Posts Tagged ‘James Bond Obituary’

My name is Bond, James Bond (007 Goes Birding)

August 16, 2009

“My name is Bond, James Bond.”


No. No. No. Not that James Bond.  This one:


The real one. I’m the one who published more than 40 original ornithology papers but never once shot anyone with a Walther PPK.  Ian Fleming stole my name.

I was the author of The Birds of the West Indies, first published in 1936.


In real life, I was an American ornithologist and lived from 1900 to 1989.  When Ian Fleming needed a name for his fictional spy, he chose mine because he used my book often when he was living and bird watching in Jamaica.  Apparently he saw my book on his bookshelf in his home in Jamaica and decided that mine was the perfect name for his spy.  In 1964 he gave me a first edition copy of his book, You Only Live Twice. He inscribed it for me:

“To the real James Bond, from the thief of his identity”

I never minded that he borrowed my name, although I must tell you; birding in the Caribbean was never like this, except for the clouds:


His books and mine, even though we are both long since dead, are still in print.  You can get mine from Amazon or have your local bookstore order it for you.  That is better.  Your local book store needs the business. Now, it is named The Peterson Guide to the Birds of the West Indies.

If you’re interested in more about me, Auk published a nice obituary after my death.

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