John Henry Gurney Sr.
Gurney was the only son of the banker Joseph John Gurney of Earlham Hall, Norfolk. At the age of ten he was sent to a private tutor after Leytonstone in the proximity of Epping Forest, where he met the ornithologist Henry Doubleday and his first collection of natural history specimens started. From there he moved to the Friends' School to Tottenham, where he made the acquaintance of William Yarrell. At the age of 17, he joined Norwich in the banking business of his family.
Gurney published a number of articles in the journal The Zoologist over the birds of Norfolk. In addition, he built up a collection of birds of prey preparations. In 1864 he published the first part of the Descriptive catalog of his collection, and in 1872 he wrote The Birds of Damara country based on the writings of his friend Karl Johan Andersson.
Between 1875 and 1882 he produced a series of records in the journal Ibis and the first volume of the book Catalogue of Birds in the British Museum. 1884 followed the work List of Diurnal Birds of Prey, with References and annotation.
His son John Henry Gurney Jr. (1848-1922) was also an ornithologist and his great-great- grandson of Henry Richard Gurney from Heggatt Hall continues the family tradition.
Gurney first described Vogeltaxa as the Madagascar hawks and the Anjouan Sparrowhawk. Species such as the Rotohreule ( Mimizuku gurneyi ), the Goldkehlpitta ( Pitta gurneyi ), the Gurney - throttle ( Zoothera gurneyi ), the Moluccas eagle (Aquila gurneyi ) and the Natal honeyeater ( Promerops gurneyi ) were named after him.
Literature on John Henry Gurney
- Mullens, William Herbert & Swann, Harry Kirke ( 1917/Nachdruck 1986) A Bibliography of British Ornithology ISBN 0-854-86098-3.
- Born in 1819
- Died in 1890