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NATURAL HISTORY OF IRELAND.

THE

NATURAL HISTORY

OF

IRELAND.

VOL. III.

BIRDS,

COMPK18INO THE ORDK1I

NATATORES

Wm. THOMPSON, Esq.,

- President of the Natural History and Philosophical Society of Belfast, Corresponding- Hemher
of the Nat. Hist. Society of Boston, U.S.; of the Academy of Natural Sciences,
Philadelphia, *c., *c.

LONDON:

REEVE AND BENIIAM, HENRIETTA STREET, COVENT GARDEN.
PREFACE.

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The present volume, concluding the Birds of Ireland, contains descriptions of all the web-footed or swimming species (Natatores). These include the swans, geese, ducks; divers, auks, cormorants, gannets; terns, gulls, and petrels.

If a want of generalization of the facts contained in these volumes be objected to, it should be remembered, as stated in the preface to the first volume, that they are merely put forward as supplementary to several works on the Birds of England and Scotland, in all of which generalization will be found, though not invariably based on sufficient data. The author of the present volumes considered it better to content himself with publishing the facts, as a contribution of materials for that purpose, rather than attempt to generalize on insufficient grounds.

The detail he feels must often be wearisome to those not specially interested in the subject, or who do more than refer to one species at a time. It was never imagined by the author that the work would be read continuously by any individual; it was drawn up simply as one of reference, and hence pains were not taken to render the style more flowing, or to free it from the constant impediments to an even course of

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