IT is with much regret that we chronicle the death of Allan Octavian Hume, the celebrated Indian ornithologist, who died recently at the age of eighty-three. Of late years Mr. Hume had ceased to take an active interest in ornithology, but he will always be remembered for the magnifieent collection of Indian birds and eggs which he brought together and finally presented to the British Museum. Between the years 1873 and 1889 he also published a periodical entitled ÃŸtray Feathers, which was devoted to Indian ornithology, and the bulk of the material for the well-known work on the Neste and Eggs of Indian Birds was aecumulated by him. He also collaborated with Oaptain C. H. T. Marshall in Publishing a work on the Game-Birds of India, Burmah and Ceylon (1879-80). Mr. Hume first offered his collection to the British Museum in 1883, but it was not tili 1885 that Dr. R. B. Sharpe went out to India in order to bring the collection home. By this time probably some 20,000 skins had been destroyed by the ravages of insects, but the most valuable part of the collection, which still comprised 63,000 bird-skins, 500 nests and 18,500 eggs, as well as some 400 skins of mammals, was practically intact or only slightly damaged. On turning to Dr. R. B. Sharpe’s presidential address in the Proceedings of the Forih Intern. Ornith. Congress, in which an account is given of the chief accessions to the Ornithological Department of the British Museum, we
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British Birds – how it works
BB 2000 Ltd, the company that owns and publishes British Birds, is run by a board of directors, all of whom are volunteers. The company employs two full time staff – Roger Riddington is the journal’s editor while Hazel Jenner manages subscriptions and administration – and three part-time design/editorial staff.
The company is wholly owned by The British Birds Charitable Trust (BBCT, registered charity no. 1089422). Neither the company directors nor the trustees are paid for their services, providing their time and enthusiasm because they passionately believe in the value of BB. The Company is managed with a view to making a small profit which can be donated to the Trust to help fund its charitable work.
Over the past six years, this, combined with donations from other sources, has enabled the Trust to give almost £70,000 support to a variety of conservation and educational projects ranging from rat eradication on seabird islands to the study of cuckoo migration, as well as assisting young birders develop their interest.
A full list of projects is given here. The Trust is seeking to expand its charitable endeavours and would welcome donations from like-minded organisations and individuals.