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Full text of "Handbook to the birds of Australia"

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HANDBOOK 









TO THE 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA 















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HANDBOOK 



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TO THE 








BIRDS 



OF 



AUSTRALIA. 






BY 



JOHN GOULD, F.RS., etc. 

AUTHOE OF THE 'BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA,' 'MAMMALS OF 

AUSTRALIA,' ' BIRDS OF EUROPE,' ' BIRDS OF ASIA,' 

MONOGRAPHS OF THE TROCHILIDiE, 

RAMPHASTIDiE, TROGONIDjE, 

ODONTOPHORESLE, ETC. 



IN TWO VOLUMES 



VOL. II. 









LONDON: 






PUBLISHED BY THE AUTHOE, 

2G, CHARLOTTE STREET BEDFORD SQUARE. 




1865. 






[The right of Translation is reserved.] 



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Cambridge University Library, 



On permanent deposit from 
the Botany School 



PRINTED RY TAYLOR AND FRANCIS, RED LION COURT, FLEET STREET 



ALERE 






" 



FLAMMAM 







V 










PREFACE TO THE SECOND VOLUME. 






In the last paragraph of the Introduction I stated 



the 



various species would be arranged nearly in the same order 
as in the folio edition; and, with some trifling exceptions, 



this 



has been observed, the exceptions being the 



position of two or three of the genera into other parts of 
their respective Orders. All the Raptores, and as many 
families of the Insessores as could be conveniently com- 
prised therein, are contained in the first volume ; and I com- 
mence the second with the Psittacidae or Parrots, with which 
the Order Insessores will be brought to a close. As before 
stated, they will be followed by the Rasores, Grallatores, and 
Natatores. I have considered it necessary to add an Appendix 
at the end of this volume, comprising those birds figured in 
the folio edition which are not found in Australia, and a 
Table of the distribution of the species in the seven colonies 
into which Australia is divided, and a General Index. 









HANDBOOK 



TO THE 



BIRDS 



or 



AUSTRALIA. 



Order INSESSORES. 



Family PSITTACID^l. 






No group of birds gives to Australia so tropical and foreign 

the numerous species, of this great family, by which 



it is tenanted 



d 



abundant 



all of which are individually very 
Immense flocks of white Cockatoos are sometimes 
seen perched among the green foliage of the loftiest trees ; the 
brilliant scarlet breasts of the Rose-hills blaze forth from the 
yellow flowering Acacia-, the Triclioglossi or Honey-eating Par- 
rakeets enliven the flowering branches of the larger Eucalypti 
with their beauty and their lively actions; the little Grass 
Parrakeets rise from the plains of the interior and render these 
solitary spots a world of animation ; nay the very towns, parti- 
cularly Hobart Town and Adelaide, are constantly visited by 
flights of this beautiful tribe of birds, which traverse the 
streets with arrow-like swiftness, and chase each other precisely 
after the manner the Cypseli are seen to do in our own islands. 

flocks of from fifty to a hundred 



In Tasmania I have i 
of the Platycercus fi 

barn-doors 



like tame 



Fg 



the 



in the farm-yards of the settlers, to which 



they descend for the refuse 



g 



thrown out with the 



VOL. II. 



B 






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2 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



by the threshers. As might naturally be expected 



the 



g 



is 



often 



yed 




certain species effect among h 



iy 



the destruction 
r n and ripening 



particularly where the land has been recently cleared and 



is adjacent to the forests 



About 



xty well-defined species 



of this family are described in the present work. They appear 
to constitute four great groups, each comprising several genera, 
nearly the whole of which are peculiarly Australian. 

I shall follow the arrangement of these birds as it is in the 
folio edition as nearly as possible, and insert in their proper 
places those species which have been discovered since the 
completion of that work. 



Genus CACATUA, Vieillot. 



Islands 



d New 



Australia, the Molucca and Philippine 
Guinea are the great nurseries of the members of this genus. 
They incubate in holes of trees or in rocks, and lay two 
white eggs. 



Sp.391. 



CACATUA GALERITA. 

Great Sulphur- crested Cockatoo 

Cockatoo. White's Journ.. t)l. at d. 237. 



Psittacus galeritus, Lath. Ind. Orn., vol. i. p. 109. 
(Kakadoe) galeritus, Kuhl, Consp. Psitt. pp. 



Great Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Shaw, Gen. Zool., vol. viii. p. 479. 

Crested Cockatoo, Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. ii. p. 205. 

Cacatua galerita, Vieill., 2nde edit, dn Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. Nat., 

torn.xvii. p. 11. 
Plyctolophus galeritus, Vig. and Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p. 268. 
Cacatua chry solophus , Less. Traite d'Orn., p. 182. 



Kakado 



Ifi 



Wales 



Cacatua galerita, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 1 

If we regard the White Cockatoo of Tasmania and that of 
the adjacent continent as 
species has a very extensive 



mere varieties of each other, this 










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INSESSORES. 



3 



On a close examination of specimens from different parts 
of Australia, a decided variation is observable in the form of 
the bill, but of too trivial a character, in my opinion, to war- 
rant their being considered as distinct. The Tasmanian 
bird is the largest in every respect, and has the bill, particu- 



larly 



upper 



dible 



abruptly curved, exhibiting 



tendency to the form of that organ in the genus Licmetis : 
the bill of the north-western bird is much rounder than that 
of the White Cockatoo of Tasmania : on this head the late 
Mr. Elsey furnished me with the following note : 

The Cacatua galerita of the Victoria has many points of 



difference from that 



especially in the 



upper mandible. I find that the mandibles of the Cockatoo 



differ in a striking manner 



kind of food upon which they subsist. 



ding to the season, and 



When feeding on the 



seeds of the Eucalypti, the brittle outer layers disappear, and 
the tip becomes hard and sharp, while when feeding on roots 
grubbed from soft ground, the outer layers are not worn, and 
the end is square and spade-like. Leichardt mentions that 
the Cockatoos shot round the gulf had a pink colouring on 
the breast, and asks whether they were to be considered as a 



lety. We noticed this fact 



and the first bird I 



coloured on the breast, and the dye so uniform 



which 



that it deceived me ; but I soon found others 

only the breast, but the wings, tail, and face were dyed of a 

pale rose-colour ; spots of the same hue also occurred on their 



bodies. The 



all the 



large sandy river-beds 
quantity of iron, and the pools formed in them 
lually covered with a thin film of oxide of iron which is 




transferred to the bird when drinking." 

The crops and stomachs of those killed in Tasmania 
very muscular, and contained seeds. 



g 



native bread 



species of fungus), small tuberous and bulbous roots, and 



g 



As may be readily imagined, this bird is not 



igarded 



b2 




























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4 



BIRDS OV AUSTRALIA 



with favour by the agriculturist, upon whose fields of newly 

reatest devas 



grain and ripening maize it commits the 




tation : it is 



quently hunted and shot down wher 



found, a circumstance which tends much 



its 



numbers. It evinces a decided preference for the open plai 



and cleared 



3 



than for the dense br 



coast ; 



d, except when feedin 




eposing on the trees after 



presence of a flock, which sometimes 



thousands, is certain to be indicated by their screaming notes, 

the discordance of which may be easily conceived by those 
who have heard the peculiarly loud, piercing, grating scream 



of the bird in 



ty 



Iway 



emembering the immense 



e of the din occasioned by the large number of birds 
g their liar 



h notes at the same 



I 



sidered this annoyance amply compensated by their sprightly 
actions and the life their snowy forms imparted to the dense 
and never-varying green of the Australian forest — a feeling 
participated in by Sir Thomas Mitchell, who says, " amidst 

dense masses of shade, the 




the umbrageous foliage, formin 

White Cockatoos sported like spirits of light 



The si 

with the 



chosen for the purpose of nidification vary 

of the locality the bird inhabits ; the eggs 



are 



usually deposited in the holes of trees, but they are 
placed in fissures in the rocks wherever they may present 



a convenient site : the crevices 
the Murray, in South Australia 



of the white cliffs bordering 
are annually resorted to for 

to be 



this purpose by thousands of this bird, and are said 
completely honeycombed 




them 



The 



■g 



are two in 



imber, of a pure white, rather pointed at the smaller end 



gty 



inch two and a half 



one inch and seven lines loi 
lines broad. 

All the plumage white, with the exception of the elongated 
occipital crest, which is deep sulphur-yellow, and the ear- 
coverts, centre of the under surface of the wing, and the 
basal portion of the inner webs of the tail-feathers, which are 



























1 

























INSESSORES. 







pale sulphur-yellow ; irides and bill black ; orbits white ; feet 
greyish brown. 



Sp. 392. 



CACATUA LEADBEATERI. 

1 

Leadbeater's Cockatoo. 



- 

Plyctolophus leadbeateri, Vig. in Proc. of Comm. of Sci. and Coir, of 

Zool. Soc, part i. p. 61. 
erythropterus, Swains. Class, of Birds, vol. ii. p. 302. 



Waal. Mo 



Kakadoe 



Lophochroa leadbeateri, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de FAcad. Sci., 1857, 



it 



P 



ii 



Jak-kul-yak-kul, Aborigines of the mountain districts of West 

Australia. 

Pink Cockatoo, Colonists of Swan River. 



* * 

Cacatua leadbeateri, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 2. 

This beautiful species of Cockatoo enjoys a wide range over 
the southern portions of the Australian continent; it never 
approaches very near the sea, but evinces a decided preference 
for the belts of lofty gums and scrubs clothing the sides of 
the rivers of the interior of the country ; it annually visits the 
Toodyay district of Western Australia, and breeds at Gawler, 
in South Australia. On reading the works of Sturt and 
Mitchell, I find that both those travellers met with it in the 
course of their explorations, particularly on the banks of the 
rivers Darling and Murray; in fact, most of the interior 
districts between New South Wales and Adelaide are in- 
habited by it : but as yet no specimen has been received either 
from the north or north-west coasts. 

It must be admitted that this species is the most beautiful 



and elegant of 



yet discovered, and 



will 



conse- 



quently ever be most highly prized for the cage and the aviary 



appears to bear confinement as well as any of its congene 



disp 



not 



sprightly and animated, but 






















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BIRDS Of AUSTRALIA. 



much 



noisy 



* 

circumstance tending to enhance rather 



than to decrease our partiality for 

Few birds more enliven the monotonous hues of the 
Australian forests than this beautiful species, whose " pink- 



coloured 



gs and g 



g crest, 



}} 



ght have embellished the air of a 



says Sir T. Mitchell 



mor 



>) 



volupt 



region 

Its note is more plaintive than that of C. galerita, and 
does not partake of the harsh grating sound peculiar to that 
species. 

General plumage white ; forehead, front and sides of the 
neck, centre of the under surface of the wing, middle of the 
abdomen, and the basal portion of the inner webs of the tail- 
feathers tinged with rose-colour, becoming of a rich salmon- 
colour under the wing ; feathers of the occipital crest crimson 
at the base, with a yellow spot in the centre and white at the 
tip ; bill light horn 



feet dark br 



The sexes are nearly equal 



but the female has the 



yellow spots in the centre of the crest more conspicuous and 

crest, although larger, 



better defined than the male, whose crest, 

is not so diversified in colour as that of the female 



the 



other hand 



salmon tint of the under surface is much 
he male than in the female. 



Sp. 393. CACATUA SANGUINEA, Gould. 

Blood-stained Cockatoo. 

Cacatua sanguined, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part x. p. 138. 
Eolophus sanguineus, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de l'Acad. Sci., 1857, 

p. 



Cacatua sanguinea, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 3. 
The circumstance of this species never having been cha 



racterized until I described it in 



Proceedings of the 



Zoological Society,' above quoted, may doubtless be attributed 



being an inhabitant of the 



coasts, portions 






* 



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f'% V - ,-* 








1NSESS0RES. 



7 



With 



- 

of the country where few collections have been formed, 
the exception of a specimen brought home by Captain Cham- 
bers, R.N., and another in the collection of Mr. Bankier, my 



own specimens are all that I have 



seen : the whole of 



these were collected at Port Essington ; but, as it was ob 
served by Captain Sturt at the Depot, in Central Australia 
we may infer that its range extends 
country ; and that no 



over all the intermediate 
bird is more common on the Victoria 



of millions 



for Mr. Elsey informed me he saw it there in flock 



The Blood-stained Cockatoo inhabits 



amps 



d wet 



grassy meadows, and is often to be seen in company with 



ally 



Cacatua galerita, but I am informed 



mor 



shy and difficult of approach than that bird 



It is 

the various 

such localities, 




doubtless attracted to the swampy distr 

species of Orchidaceous plants that g 

upon the roots of which at some seasons it mainly subsists 

But little difference occurs either in the size or the colouring 
of the sexes, and I have young birds, which, although a third 

closely assimilate in every respect to the adult ; so 
so that an examination of the bill, which during 



much 



immaturity is soft and yielding to the touch 
distinguish them 



necessary 



General plumage white, with the 



pt 



of 



basal 



portions, the feathers of the lores, and sides of the face, which 
are stained with patches of blood-red, and the base of the inner 
webs of the primaries, secondaries, and tail-feathers with fine 
sulphur-yellow ; bill yellowish white ; feet mealy brown. 

Total length 15 inches; bill 1±; wing lOf ; tail 6; tarsi f. 

Other species of white Cockatoos nearly allied to this bird 



occur m the islands immediately 



northward of Aus 






some of which extend their range to the Philipp 








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BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



Sp. 394. 



CACATUA ROSEICAPILLA. 

Rose-breasted Cockatoo. 



Cacalua roseicapitta,Yiei\L Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. Nat., torn. xvii. p. 12. 



Man 



rosea, Vieill. Gal. des Ois., torn. ii. p. 5. pi. 25. 

Psittacus eos, Kuhl. Nova Acta, torn. x. p. 88. 
Rose-coloured Cockatoo, Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. ii. p. 207. 
Plyctohphus eos, Vig. and Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p. 269. 



Kakadoe 



Mas- 



roseicapittus, Bonap. Compt. Eend. de PAcad. Sci., 1857, p. 

The Rose Cockatoo, Sturt's Travels in Australia, vol. ii. pi. in p. 79 



Cacatua eos, Gould, Birds of Australia, foL vol. v. nl. 4 



This beautiful Cockatoo is abundantly dispersed over a 
great part of the interior of Australia ; both Oxley and Sturt 
speak of it as inhabiting the country to the north-west of the 
Blue Mountains; in fact, few travellers have visited the 



interior without having had their 
appearance; and I myself saw it 



attracted by its 



in great numbers 




bordering the river Namoi, particularly under the 



Nundewar range of 



Thomas Mitchell; I possess speci 



mens 



the 'Beag 



A differ 



from the north coast, procured by the officers of 

however, which may hereafter 
stween the birds from New 
lorth coast. Those from the 



prove to be specific, exists b 



South Wales and those 



the 



latter locality are the largest in size, and have the bare skin 
round the eye more extended; the rosy colour of the breast 
and the grey colouring of the back are darker than in the 
specimens I killed on the Namoi. The late Mr. Elsey informed 
me that " The country round the Gulf seems to be the favourite 
resort of this species; it there feeds on the broad open 
plains in flocks of from fifty to two hundred. Nothing can 
exceed the beauty of their appearance as they wheel about 
over these plains in the light of an early sun." 















INSESSORES. 



9 



Ine Rose-breasted Cockatoo possesses considerable power 
of wing, and frequently passes in flocks over the plains with 
a long sweeping flight, at one minute displaying their beau- 
tiful silvery grey backs, at the next by a simultaneous change 
of position bringing their rich rosy breasts into view, the 
effect of which is so beautiful that it is a source of regret to 
me that my readers cannot participate in the pleasure I have 



derived from the sight 



I 



informed by the natives of 



the Namoi that the bird had but recently arrived in the dis 



trict, 



d they 



pposed it had migrated from the north. 
1839 and 1840 it bred in considerable 



During the years 

numbers in the boles of the large Eucalypt 



g the 



Nundewar range, and afforded an abundant supply of young 
ones for the draymen and stock-keepers to transport to Sydney, 
where they were sold for a considerable sum to be shipped 
to England ; and as the bird is very hardy, bears cold and con- 
finement extremely well, and is perfectly contented in a cage, 



perhaps, more of this species living in Europ 



present time than of any other member of the 



Aust 



I h 



g 



In 



,m 






! as the ordinary denizens 
of the farm-yard, enjoying perfect liberty, and coming round 

the door to receive food in company with the pigeons and 

poultry, amongst which it mingled on terms of intimate 
friendship. | 

In a letter received from my friend Captain Sturt, he says, 
" The Rose-breasted Cockatoo is a bird of the low country 
tirely, and limited in the extent of its habitat, never being 



found 



any g 



g higher than 



number on the banks of the Darlin 

feet above the level of the sea. 



to 



It 




feeds on Salsola, and occupies those vast 
immediately to the westward of the Blue Mountains 
peculiar flight, and the whole flock turning together show 



which lie 
It has 



the 
have 



of the under surface wi#i pretty effect 



I 



yet seen specimens, of this bird from any part of 



the Swan River colony, neither did I observe 



any part 


















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BIRDS 01? AUSTRALIA. 



■ 

of South Australia that I visited ; the eastern and northern 



portions of Australi 
by 



t are evidently those most frequented 
The eggs, which are white, are generally three in number, 



about 

broad. 

The 



inch 



d a half long by an inch and 



ghth 



do not vary 



g and scarcely 



size, 



but individuals differ considerably in the depth of the tint of 
the under surface, some being much deeper than others, and 
in the extent of the bare space round the eye. 

Crown of the head pale rosy white ; all the upper surface 
grey, deepening into brown at the extremity of the wings and 
tail, and becoming nearly white on the rump and upper tail- 
coverts ; sides of the neck, all the under surface from below 
the eyes and the under surface of the shoulder rich deep rosy 

thighs and under tail-coverts grey ; irides rich deep rosy 



ed 



red ; orbits brick-red : bill 



feet mealy dark browr 



The young at first are covered with long, fine downy fea- 
thers, which at an early age give place to the colours which 



characterize the plumage of the adult 









■ 



Genus LICMETIS, Wagler. 

The two species forming the genus Licmetis are not only 



confined 



the 



Australia, but, so far as we yet know 
southern portions of that continent, one inhabiting the western 
and the other the eastern part of the country. Their singu- 
larly formed bill being admirably adapted for procuring their 
food on the ground, they are more terrestrial in their habits 
than the other members of the family. 

They appear to be allied to the Nestors in form, but are 
more quiet and sedate in disposition ; and moreover differ 



from them in having longer wings and in their plumage being 



uniform white 



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INSESSORES. 



11 




Sp. 395. 



LICMETIS TENUIROSTRIS 

Long-billed Cockatoo. 



Psittacus nasicus, Temm. in Linn. Trans., vol. xiii. p. 115. 
Long-nosed Cockatoo, Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. ii. p. 205. 



Mon 



and 695. 



i. pp. 505 



Psittacus tenuirostris, Kuhl in Nov. Acta, torn. x. p. 88. 
Cacatua nasica, Less. Traite <TOrn., p. 183. 

Plyctolophus tenuirostris, Steph. Cont. of Shaw's Gen. Zool., vol. 

p. 108. 

Kakadoe tenuirostris, Bourj. de St.-Hil. Perr., tab. 76. 
The Red-vented Cockatoo, Brown's 111., p. 10, pi. 5. 



xiv. 



Licmetis nasicus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol, vol. v. pi. 5. 

The habitat of the present species would appear to be 
confined to Victoria and South Australia, where it inhabits 



the interior rather than the 



Like 



Cacatua gal&i 



ghbourhood of the coast. 



spends much of its time on the 



assembles in large flocks 



d 




d, where it grub 



up the roots of Orchids and other bulbous plants upon 

which it mainly subsists, and hence the necessity for its 
singularly formed bill. It not unfrequently invades the 
newly sown fields of corn, where it is the most destructive 
bird imaginable. It passes over the ground in a succession 
of hops, much more quickly than • the Cacatua galerita ; its 
powers of flight also exceed those of that bird, not perhaps in 
duration, but in the rapidity with which it passes through the 
air. I noticed this particularly when a flock passed me in 
the interior of South Australia. I have seen many individuals 
of this species in captivity, both in New South Wales and in 
this country ; and although they appear to bear confinement 
equally well 

seemed more dull and morose, and of a very irritable temp 
The eggs, which are white, two in number, and about t 



with the other members of the family, they 



of those of the Cacatua galerit 



? 



ually deposited 




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BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



layer of rotten wood at the bottom of holes in the larg 



gum 



The sexes are alike in colour and size. 

The general plumage white, washed with pale brimstone 



yellow 



the under surface of the wing, and with brig 



brimstone-yellow on the under surface of the 



line across 



the forehead and lo 
and breast are also 



the feathers of the head, neck, 
the base, showing through the 



light 



brown 



bill 



white, particularly on the breast ; irides 

white; naked skin round the eye light blue; legs and feet 
dull olive-grey. 

■ 

Sp. 396. LICMETIS PASTINATOR, Gould. 

Western Long-billed Cockatoo. 

Licmetis pastinator , Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part viii. p. 175. 



All ornithologists now admit that there 



the g 



species of 



the eastern portions of Australia 



inhabiting the western and the other 



Living examples of both 



have been for some time in the Menagerie of the Zoolog 
Society of London, where their differences are far more appa- 
rent than in the skins which have from time to time been 



sent to this country. 

Lores scarlet; g< 
feathers of the head 



plumage white; the base of the 
d front of the neck scarlet, showing 



through, and giving those parts a stained appearance ; the 
basal half of the inner webs of the primaries, the inner webs 
of all the other feathers of the wing, and the inner webs of 



the 



feathers beautiful brimstone-yellow 



naked 



space 



round the eye greenish blue ; irides light brown ; bill white 
feet dull olive grey. 








Genus CALYPTORHYNCHUS, Vig. and Horsf. 

The members of this genus are strictly arboreal, and are 
evidently formed to live upon the seeds of the Banhsios 



• r 



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INSESSOKES. 



13 



JEucalyp 



and other trees peculiar to the country they 



inhabit ; but they diversify their food by occasionally devouring 
large caterpillars. They can scarcely be considered greg 
but move about 
powerful, but al 



small 



companies 



Their flight 



their 



and 



is a low 



same time laboured and heavy 

crying call, totally different from the 

harsh screaming notes of the Cacatua. Each division of the 

country, from the northern portions of the continent to 

Tasmania, is inhabited by its own peculiar species. 

I have never seen a bird of this form from 

country than Australia, but I have heard that an ex 

Parrot, said to be larger than any at present in our collections, 

inhabits New Guinea, and which, from the description given 
of it, will probably belong to this genus, or possibly to that 



any other 



of Microol 



ggs in the holes of 



The Calyptorhynchi lay from two to four 



Sp. 397. CALYPTORHYNCHUS BANKSII. 

Banksian Cockatoo. 

Psittacus banksii, Lath. Ind. Orn., vol. i. p. 107. 

magnificus, Shaw, Nat. Misc., pi. 50. 

(Kakadoe) banksii, Kuhl, Cousp. Psitt.. ton. 1 2 Qn 



(Banksianus) australis, Less. Traite d'Orn., p. 180. 

Plyctolophus banksii, Swains. Class, of Birds, vol. ii. p. 302. 
Cacatua banksii, Vieill. Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. Nat., torn. xvii. p. 8. 
Calyptorhynchus banksii, Vig.and Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p. 271. 

— - r\ *\* 4tA M ^ *-v & a ... J_ —J MM t 1 1 T *^ft ■" "V w A * _ 



686, pi. 27. 



Wael. Mon 



Calyptorhynchus Banksii, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. 



pi. 7. 



v. 



I have abundant reasons for stating that every portion of 
Australia yet visited by Europeans is inhabited by members 
of the genus Calyptorhynchus, and that at least six species are 
now known, each of which has its own peculiar limits, whence 
it seldom or never passes. The present species is the one with 













































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III 












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i 









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i 



1 












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14 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



which ornithologists first became acquainted; it is a native 
of New South Wales and Victoria, out of which colonies I 



ge appearing 



be 



have never known it to occur, its rai 
limited by Moreton Bay on the east and Port Philip on the 
south. It is not unfrequently seen in the immediate neigh- 
bourhood of Sydney and other large towns, and it alike 
frequents the brushes and the more open wooded parts of the 

nee and 
caterpil- 



colony, where it feeds on the seeds of the Bank 



Casuarin 



but 



sionally 



g 



its diet to 



lars, particularly those that infest the wattles and other 



low trees. The facility with which it procures these large 
grubs is no less remarkable than the structure of the bird's 
bill, which is admirably adapted for scooping out the wood 
of both the larger and smaller branches, and by this means 

obtaining possession of the hidden treasure within. 

The Banksian Cockatoo is a suspicious and shy bird, and a 
considerable degree of caution is required to approach it 
within gunshot ; there are times, however, particularly when 
it is feeding, when this may be more readily accomplished. 

It never assembles in large flocks like the White Cockatoo, 
but moves about either in pairs or in small companies of 
from four to eight in number. Its flight is heavy, and the 
wings are moved with a flapping laboured motion ; it seldom 

mounts high in the air, for although its flight is somewhat 



protracted, and journeys of 



miles 



performed, it 



rarely rises higher than is sufficient to surmount the tops of 
the lofty Eucalypti, a tribe of trees it often frequents, and in 
the larger kinds of which it almost invariably breeds, depo- 



rting its two or three white 
pout, or dead limb, the only 



ggs in some inaccessible hole 



being 



wood 



the bottom, or the chips made by the bird in forming an 



excavation . 









The female and young birds of both sexes differ very con- 
siderably from the old male in the marking of their tails. 
It is with feelings of great pleasure I find the term Banksii 


















a 



■^ V 



INSESSORES. 



15 






the first specific appellation assigned to this species. The 



name of the illustrious Banks 



be retained as the 



distinct 



desig 



of this noble and ornamental bird 



and I would that it were in my power to write as many pag 
respecting its habits and economy as I have written lines ; 



but 



this task must devolve upon some future historian of the 
productions of a country teeming with the highest interest, 
who will doubtless find occupation in investigating the minute 



details of that 
general 



pecting which I am only able to g 



a 



The male has the entire 



lima 



;lossy greenish black 



broad band of rich deen vermilion 



the middle 



of all but the two central tail-feathers, and the external web 
of the outer feather on each side ; feet mealy brown 3 bill in 
young specimens greyish white, in old specimens black. 

The female has the general plumage glossy greenish black, 
each feather of the head, sides of the neck, and wing-coverts 
pale yellow ; under surface crossed by narrow irregular bars 



of pale 



w, becoming fainter on the abdomen ; under 
ossed by narrow freckled bars of yellowish red ; 



tail banded with red, passing into sulphur-yellow on the 

margins of the feathers, and interrupted by numerous n 
irregular bars and freckles of black. 



Sp. 398. CALYPTORHYNCHUS MACRORHYNCHUS, 

Gould. 
Great-billed Black Cockatoo. 

Calyptorhynchus meter orhynchus , Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part x. 

p. 138. 
Lar-a-umk, Natives of Taratong. 



Calyptorhynchus macrorhynchus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., 
vol. v. pi. 8. 

I 

All the examples of this species that have come under my 
notice have been collected at Port Essington, where it is 




i 















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16 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



uy 



troops of from four to six in number 



It has many characters in common with the Black Cockatoos 
of the south coast, but no species of the genus yet discovered 
has the bill so largely developed, which development is doubt- 



quisite to enable 



procure some peculiar kind of 



food at present unknown to us; it assimilates to the C. 

lengthened form of it 
orter wines, and in th 



banfoii of New South Wales in the lei 
crest, but differs in having much short 
mandibles being fully one-third larger. The females of the 



two species 



vary considerably 



the 



g of the 



bands across the tail-feathers, which in the C. banksii is pure 
scarlet, while the same part of the female of the present bird 

is mingled yellow and scarlet. It differs from the C. naso of 
Western Australia in having a larger bill than that species, 
and in the much greater length of the crest. 

The male has the whole of the plumage glossy bluish black ; 
lateral tail-feathers, except the external web of the outer one, 
crossed by a broad band of fine scarlet ; bill horn-colour ; 
irides blackish brown ; feet mealy blackish brown. 

plumage as in the male, but 

1 the sides of the face and 

potted with light yellow; each 



The female has the 



g 



with the 



feathers, those 



neck, and the wing-coverts 

feather of the under surface, but particularly the chest, crossed 

by several semicircular fascia? of yellowish buff; lateral tail- 
feathers crossed on the under surface by numerous irregular 
bands of dull yellow, which are broad and freckled with black 



at the base of the tail, and become 
gular as they approach the tip ; 01 



aarrower and more : 
the upper surface of 



these bands are bright yellow at the base of the feathe 



and gradually change into 
tip ; irides blackish brown 



pale 



they approach the 



Total length 22 inches : bill 



o 



21 



1 



gth 1^, depth 3 ; wing 









■ 







T * 


















INSESSORES. 



17 



Sp. 399. 



CALYPTORHYNCHUS NASO, Gould. 

Western Black Cockatoo. 



Cahjptorhynchus naso, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part iv. p. 106. 
Kar-rak, Aborigines of the mountain and lowland, and 

Keer-jan-dee of the Aborigines of the northern districts of Weste 

Australia. 

Red-tailed Black Cockatoo of the Colonists of Swan River. 



Calyptorhynchus naso, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pL 9. 

The characters by which this species is distinguished from 



are 



smaller 



and a 




shorter and more rounded crest. The bill is moreover inclined 

to be gibbous, like that of C. leachii, to which species it also 
offers a further alliance in its shorter contour and more rounded 
crest and short tail. 

The extent of range enjoyed by the Calyptorhynchus naso I 
have not been able to ascertain; it appears to be most numerous 
the colony of Swan River, where it inhabits all parts of the 

As might be expected, its general economy closely 
sembles that of the other members of the genus. Except 
the breeding-season, when it pairs, it may often be observed 

companies of from six to fifteen in number. 

It breeds in the holes of trees, where it deposits its snow- 



ntry 



white eggs on the soft dead wood 



They are generally placed 



climb them 
chaplain w< 



difficult of access that even the natives dislike 
. Those given to Gilbert by the son of the colonial 
taken by a native from a hole in a very high 



white gum, in the last week of October 



they 



inch and eight lines long by one inch and four lines broad. 

It flies slowly and heavily, and while on the wing utters a 
very harsh and grating cry, resembling the native name. 

The stomach is membranous and capacious, and the food of 
those examined contained seeds of the Eucalypti, Banksia, &c. 

The sexes differ considerably in the colour of the tail. 

entire plumage glossy greenish black : 



The male has the 



VOL. II. 



c 




v. 












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18 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA 



feathers, except the external web of the 



scarlet ; irides dark blackish 
feet brownish black, with a 



crossed by a broad band of fine 

brown; bill bluish lead-colour, 

leaden tinge. I 

^ The female has the upper surface similar to, but not so 
rich as, that of the male, and has an irregularly shaped spot 
of yellowish white near the tip of each of the feathers of the 
head, crest, cheeks, and wing 



the 



der surface 



brownish black, crossed by numerous narrow irregular bars 
of dull sulphur-yellow; the under tail-coverts crossed by several 



gular bars of mingled yellow and dull 



the 



tail-feathers dull 

of black, which 



d by numerous irregular bars 
the base of the feathers and 



gradually increase in breadth towards the ti 

Total length 22 inches ; bill in height 2 
101: tarsi #. 



3 . 

4 > 



g 14; tail 

































. 






i 






Sp. 400. CALYPTORHYNCHUS LEACHII. 

Leach's Cockatoo. 

Psittacus leachii, Kuhl, Consp. Psitt. in Nova Acta, vol. x. p. 91, pi. 3. 

temminckii, Kuhl, lb., vol. x. p. 89. 

solandrii, Temm. lb., vol. xiii. p. 113. 



Cacatua viridis, Vieill. Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. Nat., torn. xvii. p. 13. 
Calyptorhynchus coohii, Vig. and Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p. 272. 
solandri, Yig. and Horsf. lb., vol. xv. p. 274. 



Wa 



Wa 



stellatus, Selb. in Nat. Lib. Orn., vol. vi. Parrots, p. 134, pi. 15. 

Banksianus australis, Less. Traite d'Orn., p. 180, Atlas, pi. 18. fig. 2, 

female. 
Plyctolophus solandri et cookii, Swains. Class, of Birds, vol. ii. p. 302. 
Carat, Aborigines of New South Wales. 



Calyptorhynchus leachii, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. 
pLIO. 

The Calyptorhynchus leachii is the least species of the 


















■■-•..•; 



INSESSORES. 



19 



genus yet discovered, and, independently of its smaller 



it 



ma y be distinguished from its 



congeners by the more 



and gibbous form of its bill. Its native habitat 



specimens 



the 



New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia. I obtained 

a the Lower Namoi, more than three hundred 

interior ; and the cedar-brushes of the Liverpool 

Mr. Charles Throsby's park at Bong-bong, and the 

sides of the creeks of the Upper Hunter, were also among the 

places in which I killed 



g 



it. So invariably did I find it among 
the Casuarin<e, that those trees appear to be as essential to 
its existence as the Banksim are to that of some species of 



Honey 



the crops of those I killed 



filled with the seeds of the trees in question 



nvariably 



Its disp 



shy and distrusting than those of the CalyptorlyncM 
banhsii and funereus, but little stratagem being 



get within gunshot 



quired 
when one is killed or wounded, the 



of the flock either fly around or perch on the neighbouring 
tree Sj and every one may be procured. It has the feeble 

mus. Its flight 

but when it is necessary for it to pass 

country, it mounts high in the air and 



whining call of the other membei 



laboured and heavy 



of the g 



It 



flight of many miles 



il to find individuals of this species with 
the cheeks and other parts of the head ; 

able to account for; it is evidently 



yellow feathers on 

this variation I ai 

subject to no law, as it frequently happens that six or eight 

may be seen together without one of them exhibiting this 

mark, while on the contrary a like number may be encountered 



with two or tin 



of them thus distinguished. To this 



circumstance, and to the variation in the colouring of the tail 
feathers of the two sexes, may be attributed the voluminous 
list of synonyms pertaining to this species. 

There is no doubt that Mr. Caley was right in the opinion 
expressed in his notes that this is the Carat of the natives ; 
and he adds that it lays two eggs in the holes of the trees ; 

c 2 








































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20 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



" does not cut off the branches of trees like the C. fi 
but cuts off May-rybor-ro and Mun-mow (the 



fruit of two 
g them, before 



species of Persoonia), without how 

they are ripe, to the great injury and vexation of the 



The adult male may at all times be distinguished from the 



>? 



female by the broad band of scarlet on the tail. The females 

and males during the first year have this part banded with 
black. 

The old male has the entire plumage glossy greenish black, 
washed with brown on the head and neck, with a broad band 
of deep vermilion across the middle of all but the two centre 

r 

tail-feathers, and the external web of the outer feather on 
each side; irides very dark brown; orbits mealy black in 



some, in others pinky ; bill dark hor 
black. 



feet mealy 



The females and young males differ in having the head and 



neck browner than in the adult male, and 



in having the 



black 



band on the tail crossed by narrow bands of g 
















Sp.401. CALYPTORHYNCHUS FUNEREUS 

Funereal Cockatoo. 

P sit tacus funereus, Shaw, Nat. Misc., pi. 186. 
Funereal Cockatoo, Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. ii. p. 202. 



fi 



p. 271. 



fi 



Cacatua banksii, p., Vieill. Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. Nat., torn. xvii. p. 9. 
Psittacus (Banksianus) australis, p., Less. Traite d'Orn., p. 180. 

(Kakadoe) funereus, Kuhl, Consp. Psitt., pp. 12, 89. 

Wy-la, Aborigines of the Upper Hunter in New South Wales. 






Calyptorhynchus funereus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol, vol. v. 
pi. 11. 

■ 

; Although not the most powerful in its mandibles, the 
present bird is the largest species of the genus to which it 



. 



INSESSORES. 



21 



belongs, its great wings and expansive tail being unequalled i 
by those of any other member of the great family of Psith 



cida> yet discovered 



The true habitat of the Calyptorhynch 



funereus is New South Wales, or that portion of the Australian 




forming its south 



I observed it in 



division. Among other 



the neighbourhood of Sydney 



Bong-bong, on Mosquito Island, near the mouth of the 
Hunter, and on the Liverpool range ; and it may be said 



be 



ally distributed over this part of the 



The thick brushes clothing the mountain sides and bordering 
the coast-line, the trees of the plains, and the more open 
country are equally frequented by it ; at the same time it is 

nowhere very numerous, but 



met 



associated 



in 



small companies of from four to eight in number, except 



during the breeding-season, when 



only 



be 



seen m 



pairs. 
Banksias 



Its food is much varied ; sometimes the great belts of 



visited, and the seed 



of their 



open for 



while at others it searches with avidity 



for the larvae of the large caterpillars which are deposited 



the wattles 



urns 



Its flight, as 



g 



b 



pected 



heavy, flapping, and laboured, but it sometimes dives 



about between the 



manner 



most rapid and extraordinary 



When busily engaged in scooping off the bark in search of 
insect food, it may be approached very closely ; and if one 
shot, the remainder of the company will fly round for 
short distance and perch on the neighbouring trees, until t] 
whole are brought down, if you are desirous of so doing. 



b 



e 



a 



Its note is very 



kind of whining call, which 



s impossible to describe, but which somewhat resembles 
yllables Wy-la, whence the native name. 






and two in number, about 



The eggs, which ar< 

inch and five-eighths 



broad, are deposited on the rotten wood in the hollow branch 



g 




one inch and 



g 



of 



large g 






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22 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



Caley mentions that this bird has a habit of cutting off the 
smaller branches of the apple-trees (Angophora) , apparently 
from no other than a mischievous motive. 



The 



sexes are very nearly alike, and may be thus de- 



scribed : 



The general plumage brownish black, glossed with green, 
particularly on the head ; feathers of the body, both above 
and beneath, narrowly margined with brown; ear-coverts 
dull wax-yellow j all but the two central tail-feathers crossed 
in the centre by a broad band, equal to half their length, of 
brimstone-yellow, thickly freckled with irregular zigzag mark- 
ings of brownish black.; the external web of the outer pri- 
mary on each side, and the margin of the external web of the 
other banded feathers, brownish black ; bill black in some 
and white in others, the latter being probably young birds ; 
eyes blackish brown ; feet mealy blackish brown ; orbits in 
some black, in others pinkish red, and in others whitish. 



402. CALYPTORHYNCHUS XANTHONOTUS, Gould. 

Yellow-eared Black Cockatoo. 

Calyptorhynchus xanthonotus, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part v 

p. 151. 



Calyptorhynchus xanthonotus, Gould, Birds of Australia, £61., 
vol. v. pi. 12. 

The principal habitat of this species is Tasmania, but I 
have also seen specimens from Minder's Island and Port Lin- 



South Austral 



It is very plentifully dispersed 



all parts of Tasmania, where it evinces a preference for the 
thickly wooded and mountainous districts ; and is always to be 
observed in the gulleys under Mount Wellington, particularly 



the neighbourhood of New Town. In fine weather it takes 



■ 



a higher range, but descends to the lower part of the country 
on the approach of rain, when it becomes excessively noisy, and 
utters as it flies a very peculiar whining cry. Its flight is 






■ 



- 



- i 



INSESSORES. 



23 



heavy and laboured, and while on the wing it presents a very 
remarkable appearance, its short neck, rounded head, and 
long wings and tail giving it a very singular contour. It is 
generally to be observed in companies of from four to ten in 
number, but occasionally in pairs only. I found it very shy 
and difficult of approach, which may perhaps be attributed to 
being wantonly shot wherever it may be met with. 



Its principal food 



obtai 



ns from the 



large kind of caterpillar, which 
and 



gum-trees, and in procuring 
which it displays the greatest activity and perseverance, 
scooping off the bark and cutting through the thickest branch 



until 



the object 



search ; it is in fact sur- 



prising to see what enormous excavations it makes in the 
larger branches, and how expertly it cuts across the smaller 
ones : besides these large caterpillars, it also feeds upon the 

of several kinds of coleopterous insects, and occasionally 



the seeds of the Bank 



and berries; chrysalides 



also found in the stomachs of some that were dissected 

I found it exceedingly difficult to obtain any particulars 
respecting the nidification of this bird, in consequence of its 
resorting for the performance of this duty to the most retired 

and inaccessible parts of the forests. Lieut. Breton, B.N. 



having 



formed me that 



pair were breeding 



estate of Mr. Wettenhall, I requested him 



his 



fluence with that gentleman to have their eggs procured for 

d on the 2nd of February 1839, 1 received a note from 



me 



him, in which he says 



hall 



In compliance with your request, I wrote to Mr. Wetten- 
upon the subject of the Black Cockatoo's nest, and he 

his shepherd to fell the tree in which the 



forthwith directed 



bird had established itself. It was 

bottom, and was about four feet and a half in diameter 



situated in a gulley 



The 



hole was from ninety 



hundred feet from the ground 



two feet in depth, and made quite smooth, the heart of the 
tree being decayed. There was no appearance whatever of a 









; 









: 



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24 



-- 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



nest. 



The tree was broken in pieces by the fall, and the 



of the hole or nest destroyed 



fragments, how 



ever, were sought for with the greatest care, and all that could 
be found are sent you. It may perhaps be as well to state, 
that both while the tree was being felled and for a short time 
afterwards, a Hawk kept attacking the Cockatoo, which flew 
in circles round the tree before it fell, uttering its loudest and 
most mournful notes, and at times turning upon the Hawk, 



gth it flew off. 



>> 



Mr. G. French Angas informs me that this bird " lay 



white 



ggs in some large rotten g 



generally 



of the large branches has rotted off at the fork ; inside 

which occasionally extends five or six feet down 



this hole, v 

the bole of the tree, the bird scrapes and clears awa 
of the rotten wood until a sort of seat is formed : for 



some 



very rude attempt 




about the 



The laying 



The bird, which at oth 



end of October or beginning of November 



times is very shy and wild 



becomes very tame ; and I have known an old bird to perch 
herself quietly close to me while I have been examining the 
hole beneath which contained her eggs. When the young are 
hatched, both the old birds go to the adjacent grounds for 
a supply of food, which generally consists of the seeds of some 
leguminous plant, and having filled their crops and throats, 
they both return, when one of them commences feeding one 



young 



d the other attends 



d feeds the second 



The young birds eat an immense quantity of seeds, and are 
very soon able to leave the nest ; but the old ones continue to 
feed them for some time longer. They utter a very peculiar 
low, continued, plaintive, screeching cry when hungry. As 
the old birds disgorge the food and push it into the mouth of 
the young they make a very curious noise, sounding like 
' chucka, chucka, chucka,' rapidly repeated." 

The eggs are one inch and eight lines long by one inch and 
four lines broad. 



/ 


















/ 



INSESSORES. 



25 




Ihe bird varies considerably in size and weight, some spe- 
cimens weighing as much as one pound and ten ounces, while 

Jied no more than one pound and three ounces. 

The sexes differ but little from each other. I believe the 
birds with white bills to be immature. 

Crown of the head, cheeks, throat, upper and under surface 
brownish black ; feathers of the breast obscurely tipped with 



dull 



yellow; two 



feathers deep 



blackish brown, the remainder black at the base and tips, the 
central portion being in some specimens uniform light lemon- 
yellow, and in others the same colour blotched with spots and 



brown 



some specimens 



blackish brown ; feet greyish brown ; orbits in some black 
in others pink ; irides nearly black. 

Total length 24 inches ; wing 14^ j tail 12 j tarsi 1. 

Sp. 403. CALYPTORHYNCHUS BAUDINII, Vig. 

Baudin's Cockatoo. 

Calyptorhynchus baudinii, Vig. in Lear's 111. Psitt., pi. 6. 
Plyctolophus ? baudinii, Swains. Class, of Birds, vol. ii. p. 302. 

Oo-laak of the Aborigines of the lowland, and 

Ngol-ye-nuk of the Aborigines of the mountain districts of Westen 

Australia. 

White-tailed Black Cockatoo of the Colonists. 



Calyptoryhnchus baudinii, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol 




This species, which is a native of Western Australia, is 
distinguished from all the other known members of the group 
by its smaller size and by the white markings of its tail- 
feathers. It belongs to that section of the Black Cockatoos 



in which a similarity of marking characterizes both 



such 



Calyptorhynchus ft 



and C. xanthonotus 



sexes, 
Like 



the other members of the genus it frequents the large forests 
of Eucalypti and the belts of Banksice, upon the seeds of 








\ 






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it 






ii 



[ 



I 


















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V 



26 



BIEDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



which it mainly subsists 



Uy it seeks its food on the 



ground, when insects, fallen seeds, &c. are equally partaken 
of; the larva3 of moths and other insects are also extracted 
by it from the trunks and limbs of such trees as are infested 
by them. 

Its flight is heavy and apparently laboured : when on the 
wing it frequently utters a note very similar to its aboriginal 



name 



times when perched on the 



harsh croaking sound, which is kept up all the time the bird 

is feeding. 

It breeds in the holes of the highest white gum-trees, often 

in the most dense and retired part of the forest. The eggs 

are generally two in number, of a pure white ; their average 
length being one inch and three-quarters by one inch and 

three-eighths in breadth. The breeding-season extends over 
the months of October, November, and December. 

I have never seen specimens from any other part of Aus- 
tralia than the colony of Swan River, over the whole of which 
it seems to be equally distributed. 

The entire plumage is blackish brown, glossed with green, 



especially on the forehead 
with dull white : ear-cover 



I the feathers narrowly tipped 
eamy white ; all but the two 



central 



feathers crossed by a broad band, equal to half 



their length, of cream-white ; the external web of the 



primary and the marg 



of the external web of the other 



banded feathers blackish br 
blackish brown ; bill lead- c< 



the shafts black 



irides 



in some specimens 



the 



upper mandible is blackish brown ; legs and feet dull yel 



lowish grey, tinged with 



Genus MICROGLOSSUM, Geoffroy. 

The species of this genus are among the largest members 
of the great family of Parrots ; they are also rendered con- 
spicuously different from the whole of their congeners by their 



i 



- 






V 






K 












H 









V 




>•• 












• 




INSESSORES. 



27 






extraordinarily developed bills and their lengthened lanceolate 
crest-feathers. Two species are all that are known, one of 
which is Australian. 

Sp. 404. MICROGLOSSIA ATERRIMUM. 

Great Palm Cockatoo. 

Great Black Cockatoo, Edw. Glean., pi. 316. 

Psittacus aterrimus, Gmel. Edit. Linn. Syst. Nat., vol. i. p. 330. 



gigas, Lath. Ind. Orn., vol. i. p. 107. 

griseus, Bechst. 

goliath, Kuhl, Consp. Psitt. in Nov. Acta, vol. x. p. 92. 



Cacatua aterrima, Vieill. Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. Nat., torn. xvii. p. 13. 
Microglossus aterrimus, Wagl. Mori. Psitt. in Abhand., vol. i. p. 682. 

et griseus, Swains. Classif. of Birds, vol. ii. p. 302. 



Microglossum aterrimum, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. ii. p. 424. 
ater, Less. Traite d*Orn., p. 184, Atlas, pi. 19. fig. 1 et A. 



Psittacus (Probosciger) aterrimus, Kuhl, Consp. Psitt. in Nov. Acta, 

pp. 12, 91. 



(■ 



) goliath, Kuhl, lb., pp. 9, 94. 



Solenoglossus zeylanicus, Ranz. Elem. d'Orn., torn. ii. p. 21. 

Psittacus {Cacatua) goliath, Miill. et Schleg. 

Payuntoo, Goodang Tribe of the Aborigines at Cape York. 



Microglossus aterrimus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., Supple- 
ment, pi. 

As might have been expected, the fauna of the Cape York 
district is found to comprise many species common to the 
islands immediately to the northward of that part of the 
country ; among which the present noble bird must now be 
enumerated. Although not new to science, no one of the 
accessions obtained during the expedition of H.M.S. Rattle- 
snake is of greater interest than the Microglossum aterrimum, 
adding, as it does, another to the rich series of the Psittacidte 
previously described as pertaining to the ornithology of Aus- 
tralia. 

I have much pleasure in communicating the following 
interesting notes on this species by Mr. Macgillivray : 




Wm^ 



fP 


















n ■ 









! 






* 



I 



: 












;f 






I , 















t 



■ 






. 



i 







28 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



"This very fine bird, which is not uncommon in the 
vicinity of Cape York, was usually found in the densest scrub 
among the tops of the tallest trees, but was occasionally seen 
in the open forest land perched on the largest of the Eucalypti, 
apparently resting on its passage from one belt of trees or 
patch of scrub to another : like the C alyptorhynchi , it flies 
slowly, and usually but a short distance. In November 1849, 
the period of our last visit to Cape York, it was always found 



Its 



cry 



is 



in pairs, very shy, and difficult of approach, 
merely a low short whistle of a single note, which may be 
represented by the letters ' Hweet-hweet! The stomach of 
the first one killed contained a few small pieces of quartz 
and triturated fragments of palm cabbage, with which the 
crop of another specimen was completely filled; and the 

idea immediately suggests itself, that the powerful bill of this 
bird is a most fitting instrument for stripping off the leaves 

near the summits of the Seqforthia elegans and other palms to 
enable it to arrive at the central tender shoot." 

Lores deep velvety black ; lengthened crest-feathers greyish 
black; the remainder of the plumage black, with purple 
reflexions ; irides purplish brown ; cheeks pale dull crimson, 

bordered with pale yellow, the two colours gradually blending 
into each other ; bill and feet purplish black. 

In the young male the tip of the upper and the whole of 
the lower mandible is horn-colour, and the under surface is 
brownish black, with narrow obscure crescentic marks of 
yellowish white at the tips of the abdominal feathers. 

Genus CALLOCEPHALON, Lesson. 

- 

Of this form the only species known is a very remarkable 

- 

bird, and is doubtless adapted for some particular mode of 
existence; being short and thickset, and furnished with a 
very powerful bill. The sexes are alike in colour, except in 
the hue of their long filamentous crest, which is scarlet in 
the male and grey in the female. 






* 










INSESSORES. 



29 



Sp.405. CALLOCEPHALON GALEATUM. 

Gang-gang Cockatoo. 

Psittacus galeatus, Lath. Ind. Orn., Supp. p. xxiii. 

fimbriatus, Grant. 
Red-crowned Parrot, Lath. Gen. Syn.. Supp. vol. ii. p. 369, pi. 140. 
Calyptorhynchus galeatus, Vig. and Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv 



P 



274. 



Wad. Mon 



Plyctolophus galeatus, Swains. Class, of Birds, vol. ii. p. 302. 
Banksianus galeatus, Less. Traite d'Orn., p. 181. 
Callocephalon australe, Less. Zool. Voy. of Thetis, pis. 47, 48. 

galeatum, G. R. Gray, List of Gen. of Birds, 2nd edit., p. 68. 



Cacatua galeata, Vieill. Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. Nat., torn. xvii. p. 12. 



M 



{Banksianus) galeatus, Less. Traite d'Orn., p. 181. 



Kakadoe 



Wales 



Callocephalon galeatum, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. 
pi. 14. 

The only information I can give respecting this fine species 

is that it is a native of the forests bordering the south coast 
of Australia, some of the larger islands in Bass's Straits, and 
the northern parts of Tasmania, and that it frequents the 
most lofty trees, and feeds on the seeds of the various Eucalypti. 
A few instances have occurred of its being brought to England 
alive, where it has borne captivity quite as well as the other 



members of the g 



family 



which it belongs. While 



this Handbook was passing through the press 



dividuals 



of this species graced the Mena 



of the Zoological 



Society of London, and I trust this fact may induce some 
of our Australian friends to send others, for no birds would 

be more highly prized. This species being closely allied 
to the Black Cockatoos {Calyptorliynchi) we may reasonably 



infer that these 



birds would thrive equally 



were 






^^ 







. - 











.: 






: 















! 


















. 



' 












: 



I 1 















I > 


















. 



. ■ 









i 






: 






■ 






I i 



ii 



» 












- 



30 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



the experiment more extensively made, their form and habits 
being very similar. 

The paucity of information here given will I trust' be a 
sufficient hint to those who may be favourably situated for 
observing the habits of this species, that by transmitting 

number of its eggs or other particulars 

pecting it either to myself or to any scientific journal, they 



an 



of the 






and adding to the 



w T ould be promoting the cause of science, 
stock of ornithological knowledge. 

The sexes are readily distinguished by the marked difference 

in their plumage ; both are crested, but the crest of the male 
is a rich scarlet, while that of the female is grey. 

The male has the forehead, crest, and cheeks fine scarlet. 



the remainder of the plumage dark slate-grey 



with the 



ption of 



primaries, secondar 



the feathers, 
s, and tail, 



narrowly margined with greyish white — decided and distinct 
on the upper, but much fainter on the under surface ; irides 
blackish brown ; bill light horn-colour ; feet mealy black. 

The general plumage of the female is dark slate-colour, the 
feathers of the neck and back slightly margined with pale 
grey, the remain der of the upper surface crossed with irregular 
bars of greyish white ; the wings have also a sulphurous hue, 
as if powdered with sulphur; the feathers of the under 

surface are margined with sulphur-yellow and dull red, 
changing into dull yellow on the under tail-coverts. 



* 



Genus POLYTELIS, Wagler. 

This genus comprises three species, all of which are peculiar 
to the southern portions of Australia. In their lengthened 
form they resemble in appearance the Palceorni of India ; but 
they differ from them considerably in structure, and form a 
very isolated genus among the Psittacidcs 

The sexes are very different in colour ; the male being by 
far the finest; both, however, are adorned with lengthened 
and elegantly formed tails. 
















1NSESS0RES. 



31 



Sp. 406. 



POLYTELIS BARRABANDI. 

Barraband's Parrakeet. 



Psittacus barrabandii, Swains. Zool. 111., 1st ser. pi. 59. 

Palceornis barrabandi, Vig. in Zool. Journ., vol. ii. p. 56. 

Polytelis barrabandi, Wagl. Mon. Psitt. in Abhand., pp. 489 and 519. 

Scarlet-breasted Parrot, Lath. Gen. Syn., vol. ii. p. 121. 

Palaornist rosaceus, Vig. in Zool. Journ., vol. v. p. 274; female. 

Platycercus barrabandi, Vig. and Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p. 287. 

Barrabandius rosaceus, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., torn. i. p. 2, Barra- 

bandius, sp. 1. 
Psittacus swainsoni, Desm. 



M 



part iii. sec. ii., Psittacidae, p. 9. 

acus sagittifer barrabandi et rosaceus, Bourj. 
Le Vaill. Hist. Nat. des Perr., pis. 4 et 6. 
rt.lpfik of the*. Colonists of New South Wales 



Polytelis barrabandi, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 15. 



In the 



g 



family of Parrots, few species are more 



gant in form or more exquisitely coloured than the present 



which is a native of the 



of New South Wales 



d 



Victoria. Living individuals are frequently brought down to 

Sydney by the draymen of the Argyle county, where it appears 
to be a common species. When we know more of its history 



I 



pect 



will be found to inhabit 



localities, and 



enjoy i 
species 



similar range to the P. melanura, and that the two 
i closely assimilate in their habits and economy as 



they do in form. It is somewhat singular, that the females of 
this and the succeding bird should have been described by 
the late Mr. Vigors as distinct species from the males. 

From the length of its wings and the general contour of its 




body, we may be assured 



power of flight 



very 



great, and that it doubtless removes from one part of the con- 
tinent to another whenever nature prompts it so to do. 

The female, though equally as graceful in form as the male, 
is nevertheless much inferior to him in the colouring of her 






' ~1 



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mm 













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. 



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32 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



plumage ; the green of the wings and body being less brilliant 



and the rich hues of the 



and cheeks being entirely 



wanting ; a similar kind of plumage also characterizes the 
male during the first year. 



The male has the forehead, cheeks and 



g 



boge-yellow ; immediately beneath the yellow of the throat a 

let ; back of the head, all the upper and under 



crescent of scai 
surface grass-g 



primaries, secondaries, spurious wing and 






dark blue tinged with g 



thig 



some scarlet, in 



others grass-g 

brown 



irides 



ge-yellow ; bill rich red ; feet 



The female has the face dull greenish blue ; chest dull ] 
colour j thighs scarlet ; the remainder of the body g 



g 
g 



primaries bluish gre< 
the remainder bluish 



g 



ail-feathers uniform 
the inner webs for 



their entire length fine rosy red ; irides brown ; bill pale 
reddish orange ; feet dark brown. 



Sp. 407. POLYTELIS ALEXANDRA, Gould. 

* 

The Princess of Wales' Parrakeet. 

Polytelis alexandrce, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., 1863, p. 232. 

I feel assured that the discovery of an additional species 
of the lovely genus Polytelis will be hailed with pleasure by 
all ornithologists, and that they will assent to its bearing the 
specific name of alexandra, in honour of that Princess who, 
we may reasonably hope, is destined at some future time to 
be the Queen of these realms and their dependencies, of which 
Australia is by no means the most inconspicuous. 

The Polytelis alewandrce is in every respect a typical Poly- 
teliSy having the delicate bill and elegantly striped tail charac- 
teristic of that form. It is of the same size as P. darradandi, 
but differs from that species in having the crown blue and the 
lower part of the cheeks rose-pink instead of yellow. 

For my knowledge of this new species I am indebted to the 








w 






. 










I 



INSESSORES. 



33 



Board of Governors of the South Australian Institute, who 

liberally forwarded for my inspection a selection from the orni- 
thological collection made by Mr. Frederick G. Waterhouse 

Mr. Stuart's late Exploratory Expedition into Cen- 

The locality on the label attached to the spe- 



durin 



tral Australia. 




cimens is Howell's Ponds, Central Australia, 16° 54' 7" S. 

Forehead delicate light blue ; lower part of the cheeks, chin, 
and throat rose-pink ; head, nape, mantle, back, and scapu- 
laries olive-green ; lower part of the back and rump blue ; 
shoulders and wing-coverts pale yellowish green; external webs 
of the principal primaries dull blue ; breast and abdomen olive- 



grey; thighs rosy red; upper tail-coverts olive, tinged with 



blue ; two centre tail-feathers bluish olive green ; the two next 
on each side olive-green on their outer webs and dark brown on 
the inner ones ; the remaining tail-feathers tricoloured, the cen- 
tral portion being black, the outer olive-grey, and the inner 
deep rosy red ; bill coral-red ; feet mealy brown. 

Total length 14 inches ; bill J ; wing 7 ; tail 9 ; tarsi f . 



Sp. 408. 



POLYTELIS MELANURA 

Black- tailed Parkakeet. 



Palceornis melanura, Vig. in Lear's 111. Psitt., pi. 28, male. 

anthop eplus , Vig. in lb., pi. 29, female. 
Polytelis melanura, Gould in Syn. Birds of Australia, Part IV. 
Psittacus Sagittifer melanura et anthopeplus, Bourj. de St-Hil. Perr., 

tab. 5 et 7. 

t 

Platycercus melanurus, G. It. Gray, Gen of Birds, vol. ii. p. 408. 
Barrabandius melanurus, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., torn. i. p. 2, Barra 

bandius, sp. 2. 

Wouk-un-ga, Aborigines of Western Australia. 
Jul-u-up, Aborigines of King George's Sound. 
Mountain Parrot, Colonists of Western Australia. 



Polytelis melanura, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 16. 

So little is known of the habits and economy of this beau- 

VOL. II. D 






if 
1 1 






' .. ^ 















! 












' * 



If l i 



I 









. 









■ 















1 Hi 





















r 





















I 



■ " 












t* 















34 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA 



tiful Parakeet, which has hitherto only been found on the 
southern portion of the continent of Australia, that the pre- 
sent paper must necessarily be brief. It is strictly an inha- 
bitant of the interior, over which 
range. 

north- w 



it doubtless enjoys a wide 
Sir George Grey procured it in the dense scrub to the 



of Adelaide, and Gilbert encountered it 



th 



white-gum forests of the S 



River settlement. Capt 



Sturt at page 188 of the second volume of the narrative of 
his journeys into the interior, says, " I believe I have already 
mentioned that, shortly after we first entered the Murray, 
flocks of a new Paroquet passed over our heads, apparently 
emigrating to the N.W. They always kept too high to be 
fired at, but on our return, hereabouts, we succeeded in killing 



one. 



It made a good addition to our scanty stock of obj 



of natural history 

Gilbert remarks that, in Western Australia, it is met with 
small families of from nine to twelve in number, feeding on 

and honey gathered from the white 



seeds, buds of flowers 



gum-tre 
extreme 



Its flight, as indicated by its form, is rapid in the 





The male has the head, neck, shoulders, rump, and all the 
under surface beautiful jonquil-yellow ; upper part of the 
back and scapularies olive ; primaries and tail deep blue ; 
several of the greater wing-coverts dull scarlet, forming a con- 
spicuous mark on the centre of the wing; irides bright red; 



bill 



feet ash-grey 



The female has the head, sides of the face, back of the neck 



ipper part of the back and scapulars dull 



throat, 



the under surface, rump and wing- coverts yellowish g 



the latter passing into deep g 
shoulder : I 



een on the centre of the 

primaries, some of the secondaries, and spurious 

wing deep blue-black, margined externally with yellowish 

the remainder of the secondaries and a few of the 



green ; 

greater coverts deep red 



remainder 



5 



the base, passing 



feathers deep g 



black on the 









i 














INSESSORES. 



35 




inner webs ; the five lateral feathers on each side margined on 
their inner webs and tipped with rosy red, which is broadest 

and most conspicuous on the two outer feathers; bill scarlet; 
feet ash-grey. 



Genus APROSMICTUS, Gould. 

One species only of this form inhabits Australia ; others 
are found in New Guinea and the neighbouring islands. 
They are distinguished from the Platycerci by the possession 
of a well-developed os furcatorium, a bone which is entirely 
wanting in the members of that genus ; in their habits the 
Aprosmicti are mainly arboreal, and in their disposition 

■ 

morose and sullen. 



Sp. 409, APROSMICTUS SCAPULATUS. 

King Lory. 

Psittacus scapulatus, Bechst., Kuhl, Nova Acta, p. 56. 
Psittacus tabuensis, var. 3, Lath. Ind. Orn., p. 88. 



Grande 



collier et croupion bleu, Le Vaill. Hist, des 



Perr., pis. 55 and 56. 
an Parrot. White's Jo 



■us 



and Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. 



Platycercus scapula 

p. 284. 

Psittacus cyanopygius, Vieill., 2nde edit, du Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. Nat., 

torn* xxv. p. 339. 
Scarlet and Green Parrot, Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. ii. p. 116. 
Platycercus scapularis, Swains. Zool. 111., 2nd Ser. pi. 26. 
Aprosmictus scapulatus, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part x. p. 112. 
Wellats Aborigines of New South Wales. 



■ 



Aprosmictus scapulatus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol, vol. v. 
pi. 17. 

This very showy and noble species appears to be extremely 
local in its habitat ; I have not seen it from any other portion 
of Australia than New South Wales, in which country it 
appears to be almost exclusively confined to the brushes, par- 

d 2 









f\ 








I 






I 


















- 












36 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



• 



. 



ticularly such as are low and humid, and where the larg 
CasuarincB grow in the greatest profusion. All the brushe 



g along the southern and 



appear to be 



: ,rl 












I 



equally favoured with its presence, as it there finds a plenti 
ful supply of food, consisting of seeds and berries. At the 
period when the Indian corn is becoming ripe it leaves its 
umbrageous abode and sallies forth in vast flocks, which 
commit great devastation on the ripening grain. It is rather 
a dull and inactive species compared with the members of the 



restricted genus Platy 



flies much more heavily, and 












very different in its disposition, for although it soon becomes 

! easily tamed and much 
eat beauty of the male, 



habituated 



confinement 



the 



g 






less confiding and familiar; 

however, somewhat compensates for this unpleasant trait, and 

consequently it is highly prized as a cage-bird. 

I was never so fortunate as to find the eggs of this species, 
neither could I gather any information respecting this part of 
the bird's economy ; and I am inclined to look with suspi- 
cion on the account of its breeding given by Mr. Caley in the 



Linnean Transactions 
to some other bird. 
When fully adult t 



my opinion it must have reference 



descript 



g of the plumage 



differ very considerably in the 
will be seen by the following 



The male has the head, neck and all the under surface 



let ; back and wings green, the 



d secondaries beine: black 



webs of the primaries 




of pale verdigris g 



along the scapularies 
i, line bounding the i 



broad 



the back of the neck, the rump and upper tail-coverts rich 



deep blue ; tail 
and yellow ; bill 



black ; pupil large and black ; irides 
scarlet ; legs mealy brown. 









The female has the head and all the upper surface green ; 
throat and chest green tinged with red ; abdomen and under 

; two centre tail-feathers 

green ; the remainder green, passing into bluish black ; and 



tail -coverts scarlet ; rump dull blue 







.V.V. ' 



■ .. I. \ .' ■ 



■ 






w 





INSESSORES. 



37 



with a rose-coloured spot at the extremity on the under 
surface. 

The young male for the first two years resembles the 
female, which is doubtless the cause why so few birds are 
seen in the bright red dress, compared with those having a 
green head and chest. 



i 







Genus PTISTES, Gould. 

The birds for which I propose the above generic appellation 
are, in my opinion, sufficiently different in form and colouring 
to warrant their being separated from Aprosmictus, and formed 
into a new genus. At present three species are known to me, 

two of which are Australian ; the third is the Ptistes vulne- 
ratus, figured in the voyage of the Astrolabe as Psittacus 
erythropterus, and said to be from Timor. They have a very 
laboured flight, consequent on the great size of their wings, 

which has suggested the generic name of Ptistes, i. e. winnower. 



Sp. 410. 



PTISTES ERYTHROPTERUS 

Red-winged Lory. 






Psittacus erythropterus, Gmel. Syst., vol. i. p. 343. 



melanotus, Shaw, Nat. Misc., pi. 653. 



Crimson-winged Parrot, Lath. Gen. Syn., vol. i. p. 299; and Supp., 

p. 60. 
Platycercus erythropterus, Vig. and Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. 

p. 284. 
Aprosmictus erythropterus, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part x. p. 112. 



Aprosmictus erythropterus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. 

pi. 18. 

The extensive belts of Acacia pendula which diversify the 
plains of the eastern portion of Australia are tenanted by this 
bird, either in small companies of six or eight, or in flocks of 
a much greater number. It is beyond my power to describe 
the extreme beauty of the appearance of the Red- winged Lory 












; 



1 ; ; 












t f 












■ i 
















38 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



when seen among the silvery branches of the Acacia, particu- 
larly when the flocks comprise a large number of adult males, 
the gorgeous scarlet of whose shoulders offers so striking a con- 
trast to the surrounding objects. It is rather thinly dispersed 
among the trees skirting the rivers which intersect the Liver- 
pool Plains, but from these towards the interior it increases 
in number. Being naturally shy and wary, it is much more 
difficult of approach than the generality of the Parrakeets : and 
it seldom becomes tame or familiar in captivity. 

Its flight is performed with a motion of the wings totally 
different from that of any other member of the great family 
of Psittacida I have seen, and has frequently reminded me 
of the heavy flapping manner of the Pewit, except that the 



motion was even slower 



mor 



While 



wing, it frequently utters a loud screeching cry. 

Its food consists of berries, the fruit of a species of Loran- 
thus, and the pollen of flowers, to which is added a species of 
scaly bug-like insect, that infests the branches of its favourite 
trees ; and in all probability small caterpillars, for I have found 
them in the crops of several of the Platycerci. It breeds in the 
holes of the large Eucalypti growing on the banks of rivers ; 
the eggs, which are white, being four or five in number, about 
an inch and an eighth long by seven-eighths broad. 

| 

The sexes differ very considerably in the colouring of their 
plumage ; ai 



d the young 



during the first two years 



resemble the female. 

The male has the head and back of the neck verditer 
green; throat, all the upper surface, edge of the shoulder, 
and upper tail-coverts bright yellowish green ; back black ; 
rump lazuline blue; wing-coverts deep rich crimson-red; 
scapularies dark green, tipped with black ; primaries black at 
the base, with the external webs and the apical portion of the 
inner webs deep green ; secondaries black, edged with deep 
green, and one or two with a tinge of red at the tip ; tail 
green above, passing into yellow at the tip, the extreme end 















w 


















INSESSORES. 



39 



fringed with pink; under surface of the 
with yellow and pink as above ; i 



black, tipped 



brown 



ides 



others ; bill rich orang 



ddish 



g 



m 



feet 



The female has the head and upper surface dull g 
der surface dull yellowish green ; a few of the wing-c( 



crimson-red, forming a stripe dow 



the 



wing; 



mp pale 



verditer blue ; tail-feathers more largely tipped with pink than 
in the male ; irides olive-brown ; bill light horn-colour. 

Sp. 411. PTISTES COCCINEOPTERUS, Gould. 

Crimson-winged Lory. 

If ornithologists will compare the Crimson-winged Lories 
of Port Essin 




d the adjacent north-western portions of 
Australia with the Red-winged birds from the east coast, I 

will remain on their minds that they 



but 



doubt 



distinct from each other. The former are smaller than the 



their admeasurements, except in the bill 



i is 



crimson hue, and 



extensive as in 



rather larger ; and the adult males are more richly coloured 
both in the green of the body and the red on the wing, which 
moreover, has a 

P. erytltropterus ; in all other respects the colouring of the 

two species is very similar. 

I propose for this new species the trivial name of Crimson- 
winged Lory, and the scientific one of Ptistes coccineopterus. 

The female so nearly resembles the same sex of P. erythrop- 



lasia 



terus and the extra Australian species P. vulneratus that 
difficult to distinguish them. I may add that of the 
mentioned bird I have not yet seen a male with red shoulders 
and if this conspicuous mark never occurs, the two sexes ar< 
alike in colour. 

Total length of the adult male 12 inches ; bill f ; wing 7f 



"4 > 



tarsi 3 



4 



Splendid adult examples of the three species above men 
tioned are contained in the national collection. 









\ 



J 






• 1 









40 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



i 



Genus PLATYCERCUS, Vigors. 

All the members of this very well defined 



g 



are 



extremely ornamen 



they have very ample tails, and the 



power of displaying them in a manner to show off the 
beautiful colours with which this o 



K 



is adorned 



The 






species are very widely spread, for they are found from 
Tasmania in the south to Port Essington in the north. 
None of them, I believe, have an osfurcatorium, the absence 
of which would seem to have some influence on their flight, 
for they seldom employ their wings further than as a means 



of transport from 




where they obtain an abundant 



■ 



pply of the grass-seeds upon which they mainly subsist 



the nearest trees of the 



ghbouring forest ; very unlike 



indeed, is their flight to that of Ptistes, which passes high in 
the air from one part of the country to another. 

Bonaparte, who has subdivided the Platycerci still farther 
than I have done here, places the three species with stouter 
bills and less ample tails (P. barnardi, P. semitorquatus , and 



P. zonarius) in a g 




themselves, under the name of 



Parnardius ; but as I conceive such terms objectionable when 
employed generically, and the differences alluded to unimpor- 
tant, I think I shall be excused for not separating these birds 
from Platycercus. 



Sp. 412 



PLATYCERCUS BARNARDI 

Barnard's Parrakeet. 



Barnard's Parrot, Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. ii. p. 121. 

Platycercus barnardi, Vig. and Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p. 283 

Barnardius typicus, Bonap. Rev. et Mag. de Zool., 1854, p. 153. 












Platycercus barnardii, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 21. 

To see Barnard's Parrakeet in perfection, and to observe 
its rich plumage in all its glory, the native country of the 
bird must be visited, its brooks and streamlets traced ; for it 















r 



• : ' ■ 








INSESSORES. 



41 



principally on the banks of th 



g the 



high-flooded gums" or the larger shrub-like trees along the 



edges of the water that this beautiful 



species is seen, 



d 



where the brilliant hues of its expanded wings and tail show 



y conspicuously as it passes from 



amidst the 



dark masses of foliage 



The range of Barnard's Parrakeet extends throughout the 



from South Australia 



New South Wales, but it 



seldom appears within the boundary of the latter colony ; I 
never met with it nearer than the Liverpool Plains, from 

which northwards towards the interior its numbers increased, 
and it doubtless inhabits the banks of the Darling and all 

other rivers which disembogue into Lake Alexandrina; and in 
confirmation of this opinion I may state that I found it abund- 
ant in the Great Murray scrub of South Australia. It is ge- 
nerally met with in small companies of from five to ten in 



number, sometimes on the ground among the tall gra 
others among the high trees, particularly the Eucalyph 



The sexes differ but 



the males 



how 




the largest and finest in plumag 



I did 



not succeed in obtaining the eggs of this species, 

* 

although it was breeding in all the large trees of the different 

parts of the country I visited. 

Porehead red : crown, cheeks, chest, abdomen, central 



portion of wing, and rump verditer-g 



iput 



d 



by a band of brown, succeeded by a crescent-shaped mark of 



yellow ; back bluish grey 



■ 

of the abdomen crossed by 



a broad crescent of orange; primaries and spurious wing- 
black; the external margin of each feather and the tip of 



the shoulder rich deep blue 



two 



feathers deep 



green, passing into deep blue at the tip ; the lateral feathers 
deep blue at the base, gradually fading into bluish white at 
the tip ; bill horn colour ; feet brown. 















i> 
























; 












I \ 



it ' ' 



li 






42 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



Sp. 413. PLATYCERCUS SEMITORQUATUS 

Yellow-collared Parrakeet. 



Q 



M 



We 



ii 



Twenty-eight Parrakeet, Colonists of Swan River. 



Western 



Platycercus semitorquatus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. 
pL 19. 

This noble Parrakeet is abundantly dispersed over the 
greater portion of Western Australia, where it inhabits almost 
every variety of situation, sometimes searching for food upon 
the ground, and at others on the trees ; its chief food being 
either grass-seeds or the hard-stoned fruits and seeds peculiar 
to the trees of the country in which it lives. It is equally as 
abundant at King George's Sound as it is at Swan River ; I 
have not been so fortunate as to obtain any precise information 
as to the extent of its range over the continent, the only parts 
of the country from which I have received specimens being the 
two localities mentioned above. 

While on the wing its motions are rapid, and it often utters 



which from 



resemblance 



thos 



ds has pro 



cured for it the appellation of " twenty-eight " Parrakeet from 

the colonists ; the last word or note being sometimes repeated 
five or six times in succession. 

The Platycercus semitorquatus begins breeding in the latter 
part of September or beginning of October, and deposits its 
eggs in a hole in either a gum- or mahogany-tree, on the soft 

black dust collected at the bottom ; they are from seven to 
nine in number and of a pure white. In most instances these 

eggs have a pinky blush before being blown. 

This is the largest species of ground Parrakeet that has yet 

been discovered in Australia. 







i . ' ■ . ■ 





INSESSORES. 



43 







The sexes may be distinguished by the smaller size of the 
female, and by her markings being much less distinct. 

Forehead crossed by a narrow band of crimson ; head 
blackish brown, passing into blue on the cheeks ; back of the 
neck encircled by a band of bright yellow ; back and upper 
surface generally deep grass-green, passing into pale green on 
the shoulders ; primaries and spurious wing blackish brown, 

■ 

the external webs of each feather deep blue ; two central tail 
feathers deep grass-green, the next on each side the same, 
passing into blue and ending in bluish white at the tip ; the 
lateral feathers green at the base passing into blue, which gra- 
dually fades into bluish white at the tip ; chest green ; under 

surface light green ; hides dark brown ; bill light horn- 
colour, becoming of a lead-colour on the front of the upper 
mandible; legs and feet dark brown. 



Sp. 414. 



PLATYCERCUS ZONARIUS 

* 

Banded Parrakeet. 



Psittacus 



viridis, Shaw's Gen. Zool., vol. viii. p. 465. 
baueri, Temm. in Linn. Trans., vol. xiii. p. 118. 

cyanomelas, Kuhl, Consp. Psitt. in Nov. Act., vol. x. p. 53 



Bauer's Parrot, Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. ii. p. 120. 

Platycercus baueri, Vig. and Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p. 283. 



Wad. M 



Nanodes ? zonarius, Steph. Cont. of Shaw's Gen. Zool., v< 
Conurus cceruleo-barbatus, Bourj. St.-Hil. Perr., tab. 40. 
Parnardius zonarius* Bonap. Rev. et Mas;, de Zool. 185' 



Platycercus baueri, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 85. 

Although this bird is very nearly allied to the Platycercus 
semitorquatus, it possesses several characters by which it may 
be distinguished from that species; in the first place it is 
much less in size, and in the next it has a brighter and more 
contrasted style of plumage, the green of the under surface of 
which is relieved by a gorgeous band of bright yellow across 

































I 















J t 












I 



44 



BIRDS Of AUSTRALIA. 



the abdomen ; the rich band of scarlet which ornaments the 
front of the P. semitorquatus is also wanting in the present 
bird, or if not entirely, the slightest indication of it and that 



only in the finest old males is to be 



The only porti 



of Australia from which I have received specimens of this bird 
is Port Lincoln. The sexes present a similar contrast in the 
lesser size and less brilliant style of colouring of the female. 

Head and upper part of the neck black, the cheek-feathers 
tipped with deep blue; at the back of the neck a broad 
crescent of bright yellow ; chest, back, and wings dark green, 

passing into verditer-green on the outer webs of the w 
coverts ; rump and upper tail-coverts grass-green ; two ce: 
tail-feathers deep green, the next on each side deep gr 
tipped with bluish white, the remainder deep green at 



g 



the 



base, passing into bluish white, the blue on the outer margins 
of the feathers being of lazuline hue ; centre of the abdomen 
deep gamboge-yellow ; remainder of the under surface yellow- 
ish grass-green ; 



primal 



secondaries 



d 



spurious wing 



black, with the base of their external web 



deep 



blue : bill horn 



feet dark brown 




* 






Sp. 415. 



PLATYCERGUS PENNANTII 



Pennant's Parrakeet. 



Psittacus pennantii, Lath. Ind. Orn., vol. i. p. 90. 



Misc 



Mus 



Petruchs a large queue, Levaill. Hist. Nat. des Perr., pis. 78, 79. 
Pennantian Parrot, Lath. Gen. Syn., Supp. vol. i. p. 61 ; vol. ii. p. 83. 
Psittacus elegans, Gniel. Edit. Linn. Syst. Nat., vol. i. p. 318 
Platycercus pennantii, Vig. and Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p. 280. 
Dulang and Julang, Aborigines of New South Wales. 



Platycercus pennantii, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 23. 

This beautiful bird is very generally dispersed over New 






j 







■ — ■«- 





INSESSORES. 



45 



Soutli Wales, where it freq 



grassy hills and brushes 



particuu 
districts 



those of the Liverpool 



g 



and all similar 



inhabits Kangaroo Island, but I 



ith it in the belts of the Murray 



any of the forests 



round Adelaide, in which part of the country the Platy- 
cercus adelaidensis occurs abundantly. Its food consists 
of berries and the seeds of various grasses, to which insects 
and caterpillars are occasionally added, and to obtain which it 
descends to the bases of the hills and to open glades in the 
forests ; I have often flushed it from such situations ; and 
when six or eight rose together with outspread tails of beau- 
tiful pale blue, offering a decided contrast to the rich scarlet 

livery of the body, I never failed to pause and admire the 
splendour of their appearance, of which no description can 
give an adequate idea ; the Platycerci must, in fact, be seer 



wilds before their beautiful appearance 



be 



appreciated, or the interesting nature of their habits at all 

understood. 

Like the other members of the genus, the Platycercus 
pennantii runs rapidly over the ground, but its flight is 
not enduring. In disposition it is tame and destitute of 



distrust, and as a pet for the aviary or cage few birds can 



exceed it in interest or beauty ; consequently it is one of the 
commonest of the living Parrakeets sent from Australia to 
this country. 

It breeds in the holes of the large gum-trees, generally 
selecting those on the hill-sides within the brushes ; of which 
situations, the cedar brushes of the Liverpool range appear 
to be a favourite. The months of September, October, and 
November constitute the breeding-season. The eggs, which 
are white, about an inch and two lines long, eleven and a half 
lines broad, and from four to seven in number, are deposited 
on the rotten wood at the bottom of the hole. 

The colouring of the sexes when fully adult is alike, but 
much variation exists between youth and maturity ; during 



' 























ii 

I 









-.1 



























* » 



46 



BIRDS OP AUSTRALIA. 



the first autumn the young birds are clothed in a plumage 
of a nearly uniform green j to this succeeds a parti-coloured 
livery of scarlet, blue, and green, which colouring is con- 
tinually changing until the full plumage of maturity is as- 
sumed ; and hence has arisen no little confusion respecting 
this species in the writings of the older ornithologists, and it 
is not to be wondered at that its synonyms are so numerous. 
The adult male has the head, neck, all the under surface, 
the rump, and upper tail-coverts rich deep crimson-red ; the 

feathers of the back and scapularies black, broadly margined 
with rich crimson-red; the cheeks and shoulders ccerulean 

■ 

blue ; the greater wing-coverts pale blue ; the primaries and 
secondaries black, with the basal half of their external webs 
margined with deep blue ; the two centre tail-feathers green, 



passing into blue on their marg 



d at the tip 



; the 

remainder black on the inner webs for three-fourths of their 
length ; deep blue for nearly the same length on their outer 
webs, and largely tipped on both webs with pale blue, which 
becomes still paler to the tips of the feathers ; bill horn- 
colour ; hides very dark brown ; feet blackish brown. 



Sp.416. PLATYCERCUS ADELAIDENSIS, Gould. 

Adelaide Parrakeet. 

Platycercus adelaidia, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc./ part viii. p. 161. 
Pheasant Parrot, Colonists of South Australia. 



■ 



Platycercus adelaidise, Gould, Birds of Australia, foL, vol. v. pi. 22. 

This beautiful Platycercus is a native of South Australia, 
and from the circumstance of my having procured some of my 
finest specimens in the very streets of the city of Adelaide, 
I have been induced to give it the specific name of ade- 
laidensis. In all probability the bird may in a few years be 
looked for in vain even in the suburbs of this rapidly increas- 
ing settlement, as it is too large a species and possesses too 
many attractions to remain unmolested ; indeed it was much 















'*- ■ t * ■' 



■ 





















INSESSORES. 



47 



persecuted and destroyed by the newly-arrived emigrants at 
the time I paid this distant land a visit. 

The JPlatycercus adelaidensis at first caused me consider- 
able perplexity from its close similarity in some stages of its 
plumage to the P. pennantii ; as in that species, the plumage 
of the young for the first season is wholly green, which colour- 



ing gradually gives place to pale orange-red on the head, rump 



and upper surface, the scapularies and back feathers being 
margined with the same, but which soon disappears and gives 

place to dull yellow on the flanks and olive-yellow on the 
upper surface, the scapularies and back feathers in the mature 
dress being edged with yellowish buff and violet. It was only 

by killing numerous examples in all their various stages of 
plumage, from the nestling to the adult, that I was enabled to 
determine the fact of its being a distinct species. 

When I visited the interior of South Australia, in the win- 
ter of 1838, I found the adults associated in small groups of 
from six to twenty in number ; while near the coast, between 
Holdfast Bay and the Port of Adelaide, the young in the 
green dress were assembled in flocks of hundreds ; they were 

t 

generally on the ground in search of grass-seeds, and when so 

occupied would admit of a near approach : when flushed they 
merely flew up to the branches of the nearest tree. It is 
impossible to conceive anything more beautiful than the rising 
of a flock of newly moulted adults of this species, for their 
beautiful broad blue tails and wings glittering in the sun pre- 
sent a really magnificent spectacle. 

The fully adult male has the crown of the head, lores, sides 
of the neck, breast, and centre of the abdomen scarlet, passing 
into dull yellow on the flanks ; cheeks and wing-coverts light 
lazuline blue ; primaries deep blue, passing into black at the 
extremity ; back of the neck dull yellow ; back black, each 
feather margined with yellowish buff, some of the margina- 
tions tinged with blue, others with scarlet ; rump and upper 
tail-coverts dull greenish yellow, the latter sometimes tinged 


























I 



f I 






• 


















48 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



with 



scarlet ; two centre tail-feathers greenish blue ; the re- 
der deep blue at the base, gradually becoming lighter 
almost white at the tip ; irides brown ; bill horn-colour ; 



feet greyish brown. 

Total length 13^ inches j wing 7; tail 8 ; tarsi | 

_ 

Sp.417. PLATYCERCUS FLAVIVENTRIS 



Yellow-bellied Parrakeet. 



fl 



brownii, Kuhl, Nova Acta etc., vol. x. p. 56, no. 90. 

Perruche a large queue, Le Vaill. Hist. Nat. des Perr., pi. 80. 
Van Diemen's Parrot, Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. ii. p. 130, no. 33. 
Platycercus flaviventr is, Vig. and Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. ] 
caledonicus \ p.. Was:!. Mon. Psitt.. n. 532. 



m ■» 

xanthogaster, Steph. Cont. of Shaw's Gen. Zool.,vol. xiv. p. 120 

Green Parrot, Colonists of Tasmania. 



Platycercus flaviventris, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. 
pi. 24. 

The Yellow-bellied Parrakeet is dispersed over all parts of 
Tasmania and the islands in Bass's Straits ; but is not con- 
fined to particular localities like the Platycercus eximius, with 
which it sometimes associates. It frequents every variety of 
situation, from the low-crowned hills and gullies in the depths 

of the forest to the open cleared lands and gardens of the set- 

* ' 

tiers. It runs over the ground with great facility, and when 
observed in small flocks searching for seeds among the tall 
grass, few birds are seen to greater advantage. 

I found this species very abundant on the banks of the 
Tamar, and in one instance I saw hundreds congregated at a 
barn-door among the straw of some . recently thrashed corn, 
precisely after the manner of Pigeons and Sparrows in Eng- 
land. 

The sexes during the first year are not to be distinguished 

from each other ; but when fully adult, the female is smaller in 
size and less brilliantly coloured than the male. 

















INSESSORES. 



49 



Besides grass-seeds, the flowers of the Eucalypti with insects 
and their larvae constitute a considerable portion of its food, 
and it may be often seen very busily engaged about the 
branches loaded with flowers in the depths of the forest far 
away from any cleared lands. 

If we take into consideration the kind of food upon which 
this bird subsists, we might naturally conclude that its flesh 
would be delicate, tender, and well-flavoured. When I visited 
Tasmania it was commonly eaten by the settlers, and it was 
not long after my arrival before T tested its goodness, when I 
found it so excellent that I partook of it whenever an oppor- 
tunity for so doing presented itself. 

Holes in the large gum-trees afford this species a natural 



breeding-pl 



The eggs, which are laid in September and 



three following months, are of a pure white 



and 



six or eight 



number, one inch 



d two lines 



g 




eleven and a half lines broad. When the 



young 



first 



hatched they are covered with long, white down, and pr 



appearance not very dissimilar to that of a round ball of 



white 



Forehead crimson; crown of the head and back of the 

neck pale yellow, each feather very slightly margined with 
brown ; space under the eye dull crimson ; cheeks blue ; 



back and shoulders dark olive-black, each feather edged with 



green ; middle of the wings blue ; the basal half of the pri- 
maries blue on their external edges, the remainder blackish 
brown ; rump and two middle tail-feathers green, the remain- 
der of the tail-feathers dark blue at the base, lighter towards 
the tip ; under surface of the body yellow ; bill flesh-colour ; 
feet greyish brown. 

The adults of both sexes are very similar, but a consider- 
able difference exists in birds of different ages, the young of 



the year being greenish olive with a slight tinge of blue on the 



cheeks, wings, and outer tail-feathers, and a faint indication 

of the red mark on the forehead. As they 



VOL. II. 



advance in age 



E 


















; 








: ! 












! T 












l 



50 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



they gradually assume the plumage of the adult, which is not 
fully accomplished until the second or third year. 

Sp. 418. PLATYCERCUS ELAVEOLUS, Gould. 

Yellow-rumped Parrakeet. 

I 

Platycercus flaveolus, Gould in Proe. of Zool. Soc, Part V. p. 26. 

Platycercus flaveolus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 25. 

I have no other information to communicate respecting this 

beautiful Platycercus, than that it is an inhabitant of New 
South Wales, and is abundant on the banks of the rivers 



Lachlan and Darling. It 



first 



ntry by 



Captain Sturt. I also saw in the Museum at Sydney several 
specimens which had been collected by Sir Thomas Mitchell 



during his exped 



In all these specimens 



a 



little or no variation in their plumage was observable 
circumstance which induces me to suspect that, like the Rose- 
hill Parrakeet, the young are clothed in a similar character 
of plumage to that of the adults, or if not, that they gain the 



full colouring at a very early ag 
differences. 



the sexes offer 



Forehead crimson ; cheeks light blue 



of the head 



back of the neck, back, rump, upper tail-coverts, and all the 
under surface pale yellow, the feathers of the back being black 
in the centre and pale yellow on their outer edges ; middle of 
the wing pale blue ; spurious wing and the outer web of the 
basal portion of the primaries deep violet-blue, the remainder 
of the primaries dark brown ; two central tail-feathers tinted 
with green at the base, passing into blue towards the tip ; the 
remaining feathers have the basal portion of their outer webs 
deep blue, passing into very pale blue towards their tips ; the 
inner webs brown for a greater or less portion of their length, 
the extreme tips of all being white; bill light horn-colour ; 

feet dark brown. 



Total length 13i inches ; wing 7 ; tail 7 J 



tarsi f . 








\ 






















INSESSORES. 



51 



Sp. 419. PLATYCERCUS PALLICEPS, Tig. 

Pale-headed Parrakeet. 

Platycercus palliceps, Vig. in Lear's 111. Psitt., pi. 19. 
Moreton Bay Rose-hill, Colonists of New South Wales. 



* 

Platycercus palliceps, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 26. 



This 




species of Platycercus is a native of 



portions of Australia, and 



,bly numerous at Moreton 



Bay 



the specimens I have seen were procured 



It 



ydney by the name of Moreton Bay Rose-hill 



appellation bestowed on it from its near alliance to the Platy- 
cercus eximius. The specific name of palliceps lias been ap- 
plied to this bird from the light colouring of the head, which 
amounts in some specimens to a total absence of colour: 
this, however, I think, may be attributed to the effects of ex- 
posure to light, since, in recently moulted birds, there is always 



delicate tinge of yellow pervading 



the pale blue 



of the cheeks also appears to be affected by the same cause, 
though not to so great an extent. 

It bears confinement remarkably well, and is very docile 

and familiar, which, added to its very elegant plumage, ren- 
ders it a general favourite. 

The sexes differ in no respect in outward appearance, with 
the exception of a slight superiority of size in the male. 

Crown of the head either wholly white or pale gamboge- 
yellow ; in some specimens also ther 
scarletl c 
cheeks is 



is 



a fine line of 



ossing the forehead, and the lower part of the 
deep blue ; feathers of the nape, back, and scapu 



laries black, broadly margined 



gamboge-yellow; rump 



greenish blue, in others this part is strongly 



tinged with gamboge-yellow ; pi 

blackish brown, with the base of 
blue J 



g 



d lesser 



g 



both above and below, beautiful blue 



and secondaries 
ternal webs deep 
d the shoulders, 
part of the wing 

e2 



: 






( ( 



f i 












[ 



52 



BTRDS OE AUSTRALIA. 



nearest the body blacl 



under surface verditer-blu 



the exception of the under tail-coverts, which are scai 

middle tail-feathers greenish blue ; the basal half of 



der being blackish brown on their internal webs, rich 



deep blue on their outer web 



nd the terminal half delicate 



pale blue, passing into white at the tip ; bill 
irides blackish brown ; feet dark mealy brown. 



Sp. 420. PLATYCBRCUS CYANOGENYS, Gould. 

Blue-cheeked Parrakeet. 

Platycercus cyanogenys, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xxiii. pp 

165, 166. 

amathusia, Bonap. in Cab. Journ. fur Orn. 1857. 



Platycercus cyanogenys, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., Suppl 

ment, pi. 

The presence of so many of the beautiful Platycerci adds 
peculiar charm to the country of Australia, and gives to it 



opical 



g and 



the emig 



must, however, greatly extend his roaming before this bird 
comes under his notice, for it has only as yet been found at 
the distant peninsula of Cape York. It was there that the 
single specimen now in the British Museum was shot by Mr. 
Macgillivray, on the 7th of October 1848. 




The Platy 



cyanoyenys is very 



allied to P 



of the colouring of 





palliceps, but differs in the g 

the body, and in the rich blue cheeks, which suggested 

specific 





Crown of the head pale sulphur-yellow 



cheeks 



feathers of the nape, back, and scapularies black 



blue 



broadly margined 



ith 



sulphur-yellow, and stained with 
of the back; rump and upper tail- 
with an extremely narrow fringe of 
black at the tip of the feathers ; shoulder and greater wing- 




coverts greenish -yellow 



coverts deep blue 



black, bordered with deep 









: 







■ ' p l I 














1NSESS0RES. 



53 



blue; primaries and secondaries blackish 



the basal 



half of their 

blue : tertiar 



eternal webs deep blue, the apical half pale 
black, broadly margined with greenish yellow ; 



breast pale greenish yellow; abdomen light 
all the feathers of the under surface si 




blue 



black ; 
yellow 



der tail-coverts scarlet, 



ghtly fringed with 
v\y margined with 



middle tail-feathers greenish blue; the 



side blue, slightly tipped with pale blue 



der 



blackish brown at the base of their internal webs, and deep 
blue externally, their apical portions being beautiful pale 
blue. 



Total length 1 3 inches 



g 



i 



7 ; tarsi f . 





Sp. 421. 



PLATYCERCUS VENUSTUS 

Beautiful Parrakeet. 



Psittacus venustus, Kuhl, Nov. Acta, vol. x. p. 52. 

brownii, Temm. in Linn. Trans., vol. xiii. p. 119. 
Brown's Parrot, Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. ii. p. 139. 
Platycercus brownii, Vig. and Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p. 282 



Mon 



Mo'Sn-dark, Aborigines of Port Es 
Smutty Parrot, Residents at ditto. 



Platycercus brownii, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pl. 31. 

This is a very abundant species on the northern and north- 
western coast of Australia, where it inhabits grassy meadow- 



* 

like land and the edges of swamps, and mostly feeds upon 



the seeds of grasses and other plants, sometimes it is seen 
in pairs, but more frequently in families of from ten to 
twenty in number. It frequently utters a rapid succession 



of double notes resembling ' trin-se trin-se! Its flight is low, 



somewhat rapid and zigzag, seldom farther prolonged than 




from tree to tree. Specimens of this bird, given me by my 
friends Sir George Grey and Mr. Bynoe, from the north-west 



coast, differ somewhat in plumage from those killed on the 















I 



f ;' 



I 












*t 









54 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



Cobourg Peninsula ; the 



bands on the breast are 



much finer, the extreme margins only of the feathers being 
black : 



; I have one specimen also with the whole of the 
of the head of a deep blood-red, and others with more 
of this colour. That this kind of plumage is 



unusual 



is 



proved by the fact of numerous specimens from Port Essingtoi 
not exhibiting it, and had I not seen others from the north 
west with black crowns (with the exception of the band acros: 
the forehead), I should have regarded as specific what I nov 
look upon as a mere local variety, or possibly a very old bird. 
Crown of the head, lores, and ear-coverts deep black 



cheeks 



white, bounded below with blue ; breast and 



rump pale yellow, each feather slightly fringed with black 



feathers of the back deep black, with a broad margin of 



yellow 



g-coverts, outer webs of 



aries, and base 
primaries and 



of the primaries rich blue, inner webs of the 

secondaries deep black; under tail-coverts scarlet; centre 



feathers green at the base, pa 




into blue on the 



mar 




and at the tip 



feathers deep blue at the 



base of the outer webs, brown at the base of the inner web 



and then pale blue 




white, with black shafts 



id 



blackish brown 



bill 



ht hor 



passing into 



blue at the b 



gs and feet blackish br 



the individual approaches to maturity 



Young birds are similar in colour, but have all the markings 

dull and indistinct I as 
the breast becomes ornamented with a number of crescent- 
shaped markings of black and pale yellow, and as the bird 
advances in age the yellow increases in extent and the black 

nearly disappears. 

Hitherto this bird has been known to ornithologists as the 

the Platycercus browni, a specific appellation applied to it in 

honour of the celebrated botanist j but which, I regret to say, 

must give place to the prior one of venustus. 















* 






• / i ** 



* i - - - 
















INSESSORES. 



55 



Sp. 422. PLATYCERCUS EXIMIUS, %. and Horsf . 

Rose-hill Parrakeet. 

Psittacus eximius, Shaw, Nat. Misc., pi. 96. 
Perruche omnicolore, Le Vaill., Hist. Nat. des Perr., p. 29, pi. 28. 
Nonpareil Parrot, Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. ii. p. 138, No. 41. 
Platycercus eximius, Vig. and Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p. 281. 

ignitus, Leadb. in Proc. of Zool., part v. p. 8, abnormal colouring 

Psittacus capitatus, Shaw, Gen. Zool., vol. viii. p. 466. 

~Rneo-hHl Vwral-oot flnlnnist.K of NfiW South Wales. 



Platycercus eximius, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 27. 
Although the Rose-hill Parrakeet is one of the commonest 



birds of New South Wales and Tasmania, it is very local, a 
river frequently constituting the boundary of its habitat, over 
which it so rarely passes, that I never saw the bird on the 
south side of the Derwent ; while in the forests of the opposite 
shore, not more than a quarter or half a mile distant, it was 
very numerous. I believe it is never seen in the forests cloth- 

the borders of D'Entrecasteaux' Channel on the south, 



g 



of the River Tamar on the 



of the island, those d 



being inhabited by the Platycercus flaviventris, whose 




are 



beautiful accor- 



greater size and olive-green plui 

dance with those vast and but little explored forests of 



The Platycercus eximius resorts to the open 
parts of the country, undulating grassy hills and plains boi 



g 




or 



belts 



dered and studded here and there with larg 

of low acacias or banksias, among the branches of 



particularly those of the acacias, this beautiful bird may be 



d 



companies, the rich scarlet and yellow of 

breasts vieing with the lovely blossoms of the trees ; in a 
districts of a sandy nature, small plains, open spots among the 
hills, and thinly timbered country where grass abounds, con- 
stitute the peculiar and natural habitat of this bird. Like the 
Sparrow in England, this beautiful Parrakeet may constantly 



be 



seen 



g 



the public roads, and upon being 














s 



--■ 






I 






'- 



.. 

















' i 



H 















It * 












i 



i 



■!! 



N 



(J 

■ 





























<•»» 




■<. 














*S 













• 






4 






: 






< 






i 






* 




• 






















56 



BIRDS 01? AUSTRALIA. 



turbed by the passer-by will merely fly off to the nearest tree, 
or to the rails of the wayside fences. Scenes like these fill the 
mind with sensations of no ordinary description, and excite 
the greatest astonishment in those who have recently arrived 
in the country; the novelty, however, soon wears off, and 
a caged lark, linnet, or blackbird from the land of their birth 
are highly cherished and valued, while the beautiful produc- 
tions of the island are passed by unheeded, except to deal out 
destruction among them, with no sparing hand, for some 
slight injury they may have inflicted upon the rising corn. 
The above remarks refer more particularly to Tasmania, but 
apply with equal force to New South Wales, where the bird 



inhabits 
f erred t 



It 



ons similar in character to those above re- 
found in great numbers in the district of 



the Upper Hunter, and was formerly very numerous at Para- 
matta, particularly in the neighbourhood of Rose Hill, whence 



its name. It breeds abundantly both in Tasmania and New 
South Wales, during October and the three following months, 
and lays from seven to ten beautiful white eggs, one inch and 
an eighth long by seven-eighths of an inch broad, in the 

hollow of a gum-tree. 

The natural food of this bird consists of seeds of various 
kinds, particularly those of different grasses, and occasionally 
of insects and caterpillars. 

■ 

Its flight is short and undulating, and is rarely extended to 



greater distance than a quarter of 



the bird fre 



quently alights on a leafless branch, always flying a little 
below it and rising again just before it settles. 

Its note is a somewhat pleasing whistling sound, which is 



y frequently uttered 



W f[ 



Jh>^ 



•k 






The sexes are alike in plumage, and the young assume the 



bright colouring from 



the birds of the year, althou 



they may have attained their full size, are not so brilliant i 
adult, and may always be distinguished by the bill and 
trils being of a delicate gamboge-yellow. 



" ' 
























- 


















*•• 















'* 





















\ " ** 










~\ 

























% 













/ , 






scarlet ; cheeks 



margined all round with rich yellow ; rump, upp 




INSESSORES. 



Crown of the head, back of the neck, chest, and under 



feathers of the 



d lower part of the belly pale g 



centre of the belly 



yellow 



nal edges of the 
feathers dark bro 1 

bluish 



shoulders and middle of the wing rich blue ; exter- 

blue. the remainder of these 



pnmar 



middle tail-feather 




passing 




i at the tip, the remainder of the tail-feathers 
dark blue at the base, passing into light blue, and tipped 
with white ; bill horn-colour ; feet brown ; irides brown 
Specimens from Tasmania 



have the marking 



are rather lard 

of the upper surface of a g 



d 



yellow 



d 



gether 



less brilliant than those from New - 



South Wales 



Sp. 423. 



PLATYCERCUS SPLENDIDUS, Gould. 

Splendid Parrakeet. 



Platycercus spleadidus, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, Part XIII. p. 105. 

Platycercus splendidus, Gould,Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 28. 

The lovely species here described was killed by Gilbert 
the newly-located district to the northward of the Darling 



Downs in New South Wales. In beauty it even 



exceeds 



the common Rose-hill Parrakeet, and is consequently one of 
the finest species of the genus yet discovered. It differs 
from that bird in having the centre of the breast, only, of 
a rich scarlet, the sides being gamboge-yellow ; in the lower 
part of the abdomen and the upper tail-coverts being verditer 
instead of grass-green, and in the feathers of the back being 



broadly margined with rich gamboge instead of greenish yello 
In the youthful state it very much resembles the P. palliceps> 
from which however it differs in having the head yellow in- 
stead of pale yellowish white, and the breast yellow instead 
of nale blue ; the breast also has indications of the rich scarlet 



ill 







*- H 



\ * * 



J ' I 




- - . - 








I 






58 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 








of maturity, of which colour no trace is at any time perceptible 
in the P. patticeps. 

Head, sides of the neck and centre of the breast scarlet ; 
cheeks white, faintly tinged with blue ; feathers of the back 
and scapularies black, broadly margined with gamboge -yellow ; 
lower part of the back and upper tail-coverts pale green ; on 
the shoulder a patch of black ; wing-coverts pale blue ; pri- 
maries black with the exception of the basal portion of the 
external web, which is rich deep blue ; two central tail-feathers 

t 

dark green at the base, passing into deep blue on the apical 
half of the external web and tipped with black ; the next on 
each side is black on the internal web, green at the base of 
the external web, blue for the remainder of its length, and 
slightly tipped with white ; the remainder of the tail-feathers 
are deep blue at the base of the external, and black at the base 
of the internal web, the remaining portion of both webs being 
pale delicate blue, passing into white at the tip ; sides of the 
breast and the abdomen bright gamboge-yellow; vent pale 
green in some, in others pale bluish green ; under tail- coverts 
scarlet; irides dark brown; bill horn-colour; feet mealy brown . 



Total length 1 2 inches ; bill 5 



8 > 



wings 6 ; tail 7 ; 



tarsi f . 




\ 



Sp. 424. PLATYCERCUS ICTEROTIS, Wagl 

Yellow-cheeked Parrakeet. 

■ 

Psittacus icterotis, Temm. in Linn, Trans., vol. xiii. p. 120. 
Platycercus stanleyii, Vig. in Zool. Journ., vol. v. p. 273. 

icterotis, Wagl. Mon. Psitt. in Abhand. p. 530. 
- icterodes, Bourj. St.-Hil. Supp. to Le Vaill. Hist. Nat. des Perr., 



pi. 30. 

Gootd-un-gootd-un, Aborigines of the lowland, and 

Moy-a-duk, Aborigines of the mountain districts of Weste 
Rose-kill of the Colonists of Swan River. 



Platycercus icterotis, Gould, Birds of Australia, foL, vol. v. pi. 29. 
From the little that is known of the history of this species 








> 







■. . 



.:.- ;. 



t * 












1 




INSESSORES. 



59 



would appear that its range is very limited, the colony of 



Sw 



River in Western Australia being the only locality 



which it has yet been seen in a state of 



nature; there, how - 
of the most common birds of the country, and, 
except in the breeding-season, may always be seen in large 
flocks, which approach so near to the houses of the 



frequently to visit their gardens 



It generally feeds 



ground, on the seeds of various kinds of grasses, 



and 



frequently attacks ripe fruit of tt 
left unprotected. 

Like most other members of 




arden, especially if 



be 



g 



'laty 



does not differ in the colouring of 



dually 



g 




Its flight 



During the first year they are green, which g 

place to the fine colouring of maturity. 

is of short duration, and consists of a series 



of 



rather rapid undulating sweeps. 

Its note is a feeble, piping kind of whistle, which 

sionally so much varied and 
the character of a song 




thened 



almost 



The 




gs, which are white and six or seven in number 



■t> 



and nine and a half lines broad ; they 



deposited in the holes of large trees without any nest. 

Crown of the head and back of the neck, chest, and all the 
under surface scarlet ; cheeks and thighs yellow ; feathers of 
the back black, bordered with green, yellow, and in some 



instances scarlet 



rump 



g 



and upper tail-coverts yellowish 

shoulders and outer edges of the primaries blue, the 

middle 

the remaining feathers light blue tipped 



webs and tips of the latter blackish br 



•feathers g 



with white, with the basal portion of a darker blue tinged 



with g 
brow : 



en ; bill light horn- 
ides blackish brown 



feet and legs dull ashy 



The young birds of both sexes are nearly of 
green, becoming parti-coloured as they advance in ag 



scarlet of 



crown and abdomen and 



uniform 

s; the 

yellow of the 



























; \ 















60 



BIRDS O*' AUSTRALIA. 



cheeks gradually taking the place of the green colouring of 

youth. 



Genus PURPUREICEPHALUS, Bonaparte. 

Only one species of this form is at present known 



P 



pureicephalus pileatus, which differs so much ii 

of its plumage from every other species of the 

Parrots, as to render it one of the most remarkable yet dis 




family of 



covered ; in the form and 



of 



bill it dev 



from the true Blatycerci, and it will probably be found that 
its habits are peculiar. 



Sp. 425. PURPUREICEPHALUS PILEATUS. 

Red-capped Parrakeet. 

Platycercus pileatus, Vig. in Zool. Journ., vol. v. p. 274. 
Psittacus purpureocephalus, Quoy et Gairn. Voy. de l'Astrol 
Conurus purpureocephalus, Bourj. de St.-Hil. Perr. tab. 39. 



Mas: 



# 



tffi 



Dj ar -r ail-bur -tong, Aborigines of the lowland districts of We 

Australia. 
Blue Parrot of the Colonists. 



Platycercus pileatus, Gould, Birds of Australia, &L, vol. v. pi. 32. 

The Red-capped Parrakeet is an inhabitant of Western 
Australia, where it is rather numerously dispersed over the 
country from King George's Sound to the northern limits of 
the colony. I have also received specimens from the neigh- 
bourhood of Port Essington. It is usually seen in small families 
feeding on the ground, but upon what kind of food it subsists 
has not been ascertained. The breeding-season extends over 
the months of October, November, and December. The hol- 
low dead branch of a gum- or mahogany-tree is the place 
usually chosen by the female for the reception of her eggs, 










\ I 







P^BHV 














INSESSORES. 



61 



which are milk-white and from seven to nine in number, about 

d an eighth long by seven-eighths of an inch broad. 



The flight of this species, although swift, is not of long du 



d by those undulating sweeps 



Its 



mon to the members of the genus Platycercus. 

sharp clucking note several times repeated, in which respect 



offers a marked difference from those birds 



red 



Forehead, crown and nape deep marc 
yellowish green, becoming more yellow on 
neck ; back, scapularies and greater wing-coverts deep g 



cheeks 



the sides of the 



rump jonquil-yellow 



edge of the shoulder, spur 



■S 



and base of the outer webs of the primaries rich deep blue 



remainder of the primaries and the secondar 



deep black 



breast and abdomen blue 



and under 



let 



feathers yellowish green, deepening 



black at the tip and crossed by indistinct bars of a darker 

een at their base, passing into black 



tint ; lateral feathers g 
their inner webs, and 



pale blue 



the outer, both 



horn 



webs becoming blue towards the extremity of the feather, and 
fading into white at the tip ; irides dark brown ; bill 1 — 
colour ; legs and feet dull brown . 

The females are never so finely marked as the males, neither 
are they so large or so gracefully formed . 

The young during the first year of their existence are of 
nearly uniform green ; at the same time, the hues which cha- 
racterize the adult are perceptible at almost any age. 



■ 







Genus PSEPHOTUS, Gould. 



All the members of this g 



confined to Australia 



and hold an intermediate station between the Platycerci and 



the Mu/ph 



They pass much of their time on the ground 



where the principal part of their food is procured, inhabit the 
interior rather than the country near the coast, and are adapted 
for the open plains, where they often assemble in vast flocks. 






?' 









» I ■ 1 






62 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 






Sp. 426. PSEPHOTUS fLEMATORRHOUS. 

Red-vented Parrakeet. 

Psephotus hamatog aster, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 33. 

hamatorrhous, Bonap. Rev. et Mag. de Zool., 1854, p. 154. 

Platycercus hcematog aster, G. R. Gray, List of Spec, of Birds in Coll. 

Brit. Mus., part iii. sec. ii. p. 7. 
Blue bonnet of the Colonists of New South Wales. 






Psephotus hsematogaster, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. 
pi. 33. 

This species of Parrakeet is an inhabitant of the interior of 
New South Wales, where it frequents the borders of the rivers 
Namoi and Darling; and in all probability its range extends far 



the northward : but 



far 



as is 



known, it has 



been found in Southern or Western Australia ; I met with it 
in tolerable abundance in the neighbourhood of the Lower 



g 






Namoi, where it appeared 

those parts of the 

character, and with which the colour of 



a decided prefer 



to 




back 



which were of a loose mouldy 

o closely 

Like the 
in small 



assimilates as to be scarcely distinguished from it. 

other members of the family, it is mostly observed 

flocks, feeding upon the seeds of the various grasses abound 



g 



It is only when 



bird, after 



flight, alights on the branches, that the splendid scarlet of the 
abdomen, relieved by the yellow of the sides, is seen to ad- 
vantage ; when thus seen, however, it is a truly beautiful object, 
and is scarcely excelled by any other species of the group. 
I did not ascertain any particulars respecting its nidification, 

suppose that it breeds in the districts 
ts I met with it there at Christmas — the 



but 



may 




above mentioned, as 
height of the Australi 

The male has the forehead and face ultramarine blue; 
crown of the head, upper surface, sides of the neck, and the 



chest greyish 
and upper tai 



brown, washed with yellow on the rump 
:ts ; lesser wing-coverts mingled verditer- 





















■»*■#■■■■ 

















INSESSOUES. 



63 



green and blue ; greater coverts rich reddish chestnut ; basal 



half of the external webs of 



primaries 



and 



daries 



d edge of the wing rich indigo-blue ; under surface of the 
shoulder lierht indigo-blue : inner webs and tips of the pri- 




maries dark brown ; apical half of the external web of 



primaries 



grey 



two centre 



deep blue 



tail-feathers light 
passing into deep blue at the tip ; the remainder 



fringed with 



base, largely tipped with white 



blue 



gradually blending with the white on the external web 
upper part of the abdomen and flanks primrose-yellow 
centre of the abdomen and under tail-coverts crimson-red 
irides dark brown ; feet mealy brown ; 



bill horn 



• The female differs in being smaller, and less brilliant in all 
her markings. 

Sp.427. PSEPHOTUS XANTHORRHOUS, Gould. 

Yellow-vented Parkakeet. 

Platycercus hamatog aster, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part v. p. 89 ; 



Birds of Australia (cancelled), part ii. pi. 7. 



M 



p. 154. 



Platycercus wanthorrhous, G. R. Gray, List of Spec, of Birds in Coll. 



Mus 



In the introduction to the folio edition I remarked that I 
had reason to believe that the specific term hamatog aster had 
been inadvertently applied to two distinct species, both of 



which have the 



of the abdomen red, but differ from 



each other in the colouring of the centre of the wing and of 
the under tail-coverts ; a further investigation of the subject 
having convinced me that this is the case, it becomes necessary 

With this 

on of P. 



take some steps for the correction of the 
view, therefore, I have to state that my descript 



hcematog aster , published in the ' Proceedings of the Zoological 
Society ' above quoted, and the figure, with the same name 



attached, which appeared 



the 



d of the two parts of 






N 































04 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 




■ 
I 





















the 



■ 

the ' Birds of Australia/ published prior to my visit to 
country, and cancelled on my return, have reference to 
present species, which has bright yellow under tail-coverts and 
a lengthened patch of saffron -yellow on the centre of the wing, 
while the P. hamatog aster of the folio edition (vol. v. pi. 33) is 
the other species, with red under tail-coverts and a patch of 
red on the wing. The late Prince Charles Bonaparte and my- 
self agreed that it would be well to abolish the term h<Bmato- 
gaster, and call the former bird xanthorrJious and the latter 
hamatorrhous , a course which I here adopt, and trust orni- 
thologists will agree in its propriety. 

