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The Emu 




A Quarterly Magazine to popularize the Study and Protection 

of Native Birds. \ 

•♦■^-^ ^■». ^ 


Editors i ^' -*• CAMPBELL, CoL Mem. B.O.U. 


London Agent : 

R. H. PORTER, 7 Princes Street, Cavendish Square, W. 


.^-'V'AH loo - ^^"^ 


Acclimatization of Tones Strait or Nut- 
meg Pigeons, 255. 

Albinism, 266. 

Alcyone pHsilla, Two Nests of, 126. 

Alterations in Nomenclature, 46. 

Annotations, 245. 

Auk, The Great, 260. 

Australian Birds, Examination of Con- 
tents of Stomachs and Croj^s of, 

Australian Birds in Siberia, 95. 

Avifauna of New South Wales Islands, 
99, 202. 

Baudin's Australian Bird Tist, 257. 

Belltrees (N.S.W.), Notes from, 212. 

Bird Day, 258. 

Bird Day, Papers for, 64. 

Bird-keeping, 260. 

Bird League at Belltrees, 129. 

Bird-Life in the Riveiina, 207. 

Bird Observers' Club, 265. 

Bird of the Sierras, 46. 

Bird Plumage, Traffic in, 222. 

Bird Protection, Assisting, 144. 

Birds' Eggs, Study of, 198. 

Birds Killed by Lightning, 211. 

" Birds of Australia, The," 45, 146. 

Birds of Lord Howe and Norfolk Is- 
lands, 58. 

Birds of North-East Greenland, 46. 

Blood Cells of Vertebrates, Especially of 
Birds, Relative Dimensions of the, 

Brisson, 266. 

Bristle-Bird, Notes on the Rufous, 1 19. 

Broken Hill (N.S.W.), Near, 213. 

Buckland Bird Protection Fund, 64. 

"Budgerigar," Blue, 128. 

Bush-Birds of New Zealand, i, 66, 171, 

Cape Barren Goose on Nest, 42. 

Cape York, Field Notes from, 17. 

Cape York, Descriptions of Nests and 
Eggs from, 212. 

Cleveland (Tasmania) Notes, 42. 

Close Season in South Australia, 144. 

Coloured Figure Fund, 144. 

Coorong Island, 127. 

Corrections, 64, 78, 246. 

Correspondence, 52, 136, 218, 264. 

Cuckoo, New Foster-Parent for Fan- 
tailed, 210. 

Cuckoo, New Foster-Parent for Pallid, 

Cuckoos as Nest Robbers, 254. 

Death of a Distinguished Ornithologist, 

Description of a New Petrel and of Some 

Nestlings, 98. 
Description of a New Ptilotis, 124. 
Description of a New Rhipidura, 41. 
Description of Eggs of Myzanlha inela- 

ttotis, 210. 
Descriptions and Dimensions of Eggs, 

Descriptions of Nests and Eggs from 

Cape York, 213. 
Descriptions of two Nests and Eggs, 

Destruction of Mutton- Birds at Cape 

WoUomai, 222. 
Dottrel, Black-fronted, Distribution of, 

Dottrel, The, in Riverina, 209. 
Ducks Nesting in Rabbit-Burrows, 215. 
Eggs, Descriptions and Dimensions of, 

Eggs, New, from the Mallee District, 

Victoria, 211. 
Emu-Wren, Western, 222, 246. 
Examination of Contents of Stomachs 

and Crops of Australian Birds, 79. 
Exploration, Far North- West, 267. 
Falcuticiilus zvkilei, 105. 
Field Notes from Cape York, 17. 
Field Ornithology in South Australia. 221. 
Field- Wren, White-browed, Field Notes 

on the, 237. 
Food of Cockatoos, 109. 
Forgotten Feathers, 255. 
Frogmouths and Butcher-Birds, 125. 
Honey-eater, Additional Notes on the 

Helmeted, 252. 
Honey-eater, Description of a New, 124. 
Honey-eater, Yellow-faced, 42. 
Honey-eaters of the Cleveland District, 

Tasmania, 105. 
Honey-eaters, Scolding, 125. 
Honey-Lovers, 254. 
Journal, A New, 260. 
Kangaroo Island, Mallee-Fowl on, 35. 
Kingfisher, Another Great, 12S. 
King George as a Bird-Lover, 47. 
Lesson from America, A, 266. 
Magazines, &c.. From, 46, 128, 215, 

Mallee Birds, Some, 114. 
Mallee-Fowl on Kangaroo Island. 35, 1 10. 
Malurus, 254. 

Megalurus striatus (Milligan), 249. 
Mersey, Tasmania, Jottings from the, 126. 
Mungooses and Rats, 264. 
Myzantha melanotis. Description of Eggs 

of, 210. 

Contents of Vol. XI.—\gii-i2-. 

Native-Hen ( Tribonyx mortieri). Notes 
on the, 250. 

Nesting of Psephotics hicinatonotus in Cap- 
tivity, 37. 

Nesting of the Red Wattle-Bird, 43. 

New Australian Birds, 129. 

New Australian Sub-species, 46. 

New South Wales Islands, Avifauna of, 
99, 202. 

New Zealand, Bush-Birds of, i, 66, 171, 

Nomenclature, Alterations in, 46. 

Nomenclature of Australian Avifauna, 1 
52, 136, 218. i 

Nomenclature of Birds, 130. 

Notes and Notices, 64, 144, 221, 266. 

Nutmeg-Pigeon, Acclimatization of, 255. 

Obituary Notice, 62, 267. 

" Oologia Neerlandica," 45. | 

Oology, Progress of, 260. | 

Oriole, The, as a Mimic, 210. j 

Pachycephala rufogiilaris. Re-discovery 
of, 212. 

Pelicans in South Australia, Protection | 
of, 45. 

Petrel, A New, for Australia, 47, 98. | 

Prohibition of Exportation, 61, 145. 1 

Prohibition of Importation, 144. I 

Psephotiis hamatonolus in Capt 
Nesting of, 37. 

Pscudogerygone jacksoiii, i\1, 249. 

Ptilotis, Description of a New, 124. 

Publications Received, 269. 

Reviews — " The Feather Trade : 

Case for the Defence," 48 ; 
" Checklist of North American 
Birds," 50; " Nest and Eggs of 
Birds Found Breeding in Australia 
and Tasmania," 132, 262; "The 
Birds of Australia," 134; "My 
Tropic Isle," 135 ; " Catalogue of 
the Natural Science and Tech- 
nical Periodicals in the Libraries 
in Melbourne," 216; "The De- 



structive Insects of Victoria," Part 
v., 216; "Birds of the Water, 
Wood, and Waste," 216 ; " Home 
Life of the Osprey," 261 ; " A 
Naturalist on Desert Islands," 

Rhipidura (fulvifrons) mayi, Ashby, 

Royal Australasian Ornithologists' 
Union, Sydney Session — Minutes, 
147 ; General Meeting, 149 ; 
Financial Statement, 150; Presi- 
dent's Address, 153 ; Public 
Lecture, 161 ; Working Excur- 
sion and Camp-out, 162 ; Annual 
Report, 166 ; Progress Report of 
the Check-list Committee, 168 ; 
Memorial Service to John Gilbert. 
169 ; Visit to the Mitchell 
Library, 120. 

Sericornis, New, 245. 

Shaw, " Zoology of New Holland, 
1794," 255. 

Siberia, Australian Birds in, 95. 

Snakes in Bird-Nests, 187. 

South Australian Ornithological Associa- 
tion, 62, 142, 221, 264. 

Sphenura broadbetiti. The Feather 
Tracts of, 215. 

Spinebill, 42. 

Stilts Breeding near Melbourne, 209. 

Stirling Ranges, W.A., Further Notes 
from the, 239. 

Stray P'eathers, 42, 125, 209, 254. 

Swallows Nesting on Railway Train, 21 1. 

Torres Strait Pigeon, Acclimatization of, 

Tunnel District, lasmania, A Trip to 

the, 39. 
Wattle-Bird, Nesting ot the Red, 43. 
Wild Birds, Tame, 13 1. 
Wise Minister, A, 64. 
Yorke Peninsula, On, 32. 

Illustrations in Vol. XI. — 191 1- 12. 


Scene in Heavy Rush, Maunga-Haumia, North Island, New Zealand ... plate i 
Typical Birch Forest. Home of the Kaka (Nestor meridionalis), also of 

other Bush Species — Cyanorhamphus, Clitonyx, &c. ... ... plate ii 

Open Valley fdled by Land Slip, Maunga-IIaumi.i ... ... ... plate iii 

Nesting-hole of Yellow-fronted Parrakeet {Cyanorhamphus auriceps) in 

Kai-Kawaka tree ... ... ... .. .. ... plate iv 

Cape Barren Goose ( C^>-ro/i2.f) on Nest ... ... ... ... plate v 

The Tawari (Ixerba brexioides) and opening Seed-pod. Food of the Kaka 

Parrot (Nestor meridionalis) ... ... ... ... page 66 

Tangle of Nei-Nei Scrub. Haunt of North Island Robin (Miro australts) plate vi 

Nest [iti situ) of North Island Robin (Miro australis) in creeper on 

Manuka tree ... ... ... ... ... ... plate vii 

Music ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... page 77 

Nest of Grey Warbler (Pseudogerygone Jlaviventris) in Lawyer Vine 

(Rnlms australis) ... ... ... .... ... ... plate viii 

White- winged Petrel (CEstrelata leucoptera) in Nesting Site, Cabbage 

Tree Island, New South Wales ... ... ... ... plate ix 

Nestling White-winged Petrel (CEstrelata leucoptera), Cabbage Tree 

Island, New South Wales ... ... ... ... ... plate ix 

Rufous Bristle-Bird (Sphenura broadbeiiti) at Nest ... ... ... plate x 

Nest of Rufous Bristle-Bird (.S'//^l?«?/ra /^r^rtf^r'^ifw//) ... ... ... plate xi 

Honey-eaters Feeding, Flight Aviary, Zoological Gardens, Melbourne ... plate xi 

Pheasant Coucal (Cf;//r£j/«.f//zajza;/Mj), Zoological Gardens, Sydney ... plate xii 

Mr. A. J. Campbell, President R. A. O.U. ... ... ... plate xiii 

Scene on Ourimbah Creek, New South Wales ... ... ... plate xiv 

Gilbert Memorial Tablet, St. Jame.s' Church, Sydney ... ... plate xv 

Nest and Eggs of Pied Fantail (Hhipidura flabellifera) in dead tawa 

branchlet ... ... ... ... ... ... plate xvi 

Wheau Valley, New Zealand ... ... ... ... ... plate xvii 

Eggs of Pigeon Guillemot (Cepphus colutnha), Crested Tern (Sterna bergii), 

Sooty Oyster-catcher (Hcematopus unicolor). Pied Oyster-catcher 

(H.loiigirostris) ... ... ... ... ... plate xviii 

Eggs of American Kittiwake Gull (liissa tridactyla), Brown Shrike- 
Thrush (Collyriocmcla brunnea). Northern Oriole (Oriohis affinis), 
Helmeted Friar- Bird (Philemon buceroides) ... ... ... plate xix 

Eggs of Barred Owl (Stri.v varia), Cat-Bird (^-Elurtedus maculosus), 
Chough (Corcorax), Shrike-Thrush (Collyriocincla brumiea), Fig- 
Bird (Sphecotheres Jlaviventris), White Tern (Gygis Candida), Friar- 
Bird (Philemon b7iceroides). Oriole (O. aji/tis), Jumper (Struthidea), 
Bell-Bird (Oreoica), Magpie-Lmk (Grallina picata) ... ... plate xx 

Silver Gwlls (Larus novcE-Aollandi(S} ... ... ... ... plate xxi 

Nest of Silver Gull (Larus novm-hollandiic) with Eggs (red mutation) 

Montague Island ... ... ... ... ... ... plate xxi 

vi Illustrations in Vol. .Y/.— 1911-1Q12. 

Typical Home of the Rifleman (Acanthidositia rhioris) ... ... plate xxii 

'^&%\.Q{'K\?^tm2.v\.{Acanthidositta Moris) ... ... ... ... plate xxiii 

Nest of Blight-Bird (Z(7.r/fw/i f(rr?^/«fe«5) .. ... ... ... plate xxiii 

Nest (,in sitti) of Chestnut-backed Ground-Bird {Cinclosoma castanonotittn) plate xxiv 

Nest of White-bellied Shrike-Tit (/«/«/«<:«/«.? /^M-^-'^rt.J/^?-) - ... plate xxv 

Nest of Western Emu- Wren (SHpititru^ zvestermitsis) ... ... plate xxv 

Nest and Eggs of Dusky Miner (Afj/cfl«//%a (7/^.rf«^a) ... ... ... plate xxvi 

Certificate of the Gould League of Bird Lovers of New South Wales ... plate xxvii 

Camp on Birch Ridge (birch and tawari trees), 3,000 feet above sea-level page 236 

Yellow-tufted Honey-eater {Ptiloiis cassidix) on Nest ... ... page 252 

Y cWow 'ShnkQ-TiifFalcunculus whiUi) ... ... (coloured) plate D 


In issuing the first number oi the second decade oi llic Emu, 
the editors congratulate tlie members oi the Royal Australasian 
Ornitliologists' Ihiion on tlie position that l)ody lias attained and 
the good work it has done. 

It began with 21 members. Now, not only does its niember- 
shijj include leading ornithologists all over the civilized world, 
but it has established itself so thoroughly as to make its influence 
so felt in all the Australasian States that in each its members are 
working earnestly towards " the study and protection ot native 

But what has been done is only part of what should be done. 
Not only is closer investigation and observation of the life-history 
of our avifauna needed, but there are physiological — even psycho- 
logical — problems connected with it that have hardly been 

Many memljers have to be thanked for what they have done 
towards making the Union and The Emu what they are, and many 
are capable of taking us another step forward. Is it unfair to 
ask for their further aid ? 

For the new decade members will notice certain alterations m 
type, which give the journal a more artistic dressing, notably the 
introduction of the antique or Clarendon style for bird-names and 

Regarding ornithological nomenclature, this perplexing subject 
is still unsettled, but evidently ap])roaching finality, thanks 

II Editorial Note. 

chiefly to the aid of the Old World researchers, while the Union 
has its own Australian " Check-list " Committee at work. Mr. 
Gregory M. Mathews' " Hand-list " (Suppl., Emu, vol. vh.) is, 
perhaps, a good step on the road to linality ; but, as the author 
himself is finding it necessary to make many amendments, it 
would be more convenient (lor editorial purposes, at all events, 
because two or more names for the same species cannot be used 
in the one journal) were the Australasian Science Association's 
List (1898) followed by members and contributors, as in the last 
decade, until the Union's " Check-list " has been comi)leted and 

The Emu, Vol. XI. 



• 111 He 

ivy Busli, 
Island, New Zealand. 


Official Organ of the Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union. 

Bir«as of A feather.' 

Vol. XL] isx JULY, 191 1. [Part i. 

Bush-Birds of New Zealand. 

By J. C. M'Lean, M.B.O.U., Gi^bornk, N.Z. 

Part L 

As must l)c well known to readers of The Hniii, the bush of New 
Zealand, as far as the number of its species of birds is con- 
cerned, cannot possibly compare with that of Australia ; still, 
what few birds exist are interesting from many standpoints. 
There were only about twenty species of strictly arboreal habits 
to be found in the North Island, and, although once common, 
many of them are now rare — one or two possibly extinct. 

Some years ago (1892), when the second edition of the late 
Sir Walter Buller's " History of the Birds of New Zealand " had 
appeared, attention was drawn in a short article in The Ibis to 
the fact that two of the species * mentioned in that work as 
almost extinct were at that time not uncommon in one part of 
the North Island. Since then the writer has had many oppor- 
tunities of making the acquaintance of our rarer birds ; and an 
article was lately published in The Ibis based upon some notes 
made in the winter and spring of igo6.t Further notes have 
since been gathered in the same locality ; and, with a view of 
showing the ]wsition, at this day, of the bush-birds of this part 
of New Zealand, the present article has been written. The im- 
pression has obtained among ornithologists that our bush-birds 
are i)i exivemis : but this, I think, is hardly borne out by the 
facts, and, as I wish to show, many, although retreating before 
the advance of axe and forest fire, are still to be met with, in some 
numbers, in much of our higher bush country. 

Maunga-Haumia,| upon whose north-eastern and southern spurs 
these notes were gathered, is, with its white southern face — caused 

* Miro australis and Clitonyx albicapilla. 

^ Ibis (1907), p. 519, "Field Notes on Some of the Bush-Birds of New 
Zealand," by J. C. M'Lean, M.B.O.U. ; with an Appendi.x on the Species of 
the Genus Pseudogerygone, by W. R. Ogilvie-Grant. 

X Maunga-Haumia. Maunga means a hill. H aimiia-tiki-tiki was, in 
native lore, a deity or lord of the fern root, as also of all growing vegetable 
food. Hence, perhaps, the Maori, observing this prominent feature, called 
it " The Mountain of Haumia." 

2 M'Lean, Bush-Birds of New Zealand. [ist^'july 

by a land-slip some thirty odd years ago— a well-known landmark 
of the East Coast district. The range, rising to a height of 3,979 
feet, is situated some 40 to 50 miles N.N.W. of Poverty Bay, and 
in the centre of that large extension of the North Island of New 
Zealand which ends in East Cape. Its bush could, until the 
past year or so, be included in possibly the largest area of un- 
touched forest remaining to the Dominion. It still has some 
slight connection with that to the north and west, but probably 
not for long. Year by year large blocks are being felled and 
burnt upon its slopes and spurs, and with the destruction of the 
bush most of its bird-hfe— in fact, all its life— must disappear. 

The writer spent the winter of 1906 on the north-eastern spurs, 
amid what was then virgin bush, and in the daily walks entailed 
in supervising the felling of part of some 3,000 acres had excellent 
opportunities of observing its birds. Another 2.000 acres were 
felled in the same locality during the winter of 1907, when the 
writer was superintending a block of 1,000 acres on the southern 
spurs — this latter in somewhat higher country, running up to about 
3,500 feet. Above this the country is too poor and rough to 
warrant further operations for the present, and it is to be hoped 
will remain for many years a sanctuary for some of those rarer 
birds I had the pleasure of meeting there. 

In 1906 the first camp was pitched — on 19th April — right on 
top of the birch ridge, at an elevation of about 3,000 feet. On 
top of this ridge the bush consisted of magnificent birch {Notofagus 
fuscus) — in reality a beech — with many other species of trees and 
shrubs interspersed, chief among which was the spreading tawari 
[Ixerha brexioides), forming more than half the vegetation, and 
whose seeds afforded much food, during early winter, for Parrakeets 
and Parrots. With the exception of a tall, tussocky grass, there 
was but little undergrowth among the birch ; but down the sides 
of the ridge scrub became more plentiful wherever the bush 
changed to a more mixed class of tawa [Beilschmiedia tawa) — the 
fruit of which is the favourite autumn food of the Pigeon — hinau, 
miro, and other trees, and was thicker in the gullies, which, with 
moss-festconed white-wood {Mtiicytus raniiflorns), made a happy 
hunting-ground for our smallest bird, the Rifleman. 

To the south-west, between this ridge and the main range, lay 
an undulating valley, of poorer soil, where much more open- 
bottomed bush prevailed, consisting of tawhera [Weinmannia 
silvicola) and manuka {Leptospermum ericoides), about 40 to 50 
feet high, with hardly any undergrowth, but showing here and 
there patches of a peculiar grass-tree {Dracophyllum nrvillcannm) 
— nei-nei of the Maories — averaging about 8 feet in height, and 
which grew so thickly as to almost exclude other species. This 
valley, intersected by the Mangamaia * and its numerous branches, 
was much frequented by the Whitehead, Bell-Bird, and Blue- 
wattled Crow ; and here — more particularly in the nei-nei and 

* " Resting-place," as applied to a grave. 

Thk Emu, Vol. X/. 


Typical Birch Forest. 

Home of the Kaka {Nestor meridionalis) , also of other Bush Species- 

Cyanurhamphus, Clitonyx, &c. 


^''^,'^-_,^' J M'l.icAN, lUtsh-ninls of New Zealand. 3 

adjoining open-bottonicd t;i\vlRT;i and manuka — I found that 
charming songster the W'ood-lvohin {Miro australis) at home, 
and in some numbers. This — the tawliera country 1 shall 
designate it — varied from about 1,500 Ui 2,300 feet in elevation 
above sea level. 

Adjacent to, but to the west of this again. I spent the early 
spring (till 14th Octol)er), amid the heavy mixed tawa, with rimu 
and white- wood and a tangled unciergrowth of supplejack and 
lawyer-vines, which clothed the spurs that led to Maunga-Haumia's 
highest })art. Heie the Pigeon and the Tui were more ])lentiful 
than in the other parts. The lower portions of these spurs, 
totalling 2,000 acres, were felled the following year (1907), but, as 
stated above, the higher parts have been left undisturbed. 

The winter of 1907 (27th March to 27th October) was spent 
some 4 to 6 miles to the south of my spring camp of the previous 
year, upon the southern spurs, where mixed bush prevailed, with 
perhaps more rimu {Dacrydium cupressinmn) and more white- 
wood. There was, generally speaking, more undergrowth, but no 
extensive birch forest as in 1906. Still, the very tops of the 
highest ridges had a fair sprinkling of these trees, and the tawari 
was common with them. The altitude ran from about 1,600 to 
3,500 feet — the highest part of the felling. 

In 1906 I was right in the virgin bush, and hardly ever saw 
the clearings ; V)ut in 1907 I daily saw something of cleared 
country of various ages, and so learnt something of what was 
going on in the way of the advancement of civilization and its 
attendant consequences. To the west of the felling of 1907 on 
the southern spurs still stretches a very extensive forest, which, 
however, will come down before many years are past. To the 
east lay last year's felling, burnt and sown and feeding sheep. 
Next this again was what was once similar forest — thousands of 
acres — now in grass from four to seven years old — a network, in 
parts, of half-burnt, rotting trunks, with patches of what is 
called " second growth " — a scrubby mass of shoots from stumps 
and seeds where the fire has not been quite hot enough to kill all 
life. As a rule, after a good hot fire there will be little of this ; 
but sometimes considerable patches spring up, principally in damp 
gullies, and have, of course, to be felled after a few years. These 
patches, if within a mile or two of the main bush, are much fre- 
quented by the Pied Tit, Bell-Bird, and Tui. who, in spring 
especially, find much food suited to their tastes, 'llus southern 
bush was in one sense more open than that of 1906, as a long, 
narrow valley leading into it from the cleared country had been 
grassed by wild cattle after the bush had been torn out and buried 
by the onrush of the large slip mentioned above, which, after 
starting off the left face of the distant hill, tore down the valley 
for at least 2 miles. At the spot shown in illustration (Plate 
IIL), it is estimated the original gully has been filled up to a 
depth of 30 feet or more ; and, as the valley is of fair width now, 
it can be imagined what an enormous amount of dtbris came 

4 M'l.v.\-i, Bush-Birds of New Zealand. [ .st July 

down and was deposited along this length. Near the base of 
this valley, half a mile beyond the spot mentioned, the great 
rimus and ratas have been removed for a distance of lOO feet 
up each side of the gully, and birches from near the high top now 
lie a couple of miles down the creek. The growth in the fore- 
ground is therefore recent, and the main heavy bush can be seen 
beyond. Maunga-Haumia's highest part lies about a mile directly 
behind the distant hill, which is 3,500 feet high. 

It was this open valley which gave the writer the opportunity 
of seeing so much more of the bold little Bush-Hawk and its work 
than could possibly have been observed in the depth of heavy 
bush. Below the bare rocky face exposed by the slip was also 
open and in grass, but as one descended the slopes became 
sprinkled with short koromiko {Veronica salicifolia) and an odd 
puka (Griselinca littoralis ?), or " broad-leaf " ; but further down the 
vegetation increased in size and variety until at last it became the 
most difficult scrubby bush that I have ever tried to force my 
way through. This scrub of rangiora {Br achy glottis rangiora), 
puka, koromiko, coprosma, and wineberry {Aristotelia racemosa), 
about 10 or 12 feet in length, was all bent horizontally by the 
winter snows, and so interlaced and held together by lawyers 
{Rubus) as to be for the most part impenetrable. Still, it was a 
great place for birds, such as the Whitehead, Pied Tit, Bell-Bird, 
and Crow. Above the face was a low forest of stunted and twisted 
birch, puka, white-wood, and fuchsia, with no undergrowth, 
but a beautiful soft carpet of that handsome sub-alpine fern, 
Todea siiperba. Mist was rarely absent from this top, and the 
moss grew in such profusion on the trunks that a 3-inch limb 
appeared at least 12 inches through. Here the Rifleman was in 
its element. The summit had been felled many years before to 
clear the "trig.," and over the prostrate birch and puka grew a 
dense scrub of 6-foot Schefflera digitata — the " five-finger tree " 
— whose berries, in a slightly lower altitude, were useful, in late 
winter, to the Pigeon and other birds. With the exception of 
the Rifleman, no birds were seen about the " trig." 

To the south of this hill the bush was heavy, especially near 
the Urukokomoko stream, tawa, with many miro, rimu, and 
rata {Metrosideros rohusta), predominating, while supplejack and 
lawyer-vines, together with numerous shrubs, made the under- 
growth. Except on the tops of the narrow ridges, there was, 
on this southern side, but little birch, but tawari was fairly plenti- 
ful in parts. However, the latter did not fruit in anything like 
the same profusion that it did in 1906, so that Kakas and Parra- 
keets did not appear in any numbers. This irregularity in 
fruiting of New Zealand trees is a great factor in the distribution 
of certain nativ^e birds, and leads to errors of judgment when 
dealing with the apparent increase or decrease of a species. As 
was to be expected from the character of this southern bush, 
the Robin was not met with in 1907. 

I was informed by Australian bushmen who were felling here 

The Emu, Vo/. XL 

^"'- ^'-l M'Lkax, Bush-Birds of New Zealand. < 

igii J ' ' J 

that what we term " heavy bush " in New Zealand would be 
called " jungle " in Australia, and that our " scrub " would be 
classed as " brush." 

For the information of those who may be interested, I may say 
that the bush is felled, in sections usually of about 150 acres (but 
may vary from 100 uj) to 500), during the winter. The under- 
growth of shrubs and vines is first cut, and then all trees under 
2 feet 6 inches in diameter (in some cases 3 feet) are felled on this. 
On the first favourable opportunity after the middle of December 
the bush is fired, and sown, as soon as possible, with a mixture of 
turnips, rape, grasses, and clovers. Given a good burn and a 
fair growing season, it is ready for feeding by the middle or end 
of May, from which time on to the beginning of Septeml)er from 
four to five sheep to the acre are carried, and can then be turned 
off fat to the freezing works. With the exception of a little 
'■' second growth " (which, however, can be checked by cattle), 
bush country, so far as grazing is concerned, gives little further 

The heaviest snow-storm which could have occurred for very 
many years visited the locality on 15th July, igo6, smashing the 
bush considerably and placing a mantle of 3 feet of snow all over 
this high country. This, I may say, rather spoilt the chance of 
obtaining good photographs after that date, as the ground was 
littered with great birch branches and uprooted trees, vines had gone 
with their supports to Mother Earth, and the beautiful tree-ferns 
either had their fronds stripped off or so bent down by the weight 
of the snow as to present a dilapidated appearance, like a half- 
closed umbrella. Occasionally snow fell lightly in both years, 
and the rainfall — much above that of the lower country — was 
very heavy, especially in 1907. 

A few birds were procured in 1906 for identification. They 
were forwarded to the British Museum, and kindly identified by 
Mr. W. R. Ogilvie-Grant, and in these notes I shall follow the 
order and nomenclature adopted in the article which sub- 
sequently appeared in The Ibis. Some species were not molested, 
and in "1907 I did not kill a bird. Only those native species 
which were actually observed in this Maunga-Haumia country are 
here recorded under their separate headings. The bulk of the 
notes were written at the time of observation, but additional ones 
are added to help explain the position of the different species in 
this district. 
Carpophaga novae-zealandise — New Zealand Pigeon. 

Buller, " Birds of New Zealand " (2nd edition), vol. i., p. 229. 

These handsome Pigeons were fairly common in the autumn 
(April) of each year, when feeding on the purple, laurel-like 
fruit of the tawa, but were never so numerous as I have noted 
them in previous years elsewhere. Towards the end of April 
and in early May they also fed upon the miro {Podocarpits femi- 
ginea), which at that time was taking the place of the former 
fruit, and lasted (in 1907) till well into June. In 1906 there was 

6 WL-EX^, Bush-Birds of New Zealand. [,st^'"iui- 

but little fruit on the miro, which, like many New Zealand trees, 
only bears to advantage every third or fourth year ; and the birds 
soon became scarce after that year's exceptionally heavy crop 
of tawa was exhausted, towards the end of May. However, 
although a poor fruiting season with the tawa, there was a 
splendid crop of miro in the following year on the southern 
spurs, and the Pigeons remained much longer with us in that 
year. In early winter these two trees supply the favourite food 
of the Pigeon in the heavy bush, and, naturally, the bird was 
most plentiful wherever these trees were to be found. They 
became scarcer in July, after which month hardly a bird was to 
be seen in 1906, but in the following year a good many remained 
and found a little fruit in that month upon a scanty crop of hinau 
[ElcBOcarpus dentaius), karamu (Coprosmn grandifolia), supple- 
jack-vine {Ripogoniim scandens), pigeon-wood {Hedycarya arborea), 
and five-finger — the latter lasting into August ; but fruit was 
now scarce, and the greater part of the Pigeons' food, from early 
July to October, consisted of the leaves of the rope- vine {Parsonsia 
capsularis) and of the wineberry, and odd birds were frequently 
disturbed from among the branches of the latter tree. They were 
then too poor and bitter to be worth shooting. Twos and threes 
were occasionally flushed from the ground in the bush during 
August and September, and in October were observed on the grass 
of six-year-old country. What they were feeding on in these 
situations I cannot say. One was picked up dead on 20th 
September, 1907, some distance from the standing bush, and its 
crop contained a mass of leaves of the wineberry and rope-vine, 
together with shoots and leaves of the kowhai. It was dreadfully 
poor, and I fancy had died of starvation, as I could, after a 
thorough examination, detect no signs of violence whatever. 
Many, however, took advantage of the rape crop next the standing 
bush, upon the leaves of which they fed until it was eaten off by 
the sheep at the end of September ; and this, no doubt, was one 
reason for so many remaining here in 1907. Odd birds could be 
seen on the rape all through the winter, but were far more 
numerous there in August and September than in the preceding 
months ; and on loth August, 1907, I have a note of seeing 12 
birds, which were then in pairs, about the "burn." 

In May of 1906 there were several patches of tawa and miro 
much favoured by the Pigeons, and which we occasionally 
visited ; but only a few (12 on 2nd May) would be obtained, as, 
although there would be quite a humming in the tops of these 
trees as the birds fluttered from branch to branch or were dis- 
turbed by the Bush-Hawks, it was very difficult to obtain a 
sight of a bird, on account of the dense foliage overhead. The 
Pigeon is very wasteful, and on these occasions the sound of 
falling fruit was continuous, while the soft " Kuti " of settled 
birds could be heard all round. Later on, at the end of the 
month, good shooting was obtained in the mornings, as the birds 
flew through the clearing on the saddle, where our camj) was 

^°'- ■'^'•"1 M'LicAN, Ihtsh-Bir.h of New Zealand. 7 

pitched, on their way to miro further down the face, and tliey 
were then in splendid condition, and made a welcome addition 
to the bill of fare. Heavy N.W. winds were frequent in this 
high country, and then the birds were forced to leave the exposed 
miro tops and seek shelter low down in the smaller trees, where 
they picked the berries of the supplejack and five-finger, which 
latter was a common shrub in the damper gullies high up on the 
southern spurs, and fruited well in 1907. 

After the main croj) of bush fruits is exliausted in July, the 
Pigeon usually descends in some numbers to the scrubby-bushed 
gullies of tlie lower and more open country, where it feeds upon 
the young but bitter shoots of the kowhai {Sophora tetraptera) ; 
then, however, it is past its prime, and, unless obtained when it 
first appears, is not by any means palatable. Many birds were 
noticed, singly and in small parties, flying high due north from 
this bush in each year, evidently making to some other feeding- 
grounds. This was especially noticeable after the snowfall of 
15th July, igo6 

The Pigeon is much persecuted by the Bush-Hawk, and stands 
a poor chance of escape if caught out on the " burn " or open land 
away from cover. With the Maori the finding of the nest was a 
bad omen. This probably accounts for the little I could ever 
glean from the natives with regard to the breeding habits of the 

The nesting season varies with the supply of food, and young 
have been noticed as late as the end of February. Although I 
have seen a few old nests, I have only once taken the egg. This 
was on 5th November, 1899, at Waikohu, Poverty Bay, and I 
transcribe my notes : — " No. 2, '99. — The nest was placed about 
18 feet up in a mahoe (white-wood, Melicytus ramiflora), and 
placed upon a couple of branches among several young shoots. 
It was well sheltered above by the foliage, but quite exposed from 
below, and so loosely built that the one eg^ could be seen from 
the ground. The bird was flushed from the nest as I rode under 
the tree, and flew off very suddenly. The tree in which the nest 
was placed was about the same height as the surrounding ones 
— say, 25 feet — and grew at the bottom edge of a small ngaio and 
mahoe bush, in open fern country. It was very loosely put 
together, and composed of crossed |-inch twigs of mahoe for 
a foundation, with one or two pieces of manuka tops laid 
round the cavity. These short manuka twigs were the only ones 
laid with any system, the ragged ends of all the others projecting 
out from the nest. It is like a concave disc, and measures 
9 inches across the denser part of the nest, but about 18 inches 
if the straggling ends are averaged. The cavity is 1.5 inches 
deep, and the nest itself about 5 inches. The one egg was in- 
cubated for perhaps live or six days." 

There were several patches of scrubby bush alwut this open 
country, and several pairs of Pigeons were in the locality, jiossibly 
nesting too.. Their food, in that place, would consist (at that 

8 M'L-F.AN, Bush-Birds of New Zealand. [isfTuiy 

time of year) of the fruit of the native fuchsia (F. excorticata) 
and pigeon-wood {Hedycarya dentata), soon to be followed by 
that of the mahoe (or white-wood), in which species of tree the 
nest in question was situated. Later on again, in January and 
February, the wineberry of these scattered bushes, with its grape- 
like clusters of small, purple-staining berries, would help them 
on to the tawa of the distant bush. Although the Pigeon nests 
in many of the smaller scrubby bushes in other parts of the dis- 
trict, I do not think they ever bred again in the above locality. 
In the Maunga-Haumia bush many birds were observed by a 
survey party during November and December of 1906 nesting 
in some of the higher and adjacent bush to that which I super- 
vised in that year. 

Regarding the Pigeon in other parts of the East Coast district, 
the bird is by no means so plentiful as it was some 15 or 20 years 
ago, and, considering the quantity of bush which has been cleared 
since then, it must naturally be considerably reduced numerically 
throughout the Dominion ; but, owing to its habit of moving 
from place to place in quest of food, it is difficult to form an 
opinion as to its numbers at the present day. Old settlers speak 
of shooting numbers in the early days in the makauri and 
pipiwhaka bushes of the Poverty Bay flats, where the birds came 
in hundreds to the white pines {Podocarpiis dacrydioides) and 
cabbage-trees {Cordyline australis) ; but these bushes exist now 
in name only, for the pine has long been milled, and the cabbage- 
tree has been removed to make way for the plough. Not only 
on the closely-settled fiats, but in many accessible patches of 
bush in other inland parts, has the white pine been cut out, and 
so the bird is absent from such localities. Neither does it visit 
the scattered bushes and kowhai gullies of the open hilly country 
in anything like the numbers it did 20 years ago. As the tawa 
is a fairly consistent bearer each year. Pigeons can usually be 
found in early autumn about that class of bush ; but, should the 
white pine friiit that year in any profusion, the birds, preferring 
the latter food, desert, to a great extent, the tawa, and assemble 
in great numbers wherever pine is to be found. I remember a 
small patch of about 40 acres of white pine bush in open country 
near Te Karaka, and still in existence, where, some years ago, 
we shot, in April, on two different days, some 70 Pigeons. The 
birds were there in scores, but the trees, quite red with berries, 
were very high indeed. They were the fattest I have ever 
handled, and tasted of the pecuhar though pleasing flavour of the 
pine. We thought Pigeons were fairly numerous that year. 
Now, these pines did not again fruit for four years, and in the 
intervening seasons we considered the birds were becoming less 
numerous. However, when that patch did bear again, in March 
and April, quite as many, if not more, birds appeared ; but the 
season did not open till May in that year, and by then both berries 
and birds were gone. It was about these years that the Pigeon 
visited the kowhai gullies in the above locality in such numbers 

^°'g,;^'J M'l.FAy, Hush-Birds of New Zealand. g 

(liat oiK^ j^Miii could easily I)ag 30 or 40 birds in tlic day : but it 
was }K)()r sport shooting the resting birds, and, as mentioned 
above, they were then hardly fit for the table. 

There was hardly any white pine in the Maunga-Hauniia bush, 
but in 1908 there was one of the heaviest crops of that fruit ever 
known upon the trees of the Te Karaka, Hungaroa, and Munga- 
poiki districts, where this tree is more })lentiful. Pigeons are said 
to have never been so plentiful in these places for years, and, 
being an open season, large numbers were killed. In Mr. James 
Drummond's weekly notes, " In Touch with Nature," it was 
mentioned how general the fruiting of the })ines was in that year, 
and many observers reported how plentiful Pigeons were in many 
l)arts of this island (see Lyttelton Times, 25th July, 1908). Hence 
it will be noticed how much the Pigeon moves from place to place, 
following, as it were, its food supply. Still, although the bird 
of the main busli has no fixed place of abode, odd pairs reside 
in some of the very small patches of bush which have escaped 
destruction in the open country. Here they remain all the year 
round, and, if they have the good fortune to escape molestation, 
nest and rear their young. 

It is a pity our Pigeon has not the same degree of wariness 
associated with its English namesake. It makes no attempt to 
conceal itself when feeding, and usually ])resents a conspicuous 
mark to the man with a gun. 

The year 1907 was a close season for the Pigeon ; but in the 
bush the game laws of New Zealand — at least, so far as they refer 
to birds — are merely a farce, and are but little observed by the 
Maoris. Still, the latter are not the only law-breakers, for in the 
liush the Pigeon is shot in and out of season * — close year or not — 
by many of the residents, and especially by the casual worker 
in those districts. In fact, to my own knowledge the Pigeon 
has no peace there, and is shot in every month of the year. 
In November of 1906 I met a party of scrub-cutters emerging from 
a bush some way up the coast, in which the birds were nesting, 
and they were carrying Pigeons home with them to camp ! 
Certainly, some of tliis illegal shooting is done through ignorance. 
I can point to an advertisement which appeared in a local paper 
of May, 1907 (a close season), wanting to " purchase Pheasants, 
Ducks, and Pigeons in any quantity!" Such an advertisement 
could only lead to the supposition that the Pigeon was game in 
that year, and result in the birds being shot by those who knew 
no better. The Animals Protection Act is practically unknown to 
many, and few have the slightest idea that any New Zealand 
bird is absolutely protected. I am informed by one of its members 
that a leading local firm sold about the same number of .22 rifle 
cartridges in 1907 (the close year) as they dispose of in any other 
season, and the pea-rifle is the weapon of the bush. This speaks 

♦The season for shooting is from ist May to ,^ist July, but each third 
season is closed for Pigeons. 

10 M'Lean, Bush-Birds of New Zealand. [.sf^'juiy 

for itself. There are always camps about the edge of the bush. 
Felling starts early ; after that is over there is scrub-cutting 
till the fire ; sowing takes place as soon as it is possible to get the 
seed on to the burnt ground ; and then, when that is completed, 
feUing starts afresh. These, with fencers' and splitters' camps, 
all help in the destruction of the unfortunate Pigeon.* 

After all, with so much bush being cleared, and the consequent 
yearly decreasing food supply, no law of man can save the number 
of the birds ; but let us hope that when the destruction of our 
forests practically ceases the birds may hold their own. 

Harpa novae-zealandiae— Bush- or Quail-Hawk. 

Buller, " Birds of New Zealand " (2nd edition), p. 213. 

Although the Bush-Hawk was not plentiful, a good deal was 
seen of this spirited little Falcon during my stay. On the northern 
side it was to be seen chiefly about the tawa bush. There I had 
not the same facilities for observing it as were presented in the 
more open and partly cleared country of the southern parts, and, 
though not more plentiful, much was seen of the bird in pursuit 
of its prey. 

On wet or foggy mornings its shrill cry was occasionally heard 
from the top of some outstanding dead or dying tree, but when 
attacking the Harrier a sharp chattering note is sounded. On 
misty days the Bush-Hawk is more or less on the move ; but in 
fine weather is generally seen on the war-path in early morning 
— often at daybreak — or towards evening, and has been disturbed 
while plucking a freshly-killed Pigeon at dusk ; but as soon as the 
sun is well up it retires to the shade of the bush, where it may be 
found sitting quietly, and allowing a near approach, upon a limb 
under the dense foliage of a smaller tree. From this position, 
however, sudden sallies are made through the trees, in the hope 
of picking off some luckless bird. When thus on mischief bent, 
the whining cry of the Tuis, and uneasy stir among the Bell-Birds, 
herald his advent On these occasions the Bell-Birds are very 
concerned indeed, and glimpses are caught of them as they dash 
round corners, as it were, into low thickets, without a sound, 
but with the greatest haste and confusion imaginable. In this 
way many of the smaller species are taken : As the sun dips, 
about 3 o'clock, the Bush-Hawk glides quietly out over the bush, 
and sails silently above the tops with ever-vigilant eye for a bird 
in an exposed position. A slight divergence in his direct flight 
indicates when a glimpse of one has been obtained ; but on he 
glides. There is method in his hunting. He does not sail up 
and down the valley, where all may see and take timely warning. 
Rather, he tips the tree-tops, following the undulations of the 
bush, thus suddenly opening up a fresh vista at every turn, and, 

* For the credit of the Dominion, it is hoped that this fine endemic Pigeon 
will be properly protected, so that it may hot become extinct like the famous 
Passenger-Pigeon of America, which less than half a century ago existed in 
millions. — Eds. 

^'■"'iqm'J M'I.kan, Bush-Birds of New Zealand. II 

coming fast over a s])ur oi' bill-top. shoots down its side to snatch 
his luckless victim. In his |)ursuit ol the Tui and the Pigeon a 
more direct mode of attack is emi)loyed. On the southern side, 
where cleared country touched the hush, and esjiecially about 
the open valley leading up to the slip, one could obtain an almost 
unintcrru])ted view of these tactics. The Tuis were intercepted 
as they flew across the valley from clearing to bush, the Falcon 
cutting out from his outlook and preventing his victim from 
darting down to cnvcv in tlic busli. The chase usually continued 
for some minutes, until, becoming exhausted, the bird would be 
struck down. One evening I saw a Tui killed high above the trees. 
The smashing blow was plainly audible, and the bird at once 
collapsed ancl fell screaming to the ground, the Falcon wheeling 
and coming down for it immediately. On walking over he was 
foiuid busy tearing at his prey, and, on my advancing, managed 
to lly off down the hill with it. But as a rule the Bush-Hawk 
will, if carefully approached, allow one within a few yards when 
engaged in ]>lucking its prey. In the valley above mentioned 
two pairs of these Falcons lorded it over their fellow-creatures, and 
many a Pigeon fell. One showery day a Pigeon was seen, as is 
their custom on such days, sitting disconsolate, and probably half- 
asleep, upon the to})most branch of a dead tree, which, being 
on a spur, stood high above its neighbours. One of the Falcons 
liad seen it too, and, sailing over the valley, shot on and took it 
in one swift onrush from behind. Patches of Pigeons' feathers 
were frequently noticed about this valley all througli the winter. 
Most of the killing was done at daylight or late evening, and the 
birds did so w^ell that they refused to return to any Pigeon they 
had killed and from which they had been disturbed. One 
evening I came upon a Bush-Hawk with a Pigeon which was quite 
warm. The few scattered feathers showed where the bird had 
fallen on the grass of the open flat, but the Falcon had, as they 
usually do, dragged the bird to the shelter of a fallen tree some 
six or eight yards away. He left it on my approach, but sat and 
watched me from a stump a few yards distant while I examined 
the spoil. The marks of his talons were deep in the bird's back, 
but only in one place. The head had been pulled off, and he 
had started opening up the crop. The Pigeon was left where it 
lay, but next morning not the Bush-Hawk, but a Harrier, was 
in possession. 

Odd Harriers {Circus gouldi) worked the cleared country near 
the bush, and if one came close enough he was sure to meet with 
a warm reception. This in winter, not the breeding season. The 
surprising part was that the Harriers should ever have the nerve 
to chance a renewal of the acquaintance : but they did, and the 
same bird has been seen in trouble on consecutive days. As a 
rule the Bush-Hawk hunts singly, but when escorting their enemy 
off the premises both Falcons assist. One day a Harrier was 
seen cruising about the valley near the reserve, and in wide circles 
was drawing nearer to the Bush-Hawks' domain. Soon the cry 

12 M'Lean, Bush-Birds of New Zealand. [ist^Xi • 

of one of the pair was heard, and on looking up I saw the Falcon, 
who had left his look-out, a quarter of a mile distant, and was 
hurrying out to meet the intruder, who, knowing what to expect, 
had turned tail and was making back down the valley as fast 
as he could ; but the smaller bird soon caught up, and, together 
with his mate, who shortly after joined in, knocked the Harrier 
about considerably. These two swung backwards and forwards 
over the Harrier, mounting high up with rapidly beating wings, 
and then swooping fast down on the enemy, who turned on his 
side and endeavoured to avoid each blow. First one and then 
the other cut in at him in rapid succession. Once he was made 
to turn a complete somersault, and had barely recovered him- 
self when number two shook him up again. This lasted about 
five minutes, the Harrier making no fight at all, but, with 
a definite course set, doing his best to get away from the locality. 
The smaller -of the two Falcons was silent, did not attack so 
fiercely, and towards the end returned to the bush. The mate, 
however, which, from its size, was probably the female, continued, 
and was very demonstrative. As she mounted up after each 
stroke she called a shrill " Keet-keet-keet " — a note audible at a 
considerable distance. After clearing off the Harrier she re- 
turned with rapidly beating wings to her mate, chattering as she 
flew, as if still much excited. In the tussle this Harrier lost a 
primary, and I was much surprised to see him next day in trouble 
with the same pair of Bush-Hawks, who gave him a still warmer 
reception, and hunted him much farther down the valley than 
on the previous day. There I passed him later on, sitting 
dejectedly on a stump. 

In the lower open country the Bush-Hawk is seldom seen, and 
then only in winter. I have never seen a Falcon about the 
cultivated plains of the coast. It is thought that only males or 
young birds leave the high, rough country at this time, for those 
remarked appeared to be small birds. The immediate cause of 
the Bush-Hawk's absence from the more settled parts, and its 
increasing scarcity on the higher, rougher country and in the bush, 
is, of course, the gun. 

Ninox novae-zealandiae— New Zealand Owl. 

Buller, " Birds of New Zealand " (2nd edition), p. 192. 

The Morepork, though common throughout, was more plentiful 
on the northern side. On the birch ridge, where there were many 
hollow trees, it was a nightly visitor to our camps, and on some 
evenings (more so than on others) was particularly noisy. Usually 
more in evidence in the earlier part of the night, these Owls did 
not seem to be influenced in their cries by the season of the year, 
but in windy weather were less frequently heard. Moonlight or 
pitch dark, it made no difference. I was unable to ascertain why 
it was that they could be so much more vociferous on certain 
nights than on others. It was fancied, though, that the advent 
of strange Owls among those who generally made a rendezvous 
about the camp may have had something to do with it. 

^"'- ^''1 M'I,KAN, Bush-Birds of Neiv Zealand. 13 

111 early winter mice became a i)laguc about tlic camps, and 
were, latL-r. displaced by rats, which, though not so numerous, 
were a nuisance too, especially on wet nights, when they came 
inside and left muddy footprints, or scampered overhead between 
the tent and fly. As these rodents increased about the place, so 
did the Owls ; but we could well afford to put uj) with the latter's 
disturbance of the silence, and were pleased when wc heard the 
squeal of a captured rat outside. The surface of this ridge was 
a network, a foot or more in depth, of spongy roots and rootlets ; 
and in this secure retreat these rodents lived, venturing out at 
night to prowl about and feed upon whatever scraj)s they found, 
and it was upon these animals that the Morepork chiefly preyed. 
Although odd pieces of meat were deposited at the scrap-heap, 
I do not think the Owls came for anything else but the rats and 
mice which fed there. However, on one occasion an Owl was 
blamed — and I think rightly — for sampling our steak from a 
hind-quarter hung high in a birch. 

Not only in hollow trees does the Morepork pass the day, but 
also, in the denser parts, under masses of overhanging vines or 
" kie-kie." They were also noticed in the felled timber, where 
dark recesses were formed in the gullies by piled-up trunks and 
branches. There they were secure — until the lire. Usually only 
single birds were disturbed, but occasionally pairs were met 
with, and it was noticeable how close they kept to one another. 
Such have been seen, in day time — of course, in a gloomy part — 
to follow each other from perch to perch, when I intentionally 
disturbed them to see if they would separate. On rare occasions, 
in late afternoon or when the sky is much overcast, the notes 
of an Owl may be heard for a moment or two ; but it is not 
until the real change to dusk has come that the Owl, preparatory 
to launching off through the trees, fairly starts his calls. The 
notes, though a little variable, are unmistakable, and night is 
usually heralded by the deliberate cry from which the Morepork 
takes its name. This, with the second syllable slightly accentuated, 
may be repeated at regular intervals, usually five or six times. 

On 26th September, 1906, one was unusually vociferous near 
the camp. " First he opened with the usual ' More-pork,' and one 
spell of calling consisted of the word uttered 36 times (about twice 
in every three seconds), before a short spell of three or four minutes. 
Then he went on for 42 calls, then flew a short distance and called 
the gruff note for a minute. Again he called ' More-pork ' 41 
times, after which I heard him no more." This gruff note is like 
the first syllable of the usual call rapidly repeated for long 
stretches at a time. When two or three of these birds are giving 
a concert over the tent, it can be imagined how weird it sounds. 
It has been remarked that when called repeatedly for some time 
these notes, after about six or eight repetitions, are dropped about 
half a note, and continued thus without variation to the end. 
Some slight difference in pitch is also noticeable with different 
birds. Judging by the hooting over our tents, they sometimes 

J A M'L^LAN, Bttsh-Birds of Neiv Zea/and. Tisf'Tily 

have wordy quarrels ; and one moonlight night I went out to 
see what all the noise could be about. Then two Moreporks were 
seen in wordy warfare. No blows were struck, but the language 
of each was quite sufficient, and it ended in one bird, who had 
been followed from tree to tree, leaving the locality. 

They were very persistent in their watch for prey, and have 
been noticed, on one or two occasions, still watching intently 
about the scrap-heap when we rose at daybreak, and this when 
the ground was white with frost. Any bird late like these 
was pretty sure to have to put up with some annoyance from 
the Whiteheads, who were very quick in finding an Owl in day- 
light. Normally these Owls can hardly have to put up with 
so much indignity as was witnessed here ; and they were de- 
morahzed by the felling of their trees and the frequent mobbings 
by Whiteheads. The system of felling often resulted in a long, 
narrow strip of bush remaining from the day's work amid sur- 
rounding felled timber. Many Moreporks took up their quarters 
in such strips ; and on the following day, when the strip would 
be felled right out, they were much in evidence. They only flew 
a chain or so up the face as each was disturbed, and, as the axes 
reached the top, as many as six or seven have been seen, as the 
last trees fell, scattering away into the felled timber below. 

Proportionate to the security afforded by the protective and 
ornamental plantations of the settled parts, the Morepork is 
common ; and it has been known to nest in thick belts of Finns 
insignis, where the nests were made on the mass of fallen needles 
lodged in the forks, and sheltered by a dense growth overhead. 
There they take the eggs and young of the smaller birds, some- 
times the bird itself : but here it is not the native that suffers, 
but chiefly Sparrows, Thrushes, and Blackbirds. 

It is to be hoped that the Little Owls {A. noctura) which have 
lately been liberated in the Dominion will remain about the farms 
and help to keep in check the imported birds. Those who 
advocated their importation believe that they wiU do so. In 
Northern Europe, their native home, they are stated to be birds 
of the forest in summer, visiting the farms in winter. 
Cyanorhamphus auriceps— Yellow-fronted Parrakeet. 

BuUer, " Birds of New Zealand " (2nd edition), p. 142. 

The Yellow-fronted Parrakeet, in smaU parties of from 5 to 12 
individuals, and often associated with the Whiteheads, was 
fairly plentiful in this bush. In the autumn and winter they 
were more numerous about the birch country, where the seed-pods 
of the tawari afforded abundant food, and where, at from 2,600 
to 3,000 feet, they nested and reared their young. 

It was expected that the Red-fronted species (C. hovcb- 
zealandice) would occur in this part, but it was never met with. 
Many Parrakeets were shot in winter by the natives. These, and 
others obtained, were all of the present species. This is strange, 
as the former is the common species of the middle and southern 
portions of this island. As the Saddleback [Crcadion caruncu- 

'^'^[- _'^'-] M'Lkan, Bush-Birds of Neiv Zealand. 15 

lattis) is in the habit of accompanyinf< the Hocks of Yellowheads 
{Clitonyx ochrocephala) in the South Island. I he winter flocks of 
the Whitehead here were specially watched, in the hope that 
Creadion might be with them too ; but, instead of the Saddle- 
back,* it was found that the Parrakeets were sometimes in attend- 
ance, not actually following, but moving with them in the higher 
trees above, and it was rarely that a large flock was unaccom- 
panied. They appeared much attached to these flocks, and even 
the shooting of one of their number did not cause them to desert 
the Whiteheads. Unlike the other birds which sometimes fol- 
lowed the Whiteheads, they seemed to possess something more 
than cupboard love for their little friends. When any excitement 
occurred the Parrakeets would remain chattering in the tree- 
tops, but took no active part in any disturbance, and moved on 
again when the flock resumed its straggling march. In winter 
they feed to a great extent upon the tawari, and at other times 
upon different berries in the scrubby parts. The cro}) of one 
obtained in July contained the pulp of tawari seeds, also a few 
seeds of one of the coprosmas, the berries of which the bird had 
been eating. This bird was in good condition, while one examined 
in the following October was quite poor, and had only a few 
minute seeds in its crop. They were fond of the rimu berries, 
too, and a few of these tall trees were much frequented by them 
in March and April of 1907. In a way they are noisy little birds, 
but the notes are soft and musical, and do not jar upon the ear. 
A bubbling note I likened to the sound of water, in a thin 
stream, falling into a partially filled bottle. There are also many 
little whistled notes. The commonest note heard sounds like 
" Whui-whuick." At the nest the old birds scold one loudly with 
a sharper chattering than is usual, but often fly to a neighbouring 
tree with a peculiar short clap-clap of wings, where they wfll 
utter a soft " Whuick " occasionally. This is gradually subdued 
until only just audible. 

The natives called the Parrakeet the " Footballer." On Ix'ing 
questioned as to the reason for this, one said, " Oli ! he got the 
jersey — red and green — all right, and sing out ' Free kick ' all the 
time ! " 

On my arrival in April I found that these birds were nesting, 
and, although too late for eggs, some of the nesting sites were 
examined. Many of the smaller-trunked birches (A^. solanderi) 
had small holes in them high up where branches had decayed. 
These holes were utilized by the birds. Sometimes the nest 
would be situated near the entrance, but its position depended 
upon where the obstruction in the cavity of these decaying trees 
occurred to prevent the dry wood and leaves, which formed the 
nest, from faUing further down. These trees, though tall, were 

* In a note in The Eiiiti (October, 1906) it is mentioned that among other 
birds observed here was Creadion carunculatus. As the single bird seen 
was not positively identified, and as I never saw another, it is left out of 
my list, and was not included in that in The Ibis. 

l6 M'Lean, Bush-Birds of New Zealand. [i,^Til ' 

usually under 3 feet in circumference, and, of course, in the end 
were felled, the young, as a rule, suffering in the fall. It was 
noticed that the young in some nests varied much in size, and 
there can be little doubt that this bird is an intermittent layer. 
In one case of five young it was estimated that there was a 
difference of at least 10 days between the ages of the largest and 
the smallest. The two oldest could, with wings, beak, and feet 
make fair progress ; two others were of medium size, while the 
youngest was much less feathered. The two big birds were 
taken by the bushmen to the camp, about a quarter of a mile 
away. Next morning the parents were about our tents, and 
would, I feel sure, have fed their two caged offspring ; but the 
male was promptly shot. Much wanton destruction is done with 
the pea-rifle in the bush — practice, it is called. However, to 
finish the story of this unfortunate family The three remaining 
young were killed either in the fall or afterwards — they were 
dead when I examined them — and the two which were caged 
succumbed a few days later, while enclosed in a billycan, to a 
rough ride on a pack-horse. 

One nesting site was in a kai-kawaka (Liboccdnis) amid the 
tawari trees (Plate IV.) ; another was in a hinau. Notofa^its 
solandcri is, however, the tree most frequently resorted to for 
nesting in. One nest I knew of was about 40 feet up in one 
of these smaller birches, which did not measure more than 18 
inches in diameter. On 26th April I had discovered this nest 
through the behaviour of the old birds, and on the same day saw 
them entering the hole, while, during their absence, two young 
came out and climbed about the creeper for a while. When, 
three days later, we went to get the young, they had flown. The 
entrance, on the north-east side, was at an ojd branch-knot, 
2 inches in diameter. This hole increased inside to a diameter 
of 3 inches, and led downwards for 9 inches to a cavity about 
8 inches high and 5 in diameter, at the bottom of which a handful 
of dry leaves and decayed wood formed the nest. In the back, 
as it were, of this chamber was a diamond-shaped opening where 
a gale had sliced off a limb, leaving the cavity exposed to the 
rainy quarter. The birds had filled up this opening ^with moss 
and leaves, and had taken advantage of the slender rata-vines 
and ferns which overran the trunk to make this work secure. 
I judged the birds had done a little enlarging of the nesting 
chamber. Thus the Parrakeets were late in nesting this year. 
I believe, from information gathered, that young are some- 
times obtained late in the season. Of course, I cannot say 
whether this, in 1906, was general in the locality or whether the 
bulk of the birds in this bush had nested so. Still, five nests were 
examined by myself and several others reported by the men ; 
and the old birds, accompanied by their young, were frequently 
seen in April and May Possibly their food supply was scanty 
during the usual nesting season (I am taking it for granted that 
April is not the season), and they were retarded. But in bush 

TllK Kmi:, {)>/. .\7. 

Nesting-hole of WUuu -IruiUca rarrakL-i-t {Cyaiiorluunphus auyiccps) 
in Kai-Kawaka tree. 


Vol.^Xl.-j M'Lean, Bush-Birds of New Zealand. jy 

of this class there could hardly have been a shortage, and the 
Parrakeet is one of those birds which soon shifts to more fruitful 
parts if necessary. In The Ibis I ventured to say that they may 
have anticipated the coming heavy crop of tawari, but this, too, 
is improbable. After all, it may have been a case of a second 
nesting on the part of the birds. 

Although frequently made a i)et, this Parrakeet does not i)ossess 
the power of articulation in the same degree as many others of the 
Parrot tribe. 

In some winters a few visit lower bushes in proximity to the 
main bush ; but very rarely indeed is it seen in the open, older- 
settled districts. When it does visit the latter parts it must be 
sorely pressed for food, for then they come in hundreds. I have 
seen such an irruption, in a dry summer, many years ago, when the 
birds were so intent in the long, ripe-seeded grass of the fiat 
cultivated country that we, as boys, almost succeeded in capturing 
them with our hats. 

Field Notes from Cape York 

By H. G. Barnard, R.A.O.U., Queensland. 

On behalf of Mr. H. L. White, of Belltrees, Scone, N.S.W., I left 
Rockhampton on loth September, 1910, by the s.s. Wyandra, 
arriving in Townsville two days later. I transhipped to the 
s.s. Aramac, and, after a pleasant but uneventful voyage of three 
days, reached Thursday Island. Here I had to wait three more 
days before I could get a boat across to the mainland. Leaving 
Thursday Island on the afternoon of Friday, the 23rd, in the 
mail cutter, I arrived at Peak Point Telegraph Station at noon 
on Saturday. After lunch I proceeded to walk to Lockerbie 
(an out-station of Mr. F. L. Jardine's, of Somerset), situated 
5 miles inland, where I intended to establish my head- 
quarters. The country about " Lockerbie " is mostly open forest, 
which extends on the west to the coast, while to the north and 
east a low range of hills " covered with dense scrub " extends 
for a number of miles. 

On reaching Lockerbie I found that Mr. Jardine was absent 
at Somerset ; but, as a black boy was in charge, I remained the 
night. Obtaining a couple of horses from the " boy " in the 
morning, I went to the office, secured my outfit, and returned to 
Lockerbie in the afternoon, to find that Mr. Jardine had 
arrived from Somerset. He extended to me a very warm welcome, 
and I am very much indebted to him for his kindness and help 
during my stay at Cape York. 

I remained at Lockerbie until the end of January, 1911, 
when we had a considerable amount of rain, which made collecting 
very unpleasant ; and, as very few birds were then breeding, I 
decided to give the collecting a spell and return once more to 

l8 Barnard, Field Notes from Cape York. [i^f'luiv 

civilization, cheered by the knowledge that my trip had not been 
altogether in vain. 

In the notes which follow, the technical names are according to 
Mathews' " Hand-list." 

Dromseus novse-hollandlae. Emu. — Fairly plentiful ; several seen 
within a mile of the Post-Office at Cape York ; said to be very- 
plentiful a few miles further south. No eggs taken ; breeding season 
early. Droppings full of fruit seeds. Birds were never seen in 
scrub — in fact, they will not face it when hunted. 

Megapodius tumulus. Megapode. — Plentiful ; many nests noted, 
one clutch of five eggs taken. Nests always built near edge of scrub ; 
eggs always placed in rings, the centre of the nest being very hard ; 
diameter of egg circle from 5 feet to 8 feet. Many of the nest-mounds 
are of great size, and have been used for years. The mound being 
so solid and the eggs placed so deep, wild pigs do not damage, as in 
the case of Catheturus purpureicoUis. 

Catheturus purpureicollis. Barnard Brush-Turkey. — Plentiful, but 
likely to diminish in numbers owing to the depredations of wild pigs, 
which are overrunning the whole of Cape York Peninsula. All 
nests found in scrubs contained only odd eggs, and were practically 
ruined by the pigs. I opened only two mounds or nests in the open 
forest, and they contained 10 and 11 eggs respectively. One of these 
mounds had been visited by the pigs a few days previously. In this 
case the mound was the nearer one to the scrub. It is my experience 
that the pigs are gradually driving these birds from the scrub out 
into the open parts to build their mounds. 

Ptilopus ewingi. Rose-crowned Fruit-Pigeon. — Plentiful in the 
scrub when I arrived at end of September, but later on went to the 
mangroves on the coast, where they breed freely. Nest unusually 
frail, and placed at heights varying from 4 feet up to 40 feet. 
Clutch, one egg. 

Lamprotreron superba. Purple-crowned Fruit-Pigeon. — Found this 
bird plentiful all through the scrubs, where they were breeding, but 
never observed any in or about the mangroves. Nest the usual 
frail structure, but more strongly built than is the case with that of 
Ptilopus ewingi, and generally placed on a horizontal limb or palm leaf 
at heights varying from within hand's reach up to fully 40 feet from 
the ground. Clutch, one egg. 

Megaloprepia assimilis. Allied Fruit-Pigeon. — Plentiful through all 
the scrubs, where they breed, and also in the mangroves. Nest a frail 
structure of sticks, placed on horizontal hmb or palm leaf, at heights 
varying from 6 feet up to 40 feet or more. 

Myristieivora spilorrhoa. Nutmeg-Pigeon. — Observed in great 
numbers, but the birds do not appear to breed freely on the main- 
landj visiting the islands off the coast for the purpose. Clutch, one 
egg. Nest a frail and rather fiat structure, placed in mangrove or 
other tree at various heights. The eggs taken were in nests built 
in forest trees. 

Geopelia humeralis. Barred-shouldered Dove. — Noticed in forest 
country, plentiful and breeding. 

Geopelia placida. Peaceful Dove. — Fairly plentiful, but none 
found breeding. 

Voi.^xi.j Barnard, Field Notes from Cape York. IQ 

Chalcophaps chrysochlora. Little Green-Pigeon. — Fairly plentiful 
in the scrubs, and generally observed on the ground. Found birds 
breeding ; two sets oi eggs taken. Nest much more strongly built 
than is the case with most of the Pigeons, and large for the size of 
the bird. 

Rallina tricolor. Red-necked Rail. — Judging by the calls, which 
are made only at night, the birds are fairly plentiful, but only 
inhabit the dry, hilly country covered with scrub. 

One of these birds flushed from her nest on the side of a dry stony 
ridge in scrub where the undergrowth was very thick. The nest, 
such as it was, was placed at the foot of a tree, and consisted of a 
slight hollow in the ground, in which a few dead leaves were placed. 
The eggs, four in number, were quite fresh. As the eggs would have 
been useless without the bird, I took them out of the nest, and placed 
in their stead four eggs of the Silver-tailed Kingfisher (Tanysiptera 
sylvia). Owing to the thickness of the undergrowth I knew it 
would be almost impossible for me to obtain a shot before the bird 
was on the nest. Having placed the eggs, I retired a short distance, 
and sat behind a tree to wait. The day was very cloudy, and light 
showers kept falling, making the scrub very dark. The bird was 
very shy, and, though I knew several times that she was close to 
me, I could not see her. I remained in this position for two hours, 
and then, thinking she could see me too well, I climbed to the fork 
of a tree about 15 feet from the ground, from where I had a much 
better view of the nest ; but, though I remained in this position 
without moving for an hour and a half, and till I was thoroughly 
cramped, I could see no sign of the bird. Descending the tree, I took 
up my former position. After waiting some time I became very 
sleepy, and must have dozed off, for when I awoke the sun was 
getting low, and I was just in time to see the bird step quietly round 
the tree and on to the nest. As she sat on the nest I could not see 
her ; but, raising my gun, fired into the nest, and, walking quickly 
to the spot, found the bird dead and the remains of the Kingfisher's 
eggs scattered all over the dead bird and the butt of the tree. I had 
watched this nest from 10 o'clock in the morning till 4 in the after- 
noon. I do not know whether these Rails remain here all the year. 
I first heard their call during December. 

A supposed second species of Rail inhabits the Cape York Penin- 
sula, but I was unable to obtain specimens. A bird shot by a resident 
of Cape York during my stay in the locality was too far gone to be 
skinned. The bird was examined by Mr. W. M'Lennan, who was 
collecting in the locality for Dr. Macgillivray, and considered by 
him to be Amaurornis moluccana. I am satisfied that further search 
will prove that the spotted eggs hitherto attributed to Rallina 
tricolor really belong to the second Rail, which I suppose to be the 
Rufous-tailed Moor-Hen. 

The habits of the two birds are different, Rallina tricolor being found 
only in the scrub growdng on the dry, hilly country, while the other 
(which I frequently saw, but could not shoot on account of its rapid 
movements) inhabits the low-lying, damp localities. The notes of 
the two birds are also quite distinct. 

The clutch of four white and spotless eggs of Rallina tricolor taken 
measure as follows : — (a) 1.55 x i.ii, (b) 1.50 x 1.13, (c) 1.5 x 1.12, 
{a) 1.55 X I. 15. 

Amaurornis moluccana (?; Rufous-tailed Moor-Hen. — The second 

20 Barnard, Field Notes from Cape York. [,sf "ju'y 

Rail observed by me will probably prove to be the Rufous -tailed 
Moor-Hen, the general colour above being a dark slaty-brown, bill 
and legs appearing to be a very bright greenish-yellow, and at once 
attracting the eye when a glimpse of the bird is obtained. This 
bird does not frequent the scrubs, but confines itself to the long, 
blady grass on the edges of scrubs and surrounding springs. The 
call of this bird is totally different from that of Rallina tricolor, and 
I frequently heard it calling both night and day, while Rallina tricolor 
only calls at night. 

iEgialitis melanops. Black-fronted Dottrel. — Observed a few 
specimens in and around a swamp situated about 6 miles inland 
from the coast, but they did not appear to be breeding. 

Numenius variegatus. Whimbrel. — Fairly plentiful on a strip of 
beach at Cape York. 

Burhinus grallarius. Stone-Plover. — A few observed in forest 

Antigone australasiana. Native Companion. — Few birds observed 
about swampy country. 

Platibis flavipes. Yellow-legged Spoonbill. — A few observed feeding 
about freshwater swamps. 

Xenorhynchus asiaticus. Jabiru. — A pair observed feeding on the 
edge of a freshwater swamp. 

Herodias timoriensis. White Egret. — A few birds observed at a 
freshwater swamp about 6 miles inland. 

Notophoyx novae-hollandise. White-fronted Heron. — A single bird 
observed at a swamp. 

Nycticorax caledonicus. Night-Heron. — Fairly numerous in the 
mangroves at tidal creeks, and inland at freshwater swamps. 

Anas superciliosa. Black Duck. — A few small flocks seen about 
freshwater swamps. 

There are no large permanent watercourses in the part of the Cape 
where I was, consequently very few water-fowl were to be seen. 
Further down, however, about the Jardine and Ducie Rivers, swamps 
are plentiful, and, I was told, contained numbers of water-fowl. 
Probably a good many nests would be found in these swamps after 
the wet season. 

Phalacrocorax sulcirostris. Little Black Cormorant. — Few birds 
seen at deep waterholes at an inland freshwater creek. 

Phalacrocorax melanoleucus. Little Cormorant. — Saw a pair at 
inland freshwater-holes. 

Plotus novae-hollandiae. Darter. — Seen on several occasions at the 
freshwater swamps. 

Fregata aquila. Frigate-Bird. — Seen flying about the coast, also 
flying low over scrub several miles inland. 

Pelecanus conspicillatus. PeUcan. — Were seen between Thursday 
Island and the mainland. 

Astur novae-hollandiae. White Goshawk. / ^ -ri r- i 

Astur clarus. Grey Goshawk. ) ^" ^'" ^"'"' ''^^- ""■> 

p. 247, I drew attention to the fact that these two birds, which 

Barnard, Field Notes from Cap>e York. 21 

have hitherto been catalogued as separate species, breed together 
freely in the Cape York district, and I am firmly convinced that the 
grey and white birds belong to the same species. In all, I secured 
8 clutches of eggs. In three cases only were both the birds grey ; 
in two cases they were pure white, and in each other instance the 
plumage of male and female differed in colour. In one instance I 
took a clutch of eggs from a pair of grey birds, the female being shot 
at the nest. The male remained in the vicinity for a week, and then 
mated with a white female. The pair stayed about the nest, which 
was eventually used. I secured the eggs, which differ considerably 
in size and shape from the former set. I also secured the eggs of a 
grey female whose mate was white. The birds are plentiful in the 
locality, and my attention was first drawn to the mating of birds 
of the two varieties by Mr. F. L. Jardine, of Somerset, who for several 
years had noted the fact. In all instances both the grey and white 
birds possessed fiery, blood-red eyes. I secured several skins. All 
the eggs obtained were of a bluish-white colour and totally devoid 
of markings. These birds always breed in forest country, the nest 
being placed high up in large Melaleuca trees or Moreton Bay ash 
{Eucalyptus). Nest, usual stick structure, lined with green eucalypt 
leaves, and large for the size of the bird, which, when sitting, is in- 
visible from the ground. The nests are generally about 2 feet in 
diameter (outside measurement). 

These birds appear to gather most of their food from the scrubs, 
as they are frequently seen flying over the tops of the tall scrub. 
On several occasions I observed the male bringing to the nest the 
small Fruit-Pigeon {Lamprotreron superba). Both sexes appear to 
take their turn at incubating. 

Measurements of eggs : — Male grey and female white — (a) 2.02 x 
1.42, (6) 1.93 X 1.43 ; both parents white — (a) 1.73 x 1.42, (b) 1.72 x 
1.44 ; both parents grey — (a) 1.89 x 1.47, {b) 1.93 x 1.50, (c) 1.90 x 
1.44, (a) 1.92 x 1.47, (6) 1.86 x 1.48, (c) 1. 91 x 1.51 ; male white and 
female grey— (a) 1.92 x 1.5 1, (6) 1.94 x 1.41, (c) 1.97 x 1.43 ; both 
parents grey (grey male afterwards mated with white female) — (a) 
1.74 X 1.48, (fc) 1.89 X 1.56, (c) 1.87 X 1.53, (a) 1.79 x 1.47, (6) 1.77 X 
1.47, (c) 1.80 X 1.47. 

Astur fasciatus. Goshawk.— Fairly common. Pair of birds ob- 
served building a nest, which was deserted before the eggs were laid. 

Accipiter cirrhocephalus. Sparrow-Hawk. — Fairly common ; 
several sets of eggs taken. From one pair of birds no fewer than 
four sets of eggs were taken. The first set (3 eggs) was taken on 
27th September, 1910. The birds at once commenced to build a 
fresh nest in a tree a short distance away, and from this nest three 
eggs were taken on 4th November, 19 10. The birds then rebuilt 
a nest from which a set of White Goshawk's eggs had previously 
been taken, and from this nest another set of three eggs was taken 
on the 4th December, 1910. A fourth nest was built in an adjoining 
tree, and four eggs were taken from it on 28th December, 1910. The 
birds then left the locaUty. The pecuUarity about Hawks' eggs from 
Cape York is their very Ught colour and the absence of blotches or 
other markings. 

Uroaetus audax. Wedge-tailed Eagle. — Few specimens noticed on 
the wing, but never settled. 

Haliaetus leucogaster. White-bellied Sea-Eagle.— Seen both on 

22 Barnard, Field Notes from Cape York. [isfXiy 

the coast and inland, resting on the trees. Old nest observed in a 
tree on the side of a hill in the scrub. 

Haliastur sphenurus. Whistling Eagle. — Fairly plentiful, and 
often noticed on the ground, feeding on bandicoots. 

Gypoictinia melanosternum. Black-breasted Buzzard. — A pair 
observed on several occasions, flying low over the tree-tops. 

Baza subcristata. Crested Hawk. — One pair observed early in the 
season, and later was noticed feeding three large young birds. The 
only pair observed. 

Falco lunulatus. Little Falcon. — Only one pair observed. 

Hieracidea orientalis. Brown Hawk. — Only a few observed. One 
nest was found on 7th October, 19TO, and contained a single egg, 
which was heavily incubated. 

Pandion leucocephalus. Osprey. — Observed both on the coast and 
inland. Fairly common. One bird observed on the ground feeding 
on a wliite Nutmeg-Pigeon. 

Ninox peninsularis. Cape York Owl. — These birds are numerous 
both in forest and in scrub (their note exactly resembling that of 
Ninox connivens), and were breeding freely. Unfortunately, each of 
the nests found contained a pair of young birds, with a single ex- 
ception, where there was only one nestling. When the female is 
in the hollow the male roosts in the branches of an adjoining tree, 
and on observing a person passing utters a loud growling note, thus 
drawing attention to the tree containing the nest. On one occasion 
I observed one of these Owls roosting in the branches of a tree and 
holding in its claw a small Fruit-Pigeon (L. siiperba). On being 
flushed it dropped the Pigeon, which appeared to have just been killed. 
This was the only Owl observed, but the note of another species was 
frequently heard at night — a note resembling that of Strix delicatula. 
These birds breed very early, all the nests containing young by the 
end of September. 

Trichoglossus septentrionalis. — Great numbers seen. Several birds, 
out of numbers shot, were in very poor plumage, while others were 
breeding. Found several nests, each containing two young birds, 
and one with clutch of two eggs, on 22nd October, 19 10. Measure- 
ments — (a) i.o X 0.84, (b) 0.96 X 0.84. This species breeds in holes 
in Eucalyptus and Melaleuca trees, in forest country. Nests placed 
from I foot to 18 inches down in a horizontal limb. Habits 
similar to that of Trichoglossus novce-hollandice (of which it is the 
Northern representative) ; feed on the blossom trees. 

Microglossus aterrimus. Palm-Cockatoo. — These birds were 
nowhere plentiful. They breed in the forest country, and appear to 
feed in the scrub, on the kernels of large fruits and grubs chopped 
out of rotten wood. When not breeding they are generally seen 
in flocks of from 3 to 7. The first nest was found on 27th September, 
1910, and contained a young bird about 10 days old. From the 
same hole I later on took two clutches, one egg each — the first on 
i8th December, 1910, and the other on 15th January, 191 1. Two 
other sets were taken — one on 29th September, 1910, and the other 
on 19th December, 1910. These Cockatoos select upright, large, 
hollow spouts, the eggs being placed at depths varying from 2 to 
8 feet from entrance of hole, and from 10 to 50 feet from the ground. 

uji. ] Barnard, Field Notes from Cape York. 23 

Owing to the nests being placed in the upright hollows, they are ex- 
posed to the heavy rains, and to obviate risk of drowning to the 
young birds the parents cut green sticks, about 1 inch in diameter 
and from 12 to 18 inches in length, which are carried from the scrub 
to the nesting-hole, down which they are dropped. The birds then 
climb down the hollows and chop the sticks up into small splinters, 
until the bottom of the hole is covered to a depth of about 4 inches. 
On top of this platform the egg is laid. On one occasion I saw a 
Palm-Cockatoo carrying a stick, but, though I followed the direction 
of its fhght for fully a mile, I could not discover the nesting-tree. 
During my former visit, in 1896, I found the birds far more numerous 
than on this occasion. Mr. F. L. Jardine informed me that he had 
noticed the same fact, and attributed it to the frequent visits of sports- 
men (?) from Thursday Island, who shoot everything that comes in 
their way. The note of this Cockatoo is a loud whistling, and much 
more harmonious than the call of the other Black Cockatoos. Four 
clutches measure as follow: — («) 1.84 x 1.37, (6) 1.75 x 1.37, (c) 
1.84 X 1.35, {d) I. So X 1.38. 

Cacatua galerita. White Cockatoo. — Very plentiful, breeding in 
both the forest and scrub trees, in the topmost limbs. 

Ptistes erythropterus. Red-winged Lory. — Fairly plentiful in 
forest country. Saw the young on several occasions feeding with 
the parents shortly after I arrived. The breeding period, therefore, 
would be about June or July. 

Platycercus amathusia. Blue-cheeked Parrakeet. — Found in 
forest country, mostly on the west coast of Cape York Peninsula, 
feeding usually on the seeds of the black tea-tree. When first noticed 
these birds were in small flocks of 4 or 5, and, from the state of 
the plumage, there were old birds and young. A bird shot on 15th 
October, 1910, proved to be a young male, which had evidently been 
hatched about April, and was in a very immature state of plumage. 
Specimens obtained in January, 191 1, were in full breeding plumage, 
and I noticed birds examining nesting hollows. From this it is 
evident that the breeding season is from February to June, or there- 

Podargus papuensis. Plumed Frogmouth. — Fairly common in 
forest country. Breeds in any timber in the forest. Nest the usual 
scanty stick structure, placed on a horizontal fork of a tree. 
Breeding months from September to February. The first nest 
taken by me contained two eggs, and I had previously been under 
the impression that one egg only formed the clutch. They 
measure — (a) 1.97 x 1.32, (b) 1.87 x 1.28. This is evidently a rare 
occurrence, as all the other nests found contained only one egg or 
one young bird. From information obtained from Mr. F. L. Jardine 
and others, I find that this species migrates, and frequently settles 
on the pearling boats in the Strait between Cape York and New 
Guinea. The flight across takes place only at night. 

Podargus raarmoratus. Marbled Frogmouth. — Fairly common ; 
only found in tliick scrubs. 

Eurystomus pacificus. Dollar-Bird. — A few specimens seen on 
their way south to breed, early in October, 19 10. 

Alcyone pulchra. Purple Kingfisher.— Fairly plentiful along fresh- 
water creeks, where 1 found them burrowing in the banks of the 

24 Barnard, Field Notes from Cape York. [ist'^^luiv 

creeks. Several fresh burrows were dug out, but were only just ready 
for eggs. The length of the burrow is generally about lo inches. 

Alcyone pusilla. Little Kingfisher. — Observed by me on a former 
occasion (1896) at the mouth of freshwater creeks adjoining the man- 
groves, but not noted on this occasion. 

Syma flavirostris. Yellow-billed Kingfisher. — Generally observed in 
pairs in the thick scrubs. One set of four eggs was taken from a 
burrow in a white ants' (termites') nest on the side of a tree, 10 feet 
from the ground; date, 7th January, 191 1. The clutch measures — 
(a) 0.99 X 0.85, {b) 1.03 X 0.86, (c) 1.02 X 0.83, {d) 1.03 x 0.83. 

Dacelo cervina. Fawn-breasted Kingfisher. — Plentiful in open 
forest country. Found breeding in hollow spouts of trees. A 
number of nests found, containing both eggs and young. Eggs 
varied from two to three for a sitting. 

Halcyon barnardi (Campbell). Barnard Kingfisher. — A King- 
fisher, closely resembling Halcyon macleayi, was obtained by me, 
and, on the skin being forwarded to Mr. A. J. Campbell, was said 
by him to be new. A nest containing five eggs (a description of 
which appeared in Bulletin No. 2 of The Emu, dated 21st February, 
191 1), was found in a white ants' (termites') nest in a bloodwood 
{Eucalyptus), about 20 feet from the ground. Several pairs of these 
birds were seen. Their habits resemble those of H. macleayi. The 
five eggs taken measure — (a) 0.90 x 0.84, (6) 0.90 x 0.83, (c) 0.92 x 
0.80, (d) 0.92 X 0.80, (e) 0.90 X 0.82. 

Halcyon sordidus. Mangrove- Kingfisher. — This bird was observed 
by me in 1896 frequenting the mangroves. Mr. W. M'Lennan, who 
is collecting skins, obtained a specimen from the locahty in which 
I formerly observed the species. 

Tanysiptera sylvla. Silver-tailed Kingfisher. — First observed on 
23rd November, 1910, and a few days afterwards plentiful in 
the scrubs, but did not commence to burrow into the nests of the 
white ants (termites) until the end of December. These Kingfishers 
are migratory, but it is not known where they go. The first set of 
eggs was taken on 12th January, 191 1, and a few days later large 
numbers could have been secured. The birds bred in the termites' 
nests, both on the ground and in the trees. Upwards of 50 nests have 
been examined by me, and the maximum number of eggs in a clutch 
was three. During the period of incubation the long white tail 
feathers of the brooding bird become much worn, or are broken off. 

Merops ornatus. Bee-eater. — Observed in numbers, migrating 
south, early in October. They do not remain to breed at Cape York. 
Caprimulgus macrurus. Large-tailed Nightjar. — A few were 
flushed from the ground in thick scrub in the daytime, and their 
peculiar " chop " note was frequently heard at night. I did not 
succeed in taking the eggs, but saw a pair obtained by some boys 
at Cape York during my sojourn there. 

Chaetura caudacuta. Spine-tailed Swift. — Observed in large flocks 
during the whole period of my visit. 

Cuculus saturatus. Oriental Cuckoo. — Fairly plentiful in forest 
country. Very shy, and not easily obtained. 

Cacomantis castaneiventris. Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo. — Very 
rare ; only one specimen observed. 

^'lori^' ] Barnard, Field Notes from Cape York. 25 

Chalcococcyx malayanus. Little Bronze-Cuckoo.— Fairly plentiful. 
Eudynamis cyanocephala. Koel Cuckoo. — Fairly plentiful. 
Generally seen in the scrub trees eating fruit. 

Scythrops novae-hollandiae. Channclbill Cuckoo. — Few birds noted, 
generally flying high. 

Centropus phasianus. Swamp Coucal. — Plentiful in forest country. 
Breeding in the long grass. Found two nests, and took a set of three 
eggs from one. Five eggs in another nest were destroyed by vermin. 

Pitta simillima. Lesser Pitta. — These are migratory birds from 
New Guinea, and on my arrival at Cape York they had not put in an 
appearance. Tiie first one was noted on loth October, iQio, and a 
few days later the species was plentiful in the scrubs, and there 
shortly commenced to build. They were still breeding when I left 
the locality. Nest, a large dome-shaped structure, placed on the 
ground against the root of a tree, &c. Eggs varied from three to 
four for a sitting. Many of the nests examined contained one or two 
eggs, which always disappeared before the full clutch was laid. 
Upwards of 40 nests were found, and none contained young. 

Pitta mackloti. Blue-breasted Pitta. — The notes given for Pitia 
simillima apply to this species, which is very plentiful. 

Micrceca pallida. Pale Flycatcher. — A few pairs seen in the scrub. 
None found breeding. 

Micrceca flaviventris. Lemon-breasted Flycatcher. — -Fairly plenti- 
ful in forest country, breeding. Nests are built on small dead tree- 
forks, and are very small structures. Only a single egg was laid for 
a sitting, and a specimen measures 0.73 x 0.52. 

Pseudogerygone magnirostris. Large-billed Fly-eater. — Few birds 
noted about the mangroves, where I found them breeding on a former 
occasion. The eggs of Chalcococcyx malayanus I frequently ob- 
served in the nests. 

Pseudogerygone personata. Black-throated Fly-eater. — Found 
breeding in scrubs. Always builds close to wasps' nests, which have 
to be burnt before the bird's nest can be examined. 

Poecilodryas albifacies.* White-faced Robin. — Two birds of this 
species were observed in thick scrub, but I was unable to obtain the 
eggs. First observed by me here season 1896-7. (See " Nests and 
Eggs " (Campbell), p. 153.) 

Rhipidura albiscapa. White-shafted Fantail. — Was observed when 
I arrived, but did not remain, evidently going further south for the 
purpose of breeding. 

Rhipidura rufifrons. Rufous Fantail. — Observed on my arrival at 
Cape York migrating from New Guinea, and was seen frequently, 
flying low over the waves, coming to the mainland. After resting for 
a few days they departed further south. None seen after the end 
of October. 

Myiagra conoinna. Blue Flycatcher. — Fairly plentiful, and found 
breeding in forest country. 

Myiagra nitida. Satin Flycatcher. — A few seen in the mangroves ; 
not found breeding 

* According to Hartert, P. albigularis. 

26 Barnard, Field Notes from Cape York. [isf"juiy 

Myiagra latirostris. Broad-billed Flycatcher. — Not observed on 
this occasion, but on a former occasion were found breeding in the 

Maehaerirhynchus flavi venter. Yellow-breasted Flycatcher. — These 
birds are only found in dense scrubs, and always in pairs. Nest, which 
is open, is composed of small vine tendrils, and suspended from a 
thin horizontal fork at the extremity of a long, thin branch, at 
heights varying from 6 to 40 feet from the ground. Male bird prin- 
cipally constructs the nest, and keeps up a continual whistling song 
during the process, drawing one's attention to the nesting site. Two 
eggs form a sitting, and a pair taken on 25th October, 1910, measures 
as follows : — (a) 0.66 x 0.48, (b) 0.67 x 0.49. 

Arses lorealis. Frilled-necked Flycatcher. — Found only in scrubs ; 
nowhere plentiful. Several nests were found, but only one set of 
eggs was taken, the other nests being destroyed, probably by other 
birds, or vermin. A nest found on 9th November, 1910, was being 
attacked by a Rusty-breasted Shrike-Thrush {Pinarolestes rufigaster), 
which appeared to be trying to pull the structure to pieces. The 
Flycatchers were vainly trying to drive the destroyer away, and, to 
assist them, I threw several sticks at the Thrush, which would only 
fly a short distance and again return to the attack. I then shot it, 
and 9 days later secured a pair of eggs of the Flycatcher from the 
nest. These specimens measure — {a) 0.77 x 0.56, (6) 0.78 x 0.56. 
The nests were always suspended, cradle-like, between two vines 
hanging from a tall tree, and the height from the ground varied from 
10 to 30 feet. Clutch, two eggs. Some of the birds shot had great 
numbers of thin worms, about 3 inches long, in the intestines. 

Piezorhynchus albiventer. — Plentiful in scrub. Builds a moss- 
covered nest in the forks of small upright bushes, from 3 to 8 feet 
from the ground. Eggs, two for a clutch. 

Coracina hyperleuca. "White-bellied Cuckoo-Shrike. — Fairly plenti- 
ful in forest country, where it was found breeding, several nests being 
observed, mostly containing young. Habits resemble those of the 
other members of the Coracina family. Another bird was observed, 
but I was unable to identify it. This species was very shy, and 
seemed to migrate south, as shortly after my arrival none was to 
be seen. I have also noted the species on the Dawson River, where 
it was only an occasional visitor. 

Edoliisoma tenuirostre. Jardine Caterpillar-eater. — A few ob- 
served in the forest country. 

Lalage tricolor. White-shouldered Caterpillar-eater.^A few birds 
observed in the forest country. 

Lalage leucomelaena. Pied Caterpillar-eater. — Fairly plentiful in 
forest country and on the edges of scrubs. Found breeding in the 
forest. Two sets, of one egg each, secured. 

Drymaoedus superciliaris. Eastern Scrub-Robin. — Fairly plentiful 
in the scrubs. Always found on the ground. I watched specimens 
very closely, but could not fmd the nests. 

Pomatorhinus rubeculus. Red-breasted Babbler. — Observed in 
small flocks in forest country. A number of old nests seen. 

Cisticola exilis. Grass-Warbler.— Plentiful in long grass in open 
forest. Four nests discovered, two containing four eggs each, heavily 


\- ^y~] Barnard, Fie/d No/cs from Cape York. 2'] 

Megalurus galactotes. Tawny (h-ass-Bird. — A low observed in 
damp ]Kuis among reedy grass. 

Sericornis. — Observed in the scrubs, l)iit was not identified ; probably 
5. niuiinnis. A number of nests found, Ijul no eggs obtained. 

Malurus amabilis. I.o\eh' Wren. — Fairly plentiful, and seen in 
small flocks in dense scrub. Builds in small bushes close to the 
ground. One clutch ot three eggs was taken. 

Malurus cruentatus. Red-backed Wren. — Observed in flocks in 
long grass in forest country. Birds were breeding, but I did not 
succeed in finding a nest. 

Artamus leucogaster. White-rumped Wood-Swallow. — Found only 
along the coast, and about mangroves, where they were breeding. 
One ncsl seen, containing three young birds. 

Collyriocichla superriliosa. — Fairly common in open forest country, 
where they were found breeding, the nest being placed in a clump 
of twigs on the top of a dead spout. Two sets of eggs were taken. 
Measurements — (a) i, 1.22 x 0.90, 2, 1.19 x 0.91 1 ; (^) i, 1.07 x 
o.So, 2, 1.09 X 0.79, 3, 1.06 X 0.81. Habits similar to C. Jiarinonica, 
but note not so harmonious. 

Pinarolestes rufiventris. Rusty-breasted Shrike-Thrush. — Confined 
to the scrubs, in which they are very plentiful, numbers of nests 
being found in the upright forks of small bushes, from 3 to 7 feet 
from the ground. Only one nest observed, containing three young. 
Other nests examined had either two young or two eggs in them. 
From observations, I am of opinion that this species is responsible 
for the destruction of the nests and eggs of many of the smaller birds. 

Grallina picata. Pied Grallina. — Plentiful about Melaleuca swamps, 
and a few old nests observed. 

Cracticus rufescens (quoyi). Black Butcher-Bird. — Found in 
scrubs. Breeds chiefly in forest country on the edge of the scrub. 
Fairly numerous A number of clutches of eggs was taken, showing 
great variety in shape, size, and colouring. The colour varies from 
pale cream ground with brownish-grey spots through many shades 
of green. Clutches varying in number from three to four (in one in- 
stance five). Four . clutches give the following measurements : — 
Set A— (i) 1.35 x 0.98, (2) 1.35 X 0.98, (3) 1.38 X 0.98 ; set B— (i) 
1.40 X 0.99, (2) 1.39 X 1. 01, (3) 1.45 X 1. 01, (4) 1.42 X i.oi ; set C— - 
(i) 1.29 X 0.92, (2) 1.25 X 0.93, (3) 1.22 X 0.89, (4) 1.23 X 0.88 ; set D 
— (i) 1.22 X 0.90, (2) 1.08 X .86, (3) 1.27 X 0.90, (4) i.t8 X 0.89, (5) 
1 .28 X 0.92. 

Cracticus mentalis. — This is a New Guinea bird, and now recorded 
for Australia (Emu, vol. x., p. ^t,/) It inhabits the forests of 
tall stringybark ti'ees, and is always found in pairs. One pair I 
located built no fewer than four nests, all of which were deserted 
on completion. I succeeded in getting only one pair of eggs, late 
in the season. The habits of these birds closely resemble those of 
CracHciis destructor, and the note is similar, but very much weaker, 
and can" only be heard a short distance away. 

Pachycephala peninsulse. Cape York Thickhead. — Several pairs 
observed on the edges of the scrubs, but were not found building. 

28 Barxard, Field Notes from Cape York. [,sf Tuiy 

Pachycephala falcata. Northern Thickhead. — Odd birds only seen, 
in forest country. Habits similar to those of Pachycephala rufi- 

Neositta striata. Striated Tree-runner. — Observed on several 
occasions running up and down the trees in forest country. None 
found breeding. 

Dicaeum hirundinaceum. Mistletoe-Bird. — Plentiful, but not 
found breeding. 

Cyrtostomus frenatus. Sun-Bird. — Several nests observed along the 
edges of scrub, suspended in some cases from the ends of the pandanus 
palm leaves. 

Melithreptus albigularis. White-throated Honey-eater. — Very 
numerous in forest country, feeding on the flowering Melaleuca. 

Myzomela obscura. Dusky Honey-eater. — Fairly plentiful about 
the edges of the scrubs. One nest found, containing two young. 

Glycyphila modesta. Plentiful, and always found about the 
Melaleuca swamps, where they breed freely, their dome-shaped nests 
being suspended from the ends of the branches of the small Melaleuca 
trees growing in the water. 

Ptilotis analoga. Yellow-spotted Honey-eater. — -Very common. 
Breeds in the shrubs on the edges of scrub and along watercourses. 

Ptilotis gracilis. Lesser Yellow-spotted Honey-eater. — -Inhabits 
forest country adjacent to scrubs. Found breeding in forest ; two 
nests and clutches of eggs were taken. 

Ptilotis versicolor. Yellow-streaked Honey-eater.— Found only in 
mangroves. Not plentiful. 

Xanthotls filigera. Streaked-naped Honey-eater. — Fairly plentiful 
about inland scrubs. A nest taken from a cultivated mango tree 
contained two eggs, which are the first described. (See Emu, vol. x., 
p. 339, by Mr. H. L. White.) The birds were also found breeding 
in the scrubs. One nest found contained two young birds, and was 
placed 12 feet from the ground. Another nest, in process of building, 
was situated 30 feet from the ground, but was deserted by the birds 
before the eggs were laid. Specimens were often seen feeding in the 
flowering Melaleuca trees on the edge of the scrub. 

Entomyza albipennis. White-quilled Honey-eater. — Fairly plenti- 
ful in forest country, and on the west coast of Cape York Peninsula, 
feeding on the blossoms of the red-flowered tea-tree {Melaleuca). 
One pair had, in an old nest of Pomaloyhinus rubeculus, two young 
birds. This bird may prove to be E. harterii (Robins, and Laver). 

Tropidorliynchus argenticeps. Silvery-crowned Friar-Bird. — These 
birds were plentiful in the forest country, and a number of their nests 
was found, mostly containing two nestlings. Of three clutches of 
eggs taken, one numbered three and the others two each. 

Tropidorliynciius buceroides. Helmeted Friar-Bird. — Very plenti- 
ful all through the forest country, and usually breeds in the Moreton 
Bay ash {Eucalyptus) in company with Sphecotheres flaviventris and 
Chibia bracteata. A number of clutches of eggs taken ; four usually 
formed the clutch. 

Philemon sordidus. Little Friar-Bird. — Numerous on the west 
coast One nest found contained two eggs, which were heavily 
incubated. Nest placed in bloodwood {Eucalyptus) tree. 

^°^- ^^'l Barnard, Field Notes from Cape York. 20 

Munia castaneithorax. Chcslnut-breasled Finch.— Only two pairs 
seen. One jKur Iniilt a large, bulky nesl of grass in a large tussock 
about 20 yards Iroin where 1 was camped, but deserted the nest as 
soon as it wiis finished. 

Oriolus flavicinctus. Yellow Oriole. — Pleutilul both in forest and 
scrub. Numbers of nests observed, and two eggs in all cases form 
the full ckitch. 

Sphecotheres flaviventris. Yellow-bellied Fig-Bird. — Very plentiful 
in forest country, and nested chiefly in Moreton Bay ash in company 
with the 'rropidorhyiulius buceroides. 

Chibia bracteata. Drongo-Shrike. — Very common. Breed in com- 
pany with the Sphecotheres flaviventris and Tropidorhynchus 
buceroides. These birds are migratory, coming from New Guinea in 
large numbers during October. 

Calornis metallica. Shining Starhng. — Very numerous, and are 
migratory, coming from New Guinea in small flocks during October, 
afterwards congregating in large numbers at a suitable tree, where 
they breed, their large, bulky, and dome-shaped nests being bunched 
together all over the branches. I have counted as many as 300 
nests in one tree. 

Chlamydodera orientalis. Queensland Bower- Bird. —Nowhere plenti- 
ful, but a few play-grounds were observed under low black tea-tree 
bushes in forest country. 

