Van Cortlandt Park in 1930s:
Earl Segal and Allan Cruickshank
in the
Bronx, New York

Robert Jan "Roy" van de Hoek
Ballona Institute
322 Culver Blvd., Suite 317
Playa del Rey, California 90293
(310) 821-9045
ŠJanuary 7, 2011

Earl Segal and Allan Cruickshank explored Van Cortlandt Park in the 1930s for invertebrates and birds respectively. They appear not to have known each other, but as teens interested in nature, they both independently explored the urban ecology and natural history of Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx of New York City.

Both Earl Segal and Allan Cruickshank would later come to Los Angeles as adults. Earl Segal attended USC, UCLA, and became a professor at CSUN, with a speciality in invertebrate zoology and marine biology.

Allan Cruickshank came to Los Angeles to visit the Whittier Narrows Nature Center, which at the time of his visit was a bird sanctuary and wildlife area, managed by the National Audubon Society. Allan, and his wife Helen Cruickshank, were employees of the National Audubon Society. They wrote an article with photographs of the Whittier Narrows Nature Center in the 1950s.

Allan Cruickshank became a leader in bird photography and influential author of birds with the National Audubon Society. Allan was friends with Roger Tory Peterson, and together they were members of the Bronx Bird Club.

Allan Cruickshank took his first photograph of a King Rail with his father's camera before World War II at Van Cortlandt Park, in the Bronx of New York.

Earl Segal explored Van Cortlandt Park in the 1930s, both as an escape from high school, but also to observe nature, such as turning over rocks in the park, and finding invertebrate animals such as slugs, snails, worms, and more. As an adult, Earl Segal became a professor of biology that taught about invertebrates to many univeristy students in Los Angeles. He took us on field trips to the seashore, where we turned over rocks to look at sea slugs, snails, and worms. Interesting indeed, a life-long passion of turning over rocks that began at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx of New York City.

In order to learn more about Earl Segal, as well as his childhood in New York and his exploration of Van Cortlandt Park, please visit the following web site:
Earl Segal

And to learn more about sponsorship of this research, please visit:
Natures Peace

And to learn more about birds and invertebrates of Los Angeles, please visit:
Ballona Institute