1712-1726: MARK CATESBY-- a young Englishman, wandered through the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida. He wanted to pain, describe, and name every vertebrate in Southeast. The result was "The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahamas Island", which contained 220 hand-painted engravings. The work was remarkably unbiased, he demanded first-hand observations rather than folk lore. Catesby is often called THE FOUNDER OF AMERICAN ORNITHOLOGY.
1758 (Mean anything to you?)--- The 12th edition of Linneaus' "Systema Naturae" upon which we base our rule of priority in naming birds was published. Floods of specimens began pouring into Europe
Woodcuts were developed in 1790's making field guides available to general public. The first was by Thomas Bewick, in 1809, "History of British Birds."
Mark Catesby: Swallow-tailed Kite