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Full text of "A handbook to the birds of Egypt"

A 



HANDBOOK 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 



af k 'SHELLEY, P.G.S., F.Z.S., etc., 

LiTE CAPTAIN GEENADIER GUARDS, 

PELLOW OP THE ROTAL GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETT, 

AUTHOR OP ' CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE OKNITHOLOGT OF EGYPT,' 

ETC. RTC. 



LONDON: 
JOHN VAN VOORST, PATERNOSTER ROW. 



MDCCCLXXII. 



PRINTED BY TAYLOR AND FRANCIS, 
RED UON COURT, FLEET STREET. 






%'^vrAs 






TO 



LIEUT.-COLONEL SHELLEY, 

MY COMPANION 

IN MT OENITHOLOGICAL TRIPS 

TO EGYPT, 

IN REMEMBRANCE OF 

MANY HAPPY HOURS SPENT IN 

COLLECTING THE MATERIALS 

FOR THE PRESENT VOLUME, 

©his Sitork is ietUrated 

BY HIS AFFECTIONATE BROTHER, 



f^. E. SHELLEY, 



■^ 



O r\. 



PREFACE. 



The object of this book is explained by its title ; and 
the Introduction so fully refers to the circumstances under 
which it was undertaken, that I feel there is no need 
for prefatory remarks, except as a means of expressing 
my thanks to the brother ornithologists who have so kindly 
aided me in the production of my work. 

G. E. S. 



/i-4^^3 



CONTENTS. 



PART I. 

Introduction 1, 2 

CHAPTER I. 

Preparatory Details, and Sport in the Delta. 

Alexandria — Selecting a Dragoman — Town of Alexandria — 
"Birds of Prey "— Ramleh— Pompey's Pillar— The Daha- 
beah — Cairo — Sport — Waders and Falcons — Pyramids — 
Fossil Forest — Tombs of the Caliphs — The Start — A 
Maternal Dragoman — Life on board the Dahabeah — 
Dango — Sport — A Village — Native Guards — Mirage — 
Snipe-shooting — Consul at Damietta — Return to Cairo — 
Rare Birds 3-28 

: .■ CHAPTER II. 
The Geology of Egypt 29-39 



VUl CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER III. 

From Caieo to Assouan. 

Rhodopis — Gebel e' Tayr — Dancing Girls — Crocodiles — 
Thebes — Elephantine and Sehayl — Rare Birds — Mi- 
grating Birds — GuUs and Pratincole 40-49 



CHAPTER IV. 

The Fatoom. 

The Camp — Sugar-factory — Wild-fowl — An Inundation — 
Arab Village — A good " right and left " — Collecting 
Birds — Birds and Animals — A varied Bag — A Scorpion 
— Return to Cairo — Ducks — Rare Birds — Conclusion 50-64 



PART II. 

List op the Bikds of Egypt 65-316 

concltjding remarks 317-328 

Index 329 



LIST OF PLATES. 



Plate 
I. Crateropus acacia To face page 69 

II. Saxicola monacha 78 

r Calamodyta melanopogou 



} 



i Emberiza intermDdia , 

IV. Nectarinia metallica 112 

V. Erythrospiza githaginea 155 

VI. Centropus aegyptius 164 

^jj f Merops ajgyptms \^^ 

I „ viridis J 

VIII. Caprimulgus segyptius 175 

IX. Buteo ferox 201 

f Turtur auritus 1 

X.] ... 215 

i „ Sharpii J 

XI. Ehyncliaea capensis 250 

XII. Erismatura leucocephala 291 

XIII. Larus ichthyaiitus 307 

XIV. llhyncliops flavii'ostris 302 



INTRODUCTION. 



The Nile has now become such a popular winter resort, and 
so many of my countrymen go there, not only to visit the 
famous ruins along its banks, but also to enjoy the magni- 
ficent climate, that I have been induced to publish the 
present volume in the hope that it may satisfy a requirement 
which appears to me to be very generally felt by visitors to 
Egypt, viz. for some book upon the sport and collecting to be 
obtained in that country. 

Few parties that one meets upon the Nile are without a 
gun ; and it is seldom that there is not some one among them 
who is anxious to make a collection of the many varieties of 
birds which are sure to be met with. The boating trip 
is admirably adapted for making a collection, as there is 
invariably much time left on hand while the vessel is delayed 
by adverse winds ; even at other times its progress is fre- 
quently not so rapid as to prevent the traveller from keeping 
pace with the boat, if he chooses to land for the sake of 
sport, which may generally be obtained along the banks of 
the river. 

I shall commence with a short account of my personal 

B 



2 INTRODUCTION. 

experiences in Egypt, in order to give the reader some idea 
of the nature of the country and the best locaUties for the 
ornithologist and sportsman to visit. I shall then give a 
more complete list than has been hitherto pubUshed, with a 
description of each species, of the birds which are un- 
doubtedly to be found in Egypt between the Mediterranean 
and the Second Cataract, to which limits my observations 
have been confined. 

In the following pages the greater portion of the infor- 
mation given is derived from my own personal observation, 
the result of three ornithological tours which I have made in 
Egypt, and from a collection of nearly a thousand skins 
which are now in my possession. 

In my descriptions of the birds, I have endeavoured to 
point out the characters by which they may be most easily 
recognized, and have placed in italics the characteristic points 
by which allied species may be distinguished from one 
another. 

I have given plates of a few of the most interesting species 
which have come under my notice ; some of these have never 
been figured before ; and in order to facilitate the naming 
and classification of the specimens when brought home, I 
have referred at the end of each description to some good 
figure of the species, selecting as often as possible from the 
four following works : — Gould's ' Birds of Asia,' his ' Birds 
of Europe,' and the works on the latter subject by Messrs. 
Sharpe and Dresser, and Dr. Bree. 



CHAPTER I. 

PEEPARATORY DETAILS, AND SPORT IN THE DELTA. 

February Mh. — It was a bright and cloudless morning 
on which we entered the harbour of Alexandria ; and as the 
large vessel was brought up to her moorings, numberless 
small boats flocked around, like sea-gulls to some dead 
monster of the deep, all anxious to carry away something 
for themselves. These boats form a curious sight, manned 
as they are by seamen in the dress of diverse races ; for here, 
at Alexandria, the human tides from east and west meet, and 
the amalgamation of costume gives a strange appearance to 
the scene. 

The first boat that approaches has a crew of native ma- 
rines in fez caps and tunics of white sail-cloth, which contrast 
strongly with the deeply bronzed, weather-beaten faces of the 
wearers. In the stern sit two dignitaries in yellow and red 
turbans and flowing garments, the chief of the party being 
clad in a shabby greenish-black frock-coat and trousers, with 
a loose fez on his head ; they have the sullen, cunning ex- 
pression of countenance which distinguishes the Turk from the 
Egyptian. These are the government authorities, who have 
come to see that there is no contagion on board the vessel. 
As soon as they have expressed themselves satisfied on this 
point, all the other boats' crews begin struggling and 
fighting among themselves, occasionally with blows, but 

B 2 



4 ALEXANDKIA. 

more generally in high discordant tones, each considering 
himself aggrieved by the others. Now we have to select one 
of these boats to convey us and our luggage on shore ; so we 
take one with a dragoman, or guide, who can speak a few 
words of English. He is dressed in a short jacket very 
much embroidered, loose sky-blue lower garments, much re- 
sembling a bag, through which his feet protrude, decked 
in red leather shoes and cotton socks, which hang loosely 
about his feet. His complexion is a sallow bronze, his eyes 
are narrow, dark, and deep-set, and the only hair upon his 
face is a neat black moustache. He is a Syrian by birth, 
a dragoman by profession, and a rogue by nature. Into his 
hands do we confide ourselves, knowing how impossible it is 
to do any thing for ourselves in this land of " backsheesh." 
We are not detained long at the Custom-house — the only con- 
traband articles being fire-arms and ammunition, with both 
of which we are well supplied. They are, however, passed, 
unchallenged of course, with a knowing look, on our present- 
ing a well-known and never-failing passport ; and we then 
proceed to the Hotel Abbat, one of the most comfortable 
hotels in Alexandria. 

Here it soon becomes known that we are going up the 
Nile, and shall require a dragoman ; consequently we are 
speedily set upon by this Egyptian species of harpy, each 
individual ready to take us by the day, month, or tour, upon 
such terms as they all endeavour to prove clearly would 
make them losers rather than gainers by the transaction. 
Their estimates generally varied from £400 to £600 for a 
tour of three months or for the journey to the Second Cataract 
and back — a perfectly absurd price for two people. Sooner, 
almost, than we had settled in our own minds that a certain 



SELECTING A DEAGOMAN. 5 

man might suit, that very man seemed allotted to us by 
general consent ; his prices were at once the most moderate ; 
his testimonials excellent, and all appeared willing to say 
a good word for him. 

It is not advisable to ask a dragoman whom you think 
likely to suit for his terms at the outset, as he might be 
tempted to name such a sum that he cannot afterwards 
reduce it to your idea of the correct thing without appearing 
such a rascal as to give you a distaste for him at once. The 
better plan is to form an estimate from the demands of the 
others, and from what information you can pick up from the 
Consul and residents, as to the cost of such a boat as you 
require; then make your offer, say £100 per month, or £200 
to the Second Cataract and back, with twelve days' stoppages, 
all backsheesh included, and the contract not to commence 
till the day of starting. If you intend going into Palestine 
after the Nile tour, it is advisable to hire a Syrian drago- 
man ; otherwise an Egyptian is perhaps preferable, as being 
quieter and less hkely to fall out with the crew. Prices 
differ according to the season and number of visitors to the 
Nile ; i.e. the prices of the boats. The actual feeding, atten- 
dance, and paying of backsheesh, a dragoman will probably 
be ready to undertake for from £50 to £60 a month for two, 
£60 to £70 for three, and in similar proportion for a larger 
number. This would include a cook and one or two servants 
to wait upon the party. 

The boat, which should be one of the best you can find, 
should not cost more than £40 or £50 per month ; this in- 
cludee a Reis or captain, a second captain and crew of ten 
men. Wines and drinkables are not included in a contract ; 
they can be got either at Alexandria from Goodman and 



6 TOWN OF ALEXANDRIA. 

Goridge, or at Cairo from Ablitt, the latter of whom I em- 
ployed. When laying in your supplies, arrange tliat such 
articles as are not damaged shall be taken back on your 
return. Good powder can be best obtained at Alexandria ; 
shot anywhere. Having decided on your dragoman, you 
get the contract duly drawn up at the Consulate, and there 
signed and sealed. 

At Alexandria there is but little to be done or seen. Of 
course the strange dresses of the East first attract attention ; 
and then the native bazars are never-failing objects of 
interest, composed as they are of dh-ty little shops in series 
of the dirtiest of narrow lanes, swarming with flies and 
children; the very ground we walk on is formed of the 
refuse from the stalls, which, being trodden under foot instead 
of being carried away, becomes in wet weather, which is not 
uncommon at Alexandria, the most abominable mud, reach- 
ing to the ankles. Leaving this scene, we next emerge upon 
the Grand Square. This part of the town looks much more 
European than Egyptian ; here are situated most of the 
hotels; and here the donkey-boys, sharp-looking young 
Arabs, pounce down upon the lately arrived European, and, 
driving their donkeys alongside, keep up an incessant 
chatter. " This very good donkey, this Billy Barlow." 
" Mister, this Jim Crow — won the Derby, take you to Pompey 
Pillar, show you every thing." " How 's your poor feet ? 
walking bad for you." And so they continue till we go to 
momit ; then comes a hustle, each boy endeavom-ing to 
thrust his own donkey under us ; and the matter has gene- 
rally to be decided by a free use of the stick. 

Now we are oft" sight-seeing. That which perhaps first 
amuses us most is to see our long-legged friend perched 



" BIEDS OF PEEY." 7 

upon a very small donkey, his knees nearly np to his nose ; 
then there trots the ragged little donkey-boy, a true 
Aladdin, perfectly at his ease without saddle or bridle ; then 
the stately Ali Baba, in flowing robes, red slippers, and 
turban, jogs quietly along, followed by a small boy bearing 
his pipe in one hand and a stick to keep his donkey up to 
its pace in the other. Away we trot through the European 
quarters ; en route a fresh-blown Briton from the west 
attracts our attention at the door of the Hotel d'Orient, sur- 
rounded by a group of dragomans and town-guides, who 
are giving him such information as each imagines he may 
require, to impress him with a sense of their individual 
usefulness, while, from a respectful distance, a small Arab 
shoe-black keenly watches his soiled boots, ready to pounce 
down as soon as the larger birds of prey have done with 
him. Thus the European in the East is daily passed on from 
the " Harpies " of dragomans to the local guides, or " Vul- 
tm-es, and from them by the donkey-boys, or minor " birds of 
prey," to the little unclothed urchins, the " Jackdaws " of the 
place, who, hoping against hope, cry for " backsheesh " until 
their unmeaning clamour is lost in the distance. On we 
go by the bright shops and the cafes, differing in no respect 
from European ones, save that those who sit at the tables, 
chiefly Greeks and Italians, wear the red fez. Turning out 
of the square, we pass the British Consulate on our way to 
the llamleh station, close to which stands a much-worn 
obelisk. This is Cleopatra's Needle ; and the companion to 
it lies on the ground half covered with rubbish. These two 
obelisks are the sole remains of the ancient grandeur of the 
Csesareum to be seen at the present day. From this spot 
the view is pretty, over the bright blue sparkling Mediter- 



i 



8 EAMLEH. 

ranean, bathing the eastern side of the Old Town, which 
extends on a narrow neck of land out to the Pharos rock. 

At the Station we quit our donkeys and go by rail to 
Ramleh, to visit our Consul Colonel Stanley, who, after a most 
hospitable reception, gives us some useful information about 
the best snipe-grounds in the Delta, which proves of much 
service to us in the course of our tour. Ramleh is a charming 
place, consisting of a number of small country residences 
occupied by Europeans who have business in Alexandria, 
which can be reached in a few minutes by train. Here 
reside all who can avail themselves of the healthy situation 
(with a fine sea-breeze), instead of remaining pent up in the 
dull and, at times, strong-smelHng and unwholesome town ; 
for certainly Egypt to the new comer puts forth its most un- 
pleasant aspect in the Europeanized town of Alexandria. At 
Ramleh the Khedive had a palace, which was burnt down 
when just finished, in the spring of 1870; when asked what 
should be done, his reply was "Rebuild it; " and they are 
now at work fulfilling his orders. 

Between Ramleh and Alexandria, the land, for the most 
part, lies waste and barren. Here some Roman fortifications 
are still to be traced, and numerous ancient graves, which 
have long since been rifled in search of antiquities. By the 
edge of the sea, and just below the water, may be seen 
tombs excavated in the rock, which has all the appearance of 
an ancient limestone formation, but which is evidently 
a recent deposit; for the bones which have been washed 
from the graves form portion of the matrix. At first sight 
such a formation may appear uninteresting, as it only con- 
tains bones from the neighbouring tombs (known as Cleo- 
patra's Baths) ; but it really opens another page in the history 



POilPEY'S PILLAE. 9 

of Egypt, and is one of the few proofs possessed by us that 
the Delta has sunk within historic times ; for it is self-evident 
that graves could never have been dug below the sea-level ; 
and that these square excavations, lined with human bones 
now cemented by nature into a solid limestone rock, were 
once tombs, cannot be doubted. 

February 'hth. — We ride off after an early breakfast, and 
find the streets frightfully muddy from the rain which fell 
during the night, the black mud in places rising over our 
donkeys' hocks as we scamper along on our way to Pompey's 
Pillar. In answer to our inquiries as to whether it often 
rained at Alexandria, our dragoman said that formerly the 
climate was as dry as in other parts of Egypt, until Euro- 
peans settled there and brought their wet weather with 
them. He finished by saying that he did not know whether 
that was really the case, but such was the behef among 
the native inhabitants. 

Passing out of the town by one of the western gates 
through the city walls, and riding past an Arab burial- 
ground, we come to " Pompey's Pillar," a single column 
nearly one hundred feet high. It was erected by Diocletian, 
and has nothing whatever to do with Pompey. Though 
of fine proportion, in its present position it is utterly un- 
meaning, and is certainly disappointing. We continue our 
ride ou to the river to look at some " dahabeahs " which are 
moored to the bank ; and here we first make acquaintance 
with the Nile boats. Although the general plan in all these 
boats is much the same, there are, in the arrangements 
on board, some apparently trivial matters which are of the 
greatest importance for the comfort of the traveller who has 
to live in them perhaps for mouths ; and nothing should he 



J 



10 THE DAHABEAH. 

be more careful about, after suiting himself with a dragoman, 
than in the selection of his boat. He should pay sjjecial 
attention to the fitting of the windows, as up to the end of 
February the nights are chilly ; and he must of course assure 
himself that the new paint does not cover old and rotten 
woodwork, as is too frequently the case : he should also see 
that the ropes, sails, and masts are strong and in good order ; 
or he may be delayed at some disagreeable place, to suit the 
convenience of the captain, while they are being repaired. 

The dahabeah has a raised cabin occupying the stern-half 
of the vessel ; this cabin contains a double-bedded room aft, 
then four or more rooms along each side of the passage 
which runs through the centre, one of them containing a 
bath, on which a bed can be made up if required, then the 
sitting room, in front of which, on each side of the passage, 
are other rooms for the dragoman's supplies. The fore part 
of the boat is devoted to the crew, who sleep on the deck. 
The mainmast stands near the bows, with the kitchen just in 
front of it ; in the stern, near the helm, is another small 
mast. Over the cabin is the quarter-deck ; on this the crew 
need never come, save the second captain, who steers, as the 
mainsail is worked in front of the cabin and aU the rifffxinsj 

Do o 

is forward. 

February 1th. — We start by the midday train for Cairo, 
thankful to have left Alexandria, as certainly the most dis- 
agreeable part of the Nile tour is the time spent in that 
town, so remarkable in ancient history, so uninteresting at 
the present day. Steaming along the side of Lake Mareotis, 
our hopes of sport rise as we watch the flocks of water-fowl 
scattered here and there over its surface, the Plovers and 
Curlews flying round, and the. Herons wading in its muddy 



CAIKO. 11 

margin, while the lazy Kite flaps slowly along over the cul- 
tivated land, where large flocks of the Buff'-backed Heron 
feed fearlessly, close to the dwellings of the natives, who 
never molest them. These birds are often pointed out as the 
Sacred Ibis ; but, alas ! that bird is no longer to be met with, 
or at all events is extremely rare, in the country where once 
it Avas worshipped. 

We now cross the Mahmoodeeh Canal, which was begun 
by Mohammed Ali in 1819, and finished within the year, 
but was done, like most Egyptian undertakings, hurriedly, 
and badly, with an utter disregard of life. It is said that 
250,000 men were employed upon the work, out of which 
20,000 died within the year. As we approach Cairo we see 
the stately Pyramids, those gigantic monuments of Egypt, 
rising in solemn grandeur over the intervening landscape, 
and the range of the Mokattam Mountains, which overhang 
Cairo, that most truly characteristic of oriental cities. On 
our arrival we put up at the New Hotel, the finest European 
building in the town. 

The amusements in the evening at Cairo were formerly 
limited to the cafes, where singing and roulette went on ; but 
the Khedive has recently built an opera-house, a theatre, a 
circus, and a hippodrome, at which the French acting and 
dancing form the most popular attractions. The following 
day we devote to seeing the town, bazars, the New Mosque, 
Old Cairo, and the NUometer on the Island of Roda, near 
which Moses is supposed to have been discovered among the 
bubushes. It certainly requu-es two or three days simply 
to see the town and visit the most interesting mosques, 
without gouig in for any of the detail ; then the Fossil 
Forest and the Tombs of the Caliphs take a day, while 



12 SPOKT. 

another day has to be devoted to the Pyramids ; but as it is 
my present object to treat of the natural history and shooting 
that Egypt affords, I shall pass over the sight-seeing, as the 
fullest information may be obtained about them in ' Murray's 
Handbook ' and in the countless other works which have 
been written upon the subject. 

Leaving Cairo, let lis start for the Pyramids, taking our 
guns with us. For some distance after crossing the Nile we 
ride among the native houses — dii-ty mud huts, and occasional 
palaces belonging to the Khedive or his family ; for almost 
every respectable house on this bank belongs to the Govern- 
ment. We soon become well acquainted with the small white 
Herons {Ardeola russata), which are extremely abundant, and 
form a prominent object in every scene about Cairo and in 
the Delta, their clean white plumage giving them a graceful 
appearance on the ground ; but they rise with difficulty, and 
are awkward in their flight. On each side of the embank- 
ment which forms the road to the Pyramids there are pools 
of water, the remains of the inundation which covers the 
country in the autumn. In these pools we find Teal very 
abundant, while upon the large pieces of water may be seen 
numbers of the common Wild Duck, Shoveller, Pintail, and 
Pochard, occasionally also large flocks of White-fronted and 
Egyptian geese. Here and there the common Heron is seen 
standing motionless in the mud or slowly flapping across the 
open country away from danger ; for these cunning birds are 
as shy in Egypt as in Europe, and often give timely warning 
of danger to the other frequenters of the mudbanks. Almost 
every ditch or pool holds some species of wader, the com- 
monest of which are the Grecnshanks, Common Sandpiper, 
Green Sandpiper, Stint, Kentish Plover, Lesser Eing-Plovcr ; 



WADEES AND FALCONS. 13 

occasionally flocks of Stilts and Ruffs, and more rarely 
Godwits and solitary specimens of the Marsh Sandpiper, are 
also to be found. These and the Spur-winged Plover, which 
one never fails to see during the day, form the chief bulk of 
the birds which may be met with at all seasons on one's way 
to the Pyramids. A few Snipe are generally observed ; but 
they are far more common in the Delta, near the coast, where 
a good shot may kill forty or fifty couple in a day in the 
marshes between Alexandria and Lake Menzaleh. 

The plains near the Pyramids afford very good Quail- 
shooting in March and April ; but February is too early for 
them, as they have not then arrived in any numbers. 

The birds of prey are extremely numerous, the Egyptian 
Kite {Milvus parasiticus) being by far the most abundant in 
the town of Cairo itself and throughout Egypt and Nubia. 
Of the large Hawks, the Peregrine, Lanner, Saker, and 
Barbary Falcons may all be met with in the neighbom-hood 
of Sakkarah, the Lanner being the most plentiful ; this bird 
breeds every year on the Pyramids. The Barbary Falcon is 
the scarcest of the four species, and the Saker the next in 
rarity. Of the smaller Falcons, the Kestrel is extremely 
common everywhere ; the Lesser Kestrel is only a spring 
visitant, when it becomes plentiful about Alexandria ; the 
Merlin is very common in the spring, frequenting the Sont- 
woods, but it does not remain to breed ; the Sparrowhawk 
abounds wherever trees afford it shelter. I once shot a 
Goshawk near Benisouef, the only specimen that I know to 
have been killed in the country. The Long-legged Buzzard 
{Buteo ferox) is so plentiful in some seasons, that one liurdly 
passes a day without meeting with it. This handsome bird 
frequents the open fieklsj where it rests upon some bank or 



14 THE PYRAMIDS. 

mound whilst it keeps watch over the fields for its prey, 
evincing a great partiality for Quail. I have here noticed 
some of the principal species of the birds of prey, as they 
cannot fail to impress the traveller at the outset with their 
extraordinary numbers ; so that I hope what I have just 
written may not be thought out of place, but naturally sug- 
gested by one's first impressions of a day's sport in Egypt. 

At length we arrive at the Pyramids, the wonders of the 
East. Their gigantic size is hard to realize when close to 
them, for want of smaller objects for comparison ; but a climb 
up the rough stones to the top will best convince one of their 
magnitude. The view, however, from the summit is dis- 
appointing, as it does not open out a much wider prospect 
than one has from the base. Facing us to the east, beyond 
the river stands Cairo, and behind it the Mokattam Mountains, 
ending abruptly on the north of the range at that city, but 
extending southward in a flat-topped ridge as far as the eye 
can see. Between this range and the Pyramids lies the 
fertile country, the valley of the Nile and the garden of 
Egypt : to the north-east extends the low flat land of the 
Delta ; and to the west lie the trackless sands of the Libyan 
Desert— over which the eye cannot range far, owing to the 
unevenness of the ground. Visiting the interior of the 
Pyramids is more unsatisfactory ; for one climbs and slides 
along a narrow dark passage, to be shown a room in the very 
centre, where a sarcophagus was found, but which has been 
removed. 

The next object to be seen is the Sphinx, which has sadly 
suffered by the hand of time, having lost its nose, which 
wives it an unpleasant expression. In front of the Sphinx 
the sand has been removed, and the ruins of a temple exca- 



THE FOSSIL FOREST. 15 

vated, in which there are some huge masses of granite. 
These must have cost no small labour to convey to their 
present site, as the nearest granite-quarries are at Assouan, 
over six hundred miles to the south. The only birds we met 
with at the Pyramids were the Lanner and Kestrel Falcons, 
the Crag Swallow, Mourning Chat, and a stray Bifasciated 
Lark, which truly desert-bird is rarely seen in Egypt. 

