Blackbirds and Nightingales | Bird Watching


Edmund Selous

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Tonight, we’ll be reading a chapter from the book, "Bird Watching" titled "Watching Blackbirds, Nightingales, Sand-martins, etc. “Bird Watching” was published in 1901 by Edmund Selous. The author started as a conventional naturalist, but Selous developed a hatred of the killing of animals for scientific study and was a pioneer of bird-watching as a method of scientific study. He was a strong proponent of non-destructive bird-study as opposed to the collection of skins and eggs. The shooting of birds for scientific purposes, like building museum collections, he strongly rejected. The author was a solitary man and was not well known in ornithological circles. He avoided both the company of ornithologists and reading their observations so as to base his conclusions entirely on his own observations. Selous continued bird-watching and writing until near the end of his life.