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Department of Vertebrate Zoology

Division of Birds

Labrador Duck
Labrador Duck
Christina Gebhard © Smithsonian Institution
bar Image of Storrs Olson, Senior Scientist
    Storrs L. Olson
    Curator Emeritus

  • Phone: (202) 633-0795
  • Fax: (202) 633-8084
  • E-mail: olsons[at]

  • Mailing Address:
    Smithsonian Institution
    Division of Birds
    PO Box 37012, MRC 116
    Washington, DC 20013-7012

  • Shipping Address:
    Smithsonian Institution
    Division of Birds
    10th and Constitution Ave, NW
    Washington, DC 20560-0116


Sc.D. Johns Hopkins University (1972)
M. S. Florida State University (1968)
B.A. Florida State University (1966)

Research Interests

Current research interests: fossil avifaunas and paleoenvironments of Hawaii, Bermuda, and the West Indies. Biogeography of the avifauna of the archipelago and lowlands of Bocas del Toro, Panama. Phylogeny and systematics of Hawaiian and various other birds, mainly Neotropical.

Recent Publications

Olson, Storrs L. and Humphrey, Johanna R. 2017. The island of origin of Richard Harlan’s Galapagos tortoise Testudo elephantopus. Archives of Natural History, 44(1): 110-117. doi:10.3366/anh.2017.0418

Rando, J. C., Pieper, H., Olson, Storrs L., Pereira, F. and Alcover, J. A. 2017. A new extinct species of large bullfinch (Aves: Fringillidae: Pyrrhula) from Graciosa Island (Azores, North Atlantic Ocean). Zootaxa, 4282(3): 567-583. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.4282.3.9

Olson, Storrs L. and Wiley, James W. 2016. The Blue-headed Quail-Dove (Starnoenas cyanocephala): an Australasian dove marooned in Cuba. Wilson Journal of Ornithology, 128(1): 1-21. doi:10.1676/1559-4491-128.1.1

Olson, Storrs L. and Lund, Judith N. 2016. Additional references to “woggin” as a name for penguins. Archives of Natural History, 43(2): 360-362. doi:10.3366/anh.2016.0392

Hailer, Frank, James, Helen F., Olson, Storrs L. and Fleischer, Robert C. 2015. Distinct and extinct: Genetic differentiation of the Hawaiian eagle. Molecular phylogenetics and evolution, 83: 40-43. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2014.11.005

Olson, Storrs L. 2015. Mass mortality of male Oceanic Puffer Lagocephalus lagocephalus (Tetraodontidae) at Trindade Island (Brazil), South Atlantic Ocean, with a review of mortalities in Hawaii and the Gulf of Guinea. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 127(4): 568-571. doi:10.2988/0006-324X-127.4.568

Olson, Storrs L. 2015. History, morphology, and fossil record of the extinct Puerto Rican Parakeet Psittacara maugei Souancé. Wilson Journal of Ornithology, 127(1): 1-12. doi:10.1676/14-020.1

Olson, Storrs L. 2015. Review of: [Book Review:] The Bird Skinner, by Alice Greenway. Wilson Journal of Ornithology, 127(1): 157-158.

Olson, Storrs L. 2015. The myth of the Malaspina Expedition in the Galapagos Islands. Archives of Natural History, 42(1): 173-175. doi:10.3366/anh.2015.0290

Suárez, William and Olson, Storrs L. 2015. Systematics and distribution of the giant fossil barn owls of the West Indies (Aves: Strigiformes: Tytonidae). Zootaxa, 4020(3): 533-553. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.4020.3.7

Olson, Storrs L. 2015. More on the status of Testudo nigra Quoy and Gaimard and Testudo nigrita Duméril and Bibron as nomina dubia for Galapagos tortoises (Testudines: Testudinidae). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 128(4): 204-208. doi:10.2988/0006-324X-128.4.204

