Konstanty Tyzenhauz (1786-1853): the originator and sponsor of Polish ornithology
As a naturalist active in the Wilno (now Vilnius) scholarly community, Konstanty Tyzenhauz began his field research in 1814 in a region stretching from the the Narocz lakes in the South to the Braclaw Lakes in the North (now within the boundaries of Belarus). He later extended his fieldwork to the whole of the Wilno region; he also conducted studies of the surroundings of Grodno and Pinsk, as well as of the Podole region, the Carpathian Mountains and other regions. The first written work by Tyzenhauz was entitled 'Rozprawa o Sowie laponskiej (mszarnej) znalezionej w Litwie' (A dissertation on the Lapland (Morass) Owl found in Lithuania), the Polish manuscript of which appeared in 1830 (there was also a German version of the study: C. von Tyzenhaus 'Archive fur Naturgeschichte' v. Troschel, Berlin). Tyzenhauz used the name morass owl (strix microphtalmos) for what is known in English as the Lapland owl or great grey owl (strix nebulosa). As time went by, Tyzenhauz gained a reputation as one of Europe's most eminent ornithologists. He was a member of many different Polish and foreign learned societies. During his lifetime, Tyzenhauz published over fifty faunistic, mainly ornithological, studies in Poland and abroad, in which he described a total of three thousand birds (see J. Ziemczonok: Muzeum zoologiczne Konstatntego Tyzenhauza w Postawach (1814-1856) in 'Kwartalnik Historii i Nauki' 2001, 2, pp 121-140). Tyzenhauz's major work 'Zasady ornitologii albo nauki o ptakach. Obejmujace rys postepu jej literatury, taxonomia, glosologia i terminologia, z przydaniem 5 tablic litografowanych czesci ptaków objasniajacych i jednej tablicy kolorów' (The principles of ornithology or the science of birds....) (Wilno 1841, pp. 165) was the first book of this kind to be published in Poland. Tyzenhauz was also a co-founder of the Wilno Typographical Society in 1819. Among other noteworthy aspects of Tyzenhauz's activities is his sponsorship of several scholars, in their number Stanislaw Batys Górski.
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