On reference to my account of P. hoematorrhous it will be 
seen that the native habitat of that bird is the interior of New 

South Wales, while the present ranges more to the westward, 



having been found in abundance 




Captain Sturt at the 



Depot, and by Mr. White, of Adelaide, at Cooper's Creek. 
There can be no mistake on this point, for I have specimens 
from both those gentlemen now before me. Captain Sturt's 
are a little darker on the upper surface than those transmitted 
by Mr. White. 

Forehead and face ultramarine blue; crown of the head, 
upper surface, ear- coverts, and chest delicate yellowish grey, 
the yellow tint becoming deeper on the rump and upper tail- 



coverts ; 



edge 



of the shoulders, above and beneath, light 
greenish blue; anterior portion of the greater wing-coverts 
and basal portion of the external webs of the primaries and 
secondaries rich deep blue; remainder of the primaries and 
secondaries dark blackish brown with whitish margins, the 



hinder portion of the greater coverts and the tertiaries deep 



saffron-yellow, forming a patch along the centre of the wing ; 
flanks anq under tail-coverts rich primrose-yellow, with specks 
of red on the tips of some of the latter; centre of the 
abdomen rich scarlet; base of the two central tail-feathers 
light olive-green, tinged with oil-green, merging into dark 
blue at the tips, the remaining feathers deep blue at the base, 






* - 



"•■/''.* 



* 



■ '• •-,.' 

















INSESS011ES. 



65 



gradually passing into white at the tip ; bill 
colour; feet nearly brown. 



light 



horn- 



Total length 1 2 inches j wing 5 ; tail 7-J 



tarsi 



3 
4' 



Sp. 428. PSEPHOTUS CHRYSOPTERYGIUS, Gould. 

GOLDEN-SHOULDERED PaRRAKEET. 

■ 

Psephotus chrysopterygius, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xxv 

p. 220. 



Psephotus chrysopterygius, Gould, Birds of Australia, foL, Supple- 
ment, pi. 

One of the greatest pleasures enjoyed by the late celebrated 



botanist Robert Brown, during the last thirty years of his life 



was now and then to show me the drawing of a Parrakeet 
made by one of the brothers Bauer, from a specimen pro- 
cured somewhere on the north coast of Australia, but of 
which no specimen was preserved at the time, and none had 

several were brought home 



been sent to England, until 
by Mr. Elsey, a year or two 



prior to Mr. Brown 



death 



On comparing these with the drawing made at least forty 

years before, no doubt remained on my mind as to its 
having been made from an example of this species. This, 
then, is one of the novelties for which we are indebted to the 



plorations of A. C. Gregory, Esq 



d I trust it may 



be the last I shall have to characterize through the re- 



of this intrepid 



Mr. Elsey, who 



known, accompanied the expedition to the Victoria River, 
obtained three examples — a male, a female, and a young bird 

all of which are now in our national collection. In the 
notes accompanying the specimens, Mr. Elsey states that they 
were procured on the 14th of September, 1856, in lat. 18° S. 
and long. 141° 33' E., and that their crops contained some 
monocotyledonous seeds. 

This bird, which is in every respect a true Psephotus, is 

allied both to the P . pulcherrimus and P. multicolor, but differs 



VOL. II. 



F 














L 



' 






I I 









■ 












66 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 






from them, among other characters, in the rich yellow mark 

on the shoulder. 

The male has a band across the forehead, extending above 



the eye 



poster 



gle, of a very pale yellow ; on the 



of the crown a patch of black ; sides of the head, cheeks 
neck, throat, upper portion of the abdomen, lower part of the 
back, rump, and upper tail-coverts verditer blue, tinged with 

on the cheeks and upper tail-coverts ; immediately 



g 



back of the neck, back, and 



below the eye a wash of yellow ; 
scapularies light greyish brown, slightly tinted with green ; 
shoulder and lesser wing-coverts fine yellow; primaries and 
secondaries black, margined externally with blue ; feathers of 
the lower part of the abdomen, vent, and under tail-coverts 



b 



scarlet, margined with greyish g 



two centre tail- 



feathers dark g 



at the base, passing into deep blue 



towards the extremity, and tipped with dull black ; the re- 
maining tail-feathers light green crossed by an irregular oblique 
band of dull bluish black, beyond which they become of a 
paler glaucous green, until they end in white ; but each has a 
dark stain of bluish green on the outer margin near the tip ; 

colour ; feet mealy 



i 

2 



irides brown ; bill and nostrils bluish horn-colour ; 

grey . 

Total length 11 inches ; bill f ; wing 4J ; tail 7 i 
The female is similar to the male in colour, but all the hues 
much paler, and the markings much less strongly defined. 

In the young state the whole of the head, all the upper sur- 
face, wing-coverts, throat, and breast are of a pale glaucous 
green ; the rump and upper tail-coverts and the tail similar to 

the same parts in the male, but not so bright ; and the lower 
part of the abdomen is greyish white, with faint stains of 

scarlet. 










/ 













. ... • 





^^■M^^^^H 










INSESSORES. 



67 












Sp. 4.29. PSEPHOTUS PULCHERRIMUS, Gould. 

* 

Beautiful Parrakeet. 

Platycercus pulcherrimus, Gould in Ann. and Mag, of Nat. Hist., 

vol. xv. p. 114. 



Psephotus pulcherrimus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. 
pi. 34. 

. The graceful form of this Parrakeet, combined with the 
extreme brilliancy of its plumage, renders it one of the most 
lovely of the Psittacidce yet discovered; and in whatever light we 
regard it, whether as a beautiful ornament to our cabinets or 
a desirable addition to our aviaries, it is still an object of no 

ordinary interest. 

Little more is at present known respecting this bird than 
that it is an inhabitant of the upland grassy plains of Queens- 
land. Specimens were procured by Gilbert on the Darling 
Downs, where it was observed in small families feeding on the 
seeds of grasses and other plants growing on the plains ; the 
stomachs of those examined were fully distended with grass 
seeds exclusively. 

The sexes are much alike in plumage ; but the female is 
less brilliantly coloured and somewhat smaller than the male. 

Band across the forehead scarlet, fading around the eyes, 



d cheeks 



pale lemon-yellow, which ag 



g 



of the under surface : crown 



dually blends with the g 
of the head and nape blackish brown ; sides of the neck 
to the shoulders verdigris-green with yellowish reflexions ; 
back greyish brown ; rump and upper tail-coverts verditer 



blue, the 



g 



coverts with a band of black at their 



extreme tip ; primaries and secondaries black, edged with 
bluish green ; shoulders with a spot of rich vermilion ; under 



g 



and edges of the pinions verditer-blue 



two 



middle tail-feathers olive brown at the base, gradually passin 
into greenish blue at the tip with olive reflexions ; the thre 

r 2 













I 






■ 









68 



BIRDS 01' AUSTRALIA. 



outer feathers on each side with a narrow zigzag band of 
black at about half their length from the base, then greenish 
blue to the tip, 



the inner webs fading into white near the 



extremity 



throat and 



yellowish emerald-g 



each 



feather tipped with verditer-blue ; middle of the breast and the 
sides verditer-blue ; abdomen and under tail-coverts scarlet ; 
irides dark brown ; bill horn-colour, becoming blackish grey 



the base : legs and feet yellowish brown 



Total length 12 




bill 



2 > 



g5i; taiU 1 



2 > 



tarsi f 



Sp. 430 



PSEPHOTUS MULTIGOLOR 

Varied Parrakeet. 



Psittacus multicolor, Teram. in Linn. Trans., vol. xii. p. 119. 

Varied Parrot, Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. ii. p. 182. 

Platycercus multicolor, Vig. and Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p. 283. 

Psephotus multicolor, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 35. 

The natural home of this bird is the interior of Australia, 
where it is abundant, particularly on the plains bordering the 
Lachlan, the Upper Murray and the Darling. It is a true 

Psephotus, and is closely allied to P. haematonotus , but differs 
from that and the other species of the genus in the bands of 



colour which ornament the head 



gs and rump; it is a 



species I did not meet with myself, and of which no informa- 
tion has been given by those travellers who have visited its 

habitat. 

to exist in the colouring of this 



Much variation 



found 



bird 



some 



individuals having the band across the wing- 
bright yellow, while in others the same part is tinged 



red 



The adult male has the forehead and shoulders sulph 



y 



under tail-coverts 



yello 



ump crossed by 



■een and 
put reddish chestnut ; base of the 



three distinct bands of yellowish green, dark g 
reddish chestnut : occ 






primaries, secondaries and spurious wing, and the under wing 


















. 















,*.•;*. * 

f 



* ". * ■'■ r - 




■■ 



^^^^^^^M 









INSESSORES. 



69 



coverts rich deep blue ; lower part of the abdomen and thighs 
scarlet ; middle tail-feathers blue ; the outer ones bluish green, 
passing into very pale blue at their tips ; all the tail-feathers, 
except the four middle ones, crossed by a band of black near 
the base ; remainder of the plumage deep grass-green ; bill 
horny brown ; legs wood-brown. 

The female is attired in a similar style of colours, but is 
much less brilliant, has the throat and breast yellowish brown, 
and only an indication of the bands on the occiput and wing- 
coverts. 



Sp. 431. PSEPHOTUS HtEMATONOTUS, Gould. 

Red-rtjmpeu Parrakeet. 

■ 

Platycercus hamatonotus , Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part v. p. 151 



Psephotus haematonotus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. 
pi. 36. 

This species inhabits the interior of the south-eastern divi- 



of the Australian con 
the Liverpool Plains 



d 



; is abundantly dispersed 
the open country to the 

: it also inhabits 



and 



northward as far as it has yet been explored ; it also 
similar tracts of country in Victoria and South Australia ; on 
the plains around Adelaide it is seldom seen, but as the tra- 
veller advances towards the interior every succeeding mile 
brings him in contact with it in greater numbers. It 
frequently seen on the ground than among the trees : 
evidently gives a decided preference to open grassy valleys and 
the naked crowns of hills, rather than to the wide and almost 
boundless plain. During winter it associates in flocks, varying 
from twenty to a hundred in number, which trip nimbly 
ever the ground in search of the seeds of grasses and other 
plants, with which the crops of many that were shot were 
found to be distended. In the early morning, and not unfre- 
quently in other parts of the day, I have often seen hundreds 
perched together on some leafless limb of a Eucalyptus, sitting 















■ 




■ 

■ 



























70 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



in close order along 



the whole length of the branch 



Their 



hunger prompted them to descend to the feeding-ground, or 
the approach of a hawk caused them to disperse 
movements on the ground are characterized by much g 
and activity, and although assembled in one great mass 



g over the 



ound like Plovers, they are generally mated 



m 



pair 



fact easily ascertained by 



difference in the 



o- of the sexes : the rich red mark on the rump of the 



ppearing, as the bright sun shines upon it, like a spot 



of fir 



This bird has a pleasing whistling note, almost approach 
g to a song, which is poured forth both while perching 



mc branches of the trees and while flying over the plains. The 

eggs, which are white and five or six in number, eleven lines 
long by eight and a half lines broad, are deposited without any 
nest in the spouts and hollows of the gum-trees. 

Crown of the head, back of the neck, cheeks and chest eme- 
rald-green, which is lightest on the forehead and cheeks ; back 
brownish green ; rump scarlet ; tip and under surface of the 



shoulder, spurious wing, and the outer edge of the basal half 
of the primaries rich ultramarine blue ; the blue of the shoulder 
above passing into sulphur-yellow, and forming a conspicuous 
spot of the latter colour in the centre of the shoulder ; greater 
and lesser wing-coverts and secondaries bluish green ; 



upper 



tail-coverts and two centre 



feathers green, passing 



blue towards the tip, which is blackish brown ; the remainder 



of the tail-feathers g 



the base gradually passing 



g 



delicate greyish white on the inner webs and the tips; 

centre of the abdomen yellow j 

under tail-coverts greyish white 

brown ; irides pale brown. 

The young male of the year differs from the adult in having 



thighs dull bluish 
: bill horn 



feet 



those parts delicate g 



grey which in the latter are 



emer 




reen 



being destitute of the red colouring of the 



rump, and of the yellow on the 



of the abdomen ; and 



























' 



■ .. -■'■'-. - 



* • i •; % \- 



'-■;.- 




■ — — 4**^**— 



mi 
















INSESSORES. 



71 



in having the bases of the secondaries and some of the prima- 
ries white. 

Total length 11 inches j wing 5 ; tail 6^ ; tarsi f . 



Genus EUPHEMA, Wagler. 



m 



The members of this genus are exclusively Australian, 
and appear to be confined to the extra-tropical parts of the 
country, no species having yet been seen from the north coast, 
while the seven species known are abundantly distributed 
over the southern portions of the continent, and two of them 



Tasmania 



Sp. 432. 



EUPHEMA CHRYSOSTOMA. 



Blue-banded Grass-Parrakeet 



Psittacus chry sostomus , Kuhl, Consp. in Psitt. in Nova Acta, vol. x. 

p. 58, pi. 1. 
Psittacus venustus, Temm. in Linn. Trans., vol. xiii. p. 121. 
Blue-banded Parrakeet, Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. ii. p. 188. 
Nanodes venustus. Vis:, and Horsf. in Linn. Trans, vol. xv. p. 274. 



Wael. Mon 



544, and 707. 



Conurus chry sostomus, Bourj. de St.-Hil. Perr., tab. 10. 

Euphema chrysostoma, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. 
pi. 37. 

This bird is a summer resident in Tasmania, arriving in 
September and departing again in February and March 



D 



g its sojourn it takes up 



abode in such 



d 



thinly-timbered localities as are favourable for the growth of 
various kinds of grasses, upon the seeds of which it almost 
solely subsists. Among the places in which I observed it to 
be most abundant were Bruni Island, Sandby Bay imme- 
diately adjoining Hobart Town, New Norfolk, Spring Hill 



the 



the banks of the Tamar, and 



Flinder 



Island in Bass's Strait 



As a 



of course it is also 



















: 



t 


































72 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



found in Victoria, that country being in the direct line of its 



migration. 



The Blue-banded Grass-Parrakeet is one of the most beau- 
tiful and interesting of the Psittacida j for whether perched 






the small dead branches of a low bush 



g upon 



the 



ger grasses, ther 



g 



d eleg 



actions. It runs over the ground and threads its way among 



the grasses with the g 



facility, and the little flocks 



usually so hit 
your walking 



upon gathering the seeds, as to admit of 
se up to them before they will rise ; the 



whole will then get up simultaneously, uttering a feeble cry 



and 



& 



% 



* 

a short distance, or flying off to so 
where they sit for a time and ag 



thickly- foliaged tree, 
descend to the ground. 

The breeding-season is at its height in October and No 

vember ; the eggs are usually deposited in the holes of Muca 



lypti, but 



Jly in the hollow trunks of fallen 



they vary from five 
white. 



seven in 



number, and are perfectly 



The sexes present no observable difference ; but the young, 
like those of the Plqjkycerci, have the bill and nostrils of a 
delicate yellow, and the band on the forehead less conspicuous. 

A conspicuous band of deep indigo-blue across the fore- 
head, bordered above by a narrow edging of light metallic 
blue ; lores, and a stripe behind the eye, rich yellow ; crown 
of the head, back, rump, upper tail-coverts, throat, chest, and 
flanks brownish olive-green ; shoulders and wing-coverts deep 
blue ; primaries black, the outer edges of the first three or 
four slightly tinged with bluish green \ centre of the abdomen 
and under tail-coverts yellow; four middle tail-feathers 
greenish blue ; the basal portions of the remainder beautiful 
blue on their outer edges, and largely tipped with fine 
yellow ; irides, bill, and feet brown. 















i ' 



. 



■. -- - 



* . "Z * 



■ V.-' 



■•-.' >'V..;. 



-V /-■ 

















INSESSORES. 



73 



Sp. 433. 



EUPHEMA ELEGANS, Gould. 
Ele g an t Gr as s -P arr akeet . 



Nanodes 



Western 



Ground Parrakeet of the Colonists. 



Euphema elegans, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 38. 

Although closely resembling in size and form the Blue- 
banded Grass-Parrakeet, this species differs from it in several 
minor particulars. The green colouring of its plumage is of 
a more golden hue, and the blue frontal band extends behind 

while in the former it reaches no farther than the 
e difference in the colouring of the wing of the two 

strongly marked, being wholly blue in one, 
while in the other the shoulders and the part near the scapu- 
laries are 



the 



eye 



front 
species 



also 



g 



As far as I could 



present species 



in Tasmania, while the Blue-banded is a constant summer 
visitant to that island ; neither is it common in New South 
Wales, its visits to that country being apparently accidental. 
Its proper home is Western- Australia, over which country it 



is generally dispersed. 
It appears to prefer 
the coast, but occasi 
terior. Elocks were constantly 



barren and sandy belts bordering 



lly 



to the more distant in- 
before me while tra- 




g the salt-marshes, which stretch along the coast from 



Holdfast Bay to the Port of Adelaide ; they 
upon the seeds of grasses and 



plant 



feeding 
which 



there abundant 



tniddle of the day, or when dis- 
turbed, they retreated to the thick Banksias that grow on the 
sandy ridges in the immediate neighbourhood, and in such 
numbers, that I have seen those trees literally covered with 
them, intermingled with the orange-breasted species {R auran- 
tia) % which, however, was far less numerous. When they rise, 









T f 






74 



BIUDS OP AUSTRALIA. 



I 






they spread out and display their beautiful yellow tail-feathers 
to the greatest advantage. 

Gilbert informed me that, in Western Australia, "the elegant 
Grass-Parrakeet inhabits every variety of situation, but parti- 
cularly where there is an abundance of grass, the seeds of 
which are its favourite food : it may be generally observed in 



small families, but at Kojenup, where there 



pools 




and no other water for many miles round, I saw these birds in 
myriads ; but although I shot a great many, they were nearly 
all young birds. Its flight is rapid and even, and frequently 
at considerable altitudes. The breeding-season is in Septem- 
ber and October; the eggs being from four to seven in 
number," of a pure white, eleven lines long by eight and a 

half lines broad. 

The sexes differ but little in their outward appearance; 



but the female is never 
she so large as the male 



bright in her colouring, neither 






A bar of deep indigo-blue across the forehead, bordered 

edging of light metallic blue, which is 

head, cheeks, 

: second- 





above I 

continued over the eye ; lores rich yellow 









scapularies, back, and upper shoulders greenish blue ; \ 

aries deep blue, edged with lighter ; primaries black, the first 

three or four edged externally with greenish blue ; tail-coverts 



golden olive-g 



throat and chest greenish yellow, passing 



bright yellow on the abdomen and under tail-coverts ; 



the 



of the abdomen tinged with orang 



middle 



feathers greenish blue, the remainder blue at the base, and 
sly tipped with yellow ; irides very dark brown j bill dark 



I 



brown, lighter on the under side ; legs and feet dull br 



I 



Total length 9 inches ; wing 4f ; tail 5 



tarsi 



i 

2 






























* 



■. ;" 






"■■■ --' 



p «*" 



'■■:•'• ;•; 



I 



•,'• ' 



~£#> •■•;,■■-;.: • 






■ .*. ' '. 







INSESSORES. 



75 








Sp. 434. 



EUPHEMA AURANTIA, Gould. 

Orange-bellied Grass-Parrakeet 



Mon 



aurantia, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part viii. p. 148. 
chrysogaster, R. G. Gray, List of Spec, of Birds in Brit. Mus., 
part iii. sec. 11, Psittacidce, p. 16. 



Euphema aurantia, G-ould, Birds of Australia, fol,, vol. v. pi. 39. 

Athough the present bird is not so elegant in 



form 



graced with so brilliant a frontal band as several others of the 
group, it has received an ample compensation in the rich orange 
mark that adorns the under surface, a character by which 



it may be distinguished from 



y 



known species 



Like the Euph 



chrysostoma 



a summer 



to 




Tasmania. I observed it sparingly dispersed in the nei 
bourhood of Hobart Town and New Norfolk, but found it in 
far greater abundance on the Actseon Islands, at the entrance 
of D'Entrecasteaux Channel. These small and uninhabited 
islands are covered with grasses and scrub, intermingled with 
a species of Barilla, nearly allied to Atripleoo Zialimus; and 

almost the only land-bird that enlivens these solitary spots, is 
the present beautiful Parrakeet: I frequently flushed small 



flocks from among the g 



when they almost immedi 



tely 



ghted on the Barilla bushes around me, their spark 



however, these 



ling orange bellies forming a striking contrast with the g 
of the other parts of their plumage and the silvery foliage of 
the plant upon which they rested. I made many unsuccessful 
attempts to discover their breeding -place 
islands are destitute of large trees, I am induced to believe 
that they lay eggs in holes on the ground, or among the 
stones on the shore. On visiting South Australia in winter, I 
there found it equally abundant on the flat, marshy grounds 
bordering the coast, especially between the Port of Adelaide 
and Holdfast Bay. 






.'-:-■*■ 





-- *r* J 




■ 
























76 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



It may be a casual visitor to New South Wales and Swan 
River, but I have not yet seen it in any collections from those 
parts of Australia. 

Frontal band blue, margined before and behind with a very 



faint line of greenish blue ; crown of the head and all the 
upper surface deep grass-green; shoulders, many of the 
secondaries, and outer edges of the primaries deep indigo- 

blue ; lores, cheeks, and breast yellowish green, passing into 
greenish yellow on the abdomen and under tail-coverts, the cen- 
tre of the abdomen being ornamented with a large spot of rich 
orange ; two centre tail-feathers green ; the next on each side 
blackish brown on the inner, and green on the outer webs ; 
the remainder blackish brown on their inner and green on their 

outer webs, and largely tipped with bright yellow; irides 
very dark brown ; bill dark brown, becoming lighter on the 
under side ; legs and feet dull brown. 



Total length 8^ inches ; wing 4^ ; tail 4 



4 > 



tarsi \ 



The female possesses the orange spot in common with the 
male, although, in her case, it is neither so extensive nor so 
brilliant. 






















I t 



I 






■ 



Sp. 435. EUPHEMA PETROPHILA, Gould. 

Rock-Parrakeet. 

Euphema petrophila, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part viii. p. 148. 
Rock Parrakeet, Colonists of Swan River. 



Euphema petrophila, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 40. 

* 

I have received specimens of this bird from Port Lincoln, 
in Sonth Australia, but its principal habitat appears to be the 
western coast, where it occurs in great numbers on Rottnest 



and other islands near Swan River 



H 



>) 



says 



Gilbert 



breeds in the holes of the most precipitous cliffs, choosing 



m 



prefe 



those facing the 



and most difficult of 



access ; and hence it required no slight degree of exertion to 






















1 






I 












■ 


















Mi: 







. 




INSESSOIIES. 



77 












. 









procure examples of the eggs, which, according to the testimony 

of the natives, are white, and seven or eight in number. 

" Its flight is extremely rapid, and at times it mounts to a 

great height in the air." • 

The sexes are nearly alike in colour, and may be thus 

described : 

Frontal band deep indigo-blue, bounded before and behind 






i 



with 
circle 



a very narr< 
surrounding 



of dull 



diter-blue: lores and 



eye dull ver diter-blu e 



the upper 



g 



der 



surface yellowish olive 

lighter, and passing into yellow, tinged 



face the same, but 

on the 



oransre 



part of the abdomen 



indigo -blue 



few of 



s 



der surface of the shoulder 

coverts greenish blue; pri- 



maries brownish black on their inner webs, and deep indig 



blue on the outer ; two centre tail 
remainder of the feathers brown 



feathers bluish g 



the 



the base on the inner 



webs, green at the base on the outer webs, and largely tipped 
with bright yellow ; irides very dark brown ; upper mandible 
dark reddish brown j sides of the under mandible light yellow, 
the tip bluish grey ; legs and feet dark brownish grey. 



Total length 8 inches 



g4 



tail 4 J -, 



tarsi \. 



Sp. 436. 



EUPHEMA PTJLCHELLA. 



Chestnut-shouldered Grass-Parrakeet. 

cus pulchellus, Shaw, Nat. Misc., pi. 96. 

(Conurus) pulchellus, Kuhl, Consp. Psitt., pp. 8, 50. 
La Perruche Edwards, Levaill. Hist, des Perr., p. 68, female. 
Psittacus chrysogaster, Lath. Ind. Orn., vol. i. p. 97 ? 
Orange-bellied Parrot, Lath. Gen. Syn., Supp. p. 62. 
Orange-bellied Parrakeet, Shaw, Gen. Zool., vol. viii. p. 468. 
Psittacus edwardsii, Bechst. in Lath. Uebers. der Vog., p. 74. 



Nanodi 



277 







Euph 



Wad. Mon 



Euphema pulchella, Gould, Birds of Australia, foL, vol. v. pi. 41. 
All those who have traversed the " bush " in New South 













r a 









1 















r I 



I 









I 












■ 






78 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



Wales will recognize 
for it must have often 



this lovely species an old favourite 






der their 



during my 



own rambles in that country my attention was constantly at- 
tracted by its beautiful outspread tail and wings as it rose 
before me. Its sole food being the seeds of grasses and of 
the smaller annuals, it spends much of its time on the ground, 
and appears to evince a greater partiality for stony ridges than 
for the rich alluvial flats. When flushed it flies off to a short 
distance between the trees, perches on some dead branch and 
remains there until hunger impels it to return to the ground. 

this bird congregated in large flocks like 



seen 



I have never] 

the JEuphema chrysostoma and JE. eleg 



but usually 



in small companies of six or eight in number. 

I did not succeed in finding a nest of this species, though I 



doubt 



that it was breeding 



Hunter at the time I visited 



n the district of the Upp 

Mr. Caley states, on the a 



of the natives, that it lays eight white eggs in the hole 



of 




The sexes differ so little in colour, that dissection must be 



resorted to to distinguish them. 

Forehead, stripe over the eye, cheeks, shoulders, and 



g-coverts rich metallic greenish blue 



of the head 



back of the neck, upper surface, and flanks bright olive-green 
a bright spot of chestnut-red at the insertion of the wings 






primaries and 



daries deep blue on their outer webs 



and blackish brown on the 



chest, centre of the abdo 



men, and under tail-coverts rich yellow; four middle tail- 
feathers green, the remainder green at the base and largely 
tipped with yellow ; bill and feet dark brown. 

In size the Euphema pulchetta is about the same as the 
Rock-Parrakeet, whose ad measurements are given on the pre- 
ceding page. 









\ 






■: 











1NSESS0RES. 



79 



Sp. 437. EUPHEMA SPLENDID A, Gould. 

Splendid Geass-Parrakeet. 

Euphema splendida, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, Part VIII. p. 147 



Euphema splendida, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 42. 

It is a source of much regret to me, that I am unable to 
give more than a very slight notice of this beautiful bird. The 
specimen from which my description was taken came into my 
possession in 1840, unfortunately without any other informa- 
ation accompanying it than that it was a native of Swan River ; 
from that period no other example occurred until 1845, when 

several were transmitted to me by the late Johnson Drummond, 
who had killed them near Moore's River in Western Australia. 
Captain Sturt obtained a male during one of his journeys into 
the interior of South Australia, and Mr. J. Gardner informs me 
that he has procured examples in the Murray scrub near the 
north-west band of that river, and has been told that it is 
found in the country bordering the head of St. Vincent's Gulf; 
he adds that it is of a very shy disposition, and nowhere very 

numerous. 

The Splendid Grass-Parrakeet has many characters in 

common with the E. pulchella, but differs from that species 
in the entire absence of the chestnut mark on the shoulders, 
in the more intense blue of the face, and in the gorgeously 
rich scarlet colouring of the chest ; and is rendered remark- 
ably conspicuous by the brilliant display of the three primi- 
tive colours — blue, red and yellow — on its face, breast, and 



abd 



omen 



The male has the face and ear-coverts deep indigo-blue, 
becoming paler on the latter ; all the upper surface grass- 
green ; upper wing-coverts beautiful lazuline blue ; under 



wing-coverts deep indigo-blue; primaries and secondaries 
black ; the first three or four primaries slightly margined with 
green ; two centre tail-feathers dark green ; the remaining 









M-i 









J 






: 















: i 






■ 
i 









■ • 















■ 






• r r 



























80 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



tail-feathers black on the internal webs, green on the external 
webs and largely tipped with bright yellow, which increases in 
extent as the feathers recede from the centre ; chest rich deep 
scarlet ; under surface yellow, passing into green on the sides 



of the chest and flanks. 



Total 




th 8 inches ; wing 



The female differs in having the face and wing-coverts, both 



above and beneath, of a pale 
being green instead of scarlei 



d in the chest 



Sp. 438. 



EUPHEMA BOURKII. 

Bourke's Grass-Parrakeet 



Nanodes bourkii, Mitch. Australian Expeditions, vol. i. p. xviii 



Euphema bourkii, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 43. 



For a knowledge of this Grass-Parrakeet 



indebted 



the 



Mai 



Sir T. L. Mitchell, who discovered 



on 



the banks of the River Bogan, during one of his expedit 



into the 



mgs on 
servable 



interior of New South Wales. It is particularly 
lg, as exhibiting, in the crescentic form of the mark- 
the back, an approach to the style of colouring ob- 



m 



the 



■g 



species of the g 



Melopsittacus 



(if. undulatas) ; at the same time, in its structure it so closely 
assimilates to the form of the genus Euphema, that I have 

been induced to place it in that group. 

I did not meet with it during my own expedition, nor could 
I gain any information whatever respecting it j it is therefore 
another of those Australian birds to which I would direct the 
attention of the travellers who may hereafter visit the interior, 

- 

over which it will doubtless prove to be widely spread, for 
Captain Sturt found it in abundance at the Depot in Central 
Australia. 

Band across the forehead, shoulders above and beneath, 
secondaries and base of the primaries deep blue; flanks and 







■ 






















\ '•■ : ■-.•'. ■ ' 



■ ■■■■■-■: ; . ;■.;•- : . . ■: " 









; 






' . . ^ " » 



-' 



■ .■ ■■ . 




■ 












. 






INSESSORES. 



Bl- 



under tail-coverts turquoise-blue 



the upper surface dark 



olive-brown, the feathers of the wings edged with greyish white 
centre of the abdomen salmon-red ; cheeks and the remainder 
of the under surface brown, strongly tinged with salmon-red; 
six middle tail-feathers deep brown, the external webs tinged 



with blue 



three 



each side br 



base, with their external webs blue and the tips white ; bill 



dark horn 



gs and feet brown 



Genus MELOPSITTACUS, Gould. 

The only known species of this form is strictly gregari 
assembles in vast flocks, and is admirably adapted for pi 

i 

and downs covered with grasses, upon the seeds of whic 
entirely subsists. 



Sp. 439. MELOPSITTACUS UNDULATUS. 

Warbling Grass-Parrakeet. 

Psittacus undulatus, Shaw, Nat. Misc., pi. 673. 
Undulated Parrot, Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. ii. p. 179, pi. 26. 
Nanodes undulatus, Vig. and Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p. 277. 
Euphema undulata, Wagl. Mon. Psitt. in Abhand., &c., pp. 493, 545, 

and 707. 
Psittacus (Conurus) undulatus, Wagl. Mon. Psitt., pp. 8, 49. 
Sagittifer minor undulatus, Bourj. de St.-Hil. Perr., tab. 8. 
Canary Parrot of the Colonists of New South Wales. 
Betcherrygah of the Natives of the Liverpool Plains. 



Melopsittacus undulatus, G-ould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. 
pi. 44. 

Among the numerous members of the Psittacida inhabit- 
ing Australia, this lovely little bird is preeminent both for beauty 
of plumage and elegance of form, which, together with its ex- 
treme cheerfulness of disposition and sprightliness of manner, 
render it an especial favourite with all who have had an op- 
portunity of seeing it alive j the more so as this animated dis- 



vol. ii. 













■ i 



1 



i i 






G 







■ 

I 



: 






























■ 





















: 









82 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



positi 
wilds 



as conspicuous in confinement as in its native 



In all probability it is generally dispersed over the central 
parts of Australia ; in 



migratory, appearin 




the whole of the southern portion 
ge flocks in spring, when the 



seeds are plentiful, and retiring 



g 



after the breeding 



more northern latitudes 



On arriving at Brezi, to the north of the Liverpool Plains, 
in the beginning of December, I found myself surrounded by 
numbers, breeding in all the hollow spouts of the large Euca- 
lypti bordering the Mokai ; and on crossing the plains between 
that river and the Peel, in the direction of the Turi Mountain, 
I saw them in flocks of thousands. Their flight is remarkably 



ght and rapid, and is generally accompanied by 



ing 
are 



g 



During the heat of the day, when flocks of them 
motionless among the leaves of the gum-trees, 

they are with difficulty detected. 

The breeding-season is at its height in December, and by 
the end of the month the young are generally capable of pro- 
viding for themselves. The eggs are three or four in number, 
pure white, nine lines long by seven lines in diameter, and are 
deposited in the holes and spouts of the gum-trees without 



any 



As cage-birds they 



as 



g 



possibly be 



imagined ; for, independently of their highly ornamental ap 



pearance, they are 



ntly coquetting, squabbling 



d 



assuming every variety of graceful positi 



Their inward 



g, which cannot well be described, is unceasingly warbled 
forth from morn to eve, and is even continued throughout 
the night if they are placed 



room where 



d 



conversation 



carried on ; indeed I am unacquainted with 
any Australian species which has been brought to England 



has contributed so much to the pleasure of those who 



keep living birds 



I believe I was one of the first who 



duced living examples 



ntry, having succeeded in 

























I 












.A . 






.... 






' * - * 



_ 






. 1 











INSESSORES. 



83 



bringing hom 



e several on my return in 1840. Since that 
period nearly every ship coming direct from the southern 
parts of Australia has added to the numbers of this bird in 
England ; and I have more than once seen two thousand at a 
time in a small room at a dealer's in Wapping. 

The bird has also bred here as readily as the Canary ; still 
it is one which cannot be naturalized in a wild state, our 
climate not having the requisite degree of warmth, nor the 
country producing the kind of food suited to it. 

In a state of nature they feed exclusively upon grass-seeds, 
with which their crops are always found crammed : in con- 
finement they thrive equally well upon canary seed. 

The sexes are precisely alike in the colouring and marking 

of their plumage ; but the female is somewhat smaller than the 

male, and has the colouring round the nostrils of a lighter 
tint. 

The adults have the forehead and crown straw yellow ; the 
remainder of the head, ear-coverts, nape, upper part of the 
back, scapularies and wing-coverts pale greenish yellow, each 
feather having a crescent-shaped mark of blackish brown near 
the extremity, these marks being numerous and minute on the 
head and neck ; wings brown ; the outer webs of the feathers 

k 

deep green, margined with greenish yellow ; face and throat 
yellow, ornamented on each cheek with a patch of rich blue, 
below which are three circular drops or spots of bluish black ; 
rump, upper tail-coverts, and all the under surface bright 
green ; two centre tail-feathers blue ; the remaining tail-fea- 
thers green, crossed in the middle by an oblique band of 
yellow ; irides straw white ; nostrils bright blue in some, 
greenish blue and brown in others ; legs pale bluish lead- 
colour. 

The young are distinguished from the adults by the crown 
of the head, which is yellow in the adult, being crossed by 
numerous fine bars of brown, and by the absence of the deep 
blue spots on the throat. 

g2 




I 






























1 



84 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 






' 









Genus CALOPSITTA, Lesson. 

Like Melopsittacus, there is only one species known of this 
genus. It is strictly Australian, and will doubtless hereafter 
be found to be universally distributed over that vast country ; 
it is equally well adapted for the plains as the last-mentioned 
species, and the two birds are frequently found associated. 



Sp. 440. 









CALOPSITTA NOV^-HOLLANDLE. 

Cockatoo-Paurakeet. 






Psiltacus nova-hollandia?, Lath. Ind. Orn., vol. i. p. 102. 
Palceornis nova-hollandia, Vig. in Lear, 111. Psitt. PI. 27. 
Nymphicus nova-hollandia, Wagl. Mon. Psit. in Abhand., pp. 490, 522. 
Leptolophus auricomis, Swains. Zool. 111. 2nd Ser. PI. 112. 

Calopsitta guy, Less., 111. Zool. PI. 49. 

nova-hollandice, G. R. Gray, List of Gen. of Birds, 1855, p. 85. 






Nymphicus novse-hollandiae, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. 
pi. 45. 

The range of this beautiful species extends over the whole 
of the southern portion of the country, and the bird being 
strictly migratory it makes a simultaneous movement south- 
ward to within one hundred miles of the coast in September, 
arriving in the York district of Western Australia precisely 



the same time that it appear 



the Liverpool Plains 



the eastern portion of the country. After breeding and re* 
ing a numerous progeny, the whole again retire northwards 
February and March, but to what degree of latitude toward 
the tropics they wend their way I have not ' 

to ascertain. It would appear to be more numer 



been able 



factorily 



m 



Durin 



the eastern division of Australia than in the western. 

;he summer of 1839 it was breeding in all the apple- 




(Anf/ophora) flats on the Upper Hunter 



districts on the Peel, and other rivers which flow to the 



north 



I have 



the ground quite covered by them 



























1NSESS0RES. 



85 



while engaged in procuring food, and it was not an unusual cir- 
cumstance to see hundreds together on the dead branches of 
the gum-trees in the neighbourhood of water, a plentiful sup- 
ply of which would appear to be essential to their existence. 

The flight of the Cockatoo-Parrakeet is even and easy, and 
is capable of being long protracted. When it rises from the 
ground it flies up into the nearest tree, almost invariably 
selecting a dead branch, upon which it frequently perches 

It is by no means a shy bird ; and from the 
circumstance of its being excellent eating, many are killed for 
this purpose by persons leading a bush life. 

It breeds in the holes of gum and other trees growing in the 

neighbourhood of water. The eggs are white, five or six in 
number, one inch long by three quarters of an inch broad. 

Considerable difference exists in the plumage of the sexes, 
the tail-feathers of the male being entirely destitute of the 
transverse bars which adorn those of the other sex. 

The male has the forehead, crest and cheeks lemon yellow ; 



lengthwise. 



rich reddish orange ; back of the 



feather 



d the external mar 



brownish grey ; back, shoulders 



jins of the primaries 

the under surface and 



feathers greyish chocolate brown, the shoulders and 



flanks being the darkest 



white mark extends from the 



shoulders lengthwise down the centre of the wing ; irides dark 
brown ; bill bluish lead-colour, light on the under side of the 



ver mandible ; legs and feet bluish grey. 

The female differs from the male in the colour of 



face 



and crest being of a dull olive yellow, the latter becoming still 
darker at its extremity ; in having the throat greyish brown, 
and the back lighter than in the male ; the lower part of the 
abdomen, upper tail-coverts, yellow ; four middle tail-feathers 
grey, the remainder yellow, the whole transversely and irregu- 
larly barred with lines of brown, with the exception of the 
outer web of the outer feather on each side, which is pure 
yellow. 












« 



I' 



I 















< 1 



I 



86 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 






V 





















Genus PEZOPORUS, Illiger. 

Of this terrestrial form but one species is known, which i; 
very generally distributed over the temperate portions of Au 



;lands in Bass's Straits, and Tasmania 



Sp. 441. 



PEZOPORUS PORMOSUS 

Ground-Parrakeet. 



fi 



Mu 



)f< 



Perruche ingambe, Le Vaill. Hist. Nat. des Perr., torn. i. p. 66, pi. 32. 



/< 



ififi 



Perr., pi. 9. 






"Western 



Djar-doon-gur-ree, Aborigines around Perth . 
Djul-bat-la, Aborigines southward of Perth. 
Ky-lor-ing, Aborigines of King George's Sc 



Wale 



V^f W vwy *~wy j u WW' 

Swamp-Parrakeet, Colonists of Tasmania. 



Ground-Parrakeet, Colonists of New South Wales and West 



Australia. 



Pezoporus formosus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 46 



The Ground-Parrakeet is 



diffused over the whole of the 



southern portions of Australia, including Tasmania, wherever 



localities exist suitable 



habits 



procured both 



adults and young 



Plinder's Island, where I found them 



breeding on the grassy plains which cover the greater porti< 

it is e very w here 



of 



island. So far as I could learn 



stationary species. Having very frequently met 



of nature, I am enabled 



state that 



ith it in a 
actions it 



differs from every other known species of its family. Whether 
the power of perching is entirely denied to it or not I am 



but I never saw it fly 



a 



could I 



ever 











mmm 






'. •*■ •' 



* I . 






1 '•»* .v 



■ . 






.- 4* ■ • . 



4 










INSESSOEES 



87 



force it to take shelter on the branches 



It 



lly fre 



quents either 




sterile districts covered with tnfts of 



rank grass and herbage, or low swampy flats abounding 



shes and the other kinds of veg 



peculiar to such 



situations . From 



of running 



very 



habits and g 



powers 



seldom or ever seen until it is flushed, and 



then only for a short 



off 




time; as it soon pitches again and 
;lusion. On the approach of dang 
the earth or runs stealthily through the gra 



of 



it 



and, from the strong scent it emits, dogs road and point as dead 
to it as they do to ordinary game-birds ; consequently, when 
shooting over swampy land in Australia, the sportsman is 
never certain whether a parrakeet, a quail, or a snipe will rise 
to the point of his dog. It flies with great rapidity, fre- 
quently making several zigzag turns in the short distance of 
a hundred yards, which it seldom exceeds without again 
pitching to the ground. Its flesh is excellent, being delicate 
in flavour, and equalling, if not surpassing, that of the quail 

or six white eggs, are deposited on the 



and 



snip 



Its five 



bare ground. 

Plumage of the upper surface dark grass-green, each feather 



ossed by irregular 



of the 
the ce 



bands of black and yellow; feathers 
1 and nape with a broad streak of black down 
forehead scarlet : 



scarlet; throat, neck, and breast pale 
yellowish green, passing into bright greenish yellow on the 
abdomen and under tail-coverts, crossed by numerous irregular 
waved blackish bands ; primaries and spurious wings green 
on their outer webs and dark brown on the inner, each of the 



four 



with a triang 



tpot of pale yellow near the base 



bars of yellow 



feathers green, crossed by numerous narrow 
lateral tail-feathers yellow, crossed by nume- 



bars of deep g 



irides black, with a fine ring of 



light grey ; feet and legs bluish flesh-c 
much lengthened, and of a blackish brown 



claws very 



The young assume the 



o 



of the adult 



very 






I 

I 4 






'• 






1 






li 









1 



■ 






. 















88 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



early age, and the" sexes offer no external difference by which 
they can be distinguished. 



Genus GEOPSITTACUS, Gould. 

Of this form only a single species and a single example is 
known ; nothing has at present been ascertained of its habits. 



Sp. 442. GEOPSITTACUS OCCIDENTALS, Gould. 

Western Ground-Parrakeet. 



acus 



I have had in my possession for many years the skin of a 
Parrakeet, which was sent to me direct from Perth, in Western 
Australia, and which differs, in my opinion, both generically 
and specifically from every other known species. In general 

ing, it resembles the 
but, on carefully comparing it with that 

Bin Pezo- 



appearance, and especially 

Pezoporus formosus ; 



species, some remarkable differences are apparent. 
porus the proportions of the head, bill, body, wings, and 
are evenly balanced, the legs are especially adapted for rum 
over the ground, and the claws, particularly that of the o 



hind toe, are 



kably long 



while, in the bird under 



consideration, the head is disproportionately large, the man 
dibles short and robust, the nostrils high and round, the tars 
and toes short and delicate, and the nails unusually diminu 



when compared with those of other Parrakeets 



com 



plete the differences seen in 
are large and long, while the 



anomalous bird 



■ 

very short. The whole 



of Pezoporus is graceful and elegant ; the present 
bird, on the other hand, is short and dumpy, and much 
reminds me of a diminutive Strigops. 

I need scarcely add how desirable it is that additional ex- 
amples of this bird should be procured by those who may 
have favourable opportunities for so doing. 






, 











* 











r 








INSESSORES. 



89 



I have considered it advisable to give this bird a generic 
appellation distinct from Pezoporus ; ornithologists can adopt 
it or not as they please, 

All the upper surface grass-green, each feather crossed by 
irregular bands of black and greenish yellow ; feathers of the 
crown and nape with a streak of black down the centre ; 
throat and breast yellowish green, passing into sulphur- 
yellow on the abdomen ; spurious wings brown ; primaries 
and secondaries brown, narrowly fringed with a greenish hue 
on their external webs, with the exception of the first three ; 

the primaries and secondaries have also an oblique mark of 



yellow near their bases, which mark increases in breadth and 

in depth of colour as the feathers approach the body ; two 
centre tail-feathers dark brown, toothed on the edge of both 
webs with greenish yellow ; the next on each side dark 
brown, toothed on the other web only with brighter and 
longer marks of yellow ; the remainder dark brown, crossed 
by bands of yellow, which in some cases are continuous across 
both webs, and in others alternate ; under tail-coverts sulphur- 
yellow, crossed on their outer webs with narrow oblique and 
irregular bands of blackish brown ; bill horn ; feet fleshy. 






Total length 1 inches ; 



bill i ; 



wing 5^ ; tail 5 ; tarsi 7 



8 









Genus LATHAMUS, Lesson. 



rn 



The single species known of this form has been assigned to 
a different genus by almost every writer on ornithology, 
Vigors and Horsfield placing it in their genus Nanodes, 
Wagler in his genus Eujphema ; but Lesson, perceiving that it 
did not belong to either of those forms, made it the type of 
his genus Lathamus. 

Having had ample opportunities of observing the bird in a 
state of nature, I concur in the propriety of separating it into 
a distinct genus ; in its whole economy it is most closely allied 
to the Trichiglossi, and in no degree related to the EwphemcB. 



-VT'^ 



■ 



ii 














M i ', 



■ i 









■ 



I 



i 









I ' 









90 



BIRDS OE AUSTRALIA. 



Sp. 443 



LATHAMUS DISCOLOR 

Swift Lorikeet. 

Shaw, in White's Vo v., pi. in p. 



Red-shouldered Parrakeet, Phill. Bot. Bay, pi. in p. 209. 

Psittacus humeralis, Kuhl. Consp. Psitt. in Nova Acta, vol. x. p. 47. 

Psittacus australis, Ibid., p. 48. 

Latharni, Bechst. Lath. Uebers. der Vog. p. 81. 



Perruche Banks, Le Vaill. Hist, des Perr., p. 104, pi. 50. 



Nanodes 



iphema discolor, Wagl. Mon 



545. 



Psittacus banksianus, Vieill. Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. Nat., torn. xxv. p. 342. 



rubifi 



La Perruche Latham, Le Vaill. Hist, des Perr., p. 123, pi. 62, young. 
Psittacus discolor, Kuhl, Consp. in Nov. Acta, vol. x. p. 48, young. 
Trichoglosms discolor, G. R. Gray, List, of Spec, of Birds in Brit. 



M 



Swift 



Lathamus discolor, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 47 



This elegant Lorikeet 



migratory species, passing the 




summer and breeding-season only in the more southern parts 
of the Australian continent and Tasmania, and retiring north- 
ward for the remainder of the year. During September and 
the four following months, it is not only abundant in all the 
um-forests of Tasmania, but is very common in the shrub- 
beries and gardens at Hobart Town. It is frequently to be 
seen on the gum-trees bordering the streets, within a few feet 
of the heads of the passing inhabitants, and so intent upon 
gathering the honey from the fresh-blown flowers which daily 
expand, as almost entirely to disregard their presence. The tree 
to which it is so eagerly attracted is the Eucalyptus gibbosus, 
cultivated specimens of which appear to have finer blossoms 
than those in their native forests. It is certainly the finest 
of the Eucalypti I have ever seen, and when its pendent 

branches are covered with thick clusters of pale yellow blos- 













































' 



wm 




INSESSORES. 



91 



versa. 



soms, presents a most beautiful appearance ; these blossoms 
are so charged with saccharine matter, that the birds soon fill 
themselves with honey, even to their very throats : several of 
those I shot, upon being held up by the feet, discharged from 
their mouths a stream of this liquid to the amount of a 
dessert-spoonful. Small flocks of from four to twenty in 

- 

number are also frequently to be seen passing over the town, 
chasing each other, like the Swift of Europe, whence in all 
probability has arisen its colonial name. Sometimes these 
flights appear to be taken for the sake of exercise, or in the mere 
playfulness of disposition, while at others the birds are passing 
from one garden to another, or proceeding from the town to 

the forests at the foot of Mount Wellington, or vice 
Their plumage so closely assimilates in colour to the leaves of 
the trees they frequent, and they moreover creep so quietly 

* 

yet actively from branch to branch, clinging in every possible 
position, that were it not for their movements and the 
trembling of the leaves, it would be difficult to perceive them 
without a minute examination of the tree upon which they 
have alighted. I found them breeding about midway between 
Hobart Town and Brown's River, but was not fortunate 

enough to obtain their eggs, in consequence of their being 
laid in holes of the loftiest and most inaccessible trees ; they 
are said to be two in number, and perfectly white. 

The only part of New South Wales in which I have ob- 
served this bird was the district of the Upper Hunter, through 
which it periodically passes during the months of February 
and March. 

In its actions and manners it is closely allied to the Tri- 
choglossi, but differs from them in some few particulars, which 
are more perceptible in captivity than in a state of nature ; 
it has neither the musky smell nor the jumping motions of 
the Trichoglossi . I have never observed it to alight upon 
the ground, or elsewhere than among the branches. 

The sexes are very similar in colour, but the female may 



: * 












I 

































■ 



I I 






4 



k r 
















r 






92 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



always be distinguished from the male by being much smaller 



an 



and less brilliant in all her markings. The young 
•ly age assume the plumage of the adult, after which 



they undergo no change. 

Face scarlet, with a spot of yellow at the gape 



of 



the head deep blue 



the upper and under surface green, 



the latter 



being 



somewhat the 



g 



shoulders 



der 



wing- and under tail-coverts scarlet ; secondaries and wing- 
coverts bluish green; primaries deep blackish blue, finely 
margined with yellow j tail deep blue, tinged with red, passing 
into black at the extremity; irides rich hazel-yellow; feet 
flesh-brown ; bill horn-colour. 




f 1 















Ik 






Genus TRICHOGLOSSUS, Vigors and Horsfield. 

This arboreal group of Honey-eating Lorikeets, if not s 



n umerous 
vidually 



species 



the seed-feeding Parrakeets, is indi 



as abundant, and more universally dispersed, being 
found in every part of the country yet visited. Other members 
of the genus are found also in New Guinea and the Moluccas. 
In their structure, habits, food, and mode of nidification, 
no two groups of the same family can be more widely different 
than these forms ; the pencilled tongue, diminutive stomach, 
thick skin, tough flesh, and fetid odour of the Trichoglossi 
presenting a decided contrast to the simple tongue, capacious 
crop and stomach, thin skin, delicate flesh, and freedom from 



odour of the Platy 



besides which, the Trichoglossi 



possess a strong os furcatorium, which bone is wanting in the 
Platy cerci ; hence, while the Trichoglossi are powerful, swift, 
and arrow-like in their flight, the Platycerci are feeble, pass 



throug 



the air in a succession of undulat 



near the 



ground, and never fly to any great distance. The mode 



which the 



& 



roups appr 



alight upon, and quit the 



trees is also remarkably different; the Trichoglossi dashing 











. 






. v; : 



•-•■■.••- 



*•-■ 



'", . -.. . 



• x * ' 














i 



JNSESSOUF.S. 



among and alighting upon the branches simultaneously, and 
with the utmost rapidity, and quitting them in like manner, 
leaving the deafening sound of their thousand voices echoing 
through the woods ; while the Platycerci rise to the branch 
after their undulating flight, and leave them again in a quiet 



The 
number 



no sound being heard but their inward piping 
ggs of the Triclioglossi are from 
those of the Platycerci are more numerous 



Sp. 444. TRICHOGLOSSUS MULTICOLOR. 

Blue-bellied Lorikeet. 

■ 

Psittacus novce-hollandia, Gmel. Edit. Linn. Syst. Nat., torn. i. p. 316. 

multicolor, Gmel. lb., p. 328. 



semicollaris, Lath. Ind. Orn., torn. i. p. 103. 

cyanogaster, Shaw, Gen. Zool., vol. viii. p, 413. 

(Conurus) hcematopus, Kuhl, Consp. Psitt., pp. 6, 34. 

hcematopus, Hahn. Papag., tab. 3. 

hcematodus, Vig. and Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p. 289. 
Trichoglossus multicolor, Wagl. Mon. Psitt., p. 553. 

swainsonii, Jard. and Selby, 111. Orn., pi. 112. 

hamatopus, Steph. Cont. of Shaw's Gen. Zool., vol. xiv. p. 129. 
Australasia nova-hollandia, Less. Traite d'Orn., p. 209. 
Blue-bellied Parrot, "White's Voy., pi. in p. 140. 
War-rin, Aborigines of New South Wales. 




Trichoglossus swainsonii, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. 
pi. 48. 

This beautiful Lorikeet, so far as is yet known, is almost 
exclusively an inhabitant of that portion of the Australian 
continent lying between South Australia and Moreton Bay j 
at least I have never heard of its existence in any part west- 
ward of the former or northward of the latter. It also occurs 
in Tasmania, but its visits to that island do not appear to be 
either 



r 



gular or freq 



The flowers of the various species of Eucalypti furnish this 
bird with an abundant supply of food, and so exclusively is it 



: 
















■ 
* 



* I t 



^1 



' 









' 



* t 



I 






• 






« 






■ 




































1 1 






■ 









94 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



» 

fined to the forests composed of those trees, that I do no 
ollect to have met with it in any other. However graphi 



illy it might be described, I 



ely believe it possible 



convey an idea of the appearance of a forest of flowering gums 
tenanted by Trichoglossi ; three or four species being frequently 
seen on the same tree, and often simultaneously attacking the 
pendant blossoms of the same branch. The incessant din 
produced by their thousand voices, and the screamin 



they emit when 



flock of either species simultaneously leave 



the trees for some other part of the forest, is not easily de- 
scribed, and must be seen and heard to be fully comprehended. 
So intent are they for some time after sunrise upon extracting 
their honey-food, that they are not easily alarmed or made to quit 



the trees upon which they are feed 




The report of a g 



discharged immediately beneath them has no other effect than 

scream, or cause them to move to a neigh- 



bouring branch, where they 



ecommence feeding with 



avidity, creeping among the leaves and clinging beneath the 
branches in every variety of position. During one of my 
morning rambles in the brushes of the Hunter, I came 
suddenly upon an immense Eucalyptus, which was at least 
two hundred feet high. The blossoms of this noble tree had 
attracted hundreds of birds, both Parrots and Honey-suckers ; 
and from a single branch I killed the four species of the former 
inhabiting the district, viz. Trichoglossus multicolor and T. chlo- 
rolepidotus, Glossopsitta australis, and G. pusilla. I mention 

perfect harmony existing between 

ght's rest, however, and the 

Ito this 



this fact in proof of 
these species while feeding 



taming effect of hunger doubtless contributed much 



harmonious feeling, as I observed that at other periods of the 
day they were not so friendly. 



Although the T. multicolor 
Wales, I did not succeed in 



numerous 



procuring 



gg 



New South 
the natives 



informed me that they are two in number, and that they are 
deposited in the holes of the largest Eucalypti, the period of 

incubation being from September to January. 

















/ ■ ' 



:> C 



I I 



I 






JNSESSORES. 



95 



Head, sides of the face, and throat blue, with 



stripe down the centre of each feather 
narrow band of greenish yellow ; all 



ghter 



the base of the neck 



; across the occiput a 
the upper surface green, 
frith scarlet and yellow; 
webs; their inner webs 
black, crossed by a broad oblique band of bright yellow ; tail 
green above, passing into blue on the tips of the two central 
feathers; under surface of the tail greenish yellow; chest 



blotched at 
wings dark 



g 



on 



their 



crossed by a broad band, the 



of which is rich scarlet, 



with a few of the feathers fringed with deep blue, and the 
sides being rich orange-yellow, margined with scarlet ; under 
surface of the shoulder and sides of the chest deep blood-red ; 

abdomen rich deep blue, blotched on each side with scarlet 
and yellow ; under tail-coverts rich yellow, with an oblong 
patch of green at the extremity of each feather ; bill blood- 



red, with 



extreme tip yell 



and bare 



space 



round the eye brownish black ; irides reddish orange, with a 
narrow ring of dark brown next the pupil ; feet olive. 

The sexes resemble each other so closely both in size and 
colouring that they cannot be distinguished with certainty. 

Sp. 445. TRICHOGLOSSUS RUBRITORQUIS, 

Vig. and Horsf. 
Reu-collared Lorikeet. 

Trichoglossus rubritorquis, Vig. and Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. 

p. 291. 



Trichoglossus rubritorquis, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. 
pi. 49. 

This lovely Trichoglossus inhabits the northern coasts of 
Australia, and is as beautiful a representative of its near ally, 
the T. multicolor of the south coast, as can well be imagined. 



In their habits and economy also the 



birds 



so 



closely 



approximate that a description of one will serve for both 
Independently of the richer blue of the head, the red nuchal 































1 



t n 



t ■ 



1 • 



r 



* 



4 


















u 












96 



BTRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



collar and dull blackish olive mark on the abdomen are marks 
by which it may readily be distinguished. 

Gilbert remarks, that " this species is abundant in all parts 
of the Cobourg Peninsula and the adjacent islands, and is an 
especial favourite with the natives, who carefully preserve the 
heads of all they kill, for the purpose of ornamenting their 
persons by slinging them to the arm a little above the elbow. 
It is generally seen in large flocks, feeding on the summits 



the loftiest 



Its flight is rapid in the 



Like 



the other Trkloglossi ', its food consists of honey and the buds 



of flowers 



The sexes present very little difference in appearance. 
Head and cheeks resplendent blue ; throat and abdomen 
deep olive-green ; chest crossed by a broad band of orang 



red 



band of the same colour across the 



put 



below which band 



broader one of deep blue, the basal 



portion of the feathers being red; back, wings, tail, and 
under tail-coverts grass-green ; basal half of the inner webs 
of the primaries yellow ; irides red, with a narrow ring of 
yellowish round the pupil ; bill vermilion ; tarsi silken green 
in front : inside of the feet and back of the tarsi ash-grey. 

































Sp. 446. TRICHOGLOSSUS CHLOUOLEPIDOTUS. 

Scaly-breasted Lorikeet. 

Psittacus chlorolepidotus, Kuhl, Consp. Psitt. in Nov. Acta, vol. x. p. 48. 
Trichoalosms matoni, Vig. and Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p. 292. 



Mon 



Trichoglosi 



chlorolepidotus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol 



pi. 50 



The present Lorikeet inhabits New South Wales. To give 
any detailed account of its habits and mode of life would be 
merely repeating what I have said respecting the Triclioglossus 
multicolor, with which it frequently associates and even feeds 













- ■ ' '. \ 











INSESSORES. 



• 



on the same branch ; it is, however, not so numerous as that 
species, nor so generally distributed over the face of the 
country. The brushes near the coast, studded here and there 
with enormous gums, towering high above every other tree 
by which they are surrounded, are the localities especially 
resorted to by it. 

Its principal food is honey, gathered from the cups of the 
newly expanded blossoms of the Eucalypti, upon which it feeds 
to such an excess, that on suspending a fresh-shot specimen by 

the toes a large teaspoonful of liquid honey will flow from the 
mouth. A proper attention to the diet of these birds by 
supplying them with food of a saccharine character," would 

doubtless enable us to keep them as denizens of our cages 
and avaries, as well as the other members of the family. 

Among other places, the Scaly -breasted Lorikeet breeds in 
all the large Eucalypti near Maitland on the Hunter, but I 
regret to say I did not procure its eggs. 

The sexes are so closely alike as not to be outwardly dis- 
tinguished. 

All the upper surface, wings, and tail rich grass-green; a 
few feathers at the back of the neck and all the feathers of 
the under surface bright yellow, margined at the tip with a 
crescent of grass-green, giving the whole a fasciated appear- 
ance ; under surface of the shoulder and base of the primaries 
and secondaries rich scarlet ; bill beautiful blood-red, inclining 
to orange at the tip ; cere and orbits olive ; irides in some 
specimens scarlet with a circle of buff round the pupil, in 
others buffy yellow. 

As far as I am aware, this is the only species of Tric/w- 
glossus that has the bases of the feathers of the under sur- 
face yellow ; those feathers are, however, fringed round with 
green, imparting that scale-like appearance to the breast of 
the bird which suggested its specific appellation. In size 
this species is intermediate between the larger Trichoglossi 
and the succeeding species, Ptilosclera versicolor. 



I A 









VOL. II. 



H 





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■ 






• 



■ 



' 






I 









I 









■ : 



i 



98 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



Genus PTILOSCLERA, Bonaparte. 

This term has been proposed by Bonaparte for the Tricho- 



glossus versicolor of Vig 



I think the separation a jud 



and believe that other species 



the form will be found 



inhabit the islands lying to the northward of Australia 



Sp. 447 



PTILOSCLERA VERSICOLOR 

Varied Lorikeet. 



Trichoglossus versicolor, Vig. in Lear's 111. Psitt., pi. 36. 
Psitteuteles versicolor, Bonap. Rev. et Mag. de Zool., 1854, p. 157. 
Ptilosclera versicolor, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de PAcad. Sci., 1857. 
Conurus lori scintillatus , Bourj. de St.-Hil. Perr., tab. 52. 
Coriphilus versicolor, G. R. Gray, List of Spec, of Birds in Coll. Brit. 



Mus., part iii. sec. ii. p. 59. 



W 



Trichoglossus versicolor, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. 
pL51. 

There is no Australian species of the little honey-feeding 
Lorikeets yet discovered with which the present could be con- 
founded ; it is at once rendered conspicuously distinct from 
all its allies by the narrow stripe of yellow down the centre of 
the feathers of the upper and under surface. The red of the 
crown and the varied tints of blue and yellow about the sides 
of the face and ear-coverts render it remarkably different from 



the 



also is an 



all other Lorikeets ; the red patch 
additional feature by which it is distinguished from them ; for 
although red on this part of the body is not unusual, in no 
other instance are the feathers streaked down the centre with 

- 

yellow. 

The northern coast is the only part of the country in which 
it has as yet been discovered ; it is particularly abundant at 



Port Essington, where its suctorial mode of feeding leads it, 



like the other members of the genus, to frequent the flowery 


















V* * * 







INSESSORES. 



99 




Gilbert informed me that it 



immense numbers 



d when a flock 



greg 



m 



g their 



movements are so regular and simultaneous it might easily be 
mistaken for a cloud passing rapidly along, were it not for 
the utterance of the usual piercing scream, which is frequently 
loud as to be almost deafening. They feed on the topmost 

js of the Eucalypti and Melaleuca. I observed them 



branch 



to be extremely abundant during the month of Aug 
the small islands in Van Diemen's Gulf. 



The stomach is membr 



d extremely diminutiv 



in size. The food consists of honey and 
the blossoms of their favourite trees." 



portions of 



Could this species be transmitted to Europe, and a kind of 



food suitable to it be discovered, it would form 



of the 



most delightful cage-pets that has ever been introduced 



The male has the lores and 



of the head rich deep 



red ; round the neck a collar of deep cserulean blue ; back 



g s g 



ump and upper 



brownish g 

light yellowish g 

plish red : under surface of the shoulder, abdomen, flanks and 



broad band of pur 



under tail-coverts light yellowish g 



the feathers of 



upper surface with 



stripe of yellowish g 



the 



stripes, being more yellow at the occiput, almost form a band 



ear-coverts yellow 



the feathers of the under surface 



a narrow line of bright yellow down the c 
of the abdomen and down the inside of 



side 



thighs 



with patches of purplish red ; primaries black, margined 



ex- 



ternally with deep green, with a fine line of yellowish green 
the extreme edge of the feathers : tail 



5 ; tail deep green, all but 
the two middle feathers greenish yellow on their internal webs; 
irides bright reddish yellow, with a very narrow ring of dark 



ed next the pupil ; bill 
the eyes greenish white 



and naked space round 
d feet light ash-grey 



The female resembles the male, but is much less brilliant 



her marking 



h 2 













i 



t 


















id 






■ 






■ 






I r 



100 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 






■ 



1 * 



Genus GLOSSOPSITTA, Bonaparte. 






Of this form three species inhabit Australia, and others New 
Guinea and the adjacent islands ; they have many habits in 
common with the typical Trichoglossi , but they somewhat differ 
from them in size and in the colouring of their plumage. 



Sp. 448. GLOSSOPSITTA AUSTRALIS 

Musk-Lorikeet. 

Psittacus australis, Lath. Ind. Orn., vol. i. p. 104. 



Misc 



Paciji 



ifi 






ifi 



Trichoglossus concinnus, Vig. and Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. 

p. 292. 
Lathamus concinnus, Less. Traite d'Orn., p. 206. 

— -- -w^ • . . • ill T i • 



XV. 



Wad., Mon 



and 549. 



Psittacus velatus, VieilL Nouv. Diet, delist. Nat, torn. xxv. p. 873. 



Ma 

Wales 



Musk 



Trichoglossus concinnus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol 



pi. 52 
This species 



inhabits Tasmania, New South Wales and 



I have 



heard of 



er all 

occur- 



South Australia, and is very generally distributed 

parts of those 

ing either in the western or northern portions of Australia 

whence I infer that its habitat is restricted to the south and 
south-eastern divisions of the continent. Like every 
ipecies 



other 



v . of Lorikeet, the present bird is always to be found 

upon the Eucalypti, whose blossoms afford it a never-failing 
supply of honey, one or other of the numerous species of that 
tribe of trees being in flower at all seasons of the year. T * ~ 



It 



















4 -- » > »* - 



k w 
















1NSESS0RES. 



101 



ary in New South Wales, but I am not certain that 



the more south 



untry of Tasmania 



known by the name of the Musk-Parrakeet, from the peculiar 
odour it emits. 

It is a noisy species, and with its screeching note keeps up 
a perpetual din around the trees in which it is located, 
g its search for honey it creeps among the leaves and si 



D 



branches 



in the most 



rdinary manner, hanging 



id 
It 



clinging about them in every possible variety of position, 
is so excessively tame that it is very difficult to drive it from 

the trees, or even from any particular branch. Although 
usually associated in flocks, it appears to be mated in pairs, 

which at all times keep together during flight, and settle side 



by side when the heat of the 



themselves under 
branches. 



shade of the 



prompts them to shelter 
more redundantly leaved 



The eggs, which are dirty white and two in number, are of 



rounded form, one inch in length and 



ghths of 



inch in breadth. Those I obtained were taken from a hole in 
a large Eucalyptus growing on the Liverpool range. 

The sexes present no difference in colour, and the young 
assume the plumage of the adult at a very early ag 






Forehead and 



deep crimson red 



part of the back a broad patch of light 
emainder of the plumage grass-green 

of orano-p. • 



br 



the upper 
>wn; the 



l 



the flanks a spot 
primaries and secondaries black, broadly margined 

base of all but the 
ed at the base, 

m ; bill blackish 
; cere and orbits 



the external webs with grass- g 



inner webs of the lateral tail-feathers deep ] 
passing into yellow and tipped with grass-gre 
brown, passing into reddish orange at the tip 



brown 



yellow 



irides buff, surrounded by a narrow 



of 






















i ' 















■ • fl 







102 



BIRDS OF. AUSTRALIA. 



I 



" 






Sp. 449. GLOSSOPSITTA PORPHYROCEPHALUS 

Porphyry-crowned Lorikeet. 

Psittacus purpurea, Diet. Phil. Mag. 1832, vol. xi. p. 387. 

-purpureas, Wagl. Mon. Psitt. in Abhand., vol. x. p. 747. 

Trichoglossus porphyrocephalus, Diet. Trans. Linn. Soc. vol. 

p. 553. 



• ft 



xvn. 



florentis 



pi. 84. 



Ma 



n 



p. 157. 



Kow-ar, Aborigines of Wester 



Trichoglossus porphyrocephalus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol 



vol. v. pi. 53. 

This handsome little bird 



tralia, 



equally 



is abundant 
at Swan River, 



South Aus 



d in all pro 



bability is dispersed over the whole of the intermediate 
country. It is the only true honey-feeding Lorikeet I have 
seen from Western Australia, a circumstance which cannot be 
accounted for, since the face of the country is covered with 
trees of a character so conducive to the well-being of the other 



shot during the 



members of the group. 

Most of the specimens I collected were 
months of June and July in the neighbourhood of Adelaide, 
and some of them in the town itself. It appears to arrive in 



district at the flowering season of the Bucalypt 



com 



pany with Trichoglossus multicolor, Glossopsitta australis and G 
pusilla, all of which may frequently be seen on the same ' 



at 



time 



As this tribe of birds depends solely for 



subsistence upon the flowers of the gum-trees, their presence 
in any locality would be vainly sought for at any season when 



blossom 



The 
their plum 



precisely alike in size and in the colour of 



Forehead, lores and ear-coverts yellow, intermingled with 
















r t 



i ! I 














[NSESSORES. 



103 



i 

scarlet ; crown of the head deep purple ; back of the head and 
neck yellowish green ; wing-coverts and rump grass-green ; 
shoulder light blue ; under surface of the wing crimson ; pri- 
maries blackish brown, margined externally with deep green, 
the extreme edge being greenish yellow ; tail green above, 
golden beneath ; throat and under surface greenish grey, 
passing into golden green on the flanks and under tail-coverts ; 
bill black ; irides in some dark brown, in others light reddish 
brown, with a narrow ring of orange round the pupil ; feet 
bluish flesh-colour. 



Sp. 450. 



GLOSSOPSITTA PUSILLA. 

* 

Little Lorikeet. 

* 

Shaw in White's Journ.. d1. in t>. 



nuchalis, Bechst. Uebers. der Yog.,, p. 81. 



onurus 



Perruche a face rouge, Le Vaill. Perr., torn. i. p. 124, pi. 62. 

Small Parrakeet, Lath. Gen. Syn., vol. ii. p. 88. 

Small Parrot, Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. ii. p. 194. 

Trichoglossus pusillus, Vig. and Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p. 293 

Lathamus pusillus, Less. Traite d'Orn., p. 206. 

Glossopsitta pusilla, Bonap. Rev. et Mag. de Zool., 1854, p. 157. 

Jerrvana. Aborigines of New South Wales. 



Trichoglossus pusillus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 54. 

This familiar species, the least of the Australian Psittacidce, 
enjoys a range of habitat precisely similar to that of the Glos- 
sopsitta australis, being dispersed over the whole of New 
South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania ; it is, however, 
more sparingly diffused over the latter country. I found it 
tolerably abundant, and killed several specimens on Maria 
Island, near the entrance of Storm Bay. On the continent of 
Australia it is not only to be found in the same districts and 
at the same seasons of the year as G. australis, but it is more 
frequently observed in company with that species than alone ; 
flocks of each often occupying the same tree, and even the 















,i It 



i ; I 



i \ 



w 






i 


















1 








f i 



104 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 






* •• , t 



'I 















same branch, all busily engaged in extracting their nectarine 
food. It creeps about under and among the leaves with the 
greatest facility, and, like the other members of the group, ap- 
pears to be always associated in pairs. As might be expected 
from the structure of its wing, which is admirably adapted for 
rapid progression, it flies through the air with arrow-like swift- 
ness. 

I succeeded in finding the breeding-places of this species, 
and on the 11th of October 1839, procured four eggs from a 
hole in a small branch of a lofty Eucalyptus, growing on the 

flats at Yarrundi on the Upper Hunter. They were white 
and of an oval form, nine lines and a half long by seven lines 

* 

and a half broad. 

The sexes are similar in plumage, and differ but little in size; 
the female is, however, rather more diminutive than the male. 

Face deep red ; back of the neck brown ; all the remainder 
of the plumage grass-green ; primaries, secondaries and gr< 



coverts black, margined 



nally with grass-g 



two 



centre tail-feathers and outer webs of the remainder g 



g 



the inner webs of the lateral feathers fine red at the 



base, passing into greenish yellow towards the tip ; bill black j 
cere and orbits dark olive-brown ; irides orange, surrounded 
by a narrow line of yellow. 















n- 






* , 



. :'•: 






> h 















EASORES. 



105 






Order RASORES. 

- 

If we were to remove the Columbidce (or Pigeons) from the 
Basores, Australia would indeed be meagrely supplied with 
the members of this Order ; for how sparingly do its varied 
forms occur therein ! No bird like the gorgeous Peacock of 
India ; no Pheasant, as in ancient Colchis ; no true GaZZus, 
the bird that from all time has supplied the wants of man ; 
no Grouse or Partridge to herald in a season of sport or 

pastime : a few Turnices, a Quail, and an apology for our 
Perdicc cinerea in the Synoicus australis are nearly all the 
birds of this Order to which she can lay claim ; but on the 

other hand, among the few she does possess, she can boast 

of her Talegallus, her Leipoa, and her Meyapodius, as birds 
whose extraordinary habits and economy compensate for the 
paucity of Gallinacese. 


















;; 


















Family COLTJHBIIME. 

The members of this important family are distributed over 
every portion of the globe, in no part of which are they more 
numerous than in Australia, since that country is inhabited 

i 

by more than twenty species, which, like the Psittacidce, 
comprise several well-marked and distinct genera, and appear 
to be naturally divided into two great groups, the one arboreal, 
the other terrestrial; the Ptilinopi, Carpophagce, and Loplw- 
laimus, with their expansive gullets and broad hand-like feet, 
forming part of the former, and the members of the genera 
Phaps, Geophaps, and Geopelia, the latter. The Ptilinopi 
and other allied forms are, in consequence of the peculiar 
character of the vegetation, confined, without a single excep- 
tion, to the eastern and northern coasts. 

















I ■ - ■■ ™ ■■' 







106 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 






r. 


















Genus PTILINOPUS, Swainson. 

■ 

The species of tins genus, the most brilliant and highly- 



coloured of the Cohmbidce, range over Australia, New Guinea, 
the Moluccas, the Celebes, and Polynesia. 



Sp. 451. PTILINOPUS SWAINSONII, Gould. 

Swainson's Fruit-Pigeon. 

■ 

Ptilinopus purpuratus, var. regina, Swains. Zool. Journ., vol. i. p. 474 ? 
Columba purpurata, Jard. and Selb. 111. Orn., vol. ii. pi. 70. 
Ptilinopus swainsonii, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part x. p. 18. 
Ptilopus swainsoni, Bonap.Coup d'CEil desPig.,Compt. Rend, de l'Acad 

Sci., torn, xxxix etxl. 1854, 1855. 



Ptilinopus swainsonii, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 55. 

The specimens from which my description of this species 
was taken are from the brushes of the river Clarence, in 
which district and in many parts of Queensland it is tolerably 
abundant, the dense and luxuriant brushes affording it a con- 
genial habitat and breeding-place ; but as I have never myself 
seen this bird in a state of nature, I am unable to give any 
account of its habits or economy. The sexes are so nearly 
alike in colouring that dissection alone can distinguish them 

with certainty. 

Porehead and crown deep crimson-red, surrounded except 

in front with a narrow ring of light yellow ; back of the neck 
greyish green ; all the upper surface bright green tinged with 
yellow, the green becoming deep blue towards the extremities 
of the tertiaries, which are broadly margined with yellow; 
primaries slaty grey on their inner webs and green on the 
outer, very slightly margined with yellow ; tail-feathers deep 
green, largely tipped with rich yellow ; throat greenish grey, 
stained with yellow on the chin in some specimens and 
greyish white in others ; breast dull green, each feather forked 
at the end and with a triangular silvery-grey spot at each 













■ ?T, 

















RASORES. 



107 



extremity ; flanks and abdomen green, with a large patch of 

e-red in the centre of the latter; under tail-coverts 




oran 



orange 



yellow ; thighs g 



ides reddish 



g 



bill 



greenish black and horn-colour at tip ; feet olive br 



Total lensth 9 inches : bill 5 



8 ) 



5£; tail 3f ; 



6 "4 



tarsi 5 



8 



Sp. 452. 



PTILINOPUS EWINGII, Gould. 

Ewing's Pruit-Pigeon. 



Ptilinopus ewingii, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part x. p. 19. 
Ptilopus ewingi, Bonap. Coup d'CEil des Pig., Compt. Rend, de l'Acad. 

Sci., torn, xxxix et xl. 1854, 1855. 



Ptilinopus ewingii, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 56. 

This lovely species, which is a native of the Coburg Penin- 
sula, and doubtless ranges over the northern coast of Australia 
generally, differs from the preceding, Ptilinopus swainsonii, 
m being much smaller in all its admeasurements, in the colour 
of the crown being rose-pink instead of crimson-red ; in the 



breast 



being 



pale greenish grey instead of dull 



g 



in 



having the centre of the abdomen rich orange instead of lilac ; 
and also in having the tail-feathers tipped with greenish 
yellow instead of clear rich yellow. 

In naming the second Australian species of this beautiful 
form after the Rev. Thomas J. Ewing, D.D., I am actuated 
by a desire to pay a just compliment to one who has devoted 
considerable attention to the literature of ornithology ; I feel 
assured, therefore, that however objectionable the naming of 
species after persons may be under ordinary circumstances, 
it will not in this instance be deemed an inappropriate mode 



of evincing my sense 
highly esteemed friend 



of 



many admirable qualities of 



Porehead and crown of the head rose-pink, bordered with 

of yellow, except in front ; back of the head 



and neck greenish grey 



the upper surface bright g 



I 









i I 









■ 






'• 




































! 






108 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



r , 



passing into deep blue on the tertiaries ; primaries, seconda- 
ries, and tertiaries slightly margined with yellow ; tail largely 
tipped with yellow, tinged with green, particularly on the two 
centre feathers ; chin pale yellow ; sides of the neck greenish 
grey ; chest pale greenish grey, each feather forked at the end 
and tipped with grey ; below the chest an indistinct band of 
sulphur-yellow ; flanks and lower part of the abdomen green ; 
centre of the abdomen rich orange, in the middle of which is 
a lunar-shaped mark of lilac ; under tail-coverts orange ; 
thighs and tarsi green ; irides orange ; feet olive. 



* i 



Total length 7 J inches ; bill f ; wing 4f ; tail 3 ; tarsi 



5 

8 




■ 



Genus LAMPROTRERON, Bonaparte. 

This genus was established for the Columba superb a of 
Temminck, and two other species — C. porphyrea and C.holo- 



sericea. 



Whether the latter two birds are really of the same 
form as the first I am unable to say ; but the present species 
is the type of the genus, and the only one found in Australia. 



I 



Sp. 453. 



LAMPROTRERON SUPERBUS 

Superb Eruit-Pigeon. 






Columba superba, Temm. Les Pig,, fol. 2nd fam., p. 75, pi. 33. 
Ptilinopus superbus 9 Steph. Cont. of Shaw's Gen. Zool., vol. xiv. p. 279. 
Lamprotreron superba, Bonap. Coup (TCEil des Pig. Compt. Rend, de 

PAcad. Sci., torn, xxxix et xl. 1854, 1855. 






Ptilinopus superbus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 57. 

This lovely species was originally figured and described in 
the splendid work on the Pigeons 
Temminck as an inhabitant of one of the islands of the 




Madame Knip and 






Pacific Ocean ; and it affords me much pleasure to be enabled 
to include it in the Fauna of Australia, specimens having been 
procured by Mr. Bynoe on Booby Island, which lies off the 
north coast : since then it has, I believe, been found on the 







• 



V\ 



y .1 ; «* 









RASORES. 



109 



mainland 



In all probability it enjoys an 



the islands of New Guinea 



The 



specimens pr 



range 
ocured 



by Mr. Bynoe were fortunately male and female : the latter 
sex exhibits in its plumage traces of immaturity ; but whether 
the rich colouring of the crown of the head is at all times 
absent is a point yet to be ascertained, a knowledge of which 



would greatly tend 



up the confusion which reig 



throughout this gorgeously-coloured group of Pigeons. 

The specific term superbus is a most appropriate designation 
for this charming little Pigeon, which must be seen in its native 
wilds before a just conception can be formed of its beauty ; for 



the hues of no other feathered creatur 

newly moulted individuals of this bird 



surpass those of 



The male has the 



crown of the head of a very deep rich 

purple ; sides of the head and occiput olive-green ; sides and 
back of the neck bright rufous; shoulders very dark bluish 
black ; all the upper surface and wings deep yellowish green, 
tinged with rufous ; the scapularies and tertiaries with a spot 
of deep green near the extremity ; primaries and secondaries 
black, si 



ghtly margined 



ny 



the tip with pale 



yello 



grey at the base, to which succeeds a broad band 



of black, glossed particularly on the central feathers with 
een ; beyond this the tips are white, all but the outer ones 



green ; 
washed with 



g 



chin white ; breast grey, below which 



band of black; abdomen and under tail-< 
latter with a stripe of olive down the centi 
the flanks and another crossing the thighs 



rts white, the 
band crossing 



g 



feet 



g 



bill dark horu 



The female has the crown of the head and all the upper 
surface yellowish green, with a small spot of deep blue near 
the tips of the scapularies ; primaries and secondaries black, 



ghtly edged with yellow 



the 



put a large patch of 



deep g 



flank 



g 



chin grey ; centre of breast greenish grey 
centre of abdomen straw-yellow. 






I i : 



I' \ 





















; :. 


















1 


















\/^ 







j 

I 







110 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA 


















. i 






Ifc 



Genus MEGALOPREPIA, Reichenbach. 



9 

The species of this genus are widely dispersed over Eastern 
Australia, New Guinea, and the adjacent islands. Strictly 
arboreal in their habits, and feeding entirely upon fruits, 
berries, and seeds, they frequent the towering fig-trees when 
their fruit is ripe, and the lofty palms for the sake of their 
large round seeds. Their short tarsi and dilated feet are 



admirably adapted for clasping the branches, 
inhabit Australia. 



Two 



species 



Sp. 454. MEGALOPREPIA MAGNIFICA. 



Magnificent Fruit-Pigeon. 



agnifi 



lifica 

* 

Megaloprepia magnifo 



Carpophaga magnifica, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 58. 

This splendid bird, the finest of the Pigeons yet discovered 
in Australia, is abundant in all the brushes on the south-east 
portion of that country, but is less numerous in the Illawarra 
district than in the neighbourhood of the rivers Macquarrie, 
Clarence, and Macleay ; how far its range may extend from 
thence to the northward has yet to be ascertained ; I did not 
observe it in any of the brushes clothing the ranges of the 
interior. Its chief food is the wild fig and the nut-like fruit 
of the large palms. It is rather a shy bird, and from its 
quiet habits is not easily discovered, unless it betrays its 
presence by the hoarse, loud, and monotonous note, which is 
frequently uttered by the male during the pairing-season. 
This note is so extraordinary, and so unlike that of any other 



bird, that 
to what ii 



uses the utm 
proceed from 



who hear it for the first time 



surprise and wonderment as 
the minds of those persons 




■ :*s. ■* 






■ 



' ;--■.. 



;•:■■ .-• 



... J. ■ . ."■■-'■ 











11AS0RES. 



Ill 



The sexes present no external difference, but the s 
sized individuals may generally be regarded as females 



Head and neck pale grey 



rich golden green 



the upper surface and wing 



greater coverts and the tertiaries with 



patch of light yellow near the base of the outer webs, formin 



d 



gular oblique band across the wing ; primaries g 
surface of the wing brown, passing into 



o 



cinnamon 



*^T 



brown at the base of the feathers; tail rich deep bronzy 
■een ; line down the centre of the throat, and the whole of 
the breast and abdomen rich deep purple ; under surface of 
the shoulder, the thighs, and vent deep gamboge-yellow ; under 
tail-coverts greenish grey, washed with gamboge-yellow. 



Sp. 455. MEGALOPREPIA ASSIMILIS, Gould. 

Allied Fruit-Pigeon. 

Carpophaga assimilis, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, 1850, p. 201. 
Megaloprepia assimilis, Bonap. Coup d'CEil des Pig., Compt. Rend, de 

PAcad. Sci., torn, xxxix et xl. 1854, 1855. 



Carpopha 
ment 



assimilis, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., Suppl 



I am not surprised that an additional Fruit-Pigeon should 
have been discovered in the north-eastern parts of Australia, 



since in every deg 



the tropics palm 



trees, among 

which these birds are principally found, become more abundant. 
There exists in New Guinea another nearly allied species, 
to which the name of puella has been given by Lesson. Thi 
bird is still smaller than the present one, and has the yellow 
markings at the tips of the wing-coverts in the form of round 
spots instead of oval blotches : its face and neck are more 



d its back less golden or sulphur-g 



than 



m 



grey, ai 

M. assimilis. 

Numerous specimens of this bird were collected on the 
Cape York Peninsula by Mr. Macgillivray and the officers of 
Her Majesty's Ship Rattlesnake. 












13 









i ' . 









V 







































112 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 






< 



I 



The only outward differences between the sexes consist in 
the somewhat smaller size and less brilliant colouring of the 
female. 

Head, throat, and ear-coverts grey ; all the upper surface, 
wings, and tail sulphur-green ; each of the wing-coverts with 
an oblong mark of rich yellow at the tip, forming an oblique 
band across the shoulder ; line down the centre of the throat, 



1 



chest 



d abdomen rich purple; under wing 



vent, 



thighs, and under tail-coverts rich orange-yellow ; basal por- 
tion of the inner webs of the primaries and secondaries 



cinnamon 



Total length 14 inches ; bill 1 



g7 



6 ; tarsi f 



/ 



Genus LEUCOMELANA, Bonaparte. 

Bonaparte places the next species in his division Pahmbece, 
but keeps it distinct from the other genera of the section. 
Although a bird of large size, it is certainly of a very delicate 
structure, and in this respect differs from the other members 
of the family . 

Sp. 456. LEUCOMELANA NORFOLCIENSIS. 

White-headed Fruit-Pigeon . 

Columba norfolciensis , Lath. Ind. Orn., Supp. p. lx. 

leucomela, Temm. in Trans. Linn. Soc, vol. xiii. p. 126. 



leucomelana, Wagl. 
phaga norfolciensis 



Mus 



• • • 



Alsocomus leucomela, Blyth. 

Myristicivora norfolciensis, Reich. Syst. Av., t. ccx 
Leucomelana norfolciensis, Bonap. Coup d'CEil des 

de l'Acad. Sci., torn, xxxix et xl. 1854, 1855. 



Carpophaga leucomela, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol, v. pi. 59. 

This fine species of Pigeon is an inhabitant of those vast 
primaeval forests of New South Wales to which the colonists 





* 



■ J ' 



£. . - 






■'... - . - ■ 



! 



RASORES. 



113 



I 











. have applied the name of Brushes 



I found it very numerous 



Mosquito and the other low islands near the mouth of the 
3r Hunter, as well as in the cedar brushes of the Liverpool 



range 



I believe that it breeds in both those distr 



d 



that it never quits these luxuriant forests for other parts of the 
country is more than probable, as a plentiful supply of fruits 
and berries is furnished by the various trees at every season 
of the year; the 

constitute a considerable portion of 



wild fig, the palm-nut, and the wild grape 



food 



The slender 



branches 



when it clings to the 
the best and r 



often borne down by its weight, particularly 



erne 



d of the spray 



obtain 



pest fruit 



this mode of clinging and 



many of its actions it far more resembles the larger Honey 
eaters and Parrots than the Pigeons; 



the 



of 



foot is 
perform 
The 



beautifully adapted for the duties it is intended 



powers 



of flight of 



species 



very g 



its 



voluminous wing enabling it to pass from one part of the 
forest to another in a comparatively short space of time ; hence 



flocks may frequently be observed passing 



the tops of 



the trees, forsaking a locality they have exhausted of its 

supplies, and in search of another where food is more 
abundant. 

The nest of this species, like those of other Pigeons, is a 
slight flat structure 



formed of small 'sticks and 



g 



the 



eggs are frequently only one, and never more than two in 
number, of a pure white. 

The sexes may be distinguished by the smaller size of the 



4 



female 



d 



than those 




her colours being less 



gly contrasted 



of 



the male, the yellowish white of the head 



into 



darker 



g of the 



and breast blending 
parts. 

The male has the head, neck, and breast white, washed 
with buff, particularly on the crown ; all the upper surface, 
wings, and tail greyish black ; all the feathers of the back, 



vol. II. 



i 










B 

























'- 













114 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



rump, and lesser wing-coverts bordered with bronzy-purple in 
some, and greenish purple in others; flanks slate-colour; 
abdomen dingy buff; bill for two-thirds from the base beau- 
tiful pink-red, covered with a mealy substance ; tip of the bill 



yellowish white, tinged with 



irides large and of a rich 



yellowish hazel in some specimens, reddish orange in others ; 
naked skin of the orbits mealy pink-red ; feet buff, with the 
scales pink-red and the nails white. 



f , 



Genus MYRISTICIVORA, Reichenbach 

A genus of fruit-eating Pigeons, whose range extends from 
the Philippines, through the Indian Islands, to Australia. The 
general plumage of these birds is white or cream-white, with 
markings of black on the tail and wings. 






Sp. 457. MYRISTICIVOIIA SPILORRHOA, G. B. Gray. 

White Nutmeg-Pigeon. 

Carpophaga spilorrhoa, G. R. Gray in Proc. of Zool. Soc. XXVI. p. 186. 
Mtt-koitt, Aborigines of Port Essington. 



Carpophaga luctuosa, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 60. 
This bird arrives in the Cobourg Peninsula at 



the b 



oinning of November, and departs again in April or May, 
It is strictly arboreal in its habits, living among the branches 

fruits and 
:— " This 



d feeding upon 






of the highest trees, ai 

berries. Gilbert's notes respecting it are as follows 
Pigeon may generally be seen in great numbers wherever the 
wild nutmeg is to be found, and so exclusively does it confine 
itself to the trees in search of food, that during the whole 
time I was in the country I never saw one rise from the 
ground, nor did I meet with any person in the settlement who 
had. It flies very rapidly, and generally mounts up to so great 
a height as to be beyond the range of a gun. The only time 





















RASORES. 



11: 



r 



) 



at which I could succeed 



in procuring specimens 



evening, when it resorts to the mangroves on the small islands 
lying off the shore, or to the dense thickets a short dis- 



inland 



time it may be seen 



g 



small 



flocks of from ten to fifteen to roost for the night. Its 



9, but at times, particu- 
much louder and deeper than 



like that of the other pig 

larly when it has paired 

that of any other species I ever heard 

" It pairs and commences breeding immediately after 
arrival in November, and I have obtained eg 
middle of January. The 

across one another in cm 




3 as late as the 
5 formed of a few sticks laid 
directions, and is so slight a 



how 1 
about 



are that the eggs may usually be seen through the inter- 
from beneath, and it is so flat that it appears wonderful 



eggs remain upon it when the branch is i 
the wind; it is usually built on the hor 



ing 



branch of a mangrove, and it would seem that it prefers for 



this purpose a branch overhanging 



.That it never lay 



than one egg appears to me without a doubt, for upon 
ig Table Head River on the eastern side of the harbour 



of Port Essington I found 



than twenty nests, all of 



Mr. Elsey found it on the Victoria R 



which contained either a single egg or a single young bird." 

ver ; and out of Australia 
it has been met with in the Aru Islands, whence Mr. Wallace 
brought specimens. 

Mr. G. R. Gray states that this bird, which I had 
sidered to be identical with C. luctuosa of Temminck 
distinguished by the feathers of the thighs and under 



con- 



feath 



being spotted 



the 



marg 



d the outer tail- 



with the greater part of the outer web and tip black 



of the thig 



d under 



coverts end in deep black, and the outer tail-feathers in white 
throughout, except on the outer web nearest the base." 

The whole of the plumage buffy white, with the exception of 
the primaries, secondaries and greater wing-coverts, which are 

i 2 












































I 



■ L : 






; 















1 









116 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 












'it 



greyish black, and the tips of the tail-feathers, which are black, 
the black becoming of less extent as the feathers recede from 
the centre of the tail, until the outer feather is only slightly 
tipped j this feather is also broadly margined with black on 
the outer web for three-fourths of its length from the base ; 
the under tail-coverts also have an irregular band of black 
near the tip of each feather; irides dark brown; bill dark 
greenish grey, except the tip, which is light yellow. 



Genus LOPHOLAIMUS, G. R. Gray. 



The 




pecies 



of this genus is strictly a fruit 







Pigeon, and is, so far as we yet know, confined to Australia 






Sp. 458. 



LOPHOLAIMUS ANTARCTICUS 

Top-knot Pigeon. 






Columba antarctica, Shaw, Zool. of New Holl., pi. 5. 

dilopha, Temm. in Linn. Trans., vol. xiii. p. 124. 

Lophorhynchus dilophus, Swains. Class, of Birds, vol. ii. p. 348. 



antarcticus 



antarcticus 



58. 

12. 



Wales 



Lopholaimus antarcticus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. 
pi. 61. 

Although the specific term of antarcticus is not an appro- 
priate appellation for this noble Pigeon, it cannot, I think, be 
sunk into a synonym, since it was first applied to it in a work 
exclusively on the zoology of New Holland, as will be seen on 
reference to the synonyms above quoted. I feel assured that 
Temminck was either unacquainted with the publication alluded 
to, or that the circumstance of its having been previously de- 
scribed and figured had escaped his memory, when he cha- 
racterized this bird in the thirteenth volume of the " Linnean 
Transactions," and subsequently figured it in his " Planches 
Coloriees " under the name of Columba dilopha. 







*.'. - .. 



'■ -, ' 














RASORES. 



117 



I have not yet seen specimens of this Pigeon from the 

appears to be exclusively 



northern 



and 



confined to the rich and luxuriant districts of the southern 
and eastern portions of Australia ; being particularly abundant 
in the brushes of Illawarra, the Hunter, the Clarence, &c, 
where there are trees which furnish it at all seasons with a plen- 
tiful supply of food. So entirely arboreal are its habits, that 
I never once saw it descend to the ground, or even to the low 

ike trees. It is strictly gregarious, often traversing the 
in flocks of many hundreds in search of those trees 



shrub - 
forests 



most laden with 

the entire flock 



s favourite fruit; upon discovering which 
ght simultaneously, often bearing down 



the smaller twigs and branches with their weig 



Among 



ubstances found in the stomachs of those 



specimens I dissected, were the wild-fig and the larg 



d 



probability it also feeds 

; bill and throat are ca- 



berries of the cabbage-palm 

upon fruits of a still largj 

pable of being dilated to a great extent. 

Its flesh is not so good as that of many other members of 
its family, being coarse and dry-eating. 

I had no opportunity of observing its nidification, neither 
could I obtain any information on the subject. 

The sexes are alike in plumage. 

Frontal crest, sides of the head, neck, breast, and under 
surface silvery grey, the feathers of the neck and breast 
being hackled, and admitting the darker colouring of their 



bases to be perceived 



gh the interstices ; 



pital plumes 



red; from the eye to the 



gated 
jciput 



a line of black, which, meeting behind, is continued for 



short distance do 



the back of the neck 



all the upper 



surface dark slate-grey ; primaries, secondaries, and edge of 



the wing black 



ght grey at the base, black for 



mainder of its length, crossed by an irregular band of buffy 



grey about an inch from the extremity 



fiery orange 



surrounded by a lash of pink-red, and seated in a bare mealy 


















t 




mi 

• i 



















i I 









































118 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA 



space of the same colour, but hardly 



bright 



bill bright 









red, inclining to lilac at the tip ; fleshy part covering the 
rils and at the base of the lower mandible greenish lead- 
er in the male, and lead-colour in the female ; feet pur- 
l red ; back of the tarsi and sole of the feet greyish brown. 



Genus CHALCOPHAPS, Gould. 




A genus of Brush Pigeons, which seek their food on the 
ground and live on the fallen seeds and berries they find there. 
Two species inhabit Australia, one of which is confined to the 
eastern and the other to the northern coast ; other species are 
found in Java, Sumatra, and on the continent of India, the 
whole forming a group well worthy of investigation. 




Sp. 459. 



CHALCOPHAPS CHRYSOCHLORA 

Little Green Pigeon. 



I 

1 



Colombo, javanica, Temm. Les Pig., pi. 26, but not the description 

(Bonaparte). 
chrysochlora, Wagl. Syst. A v. Columba, sp. 79, but not the 



habitat (Bonaparte). 



Chalcophaps chrysochlora, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. 
pi. 62. 

The Little Green Pigeon is sparingly dispersed in all the 



brushes of New South Wales, both those clothing the moun- 




tain ranges as well as those near the coast ; how far it may 
proceed northwards has not yet been ascertained. The brushy 
districts are the localities peculiarly adapted to it, and these 
I believe it never leaves for the more open parts of the country; 

* 

hence it is but little known to, and seldom seen by, the colo- 
nists, a circumstance the more to be regretted, as the beauty 
and brilliancy of its plumage and the neatness of its form ren- 
der it one of the prettiest of the Australian birds. When 
flushed, it flies very quickly through the scrub, but to no great 



' ' 









- - . « ' ■ 









m 




RASORES. 



119 



distance, and readily eludes pursuit by pitching suddenly to 

the ground, and remaining so quiet that it can rarely be dis- 
covered. 

I never met with its nest, nor could I obtain, either from 
the natives or settlers, any particulars respecting its nidifica- 



tion. 




The sexes differ considerably 
somewhat smaller than the male 



and the female is 



The male has the crown of the head, face and all the und 



surface deep 



edge of the shoulder snow-white 



nape and back of the neck dark grey 



of the back 



ing 



and outer webs of the tertiaries shining greenish cop 



per 



rump and upp 



aty-black, crossed 



by three indistinct bands of grey ; primaries and secondaries 
brown, largely margined with ferruginous on the base of their 



inner webs ; tail black 




the two outer feathers on 



each side, which are light grey, crossed by a broad band of 



black near the tip ; under tail-coverts black 
the bill blood-red, basal half plum-colour ; 



; apical half of 
feet dull reddish 



plum-colour ; orbits dark grey ; eyelash lilac-red ; irides lila- 
ceous lead-colour. 

The female has the head and neck dark cinnamon -brown, 
approaching to chocolate ; 

than in the male ; face and all the under surface cinnamon 
brown, with merely a wash on the breast of the vinaceous 
tint; upper tail-coverts brown; four centre tail-feathers 



the wing-coverts much more g 



brow] 
outer 



the two next on each side chestnut-brown, and the 
3 on each side grey; all 



; all but the four middle ones 
crossed near the tip with a broad band of black ; and the soft 
parts similar, but less brilliant than in the male. 



Sp. 460. CHALCOPHAPS LONGIROSTRIS, Gould. 

Long-billed Green Pigeon. 




As the bird of this form inhabiting the country in the neigh 









iii; 



I. 







































J 1 



120 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



bourhood of Port Essington differs from those inhabiting New 
South Wales in the much greater length of the mandibles. I 



■ 






have named it Chalcoph 



long 



Its 



■g 



is 



( ■" \ * 



■ 



similar to that of C. chrysoc/dora, but is more brilliant, and 
the bands across the rump are more distinct. 












Genus LEUCOSARCIA, Gould. 

A genus proposed by me for the reception of the Wonga- 
Wonga Pigeon of the Australian Brushes, a bird having many 
peculiar habits. Its flesh being white, and extremely delicate, 
it is one of the best birds for the table inhabiting Australia, 
or indeed any other country. 

The colour of the flesh suggested the generic term I have 

assigned to it. 

Sp.461. LEUCOSARCIA PICATA. 

WONGA-WONGA. 

Columba picata et melanoleuca, Lath. Ind. Orn. Supp., p. lix. 

ar "miliar is, /Ternm. Les Pig., p. 13, pi. 6. 

jamiesonii, Quoy et Gaim. Voy. Zoolog., p. 123. 



Colombe Goad-gang, Temm. Les Pig., p. 118. 

Phaps picata, G. K. Gray, Gen. of Birds, vol. ii. p. 477, Phaps, sp. 4. 

Wong a-wong a , Aborigines of New South Wales. 

White-fleshed and Wonga-wonga Pigeon, Colonists of New South Wales. 



Leucosarcia picata, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 63 

This Pigeon must always be an object of 



from 



g 



size 



d the whiteness of its flesh rendering 



g 



delicacy for the table ; m 
other member of its family 



which 



pect 



d 



only 



all 



ap 



proximatin g 



it being the Geopfiaps 



It is to b 



the 



gretted that a bird possessing so many qualifications should 
)t be generally dispersed over the country, but such is not 
case. To look for it on the plains or in any of the open 



hilly parts would be useless; no 



dist 



than the 




L * 






[ 










RASOUES. 



121 



of coast of New South 



brushes which stretch along the 

Wales, or those clothing the sides of the hills of the 

being favoured with its 



presence 



The same kind of 



s that are suited to the Brush Turkey {Talegallus lathami), 
Menura and the Satin -bird are equally adapted to those 



of the Wong 



distribution, therefore 



Aus 



be 



mainly depends upon whether the surface of the country 



be not clothed with that 



character of veg 



common to t 
the length of 



portion of the continent. As 



would lead one to 



pect 



ipends 



most of its time on the ground, where it feeds upon the seeds 
and stones of the fallen fruits of the towering trees under 

whose shade it dwells, seldom exposing itself to the rays of 
the sun, or seeking the open parts of the forest. While tra- 
versing these solitudes, the explorer is frequently startled by 
the sudden rising of the Wonga-wonga, the noise of whose 
wings is not very different from that made by the rising of a 
Pheasant. Its flight is not of long duration, this power being 
merely employed to remove it to a sufficient distance to avoid 
detection by again descending to the ground, or mounting to 



branch of a neighbour 



tree. 



I had frequent oppor 



tunities of personally observing it at Illawarra, on the low 
islands at the mouth of the river Hunter, and in the cedar- 
brushes of the Liverpool range. During my encampment in 
each of these parts, it was always secured whenever an oppor- 
tunity occurred, for the purpose of eatin 




Of the nidification of this valuable bird I could 



g 



no 



precise information 



The 



present 



difference in the marking 



of their plumage, but the female is som 
male in size. 



inferior to the 






face 



Lores black ; forehead and chin white ; all the upper 






thi 



ree lateral 



gs, and tail deep slate-grey ; primaries brown ; the 

tail-feathers on each side tipped with white; 



sides of the head light grey, gradually passing into the greyish 




































1 22 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA 






: 



• I 1 
■ 


















black of the breast, which latter colour is interrupted on each 
side by a broad line of white which passes obliquely down, 
and meets on the centre of the breast near the lower margin 
of the greyish black ; feathers of the abdomen and flanks 

■ 

white, the latter with a triangular black spot near the ex- 
tremity of each feather ; under tail-coverts dark brown, largely 
tipped with buff, particularly on the inner webs ; irides very 
dark brown, surrounded by a narrow pink-red lash ; tip of the 
bill purplish black ; base of the bill and the fleshy operculum 
covering the nostrils pink-red ; legs and feet bright pink-red. 



of the family, being universally distri 



L | 






Genus PHAPS., Setby. 

The species of the genus Phwps, a form which I believe to 
be confined to Australia, are more widely dispersed than those 
of any other section 

buted over the entire country from north to south and from 
east to west ; even the parched deserts of the interior are 
visited by them if a supply of water sufficient for their exist- 
ence be within reach of their evening flight, which is per- 
formed with the most extraordinary rapidity and power. 



■ p 



Sp. 462. 



PHAPS CHALCOPTERA. 
Common Bronze-wing. 



_ 

I 



Columba chalcoptera, Lath. Ind. Orn., vol. ii. p. 604. 
Bronze-winged Pigeon, Lath. Gen. Syn. Supp. vol. ii. p. 266. 
Peristera chalcoptera, Swains. Class, of Birds, vol. ii. p. 349. 
Phaps chalcoptera, Selby, Nat. Lib. Orn., vol. v. Pigeons, p. 195, pi. 21 
Ou-da, Aborigines of Western Australia. 
Ar-a-war-ra-wa, Aborigines of Port Essington. 

- 

Bronze Pigeon, Colonists of Swan River. 



Peristera chalcoptera, Gould, Birds of Australia, foL, vol. v. pi. 64. 
The Bronze-winged Pigeon is so generally distributed ovej 



parts of Australia, that, without a 



g 



pt 



the 



* 




















* 







RASORES. 



123 



colonists of 



every settlement have found the surrounding 
country inhabited by this fine bird. Specimens from Port 
Essington, Swan River, Tasmania, and New South Wales 
differ so little from each other, either in their size or mark- 



ings, that they must all be regarded as one and the same 



species. At Swan River it is said to be migratory, and to 
be met with in the interior of that part of the country in large 
flocks. At Port Essington, on the contrary, it would seem 
to be stationary. 

It is a plump, heavy bird, weighing when in good condition 

fully a pound ; and is constantly eaten by every class of 
persons resident in Australia. Its amazing powers of flight 

enable it to pass in an incredibly short space of time over 
a great expanse of country, and just before sunset it may 



be observed swiftly 



winging 



its way over the plains or 



down the gullies to its drinking-place. During the long 



drought of 1839-40, when I was encamped at the northern 

extremity of the Brezi range, I had daily opportunities 

of observing the arrival of this bird to drink ; the only 
water for miles, as I was assured by the natives, being that in 

the immediate vicinity of my tent, and that merely the 

scanty supply left in a few small natural basins in the rocks, 

which had been filled by the rains of many months before. 
This peculiar situation afforded me an excellent opportunity 
for observing not only the Bronze-wing, but many other birds 
inhabiting the neighbourhood : few if any of the true insecti- 
vorous or fissirostral birds came to the water-holes ; but, on 
the other hand, those species that live upon grain and seeds, 
particularly the Parrakeets and Honey-eaters (IHc/toplossi and 
Meliphagi), were continually rushing down to the edges of 
the pools, utterly regardless of my presence, their thirst quite 
overcoming their sense of danger ; seldom, if ever, however, 
did the Bronze-wing make its appearance during the heat 
of the day, but at sundown it arrived with arrow-like swift- 



ness, either singly or in pairs. It did not descend at once 















• 





































































- 



I 






124 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA 



r: 






I I 















to the edge of the pool, but dashed down to the ground at 
about ten yards' distance, remained quiet for a short time, 



then walked leisurely to the water, and, after drinking, 
winged its way to its roosting-place : with a knowledge, there- 
fore, of the habits of this bird, the weary traveller may always 
know when he is in the vicinity of water ; and, however arid 
the appearance of the country may be, if he observes the Bronze- 
wing wending its way to a given point, he may be certain 
to procure a supply of water. When rain has fallen in abun- 
dance, and the rivers and lagoons are filled, the case is mate- 
rially altered ; then the Bronze-wing and many other birds 

are not so easily procured. 

It has been supposed that a partial exodus of this species 
takes place from time to time, a circumstance which I think 
is very probable, as its numbers are sometimes suddenly in- 
creased. After the breeding season is over, both the adults 
and young resort to the stubble-fields of the settlers, when 



from twenty to thirty brace may be killed in a day. Although, 



I 



. i 









as I have before stated, the Bronze-wing is an excellent article 
of food, it must yield the palm in this respect to the Wonga- 
wonga Pigeon (Leucosarcia jpicatd) and the Partridge Bronze- 
wing (GeopAaps scrip ta), whose flesh is white and more deli- 
cate in flavour. 

The Bronze-wing feeds almost entirely on the ground, where 
it finds the various kinds of leguminous seeds that constitute its 
food. It breeds during August and four following months, and 
often rears two or more broods ; the eggs are white and two 
in number, one inch and three-eighths long and one inch broad. 

Its nest, which is very similar to that of the other members 
of the family, is a frail structure of small twigs, rather hollow 
in form, and is usually placed on the horizontal branch of an 
apple- or gum-tree near the ground, those trees growing on 
flat meadow land near water being evidently preferred. This 
species is very frequently seen in confinement, both in its 
native country and in England. 


















RASORES. 



125 



Forehead in some deep buff, in others buffy white ; line 
under the eye and the chin yellowish white • crown of the 
head and occiput dark brown, bounded on the sides with 
plum-colour ; sides of the neck grey ; back of the neck and 
all the upper surface brown, each feather margined with tawny 
brown ; wings brown, with paler edges ; each of the coverts 
with an oblong spot of rich lustrous coppery bronze on the 
outer web near the base, the outline of which towards the 
extremity of the feather is sharply defined ; tip of each of the 



coverts grey, fading into white on the extreme tip ; two or 



three of the tertiaries with an oblong spot of lustrous green 
on their outer webs at the base, bounded by a narrow line of 

buff; two centre tail-feathers brown ; the remainder deep 

grey, crossed by a band of black near the tip ; under surface 

of the wing and inner edges of the primaries and secondaries 

ferruginous; breast deep vinaceous, passing into greyish on 

the centre of the abdomen and under tail-coverts ; irides dark 

reddish brown ; bill blackish grey ; legs and feet carmine-red. 



Sp. 463. 



PHAPS ELEGANS 
Brush Bronze-wing, 



Columba elegans, Temm. Les Pig., fol., p. 56, pi. 22 
Opaline Pigeon, Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. viii. p. 33. 
Columba lawsonii, Sieber, Isis, No. 67. 

Oo-da, Aborigines of Western Australia. 
Little Bronze Pigeon, Colonists of Swan River. 



Peristera elegans, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 65. 

This species is neither so plentiful nor so widely distributed 
as the Common Bronze-wing (Phaps chalcoptera) ; it is, how- 
ever, tolerably abundant in Tasmania, the islands in Bass's 
Straits, and the whole of the southern portion of the Australian 
continent, from Swan River on the west to Moreton Bay on 
the east. In Tasmania it is very numerous, from Circular 
Head to the north-eastern corner of the island. It affects 



r 









1 









! 
\ 



















I. 












120 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 






| 



the most scrubby localities, giving preference to such, as are low 
and swampy ; and I have never seen it perch on the branches 
of trees. When flushed it rises very quickly with a loud 
burring noise similar to that made by the rising of a Partridge. 
The shortness of its wings and tail, and the extreme depth of 
its pectoral muscle, render its appearanee more plump and 



It is 



a very 



I 
I 



round than that of the generality of Pigeons. 
difficult bird to shoot, from its inhabiting the denser parts 
of the scrub, from which it is not easily driven. It flies 
but little, rarely for a greater distance than to cross a gully 

or top a ridge before it again abruptly descends into the 



scrub. 



Its food consists of 



ds and berries of various kind 






particularly in Tasmania of a plant there called Boobyaller. 

I believe it never migrates, but merely removes from one 
locality to another, as food may be more or less abundant. 

Its note, more lengthened than that of the Common 
Bronze- wing, is a low and mournful strain, and is more often 
repeated towards the close of the evening than at any other 
time. As an article of food it is by no means to be despised. 
On a comparison of this species with the Phaps c/ialcoptera, 
the two birds will be found to differ materially in structure ; 
the wings of the present species being shorter, and the tail 
comprising a smaller number of feathers, than that of the 
other. 

The sexes differ so little in the colouring of their plumage 
that dissection is requisite to distinguish them. 

In Western Australia it has been observed to breed some- 
times on the ground, and in a fork of the XanthorrJicea or 
grass-tree ; 
the eggs as 



the nest being formed of a few small sticks, and 
usual being white and two in number, fifteen 



black 



lines long by eleven lines broad. 
Forehead light chestnut; lore 
and nape dark grey; a broad 
commences at the posterior part of the eye and 



of the head 



line of rich deep chestnut 






. 









H 







RAS0RES. 



127 



occiput ; on the throat a small gorget-shaped mark of reddish 
chestnut; all the upper surface rich deep lustrous chestnut, 
becoming gradually paler on the rump and upper tail-coverts ; 
primaries dark brown, with pale edges, and broadly margined 
on the base of their external webs with ferruginous ; a few of 
the wing-coverts with an oblong spot of rich lustrous coppery 
bronze on the outer web near the base, the outline of which 
towards the extremity of the feather is sharply denned and 
bounded by a line of whitish grey ; others of the coverts are 
similarly ornamented with a spot of golden-green, and others 
with deep bluish green, bounded by a more conspicuous line 
of white; four central tail-feathers brown; the remainder 
grey at the base and tipped with brown, the two colours 



separated 




a broad band of dull black, which band is 



continued, but is much less apparent upon the central feathers ; 
sides of. the neck and all the under surface grey, which 
becomes paler on the abdomen and under tail-coverts ; irides 
very dark brown ; feet bright pink-red. 



Sp. 464. 



PHAPS HISTRIONICA, Gould. 
Harlequin Bronzewing. 



Columba (Peristera) histrionica, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part viii. 

p. 114. 



Peristera histrionica, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 66. 

I first met with this new and beautiful Pigeon on the 
2nd of December 1839, while encamped on the banks of the 
Mokai, a river which rises in the Liverpool range, and falls 
into the Namoi. 

I was strolling beside the stream at sunrise, when one of 
these birds rose from the water's edge, flew to the distance of 



forty yards, and 



<g 



ghted on the ground, where it 



assumed much of the air and actions of a Sand- Grouse 
{Pterocles) . A fortnight after this I descended about one hun- 
dred and fifty miles down the Namoi, and while traversing the 






I 































\ 










128 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 






extensive plains, studded here and there with patches of trees 
that skirt the Nundawar range, I was suddenly startled by 
an immense flock of these birds rising before me, and again 
alighting on the ground at a short distance; finding they 
would not admit of near approach, I secreted myself, and 



desired my aboriginal companion Natty to go round and turn 






the flock towards me : the whole simultaneously rose as before 
with a loud burring noise, so closely packed, that had they 
not passed me at a considerable distance, many must have 
fallen to my shot ; as it was I succeeded in obtaining four, 
two of which were males. About a week afterwards, while 
returning from a kangaroo hunt on a distant part of the same 
plain, we approached a small group of Myalls {Acacia pendula), 



and Natty suddenly called out, " Look, massa ; in an instant 
the air before us seemed literally filled with a dense mass of 
these birds, which had suddenly risen from under the trees at 
his exclamation ; we had scarcely time to bring our guns to 









the shoulder before they 



venty 



ghty yards off 




our united discharge, however, brought down eight additional 

specimens, all of which, bein 
about, attracted the attentioi 
was with the greatest difficulty they could be prevented from 



ily winged and fluttering 
of our kangaroo dogs, and it 



g them to pieces 



midst of the scramble, a Kite 



with the utmost audacity, came to the attack, and would 
doubtless have carried off his share, had not the contents of 
my second barrel stopped his career. This was the last time 
I met with the Harlequin Bronzewing. I took every oppor- 
tunity of making inquiries respecting it of the natives of the 
interior, and of the stockmen at the out stations, both of 
whom assured me they had never observed it before the 
present season. If this assertion be correct, and there seems 
to be no reason for doubting it, whence had this fine bird 
made its appearance ? May we not reasonably suppose that it 



had migrated from the central regions of this vast continent, 



which has yet much in store for future discovery ? The great 






RASORES. 



