On Birds Represented In The British Isles By Peculiar Forms

Published on 01 July 1908 in Main articles

As late as 1892, A. R. Wallace accepted only three birds as peculiar to the British Isles (Island Life, second ed., p. 340) ; the same number was admitted b j Howard Saunders in 1899 (III. Manual of Brit. Birds, second ed.). The former author quoted ” Parus ater, sub.sp. britannicus,,:i ” Acredula eaudata, sub.sp. rosea,” and ” Lagopus scoticus,” while Mr. Saunders only distinguished by special names ” Motacilla lugubris, Motacilla raii, Lagopus scoticus,” not even separating the Long-tailed Titmouse. Mr. Dresser, in his ” Manual of Palsearctic Birds,” 1902, added to the three allowed by Mr. Saunders, ” Acredula rosea ” (though he partially united it with the continental europwa–cf. ” Vog. pal. Fauna,” I., p. 384–and consequently gave it too wide a range) and ” Parus britannicus.” This was undoubtedly a step forward, but recent investigations have shown t h a t over twenty British breeding birds are separable from their continental allies. I n the following article I have given short notes on twenty-one forms more or less strictly peculiar to the British Islands. I t may be t h a t the characters of one or two of these will not be found constant enough to recognize them as different, but all the others are easily separable, and must undoubtedly be considered as geographical representatives of continental forms. There can hardly be any doubt that one or two more will be found to differ, when carefully compared, so that theE. HABTERT : BRITISH PECULIAR

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