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 Cherry Ingram. 




Book structure


A biography using 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. Birds of France: 1910-1914

Melodious Warbler, Blois, May 1914


6. The Great War and the first days of peace

Great Reed Warbler, River Canche, 1918


7. A new home, cherries and travel: 1920-1939

Young Turtle Dove, Benenden 1920


8. WW2: Home Guard

Home Guard on Benenden Green


9. Energetic old age: 1946-1981

Little Tobago, home for fifty years to Birds of Paradise







Concentrating on his early precocity as an ornithologist in an eccentric family with many captive birds in aviaries and in the house. He produced a hand-written book ‘British Birds’ at the age of 16. There were early trips with the family to the Riviera, where his father built a house.









Extensive trips to South America and Australia, expanding his experience of birds, but mainly concerned with hunting and shooting. Includes a short stay in Japan on his way back from Australia, an experience which had a profound effect on his life.













A growing interest in the birds of the Riviera, a journeys to Norway and the glaciers of Spitzbergen, with its multitude of Little Auks, and his finding of the first nest of the Marsh Warbler 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 few years after his marriage, birds took a back seat in his life. First trip to the West Indies, to the island where his father introduced the Greater Bird of Paradise











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












A summer with the Kent Cyclists in 1915, when he explored Dungeness and its birds. This was followed by service as a Compass Officer in the Royal Flying Corps in France from 1916 to 1918, during which he studied and sketched birds in his off-duty hours, 










Move to a new home in Benenden in the Weald of Kent. After an initial period studying the local birds, his garden and Japanese cherries took over his life. It was also a period of travel and the publication of his first books, Birds of the Riviera and Isles of the Seven Seas,








 Quoted from a journal


‘Tonight, when I was out on my rounds, visiting the Patrols of the Local Defence Volunteers (I am in command of those in the Benenden area), for a brief space of time this awesome, nerve-wracking sound was completely drowned by the ecstatic outpouring of a Nightingale. I stopped my car and lingered awhile, listening to this great, heartening voice and for a brief, for a very brief, space forgot all else.’

A little later I passed on to my next Patrol. There was no joy to be found here. Only the wail of a Little Owl interrupted the thunder of the guns. All along the southern skyline, their flashes flickered like summer lightning, a lightning that spelt death and destruction across that narrow strip of water.’




 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.