120 



4 

length of wing which this bird possesses admirably adapts 
for inhabiting such districts as those of which the far interi 
is generally imagined to be composed, since by this means 



may readily pass 



of territory; this great 



power of flight is also a highly necessary qualification to enable 
it to traverse the great distances it is probably often necessi- 
tated to do in search of water. 

On dissecting the specimens obtained, I found their crops 
half filled with small hard seeds, which they procured from the 
open plains, but of what kinds I was unable to determine. 

Forehead, stripe from behind the eye, forming a circle 
round the ear-coverts, and a crescent-shaped mark across the 

snow-white; the remainder of the head, throat, and 



throat snow 
ear-coverts 
flanks, and two 



black 



all the upper surface 



g 



centre tail-feathers deep cinnamon-brown 
edge of the shoulder dull white ; spurious wing bluish grey 
slightly margined with white ; primaries brownish grey, mar- 



gined 



their 



web with rufous at the base, largely 



marked with the same on the inner web, forming a conspicuous 
patch on the under surface of the wing, and with an oval spot 



of white at the tip of each feather 



daries crossed by 



beautiful deep crimson bronze on the outer webs near the tip ; 
lateral tail-feathers bluish grey at the base, passing into black 
towards the extremity, which is white ; breast and centre of 
the abdomen bluish grey ; under tail-coverts light buff; 



nos- 



trils and bill black ; bare skin surrounding the eye purplish 
black ; irides dark brown ; frontal scales of the legs and feet 
lilac-red ; hind part flesh-red. 

Total length 1 0| inches ; bill 1 ; wing 8 ; tail 3 

The female has only a 



2 > 



1 



faint 



indication of the marking 

which adorn the male, and is altogether much less brilliant ii 
her 



appearance. 
"This beautiful Pi 
habitant of the interir 



D 



says Capt 



Sturt 



(C 



is an m- 



mterior. It lays its eggs in February, depo- 
g them under any low bush in the middle of the open 



vol. II. 



K 






I 



i 









: 



























130 



BIRDS OH 1 AUSTRALIA. 



• 



plains. 



In the latter part of March and the beginning of April 






' 






they collect in large flocks, and live on the seed of the rice- 
grass, which the natives also collect for food. During' the 
short period this harvest lasts the flavour of this Pigeon is 
most delicious, but at other times it is indifferent. It flies to 
water at sunset, but, like the Bronze- wing, only wets the bill. 
It is astonishing, indeed, that so small a quantity as a bare 
mouthful should be sufficient to quench its thirst in the 
burning deserts it inhabits. It left us in the beginning of 
May, and I think migrated to the N.E., for the further we 
went to the westward the fewer did we see of it." 

Gilbert observed this species in vast flocks on the plains in 
latitude 19° S. 

Mr. Elsey only observed it on the Victoria in April and May. 

Mr. White, of Adelaide, informs me that he saw great 
numbers of this species round Lake Hope in October and a 
part of November; the birds were then travelling south- 
ward in large flocks. 



Genus GEOPHAPS, Gould. 

The members of this genus are peculiar to Australia ; they 
are more terrestrial in their habits than any other form of 
Pigeons inhabiting that country ; incubate on the ground ; 
inhabit the plains and open downs ; have white pectoral 
muscles ; and are excellent food for man. 



*M. 



Sp. 465. GEOPHAPS SCRIPTA. 

Partridge Bronze-wing. 

Columba scripta, Temm. PI. Col. 187, 

inscripta, Wagl. Syst. Av., Columba, sp. 59. 



Peristera scripta. Swains. Class, of Birds, vol. ii. p. 349 









Geophaps scripta, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 67. 
This Pigeon has more than ordinary claims to the attention 















< i ^ 












■ * 4 



RASORES. 



131 



both of the ornithologist and the epicure, since to the first it 
is of interest as being a typical example of a minor group of 
the Cohmbida, whose habits and economy are very peculiar, 



d to the second as a most delicate viand for the table 

of the very best birds I ate while 



It 



my opinion 



is unquestionably 

Australia ; and, in 

other part of the world ; for, as in the Wonga-wong 

the upper and under pectoral muscles are white, juicy and de 

licately flavoured. It is to be regretted that a bird pos 



second to none in any 

t, both 



such high qualifi 



an 



of food should 



be so exclusively a denizen of the plains of the interior that 



few except inland 



for it would be of 



pecial interest to the sportsman from its offering a closer 
semblance to the Gattinacea than any other Pigeon. 
I sometimes observed it in pairs, but more frequently in 

to six in number, which, when ap- 
proached, instead of seeking safety by flight, ran off with 
exceeding rapidity in an opposite direction, and crouched down, 



flocks of from four 



either on the bare 
appeared to offer 
laid until all 




or among any scanty herbage that 



the best shelter 



but trodden 



upon 



, and where they often 
It was not unfrequently 
killed by bullock-drivers with their whips, while passing along 
the roads with their teams. When it does rise, it flies with 
extreme rapidity, making a loud burring noise with the wings 
and generally spinning off to another part of the plain, or to 
the horizontal branch of a tree, on which it immediately 
squats in the same line with the limb, from which it is not 
easily distinguished or driven off. 

bird on the Liverpool Plains, whence 



I met with this 

far as I proceeded on the Lower Namoi 



peared to incre 
dant on all the 



its numbers 
I have also heard that it is equally ab 



ap 



d banks of the rivers between New 

alia; and Mr. 



South Wales and the Murray in South Australia ; ai 
Elsey informed me that the Squatter or Partridge Bronze 



g is numer 




Lower Burdekin and in the scrub 

k2 






L i 












*'!; 


















ij 









132 



BIRDS OP AUSTRALIA. 









■ 



; 






of the Suttor and Dawson ; but I have never yet observed it 
in collections either from the northern or western portions of 
the continent. 

The eggs are two in number, and are deposited on the bare 
ground without any nest. The young both run and fly 
strongly when they are only as large as a quail, as I satisfac- 
torily ascertained by killing one which rose before me ; but 
at what bird I had fired I had not the slightest conception 

until I picked it up. 

In speaking of this bird as an inhabitant of the plains, I 

must not fail to mention that it was far more abundant on such 
as were intersected by rivers and waterholes ; in fact, water 
seemed to be essential to its existence. Its chief food is the 
seeds of various grasses and other small plants, to which are 
added at some seasons insects and berries. 

There is so little difference in the plumage of the sexes, 
that it is necessary to resort to dissection to distinguish the 
male from the female. 

Head, all the upper surface and chest light brown, the ex- 
tremities of the wing-coverts and the edges of the primaries 
being much paler ; the outer webs of several of the greater 
coverts with a speculum of greenish purple obscured, 
barred with a darker tint ; chin and throat, a broad stripe 
from the lower mandible to beneath the eye, another stripe 
from the posterior angle of the eye down the side of the neck, 
and a spot on the side of the neck snow-white, the interspaces 
being jet-black, the latter colour surrounding the eye, and also 
forming a crescent across the lower part of the throat j abdo- 
men grey ; flanks white ; all but the two centre tail-feathers 
greyish brown at the base and largely tipped with black j bill 
black ; irides black ; naked skin surrounding the eye bluish 
lead-colour ; the corners immediately before and behind the 
eye mealy vinous red ; feet and frontal scales dark purplish 
vinous red. 









i 







ll 



RASORES. 



133 



Sp. 466. 



GEOPHAPS SMITHII. 

Smith's Partridge Bronze-wing. 



Columba smithii, Jard. and Selb. 111. Orn., vol. iii. pi. 104. 
Man-ga, Aborigines of the Coburg Peninsula. 
Partridge Pigeon, Residents of Port Essington. 

Geophaps smithii, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 68. 

This species is in every respect a true Geophaps, and 
the accompanying notes by Gilbert show that it closely 

■ 

assimilates in its habits and economy to the type of the genus. 
It appears to be abundant on the north coast of Australia, 

which is the only part of the country from which I have yet 
received it : 

" Like the G. scripta this bird, which at Port Essington is 
termed the Partridge, differs considerably from its congeners 
in its general habits, flight, voice, mode of incubation, and the 
character of its newly hatched young. It is rather abundant 
in all parts of the Peninsula, is mostly seen in small families 



and always on the ground, unless when disturbed or alarmed; 



it then usually flies into the nearest tree, generally choosing 

the largest part of a horizontal branch to perch upon. When 
it rises from the ground its flight is accompanied with a 
louder flapping or burring noise than I have observed in any 
other Pigeon. 

" Its note is a coo, so rolled out that it greatly resembles 
the note of the Quail, and which, like that bird, it scarcely ever 
utters but when on the ground, where it frequently remains 
stationary, allowing itself to be almost trod upon before rising. 
Its favourite haunts are meadows covered with short grass 
near water, or the edges of newly burnt brush. It would 
seem that this species migrates occasionally from one part of 
the country to another ; for during the months of September 
and October not a single individual was to be seen, while at 
the time of my arrival and for a month after they were so 









I I : 

























■ ( 









.: i 






134 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA, 






abundant that it was a common and daily occurrence for per- 
sons to leave the settlement for an hour or two and return 
with several brace ; in the latter part of November they again 
appeared, but were not so numerous as before ; and in the 
January and February following they were rarely to be met 
with, and then mostly in pairs inhabiting the long grasses 
clothing the moister parts of the meadows. 

" It incubates from August to October, making no nest, but 
merely smoothing down a small part of a clump of grass and 
forming a slight hollow, in which it deposits two eggs, which 

are greenish white, one inch and a quarter long by seven- 
eighths of an inch in breadth. The young bird on emerging 

from the egg is clothed with down like the young of the 
Quail." 

Eyes surrounded with a large naked space of a bright 
reddish orange colour ; head and all the upper surface olive- 
brown ; throat white, the tips of the last feathers grey, form- 
ing a surrounding margin of that colour ; on the cheeks a 
large brownish grey spot, nearly insulated by the large space 
of the eyes being surrounded by a narrow band of white, the 
feathers of which are tipped with black ; chest reddish brown ; 
on the centre of the breast a few of the feathers are clear grey, 
margined at the tip with black ; breast and abdomen purplish 
olive-brown ; flanks white ; lower part of the abdomen and 
vent buff; primaries and secondaries dark brown, margined 
with pale brown ; the outer webs of the three or four last 
secondaries and one or two greater coverts for two thirds of 
of their length from the base rich purple with greenish wavy 
reflexions ; two centre tail-feathers olive-brown, the remainder 
deep slate-grey at base and black at the extremity ; under 
tail-coverts dark brown margined with light brown ; irides of 
three colours, first a narrow ring of red next the pupil, then a 
broader ring of pure white, and lastly a narrow one of grey ; 
bill blackish grey j legs and feet bluish grey ; back of the 

tarsi and inner side of the feet yellowish grey. 






■- 



a ■ - 






RASQRE3. 



135 



Genus LOPHOPHAPS, Reichenbach 

The birds of this form are apparently destined to inhabit 
the most arid, heated plains ; thus even the desert has a pe- 
culiar kind of bird-life, and in this instance one of a highly- 
ornamental character, for there are scarcely any birds more 
graceful than these little plumed Pigeons. 



Sp. 467. LOPHOPHAPS PLUMIFERA, Gould. 

Plumed Bronze-wing. 

r 

Geophaps plumifera, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part x. p. 19 
Lophophaps plumifera, Reichenbach. 



Geophaps plumifera, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 69. 

I have traced this elegant species from South Australia 
through the intervening country to Victoria River. The 

far west is evidently inhabited by the succeeding species of 

this form. 

" It was on the return of my party from the eastern extrem- 



ity of Cooper's Creek," says Captain Sturt, " that we first 
saw and procured specimens of this beautiful little bird. Its 

locality was entirely confined to about thirty miles along the 
banks of the creek in question ; it was generally perched on 
some rock fully exposed to the sun's rays, and evidently taking 
a pleasure in basking in the tremendous heat. It was very 
wild and took wing on hearing the least noise. In the after- 
noon it was seen running in the grass on the creek side, and 
could hardly be distinguished from a quail. It never perched 



on the trees; when it dropped after rising from the ground, it 



could seldom be flushed again, but ran with such speed through 

the grass as to elude our search." 

From Gilbert's journal I extract the following passage : 
" Lat. 17° 30', March 6. I was fortunate enough to kill 

for the first time Lophophaps plumifera. The irides are bright 

orange, the naked skin before and surrounding the eyes 










I I 






■ 









136 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



brig 



the bill dark greenish grey ; the scales of 



the legs and toes greenish grey ; skin between 



light 



ashy grey. I only saw the specimen I killed, but afterwards 
learnt that one of my companions had seen a flock rise 
precisely like Geophaps scripta." 
Mr. Elsey, writing 



from 



Victoria, informed me that 



" this lovely little bird was abundant on the Victoria, especially 
about rocky holes and exposed hot gullies and on the hot 
sandy beds of the broad rivers of the Gulf, where it was strut- 
ing about in the full glare of the sun, with its ci 
have shot six or eight at a time on those rivers. 



I 



To my fancy 



of the 



birds I hav 



graceful and harmoniously coloured 



To this I may add that Mr. Bynoe found it in the country 
between Cape Hotham and the Island of Depuch. 

; lores and bare skin round 

the 



Bill olive-black ; irides yellow 



eye 



either 



crimson 



or orange red, bounded above and 



below by a narrow line of black ; forehead and a line above the 
black one over the eye grey; centre of the crown and 



gthened crest-plumes delicate cinnamon 



and 



part of the neck black ; centre of the throat and upper part of 
the ear-coverts white; lower part of the ear-coverts grey; 
chest very rich cinnamon bounded below by a crescentic band 



of white, to which succeeds 



of black 



of 



the abdomen 



white : flanks cinnamon 



der 



verts brown, edged with greyish white; under side of the 



gs delicate cinnamon 



parts of the upper portion of 



the primaries cinnamon, their outer webs and tips brown ; a 
beautiful oblong bronzy-purple metal-like mark on three of 
the secondaries ; back of the neck and mantle alternately 
rayed with cinnamon and brown, the latter hue not so distinct 
as the former ; the feathers of the upper portion of the wings 
rayed with cinnamon, blackish brown and grey, the tips of the 
feathers being cinnamon, their centres blackish-brown and 
their bases grey; rump and upper tail-coverts cinnamon- 



■ ■ , 

i 



.}-• : : •■■ 



.. ■*•.-. 



■'-' ' .■>-■ '.-...'■ 






RASORES. 



137 



brown ; basal half of the tail-feathers cinnamon-brown, the 



/pical half black 



Total 




th 8-A- inches 



gs greenish grey inclining to purpl 



2 



bill 7 



8 > 



wing 4f ; 



3 



plume 



7. 
8 



tarsi | ; 



I have lately seen at Mr. Ward's, in Vere Street, some very 
fine specimens of this bird, which were procured in the inte- 
rior of Australia by Mr. Galbraith, of Machrihanish Station, 
South Australia, and which are now in the possession of his 
sister, Mrs. E. F. M. Craufiurd, of Budleigh Salterton, Devon. 



Sp. 468. LOPHOPHAPS FERRUGINEA, Gould. 



RUST-COLOURED BrONZE-WING. 



I 



knowledge of this species we 



debted to the 



researches of T. F. Gregory, Esq., a gentleman whose name, like 
that of his brother, A. T. Gregory, Esq., will ever be associated 
with Australia as one of its most successful explorers. 

The habitat of the Zqpkqpfiaps ferruginea is the extreme 
western part of that great country opposite Sharks' Bay and 
Dirk Hartog's Island. 

The following brief note is all I am able to offer to ornitho- 
logists respecting this highly interesting bird. It is from the 
pen of Mr. Gregory, and accompanied the specimen he kindly 



me 



I found this species in large numbers on the Gascoig 



River. It almost 
water, and in such 



ariably freq 



>cky ground near 



I have occasionally 



more 



than five hundred come down to drink in less than half-an- 
hour. On the wing it exactly resembles the common Partridge, 
but it is not quite so plump in the body, and does not appear 
ever to fly in coveys. Its eggs, which are two in number, are 
generally laid during the months of July and August." 

Both the present and the preceding species are about the 
size of a Quail, and when their crest -plumes are carried erect 
must have a very sprightly air and appearance. 









■ 



1 

















138 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 









I 









Having seen but a single example of this species, I am u 
able to say if there be any outward difference in the sexes. 
suspect there is not, and I am led to this conclusion from an 
examination of numerous examples of both sexes of its near 
ally Lop hop haps plumifera, in which no variation occurs; in 
all probability, both sexes of the species of this genus are 
similarly coloured. If we may judge from analogy, we may 
also infer that the young of these little ground Bronze-wings 
do not remain callow and helpless for any length of time, but 
that, like the young of the Gallinacea generally, they are able 
to trip over the ground soon after exclusion from the egg. 

The L. ferruginea differs from L. plumifera in the nearly 
uniform rust-red colouring of its body and in the absence of 
the broad white pectoral band so conspicuous in the latter. 



Bill olive-black ; irides yellow 
the eye either crimson or oral 



; lores and bare skin round 
ge-red, bounded above and 

a line above 






below by a narrow line of black ; forehead and a line 
the black one over the eye grey ; centre of the crown and the 
lengthened crest-plumes cinnamon; chin and lower part of 
the neck black ; centre of the throat and upper part of the 



white 



par 



of the 



grey 



the 



under surface deep rust-red 



each side of the chest 



or three narrow crescentic bars of black, the 



g 



of 



which nearly meet 



centre; under tail-coverts brown 



edged externally with white ; under surface of the wing deep 
cinnamon ; basal portion of the primaries rust-red, their apices 
brown ; a beautiful oblong bronzy-purple metal-like mark on 
three of the secondaries ; back of the neck and mantle alter- 
nately rayed with rust-red and dark brown ; the feathers of the 
upper portion of the wings rayed with rusty red, blackish- 
brown and grey, the tips being rust-red, the centre black and 



the base grey ; rump and upper 



ty brown 



basal half of the tail-feathers rusty brown, the apical half black 
legs greenish grey inclining to purpl 



Total length 8 inches ; bill 



g 4 ; tail 2 



4 




' \:< 






• ^ 






, - 







RASORES. 



139 



Genus OCYPHAPS, Gould. 

A genus consisting of a single species whose natural habitat 
is the interior of Australia, over the vast expanse of which its 
long pointed wings enable it to pass at pleasure from one 
district to another whenever a scarcity of food prompts it 



so 



do : although mainly terrestrial in its habits, it is more fre 



quently seen on the 
Phaps. 



than the members of the 



g 



Sp. 469. 



OCYPHAPS LOPHOTES 

Crested Bronze-wing. 



Columba lophotes, Temm. PI. Col. 142. 

The Crested Pigeon of the Marshes, Sturt's two Exp. to the interior of 

Southern Australia, vol. i. pi. in p. 24. 
Turtur ? lophotes, Selby, Nat. Lib. Orn., vol. v. Pigeons, p. 174, pi. 18. 



Ocyphaps lophotes, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 70. 

The chasteness of its colouring, the extreme elegance of its 
form, and the graceful crest which flows from its occiput, all 

tend to render this Pigeon one of the most lovely members of 

its family, and it is therefore to be regretted that, owing to its 

being exclusively an inhabitant of the plains of the interior, 
it can never become an object of general observation. 

As might be supposed, this bird has attracted the notice of 
all the travellers who have crossed the " Blue Mountains ;" 
Captain Sturt mentions it as being numerous on the plains of 
Wellington valley, and in the neighbourhood of the Morum- 



bidgee. 



The locality nearest the coast-line that I know it to 



inhabit is the country near the bend of the river Murray in 
South Australia, where it is tolerably abundant ; it abounds on 
the banks of the Namoi, and is occasionally seen on the Liver- 
pool Plains. It frequently assembles in very large flocks, and 
when it visits the lagoons or river-sides for water, during the 



i 



- 








\ 







If 1 












140 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 









dry seasons, generally selects a single tree, or even a parti- 
cular branch, on which to congregate before descending simul- 
taneously to drink. 



Its flight is so rapid as 



to be unequalled 




those of 















any member of the group to which it belongs ; an impetus 
being acquired by a few quick flaps of the wings, it goes 
skimming off apparently without any further movement 
of the pinions. Upon alighting on a branch it elevates its 
tail and throws back its head, so as to bring them nearly 
together, at the same time erecting its crest and showing itself 
off to the utmost advantage. 

I met with the nest of this species in a low tree, on the 
great plain near Gundermein on the Lower Namoi, on the 
23rd of December 1839 ; like that of the other species of 
Pigeon, it was a slight structure of small twigs, and contained 
two white eggs, which were one inch and a quarter long and 
nearly an inch broad, upon which the female was then sitting. 

Head, face, throat, breast, and abdomen grey ; lengthened 
occipital plumes black ; back of the neck, back, rump, flanks, 
upper and under tail-coverts light olive-brown ; the upper 
tail-coverts tipped with white ; sides of the neck washed with 
pinky salmon-colour; feathers covering the insertion of the 
wing deep buff, each crossed near the tip with a line of deep 
black, giving this part of the plumage a barred appearance ; 
greater wing-coverts shining bronzy green, margined with 
white; primaries brown; the third, fourth, and fifth finely mar- 
gined on the apical half of their external web with brownish 
white, the remainder with a narrow line of white bounding 
the extremities of both webs ; secondaries brown on their 



webs, bronzy purple on their 



webs at the b 



* 

and brown at the extremity, broadly margined with white 

■ 

two centre tail-feathers brown, the remainder blackish brown 



glossed with g 



on their outer webs, and tipped with 



white ; irides buffy orang 



bits naked, wrinkled, and of 



pink-red ; bill olive-black ; legs and feet pink-red 



.■ ■ ■ . 



-. • *' 



■ I* * 














EASORES. 



141 



Genus PETROPHASSA, Gould. 

i 

So little is known respecting the single species of this Aus- 
tralian genus that I am unable to say more than that it inha- 
bits rocky situations near the sea-coast. 



Sp. 470. PETROPHASSA ALBIPENNIS, Gould. 

* 

White-quilled Rock-Pigeon. 

Petrophassa albipennis, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc v part viii. p. 173. 



Petrophassa albipennis, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. 
pi. 71. 

This highly singular species of Pigeon is an inhabitant of 
the most rugged and sterile districts of the north-west coast 
of Australia. Specimens were sent me by one of the Officers 
of the ' Beagle/ but, I regret to say, were unaccompanied by 
any particulars respecting their history. Writing to me from 
the Victoria River, Mr. Elsey states that it is common among 
the sandstone cliffs of the ranges. The form of the wing 
would lead us to imagine that in many parts of its economy 
this species much resembles those of the members of the 
genus Geophaps ; but on these points nothing can be ascer- 
tained with certainty, until the productions of those remote 
parts of Australia have been carefully investigated, a period 

which, from the inhospitable character of the country, I fear, 
is far distant. 

m 

Crown of the head and neck greyish brown, margined with 
sandy brown ; all the upper surface, chest, and tail rufous 
brown, the centre of each feather inclining to grey; lores 
black ; abdomen and under tail-coverts chocolate brown ; 
throat clothed with small feathers, white at the tip, black at 
the base ; primaries dark brown at their tips, the basal half 

pure white; bill and hides blackish brown; feet reddish 
brown . 

Total length 10 J inches; bill J; wing 5J; tail 5 ; tarsi }. 















i 






■! 












142 



BIRDS OP AUSTRALIA. 



ri 



Genus ERYTHRAUCILENA, Bonaparte 



Few birds are more delicate or eleg 



form than the 






above g 



ppellation has been g 



and which is the only species known to inhabit Australia 



P 



Sp. 471. ERYTHRAUCH.ENA HUMERALIS 

Barred-shouldered Dove. 

Columba humeralis, Temm. PL Col. 191. 

erythrauchen, Wagl. Syst. Av., Columba, sp. 98. 



Erythrauchcena humeralis, Bonap. Consp. Gen. A.v., torn. ii. p. 93 












Geopelia humeralis, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 72. 

There are reasons for believing that the Erythanchcena hume- 
ralis inhabits the whole of the vast interior of Australia as well 
as the neighbourhood of the coasts of its northern and eastern 
portions. In New South Wales it is sparingly dispersed over 
the Liverpool Plains, where some of the specimens I possess 
were obtained. As the structure of its legs would indicate, 

it passes much of its time on the ground, feeding on the seeds 
of various kinds of grasses and leguminous plants. Not only 

gant of the Dove tribe inhabiting 



is it 



f the most 



Australia, but it is also one of the most tame and docile, if I 






may judge from 



few I observed on the heated plains of 



New South Wales : their confidence was such that they some 
times perched within two yards of the spot where I was 
sitting ; extreme thirst and a scanty supply of water may, how- 
ever, have rendered them more tame or bold than they 
otherwise would have been. 






this Dove 



ex- 



Gilbert states that at Port Essington " 
tremely abundant, inhabiting thickets, swampy grounds, and 
\ banks of running streams. It mostly feeds on the seeds 



of various kinds of g 

burnt it finds an abundant supply of berries in the thick 



but when the country becomes 






RASORES. 



143 









It may often be seen among the mangroves in flocks of several 
hundreds, and hence its colonial name of Mangrove Dove. 
It was equally numerous during the whole period of my stay 
in that part of the country. Any number of specimens may be 
readily procured, for when disturbed the bird merely flits from 
branch to branch, or if in an open part of the country 
to the nearest tree. I did not observe it take anything 
approaching a sustained flight. Its most common note 
is a rather loud coo-coo, occasionally uttered at long intervals ; 
during the pairing-season the note becomes of a softer tone, 
and is more rapidly repeated, and its actions very much re- 
semble those of the Common Dove of Europe. It breeds in 
August, and makes a very slight nest of slender twigs, loosely 
and carelessly laid across each other on two or three of the 
lower leaves of the Pandanus, the upper leaves of which afford 



it a shelter from the rays of the sun and from the rain ; the 
eggs are two in number, of a delicate fleshy- white. " 

The sexes are alike in colouring, but, as is the case with all 
Doves, the female is smaller than the male. 

Forehead, cheeks, sides of the neck and breast delicate 
grey; occiput, back, wing-coverts, rump, and upper tail- 
coverts silky brown ; back of the neck rufous, every feather 
of the upper surface bounded at the extremity with a narrow 
band of black, giving the whole a squamated or scaled appear- 
ance ; under surface of the shoulder and the inner webs, except 
their tips, of the primaries and secondaries fine rust-red ; 
outer webs and tips of the inner webs of the primaries and 
secondaries brown ; two centre tail-feathers dark grey, the 
remainder reddish brown at the base, gradually increasing in 
intensity towards their tips, those next the centre ones washed 
with grey on their outer webs, and largely tipped with white ; 
centre of the abdomen white ; the remainder of the under 
surface washed with vinous ; irides ochre-yellow ; bill and 
nostrils delicate mealy light blue ; naked skin round the eye 
mealy purple ; legs and feet pink red. 






i 






s 



i 












i 




|i 

I 










144 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



Genus GEOPELIA, Swainson. 






1 












A form very generally distributed over the Indian Islands 
and Australia, and of which two species are peculiar to the latter 
country ; grassy hills, flats, and extensive plains are the situ- 
ations these birds affect, consequently in Australia they are 
almost exclusively confined to the interior ; they pass over the 
ground in a quiet and peaceful manner, and when disturbed 
fly to some neighbouring tree, descend again almost imme- 
diately, and search about for the minute seeds of annuals and 
other plants, upon which they principally subsist. 






Sp. 472. GEOPELIA TRANQUILLA, Gould. 

Peaceful Dove. 



. 



G-eopelia tranquilla, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 73. 

The interior of the country northward from New South 
Wales is inhabited by considerable numbers of this pretty 
little Dove, but it has not yet been met with either in Southern 
or Western Australia. It was very abundant on the Namoi, 
particularly on the lower part of that river; and that its 
range will extend over a large part of the interior is more 
than probable. 

It is chiefly observed on the ground, feeding on the seeds 
of the various kinds of plants that grow under the shelter of 
the thinly-timbered forests bordering the plains. 

The only observable difference between the sexes is the 

smaller size of the female. 

Eace and throat grey ; occiput, back, and wings ashy 
brown, each feather with a band of deep velvety black at the 
extremity ; spurious wings and primaries dark brown ; under 
surface of the shoulders chestnut ; chest, sides, and back of 
the neck grey, crossed by numerous narrow bands of black ; 

■ 

abdomen and flanks vinous ; four central tail-feathers ashy 









* ■ 










^H^^M 



UASORES. 



145 



irides 



brown, the remainder black, largely tipped with white ; 
light ash-grey • bill and orbits bright greyish blue, becoming 
much paler before and behind the eye ; frontal scales of the 
tarsi and feet dark greenish grey ; remainder of the legs and 
feet reddish flesh-colour. 



Total 



gth 8f inches 



bill | 



wing 4 



5. 

8 



Sp. 473. 



GEOPELIA PLACIDA, Gould. 

Placid Dove. 



Geophelia placida, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. i. Introd 



Ixxi 



all 



This bird is abundantly and equally distributed over 
parts of the Cobourg Peninsula and the neighbouring islands 
favourite haunts being moist meadows or the grassy bank 



of 



streams, and grass-seeds its principal food 



It 



usually met with in flocks of from twenty to fifty in number, 
which, when disturbed, generally fly off to the nearest tree ; 
on alighting they jerk the tail very erect, and utter their 
slowly-repeated and monotonous double note ; at other times 

they coo very faintly, after the manner of the other members 
of the family. 

The Placid Ground-Dove is nearly one-third less than the 
G. tranquitta, but is so precisely the same in colouring that a 
description of it is quite unnecessary 



many 



It may not be out of place to mention that 
species of this form of little Ground-Doves occur i 
immediately to the northward of Australia, in Java, Sumatra 
and the Malayan Peninsula ; where they form a considerabl 
article of commerce, many of them being caged and sent t< 
Singapore, and, according to Mr. Jerdon, to the bazaars a 



Calcutta 



pi 



frequently brought to England 



No bird being more tranquil in confinement, it is everywhei 



favoui 

VOL. II. 



L 






' 









1 



' 












it 









■ 


















. 



146 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 












I . 



Genus STICTOPELIA, Reichenback 





I consider that Dr. Reichenbach was warranted in making 



the elegant Columba cuneata the type of j 
the only one of the form at present known 



g 



it is 



Sp. 474. 



STICTOPELIA CUNEATA 
Little Turtle-Dove . 






Columba cuneata, Lath. Ind. Orn., Supp. p. 61. 

macquarie, Quoy et Gaim. Voy. de l'Uranie, Ois., t. 31 



spiloptera, Vig. in Zool. Journ., vol. v. p. 275. 



Geopelia cuneata, G. R. Gray, List of Brit. Mus. Coll., part iii. p. 11 
Stictopelia cuneata, Reich. Syst. Av., tab. 250. figs. 1387-1389. 
Men-na-brun-ka, Aborigines of Western Australia. 
Turtle Dove, Colonists of Swan River. 



Geopelia cuneata, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 74. 

I have seen specimens of this elegant little Dove fr 
every one of the Australian colonies 
on the seaside of the mountain rai 



g 



It is rarely met with 
i. but occurs in con- 









siderable numbers on the plains of the interior. 

" All that we read or imagine of the softness and innocence 
of the Dove," says Captain Sturt, " is realized in this beautiful 
and delicate little bird ; it is 






met with. 



common on the Murray and 
m various parts of the inte: 



y> 












Darling, and was 

Two remained with ns at the Depot, in latitude 39° 40', 
longitude 142°, during a great part of the winter, and on one 
occasion roosted on the tent-ropes near the fire. Its note is 

exceedingly plaintive 

The little Turtle-Dove is more frequently observed on the 

ground than among the 
small flocks, but more often in pairs. It runs over the ground 
with a short bobbing motion of the tail, and while feeding is 
so remarkably tame as almost to admit of its being taken by 
the hand, and if forced to take wing it merely flies to the 



I sometimes met with 















* 



RASORES. 



147 






nearest tree, and there remains motionless among the branches. 
I not unfrequently observed it close to the open doors of the 
huts of the stock-keepers of the interior, who, from its being 
so constantly before them, regard it with little interest. 
The nest is a frail but beautiful structure. 



structure, formed of the 
stalks of a few flowering grasses, crossed and interwoven after 
the manner of the other Doves. One sent me from Western 



Australia is " composed," says Gilbert, " of a small species of 
knotted everlasting-like plant {Compositd), and was placed on 

asses of the Xanthorrhoea. During my 



the 



gmg g 



first visit to this part of the country only two situations were 
known as places of resort for this species, and T did not meet 



than five or six exampl 



become 



period it has 



extremely abundant, and now a pair or two may 
occasionally be seen about most of the settlers' houses on the 
Avon, becoming apparently very tame and familiarized to man. 



It 



a rather singula 



which at times very much 



resembles the distant crowing of a cock. The term Men-na- 
brun-Jca is applied to it by the natives from a traditionary idea 



that 



bird 



ginally introduced the Men 



a kind of 



gum which exudes from a species of Acacia, and which is one 

of the favourite articles of food of the natives." 

The eggs are white and two in number, eleven-sixteenths 
of an inch long by seven-sixteenths broad. 

The sexes, although bearing a general resemblance to each 
other, may be readily distinguished by the smaller size of the 
female, by the browner hue of her wing-feathers, and by the 
spotting of her upper surface not being so 

regular as in the male. 

The male has the head, neck, and breast delicate grey 
passing into white on the abdomen and under tail-coverts 



numer 



back and scapularies cinnamon-brown 



grey 



each feather of the wing-coverts 



g 



d 



dark 
with 



two spots, one on the edge of either web near the tip, of 



white encircled with black 



spurious 



g 



tnd 
l 2 



primaries 






I 






* 






t I 









-■ 



148 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 






brown, the latter rufous on their inner webs for two- thirds of 



gth; four 



feathers grey, deepening into 



their lei 

black at the extremity and with black shafts ; the remainder 
greyish black at the base, and pure white for the remainder 
of their length ; irides in some instances bright red, and the 
naked skin round the eyes light scarlet ; in others the irides 
and naked skin round the eyes are pale greenish yellow ; bill 
dark olive brown ; feet reddish flesh-colour in some instances, 
in others yellowish. 

The female differs in having the back of the head, neck, and 
upper surface browner, and the spots on the wings larger 
than the male. 



Genus MACROPYGIA, Swainson. 

A genus the members of which are distributed over India, 
Java, New Guinea, Ceram, the Moluccas, and Australia. 
Only one species, M. phasianella :, has yet been characterized 
from the last-mentioned country. 



Sp. 475. MACROPYGIA PHASIANELLA 

Large-tailed Pigeon. 

Columba phasianella, Temm. PL Col. 100. 



Macropygia phasianella, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. 
pi. 75. 

The interior of the dense brushes are the favourite haunts 
of this bird, but it occasionally resorts 






resorts to the crc 
hills and the open glades of the forest, where 



of 



for its food on the ground 

branches of the nearest ti 



being disturbed it flies to the 
Dreading out its broad tail at 



the moment of alighting. Prom Illawarra to Moreton Bay it 
is a common and stationary species. It is a fine showy bird 

great advantage 
While travers- 



ln a 



of 



and exhibits itself to 



when it rises from the ground to the 



'i 



g the brushes I frequently 



this bird busily engaged 



i 1 









■ 














RASORES. 



149 



searching on the ground for fallen seeds and berries. 
Rarely were more than four or five seen at one time, and 



most frequently 



ed singly 



in 



pairs 



Up to the 



present time, our knowledge of the extent of habitat enjoyed 
by this bird is very limited ; I have never myself seen it in 
any collections but those made in New South Wales. As its 
lengthened tarsi would lead us to imagine, it spends much of 
its time on the ground ; and when flushed in the depths of 
the forest it merely flies to the branch of some low tree, and 
there remains with little appearance of fear. 

Its note is loud, mournful, and monotonous. 

The sexes are precisely similar in colour and nearly 



size 



dissection, in fact, is necessary to distinguish them 



General plumage rich rusty brown, becoming of a dark 

coverts margined with rusty 



gs; wing 



brown on the 

brown; ear- coverts 

and back of the nee 

tail-feathers crossed i 

beyond which the br 

bill dark olive-brown, mealy at the base ; irides blue, with 

an outer circle of scarlet; orbits mealy bluish lilac; feet 

pink-red. 



ssed by narrow bars of black; sides 
glossed with bronzy purple; lateral 
ir the tip by a broad band of black, 
m colour is paler than at the base; 



Family MEGAPODIDJS. 



The habits 



d 



family 
singuL 



economy of the birds comprised 



this 



both curious and extraordinary 



they 



their structure, and in my opinion no group of 



birds is more isolated 



one of 



By one of our best ornitholog 



sp 



classed with the Vultures 
s; and a third considered 



another 
i to be 



placed it with Meleagris; ai 

allied to the members of the genus Balks. From the colonists 
of Australia the three species inhabiting that country have 
received the trivial names of Brush-Turkey, Native Pheasant, 
and Jungle-Fowl ; but to none of these birds are they in any 













.-i ■ 



It 1 



■■ 



150 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



way allied. In general appearance the Megapodida offer a 
certain degree of alliance to the Gattinacece ; but in the pecu- 
liar odour, shape, and colouring of their eggs, and in the 
mode in which they are incubated, they are totally different, 
and in some of these respects offer a resemblance to the 
Tortoises and Turtles. Three species, pertaining to different 
genera, inhabit Australia, others exist in New Guinea and 
the neighbouring islands, and extend as far north as the Phi- 
lippines. 

Genus TALEGALLUS, Lesson. 

The eastern portion of Australia is the habitat of the solitary 
species of this form of mound-raising bird. 



Sp. 476. 



TALEGALLUS LATHAMI 
Wattled Talegallus. 



New Holland Vulture, Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. i. p. 32. 
Genus Alectura, Lath. Ibid., vol. x. p. 455. 
Alectura lathami, Gray, Zool. Misc., No. I. p. 3. 
Catheturus australis, Swains. Class, of Birds, vol. ii. p. 206. 
Meleagris lindesayii, Jameson, Mem. Wern. Nat. Hist. So< 

p. 473. 
Brush-Turkey of the Colonists ; Wee-lah, Aborigines of the 



Talegalla lathami, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 77. 

originally described and figured 



This 



g 



bird 



was 



by Latham in the first volume of his ' General History of 
Birds/ under the name of New Holland Vulture ; but, subse- 
quently, he conceived himself in error in classing it with the 
Vulturidce. and at the end of the tenth volume of the same 



pork placed 
,ppellation of 



mong the Gattinacece, with the generic 
tura : the species was afterwards dedicated 






to that venerable ornithologist by Dr. Gray, in his ' Zoolog 
Miscellany,' as Alectura lathami. 

The generic and specific terms, Catheturus australis, w 






. 



^^^mm 



H 



RASORES. 



151 



subsequently applied to it by Swainson, who, in both volumes 
of his ' Classification of Birds,' replaces it among the Vulturida, 
in order, apparently, to establish his own views respecting that 
family. 

The term Alectwa having been previously employed for a 




roup of Ely catchers, Lesson's genus Taleg alius, which was 
published prior to Swainson's Catheturus, is necessarily the one 

adopted. 

How far the range of the Wattled Talegallus may extend 
over Australia is not yet satisfactorily ascertained ; it is known 
to inhabit various parts of New South Wales, from Cape Howe 
to Moreton Bay, and Mr. Macgillivray informed me that he had 
killed it as far up the east coast as Port Molle ; the assaults 
of the cedar-cutters and others, who frequently hunt through 
the brushes of Illawarra and Maitland, had, however, nearly 



pated it from those 



when I visited the colony 



in 1838, and it probably does not now exist 
believe it is still plentiful in the dense and 
brushes of the Manning and Clarence. 



there 



; but I 
trodden 



I was at first led 
believe that the country between the mountain-ranges and 



the coast constituted its sole habitat ; but I 



,greeably 



and sides of the lower hills that branch off 



surprised when I found it in the Liverpool brushes and in the 

scrubby gullies 
towards the interior. 

It has often been asserted that Australia abounds in ano- 
malies, and in no instance is the truth of this assertion more 
fully exemplified than in the history of this very singular bird, 
respecting the situation of which in the natural system much 
diversity of opinion, as above noticed, had hitherto prevailed 



It 



consequently 



of the birds which demanded my 



during my visit to Australia 



and 



imme 



diately upon its remarkable habits becoming known to me, I 
published an account of them in the first volume of the ' Tas- 
manian Journal' for 1840. The remarks therein contained, 
and which are recapitulated below, comprise all that is known 



I 



. I 



I 

■i 




















, 













152 



BIRDS OP AUSTRALIA. 






respecting them, 
discovered. 



nothing of importance 



having since been 



The most remarkable circumstance connected with the 



economy of this species 



fact of its eggs not being 



bated in the manner of other birds. At the commencement of 
spring the Wattled Talegallus scratches together 



immense 



heap of decaying vegetable matter as a depository for the 
eggs, and trusts to the heat engendered by the process of fer- 
mentation for the development of the young. The heap em- 
ployed for this purpose is collected by the birds during several 



previous to the period of laying 
many cart-loads, and in most i 



of 



midal form 



The 



of the mound 



from 
pyra- 



either the 



of one pair of birds 



labours of 



some suppose, the united 



the same site appears to be resorted to for 



several years in succession, the birds adding a fresh supply of 
materials each succeeding season. 

The materials composing these mounds are accumulated 
by the bird grasping a quantity in its foot and throwing it 
backwards to one common centre, the surface of the ground 
for a considerable distance being so completely scratched over 
that scarcely a leaf or a blade of grass is left. The mound 
being completed, and time allowed for a sufficient heat to be 
engendered, the eggs are deposited in a circle at the distance of 
nine or twelve inches from each other, and buried more than 
an arm's depth, with the large end upwards ; they are covered 
up as they are laid, and allowed to remain until hatched. I 
have been credibly informed, both by natives and settlers 
living near their haunts, that it is not an unusual event to 
obtain half a bushel of eggs at one time from a single mound ; 
and I have myself seen a native woman bring to the encamp- 
ment in her net half as many as the spoils of a foraging ex- 
cursion to the neighbouring scrub. Some of the natives state 
that the females are constantly in the neighbourhood of the 
mound about the time the young are likely to be hatched, and 






■- 

■ ■ 






■ 



EASORES. 



153 



frequently uncover and cover them up again, apparently for the 
purpose of assisting those that may have appeared; while others 
have informed me that the eggs are merely deposited, and the 
young allowed to force their way unassisted. One point has 



be 



clearly 



hour they are hatched 



tained, namely, that the young from the 



clothed with feather 



d have 



their wings sufficiently developed to enable them to fly 
the branches of trees, should they need to do 



so to 



escape 



from danger ; they are equally nimble on their legs ; in fact 
as a moth emerges from a chrysalis, dries its wings, and flies 



away, so the youthful Talegallus, when 



the egg 



sufficiently perfect to be able to act independently and 

This we know from personal obser- 



procure 



food 



vation of the bird in a state of captivity ; several old birds 
having constructed mounds, in which their eggs have been 
deposited and their young developed, in the Gardens of the 
Zoological Society in the Regent's Park. I shall always look 
back with pleasure to the fact of my being the first to make 
known these singular habits. Although, unfortunately, I was 



almost 



late for the breedir 



I 



saw 



of these hatching-mounds, both in the interior of New 



South Wales and 



Illawarr 



in every instance they 



placed in the most retired and shady glens, and on the slope 
of a hill, the part above the mound being scratched clean, 
while all below remained untouched, as if the birds had 
found 

throw 



more easy 



convev the mater 



down than to 



them 



up 



The 



oval form, thr 



eggs are perfectly white, of a long 
inches and three-quarters long by two 
inches and a half in diameter. 

When disturbed, the Wattled Talegallus readily eludes 
pursuit by the facility with which it runs through the tangled 
brush. If hard pressed, or when rushed upon by its great 
enemy the native dog, it springs upon the lowermost bough 
of some neighbouring tree, and by a succession of leaps from 
branch to branch ascends to the top, and either perches there 









t 



J 

i 



: I 






! 



p 




■• 



t * 



154 



BIItDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



flies off to another part of the brush 



It 



also 



in 



the 



habit of resorting to the branches of trees as a shelter from the 



mid- day 



peculiarity that greatly tends to their destr 



tion ; for, like the Ruffed Grouse of America, when assembled 
in small companies, they will allow a succession of shots to be 
fired until they are all brought down. Unless some measures 
be adopted for their preservation, this circumstance must lead 
to an early extinction of this singular species — an event much 
to be regretted, since, independently of its being an interesting 
object for the aviary, it is an excellent bird for the table. 
While stalking about the woods the Talegallus frequently 

noise : but whether this sound 



;ers a rather loud clucking noise ; 
uttered by the female only I could 



ascertain ; 



I 



crop 



of 



one 



think such is the case, and that the spiteful male, who appears 
to delight in expanding his richly-coloured fleshy wattles and 
unmercifully thrashing his helpmate, is generally mute. 

In various parts of the brush I observed depressions in the 
earth, which the natives informed me were made by the birds 
in dusting themselves. 

The stomach is extremely muscular, and the 

dissected was filled with seeds, berries, and a few insects. 

The adults, which are nearly the size of a female Turkey 
have the whole of the upper surface, wings, and tail blackish 
brown ; the feathers of the under surface blackish brown at 
the base, becoming silvery grey at the tip ; skin of the head 
and neck deep pink red, thinly sprinkled with short hair-like 

; wattle bright yellow, tinged with 



blackish-bi 



feathers 



red where it unites with the red of the neck ; bill black 
irides and feet brown. 



The female, which is about a fourth 



than the male 



size, is so closely the same in colour as to render a separate 
description unnecessary. She also possesses the wattle, but 
not to so great an extent. 



* t 



* * 



;V :; 



. . -.- 



RASORES. 



155 



Genus LEIPOA, Gould. 



- 

As in the case with Talegallus, the only species of this forn 
that has yet been discovered is strictly confined to Australia 



Sp. 477. 



LEIPOA OCELLATA, Gould. 

OCELLATED LEIPOA. 



Leipoa ocellata, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part viii. p. 126. 

Ngow, Aborigines of the lowland ; Ngow-oo, of the mountain districts 

of Western Australia. 

t m 

Native Pheasant, Colonists of Western Australia. 



■ 

Leipoa ocellata, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 78. 

■ 

This remarkable bird is among the most important of the 
ornithological novelties which the exploration of Western and 
Southern Australia has unfolded to us. 

Like the Wattled Talegallus, it is rendered highly interesting 
from the circumstance of its not hatching its own eggs, which, 
instead of being incubated in the usual way, are deposited in 

mounds of mixed sand and herbage, and there left for the 

\ 

heating of the mass to develope the young, which, when ac- 
complished, force their way through the sides of the mound 
and commence an active life from the moment they see the 

light of day . 

The Ocellated Leipoa appears to be more peculiarly suited 
for a plain and open country than for the tangled brush ; and 

it is most curious to observe how beautifully the means em- 
ployed by Nature for the reproduction of the species is adapted 
to the situations it is destined to inhabit. The following 
sketches of its economy, as far as it has yet been ascertained, 
were sent me by Gilbert and Sir George Grey, and are here 
given in their own words : 

" Wongan Hills, Western Australia, September 28, 1842. 

" This morning I had the good fortune to penetrate into 
the dense thicket I had been so long anxious to visit in search 






m 






-' 






. 






i 







I 



# 



Hi 






B 






I 



1 








* 



■ 



156 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



of the Leipoa's eggs, and had not proceeded far before the 
native who was with me told me to keep a good look-out, as 
we were among the Ngou-ods hillocks ; and in half-an-hour 
after we found one, around which the brush was so thick that 



I 



g over it before seeing 



So 



the hidden treasures within, that in my haste I 



threw aside the black fellow and be 




scraping off the upper 



part of the mound ; this did not at all please him, and he be- 
came very indignant, at the same time making me understand 



that as I had never seen this 



before I had better 



to him to get out the eggs, or I should, in my haste and im- 



patience, certainly break them.' I therefore let him have his 
own way, and he began scraping off the earth very carefully 
from the centre, throwing it over the side, so that the mound 
very soon presented the appearance of a huge basin ; about 
two feet in depth of earth was in this way thrown off, when 
the large ends of two eggs met my anxious gaze ; both these 
eggs were resting on their smaller apex, and the earth round 
them had to be very carefully removed to avoid breaking the 
shell, which is extremely fragile when first exposed to the atmo- 



sphere. 



About a hundred yards from this first mound we 



came upon a second, rather larger, of the same external form 
and appearance ; it contained three eggs. Although we saw 



seven or eight more mounds, only these two contained eggs : 
we were too early ; a week later and we should doubtless have 
found many more. To give you an idea of the place these 
birds choose for their remarkable mode of rearing their young, 
I will describe it as nearly as I can : — The Wongan Hills are 
about thirteen hundred feet above the level of the sea, in a 
north-north-east direction from Drummond's house in the 
Toodyay : their sides are thickly clothed with a dense forest 
of Eucalypti ; and at their base is a thicket, extending for se- 
veral miles, of upright-growing and thick bushy plants, so 
high in most parts that we could not see over their tops, and 
so dense, fhat if we separated only for a few yards, we were 




I 



■ , ■ .-•■. 






RASORES. 



157 



obliged to cooey 
this thicket is 



prevent 



straying from each 



again shadowed by a very curious species of 
dwarf Eucalyptus bearing yellow blossoms, and growing from 



fifteen to thirty feet 



ght, known 



as 



the 



spear-wood, and of which they make their spears, dig 




dowaks, &c. ; the whole formation is a fine reddish 
ne gravel, and this the Leipoa scratches up from several 



yards around, and thus forms its mound 



be afterwards 



converted into a hot-bed for the reproduction of its offspring. 
The interior of the mound is composed of the finer particles 
of the gravel mixed with vegetable matter, the fermentation 



of which prod 



a warmth sufficient for the purpose of 



hatching. Mr. Drummond, who had been for 



years 



tomed to hot-beds in England, gave it as his opinion that the 
heat around the eggs was about 8 9°. In both the nests with eggs 
the White Ant was very numerous, making its little covered 
galleries of earth around and attached to the shell, thus 
showing a beautiful provision of Nature in preparing the 
necessary tender food for the young bird on its emergence ; 
one of the eggs I have preserved shows the White Ants' tracks 
most beautifully; the largest 



mound I saw, and which 



ap 



peared as if in a state of preparation for eggs, measured forty- 
five feet in circumference, and if rounded in proportion on the 
top would have been full five feet in height. I remarked in 
all the mounds not ready for the reception of eggs the inside 
or vegetable portion was always wet and cold, and I imagine, 
from the state of others, that the bird turns out the whole of 
the materials to dry before depositing its eggs and covering 
them up with the soil ; in both cases where I found eggs the 
upper part of the mound was perfectly and smoothly rounded 
over, so that any one passing it without knowing the singular 
habit of the bird might very readily suppose it to be an ant-hill: 
mounds in this state always contain eggs within, while those 



without egg 
centres so s< 



>ped 



only not rounded 



but have the 



that they form a hollow. The egg 




< 






■ 






; * 









i 



1 '" ! 



158 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



deposited 






Megapod 



g 



we 



very different manner from those of the 
3 ; instead of each being placed in a separate ex- 
different parts of the mound, they are laid directly 
e, all at the same depth, separated only by about 

a circle. I 
ly; had we been a week later, the 



three inches of earth, and so placed as to form 



probability is I should have found the 
plete. Is it not singular 



of 



gg 



that all the 



ggs were 



fresh, as if their development was arrested 



number 



about the same 



deposited, so that the young might 



qually 
the full 
1 appear 



m 



)? No one considering the immense 
size of the egg can for a moment suppose the bird capable of 
laying more than one without at least the intermission of a day, 
and perhaps even more. Like those of the Megapodius, they 
are covered with an epidermis-like coating, and are certainly as 
large, being three inches and three quarters in length by two 
and a half in breadth ; they vary in colour from a very light 
brown to a light salmon. During the whole day we did not 
succeed in obtaining sight of the bird, although we saw nume- 
rous tracks of its feet, and many places where it had been 

scratch in 

the dried beds of the 



& 



swamps 



acks on the sand when crossing 
at least two miles from the 



breeding-thicket, which proves that the bird, in procuring its 
food, does not confine itself to the brushes around its nest, but 
merely resorts to them for the purpose of incubating. The 
native informed us that the only chance of procuring the bird 



by stationing 



ght of the mound 



distance, and remaining quiet and immovable till it made its 
appearance at sundown; this I attempted, and, with the 
native, encamped within twenty yards of the mound about an 
hour before sunset, taking the precaution to conceal ourselves 

bushes from the quick eye of the bird, but leaving 



sufficient opening to get a fair sight with my g 



in a 



half-sitting, half-crouching position, I thus remained in breath 
less anxiety for the approach of the bird I had so long wished t< 












4 



. ..< - 







RAS0RES. 



see, not daring to move a muscle, for fear of moving a 
or making a noise by crushing a dead leaf, till I 
cramped I could scarcely bear the pain in my limbs ; j 
did not however make its appearance, and the native, with the 
fear of wading through the thicket in darkness (for there was 
no moon), became so impatient, that he started up and began 
to talk so loud, and make so much noise, that I was compelled 
to give up all hopes of seeing the bird that night ; however, 
just as we were passing the mound we started the bird from 
the opposite side, but, from the denseness of the thicket 



and the darkness closing around us, I had no chance of getting 



* 


i i 

1 


159 




branch 


■ 


was so 




lie bird 





shot at it. Mr. Roe, the Surveyor- General, who examined 
veral mounds dining his expedition to the interior in the 



year 1836, found the eggs nearly ready to hatch in the month 



)> 



of November, and invariably seven or eight in number ; while 
another authority has informed me of an instance of fourteen 

being taken from one mound 

In a subsequent letter Gilbert states that the flavour of the 
egg is very similar to that of the Tortoise or Turtle, and that 
when mixed with tea its similarity to the peculiar roughness 
and earthy flavour of that of the Hawk's-bill Turtle is very re- 
markable. 

" Government House, Adelaide, December 12th, 1842. 

" My dear Mr. Gould, — I have lately returned from the 
Murray, where I have been studying the habits and manners 
of the Leipoa ocellata, which is very plentiful in the sandy 
districts of the scrub. The eyes of the living bird are of a 
bright, light hazel ; its legs and feet dark brown ; whilst the 
bare parts of the head and face are of a very delicate and clear 
blue. The gizzard is very large and muscular; the inner 
coats peculiarly horny and hard. Its food consists chiefly of 
insects, such as Phasmidce and a species of Cimeoo ; it also 
feeds on the seeds of various shrubs. The entire lungs and 
intestines of the one which I dissected were full of Tanioides. 
I have never seen any other animal infested with them to any- 









< 


















1 1 












160 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 






thing like the same extent ; and yet the bird 



perfectly 



healthy. It possesses the power of running with extraordi 



y rapidity 
avoid so doing. 
The mounds they 



ght on trees, and never flies if 



from 



yards in circumference at the base, and from two to three 
feet in height ; the general form being that of a dome. The 
sand and grass are sometimes scraped up for a distance of from 
fifteen to sixteen feet from its outer edge. 



The mound appears to be constructed as follows 



A nearly 



hole, of about eighteen inches in diameter, is scratched 
the ground to the depth of seven or eight inches, and filled 



with dead 



dead grass, and similar 



and 






large mass of the same substances is placed all round it upon 
the ground. Over this first layer a large mound of sand, 
mixed with dried grass, &c, is thrown, and finally the whole 
assumes the form of a dome, as I have before stated. 

" When an egg is to be deposited, the top is laid open and 
a hole scraped in its centre to within two or three inches of the 



bottom of the layer of dead 



sand 



the edge of the hole 



the smaller end downward 



The 



The egg is placed in the 

a vertical position, with 
;and is then thrown in 



« 



d the mound left in its 



ginal form 



therefore 



The 
pletely 



egg 
sur- 



which has been thus deposited 

rounded and enveloped in soft sand, having from four 
inches of sand between the lower end of the egg and the layer 

When a second egg is laid it is deposited in 

the first, but at the opposite side 
When a third egg is laid 



of dead 



precisely the same pi 
of the hole before alluded 



placed in the same plane as the others, but, as it were at the 



third corner of 



square 



When the fourth egg is laid, it is 



still placed in the same plane, but in the fourth corner of the 
square, or rather of the lozenge, the figure being of this 
form : — °°o; the next four eggs in succession are placed in the 
interstices, but always in the same plane, so that at last there 



- : -- / 



; - - 



■ ■ >J - 









RASORES. 



161 



of eight eggs all standing upright in the sand 
inches of sand intervening betw 



each 



The 



bird assists the female in opening and covering up the mound; 
and, provided the birds are not themselves disturbed, the 
female continues to lay in the same mound, even after it has 



been several times robbed 
lay an egg every day. 



The natives say that the females 



Eight is the greatest number I have heard of from good 



authority as having been found 



but I opened 



mound which had been previously robbed of several eggs, and 
found that two had been laid opposite to each other in the 
same plane, in the usual manner ; and a third deposited in a 

plane parallel to that in which the other two were placed, but 



4-J- inches below them 



This circumstance led me to imagine 



as possible that there might be sometimes successiv 

of eggs in different planes. 

I enclose three sketches, which will convey to you a com 



plete idea of the form of the mound, and of 



manner 



which the eggs are placed in 
by Mr. Knight, from a rude 

curate. 



These sketches were drawn 

of mine, and are very ac- 



No. 1. 




This sketch represents a section through the mound after the sand has 
heen cleared out in such a manner that the eggs could all be removed and 
the bottom of the nest of leaves be laid bare. It shows the form of the 
opening the natives make in the mound when they rob it of its eggs ; this 
opening has, however, been continued below where the eggs are placed, in 
order to show the form of the interior nest. 

The pale tint represents that portion which is made of sand ; the darker 
tint the part which is made of leaves, &c. 



VOL. II. 



M 



' 









1 1 






162 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA 






No. 2. 




This sketch represents a section through the mound in its undis- 
turbed state ; the pale tint indicates the portion of sand, the darker tint the 
leaves, &c. 



No. 3. 







This sketch shows a bird's-eye view of the mound, as seen from above ; 
the sand is supposed to have been so far thrown out as to leave the tops 
of the eggs exposed, and to show them standing upright in their relative 
positions., 









. - e / 






RASORES. 



163 



of 



One of the mounds of these birds which had been robbed 



g 



the 11th of November 



of which 



quite fresh, had 



same 



two fresh eggs laid in it on the 27 th of the 
b, and the birds were seen at the nest on the 
morning of the 28th, apparently for the purpose of laying, 
when the male bird was shot. 

" Sometimes several of these mounds are constructed close 
to one another. 



i 

I found two within 200 or 300 yards 



have seen five within the distance of four or five 
were built in precisely the 



1 have 



and 

They 



other parts of the continent, that is, in a 



ubby country, the site of 



mound beih 




open glade, in the very thickest part of the scrub. 

" The eggs are of a light pink, the colour being brightest 
and most uniform when freshly laid. As the time of hatching 
approaches they become discoloured, and marked in 
with dark spots. 

" The greatest length of these eggs is about . 3A inch 




3? 



breadth 



j> 



Circumference in direction of length 



9_2_ 
^10 



)> 



y> 



)> 



breadth 



10 

7- 



a 



2 



>> 



been 



The temperature of the nests I have examined has always 
warm; not so much so, however, as I should have 



thought necessary for the purpose of 



<rc 



There 




first is, that both ends are of 
form is peculiarly adapted 
always placed; the egg 



great peculiarities about these egg 



; the 

sarly the same size, which 

position in which they are 

being compressed in every part as 

ly as possible towards the axis, in which the centre of 

possible tendency to its equili- 






gravity lies, there is the least 
brium being destroyed when 

tion. A second peculiarity is the extreme 



placed 



I posi- 
of the 



shell, and 



This 



is so great, that, 



be broken 



s consequent fragility. 

;g is handled with the greatest care, it is sure to 

and every effort which has been made to hatch 

m 2 



' » 







4 ■ 



I - 



I 



'- 



164 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



these eggs under domestic fowls has failed, the egg. having 

every instance been broken by the bird under which it v 
placed. 

on the Murray River 



t< 



The native name for the bird 



is 



Marrak-ko or Marra-ko 



Western Australia the name of 



the bird is Ngow-o or Ngow. The name in Western Australia 
is given from the tuft on its head, Ngoweer meaning a tuft of 
feathers. 

" I have found this bird in different parts of that portion 
of Australia included between the 26th and 36th parallels of 
south latitude, and the 113th and 141st parallels of east 
longitude, and I think that there is every probability that it 
inhabits a much wider range. It is found in all the scrubby 
districts of South Australia. 

" The farthest point north at which I have seen the breed- 
ing-places of this bird is Gantheaume Bay. The natives of 
King George's Sound say the bird exists in that neighbour- 



hood 



I have never fallen in with its nests but in 



de 



scription of country, viz. where the soil was dry and sandy, 
and so thickly wooded with a species of dwarf Zeptospermum, 
that if you stray from the native paths, it is almost impossible 



to force your way through. 



" Yours truly, 



" G. Grey." 



cc 



P.S 



I have, by 



" December 14th. 

of several natives, 



elicited the following account of this bird 



There is only one male and one female to each mound 



they repair an old mound, and do not build 



tching the sand 



a new one ; both 
The female com- 



mences 



the 



mg 



about 



mo 



the beginning of September, or when 
spear-grass begins to shoot. Both sexes approach the 
it together when the female is about to lay, and they take 
equal share in the labour of covering and uncovering the 
und. After every sunrise the female lays an egg, and lays 







" • ■ ' 






-> : 



V 



RASORES. 



1G 



D 



altogether from eight to ten. If the natives rob the mound, 
the female will lay again in the same nest, but she will only 
lay the full number of eggs twice in one summer 
commencement of building, until the last egg 



four 



before the eggs were hatched) 



From the 
hatched. 



moons elapse (this would give a very long period of 



way 



alone : the mother does 



The youn 



They usually 



pair appear 



g 



come out one at a time; occasionally a 
ther. The mother, who is feeding in the scrub in the vicinity 

She then takes care of the young 

When the young 



hears its call and 



are 



i European hen does of its chick 

hatched, the mother is accompanied by eight 



young ones, who remain with her until they are more than 



half-g 



The male bird does not accompany them 



m 



The 



have different 



uttered while she walks about 



ones. 



that of the female is constantly 
in the scrub with her young 



seldom 



The natives frequently find the eggs and nests, but they 



the old birds, which 



ighted. They run very fast 



timid and quick 



the Emu 



and live for 



g time without 



rains. The natives state 
the bird mentioned above 
have been in ill health. 

remarkably s 



but drink when 



that the Entozoa which I found 



d that 



must 



It 



is a 



stout, compact bird, and appears, 
when alive, to have as large a body as the female Turkey, but 
it is shorter on the legs." 

Besides the above valuable notes by Gilbert and Sir George 
Grey, Mr. Richard Schomburgk has kindly sent me a copy of 
the ' Leopoldina,' Haft iii., October 1862, containing a com- 
munication from him respecting this bird, which, in the main, 
agrees with the above statements; but he has been led to 
believe that an interval of three or four days elapses between 
the laying of the eggs by one female \ he also 



remarks 



upon 



also particularly 
the base of the mound being sunk in the 






\ 









■ 
























-i *--■ 



166 






BIRDS OP AUSTRALIA 



* 



ground to the depth of twenty or twenty -four inches, and the 
cavity filled with leaves of the Eucalypti, on the top of and 
surrounding which the mound of sand and mixed herbag 



raised. Mr. Schomburg 



states that an egg he took 









home and placed under a domestic hen was hatched the next 
day, and the young bird appeared covered with feathers and 
capable of at once obtaining its own food. 

The Ocellated Leipoa is altogether a more slender and 
elegantly formed bird than the Wattled Talegallus, and 
moreover differs from that bird in having the head and neck 
thickly clothed with feathers, and in being adorned with a 
beautifully variegated style of colouring. 



Head and crest blackish brown 



d shoulders dark 

chin to the 



ash-grey ; the fore part of the former, from the chin to 
breast, marked by a series of lanceolate feathers, which are 



black, with a white stripe down the 



back and wing 



conspicuously marked with 
white, brown, and black i 



thr 



ie distinct bands of greyish 
the tip of each feather, the 



assuming an ocellate form, particularly on the tips of 



secondarie 



primar 



brown, their 



webs marked 



with 



g 



of darker br 



rump and upper tail- 



brownish grey, the feathers of the latter transversely 



all the 



marked with two or three zigzag lines near their tip ; 
under surface light buff, the tips of the flank-feathers barred 
with black; tail blackish brown, broadly tipped with buff; 
bill black : feet blackish brown. 



Total length 24 



bill 1^ ; wing 



The female so nearly resembles the male in the 



i 

2 



fc> 



and general markings of her plumage, that a separate de- 
scription is quite unnecessary j I may remark, however, that 
she is somewhat smaller in size. 



* T 



* ■ v. i 



■-■'•■:■-.. 








RASORES. 



167 



11! 



Genus MEGAPODIUS, Quoy et Gaimard. 

The members of this genus inhabit many of the Indian and 
Philippine Islands, and one species is found in Australia. It 
is said that the females of some species associate in bands 
during the night and deposit their eggs in the sand of the 
sea-shore to the depth of two or three feet ; that the suc- 
cessive deposits of eggs amount to a hundred or more, and are 
left to be hatched by the solar rays. 






■ 




•' 



Sp. 478. MEGAPODIUS TUMULUS, Gould. 

Australian Megapode. 

Megapodius tumulus, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part x. p. 20 
Oooregoorgd, Aborigines of the Cobourg Peninsula. 
Jungle-fowl, Colonists of Port Essington. 



Megapodius tumulus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 79. 

The discovery of a species of Megapodius in Australia is no 
more than might have been expected, considering that New 

Guinea and the adjacent islands are the great nursery of this 
extraordinary tribe of birds. 

When the Megapodius tumulus first came under my obser- 
vation I conceived it to be the M. rubripes of Temminck, and 
it was not until I had examined specimens of that species in 
the Museums of Paris and Ley den that I was satisfied of its 
being distinct. Its much greater size and more than propor- 



tionately powerful 



g 



are 



g the specific differences 



be observable by those who may feel disposed 



comparison 



this bird must be 



every naturalist, to myself it is peculiarly so, since the 
valuable notes on its habits and economy, which happily I am 
enabled to give, fully confirm all that I had previously asserted 
respecting the extraordinary mode of incubation of the Tale- 
gattus, verifying the opinion I have before expressed, that 







' 



~£i- 



168 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



Megapod 




and Zeipoa are most 



iy allied 



genera, forming part of a great family of birds, whose range 

extend from the Philippines through the 



will be found to 

islands of the Indian Archipelago to Australia 

The Megapodius tumulus is rather numerously spread over 
the whole of the Cobourg Peninsula on the north coast of the 
Australian continent; future research will doubtless require 
us to assign to it a much wider range, probably over many 
of the islands lying off the east coast. 

The following account of its habits is taken from Gilbert's 
notes; and, novel and extraordinary as those of Talegallus 
and Zeipoa may have been considered, this will be read with 
even greater inter< 

On my arrival at Port Essington my attention was 
attracted to numerous immense mounds of earth, which were 
pointed out to me by some of the residents as the tumuli of 



<< 



the aborig 



on the other hand, I was 



ed 



natives that they 



formed 




the 




the Megapode for the 



purpose of incubating its eggs : their statement appeared 



traordinary, and so much at 



with the general 



habits of birds, that no one in the settlement believed them 
or took sufficient interest in the matter to examine the 
mounds, and thus to verify or refute their accounts ; another 
circumstance which induced a doubt of their veracity was the 

natives as those of 



great size of the eggs br 



by the 



this bird. Aware that the eggs of Zeipoa were hatched in a 
similar manner, my attention was immediately arrested by 



these accounts, and I at once determined 



I 



, 






possibly could respecting so singular a feature in the bird's 
economy; and, having procured the assistance of a very 
intelligent native, who undertook to guide me to the different 
places resorted to by the bird, I proceeded on the sixteenth 
of November to Knocker's Bay, a part of Port Essington 
Harbour comparatively but little known, and where I had 



been informed a number of these birds 



■ 

were always to be 















h » r 



> V ; 









RASORES. 



169 



seen. 



I landed beside a thicket, and had not proceeded far 
from the shore ere I came to a mound of sand and shells, with 
a slight mixture of black soil, the base resting on a sandy- 
beach, only a few feet above high-water mark; it was 
enveloped in the large yellow-blossomed Hibiscus, was of a 
conical form, twenty feet in circumference at the base, and 
about five feet in height. On pointing it out to the native 
and asking him what it was, he replied 'Oooregoorga 
Rambal,' Megapode's house or nest. I then scrambled up 
the sides of it, and to my extreme delight found a young bird 
in a hole about two feet deep ; it was lying on a few dry 
withered leaves, and appeared to be only a few days old. So 
far I was satisfied that these mounds had some connexion 
with the bird's mode of incubation ; but I was still sceptical 
as to the probability of these young birds ascending from so 
great a depth as the natives represented ; and my suspicions 
were confirmed by my being unable to induce the native, in 
this instance, to search for the eggs, his excuse being that 
' he knew it would be useless, as he saw no traces of the 

old birds having recently been there/ I took the utmost 
care of the young bird, intending to rear it if possible; I 

■ 

therefore obtained a moderately- sized box, and placed in it a 
large portion of sand. As it fed rather freely on bruised 
Indian corn, I was in full hopes of succeeding ; but it proved 
of so wild and intractable a disposition that it would not 
reconcile itself to such close confinement, and effected its 
escape on the third day. During the period it remained in 
captivity it was incessantly occupied in scratching up the 
sand into heaps ; and the rapidity with which it threw the 
sand from one end of the box to the other was quite sur- 
prising for so young and small a bird, its size not being 
larger than that of a small Quail. At night it was so restless 
that I was constantly kept awake by the noise it made in its 
endeavours to escape. In scratching up the sand it only used 
one foot, and having grasped a handful as it were, the sand 



I 




















170 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



■ 



a * 

was thrown behind it, with but little apparent exertion, and 
without shifting its standing position on the other leg ; this 
habit, seemed to be the result of an innate restless disposition 
and a desire to use its powerful feet, and to have but little 
connexion with its feeding; for although Indian corn was 
mixed with the sand, I never detected the bird in picking any 
of it up while thus employed. 

" I continued to receive the eggs without having an oppor- 
tunity of seeing them taken from the mound until the 6th of 
February, when on again visiting Knocker's Bay I had the 
gratification of seeing two taken from a depth of six feet, in 



of the largest mounds I had then 



In this 



the holes ran down in an oblique direction from the 



towards the 



slope of the hillocl 



that, although the 



ggs were six feet deep from the summit, they were only 



three feet from 



de 



g 



gg 



each hole, and after the 



The birds are said to lay but a 

egg is deposited the 



earth is immediately thrown down lightly until the hole is 
filled up ; the upper part of the mound is then smoothed and 

It is easily known when a Megapode has 



rounded 



over. 



been recently excavating, from the distinct impressions of its 
feet on the top and sides of the mound, and the earth being 
so lightly thrown over, that with a slender stick the direction 
of the hole is readily detected, the ease or difficulty of thrusting 
the stick down indicating the length of time that may have 
elapsed since the bird's operations. Thus far it is easy 
enough « but to reach the eggs requires no little exertion and 
perseverance. The natives dig them up with their hands 



alone, 



d only make sufficient room to admit their bodies 



and to throw out the earth between their legs ; by grubbing 
with their fingers alone they are enabled to follow the direction 
of the hole with greater certainty, which will sometimes, at a 



depth of 



al 



off abruptly 



g 



g 



its 



direct course being obstructed by a clump of wood or some 



oth er 



pediment. Their patience is, however, often put 













* 









RASORES. 



171 



severe trials. In the present instance the native dug down 
six times in succession to a depth of at least six or seven feet 



without finding an egg, and at the last attempt came up in 



such a state of exhaustion that he refused to try again ; but 
my interest was now too much excited to relinquish the op- 
portunity of verifying the native's statements, and by the offer 
of an additional reward I induced him to make another effort • 
this seventh trial proved successful, and my gratification was 



plete, when 



with equal pride and satisfaction 



held up an egg, and after two or three more attempts pro- 
duced a second ; thus proving how cautious Europeans should 
be of disregarding the narratives of these poor children of 

nature, because they happen to sound extraordinary or different 
from anything with which they were previously acquainted. 

" I revisited Knocker's Bay on the 10th of February, and 
having with some difficulty penetrated into a dense thicket of 
cane-like creeping plants, I suddenly found myself beside a 
mound of gigantic proportions. It was fifteen feet in height 
and sixty in circumference at the base, the upper part being 
about a third less, and was entirely composed of the richest 

description of light vegetable mould ; on the top were very 
recent marks of the bird's feet. The native and myself im- 



mediately 



k. and after an hour's extreme labour 



rendered the more fatiguing from the excessive heat, and the 
tormenting attacks of myriads of mosquitoes and sand-flies, I 
succeeded in obtaining an egg from a depth of about five feet ; 
it was in a perpendicular position, with the earth surrounding 
and very lightly touching it on all sides, and without any other 
material to impart warmth, which in fact did not appear neces- 
sary, the mound being quite warm to the hands. The holes in 
this mound commenced at the outer edge of the summit, and 
ran down obliquely towards the centre : their direction there- 
fore is not uniform. Like the majority of the mounds I have 
seen, this was so enveloped in thickly foliaged trees as to pre- 
clude the possibility of the sun's rays reaching any part of it. 









i 












■ 







172 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



and 



The mounds differ very much in their composition, form, 
situation : most of those that are placed near the water's 
edge were formed of sand and shells without a vestige of any 
other material, but in some of them I met with a portion of 
soil and decaying wood ; when constructed of this loose ma- 
terial they are very irregular in outline, and often resemble a 



bank thrown up by 



heavy surf. One remarkable 



specimen of this description, situated on the southern side of 
Knocker's Bay, has the appearance of a bank, from twenty-five 
to thirty feet in length, with an average height of five feet ; an- 
other even more singular is situated at the head of the harbour, 
and is composed entirely of pebbly iron-stone, resembling a 



confused heap of sifted g 



this I dug to the depth of 



may have been 



feet without finding any change of character ; it 



inally, but is 



without any 



:gularity, and is very extensive, covering a space of 
hundred and fifty feet in circumference. These remarkable 
specimens would, however, seem to be exceptions, as by far 



the greater number 



tirely formed of light black veg 



able soil, are of a conical form, and are situated in the densest 



thickets 



Occasionally the mounds 



met with in barren 






ocky and sandy situations, where not a particle of soil similar 

o that of which they are composed occurs for miles round : 

how the soil is produced in such situations appears unac- 

birds bring 



countable 



has been said that the 



from a great distance 



par 



but as we have seen that they readily 






adapt themselves to the difference of situation, this is scarcely 
probable : I conceive that they collect the dead leaves and other 
vegetable matter that may be at hand, and which decomposing 
forms this particular description of soil. The mounds are 
doubtless the work of many years, and of many birds in suc- 
cession ; some of them are evidently very ancient, trees being 
often seen growing from their sides ; in one instance I found 
a tree growing from the middle of a mound which was a foot 






diameter. I endeavoured to g 



from the natives how 











* ' , * 



. '■ *, 




4 I 



EASOEES. 



173 



the young effect their escape ; but on this point they do nc 

g that they find their way unaided 



agree ; some 



found 



others, on the contrary, affirmed that the old birds, knowing 
when the young are ready to emerge from their confinement, 
scratch down and release them. 

The natives say that only a single pair of birds are ever 
at one mound at a time, and such, judging from my 
own observation, I believe to be the case ; they also affirm 
that the eggs are deposited at night, at intervals of several 
days, and this I also believe to be correct, as four eggs taken 

on the same day, and from the same mound, contained young 
in different stages of development ; and the fact that they are 
always placed perpendicularly is established by the concurring 
testimony of all the different tribes of natives I have questioned 



the subj 

" The Megapode is almost exclusively confined to the 
dense thickets immediately adjacent to the sea-beach; it 
appears never to go far inland, except along the banks of 
creeks. It is always met with in pairs or quite solitary, and 



feeds on the ground 



food consisting of roots, which 



powerful claws enable it to scratch up with the utmost facility 
and also of seeds, berries, and insects, particularly the large: 
species of coleoptera. 



<« 



seen. 



It is at all times a very difficult bird to procure ; for 
although the rustling noise produced by its stiff pinions when 
flying may be frequently heard, the bird itself is seldom to be 

Its flight is heavy and unsustained in the extreme ; 
when first disturbed it invariably flies to a tree, and on 
alighting stretches out its head and neck in a straight line 
with its body, remaining in this position as stationary and 
motionless as the branch upon which it is perched ; if how- 
ever, it becomes fairly alarmed, it takes a horizontal but 
laborious flight for about a hundred yards, with its legs hang- 
ing down as if broken. I did not myself detect any note or 
cry ; but, from the natives' description and imitation of it, it 



' ) 



H 



! 


























174 



BIRDS OV AUSTRALIA. 



much resembles the clucking of the domestic fowl, ending 
with a scream like that of the Peacock. 

" I observed that the birds continued to lay from the latter 
part of August to March, when I left that part of the country j 
and, according to the testimony of the natives, there is only 
an interval of about four or five months, the dryest and hot- 
test part of the year, between their seasons of incubation. 
The composition of the mound appears to influence the co- 
louring of a thin epidermis with which the eggs are covered, 



off, showing the 



true shell to be 












and which readily chips 
white ; those deposited in the black soil are always of a dark 
reddish brown, while those from the sandy hillocks near the 
beach are of a dirty yellowish white ; they differ a good deal 
in size, but in form they all assimilate, both ends being equal ; 
they are three inches and five lines long by two inches and 
three lines broad." 

The following interesting account of the breeding-places of 
this remarkable bird has been transmitted to me by Mr. John 
Macgillivray as the result of his observations on Nogo or 
Megapodius Island in Endeavour Straits. It will be seen that 

its range is more extensive than I had assigned to it : 

" The most southern locality known to me for this singular 



bird is Haggerston Island (in lat. 12° 3' south), where I observed 



several of its mounds of very large size, but did not see any 

survey of Endeavour Straits in 



of the birds. 



During the 



H.M.S. ' Bramble,' 1 was more fortunate, having succeeded 
in procuring both male and female on the island marked 
' Nogo ' upon the chart, where I resided for several days for 
that sole purpose. On this small island, not more than half 
a mile in length, rising at one extremity into a low rounded 



hill densely covered with jungle (or what in New South Wales 



would be called ' brush '), three mounds, one of them appa- 
rently deserted before completion , were found. The two 
others were examined by Mr. Jukes and myself. The most 
recent, judging from the smoothness of its sides and the want 



. ■ --■ 



5 - - .■ "; 







: ; 










RASORES. 



175 






of vegetable matter, was situated upon the crest of the 
and measured 8 feet in height (or 13J from the base of 



summit) and 77 feet in circumfer 



In this 



mound, after several hours' hard digging into a well-packed 
mass of earth, stones, decaying branches and leaves and other 
vegetable matter, and the living roots of trees, we found nu- 
merous fragments of eggs, besides one broken egg containing 
a dead and putrid chick, and another whole one, which proved 
to be addled. All were imbedded at a depth of si so feet from 
the nearest part of the surface, at which place the heat pro- 
duced by the fermentation of the mass was considerable. The 



gg 



o 4 




dirty brown, covered with a kind 



of epidermis, which easily chipped off, exposing a pure w 
surface beneath. Another mound, situated at the foot of 
hill close to the beach, measured no less than 150 feet in 
cumference ; and to form this immense accumulation of u 



ground in the vicinity had been 



ped quite b 



by the birds, and numerous shallow excavations pointed out 
whence the materials had been derived. Its form was an 
irregular oval, the flattened summit not being central as in 

the first instance, but situated nearer the larger end, which 
was elevated 14 feet from the ground, the slope measuring in 



various directions 18, 21|, and 24 feet. At Port Li 
a small bay a few miles to the westward, at Cape York 
Port Essington, I found other 



5 



m 



mounds which were compara 



tively low, and appeared to have been dug into by the 

great size the tumuli (which are probably the 



The 



several generations) have attained on Haggerston and Nogo 
Islands arises doubtless from those places being seldom visited 
by the aborigines. I found several eggs of large size in the 
ovarium of a female shot in August, while the condition of the 
oviduct showed that an egg had very recently passed ; hence 
it is probable that, in spite of their great comparative size, one 
bird lays several ; but whether each mound is resorted to by 
more than one pair, I had not the means of ascertaining. 





















I 






176 



BIRDS OP AUSTRALIA. 



cc 



Few birds are more wary and less easily procured than 
the Megajpodius : it inhabits the belts of brush along the 



coast, and I never found the tumulus at a greater distance 










from the sea than a few hundred yards. When disturbed it 
seldom rises at once, unless on the margin of a thicket, but 
runs off to some distance and then takes to wing, flying 
heavily, but without any of the whirring noise of the true 
Gallinacea. It seldom takes a long flight, and usually perches 
on a tree, remaining there in a crouching attitude with out- 
stretched neck, but flying off again upon observing any mo- 
tion made by its pursuer ; and it is only by cautiously sneak- 
ing up under cover of the largest trees that it can be ap- 
proached within gun-shot. As an example of its shyness, I 

may mention that a party of three persons, scattered about in 
a small jungle on Nogo Island, for the purpose of shooting the 
Megapodius, did not see a single bird, although they put up 
several, one of which came towards me and perched, uncon- 
scious of my presence, within twenty yards. At Port Essing- 



ton I have shot this bird 



among 



mangroves, the roots of 



which were washed by the sea at high water ; and Capt. F. P. 
Blackwood killed one while running on the mud in a similar 
locality, in both instances close to a mound. I never wit- 
nessed the escape of the young from the mound ; but one, as 
large as a quail, and covered with feathers, was brought to 
Lieut. Ince by a native, who affirmed that he had dug it out 
along with several eggs. 

" Iris yellowish brown ; stomach a complete gizzard, being 
thick and muscular, containing small quartz pebbles, small 
shells (Helix and Bulimus), and black seeds ; intestine 34 
inches in length, of the size of a goose-quill, and nearly uni- 
form in thickness, much twisted and contracted at intervals ; 

caecum slender, dilated at the extremity, and 4f inches in 
length." 

The late Mr. Elsey informed me that " the mounds of this 
bird were observed in the dense bottle-scrubs of the lower 










';:: 














R.4S0RES. 



177 



always in localities where I could not examine 

open ground. They abound in the scrubs 



Burdekin ; 

them; nev 

about the stations on the Dawson and Mackenzie 



Head 



d 



y deep cinnamon 



back of 



neck and all the under surface very dark grey • back and 




brown 



brown ; upper and under tail-coverts dark chestnut 



but 



blackish brown 



irides generally dark br 



m some specimens light reddish brown: bill reddish 



brown, with yellow edg 



d feet bright orang 



scales on the front of the tarsi from the fourth downwards 

and the scales of the toes dark reddish brown. 

The size of this bird is about that of a hen Pheasant (Pha- 
sianus colchicus) . 



Family TURNICIDJE. 

• In outward appearance the Tumices are seemingly allied to 
the Quails and Partridges, but no real affinity exists between 
them j neither are they, in my opinion, allied to the Tinamous, 
with which they have been associated. Those 



much of these birds 



per* 
a state of natur 



have failed to notice their many singular actions and 
while their mode of nidification, the number and 



their eggs, must have 



interested them 



they must be placed with the Gallinacecs 



colour of 
Although, of 



eyes 



Plover-like economy 



Genus TURNIX, Bonnaterre. 

However widely the members of this genus are dispersed 



inhabiting 
Islands 



of them do 



of 



Indian 



the Peninsula of India, Europe, and Africa, in 
Australia we find the species more numerous than elsewhere • 
they not only inhabit every part of the continent that has yet 
- ;plored, but they extend their range to the islands 



been 
adj 



and 



even 



Tasmania 



vol. it 



some 



species 



I J 






i 


















178 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA 



. 



1 I 



enjoy a wide range across the country from east to west, 
while others are very local ; grassy plains and stony ridges 
thinly interspersed with scrubs and grasses are the situations 
they frequent ; their eggs are invariably four in number, and 
rather pointed in form ; their only nest is a few grasses placed 
in a hollow on the ground. 



Sp. 479. TURNIX MELANOGASTER, Gould. 

Black-breasted Turnix. 

Hemipodius melanog aster, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part v. p. 7 



- 



Hemipodius melanogaster, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. 

pi. 81. 

I regret that, never having seen this species in a state of 
nature, I am unable to render any account of its habits and 
economy. Tt is a native of the eastern portion of Australia ; and 
the specimens in my collection were all procured at Moreton 

i 

Bay. The sexes present considerable difference in their size 

and markings, the male being the smallest and being destitute 
of the black colouring which distinguishes the female. It is 
about half the size of an English Partridge, and is the largest 
species of the genus yet discovered. 



Crown of the head, ear-coverts, throat and 



of the 



abdomen black; over each eye extends a line of feathers 

* 

having each a small white spot at the tip ; this line extends to 
the nape, which part is also thickly spotted with white on a 
black and chestnut-coloured ground j feathers on the sides of 



the chest and flanks black, having a 



g 



shaped 






marking of white near the tip ; mantle and upper part of the 
back rich chestnut brown, each feather having a spot of white 
and a stripe of black on each side, and barred with black at or 
near the tip ; shoulders, greater and lesser wing-coverts rufous 
brown, each feather having a white spot surrounded with a 
black line ; primaries dark brown ; thighs and upper and 






• 






: - -. 



^. . , ■ . - 







I ' 






I 




R A SORES. 



1 7 9 



under tail-coverts brown, freckled 
bill light brown • feet flesh-colour. 



d crossed with 




Total length 8* inches ; bill 1 ; wing 41 ; tail f ; tarsi 



1* 



Sp. 480. TURNIX VARIUS. 

Varied Turnix. 

Perdix varia, Lath. Ind. Orn., Supp. p. lxiii. 
New Holland Partridno Ta+k a an c™, c?.._„ 



Quail, 



He 



Turnix varius, Vieill. 2nd Edit, du Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. Nat. 



torn, xxxiv. 



// 



Moo-ro-lum, Aborigines of the lowland districts of Western 
Painted Quail, Colonists of Tasmania and Swan River 



Hemipodius varius, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol, vol. v. pi. 82. 

Among the game birds of Australia the Varied Turnix 
plays a rather prominent part, for although its flesh is not so 
good for the table as that of the little Partridge and Quail, 
Synoicus australis and Cotumix pectoralis, it is a bird which 



be despised when the game-bag 



ptied at the 



end of a day's sport, for it forms an acceptable variety 

contents. Although it does not actually associate with either 
of the birds mentioned above, it is often found in the same 
districts, and all three species may be procured in the course 



of 



g s walk 



many parts of New South Wales 



Victoria and South Australia, where it frequents sterile stony 
ridges, interspersed with scrubby trees and moderately thick 



g 



It is also very common in all parts of Tasmania suitable 



its habits, hills of moderate elevation and of 



character being the 



preferred 



the sandy and sterile islands in Bass's Straits 



from Wester 



Australia, which at fir 



a dry stony 

so numerous 

Specimens 



ght appear 



be 



identical with the bird here figured, are found to be smaller 



n 2 



■ 1 ' 















m 









180 



BIRDS OP AUSTRALIA. 



in size and to differ in their markings, and they will probably 
prove to be a distinct species. Tasmanian specimens, having 
an average weight of five ounces each, are rather larger than 
those of New South Wales ; no difference, however, occurs 

consider them to be mere local 



in their markin 



5 



and I 



fr 



varieties : no example has yet come under my notice 

the north coast, and the range of the species doubtless does 

not extend to within several degrees of that latitude. 

It runs remarkably quick, and when flushed flies low, its 
pointed wings giving it much the appearance of a Snipe or 
Sandpiper. When running or walking over the ground the 
neck is stretched out and the head carried very high, which 
together with the rounded contour of the back give it a very 



o 



grotesq 
August 



or 



appearance. 
September 



commences in 



The breeding-season 

md terminates in January, during 



which period at least 



broods are reared. The egg 



invariably four in number, and are either deposited ( 
bare ground or in a slightly constructed nest of g 
placed in some shallow depression, not unfrequently under 



the 



of a stone or at the foot of a tuft of 



s 



they are more 



pointed than those of other gallinaceous birds, are of a very 
pale buff, very minutely and thickly spotted and freckled 
with reddish brown, chestnut, and purplish grey, and are 
one inch and a quarter long by one inch broad. 



The note of 



Varied Turnix is a loud and plaint 



ound, which is often repeated, particularly during the pairing 



season. 



One very remarkable feature connected with this bird, and 
indeed with all the species of the genus, is the large size of 
the female when compared with that of the male ; no difference 
however exists in their colour and markings. 



The young 



as soon as they 



hatched, and their 



appearance then assimilates so closely to that of the young 
Partridges and Quails that they can scarcely be distinguished. 
The pretty downy coat with which they are then covered soon 












r i 







RASORES. 



181 



8 



place to feathers, whose markings and colours resemble 



but are less brilliant than those of the adult 



The food of 



berries 



and grasshopp 
quantity of sand 
thick and muscul 



species consists of insects, grain, and 



of the former many kinds are eaten, but locusts 



for 



the principal 



par 



a considerable 



found 



the gizzard, which 



very 



The adults have the crown of the head, nape, and forehead 
brown, spotted with white, and transversely rayed with 



large markings of brow 



feathers of the cheeks and a stripe 



each eye white, slightly fringed with black at their 
tt greyish white ; back and sides of the neck and mantle 
rufous brown j feathers of the back, rump, and upper 
overts transversely rayed with chestnut-red and black, 
the former and the scapularies striped laterally with black 



and white 



wings rufous, each feather spotted with white 
which is bounded posteriorly with an irregular spot of black 
primaries brown ; chest and flanks olive, each feather havin 



S 



a triangular yellowish- white spot at the tip ; centre of the 
abdomen and under tail-coverts yellowish white : bill brown 



bluish 



feet orang 



b 



irides bright reddish orange; legs and 



white 



Sp. 480. TURNIX SCINTILLANS, Gould. 



Speckled Turnix. 



Hemipod\ 



Hemipodius scintillans, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 83. 

This very beautiful species is an inhabitant of the Hout- 
man's Abrolhos, a group of islands lying off the western coast 
of Australia, and is tolerably abundant on two of them named 
East and West Wallaby Islands, where it is principally met 
with among the limestone crags. 

In its general appearance and the style of its markings it 












' 










I r 



182 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 












much resembles the Turnicc varius, but on comparison will be 
found to be but little more than half the size of that species ; 
besides which, its colouring is much lighter, more varied, and 
sparkling, the white margins of the 



back-feathers are mor 



numerous and conspicuous, and the markings of the throat 
and breast of a crescentic instead of an elongated form. 

Nothing whatever is known of its habits and economy, but 
they doubtless closely resemble those of the other species of 
the genus. 

The whole of the upper surface is light chestnut-red, each 



feather crossed by broad bars of brownish black, and margined 



with grey, within which are two narrow lines of black and 
white ; wing-coverts and tertiaries light chestnut-red, crossed 
by irregular zigzag bars of black, the interspaces of the outer 
margins greyish white ; chin and sides of the face white, with 
a narrow crescent-shaped mark of brown at the tip of each 
feather ; sides of the chest chestnut, each feather tipped with 
white, within which is an indistinct mark of deep black ; 
chest and under surface pale buffy white, the feathers of the 
chest with a row of dark grey spots on each margin, giving 

that part a speckled appearance ; primaries brown, narrowly 
edged with white ; irides reddish yellow ; bill greenish grey, 
darkest on the culmen, and becoming ashy grey beneath ; legs 
and feet orange-yellow. 



Male. — Total length 5 inches ; bill 
Female. 



6 



16 > 

3. 
4 



wing 3 



>> 



34 



)} 



3 
4 



Sp. 481. 



TURNIX MELANOTUS, Gould. 

■ 

Black-backed Turnix. 



Hemipodius melanotus, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., part y. p. 8. 
Turnix melanotus, Gould in Grey's Trav. App., vol. ii, p. 419, note. 



Hemipodius melanotus, Gould, Birds of Australia, foL, vol. v. pi. 84. 

Several years have now elapsed since I described this 
species from a specimen received from Moreton Bay; since 






M 



■ 









RASORES. 188 

then I have obtained other examples from the eastern and 
northern parts of Australia ; but have not obtained any in- 
formation respecting its habits and economy. 

The female is a larger bird than the male, in which respect 
only do the sexes differ in outward appearance. 

Crown of the head black, each feather fringed with brown 
at the tip ; space between the bill and the eye, stripe over 
the eye and cheeks, light yellowish brown, the feathers of the 
latter slightly tipped with black; back of the neck rich 
chestnut-red; scapularies deep chestnut-red, with a large 
transverse black mark in the centre of each feather, and a 
longitudinal stripe of fawn-yellow on their outer edges ; rump 
and upper tail-coverts black, each feather freckled with fine 
markings of brown, with indistinct spots of buff on the 
external edges of the upper tail-coverts ; greater and lesser 
wing-coverts buff-yellow, each feather having a spot of black 
in the centre; primaries brown; throat whitish; front of 
the neck and chest deep buff ; sides of the neck and flanks 
light buff, with an oblong spot of black transversely disposed 
in the centre of each feather; centre of the abdomen and 

under tail- coverts buffy white ; bill and feet brown. 

Total length 6 J inches ; bill f ; wing 3J- ; tail | ; tarsi #. 



Sp. 482. TURNIX CASTANOTUS, Gould. 



Chestnut-backed Turnix. 



« 



Hemipodius 
JVin-do-loo't 



Quail 



Hemipodius castanotus, Gould, Birds of Australia, foL vol v 
pi. 85. * ' 

The Chestnut-backed Hemipode inhabits the northern and 
north-western portions of Australia; specimens from the 
latter have been forwarded to me by Mr. Bynoe and by Mr. 



tm 



■ 












■ 



* 



I: 


















I 



I 



' 











184 



BlitDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



Dring of H.M.S. < Beagle;' Gilbert also found it at Port E 
sington, and his notes respecting it I here transcribe : 

This species inhabits the sides of stony hills in coveys of 

to thirty in number ; which, when disturbed, 



from fifteen 
seldom 



rise 



g 



but 



g the ground, and 



3nly upon being very closely pursued that they will take wing, 
md then they merely fly to a short distance : while running 



on the ground their heads are thr 



up as high 



th 



)) 



necks will permit, and their bodies being carried very erect, i 
waddling motion is given to their gait, which is very ludicrous 
The stomachs of those dissected were very muscular, and con 
tained seeds and a large proportion of pebbles 

Head, neck, and chest olive-grey, the feathers of the head 
and neck spotted with fawn-white at the tip, and those of the 
chest having a spatulate mark of the same colour down the 
centre ; centre of the abdomen and the under tail-coverts pale 
bun ; a narrow stripe over each eye, back, shoulders, and tail 
rich chestnut ; the feathers on the back and shoulders spotted 
with white, the white spots bounded anteriorly with black j 
primaries brown, edged with buff; irides gamboge-y ello w ; 
bill light ash-grey; naked skin round the eye smoke-grey; 



d feet king's-yellow 



m 



Total length 7 inches ; bill -J ; 



t> 



g3 



1 



Sp. 483. 



TURNIX VELOX, Gould. 
Swift-flying Turnix. 



Hemipodius velox, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part viii. p. 150. 

Kar-a-dong, Aborigines of the mountain districts of Western Australia 
Little Quail of the Colonists. 



Hemipodius velox, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 87. 

I found this interesting species of Turnix abundant in 
various parts of New South Wales, and ascertained that it is 
strictly migratory, by finding it in those places in summer 












;■- -'■ 












RASORES. 



185 












which I had previously visited in winter, when no appearance 
of one was to be seen. 

It appears to give preference to low 



■ 






stony ridges thinly 



covered with grasses, for it was in such situations that I g 



rally found it, though on 



some occasions I started it from 



toms. 



g the rank herbage clothing the alluvial soil of the bot- 
It lies so close as to be nearly trodden upon before it 
will rise, and when flushed flies off with such extreme rapidity, 
as, when its small size and the intervention of trees combine, to 
render it a most difficult shot to the sportsman. On rising 









' 



flies to the distance of 



hundred yards 



two or three feet of the surface, and then suddenly pitches to 
the ground. As might be expected, it lies well to a pointer, 
and it was by this means that I found many which I could 
not otherwise have started. 

In addition to the districts above named, I observed 
although rarely, in the interior of the country north of the 
Liverpool Plains. Before I left Sydney a single specimen was 
sent me from South Australia, and in a collection from Swan 
River I found both the bird and its eggs; these circumstances 
proving that it possesses a range extending from one side of 





the continent to the other, and in all probability it inhabits 
great portion of the interior. In Western Australia it 



is 



stated to frequent clear open spots of 



and 



may 
most 



grass, 
occasionally be met with in the thick scrub, but 

favourite retreat is the grassy valleys of the interior adjacent 
to water. 

Pleased as I was at making acquaintance with this little 
bird, I was still more gratified at finding its nest and eggs. 

It breeds in September and October. The nest is slightly 
constructed of grasses placed in a shallow depression of the 
ground under the shelter of a small tuft of grass : the ego-s 
are four in number, of a dirty white, very thickly blotched all 
over with markings of chestnut, eleven lines and a half long 
by nine lines broad : eggs from Western Australia are much 















, 







■ 






186 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



much lighter in colour, and have the chestnut blotching 



more minute 



The stomach is extremely muscular, and the food consists 
of grasshoppers and other insects, seeds, &c. 

One of the most singular circumstances connected with the 
history of this and the following species is the great difference 
in the size of the sexes, the males being but little more than 
half the size of the females. 

Head, ear-coverts, and all the upper surface chestnut-red ; 
the crown of the head in some specimens has a longitudinal 
mark of buff down the centre ; the feathers of the back, rump, 
scapularies, and sides of the chest margined with buff, within 
which is a narrow line of black running in the same direction • 



o 



the feathers of the lower part of the back are also crossed by 
several narrow irregular bands of black; primaries light brown, 
margined with buff on their internal edges ; throat, chest, and 
flanks sandy buff, passing into white on the abdomen • bill 
horn-colour ; irides straw- white ; legs and feet yellowish white. 



Total length 5| inches ; bill I 



g3 



tarsi # 



The above is the description of a female : the male has the 



feathers on the sides of the chest 
with buff. 



ipicuously margined 



Sp. 484. TURNIX PYRRHOTHORAX, Gould. 

Red-chested Turnix. 

Hemipodius pyrrhothorax, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part viii 

p. 150. 



* 

Hemipodius pyrrohothorax Gould, Birds of Australia, foL. vol v 
pi. 86. 

* 

But little is known respecting the Swift-flying Turnix, 
and even less information has been obtained respecting the 
history of the present species, which, although assimilating to 

in some of its characters, differs from it in the 



the former 



markings of the face and neck, and in the rufous colouring of 






\ 






I 







RASORES. 



187 



the fore part of the throat and chest : it is also somewhat more 

It first came under 

on the 



slender and elegant in its proportions. 

my notice while traversing the flats near Aberdeen 



Upp 

female 



H 



where I obtained 



then 



example of th 



me 
col- 



however, Mr. Coxen has kindly sent 
examples of the opposite sex, and I have seen others in 
lections from the east coast. 

■ 

The female has the crown of the head dark brown, with a 
line of buff down the centre ; feathers surrounding the eye, 
ear-coverts and sides of the neck extremely small, white, edged 
with black ; back and rump dark brown, transversely rayed 
with bars and freckles of black and buff ; wings paler, edged 

with buff, within which is a line of black running in the same 
direction ; primaries brown, margined with buff ; throat, chest, 
flanks and under tail-coverts sandy red, passing into white on 



the 



of the abdomen : bill hoi 



yellow ; feet yellowish white. 
Total length 5^ inches ; bill ^ 



irides 



16 > 



g 3 ; tarsi 



3 
4 



The male has a similar character of markings on the upper 



surface, but the colouring of 
paler, and he is fully a third 



throat 



d flanks 



much 



Genus PEDIONOMUS, Gould. 

- 

Allied to Turnioc, but differing in having a small hind-toe 
A single species only of this curious form has yet been dis 
covered. 



Sp. 485. PEDIONOMUS TORQUATUS, Gould. 

Collared Plain-Wanderer. 

Pedionomus torquatus, Gould in Proc. of ZooL Soc, part viii. p. 114. 

microurus, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part x. p. 20. 

Turnix gouldiana, O. des Murs. (Bonaparte). 

Pedionomus torquatus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol, vol. v. pi. 80. 
The structure of this singular little bird is admirably adapted 



















• 










:' : :! 




















183 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



for inhabiting 



d arid plains which 



* r 



the central portions of Australia 



d we may 



ably suppose, that whenever the vast interior of that country 
shall be explored, other species of this form will be discovered. 
The lengthened and courser-like legs of the Collared Plain- 
Wanderer are admirably suited for running, while its short, 



round and 
flight. 



gs are as little adapted for 



Its general contour suggests the idea of a diminutive 



Bustard. As is the case with the Turnices, the 



differ 







considerably both in size and markings, the female being by 
far the largest and richest in colour. On its native 
this bird has many singular habits, particularly that of 
ing itself among the scanty herbage or of remaining quiet on 
the bare ground until it is nearly trodden upon before it will 
rise, and when it does take wing its flight is more contracted 
than that of any bird with which I am acquainted. In a state of 
captivity it becomes less shy and assumes, as the following notes 
by Sir George Grey will testify, many sprightly actions 

"We have had several of these birds in confinement at diffe- 
rent times ; they eat pounded wheat, raw and boiled rice, bread 



and flies j the latter appear to be their favourite food 



They 



n become perfectly tame ; the three now in our possession 
have had for upwards of four months . 
These birds are migratory ; they appear at Adelaide in 



June, and disappear about January j where they go has 
yet been ascertained. They never fly if they can avoid 



so 



doing, and are often caught by dogs 



disturbed, they 



crouch down and endeavour to hide themselves in a tuft of 



g 



While running about they 



the habit of raising 



themselves in a nearly perpendicular position on the 
ties of their toes, so that the hinder part of the foot does not 
touch the ground, and of taking a wide survey around them. 
The Emu sometimes stands in a similar position. I have not 
yet ascertained anything respecting their nests, eggs, or time 
of breeding. The call of those we have in confinement pre- 









■ 












■ 



RASORES. 189 



cisely resembles that of the Emu, not the whistle, but the 
hollow-sounding noise like that produced by tapping on a cask, 
which the Emu utters, but is of course much fainter." 



Strange sent me a fully developed egg of this bird which he 




I 



took from the ovarium of a female ; in general character it 
resembles those of the Turnices ; it is somewhat suddenly con- 
tracted at the smaller end, the ground-colour is stone- white 
sprinkled with small blotches of umber-brown and vinous 
grey, the latter colour appearing as if beneath the surface of 
the shell, the sprinkled markings predominating at the larger 
end ; the length of the egg is one inch and one-eighth 
seven- eighths in breadth. 

The male has the crown of the head, back, and upper sur- 
face mottled with black, brown and fawn-colour, the latter 
occupying the external edge of the feathers, and the black and 
brown forming alternate circular markings on each feather ; 
throat, neck, chest and flanks dull fawn-colour, the feathers of 
the neck and chest blotched with brown ; flanks marked with 
the same colour, assuming the form of bars; tail-feathers 
almost invisible ; centre of the abdomen and under tail-coverts 

buffy- white ; irides straw-yellow ; feet greenish yellow. 

Total length 4^ inches ; bill {^ ; wing 3^ ; tarsi -J . 

The female has the crown of the head reddish brown, 
speckled with black ; sides of the head and neck light buff, 
speckled with black ; neck surrounded by a broad band of 
white, thickly spotted with black; all the upper surface 
reddish brown, each feather having several transverse crescent- 
shaped marks in the centre, and margined with buff; tail 
buff, crossed by numerous narrow brown bars; centre of the 
breast rufous, the remainder of the under surface buff; the 
feathers on the breast marked in a similar manner to those on 
the upper surface, and the flanks with large irregular spots of 



black ; irides straw-yellow ; bill yellow, passing into black 
the point ; feet greenish yellow. 

Total length 7 inches ; bill f ; wing 3| ; tail If ; tarsi f 










: ;i 






















190 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



Family PEEDICXM1. 



Aus 



Genus COTURNIX, Mahring. 

One true Quail is all that has yet been described in . 
tralia ; this, as might be expected, is a denizen of the pi 
and of all the open districts of any extent where grass-land 
occur; but it also resorts to the arable districts in 



abundance. Another 



g 



species occurs m New Zealand and 



others in India, Africa, and Europe, but not in America 

Sp. 486. COTURNIX PECTORALIS, Gould. 

Pectoeal Quail. 

Coturnix pectoralis, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part v. 
Stubble Quail of the Colonists of Tasmania 



P 



8 



Coturnix pectoralis, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol, vol. v. pi. 88. 
The present species is very abundant in Tasmania, South 

Australia, and New South Wales ; I have also received speci- 
mens from Western Australia and a single example from 



north 



from both of which localities the specimens 
smaller, and have a more buffy tint pervading the under 

however, prepared to affirm that they 



are 



face 



I 



ipecifically distinct 



and the parts of the country under 
favourable to the habits of the bird 



Open grassy plains, extensive grass flats 



of life 



fact 



economy and mode 



{Coturnix communis) that a descript 



closely resembles the Quail of Europ 



oi 



qually de 



riptive of the other. It powers of flight are considerable 
d when flushed, it wings its way with arrow-like swiftness 
distant part of the pi 



it lies 



pointer, and 



from the first settlement of the colony always afforded 



considerable amusement to the 



It 



bird for the table, fully equalling in this respect its Europ 






/ 



■ ' 1 



■ ; ■ 



■ ■ T > I 












I 



KA SORES. 



191 



presentat 



During my rambles in the districts resorted 



to by this bird, I frequently found 
bear a strong resemblance to those of 



d eg 




they 
but 



much variation exists in their colouring, some being largely 



blotched all over 



ith brown on a 



white ground 



while from this to a finely spotted marking every variety 
occurs ; the number of eggs in 



each 



from 



to fourteen 
diversified : 



much 



The situations chosen for the nest are 
sometimes it is placed among the thick grass of 



the luxuriant flats, while at others it is artfully concealed by 



tuft of herbag 



the open 




The chief food of 



matter of 



species is grain, seeds and insects, the g 

course, being only procured in cultivated districts ; and hence 
the name of Stubble Quail has been given to it by the colonists 
of Tasmania, from the great numbers that visit the fields after 
the harvest is over. 

September and the three following months constitute the 
breeding-season ; 



but 



somewhat later in Tasmania th 



in South Australia and New South Wales. 

The average weight of the male is four ounces and a half ; 
the female, which rarely equals the male in size, may at all 
times be distinguished by the total absence of the black mark- 

ings on the chest, and by the throat being white instead of 
buff. 

The male has the lores, ear-coverts and throat buff • 



of the head and back of the neck deep brown 



crown 

each eye 
similar line down the 



parallel lines of yellowish 
centre of the head from the forehead to the nape ; back of the 
neck brown, each feather marked down its centre with a lan- 



black 



mark of yellowish white, blotched 



side with 



; mantle, back and upper tail-coverts brown, trans- 
versely rayed with zigzag markings of black, and striped down 
the centre with lanceolate markings of yellowish white ; wings 
brown, transversely rayed with zigzag lines of grey and black; 
primaries and centre of the chest black : sides of the chest 
















i - 





















i 










# 



192 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



brown ; abdomen white, each feather marked down its centr 
with black j flanks rich brown, the centre of each feather whitt 
bounded on either side by a fine line of black ; bill black 
irides hazel ; feet pearly vinous white. 



Total length 6 



4 



bill i : wine- 3£ : tarsi f 



i . 

2 > 



5 "8 



The female differs in being destitute of the black marks 
the chest, in the throat being white instead of buff, and in 
bill being olive instead of black. 



Genus SYNOICUS, Gould. 

The similarity in the habits and economy of these birds 
those of the true Partridges, particularly of our well-known 

them more nearly to that 



species the Perdix cinerea, allies 
genus than to the true Quails {Coturnix) 

The various species move about in small coveys, and when 
flushed fly but a short distance before they again alight. As 

an article of food they are all that can be wished. 

Every part of Australia, from Port Essington to Tasmania, 



is inhabited by 



other 



ember of the 



g 



The 



species are extremely difficult to distinguish from each other, 
and all of them may not yet have been described. 

I may remark that these birds assume an infinite variety of 
markings; but whether these markings are subject to any 



I know 



It would be desirable to ascertain if the fully 
adult mated sexes are alike in colour, or if the female be 



darker or lighter 



than the male, and if those with 



gty 



marked bars of black on the upper surface be birds of the 



year 






The markings of the eggs of the various species differ as 

s those of the plumage, some being of a uniform 



much 

creamy 

minute specks of bi 



others 



thickly dotted 












- . 



























RASORES. 193 



Sp. 487. SYNO'iCUS AUSTRALIA 

Swamp-Quail. 

Perdix australis, Lath. Ind. Orn., Supp. p. Ixii. 
Coturnix australis, Temm. Pig. et Gall. 8vo, torn. iii. pp. 474 and 740 
New Holland Quail, Lath. Gen. Syn. Supp., vol. ii. p. 283. 
Moo-reete, Aborigines of the lowland districts of Western Australia. 
Brown Quail Colonists of Swan River and Tasmania 



Synoicus australis, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 89. 

Although this bird and its allies are ordinarily known in 
Australia under the trivial name of Quails {Coturnix), they 

are really more nearly allied to the Common Partridge 
{Perdix cinerea) of the British Islands, so renowned for 
the goodness of its flesh, and for the healthy pastime it an- 
nually affords to all who follow the sports of the field. 
Although much more diminutive in size, the Australian bird 
offers in many points of its economy a great similarity to its 
antipodean ally. The Synoicus australis is distributed over 
the whole of New South Wales, South Australia, and Tasma- 
nia, the localities most suited to its habits being thick grassy 
flats and humid spots overgrown with herbage, by the sides 
of rivers and water-holes. Its call is very similar to that of 
the Common Partridge, and like that bird it is found in coveys 
of from ten to eighteen in number, which simultaneously rise 
from the ground and pitch again within a hundred yards of 
the spot whence they rose. It sits so close, that it will often 
admit of being nearly trodden upon before it will rise. Pointers 
stand readily to it, and it offers perhaps better sport to the 
sportsman than any other bird inhabiting Australia. Its 
weight is about four ounces and three quarters, and its flesh 



delicious 



The Swamp-Quail breeds on the ground, where it 
structs a slight nest of grass and leaves ; the eggs, which 
of large size, and from ten to eighteen in number, are so 



con- 



VOL. II. 



o 












l:| 



1!, j 

I 









M 












194 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



times uniform bluish white, at others minutely freckled all 



over with buff. 



Forehead, space between the bill and the eye, and the throat 
greyish white, with a tinge of buff ; all the upper surface ir- 
regularly marked with beautiful transverse bars of grey, black 



and 



chestnut, each feather on the back having a fine stripe 



down the centre ; shoulders greyish brown, the remainder of 
the wing marked with obscure transverse lines of grey, brown 
and black ; primaries brown, mottled on the external edges 
with greyish brown ; all the under surface buffy grey, each 
feather having numerous zigzag markings of black, and many 
of them having a very fine line of white down the centre ; bill 
blue, deepening into black at the tip ; irides orange ; feet dull 
yellow. 



9 V 



Sp. 488. SYNOICUS DIEMENENSIS, Gould. 

Tasmanian Swamp-Quail. 

Synoicus diemenensis, Gould in Froc. of Zool. Soc, part xv. p. 33 
Greater Brown Quail of the Colonists. 



Synoicus diemenensis, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 90. 

The Tasmanian Swamp-Quail is fully a third larger than the 
Synoicus australis, and has the markings of the npper surfaces 
more numerous and varied ; the situations it affects appear to 
be low marshy grounds covered with dense masses of herbage. 
The eggs I procured were found in the swamps immediately 
below New Norfolk; they are more green than those of S. 
australis, are sprinkled all over with minute spots of brown, 
and are from twelve to eighteen in number, one inch and seven- 
sixteenths long by one inch and an eighth broad. 

Eorehead, lores and chin greyish white tinged with buff; 
crown of the head dark brown, with a line of buff down the 
centre ; all the npper surface irregularly marked with beauti- 
ful transverse bars of grey, black and chestnut, each feather 
with a fine stripe of greyish white down the centre ; primaries 
















RASORES. 



