British Song Birds, being popular descriptions and anecdotes of the
choristers of the groves, by Mr. NEVILLE WOOD, is the latest, the fullest, and, all things considered, the best of the various publica- tions on Ornithology ; for the writercombines scientific arrateinent and accuracy of knowledge and discrimination with the lively anec- olotical style of the less technical observers. Ornithology has always been the most favourite branch of the science of animated nature; and people naturally feel most interested in the little warblers who make their presence known to the ear so delightfully when they are hidden from the eye. The volume contains a mass of carefully-authenticated and well-digested thets--° no. one fact is stated," says the author, " which has not been observed with my -own eyes, excepting where other authorities are referred to "—scien- tifically arranged ; the technical name and class of each songster is given, and a complete account of its characteristics, habits, locality, &c. illustrated by anecdotes of individual birds and the tribe; thus forming a manual for the naturalist as well as the general reader. We only desiderate wood-cuts of the birds, which in a popular book is almost indispensable : good and correctly-coloured plates would be still better, if they did not make the volume too -expensive for its object. These are the more necessary to the present work, as the author omits the usual descriptions of plumage,—though those descriptions, by the by, are often so minute and technical, that the idea of the whole is lost in the multiplicity of details, and they are comparatively useless to the many.
The Ornithologist's Text-book, by the same author, contains a chronological catalogue raisonn6 of' the various publications that have appeared on Ornithology, including the most important Con- tinental works; a synopsis of the different " systems ;" and sonic hints for a new and complete work on general Ornithology,— a most desirable acquisition to science, that we hope to see car- ried into effect.