I should like to explain that this work, being, with one or two insignificant exceptions, a record of my own observations only, it has not been my intention to make general statements in regard to the habits of any particular bird. In practice, however, it is often difficult to write as if one were not doing this, without its having a very clumsy effect. One cannot, for instance, always say, "I have seen birds fly." One has to say, upon occasions, "Birds fly." Moreover, it is obvious that in much of the more important business of bird-life, one would be fully justified in arguing from the particular to the general: perhaps (though this is not my opinion) one would always be. But, whether this is the case or not, I wish it to be understood that, throughout, a remark that any bird acts in such or such a way means, merely, that I have, on one or more occasions, seen it do so. Also, all that I have seen which is included in this volume was noted down by me either just after it had taken place or whilst it actually was taking place; the quotations (except when literary or otherwise explicitly stated) being always from my own notes so made. For this reason I call my work "Bird Watching," and I hope that the title will explain, and even justify, a good deal which in itself is certainly a want and a failing. One cannot, unfortunately, watch all birds, and of those that one can it is difficult not to say at once too little and too much: too little, because one may have only had the luck to see well a single point in the round of activities of any species—one feather in its plumage, so to speak—and too much, because even to speak of this adequately is to fill many pages and deny space to some other bird.