Until my recent observations proved to the contrary, it was 
believed that one species of Bower-Bird {Chlamydodera cerviniventris) 
only inhabited the Cape York country. I have now proved that two 
species are living in close proximity, but that C. orientalis is the more 
generally distributed. A low range of hills, running generally east 
to west, cuts off a strip of country, roughly about 10 miles long by 
2 miles wide, at the northern extremity of Cape York Peninsula. 
This strip is fringed by mangroves along the coast-line, the back land 
being mostly low, and covered with white tea-tree {Melaleuca), 
rising rather abruptly into the range. Here Chlamydodera cervini- 
ventris makes its home, and I did not succeed in finding a single 
specimen to the south of the range. C. orientalis is rarely found on 
the strip as mentioned above, but is found in fair numbers to the 
south of the range. I noted the bird upon many occasions, securing 
both skins and eggs. I found C. orientalis in open forest country 
only, while I saw C. cerviniventris only in the mangroves or tea- 
trees bordering same. I found several old nests in tea-trees. As C 
orientalis is common about Cooktown and Townsville, and the same 
class of country extends on the west from near Cape York to these 
places, it is reasonable to presume that the bird will be found through- 
out the whole area. Whether C. cerviniventris is to be found to the 
east of the range, which starts from Orford Bay, south of Somerset, 
and cuts off a strip of country similar to that at the extreme north 
of the peninsula, remains to be proved. The bower of C. orientalis 
is composed of small sticks, forming a strongly built arch about 
12 inches high inside, 15 inches outside, length of run about 2 feet, 
inside of run raised about 3 inches above the ground with sticks 
placed horizontally. For a space of about 2 feet right round the 
bower all grass and leaves are cleared away. One end only of the 
bower on the cleared ground is decorated by sea-shells, a few large 
land-shells {Helix), and large berries coloured red or black. The 

-30 Barnard, Field Notes from Cape York. fist^^luiv 

bower is usually placed undei" a low bush. The birds are very noisy 
while using the bower to play in. The bower of C. cerviventris is 
made of small sticks, not so strongly built as that of C. orientalis, 
nor do the sticks meet in a complete arch. Height about 12 inches 
Coutside), length about 15 inches, with a platform of sticks i inch 
high right through. Very little clearing round, but at one end of 
the bower, and about i foot away, is a platform, a foot in diameter, 
of twigs placed horizontally to a depth of 3 inches. The birds use 
tliis platform to play on. A few bunches of small green berries, about 
six in the bunch, are placed between the platform and the end of 
the bower. The birds make very Httle noise at the bower. C. 
orientalis is an expert mimic, while C. cerviniventris was not heard to 
imitate any sound. I found the first nest of C. orientalis on 22nd 
October, 1910, and it contained one heavily incubated egg. My last 
clutch, found on 9th January, iqit, also consisted of one egg. The 
nest is a loosely constructed and flimsy affair of small sticks, which 
are shghtly turned up at the edges of the nest. The eggs can be seen 
plainly from below. The favourite site appears to be an exposed 
position on the thin horizontal limb of a bloodwood {Eucalyptus) 
tree, in open forest country. 

Chlamydodera cerviniventris. Fawn-breasted Bower-Bud. — My 
observations on this bird are fully given above. 

Craspedophora alberti, Albert Rifle-Bird. — Fairly plentiful in the 
scrubs. Their loud whistle is frequently heard, being different from 
the call of the southern species in that respect. Nesting sites, 
generally a clump of pandanus or screw palms, the nests being hidden 
at the butts of the long leaves, at heights varying from 3 to }o feet 
from the ground. The nest is composed of large dead leaves and 
vine tendrils very loosely put together. Unlike the two southern, 
species, the Albert Rifle-Bird does not decorate its nest with snake- 
skins. I examined about 50 nests, and did not find snake-skins in 
a single instance. Two eggs form a clutch If a nest were found 
containing one egg, and left untouched in order to secure the full 
clutch, on returning next day the egg was sure to have disappeared ; 
but if a single egg were taken, and the nest visited on the following day. 
the second egg would be found in the nest. I had the same experience 
during my former visit to the locality, in 1896. The male bird is 
never seen near the nest. 

Phonygama gouldi. Manucode. — These birds are only found in the 
scrubs, and are very shy, except on the nest, when it is difficult to 
flush them. The nest is constructed of vine tendrils, and somewhat 
resembles that of Chibia bract eata, but is larger in size, while the 
eggs can be seen through the nest from the ground. Nest is usually 
placed in the topmost branches of a tree, at heights varying from 
20 to 70 feet from the ground. All the clutches taken consisted of 
two eggs. Measurements: — Clutch A — (i) 1.40 x 0.93, (2) 1.43 x 
0.94; clutch B — (i) 1.33 X 0.92, (2) 1.36 X 0.92; clutch C — (i) 
1.30 X 0.90, (2') T.34 X 0.92. 

The following notes on the Manucode may be of interest to bird- 
lovers, and also be an aid to future collectors in securing their eggs. 
Shortly after my arrival at Lockerbie, and while watching a 
pair of Manucodes, I noticed a pair of Butcher-Birds {Cracticus 
quoyi) (ritfescens) building their stick nest in a small tree, and soon 
afterwards located the unfinished nest of the Manucodes in a tree 

Barnard, Field Notes from Cape Yovk. 31 

about 30 yards from that of Cvacticiis qunyi. The Manucodes 
finished building first, and I secured a pair of eggs from their 
nest. One egg was laid in the Butcher-Bird's nest, and some wild 
creature took it, and the birds left the locality. Some time after- 
wards I located another nest of Craolicus quoyi, containing one 
egg, and here also was a pair of Manucodes. After watching 
them for some time I found that they were building in a small 
tree, about 50 yards distant from the tree in which the Butcher- 
Birds' nest was built. Both nests were about 50 yards from the 
scrub, in forest country. Five days later I returned and secured 
the eggs of the Butcher-Bird, the Manucodes' nest being almost 
completed at the time. The same day, about half a mile away, 
I found another nest of C. quoyi., containing four eggs, which 
I took. On descending the tree I noticed a pair of Manucodes a 
short distance away, and, as they seemed uneasy, I decided to watch 
them. After about an hour had passed, one of the birds flew into the 
top of a tall tree, between 30 and 40 yards distant from the tree 
from which I had recently taken the eggs of C. quoyi, and, on 
investigation, I found an almost completed nest. I returned to 
camp well satisfied, and a week later visited the nests, only to find, 
to my intense disgust, that both were deserted, and that there were 
no signs of the birds about. Even then I did not grasp the idea 
that the birds had forsaken their nests because the Butcher-Birds had 
left the locality. 

In a week's time I found another nest of C. quoyi, containing eggs, 
and a Manucode's nest building in a tree about 50 yards away. I 
took the eggs of the former species, and returned in 7 days to find 
that history had repeated itself — the birds were gone. Then I 
realized that the Manucodes built near C. quoyi for protection, and 
that if C. qtioyi were disturbed they left too. I now deter- 
mined to hunt up all the nests of C. quoyi that I could, but, though 
I located several, I did not find the Manucodes also. Finally I found 
a pair of Butcher-Birds, and with them a pair of Manucodes. For 
several days I watched the birds without result, then gave up, but 
returned after 10 days. The Butcher-Birds were quiet, but the 
Manucodes were very restless when they saw me. As it was forest 
country, and near the edge of the scrub, I retired some distance and 
hid. After waiting some time, a White Cockatoo (Cacatua galenta) 
came slowly along and perched on the top of a bushy tree about 50 
yards from the scrub. Instantly both the Butcher-Birds arrived, 
and a lively time ensued, which ended in all three birds landing on 
the ground at the foot of a tree. After putting up a good fight for 
a while, the Cockatoo left hurriedly, with both Butcher-Birds in hot 
pursuit. They returned, and one flew directly into the top of the 
tree where the intruder had been, and remained there. " Nest No. i," 
I thought. Tliis time the Manucodes remained in the tree in which 
I had first seen them. One of them, however, flew into a thick clump 
of leaves in a thin bloodwood {Eucalyptus). I waited some time, 
and, as the bird did not reappear, I knew that I had located " nest 
No. 2." The Manucodes' nest contained two fresh eggs, that of 
the Butcher-Bird a small young one. 

I had now disturbed both the C. quoyi and Manucodes for a con- 
siderable distance round. A few days later I heard, in a different 
locality, the warbling note of C. quoyi in forest country, about 200 
yards from a scrub. I instantly made towards the sound, and while 
I was doing so a Manucode flew directly over my head and made for 

32 Barnard, Field Notes from Cape York. [i.^'juiy 

the scrub. I soon located the Butcher-Bird, and, after watching 
her a while, had the satisfaction of seeing her fly on to her nest, 
which contained eggs. I then began to search every tree, and 
found the Manucodes' nest in the top of a thick bushy tree. The 
nest was not complete, and I did not touch the Butcher-Birds' eggs. 
Eight days later I took a very fine pair of Manucode's eggs from this 

Corvus coronoides. Crow. — Few birds observed. 

Strepera graculina. Pied Crow-Shrike. — One pair observed, which 
had evidently got astray, and remained for a short period only in 
the locality. 

It is a pecuUar fact, noticeable in the scrubs, that nests found in 
an unfinished state, or containing incomplete clutches, and left for 
further observation, were invariably destroyed before a second visit 
to them was made. All the complete clutches I secured were taken 
from nests that had not previously been visited. I attribute the 
damage to bush rats, snakes, and lizards, but why these creatures 
should be specially attracted to nests visited by human beings I am 
at a loss to understand. In very few cases were young birds found 
in a nest. The long breeding season of the Cape York scrub birds 
is probably owing to the fact that very many of their nests are de- 
stroyed in the manner described. 

In conclusion, it would appear from the foregoing list of birds that 
the following are recorded for Cape York for the first time, viz. • — 
Peaceful Dove, Black-fronted Dottrel, Native Companion, Yellow- 
billed Spoonbill, White-fronted Heron, Little Cormorant, Black- 
breasted Buzzard, Pale Flycatcher, Shafted and Rufous-fronted 
Fantails, Red-breasted Babbler, Black Butcher-Bird, Little Friar- 
Bird, Pied Crow Shrike. Regarding the two Fantails, alhiscapa and 
rufifrons, possibly they were Northern forms of those better known 
kinds. I was unable to procure their skins for examination. Also, 
one small Quail was noted, but not identified. — H. G. B. 

On Yorke Peninsula. 

By (Capt.) S. a. White, R.A.O.U., Adelaide. 

On 14th April, 1911, four members of the R.A.O.U. left Port 
Adelaide in one of the Gulf Steamship Co.'s boats, the Juno, for 
Stansbury. The annual camp-out of the Union in 1909 was held 
on Eyre Peninsula, which was partly worked : but as Yorke 
Peninsula had never been thoroughly investigated ornithologically, 
the members of our party had some interesting work before them, 
if it were only in ascertaining if any of the western forms find 
their way over Spencer Gulf on to Yorke Peninsula. The })arty 
consisted of Mr. J. W. Mellor, Mr. H. D. Griffith, Mrs. S. A. White, 
and the writer. We reached the little township of Stansbury early 
in the afternoon. After changing, we walked out on the main 
road to Yorketown for some distance, then cut across country 
into stunted peppermint gums (£. odorata), with little or no 

^'"'igi^' J Whitk, On Yorke Peninsula. 33 

undergrowth. The ground was covered with long dry grass, 
showing the splendid season that had been enjoyed last year in 
this district. Pomatorhimis superciliosns was met with in parties 
of from 10 to 12, hopping over the ground with great rapidity. 
I often stood and watched the birds turn over a piece of bark or 
dry manure in search of insects. Numbers of Spotted-sided 
Finches {Staganopleura guttata) were flushed from the grass. 
Hooded Robins {Peirceca bicolor) were very plentiful in the open 
scrub. The Bell-Bird's (Oreoica cristata) clear note was heard. 
The Graceful Honey-eater {Ptilotis ornata) was very numerous, 
and P. sonora was seen. A solitary specimen of the Owlet-Night- 
jar {^Egotheles novcs-hollandicB) was observed on a bare limb of a 
box-tree gazing round in a terrified way. We returned to the 
township in the dark. 

Next morning, after an early breakfast, we left by an express 
waggon and pair, taking a more northerly route this time. As 
soon as we were outside the township my wife drove the horses, 
and the other members of the party scoured the country on either 
side of the track in search of bird-life, plants, and insects. The 
first bird to attract us was the Many-coloured Parrakeet {Psephotus 
multicolor). This was the only Parrot which was met with on 
the trip. The birds seem to frequent farm-yards, and search in 
stock -yards and round haystacks for fallen grain. The Bush- 
Lark [Mirajra seciinda) was seen among the grass in open glades 
in the scrub, and, when flushed, flitted with jerky movements a 
few yards, then dropped into the grass, where they lay as quiet 
as possible, depending on their protective colouration to escape 
observation, and allowing one to almost walk on them. Leaving 
the open peppermint-gum country, where P. ornata was very 
plentiful, we entered an undulating area covered with low scrub, 
broom-bush {Melaleuca uncinata), also a pink-flowering variety 
(il/ deciissata), and many species of low, heath-like bushes, 
which was a very prickly Hakea. Here the bird-life changed. 
We had left the Parrots, Graceful Honey-eaters, Hooded Robins, 
&c., behind us, and in their place appeared, but very sparingly, 
P. sonora, Oreoica cristata, the Tawny-crowned Honey-eater 
(Glycyphila fulvifrons), Brown-headed Honey-eater {Melithreptus 
brevirostris), and Wattle-cheeked Honey-eater (Ptilotis cratitia). 
We called a halt and took the horses out about half-way across 
the peninsula. After boiling the billy and taking refreshment we 
scoured the country round, but found it to be poor in bird-life, 
with the exception of the species I have mentioned. There was 
a solitary specimen of the Butcher-Bird (Cracticus destructor), and 
Mr. Mellor recorded the Blue-breasted Wren (Malurus assirnilis) 
and Hylacola pyrrhopygia. 

Next day we drove south, and camped in a country of bigger 
timber. The Many-coloured Parrakeet was found in numbers 
round an uninhabited homestead. Hooded Robins were 
numerous, also the Graceful Honey-eaters, many old birds being 
busy feeding late broods. The strange call of the Restless Fly- 


White, On Yorke Peninsula. 

r Emu 
List July 

catcher {Sisnra inquieta) was heard on every side. Spotted-sided 
Finches were numerous, in all stages of plumage. Melithreptus 
hrevirostris were in large parties, hunting for food among the 
stunted gums. The Bell-Bird was heard and seen, also the 
Yellow-rumped Pardalote {Pardalotus xanthopygius). The Little 
Brown Flycatcher (Micrceca fascinans.) was very numerous, and the 
Spiny-cheeked Honey- eater {AcanthQchcera rufigiUaris) was seen. 
The following day was devoted to the shore-birds. At daylight 
we were out on the beach and rocks. The tide was in, and large 
flocks of Sandpipers and other Waders were observed along the 
sand On a spit Cormorants. Pacific Gulls, and Oyster-catchers 
were congregated. A large Wader, which we thought at first 
was the Barred-rumped Godwit, but afterwards concluded was 
the Greenshank, gave us a lot of trouble. Despite all our efforts, 
we could not procure a specimen. Returning to a late breakfast, 
we went out again on half a mile or more of exposed rocks and 
sand, more or less covered in a dense weed — an ideal feeding- 
ground for Waders. The birds were scattered over a much wider 
area, and, instead of being congregated in large flocks on the 
shore, were now busily engaged hunting for food. We noted the 
Greenshank, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Sandpiper, Hooded Dottrel, 
Red-capped Dottrel, White-fronted Heron, and other species. 
Driving fi'om Stansbury to Port Vincent, we caught the steamer 
on the return journey, arriving at Port Adelaide after a profitable 
and enjoyable trip. The weather had been perfect. 

The following birds were identified by Mr. J. W. Mellor, 
R.A.O.U. (scientific names according to Mathews' " Hand-list," 
Emu, 1908) : — 

Whistling Eagle 

Brown Hawk 




Black-and-White Swallow 

Wood -Swallow 

Yellow-rumped Pardalote 

Red-tipped Pardalote 

White-backed Magpie 


Black-faced Cuckoo-Shrike 

Grey Shrike-Thrush 

Bell-Bird . . 

Black-and-White Fantail 

Restless Flycatcher . . 

Brown Flycatcher 

Short-billed Tree-Tit 

Red-capped Robin . . 

Hooded Robin 

Purple-backed W^ren 

Chestnut-rumped Ground-Wren 

Yellow-rumped Tit . . 

Haliastur sphenurus 
Hieracidea orientalis 
Cerchneis cenchroides 
/E^otheles novce-hoUandia 
Hirundo neoxena 
Cheramceca leucostermtm 
Artamus tenebrosus 
Pardalotus xanthopygius 
Pardalotus ornatus 
Gymnorhina leitconota 
Cracticus destructor 
Coracina rohusta 
Collyriocichla harmonica 
Oreoica cristata 
Rhipidura tricolor 
Sisura inquieta 
Micrceca fascinans 
Smicrornis hrevirostris 
Petrceca goodenovii 
Melanodryas bicolor 
Malurus assimilis 
Hylacola pyrrhopygia 
Acanthiza chrysorrhoa 

White, On Yorke Peninsula. 


While-fronted Chat . . 

Whiteface . . 


Lesser Bush -Lark 

Spotted-sided Mncli 


White-browed Babbler 

Tawny-crowned Honey-eater 

Singing Honey-cater 

Wattle-cheeked Honey-eater 

Yellow-plumed Honey-eater 

Spiny-cheeked Honey-eater 

Brown-headed Honey-eater 

White-eve . . 

Black-capped Tree-runner 

Many-coloured Parrakeet 


Pied Oyster-catcher 

Black Oyster-catcher 

Spur-winged Plover . . 

Hooded Dottrel 

Red-capped Dottrel 

Double-banded Dottrel 

Curlew Sandpiper 

Little Sandpiper 


Turnstone . . 

White-fronted Heron 

Pacific Gull 

Silver Gull 

Richardson Skua 

Caspian Tern 

Crested Tern 

Short-tailed Petrel . . 

White-breasted Cormorant 

Little Cormorant 


Ephthianura albifrons 
Xerophila leucopsis 
Anthus australis 
Mirafra secunda 
Staganopleitra guttata 
Corvus coronoides 
Pomatorhinus superciliosus 
Glycyphila melanops 
Ptilotis sonora 
Ptilotis cratitia 
Ptilotis ornata 
Acanthogenys rufigularis 
^ Tt'lilh ii'p/its brevirostris 
Z<>s/rr,i/\s cccrulescens 
Siltella pileata 
Psephotus multicolor 
Burhinus grallarius 
Hd'inatopus longirostris 
IIaii/(ii(i/uis fuliginostis 
Lol)iVii))clliis lobatus 
JEgialitis cucullata 
^gialitis ruficapilla 
Ochthodromus bicinctus 
Ancylochilus subarquatus 
Pisobia ruficollis 
Glottis nebularius 
Arenaria interpres 
Notophoyx novce-hollandice 
Gabianus pacificus 
Larus novcB-hollandice 
Stercorarius crepidatus 
Hydroprogne caspia 
Sterna bergi 
Puffinus tenuirostris 
Phalacrocorax gouldi 
Phalacrocorax nielanoleucus 
Sula serrator 

Mallee-Fowl on Kangaroo Island. 

By J. \V. Mellor, R.A.O.U., Adelaide. 

The work of the Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union is 
bearing fruit in more ways than one. An example is the intro- 
duction of the Mallee-Fowl {Leipoa ocellata) to Kangaroo Island, 
South Australia, where these peculiar mound-raising birds of the 
mainland will be safe from the fox, which is rapidly exterminating 
this and many other ground-living and breeding species. 

The question of protecting the Mallee-Fowl was brought before 
the Union at its sixth congress, at Hobart, in iC)o6, by the writer, 
and the members present were of unanimous opinion that some- 
thing should be done. The writer advocated the establishment 
of the bird on Kangaroo Island, and a recommendation to this 

36 Mellor, Mallee-Foivl on Kangaroo Island. [isfTily 

effect was taken back to Adelaide. The matter was heartily 
taken up by the South Australian Ornithological Association. 
Specimens were difficult to procure ; but by dint of perseverance 
the labours of the Association have at last been rewarded. The 
State Government voted a small sum for the object, and, with 
the aid of private subscriptions, several pairs of the birds were 
secured, a permit having been granted by the Government, as the 
species is now totally protected in South Australia. The writer 
took charge of them at his home at the Reedbeds, where they 
proved very wild and untamable, and fears were entertained 
for their safety ; but in due course arrangements were made with 
Mr. Arthur Searcy, President of the Marine Board, who allowed 
the birds, in charge of the writer, to be taken down to Kangaroo 
Island by the departmental steamer Governor Miisgravc, which 
left Port Adelaide on the evening of 23rd Februai^y. 

Early next morning a landing was effected in the ship's boats 
at Harvey's Return, a rocky and dangerous landing-place, where 
supplies for the Cape Borda lighthouse are put ashore. It is the 
only spot for scores of miles along the coast where access to the 
rugged, precipitous cliffs can be attained, and then only by a steep 
incline, by means of a winch and trucks worked by horse-power 
from the top of the cliffs. In rough weather landing is impossible. 
Happily, on the morning in question the sea was moderate, 
with a long running swell, making the landing very difficult ; but 
the experienced seamen, under the command of Captain P. Weir, 
drove the boat, on the crest of a billow, into a crack in the rocks, 
where she held fast. After spending the whole of the morning in 
" spying out the land " for a good locality in which to release 
the birds, a spot was selected about a mile from the landing 
and about three miles from the lighthouse, where a good pool 
of fresh water was available and the surroundings for miles pre- 
sented much the appearance of the stunted mallee country on 
the mainland. With the assistance of Mr. W. O. Wood, the head 
lighthouse-keeper, and Mr. H. C. Tyley, second keeper, the birds 
were conveyed to the spot in a cart, and liberated, after a quantity 
of seeds of various kinds had been scattered about for them to 
feed upon until they found their natural provender, which consists 
of seeds of the wattle, insects, berries, thistle-tops, &c. The birds 
at once made off into the thick trees and undergrowth, and it 
will be interesting to learn how they fare in their new home. The 
light-keepers were most enthusiastic in their efforts to assist, and 
promised to keep a good look-out for further traces of the new- 
comers, and supply notes of their habits. 

The writer stayed on the island until next day, and inspected 
the country around, which forms portion of the Cape Borda 
reserve, consisting of about 164 square miles, which the Govern- 
ment have declared a national reserve for the protection of native 
fauna and flora, and for an extended National Park. The various 
scientific and other patriotic bodies in South Australia are desirous 
of securing an extension of the area already granted, so as to 

-L^XI.-j Mkllor, Malice -Fowl on l\ciiii;uyoo Island. 


iiulu(K' prinumciil \v;i(ri-. iS;i-.. and the wtjUm-'s observations Inlly 
l>ro\o the necessity ot enlarging the area. The land is of poor 
quality, rocky, and unfit for agriculture, and of very little use 
even for grazing. The two horses kept at the lighthouse have to 
be fed on chaff. Under these circumstances, the setting aside of 
a large area will in no way be a great loss to the Government, 
and, on the other hand, will mean a great national gain, the worth 
ot which can only ])c rightly gauged by future generations. 

Nesting of Psephotus haematonotus in Captivity. 

By Mrs. A. D. Hardy, R.A.O.U., Kew. 

My aviary consists of an octagon, with a flight and a trap. The 
octagon has five glass sides, giving shelter from the southerly and 
westerly winds, with wire-netting on the sides facing north, and 
oj^ens freely into the flight compartment, which is wire-netted 
both on roof and sides. Round seven sides of the octagon is a 
corrugated iron breastwork or skirting about 2 feet 6 inches high, 
and this continues round the weather side of the flight and trap. 
The central pole of the octagon aids to support the corrugated iron 
roof and wood ceiling, and to this and the angles are attached 
fixed and swinging perches of jarrah — hard wood, which stands 
a good deal of nibbling. The floor is the natural ground, with the 
surface well sanded. 

Here are domiciled pairs of King Lories (Aprosinictus cyano- 
pygius). Pale-headed Rosellas [Platycerctis pallidiceps), Cockatoo- 
Parrakeets {CallopsiUacus novce-hollandice), Red-backed Parrakeets 
[Psephotus hceniatonotus), " Budgerigars " [Melopsittacus undulatus), 
Rosellas {Platycerciis eximiiis), and " Blue Bonnets " [Psephotus 
xanihorvhous) ; but this pair, having set out to murder the others, 
and having succeeded to the extent of kflling one "Bulla-Bulla" 
[Barnardiiis barnardi) and maiming another, had to be trans- 
ferred to a refractory ward on the other side of the house, where 
they seem happy. There are also single birds of the Crimson or 
Pennant Parrakeet {Platycercus elegans). Yellow Parrakeet [P. 
flaveolns), "Port Lincoln" or Yellow-banded Parrakeet [Barnardiiis 
zonayiiis), besides a Plum-headed Parrot [Palaornis cyanocephaliis) 
and a Rock-Parrot, both from the Indian region. 

After the removal of the Blue Bonnets there was comparative 
peace. The big white house cat clambering up the wire-netted 
side and lying on the wire roof, which sagged with his weight, 
disturbed them naught, but occasional visits of a large Brown 
Hawk sent them in haste to the shelter of the roofed octagon, 
where a few of the more timid ones dashed about in great terror. 

On the ground floor (and, I fear, in contravention of the Game 
Act) -were five Brown Quails and two Little Doves [Geopelia 
ameata). To better shelter the Oualil from rough play of the 
Parrots I placed a wooden candle-box (inverted) on the sanded 

38 Hardy, Nesting of Psephotus hcematonotus in Captivity. r,^f'"|"| . 

floor, with a small arched opening at the ground, which gave 
ingress to Quail. 

Domestic emergencies prevented my giving the aviary its usual 
weekly cleaning until more than a fortnight had passed, and then, 
on raising the Quails' box, I disturbed one of the Red-backed 
Parrakeets from five white eggs lying on the sand in the merest 
pretence of a hollow. I hastily restored the box to its position 
after my surprise, not daring to complete the cleaning then. 
Next day, moving the box slightly, I saw the bird sitting on the 
eggs. In due time, I take it (being unaware of the date of laying), 
four 3'oung were hatched — tinj^ things with a little fluff, very 
thin necks, comparatively large heads, which appeared to be 
mostly beak, and feet capable of clutching. The parent birds had 
a busy time The male had already done his share by feeding 
the female on the perch and ground, and on the nest also, judging 
by his frequent visits after feeding ; but now both fed the young, 
while he also continued feeding his wife. 

The following extracts are from my diary : — 28th November. — 
The eggs were first noticed. 9th December. — The young hatched. 
23rd December. — Wing and tail quills appearing, and traces of 
colour on head. 26th December. — Iridescent green colour ap- 
pearing on head of one bird (evidently male), and patch of red 
distinct on his back. 30th December. — Young birds' plumage 
increasing rapidly, and the little ones perch well on my finger. 
The old birds are voracious for sow-thistles. Blue colour on 
young male's shoulder, like old male. 

To protect the little ones from the curiosity ol the Platycerri, 
a wire-netting cage was slipped over the box, with a small entrance 
of about 2h inches diameter left, which, after considerable survey 
and much distrust, the mother bird at last accepted as part of 
the establishment. This protection seemed necessary, as the dead 
body of one unfeathered young one was found on the floor outside, 
with a leg eaten off. I attribute the occurrence to a combination 
of causes — either death was due to accident, followed by eiect- 
ment, or else mutilation by some of the other birds or by mice. 

6th January. — The young male, more venturesome than his 
sisters, got out of box and cage, and was put back. 7th January. — 
Cage and box removed for a little while to give the birds an airing. 
8th January. — The young male flew to the end of the flight ; 
females not using wings. The male now has, in subdued hues, 
the colour markings exactly like male parent. They dislike being 
handled, but cling fearlessly to finger, or perch on my little girl's 
shoulder or cling to her dress while nestling their heads under her 
protecting hands. 9th January. — First female Parrot left nest. 
The young male ]:)erching well in aviary. The old male still 
feeding both young and mate ; female feeding young and self, 
loth January. — Second female left nest. Both flying freely, but 
clinging to wire-netting instead of perches, nth January.^- All 
perching. The parents keeping space clear of all other birds. 
15th January. — Young ones self-feeding, but stfll helped by 

^°i( M ' 1 H-^'-^f^') Nesting of Pscphulus hanui/oiiu/iis in Captivity. ^Q 

parents. Male parent still feeding his mate, ist February. — 
Young feeding independently, and, cxcejjt a trifle smaller, much 
like parents. Old male continues feeding mate, but not so fre- 
quently. 15th February. — Young ones practically mature. Old 
male inclined to driw young male away, but is still occasionally 
feeding mate. Old birds togrthn- and young ones by themselves 
in a group. 

A Trip to the Tunnel District, Tasmania. 

P>v p. C. Thompson, Launceston, Tas. 
Thk following notes were made during a trip to that district in 
Northern Tasmania known as " The Tunnel," in the month of 
October, 1910. It was made in company with Mr. A. L. Adams, 
a fellow-member of the R.A.O.U.. and an ardent bird-observer. 

The first thing that struck us was the fact that, while in the 
Launceston district birds were hatching their young, at " The 
Tunnel " very few species were even building. 

Spotted Owl {Ninox maculata). — This species seemed fairly jjlenti- 
lul, for a little after dark one would hear them calling from all sides. 
Their call-note, which some persons still think is uttered by the Frog- 
mouth (Podargtts), is between " Mopoke " and " Morepork," but 
more like the latter. 

Pallid Cuckoo {CuchIhs pallidus). — Not at all plentiful ■ a few 
pairs noted on the surrounding hills. 

Fan-tailed Cuckoo (Cacomantis flahelliformis). — This Cuckoo was far 
more plentiful than the previous species. 

Frogmouth {Podargus strigoides). — Could hear their notes coming 
from all sides of the hut after dark. 

Australian Raven (Corone australis). — Plentiful. 

Black Crow-Shrike {Strepera fuliginosa). — Fairly plentiful. 

Hill Crow-Shrike (Strepera arguta). — Common. This species can 
easily be distinguished from the Black Crow-Shrike either by its 
white under tail coverts or by its cry. 

" Summer-Bird " (Grancaliis parvirostris). — Plentiful all along the 
hills near the station. They seem to prefer the small trees in fairly 
open country. Frequently they were within 8 or q feet of the ground, 
feeding in the young gums. 

Whistling Shrike-Thrush {CoUyriocinda rectivostris). — Very plenti- 
ful. They could be .seen clinging on to the side of a large gum, 
pulling away pieces of bark, from under which they would seize some 
grub, hit it two or three times against the tree, then swallow it. 

Lesser While-backed Magpie (Gymnorhina hyperleuca). — Not as 
plentiful here as in the more open country. 

Grey Butcher- Bird (Cracticus cinereus). — One or two heard 
calling, but none seen. 

Olive Thickhead {Pachycephala olivacea). — Plentiful. From 
almost any of the tree-fern gullies came their notes, which sounded 

/lO Thompson, .i Trip to the Tunnel District, Tasmania, [j^f"?"].. 

like " I'll a-wet you." We would stand quietly in the scrub and 
imitate their note. Within ten minutes or so one or two would come 
down to within 7 or 8 yards of us, have a look, and then go off into 
the scrub again. Sometimes their notes resembled that of the Grey- 
tailed Thickhead. 

Grey-tailed Thickhead (Pachycephala glaucura). — Plentiful. None 
noted with the yellow breast ; all drab plumage. They were easily 
brought near by imitating their notes. 

Dusky Fantail (Rhipidura diemenensis). — Plentiful. 

Satin Flycatcher (Myiagra nitida). — -Heard their notes coming from 
the tops of the large trees. 

Scarlet-breasted Robin (Pelraeca leggii). — Very scarce. 

Flame-breasted Robin {Petroeca phcenicea). — Plentiful amongst the 
peppermints or burnt scrubs. 

Pink-breasted Robin (Petrceca rliodinogastra). — In almost every 
gully this species was met with. 

Dusky Robin (Petrceca vittata). — Fairly plentiful. Found nest 
containing two large young ones, also saw several young flying about. 

Blue Wren (Malurus gouldi). — In the open country this little bird 
was seen, generally hopping around some fallen limbs or feeding 
amongst grass or tussocks. 

Ground-Bird (Cinclosoma punctatum). — Only one pair noted 
amongst the bracken ferns. 

Brown Scrub- Wren (Sericornis humilis). — Very plentiful These 
and the Dusky Robins seemed to be the only birds breeding. 

Scrub- Tit (Acanthornis magna). — When searching one of the dense 
gullies I saw two birds feeding amongst the ferns or looking for food 
on the trunks of large tree-ferns. I could not obtain a view of their 
breasts, so decided to shoot them, if possible. They seemed to 
know that, for they would not let me get close enough, but kept 
flying across the creek, which meant that I had to go around vid 
some log. After a good deal of crawling I obtained one, which proved 
to be a female. Examination proved they were not nesting. 

Brown-rumped Tit {Acanthiza diemenensis). — Very plentiful ; their 
notes seemed to be coming from every eucalypt or bush. 

Ewing Tit {Acanthiza ewingi). — Shot for identification two specimens 
which 1 took to be this species. 

Yellow-rumped Tit (Acanthiza chrysorrhoa). — Not as plentiful here 
as in the lower country. 

Spinebill (Acanthorhynchus diibius). — Not common ; one or two 

Strong-billed Honey-eater {Melithveptus validirostris). — Very 
common. From all the tall peppermints came their shrill notes. 

Yellow-throated Honey-eater (Ptilotis flavigularis). — Very few seen. 
They are more plentiful in the open country. 

White-eye {Zostero-ps carulescens). — Common. 

Yellow-tipped Pardalote (Pardalotiis affinis). — From all around came 
their notes, " Pick it up." 
Swallow {Hirundo neoxena). — Plentiful around the station. 

^'^'i'. ,^''J Thompson,.-] Trip lo Ihe Tunnel Disirict, Tasmania. 4 1 

Tree- Martin {Petrochelidon nigricans). — Very low ; one or two seen. 

Wood-Swallow {Aviamus sordidus). — -More plcnlifiil than Ihe pre- 
vious species. 

Musk Lorikeet {Glossopsiltacus concinnus). — This was tlie only 
one oi Ihc Psittaci observed here. They were moving in flocks of, 
say, 1::. 

Brown Quail (Syncecus aiistvalis).— One Hushed oii the ground ; 
most likely this species. 

Description of a New Rhipidura. 

Bv Edwin Ashbv, R.A.CJ.L'., Bl.ackwood, S.A. 

Recently I have received from my friend, Mr. (". E. May, Anson 
Bay, Northern Territory, two formalin specimens of a Rhipidura 
that appears intermediate between R. dryas, Gould, and A', iiilcr- 
inedia. North. 

It differs from the former in liavnii;' dark spots or scaledike 
marks on the chest, as in A', rii/ljroiis, and it differs from Mr. A. J. 
North's description of R. intermedia {Vict. Nat., xix., p. loi) in 
that the orange-rufous colouration of the basal half of the tail 
feathers is absent, except for a wash of rufous on the basal portion 
of the outer web of the tail feathers (as in R. dryas) ; but this 
rufous wash barely extends beyond the upper tail coverts. Also, 
there is more white at the tips of tlie tail feathers. In fact, the 
bird under notice corresponds with Gould's description of R. 
dryas except for the black scaly markings on chest and its larger 
size. It therefore seems to link up the gap between R. dryas 
and R. intermedia, and suggests the probability that, if a sufficient 
series of skins were obtained round the coast of eastern and 
northern Australia, a gradual transition would be found from the 
typical Rhipidura rufifrons. Lath., of the Gippsland scrub, to the 
North-Western form of Rhipidura dryas, Gould. 

Should the variety herein describecl be considered deserving of 
specific difference, I would suggest that it be known as Rhipidura 
mayi, after Mr. C. E. May, who has done so much good work in 
collecting the birds of the Northern Territory. The measure- 
ments are as follows . — Total length, 6.2 inches ; length of wing, 
2.8 inches ; length of tail, 3.8 inches ; tarsus, 0.7 inches. 

\Note. — Since writing the foregoing I have learned that there 
are specimens in collections labelled R. dryas that have the black 
spots on the chest. My contention is that these are not R. dryas, 
because Gould expressly points out that the black spots are absent 
in that species. Secondly, there are also specimens in collections 
labelled R. intermedia. North, in which the tail feathers are not 
rufous, but are similar to R. dryas ; and these may not be Mr. 
North's R. intermedia, as he states that in the type of that species 
the basal half of tail feathers is rufous. — E. A.l 

A2 Stray Feathers. \i^"Tn\v 

Stray Feathers. 

Yellow-faced Honey-eater {Ptilotis chyysops). —While staying on 
the Tyldesley River, East Gippsland, I found a nest of this 
species in a slender tea-tree about 12 feet from the ground ; it 
contained f2ist September) two young in light grey down, eyes 
not yet open. The parents came close to my head while I was 
examining the nest, making a " rut-ut-utting " noise with the 
wings while flying, in the same manner as the Spinebill and others 
of the Miiiphaqidce. — H. Stuart Dove. Cunninghame. 

Spinebill {Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris). — A nest just finished 
of this pretty Honey-eater was found near Tyldesley River 
on 2ist September, in young swamp tea-tree, about 6 feet 6 
inches from the ground. Both birds, in fine plumage, practically 
identical, came close up to me. One egg was laid on 24th Sep- 
tember, another on 25th, when the female began sitting. Next 
morning she allowed me to touch her before she would leave the 
nest, and then just sat quietly by on a twig while I examined the 
eggs. — H. Stuart Dove. Cunninghame. 

Cape Barren Goose on Nest. — This photograph (Plate V.) was 
taken at the Public dardens, Launceston. The nest is com- 
posed of a general collection of rough material, some of which 
must have been gathered from a clistance. The nest is only 
slightly raised above the ground, the top being flat, with a hollow- 
only large enough to hold the eggs (three). This hollow is lined 
with fine pieces of roots, grass, and the soft down plucked from 
the birds' own bodies. On leaving the nest at feeding-time the 
eggs are carefully covered with this material. These birds show 
a good deal of defence. The male bird will rush at any intruder 
with considerable force.— W. M'CiOWAN. Launceston. 

Cleveland (Tasmania) Notes. — 2uth September, 1910. — My 
sister found a nest of the Striated Field-Wren [Calamanthns 
fiiliginosus) with three eggs of owner and one egg of Fan-tailed 
Cuckoo {Cacomaiitis flabelliformis). 

24th September. — Observed two pairs of Red-capped Dottrels 
(Mgialitis ruficapilla) on the edge of a brackish lagoon about a 
mile from the Macquarie River. Subsequently I noticed that 
the birds remained at this lagoon (about two acres in extent). 

15th October. — In company with two ornithologists, was 
searching the flats of the South Esk for Native-Hens [Trihonyx 
mortieri), when one of the party found a nest with a clutch of 
fourteen eggs. Again (29th October), when exploring banks of the 
South Esk with one of my scholars, we found a Bush-Chat's 
{Efhthiamira albifrons) nest containing three young ones and 

The Emu, Vol. XL 

v°|- _^'] Slray Feathers. 43 

two eggs. Also observed nest of Native-Hen with set ol sixteen 
eggs. Bird was sitting. 

2gth October. — In Dii)rose Lagoon found Bald-Coot's {Por- 
phyrio melanonotiis) nest with set of eight eggs. This ])roved to be 
a " combination clutch " —five of P. iiu'ldiiDiioliis and three of 
Fitlica australis. 

1st November. -Cuikoo-Slirikc {(•raitcalus f^arvii'oslris) sitting 
on four eggs. 

2nd November. — Another nest of sanu>, with four eggs. 

i()tli November. — In small lagoon on way to the Macquarie 
River observed a Swamp-Hawk's {Circus gouldi) nest with five 
eggs. Grebes [Podicipes poliocephalus) were also present. At 
Macquarie River, amongst other nests, one clutch of the Native- 
Hen contained twelve eggs. 

3rd September. — Flushed Snipe {G(illi)ut<^(> australis) on edge of 
Sister's Lagoon, 4 miles west of Cleveland. 

23rd November. — Charlie Challis, one of my scholars, found 
a Coot's {Fulica australis) nest with three eggs. Flushed sitting 
bird from nest. 

27th November. — Found another Coot's nest in Dii)rose Lagoon. 
Set four eggs, ist December, another bird on three eggs in small 
unnamed lagoon. These Coots' nests are more tidy and more 
compact than those of the Bald-Coot. 

0th November. — A Musk-Duck {Biziura lobata) made a nest 
underneath a Swamp-Hawk's nest, and two eggs were in it on 
above date. The Hawk's nest had been last inspected on ist 
November, when it was apparently ready for eggs, but no Duck's 
nest was underneath This Hawk's nest was started on 4th 
October, and the first egg was laid on 22nd November. The 
clutch was subsequently destroyed by the Crows (Ravens). 

6th November, — Disturbed a Tawny Frogmouth {Podargus 
strigoides) which was sound asleep on the ground at the foot of 
a tree. — (Miss) J. A. Fletcher. Springfield (Tas.), 23/2/11. 

Nesting of the Red Wattle-Bird {Acanthoclucra carunculata).— 
A good many pairs of this large Honey-eater remained in our 
district to breed, their favourite site for a nest being one of 
the bunches of mistletoe [Loranthus) which grow so plentifully 
in the big box trees {Eucalyptus) of Gippsland Out of five nests 
which we visited, four were so placed, and were at a height of 18 
to 25 feet ; the exception was built at a height of about 10 feet 
from the ground in a small sheoak (Casuarina) close to our paddock 
fence on one side and to the road on the other — a road along 
which timber-waggons, drays, and springcarts, besides pedestrians, 
daily passed. The nest was placed in a niche where a small 
branch sprang upwards and outwards from the main stem, and 
was so secluded among the slender, drooping branchlets that it 
was quite invisible until one mounted the top rail of the fence and 
thrust one's head in among the branchlets. I timed the period 

44 ^^''">' ^^<^f^'^^^- [.sfT'iy 

of incubation, and made it i6 days Two eggs appear to be the 
invariable clutch in this locality. The young, when born, had 
reddish skin, and showed some dark grey down on head and body. 
On seventh morning after hatching the eyes were opening : there 
was long dark-grey down on the head and back ; the wing-quills 
were sprouting well. I noticed that, while one of the young had 
a yellowish bill, the other (probably a male) had a larger reddish- 
tinted one. This clutch had left the nest on the fourteenth 
morning from hatching, after considerable heat on the previous 
day, which may have hastened their departure. In another 
instance the Wattle-Birds had nested in a small clump of Loranthns 
sprouting from the upper side of a box limb {Eucalyptus) about 
20 feet from the ground. They appear to prefer the parasite 
while still in the young state, with the leaves somewhat stiff and 
upright, before it develops the long, drooping habit of the mature 
bunch, although occasionally a nest is placed in one of the latter 
type. The female was sitting on two eggs on 15th October, the 
incubation in this case occupying 15 days. The young were 
sparsely covered with dark grey down on head and body. The 
eyes were opening on seventh morning ; a long, dark down 
covered heads and bodies, and the feathers were sprouting, 
noticeably the wing-quills. At ten days from hatching some 
down still remained, although the feathers were developing well. 
When the camera was taken up the box tree to get a picture of 
the nest the old birds became wildly excited, dashing from branch 
to branch with harsh, grating cries, the female occasionally 
sailing to the ground and " shamming wounded," after the manner 
of the Yellow Robin, but in this case the deception was not 
nearly so long-continued or effective, the wild excitement which 
reigned in the bird's breast apparently preventing her from a long 
continuance in any course of tactics. The attempt to lure from 
the nest in this manner was a new trait to me so far as the Wattle- 
Bird is concerned. When 14 days old these two young had a 
plumage of streaked light and dark grey, much resembling the 
parents, although a little down still showed through. One of 
them, when touched, left the nest and sailed to the ground with 
outspread wings. Next day they left the nest altogether, giving 
a period of 15 days from hatching to fledging, as against 14 days 
with the sheoak nestlings. — H. Stuart Dove. Cunninghame. 

Death of a Distinguished Ornithologist. — In The Proceedings of 
the Ornithological Society of Bavaria, vol. x. (issued March, 
1911), there appears the following in vieuwtiaui : — " On 28th 
January, igii, in the evening, after a brief illness, our greatly 
esteemed first president. Herr Dr. (med.) Carl Parrot, the founder 
and for many years leader of the Ornithological Society of Bavaria, 
departed this life. We mourn his loss deeply, and reserve our- 
selves to refer to his works and his merits in an extensive necro- 
logue later.— The Council." 

^"'ini^^'l Protection of Pelicans in South Auslralia. A^ 

Protection of Pelicans in South Australia. 

A DEPUTATION, Organized by the South Avistralian Ornithological 
Association, waited on the Commissioner oi" Crown Lands (Hon. 
C. Vaughan) on Tuesday, the Qth May. and asked that the name 
of the Pelican should be removed from the schedule of unprotected 
birds and })laced on the second schedule, of birds protected from 
1st July to 2oth December. The Pelican had at one time been 
on the second schedule, but had been removed, and was now being 
exterminated quickly. The deputation consisted of Mr. J. W. 
Mellor (secretary of the South Australian Ornithological Associa- 
tion), Ca])tain S. A. White (local secretary of the Royal Austral- 
asian Ornithologists' I'fnion), Mr. M. Symonds Clark (secretary 
Fauna and Flora Protection Society), Mr. E. Ashby (member of 
the Royal Society), and Mr. F. R. Zietz (ornithologist at the 
Adelaide Museum). After these gentlemen had fully and forcibly 
put the case for the birds, Mr. Vaughan, in reply, said he had been 
thinking of establishing on the Coorong a sanctuary for birds. 
There would, he knew, be an outcry from sportsmen, who had 
enjoyed indiscriminate shooting there. When the Government 
had closed American River against fishermen the latter had loudly 
complained that their grounds had been taken, but now there 
was hardly a fisherman who would not oppose anyone who tried 
to net fish in American River, because it was recognized that the 
sanctuary there was replenishing the supplies. The Government 
were thinking of taking similar action at Port Lincoln. The 
necessity for having a defined area on the Coorong of absolute 
protection for birds in the breeding season was becoming essential. 
Too many sportsmen went down there to shoot and " accidentally " 
hit the protected birds. He sympathized with the request of the 
deputation, and fully recognized that the (Government had a duty 
to do in trying to protect the fauna and flora in South Australia, 
as Australia had the most peculiar fauna and flora in the world. 
He would bring the matter before the Government, and get a 
report by his officers, and see if a certain part of the Coorong could 
not be set aside as a sanctuary. 

Another New Book on "The Birds of Australia."— A new 

book by A. H. S. Lucas, M.A.. and W. H. Dudley Le Soucf, 
C.M.Z.S., has just been received at the time of going to press. 
and will therefore be reviewed in the following issue of The Emu. 

" Oologia Neerlandica."— Old countries as well as new, like 
Australia, need works on oology. There will be ready shortly 
" Eggs of Birds Breeding in the Netherlands," by A. A. Van Pelt 
Lechner (Netherlands Ornithological Society), with coloured plates 
of specimens in the author's collection. The price by subscrip- 
tion is seven guineas net for the complete work. 

46 From Magazines, <^c. [isf'juiy 

From Magazines, &c. 

Alterations in Nomenclature. — Mr. Gregory M. Mathews 
contributes a highly technical and argumentative article to 
Novitates Zoolos,icce, vol. xvii., December, iqio. " On Some 
Necessary Alterations in the Nomenclature of Birds." As a 
sample see foot-note, p. 51. this issue. 

A Bird of the Sierras.— Mr. Milton S. Ray, a well-known 
Californian ornithologist, in a recent issue of The Condor (Sept.- 
Oct., 1910), describes, in a most interesting paper, the discovery 
of the nest and eggs of the Grey-crowned Leucosticte (L. tephro- 
cotis tephrocotis). The place of discovery was Pyramid Rock, 
" a lofty mountain of the great Sierran chain in the eastern portion 
of Eldorado County, California." The bird was first described 
by Swainson in 1831, and, although many have searched, the nest 
and eggs have remained unknown until 1910. Mr. Ray and his 
party had to traverse snow-drifts on the climb up the mountain, 
and the treasure they were in quest of was at length discovered 
beneath a pile of angular rocks. 

* * * 

Birds of North-East Greenland. — ' In Dr. J. Lindhard's account 
of the Danish expedition to North-East Greenland, 1906-8 
[Geogr. Joiirn., xxxv., p. 541), we are told that the ' ornithological 
booty of the expedition was unexpectedly abundant." Particular 
attention was paid to the breeding-places of such species as Tringa 
camdus, Calidris arenaria, Phalaropus fulicariiis, Larus sahinii, 
L. ehurneus, Anser leiicopsis, and Lomateria spectabilis. Of all 
these species, specimens — not only of full-grown birds, but also 
of eggs and of young in different stages of development — were 
procured. Of Calidris arenaria twenty-four eggs were obtained, 
and a breeding-place of thirty pairs of Tringa camdus was dis- 
covered. A specimen of Fiiligida marila, a species new to Green- 
land, was brought home." — The Ibis, October, 1910. 

New Australian Sub-Species. — The trinomial system may 
simplify the nomenclature of birds. At the same time, it appears 
an easy medium for multiplying sub-species. According to the 
" Bulletin " (No. clxvii.) of the British Ornithologists' Club. 
Mr. G. M. Mathews exhibited and described the following as 
new : — 

Ninox hiimeralis queenslandica. 

Aphelocephala leucopsis pallida. 
Also, according to " Bulletin " No. clxix. : — 

Rhipidnra albiscapa alisteri. 

Pomatostomus superciliosus ashbyi. 
And again, according to Novitates ZoologiccB (December, 1910) : — 

Meliornis novce-hollandicB diemenensis. 

^'''•^,^'] Front Mae^azines, 6-c. 47 

King George as a Bird-Lover. — In connection with the coronation 
ol tlie Ivnig ;iii(l Oiu'cn - the I^oyal Patrons of the R.A.O.U. — 
members will learn with interest that King George is not only a 
great bird-lover, but His Majesty possesses a good knowledge of 
ornithology. The Queen shares with the King his love for birds. 

According to an English paper {The Daily Mirror), the King 
has an aviary of small birds in addition to Canaries, chiefly 
Gouldian Finches {Pocphila i^duhlia'), Si)otted-sided Finches 
{Sta^aiioplciira guttata), P>aiul('d Finches {Slictoptcra lichenovii), 
Sec. When he was at Marlhoiougli House tliis a\'iary was in a 
room adjoining his bedroom, and it has now been removed to 
Buckingham Palace, to an ai)artment close to the King's. The 
King knows his birds individually, and to a large extent attends 
to them personally, making real pets of them, his favourite being 
a sj)rightly Australian species, a Cockatoo-Parrakeet {Calopsittaciis 
novce-hollandicc). Strange to state, it was found as a " stray " 
in the gardens of Marlborough House some years ago. Now it 
sleeps in the King's bedroom, and delights to perch itself on 
the King's finger or on his shoulder, and chatters in soft, con- 
fiding voice, now and again repeating " Poor Joey," " Poor old 

A New Petrel for Australia. — In the Proc. Linn. Sac. N.S. 
Wales, vol. xxxv., part 4, 26th October, Mr. A. F. Basset 
Hull, Sydney, has described a new Petrel, which he has named 
(Estrelata niontana (Lord Howe Petrel). It is one of the largest 
and most robust of the Gistrelata, and does not closely resemble 
any other member of its genus. An adult skin and a series of 
eggs were taken on 3rd June, 1910, for Mr. Hull by Mr. Herbert 
Wilson, who also furnished interesting particulars concerning the 
habits of the bird. The bird, which is locally known as the " Big 
Hill Muttoii-Bird," breeds on Mount Gower, Lord Howe Island. 
The mountain is 2,840 feet in height, and, together with Mount 
Lidgbird, rising sheer out of the ocean, makes an imposing picture, 
judging by the excellent photograph (taken by Mr. Hull during 
a previous trip) which accompanies the article. There are three 
other plates, from photographs by Mr. A. R. M'CuUoch, showing 
the breeding-place of (E. niontana, an adult bird at entrance to 
burrow under overhanging rock, and a downy nestling. The 
locality was very rocky, with a few patches of cutting-grass. The 
nests examined were in burrows some 6 feet in length, and mostly 
in wet ground. No nest was found in the open, but many were 
under the beetling boulders in inaccessible places. The nest 
itself was a large accumulation of cutting-grass, in which the 
single egg was almost concealed. All the burrows examined had 
two outlets. Average dimensions in inches of an egg, 2.52 x i.g. 
Mr. Hull is to be congratulated upon the work he is doing amongst 
he little-known Petrels off our coast. 

48 Reviews. [isf'ju 


[" The Feather Trade : the Case for the Defence."] 

A PAPER by Mr. C. F. Downham, of Messrs. Sciama and Co. Ltd., 
read before the London Chamber of Commerce in November, 
igio, has been issued in neatly printed pamphlet form. The 
paper purports to show " some facts and fallacies in connection 
with the trade in fancy feathers." The author treats on " Rare 
Birds, their Habits and Habitats," "The Ethics of Sport, &c.," 
" The Egret," " BircL-of -Paradise," " India and Elsewhere," 
&c. There is also a supplement containing some foreign laws 
and copies of official correspondence — altogether the result of 
much labour on the part of its author. 

The Melbourne Chamber of Commerce has requested a criticism 
of the pamphlet from a local standpoint, and Mr. A. H. E. 
Mattingley has obligingly complied. He opens the subject by 
stating that the wearing of plumes of birds is a relic of barbarism, 
which has evolved, through ages, down to the present-day 
" fashion." This fashion is catered for by certain business people, 
who establish a demand, each season, for certain articles for 
personal adornment, and so " set " the fashion. Rich and poor 
alike become its devotees, vying with each other in becoming as 
fashionable as their finances permit. The fashion of wearing 
the plumage of birds, as established by the " fashion " caterers, 
has become not only popular, but has grown to alarming pro- 
portions ; indeed, to-day it is well-nigh insatiable. The feather 
traders, to supply this great demand, are depleting the world 
of certain of its useful birds. Eminent naturalists agree that 
the place of birds in nature is to police the earth and to preserve 
law and order in our fields, forests, and waters by keeping 
in check the ravages of noxious insects and animals which, if 
unchecked, would devastate these parts. Thus, it is maintained 
that birds are indissolubly linked with a country's domestic 
economy and welfare. Therefore, it is asked, is the interest of 
comparatively a few plumage merchants to endanger the greater 
national interests of the agriculturist, pastoralist, orchardist, &c. ? 

From his connection with the trade Mr. Downham cannot be 
suspected of being an unbiassed writer, but he need not descend to 
disparaging remarks or irrelevances by calling his opponents in 
opinion, who have no " axes to grind," " irresponsible senti- 
mentalists," " reckless members of bird protection societies," &c. 

In connection with the method of collecting Egret plumes, the 
value of " The Feather Trade " as a pamphlet is at once dis- 
counted by the evidence of its principal witness, ]M. Leon Laglaize, 
who at one time solemnly affirmed, as an eye-witness, that in 
Venezuela, " after the breeding season, when the young ones 
leave their nests to try their wings, the abandoned nests are 
searched, and a valuable amount of feathers is collected there ; 
the feathers have been skilfully rolled in to furnish and soften 
the interior of the nest. These nest feathers are the best kind, 

^'"1;,, •] Rnnetiis. 49 

lor they Ikinc hccn i)ulk'cl oil hy tlir l.inl itsrll hflorf layiiif,^ tlic 
eggs." As such a statement is ridiculous, and contrary to natural 
history facts, it has been suggested that M. Laglaize has been led 
into witnessing the collecting of comparatively worthless moulted 
plumes as a blind to the real object of a planned slaughter. Under 
date i4/i/o(), His Britannic Majesty's Minister in Venezuela, in 
a communication to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, 
states : — " There is no doubt that by far the larger part of the 
feathers collected and exported are taken from the birds shot for 
the purpose. The estimates as to the exact pro})ortions vary 
slightly, but 75 i)er cent, may be taken as a reliable figure for the 
pro}X)rtion of feathers collected from birds killed and 25 per cent, 
for tlie proportion of moulted feathers collected." 

In cha])ter ii. Mr. Downham expresses doubts about the 
genuineness of Mr. Mattingley's photographs of the star\ing 
young Egrets in Riverina, New South Wales, without attempting 
to disprove the statements which appeared in Tin' Emu {\o\. vii., 
pp. 71-73) with the pictures. Mr. Downham hazards the opinion 
that the presence of the photographer was sufficient to cause the 
state of collapse of the nestlings as depicted in the photographs, 
which he terms " bogus," and even suggests that the i)arent 
birds were not killed at all, but were merely frightened away by 
the presence of Mr. Mattingley and his companion — downright 
presumption on the ])art of the clever writer of " The Feather 
Trade." The illustration of the nest of starvelings imploring 
food from passing birds shows plainly that the young ones were 
looking in different directions ; therefore, they could not be 
looking at the photogra})her, as suggested. The R.A.O.U. would 
not have reproduced Mr. Mattingley's startling (and now historic) 
photographs had it not bona-fide evidence of the state of the 
rookery as observed after it had been raided by the plume- 
hunters. Furthermore, there is the statement by Colonel C. S. 
Ryan, a past President of the Union, that personally he was 
aware of another Egret rookery on a station in Riverina that was 
raided by plume-hunters. The rookery was annihilated. Colonel 
Ryan possesses the name of the principal raider, and can vouch 
that over 400 backs of birds containing plumes were sold to the 
trade. {]'idc evidence of Colonel Ryan, " Report from the Select 
Committee of the House of Lords, Plumage Prohil:)ition Bill " 
(1908), p. ^i.) 

Even if " the Government of Venezuela"* is now legislating to 
})rotect its Heronries and to " farm " Egrets for the sake of 
" moulted " (?) feathers, in Australia, at all events, and doubtless 
elsewhere, the beautiful Egrets were cruelly slain during the 
breeding season, when the plumes were prime, for " the feather 

* It is stated that the prohibition refers to the small sub-State of Apure 
onlv, and not to Federal Venezuela. 

50 Reviews. [isJ^Tuiy 

[" Nests and Eggs of Birds Found Breeding in Australia and Tasmania,'" 
by Alfred J. North, C.M.Z.S.. &c.] 

This publication of the Australian Museum proceeds slowly. 
The Trustees have issued part i of vol. iii. It was intended to 
publish 120 pages — about one-third of the volume — but insufficiency 
of paper has prevented this. It contains the Family CuculidcB 
and the Sub-Family CentropodincE, forming the concluding portion 
of the Order PicaricB ; the Family Loriidce and portion of the 
Family Cacatiiidce of the Order Psittaci. As in the previous 
parts, the illustrations of birds are reproduced from drawings 
made by the late Mr. Neville Cayley, who was also responsible 
for hand-colouring the plates of eggs in the coloured copies. 
Most of the figures of eggs of the Family Ciicitlidce have been 
published in previous parts. The eggs of the different species 
of the Order Psitiaci all being white, no plate of Australian birds' 
eggs is issued with this part. Mr. R. Etheridge, the Curator, 
advises that part 2 is already in the printer's hands, and will be 
gone on with immediately on the receipt of the paper, which, 
it is anticipated, will not be long delayed. 


["Check-list of North American Birds," prepared by a Committee of 
the American Ornithologists' Union. Third edition (revised). New York. 

This valuable work has reached Australia at an opportune moment. 
The Check-hst Committee of the Royal Australasian Ornithologists' 
Union is already at work, and the members must profit by the 
study o£ this publication, which has stood the test of time. 

It will interest Australians to note that trinomials are used to 
indicate sub-species. This is certainly a departure from the 
present Australian method of using a totally different name, 
which leaves the student without any indication that the liird 
under notice may not be a species, but a sub-species only. 

One point that lessens the value of the A.O.U. Check-list, to 
Australian ornithologists, at least, is the omission of nearly all 
synonyms. Had the corresponding name in Sharpe's " Hand-list 
of Birds " been given as a synonym, the usefulness of the A.O.U. 
Check-list would have been increased to workers abroad. Few 
will recognize the Curlew-Stint under the name of Erolia fcr- 

Though the Check-list forms a large volume of 420 pages, it contains 
no descriptions. The scientific name and authority, the vernacular 
name, the number of the species in the previous edition, a refer- 
ence to the original description, and the range of each species, com- 
pletes the information given in the List. Sub-species are similarly 
treated. Each is denoted by a letter. 

The nomenclature conforms to the " Revised Code of Nomen- 
clature " issued by the A.O.U. in July, 1908. Changes are 
" numerous," owing to the " strict application of the law 01 

'■■^'.•,.^'-] Reviews. 51 

priority. " Thout;!! admittedly out ol date. I he old classificatioii 
ot l)irds adojHed a " ([uartei- ol a reiitiiry aj^o " is usi'd, to a\'()id 
" annoyance." 

In \ie\v ot the \ast cUllerence in nonienclatuie, even in taniily 
names, one looks lorward with interest to the })ublication of the 
Australian Check-list. While Sharjx', in his " Handdist," uses 
the name Colymbida; for the Divers and Loons of the Northern 
Hemisphere, the A.O.U. Checkdist uses the name Colymbidce 
ft)r the (irebes and the name Cuviida-. for the Divers.* Again, the 

* " British authors generally iiave usetl Podiccps lor the (irebes, and 
just as consistently has it been rejected by American writers. The reasons 
given by the latter can be best understood by a (j notation from a very recent 
liaper on this subject. Allen {Bull. Amcr. Mus. Nat. Hisi., vol', xxiii., 
p. 289, 1907) stated : — ' Certain naturalists, more especially the English, 
have, however, persistently employed Colymhus for tfie Loons and other 
names for the Grebes, clearly without good reason, possibly following 
Latham, who, in 1787, proposed Podiccps for the Grebes, an<l adopted 
Colymhus (Latham nee Linn.) for the lloons ' ; on p. 290 he added: — 
'Latham's "Genus Ixxi.x. Podiccps (Coly)iihus Linn.)" is a substitute name 
for Colynilius Linnanis, and consists of what was left of that group after 
the Loons were removed from it by Brisson. It is, therefore, an exact 
synonym of the restricted genus Colymbus Brisson of the Check-list. From 
the modern point of view, Latham had no right to re-introduce, on a later 
page, the name Colymbus (Genus Ixxxvi. Colymbus Latham) as a new genus 
for the Loons, after making it a synonym of his own genus Podiccps, to say 
nothing of Brisson's having separated the Loons from the Grebes as a 
distinct genus in i 760, or twenty-seven years before. According to modern 
usage in other similar cases, Podiccps has no standing, being a pure synonym 
of an earlier genus.' I^pon referring to Latham's work I find that the pre- 
ceding is obviously a misinterpretation of Latham's action. In the Xth 
Ed. of the Systcma Natures (p. 135) Linnc included four species under his 
genus Colymbus (Brisson indepoidcntly introduced Colymbus for the Grebes : 
he never subdivided a Linnean genus ; he used the same names as Linne, 
often with different significations, as, for instance, Mcn^us, which he nsecl 
for the Divers, though Linnc had utilized it for the Mergansers). Linne, in 
his Xllth Edition of the Systcma Nciturrp, increased the numlicr of species 
under Colymbus to eleven. 

" Latham was the first writer to sul)divii!e this genus, and iiis method 
was perfectly legitimate, and, moreover, quite intelligible. He noteil 
fifteen species, but separated the Linnean genus into three, accepting Uria 
for the Guillemots, restricting Colymbus to the Divers, and introducing 
Podiccps for the Grebes. As he worked with the Linnean system, he 
indicated in brackets the Linnean genus in the few instances where he 
made improvements. This is clearly seen as, when including Sylvia (p. 287), 
Pcrdix (p. 290), Numcuius (p. 291), and Phalaropus (p. 294), he noted against 
each the Linnean equivalents, Motacilla, Tctrao, Scolopax, and Tvinga 
respectively. But such can by no means be called substitute names, as in 
each case Latham retained the Linnean names for a restricted portion of 
the Linnean genus. There can be no appeal whatever from Latham's 
action, and consequently Podiccps must be used for the Grebes. Latham's 
division" was endorsed by such non-English ornithologists as Retzius (1800), 
Bcchstein (1803), Meisner (1804), Koch (1816), Vieillot (1816), Cuvier (1817), 
Temminck (1820), Lesson (1828), and Kaup (1829), to mention only the 
first names that come to hand. 

" In 1829 Kaup (Skizz. Entw.-Gesch Nat. Syst.) introduced new generic 
names as follows : — On p. 35 he retained Podiccps for the P. minor group ; 
on p. 41 he proposed Dytes for P. cornutus and arcticus ; on p. 44 Pcdrtaithyia 
for P. subcfistatus ; on p. 49 Proctopus for P. auritus ; and p. 72, Lophaithyia 
for P. cristatus. Here, again, though the names cannot be accepted with 

52 Reviews. [,sf"juiy 

PlutidcB of Sharpe's " Hand-list " is replaced by the Anhingidce of 
the A.O.U. Check-list. 

The diiftculty experienced by zoogeographers of drawing a 
dividing line between the Nearctic and Neotropical regions has 
been overcome by taking the political boundary between the 
United States and Mexico as the southern boundary of " North 
America." Lower California and adjacent islands are included 
in " North America." 

The Australian Check-list Committee would do well to accept 
an extract given in the preface, namely : — " That every technical 
name be followed by a vernacular name selected with due regard 
to its desirability." 

American ornithologists are fortunate in having so complete 
a record to assist them. 



To the Editors of " The Eiiiii." 
Sirs, — The chief criticism of my work, " The Birds, of Australia," 
by my Australian friends has concerned the nomenclature I have 
adopted, and, as it seems to me that the jninciples which 1 follow 
are not clearly understood, I herewith explain myself. 

The universal nomenclature of zoology is based upon the loth 
edition of Linne's " Systema Naturae," and the acceptance of all 
scientific names is governed by the International Code, formulated 
by the various International Congresses of zoologists. The 
scientific names I am using for Australian birds are those selected 
in pursuance of the laws of the International Code. By so doing 
I am choosing the name which has the best chance of being of 
permanent value, and, moreover, the one which will be easily 
recognized by every scientific worker, whether he be an Australian 
or not. For, by subscribing to the International Code, and only 
preferring the name which is correct according to the Code, I 
adopt that name which will be utilized by every other orni- 
thologist throughout the world who also obeys the coded laws, 
whatever his nationality, and whether he knows of my choice or 
not. This point appears to have been overlooked by Australian 
ornithologists generally, as, with a conservatism which is 
antagonistic to progress, they have desired to use a name well 
known to themselves, though probably unknown to extra- 
Australian workers. To follow such a course in a work like 
mine would be fatal to its utility, and therefore could not be con- 
sidered for a moment. 

full generic rank, the method of restriction being correctly employed, no 
subsequent alterations can be admitted that would depreciate Kaup's 
division. Hence, Podiceps must be used for the Dabchicks and Dytcs for 
the Grebes, the later introduced names being of only sub-generic value." 
— Gregory M. Mathews, Nov. Zool., vol. xvii. 

V"'^-^^>^'-l Correspondence. 53 

The strongest feature of the International Code is what is 
known as the " law of priority." By this law the correct name 
for any bird is that given by its first describer or discoverer. 
Now, my rigid acceptance of this law has apparently given 
offence to my Australian friends, yet therein they show a strange 
inconsistency. Without exception, workers in ornithology desire 
to have their work duly recognized, and one way is the quotation 
of the author of a new species and the use of the name proposed 
by him. This is especially desired by every working ornithologist, 
and the only way they can expect to have their claims acknow- 
ledged is through the working of the law of priority. Yet these 
same workers decry my alterations as " upsetting " names 
commonly in use by them ; but if the law of priority is applicable 
to present-day workers, how much more should it be meted to 
those whose works are all that speak for them ! It should be 
remembered that these early writers, whose names I accept, were 
quite as enthusiastic and earnest as any of our own time. It 
cannot be denied that it is due to such writers that their names 
should be recognized, as it is only just that the merit should be 
given to those whose right it is. That is all I am doing. 

The gist of the whole trouble at present is that the " Catalogue 
of Birds " of the British Museum, which work has been accepted 
as a standard authority, did not follow the loth but the 12th 
edition of the " Systema Naturae " of Linne, and, moreover, 
the law of priority was only half-heartedly accepted, custom 
being allowed to overrule it in many cases. When I made up my 
" Hand-list " I used the British Museum " Hand-list " as a basis ; 
consequently many alterations have to be now made. However, 
I am hoping that,^ by the time I have finished, the nomenclature 
of Australian birds will be comparatively fixed, and comparable 
with that of North American birds, which has been arrived at 
by 30 years' co-operation and criticism. At the present time the 
Pala^arctic avifauna is being carefully worked at, and the correct 
nomenclature determined, by Dr. Ernst Hartert, of Tring. I 
am much interested in this, as the majority of the Australian 
Charadriiformes occur in that fauna as breeding birds. 

I would like to impress that the Code is made governing all 
zoology, and that its jn-ovisions are therefore extensive. Laws 
to control Australian ornithological names, not subservient to the 
International Code, as suggested by some writers, are, of course, 
a practical impossibility. Objection has been made to the 
alteration of generic names on account of their pre-occupation 
in other branches of zoology. To those who would thus plead 
for the retention of an invalid name I would point out the incon- 
venience such a course would cause to workers who have to review 
faunas. The only means of knowing whether a name refers to an 
insect, mammal, or bird is by the operation of the law of priority, 
and hence validity of the earliest name. Otherwise, we should 
have the absurdity of never knowing whether a writer was dealing 
with an insect or a bird, and consequent confusion. The recorders 

^A Correspondence. [1^^ Tui ■ 

in the Zoological Record would be faced with problems, and their 
work might contain errors which would entail endless research 
to rectify. In consequence of writers not strictly observing the 
laws, slight errors of this description have crept in. even as late 
as the last volume. 

I have been taken to task for using trinomials. When Dr. 
Hartert introduced trinomials into a paper on Australian birds, 
the comment in The Emu (vol. v., p. 167, 1906), reads : — " It 
would therefore appear that, in spite of all the ' immigration 
restriction,' trinomial nomenclature has got into Australia after 
all." Yet, on p. 140, A. G. Campbell had written regarding the 
birds of Kangaroo Island : — " Concerning the nomenclature for 
these intermediate or island forms, it is difficult to prescribe. 
I would suggest the specific name halmaturina .... and 
should subsequent research and more material warrant it, that 
the same name be also sub-specifically applied to . . . ." 
Then on page 143 he writes, " Zoster ops Jialmaiiirina (new sub- 
species.)," though this is the bird (others also named similarly) 
which he concluded should be considered specifically distinct. 

Such inconsistent naming is quite obviated by the use and 
recognition of the trinomial system of nomenclature. 

Australian ornithologists are agreed that there are such things 
as island forms and representative races, which are now generally 
called sub-species. As stated by one of the " old school " of 
British ornithologists, " no careful student of animals can deny 
that sub-species really do exist in nature, but the question is 
whether it is advisable to give them a special name." The 
necessity of some method of terminology for distinguishing sub- 
species is now accepted by Australian workers, but they have 
consistently used binomials. 

A. J. North, in " Austr. Mus. Special Catalogue," No. i, vol. i., 
pp. 288, 289 (1904), transcribes a paper by Dr. Dwight, jun., 
from The Auk, vol. xxi., p. 64 (1904), of which I attach sentences : 
— " Another, but less potent, cause for the rise of the sub-species 
is found in the unnecessary prominence accorded to it in our books 
and other publications. Wherever we turn, i&e find it, to all appear- 
ances, on equal terms with ftill species. . . ." North then 
adds : — " Trinomial nomenclature has not yet been adopted by 
Australian ornithologists, although that does not protect Aus- 
tralian ornithological literature from the hair-splitting of the 
most ardent sub-species maker resident elsewhere. Comparatively 
very few British and Continental ornithologists make use of the 
sub-specific distinction. It is useful, however, and has this 
advantage — one knows at a glance that the added trinomial 
refers only to a geographical variation of a typical form, whereas 
in binomial nomenclature one may possibly discover, after the 
loss of much time in searching out an original description, that 
the supposed specific value does not exist, and that a name has 
been given to a form that very often does not merit even sub- 
specific recognition." 


^fgjf"'] Correspondence. cc 

Here is the opinion of a worker who, though not using tri- 
nomials, can perceive the benefits accruing from their usage. 
The benefit North points out, however, is only one of many. 
Nomenclature is only an aid to scientific knowledge, and its correct 
use is such that by means of it relationships can be easily ex- 
pressed. Tlie use of binomials for sub-species is misleading, as 
thereby the relationships are completely hidden, whilst tri- 
nomials, as North notes, show at a glance the value and status 
of a form. Since North wrote, British and Continental orni- 
thologists have almost unanimously a])proved of the trinomial 
system, the only exce])tions being the last remnant ol tlie Strick- 
landian school. 

By means of trinomials we can show the connections of the 
Australian avifauna in an easily understood manner, which other- 
wise is not practical)]e. In this connection I will quote Von 
^hcring (Auk. xxi. (1(^04), p. 313), who thus expresses my 
'views : — 

" These facts of geographical distribution show us that the only 
system of nomenclature well applicable to the discussion of 
zoographical problems is the trinomial. 

" The use of binomials as employed in the excellent ' Hand-list ' 
of Dr. Bowdler Sharpe may be more advantageous for collection 
purposes, but it combines in a very inconvenient manner well- 
defined species with local races. Such facts as the vast dis- 
tribution of Pitangiis sulphiiyatiis (L.) and Myriozetetes similis 
(Spix.) are completely hidden by the use of binomial nomen- 

I have hitherto accepted that the Australian ornithologist 
thoroughly understands how the trinomial is used, and what is 
considered a sub-species. It may not, however, be out of place 
to emphasize the point that a sub-species is considered as a 
representative race— that is, two birds living together in the 
same districts cannot be considered sub-species, however slight 
the differential features might be ; these must be permanent to 
make the two birds specifically distinct, otherwise the differences 
must be put down to individual variation. If two birds, refer- 
able to the same species, but inhabiting different areas, be found 
to show constant slight separable characters, these are ranked 
as sub-species, even though certain individuals in each area may 
be inseparable. 

A good instance in Australian ornithology may be quoted as 
an example. In my " Hand-list " I read : — 
Oreocichla cuneata, De Vis. 
,, heinei, Cabanis. 

„ lunulata, Latham; 

,, macrorhyncha, Gould. 

I have here four binomials which may represent four species, 
or four sub-species, or four species and sub-species — no one can 
tell which without examination of the four birds. 

By the terminology I propose adopting we should have instead— 

^6 Corvespondence. [isf"l"iy 

T Urdus lunnlatus cuncatns, De Vis. 
,, „ heinei, Cabanis. 

,, „ lumdatus, Latham. 

,, ,, macrorhynchus, Gould. 

This shows at once that one species of Thrush is recognizable, 
and that four races inhabiting different areas have been adopted, 
and that the oldest-named form is lunulatus, Latham. 

The changing of well-known names is, of course, upsetting, but 
that Australians will refuse to accept them I do not admit. There 
are many workers sufficiently interested in their avifauna to wish 
to give every bird its correct name. It is surprising how quickly 
one takes on a new name. The alterations pointed out liy Sharjic 
a few years ago are now accepted. 

Now let me explain " virtual tautonymy." The Linnean 
genera are usually complex, and no indication as to the typical 
species is evident. Linne himself made it known that the best- 
known species should be regarded as the type ; but then the 
question arises. Which was the best-known species of Linne ? 
The only method of ascertaining the type has hitherto been that 
of elimination, which, of course, selects the least-known species 
to Linne. That of necessity proved unsatisfactory, more 
especially through the fact that Brisson's independent creation 
of genera influenced later authors. 

Recently, the selection of types by the designation of sub- 
sequent writers was approved of : but here again nothing satis- 
factory could be attained. 

When Linne introduced his genera, the birds had been usually 
known by a single Latin name. Very often previous authors had 
differed, and two names would be current. Linne strongly 
objected to the idea of using the same name for the genus and 
species, or, as we now call it, " tautonymy." Therefore, when 
he selected for the name of a genus a name previously used for 
a species, he combined with it a new specific name. When there 
were two names current he combined the two for his new name. 
Thus the Wryneck had been known as lynx to some authors, by 
others it had been called Torqiiilla. Linne made of this bird a new 
genus, which he called lynx, and the bird itself he called /. tor- 
quilla. Brisson called his genus Torquilla. 

Instances as simple as the above are rare, but this will show 
the reasoning simply. 

It is the opinion of the Nomenclatorial Commission that if the 
species having in its synonymy the same name as Linne's generic 
name be selected as type it will save much confusion. I am pre- 
pared to endorse this opinion. 

Thus, Linne created a genus Charadrius, and included a number 
of species. The species Hiaticula was known previously as 
Charadrios sen. Hiatimla. I would certainly accept this species 
as Linne's typical species. It is only reasonable to suppose that 
Linne was more familiar with this bird than with the bird that 
has passed duty as type— viz., Pluvialis. That has nothing 

^"'- ^' ] CovrespofKlence. 57 

much to do with tlio inattei-, but I believe it a justiiiablc 

Then, as regards Tringcu the species Ocrophiis (wrongly spelt 
Ochropiis) is indicated as having been known as Tringa, and I 
wouki accept this as type. Linnc notes that the prior name of 
the (at present) type was Canutus. Here, again, it seems to me 
that l.inne would be more familiar with Ocrophiis, a Swedish 
breeding bird, than with ('(niultis. 

The acceptance of this " \-irtual lautonymy " will lix the types 
of some genera which otherwise would be a source of great trouble, 
and I consider it a most scientific method of selecting the iy\)Q'?> 
of the Linnean genera. 

In explanation of my inability to admit so many genera, I 
write the i'ollowing }\- the geneia Cluiradyiv^. and Tringa as 
accepted by me : — 

Charatlyiiis, as I use it, inchules Cluiradrius, OchlJiodyoniiis, 
Aigialilcs, Pcltohyas, and liiidvoinias of the Cat. Birds, xxiv. 

It is admitted, even ])y ornithologists who separated the 
genera Chayadrius and .^gialites (including Ochlhodromus), that 
" structurally there is no difference between .Egialites and 
Charadniis," and that there is a complete passage from forms 
with a distinct nuptial garb to those which have none, through 
species like the Kentish Plover {C. alexandriniis), so that it is 
impossible to separate genera on that account. 

I cannot follow my late friend, Bowdler Sharpe, in separating 
Charadrius aitstralis widely from Eudromias morinelliis {aitctorum). 
The only structural difference is the scaling in front of the meta- 
tarsus, which is covered with hexagonal scales in front in all other 
species of Charadrius (as defined above), but with larger trans- 
verse scutes in the so-called Peltohyas. 

Even if it were admitted as a generic character, I cannot see how 
so much importance can be attached to this difference as to make 
a sub-family on account of it. That such undue importance 
cannot be attached to this peculiarity is clearly shown by the 
figures on pages 91 and 308 of the Cat. Birds, xxiv., where the 
front of the metatarsus is covered in the middle with unbroken 
transverse scales, while towards the tibia the scales are broken 
up into small hexagonal scutes. 

Tringa, as I use it, includes Totanus, Helodromas, Hcteractitis, 
Tringoides, Terekia, Glottis, Psciidoglottis, and Rhvacophi/ns of 
the Cat. Birds, xxiv. 

This genus — according to the most modern rule of fixing geno- 
types, to be called Tringa and not Totaniis — is divided into no 
fewer than eight genera by Bowdler Sharpe, as above. The reasons 
for this division are, however, in my opinion, not valid. The com- 
parative lengths between the bills and feet, metatarsus and feet, 
or bills, &c., are artificial characters, which need not be of any 
taxonomic value, and in the present case certainly are not. Also, 
the other characters relied upon in the " Catalogue of Birds " 
(xxiv., pp. 338, 339) are of minor importance, as they are bridged 

58 Correspondence. \ i^'^ 


over from one supposed genus to the other by intermediate ones. 
There is no other course than to unite them. 

Erolia, as I use it, includes Pelidna, Pisohia {Limonites), 
Ancylocheiliis, and Hetcropygia of the Cat. Birds, xxiv. 

The species here united are distinguished from the genus Tringa 
(above) chiefly by the entire or almost entire absence of con- 
necting webs between the anterior toes, and in life a more flexible, 
softer bill. 

On account of slight differences in the comparative length of 
the bills and feet, or legs, shape of the bill, and colouration, the 
birds obviously belonging to this genus have been placed in four 
different genera — a proceeding which only adds to the difficulty 
of their study, and has no advantage whatever. 

Of course, colour cannot be considered as of generic value, or 
else what will one do with an albino ? — I am, &c., 


Langley Mount, Watford, Herts., England, 7/4/11. 

[Australian authors have been following the British Museum 
Catalogues. Are they wrong in doing so ? It is interesting to 
note Mr. Mathews' conversion from the binomial to the trinomial 
system since the publication of his " Hand-list " {Emu, Suppl., 
vol. vii., igo8). In the interests of Mr. Mathews' new and im- 
portant work on " The Birds of Australia " (the initial parts of 
which, however, although in subscribers' hands, have not yet 
reached the editors of The Emu for notice), and of an Australian 
" Check-list " of birds, now being compiled by the R.A.O.U., 
Mr. Mathews' letter is published at length.— Eds.] 


To flic Editors, of " The Emit." 
Sirs, — In his " Alterations in the Nomenclature of ' Hand-list 
of the Birds of Australia,' "* Mr. Gregory M. Mathews, with 
ruthless pen, strikes 21 species from his " Hand-list," and gives 
this curt note in his explanatory remarks : — " I do not include the 
avifaunas of Norfolk and Lord Howe Islands, as these certainly 
are not Australian." 

Why this sudden and remarkable change of opinion on the part 
of Mr. Mathews ? So far as I can ascertain from my small col- 
lection of avithors, Mr. Mathews was the first to incorporate, 
without any reservation, the birds of these two islands in a 
" Hand-list "t that purported to relate exclusively to the " Birds 
of Australasia" (not "Australia," as quoted in the recent 
" Alterations "). 

Gould says J : — " I think it will be well to append an account 

* T/ic Emu, voL x., p. 318. 

f The Emu, voL vii. (Jan., 1908). 

J " Handbook Birds Aust." (1865), App., p. 523. 

^"'" ^' ] Cnrreaf^nnrhnre. ^Q 

of the species pertaining to other countries, about twenty-four in 
number, which have been figured in the foUo edition .... 
as I believe that the interest of the present volumes will thereby 
be enhanced to those who possess the illustrated work. The 
species alluded to comj^rise the curious Didunciilus styigirostris, 
Sonioplera wallacci, Strigops hahroptilus, and a few others from 
New Zealand, Norfolk and Lord Howe Islands, &c." Eight 
species of birds peculiar to Loid Howe or Xoilolk Islands were 
included in this a])pendi.\. 

In 1888 Dr. Ramsay included in his " Tabular List of all the 
Australian Birds at Present Known to the Author " a list of species 
found on Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands. Although the two 
pages containing this list are headed " List of Australian Birds," 
the fact that they are placed at the end of the volume, and include 
not only the si)ecies peculiar to. but also the mainland species 
rt'corded from these islands, already included in the preceding 
pages, warrants the conclusion that Dr. Ramsay regarded 
the island species as belonging to a region scj^arate from Aus- 

North,* under the heading " Nests and Eggs of Birds Found 
Breeding on Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands," says : — " These 
remote insular dependencies of New South Wales, situated in 
the Pacific Ocean, possess a great interest to students of Aus- 
tralian ornithology, as within their limited areas several genera 
of birds are found that are represented in the Australian and 
New Zealand regions. Both islands, however, in regard to their 
avifauna, decidedly belong to the Australian region. . . ." 
This list comprises twelve species peculiar to these islands and 
three common to the mainland also. 

In my " Birds of Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands "f I re- 
marked that " it may be said that the whole avifauna of these 
islands is more distinctly Australian in character, although the 
Wood-Hen [Ocydromiis sylvestris) and the extinct Notornis alba 
and Nestor pvodiictiis may be regarded as of greater value in 
determining the original route of migration." 

From a zoogeographical point of view these islands would appear 
to belong to separate regions, neither of which can be regarded 
as originally Australian. In his " Zoogeographic Scheme for the 
Mid-Pacific,"J Hedley places Lord Howe Island on the extreme 
south-west and Norfolk Island on the eastern extremity of his 
" Limit of Continental Area," and the route of migration of fauna 
from Antarctica is shown as j^assing through New Zealand and 
Norfolk Island, with a lateral branch to Lord Howe Island. If 
this scheme were adopted for the avifauna of these islands they 
would more properly be assigned to the Neo-Zelanic region. 
Recent discoveries in the terrestrial mollusca of Norfolk Island 

* " Nests and Mggs of Birds l-'oiind Breeding in Australia and Tasmania " 
(1889), p. 407. 

^ Proc. Linn. Soc. .Y..SMI'. (1909), vol. xxxiv., p. 640. 
XProc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W. (1889), p. 391. 

6o Correspondence. risf'TMiy 

and the Kermadec group, however, will probably result in altering 
this arrangement. Lord Howe Island may still be regarded as 
Neo-Zelanic, while Norfolk Island will probably be separated 
entirely, and classed, with the Kermadecs, as Oceanic. 

New Zealand authors do not appear to have regarded Lord Howe 
and Norfolk Islands as belonging to their region. On the other 
hand, Australian authors have in several cases " tacked " them on 
to the mainland, while Mr. Mathews bodily incorporated them, only 
to unceremoniously eject them again ! 

I am strongly of opinion that the avifauna of Lord Howe and 
Norfolk Islands should be included in any list of Australian birds. 
Both politically come under the control of Australia — Lord Howe 
Island being a dependency of New , South Wales, and forming 
part of the State electorate of East Sydney ! while Norfolk 
Island, though not a dependency in the proper sense of the term, 
is under the administration of the Governor of New South Wales, 
and will, in all probability, shortly be placed under the control of 
the Commonwealth. 

The continent of Australia, with Tasmania, has been divided 
into regions or sub-regions by various writers. For example. 
Professor Spencer * proposed the Eyrean, Torresian, and Bassian 
faunal sub-regions. Hedley t proposed four regions for the 
marine fauna — viz., the Adelaidean (from Melbourne along the 
south coast of Australia), the Peronian (east coast of Tasmania, 
Gippsland, and New South Wales), the Solanderian (from Moreton 
Bay to Torres Strait), and the Dampierian (from Torres Strait 
to Houtman's Abrolhos). For the avifauna. Hall t. subdivided 
each of Spencer's regions into three areas. 

There appears to be no valid reason why the two groups — 
Lord Howe Island with the Admiralty and other islets, and 
Norfolk Island with Phillip Island, Nepean Island, and the 
smaller islets — should not be attached to Australia as an avi- 
faunal sub-region, for which I propose the name Phillipian, in 
honour of Cai^tain Phillip, first Governor of New South Wales, 
under whose administration Norfolk Island was settled, and Lord 
Howe Island was discovered by the settlement party, in charge 
of Lieutenant Henry Lidgbird Ball. 

A check-list of the birds of Australia should certainly include 
all species found in any of the dependencies of Australia. In 
iqo8 Mr. Mathews adopted the title of " Hand-list of the Birds 
of Australasia." This, in a geographical sense, should include 
a far wider region than even the continent of Australia, Tasmania, 
and their respective dependencies. If, as now appears to be the 
case, he proposes to amend the title by substituting " Australia " 
for " Australasia," the lesser region still should include all the 
dependencies of the Commonwealth, and amongst these are Lord 
Howe, Norfolk, and the Macquarie Islands. The latter, from a 

* " Horn Scientific Expedition Report" (1896), vol. i., p. 197. 
t Proc. Linn. Soc. iV.5.Tr. (1903). p. 880. 
+ " Key to the Birds of Australia" (1899). 

^■°';,^,^'] Coyyespoiidence. 6l 

zoogeographical standitoiiit. aw certainly Neo-Zelanic. and nol 
Australian, i)ul no one has hilhcrlo suggested that tlu;y should 
be sei)arated Ironi Tasmania.— I am, &c.. 


Sydney, 2()/5/ii. 


To Ihc Edilors oj " The Hinu." 
Sirs, — I liax'c noticed in the Cuniinoint'eaUh (i'lzeilc ol 25th 
]\Iarch, 191 1, a i)roclamation prohibiting the export ol Australian 
birds, and, in addition, their feathers, eggs, &c. The idea is an 
excellent one, and some such measure of protection should long 
ago have been adopted for the preservation of our birds. There 
are one or two species, however, mentioned hi the schedule of the 
Gazette the exportation of which, in the interests of a large number 
of other more useful birds, should not be stoi)i)ed. If the ])ro- 
hibition as regards these birds be insisted upon it will certainly 
have disastrous results. The first of these is the Galah {Cacatua 
roseicdpilla), and another the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacaliia 
galerita). The Galah occurs in New South Wales and Southern 
Queensland in such numbers that it is a real pest to wheat-growing 
farmers. Unless the bird-trapper is on the spot, the farmer, 
station-owner, or manager will simply poison the lot, and with them 
large numbers of Pigeons, Parrots, Black-breasted Plovers, and 
many other species. 

It is impossible for the wheat-grower to overlook the ravages 
of the flocks of Galahs which latest the standing wheat crops, 
as the damage done is very considerable. Knowing the value of 
many of the bircis which will inevitably be destroyed, the farmer 
will not use poison if the bird-trapper is coming around periodically. 
Hence, if the exportation is stopped, the trapper is unable to make 
a living, and no corresponding good results. One very beautiful 
species, the Polytelis barrabaiidi, is almost extinct, through the 
poison laid for the Galahs, and unless the poisoning is stopped 
the poor bird is gone for ever. The " Green-Leek " was very plenti- 
ful a few years ago, but now it is hardly to be found. In fact, on 
the Murray and Murrumbidgee it has almost completely dis- 

If the exportation of the Galah and Sulphur-crested Cockatoo 
be allowed to continue it will mean the saving of these birds and 
many others from total extinction, while there can be no fear 
that they themselves will suffer such a fate. I am well aware 
that the Galah has its good qualities — every bird has — but they 
are practically nil in comparison with the damage the bird 
does. — I am, &c., 

Jerilderie, loth April, 1911. 

62 Obituayy. [x.^Tuly 

Obituary Notice. 

Mr. Kendall Broadbent died on the i6th January last at his 
residence, Stoneleigh-street, Albion, at the age of y^ years. Mr. 
Broadbent was born in Yorkshire, England, in 1837. He arrived 
in Victoria some 58 years ago, and was first engaged with his 
father in contracting work. Relinquishing this, however, Mr. 
Broadbent turned his attention to ornithology, and he was recog- 
nized as an authority on the Australian avifauna. For the last 30 
years he had been attached to the Queensland Museum staff as 
collector and taxidermist. He visited New Guinea as a member 
of the Stone expedition about 38 years ago, contracting fever, 
which i)ractically never left him. On one occasion he suffered 
shipwreck near Hinchinbrook Island, suffering severe privations. 
The Queensland Museum has lost a tried and trusty friend, a 
naturalist of no mean order, and one who will be sorely missed 
and difficult to replace. Out of respect to his memory the institu- 
tion was closed on the day of the funeral. Mr. C. W. De Vis, 
the former Curator, writes : — " It would be difficult to find Mr. 
Broadbent's superior, even at 60 years of age. He had every 
qualification for the work, was only happy in exercising it ; he was 
thoroughly honourable and intensely loyal to his friends. I miss 
him very much, and shall always hold his memory in deep respect 
and with affection." 

Members of the R.A.O.U. who ^•isited Brislxme during the 
annual session last year will recollect Mr. Broadbent's kind and 
courteous bearing when showing the \'isitors through and ex- 
plaining the ornithological collections. They little guessed that 
was to be the last function of the" kind he would attend. 

The late veteran collector has traversed the whole of Eastern 
Australia and Tasmania, besides making several visits to New 
Guinea. His principal trips and the dates thereof are : — Portland 
Bay (1858), Gippsland (1862), Brisbane Scrubs (1864), Darling 
Downs (1865), Cardwell and Maria Expedition to New (iuinea 
(1873), Cape York, Gulf of Carpentaria, and New Guinea (1874-5), 
Cairns and New Guinea (1878-9), Tasmania and South Australia 
(1879-80), five trips to Cardwell (between 1880 and 1889)*, 
Charleville (1883), Cape York and Gulf of Carpentaria (1883-4), 
Barcaldine and Central Oueensland (1887), and Bellendcn-Ker 
Range (1889). 

South Australian Ornithological Association. 

The annual meeting of the above-mentioned Association was held at 
the rooms of Dr. R. H. Pullcine, Adelaide, on the evening of 31 si 
March, Captain S. A. White presiding. There was a good attendance. 

* " Birds of Cardwell and Herbert River Districts (N.Q.) " published in 
The Emu, vol. x., pp. 233-245, comprises the held observations of the last 
trip, and for that reason, perhaps, the value of the contribution is now 

lyii '] South Australian Omithuloi^ical Association. 63 

The hon. secretary, Mr. J. W. Mellor, read the twclltli annual report, 
which showed that during the year one ot the members, Mr. A. G. 
Edquist, had been most energetic in working up a Gould League 
for the protection of birds, and that 135 pubhc schools in that State 
had formed clubs, with a membership of 5,000 cliildrcn, all pledged 
to study and protect native birds. A regrettable action during the 
year was the })lacing of the I'elican on the totally unprotected list, 
and a strong protest was being made to the Commissioner of Crown 
Lands by vaiuous scientific bodies.* The report showed that the 
most noteworthy work of the Association during tiic year was the 
liberation of Mallee-Fowl {Lipoa ocellata) f on the National 
lieserve at Cape Borda, Kangaroo Island, which had l)een success- 
fully carried out by the secretary (Mr. J. W. Mellor) on 24th February 
last. Representatives of the Association had attended the I^oyal 
Australasian Ornithologists' Union Congress in Brisbane in October, 
had visited the Capricorn Islands, and other places in Queensland, 
and had done good work in ornithology, while several members had 
been successful in fmding new birds during the year, and describing 
and naming them. The financial statement showed a credit balance, 
and Mr. J. W. Mellor was congratulated upon his energy and ability 
in so successfully piloting the institution from its infancy to date. 
Mr. E. Ashby gave some notes upon several interesting birds, with 
illustrations. Captiiin S. A. White read a paper upon a trip recently 
taken to Mount Tambourine, in Southern Queen.sland, in which he 
graphically described the ascent and descent in a " buckboard," and 
gave interesting notes taken of the various birds seen in this naturalist's 
paradise. Captain White showed a number of birds to assist him in 
bringing before his hearers the gay scenes of plumage to be met with 
in the tropics. The annual election of officers for the ensuing year 
resulted thus : — President, Captain S. A. White ; vice-president, Mr. 
E. Ashby; hon. secretary and treasurer, Mr. J. W. ]\Iellor ; 
officers to form the general committee of management. 

The following monthly meeting was held at the rooms ot Dr. R. H; 
PuUeine on the evening of 28th April, Captain S. A. White presiding. 
Mr. E. Ashby reported having arranged with the Royal Society for 
the use of their rooms in the Institute, North-teri-ace, for future 
meetings of the Association, and a vote of thanks was carried to the 
Royal Society for their generosity in granting the request. A. vote 
of thanks was also accorded Dr. PuUeine for past favours in the free 
use of his rooms for meetings. Mr. J. W. Mellor reported having, 
with several other members of the Association, recently visited Yorke 
Peninsula, and identified 60 species of native birds in thi-ee days. 
Mr. F. R. Zietz stated that the first Flame-breasted Robin (Petrceca 
phcenicea) this season had returned from its southern breeding 
grounds, and had been observed at Kingswood, near Mitcham, on 
23rd April, which was considered early. Dr. A. M. ]\Iorgan noted 
the Swallow (Hirundo neoxena) building its mud nest on ist April 
in Adelaide. Mr. A. Crompton stated that great numbers of Blue 
Wrens (Malurus cyaneus) had taken up their abode at Stonyfell, 
Magill, where they were so tame that they would eat bread crumbs 
thrown to them each day at certain hours. Mr. E. Ashby made 
some intei-esting remarks regarding some rare and pecuhar birds 
from the Northern Territory and from Mount Dandenong (Victoria). 
Amongst specimens from the former place were the Black-tailed 

* See p. 45 this issue. f See p. ^^ this issue. 

64 Sou/h Austi'ciliaii Ornithological Associuiioii. [,st"july 

Tree-creeper {Climacteris melanotus), White-bellied Cuckoo-Shrike 
(Graucalus hypoleucus) ; and Cinnamon Ground-Thrush {Cinclosoma 
cinnamomeum) , and Desert Wren {Calamanlhus isabellinns), from 
Central Australia, and others ; while from Victoria the Coachwhip- 
Bird {Psophodes crepitans), Red-browed Tree-creeper {Climacteris 
erythrops), and the Olive-coloured Thickhead {Pachycephala olivacea), 
and various Flycatchers and Honey-eaters, were of exceptional interest 
when their habits and actions were explained by Mr. Ashby. 

Notes and Notices. 

Papers for Bird Day. — Brief ornithological articles, illustrated 
if i)ossible, are invited from members of the R.A.O.U. who 
are willing to contribute, for the departmental School Papers 
of New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia respectively. 
The articles should be in the hands of the hon. secretary, Mr. 
H. W. Wilson, Teachers' Training College, University Grounds, 
Carlton, Victoria, by about the end of August. 

Buckland Bird Protection Fund. — Recognizing the great work 
Mr. James Buckland has done in keeping the Plumage Prohil)ition 
Bill before the British Parliament and public, his friends desire to 
tender him a practical testimonial. Subscrijjtions may be sent to 
the hon. treasurer, K.A.O.U., Mr. Z. Gray, Bridport-street, South 

Corrections. — In the list of members of the R.A.O.U. published 
in the last issue of flic liiiin the following amendments are 
necessary : — 
" Dytiscus " is a iioui dc plume, not llic name of Capt. Henry 

Brew's house, Ballarat. 
HORDTEN, C. H. VON DEK (Broome), should read Peokdten, 


A. Hamilton (Wellington, N.Z.), not H. Hamilton. 

Mrs. Roberts, " Beaumaris," Hobart, is the only lady who 
enjoys the distinction C.M.Z.S. (Corresponding ^lenibcr Zoo- 
logical Society, London). 

