HOWARD, Ozora William

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HOWARD, Ozora “Ozzie” William (1885-1928), noted landscape architect, was born in Los Angeles, California on January 18, 1877. As a youth, he attended Starbuck private school and Eighth Street Grammar School. At the end of the term of 1892, at the age of 15, Howard left school and began working in the nursery business. He became a self-taught accomplished naturalist, devoting his attention both butterflies and birds; and became a member of the Cooper Ornithological Club with a particular interest in oology. In 1895 at the age of 18, he collected a much sought after California Condor egg in Sisquoc Canyon, Santa Barbara County.


Howard collected two sets of Bald Eagle eggs on San Clemente Island on March 3, 1905 [WFVZ 23180; SBCM 4537]. Interestingly, the nest records for each collection are almost identical as to date and nest description. Perhaps there were two nests in close proximity.


In June 1910 George Willett wrote:

“On the evening of June 4, 1910, a party of Cooper Club members, composed of V. W. Owen, Antonin Jay, J. S. Appleton and the writer, left San Pedro on the 32-foot launch Niedra, Capt. E. R. Hall, for a two weeks’ trip to the four northern islands of the Santa Barbara group... On the morning of the 9th, the wind having died down some, we left at 4 o'clock ’ for San Miguel Island... After we had landed our supplies and our launch had left for the mainland, [V. W.] Owen and myself took our skiff and rowed to Prince Island, a small island about a half mile from the main island. Here we were joined by the Howard brothers, Lelande and Howe, their boat having arrived and anchored off Prince Island. They were leaving in the evening on their return trip, but we persuaded 0. W. Howard to join our party during the remainder of our stay. We found Prince Island to be literally alive with breeding sea birds, and later obtained many interesting specimens, as well as notes and photos. After looking over some of the breeding colonies Owen and myself returned to camp leaving [Ozora] Howard on Prince Island with his blankets and expecting to return for him in the morning. In the morning, however, the northwester was howling again and we were unable to reach him for two days and then only with the aid of some Japanese abalone fishermen and their launch. Howards ’ story of how he subsisted for two days on mussels and gulls ’ eggs, washt down with cactus juice, and how the Auklets persisted in getting in bed with him, is too harrowing to be told by an outside party, and I shall leave it for him to narrate in later columns of THE CONDOR... ” [Willett, Geroge. Summer Trip to the Northern Santa Barbara Islands in Condor, September 1910 (p. 170-174]

Directory of Members, Cooper Ornithological Club, May 1914:

  • O. W. Howard. Box 484, Los Angeles, CA 1895.


Howard visited Santa Cruz Island from March 25-April 5, 1927 with a side trip to the eastern portion of Santa Rosa Island looking at birds from April 2 to 4, 1927:

“Through the generosity of Mr. Silsby M. Spaulding who placed at our disposal his splendid cruiser Padariva II the writer [Pemberton] accompanied by H. W. Carriger, Dudley DeGroot, and O. W. Howard was enabled to spend the period from March 25 to April 5, 1927, inclusive, among the Channel Islands off the coast of southern California. Howard alone had visited the islands during the nesting season some twenty years before, the rest of us had long craved a chance of clambering over their rugged slopes, and Howard was eager to revisit the spots he had seen so long ago... We visited all of the islands excepting San Nicolas...” [Condor 30:2 (144), March-April 1928]


Howard collected specimens on all eight California Channel Islands:


On December 3, 1928, ornithologist, W. Lee Chambers, wrote to Joseph Grinnell: “I have just received the news that O. W. Howard died in a hospital in Nicaragua (I think), and his body will be brought home about the 20th of December for burial. He died from his old trouble, colitis, which I think has been bothering him for the last ten years.” [MVZ files]. Howard died at age 51 on his return-bound cruise to the Galapagos Islands on a yacht owned by Willets J. Hole. In 1923, D. R. Dickey had named a subspecies of grouse for him, Howard’s grouse, Dendragapus obscurus howardi.