195 



I 

brown, mottled on their external edges with grevish brown ; 
all the under surface greyish buff, each feather with numerous 
gular somewhat arrow-shaped marks of black, and many of 



them with 



a very fine 



of white down the centre : bill 



blue, deepening into black at the tip ; irides orange j feet d 



yellow 



Total length 8£ inches : bill 3 



4 > 



wing4|-; tarsi l 1 



8 



Sp. 489. 



8YNOICUS SORDIDUS, Gould. 

Sombre Swamp-Quail. 



Synoicus sordidus, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xv. p. 33. 

Synoicus sordidus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 91. 

This species differs from its congeners in the absence of 
any variety in the markings of its plumage, in lieu of which all 
the feathers of the upper surface have a broad bluish-grey 
stripe down the middle. 

Two specimens are all that have come under my notice ; both 
of which were received from South Australia. 

Its habits doubtless resemble those of the other members 

of the genus, but nothing is at present known respecting 

them. 

General plumage dark brown, minutely freckled with black, 
each feather of the upper and under surface with a broad 
stripe of bluish grey down the centre ; feathers of the head 
and back of the neck with a spot of blackish brown at the tip, 
those down the centre of the head and a few of the back- 
feathers with white shafts ; chin buff; flank-feathers 
arrow-head-shaped mark of black near the tip. 

Total length 7 inches ; bill f ; wing 3| ; tarsi f . 



with 



Sp. 490. SYNOICUS CERVINUS, Gould. 

Northern Swamp-Quail. 

As I have before remarked, the Swamp-Quails of Austral 

o 2 






I- 






ir 













I, 












196 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 






I 


















must either be regarded as constituting but one or several 
species — a point which must be left for future investigation, 
and which can only be determined by persons resident in the 
colony, or by a careful examination and comparison of a much 
larger number of examples than are at present to be found in 
this country. I have enumerated three species which appear 
to possess tangible specific characters, and I now venture to 
describe a bird commonly found in the neighbourhood of 

, as distinct from those of the southern 
continent: it is one of the smallest members 





















Port Essington 

portions of the I 

of the genus, and distinguished by a more delicate and sandy 
buff colouring. 

The eggs of this species, like those of the other members 
of the genus, vary from ten to fourteen in number, and are 
usually deposited in a depresssion of the ground lined with a 
few grasses or other herbage. Some examples, received direct 
from Port Essii 

any kind ; their 



» 



are cream-white, without markings of 



g 



g 



inch and a sixteenth 



d their breadth seven-eighths of an inch. 

_ 

Lores, sides of the head, and throat buff; all the upper 

and 

i the 



surface marked with transverse bars of black, grey 



chestnut-bro 



fine stripe of buffy white d 



centre of each of the feathers of the back ; shoulders greyish 
brown, remainder of the wing marked with obscure spots and 



freckles of brown 



d black ; primaries bro 



vn, mottled 

the under surface buff. 






externally with greyish brown ; all 

washed with grey, each feather with several zigzag transverse 

■ 

lines of black, and many with a fine line of white down the 

: irides 



centre; bill blue, darkening 

I 

orange ; feet dull yellow. 
Total length of the male 



black at the tip 



tail 1 1 



6i inches : 



2 



bill 



9 



16 > 



g3 



5.. 

8 y 



2 > 



tarsi -§ 












\ 



RAS011ES 



197 



Genus EXCALFATORIA, Bonaparte. 



Three 



■ 

four species of this 



defined 



g 



inhab 



India, China, the Indian Islands, and Australia ; while others 



qually typical 



found 



Afr 



They 



among the 



most diminutive of the GallinacecB, if not the least of any of 
that extensive group of birds. 



Sp. 491. EXCALFATORIA AUSTRALIS, Gould. 

Least Swamp-Quail. 



Synoicus? chinensis, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. v. pi. 92. 

In separating this species from the old Perdix chinensis 
of authors, I have no desire to add my own name to the end 
of a specific term; but I find there are several species of 
this form, and not one only, as was formerly supposed. 
The Australian bird is altogether smaller than the Indian 



specimens 



ith which I have 



more delicate bill, shorter 



compared it, has a somewhat 

■ 

si, a much darker upper sur- 
face, and the black blotches on the back much more con- 
spicuous . 

This is one of the species of Australian birds I have 

of nature, which is the more 



a 



t personally seen in 

gular as I have received skins fr 



lity 



nearly 



ery loca- 



I have ascertained, however, that at some seasons it 



very numerous in such 



d humid districts as are 



clothed with dense and luxuriant 



g 



and other vege- 



table productions ; but, beyond this, nothing is known of its 
history. 

The male has the crown of the head and upper surface 
brown, irregularly blotched with black, some of the feathers 



with a narrow stripe of buff down the 



gs brow 



the coverts broadly margined with brown ; sides of the head, 
breast, and flanks fine blue grey ; throat black ; within the 






fl 






r 


















































' 















198 



. 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



black on each side an oblong patch, and on its lower part a 
crescent-shaped mark of white; abdomen and under tail- 
coverts deep rich chestnut-red ; irides hazel ; bill black : feet 



yellow. 



Total length 4-J inches ; bill 



7 



16 > 



wing 2 



5 . 

8 > 



tarsi J . 




The female has a broad stripe over each eye sandy buff; crown 
of the head and all the upper surface dark brown, crossed by 
fine bars of lighter brown, and each feather, particularly those 
of the back and rump, with a line of buff down the centre ; 
throat and centre of the abdomen buff; breast, sides of the 
neck, flanks, and under tail-coverts sandy buff, crossed 

numerous crescentic marks of blackish brown; irides dark 
brown ; bill black ; feet yellow. 

Mr. Wallace sent to this country a new species of this 
form, so diminutive in size that I question if it be not the 
smallest gallinaceous bird yet discovered. A fine male of this 
species, bearing the name of Bxcalfatoria minima, Gould, 
now graces the national collection, and a second specimen is 

contained in my own. 



* 












. - * 



* 



-• f , 



r 



■ . 

















ftRALLATORES 



199 






Order GRALLATORES. 



i 

The birds comprised in this Order 



sented 



in Austr 



are very fairly repre- 
Among the forms peculiar to that 
country are the genera Dromaius, Cladorhynchus >, Tribonyx, 
and Eulabeomis, while among those also found in other 

Otis, Ardea, Eoretta, Ardeola, Lobi- 



Casuar 



vanettus, Strepsilas, Squatarola, Charadr 



Eudi 



Hamatop 



Ballus, and Porzana 



Himantopus, Schceniclus, Terekia, Gallinago, Be- 
Limosa, Bhynchaa, Numenius, Mycteria, Parra 






I have not failed to remark that wherever similar physical 



conditions 



forms of birds generally 



thus 



the marshes of Australia have the usual accompaniment of 
Herons, Rails, and Snipes ; 



the 



the 




their Bustard 



d 



strands of the sea-shore their Sandpipers and Plovers. 
Still there are some remarkable exceptions to this rule in 
Australia : for she has no Pterocles among her Rasorial Birds, 
or Cursorius among her Grallatores, for both of which forms 
the country would seem to be well adapted ; neither has she a 
P/icenicqpterus, like Africa. 
























Family STRUTHIONmE. 

Time was when many parts of our globe were inhabited by 
enormous birds of this family, evidence of which is afforded 
by their semi-fossilized remains found in Madagascar, New 
Zealand, and elsewhere. These great Struthiones have still 
their representatives; for America has two, if not three 



species of Bhea; Africa 



New Guinea and the 



neighbouring islands, their Cassowaries ; Australia, its Emus 
and the islands of New Zealand, two or three species of dimi 
nutive Apteryges. 































200 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA 







Genus DROMAIUS, Vieillot. 

At least two species of this form inhabit Australia, to 
which country and Tasmania they are restricted. Structurally 
they differ from the Ostrich in having three toes instead of 
two, and from the Rheas and Cassowaries in other particulars. 
The sexes are alike in colouring, and the male takes upon 
himself the task of incubating the eggs. 



Sp. 492. DROMAIUS NOVJE-HOLLANDLE 

Emu. 



M 



i 

New Holland Cassowary, Phill. B 

Southern Cassowary, Shaw, Nat. 

Emu of New South Wales, Collin's Voy., vol. ii. pi. in p. < 

Casuarius nov<e-hollandia>, Lath. IncL Orn., vol. ii. p. 665. 



are de la Nouvelle Hollande 

p. 467, pis. 36 and 41. 



aux Terr. Aust., torn. i. 



Dromaius ater, Vieill. Gal. des Ois., torn. ii. pi. 226. 

■ 

The Emeu, Benn. Gard. and Menag. of Zool. Soc., Birds, p. 192. 

Van Diemen's Land Cassowary, Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. viii. p. 384, 
pi. cxxxviii. 

Dromieeus australis, Swains. Class, of Birds, vol. ii. p. 346. 

emu, Steph. Cont. of Shaw's Gen. Zool., vol. xi. p. 439, and vol. 



xiv. p. 307, pi. 39. 

Dromaius novce-hollandice, G. R. Gray, List of Gen. of Birds, 2nd edit. 

p. 82. 



Dromaius novse-hollandi®, Gould 



pl.l 

This 



known bird was first described 



d figured 



under the name of the New Holland Cassowary in Governor 

i 

Phillip's 'Voyage to Botany Bay,' published in 



1789 



d 



been included in all ornithological works of a general 



date; but by far the 



that have appeared 
most accurate account of it is that given by the late Mr. 
Bennett in the ' Gardens and Menagerie of the Zoological 






<. - 



* * * r 




GRALLATORES. 201 



* 

Society delineated.' " In size and bulk the Emu is exceeded 
by the African Ostrich alone. Its average measurement may 
be estimated at between five and six feet in height. In form 
it closely resembles the Ostrich, but is lower on the legs, 
shorter in the neck, and of a more thick-set and clumsy make. 
At a distance its feathers have more the appearance of hair than 
of plumage, their barbs being all loose and separate. As in 
the Ostriches, they take their origin by pairs from the same 
shaft. The wings are so extremely small as to be quite in- 
visible when applied to the surface of the body. They are 
clothed with feathers exactly similar to those of the back, 
which divide from a middle line and fall gracefully over on 



side 



)> 



Its flesh has been compared to coarse beef, which it re- 
sembles, according to Mr. Cunningham, " both in appearance 
and taste, and is good and sweet eating ; nothing indeed can 
be more delicate than the flesh of the young ones. There is 
but little fit for culinary use upon any part of the Emu, except 
the hind-quarters, which are of such dimensions that the 

shouldering of two hind-legs homewards for a mile distance 

once proved to me as tiresome a task as I ever recollect to 
have encountered in the colony." I may remark that its flesh 
proved of the greatest service to Dr. Leichhardt and his 
intrepid companions during their overland route from More- 
ton Bay to Port Essington, in the course of which, but more 
particularly between the head of the Gulf of Carpentaria and 
Port Essington, the sight and capture of the Emu was almost 
a daily occurrence ; so abundant in fact was it, that he states 
he saw in the short space of eight miles at least a hundred, 
in flocks of three, five, ten, and even more, at a time. Dr. 
Leichhardt mentions that the natives on killing an Emu in- 
variably break the wings — why, he was at a loss to conceive, 
as they could but slightly assist the animal in making its 
escape, should it survive ; some curious practices also exist 
with respect to this bird among the natives, the particulars of 






:!i 






• 















. H ; 
























I 



















202 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



which I have not been able to learn, but I may mention that 
the young men and boys are not allowed to feed upon it. 

The range of the present species is still unknown ; but in 
all probability it extends from Tasmania through the whole 
of the eastern division of Australia to its most northern 

And now a word to the Australians, particularly to 

g themselves about acclimatizing 

g for things they have 



limits 



are 



ho 

from other 



pur 



in 






not and neglecting those they possess. At what 
poses are we playing both in Europe and Australia 
England a price is put upon the head of the Sparrow, while 
in Australia rewards are offered for its introduction ; but on 
this subject any remarks would be out of place here, and I must 
content myself by praying that protection may be afforded to 
that noble bird, the Emu, in order that it may not be extir- 
pated from the continent, as it nearly has been from Tasmania, 
where, I hear, it would require a month's search, in the most 



remote parts of the island, before one could 



any of 



few that are still living thereon. How much will the loss of 
this fine bird be regretted by every right-minded person who 
claims Tasmania as his father-land ! 

On the continent of Australia the Emu was formerly abun- 
dant about Botany Bay and Port Jackson Harbour, but is 
now only to be seen on the plains of the interior, over whose 
solitudes it still roams in great numbers, and where it breeds 



depending upon the 



gth and swiftness of 



legs to 
Eurther 



avoid the pursuit of the stockmen and their dogs. 

and further back, however, will it be driven until it be 
extirpated, unless some law be instituted to check its wanton 
destruction. That it might easily be preserved is evident 
from the readiness with which it breeds in confinement ; and 
surely I have here said sufficient to induce the Australian 
authorities to give a thought to its protection, as well as that 
of the great red and grey Kangaroos and other interesting 
native birds and quadrupeds. 















GRALLATORES. 



203 



The note of the Emu is a low booming or pumping noise, 
which we know is produced in the female by means of the 
expansion and contraction of a large membranous bag, sur- 
rounding an oblong opening through the rings of the trachea ; 
but whether this peculiarity of structure is also to be found 
in the male I am not aware. 

They pair with tolerable constancy, and the male bird 
appears to take a lage share in the task of incubation. 

The eggs, which are merely placed in a cavity scooped in the 
earth, generally in a sandy soil, are six or seven in number, 



beautiful dark 



g 



resembling shagreen in appear- 



ance 



inches and three-quarters in length by 



and three-quarters in breadth. They are held in much esteem 



by the n 
procured 



who feed upon them whenever they can be 



Little or no difference of colour is observable 



in the 



sexes ; but I believe the female is always smaller than the 



male 



The entire plumage is of a dull brown, mottled, particularly 



on the 
head 



der surface, with dirty 



the feathers of the 



d neck becoming gradually shorter 



d 



so 



thinly 




s 



placed that the purplish hue of the skin of the throat and 

round the ears is perfectly visible ; irides brown ; bill and 
dusky black. 

The young on first quitting the shell have a very elegant 
appearance, the ground-colour being greyish white, with two 



gitudinal broad black stripes alon 




the back 



others on each side, each subdivided 




and two 

>w middle 
of white ; these stripes being continued along the neck 

without subdivision and broken into irregular spots on the 
head ; two other broken stripes pass down the fore-part of 
the neck and breast and terminate in a broad band across the 
thighs. 



m 



I 










































/ 



;; 









n 









204 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 









I 

















a ' 












i 



Sp. 493. DROMAIUS IRRORATUS, Bartlett 

* 

Spotted Emu. 

* 

Dromaus irroratus, Bartl. in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xxvii. p. 205. 

At the scientific meeting of the Zoological Society of Lon- 
don, held on the 24th of May, 1859, Mr. Bartlett, Super- 



intendent of the Society's Gardens in the Regent's Park, 



exhibited a specimen of an Emu which had been obtained 
with several others in the interior of South Australia, and 
remarked that 

novcB-hollandia in having the 

body distinctly marked with 

rey and dark brownish black. 



It differs from D 



whole of the feathers of the 
narrow transverse bars of light 
The feathers of the back and sides 




broader, longer, and 



silky 



& 



than those of the common species, the 



latter difference being quite evident to the touch ; the upper 
part of the head and neck is nearly black, and the feathers 



4 

appear thicker than those of 
bird. 



parts in the other 



(t 



The 



specimen 



which these remarks refer was one of 



three examined by me, two of which were adult and one a 



young bird about one-third g 



The latter exhibited 



transverse bars on its plumage as distinctly as the adult bird, 
and the broad longitudinal stripes were clearly to be seen. 
Judging from the skins I have seen, I am inclined to consider 
that this new bird is smaller than the common species. I be 
to propose provisionally the name of Dromaus irroratus for 




this supposed 



species 



>> 



Having seen adult and youthful examples of this Emu. all 
bearing the characters which suggested its specific name, I 
have no doubt of its being distinct from the D. novce hollandice. 
I am almost equally certain that it is confined to the western 



division of Australia 
of the eastern. 



d that it 



presents there the Emu 



Whether the two species inosculate in South 












- 



- > ' 









GRALLATORES. 



205 



Australia, and if the present bird 



ds its range to the 



north and north-western coast, future research must deter 



mine. 



In some remarks on the Struthionida read at the scientific 
seting of the Society, on the 24th of April, 1860, Dr. Sclater, 



referring to this new Emu 



pi 



say 



it 



of examining 



I have lately had the 



specimens 



Holland 







of 



these, now in the Gardens of the Zoological Society of Amster- 
dam, was brought from Albany in Western Australia, and thus 
renders it probable that the Spotted Emu is the Western re- 
presentative of the D. novce-hollandicd. The second, now in 
the Zoological Gardens at Rotterdam, I have obtained by ex- 
change for this Society. The Emu of Western Australia may, 
as was pointed out by Mr. Bartlett when he first described it, 
be easily distinguished from the well-known Eastern bird by 
its spotted plumage. On comparing the feathers of the two 
species together, the mode in which this spotting is produced 
is clearly apparent. The feathers of D. irroratus are barred 



tely with silky white and darkish grey throughout 



black 



rufo 



tip margined posteriorly with 
Those of B. novce-hollandice are uniform blackish grey 
from the base to the extremity, which is black with a black 
terminal band of rufous. On comparing the two living birds 
we find D. irroratus generally of a much more slender habit. 
The tarsi are longer a 
more slender, and the 



d thinner, the 



g 



d much 



tarsal scutes smaller. The irides 



pale hazel, instead of reddish brown, as in D. nova-hollandim 



As Mr. Bartlett 



ginal skin of D. irroratus was obtained 



in the interior of Southern Australia, the 

over the wes 



%e of this Emu 
portion of Au- 



may be supposed to extend over 

* 

stralia into the latter colony, where it probably inosculates 
with D. nov ce - hottandice . Two additional specimens of the 
Spotted Emu (both immature) have been lately received by the 
Society from Swan River. In this state of plumage the bird 
is decidedly darker than its near ally, D. nova-kollandia." 










■ 



















KB * 









: 






!> ! 















i * 


















I ! 












" 





















i f ■ 











































. 















II 



•206 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



Genus CASUARIUS, Linnaus. 

* 

New Guinea and the adjacent islands are the 
which the birds of this form principally exist ; an 



d 



than probable that 



pecies is found in Australia 



They 



appear to be the remnant of a great group of Struthious birds 
closely allied to the Ostriches and Emus, and perhaps still more 
intimately to the extinct Binomithes, the remains of which 



are almost daily being exhumed from the morasses of N 
Zealand. 


















Sp. 494. CASUARIUS AUSTRALIS, Wall. 

Australian Cassowary. 

Casuarius australis, Wall, Illustrated Sydney Herald, June 3, 1854 ; 

Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., part xxv. p. 270. 

Although no specimen of this bird has been brought before 
the scientific world, we cannot, I think, doubt that a species of 
this form does really exist in the northern part of Australia ; 
but whether it be identical with some previously described 
species inhabiting New Guinea and the neighbouring islands, 

must remain for the present an open question. 

present know on the subject is comprised in 

:tract from the < Illustrated Sydney Herald/ 

A specimen of this bird was procured by the 



All that we i 
the following 
above quoted 



Mr. Thomas Wall, naturalist to the expedition commanded 



York 



one of 



by Mr. Kennedy. It was shot near 

those almost inaccesssible gullies which abound in that part 
of the Australian continent, 
stands about five feet high ; 



This Cassowary, when erect, 
head is without feathers, but 



covered with a blue skin, and, like the Emu, is almost without 



wings, having mere rudiment 
with dark brown wiry feathers 



body is thickly covered 



on the head 



ge pro 



mmence or helmet of a bright red colour, and to the neck „_ 
attached, like bells, six or eight round fleshy balls of bright 






* 



; -. 













GRALLATORES. 



207 



blue and scarlet, which give the bird a very beautiful appear 



ance. The first and indeed the 



nly specimen obtained 



of the Australian Cassowary was unfortunately left at Wey 
mouth Bay, and has not been recovered. Mr. Wall, being 
most anxious for its preservation, had secured it in a canvas 
bag and carried it with him to the spot where, unfortunately 



for 



In the ravine where the bird 



killed, as well as other deep and stony valleys of that neigh- 
bourhood, it was seen running in companies of seven or eight. 
On that part of the north-eastern coast, therefore, it is probably 
plentiful, and will be met with in all the deep gullies at the base 



of high hills 



flesh was eaten, and found to be deliciou 



hungry 



gle leg afforded more substantial food than ten or twelve 



men could dispose of at a single meal. The bird 



possesses great strength in its legs, and makes use of it in the 

build is more strong 



same manner as the Emu 



Its 



and heavy than the latter bird 



It is very wary, but 



pr 



sence may be easily detected by its utterance of a peculiarly 
loud note, which is taken up and echoed along the gullies ; 
and it could be easily killed with a rifle." 

The above account was furnished by Mr. Thomas Wall's 

brother, Mr. William Sheridan Wall, Curator of the Australian 



Museum 



Family OTIDIB^I. 

A country better adapted than Australia for 



of this family can 



gh, only 



cely be 



gined 



yet 



members 

VJ 



species has yet been found there. Afr 



the country where the species are most numerous 












• 






i 




























































Genus CHORIOTIS, Bonaparte. 

The Choriotis edwardsi, of the plains of Upper India, and 
the C. australis are beautiful representatives of each other in 
their respective countries. 































































. 






I 



■ 



■ 





















m 



lr" 














208 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



Sp. 495. 



CHOBIOTIS AUSTRALIS. 
Australian Bustard. 



Otis australis, Gray in Griff. Anim. King., vol. iii. p. 305. 

australasianus , Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., part viii. p. 176. 

Choriotis australis, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de TAcad. Sci., torn, xliii. 

Be-bil-ya, Aborigines of Western Australia. 
Turkey, Colonists of New South Wales. 



Native 



Colonists of Swan River. 



Otis australasianus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi. 4. 
In size this species exceeds the European Bustard {Of 



upon 



gs, and having a longer 



tarda), standing higher 

neck; and, when seen at freedom slowly stalking over its 

native plains, no Australian bird, except the Emu, is so 



m 



or assumes in its carriage so 



independence. The male, whose 



g 



an air of 



is from thirteen 



pounds, considerably exceeds the female in size and 



from the 



g 



length of the 





of the neck 



d 



CI 



n 



occiput, is much more stately in appearance. 

I am of opinion that it is merely a summer visitant to 
the southern parts of Australia, but to determine this point 
requires a longer residence than the nature of my visit 
permitted. I frequently encountered and killed it both 

also in South Australia 



on 



the plains of the Lower Namoi and also 
and Gilbert met with it in Western Australia, Leichardt 
within the region of the tropics, and Sturt around the Depot 
in the desert; its range over the country, therefore, is 
probably universal. Within the precincts of the colony of 
New South Wales, as might be expected, a bird of 

size is much persecuted, and has consequently become very 




shy 



I met with it upon several occasions on the downs 



Scone, the flats in the neighbourhood of Aberdeen, and other 
similar situations in the Upper Hunter district. It flies 



heavily, with its long neck stretched 



pable of sustaining flight for 



to the utmost; but 
>nsiderable distanee. 


















r 



GRALLAT011ES. 



203 



As an article of food 



flesh is delicate and well-flavo 



^ 



and in every respect equals that of its well-known prototype 
of Europe. 

Its food consists of seeds, vegetables, grasses, lizards, mol- 
lusks, insects, &c. 

It breeds in the latter part of September \ the situation 
chosen for the purpose being a clear spot in a valley, or on 
the side of a grassy hill : the eggs are usually deposited on 



the bar 



ground 



ionally, however, a few 



g 



are 



ipread for them to lie upon. They are two in number, tl 
nches long by two inches and two lines broad, and are' of 

stained with longitudinal dashes of brown. 



Crown of the head and 



put black ; sides of the head 



the neck, and breast greyish white, each feather crossed by 



numerous 



freckled appearance 



fine zigzag bands of brown, giving those par 



white ; all the upper surface, wings, and 



g-coverts black, largely tipped with 



brown, very minutely freckled with reddish brown 



upper tail-coverts 



some of 



feathers towards the hinder parts of the body tinged with 

crossed near the centre by an interrupted 
minutely frecked with white, margined with 



grey; tail grey 

band of white 

brown, and slightly tipped with white ; chest crossed by 

irregular band of black, beyond which the under 

white ; under tail-coverts greyish black, tipped v 



face 



is 



irides greenish white 



yelash pale olive-yellow ; bill 



white, with olive and black culmen 
yellow. 

Total length 40 inches ; bill 4 • wing 25 



! g 



d feet straw- 



tail 10; tarsi 7 J. 



















• 



























^H 






















I 






VOL. II. 



V 






































: 

































* 



210 



BIRDS OE AUSTRALIA 



Family CHAKADRIAMI 



V 



I should suppose that there 



country on the entire 



face of the globe, except, perhaps, the antarctic land, that 
not inhabited by some species of this family. From Arctic 
America, through the course of the Andes, to Cape Horn 
species occur; while from Siberia, through India and its 
islands, to the southern portions of Tasmania they are also 
found, and also in Polynesia and New Zealand. Australia is 
tolerably furnished with members of this group, since she has 
many genera and species, ranging from the great (Edienemi 
to the little Hiaticulce inclusive. 



Sp 



Genus (EDICNEMUS, TemmincL 

of this form are very generally dispersed over 



Africa, India, and Europ 



Australia there 



and, I believe, the same number is found in South America 



These birds 



allied 



the 



one hand to the Bustards, 
and on the other to the Plovers ; a more complete union of 
the characters of both could not, indeed, be found; but, 
perhaps, they are most nearly allied to the latter. 

Sp. 496. (EDICNEMUS GRALLARIUS. 

Southern Stone-Plover. 

Charadrius grallarius, Lath. Ind. Orn., Supp. p. lxvi. 

frenatus, Lath. lb., p. lxvii. 

Higli4egged Plover, Lath. Gen. Syn. Supp., vol. ii. p. 319. 

(Edicnemus longipes, Geoff, in Mus. Paris. 

Bridled Plover, Lath. Gen. Syn. Supp., torn. ii. p. 320. 

(Edicnemus grallarius, List of Birds in Brit. Mus. Coll., part in. p. 59. 

Charadrius longipes, Wagl. Syst. Avium, Charadrius, sp. 4. 

Burhinus grallarius, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de l'Acad. Sci., torn, xliii. 

TVee-lo, Aborigines of Western Australia 









(Edicnemus grallarius, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi. 5. 
This is the largest species of its genus yet discovered, its 












■ \ 









* . - " * 



.-I-.. ' 



*'• / 



f 

- 













- ¥-. 


















s 























GRALLATORES . 



211 






body being nearly the size of that of a hen Pheasant, and it 
has also longer legs than any of the others. I have seen 
specimens from Swan River, Sonth Australia, and New South 
Wales, in all of which countries it is equally common, wherever 
districts occur suitable to its habits and mode of life, 
plains, the crowns and sides of grassy hills, and flats b 
the mountain ridges, particularly those that are of a 



Sandv 



d stony character, are the 



sually freq 



g 



and where it is mostly met with in pairs, but is occasionally 
seen in small companies of from e 



number 



ght to 



more 



times a shy bird, and it requires some 



degree of stratagem to approach it within gunshot. It 

with great facility, and when not disposed to take 
quats on the ground by the side of 



g 
prostrate 



log of wood, and there remains so close as almost to admit of 



being trodden upon before 



approaching the 



Up 



an intruder 



mity of its young, it employs many 



g actions to attract his notice to itself, and if possible 



lead him away from the spot 



at one moment assuming 



aeness to such an extent as to appear incapable of walking 
other times hanging down its wings as if escape by flighl 



possible, yet withal 



that I never knew 




ptured by the hand, or obtained by any other means than 
shooting it. While walking about the 




it is 



stately and imposing bird ; and, when on the wing, it mounts 
high in the air with a quick, rather laboured motion of the 
wings, does not fly to any great distance, but usually pitches 
tgain in some clear place among the trees, and seeks safety 




g off and 



g 



>lf 



g the bushes or 



quatting on the ground. On the approach of evening and 



during the early part of the 



g 



its loud, harsl 



r 



mbling the words wee-lo two or th- 



an d 




upon 



peculiar cry, 

repeated, is often heard. It chiefly feeds at 
insects of various kinds and berries. 

The eggs are invariably two in number, and are deposited 

p 2 


















I 



; 















































1 ( 


















L ; ' 









9 \ 






f 


























. 






212 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



the bare ground during September and the four following 

They vary considerably in colour, as well as in the 

is pale 



months 
form 



of their markings ; their usual ground 



buff, thickly blotched 



with umber-br 



about two inches 
eighths broad. 



they 



d a quarter long by one inch and five 



* 

The markings and general appearance of the two sexes are 
so similar, that it is scarcely possible to distinguish the male 
from the female without the aid of dissection. 

Crown of the head, back of the neck, and back grey, each 
feather with a line of brownish black down the centre ; 
surrounding the eye white, bounded in front and below 
a narrow streak, which, as well as the ear-coverts and a broad 

; lores and 



space 



down each side of the neck, is dark brown 



white 



pularies blackish brown, margined at the b 



with grey ; the upper rows of wing-coverts brown, the lower 
ones white, tipped with brown, all with a broad stripe of 
black down the centre; primaries brownish black, crossed 
towards the extremities by a broad irregular band of white ; 



tertiaries 
and mai 



light brown, with a dark stripe down the centre, 
gined with white; tail brawn, crossed 



bands of white 
black : 



d dark brow 




and 



several 



gely tipped with 



of b 



breast and abdomen buffy white, with a broad 



black down the 



ipe 



of each feather ; lower 



part of the abdomen 



bill black 



h black 



irides yellow; eye 




the brown of the feet 



sickly yellowish olive, gradually passing 



It has for a long time appeared to me that a second species 
this form exists on the northern coast, since I have received 

er tarsi and shorter 
is undescribed; but 



specimens from thence which have 




wings 



If this be 



sp 



if these birds be identical with the present, then the rang 
greater than I have stated. 











r 



■ ; 













GRALLATOEES. 



213 



Genus ESACUS, Lesson. 



- 

Of this genus two species are known, one of which inhabits 



India, the other Australia 



cnemus; still 

offices, and inhabit diffei 



The form is nearly allied to (Edi 



the members of these genera perform different 

mt situations. The bill of Esacus 
admirably adapted for gathering Crustaceans on the oozy 



mud-banks and flat 



while that of (Edic 



fitted for seizing the slugs, worms and insects which it finds 



grassy 



Sp. 497. 



(Edicnemus 



ESACUS MAGNIROSTRIS. 
Large-billed Shore Plover. 

Temm. PL Col. 387. 



Burhmus magnirostris, 111. Prod. Syst. Mamm. et Av., p. 250. 
Esacus magnirostris, G. R. Gray, List of Gen. of Birds, 2nd edi< 
Wee-lo. Aborie-ines nf P™* lilo^^^ 



p. 83. 



Esacus magnirostris, Gould, Birds of Australia 

This fine species is tolerably abundant ale 
and north-western 



marine 



g the northern 
parts of Australia, where it gives a pre- 

abs, 

At 



ference to the low flat shores of the sea, and feeds 



sects, worms and various kinds of mollusks 



night it is said to utter a loud scream or cry, resembling the 
word weUo, whence its aboriginal 'name : it is somewhat 
singular that the same name is applied to the (Edicnemus 
grallarius by the natives of Western Australia, where the pre- 



bird has not as yet been 



the cry of 



two birds 



being similar is doubtless the cause of their both being known 
to the natives of those distant parts of the country by the 
same appellation, as it is not unusual for them to name birds 
after the sound they utter. 



The sexes be 



>*-* 



emblan 



other, and 



the young of the first autumn is only distinguished by 
feathers being margined with grey. 



* . 









■ 



't 





















' 






; 






'. 









I 







































n 

■ 


















- 

r 













214 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



I was favoured with an egg of this fine bird by the late Com- 
mander J. M. R. Inee, R.N., who obtained it at Port Essing- 
ton. Its ground-colour was cream-white, streaked and marked 
all over with dark olive-brown, some of the markings being 
large and bold without assuming any regular form, and others 
mere blotches about an eighth of an inch in diameter ; while 

as a hair, and were of a 
r o inches and a half Ion 



as fine 




many of the streaks were 

crooked or zigzag form : it was 

by one inch and three-quarters broad ; judging from analogy, 

I may venture to assert that two are laid at a time. 

Above and below the eye a broad mark of white, which is 
continued down the side of the head, the eye and the white 
marks being surrounded by a large patch of dark blackish 
brown ; at the angle of the lower mandible is a small patch of 
blackish brown ; throat and sides of the face dull white j head 
and all the upper surface light brown, the feathers of the head 
and neck with a narrow line of dark brown down the centre • 



g 



dark brown, the last row crossed with 



white near the tip, forming a line along the wing ; remainder 
of the coverts grey, deepening into brown on the tertiaries ; 
first three primaries dark brown at the base and tip, and 
white in the centre, the remainder white stained with brown 
near the tip ; tail grey, crossed with white near the tip, which 
is dark brown ; fore-part of the neck like the head , but paler ; 
breast brownish grey ; abdomen and under tail-coverts buffy 
white ; irides pale yellow ; eyelids primrose-yellow ; base of 
the bill sulphur-yellow, which colour is continued along the 
sides of the upper mandible above the nostrils ; remainder of 
the bill black ; tibiae lemon-yellow ; tarsi and feet wine-yellow ; 
the upper ridge of the scales of the toes lead-colour. 





































■ttH 









GRALLATORES. 



215 






Genus H^EMATOPUS, Linnaus. 

I believe there is no country in the world of any extent 
the shores of which are not inhabited by one or other of the 
numerous species of this genus ; but it would seem that all 
those which exist in the southern hemisphere are totally differ- 



Tw 



species inhabit Au 






ent from those of the northern 
stralia. 

These birds inhabit the sea-shores, particularly those that 

are rocky, and where every receding tide leaves masses of kelp 
and corallines, among which they obtain mollusks and other 

marine animals. During the breeding-season they sometimes 
ascend rivers and deposit their two eggs on the shingle above 
high- water mark. Some of the species are subject to a slight 

al change of plumage, particularly in the colour of the 
The sexes are alike in external appearance. 

Sp. 498. H^MATOPUS LONGIROSTRIS, Vieillot. 

White-breasted Oyster-catcher. 

Hcematopus longirostris, Vieill., 2nd Edit, du Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. Nat. 

torn. xv. p. 410. 






throat 






picatus, Vig. App. to King's Voy. to Australia. 

australasianus, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part v. p. 155. 

Hsematopus longirostris, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol.. vol. vi. 
pl.7. 

This species is so generally dispersed over the southern 
coast of Australia, that to particularize localities where it may 
be found would be superfluous, but I may state that it is more 
abundant in Tasmania and the islands in Bass's Straits than 

* 

elsewhere. As is the case with the European species, low 
muddy flats under the influence of the tide, sandy bays on the 
sea-shore, estuaries, the mouths of rivers and marshes are its 
natural places of resort. During the greater part of the year 
it may be observed in small companies of from three to ten or 



1 









\ 



IF 






1 1 














T 1 



216 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 






































■■ 



• 















* 



more in number, associating with Hcematopus fuliginosus and 
other shore birds, such as Curlews, Whimbrels, Stints, Sand- 
pipers, &c., that seek their 



food on beaches and 



d-banks 



numerous mollusks and 



whereon each receding tide leaves 
other marine animals, which afford a plentiful repast to my- 
riads of birds of the order of which the present species forms 



par 



spicuously 



In its appearance it is very handsome and attrai 
feathers of the wings and breast showing very 



it 



mbly 



ips 



breeding-season, which 
leaves the shores and r 



over the sands. During the 
from September to January, it 
to small islands and rocky pro- 



for the purpose of rearing its young 



The 



gg 



hich are two or three 



numb er 



ally deposited 



the bare ground near the water's edge ; they are of a buffy 



marked 



with 




r blotches of 
inches and a 



dark chestnut-brown, approaching to black ; two 
quarter long by one inch five-eighths broad. The young 
soon capable of running, and in case of danger secrete th 



behind 



of the rocks, while the 



adults keep flying backwards and forward 



g 



their 



loud and clamorous cries with the 



the intruder 



of decoying away 



The sexes present 



gem often resorted to by other bird 



young, 



from the time they 



differ 
half-g 



whatever 



The 



until they have 



arrived at maturity, have the same kind of plumage, but 
differ from the adults in having each black feather of the back 

and wings strongly edged with brown, forming circular marks 
and bars on nearly the whole of the upper surface. 

Head, neck, breast, back, wings and tail-feathers for three 
parts of their length from the tip, deep greenish black ; the 
tips of the wing-coverts, abdomen, rump, upper and under 
tail-coverts, and the 



bases of the 



feathers 



iride 



P 



white 



crimson 



light brick-red 



bill and eyelash deep orange-scarlet ; feet 






! 





















* 










. 






GRALLATORES. 



217 



Sp. 499. H^MATOPUS FULIGINOSUS, Gould. 



Sooty Oyster-catcher. 



Mur 



u 



We 



Port Essington. 



Wales,, Tasmania, and 



HaBmatopus fuliginosus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol 



8 



4 

i 

After a careful examination and comparison of the Black 

Oyster-catchers of the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Horn, and 



A 



I find them 



differ so much from each other 



that I can come to no other conclusion than that they are so 
many distinct species, and hence I have been induced to 
characterize the Australian bird under the appellation of H. 
fuliginosus, from the sooty colour of its plumage. 

Tasmania, the islands in Bass's Straits, and the southern 
of the Australian continent generally are the princi- 



pal resorts of this species. Like 



abund 



occur suited 



economy, low sandy beaches at the mouths of 



ally, it is equally 

habits and 
pits of 



■5 



ite 




running into the sea and small islands being its favour 
' aces of abode ; and so universally is it dispersed, that, 
as I have stated with regard to the H. longirostris, it is quite 
unnecessary to point out particular localities where it may be 
found ; in fact, every small island and every mile of the coasts 
of the countries I have mentioned are more or less visited by 

It is a strictly stationary species, breeding in the places 
3 usual resort ; or if any change in this respect takes 
place, it is that, for the sake of safety and freedom from in- 
trusion, the bird leaves the main shore and betakes itself to 
small rocky islands, such as those in Bass's Straits, where, 
exempt from annoyance of every kind, it may rear it's brood 
in safety. 

The present species is a stout-built and powerful bird 



it. 
of 















' 






I 



I! 



ii 





















! 



. 








































218 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



but from the sombre colouring of its plumage it is not so con 
spicuous and attractive as the White-breasted Oyster-catcher 
Its eggs are two in 



gby 



.e two in number, two inches and three quar- 
one and three-quarters broad, of a light stone- 
colour, blotched all over with large irregular markings of dark 
brown, some of which appear as if beneath the surface and 
of a purplish hue. 

It becomes exceedingly clamorous if its nest be intruded 
upon, frequently uttering a loud shrill call while flying back- 
wards and forwards near its breeding-place. 



slightly 
bill and 



The entire plumage of a uniform sooty black, 
glossed on the neck and under surface with green.; 
eyelash extremely rich orange-yellow ; irides red ; 
feet dull brick-red. 

Total length 15 inches ; bill 3; wing 9^; tail 4 ; tarsi 2 



g 



and 



4 



Genus LOBIVANELLUS, Strickland. 

Two species of this beautiful form inhabit Australia, on< 
the northern and the other the southern parts of the country 
I believe they are both confined, to this portion of the globe 
Other species are found in India and Africa. 



Sp. 500. 



LOBIVANELLUS LOBATUS. 

i 

Wattled Plover, 



Tringa lobata, Lath. Ind. Orn., Supp. p. lxv. 
Wattled Sandpiper, Lath. Gen. Syn. Supp., vol. ii. p. 313. 
Vanellus lobatus, Vieill. Ency. Meth. Orn., part iii. p. 1075. 
Charadrius lobatus, Wagl. Syst. Av., sp. 51. 

Vanellus novce-hollandice, Steph. Cont. of Shaw's Gen, Zool. vol. xi 
p. 516. 

gallinaceus, Jard. and Selby, 111. Orn., vol. iii. pi. 84. 
Kalloo-nagh, Aborigines of New South Wales. 
Alarm-bird of the Colonists. 



Lobivanellus lobatus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi. 9. 

This species is common in most parts of New South Wales 












* 






1 • 

. - 








GRALLATORES. 



219 



and on some of the islands in Bass's Straits, particularly 
Green Island, where it was breeding at the period of my v 




obser 



Tasmania, but 



in January 1839. I did 

it is not improbable that it will hereafter be found to be an 
inhabitant of that country as well as of those above mentioned. 
It has not yet been seen in Western Australia, neither 
have I heard of its occurrence on the northern coast of the 

r 

an attractive and showy bird, and when 



continent. 



It 



unmolested approaches sufficiently close to the dwellings of 
the settlers to permit its actions and manners to be minutely 
observed. Among other places where I noticed this species, I 
may mention that I saw it in flocks on the edge of the small 
ponds immediately adjoining the house of C. Throsby, Esq., 
at Bong Bong, on the fine estate of James Macarthur, Esq., 
at Camden, and at Yarrundi on the Upper Hunter. Open flats 
and high dry grounds appeared to be equally suitable to its 
existence; for nothing could be more sterile and parched than 
the islands in Bass's Straits, when compared with the humid 
flats of the Upper Hunter, covered as they are with grasses and 

rank vegetation • 



nearly the same 



yet in both these situations I observed it 

season of the year. Its food consists of 

and worms. While on the ground it has much of the 

carriage of the common European Pewit ( Vanettus cristatus), 



but 



decided difference 



observable 



in 



mode of 



ning, and in its bold and attractive manners. The more 
lengthened form of its wings also induces a considerable dif- 
ference in its flight, which has less of the flapping laboured 
action so conspicuous in that of the Pewit. 

In some parts of New South Wales this ornamental bird 
has obtained the name of the Alarm-bird from its rising 
m the air, flying round and screaming at the approach of 



its 



intruder, causing not only all of its 



species to follow 



ample, but every other animal in the district 
on the alert. This fact I had ample opportunities of 



be 



fying 



the islands in Bass 



Straits, where I had scarcely 



























ii 
















1 









i t 









I 






)-< 


















■ 












220 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA 



every 



made 



ac- 



stepped from the boat before 

quainted with my presence — no small annoyance to me, whose 
object was to secure the wary cereopsis and eagle, which with 
thousands of petrels and many other kinds of water-birds 
tenant these dreary islands. 

The sexes are scarcely to be distinguished from each other, 



either in size or plumag 



both 



possess the spur on the 



shoulder, but it is much more developed in the male than 
the female ; the beautiful primrose-coloured wattle, with which 
the colouring of the bill and the bold eye closely assimilate, 
the pinky vermilion hue of its legs, and the strongly contrasted 
colours of -«its plumage, render it 
of the Plovers yet discovered. 

Head, back of the neck, and sides of the chest blacl 
back, wing-coverts, and scapularies dark greyish brown i: 



of the most beautiful 



g 



cinnamon 



pr 



black 



tail white, crossed 



near the extremity by a broad band of black ; sides of the 
face, throat, and all the under surface white ; eye rich prim- 
yellow ; wattles primrose-yellow ; bill pale yellow, with 



a horn-coloured tip 
yellow 



purplish red 



black 



spur 















: 















m 









Sp.501. LOBIVANELLUS PERSONATUS, Gould. 

Masked Plover. 

Lobivanellus personatus, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part x. p. 113 
Al-ga-ra-Td) Aborigines of Port Essington. 
Wattled Plover } Residents of Port Essington. 



Lobivanellus personatus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi 

pi. 10. 

This Plover, which is as abundant in the northern parts of 



Australia as the Wattled Pewit is in the eastern, is more 
elegantly formed than that species, being of the same size in 
the body, but with more lengthened legs ; the fleshy wattles 

surrounding the eyes are much more extensively developed ; 
























I 
















I 



GRALLATORES. 



221 



the crown of the head only in the present species is black, 
while in the Wattled Plover the sides of the chest and upper 



part of the back are of the 



It is a very common 



bird in the Cobourg Peninsula, inhabiting swamps, the borders 
ot lakes, and open spots among the mangroves, and, like its 



ally, is mostly 



associated 



small families 



It 



not 



rather a noisy species, frequently uttering a note, which 

unlike its native name, both while on the wing and on 
the ground. 

T. F. Gregory, Esq., informs me that he found this beautiful 
little wader at Breaker Inlet ; where it frequented the sand- 
banks in pairs, and was very shy ; that the hood or membranous 
sheath which covers more than half the head is of the clearest 
gamboge-yellow, and, when the bird is alive, resembles the petal 
of a flower; and that it lies close over the feathers, and protects 
them when the beak is plunged into the sand in search of food • 



the eye is also bright yellow 



that the spine at the shoulder 



is used very vigorously and with advantage when attacked bv 
birds of prey. The body is slight, very elegantly proportioned, 
and the general appearance of the bird is very graceful 

stomach of the Masked Plover is very muscular, and 

g in the marshes, consists of aquatic 



The 



food, while 



coleoptera and small crustaceous animals, but when 




. , . . . .. on the 

ot the interior it readily accommodates itself to the 
kind of insect-food it may find there. 

The task of incubation is performed during the months of 



Aug 



d September, the 



number, being laid in a hollow 



ggs, which 



the bare ground at the 



edge of a flat adjoining a salt-marsh; they are of a dull 

yellow, dashed all over with spots and markings of blackish 
brown and dark olive-brown, particularly at the larger end • 
they are one inch and five-eighths long by one inch and three- 
sixteenths broad, somewhat pointed at the smaller end 

Crown of the head and occiput jet-black ; sides of the face, 
back of the neck, rump, and all the under surface pure white • 





















I 



• 



It 

















. 









• 




■8 



1 ■ 







I 



222 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



back and seapularies light brownish grey ; wing-coverts grey ; 
primaries deep black ; secondaries white at the base on their 
inner webs, cinnamon -grey on their outer webs, and largely 
tipped with black ; tail white at the base, largely tipped with 
black, the extreme ends of the feathers being cinnamon -grey, 
particularly the two centre ones; irides primrose-yellow; 
wattles lemon-yellow ; bill lemon-yellow at the base, black at 
the tip; legs and feet carmine-red; the scales in front 
blackish green. I 



Total length 12 inches ; bill 1 



3 . 

4 > 



wing 8 



3 . 

4 > 



tail 4; tarsi 2 J. 



Genus SARCIOPHORUS, Strickland. 

A genus nearly allied to the last, and of which a single 
species inhabits Australia. 



Sp. 502 



SARCIOPHORUS PECTORALIS 

Black-breasted Plover. 



Mus 



Wa 



■ tricolor, Vieill. 2nde Edit, du Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. Nat., torn, xxvii 

p. 147. 

• vanello'ides, Peale. 



* 

Sarciophorus pectoralis, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. 
pi. 11. 

This species is known to inhabit Tasmania, South Australia, 
and New South Wales, but over what other portions of the 



Australian continent its range is extended 



yet been 



tained. I have 



seen it in collections either from 



the western or northern shores. Its favourite localities are 
open sterile downs, thinly covered with grasses or other kinds 



of veg 



but 



ually to be met 



the 



It is much more 



grassy flats in the neighbourhood of rivers. 

tame in its disposition than the Wattled Plover, and permits 

a near approach before taking alarm. It trips very quickly 









































GRALLATORES. 



223 



the ground, much after the manner of the true Pewits 



and when flushed generally flies off in a straight 



I 



mount in the air like the Common Lapwing 



perform during flight those sudden 



and dip 



quently exhibited by that species 

it goes in pairs, or at most in companies of" three 



full-grown young 



so fre- 
So far as I have observed, 

Nearly 



obtained in the month of Novemb 



from which we may infer that it is a very early breede. . 

The eggs are three or four in number, and are deposited 
on the bare ground without any nest; they are one inch and 
a halt long by one inch and an eighth broad ; ground-colour 
light olive-grey, very thickly blotched and stained with brown 

early to cover the surface, particularly at the larger 

The sexes are alike in colour, but the female has the lobe 
oeiore the eye much smaller than in the male. 

of the head, line running from the angle of the 
mouth beneath the eye, and down the sides of the neck and 



end 



Crown 



a broad 

line from 
abdomen, 
brown 



shaped band 



across the breast jet-black 



upp 



eye to near the occiput, chin, throat, flanks 



and 



der tail-coverts white 



primaries brownish black 



wing 



back light 
bron zy 



brown, passing into black towards the tip of each feather 
and tipped with white ; a few of the outer secondaries white' 
margined on the extremities of their outer webs with black' 
then a few entirely white, and the last two marked like the 
coverts, but largely margined with white j scapularies and 
lower part of the back bronzy brown ; rump dark olive, with 
bronzy reflexions - tail white, crossed near the tip by a broad 
gular band of black- tip of the upper mandible horn- 

cjer^of the bill beautiful primrose-yellow ; 

tarsi and 



colour ; 



naked parts of the thigh and knees dark pink 
blackish brown, the latter inclining to pink-red ; 7^7^11™ 
surrounded by a rim of deep primrose extending in an oblique 
direction to the fleshy protuberance at the base of the upper 















I 















^H 









224 



BIRDS OP AUSTRALIA. 














II 




















■i 















; 
I 







m 



■ 




I 

■ 



dible, which is blood-red in the male, much light 



flesh-red in the female 



* 



Genus SQUATAROLA, Cuvier. 

The single species of this genus inhabits Europe, Asia, 
North America, and occasionally occurs in Australia. It 

* 

differs from Charadrius in having a small hind-toe. 



Sp. 503. 



SQUATAROLA HELVETICA 

Grey Plover. 



Tringa helvetica, Linn, Syst. Nat., vol. i. p. 250. 

Vanellus helveticus, Briss. Orn., vol. v. p. 106, tab. 10. fig. 1. 

Charadrius hypomelas, Pall. Reise, vol. iii. p. 699. 

Swiss Sandpiper, Lath. Gen. Syn., vol. v. p. 167. 

Tringa squatarola, Linn. Faun. Suecica, No. 186. 

Vanellus griseus, Briss. Orn., vol. v. p. 100, tab. 9. fig. 1. 

melanogaster, Bechst. — Temm. Man. d'Orn., vol. ii. p. 345. 

Vanneau Pluvier, Buff. PI. Enl., 854. 

Squatarola helvetica, Cuv. — G. R. Gray, List of Birds in Brit. Mus. 

Coll., part iii. p. 62. 
, var. b, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de TAcad. Sci., torn, xliii. 



seance du 2 Aout 1856. 
Grey Plover and Grey Sandpiper of British authors. 



Squatarola helvetica, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi. 12. 

I have compared specimens of this bird killed in Australia 
with others obtained in India, North America, and Europe, 
and find the whole of them identical. I have never seen an 
Australian specimen with the rich black colouring of the 
under surface which renders Asiatic, American, and European 
specimens so conspicuous in the breeding-season, hence we 
may infer that it is only the young birds that wander so 
far to the southward as Australia. The specimens I possess 
are from different parts of the country, some being from the 
eastern and others from the western colonies. 





























\ 



. 






GRALLATORES. 



22 



5 



The Grey Plover affects the low muddy shores of the 
at and the mouths of large rivers, and feeds upon m 
'lous kinds of insects, and their larvae. 
Crown of the head, upper surface, and wings light < 



mottled with white 



primaries blackish brown, with the 



basal portion of their inner webs and the apical half of their 



shaft 



rump 



of light olive; face 



crossed by broad bars 



d all the under surface white 



numerous brown stria?, and a wash of buff on the sides of 



th 



neck and across the breast 
feet blackish 



ides blackish brown : bill and 



Genus CHARADRIUS, Limams. 



gle species of thi 



The Australian fauna comprises a sii 
genus, the representative of the C. pluvidis of' Europe, from 
which it differs in having brown axillaries. 



Sp. 504. 



CHARADRIUS ORIENTALIS. 

AUSTKALIAN GOLDEN PLOVER. 



Charadrius pluvialis orientalis, Temm. et SchW. Faun. JaD n 1 04 



tab. 62. 



Charadrius xanthocheiius, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. 

pi* lOt 

Although nowhere very abundant, this bird is generally dis- 
persed over all the colonies from Tasmania to the extreme north 
of the continent of Australia. In all probability it is the same 



bird that is found 



in the island of Java 



d 



probably the species inhabiting India 



more than 



7 



range therefor 



I obtained several specimens on the bank 



of the Derwent in Tasmania, observed it 



s 



small number 



flats below Clarence Plains, and also killed exampl 



s 



of the islands in Bass's Strait 



Its habits, manners, and 



VOL. II. 



g 



economy so closely 



Q 














u 



. a 





















: 































! 



■ 




■1 

I 









■ H 



• 







■1 



226 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



of the Golden Plover (Charadrius pluvialis) of 



qually characteristic of 



t the 
with 



semble those 

Europe, that a description of] 

the other. Like that bird, it frequents open pi 
neighbourhood of marshy lands or the sea-beach 
amazing facility, and flies with equal rapidity. 

Indications of the black colouring of the breast or breed- 
ing plumage begin to appear early in the spring, and as the 
season advances every variety of colouring occurs from the 
mottled yellow of winter to the uniform black under-surface 
of summer, which latter state however is but seldom seen ; 
whence I am induced to doubt its remaining to breed in any 
of the southern parts of Australia. 

The full summer plumage is as follows : — The whole of the 
upper surface and tail very dark brown, each feather with a 
series of oblong yellowish and whitish spots along their mar- 
gins ; primaries dark brown, with white shafts ; lores, sides 
of the face, breast and all the under surface black, bounded 
by a broad mark of white, which crosses the forehead, passes 
over the eye, down the side of the neck and along the flanks, 
where it becomes broad and conspicuous ; under wing-coverts 
and the lengthened feathers covering the insertion of the wing 
uniform pale silvery brown ; irides dark brown ; bill dark 



olive ; 



gs and feet leaden grey 



In the winter season the black and white markings of the 
under-surface entirely disappear, and are replaced by a buffy 
tint mottled with brown, the mottled appearance being pro- 
duced by a triangular spot of pale brown at the tip of each 
feather. 

I formerly considered the Australian Golden Plover to be 

the C/iaradrius xanthocheilus of Wagler, but upon a recon- 

it is impossible to determine 
assigned : I believe that the 



sideration of the subject I find it is 

to what species that name was assi: 

present bird is the same as the C. orientalis of Temminck and 

Schlegel, and that name I therefore adopt. 













■ 



.• ■ ■ 











GRALLATORES. 



227 



Of this 



& 



Genus EUDROMIAS, Bote. 

of upland Plovers two species at least 



D — „.„ „ x u^ouuiiuvcis two species at least are 
known, viz. the K morinellus of Europe and the R australis 



of Australia 



Sp. 505. 



EUDROMIAS AUSTRALIS, Gould. 

Australian Dottrel. 



Eudromias australis, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part viii. p.174. 



Morinell 



seance du 2 Aout, 1856. 



Rend, de l'Acad. Sci., torn. 43 



Eudromias australis, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol, vol. vi. pi. 15. 

By the ornithologist, the bird forming the subject of the 
present memoir will be looked upon with the greatest interest 



additional species of a g 



of which hitherto only 



gle example was known, namely the Common Dottrel 



{Eudromias morinellus) of the British Islands 



be more interesting than to observe 



Nothing 



beautifully many of 



the species of the limited groups of the northern hemisph 
are represented by others in Australia: for instance, the mem- 
bers of the genera Himantopus, Avocetta, Glareola, &c, of 
which a single species only of each has yet been discovered 
m either country. 

bird I am indebted 



For my first knowledge of this very 

the kindness of Captain Sturt 



sent me a young individual from the high lands near the river 
Murray m South Australia ; subsequently I received numerous 
examples from Victoria and South Australia. 

Many years must probably elapse before anything is known 
of the habits and economy of the Australian Dottrel • 



those of 



for 



European ally, Eudromias morinellus, are but 



understood, in consequence perhaps of its affecting 
far removed from the habitation of man 



2TiTl nC nabltatlon of man. If its flesh 

should be similar m flavour to that of our own highly prized 



Q 2 






i* 
















, 



. • 



I 



I 1 






k I 



228 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 










Si 




H 






■ 













- 



■ 




I 






■I 



B 







■ 




i 




bird, the time will not be far distant when it will be diligently 
sought after as an equally choice viand for the table. 

The Budromias australis inhabits the low hills and plains of 
the interior of Australia, a kind of habitat precisely similar to 
that of its European prototype. 

" This singular bird," says Captain Sturt, in the Appendix 



to his 



of his recent expedition into the 



of 



South Australia, "made its appearance in 1841 suddenly on 
the plains of Adelaide, seeming to have come from the north. 
It occupied the sand-hills at the edge of the mangrove swamps, 
and fed round the puddles of water on the plains. This bird 
afforded my friend, Mr. Torrens, an abundant harvest, as it was 



numerous 



round his house; but although some few have 
visited South Australia every subsequent year, they have never 
appeared in such numbers as on the first occasion. It runs 
very fast along the ground. Mr. Browne and I met or rather 
crossed several flights of these birds in August of 1845, going 
south. They were on the large open plains, and were very 
wild." 

Forehead and all the upper surface light sandy buff, the 
centres of the feathers being brown ; primaries brownish black 
with sandy buff shafts, and all but the first four broadly mar- 
gined with the same ; throat buffy white, below which a 
crescent-shaped mark of blackish brown ; chest, flanks, and 
under surface of the wing buff, passing into reddish chestnut 
on the abdomen, beyond which the vent and under tail-coverts 

are white ; tail brownish black, the centre feather margined 
with buff, the outer ones with white ; bill dark olive-brown j 

feet yellowish brown. 

It will be interesting should the female of this bird prove 
larger and more richly coloured than the male, as is the case 
with the European Dottrel. 



Total length 7^ inches ; bill f- ; wing 5J ; tail 2 1 



2 > 



tarsi 1#. 



8 













HI 












I 










GRALLATORES. 



229 



Genus CIRREPIDESMUS, Bonaparte. 



This generic term was proposed for the Charadrius geoffroyi 
of Wagler, and the C. pyrrhothorax of Temminck : to 



of Pallas 



which 
d if so 



perhaps, must be added the C. 

my C. veredus must sink into a synonym, since it is the young 
of that species. 



Sp. 506. 



CIRREPIDESMUS ASIATICUS ? 

Asiatic Dottrel. 



? 



Charadrius asiaticus et caspius, Pall. 
Cursorius isabellinus, Horsf. 

Morinellus caspius, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de l'Acad. Sci., torn, xliii. 

Pluvialis xanthocheilus, Bonap. 

Charadrius veredus, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, 1848, p. 38. 



Charadrius veredus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi. 14. 
From the time I characterized the bird to which I gave the 

name of Charadrius veredus in the ' Proceedings of the Zoo- 
logical Society ' for 1848 to the present moment, it has been 
a stumbling-block to all ornithologists, myself included. 
Horsfield regarded it as identical with Cursorius isabellinus ; 
and Bonaparte considered it to be the young of C. xantho- 



cheilus, which it certainly 

bird which closely resembles, in form 

adult summer dress which I have direct from China, and 
which I have 



My C. veredus is a young 

fully 



specimen 



doubt of its identity 



may be ; I say 



species the 



may be, because the adult 



specimen alluded to differs slightly from the C. asiaticus 



of Pallas 



the difference, however, is only in its 



g 



size, for my specimen and the mounted one in the British 
Museum, with which I have carefully compared it, are pre- 
cisely alike. My C. veredus and the Chinese bird have very 
thin bills and very long legs, which I deem it necessary to 
mention, because there are other species of Asiatic Plovers in 






■ 







I'll 















I 



(; " 


















> 


















. 



230 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



the British Museum with thick bills and rather shorter 



these 



doubtless distinct 



Mr. Wallace brought skins of 



my C. veredus from Macassar, and there is a specimen in the 
British Museum from Japan, which favours the 



opinion 



e young birds, like the young of other species of this family 
der far away from their true home. 
A specimen of this species was procured at Port Essingtor 



by Gilbert, and a second has been 



me 



from Sydney 



by Strange. Judging from its structure and the character of 
its plumage, it would seem to be nearly allied to the restricted 
genus JEudromias. 

Crown of the head and all the upper surface brown, each 
feather narrowly fringed with buff ; primaries blackish brown, 
the shaft of the first white j tail brown, narrowly edged with 



white, the br 



gradually fading as the feathers 



cede from the centre ; face, a broad stripe over the eye and 
the chin buffy white ; sides and back of the neck and the breast 
buffy brown ; abdomen and under surface white ; irides very 



dark brown 
brown 



gs and feet brownish flesh 



bill dark 



Total length 8 J inches ; bill 1± ; wing 6 J ; tail 2| ; tarsi 2. 







• 












Genus ^EGIALITES, Boie. 

i 

The little Ring-Dottrels, composing the genus jEgialites, 



inhabit both the Old and the New World 



Two species 



least are found in Europe and Asia, and three in Australia. 
They are rather dumpy little birds, with large heads, generally 
banded with black, and have a gorget of the same hue on the 
chest; their bills are short and pulpy, and are generally 
yellow at the base, while their legs are fleshy and mostly 

colour. The sexes are alike in their markings, and the 
young attain their full plumage in the second year. 



of this 























* ■ . ' ■ 





GRALLAT011ES. 



231 



Sp. 507. 



^EGIALITES HIATICULA 

Ring-Dottrel. 



Charadrius hiaticula, Linn. Syst. i. 253. 1. 
torquatus, Briss. Orn. 5. 63. 8. t. v. f. 2 



- homeyeri, Brehm. 



I possess an undoubted Australian specimen of this 
mon European species. I 
stragglers frequently vis 






H 



it wandered that far. or if 



that distant region, I 



cannot say. 

Hitherto the British Islands, the continent of Europe, North 
Africa, and Persia were considered the extent of its range, but 
we must now include Australia therein. 

alluded to was killed at Port Stevens : 



The specimen above 



it is 



quite adult 



still the markings of the head and breast are sufficiently ap 
parent to enable me to identify it with our own bird. 



Sp. 508. 



iEGIALITES MONACHA 

Hooded Dottrel. 



Charadrius monachus, Geoff, in Mus. Paris. — Wagl. Syst. Av., sp. 15 

cucullatus, Vieill., Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. Nat., p. 136. 

JEgialitis monachus, Gould in Syn. Birds of Australia, part ii. 
Hiaticula monacha, List of Birds in Brit. Mus. Coll., part iii. p. 70. 



Hiaticula monacha, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi. 18. 

This elegant species of Ring-Dottrel is universally dispersed 
over the sea-coasts of the southern parts of Australia, but 
is perhaps more abundant in Tasmania and the islands in 
Bass's Straits than elsewhere ; I never observed it far inland, 
in which respect it differs from the habits of the Common 
Dottrel of Europe, to which it is so nearly allied. I fre- 
quently found its two eggs on the shingly beach, in a slight 
depression hollowed out by the bird for their reception just 
above high-water mark: these are so similar in appearance 
to the material upon which they are deposited that they would 
readily escape the attention of a casual observer; those I 































I 






















Y V 





















i 



232 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



collected were of a pale stone-colour, sprinked over with 

numerous small irregularly-shaped marks of brownish black, 

and are one inch and a half long by one inch and an eighth 
broad. 



While tripping 



th 



dy beach, which it does with 



much elegance of movement, the black head of the male shows 
very conspicuously. 

- 

The male has the head, fore-part of the neck, and a band 
across the upper part of the back sooty black ; back of the 
neck and all the under surface white ; back, shoulders and 
tertials greyish brown ; centre of the wing and the basal 
portion of the internal webs of the primaries and secondaries 
white, the rest black; two middle 



feathers black : the 



each side white at the base and tip and black in 
the remaining feathers wholly white ; irides yel- 



lowish or orange-brown j eyelash rich reddish 



let; bill rich orange at the base 
black at the tip ; legs flesh-colour. 



5 



passing into yellow and 



The female differs from the male in having the crown mot 



tied with black and white, the face 



having only 
behind. 



throat white, and 



of black at the base of the neck 



Youthful birds may be known 




their 



embling the 



female, but having the feathers of the back and upper surface 
narrowly fringed with brownish black. 



Sp. 509 



tEGIALITES nigrifrons 

Black-fronted Dottrel. 



igrifrons, Cuv. in M 



Temm. PI. Col., 47.%. 1. 



melanops, Vieill. Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. Nat., torn, xxvii. p. 139. 

JEgialitis nigrifrons, Gould in Syn. Birds of Australia, part ii. 
Hiaticula nigrifrons, G. R. Gray, List of Birds in Brit. Mus. Coll., 

part iii. p. 71. 



Hiaticula nigrifrons, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi. 20 



The temp 



latitud 



of Australia constitute the true 




























GRALLATORES. 



233 



been able 



habitat of this beautiful little Dottrel ; for, so far as I have 

to learn, it is never found in the northern part of 
that country, nor can Tasmania claim it as a part of its avi- 
fauna ; the climate of the latter country being less genial, and 
the seas which wash its shores being too rough and boisterous 
for the abode of so delicate a bird as the ^gialites nigrifrons. 



Even 



in Austral 



the 



posed 



beaches seem to be 



avoided, and it is most frequently found in the interior of the 
ountry, on the margins of pools and lakes, and in the most 

It also frequents the sides of rivers which 

of the country; I frequently 



d 



sparingly occur in 
encountered it \ 



hea 






hile descendin 



Namoi 



the 



part of which river I was so fortunate as to discover its eggs. 
They were deposited on the ground beside the stream ; they 
now grace my cabinet, and are esteemed as one of my greatest 
rarities, and to which many pleasing associations are attached 



connected with my 
were procured. 



distant region in which they 



The colonies of Swan River, South Australia 



South Wales 



bird 



and New 

d its range 
appears to be general over those portions of Australia lying 

between the twenty-eighth and thirty-seventh degrees of south 
latitude. 



No member of the g 



for as it trips nimbly along the sides of the pools 



than the present 



of 



sufficiently 



pproach for the observer to 



colour of 



see the 



eye 



d the brilliant 



g of scarlet which 



d when forced to take wing it m 



the 



opposite bank or to a very short distance, and then 
alights again. 

The two eggs above mentioned so nearly resembled the 
surface of the sand-bank upon which they were deposited 
that it was by the merest chance they were not passed by 
unnoticed. In form they nearly resemble the eggs of other 
Dottrels, being considerably pointed at the smaller end j they 







^^ 









234 



BIRDS OP AUSTRALIA. 













I 
























are 



inch and three-sixteenths 



g by three-quarters of 



an inch broad ; of a pale stone or dirty white 
numerously but minutely speckled with dark brown 



very 



The sexes are precisely alike in the colouring of their 
plumage, and nearly so in size. 

Forehead, a stripe commencing at the eye, passing over the 
ear-coverts and round the back of the neck, and a broad band 
crossing the chest and advancing somewhat down the centre 
of the breast black : a 



and 



; a stripe of white passes 
round the back of the neck. 



sep 



each eye 
tine the 



black band from the crown, which, with the back, the long 



d the middle of the wing 



brown ; scapularies 



two middle tail- 



deep chestnut ; tips of the greater coverts white, forming 
obscure band across the wing; primaries black; thr< 
abdomen, and under tail-coverts white 
feathers brown at the base and black at the tip ; the next 
three on each side white at the base, gradually passing into 
blackish brown, and largely tipped with white, the remainder 
entirely white ; bill rich orange at the base and black at the 



tip; feet 



ge flesh 



m some 



others pale flesh 



colour ; irides dark brown ; eyelash bright red. 

The young have a crescentic mark of a lighter colour on 



feathers of the upper surface, and have the 



ing of 



the plumage and soft parts less brilliant and well-defined 
than the adults. 









- 




* f 






11 



Genus ^EGIALOPHILUS, Gould. 

In accordance with the spirit of minute subdivision which 
now pervades all branches of natural science, I have for a 
long time considered that the small Plovers hitherto comprised 
in the genus jEgialites, of which the Jj}. hiaticula is the type, 
required a further subdivision ; I therefore propose the term 
above given for the Jfi. cantianus of Europe, and to associate 
with it the JE. ruficapillus of Australia. There are many 






















GRALLATORES. 



235 



bill 



>r species of the form, all or nearly all of which have black 
i and long legs, and are less banded with black than the 
members of the genus jfigialites. They have a different note, 
are very nimble of foot, and affect situations bordering the 
open sea. 









Sp. 510. ^EGIALOPHILUS RUFICAPILLUS. 



Red-capped Dottrel. 



ificapilh 



M 



Hiaticula rufi> 



part iii. p. 71. 



Less. Traite d'Orn., p. 544. 
? Birds in Brit. Mus. Coll., 



Sand-Lark and Red-necked Plover, Colonists of Swan River. 

Hiaticula ruficapilla, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi. 17. 

The Red-capped Dottrel is universally dispersed over every 
part of the sea-shores of Australia that I have visited, and 
everywhere evinces a greater preference for the shingly beach 
of the ocean, and especially for deep salt-water bays, than for 
the sides of rivers and inland waters ; it is 
Tasmania, on Flinders' Island, on the sand-banks at the 
mouth of the Hunter in New South Wales and at Port Ade- 
laide in South Australia ; and Gilbert states that it is equally 
abundant in Western Australia, where it is likewise so strictly 



very numerous 






bird of the coast that he never saw it inland 



It is usually 



met with in pairs, but may be occasionally observed 
ciating in small companies. 

I found many of its eggs on Flinders' Island, deposited 



pairs 



ght dep 



of the sand among the shingle 
mark; they were very difficult to 



just above high-water 

detect, in consequence of their colouring very closely assimi 
lating to that of the material among which they were placed ; 
those procured by Gilbert in Western Australia were deposited 
on a small mound of sand and sea-weed on the sandy beach at 
a distance of from ten to twenty yards above high-water 






I 



I 



















fi 






































I 

































236 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 






mark 



The breeding 



three or four following months 



prises September 



d the 



of 



The stomach is very muscular, and the food consists 

tall mollusca of various kinds. 

Like the Tringa, this bird resorts to every possible device 



order to lure an intruder from 



nest: throwing itself 



down upon its chest and flapping its wings as if in the ag 
of death, it will so continue until he has approached almost 
near enough to place his hand upon it, when it moves along 
for several yards, dragging one of its legs behind, and if still 
followed up attempts to fly, and so well imitates the motion of 
a bird wounded in the wing, that the intruder is easily misled, 
and the eggs remain undiscovered. 

The eggs, which are an inch and a quarter in length by 
seven-eighths of an inch in breadth, are of a pale stone-colour, 
sprinkled all over with small irregular blotches of brownish 



black 



The male has the forehead crossed 




broad band of 



white, which gradually diminishes to a point at the posterior 
angle of the eye ; above this is another band of black, which 

ice : from the 



same 




also diminishes to a point at the 

angle of the mouth to the eye is a line of black, which is con - 

tinued from the posterior angle of the eye down the sides of 



the neck , 
rich rusty red 

each feather 



of the head, nape, and back of the neck 
11 the upper surface and wings pale brown, 
gined with a still lighter tint; primaries 



blackish brown; the shafts and extreme edge of the 



webs white; four central 



feathers dark brown, the 



re- 



mainder white ; all the under surface white ; irides very dark 



brown • bill dark reddish brown 
above the t 
blackish bro 



naked part of the 



g 



dark greenish grey; tarsi light grey; feet 



In the female the distribution of 



but the hues 



precisely the 



much paler, and the marks about 



face are light brown instead of black 











GRALLATORES. 



237 



Genus OCHTHODROMUS, Reichenbach. 



Professor Reichenbach has instituted this 



g 



for the 



Charadrius wilsonius of America, and as the bird I have called 
Hiaticula inornata is precisely of the same form, I now place 

:nus. There are many other species in India 



same g 



and America 



Sp. 511. OCHTHODROMUS INORNATUS, Gould. 

Allied Dottrel. 



Hiaticula inornata, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi. 19. 

I have for some years had in my possession two examples 
of this species, the uniformity of whose colouring suggested 



the term of 



as an appropriate appellat 



I have 



received other examples with a brighter style of marking 
which is doubtless characteristic of the summer or breeding- 
season, and which renders the above name only applicable tc 



bird when in the plumage of 



It is nearly allied 



Ochthodromus wilsoni of North America, of which it 



forms 
which 



a beautiful 



presentative in the distant country of 



I possess no information 



as to the extent of the 



range of this 



species 



Gilbert found 



abundant on most 



of the sandy points and bays in the neighbourhood of Port 
Essington, and I believe that it also inhabits the islands in 



Tor 



Strait 



d New Guinea 



The stomachs of those dissected contained the remains of 

lall crustaceous animals, and a large portion of sand. 

The male in summer has the forehead white, above which is 



stripe of black 



the upper surface pale greyish brown 



crown of the head rufous, which colour is continued on the 
back and sides of the neck, and meeting on the centre of the 



breast forms a pectoral band 



gs dark brown, the 



■ 






















. 














: 






h. 



('"■ 



1 1 1 



I 












































I 






I . 









I 



i 













238 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



and secondaries margined and tipped with white ; the shafts 

rnmp white; six central 



of 



primar 



white 



feathers dark brown tipped with white 



the lateral 



feathers white, tinged with brown in the centre ; lores, line 
below the eye and ear-coverts black ; chin, throat and all the 



under surface white ; irides dark brown 

light ash-grey ; feet greenish grey 



bill blackish grey 



The winter plumage differs in wanting the rufous tints about 



the head, neck and breast 



the 



being brown 



and in having a brown patch like the commencement of 
band on either side of the chest. 



a 



Sp. 512. OCHTHODROMUS ? BICINCTUS. 

Double-banded Dottrel. 

Charadrius bicinctus, Jard. and Selb. 111. Orn., vol. i. pi. 28. 
Chestnut-breasted Plover, Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. ix. p. 324. 
jEgialitis bicinctus, Gould in Svn. Birds of Anufvali. ™*.f ;; 



Hiaticula bicincta, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi. 16. 

Mr. Ronald C. Gunn informs me that he has found this 
fine species plentifully dispersed along the northern shores 



of Tasman 
bourhood. I 
nature myself 



particularly at Circular 



but 



Head and its neigh 



encountered 



d judging from the infrequency of 



of 



seem to be but seldom visited 
Town, considerable number* 
vicinity, and appeared to be 



from Australia, its true habitat would 



During my stay at Georg 



visited the common 



in the 



impulse, for after 



g 



der 



some migratory 



g a day or two they departed 



procured 



other part of the country ; not, however, before I had 



many specimens as I required. This occurred 



about the 15th of May, the middle of the Australian . 

These flights consisted of birds of various ages and in diffe- 
rent states of plumage, some having mere indications only of 
the bands on the breast, while others had these marks well 








































GRALLATOKES. 



239 



■ 

defined, which appears to be the full summer or breeding plu- 
mage. The circumstance of their assembling in large flocks, 
and evincing a partiality to the green sward rather than to the 
shingly beach, leads me to assign to this bird a different habit 
from the more typical members of the genus, and the dark 
colour and greater length of its tarsi and bill show an approach 
to the more typical Plovers. It would not surprise me if it 
should prove that, instead of breeding on the sandy shores, 
this species resorts for that purpose to inland districts ; a point 
it would be most interesting to ascertain. Of the numerous 
specimens I killed at George Town, no two were alike ; con- 
sequently I am uncertain whether the sexes when adult are 
similarly marked or not, but, judging from other species of the 
genus, I presume they are. 

The Double-banded Dottrel runs over the ground with great 
swiftness ; all in the flock take flight together, and mounting 
high in the air, which they pass through very quickly, suddenly 
wheel about, and after flying a mile or two return, and pitch 
again within a hundred yards of the spot from whence they 
had arisen. 



In the adult state a broad stripe of white 



fore 



head, above which the feathers are black, which colour gra- 
dually passes into the uniform pale brown which covers the 

; outer webs of the primaries black- 
webs paler ; throat white, surrounded with 



whole of the upper surface 



ish brown; inner 
a narrow line of black, which commences above the upper 
mandible and continues down the sides of the neck and forms 
a broad band across the breast 



and down the 



of the abdomen a broad band of bright chestnut ; the rest of 



the under surface pure white 



feathers greyish 



brown, those on each side paler, and the exterior ones white 



irides blackish brown; eyelash 



bill black 



ged with 



feet pale sickly yellowish white 



ghtly 
ats of 



the knees and toes brown 






■ 






* 






. 



fi: 













I 









• 









r 












n 












* 












i 










f * 



i 






' 



240 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



Genus ERYTHROGONYS, Gould. 

The single species of this genus appears to be strictly Au 

anon +/%i A 1 t/ 



stralian, for I have 
country 

In sti 



never seen examples from any other 



and economy this 



gantry formed 



bird is very nearly allied to the ^ialites on the one hand 
and the Schcenicli on the other. 



Sp. 513. ERYTHROGONYS CINCTUS, Gould. 



Red-kneed Dottrel. 



E: 



Vanellus rufi 



155. 



Erythrogonys cinctus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi. 21 

Over what extent of country the Red-kneed Dottrel range; 
is yet to be determined • the south-eastern portions of Aus 
traha are the only localities from which, if I recollect rightly 
I have ever seen or received specimens. 

It is a summer visitor to New South Wales, where it i< 
esteemed a rare bird, and where its presence is probably alto! 



gether dependent upon the kind of 



that may occur : 



its natural habits leading it to frequent the borders of lajw,, 
muddy flats and the banks of rivers ; none but wet and humid 



whicl 



is to be 



Australia, are suitable to i 
either on or even near the 

inhabitant of the interior. 



etted 



are so unfreq 



I believe it is seldom 

i-coast, but that 



strictly 



In October and November 1839 I 
lound it tolerably abundant on the flats near Aberdeen and 

upper part of the Dartbrook, a tributary of the River 

isiting the Mokai and Namoi in the follow- 



Hunter, and 



mg month I observed it to be equally numerous _ 
rivers. I seldom saw more than two together, and these 



on those 



almost always male and female 



they appeared, as I have 






■ 


















K 









GRALLAT011ES. 



241 



be for 



stated, to prefer soft muddy banks to the stoirv 



shingly margins of 



rivers. 



It is a most showy and 



bird, and is so tame that I had not the slightest trouble 



in shooting as many as I pleased 




Its actions and 



very peculiar, and partake both of those of the Dottrell 



d the Sandpiper ; having 



the stoop 



g 



carriage of the 



former, and the quick bobbing motion of the head and tail of 



the latter: 



■g 



plumag 



d 



g tertiaries also 



ally it to the Sandpipers. 

* 

Those who have closely observed the motions of this bird 



while running over the ground must have remarked that they 
much resemble those of the Common Summer Snipe (Actitis 
hypoleucus), with which, however, it cannot be generically asso- 



d 



The flight of the two birds is very differ 







The sexes present no variation in the colour or marking of 
their plumage, neither did I detect any difference in size 
which they might be distinguished. Although they were 
probably breeding at the period of my visit to the above-men- 
tioned localities, I could never discover their eggs, nor could 
the two intelligent natives accompanying me either aid or give 
me any information on the subject. 

Its food consists of insects of various kinds. 

Head, ear-coverts, back of the neck, and chest black ; a small 

■ 

_ 

patch under the eye, throat, chest, sides of the neck, centre of 
the abdomen, and under tail-coverts white, the latter spotted 

re of the wings, and tertiaries 
vn ; tips of the secondaries a: 



dark bi 



back 



ged with bronzy brown 

webs of the tips of the six contiguous primar 



d 



rump and two middle tail-feathers olive, the remaining tail-fea- 
thers white; flanks chestnut; irides nearly black, with a narrow 
black eyelash ; bill pulpy, pink-red at the base, black at the 
tip ; thigh, knee, and for a quarter of an inch down the tarsus 



pink-red, the 
bluish lead-cc 



der of the tarsus and the toes lively 



Total length 7 inches ; bill 1 ; wing 4 J; tail 1 



VOL. II. 




7 . 

8 > 

It 



tarsi I 1 



2 











1 


















- 




< 




■ 








i 


■ 

nil 


* 


F ■ 1 1 St 

* 














I 












I > 




























































242 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



■ * 

Genus ACTITURUS, Bonaparte. 

An American form, of which the single species is the well- 
known Trmga bartramia of authors, and which is evidently a 
wide wanderer, examples having been killed in England, on 
the continent of Europe, and in Australia. 



Sp. 514. 



ACTITURUS BARTRAMIUS. 

Bartram's Sandpiper. 

*, Wilson, Am. Orn.. vol. ii. n. 35 



(Jardine's Edition). 
Totanus bartramius, lb. (Ord's Edition), vol. vii. p. 67. 

Actiturus bartramius, Bonap. Comp. List of Birds of Eur. and N. Am., 

p. 51. " 

Bartramia laticauda, Less. Traite d'Orn., p. 553. 
Tringa longicauda, Bechst. 

Totanus variegatus, Vieill. Gal des Ois., t. ccxxxix. 

melanopygius, Vieill. 2de Edit, du Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. Nat., torn. 

vi. p. 401. 

campestris,Yiei\l 2de Edit, du Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. Nat. torn, vi 
p. 400. 

Tringoides bartramius, Gray, Gen. of Birds, vol. iii. p. 574, Tringoides, 

sp. 4. 

I am indebted to the Directors of the Museum at Sydney 

for the loan of a very fine example of this species, which they 



kindly permitted to be sent to 



land for my 



It was shot by an old sportsman, during the Snipe season of 



1848, near the water-reservoir, in the 



cinity of Sydney 



On examination it was found to be a male, and had 
stomach filled with aquatic insects. 

Speaking of this species, Audubon says, "Like all ex- 



perienced 
cumstances 



as 



;rs, it appears to accommodate itself to 
gards food, for in Louisiana it feeds 



on 



cantharides and other coleopterous insects ; in Massachusett 
on grasshoppers, on which, it is said, it soon grows very fat 






















GRALLATORES. 



243 



in the Carolinas on crickets and 



insects, as well as the 



eeds of the crab-grass {Diaitaria sanauinaria) : and in the 



bar 



of Kentucky often picks the strawber 



Those 



which have fed much on cantharides require to be very 
fully cleaned, otherwise 



suffer severely 



per 



)) 



g them 



liable to 






X 




Family GLAREOLID^S. 

I think Bonaparte was right when he instituted a family 
name for the Pratincoles, for few groups of birds are more 
isolated. Most modern ornithologists associate them with 
the Plovers Mn 

to the Swallows 
originally placed 



many of their features they show an affinity 



which group 



illustrious Linna 



Sp 



Genus GLAREOLA, Brisson. 

of this form inhabit India, the Indian Island 



Europe, and Africa. 

■ 

Sp. 515. GLAREOLA GRALLARIA, Temm. 

Australian Pratincole. 

Glareola grallaria, Temm. Man. d'Orn., torn. ii. p. 503. 
Isabella, Vieill. Gal. des Ois., torn. ii. p. 159, pi. 263. 






australis, Leach in Linn. Trans., vol. xiii. p. 132, pi. 14. figs. 1, 2. 

Australasian Pratincole, Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. ix. p. 366. 
Stiltia grallaria, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de FAcad. Sci., torn, xliii. stance 

du 2 Aout 1856. 



Glareola grallaria, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi. 22. 

This species of Pratincole possesses several remarkable 
specific distinctions, the great length of the tarsi and primaries, 
which, combined with the graceful contour of its body and the 
small size of its head, render it the most elegant species of the 
genus that has yet been discovered. The figure in Vieillot's 
' Galerie des Oiseaux ' is far less accurate than the description. 

R 2 






I 



























ill? 









Ill 



: 









■; 
























1 









• 






l 






* 



















































I 









244 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



The bird is there portrayed with the primaries brown, whereas 
they should be black; the white of the throat is also much 

defined in the bird than it is in the drawing; this mark, 



which is so conspicuous 



other members of the g 



being scarcely distinguishable in the present species from the 
surrounding reddish-bun colouring of the head. and neck. 
While traversing the plains bordering the river Namoi in 



N 



South Wales, I once had a transient 



g bird; it was on the 



ded was its flight 



d 



g 



d 



view of this 
so rapid and 



so close did it keep to the 



ground, that I had scarcely satisfied myself as to what kind 
of bird it was, before it was lost 



the dist 



I 



possess, however, two specimens/both of which were collected 
in the Moreton Bay district, the eastern portion 



eastern portion of the 
of Australia, therefore, may be regarded as one of 

is found, but which, from its 



con- 



rare 



localities in which it 

occurrence therein, can scarcely be considered its natural 
habitat i in all probability the vast interior of the country is 
its native home. 

We may reasonably suppose that nature has destined this 
bird to the same offices in Australia that are performed by the 
Glareola pratincola in Europe, that insects of various kinds 

principal food, and that they are taken both in 



d on the ground, as the 




development of 



the 



ngs and legs must give it peculiar facility for capturing them 
both situations ; future discovery, however, must determine 
among numerous other points now unknown respecting 
economy of the birds of that comparatively unknown 



country, A 



m 



The 



has 



b 



the head, all the upp 



face 



7 «^ v ^^j^^j. uuiii*\;Uj Willed j 

ght rufous, becoming nearly white on the thi 



brown 



; primaries and under surface of the wing 
black ; shaft of the outer primary white for three-fourths of 



gth from the b 



abdomen rich chestnut 



thigh 






white ; central tail-feathers black 























(. 



GRALLATORES, 



545 



tipped on their 



webs with brown, and on their inner 



ebs with white: lateral 



feathers white, with an oval 



spot of brown near the tip of the inner web • the next on 
each side white, crossed by a band, the inner portion of which 
is black, and the onter brown ; bill red at the base, black at 
the tip; legs and feet brown. 

The young during their first year have all the upper surface 
light reddish brown ; the feathers of the breast with a spot of 
brown in the centre; the band across the abdomen pale 

chestnut; in other respects the colouring is similar to that 
of the male. 

* 

Sp. 516* GLAREOLA ORIENTALIS, Leach. 






- 



Oriental Pratincole. 

Glareola orientalis, Leach in Linn. Trans., vol. xiii. 

tab. 13. fig. 1, male, fig. 2, female. 
Oriental Pratincole, Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. ix. p. 365. 



pp. 132, 187, 



\ 



f 



Glareola orientalis, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi, 

A small collection of birds presented to the Linnean So< 
in the early part of 1827 by Alexander Macleay, Esq 
Sydney, comprised a pair of these birds; unfortunately the 
whole were unaccompanied by any information as to the part 
of Australia in which they had been procured, but as all the 
other species were peculiar to the eastern and northern 
of the continent, it is reasonable to infer that the present bird 



par 



was 



killed in one or other of 



The 



habitat of the Oriental Pratincole is India and the neighbouring 



islands 



iy 



likely, therefore, that its visits to Australia 



Crown and all the mmer surface 



black 



daries black, glossed with g 



primaries br 



d 



white, the apical portion of the latter black : throat wh 



encircled 




broken 



g of black ; chest greyish br 



upper part of the abdomen crossed by an indistinct band of 















. 









\ 













































i 



■ ■ ■ 















>•;' 












: * 












: 
























1 • - 



246 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



buff, which gradually fades into the white of the vent and 



der 
red ; bill black 



der surface of the wing rich deep 



gape 3 



feet blackish brown 



The young of the year is similar in colour, but much 



paler, and 
the 



nly 



an 



dication of the 



g 



ounding 



Family HIMANTOPODIDJE. 



The Stilts differ so remarkably from all the other Plovers 
and Sandpipers, that I have ventured to raise them to the 
rank of a family. The various species inhabit 
both of the Old and New Worlds 



man j 



Europ 



Genus HIMANTOPUS, Brisson, 

d Africa are inhabited by 



India 



North 



America by a second, South America by a third, New Zealand 

by a fourth, and Australia by a fifth species of this eleg 
but singular genus. 



Sp. 517. 



HIMANTOPUS LEUCOCEPHALUS, Gould. 

White-headed Stilt. 



m 



-r~~ -~ — ^ r ,^«,o, uuuxu m nuu, ui AOOl. ooc., part 

A-jar-uk, Aborigines of the lowland districts of Western 



ffimantopus leucocephams, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi 

pi. .24. * 

i 

- 

Although the extreme length of the legs of this bird, as 
compared with the small size of its body, would seem incom- 
patible with easy carriage and graceful deportment, this is in 
reality not the case, for I never saw a bird which combined 
more grace of movement and elegance of appearance than the 
White-headed Stilt, which I for the first time observed in the 



of December, near Mr. Edward Uhr 



banks of the river Mokai, where it was 



the 



associated 



) 


















■ 



-. - t 

• ■ \ 









- 












GRALLATORES. 



247 



of 



flocks of from six to twenty in number, which, by their pic- 
turesque appearance as they ran along the margin and knee- 
deep in the shallows of the stream, added greatly to the beauty 
the scene. This part of the Mokai was one of the most in- 
esting localities I visited in New South Wales ; I encamped 
its banks for some time, and had no difficulty in obtaining 
many specimens of this fine bird as I desired. The flocks 
re composed of both sexes, in the finest state of plumage ; 



d I ascertained by dissection of 



the 



specimens that 



ger birds were the males. In this locality the 



were feeding entirely on insects and small shelled snails, 
which food was procured on the margin of the stream, or by 
wading into the shallows : they ran about with great celerity > 



displaying many graceful, lively 



flight 



contrary was heavy and inelegant, and their long legs stream- 
ing out behind gave them a very grotesque appearance : while 
on the wing they continually uttered a plaintive piping cry, 



if of distress, but which they seldom emitted when 



ground 



I was unable to obtain any information 



g 



the 



nidification of this bird 



to arrive 



any 



its being a stationary or migratory species. It appears 



possess 



an extensive range over 



the continent, as besides 



killing it myself in New South Wales, I have received speci- 
mens both from South and Western Australia. In the neigh- 
bourhood of Perth it is sometimes seen in company with the 



Avocet (Becurviro6 
shrimps and aquati 



rubricottis), feeding upon freshwater 



Back of the neck, back, and wings glossy greenish black 






the rest of the plumag 



white : irid 



pink, margined 



tern ally 



a deep red ring ; bill black j legs and feet 



deep pink flesh-colour, becoming red after death 



Total leneth 1 5 inches ; bill 2i ; 



o 



aked space above the knee 2 



g 8 



3 



4 






! I 













248 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA 



l-i ' 






I 













T ■ ■ 


















r - i 















\ 






1 * i 












■ 



* 

























































r m 

Genus CLADORHYNCHUS, G. R. Gray. 

The only species of this form known is peculiar to Austr 



d differs from Recm 



several 



but principally in the structure of the bill 



pai 



Sp. 518. CLADORHYNCHUS PECTORALIS. 

Banded Stilt. 

Leptorhynchm pectoralis, Dubus in Mem. Roy. Acad. Bruss., 1835 
Himantopus palmatus, Gould, Syn. Birds of Australia, part ii 
CladorhyncJms pectoralis, G. R. Gray, List of Gen. of Birds, p. 69. 

■ 

Chladorhynchus pectoraHs, Gould, Birds of AustraHa, fol., vol. 



pi. 26. 

D urin g 



th 



species in the year 1837 I 



has elapsed since I described th 



h 



am mm 




other examples, one of which 



opportunity of 



destitute of 



pectoral band on the breast; whether this mark is merely 



assumed during summer, or is distin 



of the sexes, I 



gret to say that not even my visit to Australia has enabled 



me satisfactorily to detei 
fortune to meet with it in 



of 



having had 



good 



The Banded 



it lives much aft 



inhabitant of the southern and western coast whei 



the 



(R 



had been shot in that 



manner of the Australian Avocet 
While at Adelaide I saw a speci- 



and Gilbert, 



in his Notes from Western Australia, states that he found „ 
on Rottnest Island, but in no other part of the colony! 
Captain Sturt, who observed it in great numbers during his 

singular bird, with 



journey 



the 



says 



This 



the shallow lake 



dinirably adapted by their 



d sheets of 



gth for wading 



flocks 



was seen 



in large 



It was very abundant on Lepson's Lake to the north 



ard of Cooper's Creek: and 



Strzelecki's Creek 



ttmg on the water making a singular pi 























GRALLATORES. 



■ 



249 









Body : 
bordered 



breast 



by a broad band of 



ly with black ; wings and centre of the 



abdomen black : bill black 



reddish yell 



In 



cimen, which I presume may be a female, the band on the 
chest was greyish brown instead of chestnut, and there was 
no appearance of the black mark on the centre of the abdo- 



men 



d in another th 



pector 



band 



was 



pparently 



disappearing, from which I infer 
during the breeding-season. 



this mark only 



Family RECURVIROSTEID^I. 

Every ornithologist must admit that the Avocets 
singular in their habits, actions, and economy, as they 
their structure. I have, therefore, raised them to 
of a family. 

Genus RECURVIROSTRA. Linrusm 



■ 



as 



the rank 



I 



■ 
■ « 

This form, like that of Himantqpus, is widely distributed 
over the globe, since species inhabit America, Africa, Europe, 
India, and Australia, in which latter country, as in Europ 
only one species is found. 



} 



r, i 



Sp. 519. RECURVIROSTRA RUBRICOLLIS, Tt 



emm. 



Red-necked Avocet. 



Recurvirostris rubricollis, Temm. Man. cPOrn., part ii. p. 592. 

nova-hollandice, Vieill. 2nde Edit, du Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. Nat., 



torn. hi. p. 103 ? 



Ya-jin-goo-rong 

Australia. 



Aborigines 



of the lowland districts of Western 



Recurvirostra rubricollis, Gould, Birds of Australia, foL, vol. vi. 

pi. 27. 

■ 

The western and southern portions of Australia appear to 
be inhabited by this beautiful Avocet. I did not myself 
meet with it during my rambles in New South Wales, but I 

* 

have now and then seen it in collections from those parts. 
Like its European representative, the Red-necked Avocet 



• : 





















- T ■ ■' ' »* 



■■ 









V: 









Vi 



t 



x t 















■ I 1 

H I I 










































> 




































250 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



frequents the shallow parts of lakes, inlets of the sea, and the 

muddy banks of rivers, often wading knee-deep in the water, 

and readily swimming when necessity requires it so to do. 

Its food consists of minute marine 



moll 



d insects, 



which it gathers from the surface of the mud with its deli 



tely 



ganized bill, the structure of which 



adapted for the purpose : not less appropriate 



is admirably 



of its feet, which, being partially webbed, enable the bird to 
pass over the soft surface of the ground with far greater ease 
than could be effected by any of the Sandpipers, whose toes 
are divided to their base. In Western Australia the favourite 
localities of this bird are the lakes in the neighbourhood of 
Perth and on Rottnest Island, where it is seen in small flocks 
m company with the Himantopus leucocephalus. In South Aus- 
tralia the River Murray, and the shores of Lake Alexandrina 
atiord situations equally adapted for its existence. 

The sexes are alike in plumage, and differ but little in size 
Head and upper half of the neck chestnut, extending down- 
wards on the front of the neck ; middle of the wings, prima- 
ries and part of the scapularies black, the rest of the plumage 
white ; - irides bright red ; bill black : lees 



and feet tinged with 



greyish blue ; tarsi 



The habits and economy of the four or five species 



of this family 



very simil 



In England the European 



bird is called Yelper, from the peculiar noise it makes.when 
flying while the extraordinary form of its upturned bill 



obtained for it the 



Awl, Scoop 



&c 



of Shoe-horn, Cobbler 



This elastic whalebone-like organ 



doubtless formed for the procuration of some peculiar food 
which has not yet been fully ascertained. 



however, to live 
crustaceans. Its 



The bird 



said 



on sea-worms, aquatic insects, and small 



gg 



which 



laid on the bare sand or among the shing.. 
the breeding of the Australian bird is very 



generally two in number 

; and doubt- 










* "t 



GRALLATORES. 



251 



f 



Family LIMOSID^I, 

The birds of this family range between the Snipes (Scolo- 
pacidce) and the Sandpipers {Tringida). They are large and 
powerful in form, and differ considerably from both the 
groups mentioned. 



Genus LIMOSA, Brisson. 

Two very distinct species of this genus inhabit Australia, 
one the southern and the other the northern divisions of the 
country; others occur in India, Africa, Europe, and North 

America. 



- 



Sp. 520. LIMOSA MELANUROIDES, Gould. . 

Black-tailed Godwit. 

Limosa melanuroides, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xiv. p. 84. 
Mun-doore-git, Aborigines of Port Essingtom 



Limosa melanuroides, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pL 28. 



On conip 



iheZ 



melanuroides will be found of 



4 



much smaller size than the European species, and to exhibit 
other differences which, although but slight, fully satisfy me 
that it is distinct : it is one of the many novelties which 

neighbourhood of Port 



rewarded Gilbert's researches 



the 



Essington, and who states that it inhabits shallow muddy 
swamps and lakes, and that he usually met with it in tolerably 

was extremely 



'g 



flocks : he also adds that 



stomach 



muscular, and that its food consists of aquatic insects of 
various kinds. 

In its habits, actions, and general economy it doubtless closely 
resembles its European ally, and, in all probability, undergoes 
similar changes of plumage, the dull colouring of winter 
giving place to a rufous tint in summer. 



?! '. i 














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252 



BIRD'S OP AUSTRALIA 



The winter dress may be thus described : 

Head and all the upper surface greyish brcp 

reak of black down the centre of the feathe 



gs ' dark 



brown, shafts white ; base of the primaries and secondaries 



and tips of the gi 



the wing is expanded ; upper tail-coverts 



forming a band when 



conspicuous mark 



hite, forming a 



black, with the exception of the 



lateral feathers on each side, which are white at the base and 
black at the tip ; neck, breast, and flanks greyish brown ; 
abdomen and under tail-coverts white; irides brown • bill 



greenish 
mandible 



grey 



becoming paler on the sides of the upper 



gs and feet greenish grey 



Total length 1 3 inches ; bill 3f ; wing 7f ; tail U ; . tarsi 2 



5 

8 



Sp. 521. LIMOSA UROPYGIALIS, Gould. 

Barred -rumped God wit. 

Limbsa wopygialis, Gould in Proc. of Zoo] . Soc, 1848, p. 38. 

^ - 

1 ■ 

Limosa ur opygialis, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi 



■ 



I 



this 



species 



very great abundance, in company 



with Curlews, Oyster-catchers and Sandpipers, at Pit 



Tasmania, feeding 



the 



flats left bare by the 



ceding tide ■ I also observed it on the sandy flats in Sp™„ CJ 
Gulf and on the sand-banks at the mouth of the river Hunt 



New South Wales 



d 



of the Australian 



probability 



dispersed 



Another instance of the law of representation, so frequently 
spoken of in the course of the present work, is here most con- 
spicuously shown. To a common observer this bird would be 
considered identical with the Bar-tailed Godwit {Limosa rufd) 
of Europe; but on comparing the two birds, he will find that the 

} rump strongly 
the Limosa rufa, 



Australian has at all times the lower part of th 
barred with brown, while the same part 



when in the 



6 



coloured dr 



is 



hite 



m 



The 















J 







GRALLATORES. 



253 



habits, manners and economy of the two birds are so precisely 
similar that I was unable to detect any difference ; various 
kinds of marine insects and small-shelled mollusks are its 



7 



principal food. 

Mr. Macgillivray, however, informs me that one of the 
specimens sent home by him from Australia was clothed in 
a rufous dress very similar to the summer plumage of the 
European species. 

All the upper surface brownish grey, becoming dark brown 
on the centre and nearly white on the edges of the feathers ; pri- 
maries brown with white shafts ; rump and upper tail-coverts 
conspicuously barred with brown and white j tail alternately 
barred with brown and white ; throat and abdomen white : 



neck and breast brownish 




;rey ; 



under wing-coverts 



and 



flanks barred with brown and white : bill white at the base, 
becoming brown at the tip ; irides dark brown ; legs brownish 
black. 

Total length 15 inches ; bill 3^ ; wing 8f ; tail 3^ ; tarsi 2-J-. 

In the youthful state the feathers of the back are of a much 
darker hue, and the tertiaries are conspicuously toothed with 
white on their margins. 

Every ornithologist is aware how difficult it is to trace our 
own Bar-tailed Godwit to its breeding-place ; so great indeed is 
it that its eggs are desiderata in nearly every European cabinet ; 
and this want of knowledge is equally felt with regard to the 
Australian species, for we have not the most remote idea 
what country it resorts to during the breeding-season, and no 



Australian egg has yet been collected which can with certainty 



be referred to this bird ; any information, therefore, on this 
point will be received by me, and I am sure by every other 
ornithologist, with pleasure. 



! 



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254 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA 



1 - 



Family TKINGIIXE!. 

The members of this family are very numerous, and 



prise many distinct forms or g 



These 



and and shore birds 



are very generally distr 



buted over the face of the globe, there being few 
which they are not found. In Australia there 



of which closely resemble others inhabiting Europ 



species 



Genus LIMNOCINCLUS, Gould. 



The two species of this g 



ge over many degrees of 



latitude, the Limnocinchs pedoralis of America being 
them, the following species the otht 



Australian bird, inhabit 



rivers 



They, or at least the 
districts and the borders of 



and run about among the grass and herbage much 



after the manner of the 



Snip 



Of their nidification 



S 



little or nothing has yet been recorded, and I would especially 
direct the attention of Australian ornithologists to this point 
so far as it regards the bird inhabiting their country. 

p. 522. LIMNOCINCLUS ACUMINATUM 

Marsh Tringa. 

Totanus acuminatus, Horsf. Lin. Trans., vol. xiii. p. 192. 
Tringa australis, Jard. and Selb. 111. Orn., vol. ii. pi. 91 
Schceniclus australis, G. R. Gray, List of Birds in Brit 

part iii. p. 105. 



M 



Coll., 



Schceniclus australis, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol, vol. vi. pi. 30. 

This pretty species of Sandpiper is distributed over all parts 



The sandy beaches of 



rivers in the 



of Australia, including Tasmania 
sea-coast and the banks of 

country are equally visited by it ; and in all such 
is to be seen either in pair 
fifteen in number 



of 



* or in small parties of from si 
It is very fearless, and will allow of 


















GRALLATORES. 



pproach before it will take wing. In its economy 



appeared to me to hold an intermediate 



between the 



Sandpipers and true Snipes. It is a bird especially fond of the 
grassy sides of lagoons and open wet marshy places, where it 
trips over the herbage which rests on the surface of the water 



Its 



d sometimes wades up to its body in search of insects, 
flight resembles that of the true Snipes. Of the specimens 



killed, by far the greater number 
which period of their 



birds of the year, at 
a rufous tint pervades the 



breast and flanks j the feathers of the back are also margined 
with the same hue, except where they are varied with greenish 
white, some of the feathers of the scapularies and back being 



edged with this 



when fully adult, an almost uniform 



ey pervades the upper surface, the 



of the abdomen 



being white 



I dissected a number of specimens and found the larg 



be males 



somewhat 



this 



group of birds ; the Ruff, however, may be quoted as an 



contrary to the usual 



of the males 



weighed, and averaged two ounces and three-quarters. 
The food consists of aquatic insects and their larva*. 

All the feathers of the upper surface very dark brown in 
the centre, gradually fading into grey on the margins ; crown 
slightly washed with rufous; primaries brown with white 
shafts ; under surface white, washed on the breast with grey- 
ish brown, and where this tint appears, each feather has a 
small streak of brown down the centre ; under tail-coverts 
with a conspicuous streak of dark brown down the centre ; 

bill olive at the 



yellowish 



base, becoming dark br 
irides black. 



tip 



g 



The above is the description of an adult in winter plumage • 
the young of the year are similarly marked, but have the 

■ 

greater portion of the feathers, and particularly those of the 
crown and the tertkriesj distinctly margined with sandy red 
and white ; the breast washed with buff. 






I 






- 






256 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 






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Genus ANCYLOCHILUS, Kaup. 

The single species of this genus inhabits Europe, America, 
India, and Australia. 



S 



p. 523 



ANCYLOCHILUS SUBARQUATUS 

Curlew Sandpiper. 



Scolopax subarquata, Gmel. Syst. Nat v vol. i. d. 658, 



M 



Pelidna subarquata, Steph. Cont. of Shaw's Gen. Zool., vol. xii. p. 9.6. 



Mus 



part iii. p. 105. 



Ancyhcheilus subarquatus, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de PAcad. Sci., torn. 

xliii. seance du 2 Aout, 1856. 
Pygmy Curlew of British Ornithologists. 









Schoeniclus subarquatus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. 
pi. 32. 

Some species of Australian birds are precisely identical with 
those of India and Europe, and the present may be quoted as 
a case in point, for I find no difference between this bird and 
the Pygmy Curlew of England, except that Australian spe- 
cimens are a little larger than those of Europe ; its distribution 
over the shores of Australia appears to be universal, but at 
the same time it is very thinly dispersed ; and there seem to 
be no localities in which it can be looked for and found with 



tainty at any stated 



it r 



."* 



of estuaries and 



I 



time. Like the rest of the Sandpipers, 

the shingly beach of the sea-shore and the banks 

The change from the grey to the red 



livery, which renders the birds so conspicuous in the summer 
season, takes place in Australia at precisely the opposite 
time of the year to that in which it occurs in Europe. 

Of the three specimens in my collection, one was killed on 



Rottnest Island, another 



the 



land of Western Au 






and the third at Port Macquarrie in New South Wale 









—^ 








GRALLATORES. 



257 



S 



In summer the upper surface is deep rufous 
syish brown: 



g 



dark 



upper 



tail 



grey 



with black and rufous ; head mottled black and 
the under surface deep rufous ; bill and legs black 



ged 



barred 

te ; all 
lightly 



ides dark br 



In winter the rump 



the remainder of the upper 



surface greyish brown ; under surface white, except 
which is slightly tinged with grey. 

Young birds differ from both in having the upper surface 
dark brown, each feather fringed with grey and a wash of 
brown across the chest. 



The 



Genus ACTODROMAS, Kaup. 

i Sandpipers of Europe, America, and Australia 



have been separated under the above gen 
with the Tringa minuta of authors as the typ 
inhabits Australia. 



ppellat 



One 



species 



Sp. 524. 



ACTODROMAS AUSTRALIS. 

Little Sandpiper. 



Calidris australis, Cuv. Gal. de Paris. — Less. Traite d'Orn., p. 558. 
Tringa albescens, Temrn. PI. Col., 41. fig. 2. 

Land Snipe and Least Sandpiper of the Colonists of Western Au- 
stralia. 



Schceniclus albescens, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. \ 

4 

I have received specimens of this little Sandpip 



every one of 



Australian colonies, the 



ds 



Bass 



Straits, the Iioutmann's Abrolhos off 



d 



Raine 



Islet 



in 



T 



Sti 



no one, therefore, of 



Australian Sandpipers is more generally dispersed 



T 



those who are acquainted with the Little Dunlin (Actodr 



of Europ 
) closely j 



I 



may say 



the habits of 



as to render 



sep 



descr 



VOL. II. 



s 



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M 







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1 






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258 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA 



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unnecessary • low flat shingly beaches fringing deep bay 



and inlets of 



d spits of land 



the 
In 



extremities of small islands, are its usual places of resort. 
Tasmania I observed it in hundreds at Ralph Bay Neck and 
the adjoining estuary near the mouth of the Derwent j and it 
was equally plentiful at Nepean Bay and other parts of the 
shores of Kangaroo Island, at the entrance of Spencer's Gulf 



South Australia 



Ag 



and ele 




movements, it 



ips over the ground with astonishing celerity, following each 



receding tide in search of 



small marine insects as form 



part of its diet. All the examples procured by myself were 
in the winter or light-colon red dress, and had I not recently 
received specimens from South Australia, which exhibit traces 
of red on the breast and dark feathers on the upper surface, I 
should have been led to suppose that it did not undergo the 
usual changes of the other members of the genus. 

Gilbert found it breeding on the Houtmann's Abrolhos in 
December, its two eggs being deposited in a hollow, which it 
had formed in the ridge of black deposit and salt thrown up 
by the ripple of the water, and which, when the water receded, 
was left high and dry at about four or five yards from the 



edge. Gilbert 



states that it assembles 



flocks on all the lakes around Perth and on Rottnest Island, 
that it utters a weak piping note when on the wing, that its 
stomach is muscular, and that its food consists of small land 
and aquatic insects and small mollusca. He further observes 



that at Port Essing 



greg 



in flocks of several 



hundreds, and, like the Greenshank and other members of the 
group, perches on the mangroves during the height of the 
flood-tide. 



In 



summer the 



crown of the head and upper surface is 
greyish brown, with a patch of blackish brown in the centre 
of each feather, deepening into rusty red on the margins of the 



,pularies, with a slight wash of 



g-coverts tipped 



with white; primaries blackish brown with white shafts 










GRALLATOitES. 



259 









rump, upper tail-coverts and two centre tail-feathers blackish 

brown ; tail pale brownish white with white shafts ; forehead 

and under surface white ; sides of the breast spotted with 

dark brown, and stained with rusty red in the centre ; irides 

brownish black ; bill blackish brown ; tarsi and feet olive- 
brown. 

The winter plumage is similar, but much paler, and entirely- 
destitute of the red markings ; the spottings of the sides of 
the breast are also much less extensive. 



II 






Genus TRINGA, Linnaeus. 

The Knot of Europe is the type of this genus, and with 



that species may be associated the T. tenuirostris, although it 
differs from it in the colouring of the summer plumage. 



Sp. 525. 



TRINGA CANUTUS, Linnasus 

Knot. 



Tringa canutus, Linn. Syst. Nat., torn. i. p. 251. 

cinerea, Gmel. edit. Linn. Syst. Nat., torn. i. p. 673. 

• calidris, Linn. Syst. Nat., torn. i. p. 252. 



ncevia 



grisea, Gmel. lb., p. 681. 
ferruginea, Mey 



islandica, Gmel. edit. Linn. Syst. Nat., torn. i. p. 682. 
Calidris canutus, Gould, Birds of Eur., vol. iv. pi. 324. 

Of this well-known British bird I have undoubted exampl 



The 



from Moreton Bay, whence they were sent by Strange. 

fact of its being found in Australia need not surprise us when 



we take into consideration 



great 



g-powers, and how 



widely it is distributed throughout Europe and North Ame- 

Curiously enough, however, it is so seldom met with 



nca. 



India 



garded as one of the 



of the birds 



of that country. One of the specimens sent by Strange had 
the under surface much suffused with red, with many new 

s 2 






■ 


















260 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 




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black feathers among the 



grey 



the back showing 



that the bird was changing into its summer livery at the com 

mencement of the Australian spring ; for the date on the label 

of the specimen now before me clearly written by Strange is, 



Female, Sept. 2, 1861 ; irides dark hazel 



It will scarcely 



be necessary for me to give a description of this well-known 
species, as it may be found in every European work ; I would, 
however, direct attention to the fact of its having been found 
on the east coast of Australia, that some one may record 
hereafter if its visits are regular. 



Sp. 526. 



TRINGA TENUIROSTRIS. 

Great Sandpiper. 



Totanus tenuirostris, Horsf. Linn. Trans., vol. xiii. p. 192. 
Schamiclus magnus, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, 1848, p. 39. 
Tringa crassirostris, Temm. et Schleg. Faun. Jap., p. 107. pi. lxiv. 

» 

Schoeniclus magnus, Gould, Birds of Australia, foL, vol. vi. pi. 33. 

This is one of the birds that I did not meet with during my 

; there are, however, many specimens in 
the British Museum was obtained on the 



Australia 



this country ; one in 
north coast of Australia 



d another, procured at Sw 



River, is in the possession of Lord Braybrooke, a nobleman 
much attached to natural history. It is one of the most sin- 
species of the Tringa;, being in size fully equal to the 



Ruff. 



Besides being found in Australia 



bird also inhabits 



China and Japan, and beautiful figures of it in its various 
stages of plumage will be found in the « Fauna Jappnica ' as 
above quoted. 

■ 

Crown of the head and the neck brownish grey, each feather 

of brown down the centre ; back and wings 



with 
brow 



broadly margined with brownish grey 



primaries 



blackish brown ; rump white, each feather tipped with brown 
tail brownish grey ; feathers of the breast dark brown, with 




















jj 




















GRALLATORES. 



261 



crescent of white at the extremity ; abdomen and under tail- 
coverts white ; flanks mottled with brown ; bill, feet and irides 
olive. 



Total length 9 J inches ; bill If ; wing 7 ; tail 2J j tarsi If. 







Genus TEREKIA, Bonaparte. 

Only one species of this form is known. The upward 
curvature of the bill renders it remarkably different from all 
other Sandpipers. 



Sp. 527. 



TEREKIA CINEREA. 

Terek Sandpiper. 







cinerea, Gmel. Linn., vol. i. p. 657. 



Limosa recurvirostra, Pall. Zool. Rosso-Asiat., vol. ii. p. 181. 
Terek Avoset, Penn. Arct. Zool., vol. ii. p. 502. 
Snipe, Lath. Gen. Syn., vol. v. p. 155. 



Man 



Terek Godwit, Gould, Birds of Europe, vol. iv. pi. 307. 
Totanus javanicus, Horsf. Linn. Trans., vol. xiii. p. 193. 
- sumatranus, Raff. 



Fedoa terekensis, Steph. Cont. of Shaw's Gen. Zool., vol. xii. p. 83. 

Numenius cinereus, Vieill. Ency. Meth. Ora., part iii. p. 1157. 

Limicula Indiana, Vieill. 

Terekia javanica, Bonap. List, of Eur. and Am. Birds, p. 52. 

cinerea, G. R. Gray, List, of Gen. of Birds, 2nd edit. p. 88. 



Xenus 



Mus 



p. 96. 



Terekia cinerea, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi. 34. 