Welch, Andreanna J., Olson, Storrs L. and Fleischer, Robert C. 2014. Phylogenetic relationships of the extinct St Helena petrel, Pterodroma rupinarum Olson, 1975 (Procellariiformes: Procellariidae), based on ancient DNA. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 170(3): 494-505. doi:10.1111/zoj.12078

Olson, Storrs L. and David, Normand 2014. The gender of the tortoise genus Chelonoidis Fitzinger, 1835 (Testudines: Testudinidae). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 126(4): 393-394. doi:10.2988/0006-324X-126.4.393

Olson, Storrs L. 2014. Review of: [Book Review:] The Legacy of a Red Hills Hunting Plantation: Tall Timbers Research Station &amp Land Conservancy. The Auk, 131(1): 114-115. doi:10.1642/AUK-13-239.1

Olson, Storrs L. 2014. A hard nut to crack: rapid evolution in the Kona Grosbeak of Hawaii for a locally abundant food source (Drepanidini: Chloridops kona). Wilson Journal of Ornithology, 126(1): 1-8. doi:10.1676/13-046.1

Olson, Storrs L. 2014. The early scientific history of Galapagos iguanas. Archives of Natural History, 41(1): 141-153. doi:10.3366/anh.2014.0217

Suárez, William and Olson, Storrs L. 2014. A new fossil species of small crested caracara (Aves: Falconidae: Caracara) from the Pacific lowlands of western South America. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 127(2): 299-310. doi:10.2988/0006-324X-127.2.299

Olson, Storrs L. 2014. Tracks of a Stilt-Like Bird from the Early Eocene Green River Formation of Utah: Possible Earliest Evidence of the Recurvirostridae (Charadriiformes). Waterbirds, 37(3): 340-345. doi:10.1675/063.037.0313

Olson, Storrs L. 2013. Fossil woodpeckers from Bermuda with the description of a new species of Colaptes (Aves: Picidae). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 126(1): 17-24. doi:10.2988/0006-324X-126.1.17

Rando, Juan Carlos, Alcover, Josep Antoni, Olson, Storrs L. and Pieper, Harald 2013. A new species of extinct scops owl (Aves: Strigiformes: Strigidae: Otus ) from São Miguel Island (Azores Archipelago, North Atlantic Ocean). Zootaxa, 3647(2): 343-357. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3647.2.6

Olson, Storrs L. and Hearty, Paul J. 2013. Periodicity of extinction and recolonization of the West Indian topshell Cittarium pica in the Quaternary of Bermuda (Gastropoda: Trochoidea). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 110(1): 235-243. doi:10.1111/bij.12119

Olson, Storrs L. 2013. Hawaii's first fossil bird: history, geological age, and taxonomic status of the extinct goose Geochen rhuax Wetmore (Aves: Anatidae). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 126(2): 161-168. doi:10.2988/0006-324X-126.2.161

Olson, Storrs L. and Hearty, Paul J. 2013. Fossilized egg indicates probable breeding of Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) on Bermuda in the Middle Pleistocene. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 126(2): 169-177. doi:10.2988/0006-324X-126.2.169

Olson, Storrs L. 2013. The bird war. Hana Hou! : the Magazine of Hawaiian Airlines, 16(4): 98-107.

Olson, Storrs L. and Levy, Catherine 2013. Eleazar Albin in Don Saltero's coffee-house in 1736: how the Jamaican mango hummingbird got its name, Trochilus mango. Archives of Natural History, 40(2): 340-344. doi:10.3366/anh.2013.0180

Olson, Storrs L. 2013. A nomenclatural history of Audubon's Shearwater with designation of a neotype for Puffinus lherminieri Lesson, 1839 (Aves: Procellariidae). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 126(3): 199-203. doi:10.2988/0006-324X-126.3.199

Olson, Storrs L. 2013. A Late Pliocene occurrence of the Thick-billed Murre (Alcidae: Uria lomvia) on St. George Island, Pribilofs, Alaska. Paleontological Journal, 47(11): 1365-1368. doi:10.1134/S0031030113110129

Complete List of Olson's Publications and Downloadable PDFs

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