The Article “Birds” in “Encyclopædia Britannica”

Abstract

IN reply to Prof. Huxley's letter of last week with reference to my review of the article “Birds” in the “Encyclopædia Britannica,” I may mention that it is to the illustrious Nitzsch, as far as I am aware, that we owe the combination of the Swifts and the Humming Birds into a single family. Burmeister's edition of Nitzsch's “Pterylography” was published in 1840, and in Mr. Sclater's translation of that invaluable work (p, 86) we read, under the heading MACROCHIRES, “In this family I place the two genera, Cypselus and Trochilus, which indeed present but little external similarity, but are very nearly allied in the structure of their wings.”

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