A Wise Minister. — Application was made to the Acting Minister 
for External Affairs (Senator Findley), on behalf of a projected 
bird-canning company, with a capital of ^25,000, for per- 
mission to slaughter ' birds on the Alligator River, Northern 
Territory. The company asked immunity from any restrictions 
upon their hunting for a period of six years. It was proposed to 
kill about 300 birds per day during the season, or a total of about 
35,000 birds a year. It was claimed that Wild Ducks and similar 
game birds were so plentiful that this number would not be missed. 
The Minister has refused the application. He said that, instead 
of granting any such privileges as were sought, he would rather 
favour a policy of protecting game. 



Jhe £mu 

Official Organ of the Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union. 

'* Birds of a fc2itt)cr.' 

Vol. XI.] 2ND OCTOBER, 191 1. [Part 2. 

Bush'Birds of New Zealand. 

l'>v j. ( . M'Lkan, M.B.CJ.L., Gisborne, X.Z. 
Part II. 
Nestor meridionalis — Kaka Parrot. 

Buller, " Birds of New Zealand " (2nd edition), vol. i., p. 151. 
Although a few Kakas, generally single birds, were noticed 
through April in different parts of this bush, it was not until the 
winter, when the tawari ripened, that they became common. In 
the middle of May they appeared, and increased in numbers, 
the birch ridges being well populated for the next eight or ten 
weeks. This was on the northern side. On the south there was 
no great number of these trees, and, as they did not bear much 
fruit in 1907, the Kaka, though perhaps a little more plentiful 
in winter than in autumn, was never there such a common bird. 

Though of rare distribution in the Dominion, and local in its 
habitat, the tawari {Txerba hrexioides) was a feature in this bush, 
at about 2,500 feet, and, growing to about one-third the height 
of the tallest birch, constituted, with that tree, practically the 
whole of the forest vegetation on the highest parts. It is a hand- 
some tree, rarely exceeding 2 feet in diameter ; and its spreading 
branches, with long leaves, produce in midsummer, at their tips, 
bunches of beautiful flowers of waxy whiteness. The resulting 
fruit, a five-seeded capsule, about one-half inch in diameter, 
begins to open in May, and reveals the shining black seeds which 
the Kaka so much enjoys. In fine weather the trees around the 
first and second camps resounded, in the early morning, with the 
soft and pleasing whistle of these birds. All along the ridge the 
birds were numerous, and each more favoured tree, in different 
parts, had its small party of four or five. The Kakas spent the 
night some distance down the sides, but l)y daybreak were busy 
in the trees, and for an hour or two fed eagerly, retiring during 
the heat of the day to the shade of the birch trees, where they 
digested the meal, and, with occasional soft notes, appeared to 
be quite happy. During the afternoon they would again visit 
the trees, where they fed until almost dark before retiring for the 
night. In dull weather and in rain they fed more or less all day, 
and were then perhaps a little quieter than on sunny days. On 


M'Lean, Bush-Birds of New Zealand. [^^^ 

The Tawari (Ixerba brexioides) and opening Seed-pod. 

Food of the Kaka Parrot (Nestor meridionalis). 

(drawing by c. c. brittlebank.) 

this food they soon became fat. Many were obtained by the 
bushmen. and were excellent in soup or pie. As the trees went 
down the birds visited the felling in search of the fruit, but 
found great difficulty — or showed little aptitude — in obtaining 
the seeds, now all more or less involved amid the mass of twigs 
and leaves. After this crop was over, in July, the birds dis- 
appeared from the ridges ; but a few could be seen in different 
parts during the following months. With their powerful beaks 
they search the rotting timber for insects, and it was not unusual 
to see a Kaka, as if simply through force of habit, tear a chip 
from the branch as soon as he lighted upon it. A good deal of 
investigation is carried on upon the ground, and in the more open 
country they have been seen, on the edges of the bush-patches, 
busy about the surface amid the common fern or bracken 
{Pteris), but their object was unknown. In the bush, however, 
they are usually noticed in such a position during showery 
weather, when, no doubt, part of their business is the mvestiga- 

^"1;.^'] M'Lean, Bush-Birds of New Zealand. 67 

lioii 1)1 roUiu,!,'- stuin()S and lo^^s. Tlicy li'cd on \-ai-ioiis busli- 
Iriuts, and when on the mn'o then' l.)ills bccunic tiuitc sticky with 
the gum. But, besides these foods, the Kaka is fond of visiting 
the flowers of certain trees, and with its brush-tipped tongue sip- 
ping the nectar. When feeding, besides their soft whisthngs, a low 
musical " Karrunk " is frequently audible ; but when the cry 
becomes harsher a change for the worse in the weather can 
almost be relied upon. The harsh scream, " Karrunk " (which 
resembles the sound produced by scratching with a piece of iron 
upon the striking surface of a tin matchbox), was always much 
in evidence l)efore a southerly, and all would prepare to leave 
this high ridge some hours before the storm arrived. Then four 
or five birds might be seen to collect on some outstanding tree, 
all facing the direction they intended to take. After much 
calling and several short, wheeling flights out and back to their 
starting-point, they would at last start off together, and with 
discordant cries — as if to warn their fellows — wing their way to 
a place of shelter, often some miles away. 

In the winter Kakas, in parties of two to five, may be seen at 
times in the open country making their way high in the air, and 
with harsh cries, to fresh feeding quarters. They have been 
known to visit the flowering blue gums (eucalypts, introduced from 
Australia) of the more settled parts, but such is by no means a 
common practice. 

Chalcococcyx lucidus — Shining Cuckoo. 

l)uller, " Birds of New Zealand " (2nd edition), vol. i., p. 130. 

The Shining Cuckoo, which is supposed to winter in New 
Guinea,* comes each summer to New Zealand to breed. In 
IQ06 it was heard at 6 a.m. on 6th October, and on 8th October 
in the following year, but was not often observed or heard about 
this bush. Whenever seen, my attention had been called to it 
by the behaviour of the smaller birds, by whom it was not 
regarded with much favour. Unlike the Long-tailed Cuckoo 
{Eiidynamis taitcnsis), it does not seek the shade, but rather ex- 
poses itself at times in the sun, when the Tui and Bell-Bird 
notice it and keep it fairly well on the move. In the open country, 
however, it seems to fare far better, and is there more plentiful, 
being found in the patches of sheltered bush and scrub, where 
it makes use, as a rule, of the pensile nest of the Warbler {Pseudo- 
geryi^one flamventris) in which to deposit its egg, and to whose 
care it entrusts the rearing of its young. The bushmen called it 
the " Zebra-Bird," because of the striped markings of the under 
surface. It is to be seen also in the gardens of the settlers near 

* The expedition which the British Ornithologists' I'nion kitely despatched 
to the Charles Louis ^Mountains, in Dutch New Guinea, will probably confirm 
this supposition. — J. C. ML. [It possibly comes down the north-eastern 
coast of Australia before diverging towards New Zealand. The expedition of 
the R.A.O.U. observed these Bronze-Cuckoos on the Capricorn Islands, at 
the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef, October, 19 10 — Emu, vol. x., 
p. 197. — Eds.] 

68 M'Lean, Bush-Birds of New Zealand. [zndXt 

the towns, where it does much good. But it is especially plenti- 
ful in this district amid the kowhai {Sop hoy a tetraptera) flats and 
faces of our creek and river valleys There parties of the dis- 
playing males may be viewed in spring ; and there, too, in summer 
and early autumn, the Cuckoo feeds upon the larvae of the kowhai 
moth, and becomes very fat ere leaving for its winter home.* 
Miro australis — North Island Robin. 

Buller, " Birds of New Zealand " (2nd edition), vol. i,, p. ^^. 

It was a pleasant surprise when, in April, 1906, my acquaintance 
with the Robin was renewed. For some years, in gradually 
lessening numbers, it had been watched in another part of this 
district, which had been considered its last retreat in the Island ; 
and when it came to meet me, as it were, in the midst of this 
virgin bush, and sang its cheerful song, many recollections came 
to mind. A walk or two in the tawhera country soon made it 
clear that the bird was, comparatively with its localization, 
present in fair numbers. To be more definite, there were at 
least twelve pairs that, inside an area of perhaps 400 acres, were 
known of, and each of these pairs could generally be found at 
anv time about its own domain. Then, in the country further 
up the valley, contiguous to but outside this year's felling, there 
dwelt quite as many more. Judging by the extent of tawhera 
and lighter timber in this outside country; which was only par- 
tially examined, it is more than probable that it was tenanted 
by considerably more pairs than my estimate of the number. 
It had been the writer's impression that the Robin did not 
frequent the higher, heavy bush, but rather the open- bot- 
tomed lower country and flats of manuka and other trees near 
creeks and streams. So the surprise consisted rather in the 
finding of this large sheltered valley of poorer soil amid the ridges 
of Maunga-Haumia, clothed, as it was, in smaller trees of manuka, 
tawhera, and nei-nei, and intersected by numerous creeks — ideal 
Robin country in the midst of heavy bush. But this class of 
country is very local, and, from inquiries made from surveyors 
and others, it is thought there is no more of it in this particular 
area. Although there were so many of this species in this open- 
bottomed scrub, none was seen outside its confines, either in the 
tawa country of the slopes or in the birch of the ridges ; so that, 
with its destruction, the Robin, too, has gone. But little grew 
below the 6-inch tawhera and manuka, which reached in long 
poles to 30 or 40 feet in height. It was easy travelling here ; 
in fact, had it not been for an odd creek-bank, and that the trees 
grew just a shade too close together, one could have ridden over 
the greater part of the Robin's home. Where the soil was very 
poor the 6-foot grass-tree grew in belts of denser scrub, affording 
a secure nesting-place and shelter from the storm. This grass- 
tree — nei-nei of the Maoris — is one of the smaller varieties of 

* Cuckoos shot off the kowhai in January and February had their crops 
crammed with these caterpillars, and were too fat to make good skins. 

The Emu, Vo/. XI. 


Tangle of,Nei-Nei Scrub. 
Haunt of North Island Robin {Miro australts). 


•] M'I>EAN, Bush-Birds of New Zealand. 6q 

Dracophyllmn. U is called " s})ider-wood " by the bushmen, not 
on account of any external j)eculiarity, but because the stem, 
when cut diagonally, shows a fanciful reseniblance, in its pith 
and radiations, to a spider in its web. 

The charm of the Robin lies in its tameness and in its song. 
As one enters its domain, the bird, with soft, silent flight, flits 
to some low branch near by, and, after a moment's gaze, drops 
to the ground, and, tripping about in front of the observer with 
short, elastic steps, soon stops to pick among the fallen leaves, 
where, judging by the frequent captures made, much insect life 
lies hidden. At lunch-time it is occasionally an interested 
onlooker, and has been seen to pick up crumbs and pieces of 
biscuit thrown towards it. It was amusing to see a bird one 
day raising itself on its long legs to peer over my boots as if to 
ask for more. But it has not the inquisitiveness of the Pied Tit, 
and, once satisfied with its inspection, resumes its avocations in 
the scrub. Neither does it wander through the bush in the rest- 
less manner so peculiar to that bird, but is, perhaps, our quietest 
and most stay-at-home species. Although occasionally seen as 
a solitary onlooker, after the crowd has dispersed, it never takes 
any part in the disturbances of other birds. I have seen the 
Robin about my spring camp, which was on the edge of its 
country, but it was not the frequent visitor I should have wished. 
It sang in the trees near by, but never, so far as I could see, came 
close to our tents or visited the scraps as other species did. It 
was almost invariably seen in pairs, each having its own particular 
stretch of scrub ; and it allowed no intrusion whatever of others 
of its kind. This was rather remarkable from so quiet a bird. 
Passing through the scrub one day a Robin came and settled 
close by. Shortly after another came to see me, and was at once 
set upon by the first-comer, who seized it by the feathers of its 
neck and forced it, with many painful cries and the loss of some 
of its plumage, to leave the spot. Other species, too, are driven 
from its home. 

Most of its food, which, so far as I have ever found, consists of 
insect life, is obtained upon the ground. There, or within a few 
feet of it, the bird is generally observed ; and only when singing 
does it mount to any height, when it shows itself upon the out- 
standing branch of some higher tree to catch the sun. The 
warbled trill of the Robin is rarely heard ; and perhaps this is 
not so remarkable, for it is believed they pair for life. It was 
first heard here on 6th Sej^tember, but has been noted earlier 
elsewhere. It is not unlike that of the Pied Tit, but is delivered 
more deliberately, in a somewhat lower key, and without its 
frequent repetition. It is softer, too, but quite as musical. The 
alarm note is a fairly rapidly repeated spluttering note, not 
unlike that of the introduced Californian Quail ; and one some- 
what similar note, but uttered for long stretches at a time, seems 
to constitute an evening lullaby, for it is generally heard when 
the birds are retiring for the night. Its song, however, is of ex- 

70 M'Lean, Bush-Birds of Neiv Zealand. \ 

ceptional sweetness, is loud and clear and long-sustained. As 
a rule only heard in early morning, up to about lo a.m., the 
song may sometimes be listened to at a later hour : and in the 
breaks between the showers, when the sun gets through, the 
Robin is induced to mount to the top of some taller shrub and there, 
in the afternoon, to sound its melody. Though rarely heard in 
winter, the clear notes of this bird were audible in the distance 
from many parts of the valley throughout the spring. The song 
has been recorded in my note-books : but for the present it will 
suffice to state that the bird opens with a fairly high note — like 
" Toit," repeated five or six times in quick succession — then 
drops it half a note for another set of five or six, then drops 
again, and so descends the scale. Here and there short breaks 
occur when trills and spluttered notes are interspersed. But 
there is little pause, and the piece, with some variation, but 
always in this descending scale, is repeated again and again. 

In a small patch of nei-nei scrub amid the tawhera two nests 
were taken — one with three much-incubated eggs on 27th Sep- 
tember, and one with two fresh eggs on the following day.* This 
is much earlier than I have noted eggs elsewhere ; and, judging 
by the condition of the three taken on the 27th, these must have 
been laid about the i8th of the month. These nests were very 
handsome, for in their damp surroundings the moss had kept 
its colour and harmonized perfectly with that about the trees ; 
but they were similarly constructed to others observed elsewhere, 
and had the characteristic flakes of bark and leaves dabbed about 
them, and also that lining of bleached grass-blades which has 
always been present in all I have examined. The photograph 
(Plate VII.) is of a nest in a creeper on a dying manuka bush, 
taken at Waikohu on 8th November, 1898. The three incubated 
eggs were similar in colour and markings to those found elsewhere, 
but were slightly larger. They weighed, unblown, 105 grains — 
an average of 35. The two fresh eggs, however, were consider- 
ably larger than typical eggs, weighed 39 grains each, and were 
more heavily marked than any I had previously seen. Except 
in the ground colour, which is creamy, the eggs of Miro australis 
resemble those of the Yellow-breasted Shrike- Robin {Eopsaliria 
austyalis) of Australia. As to the finding of the nest in Maunga- 
Haumia, I transcribe part of my notes : — " 27th September, 1906. 
— As I left the track skirting a chain above the tributary of the 
Manga-maia, I entered open tawhera scrub (typical of this 
part of the bush), and, after going about 15 chains, crossed the 
small creek on my right to the face the men were at work 
upon. Here the scrub changed to a very stunted tawhera about 
15 feet high, the old trees knotted and gnarled in their struggle 
on this poor soil, and with short branches 6 to 8 inches in di- 
ameter. Here and there were rotting stumps, and all were heavily 
festooned with dark green moss. One to two-inch tawhera 

* This, as written, corrects a transposition of dates which occurs in the 
Jticle in The Ibis, 1907, p. 528.— J. C. M'L. 

The Emu, I'ol. XI. 


Vol. xi.-j MT.KAN, Bush-Birds of New Zealand. 'Jl 

saplings, with their clean, white hark, contrasted strongly with 
these dark old stagers. Intermixed with all grew the handsome- 
headed grass-tree, and all was here and there overtopjied by 
honeysuckle and tarata [Pitto^ponim eiigcnoides). The men were 
busy scrubbing the smaller stuff : two following uj) with axes 
for the few scattered larger trees — none over 12 inches. As I skirted 
up through the scrub I noticed a Robin in the denser nei-nei, &c., 
flying about my dog. While we chatted and boiled the billy — 
it was 2 p.m. — the Robin was very near us all the time. One of 
the men remarked that it was after crumbs ; but I thought 
otherwise — it was too much concerned about my dog. I had not 
gone halt a chain from the lire when I noticed a somewhat 
larger patch of moss than usual in a tawhera fork, and, looking in — 
it was only 5 feet up — was delighted to see a nest, upon which 
was a female Robin. Instantly the birds became most excited, 
both flying about the tree, and on one occasion one actually 
attacked my hand and pecked it when, with my attention else- 
where, I grasped a neighbouring branch. They were both very 
much concerned — more so than at any previous nest I have seen. 
On my leaving the nest and going down among the scrub for 
further investigation, the female flew to the ground, and, trailing 
her wings along, did all she could to attract attention. There were 
two eggs, and T concluded, from the birds' behaviour, that they 
were incubated. Everything was left, and instructions given to 
the men not to fell near it. They will be up to it to-morrow, 
and I must hurry and photograph it in the morning." Further 
on in the same patch the other nest was found, in much the 
same situation, but in another kind of tree. At this nest, which 
contained three much-incubated eggs, the birds were not quite 
so demonstrative. On the following day — 28th September — I 
was early on the scene to get a picture, and found the female on 
the nest. A photograph, at some distance, of her on the nest 
was taken, but on moving closer up the bird became alarmed, 
and never entered the nest again. At this time the male 
appeared — fully an hour after my arrival. I had heard him 
singing a chain or so away, and a short " Tweet-tweet " which the 
female uttered seemed to have brought him. He was much 
darker in colour than his mate. The men were now close up, 
and, as the bird would not again visit the nest, some scrub was 
cleared to let in more light, and a photograph of the nest obtained. 
Then the nest and eggs were taken, and the tree left to its fate. 
There was one consolation in all this : the patch of scrub was 
near the standing bush, and, as these birds did not remain about 
the felled country, no doubt they retired to it and there rebuilt 
and reared their young, for that year at least, in peace. 

The Robin is almost gone from this district. Where I knew it 
as common some years ago the scrub and bush have now all dis- 
appeared. There is one valley in which it still remains — I will 
not mention where — but another year or two will see the end. 

[It is hoped that the Dominion Government will proclaim sane- 

72 M'Lean, Bush-Birds of New Zealand. [, 


tuaries to preserve the last retreats of this tame and tuneful bird 
ere it be too late. — Eds.] 

Petroeca toitoi — North Island or Pied Tit 

Duller, " Birds of New Zealand " (2nd edition), vol. i.. p. 39. 

The Pied Tit was in autumn fairly common throughout all 
the bush, but less so in winter, showing some preference for the 
more open, sunny parts. It was at all times particularly plentiful 
about the edges, and appeared quite at home amid the logs of the 
adjacent " burns," and in the neighbouring grassed country was 
a conspicuous object as it played about the rotting timber and 
scrubby second growth. Although they were more or less paired, 
these did not keep in very close company : so the female, of 
sombre colours and unobtrusive habits, was easily passed over, 
and was far less frequently observed than her conspicuous black- 
and-white consort. Neither does she possess the somewhat 
startling " See-see-see " of the male, with which to proclaim her 
presence. He is a lively little bird, and, like his relation, the 
Robin, is ever anxious to make one's acquaintance, but is bolder 
and more inquisitive, becoming quite excited if suddenly dis- 
covered, circling round the intruder in short flights, from stem 
to stem, with much mixed curiosity and alarm. Usually, however, 
he throws himself, as it were, against the side of a handy bole, 
and, clinging, often with head downwards, transversely to the 
bark, remains intent, and with his bright little eye observes the 
stranger, occasionally giving a spasmodic twitch as if undecided 
whether to remain or not. Or perhaps he alights upon a stump 
or branch near by in more easy attitude, there to sound his call 
and remain a while with tail cocked up and wings a little down : 
but that undecided air is ever present, and, after a short scrutiny, 
he is gone, to repeat his cry some distance further on. It is at 
these times that one obtains a good view of what may be termed 
the wax and wane of the white spot situated immediately over 
the bill. When first he settles this mark is not noticeable, for, 
in his excited state, the black feathers of the forehead are some- 
what raised, and appear to depress and hide the few white ones 
below, but as he slowly resumes his tranquillity, and the feathers 
assume their normal position, the white spot gradually appears, 
and, with varying intensity, glows until at last, with confidence 
regained, it is quite conspicuous. This spot is also present in 
the female, but, through want of contrast with the surrounding 
colours, is not so apparent. She, too, is rarely inquisitive, and a 
single hushed " See " is, I think, her only note. But she is quite 
as active as her partner, and the call " See-see-see," if softly 
sounded, rarely fails to produce some slight curiosity, and often 
brings her close to the observer. Strange, though, the male is 
absolutely indifferent to this imitation. 

The clear, penetrating call of the male Pied Tit is unmis- 
takable and of peculiar sweetness. It may be heard fairly 
frequentlv throughout the day during autumn and winter about 

^°'-^^'] INI'Lean, Bu^h-Birds of Neiv Zealand. 73 

its haunts, and on wet or foggy days is often almost the only 
sound that breaks the siii'nce of the bush. It consists of the 
one note " See " repeatetl deliberately though rapidly three 
times — " See-see-see." Generally this single call is heard, and 
some minutes may elapse before it occurs again, but some- 
times it is uttered twice or even three times at intervals of a 
second or two. Rarely is the call of two notes — " See-see " — 
and ouK' occasionally does it appear in four or five-syllabled fonn. 
It is soiuuK'd wliile the biid is at rest, and the effort of pro- 
ducing it often exposes the bright orange interior of the mouth. 
As noted elsewhere, it is an autumn and winter call, but young males 
use it, in a weak form, when they first begin to call in summer. 
The only call I know of the female is rarely heard — a soft " See't " 
of one note only. 

The trill (see Music Plate. No. i), confined to the male, is its 
song, and while it lasts the winter call is noticeable by its absence. 
Although in a record, as possessed by the writer, extending over 
a numbei- of years, it might be possible to find a note of its use 
under every month of the year, the utterance of this trill at any 
other time than in spring or summer would be quite exceptional. 
It consists of the eight warbled notes, rarely sounded except 
when at rest. Occasionally the whole trill is duplicated without 
any pause : sometimes only the last four notes a^^e repeated, and 
as a rule there is a slight weakening towards the end of the bar, 
and a note is lost. 

These birds always frequented the cleared space made around 
each camp, and came close about the tents, but never entered ; 
and only once have I seen one attempt to make use of the scra])s 
of food lying near. On 8th August. 1907. after rough weather, 
a male was seen to peck once or twice among some litter, but 
even then I could not say what he took ; and the sudden appear- 
ance of a very active cat induced him to hurriedly depart without 
further examination. He must have forgotten all about the 
scraps, for he never visited that spot again At times the Pied 
Tit seems quite sociably inclined, and has been known to accept 
a crumb elsewhere ; * but, although many invitations have been 
issued, I am still looking forward to the day when one will 
condescend to share a meal with me. However, in autumn 
and winter, among themselves, they appear sociable enough, and 
often a few might be seen enjoying the sun as they played about 
in some sequestei'ed spot ; but even then I always imagined I 
could detect, in the eye of each, some lurking distrust of his 

Local only in so far as the destruction of the scrub and bush 
has forced him to become, the Pied Tit is to be found at all times, 
just as often on the highest ranges, where snow is sometimes 
seen, as in the warmest valleys and creek-bottoms ; but it cannot 
prosper without its native trees. Upon the " burns " and 

* " .\niinals of New Zealand," p. 73. 

74 M'Lean, Bush-Birds of New Zealand. r2nd'o'ct 

grassed country which edged the Mauga-Haumia bush they were 
always present ; and on the severest winter morn they seemed to 
rather enioy the cold, and played among the clumps of scrubby 
second-growth, pausing now and then to call from a thickly- 
frosted log or stump, then dashing, with the very best of spirits, 
after insects in the air. There, on the log-strewn southern spurs, 
I saw much of them, where, as in the bush, they remain each 
pair about its own particular patch, and quick to resent the 
appearance of any small bird, like the Fantail or Warbler, which 
may be loitering in the vicinity. The Pied Tit seldom responds 
to the Whitehead's summons, but rather takes it upon himself 
alone to abuse ; and I have seen a male thus engaged, for fully 
twenty minutes, persistent in his attack u})on a Morepoik (Owl), 
without another bird to help him. 

The Pied Tit is purely an insectivorous bird, obtaining most 
of its food upon or near the ground and from among the lower 
branches, rarely ascending to any height in the trees for that 
purpose. From its low perch it is quick to locate anything in 
the moss or leaves upon the ground below, and quickly drops 
upon the insect, which, if a large one, is soon killed with a smart 
blow or two and carried off to some branch above. Both sexes 
also display dexterity in taking slow-flying insects on the wing. 
I was much amused at the antics of a Tit which had pounced 
upon one of our larger moths ; and his task almost proved too 
great, for he" could not hold the big fluttering creature. In the 
struggle both came to the ground, and then an extraordinary 
exhibition was witnessed. The moth was evidently injured, and 
could not rise, but fluttered strongly, as moths do, in all directions, 
while the Tit, in his endeavours to catch and hold the insect, was 
tripping and falling into ludicrous positions. The moth was so 
large that on occasions, as they tumbled about, it looked as if it 
were the aggressor I fully expected the Tit to give in, but he 
was quite game, and, after about a minute of this rough-and- 
tumble, got the upper hand, killed the moth, and flew off with 
it into a neighbouring tree. On examining the ground I found 
a wing, which proved to be that of Hepialus vi'-'escens, whose 
extent of wing is about 3i inches. When visiting a party at work 
in the bush I sometimes noticed one or two Tits close at hand 
in the stuff just felled, often only a few yards from the axes. 
Attention would probably be drawn to them by their skipping 
out to avoid a falling tree ; but back they would go. until 
frightened out again, loth to leave such a feast of dislodged grubs 
and insects as was there. Naturally, they were fond of thus 
attaching themselves to the gangs, and would remain near amid 
the felled timber for the greater part of the day. 

The good-fellowship which seemingly exists among the males 
during the winter months entirely disappears in the spring, and 
the reverse side of their character is most pronounced when 
pairing starts. Then they become perfect little demons. Pairing, 
with its inevitable combats, becomes general about the end of 

VoK^xi.j WLexn, Biish-Biyds of New Zealand. 75 

July, but I saw a little of it as early as 21st May, in 1006. The 
trill, too, became common about the end of August, and later on 
had ])ractically taken the place of the winter notes. As spring 
advanced the males wandered, in the most restless manner, all 
over the country, in search of rivals : and their little beaks snai)ped 
in anger when they mrt and chased each other, with peevish 
twitter, wiiile conflicts in the air, usually ending on the ground, 
were of daily occurrence. All day long, at this season, for some 
weeks, they could be seen and heard trilling, often at an unusual 
height, in the larger trees, but ever in that state of seemingly 
nervous anxiety to reach some one of the many defiant rivals 
trilling furtlicr off. This trill, which had now become so general, 
was very rarel\- indeed heard in winter, and then only on some 
unusually tine day ; and it seemed to the writer as if, at this later 
period, it was the song, used rather as the serenade to the female, 
busy with domestic cares in the vicinity, than as the challenge of 
the earlier part of the season. 

I telt sure the Pied Tits were breeding in the early spring ; l)ut 
the wandering male and his unassuming mate made it as difficult 
as they could for me to locate the nest, and only one was found. 
A male was frequently singing about our camp in October ; and his 
favourite ])erch was the grindstone, from which he used to fly, 
at intervals, to a large rata {\fetrosideros robtista), about 100 yards 
away across the creek. I used to watch him, and lie in wait at 
the rata, but could never make anything of him. However, on 
Qth October I saw a male fly from a stump some distance up the 
face, and on looking found the nest, which both birds were 
building, and which was almost completed. It turned out to be 
our friend of the camp who was a partner, but I must say that, 
as far as I could see, he spent more time down at the tents than he 
did with his mate. Still, although the nest was almost finished, 
I did see him giving some help that afternoon, and also next 
day, when I purposely watched the pair. As Httle was required, 
they did not do a great deal, and when the male did come he 
passed the material over to the female, who was always within 
call of the site. On 12th October the nest was complete, but 
contained no eggs : and as I was leaving the bush next day I took 
a couple of photographs of it. I have seen the nest elsewhere, 
and this one was fairly typical as regards the site, but the open 
character of the cavity in which it was placed did not allow of so 
much concealment as usual. However, it was placed about four 
feet up in the hollow side of a decaying stump in a steep face 
of open tawhera. It was composed wholly of fine greenish moss, 
well packed, with just a patch here and there of web and leaf- 
skeletons. Inside was a single leaf-skeleton pressed well down 
amid the moss of one side. The nest measured about 5 inches 
across, and the cavity, 2^ inches wide, was about an inch in 
depth. At its back a small accumulation of moss and leaves 
gave it a slightly domed appearance, but this. I fancy, was not 
intentional, but simply meant to fill up a crevice. 

^6 M'Lean, Bush-Birds of New Zealand. [ 

2nd Oct. 

To those who are in touch with the bush of the North Island 
the Pied Tit is probably the best known of our native birds. In 
the rougher, unimproved fern country, when patched with bush 
and scrub or broken by rocky gorges draped in ferns and moss 
and fringed with shrubs, it is plentiful enough ; but when the 
settler comes, and fern gives way to grass, and only a few of the 
larger trees escape the fires, it disappears. But should some 
patch of bush be preserved a few Tits will make it their home 
and daily wander in its vicinity. In many of what are now 
"bush districts" in name only it is seldom seen, and the one or 
two I have noticed on the cultivated plains could only be lost 
birds ; in their actions, too. they seemed to know that they were 
out of place. Nevertheless, I think we can safely predict that, 
so long as some of our larger bushes remain, there is no fear of 
its extinction. It is essentially a bird of the native bush ; and it 
seems to the writer that there is something of vital consequence 
to the Tit in the rotting timber of our woods, which ensures the 
rearing of its young, and it can never accept the change to 
exotic trees. But why ? The domestic economy of the Tit, the 
Warbler, and the Fantail is very similar, and each is purely 
insectivorous ; but I feel certain of this : that when the logs and 
stumps of the mountain slopes have all decayed away, the 
Fantail and the Warbler will still be there, but the Pied Tit, 
once their superior in battle, will have disappeared. 

Explanation of Music Plate. 

Fig. i.^Pied Tit (Peirceca toitoi). — Spring song or trill. 

Fig. 2. — Whitehead (Clitonyx alhicapilla). — Spring trill. 

Fig. 3. — Bell-Bird {AvJhornis melanura). — Characteristic chime. 

Figs. 4, 5. — Bell-Bird (Anthornis melanura). — Common chime. 

Fig. 6. — Bell-Bird (Anthornis melanura). — Reiterated note. 

Fig. 7. — Bell-Bird (Anthornis melanura). — A chime. 

Fig. 8. — Tui (Prosthemadera novcs-zealandice). — Dominant note, re- 
peated in measured sequence. 

Fig. 0.- — Tui (Prosthemadera novce-zealandics). — A common set. 

Fig. 10. — Tui (Prosthemadera novcF-zealandia;). — Local dominant. 

Figs. 1 1,' 1 2. — Tui (Prosthemadera novce-zealandice). — Local sets. 

Fig. 13. — Blue-wattled Crow (Glaucopis wilsoni). — Music of line A. 

Fig. 14. — Blue-wattled Crow (Glaucopis wilsoni). — Music of line B. 

Fig. 15. — Blue-wattled Crow (Glaucopis wilsoni). — Music of line C. 

Fig. 16. — Blue-wattled Crow (Glaucopis wilsoni). — Organ-like note — 
appears as last of line H. 

Pseudogerygone flaviventris — Grey Warbler. 

Buller, " Birds of New Zealand " (2nd edition), p. 44. 

Among the skins sent to England, and kindly identified by 
Mr. W. R. Ogilvie-Grant, were two of a Warbler obtained in 1906 
at an elevation of 2,000 feet in the Maunga-Haumia bush. Mr. 
Ogilvie-Grant has referred these two skins to a new species, and, 
under the name of Pseudogerygone macleani, describes it in The 
Ibis for IQ07, at page 545. 

In the specimens obtained the iris was, in two exam])les. a dull 

•] M'l.EAN, Bush-Birds of Ncto Zealand. 


78 M'Lean, Bush-Birds of Neiv Zealand. [^„d"oci 

yellowish-pink, and in another reddish-gold — not at all the bright 
crimson of that of the common Warbler of this district, which I 
take to be P. ftavivenU'is. Mr. Ogilvie-Grant, while pointing out 
the differences, and expressing himself satisfied as to the distinct- 
ness of P, macleani — with blackish lores — from the examples of 
P. igata from Dusky Sound (South Island), thinks that there is 
a possibility of seasonal changes in the plumage accounting for 
the difference noticeable between my specimens — shot in winter, 
and in freshly-moulted plumage — and those of P. ftaviveniris — 
in worn phimage — which he has at his command for comparison. 
To settle this point. Mr. Ogilvie-Grant requires further specimens 
of our lowland form, in winter plumage. In this, I am sorry to 
say. I have, up to the present, been unable to assist him ; for 
our \\ arbler has been declared a protected species, and should not 
be killed. However. I hope ere long to obtain such examples, 
and forward them to him, together with, if possible, summer skins 
of the higher bush form, so that he may clear up the confusion 
which exists with regard to the genus in New Zealand. 

I may say that the only Warblers shot appeared at the time 
wilder than those I had been accustomed to, and one -the only 
one of them heard singing — seemed to have a louder, sharper 
song. I distinctly noted, on the southern side, in the following 
year, a note superior to that of the ordinary bird, but on in- 
vestigation found the bird too wild to allow a close view : and I 
was unable at a distance of about 30 yards to detect any difference 
in its plumage. To my mind, there is a form which is uncommon 
in the higher Maunga-Haumia ; but I think the lowland form, 
to which the following notes may. for the j^resent. be referred, 
is also there. 

The Warbler was fairly common all over the bush, where it 
could be seen, generally in pairs, in the low scrub or hunting high 
in the tops of the larger trees. Its creaking song of four or 
five warbled notes was seldom audible during the winter, but 
became a familiar sound in spring. Thev were observ'ed building 
their pear-shaped, pensile nests in the beginning of October in 
the scrubby country, and one pair, on the outskirts of the bush, 
had their nest completed on 20th October, but either a Morepork 
or Cuckoo (Chalcococcyx lucidtis) pulled the side out a little, and 
the birds deserted it. Their nesting seemed a little later here 
than in the lower country. 

The Grey Warbler is fairly common in the open country, and 
nests in our shrul:)beries and gardens near the towns. (For nest 
see Plate VIII.) 

A Correction. — Mr. Mathews writes concerning his article in 
The Emu, vol. x. : — " On p. 320, for ' Genus Ixviii. — Omit. 
Hydroprogne is not separable from Sterna,' read ' Not separable 
from Genus Ixvii. Unite genera Ixvii. and Ixviii. under the 
name Tlialasseiis.' 

The Emu, Vo/. XI. 


Nest of Grey Wzirbler (Pscudogerygone flavivctitns) in Lawyer Vine 
(Rubus australis). 


^""'i. m'] Clei.and, Contents of Stomachs and Crops of Birds. yC) 

Examination of Contents of Stomachs and Crops 
of Australian Birds. 

By J. l)UKTON Ci.Ki.AND, M.D., Ch.M., Principal Assistant Micro- 
biologist, Bureau of Microbiology, Sydney, N.S.W. 
In igio, in The Emu (vol. ix., p. 219), and in the AgricuUuraL 
Gazette of New South Wales for May, were published the results of 
examinations of the stomach contents of 57 birds. This system 
of examination has been continued from that date as specimens 
presented themselves, and the following communication embraces 
the results from 143 more birds, bringing the total thus far 
published to 200. As indicated in the previous paper, the birds 
were not obtained with the direct object of examining their 
stomach contents, but were obtained by various collectors for 
other scientific purposes, the most important being research for 
parasites of various kinds. Mr. W. W. Froggatt, F.L.S., Govern- 
ment Entomologist, and Mr. J. H. Maiden, F.L.S., Government 
Botanist, have again kindly made the identifications as regards 
insects and seeds respectively. The immense value of their con- 
tributions can be easily understood. In addition, thanks are due 
for special identifications to the authorities of the Australian 
Museum, especially to Mr. Charles Hedley, F.L.S., Assistant 
Curator, and Mr. A. R. M'Culloch. I have also to thank Mr. 
A. J. North, C.M.Z.S., for the identification of some birds about 
which I was doubtful, and Mr. Launcelot Harrison for the 
identification of a number of others. 

Appended to this account is a short one of the examination of 
the contents of stomachs from birds from Lord Howe Island, made 
in that locality by my coheague, Dr. T. Harvey Johnston. 

M., followed by a numeral, indicates the number of the bird 
in Mathews' " Hand-list of the Birds of Australasia," published as 
a supplement to The Emu, vol. vii., 1907-8. H., followed by a 
numeral, indicates the number of the bird in Robert Hall's " A Key 
to the Birds of Australia and Tasmania " (ist edition). The 
uninitialled results are those obtained by myself while sorting the 
stomach contents for identification by an entomologist or botanist. 
The initials " W.W.F." indicate that the following memorandum 
is the result of the examination of the insect remains by Mr. 
Walter W. Froggatt, Government Entomologist, New South Wales. 
Similarly, the initials " J.H.M." indicate the botanical results of 
an examination by Mr. J. H. Maiden, Government Botanist, New 
South Wales. 

The date when shot is followed by the locality. When more 
than one specimen of a species has been examined, these are. 
denoted by {a), (b), &c. 

Phaps chalcoptera (M. 37, H. 550). Bronze-wing Pigeon. 
{a) Middle Harbour, Sydney, 27th December, 1909. 
Numerous oval brownish and oval olive-coloured seeds. 
(J.H.M.) Cassia, sp. (Leguminosae). The brownish seeds are 

8o Cleland, Contents of Stomachs and Crops of Birds, [.^nd'o'ct 

certainly leguminous, and probably Cassia, but they do not 
agree exactly with any of the three Port Jackson cassias. They 
come nearest to Cassia Icevigata, and may be from that species. 

{b) Murray Flats, near Blanchetown, S.A., May, 1911. 

Seeds and a leaf. 

(Mr. Mackinnon, per J.H.M.) Seeds of Kochia, perhaps A'. 
scdifolia. F. v. M., together with pieces of the leaves. 
Ocyphaps lophotes (M. 46, H. 560). Crested Pigeon. 

{a) [b) Rowena, near Collarenabri, 4th November, 1910. 

Numerous small seeds of several kinds. 

(J.H.M.) I recognize none of the small seeds. Some of them 
are leguminous seeds — Trifoliiim — and one seems to be a Vicia. 
Leucosarcia picata (M. 47, H. 561). Wonga-Wonga Pigeon. 

Hawkesbury River, ist November, iqio. 

Seven small land snails ; large seeds of several kinds. 

(C. Hedley, F.L.S.) The snails are Nanina marmorata. Cox. 
The species frequents decaying leaves, cracks in bark, &c. In 
wet weather it might ascend trees, but I should not call it of 
arboreal habits. 

(J.H.M.) The seeds are — (i) Exocarpus cuprcssiformis, Labill., 
native cherry ; (2) Elceocarpus cyaneus. Ait., fruit of " blue-berry " 
tree ; (3) seeds of a cyperaceous plant ; (4) a large quantity of 
unknown seeds (Rubiaceye) ; (5) two unknown seeds, flat and 
curiously serrated. 
Zonifer tricolor (M. 149, H. 606). Black-breasted Plover. 

{a) Hallett's Cove, near Adelaide, 20th May, iqio. 

A hymenopterous insect ; portions of a cricket (?) ; numerous 
beetle fragments and other insects ; several small leaves f? salt- 
bush) ; several minute yellow seeds ; a minute brown seed and a 
small elongated grass-like seed ; a little sand. 

(W.W.F.) Remains of common mole cricket, legs and heads, 
and ants. Chief food, ants. 

(J.H.M.) Leaflets of a small leguminous plant, j^robablv a 
Trijolium or Medicago. The seeds were identical with those found 
in .Egialitis melanops (M. 158, Port Adelaide). They are not the 
perfect seed, being covered with a dark testa, which peels off when 
they swell in liquid. I could see the remains of the testa on 
several seeds. 

ih) Hallett's Cove, near Adelaide, 20th May, 1910. 

Numerous fragments of beetles, &c. ; a grub ; several minute 
yellow seeds. 

(W.W.F.) Chiefly remains of ants, wing-covers of beetles, and 
a small caterpillar. 

(J.H.M.) For the small yellow seeds, see Zonifer tricolor [a) 
and .Egialitis melanops (M. 158) 
Charadrius dominicus (M. 151, H. 608). Lesser Golden Plover. 

Cronulla, Sydney, 2nd March, 1910. 

^"'i' M ' 1, Contents of Slotnachs and Crofts of Birds. 8l 

Remains of winged ants : other insect remains ; a small shell. 
(W.W.F.) Winged ants, worker ants ; slender cateri)illar ot 
moth ; elytra ot a number of different ground beetles. 

;Egialitis melanops (M. 15S. H. ()i5). P.huk-fronted Dottrel. 

((0 Port Adelaide, 19th ^hly. iqio. 

Fragments of beetles and skins of larv;e of insects : a complete 
insect larva : four small round yellow seeds. 

(W.W.F.) Small lepidopterous larvce : heads of ants and re- 
mains of wing-covers of beetles. 

(J.H.M.) The small yellow seeds could not bi' identified See 
under Zonifer tricolor (M. 149). 

(/;) Port Adelaide. 19th May. iqio. 

Fragments of insects ; sand. 

(\\'.\V.F.) \othing definite : wing-covers of beetles. 

Himantopus leucocephalus (M. Kn. H. f)i<S). White-headed Stilt. 

Tailem Rend. S.A., 31st May, 1910. 

Several small freshwater shells of two kinds : mud, with diatoms. 

(C. Hedley, Esq., F.L.S., Australian Museum.) The larger shell 
is Isidora waterhoiisii. Clessin : the smaller, Isidora aculispira, 
Notophoyx novae-hollandiae (M. 204, H. 711), White-fronted Heron. 

Hawkesbury River, ()th August, 1910. 

(A. R. M'Culloch, Australian Museum.) Crab {Br achy lira), 
nipper prawn (Alphaeidft), prawn (Penceidte), inhabitants of 
estuarine mud-flats. 
Butorides stagnatilis (M. 211, H. 718). Thick-billed Bittern. 

Hawkesbury Ri\er. 

(A. R. M'Culloch.) Fish {Gobius, sp.), shrimp {Lcaiidcr, sp.) (?), 
inhabitants of estuarine mud-flats. 

Biziura lobata (M. 236, H. 763). Musk-Duck. 

Hawkesbury River. 

(A. R. M'Culloch.) Mud crabs {Macrophthalmus. sj).), inhabitants 
of estuarine mud-flats. 
Phalacrocorax carbo (M. z^y, H. 724). Black Cormorant. 

Hawkesbury River, 6th April, 1910. 

Portions of several catfish ; fragments of dead shells. 

Astur fasciatus (M. 258, H. 24). Goshawk. 
Hallett's Cove, Adelaide, May, 1910. 
Remains of small bird, about size of Aiilhus. 

Haliastur sphenurus (M. 267, H. 5). Whistling Eagle. 

Adelaide. May. 1910. 

Feathers of small bird. 
Glossopsittacus porphyrocephalus (M. 308, H. 473). Purple-crowned 

Mount Lofty Range, S.A., Ma\-, 1910. 

82 Cleland, Contents of Stomachs and Crops of Birds. [.„d"o'ct. 

Several stamens of Eucalyptus cosmophylla, and masses of 
pollen of this species, which was in bloom at the time. 
Platycercus elegans (M. 334, H. 498). Pennant Parrakeet. 

Slopes of Mt. Kosciusko, 12th December, 1910. 

The crop contained a large number of whitish insect larvae. 

(W.W.F.) The larvae appear to be those of some beetle. They 
are legless, and many seem to have been attacked by a fungus 
or other matter. 
Platycercus adelaidae (M. 336, H. 500). Adelaide Parrakeet. 

Mount Lofty Range, S.A., May, 1911. 

Seeds (not identifiable). 
Dacelo gigas (M. 386, H. 447). Laughing Jackass. 

Thredbo River, near Mt. Kosciusko, 12th December, 1910. 

Portions of cockchafers, &c. ; some minute portions of quartz. 

(W.W.F.) Chiefly lamellicorn beetles {Onthophagns, sp.) ; larvae 
of beetles, probably Anophlognathus, sp. 

Halcyon sanctus (M. 391, H. 452). Sacred Kingfisher. 

Bathurst, January, 1910. 

Remains of a freshwater crayfish. (Mr. M'CuUoch, of the Aus- 
tralian Museum, has kindly identified the specimen as Thelphusa, 
Cacomantis flabelliformis (M. 407, H. 457). Fan-tailed Cuckoo. 

Berry, loth August, 1910. 

Portion of a large grub ; remains of many insects. 

(W.W.F.) Remains of larva of saw-fly [Philomastix {Glaber) 
madeayi) ; specimens of two species of plant bugs {Dindytmis 
versicolor and LygcBus, sp.) ; and small moth caterpillar. 
Hirundo neoxena (M. 429, H. 385). Swallow. 

Cronulla, near Botany Bay, 2nd March, 1910. 

Some fragments of insects. 

(W.W.F.) Fragments of undetermined beetle. 
Microeca fascinans (M. 433, H. 86). Brown Flycatcher. 

[a] Cronuha, near Botany Bay, 2nd March, 1910. 

Fragments of insects. 

(W.W.F.) Heads of ants ; remains of various ground beetles ; 
a small butterfly (? lyccenid) : a spider. 

{h) Bowral, April, 1910. 

Remains of large insects ; a grub. 

(W.W.F.) Ants, small maggots, diptera, wings of gnats. 
Petrceca leggei (M. 438, H. 90). Scarlet-breasted Robin. 

Adelaide, 14th May, 1910. 

Numerous fragments of beetles, &c. 

(W.W.F.) Heads of ants, small caterpillars, and wings of moths. 
Petrceca phoenicea (M. 440, H. 92). Flame-breasted Robin. 

{a) Adelaide, 14th May, 1910. 

Portions of beetle and numerous minute fragments of insects. 

(W.W.F.) Nothing definite among beetle remains. 

^ilii^''] Clil i.AXi), Coiiteii/s of S/oi)iachs and Ci'ups oj Birds. Sj 

[!>) Ailrlaidc. l-ith .Ma\-. Kiio. 

Portions ol hectics and insect lar\';c (?). and niuncious lia,i;nicnts 
of insects. 

(W.W.F.) Termites (white ants, CoplDlcniiis luclciis) and wing- 
covers ol beetles. 

(f) Bowral, April, i()io. 

Numerous remains of insects. 

(W.W.F.) Remains of small ants ; ai)|)aiently nothing else. 

(d) Slopes of Mt. Kosciusko, 12th December, kjio. 

Fragments of beetles ; a grub. 

(W.W.F.) Wings of tiles (Dii)tera) ; a small moth : larva of a 
moth : small ground beetles. 

Petroeca goodenovii (M. 444, H. 93). Red-capped Robin. 

{a) Tailem Bend, S.A., May, 1910. 

Numerous small fragments of insects. 

(W.W.F.) Remains of small iiies (Diptera), and some aiit 

(h) Adelaide, 14th May, 1910. 

Portions of beetles and numerous fragments of insects. 

(W.W'.F.) Wings of moths : leg of grasshopper. 

Petroeca bicolor (M. 446, H. 97). Hooded Robin. 

Port Adelaide, 19th May, 1910. 

Remains of a large spider ; beetles and other insect remains. 

(W.W.F.) Spiders, small ants, legs of cricket, wing-covers of 

Smicrornis brevirostris (M. 449, H. 100). Short-billed Tree-Tit. 
{a) Tailem Bend. S.A., May. 1910. 
Numerous minute fragments of insects. 

(W.W.F.) Indefinite fragments of the wing-covers of beetles. 
{b) Tailem Bend, S.A., May, 1910. 
Numerous minute fragments of insects. 
(W.W.F.) Indefinite fragments of the wing-covers of beetles. 

Pseudogerygone fusca (M. 459, H. 106). Brown Fly-eater. 

Berry, ijth July. 1910. 

Fragments of insects. 

(W.W^F.) Chiefly the remains of small Diptera {Tipula, sp., 
and others). Remains of ants and one wing-cover of beetle. 

Rhipidura albiscapa (.M. 476, H. 133). White-shafted Fantail. 
Hawkesbury River. 13th August, 1910. 
(G. P. Darnell-Smith.) Insects. 

Myiagra rubecula (M. 488, H. 143). Leaden Flycatcher. 

{a) Hawkesbury River, December, 1909. 

Portions of several large insects ; a small vegetable cai)sule con- 
taining little round seeds. 

(W.W.F.) Small froghoppers (Homoptera) taken on foliage, 
several species ; Cicada, sp. ; remains of several species of beetles ; 
chiefly homopterous insects (Cercopidse). 

84 Clkland, Contents of Stomachs and Crops of Birds. [snd'oct. 

{b) Hawkesbury River, 20th November. 1909. 

Fragments of beetles and other insects. 

(W.W.F.) Syrphid flies, a number ; several muscid flies; a 
native bee : few, if any, beetle remains. Flies and small Hymen- 
optera the chief food. 
Myiagra nitida (M. 490. H. 1^4). 

Slopes of Mt. Kosciusko, loth December, 19IU. 

Fragments of beetles, &c. 

(W.W.F.) Remains of small beetles. 
Sisura inquieta (M. 493, H. 148). Restless Flycatcher. 

Tailem Bend, S.A., May, 1910. 

Remains of a number of insects. 

(W.W.F.) Remains of small moths (Lepidoptera) and spiders. 

Coracina robusta (M. 504, H. 78). Black-faced Cuckoo-Shrike. 

((/) Berry, 9th August, 1910. 

A large seed like a small loquat seed : portion of a large greenish 

(W.W.F.) Two specimens of the spiny stinging slug or cup- 
moth larvae {Doratophera lingerans) ; larva of green hawk- 
moth (i^) ; another small moth larva ; wing-covers of chrysomelid 
beetle (Paropsis) ; fragments of eucalyptus leaves. 

(J.H.M.) A single seed-pod, which looks like a pod of Goin- 
■pholobium, but no seeds inside. I am not sure about it, but can 
give no better explanation. 

(/;) Hawkesbury River, i6th October, 1910. 

Stomach dyed purple ; three large kinds of beetles and many 
fragments of insects. 

(W.W.F.) One buprestid beetle, ]3erfect ; one clerid beetle 
(Trogodcndron fasciculatiim) ; lamellicorn beetles : and various 

(J.H.M.) The seeds are — (i) Exocarpiis cnpressijormis. Labill., 
native cherry ; (2) small seeds of an unidentified plant. 

Cinclosoma punctatum (M. 515, H. 212). Spotted Ground-Thrush. 

Sydney, 3rd October, 1910. 

A number of seeds, amongst them seeds like wheat, small yellow 
seeds, small speckled seeds : a few small pieces of stone. 

(J.H.M.) Seeds of two leguminous plants, probably Trifolium 
and Me dial go. 
Psophodes crepitans (M. 526, H. 223). Coachwhip-Bird. 

{a) Hawkesbury River. November. 1909. 

Numerous fragments of insects. 

(W.W.F.) A large quantity of the heads and legs of ants, 
chiefly Ectatomma metallicum the " green-head " ; a few dip- 
terous maggots ; wings of small ground beetles ; small bundles of 
vegetable fibre, like the tips of some small weed ; other seeds : 
vegetable and animal matter about equa\ 

{b) Hawkesbury River, 20th November. 1909. 

Numerous fragments of insects ; small yellow seeds. 

^"i m' 1 Ci.KLANM), Contenls of Stomichs an'! Crofyx of Birds. 85 

(W.W'.F.) Chirtly \"egetal)k' matter, as in (<?) : remains of ttic 
same green-head ant : and one or two beetles. 

(c) Middle Harbour, 2nd April, 1910. 

Remains of beetles, &c. 

(W.W.F.) Several spiders, and remains : heads of ants : head 
of small plant-bug ; bits of legs and wing-cases of beetks : ])lant 
tissue similar to that in (a) and {b). 
Pomatostomus frivolus (M. 529, H. 226) Babbler. 

(<() Rowt'ua, near Collarenabri. N.S.W., November, 1910. 

Remains of insects. 

(W.W.F.) Remains of beetle wings. 

(b) Rowena, near Collarenabri, N.S.W., November, 1910. 

Remains of insects. 

(W.W.F.) Remains of small locust and bits of wing-covers 
of beetles. 

Pomatostomus superciliosus (M. 530, H. 227). White-browed 

(a) Tailem Bend, S.A., May, 1910. 

Portions of a cockroach ; a young grasshopper. 

(W.W.F.) Cockroach {Panesthia, sp.) ; remains of shield bugs 
(Eiimecopiis aiisiralastce)— these bugs are found on the foliage of 
young gum-trees ; wing-covers of heteromerous beetles. 

(b) Tailem Bend, S.A., May, 1910. 
Portions of a cockroach. 

(W.W.F.) One cockroach ; small red ants : plant bugs : 
beetle remains ; legs of small mole cricket. 

(c) Hallett's Cove, near Adelaide, 20th May, 1910. 
Portions of beetles and other insects. 

(W.W.F.) Remains of small click beetles, earwigs, and other 

Origma rubricata (M. 557, H. 185). Rock-Warbler. 

Hawkesbury River, November, 1909. 

Some minute fragments of insects ; some oval, dark olive seeds, 
microscopically with tubercular surfaces. 

(W.W.F.) Dipterous larvae chiefiy ; a few bits of beetle wings. 
(Suggests feeding on the ground among horse or cow droppings.) 

Acanthiza nana (M. 559, H. i<SS). Little Tit. 

Sydney, 19th October, 1910. 

Small fragments of insects, many pink-coloured : a small 

(W.W.F.) Remains of Narious small beetles : wings of gnats. 
Acanthiza pusilla (M. 561, H. 190). Brown Tit. 

Hawkesbury River, 6th April, 1910. 

Fragments of insects ; (?) part of a grub. 

(W.W.F.) Several lepidopterous larvae : wings of small flies ; 
wing-cases of small beetles. 
Acanthiza pyrrhopygia (M. 568, H. 193). Red-rumped Tit 

Tailem Bend. S..\.. Maw 1910. 

86 Cleland, Cnnten/s of Stomachs and Crops of Birds. [2nd"oct. 

Some fragments of insects ; a small ]iiere of green leaf. 

(W.W.F.) Nothing deiinite : fragments of the wing-covers of 
beetles : green-head ants. 
Acanthiza lineata (M. 569, H. 194). Striated Tit. 

(a) Sydney. 15th October, 1909. 
Numerous fragments of insects. 

(W.W.F.) Small Coleoptera, weevils, ( hrysomelidae, &c., that 
were probably taken upon the foliage of young gum-trees : small 
Neuroptera : also remains of Diptera. 

(b) Middle Harbour, Sydney, ist August, 1910. 

Stomach full of insect fragments, amongst them the skins of 
some insect pupae. 

(W.W.F.) Remains of small spider : wings of flies ; small larva; 
and beetle remains. 

(r) Adelaide, S.A., May, 1910. 

Fragments of beetles, &c. 

(W.W.F.) Plant bugs ; dipterous larva ; small caterpillar ; 
remains of beetles. 

(d) Middle Harbour, Sydney, 3rd October, 1910. 

Small fragments of beetles. 

(W.W.F.) Remains of small beetles and small Hemiptera. 
Acanthiza chrysorrhoa (M. 574. H. 19O). Yellow-rumped Tit. 

Berry, loth August, 1910. 

Fragments of insects. 

(W.W.F.) Remains of beetles, wing-covers and legs : small 
moth grul). 
Acanthiza reguloides (M. 575, H. 197). Buff-rumped Tit. 

Bowral, April, 1910. 

Numerous fragments of insects. 

(W.W.F.) Wings of small moths : heads of ants and small 
Sericornis frontalis (M. 5S2, H. 207). White-browed Scrub-Wren. 

{a) Middle Harbour. Sydney, 2nd April, 1910. 

Remains of a spider (?) and grub (?) : some small, white, oat- 
shaped seeds and a curved black one. 

(W.W\F.) One spider : a large lepidopterous larva : a May fly 
(Neuroptera), and wings of another neuropterous insect ; a few 
remains of Coleoptera. 

(J.H.M.) Paniciim mars^inatinn, R. Br. (Graminea;). I am not 
quite sure about the species, but it is certainly Pauiciini seed. 

(b) Middle Harbour, Sydney, nth June, 1910. 

Numerous remains of insects : several small seeds, of three 

(W.W.F.) Egg capsule of cockroach : remains of small beetles, 
and a book scorpion. 

(J.H.M.) A few grass-seeds, evidently Panicnm, but I do not 
recognize the species : a seed of a leguminous plant, but I do not 
recognize the genus : a seed of a plant that seems to be com- 
])Ositous. with all the traces of the pa]:iinis gone. 

Vol. XI. 1 Clkl.\nd, Contents of Stomacha and Crofts of Birds. 87 

Sericornis maculata (M. 3S(). H. 205). Spotted Scrub Wren. 

Port Adrlaide. i()th May, i<)i«>- 

A nunibcr of very small shells and their tra^Mnents : several 
small, narrow, yellowish seeds ; some fraj^nrents of insects and 
(?) grubs : some vegetable fragments. 

(W.W.F.) Cut-worms [Agrotis, sp.) 

(J.H.M.) The seeds are grass-seeds. probal)ly a species of 

(C. Hedley, Esq., F.L.S., Australian Museum.) The shells are 
Assuiiitica fasiiKvn'ca, Ten. -Woods. 
Malurus cyanochlamys (M. 59;>. H. 117). Silvery Fduc Wren. 

((/) Port Adelaide, 19th May, 1910. 

Numerous remains of beetles, &c. 

(W.W.F.) Heads of plant bugs ; wing-covers of beetles. 

{h) Port Adelaide, 19th May, 1910. 

Numerous remains of beetles, &c. 

(W.W.F.) Nothing definite. Two small cocoons. 

Stipiturus malachurus (M. 610, H. 174). Emu-Wren. 

Sydney, 3rd October, 1910. 

Portions of insects ; a long, green leg of an insect. 

(W.W.F.) Remains of green mantis ; wing-covers of small 
lamellicorn beetles ; elytra of Heteromera (beetles). 
Artamus tenebrosus (M. 634, H. 398). Wood-Swallow. 

Narrabeen. N.S.W.. 2()th March, 1910. 

Remains of beetles and other insects ; some small seeds. 

(W.W.F.) Elytra and legs of small beetles ; heads and remains 
of small bees ; one small fly ; bee remains most abundant. 

(J.H.M.) Cladium. s\V. (Cyperacae), probably C. marisciis, 
R. Br., a tall coast plant producing seeds in abundance. 

Grallina picata (M. 646, H. 67). Magpie-Lark. 

Rowcna, near Collarenabri, November, 1910. 

Small beetles and portions of other insects. 

(W.W.F.) Plague locusts {Chortoicetes terminijcva) : ground- 
feeding beetles. 
Gymnorhina tibicen (M. ()47, H. 243). Black-backed Magpie. 

{a) Sydney, 2nd March, 1910. 

(W.W.F.) Dipterous larva ; one cut-worm ; two small grubs ; 
ground spider ; remains of a number of locusts and grasshoi^pers. 
Chief food, locusts and grasshoppers. 

(/>) Berry, 9th August, 1910. 

Stomach full of remains of insects, amongst them a numlier of 
small black beetles. 

(W.W.F.) Remains of small heteromerous beetles, small 
ground weevils, and a few carabid beetles ; chiefly fragments of 

{c) Bowral, AjMil. Kjio. 

Numerous portions of large insects. 

(W.W.F.) Remains of bulldog ants {Myrmccia. sp.) ; legs of 

88 Cleland, Contents of Stomachs and Crops of Birds. [jnl'o'ct. 

grasshopper: remains of small ground beetles {AnotJiopha^us, sp., 
and other Scarabaeidae). 

[d) Hawkesbury River, 13th August, iqio. 

(G. P. Darnell-Smith.) Two soldier ants ; one wild tig. 
Pachycephala pectoralis (M. 667. H. 265). White-throated Thick- 

((/) Hawkesbury River, Oth August. 1910. 

(G. P. Darnell-Smith.) Insects ; insect larvae ; one spider. 

[b) Hawkesbury River. 6th August, iqio. 
(G. P. Darnell-Smith.) Small seeds. 

(c) Hawkesbury River, 13th August. 1910. 
(G. P. DarneU-Smith.) Insects. 

((/) Hallett's Cove, near Adelaide, May, 1910. 

Portions of large beetles. 

(W.W.F.) Remains of ants, earwig, and beetles. 

Pachycephala ruflventris (M. 674. H. 271). Rufous-breasted 

((/) Hawkesbury River. January, 1910. 

Portions of insects : empty seed-vessel of a plant. 

(W.W.F.) Spiders, two species ; homopterous insects (Cer- 
copidae) ; head, body, and damaged wings of weevil beetles ; small 
plant bugs. Food obtained upon low shrubs, probably 

[b) Hawkesbury River, 20th November. 1909. 

Fragments of beetles and other insects. 

(W.W.F.) Nearly all remains of beetles : small Homoptera. 
Eopsaltria australis (M. b^^, H. 259). Yellow-breasted Shrike- 
Robin (Yellow Robin). 

Middle Harbour, Sydney, ist August. 1910. 

Bulldog ant : remains of small beetle : numerous other insect 

(W.W.F.) Chief food, ants of various species — bulldog ant 
{Myrmecia giilosa), wood ant {PolyrhacJns, sp.), green-head ant 
{Edaiomrna inctaUicuni) : moth caterpillar and wing-cover of 
Aphelocephala leucopsis (M. 689, H. 239). W^hiteface. 

Hallett's Cove, near Adelaide, 20th May, 1910. 

Numerous fragments of beetles, &c. ; portion of a seed, and some 
chlorophyll-containing vegetable fragments ; a little sand. 

(W.W.F.) Remains of wing-covers and legs of beetles. 

Climacteris picumna (M. 704, H. 281). White-throated Tree- 

[a) Narrabeen, 26th March, 1910. 

Smell of ants ; fragments of insects (?) ; ant eggs. 

(W.W.F.) Chief food remains are ants of several species, with 
a few remains of the elytra of small beetles. I see no ant eggs 
(larvae ?). 

{b) Mount Lofty. Adelaide. 17th May. i()io. 

^"'iQi^" 1 Ci.ELAND, Content!; of Stomachs and Crops of Birds. 89 

Large jiortions ot s("\-cr;il beetles and iniinei()\is Iraj^Miients of 

(W.W.F.) Keiuaius ol one ot the f^round weevils. Cubicor- 
rhynchus. s]i. 

'((•) BowraL A[)ril 1910. 

Numerous remains of l^ectles, &c. 

(W.W.F.) Ants and wing-covers of small ground beetles. 

((0 Tent Hill Northern New South Wales, ibth December. I()To 

Portions of insects. 

(W.W.F.) Puna of cicada, small moths, and lemains of bark- 
hunting beetles. 

Zosterops coerulescens (M. 712. H. 301). White-eye. 

{(i) Middle Harbour. Sydney, 5th Fel)ruary. i()io. 

Stomach stained a crimson-lake : remains of blackberries ; wings 
of insects. 

(W.W.F. ^ Wings of the i:)assiou vine froghopper (Scaly papa 
(Phochazia) auslralis). 

(b) Middle Harbour. 2nd April, 1910. 
Fragments of insects ; a minute reddish seed. 

(W.W^F.) Two lepidopterous larvfe ; part of wing of tfy and 
few fragments of beetle wings. 

(c) Middle Harbour, 2nd April, 1910. 

Fragments of insects and seeds ; some minute grains of quartz. 
(W.W.F) Remains of very small spider. 

(d) Middle Harbour, 6th August. 1910. 
Portion of a grub and small spider. 

(W.W.F.) Wings of PsvUa ; small jumping spider ; looper 
caterpillar; and remains of small lace wings (Neuroptera). 

(f) :\Iiddle Harbour, 6th August, iqio. 

Portion of a grub ; several minute coral-pink, oval eggs. 

(W.W.F. '^ Small moth grub ; other remains indefinite. 

(/) Mount Lofty, Adelaide. 17th May, iqio. 

A few fragments of beetles and other insects. 

(W.W.F.) Several small moth caterpillars and a beetle. 

(g) Mount Lofty, Adelaide, 17th May, igio. 

Legs of yellowish sj^der (?) ; about half a dozen whitish grubs, 
about |-inch long. 

(W.W.F.) Small cater})illars and a spider. 

(h) Middle Harbour, Sydney, nth June, 1910. 

Some insect remains ; stomach nearly full of small flowers. 

(W.W.F.) Small caterpillar of moth : a number of thrips ; 
a staphylinid beetle and remains of small beetles ; all these 
insects probably ca))tured on the flowers. 

(J.H.M.) See (i). 

{{) Middle Harbour, Sydney, nth June, 1910. 

Some insect remains ; stomach nearly full of small flowers. 

(W.W.F.) Insect remains few and indefinite : only two or three 
fragments of beetles. 

(J.H.M.) Flowers of Lciicopoi^oii identiial with tlujse of (/;) 

QO Cleland, Contents of Stomachs and Crops of Birds. [jnf'o'ci 

(/■) Middle Harbour, Sydney, nth June, iqio. 

Some insect remains ; stomach nearly full of small flowers. 

(W.W.F.) Wing-covers of small beetles and legs of a spider, 
probably taken on the flowers. 

(J.H.M.) Flowers of the Leucopogon, identical wtih those of (/?). 

{k) Middle Harbour, Sydney, nth June, 1910. 

Stomach stained a deep purple ; intestinal contents deep 
purple ; portion of an insect ; pale yellowish skins of some fruit. 

(W.W.F.) Remains of one beetle. 

(J.H.M.) Skins of the inkberry {Phytolacca octandra, L.) The 
note that the stomach was stained a deep purple gave me the 
hint as to the oiigin of the skin, and I find that the stain is 
identical with that of berries in this herbarium. 

(/) Neutral Bay, Sydney, 19th October, 1910. 

Vegetable fragments, apparently of a berry : a few minute 
fragments of insects. 

Pardalotus punctatus (M. 726, H. 379), Spotted Pardalote. 
Jindabyne, X.S.W., 12th December, 1910. 
Minutely comminuted fragments of a metallic beetle. 
(W.W.F.) Remains of wing-covers of Coleoptera. 

Melithreptus brevirostris (M. 741, H. 313). Short-biUed Honey- 

[a) Sydney, 15th October, 1909. 

A few insect remains ; (?) part of a spider. 

(W.W.F.) Coleoptera. 

[h) Middle Harbour, 28th March, 1910. 

Several small grubs ; remains of a small brownish spider with 
a number of small white young ones. 

(W.W.F.) Six spiders of different species ; a number of small 
ones, probably on the back of one of the adult spiders when eaten ; 
head of a froghopper (Homoptera) ; a number of lepidopterous 
larvae of various moths. This is, by the contents of its stomach, 
one of our good insectivorous birds. 

Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris (M. 752, H. 299). Spine-billed 

(a) Hawkesbury River, December, 1909. 

Small fragments of insects. 

(W.W.F.) Many of the fragments are the bits of wing-covers 
of small homopterous insects ; a few beetles and two ants. 

(/)) Mount Lofty, Adelaide, 17th May. 1910. 

A few small fragments of insects. 

(W.W.F.) Nothing definite in beetle remains. 

[c) Hawkesbury River, 3rd Octo]:)er, 1910. 

A large hymenopterous insect. 

(W.W.F.)' Chiefly remains of dung beetles {Onthot>hngns, sp.) : 
also remains of wasp {Thynnus, flower wasp ?). 
Glyciphila meianops (M. 756, H. 317). Tawny-crowned Honey- 

^"^i' 11^' 1 Ci.Ki.ANn, Contents of Stomachs and Crops of Birds. QI 

Middk- Hiirl)()ur. ()th Ai)ril, Kjro. 
Two small H\'incnoi)tera : remains of other inseets. 
(W'.W'.lv) Iwo braconid wasps (Braconidie) and the remains 
ot a minibrr of small flies (Diptera). 

Ptilotis chrysotis (M. 770, H. 329). Yellow-eared Honey-eater. 

(,/) Ilaukesbury River, 20th December, 1909. 

Some fragments of insects : a number of small kidney-shajied 
seeds, sculptured with pits. 

(W.W.F.) Remains of Coleoptera. Are not the seeds those of 
trefoil clover ? 

{b) Hawkesbury Ri\-er, December, 1909. 

Some fragments of insects ; some small, kidney-shaped seeds, 
rt'ddish-brown. in a reddish-brown matrix. 

(W.W.F.) Remains of two spiders ; several ants ; the head 
and broken elytra of small beetle. 

((■) Hawkesbury River, 6th April. 19TO. 

Stomach stained pur])le ; a number of large purplish seeds. 

(J.H.M.) Stephania hernandifolia ? (Menispermea). I failed 
to identify the purple fruits which stained the stomach. Amongst 
this fruit was a single but unmistakable seed of Stephania 
hernandifolia. a slender vine very common on sandy sea-coasts. 

Ptilotis sonora (M. 772, H. 334). Singing Honey-eater. 

[a) Tailem Bend, S.A.. May, 1910. 

Numerous portions of ants and other insects : two seeds 
surrounded by white fluffy " flesh " ; on section show green 

(W.W.F.) Ants chiefly : remains of several moths. 

(J.H.M.) Vegetable remains not recognizable. 

[b) Murray Flats, near Blanchetown, S.A., May. 191 1. 
Purplish fruits (?) of a salt-bush. 

(Mr. Mackinnon, per J.H.M.) Seeds of KoiJiia. 

Ptilotis leucotis (M. 77N. H. 339). White-eared Honey-eater. 

Middle Harbour, i.Sth March, 1910. 

Fragments of insects. 

(W.W.F.) Remains of wing-covers of small beetles, probably 
obtained in the flowers of the eucalypts. All the Honey-eaters 
are known to feed upon the small insects they find when sucking 
up the honey of the flowers, but are only insecti\-orous in a minor 

Ptilotis melanops (M. 781. H. 342). Yellow-tufted Honey-eater. 

Middle Harbour, ist August. 1910. 

Some minute fragments of insects. 

(W.W.F.) Insect remains small and indefinite : only some 
wings of aphids can be determined. 

Meliornis pyrrhoptera (M. 7r)7. H. 353). Crescent Honey-eater 
((/) Mount Lofty. Adelaide. 17th May, 1910. 
A few small fragments of insects. 

02 Cleland, Contents of Stomachs and Crops of Birds [^^^^ 


(W.W.F.) Nothing definite : a few fragments of the wing- 
covers of beetles. 

{h) Mount Lofty Range. Adelaide, 23rd May, 1910. 

A few small fragments of insects ; some minute fragments of 
green vegetable matter. 

(W.W.F.) Remains of beetles. 

Meliornis novae-hollandiae (M. 799, H. 354). New Holland Honey- 

{a) Hawkesbury River, 20th November, 1909. 

Small fragments of insects. 

(W.W.F.) Chiefly remains of wings of small flies (Diptera) 
and small ichneumon wasps ; a few elytra of beetles. 

{h) Middle Harbour, 9th April, 1910. 

An anthomyid fly • fragments of many other insects. 

(W.W.F.) An almost perfect specimen and wings of several 
small flies. 

(c) Middle Harbour, i6th July, 1910. 

Portions of small gnats (?). 

(W.W.F ) Remains of very small flies (Diptera). 

{d) Middle Harbour, ist August. 1910. 

A small hymenopterous insect ; remains of other insects. 

(W.W.F.) Remains of small flies (Diptera) : wing-covers of 

{e) Middle Harbour, ist August, 191c. 

Stomach full of minute fragments of insects, amongst them a 
small hymenopterous insect. 

(W.W.F.) Nearly all the remains consist of small midges and 

(/) Middle Harbour, 6th August, 1910. 

A small gnat. 

(W.W.F.) All the insect remains indefinite, with the exception 
of a bundle of legs of gnats. 

(g) Mount Lofty Range, Adelaide, 23rd May, 1910. 

Numerous portions of small beetles, &c. 

(W.W.F.) Remains of ants and wing-covers of beetles. 

Meliornis sericea (M. 801. H. 356). White-cheeked Honey-eater. 

[a) Middle Harbour, 28th March, 1910. 
Remains of insects. 

(W.W.F.) Remains of wings of small flies (Diptera) : a few 
bits of beetle wings. 

(b) Middle Harbour, i6th July, 1910. 
Several flies (Diptera). 

(W.W.F.) Two small moths : remains of muscid flies. 

Anthochaera caruneulata (M. 808, H. 363). Red Wattle-Bird. 

Jindabyne, N.S.W., 12th December, 1910. 

Stomach full of metallic fragments of a beetle. 

(W.W.F.) Remains of Coleoptera, apparently wing-cases of 
small metallic lamellicorn on wattle trees {DiphiivepJuihi. sp.) 

Vol. XI. "j Clelani), Conlenls of Stomachs and Crofts of Birds. Q^ 

Anellobia chrysoptera (M. 810. H. ;()5). l>nisli Waltle-Piinl. 

Mulcllr Ilaii.oiir, 28th March. Kjio. 

Some fragments of lieetles. 

(W.W.F.) Remains of lieads and elytra of beetles ; the fangs 
of several spiders. 
Anthus australis (M. S22. H. jcjo). Ground-Lark. 

(<i) Bathurst, January, Kjio. 

Fragments of beetles ; wings. lS^c., of insects ; a small grass seed. 

(W.W.F.) Ants (Formicidce) ; heteromerous beetle ; ladybird 
beetle [Coccinella) ; small carab l^eetle ; more ants than beetles. 

(b) Summit of Mt. Kosciusko, loth December, 1910. 

Fragments of insects. 

(W.W.F.) Remains of ground-hunting spiders, with a few 
wing-cases of beetles. 

ffigintha temporalis (M. 838, H. 412). Red-browed Finch. 

{a) Narrabeen, 2()th March, igio. 

Small oval white seeds. 

(b) Middle Harbour, Sydney, 9th April, 1910. 

Fragments of small white seeds. 

(f) Middle Harbour, Sydney, 9th xApril, igio. 

Fragments of small white seeds. 

{d) and {e) Berry, loth August, 1910. 

A number of small whitish seeds and minute orange or brown 

(J.H.M.) Three small kinds of seeds, probably all grasses. The 
narrow seed is i^robably an Eragrostis, but 1 cannot give the genus 
of the other two. 

(/) and is) Berry, loth August, 1910. 

A number of small seeds as in (d) and (e). 

(J.H.M.) The same three seeds as in (a) and (b). In addition, 
another small flat seed, which is not a grass, and belongs to the 

Oriolus Sagittarius (M. 850, H. 62). Oriole. 
Berry, loth August, 1910. 

A seed like a small date seed ; portions of large grub. 
(W.W.F.) Looper caterpillar (fam. Geometerida;). 
(J.H.M.) Stone of the white cedar (Melia azcdcrach, L.) 

Corvus coronoides (M. 872, H. 44). Crow. 

(d) Rowena, near CoUarenabri, N.S.W., November, 1910. 

A number of maggots, with remains of dead sheep. 

(W.W.F.) Maggots of Calliphora rufifacies, one of the blow- 
flies that infest wool ; beetles and ants. 

{b) Jindabyne, N.S.W., 12th December. 1910. 

Stomach full of comminuted fragments of grasshoppers. 

(W.W.F.) Tail bones of a lamli : beetle remains ; remains of 
locusts (grasshoppers). 

Corone australis (M. 874, H. 45). Raven. 
Jindabyne, N.S.W., I2th December, 1910. 

Q4 Cleland, Contents of Stomachs and Crops of Birds. [,„d"oct. 

Stomach crammed full of maroon-coloured fragments of grass- 

(W.W.F.) Apparently this bird has been feeding on locusts 
(grasshoppers) ; hardly any other food. 

Strepera versicolor (M. 878, H. 49). Grey Crow-Shrike. 

Slopes of Mt. Kosciusko. 12th December, iC)io. 

Metallic fragments of a large beetle. 

(W.W.F.) The remains of our golden stag beetle {Lampriina 
latreUei). It has evidently made its breakfast of these large and 
very hard-bodied beetles. 

Introduced Birds. 

Passer domesticus. House Sparrow. 

[a] Adelaide, 14th May, 1910. 

Several small white seeds. 

(J.H.M.) This seed seems to be identical with LLraj^^ruslris, 
found in Sericornis maculata (M. 586), Port Adelaide, but is more 

(&) Adelaide, 14th May, iqio. 

A few fragments of grain, and a number of small pieces of 
quartz, &c., gravel. 
Fringilla chloris. Greenfinch. 

Narrabeen, 26th March, 1910. 

Some small seeds of two kinds ; some remains of black seeds. 

Stomach Contents of Birds from Lord Howe Island, 
October, ioio. 
(Collected and identified by T. Harvey Johnston. D.Sc.) 
Ocydromus sylvestris (not in Mathews' List ; in Basset Hull's 
List, placed after ^lathews' 52). Flightless Rail. 
{a) (b) Insect remains. 
Puffinus tenuirostris (M. 84. H. bys)- Short-tailed Petrel (Mutton- 
(a) {b) {c) {d) Squid beaks and remains. 
(e) Oily contents from squid. 
Sterna fuliginosa (M. 128, H. 650). Sooty Tern. 

Fragments of a small crab. 
Procelsterna cinerea (M. 132, H. 654). Grey Noddy. 

(a) (b) (c) Stomachs full of " whale food." a small red crustacean 
somewhat like My sis. 

Anous stolidus (M. 133, H. 655). Noddy. 
((() (h) (c) (</) Fish fragments in all. 

Charadrius dominicus (M. 151, H. 608). Lesser Golden Plover. 
{a) Foraminilera. shells (gastropod), beetle. 

(b) (c) Isopods (a common crustacean along the beach, devouring 
debris, &c.) in each. 

{d) Gastropods (periwinkles) ; l)eetle remains. 

^"i M ' 1 Cliu-AND, Contents oj Siuniac/is and Crot^s of Birds. Q5 

Limosa novae-zealandiae (M. I'lj. H. ()24). r>;inc(l-iunii>c(l (lodwit. 
((0 (irass and a lew small seeds. 
(/') Cut-wonn and eaitliwoini : shell iragmcnts. 

Heteropygia aurita (H. acuminata) (M. i8i, H. 634). Sluup-taikd 
Stint (Marsh Tringa). 

((0 {!)) (iastropods ; grass ; insect larvft. 
Sula cyanops (M. 244. H. 731). Masked (iannet. 

(^0 Flying-tish. 

{b) (c) Fish remains. 
Halcyon vagans (M. 393). New Zealand Kinglisher. 

(«) Caterpillars ; also many short-horned grasslioi)pers. 

{b) Spiders ; beetles. 

{c) Short-horned grasshoppers. 
Zosterops strenua (M. 718). 

Fruit (not recognizable). 
Aplonis fuscus (M. 855). 

Land mollusc ; a native fruit. 
Strepera graculina (M. 875. H. 4O). Pied Crow-Shrike. 

(a) {b) (t) ((0 (f) (/) [g) Fruits in all ; pandanus fruit in one. 

Australian Birds in Siberia. 

By Sergius A. Buturlin, F.M.B.O.U., Wesenberg, Russia. 

I HAVE studied our birds from 1887 — first on the middle Volga 
(where lies the home of my parents), then about Lake Ladoga 
and in the Baltic Provinces, and made several trips to Arkh- 
angelsk Government, Kolguev, and Novaia Zemlia, and on the 
middle Irtysh and upper Ob valleys, central Siberia. All the 
year 1905 I studied the bird-life in the Kolyma and Indigirka 
basins, and collected about 7,000 specimens (skins) and 700 eggs 
in Yakutsk Government. Besides, I have studied all or most 
collections in the museums of St. Petersburg, Moskwa, Warsaw, 
Kiev, Tiflis, Semipolatinsk, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, Yakutsk, and 
Vladivostock. Therefore I may claim to know the birds of the 
Russian Empire well enough — only too well to know what 
immense gaps in our knowledge still exist. 

So far, I know we have 48 forms in common with Australia. 
Among them, three are only exceptionally rare visitors to Russian 
limits : Piiffmus griseus (Sombre Petrel) is even not yet trust- 
worthily recorded, Sula piscator (Masked Gannet) was once j)ro- 
cured in De Castries Bay, and Antigone australasiana (Australian 
Crane) in Yakutsk Government.* I have carefully studied this 
last specimen. It is without doubt an adult (at least two years 
old) of this species, though much smaller in all dimensions than 

* This "Native Coni])anion " may have escaped from some Zoological 
Gardens. — Eds. 

90 BuTURLiN, Australian Birds in Siberia. L2nd"oct. 

an Australian adult bird with which I compared it in St. Peters- 
burg Academical Museum. The skin was received in Moskwa 
from a Polish exile, who sends many birds to Moskwa Museum 
from Yakutsk. It was of the same build as the last, and the 
man was not aware of the exceptional value of it. There cannot 
be the slightest doubt that the bird was actually obtained near 
Yakutsk, though it was not labelled — indeed, he did not label 
any birds he obtained from local Yakutsk shooters. 

Another 10 or 11 species breed not only within our limits, but 
also, perhaps in slightly different forms, in Australia : Podiccps 
cristahis (I use mostly names of Dresser's " Manual of Palaearctic 
Birds "), Sterna sinensis (White-shafted Ternlet), S. anglica (Gull- 
billed Tern), S. caspia (Caspian Tern), Hydrochelidon hybrida 
(Marsh Tern), Strepsilas interpres (Turnstone), Ardetta sinensis 
(Little Yellow Bittern), Plegadis jalcinellus (Glossy Ibis), Ardea 
cinerea (Grey Heron), Phalacrocorax carbo (Black Cormorant), 
Piiffiniis teniiirosiris (Short-tailed Petrel or " Mutton-Bird "). 

One species, Diomedea albatrus (Short-tailed Albatross), is only 
a wanderer near our shores. Other 31 species do breed in our limits, 
and winter in or accidentally wander to Australia, namely : — 
Stercorarius pomatorhinus (Pomarine Skua), S. crepidatns 
(Richardson Skua), Hydrochelidon leucoptera (White-winged Tern), 
Numenius cyanopus (Curlew), N. variegatus (Whimbrel), N. 
minuius (Little Whimbrel). Limosa melanuroides (Black-tailed 
Godwit), L. novcB-zealandicB. (Barred-rumped Godwit), Terekia 
cinerea (Terek Sandpiper), Heteractitis brevipes (Grey-rumped 
Sandpiper), Actitis hypoleucus (Common Sandpiper), Totaniis 
glareola (Wood-Sandpiper), T. stagnatilis (Little Greenshank). 
T. glottis (Greenshank), Calidris arenaria (Sanderling), Tringa 
crassirostris (Great Sandpiper), T. canutus (Knot), T. subarquata 
(Curlew Stint), T. suhmimUa (Middendorff Stint), T. ruficollis 
(Little Stint), T. acuminata (Sharp-tailed Stint), Mgialitis mon- 
goliis (Mongolian Sand-Dottrel), Mgialitis geoffroyi (Large Sand- 
Dottrel), Eitdromias verediis (Oriental Dottrel), Sqnatarola helvetica 
(Grey Plover), Charadriiis fiilviis (Lesser Golden Plover), Glareola 
orientalis (Oriental Pratincole), Ciiciilus satitratus (Oriental Cuckoo), 
Acanthyllis caiidacnta (Spine-tailed Swift), Cypseltis pacificus 
(White-rumped Swift), Hiriindo gutturalis (Eastern Swallow). 

The geographical distribution of most of these birds within our 
limits, furnished by me, has been published in Mr. Henry 
Dresser's work on " Eggs of Western Palaearctic Birds," just 
finished, and I can give fuller details if required. The following 
species are not mentioned in Dresser's work : — 

Numenius cyanopus (Curlew). — Breeds in southern parts of 
Eastern Siberia, as far west as southern Baikal and upper Olekina 
(tributary of Lena), and as far north as about 56-57° N. on (Lena) 

Numenius phcBopits variegatus (Whimbrel). — Breeds in Eastern 
Siberia as far west as Lena and Baikal. In the north it breeds 
in large numbers on Kolyma as far as (xj° N.. on the borders of 

^"'I'gw'"] BvTVRLis, Ansiralian Birds in Siberia. (Yj 

the tundras. On Ob and Yenisei no Whimbrels breed, and the 
only straggler that I have seen from Yenisei belongs to the typical 
form (iV. phccopus). 

Ntimenitis minutus (Little Whimbrel). — Breeds evidently on 
upper Yana (near Verkhojansk, about hjV" N.) and middle Lena. 
Not further south than about 59" N. I have specimens shot in 
summer near their nests, but nests were not seen. Not met with 
on Kolyma or further east. 

Limosa indaniiroides (Black-tailed (iodwit). — Breeds in Eastern 
Siberia as far north as Kamchatka (perhaps Commander Island), 
shores of Okhotsk Sea, Baikal, and as far west as upper Yenisei 
valley (rare). Series collected by me in Smeinogorsk district 
(Altai) belong to western species {melanura). 

Limosa lapponica novce-zealandicB (Barred-rumped (iodwit). — 
Breeds in Eastern Siberia as far north as Taimyr Peninsula and 
tundras at the mouth of Kolyma. Breeds in colonies, and is very 
noisy. I brought back some downy young. Seems not to breed 
in the region of true " taiga." 

Heteractitis brevipes (Grey-rumped Sandpiper). — During summer 
is met with from middle Lena (once procured at Yeniseisk) to 
Kamchatka, and as far north as about 68° N. on Indigirka (bat 
not on Kolyma). Have not observed it in its nesting haunts. 

Tringa crassirostris (Great Sandpiper). — Common in the end of 
July and in August on shores of Okhotsk Sea. Was met with 
on Commander Island and Anadyr. An adult male shot in May 
near Verkhojansk (67^° N., on Yana River) by one of my party, 
but certainly does not breed in arctic parts of Siberia (perhaps 
goes to alpine tundras of Stanovoi Mountains to breed). 

Tringa subminiita (Middendorff Stint).* — Also not an arctic bird. 
Breeds in eastern and central Siberia, not further north than 
66° N. in easternmost parts of its range, and much less northerly 
further inland. Seems to breed as far south as Saghalien, southern 
parts of Yeniseisk Government (Minusiusk district), and as far 
west (in small numbers) as lower Irtysh valley. Eggs and young 
not yet procured. 

Tringa ruficollis (Little Stint). — Breeds in tundras of lower 
Lena, Yana. and New Siberian Archipelago. Not met with on 
Indigirka and Kolyma (rare, and perhaps only straggling, to 
Yenisei), but seems to breed commonly in Chuckchi Land and on 
Anadyr. I have found that its eggs were brought home by Dr. 
Bunge under the name of T. minuta, and my friend ^Mr. H. 
Dresser figured these eggs in The Ibis several years ago. 

.Egialitis {Ochthodromus) mongoliis ^Mongolian Sand-Dottrel). — 
Breeds on Commander Island, shores of Okhotsk Sea. and west- 
wards into eastern Dauria. 

Endromias (Ochthodromus) veredus (Oriental Dottrel). — In our 
limits, and once met with near Samarkand, in Turkestan. 

* The Middendorff Stint has not yet been recorded as an AustraUan bird, 
although it has been found in the Malayan Archipelago. — Eds. 

q8 Buturlin, Australian Birds in Siberia. f 

nd Oct. 

Glareola ovicntalis (Oriental Pratincole). — Breeds in southern 

Apus {Micro pus) pacificus (White-rumped Swift). — Breeds from 
steppes of Akmolinsk Government, in south-western Siberia, 
through Siberia, and as far north as at least 58^'' X. on Yenisei 
and 60° N. on Lena. 

Hiriindo gutturalis (Eastern Swallow). — South-eastern Siberia. 
(All my specimens from Kolyma, Yana, middle Lena, and south- 
eastern part of Yeniseisk Government — basins of Chuna and Mura, 
left tributaries of Angara or upper Tunguska — belong to H. 
tythleri ; and specimens from Yeniseisk Government, west of qif 
E. from Greenwich, to H. rustica typica). 

T may add that Acanthyllis {Chcetura) caudacuta (Spine-tailed 
Swift) breeds from upper parts of Yenisei as far north as Yeniseisk, 
and in Amur Land to the northern parts of Amur basin. 

Descriptions of a New Petrel and of Some Nestlings. 
Bv A. F. Basset Hull. R.A.O.U., Sydney. 

Puffinus intermedius, n. sp.— Solitary Petrel. 

Adult Male. — General colour above blackish-brown, feathers of 
the back narrowly margined with lighter ; crown of the head 
black ; throat, sides of the neck, and entire under surface greyish- 
brown, the shafts of the breast feathers black ; bases of all the 
body feathers grey, darker towards the tip ; wing coverts and 
secondaries blackish-brown, margined with lighter ; primaries 
darker ; under wing coverts ashy-grey, with black shafts ; rump 
and upper tail coverts black, broadly margined with dark grey ; 
outer tail feathers sooty-black, the central feather distinctly 
longer than the others. 

Bill lead colour : tarsi lead colour in front, bluish behind : toes 
black ; interdigital membrane bluish-black above, darker beneath ; 
iris black. 

Total length. 17 inches : wing, 10.5 : tail, 3.5 : bill, 1.25 : tarsus, 
2 ; middle toe and claw, 2.5. 

Compared with Puffinus hrevicaudus (Gould), this bird is larger 
(4 inches longer), more robust, has a stouter bill, and is generally 
lighter in colour. It differs from P. griseus (Gmelin) in its 
slightly smaller size, much smaller and slighter bill, darker colour, 
and the absence of the white under wing coverts. 

The type specimen was taken by me, in company with Mr. 
Thos. P. Austin, at Cabbage Tree Island, at the entrance to Port 
Stephens, New South Wales, on the 4th December, iqio {vide 
Emu, vol. X., p. 257). The bird was discovered in a burrow 
beneath a boulder in the scrub about half-way towards the top of 
the island. Quite close to this burrow a male Wedge-tailed Petrel 
was also found in a similar retreat. Both birds appeared to be 
merely in hiding, and there was no apparent intention of using 
the hiding-]:)lace as a nest. 

The Emu, Vol. XL 


White-winged Petrel {(Estrelata leucoptera) in Nesting Site, 
Cabbage Tree Island, New South Wales. 

Nestling White-winged Petrel {(Estrelata leucoptera). 
Cabbage Tree Island, New South Wales. 


^°ioi^' J ^vi.\., Descriptions of New Petrel and Some Nestliw^s. QQ 

This hird (/'. iiitcr)iicdiits) \v;is xcry savage, and made several 
\'ici()us dashes at my liand. hissing and making a wailing cry at 

(Estrelata leucoptera ((iould) \Vihtk-win(;ed Pktkel 

Nestling. — About four weeks old : — Head and the whole ui)i)er 
surface covered with bluish-grey down, extending on to thi' 
flanks ; chin, throat, and uj)per breast white ; centre of breast, 
abdomen, and under tail white. Bill black : interdigital membrane 
fleshy white and basal half black Total length, 8 inches. 

Younger birds, about 5 inches in length, show more of the white 
on the under surface. Both taken on Cabbage Tree Island, 30th 
January. i()ii. (See Plate IX.) 

Puffinus sphenurus (Gould)— Wedge-tailed Petrel. 

Nestling. — About two weeks old : — Covered with down, the 
upper and most of the under surface ashy-grey, throat and upper 
breast greyish-white. Bill black, with horn-coloured tip Feet 
yellowish-white. Total length, 6 inches. Broughton I?land, 
30th January, 1911. 

About ten weeks old : — True feathers on back and wings sooty- 
black, ashy-grey on the breast ; throat darker. Bill black ; feet 
and toes yellowish-white. Total length, 10 inches. Broughton 
Island, 13th March, 191 1. 

Avifauna of New South Wales Islands. 

Bv A. F. B.ASSET Hull, R.A.O.U.. Sydney. 
Part I. 
The superior greenness of distant hills is proverbial, and the same 
attraction of remoteness appeals to the average ornithologist, 
who will accomplish long journeys to visit distant islands in 
search of something new, passing by unsuspected treasure-spots 
near home. Generations of naturalists have gone far afield from 
Sydney, neglecting the numerous islets dotted along the coast 
of New South Wales, unaware of the riches that lay so close to 

In my last contribution to this journal {Emu, vol. .\., p. 253). 
I gave a brief account of the results of three visits to the islands 
in the vicinity of Port Stephens, and I propose now to continue 
the narrative of other expeditions taken since, and (I hope) to be 
taken from time to time as opportunity permits. 

With the valuable co-operation of Mr. H. L. White, of Belltrees, 
N.S.W., I have made two more expeditions, and look forward to 
many more visits to our coastal islands during the remainder of 
this year. 

A brief glance at previous expeditions and results may be per- 
mitted as a preface to this series of notes. In September, 1907, 
I visited Montague Island, 150 miles south of Sydney, where the 
Silver Gulls (Lanis novcc-hollandice) were found breeding in great 

100 Hull, Avifauna of Neiv South Wales Islands. [onf'oct 

numbers, and the Little Penguins {Endyptula minor) were dis- 
covered and recorded as breeding — the farthest north record up 
to that date. My notes on this trip were pubhshed in this journal 
for October, 1907. In October, 1909, I visited several of the 
islets off Wollongong, known as the Five Islands. Here I dis- 
covered the White-faced Storm-Petrel {Pelagodronia marina) 
breeding, thus establishing another " farther north " record for 
this species, and also brought the Little Penguin's breeding record 
a farther stage north. In October and December, 1910, I visited 
Cabbage Tree and Broughton Islands, off Port Stephens, and took 
the eggs of both of the last-named species at a still farther north 
stage, besides re-discovering the White-winged Petrel {(Estrelafa 
leiicoptera), and taking the type egg of that species. 

My next excursion took place in January last. Accompanied 
by Mr. S. W. Jackson, Mr Robert Grant (Taxidermist to the 
Australian Museum) and his wife, and rny son, I left Sydney on 
the 26th January and journeyed overland to Saltash, at the head 
of Port Stephens, and proceeded thence by launch down to 
Nelson's Bay. The day was stormy, with frequent tropical rain, 
but we fared through without mishap, only to find that the sea 
at the entrance to the Port was too heavy to admit of our getting 
out on the following morning. We decided to make the best use 
of our time inside the Port, and went up by launch to Boondabah, 
or Middle Island, a well-timbered and high islet about 8 miles 
from the bay It was still raining at intervals, but we thoroughly 
explored the islet, finding no trace of breeding sea-birds, and 
but few land-birds Coracina mentalis, Malurus cyanochlamys. 
Halcyon sanctus, Micrceca fascinans, Artamus sordid us, and Ptilotis 
chrysops were noted. The scrub was in some parts very thick, 
and in its wet state made exploration somewhat unpleasant. 

We then proceeded to Schnapper or Cabbage Tree Island, a 
few miles further up the Port, where the Nankeen Night-Heronry 
described in my last article is situated. Here we found a con- 
siderable number of adult and young birds in all stages of plumage 
flying about the tree-tops, squatting on the rough stick nests, 
or perched in more or less statuesque attitudes on the branches. 
Sad to relate, however, very many dead birds were discovered 
scattered about on the ground, where some ruthless " sportsmen " 
had left them after kiUing them for the mere lust of destruction. 
It was interesting to note the variation in colouring of the legs 
of the living birds. Greyish to vivid green characterized the 
young birds, while the adults varied from yellow to bright 

On the following morning we were informed by the signalman 
at Nelson's Bay that the sea was going down, so we essayed the 
trip to Broughton Island. Crossing the bar was a trying ex- 
perience, and the further we proceeded the worse the sea became. 
Our little 30-foot launch was tossed like a cork on the huge green 
rollers, and benzine cans and other loose articles went careering 
from side to side. Some of our party were soon incapacitated, 

■yM J \ivi.L, ArifaitiKi 0/ New Soii/Ii Wcdes Islands. lOl 

and ovir i^i'iu'i-al coiiiloit was i^ol iiuicasrd by tlu' si,i,dit of sc\'ci-al 
sharks cruising m closr pioxiiuity to llir laiiii'h. On reaching^ 
Cabbage Tree Island (the large one outside the Port) a blaek 
squall came uji from the north-east, making such a dangerous 
cross sea that the skipper decided to turn and run for home. The 
day turned out wet and unpleasant, but we crossed over to the 
sandspit off Corrie Island, where the White-faced Ternlets were 
found breeding on Oth December last. These graceful little birds 
were still in evidence, and a young bird was secured. Five 
ungainly Pelicans observed our approach, and as we came within 
a few hundred yards they waddled down to the water's edge and 
swam off out of danger. Several Skuas [Stcrcorarius crepidatus) 
were pursuing their nefarious trade, robbing the Crested Terns 
of their hard-earned gains. 

Sunday, 29th January, broke finer, and by 6.30 a.m. we were 
on our way to Broughton Island again, reaching Esmeralda Cove 
at 9.15. The entrance to the Cove was rough and dangerous, 
but we got through without mishap, and at once set out to ex- 
plore the Mutton-Bird (Petrel) rookeries. There are four inhabited 
areas on the western end of the island, where the sandy nature 
of the soil allows the birds to excavate their burrows. Thick 
tussocks, creepers of the genus Kennedya, and convolvulus form 
a tangled growth under which the burrows lie. All the entrances 
to the burrows of Puifinus sphenuriis were well trodden down, 
and no fresh earth was noticed in front. These burrows con- 
tained either young birds in full down or (in very few instances) 
heavily-incubated eggs. The latter were probably laid by birds 
that had been robbed earlier in the season by the Greek fishermen 
who reside on the island during the crayfish season. 

A few newly-commenced burrows were found, having little 
heaps of fresh sand at the entrance or scattered on the leaves of 
the convolvulus. 

