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Letter 6753

Darwin, C. R. to Weir, J. J.

20 May [1869]

Summary

Asks for information about male birds migrating before females.

Transcription

Down, Beckenham, Kent. S.E.

May 20.

My dear Sir

I feel that I have a sort of prescriptive right to bother youfor information. Mr. Gould told me that male nightingalesimmigrate before the females; and that he had ascertainedthis was the case with the snipe and he believed that it wasgeneral with migratory Birds.f2 Do you know anything on thishead? There is a man in or near Brighton, who sometimes writesin the Ibis, and who I imagine may be a bird-stuffer, and whoseems to have paid special attention to migratory Birds.f3 Do youknow to whom I refer, for if I could discover his name andaddress, I would write to him, supposing that you are not ableto give me information on this head. I fear that the migratorybirds are not largely caught by the Bird-catchers; and theSouth coast would be the best place for observation

Believe me, my dear Sir | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin

I could no doubt find out the Brighton man’s address throughSclater.f4

DAR 148: 322

true

Footnotes

f1
The year is established by the relationship between this letter andthe letter from J. J. Weir, 26 May 1869.
f2
CD recorded John Gould’s remarks in a note dated 24 March1868 (DAR 86: C18).
f3
George Swaysland was a naturalist with premises at 4 Queen’s Roadin Brighton (Post Office directory of the six home counties 1870).
f4
Philip Lutley Sclater.
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