I killed a single example of this species on the river 
Mokai in New South Wales on the 12th of July 1839, 
and neither before nor since have I seen another Australian 
specimen ; the individual in question was very shy, and it was 
with difficulty that I got sufficiently near to shoot it. On 






I^H 






. 



r 



























262 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 









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. 



dissection it proved to be a male. It is a common bird in 
Java and Sumatra ; its range also extends to India, China and 
Europe, and probably to North Africa. 

But little has been hitherto recorded respecting its habits : 
Temminck states that it occurs accidentally in Europe, lives in 
Russia, Siberia, the borders of the Caspian Sea, in Japan, 

and that specimens from the latter 

taken in Normandy and in the 



Sumatra, and Born 



island compared with others 



environs of Paris do not present the slightest differences ; that 
it inhabits the borders of rivers, has a sonorous voice, and 
feeds on worms, insects and small-shelled mollusks. 

The nest according to Pallas is formed of plants, and the 



eggs are four in number, of a pale 
with spots of reddish brown. 



yellow marked 



This neat -plum aged 



Sandpip 



>> 



says Mr. Jerdon 



" is not very abundant in the South of India, but is met with 
more frequently towards the north ; it frequents the shores of 



seas, back 



tanks 



d rivers, in small flocks 



In 



summer plumage its scapulars become black, edged with 



br 



It breeds in Northern Asia, laying four pale 



yellow eggs, with brown spots. It is extensively distributed 

over Europe and Asia to Australia." — Birds of India, vol. ii. 
part ii. p. 683. 



Latham states that in the summer 



numerous in the 



ghbourhood of the Caspian Sea, particularly about the 



mouth of the River Terek 



and that it is 



usually met with in flocks in the marshes, especially on the 
borders of the salt lakes. 

Head, all the upper surface, wings and tail pale brown, with 

centre of each feather ; 
with the shaft of the 



fine line of a darker tint down the 



shoulders and 



pr 



dark brown 



first quill white ; secondaries white ; base of the bill orange 
brown, passing into blackish brown at the tip ; irides black 



gs brownish orange, the bi 
joints 



predominating on the 









. 













GRALLATORES. 



263 



Genus ACTITIS, Illiger. 

At least two species of this form are known, one inhabiting 
America, the other the Old World. 



^ 

^r^ 




. 



Sp. 528. 



ACTITIS HYPOLEUCOS 

Common Sandpiper. 



Tring 



hypoleucos, Linn. Syst. Nat., torn. i. p. 250. 
leucoptera, Pall. 



M 



Man 



torn. iv. p. 419. 



Tringoides hypoleucos. Gray, Cat. of Gen. and Subgen. of Birds in Brit. 



Mus 



Actites hypoleucus, Bias. List of Birds of Eur. (Engl. Edit.), p. 18. 
Actitis empusa, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xv. p. 222. 
Green Sandpiper, Colonists of Port Essington. 



Actitis empusa, Gould, Birds of Australia, fob, vol. vi. pi. 35 

Although I have seen specimens of this bird from every 



lony, with 



ption of that on the north 



I am 



unable to say in which it is most plentiful, or in which it may 
be sought for at any given period with the certainty of finding 
it. I did not meet with it myself in any of my various 
wanderings, but Gilbert observed it both at Swan River and 

on. When speaking of Swan River, he says 



Port Essing 
I only saw this species once. 



When 



the entrance of 



time it rested 



feet the tail 



the Swan, I noticed it flitting from rock to rock, and every 

was constantly moved up 

On referring to the Port 

" Although solitary in its 



and down with a shaking motion 



Essing 



pecimens, he rem 



habits, I have seen three or four 



they were mostly 



observed inhabiting the beds of mangroves, over the roots of 
which, just above the water, they were very actively engaged 
in searching for their food, the tail being in constant motion : 





M 1 



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264 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



lakes inland 



nally I saw solitary individuals on the margins of th 

.-"!___ 1 )) mi . , 



Those persons resident in Austral 



conversant with our British birds will readily 



well-known S 



Snipe 



a bird which 



appear 



ze the 
to be 



lversally distributed over the Old World 



Its food consists of aquatic insects and very small-shelled 
mollusks. 

It will be seen that I formerly regarded this bird as dis- 
tinct from the Common Sandpiper of Europe ; but a more 
eful and minute comparison induces me now to believe 
t it is identical ; and, if so, the species is an inhabitant of 
ly every country of the world. It is very generally dis- 



th 



ibuted over Africa from north to south: 



d 



from China, Japan, and the Indian Islands 
those killed in the British Islands. 



specimens 



are precisely 



In Europe 



species makes its slig 



a tuft of 



rushes bordering a stream, in which it deposits its four larg 
pointed eggs. 

The sexes are precisely alike in the colour of their plumage 



d but 



difference 



their size ; the young 



ary, which are met with in greater abund 



the adults, have the bi 



feathers of 



barred or freckled with darker brown 



upp 



urface 



adults have all the upper surface pale glossy or bronzy 



brown, each feather crossed with irregular bars of dark 
bounded on either side by 



a 



nd tips of the 

pped with whit 



dar 



white ; primaries very sli 

feathers pale glossy or bronzy 



base 

htly 



along 



with a row of irregular-shaped spots of dark bi 

feathers white, crossed by 



the 



marg 



gular blended bars of dark and pale brown ; under surface 



white, with the 



ption of the sides of the chest, and 



shafts of the feathers of the front of the chest, which are pale 



brown 



Total length 6 J- inches ; bill If ; wing 4 j- ; 



i 



o 



tail 2£ j 



tarsi 1. 













GKALLATORES. 



265 






Genus GLOTTIS, Nilsson. 

The only species of this genus found in Australia appears 
to be identical with the Glottis canescens of the British 
Islands. 






Sp. 529. 



GLOTTIS GLOTTOIDES. 

Green shank. 



Scolopax glottis, Linn. Syst, Nat., torn. i. p. 245. 

canescens, Gmel. edit. Linn. Syst. Nat., torn. i. p. 668 



-grisea, Briss. 

- chloropus, Nilss. 

- tot anus, Pall. 

- fistulans, Bechst 

- natans, Koch. 



Totanus glottoides, Vig. in Proc. of Comm. Sci. and Corr. of Zool. Soe., 

part i. p. 173. 



vig or si, Gray. 

Glottis canescens, Bonap. Compt. Bend, de PAcad. Sci., torn, xliii. 



seance du 2 Aoflt 1856. 






Glottis glottoides, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi. 36. 

This wandering species inhabits every country of the Old 
World from Europe and India to the most southern part of 
Australia. Although nowhere very abundant, it is so gene- 
rally dispersed over Australia, that I have seen specimens 
from every settlement in that vast portion of the globe ; but, 



although its distribution is so general, its presence is not, I 



believe, to be depended upon in any given locality ; it is, in 
fact, a chance but not unfrequent visitor to all. A 



more 



elegant bird on the sands can scarcely be imagined, and it is 
as graceful in all its actions as it is in form, tripping over the 
beach with a lightness and ease peculiar to itself. It some- 
times leaves the sea-side for estuaries and inland lakes ; but 
these localities are not so favourable to its habits as sandy 
points and spits of land on the sea-shore, where it is fre- 



I 



: 












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1 







































































' i I 









I i 


















11! 









I 



266 



BIRDS OP AUSTRALIA. 



quently seen in company with the Whimbrel, Curlew, and 
Oyster-catcher. 

It is sometimes seen in small flocks, of from seven to ten 
in number, but more frequently in pairs. 

Like many other members of the family to which it belongs, 
this bird is subject to considerable change in its plumage, 
being much darker and more blotched and spotted during 
the breeding-season than at any other. 

Face, all the under surface, rump, and tail pure white ; the 
sides of the breast streaked with dark brown, and the tail 

and freckled with dark blackish 



barred 



on 



the 



margins 



brown; crown of the head and back of the neck grey, 
streaked down the centre with dark brown ; shoulders and 
primaries very dark brown, the outer quill with a pure white 
shaft ; the remainder of the upper surface light brown, each 
feather margined with grey, with a streak of dark brown 
down the centre, and a series of oblong spots on the margins 
of the same hue ; bill dark olive ; 
deep olive -green. 






irides black j feet and leg 



The sexes differ 



m 



that dissection must be 



resorted to, to distinguish one from the other. 

The above is the description of the plumage of summer ; in 
winter the colouring is similar, but much paler, and the dark 
spots almost obsolete. 



Genus TOTANUS, Bechstein. 



Of this genus one species is all that has yet been discovered 
Australia, and this I regard as identical with the Totanus 



ignatilis of Eur op 



d, if this view be correct, then the 



range of the species will extend from Asia to Australia; 
certain it is, that I have seen specimens, which are strictly 
identical with the European bird, from all the intermediate 

countries. 










i 















i 

















GRALLATORES. 



267 






Sp. 530. 



TOTANUS STAGNATILIS 

Marsh Sandpiper. 



Totanus stagnatilis, Temm. Man. d'Orn., torn. iv. p. 414 



Totanus stagnatilis, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi. 37. 

I shot a specimen of this bird on the banks of the Lower 
Mokai on the 16th of December 1839 : on comparing it with 
Indian and European specimens, I find the whole to be iden- 
tical; the Australian bird is, however, somewhat lighter in 
colour. The individual above mentioned was feeding on the 
bank close to the water's edge : from its being the only one I 
had ever seen alive, I was more desirous of procuring it than 



of 



atching its 



and 



no opportunity afterward 



occurred of my so doing with other individuals, I am unable 



to give any particulars respecting them. 

Lord Lilford, in his "Notes on Birds observed in the 
Ionian Islands, &c," published in the ' Ibis ' for 1860, says 



of this species 



Abundant in March, April, and the early 



part of May, on the race-course of Corfu 



habits closely 



resemble those of the Green Sandpiper (T. ochropus), but it i 
less shy, and not so clamorous. I have had excellent oppor 



tunities of 



observing closely 



habits of this 



d 



many 



other allied species on the race-course, having sometimes seer 
within a few yards of the spot where I lay hidden T. glottis 
T. stagnatilis, T. glareola, T. ochropus, Himantopus melano 
pterus, Tringa minuta, Numenius phceopus, and Glareola pra' 

tincola." 

Face, fore-part of the neck, and all the under surface white 
crown of the head and neck grey, streaked longitudinally witl 

; upper surface grey, each feather with a lighter margin 



black 



gs blackish br 



white, marked with diagonal bars 



of brown ; forehead, rump, and all the under surface white 



bill dark greenish olive, tipped with 
vellow ; irides blackish brown . 



gs sickly 













> ll 









■ 

1 



■ 












i [ ''■ 






■III 












II 1 



* I 






























268 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



Genus GAMBETTA, Kaup. 

* 

As in the case of the preceding genus, Totanus, there is 
only one species in Australia ; in size and structure it is very 
similar to the Redshank of the British Islands. 



Sp. 531. 



GAMBETTA PULVERULENTUS. 

Grey-rtjmped Sandpiper. 



Tringa glareola, Pall. (Bonaparte). 

- 

Totanus pulverulentus, Mull. Naturk. Verhand. Land- en Volkenk., 

p. 152. 



griseopygius, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., 1848, p. 39. 

M ul-woo-ing-a-ning-e, Aborigines of Port Essington. 



Totanus griseopygius, Gould, Birds of Australia, foL, vol. vi. 
pi. 38. 

All the specimens I have seen of this bird were killed near 

* 

the harbour of Port Essington, where it frequents the sandy 
beaches and rocks just above high-water mark ; the salt- 
water lakes and swamps near the settlement also afford it a 
natural asylum, and there, at some seasons of the year, it may 
be seen in vast flocks in company with Stints and Plovers. 

The stomach is very muscular, and the food consists of 
aquatic insects and their larvae and small-shelled mollusks. 

But little difference exists in the colouring of the sexes. 

The head, all the upper surface, rump, and tail are greyish 
brown ; primaries dark brown ; line over the eye and all the 
under surface- white, the neck, breast, and flanks strongly 
freckled with brown ; irides reddish brown ; bill blackish 
brown, except the base of the under mandible, which is 
scarlet ; legs and feet hyacinth-red. 

In winter the upper surface is of a much lighter hue, and 
the under surface is of a greyish white and destitute of the 
freckles of brown . 

Total length 8f inches ; bill If j wing 6| ; tail 2-J ; tarsi 11. 
















GRALLATORES. 




It will be seen that I formerly described this bird as To- 
tanus griseopggius believing it to be undescribed, but I now 
find that it had been previously characterized in the work 
above quoted as 1\ pulverulentus, which specific appellation I 

therefore adopt. 



Genus STREPSILAS, Illiger. 

If any bird may be regarded as a cosmopolite, it is the Turn- 
stone, for it is found in most of the countries of the Old and 
New World. Two or, at most, three species of this form are 
all that are known. 



Sp. 532. 



STREPSILAS INTERPRES 

Turnstone. 



Tringa interpres, Linn. Syst. Nat., torn. i. p. 248. 
Strepsilas interpres, Leach in Cat. of Brit. Mus., p. 29 
collaris, Temm. Man. d'Orn., torn. ii. p. 553. 



Strepsilas interpres, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi. 39. 

If any one bird be universally dispersed over the sea-shores 
of the globe it is the Turnstone, for there are few of which it 
is not an inhabitant. I find no differences whatever between 



Australian and European specimens 



do exampl 



fr 



America present sufficient variation to warrant any other con 
elusion than that the whole are one and the same species. 

I could never detect the breeding-place of the Turnstone ir 
any one of the Australian colonies, and I must not fail to add 
that in the southern parts of that continent ai 



that continent and Tasmania 
pies in the adult livery are but seldom seen, while indi- 



immature dress 



very abundant 



on 



the 



contrary, most of the specimens from Raine's Islet and other 
parts of Torres' Straits are mature birds clothed in the full 



livery or breeding-plumage 



In 



probability the norther 



parts of Australia will hereafter prove to be the part of the 















■ 



: 









i 









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11 





























* 












* 






f 






.; 



ill 












270 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



country in which it breeds, and that the young make an 
annual migration towards the south and disperse themselves 
over every part of the coasts of Southern Australia, the islands 
in Bass's Straits, and Tasmania, all of which, as well as the 
Houtmann's Abrolhos off the western coast, are visited by it. 
The habits, manners, and economy of the bird in Australia 
do not differ from those it exhibits in Europe ; there, as here, it 
feeds on marine insects, as well as on small bivalve mollusca 
and Crustacea. 

The sexes, when fully adult, are alike, 
the female are not so bright as those of the male ; the young, 
even when they have attained the size of the adult, differ con- 
siderably, being much darker in colour, and destitute of the 
white markings of the face, and the chestnut-red tints which 
add so much to the beauty of the old birds. 



but 



of 



The adult 



each 



eye 



the 



the forehead, eyebrows, an oval spot before 

throat, ear-coverts, nape of the 



of the 



neck, lower part of the back, abdomen, and under tail 



white ; from eye to eye across 
which dips downwards in the 



forehead a band of black, 
ltre to the bill : from the 



base of the lower mandible proceeds a mark of black, which 
passes upwards to the eye, dilates backwards towards the 



nape, covers the front of the cli 
the insertion of the wing : man 



d bifurcates toward 



and 



pularies reddish 



brown 



gularly 



d 



black 



P 



black 



wings 



black, the basal part of the inner webs and the shafts of 

primaries white ; secondaries broadly tipped with white, 
forming a conspicuous bar across the wings ; bill black ; hides 



black 



gs and feet rich orange, darkest 



The young has the 



of the upper surface and the 



breast mottled brown and black, the white mark on the throat 



much 



ger, and only a trace of the white markings of 



face and nape 















GRALLATORES. 



271 



Family SCOLOPACIDJE. 

There is no group of marsh birds more deserving a family 



name than the Snipes and Woodcocks, for they are very 
numerous in species and are divisible into many genera. In 
size they range from that of the well-known Woodcock to the 
equally familiar Jack Snipe, and are universally dispersed over 
the globe, being found in every country. 



Genus GALLINAGO, Leach. 

This genus was established for that section of the Snipes 
of which our common species (Gallinago scolopacinus) is a 
typical representative, and of which only one kind has yet 
been recorded as an inhabitant of Australia. 



Sp. 533. GALLINAGO AUSTRALIS 

New Holland Snipe. 

Scolopax australis, Lath. Ind. Orn., Supp. p. lxiv. 
New Holland Snive, Lath. Gen. Svn., Supp. vol. ii. 



M 



Mus 



O-ldrcg-a, Aborigines of Port Essington. 



Scolopax australis, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi. 40. 

On comparing the Snipes killed at Port Essington with 
others obtained in Tasmania, some trivial differences are found 
to exist, and which it is necessary to point out, in order that 
future observers may be induced to ascertain if they be iden- 



if they constitute two distinct species 



examination, the Port Essing 



bird 



minute 



found to have a 



shorter 



and the four lateral feathers 



than 



in 



that from Tasmania ; besides which, the tail of the former is 
composed of eighteen feathers in both sexes, while the speci- 
mens of the latter, contained in my collection, number but 






'IB 




. 



1 



f 



J 




I 
t 






Uf I 






I 



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.:■!; 





















I 









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i I 









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272 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



sixteen ; 



they 



killed during 



which circumstance renders it somewhat doubtful whether 



be the right number 



If the two birds should 



prove to be identical, then the range of the species will extend 



the whole of Australia and Tasmania 



totjpe in Europ 



pr 



occurrence of favourable 
that regulate the movements of 
those of the other. 
In Tasmania it 



presence will depend much upon the 



for in fact the same 
e species equally g 



it is very abundant during the months of 
October, November, December, and January, affords excellent 
sport to those fond of Snipe- shooting, and is to be found in 
all low swampy grounds, lagoons, rivulets, and similar situa- 
tions. Its weight varies from five ounces to six ounces and a 



quarter 



Gallinago scolopacinus of Europe 



quently a much larger species than the 



that 



flies much heavier than 



species 



d thus affords a mor 



easy mark for the 



iportsman ; it is also more tame, sits closer, and when flushed 



flies but a short distance before it again alights 



On rising 



pacmus 



ie same call of scape-scape as the Gallinago scolo 

It is said to breed in Tasmania, but although many 

of the birds that I killed bore evident marks of youth, I could 

factorily ascertain that such was the case. Lieut. 



not 



Breton, in his 'Excursion to the Western Range, Tasmania 
mentions that it always 



week in August or 

' undant in many 

so than in the 



the first in September. I found it very 

parts of New South Wales, in none more 
lagoons of the Upper Hunter, during the months of Novemb 
and December ; but it was only a transient visitor, the lagooi 
and swampy places then filled with water having attracted i 



At the moment of this Handbook going through the press 



I have received a letter from Mr. Morton Allport, of Hob 
dated July 21st, 1865, in which he 



Snip 



shot 



say 



Three 



pie of 



the Macquarie River near Ross, in Tas 



mama, last month (June) ; and several have been 



since. 









1 i 









Ill 
III 

I 









I 



u 



GRALLATORES. 



273 



This 



parts of Austr 



visit may be due to the long droug 



many 



pecially as several other 



have this winter made their appearance, viz. Night-Her 
Egrets, Maned Geese, &c." 



Capt 



Sturt informs us that this Snip 



common m 



South Australia, but scarce 



the 



of the country 



breeds in great numbers in the valley of Mypunga, b 



only to be found in those 
astantlv soft. 
Gilbert mentions 



where the ground 



that the Port Essington bird is only an 
occasional visitor to the Coburg Peninsula, arriving about the 
middle of November, when the rainy season commences, and 



disappearing again in a few 



during its short stay 



inhabits swampy but open grassy meadows : he adds, that he 
never saw more than six or eight at a time, and always found 
them very wild. 

The stomachs of those examined were muscular, and con- 
tained small aquatic insects and sand. 

The sexes are so similar in colour that a separate descrip- 
tion is not requisite. 

Crown of the head deep brownish black, divided down the 
centre by a line of buff ; face and chin buffy white ; sides of 
the neck, breast, and flanks washed with pale reddish brown, 



d 



mottled with irregular spots of deep brown, which 



crease in size, until on the flanks they 



g 



bars : back dark brownish black, the 



the form of 

scapularies 
mottled with deep sandy buff, and broadly margined on 

their external webs with pale buff; wing-coverts dark 
brown, largely tipped with pale buff; wings dark brown, 



feather 



htly fringed with white at the extremity 



gthened flank-feather 



ularly barred with b 



d 



white 



of the abdomen white 



barred with dark bi 



four 



der tail-coverts buff, 
ail-feathers blackish 



brown, crossed near the tip by a broad band of rufous, beyond 
which is a narrow irregular line of brown, and the tip white ; 



VOL. II. 



T 









k 



i 












■ 
























■ 









: ' 






I ■' 



I 







































f - 

j 



■ 






i 















274 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



\ 



the 



lateral feathers alternately barred with dark and lighter 
brown, and tipped with white ; irides dark brown ; basal half 
of the bill yellowish olive, the remainder dark brown ; legs 
yellowish tinged with olive. 



Genus RHYNCELEA, Cuvier. 

* 

The few species comprised in this genus are widely dispersed 
over the face of the globe; one inhabits the southernmost 
parts of America, another South Africa, a third India, and a 
fourth Australia. They affect different situations from those 
resorted to by the true Snipes, usually selecting drier ground 
and knolls under low bushes contiguous to marshy lands, 
where they can readily procure their natural food. 



Sp. 534. RHYNCHJEA AUSTRALIS, Gould. 

Australian RhynchjEa. 

Rhynchaa amtralis, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part v. p. 155. 



Rhynchaea australis, Gould, Birds of Australia, foL, vol. vi. pi. 41. 
The Australian Rhvnchsea is a summer visitant to New 

V 

South Wales, where it arrives in August and September j but 
whether its visits are regular, or only occur in such wet 
periods as fill the lagoons and cause a redundance of rushes 
and other herbage to spring forth, I know not ; in all pro- 
bability they are influenced by the character of the season, as 

none but humid situations appear to suit its habits. Durin 

the fine season of 1839, when much rain had fallen and the 

whole face of the country was covered with the most luxuriant 
and varied verdure, and every hollow formed a shallow lagoon, 
this bird was tolerably plentiful in the district of the Upper 
Hunter, particularly in the flats of Segenho, Aberdeen, 
Scone, &c. Although I did not succeed in finding its nest, 
no doubt exists in my mind of its breeding in the immediate 
locality, as on dissecting a female an egg was found in the 







GRALLATORES 



ovarium, nearly 



size, 



ready 



receive 






calcareous covering. In its habits and disposition this bird 
neither lies so close, nor has the crouching manner of the true 
Snipes, but exposes itself to view like the Sandpipers, running 
about either among the rushes or on the bare ground at the 
edge of the water : on being disturbed, those I saw generally 

* 

flew off towards the brush, seeking shelter among the low 
bushes, from which they were not easily driven or forced to 
take wing. Its flight is straighter, slower, more laboured, and 
nearer to the ground than that of the true Snipes. Considerable 
confusion has always existed respecting the members of the 
group to which this bird belongs, the opposite sexes of the 

same species having been described as distinct ; from actual 
dissection, however, of numerous examples, and from seeing 
these birds mated in a state of nature, I am enabled to affirm 
that the figures in the plate of the folio edition above referred 
to are accurate representations of an adult male and female. 
This species will be found on comparison to possess, among 
other characters, much shorter toes than the Indian and 
Chinese species, to which it is most nearly allied. On dissection 
I also observed an anatomical peculiarity of a very extra- 
ordinary nature, the more so as it exists in the female alone ; 
I allude to the great elongation of the trachea, which passes 
down between the skin and the muscles of the breast for the 
whole length of the body, making four distinct convolutions 
before entering the lungs. On discovering this extraordinary 
formation I placed a body in spirits, for the examination of my 
late friend Yarrell, who, as is well known, paid great attention 
to this part of the organization of birds, and who informed 
me that the position and form of the trachea in the Rhyn- 
chaa australis is similar to that of the Semipalmated Goose, 
figured in the 15th volume of the ' Trans. Linn. Soc' tab. 14. 
The Cranes, Swans, Guans, &c, present us with species having 
the trachea most singularly developed, several of them with 
extensive convolutions before entering the lungs ; some with 

T 2 



«■ 









1 









I 



I f 









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276 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



ptacle for its folds within the 



ity of the keel of the 



breast-bone ; while in others it is situated outside the pectoral 



r 

but 



immediately beneath the 



skin of the breast 



more 



developed than in the present bird 



extensively or mor 



usly 



The use of this convoluted trachea, so exclusively confined 
the female, I could not in any way discover or surmise. No 
te whatever was heard to proceed from either sex, while on 



the wing or when flushed 
"This beautiful bird.' 



says Capt 



Sturt 



a 



very 



the interior, and, indeed, is not common anywhere 

visit my residence at Grang 




Some three or four 

yearly, and remain in the high reeds at the bottom of the 



creek, among which they doubtless breed, but we never 

nests. They lay basking in the shade of a 



found one of their 



tree on the sand-hills during the day, and separate when 



alarmed 



The male is much smaller than the female, and has the 
sides, back, and front of the neck much lighter and mingled 



gs more 



the coverts 



orna- 



igular patches of buff, en- 



with patches of white; wh 
mented with numerous larg 
| circled with a narrow line of black ; the buff bands on the 
primaries richer and more distinct; the scapularies speckled 
with white ; the patch on each side of the chest dark olive, 
with large patches of white surrounded by a line of black. 



Total length 8^ inches ; bill 2 ; wing 5^; tail 2 x 



2 > 



tarsi lijr. 



The female has a stripe from the bill, down the centre of the 



head, to the nape pale buff 



surrounding and a short 



stripe behind each eye white ; back of the neck chestnut, 
crossed with indistinct narrow bars of greenish brown ; crown 
dark brown ; sides of the face and the sides and fore part of 



the neck chocolate; chin white; 

* 

with grey, and marbled with dark br 



back 



ive-green, tinged 
pularies blotched 



on their external webs with deep buff; wing-coverts olive- 



g 



crossed 




numerous fi 



g 



b 



of black 



























GRALLATORES. 



277 



tertiaries olive-green, tinged with grey, crossed by irregular 
bars, and numerously sprinked with black; three outer 
primaries dark brown, crossed on their outer webs with 
broad irregular patches of deep buff, and sprinkled with grey 
on the inner ; the remainder of the primaries and the second- 



aries grey, crossed 




numerous narrow irregular lines of 



black, and spotted with white surrounded with black ; rump 
and tail grey like the secondaries, but spotted with both 
white and buff, each of which colours are bounded with black ; 

breast and all the under surface white, with a large irregular 
patch of olive- green, narrowly barred with black, on each side 
of the chest ; bill pale green at the base, passing into brownish 

horn-colour at the tip ; irides rather dark hazel ; legs pale 



green 



Family 



2 



Genus NUMENIUS, Latham. 

Three species of this form are found in Australia, and others 
inhabit Asia, Africa, and America. For the greater part of 

■ 

the year they frequent the flat shores of the ocean, but retire 
in spring to the upland districts of their respective countries 
to breed. 



Sp. 535. NUMENIUS CYANOPUS, Vieillot. 

Australian Curlew. 

Numenius cyanopus, Vieill. 2nd Edit, du Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. Nat., 

torn. viii. p. 306. 

rostratus, Licht. (Bonap.). 

australis. Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part v. p. 155. 



Wid-joo-on-ong, Aborigines of the Murray River, Western Australia 



Man-do-weidt, Aborigines of Port Essington. 
Curlew of the Colonists. 



Numenius australis, Gould, Birds of Australia, foL, vol. vi. pi. 42. 
In investigating the ornithology of any part of the world, 









I ' 



■i 




I 










V 
I 





















; 












' 



































I 






> 






278 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



■ 

we find many instances of species so closely resembling others, 
known to be inhabitants of distant countries, that they at first 
sight appear to be identical, but on a more careful comparison 
and examination they prove to 



b 



distin 



m no case, 



howeve 



, is this law of representation, for such it must be 
called, so decidedly marked as in Australia, where not a few 
instances occur of birds closely resembling species 
other countries ; and the present bird may be cited 



found 



in point, for a casual observer would at once pronounce it to 

be the Common Curlew of Europe ; on comparison, however, 

it is found to differ from that species in having a longer bill, 

the rump and upper tail-coverts barred with brown instead 

of being of a uniform white, and the under surface washed 
with buff. 



The 



ge of this species over A 



appears to be 



Sw 



sal, for I have received specimens from Port Essington 

River, South Australia, New South Wales, Tasmania 



d all the islands in Bass's Straits ; but in no one of these 
untries is it more abundant than in Tasmania, where it is 
be met with in flocks in the neighbourhood of rivers and 



marshy 
the flal 



situations ; it is also especially fond of running over 
s left bare by the receding tide, to feed upon the 
molluscous animals abounding in such situations, 
veight of this bird is about two pounds ; the 



; the stomachs 

of those dissected were found to be extremely muscular, and 
contained the remains of shelled mollusks, crabs, &c. 

The breeding-ground has not yet been discovered; the 
bird probably retires to the high lands of Tasmania or 
Australia Felix for that purpose. 
'A similarity of colouring pervades both sexes. 
Crown of the head and back of the neck blackish brown, 
each feather margined with buff; back blackish brown, each 
feather irregularly blotched with reddish buff on the margins ; 
wing-coverts blackish brown, margined with greyish white ; 
tertiaries brown, irregularly blotched on the margins with 












GRALLATORES. 



279 









lighter brown; rump and upper tail-coverts dark brown, 
barred across the margins with greyish buff; tail light brown, 
crossed with bars of dark brown; greater coverts blackish 
brown, slightly tipped with white ; first five primaries dark 
brown, with white stems, the remainder and the secondaries 
crossed by irregular interrupted bars of white ; sides of the 
face, throat, and all the under surface pale buff, with a fine 
line of blackish brown down the centre of each feather; 
basal half of the bill flesh-colour, tinged with olive ; apical 
portion deep blackish brown ; legs bluish lead-colour ; irides 
dark brown. 



T* i !» 



Sp. 536. 



NUMENIUS UROPYGIALIS, Gould. 

Australian Whimbrel. 



■ 

Numenius uropygialis, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part viii. p. 175 
Man-do-weidt , Aborigines of Port Essingtou. 



Numenius uropygialis, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. 

pi. 43. 

This species is somewhat smaller than the Numenius p/i 
pus of Europe, and moreover differs in having the rump barred 
and mottled instead of a pure white as in that bird ; h 



pects they 



so similar 



description of 



other 
would 



apply with nearly equal accuracy to the other ; the Australian 
bird is, however, of a paler brown than its European ally. 

It is distributed over the whole of the continent of Australia 
and the island of Tasmania, wherever localities occur suitable 

are so precisely similar to those of the 



to its habits, which are so 

Numenius phceopus, that a descript 
necessary. 



of them is quite 



on 



It is generally met with 
the banks of rivers a 




d 



several specimens on the Hunter 



could 



succeed in discovering its egg 



e flocks in swampy districts 
similar situations ; I killed 

New South Wales, but 

. whence I infer 















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280 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



that for the purposes of incubation it betakes itself 
interior of the country. 



the 



The sexes 



precisely alike, that by dis 



alone 



distinguish the one from the other 



Crown of the head brown, with a narrow irregular stripe of 
buffy white down the centre ; lores and line behind the eye 
brown : line over 



the eye, neck, and breast buffy white, with 

of each feather, the brown 

pulary 



a brown line down the 

colour predominating; centre of the back and 



feathers dark olive, spotted on their margins with light buff 
wing-coverts the same, but lighter, and presenting a mottled 



primaries blackish brown, with light shafts 



appearance ; 

rump and upper tail- coverts barred with brown "and white ■ 
pale brown, barred with dark brown ; chin, lower part of 

under tail-coverts white: bill blackish 



the abdom 



and 



horn-colour, fleshy at the base ; feet greyish black. 

Total length 15 inches; bill 3; wing 9£; tail 3; tarsi 24 



Sp. 537. 



NUMENIUS MINOR, Mutter. 

Little Whimbrel. 



JSfumenius minor, Mull. Naturk. Verhand. Land- en Volkenkunde, 

p. 110. 

minutus, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part viii. p. 176. 



Numenius minutus, Gould 



was 



I killed a pair of this species out of a flock of about twenty 
number which was flying over the race-course at Maitland, 
New South Wales, on the 4th of April 1839. The flock 
constantly rising and flying round, sometimes to the 



distance of 



a mile, returning again, alighting, and running 
quickly over the ground much after the manner of the Plovers. 
The above was the only instance in which the bird came under 
my observation during my stay in the country, consequently 
I am unable to state anything respecting its habits or the 





















GEALLATORES. 



extent of its range, but I may mention that I have seen 
specimen from Port Essington. 

Forehead dark brown, mottled with buff; lores and line 
behind the eye buff; back, sides, and front of the neck buff, 
with a fine line of brown down the centre of each feather ; 
all the upper surface blackish brown, with a series of tri- 
angular spots round the margins of the feathers of a sandy 
buff; shoulders, primaries, and secondaries blackish brown, 
the latter with white shafts; rump and. tail-coverts dark 
brown, spotted with white on the margins; tail greyish 
brown, barred with black ; chin white ; under surface light 
buff; flanks and under surface of the wing deep buff, 

regularly barred with arrow-shaped marks of. brown ; irides 
black; bill fleshy at the base, olive-brown at the tip; feet 
bluish flesh- colour. 



Total length 1 2 inches ; bill 1 f ; 



wing 7 ; tail 3 ; tarsi If. 



Family TANTALID-2E. 

Among; other genera, Tantalus, Carphibis, Threskiornis, Fal 



Plat ale a 



d Platibis have been 



gned 



the 



above family. By far the greater number of the species of 
each of those genera, as well as others which it is not neces- 
sary to enumerate, are denizens of the Old World. 



The three Australian Ibises pertain, 

2n, to as many genera. 

The first or Straw-necked Ibis of the 

■to a 



will be hereafter 



a very siu 
the second 



gular form, which stands alone 

which has its representative in other countries, particularly in 

Egypt (where it has lived from time immemorial, since it is the 



pecies that was embalmed by the ancient Egypt 
Threskiornis ; and the third, a widely spread species found in 
Australia, India, Africa, and Europe, and occasionally in the 
British Islands, to Falcinellus. 






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282 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



Genus CARPHIBIS, Reichenhach. 

Of this form the single species known is confined 



stralia, and must 



rank among the 



to Au- 
beautiful and 



emarkable members of its family 



Sp. 538. 



CARPHIBIS SPINICOLLIS. 

Straw-necked Ibis. 



New Holland 
Ibis spinicoUu 



lathami, Gray. 



Mag 



me 



et 5 me , pi. 57. 



Geronticus spinicollis, G. R. Gray, Gen. of Birds, vol. iii. p. 566 j 

Geronticus, sp. 3. 



Geronticus spinicollis, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol, vol. vi. pi. 45. 

This beautiful Ibis has not I believe been discovered out of 
Australia, over the whole of which immense country it is pro- 
bably distributed ; its presence, however, in any particular lo- 



cality appears to depend upon whether the 



favourable 



of the lower 



n be or be 

upon which 



* 

the vast hordes of this bird feed. After the severe drought of 
1839 it was in such abundance on the Liverpool Plains, and 
on those of the Lower Namoi, that to compute the number in 
a single flock was impossible. It was also very numerous on 
the sea side of the great Liverpool range, inhabiting the open 
down and flats, particularly such as were studded with shal- 
low lagoons, through which it would wade knee-high in search 
of shelled mollusks, frogs, newts and insects : independently 

;rs and 
informed me that sometimes 



of the food I have mentioned, it feeds on grasshopp 

insects generally. The natives 

many seasons elapse without the bird being seen. 

The Straw-necked Ibis walks over the surface of the ground 
in a very stately manner ; it perches readily on trees, and its 



flight is both sing 



d striking, particularly when 



flocks are passing over the pi 



one moment showing 



their white breasts, and at the next, by a change in their po 



• 



,. 



GRALLATORES. 



283 



exhibiting their dark-coloured backs and snow-white 



& 



tails. During the large semicircular sweeps they take 
the plains, and when performing a long flight, they rise 



>*» 



rably high in the 



the whole flock then arr an g 



in the form of a figure or letter similar to that so frequently 
observed in flights of geese and ducks. 

The note is a loud, hoarse, croaking sound, which may be 
heard at a considerable distance. When feeding in flocks 
they are closely packed, and from the movement of their bills 
and tails, the whole mass seems in constant motion. In disposi- 



bird is rather shy 



with a very 



little care, successful shots may be made with an ordinary 

fowling-piece. 

The sexes when fully adult exhibit the same beautiful me- 
tallic colouring of the plumage. The female is, however, smaller, 
and has the straw-like appendages on the neck less prolonged 
and less stout than the male. Mature birds only have the 
whole of the head and back of the neck destitute of feathers. 



Head and forepart of 



neck naked, and of a dull inky 



black ; back and sides of the neck clothed with white down ; 
on the front of the neck and breast the shafts of the feathers 
are produced into long lanceolate straw-like and straw-coloured 
processes, with merely a rudiment of the lateral webs at the 
base ; sides and back of the neck, breast and all the upper 
surface rich shining bronzy green and purple, crossed parti- 
cularly on the wing-coverts, scapularies, and outer webs of the 
secondaries with numerous bars of dull black j primaries and 
inner webs of the secondaries dull greenish black ; abdomen, 
flanks, under tail-coverts and tail white; bill dull black, 



d at the base by irreg 



transverse bars of yellowish 



brown ; irides dark brown ; thighs crimson ; legs blackish 
brown, the two colours blending on the knee. 

Immature birds have the head and neck clothed with white 
down, the straw-like appendages less in number, and less of 
the rich colouring on the breast. 



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284 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



Genus THRESKIORNIS, G. R. Gray. 

The well-known Sacred Ibis of Egypt is the type of this 

genus ot which there are several species, all inhabiting the Old 
World. ° 



Sp. 539. THRESKIORNIS STRICTIPENNIS. 



White Ibis. 



Ibis strictipennis, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part 

Yam-bull-bull, Aborigines of Port Essington. 
Black-necked Ibis, Colonists of Port Essington. 
White Ibis of the Colonists of New South Wales 



v. p. 106. 



Thre^skiomis strictipennis, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi 

The same cause that induced the Straw-necked Ibis (Car- 
piths spmicollis) to visit New South Wales in such abundance 
during the year 1839 acted equally on the present bird which 

only observed at the same period, but the two species 



were 



frequently 



m company; one marked differenc 



however, was noticed, namely, that while the Carphibis _ 
colhs visited equally the lagoons and the plains, the Thresh- 

confined itself solely to the wet hollows of 

lagoons, &c, wading knee-deep 
among the rushes and green herbage in search of frogs, newts 
and insects, upon which it feeds : when satiated it mounted 



flats, the banks of 



upon the bare branches of the large gum-trees bordering the 
teeding-place, and then became so watchful that 
be approached within gun-shot without the 



The „ x 

seldom so abundant 



colonists 



it could not 
utmost caution. 



d me that it was 



as at the period of my visit, and I be 
tnat many seasons sometimes elapse without its appear 



mg there 

small flocks of from five to 



I encountered this bird either in pairs 



twenty 



umber, but 



hundredth part so plentiful as the CarpMH* mniooUis 






I 



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GRALLATORES. 



285 



Like tliat bird 



must 



some unknown part of Au 



doubtless towards the interior, a sing 



th coast being all that I have ever seen from any 



skin from the 

other 



times be distin 



part of the country. 

The Threskiomis strictvpennis may at all 
guished from its near ally T. atkiopica, inhabiting the banks 
of the Nile, as well as from the T. melanocep/iala, by the 
lengthened plumes which hang down from the front of the 
neck, and from which its specific appellation has been taken. 

Head and upper half of the neck bare, and with the bill of 
a deep slaty black ; back of the head and neck crossed by ten 
narrow distinct bands of rose-pink, and on the crown of the 
head a series of oval spots, arranged in the form of a star, of 
the same colour ; the whole of the body and wings white, 
tinged with buff; the feathers on the fore part of the neck 



long, narrow, lanceolate and stiff; primar 



pped with 



deep bluish g 



webs of the tertiaries extremely pro 



tarsi and feet 



ht 



longed and recurved, and of a deep blue-black mingled with 
white ; thighs and knees deep purpl 
purple ; irides dark brown. 
Total length 30 inches ; bill 



6 ; wing 



tail 6 ; tarsi 4. 



I have observed considerable difference in the transverse 
rose-pink markings at the back of the neck; in some spe- 
cimens these are very conspicuous, while in others they are 

scarcely apparent. 

The sexes, when fully adult, present but little difference in 
the style or colouring of their plumage ; but the female may 
be distinguished by her smaller size. The young, on the 
other hand, for the first and perhaps the second year of their 
existence, have that part of the neck which is bare in the 
adult partially clothed with white feathers like the rest of the 
body. 



. 



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286 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



^ 



Genus FALCINELLUS, Bechstein. ' 

The type of tins form is the Common Ibis of the British 
Islands, a species which is widely spread over Africa, India, 
and Australia. 



Sp. 540. 



FALCINELLUS IGNEUS. 

Glossy Ibis. 



fi 



Ibis falcinellus, Flem. Brit. Anim., p. 102. 
Tantalus igneus, Gmel. Edit. Linn. Syst. Nat., vol. i. p. 649. 
Falcinellus igneus, G. R. Gray, Gen. of Birds, 2nd edit., p. 87 
Phlegadius falcinellus, Kaup. 



Falcinellus igneus, Gould, Birds of Australia, foL, vol. vi. pi. 47. 

The present species is one of the few birds inhabiting both 



hemispl 



has also been found in every part of the 



exampl 



of Australia at pr 



m 



the 



formed 




By 



, I observed 
on the north 



d I have seen others obtained in New South Wales 



d South Australia 



identical 



A careful comparison of all these spe- 
ith others killed in Europe has satisfied me that they 

I never observed it in a state of nature myself, 

learn from the colonists, its presence 



and from what I could 
must be regarded 



stationary species 



nor are its migratory movements characterized by any degree 

of regularity. 

Head dark chestnut ; neck, breast, top of the back, upper 
edge of the wing and all the under surface rich reddish chest- 
lower part of the back, rump, quill- and tail-feathers of 



nut ; lower 

a dark green, with bronze and purple reflexions ; orbits olive 
green ; irides brown j bill, legs and feet dull olive- brown. 
When this bird has attained the age of two or three years 



of the 



difference is perceptible in the outward appear 






I 




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GRALLATORES. 



287 



Genus PL AT ALE A, Linnaeus. 

Widely distributed indeed are the members of this strik- 
ingly peculiar form ; besides inhabiting most of the countries 
of the Old World, Spoonbills also occur in North and South 
America. Only one species of the genus as now restricted is 
found in Australia. 



1 







Sp. 541. 



PLATALEA REGIA, Gould. 

Royal Spoonbill. 



Platalea regia, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part v. p. 106. 



Platalea regia, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi. 50. 
This fine species may be readily distinguished from the 



Platalea leucorodia of Europe 




the nudity of its face, 



which even considerably beyond the eyes is entirely des- 
titute of feathers, and is of the same black colour as the 



bill 



other respects 



d colouring of the plumag 



differ 



nee exists between the two species. The fine 
adorns the head is, doubtless, only assumed during 



pairing and breeding 



I have 



adult speci 



mens both with and without these feathers, and this is precisely 
the case with the European bird. 

The Royal Spoonbill is tolerably common on the eastern 
and northern coast of Australia, and I have been informed 
that, although a rare visitant there, it has been killed within 



All 



my specimens were 



the colony of New South Wales. I 

procured at Moreton Bay, and I have seen others from Port 



Essington. 



In its habits and disposition it as closely assimi- 
lates to its European prototype as it does in general appear- 
ance, for, like that bird, it takes up its abode on the margin of 
those marshy inlets of the sea that run for a considerable dis- 
tance into the interior, and on the banks of rivers and lakes, 
and feeds upon small-shelled mollusks, frogs, insects and the 






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288 



BIRDS OP AUSTRALIA. 



fry of fish, which are readily taken by its beautifully organized 



bill. 



But little difference 



the outward appearance of 



the sexes, both having the ornamental crest, which at the 



of 



bird is spread out on all sides, and droops gracefully 



back of the 
The whole of the plumag 



black ; on th 

gular mark of 



bill, face, legs, and feet 



of the head and over each eye 
eye red. 



Total length 29 inches ; bill 8 J ; wing 15 ■ tail 5i ; tarsi 5 



Genus PLATIBIS, Bonaparte. 

In my original account of the following species I mentioned 
that it differed in many points from the typical members of 
the genus PZataZea, and had many characters in common with 
the white Ibises of India and Africa, but did not ventnrp t* 



make it the type of a new g 



this, however, has 



been done by Bonaparte, and his name is here adopted 



Sp. 542. 



PLATIBIS FLAVIPES, Gould. 
Yellow-legged Spoonbill. 






Seance du 2 Ao-ut, 1856. 



Soc, part v. p. 106. 

de l'Acad. Sci., torn, xliii 



Platalea flavipes, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi. 49. 

The rainy and luxuriant season which followed the drought, 
experienced in New South Wales in 1839 attracted to that 
part of Australia, among many other rare birds, numerous 
flocks of the present species ; in fact, so plentiful was it, that 
there was scarcely a brook or lagoon from the Hunter to the 
Lower Naomi that was not tenanted by numbers of this bird ; 
in most instances accompanied by Straw-necked and White 



Ibises {Carphibis 




and Threskiomis strictipennis). 










I* . 






! ' 



GRALLATORES. 



289 



The food suitable to one species was equally so to the other, 
all devouring with equal avidity the thousands of aquatic in- 
sects, small- shelled mollusks, &c, which the rains had appa- 
rently called into being. 

I particularly mention its occurrence at this period, as I had 
not observed a single example during a previous visit to the 
same districts, when the whole face of the country presented 
as sad a spectacle of sterility as could well be imagined. 

Over what extent of Australia this interesting bird will be 



V 



I 






found to rang 



impossible to conjecture ; as yet I have 



Wales 



received a specimen from any other part than New South 
In disposition I found it shy and distrustful, and 

tot without a considerable degree of caution and ma- 
g that I could ever approach sufficiently near to make 

I occasionally met with it singly, but 



successful shots. 

more frequently in pairs or in small companies of from 



ght 



When not occupied in procuring food, which it does 



while skirting the edge of the lagoon, or by wading knee 



deep among the grasses and rushes 



may b 



seen repo 



procure specimens 



sing on the dead branches of the highest trees growing near 
the water, frequently standing on one leg, with the head 

drawn back and the bill resting on the breast ; when thus 
situated an approach sufficiently 
almost impossible. 

The sexes exhibit no external differences and are only to be 
distinguished by dissection ; the female is, however, rather 
smaller than the male. 

The whole of the plumage is pure white, with the exception 
of the outer webs of the tertiaries, which are black ; face white, 
entirely devoid of feathers, and bounded posteriorly by a nar- 
row line of black : 

pink at the base ; irides 



nails black. 

Total length 
tarsi 4f . 

VOL. II. 



bill primrose-yellow, passing into fleshy 

i and feet yellow ; 



g 



28 inches; bill 7 1 



4 > 



wing ]4 



i . 

2 > 



tail 



°2 > 



u 



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290 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA 



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Family GKTJIDiE. 



In America the Cranes 



confined to the northern por 



tion of that continent, bnt in the Old World they are much 
more widely dispersed, being found throughout Africa and 
Asia, and one extends to Australia ; still they are not very 
numerous in species, about fifteen being all that are known. 



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Genus GRUS, Linnceus. 

The Australian member of this genus is, as far as I am 



aware, confined to that country ; in India it is beautifully re- 



presented 
cinerea. 




the Grus anligone, and in Europe 




the G. 



Sp. 543. GRUS AUSTRALASIANUS, Gould. 

Australian Crane. 

Native Companion of the Colonists. 



Grus australasianus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi. 48. 

The Grus australasianus is abundantly distributed over the 

greater portion of Australia from New South Wales on the 

- 

south to Port Essington on the north ; but although it is thus 
widely diffused, it has not yet been observed in the colony of 
Swan River, and it does not inhabit Tasmania. It was fre- 
quently observed by Leichardt during his overland expedition 
from Moreton Bay ; Captain Sturt states that it was 



very 



abundant on the Macq 



and I found it numerous 



the 



ghbourhood of the Namoi and on 



Brezi Plains 



in December 1839, as well as on the low flat islands at the 
mouth of the Hunter. In these localities it might then have 
been seen at almost every season of the year, sometimes 
singly or in pairs, and at others in flocks of from thirty to 
forty in number. 

Like other members of the genus Grus, it is stately and 



















I* 



1 



I I 



GILALLATORES. 



291 



elegant in all its movements, and its presence adds greatly 
to the interest of the scenery. It is not unfrequently cap- 
tured, and is very easily tamed : when at Paramatta I saw 
a remarkably fine example walking about the streets in 
the midst of the inhabitants perfectly at its ease ; and Mr. 
James M 'Arthur informed me that a pair which he had kept 
in the immediate neighbourhood of his house at Camden, and 
which had become perfectly domesticated, so far attracted 
the notice of a pair of wild birds as to induce them to settle 
and feed near the house, and becoming still tamer, to approach 
the yard, feed from his hand, and even to follow the domes- 
ticated birds into the kitchen, until unfortunately a servant 
imprudently seizing at one of the wild birds and tearing a 

handful of feathers from its back, the wildness of its disposi- 
tion was roused, and darting forth followed by its companion 
it mounted in the air soaring higher and higher at every circle, 
at the same time uttering its hoarse call, which was responded 
to by the tame birds below ; for several days did they return 
and perform the same evolutions without alighting, until the 
dormant impulses of the tame birds being aroused they also 



winged their way to some far distant part of the country, and 



never returned to the home where they had been so long 
fostered. 

When near the ground the action of the win 




is 



very 



laboured ; but when soaring in a series of circles at such a 
height in the air as to be almost imperceptible to human vision, 
it appears to be altogether as easy and graceful ; it is while 
performing these gyrations that it frequently utters its hoarse 
croaking cry. 



It breeds on the ground, usually depositing its two eggs in 



a slight depression on the bare plains ; but occasionally the 
low swampy lands in the vicinity of the coast are resorted to 
for that purpose. The eggs are three inches and a half long 
by two inches and a quarter in breadth, and are of a cream- 
colour blotched all over, particularly at the larger end, with 




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292 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



chestnut and purplish brown, the latter colour appearing as if 
beneath the surface of the shell. 

Its food consists of insects, lizards, bulbous roots and va- 
rious other vegetable substances, in search of which it tears 
up the earth with great facility with its powerful bill. 

The sexes are alike in colouring, but may be distinguished 
by the smaller size of the female. 

The general plumage deep silvery grey ; the feathers of the 



back dark brownish grey with silvery- grey edges ; lesser 



wing-coverts dark brown ; primaries black ; crown of the 
head and bill olive-green, the bill becoming lighter towards 
the tip ; irides fine orange-yellow ; raised fleshy papillae sur- 
rounding the ears and the back of the head fine coral-red, 

passing into an orange tint above and below the eye, and be- 
coming less brilliant on the sides of the face, which together 
with the gular pouch is covered with fine black hairs, so 

closely set on the latter as almost to conceal the red colouring 

■ 

of the skin : upper part of the pouch and the bare skin 
beneath the lower mandible olive-green; in old males the 
gular pouch is very pendulous, and forms a conspicuous appen- 
dage ; legs and feet purplish black. 



Total length 48 inches ; bill 



u 4 j 



wing 24 j tail 



ox. 

V 2 3 



tarsi 10J. 



y 



Family CICONIDJSS. 

Species of this family inhabit Europe, Asia, Africa, and 
America. Generally speaking, they are large and powerful 
birds, and in most countries migratory. Like the Cranes, 
they are rather limited in the number of species, about twelve 
being all that are known. Most of these are migratory, and 
one of them at least — the Common Stork of Europe — period^ 
ically performs very extensive journeys j and the inhabitants 
of Holland can calculate almost to a day when the bird will 
arrive there in spring. 









• 




i 

1 I 
I 









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IT: 






GRALLATORES. 



293 



Genus XENORHYNCHUS, Bonaparte. 

This noble species is, I believe, identical with the bird of 
the same form inhabiting India ; and if snch be the case, it 
enjoys a wide range of habitat. 



Sp. 544. XENORHYNCHUS AUSTRALIS. 

* 

Australian Jabiru. 

Mycteria australis, Lath. Ind. Orn., Supp. p. lxiv. 

New Holland Jabiru, Lath. Gen. Syn. Supp., vol. ii. p. 294, pi. 138. 

Ciconia leucoptera, Wagl. Syst. Av., Ciconia, sp. 6. 

• australis, Temm. Linn. Trans., vol. v. p. 34. 

Xenorhynchus australis, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de TAcad. Sci., torn, xliii 

seance du 2 Aout, 1856, 

Barri-enna 9 Aborigines of New South Wales, 



Mycteria australis, Gould, Birds of Australia, foL, vol. vi. pi. 51. 

I regret that 1 did not meet with this fine bird in a state 
of nature, but I learnt that it possesses a wide range over the 



of Australia 



d that it is more abundant on the 



northern and eastern shores than elsewhere : when the country 

was first colonized it was found as near to Sydney as Botany 
Bay, and even now is sometimes seen on the small islands in 

; as we proceed eastward to 



the mouth of the river Hunter 



becomes 



Moreton Bay it 
bourhood of the Clar 



common, and 



the 



g 



and MacLeay it may be almost 



both Gilbert and Macgillivray met with : 
i; the former also observed it in the lag 
m\ while in 



at 



daily seen : 

PortEssingto 

of the interior, while in company with Dr. Leichardt ; and 
that it does inhabit the extreme western part of Australia is 
proved by Mr. Gregory having sent me the head and legs of 
a specimen which he killed on the Gascoyne River, and who 
informed me that " only two examples of this singular bird 
were seen ; both near Breaker Inlet. It lives in the muddy 

* 

creeks, and is very difficult of approach. It flies exceedingly 



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294 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA 



with 



head, neck, and 



their utmost 



gs extended horizontally 



gth, which measure six feet one inch, its 



breadth across the 



weighs e 
of a rich 



pound 



gs being seven feet two inches ; it 



The 



of its skin and flesh 



mon 



the flavour of the latter has a fishy 



flavour, too over-powerful to admit 



but a hungry expl 



being eaten by any 



throughout 



Java and S 



This species probably 



g 



India, where it is 



occasionally found. No bird 
more difficult of approach, it; 
place being always in the mi 



shy in disp 



feeding-ground 



d 



g 



posed situation, such as 



pits of land running out into the sea, large morasses, &c 



where it can survey all around. 

Its food is said to be very varied, consisting of every kind 
of animal life inhabiting marshy situations, but more parti- 
cularly fish and reptiles. 

Head and neck rich deep glossy green, changing into pur- 




and violet at the 



put ; g. 



g 



both 



part of the back, and 
:n lustre : the re- 



above and beneath, scapularies, lower 

tail rich glossy green, tinged with a gold 

mainder of the plumage pure white ; bill black ; irides dark 

- 

hazel ; legs fine red. 




Family ABDEm&l. 

The members of this family range over every part of the 
lobe. Those inhabiting Australia include examples of many 
genera, among them Ardea, Herodias, Nydicorax, Botaurus, 
Ardelta, &c. They differ very considerably in size, and not 
less so in habits and economy, some being extremely shy and 

g, while others, such as the typical Ardea, affect open 



and exposed 



Their chief food is reptiles, to which 



quadrupeds, young water-birds, and insects are added 


















III 






GRALLATORES. 



295 

















Genus ARDEA, Linnceus. 

* 

Members of this genus are found in America, Asia, Africa, 



and Australia. 



Sp. 545. 



AKDEA CINEREA, Linn 

Common Heron. 



Ardea cinerea, Linn. Syst. Nat. ; torn. i. p. 236. 

leucophcea, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, 1848, p. 58 



Ardoa leucophaea, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi. 55. 



During my journey into the 



of South Australia 



1839, I saw a fine adult example of this bird, but although I 
resorted to every possible stratagem in my power to get within 

shot of it, I regret to 

however, received a skin direct from New South Wales 



say I was unsuccessful ; I have since, 



Mr. Blyth considers that this Heron is not specifically dis 



from the Ardea cinerea of India and Europ 



d if this 



be really 



sp 



enjoys a very 



whole world, including Afr 



Porehead and upper portion of the crest white ; sides of the 

head and lower portion of the crest deep glossy black ; neck 

white, washed with vinous, and with a series of lanceolate 

: all the 



marks of black disposed 



tely down the front 



upper surface 



g 



i 



and tail dark 



ey 



feat! 



of the back fading 



whit 



5 



the lanceolate 
) of the wings 



d secondar 



dark slate-colour; 



buffy white ; primari 

flanks and under surface of the wing grey j che 

men white, separated from the grey of the flanks by 



abd 



of black feathers ; under tail-coverts and thighs white ; bill 
yellow ; tarsi olive. 

The young differs in having the whole of the crown of the 
head black ; all the upper surface greyish brown ; and the 
under surface striated with brown and white. 


























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296 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA 



Sp. 546. 



AKDEA SUMATRANA, Baffles. 

Great-billed Heron. 

* 

Ardea sumatrana, Raffl. Linn. Trans, vol. xiii. p. 325. 
hjphon, Temm. PI. Col., 475. 



fusca, Blyth, Ann. Nat. Hist., 1844, p. 176. 

insignis, Hodgs. 

rectirostris, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xi. p. 22. 

Typhon rectirostris, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de PAcad. Sci., torn, xliii 

seance du 2 Aout 1856. 

Oo-loo-mung-a, Aborigines of Port Essington, Gilbert. 
Maitch, Aborigines of Port Essington, Macgillivray. 



Ardea rectirostris, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi. 54. 

The only part of Australia in which this bird has been seen 
is the Cobourg Peninsula on the north coast, where Gilbert 



He 



th 



found it breeding on the 5th of February. 

is solitary in its habits, and is only to be found in the most 

secluded creeks or in the open spaces among the mangroves. 



Mr. Mcgillivray 



observed it at Port Essington, but could 



obtain any information respecting it. A fine adult specimen 
procured by Dr. Sibbald, R.N., and Mr. Macgillivray was 



so 



fort 



to kill 



young bird in a large mang 



swamp at the head of a bay called Wan-man-mema 
exceedingly shy and watchful of his motions, and he had 
great difficulty in getting even a long shot at it. 

The nest observed by Gilbert was built in an upright fork 

of a large and lofty Melaleuca at about eighty feet from the 






ground, and was formed of 



layer of very strong 



sticks, with a few small twigs as a lining, and contained 
eggs of a light ash-grey. 

The bird when discovered appeared very reluctant to lei 
the nest, and instead of the harsh croak usually uttered by 



emitted on this 



drawn out to a considerable 



gth, and at times resembling distant thunder, which 













""I 



L n 









GRALLATORES. 



297 



suddenly changed to a sound very like the groan of a person 

i 

in extreme agony. 

Head, neck, and all the upper surface vinous brown, a few 
of the back feathers with a faint line of white down the centre, 
and the primaries and tail washed with grey ; chin white ; 



front of the neck and all the under surface greyish brown, 



the lengthened plumes on the lower part of the neck and 
chest with a stripe of white down the centre ; irides yellow ; 
bill blackish brown ; basal half of the lower mandible yel- 
lowish white, apical half yellow ; legs and feet dark greenish 
grey ; hinder part of the tarsi and inside of the feet yellowish 
grey. 



Total length 37 inches ; bill 7 ; wing 16^ ; tail 7 ; 



tarsi 6^ 



Sp. 547. 



ARDEA PACIFICA, Lath 

Pacific Heron. 



Ardea pacifica, Lath. Ind. Orn., Supp. p. lxv. 
Pacific Heron, Lath. Gen. Syn. Supp., vol. ii. p. 305. 
Ardea ballaragang, Wagl. Syst. Av., gen. Ardea, sp. 5. 

Jil-lee-mil-yun, Aborigines of the lowland, and 

Koon-jere, Aborigines of the mountain districts of Western Australia 

White-necked Heron of the Colonists. 



Ardea pacifica, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi. 52. 

The Ardea pacifica appears to be a summer visitor to the 
whole of the southern coast of Australia. In New South 



Wales its occurrence depends in a g 



deg 



upon 



the 



nature of the season : if much rain has fallen, the la- 



goons 



and rivers 

and aquatic 



become filled, and abound with frogs 
insects : its presence may be looked for ii 



such 



wades about 



search of the 



animals enumerated, upon all of which it feeds with avidity, 
and partakes less of fish than other Herons. No one of the 
ArdeidfB is more ornamental to the landscape than the present 
bird, its white neck offering a decided and pleasing contrast 






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298 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



to the 



gre 
ded 



olouring of the herbage with which it is 



its walk, too, is characterized 




a 



g 



degree of stateliness and grace than that of most of the other 
members of the group. 

In genera] it merely flies from district to district in search 



of a more abundant 



pply of food; but, when 



requires, it is capable of performing extensive journeys 



sity 



That it breeds 



the southern portion of Australia there 



can be but little doubt ; the brevity of my stay in the country 
did not, however, admit of my finding its nest or of obtaining 
its eggs, which latter, when discovered, will probably prove to 
be of a light blue in colour, and somewhat smaller in size than 
those of Ardea cinerea. 

Considerable variation exists in the colouring of this species, 
some specimens having the neck wholly white, while others 
have the centre of that part spotted with black. 



The 



only 



when fully adult are so 




the 



•ly alike, that it is 



sm 



size of the female that they can be 



distinguished from each other 



Head, neck, and elongated feathers of the breast white 



ged with purplish 



grey 



; on the fore part of the neck a 
series of irregularly-placed black spots ; upper surface, wings, 
and tail bluish black, glossed with green on the back and 
wing-coverts ; under surface chocolate-brown, each feather of 
the abdomen with a broad stripe of white down the centre ; 
feathers of the breast and the elongated scapularies deep 

purplish red, the tips and outer webs of some of the latter 



dull 



g 



shoulder and edge of the 



g pure white 



upper mandible black, lower part of the under mandible 
yellowish olive in some specimens and yellowish horn-colour 



other 



\ ; irides in some specimens rich primrose-yellow, and 
in others very dark brown ; upper part of the tarsi yellowish 
olive; feet black; orbits greenish yellow, becoming more 
yellow immediately before and round the eye. 







GRALLAT0RE3. 



Sp. 548. ARDEA NOVJE-HOLLANDLE, Lath. 

White-fronted Heron. 

Ardea novce-hollandia, Lath. Ind. Orn., vol. ii. p. 701. 

White- fronted Heron, Lath. Gen. Syn. Supp., vol. ii. p. 304. 

Ardea leucops, Wagl. Syst. A v., Ardea, sp. 17. 

Herodias nova-hollandim, List of Birds in Brit. Mus. Coll., part iii. p. 80 

Wy-an, Aborigines of the lowland districts of Western Australia. 

Blue Crane of the Colonists. 






Ardea novse-hollandise, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. 
pi. 53. 

The White-fronted Heron is abundantly dispersed over 
every part of Tasmania, the colonies of New South Wales, 
South Australia, and Swan River ; but I have never seen it 

from the north coast, and consequently infer that it is not 
found there. Low sandy beaches washed by the open ocean, 
arms of the sea, and the sides of rivers and lagoons, both in 
the interior of the country as well as near the coast, are 
equally tenanted by it ; consequently it is one of the commonest 
species of the genus in all the countries above mentioned, and 
may frequently be seen wading knee-deep in the water of the 
salt-marshes in search of food, which consists of crabs, fish, 
and marine insects. Its flight is heavy and flapping like that 
of the other Herons, but it runs more quickly over the ground, 
and is continually moving about when searching for food, and 
never stands motionless in the water as the true Herons do ; 
these active habits are, in fact, necessary to enable it to 
capture insects and crabs, upon which it mainly subsists. 

Some nests I observed in the month of October 1838, on 
the banks of the Derwent, were placed on the tops of the 
smaller gum-trees, and most of them contained newly hatched 
birds ; Mr. Kermode informed me that it annually breeds 
in the neighbourhood of his estate, near the centre of 
Tasmania. The nest is of a moderate size, and is composed 



of sticks and leaves. The eggs are four in number, of a pale 



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300 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



bluish green, one inch and seven-eighths long by one inch and 
a quarter broad. 

The stomach is very capacious, and the weight of the adult 
bird about one pound five ounces. 

Little or no difference is observable in the sexes ; 
female is somewhat smaller than the male. 



but the 



Face and throat white 



of the head and back of the 



upper 



neck dark slate-colour; sides of the neck, all the 
surface, and wings dark grey, tinged with brown on the 

lour; elon- 

; elongated 



g 



primaries 



d 



feathers dark slate 



gated feathers of the back grey, tinged with brown 



feathers of the breast cinnamon-brown 



under surface grey 



washed with rufous, which tint becomes gradually paler 
proceeds along the abdomen to the under 



down 



the lower part of the neck a stripe of buff, gradually blending 



above with the 



of the throat 



md below with the 
some lead-colour, in 



cinnamon tint of the breast; irides in 

others yellow, and in others pale buff; orbits and base of 

bill, in some pale grey, in others deep lead 



base of 



the lower mandible flesh 
The white 



colouring of the face and throat is much more 

extensive in some individuals than in others ; and the base of 

the bill, the orbits, and irides are deep lead-colour in some 

specimens, while in others those parts are pale grey, and the 
irides pale buff. 

A. further subdivision of the Herons will doubtless be here- 
after instituted, when this and the foregoing species will be 



placed under 



g 



They differ from the true 



4 

Ardea in their more slender form, and in the somewhat down 
ward curvature of the mandibles ; they also vary from them ii 
their colouring. 



J 



■ : 



GRALLATORES. 



301 



Genus HERODIAS, Bote. 



Nearly every part of the globe is tenanted by species of 
this genus. Most of those inhabiting Australia are identical 
with species found in India. 



Sp. 549. HERODIAS ALBA 

Australian Egret. 

Ardea alba, Linn. Syst. Nat., torn. i. p. 239. 
Candida, Briss. Orn., torn. v. p. 428. 



Misc 



Egretta alba, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de l'Acad. Sci., torn. xl. seance du 

2 Avril 1855. 



Herodias syrmatophorus, Gould, Birds of Australia, foL, vol. vi. 
pi. 56. 

This noble species of Egret, the largest 



of the 



group 



inhabiting Australia, is sparingly dispersed over all parts 



of that continent, and 
and lagoons of the int 
of the coast. I have 



lly met with 



g the 



as well 



the neighbourhood 



occasionally seen it near the mouth 
of the Hunter, but more frequently on the banks of the 
Clarence and other ri 
I also observed it in 



rers little frequented by civilized me 
Tasmania, in the vicinity of Georg 



River, and the other unfrequented streams to the north- 
ward of the island. Mr. Gregory remarks that this species 



only found on the banks of 



and inlets, and in 



no instance did we see more than one at a time. 



flies 



very slowly, and in form much resembles the Common Crane 
The specimen sent is from the mouth of the De Grey 



The 



pie from which my descript 



was taken was 



killed, on the 2nd of January 1840, on the banks of the 



Mokai 



It is 



of 



tremely shy and distrustful disp 



tion, and can only be approached within range by the ex- 



ercise 



of the 



and 



Its powers of wing 






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302 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



are considerable 



d, like other Her 



it 



ally 



performs long-continued flights at a great height in the 
its food is also of a similar character, consisting of fish 
frogs, aquatic insects, 



&c 



When on the ground its snowy 
plumage presents a strong and pleasing contrast to the green 
sedge and other herbage clothing the banks of the rivers. 
That it undergoes seasonal changes of plumage is evident 



I possess specimens, some of 
long ornamental plumes on the back, while 



are 



tirely 



g, from which I infer that 



are adorned with 

others they 



appear to be old birds, thev have b 



killed 



they 
differ 



periods of the year, and that these 



ornamental pi 



are 



>nly carried during the months of spring and the breeding 



season. 



The sexes are precisely alike in external appearance, and both 
possess the lengthened plumes during the vernal season. 

The whole of the plumage pure white ; irides rich straw- 
yellow ; naked space before and behind the eye fine greenish 
yellow ; bill beautiful orange ; legs above the knee pale dull 



yellow, which colour is 



part of the 



tinued down the centre of the 



Mr. Blyth says that the " Herodi 



remainder of the tarsi and feet black 



atophorus, Gould 



from Australia and New Zealand, does not differ (that I 
perceive) from H. modesta, Gray (Hardwicke, ' 111. Ind. Zool/), 
of Asia and Africa, which is very common in India • and I 



have seen no 



specimens 



H. 



which 



any respect different." — Ibis, 1865, p 



If this view be correct, and it really would appear to be so, 
the Great White Heron is universally dispersed over the Old 
World ; and few, if any, of the Egrets are more ornamental 
or delicate in appearance than this species. 



s 










GRALLATORES. 



Sp. 550. 



HERODIAS EGRETTOIDES 

Plumed Egret. 



Ardea intermedia, Wagl. Isis, 1829, p. 659. 

flavirostris, Bonnat. et Vieill. Ency. Meth. Orn. ; part iii. p. 1124 



nigrirostris, Gray, Zool. Misc., p. 19. 

Egretta egrettoides, Bonap. Compt. Bend, de PAcad. Sci., torn, xl 

seance du 2 Avril 1855. 
Herodias plumiferus, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xv. p. 221. 



Herodias plumiferus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi. 57. 

No one of the members of the beautiful genus Herodias is 
more interesting than the present species, inasmuch as it is 
not only adorned with the redundance of graceful plumes 
springing from the back, common to the other species, but it 

has a mass of feathers of precisely the same structure depending 
from the lower part of the neck and the chest. In size it is 
directly intermediate between H. alba and H. melanapus. I 
possess a specimen from the Namoi, in the southern part of 
Australia, and another from the north coast ; and I have also 

* 

a third from Torres Straits, which proves that its range is very 
extensive; the latter example is destitute of the lengthened 
plumes, which are probably only assumed during the breeding- 
season. 

The entire plumage is pure white ; bill and orbits yellow ; 
feet and lower part of the tarsi black ; upper part of the tarsi 
inclining to flesh-colour. 



i. 

4 > 



tarsi 4^. 



Total length 24 inches ; bill 4 ; wing 11 ; tail 4 

In the folio edition this bird is figured under the name of 



II. plumiferus ; but ornithologists generally consider that the 



specific term egrettoides of Bonaparte is the one which properly 
pertains to it, and hence the adoption of that name. 

"From my remarks on the wide distribution of some of the 
preceding species, we are led to infer that these Water-Herons 
are great wanderers. They are generally solitary birds, except 
in the breeding-season, when they congregate in great numbers. 



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304 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



Sp. 551. 



HERODIAS MELANOPUS. 



Spotless Egret. 



lanopus, Wa 

immaculata. 



seance du 2 Avril 1855. 
/i 
Yab-be-ruk, Aborigines of Port Essington. 

White Crane of the Colonists. 



de l'Acad. Sci., torn. xl. 



Herodias immaculata, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi. 58. 

This Spotless Egret is a native of the northern portion of 
Australia, and is extremely abundant in almost all parts of 



the Coburg Peninsula, both 



the open sea-beach and 



the 



>> 



says 



the secluded parts of the harbour ; it 

neighbouring swamps and lakes. " O 

Gilbert, " while lying at anchor in Van Diemen's Gulf, about 

half a mile from an isolated rock, covered with a stunted 

plant growing from the crevices, I saw these birds repairing 



thither for the purpose of roosting in such numbers, that 



very she 

ance of 



snowy 



the dark-coloured rock assumed an appear - 

resembling in the distance, and 



hiten 



same time 



particularly by moonlight, a pile of 
I observed them in different parts of the harbour congreg 
in flocks, and when seen perched upon the branches 
hanging the water, they greatly resembled 



over- 



of Cocka- 



toos 



but although they are met with in such numbers 



by no means easy to procure specimens, for 
wary bird is scarcely to be found." 



more shy and 



The sexes are alike externally, and both are adorned with 
the long flowing plumes during summer. 

The entire plumage of a pure and snowy whiteness ; irides 



yell 



upper mandible, half the lower mandible, and apical 



dark purplish black ; base of the latter dull yellowish grey 



d orbits saffron-yellow 



gs blackish grey 



side and 



back of the tarsi, and the under surface of the feet siskin-g 




















GRALLATORES. 



Sp. 552. 



Little Egret. 



Ardea garzetta, Linn. Syst. Nat., vol. i. p. 937. 
orientalis, Gray, Zool. Misc., p. 20. 

Mr. Coxen, of Queensland, has sent me a photograph of a 

Egret which had been killed in the neighbourhood 



of Brisbane 



white, pendant pi 



The lithograph shows two lengthened 



those 



springing from the 



put, like 



seen in the Herodias garzetta of India 



d 



d I have not the slightest doubt that the Australian bird 



ope 



is 



identical with that species 



thus 



member of the Ar 



deiidce is added to the avifauna of Australia 



Sp. 553. 



HERODIAS ASHA 

Sombre Egret. 



Ardea asha, Sykes, Proc. of Comm. of Sci. and Corr. of Zool. Soc, 

part xi. p. 157. 
Herodias pannosus, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xv. p. 221. 

asha, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de FAcad. Sci., torn. xl. seance du 



2 Avril, 1855. 
Demiegretta asha, Jerd. Birds of India, vol. ii. part ii. p. 747. 



Herodias pannosus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi. 59. 

The only example of this species that has come under my 
observation is the fine adult specimen I received from the 

ens in 1843. Unfortunately I 



ghbourhood of Port Step! 



am not able to give any information respecting it, as no note 
of any kind accompanied the specimen. Its dark colouring 
and very slender and elegant form distinguish it from every 
other species of the group to which it belongs. 

The entire plumage is bluish or slaty black, with the excep- 
tion of the chin, which is pure white. 

Total length 24 inches ; bill 4J- ; wing 101 ; tail 4 ; tarsi 4 

VOL. II. X 



1 

4 



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BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



Sp. 554. 



HERODIAS PICATA, 6W</. 

Pied Egret. 



Ardea [Herodias) picata, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xiii. p. 62 
Go-le-buk-o> Aborigines of Port Essington. 



Herodias picata, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol,, vol. vi. pi. 62. 

■ 

Examples of this species, not the least beautiful member of 
the tribe to which it belongs, have been sent to me by Gilbert 



and by Commander Ince ; they were all procured in the 
neighbourhood of Port Essington, where Gilbert states that it 
inhabits the inland swamps, and is usually encountered in small 
families often in company with other species, but is not so 
abundant in the vicinity of the harbour as on the islands at 
the head of Van Diemen's Gulf, where it appeared to be very 
numerous. 

The stomachs of those dissected were found to be capacious 
and membranous, and the food to consist of fish, aquatic 

insects and their larvse. 

I regret to say that nothing more is at present known re- 
specting it. 

Upper part of the head, occiput, occipital plumes, the whole 
of the plumage of the body, wings, and tail bluish slaty black ; 
chin, neck, chest, and some of the lanceolate feathers depend- 
ent therefrom, white ; some few of the lanceolate feathers on 
the neck and breast have one web white and the other web 
bluish slaty black ; the remainder of these lanceolate feathers 

are the same colour as the body ; irides yellow ; bill, legs, and 

feet greenish yellow. 

The young birds differ in having the whole of the under 
surface white. 

Total length 17 inches ; bill 3| ; wing 10 ; tail &| ; tarsi 3 J. 



I 










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GRALLATORES. 



307 






i 








Genus DEMIEGRETTA, Blyth. 

Mr. Blyth has proposed this term for the Reef Herons, and 
according to Mr. G. R. Gray's list of genera B. jugularis is 
the type. They are widely distributed over the shores of the 
southern parts of the Old World, and according to Dr. Baird 
three species of the same form are found in North America. 



Sp. 555. DEMIEGRETTA JUGULARIS 

Blue Reef Heron. 

Ardea juyularis, Forst. Icon. Ined., t. cxiv. 

carulea, var. Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. ix. p. 117. 



matook, Vieill. 2de Edit, du Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. Nat., torn. xiv. 

p. 416. 

Herodias jugularis, List of Birds in Brit. Mus. Coll., part in. p. 80. 
Blue Crane, Colonists of Port Essington. 



Herodias jugularis, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi. 60. 

The Blue Reef Heron is universally distributed over the 
whole of the coasts of the great continent of Australia, and is 
also found in New Zealand : the sea-coast is evidently the 
place destined by nature for this bird to inhabit ; it especially 
loves to dwell on shores of a rocky nature ; and when dis- 
turbed merely takes short nights to seaward, and returns again 
to some prominent point, whence it can survey all around and 
feel itself in security. Its food appears to consist of crabs and 
shelled mollusks ; the stomachs of those dissected were very 
muscular, and contained the remains of both those kinds of 
animals ; hence the necessity for the powerful bill and pecu- 
liar structure of feet with which this bird is provided. 

* 

" This species," says Mr. Macgillivray, " inhabits the islands 
of the north-east coast of Australia and Torres' Straits, and is 
abundantly distributed from the Capricorn group in lat. 
23° 30' S., as far north as Darnley Island in lat. 9° 35' S. It 
procures its food at low water on the coral reef surrounding 

x 2 









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308 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



the low wooded islands it loves to freq 



although gene 



J]y a wary bird even when little disturbed by man, yet 



Heron Island I knocked down several with 



stick 



The nest is usually placed on a 



but 



on 



those 



islands where there are none, such as Raine's Islet and else- 
where, it breeds among the recesses of the rocks ; where the 
trees are tall, as on Oomaga or Keat's Island, the nests are 



placed near the summit 



Dugong Island they were placed 



the root of 



■ 

on a low stump, or halfway 



bushy tree ; they are shallow in form, eighteen inches in diame 



ter, and constructed of small sticks and lined with twigs ; the 
eggs are two in number, and of a pale bluish white, one inch 
and seven-e 



ghths long by 



ch and a quarter broad 



Strange says, " I procured specimens about ten miles north of 
Sydney Heads ;. it appears to be strictly confined to the rocky 
cliffs and ledges of rocks, where it takes great delight in 
allowing the spray to beat over it. It is very shy and 



wary 



and 



stop 



g 



Pi 



>> 



In his notes 



from Port Essing 



Gilbert states that " it is abundant 



on all the small islands and rocks immediately adj 



to the mainland 



It 



greg 



in its habits the whole 



year round, for I remarked that it was congregated in as 
large numbers before as after the breeding-season, which is 



the month of Au 



The nest is built of sticks on the 



ground, and is perfectly round and from 



ghteen 



inches in height, with a considerable depression for the recep 

tion of the eggs ; they are always placed in thickets or under- 
wood, and as near the outer edge of the rock as possible 
On one small rock I found at least fifty of these nests, some 



of which 



as 



ly to touch each other 



The 



eggs were sometimes two, and at others three in number." 
The sexes are so similar that dissection must be resorted to 

to distinguish the one from the other. 

It will be observed that these statements are contradictory 

in some particulars, which may perhaps be accounted for by 



* 






































J 











GRALLATORES 



the habits of the bird being modified by circumstances, or the 
peculiar nature of the situations in which they happened to be 
observed. 

Down the centre of the chin a line of buff in some, white 
in others ; the whole of the remainder of the plumage dark 
slaty black, with a wash of grey on the lengthened scapularies, 
and the lanceolate feathers pendent from the chest ; bill pale 
dirty yellowish green ; lores dull oil-green ; tarsi and tibise 
pale or apple-green ; soles of the feet dirty yellow. 

Some ornithologists believe that this and the succeeding 
species are identical and the latter merely a white variety, but 
I must refer my readers to what Mr. Macgillivray says on this 
head in my account of H. greyi, and I think they will then 
agree with me in keeping them distinct. I certainly have 
never seen a white variety on the southern coasts of Australia. 






Sp. 556. 



DEMIEGRETTA GREYI. 

White Reef-Heron. 



Herodias Greyi, Gray, List of Birds in Brit. Mus. Coll., part iii. p. 80 



Herodias greyi, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pL 61. 

This species of Heron is abundantly dispersed over the 
northern and eastern coasts of Australia wherever low islands 
and reefs of coral running parallel to those coasts occur. It 



presents 



many points of similarity in size and in form 



D. jjugularis, that I have long been of opinion 



merely an albino 



of 



species, an opinion which T 



find has been entertained by others. Mr. Macgillivray, how- 
ever, states that they are distinct, and to him I am indebted 
for the following observations : — 

" From the circumstance of my having always found this 
and the dark-coloured species" {B.jugularis) "in company, 






I considered them as the same bird in different 
mage, their size and proportions being so sii 



of pi 
id w 
















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310 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



| 

lrprised that individuals exhibiting a change from blue 
hite or vice versa never occurred. 



Dugong Island, I 



convinced they 



At length 



while 



on 



pecifically dis 



by seeing that the half-grown young from the nest had 



the distinctive colour of the pai 



This was fir 



pointed out to me by Dr. Muirhead, R.N., whose attention I 



had previously drawn to the subj 



The habits of both 



species are similar ; 
manner at low water 



d they procure their food 
n the coral 



coral reefs surrounding th 
ids they frequent. The nest and eggs are precisely 
but the young of this bird is white from the nest." 
The entire plumage snow-white ; bill yellowish straw-c( 



with a dusky ting 



the 



d towards the point 



irides primrose-yellow ; eyelids bright yellow j lores and orbits 



dull g 



pale 



toes bluish black 



gs and feet yellowish green ; soles orange ; 
:olour, hind one dark j anterior plates of the 



Genus NYCTICORAX, Stephens. 



Europe, Afr 



d America 



inhabited 




Night 



Herons ; consequently they constitute one of the most widely 
distributed sections of the family. They are nocturnal in their 
habits, and approximate to the members of the genus Botau- 



particularly in the laxity of their neck-pl 



do not differ from each other 



The 



in their colouring, but the 



young are rendered remarkable during the first year of their 



potted 



by their plumage being conspicuously blotched and 



The single Australian species cannot by any possibility be 
confounded with either of those inhabiting any other part of 
the world, the cinnamon colour of its back rendering it con- 
spicuously different from all of them. 













! 

! - 



t 

: 



GRALLATORES. 



311 



Sp. 557. NYCTICORAX CALEDONICUS. 

i 

Nankeen Night Heron. 

Ardea caledonica, Lath. Ind. Orn., vol. ii. p. 679. 
Caledonian Night Heron, Lath. Gen. Syn., vol. v. p. 55. 
Nycticorax caledonicus, Less. Traite d'Orn., p. 571. 
Ardea sparmannii, Wagl. Syst. A v., sp. 32. 

New Holland Night Heron, Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. ix. p. 62, young. 
Gnal-ga/ri-ning, Aborigines of the lowland districts of Western Au- 
stralia. 
Al-ur-woon, Aborigines of Port Essington. 
Quaker and Nankeen-bird of the Colonists. 





Nycticorax caledonicus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. 

pi. 63. 

This richly coloured species is universally dispersed over 
the continent of Australia, but is far less abundant on the 
western coast than elsewhere. Mr. Macgillivray procured it 
at Cape York, where it is called YonJco by the natives. In 
the southern latitudes it is only a summer visitant, arriving in 
New South Wales and South Australia in August and Sep- 
tember, and retiring again in February. As its name implies, 
it is nocturnal in its habits, and from its frequenting swamps, 
the sedgy banks of rivers, and other secluded situations, it is 
seldom seen. On the approach of morning it retires to the 
forests and perches among the branches of large trees, where, 
shrouded from the heat of the sun, it sleeps the whole day, 
and when once discovered is easily shot, for if forced to quit 
its perch it merely flies a short distance and again alights. 
Its flight is slow and flapping, and during its passage through 
the air the head is drawn back between the shoulders and the 
legs are stretched out backwards after the manner of the true 
Herons. When perched on the trees or resting on the ground, 
it exhibits none of the grace and elegance of those birds, its 
short neck resting on the shoulders. When impelled to search 
for a supply of food it naturally becomes more animated, 



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312 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



actions lively and prying ; the varied 



xtnd 



food in fact demand 



of 



degree of activity, fishes 



lizards, crabs, frogs, leeches, and insects being all partaken of 
with equal avidity. 

It breeds in the months of November and December, and 
generally in companies like the true Herons 



the favourite 



■::'■ 



being the neighbourhood of swampy districts, where 



branches 



abundant supply of food is to be procured 
of large trees, points of shelving rocks, and caverns are equally 



chosen as a site for the nest, which 



and generally composed of crooked sticks loosely 



rather large and flat 



The eggs, which are 



sually three in number, are of a pale 



green colour, and average two inches and five-eighths 

by one inch and a half in breadth. 

So little difference exists in the colouring of the sexes, that 
it is extremely difficult to distinguish the male from the fe- 
male, and never with certainty unless dissection be resorted 

to ; both have the three beautiful elongated occipital plumes, 
the use of which except for ornament is not easily imagined.' 



The young, on the contrary, differ 



greatly from the 



of the head and the nape black 
back of the neck, all the upper sui 

stripe over the 



that they might readily be regarded as a distinct species 

The adult has the en 
occipital plumes white ; 
face, wings and tail rich cinnamon-brown 
eye, sides of the face, neck, and all the under surface pure 
white, the white and cinnamon gradually blending on the 
sides of the neck ; bare space surrounding the eye greenish 

yellow ; hides orange ; bill in some specimens black, slightly 
tipped with yellow, in others black with a streak of greenish 



yellow along the 



andible, and a wash of the same hue 






yellow 



g the lower edge of the upper one ; legs and feet jonquil 



black 



The young bird of the first year has the whole of the upper 



surface striated with buff 



d blackish brown, narrow and 



lanceolate on the head and neck, broad and conspicuous 



on 



\ 



















GRALLATORES. 



313 



the back and wings ; primaries and tail-feathers dark chest- 
nut-red, deepening into black near the extremity and tipped 
with buffy white ; all the under surface buffy white, with a 
stripe of brown down the centre of each feather ; irides yellow. 



Genus BOTAURUS, Stephens. 



Members of this g 



found 



most parts of both 



the Old and New Worlds, and they inhabit many of the 
islands as well as the mainlands. The Bitterns are 



birds of 



the niarht, for 



t> 



that they skulk about 



and sides of rivers for their peculiar food, such as frog 



water-voles, and 



In the daytime they sleep among 



the reeds, whence they are not easily roused 



Sp. 558. 



BOTAURUS POICILOPTILUS. 



Australian Bittern. 



Wa 



Botaurus australis, Cuv. Gal. de Paris. — Less. Traite cPOrn. p. 572. 

melanotus, G. R. Gray, App. to Dieffenb. Trav. in New Zeal., 

vol. ii. p. 196. 

posciloptila, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de l'Acad. Sci., torn, xliii. 

seance du 2 Aout, 1856. 
Eur-den-etch. Aborigines of the lowlands of Western Australia. 



Botaurus australis, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi. 64 

The Australian Bittern, although nowhere very abundant, is 
so generally diffused over the surface of the country wherever 



that ther 



marshes and the sedgy banks of rivers occur, 

few localities of this description in which its presence may 



not be detected : ow 
districts in Tasmania 



g to the frequent occurrence of such 



perhap 



numer 



in that 



island than elsewhere. A fine specimen, which had been 
captured on the Torrens, was sent to me during my stay in 
Adelaide by Mr. Dark, the Surveyor ; I killed another myself 













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314 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



on the 1st of July 1839, above Gleeson's Station, while journey- 
ing towards the Murray, and I subsequently procured others 
at Ulawarra s Captain Sturt mentions that he found it abun- 
dant in the marshes of the interior, in the neighbourhood of 
the river Macquarrie, and Gilbert procured it in Western Au- 
stralia ; and according to Mr. G. R. Gray his Botaurus me- 
lanotus of New Zealand is referable to this species. 

In its actions, habits, manners and mode of flight it 
closely resembles the Botaurus stellaris of Europ 



that 



bird also it feeds on fish, frogs, newts, aquatic animals of 



kinds, and 
stomach. 
The s 
than the 



and has a capacious and membr 



plumage, but the female 



Head and back of the neck purplish br 



pularies dark purplish br 
largely freckled with br 



wings buff ; 



back and sca- 

)icuously and 

tawny; throat and 



ottled 



all the under surface deep tawny bufT, with irregular marking 
of deep brown down the centre, giving the whole a n 
appearance ; the brown colour however prevails on the 
part of the throat; bill yellowish olive in 



horn 



others 



greenish 



beautiful pale g 
others. 



space 



d the eyes and the 



irides in some yellow 



red 



:gS 

in 



Genus BUTOROIDES, Blyth. 

i 

The members of this genus of Mangrove Bitterns usually 
frequent the extensive belts of mangroves and low dells covered 
with reed-beds and dense herbage. 

Africa and America are each inhabited by birds of this form, 
species of which is also found in India and the adjacent 



islands, and three in Australia 



No marked differen 



observable between the sexes in birds of the same ag 



are 















GRALLATORES. 



315 



> 1 



n 



Sp. 559. 



BUTOROIDES FLAVICOLLIS. 

Yellow-necked Mangrove-Bittern 



Ardea flavicollis, Lath. Ind. Orn., vol. ii. p. 701. 



nigra, Vieill. 2nd Edit, du Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. Nat., torn. xiv. 

p. 417. 

Yellow-necked Heron, Lath. Gen. Syn., Supp. p. 239. 
Ardetta flavicollis, G. B. Gray, List of Birds in Brit. Mus. Coll., 

part iii. p. 84. 

gouldi, Bonap. Compt. Bend, de FAcad. Sci., torn, xliii., seance 



du 2 Aout, 1856. 

Wbr-gorl, Aborigines of Port Essington. 
Little Brown Bittern of the Colonists. 



Ardetta flavicollis, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi. 65 



I have received 



pies of this beautiful species from 

on : others 



New South Wales, Swan River and Port Essington ; 
were also obtained by Sir George Grey on the north 



coast. 



The Yellow-necked Bittern 



clusively an inhabitant of 



the mangroves, from which it is not easily driven, for it readily 
eludes pursuit by the facility with which it runs over the mud 
beneath their roots for a long time and distance, and it must 



be very closely followed up before 
wing. 



be forced 



take 



Eggs were taken on the 6th of January, in a nest formed 
of small sticks resting on a slender horizontal branch of a 
mangrove ; they were two in number, and of a very much 
paler bluish green and more rounded form than those of any 
other species of the group, being one inch and a half long by 
one inch and an eighth broad. 

The male has the crown of the head, back of the neck and 
all the upper surface bronzy black j primaries and tail bluish 
slate-colour ; chin whitish ; throat deep buff, the feathers 
down the centre of the chin and throat having their inner webs 
pale buff and their tips blackish brown, giving the whole a 













































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• f j. 
























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316 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



richly variegated appearance ; elongated feathers of the breast 

narrowly margined with buff; under surface 
greyish brown, stained with buff; irides yellow; bill dark 



pale brown 



horn 



feet olive-br 



The female differs in having the 



of the throat 



brilliant and contrasted, and the upper surface of 



ghter 



brown than that of the male 

The late Prince Charles Lucian Bonap 
that this bird was distinct from the Indian species to which 



of opinion 



the specific name of flavicollis 



ginally applied, and 



der this impression named after myself ; if it should prove 
be different, then the bird must bear the name the Prince 
signed to it. 



Sp. 560. BUTOROIDES MACRORHYNCHA, Gould. 

Thick-billed Mangrove-Bittern. 

Ardetta macrorhyncha, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, 1848, p. 39. 
Butorides macrorhyncha, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de PAcad. Sci., 

torn, xliii. seance du 2 Aout, 1856. 



Ardetta macrorhyncha, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. 
pi. 66. 

The more robust bill, larger head and greater size of this 
species will at all times distinguish it from Butoroides javanica. 
The only part of Australia from which it has yet been received 

I myself observed two individuals sitting 



the 



coast. 



growing 



close to their flat nest on the branch of a mang 
on Garden Island near the mouth of the Hunter. It inhabits 
the mangrove swamps, and assumes all the habits and actions 
of the A. javanica, and like that species feeds upon the crabs 
and other crustaceans which there abound. 



Crown of the head and 



reflexions 
greenish 



pital crest black, with 



gr 



neck, all the upper surface, and wing-coverts 



■g 



rufous ; primaries and tail slate-grey • spui 



wly margined with deep 



seconcl- 



; 












: 








GRALLATORES. 



aries, and all but the three or four external primaries with an 
irregular triangular-shaped spot at the tip ; down the centre 
of the throat a series of oblong marks of dark brown and white, 
forming a conspicuous mottled stripe continued on to the 
breast, where it is lost in the mingled grey and bnffy brown 
of the abdomen ; upper mandible dark reddish brown ; basal 
portion of the lower one oil-green ; tibiae and hinder part of 
the tarsi bright yellow ; remainder of the legs and feet yel- 
lowish brown. 

Total length 1 7 inches ; bill 3f j wing 7f ; tail 3 ; tarsi 2-J-. 



Sp. 561. 



BUTOROIDES JAVANICA 

Little Mangrove-Bittern. 



Ardea javanica, Horsf. Linn. Trans., vol. xiii. p. 190. 

Butorides javanica, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de l'Acad. Sci., torn, xliii 

seance du 2 Aout 1856. 
Ardetta stagnatilis, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xv. p. 221. 
Wor-gorl, Aborigines of Port Essington. 
Little Grey Bittern of the Colonists, 



Ardetta stagnatilis, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., voL vi. pi. 67. 

This bird is tolerably abundant at Port Essington and other 
parts of the north coast of Australia, where its favourite 
haunts are small islets covered with mangroves and low 
swampy points of land running out into the sea; its chief 
place of resort, however, is the dense beds of mangroves, 
beneath the shade of which it runs about in search of food, of 
which there is a great variety, such as fish, crustaceans, and 



numerous marine worms and 



when the tide rises and 



the muddy beds and roots of the mangroves are covered with 
water, the bird betakes itself to the higher braches, where it 
sits motionless until the tide retires and leaves behind a fresh 

supply of food. 

Although generally speaking it is a solitary species, yet at 
times it congregates in considerable numbers. Gilbert found 




































- 












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II 



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318 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



a colony breeding 
entrance of the 



small 



Coral Bay 



the harbour of Port Essing 
about thirty in number, were built both 
and on the branches of the yellow-blossomed Hibisc 



Their nests, 



the 



mang 



they 



were very frail structures, consisting of a few small twigs 
placed across each other on the horizontal branches, and none 
of them were more than six feet from the ground ; each con- 
tained either two young birds or two eggs of a uniform very 
pale green, one inch and five-eighths long by one inch and a 
quarter broad. 

Crown of the head, occipital crest, and a small tuft beneath 
each eye black ; neck and all the under surface grey, with a 
vinous tinge, which becomes much deeper on the abdomen 
and under tail-coverts ; lengthened feathers of the back bluish 
grey with lighter shafts ; wing-coverts 



dark 



rowly margined with buff and white ; remainder of 
and tail dark grey ; irides 



grey 



gamboge-yellow; upper mandible 



light yellow; orbits and eyelash 



and c 
lower mandible very dark reddish brown 



g edge of 



der of the 



dible oil-g 



tibiae and hinder part of th 



bright yellow ; remainder of the legs and feet yellowish brown 
Total length 14 inches ; bill 3i ; wing 7± ; tail 2| j tarsi U 



The young differ in having 

with a triangular spot of \> 



upper 



face br 



hite 



at the tip of all the wing- 
feathers, and the throat broadly and conspicuously striated 
with brown on a white ground. 

r 

Mr. Jerdon states that the B. javanica is found throughout 

the greater part of India, and that it extends to Burmah and 

Malayana ; if then the bird to which I have assigned the name 

of B. stagnatilis should ultimately prove to be identical with 

the Indian bird, the species will enjoy a most extensive range 
of habitat. 



1 






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GRALLATORES. 



319 






Genus ARDETTA, G.R. Gray. 



: 



■ 



This genus has been instituted for the Little Bittern of the 
British Islands, and several other diminutive species inhabit- 



ing India, Africa, and America. 



I 






Sp. 562. 



ARDETTA PUSILLA 
Minute Bittern. 









Ardea pusilla, Vieill. Nouv. Diet. <THist. Nat., torn. xiv. p. 432. 



maculata, Lath. Ind. Orn., Supp. p. lxiv, young. 

Spotted Heron, Lath. Gen. Syn., Supp. vol. ii. p. 305, young. 
Ardeola pusilla, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de l'Acad. Sci., torn, xliii 

seance du 2 Aout 1856. 






Ardetta pusilla, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi. 68. 

4 

The Minute Bittern is a very rare species, and at present 
nothing whatever is known respecting it. During my sojourn 
in the country I ascertained that the few individuals known had 
been procured between Sydney and Botany Bay. I have fre- 
quently had occasion to allude to the beautiful manner in which 
many birds peculiar to Europe are represented in Australia by 
other closely allied species, and the present bird forms another 
case in point, since it is clearly a representative of the Little Bit- 
tern {Ardetta minuta) of this part of the world, which it much 
resembles in the style of its plumage, but is of a still smaller 

This is another of the species, therefore, to which I 
would direct the attention of residents in its native country, 
with a view to their making known the result of their observ- 
ations for the promotion of ornithological science. 

The sexes differ considerably from each other, the female 
being mottled and of a smaller size than the male. 

The male has the crown of the head, back, and tail bronzy 
greenish black ; front of the neck buff, gradually passing into 
rich deep chestnut on the sides of the head and back of the 
neck : down the centre of the chin and neck in front a broad 






size. 






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320 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



:gular stripe of reddish brown 



either side of the chest 



a patch of black feathers margined with deep buff ; all the 



under surface pale buff 



g-co verts deep buff, with a patch 



of rich chestnut on the shoulder and a wash of 



g the edge of 



g; primaries slaty black; space 



round the eye, bill and feet yellow 
irides orange. 

The female has the head and back chestnut 
very deep tawny, passing into chestnut on t 



black 



g 



and secondar 



tips of the 



tail black 



primaries grey, tipped with brown 



throat 
down 



; sides of the neck pale chestnut; front of the 

d the under surface white, with a stripe of tawny 

middle, and a small streak of brown in the centre 



of each feather, the brown hue predominating and forming 
conspicuous mark down the throat. 



Family BALIIDJE-. 

Of this family no less than sixteen species inhabit Australia 
are comprised in the following genera, viz. Porphyrio 



and 



Fulica, Gallinula, II alius 



d P 



all of which are 



European forms ; and Parra, Eulabeornis, and Tribonyx : of 

the latter, the first is common to India and the Indian 

Islands, and the other two are confined, so far as we know, to 
Australia. 



Genus PORPHYRIO, Brisson. 

The members of this genus are among the very largest of 
the Pallida, are very highly coloured birds, their prevailing 
tints being blue or greenish blue interspersed with black, and 
are nearly allied to the nearly extinct Notornes of New Zea- 
land. Species of this form are found in all the countries both 
of the Old and New Worlds. 






i i 






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f 






fill 









i 



GRALLATORES. 



321 



Sp. 563. PORPHYRIO MELANOTUS, Temm 

Black-backed Porphyrio. 

Porphyrio melanotus, Temm. Man. d'Orn. 2nd Edit., torn 
Black-backed Gallinule, Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. ix. p. 472. 
Ar-ra-weid-bit, Aborigines of Port Essington. 



ii. p. 701 



Porphyrio melanotus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi. 69. 

This bird is universally distributed over Tasmania and the 
greater part of the continent of Australia wherever situations 
suitable to its habits occur, such as marshes, lagoons clothed 



with sedge and rushes, and the sides of 



On comparing 



specimens from Tasmania, South Australia, and Port Essing 



I find them to differ in size : those from 



first- and 



last-mentioned localities being smaller than exampl 



cured 
notes 



South Austr 



'sfcro 
d New South Wales : Gilbert': 



dicate a difference 



the habits of the Port 



Essington bird, but I am inclined to believe this to be 
ely the result of a difference in the nature of the locality 



d the kind of veg 



In T 



the Porphyrio melanotus 



the banks of the D 



y abundant 

ter : I also 



foun d 



the lag 



bet 



above Bridgewe 

n Kangaroo Point and Cla 



Plains, on the Tamar for ten miles below Launceston 



occur. 



and in every part of the island wherever favourable 

Early in the morning, and on the approach of 
it sallies forth over the land in search of food, which 
of snails, insects, grain, and various vegetable substa 



it 



r 



great facility, and readily avails itself of this pow 



on the approach of an 



uder, making for 



the thickest 



covert, and threading it with amazing quickness, much after 

* 

the manner of the Moorhen {Gallinula c/iloropus) of Europe ; 
its flight is also very similar to that of the Moorhen, and like 



that bird it 
hard-nressed 



VOL. II. 



to 



mode of prog 



only 



In New South Wales it inhabits precisely the 



Y 



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322 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



same kind of situations as those described above, and is to be 
found in the lagoons at Illawarra, and wherever the vege- 
tation affords it a sufficient shelter. It soon becomes do- 

* 

mesticated, and may be allowed to roam at large in the 
garden or inclosure without fear of its wandering away. My 
friend Dr. Bennett, of Sydney, informs me that one he had 
seen domesticated in a poultry-yard was in the habit of 
roosting upon the roofs of sheds, and was very fond of 
perching on some parrot- cages ; he mentions also that the 



bird invariably seizes maize, or any vegetable it intends 



eating, in the palm of the foot, holding it in that manner 
until it be devoured ; after watching it for some time he 
never saw it take food in any other manner, and the owner 
assured him that it never did. 

The sexes do not differ in colouring, but the female is 
somewhat smaller than the male, and the young have the 
naked space on the crown less developed and not so bright 

as in the adult. 

Cheeks, back of the head, centre of the abdomen, and 
thighs sooty -black ; back of the neck, breast, and flanks rich 
deep indigo-blue ; back, wings, and tail deep shining black, 
the primaries with a wash of indigo-blue on their outer webs ; 
under tail-coverts pure white ; irides bright orange-red ; fron- 
tal plate, bill, legs, and feet red. 



Sp. 564. 



PORPHYRIO BELLUS, Gould. 

AZURE-BREASTED PORPHYRIO. 



Porphyrio bellus, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part viii. p. 176, 

- _ A ___^H A "■ ft 



± _ Hen. Colonists of Western 



11 

Gool-le-ma, Aborigines of the lowland districts of Western Australia. 

* 

Porphyrio bellus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi. 70. 

Of the two species of Porphyria found in Australia the 
present is by far the finest, exceeding the Porphyrio rnelanotus 



not only 



but in the g 



diversity and richness of 



( 





. 







' i 




GRALLATORES. 



323 



■ 

its colouring, particularly in the azure-blue of the throat and 
chest, a character by which it is readily distinguished. 



The Azure-breasted Porphyrio is abundant at Swan River, 
inhabiting the thick reed-beds and swampy districts of the 
lakes and rivers round Perth and Freemantle. Its habits and 
economy so nearly resemble those of the Porphyrio melanotics 
of Tasmania and New South Wales, that the description of 
one equally applies to the other, and therefore need not be 
repeated here. 

The gizzard is strong and muscular, and the food consists 
of vegetable substances, aquatic insects, and mollusca. 

The only difference observable between the sexes is, that the 
male is rather brighter in colour and somewhat larger in size. 



Occiput and crown of the head blackish brown, gradually 



passing into the light violet-purple which spreads over the 



nape, flanks, and abdomen ; throat, cheeks, fore part of the 
neck and breast light azure-blue ; all the upper surface from 
the nape downwards, including the tail, deep chocolate-brown ; 
shoulders and spurious wing azure-blue ; primaries blackish 
brown, their outer webs strongly tinged with green; irides 
bright red ; bill red ; knees, lower part of the tarsi, and inside 
of the feet dark greenish grey ; remainder of the legs and feet 



grass-green. 



Total length 1 8 inches ; bill 1 f ; wing 1 0^ ; tail 4^ ; tarsi 3 



2* 



I 



Genus TRIBONYX, Du Bus. 

The habits and economy of the two known species of this 
genus differ so much from those of the Gallinules that no 



ornithologist can question 



propriety of their separation 



As their longer tarsi and shorter toes would indicate, they are 

more terrestrial than the members of the genus Porphyrio, 

and accordingly we find that they wander over the plains and 

open pasture lands, instead of keeping to the water or the 

sedgy portions of river-sides. 

y 2 













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324 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



Sp. 565. TRIBONYX MORTIERII, Bu Bus. 

. 

* 

MoRTIEIl's TllIBONYX. 

Tribonyx mortierii, Du Bus, Bull. Acad. Sci. Brux., torn. vii. p. 215, pi. 

Brachyptrallus ralloides, Lafres. ? 
Native Hen of tho Colonist*. 



Tribonyx mortieri, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi. 71. 

This bird is rather abundantly dispersed over the southern 
parts of Australia and Tasmania, but from the extreme shyness 
of its disposition, and the almost inaccessible nature of the 
situations it frequents, it is seldom seen by ordinary observers. 
The localities it affects are marsh lands and the sides of rivers. 
It was daily seen by me during my stay on the Government de- 
mesne at New Norfolk, in Tasmania, where it frequently left its 

dgy retreats and walked about the paths and other parts of 



the 




arden, with its tail erect like the Common Hen ; 

however, the greatest circumspection and quietude 



even 



noise or 



necessary to obtain a sight of it, for the slightest 
movement excited its suspicions, and in an instant it vanished 



in the most 



which 



did r 
» past 



aordinary manner 



some thicket, from 



again 



ge until all appar 



cause for 



The sternum and pectoral muscles of this bird are bi 
feebly developed in proportion to its bulk, and it consequent! 
rarely resorts to flight ; 



on the other hand, the legs and 



very 



ghs are extremely large, and hence its power of running is 
reat, and upon this it mainly depends for security from 




molestation. Its habits and general manners are very similar 
to those of the Moorhen {Gallinula chlorqpus) of Europe, but 

It is very 



does not dive or swim so much 



bird 



easily captured with a common horsehair noose, by which 
means some of my specimens were procured. 

The male is about three pounds in weight ; and the sto- 
machs of those I examined were extremely thick and muscular, 
and contained aquatic plants and insects, gravel, &c. 




















P I 



.K 









I 






GRALLAT011ES. 



325 






The nest, which is very similar to that of the Moorhen 
formed of a bundle of rushes 



stream : the 



gg 



rushes placed on the border of the 
which are also similar to that of the 



Moorhen, are seven in number, two inches 



d 



ghth 



g, one inch and a half broad, and of a stone-colour, marked 



all over with thinly dispersed, irregularly shaped 



d 



ously sized spots and blotches of dark chestnut-brown 

The sexes are alike in appearance, but the female i 

what smaller and less brilliant in colour than the male 



All the upp 



surf; 




yish olive, washed with chestnut- 



brown on the head, back of the neck, back, and the tips of 



the secondaries ; primaries blackish brown 
under surface bluish slate- colour, passing 
abdomen and under tail-coverts : 



L deep black 
black on th 



tail-coverts ; flank-feathers largely tipped 
forming a conspicuous mark on each side ; thighs 



purplish grey ; irides orange-red ; bill 
and feet leaden yellow. 




yellow; leg 



Sp. 566 



TRIBONYX VENTRALIS, Gould. 

Black-tailed Tribonyx. 



Gallinula ventralis, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part iv. p. 85. 
Tribomjx ventralis, Gould in App. to Grey's Trav. in Australia, vol. ii. 

p. 420. 
Bel-gai'-be-jal, Aborigines of the lowland, and 
Nol-yang, Aborigines of the mountain districts of Western Australia. 

Moorhen of the Colonists. 



Tribonyx ventralis, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi. 72. 

* 

Since my attention has been directed to the ornithology of 
Australia, I have received this species from every part of the 
country southward of the 25th degree of south latitude, but I 
have not yet seen it from any part of Tasmania, that country 
being in all probability too cold and ungenial for its habits. 

Although in outward contour and general appearance this 
bird bears a great resemblance to the Gallinules or Water- 






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326 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



hens, it will be found on comparison to possess a very 

structure, particularly in the form of the tarsi and 



different 



toes, and of the tail, and in its economy it differs from them 
quite as much as it does in form. Its migratory movements 
very uncertain, great numbers occasionally visiting parts 



of the 



untry 



had seldom before been seen, and 



ng again to some distant unknown locality 
appeared. We are naturally led to inquire 
. ancwanxii 



V 



suddenly 
mce they 



that 



g 



terra 



•usly to desire a more intimate knowledge of 

ynita, the interior of the country, 



which means alone can the mystery be solved 
John Hutt, Esq., J 




Gover 



of Western Australia 



formed me that in the neighbourhood of Perth the Tribonyx 
ventralis " sometimes makes its appearance suddenly in large 

a proof of there 



not 



flocks at a time," and asks, " I 

being an oasis of good land in the interior? This bird 
invaded the settlers' fields and gardens in the month of May 

3 : it had not been seen before, and 



1833 m amazing numbers; it 
has hardly been seen since." 

Gilbert states that " upon one occasion it visited the Swan 
River colony in myriads, treading down and destroying whole 



fields of corn in a single nig 



The natives, not having 



them before, attributed their appearance to the 

for a long time termed them the ' White-men's birds 



, and 
after 



they nearly all disappeared as suddenly 



as they arrived. The natives of the banks of 



Upp 



Swan, on making inquiries respecting these birds of some of 
the tribes of the interior, were told they came from the 



th 



>) 



This bird 



}> 



says Captain Sturt, " appeared suddenly 



South Australia in 1840. It came from the north, fresh 
flights coming up and pushing on those which had preceded 



them 



accustomed 



It was mor 

the i 



dent that they had b 
of man, for they dropped in g 



un- 



numbers in the streets and gardens of Adelaide, and ran 











* * 



II IF 


















GRALLATOUES. 



327 



about hke fowls. At last they increased so much in number 
as to swarm on all the waters and creeks, doing great damage 
to the crops in their neighbourhood. They took the entire 
possession of the creek near my house, and broke down and 
wholly destroyed about an acre and a quarter of wheat as if 



had bedded 



They made their first appearance 



November, and left in the beginning of March, gradually 



}> 



retiring northwards as they had advanced 

"In the autumn of 1854," says Mr. Elsey, "the stations 
about the Mackenzie were besieged by swarms of this species. 
They remained some time, then disappeared, and not a 
single specimen appeared there for certainly the next three 

year 



I frequently met with the bird myself during my journey 



into the interior of New South Wales; it was tolerably 

abundant on the banks of the Mokai in the month of 
December 1839, but not in such numbers as particularly to 
attract my attention. When I first saw it I was much struck 
with its grotesque appearance, as it strutted along the bank 
of the river with its tail quite erect like that of a 



fowl 



Although the herbage on the 



domestic 



sides was very 



ty, and the plains were so parched that scarcely a blade 



of g 



was 



to be seen, it readily eluded pursuit by 



amazing powers of running, and secreting itself beneath the 



of the large trees or the shelving of the bank 



I 



g, and I believe that it rarely resorts to flight 



for security 



It breeds in November, the nest, which is formed of dead 



soft g 



and rushes, being placed on the ground 



g 



g grass-like rushes 



of 



number, of a cream 



he river-side. The eggs are 

colour, thinly sprinkled with 
irregularly shaped spots of chestnut-red, some of which appear 
as if beneath the surface of the shell: they are an inch and a 
half long by one inch and an eighth broad. 

The stomach is extremely thick and muscular; and the 













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328 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



food consists of grain, seeds, and other vegetable substances, 
shelled mollusks, insects, &c. 

Throat, breast, and under surface dark bluish grey : flank- 
feathers black, with an oblong mark of white near their 



extremities : 



black 



part of the abdomen and under 



the upper surface brownish 



the outer one margined externally with white 



imaries browr 
: tail black 



des fine 



g 



upper 



dible beautiful 



pea 



becoming rather paler at the tip ; base of the lower mandible 
light reddish orange, the tip like that of the upper j legs and 
feet deep brick-red. 

Total length 15 to 17 inches; 



bill 1 



2 1 



4 > 



g9 



Hi 



4* 



Genus GALLINULA, Brisson. 



The true Gallinulce 



very numer 



d 



are found 



nearly every part of the world. Australia is inhabited by a 
species peculiarly its own, which is distributed over all the 



thern parts of the continent. 



The 



known British 



Moorhen ( G. cJdoropsis) is a typical example of this form 



Sp. 567. GALLINTJLA TENEBROSA, Gould. 

Sombre Gallinule. 

Gallinula tenebrosa, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xiv. p. 20. 

„__ 

Gallinula tenebrosa, Gould, Birds of Australia, foL, vol. vi. pi. 73. 

This species of Gallinule inhabits the sedgy banks of rivers, 
creeks, and water-holes. I frequently encountered it in New 
South Wales, particularly in the neighbourhood of the Upper 
Hunter ; and I also possess specimens collected on the banks 
of the Murray, in South Australia. The total absence of any 
white marks on the flanks forms a good specific character, and 
at once distinguishes this Gallinule from most of the other 



members of the g 



In 



considerably exceeds the 












, \ 












GRALLATORES. 



329 



Gallinula c/dorqpus of Europe ; and the garter above the knee 
is more brilliantly coloured with red and yellow than in that 
species. When disturbed, it readily eludes pursuit by running 
with great swiftness into a place of safety. It swims with 
considerable ease and buoyancy, and its food consists of 
various aquatic insects and small shelled mollusks. 

The female is smaller than the male, and the colours of her 
bill are often brighter. 

The whole of the plumage greyish black, with the exception 
of the back and scapularies, which are deep brown, and the 
primaries and tail, which are nearly a pure black ; under tail- 
coverts black in the centre and white on the sides ; frontal 

plate orange ; base of the bill blood-red, tip greenish yellow ; 
above the knee a garter of yellow and scarlet ; joints of the 
legs and feet green ; under surface of the legs and feet olive ; 
sides of the tarsi and frontal plates of the toes yellow ; frontal 
plates of the tarsi yellow, those nearest the knee stained with 
scarlet; irides olive. 