A stick inserted in the first burrow resulted in disturbing a 
bird, which gave lively demonstrations of disapproval at the in- 
trusion. Mr. Jackson deftly wielded a hoe, and, after opening 
up about 2 feet of the burrow, I was able to withdraw a fine Petrel, 
which made strenuous attempts to bite, and uttered a wailing 
cry somewhat like that of Pitfmus sphenurus, but of a deeper and 
more guttural tone. This bird appears to be Puffinus griseits 
(Gmelin), not previously recorded as taken on Australian soil. It 
is the common New Zealand "Mutton-Bird." We then opened up 
the remainder of the burrow, and found that it extended fully 
3 feet from the entrance, and terminated in a chamber, rounded 
and arched, containing some short pieces of grass. There was no 
egg, and the bird proved to be a male. Although many other 
burrows were examined, no more specimens of this bird were 
found ; most of the l)urrows showing fresh earth at the entrance 
were incomplete. 

We took several nestlings of P. sphenurus for description, as 
well as a couple of adults, and, after thoroughly examining the 

102 Hull, Avifauna of Neiv South Wales Islands. [ 


lour Mutton-Bird rookeries, testing a burrow here and there, we 
returned to camp. 

In the afternoon we visited the White-faced Storm-Petrels' 
breeding-}-)lace. This is a sandy hill in the centre of the island, 
and the burrows are literally in thousands. We investigated a 
dozen or so of those that had recent footprints at the entrances, 
and obtained three young birds in varying stages of plumage. 
These were the only inhabited burrows, the young birds having 
flown from the others. We then proceeded to explore the eastern 
end of the island, which is high and rocky, the boulders being 
almost hidden amongst tussocks. No trace of bird or burrow was 
found, and on reaching the highest peak we looked out on a steep 
declivity falling about 250 feet to the ocean. A narrow channel 
separated us from Little Broughton Island, which is very difficult 
of access, and in the sea then prevailing landing was clearly 
impossible. The island was most attractive in appearance, sloping 
up to about 300 feet, ending in an abrupt cliff ; but the whole 
slope was covered with tussocks and low scrub, amongst which we 
could make out some stunted banksias. 

This completed our day's work, and we turned in early, rising 
at 4 a.m., and after breakfast packed up and left for Cabbage 
Tree Island, the home of the White-winged Petrel. We arrived 
there at 7.30 a.m., and effected a comparatively easy landing, 
the sea having moderated during the night. I climbed up to 
the spot where I had found my new Petrel in December, iqio,* 
but could find no trace of any more specimens of the species. The 
White-wings, however, were there in numbers, and I secured 
several nestlings in varying stages of growth None of the birds 
we had robbed of their eggs in December appeared to have laid 
again, and the old nests were deserted. A good many adult birds, 
in pairs and singles, were found in crevices, but without either 
eggs or young birds under them. 

On the lower slopes the ubiquitous Pufflmis sphenurns was in 
evidence, nearly every burrow containing a young bird. Mr. 
Grant and his wife landed further down the island, where the 
Little Penguins had their breeding-places, and obtained a few 
young birds and one adult. We then returned to Nelson's Bay, 
and caught the steamer for Newcastle. 

It was disappointing to fail in the search for specimens of the 
new Petrel. I had anticipated finding a colony of this bird, of 
which I thought my specimen was a sort of advance agent. There 
was only one course open — to pay another visit later. Therefore, 
on the nth of March last, accompanied by Mr. L. Harrison and 
Mr. Grant's adopted boy Douglas (a North Queensland native), 
I left Sydney at 6.30 p.m., arriving at Nelson's Bay at 5.20 a.m. 
The launch was soon ready, provisions taken on board, and a start 
was made before 6. We had comparatively smooth water, and, 
escorted by a sportive band of porpoises (or, rather, dolphins), 

* See preceding ai^ticle. 

^"'yii^'] If I'LL, Avifauna of New South Wales Islands. I03 

which |j;a\-i' us a most gratifying exhibition oi their niarx-ellous 
powers ol swinuning and shooting out oi the w.'Ilt. we airixed oiT 
the western end of Broughton Ishmd about (S.15. West Islet was 
visited, the landing proving practical)le. but there was not much 
ground available for nests, the islet being mostly bare rock. 
However, amongst the tussocks and scrub on the top we found 
a number of burrows, two of which contained young Puffinus 
sphcniiriis about ten wt'eks old. the true feathers rei)lacing the 
down to a great extent. No other birds were seen on this islet. 
which is barely an acre in extent. We then proceeded to North 
Islet, about half a mile distant, but, after several attempts at 
landing, we had to abandon it as impracticable, the surge running 
all round and the sharp rocks showing their teeth in every direc- 
tion. This islet is rather larger than West Islet, but even more 
rocky, and with less scrub on the summit. The water in the 
vicinity was wonderfully clear, the huge boulders on the bottom 
and the shoals of fish swimming about making a most attractive 

We then left for Little Broughton Island, at the extreme eastern 
end of the group. This is a large island, about a quarter of a 
mile in length, and over 300 feet in height. After circum- 
navigating the island we effected a landing where the cliffs were 
lowest, quite close to a curious tunnel in the rock into which the 
sea rushed with the noise of an exploding cannon. We had a 
tough climb to reach the top. the cliff sloping steeply upwards. 
The top was covered with either tussocks, low scrub, or masses 
of convolvulus. All this growth was from waist deep to over 
our heads, and the labour of getting through it and at the same time 
searching for nests can be well imagined. At the outer edges of 
the scrub we found countless burrows, empty, and mostly showing 
no signs of recent occupation, but under some Westringia scrub 
I heard a muffled wailing that indicated the presence of Piiffimis 
sphenurus. After wrenching away some of the bushes I discovered 
three birds — two together in one burrow and one in another. 
They were all P. spJieiuiriis. and the two companion.j proved to be 
both males. 

Crossing a belt of thicj^: scrub, consisting of Wcsl.yi)igia, Moiioioca 
elliptica, and Banksia integrifolia, we came out on the north- 
western slope. This is a very steep hillside, sandy, and densely 
clothed with convolvulus, about 10 acres in extent. It was 
positively riddled with burrows, and the entrances to many were 
marked by fresh sand, scratched out evidently on the previous 
night : but, although we dug out quite a number of burrows, we 
found no occupants. The main ridge or saddle of the island was 
thickly covered with low Banksia trees, with sparse undergrowth, 
and here were no signs of burrows or tracks of birds. This was 
a puzzling result. Nearly half the island deserted and showing no 
trace of recent occupation, and another large part showing signs of 
active " clearing out '' operations in the burrows, but no birds 
visible! I had confidently expected to find either the new Petrel 

104 Hull, Avifauna of New South Wales Islands. i z„d"oct. 

(P. iniermedius), P. griseus, or at least P. sphenurus, in occupation ; 
but, with the exception of three of the last-named species, not a 
bird was discovered. What caused the fresh sand to be thrown 
out on the convolvulus leaves was a mystery. These burrows 
were of great length, and wound about in all directions, leading 
one into another in many cases. The sand was very soft and 
loose, but thick roots and occasional stones deflected the course 
of the burrowing bird to such an extent, and the lower tiers broke 
into the upper so often, that it was impossible to determine what 
was the natural end of any particular excavation. After spending 
three hours in the fruitless search for living inhabitants, we 
descended to the waiting dinghy and boarded the launch. A 
short run brought us to Esmeralda Cove, on the main island, 
where we had a most refreshing bathe, much needed to remove 
the grime from the burrows, and then pitched camp. 

After lunch we walked over to the western end of the island, where 
the P. griseus was taken, but a most exhaustive search revealed 
nothing but a pair of adult P. sphmurus in a recently-constructed 
burrow, and numbers of nearly fledged young birds of the same 
species in the burrows we had seen on the former visit. I took 
two of these nestlings, and at sundown gave up search for the 
" Sooty Shearwaters." 

After a late dinner we essayed to sleep, but the mosquitoes 
declined to allow us to do so. At midnight Mr. Harrison and 
Douglas cleared out to the other side of the island and slept on 
the beach, the breeze keeping the insects away. At 4.30 we 
rose, had breakfast, and left for Cabbage Tree Island, where we 
arrived at 7.30. Here we conducted a vigorous search on the 
south-western slope for the new Petrel. The country was thickly 
covered with tussocks and Kennedya vines growing over big 
boulders, but there were very few tracks or burrows. One of the 
latter only was tenanted by a young P. sphenurus. The scrub 
was very wet, and we were soon soaked to the waist, but perse- 
vered until every likely spot had been examined right up to the 
highest point on the south end of the island. Here a natural 
cairn of upright rocks is piled, and from the summit a magnificent 
view of the surrounding country was obtained. 

We then proceeded to the White-winged Petrels' breeding- 
ground among the palms, but I saw only three young birds, one 
of which I took. All the other nests were empty, the young birds 
having flown. Three old Penguins were found in rock-crevices 
near the water, and Mr. Harrison found a deserted nest of the 
Sooty Oyster-catcher on the rocks. It contained two eggs, one of 
which was broken. 

We returned to Nelson's Bay, had a much-needed bathe, and 
caught the Newcastle steamer in the afternoon. 

The result of this trip was therefore negative as to specimens, 
but positive as to the rarity of the two Petrels I went in search 
of. Whether they breed at all in the vicinity, or were only 
chance visitors, I cannot now say. Further investigation is still 

^°i9ii^''] Mathfws, Falcimculus frontatus whitei. 105 

Falcunculus frontatus whitei. 

Bv (jKecokv M. Mathews, F.K.S. (h:ui.\.), Watfokd, England. 

(Coloured Plate D.) 
{Falcunculus ivhitci (Campbell), Emu, vol. x., p. 167.) 
The examination of the type of this sub-species has afforded me 
much pleasure. Ihifortunately, this is a young bird, and the 
features of the sub-species are somewhat obscure. However, it 
seems certain that this bird differs from the eastern F. jruutatus 
in its browner colouration, thereby apj^roaching the Western 
F. leucogaster. As Mr. Campbell notes, it seems to have the 
upper colouration of the latter with the under colouration of the 
former. Its small size is, however, due to immaturity, and I feel 
convinced the fully adult will more probably equal the other two 

As I treat thrm trinonually, the three forms will be — 
Falcunculus fvoiitalus froututus (Latham), East Austraha. 

li'hitci (Campbell), North-West Australia. 

leucogaster (Gould), South-West Australia. 
By means of this nomenclature we are enabled at once to recognize 
the affinities of the three forms. 

The discovery of this bird is of extreme interest, as before its 
recognition the Western sub-species had been considered so isolated 
and distinct. Mr. Campbell drew attention to its smaller size, 
and it would be as well to here draw attention to the bird de- 
scribed by Gould as Falcunculus flavigulus in the Syn. B. Austr., 
part iv., App., p. 2 (1838), from Australia. The chief features 
were its small size : — Wing, 3f ; tail, 2| ; tarsus, J. Colouration 
of the wings brownish-grey, margined with pale brown ; tail the 
same ; entire under surface yellow. Gould later reduced this 
doubtfully as a synonym of F. frontatus, querying it as a young 
bird. I have no specimen here that agrees with this diagnosis, 
and therefore can only ask Australian ornithologists to solve the 
problem and fix F. flavigulns in its proper place. 

Honey-eaters of the Cleveland District, Tasmania. 

By (Miss) J. A. Fletcher. R.A.O.U. 

The forests surrounding Cleveland are composed chiefly of banksias, 
white gum and stringy-bark (eucalypts), and wattle {Acacia) 
trees. These in many places have a tangled undergrowth of 
mimosa, bracken, and pimelea. This latter has the extraordinary 
local name of " snakes' bread and butter," but how such a name 
arose I could never ascertain. On the more barren sandy rises 
many flowering herbaceous plants thrive, the whole forming a 
splendid hunting-ground for Honey-eaters. I identified the 
following species (all. by the way, that are endemic to Tas- 
mania), and in most instances observed their nests and eggs 

I06 Fletcher, Honey-caters of Cleveland Disiricl, Tas. [^nd"oct 

Strong-billed Honey-eater {Melithreptus validirosfris). — Though 
I obser\-etl these birds m the district, I was not able to watch them 
at all, and only once came across a nest, which was. however, 
destroyed before completion. The birds were sometimes to be 
seen perched on the telegraph wires, but. as a rule, I consider 
them rare in the district, 
species, like its forerunner, is rather scarce, several pairs only 

This Black-headed Honey-eater {Melithreptus melanocephalus). — 
being seen m certani la\oured localities where were a few acres 
of gum saplings. I found one nest built at the end of a pendulous 
branch, but. alas ! the Crows also found and destroyed it. The 
Honey-eaters forsook the locality. 

Fulvous-fronted Honey-eater {Glycyphila julvijrons). — I was 
interested to hnd this little bird in our district, but it was very 
local. It was only seen in a limited area of banksia scrub which 
extended along the railway line for a few miles. Owing to its 
shy, almost mouse-like nature, observation of its habits without 
field-glasses was difficult, for it invariably flitted out of sight amongst 
the undergrowth as soon as a near inspection was made. I was 
pleased to record it for our district, because I believe it generally 
prefers the banksian and boobyalla areas around the coasts. 

Whilst spending the last Christmas holidays at Swansea, on the 
East Coast, I frequently flushed these birds from the shrubs on 
the sand-hills. 

At Cleveland I discovered the nest of this species twice. Whilst 
examining the railway banksias I noticed a nest in the heart of 
one. On parting the branches a Fulvous Honey-eater slipped 
quickly off and disappeared through the twigs on the other side. 
The nest was deep, and made of strips of a wild " thyme," which 
is the favourite nesting material of most of the birds in this dis- 
trict. The inside was lined with soft shredded bark, also having 
some cocoons and feathers interwoven. This snug cradle con- 
tained two eggs. Date, loth October, 1908. The following year 
(30/10/09), I found another nest of same species a few yards 
away from the site of the above, but the ragged nest showed that 
a tragedy had taken place. From appearances the brooding bird 
had been torn off her nest, most likely during the night. Feathers 
on the ground below showed what had been her end. As the 
nest was just above easy inspection. I climbed up, and when 
examining the torn-up lining was amazed to discover the two 
eggs still there unharmed 

Yellow-throated Honey-eater {Ptilolis fiavigularis). — This merry 
bird was most }ilentiful. and more particularly so on the lighter- 
timbered belts towards Epping, where, among the brackens, it 
seems to spend a happy time. The nests were easily found, 
sometimes several within a few yards of one another. The 
situations varied from the low centre of a sword-grass clump to 
the top of a native cherry tree, from a fallen tangle of twigs to the 
thick green growth surrounding a burnt gum trunk, in one instance 
quite 20 feet high. 

Vol. xt.i Kli:tchicr, Haney-eatevs of Cleveland District, Tas. 107 

Oil one occasion a Pallid ("uckoo's {Cucidus pallidus) egg was 
l)lacc(l in the nest jnst prior to the Honey-eater's eggs hatching, 
and on another after the first egg was laid. 

I liave watched the male bird feeding his sitting mate. He 
called to her as he apjiroached , she answered with a purring 
sound, hopped on to a twig near the nest, received the food he 
brought, and returned to her charge, while he flew away. 

When one bird is sitting the other keeps near the locality, and 
by its frequent and excited callings gives a good idea as to the 
whereabouts of its nest. They are close sitters, but, owing to 
the open and careless situations in which the little home is fre- 
quently placed, these birds suffer severely from predatory enemies. 

Crescent Honey-eater [Meliornis aitstralasiana\ — Also plentiful, 
in situations similar to the preceding birds. Most of the Crescents' 
nests I found were placed in centre of sword-grass clumps in a 
damp locality. Two nests I found on loth October, 1909, were 
quite close to one another, and near, in other tussocks, were the 
ruins of the last year's homes. From the first nest the female 
flew, then fluttered on the ground, apparently in great distress. 
1 left her and examined the cradle she had left. It contained a 
chipped egg and two recently-hatched young — blind, and naked 
except for tufts of greyish down on top of head, tips of wings, 
and on the abdomen. ^^''hen the female bird saw her efforts 
were in vain, she, to my great astonishment, picked up, or, rather, 
snapped up, a minute fly, and returned to the nest, giving the 
morsel to one of the little ones, then covered them. And all the 
while my sister and I were standing by the clump. 

A yard or two away I found another nest containing three 
young covered with down and with their wing feathers showing. 
Their parents were away, and did not return while their young 
were being inspected. 

White-bearded Honey-eater (Meliornis novce-Jwllandice). — These 
lively and entertainmg bu'ds were particularly fond of one 
locality — a range of low. rocky hills, sparsely covered near their 
summits with sheoaks {Casuarina) and black wattle [Acacia), 
while around their bases grew a tangle of banksia and saplings, 
the ground underneath being hidden by bracken. 

The chief nesting-sites of the White-bearded Honey-eaters were 
among the silky foliage of the sheoaks, but the banksia and 
mimosa were also chosen. Though their nests are generally hard 
to detect, they nevertheless constantly have them robbed or 
destroyed by other birds. 

Spinebill (Acanthorhynchus ienuirostris). — These charming little 
buds often visited the flower gardens in the township in search 
of honey, but I seldom came across them in the bush. In fact, 
it was only in the hills mentioned in previous paragrajih that I 
saw them, and once, on 9th November, 1908, I noticed a nest 
containing two eggs. 

I08 Fletcher, Honey-eaters of Cleveland District, Tas. [anfo'ct 

Miner {Myzantha {Manorhina) <^arriila). — This part of Tasmania 
appears to be one of tlie strongholds of this species, consequently 
they are very numerous. In whatever direction a ramble is 
taken, the jolly Miners are sure to be there, though very often 
their persistent alarum cries create a strong dislike in the mind 
of the observer to his grey-feathered watchers. In several parts 
of this district were tracts of country so barren of bird-life that 
I called them " Saharas.'' Strange that these should be the 
chief nesting districts of the Magpie {Gymnorhina hyperleucus) 
and the Miner. Generally, a nest of each bird was in the same 

Last season two Miners drove a pair of Yellow Wattle-Birds 
from their partly-finished nest, padded it a little more, and 
occupied it. The pair of eggs laid was remarkably long for 

For the last three winters a flock of 30 Miners came regularly 
to the kitchen window for food. After a while the more venture- 
some ones flew on to the table and took food there. Once three 
perched on my sister's hand and ate the crumbs from her palm. 
By August, however, the call of the wild life was too strong, and 
all departed. 

Yellow Wattle-Bird {Acanthochcera inauris). Brusli Wattle- 
Bird {Acanthochczra mellivora). — Both species of Wattle-Birds are 
constant residents of our banksian tracts, though the latter is in 
greater numbers. My experiences with them at Cleveland tend 
to show that they are very local — that is, one pair will generally 
be found in its favourite hunting-ground throughout the year. 
When the banksia blooms were exhausted the flowers of the 
white gum or stringy-bark were resorted to. In the cracks and 
crevices of the black wattles they often obtained the tiny black 
beetles, of which they seem very fond. 

During nesting season Hawks, Crows, and Butcher-Birds were 
relentlessly chevied from the special group of trees. The loud 
call of the Wattle-Birds made the finding of the nest an easy 
matter, and even before the season commenced it was possible to 
note the location where in all probability the home would be built. 

The winter and early spring of igio proved an exception to the 
three former years. Both species of Acanthochcera suddenly left the 
district, and did not return until the third week of October, when 
their noisy voices made the forest lively again. As the year 1910 
was, according to residents of Cleveland, the wettest for 26 years, 
this would probably be the reason, particularly as the banksia 
blooms failed. Nesting operations were therefore very late com- 
pared to the previous year, the earliest record of which showed 
Brush Wattle-Bird's nest with two eggs found on loth September. 
One could not help noticing how untidily made were the nests 
found last season. I suppose the late return of the birds to 
their nesting haunts was the cause. I remember noticing three 
nests during the third week of November last. So untidy and 
neglected was their appearance that I mentally classed them as 

^'iQiI^'] FLirrcHKR, Honey-eaters of Cleveland District, Tas. 1 00 

old or deserted. A climb u|) the decs rcwalrd in one a beautiful 
pair of Wattle-Bird eggs, and ol I he other two oiu- contained two 
eggs of the Brush Wattle-Bird, while the second had a pair of 
young with a little tlown upon them. 

During one ramble in the past season I found a nest of the 
Brush Wattle- Bird with three fully-fledged young ones. One 
seldom comes across three in a clutch. 

In all the nests of the Yellow Wattle-Bird which I have found 
the builders have exhibited a great fancy for sheep's wool, not as 
lining, but in the construction of the nests ; and it was woven in 
most untidily. Pieces of all lengths and sizes could ofttimes be 
seen hanging from sides and bottom, the sterner fabric of the 
nest being branchlets of wild " thyme," with shredded bark and 
fine rootlets for the lining. Only in one instance did I find a 
Brush Wattle-Bird using wool as building material. This species 
delights in soft shredded bark as the inner lining, which is built 
into a framework of " thyme " twigs. Both species of birds are 
very " touchy," and they frequently desert their nest if it is in- 
spected during the process of building. Twice last season there 
came under my notice the remarkable instance of the Brush 
Wattle-Bird removing the nest completely because it had been 
touched by me. The first nest was taken piece by piece and 
rebuilt some distance off. The second nest removed was added 
to the top of another nest in the next tree, the whole forming 
a most remarkable structure. In the bowl of this strange 
pyramid the usual pair of eggs was laid. 

Both species are close sitters, and do not readily leave their 
nests. In fact, when sitting on chipping eggs or young they 
will almost permit of being touched by the hand. They fly off 
with a quick, nervous call, to which the mate speedily answers. 

Both male and female birds assist in the incubation of the 
eggs, which, from my observations, lasts 12 days, and also in the 
feeding of the nestlings. I also noted the second egg was laid after 
the interval of a day, and the bird generally commences to sit 
that evening. Three weeks was the longest period which I 
observed a finished nest to be left before it was used, but generally 
only a few days pass ere the first egg is laid. 

These general observations, unless specially mentioned under 
a particular species, refer to both Wattle-Birds. I believe the 
sitting bird is fed while on the nest by its mate, but could not 
say with certainty. 

Food of Cockatoos. — The Chief Inspector of Fisheries and 
Game in Melbourne (Major Semmens) would like to know from 
country members what is the principal food of Cockatoos through- 
out the year. His address is Railway Buildings. Flinders-street. 
He wishes to find out whether the good they do in eating the roots 
of detrimental plants, such as the RomnJea or onion weed, &c., 
is compensated by the damage they do in eating freshly-sown 

no Mellor, Mallee-Foivl for a Sanctuary. [^ 


Mallee'Fowl for a Sanctuary. 

By J. W. :\Iellor, R.A.O.U.. Adelaide. 
One of the most interesting trips that I have made in South Aus- 
traha was the outcome of a communication from Eyre Peninsula, 
from Messrs. Henry R. Perry and Frank P. Perry; These two 
old prospectors, who have settled in the back-blocks of the penin- 
sula, stated that a number of Mallee-Fowl {Leipoa ocellata) came 
every day and picked up the scraps about their dwelling, and if 

I could make it convenient to go over and catch them they would 
be willing to let me have the birds for the South Australian 
Ornithological Association to place on the National Reserve at 
Cape Borda, Kangaroo Island. They had no desire to get rid 
of the birds ; but, as they wished to sell a part or the whole of 
their land, consisting of between 6,000 and 7,000 acres, the 
tameness of the Mallee-Fowl, in all probabiUty, would lead to 
their destruction. I was sceptical at first, knowing that some 
bushmen are far from accurate when giving their notes and ex- 
periences on natural history subjects. Then the Cleve Ranges 
are far from Adelaide and general communication, and it looked 
like a " wild goose chase." However, deciding to take all the 
chances, I boarded the Adelaide Steamship Company's s.s. 
Ruparit on the afternoon of 13th June, 1911, and arrived at Port 
Lincoln at 6.30 a.m. next day. I made acquaintance once more 
with interesting birds, and was much pleased to see how tame 
the Silver Gulls (Lams novcB-hollandicB) had become, owing to the 
protection afforded them. They were in the streets amongst the 
traffic, and on the houses and fences of the town. A pretty 
scene was noted — a long row of the Gulls perched on the ridge- 
cap of the local church. 

Leaving Port Lincoln at noon, we arrived at Tumby Bay at 
3 p.m., and, after a stay of several hours, the steamer once more 
went ploughing through the waters of Spencer Gulf. At 10.30 
o'clock anchor was dropped in Arno Bay, where I landed, after 
a row of over a mile to the jetty. The water here is too shallow 
to allow of large vessels coming alongside. The night was 
beautifully calm, but we could imagine what it would be like 
when the sea was rough, with a strong wind blowing. The night 
was spent at the local hotel, kept by Mr. Michael Leonard. I 
was early astir next morning, so as to catch the mail " coach " 
inland to Cleve, a distance of about 20 miles. The mail " coaches " 
are somewhat primitive conveyances, and it was all that we could 
do to get on the mail matter, the passengers, and the luggage, 
and I was thankful for having a small travelling kit. The roads 
are but country tracks, and not too good at that ; however, by 

II o'clock we had safely accomplished the journey, and the mail- 
man. Mr. F. H. Gillings, arranged to drive me to my destina- 
tion in the Cleve Hills, 10 miles further on. The track was 
rougher than ever, but finally we reached the summit of the 
range, and saw the ele\'ated table-land stretching away in a 

_y ] Mkllor, Mallee-Fowl for a Sanctuary. 


series of undulations, thickly clothed in verdure, consisting ol 
mallee and various other eucalypts, while here and there patches 
of broom-bush country relieved the monotony. In the midst of 
this scenery, on Cumbnitla Creek, in the Himdred of Mangalo. 
and near to INIount Des|)erate, we suddenly came upon the lonely 
" humpy " of the Perry brothers, who live by themselves, for 
they are bachelors. They ha\'e been close observers and lovers 
of the iiirds all theii' lives. 

\\\' arrived at tlu' backwoodsmen's " luimi)y " about 4 o'clock 
in the afternoon, and I decided that evening to " take my 
bearings " as to future movements relative to catching the Mallee- 
Fowls alive, as it was always about sundown that the birds made 
their appearance. We were discussing the beauties of the i)lace 
over some " billy tea " when, to my great astonishment, 
a Mallee-Fowl emerged from the scrub near the humpy door. 
I held my breath for fear of frightening it, as I well knew the 
extremely timid nature of these birds : but soon learned that this 
was not necessary, for with measured steps the bird came on 
unconcerned, only quickening its pace as Frank Perry called out, 
" Pheasy ! Pheasy ! Pheasy ! Come along, Pheasy ! " The 
bird followed him down to the bush stable to pick up some scraps 
thrown out. Even when the food was thrown down with 'a bang 
and a rattle it did not move far away. Soon two more Mallee- 
Fowls came out of the scrub from a totally different direction. 
The consequential little walk of the birds, as if they had all the 
business in the world depending upon them, was diverting. They 
fed close to us — within a few feet • but any strange movement 
on our part at once aroused suspicion, so we had to be careful 
not to do anything out of the common. I had to go coatless, as 
the Perrys, in their bush life, do not wear their coats. On one 
occasion, when a visitor came to see the Mallee-Fowls. and kei)t 
his coat on, they decamped at once. 

The Perrys' story of the taming of the Mallee-Fowls dates back 
over two years, when a single bird, which they called " Old 
Pheasy," came on the scene, very timidly at first. Gaining con- 
fidence, it gradually grew tame, the quiet kindness of these two 
observant bushmen being the secret of success. For two years 
the bird came regularly every evening to pick up the tit-bits 
thrown out, only missing the breeding season, but reai)pearing 
directly afterwards. At the end of the two years several other 
birds put in an appearance, and the number increased to at least 
— the greatest number seen at one time, all feeding and 
scratching about together. When several pairs met on common 
ground one that was taken for a male would chase and peck at 
another male, apparently to keep him away from the others. 
They would utter low, soft notes, resembling " Moo-moo-moooo," 
made somewhat in the manner of a Pigeon, with the last syllable 
drawn out in a long, soft strain. 

(Observing how these two bushmen had won the confidence of 
s\i(h wild and \v;n\- birds. 1 was very unwilling to disturb them ; 

112 Mellor, Mallee-Fowl for a Sanctuary. [andTct 

but as circumstances indicated that in all probability they would 
be slaughtered in the near future by new settlers, I decided to 
form a plan for the capture of some, at least. Next day we built 
a spacious aviary of wire netting, enclosing some small bushy 
mallee, so as to make thick cover, as my former experience with 
these birds had taught me that in captivity they will knock them- 
selves about unless properly caged. My foresight was justified, 
for, after capture, they became extremely frightened, appearing 
not to see the wire netting, against which they ran or flew blindly 
and with great force. During my three days' sojourn with the 
Perrys several pairs were captured, but care had to be taken 
that no misjudgment was made in catching them, otherwise a 
frightened bird might escape to warn others, and frighten them 

One day we paid a visit to a nest of last season, which had been 
scratched out freshly to allow of the winter rains thoroughly 
saturating the rotten leaves in the bowl of the mound, which 
would be eventually covered up, and the eggs laid in the leaves. 
I was loth to leave the district ; but my main object being to get 
the captured birds home as quickly as possible, I had to depart, 
and by the aid of the Perrys we got our pets to Cleve in a small 
spring dray, and transferred them to a case. We were still 20 
miles from the coast, but, by the kind assistance of Mr. I. Rayson, 
I was driven into Arno Bay to catch the steamer Investigator. 
Unfortunately, the steamer did not go straight to Port Adelaide, 
owing to the King's coronation festivities upsetting the pro- 
gramme, and I was forced to wait at Arno Bay for a couple of 
days, with my birds caged up in a close box. However, eventually 
I boarded the s.s. Riiparti, got to Wallaroo (on Yorke Peninsula), 
and from there took train to Adelaide, where I landed my charges 
safely at the Reedbeds, after they had been cooped up for 4 days. 
At " Holmfirth " roomy aviaries were awaiting them, and I was 
able to watch their movements at leisure while waiting for an 
opportunity to get them down to Cape Borda by the departmental 
steamer Governor Musgrave. 

Having housed and cared for the Mallee-Fowls for a month at 
" Holmfirth," through the courtesy of the President of the Marine 
Board, Mr. Arthur Searcy, I was granted a passage on board the 
Governor Musgrave to Kangaroo Island. I despatched the birds 
to the steamer on the afternoon of i8th July, and at night joined 
the little boat at the Outer Harbour, where the skipper, Capt. 
P. Weir, was waiting to meet me. Dr. R. S. Rogers, of Adelaide, 
and myself were the only passengers. I soon learned that, much 
as he would like to assist in liberating the birds as soon as possible, 
Capt. Weir gave no hopes of landing at Cape Borda in such 
weather as we were experiencing, for a stiff wind and squally 
seas predominated. The skipper decided to head towards Back- 
stairs Passage, doing the ports of southern Kangaroo Island first, 
hoping that the weather in several days would moderate : but 
we were in for a " slopping," and the Governor Musgrave kept up 

^°'-_^'] Mi.i.i.DK, Mallee-Fowl for a Sanctuary. 1 13 

her reputation as a "roller." Our (iist place <>t call was 
American River, wheie the skii)[)er had to land a boat-load ol 
cargo. Next we proceeded to Antechamber Bay, where an liour 
or so was spent in " sounding " for a proposed jetty at the mouth 
of the Chapman River. By noon Cape Willoughby was reached, 
and some stores landed in the boat for the hghthouse-keepers 
there. Then we made for the oi)en ocean, where we met tlic full 
force of the swell coming in from the south. At D'Estree Bay 
more stores were landed in the boats, and at night we cast anchor 
in Vivonne Bay ; but there is little or no shelter from the swell, 
and we spent the night in a constant roll from side to side. The 
morning broke with the wind still high and a drizzling rain. 
There was a quantity of timber of huge size to l)e landed for the 
construction of a jetty. (])wing to the dihiculty and danger of 
the work we were forced to wait for two nights and a day and a 
quarter. The doctor and I had a little time ashore, but the wet 
and boisterous weather made it by no means pleasant, and we 
were glad to get back to the ship and seek a warm corner near 
the engine-room. My precious charges were my chief anxiety, 
as the box was small, and I had great difificulty in keeping them 
dry and warm. They did not seem inclined to eat much. Added 
to this was the fact that our skipper even now held out very little 
hope of being able to land at Cape Borda. It looked as if I were 
doomed to take the birds back to Adelaide, and perhaps lose 
some through their long and rough confinement. 

On Friday morning we weighed anchor in Vivonne Bay, and 
encountered a tremendous sea as we got out and battled our 
way to Cape De Couedie, where more lighthouse stores were landed 
with great risk and difficulty, the ship's boat having to take 
them off to the small jetty, where a small anchor was dropped, 
and the goods taken from the boat by means of a crane, thence 
by a " flying fox " to the top of the cliffs, 400 feet above. 

The northerly wind had dropped, and we cast anchor at 
Harvey's Return on Friday night under calm conditions, and I 
heaved a sigh of relief to think that in all jn'obability next 
morning I should be able to accomplish my mission. For the 
first night since leaving Port Adelaide our little craft ceased 
her rolling, and we got a welcome rest. Next morning, 22nd 
July, we were astir at daylight, as the captain had promised to 
send off a special boat, so that I could attend to my birds and 
be ready to depart by the time the lighthouse stores had been 
landed. Accordingly, in the dim, misty light, and an equally 
misty rain, we were lowered overside, and made for the shore in 
the bitterly cold atmosphere. Fortune favoured us, as we reached 
the rocks without a " breaker," which is rather exceptional at 
this rough and open place. My old friend Mr. H. C. Tyley, the 
lighthouse-keeper, was on shore to meet me and give me a 
welcome grip, and, what was equally pleasing, informed me that he 
had recently seen one of the Mallee-Fowls which he had assisted 
me to liberate last February. This showed that my belief that 

ri4 yizLhoR, Mallee-Fowl for a Sancluary. [2nd'oct. 

there was sufficient food to sustain these birds on the Reserve 
was correct. As our time ashore was hmited, I quickly broke 
the bars of the new arrivals' prison and placed the birds in sacks, 
and, with these on our backs, one of the ship's hands and I started 
our climb of the almost perpendicular cliffs. In a quarter of an 
hour we had accomplished the ascent, and tramped into the 
scrub about a quarter of a mile. A favourable spot was selected, 
where the dwarf eucalypts and varied undergrowth gave shelter 
for the Mallee-Fowls, and made an ideal introduction to the land 
of their adoption. A quantity of food was scattered around, 
then the bags were opened, and with a rush and a whirr the birds 
were gone, one staying for a while perched on a small sapling to 
survey the bush. The steamer's whistle sounded " the retreat." 
and with a sigh of relief and a load of responsibility lifted off my 
shoulders we turned and hastened back to the shore, having 
succeeded in safely carrying out a project that for days previously 
had appeared an utter impossibility. 

After proceeding to Snug Cove, where Dr. Rogers and myself 
landed for a time, to renew acquaintance with Mr. Hurst and his 
wife and daughter, we set our course homeward, reaching Port 
Adelaide at g o'clock on Saturday night. 

Some Mallee Birds. 

By a. M. Sullivan, Jeparit. 

Thi5 paper is little more than the record of about loo birds in a 
particular locality. The district treated lies along the last 20 
miles of the Wimmera River, from Antwerp to the south shore of 
Lake Hindmarsh. The country consists mostly of land under 
wheat cultivation, with strips of low mallee bushes along the 
roads and division fences. Here and there are sandy ridges 
timbered with pines, gorse, spinifex, and acacias, while the river 
flats are thinly timbered with poor specimens of red gum and 
other eucalypts. The period of my observations extended from 
April to November, igio. The nomenclature employed is from 
" A Descriptive Hand-list of Birds Native to Victoria," by J. A. 
Leach, M.Sc. 

I arrived at Tarranyurk Siding one gloomy Saturday late in 
autumn. My first view of the district filled me with anything 
but great joy. The thin lines of low mallee, which might other- 
wise have served to relieve the monotony of the everlasting stubble 
and fallow, only added to one's grief, as one sympathized with the 
poor birds whose fate it may have been to live there. My hopes 
were somewhat raised on finding that the farmhouse which was 
to be my home for perhaps a couple of years was fronted by a 
long grove of young native pines, studded with buUoaks and 
gums. Nevertheless, I did not go to sleep that night till I had 
formed a plan to escape from the district as soon as possible. 

^"'■^'1 SvLLiv AN, Some Mallec Btyds. US 

Sunday iiini mni; ilawiu'd somcwliat brij^ditcr. and I tlirt:w off 
my l)Iaiikt'ls with a (k'tcMininatiou to defer a relreat at least till 
I had found out what birds had awakened me. There seemed to 
be several different kinds, and, though each cry suggested some 
familiar bird call, I was at a loss to properly recognize any. At 
times a Pallid ("uckoo seemed to start and stoj) short ; then a 
Red Wattle-Bird gave a feeble call, then a Babbler was heard and 
answered by a confusion of gurgling chortles. On going out I 
found that all these sounds came from one small white gum. 
I came closer to the tree, and there had a view of a beautifully- 
l)lumaged Spiny-cheeked Honey-eater {Acanthogenys rnfigiilaris). 
" A bird of many notes," says my handbook, and well it may. 
For the whole six months a friend and I have been tracing fresh 
sounds to this bird. Its notes vary from the harsh cry of the 
Red Wattle-Bird to a sweet, sustained trill. 

I was already interested in my new surroundings, but my 
feelings may be imagined when an old friend, whom I had known 
since I was six, whistled to me from the pines. By his appear- 
ance, the mallee or the season hardly suited him. His gay vest 
was shabby, his white shirt-front was so soiled that it could hardly 
be distinguished from the black binding on his vest collar. He 
complained about being called a Thickhead, but evidently cared 
little, for he finished with the merriest dash of song and left 
Though 1 heard these birds [Pachycephala rufivcntris) occasionally 
all through the winter, it was not till August that their delightful 
song was regularly heard and their plumage was at its best. 

It was not long before I discovered that interesting bird-life 
existed in every chain of mallee, and spring turned the place into 
an aviary. Besides the Spiny-cheeked Honey-eater, the following 
could always be found • — New Holland Honey-eater {Mclioniis 
novce -holla ndice). White-plumed Honey-eater {Ptilotis penicillala). 
Short-billed Honey-eater [MelUhreptus brevirostris). White-eared 
Honey-eater {Ptilotis leucotis), Tawny-crowned Honey-eater (Glv- 
cyphila melanops). I saw one Yellow-plumed Honey-eater {Ptilotis 
ornata), and, though the Red Wattle-Birds {Anthochcera caritn- 
ciilata) were at first rare, they appeared in large numbers in the 
spring. It is remarkable how the short bill of Melithreptus brevi- 
rostris takes from him the whole characteristic shape of the 
Honey-eaters. As this bird hops and dives about the mallee 
bushes in search of blight and larvse hidden under bark, it might 
easily be taken for a Tit. The White-eared and Tawny-crowned 
Honey-eaters seemed to be confined to an area around Antwerp. 
In this district the birds could always be found, but I saw no signs 
of them outside 3 miles from the railway siding. The former is 
the most pert of his family that I have seen, and his sharp, short, 
ringing " Choo." repeated several times, seems to warn intruders 
that he is satisfied to be alone. The Tawny-crowned generally 
frequented the 0})en country, j)articularly where the mallee shoots 
were a few inches above the stubble. This bird's long beak and 
beautifully-marked, slender body surely give it a high place for 

Il6 Svi.L.ixA's, Some Mallee Birds. [ 

nd Oct. 

gracefulness even among Honey-eaters, and its song is certainly 
the most delicate bird music one would wish to hear. Its four 
notes, each repeated three times in an ascending chord, for tender- 
ness and delicacy stand alone. The Noisy Miner {Myzantha 
garrula) does not appear in the district — at least, I observed no 
signs of it. 

Through the six months spent here I ha\'e been much struck 
by the absence of Parrots. The only one that is at all plentiful 
is the Red-backed Parrakeet (Psephotiis hcematonotus). Besides 
this, I have recognized the following ■ — One Many-coloured Parra- 
keet {Psephotiis multicolor) ; " Bulloak Parrakeet " {Psephotits 
xanthorrhoiis), rare ; Rosella [Platycercus eximius), very rare ; 
Galah {Cacatiia roseicapilla), rare ; Sulphur-crested Cockatoo 
(Cacatita galerita), rare ; Cockatiel {Calopsittacus novce-hollandice), 
rare ; Ring-neck {Barnardius barnardi), rare ; Betcherrygah 
{Melopsittacus iindiilatus) appeared in small flocks at the end of 
October ; Purple-crowned Lorikeets {GlossopsUtacus porphyro- 
cephalns) have been plentiful all the year, l^xcepting in captivity, 
I have not seen a " Smoker " {Polytelis melanura). Seeing that 
Parrakeets were once so numerous in this district, the present 
state of their small numbers is alarming. 

Early in spring the delightful liquid notes of the Crested Bell- 
Bird were heard, but not frequently. In my " shanghai " days, 
we Maryborough boys just revelled in the song of Oreoica cristata, 
or " Wack-to-the-rottle," as we called it. The Chestnut-rumped 
Ground-Bird [Cinclosoma castanonotum) was plentiful round 
Antwerp, and could easily be approached. The Little Dove 
{Geopelia cuneata) was also plentiful along any of the water- 
courses. These birds provide a most striking example of protective 
colouration, and they are veritable ventriloquists. It is ex- 
ceedingly difficult to distinguish a bird resting among the river 
gum branches, and, even though one may be viewing a bird from 
a few yards, one hardly realizes that the plaintive " Toodle-too " 
is coming from the bird under observation. I have often seen 
these Doves feeding with the Sparrows (introduced) at the wheat 
stacks, and it is a common thing for them to fly down and pick 
up wheat when the poultry are fed. 

Though I have heard the local sportsmen speak of " Bronze- 
wings," I have not yet flushed a Pigeon, and the oldest inhabitant 
informed me that I arrived here about lo years too late to see 
any sign of the last Mallee-Fowl {Lipoa ocellata). Neither this 
bird nor the Wild Turkey is now seen south of Lake Hindmarsh. 

Magpies (both Gymnorhina tibicen and G. leuconota) were 
numerous, and in about equal numbers ; Ravens {Coronc aus- 
tralis) only rarely seen. 

On i6th July there came a pair of Wood-Swallows (Artamiis 
sordidiis). Since then I observed a few specimens, and on 30th 
October a pair had just completed a nest. On 6th September 
White-browed Wood-Swallows (.4. siiperciliosus) appeared in 
flocks, and about a month later I noticed the Masked species 

^°'^_-^'-] Sullivan, Some Mallee Birds. II7 

{A. pcrso)uit(i). I-)\- tlu' end ot OrtoluT onl\- a few scattered pairs 
of these birds remained. 

Throughout July 1 saw and heard a Rufous Song-Lark 
(Cimiorham pints ntfesccns) ; at the end of the month it dis- 
appeared. At tlie beginning of Octol^er Brown Song-Larks 
(C. cruralis) made their appearance, and in about three weeks 
could be flushed in the crops almost everywhere. The White- 
shouldered Caterpillar-eaters {Lala^e tricolor) appeared about the 
end of September, and. with their coming, a common j^lant- 
eating cateri)illar completely disappeared. When these particular 
larva- had evidently become exhausted, the birds left the oi)en 
grass land and retired to the tree-tops of the scrubs. 

Bee-eaters (Merops ornahis) made their appearance early in 
October, and soon became as numerous as Swallows. The Bee- 
eater is a " champion " at catching insects on the wing. When 
a. bird is out for a meal, he selects a clear, dry limb on a tree-top. 
Here he sits as demurely and as unconcerned as a Kookaburra, 
with not so much as a turn of the head. Presently he glides off 
the limb towards a spot which you are sure was the only one he 
had not been observing, unless his long tail-feathers act as 
indicators, and with a sharp and graceful curve returns to his 
perch. A rapid disturbance under his bright yellow bib tells that 
the flight was not made in vain. The bird wipes his beak on the 
limb, gives a low, gurgling chuckle, and once more looks as if he 
would not harm a fly. I have seen several Bee-eaters, when 
hunting from a perch, fly past their prey and catch it on the 
return to their station. 

The Kookaburra [Dacelo gigas) appears rare in this part of the 
Mallee. From October to November I found four pairs of Sacred 
Kingfishers {Halcyon sanchis). The glorious spring mornings here 
were seldom awakened by the wild whisthng of the Butcher-Bird 
[Cracticiis destructor). Only three were seen during the whole 

Besides the Nankeen Kestrel {Cerchneis cenchroides), which was 
plentiful, other members of the Falconidce were rather scarce. 

One night a wretched farm-hand brought in, in triumph, a 
poor, wounded Owl, which, he declared, was " looking for eggs 
in the haystack " (mice, he should have said). I identified the 
specimen as the Lesser Masked Owl {Strix delicatula). Two night 
cries which were frequently heard suggested the presence of 
another Owl (possibly Ninox connivens, if not Strix delicatula. 
already mentioned) and the Boobook Owl {N. boohook). I have 
recognized the following birds along the shores of the lake (Hind- 
marsh) or on the backwaters of the river (Wimmera) : — 

Black-tafled Native-Hen (Microtribonyx ventralis) appeared in 
small flocks in September : inhabited secluded woody swamps. 
Bald-Coot {Porphyrio melanonotns). — Common all the period. 
Grebe. — L'nable to clearly identify the species : common on the 
lake. Silver Gull {Larus }iovce-hollandicB). — Large flocks were seen 
on the Wimmera backwaters during August. September, and 

Il8 SvLi.iv.\^, Some Mallee Birds. [^Mrmct. 

October. Red-kneed Dottrel (Erythrogonys cincliis). — Ten birds 
arrived at the subsiding flood-waters at the beginning of August. 
The white wing-bars and chestnut thigh coverings of this bird 
were not mentioned in my handbook, and I had to obtain a 
specimen for identification. This bird and two other water-birds 
are the only ones I shot in the district. Spur-winged Plover 
{Lobivanellus lobatiis) and the Black-breasted Plover {Zonifer 
tricolor) were numerous in May, June, and July, but afterwards 
became scarce. Red-capped Dottrel (.Egialitis riificapilla) ap- 
peared in October, and in November were still numerous. Black- 
fronted Dottrel {M. melanops) could be found all the season near 
any water. White-headed Stilt [Himantopus leiicocephalus). — A 
group of seven birds frequented the flooded flats of the Wimmera 
from September onwards. Sharp-tailed Stint (Heteropygia aurita) 
— Large flocks appeared round the swamps during October and 

Straw-necked Ibis {Carphibis spinicollis) and the White Ibis 
{Ibis molucca) were always present in small, scattered flocks. On 
23/9/10 three great clouds of Ibises approached the lake from the 
north. They circled round the river backwaters, and then left 
towards the south I presume they were making for the south- 
west of the State, where for several seasons I saw Ibises arrive 
at this time of the year. Black-billed Spoonbill {Platalea regia). 
— One bird spent a fortnight here in June In October I saw 
three Yellow-billed Spoonbills {Platibis fiavipcs). White Egret 
{Herodias timoriensis). — Occasionally small groups were seen in the 
swamps. White-fronted Heron (NotopJioyx novcB-hollandicB). — Very 
plentiful all the period. Pacific Heron (A'^. pacifica). — Became 
rather plentiful from October. Night-Heron {Nyciicorax cale- 
donicus). — These birds were not seen till the evening of 12/11/10. 
when I was in a pleasure boat and disturbed several hundred 
birds roosting in a small clump of river trees. This explained 
the small flocks of mysterious birds I had previously seen following 
the course of the river towards the lake of an evening just at dark. 
Bittern [Botaurus paxiloptihis). — Often heard in the swamps of 
an evening. 

Black Swan [Chenopsis atrata). — A few seen regularly. Wood- 
Duck {Chenonetta jiibata) were rare. Shieldrake {Casarca tador- 
noides). — Two seen. Black Duck (Anas super ciliosa). — In June 
the birds were in enormous flocks all among the reedy stretches 
of the lake. In July isolated pairs, and in November young 
Ducks in all stages of development, were seen on the surrounding 
waters, and the old birds were still mating. 

Black Cormorant {Phalacrocorax carbo). Little Black Cor- 
morant (P. sulcirostris), and Pied Cormorant (P. hypoleuciis). — 
All three species were occasionally seen, but were never numerous. 

Pelican {Pelecanus conspicillahts). — Became rather plentiful 
about the end of October. I never saw these birds take flight 
off deep water. They seem to prefer to rise from a place where 
the solid earth enables them to take to the air with a succession 
of kangaroo-like jumps. 

^'°'g,^' ] Sullivan, Some Mallee Birds. Iig 

My ()-mile ride to work c\ery sjiring morning gave me a feast 
of song and colour. White-shouldered CateriJiUar-eatcrs, White- 
faces {ApliLioccphala Icitcopsis), Rufous-breasted Thickheads, and 
Southern Fly-eaters (Pseudogerygone culicivora), all brilliant 
songsters, sang along my track, while out of every chain of grass 
were flushed Yellow-rumped Tits {Acanthiza chrysorrhoa), Chestnut- 
rumjied Tits (.1 . iiropygialis). Spotted-sided Finches [Stagano- 
pleiira guttata), and White-fronted Chats {Ephthianura alhifrons). 

The Black-backed Wren (Maliirits melanonotits) is common, 
l^rticularly round the lake, but a specimen of the so-called Blue 
Wren {Maliiru^ cyaneiis) was not seen. Re the article on the 
Blue Wren of Tasmania (Emu, vol. x., ist Jan., 1910), it is my 
impression that, in the case of Maliirus melanonotus, the immature 
male cannot be distinguished from the female by the colour of the 
tail feathers, for if the tail feathers of both sexes are not blue 
I have not seen a female in the district, although 1 lia\c seen 
numerous pairs of the species. 

The Red-tipi^ed Pardalote [Pardalotus ornatus) is common, and 
I once saw a Yellow-rumped Pardalote {Pardalotus xanthopygius). 

The Flame-breasted Robin {Petrceca phcenicea), the Red-capped 
Robin (P. goodenovii), and the Hooded Robin (P. bicolor), were 
all here in April. The Flame-breasted Robin seemed to leave 
about August, but a few specimens of the Red-capped species 
lingered as late as November. 

The following fifteen birds conclude the number I have recog- 
nized during my stay in the district : — Little Tit [Acanthiza nana). 
Pipit {Anthus australis). Pallid Cuckoo {Cuculus inornatus). 
Fan-tailed Cuckoo (Cacomantis rujulus). Black-faced Cuckoo- 
Shrike {Coracina robusta). White-shafted Fantail [Rhipidura 
albiscapa), Black-and-White Fantail (P. tricolor). Restless Fly- 
catcher (Sisura inquieta). Brown Tree-creeper {Climacteris 
picumna). Black-capped Sittella (Neositta pileata), Magpie-Lark 
[GraUina picata), Stone-Plover (Burhinus grallarins). Grey Shrike- 
Thrush {CoUvriocichla harmonica). White-browed Babbler (Poma- 
torhinus supirciliosus). Swallow [Hirundo neoxena), and Fairy 
Martin (Petrochclidon arid). 

Notes on the Rufous Bristle-Bird. 
By J. A. Ross (Victoria). 
{Read before tJie Bird Observers' C/itb, iqth July., 191 1.) 
Of the four species into which the genus Sphenura is divided, only 
two (brachyptera and longirostris) had been described when, in 
1865, Gould published his " Handbook to the Birds of Australia," 
although seven years earher the late Mr. K. Broadbent, in thick 
scrub in south-western Victoria, had secured a specimen of S. 
broadbenti. However, it was not described until 1867, when Sir 
F. M'Coy ]niblished particulars of it in The Annals and Magazine 
of Natural Histurv. It lias generally been regarded as a very 

120 Ross, Notes on the Rufous Bristle-Bird. [2nd"oct. 

rare bird, and the fact that Dr. Sharpe, when, some 25 years ago, 
he compiled the " Catalogue of Birds " for the British Museum, 
copied the description which had appeared in 1867, suggests that 
he had no skins in the museum to work upon. My own opinion 
is that S. broadhcnti is by no means a rare bird, but the nature 
of the country it frequents would make the task of procuring 
skins rather a difficult one. The trouble, for shooting purposes, 
would be, not to get close enough to the birds, but to be far enough 
away when they were visible. As far as I know, the south-western 
part of Victoria, where the country is heavily timbered and covered 
with a dense undergrowth of scrub, is the only locality where 
5. broadbenii is found.* The fourth species, 5. littoralis, was 
somewhat recently discovered, named, and described by a member 
of the Bird Observers' Club, Mr. A. W. Milligan. 

My first acquaintance with Sphenura hroadbenti was on 21st 
November, 1906. I had gone to Lome (Vic.) two days earlier 
with a letter which my friend Mr. F. E. Howe had secured for me 
from Mr. C. F. Belcher; and although Mr. Belcher had frequently 
had the birds under his observation, and ungrudgingly gave me 
much useful information, I was not able immediately to establish 
contact with them. After that trip I wrote a short paper while 
my experiences were fresh in my mind, and I will now draw liberally 
from those notes and add to them from my subsequent associa- 
tions. As those who have visited Lome know, the coach arrives 
at the township about 2.30 p.m., and I at once made inquiries, 
but could get no information as to the object of my visit ; so I 
set out for the deep gully traversed by Stony Creek, and spent 
the remainder of the afternoon listening for notes that sounded 
like the squeaking of an ungreased cart-wheel. Curiously enough, 
the first unfamiliar sound which took me off the track was made 
by a Bristle-Bird, but I did not know that until two days later. 
Several times I heard notes which were new to me. but. as I 
could not get a glimpse of the songsters. I had to return to the 
township without having made much progress. During the 
evening I made further inquiries, but could find nobody who 
knew that there was such a bird as the one I was seeking. How- 
ever, I had a conversation with a lady who had accompanied her 
son on several excursions undertaken for the purpose of studying 
birds, and she had been observant enough to notice the ungreased 
cart-wheel notes, and told me that the only place where they were 
to be heard was in the gully drained by the Little Erskine River. 
Consequently, I spent the whole of the next day in that gully, 
but I had to return to the township in the evening without having 
caught a glimpse of a Bristle-Bird, although, as I afterwards knew, 
I heard the birds and followed the calls through the scrubs several 

The following day I resolved to try in the direction of Stony 
Creek again, and I was soon invited into the scrub at the identical 

* Mr. A. J. Campbell records the Rufous Bristle-Bird as fairly numerous in 
the coastal scrubs of Guichen Bay, South Australia, where he procured a male 
and presented it to the Adelaide Museum— £»»!(, vol. vi., p. T37 (1907).— Eds. 

•] Ross, Notes on the Rufous Bristle-Bird. 


spot where 1 had tirst left the track on the first day : and here, 
after a wait of about lo minutes, I was rewarded by seeing and 
hearing a pair of birds within a few feet of me. As soon as 1 saw 
the birds 1 had no doulH about their identity, and, after ol^serving 
them for a \v\\\\r and hstening to their calls — calls which once 
heard should not be readily forgotten — I started to look for tlic 
nest, and in a fi-w minutes I had found one, apparently built the 
previous year. This was a series of fortunate circumstances, for, 
early in the day, 1 had obtained a good view of a pair of birds, 
had heard their calls repeated close to me several times, so that 
1 could not mistake the princijml ones, and had been able to insj^ect 
a nest and thus get an idea of how and where other nests would 
be built. I felt confident now of gaining sufficient information 
to enable me to find the birds easily should I again visit any 
locality frequented by them, for, from my experience of the first 
day, I knew where to find at least two other pairs of birds. 
During the day I had these two pairs and two other pairs under 
observation, and found seven other nests. All the nests were 
empty save one, which contained two young birds. The nestlings 
remained under supervision only for a few seconds, then fluttered 
from the nest to the ground, and disappeared in the scrub like 
rats. I tried hard to find them again, without success, but was 
more fortunate with the parents, for, by making a noise like a 
young or wounded bird, I brought them repeatedly quite close to 
me, and was much interested in watching the rapidity of their 
movements as they worked round me in a circle with a radius of 
about 12 feet. It was only occasionally, and then not for many 
seconds, that I could get a really good look at them, for they were 
almost constantly on the move, and took all the advantages the 
scrub offered for cover. Once I thought I saw a bird erect the 
feathers on its head like a crest, but was afraid to record it as a 
fact. That the species has this habit has, however, since been 
recorded in The Emu by a member of the R.A.O.U. who resides 
in the Cape Otway Ranges and who is a keen observer, so that 
what little doubt I had on the subject has been removed. Next 
day I covered country in the same neighbourhood, heard birds 
again frequently, saw them occasionally, and found four more 
nests, all empty. Of the twelve nests found during that trip I 
failed to note the situations of three, but the following particulars 
were jotted down regarding the others ; — Two in sword-grass, two 
in native hops {(•oodenia ovata), one on tussock of grass, two in 
tea-tree, and two practically in stunted, gnarled gum-trees. In 
these cases, although there was scrub growing up through the 
gum-trees, the ])rincipa] support was the dwarf gum, and both 
nests were so close to the sea that in rough weather they would 
be within reach of the wind-blown spray from the waves. Most 
of these nests had their openings uphill, but at least four, and, 
I think, four only, had their openings downhill. One of the nests 
built in native hops contained the yovmg birds mentioned, and 
the ojxMiing faced downhill. (For illustration of nest see Plate XI.) 

122 Ross, Notes on the Rufous Bristle-Bird. [2nd Oct 

During October, 1909, I spent about a week at Lome, renewing 
my acquaintance with the Bristle-Bird : and I was there again 
for a httle more than a week in November, 1910. During these 
trips I found several more old nests, one with a pair of young 
birds, a few with eggs, and two being built. Wiring to Mr. 
A. H. E. Mattingley that I knew of a nest with young, he 
made a flying visit and secured photographs (Plate X.) The male 
bird is a little larger than the female, but otherwise I believe 
there is no practical difference in appearance between the sexes. 
The R.A.O.U. member to whom I referred as being a resident of 
the Cape Otway Ranges has stated that, as far as his experience 
goes, all nests have their openings towards the east ; but I think 
that the position of the opening is more a matter of the direction 
in which the shrub or other cover in which it is placed is leaning 
than of the point of the compass. One nest I found building had 
evidently only been commenced on the day of discovery. Two 
days later it was a substantial structure, requiring only a little 
lining to make it complete. On the seventh day after my finding 
it it contained two fresh eggs. I would hazard the opinion that, 
from the start of the nest till the laying of the clutch, usually a 
little longer period than a week would elapse. Mr. Belcher com- 
pared the nest to that of the Babbler {Pomatorhinus temporalis) 
and also to that of the Blue Wren (Malurus cyaneiis). I think 
the former comparison the better, from the position of the 
opening in the side and the general structure of the nest, although 
it is not so large or composed of such coarse materials as is the 
nest of the Babbler. Apparently the birds will place their nest 
in anything dense enough to hold it securely — native hops, wire- 
grass, sword-grass, tea-tree, eucalypt, grass tussock, and fallen 
bough are positions noted ; but in no case did I see a nest on the 
ground or more than 3 feet above it. From the fact that I have 
found what appeared to be the nests for several seasons of the 
same pair of birds, within a few yards of each other, I conclude 
that a pair of birds will for years be faithful to a very limited area. 

Another comparison made by Mr. Belcher was between the 
Bristle-Bird and the Pilot-Bird {Pycno-ptilus ftoccosus), and this, 
1 think, was most apt. Seen at a little distance, the species are 
much alike in plumage ; both frequent dense scrubs, are nearly 
always on the ground, over which, when disturbed, they move 
at a very rapid rate, taking advantage of every bit of cover ; 
and some of the call-notes are very similar. Indeed, I thought in 
November, 1910, that I would be able to record the Pilot-Bird 
as a frequenter of the Cape Otway Forest, for I heard a bird 
calling frequently within a few feet of me, and I could not dis- 
tinguish the notes from calls I had often heard the Pilot-Bird 
use. However, a little patience revealed the author of the notes, 
and then there was no doubt that it was a Bristle-Bird. Two 
eggs form the clutch, and generally, though not always, one egg 
is considerably lighter in colour than the other. A peculiarity of 
this species is that fairly often of the two eggs laid only one will 

The Emu. !',>/. .\7. 









>^ ^^' 




ii ,'* 

^"'i'.)m''1 Ross, Notes on the Rufous Bristle-Bird. I23 

be hatched, and thi- otlicr may \n- lakcii troin the nest alter the 
young bird lias tlowii, or, peiiiaps, 1 sliould say run. Ihe ill- 
matched eggs in the ordinary clutch, and the hatching of only one 
of them, are two more hnks between the l-5ristle-Bird and the 
Pilot-Bird ; but I think both i)eculiarities occur more often with 
the former than with the latter species. One more habit both 
sj)ecies have is that of hopping on the highest point of a bit of 
scrub when a distant noise is heard, and in this manner obtaining 
a view much less restricted than is to be got from the ground. 
I might also mention the rapidity of building the nest (two or 
three days) as a habit common to both species. Between the 
way the two species construct and conceal tfieir nests there is, 
however, a great difference ; for of all the nests of the Bristle- 
Bird I have found, the best-hidden was not so hard to find as the 
least difficult of those of the Pilot-Bird which I have seen. The 
nests of the latter species harmonize with their surroundings to 
a far greater extent than is the case with the former. In fact, 
as a rule the nest of the Bristle- Bird is not hard to find when you 
are near it : but usually you cannot get near it without having 
forced your way through a considerable amount of scrub, with 
disastrous results to your clothing. With the Pilot-Bird the 
opening into the nest is usually the first object about it to catch 
the eye, and it is the fact that it is by no means a large opening 
that makes the nest so difficult to find. Another habit I observed 
with one pair of Bristle-Birds when I was near a chick was the 
frequent spreading of the tail in a manner similar to that adopted 
by a male Pigeon when courting his mate. In this feature it 
resembles the Coachwhip-Bird (Psophod^s crepitans), which, like 
the Pilot-Bird, inhabits the densely scrub-covered ranges of 
eastern Victoria, similar in character to the ranges in south- 
western Victoria frequented by the Bristle-Bird. My visits to 
Lome have not been sufficiently long for me to ascertain the 
period of incubation, or how long the young birds remain in the 
nest after being hatched. As to food, I can speak definitely only 
of the contents of the stomachs of the birds shot, and for my 
information as to these I am indebted to Mr. Chandler. The 
stomach of each bird contained a number of seeds presumably 
of a species of Acacia, a few smaller seeds which were unknown 
to Mr. Chandler, and young green shoots of some plant or shrub. 
One of the stomachs also contained a small borer beetle. The 
green shoots predominated. From the nature of the country the 
birds frequent, and their keeping to the ground, one would expect 
to find more insects, and probably at times of the year when seeds 
and tender vegetation are scarce insects form a more important 
part of the bird's diet. The call I most frequently heard con- 
sisted of about nine notes, the first six being those which resemble 
the squeak of the cart-wheel, although, in justice to the birds. 
I must say that I do not like the simile. The odd numbers are 
all in one tone, and the even numbers all in another, slightly 
deeper, the three last being most musical, rich in tone, of greater 

124 Ross, Notes on the Rufous Bristle-Bird. [2nd"oct- 

volume than the earher notes, and blending together' so as to 
sound almost like one long rolling sound. When one goes near 
the nest, or a young bird, the parents will sometimes put in an 
appearance, and then they utter an alarm call, consisting of one 
note only. It is so keen, and sharp, and vicious that I cannot 
describe it. unless I say that it seems to cut or stab. 

Description of a New Honey-eater, 

By F. Erasmus Wilson, R.A.O.U.. Melbourne. 
Myzantha melanotis, sp. nov. 

The whole of the upper surface, except the lower forehead, 
brownish-grey ; lower forehead yellowish-olive ; lores, line beneath 
eye, and ear coverts conspicuously black ; wings and tail brown, 
margined at the base of the external webs with wax yellow, the 
tail terminating in faded pale brown ; chin yellow ; throat and 
lower chest dull grey ; the feathers of the sides of the neck and 
chest light grey, cross-barred with dusky brown lines near the 
extremity and tipped with white ; abdomen and under tail coverts 
white ; yellow patch of feathers on each side of neck ; bare skin 
around eye, bill, and gape maize-yellow ; legs and feet dull brownish- 
yellow. This description refers to an adult male. 

Measurements. — Total length, 9.25 inches : tail, 4.5 inches ; 
tarsi, 0.75 inch ; and culmen, 0.8 inch. 

The above bird was obtained by me, in company with Mr. F. E. 
Howe, F.Z.S., during a trip to one of the Mallee districts in North- 
west Victoria. It much resembles the Dusky Miner of Western 
Australia (Myzantha ohsaira), to which it is closely allied. It 
differs from that species in having the auricular patch con- 
spicuously black and larger, and the abdomen a clear white, and 
also the yellow frontal patch less extensive, and an absence of 
the lighter colouring on the rump. The cross-barring also is 
different, and the bill and bare ocular patch have a deeper shade 
of yellow. 

I propose the vernacular name of " Black-eared Miner" for the 
new bird. Three skins were secured. 

Description of a New Ptilotis. 

By a. W. Milligan, R.A.O.U., Melbourne. 
Ptilotis insularis, sp. nov. 

Adult Male. — Crown of head and all upper surface distinct 
uniform dark brown, except the lower back, which is much deeper 
in colour ; wings and tail margined on their external webs with 
greenish-yellow ; lores, space around the eye, and broad line down 
the sides of the neck black : ear coverts chrome-yellow, behind 
which is a conspicuous s])ot of pure silky white : throat greyish- 

Voi.^xi.-j MiLLiGAN, Description of a New Ptilotis. 125 

white faintly washed with yellow ; rest of under surface, including 
ai)d(,)nien, sides of body, and under tail coverts, dark brown, 
relieved with yellowish-grey striations ; irides dark brown ; legs 
slate coloured ; l)ill black. Measurements in inches : — Total 
length, 8.25 ; tail, 4 : t-uhnen. .75 ; tarsi, i. 

Observations. — The habitat oi this bird is Rottnest Island, off 
Fremantle, Western Australia, where it is coninion. It is very 
like Ptilotis soiiora in general appearance and colour markings, 
but may be readily distinguished from that species by being more 
rol)ust in all its pro})ortions. The under surface of the new bird 
is uniformly dark brown, with striations, and lacks the whitish 
abdomen and under tail coverts of P. sonora. There are also 
many other minor differences in colouration. I have compared 
a number of the skins of the new species with skins of P. sonora 
from the mainland, Bernier Island, North-West Australia, South 
Australia, and Victoria. The type is in the Western Australian 
Museum, Perth, the director of which institution, Mr. Bernard H. 
Woodward, F.G.S., was kind enough to place the skins at my 
disposal. In the vernacular I suggest the name Rottnest Honey- 
eater for the new bird. 

Stray Feathers. 

Frogmouths and Butcher-Birds. — While reading my brother 
Harry's notes from Cape York, in The Emu, I was struck 
by the partiality which the Manucodes evince for the Black 
Butcher-Bird, apparently in almost every case building their 
nests close to those of the Butcher-Birds. In this connection 
it may be worth mentioning that some years ago, at " Coomoo.," 
my brothers noticed a like partiality of the Tawny Frogmouth 
{Podargiis strigoides) for the common Butcher-Bird [Cracticus 
destructor). Numbers of the Frogmouths' nests were found one 
season, and, if not placed directly in the tree where the Butcher- 
Bird had its nest, were built in close proximity. Recognizing, I 
suppose, the Butcher-Bird's pugnacious habits, the Frogmouths 
took the opportunity of building near, so that the Butcher-Birds 
should defend their neighbours' homes as well as their own. — 
Ernest D. Barnard. Kurrajong, Gladstone (Q.), 29/7/11. 

Scolding Honey-eaters. — 1 notice some smaller l)irds have a 
very keen eye and a good memory for their enemies, the Hawk 
tribe. Some time ago I shot a Sparrow-Hawk which was making 
itself a nuisance in the poutry-yard, and, not making good 
work of the skin, threw it out on to a rubbish heap where the 
winter's i)runing had been deposited. It fell down among the 
branches for some distance, almost out of sight ; but it was not 
long before it was discovered by some Fuscous Honey-eaters 
{Ptilotis jusca). which assembled round the Hawk-skin, making a 

126 stray Feathers. [,n!"oct. 

great iuss over their discovery. That was, at the least, two months 
ago, and I think that ahnost every day, and sometimes three or 
four times a day, those half-dozen cheeky little Honey-eaters go 
right down in the heap of twigs and sit close beside and scold the 
unresponsive heap of feathers. Their hatred seems to be con- 
fined to thernselves, for no other birds seem to take any interest 
in their actions. — Ernest D. Barnard. Kurrajong, Gladstone 

(Q.), 2g/7/ii. 

* * * 

Two Nests of Alcyone pusilla. — Dr. Wm. M'Gillivray, Broken 
Hill, sends the following field-notes received from his collector 
(Mr. J. M'Lennan) at Cape York : — 

" 17/2/11. — Went out to big swamp behind Charo mangroves. 
Flushed a Little Kingfisher {Alcyone pusilla) from its nest in a mass 
of earth adhering to the roots of a fallen tea-tree in the middle of 
the swamp. The nest contained five eggs, slightly incubated. 
Tunnel 6 inches long and a little over an inch in diameter. Egg- 
chamber circular, about 4^ inches in diameter. Dimensions of 
eggs in mm. : — 17 x 15, 17 x 14, 17 x 14, 17 x 14^, 17 x 14. 

" 30/2/11. — Went down to mangroves. Mud Bay, near Somerset 
Saw a couple of Alcyone pusilla in mangroves along the creek. 
Walking through the mangroves, close to the edge of the swamp 
I flushed one of these birds from its nest in an old white mangrove 
stump ; it contained five fresh eggs. Nest, a hole drilled in rotten 
mould ; tunnel 6 inches long, i^ inches in diameter. Egg-chamber 
5 inches across, 4 inches deep. The bird returned whilst I was 
taking the eggs, and sat a few feet away. The nest was 5 feet 
from the ground. Dimensions of eggs in mm. : — 18 x 15, 18 x 15, 
18 X 15, 18 x 15, r8 x 15. 

" Both clutches are close-grained, smooth, slightly lustrous, 
though a good deal nest-stained. The eggs are rounded in shape." 

Jottings from the Mersey, Tasmania. — Large numbers of 
the handsome New Holland (White-bearded) Honey-eaters 
(Meliornis novce-hollandice) have been in this district all the 
winter. They frequent chiefly the Cape wattles and tree lucernes, 
both introduced plants, which flower profusely during the cold 
months, and furnish sustenance to the M eliphagidcE . I would 
recommend those who have fair-sized gardens to plant these 
trees round the fences, when they wfll be provided with enter- 
tainment by birds during the " dead " season. The lively move- 
ments of the " White-beards " as they dash from tree to tree, 
or hang back downwards under a spike of blossom while engaged 
in extracting nectar, and their sharp notes, sounding like " Whiss ! 
whiss I " are everyday sights and sounds here. A few " Crescents " 
{Meliornis aiistralasiana) also make their aj^pearance, but not in 
such numbers as their congeners. They seem to remain in pairs, 
and do not flock like M . nova-hoUandict on the approach of the 
cold season. During the cold snap at the end of April I witnessed 

^"'.-g,'^'-] stray Feathers. I2y 

the last companies of Swilts {Cluctiira caitdacula) migrating from 
this coast, the fall of temperature and the rough winds causing 
Wood-Swallows (Artamits sordid us) to disapi)ear at the same time. 
The Wood-Swallows had, as usual, been congregating for some 
weeks previously in paddocks near the sea. the company being 
largely composed of young birds. In the middle of May two 
pairs of Striated Field- Wrens {Calanuiiil/ius lulii^inosus) were con- 
sorting in a friendly way by the roadside, the males of both pairs 
engaging in song. Early in July these Field- Wrens were singing 
everywhere, and at the same period numbers of Flame-breasted 
Robins (Pctra'ca pluvnicea) were about the i)addocks in company 
with numerous " greys " of the same species, several pairs of 
Scarlet-breasted {Petraxa leggii), and some of the engaging little 
White-fronted Chats {Ephthianura alhifrons). During the second 
week of July, while out one sunny morning, I noticed a female 
Maliirus fly up from the tangle by the roadside to a telegraph- 
wire, where she perched and sang a hurried little strain, in the 
same way as previously noted in my paper on the Blue Wren.* 
The same morning, almost at the same spot, a Brown-tail {Acanthiza 
diemcnensis) was uttering its sweet spring notes. On 30th July 
a Welcome Swallow [Hirundo neoxena) was observed flying about 
in the sunshine over our little town. Large numbers of the elegant 
Silver Gulls {Larus novcB-hollandice) have been feeding in paddocks 
partly submerged by the rainfall, and during the first week of 
August parties of Yellow-billed Terns [Sterna hcrgii) were engaged 
in fishing off the coast. — H. Stu.\rt Dove, F.Z.S., Devonport. 

The Coorong Islands. — The following appeared in the South 
Australian Register for i8th August. 1911 : — "The Commissioner 
of Crown Lands (Hon. C. Vaughan), with a view to prevent the 
destruction of birds and birds' eggs on the islands of the Coorong 
— the principal nesting-place in this State for various species — 
has arranged to place the islands under the care of the Orni- 
thologies Association of South Australia, as lessees. This will 
give the Association the right to prevent persons from trespassing 
on them, just in the same manner as they would be prevented 
from entering upon private property The law does not allow 
sportsmen and others to traverse private ground with guns, traps, 
or other means of catching or destroying birds, and the object of 
the Commissioner in asking the Ornithological Association to take 
charge of the islands is to place the reserves in the same category 
as other private property. The Association will take the necessary 
steps to notify that trespassers will not be permitted on the 
islands, and the police will also receive strict instructions to see 
that the notices are obeyed." 

Mr. J. W. Mellor, of " Holmfirth," Fulham, states that the idea 
of securing the bird islands in the manner reported originated 

* Emu, vol. ix., p. 151. 

128 stray Feathers. [^nf"^"! 

with him. He got the Commissioner to agree to the leasing of 
the islands by the Association. Captain S. A. White, of the 
Reedbeds, S.A., has been making strenuous efforts for the last 
twelve months to secure legislation for the protection of the 
Pelicans and to prevent the so-called aborigines from robbing 
the nests of Black Swans and Pelicans. The name of the R.A.O.U. 
has been used in urging such legislation. 

When in South Australia last July I spent a week on the 
Coorong, and visited Pelican and Jack's Point Islands. On both 
islands there were hundreds of old Pelicans' nests, and on Jack's 
Point Island the birds were commencing to lay. Forty-two nests 
contained eggs (full clutch of two in most instances). On Pelican 
Island two fresh eggs (broken open and the contents eaten by 
Crows) were found. Lying about the island were the headless 
bodies of a number of Pelicans, evidently victims of the massacre 
of igio. During my wanderings among the islands and along 
the lake shore I observed not more than 300 or 400 Pelicans. 
Before the slaughter which aroused such indignation among bird- 
lovers of the Commonwealth there must have been thousands of 
these birds on the Coorong. The island rookeries will now, thanks 
to the efforts of the South Australian Ornithological Association, 
be less liable to receive visits from bird-killers and egg-robbers ; 
but the Coorong is a wild, lonely lake, and it will be difficult to 
enforce the laws of sanctuary. — Charles Barrett. Melbourne. 

From Magazines, &c. 

Another Great Kingfisher. — At the monthly meeting of the 
Linnean Society of New South Wales, held 31/5/11, Mr. A. J. 
North exhibited an example of a small race of the Great Brown 
Kingfisher [Dacelo gigas) from the Jardine River, Cape York 
Peninsula, which he proposed to distinguish as a new sub-species, 
naming it Dacelo maclennani (M'Lennan Kingfisher), after Mr. J. 
M'Lennan, collector for Dr. Wm. Macgillivray.='= The bird is 
said to bear a similar relation to D. gigas as the Fawn-breasted 
Kingfisher (Z). cervina) does to D. leachii. 
* * * 

Blue " Budgerigar." — In the Avicultural Magazine (May and June, 
itjii), Mr. D. Seth-Smith, F.Z.S., deals interestingly with the 
keeping and breeding of Parrakeets in captivity. Taken as a tribe, 
Mr. Seth-Smith states, these birds, as a whole. " are hardy, easy to 
keep, and very showy." He cites an instance of an extremely 
rare and beautiful variety of blue Warbling Grass-Parrakeet, 
or " Budgerigar " {Melopsittaciis undnlatiis). Mons. Pauwels, a 
Belgian aviculturist, exhibited a pair in London last year. In 
this variety the yellow pigment was absent, the bird being of a 
most beautiful blue, with a pure white face and ]:)lack bars over 
the back. 

* See Agricultural Gazette of New South Wales, vol. xxii., part 7 (July, 
191 1), p. 609. 

^°';,^,^' ] From Magazines, &'C. I20 

New Australian Birds, — In tlie Bulletin of the B.O.C., 

No. clx.x.. Mr. (i. M. Matlicws describes the following new 
birds : — McUor)iis iii^^ra ditlciei. Irom Albany, W.A. ; Acanthiza 
albivcntris hainiltoni, from New South Wales ; Acanthiza iredalei, 
from Lake Way, W.A. ; and Mr. Tom Iredale describes as new 
Cindoramphus rufescens mathewsi, from Yalgoo, W.A. 

In Bulletin No. clxxi. Mr. Mathews describes : — Piezo- 
rhyiichus nitidus wardelli, from Cooktown, North Queensland ; 
Diaphorillas striatus howei, from Kow Plains, Victoria ; Myzomela 
obscura harterti, from Cairns, North Queensland ; Coracina melanops 
tasmanica, from Tasmania ; Artamus tregellasi, from Rockingham, 
W.A. ; Butoridcs rogersi, from North- West Australia. 

In the Novitates Zoologies, vol. xviii., there are described : — 
Gerygone albigularis rogersi, from Derby, North-West Australia 
(with nest and eggs) ; Alisterus cyanopygius minor, from Cairns, 
North Queensland ; and the eggs of Poephila personata belcheri. 

Bird League at Belltrees. — In the Public Insiruction Gazette 
of New South Wales for 30th June, 1911, is published an 
interesting article, entitled " How I Formed a Bird League at 
Belltrees," by Mr. S. A. Hanscombe, who is the teacher at the 
local public school. Mr. Hanscombe is very enthusiastic, and 
has the help and advice of Mr. H. L. White, of Belltrees, as well 
as being able to refer to his magnificent collections and library 
of ornithological works. He has achieved a signal success in 
inculcating a love of birds in the young folk of the district. An 
extract from his article will give an idea of the work accom- 
plished : — " Having obtained the active support of the manager 
of Belltrees Station, Mr. H. L. White, and other local residents, 
I drew up the rules for our League, and obtained the signature 
of each pupil wishing to join. In this course no pressure was used, 
and none was needed. I admitted children only, as I had by now 
the active support of all the residents. . . . My task was now 
a most enjoyable one, as immediately I had the necessary charts 
drawn out for the wall I had many willing volunteers to subscribe 
thereon the information they already had. I provided a day-book 
for miscellaneous notes, and at the end of the week the older pupils 
would, in turn, take this day-book and enter up all bird notes 
on the wall charts. Any doubtful notes had to remain over for 
further observations. The ])ui)ils, I found, soon preferred to give 
their observations orally, and then be questioned on them. I 
allowed much freedom, and allowed trustworthy boys to bring 
me two nests and eggs of any species they saw ; but I never 
allowed, on any conditions, a boy to take half a clutch of eggs. 
By so doing, birds were saved from rearing half-broods, and those 
whose nests were taken rebuilt and reared full clutches. Two 
nests and eggs of each species were taken, if possible — one from 
a green tree and one from a dead tree. Why ? To illustrate 
the wonderful methods Nature devised for protection of nest and 

130 From Magazines, &c, [,„j 



eggs ; how in each case the nest suited its location, and how 
the eggs varied in shades according to their location. The first 
week we located 42 birds in the locality, and this gradually in- 
creased with the return of the migratory birds, and gradually 
crept onward ; and now, after two years, we have reached the 
grand total of 130 birds in our own locality, with the complete 
lives of 120 of the species. During the last six months we have 
only increased our total by six. The League now runs well ; and 
the secretary of our League is a little girl only 12 years of age. 
I acted as secretary myself for the first year. That I might retain 
the interest of the pupils, I encourage them to bring pictures and 
clippings from illustrated papers dealing with bird-life, and these 
the secretary places in our school scrap-book, always open to the 
children. Local residents, now appreciating the friendship 
existing between the children and the birds, often present books 
and articles on birds to the school library, and I often have the 
pleasure of roaming the hills and valleys with the children, who 
are now thorough bird-lovers." J 

Nomenclature of Birds.— Mr. Gregory M. Mathews has con- 
tributed Part IL on this exceedingly technical subject to Novitates 
Zoolos,icce (vol. xviii., June, 1911). Part L was mentioned in 
The Emu {ante, pp. 46 and 51). 

In Part IL, as in the previous portions, Mr. Mathews deals almost 
entirely with Australian birds, but in some cases the generic terms 
are of more interest to students in general ornithology. In many 
instances the author has apparently good premises for the establish- 
ment of certain names of Australian birds not at present used, 
but in as many instances it appears to be a matter merely where 
" doctors differ." For example, the author is " inclined to question 
the correctness of the ruling of ' Opinions rendered by the Inter- 
national Commission of Zoological Nomenclature ' " itself on an 
important point. Then, with a positive prioretist like Oberholser 
he (the author) states in another case his (Oberholser's) " decision 
must be reversed." And, further, still more puzzling are some 
of Watling's old drawings, with which the late Dr. Sharpe sought 
to establish the priority in nomenclature of certain Australian 
birds. Now Mr. Mathews states there is room for doubting the 
identification of the names given by Sharpe to several of the 
drawings. Well may Australians ask — " Why rely on the doubtful 
drawings of a botanist as against the life-like coloured figures of 
so great an ornithologist and author as Gould ? " Bed-rock 
priority run riot, people are apt to say. 

The following may be taken as a sample of Mr. Mathews' 
research and argument, and how he proposes another name for 
the Brown-headed Honey-eater [Melithreptiis brevirostris) : — 

" Page 92 : Species 741. — Melithreptus atricapillus, Latham, ' Suppl. 
Ind. Orn.,' p. xxxvii. (1801), replaces M. brevirostris, Vigors and 

^"[;^,y] From Magazines, &-c, I3I 

" In The Ibis, yi. 55, iwof), Norlh advocated the adoption of 
Latham's atyica[^illus lor llie bird known as ' lunulatus,' Shaw. He, 
however, observed that tlic (hstin^niishing character of the latter 
species was not mentioned. 

" Sharpe ('Hist. Coll. Brit. Mas.,' ii., p. 128, 1006), from a study 
of the Watling drawings, independently i)roposed the rejection of 
' lunulatus,' Shaw, and also preferred alricapillus for the species pre- 
viously known under the former name. The absence of the name- 
chciracter in the desci^iption made me dubious as to the correctness 
of identifying ' lunulatus ' and alricapillus. I therefore have care- 
fully studied the Watling figures, and find that the above alterations 
are necessary. The figure upon which ntricapillus was founded is 
quite a good picture of the l)ird known as bvevirostris, Vig. and Horsf. 
It must be remembered that Latham's descriptions were drawn up 
from these figures only, and consequently the colour values given 
by Latham depend entirely upon the artists. In the present instance 
the figure shows a dark head, which Latham concluded was black ; 
but upon comparing specimens of bvevirostris and lunalus (for such 
is the name Shaw used), it was seen that the colouration of the 
figure agreed very well indeed with that of bvevirostris, whereas it 
disagreed in many particulars with lunatus, which, moreover, was 
thrice well figured in the same set of drawings, Nos. i2q, 130, and 
131 (c/. 'Hist. Coll. Brit. Mus.,' ii., p. 132)." 

Australians have learned to know this familiar Honey-eater 
as the " Brown-headed." To call it atricapillus (Black-headed), 
even if it were correct in accordance with strict priority, would 
be misleading and not according to nature. 

Tame Wild Birds. — The AvicuHund Magazine lor July, 
i()ii, contains an interesting account of the wild Lorikeets 
(Trichoglossiis novcB-hollandia) which Mrs. Ella M. Innes, of 
Mackay, Queensland, has tamed without depriving them of 
liberty. The article is in the form of a letter to Mr. D. Seth-Smith, 
who introduces it with a statement that a photograph of the 
Lorikeets, by Mr. E. M. Cornwall, appeared in The Emu, October, 
1910, which led him to write to Mrs. Innes. The reply he re- 
ceived, as published in the Avicultural Magazine, is as follows • — 
" Dear Sir, — Your letter of iqth November reached me just as 
I was leaving home on a visit, so I laid it aside to answer when 
I could give leisure to it. I enclose one or two of my own photos, 
of my birds. They do not object to my camera in the very 
slightest, even at close quarters. I believe my pets are unique 
in being so thoroughly tamed, yet left in their free state. When 
we came to this country (17 years ago), while clearing land for 
cultivation my husband got two young birds from a fallen tree. 
One was a Blue-bellied Lorikeet (T. novrs-hollandice) and the 
other a Scaly-breasted Lorikeet {T. chlorole pi dolus). He brought 
them home to me. I reared them and petted them so that we 
became very fond of them and they of us. They were devoted 
to me. If I did not ajipear at the lireakfast table they very 

132 From Magazines, S^c. [^nf'o'ct 

soon came round to my bedroom. They kissed me and petted 
me. They nestled at my neck and used to go to sleep there. 
Daintier and more affectionate little pets one could not have. 
If I mourned, they mourned with me ; if I were inclined for 
fun they were as eager for a game as a kitten. They never 
missed our meal hours, although free to go where they wished. 
We often used to try and dodge them, taking afternoon tea in 
different rooms ; but they always found out. It was very quaint 
to see the two looking for us. ' Where are you ? ' ' Where are 
you ? ' they would call, till at last we were discovered. After 
three years one of them met with an accident and died ; the other 
lived just two weeks longer — it literally died of a broken heart. 
It used to go about calling ' Where are you ? ' ' Where are you, 
my sweet ? ' but no answering call came. It scarcely left my 
shoulder during the day, and at night it was so lonely in its cage 
that I was really glad when it also died one morning in my hand. 
After that I vowed I would never make such pets of any animal. 

" However, one day a little bundle of fluff, and eyes, and beak 
was brought to me, and I, of course, took it and reared it also. 
It was a jolly little fellow, and used to have great fun with the 
cats and dogs. One big cat especially loved a game. He would 
lie down on his back, and the bird would take a header into the 
soft fur, and the fun used to be very great as they rolled over and 
over. The cat would play for a long time with it. How often 
have I wished I had had a camera in those days of fun and frolic ! 
After I had this one a year, mates came round, and my little fellow 
could not make up his mind which he would have. He treated 
all alike, but at last he decided, and then he hunted all the other 
little flirts most unmercifully. To this favoured one he kept 
true year after year They were always together, and brought 
many families to my care. Now I have so many that I cannot 
say if he is still true to his first love. We had some very wet 
weather after he chose his mate, and every evening they had a 
few words, rather heated at times, over the camp for the night. 
Jenny wanted to go to the trees, but Joey preferred the comfort 
of his snug cage. Very often his word was law, and Jenny very 
shyly dropped into the cage, which was never closed all day, but 
only during night, us a precaution against wild cats and snakes. 

" My family has increased very rapidly. Uncles and aunts, 
and every possible relative, soon flocked to my table. Seeing no 
fear in my own birds, they soon got as tame ; the pictures show 
how tame they are. None now sleep in the cage ; all sleep in 
the hollow trees around, but by daylight they clamour for break- 
last. They are fond of taking out my hair-pins, as you will see 
by the photos. 

" When I went to town last week there was a girl on the coach 
behind me. 1 noticed that she had a tin biscuit-box on her knee, 
with holes cut in it. I asked her what she had, and, on hearing 
that it was a bird, I said I hoped it was not one of my Parrots. 
I gave my usual call, and immediately the answer came from the 

^"'I'gn '] From Magazines, S-d 13^ 

tin, and a little eye looked out at a hole. I put my finger in, and 
the little spongy tongue licked it all over. The girl said she had 
got it feeding on a lantana hush with others, and it had allowed 
her to catch it. She would not give it up, and 1 had no legal 
right to it. She lives a mile and a half from my home. We live 
about 20 miles from Mackay, and all the way, every time I spoke 
to the driver or to the girl, the little voice answered me from the 
tin. 1 have asked someone in town to try and buy it back for 
me from the person to whom the girl gave it. I hope I may get 
it ; I cannot stand my little free pets being caged. 

" This is all a ramble, and may be of no interest to you ; but Mr. 
Cornwall seemed to think that, from all he knew of you, it was a 
letter such as this that would interest. The photos., of course, 
are rare. In one you will see the spongy tongue sucking up the 
sweet liquid from the plate, and you will also notice the tails 
sticking out of the cans, showing that the little gourmands are 
greedily licking the bottom of the cans. They are noisy little 
pets, but very beautiful. Their free life keeps their plumage in 
good order. They are great believers in the daily tub, and there 
are great scenes of revelry in the spouting round the roof. 

" I hope I may revisit England some day before long, and I 
am sure that I shall want to get inside the Parroquets' cage at 
the Zoo — that is to say, if I see any of my friends there. I have 
been away sometimes for four or five months at a time, and 
during that time my pets are not so well looked after, so they 
almost stop coming ; but I am not home more than two days 
before the circular has been sent round the tree-tops, and my 
little friends wing their way from all sides and swarm on me, 
sometimes 20 or 30 hanging on me and squabbling for the post 
of honour on my shoulder. 

" During the fine weather they do not trouble us beyond 
coming for food, but in weather such as we are having now (rain 
daily) they scarcely leave the verandah. As I write I counted 
over 70 on the wire round the verandah. I had to stop writing 
to give them food, as they gave me no peace — over my shoulders, 
drinking the ink, tearing the paper, &c." 


[" Nests and Eggs of Rirds Found Breeding in Australia and Tasmania," 
by Alfred J. North, C.M.Z.S., &c.. Ornithologist to the Australian Museum.] 

Part II. of vol. iii. of this important work has been published. 
It contains the remaining portion of the family CacatuidcB, com- 
prising part of the sub-family Cacatuince and the sub-family 
CalopsittacincB : the family PsittacidcB, containing the sub-families 
Palceornithince and PlatycercincB, and forming the concluding Aus- 
tralian portion of the order Psittact. As in the ]irevious parts, 
the illustrations of birds arc reproduced from drawings made by 

134 Reviews. I 


the late Mr. Neville Cayley, who was also responsible for hand- 
colouring the plates of eggs in the coloured copies. The eggs of 
the different species of the order Psittaci all being white, no plate 
of birds' eggs is issued with the part. As was mentioned by the 
reviewers when criticising previous parts, no fault can be found 
with Mr. North's work except for its " omissions." These 
omissions are serious stumbling-blocks to students. For instance, 
no work on the family Psittacida^ could be complete with the omis- 
sion of such important Parrots as Porphyrocephahis spiirius (Red- 
capped Parrakeet), Psephotus chrysopterygiiis (Golden-shouldered 
Parrakeet), and Geopsittacus occidentalis (Night-Parrakeet). Eggs 
were described of the first-named by Gould long ago, and 
more recently (1909) that Parrot was known to breed in captivity 
in England, and the owner, Mr. Hubert D. Astley, F.Z.S., received 
the Avicultural Society's medal for same.* Mr. Astley has con- 
tributed an article on the Red-capped Parrakeet to the Avicultural 
Magazine (August, 1911), which has a fine coloured plate of a 
handsome pair of birds. There are also field notes in The Emu 
(vol. X., pp. 313, 314), by Mr. F. L. Whitlock. of nests taken in the 
open in Western Australia. And yet Mr. North has remained 
silent on this splendid species. 

["The Birds of .\ustralia " by A. H. S. Lucas, M.A. (Oxon. and Melb.), 
B.Sc. (Lond.). &c., and W. H. Dudley Le Souef, C.M.Z.S., M.B.O.U., &c., 
joint authors of "The Animals of Australia." Little Collins-street, 
Melbourne; Christchurch, Wellington, and Dunedin, N.Z. ; Addle Hill, 
Carter-lane, London : Whitcombe and Tombs Limited. 191 1] 

An ancient wrote, " Of making many books there is no end." and 
in these latter days the cry is. " Still they come." 

Australia has been fortunate in early colonial days in possessing 
the great pictorial folios of " The Birds of Australia," by John 
Gould, with " Handbooks " thereto, and the Commonwealth, in 
recent years, has been particularly blessed with bird books. A 
conspicuous trio has just been published — one in course of pub- 
lication — (i) " An Australian Bird Book," by Mr. J. A. Leach, 
which was noticed in The Emu, p. 348 ; (2) " The Birds of Aus- 
tralia " (the volume at present under review), by Messrs. A. H. S. 
Lucas and Dudley Le Souef ; and (3) Mr. Gregory Mathews' 
classical undertaking, " The Coloured Figures of the Birds of 
Australia," of which three parts of vol. i. have been delivered to 
subscribers. These three works in no way clash, but form a 
distinct and natural sequence of inestimable value to a nation 
of bird-lovers, such as Australians — the rising generation, at all 
events — are becoming. 

Regarding " The Birds of Australia," the joint authors, Messrs. 
Lucas and Le Souef, have put a coping-stone on their work and 

* Avic. Mag., ser. 2, vol. vii., p. 291. 

Thk Emu, Vol. XI. 


Nest of Rufous Bristle-Bir.l (Sphcnnva bvoadbenti). 


Honey-eaters Feeding, Fliglit Aviary, Zoological Gardens, Melbourne. 


The Emu. I'ol. XI. 


Pheasant Coucal {Centropus phasianus). Zoological Gardens, Sydney. 


^"'_- ^y] Reviews. I35 

life as field naturalists, and have made a high-water mark, tor 
years, at least, to come, in a most useful and concise orni- 
thological reference. There is enough of the purely technical side 
to give the book a sound standing, while there is a sufficiency of 
popular matter to please. The classification followed is that of 
the late Dr. Bowdler Sharpe, as contained in his " Hand-list of 
Birds," and the joint authors state : — " We gladly acknowledge 
our deep indebtedness to the various authors nf the magnificent 
series of (IcscrijHive catalogues ))ublislK'(l by {\\v authorities of 
the British Museum." 

The work is liberally illustrated with half-tone i^hoto-blocks 
of l)]rds, nests, and bird scenes, mostly excellent, whether 
considered technically, ornithologically, or artistically. Three 
selected blocks are given with this review by courtesy of the 
])ublishers (Plates XI. and XII.) Several of the subjects 
first appeared in this journal, and have been fully acknowledged. 
A few of the illustrations, notably those of some of the sea-bird 
scenes, are so nearly alike as to be practically duplicates. This 
loss of space might have been devoted with advantage to other 
subjects requiring figures. The volume is further illuminated by 
four artistic coloured plates of bird groups, reproduced from 
paintings by Mrs. Ellis Rowan, a cousin of one of the authors. 

Of course, the authors do not claim perfection, and advanced 
students may consider that here and there are slight errors of 
omission and commission, which, however, do not exceed the 
law of average for a work of its class. 

The printer's share of the work is also admirable, and well 
sustains the reputation of the enterprising publishers, Messrs. 
Whitcombe and Tombs Limited. The cost of the volume, one 
guinea, is reasonable. 

["My Tropic Isle," by E. J. Banlield. T. Fisher Unwin, London, W.C] 

Sequels are proverbially unsatisfactory, but no reader of " The 
Confessions of a Beachcomber " will be disappointed with Mr. 
Banfield's new volume, which contains a further instalment of 
romance and delightful nature notes. Dunk Island, since its 
Crusoe revealed its charms to the world, has become as familiar, 
by name, at least, as Stevenson's " Treasure Island." And some 
who read of it come seeking treasure on Mr. Banfield's tropic 
isle, deeming that no sane man would dwell upon it save for the 
purpose of winning wealth from hidden minerals. But Mr. Ban- 
field's confessions reveal the secret. A lover of nature, quietness, 
and reflection, he finds Dunk Island admirably suited for the 
life he joys in living. He settled there with his wife in September, 
1897. and after 14 years' residence is still charmed with his island 
domain. The first portion of " My Tropic Isle " is a kind of 
" Journal Intimc " — a mingled web of poetry, philosojihy, and 
fancy. Mr. Banfield's prose is clean-cut and j^liant. He reminds 

136 Reviews. [.ncfoct. 

one a little of Stevenson, and again of Hudson and Thoreau. His 
chapter on " Silences " is delicately wrought and as " soothing as 
the perfume of violets.'' 

The volume contains a great deal about fruits and flowers, and 
several chapters are devoted to marine life. Bird-life is dealt 
with in Chapters xix.. xx., and xxi., under the captions 
" Intelligent Birds," " Swifts and Eagles," and " Socialistic 
Birds " respectively. The Koel (Eudynaniis cyanocephala) forms 
the subject of a discursive essay,' which should be read for its 
picture of the Cuckoo as a scout. " Do birds play ? " asks Mr. 
Banfield, and proceeds to describe the actions of two young 
Cassowaries (Casuarius australis) which playfully performed 
martial exercises. The birds were wont to stride about a stout 
post, lurch against it, and, feigning fury, lash out at the piece of 
wood with unrestrained violence. Anecdotes of a clever Red- 
collared Lorikeet, which played the game of stalking with a yellow 
cat, and of a Scrub-Fowl that laid her eggs in a space between 
two horizontal slabs of granite — a natural incubator — are given, 
and there are many interesting notes regarding the Nutmeg-Pigeon 
and the nesting habits of the Shining Calornis. 

A small colony of the Grey-rumped Swiftlet {Collocalia francica) 
exists on Dunk Island, and Mr. Bantield has studied the birds 
closely. The nests are situated in a cave on one of the highest 
points of the island, being fastened to the roof by "a semi-trans- 
parent white substance resembling isinglass," with which also the 
materials composing them — fine grass, moss, and fibre — are con- 
solidated. The Swiftlet lays a single white egg, and the breeding 
season extends over 4 months, the earliest date on which a 
newly-laid egg was discovered being 14th October. As far as 
Mr. Banfield has observed, the birds never rest save in the cave, 
clinging to the nests or to the roof. They do not utter a note 
" except the reassuring prattle upon alighting on the edge of the 

" My Tropic Isle " is a delightful chronicle of island life — a book 
to possess, not to borrow. It should be added the volume is well 
printed and bound, and contains a number of half-tone illus- 
trations reproduced from photographs. 



