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COS History

Photo of James Graham Cooper
The Cooper Ornithological Society (COS) commemorates an early western naturalist, Dr. James G. Cooper, and grew from a small band of naturalists in 1893 to an internationally recognized scientific society. COS has always been committed to the conservation and management of bird species by applying high quality science, grounded in natural history, to our understanding of avian biology. The society merged with the American Ornithologists' Union in 2016 (effective 11 October) to form the American Ornithological Society.

An early history of the COS was published in 1929 by Harry S. Swarth, when the society was known as the Cooper Ornithological Club. This volume details the history, personalities, and activities of the club for the first 35 years of its existence.

Harry S. Swarth. 1929. The C.O.C. 1893-1928: A History. Published at the Fourth Annual Meeting of the Cooper Ornithological Club.

The COS archives are housed at several institutions:

An MVZ finding aid and blog highlight Amelia S. Allen, likely the first female member (elected 1913) and the first woman president (elected 1926) of COS. Browse historical collections related to COS at the Online Archive of California.

Welcome to the American Ornithological Society (AOS)
Advancing Scientific Knowledge and Conservation of Birds

© 2017 American Ornithological Society