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Papers of Ronald Keir Murton

 Single Item
MS. 15040

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Comprises correspondence and various papers, both by Murton and others, several of which relate to pigeons:
  1. letter from Murton to the Editor of British Birds, 13 Jun 1955, enclosing a paper entitled 'Passerines alighting on the sea' describing observations made during migration watch from the South Goodwin Lightship in Nov 1954
  2. letter from Murton to Brian Lofts concerning and containing extracts from Alexander L.A. Middleton's thesis 'The ecology and reproductive biology of the European goldfinch, Carduelis carduelis, near Melbourne, Victoria', 20 Oct 1965
  3. copy letter from C.M. Smith, 8 Mar 1957, regarding rookery sites and tree nomenclature for New Zealand, forwarded by Peter Bull, 11 Aug 1966
  4. 'Subspecies of Columba livia based on specimens in British Museum of Natural History', handwritten notes, 7 pages, Sep 1967
  5. 'Optimal allocation of resources in the feral pigeon: a research proposal', by Erica H. Dunn, together with 3 letters dated 13 Dec 1973, 8 Jan 1974 and 17 Jan 1974
  6. letter from Robert Eyres Kenward, with papers relating to pigeon fieldwork data and copy of 'Chapter 4: The influence of goshawk attacks, human disturbance and other factors on the distribution of feeding woodpigeons in winter', n.d. [1970s]
  7. 'Appendix to FRB [Fisheries Research Board of Canada] Technical Report No. 312: Examples of output', n.d. [1970s]


  • 1954-1974, n.d. [1970s]


1 box

Language of Materials


Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries, MS. 15040.
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MS. 15040

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 15040


Papers of Ronald Keir Murton.

Biographical / Historical

Ronald Keir Murton (1932-1978) was educated at Southgate Grammar School, and studied Zoology at University College London. He entered government service in 1955, as an ornithologist with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. In 1962 he was awarded a PhD for his ecological investigations of woodpigeons, mainly focusing on their diet and feeding behaviour. His book, The Woodpigeon, was published in 1965, followed by Man and Birds, in 1971. From September 1968, he worked abroad for a year in Brian Loft's department at the University of Hong Kong. A further book, Avian Breeding Cycles, was published just four months before his death in 1978.

Biographical note written with reference to:

Ward, P. (1979), Obituary: R.K. Murton, Ibis, vol. 121, no. 1, pp. 112-113.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from the Alexander Library of Ornithology, 2018.
Papers of Ronald Keir Murton
EAD version 2019 by Sarah Thiel and Marion Lowman
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom