Obituary: Edgar P. Chance (1881-1955)

Published on 01 June 1956 in Obituaries

T H E death of Mr. E d g a r Chance occurred on 24th October 1955, at his home at Sandhurst, Berkshire, at the age of 74. H e was the third son of Mr. A. M. Chance of Edgbaston, Birmingham, and was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge. H e will be remembered for his intensive field study of the breeding-habits of the Cuckoo and the well organized experiments he conducted with characteristic energy and enthusiasm. Under his direction photographs and cinefilms were taken which proved that, contrary to the then generally accepted belief, the Cuckoos under observation laid their eggs while sitting on the nests of the fosterers. Mr. Chance wrote two books on his results, The Cuckoo’s Secret (published in 1922) and The Truth about the Cuckoo (1940). H e gave his collection of British-taken birds’ eggs to the nation and the Cuckoos’ eggs, including 87 laid by one Cuckoo in 5 seasons, can be seen in the British Museum (Natural History). G.C.

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