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Karl Zerbe

Publication Information
Florida Field Naturalist
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Karl Zerbe

Karl Zerbe, artist and teacher, died on November 28, 1972, in Tallahassee. He was born in Germany in 1903, came to the United States in 1934 and to Florida in 1954. At his death he was Professor Emeritus at Florida State University. Members of the Florida Ornithological Society will recall his bird photography, especially his films of hummingbirds of Central and South America. His photograph of White-fronted Geese (Anser albifrons) on the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge in November, 1958, provided the first proof of the species' occurrence in Florida, and one of the state's first few records of the Eared Grebe (Podiceps caspicus) was documented by his camera.

Zerbe's interest in ornithology was also evident in a portfolio of 12 serigraphs, produced by the Le Moyne Art Foundation from a set of bird drawings. He described these as "not species-birds, but very free translations of birds I've seen,--in the wild or in the zoo--anthropomorphic birds." This work, completed in 1970, led to a series of large bird paintings, again anthropomorphic, in which he expressed his belief in the interdependency of all life forms.

Professor Zerbe was a long-time member of the Florida and National Audubon Societies and of the American Ornithologists' Union. He is survived by his wife, Marion, a daughter, and 3 grandchildren.

Mrs. Frank H. Stoutamire

1471 Crestview Avenue, Tallahassee, Florida 32303.

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