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Eccentric ornithologist and editor dies


On this day in 1985, Edgar Bryan Kincaid, Jr., died in Austin. Released by wealth from regular work, Kincaid had spent ten years, beginning in 1963, editing Harry C. Oberholser's Bird Life of Texas. He reduced the massive three-million-word manuscript by two-thirds and chopped a 572-page bibliography to thirty pages--thus making this classic work accessible. In his later years, Kincaid became quite reclusive, not wanting to see the highways and houses that intruded upon previously wild areas. He called himself Cassowary and his close friends by other bird names. His fear of burglars was realized when he was robbed in his own house at gunpoint, after which he developed a fever and died.

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