"Dr John Albert Leach (19 March 1870 - 3 October 1929) was an ornithologist, teacher and headmaster in the state of Victoria, Australia.
Leach was born in Ballarat, Victoria and educated at Creswick Grammar School (where he was dux), Melbourne Training College (1890) and the University of Melbourne, where he graduated B.Sc. in 1904, M.Sc. in 1906 and in 1912 obtained his doctorate for research in ornithology.
Leach was a regular writer and broadcaster on natural history subjects and introduced it into the school curriculum. He was President of the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union (RAOU) 1922-1924 and Editor of its journal The Emu 1914-1924 and 1928-1929. He was a member of the British Ornithologists Union and a corresponding fellow of the American Ornithologists Union. Leach was also member of the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria.
He was instrumental in founding the Gould League of Bird Lovers in 1909 with Jessie McMichael. He is best known as the author of An Australian Bird Book, the first edition of which was published in 1911, and of Australian Nature Studies in 1922. He also part-authored a series of Federal Geography books, and worked on the Official Checklist of the Birds of Australia second and revised edition, published by the RAOU in September 1926.
Leach had been preparing two books before his death, one of these was a collection of weekly radio broadcasts he made on 3LO in the mid 1920s....
Among his contributions to ornithology was the relationship between the Australian Magpie, butcherbirds and currawongs in the family Cracticidae, now sunk as a subfamily into Artamidae.
This book is a field guide. The pages were divided vertically, with the tabular matter on the top half, and the Lecture on the bottom half of the page.
The ebook has been re-arranged so that the separate parts have a smoother flow. The top parts of the pages have been left intact, but the bottom parts have been collected together and moved, so that the Lecture text for each ORDER precedes the tabular listing and descriptions for that ORDER.
The only exception is for ORDER XXI.
ORDER XXI.—Perching-Birds—contains 11,500 species, more than three-fifths of the world's 19,000 birds. It has been arranged into sets of suitable groups of FAMILIES, to make it easier to access.
Visible page numbers have been omitted from the Lecture sections, but the Lecture page numbers are still accessible through the blue clickable links in the General INDEX.
NAMES RECENTLY AMENDED (located after the INTRODUCTION).
It seems important to have these new names available, so they have been added to (e.g.)
20 Slate-breasted Rail ....
as [~20 Rallus pectoralis.]
20 Slate-breasted Rail (Short-toed), Lewin Water-Rail, Eulabeornis (Hypotaenidia) brachypus, A., T., Auckland Is. =vt. Eur. Water-Rail.
[~20 Rallus pectoralis.]
See also the explanatory notes in the PREFACE, and in the PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.
"The number at the right side of the page is the length of the bird in inches (from the tip of bill to the tip of tail)." ...
2* Mallee-Fowl, Lowan, Native Pheasant, Pheasant (e), Leipoa ocellata, N.S.W., V., S.A., W.A.
Stat. r. mallee scrubs 24
Like a small turkey; neck light fawn-gray; back, wings spotted white, black, brown; f., smaller.
This means there is one genus of Mallee-Fowl in the world, and it is found only in Australia. It is listed in this book as Bird number 2, which has a colored illustration, indicated by the asterisk, * (a clickable link to the relevant colored illustration),
It is stationary (not migratory), rarely seen, lives in mallee scrubs, and is 24" long.
It resembles a small turkey; its neck is light fawn-gray; its back and wings are spotted white, black, and brown; the female is smaller; and it feeds on seeds and ants.
Click on a bird illustration to link to an enlargement.
Note (From NOTE following "PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION."):
A.—Australian Region (from Wallace's Line to Sandwich Islands and New Zealand, see map p. 10).
'Sandwich Islands' is an old name for Fiji.
The use of hyphens was not necessarily consistent throughout this book. In some instances there are subtle differences in meaning.
Some Australian/British spellings (e.g. coloured, defence, draught, grey, learnt, lustre, etc.) have been retained, though color/colored and gray are more prevalent. The Author has used various resources.
A missing line on Page 25 (in italics)
(Their wings are paddles, being flattened and devoid of quills. The wings are not folded, but are carried hanging awkwardly at the side.)
was restored from a different Edition on Google Books
Sundry damaged or missing punctuation has been repaired, and a few index entries have been amended.