Dr. H. Douglas Pratt, is a world-renowned ornithologist, author, illustrator, musician, and photographer (www.hdouglaspratt.com). Born in Charlotte, NC, he attended Davidson College (B. S. 1966) and Louisiana State University (Ph.D. 1979). Before returning to NC in 2005 to become Research Curator of Birds (now Emeritus) at the NC State Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, he was for many years a Research Associate of the LSU Museum of Natural Science and an independent consultant, birding tour leader, and illustrator. A Fellow of the American Ornithologists' Union (AOU), he specializes in the speciation of birds on islands, with a focus on Hawaii, Micronesia, and Polynesia, and has published scientific papers in many ornithological journals. He is a pioneer recordist of bird sounds on Pacific islands, and an Associate of the Macaulay Library, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, where he published a double CD Voices of Hawaii’s Birds.
Despite his scientific credentials, Dr. Pratt is probably best known as a bird illustrator, primarily because he painted nearly a quarter of the illustrations in the National Geographic Society's Field Guide to the Birds of North America. He followed that, as both senior author and sole illustrator, with A Field Guide to the Birds of Hawaii and the Tropical Pacific (Princeton University Press). Pratt paintings have appeared in many periodicals including National Geographic, Audubon, Natural History, National Wildlife, Science, Evolution, The Auk, North American Birds, Defenders, Birding, BioScience, GEO (Germany), Terre Sauvage (France), Te Manu (Tahiti), and Western Birds.
Dr. Pratt is author and/or illustrator of 15 full-length books including his most important work, The Hawaiian Honeycreepers: Drepanidinae (Oxford University Press). He illustrated Ernst Mayr and Jared Diamond's Birds of Northern Melanesia (Oxford) as well as Phoebe Snetsinger’s memoir Birding on Borrowed Time (American Birding Association), and was chosen to complete the final plate for the posthumously published fifth edition of Roger Tory Peterson’s Field Guide to the Birds. He is also an author and illustrator for the AOU series Birds of North America, as well as the prestigious Handbook of the Birds of the World (Lynx Edicions, Barcelona). He is currently preparing a revision of the Hawaii/Pacific field guide.