Kimball L. Garrett

Collections Manager (Retired), Ornithology

Kimball L. Garrett was our Collections Manager in Ornithology until 2022 and remains as a Research Associate in the department.  Garrett joined the Natural History Museum staff in March 1982. A lifelong California resident, he grew up in Hollywood, received his undergraduate education in Zoology at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and University of California, Berkeley, and did graduate work in Ornithology at UCLA.

An avid birdwatcher since childhood, Garrett has been involved in documenting the avifauna of Los Angeles County and adjacent regions for over forty years. Since the early 1990s he has monitored nonnative, naturalized bird species in California, including 10 plus species of parrots, various doves, and several seed-eating passerines including Nutmeg Mannikins and Orange Bishops; for more information on naturalized parrots, see our Resources page. He was lead author for two species monographs in the authoritative Birds of North America series, those for the Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis) and the White-headed Woodpecker (Picoides albolarvatus).

Garrett’s interest in field identification problems has extended recently to North American wood-warblers (Dunn, J. L. and K. L. Garrett. 1997. Field guide to warblers of North America. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston) and various polytypic passerines (e.g., White-crowned Sparrows, see Birding 27:182-200, 1995). Garrett is past president of Western Field Ornithologists (WFO) and has put in 24 years of service on the WFO’s California Bird Records Committee ; he has also served on the American Birding Association’s Checklist Committee. His book Birds of Southern California: Status and Distribution (coauthored with Jon Dunn; Los Angeles Audubon Society, 1981) remains the standard distributional reference for the region. He also coauthored (with Jon Dunn and Bob Morse) the 2006 guide Birds of the Los Angeles Region, a popular treatment of the bird life of the greater Los Angeles area. Garrett coedits (with Guy McCaskie) the quarterly Southern California regional reports for the journal North American Birds, and he has served as the Los Angeles County subregional editor for that  journal since 1979.

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