To the Editors of " The Emu." 

Sirs, — I have read with considerable interest Mr. Gregory M. 
Mathews' letter in the last issue of The Emu (pp. 52-58), relative 
to the nomenclature of the Australian avifauna. 

Before commenting ujwn the letter, I desire, as one deeply 

Vol. XI, 

1 Correspondence. ^37 

interestetl in Auslr;ili;iii ornithology, to express appreciation of 
the invaluable services rendered by Mr. Mathews in the above 
connection, and although many Australian ornithologists, in- 
cluding myself, are not altogether ml idem with Mr. Mathews in 
his recent renuutiation and abandonment of well-settled laws, 
we can still (notwithstanding his upbraiding) admire the work he 
has done and is doing, and can justly appraise its value. 

For the jnu-poses of comment, Mr. Mathews' letter may, 1 think, 
be divided into two sections, namely : — The advocacy of (a) the 
government of scientific names by the International Code, and 
{b) the trinominal system in preference to the binominal one. 

In dealing with both sections collectively, it will, perhaps, be 
as well to bear in mind that the only representation Australia had 
at the International Congress which formulated the Code was that 
of Cireat Britain ; consequently, until the British ornithological 
authorities give some indication or declare their intention of 
abandoning the 15th edition of the Systema NaturcB (the recog- 
nition and adoption of which Mr. Mathews alleges is the " gist " 
of the whole trouble), Australia, obviously, cannot decorously 
move. To my mind, the difficulty may be readily overcome by 
Mr. Mathews convincing the British Museum authorities that 
their adherence to the 13th edition is a " conservatism antagonistic 
to progress." If that be done (and it should not be difficult of 
achievement if Mr. Mathews' allegations as to the result of con- 
servatism be true), and the authorities named espouse the new 
laws, Australia will perforce fall into line. 

Upon the " law of priority," it must be frankly admitted that 
Mr. Mathews has very ably and succinctly preferred, on behalf of 
deceased ornithologists, well-founded claims for recognition of 
their work, and Mr. Mathews' efforts in th's direction indicate 
a very high sense of justice. At the same time, it is most difficult 
to reconcile that gentleman's advocacy of those claims with his 
recent action in seeking to deprive the deceased naturalist Brisson 
of the fruits of his labours by deleting his name from the author- 
ship of so many genera. I expect, of course, to be told that his 
(Brisson's) generic names were " nude " names, and that he did 
not apply the principles of binary nomenclature according to the 
Articles ; but, although the advancement of such an argument 
(if it be advanced) may be an excellent ground for the rescission 
of such an arbitrary and inequitable rule, it cannot for one 
moment be regarded (if it be so pleaded) as a justification for a 
positive injustice. 

Dealing with the second section of Mr. Mathews' letter — namely, 
the preferential adoption of the trinominal system — I confess that 
I have a very strong leaning towards trinomials, as by their use 
the different shades of distinction between closely-related forms 
may be readily indicated. On the other hand, there is the radical 
objection to the system by reason of its cumbersomeness : and, 
again, to attach three very long Latin or Greek names to a very 
small bird will undoubtedly militate against the pojHilarization 

138 Correspondence. [.nd'o'ct. 

of the study of ornithology. I venture to think that the advantages 
of the system could be achieved by the use of the prefix " sub " 
or " pseudo " to the specific name of the dominant species, and, 
if this usage were found practicable, obviously it would secure 
the advantage of ready differentiation and avoid the disadvantage 
of name triplication. 

Mr. Mathews quotes certain written statements of Mr. A. J. 
North as supporting the adoption of trinomials. The reference 
is an unhappy one if the quotation be critically examined. Mr. 
North's statement, as quoted, is that " trinomial nomenclature 
has not yet been adopted by Austrahan ornithologists, although 
that does not protect Australian ornithological nomenclature from 
the hair-splitting of the most ardent sub-species maker resident 
elsewhere." The innuendo is manifestly clear ; but, whatever the 
merits or demerits of either system may be, I, as a member of 
the Check-list Committee, intend (quite regardless of my personal 
leanings) to give loyal adherence to the system presently adopted 
by the national authority on ornithology within the British 
dominions — namely, the British Museum. In doing so I may be 
charged (and perhaps with sufficient warrant) as being con- 
servative or unprogressive, but that I must accept. It is more 
essential, in my opinion, to have a uniformity of procedure, even if 
we have not absolute unanimity of thought, as by the former 
confusion will be avoided and consistency and certainty main- 
tained. It cannot be but mischievous to any study to have divers 
systems of nomenclature simultaneously co-existent in the one 

In another realm of science there exists a well-known maxim, 
omnis innovatio pliis novitate perturhat qiiam iitilitate prodest — 
that " every innovation disturbs more by its novelty than benefits 
by its utility " — and it is worth considering if it is not equally- 
applicable to ornithological nomenclature. 

The non-acceptance of trinomials by Australian ornithologists 
need not, I think, trouble Mr. Mathews in his new work, for it is 
still open to him to set out out both, in the manner, I understand, 
he has done in the first parts of his new work. — I am, &c., 


103 William-street. Melbourne. 6/9/11. 


To the Editors of " The. Emu." 

Dear Sirs, — Ornithology, like all other biological sciences, is 
advancing rapidly, and to keep abreast of the times its methods 
require re-adjustment, more especially with regard to that 
branch known as oology. 

To gain a comprehensive knowledge of oology in all its details 

Vol. XI. 
191 1 

1 Correspondence. ^39 

a method is needed that w\\\ reveal it withoid unnecessary 
mental exertion. A most important item is tiic systematic 
descrijition and measurement ol sets of eggs, where!)}' an accurate 
contigiuation of their various peculiarities is conveyed to students. 
This attained, ornithologists will be furnished with material which 
will help in the elucidation of the laws which govern the multi- 
tudinous variations, which at present are very imperfectly under- 
stood. The terminology needs to be more definite to meet the 
requirements of expanding research. With the present system, 
I venture the opinion that very few cast more than a casual glance 
at measurements given. In ^Hsjilacing old methods of science, 
the new must justify itself by obvious advantages. The method 
I suggest is a division of the egg into definite areas, so that de- 
scription and examination may be facilitated. It is analogous 
to that employed by astronomers in dividing the surface of the 
moon into definite areas, each of which may be surveyed without 
reference to the contiguous ones. The system may also be 
likened to the principle of geographers of animal life, who divide 
regions into sub-regions to simplify their tabulation. It is there- 
fore necessary to have some kind of table to produce statistical 
evidence wherewith to arrive at the mean shape, size, and colour 
of eggs of any given species. Every oologist has experienced 
difticulty in identifying, or discriminating between, eggs of allied 
species, and any attempt to formulate a rule to enable students 
to distinguish the eggs of one species from those of another is 
futile. So far as I know, no attempt has been made to establish 
a m?.an description of any sjiecies — that is, a description based 
on statistics. 

While we may observe sets of A and B alike, C will be different : 
hence, descriptions based on statistical methods would help one 
to arrive at a normal type — that is to say, a type which occurs 
most frequently in our observations. One hundred sets described 
and measured may prove to have 35 approaching A, 55 of the 
B type, and 10 of the C type. A and B being similar, the mean 
or normal type would be derived from them. 

It is manifest that a more expeditious method of describing in 
detail is needed, especially for the use of future generations, who 
will have, perhaps, nothing but descriptions handed down to 
them to work upon, as rare types will not be available for students. 
Great advantages would accrue by the detailed description of 
rare species, such as Atrichia rufescens, Pfilorhis paradisea, &c. 
This system would be distinctly advantageous in describing 
type sets, as the salient features of each egg could be treated 
minutely. Much verbiage will scarcely succeed in conveying a 
definite idea unless accompanied by a concrete guide. The 
oologist describing an egg thinks his description perfect ; but the 
student who has to educe a mental picture from the describer's 
words is apt to strain his imagination, and is at a great dis- 
advantage compared witli the describcr. who has the actual 
specimen in view. 


Correspondence . 

r Emu 
L2nd Ocl 

The following diagrams roughly illustrate my suggestioi 


Formula of the two Eggs (A and B), Fig. i. 

3 4 5123 4 

be d a h c d 



■75 L 


Points of an Egg. 

Zonal point. 
Diametral point. 
Sub-apical point. 

Areas of an Egg. 
(a) Basal. 
(h) Zonal. 

(c) Sub-apical. 

(d) Apical. 

The Method of Measuring and Dividing for Description. 

Fig. I. — Ascertain the distance of the greatest diameter from 
the larger end (base) of the egg, from which point all measure- 
ments are to be made, and make this point (3) the axis of division 
for the intermediate points 2 and 4. The point 2 is exactly half- 
way between i and 3, and the point 4 is half-way between 3 and 
5. Thus, we have the egg with five points (i, 2, 3, 4, and 5) and 
four spaces [a, h, c, d), which we can designate as areas, and 
which are to be used for the purposes of description. 

Fig. 2. — These are lines to represent the exact lengths of the 
eggs (Fig. I, A and B), and intersected to indicate where the 
measurements of diameters are made (A and B, Figs, i, 2, 3, 4). 
These lines, or formulae, can be printed with the descriptions, and 
thus convey a definite idea of the lengths and various diameters 
of the eggs from which they were made. The areas a, b, c, d 
(Fig. I, A and B), are represented in the formulae by the same 
letters. The numlDers 2, 3, and 4 indicate the respective diametral 
measurements, and are placed above the line, with their actual 
measurements under the line, and opposite to them. The object 
of measuring from the larger end is to meet specimens like 
Orthonyx spaldingi, so that where the diametral point is made, 
the intermediate point 4, or sub-apical point, is in a position to 
show the degree of tapering towards the apex. 

In The Emu, vol. ix., part 3, page 136, S. W. Jackson gives a 

Vol. XI, 



description of the eggs ol Acaiilhiza teiiiiirostris. A and B are 
alike — 0.57 x 0.43 ; but this (h)es not show the actual jxjsition or 
])oint of the diametral measurement, which would be ascertained 
by means of a formula, and |)rol)al)ly ilejjicted as here shown ■ — 

Although the dimensions are given as the same, in all proba- 
bility the eggs are dissimilar. The object of the three diametral 
measurements is to illustrate this graphically. The formuhe arc 
relative to the particular set of eggs under examination ; con- 
sequently, every set examined will have its own series of formuhe. 
We could proceed to describe eggs as follows : — 

Formula of Fig. i. 

2.0 I 

No. in Set. — Two. Shape. — (a) elongate-oval : {b) oval. 

Surface. — Dull, &c. Texture. — Smooth, &c. 

Ground Colour (refer to formula). — A. — Basal area {a) blue, 
shading to light blue in sub-apical (c), and then to white in apical 
area {d). 

Underlying Markings. — Almost invisible, greyish, &c. 

Surface Mayki)igs. — Lineal, streaky, &c. 

Colour of Markings. — Green, &c. (or No. of colour chart). 

Disposition of Markings. — A. — Forming a distinct zone in the 
zonal area (b). B. — Zone mostly in zonal, and overlapping 
slightly into basal area (a). 

From descriptions here given, it is possible to draw, and fill in, 
the characteristics of eggs. The terms I have provisionally pro- 
posed would, I venture to think, be of inestimable value, as defined 
areas would get rid of a lot of confusion in relation to descriptions, 
being preferable to such terms as " larger " and " smaller " 
end. Basal, zonal, sub-apical, apical, would always stand for 
a particular position in all eggs, and their use would always develoj) 
a mental picture of that part of the egg they denote. 

Shape. — Consistency is requisite in the adoption of terminology 
relative to shape. Ovate, oval, elongate-oval, elliptical, rotundate, 
&c.. could be fixed in relation to the greatest diameter and length. 

Surface and Texture require set terms. 

Colour of Markings and Ground Colour. — The colour chart will 
obviate all difftculties. and make possible a uniform description. 

Underlying and Surface Markings — It is important to establish 

142 Correspondence. T 

nd Oct. 

finality in regard to markings. Freckles, spots, blotches, dots, 
streaks, &c., should each have a definite delineation. 

Disposition of Markings also requires treatment. Continuous 
or broken zone, compact or loose cap, would express the state 
of concentrated or scattered colouration. 

The egg constitutes a part of the bird as much as the beak, 
feathers, &c., and requires scientific treatment on the same lines. 

The investigation of the phenomena underlying the causes of 
variation in nature is one of the most sublime and fascinating 
problems of biology. By concentrating attention on the problem 
of egg variations, the student may ultimately be led to the dis- 
covery of laws controlling variations among individuals of the 
species. Whether these laws are influenced by climatology, 
physiology, physico-chemistry, or the action and reaction due 
to the subtle inter-relation of organisms, remains to be unriddled. 

A conference of leading ornithologists should bring to finahty 
the suggestions herein roughly adumbrated. — Yours, &c., 


Redfern, Sydney. 26/1/11. 

South Australian Ornithological Association. 

The monthly meeting of this Ornithological Association was held in tlic 
Royal Society's rooms, North-terrace, on Friday evening, 5th May. 
Captain S. A. White presided. The secretary (Mr. J. W. Mellor) 
reported that a deputation had waited upon the Commissioner for 
Crown Lands with a request that the Pelican be placed upon the 
partially-protected list. The deputation appreciated the manner in 
which it was received, especially on hearing that part of the Coorong 
was likely to be declared a bird sanctuary. Mr. E. Ashby brought 
forward a notice of the deputation on the Kangaroo Island reserve on 
13th June, when the Government would be asked to fulfil the promises of 
former Ministries. Captain White read a paper on " The Birds of the 
Riverina District," which he visited last year. He showed numerous 
specimens of the birds, among which were the beautiful " Green-leek " 
{Polytelis harrabandi), Yellow Parrakeet {Platycercus flaveolus), Rose- 
breasted Cockatoo {Cacalua roseicapilla). Grey Jumper {Struthidea 
cinerea), Chough {Corcorax melanorhamphus), and Yellow-throated 
Friar-Bird (Philemon citreogularis). A long discussion occurred on the 
genus Sericornis. Mr Ashby showed birds from Dandenong Ranges, 
Gippsland, and Ballarat (Victoria), and from South and Western 
Australia. Mr. Mellor exhibited specimens from Eyre Peninsula. Mr. 
Robert Zietz (Ornithologist of the Adelaide Museum) read an extensive 
list, and brought numerous specimens for comparison ; and Dr. A. M. 
Morgan showed the eggs of three rare species. 

The July meeting of this Association w^as held in the Royal Society's 
rooms on Friday evening, the 28th. Captain S. A. White presided. 
The secretary, Mr. J. W. iNIellor, reported having received letters 
from the Commissioner of Crown Lands in regard to the reservation 

"i^u' J South Auslralian Ornithological Association. -^43 

of certain swamps in tlie south-east as breeding-places for native 
water- fowl. Mr. Meilor gave a good description of liis journey into 
the heart of Eyre I'eninsula in quest of Mallee-Fowl for the reserva- 
tion on Kangaroo Island, and reported having secured several pairs, 
which he had liberated at Cape Borda (see page no). Dr. A. M. 
Morgan reported having seen the first nest on the Adelaide plains 
this season with a full clutch of eggs of the White-fronted Chat 
(^Ephthianura albifrons). The president exhibited an unusually 
large and deep nest of the Bell-Bird (Oreoica cristata). Mr. Robert 
Zietz brought some interesting bird-skins from the Museum collection 
for comparison, and a long discussion occurred on the probability 
of the Double-banded Dottrel nesting on the Australian coast. He 
showed a pair of these interesting birds in their nuptial plumage, 
which were procured at Balaclava, and presented to the Museum 
by Mr. S. S. Ralli. Mr. Mellor showed a small collection of bird- 
skins from the Eyre Peninsula, some being of great interest, one or 
two having been recorded from that locahty for the first time. 
Among others were the skins of the Yellow-throated Miner {Myzantha 
flavigula), White-eared Honey-eater {Ptilotis leucotis), Butcher-Bird 
{Cracticus destructor), White-fronted Honey-eater [Glycyphila albi- 
frons). Wattle-cheeked Honey-eater (Ptilotis cratilia). Grey-breasted 
Robin {Eopsaltria gularis), Ch»6tnut-rumped Ground-Wren {Hylacola 
pyrrhopygia), Spotted Scrub-Wren (Sericornis maculata), and Broad- 
tailed Tit (Acanthiza apicalis). 

The September meeting was held in the Institute, Adelaide, on 
Friday evening, the 8th, Dr. A. M. Morgan presiding. Mr. J. W. 
Mellor, secretary, reported having been exceptionally vigilant with 
reference to the better protection of birds on the islands in the 
Coorong, which had been sadly depleted by " pot-hunters " and 
half-caste aborigines. The Government had agreed to lease the 
islands between Wood's Well and Salt Creek to the Association, with 
the object of protecting the bird-life there. A number of reliable 
people about the lakes and the Coorong had been enlisted as honorary 
custodians to look after the bird-life on the islands and to assist the 
Association in bringing offenders to book. A hearty vote of thanks 
was accorded to Mr. INIellor for his successful efforts. A number of 
letters from well-known residents of the lakes and Coorong were 
received, and much satisfaction was expressed that the Association 
was taking active steps to preserve the birds. The Association, in 
conjunction with the Native Fauna and Flora Protection Society 
has been moving towards amending the Bird Protection Act, and Mr! 
M. Symonds Clark read a number of alterations agreed upon by the 
joint committee. These have been sent to the Commissioner of 
Crown Lands as recommendations for embodying in the new bill 
Mr. E. Ashby forwarded some interesting notes on the breeding of 
the Blue Wren, Yellow-rumped Tit, and Hooded Robin near his 
house. W'ittunga, Blackwood. Mr. J. W. Mellor gave an account of 
his journey to the Flinders Ranges, near Port Germein. for the 
purpose of bird-observing. He walked 60 miles during the three 
days he was there, and identified 68 species of native birds — a goodly 
list. He showed two species of Wrens — the Turquoise (Malurus 
callainus) and the Purple-backed (A/, assimilis) — the Orange-fronted 
Chat (Ephthianura aurifyons), and the Plumed Honey-eater (Ptilotis 
plumula), which were collected for Mr. G. M. Mathews, England, to 
assist him in writing his elaborate history of Australian birds. 

144 Notes and Notices. [,nf"ott. 

Notes and Notices. 

Assisting Bird Protection. — The South Australian Railway 
Department has issued instructions in printed form to all station- 
masters throughout that State that they are " hereby instructed 
to refuse to accept for carriage on the railways any consignment 
of protected birds." Then follows a hst of the fully protected 
birds of South Australia. This has been done to assist the Govern- • 
raent in carrying out the provisions of the Birds Protection Act 
of 1900. At a meeting of the South Australian Ornithological 
Association held on 28th July, 191 1, at Adelaide, the action of 
the Railway Department was favourably commented upon, and 
a desire expressed that other States should follow the example. 

Coloured Figure Fund. — The hon. treasurer, R.A.O.U., has 

pleasure in acknowledging the following contributions to the 
Coloured Figure Fund of The Emu made during the year ended 
30th June last, namely : — W. J. T. Armstrong (Vic), 2s. ; C. A. 
Barnard (Q.), 5s. ; H. G. Barnard (Q.), 5s. ; Miss Brumby (Tas.). 
5S. ; Dr. H. W. Bryant (Vic), 7s. 6dT ; A. J. Campbell (Vic), 4s. ; 
Tom Carter (W.A.), 2s. 6d. ; E. M. Cornwall (Q.), 2s. 6d. ; G. 
Graham (Vic), 5s. ; C. Gubanzi (Vic), 5s. ; Robt. Hall (Tas.), 
IS. 6d. ; G. F. Hill (Vic), 2s. 6d. ; Dr. W. W. Hope (Vic), 7s. 6d. ; 
Wm. Lawford (Vic), 2s. 6d. ; Col. Legge (Tas.), 5s. ; Dr. Mac- 
gilhvray (N.S.W.), is. 6d. ; H. Quiney (Vic), 5s. ; A. W. Swindells 
(Tas.), 5s. ; Thos. Tindale (Vic), 5s. ; Toowoomba Field Natuialists' 
Club (0.), £2 2s. ; W. Young (Q.), 5s. 

It is also announced that Mr. H. L. White, Belltrecs, i)aid the 
cost of the illustrations in part 5 of vol. x.. excepting the photo- 
graphs of the Royal patrons. 

Close Season in South Australia. — Some time ago the Vic- 
torian Gun Club Association wrote to the South Australian 
Government, pointing out the very wide margin between the 
dates for the ending of the close season for game and birds 
generally in the two States, and urging the necessity of coming 
more into line with Victoria, which opens the close season on ist 
February. The Commissioner of Crown Lands forwarded the 
communication to the South Australian Ornithological Association. 
The association found that the extending of the close season to 
ist February would be opposed : but a recommendation was made, 
with the result that the Commissioner, Mr. Crawford Vaughan, 
has issued a proclamation extending the close season from 20th 
December to loth January. As the season ^arts on ist August 
for Ducks, and ist July for the greater portion of all other birds, 
they will now enjoy a large amount of protection. The alteration 
will at least stay the hands of those thoughtless j^ersons who go 
out and blaze away at every living creature during the Christmas 

Prohibition of Importation. — A proclamation by the Governor- 
General (the Earl of Dudley) in The Commomvcalth of Australia 

Vol. XI. 

Nofes (Hid Sotices. 


Family Paradiseidce 
,, Trochilidce 

Gazette, No. 20, dated 25tli March. 1911, })rovides that the 
importation into the Commonwealth of the plumage and skins 
of the birds mentioned in the schedule hereunder shall be i)ro- 
hibited, unless it is proved to the satisfaction of the Comptroller- 
General of Customs that the plumage or skins were imported for 
educational or scientific purposes : — 
The Birds-of-Paradise 
The Humming-Birds 
The Monal 

Any one of the several species of Asiatic 

Pheasants of the genus Lophophorus, 

as the Impeyan Pheasant. 
The Argus 

Any one of the several species of Asiatic 

Pheasants of tlie genus Argusianus, 

as the Argus Pheasant. 
The Crowned Pigeon 

Any of the several species of large 

crested Pigeons of the genus Goura, 

inhabiting New Guinea and the 

adjacent islands. 
The Rheas 
The Owls 
The Kingfishers . . 
The INIacaws 

Any Parrot of the genus Sittace or 

The Stork tribe 
Tlie Heron Tribe 
The Ibises and Spoonbills 
The Todies 
The Cock-of-the-Rock 
The Quezal, or Resplendent Trogon 


,, Alcedinidcv 
Order Psittaci 

Family Ciconiidce 

, , A rdeidce 

, , Plataleidce 

,, Todidis 

Rupicola aurantia 

Pharomacvus niocinno 

Prohibition of Exportation. — Another proclamation by the 
Governor-General (the Earl of Dudley) in The Commonwealth of 
Australia Gazette, No. 20, dated 25th March, 1911, prohibits the 
exportation of the birds mentioned in the schedule hereunder, and 
the plumage, skins, and eggs (or egg-shells) of such birds, unless 
it is proved to the satisfaction of the Comptroller-General of 
Customs that the birds, or the plumage, skins, or eggs (or egg- 
shells) thereof are being exported for educational or scientific 
purposes : — 
Emus . . . . . . DromcBidce 

Terns and Gulls . . . . Laridce 

Egrets, Herons, and Bitterns . . ArdeidcB 
Lorikeets . . . . . . Loriidce 

Cockatoos . . . . . . CacatuidcB 

Parrots . . . . . . Psittacidce 

DoUar-Birds, or Rollers . . Coraciidce 

Kingfishers . . . . . . Alcedinidcs 

Bee-eaters . . . . . . Meropidce 

Cuckoos . . . . . . Cuculidce 

Lyre-Birds . . . . . . Menuridcs 

Izj.6 Notes and Notices. [,,,j' 


Pittas . . . . . . Pittidce 

Robins . . . . . . Muscicapidce, genus Petrceca 

Ground-Thrushes and Chats . . Turdidce 

Wrens . . . . . . Sylviidce, genus Malurus 

Shrike - Tits, Thickheads, and / LaniidcB, genera Falcunculus. 

Shrike-Robins \ Pachycephala, Eopsaltria 

Sun-Birds . . . . . . Nectariniidce 







Shining Starlings 

[The proclamation r 







EulabetidcB, genus Calornis 

egarding exportation has been temporarily 
suspended except as regards skins and plumage of non-edible 
birds. — Eds.1 

Mr. Mathews' Work on **The Birds of Australia/' 

In procuring material tor his great self-imposed task of a coloured 
figure for every known Australian bird, Mr. Gregory M. Mathews 
is amassing a collection of Australian bird-skins that promises to 
be second to none in the world. However, he is still in want of 
many of the rarer species. Any persons desiring to aid in the 
reduction of Mr. Mathews' desiderata, either by exchange or pur- 
chase, are invited to communicate with him direct. Address — 
Langley Mount, Watford. Herts., England. 

Important Notice. 


The eleventh session of the R.A.O.U. will commence at Sydney 
28th October (this month). 

On the afternoon of that day (Saturday) there will be a local 
outing. On Sunday the National Park will be visited, members 
being under the guidance of Mr. Basset Hull. The general meeting 
will be held on Monday evening, at the British Medical Hall ; and 
the pubhc lecture, "Tropic Islands and Coral Strands," will be 
given on Tuesday evening, at the King's Hall. 

On Wednesday, ist November, arrangements will be made for an 
extended working excursion to the neighbourhood of Gosford and 
the celebrated Hawkesbury district, under the leadership of Mr. A. 
S. Le Souef. of the Sydney Zoological Gardens. Every member 
will receive the usual circular notice. Further particulars may be 
obtained from Mr. A. H. E. Mattingley, Acting Hon. Secretary, 
R.A.O.U., Customs House, Melbourne. 

The Emu, Vol. XI. 


Mr. A. J. Campbell 

(Fifth President and Honorary Associate Member Royal Australasian 

Ornithologists' Union, Colonial Member British Ornithologists' Union. 

Corresponding Fellow American Ornithologists' Union). 


Jhe £mu 

Official Organ of the Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union. 

" Bir«4s of a fcatbcr.' 

Vol. XI.] 1ST JANUARY, 191 2. [Part 3. 

Royal Australasian Ornithologists^ Union. 


Minutes of the Eleventh Annual Session of the Royal 
Australasian Ornithologists' Union, held at Sydney, 
from the 28th October to 31ST October, 1911. 

The session was attended by the largest number of delegates that 
as yet have joined in the annual proceedings, the southern States, 
in particular, being well represented.* 

Most of the visiting delegates reached Sydney on Saturday, 
the 28th October, and were met by the local secretary and other 
members of the Union residing in New South Wales. 

In the afternoon an excursion to Ashton Park to view the pro- 
posed new site for the Sydney Zoological Gardens was under- 
taken. Mr. Griffiths, the Minister for Public Works, very 
considerately placed a fine launch at the disposal of members. 
The afternoon was most genial and the weather perfect, and a 
run around the harbour as far as the Heads was made. The 
areas of land on the harbour frontages recently resumed by the 
Government to convert into parks were viewed, and members 
were greatly impressed by this laudable action of the Government 
to preserve the beauty spots of the harbour. After viewing these 
points of interest a return was made to Ashton Park, contiguous 
to the city, and close to Mosman Bay. A pleasant walk through 
sylvan glades and amid wild birds and flowers occupied the balance 

* Members and friends who attended the session : — Victoria. — Mr. and 
Mrs. E. B. Nicholls, "Sir. and Mrs. C. Cole, Mr. A. J. and Miss Campbell, 
Mr. and Mrs. Mattingley, Mr. and ^Mrs. J. A. Leach, Miss M. Hayman, 
Mrs. Israel, Mrs. Wickham, Dr. W. J. Long, Messrs. O. Rosenhain, Mowling 
(2), J. Barr, D. Le Souef. New South IFa/es.— Mr. and Mrs. H. BurreU, 
Dr. \. E. D'Ombrain. Messrs. C. Coles, A. Hamilton, G. J. Broinowski, 
Basset HulL A. S. Le Souef, H. Sharpe, J. Dun. Queensland. — ^Nlr. C. Barnard. 
South Australia. — Messrs. J. W. Mellor and S. S. Stokes. Western Australia. — 
Mr. A. W. Milligan. Tasmania. — Col. W. V. Legge. 

Izt8 Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union. [isfXn 

of the afternoon. The suitabihty of Ashton Park as a site for 
an up-to-date Zoo was apparent, since it would be situate in the 
heart of virgin country typical of the original conditions of the 
harbour frontage as it appeared to the early settlers. Afternoon 
tea, provided by Messrs. C. Coles and A. S. Le Souef and presided 
over by Mrs. Le Souef, was served en route to Circular Quay, 
and the city reached at 5.30 p.m. 

In the evening the first general business of the session was com- 
menced at the British Medical Association Rooms at 8 p.m., the 
president, Mr. A. J. Campbell, Col. Mem. B.O.U., in the chair. 
Letters of apology for their absence were read from several 

The minutes of the tenth annual session were read and con- 
firmed, on the motion of D. Le Souef, C.M.Z.S., and Col. W. V. 
Legge, Col. Mem. B.O.U. 

The annual report was read by the acting hon. secretary, Mr. 
A. H. Mattingley, C.M.Z.S., and, after considerable discussion, 
was adopted, on the motion of Mr. Chas. Barnard, seconded by 
Col. W. V. Legge. (For report see p. 166.) 

Col. W. V. Legge, in seconding the report, stated that he was 
of opinion that permits should be given to collect specimens of 
birds in New Guinea for scientific purposes only. 

Mr. C. Coles stated that he was heart and soul a bird protector, 
and considered that protection should be accorded birds generally. 
He spoke as a trader in plumes, and took exception to the pro- 
tection of the Birds-of-Paradise, which do not mature and 
obtain their gorgeous liveries until four years old. He further 
stated that when the male bird gets his good plumes he leaves 
the female, and is then useless as a progenitor ; therefore, it does 
not do any harm to collect fully-plumed Birds-of-Paradise, since 
Nature has already protected them, because the birds, in their 
sombre plumage during their mating period, are not sought for by 
collectors and plumage-hunters. He believed in protecting Egrets, 
but considered the trade in Birds-of-Paradise skins and plumes 

Mr. Leach asked for authority for these remarkable statements 
by Mr. Coles, as also did Col. W. V. Legge. 

Mr. Coles, in reply, stated that he made these assertions through 
a deputy — a Mr. Richards (a collector of his), recently massacred 
by savages. His deputy was a keen observer of New Guinea 
avifauna. His (Mr. Coles's) own observations, and those of his 
father (a veteran taxidermist), showed that it took six years for 
Bower-Birds to come to mature plumage. This, to some extent, 
he contended, proved his statement. 

Mr. D. Le Souef, C.M.Z.S., said no proof whatever existed for 
Mr. Coles's statements. Bower-Birds at seven years of age were 
active breeders. 

Mr. J. W. Mellor supported the report with reference to allowing 
permits, as suggested by the Union. 

^"'qi^' ] Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union. ^49 

Mr. D. Lc Souef, C.M.Z.S., said that natives should not l>e 
allowed to collect specimens. 

Mr. A. S. Le Souef, (".M.Z.S., asked lor what term the suspen- 
sion of the i)roclamation now in force in Pai)ua was sought by 

Mr. Leach asked why Australia should be made the " happy 
hunting ground " of foreign collectors. 

Mrs. Burrell said that domestic cats gone wild were great 
destroyers of bird-life. 

A general discussion re the alleged wholesale poisoning of birds 
mentioned in therejwrt then took place, in which Messrs. Chas. 
Cole, J. Leach, and E. B. Nicholls took part. 

Mr. C. Coles said that it was a wise act of the Commonwealth 
Government to prohibit the importation of ferrets. The 
mongoose, released in Fiji, had already mated with the rats there, 
and the hybrid destroyed birds. 

The president then read an appalling list of birds destroyed for 
their plumes, as catalogued in the lists of recent London auction 
sales of birds' plumage. 

The hon. treasurer's report and financial statement were then 
read by Mr. Barr, in the absence of the hon. treasurer. A slight 
deficit occurring was then explained by Mr. A. H. Mattingley and 
the chairman as due to the production of an extra part of The 
Emu, issued as a record of the Queensland session. The financial 
statement was adopted, on the motion of Dr. Long, seconded by 
Mr. Chas. Cole. 

The librarian mentioned that no report had been prepared by 
him, and verbally stated what had been done with regard to the 
library during the past year. 

The meeting adjourned at 11.15 p.m. 

Next morning (29th October) a large party entrained for the 
National Park, under the leadership of Mr. Basset Hull. The 
weather was most pleasant, and the park presented a fascinating 
sight, bedecked as it was with wild flowers and blossoming shrubs. 
Mr. Frank Farnell, chairman of the trustees of the park, very 
kindly had motor and other boats awaiting the visitors. The 
party divided into two sections — one going down the salt water 
of the Port Hacking River in the launch, and the other in rowing 
boats up the fresh water. Both parties returned at mid-day for 
refreshments, and exchanged boats and trips for the afternoon. 
The beauties of the park were greatly admired. Many birds were 
seen nesting, and, owing to immunity from harm, all appeared 
very tame, letting persons approach close to them without 
exhibiting alarm. In the evening the party returned to Sydney, 
after a most enjoyable outing. 

General Meeting. 
On Monday, the 30th October, the adjourned general business 
meeting was resumed at 8 p.m. at the British Medical Association 

1^0 Royal Australasian Ornilhologists' Union. [i^^"]" 


For Year ended 











Balance — General Fund 




Col. Figure Fund 








„ In Advance- 




Sales— T/ie Emu 


Part 3, vol. X. 
Part 3, vol. vii. 



Col. Figure Fund— Donations 



Brisbane Lecture 








I 19 3 

20 19 3 General Fund Dr. Balance 

294 18 

(Signed) J. A. Ross, Hon. Treasurer. 
2,of/i June, 191 1. 


At 30lh 

I s. 


£ s. 


2.7 6 




12 17 



30 II 


298 19 



The Emu in Stock, say 

Illustration Blocks 
Subscriptions — In Arrears, say 
Less Prepaid 

Coloured Figure Fund Credit Balance 

ol. XI. 1 
1912 J 

Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union. 



30th June, 1911. 






s. d. 

The i^;////-— Printing, &c. 


8 6 

Illustration Blocks 

18 4 

Coloured Plate, No. 13 .. 



Binding The Emu for Patrons, &c. 

Presentation to Captain Endeavor 

17 6 





Camp Material . . 





13 5 








— — 

— • 


17 6 

Library — Card Index 







6 I 

Postage, &c. . . 










Bank Charge 





10 8 

Balance— Coloured Figure Fund . . 


II 2 
18 8 

Audited and foufid correct. 

Z. Gr.\y, F.C.A., Hon. Aitditor. 

\i,th September., 191 1. 

June, 1911. 

General Fund— Debit 


£ s. d. 
20 19 3 

278 o 5 

;^298 19 8 

1^2 Royal Ajtsiralasian Ornithologists' Union. [isf'Tan 

The chairman read the following royal and vice-royal letters : — 

Buckingham Palace, 

22nd July, iqii. 

Dear Mr. Campbell, — I have duly received the tenth volume 
of The Emu which you have been good enough to send through 
Colonel C. S. Ryan for the acceptance of the King and Queen. 

I have submitted the volume to Their Majesties, and pointed 
out to them their likenesses on page 355, and have received Their 
Majesties' commands to request you to be good enough to con- 
vey their thanks to the Council for their kindness in sending the 

I am, yours faithfully, 

E. W. Wallington. 
A. J. Campbell, Esq., 

President Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union, 
Zoological Gardens. Melbourne. 

commonwealth of australia. 

(governor-general. ) 

Mr. Campbell and Gentlemen, — It has gratified me not a 
little to receive the assurance of your loyal devotion to our most 
gracious Sovereign, King George. The Union which you repre- 
sent has been specially honoured with the patronage of Their 
Majesties the King and Queen, who have thereby shown their 
interest in the object which you have set before yourselves 

I thank you for your congratulations upon my appointment 
as Governor-General of the Commonwealth, and it is a pleasure 
to me to realize that, inasmuch as you include within the sphere 
of your operations the sister Dominion of New Zealand, I am 
the recipient on this occasion of a courteous compliment from 
fellow-subjects of His Majesty both within and without the 

The study of bird-life, and the protection of rare and beautiful 
species from destruction, are objects which have my warmest 
sympathy, and which I should be glad to see furthered in every 
part of our world-wide Empire. 

I ask you to convey to the members of the Royal Australasian 
Ornithologists' Union an expression of my interest in their work 
and of my good wishes for their continued and increasing 


25th August, 1911. 

Vol.^xi J Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union. 1^3 

The retiring president, Mr. A. J. Campbell, Col. Mem. B.O.U., 
then read his address, dealing with 

A History of Australian Ornithological Research. 

Such a work, were it published, would form one of the most 
fascinating, interesting, not to say valuable, chapters ever printed ; 
but wiiere is one to get the lifetime and opportunities needed to 
delve into the literature of the world and weave, chronologically, 
a sure skein of information pertaining to Australian ornithology ? 

It is not generally known that an extensive historical collection 
of fourteen thousand books, pamphlets, maps, &c., concerning 
Australasia and Polynesia from the sixteenth century — is in the 
Commonwealth Parliamentary Library, the invaluable gift to the 
nation of one of our members, Mr. Edward Augustus Petherick, 
F.L.S., &c. In connection with and founded upon that collection 
Mr. Petherick has compiled a manuscript bibliography, in 66 vols., 
containing not less than 100,000 titles, classed and chronicled 
according to subjects — Voyages, Geography and Exploration, 
Natural and Physical Sciences, &c. 

1508. — In glancing through the ornithological section you will 
find that the first mention of birds by explorers in the Australian 
region {i.e., taking the region zoogeographically from Wallace's 
line on the west to the Hawaiian Islands on the east) is as early 
as 1508, when they found the " Divine Bird," or the " Bird of 
God," as the Bird-of-Paradise was first called. But, keeping 
more strictly to the Australian sub-region, we find the early dawn 
of Australian ornithology was as poetic as it was prophetic. 
After its discovery by the Portuguese, our continent bore the 
name of Psittacormn Regio — " The Land of Parrots."* 

1697. — Then there occurs a long blank in time till the discovery 
in 1697 of Black Swans on a river named " Swanen Rivier " by 
Vlamingh, the Dutch explorer. The English translation states : — 
" January 7th. — The crew returned on board, bringing two young 
Black Swans " (p. 123). " nth. — At break of day we again 
ascended the river, and saw many Swans (our boat knocked over 
nine or ten), some ' Rotganzen,' Geese, some Divers, &c." " On the 
I2th (January) I again went on shore, with our chief pilot, some 
sailors, and two blacks. . . . The men, the birds, the 
Swans, the Rotganzen, Koopganzen, the Geese, the Cockatoos, the 
Parroquets, &c., all fled at the sight of us." " 15th (lat. 30 deg. 
17 min.) we proceeded a league and a half inland ; but we saw no 
men, or fresh water, but several footprints of men and prints 
like those of the dog and of the Cassowary." 

1699. — In his " Voyage to New Holland," Dampier mentions 

*A quarter of a century ago, Mr. Petherick pointed out the fact that when 
European navigators first discovered this Australasian Region, they named 
it the " Bird Country " from the great number of birds observed, the 
Western Coast being described on the earlier maps as the Psittacorum Regio, 
or " Land of Parrots," and the northern part (New Guinea) as the Terra 
Piccinacoli or " Land of the Bird-of-Paradise." 

154 Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union. [isflan 

" Sea-fowls like Gannets, and a sort of Sea-Mews ; few land-fowls 
— Eagles, five or six sorts of small birds, all singing ; water-fowls 
— Ducks, Curlews, Galdens, Crab-catchers, Cormorants, Gulls, 
Pelicans, and other water-fowl (plate with four figures, pp. 122, 
123), similar birds and white Parrots (p. 139), Boobies, Noddies 
(plates 142, 143), Crows, Hawks, Kites, Turtle-Doves, smaller 
birds, and sea-fowl (p. 153)." 

1726. — Six species of Birds-of-Paradise are described by Valentyu in 
his great work on the East Indies. 

1766. — Some sea-birds are described by Linnaeus. 

1772-75- — Birds seen during Cook's second voyage, and hitherto 
unknown, are described in a manuscript by Wm. Anderson, and 
Dr. Reinold Forster remarks that the number of new birds was 
"astonishing" — 104. "It is," he observes, " a received notion that 
birds of many colours do not sing well ; we have here numerous 
instances to the contrary. The wild forests of New Zealand and the 
cultivated groves of O-Taheitee resound alike with the harmony of the 
shining songsters" — a very early correction of a popular error. 

1779- — Webber made 46 drawings of birds during Cook's last 
voyage, species useful to Latham in his " General Synopsis," 1781-85. 

Running down the years, we can only afford time and space 
at present to note a striking title here and there up to the period 
when John Gould commenced to consolidate his memorial 
scientific work. 

1789-90. — Pliilhp's Voyage — Birds of New South Wales, with 20 
plates and descriptions from Latham's " Synopsis." 

1790. — Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales, with 26 plates 
birds, &c. By John White, Surgeon-General to the Settlement. 

1791-92. — The bibliographer notes there are in the Sydney Public 
Library 10 1 beautiful coloured drawings of birds, chiefly from Norfolk 
Island, of this date. 

1793. — Settlement at Port Jackson, Tench ; the Cassowary or 
Emu described : its eggs, &c. (pp. 173, 175). 

1794. — Zoology of New Holland. By Geo. Shaw, M.D. Figures 
by James Sowerby of five birds — (i) Nonpareil Parrot (Rosella), (2) 
Ground-Parrot, (3) the Embroidered Merops, (4) Antarctic Pigeon, 
Cs) Spotted-shouldered Thrush. 

Birds of Australia. By Dr. Shaw, in Pinkerton's "Geography," 
1807 and 1 8 17. 

T798. — New Species Muscicapa from New South Wales. By 
Thomas Davies (Major-General). — Trans. Linn. Soc, vol. iv., pp. 

1798. — Extraordinary Fhght of Sooty Petrels at Hunter's Island, 
Bass Strait (estimated at over 150 millions). — Flinders, i., p. clxx. 

1800. — Lacepede mentions Prion vittaius and Pelecanoides 

1802. — Description of Menura superba. By Thomas Davies. — 
Trans. Linn. Soc, vi., p. 207. 

1802. — Lyre-Bird, " Mountain " Eagle, and Emu, with plates. — 
Collins's " New South Wales." 

1806. — The announcement of the first Australian bird book is 
of peculiar interest. It reads — 

" Proposals for publishing by subscription ' The Birds of New 

"y,2 'J Royal Au^iralasiau Onii/Iiologisfs' Uiiinu. -^^55 

South Wales, witli I heir Natural History,' by Jolm WiHiam Lcwin, 
A.L.S., &c., &c. N.B. — This work will be sent to England by His 
Majesty's ship Buffalo, under care of a gentleman, for immediate 
publication. The terms of subscription are : — Half the subscription 
money to be paid at the time of subscribing, and the other half on 
the delivery of the work." (The subscription for the bird volume 
was £2 2s.) 

1808. — By advertisement, " Mr. J. Lewin begs to acquaint the 
officers, civil and military, and their ladies, who honoured with their 
names the list of subscribers to his intended work entitled ' The 
Birds of New South Wales, with their Natural History,' that he has 
received advice .... regarding the transmittal of the first 
volume subscribed for liere." 

There were 18 plates in this issue, and a copy in Sydney l^ublic 
Library is dated 1813 [?]. There were re-issues in 1822 and 1838, 
with 8 additional plates, namely : — Scarlet Creeper, White-eared Honey- 
sucker, Crested Flycatcher, White-breasted Honey-sucker, Yellow- 
breasted Thrush, iSlack-crowned Honey-sucker, Common Creeper, 
and Crested Shrike. 

1807. — Cassowaries, Peron, Atlas, part v., pi. 36, 41 ; 1824, pi. 
66, 67. 

1824. — Anatomical Structure of the Cassowary of New Holland 
{Casuarius novcs-hollandia;) , by Robert Knox. — Edin. Phil. Journ., 
X., pp. 132-140. 

1825. — Description of Psittacus fieldi, a New Species of Parrot from 
Australia. By Wm. Swainson. — Quart. Journ. Sci., xix., pp. 198- 
200. Also, by same author, " Characters and Affinities of Several 
New Birds from Australia." — Zool. Journ., v., pp. 463-484. 

1826. — Description of the Australian Birds in the Collection of 
the Linnean Society. By N. A. Vigors and Thomas Horsfield. — Trans. 
Linn. Soc, xv., pp. 170-331. 

1826. — Zoologie du Voyage L'Uranie et La Physicienne includes 
31 plates of birds. Quoy et Gaimard. 

1825-6. — Geographical Distribution of Certain Petrels. By R. P. 

1827. — Aves : a Collection presented to the Linnean Society. By 
Phillip Parker King, R.N. — " Survey of Coasts of Australia," ii., 
pp. 416-423. 

1833-4. — Ten Coloured Plates Parrots, &c. Two Expeditions by 

1831. — Habits of the ^l\\?,'k-T>nc\i {Hydvohates lobatns, Temm.) By 
Lieut. Breton. — Pyoc. Zool. Soc, ii., pp. 19-23. 

1832-4. — Wanderings in New Soutfi Wales — Lyre-Bird, &c. By 
Dr. George Bennett. 

1836. — We now arrive at Gould's first contributions to the Zoo- 
logical Society's Proceedings — " On Australian Birds, with Characters 
of the New Species." 

1837. — And his " Synopsis of the Birds of Australia and the Ad- 
jacent Islands," part i. (44 species). 

In going through this great mosaic of references to Australian 
ornithology, what forcibly strikes one is the vast amount of 
research performed by private enterprise, or for adventure, if you 
like, compared with what has and should have been done nation- 
ally. Of course, such c.\])editions as those of Dampier, Cook, 
Flinders, Stokes, and others were national, because subsidized by 

1^6 Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union. Tisflan 

the Navy — though not strictly scientific — but the great bulk of 
detailed ornithological research has been performed and published 
privately, Gould's great pictorial volumes eclipsing all. Ever 
since Gouldian days, excepting the works of Ramsay and A. J. 
North, of the Australian Museum, all publications on Australian 
ornithology have been done privately — Diggles, Campbell, 
Broinowski, Robert Hall, Leach, Littler, Lucas and Le Souef, 
and now we have Gregory Mathews in the throes of a stupendous 
work — a coloured figure for every Australian bird — undoubtedly 
a national undertaking, which should not have been left to private 
enterprise. Were it not for such patriots as Gould, Mathews, and 
others, to think of what would become of Australian Natural 
History is to contemplate the possibility of an everlasting disgrace 
overtaking our nation for its neglectfulness. The same applies 
to field collectors. How little has been done by State museums 
compared with private individuals or collectors privately sub- 
sidized ! 

Now, however, the Commonwealth Government is setting an 
excellent example since it has acquired the great Northern 
Territory. One important expedition at present in the field has 
attached to it a collecting ornithologist (by the way, a member 
of the R.A.O.U.) It is hoped that State museums will send out 
zoological collectors to little-known corners of the Common- 
wealth for material before it becomes scarce, or altogether dis- 
appears (better even than sending an expensive expedition to 
Antarctica, costing thousands of pounds), and not leave the 
national collections to be acquired piecemeal from private 
persons ; and, as to material which has already been acquired or 
donated, let Governments be hberal enough to subsidize their 
museums, so that specimens may be properly displayed, and not 
procured to be stowed away in vaults, labelled in obsolete nomen- 

Not alone have private persons outstripped Governments at 
collecting, but collectors from foreign institutions, attracted by 
the wealth and novelty of the Australian region, have touched 
our shores at various places, and have carried off rare ornitho- 
logical booty — to wit, the Swedish expedition to the North- West, 
under the capable leadership of Dr. Eric Mjoberg, which has just 
departed with over 800 specimens in ornithology alone, besides 
numerous birds' nests and eggs. No blame to such eminent 
visitors or institutions : all nations are equal in the race 
for science. Yet the Commonwealth Government should 
control these collections, if even for scientific reasons, such 
as regarding types. Unless we possess types it is difficult, or 
sometimes impossible, to determine whether a specimen is new 
or belongs to a species already described. Last year Professor 
Alfred J. Ewart, of the Melbourne University, in an article on 
" Scientific Explorations," in the public press mentioned this 
point regarding botany. It equally applies to ornithology, and 
zoology in general. 

Vol: XI. J Royal Australasiau Oynitliologists' Union. l^y 

In conclusion, returning to Mr. Petherick's Australian bibli- 
ography, and to the fact that the greater amount of Natural 
History work has been performed privately for the nation as 
against what the nation officially has undertaken for itself, would 
it not be opportune for the Royal Australasian Ornithologists' 
Union, now met in session, to bring under the notice of the 
Commonwealth Government the need of proceeding with the 
publication of this valuable bibliography, and to respectfully urge 
that at least the part (possibly containing 1,400 or 1,500 titles) 
])ertaining to the avifauna of Australia be commenced. This in 
itself would form a reference complete and invaluable, not only 
to scientists and students, but to the people and politicians. No 
country in the world has so complete a bibliography from its very 
earliest beginnings as that compiled for Australasia by Mr. 
Petherick — the results of the " labours of love " during the well- 
spent leisure hours of a busy life. 

On behalf of Capt. S. A. White, of South Australia, Mr. E. B. 
Nicholls read a letter eulogizing the work of the retiring president, 
Mr. A. J. Campbell, and also that of a former (now acting) hon. 
secretary, Mr. A. H. Mattingley. 

Mr. G. J. Broinowski s{wke in favour of Mr. Campbell's work 
for ornithology. 

Col. W. V. Legge spoke at length in terms of the highest praise 
of the retiring president's work for the Union, and moved a vote 
of thanks to him, coupled with the name of the acting hon. 
secretary. Seconded by Mr. D. Le Souef, and carried with 

New Office-Bearers. 

Election of office-bearers resulted in the return of the fol- 
lowing : — President, Mr. J. W. Mellor ; vice-presidents, Messrs. 
Robt. Hall, C.M.B.O.U., and A. H. E. Mattingley, C.M.Z.S. ; 
hon. secretary, Mr. F. E. Wilson ; hon. treasurer, Mr. Z. Gray ; 
hon. librarian, Mr. Dudley Le Souef, C.M.Z.S. ; hon. editors of 
The Emu, Messrs. A. J. Campbell, C.M.B.O.U., and C. L. Barrett ; 
hon. press correspondent, Mr. E. Brooke Nicholls. Hon. State 
secretaries — Victoria, Mr. F. E. Wilson : South Australia, Captain 
S. A. White : New South Wales, Mr. A. S. Le Souef ; Western Aus- 
tralia, Mr. T. Carter M.B.O.U. ; Tasmania, Mr. A. Butler ; Queens- 
land, Dr. Hamlyn Harris, F.Z.S. ; New Zealand, Mr. H. Hamilton. 
Additional members of the Executive — Messrs. A. F. Basset Hull 
(New South Wales), Dr. C. S. Ryan (Victoria), Dr. A. M. Morgan, 
(South Australia), Mr. J. A. Leach, M.Sc, and Dr. Geo. Home 
(Victoria), Dr. Wm. M'Gillivray (New South Wales), Mr. C. A. 
Barnard (Queensland), and Mr. A. W. Milligan (Western Aus- 

The newly-elected president, Mr. John W. Mellor, then took 
the chair, and thanked members for the honour conferred upon 
him. He would do his best to forward the Union's great work 
and high aims. 

1^8 Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union. Iisflan 

Mr. J. A. Leach, M.Sc, moved, and Mr. D. Le Souef seconded — 
" That, while opposed to the use of trinomials, this meeting con- 
siders that each sub-species should be so designated by the 
Check-list Committee as to indicate — (i) that it is a sub- 
species, and (2) the species of which it is a sub-species." 
Mr. Broinowski supported the motion, and suggested that 
sub-species be only indicated by a number, and not by a 

Col. W. V. Legge said that he was against the trinomial system 
of nomenclature, and was an adherent of the binomial. If con- 
sidered a sub-species, a bird should be placed under the ordinary 
specific name. 

Mr. Basset Hull supported the motion, and mentioned that it 
would be sufficient for all purposes were the specific name only 
indicated by a number and the sub-specific by a letter. 

A paper entitled " Fallacies of the Feather Trade " was then 
read by Mr. A. H. E. Mattingley, C.M.Z.S., wherein a succinct 
review of the rise and growth of the trade in the plumage of birds 
was recounted. Statistics from consular reports, as well as those 
from feather-trade journals themselves, were quoted in support 
of the insatiable demand for the plumage of birds. Statistics 
showed that incredible numbers of birds were annually slain to 
supply the trade. A revulsion of feeling against the destruction 
of thousands of useful birds for the sake of their plumes as articles 
of adornment has set in. It was to be hoped that all would do 
their utmost to prevent the totally unnecessary trade in the 
plumage of wild birds. 

Col. W. V. Legge, as an old Indian resident, supported all 
statements made in the paper. 

Mr. A. Le Souef said that the Huia of New Zealand required 

Mr. Broinowski mentioned that one dealer in Sydney had sold 
498 Lyre-Birds' tails last year, while another dealer, in face of a 
prohibitory law, sent 800 Lyre-Birds' tails out of Sydney. He 
considered the exportation of 800 tails meant the destruction of 
1,000 Lyre-Birds. 

Mr. C. Coles questioned the accuracy of the statement regarding 
the Lyre-Birds' tails exported. 

Mr. Basset Hull stated that of his own knowledge 2,000 Lyre- 
Birds' tails had been exported in three years. 

Mr. D. Le Souef supported the statements of Messrs. Broinowski 
and Hull. 

Col. W. V. Legge moved — " That this Union renews the request 
made at the last Hobart session that the Field Naturalists' 
Association of Tasmania and other persons interested in bird-life 
should approach the State Government with a view to the 
acclimatization of the Lyre-Bird {Memira) in the highlands of 
Tasmania, owing to the danger that this beautiful bird is being 
practically exterminated by introduced foxes and illicit shooting 

VoK XI. 1 Royal Australasian Ornilhologisls' Union. i^g 

in Victoria and New South Wales." Mr. J. A. Leach seconded, 
and suggested greater vigilance by the Customs Department, if 
possible. The motion was carried unanimously. 

Mr. J. A. Leach moved — " That the Commonwealth Government 
be apprised of the great destruction of Lyre-Birds and the taking 
of their eggs." Mr. A. Hamilton supported the motion, which was 

General Business. — Mr. A. J. Campbell moved — "That the 
Union approach the Commonwealth Government with a view to 
getting Mr. Petherick's bibliography concerning Australian orni- 
thology published, it being a purely national work." Seconded by 
Mr. D. Le Souef, and carried. 

Mr. D. Le Souef moved a vote of thanks to the Government of 
New South Wales for their praiseworthy act in the resumption 
of lands for parks around Sydney. Col. W. V. Legge supported 
the motion, which was unanimously carried. 

Mr. O. Rosenhain moved — " That, out of respect to the memory 
of a devoted follower of ornithology in Australia — John Gilbert, 
the coadjutor of John Gould — a wreath be placed on the tablet 
erected to his memory in St. James' Church, King-street, Sydney." 
Mr. A. J. Campbell supported the motion, which was carried 
unanimously. A sub-committee, consisting of Mr. and Mrs. H. 
Burrell and Mr. O. Rosenhain, was appointed to approach the 
rev. the rector of the church for permission, and to carry into 
effect the resolution. (See p. 169, and Plate XV.) 

Mr. J. W. Mellor stated how the Government of South Aus- 
tralia had placed Mallee-Fowl on Kangaroo Island, and had 
reserved a large area for acclimatisation purposes, and had erected 
a fence enclosing it. This was due to the energy displayed by 
the Ornithological Association of South Australia, and to the 
original suggestion of the R.A.O.U. when camped on Kangaroo 
Island six years ago. 

Col. Legge moved, and Mr. Rosenhain seconded, that a vote of 
thanks be conveyed to the Government of South Australia, and, 
'• That in the opinion of this Union the remainder of the un- 
alienated land on Kangaroo Island should, if possible, be devoted 
to the purpose of an extended sanctuary for Mallee-Fowl {Lipoa) 
and other birds likely to be destroyed by introduced vermin on the 
mainland ; and that this Session exhorts and encourages the South 
Australian Ornithological Association and other interested bodies 
to persevere in their praiseworthy efforts for the reservation of 
land on Kangaroo Island for the purpose mentioned." This was 
carried unanimously. 

In accordance with his previous notice of motion, Mr. J. A. 
Leach moved— "That the retiring president, Mr. A. J. Campbell, 
C.M.B.O.U., who has done notable service in the cause of orni- 
thology, be elected an honorary associate of the R.A.O.U." 
Seconded by Mr. A. Mattingley, and carried. 

Mr. J. Barr moved— "That the Education Department of New 
South Wales be congratulated for their successful inauguration 

l5o Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union. Tisf'"!" 

of Bird Day into the State schools, and for the formation of the 
Gould League of Bird-Lovers." This was supported by Mr. A. J. 
Campbell, and carried. 

Mr. A. Mattingley proposed — " That the Commonwealth Govern- 
ment be urged to proclaim that all scientific material and specimens 
collected be vised by the Commonwealth Government before 
being taken out of the territories of the Commonwealth, and that 
the type-specimens be deposited at the museum of the State in 
which they were collected, and the scientific results be published 
in an Australian scientific journal before duplicate specimens be 
allowed to be taken out of the Commonwealth." Seconded by Mr. 
J. A. Leach, and carried unanimously. 

Mr. E. B. Nicholls moved — "That the Railway Departments of 
the different States be asked to prohibit the transport of protected 
birds as freight (as shown in the South Australian Railway Guide)." 
Seconded by Mr. J. A. Leach, and carried. 

Mr. A. Mattingley moved — "That the Commonwealth be mapped 
out into ornithological districts, and that hon. secretaries be 
appointed to each to record the migrations, &c., of birds." Mr. J. 
Leach seconded the motion, and suggested that the Education 
Departments of the different States be invited to assist. Carried 

Mr. C. Coles pointed out that the apparent indifference of New 
South Wales members of the Union as a body was due to the fact 
that no ornithological society was in existence in Sydney. He 
sincerely hoped that some action would be taken to bring them 
together and unite them. 

The president said the Council would do their utmost to con- 
summate the idea, and hoped a local ornithological society would 
be formed. The South Australian Ornithological Society started 
with only three members, and now it was a large and influential 

Mr. Chas. Cole said that the Bird Observers' Club of Victoria, 
which started with only a few enthusiasts, was now a powerful 

It was decided to hold the next annual session in Tasmania. 

Proposed by Mr. O. Rosenhain, and seconded by Mr. Chas. 
Barnard — " That a catalogue of the books belonging to the 
R.A.O.U. library be published." Carried. 

Votes of Thanks. — ^The following were unanimously carried : — 
(i) To the Minister of Public Works for the use of the launch. 

(2) To the Trustees of the Australian Museum for placing the 

type-specimens and other material at the disposal of 
the Check-list Committee. 

(3) To the Trustees, National Park, for the use of their motor 


(4) To the British Medical Association for use of their rooms 

for purposes of meeting. 
The meeting then terminated, at 11.20 p.m. 

^"'j j^'-] Royal Austnilasian Orni/hologtsls' Union. l6l 

New Members Elected. 

Victoria. — A. Rutter Clarke, Melbourne ; Henry Anjou, Murruni- 
beena; Dr. J. W. Barrett, Melbourne ; C. F. Belcher, M.A., LL.B., 
Geelong ; Thos. Bell, Antwerp ; Henry Brew, Ballarat ; Chief 
Insi)ector Fisheries and (}aine, Melbourne ; Rolf Crawley, Warrnam- 
bool ; St. Eloy D' Alton, Dimboola ; John Hookes, Melbourne ; 
Francis Keep, Melbounae ; Dr. W. J. Long, Bendigo ; A. W. 
Milligan, Melbourne ; R. O. Rosenhain, Balaclava ; Leslie Stuart, 
Melbourne ; E. N. Symonds, Balwyn ; J. Tatterson, Morwell. 

New South Wales.— Dr. G. Bowen Thomas, Ashfield ; J. H. 
Ferguson, 167 Phillip-street, Sydney ; A. E. Hamilton Lecturer 
Training College, Sydney; Mr. John Dun, 15 Muston-street, 
Mosman ; Harry Sharpe, c/o Evening News staff, Sydney. 

Queensland.— Noel V. L Agnew, Moreton Bay ; Mrs. S. A. W. 
Barnard, Rockhampton ; A. H. Chippendall, Bundaberg ; C. Cook, 
jun., Bundaberg ; Richard Cruise, Toowoomba ; C. C. Dornbusch, 
Warwick ; D. R. Eden, Brisbane ; Dr. Hamlyn Harris, Brisbane ; 
Wm. Harris, Toowoomba ; Mrs. Annie C. Hogarth, Toowoomba ; 
Dr. Hurworth, Brisbane ; Miss Alba Jodrell, Toowoomba ; Major 
J as. Johnston, Bundaberg; Dr. T. Harvey Johnston, Brisbane; C. 
A. Lambert, Warwick ; Lewis H. Maynard, Bundaberg ; G. E. 
M'Donald, Cooroy ; J. A. M'Lean, Mackay ; W. R. Parker, 
Brisbane ; P. W. Pears, Warwick ; H. E. Price, Toowoomba ; Dr. 
Thos. A. Price, Toowoomba ; Queensland Museum, Brisbane ; J . 
N. White, Bundaberg ; G. A. Young, Bundaberg ; Mrs. Horace 
Young, Bundaberg. 

South Australia. — E. Elkan, Semaphore; Stanley S. Stokes, 

Western Australia. — Lachlan M'K. Burns, Subiaco ; John T. 
Tunney, Kojonup ; Dr. R. Soderberg, Royal Swedish Consulate, 

Tasmania. — Clive E. Lord, Hobart. 

New Zealand. — W. R. B. Oliver, Christchurch. 

England. — R. Owen Mathews, Watford. 

Holland. — G. L. Van den Berg, Leiden, Holland. 

Public Lecture. 

On Tuesday, 31st October, at 8 p.m., a public lecture, entitled 
" Australian Tropic Islands and Coral Strands," was given at 
King's Hall, Phillip-street, the lecture being under the auspices 
of the Wild Life Preservation Society of New South Wales. Mr. 
W. W. Froggatt, F.L.S., Government Entomologist, presided. 
The entertainment, which was exceedingly well illustrated with 
lime-light views, dealt mainly with the narrative and results of 
the Union's expedition to the Capricorn Islands, 1910, augmented 
with other Barrier Reef natural history. The speakers were Mr. 
Brooke Nicholls, Mr. D. Le Souef, C.M.Z.S., Mr. J. A. Leach, 
M.Sc, and Mr. A. H. E. Mattingley, C.M.Z.S. The lecture, 
although a success, resulted in a financial loss (£j 9s. lod.) 

162 Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union. [ibP'lan 

Working Excursion and Camp-Out. 

On Wednesday, ist November, some members, under the leader- 
ship of Mr. A. S. Le Souef, C.M.Z.S., proceeded at 8 a.m. to 
Ourimbah, about 56 miles from Sydney, for an extended working 
excursion to the sub-tropical scrubs, whilst others journeyed to 
Gosford, a picturesque spot near Ourimbah, by the afternoon's 
train for a similar purpose, the balance of the camping party 
reaching Ourimbah the following morning. 

The members who left on Wednesday camped about 3 miles from 
the Ourimbah station, some going about 4 miles further, to the 
farm of Mr. G. H. Jaques. Twenty-one members attended.* 
Although a great many birds were observed, practically few were 
noticed nesting. Interesting pictures of birds building or feeding 
their young were obtained by Mr. Rosenhain and Mr. H. Burrell, 
while Messrs. Barnard, Burrell, and C. Coles took a long excursion 
into the back country on Sunday, and were rewarded by glimpses 
of very fine rough scenery and numerous birds, though nests 
were not seen. For this particular district it was just a little too 
late, for most of the birds seen had young. The camp was broken 
up on Monday (4th November), to enable members to visit other 
parts of New South W'ales, notably the Hawkesbury River and 
the Blue Mountains. Mr. A. J. CampbeU arrived the day after 
the break-up, and, together with the president (Mr. J. W. Mellor), 
remained the allotted time — to the end of the week. It should 
be explained that No. i camp was on Mr. Lowe's farm, about 
three miles from Ourimbah station. With plenty of green sward 
about, the tents were comfortably situated, while the cook's 
quarters were an unused outhouse well stocked with choice pro- 
visions (thanks to the thoughtfulness of Messrs. A. S. Le Souef 
and Charles Barnard). In front, not far away, the stream 
— " Ourimbah " of the aborigines — at summer level, meandered 
through a fringe of trees, which afforded safe retreat for many 
birds, including a Lyre-Bird, observed by two members of the 
party for some time. Behind were timbered gullies, and ranges 
around, full of interest for naturalists. A visitor from Sydney, 
who, with others, spent a night at this camp, has recorded in the 
Sydney Evening News (16/11/11) that — 

" No pen may describe the awakening of the bush with the 
first streaks of dawn. It was then that one became impressed 
with the absolute fallacy that Australian birds are songless. Bred 
and born in the heart of rural England, with all the instinctive 
love of my woodlands, I must admit that I had no idea that any- 
thing equalling in richness the song of the Thrush and the Black- 
bird — they are my favourite song-birds — was to be found in 
Australia. But after that first experience of listening to an 

* Mr. and Mrs. NichoUs, Mr. and Mrs. Burrell, Mr. and Mrs. Leach, Mrs. 
Israel, Messrs. Mowling (2), Cole, Barr, Stokes, Rosenhain, Milligan, Mellor, 
A. S. Le Souef, Barnard, C. Coles, Drs. Long and D'Ombrain. At Gosford 
were Mr. and Mrs. aiattingley, Mrs. Cole, INIrs. Wickham, and Miss Hayman. 

The Emu, Vol. XL 


Scene on Ourimbah Creek, New South Wales. 

Home of Azure Kingfisher {Alcyone azurea), Spectacled Flycatcher 

(Piezorhynchus goiildi), Brown Fly-eater (Pseudogerygone fusca), 

Yellow-eared Honey-eater (Ptilotis lewini), &c. 


Voi.\i.-j Royal Australasian Ornilhologisls' Union. 163 

Australian bird chorus greeting the early <la\vn I iearlcssly confess 
that there is nothing in an English wootl which can beat it for 
richness of note or variety of song. 

" First of all there began a gentle twittering of the smaller birds. 
Almost immediately a pretty little Blue Wren appeared on the 
bough of a tree near my tent, and trilled a bright song as gaily 
as a Robin Redbreast. Soon the whole neighbourhood was flooded 
with song as of one magnificent, harmonious chorus, throughout 
which individual songsters poured forth full-throated, melodious 
solos. There were three birds which pleased me the most — the 
Brush-Cuckoo the Yellow-breasted Whistler, or Thickhead, and the 

"The Brush Cuckoo sang a perfect three-bar song, almost 
exactly resembling a portion of the chorus sung in the first act of 
' Faust.' The Whistler had no distinct tune ; it gave us a series 
of merry whistling, in crescendos, and terminating with a joyous 
exclamation. This bird is a gem, and has such a repertoire that 
at different times of the day it completely changes its whistle, but 
always it is delightfully full and clear. 

" The Bell-Birds gave the effect of the ' Anvil Chorus ' by their 
constant ' Ting, ting, ting,' from which bell-like note the bird 
deriv^es its name. How is it possible to describe such a chorus ? 
The noise was not deafening ; it was a constant warbling, carolling, 
and whistling, with distinct flute-like solos, which could be heard 
from every side of this great natural aviary." 

Yet, notwithstanding this enthusiastic description, the camp 
was broken up somewhat precipitately. Possibly the restless 
craving for sight-seeing of some of the members overcame their 
original intention of bird-observing, for no fault could be found 
with the executive for the locality chosen. The cook, who re- 
mained till the end of his term, which he improved by catching 
water-lizards, with more or less success, for the Sydney Zoo, 
facetiously named the place " Skedaddle Camp." 

Messrs. Campbell and Mellor elected to accept the hospitality 
of " Palm Grove," the selection of Mr. G. H. Jaques, 4 miles 
further up the Ourimbah, and the last dwelling on the creek. 
Here the ranges converge, and, except for a clearing here and 
there near the stream, and tracks of timber-getters, the scrub is 
in its virgin state. Along the creek, by shaded pools, are many 
trees strange to southern visitors, and ornamental wattles, notably 
Acacia elata, A. prominens, and A. pruinosa, the two former being 
better known in cultivation. The mimosa-like foliage of the 
last-mentioned is seen in the plate, "Scene on Ourimbah Creek" 
(right-hand bottom corner). Palms of two species grace the scene, 
and fine ferns in variety flourish, clumps of stag-horn and bird- 
nest ferns on trees lending tropical significance. In some of the 
open patches are brakes of wild raspberries, displaying at the same 
time crops of white flowers and ripe, red fruit ; upon the latter, 
Zosterops, red-coated " Blood " Honey-eaters, Cat-Birds, Regent- 
Birds, &c., feed. The numerous gullies that run into the ranges 

l54 Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union. [,sf"jan. 

are interesting, being the home of Lyre-Birds, Ground-Thrushes 
[Geocichla), &c. As at the camp below, so at " Palm Grove " 
the calm, crisp mornings are ushered in with a perfect babel of 
sweet bird-voices, the singing being incessant for about two 
hours after dawn. There are warblings of Zosbrops and Fantails 
(three kinds) ; trills of Blue Wrens ; the sweet songs of Thickheads 
— the Rufous and the Yellow-breasted ; the louder but dulcet 
music of Butcher-Birds and the " harmonic " notes of Shrike- 
Thrushes, punctuated with cracks of the Coachwhip-Bird. Notes 
of Honey-eaters can be detected — the merry Yellow-eared (Lewin) 
and the equally merry Yellow-faced (chrysops), besides many 
other bird-calls, while a Wonga-Wonga Pigeon keeps up its high- 
pitched, continuous " Coo, coo, coo " from a distance. 

The Ourimbah Ranges are famous for their tall timber. 
Turpentine-trees and eucalypts vie with each other in straightness 
and height, often for 200 feet, frequently more. Should there be 
a lofty hollow limb or spout, there is where the Roller or Dollar- 
Bird deposits its pearly set of eggs. These birds are noisy about 
twilight, preying on flying insects. The ranges have supplied 
piles for many places in the Commonwealth, and prime poles for 
telegraph lines may be had for the cutting. To see these ranges, 
and the difficulties to contend with, one cannot help admiring 
the endurance and resourcefulness of the plucky timber-getters. 
Every log won from these mountain fastnesses is at the risk of 
human life and limb. 

Among the many interesting excursions hereabouts is one to 
what is locally known as the " Waterfalls," where faces of sand- 
stone have been used as grindstones by defunct aborigines, who 
have left numerous grooves and furrows on the rocks in sharpening 
their primitive tools. A thin sheet of water flowing over the 
rocks facilitated the process. 

You make southward out of the Ourimbah valley near Jaques', 
up a long spur of gradual ascent, where the forest is more open, 
and pretty sylvan glimpses are obtained ; now and again is a 
more extensive view of " far folded hills," modelled in smoky 
haze, each receding form more thickly veiled till the distant blends 
with the cloud-line. 

A family of Rock-Warblers [Origrna) is observed, and white 
flannel-flowers are seen in acres throughout the forest avenues. 
When the summit of the ridge is gained different vegetation (and 
consequently birds) is noted — shorter timber and scrub : banksias, 
hakeas, and acacias — of the last notably linearis, myrtijolia, and 
suaveolens, all in ripe seed. A soak on the summit is rank with 
reeds and rushes, giant mountain moss {Ly cop odium), &c., and is 
the home of several pairs of Emu-Wrens. A creek runs through 
the soak and over the aboriginal-scored rocks before mentioned, 
and descends into a snug and picturesque valley below. On top is 
an ideal place to boil the billy for a mid-day meal and revel in 
the surrounding scenery : or the party may descend into another 
gullv-head near, where the gathered waters of a stream leap down 

^'°'',i^''l Royal Atisti'itlasiun Oynilhoiogisis' Union- 165 

a hundred ieet or more, aiul with their sj)ray water lour or live 
acres of terns, chiefly handsome todeas. This desirable picnic 
spot is also easily a])proached by a detour from the Ourimbah 
Creek road instead of laboriously climbing over the hills. 

Still at the edge of the soak, and looking southward across the 
saddles of forested hills, in fancy could be descried those hills 
about the IMooni valley where the pastoral jjoet, Henry Kendall, 
was reared and wrote the verses " From Mooni," one of which 
reads : — 

" Yea, for him by Mooni's marge 
Sings the yellow-haired September, 
With the face the gods rememl:)cr 
When the ridge is burnt to ember 

And the dumb sea chains the barge ! 
When the mount like molten brass is. 
Down beneath fern-feathered passes 
Noonday dew in cool green grasses 
Gleams on him by ^looni's marge." 

This verse is aj^plicable to Ourimbah also, even to the ridge being 
" burnt to ember." From our quarters at night could be seen the 
illuminations of forest fires high up on the ridge. 

The Mooni valley also inspired Kendall's verses. " Bell-Birds." 
" The silver-voiced Bell-Birds, the darlings of day-time." 
were likewise heard on the Ourimbah near the lower (No. i) camp. 

During the ten days' stay in the Ourimbah valley between 60 
and 70 species of birds were recorded, of which may be mentioned : 
— Sanguineous Honey-eater {Myzomela sanguineolenta), Friar-Bird 
[Philemon coriiiciilaius), Caterpillar-eater {Edoliisoma tenuirosire). 
Rufous Fantail {Rhipidura riififrons). Brown Fly-eater {Pseudo- 
gerygone fiisca). Cat-Bird {.Eliirrrdiis viridis), Regent-Bird [Sericulus 
meliniis). Spectacled Flycatcher [Piezorhynchns goiildi), Lyre-Bird 
[Meniira superba), Wonga Pigeon [Leucosarcia picata). Little Green- 
Pigeon (Chalcophaps chrysochlora), DoUar-Bird {Eurystomus 
aiistralis), Emu-Wren [Stipitiirus malachurus). Variegated Wren 
(Malurus lamberti), Rock-Warbler [Origma rubricata), Yellow- 
throated Scrub-Wren {Sericornis citreogularis). 

It was expected that more Pigeons would be seen. Wongas 
were reported plentiful up to 6 or 7 years ago, when they some- 
times frequented the selections and fed with the poultry. Their 
disappearance is, of course, attributed to the gun. Another fine 
bird, the Topknot-Pigeon {LopholcBniiis antarcficus) has gone 
down before the pot-hunter. What a pity the New South 
Wales game authorities did not enforce their laws before it was 
too late ! Now they have gone to opposite extremes, refusing an 
application from the president of the R.A.O.U. to procure a few 
bird-skins for a State museum ! 

Regarding the Topknot-Pigeon, at one time abundant on the 
Ourimbah Ranges, Mr. G. H. Jaques, a pioneer selector, states : — 

" When I came to the Ourimbah, in 1882, and up to about 
10 years ago, Topknot-Pigeons (or Flock-Pigeons, as we call them 

l66 Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union. '^ i-A^'^Un 

locally) flew by hundreds (anything from 500 to 1,000) in a flock, 
flock following flock about every few minutes for two hours (8 to 
10, about) in the morning, the birds always making down the 
valley — i.e., easterly. 

" I never noticed them going up, for the reason, probably, that 
they took another valley or made back across the hills. During 
their passage down the valley they frequently crowded on one 
of the taller trees. Another flock following would alight too on 
the same tree, often causing boughs to break off with the un- 
wonted weight of birds. 

' Every four hours the Pigeons left the tall timber to feed in 
the lower trees or scrub on the berries or fruit (usually ripe during 
winter months) of the black pine, teak, liUy-pilly, bangalow and 
cabbage palms, &c., taking their food mostly on the wing when 
fluttering about the fruit. When these fruits are cropped the 
Pigeons depart for fresh fields. In late seasons they would remain 
to nest among the tall trees on the ridges. 

" These Pigeons have a curious method of ' roosting ' on the 
mountains or hills, not perching like most Pigeons, but reclining 
on outstretched wings upon the thickly-foliaged or matted tree- 
tops, such as Banksia, scrub-apple, &c. 

" Few birds are seen now. Some of the settlers used to shoot 
great numbers and pickle them in casks. Sometimes seven to 
eleven birds came down at a single shot. The flesh is very dark 
in colour, nevertheless sweet and nutritious." 

Eleventh Annual Report of the Royal Australasian 
Ornithologists' Union. 
Ladies and Gentlemen, — Your Council have much pleasure in 
presenting to you the eleventh annual report of the proceedings 
of the Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union for the past 
year. It is a matter for congratulation that the business of the 
Union is expanding. This expansion has necessitated monthly 
meetings of the Council, to enable them to cope with the extra 
volume of work. The members composing the Council have 
taken great interest in the Union's affairs, and have regularly 
attended the monthly meetings. The membership roll of the 
Union has increased considerably, whilst the list of resignations 
of members, when compared with the increase, is small. The 
addition to the number of members of the Council and the election 
of local State secretaries has had a beneficial influence, and has 
resulted in an increased interest being evinced in the aims and 
objects for which the Union was founded. The issue of a Royal 
charter to the Society is regarded as an important event. 

Since last annual meeting the Council have been concerned 
particularly with the issue of The Emu journal, and have changed 
the style of some of the type, with satisfactory results. It was 
also resolved to increase the issue of each part of The Emu to 
500 copies. 

The setting aside of reservations and sanctuaries for birds has 

Vol. xi.T Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union. 167 

also engaged their attention, with the result that numerous 
additions have been made to the list of areas set aside in the 
different States for the protection of our bird-life. It is satisfactory 
to know that one of the main breeding habitats of Pelicans, as well 
as the haunts of several species of sea-birds, have been now 

Encouraged bv the Council and others, certain members of the 
R.A.O.U. have added further successes to the efforts of the Union 
by research work and in the investigation of Australasian avifauna. 

During the year our knowledge has been increased by several 
additions to the list of birds new to science, whilst members of the 
ITnion have enriched us by the publication of several works dealing 
with the classification and the nidification of birds frequenting the 
Commonwealth. These works have been exceedingly useful to 
students, and have supplied a long-felt want. 

The Council have been especially active with regard to the 
traffic in birds, their eggs and plumes, and bird-lovers owe 
a deep debt of gratitude to the Hon. F. Tudor, Minister of Trade 
and Customs, and Mr. N. Lockyer, Comptroller-General of Trade 
and Customs, for the whole-hearted manner in which they 
have responded to the wishes of members of the Union by 
prohibiting by proclamation the importation and exportation of 
many species of birds and their plumage, as advocated in a 
deputation by the Council. The Minister of Trade and Customs 
of the Commonwealth was fortified in his commendable action 
in issuing the proclamations by the action of the Council of the 
Chamber of Commerce, which body, convinced by the report of 
one of the members of the Union, decided that the trade in birds' 
plumage was a pernicious one, since the value of a live bird was 
infinitely greater to the community than would be the profit 
accruing from the sale of their feathers. This broad-minded 
interpretation by the Chamber of Commerce, and their concep- 
tion of the value of our birds to the Commonwealth, is pro- 
foundly gratifying. 

Our unqualified thanks are again due to the Hon. F. Tudor 
for prohibiting the importation of ferrets and weasels, which 
some persons desired to liberate in large numbers to check the 
rabbit pest. Members of the Union in New Zealand reported 
that these creatures when liberated there first destroyed birds and 
their eggs before they attempted to attack rabbits 

The Check-list Committee have been busily engaged in pre- 
paring a report, and it is confidently hoped that a progress report 
regarding this much-needed work of reference will be submitted to 
you during this session. 

In the interests of working ornithologists. Bulletins to The Emu 
have been issued to safeguard the results of their researches and 
guarantee to them the right of priority. 

The Council would be grateful to any of the members who would 
give them definite and detailed proof regarding the alleged 
wholesale poisoning of our native birds, either designedly or by 

l68 Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union. {^^^ "j",^ 

accident, so that steps can be taken to remedy this condition of 

During the year the Council sustained three regrettable losses 
from their ranks — firstly, by the resignation of the hon. secretary 
through ill-health ; secondly, by the resignation of the acting hon 
secretary, due to pressure of business ; and thirdly, the hon. 
treasurer on account of a similar cause. The Council were, how- 
ever, fortunate in being able on each occasion to fill the vacancy. 

The Emu still maintains, and even surpasses, its high standard 
of literary, scientific, and artistic excellence. One coloured plate 
of a new and unfigured bird has been given to members, as well 
as a special part of The Emu. Further donations to the Coloured 
Figure Fund would be welcome 

The Department of External Affairs, which exercises control 
over British Papua, has displayed considerable vigilance in the 
prevention of the destruction of Birds-of-Paradise, and has in- 
formed the Council from time to time of its actions regarding 
the preservation of the wild birds of British New Guinea. Under 
the existing law of the territory special permits may be issued to 
the duly accredited agents of any scientific society or institution 
to collect or destroy Birds-of-Paradise for scientific purposes. 
Representations were made to the Department that all the species 
of Birds-of-Paradise known to inhabit Papua have already been 
studied, so no specimens were now necessary for scientific pur- 
poses, and the reason for the special permits disappears. The 
Council of the Union was of opinion that permits might still be 
issued under stringent conditions, and for personal use only of 
bona-fide collectors for scientific institutions, and not for the use 
of agents, black or white, far and near, of such collectors. 

The thanks of the Union are again due to Dr. Charles Ryan for 
the gratuitous use of his rooms for the meetings of the Council, 
and to the Zoological and Acclimatization Society of Victoria for 
shelving the library of the Union. 

A. H. E. Mattingley, 

Acting Hon. Secretary, 

Progress Report of the Check-list Committee of the 
R.A.O.U. regarding an Australian List of Birds. 
At the Hobart session (1903) a committee was appointed to deal 
with a Check-list of Australian birds, Mr. Robert Hall, convener. 
At the Adelaide session (1908) the committee, which had prac- 
tically done nothing (for the reason that the time for issuing such 
a list was not ripe) was remodelled, with Mr. A. J. Campbell as 
convener. It now stands • — Colonel W. V. Legge (Tasmania), 
Mr. Basset Hull (New South Wales), Mr. A. J. Campbell (Victoria). 
Mr. J. W. Mellor (South Australia), Mr. A. W. Milligan (Western 
Australia), Mr. Robt. Hall (Queensland), and Mr. Gregory M. 
Mathews (England). 

The convener made a commencement by taking as a working 
basis the list of Australian birds compiled by Mr. Mathews and 

The Emu, Vo/. XI. 


Gilbert Memorial Tablet, St. James' Church, Sydney. 

10TO. BY O. ROSEh 

^"'•^'^'•] Royal Australasian Ornilhologists' Union. i6q 

published as a sui)])lement to The limn, vol. vii. (January, 1908), 
this list being founded on the British Museum " Catalogue , of 
Birds " and the " List of Vernacular Names for Australian Birds " 
adopted by the Australasian Science Association, 1898. These 
lists were forwarded to members of committee with a covering 
circular letter. 

Messrs. Hall. Legge, and Mellor returned their lists, each 
making certain suggestions, while Mr. Mathews was good enough 
to indicate, for the information of the committee, the whole of the 
alterations he proposed to make, which he considered necessary 
in accordance with the strict law of priority, as laid down in the 
" International Rules of Zoological Nomenclature." 

During the winter months the convener and Mr. Milligan had 
many meetings in Melbourne, and reduced the lists to doubtful 
species or species (for the want of references or specimens) not 

On the eve of the Sydney Session two more meetings were held, 
at which Col. Legge and Mr. Mellor conferred, and the number 
of doubtful species was further reduced. 

Finally, the four gentlemen named, with the addition of Mr. 
Basset Hull, met in committee three days at the Australian 
Museum, through the courtesy of the Curator, Mr. Robt. Etheridge. 

It was resolved that the validity of species only could be 
attempted with the time allotted for this Session, leaving the 
nomenclature (including vernaculars) for some future occasion, 
and so far over 500 species (or kinds) have been agreed upon. 

The special thanks of your committee are due to Mr. Etheridge 
and his staff, who kindly placed a room and the whole of the 
valuable bird collections of the Australian Museum at the disposal 
of your Committee for examination. 

Thanks are also due to the following persons and institutions 
for the loan of important material, viz. • — Mr. Robt. Hall (Museum, 
Hobart), Mr. Bernard Woodward (Museum, Perth), Dr. Hamlyn 
Harris (Museum, Brisbane), Mr. H. L. White (Belltrees, New South 
Wales), and Mr. A. G. Campbell (Pomonal, Victoria). 

A. J. Campbell (Convener). 
Alex. Wm. Milligan. 
A. F. Basset Hull. 
W. V. Legge. 
J. W. Mellor. 
Sydney, 31/10/11. 

Memorial Service to John Gilbert. 

On Tuesday, the 31st October, 191 1, the members of the Royal 
Australasian Ornithologists' Union attended a memorial service at 
St. James' Church, King-street, and placed a wreath of native 
flowers on the tablet erected to the memory of Gilbert. This 
church, one of the oldest in Sydney, bears an inscription to the 
effect that in the year 1820 it was " opened for public worship by 

jyo Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union. [^^^^ "j",, 

J. Macquarie, Esq., Governor." The walls inside are covered with 
inscriptions and mural tablets dedicated to the memory of the early 
explorers and pioneers of Australia — Bass, Flinders, Wentworth, 
Blaxland, and many others being amongst the number. The 
memorial tablet to John Gilbert is surmounted by a small marble 
relief depicting a figure resting under a palm with a tent in the 
background. (For inscription see Plate XV.) The wreath was 
hung by Mr. J. W. Mellor (President), assisted by Mr. A. J. 
Campbell (ex-President). It was composed of the following 
Australian flowers : — Waratah, flannel -flower, bottle-brush (red), 
Christmas bells, hakea, grevillea, callistemon, melaleuca, bridal- 
bush, leptospermum, orchids, and ferns. 

During the service the rector of St. James' (Rev. W. F. Went- 
worth Sheilds, M.A.) referred to a letter written by Gilbert to Dr. 
George Bennett stating with what great pleasure he (Gilbert) was 
looking forward to the expedition. The rector also, in a few 
eloquent sentences, referred to Gilbert's devotion to ornithological 
science, and said he was not at all surprised that ornithologists in 
Session in the city should prompt such a befitting memorial service. 
At the close of the service the Lord's Prayer was repeated, the 
rector pronounced the benediction, and all remained standing for 
a while in silent tribute to the memory of John Gilbert. 

Little is known about Gilbert. He was apparently a taxidermist 
in the employment of Gould, who sent him as collector to Western 
Australia in 1840. He returned to England with his cohection the 
following year, and shortly again visited Western Australia, and 
afterwards Northern Australia, where he met his tragic death by 
the hands of treacherous natives, 28th June, 1845. 

An account of this tragic occurrence is furnished in Mr. A. J. 
Campbell's " Nests and Eggs of Australian Birds," p. 330, under 
the heading of the " Black-backed Tree Creeper {Climacteris 
melanota)," which bird poor Gilbert procured on the day of his 
lamented death. Interesting side-lights on Gilbert's personality 
are also given in Mr. Campbell's book— Introduction, p. x., while 
the " Records of the Australian Museum, vol. vi., p. 125, have other 
interesting references to good Gilbert. 

[There is a descrepancy about the exact date of Gilbert's death 
— the tablet shows 29th June, whereas Gould states the 28th June. 
Reference to Leichhardt's Journal (1847), p. 309, shows the latter 
date to be correct.] 

Visit to the Mitchell Library. 

The importance of this library for early Australian ornithological 
works demanded a special visit during the Sydney Session of the 
R.A.O.U. But it was not tih after its close that a few inter-State 
members, including the President (Mr. J. W. Mellor), and led by 
Mr. G. J. Broinowski, the veteran author and bird-painter, were 
kindly received by the librarian in charge (Mr. Wright). 

The original drawings, bound in volumes, of the late Sylvester 
Diggles (Queensland) were greatly admired, some probably being 

^°H.i^' 1 Royal Australasian Orni/holo^ists' Union. 171 

amongst the best bird pictures ever executed. The more the 
sorrow that the talented artist was not spared to complete his 
work. There were also seven other volumes, royal quarto size, 
fitted into a special case, that interested members much. They 
were each indexed (name of species in manuscript), and contained 
manuscript references and field notes, sketches, jjencilled and 
coloured, of birds. These have been, by the authorities of the 
library, attributed to the great Gould. But they were more likely 
to be Digglcs's projiosed work in embryo, esjxicially as under the 
heading of the Coachwhip-Bird («/i'.s crepitans) was a hitherto 
unfigured, coloured nest and eggs of that bird above the inscription 
" S. D., Oct. 27, T863." It is important tliat the identification of 
thes(> books be thoroughly established. 

Bush^Birds of New Zealand. 
l^,v J. (". M'Leax, M.B.O.U.. GiSBORNE, N.Z. 
Part III. 
Rhipidura flabellifera — Pied Faxtail. 

Buller, " Birds of New Zealand " (2nd edition), vol. i., jx 69. 
The Pied Fantail, though not often met with away in the main 
bush, was fairly plentiful on its edges, and in the valleys of the 
older country was common where an odd tree or patch of scrub 
gave shelter. Usually a pair appeared and took up its abode 
in the small clearing around each camp, and remained in the 
vicinity until the end. In the heavy bush its chief resorts were 
in the creek bottoms and other open, sunny parts, and there they 
were very tame, but not inquisitive, generally flying to meet the 
passer-by and settling close at hand. Following its insect food, 
which consists of the smaller moths and midges — taken on the 
wing — the Fantail performs its aerial evolutions, on sunny days, 
high above the tree-tops, pausing in its erratic flight to settle and 
sing its squeaky, twittered song from some outstanding twig ; 
but on damp and duller days it finds its food much lower down, 
and — almost a silent bird — hunts within a few feet of tfie ground, 
often amid the ferns themselves. 

Fantails pair for life, and with this species quarrels, so common 
in the spring among some other birds, are practically unknown. 
Each pair keeps more or less about its own particular locality ; they 
are much attached to each other, and, individually, to their home. 
Though not sociably inclined towards others of their species, the 
two do not resent the intrusion of others of their kind, and it is 
not unusual to see more than one pair busy about the same tree. 
They have been observed, however, with persistent sallies, to 
frighten the Pied Tit from their home. The song is much more 
noticeable in the spring, and at nesting-time the birds become 
quite noisy in their little way. Long after dusk the plaintive 

1^2 M'Lean, Bush-Birds of Neiv Zealand. [ist^Tan 

" Tweet " of this bird has been heard in the bush, as if it had lost 
its mate in the darkness. 

With regard to their tameness, they are by no means shy. It 
is interesting to note a Fantail fly towards the passer-by ; but one 
suspects some cupboard love on many occasions, for often a tiny 
moth is started into flight by one's brushing against the ferns or 
branches in travelling through the bush, and the bird is quick to 
see and take advantage. It has been seen elsewhere to sail out 
and accompany a horseman for some distance along the muddy 
road. There the bird would skim from side to side, snapping up 
the disturbed midges from almost under the horse's nose. These 
insects, safe in the puddled hoof-marks, could only have been 
obtained by the help of some such agency. The bird knew it 
well, for this performance was noted on many different days. 

In the lower country the Fantail is one of the first to build, and 
eggs may be found in the middle of September ; but here, at this 
higher altitude, it did not appear to nest so early. Several 
nests, which the birds were building, were noted towards the end 
of September in each year, and it was noticeable that in the heavy 
bush the nests were always much higher up than in the open 
country. One in particular, which was being finished off on 29th 
September, was about 40 feet up on the branch of a tall tawhera ; 
another was being built on the same date 20 feet from the ground 
amid the branches of a tawa. On 27th September in the fol- 
lowing year, while passing across one of the small flats on the 
Urukokomoko stream, far in the heavy bush, " a Fantail was 
noticed at work on something other than food, low about the base 
of a large tree — something out of the common on a sunny day 
like this. Away it went direct to a sapling tawhera, which, with 
others of its species, grew in an open glade over a wet spot covered 
with ferns and moss, and disappeared in its leafy top. At the 
same moment another flew out of the tree, and examination 
showed the nest 12 or 15 feet up. on one of the small branches, 
amid the mass of dark green leaves. Both birds were busy con- 
structing with web and moss the nest, shuffiing inside, and using 
beak and wings to smooth the outside of the wall. The material 
was collected within two chains of the site, from near the ground. 
While one bird built the other gathered stuff, plucking particles 
here and there from the butts of the trees, and, when its beak 
was full, going off in direct flight low down and mounting up the 
branches of the sapling to the nest Immediately on the arrival 
of one bird its mate quitted the nest and went in search of more 
material. Only once did one pause in its gathering to catch an 
insect or two and sing its song — a squeaky ' Te-wa,' repeated 
eight or ten times in quick succession." 

That the Pied Fantail is quick to adapt itself to circumstances, 
and by so doing is likely to survive, is shown by its nesting amid 
the altered conditions presented in the country swept by fire the 
preceding summer. The bush had vanished, and not a green leaf 
or twig remained. The sward of grass was thin, and now fed 

The Emu, Vo/. XL 


Nest and Eggs of Pied Fantail {Rhipiditra ftabeUifei'a) in dead tawa 


^'°','9.^''] M'Lean, Bitsh-Birds of Neiv Zealand. 173 

sheep among the blackened stumps and logs. Far from the 
forest or any living tree, where large charred trunks formed 
slippery bridges across the gully, a tawa lay amid the wreckage, 
with a small part of its to}), where it overhung the water, still 
unconsumed. I'ndcr the slight shelter afforded by the few dead, 
though persistent, leaves, a pair of Fantails built a splendid nest 
(Plate X\^I.) Of course, there was a reason for this site being 
chosen. Small insects — moths and midges — abound in the gullies 
of the new burns, and the logs and stumjjs are netted with small 
spiders' webs. Innumerable small grasshoppers, too, cause much 
damage to the young grass. It is wonderful how all this insect 
life appears in such a brief period. But it is scant compensation 
for most of the bush-birds ; and the Tit, the Warbler, and the 
Fantail are the only ones to take advantage of it. The birds were 
observed building this nest on 28th September, 1907 ; there were 
two eggs at 9 a.m. on ist October ; and on the 8th, when it was 
photographed, the bird was sitting on the three eggs. It was 
placed about 4 feet from the water, and was in itself quite typical. 

Our Fantail is a charming little bird, and endears itself to all 
by its gentle nature. In the autumn it sometimes frequents the 
verandahs in quest of small flies and moths, and even ventures 
through the open windows in its search, to sail about the rooms. 
In the open, scrubby country, especially in the damper parts, it 
is very common — much more so than in the bush Pairs may 
frequently be seen in the gardens and shrubberies, even in the 
suburbs of the towns, where they are often resident, and, if un- 
molested, rear their young. 
Clitonyx albicapilla — Whitehead 

Buller, " Birds of New Zealand " (2nd edition), vol. i., p. 53. 

On the north-eastern side the Whitehead was apparently the 
commonest s])ecies to be seen ; but, owing, no doubt, to the absence 
of any extent of the lighter tawhera and manuka bush, I found 
it in the following year to be less numerous on the southern part. 
The late Sir Walter Buller's account (see above reference) led me 
to suppose that there would be, at this later day, little chance 
of meeting with this fast-disappearing species on the mainland. 
In another part of this district I had known it well, where, in the 
Wharekopae River valley, it was not uncommon about 1888, 
among the lighter timber and tall manuka : but, notwithstanding 
that the timber had been little interfered with, the Whitehead 
had in 1900 almost disappeared. Thus I was agreeably surprised 
when, in 1906, I renewed my acquaintance with this, the most 
obtrusive of our bush-birds. In March they may be found working 
through all classes of bush, in flocks varying from 8 or 10 individuals 
up to as many as 70 or more. They remain gregarious throughout 
the winter, the flocks increasing in size as the season advances. 
In spring they break up, the pairs drawing off and showing prefer- 
ence then for the lighter-timbered bush. Hardly a day passed 
without seeing something of them in one part or another, and it 

174 M'Lean, Bush-Birds of Neiv Zealand. [isf''jan 

was not unusual to meet with three or four flocks during the day. 
Their food consists of the smaller insects and their larvae, but 
occasionally the seeds of certain trees are eaten. With chattering 
call, the members of the flock move slowly through the tops of 
the smaller trees in a loose, straggling body, and in a more or less 
definite direction, assuming all possible positions while examining 
every nook and crevice in the bark and leaves, sometimes poised 
in the air, examining the tips of the leaves ; at other times 
clinging, with tail pressed tightly against the supporting trunk, 
and tearing off chunks of moss and lichen with their strong beaks, 
in search of the hidden insects. The tail feathers, which become 
in time much worn, are inbent, and the stiff shafts project slightly 
beyond the vanes. These, together with the muscular legs, are well 
adapted to the bird's mode of climbing about the trunks and 
branches in its systematic hunting. When feeding on the seeds 
of the tawari {Ixerha hrexioides), which was plentiful on the ridges, 
it was interesting to see the birds hanging below the bunches of 
pods, which are borne at the tips of the branches Elsewhere 
I have seen them mingled with a flock of Blight-Birds {Zosterops 
ccendescens), feeding in the same manner from the pods of the 
tawhiwhi {Pittosponnn temiifolium) and karo (P. cyassifolium). 
Over these trees ran many vines {M iiehlenheckia adpressa), whose 
clusters of fleshy seed-envelopes were the attraction for the Blight- 
Birds, but not for the Whiteheads. 

