Inland Birds: Northern Observations by a Sportsman (Classic Reprint)by H. Mortimer Batten
Birds being the most conspicuous and mobile of our native fauna and far outnumbering all other vertebrate animals in variety of species, it is natural that the literature devoted to that phylum should exceed in volume that which deals with any other. Ornithology, in common with every other province
Excerpt from Inland Birds: Northern Observations by a Sportsman
Birds being the most conspicuous and mobile of our native fauna and far outnumbering all other vertebrate animals in variety of species, it is natural that the literature devoted to that phylum should exceed in volume that which deals with any other. Ornithology, in common with every other province of zoology, tends more and more to specialization, and little addition to our knowledge of birds can be attained save through research and observation by experts. But there are two classes of experts - those who, conducting research in the museum and laboratory, deal with the structure, biology, and classification of birds, and those who, as trained observers, work in the open air and record the habits and actions of birds. These two classes of students are auxilliary to each other; each would make uncertain progress if debarred from knowledge of results achieved by the other.
Mr. Mortimer Batten takes rank as a field-naturalist of experience. Perusal of his manuscript has shown me how much patient energy he has devoted to observing birds in their natural environment, enabling him to contribute valuable notes on their behaviour. As an instance of his keen sight I may refer to his description of a moorhen diving (p.116). Not every lover of country life may have observed that when this bird dives, as it sometimes does when alarmed, it propels itself under water by its wings, whereas regular divers, like the pochard and the tufted duck, use only their legs and feet, keeping the wings closed.
Every intelligent agriculturist will endorse Mr. Battens advocacy of stricter protection for the lapwing.
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