Returning to Cairo by the same way that we came, we 
shot a few more ducks and an occasional snipe or two. The 
black and white Kingfishers {Ceryle rudis) are very plentiful, 
and never fail to attract attention as they hover over the 
pools in search of their finny prey, which they appear rarely 
to drop upon directly from the bank where they have been 
sitting, as does our own Kingfisher, but hover like a Hawk 
over the water — and if unsuccessful in their dart, rise appa- 
rently unconcerned, to go through the evolution again and 
again until they succeed, when they retire to the bank to 
enjoy their meal. The next day we ride to the Fossil 
Forest, a part of the Arabian or Eastern Desert, where the 
ground is strewn with the shattered remains of fossil trees. 
The spot is not picturesque, but is curious on account of 
the quantity of silicified wood which is scattered around, 
and gives one a fair notion of what a desert is like. We 
lunch in this wild and desolate spot, where the Gazelle 
and Raven alone are to be found, the latter watching the 
stranger patiently, in anticipation of the meal which awaits 
him from the fragments shortly to be left by the departing 
visitors. It is curious that in this desert spot, where a 
few green weeds are the only vegetation, snails should 
abound, although they are not met with south of this 
locality in Egypt, not even along the cultivated banks of 



IG TOMBS OF THE CALIPHS. 

the river. On our way home we stop to examine the 
quarries of white hmestone, and soon fill our pockets with 
a rich harvest of fossils : a small species of Crab {Portutius 
leucodon) is tolerably plentiful ; univalves and bivalves of 
many kinds are abundant ; and we meet with several of the 
saw -shaped spines of an Echinoderm {Cidaris veronensis), 
and, of course, quantities of Nummulites, which are the 
characteristic fossils of this formation. Yesterday we pur- 
chased of the Arabs several of the fine Miocene Echino- 
derms {Clypeaster agyptiacus) which they always bring to 
the traveller at the Pyramids, and also a piece of white 
limestone filled with small Nummulites. Our dragoman, 
always anxious to explain every thing, told us that the 
builders of the Pyramids had been fed upon lentils, and 
that this was a piece of their bread made of that seed, but 
that time had hardened it into the stony substance which 
we then held in our hands. Although he tried hard to 
persuade us that he was right, we could not induce him 
to taste our specimens of nummulitic limestone. 

Near the Tombs of the Caliphs, which we pass on our 
way to the town, we see numbers of the Egyptian Vulture 
{Neophron percnopterus), the natural scavengers of the Arabs 
outside the town, while the dogs perform that office within 
the gates. The Tombs of the Caliphs are very picturesque, 
each with its dome ; they are built of red sandstone, which 
imparts to them such a sameness of colouring with the 
surrounding desert tliat it detracts somewhat from their 
real beauty. This want of variety in the colouring is the 
great drawback to Egyptian scenery. 

February \^tli. — Having got our supplies on board the 
dahabeah and laid in a good store of powder and shot, we 



THE STAKT. 17 

.weigh anchor and row out into the stream on onr way down 
to Damietta. The crew sing loudly to a monotonous tune, 
accompanied by the darabouca, or native drum, while, they 
keep time to the rowing of the oars, concluding each stanza 
or verse with a long-drawn shout ; the dragoman meanwhile 
busies himself firing oft' his gun as fast as he can, which is 
his mode of saluting such towns or dahabeahs as we pass. 
Indeed a di'agoman or any other native never misses an 
opportunity of making a noise when he has the chance. But 
upon this occasion our dragoman was not fortunate ; for on 
ramming down a large piece of paper over the powder, the 
ramrod got fixed in the rusty barrel, which had probably 
not been cleaned since his last trip, and now, his native 
cautiousness coming to the fore, he calls up one of the 
servants to fire off' his gun while he gets out of the way for 
fear of its bursting : the old weapon, however, stands the 
trial ; and the servant, wishing to do all honour to the town, 
discharges the piece in that direction, and sends the ramrod 
flying — heaven knows where. 

We have great satisfaction in feeling that we have begun 
the boat-trip, and that aU our troubles in selecting a dragoman 
and bargaining are over for a time ; and as our new home 
is clean and comfortable, with all our household gods around 
us and every one anxious to please, we feel how thoroughly 
enjoyable the life on our boat is, as we sit on deck under 
the cloudless heavens sparkling with innumerable stars, and 
watch the dark outline of the great city of the East which 
we are fast leaving behind us, while the crescent-shaped 
moon is rising over the mountains of the Mokattam. The 
nights, however, are chilly up to the end of February; so 

c 



18 A MATEENAL DEAGOMAN. 

we do not long remain on deck, but retire to the cabin, 
where the dragoman is waiting to announce dinner. 

Our dragoman is a native of Egypt. He wears the fez 
cap with the invariable yellow, red, and blue scarf tied round 
it in the form of a turban, a flowing black coat, in shape 
much resembling a dressing-gown, a long blue waistcoat, 
much embroidered with no end of useless little buttons, and 
lower down a pair of bags of the same material, through 
which his legs appear clothed in cotton stockings of match- 
less whiteness, terminating in black shoes with steel buckles. 
He is a fair specimen of the present god of the Nile, the 
dragoman, who is worshipped by the natives wherever he 
goes, on the chance of backsheesh, which, by the way, they 
seldom get for nothing. This peculiarly attired individual, 
owing to his long dress, curious squeaky voice, and the 
motherly care he takes of us, we nicknamed 'the Mother,' 
while Abdallah and Salem, the two trusty attendants, owing 
to their equally flowing robes, we called ' the Girls.' Ab- 
dallah, a Copt or Christian, is always most anxious to thrust 
his services upon us, and to keep Salem, whom he bullies, as 
much in the background as possible ; and in this he is pretty 
successful, for he is the ' Mother's ' favourite. He is not a 
very bright specimen, and hardly understands a word of 
English, while Salem speaks it tolerably fluently. The two 
' Girls ' differ in dress as well as in creed ; for although both 
wear the red fez and red slippers with white socks, which 
never tcill keep up, Salem has a black coat and vest after 
the form of the ' Mother's,' with a yellow silk scarf tied 
round the waist, while Abdallah, over a similar long black 
waistcoat, wears a grev English shooting-coat. Both wear 



LIFE ON BOAED THE DAHABEAH. 19 

white bags, contrasting strongly with their brown legs, which 
are exposed from the knee downwards. 

The dinners which our dragoman provided throughout 
the tour were excellent ; indeed in this respect he exceeded 
the terms of the contract, which we had taken care to draw 
up very minutely, as this saves a great deal of trouble after- 
wards ; for we suspect that a careless contract often leads 
dragomans to fancy that they can impose upon the traveller ; 
and this is probably the reason why some parties disagree 
with them. 

After dinner we go on deck again, where the ' Girls ' 
bring us our long chibouques, which they have duly lighted 
for us, and our cups of coffee, which, after the true Turkish 
fashion, are extremely small, and contain the very essence 
of coffee, with a quarter of a cupful of dregs. This may 
appear unpleasant to the uninitiated; but one soon comes 
to appreciate the coffee in this fashion, while there is cer- 
tainly none like it for flavour. A slight breeze having sprung 
up during dinner, the crew have laid aside their oars, and 
are now singing their strange wild and plaintive song, while 
one of them keeps time on the darabouka. This instrument 
consists of an earthen jar with a piece of parchment stretched 
over its wide mouth. The night is beautiful; the moon, 
which has now risen, casts its silvery light upon the rippling 
waters, and our white sail is filled with the soft breeze. 

The ' Mother ' now makes his appearance, and, after the 
usual salutation of the East, begins the conversation. " I 
hope you very good appetite," the way he always com- 
mences after dinner ; " the crew play to show they much 
pleased." If this was a fact, I believe they were always 
pleased when they had nothing else to do. He then told 

c 2 



20 DANGO. 

US that we should soon have to anchor for the night, as we 
were approaching a bridge which is only opened at certain 
hours ; and here the lights appear shining upon the water, and 
the dim outlines of several vessels are seen through the gloom. 
He had plenty of stories to tell us of the sport that was to 
be had, and drew our attention to the cry of the wildfowl, 
the ducks and geese, which we heard from time to time in 
the darkness ; then he called up an Abyssinian servant, 
whom we christened Dango, as being something like his 
original name but rather more convenient. He was formerly 
a servant of Mr. Miinzinger, the Consul at Massoua, had 
been through the Abyssinian campaign with our army, and 
was brought to Egypt, I believe, by Colonel Thesiger on his 
way home. He was extremely wilHng and obhging, and 
proved most useful on our shooting-expeditions ; so, as I shall 
often have occasion to speak of him in my present narrative, 
I may as well take this opportunity of introducing him to the 
reader. To look at, one would say he is about thirty years 
of age — short and active, with a deep coppery complexion, 
a large mouth, a woolly head, and a small beard. He is 
dressed in a blue serge shooting-jacket and trousers with a 
broad white stripe down the side, a fez cap, and very dila- 
pidated boots, which latter, by the way, were rather an 
encumbrance than otherwise, for he could walk better with- 
out them ; he was, however, extremely proud of being their 
possessor, as I suppose he considered that they gave him an 
air of respectability, until about a week later, when they dis- 
solved, like brown-paper, in a marsh, and left his feet bare. 
Thus ended these relics, which had probably been through 
the Abyssinian campaign. 

We now come to our moorings for the night ; and the 



SPOKT. 21 

crew's work being over, tliey soon fall asleep, while we retire 
to the cabin to talk over our adventures. 

February Wtli. — We rise early, and after a cup of coffee 
start out for a couple of hours' shooting before breakfast. 
The cool fresh air is delicious ; but the grass is very wet 
from the heavy dew, which glitters on the bright green 
herbage under the rays of the morning sun. We pass 
through a portion of the town on the western bank of the 
river, and then cross the latter by a bridge, where we soon 
come upon some pools and a half-dry canal, where we find 
wildfowl tolerably abundant. This canal being about eighty 
yards broad, the ducks avoid us by flying down the centre, 
so that we only get a few uncertain long shots at them ; for 
they are too shy to allow us to stalk them ; and, indeed, the 
ground throughout Egypt is very bad for that purpose, 
owing to the want of covert, the banks being of smooth 
mud from which the water has recently retired. However, 
we kill a few Shoveller, Pintail, and Pochard ; but Teal most 
frequently come to the bag. Greenshanks are tolerably plen- 
tiful here, while, lower down, the Redshanks become most 
numerous. Whenever we find other game scarce we fall 
back on the Pigeons, for which Egypt is famous, as they are 
always welcome to the crew. The number of these birds, 
which live in a semidomesticated state, is quite marvellous. 
The natives in most of the villages build a second story to 
their houses, solely for the sake of these pigeons, which flock 
to them as soon as they are built ; but they require that their 
houses should be kept more cleanly than the abodes of the 
natives ; otherwise they leave for better quarters. What 
would an English farmer say to having these myriads of 
pigeons feeding on his land ? Yet there is no denying that 



22 A VILLAGE. 

the Egyptian crops thrive well nevertheless ; and their guano 
is there considered to more than compensate for the grain 
they eat, as this kind of manure is particularly valued for the 
cultivation of the sugar-cane. 

Although the native gives himself so much trouble to keep 
a stock of these birds in the villages, none dispute the 
stranger's right to shoot as many of them as he pleases in 
the fields ; and it certainly adds considerably to the pleasiu-e 
of the Nile-trip always to feel oneself lord of the manor, with 
perfect liberty to shoot what we please and walk where we 
like, regardless of crops or boundaries. We are always wel- 
comed by the native, who for the sake of seeing sport, which 
he thoroughly appreciates when he meets with a good shot, will 
go out of his way to point out some ducks which he has seen 
on a neighbouring pool, or will dash into the water after 
any bird that may have fallen in. I have often been much 
amused watching them hunt a wounded duck, which they 
will rarely fail to secure ; for they are perfect adepts in the 
art of swimming. 

As we were shooting round a village, the Sheik, or head 
man, came out to see the sport, and invited us to his at 
house to take coffee, which is always ready, and acceptable 
any time of the day. Then there flocked around us all the 
rising generation of the village, and the women, in their 
long blue dresses, with their faces wrapped up in white cloths, 
only showing their bright black eyes, which they fix upon 
us — in admiration? No, rather in wonder why we have 
come there, and why we are dressed so differently from their 
own people. 

On occasions like this, I have often fancied how much our 
position resembled that of our caged animals at home. We 



NATIVE GUAKDS. 23 

are the queer beasts, whose every action is watched, and who 
excite as much amusement out here as we feel when looking 
at " our poor relations," the monkeys, at the Zoological 
Gardens. Showing the natives the action of our breech- 
loaders and letting them look through our field-glasses never 
failed to excite the interest of the chief men of the company, 
who are seldom satisfied until they have had the gun in their 
own hands, and pinched their fingers in shutting it up. But 
it is time to be on the move again ; so we make a rise and a 
salaam to the sheik, and, throwing a few coppers among the 
small boys, we proceed on our way, mutually pleased with 
our rencontre. 

The Egyptian is certainly not a bad character. He may 
be poor and idle ; but he will exert himself for the smallest 
coin, and is always willing to please; in fact, they are an 
extremely harmless people, although a dragoman never fails 
to impress one with the necessity of firing a shot or two 
on anchoring for the night, just by way of explaining to the 
natives, should there be any robbers among them, that the 
boat is armed. As an extra precaution, too, we have some 
of the natives from the village to guard the shore at night. 
This we look upon as a small tax upon travellers, rather than 
as a really necessary precaution ; for the guards often sleep 
very soundly during the night, as we found on one occasion, 
when we went the rounds and saw the two guards fast 
asleep ; so we took their guns away and brought them on 
board, as a testimony in the morning of their good be- 
haviour. 

We arrive at Beuha on the 13 th, where we have to wait 
some hours ere they open the bridge over which the railway 
from Alexandria to Cairo crosses the Nile. As this priJ-'"" 



24 MIEAGE. 

an extremely bad shooting-ground, we are not sorry when we 
can again get under way. The previous day, near Farshouni, 
I had some fair duck-shooting along a half-dry canal, which 
is always the best kind of place to get at the ducks ; and 
there we saw a large flock of Avocets, the first I had met 
with ; but they were too shy to let us approach within shot. 

I shall now hurry on our journey, as the days on the Nile 
are spent in a very similar manner, while we float along the 
smooth surface of its waters. At Zitfeh I met with innu- 
merable flocks of pigeons. With twelve cartridges I killed 
three dozen of them ; but finding quantities of Tin-tle Doves, 
we devote our attention to them in preference, as they aff'ord 
far better shots, and are excellent eating. 

February Ylth. — A strong northerly wind detains us at 
Shhiibin ; so we start out early, in hopes of walking to Lake 
Menzaleh. We first cross some flooded rice-fields, where we 
disturb immense flocks of Gulls and Terns, make a fair bag 
of Snipe and Golden Plover, and meet with vast quantities of 
Sandpipers of various species. Leaving the rice-fields we 
cross a heath, where our delighted eyes see what we imagine 
to be a large sheet of water in front of us, but which a ten 
minutes' walk proves to be nothing but a mirage. We are 
again de ceived in a similar manna.- ; and this makes us some- 
what doubtful Avhen we really do see water; however, our 
minds are soon set at rest by a large flock of geese alighting 
with a splash upon what turns out to be an extensive shallow 
lake. Here we spend two or three hours rather unsuc- 
cessfully, as the ducks mostly keep out in the middle. Con- 
tinuing a little fm-ther we find a succession of small ponds, 
but do not reach Menzaleh, and then return to our boat with 
a well-filled and varied bag. 



SNIPE-SHOOTING. 25 

To-day we first meet with the Ichneumon, a large species 
of the Polecat tribe. This beast was formerly held sacred by 
the Egyptians, to whom it rendered some service by devour- 
ing the eggs of the crocodile and killing snakes. It is now 
abundant in the Delta, but rare to the south of Cairo. 

February X'dth. — We arrive at a small village, about five 
miles by water from Damietta, where we remain for several 
days, as it is close to a reedy marsh, the best locality for 
snipe that we shot over in Egypt. Here one may kill forty 
or fifty couples of snipe in a day for a whole week without 
going over the same ground twice. However, I was not 
very successful the first day, owing to my having obtained a 
guide who told me that duck was in great abundance ; con- 
sequently I reserved my fire for them, never having had a 
real good day's duck-shooting in Egypt. I must confess 
that my companion showed his sense in being contented with 
the snipe-shooting and in not following me on my wild-goose- 
chase. With my guide I plunged into the thick reeds, 
whence I could not see ten yards in front ; here I waded, 
in mud up to my knees, for half an hour straight out towards 
the centre of the lake, and began to get very tired of seeing 
nothing, when up rose an old Bittern from its noonday 
slumbers ; him I shot in hopes that the report might disturb 
some of the numerous waterfowl of which I had heard so 
much from my guide, but the existence of which I began to 
doubt. vSave a few Marsh-Harriers, no birds were roused 
by the sound ; consequently my temper began to fail me ; 
so, after struggling on for some distance further and finding 
nothing but reeds, I turned about, and was heartily glad when 
I found myself once more on the snipe-ground, where I bagged 
ten couple in about half an hour. My spirits now rose again. 



26 CONSUL AT DAMIETTA. 

so that I allowed myself once more to be beguiled into 
another search for duck. This time I started in a small boat 
made of reeds, and, passing through a narrow channel, got 
into the clear water in the centre of the lake. Again I was 
disappointed ; not a bird was to be seen ; but being out 
there, I determined to spend half an hour punting round the 
edge of the reeds, but all to no purpose ; there were no wild- 
fowl, and again the serenity of my temper was disturbed. 
1 could not, however, resist laughing at the explanation of 
my guide, as, laying his head upon his hand, and pointing 
with the other to the bottom of the lake, he told me that 
they were all asleep down there during the heat of the day, 
but that they would come up again in the evening. I heard 
afterwards, on good authority, that they do come to this 
lake in great numbers earlier in the season. Ducks are cer- 
tainly extremely abundant in the neighbourhood; for that 
evening we saw what we at first took to be a thunder-cloud, 
but what proved to be an immense flock of wildfowl, and 
I saw similar flocks upon several occasions towards flight- 
time, but could never get within range. 

The pretty White-tailed Plover, Chettusia leucura, though 
formerly considered rare, is abundant about this lake, as well 
as near Alexandria and in the Fayoom. Having beaten 
the greater part of the ground, we leave this place and 
stop at Damietta, where we dine with the Consul in the 
true Egyptian style. He lives in a large house surrounded 
by a garden fragrant with orange-blossoms and bright with 
gaily coloured flowers. The dinner consists of a great variety 
of dishes, chiefly minces, hashes, and vegetables of many 
kinds. Although, like a true Mahomedan, he does not drink 
wine himself, he does not impose the same restriction on his 



RETUEN TO CAIRO. 27 

guest. We here meet an Italian who lives at Damietta ; he 
is a very good sportsman, and accompanies us next day to 
show us the best shooting-ground. 

The Consul provides us with horses equipped with velvet 
and gold saddle-cloths, which look rather out of character 
with our rough shooting-suits. We are taken to the same 
lake that we had been shooting around for the last week ; we 
have, however, a pleasant day's sport, and collect a few 
Painted Snipe. We did not find many of these birds ; but 
our Italian friend told us that they are often met with here, in 
flocks of twenty or thirty, when they are easily scattered, and 
will then lie close, like Jack Snipe, and are consequently 
easily shot; but they are very poor eating. He also told us 
that November and December are the best months for duck- 
shooting, when he has killed hundreds of them in their flight 
from Lake Menzaleh to this marsh. 

On the 26th we leave Damietta, and return up the Nile 
with as little delay as possible, as the season is becoming 
late for ascending the river, and reach Cairo on the 1st of 
March. Finding that a new awning is required for the boat, 
we set the men to work at it, while we lay in fresh supplies 
and finish seeing the toAvn. I was very fortunate in col- 
lecting birds during this three weeks' tour in the Delta, and 
obtained several species which we did not meet with later; 
so, as a guide to other ornithologists, I will give a short 
list of the birds which should be obtained during a similar 
tour, and which are not so likely to be met with higher up 
the Nile. 

1. Aquila imperialis. Imperial Eagle. 

2. Circus (Entginostis, Marsh-Harrier, far more abundant 
in adult plumage in the Delta than elsewhere. 



.28 EAKE BIEDS. 

3. Scops ffiu, Scops Eared Owl, tolerably plentiful near 
Alexandria. 

4. Centropus (Bgyptius, Egyptian Lark-heeled Cuckoo. 

5. Alcedo hcngalensis, Small Indian Kingfisher. 

6. Acrocephalus stentorius, near Damietta in March and 
April. 

7. Calamodi/ta melanopogon. In the same marsh through- 
the year. 

8. Chettusia lemur a. White-tailed Plover. 

9. Bhi/ncheea capensis, Painted Snipe. 

Bittern, Spotted Crake, many kinds of Ducks, Gulls, and 
Terns. Among the common English birds which are likely 
not to be met with south of the Delta, are the Blackbird, 
Robin, Stonechat, Linnut, Challiucli, Goldfinch, Rook, Star- 
ling, Golden and Grey Plovers, and Water-Rail. 



CHAPTER II. 

THE GEOLOGY OF EGYPT. 

I FEEL that some apology is due to the reader for the 
followmg chapter, in which I shall digress from the general 
pm-pose of this work to give a sketch of the geology of the 
country ; for after having spent several months upon the 
great mudbank of Egypt, the Delta of the Nile, one may 
feel curious as to its formation and the aspect the country 
would have presented had the Nile been a clear and sparkling 
stream without an annual overflow. In that case how dif- 
ferent would have been the scene ! Egypt is a creation of 
the Nile; and not only does its trade depend in a great 
measure upon the river, but every cultivated spot owes its 
existence to the alluvium brought down by those fertilizing 
waters. Without this sediment in the Nile there would be 
an uninhabitable sandy desert where a fruitful country, teem- 
ing with trade and civilization, has now existed for thousands 
of years ; for Egypt, as we see it, is nothing but a thin sheet 
of alluvium, spread by the Nile over an arid tract in the 
course of countless ages. This alluvial soil varies greatly in 
thickness in different parts of the valley ; but its general ap- 
pearance and chemical properties are much the same every- 
where. The larger portion of this soil is derived from the 
great Nile-tributaries, more especially from Abyssinia, which 
is drained by the Atbara and Blue Nile, which join the main 



30 GEOLOGY 

stream at Damer and Khartoum respectively. By far the 
greater mass of the soil brought down by the river is de- 
posited towards its present mouth, and forms the Delta. 
Now the real Delta of the Nile is that flat triangular portion 
of Egypt having for its apex Memphis, more than onehundaed 
miles from the sea, and its base formed by a coast-line two 
hundred miles in length, Port Said being at its eastern angle ; 
so that the real Delta contains an area of one hundred square 
miles, while that portion of Lower Egypt commonly known 
as the Delta, has Cairo at the apex of the triangle, and is 
bounded on the east by the Damietta and on the west by 
the Rosetta branches of the Nile, allowing only an extent of 
ninety miles for its base or coast-line ; so that the portion 
usually spoken of as the Delta is not half the real Delta of 
the Nile. 

The rate of deposit and the time required for the formation 
of the Delta must be purely hypothetical, as all the bones 
and shells which have been discovered are similar to those 
now existing in the Nile or living on its banks ; and as no pit 
has been sunk below the sea-level, the absence of marine 
shells in these deposits is not surprising ; and probably even 
if such a pit M'ere sunk, it would pass through river-alluvium 
for a considerable depth below the sea-level, as has almost in- 
variably proved to be the case when like experiments have been 
conducted in other Deltas. Besides, we have evidence that 
the Delta has been slowly sinking for a considerable time, as 
we already remarked when we visited " Cleopatra's Baths," 
which are now below the level of the sea ; and beneath the 
waters of Lake Menzaleh may be seen the banks of some 
ancient arm of the Nile, as well as the ruins of a town. 

The rate of yearly deposit is undoubtedly very small ; and 



OF EGYPT. 31 

this probably accounts for the great absence of lamination in 
the alluvium; for the successive deposits would naturally- 
become mixed by cultivation, the boring of insects, and the 
natural cracking of the mud as it dries, together with the 
drifting of the particles by the wind. 

We know that the sea once washed the foot of the rocks on 
which the Pyramids of Sakkara stand, the bases of which are 
now bathed by the inundations of the Nile from seventy to 
eighty feet above the Mediterranean ; but when we attempt to 
carry back our ideas to such a remote period, we are lost in 
the contemplation of so vast an interval of time during which 
the Nile has deposited the hundred square miles of soil which 
now form its true Delta. Besides the great volume of allu- 
vium brought down from the river- sources, there is vast 
degradation taking place along its course ; for the atmosphere 
acts very considerably in crumbling the sandstone ; and the 
wind, carrying these particles along, adds to the Nile-deposit, 
forming sandbanks in the river, which are now added to and 
then swept away again by some slight alteration in the 
currents; and, owing to the power of the wind to drift sand, 
the physical aspect of Nubia is constantly changing. This is 
probably the great source from which the sandy particles in 
the Nile-deposit are derived, while the clayey portions are 
mostly brought down from Abyssinia. In Nubia we can 
trace the effects of the tremendous scouring which the country 
has undergone, at one time or another, in the torrent-beds 
and deep valleys of denudation which are cut through the 
horizoutal strata. The heavy storms which occasionally break 
over the country bear a large amount of strata into the 
river. 