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

HOWARD, Ozra (sic) William. “Born in Los Angeles, California, January 18, 1877. A member of the Cooper Ornithological Club who has devoted his attention chiefly to oology and has contributed several brief papers to various publications. In 1923 a subspecies of Grouse was dedicated to him by D. R. Dickey, under the name Dendragapus o. howardi.”



Island Collections~
ANACAPA ISLAND
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Anacapa Island O. W. Howard LACM April 1, 1906 LACM-22685 Thryomanes bewickii nesophilus Birds
Anacapa Island O. W. Howard LACM April 1, 1906 LACM-23223 Vermivora celata sordida Birds
Anacapa Island O. W. Howard LACM April 6, 1906 LACM-23344 Carpodacus mexicanus frontalis Birds
Anacapa Island O. W. Howard SDNHM April 6, 1906 SDNHM-29712 Melospiza melodia Birds
Anacapa Island O. W. Howard LACM April 7, 1906 LACM-23694 Amphispiza belli clementeae Birds
Anacapa Island O. W. Howard LACM April 7, 1906 LACM-23695 Amphispiza belli clementeae Birds
Anacapa Island O. W. Howard MCZ April 15, 1906 MCZ-304849 Pelecanus occidentalis californicus Birds
Anacapa Island O. W. Howard MCZ April 15, 1906 MCZ-304850 Pelecanus occidentalis californicus Birds
~ trip ~
Anacapa Island O. W. Howard LACM May 1, 1906 LACM-22684 Thryomanes bewickii nesophilus Birds
Anacapa Island O. W. Howard [?] NMNH May 1, 1906 USNM-417768.4422627 Salpinctes obsoletus obsoletus Birds
Anacapa Island O. W. Howard FMNH May 1, 1906 FMNH-21130 Salpinctes obsoletus obsoletus Eggs


SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
San Clemente Island O. W. Howard WFVZ March 3, 1905 WFVZ-23180 Haliaeetus leucocephalus Eggs
San Clemente Island O. W. Howard WFVZ March 3, 1905 WFVZ-26137 Pandion haliaetus Eggs
~ trip ~
San Clemente Island O. W. Howard WFVZ April 3, 1905 WFVZ-97066 Pandion haliaetus Eggs
San Clemente Island O. W. Howard WFVZ April 3, 1905 WFVZ-97067 Pandion haliaetus Eggs
San Clemente Island O. W. Howard WFVZ April 3, 1905 WFVZ-97068 Pandion haliaetus Eggs
San Clemente Island O. W. Howard WFVZ April 5, 1905 WFVZ-118645 Corvus corax Eggs
San Clemente Island O. W. Howard MCZ April 7, 1906 MCZ-55440 Amphispiza belli Birds
San Clemente Island O. W. Howard MCZ April 8, 1906 MCZ-307744 Amphispiza belli Birds


SAN MIGUEL ISLAND
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
San Miguel Island O. W. Howard LACM April 4, 1906 LACM-23228 Vermivora celata lutescens Birds
~ trip ~
San Miguel Island O. W. Howard LACM June 14, 1910 LACM-95570 Phalacrocorax penicillatus Eggs
San Miguel Island O. W. Howard WFVZ June 14, 1910 WFVZ-47562 Cepphus columba Eggs
San Miguel Island O. W. Howard WFVZ June 14, 1910 WFVZ-95584 Phalacrocorax penicillatus Eggs
San Miguel Island O. W. Howard WFVZ June 14, 1910 WFVZ-95600 Phalacrocorax pelagicus Eggs
San Miguel Island (Prince Island) O. W. Howard WFVZ June 15, 1910 WFVZ-80585 Larus occidentalis Eggs
San Miguel Island (Prince Island) O. W. Howard WFVZ June 15, 1910 WFVZ-80586 Larus occidentalis Eggs
San Miguel Island (Prince Island) O. W. Howard WFVZ June 15, 1910 WFVZ-95410 Pelecanus occidentalis Eggs
San Miguel Island (Prince Island) O. W. Howard WFVZ June 15, 1910 WFVZ-95411 Pelecanus occidentalis Eggs
San Miguel Island (Prince Island) O. W. Howard WFVZ June 15, 1910 WFVZ-95412 Pelecanus occidentalis Eggs
San Miguel Island O. W. Howard WFVZ June 15, 1910 WFVZ-95570 Phalacrocorax auritus Eggs


