Ornithologists Sentence Examples
But, though apparently without such a knowledge of the anatomy of birds as would enable him to apply it to the formation of that natural system which he was fully aware had yet to be sought, he seems to have been an excellent judge of the characters afforded by the bill and limbs, and the use he made of them, coupled with the extraordinary reputation he acquired on other grounds, procured for his system the adhesion for many years of the majority of ornithologists.'
But these works, locally useful as they may have been, did not occupy the whole attention of German ornithologists, for in 1791 Bechstein reached the second volume of his Gemeinnititzige Naturgeschichte Deutschlands, treating of the birds of that country, which ended with the fourth in 1795.
His attempt at classification was certainly better than that of Linnaeus; and it is rather curious that the researches of the latest ornithologists point to results in some degree comparable with Brisson's systematic arrangement, for they refuse to keep the birds-of-prey at the head of the Class A y es, and they require the establishment of a much larger number of " Orders " than for a long while was thought advisable.
This proved a great success, and his arrangement, though by no means simple, 5 was not only adopted by many ornithologists of almost every country, but still has some adherents.
Nevertheless a scientific character was so adroitly assumed that scientific men - some of them even ornithologists - have thence been led to believe the text had a scientific value, and that of a high class.
However, it must also be remembered that, throughout the whole of his career, Gould consulted the convenience of working ornithologists by almost invariably refraining from including in his folio works the technical description of any new species without first publishing it in some journal of comparatively easy access.
This is the Momotus brasiliensis of modern ornithologists, and from its geographical range cannot be the original Motmot of Hernandez, but is most likely the "Guira guainumbi" of Marcgrave.
It is not easy to say when any example of the bird first came under the eyes of British ornithologists; but in the Zoological Proceedings for Seriema.
Costly as it necessarily was, it has been of great service to working ornithologists.
Thanks to Mr Sclater, the Ray Society was induced to publish, in 1867, an excellent translation by Mr Dallas of Nitzsch's Pterylography, and thereby, however tardily, justice was at length rendered by British ornithologists to one of their greatest foreign brethren.'Advertisement
In the evolution of these laws Dr Cornay had most laudably studied, as his observations prove, a vast number of different types, and the upshot of his whole labours, though not very clearly stated, was such as to wholly subvert the classification at that time generally adopted by French ornithologists.
The same year which saw the promulgation of the crude scheme just described, as well as the publication of the final researches of Muller, witnessed also another attempt at the classification of birds, much more limited indeed in scope, but, so far as it went, regarded by most ornithologists of the time as almost final in its operation.
The same draughtsman (who had in 1 775 produced a History of British Birds) in 1822 began another series of Figures of rare and curious Birds.8 The practice of Brisson, Buffon, Latham and others of neglecting to name after the Linnaean fashion the species they described gave great encouragement to compilation, and led to what has proved to be of some inconvenience to modern ornithologists.
Hitherto our attention has been given wholly to Germany and France, for the chief ornithologists of Britain were occupying themselves at this time in a very useless way - not paying due heed at this time to the internal structure of birds, and some excellent descriptive memoirs on special forms had appeared from their pens, to say nothing of more than one general treatise on ornithic anatomy.
This is the more to be regretted by all ornithologists, since he intended to conclude with what to them would have been a very great boon - the showing in what way external characters coincided with those presented by osteology.Advertisement
Ornithologists now felt they had something before them that was really worth investigating.
Linete and Linet-wige, whence seems to have been corrupted the old Scottish "Lintquhit," and the modern northern English "Lintwhite" - originally a somewhat generalized bird's name, but latterly specialized for the Fringilla cannabina of Linnaeus, the Linota cannabina of recent ornithologists.
According to its sex, or the season of the year, it is known as the red, grey or brown linnet, and by the earlier English writers on birds, as well as in many localities at the present time, these names have been held to distinguish at least two species; but there is now no question among ornithologists on this point, though the conditions under which the bright crimson-red colouring of the breast and crown of the cock's spring and summer plumage is donned and doffed may still be open to discussion.
The ordinary pelican, the Onocrotalus of the ancients, to whom it was well known, and the Pelecanus onocrotalus of ornithologists, is a very abundant bird in some districts of south-eastern Europe, south-western Asia and north-eastern Africa, occasionally straying, it is believed, into the northern parts of Germany and France; but the possibility of such wanderers having escaped from confinement is always to be regarded,' since few zoological gardens are without examples.
