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I must say that I am rather disgusted with the recent work of many ornithologists. Birdwatching and mathematical models or formulas are still highly fashionable in ornithology, in my country as abroad. "As regards the future, we are hoping to publish a monograph cataloguing the skins of extinct and seriously endangered bird species in the collections of the Natural History Museum, a work of specialized interest but of particular value to those concerned in conservation of endangered species and in biodiversity generally.
What I think of yourself you must know, both as an ornithologist and a dear friend. I suppose you will have something to tell about your recent trip. Sensible people will laugh at us if we continue in this way. " " Lnfortunately very few people in Italy care now for the rich historical material housed in scientific museums, or for bird taxonomy and systematics. We have chosen instead to commemorate the Bulletin by the anthology produced by Dr Snow — Birds, discovery and conservation — and to have a special volume of the Bulletin, edited by Dr Monk, of invited papers by leading biologists, on Avian Systematics and Taxonomy, copies of which have just arrived from the printers.
The precedent for additional publications was set in 1992, to mark the Centenary of the Club. Birds, Discovery and Conservation was launched in September at the B.
Peal, who retires on completion of his term of office, (ii) The Reverend T.
A total of 463 members and guests attended these functions, which is the highest number in recent years except for 1990, when 1 3 meetings were held which included the 800th meeting of the Club and the Conversazione at the XXth I. Louette, Professor Storrs Olson, Drs Walter and Ulrike Thiede and Dr Carlo Violani were able to spare time to speak to the Club durings visits they made to London. The paid-up membership at 31 December 1992 was 594, 363 members with U. This resulted in a drop in the total membership from the 623 of 1991. Among a variety of papers of ecological or behavioural interest may be mentioned a study of vocal behaviour of one of Africa's least known owls, jfubula lettii, the first detailed account of the natural history of the world's smallest flightless bird, Atlantisia rogersi of Inaccessible Island, and a recent detailed study of the Neospiza buntings also of Inaccessible Island. Investment income fell, particularly in the last quarter of 1992, because of the considerable reduction in available interest rates.
An account of the Centenary Dinner is published elsewhere in the Bulletin. The Committee met 8 times during the year and the average attendance of the 9 members was 77%. This reduction perhaps partly reflects the increase in the subscription, which had to be introduced in 1992, and a review by many members of their subscription lists, which has been reported generally by societies. There was the usual variety of papers dealing with points of distribution, taxonomy and nomenclature. The Accounts for 1 992, which are not yet available, will be tabled at the Annual General Meeting and published subsequently in the Bulletin.
When the trinomial system has the consequence of adopting such names as Coccothraustes coccothraustes coccothraustes, Oriolus oriolus oriolus, Pica pica pica, I conclude that the system is absurd! So, when some years ago our unforgettable friend Con Benson suggested that I should re- examine the historically important bird collections in Italian museums, I hardly imagined that a new field of research was about to be opened in front of me. We hope that it may not be too long before we are in a position to publish it.
The 1890s were in many ways "the heroic age of zoology", but it had to be admitted that interest in animal behaviour was limited, and binoculars were hardly ever used; "they had another weapon with which they enjoyed ornithology they shot the beasts! "The Club, like any organism in an ever-changing environment, has had to adapt or sink.
Sir Brian Follett recalled that his university, Bristol, subscribed to the Bulletin from its first issue.
«& — «, /^ s °v7\ o ISSN 0007-1 595 Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club Edited by Dr D. Paul Salaman will speak on "Avifauna assisting Conservation: an example from the Colombian Choco". Annual General Meeting', after which Dr Adrian Lewis will speak on "A Bird Atlas of Kenya".
Paul Salaman is an environmental biology undergraduate of Anglia Polytechnic University and has led two Cambridge Student ornitho- logical conservation expeditions to Colombia. Those wishing to attend are asked to notify the Hon. Dr Lewis has widespread knowledge of the ornithology of eastern and western Europe and of the Middle East. Professor Pilcher has been Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Kuwait for some years. Meetings are held in the Sherfield Building of Imperial College, South Kensington, London at 6.15 p.m. A map showing Imperial College will be sent to members on request.