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|Title:||Jungle folk, Indian natural history sketches|
|Publisher:||The Bodley Head|
|Tags:||India, jungle, nature, non-fiction, ornithology, reference, science|
Dewar reports from an era when early naturalists like Jerdon, Hume and Finn were still gathering information about the birds of India. Identification and cataloguing of Indian avifauna was a work in progress. Posted in Punjab between 1921 and 1924 as Accountant General, Dewar wrote extensively on birds of India, and Jungle Folk is a compilation of his writing in the leading dailies of the day.
In this delightful collection of field reports, he takes the readers along to the leafy gardens of Madras to the bustling city of Lahore through the arid plains of Punjab. He peeps into the nest of a brown rock-chat, keenly observes the roosting of bee-eaters and comments on the migration pattern of the rosy starlings. The coots, moorhens, duck and the ever-graceful wagtails do not escape his observant eyes.
His writing gives us a sense of context and place in the days of the Raj as well. He ventures into the outskirts of Oudh to indulge in falconry and compares the skills of goshawks... [Suggest a different description.]
Author Bio for Dewar, Douglas
Douglas Dewar (1875–1957) was a barrister, British civil servant in India, and ornithologist who wrote several books about Indian birds. He wrote widely in newspapers such as The Madras Mail, Pioneer, Times of India and periodicals such as the Civil and Military Gazette and Bird Notes.
Dewar however wrote most on ornithology and wrote numerous books on the birds of India. He particularly favoured the study of birds in life in the field wrote in his Birds of the Plains:
"The ornithological world is peopled by two classes of human beings. There are those who study nature inside the museum with the microscope and scalpel and there are those who live to observe birds In the open and study their habits."
He accuses the museum ornithologists of needlessly multiplying new species and altering names, too much attention being paid to local variations.
In his early education, he had been taught the ideas of evolution and was half-hearted in his acceptance of the principles. Although his early works on ornithology seemed to accept ideas of adaptation and selection, he later became a creationist and published a number of books and debates attacking evolution, and was the founding secretary-treasurer in the Evolution Protest Movement in 1932 along with Bernard Acworth and Lewis Merson Davies, jointly known as the Acworth Circle. He leaned towards the idea of old earth creationism but questioned radiometric dating. His book, The Transformist Illusion published posthumously in 1957 attempted to show the failure of evolution using examples such as the infinitesimal probability of proteins arising out of random mixing, the fossil record, bird anatomy, blood group incompatibilities, and queried evolutionary claims in embryology and vestigial organs. Reviewers pointed out the problems in his objections.--Wikipedia.
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