W h e n I presented my collection of Birds to the Zoological Society, Mr.
Gould kindly undertook to furnish me with descriptions of the new species and
names of those already known. This he has performed, hut owing to the hurry,
consequent on his departure for Australia,— an expedition from which the science
of Ornithology will derive such great advantages, — he was compelled to leave
some part of his manuscript so far incomplete, that without the possibility of
personal communication with him, I was left in doubt on some essential points.
Mr. George Robert Gray, the ornithological assistant in the Zoological department
of the British Museum, has in the most obliging manner undertaken to
obviate this difficulty, by furnishing me with information with respect to some
parts of the general arrangement, and likewise on that most intricate subject,—
the knowledge of what species have already been described, and the use of proper
generic terms. I shall endeavour in eveiy part of the text to refer to Mr. G. R.
Gray’s assistance, where I have used it. As some of Mr. Gould’s descriptions
appeared to me brief, I have enlarged them, but have always endeavoured to retain
his specific character; so that, by this means, I trust I shall not throw any
obscurity on what he considers the essential character in each c a se ; but at the
same time, I hope, that these additional remarks may render the work more
The accompanying illustrations, which are fifty in number, were taken from
sketches made by Mr. Gould himself, and executed on stone by Mrs. Gould, with