From Alfred Newton 1 March 1867
10 Beaufort Gardens | S.W.
1 March 1867.
My dear Sir,
On Tuesday last I met in a birdstuffer’s shop at Brighton an intelligent young gentleman by name Booth.1 He told me that last summer he had opportunities of studying the breeding habits of the Dotterel (Eudromias morinellus) in Scotland and volunteered—without any leading question—the information that the cocks “looked after the young”, and that the hens seemed to care very little about their offspring.
The Dotterel as you no doubt are aware is one of the species in which the hens are much more brilliantly coloured than the cocks.2
Believe me | Yrs. very truly | Alfred Newton
I asked Mr. Booth, (after he had told me what I have mentioned) whether he had taken the trouble to ascertain the sexes of the birds he killed by dissection, & he said he had done so, & shewed me a very dingy looking cock bird that he had obtained while anxiously “looking after” its young.
Male dotterels take care of young and are less brilliantly coloured than females.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5426,” accessed on 25 March 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-5426