Edgar Fraser Stead (22 October 1881 – 7 February 1949) was a New Zealand ornithologist, engineer, horticulturist and marksman. He was born in Christchurch and educated there at Christ's College and Wanganui Collegiate School. He then studied electrical engineering at Canterbury College, followed by three years at Schenectady, New York, at the research laboratories of the General Electric Company.Following the death of his father, George Gatonby Stead, in 1908, Stead returned to New Zealand and, in 1914, bought a property at Ilam, close to Christchurch, on 20 ha of land adjacent to the river Avon. He had inherited enough to not have to pursue a career in engineering and he devoted the rest of his life to ornithology, angling, hunting and sports shooting, as well as to growing and hybridising prize rhododendrons and azaleas on his property. His collection eventually came into the possession of the University of Canterbury, which maintains it as Ilam Gardens. He became an expert at all these pursuits and acquired an international reputation for his marksmanship, winning competitions at Monte Carlo and elsewhere. He frequently travelled to Britain where he acted as a rhododendron judge at the Chelsea Flower Show. In 1915 he married Mary Phillips in Christchurch, with whom he had a son, Roland.