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1 July 2011 In Memoriam: Nagahisa Kuroda, 1916–2009

Nagahisa Kuroda, a Corresponding (1961) and Honorary (1981) Fellow of the AOU, died on 26 February 2009 in Japan. He was born in Tokyo on 23 November 1916, the son of the well-known Japanese ornithologist Nagamichi Kuroda. He was educated at local schools and graduated from Gakushuin High School and Toyko University. He spent five years in the military during World War II. He received a doctorate degree from Hokkadio University, where he worked with Toru Uchida on the classification and phylogeny of Tubinares, especially shearwaters.

Kuroda's 92 years were full. His early interest in local shrikes and terns enriched his school years. After his military service, he worked with O. L. Austin, Jr., then head of the General Headquarters Wildlife Branch and the U.S. Army General Medical Laboratory. In 1952, he moved to the Yamashima Institute of Ornithology, where he worked on the anatomy and ecology of seabirds and participated in maritime survey work with several international groups. In the early 1990s, he moved to the newly established Abiko Bird Museum, an excellent exhibition museum located immediately next to the Yamashima Institute, to continue his work.

In addition to his position as head of research at the Yamashima Institute, Kuroda was active in many societies. He served as president of several societies: the Ornithological Society of Japan (1970–1976 and 1980–1989), the Wild Bird Society, the Japanese Association for the Preservation of Birds, and the Japanese Bird-banding Society. He was also president of the Japanese section of the International Council for Bird Preservation.

Kuroda enjoyed painting and drawing birds and played the violoncello. His painting of the extinct Crested Shelduck (Kuroda 1917) was done as a memorial to his father in 1978, and copies were presented to visiting ornithologists. His wife Kazuko predeceased him after 30 years of marriage. Nagaaki, their first child, died in 1980 at age 31; Nagataka (b. 1952) survives.

This memorial is based on material from the AOU Archives and an obituary (in Japanese) published in the Japanese Journal of Ornithology.

© The American Ornithologists' Union, 2011. Printed in USA.
"In Memoriam: Nagahisa Kuroda, 1916–2009," The Auk 128(3), 592, (1 July 2011).
Published: 1 July 2011
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