Rothney Castle, Simla,
October 19th, 1889.
Mr. Hume has sufficiently explained the circumstances under which this edition of his popular work has been brought about. I have merely to add that, as I was engaged on a work on the Birds of India, I thought it would be easier for me than for anyone else to assist Mr. Hume. I was also in England, and knew that my labour would be very much lightened by passing the work through the press in this country. Another reason, perhaps the most important, was the fear that, as Mr. Hume had given up entirely and absolutely the study of birds, the valuable material he had taken such pains to accumulate for this edition might be irretrievably lost or further injured by lapse of time unless early steps were taken to utilize it.
A few words of explanation appear necessary on the subject of the arrangement of this edition. Mr. Hume is in no way responsible for this arrangement nor for the nomenclature employed. He may possibly disapprove of both. He, however, gave me his manuscript unreservedly, and left me free to deal with it as I thought best, and I have to thank him for reposing this confidence in me. Left thus to my own devices, I have considered it expedient to conform in all respects to the arrangement of my work on the Birds, which I am writing, side by side, with this work. The classification I have elaborated for my purpose is totally different to that employed by Jerdon and familiar to Indian ornithologists; but a departure from Jerdon’s arrangement was merely a question of time, and no better opportunity than the present for readjusting the classification of Indian birds appeared likely to present itself. I have therefore adopted a new system, which I have fully set forth in my other work.
I take this opportunity to present the readers of Mr. Hume’s work with portraits of Mr. Hume himself, of Mr. Brian Hodgson, the late Dr. Jerdon, and the late Colonel Tickell.
Eugene W. Oates.
1. Corvus corax, Linn. 3. —— corone, Linn. 4. —— macrorhynchus, Wagler 7. —— splendens, Vieill 8. —— insulens, Hume. 9. —— monedula, Linn. 10. Pica rustica (Scop.) 12. Urocissa occipitalis (Bl.) 13. —— flaviostris (Bl.) 14. Cissa chinensis (Bodd.) 15. —— ornata (Wagler) 16. Dendrocitta rufa (Scop.) 17. —— leucogastra, Gould 18. —— himalayensis, Bl. 21. Crypsirhina varians (Lath.) 23. Platysmurus leucopterus (Temm.) 24. Garrulous lanceolatus, Vigors 25. —— leucotis, Hume 26. —— bispecularis, Vigors 27. Nucifraga hemispila, Vigors 29. Graculus eremita (Linn.)