British Wildlife 19.3 February 2008

Through a naturalist’s eyes

"The recieved wisdom that I grew up with was that mammals are brighter than birds. We (as a Class) are quick to learn and are adaptable, while the birds are governed by instinct and plod along in an inflexible groove. I wonder now if our perceptions, or mine at least, were coloured by the fact that it is easier to study to instinctive, and more or less rigid, behaviour of birds."

Darwin's war-horse: beetle-collecting in 19th-century England Conservation of bats in British woodlands
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