Date: 7/28/19 11:36 am
From: Ross Silcock <silcock...>
Subject: [ia-bird] Rick Wright's "Sparrows of North America"
If you haven't yet obtained a copy of this book, I urge you to do so! It reads as though it is a biological novel, with Rick's erudition on full display. Even so, the book is a comprehensive treatment of taxonomy, field identification, and distribution of the North American sparrows.

One of my favorite passages reads:

"Nevertheless, the naming of Savannah Sparrow races remained a thriving exercise in the first half of the twentieth century, coming eventually to a total of 28 described races. The descriptive tradition reached what was presumably intended to be its acme in the revision carried out by James L. Peters and Ludlow Griscom in 1938. As an exercise in typological connoisseurship conducted by two pairs of keen and experienced eyes, the paper they produced is a monument to taxonomic methods that would soon be rendered obsolete by advances in genetics, evolutionary theory, and molecular biology."

C'est la vie.


Ross Silcock
Seasonal Reports Compiler
Nebraska Bird Review
Co-Author "Birds of Nebraska- Online"<>
Tabor, IA 51653

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