The Nile, like other rivers, has often shifted its course, as 



32 GEOLOGY 

is shown by the presence of beds of alhivium many feet above 
the level of the present high Nile : that it has changed its 
bed and altered its elevation even Avithin the historical 
period, is evident from marks left by the swollen river on 
monuments both in Egypt and Nubia. Close to the famous 
rock temple of Aboo Simbel is a small temple, where at the 
present time the Nile, when high, washes the door-sill and 
the legs of a seated figure. At Kom Ombo, twenty-five 
miles north of Assouan, the old temple is built on a heap of 
alluvium, which is now being rapidly undermined, while 
shallows and sandbanks are being formed on the opposite 
side of the river. At Silsilis the river has changed consider- 
ably within the historical period, and is stiU encroaching on 
the left bank. Further north, in a small grotto, the high 
Nile rises above the threshhold, and washes a set of river-gods 
up to then- necks. While throughout Egypt the Nile appears 
to rise higher now than it did formerly, in Ethiopia it has 
sunk ; for at Semneh, thirty-five miles south of Wady Halfeh, 
just beneath the eastern temple, there are some early hiero- 
glyphic inscriptions, recording the rise of the Nile during the 
reign of Amun-ni-he III., about 2000 b.c, from which we 
learn that in those days it rose considerably higher at this 
spot than it does at present. 

The present fall of the Nile below the First Cataract is five 
inches in the mile, or 300 feet from Assouan to Alexandria ; but 
it must have been greater formerly, before the formation of the 
Delta, as the Mediterranean then extended inland as far as 
Memphis, forming a bay or gulf 100 miles in length ; and 
the Nile must have been sixty feet lower at that point than it 
now is, i.e. at the level of the sea. The force of the Nile- 
current must therefore have been stronger formerly than it 



OF EGYPT. 33 

is at present, and would consequently have swept nearly all 
the silt below the first impediment in the river into the sea, 
so that the extension of the Delta must have been more rapid 
then than in the present day. As the Delta increased, the 
rapidity of the stream decreased, so that much of the mud, 
instead of being cast into the sea, would be deposited along 
the river-bed, the sluggish stream having lost the power to 
drive it forward ; and in this manner the bed of the river has 
gradually been raised, so that at Memphis it is now sixty feet 
above the level of the sea. This variation in the level of the 
river-bed, and consequent change in the force of the stream, 
must have distributed the sediment very unevenly over the 
Delta. But there is a more powerful i-eason for its uneven 
distribution, which arises from the manner in which Deltas 
are formed*. 

On coming into contact with the sea the running water of 
the river is checked, and the earthy matter it contains settles 
down to the bottom, the larger particles falling near the river- 
mouth, while the finer ones, which take longer to subside, are 
carried fui-ther out to sea ; and thus, in course of time, a mud- 
bank of a certain extent is raised, until it becomes almost dry 
at low tide. Through this the river shapes its bed, gradually 
embanking itself; for, as it overflows its channel it comes 
into contact with the still sheet of water which covers this low 
alluvial flat, and the running water thus checked is forced to 
deposit its silt along the junction with the still water. By 
slowly depositing mud along its course the river gradually 
raises its bed, until the body of its waters is higher than the 
neighbouring swamp ; it then bursts its banks, and flows 

* See Hugh Falconer on the formation of Deltas, ' Quarterly Journal 
of the Geological Society,' 1865, vol. xxi. p. 372. 

D 



34 GEOLOGY 

along the lowest level, and, repeating the same process, fills 
up that depression, and forms a new bed again in another 
part, thus continuing to raise new beds, for itself in the lowest 
part of the land thi'ough which it flows. After a long cycle 
of years it may come again to that channel which it fii'st left, 
which wiU probably not have risen one foot, while the neigh- 
bouring country may have risen twenty or thirty feet. 

Thus we see that rivers in alluvial soils, especially in 
Deltas, have a tendency to raise their banks and confine 
themselves to their beds for an indefinite time, until accident 
bursts their bounds; so that any chronological conclusions 
founded upon such data must be very fallacious, whether 
derived from borings into the strata or from calculations based 
upon mere superficial deposits. 

We may sum up our knowledge relating to the alluvial 
deposit of the Nile, and the alterations which have taken place 
in the bed of the river, under the following heads : — 

1. The land is slowly sinking in Lower Egypt. 

2. No very marked change has taken place in the bed of 
the river in historical times. 

3. The river is always slightly shifting its bed. 

4. The Nile, within the historical period, has risen to a 
different height at places from that to which it rises at the 
present day. 

5. The Nile was formerly a more rapid river. 

6. All bones and shells found in the alluvium may be 
referred to species now inhabiting the Nile-valley. 

7. No marine shells have been discovered in the alluvium 
of the Nile. 

8. No chronological evidence can be drawn from the 
thickness of the beds of alluvium. 



OF EGYPT. 35 

In order to givt a slight idea of the geological formation 
of Egypt and Nubia up to the Second Cataract, and also 
to indicate whence the ancient Egyptians procured the granite 
and greenstone for their obelisks and statues, as well as 
to show the general distribution throughout the country of 
that splendid white limestone on which they executed some 
of their finest carving, I shall give a short sketch of the 
formations which contain them, with their general localities ; 
for by understanding the geology of a coimtry we add con- 
siderably to our knowledge of its physical geography. These 
rocks may be conveniently divided, for our present con- 
sideration, according to their mineralogical characters, into 
foui' distinct groups, which I shall enumerate in their order of 
superposition, beginning with the most recent. 

1. Alluvium of the Nile. — This forms the entire Delta, and 
extends in a thin layer over all the cultivated land of Egypt 
and Nubia, and is generally bounded on either bank by 
cliffs. Large tracts towards its edges have in many places 
been covered over by the sand borne from the deserts, and are 
no longer cultivated. This alluvial soil may often be traced 
at a considerable distance from the river by the nodules of 
" natron" (a species of travertine) which are met with on the 
desert sand wherever it overlies an ancient deposit of the 
Nile. The alluvium consists of a mixture of sand and clay, 
and is occasionally, though rarely, intersected by thin beds of 
" natron," of the appearance of white limestone. 

2. Sandstone. — This formation overlies the limestone rocks 
both in Egypt and Nubia. At Silsilis it shows itself in con- 
siderable thickness, and has here been largely quarried by 
the ancient Egyptians. It imparts at this part of the Nile- 
valley a wilder character to the scenery than lower down the 

1) 2 



36 GEOLOGY 

river. The sandstone varies considerably in itself, its lower 
strata often forming a coarse conglomerate, and varies in 
colour from deep red to green and yellow, and is generally 
darker than the sand upon the desert, this being probably 
due to the colouring-matter having been more easily de- 
composed and washed away than the pink and white grains 
of silica. This formation appears chiefly, if not entirely, to 
belong to the Miocene period ; and the deserts on each side of 
the Nile are, no doubt, due solely to its decomposition. I 
believe it to be erroneous to suppose that the sea left the 
sand of the desert as we now behold it, but that it was for- 
merly a sandstone, its particles being cemented together by 
the same materials as that which we now see forming the 
" Red Mountain," near Cairo, and the thick formation at 
Silsilis, and that the loose sand of the desert has been formed 
by its disintegration by atmospheric action ; for we cannot 
study these strata without frequently meeting with examples 
of recent degradation going on upon a large scale ; and when 
we consider the vast time during which the atmosphere has 
been acting upon these strata, we need not be surprised at 
the extent of its ravages. 

3. Limestone. — This is throughout of an extremely pure 
whiteness, and is first met with in the mountains of Nummu- 
litic limestone near Cairo, and extends throughout the whole 
of Egypt in remarkably flat-top})ed ranges, forming at places 
steep perpendicular cliffs down to the water's edge, as at 
Gebel e' Tayr and Gebel Aboofayda, but is driven back 
inland at Silsilis by the sandstone strata, while in Nubia, 
near the river, it is only met with in detached masses forming 
outlying hills. The desert on each side of the Nile is gene- 
rally bounded by steep cliffs ; for the cultivated land of Egypt 



or EGYPT. 37 

lies in the great rent in the limestone formation hollowed out 
by the Nile waters, and which averages, from Cairo to Assouan, 
five or six miles in breadth. Such is the wealthy laud of 
Egypt ; for the desert is only a home for the Gazelle and the 
Vulture. 

4. Crystalline rocks. — These are not met with until we 
reach Assouan ; but there they are seen in vast masses 
hemming in the river on all sides at the First Cataract. 
Here the scenery changes from the fruitful land of fertile 
Egypt into the bleak and barren realms where the huge 
granite rocks rise in stately grandeur around the struggling 
waters of the Nile as they force their way through the narrow 
channels of the Cataract. The granite rocks bind the river 
so closely on either side throughout its course between the 
First and Second Cataracts, that they leave but a slight margin 
on its banks for cultivation in Nubia, which country is almost 
entirely composed of these rocks, with here and there a lime- 
stone mountain, the whole surmounted by the sandstone 
strata, which has been much worn away, and in some parts 
almost entirely decomposed into loose sand, forming in many 
places " dunes." 

The crystalline rocks are of two kinds, viz. a rich pink 
granite, by far the most abundant, and " greenstone," which 
forms dykes through it. These dykes are well exhibited at 
the First Cataract, and appear to run very constantly from east 
to west, owing to their being more easily decomposed than 
the surrounding granite; the water-courses of the Cataract 
almost invariably follow their directions. They show the 
line of very ancient prehistoric volcanic action in a country 
which appears ever since to have remained remarkably un- 
disturbed by subterranean fires ; for, except at the junction of 



3S GEOLOGY 

these crystalline rocks with the superincumbent stratified 
formations, we find a great absence of all fissures, rents, and 
faults, except such as have evidently been formed by atmo- 
spheric causes ; and the stratified rocks throughout Egypt and 
Nubia being remarkably horizontal, we are led to believe that 
they rose slowly without any very marked local volcanic action. 

The atmospheric causes have had a far greater power in 
decomposing the strata than one would expect to find in such 
dry countries. Rain does occasionally fall, though rarely, but 
at such times generally in tremendous downfalls, as testified 
by the ravines and deep torrent-beds, which are by no means 
uncommon in the limestone strata, as, for instance, the 
valley by which we approach the " Tombs of the Kings " at 
Thebes. 

The desert is constantly encroaching upon the cultivated 
land ; and this is especially the case in Nubia, where the 
inhabitants have become scarce by emigration to the busier 
parts of Egypt ; for arable land on the confines of the desert, 
if left alone for a few years, gets covered up by drift sand, 
and becomes barren and useless, so that it cannot again be 
cultivated without great labour. 

Besides the formations above enumerated, there are two 
minor ones, parts of the great freshwater deposit of the Nile, 
which deserve special notice. 

1. Natron or Kunkur. — A species of travertine, composed 
of lime in hard concretionary masses, or perhaps more often 
tufaceous and nodular. It is formed by the action of the air 
upon the chemical constituents of the alluvium ; and its 
presence, as already mentioned, on many parts of the desert 
near the river indicates an alluvial subsoil, and testifies to the 
encroachment of the desei't upon the cultivated land. 



or EGYPT. 39 

2. A fine clay, which is found chiefly in caves only acces- 
sible to the river-water at high tide. This might naturally 
be expected to contain bones and throw some further light 
upon our knowledge of the animals which inhabited the 
country at a former period, as it would certainly do in a 
damper climate ; but, owing to the dryness of the atmosphere, 
the bones no doubt decompose before they can become buried 
in these beds, which must take a long time in forming, as 
they are not assisted by any dropping from the ceilings, but 
are entirely composed of the fine mud brought there during 
the short period of high Nile. This clay is extremely useful, 
being employed for the manufacture of the " goulos," or 
water-bottles, so much used in Egypt. 



40 



CHAPTER III. 

FEOM CAIEO TO ASSOUAN. 

The regular tour by dahabeah up the Nile is by far the most 
pleasant way of seeing Egypt, as it is free from all the annoy- 
ances of waiting for trains or camels, attendant upon a tent- 
life in a country where there are no hotels save at Alexandria, 
Cairo, Suez, and Port Said : and it is really enjoyable ; for, when 
once the contract has been signed, there are no further troubles 
in store, unless one has been exceptionally unlucky in the 
choice of a dragoman. All goes smoothly; the dahabeah, 
roomy and clean after one's own choice, is extremely com- 
fortable, and all our requirements are at hand The progress 
may be slow ; but, as we are constantly advancing, it conquers 
distance, while the panorama of Egypt unfolds itself before 
us, ever changing, and, throughout our course, studded with 
ruins of a bygone race which cannot fail to excite the admira- 
tion and interest of all who see them. 

First we pass the Pyramids of Geezeh, Sakkara, and 
Dashoor ; one of these, known as the pyramid of Mycerinus, 
or Menkera, is said to have been built by a woman who, on 
account of her great beauty, was called Rhodopis, or the 
rosy-cheeked one, and who became Queen of Egypt. Moore 
has availed himself of a legend connected with this Pyramid 
in his ' Melodies ' : — 



EHODOPIS. 41 

" Fair Rhodope, as story tells, 
The bright unearthly nymph who dwells 
'Mid sunless gold and jewels hid, 
The Lady of the Pyramid." 

This legend tells of a marvellously lovely woman, who 
might be seen sitting naked on the summit of the pyramid ; 
her excessive beauty was such that she drove the wanderers 
in the desert mad when they beheld her. 

Another legend of this fair Rhodopis, as told in Strabo's 
time, seems like the origin of the story of Cinderella. A 
slave at the time, she went one morning to bathe in the Nile, 
leaving her slippers on the bank, when either an eagle or the 
wind, according to diiferent versions, carried them away and 
dropped them at the feet of the king, who was at the moment 
on his throne of justice in the market-place at Memphis. He 
was so enchanted with the tiny slippers, that he would not rest 
until he discovered their owner, who so well pleased him 
that he made her his queen. 

Landing at Memphis, the ancient capital of this rich and 
fertile country, but whose site is hardly to be traced at the 
present day, we ride off to the desert to visit the Serapeum, 
or tombs of the sacred Bulls. The massiveness of the sarco- 
phagi in which these animals were interred with all pomp, 
cut out of solid granite and brought many hundred miles 
from the quarries of Assouan, cannot fail to impress the 
traveller with the durability which was the great aim of all 
the ancient Egyptian monuments. Near the Serapeum is a 
small temple, where the sculpture is admirably cut ; it is 
more beautifully executed than any that one sees higher up 
the Nile, but is not so ancient as most of the temples. 
Hence to Golosaneh the scenery presents very little variety, the 



42 GEBEL E' TATE. 

western bank being highly cultivated and dotted at short in- 
tervals with mud villages, invariably surrounded by groups of 
palms and sont trees, while beyond lies the Libyan desert, 
on the borders of which stand the many pyramids which 
impart such a striking character to the scenery ; on the 
eastern bank the white, flat-topped range of hills separate the 
cultivated land from the Arabian desert within a couple of 
miles from the river's bank. Though for many miles the 
antiquarian and sightseer will meet but little to attract his 
attention, the sportsman will find this by no means a bad 
part of the river for Ducks, Geese, and Sandgrouse or Snipe 
in the winter, and for Quail after the middle of March. 
Near Golosaneh there are some very good places for Geese and 
the larger birds, such as Pelicans, Cranes, &c. ; while in the 
rough halfa grass, which covers much of the land near that 
town, and on the island opposite, Sandgrouse are at times 
extremely plentiful. 

On passing Golosaneh, after a small bend in the river, we 
come to Gebel e' Tayr, where there is a Coptic convent, 
notorious in former times for the infamous trade carried on 
there in preparing guardians of the harems. Here the 
rocks rise precipitously from the water's edge, presenting a 
scene of wild grandeur, which, when coloured by the setting 
sun, and softened down by the mellow tints of the western 
sky, forms a most impressive landscape, while the rich verdure 
of the opposite bank contrasts well with tlie bleakness of 
these cliffs. The inhabitants of the convent are hthe, well- 
built men, and wonderfully active in the water ; they swim 
off to the passing vessels to ask for backsheesh, making the 
Christian religion which they profess a plea for charity. A 
few days later we pass Minieh, the chief town of Middle 



D-AJNXrS'G GERLS. 43 

Egypt; it is of considerable size, possesses a large sugar- 
factorv, and has direct communication with Cairo bv rail. 
On the following day we reach Beni Hassan, where the small 
rock-temples are well worth visiting ; for on their walls are 
depicted incidents illustrative of the people who formerly 
dwelt in the country ; among the subjects, their games, with 
wrestlers in a varietv of attitudes, and many of the common 
bii'ds of Eg\'pt are most faithfully delineated. 

At Sioot we stop to see the " girls make dance," as our 
dragoman expressed it. This performance, unlike any Euro- 
pean dance, does not consist of any peculiar step, but of a 
sort of shivering motion of the body from the hips upwards, 
which, while it hardly reaches the graceful, borders rather 
closely on what strict mortals might call the indecent. It is 
generally danced by two at a time, both women ckessed in 
loose trousers of blue or white, or of some striped material 
tied round the ankles, and thin white shirts cut rather low ; 
over this is worn a jacket, the sleeves generally tight, but cut 
up from the wi-ist to the elbow, ornamented with numerous 
small gold buttons ; on then- heads thev wear a small kind of 
Fez cap thickly covered with strings of gold coins, and round 
the neck more strings of gold coins ; they have nimierous 
rings of silver or gold round theii- wrists and ankles, and 
large silver rings thi'ough their ears. Their nails are stained 
red with henneh, the invariable custom of women in Egypt, 
their eyelids are blackened, and their chins, foreheads, and 
cheeks, are generally marked with the " elegant tattoo " in 
blue. To then- middle lingers and thumbs are attached 
small silver cymbals, or castanets, to accompany their dance. 
The doors being shut, we sit round on the divans to see the 
performance ; the matron of the establishment plays or. 



44 THE CEOCODILE. 

rather, beats time on the darabouca; and some other native 
plays on a reed-pipe, or else sings. The girls are given 
tumblers of araki (a very strong liquor), to add spirit to then* 
dance, and then they begin, walking with small steps towards 
each other, waving their arms over their heads, and quivering 
all the time. Such a dance is too simple for a description to give 
much idea of it ; it is wild and uncivilized-looking, and, when 
properly danced, is not devoid of attraction. The figures of 
the women, which are extremely fine, show a suppleness and 
activity which one cannot fail to admire ; and occasionally one 
meets with some very handsome faces among the dark-skinned 
professional dancers, some of whom come from Nubia and 
Ethiopia, and many from Abyssinia. 

Setting sail again from Sioot, we find the ever tortuous course 
of the river delays us much ; for, although we sail freely up 
the first reach, the wind is taken out of our sails by the next 
bend, up which we have to tack ; thus it happens that we 
are rarely able to sail for many consecutive hours ; and conse- 
quently the average pace is very slow, and one can generally 
keep up with the boat while shooting along the bank. 

Near Soohag there are two large buildings in the moun- 
tains, about seven miles from the town, known as the White 
and Red Convents, which, though generally neglected, are 
worthy of a visit ; and the ornithologist should make the 
excursion if he is desirous of obtaining Baho ascalaj)Iius, or 
Corvus umbrinus. Here, at Soohag, begins the Bahr Yoosef, 
the waters of which fertihze the Fayoom some 250 miles 
distant. As we ascend the river, we come to the perpen- 
dicular rocks of Gebel Aboofayda, which rise precipitously 
out of the water : this is a good locality for meeting with the 
Crocodile ; and here, during my last tour. Lord Ducie killed 



THEBES. 45 

one, wliich, on dissection, proved to contain in its stomach 
all the ornaments of a native child. 

At Dendera there is a large wood of dhoum palms and 
other trees, rendering it a good locality for the collector ; in 
fact, the vrhole way from Dendera to the First Cataract I con- 
sider the best part of Egypt for collecting all kinds of birds 
except Gulls and Waterfowl. At Thebes we find many other 
dahabeahs moored in front of the ruins of Luxor. The front of 
the temple, with its huge columns, now forms the face of the 
Consul's house, a Consul of all nations, speaking good English. 
A few miles south of Thebes, on the west bank, towards 
Erment, there is a good lake for Snipe and Waders, which, 
however, becomes dried up by the middle of March. Near 
El Kab, on the shore, are plenty of water-birds ; and this is 
the only place in Egypt at which I met with the Glossy Ibis ; 
in the mountains I found also Saxicola monacha, a rather 
rare species of Chat, abundant. About four miles inland 
from Edfoo there are two or three ponds frequented by wild- 
fowl. At Gebel Silsilis the river is hemmed in on both sides 
by steep sandstone-rocks ; and the whole scenery becomes 
wilder and more rocky between this and the First Cataract. 
Some seven or eight miles below Kom Ombo there is a 
large tract covered with halfa grass, which affords good Sand- 
grouse- and Quail-shooting. 

At Assouan we first meet with the granite rocks which 
extend throughout Nubia from the First to the Second Cata- 
ract, changing the scenery from the wide fertile valley, bounded 
by flat-topped limestone ridges, into the contracted river, 
hemmed in by irregular masses of granite and greenstone, 
scantily bordered with vegetation along its banks. The 
scenery of this part of the Nile is more grand and pic- 



46 ELEPHANTINE AND SEHATL. 

turesque ; from Assouan to Philse it is studded with islands, 
which divide it into numerous channels ; and its waters, which 
we have travelled on so smoothly for 700 miles, here become 
tm-bulent and broken as they rush through the very narrow 
channels, and surge over the half-sunken rocks which bar 
their headlong course : this is the First Cataract, a series of 
rapids extending over about three miles, from the south of the 
island of Sehayl up to within two miles of the island of Philae. 
The large island of Elephantine and that of Sehayl both lie 
below the Cataract ; a few palm and sont trees are scattered 
over them ; and the latter island is a good locality for obtain- 
ing Crateropus acaciee, which I found breeding there in the be- 
ginning of April. Near the most turbulent part of the rapids 
is to be procured a Black-and- White Wagtail {Mofacilla 
vidua) : a small colony exists here ; and the species is not to 
be found elsewhere in Egypt. Although it has chosen so wild 
a scene for its habitation, it is a sociable bird, frequently 
flitting by the side of, or alighting on, the dahabeah during its 
passage up the Cataract. There are a few other species of small 
birds to be remarked in this neighbourhood ; on the islands 
several kinds of Warblers are abundant, among which I 
found Salvia Muppellii on the one opposite Philae, and 
Sylvia melanocephala most abundant on the island of Sehayl. 
On the mainland Saxicola Icucopijgia is plentiful, the black- 
headed specimens being the most commonly seen, while in 
Nubia the white-headed ones are most frequent ; but I shall 
speak of this again in my description of the species. At 
Assouan the two closely allied species of Desert-Lark, Ammo- 
manes isabellina and A. fraterculus, are almost equally common, 
this being, as it were, the southern limit of the former and the 
northern limit of the latter ; or, more correctly, I should say, 



EAEE BIKDS. 47 

from my own experience, that I found the former most abun- 
dant to the north, while I met with none but A. fraterculus 
to the south. On our return journey, about the 20th of 
April, I found Turtur Sharpei breeding in great abundance 
on the island of Sehayl, where I frequently procured its nest 
in the low sont bushes, generally with young birds ; it is never 
placed on the ground, as is frequently the case with T. sene- 
c/alensis. 

I shall pass rapidly over my Nubian experiences, as I only 
spent a fortnight between the First and Second Cataracts, and 
there is no very great variety of large birds on this part of the 
Nile ; indeed there is no big game for the sportsman. On 
the 6th of April I first met with the beautiful yellow-breasted 
Sunbird, Nectarinia metallica, the most thoroughly tropical 
form I came across during my tour ; this lovely little bird is 
by no means uncommon here in April, when it had evidently 
only just arrived fi'om its winter quarters ; probably later it 
descends the Nile below the First Cataract, as I found it 
on the 14th within twenty miles of Philse. Here, in April, 
I first saw the Common SwaUow and House-Martin de- 
scending the Nile in abundance. Along the banks I 
met with Motacilla melanocepJiala and M. jlava in nume- 
rous large flocks, never mixed ; and although I shot a 
great number of the latter, I never came across a single 
specimen of the typical M. cinereocapilla among them, al- 
though this latter bird was also abundant in more scattered 
flocks. Among the other common small birds, Saxicola leu- 
copy gia is perhaps the most plentiful ; Ammomanes frater- 
culus, Aedon galactodes, Anthus campestris, A. arboreus, 
and Hypolais eleeica are very abundant. Among the birds 
of prey we met with Circaetus gallicus, Falco lanarius, F. 
(B.mlo)i, and F. tinnunculus, Circus cEruginosus, and C. pal- 



48 MIGEATING BIEDS. 

lidus ; among the Waders, Ciconia alba, C. nigra, Nuwenius 
arcuatus, Herodias garzetta, Ilimantopus Candidas, Totamis 
stagnatilis, T. ocliropus, and (Edicnemus crepitans. Occa- 
sionally we saw Crater opus acacia in small parties of three or 
four ; and at Wady Haifa is to be found Pi/ciionotus arsinoe. 
Among the Gulls we frequently saw flocks of a large species, 
probably the Mediterranean Herring-Gull, Larus leucophaus ; 
and we shot the Lesser Black-headed Gull, Z. fascus, and the 
Scissor-bill, Rhynchops Jlavirostris, travelling northwards down 
the Nile towards the end of April. Nubia, for the ordinary 
Nile-tourist, has many charms : the scenery is finer, and the 
air purer and fresher than lower down ; there is also here a 
marvellous absence of fleas and flies. 

