CHAMBERS, William Lee

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CHAMBERS, William Lee (1878-1966), Missouri-born naturalist and egg collector who grew up in the Los Angeles area. In 1893, he and a group of young naturalists formed the Southern California Natural History Society, and held their meetings in space provided by the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. The following year, the society became the southern division of the Cooper Ornithological Society founded in San José. Chambers and his parents moved to Santa Monica in 1894, and as early 1895 he visited several of the Channel Islands. Through the years Chambers published several short notes in ornithological journals, his first appearing when he was only 17. He attended the University of Southern California, and for 28 years served as the business manager of the Cooper Ornithological Society.

Chambers made a collecting trip to Anacapa Island in May 1928 when he collected both fresh pelican eggs and western gull eggs. He gave the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History a Dudleya from San Miguel Island as reported in the January, 1931 Museum Leaflet.

Chambers remained active in the field most of his life, moving into Topanga Canyon, Los Angeles County during retirement. He died watching birds from his porch on January 8, 1966. Copies of his field notes can be found in the library holdings of the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology in Camarillo, California. [CAS portrait]

Chambers became a member of the Cooper Ornithological Club in 1897. He became a life member in 1919. Directory of Members, Cooper Ornithological Club, May 1914:

  • W. Lee Chambers. Eagle Rock, CA 1897.


Chambers collected on:

CALIFORNIA CHANNEL ISLANDS


BAJA CALIFORNIA ISLANDS



Island Collections~
ANACAPA ISLAND
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Anacapa Island W. L. Chambers TCWC May 20, 1928 TCWC-22105 Larus occidentalis Birds


SANTA BARBARA ISLAND
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Santa Barbara Island William L. Chambers UF June 4, 1899 UF-932 Ptychoramphus aleuticus Eggs
Santa Barbara Island William L. Chambers NMNH June 4, 1899 USNM-B42120.4168725 Ptychoramphus aleuticus Eggs
Santa Barbara Island William L. Chambers NMNH June 4, 1899 USNM-B42121.4168726 Ptychoramphus aleuticus Eggs
Santa Barbara Island William L. Chambers NMNH June 4, 1899 USNM-B42122.4168727 Ptychoramphus aleuticus Eggs
Santa Barbara Island William L. Chambers WFVZ June 4, 1899 WFVZ-88946 Ptychoramphus aleuticus Eggs
Santa Barbara Island William L. Chambers WFVZ June 4, 1899 WFVZ-90218 Larus occidentalis Eggs