Miles Abbott was born in Philadelphia on January 25, 1920,
but was raised in New England and Southern California. He
learned his painting and drawing techniques from his father,
the late Jacob Bates Abbott, a well known wildlife artist
who was for many years art director of Yankee magazine in
Dublin, New Hampshire. Where they lived didn't matter to
young Jack, as long as there were birds he could study -
ornithology has been his hobby since he was six years old.
After high school, he returned to Pennsylvania to major in
zoology at Swarthmore College.
Mr. Abbott joined the Army and became a member of a
camouflage unit that was sent to the Caribbean in February
1942. He spent two years there designing, erecting, and
maintaining camouflage of Army defenses, and then was sent
to the Army Engineers Officer Candidate School at Fort
Belvoir, from which he graduated in August 1943.
the campaign in France, Belgium, and Germany, he worked
chiefly in land-mine warfare and was decorated with a Bronze
Star. After the war he served as an intelligence officer and
also as a writer of technical field manuals and training
publications at the Army Engineer School on land-mine
warfare, field fortifications and camouflage.
active duty in 1949 to accept a position with the Army Map
Service as a Technical Intelligence Specialist, assisting in
the training of Engineer Technical Intelligence Teams that
were to serve in Korea. Since then he has worked for various
Engineer Combat Development groups, and is now an Operations
Research Specialist. He has been active in the Organized
Reserve Corps and holds a reserve commission as Lieutenant
Colonel in the Corps of Engineers.
However, all this technical and military work is only part
of Mr. Abbott's life, and if World War II hadn't intervened,
he might now be a full time professional ornithologist with,
perhaps, military engineering as a hobby. Certainly he
devotes a large part of his time to bird study. During one
seven month period he banded 1400 birds for the Fish and
Wildlife Service as part of a study of migration. He paints
and sketches them, has written a column for a Sunday
magazine on the birds to be seen in the Washington area,
gives lectures on natural history, and writes articles for
Mr. Abbott's work in describing and illustrating birds can
be seen in the book Beginner's Guide to Attracting Birds by
Hausman, published by Putnam in 1951.
Abbott was president of the Waynewood Civic Association,
co-chairman of the Mount Vernon Council of Citizens
Association, an officer in the Virginia Society of
Ornithology, a Sunday School teacher, and a member of the
Abbott is the former Frances Dowdle of Columbia, South
Carolina. Her nickname is "Smokey."