On om- return-journey we found Ehj/nchops Jtavirostris 
evidently preparing to breed, towards the end of April, on the 
sandbanks near Kom Ouibd and Erment. On the 20th of 
April we first met with the Common Tm'tledove {Tiirtiir 
auritus) at Edfoo; it had just arrived in the countiy, and 
soon became extremely abundant ; six days later we found 
the Roller and Oriole just arrived from their Avinter quarters, 
and on the same day shot the only specimen of Botaurus 
miuutus which we met with in Egypt, at Esne. It is an in- 
teresting sight to watch the vast flights of certain birds 
wending their way north, on their annual migration. To- 
wards the end of March and beginning of April we saw 
many of the sandbanks literally whitened by dense flocks of 
White Storks ; and one evening such an immense flight of 
Pelicans came streaming down the river, that they must have 
taken nearly half an hour to pass our boat in one continued 
imbroken cloud, although we kept up a steady fire at them as 
they came over our heads about forty yards high. We 
noticed upon several successive evenings, towards sunset, a 



GULLS AND PEATINCOLE. 49 

flock of Larusfuscus pass oiir boat : if it was the same flock 
on each occasion, they would appear to migrate very slowly ; 
for we were only doing about ten miles a day at the time. At 
the Mrst Cataract we met with Glareola pratincola on the 
14th of April, likewise descending the Nile in great numbers. 
This ends my journal on the Nile ; and I next give a rough 
sketch of my excursion into the Fayoom. 



CHAPTER IV. 

THE FAYOOM. 

I MUST now beg my readers to accompany me, under other 
escort, but at a similar season of the year, to tlie Fayoom, 
where I intend to make a tour under canvas, and after- 
wards proceed to the Delta. 

My present dragoman is very different to our friend of 
former chapters. He is a Syrian, young, good-looking, and 
active, by name Henry Bousitil, British subject, and dressed 
in English style, — a Norfolk shirt and knickerbockers, but 
with a fez cap, bound round with the bright yellow silk scarf. 
He was with the British army throughout the Abyssinian 
campaign, and afterwards in the Shangallah country, with 
Mr, Powell, when in search of his murdered brother's remains. 
He is of a more warlike disposition than the dear quiet old 
man of my former tour, and is rarely without two revolvers 
stuck in his belt. Our friend Dango still accompanies us, but 
instead of the ' Girls,' we have got a sharp-looking Maltese 
servant, Luici, with a very decided squint, less bright than he 
looks, but honest, vidlling, and a good hand at pitching a 
tent. Having thus introduced my staff, let us proceed on 
our journey. 

February \^th. — After an early breakfast I leave the New 
Oriental Hotel at Cairo, and drive off with my dragoman. 
We cross the river to the Gcczeh station, where we find the 



THE CAMP. 51 

baggage in a van, under the escort of Luici and Dango. The 
train, which should have started at 9 o'clock, gets off about 
10, and, after going very slowly for two hoiu-s, stops at El 
Wasteh (Zowyeli), the junction for the Payoom. Hei'e we 
have to wait for the up-train from Minieh, which may arrive 
at any moment, but is, of course, late ; so that we do not start 
again until 4.30 p.m., thus reaching Medineh el Fayoom, the 
capital of the district, at 6 p.m., when we pitch our camp at 
once close to the station. 

The camp consists of a large tent for myself, and a smaller 
one to cook in. The baggage is certainly bulky and heavy, 
the canteen and stores taking up much room, while the 
ammimition adds considerably to the weight ; but I expect 
to fire the latter away pretty freely during the month I 
purpose spending in the Fayoom. This is a strange part of 
Egypt, being detached from the cultivated valley of the Nile 
by the desert, which surrounds it on all sides. Railway 
communication is at times stopped by the drifting of the 
sand ; and thus we are, as it were, on an island of fertility, 
of very considerable extent, surrounded by a sea of sand. 
In the north-west portion of this fertile tract lies the brackish 
lake of Birket el Korn, about five miles wide by thirty long. 
It has been encroaching of late years upon the fertile land to 
the south and upon the desert to the north ; but in former 
times it evidently spread much further into the desert than 
it now does, as testified by the natron and freshwater shells 
which are spread over the latter close up to some ruins, 
which now stand about two miles from the lake. The 
Fayoom is supplied with water from the Bahr Yoosef, a small 
offshoot of the Nile, to which tliis large fertile tract owes its 
existence. 



52 THE SUGAK-FACTOEY. 

February \QtJi. — Being impatient to get to work, I start at 
an early hour, with Dango and a guide, from Medineh for the 
Great Lake, Birket el Korn, which is some fifteen miles 
distant, as the crow flies. The guide takes me to the sugar- 
factory of Shebooksi, at Farocha, a village some two miles 
from the lake ; and as I soon shoot out my cartridges at 
Duck and Snipe, and get, without difficulty, within shot of a 
large flock of Geese, I am favourably impressed with my 
prospects. On retm'ning to the factory, as my dragoman 
has not turned up, I look after quarters for myself, and meet 
with the greatest civihty from the French engineers, who put 
me up for the night ; and in their company I spend a very 
pleasant evening. They doubt my dragoman getting camels, 
as they are all seized by the Government for the transport of 
sugar-cane : and their doubts are realized ; for about 9 o'clock 
he arrives by train with the baggage, so that the camp is 
pitched and ready by an early hour on the following morning. 
The factory is on a large scale, but cannot all be worked for 
want of a sufficient supply of the cane, although all the camels 
of the Fayoom are seized by Government to bring it in from 
the fields, except those belonging to the Bedouin Arabs, who 
resist this tax. The Government intends to construct another 
sugar-factory in the Fayoom, which appears premature, as 
they have not yet enough cane to keep one going ; they are, 
however, preparing more ground for its cultivation. The 
cultivated part of the Fayoom is very flat, and has but few 
trees. The towns are two miles distant from the lake at 
this season ; but the Bedouin Arabs estabhsh colonies of 
reed sheds at frequent intervals near the shore, wherever the 
ground has dried sufficiently, and a stream of good water 
renders it a suitable spot. 



WILD-FOWL. 53 

I was decidedly late in visiting the Fayoom for sport. 
I believe the best season would be from October to the end 
of January ; for iu February the Snipe and Duck are leaving, 
while the Quail have not yet arrived ; so that I was satisfied 
to get an average of ten head of waterfowl, chiefly Teal, in a 
day, with occasionally a fair bag of Snipe. The latter were 
uncertain, as I only found a few good places for them ; but 
I met with a liberal supply of odd birds, such as Pelicans, 
Cormorants, Herons, Spoonbills, &c., and some rather good 
hare-shooting among the bushes in the more desert parts. 
My chief object being to collect the different birds of Egypt, 
I was not disappointed, as I got many species which I had 
never met with in other parts of the country. 

Any one visiting this lake for sport should not fail to bring 
with him a small shallow boat, and be prepared for a certain 
amount of cold, as even up to the end of February the nights 
are unpleasantly chilly. The banks are mostly open and 
bare, even on the cultivated side, while on the opposite side 
the desert comes down to the water's edge : so that all the 
duck-shooting is to be obtained by rowing among the thick, 
but generally narrow, strips of reeds, which extend for some 
distance out into the lake. The water among these reeds is 
often from eight to ten feet deep ; and as they rise high above 
the surface, it shows to what a size the reeds grow out here. 
On the desert side I have had some good Cormorant-shooting, 
killing twenty one evening in about two hours, on their flight 
across a narrow strip of land. The most abundant Duck on 
the lake is Nyroca leucopldhahna, the Ferruginous Duck, which 
may be seen in immense numbers far out on the open water ; 
but it was some time before I could obtain a specimen, as they 
are extremely watchful, except when they happen to come 



54 AN INUNDATION. 

singly among the reeds to feed ; when a large flock of them 
rises with their running kind of flight, like a Coot, the noise 
may be heard for miles. The Purple Gallinule, Forphyrio 
hyacintliiiia, is most plentiful on the desert side, where it may 
generally be found sitting up in the high reeds ; and here, 
too, the Purple lieron is very common, and by no means 
shy, always frequenting the thick reeds, and never exposing 
itself on the open desert like the Common' Heron. I also 
found the Little Cormorant abundant, as well as the fine Great 
Blackheaded-Gull, Larus ichthyaetus, and saw the Great White 
Heron and Great Crested Grebe, but was unable to procure 
specimens. Among the small waders I found Tofaiius stayna- 
tilis, ^yialitis pecuarius, Chettusia Villotcei, and Limosa m.e- 
lanmra very abundant ; and among the birds of prey, Aquila 
ncBvia, Pandion haliaetus, and Buteo ferox plentiful, and less 
shy than on the Nile. 

February 20tL — Owing to the insects being numerous and 
of a disagreeable kind, we move into a nice green field, where 
we are not destined, however, to remain long ; for on the 
following day the embankment of the Bahr Yoosef gives way, 
and floods the country between tlie sugar-factory and the 
lake. The parched soil absorbs it so fast, that the inundation 
approaches us but slowly ; and my dragoman being prompt 
in turning out an Arab village, we managed to get all our 
things in safety to an embankment on the border of the 
lake, while the spot where our tent had been an hour 
before became a sheet of water knee-deep. Darkness having 
set in before our move, I hastened to the embankment to 
select a spot and light a fire to guide the others to me. 
As the night was dehcious, twinkling with innumerable 
stars, this little excitement was rather pleasant than other- 



AN AEAB VILLAGE. 55 

wise ; for although my regular dinner was swallowed up by 
the Bahr Yoosef, I fared pretty well upon such dishes as were 
brought in at odd intervals with other things, beginning with 
a custard-pudding, which I ate with an impromptu spoon 
made out of a reed. My only uneasiness was, when I heard 
the water wash against the embankment, whether it would 
rise high enough to disturb us again : it did not do so, how- 
ever ; for there being a great number of natives at the factory, 
they managed to repair the broken embankment in a few 
hours, and so stop further mischief. We decide to start early 
the following morning, to take up a position more to the 
eastward ; so the dragoman goes to get the necessary order 
from the authorities, who promise to let us have camels 
whenever we wished. They do not, however, arrive till 
3 P.M., although I have been waiting since 10 a.m. ; con- 
sequently, owing to the crookedness of the paths, which in 
Egypt never go straight for twenty yards, we are only about 
five miles, as the crow flies, from the factory when night sets 
in, and compels us to stop close to an Arab village of some 
half-dozen mud huts, a population of a score or so of natives, 
and at least as many dogs. The latter, detecting the stranger 
through the canvas of the tent, make a raid upon me, trying 
hard to get through the canvas ; and night is made hideous 
by their howls, in spite of the eff'orts of Dango and the 
dragoman, the former armed with a big stick, the latter with 
his revolvers, to quell the disturbance. Determined not to 
spend another night here, I rise with the sun, and set out to 
explore the country, and find a bushy spot, the best place 
for hares I have yet come across. They are lean, deformed- 
looking animals, all legs and ears ; for the latter are an ex- 
aggeration of those of our own species, and are exactly 



56 A GOOD " EIGHT AND LEFT." 

represented on the ancient hieroglyphics. I have also some 
rather better duck-shooting to-day, with a moderate sprinkling 
of Snipe and Quail; so, having selected a suitable spot, I 
return to camp ; and, although only one camel can be pro- 
cured, the tents are moved, and established close to the lake, 
near a narrow strip of land which runs out for a considerable 
distance into it. I see a number of Geese ; but they are 
extremely shy, only allowing me to get one long shot at 
them, which seems to have the effect of keeping them on 
the alert during the whole of my stay here. I also often see 
jackals and wolves skirting the sugar-cane or near the bushes 
towards sunset, and kill specimens of each with ordinary 
shot. 

Pish abound in the lake, and run to a considerable size ; but 
are aU of a coarse description. The natives go out fishing in 
clumsy, heavy, high-sided rowing-boats ; and in one of these 
I cross the lake to explore the desert side, which is certainly 
the best for wild-fowl shooting as well as for collecting birds. 
The natives are highly pleased, as I am very successful in 
shooting the Cormorants, which abound on this side. While 
lunching under a small bush by the water's edge, a Pelican 
and Cormorant come over at the same moment ; and, thanks 
to my having large shot in ray gun, I bring both down, right 
and left, the Pelican falling without a motion in the midst of 
the party. The wind having risen, they try to persuade me 
to remain here for the night ; but I decline, and get them oiF 
at 4 o'clock. The boat is so badly constructed that, in spite 
of having three men to each oar, a captain, his scribe, and a 
boy to look after the nets, we are drifted considerably out of 
our course, land two miles from where we had started, and 
take three hours instead of one in crossing. But what 



COLLECTING BIEDS. 57 

matters ? We have accomplished our purpose ; and what is 
time in Egypt ? Alas ! I know too well that it does not pass 
cvurency for money out here, although it may cost the tra- 
veller dearly. 

I remain in this camp till the 5th of March, spending some 
days paddling about, or waiting for Duck among the half- 
sunken bushes and reeds. This is most enjoyable, away from 
the natives, who, with the best intentions, often get terribly 
in the way, and are utterly useless in finding Quail or Snipe, 
though they make first-rate retrievers in open water, rarely 
failing to capture a wounded duck, such capital swimmers are 
they. Other days I spend after Duck and Snipe in the boggy 
ground or among the drains ; or, going inland, I beat the 
bushes and fields for Hares, Quail, and Sandgrouse, the latter 
birds being very plentiful in the Payoom. When the game- 
birds have begun to get shy, I make a raid upon the small 
birds for my collection, and recognize the well-known note of 
the Common Bunting. This is the first time I have met with 
it in Egypt, though I afterwards find it plentiful in the Delta 
in March. I also get several specimens of Savi's Warbler 
and the Aquatic Pipit, and also an Anthis Raalteni, a South- 
African Pipit, a bird which has never before been procured 
so far north. While passing over a desert patch of saud, 
four Goatsuckers, Caprimulgus isabellinus, rose from under my 
feet, uttering a little snapping note, and three took refuge in 
the bushes ; but after an hour's search I procured them. All 
four proved to be males, from which I conclude they had 
only just arrived. 

March Mh. — Cross the lake with all my camp, and remain 
on the desert side until the 11th, passing the whole of the 
day upon the water among the reeds. Unfortunately a strong 



58 BIEDS AND ANIMALS. 

wind continues so steadily during the whole time of my stay, 
that in my frail india-rubber canoe I am often unable to 
follow up the sport as I could have wished ; however, I get a 
few Pelicans, a fair amount of Ducks, and plenty of Cormorants. 
I tried the latter for dinner one day, and found them not 
very bad, though I preferred the Pelicans ; both are far better 
than the Wild Geese, which, after one trial, were ever after 
excluded from the bill of fare. The Purple Gallinule is tole- 
rably abundant, but I more frequently heard than saw it ; its 
note, by no means musical, resembles the noise one might 
expect a donkey to make if it had a sore throat. I was very 
glad to meet with the Lesser Cormorant, as at the time I was 
not aware that it occurred in Egypt. 

I saw numerous tracks of Wolves and Jackals, and also 
the footprints of the Wild Boar, but am at a loss to know 
what the latter animal can find to feed upon, as this side 
appears entirely barren ; so much so, that on my way to 
some Roman ruins, about two miles inland, I did not meet 
with a single bird. 

March \^th. — I was to have returned to the other side of 
the lake to-day ; but the boatmen go off early in the morn- 
ing to pick up their nets on the other side ; so that whcji 
ready to start I find no boat to take me, which causes me to 
vent my displeasure in a few words to the dragoman, and 
settle to remain here another day. This I know he does not 
like, as he considers this side unsafe, on account of the wander- 
ing Arabs, who are said occasionally to attack the stranger 
who takes the liberty of pitching his tent upon their desert 
soil ; so that my dragoman has had to mount guard every 
night himself, as our native guard would be sure to run away 
if a wandering party of Bedouins made their appearance. Such 



A VARIED BAG. 59 

are the guards the stranger employs in Egypt to protect him 
against the phantom of their own creation, the Arab bandit ; 
for if he exists anywhere but in their own imagination, he is 
extremely rare, probably not from any innate notion of right 
or wrong, but simply from fear of the consequences ; for the 
natives are rarely above laying their hands upon any thing 
they can take with safety, but have a great regard for their 
own skins. Another of their weaknesses is never to tell the 
truth at first ; so invariable is this rule, that one may safely 
disbelieve their first statement, and if they adhere to it, 
abandon all hope of getting at the truth ; but if they after- 
wards reverse their previous statement, what they have last 
said may be believed. 

The day being calm, I am able to go where I like in my 
canoe, and pick up a very varied bag. I get some fine old spe- 
cimens of the Purple Heron, my previous ones having been in 
immature plumage. I also meet with a large flock of Bitterns 
perched up in the thick reeds, which they leave unwillingly, 
waiting almost for my boat to shake the reeds they are sitting 
on. There are only six species of Duck plentiful here, the 
Mallard, Ferruginous Duck, Teal, Pintail, Shoveller, and 
Gadwall ; of each of them I obtain specimens to-day, which 
shows what a varied bag one is likely to make out here ; and 
this to the ornithologist gives additional charms to this wild, 
rough kind of shooting, where one never knows what the 
next shot will produce, whether Pelican or Snipe. A breech- 
loader is consequently most serviceable, as one can change 
the charge to suit the occasion. A few Eley's wire cartridges 
with No. 1 shot, which I had with me, proved extreiuely 
effective with the larger birds and the immense flocks of 



60 A SCORPION. 

Ducks, which rarely allow one to approach within ordinary- 
range. 

March Wth. — The boat is ready when I want it this morn- 
ing, the dragoman having probably passed on a few of my 
remarks to the crew, who are all activity, for fear of diminish- 
ing the much-coveted backsheesh, the only great motive 
power in Egypt. We return to nearly the old camping- 
ground opposite the sugar-factory, and I find the Snipe- 
shooting much improved by the few days' rest it has had ; and 
the Ducks, too, have returned to their old quarters. I dis- 
cover that I have brought from the other side more than I 
intended ; for on sitting down a scorpion bites me : at the 
moment I thought it was a needle in my chair ; nor was it 
painful until the following day, when there was a good deal of 
inflammation, which lasted for about three days, when it 
quickly subsided, and was never more than simply unplea- 
sant, possibly owing to my applying " eau de luce " at once, 
and being in capital training. 

March \2th. — The day is beautiful, not a ripple on the 
water, not a cloud in the sky, intensely hot in the sunshine ; 
but the air feels pure and light, and as I paddle over the smooth 
water I admire the loveliness of the climate, and feel how 
enjoyable this life is away from all native interference. I 
have left them tending their flocks by the water's edge, or 
gathering in their luxuriant crops of clover, whilst I am 
paddling among the water-plants and half-sunken bushes. 
At intervals I land on some small island for Snipe and 
Waders, while Ducks come flying over my head either singly 
or in small flocks. 

The level of the lake has much sunk since I was here 



EETUEN TO CAIEO. 61 

before, and many sand-banks have appeared, which form 
favourable resorts for the Godwits and Ruffs ; numbers of 
Spotted Eagles and Ospreys sit lazily upon the sand, or upon 
the matted bushes and reeds. I recognize three specimens of 
Tartar Sharpei by then* more sandy colouring than T. sene- 
galends, the ordinary Egyptian Dove, and by their more 
active flight ; whUe pursuing them, I get a varied bag of 
Waders, inckiding half a dozen Snipe. Throughout the 
Fayoom snakes abound : but one island Uterally swarmed 
with them; for in merely walking round it, though only 100 
yards in length, I killed three, one about 7 feet long ; and 
whUe washing my hands I almost touched a vUlainous-looking 
little rascal, which I stoned to death. I believe, however, in 
general they are not very poisonous. 

March \2>th. — Having now collected most of the birds which 
I expected to find in the Fayoom, I decide to return to Cairo, 
as I propose spending a month in the Delta before leaving 
for England ; so I rise early, and get all my baggage up to 
Shebooksi, the sugar-factory, by 10 a.m., to be ready for the 
train to Medineh, whenever it may start ; for no one knows 
even the probable hour of its departm-e, as it has to come 
from Medineh, picking up sugar-cane by the way. It arrives 
at about 1 o'clock, and, after several hour's work shunt- 
ing carriages, it starts with us at 4 p.m. On reaching the 
first station, it is found that about a dozen carriages are re- 
quired there to be filled with sugar-cane, so the train returns 
to the factory to fetch them. At length, after having done 
its work in true Egyptian fashion, we arrive at Medineh about 
6 P.M., where we pitch our camp for the night. Next 
morning we go on by train to leadwa, some five miles distant. 



62 DUCKS. 

and stop there for two days' shooting round some pieces of 
water : one, a small lake surrounded by rushes, abounds with 
Snipe ; but the Ducks are impossible to be got at, as the 
banks are flat, and there is no covert to hide a person ; while 
at the other lake, or rather reservoir, for it is walled half 
way round, there is a capital embankment, admirably siuted 
for concealment, with water on both sides ; and there fair sport 
may be had at flight-time, or by driving the bii-ds over by 
a boat on the lake. Being alone, I have to content myself 
by getting Dango to drive the Ducks ofi" the smaUer piece of 
water, and then pursuing them on the large reservoir, in my 
canoe, — not very satisfactory work, as a strong wind makes the 
lake very rough, and on the open water it is impossible to 
approach the large flocks of Ducks and Geese that one sees. 
I only get ten Ducks in the day ; but probably a party of 
four or five guns would have got a much larger proportion, 
as they could have worked properly. Earlier in the season 
I expect these lakes, and another which I did not visit, 
woidd prove better for sport than the large lake of Bhket el 
Korn. 

March \^th. — Leave leadwa by train at 10 a.m., and arrive 
at the junction Zowyeh at 11.30 ; hearing that I shall have to 
wait a couple of hours, I go after Quail, and have some very 
fair sport close to the station. I return needlessly early ; for 
my train does not arrive till 4 p.m., so that I only get to 
Imbaba station at Cairo at 6.30. 

Among the birds which the ornithologist should not neglect 
to get from the Fayoom are : — Herodias alba, Ardea purpurea, 
Phalacrocorax pypncBus, PorjjJip'io hi/acinthiiia, Podicepn 
cristatus, and Np-uca Icuwpldhalma, all most abundant on the 



EAEE BIRDS. 63 

desert side ; and Pandion haliaetus, Caprimulgus isabelUnus, 
Chettusia Villotcei, ^ffialitis peciiarius, Pelecanus crispus, and 
Larui ichtkyaetus, equally distributed, or most plentiful on 
the cultivated side of Birket el Korn ; and among the com- 
moner birds, to complete a collection, the Curlew, Black- 
tailed Godwit, Moor-Hen, Spotted Crake, Water- Rail, Little 
Grebe, Cormorant, Tufted Duck, GadwaU, and Spoonbill, 
may be all easily obtained in the Fayoom. 

I had intended to spend a month in the Delta ; but this 
tour was cut short by my getting a slight attack of marsh- 
fever near Damietta, where, however, I was long enough to 
see that the reedy lake close by should not be visited later 
than February for Snipe-shooting ; for, although I did one 
day get twenty couple, and found RufFs and Redshanks very 
plentiful, stUl it was far inferior to what I had known it earlier 
in the season. However, the ornithologist will find a greater 
variety of birds ; and I was very glad to meet with a small and 
rare Warbler, Calamodyta melanopogon, extremely abundant 
in the thick sedge, also plenty of Acrocephalus stentoritis, 
although by the end of March it had not begun to utter its 
loud love-notes, fi-om which it derives its name. 

I shall now end my journal, which I have purposely con- 
fined within narrow limits, as my sole object in publishing it 
is to give a general notion of the ornithological sport to be 
obtained during the ordinary traveller's visit to the mag- 
nificent country of Hgypt, which yearly attracts more visitors, 
most of whom become interested in the rich variety of birds 
which may there be collected. I have likewise given a slight 
sketch of the geology, as the Nile-tour allows so much time 
for reflection, and the geology of a country teaches one more 



64 CONCLUSION. 

of its general appearance than an ordinary and more length- 
ened description of the scenery alone would afford; while, for 
my special purpose, it may be said that the difference of soil 
will often account for the difference of the avifauna : thus, in 
a sandy, rocky district we should not look for Snipe, nor in 
the marshy locahties should we seek for the Sand-Grouse and 
the numerous desert forms which abound in Egypt. 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 



Family TURDID-ffil. 

1. TuRDUS viscivoRus, L. Missel-TIirush. 

Riippell mentions having once observed it in the neigh- 
bourhood of Suez in April. This is the only evidence I can 
find of the occurrence of this bird in Egypt ; and it is far 
from conclusive. I therefore give no description of this well- 
known species. 

Fig. Sharpe and Dresser, B. of Eur. part vi. 

2. TuRDUs PILARIS, L. Fieldfare. 

The Fieldfare is a winter visitant in Egypt. I saw a 
specimen in a bird-stuffer's shop at Alexandria, which had 
been killed in the man's garden that winter (1871) ; and he 
told me that it was common there during the colder months. 

Head, nape, and rump grey ; centre of the back, scapulars, 
and wing-coverts brownish chestnut ; wings and tail black, 
the feathers of the former edged with very pale brown j 
under surface, throat, and crop buff, spotted with black, the 
remainder white, with the centres of the feathers on the flanks 
marked with rich dark brown ; legs and beak pale brown ; 
irides brown. 

F 



66 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

Entire lengtli 11 inches; culmen 0"7 ; wing, carpns to 
tip, 5'5 ; tarsns TS. 

Eig. Sharpe and Dresser, B. of Eur. part ix. 

3. TuRDUS Musicus, Linn. Song-Tlirush. 

Tlie Song-Tlirusli is tolerably abundant in Egypt, espe- 
cially in the Delta, and, according to Hemprich and Ehren- 
berg, is met with in Nubia, where, however, it is of rare 
occurrence. I believe that it occasionally remains in the 
country to breed ; for I have shot it twice near Benisooef at 
the end of March. 

