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Gunn, William Walker Hamilton
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- Gunn, W. W. H.
- Gunn, Bill
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William (Bill) Walker Hamilton Gunn was born in Toronto in 1913. Bill graduated with a degree in Business Administration from the University of Toronto in 1934. He worked in accounting and public relations until 1941 when he enlisted in the Army (Ordnance Corps). In 1945 He participated in Operation Muskox, an Arctic research operation, where he represented the Canadian Wildlife Service. Gunn was discharged with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 1946.
Returning to school, Gunn completed his Ph.D. in 1951. His research examined the relationship between bird migration and weather patterns. His application of radar data to understanding migratory patterns contributed to migratory bird forecasting still used at airports today. It was during this period that Gunn started to record bird songs. When he joined the then-fledgling Federation of Ontario Naturalists (F.O.N.) as its first executive director (1952-1955) he produced an LP recording of bird songs consisting predominantly of common woodland and garden birds. Based on the great success of the project he went on to record more volumes for the organization. His second record was "A Day in Algonquin Park”, followed by Birds of the Forest, Warblers, Flores Morades, Finches, Prairie Spring, Thrushes, Wrens and Mockingbirds of British North America, and Birds of the African Rain Forests.
His expertise in pioneering bird recording led to his appointment in 1963 as a consultant and recordist for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). He regularly worked recording and producing sound for "The Nature of Things". For this series he recorded in Canada, the Galapagos, Sri Lanka, East Africa and Madagascar. He also worked for Untamed World on CTV as well as various other television productions.
Bill Gunn was one of the founders of LGL Limited. He was the firm’s first president from 1970 to 1980 and a chairman from 1980 to 1984. LGL was one of the earliest ecological firms in Canada and still provides biological and environmental research and consulting services to the public and private sectors.
William Walker Hamilton Gunn died of cancer on the 15th of October, 1984, at the age of 71.
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Biographical sketch adapted from an article in the British Kinematograph Sound & Television Society Journal, January 1986.