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The Birds of Portugal

Nature volume 114, page 8 (05 July 1924) | Download Citation



WHEN one thinks of the many ornithologists and bird-lovers in Great Britain, and of the numerous books on British birds, it is surprising to learn that Mr. W. C. Tait knows of only one native field ornithologist in Portugal, where he has himself for long been resident, and that the literature on Portuguese birds is exceedingly meagre. His own book on the subject fills a gap in a useful way. It is almost entirely devoted to a systematic account of the status in Portugal of each species, no attempt at descriptions of birds being made. An introductory chapter describes the physical characteristics of the country. A second general chapter deals with migration, giving a somewhat disjointed but nevertheless interesting account of its Portuguese aspects. Many species which are native to Northern Europe are only winter or passage visitors to Portugal, and that country is perhaps interesting to us, ornitho-logically, chiefly by reason of its place in the migratory path of our own summer birds. In an appendix, Mr. Tait gives a list of all the marked birds which he knows to have been recovered in Portugal, although we notice that this is not quite so complete as it could have been made from published sources; nearly thirty species are represented in the list, in which birds marked in the British Isles and in Holland bulk most largely (little marking is done in France), although there are also birds from Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Czechoslovakia, and Switzerland.

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