Books Received | Published:

The Book of Migratory Birds, met with on Holy Island and the Northumbrian Coast, to which is added descriptive Accounts of Wild Fowling on the Mud Flats, with Notes on the General Natural History of this District

Nature volume 85, page 329 (12 January 1911) | Download Citation



THE obtrusive title of a work should, we think, be more closely descriptive of its contents than that of the volume now before us. “The Book of Migratory Birds”—the title conspicuously appearing on its cover—excites hopes in the ornithologist of a comprehensive contribution to a branch of his science of unquestioned interest. His momentary disappointment, on discovering from the continuation of the title inside, the restriction of its scope to the Northumbrian coast, may perhaps be relieved on his recalling the fact that the district, with its offshore islands and lighthouses, forms a migration-observatory from which a keen and persistent watcher might be expected to make valuable contributions to the question. His annoyance, however, will be acute when, on dipping into its pages, he finds the volume to be only a mélange of articles, strung together in the most casual way, and evidently originally contributed to some newspaper or journal in which either science was not a strong point or the editorial supervision was far from exacting.

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