When talking about the Enlightenment, ornithology is seldom the first topic of conversation. Still, Enlightenment and ornithology converge in one important respect, that of abundance. In our time, new-wave ornithologists have renewed their faith in eighteenth-century expectations for the discovery of a gigantic number of bird species. It is at this intersection between abundant modern science and ambitious Enlightenment ideology that this remarkable collection of five essays on Alexander Wilson (1766-1813), the father of American ornithology, makes its original and delightful contribution. Alexander Wilson: Enlightened Naturalist recovers Wilson’s literary, artistic and musical pursuits, and the cultural contexts of his life in the Scotland of Robert Burns. It also explores Wilson’s scientific and philosophic contribution to American ornithology in American Ornithology; or The Natural History of the Birds of theUnited States, published in Philadelphia between 1808 and 1814.