Davis, Malcolm (Deceased)
Malcolm was born in 1899 in Washington, D.C. He went to Business High School and attended the University of Maryland for two years. He later received his degree in zoology from George Washington University. After serving in the Army Signal Corps during World War I, he was emplyed by the National Zoological Park in 1927. There he found his special interest in birds. He worked in many departments at the zoo, but eventually he became head keeper in the Bird Division. In this work he made trips to Africa, Asia, Australia, the East Indies, New Zealand, Samoa, South America, and Alaska to bring back animals for display. In addition to these travels, he went to Antarctica three times with Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd, surveying islands that are now named after him and bringing back the first live emperor penguins. Malcolm once held the record for keeping these penguins alive in captivity (six years), and among many other animals, he brought back an Indian rhinoceros which was for many years the zoo’s most prized animal. In 1960, Malcolm retired from the zoo and began work as a consultant to the National Wildlife Federation, also taking care of a monkey colony at the Woodard Research Corporation in Herndon. Among the professional organizations with which Malcolm was involved are the American Ornithologists’ Union, the American Society of Mammalogists, the Biological Society of Washington, the International Wild Waterfowl Association, the Audubon Society, the Northern Virginia Ornithological Society, Virginia Outdoor Writers’ Association, the Antarctic Society, and the Explorers’ Club. He also was active in the Masonic Lodge, Herndon Lions Club, Trinity Presbyterian Church of Herndon, and the Goose Creek Country Club. He contributed to The Auk, Journal of Mammalogy, National Geographic Magazine, and All-Pets Magazine, as well as to the weekly journals, Fairfax County Sun Echo and Loudoun County Times-Mirror. One of his most famous accounts was of a tailor bird’s behavior during an earthquake in Calcutta; it was the first known record of a bird’s behavior during an earthquake. He also spoke frequently to various civic and public groups. In his own words, he lived his life to “create and encourage awareness among the people of the Nation of the need for wise use and proper management of those resources of the earth upon which the lives and welfare of man depend: the soils, the waters, the forests, the minerals, the plant life, and the wildlife.” He was elected to membership in the Washington Biologists’ Field Club in 1942. He died in Herndon, Virginia, on October 4, 1970, of a heart attack.