In Memoriam

Chandler Robbins — 3/20/2017

Chandler Robbins, an Eisenmann Medalist (July 17, 1918 - March 20, 2017) of Laurel, Maryland.

Ornithologist and birding legend Chandler S. Robbins died at the age of 98. Birders are probably most familiar with Chandler Robbins as the author (with Bertel Bruun and Herbert Zim) of the groundbreaking “Birds of North America: A Guide to Field Identification”, illustrated by Arthur Singer, published in 1966 - often called by birders, the "Singer Guide" or the "Golden Guide". Chan joined the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a biologist in 1945 and retired in 2005 from the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel Maryland, after sixty years with the Service. He organized and for decades ran the annual North American Breeding Bird Survey. He was also an active bird bander and in 1956 banded a Laysan Albatross on Midway Island in the Pacific that has come to be nicknamed "Wisdom". The albatross is now the oldest banded wild bird in the world and in 2017 was still nesting on Midway. Since the bird was an adult when it was banded, it is at least 66 years old. Chan was awarded the Eisenmann Medal by the Linnaean Society of New York in 1987 for "excellence in ornithology and encouragement of the amateur". Since Chan was based in Maryland for most of his career, many New York birders may not have known him personally, but all have been influenced by his life and work, whether they knew him or not. Those who had the fortune to meet him know what a great person he was. A true legend.

By Joseph DiCostanzo

Sarah Elliott — 10/12/2016

Dear Fellow Birders,

It is with sadness that I let you know that our friend Sarah Elliott passed away on October 12th. Sarah was a longtime member of the Linnaean Society of New York. She led nature walks in Central Park and elsewhere, and maintained the bird sighting book in the Boathouse. She regularly issued an informative series of Nature Notes. In addition to her passion for birds and botany, Sarah was keenly interested in literature and jazz. For the last year Sarah was cared for by her niece Dukeanna.

Please check here for updated information.

Andrew Rubenfeld, President

Jeff Nulle — 9/25/2016

Geoffrey James Nulle, 71, son of the late Richard and Claire Couch Nulle, died of a heart attack at his Manhattan home on August 23, 2016. He is survived by brothers David, Bruce, Gregory, and niece Alexandra Duemer. Jeff was a graduate of Ithaca High School, Cornell, and Columbia University.

Jeff taught English at Manhattan Community College and Farleigh Dickinson University and was employed at Davis-Polk law firm for many years.

Jeff was a lifelong birding enthusiast and mentor, a conservation activist, past president of the Linnaean Society of New York. He helped establish the bird sanctuary at Riverside Park in Manhattan. He loved the city and knew its hidden gems.

Jeff was an avid student of art and literature, an entertaining storyteller deeply interested in the life stories of others, a man of integrity who spoke his mind in thoughtful ways.

a memorial service for Jeff was held on Saturday, October 8th at Volunteer House at 107th Street in Riverside Park, followed by a walk through the bird sanctuary. The service was at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in Ithaca, New York on October 15th. Donations in Jeff’s memory may be made to the Riverside Park Conservancy at

Gregory Nulle, Brother of Jeff Nulle

Geoffrey Nulle, former president of the Linnaean Society of New York, passed away at his home in Manhattan August 23. He had had recent surgery. The cause of death was a heart attack.

Jeff also served as LSNY vice president and council member. As chair of the conservation committee he was instrumental in blocking plans for a major bicycle path through Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Jeff will be best remembered for his work in establishing a 10-acre designated bird sanctuary in Riverside Park, as well as his tireless management of the park's famous "drip." He also did volunteer work at the Great Gull Island office at the American Museum of Natural History.

Andrew Rubenfeld, President

Vivienne Sokol — 7/10/2016

Dear Fellow Members,

Vivienne Sokol, a local wildlife rehabilitator and LSNY member since 2009, passed away in July.

Andrew Rubenfeld, President

Sonia Acevedo has provided the following statement.

It is with a heavy heart that I write of Vivienne Sokol, who peacefully passed away on July 10th, 2016. Ms. Sokol was exemplary in her field, one of the very few federal and state licensed Wild Bird Rehabilitators in New York City for close to 40 years. The wealth of knowledge that she shared and those that she mentored, as well as the birds that were rehabilitated under her meticulous care throughout the years, have experienced a great loss. Her memory honors all she touched and the ornithological world she proudly nurtured and represented. Thank you kindly.

Sonia Acevedo, Training Coordinator and Senior Veterinary Technician at the Hunter College Animal Research Facility

In Memoriam — After March 2016

  • Birchard Mary C.
  • Bauch Rhoda L.
  • Loeb Elizabeth G.
  • Meg Stillman
  • Norton C.J. (Christina)