Michel Desfayes was born in Switzerland in 1927. With a passion for all things in nature, he published some papers on birds and lived in North America from 1952 to 1978. He became ornithological assistant in the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. where he collaborated in research for the Handbook of Indian birds, the Synopsis of the birds of India and Pakistan, and the monograph Rails of the World. In 1966 he translated into French the The birds of North America, a guide to field identification. In the Library of Congress he found most of the material for his Thesaurus of bird names – Etymology of European lexis through paradigms published in the "Cahiers des Sciences naturelles" of the Museum of Natural History in Sion, Switzerland. His lastest publications are Origine des noms français des oiseaux et des mammifères d'Europe y compris l'espèce humaine, St-Maurice, Suisse, 2000. Origin of English names of European birds and mammals, including the human species, Timişoara, Romania, 2008. Origen de los nombres españoles, portugueses y catalanes de las aves y de los mamíferos de Europa, incluida la especie humana, Timişoara, Romania, 2008; Origine degli nomi in italiano degli uccelli e degli mammiferi d'Europa inclusa la specie umana, Timişoara, romania, 2008. Origine des noms rhéto-romanches des oiseaux et des mammifères d'Europe, y compris l'espèce humaine, Timişoara, 2008. Originea şi numele româneşti ale păsărilor şi mamiferelor europei incluzând specia umană, Timişoara, Romania, 2008. Besides his lexicological research, he devotes his time to the study of aquatic and wetland plants.