SANTA BARBARA ISLAND
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Santa Barbara Island O. W. Howard WFVZ April 6, 1906 WFVZ-186711 Melospiza melodia graminea Birds
Santa Barbara Island O. W. Howard LACM April 6, 1906 LACM-22372 Eremophila alpestris insularis Birds
Santa Barbara Island O. W. Howard LACM April 6, 1906 LACM-22373 Eremophila alpestris insularis Birds
Santa Barbara Island O. W. Howard LACM April 6, 1906 LACM-22587 Melospiza melodia graminea Birds
Santa Barbara Island O. W. Howard LACM April 6, 1906 LACM-22588 Melospiza melodia graminea Birds
Santa Barbara Island O. W. Howard LACM April 6, 1906 LACM-22589 Melospiza melodia graminea Birds
Santa Barbara Island O. W. Howard LACM April 6, 1906 LACM-22590 Melospiza melodia graminea Birds
Santa Barbara Island O. W. Howard SDNHM 1906 SDNHM-29712 Melospiza melodia graminea Birds


SANTA CATALINA ISLAND
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Santa Catalina Island O. W. Howard WFVZ May 4, 1905 WFVZ-13713 Empidonax difficilis Eggs
Santa Catalina Island O. W. Howard WFVZ May 4, 1905 WFVZ-63151 Falco peregrinus Eggs
Santa Catalina Island O. W. Howard NMNH May 4, 1905 USNM-438959 Vermivora celata sordida Birds


SANTA CRUZ ISLAND
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Santa Cruz Island O. W. Howard WFVZ May 4, 1905 WFVZ-14389 Vermivora celata Eggs
~ trip ~
Santa Cruz Island O. W. Howard LACM April 5, 1906 LACM-22828 Catharus guttatus guttatus Birds
~ trip ~
Santa Cruz Island O. W. Howard WFVZ April 27, 1906 WFVZ-137749 Vermivora celata Eggs
Santa Cruz Island O. W. Howard WFVZ April 29, 1906 WFVZ-183690 Aphelocoma coerulescens Eggs


SANTA ROSA ISLAND
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Santa Rosa Island O. W. Howard LACM April 1, 1927 LACM-7350 Elgaria multicarinata Herps




In the News~

July 8, 1909 [LAT/LB]: “The launch Flyer, Captain Will Graves, with sixteen members of the Cooper Ornithological Club of California, arrived home at midnight, after a four-day’s cruise of the Channel Islands. The party was composed of City Clerk Harry J. Leland, Los Angeles; Howard Robertson, O. W. and Arthur Howard, Dr. Otto Zahn, W. B. Judson, H. F. Hossack, Antonin Jay, Emerson Knight, Herbert Lowe, Dr. Horace Gaylord, W. S. McQuilling, Chester Lamb, C. B. Caldwell, C. B. Linton, Grannis Crandall and Victor Sepulveda…”


July 8, 1909 [LAH]: “Long Beach, July 7. The party of sixteen members of the Cooper Club of California who went to Santa Barbara Island July 3 in Captain W. H. Graves’ launch Flyer, returned last night with a large assortment of relics and interesting discoveries and with a story of having weathered one of the sharpest storms known among the Channel Islands for some years. Several different times members of the party were thrown overboard while trying to make landings through the heavy surf, and once several of the men had to stay all of one night and the following day in a small cave, being unable to return to their boat. In the party were Harry Lelande, city clerk of Los Angeles; attorney Howard Robertson, O. W. and Arthur Howard, Dr. Otto J. Zahn, W. B. Judson, H. F. Hossack, Antonio Jay, Emerson Knight, Dr. Horace Gaylord, H. N. Lowe, W. S. McQuilling, Chester Lamb, C. S. Caldwell, Clarence B. Linton, Horace Linton, Captain W. H. Graves, Mate Granis Crandall and Chef Victor Sepulveda.”


