catalina Island Griffing Bancroft WFVZ April 1932 WFVZ-7945 Lophortyx californica Eggs