Upper parts dark olive-brown, the head slightly shaded 
with golden brown ; wings dark brown, the feathers washed 
with golden brown on the outer webs, the median and greater 
wing-coverts tipped witli buff; tail similar in colour to the 
top of the head ; lores, eyebrow, throat, crop, and sides of 
the throat and chest buff; centre of the chest and abdomen 
white : sides of the throat and chest and sides of the bodv 
spotted with dark brown ; under wing-coverts ochre ; beak 
brown, shaded with yellow towards the base of the lower 
mandible ; legs brownish flesh-colour ; irides brown. 

Entire length 8"8 inches ; culmen 0"7 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 4"7 ; tarsus 1"3. 

Fig. Sharpe and Dresser, B. of Eur. part v. 

4. TuRDUs MERXiLA, L. Blackbird. 

The Blackbird comes to Egypt in the winter, but is not 
common in the country. I have met with it on two occasions 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 67 

■ — once in the Delta, and once near Benisooef at the end of 
March, when I saw a pair together. 

Male. Entire phxmage black ; beak yellow ; legs and 
irides dark brown. 

Female. Upper parts brown ; chin greyish white, passing 
into deep ferruginous brown on the upper part of the breast ; 
remainder of the underparts dusky brown. Beak dark 
brown, with yellowish-brown edges. 

Entire length 10 inches ; culmen 1 ; wing, carpus to tip, 5 ; 
tarsus 1'3. 

Fig. Sharpe & Dresser, B. of Eur. part x. 

5. TuRDUs TORQUATUS, L. Bifig-Ouzel. 

Keyserling and Blasius state that this bird comes into 
Egypt in the winter; and von Heuglin (Orn. N. O. Afr. 
p. 387) says that a naturalist in Cairo informed him that he 
had often killed it in Lower Egypt. 

A broad white gorget on the breast ; remainder of the 
plumage dull black with brown edges to the feathers ; plu- 
mage darkest on the back of the neck and chest, and lightest 
about the quills. Legs brown ; beak yellowish brown ; 
irides dark brown. 

Entire length 12 inches; culmen 1 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
5*5 ; tarsus 1*5. 

Fig. Sharpe & Dresser, B. of Eur. part x. 

6. Pycnonotus ARSiNoii (Licht.). White-vented Bulbul. 
Von Heuglin observes (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 379) that this 

bird has been met with as far down the Nile as Central 
Egypt. It appeai-s, however, to be of rare occurrence within 

f2 



68 BIRDS OF EGYPT. 

our limits, while in some parts of Nubia it is very plentiful, 
especially near Wady-Halfeh, where it may be seen usually in 
pairs or families, hopping abouT; on the roofs of the houses 
or flitting among the trees which are interspersed in that 
village. The Rev. A. C. Smith, in his 'Attractions of the 
Nile' (vol. ii. p. 222), gives a very good description of the 
habits of this species, which he calls Ixos obscurus. 

Head brownish black, shading off gradually on the throat ; 
the latter, as well as the crop, remainder of the upper parts 
and M'ings, uniform medium brown ; tail rather darker; chest, 
abdomen, and under tail-coverts white. Beak brownish black ; 
legs and irides dark brown. 

Entire length 7'2 inches ; culmen 0*6 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
3*4 ; tarsus OS. 

7. PYCNONOTUSXANTHOPTGius(Licht.). Yellow-vented Bulbul. 

Von Heuglin mentions (Syst. Ueb. p. 30) that P. levail- 
lantii, Temiu., is found in the Fayoom and Middle Egypt, 
and in his large work (Orn. N. 0. Afr. p. 399) reiterates the 
statement, calling the bird P. nigricans, Vieill. Mr. Sharpe 
(Ibis, 1870, p. 432), in referring to this last work, writes: — 
" I rather doubt if a comparison of the true Ixus nigricans, 
from South Africa, with Abyssinian specimens would confirm 
the identity of the two species." It appears far more pro- 
bable that P. xanthopygius, a Palestine bird, should be met 
with in Egypt than P. nigricans, the South-African form ; 
and as the two differ but very slightly, the South-African 
bird being distinguishable by a red eyelid, it appears highly 
probable that Von Heuglin has confounded the two species ; 
so I have regarded the names P. nigricans and P. levail- 



I — I 




< 
< 



a 
o 
cc 

Ui 

O 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 69 

lantii iu the above-mentioned references as synonymous with 
P. xanthopycjius, and therefore give a description of the last- 
named bird from a specimen collected by Canon Tristram 
in Palestine. 

Head and throat black, the latter shading into dark brown 
on the lower part ; back and scapulars mouse-colour ; wings 
browner ; tail brownish-black ; chest and flanks stone-grey, 
shading almost into white on the lower part of the abdomen ; 
vent and under tail-coverts bright yellow ; beak black ; legs 
brownish-black ; irides brown. 

Entire length 8 inches ; culmen 07; wing, carpus to tip, 
3-7 ; tarsus 0-85. 

8. Crateropus acacia (Licht.). Egyptian Bash-Babbler, 

(Plate I.) 

This species, though not uncommon in any part of Nubia, 
rarely descends the Nile below Assouan. I met with it on 
several occasions on a small bushy island immediately below 
the First Cataract, where I obtained four specimens, and on 
the same island in April found two nests of this species, in 
construction and size closely resembling that of our Common 
Blackbird. They were built entirely of a coarse grass which 
grows abundantly in Egypt, and were on each occasion placed 
in a thick sont bush, about five feet from the ground. This 
bird is lively and cheerful in its habits, and appears to keep 
exclusively to the sont bushes, where it creeps among the 
thorny and tangled boughs, incessantly uttering its babbling 
song, which is rather pleasing and, when once heard, cannot 
be mistaken. On the approach of danger it immediately 
ceases its note, and creeps off at the further side of the bush. 



70 BIRDS OF EGYPT. 

Entire plumage sandy colour, shading off into white on 
the chin ; top of the head, ear-coverts, and back of the neck 
shaded with ashy, and with narrow stripes of dark brown 
down the centre of the feathers ; beak yellowish flesh-colour, 
darkest on the culuien ; legs pale brown ; irides hazel. 

Entire length 10 inches; culnien 0*7; wing, cai'pus to 
tip, 3'8 ; tarsus 1-3. 

9. MoNTicoLA sAXATiLis (L.) Rock-Thrush. 

•^ ' The Rock-Thrush is a winter visitant to Egypt and Nubia, 

.) arriving there about September, and leaving again in April, 

I f) {/':' ' at which seasons it is tolerably plentiful in the Delta in the 

neighbourhood of burial-grounds and the less-frequented 

embankments. 

Entire head and neck blue-grey, almost shading off into 
black on the upper part of the back and scapidars, where 
the feathers are tipped with buff; remainder of the back 
■white, with the feathers more or less broadly edged with 
slaty grey; tail-coverts yellowish rufous; tail deep rufous, 
the two centre feathers strongly shaded with, dusky ; wings 
brown ; under sm-face of the body bright rufous, with white 
edgings to some of the feathers ; beak black ; legs and irides 
dark brown. 

Entire length 7"5 inches ; culmen 0'8 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
4'8 ; tarsus IT. 

Fig. Sharpe & Dresser, B. of Eur. part x. 

10. MoNTicoLA CYANA, L. Blue Eock-Tlinish. 
According to Von Heuglin (Orn. N. 0. Afr. p. 372), the 



BIEDS Or'TEGTPT. 71 

Blue Rock-Thrush is only a visitor in Egypt and Nubia 
diu-ing the spring and autumn months ; and he considers it 
less abundant than the Rock-Thrush, whereas from my own 
observations it appears to be the commoner bird of the two. 
I have frequently met with it among the rocks in Upper 
Egypt in April, where I think that it probably breeds. 

Entire plumage indigo, with cobalt reflections on the 
head and throat ; wings brown ; tail black ; legs and beak 
black ; irides dark brown. 

The immature birds differ in their prevailing tint being 
ash-brown, with more or less blue on the back, while the 
under surface of the throat and body is mottled, owing to 
the centres of the feathers being generally very pale brown, 
barred on the chest and abdomen with dusky. 

Entire length 9 inches ; culmen 0'9 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
5 ; tarsus 12. 

Fig. Sharpe and Dresser, B. of Eur. part viii. 



Fam. SYLVIID^. 

11. Saxicola CENANTHE (Linn.). Commoji Wheatear. , ^-. /c 

This well-known Chat is a very regular visitant to Egypt , 
and Nubia in the spring and autumn, when it is abundant ^'^ 
throughout the country. 

Male in breeding-plumage. — Forehead and eyebrows white ; 
lores, cheeks, and ear-coverts black ; top of the head, hind 
part of the neck, back and scapulars grey ; rump and upper 
tail-coverts white ; wings brown, with a pale edging to some of 
the feathers ; tail white, with the two centre feathers and the 




72 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

apical third of the remainder dark brown ; underparts creamy 
white, shaded with ferruginous buif, especially on the throat ; 
beak and legs black ; irides brown. 

Female. — The upper parts are brown instead of grey ; 
forehead and eyebrow buff, and the coloration of the under- 
parts not so clear. 

In autumn and winter the plumage of the male resembles 
that of the female. 

Entire length 6 inches ; culmen 0"5 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
3*6 ; tarsus I'l. 

Pig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 90. 

12. Saxicola saltatrix, Menetr. Menetries's Wheatear. 

This Chat is an abundant resident throughout Egypt and 
Nubia. It has frequently been mistaken for S. oenanthe, 
owing to its plumage and habits being very similar. It is, 
however, a larger bird, and the beak is stouter in proportion 
to its size. Many ornithologists imagine this species to be 
the 8. isabellina of Riippell (Atl. p. 52, t. 34 b) ; but that 
plate seems to represent the female of 8. monacha. 

Male and female alike in plumage throughout the year, 
and differing only from the female of 8. oenanthe in being 
slightly more robust, in having the brown end to the tail 
rather broader, and a little less white on the rump. 

Entire length 6"5 inches; culmen 0'5 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3'7 ; tarsus 115. 

13. Saxicola amphilebca, Hempr, & Ehr. Eastern Black- 

eared Wheatear. 

This Chat is not a resident in Egypt and Nubia, but 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 73 

arrives in March, and soon becomes abundant, usually fre- 
quenting the more cultivated portions of the country, where 
it may often be seen in the neighbourhood of villages, perched 
upon some low^ bush or reed fence. 

Breeding-plumage . — Forehead, lores, cheeks and ear-coverts 
black ; wings black, secondaries occasionally slightly edged 
with very pale buff; tail white, except the greater part of 
the two centre feathers and a broad end to the remainder, 
which are black ; the rest of the jilumage glossy white, 
tinted with pale dusky on the back of the head, and with 
buff on the upper parts of the back and chest ; beak and legs 
black; irides brown. In winter the wings and tail are 
brown and the back is darker. 

The sexes are similar in plumage. 

Entire length 6 '8 inches; culmen 0*5; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3" 5; tarsus 0"9. 



14. Saxicola eurymel^na, Hempr. & Ehr. 

This is the common Egyptian form of the Black-throated 
Wheatear. It does not winter in Egypt and Nubia, but is 
most abundant in those countries in the spring and autumn, 
liike the last species, it prefers the more cultivated parts, 
especially the neighbourhood of cotton-plantations, which 
offer it a favourable retreat when piu-sued. 

Male. Only differs from S. ampliileuca in having the entire 
throat black. 

Female. Top of the head, ear-coverts, back and scapulars 
brown ; eyebrow not very distinct, and of a sandy colour ; 
throat pale dusky brown ; remainder of the plumage similar 



/i 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 



to the adult male in summer, excepting that the wings and 
tail are browner. 

Entire length 5'7 inches ; culmen 0"5 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3'5 ; tarsus 0'9. 

15. Saxicola XANTHOMELiENA, Hcmpr. & Ehr. 

This species is very closely allied to S. eurymelana, but is 
of rare occurrence in Egypt and Nubia. Mr. E. C. Taylor 
obtained the only specimen I know of from Egypt, and has 
kindly lent it to me for my description. 

Very similar to S. curymelcBna. The beak and legs are 
rather stouter, and its plumage differs in the following manner : 
no black feathers in front of the forehead ; top of the head and 
nape clear ferruginous buff ; back white ; a broad uninter- 
rupted brown end to the tail ; the black on the throat extends 
on each side and joins the scapulars. 

Entire length 6 inches; culmen 0"55 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3'3 ; tarsus 1. • 

Dr. Otto Einsch says (Tr. Z. S. vii. p, 323) that Saxicola 

' fnschi, von Heugl., from Egypt, is nothing but the present 

species, as he has been informed by Herr von Pelzeln, who 

has examined the typical specimens from the desert of Sakkara 

in the Vienna Museum. 



16. Saxicola deserti, Riipp. Desert Chat. 

This Chat is abundant in Egypt and Nubia, where it 
remains throughout the year, and may usually be met Avith 
along the embankments or on the confines of the desert. 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 75 

Male in breeding-plumage. — Foreliead and eyebrows wliite ; J^ / 
top of the head, nape and back of the neck pale brown, 
inchuing to sandy on the back and scapulars ; rump, tail- 
coverts and base of the tail white, remainder of the tail dark 
brown ; wings dark brown ; secondaries and some of the 
wing-coverts edged with white. Throat and sides of the 
neck black, remainder of the underparts cream-colour, faintly 
shaded with rufous on the chest ; beak and legs black ; irides 
brown. 

Winter plumage. — Feathers of the throat broadly edged 
with white, and pale edgings to all the feathers on the wing. 

Entire length 6 inches; culmen 0'5 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
3'5 ; tarsus 1. 

Fig. Temm. P. C. 359. 



17. Saxicola homochroa, Trist. 

I have a female specimen, shot by myself at Assouan on 
the 15th of April, which I have compared with a bird in 
Mr. E. C. Taylor's collection, killed by him near Cairo in 
January, and determined for him by Canon Tristram, the 
original describer of the species (Ibis, 1859, p. 59). 

These specimens only differ from S. deserti in the same 
points as some females of S. stapazina differ from the males 
of that species, and are similar to them in their habits and in 
being residents in Egypt and Nubia. In my opinion the 
absence of a black throat simply arises from the age or sex of 
the specimen, and not from any specific difference. I have, 
however, separated this form from 8. deserti in deference to 
Canon Tristram's opinion. 



^^ ; 



(y 



76 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

Similar in plumage to S. deserti, except that it has no black 
on the throat. 

Entire length 6 inches; culmen 0"5 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
3-4 ; tarsus 0-95. 

18. Saxicola. MoiSTA, Licht. Saxicola erythropygia,^&-^\ox. 
Ibis, 1867, p. 60. 

This species of Chat is of rather rare occurrence in Egypt, 
where, according to Heugliu (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 356), it 
remains throughout the year on the confines of the desert and 
among the rocks. Mr. E. C. Taylor has procured it in Egypt ; 
but it has never fallen under my notice. 

Eorehead and sides of the crown whitish ; head and back 
ashy-brown ; lower part of the back, rump and upper tail- 
coverts rich tawny; wings blackish brown, the primaries 
edged with fulvous, and some of the greater coverts tipped 
with the same colour ; tail blackish-brown, all the feathers 
white at the base for half their length, and some of them 
narrowly tipped with white ; sides of the face and throat 
black, as well as the under wing-coverts ; rest of the under 
sm'face of the body dull cream-colour, gradually shading into 
tawny on the lower flanks ; vent and under tail-coverts bright 
tawny like the rump ; bill and feet black. 

Entire length 6"2 inches ; culmen 0'65 ; wing 3'7 ; tail 2'6 ; 
tarsus 10. 

Mr. E. C. Taylor has been so kind as to lend me the 
original specimen of his Saxv:ola crythropijgia, which I con- 
sider to be the present species. It has been erroneously con- 
founded with S. philothamiia of Tristram by Dr. von Heuglin 
(Orn. N. 0. Afr. p. 355) ; but it is certainly distinct from 



BIRDS OP EGYPT. 



77 



that species, as the following 

tify:- 

S. pJiilotTiamna. 
Top of the head and nape white, 

shaded on the erown with 

dusky. 
Back dusky black, shaded with 

grey. 
Kump and upper tail-coverts white 

shaded with pale rufous. 
Basal half of the tail bright 

rufous. 

Under tail-coverts buif. 



tabular comparison will tes- 

S. en/ilii-opye/ia. 

Top of the head and nape the 

same colour as the back. 

Back ashy-brown. 

Rump and upper tail-coverts bright 

rufous. 
Basal two thirds of the tail white, 

tinted with rufous at its 

junction with the brown end. 
Under tail-coverts bright rufous, 

paler than those above the 

tail. 



The specimen described is ticketed by Mr. J. K. Lord, 
who procured it at Hor Tamanib, in Nubia, a female ; but 
I think it is really a male ; and Mr. Taylor's specimen is pos- 
sibly an adult female about to lose its winter plumage. 



19. Saxicola lugens, Licht. Mourning Chat. 

This Chat is a resident in Egypt and Nubia throughout 
the year; but its numbers are increased during the winter 
months. Mr. E. C. Taylor writes (Ibis, 1867, p. 60), "This 
is the most abundant of all the Chats near Cairo in the 
winter." 

Top of the head and nape pale dusky, inclining more or less 
to white towards the beak, on the eyebrows, and on the nape ; 
rump, upper tail-coverts, chest and abdomen white ; vent and 
under tail-coverts buff; tail white, except a broad band at 
the tip and the greater part of the two centre feathers, which 



J 



78 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

are dark brown ; remainder of the plumage black, shading 
into browii on the quills ; beak and legs black ; irides 
brown. 

Entire length 65 inches ; cnlraen 0*55 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3'8 ; tarsus 1. 

The sexes are similar in plumage. 

Pig. Temm. PL Col. 257, fig. 3. 



20. Saxicola leucomela (Pall.). 

According to Von Heuglin (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 351) this 
species comes during the spring and autumn migrations into 
Egypt and Nubia. 

I think it possible that S. higens will be found inseparable 
from the present bird. 

21. Saxicola sionacha, Riipp. Hooded Chat. 

(Plate II.) 

This species appears to be nowhere common, although it 
ranges throughout Egypt and Nubia, and is a resident, fre- 
quenting the desert and rocky districts. I only met with a 
small colony of these Chats at El Kab, where I obtained a 
male and female in full breeding-plumage on the 26th of 
February. 

Male ill breeding-plumage. — Top of the head and nape, 
lower part of the bach, upper and under tail-coverts, and 
abdomen tohite ; tail white, with obsolete brown marks near 
the tip of some of the feathers and at the apex, three quarters 
of the two centre ones brown, with pale edgings ; rest of the 



PM 




z 
o 



o 
o 

X 

< 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 79 

plumage black, with the feathers on the pinion narrowly 
edged with white ; beak and legs black ; irides brown. 

Entire length 6-8 inches; culmen 0-6; wing, carpus to 
tip, 4-3 ; tarsus 0'9. 

Female in hreeding-plumage.—\]^^GY parts hair-brown, 
shading off to cream-colour on the rump and upper tail- 
coverts ; tail cream-colour shaded with rufous, excepting three 
quarters of the two centre feathers as well as half the exterior 
web of the outer rectrices, and the ends of all of them brown ; 
underparts dull white, shaded with hair-brown on the sides 
of the crop ; legs black ; beak and irides dark brown. 

Entire length 6-8 inches; culmen 0-6; wing, carpus to 
tip, 4 ; tarsus O'Q. 

As will be seen by the plate, the sexes are very different in 
colour; and I have placed the hen bird in the foreground for 
the sake of comparison with S. isahellina of Riippell, which 
is supposed by some naturalists to have been founded on a 
female of the present species. 

22. Saxicola leucoptgia, Brehm. JFMte-mmped Chat. ^^ 

This Chat remains throughout the year in Egypt and (■ ' 
Nubia. It is generally first met with by the Nile-tom-ist at 
Assouan, and on entering Nubia becomes extremely abundant. 
Brehm separated this species into two, under the names 
S. leucocephala and S. lemopygia, the former being dis- 
tinguished by a white head ; this, however, is only a mark of 
age ; so, as Brehm is the author of both names, I have selected 
the latter as most appropriate for this species. For proof of 
the identity of 8. leucocephala and S. leucopygia, see my paper 
(Ibis, 1871, p. 53). They appear to breed very early ; for in 



80 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

April I saw many young birds just able to fly. In Nubia 
they are daily to be seen hopping among the rocks or perched 
upon the mud walls of the native houses. 
«). ^ //>/ Very old birds. — Top of the head, rump, vent and tail- 

'/ coverts white ; tail white, except the apical half of the two 

centre feathers, which is black ; remainder of the plumage 
deep black with steel-blue reflections ; beak and legs black ; 
irides brown. 

Breeding-plumage of the first year . — Top of the headblck ; 
tail-feathers with occasional dark spots near their tips ; the 
black of the plumage has no blue gloss ; and the wings incline 
to brown. 

Immature birds. — Beak shaded with yellow towards the 
tip and on the lower mandible ; legs dark brown ; the white 
feathers of the tail with brown spots near their tips. 

Less-adult birds have black feathers mixed with the white 
crown. 

Entire length 6-5 to 7 inches ; culinen 0'6 ; wing, carpus 
to tip, 3'7 to 4'3 ; tarsus I'O. 

The sexes are similar in plumage. 

23. Saxicola syenitica, Heugl. 

Von Heughn (Orn. N. 0. Afr. p. 359) mentions a specimen 
of this Chat killed at El Kab in June 1852. This is another 
of Heuglin's species of Saxicola the distinctness of which 
I am inclined to doubt. I expect that it will be discovered 
to be founded upon a variety of plumage of S. leucopygia, 
depending on the age of the specimen. 



BIEDS OP EGYPT. 81 

24. Pratincola rubetba (Linn.). IFIdti-Chat. 

This species is not so abundant as the Stone-Chat, but is 
more evenly distributed throughout the country. According 
to Von Heughn (Orn. N. 0. Afr. p. 338) it comes to Egypt in 
August, and is certainly found in the late spring, for I have 
shot it in Nubia on the 11th of April. 

Male in hreeding-plumage. — Upper part of the head and 
neck, back, scapulars, and tail-coverts dark brovra, with broad 
sandy-coloured edgings to the feathers ; wing dark brown, with 
pale narrow edgings ; inner wing-coverts white, and a small 
patch of white on the primary coverts ; basal half of all hut the 
two central tail-feathers white, remainder of the tail dark 
brown ; a white eyebrow extending from the beak to the nape, 
and a band of the same colour from the chin under the ear- 
coverts to the sides of the neck ; lores, cheeks, and ear-coverts 
dark brown ; throat, crop, and sides of the chest ferruginous 
buflf, shading into cream-colour on the abdomen and imder 
tail-coverts ; back and legs brownish black ; irides dark brown. 

Entire length 5'2 inches; culmen 0"4; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3 ; tarsus 0'9. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 93. 

25. Pratincola rubicola (Linn.). Stone-Chat. 

This bird is very plentiful in Lower Egypt, though com- 
paratively scarce in other parts of the country. According to 
Von Heuglin (Orn. N. 0. Afr. p. 339) it arrives in August and 
leaves again in April. 

3Iale in breeding-plumage. — Upper part of the head and 
neck, back, scapulars, and tail black, with brown edgings to 

G 



82 BIEDS or EGYPT. 

the feathers ; rump and tail-coverts loldte ; the inner greater 
wing-coverts pure white, the remainder of the wing dark 
brown with pale edges to the feathers ; throat and ear-coverts 
black ; a large white patch on each side of the neck ; breast 
rust-colour, fading into white on the abdomen and under tail- 
coverts ; beak and legs black ; irides brown. 

Entire length 5 inches ; culmen 0'4 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 2'5 ; tarsus O'Q. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 94. 

26. Pratincola Hempmchii (Hempr. & Ehr.). Hemprich's 

Stone-Chat. 

Von Heuglin (Orn. N. 0. Afr. p. 339) mentions this species 
as a probable resident in Egypt, but of rather rare occiu'rence. 

This bird may be briefly described as follows : — Very like 
the English Stone-Chat, but always to be distinguished by 
the basal half of the tail being white. 

27. RuTiciLLA PHCENicuRA (Linn.). Redstart. 

This bird arrives about the middle of March, when it 
becomes plentiful both in Egypt and Nubia. A few indi- 
viduals possibly winter in the country, for I once obtained a 
specimen in the beginning of February. It may generally 
be found frequenting rows of sont trees, where it chooses 
some prominent bough ; but if alarmed, it takes refuge at 
once among the foliage, or flits on before the intruder from 
tree to tree, resting on some shady bough a few feet from 
the ground. The Redstart passes southward again about 
September. 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 83 

Male. — Throat, a band across the lower part of the fore- 
head, extending to the eyes, and ear-coverts black, the feathers 
on the throat more or less edged with dirty white ; forehead 
white ; top of the head, back, and scapulars grey, more or less 
tinted with brown ; rump and tail bright rufous, except the 
two centre feathers, which are almost entirely brown ; wings 
brown, with pale edgings to the feathers ; chest and flanks 
rufous; abdomen white; legs, beak, and irides dark brown. 

Entire length 5" 5 inches; cidmen 4; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3 ; tarsus 0'9. 

Female. — Plumage much duller than the male, with no 
black on the throat or head, and no white forehead. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 95. 



