Which is the real James Bond?
Hint: He's not the one wielding a gun.
His work took him to exotic locations, and he was deadly accurate with a firearm.
His name was Bond. (Yes, James Bond.)
Not the British super-spy created by author Ian Fleming, but the longtime ornithologist at Philadelphia's Academy of Natural Sciences.
Fleming's 100th birthday is this month, and folks at the academy are recalling how their James Bond lent his name to the fictional version.
When writing his first novel about Agent 007 half a century ago, Fleming had not met the real Bond. But he owned a copy of Bond's Birds of the West Indies - and thought the author's "masculine" name was perfect for his character.
The ornithologist did not learn of the connection for several years, and then he "was really quite mortified by all the attention," says academy senior fellow Robert Peck.
Bond's wife, on the other hand, embraced the notoriety. (In 1966, Mary Wickham Bond even wrote a book about it: How 007 Got His Name.)
The real Bond, who died in 1989, was a pioneer in determining the origin of Caribbean birds, using a shotgun to collect specimens. Based on his studies of anatomy and behavior, Bond deduced that species on the islands were descended from birds of North America - rather than South America, as many had believed.
Today, DNA analysis has pinpointed the origins of some Caribbean species more specifically to Central America. But his work remains fundamentally sound, says Frank Gill, former curator of ornithology at the academy.
Bond never took out any enemy spies, though.
"He much preferred to lead a quiet, almost invisible life," Peck says, "focusing on birds."
- Tom Avril