Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 68.djvu/468

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
464
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY
BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY IN NORWAY

By Dr. R. W. SHUFELDT

NEW YORK

AS any general reader of the magazines in this country thoroughly appreciates, there has been within the last twenty years a wonderful and widespread interest taken in the matter of photography of birds, their nests and their haunts. There is not a month that passes without some one of the larger magazines, or even several of them, publishing a bird article illustrated with a series of photographic reproductions from nature, and these are often from the pens of our best-known ornithologists. The effect has been that many of our commoner bird forms are now coming to be quite generally known, which was by no means the case forty or more years ago. But the United States does not stand alone in the production of this class of literature, and, old as the old world is, it has not come to be so antiquated that people no longer take any interest in its avifauna; indeed, the old adage that 'familiarity breeds contempt' by no means applies here, for, as a matter of fact, the very reverse of the proverb holds true, and the better we come to know the birds, the more ready are we to recognize the fascination of their closer acquaintance.

Having been a student of the world's ornithology for a period extending over forty years, and a continuous writer on the subject for a quarter of a century, the birds of Europe are nearly as well known to me as those of my own country, and the life histories of some of them mean quite as much to me. In this way I have become as familiar with the birds of a country like Norway as I am with those of any part of the United States, and some of them I have studied quite as closely, their habits as well as their anatomy. Now the Scandinavian camerists have not been idle in the making of life photographs of the birds of the North European region in general and of Norway in particular. Among these workers no one is better known, or more distinguished, than the veteran Norse naturalist, Professor Robert Collett, professor of zoology at the University of Christiania, who has been a correspondent of the writer's since the early eighties. Professor Collett spends his summer vacations in rambling over the most interesting parts of Norway, during which times he captures many bird pictures with his camera. He has kindly illustrated the present article for me and supplied some of the notes.

When one comes to study the land birds of Norway, one soon ascertains that many of them are resident species, a still greater number