Richard Liversidge was born on 17 September 1926 in Blantyre, Malawi, and died on 15 September 2003 in Kimberley, South Africa. His interest in birds began as a schoolboy, but he registered as an engineering student at the University of Cape Town in 1946. He worked full-time as a technician at the university, while he studied zoology and botany, one subject a year, and finally graduated in 1955. He subsequently worked at the Port Elizabeth Museum, during which time he studied the Cape Bulbul for his Ph.D. He was the first curator at the Tsitsikama National Park. In June 1966, he was appointed as Director of the McGregor Museum in Kimberley, a position he held until his retirement in 1986.
Liversidge co-authored, with Geoff McLachlan, the first (1957) and subsequent three revisions of the Birds of South Africa, originally published by Austin Roberts in 1940. He published over 80 scientific papers and 40 articles in various journals on botany, ecology, ornithology, mammals, and history. He also wrote A Rapid Bird Guide (1978) and The Birds Around Us (1990). He co-authored several other books on history and game management. He recently described two new species of pipit, the Long-tailed Pipit (Anthus longicaudatus) (Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 116:211–215, 1996) and, together with Gary Voelker, the Kimberley Pipit (Anthus pseudosimilis) (Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 122:93–108, 2002).
A member of several historical and game farmers' societies, his interests covered a wide range of subjects. He served on the executive committee of the National Monuments Council for 14 years, and on the councils of the Zoological Society of South Africa and the Wild Life Management Association. He was also the last surviving founding member of the Cape Bird Club, the Western Cape branch of BirdLife South Africa.
He was elected a Corresponding Fellow of the The American Ornithologists' Union in 1974 and an Honorary Fellow in 1991. He became a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London in 1994 and a Fellow of the South African Museums Association in 1996. Other awards were for Game Conservation in Cape Province (1976), a Merit Award from the Northern Cape Game Ranchers' Association (1990), and the Cape Times Centenary Medal (1990) for outstanding achievements in the conservation of historical buildings. A special memorial issue of The Ostrich with his portrait will appear later this year.