28. RuTiciLLA TITHY8 (Scop.). Black Redstart. 

I cannot speak of this bii'd from personal observation, as 
I never met with it in the country. It is rather more partial 
to buildings than the last species. According to Von Heuglin 
(Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 334), it is not very common in North- 
eastern Africa in the winter, and does not travel so far 
southward as R. phcenicura, but is plentifid in Southern 
Nubia in September. Mr. S. Stafford Allen (Ibis, 1864, 
p. 237) observes that it arrives from its southern winter 
quarters in April; while Mr. E. C. Taylor (Ibis, 1867, 
p. 61) says that it is " resident in small numbers throughout 
the winter, frequenting ruined buildings." From the above 
evidence we may conclude that the present species is a resi- 
dent, but that its numbers are recruited by additional birds 
migrating in the spring. 

G 2 



84 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

Male. — Top of the head, nape, back, scapulars, and abdo- 
men pale slaty grey ; sides of the face, neck, throat, and breast 
black ; primaries and secondaries dusky, the latter with broad 
white outer edges ; wing-coverts dusky, bordered with ashy ; 
some of the feathers on the rump white ; tail-coverts and tail 
bright rufous tipped with brown, and the two centre feathers 
dusky ; the centre of the abdomen white ; vent and under 
tail-coverts rufous ; legs and beak dusky ; irides brown. 

Entire length 6'3 inches ; culmen 0"5 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, &"5 ; tarsus 1. 

Female. — Above dirty ash-colour, beneath brown tinged 
with rufous ; tail paler than in the male. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 96. 

29. RuTiciLLA SEMiRUFA (Hcmpr. & Ehr.). Palestine 

Redstart. 

Hemprich and Ehrenberg collected this species in Egypt ; 
but it appears to be of very rare occurrence there, for I know 
of no other instance of its having been observed in the 
country. 

Male. — Forehead, sides of the head, back, scapulars, wing- 
coverts, throat, and breast glossy black, with an iron-grey cap ; 
wings brown ; remainder of the plumage bright rust-colour, 
except the two centre tail-feathers, which are brovni. There 
is no trace of white on any part of the plumage. 

Female. — Very similar to that of R. phcenicura. 

Entire length 5-6 inches ; culmen 0"45 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3 ; tarsus 0'9. 

This description is taken from two specimens kindly lent to 
me by the Rev. Canon Tristram. 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 85 

30. Aedon galactodes (Teram.). Biifous Warbler. 

This species arrives in Egypt towards the end of March, 
and leaves again in September, during vphich time it may be 
frequently met with wherever low thick covert affords a 
suitable shelter. It is essentially a creeping bird, rarely 
showing itself in the open, and when disturbed always flying 
to the nearest coverts ; and is very partial to banks, where the 
rich and prickly herbage affords it a safe retreat. I never 
observed it perch more than a few feet from the ground, 
generally on the latter, where it loves to strut with tail erect, 
basking its plumage in the sunshine. It is most abundant 
in Nubia, where it may frequently be seen on the ground 
searching for food at the foot of some stout young date-palm. 
It builds a thin nest of grass, similar to that of the Black-cap 
Warbler. 

Upper plumage rufous, brightest on the rump and tail- 
feathers ; wings brown, the feathers broadly edged with 
rufous ; tail bright rufous, each feather, with the exception of 
the two central ones, marked with a large distinct brown spot, 
which in the four outer feathers on each side is followed by a 
clear white ending to the feathers ; under parts buffish white ; 
it has a white eyebrow ; beak pale brown, lighter towards the 
base of the lower mandible ; legs pale brown ; irides hazel. 

Entire length 6'5 inches; culmen 0'55 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3 '4 ; tarsus 1. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. ph 112. 

31. Cyanecula suecica (Linn.). Blue-throated Warhler. 

This is an extremely abundant species in some parts of the 
Delta, and is very generally distributed throughout Egypt 



8G BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

and Nubia, especially in the damper localities, or where the 
vegetation grows to the height of several feet. Although it 
frequents reedy marshes and mustard-fields, or wherever the 
vegetation is luxuriant, it rarely alights upon the plants, but 
almost invariably keeps to the ground, where it runs with tail 
upraised, stopping every now and then to pick up an insect or 
to watch the intruder from the edge of its retreat. Specimens 
differ considerably in the colour of the spot on the throat, 
which may be met with in all stages from pm'e white to 
rufous. It is by no means a shy bird, and when distiu-bed 
flies but a short distance. It may be easily recognized by the 
rufous on the tail, which is very distinct. 
■j^. Male. — Entire upper plumage brown, with a darker centre 
to some of the feathers on the head, the wing-feathers having 
a pale edging ; tail, two centre feathers and the apical half 
of the others dark brown, remainder bright rufous ; a buff 
eyebrow extending forward to the nostrils ; a large spot vary- 
ing from pure white to rufous on the throat, which is blue, 
bordered by a black collar, sometimes slightly edged with 
white, and followed by a broader rufous collar across the 
chest ; remainder of the underparts dull white, shaded with 
brown on the flanks ; legs, beak, and irides brown. 

Entire length 5'5 inches; culmen 0"45 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 2"8 ; tarsus 1. 

Female. — Throat buff, shaded slightly towards its base with 
rufous, and bordered on the sides and crop with black mixed 
with a few blue feathers. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Em-, pi. 97. 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 87 

32. Erithacus rxtbecula (Linn.). Robin. 

TLe Robin is confined to Lower Egypt, where it is only a 
winter visitant. It is as tame and familiar in the smany 
chmate of Egypt as it is in England, and appears to welcome 
the stranger, as he sits in the shade of the sont tree, by hopping 
from bough to bough, and peering inquisitively at him, as 
though it expected to recognize a friend in the traveller. 

Front of the head, region of the eyes, part of the ear- 
coverts, throat, and fore part of the chest bright rust-colour, 
with a border of grey all round except on the chest ; remainder 
of the upper parts olive ; underparts white, shaded on the 
flanks with olive ; beak and irides brown ; legs pale brown. 

Entire length 5' 7 inches; cuhnen 0*4; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3 "8 ; tarsus I'l. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 98. 

83. Accentor modularis (Linn.). Hedt/e Accentor. 

Dr. von Heuglin (Orn. N. 0. Afr. p. 332) mentions having 
seen this bird himself on one occasion in Egypt. 

Head, neck, and breast, pale slate-colour, tinged with brown 
on the top of the head and nape ; upper part of the back and 
shoulders reddish brown, with dusky centres to the feathers ; 
rump and upper tail-coverts pale brown ; the throat is of a 
paler grey than the head, and the centre of the abdomen 
dingy white ; wing-feathers dusky, edged with reddish brown, 
the larger wing-coverts tipped with white ; tail greyish brown, 
with pale edges to the feathers ; flanks yellowish grey with 
long brown streaks ; legs pale brown ; beak dusky brown ; 
irides hazel. 



88 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

Entire length 5'7 inches ; culmen 0*5 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 2'8 ; tarsus 0"95. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 110. 

34. Philomela luscinia (Linn.). Nightingale. 

Although the Nightingale ranges throughout Egypt and 
Nubia during the winter, it is far from being common. I only 
once saw a pair, and heard their well-known notes, while 
reposing, during the heat of the day, in a small wood near 
Bedreshayn, in the latter end of March. 

Entire upper plumage russet-brown, rather more rufous 
on the rump and upper tail-coverts ; tail uniform rufous 
brown ; underparts dull white, shaded on the sides of the 
neck and crop with pale brown; under tail-coverts buff; 
beak brown, inclining to flesh-colour at the base of the lower 
mandible ; legs brownish flesh-colour ; irides brown. 

Entire length 6"4 inches ; culmen 0"5 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3'3 ; tarsus 1. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 116. 

35. Philomela major (Brehm). Tlirush Nightingale. 

This species ranges throughout Egypt and Nubia during its 
spring and autumn migrations, but is very scarce. Von 
Heughn (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 338) mentions having seen it in 
Lower Egypt between the 10th and 25th of March ; and 
Keyserling and Blasius also remark that it occurs in Egypt. 

Very similar in plumage to the last species, but slightly 
larger. It may be most readily recognized by the two centre 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 89 

tail-feathers being darker, and not so rufous as the others, 
and in the spurious primary being nearly obsolete. 

Entire length 7 inches ; cidmen 0"6 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
3"5 ; tarsus Tl. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 117. 

36. Bradypterus Cettii (Marm.). Cettis Warbler. 

Keyserling and Blasius mention this Warbler as occurring 
in Egypt ; and Von Heuglin (Orn. N. 0. Afr. p. 274) states 
that he has seen it there in the corn-fields. 

Entire upper plumage russet-brown, with a rather clear 
white eyebrow ; throat, centre of the chest, and abdomen 
white, inclining to brown on the flanks and under tail- 
coverts ; beak brown, shading to flesh-coloiu* on the lower 
mandible ; legs pale brown ; irides brown. 

Wing — first or spurious primary very large ; second one 
equal to the tenth ; fourth, fifth, and sixth nearly equal and 
the longest. 

Entire length 5"5 inches; culmen 0*45; wing, carpus to 
tip, 2*4 ; tarsus 0"85. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pis. 114, 115. 

37. PsEUDOiiUSCiNiA LUSCiNioiDES (Savl). Savis Warbler. 

This Warbler is resident in Egypt, tolerably abundant, and 
generally distributed. It usually frequents the corn-fields, 
selecting the spots where the crop grows most luxuriantly ; and 
it may also be found in the reedy marshes of the Delta and 
Fayoom, where I have frequently seen it, and occasionally 



90 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

procui'ed specimens. Wlien disturbed it leaves its shelter very 
reluctantly, and flits away hurriedly, flying close to the top of 
the herbage for a short distance, and then it suddenly dips 
down and is immediately hidden. Nor will it allow itself to 
be driven far from the place whence it originally started ; but 
if pursued, prefers to seek shelter by creeping among the 
stalks of the plants rather than expose itself again by taking 
wing. On this account the bird is difficult to procure, and 
is consequently rare in collections. 

Entire plumage glossy ; wing pointed, first primary longest, 
remainder decreasing in regular order up to the ninth ; tail 
wedge-shaped ; upper parts uniform olivaceous brown. On 
the tail, under certain lights, can be seen numerous obsolete 
bars ; throat and centre of the body white, remainder of the 
underparts soft creamy brown ; beak dark brown, shading 
into yellowish flesh-colour towards the base of the lower 
mandible ; legs brownish flesh-colour ; irides pale brown. 

Entire length 5' 7 inches; culmen 0"5; wing, carpus to 
tip, 2'7 ; tarsus 0'85. 

Pig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 104. 

38. PsEUDOLTJsciNiA FLUViATiLis (Meyer and Wolf). Eivcr 

Warhler. 

Dr. von Heuglin (Orn. N. 0. Afr. p. 293) only quotes 
Temminck and Bonaparte as his authorities for the occurrence 
of this Warbler in Egypt. I have never found it, but con- 
sider it not an unlikely bird to be met with in the Delta. 

Very similar to Pseudoluscinia Inscinioides. Entire upper 
parts olive-brown ; wings and tail rather less inclining to olive, 
the latter marked in certain lights with numerous obsolete bars ; 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 91 

underparts white, shaded on the crop and flanks with olive- 
hroion, and spotted with that colour on the throat and crop ; beak 
browu, shading into yellowish flesh-colour on the lower man- 
dible ; legs and irides brown. 

Entire length 5'6 inches ; culinen 0*4 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 2 "8 ; tarsus 0"8. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 102. 

39. Calamodtta schcenob^nus (Linn.). Sedffe Warbler. 

This species is plentiful throughout Egypt and Nubia. 
I have shot it among the sedge in the Delta and the Fayoom, 
in the corn-fields in Upper Egypt, and on the banks of the 
river in Nubia. When disturbed it flies to the stem of some 
plant, whence it watches the intruder for a few moments 
before it disappears amongst the thick herbage. Although 
it belongs to the group of aquatic Warblers, it often frequents 
the dry corn-fields, which in Egypt are never at any great 
distance from the water. 

'. Upper plumage olive-brown, strongly marked with brownish 
black on the head ; the centres of the feathers on the upper 
part of the back slightly shaded with dark brown ; the rump 
and tail-coverts inchning to yellowish rufous ; wings and tail 
brown, with pale edgings to the feathers ; it has a distinct 
eyebrow ; underparts creamy white, shaded on the sides, 
flanks, and under tail-coverts with yellowish brown ; beak, 
legs, and irides brown, the former shading into flesh-coloiu" at 
the base of the lower mandible. 

Entire length 5 inches ; culuien 0"45 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 2-6 ; tarsus 0'9. 

Fig. Goidd, B. of Eur. pi. 110. 



92 BIEDS OF EGYPT, 

40. Calamodyta aquatica (Lath.). Aquatic Warbler. 

According to Von Heuglin (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 292) this 
species is sometimes common, in company with the Sedge 
Warbler, in Lower Egypt. I myself have never observed 
it, but have constantly shot C. melanopogon, a bii'd of which 
Von Heuglin makes no mention as being found in North-east 
Africa, from which circumstance I conclude that he has con- 
founded it with some other species, possibly the present one, 
for no collector could have failed to meet with that bird. 
I brought home from my last tour no less than fourteen 
specimens of C. melanopogon, shot near Damietta during 
the last week in March, but never met with the present 
species, although I see no reason why it should not be 
found there. 

Top of the head deep brown, with broad distinct buff- 
coloured eyebrows and a band of the same colour down the 
centre of the crown ; back and scapulars ashy, shaded with 
yellowish brown on the centre of the back and rump, and 
mottled with dark brown on the centres of the feathers ; wings 
and tail dark brown, with paler edges ; underparts creamy 
white, shaded with brownish yellow on the crop and flanks, 
where there are a few narrow dark brown streaks down the 
centres of some of the feathers ; beak brown, shading into 
yellowish flesh-colour on the lower mandible ; legs yellowish 
flesh-colour ; irides brown. 

Entire length 4"8 inches ; culmen 0*4 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 2"5 ; tarsus O^S. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 111. 



Hale HI 




CALAMODYTA MELANOPOGON 
EMBERIZA INTERMEDIA. 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 93 

41. Calamodtta melanopogon (Temm.). Moustached 

Warbler. 
(Plate ni. fig. 1.) 

This Warbler, wliich is very rare in collections, I found in 
great abundance among the thick sedge of a lake near 
Dainietta. They keep exclusively to the thick masses of reeds 
in very marshy districts, and may be seen clinging on to the 
stems as they take a last peep at the intruder before hiding 
themselves. They rarely show themselves boldly, but may 
be watched as they chase each other through the thick and 
matted sedge, which is seen to move as though a mouse was 
disturbing it. They creep and flutter along in pursuit of 
each other, occasionally uttering a little jarring note, and at 
intervals popping their heads out from among the thick 
covert to glance at the stranger. They have rather a pretty 
song, and in disposition are not shy. They may be best 
obtained in the Damietta marsh by walking steadily through 
the sedge, as they almost invariably, when first distiu-bed, 
fly to a prominent stem before hiding themselves. Though 
in form, size, and general appearance they much resemble 
the Common Sedge Warbler, they may be readily recognized, 
even in a wild state, by their blacker back, whiter chest, and 
by the absence of the yellow tints, which are so conspicuous 
in the latter bird. 

I am surprised not to find this species mentioned by Von 
Heuglin in his great work on the birds of North-eastern 
Africa, as it is very abundant in some of the reedy lakes of 
the Delta, and remains in the country throughout the year. 

Crown of the head black, more or less shaded with rufous ; 
upper surface of the body oHve-brown, with a chestnut shade 
on the rump ; centres of the feathers of the upper part of the 



94 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

back and scapulars dark brown ; wings and tail dark brown, 
with paler edgings to the feathers ; a broad and distinct white 
eyebrow, and a dark streak from the lores through the eye, 
shading off on the ear-coverts ; underparts white, shaded 
with brownish buff on the flanks and vent ; beak dark 
brown ; legs black ; ii'ides brown. 

Entire length 5 inches; culmen 0'5; wing, carpus to 
tip, 2-2 ; tarsus 0-85. 

42. Calamoherpe arundinacea (Gm.). Itced Warbler. 

The Reed Warbler, according to Von Heuglin (Orn. N. 0. 
Afr. p. 291), is a bird of passage in Egypt and Nubia, and 
is sometimes tolerably abundant in the swamps of the Delta. 

The entire upper plumage uniform greyish olive ; wings 
and tail brown, with pale edges to the feathers ; it has a pale 
yellowish eyebrow ; under sm'face white, washed with 
brownish buff on the sides of the neck, chest, and flanks ; legs 
dark brown ; beak pale brown, lightest on the lower man- 
dible ; ii'ides hazel. 

Entire length 5" 5 inches; culmen 0*4; wing, carpus to 
tip, 2"5 ; tarsus 0'9. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 108. 

43. Calamoherpe palustris (Bechst.). Marsh Warbler. 

I cannot find any very positive evidence for including the 
present species in the Egyptian lists. Von Heuglin (Orn. 
N. O. Afr. p. 290) only quotes Riippell as his authority for its 
being found in Egypt, and Lichtenstein for its occurrence in 
Nubia. 

The differences between this species and the preceding 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 95 

have never been satisfactorily defined by ornithologists ; and 
I cannot myself find any character by which they may 
always be unerringly distinguished in the skin. In the 
freshly killed bird the legs are paler and the general colour 
more rufous than the Reed Warbler. 

44. AcROCEPHALUSSTENTORius (Hempr. &Ehr.). Clamorous 

Sedge Warhler. 

This large Warbler is probably a resident in Egypt, for it 
certainly breeds there, and I have met with a specimen in the 
Fayoom as early as the 7th of March. Towards the latter 
end of that month I frequently saw it near Damietta, while 
hunting for C. melanopoc/on in the forests of thick sedge and 
reeds which surround some of the lakes. It generally keeps 
low down in the sedge, but will occasionally rise to the top of 
a tall reed to survey the district. Its plain colouring renders 
it very difficult to detect ; but one is frequently made aware 
of its presence, either by its call, which in March consists of 
a single peculiarly loud note, repeated two or three times 
without variation, or from the movement of the sedge caused 
by its continual motion. In April it begins its love-song, 
and may then be much more easily procured. Although 
it frequents the thick sedge, it appears to prefer the proximity 
of some slight opening, such as is made by a ditch running 
through the swamp, in the centre of which the reeds do not 
grow. In such spots it may be watched with ease as it hops 
from reed to reed, keeping generally within a foot from the 
sm-face of the water, busily intent upon capturing the small 
aquatic insects and shells on which it subsists, and perfectly 
heedless of observation. 



96 BffiDS or EGYPT. 

Upper plumage olive-brown, lightest on the rump and upper 
tail-coverts ; wings and tail brown, with pale edges to the 
feathers ; in some specimens there is a more or less distinct 
buff-coloured eyebrow extending to the beak ; uuderparts 
white, shaded with buff on the vent and under tail-coverts, 
and with yellowish brown on the sides of the chest and flanks ; 
the upper part of the chest has a few obsolete brown streaks ; 
beak dark brown, shading into orange-yellow on the edges of 
the upper and basal half of the lower mandible ; legs slaty 
brown ; irides pale brown ; second primary considerably 
shorter than the third. 

Entire length 7 inches ; culmen 0*8 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
3-1 ; tarsus 1-05. 

Fig. Allen, Ibis, 1864, "pi. 1, p. 97. 



45. AcROCEPHALUs TUBDOiDES (Meyer). Great Sedge War 

bier. 

Von Heuglin (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 289) considers this bird 
to be an accidental winter visitor to Lower Egypt. I have 
never seen a specimen from that country. 

Very similar to A. stentorius. Underparts more inchning 
to buff, and without any indication of stripes ; beak shorter 
and stouter ; upper mandible distinctly notched ; second and 
tliird primaries equal and longest. 

Entire length 7 inches; culmen 0-65; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3"6 ; tarsus Tl. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 106. 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 97 

46. AcROCEPHALUS ARABicus, Heiigl. AraUav Sedge 

Warbler. 

This species is mentioned by Von Heuglin (Orn. N. 0. Afr. 
p. 289) as occurring in Egypt near Suez. I do not know the 
bird ; but it appears to be distinct from the last two species 
in the size and colouring of the beak ; the other parts are 
described too vaguely to found any opinion upon ; I therefore 
simply translate his Latin description. 

Similar to A. turdoides ; beak stouter, more obtuse, and 
higher at the base ; feet longer, and superciliary streak more 
conspicuous and of a whiter colour ; outer web of all the 
primaries with a narrow and conspicuous pale margin, the 
spurious primary whitish ; breast, under wing-coverts, sides 
of the body, and under tail-coverts for the most part bright 
rufous ochre ; the under mandible waxy, the whole of the 
upper one blackish horn-colour. 



47. CiSTicoLA SCHCENICOLA, Bp. Fan-tail Warbler. 

This tiny but cheerful little Warbler is one of the most 
abundant bu'ds in Egypt and Nubia, where it is met with in 
every green field, either watching om- approach from some 
tall plant, or pouring forth its notes as it hovers over the 
surrounding herbage. It never frequents trees, but is equally 
abundant both in the dry fields and in marshes. It breeds 
in March, forming a charming little deep purse-shaped nest, 
open at the top, which I have found in clover,' corn, and 
sedge, at a height of from a few inches to a foot from the 
ground. The nest is constructed of dried grass and cotton, 
and often thickly lined with the soft downy seeds of the reed 



If 



98 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

or thistle, and is firmly secured by the interweaving of the 
surrounding herbage, which assists to hide it : in general 
appearance it looks very like the cocoon of a large cater- 
pillar. 

Upper plumage pale yellowish brown ; centre of the feathers 
on the head dark brown, forming three more or less distinct 
longitudinal bands ; centre of the feathers of the upper part 
of the back, wings, and tail dark brown ; rump more or 
less ferruginous ; tail fan-shaped, and of moderate length, 
with a dark spot near the tip of each feather, most visible 
from underneath ; underparts white, inclining to pale yel- 
lowish brown towards the flanks ; upper mandible brown ; 
lower mandible and legs flesh-brown; irides bi'ownish yellow. 

Entire length 4 inches ; culmeu '4 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
1-9; tarsus 0-8. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 113. 



48. Drymceca gracilis (Riipp.). Graceful Warbler. 

This little Warbler is abundant both in the fields and 
marshes of Egypt and Nubia, where it remains through- 
out the year. Its song is powerful and melodious, and is 
frequently to be heard amongst the reeds. There are appa- 
rently two constant forms of this bird, but they hardly differ 
sufficiently to be separated as distinct species. I only brought 
home one specimen that exactly agreed with the plate in 
Riippell's ' Atlas,' while all those that I have seen from Lower 
Egypt belong to the other form ; that is to say, they are 
darker in colour, have the whole of the shaft-markings more 
strongly pronounced, are rather larger, and have darker bills. 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 99 

In habits the former appears to be the common species in 
Upper Egypt and Nubia, and frequents the fields, while the 
latter is most abundant in the Delta, and usually to be met 
with in marshes or damp localities. 

Tail long ; upper plumage pale brown, with the centre of the 
feathers on the head, back, and wings rather darker ; the tail 
has numerous narrow obsolete bars, with distinct brown spots 
at the end of the feathers, which are narrowly tipped with 
dirty white ; underparts creamy white ; legs brownish flesh- 
colour ; beak brown ; irides brownish yellow. 

Entire length 4'3 inches ; culmen 0'35 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 1'7 ; tarsus 0'65. 

Fig. Riippell, Atlas, t. 2. 



49. Hypolais olivetorum (Strickl.). Olive-tree Warbler. 

Von HeugHn does not mention that this species occurs in 
Egypt ; I have, however, a well-authenticated specimen col- 
lected by Mr. Rogers near Alexandria, and presented to me 
by my friends Messrs. Sharpe and Dresser. It is probably 
of only rare occurrence in that country ; for I know of no 
other instance of its capture there. 

Upper plumage uniform pale dusky, tinted with olive, and 
slightly paler on the upper tail-coverts ; wings and tail brown, 
with pale edgings to the feathers ; outer tail-feathers bordered 
with white, the next two on each side narrowly tipped with 
that colour ; a faint streak in front of the eye dull white ; 
underparts white, tinted with yellow, and slightly shaded on 
the sides with pale stone-grey ; beak very broad at the base, 
and surrounded by stout bristles, brown above, shading into 

H 2 



100 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

deep orange-yellow on the lower mandible ; legs pale brown ; 
irides brown. 

Entire length 6"3 inches; culmen 0'6 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3'6 ; tarsus 0'9. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 107. 



50. Htpolais el^ica (Lind.)*. Olivaceous Warbler. 

This is the most abundant Warbler in Nubia, and is not 
^ />LAA,/a7&. unfrequent in Egypt; but I have not met with it north of 
Dendera, although it must be found over the whole country, 
as it is not very uncommon in south-eastern Europe. In 
Nubia it takes the place of the Willow Warbler and ChiiF- 
ChafF, but prefers to live among the higher boughs of the 
sont trees instead of the low thick herbage. Owing to its 
dull coloration it may easily be overlooked; but, if pro- 
cured, may at once be recognized by the breadth of its bill. 

H. languida (Hempr. & Ehr.). Under this name Von 
Heughn (Orn. N. 0. Afr. p. 296) has made five races or sub- 
species, the second of which, //. elcsica, is the only form 
1 think should be included within the hmits of the present 
work. 

Upper parts pale hair-brown ; primaries and tail darker, 
with a pale narrow edging to all the feathers ; underparts 
dirty white, the whole of the plumage faintly tinted with 
yellow ; beak yellowish brown, darkest above ; legs and 
irides brown. 