Under the name godwit two perfectly distinct species of British birds were included, but that which seems to have been especially prized is known to modern ornithologists as the black-tailed godwit, Limosa aegocephala, formerly called, from its loud cry, a yarwhelp,' shrieker or barker, in the districts it inhabited.Advertisement
In many respects this species, the Tringa pugnax of Linnaeus and the Machetes pugnax of modern ornithologists, is one of the most singular in existence.
Very interesting to ornithologists are the few heath hens, the eastern representative of the prairie hen (pinnated grouse), which are found on the island of Martha's Vineyard, and are the sole survivors in the eastern states of one of the finest of American game birds, now practically exterminated even on the western plains.
Allied to the lapwing are several forms that have been placed by ornithologists in the genera Hoplopterus, Chettusia, Lobivanellus, Defilippia.
Aristotle is commonly supposed to be the first author who mentions a parrot; but this is an error, for nearly a century earlier Ctesias in his Indica (cap. 3),2 under the name of fib-Taws (Bittacus), so neatly described a bird which could speak an "Indian" language - naturally, as he seems to have thought - or Greek - if it had been taught so to do - about as big as a sparrow-hawk (Hierax), with a purple face and a black beard, otherwise blue-green (cyaneus) and vermilion in colour, so that there cannot be much risk in declaring that he must have had before him a male example of what is now commonly known as the Blossom-headed parakeet, and to ornithologists as Palaeornis cyanocephalus, an inhabitant of many parts of India.
Of the many genera that have been proposed by ornithologists, perhaps about nine may be deemed sufficiently well established.Advertisement
Brisson as a generic term, which has since been generally adopted by ornithologists, though motmot has been retained as the English form.
We have then the genus Larus, which ornithologists have attempted most unsuccessfully to subdivide.
The largest species known is the Stercorarius catarrhactes of ornithologists - the "Skooi" or "Bonxie" of the Shetlanders, a bird in size equalling a herring-gull, Larus argentatus.
The pie belongs to the same family of birds as the crow, and is the Corvus pica of Linnaeus, the Pica caudata, P. melanoleuca, or P. rustica of modern ornithologists, who have recognized it as forming a distinct genus, but the number of species thereto belonging has been a fruitful source of discussion.
In the west of North America, and in some of its islands, a pie is found which extends to the upper valleys of the Missouri and the Yellowstone, and has long been thought entitled to specific distinction as P. hudsonia; but its claim thereto is now disallowed by some of the best ornithologists of the United States, and it can hardly be deemed even a geographical variety of the Old-World form.
Ornithologists, however, should not be deterred by the sorry state of the park's mammal fauna.
True it is that there were not wanting other men in these islands whose common sense refused to accept the metaphorical doctrine and the mystical jargon of the Quinarians, but so strenuously and persistently had the Laster asserted their infallibility, and so vigorously had they assailed any who ventured to doubt it, that most peaceable ornithologists found it best to bend to the furious blast, and in some sort to acquiesce at least in the phraseology of the self-styled interpreters of Creative Will.
Some of them were already manifest when one of its author's colleagues, Schlegel (who had been employed to write the text for Susemihl's plates, originally intended to illustrate Temminck's work), brought out his bilingual Revue critique des oiseaux d'Europe (8vo, 1844), a very remarkable volume, since it correlated and consolidated the labours of French and German, to say nothing of Russian, ornithologists.
It is plain that Blyth saw, and perhaps he was the first to see it, that geographical distribution was not unimportant in suggesting the affinities and differences of natural groups (pp. 258, 259); and, undeterred by the precepts and practice of the hitherto dominant English school of Ornithologists, he declared that " anatomy, when aided by every character which the manner of propagation, the progressive changes, and other physiological data supply, is the only sure basis of classification."
The ordinary guinea fowl of the poultry-yard (see also Poultry And Poultry-Farming) is the Numida meleagris of ornithologists.
It is now for us to trace the rise of the present more advanced school of ornithologists, whose labours yet give signs of far greater promise.
The most novel feature, and one the importance of which most ornithologists of the present day are fully prepared to admit, is the separation of the class A y es into two great divisions, which from one of the most obvious distinctions they present were called by its author Carinatae' and Ratitae, 2 according as the sternum possesses a keel (crista in the phraseology of many anatomists) or not.
On the other hand, he declares that the American rodstart, Muscicapa, or, as it now stands, Setophaga ruticilla, when young, has its vocal organs like the rest - an extraordinary statement which is worthy the attention of the many able American ornithologists.
Further, it is the opinion of competent ornithologists that there is affinity of the Australian emeus and cassowaries with the New Zealand moas and with the Malagasy Aepyornis.