Tuesday, June 12, 1866 A.M. pleasant P.M. cloudy. Studied part of P.M. Went to circus in evening & saw a hippopotamus for the first time. Got four warbling vireos before breakfast. The algebra is now rather hard. (Diaries of William Brewster). As a teen in Cambridge, Massachusetts during the 1860s, William Brewster (1851-1919) woke up early to collect birds before school, practiced taxidermy with friends, and carefully noted the dates when local plants flowered and produce ripened in the family garden. His early fascination for birds and his observant note-taking laid the groundwork for his career as a prominent amateur ornithologist.