Harold Douglas Pratt Jr.


Harold Douglas Pratt Jr. (born July 23, 1944, in Charlotte, North Carolina),[1] often credited in the short form H. Douglas Pratt or as Doug Pratt, is an American ornithologist, bio acoustican, wildlife photographer, bird illustrator, and musician. His main research field are the endemic avifaunas of Hawaii and other islands in the Pacific where he was one of the pioneers of the voice recordings of birds. Pratt is a Fellow of the American Ornithologists' Union.

In 1966 Pratt graduated to Bachelor of Science at the Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina. With his dissertation A systematic analysis of the endemic Avifauna of the Hawaiian Islands he promoted to PhD at the Louisiana State University in 1979. Before he became curator of birds at the North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh he worked as research associate at the Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge from 1980 to 2005.[2]

In 1975 Pratt was one of the last scientists who were able to photograph the possible extinct ʻōʻū[3] and one of several scientists to record the song of the extinct Kaua'i o'o.[4]

Pratt wrote important revisions within the genus Zosterops[5] and the subfamily Drepanidinae. In 1987 he split the bridled white-eye into the three distinct species Zosterops conspicillatus, Zosterops semperi, and Zosterops hypolais.[5] In 1979 he renamed Hemignathus wilsoni into Hemignathus munroi. In 1989 he moved the Kauai amakihi from the genus Himatione to the genus Hemignathus. In 2009 he suggested the new created genus Manucerthia for the Hawaiʻi creeper.[6]

Besides his scientific work Pratt is also a musician. He plays autoharp and won the Walnut Valley Festival International Autoharp Championship in 2006.[7] In 2012, he published his first record You Can't Play That on the Autoharp!

Works (selected)

  • 1987: A Field Guide to the Birds of Hawaii and the Tropical Pacific
  • 1996: Hawaii's Beautiful Birds
  • 1996: Pocket Guide to Hawaii's Birds
  • 1999: Pocket Guide to Hawaii's Trees and Shrubs
  • 2002: Enjoying Birds and Other Wildlife in Hawaii
  • 2005: The Hawaiian Honeycreepers
  • 2006: Flowering Trees: Images of Hawaii's Natural Beauty
  • 2007: Birds: Images of Hawaii's Feathered Heritage
  • 2008: Birds & Bats of Palau

Pratt has illustrated at least 20 books, including several plates in the Handbook of the Birds of the World and he created several bird and mammal paintings in the Encyclopædia Britannica, despite having no formal art training.[2]


  1. ^ Robert D. Craig, Russell T. Clement: Who's Who in Oceania p 155, 1980–1981. Brigham Young University--Hawaii Campus. Institute for Polynesian Studies
  2. ^ a b Pratt, H. Douglas (2009). "Biography". Retrieved January 5, 2010.
  3. ^ Sheila Conant, H. Douglas Pratt & Robert J. Shallenberger: Reflections on a 1975 expedition to the lost world of the Alakai and other notes on the natural history, systematics, and conservation of Kauai birds In: Wilson Bulletin, 110(l), 1998, p. l-22
  4. ^ https://macaulaylibrary.org/audio/5015
  5. ^ a b Pratt, H. Douglas; Bruner, Philip L.; Berret, Delwyn G. (1987). A Field Guide to the Birds of Hawaii and the Tropical Pacific. Princeton University Press. pp. 283, 284. ISBN 0-691-02399-9.
  6. ^ Pratt, H. Douglas (October 2009). "A New Genus for the Hawai'i Creeper, with Comments on Generic Limits among Insectivorous Hawaiian Honeycreepers" (PDF). 'Elepaio – Journal of the Hawaii Audubon Society. Honolulu: Hawaii Audubon Society. 69 (7): 47–54. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 11, 2011. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
  7. ^ Walnut Festival Contests

External links

  • Official website by H. Douglas Pratt
  • Shot biography at the Artist Registry of the Stanford University