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Classification of Birds. These figures were drawn by that admirable ornithological delineator, and most of them for truth of detail or beauty of design have seldom been equalled and rarely surpassed. I am also indebted to the kindness of Sir Walter Buller, K.C.M.G., F.R.S., for the use of electrotypes of woodcuts executed for his ‘Birds of New Zealand, as well as to the Publication Committee of the Zoological Society of London, to the Trustees of the British Museum, and to Dr. William Francis and Mr. Maxwell Masters, F.R.S., for their consent to the reproduction of other figures, which will be found duly acknowledged in the following pages.
Lastly, I would say that the alphabetical order has been deliberately adopted in preference to the taxonomic because I entertain grave doubt of the validity of any systematic arrangement as yet put forth, some of the later attempts being in my opinion among the most fallacious, and a good deal worse than those they are intended to supersede. That in a few directions an approach to improvement has been made is not to be denied ; but how far that approach goes is uncertain. I only see that mistakes are easily made, and I have no wish to mislead others by an assertion of knowledge which I know no one to possess; yet with all these drawbacks and shortcomings I trust that this Dictionary will aid a few who wish to study Ornithology in a scientific spirit, as well as many who merely regard its pursuit as a pastime, while I even dare indulge the hope that persons indifferent to the pleasures of Natural History, except when highly-coloured pictures are presented to them by popular writers, may find in it some corrective to the erroneous impressions commonly conveyed by sciolists posing as instructors.
A. N. CAMBRIDGE, March 1893.
Where a word is introduced in small capitals, without apparent necessity, further
information concerning it may be sought for under that word in its alphabetical place.
DICTIONARY OF BIRDS
AASVOGEL (Carrion-bird), the name given to some of the larger VULTURES by the Dutch colonists in South Africa, and generally adopted by English residents (Layard, B. S. Africa, pp. 5, 6).
ABADAVINE or ABERDUVINE (etymology and spelling doubtful), a name applied in 1735 by Albin (Suppl. Nat. Hist. B. p. 71) to the SISKIN, but perhaps hardly ever in use, though often quoted as if it were.
ACANTHIZA, the scientific name given in 1826 by Vigors and Horsfield to a genus of birds commonly ranked with the Sylviida (WARBLER), and used as English since Gould's time for the eight or more species which inhabit Australia.
ACCENTOR, Bechstein's name for a genus of Sylviida (including the Hedge-SPARROW and its allies) which some British authors have tried with small success to add to the English language.
ACCIPITRES, the name given by Linnæus to his first Order of the Class Aves, consisting of what are commonly known as Birds-ofPrey, namely, the Vultures, the Eagles and Hawks, and the Owls ; the last being by many recent authors, whose example is followed in the present work, separated from the first two.
ACORN-DUCK, a name given in some parts of North America to the Carolina or Wood-Duck, Æx sponsa.
ACROMYODI, Garrod's name (Proc. Zool. Soc. 1876, p. 507) for a group of birds practically the same as the OSCINES, POLYMYODI or true PASSERES of various authors, “an acromyodian bird, being one in which the muscles of the SYRINX are attached to the extremities of the bronchial semi-rings.” The Acromyodi are further divided into two groups, one (abnormales or Pseudoscines) consisting of, so far as is known, only the genera Atrichia (SCRUB