* Acrocephahis palUdus (Hempr. & Ehr.), " nee Gerbe " of Heuglin 
(Orn. N. 0. Afr. p. 294), I consider to be synonymous with H. elceica 
(Lind.). 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 101 

Entire leugth 5-1 inches; culuien 0"45 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 2"5 ; tarsus 0'8. 

Fig. Bree, B. of Eur. ii. p. 54. 



51. Phyllopneuste sylvicola (Lath.). Wood Warbler. 

This species is to be met with throughout Egypt and 
Nubia, but is not plentiful there at any season. Von Heughu 
(Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 298) considers it a not uncommon winter 
visitor in North-eastern Africa. I am, however, inclined to 
believe that it occasionally remains in Egypt throughout the 
year ; for I have obtained a specimen near Assouan as late as 
the end of April. 

Upper plumage bright yellowish green ; wings and tail 
brown, the feathers distinctly edged with bright yellowish 
green ; underparts pure white, shading into yellow under 
the wings and towards the throat, and becoming bright sid- 
phur-ycllow under the chin ; a dusky streak passes from the 
bill through the eye, and directly above it a well-defined 
bright yellow eyebrow ; beak pale brown, darkest above ; 
legs pale brown ; irides brown. 

Entire length 4'S inches ; culmeu 0"4 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 31 ; tarsus 0"7. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 131. 

53. Phyllopneuste Bonellii (VieilL). BoneUi's Warbler. 

Very abundant, especially in Upper Egypt, during tlie 
spring and autumn, where it takes the place of P. trochilus 
and P. riifa of Lower Egypt and //. elcelca of Nubia. It is 



102 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

a lively cheerful bird, in habits and appearance very closely 
resembling the Willow Warbler. 

Upper plumage ashy brown, inclining to bright yellow on 
the rump ; wings and tail brown, edged with pale hair-brown 
and greenish yellow ; underparts white, faintly shaded with 
paler brown ; sides of the breast and under the wing tinted 
with sulphur-yellow; a rather distinct white streak runs from 
the beak through the eye ; beak fleshy brown, darker above ; 
legs pale brown ; irides brown. 

Entire length 4-5 inches; culmen 0'35 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 2*5; tarsus 0'8. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 134 



■ f , , 53. Phyllopneuste rufa (Gm.). Chif-Chaif Warbler. 

{' / The Chiff-Chaff is a winter visitant to Egypt and Nubia, 
fOcucA^ueA, and at this season is extremely abundant, especially in the 
Delta. 

Head, back, scapulars, and upper tail-coverts olive ; wings 
and tad pale dusky, with olive-green borders to the feathers ; 
edge of the wing and under wing-coverts sulphur-yellow ; a 
faint yellowish eyebrow ; lores grey ; underparts white, tinted 
on the throat, breast, and flanks with pale brownish yellow ; 
legs dark brown ; beak brown, shading off' into flesh-colour at 
the base of the lower mandible ; irides brown. 

Entire length 4-5 inches; culmen 0-3; wing, carpus to 
tip, 2"3 ; tarsus 0"8. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 131. 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 103 

54. Phyllopneuste trochilus (Linn.). TFillow Warbler. 

The Willow Warbler arrives with the Chiff-Chaff in Sep- 
tember and leaves in March. During its stay it is very 
abundant both in Egypt and Nubia, especially so in the 
Delta, where great numbers may be seen flitting about 
among the prickly herbage by the sides of the embankments. 

Very similar in plumage to P. rufa ; it is a little larger, 
and the colom's rather clearer, especially on the under surface 
of the body, and the legs are paler. 

Entire length 4-8 inches; culmen 0'35 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 2-7 ; tarsus 0*8. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 131. 

55. Phyllopneuste hippolais (Linn.). Melodious Willow 

Warbler. 

Von Heuglin (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 296) mentions having 
observed this Warbler in Egypt singly in fig-gardens and 
clumps of sont trees. 

The whole of the upper parts greenish ash-colour ; in front 
of the eye is a small patch of yellow ; throat and underparts 
pale yellow ; wings and tail brown, the edges of the feathers 
being lighter ; beak and legs fleshy brown ; irides dark brown. 

Entire length 5*1 inches ; culmen 0*55 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3*15 ; tarsus 0"8. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur, pi. 133. 

56. Phyllopneuste Eversmanni (Bp.). Vieillot's ll'illoio 

Warbler. 

I And the present species, in Mr. G. R. Gray's ' Hand- 



104 BIRDS OF EGYPT. 

list of Birds,' vol. i. p. 215, with the locality Egypt assigned 
to it. This, however, is the only evidence I have for including 
it in the present work ; for Von Heuglin does not mention 
it as occurring in any part of North-eastern Africa. 

Very similar to P. trocJiilus; beak stronger; a distinct 
yellowish-white eyebrow and a dusky streak from the lores 
through the eye. There is no yellow shade on the rump, as 
in P. Bonellii. Legs pale brown ; beak brown, inclining to 
yellowish flesh-colour on the lower mandible. 

Entire length 5 inches; culmen 0'45; wing, carpus to 
tip, 2'7 ; tarsus O'S. 

57. CuRRUCA HORTENSis (Gm.). Garden. Warbler. 

This Warbler is a spring visitant in Egypt, and is probably 
never very plentiful there. Von Heuglin (Orn. N. 0. Afr, 
p. 310) mentions having obtained a specimen on the island 
of Roda, near Cairo, in the beginning of May. I know of 
no other instance of its captm'e in that country. 

Entire upper plumage ashy brown, tinted with olive ; wings 
and tail rather darker ; an indistinct pale eyebrow ; under- 
parts white, tinted with brown on the lower part of the 
throat and flanks ; beak brown, much paler on the lower 
mandible ; legs slaty brown ; irides pale brown. 

Entire length 6 inches ; culmen 0*45 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3"1 ; tarsus 0'85. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 121. 

58. CuRRUCAORPHEA (Temm.). Orphean JFarbler. 

This Warbler, though an undoubted Egyptian species, 



BIRDS OP EGYPT. 105 

appears to be of very rare occurrence in that country. The 
only Egyptian specimen I have seen is in the collection of 
Messrs. Sharpe and Dresser. According to Von Heuglin (Orn. 
N. O. Afr. p. 310) it visits Egypt and Nubia in the autumn ; 
and he mentions that he procured a specimen near the 
Pyramids. 

Male. — Top of the head and ear-coverts dusky black ; upper 
sm-face of the body slaty ash-colour ; quills and tail brown, 
with broad ash-coloiu-ed edgings ; the exterior feathers on 
each side of the latter have the outer webs and a broad apical 
tip white, and the next two feathers on each side are narrowly 
tipped with the same colour ; underparts white, shaded with 
ashy on the flanks and under tail-coverts. 

Female. — Resembles the male, except that the head is ashy 
grey, and the rest of the upper parts are shaded with brown ; 
beak black, shading into yellowish at the base of the lower 
mandible ; legs slaty brown ; irides hazel. 

Entire length 5'7 inches; culmenO'55; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3 ; tarsus 0'9. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 119. 

59. CuRRUCA ATRicAPiLLA (Linn.). Black-cap Warbler. 

This is only a bird of passage in Egypt and Nubia, arriving 
on its way northwards in February and March, and passing 
through the country again in the autumn. 

Male. — Top and back of the head black ; nape and sides of 
the neck grey ; Ijack, shoulders, scapulars, and upper tail- 
coverts olive-grey ; wings and tail dusky brown ; throat and 
underparts greyish white, with a slight pink blush on the breast 
and flanks ; beak brown ; logs slate-coloui' ; irides hazel. 



106 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

Female. — Only differs from the male in having the top of 
the head rufous instead of black. 

Entire length 5"8 inches ; culmen 0*4 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 2'8; tarsus 0'8. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 120. 



60. CuERUCA RuEPPELLii (Temm.). RilppelVs Warbler. 

This Warbler is moderately abundant throughout Egypt 
and Nubia. Its habits are not so lively as those of many of 
its congeners, and it may frequently be seen sitting still on 
the topmost bough of some low tree or cotton-plant. Von 
Heuglin (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 315) calls it a bird of passage, 
and observes that it is not plentiful in Lower Egypt until the 
middle of March, when it may be met \\dth in paii's, some- 
times in company with Sylvia suhalpina. 

Male in breeding-plumage . — Head and throat black, with 
a white moustache ; remainder of the upper parts slaty grey ; 
wings dark brown, the feathers edged with brownish-buff 
colour; tail black, with the outer feather and tip of the 
second one white ; underparts of the body white, shaded on 
the sides with grey, and with a rosy blush on the chest when 
in Ufe. 

The female is rather duller in plumage. 

Entire length 5"5 inches; culmen 0'5; wing, carpus to 
tip, 2'7 ; tarsus O'S. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 122. 



BIEDS OF EOYPT. 107 

61. CuRRUCA MELANOCEPHALA (Gm.). Blach-lwaded Warbler . 

The present species is abundant throughout Egypt and 
Nubia, more especially so on the islands of the First Cataract. 
It is a lively bird, somewhat resembling the Lesser White- 
throat in habits. 

Von Heuglin (Orn. N. O. Afr. p, 303) separates a small 
race of this bird under the name Sylvia melanocephala minor, 
to which he refers all the Egyptian specimens, but does not 
appear to place much faith in this separation, for he has not 
bestowed a number on the species in his book. I have not 
examined his type specimens ; but I cannot allow that the slight 
difference in the measurements between the Egyptian and 
Piedmontese specimens in my collection justifies their separa- 
tion as distinct species ; I therefore give measurements of both 
forms, the smaller bird being an Egyptian specimen, the 
larger one from the Continent of Europe. 

Top of the head, region of the eye, and ear-coverts black ; 
back and scapulars slaty grey ; wings dusky, with pale edges 
to the feathers ; tail slaty black, except the exterior web of 
the outermost feather and the ends of the three outer ones, 
which are white ; underparts white, shading into grey on 
the sides of the body ; eyelids scarlet ; beak black, shading 
off into yellow at the base of the lower mandible ; legs and 
irides brown. 

The female has a slate-coloured head, and the plumage is 
generally browner. 

Entire length 4-5-5 inches; culmen 0'35-0'4; wing, 
carpus to tip, 2-l-2'2; tarsus 0-75-0*85. 

Pig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 129. 



•:^:4/^^ 



108 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

62. Melizophilus sardus (Marm.). Sardinian Warbler. 

According to Von Hcuglin (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 303) this 
rare Warbler is often to be met with in Egypt in the spring, 
and he mentions having killed it himself in the country. 

Head, tlu'oat, and all the upper parts deep blackish grey, 
darkest on the forehead and round the eyes ; on the chin 
there are a few white feathers ; centre of the belly greyish 
white, tinged with vinous ; wings and tail black, the exterior 
feathers of the latter edged with white ; eyelids vermilion ; 
base of the lower mandible yellow, the remainder of the beak 
horn-colour ; legs yellowish brown ; irides pale brown. 

Entire length 5'2 inches; cidmen 0'4 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 2'2 ; tarsus 0"8. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 127. 

63. Melizophilus provincialis (Gm.). Dartford Warbler. 

According to Von Heuglin (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 302) the 
Dartford Warbler, though rare in Egypt, has been observed 
by him in the Delta towards the end of March in company 
with Sylvia subalpina and Curruca Bueppellii. 

Entire upper plumage dark slaty grey, deepest on the 
head and ear-coverts, and strongly tinted with olive-brown 
on the back ; wings dusky, the feathers edged with brown ; 
throat and underparts deep ferruginous brown, except the 
centre of the abdomen, which is white ; beak dusky, inclining 
to yellow at the base of the lower mandible ; legs and eyelids 
yellow ; irides pale yellowish brown. 

Entire length 5'3 inches; culmen 0'5 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 2 ; tarsus 6. 

Eig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 129. 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 109 

64. Sylvia subalpina, Bon. Subalpine Warbler. 

I first met this bird towards the end of March near Da- 
niietta, where 1 found it abundant, from which I conchide 
that it does not winter in Egypt. The low bushes and 
herbage along the sides of the embankments are the favourite 
resorts of this lively little Warbler ; and there it may be seen 
constantly on the move, creeping and flitting about amongst 
the thick shelter, and may be easily recognized at such times 
by its white outer tail-feathers and diminutive size ; for the 
Black-headed Warbler and the Lesser Whitethroat are not 
nearly so abundant in the Delta in March as the present 
bird. Von Heuglin (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 305) considers that 
this species is a spring visitant to Lower Egypt. 

Hale in hreeding-plumage. — Upper parts ashy grey ; wings 
and tail brown, with pale edgings to the feathers ; apical 
half of the outer feathers on each side of the tail white, the 
next tipped with that colour; a white moustache running 
down the sides of the neck ; throat, crop, and flanks brick- 
red, of a greater or less intensity, shading into creamy white 
on the remainder of the body ; beak brown, inclining to flesh- 
colour at the base ; legs pale brown ; irides brownish yellow ; 
eyelids red. 

Female. — Upper parts shaded with hair-brown ; under- 
parts creamy white, faintly shaded with brick-red. 

Entire length 5 inches ; culmen 0'4 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
2-4; tarsus 0-75. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 124. 

65. Sylvia conspicillata, Marm. Spectacled Warbler. 
Canon Tristram tells me that this species is certainly met 



no BIEDS or EGYPT. 

with in Egypt, ])ut does not remain there throughout the 
winter. I myself never found it ; and as Von HeugHu does 
not inchide it among the birds of North-east Africa, I insert 
it here with some hesitation, although one might well expect 
to meet with it in the country. 

Male. — Top of the head, cheeks, and lower part of the 
throat fine ash-colour ; space between the eye and the beak 
black, whence a circle of the same colour surrounds the white 
of the eyes ; back and scapulars vinous ash-colour ; the wings 
blackish, broadly edged with rufous ; throat white ; under 
sm-face of the body white, tinged with vinous, which passes 
into reddish on the flanks ; tail brownish black, except the 
outer feathers, which are nearly white, whUe the second and 
third are also tipped with that colour ; beak brown, shading 
into yellowish flesh-colour on the basal half of the lower man- 
dible ; legs yellowish flesh-colour ; irides pale brown. 

Female. — Similar to the male, but paler, and the circle 
round the eye hardly apparent, if, indeed, at all distinguishable. 

Entu:e length 5 inches ; culmen 0-4 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
1-3; tarsus O'?. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pk 126. 

66. Sylvia curruca (Linn.). Lesser Whitethroat. 

This is a very abundant Warbler throughout Egj'pt and 
Nubia, frequenting the low sont and tamarisk bushes, 
where it may be seen flitting in and out among the thick 
covert, actively pursuing the small insects upon which it 
feeds. 

TVinter plumage. — Upper parts ashy brown, inclining to 
o-rey on the head and ear-coverts ; underparts white, tinged 



BIEDS or EGYPT. Ill 

with very pale brown ; wings and tail dark brown, the feathers 
narrowly edged with ashy brown ; the outer feathers on each 
side of the tail nearly white. 

In summer the head and ear-coverts are slaty grey ; beak 
nearly black, inclining to lead-colovu' at the base of the lower 
mandible ; legs dark slate-colour ; irides hazel. 

Entire length 5-3 inches ; culmen 0-35 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 27 ; spurious primary 0-6 ; tarsus 0*8. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 125. 

67. Sylvia cinerea, Bechst. IFJdtethroat. 

I have shot this species both in Egypt and Nubia, but it 
is by no means common in either country. It frequents the 
young sont and other trees which afford thick covert near the 
ground, especially where they grow in rows along the em- 
bankments. 

In hreeding-flumage the upper part of the head, nape, and 
ear-coverts are slate-coloured, tinged with brown, while in 
winter the whole of the upper parts are cindery brown, tinted 
with rufous on the forehead and back; wings and tail- 
feathers dusky, edged with pale brown ; secondaries more 
broadly edged with rufous ; the underparts, in winter, are 
white, tinted with pale yellowish brown, especially on the 
flanks; while in summer plumage there is a delicate pink 
blush on the chest, which soon fades after death ; beak brown 
above, changing to yellow at the base of the lower mandible ; 
legs pale brown ; irides hazel. 

Eutue length 5' 5 inches ; culmen 0'35 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 2'8 ; spurioiis primary 0*4 ; tarsus O'S. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 125. 



112 BIRDS OF EGYPT. 

Fam. NECTARINIID^. 

68. Nectarinia METALLiCA, Licht. Yellow-breasted Sun-hird. 

(Plate IV.) 

This beautiful little Sun-bird is the only one of the family 
which comes within the limits of my present work. I first 
met with it near Kalabshee, in Nubia, where it was tolerably 
plentiful in the beginning of April ; and I have no doubt 
that it occasionally descends below the First Cataract ; for on 
the 14th of April I noticed several specimens within twenty 
miles of Philse. It is a lively bu'd, rarely sitting still for long 
together, now fluttering over a flower, now darting off" to 
some neighbouring sont tree. The female is a dull-coloured 
but graceful little bird, generally in close company with her 
partner ; and I have often watched them on some prominent 
twig sunning themselves, and keeping up an animated con- 
versation in a pleasing little twittering note, evidently in full 
enjoyment of each other's company. 

Male. — Head, throat, upper half of the back, scapulars, 
lesser wing-coverts, and outer web of the larger coverts bronzy 
green ; remainder of the back metallic purple, shading into 
steel-blue on the rump and upper taU-coverts ; tail black, 
shaded with steel-blue on the edges of the two long centre 
feathers ; remainder of the wing dark brown, with a narrow 
paler edging to the primaries ; a steel-blue collar separates the 
green throat from the bright yellow of the chest and abdomen ; 
thighs black ; beak black ; legs and irides dark brown. 

Entire length 6-2 inches ; culmen 0-45 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 2"2 ; tarsus 0*6. 

Female. — Upper parts stone-grey, shaded with green on the 
rump ; a creamy-white eyebrow ; wings and tail nearly black ; 



Plate N 




NECTARINIA METALUCA 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 113 

the edges of the feathers of the same colour as the back; 
underparts white, shaded with sulphur-yellow on the chest 
and centre of the abdomen ; beak black ; legs and irides 
dark brown. 

Entire length 2'7 inches ; cidmen 0'45 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 2 ; tarsus 0"6. 



Fam. CERTHIID^. 

69. TiCHODROMA MTJRARiA (Linn.). Wall-creeper. 

According to Riippell this species comes into Egypt ; but 
Von Heuglin (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 236) observes that he never 
met with it in any part of North-east Africa, so that I think 
we may fairly doubt its occurrence in the country. 

Winter flmnage. — Upper parts clear grey, faintly shaded 
with brown on the head, and inclining to slaty black on the 
upper tail-coverts ; wings blackish ; the smaller coverts bright 
crimson, the larger ones edged with the same colour ; the 
basal portion of the outer web of most of the quills crimson ; 
the outer primaries have two white spots on the inner web of 
each feather, the lesser ones have paler tips ; tail black, with 
dusky ends approaching to white on the outer feathers on 
each side ; underparts slate-colour, shading into white on 
the throat ; beak and legs black ; irides dark brown. 

Summer plumage. — Darker grey, and the entire throat and 
upper breast black. 

Entire length 6'3 inches ; culmen 1 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
3-9; tarsus 0-9. 

Fig. Sharpe and Dresser, B. of Eur. part vii. 



114 BIEDS OP EGYPT. 

Fam. LANIID^. 

70. Lanitjs excubitor, Linn. Great Grey Shrike. 

Dr. von Heuglin (Oni. N. 0. Afr. p. 478) mentions having 
shot this bird himself in Egjrpt in the winter. This is the 
only evidence we have of its occurrence in that country. 
Messrs. Dresser and Sharpe, in an able notice on L. excubitor 
and its allies (P. Z. S. 1870, p. 591), observe, in reference to 
the above statement of Von Heuglin, " We are, however, 
sceptical enough to be very anxious to see a specimen of true 
L. excubitor from the shores of the Mediterranean or North- 
eastern Africa." 

Hemprich and Ehrenberg mention it as found throughout 
Egypt and Nubia; and Riippell calls it plentiful in Egypt. 
These latter observations, no doubt, refer to some of the 
allied species, as Von Heuglin and Messrs. Dresser and 
Sharpe are aU inclined to believe. 

Above pearl-grey ; forehead and over the eye white ; lores, 
under the eye, and ear-coverts black ; scapulars grey, edged 
with white ; wings black, primaries and outermost secondaries 
white at the base, thus forming a double bar on the wing ; 
primaries and secondaries tipped with white ; tail black, with 
the exception of the whole of the two outer feathers and the 
ends of all but the two centre ones, which are white ; under 
surface of the body white, with occasionally a pink blush ; 
legs and beak black ; irides brown. 

The sexes are alike in plumage. 

Entire length 9' 5 inches; ciUmen 0"7 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 4"4 ; tarsus TO. 

Fig. Sharpe and Dresser, B. of Eur. part ii. 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 115 

71. Lanius LAHTORA, Sykes. Pallid Shrike. ZS'(^' ' "^L 

This Shrike is not uncommon in Egypt and Nubia, where j^iiy^^^f-^A^ 
it remains throughout the year. Mr. E. C. Taylor mentions ^ e* 

it (Ibis, 1867, p. 57) under the name L. dealbatus. Von 

Heuglin (Orn. N. 0. Afr. pp. 480 and 483) divides it into 
two species, L. leucopjjgus and L. laJdora. All these names 
are synonymous with L. lahtora, Sykes, which has been 
shown by Messrs. Dresser and Sharpe (/. c.) to be the correct 
title for this species. 

Upper parts grey ; a line across the forehead, lores, in front 
and under the eye, and ear-coverts black ; lower part of the 
scapulars white ; wing black, except the basal half of the 
primaries and end of the secondaries, which are white, thus 
forming a single band on the wing ; tail black, except the 
two outer feathers on each side, which are white with black 
shafts ; outer web of the next and end of the next three 
white ; under sm-face of the body white ; beak and legs 
black ; tarsi very stout ; u'ides brown. 

Entire length 9*5 inches; culmen 0-7; wing, carpus to 
tip, 4*2 ; tarsus 1'2. 

Fig. Sharpe and Dresser, B. of Eur. part xi. 

72. Lanius minor, Gm. Lesser Grey Shrike. 

This Shrike evidently ranges throughout Egypt and Nubia, 
and appears to remain in the country throughout the year ; for 
Von Heuglin (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 477) calls it a resident in 
North-eastern Africa; yet I am unacquainted with any 
authenticated instance of its capture in Egypt. 

Upper parts grey ; forehead, feathers round the eye, and 

i2 



116 BIRDS OF EGYPT. 

ear-coverts black ; wings black, secondaries narrowly tipped 
with white ; Imsal portion of the primaries white, forming a 
broad bar on the wing ; tail, four centre feathers black, two 
outer ones on each side white, third and fourth white, with 
an irregular patch of black ; underparts white, shaded with 
pink on the flanks ; beak and legs black ; irides brown. 

Entire length 8*5 inches; culmen 0"6 ; ■wing, carpus to 
tip, 4 '5 ; tarsus 1. 

Fig. Sharpe and Dresser, B. of Eur. part xiii. 



73. Lanius nubicus, Licht. Masked Shrike. 

This species is migratory, arriving in Egypt from the south 
towards the end of February. At Dendera, on the 25th of 
March, it was so plentiful that I could have counted a hun- 
dred of these birds in a day, generally in pairs. In Nubia 
it was extremely abundant, pairs of them flying and chattering 
together in every clump of trees I passed through. Its habits 
are very similar to those of the Wood-Chat, but it is rather 
more partial to groves of trees, where its well-marked plumage 
renders it very conspicuous. 

Male in breeding-jiliimage. — Forehead and eyebrows creamy 
white ; upper parts of the body blue-black ; scapulars and 
base of the primaries white, remainder of the wing brownish 
black ; the smaller wing-coverts edged with grey, the second- 
aries narrowly edged with cream-colour; tail black, except 
the two outer feathers and the tip of the third, which are 
white ; underparts white, shaded with rich rufous on the sides 
of the neck, breast, and flanks ; beak and legs black ; irides 
brown. 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 117 

Entire length 7 inches; culmen 0'55 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3'5 ; tarsus 0'9. 

The female is similar, but rather paler on the back, and 
has the scapulars tinted with buff. The immature birds have 
the upper parts of the body dusky ash-colour. 

Fig. Sharpe and Dresser, B. of Eur. part ii. 

74. Lanius auriculatus, Miill. Wood-Chat Shrike. 

The Wood-Chat is plentiful and evenly distributed through- 
out Egypt and Nubia. It does not remain in the Delta 
during the winter months, but appears there about the middle 
of March. It is rather lonely in habits, but attracts notice 
by the prominent position it takes up on the top of some 
bush or hedge. 

Male. — Forehead, sides of the head and neck, and between 
the shoulders black ; a white loral spot above the nostril on 
each side; top of the head and back of the neck bright 
chestnut ; centre of the back grey ; rump, tail-coverts, sca- 
pulars, and base of the primaries white ; remainder of the 
wing black, some of the feathers narrowly edged with white ; 
tail white at the base, remainder black, except the exterior 
web of the outer feather and the tips of all but the four centre 
ones, which are white ; underparts creamy white ; beak and 
legs black ; irides brown. 

Entire length 7 inches ; culmen 0'6; wing, carpus to tip, 
4 ; tarsus 0-9. 

Fig. Sharpe and Dresser, B. of Eur. part i. 