Total length 15 inches ; bill 1J ; wing 8 ; tail 3 ; tarsi 2^. 



Genus FULICA, Linnaeus. 

Coots are found in nearly every part of the great continent 
of Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, and one species in 
Australia, where it represents the Fulica atra of Europe. 



Sp. 568. 



FULICA AUSTRALIS, Gould. 

Australian Coot. 



Fulica australis, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part 
Mool-va-wiri-doo (Ugly Nose), and 



• • 



xin 



p. 2 



// 



Western 



Fulica australis, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi. 74. 
That a true Coot should be found in Australia need not 







■ 









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330 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



be a matter of surprise, when we have seen how many of 
the forms hitherto considered to be peculiar to the northern 
hemisphere are represented in that country ; and in no in- 
stance is this law more interestingly carried out than in the 
present, since the two birds are not only identical in form, 
but are precisely alike in their habits and general economy. 

The favourite places of resort of the Australian Coot are 
the inland waters of the country and the salt-water lagoons 
near the coast, which it seldom quits unless to seek for a 
more abundant supply of food, consisting of aquatic insects, 
small shelled mollusks, &c. Like the European species, it 
constructs a floating nest of decayed aquatic plants, upon 
which it deposits its eggs and rears its young. 

Head and neck black ; all the upper surface greyish black ; 



under surface sooty black ; irides bright red ; bill light bluish 



grey ; crown of the head greenish white ; legs and feet french 




;rey 



Total length 14 inches ; bill 1 J ; 



wing 8 ; tail 2^ j 



tarsi 2-J 



Genus PARR A, Latham. 

A tropical form of birds, admirably adapted for progression 
among the aquatic plants and floating leaves of the lagoons 
and inland waters they frequent, and over which they pass with 
facility, their expansive feet spreading over a large surface of 
fallen grasses and leaves, readily sustaining them. 

Species of this genus are found in India, Africa, and America. 



Sp. 569. PARRA GALLINACEA, Temm 

COMB-CRESTED PARRA. 

ft 

Parra galUnacea, Temm. PL Col., 464. 
Mur-re-ma-rang-geit, Aborigines of Port Essington. 



Parra gallinacea, Gould, Birds of Australia, foL, vol. vi. pi. 75. 
The Parra galUnacea is one of the most typical members of 












'- 



GRALLATORES. 



331 



the genus, its hind-toe and claw being more largely developed 
than those of any other species j hence it is beautifully and 
expressly adapted for traversing the leaves floating on the 

surface of the water. 

The specimens in my collection were obtained at Port 
Essington, where this bird is tolerably numerous, but always 

localities as render it very difficult to procure. 



affects such localities as rei 

Having never seen this species in a state of nature, I 

do better than transcribe Gilbert's notes respecting i 



pre 



• 

I may mention that it is also a native of New 



Guinea, and that Temminck published 
' Planches Coloriees,' as quoted above. 



gure of it in his 



I did not meet with this bird," says Gilbert, " until the 



the 



try, just before the wet 

3 lake near Point 




latter part of my stay in 
season set in, when I observed 
Smith, which at this time (the month of December) contained 
so little water that I could wade over every part of it ; and it 

case, for this bird confines 



was fortunate that this was the case, 

itself so much to the muddy parts of the middle of the 



that it might be looked for in vain 



from the shor 



would seem 



be 



pecies, for I did 



. It 

meet 



any other part of the Peninsula 



In the following 



January, after a succession of heavy rains, the lake became 
far filled as to be too deep for a person to attempt to cr 
any part of it, consequently no second opportunity of observing 



the Parra occurred before my dep 



Those observed by 



me were distributed in four or five small families in different 
parts of the lake, and were usually occupied in feeding from 



the floating aquatic plants, over which 




re at 



gth of 



their toes and nails enables them to run with great facility 
at the slightest alarm they dive down at once or take to flighl 
Their powers of diving and of remaining under wati 
equal to those of any bird I have ever met with : on the 
hand, their powers of flight are very weak ; they will, however, 
often mount up fifteen or twenty yards, and fly from one end 



other 













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332 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



"at a large lagoon, surrounded by a dense fringe of 



Its singular 



of the lake to the other, a distance of half or three-quarters 
of a mile, but generally they merely rise above the surface of 
the water and fly off for about a hundred yards; during 
flight their long legs are thrown out horizontally to their full 
length ; while feeding they utter a slowly-repeated cluck-cluck. 
The stomach is extremely muscular, and the food consists of 
aquatic insects and some kind of vegetable matter." 

Mr. Elsey informed me that he procured examples of this 
bird 

Polygonum, near the Flinders. Among them was a female, 
which contained matured eggs, and had, I felt convinced, a 
nest somewhere in the Polygonum, but I could not find it, 
though I closely examined the whole circuit. She remained 
out the whole day without once retiring to sit. 
calyptra was bright crimson, which colour seems to be due to 
the excessive vascularity of the membrane, as it was com- 
pletely blanched before I got the bird out of the water." 

I am indebted to Sir Daniel Cooper, Bart., for many acts 

* 

of kindness in connexion with Australian ornithology, which 
I take this opportunity of recording. It is to him that I owe 
a knowledge of the eggs of this species, two examples having 
been transmitted to me, through his instrumentality, from 
Eastern Australia, by his relative Mr. Hills. 

The ground-colour of these eggs is of a dark, shiny, raw 
sienna-tint, over which are traced in various directions a 
series of broad and fine hair- like contorted lines of brownish 
black, which, by occasionally uniting laterally and crossing 
each other, form here and there large blotches. Although 
these markings are of the same character on each egg, 
they are somewhat differently distributed; thus, on one of 
the two I possess they are more numerous at the larger 
end and absent at the smaller, while in the other they are 
more abundant at the smaller and less so at the larger 
extremity. The eggs are one inch and an eighth in length 
by seven-eighths of an inch in breadth. They are, moreover, 























GRALLATORES. 



333 



rendered remarkably conspicuous by the singularly pointed 
form of the smaller end, and by their small size as compared 



ith that of the bird: but, above all, 




the form and 



d con- 



disposition of the markings, which are as if traced by 
hand of a person who had amused himself by attempting 
cover the surface with fantastic streaks, blotches, ai 

torted curves from end to end. 

Back of the head, line down the back of the neck, tips of 
the shoulders, under surface of the wing, flanks, and a broad 



band crossing the chest and abdomen deep bluish black; 
chin and throat white ; orbits, ear-coverts, sides of the neck 

ge 



and breast pale glossy 
gradually blending 



>range, the white and the orar 
each other; back and scapular 



bronzy olive-green, becoming nearly black at the base of the 
eck and on the rump; wing-coverts olive-brown 



the re- 
mainder of the wing and tail greenish black ; vent and under 
tail-coverts buffy white ; irides light sulphur-yellow ; « 

light ash-grey; bill greenish grey at the extreme tip 

of the 



yelash 



black to near the nostrils ; the basal por 



pper 



dibl 



d the helmet 



red: base of the lower 



tibia red 
ish grey 



mandible light primrose-yellow ; fore part of the 
with a mixture in patches of yellow and gree 
hinder part of the tibia, tarsi, and toes dark greenish grey 

The young differs in having all the under su 
crown of the head and occiput reddish chestnut, the line 
down the back of the neck brown, and the back reddish 
brown, each feather margined with a still redder hue ; only 



face white 



indication of the helmet ; irides light brown, and the 



red. with the 



ption 



of the base of the lower 



mandible, which is light yellowish 










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334 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



" 



Genus HYPOT^ENIDIA, Reichenback 

It would have been rather surprising if the Hallus pectoralis 



of Cuvier had not received 



g 



ap pell at 



very different in structure and habits from the true Rails 



and 



deed very nearly allied 



Crex. 



Other 



species 



of 



the form exist in New Zealand, the Celeb 

Islands. 



d the Fiji 



Sp. 570. HYPOT^ENIDIA PHILIPPENSIS 

Pectoral Pail. 

Rallus philippensis, Linn. Syst. Nat., torn. i. p. 263. 
Hypotanidia philippensis, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de Y 



ii 



xliii. seances des 15 et 22 Sept. 1856. 



»*-^ 



Kul-lee, Aboi 

Land-Rail of the Colonists. 



Rallus pectoralis, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi. 76. 

The Pectoral Rail is a summer visitant to New South 
Wales ; but if we regard the Rails from Southern and Western 
Australia, which are rather smaller and have somewhat more 
attenuated bills, as mere local varieties, the above remark 
will extend to the southern portion of the continent generally j 
in fact, it may then be said to be dispersed over the whole of 
this part of the country, in all situations suitable to its habits. 
It usually makes its appearance in New South Wales in the 
month of August, and retires again in February ; the extent 
of its range northwards, however, I have- not satisfactorily 
ascertained; for, although I have specimens from the north 
coast and Raine's Islet, they present sufficient differences in 
their form and markings to warrant the supposition of their 
being a distinct species. 

In habits, actions, and general economy the Hypotcenidia 
philippensis closely assimilates to the Land- Rail {Crecc pra- 
tensis) of Europe, grassy flats between the hills and humid 



; 



' 



GRALLATORES. 



385 



places covered with dense herbage being the localities favour- 
able to its mode of life. It has the same indisposition for 
exposing itself to view, the same manner of eluding pursuit by 



g 



gh the g 



d when forced to quit its 



retreat flies low, straight, and with the same flapping motion 

of the wing. 

The eggs, which are placed on the ground, are four or six 



in number, of a cream-colour, with numerous large irregular 
blotches of dark chestnut-red at the larger end, and a few 
smaller ones distributed over the remainder of their surface ; 
they are one inch and three-eighths long by one inch broad. 
It breeds in September, October, and November 
- The stomach is very muscular, and is usue 




portions of g 



found to 



seeds, and a quantity of sand 



Its flesh forms an excellent article for the table, and the bird 
itself affords considerable amusement to the sportsman, as 
pointers will stand to it as to the Land-Rail of Europe. 

The sexes are so similar in colour and markings that they 



are not easily distinguishable from each other, and the young 



at an early age assume the plumage of the adult. 

Crown of the head and all the upper surface olive ; each 
feather of the back and scapularies blackish brown in the 
centre ; the feathers at the back of the neck with a double 
spot of black and white near the edge of each web ; a broad 
stripe of chestnut-red commences at the base of the bill, 
passes through the eye, and unites at the occiput ; wing- 
coverts olive, spotted on the margins with black and white ; 
primaries dark brown, the two outer ones crossed by narrow 
bars of white, and the remainder with broad bars of dull 
chestnut-red j stripe over the eye and the chin greyish white, 
deepening into dark grey on the lower part of the throat ; 
under surface brownish black, crossed by numerous narrow 
well-defined bars of greyish white ; across the breast a broad 
band of deep sandy buff; thigh and vent buff; under tail- 
coverts black, barred with white and tipped with buff; bill 






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336 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



red at the base, passing into brown at the tip ; irides reddish 
hazel ; feet brown. 

In some specimens the white spottings of the upper surface 
are much brighter than in others. 






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Genus RALLUS, Linnaeus. 

The genus Balks, the type of which is the B. aquaticus, is 
represented in Australia by a single, or perhaps two species ; 
other examples of this truly fluviatile form are found both in 
the Old and New Worlds. 



Sp. 571. 



RALLUS BRACHIPUS, Swains 
Lewin's Water-Rail. 



Men 



lewinii, Swains. Ibid., p. 336. 

brachipus, G. R. Gray, List of Birds in Brit. Mus. Coll., part iii. 

p. 115. 

Lewinia brachypus, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de l'Acad. Sci., torn, xliii. 

seances des 15 et 22 Sept. 1856. 



Rallus lewinii, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi. 77. 

In Tasmania this species is very abundant in all low 
marshy situations, lagoons, and the rushy banks of rivers ; it 
occurs on most of the small islands in D'Entrecasteaux 



Channel : I have also seen 



specim 



from Southern 



d 



Western Australia which are precisely similar in their markings, 
and only differ in being somewhat larger. 

Swainson has, I think, described this bird under two names, 
those of brachipus and lewinii. The shortness of the nails 
and consequent apparent shortness of the toes, which must 
have suggested the former appellation, appears to pertain only 



those birds which inhabit the small island 



from 



the hard and stony 



of the ground they have to 



the nails become much worn and blunted, while 















' 







I f 









GRALLATORES. 



337 



those of the birds inhabiting the mainland and resorting 
more exclusively to the soft sedgy banks of rivers remain 
intact. 

It is very closely allied to the Water-Rail (Eallus aquaticus) 
of Europe, and its habits, manners, and mode of life closely 
resemble those of that bird. In this species, then, we find 
another representative of European forms ; for it as clearly 
resembles our Water Kail as the sombre Gallinule does the 
Gallinula chloropus, and the little Crake the Porzana maruetta ; 
how similar, too, is the Pectoral Kail {Hypotcenidia pectoralis) 
to the well-known Corn Crake of the British Islands ! 

The stomach is rather muscular, and the food consists of 
aquatic insects and small mollusks, to which are doubtless 
added the leaves of aquatic plants and probably newts, frogs, 

and small fish. 

A nest I found in a lagoon near the river Derwent, in 
Tasmania, was formed of flags and other aquatic vegetables, 
placed in a low tuft of rushes, and contained 

inch an 
breadth 



gg 



one 



d a quarter in length by seven-eighths of an inch in 



d of 



pale olive-colour, blotched all over, 



b 



particularly at the larger end, with reddish and dark brown. 

The male has the head and sides of the neck rufous, striated 
with black on the crown and down the nape ; all the upper 
surface and tail black, striped with olive ; wings, flanks, and 
abdomen banded broadly with black and narrowly with white ; 
chin white ; centre of the throat, breast, and abdomen slate- 
grey ; vent buif ; bill brownish red ; hides hazel ; feet flesh- 
colour, becoming darker about the toes. 

The female is similar, but not so bright in colour. 

The young birds, when fully fledged, are destitute of the 
red hue on the neck, have only a trace of the barring on the 
flanks and abdomen, and the barring of the wings much less 
distinct than in the male. The chicks are clothed in a soft 
and silky black down. 



vol. n. 



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338 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



Ag 



Genus EULABEORNIS, Gould. 

\ 

established for the reception of a singular species 



of Rail inhabiting the north coast of Australia 



Sp. 572. EULABEORNIS CASTANEIVENTRIS, Gould. 

Chestnut-bellied Rail. 

Eulabeornis castaneoventris, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xii. 

p. 56. 
castaneiventrisy Bonap. Compt. Rend, de FAcad. Sci., torn, xliii. 



seances du 15 et 22 Sept. 1856. 
Mor-dug-e-ra, Aborigines of Port Essington. 



Eulabeornis castneoventris, Gould, Birds of Australia, foL, vol. vi. 

pi. 78. 

* 

This large and fine species of Rail inhabits the low 
muddy shores and mangrove swamps of the north coast of 

Australia. The specimen above alluded to, which is in my 
own collection, was killed in the Gulf of Carpentaria by Rear- 
Admiral Stokes, R.N.,late Commander of H.M.S. the Beagle; 
to this gentleman I am also indebted for many acts of kind- 
ness and liberality, while science in more than one branch has 

enriched by the discoveries made by himself and his 



been 



officers during their 



survey 



I had some time before 



d the eggs of this species from Port Essington, but from 



extreme shyness the bird could never be obtained 



fact 



the 



of its disposition 



even to catch a 



glimpse of it among the dense herbage and mang 



extremely 



It runs with extraordinary fleet 



ness, and takes alarm the instant the vicinity of its habitat is 
intruded upon. 

The eggs are rather lengthened in form, of a pale pinky 
white, dotted all over with reddish chestnut, the spots being 
thinly dispersed, and some of them appearing as if beneath 
the surface of the shell, giving them a darker tint, two inches 
aud one-eighth long, one inch and five-eighths broad. 










: 



ii) 





GRALLATORES. 



339 



Head and neck ash-grey j all the upper surface, wings and 
tail olive ; breast an d all the un der surface greyish ches tnut ; 
bill yellow at the base, horn-colour at the tip ; legs and feet 
brown. 

Total length 19 inches ; bill 2^ ; wing 9|- ; tail 6 ; tarsi 2^. 
Both sexes will doubtless be hereafter found to possess a 
similar kind of plumage. 



Genus PORZANA, Vieill. 

The Porzana inhabit Europe, Africa, India and Australia ; 
the species inhabiting the latter country are very similarly 
marked to those inhabiting India and Europe. The form, 
but not the same species, also occurs in America. 



•! I 







\ 






Sp. 573. 



PORZANA FLUMINEA, Gould. 

Spotted Water Crake. 



Porzana fluminea } Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part x. p. 139 



Porzana fluminea, Gould, Birds of Australia, foL, vol. vi. pi. 79. 



This species, like its representat 



the British Islands 



{Battus porzana, Linn.), inhabits morasses, reed-beds, and the 
neighbourhood of rivers clothed with dense herbage ; hence it 
is seldom to be seen unless the greatest trouble and labour be 
taken to hunt it out from its hiding-place. The uniform grey 



of its breast and under surface, and 



smaller 



characters by which it may at once be distinguished from 
the European species. 



The Spotted Water Crake 



an inhabitant of Tasm 



South Australia and New South Wales, to which portions of 
Australia it would seem to be confined. My stay in 



the 



ountry was too short to afford me opportunities of thoroughly 
nvestigating its habits, or of gaining any precise information 

especting its nidification ; but it is natural to suppose that in 

z 2 






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840 



BIRDS OP AUSTRALIA 



ally 



these ■ respects it as closely assimilates to its Europ 
it does in its structure and outward appearance. 

The sexes present so little difference in colour, that they are 
only to be distinguished by dissection. 

All the upper surface olive, with a broad stripe of blackish 

brown down the centre and two oval spots of white, bounded 
above and below with black on the margin of each web of 

every feather ; primaries and secondaries brown ; tail dark 
brown, margined with lighter brown and with an indication of 
white spots on the extreme edge ; face, throat, chest and 
upper part of the abdomen dark slate-grey ; lower part of the 
abdomen and flanks greyish black, crossed by narrow irregu- 
lar bars of white j under tail-coverts white ; bill orange-red at 
the base, and dark olive-green for the remainder of its length ; 

feet dark olive- green. I 



Total length 7 inches ; bill 



l. 

8 > 



g 3f ; tail If; tarsi 1, 



Sp. 574. PORZANA PALUSTRIS, Gould. 

Little "Water Crake. 

Porzana palustris, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part x. p. 139 



Porzana palustris, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vi. pi. 80. 

This little Water Crake would appear to be more abundant 
in Tasmania than on the continent of Australia, for although 
I clearlv ascertained that it inhabits New South Wales, it is 
not so numerous there, in consequence, probably, of the 
country being much less fluviatile, and therefore much less 
suitable to its habits ; for, like the Porzana Jluminea, the 
present bird finds a natural abode in morasses covered with 
reeds and luxuriant herbage, to the more dense parts of which 
it is exclusively confined. Like all the other members of the 
genus, the present species swims with great facility, and dis- 
plays the same power of diving, to which it equally resorts in 

+ 

time of need, and thus often successfully eludes the attack of 
its natural enemies ; in addition, few birds are more agile or 




I 



i 



I 

1 * 



GRALLATORES. 



341 



I 



I 








I 



- 

thread the reeds with 



g 



activity 



hence, like the last 



for 



species, it is seldom to be caught sight of unless the greatest 

vigilance be exerted in search of it. 

I am indebted to the Rev. T. J. Ewing, D.D., of Tasmania, 
the nest and eggs of this bird ; the former is a flat struc- 
re formed of various kinds of grasses, and the latter are four 
five in number, of a nearly uniform brownish olive, about 
e inch in length by three-quarters of an inch in breadth. 
Head and back of the neck rusty brown, with a stripe of 



blackish brown down the centre of each feather ; feather 



f 



the back, scapularies, and secondaries brownish black mar- 
gined with rusty brown, and with an oblong stripe or mark 
of white, interrupted in the middle with black ; wing-coverts 
rusty brown, a few of them marked on their inner webs like 
the scapularies ; primaries brown, two or three of the inner- 
most with a mark or marks of white at the tip ; tail dark 
brown, fringed with rusty brown; face, throat, chest and 
upper part of the abdomen grey ; lower part of the abdomen 
and flanks blackish grey, crossed by broad irregular bands of 
grey ; bill and feet olive-brown. 

Total length 6 inches ; bill f j wing 3 j tail 1J ; tarsi 1. 



Sp. 575. 



PORZANA? TABUENSIS 

Tabu an Water Crake. 



Tabuan Rail, Lath. Gen. Syn., torn. iii. p. 235. 



Rallus 



Ortygometra tabuensis, G. R. Gray, Voy.of Ereb. and Terr., Birds, p. 14. 
Corethrura tabuensis, G. R. Gray, Gen. of Birds, vol. iii. p. 595 , and 



App. 527. 



Menag 



War-ra-jah, Aborigines of the lowland districts of Western 
T Attic Swamn Hen of the Colonists. 



Porzana ? immaculata, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol.. vol 




I believe I am correct in stating that this specie 





































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342 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



versally distributed over the whole of Australia, Tasmania and 
the islands in Bass's Straits. Specimens from every one of 
the colonies so closely resemble each other that they scarcely 



exhibit sufficient difference to constitute local varieties. 



Be- 



sides inhabiting Australia, this species appears to be widely 
spread over many of the islands of the Indian Ocean, such as 
the Society, Tonga, and Feejees ; and I question if any one of 
the Bails has received so many specific appellations, or if there 
be one whose synonyms are so numerous. (See a list of them in 
Mr. G. B. Gray's 'Catalogue of the Birds of the Tropical Islands 
of the Pacific Ocean in the Collection of the British Museum,' 
53.) Like the other members of this group, this bird is very 



P 



habits 



d seldom to be 



although 



tolerably abundant in all districts of a wet and swampy cha 



where thick reed-beds and the sedgy banks of 



or 



g 



constitute its most favourite 




of abode 



When urged by necessity, it swims with grace and eleg 



and sports about with ease 



g the floating leaves of 



aquatic plants in search of snails and other mollusks, of which, 
with insects, seeds, and the tender blades of grasses and other 




getables 



food 



It rarely takes wing 



indeed unless forced to do 



I regret that I did not succeed in finding the nest and 
eggs of this bird, as in all probability they will be found to 
differ from those of the typical Porzancs, and also from those 

of the true Bails. 

I 

The sexes are precisely alike in colour, and the young, 
when fully fledged, are very similar to the adults. 

Head and all the under surface dark slate-grey, becoming 
nearly white on the chin ; back, wing-coverts, and tertiaries 
rich deep reddish brown ; bill black ; irides and eyelash 
bright red ; feet and legs dull brick-red. 




GRALL AT0RES . 



343 



Genus ERYTHRA, Rekhenbach. 

* 

In accordance with the views of Professor Reichenbach, I 
adopt the above generic term for this singularly marked Rail 
It is the only species I have 
another species 



from Australia. I believe 
found in the Indian Islands, and that the 



synonyms assigned to it by Mr. G. R. Gray in his ' Catalogue 
of the Birds of the Tropical Islands,' in the British Museum 
will require modification. 



Sp. 576. 



ERYTHRA QUADRISTRIGATA 

White-eyebrowed Water Crake. 






Rallus quadristrigatus, Horsf. Linn. Trans., vol. xiii. p. 196. 






quadristriatus , Licht. 






? 



Gallinula my >st acinus, Temm. \ 

Porzana leucophrys, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xv. p. 33. 

Erythra leucophrys, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de VAcad. Sci., torn, xliii 

seances des 15 et 22 Sept. 1856. 
Al-man-M-ar-ga, Aborigines of Port Essington. 

Porzana leucophrys, Gould, Birds of Australia, foL, vol. vi. pi. 81 

This species is an inhabitant of the northern parts of Au- 



where it frequents the thick clumps of mang 



It is a somewhat familiar bird, and 



intruder 



the 



bordering the lakes. 

but little disturbed by the approach of 

contrary, it will frequently run up a branch, turn round, gaze 

at him, and utter its very singular loud and chattering cutche, 

cutche, with but little apparent alarm. Occasionally several are 

heard in chorus, as if attempting to excel each other in noise. 

It is by no means difficult to obtain specimens, except when 



the water is too deep to admit of wading round the 



of 



the mang 



As yet it has only been observed on one 



lake near Port Essington ; but as the natives are perfectly ac 
quainted with it, it is doubtless abundant on some other par 



. 



{ 




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344 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



of the Coburg Peninsula 



It 



also found 



Java 



d. I 



believe, in several of the islands of the Indian Ocean. 
The stomachs of those dissected were muscular, and 



tain eel 



remains of insects of 



kinds, and 



"g 



proportion of sand. The bird also eats worms, slugs, and 
leaves of aquatic plants ; these kinds of food being obtained 
either in the marshes or while swimming, which it can do as 
perfectly as the Moor Hen, Gallinule and little Porzana. 

As the nest and eggs of this species have not yet been dis- 
covered, they form some of the desiderata to which I would 
U the attention of the rising ornithologists of Australia : and 



I 



assist them i 
their proper g 



them that the study of 



g 



greatly 



gning the birds to which they belong to 



The young differ from the adult in having only an indie 



tion of the marks on the face 



having the 



of the 



head brown instead of brownish black, and the sides of the 
neck and flanks deep buff instead of dark grey. 

From the base of the upper mandible to the posterior 

of the eye a streak of greyish white ; from the eye to 

the gape a broad patch of deep black ; crown of the head 




brownish black : back of 



neck, upper surface 



d tail 



brownish black, each feather margined with pale reddish 



the 
coverts 



colour becoming very conspicuous on the 



d 



pularies 



head, neck, and breast grey ; chin and 



men white : flanks 



wmg- 

gs pale brown; sides of the 

of the abdo- 



d 



der tail-coverts rufous 



upper 



mandible reddish brown ; tomia of both mandibles tile-red 
gs and feet oil-green, blotched with light ash-colour. 

tail 2 j tarsi 1#. 



Total length C| inches; bill 1 ; wing 3| ; 















; i; : 



! 







I! 




I 










I 



NATATORES. 



345 



■ * 



Order NATATORES. 



Up 



taking 



a 



g 



view of the birds of this order 



inhabiting Europe and Australia, our attention cannot fail 



be arrest* 
themselves 



d by 



tarkable contrasts which present 
I allude to the great excess in the 






number of species of some of the principal groups, and the 
paucity of others ; for instance, of the Anatidce, the Europ 



fauna comprises 



forty species, while eight 



all 

that are known in Australia ; of the Laridce, exclusive of the 
Terns, twenty species inhabit Europe, while three are all that 






know 



Australia 



the other hand, sixteen 
of Australia, while about 



species 



of Terns frequent the shores 
resort to those of Europe ; of the family Procellaridcd , or 
Albatroses and Petrels, nearly forty species enliven the Aus- 
tralian seas, while about seven are all that are known to inhabit 
those of Europe ; of the Mergansers, Puffins, and Guillemots 



of the northern hemisph 
or in any other part of the 
the Penguins 



species is found in Australia 
th seas ; on the other hand. 



so common 



there 



are unknown in Europ 












while the Grebes and Cormorants are about equal in number 



both hemisph 



Australia, it is true, has a Swan, but 









of a different form, and 



but 



feeble representative of 






the true Oygni of our part of the world ; the same may be 
said of the Geese, for she has no member of the 



Anset 



g 



; neither does any species of this important group of 
birds exists south of the line, either in Australia or any other 
country. 






Family ANATID^S. 

Of this family the most important Australian species is 



Like 



the Black Swan, and the next the Cereopsis Goose. 
Europe, that country has two fine Sheldrakes, about three true 
Ducks, two species of Shovellers, two Tree- and three Diving- 






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346 



BIRDS OP AUSTRALIA. 



Ducks, one of which, the Biziura lobata, is confined to the 

■ 

country ; these, with the little Nettapi and the members of 
two or three other genera, comprise the whole of her Anatida. 



The absence of large rivers and the non-existence of great 



lakes is doubtless the cause of this paucity of aquatic birds in 
the interior ; but how are we to account for the absence from 
her seas and rocky shores of the huge Steamer Ducks so 
common in similar latitudes of South America, and of the 
Berniclce which are so numerous at the Falklands ? 



Genus CHENOPIS, Wagler. 

Subdivided as the avifauna of the world now is, it would 
have been surprising, indeed, if the Black Swan had been left 
in the old genus Cygnus, from which it departs in many par- 



ticulars ; I 



dingly adopt the above generic term, which 



Wagler had the honour of proposing for 



Sp. 577. 



CHENOPIS ATRATA 

Black Swan. 



Black Swan, Philip's Voy., p. 96. — White's Journ., p. 137. 

Anas atrata, Lath. Ind. Orn., vol. ii. p. 834. 



plutonia, Shaw, Nat. Misc., pi. 108. 

Black Swan of Van Diemen, D'Entrecast. Voy., 8vo, vol. i. p. 140, 

pi. 9. 
Shawian or Black Swan, Penn. Outl., vol. iv. p. 130. 
Cygnus atratus } Steph. Cont. of Shaw's Gen. Zool., vol. xii. p. 18. 
Chenopis alrata, Wagl. in Oken's Isis, 1832, p. 1234. 
Le Cygne noir, Cuv. Regne Anim., torn. i. p. 529. 
Mul-go } Aborigines of New South Wales. 
Gol-jak, Aborigines of Perth. 
Mal-lee } Aborigines northward of Perth. 



Cygnus atratus, Gould, Birds of Australia, foL, vol. vii. pL 6. 

This " rara avis in terris " is not only strictly confined to 
Australia, of which country it forms one of the most orna- 
















NATATORES. 



347 






mental of its feathered tribes, but is so exclusively an inha- 
bitant of the southern and western districts, that no notice 
has been recorded of its having been seen in Torres Straits, or 
on any part of the north coast. 

The first notice on record respecting it occurs in a letter 
written by Mr. Witsen to Dr. M. Lister about the year 1698, 
in which he says, " Here is returned a ship, which by our 
East India Company was sent to the south land called 
Hollandia Nova ; " and adds that Black Swans, Parrots, and 
many Sea Cows were found there. In 1726 two were 
brought alive to Batavia, having been procured on the west 
coast of Australia, near Dirk Hartog's Bay. Our celebrated 

countryman and navigator Cook observed it on several parts 
of the coast, and from that time to the present it has attracted 
the attention of every traveller in Australia, and been noticed 
by most authors who have written upon its natural produc- 
tions; still, all that has hitherto been placed upon record 

has been mere notices of its existence, unaccompanied 
any information respecting its habits and economy, or the 
extent of its range ; and my account will fall far short of 
what the historian of so noble a bird ought to be able to 
give j for our knowledge of it is still very limited, and must 
necessarily remain so until geographical research has cleared 
our path, and made us more intimately acquainted with the 
portions of the country it principally inhabits. 

I may state that the Black Swan is generally distributed 
over the whole of the southern portion of Australia, the 
islands in Bass's Straits, and the still more southern country 
of Tasmania, wherever there are rivers, estuaries of the sea, 
lagoons, and pools of water of any extent ; in some instances 
it occurs in such numbers that flocks of many hundreds may 
be seen together, particularly on those arms of the sea which, 
after passing the beach-line of the coast, expand into great 
sheets of shallow water, on which the birds are seldom dis- 
turbed either by the force of boisterous winds or the intru- 



i 















































n 











\\ 






I! 









i 






I \ 
















I 






V 



! 



i 



I 



f " 















348 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



of the 



In the white man, however, the Black 



Swan finds an enemy so deadly, that in many parts wher 



was formerly numerous it has been 



extirpated ; and this has been particularly the 
of the large rivers 



if not entirely 



some 



of Tasmania, such 



the Derwent. &c 



but in the salt 



g 



and inlets of D'Entrecasteaux 



Channel, the little-frequented bays of the southern and west- 
ern shores of that island, the entrance to Melbourne Harbour 
at Port Philip, Spencer's and St. Vincent's Gulfs in South Au- 
stralia, the Clarence, MacLeay and other rivers northward of 
the Hunter in New South Wales, the Black Swan is still 



numerous 



bers 



One most destructive mode by which 



num 



annually destroyed is that of chasing the birds 



boat at the time they shed their primary quill-feathers, when 



being unable to fly they 



this 



which is much 



rowed down and captured 



be 



gretted, is usually 



sorted to for the sake of the beautiful down with which the 
breasts are clothed, but not unfrequently in mere wantonness. 
I have heard of the boats of a whaler entering an estuary and 
returning to the ship, nearly filled with Black Swans destroyed 
in this manner. 

When flying it forms a most conspicuous object, the white 
of the wings offering a strong contrast to the black colouring 
of its body and the green herbage bounding the scene 
which it is disporting. 

The breeding-season 
to the middle of January ; I procured newly-hatched young 

greyish white down at South Port River on the 
31st of December, and I took five newly-laid eggs on Plinders' 

Straits, on the 13th of January. The nest 
e, composed of flags and other herbage, and 



in 



commences in October and 



clothed 



Island, in Bass 



of 



larg 



generally placed 



an isolated island 



The 



egg 



from 



five to eight in number, of a pale green, stained all over with 
buffy brown, four and a half inches long by two inches and 

three-quarters broad. 






'*; 






i; f 



i: 















NATATORES. 



349 






In disposition, unless molested, or its precincts intruded 
upon, it is as tame, gentle, and harmless as it is graceful and 
ornamental in appearance, and as it readily becomes domesti- 
cated there are few aviaries in Europe which are not adorned 
with its presence. 

But no one has been so fortunate in breeding the Black 
Swan as Samuel Gurney, Esq., and the following account of 
the fecundity of a single pair kept by that gentleman on his 
estate at Carshalton, on the River Wandle, in Surrey, I con- 
sider to be of the highest interest : — " They were," says Mr. 
Gurney, "purchased from Baker, of Leadenhall Market, in 
1851 ; they did not breed until 1854, when they laid their first 
egg on January 1. It was a most severe winter — snow on 

the ground and intense frost nearly the whole time they were 



sitting. 



They hatched their young during the greatest cold 



of that winter, from which they did not suffer, though they 
had no shelter of any kind, and their nest was fully exposed 
to the east wind. Out of the ninety -three young ones 
hatched by them up to this present year, 1862 (inclusive), 
about half that number have been reared. Some of them 
have died from disease ; but most of them have been killed 
by the old ones dragging them about in the fields, when they 
have fallen into small holes on their backs, and have not been 
able to recover themselves. They have bred sixteen times in 
seven years, having laid one hundred and eleven eggs. The 
nest was composed of a large heap of rushes, collected by 

- 

themselves, to which they were continually adding during 
incubation. The male and female would sit alternately on 
the nest. The male bird was found dead on February 17, 
1862. No cause could be assigned for his death, as he had 

been in perfect health." 

The whole of the plumage brownish black, the under sur- 
face paler than the upper ; the feathers of the back tipped 
with greyish brown ; primaries and secondaries pure white ; 
bill beautiful pinky scarlet, crossed near the tip with a broad 




rr 



■ 







> 




■ 












t 






. 
















































350 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



band of white; the extremities of both mandibles are also 

white ; irides scarlet ; eyelash and lores pinky scarlet ; feet 
black . 



Genus CEREOPSIS, Latham. 

But one species of this singular and strictly Australian 
form has yet been discovered, and I do not think it likely 
that another will be found. 



Sp. 578. CEREOPSIS NOV^-HOLLANDLE, Lath 

* 

Cereopsis Goose. 

Cereopsis novce-hollandite, Lath. Ind. Orn., Supp. p. lxvi. 

New Holland Cereopsis, Lath. Gen. Syn. Supp., vol. ii. p. 325, pi. 138#, 

Cereopsis cinereus, Vieill. Gal. des Ois., torn. ii. pi. 284. 
Anser griseus, Vieill. 2nde edit, du Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. Nat., torn, xxiii 

p. 338. 

Cereopsis australis, Swains. An. in Menag., p. 219, fig. 32. 
Cape Barren Goose of the Colonists. 



Cereopsis novae-hollandise, Gould, Birds of Australia, foL, vol. vii. 

pl.1. 

This is one of the Australian birds which particularly 
attracted the notice of the earlier 



by nearly every one of whom 



rlier voyagers to that country, 

it is mentioned as being very 
plentiful on all the islands in Bass's Straits, and so tame that 
it might be easily knocked down with sticks or even captured 
by hand ; during my sojourn in the country I visited many of 
the localities above-mentioned, and found that, so far from its 
being still numerous, it is almost extirpated ; I killed a pair 
on Isabella Island, one of a small group near Minders' Island, 
on the 12th of January 1839. I believe that it may be still 
found on some parts of the south coast of Australia j but in the 
colonized districts, where it has been much molested, it has 



become so scarce that it is very rarely 



It passes 



the greater portion of its time on the ground, and seldom takes 



' 









• 






I 



■ I 



•I 



NATATORES. 



351 



' 



to the water. It appears to be strictly a vegetable feeder, 
and to subsist principally upon grasses in the neighbourhood 
of the coast ; consequently its flesh is excellent, and all who 
have tasted it agree in extolling its delicacy and flavour. It 
bears confinement remarkably well, but is by no means a 
desirable addition to the farmyard; for it is so pugnacious, 
that it not only drives all other birds before it, but readily 
attacks pigs, dogs, or any other animal that may approach, 
and often inflicts severe wounds with its hard and sharp bill. 

Its voice is a deep, short, hoarse, clanging, and disagreeable 
sound. It readily breeds in confinement. The eggs are 
creamy white, about three inches and a quarter in length by 
two inches and a quarter in breadth. 

The sexes are precisely alike in plumage ; and the young 
at an early age assume the plumage of the adults, but have 
the greenish yellow cere much less conspicuous. 

Crown of the head whitish, the remainder of the plumage 
brownish grey ; the wing-coverts and scapularies with a spot 
of brownish black near the tip; the feathers of the back 
margined with pale brownish grey; the apical half of the 
primaries, the tips of the secondaries, the tail, and the under 
tail-coverts blackish brown; bill black; cere lemon-yellow ; 
irides vermilion ; eyelash dark brown ; legs reddish orange ; 
toes, webs, claws, and a streak up the front of the legs black. 

Living examples of this species have graced the gardens of 
the Zoological Society, from their formation to the present 
time; and also formed part of the extensive collection kept 
by King George the Fourth in the Great Park at Windsor. 
They bred there as freely as the Emus or any of the other 
animals of Australia, and are all descended from one pair 
originally brought to this country. (See a detailed account of 
the history of the genus Cereopsis, and of these birds, in the 
late E. T. Bennett's ' Gardens and Menagerie of the Zoologi- 
cal Society delineated,' Birds, p. 315.) 









* 
















* ; 






I ! 









J 



352 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 
















( 



■ ' 















I 






U 






; \\i 






i 






























i 






* 






; 
I l l 















I I 









• Genus ANSERANAS, Lesson. 

This genus, like that of Cereopsis, contains but a single 
species, and is peculiar to Australia. 



Sp. 579. 



ANSERANAS MELANOLEUCA. 

* 

Semipalmated Goose. 



Anas melanoleuca, Lath. Ind. Orn., Supp. p. lxix. 

Black and White Goose, Lath. Gen. Syn. Supp., vol. ii. p. 314. 

Anas semipalmata, Lath. Ind. Orn., Supp. p. lxix. 

Semipalmated Goose, Lath. Gen. Syn. Supp., vol. ii. p. 347, pi. 139 



M 



Mon 



Anseranas melanoleuca, List of Birds in Brit. Mus 
Newal-gang, Aborigines of New South Wales. 



Anseranas melanoleuca, Gould, Birds of Australia, foL, vol. vii. 

pi. 2. 

When New South Wales was first colonized, this fine 
species was very abundant on the Hawkesbury ; it is however 
no longer a denizen of that river, or perhaps of any of the 
streams within the colony, and thus affords another instance 
that the progress of civilization invariably leads to the gradual 
extirpation of the more conspicuous of the natural productions 

countries over which it extends its sway ; it is still, 



of the 



sway 
abundant as we progress northwards, and gradually 



'b 



chief 



becomes more numerous until we reach the rivers and 1; 
which empty themselves into Torres Straits ; here it 
in such countless multitudes that it forms one of th 
articles of the food of the Aborigines, and was of the utmost 
value to Leichardt and his party, during their adventurous 
journey from Moreton Bay to Port Essington, as shown 

in numerous parts of his interesting account of the expe- 
dition. So dense are the flocks that occur in the northern 
parts of the country, that the natives are enabled to procure 






















| t 


















^F^ ^Bl 



I 



















NATATORES. 



353 



numbers of the 




spearing; and, says Leichardt 



<( 



It 



seemed that they only spear them when flying, and always 
crouch down when they see a flight of them approaching ; the 
geese, however, know their enemies so well that they imme- 
diately turn upon seeing a native rise and put his spear into 
the throwing-stick : some of my companions asserted that 
they had often seen them hit their object at the almost incre- 
dible distance of two hundred yards;" an assertion which, 
from what I have myself witnessed, I can readily believe. 



It is well known th 



many of the 



birds exhibit 



very 



g 



conformations of the trachea, but 



no one 



species are the convolutions and 



of this organ mor 



remarkable than in the present bird. " The trachea," says 
Yarrell, in the fifteenth volume of the ' Linnean Transactions/ 
p. 383, " is situated on the outside of the pectoral muscle, 
under the skin, sufficiently raised under the wing that respi- 
ration would not be impeded when the bird rested with its 
breast on the ground, the parallel tubes being firmly attached 



both to the muscle 



d the skin by 



tissue. The 



clavicle of the right side of the bird is of the usual character, 
but that on the left is both shorter and wider, having an 
aperture about the middle, the sides diverging with a pro- 
jecting point on the inner side, to which the tube of the 
trachea is firmly attached, about two inches above the bone of 



divar 
the 1 



The trachea lying on the left side of the bird 



portion of the tube in its 



passa 




g 



the left branch of the furcula at a right angle, but b 



receives 



coming attached to this projection of the clavicle, 

from the point described its centrical direction into the body 

The whole length of the windpipe is four feet eight inches.' 



In young birds the trachea is not nearly so much convoluted 



This curious structure of the trachea has also been noticed and 
figured by Latham, on the 178th 




of his 



General 



History of Birds,' vol. x. p. 295, above quoted. The speci 



from the 



VOL. II. 



somewhat smaller than those from 

2 a 










i ! 












II! 






354 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 







the south coast, and have the knob on the bill rising higher on 
the forehead. 

Head, neck, wings, centre of the back, tail and thighs glossy 
greenish black, the remainder of the plumage white ; irides 
blackish brown ; bill reddish brown ; feet yellow. 



* ■ 



i : 


















! 










1 






























I IF 
























■ 



1 !' 



Genus CHLAMYDOCHEN, Bonaparte. 

The Australian bird referred to this genus is the only one 
of a form which is nearly allied to, but differs in several minor 
particulars from, Bernicla. 



Sp. 580. 



CHLAMYDOCHEN JUBATA 

Maned Goose. 



Anasjubata, Lath. Ind. Orn., Supp. p. Ixix. 

Hawkesbury Duck, Lath. Gen. Syn. Supp., vol. ii. p. 358, pi. in title 

page. 
Bernicla jubata, Steph. Cont. of Shaw's Gen. Zool., vol. xii. p. 63. 
Chlamydochen jubata, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de l'Acad. Sci., torn 

xliii. seances des 15 et 22 Sept. 1856. 
Mar -rang -an-ner, Aborigines of the lowland districts of Western Au 

stralia. 
Wood Duck, Colonists of New South Wales and Swan River. 



Bernicla jubata, Gould, Birds of Australia, foL, vol. vii. pi. 3. 
"During the period I had the privilege of observing the birds 

of Australia in a state of nature, no one of the natatorial forms 
interested me more than the present species. The result of 
my- observations enables me to state that it seldom, if ever, 
visits Tasmania or any of the islands in Bass's Straits j but 
that on the continent of Australia it is met with at Swan 
River in South Australia and on the east coast generally, and 
that its probable range extends across the country between 
the 25th and 30th degrees of south latitude. During the 
early days of the colony of New South Wales, it was very 





























: 















NATATORES. 



355 
















common on the rivers near Sydney, particularly on the 
Hawkesbury ; at the present time it is sometimes seen there, 
and is still numerous on the Hunter and other rivers 
towards the interior limits of the colony. In South Australia 



it is one of the commonest of the water birds, frequenting the 



brooks of the interior. No specimen has yet been procured 
at Port Essington, nor, as far as I am aware, on any part of 
the north coast. It presents a very pleasing appearance while 
flying up and down the brooks in flocks of from six to thirty 
in number, and is equally interesting when perched in small 
companies on the branches of fallen trees which have found a 
resting-place in the beds of the rivers and water-holes, or when 
sitting on the topmost branches of the high gum-trees in the 
midst of the woods. Its flesh is excellent, and not unfre- 
quently forms an acceptable repast for the settled colonist and 
the weary traveller. It frequently utters a loud barking note so 
unlike the voice of any other goose, as at once to excite the 
attention of any person who may be traversing the parts of 
the country it inhabits. I found it to be tolerably tame in 
disposition, which circumstance enabled me to procure nu- 
merous examples without difficulty. 

It usually breeds in the hollow parts of large trees, those 
chosen for the purpose being often situated in the bush far 
away from water. 

The food consists of grasses and aquatic plants, snails, and 
insects. 

The sexes vary considerably in size and in the beauty of 

r 

their plumage, the male far exceeding the female in both 
respects. 



The male has the head and neck rich brown : the length- 




ened plumes down the back of the neck black ; back, lesser 
wing-coverts, tertiaries and scapularies brownish grey ; the 
scapularies very broadly margined on their external webs, and 
very narrowly on their internal webs, with deep velvety black ; 
lower part of the back, rump, upper tail-coverts and tail deep 

2 a 2 



























' ' 



■ 










■ 



H 












I L 







■ 



) * 






t 












. 












t 


1 


■ 




1 


1 




* 




1 

1 II 1 

1 


1 








1 










'• 




4 











356 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



black 



greater wmg 



dark grey 



gely 



pped with 



pure white, the two colours separated by a narrow line of black 



spurious 



g 



and 



primaries very 



dark br 



deepening into black at their extremities ; 



daries or speculum rich glossy g 



with white, their 



webs g 



the 



)wn, the latter 

outer webs of the 

broadly margined 

ist two have their 

d their inner webs 



outer webs entirely glossy g 

grey, with the exception of a narrow margin of white ; breast 

feathers buffy 



each feather crossed 




two 



g 



bands of brown, the margin between the bands freckled with 
brown, and a spot of black at each end of the band nearest 
the tip, giving the whole a mottled appearance ; flanks silver- 
grey, delicately pencilled with fine wavy lines of black ; 
centre of the abdomen and under tail-coverts deep glossy 



bill olive-brown ; irides very dark b 



; g 



and 



black ; 

feet dark brown. 

The female has the head and neck pale brown, speckled 
with white on the sides of the face ; all the upper surface and 
wings greyish brown ; the scapularies stained with black on 
their outer webs ; lower part of the back black ; primaries 
brown ; secondaries and greater coverts tipped with white, the 
former with a trace of the glossy green so conspicuous in the 
male, at the base of the outer webs ; the markings of the 
breast are similar to those of the male, but they are larger 
and paler, and the feathers are destitute of the minute freckles 
on the margins of the feathers ; flanks light brown, crossed 

with bars of white freckled with brown ; centre of the abdo- 
men and under tail-coverts white. 

Although I have applied the trivial name of goose to this 
bird it has but little relationship to the typical member of the 
genus Anser, none of which, as stated in the introduction, 
exist in Australia, nor, so far as I am aware, in any of the 
Polynesian Islands, 






. 
















m 






















NATATORES. 



357 






I 










Genus NETTAPUS, Brandt. 

Of this genus of Pygmy Geese there are now at least four 
species known; one inhabiting Africa, one India, and two 
Australia. 



Sp. 581. NETTAPUS PULCHELLUS, Gould. 



Green Pygmy Goose. 



Nettapus 



Soc, part ix. p. 89 



Loon-byte, Aborigines of the northern coast of Australia. 
Little Goose, Residents at Port Essington. 



Nettapus pulchellus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 4 



The acquisition of 



tirely 



species of Nettap 



a 



generic name applied to these Pygmy Geese by M. Brandt of 
St. Petersburg, is not one of the least valuable results of the 



of 



ploration of the northern coast of Australia 



g 



beauty, the pr 



dependency 



species is 



g most completely, in the char 



interesting, 
and disposit 



as 



of some of its markings, the two previously known specie 



N. coromandelianus 



d N. 



adag 



which differ 



very considerably in these points. Although very goose- 
like in the form of its head, particularly in the elevation of 



the upper mandible, its largely webbed feet indicate a strictly 



quatic mode of life ; and in the notes accompanying the 
specimens shot at Port Essington by Gilbert, he states that he 
first saw a pair of these beautiful birds on the 16th of Januarv, 



quiet secluded lake 



des by 



both of these he succeeded in killing: at a 



& 



swimming on a 
very high grass : 
shot ; he further states that they are rare in the Peninsula, 
only one specimen having been procured prior to his obtain- 

tn extremely shy species, and at the 



ing these two. 



It 



ghtest 
ider w 



of 



ything near it, dives 



d 



remains 



found 



?r a long time. Having, on dissecting the female, 
arly developed egg in the ovarium, he was induced 




■ -' 







. 



358 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA 



I ■• '! 





























■ 













I 





















' 































■' r 















1 



' 






i 






seek for the nest, which he found built up in the long grass 



about a foot above the water, the bottom of the 



© 



surface ; it was composed of long dried grasses, slightly- 



hollowed for the reception of the egg 



the nest in this 



destitute of any kind of lining ; but one afterwards 



brought him by the 



■ly constructed with 



feathers and contained six eggs, which are white, one inch and 
seven-eighths long by one inch and three-eighths broad. 

Mr. Gregory informs me that during his expedition " this 
elegantly symmetrical waterfowl was only found on the Sher- 

It is remarkable for its tameness and for its light 



lock 

and sportive movements on the 

of eight or ten together 



It was seen in flights 



The male has the head brownish green, indistinctly barred 



with light brown ; beneath the eye 

neck, back and wings deep glossy g 



al spot of white 
primaries black 



outer webs of the secondaries snow-white ; feathers of the 
chest, sides and back of the neck white, with a number of 
greenish-black circles one within the other, so numerous that 



the white is nearly 



flanks similarly marked, but in them 



the circles, bars, and pencillings are broader and more apparent 



black glossed with g 



abdomen white ; under 



g 



black ; irides dark brown ; bill dark greenish grey ; 

d feet blackish brown, with a yellowish-white nail ; 

der mandible greenish grey, irregularly blotched with a 

• a 

lighter colour. 

The female resembles the male, but differs in having the 

crown, occiput and a stripe down the back of the neck deep 
brown ; in being destitute of the white spot beneath the eye ; 
in having the chin and upper part of the throat white, mottled 



with small markings of br 
more yellow at the base 



bill French grey, becoming 
mandible bluish grey ; tarsi 



fleshy white on the sides, back and front blackish brown ; feet 



dark brown. 

Total length 12 \ inches; bill 1|; 



g 



3 : tarsi 1 












i 



.! 



I 









1 













NATATORES 



359 



Sp. 582. NETTAPUS ALBIPENNIS, Gould. 

White-quilled Pygmy Goose. 

Nettapus albipennis, Gould Birds of Aus., fol. vol. i. Introd. p. xci. 

* 

Nettapus coromandelianus, Gould, Birds^ of Australia, fol., vol. vii. 
pi. 5. 

This species is nearly allied to the Nettapus coromandelianus 
of Java and India, from which it differs in being of a much 
larger size ; I have therefore named it Nettapus albipennis, a 
term applicable to both, but which, from the greater length of 
the primaries, and the consequent increased development of 
the white mark on those feathers of the Australian bird, will, I 
hope, not be deemed an inappropriate appellation. 

This elegant little Goose is tolerably abundant on the 
eastern portions of the Australian continent, inhabiting the 
estuaries and rivers between the ranges, and the coast from 
the Hunter to Moreton Bay, and in all probability far to 
the northward of these localities, though my knowledge of its 
range will not allow me to say such is the case, as it is one of 
the few birds of New South Wales which I had no opportu- 
nity of observing in a state of nature ; I am consequently 
unable to furnish any account of its habits and economy; 

# . _ 

neither, I regret to say, can I supply the deficiency from the 
notes of any other observer. 

The sexes are easily distinguished from each other by the 
greater size of the male, and by the far more brilliant colour- 
ing of his markings. 

Mr. Jerdon, speaking of the allied species, N. coroman- 
delianus, says, " it frequents weedy and grassy tanks in mo- 
derate or rather large flocks, flies with great rapidity, uttering 
a cackling call, and is, when undisturbed, very familiar and 
unwary. It breeds generally in the holes of trees, often at 
some distance from water, and lays eight or ten white eggs." 
This account I have no doubt is equally descriptive of the 
present species. 



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360 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA 



Genus TADORNA, Leach. 



The Australian Shieldrake does not, that I can perceive, 
differ sufficiently from the T. vulpanser of Europe to warrant 
its generic separation ; I have not, therefore, adopted Reichen- 
baeh's generic term of Radjah for this very delicately coloured 
bird. 



Sp. 583. 



TADORNA RADJAH 

Radjah Shieldrake. 



Anas radjah, Garnot, Voy. de la Coquille, p. 602. — Atlas to ditto, pi. 49. 
leucomelas, Garnot (Bonap.). 



Tadorna radjah, Eyton, Mon. of the Anat. ; p. 106. 
Radja eytoni, Reich. (Bonap.). 
White Duck, Residents at Port Essington. 
Co-mer-do, Aborigines of Port Essington. 



■ 

Tadorna radjah, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 8. 

* 

This beautiful Shieldrake is found in numerous flocks on 
all the lakes and swamps of the northern and eastern portions 
of Australia; like the other members of the genus, it fre- 
quently perches on trees and resorts to the hollow branches 
and boles for the purpose of breeding, the young being 
removed to the water by their parents immediately after they 
are hatched. When the rainy season has set in, and the 
water of the lakes has become too deep for them to reach the 
roots of a species of rush upon which they feed, they scatter 
over the face of the country, and are then to be seen wading 
through the mangrove bushes and over the soft mud left by 
the receding tide, the surface of which affords an abundant 
supply of food, consisting of crabs, mollusks, and other marine 

i 

animals. The sexes present no visible difference in their 
colour or markings, nor is there a sufficient difference in size 
to distinguish the male from the female. 

Head, neck, breast, abdomen, flanks, wing-coverts, inner 























NATATORES. 



361 



webs, and tips of the outer webs of the secondaries white ; 
band across the breast and upper part of the back rich deep 
chestnut, which 
black of the sc 



gradually passes 



the deep dull 



scapularies, tertiaries, back, rump, and tail; 
feathers of the centre of the back finely freckled with chestnut ; 



edges of tertiaries rich reddish chestnut 



g 



tip of each feather with a narrow irreg 



crossed near the 

line of black; speculum, or base of the 

secondaries, rich, shining, bronzy green, between which 



webs of the 

and 



the white tip is a broad 



spurious 



g black 



of dull black; primaries and 
part of the flanks and under 



tail-coverts dull black, freckled with white ; irides yellowish 



white 



bill and 



g 



eddish flesh 



with 



in some 



great specimens, a bluish ting 



Genus CASARCA, Bonaparte. 

The species of this section of the Anatidm are not very 



numerous ; one or two inhabit New Zealand and c 
tralia, which latter represents the C. rutila of Europ 



Aus 



Sp. 584. 



CASARCA TADORNOIDES. 

Chestnut-coloured Shieldrake 



New Holland 



Anas tadorno'ides, Jard. and Selb. 111. On., vol. ii. pi. 62. 



Mon 



Goo-ra-ga, Aborigines of the lowland districts of Western Australia 



Mountai 



Casarca tadornoides, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 7. 

•This fine Shieldrake is universally spread over all such 
parts of Tasmania, South and Western Australia, as 
localities suitable to its habits, but is nowhere very plentiful 
During my residence in Tasmania I saw several fresh speci 



present 



mens 



had been shot on the lakes of the 



of the 

































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362 



BIRDS OV AUSTRALIA. 



island, and ascertained that it had formerly resorted to the 



heads of the bays, and inlets of the 



Hobart 



Town. In South Australia it breeds annually at Gawler, on 



all the alluvial flats that abound 



that district: it is also 



said to deposit its eggs in the hollow spouts and boles of the 

lofty gum-trees. 

Strange informed me that the nest is formed of the down 
plucked by the bird from its own breast, that he has taken 
thirteen eggs from a single nest, and that their colour was 
similar to those of the Teal. It breeds early in the spring, 
which in Australia is at an opposite period of the year to the 
spring of the northern hemisphere. 

Its food consists of the small fish, Crustacea, mollusks, &c. 
which abound in the flats and swampy places. I have never 



received this species from New South Wales 



and much 



formation yet remains to be obtained respecting the range, 

etc., of this fine bird. 

The sexes may be distinguished by the smaller size of the 
female, as well as by the whole of her markings being less 
pure, and by the ring of white or mottled feathers which sur- 
round the base of the bill. 

Head and upper part of the neck shining dark green ; chest, 
lower part of the neck and upper part of the back pale chest- 



sty red, between which colour and the g 



of 



upper part of the neck is a ring of pure white ; upper and 
under surface black, finely freckled and waved with pale 

chestnut j upper and under tail-coverts and tail black, glossed 
with green ; wing-coverts pure white ; primaries dull black ; 
secondaries rich glossy green on their outer webs, black on the 



inner ; 



rich chestnut 



their 



and 



grey 



on 



their inner webs : irides dark brown ; bill black j legs greyish 



black. 
In size 

and is even 
jubatcc. 



* 

this species exceeds every other Australian Duck 
larger than the Maned Goose, Chlamydochei 






■ 











NATATORES. 



363 



Genus ANAS, Linnaeus. 

The well-known Mallard or Wild Duck of Europe is the 
type of this genus, of which there is a representative in every 
division of the globe, and at least two in Australia. 



Sp. 585. 



ANAS SUPERCILIOSA, Gmelin 
Australian Wild Duck. 



497. 



Anas superciliosa, Gmel. Syst. Nat., vol. i. p. 537* 

leucophrys, Forst. Drawings, No. 77. 

Supercilious Duck, Lath. Gen. Syn. Supp., vol. vi. p. 
Gwoom-nan-na, Aborigines of the lowland districts of Western Aus- 
tralia. 

Black Duck } Colonists of New South Wales and Tasmania, 

i 

He-turrera, Aborigines of New Zealand. 
Grey Buck, Colonists of Swan River. 



Anas superciliosa, Gould, Birds of Australia, foL, vol. vii. pi. 9. 

This species may be considered as the Australian repre- 
sentative of the Common Wild Duck (Anas boschas) of Europe. 
It enjoys a wide range of habitat, all the southern portion of 
the continent, Tasmania, and the Islands in Bass's Straits 
being alike favoured its presence; it also inhabits New 
Zealand; at least specimens from thence offer so slight a 
variation that I cannot consider them to be otherwise than 
identical. 

In habits, manners, and general economy the European 
and Australian species approximate most closely ; their flesh 
is similar in flavour, and the one is as highly esteemed and as 

■ 

much sought after for the table in Australia as the other is in 
Europe; as regards external appearance, however, no com- 
parison can be made between the two birds ; for, while the 
male of the Anas boschas during the greater part of the year 
is remarkable for the beauty of his plumage, the Anas super- 
ciliosa, being subject to but little periodical change, is gene- 








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364 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



rally clothed in a sombre-coloured dress ; neither do the sexes 
offer sufficient difference of colour by which the one may be 
distinguished from the other. Arms of the sea, rivers with 
sedgy banks, lagoons, and water-holes are its favourite places 

y variety of 

gty 



of 



I 



with it often and under 



circumstance, sometimes in flocks, at others i 
or in pairs, and not unfrequently in company with other 
species. The tameness of its disposition depends much upon 
whether the locality has or has not been frequented 
man ; in some of the rivers in Recherche Bay in Tasmania 
and others in the interior of the continent of Australia, 
which are rarely visited, it evinced much less shyness than 




when observed on the waters of the populated distr 

ywhere either a stationary species or subject 

In the choice of a breeding-pl 



is 



partial 




It 

very 
:e it 



appears to be influenced by circumstances, sometimes dep 



g 



ggs among long grass and sedges, and 



of a dark cream 



frequently resorting to hollow spouts and boles of trees for 
the same purpose. Nine eggs, taken in September from the 
hollow part of a tree at Moore's River in Western Australia, 

colour, two inches and a quarter long 
by one inch and five-eighths broad. 

Head very dark brown ; a narrow line 
broad stripe from the bill beneath the eye, and the throat 

buff; sides of the neck striated with buff and dark brown ; 
all the upper surface, wings, and tail rich brown ; the feathers 

narrowly margined with buffy brown; tips of the greater 



above the 



eye, a 



wing-coverts velvety black ; speculum rich deep glossy green, 
bounded posteriorly with velvety black ; under surface brown, 
each feather edged with pale brownish white ; bill light bluish 



lead- colour ; 
darker webs 



irides bright hazel ; legs yellowish brown, with 



The above is the description of a male; the female, 
before stated, is very similarly coloured. 



as 






NATATORES. 



Sp. 586. 



ANAS PUNCTATA, Cuvier. 
Australian Teal. 



Anas punctata, Cuv. 
Mareca castanea, Evton, Mon 



Mus 



// 



Gnwool-ye-nug-ger-rang, Aborigines of the lowland districts of West 

Australia. 

Teal, Colonists of Swan River. 



Anas punctata, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 11. 

The Anas punctata is universally diffused over the southern 
portion of Australia; it is also equally numerous 
parts of Tasmania. 



some 



It 



with during every month of the year 



not migratory, but may be met 



In 



I 



found its nest and 



gg 



The situation of one was rather 



flats 



hole near the top of a large tree growing on the 
Aberdeen on the Upper Hunter ; this occu 



red 



the month of October, and in the following December I raised 
a female from her nest among the herbage on Green Island in 
D Entrecasteaux's Channel. 



number 



In both instances the egg 



Like the Wild Duck and Teal of Europe, this bird inhabits 
rivers, brooks, lagoons, and ponds, both inland and near the 
sea. It is a true grass-feeder, and is one of the best Ducks 
for the table found in the country. When surprised it 



quickly, but 



less 



than the European Teal 



is, however, a bird of powerful flight. I frequently met 
with it in vast flocks while ascending the little-visited rivers 

* 

of the southern part of Tasmania, particularly those which 
empty themselves into Recherche Bay. In these retired 
and solitary retreats it is much more tame than in frequented 



d 



heads as we 

first view it 



failed to fly down the 



over our 



ascended; a measure which, although at the 
appears to be that of flying into the danger it 
ished to avoid, was in fact the readiest means of escaping ; 




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366 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



for had it taken the opposite 



would have required 



g 



surmount the impenetrable forest of high 
g perpendicularly from the water's edge, in which 



these short and sluggish rivers usually 



It 



very 



that the male is killed in the nuptial dress, and I am 



induced 



believe 



it is not assumed 



the bird is 



two or three years old ; after the breeding-season the sexes 
are alike in plumage, and for at least nine months of the year 
there is no difference in their outward appearance. 

The adult male in the spring of the year has the head and 
neck of a rich deep changeable bronzy green ; 



the whole of 



the upper surface rich brown, narrowly margined with 



reddish brown 



the under surface chestnut, with a round 



spot of black near the tip of each feather ; greater wing- 
coverts white; outer webs of the secondaries deep rich 



velvety black, two or three of the 



feathers margined 



with bronzy reflexions ; remainder of the wings brown ; tail 
dark brown ; on either side of the vent a patch of white j 
under tail-coverts black, freckled with tawny and white j bill 
bluish lead-colour; the nail and, the edges of the upper 
mandible black, and the under mandible crossed near the tip 
by a 



band of reddish flesh 



irides hazel : feet lead 



year 



, with the membranes of a somewhat darker hue. 
The female, the male in winter, and the young male of the 

have the head and neck minutely striated with brown 

: all the under surface brown, with a blotch 



and buffy white ; all the 

of black in the centre of each feather, and the upper surface 



g 



and tail similarly marked, but 



brilliant than in 



the male. 

There appear to be two very distinct races of this bird, one 

of which is much larger than the other ; so great in fact is the 

difference in this respect in specimens from various parts of 

the country, that the idea presents itself of their being really 

distinct species. The smaller race inhabits Tasmania, the 

larger the western and southern portions of Australia. 






■ 















NATATOltES. 



367 











| 






Genus STICTONETTA, Reichenback 



% 



The 



A very singular form, nearly allied to Chaulelasmus. 
only species of the genus is a very rare bird, and has only ye 
been seen on the western and southern coasts of Australia 



probably inhabits the distant 






Reichenbach has 



assigned it the above generic title, which I have much 
pleasure in adopting. 






Sp. 587. STICTONETTA NJEVOSA, Gould. 

Freckled Duck. 

■ 

Anas ncevosa, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part viii. p. 177. 
Stictonetta ncevosa, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de l'Acad. Sci., torn, xliii 

seances des 15 et 22 Sept. 1856. 
Freckled Duck, Colonists of Western Australia. 



Anas naevosa, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 10. 

Two specimens of this rare Duck are all that had come 
under my notice when my folio edition was completed ; several 
other examples have since been sent to Europe, all of which 
bore a general similitude. The native habitat of the species 
are the western and southern parts of Australia. A further 
knowledge of this bird would be highly interesting : and it 
would be especially desirable to know whether the plumage in 
which I have figured it be permanent, whether, like most 

9 

other members of its tribe, the bird undergoes seasonal 
changes, and also if the speculum of the wing be absent in 
the male as well as in the female. 

The stomach is very muscular, and those examnied con- 
tained small fish and minute shells. 

The whole of the plumage is dark brown, minutely freckled 
and spotted with irregular oblong marks of white in the 



direction of 



feathers ; the under surface the same, but 



o 



hter and tinged with buff 



& 



gs without a speculum 



♦ 



'T77 








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368 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



primaries plain brown ; irides light brown ; bill greenish 
grey, becoming much darker at the tip ; legs bluish green. 
Total length 17 inches ; bill 2 J ; wing 9 j tail 3 j tarsi 2. 



Genus SPATULA, Boie. 

The great continents of America, Africa, Asia, and Australia 



each inhabited by 



species of this restricted 



g 



The well-known Shoveller of the British Island 



the type of this form 



the members of which are true 



grass-feeding Ducks, and most of them are subi 



g 



The nuptial dress of the male is very beautiful 



Sp. 588. 



SPATULA RHYNCHOTIS 

Australian Shoveller. 



Anas rhynchotis, Lath. Ind. Orn., Supp. p. lxx. 

New Holland Shoveller, Lath. Gen. Syn. Supp. vol. ii. p. 359. 

Rhynchaspis rhynchotis, Steph. Cont. of Shaw's Gen. Zool., vol. xii. 

p. 123. 
Spatula rhynchotis, List of Birds in Brit. Mus. Coll., part iii. p. 140. 

B'dr-doo-ngob-ba, Aborigines of the lowland districts of Western Aus- 
tralia. 
Shovel-nosed Duck of the Colonists. 



Spatula rhynchotis, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 12. 

In size and structure, and particularly in the conformation 
of the bill, the Spatula rhynchotis closely assimilates to the 
Spatula clypeata of Europe and the Spatula variegata of New 
Zealand ; and the three species, whose distinctive characters 
are most plainly marked, are doubtless all characterized by 
a similarity of habits and actions. Although ranging widely 
from east to west, the habitat of this species, so far as is yet 
known, is confined to the southern portion of Australia. It 
is, however, more abundant in Tasmania and the islands in 
Bass's Straits. New South Wales, South Australia, and 






















NATATORES. 



369 






Swan River all come within the range of its habitat, but 



H 



much more rare in Western Australia than in any other of 
the countries I have enumerated. Freshwater rivers, creeks, 
marshes, lakes, and pools both near the coast and in the 
interior of the country are the situations in which the Au- 

is to be found. I frequently met with it 
in company with other common ducks of the country, all 
united in one flock. It feeds on j 



Shoveller 



mollusks, and 



quatic 




shelled 



if 



{A. 



superciliosa) ; 



water insects. Its flesh as an article of food is 
inferior to that of the Australian Wild Duck 

shot and 



quently 



by the settlers. Like most of 



frequently 

i tribe it 



assumes a 



richer dress at one season than at another, that of the spring 
or pairing-time being much the finest ; at other times the 
male is so much like the female, which undergoes no change 
of plumage, as scarcely to be distinguishable from her. 

I did not succeed in finding the breeding-places of this 
species, consequently I am unable to give any account of its 
incubation, nest, or eggs. 

The male has the crown of the head and the space surround- 
ing the base of the bill brownish black ; on either 



side of 



face between the bill and the eye a broad lunar-shaped line of 
white, bounded posteriorly by speckles of black ; head and 
neck grey, with greenish reflexions j all the under surface 
very dark chestnut-brown, each feather with a broad crescent- 
shaped mark of black at the tip, which is very conspicuous 
on the breast ; flanks rich chestnut, each feather crossed by 
several broad crescentic bands of black; back brownish 
black, the feathers of the upper part margined with greyish 
brown ; lesser wing-coverts and outer webs of the scapularies 
blue-grey, the inner webs of the latter black, with a distinct 



i of white in the direction of and next to the shaft 
g-coverts black, largely tipped with white : outei 



g 



j outer webs of 
the secondaries rich deep glossy green ; primaries very dark 

brown with lighter shafts ; under surface of the wing white ; 



vol. ir. 



2 B 



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370 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



a patch of white, freckled 



on either side of the 

black • under tail-coverts black, tinged with shining g 

dark brown : i 



ides brig 



yello 



bill dark purplish black 



the under mandible clouded with yellow j legs and feet yello 



The female has the head and neck buff, striated with dark 
brown, the latter colour predominating on the crown of the 
head and back of the neck ; all the upper surface dark brown, 



each feather margined with whitish brown ; the wings as in 
the male, but the colours and markings much less brilliant 
and decided : all the under surface mottled brown and buff. 



Sp. 589. 



SPATULA CLYPEATA. 

European Shoveller. 



Anas clypeata, Linn. Syst. Nat., torn. i. p. 200. 

rubens, Gmel. Edit. Linn. Syst. Nat., torn. i. p. 519. 



Clypeata macrorhynchos , platyrhynchos, pomarina, et brachyrhnychos, 

Brehm, Handb. der Naturg. aller Vog. Deutschl., pp. 876, 877, 

878, 879. 
Mynchaspis clypeata, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de l'Acad. Sci.,tom.xlm. 

seances des 15 et 22 Sept. 1856. 

Although I have no Australian skin of this species 
firm the following remarks, I must ask my 
readers both in Australia and Europe to take my word for 
the occasional appearance of the bird in Australia. When I 
visited New South Wales during the rainy season of 1839, 
all the depressed parts of the land were filled with water, and 
the lagoons here, there, and everywhere were tenanted by 

now and 



ornithological 



hundreds of Ducks of 



species, and every 



then one, two, or more beautifully plumaged Shovellers were 
seen among them ; but I did not succeed in shooting one of 
them, and must have left the matter in doubt as to the par- 
ticular species, if the late Mr. Coxen, of Yarrundi, had not had 
the skin of a splendid old male in his possession, which he 
had himself shot, and which, after a ca 



eful 



I 



found to be identical with the iSpaiula clypeata of Britain and 










I 



1 | 



















NATATORES. 



371 



the Europ 



Misfortune, I regret to say, attended 



Mr. Coxen's specimen ; for a day or two afterward 
some other kind of vermin entered the room in which it was 
kept, ate off its bill and legs, and so otherwise mutilated the 

it useless. The debris would still have been 



skin as to render it useless, 
saved had I not hoped and felt 



example 
realized 



with 



ed of obtaining other 



my gun ; this hope, however, was never 



To this subject, therefore, I recommend the attention of 

will doubtless meet with the bird 



those 



Australia, who 



some day when the country is subject to a partial inundation. 
That this species should extend its wanderings to Australia 
is not a matter of surprise, when we know that it has been 
found within the tropics, both in the Old and New Worlds. 

To enable my Australian readers to recognize the bird, I 
append a careful description of the two sexes, and of the male 
after the termination of the breeding-season. 

The male has the head and upper part of the neck deep 



& 



lossy green 
sides of the rump 



part of the neck, breast, scapularies, and 
ite ; back blackish brown, each feather 



margined with grey and tinged with g 



8 



5 and some of the scapularies greyish blue ; tips of the 
ger coverts white, forming a bar across the wing ; speculum 



rich g 



rich purplish black, with a streak of white 



down the centre; middle 



feathers brown, edged with 



white, outer ones entirely white ; upper and under 
black, tinged with green ; under si 
flanks and vent pale brown, crossed \ 
lines of black : bill blackish brown : I 




face reddish brown 



gs orange-red 



The female has the whole of the upper surface deep brown 
each feather barred and margined with white. 

After the breeding-season is over, the male has the cheeks 



sides of the neck, and thr 

brown : 



reddish 



peckled with 



crown of the head and nape of the neck black 



glossed with green, and each feather with 



paler marg 



2 



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372 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



back 



and scapulars deep brown, margined with pale yel 
lowish brown j breast mingled yellowish brown and white 
abdomen mingled yellow and orange-brown. 



Genus MALACORHYNCHUS, Swainson. 

A very delicate form, of which the single species, confined 
to Australia, is the only one known ; and in which a beautiful 
pink-colour, unusual in the plumage of birds, shows itself in 
the shape of a minute spot on each side of the head. 

■ 

Sp. 590. MALACORHYNCHUS MEMBRANACEUS. 

Pink-eyed Duck. 

Anas membranacea, Lath. Ind. Orn., Supp. p. lxix. 

fasciata, Shaw, Nat. Misc., pi. 697. 

New Holland Duck, Lath. Gen. Syn., Supp. vol. ii. p. 359. 
Membranaceous Duck, Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. x. p. 331. 
Rhynchaspis fasciata, Less. Traite d'Orn., p. 632. 

membranacea, Steph. Cont. of Shaw's Gen. Zool., vol. xii. p. 124. 

Malacorhynchus membranaceus, Swains. Class, of Birds, vol. ii. p. 366. 



fasciatus, Wagl. 

Wrongi, Aborigines of New South Wales. 

Wym-bin, Aborigines of Perth, Western Australia. 
Pink-eyed Duck, Colonists of Swan River. 



Malacorhynchus membranaceus, Gould, Birds of Australia, foL, 
vol. vi. pi. 13. 

Although this is by no means a common bird in any part 

of Australia that I have visited, it is very generally distributed 
over the southern portion of that country, and it also occa- 
sionally visits Tasmania; its occurrence there, however, is 
very irregular, the shortness or duration of the intervals 
being evidently influenced by some peculiarity of the season. 
Shallow freshwater lagoons seem to be its favourite places of 
resort ; hence, in New South Wales during the rainy season, 
when the flats and hollows are temporarily filled with water, 
giving life to myriads of the lower animals upon which this 













NATATORES 



373 



■ , 



Duck feeds, its presence may at all times be looked for, while 
on the other hand it is seldom to be met with during seasons 
of drought. As it has never yet been seen out of Australia, or 
even on the northern shores of that country, we may reasonably 
suppose that toward the interior it finds situations suited to 
its existence, and where it doubtless breeds ; but respecting 
this portion of its economy no particulars whatever have yet 

No one of the tribe that I have observed 

or graceful 



been ascertained 
in a state of 



pr 



a mor 



appearance than this little Duck, which 



elegant 




erally 



companies of from six to twenty in number, swimming 



over the placid 
shyne 



g 



and betraying so little fear 



d 



g 



the approach of man, as to present a sii 
contrast in this respect to the other members of the family 
Its flight is very powerful and swift. 

The sexes are so perfectly similar in plumage as not to be 
tainly distinguished ; but the male is generally the larger. 



Sides of the face and chin white 



becoming paler on the forehead 



greyish br 



space round the eye, and 



line from either eye uniting at the occiput and passing down 

mmediately beneath 



back of the neck brownish black 



this 



oblong mark of 



and behind the dark patch surrounding the eye 



pink 



back 



d 



tely freckled with black 



rump dark brown 



gs brown, very 



upp 



tail-coverts buffy white, with a broad stripe of dark brown 



white 



tip of each 



dark brown, slightly tipped 



sides of the head and neck, back of the neck, and 



the under surface brownish white, crossed by numerous dark 
brown fasciae, which are narrow on the sides of the head and 
neck, broad and distinct on the back of the neck, the breast 
and flanks, and nearly obliterated on the centre of the abdo- 
men; under tail-coverts deep buff; irides dark reddish brown • 



bill varies from greenish grey to bluish 



mandible white 



tip of 



d toes emerald-green in some speci 



mens and yellow-brown in others : webs dark bi 










374 



BIRDS Oi" AUSTRALIA. 



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Genus DENDROCYGNA, Swainson. 

This form is found in India, Africa, America, and Austra- 
lia ; the bird I have separated into a distinct genus under the 
appellation of Leptotarsis should be included in the genus, 
the difference which it presents being too slight to warrant 
its division therefrom. 



Sp. 591. DENDROCYGNA GOULDI, Bonaparte. 

Whistling Tree-Duck. 

Anas arcuata, Cuv., Horsf. Zool. Research, in Java. 
Dendrocygna arcuata. Swains. Class, of Birds, vol. ii. p. 365. 



, var. Gouldi, Bonap. Compt. Bend, de TAcad. Sci., torn 

xliii., seances des 15 et 22 Sept. 1856. 
En-jep-ere, Aborigines of Port Essington. 

Whistling Duck of the Colonists. 



Dendrocygna arcuata, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. 
pi. 14. 

I possess specimens of this fine Duck from Moreton Bay 
and from various parts of the north coast, on comparing which 
with others procured in Java I find that they are larger, and 
that they have the throat and fore-part of the neck of a less 
deeply tinted buff. These and other minor differences induced 
the late Prince Charles L. Bonaparte to give the Australian 
bird a new specific appellation, that of gouldi. I believe the 
Prince was right in considering it distinct from D. arcuata, 
and it would therefore be ungraceful in me not to accept the 
compliment from my distinguished coadjutor. 

During the months of September, October, November, and 
December the Whistling Duck assembles in vast flocks on the 
lakes around the settlement at Port Essington : the lagoons 
and water at that season of the year are so shallow, that this 
and many other species of the Duck tribe are enabled to 
wade among the herbage and procure an abundant supply of 












i 






■ 



' 










NATATORES 



375 







food. 



Gilbert states that, on the approach of man or the 
report of a gun, this and the other species in company with 
it rise altogether, but that each species separates itself into a 
distinct flock during the act of rising. While on the water 
it is quite silent, emitting no kind of noise ; but all the time 
it is on the wing it gives utterance to a peculiar whistle. 

The stomach is extremely muscular, and the food consists 
of small fish and aquatic plants. 

Some eggs brought to the settlement by the natives, and 
said to belong to this bird, were taken early in March, from 
nests built in long grass on the small islands adjacent to the 
harbour at Port Essington ; they are of a creamy white, one 

inch and seven-eighths long by one inch and a half in breadth. 
Crown of the head, line down the back of the neck, all the 
upper surface, wings and tail brownish black, each feather of 
the back broadly margined with deep buff; wing-coverts deep 
chestnut; chin white ; sides of the head buffy white ; breast 
deep buff, each feather crossed by a short bar of black ; abdo- 
men chestnut ; line down the centre of the abdomen and 
vent buff, mottled with black ; under tail-coverts white ; flank- 
feathers buffy white, margined on either side with two stripes, 

the inner one of which is brownish black and the outer chest- 
nut ; irides dark brown ; bill black ; tarsi greenish grey ; 
feet blackish grey. 



Sp. 592. DENDROCYGNA EYTONI, Gould. 

Eyton's Tree-Duck. 

Leptotarsis eytoni, Gould, MS. — Eyton's Mori, of Anat., p. 111. 

Dendrocygna eytoni, G. R. Gray, List of Birds in Brit. Mus. Coll., 

part iii. p. 132. 
Now-e-rdyen, Aborigines of Port Essington. 



Leptotarsis eytoni, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 15. 

* 

I gave the specific name of eytoni to this fine bird as a just 
tribute of respect to T. C. Eyton, Esq., a gentleman ardently 


















i 


















I 



I 






t 












1 



1 






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■ 



376 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



attached to the science of ornithology, and well known for his 
valuable ' Monograph of the Anatidae.' 

The true habitat of the species appears to be the north- 






west coast of Australia, where 



Capt 



Stokes informs 

country. 



me, " it is one of the commonest birds of the cou 
When on the wing it makes a peculiar whistling sound 



can be heard at a g 



di 



d which chang 



as 



it 



ghts into a sort of chatter. It perches on trees in a very 



clumsy manner 



ging and pitching to and fro 



We 



ubsequently often found it on the rivers of the north coast, 



but not within some miles of their mouths 



their 



upper 



from which it would appear that it inhabits 



reaches of the 



only 



we 



found it in the 



swamps 



The furthest south it was afterwards met with 



the Albert River, in the Gulf of Carpentaria, in lat. 18° S 



which 



g 



of six and a half degrees of latitude 



the northern p art of the 



Its 



under our notice, consequently we are not aware either of 



size 



colour of the 





s 



neither did 



see any young 



.ging 



from 



birds during the period of our observation, rai 
July to November." 

Mr. White, of Adelaide, in a letter to me, says, " I found a 
nest of this species in a log ; I am not sure of the number of 
eggs it lays, but the natives say about eight or ten, mostly in 
the sand-hills, at Cooper's Creek." 

To this I may add another note supplied by the late 



Mr. Elsey 



The Whistling Duck is very common, and 



i) 



frequently shot on lagoons in the interior, but is very wary on 
the river. Large V-shaped flights passed over our camp 
during March, from S.E. to N.W., in which direction the 
bird appears to have a favourite resort 

Crown of the head and back of the neck dark sandy brown ; 
sides of the head and neck and the breast fawn-colour ; throat 
and fore part of the neck brownish white; all the upper 
surface greyish olive-brown; rump and tail brownish black, 



I 
















\ 

















I 






NATATORES. 



377 



crossed by a band of buff; primaries and secondaries deep 
sandy red ; tertiaries dark brown ; across the upper part of 
the abdomen a broad band of purplish sandy red, each feather 
crossed by several narrow bands of black; feathers 



imme- 



diately before and beneath the insertion of the wing chestnut- 
red, crossed by several broad bars of black : flank-feathers 



buff, broadly and distinctly margined with black j lower part 
of the abdomen and under tail-coverts buffy white j feet flesh- 
colour; hides dark orange. 



Genus NYROCA, Fleming. 

The members of this genus are true diving Ducks, and 
obtain much of their food from the muddy bottoms of lakes 
and estuaries. 



Sp. 593 



NYROCA AUSTRALIS, Gould. 

White-eyed Duck. 



Nyroca australis, Gould. MSS. Eyton, Mon 



West 



Bud-bun-bun-loot, Aborigines of Port Essington. 
White-winqed Duck of the Colonists. 



Nyroca australis, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 16. 

This bird is frequently seen on tbe rivers in Tasmania, 

where I am certain that it breeds, the eggs in my own 

collection having been taken on the banks of the Derwent ; 

T also shot many individuals on the Upper Hunter in the 
autumn of 1839, and, from what I could learn from persons 
resident there, it visits those parts of New South Wales 

* 

when the lagoons are filled with water and food consequently 

abundant. The flats between Aberdeen and Scone 

tenanted 

the Pink-eyed Ducks and Shovellers. I have also a fine 

example killed by the late Commander Ince, R.N., near the 



were 




hundreds of these birds, in company with 










I 













t 












II 



ft 



























I ' 












< 



! 




378 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



settlement at Port Essington, where, however, it is very 



nally met with in Western Australia 



In this 



have another beautiful representative of a species 

•oca leucopJdhalmos , 



bird we 

common to Europe and India, the Ny 

both birds having white eyes and a similar style of plumage ; 

the Australian species differs, however, from its near ally in 

having a lighter-coloured plumage, and less of the chestnut 

hue ; it is also a much larger bird. Quiet reaches of rivers 

where the water runs slowly, bays and inlets of the sea and 

lagoons, are among its favourite places of resort. As may be 



pposed, it is a very 



diver, and 



g 



much of 



food beneath the surface of the water, readily descending to 
the bottom in search of small mollusca, crustaceans, insects, 

and aquatic plants. 

The only outward difference between the sexes consists in 
the female being rather smaller than the male, and somewhat 



across 



less bright in colour. 

The male has the general plumage chestnut-brown ; 
the breast a broad band of brownish white ; secondaries white 
at the base, forming a > conspicuous mark across the wing, 
and tipped with bronzy brown ; basal portion of the inner 
webs of the primaries and under tail-coverts white; bill 
black, with a band of blue-grey near the tip ; irides white ; 
fore part of the tarsi lead-colour ; hind part of the tarsi and 
the webs blackish brown. 

Why is it that so many of the Australian birds have white 

irides? What can be the object and intention of this de- 
parture from the normal rule ? The following are a few of 
the instances in which this peculiarity occurs: — the Crow, 
Grallina, and StrutMdea; the beautiful Marsh Gull, of the 
genus Ckroicocephalus ; and the present bird. 











t t 




H\ 



t- 



NATATORES. 



379 









Genus ERISMATURA, Bonaparte. 

The members of this genus, although but few in number 



are found 



Europe, Asia, Africa, America, and Australia 



They are especially adapted for immersion, and for obtaining 
their food from the bottom of the water rather than on its 

■ 

surface. 

In Bonaparte's Classification these birds are placed next to 
the Mergansers, and are raised to the rank of a family — JEris- 
maturidce — comprising the following genera : 



siornis, 



:nera : Biziura, Thalas 
Erismatura. I think, however, the Prince was 



not justified in uniting Merganetta with them, which, in my 

opinion, should be associated with the Mergansers. 



Sp. 594. 



ERISMATURA AUSTRALIS. 

Blue-billed Duck. 



* 

Oxyura australis, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part iv. p. 85. 
Erismatura australis, Eyton, Mon. of Anat., p. 172. 
Boud-doo, Aborigines of the lowland districts of Western Australia 
Blue-billed Duck of the Colonists. 



Erismatura australis, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 17. 

This bird would appear to be so limited in its habitat as to 
be confined to the colony of Western Australia ; at least up 
to this time it has not been discovered in any other part of 
the country. Gilbert's notes inform me that it is never seen 
in the rivers, either those communicating with the sea or 
those of the interior, and that it is only found on the lakes 
running parallel to and near the coast that are surrounded 
with high reeds and tea-trees. Its general habits resemble 
those of the Biziura lobata ; like that bird it possesses the 
power of remaining under water for a great length of time, 
and if closely hunted flaps along the surface without taking 
wing. Its voice is a peculiar inward tone, which the natives 
describe by saying, " it has no voice, but makes a noise with 
its heart. " 




































i 



^M 







































r 






i 



r 



P 



II 























380 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



It breeds in September and October, constructing a nest 
very like that of the Biziura lobata, and laying from two to 
nine or ten eggs, which are of a large size, and of a uniform 
bluish white, with a very rough surface ; two inches and five- 



eighths long by two inches broad. 

Its food consists of insects, shelled mollusks, fish, &c. 

The sexes differ very considerably in plumage. 

The male has the whole of the head, throat, and neck 
black ; chest, breast, back, and flanks rich chestnut ; wings 
and tail brownish black ; rump brownish black, freckled with 
brown ; belly and under tail-coverts brownish grey, obscurely 






marked 



sely with dark brown 



irides 



very 



dark 



brown ; bill light blue ; front and inner side of the tarsi and 
toes french-grey ; outside of tarsi and webs blackish grey. 
The female is the same size as the male, and has a plumage 



of uniform blackish br 



ansversely 



m 



with 



in- 



distinct zigzag lines and freckles of chestnut-brown, lighter 
and more greyish brown on the under surface; tail-feathers 



black ; bill dark olive- g 



the under mandible lighter than 



the upper ; irides, legs, and feet as in the male, but paler. 

I append a description of that portion of the economy of the 
North African species Erismatura leucocephala which relates 



to its nidification, because it serves 
that the eggs of the Australian bird 



confirm 
j from 



my 



in 



number, which is rendered remarkable by the circumstance of 
the nearly allied Biziura lobata being said to lay only two. 

" We found two nests of the White-headed Duck," says 
the Rev. H. B. Tristram, " among the sedge, containing, the 
one three, the other eight eggs. These are very large for the 







of the bird, almost perfectly elliptical in shape, of 



ex- 



tremely 



gh texture, unlike that of any other Duck, more 



resembling the egg of the Bean Goose, but far more coarsely 



grained and of a dull white 
the bird are more like the 



The habits and flight of 



of a Grebe than a Duck 



it 



often saves itself by diving, and remains under water for a 



considerable time." — Ibis, 1860, p. 163. 




! 



NATATORES. 



381 



t 






A g 



Genus BIZIURA, Leach. 

of which only a single species is known 



d 



which is singularly different from every other member of the 

; so different, in fact, that I question if this be its 
ituation ; and although, like Bonaparte, I have placed 



Anatidce 



it next 



JErismatura, I believe 



that form 



but 



seeming 



There is something about this extra- 



I 



ordinary bird which reminds 



of the Cormorants ; yet 



ornithologist would, I presume, associate it with those birds 



Like 



many other of these antipod 



for 



it must be 
era, and 



regarded as an anomaly. It is, in fact, a Biziura, 
nothing more, for it stands alone. 

The male has a lengthened, stiff, and leather-like appen- 
dage hanging from the under surface of the bill ; the female 
is similarly clothed, but is not above half the size of the male, 
and is destitute of the appendage which renders the male so 
conspicuous. 



Sp. 595. 



BIZIURA LOBATA 



Musk-Duck. 



M 



Lobated Duck, Lath. Gen. Syn. Supp., vol. ii. p. 349. 



Cont 



p. 222. 

Hydrobates 






Mon 



Bonap. Comp. Rend. 



de l'Acad. Sc, torn, xliii., seances des 15 et 22 Sept. 1856. 

r carunculata, Vieill. 2nde Edit, du Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. '. 
torn, v. p. 109. 



- 



Western 



Biziura lobata, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 18. 



This 



singular species is widely and very generally dis 
tributed over the whole of the southern countries of Austra 



lia, 



eluding Tasmania and the 



islands in Bass 





K 







. 



. HI 









382 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 




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II 



Straits. I have specimens in my collection from the extreme 
western, southern and eastern portions of the continent, which 
present no differences sufficiently marked to establish a second 
species. It frequents deep bays and inlets of the sea, the up- 
per part of rivers, lakes, and secluded pools. More than a 
a pair are rarely seen at one time ; often a solitary individual 
takes up its abode in some favourite pool, where it lives a 
life of complete seclusion, depending for its food and for its 
preservation from danger upon its powers of diving rather than 
upon those of flying. Although I have many times come 
suddenly upon this bird I could never force it to take wing, 



when I surprised 



at one of those small water-holes 



that are frequently met with in the beds of rivers during 
droughts, instead of attempting to escape by flight, it would 
immediately dive and remain submerged for a great length of 



merely 



g 



the surface at long intervals for the 



purpose of breathing. It would seem that neither large sheets 
of water nor reaches of rivers are necessary for the well-being 
of this species, for I often met with it on the smallest water- 
holes, where it lives a solitary life, and allows no other species 
to share with it the small amount of animal life which is 



agree 



with Lieut. Bre- 



found in such places ; and I quite 

ton, K.N., who says "he has never heard of any instance 

in which more than two were seen together. It is extremely 

difficult to shoot, on account of the readiness with which it 



dives : the 



the 



gg 



drawn, the bird is 



der 



* 

water. The chief food of the Musk-Duck is mussels, leeches 



and aquatic worms. 



In Western Australia it is said to 



leave the rivers in August, and to take up its abode for 
the purpose of breeding in the numerous lakes which 
stretch along parallel to the coast; a precaution probably 
taken for the better protection of the eggs, which would 
become an easy prey to the natives and colonists, were the 
task of incubation performed on the banks of the narrow 
rivers and pools ; besides which, the lakes not being subject to 












I 






NATATORES. 



383 



the sudden rising of the water which alway 



after rain, the birds 



other dang 



the 



thus secured from this among 



which is placed either on the stump 



of a low tree or on the bauk about two feet above the level of 
the water, is formed of dried reeds, and lined with feathers 
and down plucked by the bird from its own breast ; the eggs 
are of a large size, usually two in number and of a uniform 
pale olive, three inches long by two broad. 

The young birds if pursued while on the water mount on 
the back of their parent, who immediately dives with them 
to a place of safety; just as Grebes do when any danger 
threatens them. 

During the pairing- and breeding-season, which is in the 
months of September and October, this bird emits a strong 
musky odour, which is often perceptible long before it can be 
seen7 and this odour is retained for years afterwards in the 
skins of specimens killed during that particular season. 

Its note is extremely singular, resembling the sound caused 
by a large drop of water falling into a deep well ; or it may be 
imitated by the sudden opening of the lips. 

A most remarkable difference exists in the relative size of 
the sexes, the bulk and admeasurements of the female being 
not more than half of those of the male, who alone possesses 
the wattle under the throat, the use of which I could not detect. 

The male has the crown of the head and the back of the 
neck brownish black; the remainder of the upper surface, 
chest and flanks blackish brown, crossed by numerous narrow 
freckled bars of buffy white ; wings and tail blackish brown ; 
throat and under surface dark brown, each feather tipped with 



irides dark brown ; bill and lobe beneath 



m- 



pale buffy white ; I 

the chin greenish black ; legs and feet dark leaden grey 
side of the tarsi greenish grey. 

The female is similar in colour, but has all the markings 
lighter and less distinct, and is destitute of the lobe beneath 
the chin. 







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384 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



Family LARIM3. 

The Gulls are birds of the sea-shores rather than of the 
open ocean ; they are of a wandering disposition, and wing 
their way up and down the beach in search of stranded mol- 
lusks and garbage ; they also frequent oozy sand-flats where 
they obtain salt-water worms, &c. The family comprises 
numerous species, which have been divided into many genera 
in accordance with the differences in their structure, mode of 
life, and nidification. They have an elegant carriage, and 
swim well ; but their dense and soft plumage is unsuited to 
immersion, and consequently they seldom seek their food 
beneath the surface. At the breeding-season they are strictly 
regarious ; some construct their nests on rocks, while others 
assemble in vast multitudes and resort for this purpose to 
rivers and inland waters. Usually the sexes are alike in 

colour, but the whole of them are subject to seasonal changes 
of plumage ; some of the genera, as the black-headed Gulls 




are remarkable in this respect, for their heads are black 
during summer only. 



Genus LARUS, Linnaeus. 



The members of this genus are distributed over the sea- 
shores of every part of the globe. Only one species inhabits 
Australia, to which country it is confined, and where it repre- 
sents the Larus marinus of Europe and America. 

With reference to the species of this form, Macgillivray 
remarks, " They have a strong, buoyant flight, performed by 
slow beats of their long, extended, arched wings, walk and run 
with short steps, emit a loud, clear, or harsh cry, and a suc- 
cession of short sounds resembling a laugh. They perform a 
singular action with their feet upon the sands, patting them 
repeatedly with considerable celerity, and at the same time 
retiring backwards. Their food consists of fish, flesh of dead 

















NATATORJES. 



385 



birds, Crustacea, 
In stormy weather 



cetacea, and land quadrupeds, young t 
mollusks, asteria?, worms, and larvae, 
they often leave their ordinary haunts and proceed inland 
pick up the larvae and worms exposed by the plough or found 

pastures. In winter they congregate in large flocks at 






the mouths of rivers or on the 



ds. They 



by day 



either on shore or floating on the water, by night on the sands 
or rocks, or in the fields, either standing on one foot, 1 
tracted neck, or lying down. In the breeding-seas( 



generally keep in flocks, nestling 



season they 
rocks, headlands, or 



islands 



)* 



Sp. 596. 



LARUS PACIFICUS, Lath. 

Pacific Gull. 



Pacific 



pacifii 



s leucomelas, 
xxi. 509. 

■frontalis, Vi 
xxi. p. 505 ? 



d'Hist. Nat., torn 



georgii, King, Survey of the Intertropical Coast of Australia, vol 

ii. p. 423. 

Gabianus georgi, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de l'Acad. Sci., torn. xli. 
Nga-ga-la, Aborigines of the lowland districts of Western Australia. 
Larger Gull of the Colonists. 



Larus pacificus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 19. 

The Larus pacificus, which differs from every other species 
I am acquainted with in the deepened form of the bill and in 
the pearly whiteness of the irides, is abundantly dispersed 
over all the shores of Tasmania, the islands in Bass's Straits, 
and the southern parts of the Australian continent, 
high up the larger rivers and arms of the sea, but is never, so 
far as I am aware, seen in the interior of the country. It is 
very powerful on the wing, often mounts high in the air, and 



It ascends 



Vol 



after the manner of the Eagle ; in this par 



2 c 





;.. 



1 1 






- 






. * 



m 



























; 



: 

■ 


















I 












J 



■' 



i 









386 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



lar habit, and in its less laborious flight, it differs consider- 
ably from its prototype, the Larus marinus of Europe, while 
in most other parts of its economy it as closely assimilates to 



it. 



It traverses the line of coast in search of food, which con- 



sists of any stranded carrion or floating animal substance, to 
which living fish, crabs, mollusks, and even small quadrupeds 
are added whenever opportunities occur. 

This fine Gull breeds on most of the low islands round 
Tasmania ; the eggs, which are generally three in number, 
being usually placed on the bare ledges of rock, although not 
unfrequently on the shore of the projecting points of small 
islands. They are of a clear olive, marked all over with 
blotches of blackish and umber brown, some of the markings 
appearing as if beneath the surface of the shell ; they are two 
inches and five-eighths long by one inch and seven-eighths in 
breadth. 

When fully adult, the sexes 



the smaller 



of the female 



can only be distinguished by 
; the young, on the contrary, 

for at least two years, differ very considerably like the youthful 
birds of the other species of the genus ; 



the mottled brown 



of this 



gmg 



to the 



however, may frequently be seen gradually 
colouring of the adult, as may also the 



hues of the eye, bill, and legs, which gradually change with 
the plumage. 

Head, neck, upper part of the back, all the under surface, 
upper and under tail-coverts white ; back and wings dark slaty 
black, the secondaries largely tipped with white ; primaries 
black, the innermost slightly tipped with white ; tail white, the 
inner web of the outer feather and both webs of the remain- 
der crossed near the tip with a broad band of black ; irides 
pearl-white ; legs yellow ; claws black ; eyelash yellow ; bill 
orange stained with blood-red at the tip, in the midst of which 
in some specimens are a few blotches of black. 

The young have the general plumage brown, with lighter 
margins to the feathers, giving them a mottled appearance ; 



1 










NATATORES. 



387 



under tail-coverts nearly white ; primaries and tail blackish 

brown ; irides brown ; bill yellowish brown, deepening into 
black at the tip. 



I 


















Genus BRUCHIGAVIA, Bonaparte. 



A 



g 



of Gulls, the members of which 



delicate 



their structure, ele 
all their actions. 




int in their appearance, and graceful ir 
One species is said to inhabit Brazil 



member 



another Otaheiti, and two Australia. 

In habits, economy, and general appearance the 
of this genus are very similar to the Chroicoceplialus ridibundus 

of Europe, but at no season do they obtain any dark or black 
colouring on the head. 



Sp. 597. BRUCHIGAVIA JAMESONII. 

Silver Gull. 

ii 

Crimson-billed Gull, Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. x. p. 145. 
Larus jamesonii. Wils. 111. Zool.. nl. 23. 



scopulinus, Forst. Drawings, tab. 109, very young. 
nova-hollandia , Steph. Cont. of Shaw's Gen. Zool., vol. xiii. 



P 



196. 



Silver Gull, Ewing, List of Birds in Tasmanian Journal, vol. i. p. 58. 
Gelastes jamesoni, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de PAcad. Sci., torn. 41. 



gavia, sp. 3. 



Bruchi 



Little Gull of-the Colonists of ditto. 



W 



Xema j amesonii, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 20. 






This beautiful species of Gull is abundantly dispersed ov< 
the sea-shores of Tasmania and the southern coasts of Austral 



generally 



frequents the rivers and inland lakes wher 



they occur of any 



Like the other Brucltm 



of 



it frequently congregates in immense flocks, and 
many hundreds have been found breeding together, some- 

2 c 2 








































I 






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I 



I 






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' 



388 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



times on the marshes, at other times on the low small islands; 
a colony of this kind existed on Great Actaeon Island in 
D'Entrecasteaux's Channel when I visited it in 1838. 



The flight of this little Gnll 



ght and buoyant 



the 



extreme, it runs over the surface of the ground with lightness 
and great facility, and is altogether one of the most beautiful 
and fairy -like birds I have ever met with. 

Its nest is formed of a few rushes and grasses, and it lays 
four or five eggs, which differ considerably in colour, hardly 
any two being alike ; the ground colour varying from pale 



greenish to dark brownish 



in some instances slightly 



in others largely blotched and streaked with blackish brown ; 
they also vary in shape, some being shorter and thicker than 

others . 

The two sexes are precisely alike in colour, and may be thus 

described: 

Head, neck, all the under surface, spurious wing, rump, 

and tail white j back and wings delicate grey ; primaries 
white, eccentrically marked with black, largely on their inner 
and narrowly on their outer webs, and largely tipped with the 
same hue, with a slight fringe of white at the extremity ; eye- 
lash, bill, legs and feet deep blood-red ; nails black ; irides 
pearl-white. 



Sp. 598. BRUCHIGAVIA GOULDI, Bonaparte 

Gould's Silver Gull. 

Lams nova-hollandia, var., Blyth, Cat. of Birds in Mus-. , 



P 



289. 



Ga via jamesoni et gouldi, Bruch . 

Gelastes gouldi, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de VAcad. Sci., torn. xli. 

Bruchigavia gouldi, Bonap. Comp. Gen. Av., torn. ii. p. 228 ; Bruchi- 



gavia, sp 



2. 



This is the bird spoken of in the folio edition as being from 
Torres Straits, and larger in all its admeasurements than the 
B. jamesoni of the south coast. My view of its being speci- 





















NATATOHES. 



389 



fically distinct has been followed by Bonaparte in his 



subdivision of the Laridae 



has a white head and white eyes 



Like the B. jamesoni, this bird 



* 



Genus STERCORARIUS, Brisson. 



The seas of the higher latitudes of both the northern and 



southern hemisph 



frequented by parasitic Gulls, b 



they are more numerous in the former than the 

One species only of this form has been found in Australia 






Sp. 599. STERCORARIUS CATARRHACTES. 

Great Skua. 

Lotus catarrhactes , Linn. Sj'st. Nat., torn. i. p. 226. 



fi 



Ma 



Catharacta skua, Briinn. Orn. Boi\, no. 125. 

Cataractes vulgaris, Flem. Edinb. Phil. Journ., vol. i. p. 97. 

Catarractes skua, Steph. Cont. of Shaw's Gen. Zool., vol. xiii. p. 215. 

noster, Sibb. Scot. Illust., vol. ii. p. 20, pi. 14. fig. 1. 

Stercorarius catarrhactes, Gray, Gen. of Birds, vol. iii. p. 663; Ster* 

corarius, sp. 5. 

Lestris antarctica, Less. Traite d'Orn., p. 616. 

Megalestris catarractes, Bonap. Consp* Gen. A v., 1856, p. 206. 

Port Egmont Hen, Hawks. Voy., vol. ii. p. 283. 

Skua Gull of British Authors. 



Lestris catarractes, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 21. 

Every voyager to and from Australia, whether by the Cape 



of Good Hope or Cape Horn, will observe that in all the higher 



latitudes the ship will be frequently visited by solitary ex- 
amples of this Gull, which may be distinguished from the 
Albatroses and Petrels by its more flapping and heavier mode 
of flight, and by the white mark on the wing, which shows 
conspicuously when seen from beneath ; it appears, however, to 
be attracted to the ship more from curiosity than from aught 







1 

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i 



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I 






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390 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



else, for after passing round it two or three times, it wings its 
way again over the expansive ocean until lost to sight ; it is 
as often seen a thousand miles from land as it is near the 
coast, and I was for a long time surprised how a bird of this 
family could exist so far from any apparent means of repose, 
until the difficulty was at last solved by my seeing the bird 
settle on the masses of sea-weeds which here and there float 
about in all seas, and on which it rested with as much ease as 



if standing on a rock 



So little difference is observable be 



the examples of the Southern Ocean and those found 
own seas, that I have been compelled to consider them 



belong to the same species 



It 



nowhere more abun 



dant than off the coast of Tasmania, and may be frequently 
seen in Storm Bay at the mouth of the Derwent ; it may also 



be seen off New Zealand and 



latitudes round th 



globe ; and that it also visits higher latitudes is evidenced by 
a note with which I have been favoured by It. McCormick, 
Esq., Surgeon R.N., wherein he states that it is found as far 
south as Kerguelen's Land and Campbell Island. 

In a letter from Mr. Macgillivray, dated on board H.M.S. 
Rattlesnake, Feb. 6, 1848, that gentleman says, "The Sterco- 
rarius catarrhactes was noticed on various occasions in differ- 
ent parts of the South Indian Ocean ; while off the Cape of 
Good Hope a solitary individual and subsequently two in 



company were seen. 

ing over a bait towing 



I have observed it following and hover- 

and once saw it chase a Cape 

water. This bird seldom 



Petrel and force it to alight on the water, 
remained with us for more than half an hour at a time, dur- 
ing which it made a few circular flights about the ship." 

Captain E. W. Hutton in his notes on some of the birds 
inhabiting the Southern Ocean, published in the • Ibis ' for 
1865, p. 276, says: — "This bird does not skim over the 
water like the Petrels, but flies low with a heavy slow flap- 
ping of its roundish-looking wings, and is therefore easily re- 
cognized. It is rare at sea north of latitude 45° S., one 






LI 
















NATATORES. 



391 



individual only having come under my observation. 



It is, 



however, very numerous on the Prince Edward Islands and 
Kerguelen's Land, where it breeds on the low flats among 
moss and grass two or three feet high, making no nest, but 
laying three brown, dark-spotted eggs on the ground. The 



young birds are dark brown mottled with white. 



D ur in g 



the breeding- season the old birds are very fierce, flying 
round the head of an intruder, dashing every now and then 
at him, and making at the same time a curious croaking noise 

in their throats." 

According to Mr. Alfred Newton, the Great Skua is com- 
mon along the coasts of Iceland. Eaber says it is resident, 
and mentions four breeding-places in the south. As Dr. 

Kraper saw it in the north, it probably breeds there also. 

In Scandinavia it is accounted rare, and it is doubtful if it 
breeds there ; Mr. Newton does not recollect seeing it more 

than once during three voyages along the coast of Norway. 
It is not found in Spitzbergen, and although Von Baer in- 
cludes it among the birds of Nova Zembla, I am inclined to 
think he is in error. It is utterly unknown on the coasts of 
Siberia. - The Western or Californian coast is said to be its 
only habitat in America. In all the situations above-men- 
tioned, whether the bird be at sea or on the grass-covered 
bleak islands on which it breeds, its presence is soon made 
known by its daring spirit during the breeding-season ; it is 
said that every animal is savagely attacked that approaches too 
near its nest, and that the Eagle and the Great Gull speedily 
scurry away, should they have ventured within its precincts. 

I may mention that all the specimens from the southern 
hemisphere are rather darker in colour and somewhat larger 
in size than those from the northern. I observed no difference 
in the colouring of the sexes, which may be thus described : 

All the upper surface blackish brown, the feathers of the 
back with whitish shafts and tips ; all the under surface 
chocolate-brown ; base and shafts of the primaries white. 






r 






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I 



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392 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



Family STEENID^I. 

The members of this aerial group of sea-birds I consider to 
be deserving of a family designation, for the species are very 
numerous and constitute many g< 
over all the sea-girt lands of the 



They 



dispersed 



globe, and their range may 



therefore be said to be universal, or if there be any except 



ly near the poles. Australia is well represented 



group 



for 



arly twenty species pertain to h 



faun a 



d 



doubtless others will yet be discovered 



Genus SYLOCHELIDON, Brehm. 

A single species of this form inhabits Australia ; the same 
bird is also found in India and Europe. It is the largest and 
most powerful member of the family. 



Sp. 600. 



SYLOCHELIDON CASPIA 

Caspean Tern. 



Sterna tschegrava, Lepechin, Nov. Com. Pet., torn. xiv. p. 500. 
caspia, Pall. Nov. Com. Pet., torn. xiv. p. 582. 



Thalasseus caspius, Boie, Ibis, 1822, p. 563. 

Hydroprogne caspia, Kaup, Sk. Ent. Eur. Thierw., 1829, p. 91. 

Helopus caspiuSy Wagl. Isis, 1832, p. 1224. 

Sylochelidon caspia, Brehm. Handb. der Nat. Vog. Deutschl., p. 770. 

Sterna megarhynchos, Mey. Tasch. Deuts., torn. ii. p. 457. 

(Sylochelidon) strenuus, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part p. . 



Sylochelidon strenuus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. 
pi. 22. 

The Sylochelidon caspia frequents Southern Europe, India, 
Africa, and all the shores of Australia, but is perhaps more nu- 
merous on the islands in Bass's Straits and Tasmania than else- 
where. Its favourite breeding-places are the promontories of 
small islands, spits of land running out from the shores of 



: : : 













V I 

■ 



imt% 



?j-r 









NATATORES. 



893 



the mainland, extensive flats at the entrances of large rivers 
and all similar situations. I never observed it breeding in 
company, and seldom met with more than a pair on an 
island, unless it was one of considerable extent. It lays two 



eggs on the bare ground, often within a very short distance 



of the water's edge. No bird watches its eggs with greater 
assiduity, or defends them with greater courage, and woe 
betides the unlucky Gull or other natural enemy that may 
wander within the precincts of its breeding-place. I could 



always discover its eggs by the clamorous, cackling, screeching 



note which it constantly utters while flying over the place 
where they were deposited. The breeding-season comprises 

the months of August, September, and October, during 
which period the crown of the head is of a deep black hue, 
which gives place to a spotted appearance at other seasons. 
Both sexes are subject to precisely the same changes, and so 
much are they alike, that it is only by the somewhat smaller size 
of the female that they can be distinguished. The extensive 
development of the wings gives this fine species immense 
powers of flight ; it also plunges into the water with the 
greatest impetuosity, and brings from beneath the surface 

fishes of a very considerable size. 

The eggs are of a stone-colour, marked all over with large 
and small blotches of umber-brown, a great portion of which 
appear as if beneath the surface of the shell ; they are about 
two inches and five-eighths long by one inch and three- 
quarters broad. 

Forehead, crown, and nape deep glossy black ; back, wings, 



and tail pale ashy grey 



becoming lighter on 



the tail and 



deepening into dark grey on the primaries, the shafts of which 
are white ; remainder of the plumage pure white ; irides black ; 
bill scarlet, stained with yellow on the sides and tip. 

Total length 2 0| inches; bill 4 ; wing 1 6| ; tail 6^; tarsi 2. 









■ 



























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■ 









■ 












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394 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 






Genus THALASSEUS, Bote 



The members of this genus, the type of which is the T. 
cantiacus of the British Islands, are widely dispersed over most 
parts of the Old World, and three distinct species inhabit Au- 
stralia. 



Sp. 601. 



THALASSEUS CRISTATUS 
Torres' Straits' Tern. 



Caspian Tern, var. B., Lath. Gen. Syn., vol. vi. p. 351. 

Crested Tern, Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. x. p. 101. 

Sterna cristata, Steph. Cont. of Shaw's Gen. Zool., vol. xiii. p. 146. 

pelecano'ides, King's Survey of Intertropical Australia, vol. ii 



p. 422. 
velooo, Riipp. Atl. zu der Reise Nord. Afrika, pi. 13. 



Pelecanopus pelecano'ides, Wagl. 

pelecanoides, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de l'Acad. Sci., torn, xli 



Gerra-gerra, Aborigines of New South Wales. 

Kal-jeer-gang, Aborigines of the lowlands of Western Australia. 

Yellow-billed Tern of the Colonists. 



Thalasseus pelecanoides, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. 
pi. 23. 

This Tern I believe to be the bird described by Capt. King as 
Sterna pelecano'ides, as it is the only large species of the family 
inhabiting Torres' Straits. Captain King's descriptioi 
doubtless taken either from an immature bird or one : 
winter plumage. It differs from Thalasseus jpoliocercus 
much larger bill and in being a much stouter bird ; it is 



was 
the 



how 



most nearly allied. I have received specimens and egg 



from Port Essing 



and 



from Rottnest Island off the 



western coast of Australia, where Gilbert found the bird breed- 

m 

ing in great numbers on an isolated rock about two hundred 
yards from the mainland. It also attracted the notice of Mr. 
Macgillivray while cruising in Torres' Straits, and it is to 
him that I am indebted for the following information as to its 



g 



&c 



This handsome Tern, which supplies the pi 



\ 








* 



NATATORES. 