As I have stated, Parrakeets are fond of attaching themselves 
to the winter flocks : but they do not actually mix with them, 
keeping rather higher in the trees. Blight-Birds and Warblers, 
however, occasionally do so, and the Fantail often plays among 
the busy Whiteheads. One can understand the Fantail's presence, 
for it is sure to meet with many disturbed moths and other winged 
insects ; but the Parrakeet probably gains no more than social 
pleasure. The Warbler is not often seen, and I fancy its interest 
in the flock is aroused rather by the calling of the birds, for it is 
an excitable little bird : while the Blight-Birds, who as a rule 
bring up the rear, can hardly expect to find much remaining after 
the careful investigation made by the Whiteheads. When camped 
on the birch ridge there was noticeable, on fine mornings, about 
an hour after sunrise, a general movement, right past our camp, 
of all the species mentioned above. It was always from west to 
east along the ridge, and in bad weather might take place later. 
Towards evening the birds were sometimes noticed returning, but 
now more scattered down the sides of the ridge, evidently making 
back to a sheltered basin about half a mile along the ridge to the 
west of our camp, where, no doubt, many of the birds spent the 
night. In the morning the Whiteheads always led, sometimes 
with Parrakeets above them, while the other birds came along in 
straggling order. No doubt the Warblers and Fantails did not 
go far, but simply joined in for a short distance near their usual 
haunts, while the Blight-Birds sometimes remained to fossick 
round the camp for a while. 

^"'^-g,-^'-] .M'Li:an, Biish-Dirds of Sciu Zealand. 175 

The Whitehead is very inquisitive, als(j very noisy ; and the 
male especially seems ever on the look-out lor an oj^portunity to 
draw a crowd and create a disturbance. The whine of a Tui or 
passing of a Pigeon is quite sufficient to upset them, and even 
when feeding they continually call to each other with sharp notes, 
as if expecting to meet with something strange at every step. 
The Shining Cuckoo (Chalcococcyx liicidits) is, of course, disliked 
by all the smaller birds, and instantly takes Hight when met by 
the Whiteheads ; but the unfortunate Owl, or ]\Iorei)ork, their 
special enemy, was forced to remain and endure much from the 
noisy flock and those small birds, such as Warblers and Fantails, 
who were within hearing of the summons, until he managed to 
reach some darker part. It was rarely that the Tit took a hand, 
while the Tui and the Bell-Bird never ventured close, but flashed 
through the neighbouring trees and added their alarm notes to 
the din. 

In the })resence of man the Whiteheads e.\hil)it much curiosity, 
and the discovery is at once announced by a sharp " Chirrt " 
from the nearest bird. This note is immediately taken up by all 
the members of the flock, who quickly assemble in the tree-tops 
overhead, and with many harsh, spluttered notes hop lower and 
nearer through the branches. There, with lowered wings and 
widespread tails, they closely scrutinize and scold until one or 
two of the more inquisitive have, by a close approach, satisfied 
themselves. Then the noise gradually subsides, and the flock 
moves on, their notes at last being lost in the bush ; but an 
imitation of the harsh alarm note when a flock is thus at hand sets 
every bird in a rage, when all their actions are much intensified, 
and then the smaller birds assemble. The turning over of a leaf 
of a pocket-book is sufficient to increase the volume of sound, 
and any movement makes it louder. This may be kept up until 
the experimenter tires, and, keeping quiet, allows the noisy mob 
to retire. 

Had it not been for the timber- felling, which, ])y disturbing 
the Owls, helped indirectly towards all this, less, no doubt, would 
have been heard of the Whitehead. 

The Whitehead is just as likely to come across a wide-awake 
Bush-Hawk resting amid the trees as he is to discover a blinking 
Morepork driven from its dark retreat by the falling trees, and 
I cannot say whether he distinguishes between the two ; but, 
judging by the way he incites the flock to mob the Owl, it may be 
assumed that he would hardly pass without showering some abuse 
upon the Falcon. Although it was never my luck to witness such 
a meeting, I have seen a Bush-Hawk plucking a Whitehead on 
the ground where, ten minutes previously, the flock had given me 
a rally, and proof was not wanting in the little patches of feathers 
occasionally noticed in the bush, that they sometimes get in the 
Falcon's way. 

The call is a short " Cheet." sometimes " Ter-cheet," of in- 
quiring tone, and is heard continually from the flock The alarm 

176 M'Lean, Bush-Birds of New Zealand. [ist'^"fan. 

is a harsh and louder " Chirrt," somewhat varied ; and when the 
birds are much excited a very rapidly repeated " Che-che-che-che " 
is used. At such a time the male also sounds a whistled, hissing 
" Swerre." The female has a harsh, chattering call peculiar to 
the nesting season, best expressed as " 'Tche-'tche ch-ch-ch-ch " : 
but the " trill " (p. 77, No. 2), only heard from the male in the 
pairing and nesting season, is a pleasant one of six rapid notes, 
not unlike the tinkling of several small bells. It is clearly but 
not loudly sounded, and often the last high note is not heard. It 
is repeated at intervals of about a minute from the top of some 
small tree or shrub ; but many soft piping notes are used between, 
and they, with the trill, constitute the song. In 1906 I first 
heard this trill on 26th July, but it did not become general till 
some weeks later. I find the following note under loth July, 
1907 : — " Saw many Whiteheads on the ridge, and heard one 
attempt the trill several times, but it was far from perfect. This 
is earlier than last year." Again, on 15th July, 1907 : — " On 
the highest part of this ridge (3,000 feet), when other birds sought 
shelter lower down, a scattered party of 40 or 50 Whiteheads, 
with little or no concern for the falling snow, pursued their eager 
search for h >d in the exposed birch trees. With numerous 
different cha tering calls, and some attempts at song, they fed in 
all positions they could assume, and evinced some slight interest 
in my presence by now and then peering through the leaves of 
the smaller vegetation. I failed to detect, among their many 
calls, the one which moved the flock, but I imitated, by whistling, 
one note, " Swerre," causing great excitement. (A Tui whined 
away down the face, and odd Bell-Birds came skulking near in 
the under-scrub.) All the flock seemed to answer, and many 
came nearer, hopping about close at hand and uttering angry 
cries- I repeated the note several times in quick succession, and 
at once the noise increased, the combined notes becoming quite 
a wailing chorus. Then it died away, as the birds resumed their 
quest, and above, in the birch-tops, there rang out a trill — clear 
and in its perfect form." 

Towards the end of July I had noticed some commotion among 
odd Whiteheads, who were behaving much as the House-Sparrow 
does in spring, and often three or four, chattering loudly, would 
dash suddenly past me through the scrub, and be lost before I 
could see the cause. But one day I saw it all. I was in the 
tawhera country (26th July, 1906), and was verifying the trill 
of a single bird, when two others came chasing one another through 
the tops. The single bird joined in, forcing a halt, and for some 
minutes much fluttering and display were made by the two before 
an apparently distracted female, who, at length, took advantage 
of a short quarrel between the two importunate suitors to escape 
into the low vegetation on the ground at my feet ; and, although 
they called loudly and hunted all about the neighbourhood, she 
never re-appeared. 

Away down in the valley of tawhera and manuka, I chanced 

^"'^^^y-] M'Lkan, Biiih-Birds of New Zealand. lyy 

one day (Otli September, iqoO) on a part where a Hock of some 
20 Whiteheads was busy, more or less, in love-making. The 
scrub was not so dense just here, and in places the sun reached in 
to lower limbs and to the leaf-strewn ground. I spent a little 
while enjoying the picture ])resented by the birds, and in this 
sheltered spot they were so intent upon their courting as to be 
quite indifferent to my presence. What an opportunity for a 
camera ! Brilliant sun shining on the little groups of three — 
two males displaying bt fore a female— gambolling on a single 
branch, low down and close to hand, their plumage perfect, and 
their snowy heads in contrast with the jet-black bills. At one 
time three such little grou}:)S were in full view, and no doubt others 
were in the vicinity, while overhead odd males, with clear tinkled 
trill, displayed their vocal powers in the tops of the adjacent trees. 
Lower down no singing was indulged in, but the remaining suitors 
used many twittering notes while paying their addresses to 
willing females, and all was peaceful as compared with the noisy 
exhibitions of some weeks ago. On a sunlit branch some 5 or 6 
feet from the ground sits an attentive female ; on each side, a 
few inches off, is an admiring male. With drooped and quivering 
wings and widespread, fan-like tail, each male slo~'dy advances 
towards the interested female in the centre, and, wit^many bows 
and courtesies and elevation of the tail, does his best to charm and 
win the day. Now one receives some slight encouragement, and 
hops back along the branch in the hope that she may side with 
him But no ; his rival, now left closer to the female, demands 
a share, and he returns with twist and turn and many twittering 
notes to try again. The puzzled female cannot choose between 
them ; first to one and then to the other she turns, only to be 
called round again. At length she moves forward as if to 
accompany one, and off he goes once more : but his rival, by gentle 
touch of wing behind, stays the female's departure, and with 
many bows reminds her that he, too, is in the field. This is too 
much for our friend, who sees his rival, now the admired, moving 
off, and the female inclined to follow. Not to be outdone, he 
watches his opportunity, and, with a short flight, drops down 
between the two and bars her way. Now there are two on the 
same side of the female : but there is no vice shown, and to over- 
come the difficulty the rival — the outside male — skips lightly 
over the two to the other side. ' All are now in their original 
positions, to repeat the performance ; and so it goes on. There 
is never any crowding or jostling, and the approach of the dis- 
playing bird is seldom within 4 or 5 inches of the female On 
neighbouring branches the same scene could be observed with 
other sets of three, and never was a party interfered with by a 
fourth bird. And so the gambol goes on, with many displays of 
wing and tail, until the more fortunate flies away with his bride, 
leaving the disappointed one to seek another among the flock. 
Thus was the courtship of the Whitehead, as viewed that day. 
Others similar had been noticed previously, but this was the last 

178 M'Lean, Bush-Birds of New Zealand. [xsf'jan. 

I saw. The little flocks were breaking up and pairing off to select 
their summer homes and rear their young. 

In October the birds became scattered in pairs about the lighter 
bush ; but, as this country was now almost all felled, they retired 
with other species to nest in the standing timber. This I had 
little time to explore, and it was difficult to reach across the 
felling. However, in one of the last-felled patches of scrub a 
pair managed to complete their nest, but the tree went down 
before any eggs were laid. The nest, when first found, was almost 
completed, and my attention was drawn to it by the male, who 
was much agitated and scolded me from the branches near in 
great style ; but the female was not quite so demonstrative. On 
looking about, I discovered the nest about 7 feet up, held in 
position against the trunk by a couple of those upright branchlets 
so characteristic of the small honeysuckle-tree {Knightia excelsa), 
in which it was placed. The birds were too concerned in my 
presence to do any work ; but next day (28th September), when 
I examined the nest, I found it ready for the eggs. It was never 
measured, but was slightly smaller than that of the Robin, and 
much more neatly made, being composed of fine rootlets and 
moss closely packed together, with the top and sides well smoothed 
off, especially about the top and rim, while the deep cavity was 
beautifully lined with small feathers of different birds. The male 
sang near while the nest was being constructed, for I had noticed 
him on different days before I found it, trilling near by in the 
taller honeysuckles, which just topped the surrounding dense 
scrub of nei-nei and tawhera. It was my impression that the 
whole summer song of this bird was contained in the half-dozen 
notes of the trill, until on one occasion I listened to this male within 
a few feet of him, and was much surprised to find that quite a 
number of other notes helped, with the trill, to make the White- 
head's song. He was somewhat restless, and fidgeted about and 
flew close past me once or twice as though suspicious of my in- 
tentions. Then, on top of a dead twig, he sang the trill several 
times very clearly : but between each he whistled and piped so 
low and soft that he was only just audible, even at the short 
distance. Thus, at times, he seemed to almost lose his voice : 
but these husky notes — " Kee kee kee, tweet tweet tweet, te-te- 
te-te twee" — always ended with the clear musical trill. Odd 
pairs were sometimes seen on the burnt country in spring, and it 
is just possible they may nest in the second-growth when near 
the main bush 

Since the above was written, I have come across the Whitehead 
in several other widely-separated parts of the district, but never 
have I seen so much of it as I did in the Maunga-Haumia country. 

Anthornis melanura — Bell-Bird. 

Buller, "Birds of New Zealand" (2nd edition), vol. i., p. 85. 

The Bell-Bird was not uncommon each year. Possibly in the 
heavy bush of the northern side it was a little more numerous 

^';'-,_^' J M'Lkax, Bush-Biyds of Neiv Zealand. I79 

than in that to tlic south, where, however, a tair number was to 
be seen about the scrub and second-growth outside Usually in 
pairs, it showed in winter some preference for the tawa country, 
but was also to be met with in the lighter tawhera at that season. 
Though rarely seen upon the birch ridges, one of a pair which 
had its quarters there treated our camp at daybreak for many 
weeks to its merry morning chimes. But it was not until the 
spring that they became more generally dispersed, when they 
sought the flowering trees in many parts. Some of the patches 
of tawa were in midwinter a favourite resort, and the broken 
peals from the half-dozen pairs which generally affected these 
places could be heard at intervals throughout the day. There 
they found, besides a supply of insect food, two species of slender 
rata vine (Metrosidcros) — one white, the other reddish-flowered — 
which climbed aloft against the tawa trunks, and, flowering amid 
the higher branches, provided a supply of nectar at that season. 
In such spots they lingered long ; and it was with feelings of regret 
that one listened to the axes ringing in those stately groves, while 
overhead the Bell-Birds, quite oblivious of their fate, continued 
with many peals, until perhaps only a tree or two remained 
unfelled. On the southern side, besides affecting the tawa patches 
and scrubby parts, a fair number of pairs wintered in the second- 
growth, where, like the Tui, they sang amid the vines, picking 
their clustering fruit, and showing an especial liking for the many- 
seeded berries of the poroporo — a plant which only flourished to 
perfection there. In spring they were to be seen about the 
lighter tawhera country, where many birds, their metallic 
plumage flashing purple in some lights, darted about the trees, 
and fed upon the nei-nei, then in flower. But wherever the 
fuchsia flowered, in the damper tawa gullies and in the second- 
growth, the bird was to be heard and seen throughout the season. 

To the writer it appeared a somewhat timid bird, and had a 
skulking style when feeding in the scrub. Although one was never 
seen to be captured, it lives in constant dread of the Bush-Hawk, 
and was often seen, after the manner of the introduced Blackbird 
(Turd us merula), dashing round the trees in its haste to reach 
some more leafy shelter-tree. But its manners improved when, 
in the spring, it visited the many flowering trees, being then in 
better song, and knowingly allowed a closer view. As pairs they 
keep much nearer to each other than the Tuis do, and are also 
more active when foraging in the trees When searching for 
insects it moves more quickly, and when after nectar has not the 
easy grace of the latter bird. Nor does it dwell so long at each 
blossom, but sips from each in rapid style, climbing about the 
branches and clinging in many pretty poises among the flowers, 
while its wings sound sharply as it flies from branch to branch in 
eager activeness. 

In the sj)ring some vice is shown, and it has been seen to fly at 
an inoffensive Pigeon resting in the tree in which the Bell-Bird 
fed ; and in the nei-nei scrub one day a Shining Cuckoo could 

l8o M'Lean, Bush-Birds of New Zealand. Tisf^jan. 

find no quiet spot in which to stay, for no sooner had it shifted 
to avoid an angry Bell-Bird than it was compelled to quit the 
next bare limb on which it alighted by another vigorous onset by 
a different bird. They also fought among themselves, and one 
would now and then be seen beating a hasty retreat from the 
domain of a pursuing bird. On one occasion (5th October, igo6) 
two birds almost flew into me. actually touching my hand in their 
blind fury. They fell and fought on the ground at my feet, the 
one who shortly gained the advantage pulling and tearing at his 
victim in the most savage manner. There was much squeaking, 
and in the tussle, which lasted some seconds, they fell behind a 
small log. Then the victor left his much-battered foe to crawl 
away, while he, with strong direct flight, returned to his patch 
of tawhera some 40 yards distant The wounded bird was so 
damaged that it could not fly, but it escaped me by crawling 
away into the felled timber. 

The alarm note is a rapidly repeated scolding ' Tink-tink- 
tink," heard in the scrub on several occasions When the bird 
is much alarmed it is difficult to approach, as I found before 
finally being able to verify the author of this peculiar note. 

Like its relation, the Tui, the Bell-Bird possesses a variety of 
notes, chiefly broken peals of five to eight notes Some resemble 
those of the former bird, and are attributed by many people to 
the Tui Few persons distinguish between the music of the two 
species, and it was found somewhat hard to convince even the 
bushmen here of the Bell-Bird's presence. In greenish garb, it 
is not conspicuous, neither is it obtrusive ; so that it is not unlikely 
that the general observer may overlook Author nis in the New 
Zealand bush. 

In the writer's opinion, its notes can hardly compare with the 
richer and more varied rollicking tones of a Tui. While those of 
the latter aie mostly in a major key, the Bell-Bird's are usually 
in a minor one ; and the single, oft-reiterated " Poeing " (see 
No. 6, page 77) soon becomes monotonous. Perhaps when great 
numbers are singing independently at one time, and joined with 
the notes of other species, there may be heard that captivating 
music of which observers write : but it has never been the writer's 
good fortune to listen to such a chorus. Far sweeter music has 
been heard, at daybreak, in other bush, from the combined notes 
of Tui, Robin, and Blight-Bird than was ever audible from the 
Bell-Birds here. Its most characteristic set of notes is the short 
chime shown on page 77 (No. 3)— notes quite distinguishable 
from any of those of the Tui, and possibly more frequently uttered, 
at all seasons, than any other. To one acquainted with this chime 
there should be httle difficulty, from its frequent repetition, in 
determining the presence of the Bell-Bird in the vicinity. It was 
to be heard all day at varying intervals in many parts, but more 
particularly in the winter months. In the spring, however, another 
chime which sounds like No. 4, became quite as general, but is 
so often varied and broken by other notes as to hardly make it 

■] M'Lkan, Bush-Birds of New Zealand. 


definite Frequently the highest note of the three takes the place 
of the slurred notes, and it sounds like No. 5. But there are many 
settings of all these notes, often in a slightly higher or lower key, 
and it is impossible to give them : but whatever set of notes is 
sounded, they generally conclude with either the two last — some- 
times the three last— notes of the chime (No. 3). No. 7 was a £et 
heard on 3th April, 1906. The single note, " Poeing," already 
remarked, is represented in No. 6. It is quite a common one on 
dull days, and is called for some considerable time, at intervals 
of a few seconds, from some higher tree, and has little to re- 
commend it. However, on finer days in spring, many charming 
notes are to be heard at intervals from these birds, somewhat 
startling, perhaps, when heard at close quarters — for they are 
all more or less staccato — but varied in volume as the bird directs 
its head in different directions. Like the Tui, also, they indulge 
in many sucking or sobbing, wheezing and coughing notes, but, 
unlike that bird, sound them only in a low, subdued voice, so 
that they are only audible at close quarters. 

On 5th April " a female Bell-Bird flew into the branches over- 
head, and, after ho})ping suspiciously about in front of me, settled 
down within 14 feet. Suddenly it launched out into song. With 
body bent and head advanced it puffed its feathers, and then, 
with swelling throat, produced the peal mentioned above (No. 7). 
Now turning and bowing to the right and then to the left, it 
uttered these clear notes, and finished with a perfect rendering 
of the sucking, guttural notes of a Tui, but very low, and no 
doubt inaudible at a greater distance. Then again the peal was 
sounded, but this time interspersed with the Tui's notes in low 
variations. At 2 p.m. a Bell-Bird called its double ' Poeing '— 
a squeaking, metallic whistle— three times inside ten seconds ; 
then, after a minute's pause, it continued, at short, irregular 
intervals, seven times. Then again, at about five seconds between 
each call, for twenty-two times." 

In the nei-nei scrub a nest was observed on 27th September. 
I saw a bird carrying material, and so discovered the nest, but I 
never actually saw the birds at work. On visiting the spot a day 
or two later it was found that the men had felled the scrub. The 
nest was placed in the small twigs of a low tawhera growing in a 
more open part of the scrub, and was only about 6 feet 6 inches 
from the ground. It resembled a Tui's nest, but was somewhat 
smaller, and was lined with the fronds of a trailing ground plant 
called by the bushmen " Creeping Jenny." These were of an 
orange hue, and gave the nest quite a peculiar appearance. 

Though common not so many years ago in certain parts of 
somewhat lower country in this district, the Bell-Bird has, with 
the bush of those localities, almost disappeared. Outside the 
main bush it may still be noted in a few of the scattered areas of 
scrubby bush which yet remain. But even there it clings to the 
higher hills of lighter bush and does not, as in the South Island, 
resort to neighbouring shrubberies and gardens, nor does it visit 

l82 M'Lean, Bush-Birds of New Zealand. [isf'jan. 

the pine-bushes of the valleys in the vicinity. These lighter 
patches are fast melting into the surrounding grass country, and in 
a very short time the Bell-Bird, too, will have gone from those 
parts. However, it has been noted in the main forest of this 
district in various places, and no doubt will last as long as that 
remains ; but it is a pity that our North Island birds do not (as 
their South Island friends are stated to have done) learn to move 
about a little more, and so, like the Tui, adapt themselves to the 
changing conditions which seem to threaten their existence. 

Prosthemadera novae-zealandiae — Tui, or Parson-Bird. 

Buller, " Birds of New Zealand " (2nd edition), vol. i., p. 94. 

It was fully expected that the Tui would be found quite plentiful 
in this virgin bush of which I write ; but it was soon discovered 
that here, in autumn, winter, and spring, at any rate, it was by 
no means the common bird that one associates with the New 
Zealand forest. Not that it was rare, but elsewhere it has often 
been seen in greater numbers. Neither on the north in 1906, nor 
on the south in the following year, did it frequent the main bush 
in any numbers, but was always more plentiful about its outskirts 
and in the second-growth. In the spring they have been seen 
in some numbers among the scattered bushes of lower open 
country, wherever the fuchsia or the kowhai flowers, and there 
some remain to nest, finding much fruit upon the fuchsia and 
other trees in summer, and later on a harvest in the autumn for 
all in the berries of the white pine {Podocarpns dacrydioides) and 
matai (P. spicata) — two pines which are rare in the Maunga- 
Haumia bush. In this bush itself the Tuis fed in winter upon 
such berries as those of coprosma, supplejack, and five-finger, 
besides obtaining some insect food ; but in spring it was noticed 
that, though some remained among the birch and in the damper 
gullies where the fuchsia flowered, many moved out more or less 
to the edges, to the second-growth, and to the more open country 
as noted above. It was thought that this was the usual pro- 
cedure, and that the heavier bush was resorted to chiefly in winter, 
but not by all. Perhaps there was a scarcity of flowering trees 
suited to its taste ; but the Bell-Bird evidently found sufficient, 
for it was, in the writer's estimate, quite as strong numerically 
as the Tui, and even more so in the spring. However, this habit of 
moving is apparently all to the advantage of the latter bird, for it 
quite holds its own in the district. 

In the lower end of the slip valley, which was almost daily 
traversed in 1907, the Tui was fairly plentiful. There on the 
older country much second-growth existed, while odd patches of 
a few acres of the original bush had been thoughtfully reserved 
in several parts. Many wintered in the second-growth, where, 
besides insect food, they fed upon the orange berries of the poro- 
poro {Solaniim aviculare) and the fleshy seed-envelopes of the 
black vine {Muehhnheckia adpressa), besides making periodical 
visits during the day to the neighbouring bush in search of the 

^".g.^^'J M'Lean, Bush-Birds of New Zealand. 183 

flowers of the climbing ratas (Mctrosideros) and other fare. The 
poroporo is hardly ever seen in the main bush, but directly after 
the fire single i)lants come up in fair numbers all over the burns, 
and, growing rapidly, ultimately attain a height of 5 or 6 feet, 
and, when sheltered by other growth, survive for seven or eight 
years. The black vine, too, flourishes in such situations, and, 
no doubt because it there receives more light, bears its clustering 
flowers and seeds in far greater profusion than it does in the 
shady forest. In such places the Tui is very tame, and allows a 
near approach when feeding in the trees and creepers. The same 
bird often frequented the same little patch for many days — and 
even weeks — and its set of notes was often quite distinguishable, 
so that one was able to recognize the different birds I)y their 
song alone. On sunny days their notes were heard continuously 
from these natural shrubberies, and much improved as spring 
came in. Then the fuchsia — perhaps the commonest tree amid 
the growth — came into flower, and the birds, now in greater 
numbers, were busy sipping the nectar, and became much more 
vivacious. So in September they were more common in these 
patches of second-growth, and in the lighter scrub, than they 
were in the bush itself. On 29th September " the Tuis are busy 
sucking the honey from the flowers of the kotukutuku (fuchsia), 
which are now in full bloom, and it was interesting to watch the 
birds, which are always so intent when among their native 
blossoms. With scarcely any regard for me, and often within 
a few feet, they moved gracefully about the low branches, sipping 
here and there from the pendent flowers. Now and then some 
musical mixed notes were heard, but there was no dominant one. 
Occasionally one would fly to the highest part of some dead giant 
near, there to enjoy himself in the sun for a minute or two, and 
then drop head first — his glossy plumage flashing in the sun 
— and disappear in the leafy vegetation below. Some five or six 
birds were in this small one-acre patch, and they and others were 
passing backwards and forwards all morning between it and the 
bush-face across the valley." 

The majority spent the night in the heavier bush, and it was 
in passing between the two localities that they were, at times, 
called upon to exert themselves to escape the Bush-Hawk, which, 
in early morn and late afternoon, was generally on the look-out 
for the then high-flying birds. On reaching the vicinity of its 
roosting-place the Tui does not at once settle down, but spends 
some time moving from tree to tree about the locality, and singing 
at intervals its evening song. It has then been observed, on the 
edge of the bush, flying out and taking insects in mid-air. Thus 
it seems, in a way, to dawdle somewhat before finally retiring ; 
but, as may be seen from my notes below, although it is one of 
the last birds to retire, its notes are among those of the first to 
be heard at the break of day. When the days are fine they per- 
form some evolutions in the air, and are fond of chasing each 
other through the trees in playful style. Before an approaching 

184 M'Lean, Bush-Birds of New Zealand. [ist lan 

storm they may be seen, in small parties of four or five, preparing 
to leave the more exposed ridges. Mounting independently of one 
another, they rise almost vertically against the wind high above 
the tree-tops, where, in their fluttering, twisting flight, they seem 
like huge butterflies in the air ; then suddenly an impulse seizes 
them, and off they go, in strong, undulating flight, to the more 
sheltered parts of the neighbouring valleys. 

The petulant whine of this species is very characteristic, and is 
always heard when the birds are alarmed by the appearance of 
the Bush-Hawk, or any unusual happening about their haunts. 

The Tui is a great songster, and its notes are varied, rich, and 
pleasing. In spring and summer they are especially melodious ; 
but in autumn, when the birds moult, and in winter they have, 
naturally, not quite the life of other seasons. Still, on a frosty 
morning the notes sound sweet and clear and carry far. But 
there is so much variety in the notes of each individual that the 
song of the Tui differs in character from that of most birds. Often 
one remarks the fact that each bird in the vicinity sets the notes 
(the single notes of music) in varied sequence, in different time, 
or even in a higher or lower key : so that frequently no two birds 
about the locality are using a precisely similar strain. But an 
exception is generally made in the case of one set of notes ; and 
this set, which may be termed the dominant set, is often to 
be heard in the locality, surpassing in volume and frequency all 
others It is not certain whether all the Tuis singing near make 
use of this dominant set among the many other sounds, but it 
is believed, from its frequent occurrence, that they do. Then, 
again, this dominant set varies in different locahties ; but of 
this later on. It is to be hoped that all this is clear- — although the 
Tuis in the neighbourhood may each be using somewhat different 
sets of notes, there is one set which will be found common to them 
all, and is probably more frequently heard than any other, and 
hence becomes predominant. It is, of course, impossible to 
express in adequate form the notes of birds on paper, but some 
of the Tui's notes lend themselves to musical setting. Among the 
many chuckled and whistled sounds is one which may be heard 
pre-eminently in this district, if not throughout the land.* It is 
a dominant one — a measured, clear " Tol tol tol " (page 77, No. 8), 
which may be heard at all seasons, but particularly in the spring, 
and, although used at any time of the day, is generally more in 
evidence in the morning hours. This note — sometimes intro- 
duced by two or three slightly higher ones (as No. 9) — is sounded 
from three up to eight times in measured succession, and the 
piece repeated at intervals of a minute or so. Of course, when 
many birds are using it in the vicinity at the same time this music 
is almost continuous. Another common set (No. 9) is heard 

* From among the many notes used, during the Spring of 191 1, by the 
Tuis of Stewart Island, the writer was unable to pick out any particular 
setting which could be called dominant ; and the music of No. 8 was never 
heard. In that southerly isle the song is much more varied than it is in the 
East Coast district, and the notes are, if anything, richer in tone. — J. C. M'L. 

The Emu, VoL XI. 


Vol- _^l-] M'J.UAN, Biislt-Birds of New Zealand. 185 

chiefly towards evening in spring from the retiring birds, and is 
very characteristic. It is a liquid, ringing set of notes, of peculiar 
softness, and is uttered in much the same way as No. 8, but a 
trifle faster, and the double notes may continue for long stretches. 
No. 10 is a dominant set heard from daylight till dark in its par- 
ticular locality. Nos. 11 and 12 have been selected from among 
the various portions of song used by different birds, and they 
are often interspersed with many coughs and sucking sounds. 
No. 12 was used by one bird alone, although surrounded by many 
of his species who were, with other notes, in good song ; and he 
seldom varied it in the weeks I heard him sing. 

Bushmen will tell you that the Tui changes its notes every 
three months ; but this statement is rather too definite. How- 
ever, many observers have noticed the difference of the song in 
separate localities, and an instance of this was particularly notice- 
able in 1906. A characteristic set of notes (see No. 10) was first 
heard near my last camp, in the tawa country, on 28th September, 
and within a week or so was in use by practically every one of 
the few Tuis in the bush, and was undoubtedly quite the dominant 
song of that part. It was the liveliest bit of music I have listened 
to from this species, and was new to me. Only in the following 
autumn (1907) was it heard again, in a small patch of light bush 
in a settled district some 15 miles from Maunga-Haumia. There 
one of the many pairs, some of which had no doubt nested in that 
locality, was heard singing the bush song — " Tu-la tu-la " — in 
the first three months of that year, and was there to greet us with 
the same tune on each of the several occasions that we passed its 
home. Now, on the day I left the bush (14th October) this music 
(No. 10) was much in evidence, but on the following day, 10 miles 
away, I heard and saw in the Wheau valley (see Plate XVII.) many 
Tuis in the best of song, but the dominant note was " Tol tol tol " 
(No. 8) and the bush note, which was still ringing in my ears, was 
conspicuous by its total absence. In travelling over the greater 
part of this East Coast district many Tuis have since been 
listened to, but, with the exception noted above, I never again 
had the pleasure of hearing that rollicking song — a memory of 
the distant hill. 

6th October, 1906. — At the last camp in the tawa country, 
and not far from the nei-nei scrub : — " Another dull day. 
Awake at 4.40 a.m.. and heard a Tui calling his galloping 
' Tu-la, tu-la ' [No. 10], sometimes preceded by a few other 
whistled notes. At 5.5 the Kaka whistled three or four notes, 
loud and shrill, from the bush close by, and five minutes after 
called again, and then probably left to get his morning meal, for 
I heard him no more. [This bird roosted regularly in a large birch 
within two chains of the camp, and his notes were heard in the 
vicinity for some weeks.] It is not yet daylight, and at 10 minutes 
past 5 an Owl sounded his one ' Morepork.' Again, in a few 
minutes, he calls three times and then no more. All this time 
the Tui has been moving about in the trees, keeping up his song. 

l86 M'Lean, Bush-Birds of New Zealand. [,sf "jan. 

6.10. — He is now in great fettle, and all the birds are having a 
turn, but not to the same extent as on other finer mornings lately. 
A Robin, away down the creek, started his fine song at a few minutes 
to 6, and the Crows' chorus came from the manuka face opposite. 
As day advances all the birds are singing more or less ; and I 
hear, besides those mentioned, the song of the Whitehead and 
the Blight-Bird, mixed with a few notes from the Bell-Birds near. 
Warblers and a Fantail are twittering too, but I miss the Tit 
the past two mornings. As the mist comes on the birds are very 
quiet, and at lo a.m. all I hear is the montonous ' Poeing ' of a 
Bell-Bird, three times at two-second intervals. The Tuis are not 
now singing. About 10.30 the Kaka is back in the tree in front 
digesting his morning meal and whistling now and then to himself 
a soft ' Tu tu.' A Cuckoo, too (C. litcidits), sounds his long, clear, 
whistled note five times, and without the final flourished notes, 
from among those trees. The Tui was singing in the afternoon 
and eveninf^. but not so much as usual. The Kaka was heard 
once about 5.30, as he came into his tree near the camp for the 
evening. Heard the Tui last at 6.30, after a Morepork had 
started." 8th October. — " Of the five or six Tuis I hear daily 
about here, one frequents the bush around the camp, and opens 
early in the morning with his double-noted music, and keeps it 
up for about two hours. He is quieter during the day, but as 
evening comes on he starts again, and I hear him now as he shifts 
in stages to his roost— now in front of the camp, then at one side, 
now behind, and finally away in the distance. He usually starts 
his vesper in front about 5.30. and ends behind in the tawa about 
6.40. The music reads [see No. 10]. The final bar of four 
quickly-sounded notes may be repeated for five, six, to ten times. 
I hear him now chuckling to himself ' Quor quor.' and then the 
two last notes once ; at 6.30 a continuous chuckle to himself, and 
now and again the ' Tu-la.' Then away to the front he goes, with 
a ' whurrup ' of wing, and sings there for three or four minutes ; 
then back again and up into the bush behind, the pretty ringing 
song gradually fading as he retires. Another starts while the first 
is very far away, and I hear the last Tui at 6.45 [practically night]." 
9th October. — " The Tui opened this morning at 4.55 from far 
away, and came towards the camp. At about five minutes past 5 
the Owl called his final ' Morepork ' several times in quick suc- 
cession, and somewhat derisively, as he cleared away." 

From the little tuft of curled white feathers hanging from its 
throat, and set off by the rich dark plumage, this species was 
aptly named the " Parson-Bird " — a name that nowadays is hardly 
ever used. To most country people it is well known simply as the 
Tui ; and odd birds visit, in winter, the plantations of Australian 
gums and wattles, often coming many miles from their native 
bush to suck the honey from the flowers. There the birds, as if 
soliloquizing, may in fine weather be heard throughout the day. 
These are generally single birds (or not in pairs), and. of course, 
are not in the best of song at that season. 

Vol. XI 

■g,; J yi'LEAK, Bush-Birds of Nezv Zealand. 187 

The Wheau valley is, in spring, a great resort of the Tuis ; and 
here in numbers each year it makes some stir when feeding in the 
yellow blossoms of the kowhais which fringe the creek. Then 
the valley echoes with then- song, and an additional charm is 
given to this picturesque strip on the road that leads into the 
Maunga-Haumia country. All around is practically grassed 
country, but many little patches of bush remain in the scrubby 
gullies of the neighbouring hills. There some remain the summer 
through, and rear their young. Not many miles away some 
build their nests in willows planted along a river-bank, in some- 
what rougher country, and feed upon the flax and native trees in 
the vicinity. There the nesting season is late, eggs being found 
in October and November. In the main bush only one nest was 
discovered. This was deserted on 27th September, when com- 
]:ilete, through the timber-fellers approaching the site. 

The nest of this bird, though well enough built in itself, is very 
loosely placed in position amid the twigs, and is occasionally 
blown out by heavy wmds. Below the willows mentioned above 
nests were picked up on several occasions after heavy north-west 
gales. The young birds, too, soon destroy its shape, and it is 
rarely that one comes across the nest of a previous season. 

The Tui is the only one of our original Meliphagidce which, from 
present indications, seems certain to survive. The Blight- Bird,* 
though common in our shrubberies, is believed to be an Aus- 
tralian colonist ; the Stitch-Bird (Pogonornis cincta) is now doubt- 
less only to be seen on one or two of our smaller islands ; and the 
Bell-Bird, though reported to have re-appeared in odd parts of 
this island, is, I am afraid, unlikely to survive for any long time. 
Were it not for our Tui, our bushes would, to the general observer, 
indeed be lifeless, for none of those birds now left to us so sooii 
give pleasant notice of its presence in the vicinity. He is, 
whether heard or seen, our most vivacious bird, and shows to best 
advantage amid the honey-producing flowers of his native trees. 
From earliest morn to later eve, his varied notes sound in joyous 
outburst, and ghmpses of his glistening plumage are caught amid 
the leaves. He is in a position now to take advantage of the 
wave of feeling for our birds which is slowly but surely spreading 
over the land. That, with protection, together with his apparent 
adaptability, will no doubt save to us this charming bird. 

Snakes in Bird-nests.— Tiger snakes are inveterate enemies to 
young birds. Mr. S. A. Hanscombe informs me that only a short 
time ago one of the scholars in the State school at Belltrees, N.S.W., 
dug out a Bee-eater's {Merops) nest, and found therein a tiger snaked 
four feet long. Moral : never put your hand into the nesting hollow 
of any bird without first seeing the end. D. Le Souef. Melbourne. 

♦ Opinions difter as to the position of Zosterops. 

l88 Cleland and Johnston, Red Blood Cells. [isf'jan 

Relative Dimensions of the Red Blood Cells of 
Vertebrates, especially of Birds. 

By J. Burton Cleland, M.D., Ch.M., and T. Harvey Johnston, 
M.A., D.Sc. 

During the course of an examination of smears of blood from 
Australian birds for parasites, we noticed with much interest that 
the red cells of one of the Ardeiformes, Notophoyx novce-hollandia, 
were distinctly larger than those of other birds we had hitherto 
examined belonging to the Passer if ormes. As the first-named 
is a presumably older group phylogenetically, it occurred to us 
that it might be of value to systematically measure the red cells 
of the various vertebrates that we had an opportunity of ex- 
amining. This work was already in progress when we noticed a 
statement in The Sleeping Sickness Bulletin (vol. ii., No. 19, 1910, 
p. 245) * as to the sizes of the red cells in blood ingested by 
tse-tse flies {Glossina palpalis), and the inference therefrom as to 
the source of the blood. The following standards were taken : — 
" Standard amphibian (crocodile) [sic], 15.4 microns. 
Standard avian (Hornbill), 13. i microns." 

The average measurements of the red cells in 20 flies are given' 
Of these 2 were over 15, 11 between 14 and 15, 6 between 13 and 
14, and I was 10.6 mic. Those under 14 were attributed to birds. 
This agrees perfectly with our findings, as it is only occasionally 
in odd cells that we have found a reading under 14 mic. in the 
blood cells of reptiles. We have, however, especially in water- 
birds, such as Grebes, Herons, and Charadriiformes, found red 
cells reaching to 15 mic, and as these birds would, we presume, 
frequent the lake-shore, where the flies were caught, it is possible 
that the number of cases in which birds' blood was present was 
under-estimated — in fact, it is not beyond the bounds of possibility 
that they all owned this origin. This is perhaps accentuated by 
the fact that the average reptilian corpuscle, in our hands, is 
usually well above 15 mic. 

It must be clearly understood that our measurements were taken 
from dried blood-films stained by Giemsa's solution, and not from 
films treated by the better-fixed wet methods. Several cells were 
measured in each case, but time would not permit of a long series 
of measurements, with more accurate average results. In the 
case of well-prepared slides of mammals and birds this is of little 
consequence, as all the cells are practically of an identical size. 
In the cases of reptiles and batrachians considerable variations, 
however, occur. The object of this paper is to indicate what we 
believe are useful additional means for showing the relationships 
of groups of vertebrates to each other. Our actual figures, how- 
ever, must not be accepted as fully accurate until confirmed by 
many more observations. 

♦Bruce, Hammerton, and Mackie, "Proceedings Roy. Soc," 1910, B. 558, 
pp. 490, 497. 

^'I'gi^' ] Cleland and JOHNSTON, Red Blood Cells. i8g 

Before discussing their significance it may be well, first of all, 
to briefly indicate the results of our examinations. It may be 
stated here that all the measurements are in micromillimetres. 
The largest red cells we have met with are those of Ceratodus 
forsteri (39 x 23 to 25). These, in size, link in on the one hand 
to the Elasmobranch fishes, amongst which Chiloscyllium has red 
cells of 23 X 13.5, whilst in Dasybates kuhli and the hammerhead 
shark {Sphyrna tiides) the red cells only reach 18 x 12.5 to 14.5. 
The Teleostean fishes have red cells very much smaller, varying 
from 6 to 7 (almost round) to g x 7 and 10 or 12.5 x 9. On the 
other hand, Ceratodus links on with the Batrachians, where the 
size is generally from 18 to 19.5 x 12.5 to 14, and with the 
reptiles, amongst which Chelonians have cells of 17 to 21 x 12.5 
to 14.5, snakes 17 to 20.5 x 9.5 to 12.5, and lizards usually 15 to 
17.5 x 7 to II. Amongst birds, we find the largest red cells in 
the Ardeiformes (13 to 16 x 8 to 9) ; then come the Charadrii- 
formes, usually 13 to 14.5, occasionally 15, x 7 to 8 ; the Galli- 
formes, up to 14 x 7 to 8, &c. : whilst the smallest are the Passerines 
(9 to 12.5 X 6 to 7). 


Amongst the fishes, the Dipnoi, or lung-fishes, have cells of 
monstrous size, being, next to those of some amphibians, we 
believe, the largest known. In Ceratodus they measure 39 x 
23 to 25, whilst in Proteus they are given * as 58 x 35, and in 
Amphiuma as 77 x 46. Of the three Elasmobranchs examined, 
we find an interesting and important difference. Chiloscyllium 
has cells 23 x 13.5. whilst Sphyrna Hides and Dasybates kuhlii have 
cells of only 18 x 12.5 to 14. The cells of Teleostean fishes are 
much smaller and usually rounder, sometimes almost spherical. 
There seems to be a good deal of variation, from 6 to 7 (about 
the usual size of mammalian red cells) to 12 or 13. Future se- 
search may show whether any groupings, indicating degrees of 
remoteness from Elasmobranchs, may be found in the various 
orders or families. 

These results are of great interest. They show that under the 
one general term "fishes" are grouped vertebrates with red cor- 
puscles varying as greatly as do those of amphibians or reptiles 
from those of birds. 

Another interesting point is that in one of the oldest vertebrate 
groups known, the Elasmobranch fishes, the red cells are of large 
size, and that we have found that amongst these again in one 
(Chiloscyllium) they are much larger than in the other two 
examined, and this genus seems hence intermediate between 
these two and Ceratodus. Ceratodus, from its red cells, links on 
to certain of the Amphibians. These results suggest, perhaps, 
two separate lines of evolution from the smaller-celled Elasmo- 
branchs — one with Chiloscyllium and then Ceratodus as offshoots 
from a stem with red cells of increasing size, which eventuallj' 

* Schafer, " Essentials of Histology " (6th ed.), p. 37. 

IQO Cleland and Johnston, Red Blood Cells. [isf"jan 

gave rise to the Batrachians and reptiles, and these latter to the 
Aves ; the other with cells of decreasing size, giving rise to the 
Teleostean fishes. In both cases we see that, with higher special- 
ization, the red cells decrease in size. The interesting question 
arises — Is this decrease in size merely a coincidence attendant on 
favourable variation, or was it a necessity for such evolution ? 
Did the ancient vertebrates of enormous size and reptilian 
character possess extremely large red cells ? Did the extinction 
of these forms in part depend on their inability to form smaller 
red cells which could, with greater ease, supply oxygen uniformly 
to all the tissues ? And why, in the oldest forms of vertebrates 
that we have examined, do we find such large cells ? It would 
be of great interest, in this connection, to examine the lampreys 
as examples of another old group, and see whether there is 
evidence that the original red cells were much smaller. Again, 
what are the mechanical and physiological advantages or dis- 
advantages of increase of size in the red cells ^ Large cells require 
large capillaries, and these would, we presume, be fewer in number, 
and hence oxygenation in distant cells would be less complete 
than in those nearer the capillaries. Would increased efficiency 
follow, therefore, decrease in size ? 

The red cells of Batrachians vary a good deal amongst them- 
selves, the average size being about i8 to 20, the extremes we have 
met with being 14 and 23.5. No generic significance seems 
attachable to the sizes. ^^ ^„^^ 


Amongst the reptiles we again find considerable variation. 
Snakes usually average about 17 to 20, with extremes of 15 and 
21.5 ; lizards average apparently a little lower, from about 16 to 
18, with extremes of 11. 5 and 20.5 ; whilst Chelonians average 
about 18 to 20. The figures are very variable, but perhaps the 
red cells of snakes and Chelonians are a little larger than those 

o^ ^'^^'^^- Birds. 

Most of our bird slides have naturally been made from Passerines. 
In many of the other orders the number of specimens examined 
is few, and this fact 'must be borne in mind when weighing the 
conclusions we form. Amongst the largest cells we have met 
with have been those of three members of the Ardeiformes (in- 
cluded in the Ciconiijormes by Evans.)* These cells varied from 
13 to 16 X 8 to 9. A single specimen of Sphenisciformes gave 
14.5 X 9 to 10 ; one of the Podicipediformes, 13.5 to 14.5 x 7 to 9 ; 
one Pelicaniformes, 14 x 7 to 8 ; five Charadriiformes varied from 
II. 5 to 15, being usually 13 to 14.5 ; one Lariformes gave 12.5, 
probably a low figure. A Megapode, belonging to the Galli- 
formes, ran from 11 to 14, averaging nearer the latter figure. 
Amongst the Coraciiformes, Dacelo and Halcyon ranged from 12 
* Evans, " Cambridge Natural History — Birds." 

^"'I'oi^' ] Cleland and Johnston, Red Blood Cells. IQI 

to 14.5, usually being about 14, whilst Merops averaged decidedly 
less, being 11 to 12.5, and thus approximating to the Coccyges, 
which varied from 11.5 to 13. Nine species of the Psittaciformes 
varied more amongst themselves, the average being about 12.5, 
but measurements of 11 to 13.5 were not uncommon, and oc- 
casionally 14.5 was noted. The cells of Cacatua leadbeateri, given 
as 16 to 17. were almost certainly artificially enlarged. Seven 
species of Colnmbi formes gave on the whole very uniform results, 
being in most cases I2;5 ; occasional ranges to 14.5 were noted, 
and in two specimens of Ocyphaps lophotes the readings were 14 
to 15, but we must consider this as due to some artefact increasing 
the size. Amongst the Passeriformes we find some remarkably 
constant results and some interesting grouping. The Campo- 
phagidce and Corvidce were the largest, usually being 12.5 to 13, 
but varying from 11 to 14. The families Timeliidce, Attamidce, 
Prionopidce, Laniidce, Sittidce, Certhiidce, and PloceidcB. rarely 
varied outside 11 to 12.5. Sylviidce, Oriolidce, DicruridcB, and 
Ptilonorhynchidce seemed to exhibit a slightly smaller size, 10.5 
being a frequent minimum. One Hirundinidce gave 11, and it 
may perhaps be associated with the MuscicapidcB, which varied 
from 9 to 1 1.5, and occasionally 12-5. Nine species of the 
Meliphagidce. gave on the whole very uniform results, usually 
being from 10.5 to 11. 5, occasionally more. 

As birds own a reptilian ancestry, in the most archaic forms 
we would expect to find the largest red cells. This seems to be the 
case. In the sequence of orders given by Evans, we find the first 
one we have to deal with is that of the Colymbiformes, in which 
he places Podiceps. Evans says this order is very archaic and 
holds a somewhat isolated position. It stands high on our list 
(only one bird was examined) as regards size. Evans's next order 
is the Sphenisciformcs (Penguins), one of whose nearest allies is 
the order Colymbiformes : Sphenisciformes stands second on our 
list. In Evans's Ciconnformes are included the Ardeiformes 
and Pelicaniformes. standing first and fourth on our list — though 
there is really little difference between these upper groups. Next 
comes the Falconiformes of Evans, which our figures would place 
further on. His next order, Galliformes, fits in with our findings, 
though perhaps the Charadrii formes (in our sense; should precede 
them in point of size. Evans plac( s in the Charadriiformes, Lari 
and Coliimba', as well as Limkolcv. As regards Coliimbce, our 
findings distinctly remove them from this group. The Coracii- 
formes, as regards the genera Dacelo and Halcyon, come before the 
Cuculiformes, to which latter Merops is perhaps more closely 
related. The Psittaci, which Evans groups with the Cuculiformes, 
agree with their position. After these we would place the 
Pigeons. Finally, we come in both cases to the Passerines. 
Amongst these some interesting results are seen. The largest 
cells appear to be in the families Campophagidce and Corvidce. 
These two families are third and twenty-fifth respectively in 
Mathews' list : Evans places them as 12 and 2^, but, in speaking 

ig2 Cleland and Johnston, Red Blood Cells. [jsf'"Tan 

of the former, he says : — " The ' Cuckoo-Shrikes ' are commonly 
placed near the Laniida, but are possibly connected with the 
MuscicapidcB or the CorvidcB." Our findings would place them 
near the Corvidce and not far from the LaniidcB, but remote 
from the Muscicapidce. Amongst the families with red cells 
of smaller size are the Turdidce (in which are included the 
Sylviidce), Dicruridce, Oriolidce, and ParadiseidcB (including the 
PtilonorhynchidcB). Evans says the last-named is undoubtedly 
related to the Corvidce, which our figures (from one species) do not 
seem to support. The smallest cells appear to be those of the 
MeliphagidcB and the MuscicapidcB. 

Our figures for mammals, consisting only of bats and marsupials, 
are few. The former seem to vary a little, usually being from 
4.5 to 7. Amongst the marsupials the red cells of Phascolarctus 
were large for mammals, those of Mpyprymnus (g) a little smaller, 
and those of Macroptis, Dasyurus, and Trichosuriis 5 to 7 
Nucleated red cells were not uncommon in the marsupials — 
perhaps an archaic trait. 

Measurements of Red Corpuscles. 

(Note. — The first cohimn, .v x y, refers to the length (,v) and breadth (y) 
of the red cell, the second column referring similarly to the dimensions of 
the nucleus.) 

Ceratodus fovsteri . . 39 x 23 to 25 . . 14 x 9 to 10.5 

Chiloscylliiim sp. (dog 

shark) .. ..23x13.5 ..9x7 

Sphyrtia hides (hammer- 

head shark) . . 

18 X 12.5 

7 X 5.5 

Dasybates kithlii (ray) 

18 X 14 



Konosirus erebi (bonyf 

12.5 x7 

4.5 -X 3.5 

bream) . . . . \ 

10.5 to 13 X 9 

4.5 to 5.5 X 2 

Krefftina adspersus 

10 "to II x 9 to 9.5 

. 4 to 5.5 (rounded) 

Trachystoma petavdi (fresh- ( 

10.5 X 7 

. 3.5 X 2.5 to 3 

water mullet) . . \ 

9.5 to 10.5 X 7 

. 3.5 to 4 X 2.5 

Galaxias findlayi 

10.5 to 1 1.5 X 9 

• 5-5x3.5 

Seriola lelandi (king-fish) 

10.5 X 7 

• 4-5x2.5 

Scolopsis vosmaevi (big- 

eyed bream) . . 

10.5 X 7 

- 6x3.5 

Echeneis naiicrates (suck- 



• 4-5x2.5 

Plectorhynchus punctatiis 



• 4-5x2.5 

Lethrinus chrysostomits 

(emperor- fish) 


- 5-5x3.5 

Terapion iinicolor 

6 to 7 X 6 to 7 

• 3-5x3.5 

A canthophis antarctica 


(death adder) 

1 8 to 2 1 . 5 X 1 

to 1 1. 5 . 

- 5-5 X 5.5 

Notechis scutatus 

20 to 20.5 X 10 

to 12.5 . 

- 7x3-5 

18 to 20.5 X II 

to 13.5 . 

7 to 8 X 4 to 5.5 

Vol. XI. 


Johnston, Red Blood Cells. 


Pseudechis porphyriacus 
Denisonia ni^rescens 
Fiirina occipitalis (rii 

Python varie^ntiis 
Python spilotcs 

IS X 10.5 

15 to 17 X 8 to 8.5 

5.5 to 7 X 3 to 

iS to 20.5 X 9.5 to 10.5 . 

8 X 2.5 to 3.5 

;;} 17x9 to 9.5 

4.5 to 5.5 X 3.5 


Va fan Its i^otildii 
Varanus varius 
Amphibolitnis barbatiis 

13.5 to 16 X 7 to 9.5 
15.5 to 17.5 X 7 to 10.5 

15 to 16x9 
10.5 to 18.5 x 9 to 10 

16 to 18 X 10.5 
1 6 to 1 7 X I o to I o. 5 
1 1.5 to 16 X 8 to 10 
14 to 18 X 9 
19 to 20 X 9 to II 

Egernia white i(T, specimens) 14 to 16.5 x 8 

Amphiholuius nniricatus 

Egcrnia striolata (3 
Tiliqua scincoides 
Lygosoma tcEiiiolatum 

Lygosonia trilineatum 
Lygosoma fasciolatitin 
Lygosoma Icsucuyii (3 

Lygosoma (Liolcpisnia) 

lichenigerum . . 
Lygosoma (Hinidia), sp. 

Lygosoma verreauxi 
Phyllodactyliis gunthcri 

Gehyra varicgata (gecko).. 
Gehyya australis 

Chelodina longicollis 
Emydura kre§tii 

Hyla ccerulea 

Hyla city op us . . 
Hyla rubella 

Lymnodynastes fletcheyi (9 

Lyniundynastcs doysalis . . 
Ps( ii(/i>p/ii yiic bibroni 
Upii'i/i Id iihinnoyata 
Criiiui ifniiiiva 
Phycetops austyalis 

\(^ to 16.5 x 10 
1 8 X 9 to 1 1 . 5 
I 5 . 5 to 1 6 x 8 to 9 
12.5 to 14.5 X 6.5 to 

13 to 14 X 7 to 8 
15.5 to 16 X 8 to 9 
14.5 to 17.5 X 8 to ic 

13.5 to 15 X 8 to 10 

I 5 to 20 X 9 to II 

16.2 to 18x9 

14 to 16.5 X 7 to 8.5 

20 to 20.5 X II to 12. 

16 to 19 X 10 

15 to 18 X 9.5 to 10 


18.5 to 19.5 X 12.5 

1 7 to 2 1 . 5 X 1 2 . 5 to 


19.5 X 14 

18 to 19.5 X 12.5 

20 to 23.5 X 13.5 to 16 
14 to 20 X 10 to 1 1.5 

14.5 to 18 X 10.5 to 1 1 . 
18 to 19.5 X 12.5 

20 to 22 X 13 to 15 

18 to 20 X 1 1.5 to 15.5 . 

19 to 21.5 X 12.5 to 14.5 
18 X 12.5 to 13.5 


;.5 to 7 X 2.5 to 3.5 

• • 5-.^ X 3.5 
. 4.5 to 6x3.5 
.. 6x2.5 

. . 6 X 2 to 3.5 
. . 6 to 7 X 3.5 

• ■ 3-5 to 5 X 3 

. . 5.5to7X2to3 

. . 6 to 8 X 2.5 to 3 


. . 6.5x3.5 

. . 5.5 to 7x2.5 to 


. . 6.5x2 

. . 5.5 to 7x2.5 to 

■ • 6x3 


6.5 to 9x3.5 

5 X 2.5 

6.5 X4 

5.5 X 3.5 to 4.5 

4 to 5.5 X3.S to 5.5 

7 X 3.5 to 4.5 

7 to 7.5 X3.5 to 5.5 

5.5 to 8 X 4. q to 5.5 


5.5 to 6.5 X 2.5 to 3.; 
7 to 8 x 4.5 to 5.5 
8x 5 

5 to 6.5 X 3.5 to 5.5 

6 to 6.5 X 4.5 to 5.5 


(The figures in parentheses before the name of the species refer to the 
number in Mathews' Hand-list of the Birds of Australia — vide The Emu, 
vol. vii., Jan., 1908, Supplement.) 

Order II. — Galliformes. 
(7) Catheturus lathami . . 12.5 to 14 .x 7 . . 5.5 x 2 to 2.5 

1 1 to 14 X 6.5 to 8 . . 7 X 2.5 

IQA Cleland and Johnston, Red Blood Cells. [tsf"jan 

Order IV. — Columbiformes. 

(24) Ptilopus swatnsoni .. 12.5x7107.5 .. 5.5x2.5 

1^;^) Geopelia humeralis . . 12.5 x 6 to 6.5 

(t,4) Geopelia placida .. 12.51014.5x7107.5 .. 6107x2.5 
12.5 lo 14.5 X 7 lo 8 

12.5 X 7 . . 5.5 X 2 

(7,7) Phaps chalcoptcra . . 12.5 x 7 lo 8 . . 5.5 lo 6 x 2 

12.51013x7.5 .. 5.5x2.5103.5 

12.5 lo 13 x 7 . . 5-5x2 

(42) Gcophaps scvipta . . 12. 5x7 .. 6x2 

12.5 X 7 lo 7.5 . . 5.5 x 2 

12.5 lo 14.5 X 7 lo 9 . . 6.5 X 2 

12.5x7 " .. 5-5x2 

10.51012.5x7.5 .. 5-5x2 

(46) Ocyphaps lophotes . . 1 5 x 7 lo 7.5 . . 7x2 

14 lo 15 X 8 . . 7 lo 7.5 X 2 

Order V. — Ralliformes. 

Ocydromus sylvestris .. 14.5x7 .. 5x3.5 

Order VI. — Podicipediformes. 
(65) Podiceps novce-holl.. . 13.5 lo 14.5 x 7 to 9 . . 5.5 to 6.5 x 2 to 3.5 

Order VII. — Sphenisciformes. 
{yi) Eudyptiila minov .. 14.5x91010 .. 4106x2.5 

Order IX. — Lariformes. 
(135) Micranous leucoca 

pillus . . . . 12.5 X 5.5 

Order X. — Charadriiformes. 
(145) Hcsmatopus julii^i- 

nosus . . . . 12.5 to 13 X 7 lo 8 

(151) Charadrius dumiiiicus 14.5 lo 15 x 7 . . 7 x 2.5 

(158) JEgialitis melanops 1 1.5 lo 12.5 x 6 lo 7 . . 5.5 x 2.5 
(164) Numniius cyanops i 3 to 14.5 x 7 to 7.5 
(190) Burhinus gyallarius i 3.5 lo 14 x 7 lo 9 . . 6 x 2 lo 2.5 

Order XII. — Ardeiformes. 
Hevodias iimoriensis . . 13 lo 15 x 8 . . 6.5 x 2.5 

(204) Noiophoyx novce- 

hollandicB .. 141016x9 .. 7x25 

(205) Notophoyx pacified 15x8 . . 6.5 x 2 

Order XIV. — Pelicaniformes. 

i'24i) Phalacvocoyax melnno- 

leucus . . .. 14 X 7 to 8 .. 6 to 7 X 2 

1 1 . 5 to I 3 . 5 X 6 5 lo 8 

Order XV. — Accipitriformes. 
273) Baza subcristata . . 13 x 7 lo 8.5 . . 5^x2 

279) Hieracidea orienialis 12.5 x 7 to 9 . . 5 5 x 2.5 

Order XVII. — Psittaciformes. 

301) Tvichoglossus iiovce- 

hollandi(s . . 12.5 to 14.5 x 5.5 to 7 . . 5.5 to 6.5 x 2 

1 1 to 12.5 X 6 lo 7 . . 6x2 

(304) Psitteiiteles chloro- 

Icpidotus . . 1 1 to 12 X 7 

10.51012.5x7108 .. 5.5106x2102.5 
(309) Glossopsittacus pusillus 1 1 to 1 1.5 x 5.5 to 6 

10.51011.5x6106.5 .. 5.5106.5x2 
12.5 x 7 . . 5.5 X 2 

12.5x7 .. 5-5x2 

1 o to II X 5 to 6 

Cleland and Johnston, Red Blood Cells. 


(321) Cacatiia leadbeateri 16 to 17 x 8 to lo 
(324) Cacatua roseicapilla 11.5 to 13.5 x 6.5 to 7.5 

13 to 14.5 X 7 to 8.5 
(332) Aprosmictus cyano- 

pygius .. 12.5 to 13 X 7 to 9 

1 1.5 to 13 X 6 to 8 
(339) Platycercus pallidiceps 11 to 12.5 x 7 to 7.5 
(343) Platycercus eximius 12.5 x 7 
Amazon or Mexican Parrot 14.5 x 8 

Order XVIII. — Coraciiformes. 

(386) Dacelo gigas 

(387) Dacelo leachi 

Halcyon vagans 
(396) Merops ornatus 

14 X 9 

14 X 8.5 to 9 

12.5 to 14.5 X 7 to 

12 to 14.5 X 7 to 8 

II to 12.5 X 7 


Order XIX. — Coccyges. 

(407) Cacomautis flabelli- 

forniis . . 1 1.5 to 13 x 6.5 to 7 

12.5 to 13x7 

(412) Chalcococcyx plagosus 12 to 12.5 x 7 

Order XXI. — Passeriformes. 


B. — Passeres Normales. 
Family I. — Hirundinidae. 
(429) Hirundo neoxena . . 1 1 x 5 to 6 

Fam. II. — Miiscicapidsc. 

(433) Microeca fascinans 11 to 12.5 x 6 to 7 

II to 12.5 X 7 

(449) Smicrornis brevirostris 9.5 to 1 1 x 6 to 6.5 
1 1 to 12.5 X 5.5 to 6 

(476) Rhipidura albiscapa 9 to 1 1 x 6 

1 1 to 1 1.5 X 7 

1 1 to 1 1.5 X 6.5 to 7 

{487) Rhipidura tricolor . . 1 1 x 6.5 to 7 

(499) Piezorhynchus goitldi 9 to 10.5 x 6.5 to 7 

Fam. III. — Campophaginae. 

(504) Coracina robusta . . 12.5 to 13x7 

12.5 to 14 x 7 to 8 
(507) Coracina mentalis . . 12.5 to 13 x 7 to 7.5 

II X 7 to 7.5 
(510) Lalage tricolor .. 1 1 to 12.5 x 5.5 to 7 
(509) Edoliisoma tentiiros- 

tre . . . . 1 1 . 5 X 6 to 7 

Fam. IV. — Timeliidae. 

(515) Cinclosomapnnctatum 11x7 

(516) Cinclosoma castano- 

fiotum . . . . 1 1 to 1 3.5 X 6 to 7 

(526) Psophodes crepitans 11 to 12.5 x 6 to 6.5 
(529) Pomatorhinus frivolus 11.5 x 7 

1 1 . 5 to 1 3 X 7 to 9 
1 1.5 to 12 x 7.5 to 8 

5-5 X 3 

4.5 to 5 X 2 to 


4.5 to 5 X2.5 


6 to 7 X 2 to 2 



5.5 to 6 X 2 

6.5 to 7 X 2.5 

to 3 

5.5 to 7 X 2 

5.5 X 2.5 

7 X 2.5 

5.5 X2 



5-5 X2.5 

5.5 X2 


3.5 X 2 

4 to 5.5 X 2.5 to 3 

4 to 5.5 X 2 

5-5 X2.5 

5-5 X 2 



3.5 to 5 x 2 

5.5 to7 X 2 to 2.5 
5.5 to 7 X 3.5 
5-5 X2.5 

5-5 X 3 

5-5 X 2 

5.5 X 2 
5 X 2 
4X 3 
5 to 6 X 2.5 

5.5 X 3 

196 Cleland and Johnston, Red Blood Cells. [,sf"raii 

Fam. VI. — Sylviidje. 

(568) Acauthiza pyrrho- 

pygia . . _ . . 12 to 12.5 X 5.5 to 7 . . 5.5 x 2 

(569) Acanthiza lineata . . 10.5 x 7 ..6x2 
(575) Acauthiza reguloides 10.5 to 12.5 x 6 to 6.5 . . 5.5 x 2 
(593) ^lalurus cyano- 

chlamys ..11.5x7 ..6x2 

(610) Stipitunis malachitrtts 11 x 6.5 . . 5.5 x 2 

Fam. VII. — .'\rtamidae. 

{624) Artamus Iciirogaster 1 1.5 to 12.5 x 7 to 8 . . 5.5 x 2 

(634) Artamus tenebrosiis 11 to 12.5 x 5.5 to 7 . . 5.5 to 6 x 2.5 

1 1 to 12.5 X 6.5 to 7 . . 5.5x2 

12 x 7 .. 5.5 X 2 

Fam. \'I1I. — Prionopidae. 
(636) CoUyriocichla har- ( 12.5 x 7 . . 5.5 to 6 x 2 to 2.5 

mimica . . j^ 1 1 to 12.5 x 6 to 7 . . 5.5x2 

(646) Grallina picata . . 1 1 to 12.5 x 7 . . 6 to 7 x 2 

Fam. IX. — I,aniidae 
(654) Cracticns nigrigularis 11 to 11.5 x 6 to 7.5 

10 to 12 X 6 to 6.5 
(658) Cracticus destructor 11.5 to 12 x 6 to 6.5 
(674) Pachycephala rufi- 

ventris . . 1 1 to 1 1.5 x 5.5 to 6 

1 1.5 to 12.5 x 6 to 7 
(676) Pachycephala gilberti 12.5 x 7 . . 4.5 x 2.5 

(684) Eopsaltria chrysorrhoa 1 1 to 12.5 x 6 to 7 . . 5.5 to 6 x 2 

Fam. XI. — Sittidse. 
(697) Neositta pileata . . 12 to 12.5 x 5.5 to 6 . . 5.5x2 
(699) Neositta leucoptera. . 1 1.5 to 12 x 6 . . 4 to 5 x 2.5 

Fam. Xn. — Certhiidac. 
I Climacteris pyrrho- 
(705)] nota .. .. 12.5x7 .. 5.5x2 

[Climacteris scandens 1 1.5 to 12.5 x 7 to 7.5 . . 5.5 x 2.5 
Fam. XIV.— Dicceidc-e. 
(726) Pardalotus punctatiis 10.8 x 6 . . 4 to 5 x 2.5 

Fam. XVI. — Meliphagidae. 
(745) Plectorhamphtis lan- 

ceolatus . . 11.5x6 

(756) Glyciphila mclanops 11 to 12.5 x 6 to 6.5 . . 5.5 x 2 
(765) Stigmatops ocularis 10 to 10.5 x 6 to 6.5 

(769) Ptilotis fiisca . . 10 to 10.5 x 6.5 to 7 

lo.S X 7 

(770) Ptilotis chrysotis . . 1 1 to 1 1.5 x 6 to 7 

11 X 5.5 to 6 
(777) Ptilotis fascigtdaris 11 x 7 
(791) Ptilotis penicillata . . 12.5 to 13.5 x 5.5 to 7 
(797) Meliornis pyrrhoptera 11 to 12.5 x 5.5 to 6 
(804) Myzantha garrula . . 10.5 x 6 to 6.5 

10.5 to II. 5 X 5.5 to 6 

II X 5.5 to 6 
(810) Anellohia chrysoptera 10 x 5.5 
(813) Entomyza cyanotis . . 11 to 11.5 x 7 

II X 7 to 7.5 

12.5 X 6.5 to 7 
Fam. XVII.— Motacillidfle. 
(822) Anthus australis . . 10.5 to 12.5 x 5.5 to 7 

10.5 to 12.5 x 7 

5.5 X2 

5-5 X 2 

5.5 X2.5 

5.5 to 6 X 2.5 

5.5 X 2.5 

5 X2 
4.5 X2 

5-5 x2 

4.5 X 2 

5.5 to 6 X 2 

4.5 X 2 

5.5 X 2 

4 to 5 X 2 

^°i9i^' ] Cleland and Johnston, Red Blood Cells. igy 

Fam. XIX. — Ploceida^ 

(832) Stictoptera bicheuovii 12.5 x 7 . . 5.5 to 6 x 2 

(8.58) .Hfiiutha temporalis 1 1.3 to 12 x 6 to 8 . . 5.5 x 2.5 

(843) Poephila cincta . . 12.5 x 7 . . 5.5 x 2 
Passer domesticus 

(SiKirrow) (3) . . 12.5 X 6 to 7 . . 5.5 x 2 to 2.5 
Fam. XX. — Oriolida^. 

(850) Ovhilus Sagittarius . . 10.5 x 7 . . 5.5 x 2 

10.5 to I 1.5 X 6 to 6.5 . . 4x2 

12.5x7 . . 5 . 5 to 6 X 2 . 5 

/u,,\ t-A; ,; ., f lU to I2.S X 6 to 7 . . 5 • 5 to 6 X 2 

(852) Sphccothercs niaxil-] ^ ' 

lari'i I ' '•> -^ ^--^ 

■ ■ \ lo.S to 12.5 X 6 to 7 

Fam. XXI. — Dicrurid.T 

(854) Chibia hractcata . . 10.5 x 7 ..5x2 

9.5 to 1 1 X 7 to 7.5 . . 4 to 5 X 2.5 
Fam. XXII.— EulabetidjE. 

(855) Aploiiis fusciis . . 1 1 to 12.5 X 7 ..5x2 
Sturtius vulsaris\ , ^ 

(Starling) . . } 1 1 to 12.6 x 7 

Fam. XXIII. — Ptilonorhynchidre. 
(861) Chlamydodera macit- 

lata (4 specimens) 10.5 to 12 x 6 to 7 . . 5 x 2.5 

Fam. XXV. — Corvidae. 
" Crow" . . . . 12.5 X 7 

(872) CorvHS coronoides . . 11.5 to 12.5 x 7 to 8 

10 to 1 1.5 X 6 to 6.5 
{875) Strepera graculina (4) 12 to 13.5 x 7 to 10 

11 to 12x5.5 to 7 
(878) Strepera versicolor . . 1 1 to 12 x 6.5 to 7 
(882) Struthidea cinerea .. 11.5 x 6.5 to 7.5 

I3-S X9 

12.5 X 7 

(88^)Corcoraxmelanorham- /12.5 x 7 

phus . . . . \^ 14 X 7 to 8 


C/iaIiiii>!(>l)!is moi'io . . 3.5 to 5, generally 4.5. 

V,^p,itili,i au^tuilis . . 5.5 to 6.5. 

RInuiiliipltus luii^dphyllits 7. Polychromatophilic red cells present. 

Macropus dorsalis . . 6 to 7. Blood platelets. Several nucleated red 


Macropus ruficollis . . 6 to 7. 

Macropus parryi . . 6 to 7. Blood platelets. 

Mdcyipu^ tliitulis . . One nucleated red cell seen. 

Diisvin IIS ririi I iinis .. 5 to 6.5. 
Trull.,,,,,, IS riilpccula 

(phalanjier) . . . . 6 to 7. 

Mpyprimiius rufescois (?) 

(kangaroo rat) . . 8 to 8.5. One nucleated red cell. 
Phascolarctus cinerens 

(native bear) . . 9. Nucleated red cells fairly numerous ; one 




















ig8 Shufeldt, Study of Birds' Eggs. [isfXn 

Study of Birds* Eggs. 

Collection of Edward J. Court, Washington D.C. 

By (Dr.) R. W. Shufeldt. 

Recently I had, through the courtesy of Mr. Edward J. Court, 
an associate of the American Ornithologists' Union, the oppor- 
tunity of studying his valuable collection of birds' eggs, and of 
making photographs of such specimens as I required This 
collection is kept at Mr. Court's home at 1723 Newton-street, 
Washington, D.C, where every opportunity was given me to 
examine it. and even to take many specimens temporarily to my 
own home for photographic purposes. My friend is a most 
enthusiastic and conscientious collector, having taken a large 
number of his specimens himself — especially the larger Raptorial 
birds — while through exchanges, extending over many years, he 
has brought together a most interesting series of sets of bii'ds' 
eggs from other parts of the world. Upon an approximate com- 
putation, this collection consists of some 7,000 specimens, many 
of which are in full sets, and, taken by countries, some 2,000 of 
these are of Australian birds, 4,000 North and South American, 
1,000 European, besides a few from Japan and other parts of the 
world. They are preserved in a cabinet in neat trays, and are 
scientifically marked and catalogued. In the course of my con- 
nections with museums, and studying material of this class, 
including the enormous collection of birds' eggs at the United 
States National Museum, I have yet to meet with better-prepared 
eggs of birds than those possessed by Mr. Court. Not only is 
each specimen in a perfect state and clean, but it is a marvel when 
we come to examine the drill-holes in his specimens, and we ai-e 
left to wonder how he ever succeeded in evacuating the contents 
of eggs through such minute openings. Often these latter are 
not larger than to admit the passage of the smallest size of sewing 
needle, and in some finely-speckled eggs easily escape our attention. 

Up to the present time not much attention has been given to 
the nidology of the birds of the Philippines, though I came across, 
in the collection, a beautiful specimen of the nest and a set of 
eggs {\) of the Weaver-Bird {Gerygone simplex), from Cavite. 
Among the North American birds, however, there are full sets of 
eggs of all the Grebes among the Pygopodes, and all the Loons 
[Urinatoridce), save the Pacific and Yellow-billed; while the 
series in the cases of the Puffins, Auks, and Auklets and related 
forms are beautiful For example, in the case of the Murre (Uria 
troille troille) there is a remarkable series, especially brought 
together to show the great variation in the matters of form and 
colour of the eggs of this species. It was this series that first 
tempted me to make some photographs of Mr. Court's eggs. 

Among the Longipennine birds, the collection is especially 
strong in the case of the Gulls and Terns and allied groups. We 
find sets of Kumlien Gull, the White-winged Black Tern, Ridgway 

Thk Emu, Vol. X/. 


Pigeon (iuiUcinot (Cepphus coliimba). Crested Tern [Sterna bcrgii), 
Sooty Oyster-catcher {Hcematopus unicolor), Pied Oyster-catcher (H. longirostris). 



^'"'^■^^'] Shvi KL\yr, Study of Biyds' Eggs. igg 

Noddy, elegant series of Rynchops, and many others. There are 
egss of nearly every species of North American (iull and Tern, 
and some foreign ones. 

Passing to the Tubinarine birds, we find a splendid specimen 
of tfie egg of the Black-footed Albatross {Diomedea nigripes), 
plenty of Fulmars, Petrels, and Shearwaters, there being five or 
six species of each of the latter groups and a few of the Fulmars. 
Before lca\-ing the Auks I should have mentioned two eggs of a 
(iuillemot {Ccpphiis coliiinba), collected on the Faralone Island 
by Mr. Chester Barlow, an ornithologist so much beloved by all 
who knew him during his brief life's career. Many thoughts of 
bygone days arose in my mind, as, alone in my study, I was 
engaged in photographing one of these eggs. 

Steganopodine birds, though pretty well represented, pale, 
indeed, before the superb series of sets of eggs of nearly all the 
Mergansers, Ducks, Geese, and Swans. There are full sets of 
both species of Tree-Ducks {Dcndrocygna) and many of the rarer 
ones among the Geese. Then we find Flamingo eggs, those of the 
Scarlet Ibis {Guar a rubra), and a great many others among the 
American Waders. Aramiis vocifertis is also here, and some of 
the Cranes. All the North American Rails are represented ex- 
cept the Yellow Rail {Cotiirnicops nivehoracensis), even including 
the Black Rail [Creciscus jamaicensis). Full sets of all three of 
the Phalaropes are found, as well as those of the Avocet, of 
Himanlopus mcxicanus, Wilson Snipe, and lots of rare eggs of 
Plovers and Sandpipers, Arenaria, and the Oyster-catchers. 

The Gallinaceous birds and the Pigeons are in fine sets, the 
Ground Doves among the latter being represented [Chce-mepelia). 
The Ptarmigans — well, I could spend a whole evening examining 
and comparing those delicate and striking objects — they are fine ! 

Coming to the Raptorial birds, Mr. Court has himself collected 
many sets of eggs of the Bald Eagle {Haliactiis I. lencocephalus), 
and no end of Falcons, Hawks, Vultures, and their kin near and 
remote. We are shown a fine set {\) of Falco niexicamis, and other 
rarities. Leaving these and passing to the Owls, many North 
American species are well represented, as Altcco, both species of 
Asio. Strix (of which he possesses an egg of most extraordinary 
sphericity, lacking but little of being a perfect sphere), Hawk- 
Owl (I), various species of Otus and Bubo, Speotyto, and so on. 
Akin to the Owls we have the Caprimulgine birds, or Goatsuckers, 
of which nearly every species is represented, and half of our 
Humming-Birds are here, and, as is often the case in collections, 
the sets are in the nests in which they were found. 

For some reason there are very few eggs of Woodpeckers, and 
Mr. Court has not given much attention to the Passeres, so we 
find but few eggs of Warblers, Flycatchers, Sparrows, and many 
others of the group. Still, there are numerous interesting sets 
even here, and that there are gaps is explained by the greater 
attraction the Raptorial and Anserine fowls have had for him. 
When one has, among hundreds of other experiences of the kind. 

200 Shufeldt, Study of Birds' Eggs. [isf"lan 

collected rare sets of Bald-headed Eagles' eggs, it is not sur- 
prising that he has overlooked some of the Warblers ! 

Among the eggs of the South American birds — of which there 
are 68 species in all represented — we note a set (i) of the Upland 
Goose {Chloephaga magellanica), the Fork-tailed Flycatcher 
{Mitscivgra tyranmis), Crotophaga ant, and the Guira {Guira giiira). 
Those of the Guira are so extraordinary in appearance that they 
attract the eye above all others in the large trayful in which 
they are placed. The eggs of the Goose and Flycatcher named 
are rare in collections. 

The eggs of the birds of Europe are represented by many sets 
of both land and water birds, and, although there are a thousand 
species or more, there are none of very decided rarity. The 
Vultures are very rich, and we find sets of Neophron percnopterus, 
Vnltiir cinereus and V. monachus, and Gyps fidviis and others. 
An egg of Otis tarda is also here, collected in Roumania. 

In one of the trays two sets (each i) of very small, unmarked 
eggs interested me. They catch the eye at once. Both are of a 
bright brick-red — one set being very highly glossed, and the other 
not at all. They are eggs of Warblers — the last-named being 
those of Cettia ccttia, from Spain, and the other set Cettia cnnfanns, 
from Japan. In all particulars they are alike, except that those 
of the Japanese Warbler are highly glossy. 

Mr. Court's collection of the eggs of Australian birds has no 
equal in this country. As we pass the singles and the sets in 
review we meet with rarity after rarity, until one almost feels 
that he is in one of the museums in Australia, and studying a 
national collection. Some of these I show in the figures accom- 
panying this paper, and to them the reader is referred for descrip- 
tions. Running through the trays at random we meet with eggs 
of the remarkable Victoria Lyre-Bird {Menura victorice), the Aus- 
tralian Bustard (Eupodotis aiistralis), sets (|) of the Australian 
Wedge-tailed Eagle [Uroactus aiidax), the Regent-Bird {\) {Sericulus 
chrysocephalus), the very rare egg in collections of the Spotted 
Cat-Bird {Mliircedus macidosus), and one of the White Tern 
{Gygis alba). Both of these will be found among my illustrations. 
Rare, also, are the eggs (^) of the Australian Comb-crested Jacana 
(Hydralector gallinaceus), and, without exception, they certainly 
are the most beautiful objects I have ever seen in the way of a 
bird's egg. I found it almost impossible to photograph them on 
account of the unequalled high polish to the surface of one and 
all of them. Any light admitted produced an intense brilliant 
point on the egg at once, and this photographed pure white. I 
was greatly disappointed, for they are truly most wonderful 
objects to behold. 

There are eggs of two species of Oyster-catchers, for which see 
Plate XVIII. herewith, and, unfigured, another rarity {\) — eggs of 
the Mallee-Fowl or Mound-builder {Lipoa ocellata). No fewer than 
seven sets are found of the Rufous-breasted Thickhead (Pachy- 
cephala ru/iventris), one set being light terra-cotta coloured. 

The Emu, Vol. XI. 


American Kittiwake Gull {Rissa ti'idactyla), 

Brown Shrike Thrush {Collyriocincla brimnea). 

Northern Oriole (Oriohts afjinis), Helmeted Friar-Bird (Philemon buceroides). 


The Emu, Vol. XI. 





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Barred Owl (Strix varia), remarkable for its spherical shape, Cat-Bird 

{MluYwdus maculosiis), Chough {Corcorax). 
Shrike-Thrush {Collyriocincla brunnea), Fig-Bird (Sphecotheres flaviventris), 

White Tern (Gygis Candida), taken Norfolk Island by Basset Hull. 
Friar-Bird {Philemon buceroides). Oriole (O. affittis), Jumper (Struthidea). 
Bell-Bird (Oreoica), Magpie-Lark {Grallina picata) (2). 

Vol- >^<] SHViEuy\:, Sludy of Birds' Eg^s. 201 

Among the Raptores there is a set (J) of the rare— very rare — 
eggs of the Red (ioshawk {Hrythrotrioychis radiatus), and, among 
the Fowls, the beautiful and very small eggs of the Painted 
Quail (Tiiniix varia) {I). No fewer than five species of the Wood- 
Swallows, of the genus Artamus, are in this collection. They are 
heavily speckled, and much larger in jiroportiou than the eggs 
laid by our American Swallows. 

The well-known Dacdo gigas—i\\e Laughing Kingfisher— is 
rei)resented by live or six sets, and the Black Swan [Chcnopsis 
atrata) by one set (^). There are four sets of the Butcher-Bird 
{Cracticiis destructor), and the rare eggs of the Fig-Birds are 
represented by the Yellow Fig-Bird {Sphecotheres fiaviventris) (|) 
Plate XX. and the Fig-Bird (S. maxillaris) {\). Fine eggs of the 
Orioles are also met with, as the Northern Oriole {\) {Oriolits a finis) 
(Plates XIX. and XX.) and the Yellow Oriole {(). ftavicinctus.) 

Ihe egg of the Bell-Bird [Oreoica cristata) I show in Plate XX. (J) 
among those of other species ; in fact, there are several described 
under the figures that are not referred to in the body of the 
article here. In such a wealth of material I found it difficult to 
make selections for photographic illustrations, and this fact can 
the more readily be appreciated when one comes to know that 
there are nearly as many species of birds in the Australian avi- 
fauna as there are in our A.O.U. Check-list for this country. I 
have before me a printed " List of the Birds of Australia," com- 
piled by A. F. Basset Hull (Sydney, 1909), and, as the trinomials 
are not used, I was more than surprised to find no fewer than 
885 species of birds listed for Australia alone. Many of the 
genera contain a large number of species, as, for example, Platy- 
cercus, where there are 15 ; Acanthiza, with 22 ; Malurus, with 20 ; 
the same for Pachycephala ; Ptilotis, with 29, and so on, many of 
the genera containing from eight to a dozen species. This 
" List " starts in with a Dvomceus and terminates with a Corcorax, 
and for this reason the Fowls and Pigeons, the Rails and their 
allies, are all listed before we arrive at the Grebes, Penguins, 
Petrels, and so on. Several of the Australian species seem now 
to be entirely extinct, as Dromceus diemenensis and D. peroni, 
the Notornis albus, and two representing the genus Nestor — viz., 
A'', prodiictus and N. norfolcensis ; also Cyanorhamphus sub- 
flavescens, and I dare say others, thus reducing the list to 878, 
while some other forms are now rapidly disappearing, as they are 
everywhere else in the world. 

While noting these facts, my attention was attracted to a set 
of very small eggs, three in number, in one of the trays. They 
are pure white, and lack very little of being bluntly elHpsoidal 
in form, or, in other words, the pointed ends differ but little 
from the butts. But the very unusual feature of each and all 
of these little eggs is that they are encircled at their middles by a 
band composed of minute specks and dots of brown and violet 
thickly clustered together. A few fine dots occur elsewhere on 
these eggs, but on the whole at first glance they strike one as 

202 Shufeldt, Study of Birds' Eggs. [ist^'jan 

very small white eggs with a definite band around the middle of 
each. They are odd. It is a set from the Restless Flycatcher 
{Sisura inquieta). There are a great many other eggs of 
Australian birds in sight in these beautifully arranged trays. 

[Dr. Schufeldt's article was accompanied by twelve finely 
executed photographs. Unfortunately, want of space prevents the 
reproduction of more than three plates, which depict the eggs 
more or less slightly under natural size.— Eds.] 

Avifauna of New South Wales Islands. 

By a. F. Basset Hull, R.A.O.U., Sydney. 

Part II. 

In my article on the Montague Island Gullery {Emu, vol. viii., 
p. 80) I mentioned that the Little Penguin {Eudyptula minor) was 
reported as breeding on the Tollgate Islets, off Bateman's Bay, 
about 40 miles north of Montague Island. To verify this report, 
and to see what other birds bred on these islets. I visited them 
in September, 1911. 

Accompanied by Mr. Henry Grant (Australian Museum) and 
Mr. H. Hamilton (Dominion Museum, N.Z.), I left Sydney at 
8.30 a.m. on the 28th September, by the Illawarra train, reaching 
Nowra at mid-day. From thence we journeyed 80 miles by motor 
to Bateman's Bay, reaching that port at 10 p.m., after several 
delays en route. In the early morning we set out in Bennett's 
fishing launch, crossed the bar, and passed Schnapper Island, 
with the curious natural tunnel running right through it. The 
Tollgates were reached about 8.30 a.m., and, the sea being com- 
paratively smooth, we experienced no difficulty in landing on the 
shingly beach of the southern islet. There are two islets, 
separated by a narrow strait. Each islet presents an almost 
sheer rocky face to the sea, and slopes rather abruptly to the 
landward side, where a beach renders landing easy in calm 

Having pulled up our dinghy, we found that the spit connecting 
the main islet with a pinnacle rock was covered with tussocks, 
Atriplex shrubs, and vines. Under this growth the Penguins were 
very much in evidence, numerous burrows being tenanted by 
adults sitting on eggs or young birds in all stages of growth — 
from the just-hatched to the nearly full-grown birds having only 
a little down adhering to the neck and head. In each nest ex- 
amined the full complement of eggs or chicks was two. In one 
case a patient bird was sitting on two eggs covered with a thick 
black coating, the accumulation, apparently, of many weeks' 
handling (or, rather, footing). Both eggs were rotten, but the 
sitting bird was extremely loth to part with them. Under the 
pinnacle rock there was a cave, and in two crevices Penguins 
were established. Judging from the development of some of the 

Vol. XI. "j Hull, Avifauna of New South Wales Islands. 203 

young birds found on this islet, I estimate that the first eggs were 
laid by the Penguins early in June. 

In the cave floor, and in the rubble lieaj) just outside, there 
were a few extensive burrows that api:)eared to be those of a 
Puffinus, but there were no signs of recent occuj-)ation or ])rep- 
aration for the coming season. 

We then proceeded to ascend the steep slope to the top of the 
islet. The ground was very friable, and the few creepers growing 
in patches afforded very little hold. After ascending about half- 
way, we found indications of burrows, and Mr. Grant soon un- 
earthed a Pelagodroma marina, which was evidently pre})aring for 
laying in a week or two. There were a good many burrows of this 
Storm-Petrel in course of construction or cleaning-out, and, owing 
to the numerous stones and roots in the soil, they were very 

Reaching the top of the slope, we found that a narrow ridge 
terminated in a cliff falling to a bed of boulders, over which the 
sea foamed, rushing in through a " blow-hole " under the opposite 
side of what looked like a crater. Crawling along the ridge, we 
reached the top of the islet, an elevation of about 200 feet. Here 
the tussocks were fairly thick, and some low scrub of Banksia 
intcgrifolia and Monotoca elliptica made progress a little slow. 
In all directions, however, we found burrows in course of prep- 
aration for occupation. Black sand was scratched out over the 
leaves, and one's feet frequently sank into a hole. We diligently 
opened up several burrows, but without discovering anything 
except one old Penguin. At last, when returning by the lower 
seaward slopes, I heard the familiar wail of the " Ghost-Bird," 
as the Norfolk Islanders call it, and after much searching found 
a Wedge-tailed Shearwater (Pttffiniis sphemirits) at the end of a 
burrow about 3 feet in length. From the number of burrows on 
this slope, I estimate that a thousand or more birds breed on this 
islet every year. 

Near the top ridge we found a pair of the White-faced Storm- 
Petrels in a burrow. I do not think that very many of this 
species breed here, as there were not many of their small burrows, 
and their usual date for laying eggs is 15th October. In two 
patches of scrub on the top, and in the A triplex scrub on the spit, 
we saw pairs of Megalurus graminetis, and found many old nests 
hidden amongst the creepers hanging from the rock or entwined 
about the banksias and Ficus rubiginosa. One female bird was 
shot for identification. 

We then put off, and proceeded to the northern islet. Here 
we found much the same state of affairs as on the southern islet. 
Penguins occupied the lower slopes above high-water mark ; 
White-faced Storm-Petrels and Wedge-tailed Shearwaters occupied 
the higher slopes and the top ridges. On one ridge I saw quite 
a number of burrows, all untenanted, intermediate in size be- 
tween those of the two Petrels named. I am prepared to find 
that these belong to a Prion breeding in December. There were 

204 Hull, Avifauna of New South Wales Islands. P 



old nests of grass and twigs in the chambers at the end of these 

Other birds seen on these islets were Hirundo ncoxcna (a nest 
containing eggs being built in the cave on the southern islet), 
Haliaetus leucogaster, Phalacrocorax carbo and P. gouldi, Demi- 
egretta sacra, HcBmatopus longirostris, H. unicolor, Corvits ausiralis, 
and Pelecanus conspicillatus (ii birds on the spit). 

A storm coming up, we returned to port, and landed in a down- 
pour of rain and hail. 

There are several other islets between Bateman's Bay and 
Ulladulla, but the weather was not favourable on the following 
day, so we went up the Clyde River beyond Nelligen, landing on 
two " islands " on the way. The birds seen included Platycercus 
elegans, Acanthochcera carnnculata, Oriolus Sagittarius, Cacomantis 
rufulus, DiccBum hirundinaceiim, Malurus cyanochlamys, Alcyone 
azurea, Melithreptus atricapillus, Neositta chrysoptera, Collyriocincla 
harmonica, Strepera gracidina, and Edoliisoma tennirostre. 

The results of this trip were, therefore, the extension of the 
recorded breeding range of Puffinus sphcnurus 70 miles further 
south (Five Islands, off WoUongong, being my previous most 
southerly record), and the addition of another breeding-place of 
Pelagodroma marina intermediate between the Five Islands and 
Port Phillip. 

My first visit to Montague Island, in 1907 (September), had a 
disastrous ending so far as my photographs were concerned, all 
the negatives going to the bottom of the sea when we were 
capsized on Narooma bar. I therefore decided to pay another 
visit to this island to replace the pictures, and on the gth October, 
1911, accompanied by my son and Mr. H. Hamilton, left Sydney 
by the Merimbula, arriving at the island early on the morning 
of the loth. Mr. Glover, the principal lighthouse-keeper, enter- 
tained us hospitably until the 13th, during which time I made 
observations on the following species : — 

Larus novae-hollandiae. — As on my former visit, these birds 
were breeding in vast numbers, and their colonies had extended in 
all directions, so that the northern island was almost entirely 
encircled with nesting groups. Mr. Williams, second keeper, in- 
formed me that the birds left the south island, where they con- 
gregate prior to nesting, on the 28th August. This is later than 
the date recorded by Mr. Bailey in 1908 — viz., 15th August — and 
earlier than those of 1907 and 1909, when they started in. the 
first week in September and the 5th September respectively. 
They were a fortnight making their preparations, and the first 
egg was laid on 12th September, 1911. By the 14th idem they 
were in full swing. When we paid them a visit on the loth 
October there were many nests containing young birds in down. 
Most of the nests contained three eggs, although not a few con- 
tained only two or one young bird and one egg. In only three 
cases were four eggs noticed, and the clutches of five and six seen 
on former occasions by myself and Mr. Bailey were not in evidence 

The Emu, Vol. XI. 


Silver Gulls {Lcniis novce-hoUandicB). Montague Island, New South Wales. 

Nest of Silver Gull {Lams novcp-hollandio') with Eggs (red mutation), 
Montague Island. 


^'•1 Hull, Avifauna of New South Wales Islands. 205 

this season. In all directions, however, there was evidence of 
the ravages oi the (kills' enemies in the shape of broken eggs (the 
contents of which had been eaten) and dead or damaged young 
birds. Several Sea-Eagles were hovering about, a few Ravens 
were noticed, and a Harrier was also seen. We were fortunate 
enough to discover a nest containing three eggs of the remarkable 
red mutation described in my article for October, 1908. I ob- 
tained a good picture (Plate XXI.) of this clutch,* which was the 
only one of the kind seen by us, and the first full complement of 
three eggs — the former instances being one egg found by myself 
and two eggs found by my son in September, 1907, and two eggs 
found by Mr. Bailey in October, 1907. Mr. Bailey also saw two 
eggs in 1909, but left them in order that the full complement might 
be laid. Unfortunately, an enemy, in the shape of a Raven or 
Eagle, took them. One egg was found in the blue mutation 
without markings, and a very fine set of three in a deep l)lue 
colour with black markings. One egg was also seen in which a 
band of deep green colour extended round the centre. The egg 
was otherwise normal. An egg taken by Mrs. Glover as a 
curiosity was of a pale blue colour with a deep umber cap. 

Sterna bergii. — In previous years some thousands of these 
birds lired on the island, inhabiting a shingly })atch on the western 
side of the north island. In 1907 there were a few birds assembling 
when 1 was there (21st September), and the main flock arrived 
and laid their eggs about the middle of October. This year they 
commenced laying on the 21st September, but selected a new 
nesting-place on the eastern side of the island. Very few birds 
laid, and I only saw some 20 or 30 eggs. In one case there were 
two eggs, evidently laid by the same bird. Mr. Bailey saw several 
pairs of Terns' eggs in the 1908 season, and in 1909 he wrote (i6th 
November) : — " I have noticed this last week or so that a number 
of the Terns are laying two eggs, and there was one clutch of 
three." I had no one to take notes in 1910, as Mr. Bailey had 
been transferred to another station. The instance I mention as 
having seen, and which I photographed, is, I am quite satisfied, 
a case of two eggs laid by the same bird. The Terns must have 
found some other breeding-place for this year, so far as the bulk 
of the flock is concerned, for Mr. Williams informed me (9th 
November) that no more had arrived. 

Eudyptula minor. — In 1907 this bird was breeding in con- 
siderable numbers on the south island. This year (1911) the 
numbers had increased largely, and burrows in the banks, holes 
under rocks, and tunnels under the tussocks were inhabited by 
birds sitting on eggs in all stages of incubation, or young birds 
in all stages of growth. On the loth August Mr. W'illiams wrote 
me that there were then some young birds as large as the old ones. 
That would date the laying of the eggs back to May, or even 

* This set is now in the collection of IMr. H. L. White, " Belltrees," 

2o6 Hull, Avifauna of New South Wales Islands. [,st^"jan. 

earlier. I think that my observations, and the information given 
me by rehable correspondents, point to the conclusion that this 
species is engaged in breeding practically all the year round. 

Young birds of this species are evidently identical with the bird 
described by Gould as E. undina. 

One calm evening I watched the Penguins coming home to 
their expectant families. Standing on the granite rocks near the 
boat harbour, and looking over towards the mainland, I could 
see numerous patches of broken water, darkened as if by a passing 
squall or a shoal of fish. These patches moved steadily in the 
direction of the island, and as they came closer I could see the 
black heads of the Penguins and hear their barking cries. They 
made for several different landing-places, but the one immediately 
below me was a favourite spot. As each group of perhaps twenty 
to thirty birds reached the rocks they waited, " back-pedalling," 
until the surge ran up a sloping rock, when they shot forward, 
rolling over and over in the white foam like currants in flour, and 
as the surge receded they were left clutching the rock or running 
forward to get clear of the next oncoming wave. Once out of 
reach of the water, they gravely slx)ok themselves, and chatted in 
a rippling undertone to each other, huddling together until about 
a hundred birds had collected on the rock. Then, amidst a chorus 
of vibratory cries, they started up the slope, following a well- 
defined track until they reached the rushes and tussocks, where 
they branched off along smaller tracks to their respective nests. 
All night long (I slept out of doors) I heard their cries of welcome 
and endearment, mingled with unmistakable cries of anger and 
annoyance, resounding from the thick vegetation below the light- 
house quarters. 

Puffinus sphenurus. — Previous to this visit I had not heard of 
any Petrel breeding on Montague Island, but on this occasion I 
found indications of burrows being driven in some black sand on 
the north island, and, after digging out one burrow, I discovered 
a pair of the Wedge-tailed Shearwaters preparing for the laying. 
This formed another farther south record, 40 miles from the 
previous record, the Tollgates. This is probably a new site for 
this species, as it certainly did not breed there in 1907, and 
the burrows I found were all apparently new ones, no sign of a 
previous year's occupation being visible. 

This Shearwater is very plentiful on the New South Wales 
coast, and I have now authentic records of its breeding on the 
following islands :— Montague, Tollgates, Five Islands, Bird 
Island, Big Cabbage Tree. Broughton, Solitary, Coff's, Capricorns, 
and Raine Islands. This embraces nearly the whole eastern 
coast of Australia. I anticipate finding it still farther south, and 
it will be interesting to discover the point where P. teniiirostris 
meets P. sphenurus. 

During my stay at Montague Island I saw vast flocks of this 
Shearwater feeding in company with the Gulls on the shoals of 
small fish or on " brit," and one morning, just after daylight, as 

Vol. XI, 1 Hull, Avifauna of Neiv South Wales Islands. 207 

I lay in bed watching the passing l)irds, a stream of Shearwaters, 
many yards in height and breadth, was making north, and for over 
half an hour this stream ])ass(.!d by unbroken. It would not be 
any exaggeration to estimate the numbers in millions. 

As to the Wedge-tailed Shearwater's tastes in the matter of 
food, I had an interesting experience. While we were out fishing, 
about a mile from the island, one of these birds came along, and 
settled on the water about 30 yards away. Mr. Glover threw 
some bits of boiled crayfish in its direction, and it came scuttling 
along the surface, and, reaching the spot where the bait had sunk, 
it dived under, presently rea])})earing with the crayfish in its 
beak. A few gulps, and that piece disappeared, to be followed 
by others flung to it by us. Bits of barracouta were next thrown 
to the bird, and greedily swallowed. Several others then arrived 
on the scene, and some Gulls joined them. I had just hooked a 
medium-sized shark, which Mr. Glover despatched with a harpoon. 
Taking its liver out, he broke it up and flung pieces to the birds. 
It was most amusing to see two Shearwaters catch hold of one 
piece, too large for either to negotiate, and go under with it, 
fighting and struggling, until they again rose to the surface gulping 
down what they had torn from the portion. I am quite sure 
that the bird we first attracted swallowed its own weight in various 
kinds of food that afternoon. It was unable to fly, and sat 
contentedly cleaning up after the feast. 

