Letters

Published on 01 November 1909 in Letters

To the Editors of BRITISH BIRDS. ” T H E NATURAL HISTORY OF BRITISH GAME BIRDS.” SIRS,–In your issue for March 1st Mr. Ogilvie-Grant criticises certain statements in my work bearing the above title, and describes them as ” inaccuracies,” ” careless statements,” and ” serious omissions.” Under the two first headings he states that he was the first to discover exactly ” what took place, and to explain the laws which govern the apparently innumerable variations in the plumage of both the male and the female ” Red Grouse. With reference to this claim, I would point out that Mr. Grant published his views respectively in 1893 and 1894, whilst my book, ” Game Birds and Shooting Sketches,” dealing with the subject, and describing in detail the main forms, phases and intermediate types of the Red Grouse, as well as giving illustrations of all these, was published in 1892. My views (pp. 55-58) he seems to have adopted (” Game Birds,” pp. 27-28) as his own, without any acknowledgment of my previous work on the subject. As ” Game Birds and Shooting Sketches” was written principally for sportsmen, I determined that at some future date I would endeavour to collect the substance of certain observations I had been making continuously since 1892, and so published the results last year. During this period I have been constantly shooting Grouse and examining specimens at all seasons of the year. I may say that I have seen tens of thousands of Grouse

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