Howard Cogswell
and the
History of California Ornithology and Birding

California State Bear Flag Brown Bear Walking on Green Meadow with Gopher MoundsCalifornia State Bear Flag

Compiled and Edited
Robert Jan 'Roy' van de Hoek
Conservation Biologist & Geographer
Ballona Institute
Wetlands Action Network


Howard Cogswell will not be forgotten in southern California because this web page brings acknowledgment and attention to his importance for ornithology, avian ecology and bird knowledge in Los Angeles County.

Articles by Howard Cogswell on Los Angeles County Birds
1944. Sharp-tailed Sparrow in Southern California.Condor

Bird Observations in Los Angeles County from 1940 to 1950
1950. Harlequin Duck at Santa Monica Pier
1950. American White Pelican in San Gabriel Mountains

May, 2010
American Wetlands Month
In 2009, I began to research the Whittier Narrows Natural Area and the associated Nature Center. I discovered that Howard Cogswell resided there in 1946-1947 with his wife and young son. He was employed as a warden and "steward" by the National Audubon Society to watch over the San Gabriel River Bird Sanctuary, that was also known as a wildlife and wildflower sanctuary.

He also attended Whittier College while he was an Audubon warden, and obtained his university degree (baccalaureate - Bachelor of Science) in 1948. Earlier, in the late 1930s, he attended Pasadena City College.

Then I learned that Erna Comby and her husband, Julius Comby, became good friends of Howard Cogswell, and Erna facilitated the employment of Howard to a position with the National Audubon Society. Erna also had a good relationship with John Baker, the president of the National Audubon Society. Attached below is a link to a web page that has further information about the friendship of Erna and Julius with Howard. There is much more to present to you in a future supplement.

Erna Comby to Howard Cogswell