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By P. H. GOSSE.
PUBLISHED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF
THE COMMITTEE OF GENERAL LITERATURE AND EDUCATION,
SOLD AT THE DEPOSITORY,
AND BY ALL BOOKSELLERS.
LONDON : Printed by S. & J. BENTLEY, WILSON, and FLEY,
Bangor House, Shoe Lane.
In presenting to the public the second of this series of volumes on Natural History, which treats of the many-voiced and many-coloured tribes that wing their way through the air, it is only necessary to observe, that the Author has pursued the same plan as that which he adopted in treating of the Mammalia. The systematic divisions of modern science are adhered to; and their distinctive characters succinctly, but correctly, and clearly given; while every Family is illustrated by the description, history, and pictorial delineation of one of its constituent species.
These illustrations have again been selected in preference from the Zoology of the British Islands; a course which has been practicable to a much greater extent in the present than in the former volume; for while of the forty-four Families into which the Mammalia are divided, only twenty are represented in these islands, of the forty-nine Families of Birds no fewer than thirtyone possess British representatives.
The Author has followed in his arrangement and nomenclature, the “ Genera of Birds” of Mr. G. R. Gray; not only on account of the intrinsic authority of that work, but because it is the system on which the noble collection of Birds in the British Museum is arranged and named. The advantage, presented by this volume and its fellows, of being a Manual to the National Collection, will be readily appreciated.
Besides the carefully executed engravings of every species described in the following pages, many others, illustrating peculiarities of structure, &c., are scattered through the book.