"SHSI Certificate of Recognition"
"Best on the Web"

Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN

Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.

LOETSCHER, Frederick W.

From Encyclopedia Dubuque
Jump to navigationJump to search
Photo courtesy: Centre College

LOETSCHER, Frederick W. (Dubuque, IA, May 15, 1875--Danville, KY, Apr. 2, 2006). Loetscher, the son of Frederick and Mary Loetscher, graduated with honors from Yale University. While there as a senior, he won the Coubertin Medal which was awarded each year to a senior in Whig Hall for placing first in a debate on some question over French politics. (1) Loetscher was later to become the first person to receive a doctorate of ornithology from Cornell University.

Considered an authority on bird calls, Dr. Loetscher made the first recording of bird calls for Kellogg Sound Laboratory at Cornell University of birds in Australia. His lifework involved range studies of birds worldwide. He made approximately 75 world trips studying the range of birds and bird calls. He observed more than 5,000 of the world’s approximately 9,600 species of birds and was an internationally known authority on both bird ranges and bird song, particularly in Australia and Vera Cruz, Mexico.

In 1966, a new bird of the tanager species was discovered in Mexico and was officially named Loetscheri, in his honor. The bird was described for the first time in the December 1966 issue of the Bulletin of the British Ornithological Club.

He was the widower of Naomi Prince Loetscher and a WORLD WAR II veteran who served in the European Theater with the medical corps. He had served as a deacon and elder at the Presbyterian church and as a director of the central Kentucky Wildlife Refuge.



1. "A Great Record," Dubuque Daily Herald, December 24, 1895, p. 8