Alexander Skutch

Alexander Frank Skutch was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1904. After receiving a Ph.D. in botany from Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Skutch was hired by the United Fruit Company to investigate the diseases plaguing banana plantations in Central America. After an initial stay in Jamaica, Don Alexander traveled to Guatemala, Honduras and Panama, where he developed a deep love for the tropics and its birds. Although he continued to collect botanical specimens for money, Dr. Skutch devoted the rest of his life to birds, conservation and philosophy.

In addition to being one of the first members of the Tropical Science Center (TSC) and a founding member of the Costa Rican Ornithological Association, Skutch wrote more than 40 books and 200 articles on ornithology, in which he preferred to employ a descriptive style that rejected statistics and even bird banding. He died eight days before his 100th birthday, in the same year he received the Loye and Alden Miller Research Award. His farm, “Los Cusingos,” is now a bird refuge and house museum under the management of the TSC.

Dr. Skutch is recognized as one of the world’s leading ornithologists.


Alexander Skutch Library