395 






of the Tltalasseus poliocercus upon the north-east coast, is ge- 
nerally distributed from Lizard Island to the southward as far 
northward as Bramble Quay, and is also to be found in En- 
deavour Straits. It was breeding on Lizard Island in the be- 
ginning of May, and on Raine's Island in June, when both 
eggs and young birds were procured ; in the latter locality 
I found it in three small parties upon a low ridge on one side 
of the island, depositing its single egg in a slight hollow 
scooped out of the ground in a bare smooth spot surrounded 
with herbage. This bird was so much more shy than the 
Sooty Tern and Noddy, that I was obliged to resort to the 
gun to procure specimens, as it would not allow me to 

approach sufficiently near to throw a short stick with effect. 
The eggs vary considerably in their markings ; the ground- 
colour is generally stone-grey, in some instances thickly 
speckled and blotched with black; others are marked with 
irregular waved streaks and minute spots of dark brown ; 
others again with scattered irregular streaks and spots of 
black ; some are thickly blotched, especially at the larger 
end, with reddish, and others are finely blotched and 
streaked with dark red on a light pinkish-grey ground ; they 
also vary somewhat in size, but they usually average two 
inches and three-eighths in length by one inch and a half in 
breadth." I possess one which differs both in size and 
colouring, being considerably larger and of a rich reddish 
buff, blotched all over, but particularly at the larger end, 
with brownish black, and others in which the streaks assume 
the appearance of Chinese characters. 

Crown of the head and occipital crest jet-black ; forehead, 

sides, and back of the neck, and all the under surface silky 
white ; back, wings, and tail dark grey, deepening into black 
on the edges and tips of the primaries, the shafts of. which as 
well as those of the tail are white ; bill pale greenish yellow; 
irides very dark brown; legs and feet black; soles dirty 
brownish yellow. 



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396 



BIRDS OF ATJSTEALIA. 



Young birds have the grey of the upper surface much paler, 
and the black of the head mottled with white. 



Sp. 602. THALASSEUS POLIOCERCUS, Gould. 

Bass's Straits' Tern. 

- 

Sterna poliocerca, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part v. p. 26. 
Sylochelidon poliocerca, List of Birds in Brit. Mus. Coll., part iii. p. 175 
Pelecanopus poliocercus, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de FAcad. Sci., torn. xli. 



Thalasseus poliocercus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii 
pi. 24. 

No species of Tern is so 
mania and New South Wales during the months of winter as 
the present bird, which then inhabits the bays and inlets of the 

ten to 



abundant on the shores of Tas 



fifty 



■ 

and ascends high up the rivers in flocks of from ten 
in number, for the purpose of securing the abundant 

supply of food afforded by the shoals of fish which there 
abound j at this season of the year the heads of all are mottled 
with black and white, a style of plumage which gives place 



to an intensely jet-black 



summer 



the only part of 



Australia from which I have received specimens in this 



state is Port Lincoln, where both 



and the egg 



procured, and sent to me by my late friend J. B. Harvey, Esq. 
This bird is about the size of, or perhaps rather larger 
than the Kentish Tern of England, and has many habits in 
common with that species. 

The eggs vary considerably in colour, some being of a stone- 
grey and others of a buffy hue, all more or less marked with 



and 



: g 



brown, the markings in some being larg 

blotches, in others streaks and spots, in others in the form of 

Chinese or Hindustanee characters ; 

and blotched all over with brown : 



others again are freckled 
ind some have the mark- 



ings so thick at the 1 
other and form a broad 



g 



end that they blend into each 



Crown of the head and occipital crest jet-black j forehead, 









NATATORES. 



397 



back of the neck, and all the under surface silky white ; back 



.gs, and tail grey ; secondaries tipped with white 



of the wings and tail \* 
and feet brownish black 



bill yellow ; irides black 



shafts 
5 legs 



Total length 1 71 inches ; bill 2f ; wingl2f ; tail 7; tarsi 1. 



Sp. 603 



THALASSEUS BENGALENSIS 



Indian Tern. 



Sterna media, Horsf. ? 
bengalensis, Less. 



affinis, Rupp. ? 

Thalasseus torresii, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., part x. p. 140. 
Pelecanopus torresi, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de FAcad. Sci., torn, xli 
Mair-id-bo, Aborigines of Port Essington. 





Thalasseus torresii, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 25. 

In the collection formed by Gilbert at Port Essington were 
two examples of this species, respecting which he says, " This 

is numerous on all the sandy points in the harbour 

the neighbouring islands ; 



bird 



round 



and 



and I am informed that it breeds on the sandy islands during 
the months of April and May : " beyond this I have no 
information to communicate, except that I possess examples 
killed at Madras, in the East Indies, whence I infer that its 



g 



ds from thence throughout the islands of the 



Eastern Archipelago to the northern coasts of Australia 



It 



is intimately allied to the Thalasse 

cercus, which it doubtless resembles 
nidification. 



and T.poh 




habits and 



The stomach is membranous, and the food consists of fish. 



The sexes are alike in plumag 
the head is black, while in winte 



summer the forepart of 



Forehead, sides of the face and neck, upper part of the 
back, and all the under surface silky white ; feathers of the 
crown and surrounding the eye white, with a minute spot of 



-J-ar3A ■? 



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898 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



black in the centre of each j occiput and back of the neck 
black ; back and wings deep grey ; tail grey ; primaries 
greyish black, broadly margined on their inner web with 

white; the shafts white; irides dark brown; bill ochre- 
yellow ; feet blackish grey. 

Total length 13 \ inches ; bill 2f ; wing 11 \ ; tail 4| ; tarsi 1. 



Genus STERNA, Linnaeus. 

The members of this genus, as now restricted, enjoy so 
wide a range over the seas of the globe, that they may be 
said to be universally dispersed : three species are found in 
Australia. 



Sp. 604. STERNA MELANORHYNCHA, Gould. * 

* 

Southern Tern. 

p 

Sterna velox, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part x. p. 139. 

(Thalassea) melanorhyncha , Bonap. Compt. Rend, de PAcad. Sci., 



torn. xli. 



Sterna melanorhyncha, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol, vol. vii. 
pi. 26. 

■ 

I killed several fine examples of this Tern off the coast of 
Tasmania, and within a few miles of Maria Island : all the 
specimens I procured had the forehead white, a character of 
plumage which I have since ascertained to be indicative of the 

winter dress. 

More recently I have received from Mr. Macgillivray spe- 
cimens which I consider to be fully adult examples of this 



bird in th 



summer or breeding-costume 



this state the 



crown of the head is wholly black, the bill in some specimens 
red, in others red stained with black on the upper mandible ; 
legs orange-red ; the upper and under surface dark blue-grey, 
except a line of snow-white running along the face, below the 
eye, and separating the grey of the throat from the jet-black 






■ 






'■' 



r\ 



NATATORES. 



399 



crown ; rump, upper tail-coverts, and 



white, except 



outer feathers of the latter, which are washed with grey. This 
bird nearly resembles the S. cassinii of the Falkland Islands ; 
but differs in its darker colouring and its much smaller size. 

The specific term melanorhynclia applied to the young of this 
species being a very inappropriate designation for a bird which 
in its adult state has a red bill, I would therefore suggest 
that it be called Sancti-pauli. 

An egg of this species, sent by Mr. Macgillivray from St. 
Paul's Island, is very like some of the dark varieties of the 
Common Tern of Britain (Sterna hirundo). The ground colour 
being olive-brown, blotched and marked all over, but parti- 
cularly at the larger end, with rich umber, intermingled with 
obscure markings of grey, the latter appearing as if beneath 

w 

the surface of the shell. The length is If inch, the breadth If. 

The sexes do not differ from each other in external appear- 
ance. 

Forehead, lores, sides of the neck, and all the under surface 
white ; space surrounding the eye, occiput, and back of the 
neck black ; all the upper surface, wings, and tail delicate 
grey ; outer web of the external quill greyish black ; shafts of 
all the primaries white ; irides blackish brown ; bill black. 



Total length 13 inches ; bill 2 1 



8 > 



wing 9 



3 . 

4 > 



tail 6^ ; 



tarsi 



3 

4' 



Sp. 605. 



STERNA GRACILIS, Gould. 

Graceful Tern. 



Sterna gracilis, Gould, Birds of Australia, foL, vol. vii. pi. 27. 

This graceful and elegant Tern was killed by Gilbert on 
the Houtmann's Abrolhos, off the western coast of Australia, 
where he states it is very numerous, continually moving about 
from one part of those islands to another, and settling during 
the heat of the day on the coral ridges in large flocks. He 
was informed that it breeds there in great numbers during 
the month of November, but he was unfortunately too late to 
















! 



• * 


















i > 




















1 

1 


* 






■ 



1 

■ 

1 


* 





400 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



procure its eggs, which are said to be two in number, and to 
be deposited on the ground in a slight hollow among the 
loose coral ridges. 

I regret to say that to this meagre account I have nothing 
to add, as I did not meet with the species myself, neither 
have I seen or received specimens from any other locality. 

Crown of the head and back of the neck rich deep black ; 



the upper surface, wings, and 



ery grey ; sides of 



the neck and all the under 



face white, with a blush of 



rose-colour on the breast and centre of the abdomen ; shafts 
of the primaries white, their outer webs slaty black, and a 
narrow stripe of dark slate-colour along the inner web close 
to the stem ; irides brownish red ; bill red ; feet orange-red ; 

nails black. 



Sp. 606. STERNA MELANAUCHEN, Temm 

Black-naped Tern. 

Sterna melanauchen, Temm. PI. Col., 427. 
sumatrana, Raff. 



Sternula melanauchen, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de FAcad. Sci., torn, xli 



Sterna melanauchen, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. 

pL 28. 



- 

Although this species has been figured by Temminck in 




his valuable "Planches Coloriees," it becomes necessary to 
include a description of it in the present work, in consequence 
of its being a frequent visitor to the northern shores of Au- 
stralia. Lesson states that it is found in the Celebes and on 
most of the Moluccas; and there is but little doubt that 
its range extends over the whole of the Indian Archipelago. 
It is about the size of the Common Tern {Sterna hirundo) of 
Europe, is one of the most beautiful species yet discovered, 
and is distinguished from all the other members of its genus 
by the snowy whiteness of its crown, and by the deep gorget- 
shaped black mark at the occiput. ^ 






I 












NATAT011ES. 



401 



" This beautiful bird," says Mr. Macgillivray, " is very loca 
in its breeding-places, the only one known to me being on< 
of the ' three sand-banks ' near Sir Charles Hardy's Islands 
The eggs are two in number, deposited in a slight hollow ii 



the sand 

sand-bank 

Endeavoui 



from 



I have seen this bird on 

Solitary Island 
Straits, but was unable to procure 



any of the 



teighbouring 
Cape York, and in 



a specimen 



mentioned localities, on account of 
is one of the most noisy of the 



It 



its excessive shyness. 

Terns, and I generally saw it in small parties of half-a-dozen 



thereabout 



The fully-fledged young of the year differs 
from the adult in having the black on the head dark brown 

mottled with white, and the whole of the upper surface and 
wings variegated with dark brownish grey." 

According to Mr. Jerdon, the range of the Sterna melan- 

to the 
N icobar 



auchen extends throughout the Malayan Peninsula 
Bay of Bengal, and 



said that it breeds 



Islands 



The plumage of the young bird being mixed with blackish 
brown above shows, says Mr. Blyth, an affinity to the members 
of the genus Onychoprion. 

So far as I have been able to ascertain, there appears to be 



no outward difference in the 



I 



never seen ex- 



amples in any other than the adult plumage here represented 
but, judging from analogy, we may reasonably infer that this 
species undergoes changes similar to those of the other mem- 
bers of the family, and consequently that at some seasons of 
the year the black mark at 



the 



others 



put 



brilliant 



Crown of the head, neck, and under surface white, with 



faint tinge of 
shaped mark 



breast j lores and a gorget- 
g immediately behind the eye and 



spreading over the nape black; upper surface, wings, and 
tail delicate silvery grey, with white shafts ; outer web of 
external primary black ; bill black : feet brownish black. 



VOL. II. 



2 












rj 




■ 

































I 






402 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



Genus STERNULA, Bote. 

Europe and Australia are both tenanted by Little Terns, the 
specific distinctness of which cannot be questioned. They are 
very fairy-like birds, and differ somewhat in their habits from 
the true Terns. 



Sp. 607. 



STERNULA NEREIS, Gould. 

* 

Little Tern. 



Sternula nereis, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., part x. p. 140 



Western 



Sternula nereis, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 29. 



Little Tern inhabits 

3 Straits, whence its 

I 



This delicately coloured and elegant 
many of the low sandy islands in Bass' 
range extends along the south coast to Western Australia 
observed several pairs on the small island opposite the settle- 
ment on Elinder's Island, where they appeared to be breeding. 
It would seem, however, to be much more numerous on the 
western coast, and during the month of December cong 
gates in immense flocks on Rottnest and Garden Islands. 



makes no nest, but lay 



gg 



dep 



It 

the 



d or shing 



Like that of other Terns, the food of this 



ies principally consists of the smaller oceanic fishes, which 
ptures with apparent ease, plunging down into th 



from a considerable height with such 
sly misses the object 



g aim that 



The Sternula nereis is a beautiful representative in the 



southern 



of the Little Tern of the European 



the 



habits, actions, and economy of both being precisely 



The eggs are two in number, of a pale stone-colour, in 
ne instances marked all over, but more thickly at the larger 



end, with dark umber- br 
with the same colour: 



others very 




ly blotched 



they are one inch and thr 



by seven-eighths broad 






















« 






NATATORES. 



403 



Crown of the head, back of 



d and 



ipot before the eye black ; forehead white ; back and wing 



delicate silvery grey 



web of the external primary dark 



grey at the base, gradually passing into light grey at tr 



all the 



der surface, rump, and tail 



pur 



white; irides 



black ; bill, tongue, and feet rich orange yellow 



Total length 10^ inches : bill If ; wins 7* : tail 4 



Genus GELOCHELIDON, Brehm. 

The Gull-billed Tern of the British Islands (Gelochelidon 



lalica) 



3 a typical example of this genus. The form 
America, and in Australia. 



Sp. 608. GELOCHELIDON MACROTARSA, Gould. 

Long-legged Tern. 

Sterna macrotarsa, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part v. p. 26. 



Gelochelidon macrotarsa, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., Supp., pi. 

Many years have elapsed since a small collection of Au- 
stralian birds was sent to the Council of King's College, 
London, as a donation to their museum. In this collection 
was a fine species of Tern, which proved to be new to science, 
and of which I published, in 1837, a full description, together 
with its admeasurements, under the name of Sterna macro- 
tarsa. In the interval between 1837 and 1865, I have only 



seen two other 



pies 



evident, therefore, that 



bird is extremely rare, or that no collector has visited its true 
habitat. One of the two specimens referred to was procured 

by the late Mr. Elsey on the Victoria River in North-western 



Australia, and 



the British Museum : the 



obtained at Moreton Bay. The Gelochelidon macrotarsa 



is 



considerably 



its admeasurements than the Gull 



billed Tern of Europe, to which species it is nearly allied, and 

it is evidently the representative on the Australian 



of which 



2 









■ 



I At. 




















> 






I 



i 















I 






404 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



continent. One of the principal features which distinguishes 



the Australian bird from 



northern representativ 



light and silvery coloured back and wings; it has also a 



and 



g 



much stouter and longer bill, as well as longer 

legs. 

I have at this moment before me, for the purpose of com- 
parison, beautiful skins of the G. anglica, collected by Osbert 



Salvin, Esq 



Al 



b 



one from the continent of India 



and another from Java : all these are as nearly alike as possi- 

: it is evident, therefore 



ble 



and admeasurements 



that the European and Indian birds are of the same 



In summer the crown of the head and back of the neck 



are 



black 



all the upper surface and primaries are light 



hite 



d 



silvery grey ; the remainder of the plumage is \ 
the bill and feet are black. 

In winter the black colouring of the head probably dis- 
appears and is replaced by white. 

Total length 17 inches ; bill %\ ; wing 13| ; tail 6 ; tarsi If. 



Genus GYGIS, Wagler. 

One species of this genus of Terns is found in Australia 
Little is known respecting it or its allies, all of which frequent 



the South Indian Ocean and the seas of Polynesia and 
Australia. 

Mr. G. R. Gray remarks, in his * Catalogue of the Birds of 
the Tropical Islands of the Pacific Ocean in the Collection of 
theBritish Museum,' that "the late Prince Bonaparte gives three 
species of this form in the ' Comptes Eendus de l'Academie 
des Sciences' for 1856, p. 773, viz. Gygisalba, Sparrm., G. Can- 



dida, Eorst., and G. napoleonis, Pr. B 
with any characters 



; but I have not met 
by which he distinguishes them from 



e another." 

The birds of this genus appear to deposit their single egg 

the branches of trees. 












f 

I 

■ 

I 




, 






NATATORES. 



405 



^ 












Sp. 609. GYGIS CANDIDA 

White Tern. 

Sterna Candida, Forst. Descrip. &c, p. 179. 

alba, Lath. Ind. Orn., vol. ii. p. 808 ? 

White Tern, Lath. Gen. Syn., vol. vi. p. 363. 
Gyqis Candida. Wad. 



also 



Gygis Candida, Gould, Birds of Australia, foL, vol. vii. pi. 30 

This lovely Tern visits the whole of the south-eastern i 
of Australia from Moreton Bay to Cape York, and is 
found on Norfolk Island, where it is said to breed. 

The late Mr. Cuming informed me that, on his visiting 
Elizabeth Island, in the South Seas, which is entirely destitute 
of inhabitants and of fresh water, he found this or an allied 
species breeding on a species of Pandanus, its 
being deposited on the horizontal branches in a 
which, although slight, was 



g 



m 



dep 



sufficient to 



position 



despite of the high winds and consequent oscillations to which 
it was subjected. Mr. Cuming added that the old birds 
were flying about in thousands, like swarms of bees, and 



that he noticed 



breeding on the same 



some of 



the young birds were hatched and covered with down, and 
being within reach, he took a few of them in his hand, and 
after examining replaced them on their dangerous resting- 
place, from which it appeared they occasionally fell down and 

were destroyed, as he observed several lying dead on the 
ground. 

A bird of this genus, and perhaps the same species, is also 
noticed in the ' Journal of Researches in Geology and Natural 
History ' of C. Darwin, Esq., who, when speaking of Keeling 
Island, says, " But there is one charming bird — a small and 
snow-white Tern which smoothly hovers at the distance of an 
arm's length from your head ■ its large black eye scanning 
with quiet curiosity your expression. Little imagination is 






id' 










, : 















\ 






I 



t 



1 


* 


i 

1 

- 

r 










J 





















, 



< 



I 






I 



: 



■ 
I 






I 



406 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



required to fancy that so light and delicate a body must be 
tenanted by some wandering fairy spirit." 

The sexes do not differ from each other in outward 

appearance. 

The entire plumage is snow-white ; bill dark blue at the 
base, black at the tip ; hides black ; feet orange. 



Genus HYDROCHELIDON, Bole. 



The members of the pr 



g 



inhabit inland 



and marshes, make their nests among the rushes, and lay 



gly-marked 



in which they differ from the other 



Terns, the generality of which dep 
shingles of the sea-shore. 



their 




g 



on 



the 



Sp. 610. HYDROCHELIDON LEUCOPAREIA 

Maes h -Tern. 

Sterna hybrida, Pall. Zoog. Rosso-Asiat, torn. ii. p. 338. 



a. Ma 
Meth 



leucogenys, Brehm. 



Viralva leucopareia, Steph. Cont. of Shaw's Gen. Zool. vol. xiii. p. 171. 
Hydrochelidon hybrida, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de l'Acad. Sci., torn. xli. 

fluviatilis, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., part x. p. 140. 



Hydrochelidon fluviatilis, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. 

pi. 31. 

The present bird, which I figured and described in the 

folio edition as Hydrochelidon fluviatilis, but which I now 
believe to be identical with H. leucopareia of Europe and 
India, is a denizen of inland waters rather than those of the 
sea-coast, and wherever lagoons of any extent have been dis- 
covered in the interior of Australia, it has been found enliven- 
ing the scene. I frequently observed it in the reaches of the 
rivers Mokai and Namoi, and both Sturt and Hume mention 


















NATATORES. 



407 



| 



frequenting many parts of the country visited by 



I have 



specimens from Swan River 



evident 



therefore, that it has a wide range of habitat. Its chief food 



of aquatic 



and 



fish, which it procur 



after 



isual manner of the Marsh Terns, by hunting 
g care over the surface of the water. 



The breeding-place of this species in Australia has not been 
discovered, but in its nidification it doubtless closely resembles 
its congeners, which we know breed among the sedgy herbage, 

making a nest just above the surface of the water. 

" This Tern," says Mr. Jerdon, " is exceedingly abundant 
in India, frequenting marshes, tanks, and rivers, usually prey- 
ing on aquatic food, not unfrequently hunting over 



beds of reeds, and marshy ground, where 



pt 



fields 



rass- 




hoppers, caterpillars, and other 



In some parts of 



country it roosts during the night on thick beds of 



gregating in vast numb 
nearly dark, it may be 
excited manner over tin 



for some time after sunset 

* 

flying in scattered flocks in 



face of the 



but I do 



not think that the birds I saw thus occupied were at the same 
time engaged in capturing food. It breeds in large churrs 
on the Ganges, and probably on most other large rivers. It 

* 

is found over the greater part of Europe, temperate Asia, and 

Africa. 

Little or no difference is observable in the sexes. 

Forehead, crown, and nape deep black ; all the upper 
surface, wings, and tail light grey ; sides of the face and the 
throat white, gradually deepening into grey on the chest, and 
the grey into black on the abdomen and flanks ; under surface 
of the shoulder and under tail-coverts white ; irides black ; 
bill blood-red ; feet light blood-red. 



Total length 9} inches ; bill 1 



g8 



3 . 

4 > 



tail 81 ; 



tarsi 



8 



















I I I 



■ I I 












i 









,: ' 



I 












I 






fc t 



408 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA 



Genus ONYCHOPRION, Wagler. 

Of this form two species frequent the Australian 



and 



of 



them appears to be universally distributed over the 



Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans 



Sp. 611. ONYCHOPRION FULIGINOSA 

Sooty Tern. 

* 

Sterna serrata, Forst. Descr. Anim., p. 276. 

guttata, Forst. lb., p. 211. 



fi 



Onychoprion serrata, Wa, 
Haliplana fuliginosa, Wa: 



serrata, Bonap., Compt. Rend, de PAcad. Sci., 1856, p. 772. 

Sterna oahuensis, Bloxh. Voy. of Blonde, p. 291. 

(Onychoprion) serrata, G. ft. Gray, Cat. of Birds of Trop. Isl. of 

Pac. Ocean in Coll. Brit. Mus., p. 59. 



Mamm 



Haliph 



Onychoprion fuliginosus ?, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol 




This common species appears to be very generally distri 



buted over the seas 



ding Australia, but to be 



the southern than on the western, northern, and 



eastern coasts. It is now supposed 

shores of the 



which frequents the shores 

Atlantic, both north and south, and that exampl 



ie same species 
washed by the 

!S from 



North America 



d Australia 



not different : if this be 



the case, no bird of its family enjoys so wide a rang 



globe 



Gilbert found it breeding on the Houtmann's Abrolhos 



December, and Mr. Macgillivray in Torres Straits in May 



and June 



Gilbert states that it " lays a single egg on the bare ground 
beneath the thick scrub ; and that the egg varies considerably 












I 
( 
I 



I 













NATATORES. 



409 



in colour. The breeding-season is at its height in December, 
but a few may be found performing the task of incubation in 
January. So reluctant is it to leave its egg or young, that it 

suffer itself to be taken by the hand rather than desert 



It 



them. For several weeks after the young are able to fly 
bird may be seen in vast flocks soaring at a great height 
is an extremely noisy species, and may be heard on the wing 
during all hours of the night." 

" The Onychoprion fuliginosa" says Mr. Macgillivray, " was 
found breeding in prodigious numbers on Raine's Islet and 
Bramble Key in May and June, associated with Noddies 
(Anoics stolidus). The Sooty Tern deposits its solitary egg in 

a slight excavation in the sand, without lining of any kind. 
The egg varies considerably in its markings. After the party 
employed in building the beacon on Raine's Islet had been 
on shore about ten days, and the Terns had had their nests 
robbed repeatedly, the birds collected into two or three large 
flocks, and laid their eggs in company, shifting their quarters 
repeatedly on finding themselves continually molested; for 
new-laid eggs were much in request among people who had 
for some time been living upon ship's fare. By sitting down 



and keeping quiet I have seen the poor birds dropping their 



eggs within two yards of where I sat, apparently glad to get 
rid of their burthen at all hazards. During the month of 



June 1844 about 1500 dozen of egg 



procured by the 



party upon the island. About the 20th of June nearly on 
half of the young birds (hatched twenty -five or thirty days pr 



iously) 



able to fly, and many 



quite strong upon 



the wing. Great numbers of young birds unable to fly 



killed for the pot 



of twenty-two men the 



'6 



number consumed daily in June was fifty, and supposing 



ty in number) to have consumed as many 



convicts (twei 

3000 young birds must have been killed 



yet 



I could observe no sensible diminution of the number of 



young 



cumstance which 



give the reader some idea 













01 1 







I 



1 1 






t 


















I 












I 









■■ I 



I 



I 



410 



BIRDS Of AUSTRALIA. 






of the vast numbers of birds of this species congregated on a 
mere vegetated sand-bank like Raine's Islet." 



Audubon, in the fifth volume of his ' Ornithological Bio- 
graphy/ states that on the Tortugas this species lays three 
eggs, and not one only as in Australia ; and I may quote the 
following passage, in confirmation of Mr. Macgillivray, of the 
immense numbers of these birds which assemble together for 
the purpose of breeding : — " At Bird Key we found a party 
of Spanish eggers from Havannah. They had already laid in 
a cargo of about eight tons of the eggs of the Tern and the 



Noddy. 



• 

On asking them how many they supposed they had, 



they answered that they never counted them, even while 
selling them, but disposed of them at twenty-five cents per 
gallon, and that one turn to market sometimes produced 
upwards of two hundred dollars, while it took only a week to 
sail backwards and forwards and collect their cargo. Some 
eggers who now and then come from Key West sell their 

eggs at twelve and a half cents the dozen. Wherever these 



eggs are carried they must be disposed of and eaten, for they 



become putrid in a few weeks." 
The 




round-colour of the eggs is a creamy white, in some 
very pale, in others very rich, blotched all over with irregular- 
sized markings of chestnut and dark brown, the latter hue 
appearing as if beneath the surface ; the lighter-coloured eggs 
have these markings much smaller and more thinly dispersed, 
except at the larger end ; they are two inches and an eighth 
long by one inch and a half in breadth. 

The colouring of this species is as follows : 

Lores, crown of the head, and back of the neck deep black ; 
all the upper surface, wings, and tail deep sooty black ; the 
apical half, the shaft, and the outer web of the lateral tail- 
feathers white ; a V-shaped mark on the forehead and all the 
under surface of the wings and body white, passing into grey 
on the lower part of the abdomen and under tail-coverts ; 
irides dark brown ; bill black : feet brownish black. 






I 












NATATOEES. 



411 



Sp. 612. ONYCHOPRION PANAYENSIS. 

/ 

Panayan Tern. 

+ ■ 

Sterna panayensis, Gmel. Edit. Linn. Syst. Nat., torn. i. p. 607. 

panaya, Lath. Ind. Orn., vol. ii. p. 808. 

UHirondelle de mer de Panay, Sonn. Voy., p. 125. pi. 84. 

i 

Panayan Tern, Lath. Gen. Syn., vol. vii. p. 363. 
Haliplanapanayensis,Bon&p.Compt.J{en&. de PAcad.Sci.,1856, p. 772 



Onychoprion panaya, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 33. 

This bird visits many parts of the coasts of Australia, 
particularly those of the western side of the continent. It 

was found on the Houtmann's Abrolhos by Gilbert, who 
remarks that it commences breeding in the latter part of 
November, and that during the period of incubation it differs 
in its habits from all the other allied species, inasmuch as, 
instead of being gregarious, each pair remains solitary, and 
its single egg is deposited in the fissure of a rock close to the 
water's edge without any nest or flooring ; he further states 
that it was very seldom seen at Port Essington, but that a 
great number flew around the ship during his voyage from 
thence to Singapore. Mr. Macgillivray informs me that he 

first met with it on Solitary Island, near Cape York ; subse- 

- 

quently it was found on Raine's Islet by the late Commander 
Ince, R.N., and by himself on Bramble Quay, in Torres 
Straits, where it was breeding in small numbers, and where 
it deposits its single egg in the holes of the loose friable coral 
sandstone ; and it was here, while turning over some of the 

shells of dead turtle which had been apparently arranged by 
the natives who occasionally visit the place, that he was 
surprised to find beneath them several of these pretty Terns 
sitting on their egg without any nest. The egg is so similar 
in colour to that of the Sooty Tern that the description of one 
will answer for both, but it is considerably smaller in size, 
the average measurement being one inch nine and a half lines 
long by one inch three and a half lines broad. 





















• 








• i 






■ 



w 









i; 












■ 






i-.i I 






l 





















4 









412 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



The stomach is membranous, and the food consists princi- 
pally of fish. 

Forehead, line over the eye, chin, and throat white ; lores, 
crown of the head, and nape black ; back, wings, and tail light 
sooty brown, the outer tail 



and 



on 



the 



web for 



-feather being white at the base 
two-third of its length ; edge of 
the shoulder and under surface of the wing white; under 
surface white, slightly washed with grey; irides blackish 
brown ; bill black ; legs and feet blackish green. 



Genus ANOUS, Leach. 



" The Noddies/' remarks Mr. Jerdon, " are well-known 

* 

oceanic birds, frequenting tropical and juxta-tropical seas. 
They differ from most Terns in their even or somewhat 
rounded tails ; and still more in the manner of their flight, 

which is steady and slow. They settle on the water when 
taking their food, which consists chiefly of mollusks and fatty 
matter ; and they are very silent birds. Sundevall, who noted 
these differences, states that in their mode of life they resem- 
ble Petrels rather than Terns.' ' 

Unlike other Terns which frequent the sea-shores and 
rivers, the Noddies frequent the wide ocean, far remote from 
land, and which, like the Petrels, they seldom quit, except at 
the breeding- season, when they congregate in vast multitudes 



on 



islands suited to the purpose. Great 



this kind are to be found in 



every 



nurseries of 

in the North 



Atlantic, one of the Tortugas, called Noddy Key, is a favourit 



and 



Bahama Islands are another 



the South 



Pacific and Indian Oceans, beside other situations, the Hout- 
mann's Abrolhos, off the western coast of Australia, and 



Straits 



resorted 



such 



on Bramble Key in Torres 

immense numbers that Mr. Gilbert was perfectly astonished 

at the multitudes with which he found himself surrounded, 

upon landing on those remote and little-explored islands. 






■ 

■ 

I 
1 





I 

I 












NATATORES 



413 



Sp. 613. 



ANOUS STOLIDUS 

Noddy Tern. 



Passer stultus, Ray, Syn. 154. 

Sterna stolida, Lath. Ind. Orn., vol. ii. p. 805. 

Gairafusca, Briss. Orn., torn. vi. p. 199. tab. 18. fig. 2. 

La Mouette brune, Buff. PL Enl., 997. 

Noddy Tern, Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. x. p. 104. 

Anous niger, Steph. Cont. of Shaw's Gen. Zool., vol. xiii. p. 140. pi. 17. 

Megalopterus stolidus, Boie. 

Le Noddi noir, Cuv. Regn. Anim., torn. i. p. 522. 

Anous stolidus, G. R. Gray, List of Gen. of Birds, 2nd Edit., p. 100. 

leucoceps, Swains. 



Anous stolidus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 34. 

If the present bird be identical with the Sterna stolida of 
the older writers, then the range of the species over the 
temperate and warmer parts of the ocean must be almost 
universal ; but it will be seen that although the Noddies of 
the northern and southern hemispheres are very much alike, 
considerable variation is found to exist in their modes of 
nidification and the season at which that duty is performed ; 
a difference is also found in the number and colouring of 
their eggs, those inhabiting the northern hemisphere being 
said to lay three, and those inhabiting the southern only one. 
Mr. Coues, after instituting a most careful and minute com- 
parison of the American and Pacific birds, is still undecided 
as to whether they are or are not different. " If," says he, 

" the Pacific bird be really distinct, it has probably yet to 
receive a name, for it is very different from the various spe- 

i 

cies of Anous mostly described by Mr. Gould. In that event 
it may be called Anous frater "■ ; but, rather than unnecessarily 
multiply the number of specific appellations, I prefer for the 
present at least to describe the Australian bird under the old 
name of stolidus. 

* 

" The Noddy and an allied species " {A. melanops), says 












■ 























I 









I 












414 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



Gilbert, " are extremely numerous on the Houtmann's Abrol- 
hos, where they breed in prodigious numbers. The present 



species lays its eggs in November and December, on a nest 



constructed of sea-weed, about six inches in diameter and 
varying in height from four to eight inches, but without 



anything like regularity of form; the top is nearly flat, 
there being but a very slight hollow to prevent their single 



egg from rolling off. The nests are so completely plastered 



with the excrement of the bird, that at first sight they ap- 
pear to be entirely formed of that material ; they are either 
placed on the ground in a clear open space, or on the tops of 
the thick scrub, over those of the Onychoprion fuliginosus, the 
two species incubating together with the most perfect har- 
mony, and the bushes presenting a mottled appearance from 
the great numbers of both species perched on the top : the 
male 0. fuliginosa sitting quite close to the nest of the 

Noddy, while its mate is beneath performing the duties of in- 
cubation. On walking among the nests I was surprised to 
observe the pertinacity with which the birds kept their post 5 
in fact they would not remove from off the egg or the young, 
but would suffer themselves to be trodden upon or taken off 
with the hand ; and so thickly were the nests placed, that it 
was no easy matter to avoid crushing either eggs or birds at 



every step. By the middle of January the eggs were nearly 



ready to hatch, and there would be an overwhelming increase 
of this species yearly but for the check which nature has pro- 
vided against it in the presence of a small lizard which is very 
abundant about their breeding-places, and which finds an easy 
prey in the young of this Noddy and of Onychoprion fuliyi- 

I am satisfied that not more than one out of every 

■ 

twenty birds hatched ever reaches maturity, or lives long enough 
to take wing ; besides which, great numbers of the old birds 
are constantly killed : these lizards do not eat the whole bird, 
but merely extract the brain and vertebral marrow ; the re- 
mainder is however soon cleared off by the Dermestes tarda- 



nosus. 









* . 




NATATORES. 



415 



rius t an 



which occurs in amazing numbers, and 



great deal of uneasiness and constant trouble to preser 






my collection from their repeated 



I did not ob 



the Noddy on any but the South Island. As it finds an 
abundant supply of food, consisting of small fish, small mol- 
lusca, medusae, cuttle-fish, &c, immediately outside the outer 

I never observed 

outer reef 



reef, it has no occasion to go far out to sea ; 

it feeding in the smooth quiet water between the 

and the islands." 



* 

" The large Noddy," says Mr. Macgillivray, " is abundantly 
distributed over Torres Straits, but I never met with it to the 
southward of Raine's Islet, on which, as at Bramble Key, it 
was found breeding in prodigious numbers. Unlike its con- 
stant associate, the Sooty Tern, it constructs a shallow nest of 



■g 



ged in a slovenly manner 



which are 



trewed about a handful of fragments of coral from the beach, 
shells, and occasionally portions of tortoise-shell and bones of 
turtle. The nest is sometimes placed upon the ground, but 
more usually upon tufts of grass and other herbage at about a 
foot from the ground." 

I here transcribe Audubon's account of the breeding of the 
true Anous stolidus, as it is not only interesting in itself, but 
when coupled with Gilbert's and Macgillivray' s observations 



Australian bird, may tend to show that in this 



m 



many other instances, birds inhabiting opposite sides of the 
equator have very similar habits; and whether identical or 
not, it is somewhat singular that the American Noddy should 
lay two eggs and the Australian but one. 



(C 



The Noddies 



}} 



say 



Audubon 



cc 



for 



g 



nests of 



twigs and dry grass, which they place on the bushes or low 
trees, but never on the ground. On visiting their island on 
the 11th of May 1832, I was surprised to see that many of 
them were repairing and augmenting nests that had remained 



throu 




the winter, while others were employed 



g 



and 



already sitting on their 










































I 









» ■ 












BIIIDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



eggs 



In a great many instances the repaired nests formed 
masses nearly two feet in height, and yet all of them had only 
a slight hollow for the eggs, broken shells of which were found 
among the entire ones, as if they had been purposely placed 
there. The birds did not discontinue their labours, although 
there were nine or ten of us walking among the bushes ; and 
when we had gone a few yards into the thicket, thousands of 
them flew quite low over us, some at times coming so close as 
to enable us to catch a few of them with the hand. On one 
side might be seen a Noddy carrying a stick in its bill, or 
picking up something to add to its nest ; on the other seve- 
ral were seen sitting on their eggs unconscious of danger, 
while their mates brought them food. The greater part rose 
on the wing as we advanced, but re-alighted as soon as we 
had passed. The bushes were rarely taller than ourselves, so 
that we could easily see the eggs in the nests. . . . The 

Noddy lays three eggs, which average two inches in length by 
an inch and three- eighths in breadth, and are of a reddish 
yellow colour, spotted and patched with dull red and faint 



purple. 



They afford excellent eating, and our sailors seldom 



j> 



failed to collect bucketsful of them daily during our stay at 

the Tortugasl 

Considerable variation is found to exist in the markings of 
the eggs ; the greater number are of a cream-colour, thinly 
sprinkled all over, except at the larger end, where they 
become more numerous and form an irregular zone, with 
blotches of chestnut-red and dark brown, the latter colour 
appearing as if beneath the surface of the shell ; but examples 
occur in which the markings are much more numerous and 
almost equally distributed over the surface, and others which 
are nearly pure white ; and I possess one specimen in which 



the markings are so large and dark that it might be readily 



mistaken for the egg of some other bird. They are two 
inches in length by one inch and a half in breadth. 

The flight of this species is apparently laboured, being per- 






■ 













NATATORES. 



417 



formed with a considerable action of the 



the bird 



pable of 



g 



same 



g itself for a long time 



just above the surface of the water, and of frequently making 
abrupt and rapid turns while engaged in the search of its 
prey; its soft and dense plumage renders it extremely 
buoyant, and, as the largely-developed membrane of the feet 
would indicate, it swims with great ease. 

The sexes are so nearly alike, that by dissection alone can 
they be distinguished ; and the young acquire the plumage 
of the adult at a very early age. 

Upper and under surface chocolate-brown ; crown of the 
head pale grey, gradually blending with the brown of the 
upper surface; primaries and tail brownish black; imme- 
diately before and above the anterior angle of the eye a spot 
of black ; irides brown ; bill black ; feet dull brownish red : 



webs dusky 



black 



Sp. 614. 



ANOUS MELANOPS, Gould. 

Lesser Noddy. 



Anous 



p. 36. 



? (Lesser Noddy), Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xii. 



Anous melanops, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xiii. p. 104. 

Anous melanops, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 35. 

All that has been said respecting the Noddy is equally 
descriptive of this bird. It is as abundant in Australian seas, 
and at the breeding-season resorts to similar situations. On 
the Houtmann's Abrolhos it is even more numerous than the 
A. stolidus; like that bird, it is truly gregarious, the nests 

being arranged as closely as possible on the branches of the 
mangrove, at a height of from four to ten feet above the ground, 
the sea-weed of which each nest is constructed being merely 
thrown across the branch, without any regard to form, until 
it has accumulated to a mass varying from two to four inches in 
height ; in many instances long pieces of sea-weed hang down 



vol. n. 



2 E 






1 I 














sv\ 



1 1 ■ ■ - 










■ 



I '. ' 
























i 






418 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



beneath the branch, giving it the appearance of a much larger 
structure than the reality ; the nests and the branches of the 
trees are completely whitened with the excrement of the bird, 
the disagreeable and sickly odour of which is perceptible at a 
considerable distance. South Island, Houtmann's Abrolhos, 
appears to be the only one resorted to for the purpose of nidi- 



fication ; for although large mangroves occur on others of the 



neighbouring islands, it was not observed on any of them. 
" I have seen many vast flocks of birds," says Gilbert, " but 
I confess I was not at all prepared for the surprise I expe- 



rienced in witnessing the amazing clouds, literally speaking, 



of these birds when congregating in the evening while they 
had their young to feed. 



ance. 



During their alternate departure 
and return with food they presented a most singular appear- 

From their breeding-place to the outer reef, beyond 
the smooth water, the distance is four miles; and over this 

space the numbers constantly passing were in such close 
array that they formed one continuous and unbroken line. 
After the young birds were able to accompany their parents, 
T observed that they all left the breeding- or roosting- 
place in the morning and did not again return until even- 
ing, the first-comers apparently awaiting the arrival of the 
last before finally roosting for the night. It is when thus 
assembling that their immense numbers strike you with 
astonishment. Even those who have witnessed the vast 

Passenger Pigeon, so vividly described by Au- 
dubon, could hardly avoid expressing surprise at seeing the 
multitudes of these birds which at sunset move in one dense 



flights of the 



mass over and 



d the roosting-place 



of 



the old birds, the quack and the piping whistle of the young 

Like its near ally, it commences 



ones, are almost deafening 



the task of incubation in December, and lays but a single egg 



while sitting on which, or tending its young, it is very easily 



ght, as it will suffer itself to be taken off the nest rather 



than quit 



It forms an excellent article of food, and 






* 

i 
1 











IB 



NATATORES. 



419 



hundreds were daily killed during our stay on the island. As 
this bird resorts to the upper branches alone, it is secure 
from the attacks of the lizard, so destructive to the Noddy, the 
animal not being able to climb the branches with sufficient 

ire it ; and this may doubtless be one of the 



facility to capture it ; 

causes why it is more numerous than any of the many other 
birds inhabiting the islands." 

The egg is of a pale stone or cream colour, marked all over 
with large irregular-shaped blotches of dull chestnut-red and 
dark brown, the latter appearing as if beneath the surface of 



the sh 



the blotches are thinly dispersed 



pt at the 



larger end, where they are largest and most numerous 
one inch and three-quarters long by one inch and five six- 
teenths broad. 

There is no visible difference in the outward appearance of 



the 



Crown of the head and back of the neck light ash 



mmediately 



passing into deep grey on the mantle and back 

before the eyes a large patch, and behind 

jet-black ; posterior half of the lower and a smaller space 



of 



upper lash 



throat, forepart of the neck, and 



all the under surface deep sooty black ; wings and all the 
under surface of the same colour, but rather browner • bill 



black ; 

Total 
tarsi •§- ; 



arsi and toes brownish black 
length 1 2 to 13 inches ; tai 
middle toe and nail 1J. 



Hi 



wing 8f ; 



tail 5 



Sp. 615. ANOUS LEUCOCAPILLUS, Gould. 

White-capped Noddy. 

Anous leucocapillus, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., part xiii. p. 103. 

Anous leucocapillus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 36. 

Examples of this beautiful Tern were presented to me by 
' te Commander Ince, R.N., by whom they were pro- 
on Raine's Islet, where it was very abundant. It is 



ed 



2 e 2 












sfM 
























■ 


III 


t 


1 


i 1 


>\\ ' 1 

4 f 




* 


" a 


ft ' 










r 1 1 


> 


■■ 


i 

1 1 






■ 






• 




■ 

■ 


rl 1 


. 




• 


[ 1 I •t 


II 






; 


+ i 


* 


* 








I 


•' 




• 

* 
* 




: 


* 

t 

! 


■ 


r 








+ 






i 




I L 

r 

I » 

r 


' 




* 
1 


' 


■ 


. 




* 
1 




* 


I 



420 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



nearly allied to the Anoils tenuirostris of Western Africa, with 
which indeed Sir William Jardine considers it to be identical ; 
bnt the late Prince Bonaparte treats it 



trte treats it as distinct in his ar 
ement of the Laridce in the ' Comptes Rendus de l'Aca 



d 



emie 



des S 



for 



d I shall therefore 



it under the name I assigned 



All 



been said 



respecting the Anous stolidus is equally applicable to the pre- 
sent species, their habits, manners, and mode of life being 



very 



Crown of the head and nape of the neck white 



and 



space 



surrounding the eye deep black; near the posterior 
gle of the upper and lower eyelids a small patch of white ; 
breast, all the under surface and the wings deep sooty black; 
back of the neck, back, and tail the same, slightly tinged with 
ash : bill black : feet brownish black. 



Total length 14 inches ; bill 2 x 



4 > 



g 9 ; tail 5 ; tarsi 7 



8 ) 



middle toe and nail I 1 



2* 



This 



Genus PROCELSTERNA, Lafresnaye. 

snus was established for two little Terns, 



g 



allied to the members of the genus An 
they differ in some minor particulars. 



I nearly 

but from which 



The 



specific term 
pplied by me to the following species having been 



previously employed by Neb 



the late Prince Bonap 



sunk my 



into a synonym, and replaced it with albi 



which I accordingly adopt 



Sp. 616. 



PROCELSTERNA ALBIVITTA. 

Grey Noddy. 



Anous cinereus, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xm. p. 104. 
Pelecanopus pelecanoides, G. R. Gray, List of Birds in Coll. Brit. Mus., 

part iii. p. 180. 
Procehterna albivitta, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de l'Acad. Sci., 1856. 

Anous cinereus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 37. 



This little 



species is a native of the seas bordering the 






■ ^ 












NATATORES. 



421 



and north-eastern coasts of Australia, and is said 



breed on Norfolk Island 



It is in every respect a true A 



and, so far as is known, has many habits in common with 
those of the other members of the genus. 

Mr. Macgillivray sent beautiful examples of the eggs of 
this species. They are cream-coloured, sparingly spotted, and 



dashed with reddish brown 



d 



grey markings, the latter 



appearing to be beneath the surface ; they are one inch and 
five-eighths long by one inch and a quarter wide. 

Head, neck, and all the under surface silvery greyish 
white : roui 



d the eye a narrow ring of feathers, the 



half of which 



back 



g 



white ; bill black ; t 
membrane yellowish 



deep black and the posterior half white; 

light grey; secondaries tipped with 



d tail 



and toes brownish black ; interdig 



Total length 11 inches ; bill l 1 



middle toe and 



2 > 



g 8 ; tail 5 



tarsi 1 J- ; 



8 



!► 





■ 















1 1 






Family PEOCELLARID^B. 

There is perhaps no group of birds respecting which so 
much confusion exists, and the extent of whose range over the 
ocean is so little known, as that forming the present family. 

Having paid much attention to these birds during my pas- 
sages to and from Australia, my researches were rewarded by 
my obtaining a knowledge of nearly forty different species, 
most of which are peculiar to the southern hemisphere, and 



many of them frequenters of the Australian 
and most important of these truly ocet 



birds 



largest 
ire the 



Albatroses, next to these the great Petrels, and then the 
Shearwaters, Prions, Diving and Storm-Petrels. All these 
frequenters of the great deep, from the huge Diomedea to 
the little Thalassidroma ?, principally live on the Pkgsalice, 
gelatinous Medusa, and other lowly organized creatures, the 
larger birds changing their diet occasionally by feeding upon 














422 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



floating crustaceans, the oily blubber of dead cetaceans, and 
the fatty offal thrown overboard from passenger-ships during 
their long voyages. The powers of flight with which these 
birds are endowed are perfectly astonishing, and they appear to 
be constantly performing journeys round the globe from west 
to east ; and Australia lying in their track, all the species may 
be found near its shores at one or another season of the year. 
These Albatroses have been divided by Dr. Jteichenbach 
into three genera — Diomedea, T/iaZassarcfie, and Phcebetria, 
the members of each of which certainly differ somewhat in 
structure, and, my own observation of them in a state of nature 
enables me to add, in their habits and economy also. 



Respecting 



flight of 



birds, I take the liberty of 



making a lengthened extract from Capt. E. W. Hutton 
valuable " Notes on some of the Birds inhabitin 



Ocean 




Souther 



read at the Natural History Society of Dublin, March 
3, and published in the July number of the 'Ibis,' 1865, 
pp. 294-298 :— 

" The unrivalled flight of the Albatros has been the admira- 
tion of voyagers from the earliest time. Day after day, with 
unabated interest I have watched them, and I quite agree 
with Mr. Gould that the Sooty Albatros (D. fuliginosd) carries 
off the palm from all competitors. 



g to equal the 



Never have I seen any- 
d grace of this bird as he sweeps 



past, often within a few yards, every part of his body perfectly 
motionless except the head and eye, which turn slowly, and 

seem to take notice of everything. I have sometimes watched 
narrowly one of these birds sailing and wheeling about in all 
directions for more than an hour, without seeing the slightest 
movement of the wings. This, however, is longer than usual. 



Wonderful 



this 






power of flight, it can all be explained 
by the simple mechanical laws which govern the direction and 
magnitude of pressures. Dr. Bennett states that he believes 
' that the whole surface [of the body of the Albatros] is 
covered by numerous air-cells, capable of a voluntary inflation 





NATATORES. 




or diminution by means of a beautiful muscular apparatus. 
. . . . By this power the birds can raise or depress 
themselves at will.' Now, I do not for a moment doubt the 
existence of this apparatus, for it is well known that all birds 



have it to a g 



extent ; but I do doubt its capa 



bility of doing the duty assigned to it, viz. raising the bird 
in the air. The temperature of the Albatros, as taken by Sir 
G. Grey, by placing a thermometer under the tongue, is 98° F., 
and if we add 10° F. to this, in order to allow for the differ - 



between the head and the body 



shall have the tern 



perature of the 



F 



The temp 



of the 



ding air cannot be taken lower than 48° F., as the 



The 



mean winter temperature of lat. 50° S. is about 50 F. 
bird, therefore, could not raise the temperature of the air taken 
into these cells more than 60° F. This would increase its 
volume not quite one-eighth ; and taking 100 cubic inches of 




31 grains, and 




ght of an Albati 



be 17 lbs 



, as given by Gould, it would be necessary, in 
order that the specific gravity of the bird might be brought 
to that of the atmosphere, that these cells should contain 1820 



cubic feet of 
1200 times 



words, they must be more than 



of the body itself of the bird 



to 



say the least, would give it when flying an aldermanic appear 
ance which I have never observed. In fact it would requir 
a sphere of more than fifteen feet in diameter to contain thi 



necessary quantity of 

up, it would entirely defeat 



Even if it could thus buoy itself 
its own object ; for it would at 



destroy the whole of its momentum, and unless propelled 
forward by its wings, would drift helplessly to leeward. 
However, I do not wish it to be inferred that I consider the 
air-cells of no use. The greater portion of them are situated 
round the neck, wings, and fore-part of the body of the bird, 



d I believe that 




their means he is enabled to shift 



slightly the position of his centre of gravity, and thus 
very slight muscular exertion, to vary 



i 



the inclination of his 



> 







424 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



body to the horizon , according to the rate at which he is mov- 
ing through the air. 

"Dr. Bennett, in his 'Gatherings of a Naturalist ' (p. 78), 
gives a diagram explanatory of the flight of the Albatros," con- 
tinues Capt. Hutton ; and, if I understand him rightly, says 
that " it cannot sail directly against the wind, but only in the 
way which sailors call ' close-hauled/ This diagram represents 
a square-rigged ship sailing six points from the wind, a cutter 



g four and a half points, and an Alb 



flying 



points from the wind ; from which I infer, although he does 



not 



pressly say so, that he considers 



the wind help 



forward the Albatros in the same way that it does the ship 



But that 



erroneous is apparent 



g 



A ship 



can sail at an acute angle with the wind, because the pressure 
of the wind against its sails being met by the resistance of the 
water is resolved into pressures having other directions. Ad- 
vantage of this being taken by trimming the sails, it ultimately 
results that the ship is moved in the direction of least resist- 



ance, viz. forwards. If, however, tl 
had not been met by the resistance of 
of it into other directions could have 



pressure of the 



taken pi 



For this 



reason a balloon can only drift with the wind, and the 
would be the case with the Albatros. Moreover, the 



ment that he cannot sail 
as Dr. Bennett himself saic 



g 



the 



d is incorrect, 



first book, ' Wandering 



in 



New South Wales;' the truth being that he is more 



often seen sailing in this direction than in any other, for the 
simple reason that as he moves slower against the wind than 
with it, he is obliged to keep going for a longer time in the 
former direction than in the latter, in order to retain his posi- 
tion near the stern of the ship. However, when sailing 
against the wind the position of his wings, body, and tail, slant- 
ing a little downwards, is somewhat analogous to the sails of a 



ship close-hauled 



better, to the position of a kite 



the momentum of the bird taking the place of the 









* t 












NATATORES. 



425 



resistance of the water, or the string of the kite. This mo- 
mentum is entirely owing to impulses previously given to the 
air by means of his wings, and when, owing to the resistance 
of the air, it has decreased so much that he is no longer able 
to move with sufficient rapidity to prevent his falling, fresh 



impulses have to be given. For this reason, Albatroses sail 
much longer in fine than in stormy weather, rain especially 
soon destroying their momentum, and frequently obliging 
them to use their wings for propulsion. 

" It is by combining, according to the laws of mechanics, 
this pressure of the air against his wings with the force of 



gravity, and by using his head and tail as bow and stern 
rudders, that the Albatros is enabled to sail in any direction 



he pleases, so long as his momentum 



If, when sailing 



g 



and 



dnst the wind, the inclination of his body is such that the 

upward pressure of the wind against his wings and body just 

balances the force of gravity, his momentum alone 

he sails straight in the * wind's eye.' If he wishes to ascend, 

he inclines his body more to the horizon by means of his head 
and tail. I 

and tail s 



If he wishes to turn to the right, he bends his head 
ightly upwards, at the same time raising his left 



side and wing, and lowering the rig 



proportion to the 



sharpness of the curve he wishes to make, the wings being 
kept quite rigid the whole time. To such an extent does he 
do this that, in sweeping round, his wings are often pointed 
in a direction nearly perpendicular to the sea; and this 
position of the wings, more or less inclined to the horizon, is 
seen always, and only when the bird is turning. It will 



be 



observed that, on this 



pn 



an 



Alb 



g down 



wind must necessarily be descending, unless his pace is much 
eater than that of the air, and such I have found to be 



g 



riably the case. 

It may be objected that the resistance of the air must 



destroy his momentum ; but the fact is that it does not do 
so. A good illustration of this is seen in an experiment, 









1 L< 



* 






ll 



426 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



common m 



rooms a few 



rotation of the earth 



* 

y 



g 



bv which the 



demonstrated by means of a pen 



dulum, composed of a metal ball suspended by a long 



from the ceiling of the 



The impetus obtained by 






causin 
only v 




sufficient 



ball to fall through the space of a few feet 

keep the pendulum swinging, with a 






velocity but little diminished, for the greater par 
notwithstanding the resistance of the sand, which the point of 
the pendulum had to cut through twice during each vibration. 
The resistance of the air is well known to depend on the shape 
and velocity of the moving body, and to increase in proportion 



much 



mor 



j rapidly than the velocity increases. For this 
son a properly-shaped body and a low velocity are required 
reduce it to a minimum. 
) necessary to give a bird momentum sufficient to overcome 



A certain amount of weight 



the resistance for a certain 
sufficient expanse to support 



air. 



Thes 



time, and wings are required of 

3 slowly through the 

carried out in the 



Albatr 



Its shape, also, when the neck is stretched 



) conditions are admirably 

its expanse of wing is perhaps greater than that of 

any other bird, and its weight, 15 lbs. and upwards, is very 
large . I 

flying, approaches very nearly to that of Newton's solid of 
least resistance, while more than one voyager has remarked 
the slowness with which it sails past. The Petrels I have 
mentioned sail very nearly in proportion to their size and 
weight. The Stormy Petrel never sails; the Cape Pigeon 



only for a very short 



perhaps a minute 



the 



Night 



Hawk' much longer, often between five and ten minutes 
while the Albatros, as I have before mentioned, sails sor 



for 



hour 



g and falling,' says Dr. Bennett 



as if 



some concealed power guided its various motions, without 



any muscular 



of 



own,' but which 



only 



look upon as another illustration of the small resistance offered 



by the 



air 



the passage of a properly-shaped heavy body 



moving through it with a low velocity 





















NATATORES. 



427 



This 



geni 

bird 



Genus DIOMEDEA, Linnaeus. 

is, as restricted, comprises the la] 



g 



of the 



The two or three species known of this for 



frequent the seas on both sides of the equator 



Sp. 617. 



DIOMEDEA EXULANS, Linn 

Wandering Albatros. 



Diomedea exulans, Linn. Syst. Nat., vol. i. p. 214. 
Plautus albatrus, Klein, Aves, p. 148, no. 13. 
Albatrus, Briss. Orn., torn. vi. p. 126. 
Man-of-War Bird, Albin, vol. iii. p. 34, pi. 81, head 
Wandering Albatros, Edw. Glean., pi. 88. 



| 

Diomedea exulans, Gould, Birds of Australia, foL, vol. vii. pi. 38. 

It is a very prevalent idea that a lengthened voyage at sea 
must be attended with much monotony and ennui; such 
however is not the case, as from experience I can testify that 
the mind may be so far occupied in observing the hundreds 
of novelties which are constantly presenting themselves to its 
notice, that a voyage, however extensive, is neither tedious 
nor uninstructive, and I shall always look back with feelings 
of pleasure to that in the course of which I made the circuit 
of the globe. It was then that I first had an opportunity of 
observing in a state of nature the noble bird known as 

irgest and most powerful 



Diomedea exulans 




far the 



pecies of its tribe, and which, fr 



its 



g 



ferocious disposil 
with which it is 



gth 



d 



is held in terror by every other bird 



ded 



So 



gumary 



fact 



is 




that 



said it will attack and tear 



out the eyes of a 
drowning man, a feat, from what I have observed of it, I can 
readily imagine it would attempt, if a human being should 



unhappily be placed in such a position, and be unable 



defend himself. The Wandering Albatros is most abundant 
between the 30th and 60th degrees of south latitude, and 



* 



* < 












M 



428 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



appears 
bounded 




be equally numerous 
those deg 



in all 
and I feel 



par 



of 



ocean 



d that it 



is 



confined to no one part. The open sea is, in fact 



home 



d this it never leaves 



breeding, when it 
difficult of access. 




for the purpose of 
to rocky islands the most 



ally resorts 
To mention particular times and 



where I observed this bird would be 



perfluou 




almost daily seen while sailing within the prescribed latitud 



however, be 



of pi 



to 






hailed its presence on the 24th of July 1838, in lat. 
south, long. 20° 43' west, and from that day until my 



t I first 
30° 38' 






at Storm Bay, Tasmania 



tantly around the ship 



but was more abundant off the Cape of Good Hope and the 
island of St. Paul's than elsewhere. 

The powers of flight of the Wandering Albatros are much 
greater than those of any other bird that has come under my 
observation. Although during calm or moderate weather it 
sometimes rests on the surface of the water, it is almost 



while 



* 

tantly on the wing, and is equally at ease 

the glassy surface during the stillest calm, or flying with 



passing 



g 



d the 



meteor-like swiftness before the most furious 
manner in which it just tops the raging billows and sweeps 
between the gulfy waves has a hundred times called forth my 
wonder and admiration. Although a vessel running before 
the wind frequently sails more than 200 miles in the twenty- 
four hours, and that for days together, still the Albatros has 
not the slightest difficulty in keeping up with the ship, but 
also performs circles of many miles in extent, returning again 
hunt up the wake of the vessel for any substances thrown 



overboard 
"It 




or 



' says Mr. Bennett, in his ' Wanderings,' 
" to observe this superb bird sailing in the air in graceful and 
elegant movements, seemingly excited by some invisible power, 
for there is scarcely any movement of the wings seen after the 
first and frequent impulses are given, when the creature 






















NATATORES. 



429 



elevates itself in the air, rising and falling as if some concealed 
power guided its various motions, without any muscular 
exertion of its own, and then descending sweeps the air close 
to the stern of the ship with an independence of manner as if 
it were ' monarch of all it survey 'd.' It is from the very little 
muscular exertion used by these birds that they are capable 

of sustaining such long flights without repose When 

seizing an object floating on the water they gradually descend 
with expanded or upraised wings, or sometimes alight and 
float like a Duck on the water, while devouring their food ; 
then, elevating themselves, they skim the surface with ex- 
panded wings, giving frequent impulses as they run along for 

some distance, until they again soar in mid-air and recommence 
their erratic flights." 

Like the other species of the genus, it is nocturnal as well 
as diurnal, and no bird with which I am acquainted takes so 
little repose ; it appears to be perpetually on the wing, 
scanning the surface of the ocean for mollusks and medusae, 



and the other marine animals that constitute its food, 
frequently does the boldness of this species cost it its 



So 
life. 



that hundreds are annually killed without, however, its num 



bers being apparently in any degree lessened 



readily 



seizes a hook baited with fat of any kind, and if a boat be 
lowered its attention is immediately attracted, and while 
flying round it is easily shot. Many exaggerated and mar- 

us accounts having been published respecting the weight 
the dimensions of this bird, particularly of the extent 
from tip to tip of the wings, I paid much attention to the 



and 



subject, and, after killing n 
and of all ages, I found the 
eoculans to be seventeen 



us examples of both sexes 
ge weight of the Diomedea 



seventeen pounds, and the extent from tip to 
tip of the wing ten feet one inch. Dr. McCormick, R.N., 
however, informs me that he has met with examples weighing 
as much as twenty pounds, the extent of whose outstretched 
wings measured twelve feet. The known breeding-places of 












> : "■ ' ■ .1 ' 



i 4 



■ 



430 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



the Diomedea exulans 



the islands of Tri 



d'Acunha 















Auckland, and Campbell; that it also breeds on the Mew- 
stone, Eddystone, and the adjacent rocks to the southward of 
Tasmania, I have but little doubt, as some of the finest adult 
specimens I procured were shot within a few miles of those 



bar 



d inaccessible rocks 



but 



as 



I h 



not had an 






opportunity of observing the nidification of this bird, I avail 
myself of Mr. Augustus Earle's c Narrative of a nine Months' 
Residence on the Island of Tristan d'Acunha,' wherein he 






say 



Yesterday, May the 28th, being a fine mornin 




accom 



panied 
mountain. 




formed a kind of path 



two of the men, I determined to ascend the 
As several parties had before gone up, they had 



deavourecl 



same way, but it required a great deal of nerve to attempt it. 
The sides of the mountain are nearly perpendicular ; but after 



ascending about 200 feet 



© 



is 



there 



tirely 



ed with 



wood, which renders the footing much more safe ; but 



order to 



g 



to the wood, the road is so dang 



that it 



made me almost tremble to think of it ; slippery grey rocks, 
and many of them unfortunately loose, so that when we took 
hold they separated from the mass, and fell with a horrid 



rumbling 



here and there were a few patches of gr 



only thing we could depend upon to assist us in climbing, 

least slip 



which must be done with extreme 



for the 



or false step would dash 



atoms on the rocks below 



By constantly looking upwards and continuing to haul 



selves up, by catching firm hold of the grass, after an hour 



painful 




ained the summit, where we found ourselves 



on an extended plain of several miles' expanse, which termi- 
minates in the peak, composed of dark grey lava, bare and 
frightful to behold.. 



We proceeded towards it, the 



gradually rising, but the walk was most fati 




rank grass and fern 




8 



feet high. A deathlike stillness 



prevailed in these high reg 



and, to my 



our voices 



i 











\ 







NATATORES. 



431 



. 1 



g 



unnatural echo, and I fancied our forms 



had a s 
appeared 

prospect was altogether sublime and filled the mind with 
the hi 




g 



whilst the air was 



pier 



cold 



The 



ge Alb 



here appeared to dread no interlop 



ground completely 



enemy, for their young were on the 

uncovered, and the old ones were stalking around them. 

They lay but one egg, on the ground, where they make a 



kind of 



by scraping the earth around 



the 



young 



ely white and covered with a woolly down, which is very 



beautiful. As 



pproached they snapped their beaks 



very quick motion, making a g 



noise : this and the 



g up of the 



of the stomach are the only 



means of offence and defence they seem to possess 



lag 



visited the mountain about five months afterwards, when I 



found the young Albatroses still si 1 
they had never moved away from the 



g on their 



and 



To this interesting 



a 



I beg to append the following 



notes, kindly furnished me by Dr. McCormick, Surgeon of 
H.M.S. * 



pole 



Erebus ' during the late expedition to the south 



The Diomedea ecoulans breeds in Auckland and Campbell 



Islands, in the months of November and December 



The 



grass-covered declivities of the hills, above the thickets of 
wood, are the spots selected by the Albatros for constructing 
its nest ; which consists of a mound of earth, intermingled 
with withered grass and leaves matted together, 1 8 inches in 
height, 6 feet in circumference at the base, and 27 inches in 
diameter at the top, in which only one egg is usually depo- 
sited ; for after an examination of more than a hundred nests, 
I met with two eggs in the same nest in one solitary instance 
only. The eggs I had an opportunity of weighing varied in 
weight from 14^ to 19 oz., thirty specimens giving an ave- 
rage weight of 17 oz. ; colour white. The Albatros during 
the period of incubation is frequently found asleep, with its 
head under its wing : its beautiful white head and neck, ap- 






: ■ - 



/ 







432 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 






pearing above the grass, betray its situation at a considerable 
distance off. On the approach of an intruder it resolutely 



defends 



gg 



erasing to quit the 



forced off, 



■ 









when it slowly waddles away in an awkward manner to a 
short distance, without attempting to take wing. Its greatest 
enemy is a fierce species of Lestris, always on the watch for 
the Albatros quitting its nest, when this rapacious pirate in- 
stantly pounces down and devours the egg. So well is the 
poor bird aware of the propensity of its foe, that it snaps the 
mandibles of its beak violently together whenever it observes 
the Lestris flying overhead." I 



Captain F. W. Hutton 



that Wandering Albatroses 



" are very common south of latitude 40° S., and monopolize 
nearly the whole of the Prince Edward Islands, and the south- 



east portion, 01 
Land, to which 




side, as the sailors call it, of Kerg 
tes they retire to breed in October. 



The 
the 



nest, which is always placed on high table-lands, is in 
shape of a frustrum of a cone, with a slightly hollowed top 



and 



made of 



grass and mud, which the birds obtain by 
digging a circular ditch, about two yards in diameter, and 
pushing the earth towards the centre until it is about eighteen 



inches high 



I 



this nest the female lay 



white egg 



which is not hatched till January." — Ibis, 1865, p. 279 



I 



am indebted to Dr. McCormick for a fine egg of this 
species, which is four inches and three-quarters long by three 
and a quarter broad, of a pure white and of the ordinary 



shap 



another, presented by this g 



College of Surgeons, is much longer and nearly equal 



to the Royal 



both ends 






Mr. Earle states that the young are a year old before they 
can fly, but on this point I fear he must be mistaken ; for 
although a long period must elapse before their lengthened 
wings are sufficiently developed to sustain their heavy bodies 
during their lengthened flights, still it is natural to suppose 
that the young would leave the nest before the recurrence of 







* 





: 



4 



\ 






NATATORES. 



433 



the breeding 



d we know that such is the case, from 



the circumstance of young birds and newly laid eggs not 
having been found at the same time on the islands visited by 
the officers of the expedition under Captain Ross. 

The Wandering Albatros varies much in colour at different 
ages : very old birds are entirely white, with the exception of 
the pinions, which are black ; and they are to be met with in 
every stage, from pure white, white freckled, and barred with 



dark brown 



dark 



the 



chocolate-brown approaching to black, 
the latter colouring being always accompanied by a white 
face, which in some specimens is washed with buff; beneath 

ue feathers they are abundantly supplied with a fine 
white down ; the bill is delicate pinky white inclining to yellow 
at the tip ; irides very dark brown ; eyelash bare, fleshy and 
of a pale green ; legs, feet, and webs pinky white. 

The young are at first clothed in a pure white down, which 
gives place to the dark brown colouring mentioned above. 

Sp. 618. DIOMEDEA BRACHYURA, Temm. 

Short-tailed Albatros. 

Diomedea brachyura, Temm. PI. Col. 554. 



chinensis, Temm. (G. R. Gray). 



Diomedea brachyura, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 39. 

This is the only bird of this form, with which I am ac- 
quainted, that flies to the northward of the equator, and it is 
described in the present work more for the purpose of includ- 
ing a second species of the restricted genus Diomedea than 



for 



being strictly speaking an Austral 



bird 



the 



chances are that it does frequently visit the northern coasts of 
that country, since it is abundantly dispersed over the North 
Pacific and Indian Oceans j it is, however, most numerous in 
the China Seas. It is a very fine species, and only exceeded 
in size by the Diomedea exulans, to which it bears a consider- 
able resemblance, but from which it may be distinguished by 



VOL. II. 



2 F 



'. , 















■ • 



- - ;- * i 



**• 






434 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



I 



• 



the shortness of its tail and by the truncated form of the base 
of the bill. 

Its habits, manners and food doubtless resemble those of 

Diomedea ecculans. 

The adults of both sexes have the general plumage white, 
washed with buff on the head and neck ; the edge and centre 
of the wing white, the remainder and the tips of the tail dark 
brown ; bill pinky flesh-colour ; irides brown ; legs and feet 
bluish white ; eyelash greenish white. 

The young differ in being of a uniform chocolate-brown. 







Sp. 619. 



DIOMEDEA CAUTA, Gould. 

Shy Albatros. 



Diomedea cauta, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part viii. p. 177. 

(Thalassarche) cauta, Bonap. Compt. Rend. dePAcad. Sci., 1856 



Diomedea cauta, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 40. 
I first saw this species of Albatros off the south coast of 

Tasmania, and had frequent opportunities of observing it 
during my stay in Recherche Bay, at the southern entrance 

of D'Entrecasteaux's Channel, where I was wind-bound for 
nearly a fortnight. Unlike other Albatroses, it was most 
difficult to procure, for it seldom approached our ship suffi- 
ciently near for a successful shot : I succeeded, however, 
in shooting several examples while they were flying round 
the Bay in which we had taken shelter. It is not usual for 
Albatroses to approach the land or enter a secluded bay like 
that of Recherche, and I attribute this deviation from the 
ordinary habits to the temptation presented by the vast quan- 
tities of fat and other remains of Whales floating about, the 
locality being one of the principal whaling stations on the 
coast of Tasmania ; I have no doubt likewise that it was 
breeding on the Mewstone and other isolated rocks in the 
neighbourhood, as the plumage of some of the specimens I 













- -- a L _ 








4 










NATATORES. 



435 



I T ■ 






procured indicated 
task of incubation. 



they had lately been engaged 




W 






It is a large and powerful bird, the male being 



third less in size than the D. eoculans 



ely a 



pid and vigorous 



the 



the 



the wing, and takes immense sweeps over the surface of 
ocean. It will be interesting to learn the extent of the 
range of this species. A head in the possession of Sir William. 
Jardine was said to have been procured at the Cape of Good 
Hope, but I believe this was by no means certain. 

When fully adult the sexes differ but little in colour ; 
female may, however, at all times be distinguished by her 
diminutive size, and the young by the bill being clouded with 
dark grey. 

Besides being larger than the three succeeding species (to 
which and the present the generic appellation of Thalassarche 
has been given), the beautiful grey on the sides of the man- 
dibles, and the yellow mark at the base of the lower mandible 



.! Iff 






* 



of th 



times distinguish this bird from the other memb 



The stomachs of those I obtained 



Recherche Bay 



tained blubber, the remains of large fish, barnacles, and other 
crustaceans. 

Crown of the head, back of the neck, throat, all the under 
surface, rump, and upper tail-coverts pure white ; lores and 
line over the eye greyish black, gradually passing into the 
delicate pearl-grey which extends over the face • back, wings, 
and tail greyish brown j irides dark vinous orange ; bill light 
vinous grey or bluish horn-colour, except on the culmen. 



where it is more yellow, particularly at the base ; the upper 

at the base by a narrow belt of black 



mandible surrounded 
which also extends 



each side the 




to the nostrils ; 
a belt of rich 



feet 



* 

base of the lower mandible* surrounded 

orange, which extends to the corners of the mouth 

bluish white ; irides brown. 

Total length 31 inches ; bill 4£ • wing 21^ ; tail 9 • tarsi 3 

2 f 2 



. . - 



L-t- 



""- 



436 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



Sp. 620. DIOMEDEA CULMINATA, Gould. 

Culminated Albatros. 

Diomedea culminata, Gould in Ann. and Mag. of Nat. Hist., vol. xiii. 

p. 361. 

{Thalassarche) culminata, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de l'Acad. Sci., 

1856. 



Diomedea culminata, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 41. 

This species appears to be more plentiful in the Australian 
seas than elsewhere ; numbers came under my notice during 
a voyage from Launceston to Adelaide, particularly off Capes 
Jervis and Northumberland ; I frequently observed it between 
Sydney and the northern extremity of New Zealand, and it 
also occurred in the same latitude of the Indian Ocean as 
abundantly as any of it congeners. It is a powerful bird, 
and directly intermediate in size between Diomedea cauta 

and J), chlororhynchos . The specific differences of the three 
species are so apparent, that I had no difficulty whatever 
in distinguishing them while on the wing. In D. chlororliyn- 
chos the bill is more compressed laterally, the culmen is round, 
and the yellow colouring terminates in an obtuse point mid- 
way between the nostrils and the base ; while in D. culminata 
the culmen is broad and flat, and has its greyish-yellow 
colouring continued of the same breadth to the base ; the feet 
of the latter are also fully a third larger than those of the 

former. 

The habits, mode of life, and the kind of food partaken of 

by the D. culminata are so precisely similar to those of its con- 
geners, that a separate description would be a mere repetition 
of what has already been said respecting the preceding 



species 



Back, wings, and 



dark greyish black, the latter with 



white shafts ; head and neck white, washed with greyish 
black ; round the eye a mark of greyish black, interrupted 
by a streak of white immediately below the lower part of the 

















1 










NATATORES. 



437 



lid 



rump, upper tail-coverts, and all the under surface pure 



white ; bill black, with the 



ption of the culmen and tip 



and the lower edge of the basal three-fourths of the under 
mandible, which are horn-colour. 

In the youthful state the head and neck are dark grey, and 
the bill is of an almost uniform brownish black, with only an 
indication of the lighter colour of the culmen . 



Sp. 621. DIOMEDEA CHLORORHYNCHOS, 

Latham. 

Yellow-nosed Albatros. 

Diomedea chlororhynchos, Lath. Ind. Orn., vol. ii. p. 790. 
Yellow-nosed Albatros, Lath. Gen. Syn., vol. v. p. 309, pi. 99. 



Diomedea 



Lichtenstein's Edit, of 



MSS 



// 



(Thalassarche) chlororhynchos, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de l'Acad. 
Sci., 1856. 



Wool-wool, Aborigines of the lowland districts of Western 



Diomedea chlororhynchos, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. 
pi. 42. 

This species came under my observation for the first time 



on the 24th of July, 1838 



Lat. 30° 38' S. and Long 



20 43 W. ; from which period until we reached New South 
Wales scarcely a day passed without the ship being visited by 
it ; upon some occasions it appeared in considerable numbers, 
of which many were apparently birds of one year old, or at 

.ge ; these may be easily distinguished 



most two 



of 



from the adults, especially while flying, by the darker 

ing of their wings, back, and tail, and by the culmen of the 

bill being less distinctly marked with yellow. 

The Yellow-nosed Albatros is plentiful off the Cape of Good 
Hope, and in all the intermediate seas between that point and 

I also observed it off Capes Howe-and Northum- 



mama 



Tas 

berland on the southern coast of Australia, and Gilbert 



' 



























•i 





















■ i 






.1 * * 



438 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 






II 



that he saw it flying about Rottnest Island on the western 

coast. 

In its flight and general economy it greatly resembles the 

next species, with which it is often in company. 

Spot before and line above the eye washed with grey ; head, 
neck, all the under surface, rump, upper tail-coverts and 
under surface of the wing snow-white; back and 
brownish black ; tail brownish slate-colour, with white shafts; 
culmen from near the base to the point bright orange-yellow ; 
remainder of the bill black ; hides greyish brown ; feet bluish 
white. 



win gs 







Sp. 622. DIOMEDEA MELANOPHRYS, Temm. 

Black-eyebrowed Albatros. 

Diomedea melanophry s , Temm. PL Col. 456. 

(Thalassarche) melanophry $ } Bonap. Compt. Rend, de l'Acad 

Sci., 1856. 



Diomedea melanophrys, Gould, Birds of Australia, foL, vol. vii. 
pi. 43. 

The Diomedea melanophrys may be regarded as the most com- 
mon species of Albatros inhabiting the southern ocean, and, 
from its gregarious habits and very familiar disposition, it is 
known to every voyager who has rounded either of the Capes. 
I have never myself been at sea many days between the 35 th 
and 55th degrees of south latitude without recognizing it, and 

it appeared to me to be equally numerous in the Atlantic as 
in the Pacific. On my passage to Australia, numerous indi- 
viduals followed our vessel for hundreds of miles as we pro- 
ceeded eastward, and I have no doubt that in the course of 
their peregrination they frequently make the circuit of the 
globe ; a not unnatural conclusion, when we reflect upon the 
great powers of flight given to all the members of the present 
genus, and that their natural food is as abundant at one part 
as at another. It was nowhere more numerous than off the 




NATATORES. 



439 



1 









r 

southern coast of Tasmania, where a large company followed 
our vessel for many days and continued to hover around us until 
we entered Storm Bay, but on our approaching the land, 
they suddenly disappeared, betaking themselves again to the 
open ocean. Of all the species with which I am acquainted, 
this is the most fearless of man, for it often approaches many 
yards nearer the vessel than any other ; I have even observed 
it so near that the tips of its pinions were not more than two 
arms' length from the taffrail. It is very easily captured with 
a hook and line, and as this operation gives not the least pain 
to the bird, the point of the hook merely taking hold in the 
horny and insensible tip of the bill, I frequently amused 
myself by capturing specimens in this way, and after detaining 
them sufficiently long to afford me an opportunity for inves- 
tigating any particular point respecting which I wished to 
satisfy myself, setting them at liberty again, after having 
marked many, in order to ascertain whether the individuals 
which were flying round the ship at nightfall were the same 
that were similarly engaged at daylight in the morning after 
a night's run of 120 miles, and this in many instances 
proved to be the case. When brought upon deck, from 
which it cannot take wing, it readily becomes tame, and 
allows itself to be handled almost immediately ; still, I believe 
that no member of this group can be domesticated in conse- 
quence of the difficulty of procuring a supply of its natural 
food. 

In heavy, black, and lowering weather the snowy white 

plumage of this bird offers a striking contrast to the murky 
clouds above and behind it. 

Captain Hutton, in his ' Notes on some of the birds fre- 
quenting the Southern Ocean,' says this species " dives some- 
times, but does not appear to like doing so, generally pre- 
ferring, when anything good to eat is under water, to let a 
'Night Hawk' fish it up; then giving chase and running 
along the top of the water, croaking and with outstretched 



, 



f 



\ i 



t 



•y , \ 









i k 



440 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



wings, it compels him to drop it, and then seizes it before 



nks 



« 



This bird, which 



called * Molly Hawk ' by 



the sailors, is common round Cape Agulhas ; and, in Aug 

i large number in False Bay and round Cap 



1857, I 
Hanglip 



It 



pparently quite diurnal 



habits, both 



sea and near land.' : 

But little difference 



p. 283 



observable 



sexes, neither is there any visible 
between youth and maturity ; a ne 



n the plumage of the 
iation in this respect 
failing mark, however, 



exists by which the latter state may be distinguished : the young 
bird has the bill dark brown, while in the adult that organ is 
of a bright buffy yellow ; and individuals in the same flight 
may frequently be seen in which the bill varies from dark 
horn-brown to the most delicate yellow. 

I did not discover the breeding-place of this species. 
" Commander Snow, in his ' Two Years' Cruise off Terra del 
Fuego,' says it breeds on the Falkland Islands, and describes 
its nest as similar to that of Diomedea exulans, but not more 

* 

than twelve inches high ; and Captain Carmichael states that 



breeds on Tristan d'Acunha 



5J 



Ibis, 1865, p. 283 



Head, back of the neck, all the under surface, and the upper 

pure white j before, above, and behind the eye a 



streak of blackish grey 



gs dark brown 



of the 



back slaty black, into which the white of the back of the neck 



gradually 



dark grey, with white shafts ; bill buffy 



yellow, with a narrow line of black round the base ; legs and 
toes yellowish white, the interdigital membrane and the joints 

washed with pale blue ; irides very light brown, freckled with 

a darker tint . 
























NATATORES. 



441 



Genus PHCEBETRIA, Reichenbach. 

- 

Only one species of this form has yet been discovered 
exhibits some peculiarities in 



the 



It 
of its bill, in the 



thened or acuminate shape of its tail, and in the large 

i. These departures from the structure of the 



of its wing 



other Albatroses have an influence on its actions and economy 
as will be perceived on perusal of the following description. 



Sp. 623. PHCEBETRIA FULIGINOSA, Gmel 

Sooty Albatros. 

Diomedea fuliginosa, Gmel. Edit, of Linn. Syst. Nat., vol. i. p. 568. 
palpebrata, Forst. Drawings, No. 102. 



antarctica, Banks's Drawings, No. 26. 

fusca, Aud. Birds of Amer., vol. iv. pi. 407. — lb. Orn. Bio., 

vol. v. p. 116. 

(Phoebetria) fuliginosa, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de l'Acad. Sci., 

1856. 

Black Albatros, Linn. Trans., vol. xii. p. 489. 
Sooty Albatros, Lath. Gen. Syn., vol. v. p. 309. 



Diomedea fuliginosa, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pL 44. 

The Phoebetria fuliginosa is one of the commonest species of 
the genus, and is universally distributed over all the tempe- 
rate latitudes to the southward of the equator. On referring 
to my notes I find that it first came under my notice on the 
23rd of July 1838, in lat. 31° 10' S., long. 34° W., when three 
examples were seen flying round the ship, which they con- 
tinued to do until we doubled the Cape and entered the South 
Indian Ocean, on the 14th of August. It was constantly 
seen between the island of St. Paul and Tasmania, but was 
never very numerous, six or eight being the greatest number 
that I saw at any one time ; and days sometimes passed away 
without more than a single individual having made its ap- 
pearance. On my voyage homeward it was noticed on the 



1 






t L 



i 



- » 






■ . . •. . 



: •■ -. 













442 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



" 



the Pacific 






6th of May in lat. 40° S., long. 154° W. j in 

Cape Horn on the 20th of May in lat. 50° S., long. 90° W., 

and still more abundantly in the Atlantic on the 12th of June 



41° S., long. 34i° W 



this 



The cuneated form of the tail, which is peculiar to 

species, together with its slight and small legs and more de- 
licate structure, clearly indicate that it is the most aerial 



species of the g 



and 



dingly 



find that in its 



actions and mode of flight it differs very considerably from 



the other species of Albatro 



aerial evolutions being 



far more easy, its flight much higher, and its stoops more 



pid 



moreover the only species that passes directly 



the ship, which it frequently does in blowing weather, often 
poising itself over the masthead, as if inquisitively viewing 
the scene below ; at this moment it offers so inviting a mark 
for the gunner, that it often forfeits its life. 



Latham 



that it breeds 



t< 



the island of Tristan 



d'Acunha, is gregarious, many of them building their 



each other 



the area of half an acre were reckoned 



upwards of a hundred. The nest is of mud, raised five or six 
inches, and slightly depressed at the top ; when the young 
birds are more than half-grown they are covered with a whitish 
down : they stand on their respective hillocks like statues, 



till approached close, when they make a 



ge clattering 



with their beaks, and if touched, squirt a deluge of foetid oily 



fluid from 



The whole of the plumage deep sooty grey, darkest on the 

face, wings, and tail ; shafts of the primaries and tail-feathers 



white 



eyes very dark greyish brown, surrounded 



pt 



anteriorly, by a beautiful mark of white : bill jet-black, with 



a longitudinal 
white portion 



of white along the under mandible, this 



being horny like the 



of the bill, but 



composed of fleshy cartilage, which becomes nearly black 



after death 



feet white, tinged with fleshy purple 







• 






NATATOBES. 



443 



I 



As will be seen, the ten following species of Petrels have 
been divided into several genera, the majority of which have 
been adopted by Dr. Elliott Coues in his valuable memoirs on 
this family of birds in the ' Proceedings of the Academy of 
Sciences of Philadelphia' for 1864. Generally speaking, all 
of them are of medium size, the exception being the Ossifraga 
gigantea, JEstrelata leucoptera, and jE. cooki, which, on the 
one hand, leads to the Albatroses, and on the other, through 
Halobana, to the more diminutive Prions. 



\ 






Genus OSSIFRAGA, Homb. et Jacq. 



Of this genus but one species 
powerful bird, equalling in size and 
Albatroses. 



known. It is a most 
strength the smaller 



Sp. 624. 



The sexes are alike in plumage 

■ 

OSSIFRAGA GIGANTEA. 

Giant Petrel. 



1 



Procellaria gigantea, Gmel. Edit, of Linn. Syst. Nat., vol. i. p. 563 
ossifraga, Forst. 



Mother Gary's Goose, Cook's Voy., vol. ii. p. 205. 
Giant Petrel, Lath. Gen. Syn., vol. vi. p. 396, pi. 100. 
Ossifraga gigantea, Bonap. Gompt. Rend, de l'Acad. Sci., 1856. 

Procellaria gigantea, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 45. 

This, the largest of the Petrels, is universally distributed 
over all the temperate and high southern latitudes : and that 
it frequently performs the circuit of the globe may, I think, 
be fairly inferred from the circumstance of an albino variety 
having followed the vessel in which I made my passage to 
Australia for three weeks while we were running down our 
longitude between the Cape of Good Hope and Tasmania, the 
ship often making nearly two hundred miles during the 
twenty-four hours ; it must not, however, be understood that 
the bird was merely following the vessel's speed, nor deemed 



* -:»' 



• -.;* m 









444 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



incredible when I state that during the twenty-four hours it 
must have performed a much greater distance, since it was 
only at intervals of perhaps half an hour that it was seen, 
hunting up the wake of the vessel to secure any offal, &c. 
that had been thrown overboard, the interim being employed 



g 



the 



immense 



Its flight is not so easy, graceful and buoyant as that of 
the Albatros, but is of a more laboured and flapping cha- 
racter ; the bird is also of a more shy disposition, and never 
approaches so near the vessel as the other members of the 
family j while flying, its white bill shows very conspicuously. 

On visiting Recherche Bay in D'Entrecasteaux's Channel, 



Tasmania, I found thousands of this 



species sitting 



the water and feeding on the blubber and other refuse of 



the whaling 



I did 



observe the bird between 



Sydney and New Zealand, but on arriving 



S., long 



90° W., nearly off Cape Horn, a solitary wanderer flew about 
the ship; and in lat. 41° S., long. 34° W., a few were still 
seen in pairs. Captain Cook found it very abundant on 
Christmas Island, Kerguelen's Land, in December, when it 
was so tame that his sailors knocked it down with sticks. 

Captain F. W. Hutton states that " this bird breeds in the 
cliffs of the Prince Edward Islands and Kerguelen's Land, 
but the nests can be got at occasionally. The young are at 

first covered with a beautiful long light grey down ; when 
fledged they are dark brown mottled with white. When 

a person approaches the nest the old birds keep a short 
distance away while the young ones squirt a horridly smelling 
oil out of their mouths to the distance of six or eight feet . It 
is very voracious, hovering over the sealers when engaged 
cutting up a seal, and devouring the carcase the moment it is 
left, which the Albatros never does. It sometimes chases the 
smaller species, but whether or not it can catch birds pos- 
sessed apparently of powers of flight superior to its own is 
doubtful ; but, supposing one killed, that it feeds only on its 











I * 






NATATORES, 



445 



heart and liver I cannot believe ; yet it is said to do so in the 
works of many ornithologists." — Ibis, 1865,p. 284. 

The adults have the entire plumage of a dark chocolate- 
brown ; bill light horn-colour, the tip tinged with vinous ; 
irides dark blackish brown ; legs blackish brown. 



Genus MAJAQUEUS, Reichenbach. 

Bonaparte adopted this name for the Procettaria cequinoc- 
tialis and P. conspicillata — two robust birds differing consi- 
derably from the species of the succeeding forms. The South 
Atlantic, South Indian, and South Pacific Oceans are their 
native haunts. 







Sp. 625. MAJAQUEUS CONSPICILLATUS, Gould. 

Spectacled Petrel. 

Procettaria conspicillata, Gould in Ann, and Mag. of Nat. Hist., vol. 

xiii. p. 362. 

larvata, Less. (Bonap.). 

Majaqueus conspicillatus , Bonap. Compt. Rend, de FAcad. Sci., 1856. 

Procellaria conspicillata, Gould, Birds of Australia, foL, vol. vii. 
pi. 46. 

Although some ornithologists consider that I have com- 

this bird as distinct from 



mitted an error in characterizing this 
the Procellaria cequinoctialis of Linnaeus, I am still of opinion 
that it is not referable to that species ; at the same time it 
must be admitted that it is most nearly allied to it ; the subject 
is fraught with the more difficulty from the circumstance of 
the white markings on the face not being always of the same 
form in different individuals ; and from the gular region being 
white in some instances, while in others it is black. In size the 
two species are very similar, but all the specimens of the present 
bird that I have seen have a much shorter and more robust bill 
than the true M. cequinoctialis, which moreover never has the 
white mark around the eye, the throat only being white. 






' 



■■■:■•,■ •: 



' 

' 



^ 



' " . i 



f 






r * 



* 






> 1 1 



446 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 






The Majaqueus conspicittatus flies both in the Atlantic and 

is most plentiful between the twenty-fifth and 






Pacific, but 
fiftieth degi 
abundant ab 



of south latitude. I observed 



the islands of St. Paul 



be very 



d Amsterdam 



and thence to Tasmania; I also noticed it in considerable 
numbers off the Falkland Islands in the Atlantic, and in the 
neighbourhood of Tristan d'Acunha. 

Like the other members of the genus, it feeds upon mollusca, 
the remains of dead cetacea, &c. 

The entire plumage sooty black, with the exception of the 
chin, sides of the face, and a broad band which crosses the 
forepart of the crown, passes down before and beneath, and 

* 

curves upward behind the eye, which is white ; nostrils and 



sides of the mandibles yellowish horn-colour ; 
both mandibles, and a groove running along the 



culmen, tips of 



man 



dible black : feet black 



ides dark br 



Genus ADAMASTOR, Bonaparte. 

Bonaparte has classed several Petrels under the above 
generic appellation, one of which has a claim to be considered 
as pertaining to the avifauna of Australia, since I obtained 
specimens during my passage from Hobart Town to Sydney. 



Sp. 626. 



ADAMASTOR CINEREA. 

Great Grey Petrel. 



Procellaria cinerea, Gmel. Edit. Linn. Syst. Nat., torn. i. p. 563. 
Puffinus cinereus, Lawr. Birds of N. America, p. 835. 
Procellaria hasitata, Forst. Desc. Anim. Ed. Licht., p. 208. 
adamastor, Schleg. Mon. Proc. Mus. Pay. Bas, p. 25. 

Adamastor typus, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., torn. ii. p. 187, Adamastor, 

sp. 1. 

cinerea, Coues, Proc. Acad. Sci. Philad., 1864, p. 119. 



Procellaria hasitata, Gould, Birds of Australia, foL vol. vii. d1. 47. 



This species enjoys 



wide a range of habitat that it may 
















NATATORES. 



447 



* 

be said to be universally diffused between the 30th and 55th 
degrees of south latitude. I first observed it in lat. 38° 4 1' S., 



g. 36° 30' W 



the 16th of August 1838 ; during the 



seen at 



next five days not more than a single specimen was 
one time; on the 21st it was very numerous, and the day 
being nearly calm, I had a boat lowered, and succeeded in 
killing several in lat. 39° 23' Si, long. 54° W. Its powers of 
flight are very great, and in its passage over the ocean it often 
mounts higher in the air than most other members of the 
group, and descends again with the utmost eagerness to seize 



any fat substance thrown overboard. Its 



and flight 



differ slightly from those of the other Petrels, and more 

closely resemble those of the Albatroses. 

I subsequently observed this bird in lat. 41° 12' S., long. 
115° W., and obtained specimens on my passage from Hobart 

_ 

Town to Sydney. 

On my voyage homeward it appeared in considerable 
numbers during some strong heavy gales which occurred on 



the 6th of May 1840 



o 



S., long. 154° W., and it 



very abundant in the South Atlantic on the 12th of June 

it. 4,1° S., long. 34i° W. 

This bird," says Capt. Hutton, " combines the appearance 



of a Procettaria with some of the habits of a P 




Its 



feathers fit very close, and have a glossy look. Like all other 
Petrels, it flies with its legs stretched out straight behind, and 
as they are rather long, they make the tail appear forked. Its 
cry is something like the bleating of a lamb. It is very com- 

from May to August, but retires to Kerguelen's 

ices in September or October to breed. 



mon 



Land and other places in 
Each pair burrows horizontally into wet peaty earth from twc 
to eighteen feet. At the end of the hole they form a large 
chamber, and construct in the centre of it a nest similar 



except in size, to that of the Albatros {JD. exulans) 
hollowed top of which the female lays one white egg. 

seldom leave 



They 



their burrows in the daytime, and when one 



I 



448 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



■ 






happens to do so it is at once hunted by a ' Nelly * (Ossifraga 
gig anted), although no such jealousy exists at sea. From this 
habit of flying only by night it is called ' Night Hawk ' by 
the sealers. 

" Mr. Harris's party, when wrecked on Kerguelen's Land, 
used to dig these birds out of their burrows and eat them : 



and 



order 






to save useless digging, for their spades were 
only made from the staves of old casks, they would hold one 
to the mouth of a hole and make it cry out, when, if another 
was inside, it would answer. This is by far the best diver of 
all the sea-going Petrels. It seems even fond of it, and more- 
over remains under water for several minutes, when it comes 
up again, shaking the water off its feathers like a dog. Some- 
times I have seen it poise itself for a moment in the air at a 
height of about twenty or twenty five feet above the sea, and, 
shutting its wings, take a header into the water. 



with its 



■ 



gs open 



and 



uses 



them 



water. It dives 
der water much in 



the same manner as when flying." 
Little or no difference is observable in the sexes, but the 

female is rather smaller than the male ; neither did I observe 
any of the individuals that surrounded the ship to be of a 



darker colour. 



In all probability, the younc 



& 



attain their 



normal colouring at their first moult. I quite agree with 
Captain Hutton in considering this bird to be allied to the 

members of the genus Puffinus. 

Crown of the head, ear-coverts, nape and upper surface, 
tips of the tail-feathers, tips of the under tail-coverts, and the 
primaries dark brownish grey ; throat, chest, and under sur- 
face white ; irides dark brown ; culmen and nostrils black ; 
tip of the upper mandible blackish horn-colour j tomia whitish 
horn-colour ; lower part of the under mandible blackish horn- 
colour ; feet white, tinged with blue, the outer toe brownish 
black. 
















NATATORES. 



449 



Genus PTERODROMA, Bonaparte. 



Of this genus, which is 



intended to comprise the nearly 
uniformly coloured black Petrels of the Southern Ocean, there 
are at least three species which frequent the Australian seas, 
and which I believe are correctly named in the succeeding 
descriptions. 



Sp. 627. PTERODROMA MACROPTERA. 

Great Winged Petrel. 

* 

Procellaria macroptera, Smith, Zool. of South Africa, Aves, pi. 52. 
brevirostris, Less. 

Ossifraga macroptera, Reichenb. 

Pterodroma macroptera, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., torn. ii. p. 191, 



Pterodroma, sp. 1. 

I consider a bird I killed 



the 



seas surrounding Tas- 
mania, where it was tolerably abundant, and which differs 



from the next species in being of a larger size, having much 



longer wings and a greyer face, to be identical with the P 



of Smith, and I therefore retain 



under that 



ppellation, in preference to assigning it a new name 



a 



This bir d , when on the 



>> 



b 



says Capt. Hutton, " looks 



very like a huge Swift. It is not by any means common, and 
I have only seen it east of the Cape of Good Hope. It is not 
found on Prince Edward Islands nor Kerguelen's Land. ,: 
Ibis, 1865, p. 286. 



Sp. 628. PTERODROMA ATLANTICA, Gould. 



Atlantic Petrel. 

aid in Ann. and Ma^ 



p. 362. 

fuligm 



Pterodroma atlantica, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., torn. ii. p. 191, Ptero- 
droma, sp. 2. 

This species frequents both the Atlantic and the Pacific 



vol. ii. 



2 G 







i ^ 






:.»■ • ■ 



* 



*■ *„ it". 



1 1 T + ^ n 

.'•-■ ■ .•; ■ ■ ■■ 



■ i 



■ 






450 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



Oceans, and no ship passes between our shores and the Cape 
of Good Hope without meeting it. Very considerable con- 
fusion exists in the writings of some of the older authors with 
regard to this bird. It is the P. fuliginosa of Forster's Draw- 
ings, No. 93 B, and the P. fuliginosa of Lichtenstein's edition 
of Forster's MSS., p. 23, which term cannot be retained, as 
it had already been applied by Latham to a very different bird 
from Otaheite ; it is the P. grisea of Kuhl, but not of Linnaeus, 
who has given the term to another species, consequently grisea 
must also be rejected; and hence I have been induced to 
give it a new appellation, and thereby prevent misapprehension 
for the future. 

Male. — The whole of the plumage deep chocolate-black; 

bill and feet jet-black. 

Total length 15 J inches ; bill If; wing 11 J; tail 5; tarsi 2f; 
middle toe and nail 2-f- . 














Sp. 629. PTERODROMA SOLANDRI, Gould. 

Solander's Petrel. 

Procellaria solandri, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xii. p. 57. 
Cookilaria solandri, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., torn. ii. p. 190, Cooki- 

laria, sp. 3. 

Of this remarkably robust and compact bird I shot a single 
individual in Bass's Straits on the 13th of March 1839, which 
the late John Natterer, to whom I showed the specimen, 



thought might possibly be identical with the bird figured in 



Banks's drawings, and to which Dr. Solander has affixed the 




term melanopus, an opinion in which I cannot concur ; I have 

therefore named it in honour of that celebrated botanist. The 

specimen described below may possibly not be fully adult, 

as the dark colouring of the under surface only occupies the 

extreme tips of the feathers, the basal portions of which are 
snow-white. 

Head, back of the neck, shoulders, primaries, and tail dark 








NATATOEES. 



451 



brown ; back, wing-coverts, and upper tail-coverts slate-grey, 
each feather margined with dark brown; face and all the 
under surface brown, washed with grey on the abdomen; 
bill, tarsi, toes, and membranes black. 

Total length 16 inches ; bill If ; wing 12 ; tail 5-J ; tarsi f ; 
middle toe and nail 2f . 







Genus ^ESTRELATA, Bonaparte. 

The members of this well-marked genus, as might be 



pected from the 



flight 



of their wings, have great powers of 



In the delicate form and colour of their feet and leg 



they differ very considerably from the Pterodromce 
species — JEstrelata hasitata {Procellaria hasitata, Temm 
has been killed in England. 



One 



Sp. 630. ^STRELATA LEUCOCEPHALA 

White-headed Petrel. 

Procellaria leucocephala, Forst. Drawings, No. 98. 
lessonii, Garn. Ann. des Sci. Nat., torn. vii. t. 4. 



vagabunda, Sol. MSS. 



^Estrelata leucocephala, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., torn. ii. p. 189, 

JEstrelata, sp. 4. 
Rhantistes lessoni, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de PAcad. Sci., 1856. 



Procellaria lessonii, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 49. 

While engaged in watching the movements of the several 
species of the great family of Procellaridce, which at one time 
often and often surrounded the ships that conveyed me round 
the world, a bright speck would appear on the distant 
horizon, and, gradually approaching nearer and nearer, at 
length assumed the form of the White-headed Petrel whose 



g-powers far exceed 



of any of its 



would be rising high 



g 



at 



sweeping comet-like through the flocks flying around ; never, 



2 



' *^Ti"TP* ■■ 







' 



452 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



however, approaching the ship sufficiently near for a successful 
shot, and it was equally wary in avoiding the boat with which 
I was frequently favoured for the purpose of securing examples 
of other species ; but, to make use of a familiar adage, " the 
most knowing are taken in at last ; " one beautiful morning, 
the 20th of February 1839, during my passage from Hobart 
Town to Sydney, when the sea was perfectly calm and of a 



glassy smoothness, this wanderer of the 



came in sight 



and approached within three hundred yards of 



bring him 



ge, I thought of the following stratagem 



ked bottle 



attached to a long line, was thrown overboard and allowed to 
drift to the distance of forty or fifty yards, and kept there 

us with another visit, while flying 



the bird favoured 



round 



immense circles ; at 



;th his keen eye 



g 



sight of the neck of the bottle (to which a bobbing motion 
was communicated by sudden jerks of the string), and he at 
once proceeded to examine more closely what it was that 
had arrested his attention ; during this momentary pause the 
trigger was pulled, the boat lowered, and the bird was soon 

in my possession. 

The wings of the White-headed Petrel are longer and more 
arched than those of any other species of its size and weight, 
and it is consequently one of the boldest and most powerful 

fliers of the Procellarida. During flight the dark colouring 
of the wing shows very conspicuously, and presents the form 

of a W as seen in some other species : as is the case with most 



hinder 



birds of powerful flight, its legs are thin and delicate. 

Forehead, face, all the under surface, and tail white ; 

part of the head, back of the neck, and upper tail-coverts grey ; 

back greyish brown ; wings blackish brown ; round and 

■tarsi 



before the eye a mark of black ; bill and irides black ; 
and half the toes and webs flesh-white ; the tips of the 

■ 

and webs black. 

















■ 



HI 

I I 



I 



i 



; 






NATATORES. 



453 



i 

■ 





















Sp. 631. 



iESTRELATA MOLLIS, Gould. 

SoFT-PLTJMAGED PETREL. 



Procellaria mollis, Gould in Ann. and Mag. of Nat. Hist., vol. xiii. 

p. 363. 

Rhantistes mollis, Bonap. Comp. Rend, de l'Acad. Sc., 1856. 
Cookilaria mollis, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., torn. ii. p. 190, Cookilaria, 

sp. 4. 



Procellaria mollis, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 50. 

This species flies in the greatest abundance between the 
20th and 50th degrees of south latitude ; but I observed it to 
be more numerous in the Atlantic than in the Pacific ; and 
probably, like the other wandering members of this genus, it 
makes a circuit of the globe : although I have not seen it 
within sight of the shores of Australia, it doubtless occasion- 
ally visits them, for I observed it to be plentiful off the eastern 
end of the islands of St. Paul and Amsterdam. It is a species 
which will ever live in my memory, from its being the first 
large Petrel I saw after crossing the line, and from a some- 
what curious incident that then occurred. The weather being 
too boisterous to admit of a boat being lowered, I endeavoured 
to "capture the bird with a hook and line ; and the ordinary 
sea-hooks being too large for the purpose, I was in the act of 
selecting one from my stock of salmon-flies, when a sudden 
gust of wind blew my hooks and a piece of parchment ten 



inches long 




six inches wide, between which they were 



placed, overboard into the sea, and I was obliged to give up the 
attempt for that day ; on the next I succeeded in capturing 
the bird with a hook I had still left, and the reader may judge 
of my surprise when on opening the stomach I there found 



the piece of parchment, softened by the action of the salt 
water and the animal juices to which it had been subjected, 
but so completely uninjured that it was dried and again 

■ 

restored to its original use when a further supply of flies could 
be procured. 



I 



■ 






* ' 



- ' 




















* 



* 



■ 4 




454 



BIRDS OP AUSTRALIA. 



Its powers of flight are considerable, and the action of its 
wings is very rapid. 

The food, which appears to be precisely the same as that of 

the other Petrels, consists of mollusks, the fat of dead cetacea, 
small fish, &c. 

The sexes are similar in colour, but the young differ from 
the adult in having all the under surface dark grey and the 
throat speckled with grey. 

Crown of the head and all the upper surface slate-grey, the 
feathers of the forehead margined with white; wings dark 
brown ; before and beneath the eye a mark of brownish black ; 
face, throat, and all the under surface pure white, interrupted 
by the slate-grey of the upper surface advancing upon the 
sides of the chest and forming a faint band across the breast ; 
centre tail-feathers dark grey ; outer feathers greyish white, 
freckled with dark grey ; bill black ; tarsi, base of the toes 

and basal half of the interdigital membrane pale fleshy white, 
the remainder black. 

Total length 13J inches ; bill !-§- ; wing 9f ; tail 5 ; tarsi If ; 
middle toe and nail 1#. 










Sp. 632. ^ESTRELATA LEUCOPTERA, Gould. 

White-winged Petrel. 

Procellaria leucoptera, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xii. p. 57. 
Rhantistes leucoptera, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de l'Acad. Sci., 1856. 
Cookilaria leucoptera, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., torn. ii. p. 190, Cooki- 



laria, sp. 1. 



MSS 



Procellaria cookii, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 51. 

I feel assured that this bird is different from the P. cooM 
of Mr. G. R. Gray. On comparing the specimens of both, 
now before me, I find that my bird, which was obtained 
while breeding on Cabbage Tree Island at the mouth of Port 
Stephen's Harbour, has a shorter and much stouter bill, a 












T ' - ? J 















I 1 



K I* 






NATATORES. 



455 



much darker head, neck, and upper surface, and a uniform- 
coloured tail, whereas Mr. Gray's P. cooki has the inner webs 
of the outer tail-feathers snow-white. It is impossible to say 
to which of these two birds the P. velox of Solander's draw- 
ings has reference, and consequently that 



name 



sarily sink into a synonym. 

The Australian seas abound with Petrels, the investigation 

m 

of the various species of which, their habits and economy, as 
well as their places of abode, will serve to occupy the atten- 
tion of ornithologists for years to come. It could scarcely be 
expected that a single voyage to Australia could add much to 



knowledge of the subj 



my readers must therefore be 



contented with 



more than 



illustration . 



That, like the other members of the genus, it subsists upon 
small fishes, medusae, and others of the lower marine animals, 

there can be no doubt. 

I have been informed that this species breeds in abundance 
on one of the small islands near the mouth of the harbour of 
Port Stephen, in New South Wales, where my specimens were 
procured. I frequently saw it during my passage from Syd- 
ney to Cape Horn, but it was most numerous between the 
coast of Australia and the northern part of New Zealand. It 
is one of the most elegantly formed species of the genus, and 
is rendered conspicuously different from the rest of its con- 
geners by its white abdomen and under wing-coverts, which 
show very conspicuously when the bird is on the wing, parti- 
cularly when seen from beneath, as it frequently may be when 
the breeze is fresh or a gale rising ; it seldom, however, even 
then mounts higher than the vane of the vessel. 

The sexes do not differ in external appearance. 

Crown of the head, all the upper surface, and wings dark 
slaty black; tail slate-grey; greater wing-coverts slightly 
fringed with white ; face, throat, all the under surface, the 
base of the inner webs of the primaries and secondaries, and 



g the 



edge of the shoulder pure 



bill 






i 



I 




< : 






» 












'** 








^wa 










456 



BIRDS OM AUSTRALIA. 






!■ 



black ; tarsus and basal half of the interdigital membrane 

fleshy white j remainder of the toes and interdigital mem- 
brane black. 

Total length 13 inches ; bill 1 and 5 lines ; wing 8-J- ; tail 4 ; 
tarsi 1-g- ; middle toe and nail If. 






Sp. 633. jESTRELATA COOKI, G. B. Gray. 

Cook's Petrel. 

Procellaria velox, Sol. MSS. Banks's Icon.inedit., t. 16? 

cooki, G. R. Gray in Dieff. Trav. in New Zeal., vol. ii. p. 199. 



■ * 



This bird frequents the seas between Australia and New 
Zealand. Like the JE. leucqptera, it is very delicately formed, 
and with that bird, the JE. mollis, and the other species 

having flesh-coloured tarsi, forms a very natural division of 
the Procellaridse or Petrels. 

The following is Mr. Gray's description and admeasure- 
ments as given in the zoology of the voyage of the ' Erebus' 
and ' Terror,' and which will be seen to differ somewhat from 
the description and admeasurements of JE. leucqptera. 

" Grey above, with the apex of each feather narrowly mar- 



gined 



their bases, white ; oblong spot below each 



eye, wing-coverts, secondaries, and quills brownish black, with 
the basal portion of the inner webs of the two last white ; the 
front cheeks, under wing-coverts, and the whole of the under 
part white ; bill black ; tarsi and knee brownish yellow ; feet 

black, with the intermediate webs yellow. 



c< 



Total length 12 J inches; bill, length 1 inch 7 



depth in middle 3 



wings 2J inches ; tarsi 1 inch 2 



lines 



>> 



















I 






NATATORES. 



457 



Genus HALOB^ENA, 'is. Geoff, de St. Hilaire. 

The single species of this genus assimilates to the Prions in 
its outward appearance, but is, in my opinion, more nearly 
allied to the true Petrels. 



J 






*1 
I 



• i 






» 



P 



* i 






i 



Sp. 634. 



HALOB^ENA CCERULEA. 

Blue Petrel, 



Procellaria ccerulea, Gmel. Edit, of Linn. Syst. Nat., torn. i. p. 560. 

Blue Petrel, Lath. Gen. Syn., vol. vi. p. 415. 

Procellaria similis, Forst. Draw., No. 86. 

forsteri, Smith, Zool. of S. Africa, Birds, pi. 54. 



Halabcena 



1856 



Procellaria coBrulea, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 52. 

This bird may be distinguished from every other of the 
smaller Petrels by the conspicuous white tips of the centre 
tail-feathers. It is a very powerful flier, and I observed it in 
every part of the ocean I traversed between the 40th and 55th 
degrees of south latitude, both in the Atlantic and Pacific. 

It is generally seen in company with the fairy -like Prion 
turtur, from which when on the wing it can scarcely be dis- 
tinguished, unless it passes sufficiently near for the observer 
to note the more square form, and the white tips of the tail- 
feathers, which, as well as the silvery ends of the secon- 



On 



my 



daries and scapularies, show very conspicuously, 
passage to Australia I first observed it in lat. 39° 23' S., long. 
54° E. ; as we proceeded it gradually increased in numbers, 
and was very plentiful off the coast of Tasmania ; I also met 
with it in my passage from Hobart Town to South Australia 
and Sydney ; and on my return to England in the beginning 
of May 1840, I observed it to be very abundant off the north- 
east coast of New Zealand ; tolerably numerous on the 20th 
of May near Cape Horn, lat. 50° S., long. 90° W. ; plentiful 
midway between Tristan d'Acunha and the coast of America ; 




I^^^^^^^^B 



458 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



34 



d in the Atlantic on the 12th of June, lat. 41° S., long 
W., a few were still hovering round the ship. 



2 



The sexes are precisely alike 



Forehead 



cheeks, throat, centre of the chest, and 



the under surface white 



• 

narrow space beneath the eye 



shoulders, and the outer webs of the first primaries deep 
brownish black ; back of the neck, sides of the chest, back, 
rump, wings and tail grey ; the secondaries, scapularies, and 
six middle tail-feathers tipped with white ; the two outer tail- 
feathers almost wholly white, and the shafts of all black j bill 

* 

dull blackish brown, with a stripe of blue-grey along the lower 
part of the under mandible ; tarsi and toes delicate blue ; 
interdigital membrane flesh-white traversed by red veins. 



* 



Genus PUFFIN US, Brisson. 

The Shearwaters, like many other portions of the family 
ProcellaridcB , have been much subdivided, and what was but 



the other day a g 
well-known Pwffinu 



now constitutes a subfamily 



The 



ml 



and the P. obscurus are re- 



gie species 



garded as typical Puffini, of which form a sii 
P. nugax, is found in Australia ; while the P. breviccmdus and 
P. carneipes are placed in the genus Nectris, and the P. sphe 

, The various members of these division 



nurus m 




differ slightly in their habits. They are all gregarious, and 
particularly during the breeding-season assemble in immense 

numbers. 



Sp. 635. 



PUPFINUS NUGAX. 

Allied Petrel. 



Procellaria nugax, Sol. MS S. 

Puffinus assimilis, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part v. p. 156. 

nugax, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., torn. ii. p. 205. 

Puffinus assimilis, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 59. 

All the specimens of this species that I have seen were pro- 











NATATORES. 



459 



'. 



cured on Norfolk Island, where it is said to breed ; conse- 
quently the seas washing the eastern shores of Australia may 
be considered its native habitat ; it is evidently the represen- 
tative of the Puffinus obscurus of Europe. On my homeward 
voyage from Australia I saw numerous examples flying off 
the north-eastern end of New Zealand, and this I regret to 
say is all the information I have to communicate respecting it. 

I have received two beautiful snow-white eggs of this bird 
from Mr. Macgillivray ; they were collected on Royal Island 
in July 1854, and are two inches in length by one inch and 
three lines in breadth. 

Crown of the head, all the upper surface, wings, and tail 

sooty black ; sides of the face, throat, and all the under sur- 
face white ; bill dark horn-colour ; tarsi and toes greenish 
yellow ; webs yellowish orange. 



Total length 11 inches ; 



bill 2f ; wing 6^ ; tail 3 ; tarsi 1J 



A 



1 1 



/ 



n * % 



i 



Genus NECTRIS, Bonaparte. 

The members of this genus inhabiting Australia are two in 

number, both of which make one or other of the groups of 
islands lying off the coast their great nurseries or breeding- 



places. 



They are distinguished by their ample wings and 



very short tails, and by the uniform dark colouring of their 
plumage. 






Sp. 636. 