I saw a somewhat mummified Pfiffmus assimilis, which had been 
picked up dead on the island ; and on the way home we saw two 
small white-breasted Shearwaters flying by. These were doubt- 
less P. assiniilis. 

Hypotcenidia philippmensis breeds on the island, but we did 
not see any birds. Mr. Bailey sent me a set of eggs taken in 
igo8. Cisticola exilis, Anthus australis, Rhipidura tricolor, R. 
albiscapa, and a Ptilotis were also noted on the island. 

Bird'Life in the Riverina. 

By (Capt.) S. a. White, R.A.O.U., Adelaide. 

Most Australians are aware that a rich tract of country, known 
as the Riverina, lies between the main branches of the great 
waterway of Australia. This country was once the home of 
countless thousands of Emus, Bustards, and other birds and 
mammals. To-day only a few Emus and kangaroos remain on 
some of the stations, to the praise of the owners and the managers, 
who are trying to save them. The part of the Riverina which 
my wife and I visited on our way back from attending the R.A.O.U. 
session of igio was then, unfortunately, undergoing a dry spell, 
and we did not see the aquatic birds at their best. On leaving 
a little wayside railway station we drove out on to an undulating 
plain, dotted here and there with clumps of box. Deep wheel- 

208 White, Bird-Life in the Riverina. [isf^jan 

marks and cattle-tracks, then hard and baked, showed how soft 
the ground must be in a wet season. The country did not change 
until we approached the river, when we passed through a thick 
belt of red-gum trees. Not a bird had been seen before, but now 
the Noisy Miner {Myzantha garrula) made itself heard, the clear 
note of a Parrot {Platycercus flaveolus) was heard in the timber ; 
a graceful Pied Grallina was busy feeding two fluffy young ones 
on a bough overhead. Driving on to the punt at the ferry, we 
were hauled slowly over the Murrumbidgee. The gate of the 
punt was opened, and we were soon dashing through the gums 
on the other side, and on to the plain beyond, passing through 
clumps of box, and, later on, native pine on the sandy ridges. 
We passed by large depressions, which in the wet season are lakes 
hundreds of acres in extent, with a grand fringe of stately gums. 
We reached a well-kept, comfortable homestead on the bank of 
the river, and were heartily welcomed. 

In the early morn many bird-notes floated through the open 
window of our room. Above all others could be heard the 
melodious note of the Shrike-Thrush {Collyriocichla harmonica). 
Thanks to the great kindness of the manager, who placed his 
traps, horses, &c., at our disposal, we were enabled to work the 
country for miles around. The first things to attract our attention 
were the large flocks of Rose-breasted Cockatoos which we flushed 
from the ground. They flapped off with noisy screeching, to 
again alight in search of their breakfast. Although these birds 
were flocking, odd pairs were found nesting in hollow limbs. 
Grass-Parrots {Psephotiis hcematonotiis) were numerous, but still 
in pairs, showing that they had not yet congregated after nesting. 
Cockatoo-Parrots {Calopsittacus novce-hollandice) were met with in 
companies of 6 or 8, and they were also found nesting. Choughs 
{Corcorax melanorhamphus) were to be found in small colonies in 
nearly every clump of pine or box, but only stray nests were 
observed, where birds had laid for the second time that season. 
In close association with the last-named species we found the 
Grey Struthidea (Strut hid ea cinerea). These birds had nearly all 
begun to nest for the second time, although they had the first 
brood with them. The Struthidea uses the same nest in successive 
seasons, only replacing the lining, which consists of dry grass, and 
seems to prefer the pine clumps in which to nest — in fact, each of 
the many nests which came under our notice was placed in a 
pine-tree. Immense flocks of Artamus super ciliosiis were seen, 
and A. tenebrosus were in numbers. Among the more thickly 
timbered country a pair of Lalage humeralis was seen occasionally. 
The fine Crested-Pigeons (Ocyphaps lophotes) were found in pairs 
feeding on the ground. The Brown Song- Lark (C. cantillans) was 
found breeding, as also was C. rufescens. All the nests of the 
latter species contained young. The Australian Pipit was also 

All along the river, where the timber was thick, we found the 
Yellow-rumped Parrakeet [Platycercus flaveolus), which seemed to 

^°9.'^' ] Whitf, Bird-Life in fhe Riverina. 2O9 

be \-ery fond of the Scotch thistle seeds. We noticed small parties 
of 4 or 5, and often a single pair, of those beautiful Parrakeets 
known to the settlers as (ireen Leeks {Polytt'lis barrabandi) nearly 
always on the wing, and travelling very swiftly from the river 
outback. We came to the conclusion that they were returning 
to some feeding-ground after watering at the river. This surmise 
proved correct, for we drove out into the back country, and, 
calling at a settler's home, we were informed that some very 
pretty birds were destroying his crops. Sure enough, a flock of 
between 20 and 30 (ireen Leeks was busy amongst the standing 
wheat, which at this time was ripening. I believe that these birds 
are becoming very scarce in districts where they once were 
numerous. A few specimens of the Red-vented Parrakeet {P. 
hcBinatorrhoiis) were noted, and I was told that they nest in the 
district. I was shown a young bird in captivity which had been 
taken from the nest by an aborigine. The Sulphur-crested 
Cockatoo was met with all along the river, and we saw the Spur- 
winged Plover. Large flocks of Maned Geese were also seen on 
the river. Black Duck, Grey Teal, Chestnut-breasted Teal, Marsh 
Terns, White-faced Herons, Pacific Herons, Cranes, and Emus 
were all observed in the marshy country. Crows were every- 
where. White-backed Magpies were fairly plentiful, and Noisy 
Miners were seen in almost every tree. The Friar-Bird {Tropido- 
rhynchits corniculatus) was noticed on the tops of some of the high 
gum-trees. Out on the plains we saw the White-fronted 
Ephthianura, and we were told that E. tricoloy was often seen 
there. The Pied Fantail {Rhipidiira tricolor) and the Welcome 
Swallow were observed round the homestead. We were only in 
this fertile country for three days, and every hour of that time 
was well occupied. 

Stray Feathers. 

The Dottrel (PeUohyas anstralis) in Riverina. — I have observed 
many Dottrel nests here since 190Q, and have taken particular 
notice of them all. I have never seen any with five eggs. All 
except one nest contained three eggs, and one nest contained 
four. The Dottrel seems to have no particular breeding season 
here. I occasionally drop on their nests all through the year. 
Their principal enemy here is the fox, owing to the birds making 
their nests on the ground. — L. K. Turner. Booligal, 14/2/11. 
* * * 

Stilts Breeding near Melbourne. — I saw some nests and eggs 
lately of tlic White-headed Stilt {Hiniantopus leitcocephahis) in 
a swamp (> miles from Melbourne, and obtained a fine clutch of 
five eggs, two nests, and four young birds (about a week old) for 
the National Museum. The Curator, Mr. J. A. Kershaw, intends 
having a life-group made of these. The birds, I learn, have been 

210 Stray Feathers. [,sf"jan. 

breeding since end of September, and are now finished. The 
swamp is now nearly dry. — C. French, Jun. Melbourne, 13/12/11 

* * * 

Distribution of Black-fronted Dottrel {/Egialitis melanops). — A 
specimen in the flesh was secured in Southern Tasmania (Sandford) 
on 20th October, 191 1. This appears to be the second record of 
the species having been secured in Tasmania, and observed so 
far south. Mr. W. Richardson, who forwarded the specimen per 
Mr. W. L. May, also secured the first find in the same locality 
about 1900. Mr. W. L. Butler handled a specimen secured in 
1906 at the Ouse, in the Midlands. The weather and food con- 
ditions of this spring are favourable to the wide extension of the 
geographical range. — Robert Hall. Hobart, 23/10/11. 

* * * 

Description of Eggs of Myzantha melanotis {Emu, vol. xi., p. 
124). — Form oval, texture fine, surface glossy, colour reddish- 
buff, thickly dotted with small reddish-brown (terra-cotta) spots, 
more numerous at larger end. Dimensions of a clutch in inches : — 
(i) 1. 01 X .72, (2) 1.08 X .72, (3) 1.04 X .75. In my collection is 
another clutch, in which the spots are fewer over the greater 
surface of the eggs, but at the larger end are darker and thickly 
clustered in a zone. Dimensions in inches : — (i) 1.03 x .7, (2) 
I. II X .7. I have known of five clutches of this species, four of 
which contained two eggs each and the other three eggs. — J. A. 
Ross. Malvern (Vic). 18/10/11. 

* * * 

New Foster Parents for Fan-tailed Cuckoo.— I have to report 
two new foster parents to the eggs of Cnculus flabelliformis (Fan- 
tailed Cuckoo), (i) At Kow Plains, North- Western Victoria, I 
flushed a sitting Hylacola cauta from her nest, which contained 
two eggs of the Ground- Wren and one of the Cuckoo. Date, 
30th August, 191 1. Incubation, fresh. (2) At Blackburn, Vic- 
toria, Master Ray Tregellas found a nest of Acanthiza chrysorrhoa 
containing two eggs of the Tit and one of the Cuckoo The nest 
was in a gum sapling, 6 feet from the ground, and the eggs were 
quite fresh. Date, 28th October. 1911. — F. E. Howe. Canter- 
bury (Vic), 30/11/11. ^ ^ ^ 

Another New Foster Parent for Fan-tailed Cuckoo.— On the 5th 

of November, 1911, at Beaconsfield, Victoria, I found a nest of 
the Emu-Wren {Stipitunts malachiiriis), containing two eggs of 
the foster parent and one of the Fan-tailed Cuckoo, all of which 
were fresh. This is, I believe, a hitherto unrecorded foster parent 
to the Fan-tailed Cuckoo {Cacomantis flahdliformis). — F. Erasmus 
Wilson Melbourne, 12/12/11. 

* * * 

The Oriole as a Mimic. — It may not be generally known that 
the Oriole is a capable mimic. A few mornings ago an Oriole 
(0. afmis) treated us to a display of its powers, which proved it 

v°'-_;'^' ] Slyay Feathers. 211 

a fit rival to any Bower-Bird. Just al)out sunrise, when we were 
sitting at our breakfast round the camp fire, the bird came, and 
the entertainment only ceased when we had to leave the camp. 
The calls most easily identified and perfectly rendered were those 
of the Wedge-tailed Eagle, Black-backed Magpie, Butcher-Bird, 
Blue-faced and other Honey-eaters, and Red- breasted Babbler ; 
but his repertoire embraced several other birds, which the Oriole 
was apparently only learning, and could not render aright. — 
Ernest D. Barnard. Kurrajong, via Gladstone (Q.), 23/9/11. 

* * * 

Birds Killed by Lightning. — Apropos of the remarkable discovery 
lately in the Northern Territory of a cave containing the remains 
of 40 or 50 aborigines, sujijiosed to have been killed by a flash of 
lightning (however, other causes may be assigned for this native 
holocaust), the following incident may be of interest : — Some 
years ago our member, Mr. H. L. White, was travelling along 
the Braidwood road, about 2 miles out of Goulburn, when a heavy 
thunderstorm came up, and he saw a flash of lightning pass 
through a large flock of Ibis {Carphibis spinicollis), killing 30 of 
the unfortunate birds. It is the first time I have known of such 
an event having been observed. Ibis, like most Waders, fly in a 
fairly compact company, which will account for the heavy 
mortality. — D. Le Souef.. Melbourne. 

* * :•: 

New Eggs from the Mallee District, Victoria. — Appended are 
the descriptions of the eggs of two new sub-species, according to 
Mr. Gregory Mathews, of Australian birds : — 

Diaphorillas striatiis howei. — Clutch two to three ; texture of 
shell fine and glossy, and the colour pure white, with small spots 
of reddish-brown and lilac fairly distributed, but inchned to a 
zone about the larger end. Measurement in inches : — (i) .81 x 
.6, (2) .81 X .61. This pair I took myself from a nest in a small 
bunch of porcupine grass. Locality, Kow Plains, Victoria. 

Podargus rossi. — Clutch two, elliptical in shape, colour pure 
white ; texture of shell fairly coarse and glossy, and is very 
minutely pitted. Measurements in inches : — (i) 1.7 x 1.23, 
(2) 1.73 X i.ig. Taken by myself at Underbool, North- Western 
Victoria. Another set measures — (i) 1.64 x 1.2, (2) 1.59 x 1.23. 
— F. E. Howe. Canterbury (Vic), 10/12/11. 

* * * 

Swallows Nesting on Railway Train. — There have been recorded 
some curious nesting-places for the Swallow [Hirundo neoxena), 
but I do not recollect a moving train being mentioned. Recently, 
Mr. Brown, fireman, at the station (Somerville) drew my attention 
to a Swallow's nest buflt on the iron framework on the under 
part of a carriage (second class portion). I felt the inside of the 
nest, which was warm and contained five eggs. The train is in 
motion twice a day — from Stony Point to Mornington Junction 
and back (15 miles each way). Occasionally the train goes on to 

212 Stray Feathers. [,sf"jan 

Mornington (additional 8 miles each way). Mr. Brown informed 
me that the Swallows took about five weeks building their nest, 
which was probably chiefly constructed at the Mornington Junction 
terminus. He did not notice the birds always following the train, 
but they appeared to join at various places en route. — G. E. 
Shepherd. Somerville, g/12/ii. 

* * * 

Re-discovery of Pachycephala rufogularis (Gould). — One hot day 
in November last Mrs. White and I were working the dense mallee 
scrub 40 miles east of the River Murray. Attracted by a call 
which we had never heard before, we came upon two male Thick- 
heads fighting and calling loudly. The call, once heard, will 
never be forgotten — it is so unlike that of any other bird. The 
first note is a loud, clear whistle ; the next note follows quickly, 
and resembles the noise produced by the drawing-in of the breath 
between partially-closed lips. Later in the day we secured a 
female. It is the opinion of some ornithologists, I believe, that 
the bird in question is the immature P. gilberti. I am positive 
this is not the case, for both the males I secured were mature 
birds in every respect. I cannot think for a moment that the 
lores, which are a reddish-brown, would change to black, as they 
are in P. gilberti ; lastly, Gould had ample material to compare 
these birds, and he would not make a mistake of this kind. 
Evidently John Gould met with this bird in fair numbers in the 
bush near Adelaide over 70 years ago, but, strange to say, it has 
not been met with since. — S. A. White. Wetunga, S.A., 2/12/11. 

* * * 

Notes from Belltrees (N.S.W.)— I saw for the first time, on loth 
October, a pair of Little W'himbrel (Mesoscolopax minutiis) in our 
neighbourhood. They were not at all timid. 

The majority of our migratory visitors returned to us much 
earlier this year than in igio and 1909 — in fact, this applies to 
practically all save the Wood-Swallows (Artami), who were only 
8 days earlier than in the previous two years. Another notice- 
able feature is the comparative scarcity of the flocks in com- 
parison with those of the two preceding years. This was very 
marked in the case of all the flocks of Wood-Swallows. It would 
be interesting to know if the same applies to other localities. 
Rufous Song-Larks {Cinclorhamphus rufescens) were very few this 
year. Coincident with the above notes it may be added that all 
our local birds nested from three weeks to a month earlier than in 
former years. This was very noticeable in the case of the Parrots 
and the Thickheads {Pachycephala rttfiveniris), the former laying 
a month earlier and the latter 23 days These cases refer to 
birds that breed beside my house in the same spot each year. 

White-fronted Heron (Notophoyx novcB-hollandice). — For some 
time I have been observing a pair of these birds for further notes 
on their habits, and I noticed the following little incident — an 
unrecorded trait. I think . — The two birds were in a shallow pool 

^'','^,^'] stray Feathers. 21 3 

alxjut () inches deep, and were vigorously at work over their 
morning meal. With one of their long legs they would disturb 
the bed of the pool, and for the next few moments their heads 
would be very busy. Apparently the object was to disturb the 
larv.T and such hke at the bed of the pool, and then promptly 
catch them.— S. A. H.anscombk. State School, Belltrees (N.S.W.), 
20/11/ I I. 

* * * 

Near Broken Hill (N.S.W.) — I have just been out back for about 
three weeks, with indifferent success from an observer's point of 
view. I saw one nest only of the Grey Falcon {Falco hypoleucus), 
and that contained young birds. I saw several pairs of Black 
Falcons (F. siibuiger), but no nest. However, I found three 
nests of the Spotted Harrier (Circus assimilis), the first that I have 
observed. Chats {Ephthianura) were far less common than usual, 
hardly any Song-Larks {Cindorhaniphus), and most of the smaller 
birds had bred early. Whistling Eagles and Allied Kites were 
in far greater numbers than I had ever seen them before. I could 
easily have taken 50 or 60 clutches of the former had I bothered 
to do so. Goshawks {Astur approximans) were also common. 
All had clutches of three eggs except one of four, which were just 
hatching. My old Buzzard {Gypoidinia) had deserted its former 
site, but I found another nest with two eggs just hatching. When I 
peeped over the edge I got rather a start, as several young Parrots 
{Baryiardnts harnardi) ffew out of a hollow just beneath the 
Buzzard's nest. Langawirra Lake held more water than usual, 
and presented many beautiful views, as all the marginal trees 
were standing in water. It was pretty cold, too, wading from 
tree to tree, with an occasional immersion up to the neck, searching 
for Ducks' nests. Red-kneed Dottrel (Erythrogonys) were numerous 
and all paired, but not breeding. One day, when driving a four- 
horse team through a scrubby part, eight Emus [Dromceiis) came 
out to look at us. When we pulled up, these line creatures came 
and made a thorough inspection of the horses and trap, coming 
within five yards of us, and did not mind my getting out of the 
trap for a nearer view. What a snapshot for a camera man, I 
thought ! — (Dr.) W. Macgillivray. Broken Hill, N.S.W., 

* * * 

Descriptions of Nests and Eggs from Cape York. — Ninox pen- 
insularis (Cape York Owl). — Set of two taken by Mr. W. M'Lennan 
near Piara, Cape York, on 6th August, 191 1. 

Eggs. — Rounded oval in form, close-grained, smooth, and slightly 
lustrous, measuring — (i) 44 mm. x 38 mm., (2) 45 mm. x 38 mm. 
Mr. INLLennan's field-note : — " About four miles from Paira, on 
the Lockerbie track, I flushed an Owl (iV. peninsularis) from the 
branches of a Moreton Bay ash ; flushed another from a hollow in 
a tree close by. Nest contained two eggs. Hollow in a big wart, 
40 feet from the ground, 18 inches in diameter, 13 inches in 

214 ^^^'^y Pe'itiierS. [isf'jan. 

depth. The bird that flushed from the nest appeared to be the 
smaller of the two, probably the male. Tree, a Moreton Bay ash." 

Ptilotis cockerelli (Cockerell Honey-eater). — Eggs. — Clutch, two, 
taken near the Jardine River, Cape York, on loth May, 1911, 
by Mr. W. M'Lennan. Oval in form, close in grain, smooth, and 
slightly lustrous ; ground colour pale pinkish-white, sparingly 
dotted with irregular spots and markings of reddish-brown, which 
are gathered at the larger end to form a zone, almost obscuring the 
ground colour. In this zone are a few underlying spots of a 
purplish hue. A second set showed much variation, one specimen 
being almost pure white in colour, with a very glossy surface and 
a small band of faint chestnut-red spots at the larger end, the 
other having a ground colour of a rich salmon, sparingly spotted 
with spots and blotches over two-thirds of the surface, and forming 
a distinct zone, almost covering the larger end. 

Nest. — Cup-shaped (not pensile), but supported in a terminal, 
horizontal branchlet of " tea-tree." Composed almost wholly of 
very fine grass stems and the hair-like stems of some other plant, 
all beautifully interwoven, but admitting of perfect ventilation. 
A very few silky threads of cobweb are used here and there to bind 
it together. Mr. M'Lennan's note reads as follows : — " Twenty- 
two mile camp, near Jardine River, Cape York. Went through 
swamp near camp ; found a Ptilotis cockerelli nest, two fresh eggs, 
in a small tea-tree bush 18 inches from the ground. Nest sent for 
description and identification ; shot the female." 

Pcecilodryas pulveridenta (White-tailed Shrike-Robin). — Mr. W. 
M'Lennan discovered this rare species building in the fork of 
a mangrove tree near Piara, Cape York, on the 22/9/1 1. and 
took the nest and pair of eggs on 2/10/11, the eggs being then 
somewhat incubated. These specimens appear similar to nest 
and eggs of this species described by Mr. H. L. White from the 
North- West coast in The Emu, vol. x., p. 132. The following is 
Mr. M'Lennan's field note : — " Went on to the nest of P. pul- 
veridenta found building on the 22nd September. The female was 
sitting on the nest, so I sat down and watched her for about 
i| hours ; she left the nest three times, and returned each 
time within a couple of minutes, and occasionally uttered a 
short, low whistle. The male did not put in an appearance, but 
I heard him call once some distance away from the nest. I 
imitated the call, and he came along to see what was the matter, 
but soon left again."— (Dr.) W. Macgillivray. Broken Hill, 
N.S.W., 6/10/11. 

Bird Day. — The importance of Bird Day in most of the State 
schools of the Commonwealth needs a special notice. This has 
been unavoidably held over, together with an engraving of the 
certificate of the Gould League of New South Wales, till the next 
issue of The Emu. 

'^°'- ^^'-J From Magazines, &c. 215 

From Magazines, &c. 

iMr. Robert Hall, C.M.Z.S.. Hubart. has contributed an inter- 
esting and technical article (with figures) to the Royal Society of 
Tasmania on " The Feather-Tracts of Sphenura hroadbenti 

The author deals with si)ecimens kindly forwarded by Mr. Geo. 
Graham, Otway Forest, Victoria — [a) approximately four days 
old, (6) seven days later, with eyes open, (c) nearly ready to leave 
the nest, and {d) an adult male. Mr. Hall regards the Sphenura 
as a disappearing genus. The species under consideration, how- 
ever, seems to hold its own in its Httoral habitats from the region 
of Geelong to well over the South Australian border. 
* * * 

Ducks Nesting in Rabbit-Burrows. — Mr. James Drummond, 
F.L.S., in the LvttcUon Tunes, of New Zealand, for nth Novem- 
ber, 1911, writes of Paradise Ducks using unoccupied rabbit- 
burrows as nests. On the Waitangi Station, South Canterbury, 
he states, three instances are reported to have occurred : — " All 
the nests were fairly close to the homestead. One was near the 
woolshed, and, as it was conveniently situated, it was frequently 
visited. The parent birds, both duck and drake, sat very tight, 
and did not seem to resent the presence of onlookers, even when 
approached for a close view. The owners of that nest, probably, 
are a pair which frequent the homestead and are acquainted with 
their visitors, and know whom they can trust. The burrows in 
use are on rising ground, and the nests were near enough to the 
mouth to allow the tenants a glimpse of the outside world. ' I 
found a good many nests of the Paradise Duck,' Mr. J. W. Mur- 
dock says, ' and they were all, with one exception, in somewhat 
inaccessible places. Some were on rough and steep mountain 
faces, far from water. One was high up on a cliff overhanging a 
river, another was about 20 feet above the ground in an old birch- 
tree that had been partly burnt down. The nest was in a hollow 
scooped out by the fire. The drake takes his turn at sitting on the 
eggs. It is a solemn business with him. Perhaps it is his 
colouring that makes him seem so serious, so different from the 
gay and light-hearted duck. But for all that I do not think he 
is trusted to turn the eggs. The duck attends to that work, which 
can be noted by observing her pretty white head quite dis- 
coloured — greasy, in fact — from turning the eggs over amongst 
the down. The nests are marvels of warmth. The eggs lie upon 
and are covered with soft grey down, of which the mother bird 
has robbed herself.' " 

To Sell. — "Nests and Eggs of Australian Birds," by A. J. 
Campbell, is out of print, and copies are becoming exceedingly 
scarce. A secondhand copy (in one volume), in good order, may 
be had for two guineas. Apply Editors, The Emu. 

2l6 Reviews. [isf"jan. 


["Catalogue of the Natural Science and Technical Periodicals in the 
Libraries in Melbourne," compiled by T. S. Hall, M.A., D.Sc, with the 
assistance of E. R. Pitt, B.A. (Second edition.) By authority : J. Kemp, 
Government Printer, Melbourne, 191 1.] 

This small but laborious task has been a labour of love by its 
collaborateurs. It is a niost useful reference, and students and 
others will not only thank its compilers, but the Hon. W. A. Watt, 
as Treasurer of Victoria, for authorizing its publication by the 
Government Printer. Mr. Kemp might, however, have made it 
a still more easy and ready reference had he used, instead of 
cumbersome capitals for the principal names, the Clarendon type, 
of which he possibly has good fonts. 

["The Destructive Insects of Victoria." Part V. By C. French, F.L.S., 

In Part V. of the " Handbook of Destructive Insects of Victoria," 
recently published, Mr. C. French, as Government Entomologist, 
carries forward his idea of making the public also acquainted with 
the value of insectivorous birds. By means of coloured plates 
and descriptive letter-press, twelve species are here presented. 
There are among them such well-known birds as White Ibis, Straw- 
necked Ibis, White-fronted Heron, Bustard, Jackass, Magpie, and 
Stone-Plover. Argument for complete and consistent protection of 
all such '' friends of the farmer" can never be too frequently or 
too forcibly put. In Part I. of the " Handbook," issued in i8gi, 
Mr. French began his crusade by a list of insect-eating birds. In 
Part III. (1900) eight species of insectivorous birds were figured, 
and their services recorded. Part IV. (1909) contained fourteen 
species The plates in Part IV., and in this part now to hand, 
are printed by a newer method of colour-printing. The bird 
plates in Part V. are drawn by Messrs. C. C Brittlebank and 
L. C. V. Anderson, and reproduced by Messrs. Osboldstone and 
Co., Melbourne. Price (exclusive of postage), 2s. 6d. Obtainable 
at any leading bookseller's. 

["Birds of the Water, Wood, and Waste." By H. Guthrie-Smith. 
Whitcombe and Tombs Limited, Little Collins-street, Melbourne. 191 1.] 

Bird-lovers of the Dominion will welcome this volume, which 
is of the genus of White's " Natural History of Selborne," inas- 
much as it treats of the wild life of a single locality, and comprises 
the observations of a true naturalist. Here are no discussions 
about nomenclature. It is a book of field ornithology, evidently 
written with keen delight, in which every reader is like to share. 

^'°' _f '•] Reviews. 217 

Mr. Guthrie-Smith has studied the l)irds of Tutira to some pur- 
pose. Tutira is situated in the northern portion of Hawke's Bay. 
It is a sheep station, with " natural advantages of barren and 
waste land." But the lake, which is some miles in length, " may 
be considered the heart of the run. Round it centres all the 
station's life ; all sheep tracks, roads, and stock routes lead to it." 
There is a peninsula, and, not far off, limestone ranges. The lake 
is a haunt of Ducks, Herons, Grebes, Bitterns, and other aquatic 
birds. The present volume deals with fewer than a score sj)ecies, 
a chapter being devoted to each : but the author writes from first- 
hand knowledge, and the result is that the reader unfamiliar with 
New Zealand's avifauna learns more than he would from the 
perusal of a more pretentious and fuller work. The bird biography 
is, perhaps, the best method of popularizing ornithology. The 
most interesting chapters are those on the Weka Rail, the Fern- 
Bird, and the Tui. Mr. Guthrie-Smith has an easy style of 
writing, although he sometimes offends with such phrases as 
" happening on " and " dropping on." Here is a pleasant passage 
relating to the Mountain-Duck : — 

" Dipping in summer's heat from the fern-clad downs and 
terraces of pumice grit, often have I enjoyed the cool damp of his 
fern-hung gorge, and have paused long to watch him in his soli- 
tudes. The little waterfalls dash into diamonds on his slate-blue 
plumes. He is thoroughly at home on the bubbling champagne 
pools. Where the swift stream shows each polished pebble clear 
he can paddle and steer with ease." 

There are gleams of humour in the book, and the author writes 
in the liveliest manner about a pet Pukeko called " Budget," or 
" Budge " for short, and " Uncle Harry," a tame Pigeon. It 
would have added to the value of the volume had the scientific 
names of the different birds mentioned in it been given. Even in 
a popular work these should be included. 

Bearing in mind the great difficulties of obtaining outdoor 
photo. -pictures of birds and their nests, Mr. Guthrie-Smith's 
records are extremely good. Special mention may be made of 
the " Pukeko's (Bald-Coot) Nest," " Harrier's Nest," " Falcon 
Feeding Young," " Pair of Wax-eyes (Zosierops) at Nest," " Hen 
Pigeon and Young," " Warblers," &c. Many of the illustrations 
are almost duplicates, such as Blue Ducks in river and in pool. 
Again, river scene with same. Perhaps the numbers of the Pigeon 
are warranted in view of the " passing " of the Passenger-Pigeon 
of North America. Some of the subjects are pure landscapes 
showing several planes, the part of ornithological interest being 
merely a detail. It is not necessary to fill up the whole plate 
with a bird study, neither is it wise to make the principal subject 
too small a part of an illustration. The " happy mean " always 
scores best. Mr. Guthrie-Smith's pictures have been technically 
well reproduced in photogravures and half-tone blocks by Messrs, 
Hood and Co., IMiddlesbrough, England. 

2l8 Correspondence. [,sf"jan. 



To the Editors of " The Emu." 

Sirs, — I was gratified to see Mr. Milligan's letter on this subject, 
and after this reply it would seem, in the words of the newspaper 
editor, " This discussion will now cease." For upon the points 
at issue between Mr. Milligan and myself unanimity of absolute 
thought may not have been reached, but uniformity of pro- 
cedure must perforce be accepted. 

I sincerely regret that my comments should have seemed to 
Mr. Milligan to savour of upbraiding ; but I wrote rather vigor- 
ously, as I hoped thereby to stir up Australian ornithologists out 
of the lethargy, as regards purely scientific work, into which they 
appeared to have fallen. As I pointed out, I myself at the time 
my '• Hand-list " was prepared, blindly followed the British Museum 
authorities in its compilation. Further research convinced me 
of the fallacy of such action, and I set myself the task of leading 
the van as regards Australian ornithology, fully convinced of the 
final success of ray cause. The sequel is perhaps as pleasing to 
Australians as to myself. In the Nov. ZooL, vol. xvii., p. 492 
(1910), concerning the matter Mr. Milligan firstly comments upon, 
I wrote • — " It seems only a matter of time before British orni- 
thologists fall in line with the rest of the scientific world." When 
penning that sentence I fully understood the obstacles and their 
certain removal, but did not anticipate such an early fulfilment 
of my prediction as has followed. 

Mr. Milligan's letter was received in England on the nth 
November, and three days previously the British Ornithologists' 
Union had unanimously decided that " their adherence to the 
I2th " (not 13th, as Mr. ^lilligan has inadvertently written) 
edition was a " conservatism antagonistic to progress." That is 
to say, though I cannot claim that I have convinced the British 
Museum authorities, they have been convinced, and now the whole 
ornithological world of science is unanimous in the acceptance 
of the loth edition of Linne's " Systema Naturse," and also in 
the use of trinomials for sub-species, and " Australia must per- 
force fall into line," for at the same meeting of the British Orni- 
thologists' Union the question of the use of trinomials was also 
discussed, and here again was uniformity of procedure adopted 

" But, whatever the merits or demerits of either system may 
be, I, as a member of the Check-list Committee, intend (quite 
regardless of my personal feelings) to give loyal adherence to the 
system presently adopted by the national authority on orni- 
thology within the British dominions — namely, the British 
Museum." Thus writes Mr. Milligan, and this is a most important 
statement, as it at once enrols him absolutely on my side in every 
matter of any importance, as at the present time the British Museum 
ornithologists all follow the loth edition of Linne's " Systema 

^'"|- ^^'1 Correspondence. 219 

Natur.T," employ trinomials to indicate sub-sj^ecies, and reject 
the useless generic names adopted l)y Shari)e in the " Hand-list 
of Birds." It is thus apparent that my nomenclature (errors 
excepted) must be approved by Mr. Milligan. 

As regards the other points of Mr. Milligan's letter, discussion 
would scarcely be jirofitable. The note regarding my rejection 
of Brisson's generic names shows that Mr. Milligan either does 
not know anything whatever al:)out Brisson's work or he has very 
unhappily frametl that paragraph. Birisson was the greatest 
ornithologist of the eighteenth century, and his work is the most 
used work of reference of that period. Living at the same time 
as Linnc, his knowledge of ornithology far surpassed that of the 
great systematist, but he did not use a binomial nomenclature, 
and for this reason his names are inadmissible. It has been 
decided that Linne's lotli edition, which first proposed a binomial 
nomenclature for zoology throughout, l)e accepted as the starting- 
point of zoological nomenclature, and that only writers who 
accepted Linne's system be recognized. It should be remembered 
that there were many writers on various subjects for many years 
afterwards who refused to have anything to do with Linne's 
methods, and these have been most conscientiously ignored save, 
in ornithology, in the case of Brisson. The admission of excep- 
tions breaks down the rigid application of the laws, and there- 
fore I do not admit of any exception whatever. In Brisson's 
work, 1,386 (according to Allen) species are fully described and 
named, yet none of Brisson's specific names are used, simply 
because he was not a binomial writer. To my mind, there is more 
" positive injustice " in this action, but I accept the laws. 

When I quoted Mr. North's words re trinomials I added a 
further sentence, and noted that North was not a user of tri- 
nomials. I clearly perceived the innuendo, and would have 
suggested the reading of a double innuendo regarding hair- 
splitting in Mr. Milligan's re-quotation had I not in front of me 
a vigorous defence of hair-splitting by Mr. Milligan himself (Emu, 
vol. iii., p. 245, 1904). If each species had only one sub-species, 
then would Mr. Milligan's suggestion regarding the nomenclature 
have been valuable ; but, as sometimes sub-species of a species 
run into the teens, it is impossible. Such ideas have been 
attempted in other branches, but none has yet been found prac- 
ticable. However, we have now reached the point of convergence, 
and henceforth Australian ornithologists will j^resent a united 
front in that they will accept the International Code in its 

With regard to the comment on p. 130, answer is almost un- 
necessary except as regards the sentence — " Well may Australians 
ask — ' Why rely on the doubtful drawings of a botanist as against 
the life-like coloured figures of so great an ornithologist and 
author as Gould ? ' ' Bed-rock priority run riot,' people are apt 
to say." I am quite unable to understand this sentence, as in the 
paper under notice I can find no instance where I have contrasted 

220 Correspondence. [isfTan 

a " doubtful " drawing of a " botanist " with a Gouldian name 
or figure. Tlie i)ros and cons of such a comparison are therefore 
presumptively impossible. Why was such a sentence written ? — 
I am, &c., 

Langley Mount, Watford, England, 16/11/11. 

[Mr. Mathews is apparently incorrect, if his surmise be rightly 
understood. Mr. Milligan is not only familiar with the range 
and extent of Brisson's work, but is also a sound authority (by 
virtue of his legal training) on the principles and canons of the 
" International Rules " and those of the American Check-list Com- 
mittee. Mr. Milligan's views on the so-called "law of priority" 
are well known to Australian ornithologists, and most probably 
his desire in writing as he did was to force from Mr. Mathews the 
admission that the " rule of priority " was, after all, only a " law 
of expediency." Mr. Milligan has openly contended that, if the 
rule were strictly a " rule of priority," all pioneers in zoology, 
including Brisson and all pre-Linnean authors, would receive 
acknowledgment. In point of fact, there seems little difference 
between Mr. Mathews and Mr. Milligan on the subject, for Mr. 
Mathews, in his first letter {Emu. ante, p. 53), states : — " But if 
the law of priority is applicable to present-day workers, how much 
more should it be meted to those whose works are all that speak 
for them ? It should be remembered that these early writers, 
whose names I accept, were quite as enthusiastic and earnest as 
any of our own time. It cannot be denied that it is due to such 
writers that their names should be recognized, as it is only just 
that the merit should be given to those whose right it is. That is 
all I am doing." 

On the question of " hair-splitting," Mr. Mathews is possibly 
again incorrect. Mr. Milligan has always advocated that, to be 
thorough, every constant variation, small (but not trivial) as well 
as great, should be distinguished — obviously a different pro- 
position to " hair-splitting." a method which causes a division 
without ascertaining a difference. 

Lastly, Mr. Mathews is " unable to understand," or has not 
fathomed the sentence of criticism {Emu, ante, p. 130) — " Why 
rely on the doubtful drawings of a botanist as against the 
life-hke coloured figures of .... Gould ? " In Novitates 
Zoologies, vol. xviii., Mr. Mathews writes : — " Re-examination of 
the Watling drawings having indicated errors of identification 
on the part of Sharpe with regard to some species, which are 
noted in this paper, I carefully went into the matter again." If 
two such eminent authorities as Sharpe and Mathews differ about 
a doubtful drawing, Gould's plates are good enough for Aus- 
tralians. Moreover, a " Recommendation " under Article 28 of 
" International Rules" reads : — " A specific name accompanied by 
both description and figure stands in preference to one accom- 
panied only by a diagnosis or only by a figure." — Eds.] 

Voi.^xiq South Australian Ornithological Association. 221 

South Australian Ornithological Association. 

The monthly meeting (il this Association was lield m tlic Institute, 
North-terrace, on Friday evening, 24th November, 191 1, Captain 
S. A. White presiding. There was a good attendance. The hon. 
secretary drew attention to the depredations taking phicc with regard 
to that familiar little bird, the " Shepherd's Companion " (Rhipidura 
tricolor). It was resolved to draw the attention of the police to the 
matter, as these birds arc totally protected. Mr. J. W. Mellor, who 
represented the association at the recent session of the Royal Aus- 
tralasian Ornithologists' Union, held in Sydney, gave a short rt'sumc 
of the proceedings and the working excursion to the Ourimbah scrub, 
in the Gosford district, where about seventy species of birds were 
observed. Captain White gave an account of his trip taken to the 
mallee country about the Bow Hill district, whither he went a few 
weeks ago to study the birds in connection with Mr. Gregory M. 
Mathews' book in course of publication. The season proved some- 
what dry and hot ; nevertheless. Captain White was fortunate in 
securing a couple of specimens of the Red-throated Thickhead (Pachy- 
cephala rufognlaris) and several other interesting species of birds, 
including the Chestnut-backed Ground-Thrush (Cinclosoma castano- 
notum), the Striped Grass-Wren (Amytornis striatus), and the Mallee 
Miner {Myzantha melanotis), which he exhibited in illustration of his 
remarks. Mr. F. R. Zietz exhibited specimens from the Adelaide 
Museum collection for comparison with the mallee specimens. These 
included the Noisy Miner {Myzantha garrula), Dusky Miner (M. 
obscura), and the Yellow-throated Miner (M. flavigula), Gilbert 
Thickhead (Pachycephala gilberti), and a series of Grass-Wrens — 
Striped (Amytornis striatus), Goyder (A. goyderi), and A. gigantura. 
Mr. Mellor also exhibited specimens. Mr. J. W. Hosking showed a 
Field-Wren (Calamanthus campestris) from Mount Gambler. Messrs. 
M. S. Hawker, J. Bathgate, H. Simpson, and A. H. Clark were elected 
members of the Association. 

Notes and Notices. 

Special Notice. — Members are kindly reminded that only 
matter for publication should be addressed to the Editors, The 
Emu. General correspondence should be addressed to the hon. 
secretary, while subscriptions, &c., should be forwarded direct to 
the hon. treasurer (whose address, and that of the hon. secretary, 
appears on the wrapper of this journal). Members will also 
please recollect that subscriptions are payable in advance — a 
necessity for the proper upkeep of The Emu. 
* * * 

Field Ornithology in South Australia. — In connection with Mr. 
Gregory Mathews' work, in course of publication, Capt. S. A. 
White has been, during a series of trips, voluntarily collecting 
specimens for that author. Capt. White, who was accompanied 
by Mrs. White, has kindly promised for this journal a series of 
his field observations, commencing with an excursion to Eyre 
Peninsula, undertaken last August. This account will ajipear in 

222 TSIotes and Notices. [,^"y^.r^. 

the next issue of The Emu. Capt. White's re-discovery of Pachy- 
cephala ntfognlaris of Gould will be read with extreme interest 
{vide p. 212). 

* * * 

Destruction of Mutton-Birds at Cape Wollomai. — Melbourne 
papers contained some startling accounts of alleged cruelty to 
the birds by eggers during the recent season, notably by visitors 
from Wonthaggi ; but the evidence of such experienced eggers 
as Messrs. John Brunning, Chas. Ed. Gorman, and others from 
Somerville failed to substantiate any general acts of cruelty. They 
state a bird here and there may have been accidentally mutilated, 
while the barbed-wire protection to the marram-grass plantations 
ensnared and destroyed many birds flying at night. The authori- 
ties of the Game Act have under consideration at present a special 
report of an inspector who visited the rookeries on Wollomai 
during the egging season. 

* * * 

Western Emu-Wren. — In a footnote, page 105, The Emu, 
vol. viii. (1908), I state : — " The Western Australian form of the 
Emu-Wren differs from the eastern bird by the general upper 
surface being lighter coloured (greyish instead of brownish), and 
by the width of each of the curious tail-feathers being only about 
half the width of those of Eastern examples." (The filament-like 
structure of the tail is also finer in the Western bird.) Since, 
principally in connection with the Check-list Committee, more 
material has been examined, which appears to point to the 
difference mentioned as constant ; therefore, with the concurrence 
of the Committee, I suggest for the Western bird the name 
Stipiturus westernensis. — A. J. Campbell. Melbourne. 

* * * 

Traffic in Bird-Plumage. — Recently (according to the Morning 
Bulletin) members of the Rockhampton Chamber of Commerce 
waited on the Queensland Agent-General (Sir Thomas Robinson) 
to bring under his notice matters of importance pertaining to 
industrial development, &c. Mr. Wm. MTlwraith (brother of Mr. 
Thos. MTlwraith, the author of " The Birds of Ontario "), as a 
member of Council of the R.A.O.U., pointed out that, notwith- 
standing what the Union was doing, and the various State enact- 
ments for the proper preservation of wild birds, illicit destruction 
and export of bird-plumage were stih carried on. 

Sir Thomas Robinson said that he had listened carefully to what 
Mr. MTlwraith had to say, and he would be only too pleased to 
act upon the suggestion. He would take an early opportunity 
of bringing the matter before the High Commissioner (Sir George 
Reid) and the other Agents-General, and if it were found that 
birds were being imported from the Australian States contrary 
to the prohibition issued there, he was sure that the Customs 
authorities of Great Britain would be pleased to see what could 
be done in the matter. 

Jhe £mu 

Official Organ of the Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union. 

Bir^Is of a fczitbcr. 

Vol. XI.] 1ST APRIL, 191 2. [Part 4. 

Bush'Birds of New Zealand. 

By J. C. M'Lean, M.B.O.U., Gisborne, N.Z. 
Part IV. 
Zosterops coerulescens — Blight-Bird or White-eye. 

BuUer, " Birds of New Zealand " {2nd edition), vol. i., ]). 'j'] . 
As the result of the observations of two winters, it is thought that 
the Blight-Bird does not, in the natural course of events, frequent 
the higher virgin bush in any great numbers. Naturally, their 
movements are somewhat difficult to follow. In the autumn 
they become gregarious, and in each year were observed in flocks 
in many parts of the lower open country before I reached this 
bush. Here, in 1906, they were noticed as odd birds in May, and 
from then on began to appear in small flocks about the different 
camps ; but in 1907 they were already present on the outskirts 
when I arrived in March, although only a few were noticed in the 
bush. In each year they soon found out the camps, and by the 
end of June were in fair numbers about these spots, feeding upon 
whatever they could gis^t in the way of vegetable refuse among 
the scraps deposited outside. When once a camp was selected, 
the flock, gradually being recruited, settled down in a manner 
unwarranted by the local food supply, hunted but little in the 
surrounding bush, and practically starved. Generally speaking, 
those camps nearest the edges of the bush harboured the largest 
flocks, and the further in one went the smaller they becaniQ. For 
instance, possibly one hundred birds frequented one on the edge 
of the 1907 bush, while my farthest in camp of the preceding year 
supported only some ten or twelve. The snowstorm of July, 
1906, when 3 feet of snow covered the country, so dispersed these 
flocks — probably killing many — that hardly a bird was seen or 
heard for some weeks ; but in August a few again appeared, no 
doubt from outside, and from then on small flocks remained about 
these spots till all the bush was down, and were there when T left 
in October. At a camp from which the men (having finished 
their contract) had departed a fortnight before, dead birds were 
picked up in September, where, it appeared, they had simply died 
of starvation. Thus it seems that, had there been no camps to 
attract the birds, few would have ventured to winter here. 

In New Zealand the Blight-Bird, though never eating grain, is 

224 M'Leas, Bush-Birds of New Zealand. [.sfAprii 

practically omnivorous. Fruit, honey, insect life, and vegetable 
garbage are greedily devoured, and it is inordinately fond of fat 
— butter especially. They have been seen upon the sheepskins 
at the gallows, and even in the pig-trough ! Here, in the bush, 
they were not well spoken of by the men, for, once a flock has taken 
up its quarters near a camp, it is hardly safe to leave eatables 
uncovered during the absence of the owTiers. The birds flock into 
the galley and help themselves to any butter or fat they find. 
They have been known, at my first camp, to clear all the fat. 
inside and out, from a cooked leg of mutton ; and at a camp in 1907 
they picked the plums from the outside of the Sunday pudding. 
On 3rd October, 1906, I revisited my second camp, where I 
intended spending the night in a tent left pitched for the purpose. 
The few eatables brought over were deposited on a stump while 
I opened up the tent. My back was hardly turned when two 
Blight-Birds settled on the piece of paper with the butter 
I had just deposited. They behaved like a flock of Sparrows on 
and about our meat-block after a sheep had been cut up. There 
they were so busy with the particles of fat, and so intent, that the 
cat landed in their midst before one flew. Each camp had its 
cat as a protection against rats and mice, and the Blight-Birds, 
as they hustled about the scraps, fell victims every day. They 
were the only birds I saw so captured during my stay. 

Naturally, its impatient, plaintive call was frequent near the 
tents, but was not often audible in the bush itself. In the 
breeding season, however, there may be heard, for many minutes 
at a time, a pleasant little warbled trill, which the Blight-Bird 
repeats, at short intervals, from some smaller tree in the vicinity. 

Though the nest remains attached to its twigs for a season 
after the young are gone, I never saw^ an old one in this bush ; 
but, while the bush birds were still in flocks in October, their 
friends were busy nesting in the lower country in 1906. It has 
been noticed that in some years the pensile nest of this bird, 
usually containing three eggs, but sometimes four, is to be found 
in fair numbers about the manuka scrub (a species of tea-tree) 
and creepers in the lower countr\', while in another season hardly 
a Blight-Bird will be seen about that particular part in which 
they had previously nested. This bird, so common in our scrub 
and gardens, merits more than passing notice. It is considered 
a colonist from Australia, and it will be interesting to note its 
ultimate behaviour here as compared with its habits in its native 
land. (For illustn tion of nest see Plate XXIII.) 

Acanthidositta chloris— Rifleman. 

Buller, " Birds of New Zealand " (2nd edition), vol. i., p. 113. 

The Rifleman, our smaUest bird — ^measuring only 3 inches in 
length — inhabits the higher bush country of both islands. Here, 
both on the North and on the South, it was fairlv plentiful in the 
tawa and mixed bush, but was never met with in the open tawhera. 
In the white-wood gullies and denser parts of the birch it was 

The Emu, J'o/. XL 


Typical Home of the Rifleman {Acanthidositta chloris), moss-clad 
tree trunks in dark and damp gully. 


'^°'_- _^'- 1 M'Lkan, Bush-Birds of New Zealand. 225 

a common l)ir(l. and could he seen even on the tops of the 
highest ridges. In March and April it was generally met with in 
couples ; but occasionally small parties of four or five, no doubt 
late broods, were noticed. In winter and spring it was in- 
variably found ])aired — the male distinguishable by his somewhat 
brighter garb. So far as was ascertainable, its food consisted 
almost wholly of minute insect life, which it gathered chiefly from 
the moss that grew in such profusion on the trees about its 
haunts. However, some acquired a taste for other food. One 
pair, whose home was in a small gully near my first camp, regularly 
visited the place to see what pickings were to be obtained among 
the scraps. They were often watched at close quarters, and have 
been seen to take small shreds of cooked meat from bones ; but 
they never stayed more than a few moments at this food. At my 
third camp, too, a pair was in the habit of fossicking near the 
tents in the same way, and from what I saw it was possible that 
this habit was indulged in in another part. The home of the 
Rifleman (Plate XXII.) is in the dense and damper parts of the 
forest, and, unlike other birds, it does not seek the warmer, sunny 
spots ; while the weather, no matter what it be — rain or snow or 
sun — has little influence on its dafly routine. During the heavy 
snowfall of July, 1906, it was much in evidence about my camp, 
where two or three pairs could be seen, apparently the only cheerful 
beings in the locality ; and at the " trig." of the southern side, at an 
elevation of about 3,500 feet, from which, in winter, the mist 
seldom rolled away, where no other species cared to dwell, I found 
this little bird at home, hunting diligently about the dripping, 
moss-clad fuchsia and other smaller trees, or skipping, in sprightly 
manner, along the dewy stretches of that handsome sub-alpine 
fern Todea siiperba, which formed a soft and springy carpet on 
the ground below. They are most industrious little birds, being 
continuously on the move from dawn to sunset ; and the pair 
may be seen, with slightly drooped and ever-flicking wings, daily 
working over the same ground in the vicinity of their home, from 
which they never wander far, and to which great attachment is 
shown, for, when the bush was felled, many pairs remained about 
these spots — some to nest — and, no doubt, were unfortunately 
destroyed by the fire. Although its wings are rarely still, its 
powers of flight are possibly limited. Direct flight is seldom 
witnessed, and then only for short distances, and its mode of 
progression is generally bj^ a succession of short, quick flights of 
a few inches at a time. But, by a system of its own, the Rifleman 
rapidly examines the timber and moves from tree to tree in such 
a way that true flight is practically dispensed with, or rarely 
required. One soon remarks the consistent method by which the 
bird searches for food — a search in which, unlike some other birds, 
it never loiters or diverges from its path, and never wanders aim- 
lessly about a tree. Starting low on the bole of some larger tree, 
it climbs the mossy trunk with short hops to the accompaniment 
of its flicking wings. Up it goes in its perpendicular path in 

226 M'Lean, Bush-Birds of New Zealand. [isf April 

successive steps until, satisfied with the height attained, it lets 
itself drop, with open wings, almost vertically down to the base 
of a neighbouring tree, whence it starts again. Rarely does it 
mount to a greater height than 30 feet, and sometimes, on reaching 
the first large limb, skips along its length, ignoring adjacent 
twigs and branches. Now, this horizontal limb above appears to 
be used as a means to further progress, for, by dropping from the 
end towards the butt of a neighbouring tree, up which it means 
to climb, the Rifleman saves itself a certain amount of flight. 
However, it has been seen to hover in mid-air against the moss 
of some forest giant or describe an upward spiral flight around 
its trunk, as if in quest of a suitable spot for more minute in- 
vestigation. Twigs and creepers and their leaves are little to its 
liking, and in the smaller vegetation it behaves in much the same 
way as it does in the heavier timber, running up, perhaps, the 
roughened stem of a tree-fern, disregarding the leafy crown for 
the base of a sapling in the vicinity, whence to trip aloft again. 

The vocal attainments of the Rifleman are in keeping with its 
diminutive size, and its notes are weak, like those of a nestling. 
Its song was never heard, and it is doubtful if it possesses one 
The call, however, a faint single note, very rarely duplicated, 
like " Sit," is called at frequent intervals, during winter, by both 
sexes as they move about the bush, but it was thought to be 
less frequently uttered in spring. When the bird is alarmed, this 
note becomes a scolding rattle, " Str-r-r," but slightly intensified 
in sound, which was heard only on rare occasions, and then from 
the male alone. The call, " Sit," has been likened to that of our 
handsome native cricket {Xiphidmm maoricum), a large-winged, 
sap-green insect, with long antennae, whose soft, monotonous 
chirp — not to be confused with that of its introduced black 
relative — is audible on autumn evenings about our gardens and 
shrubberies. This comparison of notes is hardly to the advantage 
of the higher organism, but it is not very far from being the truth. 

Were it not for the habit of continually flicking its tiny wings, 
the Rifleman would hardly attract attention, for it is by no means 
vociferous, and its plumage, of green and brown and white, is 
in keeping with its surroundings ; but it is such a lively 
little mite, and, with its trustfulness, soon commends itself to 
one. None of our bush-birds, however, takes so little notice of 
one's presence, and it is far too businesslike to interest itself in 
the affairs of others. Even the Whitehead's excited summons, 
which is quickly responded to by other birds, fails to impress this 
ever-busy bird. But if undue attention be paid to it the bird 
becomes shy in one's presence, and it is at all times difficult to 
arouse any inquisitiveness. I repeatedly failed to attract its 
attention by the usual methods employed with other species, but 
on one occasion caused some excitement ; but it was in September, 
and the nesting season, when the birds appear somewhat more 
cautious, was drawing near. The toast was overdone, and the 
scraping made by the knife which was being used brought up a 

Vol. XI. 

] M'Lean, Bush-Birds of New Zealand. 227 

pair, of the presence of which in the vicinity I had, until then, 
been ignorant. They came within 3 feet of me. The male, in the 
advance, was very angry, and scolded with the faint rattled note, 
while the female backed him up on the same log, both drooping 
their little wings in great excitement. On one occasion I was 
resting in the bush and observing a party of Whiteheads above, 
when a pair of Riflemen came near. I kept perfectly still, and 
had the satisfaction of seeing the male first settle on my boot and 
thence run uj) the legging to my knee. There he paused for a 
moment's survey ere he flitted off to join his mate. In this no 
curiosity or fear was shown, but he was wide awake. It seems 
well able to take care of itself, and in the daily visits to our camp 
this alertness always saved it from the cat, who was sorely 
tempted, and I have seen the male boldly face and rate the Falcon 
sitting in too close proximity to his haunt. 

From what had been read about the bird's nesting habits in 
other parts, it was thought that the Rifleman would be found 
breeding early in the spring ; but, although no other species was 
more carefully watched, it was not until the last few days of my 
stay in igo6 that a nest was obtained. From observations made 
at this nest, it was evident that the birds are far too circumspect 
to reveal the nesting site. This is somewhat strange of a bird 
which at other times pays little regard to the presence of man ; 
but it was noticeable to the writer that some other species which, 
in the more open country, are more in touch with human beings, 
and are not there so tame as when met with in the virgin forest, 
do not display so much caution when nesting in the former as they 
do when building in the bush. 

On 8th October a glimpse was obtained of a bird carrying some- 
thing into a steep face of felled bush in the Mangamaia Creek. 
Some considerable time was spent on the loth in an endeavour 
to locate the nest by watching from the opposite bank, but the 
birds could not be seen. However, on the following day a more 
careful approach was made, and from my hiding-place the female 
was seen flitting in the felling on the face, and soon disappeared 
under a small felled tawhera limb which hung a foot outwards 
from the mass of exposed rootlets that fringed the top of a steep 
stone face about 18 feet from the water. After about a minute 
the bird emerged and flew quickly off, but returned in a few 
moments and again enteredj. She stayed inside for a second or 
so only, and on coming out evidently saw me, for she flew over 
the creek and started explorations about the bole of a large birch. 
There the male soon joined her, and, although watched for fifty-five 
minutes, they never approached nearer than 50 feet to their nest, 
and then only as if in the usual course of their hunting. During 
this time no difference in their behaviour from that usually observed 
could be detected ; and, as I had known and watched this par- 
ticular pair for some months, I came to the conclusion that there 
is little or nothing in the actions of the nesting Rifleman to betray 
the fact. At the end of the hour, the female, who had worked 

228 M'Lean, Bush-Birds of New Zealand. [,.rA"rii 

up unobserved through the felled timber, paid a momentary visit 
of inspection, just slipping in and out and away like a flash. Before 
proceeding to examine the nest, which my impending departure 
made necessary, on 12th October I again carefully approached and 
watched for the birds, as on the previous day. Both male and 
female were seen to enter on several occasions. They generally 
came unseen through the felled stuff, rested a moment on the 
overhanging limb, and invariably flew directly out, disappearing 
in the felled scrub again. On one occasion the female was in at 
the nest when the male brought something. He went in too, 
but came out almost immediately, having handed over his supply 
of material to his mate inside. It was afterwards found that the 
nest was practically finished, and this would account for the 
infrequent visits, and for so little time being spent inside. The 
material, too, was so fine that it rarely could be seen whether the 
birds were carrying anything at all. Being now satisfied that 
both birds worked at building, a move was made to photograph 
the site before going up to the nest. This caused the birds to 
cease their operations, and they disappeared ; but while taking 
the nest the male sounded his rattling note in the timber near, 
but was never visible. From the above it may be seen how careful 
the birds are when they know that danger threatens their home. 
The position of the nest did not admit of its being photographed 
in situ, and, even had it been possible to rig a camera up in such 
an insecure spot, the nest was absolutely hidden in the mass of 
rootlets ; so, after removal, it was carefully photographed in the 
bed of the creek below, simply resting on the stones at the foot of 
the bank (Plate XXIII.) Amid these roots, with its base in touch 
with the more or less distributed mould, the nest was hidden, its 
entrance being about 8 inches from the outside ; and although it 
was, in a way, supported by the rootlets, none was incorporated 
with the material of which it was composed. Other nests have, 
I believe, been observed in holes and cavities of tree-trunks, 
so this may have been a somewhat unusual position. Some 
readers may possibly know the style of architecture employed 
by the family PittidcB in Australia, to which Acanthidositta 
{Xenicida) is considered akin — dwarf Pittas, in fact ; and so, 
although a full description of this nest has already been published 
in The Ibis, it may be of interest for comparison if repeated 
here. As will be seen from the illustration, it is a work of con- 
siderable labour and skill on the part of so small a bird, and on 
the day of removal, although dry and somewhat lighter, it 
weighed iif ozs. It is a compact, oval ball, with one end slightly 
flattened. In height it measures 5 inches, in breadth 5.1 inches, 
and in length 5.5 inches. It is composed principally of very fine 
rootlets, much interwoven, a little moss, a few leaf skeletons, and 
one or two pieces of bleached ribbon-like bark are intermixed. 
The flattened end is wholly composed of very lightly interwoven 
rootlets, through which the entrance, .85 inch in diameter, tunnels 
for 1.8 inches to the circular egg-chamber, about 2.5 inches in 

The EiML' Vol. XI. 


Nest ot J<irtcinan (AccuilhidositUi chloris) 

Nest of Blight-Bird (Zostcrops ccrriilescens). 


^°';^^'^'] M'Lkan, Bush-Birds of New Zealand. 229 

diameter, situated towards the otlier end of the oval. As the 
nest was phiced with its longer axis at an angle of about 30° to 
the horizon, and the tunnel was horizontal, the entrance opened 
towards the upper part of the egg-chamber. This cavity is lined 
with brush-Uke particles of brown fern-down and very fine moss, 
well felted together. Its most characteristic feature is the long, 
tunnel-like entrance through the thickest and most closely woven 
part. No feathers can be felt among the lining of the nest, 
which, however, seems finished. Reference to the "Birds of New 
Zealand," vol. i., pp. 108, 112, 115, and 250, and to " Animals of 
New Zealand," p. 112 et seq., will show that the different members 
of the family Xenicidce construct very similar nests, and also 
place them in situations much the same. The eggs of this bird 
are white. 

The Rifleman is not uncommon in the higher wooded ranges 
of the East Coast district, but is never seen outside them. 

Glaucopis wilsoni — Blue-wattled Crow. 

Buller, " Birds of New Zealand " (2nd edition), vol. i., p. i. 

The Blue-wattled Crow, which is restricted to the North 
Island and one or two of its islets, was always local in its habitat, 
and is now regarded as a rare bird in New Zealand ; so I was 
perhaps fortunate in meeting with it in this Maunga-Haumia 
country in each year. In igo6 it was observed in parties of from 
four to seven during April and May, but in midwinter little was 
seen or heard of the birds, when, owing, no doubt, to their dislike 
to the noise of the falling timber, they retired further up the 
sheltered Mangamaia valley of tawhera and mixed bush, which, 
for that year, remained unfelled. In September and October odd 
pairs were about my third camp, where the surrounding lighter 
bush was in touch with the main forest, and remained to the last 
days of my stay before being felled. However, in the following 
winter they were occasionally to be met with about the scrubby 
parts of the southern side, where, in one particular patch, a 
pair or two remained until the felling forced them further back, 
in October, to the adjoining standing bush. It was thought that 
possibly the parties seen in autumn were composed of adults and 
their full-grown young ; but, as none was ever shot, I cannot be 
sure of this. In spring I never saw more than two birds together, 
and sometimes a single bird would be noticed feeding by itself 
about the scrub or on the ground. They were not observed or 
heard upon the higher ridges, but seemed content in the lower 
valleys of tawhera and other light timber, paying an occasional 
visit to the adjoining denser tawa slopes. 

To the writer's mind, the Crow can hardly be called inquisitive. 
Although displaying some caution or shyness on first acquaintance, 
it will eventually allow a near approach to be made, and may 
then be observed at close quarters ; but it was noticeable that 
the bird's first care, on hearing steps in the bush, was to place 

230 M'Lean, Bush-Birds of New Zealand. 


il April 

between itself and the sound a mass of leaves through which to 
spy. A party of five, which I saw on the first day that I visited 
this bush, remained directly over the track, not more than 20 feet 
from the ground, while the stumbling pack-team, with its two 
attendant riders, passed below ; and as we rode along behind they 
peered through the leaves and branches at us, while evincing not 
the slightest inclination to depart. Sometimes the movements 
of the Crow cause some rustling of the leaves ; but, speaking 
generally, it is not a noisy bird, and its notes are rarely heard 
when feeding ; so that, unless one keeps a good look-out, it may 
be easily passed by. However, they are not in the habit of 
shifting about much, and each party or pair remains for days 
about the one locality, so that, when once discovered, I soon came 
to know pretty well where to expect them when next I came 
that way. 

One of my tracks led down through the tawhera country to the 
point of a low spur overlooking the Mangamaia, thence across the 
creek and up the face of mixed bush opposite to the ridge above. 
About two chains up from the creek it passed through a patch 
of white-wood and fuchsia trees, where, at times, I spent a few 
minutes watching a party of seven Crows, which, by 10 o'clock, 
was always near on the days when I passed through in the first 
three weeks of May. On odd days — chiefly after rain — their rich 
notes would be heard from this point, far ahead, as I came along 
the track, but usually they had passed across to the patch before. 
Once, being somewhat earlier than usual, I found them working 
along, with short flights and great bounds, through the tops of 
the manuka trees on the spur, one or two breaking into music 
at intervals. They were making a direct march, and at length 
launched themselves across in straggling order to their feeding- 
ground below. Here they remained quietly working through the 
trees and shrubs until late in the afternoon. Their notes^-different 
now from the morning song — would be heard in the manuka 
and tawhera face again, to which they had retraced their steps, 
and where, I fancy, they spent the night. Mixed with the under- 
growth of this particular patch, to which they daily resorted, 
grew a number of the large-leaved karumu (Coprosma grandiflora), 
a straggling lo-foot tree, upon whose translucent orange berries 
the Crows fed eagerly ; but they varied their diet with insects, 
and with leaves and fruit from the surrounding trees. On first 
viewing them they would probably be found in the karumu 
bushes, busy at the fruit ; one or tv/o on the ground turning over 
the leaves with their bills as if looking for fallen berries or for 
insects ; but my approach would send them higher up into the 
white-wood or other trees, and, after peering at me for a few 
moments, they would settle down to investigate the bark and 
foliage. I was much struck with the careful manner in which 
the Crows take their food. They seemed to toy with it. There 
was no picking and pecking at the berries, which they deliberately 
drew from the branches ; no tearing of moss and bark for insects ; 

Vol. XI 

"1 M'Lhan, Bush-Birds of Neiv Zealand. 23 1 

and, with leaves, they rather nibbled than plucked them. They 
assumed extravagant attitudes while examining with sharp eyes 
the nooks and crevices about the mossy forks of a many-limbed 
white -wood ; and their long legs enabled them to execute many 
gymnastic feats, one of the best being that when a bird, on an 
outgrowing branch, dropped backwards till it hung underneath, 
and then gradually drew itself up sufficiently to peer at me over 
the top side of the branch — head above and tail and legs below — 
like a performer on the horizontal bar. By means of these long 
legs they actually swing themselves from branch to branch at 
times, and very rarely use their wings as a means of locomotion. 
In moving through the bush they simply run — using the wings 
to balance — in great bounding hops through the interlacing 
branches, and in this way can move at a greater pace above than 
one can walk below. 

It is doubtful if the Crow is able to make any sustained flight, 
and on the only occasion that I have seen an attempt made, 
when a party dropped across a creek — a distance of about 
40 yards — to the opposite face, the wings were hardly moved, 
and the tips of the primaries were much separated, so they floated 
rather than flew. Once, on the southern side, I came upon a 
flock of Whiteheads whose scolding appeared to alarm some Crows 
who, until then, had been invisible in the undergrowth. Off the 
latter went in great strides through the smaller trees, causing the 
vines and slender branches to shake considerably ; but I caught 
them up a little further on, where I found them busy picking 
the reddish berries from the grape -like clusters of the supplejack 
— a vine that climbed about the trees and formed great masses 
in the branches there. Little of their mode of progression on the 
ground was seen, for on the few occasions they were noticed 
there their stay was short. One day four were observed on 
the track moving slowly along, independent of each other, 
examining the ground and the ferns ; but my approach sent them 
up. They hopped into the branches of a hinau, and started feeding 
upon the fruit. It is evident that their food, in winter at least, 
consists to some extent of leaves, for in the scrub below the slip 
hardly a berry existed, and the pairs that wintered there were, 
whenever seen by the writer, busy eating the foliage of the puka 
and of one of the smaller coprosmas (C. lucida ?). The latter 
plant had here and there an odd berry, but they were few and far 
between, and it was upon the leaves alone that I saw them feed. 
They may have obtained a few wetas {Deinacrida megacephala) — 
a repulsive insect, whose tunnels were numerous in the branches 
of the wineberry and white-wood, and which, though nocturnal, 
were occasionally seen out on dull, damp days. One damp morning 
I watched one for some considerable time at a distance of a few 
feet as it fed upon the leaves of the puka — a large, thick-leaved 
plant which grew plentifully about this stony face, and varied 
from saplings a few inches high to solid trees. The bird appeared 
in good plumage, but the wattles were not conspicuous, and its 

232 M'Lean, Bush-Birds of New Zealand. [isf A^pril 

closely-packed, feathers were in marked contrast to those of the 
wet, bedraggled Tits and Whiteheads that were close about. 
I watched the bird feed quietly for perhaps five minutes, and 
within 6 feet of me — now taking pieces of coprosma leaf and 
nibbling them with the point of the bill ; then a spring to another 
branch to nibble again, or down to the ground, where it turned 
and tested, bit by bit, the fallen puka leaves. I watched it nip 
off and nibble, piece by piece, a leaf from a young plant of the 
latter, and found many leaves marked on their margins about 
here. At length it jumped up to a low branch, wiped its bill, and 
then, after surveying me, drew itself up, and, with head in the 
air, called a very soft, guttural " Kur-r-r," eventually moving off 
to join its mate. 

On 2nd July, 1907, the notes of a pair of Crows were heard 
close at hand, and taken down at once ; and there were frequent 
opportunities of verifying them afterwards : — (a) " Whe ' " (sharp 
piping whistle), " Twerr " (long-drawn and organ-like), " Tol- 
tol-tol-tol " (soft, bell-like, see Plate, page 77, No. 13) ; (b) 
" Twor " (long-drawn), "Tor-tor-tor-tor" (fast. No. 14); (c) 
"Twee" (sharp whistle), " Tu tu tu tu " (soft, musical tapping. 
No. 15) ; {d) " Click-click-click " (sharp clicking, many times and 
fast) ; (e) " Twee " (the sharp whistle), " Click-click-click " ; (/) 
" Tii " (soft, low whistle), " Kik-kik-kik-kik " (a sucking note) ; 
(g) "Twerr" (long organ), " Click click " ; (h) " Whe ! whe ! whe ! 
whe ! " (a piping whistle), " Torr " (clear and organ-like, as in 
No. 16). There was a fair pause of eight or ten seconds between 
each line, and perhaps half a second between the first and second, 
and between them and the duplicated notes. These latter were 
sounded fast, but clear. The organ-like notes are ventriloquial, 
and at first puzzled me, for they often sounded as if from overhead 
or very close at hand. The birds were about 30 yards distant, 
and they were the only two about. It could not, at that distance, be 
determined whether both birds were calling or not. The last 
line (h) was heard several times, as also were some of the others ; 
but the above practically represents the whole repertoire, and 
was written on the spot. As the birds moved off I tried to follow, 
but it was a matter of impossibility to do so in such awful scrub, 
and I had to be content with taking a photographic record of 
their haunt. It had been raining lightly, and was still somewhat 
misty at the time (9.30 a.m.) the birds were heard. 

Although in other lands the family name is usually associated 
with anything but melody, there is in our present-day New 
Zealand bush no bird whose music, when heard in concert with 
others of its species, surpasses that produced by our sombre- 
plumaged Crow. Few sounds are so enchanting as when a 
paily of these birds is practising a number of rich flute and 
organ-like notes, many as if in chord, and some ventriloquial. 
It is only at early morning, when the sun first tips the tiees, 
that such a combination may be heard, for then the clicking 
and tapping sounds of other times are not indulged in. In 

^°.q,^''] M'Lkan, Bush-Birds of New Zealand. 233 

sets 13, 14, and 15 are shown the music corresponding respectively 
to the hnes a, b, and c of the song. In these morning carols 
the first two notes of set 13 stand out frequently in rich, 
long-drawn tone and in harmony with many others which blend 
with the mellow ringing notes — the last of that same line. The 
final note (set 16) of line h often swells dee]) and clear among the 
rest, as if in chord. In their broken outburst of melody they 
somewhat resemble the imported Australian Magpie {Gymnorhina), 
whose notes are now to be heard from some of the clumps of trees 
in parts of the lower country : but the latter has not the music 
of the native bird. Sometimes towards evening the final notes 
of line c, " Tu tu tu," may be heard in the scrub as the birds are 
retiring. They may be repeated many times in succession, and 
always seem to come from one bird. One note, " Kik-kik," of 
line / is uttered in the same way, and exactly resembles the sound 
made by a driver when urging on a horse. It was noticed that 
these two tapping notes were in evidence before rain, while on 
sunny mornings, especially after rain, the chorus was pretty sure 
to be indulged in. The soft, ringing notes of line a (last of 13) were 
occasionally heard from the trees during the daytime, and were 
very characteristic — so much so that the bushmen always spoke 
of the Crow as the " Bell Bird." This led to some confusion 
when speaking of the true Bell-Bird, and it took some little time 
to gather from some of the men that, while Glaiicopis wilsoni was 
to be met with in some parts of the Taranaki and Bay of Plenty 
districts, Anthorms melanura was in the former province to some 

I believe these birds are very much attached to each other when 
paired, for they always keep close company, and I have seen 
them (20th August) now and then halting in their slow wanderings 
to caress (bill) each other. I was much annoyed when one of a 
pair I knew of was killed by one of the Pigeon-shooters ; and I 
felt sorry for the remaining bird, which stayed about the locality 
for many weeks, where I heard it calling for its murdered mate. 
Unfortunately, it falls an easy victim to those unacquainted with 
the bird ; but I can say this for the bushman — ^he leaves the Crow 
alone, because it is unfit to eat. 

As previously mentioned, pairs came into the unfelled parts 
of the 1906 sections from the adjoining main bush in September, 
and one pair remained not far from my third camp until towards 
the end. Many references occur in my notes to this pair, which 
treated us on many occasiox,s to morning music, and to whom 
I am inclined to assign the large nest, which was discovered 
after the tree was felled, in the final face of bush put down on 
1 2th October. The men assured me that two Crows were about 
the spot when they started felling that day. I had seen and heard 
the pair about this tawhera face for some time, but had not 
suspected their nesting, and that part was seldom visited, for it 
was a corner near the standing bush, and, although near the camp, 
was not in the direction that took me to where the gangs were 

234 M'Lean, Bush-Birds of New Zealand. [is^Ap^rii 

working. It had been left for the last. This nest was placed 
about 20 feet up in the large fork of a leaning tawhera, which 
grew, with others of its kind, among heavy manuka and other 
trees, in a small gully opposite the patch of nei-nei in which the 
Robins' nests were found. A careful examination of the ground 
after felling failed to discover any signs of eggs or young having 
been thrown out by the fall. It was a large, rough structure, 
the base being composed of small twigs of manuka and other trees, 
much mixed with strips of manuka bark, rootlets, moss, and 
leaves, fairly compactly built, but spread. The ends of the twigs 
and pieces of bark projected somewhat outside the moss and leaves, 
giving the nest a very irregular shape, but in the upper part there 
were fewer large twigs and more bark, rootlets, and moss. There 
was not much system except where the lining of the interior came 
up over the edge. The cavity was fairly well lined, principally 
with narrow strips of manuka bark worked in with moss, leaves, 
and rootlets ; but, of course, I cannot say if it were complete, but 
it appeared finished. It was unlike any nest I have ever seen, 
and its features were its outward irregularity, looseness of con- 
struction, and the marked disproportion in the size of the 
materials used to each other, rough |-inch twigs being mixed 
up indiscriminately with thin rootlets and moss. The cavity 
was fairly deep, and seemed large for the size of the bird, 
measuring 4.75 inches wide and 2.5 deep. The width of the nest, 
with the straggling ends of the twigs, was about 16 inches, but 
the more solid part would be about 11. In depth it measured 
6.5 inches. I think there can be little doubt but that the above 
nest belonged to the pair of birds which had kept so long to this 
spot, and that the two were, among others, intending to remain 
and nest in this valley during the approaching summer is 

The genus Glaucopis is confined to New Zealand, and there are 
only two species — the present one, and G. cinerea, its repre- 
sentative of the South Island, also much rarer than it formerly 
was. Its affinities are said to be with the Australian Crows and 
Bower-Birds ; and Dr. Gadow has said " if a Satin-Bird could be 
induced to marry a Piping-Crow, their offspring might, in New 
Zealand, become a Glaucopis " (see " Birds of New Zealand," 
2nd edition, vol. i., p. 4). In this district the bird is still to be 
met in a few places in the higher country, but will surely decrease. 
It is so very local that, unless the bushes which in the end may 
be reserved are specially suited to it, it will ere long be numbered 
with our lost species. This is much to be regretted, for there is 
still much to learn about it. The bird claims a high place in its 
class ; in fact. Professor Parker states (see " Birds of New 
Zealand," 2nd edition, vol. i., p. 4) : — " In all respects, physio- 
logical, morphological, and ornithological, the Crow may be placed 
at the head, not only of its own great series (birds of the Crow- 
form), but also as the unchallenged chief of the whole of the 

^"'iQi-'] M'Lean, Bush-Birds of New Zealand. 235 


Including the Bush-Hawk and the Owl, or Morepork, of the 
twenty-one species of North Island birds which may be called 
arboreal, sixteen * arc here enumerated as occurring in the 
Maunga-Haumia busli. But we must exclude the Huia [Hetera- 
locha acutirosfris) — now an extremely rare bird — as unlikely to 
occur, for its range does not extend so far north. Of the five 
remaining species, the Red-fronted Parrakeet (C novcc-zealandice) 
was possibly overlooked, and the Long-tailed Cuckoo {Eudynamis 
taitensis) had probably not arrived when I left, for the paity of 
surveyors who " cut up " the 2,000 acres of adjoining bush met 
with it in November and December of igo6, and Mr. H. D. Evans 
saw it there on many occasions. While there is some evidence 
of the presence of Creadion canmculatus and Turnagra tanagra in 
the East Coast district, the Saddleback was not identified and the 
Thrush was not observed by the writer. That the Stitch-Bird 
{Pogonornis cincta) now exists in any of this country, or even on 
the mainland, is very improbable. With the exception of Miro 
aiistralis, all the species observed in igo6 were met with in the 
following year. 

Round the edges of the bush of the southern parts the fol- 
lowing native species were also observed ; but, as they are not 
bush-birds, we will, after enumerating them, leave them for the 
present. An odd Harrier {Circus goiildi) frequented the older 
country, and, as previously mentioned, occasionally visited the 
burns. A party of Kingfishers [Halcyon vagans) — two adults and 
three birds of the year — spent the autumn and winter about the 
slip valley, and the old birds were busy preparing their nesting- 
hole in a rotten tree in the spring. A pair of Pipits [Anthns novcB- 
zealandice) frequented the grassy open immediately below the 
white slip, and others were noticed on the older country. The 
call of the Weka {Ocydromus greyi) was once or twice heard in 
the slip scrub. It is now a raie bird in the district. A Grey 
Duck or two [Anas superciliosa) was occasionally seen in the 
creek, and in iqo6 a pair of the Mountain-Duck {Hymenolcermis 
malacorhynchus) — a bird of the mountain streams — was observed 
in the Mangamaia. Curiously, too, the White-throated Cor- 
morants (Phalacrocorax hrevirostris) were seen taking a short cut 
through the saddle, and high over this bush, on their way from the 
Waipaoa River to the inland Motu streams. But fancy a sea-bird 
in the bush ! One of the Petrels may be heard, during summer 
evenings, as it flies, with sharp call and high in the air above 
the bush, to its breeding quarters in the bush-topped hills beyond. 

The open country of this district holds but few of our New 
Zealand species, but is overrun by aliens — some good, many 
doubtful. All have their failings, but no truly native bush-bird 

* In The Ibis it lias been put at fifteen ; but it is thought advisable, in 
this article, to include Harpa noves-zealandics as a tree-frequenting species. — 
J. C. M'L. 


M'Lean, Bush-Birds of New Zealand. 

V Emu 
List April 

has yet been declared harmful. With the exception of three or 
four species, our bush-birds cannot exist in the scattered bushes 
of our open country. There the undergrowth, so necessary to many 
of our species, and'^to the bush itself, has been destroyed by stock, 
and food is scarce through competition with the imported birds. 

Finally, let me advise anyone who wishes to see our birds to 
visit the higher virgin bush. There, in the sheltered valleys, he 
will surely find many of those recorded here, and, I hope, some, 
if not all, of those which were not observed by me. 


Plate III. 

lor " HarpanovcB-hollandi(B" read " Harpa novcB-zealandicB." 

^^ ^ -r ^ -. ^^r-.^ " »-ml.-o iiT-i " QnrI " •niriiwfipl.-a '" rpaH " IVFaVa iiri " 

and " Pipiwhakau " respectively. 
Page 9, line 6, for " Hungaroa " read " Hangaroa." 
Page 14, line 31, for " noclura " read " noctua " 
Page 72, line 42, for " See " read " See't." 
Page 74, line i, for " Mauga-Haumia " read " Maiingf 


Camp on Birch Ridge (birch and tawari trees), 3,000 feet above sea-level. 

Vol. XI. 


] Cii.\NnLER, Field Notes on White-hvowed Field-Wren. 237 

Field Notes on the White-browed Field-Wren 
(Calamanthus albiloris). 
By L. G. Chandler, R.A.O.U., Melbourne. 
{Read before the Bird Observers' Club, lyth January, 191 2.) 
In the open, heathy scrubs around Frankston, Victoria, the 
White-browed Field-Wren is fairly numerous. Wherever the 
dwarf sheoak {Caiisarina distyla) flourishes, one is almost certain 
to find this species. The sheoak bushes afford excellent hiding 
and a shade from the sun. C. albiloris is also partial to bayonet- 
grass country, and although it generally frequents damp, swampy 
ground, I have frequently observed specimens in summer on a dry, 
treeless hillside. However, during the winter months these slopes 
are wet and slippery through numerous small springs, which 
bubble and trickle through the soil. In April, 1909, several days 
were spent studying the habits of those shy little aviforms, and I 
have taken every opportunity since to verify and add to my 
observations. In one paddock about six pairs of birds were 
located, and their warbling songs could be heard from the bush- 
tops in all directions. The usual song may be described as a 
repetition of a series of sweet notes, mingled with a few notes that 
are slightly harsh. One call, used apparently during the breeding 
season, resembles the familiar "tang" note of the White-fronted 
Chat [E. albifrons). When mounting a bush-top to sing, the WYens 
are extremely wary. The song is often begun in a low key, and 
repeated in this strain for some time. By actual count, one bird 
sang for twenty seconds. The effect is ventriloquial, the song 
seeming to come from hundreds of yards away. Having satisfied 
itself that no danger is at hand, the bird breaks into the full- 
throated song. As it sings the head is restlessly moved from side 
to side, the bud being ever on the watch for an enemy. At almost 
any time of the day one may hear the song of the Calamanthus, 
and in the dark I have heard one pouring forth its joyous notes! 
The bird allows one to approach to within about 30 yards, and 
then its song ceases. The tail is moved swiftly from side to'side, 
the body swaying too, and suddenly the bird darts nto the bush 
below. From my observations it would appear to be the male 
bird which sings so vehemently, the female being remarkably quiet. 
The female, lacking the white eyebrow and throat of her mate, 
would be readily distinguished when singing on a bush- top, and 
every example I have noticed was a male. 

Owing to the protective colours of their plumage, the birds are 
not easily detected when hiding. The speed with which they 
run is amazing. In the curious crouching attitude which the 
Calamanthus assumes it resembles a mouse when running swiftly 
through the grass. It almost invariably alights on the ground 
after a flight. On the wing the tail is lowered to the plane of the 
body. For a second or two, when the bird settles, the tail is 
elevated over the back, and immediately lowered as the bird darts 

238 Chandler, Field Notes on White -browed Field-Wren, [.^f April 

to cover. If one is lucky, he may flush the bird, but generally 
several yards from where it alighted. Having seen a Calamanthus 
enter a small clump of dwarf sheoaks, I trampled the undergrowth 
under foot for several minutes, and failed to see a sign of it. 
Remaining quiet for a while, I was surprised presently to see the 
bird run — apparently from my feet — swiftly through the bushes. 
In the early morning, when the grass is wet with dew, it is exceed- 
ingly difficult to flush these birds. They seem to realize the 
disadvantage of wet plumage, and trust almost entirely to their 
powers of running and hiding to evade discovery. This habit 
being characteristic of the genus, it requires much patience to 
secure a specimen. If accompanied by a dog one's object is soon 
attained, but without that ally one may waste a considerable 
amount of time. 

The White-browed Field-Wren is not a wanderer, but restricts 
itself to an area of ground fifty to a hundred yards square. At 
different periods I have visited localities mentioned above and 
noticed a bird singing on a favourite bush where one was observed 
months before. From an examination of several roosting-places 
it would appear that the birds perch at night about a foot above 
the ground in dv^2iXis\ieo3.\i.s {Casiiarina distyla). Of course, this 
applies to country where stunted gum saplmgs are not growing. 
I have noticed nests only in August, September, and October, the 
one nest observed in August being found by Mr. F. E. Wilson, 
R.A.O.U. A nest found at Frankston with the aid of a setter 
dog, on the 17th October, igii, contained two addled eggs. During 
a heavy fall of rain the nest had been swamped, and was conse- 
quently deserted by the owners. Wet weather in swampy country 
causes a number of birds to desert their nests, and this possibly 
accounts for the extended breeding period. 

Early in April, 1909, a bird was seen chasing another through 
the bushes, and several males on dissection disclosed the fact that 
the breeding season was at hand. A female which was obtained 
showed no signs of breeding. The staple diet of the Calamanthus 
is, possibly, insects. The stomach of one bird contained a number 
of a species of ant, and that of another grass seeds and small 
beetles. Snakes and blue-tongue lizards no doubt eat the eggs 
and young of this species. I have had two narrow escapes from 
being bitten by a snake when searching for the closely-hidden nest 
of the Calamanthus. My father, on one occasion, hearing some 
young birds squeaking in distress, hurried to the spot and caught 
a blue-tongue lizard in the act of devouring a nestling. On cutting 
the lizard, open a second bird was obtained. The young birds in 
the nest exhibit as much timidity as their parents. One chick, 
when I approached the nest, stood on its head, with its stumpy tail 
erected above its back. It squeaked with fear as I handled it, 
and, although scarcely able to run, made desperate efforts to escape 
through the grass. Foiled in its attempts, it again stood on its 
head, and remained in that position while I was in the vicinity. 

The nests of C. albiloris examined were in most cases loosely 

The Emu, Vo/. XL 


^°l'.,i^' 1 Cu AS ULER, Field Notes on White-browed Field-Wren. 230 

constructed ot dried grasses, bits of bark, and a few skeleton gum- 
leaves. Thej^ were warmly lined with rabbit fur and feathers. The 
nest is dome-shaped, with the opening near the top It is built 
usually on the ground under a tussock of grass, or in the heart of a 
dwarf casuarina. The description of a bird about one week old is 
as follows : — Abdomen creamy-buft ; chest and fianks pale buft 
streaked with black ; back dark olive-green, centred black ; head 
quills blue, not yet broken ; primaries and secondaries breaking, 
black, tipped with buff ; tail half an inch long, breaking, buff at 
tips, (iajie yellow ; irides brown ; legs light horn : l)ill dark horn. 

Further Notes from the Stirling Ranges, W.A. 

Bv F. Lawson Whitlock, Young's Siding. D.R., W.A. 

In the spring of iqio I was collecting eggs and nests, on behall 
of Mr. H. L. White, of Belltrees, New South Wales, in the Stirling 
Ranges, and an account of the trip appeared in The Emu* I 
had to leave the locality before the season was really far ad- 
vanced to search for certain rarer birds still believed to inhabit 
our south-coastal region. Naturally, my work was not complete 
in the Ranges, and a further trip was necessary to make it so. 

The winter of 191 1 proving very mild, with a rainfall con- 
siderably below the average, 1 arranged to leave home on ist 
August, arriving at my hunting-grounds five days later. Birds 
were already nesting, and by the end of the month the young of 
certain species were on the wing. I was particularly anxious to 
obtain further information regarding the nesting habits of 
Cindosonia casta no not urn, Hylacola cauta, Sericornis maculata, 
Falcimciilns leiicogaster. Malurus pidcherriniiis, and a few other 
species of desser importance. How far I was successful the 
following notes will show. To the list of birds found in the 
Ranges I can add only one or two species which are not mentioned 
by other explorers or in my previous notes. They are : — Petrcrca 
goodenovii (Red-capped Robin). .Egialitis cuciiUatits (Hooded 
Dottrel). Heteropygia acuminata (Sharp-tailed Stint). The 
presence of the two former may have been due to the dry season 
in the interior of this State. In the previous season I had found 
several pairs of a Hylacola inhabiting stony hillsides covered with 
low scrub. 1 was too late to find the nest, as the young were 
already on the wing. In my previous paper I referred to this 
species as Hylacola pyrrhopygia. On referring a skin, however. 
to experts, I find that I was wrong, the bird being really Hylacola 
cauta. I determined to have a good hunt for the nest, which is 
described in A. J. Campbell's "Nests and Eggs" as always a 
difficult one to find — an opinion which I can now thoroughly 
endorse. I was not long in locating two pairs of birds, though 
the species is distinctly local, and rare, in the Stirling Ranges. 

* Emu, vol. X., p. 305. 

240 Whitlock, Further Notes from Stirling Ranges, W.A. [,^t^Xprii 

I fully expected to find this bird an early breeder, and I was not 
mistaken. I was much hindered by the rough winds prevailing 
during the greater part of August and September in my searches 
and observations on the nesting and general habits of the more 
secretive birds. Especially was this the case with the present 
species. The easiest way to discover the presence of a pair is 
to listen for the song of the male, which, to my ears, resembles 
somewhat that of Acanthiza apicalis, and, again, that of Cala- 
manthus montanellits. Hylacola cauta, however, does not appear 
to sing in the very early morning, which is a pity, for the winds 
at that early hour are usually light ; and as the bird has not at 
all a powerful voice, and is by no means a constant singer, one 
does not hear it to advantage in half a gale of wind. 

It was some days before I found the first pair, which haunted 
rather open and low scrub, with a few patches of marlock and 
stuixted jarrah trees. In the marlock Ptilotis cratitia was breeding. 
On the ground itself were small patches of what looked like a 
dwarf banksia, and it was amongst this latter growth that I caught 
sight of a beautiful male Hylacola. It was only by keeping 
motionless that I had any chance of watching him. On my 
making the least movement he hopped or flew at once into a clump 
of marlock, and disappeared. Once or twice I saw him catch a 
caterpillar and hop into the scrub with it — I suppose to share 
the capture with his mate, whom I never once saw. Despite the 
most persistent and systematic search, I failed to find the nest 
of this pair. 

To vary the monotony of non-success, I went on alternate days 
to watch the second pair, and at the third attempt I flushed a bird 
from a nest built in a little hollow excavated in the ground under 
the lee of a clump of dwarf banksia. I hid myself and waited 
patiently until the bird returned, when I satisfactorily identified 
her as Hylacola cauta — a similar bird in all respects to the 
specimen procured the previous year. The nest was globular, 
and much like that of a Calamanthus, the entrance being flush 
with the ground. The general structure, however, was not so 
firmly interwoven as that of the former species. The interior 
was lined with fine grasses and a little fur and feathers. The 
eggs have been accurately described in Campbell's " Nests and 
Eggs," and the present clutch of three was typical. In this 
particular set there seems to be a tendency for the spots to form 
a zone. The eggs of Hylacola appear to have an affinity to those 
ol Scricornis, and also to those of Calamanthus. The nest, too, 
belongs to the same class as those of the two latter kinds. As 
a field naturalist, therefore, I should be inclined to place the three 
genera very near together rather than admit other intrusive 
genera in the present classification obviously less nearly related. 

I was again successful in finding nests of Calamanthus mon- 
ianellus, the Rock Field- Wren. With one exception all were, as 
previously described, being built in a little hollow excavated in 
the bare ground by the parent birds. The odd nest was in a 

The Emu, Vol. XI. 


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^°'i9'^''] ^Vhitlock, Furthey Soles from Stirlmi^ Ranges, W .A . 24I 

tussock ol coarse grass, 18 inches from the earth. I caught a 
young one able to fly at the end of August, so that the species 
must be an early breeder. The fully-fledged young closely re- 
semble their parents. The Rock Field-Wren is not double- 
brooded, but, naturally, some pairs are much later than others 
in breeding, and fresh eggs may be obtained from the beginning 
of August to the beginning of October I found this s})ecies more 
common on the open sand-plains and around the margins of salt 
lakes than on the slopes of the foothills. Both the male and 
female utter the simi)le, but pleasing, little song, which may be 
heard at daybreak and for half an hour after sunset. The female 
is a very close sitter. Three nests that J found were within a few 
feet of a frequently used track. None was really concealed, or even 
sheltered. The entrance seemed usually to face the east or north. 

Sericornis macula/a, the Spotted Scrub-Wren, is by no means 
a rare bird in the Ranges in suitable haunts ; but. owing to the dense 
nature of the scrubs and the secreti\-e habits of the female during 
the actual nesting season, the nest is a difflcult one to find. I 
managed to secure only one. This was placed in an excavation 
made by the parent bird at the foot of a tuft of sedgy grasses 
growing on a scrub-covered sandbank. The nest was like that 
of Hylacola caitta or Cnlamanthiis montanellus. but rather loosely 
woven, and with coarser material externally. I found this nest 
by flushing the female from the eggs, which were fresh, and may 
possibly have been a second laying, as other broods were already 
on the wing. 

Cinclosonui castanuiiotimi (Chestnut-backed Ground-Bird) does 
not extend its range much further south, in this State, than 
the Stirlings. where it is by no means common. At one of my 
camping-places, in a large tract of white gum timber, I found 
one or two pairs, and had the good fortune to walk right up to 
a sitting bird, which flew off her eggs close to my feet. The nest 
was a deep excavation in a very sparse tuft of fine grass, which 
in nc way hid it from view. The interior was neatly lined with 
fine, flat grasses. The nest contained two fresh eggs, which were 
both true to the already described type. The female was v^ery 
wary. I wished to photograph her near the nest, but she ex- 
hausted my patience, and would not come nearer than within 
20 or 30 yards, where she remained sheltered by some low bush. 
This nest was in the open, and away from any tree-trunk or other 
natural shelter. 

One of the first eggs I took on this trip was that of Cacumuiitis 
fiabelliformis (Fan-tailed Cuckoo). The foster-parent in this 
instance was Acanthiza apicalis (Broad-tailed Tit). These Tits 
were particularly unfortunate. They had the great industry to 
build three nests. The first was invaded by the Fan-tailed Cuckoo, 
and I regret to say both the latter were pillaged by some lizard 
or other enemy, which tears out the bottom of the nest to get at 
the eggs or young. I am rather inclined to suspect the White- 
browed Babbler of doing this mischief. All nesting birds seem 

242 Whitlock, Further Notes from Stirling Ranges, W.A. \^^f'^^^x 

greatly to resent the presence of this Babbler near their home. 
I obtained a second egg of the Fan-tailed Cuckoo in the nest of 
Ptilotis cratitia. The only other Cuckoo's eggs observed were 
those of Chalcococcyx lasalis in nests of the Banded Wren {Malurtts 
splendens). In one case the Wren's nest was deserted, and, in 
addition to the Bronze-Cuckoo's egg, contained only one broken 
egg of the lawful proprietors. 

To obtain a nest and eggs of Falcunculus leucogaster (White- 
bellied Shrike-Tit) was one of the chief objects of my trip. Though 
by no means a rare bird, it is a species difficult to observe, owing 
to its habit of haunting the tops of gum-trees — seldom feeding 
near the ground — and also on account of its quiet and unobtrusive 
habits in general. It is a very busy bird, however, and a most 
voracious feeder. The easiest method to find a pair in the large 
tracts of white gums or yates (which it favours most), is to listen 
for the soft but clear call notes. These may be represented by the 
syllables, " Tuee, tuee, twee." It is nearly always the male that 
calls, and he, too, leads the way from tree to tree in the incessant 
search for food. Occasionally the male breaks into a little 
chattering song, and on one or two occasions I heard him join 
vigorously in an altercation between other birds. In the first 
instance the members of a party of Platycerciis icterotis, our 
local Rosella, were squabbling, and I was greatly puzzled by 
hearing notes very similar to theirs, but distinguishable from them, 
owing to the softer and more musical manner in which they were 
uttered. The songster was a fine male Shrike-Tit. 

Until late in the spring the young of the previous year remain 
in company with their parents ; and if the members of the party 
are haunting low trees it is possible to distinguish them by the 
feathers of the head being much less glossy, or in places dull, and 
by the looser development of the crest. The Shrike-Tit is a fearless 
little bird, and will search for food within a few feet of the 
observer. Both sexes are indefatigable hunters, searching the 
foliage and the bark of the various gum-trees. Occasionally I 
have seen them hunting in acacia scrub for larvae, but have never 
seen them on the ground. Their attitudes are very pleasing, and 
infinitely varied. In hanging underneath a limb head downwards 
they are very like the true Tits {ParidcB) of Europe. When a 
caterpillar is found it is always carried in the beak to some con- 
venient perch, and there firmly held down by one foot and devoured 
piecemeal. Usually the head and tail are nipped off first and 
rejected. The male shares his food with the female in a very 
generous manner. Often she follows him about the tree, with 
quivering wings and a querulous cry, but more often she is busily 
searching for food on her own account. The quantity of grubs 
eaten is astonishing, and the search appears to go on the whole 
day, with few intermissions. I spent many hours watching these 
birds, during the whole of two months, without seeing a sign of 
their building. 

It was not until the beginning of October that 1 saw a female 

The Emu, Vol. XL 


\ M^"'^^ 


^'"'qi^'] Whitlock, Further Notes horn Stirling Ranges, W.A- 243 

fly down into some low acacia scrubs and presently rea})})ear with 
a sprig of very line grass in her bill. She carried this to the 
summit ol a York gum, hopping about the foliage as though in 
search of a suitable nesting-site. Nothing more transpired for the 
time being, and in a few days I lost sight of this particular bird 
and her mate. I re-discovered them two weeks later, a mile away, 
in a small group of yate gums. After some watching I again 
detected the female with a sprig of fine grass in her beak. She 
flew to the top of a tall, slender yate, and I could just discern 
the outline of a half-completed nest. The site of the nest was 
almost inaccessible, but I determined to make an attempt to get 
it. I returned to the spot on 2nd November. I soon saw the 
male bird, and he presently flew to the nest and fed the sitting 
female. I had a rope ladder with me, and as soon as I began to 
get the fine line over the limb nearest the nest the female flew 
off, uttering some harsh, grating notes. Without entering into 
details of how I went to work, I may say that, although I secured 
the nest, I failed to save the eggs. I found that I could not 
venture within 7 feet of the nest, and had perforce to cut the 
branch to which it was attached. I was within an ace of success, 
when a gust of wind capsized the branch, the eggs rolling out of 
the nest, and, of course, being broken in the fall. The nest was 
45 feet from the ground. It was a most beautiful structure of 
spiders' webs and the very finest of dried grasses. Both branchlets 
and growing leaves were interwoven in the substantial walls. 
Fragments of the eggs* which I found showed the ground colour 
to be French grey, with markings of darker grey and brownish- 
grey. The clutch consisted of two, slightly incubated. For 
some reason or other the White-bellied Shrike-Tit is a very late 
breeder. Another pair I had under close observation had not 
commenced a nest at the beginning of November, although the 
majority of birds had young on the wing. A third pair was just 
commencing to build in a very tall yate on 7th November. 
They, too, had chosen an inaccessible nesting-site. 

The White-bellied Shrike-Tit is really a smaller bird than it 
looks. It is the powerful beak and the thick, bushy crest on the 
head that makes the bird appear so large. In reality the body 
is very slender, and the tail feathers are narrow and forked in 
the centre. It is possible, at first glance, to mistake the commoner 
Melithreptns whitlocki for the Shrike-Tit. or, again, the males of 
the Western Thickhead (Pachycephala occidentalis) ; but, of course, 
either mistake is improbable when a good view is obtainable. 

