INTRODUCTION In the periods January 1959-June 1961 and February-September 1962, a total of about three years, the late Mr. A. Hoogerwerf was attached to the experimental rice farm Koembe near Koerik, not far from the mouth of the Koembe River, southern New Guinea, where he was in charge of investigations concerning crop-damage caused by birds and mammals. The results of his work were published in an important report (Hoogerwerf, 1962), in which it was suggested that certain alterations in the pattern of agricultural activities, like changes in the times of flooding and planting of the fields, could reduce damage by water birds without need to resort to the drastic measures so frequently taken against wildlife when man feels only in the slightest economically threatened or harmed. Being, however, the enthusiastic ornithologist he was, Hoogerwerf did not confine his attention to birds of direct economic importance, but made a study of the whole ornithofauna of the region. This included the accumulation of a general collection of bird-skins and of several clutches of eggs, mainly from Koerik and Koembe, and from the larger and better known village of Merauke, some 25 km to the S.Ε. of Koembe. In addition the beach between Koembe and the mouth of the Bian River was worked, and around the middle of October 1960 the Koembe River was ascended to and beyond the village of Kaisa (= Keiza, Kaisah), in a straight line over eighty kilometres from the coast, and many more by boat over the river. As early as 1962, when he was still in New Guinea, I was in contact with Mr. Hoogerwerf on the subject of publication of his ornithological work, and we considered the feasability of a joint paper on his collections. For two reasons, however, these plans were infinitely delayed. In the first place I was somewhat