NECTMS BREVICAUDUS 

Short-taileu Petrel. 



# 



ifi 



N t 



fig. 17. 

Sci., torn. xli. 
201 ; Nectris, 



sp. 1. 



Mutton-bird of the Sealers. 



Puffinus brevicaudus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 56. 
This bird is an inhabitant of the seas surrounding Tasma- 



* 4 






■ - 



* 



* i * 



* * ** 



i" 



*~ *v. 



T" - 



460 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



a and the islands in Bas 
ipecially to Green Island 



Straits 



-u * 



to some of which, b 
during the summer 



numbers for the purpose of breeding and rearing its 
young. I visited this island in January 1839, when, al- 



though the season was far advanced, both 



g 



d young 
I had 



were still so numerous as to excite my astonishment, 
previously heard much of this great nursery of Petrels, and 
might have added much to the length of this paper by record- 
g my own observations ; but so much has been written by 



others, that I prefer 




g their statements, notwithstanding 



a little repetition in the details comprised therein. Mr. Davies 
in the second volume of the ' Tasmanian Journal/ states that 
"About the commencement of September these birds con- 
gregate in immense flocks, and shortly afterwards proceed at 

the different isles upon which they have established 



their rookeries 



Here they remain during the night for the 
space of about ten days, forming their burrows and preparing 



for the ensuing lay 



They then leave, and 



for about five weeks 



About the 20th of November at sunset a few come 

ght of 



the 



lay, and gradually increase in numbers until 
24th. Still there are comparatively few, and a person would 
find some difficulty in collecting two dozen eggs on the morn- 
ing of that day. 

" It is not in my power to describe the scene that presents 
itself at Green Island on the night of the 24th of November. 

A few minutes before sunset flocks are seen making for the 
island from every quarter, and that with a rapidity hardly 
conceivable j when they congregate together, so dense is the 

ght is ushered in full ten minutes before the 

flitting about the island for 



cloud, that 



time. The birds 



ii 



nearly an hour and then settle upon it. The whole island 
burrowed ; and when I state that there are not sufficient bur 



for one-fourth of the birds to lay 



of 



and confusion that ensues may be imagined —I will not 













■ 



J< 



NATATORES. 



461 



attempt to describe it. On the morning of the 25th the 
male birds take their departure, returning again in the even- 
ing, and so they continue to do until the end of the season. 
. . . Every burrow on the island contains, according 
to its size, from one to three or four birds, and as many 
eggs ; one is the general rule. At least three-fourths of the 
birds lay under the bushes, and the eggs are so numerous, 
that great care must be taken to avoid treading upon them. 
The natives from Minders generally live for some days on 
Green Island at this time of the year for the purpose of col- 
lecting the eggs, and again in March or April for curing the 
young birds Besides Green Island, the princi- 
pal rookeries of these birds are situated between Flinder's 
Island and Cape Barren, and most of the smaller islands in 
Furneaux's group. The eggs and cured birds form a great 
portion of the food of sealers, and, together with the fea- 
thers, constitute the principal articles of their traffic. The 
mode by which the feathers are obtained has been described 

to me as follows : 

" The birds cannot rise from the ground, but must first go 
into the water ; in effecting which, they make numerous tracks 
to the beach similar to those of a kangaroo ; these are stopped 
before morning, with the exception of one leading over a shelv- 
ing bank, at the bottom of which is dug a pit in the sand ; the 
birds, finding all avenues closed but this, follow each other in 
such numbers, that, as they fall into the pit, they are imme- 
diately smothered by those succeeding them. It takes the 
feathers of forty birds to weigh a pound ; consequently six- 
teen hundred must be sacrificed to make a feather-bed of 
forty pounds weight. Notwithstanding the enormous annual 
' destruction of these birds, I did not, during the five years that 
I was in the habit of visiting the Straits, perceive any sensi- 
ble diminution in their number. The young birds leave the 
rookeries about the latter end of April, and form one scattered 
flock in Bass's Straits. I have actually sailed through them 









' » 



w \ 



ij 






.462 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



from Flinders Island to the heads of the Tamar, a distance of 
ghty miles. They shortly afterwards separate into dense 



■t 



the coast. The old birds 



very 



flocks, and finally 

oily, but the young are literally one mass of fat, which has 

tallowy appearance, and hence I presume the name of Mutton 



Bird 



To 






I may add that the young birds 



very 



good when fresh, and the old birds after being skinned and 
preserved in lime are excellent eating. 

It will be seen that I have alluded in forcible terms to the 
great abundance of this species, in confirmation of which I 
annex the following extract from Flinder's Voyage, v 



1. 



p. 170 



A large flock of Gannets 



observed 



daylight, and 



they were followed by such a number of the Sooty Petrels 



had 



seen equalled. There 



stream of from 



fifty to eighty yards in depth, and of three hundred yards or 
more in breadth ; the birds were not scattered, but were 
flying as compactly as a free movement of their wings seemed 
to allow ; and during a full hour and a half this stream of 
Petrels continued to pass without interruption, at a rate little 
inferior to the swiftness of the Pigeon. On the lowest 
computation I think the number could not have been less than 



hundred millions 



Taking the 



earn 



have been fifty 



yards deep by three hundred in width, and that it moved 
the rate of thirty miles an hour, and allowing nine cubic yards 
of space to each bird, the numberwould amount tol51,500,000. 

The burrows required to lodge this quantity of birds would 
be 75,750,000 ; and allowing a square yard to each burrow, 
they would cover something more than 18^ geographic square 
miles of ground." 

The following highly interesting note respecting this species 
is from the personal observation of R. Elwes, Esq., of Norfolk, 
and is here transcribed 



in confirmation of the statements 



given above, and to show that even 
bird appeared to be as numerous as 



ently as 1859 








natator.es. 



463 



" The little settlement on Vansittart's or Gun-carriage Island, 
one of the Flinder's Islands group in Bass's Straits, lies in a 
cove, on one side sandy, but on the other closed in by huge 
granite rocks, behind which the sealers have built their houses, 
and which serve also to shelter their boats from the sea. 



Tucker's (the chief 



house was comfortable enough 



His wife 



Hindoo woman from Calcutta, active and 



dustrious, who kept 



good order. The other men had 



gins,' as they called them, from Australia and 



Van Diemen's Land 



ce 



Their 



g 



pat 



sealing, for these islands 
course of time these 




formerly swarmed with seals. In the cours 
animals became exterminated, and now their principal liveli- 
hood is derived from the Mutton-birds, which are found here 
in incredible numbers. These birds, called also Sooty or 
Short-tailed Petrels {Puffinus brevicandus, Gould, B. Austr. vii. 
. 56), have such long wings that, like the Albatros, the 

■ 

largest of their tribe, they have great difficulty in rising from 
the ground when settled ; and it is this peculiarity that makes 
their capture so easy. They build in holes in the ground. 
The islands which they frequent are burrowed over in all di- 
rections, just like a rabbit-warren. They arrive in huge flocks 
about the 21st of September, generally to the day, to prepare 

* 

their holes and clean them out. There is tremendous fight- 
ing and quarrelling for these holes. When the birds have 
arrived a few days, their tracks or pathways begin to be 
apparent, or, as the sealers say, ' they begin to show their runs,' 
for they go down to the sea every morning. 



The sealers then 
dig a large pit in one of the main runs, with small fences on 
each side, leading down to it like a funnel. When all is ready, 
some morning at daybreak, when the birds come out of their 
holes, they are driven down these runs into the pitfall. 'We 
rushes 'em down, sir, and they all tumbles over one another 
into the hole,' was the way the men expressed it. They 
crowd down and fall in by hundreds, crushing and smothering 



\\ 






t 







"77^ 







t \\ 



464 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



each other until the pit is full, when the men break down the 
fence at the sides and let the rest escape. They generally take 

2000 to 2200 in each drive. The men then jump into the hole 
and set to work to pick them, pulling off the body-feathers and 
stuffing them into bags, and throwing the carcasses out of the 



hole 



This 



It 



hard work, and before the 



end of the season their nails sometimes come off from the con- 
tinual plucking. It takes the feathers of twenty-five birds 
a make a pound, which sells at Launceston for twopence; but 
Tucker, his wife, and his pal, Dick, collected a ton of feathers 



year. To do this they 



have killed 56,000 birds 



and yet they say their numbers do not seem to decrease. The 
birds come back to the islands again on the 23rd of Novem- 
ber to lay. They lay but one egg, and generally on the day 



the day after they 



for their 



The sealers collect a good many 



and when the young birds are nearly full-g 



they attack them again for the sake of the oil with which the 
old birds feed them. They thrust their hands into the hole, 
pull out the young bird by the head, kill it by squeezing it, 



the 



the beak 



and, holding it up by the legs, 

This oil is very clean and pure, burns well, and sells at 



Launceston at four shillings per g 



When the young 



birds are full-grown, they are very fat. The men then pull 



them out of their holes 



ipit them, and salt them 



It is 



rather dangerous work catching them in this way, for many 
venomous snakes dwell in the holes, and are sometimes seized 

and pulled out instead of a bird." — Ibis, 1859, p. 397. 



The 



m 



very large for the size of the bird, being 



inches and three-quarters long by one inch and seven-eighths 
broad, and is of a snow-white. The white or albumen forms 
a very large proportion of its contents ; and it is remarkable 
that a small part of both the yolk and the white remains soft 
and watery, however long the egg may be boiled. 



The food of the old birds 



taceans 



of shrimps, small crus- 



d mollusks, which they principally procure from 







NATATORES. 



465 



l 

among the large beds of kelp along the 
fed with grass, sea-weed. &c. 



The young 



it is 



The flight of this and the other species of Puffinus differs 
considerably from that of the ProcellaricB in being straighter 
and performed close above the surface of the water ; 
moreover so exceedingly rapid, that Mr. Davies states it can- 
not be fairly estimated at less than sixty miles an hour. 

The sexes are so much alike that they can only be distin- 
guished by dissection. 

The whole of the plumage sooty brown, the under surface 
much paler than the upper ; bill blackish brown tinged with 
olive ; the under mandible with a longitudinal mark of vinous 
grey ; irides brownish black ; outer side of the tarsi and outer 



■ * 



toe brownish black ; inner side of the tarsi and two inner toes 

t 

vinous grey ; webs yellowish flesh-colour, becoming blackish 
brown towards the extremity. 



['. v "• 















Sp. 637. 



NECTRIS CARNEIPES, Gould. 

* 

Fleshy-footed Peteel. 



Puffinus carneipes, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xii. p. 57. 
Majaqueus carneipes, Reich. Syst. av., tab. xxiv. fig. 2601. 
Priofinus carneipes, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de FAcad. Sci., 1856. 
Nectris carneipes, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., torn. ii. p. 201 ; Nectris, 

sp. 2. 



Puffinus carneipes, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 57. 

This species of Petrel flies over the seas bordering the 
southern and western coasts of Australia, and resorts amono- 

other places to the small islands off Cape Leeuwin for the 
purpose of breeding ; it was here that the specimens and eggs 
contained in my collection were procured. It differs from the 
Nectris brevicaudus in the greater length and in the more 
square form of its tail, and in the light or fleshy colour of its 
bill and legs. 



VOL. II. 



2 H 



■P' 



— 







466 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



Its single white egg is about two inches and seven-eighths 

lg by nearly two inches wide. 

There is no difference in the colouring of the sexes, which 



may be thus described : 

The whole of the plumage chocolate-black; bill fleshy 
white, the culmen and tips of the mandibles brown ; legs, 
feet, and inter digital membranes yellowish flesh-colour. 



Total length 15 inches; bill l 3 



4 > 



wing 12 ; tail 5 ; tarsi 



2 ; middle toe and nail 2\. 




\ n 



Genus THIELLUS, Gloger. 



Bonaparte places in this genus the bird I have characterized 
as Puffinus sphenurus and the P. chlororhynchus of Lesson. 
These birds are slender in form and have long and pointed 

The former, if not both these birds, frequent the Aus- 



tails. 
tralian seas. 



Sp. 638. THIELLUS SPHENURUS, Gould. 

Wedge-tailed Petrel. 

i 

Puffinus sphenurus, Gould in Ann. and Mag. of Nat. Hist., vol. xiii 

p. 365. 
Thiellus sphenurus, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de PAcad. Sci., torn. 1866 



Puffinus sphenurus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 58. 

This species was procured by Gilbert on the Houtmann's 
Abrolhos, off the western coast of Australia ; he also observed 
it on all the neighbouring sandy islands, but on none was it 
more abundant than on West Wallaby Island, which appears 
to be one of its chief breeding-places, and where it burrows 



to a considerable distance before depositing its egg. 



Mr. 

Macgillivray also procured specimens of this bird on Lord 
Howe's Island ; we may therefore infer that it frequents the 
seas washing the whole of the southern portion of Australia. 



y 




NATATORES. 



467 



Its single white egg is two inches and three-quarters long 



by one and three-quarters wide 

All the upper surface dark chocolate -brown, which 



gra- 
dually deepens into black on the primaries and tail ; feathers 
of the scapularies, which are very broad in form, washed with 
lighter brown at their tips ; face and throat dark brownish 

j bill 

reddish fleshy brown, darker on the culmen and tip ; legs and 
feet yellowish flesh-colour. I 

Total length 1 5^ inches ; bill 1 
middle toe and nail i 



grey, the remainder of the under surface greyish br 



5 

8 



g 11 J; tail 6; tarsi 1 



7. 
8' 



8 



I ' 



. 



T 



Genus THALASSOICA, Reichenb ach . 

The delicately coloured Petrel, for which the above generic 
name has been proposed, differs from all its congeners, and I 
therefore concur in the propriety of its separation. It is nearly 
allied to Fulmarus. 






Sp. 639. THALASSOICA GLACIALOIDES. 

Silvery-grey Petrel. 

Procellaria glacialoid.es, Smith, Zool. of South Africa, Aves, pi. 51. 
Thalassoica glacialoides , Reich. Syst. Av., tab. xxi. fig. 789, et tab. 25 

figs. 2608, 2609. 



Procellaria glacialoides, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. 

pi. 48. 

During my passage to and from Australia I saw numerous 
examples of this bird, both in the Atlantic and Pacific. I 
first met with it off the Cape of Good Hope, and it was fre- 
quently seen from thence across the South Indian Ocean to 
New South Wales ; I subsequently observed it between Syd- 
ney and Cape Horn ; it was numerous off the Falkland Islands, 
and I have a specimen killed on the shores of New Zea- 
land. One of the finest examples I possess was captured 

2 h 2 





468 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



with a hook and line, and thus afforded Mrs. Gould an oppor- 
tunity of making a beautiful drawing from life. It was a 
species which particularly interested me while at sea, as much 
for its familiar habits as for its peculiar actions and mode of 
flight : with the exception of the Cape Petrel {Daption ca- 
pensis), no species was more readily taken with a baited hook. 

Like that bird it has very broad primaries, giving an appear- 

ance of great j 

number of feathers (14) in the tail, and the nostrils placed 



breadth to the end of the wing, has the same 



single tube. 

The late Sir Andrew Smith, who 



the first to disci 



* 

minate the characters which distinguish this species, remarks 
that, " In many respects it has a strong resemblance to the 
Procellaria olacialis of authors ; the length of the bill, how- 



only greater, but the thickness 



different 



being inferior to that of P. glacialis, and neither are ever 

otherwise in any individual of the Cape species . . . . It 



often hunts for its food' 



ghbourhood of the South 



African coasts, and even frequently 



the bays, appa 



)> 



rently for the same purpose. It flies higher above the surface 
of the water than the smaller species, rests more frequently- 
and seems well-disposed to feed upon dead animal matter, 

when such can be procured ] 

All the upper surface and tail delicate silvery grey ; outer 
webs, shafts, a line along the inner webs, and the tips of the 
primaries and the outer webs of the secondaries slaty black ; 

face and all the under surface pure silky white ; irides brown- 
ish black : nostrils, culmen, and a portion of the base of the 



upper mandible bluish 



d 



tips of both mandibles 



fleshy hor 



deepening into black at their points 



remainder of the bill pinky flesh 



gs and feet grey 



washed with pink on the 
on the ioints. 



and blotched with slaty black 






4 " 






I 



I; 






NATATORES. 



469 



Genus DAPTION, Stephens. 



A genus established for the reception of the Procettaria ca- 
pmsis of Linnaeus, a species abounding in all the temperate 
latitudes of the southern seas. 



Sp. 640. 



DAPTION CAPENSIS. 

* 

Cape Petrel. 



Procettaria capensis, Linn. Syst. Nat., torn. i. p. 213. 

Procettaria ncevia, Briss. Orn., torn. vi. p. 146. 

Le Petrel tachete, ou le Damier, Buff. Hist, des Ois., torn. ix. pL 304, 

pi. 21. 

White- and Black-spotted Petrel, Edw. Glean., pi. 90. 

Pintado Petrel } Lath. Gen. Syn., vol. vi. p. 401. 

Daption capensis } Steph. Cont. of Shaw's Gen. Zool., vol. xiii. p. 241, 

pi. 28. 
Cape Pigeon and Cape Petrel of Voyagers. 



Daption capensis, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 53. 

This species of Petrel is well known to every person who 
has visited the southern hemisphere ; for it is equally common 
in the Atlantic and Pacific, and is nowhere more numerous 
than off the south coast of Tasmania ; it may, in fact, be said 
to inhabit the temperate latitudes of all the seas above-men- 
tioned, and to be without exception the most familiar species 
of Petrel the voyager meets with. Prom the circumstance of 
individuals which have been caught, marked and again set at 
liberty, having been found to follow vessels for hundreds of 
miles for the sake of the offal thrown overboard, no doubt 
exists in my mind that it constantly circumnavigates the 



globe. 



During my passage from Hobart Town to Sydney 



and from Sydney to Cape Horn, on my return to England, it 
was a constant attendant on the ship. It is frequently seen 
close to the vessel, and if fed with any oily substance, it may 
during a calm be attracted to within three yards of the ship's 
side. When other resources of amusement fail, the cap- 




; 






r 



*i 



V I ' 



* 






I 






1 

I 



470 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



turing of this bird frequently affords the passengers occupa- 
tion for hours together, and often serves to break the mono- 
tony of a lengthened voyage. It is said to breed on the island 
of South Georgia, and Sir James Ross saw flocks of young 
birds, in January 1841, in 71° 50' S., near South Victoria. 
The following notes were made during my passages out and 
home, and are worth transcribing, as they record some of the 
latitudes and longitudes in which the bird was seen, and the 

date of the observations : ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^_ 

—Saw 



" Julv 27, 1838, lat. 26° 54' S., long. 31° 25' W.- 

the first Cape Petrel, and from this date until we doubled the 
Cape of Good Hope it paid daily visits to the ship, sometimes 
in considerable numbers, at others only two or three appeared. 

" August 18. — Off the island of St. Paul. Cape Petrels 
very plentiful. 

" September 8. — Off King George's Sound. Cape Petrels 
still very numerous. 



"May 




1840, lat. 40° S., long. 154° W.— Two Cape 



Petrels hovering round the ship, the first of the species seen 
since leaving Sydney. 

« May 20.— Off Cape Horn, lat. 50° S., long. 90° W. Cape 

Petrels very abundant. 

" This Martin among the Petrels is extremely tame, passing 
immediately under the stern and settling down close to the 
sides of the ship, if fat of any kind or other oily substance be 
thrown overboard. Swims lightly, but rarely exercises its 

natatorial powers except to procure food, in pursuit of which 
it occasionally dives for a moment or two. Nothing can be 
more graceful than its motions while on the wing, with the 



among 



the 



neck shortened, and the legs entirely hidden 
feathers of the under tail-coverts. Like the other Petrels, it 
ejects, when irritated, an oily fluid from its mouth. Its 
feeble note of " cac, cac, cac, cac" is frequently uttered, the 
third, says Captain Hutton, being pronounced the quickest. 
Its weight varies from fourteen to eighteen ounces : there is 



> 

i 



NATATOItES. 



471 



>) 



no difference in the weight of the sexes, neither is there any 
visible variation in their colouring, nor do they appear to be 
subject to any seasonal change. 

Head, chin, back and sides of neck, upper part of the back, 

lesser wing-coverts, edge of the under surface of the wing, 

and the primaries sooty brown ; wing-coverts, back, and 

upper tail-coverts white, each feather tipped with sooty brown ; 
basal half of the tail white, apical half sooty brown ; under 

surface white ; the under tail-coverts tipped with sooty brown ; 

beneath the eye a small streak of white ; bill blackish brown \ 

irides and feet very dark brown. 



^ 



* 



1 i 






Genus PRION, LacSptde. 

At least four species of this form frequent the seas washing 
southern parts of Australia. These fairy-like birds are 



the southern 

individually very numerous, for I have 



them in flocks of 






thousands. They are truly oceanic birds, seldom if ever near- 
ing land except for the purpose of breeding, when they take up 
their abode on the most isolated spots, such as St. Paul, Am- 
sterdam, Tristan d'Acunha, Prince Edward Islands, Kergue- 



len's Land, &c. Their broad laminated bills 



evidently 



formed for procuring some peculiar kind of food, of which 



doubtless 



known 



Medusa form a 



Besides the singular form of their bills, their delicate 



part.M 

grey colouring at once distinguishes them from the rest of the 
Petrels. Generally speaking, this is a southern form, but one 
species has occurred north of the line, and in our own seas. 
The species alluded to is the P. brevirostris, so named by me 
at the meeting of the Zoological Society of London held on 
the 12th of June 1855, and for a knowledge of which I was 
indebted to my late friend William Yarrell, who informed me 
it had been captured on the Island of Madeira or on the 
neighbouring rocky islets called the Desertas. The sexes 
present no external difference either in colour or size. 









■ ** T ' 




472 



BIRDS OP AUSTRALIA. 



Sp. 641. 



PRION TURTUR. 
Dove-like Prion. 

Procellaria turtur, Banks's Drawings, No. 15. 



M 



Whale 



Prion turtur, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol vii. pi. 54. 

So much confusion exists among the species of this genus 
of Petrels, that a very minute examination has been required 
to identifiy those described by the older writers, and it has 
been with no little attention and care on the part of the late 
John Natterer and myself that we came to the conclusion that 
the bird forming the subject of the 54th plate in the seventh 
volume of my folio edition is the one for which the specific name 



of turtur should be retained, 
the southern seas, the present 



Of the four species inhabiting 
is the most delicate in colour. 



the most slender and elegant in form • its bill 



much less dilated at the base, and has 



much 



developed than those of the P. banksii, to which it is nearly 



allied, and with which 



sometimes seen in company 



I 



find by my notes that I killed four specimens off Cape Howe 



Sydney 



16th of April, during my passage from Tasmania 



d I have but 



doubt that it traverses the 



surface of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, between 
30th and 50th degrees of south latitude, having seen and fr 



quently killed specimens while sailing within those prescribed 

limits. Sometimes it appeared in countless multitudes, but 
more often thinly dispersed over the surface of the ocean. 
During calms it flits over the glassy waters with a noiseless and 
easy flight, often performing small circles, and fluttering butter- 
-like over any oily substance thrown overboard, which it 
sips off the surface without settling ; occasionally, however, it 




buoyant and fairy little body on the 



reposes at perfect ease, until hung 



g 



g in search of food 



pels it 



take 



A more vigorous and active action of 









NATATORES. 



473 



the wing being necessary to sustain it during the raging of 
of the gale, it then moves with zigzag turns of great swiftness, 
ascending the billows, topping their surgy summits, and de- 
scending into the gulf between, where a momentary shelter 
enables it to gain fresh vigour, and seize from the slanting 
surface any floating mollusks that may present themselves, 
and which, from the disturbed state of the sea, are apparently 
more abundant then than at other times. 



The plumage of all the members of this g 



thick, and extremely 



g 



hence their bod 



is dense, 
are much 



;han they appear to be. The average weight of 
pies of this species was five ounces. 



ounces. HAlthoughBthe 
present bird and Prion banksii were seen in company, as 
before stated, the differences between the two were very ob- 
servable, the'extreme delicacy of colouring and the smaller size 
of the P. turtur strongly contrasting with the more bluff and 
darker-coloured head of the P. banksii ; when the wings were 
expanded, the black mark, similar to the letter W, was 
equally conspicuous in both. / 



the edge of the 




All the upper surface delicate blue-grey ; 
shoulder, the scapularies, outer margins of the external prima- 
ries and the tips of the middle tail-feather black ; small spot 
before the eye and a stripe beneath black ; lores, line over, 
beneath, and behind the eye and all the under surface white, 



stained with blue on the flanks and under 



bill 



■ 

;ht blue, deepening 



black on the sides of the 



nd at the tip, and with a black line along the side of the 
nder mandible ; irides very dark brown ; feet beautiful 
ght blue. 



Sp. 642. 




PRION ARIEL, Gould. 

Fairy Prion. 



Prion ariel, Gould in Ann. and Mag. of Nat. Hist., vol. xiii. p. 366. 

This is one of the smallest species of the genus, being much 
less than P. turtur and its near ally the P. brevirostris of the 



i ■ \ •. ' 



L % - , ■ t - 




/ 






474 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



Madeiran seas. Like P. turtur, the pectination of the bill is 
not discernible when that organ is closed. 



I procured several examples of this bird in Bass's Straits 
on the 16th of April 1839, when many were flying around 



me. 



In colour and general appearance it resembles P. turtur, 
except that it has a white face or no grey mark before the eye ; 
but not in its admeasurements, which are as follows : — 

* ■ 

Total length 9 inches ; bill lyg- ; wing 6f ; tail 3f ; tarsi 1-J. 












Sp. 643 



PRION BANKSII 

Banks's Prion. 



* 

Pachyptila banksii, Smith, Zool. of South Africa, Aves, pi. 55. 



M 



This species is constantly seen in all the south seas. In 
breadth its bill is intermediate between that of P. turtur and 
that of P. vittatus; it is, moreover, of a lengthened and 

somewhat elegant form, and exhibits the pectination of the 

mandibles when the bill is closed. 

In colour this species assimilates to the other members 

of the genus. 



Sp. 644. 



PRION VITTATUS. 

Broad-billed Prion. 



Pachyptila vittata, 111. Prod. Syst. Mamm. et Av., p. 275. 
Procellaria vittata, Forst. Draw., No. 86. 

forsteri, Lath. Ind. Orn., vol. ii. p. 827. 



Prion vittatus, Lacep. and Cuv. 

Pachyptila forsteri, Swains. Class, of Birds, vol. ii. p. 374 



Prion vittatus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 55. 

This species of Prion is very plentiful in the South Indian 
Ocean. I observed it on 



it on my outward passage to T 
the islands of Amsterdam and St. Paul. I ne 



met 



with it in the South Atlantic, although, in all probability, like 















\ 



(. 






NATATORES. 



475 



most of the other Petrels, it makes in the course of it 



s 



peregrinations a circuit of the globe 



The 



washing 



coasts of Tasmania, New Zealand, and the Auckland Islands 
are the localities whence most of the specimens in our 
museums have been obtained. 

This bird is rather larger than the last species. Its bill is 
much dilated, and the pectinations are very conspicuous, and 
doubtless perform some important function in the economy 
of the bird, but for what particular purpose these appendages 
to the bill are intended has not yet been ascertained. Its 
powers of flight and mode of life are very similar to those of 
the Prion turtur and P. batiksii, as detailed in the description 

of those species. I believe that the sexes present little or no 
difference in size or plumage, but I have not had an oppor- 
tunity of satisfactorily determining this point; had any ex- 
isted, however, it is not likely that it would have escaped the 
notice of those ornithologists who have from time to time 
examined the members of this group. 



Mr. Macgillivray sent to England two very fine eggs of 



this bird which he collected on the Island of St. Paul, in the 
Indian Ocean. They are pure white, and somewhat lengthened 
in form, being two inches long by one and a half broad. 



All the upper surface delicate blue-grey 



edge of the 



shoulder, the scapularies, outer primaries, and tips of the 
middle tail-feathers black ; space surrounding the eye and the 
ear-coverts black ; lores, line over 
surface white, stained with blue on the flanks and under 



the eye, and all the under 



coverts ; bill light blue, deepening into black on the sides of 

nostrils and at the tin, and with a black line alone the 



the nostrils and at 

side of the under mandible; irides very dark brown; feet 

beautiful light blue. 



There is another and broader billed species than P. vittaius, 
but the precise latitudes in which this fine bird flies is un- 
known to me. 






#' 









E 'At^fe 



S 







i 












476 



BIRDS OP AUSTRALIA. 



Genus PROCELLARIA, Linnaus. 



The little tenants of the ocean, which we have known of 
late years under the generic title of Thalassidroma, but for 
which I believe the term Procellaria was first proposed, are 
so universally dispersed, that they are found in all the seas 
except those of the very high latitudes of both hemispheres. 
The Australian avi-fauna is particularly rich in birds of this 
form, inasmuch as no less than five distinct species frequent 
the seas which wash the shores of that country. 

They have now been divided into several genera, P. pela- 
gica and my P. nereis being a typical species of the restricted 
senus Procettaria. 






Sp. 645. PROCELLARIA NEREIS, Gould. 

Grey-backed Storm-Petrel. 

Thalassidroma nereis, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part viii. p. 178. 
Procellaria nereis, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av v torn. ii. p. 196; Procellaria, 

sp. 1. 



Thalassidroma nereis, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. 
pi. 64. 

During a calm which occurred on my passage from Hobart 
Town to Sydney in May 1839, I obtained four examples of 
this species of Petrel, and I subsequently observed it flying 
about in considerable numbers near the eastern entrance 

of Bass's Straits ; I also met with it on my passage home to 
England in April 1840, between New South Wales and the 
northernmost point of New Zealand ; further than this I have 
little to communicate respecting it. 

The Procellaria nereis is a species readily distinguishable 
from its congeners by the total absence of any white mark on 
the rump, the want of which first drew my attention and 
induced me to suspect it, as it subsequently proved to be, a 
different species from any I had before seen ; my readers 













■ 










NATATORES. 



477 



will therefore easily imagine with what pleasure I descended 
the ship's side and sallied forth in a little ' dingy ' to procure 
specimens. This is not the only instance in which science 
has been benefited through the kindness of the captains I 
have sailed with in allowing me the use of a boat whenever the 
weather permitted such a favour to be granted me without 
retarding the progress of the ship. Nearly thirty species 
of oceanic birds were obtained in this way during my voyage 
to Australia; whence some idea may be formed of the 
numbers encountered in the open sea, and of the employment 



the naturalist may find during a voyage round the globe. 



* ( 






In the habits and mode of flight of this species I could 
observe no difference whatever from those of the other Storm- 
Petrels ; and, as a matter of course, its food is also similar ; 
any oily substance, together with mollusks, being equally 
partaken of by all the members of the genus. 

I did not observe this species in any other parts of the 
ocean than those mentioned above ; at the same time it is not 
improbable that it may possess a much wider range. 

The sexes are alike in plumage, and are not materially 

different in size. 

Head, neck, and chest sooty grey j lower part of the wing- 
coverts, back, rump, and upper tail-coverts grey, each feather 
very slightly margined with white ; wings greyish black ; tail 
grey, broadly tipped with black ; under surface pure white ; 
irides, bill, and feet black. 

Total length 6^ inches ; bill yq ; wing 5J ; tail 2 J ; tarsi 1| . 



4 









Note. 



It would be well if naturalists accompanying expe- 
ditions to the South Pacific and South Indian Oceans were 
to collect examples of this species, as but few of our museums 
possess it. 









4 « 






1 '\ * 




{ 



478 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 






Genus GCEANITES, Keyserling et Blasius. 



Moder 






or three species of this genus are all that are known 
1 research tends to prove that the Australian bird 
which I believed to be identical with the American 0. wilsoni 
is distinct from that bird, and that it is identical with the 
Procettaria oceanica of Banks, a view which I here adopt. 



Sp. 646. 



OCEANITES OCEANICA. 

Yellow-webbed Storm-Petrel 



Procettaria oceanica, Banks. — Forst. Draw., No. 12. 

Thalassidroma oceanica, Kuhl, Brit. Zool. Monog. Proc, p. 136, tab 

10. fig. 1. 

Oceanites wilsoni, Keys, et Bias. Wirb. Eur, torn. ii. p. 238. 






Thalassidroma wilsonii, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol.. vol 




This is also one of the most abundant species of the g 



inhabiting the Australian 



I observed 




reat numbers 



within sight of the shores of Tasmania, and shot and preserved 
several specimens during my passage from Sydney to Hobart 
Town in April 1839; I also encountered it in the following 
year in the seas between Sydney and New Zealand, while on 
my passage towards Cape Horn. 

It is exceedingly active when flying, its wings being kept 
fully expanded; it also makes considerable use of its feet, 

in patting the surface of the water, with its wings extended 
upwards and its head inclined downwards, to gather any food 
that may present itself. Its usual diet consists of mollusca, 
small fish, Crustacea, and any kind of greasy substance that 
may be floating on the water. 



The 



sexes are 






distinguished by dissection 



precisely similar that they 



only be 



The head, neck, back, wings, and breast sooty black, th< 
ng-coverts passing into pale brown at the extremity ; pri 



\ 












■ * 















NATATORES. 



479 



maries and tail black ; upper and lateral portions of the under 
tail-coverts white ; irides dark brown ; bill and feet black ; 
webs yellow for three parts of their length from the base. 



Genus FREGETTA, Bonaparte. 

The members of this genus are distinguished by their large 
size, long legs, and parti-coloured plumage. Two species 
frequent the seas surrounding Australia. 



Sp. 647. FREGETTA MELANOGASTER, Gould. 

■ 

Black-bellied Storm-Petrel. 

Procellaria fregata, Forst. Draw, 13? and 14. 

grallaria, Licht. Verz. der Doubl. Mus. Berl., p. 83. 

oceanica, Bonap., 1827, Zool. Journ., vol. iii. p. 89. 

Thalassidroma melanog aster, Gould in Ann. and Mag. of Nat. Hist., 

vol. xiii. p. 367. 
Fregetta melanogastra, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., torn. ii. p. 198, Fre- 

getta, sp. 4. 



Thalassidroma melanogaster, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., 
vol. vii. pi. 62. 

My acquaintance with this species commenced on the 
12th of August 1839, when off Cape Lagulhas on my voyage 
to Australia, and from that date it was almost daily observed 
during our transit across the South Indian Ocean until we 
arrived at Tasmania on the 19th of September ; its numbers 
gradually increasing from the neighbourhood of the islands of 
St. Paul and Amsterdam to the termination of the voyage. 
In March 1840, during my passage home, 1 again met with it 
in great abundance between the eastern coast of Australia 
and New Zealand. 

When viewed from the ship, it is at once distinguished 



from all the other Petrels 




the broad black mark which 



passes down the centre of the abdomen, and offers a strong 
contrast to the snowy whiteness of the flanks. 



■ 



1 



i 









I ' * 
















\ 



i 






480 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



It is a bird of powerful flight, and pats the surface of the 
rising waves more frequently than any other species that 
came under my notice, or perhaps the great length of its legs 
rendered this action more conspicuous ; its habits and general 
economy are of course very similar to those of the other 
members of the genus. 

All the plumage deep sooty black, with the exception of 
the upper tail-coverts and flanks, which are snow-white ; bill, 

legs, and feet black. k 

Total lenscth 7i inches ; bill f ; wing 6 ; tail 3 ; tarsi If ; 



t> 



2 



middle toe and nail 1 1 



4' 









Sp. 648. 



FREGETTA GRALLARIA. 

White-bellied Storm-Petrel. 



Procellaria fregata, Kuhl, Brit. Zool. Mon. Proc., tab, 10. fig. 2. 
grallaria, Vieill. Ency. Meth., part i. p. 344. 



Thalassidroma oceanica, Bonap. Gen. et Syn. Am. Birds in Ann. Lye. 

New York, vol. ii. p. 449. 

Fregetta grallaria, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., torn. ii. p. 197, Fregetta, 

sp. 2. 
Thalassidroma leucogaster, Gould in Ann. and Mag. of Nat. Hist., 

■ 

vol. xiii. p. 367. 



Thalassidroma leucogaster, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. 
pi. 63. 

This bird is about the same size as the Fregetta melano- 

gaster, but possesses two characters by which it may at all 

times be distinguished from it: namely, the total absence 

of black down the centre of the abdomen, and the shortness 
of its toes. I observed it to be very generally distributed over 
the South Indian Ocean, and I have reason to believe that 
it ranges over all the temperate latitudes between the Cape of 
Good Hope and Cape Horn, and it is not unlikely that it 
may inhabit similar latitudes in the South Atlantic. I killed 
specimens of a nearly allied species within the tropics of the 














It 










NATATORES. 



481 



South Atlantic, which differed in being of a larger size, and in 
having a patch of greyish white on the throat ; these differ- 
ences will doubtless prove it to be a distinct species, and I 
mention this in order that the two birds might not be con- 
founded by subsequent voyagers or writers on the subject. 
I have presented a specimen of the larger species, killed by 
myself at the Equator, to the British Museum, where it is 
always accessible for comparison and other scientific purposes. 
Like the F. melanog aster , the White-bellied Storm-Petrel is 



a fine and powerful species, fluttering over the glassy surface 



of the ocean during calms with an easy butterfly-like motion 
of the wings, and buffeting and breasting with equal vigour 

the crests of the loftiest waves of the storm ; at one moment 
descending into their deep troughs, and at the next rising 

with the utmost alertness to their highest points, apparently 
from an impulse communicated as much by striking the 
surface of the water with its webbed feet as by the action of 
the wings. Like the other members of the genus, it feeds 
on mollusca, the spawn of fish, and any kind of fatty matter 
that may be floating on the surface of the ocean. 

I have not been able to trace the breeding-place of this or 
of the preceding species ; information on this part of their 
economy is therefore desirable. 

The sexes are so much alike that I could never distinguish 
them by their outward appearance. 

Head and neck deep sooty black ; back greyish black, each 
feather margined with white ; wings and tail black ; chest, 
all the under surface, and the upper tail-coverts white ; bill 
and feet jet-black. 

Some slight variation appears to exist in the extent of the 
sooty colouring of the neck ; in some specimens it merely 
descends to the base of the throat, while in others it spreads 
over the chest, but never down the centre of the abdomen. 

wing 6 ; tail 3 ; tarsi 1^ ; 



Total length 7-J- inches ; bill f ; 
middle toe and nail I. 

VOL. II. 



'- 



II 






i - 



, 



i i 



2 i 




< 

* 



482 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA 






t 



Genus PELAGODROMA, Reichenbach. 

Of this singularly marked Petrel one species only is known 



Sp. 649. 



PELAGODROMA PREGATA 

White-faced Stoum -Petrel. 



fi 



cequorea, Soland. M.S. Banks's Draw., no. 13. 

hypoleuca, Webb et Berth. 



Pelagodroma marina, Reich. Syst. Av. tab. 16. fig. 784, et tab. 18. 

figs. 2447, 2448 at 2449. 
fregata, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., torn. ii. p. 198. 



Procellaria marina, Lath. Ind. Orn., vol. ii. p. 826. 
Frigate Petrel, Lath. Gen. Syn., vol. vi. p. 410. 
Thalassidroma marina, Less. Traite d'Orn., p. 612. 



Thalassidroma marina, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. 
pi. 61. 

That this fine species enjoys a wide range over the southern 
ocean is certain, the specimen figured by Vieillot in his 'Galerie 
des Oiseaux 5 having been procured at New Zealand, while 
numerous individuals in my own collection were procured in 
Australia. Gilbert discovered it breeding on some of the 



islands 





off Cape Leuwin in December, wh 



procured numb 
the adult birds 



thr 



srs of its eggs, as well as many examples of 

he also met with it on a small island about 

miles south of East Wallaby Island in January, by 

which time the young birds were almost ready to leave their 
holes. The specimens procured on this island are peculiarly 
interesting, as showing how completely the true feathers are 
assumed before the downy covering is thrown off. 



Th 



gg of this species is pure whit 



inch and a half 



by one inch and 



ghth broad: whether 



d at a time is uncertain, but I believe only 



pur 



Porehead, face, line over the eye, and all the under surface 
i white ; crown and nape, a broad patch beneath the eye, 






















NATATORES. 



483 



■ * 



and the ear-coverts slate-colour ; sides of the chest, back of 
the neck, and upper part of the back dark grey, gradually 
passing into the dark brown of the back and wings ; upper 
tail-coverts light grey ; primaries and tail black ; irides dark 



reddish brown ; legs and feet black ; webs yellow. 



The plumage of the immature birds being carefully repre- 
sented in the drawing, a minute description is unnecessary. 





















Genus HALADROMA, Illiger. 

Of this singular southern form two species are known only 
e of which, I believe, pertains to the avifauna of Australia. 



Sp. 650. HALADROMA URINATRIX. 

Diving Petrel. 

Procellaria urinatrix, Lath. Ind. Orn., vol. ii. p. 827. 
Haladroma urinatrix, 111. Prod. Syst. Mamm. et Av., 
Diving Petrel, Lath. Gen. Syn., vol. vi. p. 413. 
Procellaria tridactyla, Forst. Drawings,, No. 88. 
Halodroma urinatrix. 



p. 257. 



Steph. Cont. of Shaw's Gen. Zool., vol. xiii. 



iffi 



Pelecano'ides urinatrix, Cuv. 
Tee-tee, Aborigines of New Zealand. 



Puffinuria urinatrix, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 60. 

I observed that this curious little bird was very abundant 
in Storm Bay, in Tasmania ; I have also seen specimens from 



New Zealand 



As might be supposed fi 



habits and economy of this Diving Petrel are totally different 
from those of all the other members of the family. It possesses 
none of those vast powers of flight common to the rest of the 
Petrels, but has this loss amply compensated for by its powers 
of diving, which are so great that it is even said to fly under 



water. Its flight is a curious fluttering motion, performed 



the surface that it rarely rises high enough to top the 



2 i 2 



: 




• - *« ; 







i 



♦ 



484 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



but upon being met by them makes prog 




direct 
that i 



through instead of over them. 



Latham 



it inhabits " Queen Charlotte's Sound, and other parts 
adjacent to New Zealand in vast flocks ; fluttering upon the 



surface of the water or sitting upon it, and dive well ; 
often at a considerable distance, with amazing agility 



ansm g 
They 



the cackling of 



>y 



croak like frogs, sometimes make a noise like 
a hen, and are known by the name of Tee-tee 

In external appearance the Diving Petrel so much resembles 
the Little Auk of the northern seas, that at the first glance ii 
might be readily mistaken for that species ; their resemblance 



however, is merely that of analogy, for they are representa 



of each other in the respective families to which they 



belong 



I observed this 



rly allied species about 20 



degrees to the eastward of New Zealand, taking some of the 



lower 



from 



surface of the ocean, now and 



dashing under water, 



g ag 



flutter 



face and then flying off 

motion of the wing 



a 



skimming close to the 
light line with a quick 




Examples of this bird differ considerably in colour, some 
ving the under surface washed with dark grey, while in 

far the greater number, that part of the 




others, and 
plumage is white. 

Head, all the upper surface, wings, and tail shining black 



neck, and flanks dark grey 



under surface white ; irides very 



yish br 



L the 
base 
long 



of the cutting edge of the upper mandible and a line aloi 
the lower edge of the under mandible blue grey ; tarsi and 
toes beautiful light blue ; webs transparent bluish white, 
tinged with brown ; naked pouch hanging from the chin 
nearly black, and being very thin lies in folds like a bat's 
wing. ' • . : ' ■' , 



















i * 




NATATORES 



485 



• 



j . 



i * 



K 








Family PELECANnXSS. 



The members of 



ichthyopl 




this extensive family are the most truly 
birds in existence ; and it is particularly 



g 



observe how varied 



their forms, and 



admirably each is adapted for some 



par 



d and 



purpose 



gation of these especial adaptat 



which gives a zest to the study of nature generally, but more 
so perhaps to ornithology than to other branches of natural 
science. Such adaptations exist in all great groups of birds, 
but in none are they more remarkable than in the Pelecanidce. 



In the first rank of this family are the Gigantic Pelicans 



their heavy bodies, large boat-like bills, extensive g 



and widely webbed feet 



but different 



ture, are the Cormorants with their hooked bills, dense ad 



pressed plumage adapted for immersion, and their 
formed for perching on rocks and the branches of 
these succeed the Darters with 
and narrow pointed bills ; then 



feet 



to 



g 



snake 



the Frigate-birds 



greatly developed wings and diminutive feet, a form especially 
adapted for aerial progression, whether for soaring Eagle-like 



the air, for performing extensive flights from 



part of 



the ocean to another, or for seeking the shore from immense 
distances when desirous of roosting. Of all birds they are 
the most powerful fliers. To these succeed the Gannets, 



lovers of th 



into which they 




their 



eavy 



bodies with a force that is truly astonishing ; last 
the fairy-like Tropic-birds, who, while sailing over the 
perform many pleasing evolutions, and exhibit then 



of all come 




thened 



1-plnmes to the utmost advantag 
All these forms occur in variou 



parts of 



globe, and 



most of them fly over the seas surrounding Australia, and 
on the rocky promontories or on the rivers and inland wf 
of that extensive country 



• ■;;■ ■■-■ - ■ ■,:.:■'■ 



■ '- 



.• 



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■ ; ■ 






"■■ . 




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486 



BIRDS OP AUSTRALIA 



; 

■ 



. 



Genus PELECANUS, Linnaeus. 

Six species of this remarkable genus of birds inhabit the 
Old World, and three America. None of them brave the 
cold blasts of the north or dwell in the high antarctic regions 
of the south, but frequent the warmer or more temperate 
latitudes. Their food consists solely of fish, for procuring 
which they combine in small companies and drive their finny 
prey into shallow bays and inlets of the sea. They frequently 
ascend rivers far into the interior of the respective countries 
they inhabit, and even visit inland lakes and great pools of 
water in the centre of such countries as Africa and Palestine ; 
and hence one of the species, either JP. onocrotatus or P. 
crispus, is spoken of in Sacred Writ as the " Pelican of the 



Wilderness. 



>> 



Australia, like other warm countries, has a Pelican, which 

is specifically distinct from all the others. 



■ 



Sp. 651. PELECANUS CONSPICILLATUS, Temm 

Australian Pelican. 

New Holland Pelican, Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. x. p. 402. 
Pelecanus conspicillatus, Temm. PI. Col., 276. 



australis, Steph. Cont. of Shaw's Gen. Zool., vol. xiii. part i 
p. 113. 



N, 



Beo-dee-lung, Aborigines near the Murray. 



Pelecanus conspicillatus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol, vol. vii. 
pi. 74. 

Of the members of the genus Pelecanus the present may 
be regarded as one of the very finest species; in size it fully 
equals its European prototypes the P. onocrotalus and P. 
crispus, and although devoid of crest-plumes, this ornament is 
fully compensated by the varied markings of the face and 
mandibles. It is abundant in all the rivers and inlets of the 



















I ^ 

















NATATORES. 



487 



sea. both in Tasmania and on the continent of Australia. 



I 



shot specimens on Green Island in D'Entrecasteaux' Channel, 
and I also met with it in abundance in South Port River : 
owing to the advance of colonization it had become scarce in 
the Derwent and Tamar when I visited Tasmania, but it may 



still breed on the small group called Stanners' Bay Islands, 



lying off the south-western end of Minder's Island in Bass's 
Straits. In Australia it is common on the Hunter as well as 
in Spencer's and St. Vincent's Gulfs, and on all the waters of 
the interior, such as the Mokai, Namoi, &c, and on all lakes 
of sufficient magnitude to afford it a supply of food. So 



numerous is it on these inland 



C\ 



Capt 



S 



states that the channel of a river from seventy to eighty yards 
broad was literally covered with Pelicans ; and that they were 
in such numbers upon the Darling as to be quite dazzling to 

the eye. 

The nest is a large structure of sticks and grassy herbage, 



placed just above high- water mark ; the eggs are generally tw< 
in number, of a dirty yellowish white, three inches and three 
quarters long by two inches and three-eighths broad. 

The entire plumage white, with the exception of the scapu 
laries, a line along the edge of the shoulder, the lower 
of the greater wing-coverts, the primaries, secondaries, a 



of the upper tail-coverts, and the 
breast a pale wash of sulphur-y 
dibles yellowish 
gradually incr 



which are black 



few 
the 




pouch and 



the latter 



ed with bl 






which 



depth to the tip ; apical half of the 



jting ed 
depth tc 




of 



dibles yellow 




irides dark brown ; eyelash indigo -blue ; o 
yellow, bounded by a narrow ring of pale 



d upper part of 



yellowish 



adually increasing 
s greenish yellow ; 

•bits pale sulphur- 
indigo-blue; legs 
3 ; feet, webs, and 



lower 



par 



yellowish white. 



f the tarsi pale bluish grey, the two colours 

the tarsi : nails dull 



blending with each other at the middle of 
















« 



. 



488 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA 



* 



i 



,': 



w 



. ■ 



Genus PHALACROCQRAX, Brisson. 

* 

The Cormorants, whose range is universal, are well repre- 
sented in Australia, since five species inhabit and are peculiar 
to that country. In New Zealand the birds are nearly as nu- 
merous, and among them are some not found in Australia. 

These birds have been divided into several genera by Bona- 
parte and others ; the term Phalacrocorax being retained for 
the largest and most powerful of them ; Hypoleucus for those 
distinguished by the dark colouring of their upper and the 
whiteness of their under surface ; Helieus for the species dis- 



tinguished 





the small size of their bills and the great 
development of the feathers of the head during the breeding- 
season, which differ from the true Cormorants in their habits, 
particularly in affecting inland waters and in constructing 
their nests on the branches of trees, and of which one species 

inhabits Australia, and another, it is said, New Zealand ; and 
lastly Microcarbo for the small black Cormorant of Australia, 
a form of which it is the only one known there. 



Sp. 652. PHALACROCORAX NOV^E-HOLLANDI^E, 

Stephens. 

Australian Cormorant. 

New Holland Shag, Lat. Gen. Hist., vol. x. p. 431. 

Phalacrocorax novae-hollandiae, Steph. Cont. of Shaw's Gen. Zool., 

vol. xiii. pt. i. p. 93. 
carbo'ides, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part v. p. 156. 



Gracalus carbo'ides, G. R. Gray, Zool. of Voy. of Ereb. and Terr. 

Birds, p. 20. 
Black Shag, Colonists of Western Australia. 



Phalacrocorax carboides, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. 
pi. 66. 

This is the largest species of Cormorant yet discovered in 
Australia, and even exceeds in size its prototype the Phalacro- 




















1 ■. 



i 



1 - 



NATATORES. 



489 



* 



rbo of Europe. Although enjoying a wide 



the southern part of the country, it is nowhere so abundant 

nania. In this island it not only inhabits all the 



Tas 



bays and inlets of the sea, bat 



also ascends the 



g 



rivers even 



the lakes in the middle of the island 



ral of which it breeds. In Western Australia it is tolerably 
abundant at King George's Sound ; it also ascends the S 



■ * 



d is sometimes observed far up 



Murray 



In South 



on 



Australia and New South Wales it frequents similar locaht 
and I killed several while perched on the high gum-trees 
various parts of the Hunter. It is, however, so shy and wary 
that it is very difficult to get within shot of it : when flying 
it frequently mounts in circles until nearly out of sight. 
Its habits, manners and mode of life are so precisely simi- 
to those of the Common Cormorant of Europe that a de- 



lar 



ption of them would be superfluous 
tter of course consists of fish. 



Its chief food 



It lays two bluish white eggs, about two inches and a half 
long by one inch and three-quarters broad, on a nest composed 
of sea-weed and other marine vegetables placed on the ledge 

of a rock. 

This fine bird weighs from six to seven pounds. 

In summer the adult male has the throat and sides of the 



face b uffy white 



of the head, lengthened plumes at the 



put, neck, all the under surface, rump and tail deep glossy 



blackish g 



feathers of the back, wings, and upper part 



of the flanks chocolate, broadly margined with deep glossy 



1 



blackish g 
feathers : 



neck ornamented with numerous fine white 



a 



patch 



feathers is also situated 



side of each thigh ; irides green ; bare skin round the eye 



feet jet black ; culmen and 
ur : remainder of the bill 



and under the throat rich yellow ; 
tips of both mandibles horn-col( 

fleshy white. 

Total length 34 inches ; bill 4 ; wing 13 J j tail 8 ; tarsi 2 J. 

In winter the plumage is precisely similar, with this excep 



' -. K 



-* * 



■*;* 



- - 



- ., 






1 * 



* ■ J* 



■■ - ■ ...■•" 

*■■•». 










I 



. 



490 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



that the white feathers 



neck have entirely disap 



peared, leaving that part of the same hue as the under surface 



The 



gs are sparingly 



d with black down 



when they are fledged the upper surface is paler than in the 
adult, and the under surface nearly white. In this state 



plumage they resemble the young of the Common Shag 



of 



or 



Cormorant of the Europ 



Sp. 653. 



PHALACROCORAX VARIUS 

Pied Cormorant. 



Pelecanus pica, Foster's Drawings, no. 106. 



varius, Gmel. Edit. Linn. Syst. Nat., torn. i. p. 575. 
fuscescens, Vieill. 2nd Edit, du Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. Na 



p. 86. 

Pied Shag, Lat. Gen. Syn., vol. vi. p. 605. 
Carbo albiventer, Less. 

Gracalus varius, G. R. Gray, Zool. of Voy. of Ereb. and Terr., Birds 

p. 19. 

Hypoleucus varius, Reich. Syst. Av., tab. 63. fig. 874. 

Ma-dee, Aborigines of the lowland districts of Western Australia. 

Black and White Shaa, Colonists of Western Australia. 



Phalacrocorax hypoleucus, Gould, Birds of Australia, foL, vol 



pi. 68. 

I first observed 



fine Cormorant in Nepean Bay, Kan 




Island, where it was very abundant, and I 



since 



ascertained that no species of the genus inhabiting Australia 



possesses a wider 



r 



along the whole line of the southern 

on the west to Moreton Bay on the east 

specimens from New Zealand, which pr 
differences. 



for it is almost universally dispersed 



it from Swan River 

I have also received 
lent no perceptible 



The Pied Cormorant may be regarded as a g 



species, many hundreds being 



seen 



company 



particularly in those bays and inlets of the sea whose shoi 
are flat and sandy, and where the tide brings in an abundant 
supply of fish, upon which the bird almost solely subsists, and 















NATATORES. 



491 



the capture of which it exhibits the same dexterity 



the 



members of the g 



Its large size and 



of its piecl plumage render it a most conspicuous bird 



seen on the 



face of the water, but at no time does it form 



prominent an object in the scene as when observed repos 



s on the sand-banks and low ledges of rock, after 



o 



having 



satiated itself with food. 

The eggs of this species, taken 
about twenty miles southward of Swan River, were two inches 



on 



Th 



Sisters' Island 



d a half 




d of a pale bluish 



I obtained 



other particulars respecting its nidification, but Latham states 
in his ' General History ' that it builds in trees, on which " a 

at once, beins: more numerous than 



dozen or more are seen 

the Spotted Shag " {Phalacrocorax punctatus) 



a r 



The 




gis 



d a half long, rather smaller than that of a hen 



and of a pale bluish white." 

I know of no other instance of Cormorants building or 
trees except the present and that of the Phalacrocorax mela 



oleucus, and 



habit of the Phalacr 



m 



feather having lighter ed 



sides of the neck and upper 



part of the breast are also mottled with brown and white 



Cr 



of the head, back of the neck, lower part of the 



back, upper tail-coverts, flanks and thighs deep glossy 



blue 



the upper 



face and 




deep dull g 



feather with a very narrow margin of velvety black ; pnmar 
and tail deep greenish black ; sides of the face and al 
under surface pure white ; irides pale sea-green ; bare sp 









* i 



* I 



on Latham's authority. 

The sexes are precisely alike in plumage, and also in the 
brilliant markings of the lores and orbits ; the young of the 
first autumn differ in having all the upper surface brown, each 















the 



front of the eye bright 



ge ; eyelash and naked skin be 



eye rich indigo-blue ; throat and cheeks light bluish 



ash ; bill dark horn-colour, becoming lighter at the tip 
and feet black. 



« 



. .. 



■ a .* I 



^m 



s 



— 







I 






4 



492 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



Sp. 654. PHALACROCORAX LEUCOGASTER, Gould. 

White-breasted Cormorant. 

Phalacrocorax leucogaster, Gould iu Proc. of Zool. Soc., part v. p. 156. 
Car bo hypoleucus, Brandt. 

Gracalus leucogaster, G. It. Gray, Zool. of Voy. of Ereb. and Terr., 

Birds, p. 20. 

Hypoleucus leucogaster, Reich. Syst. Av., tab. 63. fig. 875. 



Phalacrocorax leucogaster, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. 
pi. 69. 

This species is very abundant in all the bays and inlets of the 



ding Tasman 



it ascends the rivers almost 



their source, and the large lakes of the 
without its presence. It breeds on m 



erior are seldom 
of the islands in 



Bass's Straits, where 
on the ledges of the 



constructs a round nest of sea-weed 
w rocks, and lays two bluish-white 



It becomes far less numerous as we proceed north 



ggs- 

rard, but is to be found 



th 



suitable 



throughout the whole of the coast of South Australia. I have 



also seen it on the Hunter 
Vincent's Gulfs. 



well as in Spencer's and St 



In a state of nature it is a showy and attractive bird, the 
decided contrast in the colouring of its plumage rendering it 
a conspicuous object at a considerable distance, particularly 
when it is reposing in flocks on the craggy summits of the 
low black rocks forming the margins of the rivers, or when 
perched side by side on the bare branches of the trees over- 
hanging the water. 

Its food consists of fish and other marine animals. 

The sexes are so nearly alike in their plumage that it is im- 
possible to distinguish them without the aid of dissection ; the 
spring or nuptial dress is characterized by long white feathers 
springing from the sides of the neck, which are entirely 
absent at other seasons. The young of the year has the 










i 






1 V 






» 



1 






NATATORES. 



493 



plumage of the upper surface tinged with brown, and the 
white of the neck clouded and mottled with the same colour. 

Forehead, crown of the head, back of the neck, and rump 
greenish black; back and wing-coverts deep green, each 
feather narrowly margined with black ; primaries and secon- 
daries black ; throaty front and sides of the neck, and all the 
under surface white ; bill and feet black ; naked skin at the 
base of the bill and round the eye purple ; irides green. 



Total length 26 inches ; bill 3 ; wing 11 J ; 



tail 5f ; 



tarsi 2 * 



4' 



Sp. 655. 



PHALACROCORAX MELANOLEUCUS 

Little Cormorant. 



Pelecanus melanoleucus, Vieill. 2nd Edit, du Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. Nat., 

torn. viii. p. 88. 
— dimidiatus, Cuv. 



Phalacrocorax jlavirhynchus, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part v. p. 157. 

Gracalus melanoleucus, G. R. Gray, Zool. of Voy. of Ereb. and Terr., 

Birds, sp. 20. 
Carbo dimidiatus, Temm. 
Hypoleucus melanoleucus, Reich. Syst. Ax., tab. 63. figs. 872, 873. 

Haliceus melanoleucus, Bonap. Compt. Bend, de FAcad. Sci., torn. xli. 

1856. 
Go'qo-go, Aborigines of the lowland districts of Western Australia. 

Little Shag, Colonists of Swan River. 



Phalacrocorax melanoleucus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol 



vol. vii. pi. 70. 
This Cormorant is dispersed 



every part of Australia 



wherever a locality suitable for its existence occurs, but is no- 
where very abundant. It evinces a greater preference for deep 
armlets of the sea, inland rivers and lagoons, than for the rocky 



shores of i 

and also i 
ever there 



) coast. Both in Tasmania and New South Wales 
South Australia, I observed it far inland, wher- 
as sufficient water to afford it a supply of food, a 



solitary individual, or at most a single pair, being all that 



be seen in any one distr 



here it may be seen perched 






1 



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I 













! 





















■ 






v 



.» * 



T T V 



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I 

4 















I 



494 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 






bed of th 



favourite snag of some fallen tree 
river, or on the leafless branch of 



g on the 

Eucalyptus 



bordering the stream. The shyness of its disposition rend 
it very difficult of approach, particularly if its natural timidity 
has been increased by the discharge of a gun in the immediate 
ghbourhood of its haunts. Its food generally consists of 

>n a lagoon 
a few days 
insects and 



fish, but I 



observed several individual 



formed by the abundance of rain that had fallen 
before, busily employed in feeding upon the 
their larvae, which the united agency of the \ 



mth 



d 



re had brought into life ; from the muddy state of the 
they had so soiled their silvery neck and breast as to be 



scarcely 



gnizable 



At Port Essington this species is said to construct its nest 
and rear its young in the tea-trees {Melaleuca;) bordering the 

pairs associating for the 

purpose in 
pugnacious 




ht 



a 



single tree \ at this time they are exceedingly 
The eggs are stated to be six in number, but 



this requires confirmation. 

The sexes are precisely alike in 



g, and I suspect 



that the young assume the white plumage of the under sur- 
face from the period of their leaving the nest, as I have never 
met with a specimen in which that part was of any other 
colour. 

Crown of the head, a broad line down the back of the neck 
back, rump, and flanks deep shining steel-bluish black ; wing- 

coverts and scapularies greyish black, each feather margined 
with deep black ; primaries and tail black ; sides of the face, 

throat, and all the under surface pure white ; iricles greyish 



white ; bill yellow 



pt the culmen, which is dark horn 



colour ; orbits dull reddish brow 
feet black. 



throat yellow ; leg 



d 





















NATATOKES. 



495 



Sp. 656. PHALACROCORAX STICTOCEPHALUS, 

Bonaparte. 

Little Black Cormorant. 

Phalacrocorax sulcirostris, G. R. Gray, List of Birds in Brit. Mus 



Col v partiii. p. 135. 



Microcarbo 



178. 



Phalacrocorax sulcirostris, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol 
pi. 67. 

The Microcarbo stictocephalus is found in most of the 



them parts of the Australian 



and appears to affect 



the rivers and lagoons of the interior rather than 



N 



jast such was the result of my own observations ; I found it 
here more abundant than on the rivers Mokai, Peel, and 
aoi. Its habits did not appear to differ from those of the 



members of the family 



lly seen perched 



the branches of the Eucalypti overhanging the water, and on 
the spars and snags of the fallen trees which protruded above 



surface in small companies of from five to twenty in number 
Its food consists of fish, frogs, newts, &c. 
There is no visible difference in the colour of the 
The general plumage dark glossy greenish black 



the fea 



thers of the back and wings grey 



gined with greenish 



black 



Dver the eye and dispersed over the sides of the neck nu- 
minute narrow white feathers, which are probably only 



assumed during the breeding- season ; irides deep grs 
orbits and gular pouch brownish black, the pouch 



gty 



ged with 



black 



1 



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496 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



Genus PLOTUS, Linnaeus. 



Asia, Africa, America, and Australia are each tenanted by 

a species of this genus, the members of which are but few in 

number, and the specific differences of these are not well un- 
derstood. 



Sp. 657. PLOTUS NOV^E-HOLLANDLE, Gould. 

New Holland Darter. 

P lotus nova-hollandia, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xv. p. 34. 



Plotus novae-hollandisB, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. 
pi. 75. 

The habitat of this singular bird appears to be confined 
to the colonies of South Australia and New South Wales, 
where it is thinly but generally dispersed in all situations 
favourable to its habits ; such as the upper parts of arm- 



lets of the sea, the rivers of 



interior, extensive water- 




holes, and deep lagoons. Shy and seclusive in disposition, it 
usually takes up its abode in localities little frequented 
man ; seeks it prey in the water, dives with the greatest ease 
to the bottom of the deepest pools, and is as active in this 
element as can well be imagined. It ordinarily swims with 
a considerable portion of the body above the surface of the 
water, but upon being disturbed immediately sinks beneath 
it, leaving the head and neck only to be seen, and these, 

from their form and the motion communicated to them by the 
action of swimming, present a close resemblance to those of 
a snake. Its food consists of fish, aquatic insects, newts, 
frogs, &c. After feeding it perches on a snag of some fallen 
tree in the water, or on the naked branch of a tree in the forest 
nigh to its haunts, often on one of the greatest height, where 
it sits motionless for hours together : while thus perched it is 
much more easily approached and shot than on the water, 
where it is wary in the extreme. 













4 . 



NATATORES. 



497 



The late Mr. Elsey, speaking of the birds observed 




him 



near 



Victoria, says, " The Plotus is common here 





and excellent eating. During February and March it was 
incubating. It chooses large trees that hang over the water 
above or through the mangroves, and in these a number of 
them build a colony of large, coarse, flattish nests of dead sticks 
and twigs, which seem, from the quantity of dirt about them 
and their stained appearance, to be used year after year. Each 
season they place in the centre a few fresh green leaves, and 

on these lay three or four white eggs with a very earthy 



opaque 
grey cc 



shell ; the 



g membrane is of a blue 



they are rather smaller than a hen's egg 



We 

have enjoyed many fine meals off these eggs, sometimes 



getting from forty to fifty in a sing 
Much variation exists in the c 



Both birds 
g of the sexe 



the 



female being, I believe, at all times distinguished by her bufly 



white breast and neck, which parts in the male are black. 
Young birds for the first and probably for the second year are 
the same colour as the female. 

The male has an arrow-head-shaped mark of white on the 
throat ; a broad stripe of the same colour commences at the 
base of the mandibles, extends for about four inches down 
the sides of the neck, and terminates in a point ; head, neck, 
and all the upper surface of the body greenish black, stained 
with brown, and with deep rusty red on the centre of the 
under side of the throat ; under surface deep glossy greenish 
black ; wings and tail shining black ; all the coverts with a 
broad stripe of dull white occupying nearly the whole of the 
outer and a part of the inner web, and terminating in a point ; 
scapularies lanceolate in form, with a similar-shaped mark of 
white down the centre, and with black shafts, the scapular 
nearest the body being nearly as large as the secondaries, and 
with the outer web crimped and the inner web with a broad 
stripe of dull white close to the stem ; the secondaries nearest 
the body with a similar white stripe close to the stem on the 



vol. n. 



2 K 



* 









* 






■., .- - 



> * . ■ 



V v: >*: 



• * • a , . ... 



'.-• . •• . ■<■■■•■: 



- * I 




I 



I 



498 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



I 



i 



outer web ; centre tail-feathers strongly, and the lateral ones 

slightly crimped • orbits naked, fleshy, protuberant, and of a 
yellowish olive, mottled over with brown specks ; next to the 
pupil of the eye is a narrow ring of dull orange-buff ; to this 
succeeds another ring of marbled buff and brown, and to this 
an outer circle of orange-buff ; naked skin at the base of the 
lower mandible wrinkled and yellow ; upper mandible olive, 
under mandible dull yellow, both becoming brighter towards 
the base j feet yellowish flesh-colour, becoming brown on the 

upper part of the outer toes. 

Total length 36 inches ; bill 4 ; wing 13| ; tail 9 ; tarsi 2. 

The female has the crown of the head, back of the neck, 
and upper part of the black blackish brown, each feather 
margined with greyish white ; throat and all the under sur- 
face buffy white ; the remainder of the plumage like the male, 
but with the white marks on the wing-coverts larger and 
more conspicuous ; irides ornamented with a beautiful lace- 
work of brown, the interstices being buff; orbits, naked skin 
at the base of the bill, and throat orange-yellow ; feet pale 

yellow. 









Genus TACHYPETES, Vieillot. 



Two species of this aerial form inhabit Australia, both of 
which are common in Torres 5 Straits at one or other season of 

the year. 

No birds differ more than the members of this genus, for 

some examples have white and others brown heads, and 



moreover exhibit many 
colour and size. 



conflicting differences, both 



Until the question is settled as to whether there be more 
than two species of this genus, which at present I have no 
means of determining, I shall refer both the Australian birds 
to the old T. aquila and T. minor. 












NATATORES. 



499 



Sp. 658. 



TACHYPETES AQUILA. 

Great Frigate-bird. 



Pelecanus aquilus, Linn. Syst. Nat., torn. i. p. 216. 

leucocephalus , Gmel. Edit. Linn. Syst. Nat., torn. i. p. 572. 



palmerstoni, Gmel. lb., p. 573. 

Attagen aquila, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. i. Introd. p. c 
Tachypetes aquila, Vieill. Gal. des Ois., torn. ii. p. 187, pi. 274. 



I have received numerous skins of 



Frigate-bird from 



Torres' Straits which are much larger than the succeeding 
species, and which may be referable to the Pelecanus aquilus 
of Linnaeus ; but this requires confirmation. If it really be 
so, then the bird frequents all the seas of the warmer parts of 
the globe, and retires to rocky islands to breed, such as those 
in Torres' Straits, Ascension in the South Atlantic, those in 

I 

the Gulf of Mexico and Florida. 



Sp. 659. 



TACHYPETES MINOR. 

Small Frigate-Bird. 



Pelecanus minor, Gmel. Edit. Linn. Syst. Nat., torn. i. p. 572. 
Fregata minor, Briss. Orn., torn. vi. p. 509. 
Tachypetes ariel, G. R. Gray. 

minor, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., torn. ii. p. 167, Tachypetes, sp. 2. 

Man-of-War Bird, Edw. Glean, of Nat. Hist., pi. 309. 

Lesser Frigate, Lath. Gen. Syn., vol. hi. p. 590. 

Atagen ariel, Gould, MS. — Gray, Genera of Birds, vol. iii. p. 669, 

Atagen, sp. 2. 



Attagen ariel, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 72. 

This species of Tachypetes, which is considered to be the 
old Pelecanus minor of Gmelin, is rather abundantly dispersed 

the seas washing the shores of the tropical parts of the 

continent, particularly those of Torres' Straits. 



Australian 



2 



2 







i> ■» ■ 



m * -- f 



> — ' .. 



>i ... ; 






' ■ I 



■ . 



• r ■ 



t " » * 










500 



BIRDS OP AUSTRALIA. 









The late Commander Ince, R.N., who, during the surveying 
voyage of H.JVLS. Ely, was for some time stationed on Maine's 



Islet 



perintending the 



of a beacon, informed me 



that on his landing on this small island, which 



situate in 



lat. 



S., at about 



ty miles from the north 



coast of the Australian continent, and 



1 



of the 



surrounded by a part 
great barrier reef, he "found this bird breeding in 
colonies at its S.W. corner, the nest being composed of a few 
small sticks collected from the shrnbs and herbaceous plants 
which alone clothe the island, and placed either on the 



a above it. The egg 
tially two in number, ai 



ground or on the plants, a few in 

which are generally one, but occa 

of a pure white, not so chalky in 

Gannet, and nearly of the same shape at both ends 



appearance 



those of 



Up 



I killed the old birds from a nest that contained 



young one; on visiting the spot I found the yo'^o- 



o 



bird 



removed to another nest, the propr 
feeding it as if it had been their 



>rs of which were 
I am sure of this 



fact, because 



other nest near it containing two 



young birds. Some of the eggs were quite fresh, while others 
had been so far sat upon that we could not blow them 
many of the young birds must have been hatched 



and 



some 



or three weeks 



We regarded these birds as the Falcons of 



the sea, for we repeatedly saw them compel the Terns, Boobie 

orge their prey, and then adroitly catch 




and Gannets to dis 

before it fell to the ground 



We 



them 



the water, but constantly soaring round and round 



apparently on 
bringing honu 



the watch for what the smaller birds were 

I have found in their pouch young turtles, 



fish, cuttle-fish, and small crab 



>) 



The male has the entire plumage brownish black, the 



feathers of the head glossed with 
plumes of the back with purpl 
and gular pouch deep red; 




d 




d the lengthened 
reflexions : orbits 



bill bluish horn-colour; irides 



black ; feet dark reddish b 






I 









NATA.TORES. 



501 



The female is similar to the male, but browner 



dest 



of the coloured plumes on the back ; has some of the wing- 
coverts and tertiaries edged with light brown, forming a mark 
along the wing ; a collar at the back of the neck ; the breast 
and upper part of the flanks white, washed with rufous. 
A nestling bird in my collection is clothed in white down, 

on the back and scapularies, where the dark brown 
coloured and perfect feathers have just been assumed. 




f i 









: 



* 4 * t 



y * i 



Genus PHAETON, Linnaeus. 

m 

Of the little group known as Tropic-birds, Bonaparte 
enumerates three species, which he has placed in as many 
genera, namely, Phaeton, Leptums; and P/icenicurus. Of 
these, the last is the only one comprised in the avifauna of 
Australia. I shall not, however, adopt this name. 



Sp. 660. PHAETON PHCENICURUS, Gmelin. 

Red-tailed Tropic-bird. 

Phaeton phcenicurus, GmeL Edit, of Linn. Syst. Nat., vol. i. p. 583. 

4 

rubricauda, Bodd. 



erubescens, Banks's Drawings, No. 31. 



Paille- en- queue a brins rouges. Buff. Hist, des Ois., torn. viii. p. 357. 
de VIsle de France, Buff. PI. En]., 979. 



Red-tailed Tropic-bird, Lath. Gen. Syn., vol. vi. p. 619, pl. 105. 
New Holland Tropic-bird, Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. x. p. 448, 



Phaeton phoenicurus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pl. 73. 

This bird is very generally dispersed over the temperate 
and warmer latitudes of the Indian Ocean and the South 



Seas, where it often hovers 



d ship 



and 



ally 



alights on their rigging 

September it retires to various islands for 

breeding ; amoi 



During the months of August and 

of 



g other pl 



the purpose 
selected for the performai 



of this duty are Norfolk Island off the east coast of Australia 










* , j- 



i - 






■" ■■ -,: ■■::■: • .-..,;■■ .•„•■•..- .../r ■ •■-, ■ 



.'. ■...-. '. .;. 



' » 



• ■ ' . ' 






• O * - 






■ -v 'V.^; ; .: 



- 



x ■ " 








502 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 






J 












and Raine's Islets in Torres' Straits, from both of which 
localities I possess specimens of the bird and its eggs. As 
I had no opportunity of observing it, I avail myself of the 
following information communicated to me by Mr. Macgilli- 
vray : 

" This Tropic-bird was found by us on Raine's Islet, where, 
during the month of June, about a dozen were procured. 
Upon one occasion three were observed performing sweeping 
flights over and about the island, and soon afterwards one of 
them alighted ; keeping my eye upon the spot, I ran up and 
found a male bird in a hole under the low shelving margin of 
the island bordering the beach, and succeeded in capturing it 
after a short scuffle, during which it snapped at me with its 
beak, and uttered a loud, harsh, and oft-repeated croak. It 
makes no nest, but deposits its two eggs on the bare floor of 



the hole, and both sexes assist in the task of incubation. 



It 



usually returns from sea about noon, soaring high in the air, 
and wheeling round in circles before alighting. The eggs are 
blotched and speckled with brownish red on a pale reddish 
grey ground, and are two inches and three-eighths long by 
one inch four eighths and a half broad. 

"The contents of the stomach consisted of the beaks of 
cuttle-fish. 

" The only outward sexual difference that I could detect 
consists in the more decided roseate blush upon the plumage 



of the male, especially on the back; but this varies 



htly 



intensity in different individuals of the same sex, and fades 
isiderably in a preserved skin." 



Latham states th 



found in great numb 



on 



the 



island of Mauritius, that it is very common at Palmerston, 
Turtle, and Harvey's Islands in the South Seas, and that in 

all these places its eggs are deposited on the ground under 
the trees. 

The adults have a broad crescent of black before each eye, 
the upper part of which extends over and behind that organ : 









': 









L i 



NATATORES. 



503 



centre of the tertiaries and flank-feathers deep black; the 
whole of the remainder of the plumage silky white, with a 
rich roseate tinge, especially on the back; shafts of the 
primaries black from the base to within an inch of their apex ; 
shafts of the lateral tail-feathers black to within half an inch 
of the tip ; two centre tail-feathers white at the base and rich 
deep red for the remainder of their length, which extends to 
eighteen inches, their shafts black ; irides black ; bill vermilion, 
with a black streak running through the nostrils, and a narrow 



of faint blue at the base of both mandibles 



and the 






base of the toes and webs faint blue, remainder of the toes 
and webs black. 

The young birds for the first year are very different from 
the adults, being of a silky white without the roseate blush, 
with the whole of the upper surface broadly barred with black 
and with the black of the shafts of the primaries expanded into 
a spatulate form at the tips of the feathers. 









> . i 






Genus SULA, Brisson. 

The birds hitherto included in this genus have recently 
been divided into no less than three genera, Sula, Dysporus, 
and Piscatrix. They inhabit nearly every part of the globe, 
and four fine species appertain to the Australian fauna, since 
they not only frequent the seas adjacent to the shores of that 
country, but all of them resort to its rocks and islands for the 
purpose of breeding. 

Our own well-known Bass Rock is inhabited yearly by a 
bird of this genus bearing the trivial name of Solan Goose, 
which must be familiar to every reader of the present Hand- 
book, at least to all those who reside in the British Islands. 
These birds are also well known by the name of Boobies, an 
appellation they have obtained from their apparently stupid 
insensibility to danger. 



1 

I \ 






■ . 



■ 



J 



504 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



\ 



Sp. 661. 



SULA AUSTRALIS, Gould. 
Australian Gannet. 



* 

Sula australis, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part viii. p. 177 

Pelecanus serrator, Banks, Drawings, no. 30. 

Sula serrator, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de FAcad. Sci., 1856. 



Sula australis, G-ould. Birds of Australia, fol.. vol 



It will be clear to 



■y ornithologist that the present 



species and the Sula bassana of Europe are representatives of 
each other, and that they are destined by nature to perform 
similar offices, and to inhabit corresponding zones of latitude 



pposite hemisph 



Their habits, actions, and economy 



are, in fact, so precisely alike, that an account of one species 

is equally applicable to the other. 

I found the Sula australis generally dispersed over the seas 
washing the shores of Tasmania, but most numerous on the 
south side of the island. The Mewstone, the South Cape, the 
rock at the mouth of D'Entrecasteaux's Channel, and the low 
Actseon Islands were tenanted by hundreds during the period 
of my visit in 1839, and it was also seen, but in less numbers, 
along the entire coast of South Australia. Much as has been said 
respecting the natural stupidity of other species of the genus 



Sula — Boobies 
be the Boobv 



they 



called 



present appeared to 
evidenced by the manner 

collection. Observ- 



I 



which I captured the specimens in my 

g about fifty fine adult birds reposing on the flat top of a 

w rock on one of the Actseons, I directed my boatmen to 
»w cautiously that I might endeavour to get a shot at them ; 



only within range, but 



ge duck gun, loaded 



as it was with large shot 



ie my 
I de- 



termined therefore 



shoot them 



from their 



g-pl 



judg 



found that neither the near i 

speaking to each other startled them in the 



on the wing as they flew 

of my surprise when I 

pproach of the boat nor our 



Taking 






k 



»* 



■ 



• h 






NATATORES. 



505 



of the men with me, I stepped on shore and approached the 
motley assembly, which was still sitting in close array on the 
rock, and which did at length exhibit some degree of surprise 
and uneasiness at the intrusion, but even then was so little 



disturbed that we succeeded in capturing five fine birds with 



the hand before the remainder had shuffled off to the ledge of 
the rock and taken wing. Had this occurred at a breeding- 
place it would not have excited my astonishment, for I was 

■ 

aware that the Sula bassana would allow itself to be so taken 
at that period j but I did not expect that the present species 
would admit of being captured while merely at rest : this 
apparent want of caution or stupidity may in all probability 
be attributed to the fact that their haunts on these islands 
had rarely been intruded upon : boats the natives of the 
southern parts of Tasmania never possessed, and the visits 
of civilized man must have been few and far between. 

The food of this species consists of fish of various kinds, 
which it procures by plunging vertically upon them as they 
swim near the surface of the water. 

The sexes when adult are precisely alike in plumage ; the 
young on the contrary, as is the case with the European bird, 
differ greatly from their parents ; at first they are entirely 
dark grey, which gives place to a beautifully mottled ap- 
pearance, the head, neck, and under surface having put on a 
white colouring with blotches or traces of the dark grey still 
remaining, and the feathers of the upper surface having a 
triangular spot of white at the tip of each; this style of 
plumage is gradually exchanged for the following, which is 
characteristic of the adult. 

Grown of the head and back of the neck beautiful buff ; 
the reminder of the plumage white, with the exception of the 
primaries, secondaries, and four centre tail-feathers, which are 
fuliginous brown with white shafts ; irides olive-white ; bill 
brownish horn-colour, slightly tinged with blue ; space round 
the eye leaden blue ; bare skin at the base of the beak and 










e 



T 



.'* 



* * a * 



• ■■■-'■,•.■;:•:•: mmm;mm:mh 



-.. 



;. \. - ■: '■;; 



-- 



1 »: i * *t 



V .■•■ ■ * 



■ . » r* 










506 






BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



down the centre of the throat nearly black ; front of the 
and toes sickly greenish yellow ; webs brown. 
Total length 32 inches ; bill U : wii 



.g!9 



10 



2 



Sp. 662. 



SULA CYANOPS, SundevaU. 

Masked Gannet. 



Sula personata, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xiv. p. 21. 

cyanops, SundevaU, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de l'Acad. Sci., 1856. 

Sula personata, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 77. 



In the course of 



present work I have had freq 



casion to mention m terms of praise the g 

dered to myself and to the cause of Ornithological science by 

the officers of H.M.S. Beagle, under the command of Rear- 



Admiral Stokes 



and I have now the pleasure of placing 



record the services also rendered to me by the officers of 

H.M.S. Fly, under the command of Captain Blackwood to 



whose 



g 



while 



gaged in surveying Torres' 
Straits, we are indebted for our knowledge of the fine Gannet 

here represented, as well as for several other interesting 
species. 

The Masked Gannet was found breeding in considerable 
numbers on Raine's Island ; the egg } which is rather length- 
ened in form, is two inches and five-eighths long by one inch 
and three-quarters broad, and of a dirty white, stained or 
clouded all over with reddish brown. 

I did not succeed in procuring examples of this bird during 

but it once came under 

my voyage from Hobart Town to 



my own 



■ches in A 




my observation durin 

Sydney, when on approaching Sydney Heads my attention 
was attracted by the darkly coloured face of a Gannet, show- 
ing very conspicuously as the bird flew round the ship, but 
unfortunately at too great a distance for a successful shot. 
The whole of the plumage of both sexes is pure white, with 




t 






NATATORES. 



507 



ption of the greater wing-coverts, primaries, seconda 



ides yellow 



the tips of the 

feathers, which 

naked skin of 



tral and the whole of 
rich chocolate-brown : 



face and chin 



dnll bluish black ; legs greenish blue. 
Total length 29 inches ; bill 5 ; wing 16 



8 



2 



specimen 



2 



4 






I f 






*• 









Sp. 663. 



SULA FIBER, Linnceus 

Brown Gannet. 



fib 



plotus, Forst. Drawings, 108. 



Sula ft 



brasiliensis, Spix, Av. Sp. Nov., torn. ii. tab. 107. p. 84. 
fiber, G. K. Gray, List of Birds in Brit. Mus. Coll., part iii, 



Brown Booby, Lath. Gen. Syn., vol. vi. p. 613. 

Dysporus fiber, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de l'Acad. Sci., 1856. 

sula, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., torn. ii. p. 164; Dysporus, sp. 1 



Mar-ga, Aborigines of 
Booby of the Colonists 



Sula fusca, Gould, Birds of Australia, foL, vol. vii. pi. 78. 

The Gannet, which may perhaps be identical with the 
Telecanus fiber of Linnaeus, is abundantly dispersed round 
the northern shores of the Australian continent ; I have speci- 

■ 

mens killed within the harbour at Port Essington, and from 
Raine's Island in Torres' Straits, where it breeds in consider- 
able numbers. 

" This species of Booby," says Mr. Macgillivray, " is gene, 
rally distributed on the north-east and north coasts of New 
Holland ; but 1 found it breeding only upon Bramble Key, 
although I once, on Raine's Islet, found a solitary egg. The 
nest is slovenly made, of dried herbage, a 



foot 



diameter 



with 



sly any cavity, and contains two eggs, of which 



every instance one was clean and the other very dirty 



The 



gs, which are white, vary considerably 



The larg 











\ 



i I 











( 






508 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



measured 2-/ 2 - inches by 1 



2 ) 



i 



e of average size, 2\ by If inches 
d the birds while aifcfcii 



the smallest 2^ by 1-j 1 !, and 



Both 



sexes incubate 



g on their eggs allowed of a very 
near approach, and before flying off disgorged the contents of 
their stomachs, chiefly a species of Clupea. I need scarcely 

During our visit to Darn- 



add that the 

ley Island I observed several tame Boobies among the 
villages, generally perched on the canoes hauled up on the 
beach. These birds were allowed their full liberty, and after 
fishing in the weirs upon the reefs until they had procured a 
sufficiency of food returned to the huts." 

The plumage of the two sexes is so precisely similar that it 
is utterly impossible to distinguish them by external observa- 



tion : 



that the colouring of the feet, face, and other 



soft parts is not always 



but this difference I believe 



dif 



■brown of 



be the result of age, rather than of a difference in sex ; 
this opinion be correct, the bright yellow-coloured feet 
dicative of the bird being fully adult, and the olive 
its being immature. 

In its habits, manners, mode of life, and in the nature of 
its food, this species resembles the other members of the 



g 



Head, neck, breast, all the upper surface, wings, and tail 

under surface pure white, separated 



dark chocolate-brown 

from the brown of the breast by a sharply defined 

very pale yellow ; bill and orbits primrose-vellc 



e ; irides 
blotched 



before and beneath the eye with bluish j eyelash light ash 



grey 



gs and feet pale yellow 



4 \ 



u 



NATAT0RE9. 



509 







■ < 






Sp. 664. 



SULA PISCATOR, Linn 
Red-legged Gannet. 



Sula piscator, Linn. Syst. Nat., vol. i. p. 217. 

Candida, Steph. Cont. of Shaw's Gen. Zool., vol. xiii. p. 103. 

Lesser Gannet, Lath. Gen. Syn., vol. vi. p. 611. 

Sula erythrorhyncha, Less. Traite d'Orn., p. 601. 

rubripes, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part v. p. 156. 



rubripeda, Peale. 
Piscatrix Candida, Reich. Syst. Av., tab. 53. fig. 853, et tab. 55 

figs. 2294, 2295. 



Sula piscator, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 79. 

The Red-legged Gannet is very abundant along the 
northern shores of the Australian continent ; and breeds in 
great numbers on Raine's Islet, whence several fine specimens 
were brought by the late Commander Ince, R.N., who, inde- 



pendently of his duties 



perintendent of the 



of 



island, found occupation for his leisure 



the beacon on thaw 

moments in studying its interesting zoology 
ledging my obligations to Commander 



While acknow 
I am bound t( 



add that I am 
following notes, as 



indebted to Mr. Macgillivray for the 

for a carefully executed diagram 
of the bill and face, by means of which I have been enabled 
to colour the soft parts correctly. 

" With the exception," says Mr. Macgillivray, " of one bird 
which perched on the rigging, and was caught while at sea in 
the neighbourhood of the Keeling Islands, we found this spe- 
cies only on Raine's Islet, a vegetated sand-bank in the line of 



Great Barrier Reef. 



When 



landed there on the 29th 



of May, it appeared to me that the breeding-season was then 
over but I was fortunate enough to find a solitary bird sitting 



upon 



which contained 



gle egg. The nest 



sisted of a few roots of a creeper common on the island, 
forming a platform eighteen inches in diameter laid upon a 
tuft of herbage. A few days after this, the Gannets, having 



■ 

i; 



*l 












i 









l .j- 
























/ 



i v 






I I , J ■ 










I 






510 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



been much molested, entirely deserted the island during the 
day, returning at night in a body of several hundreds, to 

roost on the ground and low bushes near the centre of the 
island." 

Mr. Macgillivray observed that the 
and soft parts 

in the first sti 



g 



of the bill 



also varies with the age of the individual ; 

age the bill is of a delicate bluish pink, 
the pink tint predominating at the base of the upper mandi- 
ble, the bare patch about the eye of a dull leaden hue, and 
the pouch flesh-coloured ; in 



; in the second the colouring of these 
parts is similar but somewhat brighter, and ultimately the 
irides become grey, and the legs and feet vermilion. 

In habits, manners, and general economy it doubtless closely 
resembles the other members of the group, and procures its 
fleshy food in a similar manner, by plunging down upon them 
as they swim near the surface of the water. 

The adults have the entire plumage bufiy white, with the 



ption of the 



gs and tail; the former of which 



blackish brown, washed with grey, and the latter pale greyish 
brown, passing into grey with white shafts ; irides grey ; legs 



and feet vermilion 



Family PODICIPID^J. 

There is no country of any extent wherein Grebes are not 
to be found ; and, as their wing-powers are very limited, they 

are mostly stationary. 

Had I followed my contemporaries, those inhabiting Aus- 
tralia would be described under as many subgenera as there 
are species, viz. Podiceps, Podiocephalus, and Tachybaptus ; 
but I retain them under the prior appellation ; others of each 
form, it is true, are found elsewhere ; still I think it expedient 
to keep them in the genus Podiceps. 



I - 



NATAT0RE 



511 



Genus PODICEPS, Latham. 

The Great Crested Grebe of Europe and the Great Tippet- 
Grebe of Australia are both typical members of the genus 
Podiceps, of which I believe other species are found in 
America, and this is the case with most of the other Austra- 
lian species. 

Sp. 665. PODICEPS AUSTRALIA Gould. 

Australian Tippet- Grebe. 

Podiceps australis, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., part xii. p. 135. 
Ka-lee, Aborigines of the lowland districts of Western Australia. 
Diver of the Colonists. 



Podiceps australis, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 80. 

This beautiful species of Grebe, which differs but little from 
the Podiceps cristatus of Europe, inhabits the inland waters of 
Tasmania, and the whole of the southern portions of the con- 
tinent of Australia, wherever localities occur favourable to its 
existence. It gives a decided preference to those broad mere- 
like sheets of water, whose depth is not too great for the 
growth of rushes and other aquatic plants, among which it 
constructs its floating nest and rears its progeny. It not 
only dives extremely well, but stems the billows with amazing 
power ; and I have frequently observed it on the upper part 
of the Derwent, swimming against wind and tide in a manner 

that truly surprised me. 

The beautiful frill which adorns the neck of the P. australis 



quired in the spring 



during the breeding 



and then cast off, when the face becomes of a greyish white, 
or similar in colour to the other part of the neck. 

The sexes are at all times alike in plumage ; both have the 
frill of the neck to an equal extent, but the female is gene- 
rally the smallest in size. 

Crown of the head and occipital tufts black ; frill black at 



L* \ • 



i 






i 



i 




- 




." . t 



■: . ' 



■ - » - * « 

■ • _ * 



■i 

■ • 



■;'.•-" 



... • . 



^ t 



512 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



4 



the outer edge and rich chestnut in the centre, gradually 
passing into bufly white on the face ; upper surface and 
wings dark brown j scapularies and secondaries pure white ; 
all the under surface silvery white, stained with brown and 
chestnut on the flanks ; irides red j bill dark horn-colour ; 
upper surface of the tarsi and toes dark olive-green, under 

surface pale yellow. 

Total length 24 inches ; bill 2f ; wing 7 \ ; 



tarsi 2\ 






Sp. 666. 



PODICEPS NESTOR, Gould. 
Hoary-headed Grebe. 



Podiceps poliocephalus, Jard. and Selb. 111. Orn., vol. i. pi. 13. 
Podiceps nestor, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part iv. p. 145. 

Wy-oo-da, Aborigines of the lowland districts of Western Australia 

Dab-chick. Colonists of Swan River. 

Poliocephalus nestor, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de l'Acad. Sci., torn. xli. 



Podiceps poliocephalus, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. 
pi. 82 . 

This species of Grebe is very abundantly dispersed over the 
inland waters of Tasmania, and is particularly common on the 
upper part of the river Derwent, where it may be seen during 

i " of from ten to thirty 



flocks 



mob 



together, which separate into pairs on the approach of sum- 
mer ; I have also received it from Swan River, and observed it 
personally in the lagoons of New South Wales ; its distribu- 
tion therefore over all the southern portion of Australia may 
be said to be general. Its powers of diving, notwithstanding 
its bushy head, are quite equal to those of the other members 
of the genus, and its food and general economy are as a matter 
of course strictly similar. Like the Podiceps gidaris, it con- 
structs a flat nest of aquatic plants, which may be seen float- 



g on the central portions of the lag 



unfrequently 



within a few yards of the land. The eggs are of a dirty white 
colour, and four or five in number. 






*i 









NATATORES. 



513 



The lengthened hair-like plumes which ornament the face 
are doubtless merely assumed during the breeding-season, for 
I have frequently observed specimens in which this character 
was wholly absent, and not unfrequently others in which it 
was only partially developed. 

The sexes are both adorned with the plumes on the head, 



and 



are moreover so nearly alike both in size and 



that dissection is necessary to distinguish them. 

In the breeding-season the head is black, with the forehead 



d sides of the face be 



with 



g 



fi 



hair-like white 



plumes ; all the upper surface and wings brown ; base of 
primaries and the whole of the secondaries white ; under 
face silvery grey, tinged with brown on the flanks ; bill o. 



black 



the tip white ; irides blackish 



with a very 



fine circle of yellow near the pupil, and the olive beautifully 
marked with a darker tint resembling lace-work ; lores red- 
dish flesh-colour ; feet olive, tinged with yellow on the inner 
side. 

After the breeding-season is over the head becomes brown, 
the white plumes disappear, and the throat becomes buff. 



m 










Sp. 667. 



PODICEPS GULARIS, Gould. 
Black-throated Grebe. 



Podiceps dominicus, var., Lath. 

gularis, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc. ; part iv. p. 145. 



Tachybaptus gularis, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de l'Acad. Sci., 1856 



// 



Ung-bu -r-wa, Aborigines of Port Essington. 



Podiceps gularis, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 81. 



This Grebe 



very 




dispersed over 



whole of 



the southern portion of Australia, where it inhabits the 
mouths of the larger rivers as well as the lagoons of the 
interior, its numbers being much augmented durin 




thos 



seasons of rain which too unfrequently 



in those por 



of Australia in which our possessions have been 



VOL. II. 



2 L 



* ■ * 












* 



• . .-- ; 



. . ' ' ' 



> .\ .-;■•■•■■■•:■ 



■;.••'■ . -, 



v- v-. ■* ■ . '■•:. -■ ; ■ ,' 

--. • 5 ■ ■ ■ ■■ ..- • . .' 



514 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 






Immature birds, either of this or a nearly allied species, have 
been sent me from Port Essington ; future research alone will 
enable us to say how far to the north the range of this species 
may extend. It closely resembles the Podiceps minor of 
Europe, which however it exceeds in size, and from which it 
may always be distinguished by the colouring of the throat 

and sides of the face. 

The nest is a floating mass of weeds piled up in a rounded 
form, the top being just level with the surface of the water ; 
the eggs are four or five in number, of a dirty yellowish 

white. 

The food consists of small fish, mollusca, and insects of 

various kinds. 

The sexes differ but little either in size or colour. 

Crown of the head and nape of the neck deep blackish 
brown, tinged with olive ; throat and sides of the face black ; 
a mark of deep chestnut rises behind each eye and runs down 
the side of the neck ; upper surface deep blackish brown ; 



secondary 
across th< 



g- coverts t 

g; lower part of 



pped with white, forming a bar 



neck, chest, and 



der 



surface silvery grey, merging into deep brown on the flanks 



bill 



eenish grey, with a light ash-coloured spot at the 
extreme tip of the upper mandible; sides of the upper 



g 



dible, from the tip to near the 



of the lower e 
dibles yellowish 



dible bluish 



grey 



b 



s, and the tip 
of both man- 




ey 



gape primrose-yellow ; irides lemon 



yellow 



inner side of the 



yello 



grey, passing into 



greenish grey on the outer side and feet 



In 



the markings of the head and neck disapp 



and are replaced 




uniform tint of brown, like the re- 



der of the upper surface 



Total length 10 




bill 1 



4 > 



win 




^-4 > 



1 



2 









NATATORES. 



515 










Family SPHENISCmSJ. 

This is one of the most isolated families in the whole rang 



of ornithology, and if 



thoughts from them 



Alcada of the northern hemisphere, we may regard the two 
groups as analogues of each other ; they are, however, only 

: these 



analogues, for they 



way related in affinity 



Pad die- winged Sea Turtles among birds, in fact, constitute a 
southern group totally distinct from all others. They are con- 
siderably diversified in form, and have therefore been divided 
into no less than six genera, while the species known are 
perhaps not more than fifteen in number. During the breed- 
ing-season they are gregarious and assemble in countless mul- 
titudes on certain isolated rocky islands in the South Atlantic 
and South Pacific Oceans. 

The generality of them are adorned with many beautifully 
coloured markings, and in some instances with plumes which 
hang gracefully behind their heads. The sexes are alike in 
colour, showing that ornamentation is not solely given as an 
attraction to the sexes. Three, if not four, species pertain to 
the avi-fauna of Australia. 

Weddell, in his journal of ' A Voyage towards the South 



Pole 



thus speaks of the King Peng 



he observed 



it in the island of South Georg 



(C 



In pride these birds 



perhaps not surpassed 



by the Peacock, to which 



beauty of plumage, they are indeed very little inferior. During 
the time of moulting they seem to repel each other with dis- 
gust on account of the ragged state of their coats ; but as they 
arrive at the maximum of splendour they reassemble, and no 
one who has not completed his plumage is allowed to enter the 



mmunity. Their habit of frequently looking down theii 



front and sides, in order to contemplate the perfection of their 



exterior brilliancy 



d to 



remove any speck which 



iully 



3 truly amusing to an ob 
of hatching the male is i 



might 
During 



emarkably assiduous 

2 l 2 



so 









, 



\ 













■ 



■v . ', ■ - -•■ 



_ * ■ 



. , r v - ■ 



. . Mj . 








516 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



hat, when the hen has occasion to go off to feed or wash, the 
gg is transported to him, which is done by placing their toes 
ogether and rolling it from one to the other, using their beaks 



to pla 



it properly. The hen keeps charge of her young 



nearly a year, and, in teaching them to swim, the mother has 
frequently to use some artifice, for when the young one refuses 



take to the water, she 



the side of a rock 



d 



pushes it in, and this is repeated until it takes to the sea of 



■d 



>} 






We are told by Sir James Clark Ross, in his ' Voyage of 
Discovery in the Southern and Antarctic Regions ' : " Posses- 



sion Island is situated in lat. 71° 56', and long. 71° 7' E., 
composed entirely of igneous rocks, and only accessible on its 
western side. We saw not the smallest appearance of vege- 
tation, but inconceivable myriads of Penguins completely and 
densely covered the whole surface of the island, along the 
ledges of the precipices, and even to the summits of the hills, 

attacking us vigorously as we waded through their ranks, and 
pecking at us with their sharp beaks, disputing possession ; 
which, together with their loud coarse notes, and the insupport- 
able stench from the deep bed of guano which had been 
forming for ages, and which may at some period be valuable 
to the agriculturalists of our Australian colonies, made us glad 
to get away again, after having loaded our boats with geolo- 
gical specimens and Penguins." Captain Carmichael, in his 
description of the island of Tristan d'Acunha, says "the 

Crested Penguin (Catarrhactes chrysocoma, Briss.) conceals 
itself among the long grass, and in the bottom of ravines 
where they open upon the shore. Here they assemble in 
countless multitudes, and keep up a moaning noise, which 
can be heard at a great distance from the mountain \ and the 
bold, inhospitable coast around you is calculated to excite a 
train of ideas by no means pleasant." 






r. 






I 






NATATOItES. 



517 



' 



I I 















Genus CHRYSOCOMA, Stephens. * 

The members of this genus are among the most ornamental 
of this fine family, the graceful plumes trending backwards 
from the sides of their heads adding much to their beauty. 



They are neither the largest nor the smallest members of the 



family; some species exceeding them in size, while others are 
much less. 



I 



*■ "I 

n 

1 



Sp. 668. 



CHRYSOCOMA CATARRACTES 



Crested Penguin. 



Aptenodytes catarractes, Gmel. Edit. Linn. Syst. Nat., torn. i. p. 558. 
chry so come , Lath. Ind. Orn., vol. ii. p. 878, 



saltator, Steph. 

Pinguinaria cristuta, Shaw, Nat. Misc., pi. 437, 
Crested Penguin, Lath. Gen. Syn., vol. vi, p. 561. 
Chrysocoma catarractes, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de l'Acad. Sci., torn. xli. 

1856. 



Eudyptes chry socome, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 83. 

For a line example of this singular Penguin I am indebted 
to my friend Ronald C. Gunn, Esq., of Launceston, Tasmania, 
who informed me that it had been washed on shore on the 
northern coast of that island after a heavy gale. It is less 
plentiful in that part of the world than in many others, for 
although it is occasionally found on the shores of Tasmania 
and the south coast of Australia, it is most numerous on the 



islands of Amsterdam and St. Paul. 



It 



is 



found 



in vast 



abundance on the island of Amsterdam, where it may often be 
seen basking and standing erect on the rocks, in company 

with the seals. 

Head, neck, back, and sides black ; over each eye a stripe 
of pale yellow feathers, which are lengthened into a crest 
behind ; wings black externally, their posterior edge and under 



'- 



1 * ? ■ 



v ; »V 



■ *«. „ * 






« I w * 



• j r 









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** i 



■ : 



■f ■ 



* _ 



■..:'-■ 



i * . 






»* • i *. I 



1 " I 



,.-.-■ .'. 



518 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



surface white ; breast and under surface silvery white ; bill 
reddish brown ; feet greyish white. 

The female is said to differ in having the yellow feathers 
over the eye shorter, or not prolonged into a crest. 



Genus EUDYPTULA, Bonaparte. 

The members of this genus are the most diminutive in size 

of the entire family. Two species inhabit the southern parts 
of Australia and Tasmania. 



: 



Sp. 669. 



EUDYPTULA MINOR 
Little Penguin, 



Aptenodytes minor, Forst. Comm. Goett., torn. iii. p. 147. 
Little Penguin, Lath. Gen. Syn., vol. vi. p. 572, pi. 103. 
Spheniscus minor, Temm. Man. d'Orn., torn. i. p. 113. 

Aptenodyta minor, Vieill. Ency. Meth. Orn. ; part i. p. 68, pi. 17. fig. 1. 
Eudyptula minor, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de 1'Acad. Sci., torn. xli. 

1856. 
Korora, Aborigines of New Zealand. 



Spheniscus minor, Gould, Birds of Australia, foL, vol. vii. pi. 84. 

This species is very abundant all round Tasmania, in Bass's 
Straits, and on the south coast of Australia generally, where 
it frequents those parts of the sea that are favourable to its 
habits and mode of life, and where the depth of the water is 

not too great to prevent its diving to the bottom. It is also 
often seen in the deep bays and harbours, and some distance 
up the great rivers, but never I believe in fresh water ; seas 
abounding in small islands, whose sides are not too precipitous 
for it to ascend for the purpose of breeding, being the local- 
ities most frequently resorted to. It is so numerous on nearly 
all the low islands in Bass's Straits, from September to 
January, that any reasonable number of the birds and their 
eggs may be procured without the slightest difficulty. 






I 



It*. ! 






NATATORES. 



519 



, From the weight of the body and the density of the 
plumage, this bird swims very deep in the water, the head, 
neck, and upper part of the back only being above the sur- 
face. Its powers of progression in the deep are truly astonish- 
ing; it bounds through this element like the porpoise, and 
uses its short fin-like wings as well as its feet to assist it in its 



progress ; its swimming powers are in fact so great, that it 



stems the waves of the most turbulent seas with the utmost 
facility, and during the severest gale descends to the bottom, 
where, among beautiful beds of coral and forests of sea-weed, 
it paddles about in search of crustaceans, small fish, and 
marine vegetables, all of which kinds of food were found in 
the stomachs of those I dissected. 

A considerable portion of the year is occupied in the process 



of breeding and rearing the young, in consequence of its being 



necessary that their progeny should acquire sufficient vigour 
to resist the raging of that element on which they are destined 
to dwell, and which T believe they never again leave until by 
the impulse of nature they in their turn seek the land for the 
purpose of reproduction. Notwithstanding this care for the 
preservation of the young, heavy gales of wind destroy them 
in great numbers, hundreds being occasionally found dead on 
the beach after a storm; and when the sudden transition 
from the quiet of their breeding-place to the turbulence of 



the ocean, and the great activity and muscular exerti 

required, are taken into consideration, an occurrence 
kind will not appear at all surprising. 

Some of the islands in Bass's Straits, where the Peng 



of 



numerous, are completely intersected by paths and avenues, 
and so much care is expended by the birds in the formation 
of these little walks that every stick and stone is removed, 
and in some instances even the herbage, by which the surface 

as to appear more like the 



is 



dered 



and smooth 



work of the human hand than the labour of 



of the 



animals. The islands generally chosen for this purpose are 



I 

V 






^ { 



' 


































1 * * 












* ■ . 



a - '^mmm^m^m m 



■ - .. . 










4 



*"t 






5 .2 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. 



d to by the " Mutton Bird " (Nedris brevicaudus) 



both species appearing to breed in perfect harmony 



From what I 



personally observed while residing on 



the 



breeding-islands of this bird, the task of incubation would 



b 



seem to be mutually performed by both sexes, each regularly 
relieving the other during the night. 

The eggs are either deposited in a depression of the surface 
of the ground, or in a slanting hole of moderate depth ; they 
are two in number, and of a small size compared with the 

of the bird; they are white, two 



dimensions 



d 



ght 



inches and a half long and two inches broad 



From their incapacity for running and their total inability 



to 




parent birds 



y easily captured, and when 



taken with the hand offer no other resistance than a smart peck 
with the bill. The young, until they are nearly as large as 
the adult, are covered with a thick coating of long down, which 
is suddenly thrown off and replaced by short stiff feathers, 
which become perfectly developed before the bird ventures 
upon the sea. 



The note is hoarse 



d discordant, almost as loud and 







somewhat resembling the barking of a dog. 

There is no external difference observable in the sexes, 
which may be thus described : 

The feathers of the upper surface light blue, with a fine 



black line down the 
surface silvery white 



eyes 



of each ; the whole of the under 

lat ; irides pale buffy white, with 



work of dark brown round the outer margin, and with 



& 



a fine ring of the same colour near the pu 




g the 



appearance of a double 



bill horn -colour, deepening 



slaty black on the culmen and tip ; feet yellowish white ; 
nails black. 



1 




NATATORES 



521 



Sp. 670. 



EUDYPTULA UNDINA, Gould, 

Fairy Penguin. 



Aptenodytes undina, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xii. p. 57. 
Eudyptula minor, Bonap. Compt. Rend, de FAcad. Sci.^ 1856. 

_ - M „ _„.--. ---j. - -. r 

Spheniscus undina, Gould, Birds of Australia, fol., vol. vii. pi. 85. 

This is undoubtedly the smallest Penguin yet discovered, 
for it is considerably less in size than the 8. minor, from 
which it also differs in its comparatively smaller wing, and in 
the deeper blue colouring of the upper surface of the body : 



by many persons it might be regarded as the young of 8. minor 



p 



but I invariably found the young of that species, while still 
partially clothed in the downy dress of immaturity, to exceed 
considerably in size all the examples of this species, even when 
adorned in the adult livery, and possessing the hard bill of 
maturity ; there can be no question, therefore, of the two 



birds being distinct. 




For the first 



pie that 



came 



der my 



indebted to the kindness of Ronald C. Gunn, Esq., who in- 
formed me that it was one of some hundreds that had been 

thrown ashore dead at Circular Head, during one of those severe 
gales that occasionally occur in Bass's Straits ; subsequent to 
this the bird came under my own observation, and I obtained 
another example on Waterhouse Island, where it was breeding. 
Its habits, manners, mode of life, and food are precisely 

similar to those of 8. minor. 

The whole of the upper surface, flanks, and upper side of 



the 



gs glossy 



bl 



a narrow stripe of black 



down the centre of each feather, the black mark being broadest 



g 



and the 



and most conspicuous on the back 
the body, the under side and the ii 

side of the 

silky white ; I 

yellowish white. 

Total length 13^ inches; bill ljj 



; all the under surface of 
ner margin of the upper 
webs of the tail-feathers 



bill reddish brown beneath, black above ; feet 



tarsi 3 



4 



4l 







I: 



t 






' 



# 



* * * 


















'- 









■ •• 



• r : -• 



i .-= . : 









> 






* ■ ■* 



k 



BIEDS 



OF 



AUSTRALIA. 






APPENDIX. 



In the Introduction to the present Handbook (vol. i. p. 6) 
I have stated that I should confine my remarks " to the birds 
of the Australian Continent, Tasmania,, and those Islands of 
the Great Barrier Reef which properly belong to Australia/' 
and this I have accordingly done in the preceding pages ; but 

I now think it will be well to append an account of the 
species pertaining to other countries, about twenty-four in 
number, which have been figured in the folio edition and the 
three supplementary parts which have since been issued, as I 
believe that the interest of the present volumes will thereby 
lae enhanced to those who possess the illustrated work. The 
species alluded to comprise the curious Didunculus strigirostris, 
Semioptera wallacei, Strigops habroptilus, and a few others 
from New Zealand, Norfolk and Lord Howe's Islands, &c. 
These will be arranged in the same order as those which have 

preceded them. I 

species will be found in their proper place in the general 

Index. 



The names connected with these additional 



,-■ ' ■"• 



* * t • 



*;,•-'• 



' -; ■ . 

" *_ 



.,*.*■ 



' . 1 ■■' • 



. #1* - 



IV < ft 






I 



/ 






524 



BI11DS OF AUSTRALIA. 



Family STRIGIDJB. 



Genus SCELOGLAUX, Kaup. 

But one species of this highly curious form is at present 



known 



Sp. 1. 



SCELOGLAUX ALBIFACIES 

Wekatj. 



Ibift 



Ibift 



Mus 



— G. R. Gray, Cat. of Gen. and Subgen 



Seeloglaux albifacies, G-ould, Birds of Australia, fol., Supplement, 



pi. 

This bird 



of 



many strange inhabitants of 



antipodal country New Zealand. An Owl it unquestionably 
is, but how widely does it differ from every other member of 
its family ! Its prominent bill, swollen nostrils, and small 
head are characters as much accipitrine as strigine ; its short 
and feeble wings indicate that its powers of flight are limited, 
while its lengthened legs and abbreviated toes would appear 
to have been given to afford it a compensating increase of pro- 
ression over the ground. On what does this bird live? 
There are no indigenous small quadrupeds in the country upon 
which we might infer, from its structure and what we know of 




economy of other 



Owls (such as 



Burrow 



g Owl of North America, Burnia cunicularia) , it would feed 



Does it partially feed on the 



Hepialus 



so subject to 



of such Lepidopter 

of that sing 



fungus the Sphtfria Bobertsi ? It would indeed b 
ing to ascertain how it maintains existence. 

Of this very rare and singular bird only two exampl 



are 



known to me : of these 



is 



the British Museum, th 



other in the collection of J. H. Gurney, Esq., a gentleman 











* 



J 






APPENDIX. 



525 



much attached to Ornithology, as his liberal donations to the 
Norwich Museum abundantly testify. Both these specimens 
were collected on the middle and south islands of New 
Zealand : that in the British Museum is the original of Mr. 
G. B. Gray's Athene albifacies and the type of Dr. Kaup's 

genus Sceloglaux. 

The full-sized figure of this bird in the folio edition may 
be the means of making it more generally known ; I trust 
that the attention of travellers will be directed to the species, 
and that ere long we may be furnished with some account 
of its habits and economy, of which, at present, nothing is 

i 

known. 

Mr. Percy Earl, who obtained at Waikonaiti, in the south 

island of New Zealand, the specimen in the British Museum, 

states that it is known to the natives by the name of Wekau. 



upper 



Plumage of the 

3r margined with fulvous 



surface 



brown, each fea 



some 



of the scapular 



lengthened mark of dull white within the margin and others 

3 edge ; primaries spotted along the outer margin with 



buffy 



te ; secondaries and tertiaries crossed by indistinct 
pted bars of buffy white, assuming on those 



body the form of spots ; spurious wing 
tail brown, crossed by five narrow irn 



y 



dark brown ; 
gular bars of buffy 
white and tipped with fulvous ; fascial disk pale sandy- 
brown, except on the forehead, throat, and ear-coverts, which 

each feather with a streak of brownish- black 
tre ; feathers of the under surface deep fulvous, 



are 



down 



broad mark of dark br 



down the 



of 



the former 
d thighs, when 



on 



part of the abdomen 



gradually fades into dull white 



the lower part of the tarsi ; toes sickly-green, thinly beset 
with hair-like feathers ; cere much developed and of a lead 
colour ; bill blnish horn-colour at the base, passing into yel- 
lowish horn-colour at the tip, the under mandible yellow. 



« 



r 









■ 



1 






» 



* 






U 






■\ ; . . 



■ "■ * . 



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■a - < 1 * # ■ 



1- < F 



■'. •' ■ - -" 



. . • - .-. ■*.. ■:. 



;;••-■ 



+- 



,-: * * 



• 









526 



BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA 






Sp. 2. 



Family SAXICOLnXE, 

PETROICA ERYTHROGASTRA 

Norfolk Island Robin. 



Muscicapa 



multicolor, Gmel. Edit. Linu. Syst. Nat., vol. i. p. 944. 

Red-bellied Flycatcher, Lath. Gen. Syn., vol. iii. p. 343. pi. 50. 
Petroica pulchella, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part vii. p. 142, male. 
modesta, Gould lb., part v. p. 147, female. 



Petroica erythrogastra, Goul