June 10, 1910 [SBWP]: “Islands scoured by scientific men. The little power launch Niedra, Captain Ed Hall, home port San Pedro, came in late yesterday afternoon from San Miguel Island for gasoline and water, and also to meet Captain Hall's wife and other members of his family who are expected to join him here for his return trip to San Pedro by way of San Nicolas. Incidentally, Captain Hall referred to a smashed foot which injury he received while attempting to make a landing, during a squall, on San Miguel. The Niedra is on a scientific expedition. At least, she is the transportation for two scientific expeditions which are engaged in the compilation of notes of the channel Islands and in the collection of curios and specimens. At San Miguel Island, the Niedra left Messrs. Willets of Los Angeles and Appleton of Simi, Ventura county, and others, a party of taxidermists and bird men, who will probably spend two or three weeks on the island, with headquarters at Kiler's (Cuyler's). At San Nicolas, he will stop for Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Linton and party, who have been tenb weeks on the dreary isle in the interests of a new institution in Los Angeles, gathering curios.”


June 25, 1910 [LAH]: “San Pedro, June 24. Fears for the safety of V. W. Owen, George Willett, O. W. Howard, Anthony Jay and J. S. Appleton were relieved this afternoon when the launch Niedra arrived today from Santa Rosa Island where the party was detained for more than a week, Captain E. Hall being unable to land because of a strong northwester and heavy seas. The party left Los Angeles June 4, intending to pass ten days on the island gathering Indian relics and bird specimens for the Natural History and Ornithological Club of Los Angeles. It was their intention to leave the island June 15. After the work had been completed the party waited day after day for the storm to abate. Harry Lelande, N. N. Love and A. P. Howard were members of the original party, but left the island before the storm was at its height and reached home safely. The other members of the party secured provisions from the power schooner Santa Rosa Island and from the only ranch house on the island.”


January 6, 1929 [LAT]: Word of the death of Ozora W. Howard in a hospital at Corinto, Nicaragua, Thanksgiving Day, came as a shock to horticultural circles in Southern California. Mr. Howard had not been well for several years, and a yachting trip to the Galapagos Islands begun in October was undertaken partly for his health. He was born in Los Angeles fifty-one years ago. For many years he was vice-president of the nursery firm of Howard and Smith and the active head of the landscaping department of the business. Monuments to his creative ability as a landscape architect are scattered all over the beauty spots of the Southwest. Always deeply intrigued by the desert and its weird plant life, he was among the first to appreciate the charm of cacti and recognize their decorative possibilities. He carried the fame of the desert flora to New York, and from Texas to the Pacific Coast some of the largest and best cactus gardens of today are the work of his hands. ‘O.W.,’ as he was familiarly called by his friends, was also an ornithologist, and bird life was his hobby. A new distinct species of grouse bears his name as its discoverer. In this age, when achievement is measured by money, and fame is sought with greed, there are shining exceptions—men who work for the love of it and who peruse unselfish ideals tirelessly all their lives. Such a man was O. W. Howard, gruff of speech, kindly of heart, generous, and far more wrapped up in his work than he was in himself. His accomplishments will live, though he is dead, and that is probably just what he would have wished. One of his personal friends has said of him, and it would make a not inappropriate epitaph: ‘O. W. was more interested in results than in rewards.’”


January 11, 1929 [LAT]: “The body of Ozora W. Howard of Beverly Hills, who died in Nicaragua on Thanksgiving Day, arrived at the local port recently for interment. His casket was blanketed with cacti and other desert greenery because of his fondness for the wild growths of the waste places. He was an indefatigable naturalist and died in pursuit of strange birds and plant life down in the tropics.”