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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 57.djvu/440

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

the gray plover, the gray phalarope, the sabine gull and the cuneate or Ross's gull.

One of the greatest authorities on Arctic birds, Prof. Alfred Newton, of the University of Cambridge, has well said that in consideration of the avifauna of any country its peculiarities can be determined only by dismissing accidental stragglers from the discussion. In elucidating the great question of geographical distribution, one must confine himself to either the birds that breed therein, or to those species which regularly frequent it for a considerable portion of the year.

Considering the enormous area covered by the Fram expedition and its great diversity of physical conditions of sea and land, it was impossible to treat under a single heading the birds observed.

PSM V57 D440 Pseudalibrotus nanseni g o sars.png
Pseudalibrotus Nanseni. G. O. Sars.

Mr. Collet has, therefore, been wise in dividing his notes into four sections, covering the Asiatic coast, the Siberian ocean, the sledge journey to Franz Josef Land, and the Arctic Ocean to the north of Franz Josef Land and Spitzbergen. But for this division, confusion would have resulted from combining birds of regions so widely extended in longitude and latitude.

The notes show conclusively what might have been anticipated, that the avifauna of the Siberian Sea, and especially that portion of the Arctic Ocean to the north of Franz Josef Land and Spitzbergen, is strictly limited.

Including the species observed during the entire voyage, there are only thirty-three recorded. Only twenty-one species pertain to the Arc-