Scientific Journal of the BirdLife Hungary

A Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület tudományos folyóirata

Ornis Hungarica. vol.19. (2011) p.149-163.

Crown-Prince Rudolf, the ornithologist
Hadarics Tibor

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Rudolf the crown prince was born in 1858, over a century ago. Not many are aware
that the enlightened noble man spoke Hungarian and also was interested in ornithology. He also was close friends with Afred Brhem, whom in his book Thierleben used the texts written by Rudolf for describing the Black Kite, the Montague’s and the Marsh Harriers, and that of the „midgrouse”. He pursued his hunting and birding interests in foreign countries like Hungary, Spain, Egypt and the Middle-East. Hunting was simply a scientific method for him, he valued his prey purely from a scientific perspective. His papers on various aspects of ornithology were published, often anonymously, in Hungarian and Austrian journals. He also published two books on his travelling adventures. He made the heron colony at Obedszka Bara protected in 1875 making the first protected site in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. He was active in establishing bird observatories throughout the country. He had an active role in organizing the first International Ornithological Congress in 1884 (Vienna) which he opened personally. The, next congress, held in Budapest was delayed because of his death and was only held in 1891. He is remembered through the scientific names of two avian species and a subspecies.