This photograph was taken by Archibald James Campbell during a trip to the interior of the Riverina in June 1895. Campbell, a well known naturalist and ornithologist, was one of the first in Australia to employ nature photography in recording his fieldwork. This and subsequent trips to the region were to take images for his major publication Nests and Eggs of Australian Birds (1900). Here he captures the work of the egg collectors after a day's collecting. This is one of a series of images used for an illustrated lecture at the Working Men's College in 1899 entitled 'Reminiscences of the Riverina'.
Campbell's interest in nature was aroused in childhood at Werribee, Victoria where he lived with his grandparents until the age of 10. His first love was egg-collecting, and his general interest in birds was further inspired by the study of John Gould's works at the Public Library. He was for many years active in the Field Naturalists' Club of Victoria. By 1896 his collection of eggs represented 500 species.
Campbell initiated the first of several dinners which led to the formation in 1901 of the (Royal) Australasian Ornithologists' Union; he was president in 1909 and 1928 and co-editor of its journal, The Emu, for thirteen years. Campbell published widely and was an early advocate for the protection of the Australian bush. Campbell's egg collection, along with his vast image collection, is housed at Museum Victoria.