William Edwin Brooks

William Edwin Brooks (July 30, 1828, near Dublin, Ireland - January 18, 1899, Mount Forest, Ontario) was a civil engineer in India and an ornithologist. He went to India in 1856 as a civil engineer with the railways and stayed on until 1881.

After retirement he moved out of India and settled in Ontario, Canada. He was an honorary member of the British Ornithological Union. He corresponded with Alfred Russell Wallace, Thomas C. Jerdon and Robert Christopher Tytler. His vast collection of bird specimens is at the British Museum and during his career in India, he corresponded actively with other ornithologists in the region, notably, Allan Octavian Hume. His third son Allan Brooks, named after Hume, became an ornithologist and artist of repute.

He retired in 1881 and moved to Ontario. In 1887, Brooks moved his family from Milton, Ontario, to a new farm at Chilliwack, British Columbia. In 1891 he sold the Chilliwack place to return to a new Ontario farm at Mount Forest, in the heart of British Columbia.

Brooks was admired by later workers for his careful observations and notes on the vocalizations of warblers. He was among the first to suggest that each species of warbler had a distinctive call. Brooks' Leaf Warbler (Phylloscopus subviridis) is named after him.

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