Papers in the Biological Sciences


Date of this Version



Published in Review of A Coloured Key to the Wildfowl of the World by Peter Scott; The Wildfowl Trust (1957). Johnsgard in AUK (January 1959) 76(1). Copyright 1959, University of California and the American Ornithologists' Union. Used by permission.


The Wildfowl Trust, Slimbridge. Gloucestershire. 96 pp., 23 plates. 1957. Price. 9 s. 6d. This hand·guide to alI the species and subspecies of the Anatidae is an elaborated version of an earlier black and white guide. mainly for use in assisting in the identification of live birds in the incomparable waterfowl coIlection at the Wildfowl Trust, but also of great value as a guide in any zoo or even under field conditions. A total of 147 species, comprising 247 forms, are shown, including both sexes where they differ noticeably. as weIl as major color phases of the polymorphic forms such as Anser e. eaeruleseens and Chloephaga p. pieta. Pages facing the plates provide the Latin and common English names, and also give an abbreviated statement of range. Immature and "eclipse" plumages are not shown. The arrangement and systematic treatment is essentially that proposed by Jean Delacour and Ernst Mayr in 1945 (Wilson Bull., 57: 3-55), with a few recent modifications made by Delacour in his "Waterfowl of the World" monograph. Thus the torrent duck tribe "Merganettini" is merged with the Anatini, whereas the eiders are given a tribal status (Somateriini) and are placed between the Anatini and the Aythyini. Detailed head drawings of the white swans, snow geese, eiders and scoters greatly assist in recognizing their diagnostic criteria. Domestic varieties are also presented for comparison. Although the quality of the color reproduction cannot, of course, compare with Scott's plates in Delacour's monograph they are nevertheless a great improvement over the earlier black and white drawings and are entirely adequate for species identification.

Included in

Ornithology Commons