I obtained only one nest of Malurus pulcherrimns. This nest was 
very low down, like the three nests which I found in the previous 
year. It was hardly concealed at all, being clear of any larger 
scrub. It contained two typical eggs. I had other pairs under 
observation. Either they were very late or not breeding on 
account of the absence of rain. 

The illustrations with this article include the nest and eggs of a 
familiar forest bird, the Dusky Miner [Myzantha ohsciira). 

244 Whitlock, Notes on Megalnvus stviatus (Milligan). [,^f'\'^r\] 

Notes on Megalurus striatus (IVIilligan). 

By F. Lawson Whitlock, Young's Siding, D.R., W.A. 
There is a swamp which originally covered an area of nearly 
40 acres, but is now only about half that size, the remainder being 
cleared and cultivated. The soil is chiefly true peat, which, when 
dried, burns readily. Some years ago, during a dry summer, 
the peat did take lire, and numerous holes, from 18 inches to 2 feet 
in depth, were burnt. From about the beginning of June till the 
end of November all the lowest parts are under water. A heavy 
growth of cane-grass still covers the unreclaimed portions of the 
swamp — sometimes in clumps of greater or lesser size, but often 
in one almost impenetrable reed-bed. This Western Grass-Bird 
{Megalurus striatus) is confined strictly to the cane-grass, and 
never resorts to the tea-tree or other scrub which grows on the 
margins or on the drier portions of the swamp. 

The spring of 191 1 was noteworthy for its light rainfall, and the 
shallow depth of water remaining on the swamp at the beginning 
of November gave me an opportunity of studying Megalurus 
striatus unaccompanied by the discomfort of wading nearly waist- 
deep through mud and water, as in previous years. On entering 
the cane-grass I could hear the plaintive but sweet notes of the 
Grass-Birds calling all around me. Never had I known them so 
numerous before. The usual call is " Tee, ti, tee, tee," uttered 
in rather a high-pitched, piping manner, or more slowly in a lower 
and more musical tone. The only other notes heard from these 
little birds are alarm notes, which are sharp and rather harsh, 
resembling the syllables " Chuck " or "Tcheck." One hears these 
when near a nest, or when young are concealed in the thick clumps 
of cane-grass. As I was anxious to see a nest in situ, I com- 
menced a systematic search, selecting the larger clumps of cane- 
grass as the most probable nesting-sites. There I made a mis- 
take. Certainly, I did find nests in the thicker cover, but later 
experience taught me that clumps of only 2 or 3 feet in diameter, 
growing in the more open portions of the reed-bed, were much 
more favoured for nesting purposes. Altogether, during the 
months of November and December, I must have discovered 
nearly two dozen nests, some with eggs, some with young, and 
again others from which the young had flown. As I write this 
(7th January, 191 2) I have three nests under observation — one 
with one egg, a second with three fresh eggs, and a third with 
newly-hatched young. This last nest is in a very small clump 
of reeds growing on the margin of a large hole burnt in the peat. 
All the nests I found were very similar both in situation and 
in construction. The parent birds commence to build as low down 
in the reeds as the growth of the latter allows — none would exceed 
18 inches from water-level, which would give an average of about 
2 feet 6 inches from the solid peat. 

I collected typical nests and eggs for Mr. H. L. White, Bell- 
trees. New South Wales, which he describes on p. 249. 

^'"'igi^''! Whitlock, Noies on Megalurus strialus (Milligan). 245 

The female is not a close sitter, and only once did I flush her 
from her eggs. However, it is almost impossible to walk quietly 
through the water, or where the reeds are growing thickly. I 
was never able to detect a female in the act of building, and the 
males do not appear to call in the immediate vicinity of the nest. 
When the young are in the nest, or hidden in the neighbouring 
reeds, both parents become very anxious, fluttering from clump 
to clump witli harsh cries, or even shamming lameness, or a broken 
wing, where the peat is above water-level. In the nest the young 
are able to flatten themselves down in a remarkable way. One 
brood I was examining was so quiet and motionless that I was 
quite deceived, thinking they were all dead. 

Megalurus striatus is a very jealous bird, and the greatest care 
is necessary to avoid disturbing an unfinished nest. One I found 
was just ready for eggs. I only gently felt to the bottom with one 
finger ; but this was quite enough to cause its desertion. A new 
nest was built in a neighbouring clump, the lining of feathers 
being removed from the nest I had disturbed and utilized in the 
new one. All this was accomplished, and four eggs laid, within 
seven days. 

About the end of January the birds appear to leave the swamp, 
returning towards the end of June. The males may be heard 
calling the following month. 

To my thinking, Megalurus has some affinity with the Reed- 
Warblers {Acrocephalus). In the nature of its haunts and the 
situation and construction of its nest it has much in common 
with the latter. Also, there is a certain peculiarity about the 
flesh of both genera. It is remarkably soft, and has a peculiar 
smell. Megalurus is a delicate, loose-plumaged bird, and should be 
skinned quickly when preparing scientific specimens. 

Young birds closely resemble their parents, and are very 
secretive, remaining hidden in the densest clumps of reeds. 


By a. J. Campbell, Col. Mem. B.O.U., Melbourne. 

New Sericornis. — At the Sydney session (1911) of the R.A.O.U., 
Mr. J. W. Mellor. Adelaide, exhibited a Sericornis which he pro- 
cured in the Mount Lofty Ranges. It somewhat resembles the 
Sericornis frequenting the Victorian ranges, but differs by the 
dark sub-terminal markings of the tafl, which markings are absent 
in the Victorian species The South Australian bird is clearly 
Gould's 5. osculans. 

Comparing this mainland bird of South Australia with those 
collected by the R.A.O.U. expedition to Kangaroo Island (1905), 
it will be observed that the insular bird is generally darker (a 
feature peculiar to other kinds of birds inhabiting that island), 
except the abdomen and edgings of the primaries, which are lighter, 
while some of the tail feathers are slightly tipped with white. 


Campbell, Annotations. 

:st Af 

At the time we regarded the Kangaroo Island bird as referable 
to S. maculata — the Western form ; but I now venture to separate 
it under the name of Sericornis halmaturma (Kangaroo Island 

Description of Adult Male. — Upper surface, wings, and tail 
brownish or fuscous, the upper tail coverts being olive-brown : 
primaries edged with grey or dull white : tail near the tip banded 
with dark brown or black, and all but the two central feathers 
•tipped (on the inner web) with white ; spurious wings black, some of 
the feathers edged with white ; line above the eye and a spot below 
white ; space between the eye and bill black. Under surface 
whitish, throat, chest, and breast having dark centres to feathers : 
flanks and tibia tinged with brownish- 
grey. Dimensions in inches : — Length. 
5 ; wing, I ,•■',. ; tail, 2 : bill, ,',. : tarsus, 


A Correction. — In The Emu, vol. 
X., p. 168, I described a supposed new 
Eopsaltria from North-West Australia 
as E. hilli. 

Notwithstanding its yellowish breast 
and upper tail coverts, Mr. Gregory 
M. Mathews (see Bulletin B.O.C., vol. 
xxvii., page 41) has pronounced it to 
be a female of Pachycephala melamira 
(Gould). A re-examination of the speci- 
men confirms Mr. Mathews' opinion, 
and I take this opportunity of cor- 
recting my mistake, with apologies to 
Mr. G. F. Hill. 

The female of Pachycephala uielanura 
has not yet been figured. Gould 
figured the male only. 

Emu- Wrens. — Concerning my re- 
marks in the last issue of The Emu 
(p. 222), herewith is given an illustration 
of half the tails (natural size) of the 
males of the two forms. Eastern and 
Western, kindly drawn by Mr. C. C. 
Brittlebank. The Western (left-hand 
portion) is from a fine skin collected 
at Ellensbrook, and obligingly loaned 
by Mr. B. Woodward, F.G.S., Perth 
Museum. The other portion is from a 
bird collected at Springvale, Victoria, 
by Mr. A. G. Campbell. 

In addition to the difference in char- 
acter of the tail, as figured. Stipiturus 
x&esternensis has a lighter-coloured (grey- 
ish instead of brownish) mantle, darker 

^°';^^^' 1 Campbell, Annotations-. 247 

blue on the throat, aiul some white streaks on the feathers of the 
ear-coverts, which are Ught rufous on S. malachurus. 

Dimensions in inches of a male 5. westernensis : — Total length, 
7^ (including tail. 5^) : wing, i!;'; ; tarsus, !;'}; culmcn, ./„. 

While on the subject of Emu-Wrens, I may mention that a party 
of field ornithologists, led by Mr. A. H. E. Mattingley, procured in 
the Mallee district of Victoria, during the spring of 1910, the first 
female of Slipitiinis mallee (Campbell. Emu, vol. viii., ]). 34). 
but it was so damaged as to be almost unrecognisable. How- 
ev^er. some of the party returned to the locality the following (last) 
spring and secured several examples of both sexes. 

The female, in general upper surface, resembles the male — olive- 
brown broadly striped with a darker colour, with forehead and 
crown chestnut. Under surface cinnamon-brown, lighter on breast 
and abdomen, while some feathers about the ear-coverts have a 
bluish stripe, differing from the rufous stripe in the female of 
the common Emu-Wren (5. malachurus) and the white of 
5. westernensis. 

New Pseudogerygone. — Through the courtesy of Mr. H. L. 
White. Belltrees. New South Wales. I have examined a small 
series of a Fly-eater collected by Mr. S. W. Jackson in the north- 
west corner of that State. I believe it to be hitherto undescribed. 
and venture to name it 

Pseudogerygone jacksoni (Reddish-crowned Fly-eater), sp. n. 

Adult Male. — Upper surface olive-brown, darker on the head, 
approaching cinnamon-brown ; wings fuscous, primaries edged 
with grey ; two central tail feathers olive-brown, rest of tail almost 
black (fuscous), broadly crossed with white, each feather also 
more or less marked with white at the extremity, chiefiy on the 
inner web, but in instances across both inner and outer webs ; 
line from bill to over eye whitish ; dark spot behind the ear. 
Under surface, including tail coverts, white ; buffy wash on flanks. 
Eyes red ; bill and legs almost black, the former lighter at the basal 
half of under mandible. 

Dimensions (approximately) in inches : — Length, 4.1 ; wing, 
2.2 ; tail. 1.5 : tarsus, .7 ; culmen, .3. Dimensions in millimetres : 
— Length, no : wing (outstretched), 80 : tail, 44 : tarsus, 17 ; 
bill (at gape), 44 (Jackson). 

Adult female similar to male, but not so white on the under 
surface ; greyish on throat and chest. Dimensions : — Length. 
113 mm. ; wing (outstretched). 82 ; tail, 46 ; tarsus, 17 : bill (at 
gape), 12 (Jackson). 

Juvenile. — Upper surface rufous : primaiies edged with ochraceous 
buff ; eyes pale blue : legs brown. Dimensions : — Length. 86 mm. : 
wing (outstretched), 62 : tail. 32 : tarsus, 16 : hill (at ga))e), 10 

Habitat.— hlogiX Mogil district. New South \A'alcs. 

These birds are distinctly darker on the upper surface than 
tyjiical P. culicivoru. taken m \'ictoria and Rnerina. from which 

248 Campbell, Annotations. [,st^A"rii 

they may be further distinguished by the reddish-tinged (cinnamon- 
brown) forehead and crown. This colour might have been taken 
for youthful plumage had not the birds above described been 
parents. Again, the eyes are " ruby red " (Jackson), as against 
"reddish-yellow" (Gould) of P. cidicivora. 

The new bird is named in honour of Mr. Sid. W. Jackson 
(collector for Mr. H. L. White), who discovered it while camped 
and enduring great discomfort from excessive heat in the back- 
blocks of north-western New South Wales. 

The following is taken from Mr. Jackson's field notes : — 

" My camp was within a few miles of the Queensland border 
fence, and I had only been couple of days camped on this ex- 
tensive belt of rich, flat country when my attention was attracted 
to the sweet and characteristic song of a Pseudogerygone, the song 
being different to that rendered by any other species of the genus 
with which I am acquainted. Later, and during my journeys 
between the camp and Collarenebri (40 miles), I do not remember 
having heard or noticed this bird in that area : and all the speci- 
mens seen and collected have been on Cambo Cambo station only, 
but in all probability their habitat extends beyond that, and ranges 
westward over a big portion of this dry and inland north-west 
part of New South Wales. One of the first birds observed of this 
species was on the 25th September (1911), and it warbled at the 
same place as I had heard it for two days previously, and its neat 
pensile nest was discovered getting built, both birds lieing busily 
engaged going to and fro with material. It was placed about 
9 feet up from the ground, and well hidden in a mass of the round- 
leaved foliage of a clump of bibble box {Eucalyptus, sp.) suckers 
which grew up from the base of a ringbarked tree. This nest 
contained a clutch of three eggs on 9th October (191 1), when I 
also secured both the parent birds. The birds were not plentiful, 
but very local ; and I usually heard one during my daily tramp, 
and now and again at early morning one would visit the wilga 
tree at the head of my tent, and there pour forth its sweet but 
feeble little song. From what I saw of the birds, they appeared 
to be partial to the suckers of the coolibar and bibble box 
trees, but the wilga trees were also great favourites with 
them. The birds preferred the open forest, where the trees were 
well scattered, and the height of their breeding season (October) 
was the period when they most frequently twittered their sweet 
notes. By December these songs grew remarkably less, and in 
January (191 2) the birds became silent, or were rarely heard, con- 
sequently, owing to their small size and dull colour, they were 
difficult to locate. Most of their time is spent feeding on small 
insects, &c., on the leaves and bark of bushy trees. The bird 
has a habit of moving its tail and the ends of its wings up and 
down rapidly on alighting on a branch, then folding its wings on 
its back." 

Mr. H. L. White describes the nest and eggs on page 249. 

Vol. Xl."j WiiiTK, Deficn'f^finris nf two Nesis and Eggs. 240 

Descriptions of two Nests and Eggs. 
Bv H. L. Whiti:. K.A.O.T., Bki.i.trkf.s (X.S.W.) 

Megalurus striatus (Milli|;an). 

.V('s7. — Loosely coiistructcd ol drird f^nass. warmly lined with 
Duck and Bald-Coot tcatheis. and placed low down iii elunip ol 
reeds growing in water. .A i).iir of birds has been rccei\-ed for 

Clutch. — Four eggs. (i) Mea'=uring — a. .67 x .53: h. .bq x 
.53 ; c, .iij X .52 ; d, .bb x .31. Surface of shell smooth and without 
gloss : ground colour pinkish-white, rather thickly covered all 
over with small spots of brownish-red, which increase towards 
the larger end, where they form a distinct zone. (2) Measuring — 
a, .72 X .54 : b, .72 X .54 : c, .72 x .52 ; d, .70 x .54. Similar in 
colour to clutch i, but the markings are not so numerous, nor do 
they form such a well-defined zone at the larger end. 

Both clutches are similar to eggs of Megalurus gramineus, but 
the markings are larger, and not so thickly distributed over the 
shell ■ the colouring is also much brighter than in M . gramineus, 
and more nearly ai:)proaches that of M. galactntes. 

These eggs were collected for me by Mr. F. Lawson Whitlock 
at Wilson's Inlet, near Albany (W.A.). October and November, 
Pseudogerygone jacksoni (Campbell, ante, p. 247). 

Nest. — The usual Gervgoue shape, suspended from a thin twig 
of a green coolibar tree at a height of 8 feet from the ground. 
Total length, q inches (including a tail of 4 inches) : the hooded 
entrance (i inch in circumference) almost in the centre of the 
nest proper. 

. The nest is constructed of tine shreds of bark, matted together 
with spiders' web and ornamented with spidei"s' white egg-bags, 
and lined with wool and feathers. 

Eggs. — Type clutch of three (g/io/1911). Shape, long ovals ; 
texture of shell fine, surface slightly glossy ; ground colour delicate 
pinkish-white, finely spotted all over with reddish-brown, par- 
ticularly at the larger end, where a well-defined zone of larger 
markings of reddish-brown occurs. The spots or blotches forming 
the zones in specimens a and c are much larger than those in 
specimen h, which is also similarly zoned, except that the markings 
are composed of a mass of minute specks and not blotches. 
Dimensions in parts of an inch : — a, 0.68 x 0.44 : b, 0.68 x 0.45 ; 
c, 0.68 X 0.44. 

Observations. — Mr. Jackson, the collector, states that " Ten 
nests were found getting built, five of which were ransacked 
and pulled to pieces by some nest-robbing creatures. This 
usually' took place just as the structures were nearing com- 
pletion. The first nest found contained a clutch of three eggs, 
on 9th October (iqii). but the remaining four only contained 
two eggs each, although amjjle time was allowed for the third egg 

250 White, Descriptions of two Nests and Eggs. [is^Aprii 

to be laid. The nests were placed at heights varying from 5 to 
9 feet, and well hidden in the masses of leaves of the green suckers 
growing from the bases of ringbarked coohbar and bibble box 
trees (eucalypts). The nests and eggs closely resemble those of 
Gerygone alhigularis, except that they are somewhat smaller." 

Notes on the Native^Hen (Tribonyx mortieri). 

By (Miss) J. A. Fletcher, Tasmania. 

The grassy flats along the banks of the South Esk and Macquarie 
Rivers are favourite resorts of the Tribonyx, and to observe the 
birds is somewhat easy, provided the observer remains quiet. The 
Native-Hens appear to dread movement more than they do noise. 
I remember a certain flat along the Esk with an area of about 10 
acres. Except on the river frontage, this strip was bounded by 
low, rocky, barren hills, with an anabranch of the river running in 
a semicircle at their base. The creeklet had a great number of 
water- weeds, reeds, and rushes growing in it. Here the Native- 
Hens were present in great numbers at all periods of the year. 
When disturbed they ran for shelter to the bracken ferns on the 
hills. Very rarely they attempted to escape by crossing the river. 
Presently a few of the older birds, presumably males, would return 
and begin to eat the grass. By degrees the others also returned, 
though there were always a few individuals ready to run at the 
slightest movement. 

Several of these Native-Hens were very pugnacious, and chased 
intruders from the particular patch of ground they considered to 
be their own. They would run at the trespassing bird with head 
held low and wings partly down, uttering at the same time a noise 
resembling the grunt of a pig. At other times there would be a 
general chorus of their '• saw-sharpening " call, the birds darting 
backwards and forwards in an apparently senseless manner. I 
have watched them crossing a river when wishing a new feeding 
ground. Once 1 counted a dozen birds which had been feeding on 
a low hill and were returning home. They swam one behind the 
other, but appeared rather to " tread water " than to swim, and 
to keep their bodies below the surface. 

Once I saw a Native-Hen try to escape observation by walking 
beneath the water. Amid a bank of ferns I knew that a Tribonyx 
had her nest. Below this bank was a hole in the river, 4 feet 
deep, with a pebbly bottom. I stood on a log and with a long 
stick probed the ferns above the nest. Instantly there was a 
splash, and, looking down, I saw the bird sink to the bottom and 
run along the river's bed up stream a little distance and then dash 
out and race with full speed across the opposite flat. I jumped 
down among the ferns, and, parting them to view the eggs, saw a 
snake making its way slowly across the nest. I was soon back 
on the log again. 

^"'iQi^'l Flktchkr, Notes on Native-Hen (Tribonyx mortieri) 251 

Both sexes assist in tiie making of the nest. Should the birds he 
disturbed when carrying material they immediately drop it and 
run to cover. If the watcher hides they will return, pick up the 
dropped material, and trot off to the selected building site. Along 
the edges of the lagoons and rivers large open nests of these species 
are often to be found during the nesting season. They are 
generally placed in conspicuous i)]aces, on large stones, fiat rocks, 
exposed edges of the bank, or in solitary tussocks. The nests are 
made of soft tussocky grass, the hollow centre being about the size 
of a dinner plate. 

Between 70 and (So nests were inspected by me in 1910, 
and in one only did I see a clutch of eggs. Extra nests arc 
built, I believe, to deceive Hawks and Ravens, and my experience 
with Bald-Coots (P. melanonolus)* and Bitterns [B. pa'ciloptiliis) 
points to the fact that these birds also construct dummy nests. 
Generally speaking, a broody Tribonyx, when disturbed, slips off her 
nest and runs away. The crouching attitude when running, and 
the frequent backward looks which the bird gives, usually betray 
ownership of a nest or hidden offspring. On one occasion I found 
a nest and three fledgelings were hiding head downwards in the 
tussock grass around it. A fourth chick, whose down was not yet 
dry, lay in the centre of the nest squeaking feebly. The chicks 
had a patch of down on each wing ; legs and bills were 

The nest sites are most varied, ranging from a hollow in the 
ground to a willow tree (6 feet above the ground) and flood 
debris. In the Scottsdale district I have seen nests built in the 
centre of a tree-fern. Ravens {Corone aiisfralis) destroy the eggs 
of the Tribonyx. Occasionally the Ravens hunt in pairs. One 
will frighten a bird off her nest and chase her while the other 
attends to the eggs. When the Tribonyx is suiflciently far off her 
pursuer returns to assist in devouring the eggs, which are some- 
times eaten in the nest, sometimes carried away. 

Once while eating my lunch near a lagoon I heard the hunting 
call of a Harrier {Circus gouldi) to her mate, which flew across 
from the far side of the lagoon. I watched the two birds swoop 
down in turn and strike at some creature with their claws. 
Presently I heard a cry of pain, and knew that a Native-Hen was 
in trouble. So intent were the Harriers on their prey that I was 
able to approach closely, and saw blood-stained feathers on the 
hunted bird's back. I frightened the HaiTiers away, and the 
Tribonyx quickly concealed herself in a thick tangle. I have seen 
Native-Hens sitting on clutches of from three to nine eggs, and in 
exceptional cases of twelve, fourteen, and sixteen eggs respectively. 
The nest containing fourteen eggs appeared to be owned by two 
pairs of birds, while in other instances the eggs were uniform in 

*Mr. Gregory Mathews deems the Bald-Coot of Tasmania to be sub-specifically 
different from the mainland form, and has named it P. ni. Jletchertc, in honour of the 
writer of this article. — Eds. 


Wilson, Additional Notes on Helmeted Honey-eater. 

r Emu 

Li^t Apn: 

Additional Notes on the Helmeted Honey-eater 

(Ptilotis cassidix). 

By F. Erasmus Wilson, R.A.O.U., Melbourne. 

Since the publication of a paper by Mr. L. G. Chandler and myself 
on this bird (see The Emu, vol. x., p. 37), I have collected the 
following additional notes. 

After removing a clutch of eggs early in the season I affixed a 
few pieces of pink cotton wool in a fork of a tea-tree to see if the 
birds would utilize it in their new nest. On finding their nest 

Vellow-tufted Honey-eater {Ptilotis cassidix) on Nest. 

some time later, I was pleased to see a pair of eggs resting on a 
lining composed of the cotton wool. One nest found during the 
season had its lining composed entirely of the green leaves of a 
shrub {Pomaderris apetala). 

While observing one nest containing young I was surprised to 
see that the chicks were attended by two pairs of adult birds, who 

Vol. XI 
19 ij 

j Wilson, Additional Notes on Helmeted Honey-eater. 253 

were sometimes all perched by the nest at the same time. Observa- 
tions this year substantiated my theory that these Honey-eaters 
are kept greatly in check by the Pallid Cuckoos (C. pallidus), as in 
nearly every case where nests were observed they either contained 
an egg or young of this Cuckoo. One nest in i)articular contained 
two Cuckoos' eggs, one having been built into the lining. As far 
as I am able to ascertain. Cuckoos are the only birds credited with 
devouring hairy caterpillars, but on one occasion I witnessed a 
Helmeted Honey-eater catch and eat a hairy caterpillar close 
beside me. 

P. cassidix frequently lays one egg only, as several instances of 
this have come under my notice. 

During the winter months these birds are exceedingly quiet, 
and, although frequently seen, it is rarely that they give utterance 
to a note of any kind. This year the birds in the Beaconsfield 
district started laying exceptionally early, nests being noted in the 
middle of August, a month earlier than 1 have seen them in 
previous seasons. 

The following note illustrating the pugnacity of these birds was 
obtained during the breeding season : — A flock of Sittellas (5. 
chrysoptera), in their search for food, happened to enter the domain 
of P. cassidix, who immediately attacked them with such vigour 
that they were all forced to take wing, when in sheep-dog fashion 
he rounded the stragglers into the centre of the flock and kejjt 
them well bunched together till he had driven them from the 

I was also able to All in two gai)s in the immature stages of 
P. cassidix : — Two days old. — Gape lemon-yellow ; throat orange- 
yellow ; crown, dorsal and wing tracts covered with blackish-grey 
quills ; eyes just opening ; primaries and secondaries just emerg- 
ing from quills ; a faint line of quills extending down each side of 
abdomen, and legs slightly downy; feet bluish. Nine to ten days 
old. — Gape lemon-yellow ; long quills on crown breaking, olive- 
yellow, with the down still adhering; quills of ear coverts break- 
ing ; yellow feathers on throat, and breast pale olive-green ; 
primaries and secondaries black, edged with ohve-green ; abdomen 
and legs bare ; back covered with dusky downy feathers ; legs 
and feet bluish ; irides light brown. 

While taking the description of this immature bird, the parents 
returned with food. Knowing this pair of adult birds to be very 
tame, I gently extended my hand containing the young one 
towards one of them, and was dehghted to see her alight upon my 
hand and feed the chick there. 

I am indebted to Mr. A. H. E. Mattingley for the illustration 
accompanying these notes. 

254 ^^^""^ Feathers. [,st^Apr,i 

Stray Feathers. 

New Foster-Parent for Pallid Cuckoo.— On the nth November, 
igii, in company with Mr. F. E. Wilson, R.A.O.U., I observed at 
Beaconsfield (Victoria) a nest of the Bell-Miner (Manorhina 
melanophrys) containing fresh eggs. Two of the eggs had been 
laid by the Miner and the third egg by a Pallid Cuckoo {Cuculus 
paUidus). — L. G. Chaxdler. Malvern, 20/11/11. 
* * * 

Honey-Lovers. — On the 7th December last. I noticed several 
Honey-eaters {Meliovnis novcc-hollandicB), making a great fuss in a 
tecoma creeper {T. radicans) in full flower. I soon saw that while 
gathering honey themselves out of the long tubular flowers, they 
were protesting most emphatically at the presence of a pair of 
Melithrcptus gidaris. The latter were using their sharp and short 
beaks to pierce the tecoma flowers near their base, and thus 
extracting the honey by a short cut. I examined the flowers, and 
noticed that the birds had made quite a considerable perforation 
in the corolla tube. Were the " New Hollands " objecting to the 
damage done the flowers or to the " Black-throateds " sharing the 
supply of honey ? -Edwin Ashby. Adelaide. 12/12/11. 

The Malurus. — A jmir of Blue Wrens {Malurus cyaneus) has for 
several years built in the creepers on my house, "Wittunga," 
Blackwood, South Australia. On the nth November last I 
noticed two full-plumaged males on the guttering of the house, fuss- 
ing about, evidently waiting to take some morsel to the young birds 
in the nest, but a little fearful because of my presence. The female 
bird then appeared on the guttering, and I moved a little further 
away, and immediately one of the male birds flew down to the 
nest to feed the young ones. Directly he had flown away the second 
male flew down and supplied the cravings of the young birds, and 
when he had returned the female bird did hkewise. My sight was 
not good enough to see the insects in the birds' beaks, but there was 
no doubt that each of the three adults was supplying the young 
with food. — Edv^in Ashby. Adelaide, 11/12/11. 
* * * 

Cuckoos as Nest Robbers. — Recently when Ashing along a creek 
near Yea I flushed a Narrow-billed Bronze-Cuckoo (Chalcococcyx 
basalis) from some grass tussocks. Thinking it was after the nest 
of some Blue Wrens {Malurus cyaneus), which seemed excited. I 
looked about and soon found a nest of the Wren containing one 
fresh egg ; so, placing myself behind cover, I waited, and soon the 
Cuckoo came hopping along the ground to the nest, but whether 
it carried its egg in its bill I cannot say. After being at the nest 
for about half" a minute the Cuckoo flew away with the Wren's 
egg in its bill and left its own in the nest. The Wren subse- 
quently laid two more eggs. I think this accounts for the finding 

Vol. XI. 

Stray Feathers. 255 

of so many nests containing the egg of a Cuckoo and an unusually 
small clutch of the foster-parent. — ^Arthur P. Ingle, R.A.O.U. 

Yea, 2/1/ 12. 

* * * 

Acclimatization of Torres Strait or Nutmeg Pigeons. - When at 

Herberton, X.O., in January, 1 visited my friend Mr. Newell. 
He is an old bird-lover. He showed me a small flock of fourteen 
Torres Strait or Nutmeg Pigeons {Myristicivora spilorrhoa) — glorious 
birds, with their white plumage and black pinions flashing in the 
sunshine. These birds came from Low-wood Island, off Port 
Douglas, when quite young, and were put in a cage. Three or 
four got out and one was lost, the rest caught and put back. 
Then a dog got at the cage and more got out, but returned to be 
fed. One by one the rest were let out, and one was drowned, but the 
rest are still here — for the past three years. On 28th January I 
saw one on its nest, some 8 feet from the ground. What a primi- 
tive raft for the single egg ! The bird sat quite quietly, and I 
was but a few feet away. These birds remain here all the year 
round, and their home is 3,000 feet above sea-level. The migratory 
instinct is evidently gone. They know Mr. Newell well, and it is a 
very pretty sight to see these handsome Pigeons come down to 
him to be fed. They will take food from his hand. 

I was at the Museum to-day, and an employe tells me he has for 
years past had Torres Strait Pigeons at his home at Kangaroo 
Point — quite domesticated, he says. I inquired as to breeding, 
but he said they had not bred. I saw them breeding, egg and 
young, 3,000 feet up, and so I fancy there may be some mistake 
about their not breeding in Brisbane. As to any hybridizing, the 
answer was in the negative, and that corresponds to what Mr. 
Newell told me and I saw. A beautiful Torres bird was in love 
(vith a Columba bird of local origin. I saw them repeatedly 
together away from home. Mr. Newell reports this has happened, 
and an egg or eggs laid, but with no result. These very handsome 
birds should be a great attraction to any park or gardens, and 
evidently are easily kept. — F. Hamilton Kenny. Sherwood, 
Brisbane, 6/3/12. 

Forgotten Feathers. 

shaw, "zoology of new holland, 1794." 
By Gregory M. Mathews, F.R.S.E. 
In 1793 was begun a book dealing with some of the " Zoology and 
Botany of New Holland," as it was then called. The botanical 
specimens therein figured were all sent to England by John White, 
the Surgeon-General to the colony. 

Although the title-page and preface to the •' Botany," both of 
which are dated December, 1793, appeared in part i., I cannot find 
that that part was issued before 1794. The title-page of the 

256 Forgotten Feathers. [JtUx 

" Zoology " is dated 1794, and there is no preface or dedication, 
thus showing that it was considered to be one book, and it was 
so bound in one of my copies. 

The wrappers in parts i. and ii. are small, and pasted on larger 
covers. No. i reads : — 

" To be continued occasionally/of/Zoology and Botany/of/New 
Holland/and/the Isles adjacent/Published by J. Sowerby and Co., 
No. 2 Mead Place/Lambeth ; may be had at No. 42 Paternoster 
Row,/and of the town and country booksellers." ■ 

The wrapper on part ii. is almost the same, but it has — " In 
future a number of this will be published every two months." 

Part i. contains title page, half-title page, dedication, preface, 
and plates i.-iv., with their letter-press of botany, and, I think, 
Psittacus eximius and Didelphis -pygmcea (original description), with 
their letter-press of zoology. 

Part ii. contains plates v.-viii., with their letter-press of botany, 
and, I think, Coliimha antartica (original description) and Chcetodon 
constrictus (original description) (?), with their letter-press of zoology. 
After this the " Zoology " and " Botany " were issued separately. 
Two more parts of each came out and contained each four plates. The 
botanical plates were issued as now numbered, and are sixteen in 
number, and probably most of them received their scientific names 
for the first time. Part iv. of " Botany " is dated 1794, but three of 
the plates are dated ist January, 1795. Plates vii. and viii. are 
dated ist October, 1793 ; plates xiv., xv., xvi. are dated ist 
January, 1795. 

In the "Zoology" the plates were not issued in their right order. 
Part i., I think, contained plates i. and ii. 
Part ii. contained plates v. and vi. 

Plates Nos. ix., Turdus pundatus (original description) ; x., 
Coluhor porphyriacus (original description) ; xi., Didelphis sciurea 
(original description) ; xii., Didelphis macroura, were issued 
together, and are dated September and November, 1794. 

Plates Nos. iii., Psittacus terrestris ; iv., Merops phrygius (original 
description) ; vii., Testudo longicollis (original description) (?) ; 
viii., Canser serratus (original description) (?), were issued together, 
and have " 1794 " on them. The wrapper to this part reads : — 

" Zoology/of/New Holland/by/George Shaw, M.D., F.R.S.,/&c., 
&c./ The figures by/James Sowerby, F.L.S./ This volume 
contains/The Ground Parrot. The Embroidered Merops. The 
Long-necked Tortoise. The Serrated Lobster./ In binding this 
work, the order of the pages only is to be attended to in/Descrip- 
tions, which are immediately to follow the corresponding Plates/. 
London/Printed by J. Davis/ published by J. Sowerby, No. 2 
Mead Place, Lambeth, to be had/at No. 13 Broadway, Black- 
Friars, and of the Town/and Country Booksellers/M.DCC.XCIV." 
It will thus be seen that after the " Zoology " and " Botany " were 
issued separately, they were published at a different place than 
formerly, although still by the same publisher. In the " Zoology " 
there are 5 plates of birds, 3 of mammals, i fish, i tortoise, i 

^°',g,^'-] Forgotten Feathers. ' 257 

crustacean, i reptile, and out of the 12 plates, I think 9 are 
original descrii)tions. What is now plate i. has No. 2 in the 
bottom corner, and some printing erased ; })late iv. has No. i in 
the bottom corner, and also has something erased ; these are the 
only two plates without a Latin name. Probably the author 
changed his idea before actually publishing. Plate ii., the first 
mammal plate, has " i " in the top right-hand corner ; all the 
others have their correct numbers. 

In the foregoing I can speak with certainty only of the "Botany" ; 
for the " Zoology " I have gone on external evidence, as I only have 
one wrapper stating what that part contained. 


Bv Ernest Scott, Melbourne. 
Captain Nicholas Baudin was the commander of the French 
expedition despatched to Australia by Napoleon in 1800. He died 
at Mauritius before the return of his ships to Europe, and the 
history of his explorations was afterwards written by the naturalist, 
Francois Peron. Hitherto it was not known that Baudin himself 
wrote any account of the voyage, but researches made recently at 
the Archives Nationales, Paris, at the instance of an Australian 
student, have brought to light an interesting long letter, sent from 
Port Jackson, in November, 1802, to the Minister of Marine. In 
this document Baudin gives an account of his explorations in 
southern Tasmania, and includes a few notes on flora and fauna. 
His observations on birds may not be very striking, but, as they 
record the species seen by an early navigator, they have a certain 
\'alue for ornithologists. The birds mentioned in the passage 
translated below from the manuscript copy were seen by Baudin 
at Bruni Island, Frederick Henry Bay, Maria Island, and Schouten 
Island, which were the ])rincipal anchorages of the British ships 
while engaged upon their explorations in Tasmanian waters. He 
wrote : — 

•' The species of sea-birds, without being remarkably varied, 
could, nevertheless, become a resource of an establishment at the 
outset. The Black Swan, the Pelican, the Albatross, the Cor- 
morant, the Duck, the Teal, the Yellow-headed Booby ('le fou 
blanc a tete jaune '), the ' Goueland gris ' (?), the Pied Oyster- 
catcher ('la Pie de Mer a pieds et bee rouge'), the Sandpiper 
('la Becassine '), and the Seagulls are not to be overlooked. The 
Swan, however, appeared to us to deserve preference over all the 
others, independently of its size. Its flesh is delicate and agreeable 
when preserved in brine. But it is difficult to approach. The 
most favourable time for the pursuit of this bird is the moulting 
season, when it can only fly with difficulty, and when it can be 
captured while swimming, notwithstanding that it can acquit itself 
well even then. The Duck and the Teal are, after the Swan, the 
birds whose flesh make the best eating. The Cormorant and the 

258 Forgotten Fevfhers. LsflU 

Albatross, although less good, are not for that reason to be 
disdained. The Oyster-catcher, the ' Goueland,' the Booby, and 
the Gulls are scarcely worth catching. I do not doubt that in the 
mating and egging seasons other species than those of which I 
mention frequent these shores, where they appear to enjoy perfect 
security. The land- birds that we have met with in the islands of 
the channel {i.e., D'Entrecasteaux Channel) and upon the mamland 
are not very numerous, and they were so shy and difficult to 
approach that I was led to believe that they are often chased by 
the aborigines. The commonest species are the Parrots, blue- 
headed and yellow-breasted, and another kind with red wings and 
green plumage ; the latter is much smaller than the former, which 
is as large as a dove, and very beautiful. The Eagle, the Hawk, 
the Crow, the Magpie, the Cuckoo (' le Coucou'), 'la Pigrieche,' 
'la Grieve,' the Blackbird (' le Merle'), the Partridge ('la 
Perdrix '), and the Quail are only rarely met with, and it was only 
with difficulty that we were able to obtain specimens of these 
species. We hav^e also met with several kinds of small birds which 
were unknown to me, of which the plumage is nicely shaded 
(' bien nuance'), and the song agreeable. All those which we 
have procured are included in the collection of Citizen Mauge (one 
of the scientific staff), and I hope that they will augment the 
number already collected in the National Museum. The beautiful 
Golden-winged Pigeon, of which Anderson speaks, was so rare here 
that we obtained only one specimen." 

It must be remembered that Baudin was not a trained zoologist. 
Several of his words are puzzling. What Tasmanian bird did he 
call the Cuckoo, for instance, and what the Blackbird ? What are 
the "Pigrieche," the "Grieve," and the "Goueland gris ? " It 
should be noted that the French ships were in Tasmanian waters 
during January and February, 1802. 

Bird Day. 

The first celebration of Bird Day has been successfully carried out 
in New South Wales. The second celebration in South Australia 
and the third in Victoria have assisted in firmly establishing the 
present keen interest that is being displayed by Australians in the 
rich and varied avifauna of this great island-continent. 

In New South Wales the Gould League of Bird Lovers has been 
established, and an appropriate certificate has been issued. (See 
Plate XXVII. — one -third original size.) 

In South Australia new bird clubs are constantly being added to 
the list. Creditable work is being done in connection with the 
education of pupils and teachers by the publication of special Bird 
Day articles. A special Bird Day number of The School Paper 
was also issued. Mr. A. G. Edquist keeps the matter constantly 
before the children by his attractively-written columns in The 
Children's Hour. 

The Emu, Vol. XI. 


yilT] HAlU^i^i'JM I'M^iS 

Vol. XI, 

] Bird Day. 259 

In New South Wales a special supplement of The Teachers' 
Gazette, containing tour coloured jjlates, was issued. This con- 
tained interesting and valuable articles by well-known writers and 
ornithologists. Special Bird Day school papers were issued for 
October. A public meeting, attended by far more than the hall 
could accommodate, was presided over by the Chief Inspector, 
Mr. Dawson, the president of the Gould League of Bird Lovers of 
New South Wales. 

In Victoria the chief feature was the special issue of The School 
Paper containing original articles by members of the R.A.O.U.; 
special lectures and addresses by bird lovers, headed by Mr. J. A. 
Leach, M.Sc, Inspector of Nature Study, to the senior pupils ; and 
excursions to the Zoological (rardens, under the leadership of such 
ardent ornithologists as Dr. Geo. Home, his niece. Miss Bowie, 
and Mr. E. Brooke NichoUs. 

From each school reports were forwarded to the Education 
Department. These are of great value to the members of the 
Union, for the first list gives the birds seen on Bird Day, the second 
a copy of the school bird-list to date. These lists will provide 
much valuable matter for the student of the migratory and 
nomadic movements of birds. 

The Union views with approval the work of the Bird Observers' 
Club, the South Australian Ornithological Association, and the 
Gould League of Bird Lovers, with their thousands of members, 
and anticipates that the efforts to protect our native birds will be 
much more successful because of the weight of public opinion 
created by so many intelligent enthusiasts, who can appreciate the 
beauty, the song, the interest, and the value of the most remark 
able avifauna of any land in the world. 

In addition to the metropolitan area, excellent Bird Day celebra 
tions were held in the provinces, notably at Geelong (where Mr 
C. F. Belcher addressed 1,200 scholars in the Eastern Gardens) 
Tallangatta, Elmore, and Maryborough. At the last-mentioned 
place Mr. A. H. Chisholm addressed both East and West schools 
At the former a pretty poem on "The Honey-eater," specially 
written for the occasion by Miss C. B. Coutts, was recited. The 
veteran bird observer, Mr. Isaac Batey, and Mr. D. C. Swan took 
Drouin and Drouin West schools respectively, and Mr. L. C. Cook 
Poowong, with happy results, while Mr. G. E. Shepherd did yeo- 
man service on the Mornington Peninsula, addressing schools or 
public meetings at Somerville, Tyabb, Frankston. Mornington, and 

Rhipidura (fulvifrons) mayi, Ashby {vide Emu, vol. xi., p. 41). 
— I have recently received a series of this Flycatcher, which might 
be known as the " Northern Rufous Fantail," from Mr. May, from 
the same locality as the last, and they are all true to type, thus 
proving that the distinctive characteristics were not due to 
immaturity. — Edwin Ashby. Adelaide, 12/12/11. 

260 From Magazines, &C: [isfAprii 

From Magazines, &c. 

Mr. D. Seth-Smith, F.Z.S.. continues his admirable and practical 
articles on "Bird-keeping" in The AviciiUiiral Magazine. The 
issue for December (vol. iii.. No. 2), contains remarks on "Quails" 
of special interest and instruction to Australians. 

The Progress of Oology. — In the course of his address on the 
opening of the twentieth session of the British Ornithologists' 
Union (8/11/11), Dr. P. L. Sclater, F.R.S., stated :~" Last, but 
not least, we are delighted to hear that the fifth volume of the 
' Catalogue of Birds' Eggs ' in the British Museum will be issued 
next year. The work, which was commenced by Mr. E. W. Gates 
some years ago, has been almost completed by Mr. W. R. Ogilvie- 
Grant. We wish to become acquainted with every part of the 
bird's structure in all its stages, and rejoice in the progress of 
oology as shown bv these publications." — Bulletin B.O.C., 

Mr. Thomas Parkin, M.A., F.Z.S. &c., has issued a neat little 
brochure entitled " The Great Auk : a Record of Sales of Birds 
and Eggs by Public Auction in Great Britain, 1806-1910," with 
historical and descriptive notes and five plates, issued as an extra 
paper, vol. i, part 6, of The Hastings and East Sussex Naturalist. 
While it is regretted that civilization has destroyed this fine 
fowl from off the face of the earth, Mr. Parkin is to be thanked 
for his painstaking task in preserving an authenticated record of a 
number of skins and eggs that are still extant. The highest prices 
realized at the sales were, for a handsome skin, £350. which was 
purchased for the Royal Scottish Museum, while Mr. James 
Gardner of Oxford-street, London, gave :{330 for the finest known 
egg for its special type of markings — an unrecorded specimen from 
a French collection. The price of the brochure is 2s.. and it may 
be had from Rowland Ward Limited, 167 Piccadilly, London. 

A New Journal. — A small but significant ornithological 
publication closely concerning Australians has been issued by Mr. 
Gregory M. Mathews, who is also its editor. It is styled " The 
Austral Avian Record : a Scientific Journal devoted primarily 
to the Study of the Australian Avifauna." and is issued in con- 
nection with Mr. Mathews' Austral Avian Museum, Watford, 
Herts., England. The editorial note reads : — " While preparing 
my ' Reference List to the Birds of Australia ' (now in the press). 
I accumulated many notes of great interest regarding matters 
that need investigation. In that Reference List I have shortly 
indicated some of these matters, but detailed accounts could not 

^°g,^'] From Magazines, (S-c. 261 

there be introduced. I liave therefore decided to publish, at 
irregular intervals, such notes as I deem necessary to require 
immediate attention and referring to birds which either have been 
already treated of in my ' Birds of Australia ' or will not be dealt 
with in the immediate future. In this place it is proposed to 
indicate new forms, notes on nomenclature, and any other inter- 
esting matter relating to the Australian avifauna." 

Twenty-one pages out of the 24 pages of the initial part 
(vol. i., No. i) contain a very interesting and critical paper, 
showing much research on the part of the editor — " Notes 
on Australian Cuckoos." From all the reasons and references 
set forth, Mr. Mathews has allotted to our hitherto 6 genera or 
13 species, 5 genera (i new), but has multiplied the species and 
sub-species to 23 (including i species and 8 sub-species new). 

It is to be sincerely hoped that the advent of this new publica- 
tion does not signal the withdrawal of all Mr. Mathews' serious 
Australian work from the pages of The Emu — a course to be 
regretted, especially as Mr. Mathews has received much support 
from Australian workers (to wit, from Capt. and Mrs. White, who 
are collecting, regardless of time, inconvenience, and expense, 
throughout the State of South Australia, and with special Govern- 
ment permission), and still expects and undoubtedly will receive 
continued su]iport until the consummation of his self-imposed 


[" Home Life of the Osprey." By Clinton G. Abbott, B.A. Witherby 
and Co., London. Price 6s.] 

This is the third volume of the Bird-Lover's Home Life Series, 
and is in every way worthy of its predecessors. The Osprey makes 
a fine subject for special study, and the photographs reproduced 
in this pleasant volume form a pictorial record of the domestic 
life of the great sea-bird. Some of the illustrations show Ospreys 
in flight, others depict the female alighting on the nest, the young 
birds, and nests in different situations, including the top of a 
telegraph pole and the posts of a sapling fence. All the photo- 
graphs are excellently reproduced, and the plates are artistically 
mounted on stiff brown paper. The text accompanying this 
portfolio, although of minor importance, is full of interest, as the 
author relates his adventures on the coast of New Jersey, at the 
Great Lake, North Carolina, and at other places where he studied 
Ospreys. He describes how the wonderful photographs were 
obtained, and his observations on the habits of the birds are 
valuable. It was on Gardiner's Island that he found the best 
opportunities for studying the Osprey, which is protected by 
natural isolation as well as bv the owners of the island. 

262 Reviews. [,,fXprii 

[" A Naturalist on Desert Islands." By Percy R. Lowe, B.A. Witherby 
and Co., London.] 

Few books of travel are more fascinating than those which de- 
scribe the wanderings of naturahsts. Darwin's " Voyage of the 
Beagle," Wallace's " Malay Archipelago," Bates's " Naturalist on 
the Amazon," and Sir Joseph Hooker's " Himalayan Journals," 
are the classics of this class of literature ; but every year the 
library of natural history voyages and travels is increased. Few 
of the modern volumes can compare with the older ones, because 
they are so often written by men, or women, in a hurry ; the old 
leisurely years have gone. Mr. Lowe's book, if it lacks distinc- 
tion as a literary production, is delightful to read, for it deals 
with remote islands, where man has rarely been, and who can 
resist the romance of the little lands of the sea ? 

For six consecutive winters Mr. Lowe has accompanied Sir 
Frederic Johnstone and Lady Wilton, his wife, on yachting cruises 
in the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. On these voyages 
nearly every island in the two basins was visited, but the present 
volume is devoted to Swan Islands, Blanquilla Island, and the 
Hermanos Islands, all of which are sea-bird haunts. The Swan 
Islands are at the western end of the Caribbean Sea — " anchored 
like floating gardens on the placid surface of a sapphire sea " — 
and on the smaller of the two Frigate-Birds and Gannets nest in 
great numbers. The nests of the Frigate-Birds are built on the 
tops of the trees, whose branches are interlaced, making an arboreal 
platform. Occasionally a bird, when scrambling about the 
branches, loses its balance, and, in falling, becomes caught in a 
fork and is strangled. Mr. Lowe observed that the birds " live 
a good deal on floating animal refuse, which they pick up daintily 
off the surface." 

The illustrations in "A Naturalist on Desert Islands " are 
interesting, but some of them have suffered in reproduction. The 
book is well printed and neatly bound — a desirable acquisition to 
the naturalist's library. 

[" Nest and Eggs of Birds Found Breeding in Australia and Tasmania." 
By Alfred J. North, C.M.Z.S., &c., Ornithologist to the Australian Museum.] 

Part iii. of volume iii. of this work has been issued. It is a con- 
tinuation of the Order Accipitres, and contains the sub-family 
AccipitrincB (commenced on the last page of part ii.), the sub-family 
ButeonincB, and the greater portion of the sub-family Aqtiilince-. 
The figures of eggs, which are natural size, are reproduced by the 
heliotype process from photographs taken under the direction of 
the Government Printer and the supervision of Mr. A. E. Dyer. 
The illustrations of the birds are reproduced from drawings made 
by the late Mr. Neville Cayley, who also hand-coloured the plates 
of eggs in the coloured copies. 

This part is particularly interesting, as it deals with a favourite 
group of birds, and is full of first-hand field-notes from the author's 

Vol. XI 

] Reviews. 263 

correspondents in various parts of the Commonwealth. There are 
also some fine illustrations of -tall" climbing. Here, under the 
heading of Black- breasted Kite, formerly called Buzzard (Gypoidinia 
melano^tcrnitm), is a samj)le field-note, by Dr. Wm. Macgillivray, of 
Broken Hill, and a member of the R.A.O.U. : — 

" During nearly nine years' residence, and a good deal of wandering through 
the scrubs and along the creeks of the district, I have only come across two 
pairs of these birds, and until 1909 had found only one nesting-place. My 
notes must necessarily deal mostly with one pair of birds. In 1907 Mr. 
M'Lennan and I, with some others, on our return journey from Langawirra, 
camped on Talcowinna Creek, about 35 miles from Broken Hill. Early 
ne.Kt morning 9th .September, we proceeded to investigate the nesting along 
the creek ; rutting oft" a large bend to leave a portion near the camp, we 
struck the creek where a Cockatoo {Cacatiia sanguinea) flying from a hole 
40 feet up in a tall gum attracted our attention to a large nest in the same 
tree, on which a bird was seen to be sitting. It was a very windy morning, 
and the bird sat closely ; sticks and stones were thrown up, but she did 
not move until a shot was fired in the air from the specimen gun, when a 
magnificent female of the black-breasted Buzzard left the nest, but kept 
soaring round and round at a respectful distance. Seen from below she 
was a splendid bird, both from her proportions and colouring ; her black 
breast and ruddy under surface, and the dark primaries contrasting with 
the conspicuous white band across their bases, easily distinguish her from 
all other birds of prey. The male, who soon joined her, is only about half 
her size, and not nearly so conspicuously marked ; he has none of her rich 
colouring, no black breast, and pinions not so dark, his breast seen through 
the glass being fawn-coloured. When soaring, which they both do, like the 
Wedge-tailed Eagle, with the carpal joint fully extended and primaries 
all spread out and separate, the male appears in colouring like a brightly 
marked Little Eagle. The difference in size between male and female is, 
however, more marked even than in the Goshawks. When soaring round 
watching the climbers at work, the female kept uttering a series of short, 
sharp cries in quick succession, much resembling the alarm note of the 
Wedge-tailed Eagle The nest was at a height of about 70 feet, placed in 
the fork of a rather thin horizontal limb. Seen from below it presented a 
loosely built and flat appearance. Sticks half to one inch in diameter were 
used in its construction ; it was 2 feet by 3 feet across, with an egg cavity 
9 inches in diameter, lined with green gum-leaves. The nest contained 
two fresh eggs. On the ground under the nest were the remains of rabbits. 
The Blood-stained Cockatoo's nest in the same tree contained three eggs." 

Under the White Goshawk {Aster novcB-hollandia), on the 
authority of Mr. Geo. Savage, Mr. North quotes an instance of that 
species inter-breeding with the Grey Goshawk (.4. clarus (cineretis) ), 
but offers no comments on the interesting occurrence. Although 
Mr. North quotes Mr. H. Greensill Barnard in several instances, he 
omits that collector's field observations of the apparently common 
occurrence of the inter-breeding of the White Goshawks and the 
Grey, at Cape York — vide Emu, vol. x., p. 247 (1910). The author 
of the Australian Museum's " Special Catalogue, No. i," is to be 
commended for his consistency in two things — he never quotes 
where there is the faintest suspicion of doubtful authenticity, and 
he never quotes contemj)orar\' Australian authors. The latter, of 
course, keeps his work original, but at the risk of leaving students 
in the dark. 

264 Reviews. [^^,E-., 

This important work must now be nearing completion, having 
been commenced over 10 years ago, and as the last decade has been 
rich in Australian ornithological discovery, perhaps Mr. Etheridge 
will recommend to the trustees of the Museum, which he repre- 
sents, the necessity of publishing an appendix to this " Special 
Catalogue." Mr. North must possess much that is new and of 
interest concerning species already dealt with by him in previous 
parts, or species not mentioned at all. 



To the Editors of " The Emu." 
Sirs, — Mr. C. Coles is credited in The Emu * with having said — 
" The mungoose released in Fiji had already mated with the rats 
there, and the hybrid destroyed birds." I have lived in Fiji for 
four years, and have seen great numbers of mungooses and rats, but 
have never seen or heard of a hybrid between the two. 

Is it likely that two such dissimilar animals would mate when 
they are both living under natural conditions ? One might as well 
expect a dog to mate with a cat, or a lion with a cow. Readers of 
Mr. Coles's statement might infer that the mungoose itself did not 
destroy birds. This animal was brought to Fiji to kill the rats, 
but has failed to do so. It is a great pest amongst poultry, 
destroying chickens and eggs, and no doubt does the same with 
the wild birds. 

It would be interesting to know where Mr. Coles obtained 
information about the rat-mungoose hybrid. — I am, &c., 

Rarawai, Fiji, 14/2/12. A. F. SMITH. 

[Mr. Coles's statement appeared in a report of the proceedings at 
the R.A.O.U. Congress at Sydney. The editors are not responsible 
for any opinion thus expressed. It is, of course, not possible for 
the mungoose to breed with the rat — one belongs to the Order 
Carnivora and the other to the Order Rodentia. — Eds.] 

South Australian Ornithological Association. 

The usual monthly meeting was held in the Royal Society's rooms, 
North-terrace, when Capt. S. A. White presided. The secretary (Mr. 
J. W. Mellor) read a report from the Police Department, stating it had been 
unsuccessful in detecting the persons who killed Flycatchers lately at the 
Reedbeds. Mr. Mellor tabled a specimen plate on a work being compiled in 
Europe by Mr. Dyseman on the classification of the world's ornithology. 
Capt. White read extracts from letters written by a lady of Yorke Penin- 
sula. These letters were forwarded by Mrs. Bundey, and contained some 
interesting descriptions of bird-life on the Peninsula. The practice of 
destroying bird-life on the River Murray by holiday-makers while passing 

* Vol. xi., p. 149. 

Vol;^^'^'] Correspondence. 265 

up and down the river was again referred to, and it was thought advisable 
to request the authorities to keep a sharp look-out for law-breakers. Mr. E. 
Ashby showed specimens from the Lower Murray districts, and explained 
some interesting habits and distinctions in same. Among other specimens 
were the Little Eagle {Msar/ns iiiorphnoidcs), Nankeen Night-Heron 
{Nycticorax cnhufonicus), Hlack Shag or Cormorant {Pludacrocorax 
carbo\ Pied Cormorant (/'. /ivpolcucus), Chestnut-backed (iround-Thrush 
{Cinclosoma castanflnotinn), the .Shy Scrub-Wren {Hylacola cauta), and the 
eggs of the last-named bird. Mr. Robert Zietz .(ornithologist to the 
Museum) stated that half a dozen Cormorants had been shot for scientific 
purposes, and that he had examined the contents of each bird's stomach, 
which were found to contain numbers of fresh-water crayfish or yabbies, 
with but one or two non-cdil)ie tlsh. That went to proN e that the birds did 
more good than harm. 

Bird Observers' Club. 

Thk monthly meeting of the Bird Observers' Club was held at the residence 
of Dr. C}. Home, Queen's-parade, Clifton Hill, on Wednesday evening, 20th 
December, 191 1. Twelve members accepted Dr. Home's invitation to 
dinner, and two additional members attended the meeting. Before dinner 
the aviaries were inspected, a fine pair of young Maned Geese being the 
centre of attraction. A beautiful specimen of the Yellow-tufted Honey- 
eater was also much admired. At 8.30 o'clock Dr. H. W. Bryant, 
president, took the chair. A discussion took place in connection with the 
(iould League of Bird Lovers. On the motion of Mr. Chas. Barrett, seconded 
by Mr. O. W. Rosenhain, it was decided that fraternal greetings be sent to 
the committee of the New South Wales Gould League of Bird Lovers. 
Mr. L. G. Chandler, hon sec, said he had written to Major Semmens re- 
garding the protection of Mutton-Birds at Cape Woolamai, and had not yet 
received a reply. Mr. A. J. Campbell thought that there was not the 
slightest danger of the rookery becoming deserted. The birds were late in 
arriving this year, but were as numerous as ever. Several members spoke 
on the subject, and it was decided that no action be taken in the matter 
until the secretary heard from Major Semmens. Mr. F. E. Wilson read an 
interesting paper on a trip to the Mallee. Mr. Wilson discovered a new 
Honey-eater, and Mr. F. E. Howe, F.Z. S., his companion, secured 
specimens of the undescribed female of the Mallee Emu-Wren. A series 
of bird-skins collected during the trip was shown, also photographs 
of the nests of the Scrub-Robin and the Mallee Emu-Wren. A long 
discussion on the paper followed. Drs. Bryant and C. Ryan, Mr. A. H. E. 
Mattingley, C.M.Z.S., and the hon. secretary were appointed as a 
sub-committee to meet a committee of the Game Protection Society to 
discuss the proposed game-bag limit. Mr. Mattingley stated that he had 
been informed that poison laid for rabbits in the Alexandra district had 
destroyed innumerable Great Brown Kingfishers and Magpies. A hearty 
vote of thanks was passed to the host and hostess. 

The first meeting of the Bird Observers' Club in 1912 was held at the 
residence of Mr. O. W. Rosenhain, " Koala," Balaclava-road, East St. 
Kilda, on Wednesday evening, 17th January. Mr. Rosenhain had invited 
members to dinner, and thirteen accepted the invitation. At 8 o'clock 
Dr. H. W. Bryant, the president, took the chair, and the hon. secretary 
read the minutes of the previous meeting. The hon. sec. then read two 
letters from Major Semmens, and reports from Inspector Rowson, of the 
Fisheries and Game Department, and Constable M'Donald, of Wonthaggi, 
regarding the Mutton-Bird rookeries on Phillip Island. A lengthy 
dicussion took place, and it was decided that the birds should have some 
measure of protection. Mr. A. j. Campbell moved, and .Mr. C. Barrett 

266 Bird Observers' Club; f ^mu 

^ List April 

seconded, that a sub-committee be formed, consisting of Messrs. E. B. 
Nicholls, D. Le Souef, and T. H. Tregellas, to go into the whole question 
and submit a report at the next meeting of the club. Mr. L. G. Chandler, 
the hon. sec, read a paper on the White-browed Field-Wren {Calama7ithus 
albiloris), which was dicussed by several members. Mr. A. J. Campbell 
commented on the early opening of the Quail season, and moved that the 
hon. secretary write to the Minister of Agriculture asking him to receive a 
deputation which would protest against the early opening of the season. 
Mr. J. A. Leach, M.Sc, seconded the motion, which was carried unanimously. 
Mr T. H. Tregellas read the balance-sheet of the Buckland fund lecture. 
After expenses had been paid a balance of ^3 us remained. This money 
was handed over to Mr. O. W. Rosenhain to pass on to Mr. Buckland. 
Mr. D. Le Souef was congratulated by members on being elected 
a corresponding member of the American Ornithologists' Union. Mr. 
Leach drew the attention of members to the wholesale destruction of 
birds at the Sandringham Golf Links, where poison was being laid 
for rabbits. The exhibits were : — Skins of CalamantJms albiloris^ C. 
fuliginosus, and C. rubighiosus, by A. J. Campbell ; skins of Calamanthus 
ho7uet, eggs oi Stipiturus malachurus^\\\\\\ egg of Fan -tailed Cuckoo and 
eggs of Calamanthus albiloris^ by F. E. Wilson ; series of lantern slides of 
birds in their native haunts, by Mr. A. H. E. Mattingley ; skins of Cala- 
tnanthus albiloris^ and photographs of young C. albiloris in nest, by Mr. L. 
G. Chandler. A vote of thanks was accorded the host and hostesses, and on 
behalf of the club the president wished Mr. Rosenhain and his son, who 
were leaving shortly for Europe, a pleasant voyage. The host suitably 
responded, and the meeting terminated. 

Notes and Notices. 

Brisson. — There has been discussion recently in scientific circles 
of the old world, and incidentally in the pages of The Emu between 
Mr. Mathews and Mr. Milligan, as to whether or not the genera of 
Brisson's " Ornithology " (17O0) should be accepted under the 
International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. According to 
" Opinion 37," just received, the International Commission has 
ruled (voting 9 to i) that Brisson's generic names of birds are 
available under the code. 

Albinism.— It is interesting to note, in phases of albinism among 
Parrots, the hue the feathers assume ; for instance, in a Rosella 
{Platycercus), the green becomes yellow, the blue becomes white, 
but the red does not usually change. I have not known of a case 
of melanism among birds, but have of albinism among all our 
Australian birds except the Cranes. 

I remember seeing a skin of the Blue Tahiti Lory in the Liverpool 
Museum which was white, following the same rule as is general 
among Australian Parrots. — D. Le Souef. Zoological Gardens, 

A Lesson from America.— I see that New York State— the most 
important State in the union — has just passed two acts of great 
importance to its wild bird fauna generally. One, the Bayne 
law, makes it unlawful to sell or offer for sale, in New York, any 
wild game. At one stroke, therefore, the market for the ill-gotten 

^°\g^J-] Notes and Notices. 267 

booty of the pot-hunter has been closed. There is an old saying 
that if there were no receivers there would be no thieves ; and this 
applies admirably to the game and wild bird (juestion. The other 
act, the Sullivan law, forbids anyone under 16 possessing any 
sort of gun, even an air-gun. Also all weapons have to be 
licensed. These are two admirable laws, and they are expected to 
work well. The Sullivan law, at any rate, should be the means of 
saving quite a quantity of human life during the year. — " F. R.," 
Australasian, 27/1/12. 

Obituary. — It is with great regret that we have to record that 
Mr. Eugene William Gates died at Edgbaston, Birmingham, on 
ibth November, igii, at the age of 66. From 1867 to 1899 
Mr. Gates was in the Public Works Department, India. As an 
ornithologist, he will be best known for his excellent volumes on 
the " Birds " in the well-known " Fauna of British India," edited 
by the late W. T. Blanford. He also wrote " A Handbook to the 
Birds of British Burmah," edited the second edition of Hume's 
" Nests and Eggs of Indian Birds," and wrote " A Manual of the 
Game Birds of India." Mr. Gates was also the author of the first 
two volumes of the " Catalogue of the Collection of Birds' Eggs 
in the British Museum," and was joint author with Captain Lavile 
G. Reid of the third and fourth volumes of that work. Mr. Gates 
was Fellow of the Zoological Society, and was elected a member of 
the B.G.U. in 1882. but retired in 1903, and shortly afterwards, 
owing to ill-health, he ceased to do much active bird-work. — 
British Birds, vol. v., No. 7 (December, 1911). 

Far North-West Exploration. 

The Kimberley exploration expedition, led by Mr. C. P. Conigrave, 
F.R.G.S., member of the R.A.O.U., after an absence of twelve 
months, returned safely to Perth on the 6th March. 

At the Town Hall, on the afternoon of the 8th, a civic reception 
was given to Mr. Conigrave and his companions, Messrs. L. M. 
Burns and R. N. Collison. Besides the Mayor (Mr. T. G. xMolloy) 
and councillors, there were present Bishop Riley, Rev. W. T. Kench, 
Sir John Forrest, K.(\M.G., Mr. E. Allen, M.L.A., Mr. Conigrave, 
sen., Mr. F. S. Brockman, and many others. 

The following account of Mr. Conigrave's adventurous journey 
is abridged from an interview published in the West Australian, 
8/3/12 :- 

The party made Wyndham their starting point, and there they were 
joined by two local white men and two aborigines. Before actually 
commencing the journey which they had set out to take, a couple of months 
was spent in exploring the country between Wyndham and the South 
Australian border. There were found large belts of pine forests, the 
commercial value of which was deemed to be very high. Much of the 
timber was exceedingly well grown, and fit for the market at once. It was in 
June that a start was made upon what was called " the big trip." In order to 

268 Far North-West Exploration. ' [,sf April 

cross the head waters of the Gulf, it was necessary to make a detour round 
the south of the Cockburn Range, and then circle to the north through the 
ranges which flank the western side of the Cambridge Gulf. Forrest River 
was reached at a spot about 20 miles from the mouth, where it had been 
arranged that a supply boat should call about the middle of August. The 
boat duly put in an appearance, and, re-stocked with provisions, the party 
set out from the river at the end of August. It was with great difficulty 
that a crossing of the river was effected, on account of the precipitous 
banks. As a matter of fact, three days' travelling sufficed only to take the 
party a distance of three miles on their way as the crow flies. They were 
equipped with 18 horses, most of which were used as pack animals. On 
the way to the head a fine stream, which was named the Berkley River, 
was met with and followed a distance of some 70 miles. Along its course 
were many magnificent pools or reaches, bordered with palms and other 
luxuriant vegetation. It wound for the most part between flat-topped 
hills, and discharged into the sea near Mt. Casuarina. This mount, the 
most outstanding feature along that part of the coast, was some 1,000 feet 
in height, and was used by mariners in taking their bearings. The 
mountain had never yet been ascended by whites. Upon climbing its 
thickly-wooded slopes the party found at the summit species of birds which 
were not found anywhere else throughout the trip. A fortnight was spent 
in the vicinity of Mt. Casuarina, and an investigation conducted of the 
wonderfully deep ravines and gorges, in which was found tropical 
vegetation in profusion. A course was then laid for Drysdale River, and on 
the way another fine stream was met with and named King George River. 
This was found to empty itself into the sea near Cape Rulhieres. After 
passing this river there was an exceedingly rough stage as far as the Napier 
Broome Mission Station, which was reached on 22nd October. This was 
the turning point, at which it was expected there would be a vessel contain- 
ing supplies for the march back. 

Whilst waiting for supplies the party explored the country 100 miles to 
the west of Admiralty Gulf, following more or less the course of the King 
Edward River. In this locality they came across a good deal of basaltic 
country, richly grassed. The scenery inland was magnificent, while the 
littoral scenery was of the wildest description. So tremendous were the 
cliffs and bluffs of the gulf that it was impossible to reach the sea from 
inland without going a long way round. The outstanding feature about 
here was Mt. Connor, which is 1,000 feet high. The seaward slope was 
covered with tropical scrub which very much resembled that of Queensland. 
It was expected that the collections made here would yield several entirely 
new specimens of birds. As a district it was perhaps the most promising 
that they saw. If it had not been for the heavy tropical rains, the party 
would have made a longer stay about the gulf, but as there were now five 
big rivers dividing them from Wyndham, it was imperative that a start 
should be made for home. 

On return to the mission station it was found that the vessel had not put 
in an appearance, and as supplies at the station were running short it was 
decided to push on as fast as possible. So, after a week's spell for the 
horses, the party set their faces for Wyndham, a distance of 350 miles, with 
only a week's full provisions in their packs. They left the mission station 
on 7th December, and, setting out for the Drysdale River, reached 
Brockman's camp, " F.B. 85." The river was followed for several days, and 
at last the point was reached where Mr. Brockman could get no further and 
was obliged to turn back. It was here that great difficulties were 
encountered. It was necessary for them to force a passage through the 
range on to a high sandstone table-land, which took them two days to 
accomplish. This was part of a table-land which stretched from Cape 
Londonderry to the head waters of the Forrest River. The table-land 
here was estimated at about 2,800 feet above sea-level. In the course of 

Vol. XI. 


Far Novth-West Exploration-. 260 

their scramble up the sides of the ravines three of the horses fell and roiled 
down, smashinj,^ the packs, but doing little damage to themselves. Subse- 
quently, however, three of the horses died. On arrival at the summit of the 
ranges the going was found to be comparatively easy. They struck the 
head waters of the Pentecost Ri\cr, and from that point bore away in a 
south-easterly direction, cutting the head waters of the King George River, 
and crossing the table-land country at a height of 2,000 feet. They then 
crossed the high ranges near the head waters of the Berkley River. The 
average length of a day's stage was about 15 miles. They next crossed the 
two branches of the Forrest River, 40 miles to the westward, just where they 
had crossed on the outward journey. Owing to the heavy rains and the 
flooded state of the river this part of the journey was undertaken with much 
an.xiety for all concerned. The river was in flood, and was only crossed with 
the greatest difficulty. The river was fully 300 yards wide, and the waters so 
deep in places as to necessitate swimming. Even where the horses could 
obtain a foothold, this, because of the pebbly nature of the bottom, gave but 
poor fording ground. All, however, got through safely, and finally camped 
on the first camp which they had left in July, thus completing the round trip. 

Dealing generally with the trip, Mr. Conigrave said that the country 
was of all types. The ranges were generally poor and useless for stock 
purposes, but the table-lands and the flats between the ranges were 
all of the highest class of pastoral lands, and he would estimate the 
acreage at between four millions and five millions. Some of the country, 
notably that between Napier Broome Bay and Mt. Casuarina, was covered 
with large timber. Pandanus palms were found wherever there was water. 
The cabbage-tree palm, however, strangely enough, grew only at the summit 
of the hills, in company with a smaller though very similar palm. Ferns 
were found in abundance. One particularly magnificent fern, 12 feet in 
height, had been found by a large creek which ran into the King Edward 
River. None other of the same variety had been seen. A feature of the 
rich flats was the growth of cabbage-gums, whose bright green foliage and 
white trunks presented a most picturesque sight. The party had come into 
touch with the natives along the Forrest and the Berkley Rivers. The only 
show of hostility was on the Berkley River, but this came to nothing. The 
natives were numerous, and were scattered about all over the country. 
Scarcely any water-fowl were to be seen on the creeks or rivers, probably 
because these were swarming with crocodiles, but on some of the salt- 
marshes by the Pentecost and Forrest Rivers game of every description 
abounded. Mr. Conigrave regretted that the destruction of the White 
Cranes (Egrets) was being permitted. He understood that thousands of the 
plumes of these birds were being sent away annually to Europe, notwith- 
standing regulations prohibiting this wholesale slaughter. 

Mr. Conigrave was particularly grateful to the Government which had 
helped the party, to the departments which had lent them so many 
requisites, and to the settlers and Messrs. Connor, Doherty, and Durack, 
of Wyndham, who had been so good to them in many ways. All the 
records of the trip would be handed to the Government as arranged. 

R.A.O.U. — Publications Received. 

Abbott, C. G., Home Life of tlie Osprey. 

Agricultural Journal of New South Wales, The, April to Decem- 
ber, 1911, and January and February, 1912. 

Annotationes Concilii Bibliographici, Vol. VI., igio. 
Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institute, 1910. 
Arbor and Bird Day : Supplement to Education Gazette. 

2-70 Publications Received. [i^f April 

Auk, The, January, April, July, and October, igii ; January, 

Aiistral Avian Record, Vol. I., No. i. 

Australian Naturalist, April, July, 191 1. 

Aviciiltural Magazine, January-December, 1911 ; January, 1912. 

Bird Lore, January- April and November-December. 1910 ; 
March-October, November-December, 191 1. 

Bonhote, J. Lewis, Birds of Britain. 

British Birds, 1911, Vol. V., January, 1912. 

Buckland, James, Pros and Cons of the Plumage Bill, &c. 

Bulletin of the B.O.U., XXVII., October, 1911. 

Butler, A. G., How to Sex Cage Birds. 

Condor, January, February, 1912. 

Geelong Naturalist, 191 1. 

Godman, F. du Cane, Monograph of the Petrels. 

Hawkesbiirv College Agricultural Journal, to date. 

Ibis, The, April. July, and October, 191 1. 

Journal South African 0. Union, Vol. VII. 

Lowe, P. R., A Naturalist on Desert Islands. 

Memoirs of the National Museum, Melbourne, No. 4. 

National Association of Audubon Societies, The, Nos. 45. 4O. 47, 48. 

National Association of Audubon Societies, Report. 

National Parks Association, 1910-11. 

Natural History and Science Society of Western A ustralia. Journal of. 

Natural History, Field Museum of. The Birds of Illinois. 

North American Birds, The A.O.U. Check-List of. 

Oologist, The, Vol. XXVIII., No. 12, 1911. 

Ornithologischen Gesellschaft in Bayern, 1909-10-11. 

Ornithologischen Jahrbuch, April and October, 191 1. 

Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania, 191 1. 

Parkin, Thomas, M.A., The Great Auk. 

Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, 


Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales for the 
year 191 i. 

Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland, Vol. XXIII. 

Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria, Vol. XXIII., New 

Producers' Review of Western Australia. 

Report for the Year 1909, The Royal Scottish Museum. 

Seth-Smith, A Naturalist's Visit to Australia. 

South Australian Department of Mines, Reviews, 13-14. 

Tasmanian Field Naturalists' Club, Easter Camp-out. 

The Children's Hour, Bird Day numbers, 191 1. 

Uranium (Radio-active) Ores in South Australia, Mining Depart- 

U.S. Department of Agriculture Publications : — The Woodpeckers 
in Relation to Trees and Wood Products. 

Victorian Naturalist, The, to date. 

Zoologica, Vol. I., No. 7. 

zoologist. The, 1911, to date. 

Vol. XI.] 

JULY, 1911. 

[Part 1 

®' ® ^ ^ 

The Emu 



A Quarterly Magazine to popularize the Study and Protection 
of Native Birds. 



A. J. CAMPBELL, Col. Mem. B.O.U. 


London Agent : 
R. H, PORTER, 7 Princes Street, Cavendish Square, W. 
191 1. 

Contents - July, 1911. 

* — ■ 

(The author of each article is responsible for the facts recorded therein, and any 
deductions he may draw.) 


Bush-Birds of New Zealand. By J. C. M'Lean, M.B.O.U., 

Gisborne, N.Z. - - - i 

Field Notes from Cape York. By H. G. Barnard, R.A.O.U., 

Queensland - - - - - I7 

On Yorke Peninsula. By (Capt.) S. A. White, R.A.O. U., Adelaide 32 

Mallee-Fowl on Kangaroo Island. By J. W. Mellor, R.A.O. U., 

Adelaide ----------- 35 

Nesting of Psephotus h^ematonotus in Captivity. By Mrs. 

A. D. Hardy, R.A.O. U., Kew ------- 37 

A Trip to the Tunnel District, Tasmania. By P. C. Thompson, 

Launceston, Tas. --------- 39 

Description of a New Rhipidura. By Edwin Ashby, R.A.O.U.., 

Blackivood, S.A. --------- 41 

Stray Feathers. — Yellow-faced Honey-eater {PtUotis chrysops), 42 ; Spinebill 
{Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris), 42 ; Cape Barren Goose on Nest, 42 ; Cleveland 
(Tasmania) Notes, 42; Nesting of the Red Wattle-Bird (Acanthochcera carun- 
culata), 43. 

Protection of Pelicans in South Australia - - - - 45, 

From Magazines, &G. — Alterations in Nomenclature, 46; A Bird of the Sierras, 
46 ; Birds of North-East Greenland, 46 ; New Australian Sub-Species, 46 ; King 
George as a Bird-Lover, 47 ; A New Petrel for Australia, 47. 

Reviews - - . - 48 

correspondence - - - ' - - - - - - - 52 

Obituary Notice— The late Mr. Kendall Broadbent - - - - 62 

South Australian Ornithological Association - ■ - 62 
Notes and Notices ---------- 64 


Articles (technical papers should if possible be type-written) and 
communications intended for publication, also books and publications for 
notice, should be addressed to the Editors, The Emu, c/o Mr. A. J. 
Campbell, Custom-House, Melbourne. 

MSS. of general articles should reach the editors at least six weeks 
prior to the issue of the number for which they are intended. 

Occasionally, when funds permit, it is intended to issue Coloured 
Plates of hitherto unfigured Australian Birds. Voluntary subscriptions to 
a "Coloured Figure Fund" are courteously invited from members. 

The price of The Mniu to non=niembers is 4/= per copy. Extra 
copies may be had by members at half=price. 

Vol. XI.] OCTOBER, 1911. 

[Pari 2 

^ *> ^ 

The Emu 



A Quarterly Magazine to popularize the Study and Protection 
of Native Birds. 


PH.f re/ A- J- CAMPBELL, Col. Mem. B.O.U. 
''**'^'"^*1 CHARLES BARRETT. 

^4TeC£>ourne : 

London Agent : 
R. H. PORTER, 7 Princes Street, Cavendish Square, W 
191 I. 


Contents - October, 1911. 

(The author of each article is responsible for the facts recorded therein, and any 
deductions he may drawj 


Bush-Birds of New Zealand. By J. C. M'Lea?i, M.B.O.U., 

Gzsborne, N.Z. Part II. -------- 6s 

Examination of Contents of Stomachs and Crops of Aus- 
tralian Birds. By J. Burton Cleland, M.D., Ch.M., 
Sydney, N.S.W.- ... - yg 

Australian Birds in Siberia. By Sergius A. Buturlin, 

F.M.B.O.U., Wesenberg, Rtissia 95 

Descriptions of a New Petrel and of Some Nestlings. By 

A. F. Basset Hull, R.A.O.U., Sydney 98 

Avifauna of New South Wales Islands. By A. F. Basset 

Hull, R.A.O.U., Sydftey, N.S.W. Parti -. - - - 99 

Falcunculus frontatus whitei. By Gregory M. Mathews, 

F.R.S. {Edin.), Watford, England - - - - ' - - 105 

Honey-eaters of the Cleveland District, Tasmania. By 

{Mzss) J. A. Fletcher, R.A.O.U. ------ 105 

Mallee-Fowl for a Sanctuary. By J. W. Mellor, R.A.O.U., 

Adelaide 1 10 

Some Mallee Birds. By A. M. Sullivan, Jeparit - • - 114 

Notes on the Rufous Bristle-Bird. By /. A. Ross (Victoria) 119 
Description of a New Honey-eater. By F. Erasmus Wilson, 

R.A.O.U., Melbourne- -------- 124 

Description of a New Ptilotis. By A. W. Milligan, R.A.O.U., 

Melbourne - • - 124 

Stray Feathers. — Frogmouths and Butcher-Birds, 125; Scolding Honey-eaters, 
125 ; Two Nests of Alcyom pusilla, 126; Jottings from the Mersey, Tasmania, 126; 
The Coorong Islands, 127. 

From Magazines, &C. — Another Great Kingfisher, 128 ; Blue " Budgerigar," 128 ; 
New Australian Birds. 129; Bird League at Belltrees, 129; Nomenclature of Birds, 
130 ; Tame Wild Birds, 131. 

Reviews 133 

Correspondence - - - - - 136 

South Australian Ornithological Association - - - 142 

Notes and Notices 144- 

Mr. Mathews' Work on " The Birds of Australia " - ■ 146 
Important Notice— Annual Session of the Royal Aus- 
tralasian Union 146 


Articles (technical papers should if possible be type-written) and 
communications intended for publication, also books and publications for 
notice, should be addressed to the Editors, The Emu, c/o Mr. A. J. 
Campbell, Custom-House, Melbourne. 

MSS. of general articles should reach the editors at least six weeks 
prior to the issue of the number for which they are intended. 

Occasionally, when funds permit, it is intended to issue Coloured 
Plates of hitherto unfigured Australian Birds. Voluntary subscriptions to 
a " Coloured Figure Fund " are courteously invited from members. 

Vol. XI.] JANUARY, 1912. 

[Part 3 

%> * 

The Emu 



A Quarterly Magazine to popularize the Study and Protection 
of Native Birds. 


£ r:; 

Editors i^- •'• CAMPBELL, Col. Mem. B.O.U. 

^eZ£>ouxne : 

London Agent : 
R. H. PORTER, 7 Princes Street, Cavendish Square, W. 

Contents - January, 1912. 

(The author of each article is responsible for the facts recorded therein, and any 
deductions he may draw.) 


Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union— Eleventh 

(Sydney) Session --------- 147 

President's Address : A History of Australian Ornith- 
ological Research - - - - - - - - 153 

Working Excursion and Camp-Out ------ 162 

Progress Report, Check-List Committee ----- 168 

Memorial Service to John Gilbert 169 

Bush-Birds of New Zealand. By J. C. M^Leaji, M.B.O.U., 

Gis borne, N.Z. Part III. - 171 

Relative Dimensions of the Red Blood Cells of Ver- 
tebrates, especially of Birds. By J. Burton Cleland, 
M.D., Ch.M., and T. Harvey Johnston, M.A., D.Sc. - - 188 

Study of Birds' Eggs. By (Dr.) R. W. Shufeldt - - - 198 

Avifauna of New South Wales Islands. By A. F. Basset 

Hull, R.A.O.U:, Sydney, N.S.W. Part II. - - - - 202 

Bird-Life in the Riverina. By fCapt.) S. A. White, 

R.A.O.U., Adelaide --------- 207 

Stray Feathers.- — snakes in Bird-nests, 187; The Dottrel in Riverina, 209; Stilts 
Breeding near Melbourne, 209: Distribution of Black-fronted Dottrel, 210; Descrip- 
tion of Eggs of Myzantha melanotis, 210; New Foster Parents for Fan-tailed 
Cuckoo, 210; Another New Foster Parent for Fan tailed Cuckoo, 210; The Oriole 
as a Mimic, 210 ; Birds Killed by Lightning. 211 ; New Eggs from the Mallee District, 
Victoria, 211; Swallows Nesting on Railway Train, 211; Rediscovery of Pachy- 
cephala rufogularis {Gould), 212; Notes from Belltrees (N.S.W.), 212; Near Broken 
Hill (N.S.W.), 213 ; Descriptions of Nests and Eggs from Cape York, 213 ; Western 
Emu-Wren, 222. 

From Magazines, &C. — The Feather-Tracts of Sphenura broadbenti (M'Coy), 
215; Ducks Nesting in Rabbit-Burrows, 215. 

Reviews - 216 

Correspondence - - - - - 218 

South Australian Ornithological Association - - - 221 

Notes and Notices - 221 


Articles (technical papers should . if possible be type-written) and 
communications intended for publication, also books and publications for 
notice, should be addressed to the Editors, The Emu, c/o Mr. A. J. 
Campbell, Custom-House, Melbourne. 

MSS. of general articles should reach the editors at least six weeks 
prior to the issue of the number for which they are intended. 

Occasionally, when funds permit, it is intended to issue Coloured 
Plates of hitherto unfigured Australian Birds. Voluntary subscriptions to 
a " Coloured Figure Fund " are courteously invited from members. 

Vol. XI.] APRIL, 1912. 

[Part 4 

The Emu^ 



A Quarterly Magazine to popularize the Study and Protection 
of Native Birds. 



A. J. CAMPBELL, Col. Mem. B.O.U. 

London Agent : 
R. H. PORTER, 7 Princes Street, Cavendish Square, W 


Contents - April. 1912. 

(The author of each article is responsible for the facts recorded therein, and any 
deductions he may draw.) 


Bush-Birds of New Zealand. By J, C. M^Lean^ M.B.O.U,, 

Gisborne, N.Z. Part IV. 223 

Field Notes on the White-Browed Field-Wren (Calaman- 

THUS albiloris). By L. G. Chandler, R.A.O.U., Melbotirne 237 

Further Notes from the Stirling Ranges, W.A. By F. 

Lawson Whitlock, Young's Siding, D.R., W.A. - - - 239 

Notes on Megalurus striatus (Milligan). By F. Lawson 

Whitlock, Young's Siding, D.R., W.A. 244 

Annotations. By A. J. Campbell, Col. Mem. B.O.U., Melbourtie 245 

Descriptions of Two Nests and Eggs. By H. L. White, 

R.A.O.U., Belltrees, N.S.W. - 249 

Notes on the Native-Hen (Tribonyx mortieri). By {Miss) 

J. A. Fletcher, Tasmania 250 

Additional Notes on the Helmeted Honey-Eater (Ptilotis 

CASSIDIX). By F. Erasmus Wilson, R.A.O.U., Melbourne • 252 

Stray Feathers. — New Foster-Parent for Pallid Cuckoo, 234; Honey- Lovers, 
254 ; The Malurus, 254 ; Cuckoos as Nest Robbers, 254 ; Acclimatization of Torres 
Strait or Nutmeg Pigeons, 255. 

forgotten feathers - - - 255 

Bird Day 258 

From Magazines, &C. — Bird-keeping, 260; The Progress of Oology, 260; "The 
Great Auk," 260 ; A New Journal, 260. 

Reviews 261 

Correspondence 264 

South Australian Ornithological Association - - - 264 

Bird Observers' Club 265 

Notes and Notices 266 

Far North-West Exploration 267 

R.A.O.U.— Publications Received 269 

Articles (technical papers should if possible be type-written) and 
communications intended for publication, also books and publications for 
notice, should be addressed to the Editors, The Emu, c/o Mr. A. J. 
Campbell, Custom-House, Melbourne. 

MSS. of general articles should reach the editors at least six weeks 
prior to the issue of the number for which they are intended. 

Occasionally, when funds permit, it is intended to issue Coloured 
Plates of hitherto unfigured Australian Birds. Voluntary subscriptions to 
a " Coloured Figure Fund " are courteously invited from members. 



Their Majesties the King and Queen. 

President: Mr. A. J. CAMPBELL, Coi.. Mem. 15.0.U. 

Vice-Presidents- '■^''- ^- ^- MELLOR. 

Vice Presidents. ^^^ ROBERT HALL, C.M.Z.S. 

Hon. Secretary: Mk. A. W. MILLIGAN. 

(c/o Zoological Gardens, Melbourne. Private Address — Rochester Lodge, Collins Place, 
Melbourne, Victoria.) 

Hon. Treasurer: Mr. Z. GRAY. 

(Address — 190 Bridport Street, South Melbourne.) 

Hon. Librarian: Mr. W. H. D. Le SOUEF, C.M.Z.S. 

Hon. Editors of The Emuf']^- A- J. CAMPBELL, Coi.. Mem. B.O.U. 
Hon. Press Correspondent: Mr. E. BROOKE NICHOLLS. 
Local State Secretaries: 

Victoria— Mr. A. W. MILLIGAN 
N.S.W.— Mr. A. S. LE SOUEF 
Queensland- Mr. H. TRYON 

S. A.— Captain S. A. WHITE 
W.A.— Mr. T. CARTER, M.B.O.U. 
Tasmania— Mr. A. L. BUTLER 

New Zealand— Mr. A. ' HAMILTON. 

Members of Council : Victoria— Mr. A. H. E. MATTINGLEY, C.M.Z.S., 
Dr. C. S. RYAN, Mr. J. A. LEACH, M.Sc, Dr. GEO. HORNE; New 
South Wales— Dr. WM. MACGILLIVRAY, Mr. L. HARRISON ; Queens- 
land— Mr. WM, M'ILWRAITH ; South Australia— Dr. A. M. MORGAN. 

OBJECTS, &c.- - - - 

5HE objects of the Society are the advancement and popularization 
IjY^ of the Science of Ornithology, the protection of useful and 
ornamental avifauna, and the publication of a magazine called 
Tke Emu. 

The business of the Society shall be conducted by a Council, con- 
sisting of a President, two Vice-Presidents, Secretary, Treasurer, Librarian, 
Press Correspondent, Editors of T/ie Emu, and fourteen members ; each 
office-bearer and member of the Council shall retire at the end of each 
financial year, but shall be eligible for re-election. 

The Annual Meeting shall be held in one or other of the principal 
towns of the different States, such State to be decided at the previous 
Annual Meeting. 

Every member shall be required to pay an annual subscription of 
fifteen shillings, due on the first of July each year. (The usual exchange 
to be added to Foreign, Interstate and Country cheques, drafts, &c.) 

The offices of the Society shall be at the office of the Hon. Secretary 
of the Society for the time being, or at such other place as the Council 
may appoint. 


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Forceps, Magnifying 80-550. In Mahogany Cases. 

A\icrosCOpic Slass Slips, sin. x lin., Extra Thin, Ground Edges and Rough Edges. 
/Aicrojcopic Cover 61aiSSe$, Nos. i and 3, J^-in., %-in. and J'S-in. Circles. No. i Square, 
%-in. and J-iin.; No. 3 Square, %-in. and J^-inch. 


Three Nature Books you Needm 


By A. H. S. LUCAS and W. H. D. LE SOUEF. 
Price 15/- Demy 8vo. Splendidly lllu^rated. 



Price 7/6 

By W. H. 0. LE SOUEF. 

Crov/n 8vo. Full of Illuftrations. 


Price 2/6 Revised and Enlarged Edition. 





DARK ROOM required. Perfect Pictures assured. 

Kodak (Australasia) Limited 

(Incorporating BAKER & ROUSE PTY. LTD.) 

The Block, 284 Collins St., 





Their Majesties the King and Queen. 

President: Mr. A. J. CAMPBELL, Col. Mem. B.O.U. 

Vice-Presidents •^^^'^- J' ^'- ^^ELLOR. 

vice presidents. ^^^ ROBERT HALL, C.M.Z.S. 

Hon. Secretary: Mu. F. ERASMUS WILSON. 

(c/o Zoological Gardens, Melbourne. Private Address — 78 Albert Street, East Melbourne, 

Hon. Treasurer: Mr. Z. GRAY. 

(Address — 190 Bridport Street, South Melbourne.) 

Hon. Librarian: Mr. VV. H. D. Le SOUEF, C.M.Z.S. 

Hon. Editors of The Emu-i^^^- ^- J" CAMPBELL, Col. Mem. B.O.U. 
Hon. Press Correspondent: Mr. E. BROOKE NICHOLLS. 

Local State Secretaries : 

Victoria— Mr. A. W. MILLIGAN 
N.S.W.— Mr. A. S. LE SOUEF 
Queensland- Mr. H. TRYON 

S.A.— Captain S. A. WHITE 
W.A.— Mr. T, CARTER, M. B.O.U. 
Tasmania— Mr. A. L. BUTLER 

New Zealand— Mr. A. HAMILTON. 

Members of Council : Victoria— Mr. A. H. E. MATTINGLEY. C.M.Z.S., 
Dr. C. S. RYAN, Mr. J. A. LEACH, M.Sc, Dr. GEO. HORNE; New 
South Wales— Dr. WM. MACGILLIVRAY, Mr. L. HARRISON ; Queens- 
land— Mr. WM. M'ILWRAITH ; South Australia— Dk. A. M. MORGAN. 

OBJECTS, &c.- - - - 

^HE objects of the Society are the advancement and popularization 
of the Science of Ornithology, the protection of useful and 
ornamental avifauna, and the publication of a magazine called 
T/ie £fnu. 

The business of the Society shall be conducted by a Council, con- 
sisting of a President, two Vice-Presidents, Secretary, Treasurer, Librarian, 
Press Correspondent, Editors of T/ie Emu^ and fourteen members ; each 
office-bearer and member of the Council shall retire at the end of each 
financial year, but shall be eligible for re-election. 

The Annual Meeting shall be held in one or other of the principal 
towns of the different States, such State to be decided at the previous 
Annual Meeting. 

Every member shall be required to pay an annual subscription of 
fifteen shillings, payable in advance in July each year. (Cheques, &c., 
subject to exchange, should include the amount of the exchange.) 

The offices of the Society shall be at the office of the Hon. Secretary 
of the Society for the time being, or at such other place as the Council 
may appoint. 


Importers of every description of 

Microscopes, Galvanic Batteries, Cliemical and Scientific Apparatus, &c. 

/* _.{1._ ^/?« /»«»Ae»j»ii»*»^«<» With Sliding Coarse Adjustment, Screw Fine Adjustment, 
X»6ll2 JlVierOSeOpeS, Micrometer, Objectives Nos. 3 and 7, Eye-pieces i and 3, 
IN MAHOGANY CASES. Magnifying 84-600. 

•\^-,l -.1- -,,X»_ ^/Ti >»«•.*« A» A wN^w With Sliding Coarse Adjustment, Screw Fine 
TYOteriet S jYtierOSeOpeS, Adjustment, DouWe Mirror, Side Condensing 
Lens, Eye-pieces Nos. i and 3, Objectives Nos. 3 and 6, Glass Slip, Cover Glasses, Mounted Object 
Forceps, Magnifying 80-550. In Mahogany Cases. 

microscopic GIass SlipS^ sin- x lin., E.ictra Thin, Ground Edges and Rough Edges. 
microscopic Cover da^SSes, Nos. i and 3, ]4-in., K-in. and /gin. Circles. No. i Square, 
%-in. and % in.; No. 3 Square, ^-in. and Ji-inch. 


Three Nature Books you Need, 


By A. H. S. LUCAS and W. H. D. LE SOUEF. 

Price 15/- Demy 8vo. Splendidly Illu^rated. 



By W. H. D. LE SOUEF. 

Price 7/6 Crown 8vo. Full of Illuftrations. 



i Price 2/6 Revised and Enlarged Edition. 







NO DARK ROOM required. Perfect Pictures assured. 

Kodak (Australasia) Limited 

(Incorporatiiis BAKER & ROUSE PTY. LTD.) 

The Block, 284 Collins St, 





Their Majesties the King and Queen. 


President: Mr. J. W. MELLOR. 
... n -^ ♦ TMr. a. H. E. MATTINGLEY, C.M.Z.S. 
V.ce=Pres.dents:^^j_^ ROBERT HALL, C.M.Z..S. 

Hon. Secretary: Mr. F. ERASMUS WILSON. 

(c/o Zoological Gardens, Melbourne. Private Address — 31 Victoria Parade, East Melbourne, 

Hon. Treasurer: Mr. Z. GRAY. 

(Address — 190 Bridport Street, South Melbourne.) 

Hon. Librarian: Mr. W. H. D. Le SOUEF, C.M.Z.S. 
H CA* * /n. Ev TMr. A. J. CAMPBELL, Col. Mem. B.O.U. 

Hon. Editors of The Emu{^,^ CHARLES BARRETT. 

Hon. Press Correspondent: Mr. E. BROOKE NICHOLLS. 
Local State Secretaries : 

Victoria— Mr. F. E. WH^SON 
N.S.W.— Mr. A. S. LE SOUEF, C.M.Z.S 
Queensland- Dr. HAMLYN HARRIS, 

S. A. —Captain S. A- WHITE - 
W.A.— Mr. T. CARTER, M. B.O.U. 
Tasmania— Mr. A. L. BUTLER 


New Zealand— Mr. H. HAMILTON. 

Members of Council : Victoria— Dr. C. S. RYAN, Mr. J. A. LEACH, 
M.Sc, Dr. GEO. HORNE ; New South Wales— Dr. WM. MACGILLI- 
VRAY, Mr. A. F. BASSET HULL ; Queensland— Mr. C. A. BARNARD ; 
South Australia— Dr. A. M. MORGAN ; Western Australia— Mr. A. W. 

OBJECTS, &c.- - - - 

JHE objects of the Society are the advancement and popularization 
3'^ of the Science of Ornithology, the protection of useful and 
ornamental avifauna, and the publication of a magazine called 
T/ie Emu. 

The business of the Society shall be conducted by a Council, con- 
sisting of a President, two Vice-Presidents, Secretary, Treasurer, Librarian, 
Press Correspondent, Editors of The Emu, and fourteen members ; each 
office-bearer and member of the Council shall retire at the end of each 
financial year, but shall be eligible for re-election. 

The Annual Meeting shall be held in one or other of the principal 
towns of the different States, such Stale to be decided at the previous 
Annual Meeting. 

Every member shall be required to pay an annual subscription of 
fifteen shillings, payable in advatice in July each year. (Cheques, &c., 
subject to exchange, should include the amount of the exchange.) 

The offices of the Society shall be at the office of the Hon. Secretary 
of the Society for the time being, or at such other place as the Council 
may appoint. 


Importers of every description of 

Microscopes, Galvanic Batteries, Chemical and Scientific Apparatus, &c. 

STTTiDEiiNr'X'S' 3ivd:io:E^osoor'E:s. 

/% • A_ ^/7i A««Ac»M Av>A<» With Sliding Coarse Adjustment, Screw Fine Adjustment, 
X«6U£ JiVierOSeOpeSi Micrometer, objectives Nos. 3 ana 7, Eye-pieces i and 3, 
IN MAHOGANY CASES. Magnifying 84-600. 

•\^„X_r- _i»_ ^JTl t^%0^r»e-^^v\^r» With Shding Coarse Adjustment, Screw Fine 
Tiateriet S jnrUerOSCOpeS, Adjustment, Double Mirror, Side Condensing 
Lens, Eye-pieces Nos. i and 3, Objectives Nos. 3 and 6, Glass Slip, Cover Glasses, Mounted Object 
Forceps, Magnifying 80-550. In Mahogany Cases. 

yv\icrOSCOpic 61&SS Slips, sin. x lin.. Extra Thin, Ground Edges and Rough Edges, 
/^icrojcopic Cover GlZiSSe^, Nos. i and 3, J-^-in., J^-in. and %-in. Circles. No. i Square, 
J^-in. and J^in.; No. 3 Square, J.j-in. and X-inch. 


Three Nature Books you Needm 


By A. H. S. LUCAS and W. H. D. LE SOUEF. 

Price 15/- Demy 8vo. Splendidly lllu^rated. 



By W. H. 0. LE SOUEF. 

Price 7/6 Crov/n 8vo. Full of lllu^rations. 



Price 2/6 Revised and Enlarged Edition, 






NO DARK ROOM required. Perfect Pictures assured. 

Kodak (Australasia) Limited 

(Incorporating BAKER & ROUSE PTY. LTD.) 

The Block, 284 Collins St.,