George Keartland was a noted naturalist of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His work, particularly in the field of ornithology won him national recognition. In one expedition to the MacDonnell Ranges in 1894 he collected the bird skins of 78 species, 5 unknown. A second expedition in 1896/7 netted him another 59 species.
Keartland’s bird collection was regarded as one of the best in the country and can be found today in the Royal Scottish Museum in Edinburgh and in the South Australian Museum.
Keartland was born in England but had arrived in Melbourne at a very early age. Originally living in North Fitzroy, he later moved to Preston and died there in 1926 of cancer.
There are two species of bird named after Keartland, Grey-headed (Keartlands) honeyeater and Keartlandia (the generic name for the Orange Chat). The Keartland Hills in Western Australia are also named after him.
Pike, Douglas., Nairn, Bede., & Serle, Geoffrey (eds.) (1981). Australian Dictionary of Biography, Carlton, Vic: Melbourne University Press.