A complete draft of a new book


Cherry Ingram's Life with Birds


The website owner has a complete working draft for a book with the title

Cherry Ingram's Life with Birds

Expressions of interest from publishers would be welcome at




The book has many potential readers, naturalists especially ornithologists, those interested in social history, and those in many countries who have enjoyed Naoko Abe’s Japanese story and wish to find out more about Collingwood 'Cherry' Ingram. 




Book structure


A biography of the early part of his life, working towards a book The Birds of France, that for various reasons, including interruption by the Great War, was never published. The book makes full use of the writing and sketches of Cherry Ingram (1880-1981) with minimal editorial input




1. Diaries and sketches: 1892-1900


2. Years of travel: 1901-1902

First view of Australia



3. Last bachelor years: 1903-1905

Little Auk in Spitzbergen


4. Marriage, museum-work and Birds of Paradise: 1906 -1909

First living Bird of Paradise brought to England by his father


5. Researching for The Birds of France: 1910-1914

Melodious Warbler, Blois, May 1914


6. The Great War) 1914-1918

Great Reed Warbler, River Canche, 1918


7. A new home and a last visit to the birds in France: 1919-1921

Young Turtle Dove, Benenden 1920





8. The Birds of France

Manuscritpt of The Birds of France









Concentrating on his early precocity as an ornithologist in an eccentric family with captive birds in aviaries and free-flying in the house. Collingwood produced a hand-written book ‘British Birds’ at the age of 16. Much of his boyhood was spent in the countryside of Thanet in North Kent, but there were also early trips with the family to the Riviera, where his father built a grand house; trips which gave Collingwood a base for more birding expeditions.







Extensive journeys to South America and Australia, expanded his experience of birds, but were mainly for hunting and shooting. They included a short stay in Japan on his way back from Australia, an experience which had a profound effect on his life.













In these years he developed a growing interest in the birds of the Riviera, made a journeys to Norway and the glaciers of Spitzbergen, with its multitude of Little Auks. At home in Thanet he found the first nest of the Marsh Warbler to be recorded in Kent.













Development as an ornithologist in the Bird Room of the Natural History museum and through his many field excursions in the Riviera from the family house in Monaco. For just a few years after his marriage, birds took a back seat in his life. In 1907 he travelled to Japan to study the nesting habits of birds. In 1908 his father introduced Birds Of Paradise to Little Tobago in the West Indies.










Each spring he journeyed through France in the early days of motoring, collecting information for a book on The Birds of France. His French journals include fine descriptive writing about birds and the countryside. His book on the birds of France was close to completion. His one longer journey was to the West Indies to monitor the success of his father’s introduction of Birds of Paradise










He spent a summer with the Kent Cyclists in 1915, when he explored Dungeness and its birds, followed by service as a Compass Officer in the Royal Flying Corps in France from 1916 to 1918. He was in this way able to continue his researches for his book on the birds of France. during which he studied and sketched in his off-duty hours, 









Now married, he moved with his family to a new home in Benenden in the Weald of Kent and a found new interest in gardening and, especially, in flowering cherries. He was struggling with his book on the birds of France and a birding trip to France in 1921 was a final effort before he abandoned it - some in proof, much in typescript, some hand written. 


















Extracts from the draft of his never-published book, showing its ambition, scope and interest - an evocation of birds and countryside more than a hundred years ago.












After abandoning his book on birds, Cherry Ingram embarked on 25 years of growing, researching and collecting flowering cherries - a story well told in Naoko Abe's book Cherry Ingram: the Englishman who save Japan's blossoms.

   The publication of his classic Ornamental Cherries in 1948 left Collingwood free to return to the birds. He attended three international ornithological congresses, giving papers at two, returned for a last visit to the West Indies and the Birds of Paradise, and wrote memoirs of his life with birds and his life with plants.