This spectacular bird is named Epimachus ellioti, in honor of Daniel Giraud Elliot, one of the most important American ornithologists and naturalists of the nineteenth century. Elliot was a scientific founder of the American Museum of Natural History in 1869, and his personal collection of North American birds included the first specimens accessioned to the Museum.
Elliot traveled the globe studying birds and published hundreds of papers, including multiple folio-sized monographs on groups of mammals and birds, including A monograph of the Paradiseidae or birds of paradise, in which this illustration appeared.
Read more about Elliot’s life and work in this excerpt from Natural Histories: Extraordinary Rare Book Selections from the American Museum of Natural History Library.
© AMNH/D. Finnin