75. Lanius collurio, Linn. Red-bacliea Shrike. 

This Shrike comes to Egypt early in August, on its way 



118 BIRDS OF EGYPT. 

south, and returns again in March and April; but is never 
plentiful, although, according to Von Heuglin, it ranges 
throughout North-eastern Africa. 

Male. — Lower part of the forehead, lores, feathers around 
the eye, and ear-coverts black ; upper part of the head and 
neck grey ; upper part of the back and scapulars chestnut ; 
rump and tail-coverts grey ; tail, two centre feathers, the 
inner web of the next on each side, shafts, and a band at the 
end dark brown, remainder white ; wings brown, primaries 
with very narrow pale edgings, inner secondaries and wing- 
coverts broadly edged with chestnut ; underparts white, 
strongly shaded with rufous on the chest and flanks ; beak 
black ; legs and irides brown. 

Entire length 7*2 inches; culmen 0'6 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3-7 ; tarsus 1. 

Fig. Sharpe and Dresser, B. of Eur. part iv. 



Fam. MUSCICAPID-ai. 

76. MuscicAPA GRisoLA, Liuu. Spotted Flycatcher. 

The Spotted Flycatcher ranges throughout Egypt and 
Nubia, but appears to be of rather rare occurrence in those 
countries ; for I have only observed it myself on a single 
occasion near Alexandria in April. Von Heuglin says (Orn, 
N. O. Afr. p. 439) that this species occasionally breeds in 
Lower Egypt, but is more generally to be met with during 
its migrations in the autumn and spring. 

Male. — Upper plumage hair-brown, with the centre of the 
feathers on the crown dark brown ; wings and tail rather 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. il9 

deeper in colour, with pale borders to the secondaries and 
greater wing-coverts ; underparts white, shaded with haii-- 
brown on the upper part of the chest and flanks, and spotted 
with that colour on the sides of the throat and crop ; beak 
and legs brownish black ; irides brown. 

Entu-e length 5'5 inches; cuhnen 0*45; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3"3 ; tarsus 0'6. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 65. 

77. MusciCAPA ATRiCAPiLLA, Linn. Fied Flycatcher. 

Von Heuglin (Orn. N. 0. Afr. p. 438) mentions that the 
Pied Flycatcher is met with in Lower Egypt during its 
migration towards the end of March and in April. It is not, 
however, so plentiful as the next species. 

Male in spring plumage. — A white spot on each lore, con- 
nected on the forehead ; top of the head, back, shoulders, and 
upper tail-coverts black ; nape and rump dusky ; quills and 
scapulars dusky, with some white on the secondaries and 
scapulars ; the greater wing-coverts broadly tipped with white ; 
tail black, excepting the external web of the outer feather on 
each side and the basal portion of the inner web of all but the 
two centre feathers, which are white ; the entire under surface 
white, this colom' extending for three-quarters of the way 
round the neck ; beak and legs black ; ii'ides dark brown. 

The plumage of the female is duller, and she has no white 
spots on the forehead. 

Entire length 5' 5 inches ; culmen 0'4 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3*5 ; tarsus O'S. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 63. 



120 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

78. MusciCAPA coLLARis, Bechst. Wldte-collared Flycatcher. 

This species is a spring and autumn visitant, of apparently 
rather uncertain occiu-rence ; for while in 1868 I frequently 
met with it in pairs in April between Cairo and Benisouef, in 
1870, although I was in the country until the 10th of May, 
we never once saw it ; nor did I meet with it in the Fayoom 
or Delta in 1871 up to the end of March. Its white and 
black plumage renders it very conspicuous, as it chiefly 
frequents the outermost boughs of the sont trees and the leaves 
of the date-palms, where it is ever actively engaged in the 
pursuit of its insect food. 

Spring plumage. — ^Forehead and neck white ; top of the 
head, lores, cheeks, and ear-coverts black ; upper part of the 
back, scapulars, tail-coverts, and tail black ; rump white, 
shaded with dusky ; base of the quills, outer web of the three 
inner ones, and greater portion of some of the larger coverts 
white, remainder of the wing black ; the entire under surface 
of the body white ; beak and legs black ; irides dark brown. 

Entire length 5-4 inches; culmen 0-4; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3 '4 ; tarsus 0*7. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 62. 

Fam. HIRUNDINIDiE. 

79. HiRUNDO RUSTiCA, Linn. Chimnei/-Swalloio. 

This bird is properly only a spring and autumn visitant in 
Egypt, arriving there on its way north about the middle of 
April ; but a few possibly remain in the country throughout 
the year, for we once obtained an immatm-e specimen in the 
Delta on the 25th of February. In Nubia it appears to be 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 121 

the only Swallow, there replacing H. Biocourii ; for on our 
return journey in 1870 we did not meet with a single specimen 
of the latter bird south of Girgeh, where in the beginning 
of May these two species were equally abundant. 

Forehead and throat deep rufous-brown, remainder of the 
upper parts steel-blue ; quills almost black ; tail black, with 
large white spots on the inner web of all but the two centre 
feathers ; a steel-blue collar at the base of the throat ; re- 
mainder of the underparts cream-colour ; beak black ; legs 
and irides dark brown. 

Entire length 8 inches; culmen 0"3; wing, carpus to 
tip, 5 ; tarsus 0"4. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 64. 

80. HiRUNDO RiocouRii, Audouin. Oriental Chimney- 
Swallow. 

This species is resident in Egypt, and very abundant. It 
differs from the last species in not being migratory, and it 
keeps more exclusively to the neighbourhood of houses, 
usually selecting the inside of some native mud-hut for its 
nest, which it begins to construct in February. 

Upper plumage and collar round the throat steel-blue ; 
forehead and throat chocolate-brown ; under surface of the 
body ferruginous brown ; all the tail-feathers, except the two 
centre ones, having a large rufous-white spot on their 
inner web. 

Entire length 7 inches ; culmen 0'3 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
4-8 ; tarsus 0*45. 

Fig. Bree, B. of Eur. iii. p. 178. 



122 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

81. HiRUNDO RUFULA, Temm. Rufous Swallow. 

This species ranges throughout Egypt and Nubia, but is 
of rare occurrence. Towards the end of March I constantly 
saw a pair flying over a marsh near Damietta, and on the 30th 
of that month obtained one of them. Von Heuglin (Orn. 
N. 0. Afr. p. 158) mentions that Brehm met with a specimen 
in Egypt in company with H. nistica, and that he himself 
observed it at Derr, in Nubia. 

Top of the head, back, and scapulars steel-blue ; back of 
the neck and rump chestnut ; tail-coverts creamy white, tipped 
with steel-blue; wings and tail brownish black, without a 
spot, and slightly shaded with a green reflection ; underparts 
cream-colour, with dark brown streaks on the shafts of the 
feathers, more distinct on the throat ; under tail-coverts tipped 
with black ; beak black ; legs and irides dark brown. 

Entire length 7 inches ; culmen 0'3 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
4*7 ; tarsus 0'55. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Asia, part xx. 

82. Cottle rxjpestris (Scop.). Crag-Swallow. 

I have never seen an Egyptian specimen of this Swallow ; 
and Von Heuglin observes that he never found it in any part 
of North-eastern Africa; yet he includes it (Orn. N. 0. Afr. 
p. 163), upon the authority of Brehm, who says that it is, 
though rarely, to be met with in Egypt. I am, however, 
very sceptical as to its ever having been found in that 
country. 

Similar in plumage to C. obsoleta, but considerably larger 
than that bird, and darker and browner on the flanks, abdo- 
men, and under tail-coverts. 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 123 

Entire length 5'3 inches; culmen 0*3; wing/ carpus to 
tip, 5'2 ; tarsus 0'45. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 56. 

83. Cottle obsoleta. Cab. Pale Crag-Swalloio. 

This species of Crag-Swallow is very plentifully distributed 
throughout Egypt and Nubia, where it is a resident. It only 
frequents the rocky districts, and is therefore of rare occur- 
rence in the Delta, although at Cairo and the Pyramids it is 
abundant. It may be easily recognized by the paleness of 
the colouring of its back. It begins to breed about the 
middle of February, placing its nest under the shelter of an 
overhanging rock, or attaching it to the ceiling of some of the 
less-frequented passages of the ruined temples, or even occa- 
sionally in the native dwellings. The eggs of this species 
are white, spotted with rufous brown, and are very like those 
of Hirundo rustica. 

Upper plumage very pale brown, darkest on the head, and 
especially in front of the eyes, and palest on the rump ; wings 
rather darker than the back, except on the outer web of the 
feathers ; the tail with a large white spot on all but the two 
centre and two outer feathers ; underparts creamy white, 
shaded with hair-brown on the flanks and under tail-coverts ; 
tarsi unfeathered ; legs brown ; beak black ; irides dark 
brown. 

Entire length 4-7 inches; culmen 0"3; wing, carpus to 
tip, 4*5 ; tarsus 0'4. 



tfiJl-^U^^t 



124 BIEDS or EGYPT. 

84. CoTYLE RIP ARIA (Linn.). Sand-Martin. 

This bird arrives in Egypt in great abundance in March, 
and towards the end of April commences breeding in colonies 
in the banks by the river side. It is extremely partial to the 
neighbourhood of water, and may be constantly seen skim- 
ming over the surface in its graceful flight, at times just 
touching the surface sufficiently to raise a slight ripple, or 
dashing rapidly after its mate in the exuberance of its 
spirits. 

Upper parts and a broad collar on the chest mouse-colour, 
palest towards the tail ; remainder of the underparts white ; 
beak black ; legs brown ; irides dark brown. 

Entire length 4*6 inches ; culmen 0*2 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3-7 ; tarsus 045. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eui-. pi. 58. 

85. Cottle minor. Cab. 

According to Von Heuglin (Orn. N. 0. Afr. p. 167) this 
bird inhabits Egypt and Nubia, and breeds in colonies in the 
river banks, like C. riparia, between the months of February 
and May. 

I have never seen this species myself ; and Mr. Sharpe, who 
has written a complete ]\Ionograph of the African Swallows 
(P. Z. S. 1S70, p. 303), has not been able to make it out 
satisfactorily. For the better elucidation of the species, I 
quote his remarks as follows : — " According to Dr. Cabanis 
this Martin approaches C. riparia and C. palmtris in form 
and colour, but is larger than the former and smaller than 
the latter, and differs from both in the form of the tail, and 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 125 

also in the colour of the underside, as in this species both 
the grey breast-band and white throat are wanting. The chin 
and throat down to below the breast are yellowish grey. 

" I have now a specimen lying before me of what I take to 
be this species, brought from Abyssinia by Mr. Blanford, and 
I cannot see that it is really distinct from Cofi/le paludicola. 
It appears to be identical with a Natal specimen of the 
latter in my own collection, with the exception of the length 
of the wing, which is longer in my Natal bird. I cannot 
perceive, even in the rather unsatisfactory diagnosis of Dr. 
Cabanis, any real characters whereby the species may be dis- 
tinguished from C. palustris." 



86. Chelidon urbica (Linn.). House-Martin. 

Our Common Martin may occasionally be met with both 
in Egypt and Nubia, but does not appear to make its home 
in those countries ; for on each occasion Avhen I observed it 
during the mouths of April and May it seemed to have no 
fixed abode, but to be on its way northward. This may 
possibly be accounted for by the general absence of large 
houses, against which we know this bird usually ^^likes to 
place its nest. 

Rump and imderparts white ; wings and tail dark brown ; 
remainder of the plumage steel-blue ; beak black ; irides dark 
brown ; tarsi and feet covered with little white plumes. 

Entire length 5*5 inches; culmen 0*3; wing, carpus to 
tip, 4-2 ; tarsus 0-4. 

Fig. Gould. B. of Eur. pi. 57. 



126 BIRDS OF EGYPT. 

Fam. MOTACILLID-ffi. 

87. MoTACiLLA ALBA, Linn. Wldte Wagtail. 

This is one of the most abundant birds in Egypt and Nubia 
during the winter ; but its numbers diminish considerably as 
spring advances, and in Nubia I found it comparatively rare 
in April. 

Winter plumage. — Crown of the head and nape black, or 
inclining to black ; remainder of the upper plumage slaty 
grey ; wings dark brown, most of the feathers broadly edged 
with dirty white ; tail dark brown, with the exception of the 
two outer feathers on each side, which are white ; forehead 
and underparts white, with a black crescent-shaped collar ; 
legs and bill black ; irides dark brown. 

In summer plumage the throat is black. 

Entire length 7 inches ; culmeu 0"4 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3"4 ; tarsus 0*9. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 143. 

88. MoTACiLLA VIDUA, Suud. Wliite-vnnged Wagtail. 

This species, although I believe it to be a resident in Upper 
Egypt and Nubia, is most abundant at the First Cataract, 
the only place where I myself have met with it. Although 
it has selected this barren and rocky district, where the Nile 
dashes over the rough granite rocks in a turmoil of waters, 
it is by no means an unsociable bird, but appears to welcome 
the stranger as it flits from rock to I'ock along the shore or 
alights upon his " dahabeah." It is ever active in the 
pursuit of food, which consists chiefly of a small green beetle, 
and is perfectly heedless of intrusion. Its sociability was the 
chief cause of its safety ; for the banks being crowded with 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 127 

natives hauling at the boat prevented the possibility of my 
shooting it on several occasions. It is a beautifully marked 
species, the pure black and white of its plumage rendering it 
very easy to distinguish from M. alba. In April I found it 
beginning to breed. Much confusion has been created in 
the nomenclature of this species, which is usually called 
3f. lugubris, and is thus designated by me in one of my 
papers to ' The Ibis.' Having compared my Egyptian speci- 
mens with examples of M. vidua in Mr. Sharpe's collection 
from all parts of Africa, I cannot see any specific distinctions. 

A Very plain white band passes from the beak over the eye to 
behind the ear-coverts. The following portions of the plumage 
are black : — lores, cheeks, ear-coverts, a band down the side 
of the neck joining a crescent-shaped patch on the front of 
the chest ; top of the head, back of the neck, back, scapulars, 
tail, except the two outer feathers on each side ; wing, except 
the basal portion of all the quills but the two outer ones, the 
edges of the secondaries, and the greater portion of the larger 
wing-coverts, which are white ; remainder of the plumage 
white ; beak and legs black ; irides dark brown. 

Entire length 7 inches ; culmen 0*6 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3"5 ; tarsus 0*9. 

89. MoTACiLLA SULPHUKEA, Bcchst. Grey Wagtail. 

I was never fortunate enough to meet with this species 
myself in Egypt, although it is undoubtedly to be found 
there, probably as a winter visitor. Mr. E. C. Taylor (Ibis, 
1867, p. 63) says that he saw it at Cairo in January; and 
Dr. A. Leith Adams (Ibis, 1864, p. 22) mentions that it was 
met with in its usual retreats as far south as Nubia. 



128 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

Upper plumage slaty grey, shading off on the rump and 
upper tail-coverts into liriglit greenish yellow ; wings dark 
brown, the secondaries broadly edged with yellowish white ; 
tail dark brown, the three outer feathers on each side white ; 
underparts white, usually strongly tinted with sulphur- 
yellow from the chest downwards, and always brightest on 
the under tail-coverts ; a distinct white eyebrow ; beak pale 
brown, darkest towards the tip ; legs flesh-brown ; irides 
brown. 

In summer plumage both sexes assume a black throat. 

The tail is longer than in any of the Yellow Wagtails! 

Entire length 7-5 inches; culmen 0-45; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3'3 ; tarsus 0"8. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 147. 



90. Bddytes flava (Linn.). Grey-headed Yellow Wagtail. 

This and the next two species are generally considered to 
be mere varieties of the same bird ; and in large series of 
specimens it is difficult, if not impossible, to draw the line 
between them. However this may be with birds from other 
localities, in Egypt and Nubia they appear to keep perfectly 
separate. I only met with the true B. Jlava of Linnaeus 
about the middle of April in Nubia, travelling northward in 
large flocks, out of which I killed more than twenty speci- 
mens without finding the least variation in plumage ; while I 
had already found B. cinereocapilla, one of the most abundant 
bii'ds in Egypt, in March. The true B. flava may be most 
readily distinguished by a well-defined white eyebrow, which 
is absent in the next two species or subspecies. I would 



HIKD.S OF EGYPT. 



129 



also draw attention to the slight, but constant, diflPerence in 
the measurements of my Egyptian specimens of B.flava and 
B. cinereocapilla. 

Top of the head and nape grey, remainder of the upper 
parts greenish yellow ; wings dark brown, most of the feathers 
broadly edged with pale brownish yellow ; tail dark brown, 
the two outer feathers on each side white ; underparts bright 
yellow, shading off to white at the chin ; a distinct white eye- 
brow ; bill and legs dark brown ; irides brown. 

Entire length 6'5 inches; culmen 0'5 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3*2 ; tarsus 09. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 146. 



91. BuDTTES CINEREOCAPILLA (Savi). Grey-headed Yellow 

Wagtail. 

This is the most abundant form of Yellow Wagtail in Egypt, 
where it appears to remain throughout the year. It is very 
Pipit-like in its habits, and is more frequently met with in 
pairs and flocks in the fields than by the water's edge. I 
have before me six Egyptian specimens of this species, shot 
between the 1st of March and .5th of May. They differ from 
the two specimens from which I described the last species in 
the entire absence of a white eyebrow, and in the rather 
darker colour of the cheeks and ear-coverts. These six 
specimens do not vary one tenth of an inch in any of the 
following dimensions. 

Entii'e length 6 inches ; culmen 0"5 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
2-9 ; tarsus ()-9. 

Eig. Bree, B. of Eur. p. 143. 



130 BIRDS OF EGYPT. 

92. BuDTTES MELANOCEPHALA, Savi. Black-headed Yellow 

Wagtail. 

In Nubia I frequently met with this bird in April, in flocks 
among the herbage by the river-side. Although I shot many 
specimens out of these flocks, I never came across a grey- 
headed bird among them. They were evidently migrating 
northward at that season. In the Fayoom in March I shot 
the only pair of these birds which I saw there. Specimens 
from Egypt appear to have the black head remarkably well 
defined. 

Top and sides of the head, ear-coverts and nape jet-black ; 
remainder of the plumage similar to that of B. Jlava, except 
that it has no white eyebrow and no white on the chin. 

Entire length 6'7 inches ; culmen 0-5 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 33 ; tarsus 1. 

Fig. Demidoff", Voy. Russ. Merid. tab. 2. 



93. Anthus plumatus (Midi.). TreC'Pipit. 

This bird arrives about March, when it becomes plentiful 
throughout Egypt and Nubia. 

Upper plumage olive-brown, with the centre of most of 
the feathers dark brown ; wings and tail dark brown, the 
feathers edged with pale olivaceous brown, outer feathers 
of the tail nearly white ; underparts white, tinted with 
pale brownish yellow on the sides of the throat and chest ; 
chest, and occasionally the flanks, distinctly marked with 
longitudinal dark brown spots ; beak brown, paler at the 
base of the lower mandible ; legs pale fleshy brown ; irides 
brown. 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 131 

Entire length 6'2 inches; culraen 045; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3"5 ; tarsus 0*8. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 139 

94. Anthus pratensis (Linn.). Meadow-Pipit. 

The Meadow-Pipit is of rare occurrence in Egypt and 
Nubia, where it is a winter visitor. I have only one Egyptian 
specimen, which was killed near Alexandria in April. 

Entire upper plumage olive-brown, vnth the centre of the 
feathers dusky, the edgings to the quills being narrow ; of 
the tail, the outer feather has the exterior web dull white, and 
a large wedge-shaped white spot at the tip ; the next feather 
has a similar but smaller spot ; the two centre feathers are 
dusky ; and the others are brown, with narrow edgings of 
olive-colom- ; the entire under plumage is buff, richest on the 
breast and flanks, with an oval dusky spot along the shafts of 
the feathers on the breast and flanks, and a line of dusky 
spots from the base of the lower mandible down the side of 
the neck ; beak dusky, shading into deep yellow towards 
the base of the lower mandible ; legs fleshy brown ; irides 
brown. 

Entire length 5*8 inches ; culmen 0'4 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3-1 ; tarsus 0*9. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 136. 

95. Anthus cERviNUs, Pall. Bed-throafpd Pipit. 

This species is one of the most abundant birds throughout 
Egypt and Nubia. Its numbers iuv somewhat decreased by 

K 2 



132 BIRDS OF EGYPT. 

the month of April ; but I believe it remains there throughout 
the year. 

Upper plumage olive-brown, with the centre of the feathers 
dark brown ; wings and tail dark brown, the feathers edged 
with pale brown, the outer feather on each side of the tail 
nearly white ; underparts buff, with large longitudinal dark 
brown spots on the chest and flanks ; throat and feathers 
round the eye more or less rusty-red, occasionally with a 
violet tinge on the former ; beak brown, inclining to pale 
yellowish brown towards the base of the lower mandible ; legs 
pale brown ; irides brown. 

Entire length 6'2 inches; culmen 0-45; wing, carpus 
to tip, 3"5 ; tarsus 08. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 140. 



96. Anthus spinolettus (Linn.) neater-Pipit. 

This species is a winter visitor to Egypt, when it probably 
ranges throughout the country, but has not, to my knowledge, 
been met with in Nubia. It is most plentiful in the Fayoom 
and Delta, where I found it very abundant in the marshes in 
February and March. Owing to its simple colouring it may 
be easily overlooked; but if sought for, it may be recog- 
nized from A. cervinus (the only Pipit it is likely to be con- 
founded with) by its rather larger size and darker coloration. 

Upper parts and ear-coverts olive-brown, shading into 
umber-brown on the rump ; feathers on the head, upper part 
of the back, and scapulars with dark centres ; wings and tail 
dark brown, with pale edges to the feathers ; exterior web 
and end of the outer tail-feather and tip of the next one 



BIEDS or EGYPT. 133 

white ; eyebrow buff, uiiderparts creamy white, strongly 
sliaded on the throat, crop, and flanks with pinkish brown, 
and with a few longitudinal brown spots on the flanks ; beak, 
legs, and ii'ides brown, the former shading into pale brownish 
yellow towards the base of the lower mandible. 

Entire length 6'3 inches; cnlmen 0"5 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3'5 ; tarsus 09. 

The description is taken from a specimen shot in the 
Fayoom on the 4th of March. 

Fig. Bree, B. of Eur. ii. p. 164. 



97. Anthus Raalteni, Temm. African Tawny Pipit. 

I shot a Pipit in the Fayoom on the 3d of March, 1871, 
which I refer with some hesitation to this species, inasmuch 
as the bird was moulting at the time I procured it, and looks 
very ragged. It is, however, undoubtedly a new bird to 
Egypt. I met with a pair on a broad sandy ridge close to 
the great lake of Birket el Korn, and observed them in tlie 
same spot on several occasions. They frequented the desert 
sand, over which they ran swiftly, and never left it for the 
cultivated fields, which were close by ; and in habits they ap- 
peared very similar to A. campestris, for which I at first 
mistook them. The following description is taken from my 
Egyptian specimen. 

Upper plumage rather pale ashy brown, faintly tinted with 
rufous on the crown of the head ; feathers on the top of the 
head and upper part of the back with darker brown centres ; 
wings brown, the coverts shaded with chestnut, very strongly 
on the shoulders ; the inner feathers of the median and 



134 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

greater coverts and the inner secondaries nearly black, with 
very broad sandy edges, remainder of the feathers on the 
wing very narrowly edged with pale sandy, almost approach- 
ing to white ou the wing-coverts ; tail-feathers rather narrow 
and pointed, the two outer ones on each side white, the exterior 
one having about half the inner web brown, the next with 
the shaft and two-thirds of the inner web of that colour, 
remainder of the tail brown, with paler edges to the feathers ; 
lores white ; eyebrow cream-colour ; underparts white, shaded 
with sandy yellow on the front of the chest, where there are 
a few brown spots ; the sides of the throat are also slightly 
spotted ; beak and legs yellowish flesh-colour, the former 
inclining to brown on the upper mandible ; irides brown. 

Entire length 5*9 inches ; culmen 06 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3"1 ; tarsus 1. 

98. Anthus campestris, Bechst. Taicny Pipit. 

This species is abundantly distributed throughout Egypt 
and Nubia. It is an early spring visitant, arriving about 
the middle of February. It chiefly frequents the confines of 
the desert, where its plumage harmonizes with the colour of 
the sand, and renders it difficult to be seen. 

Entire upper plumage pale sandy-brown, the centre of the 
feathers inclining to dark brown, which gives it a somewhat 
mottled appearance, especially on the head; wings dark 
brown, the feathers edged with pale sandy-brown ; tail dark 
brown, the two outer feathers broadly edged with dull white, 
the two centre ones with pale sandy-brown ; underparts 
buff", inclining to very pale russet-brown on the chest and 
flanks, the former occasionally marked with small longitu- 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 135 

dinal brown spots ; beak fleshy brown, inclining to dark brown 
on the upper inaudible ; legs pale fleshy-brown ; irides hazel. 
Entire length 7 inches ; culmen 0"6 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3" 5 ; tarsus 1. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 137. 

Fam. ALAUDID^. 

99. Certhilauda DESERTORUM (Stanley). Bifasciated Lark. 

1 have occasionally, though rarely, met with this bird in 
Egypt, and always singly ; yet Dr. A. Leith Adams (Ibis, 
1864, p. 24) says that it is not uncommon in small flocks 
along the edge of the desert from the Pyramids to Nubia. 
It is essentially a desert bird, so that it is only upon journeys 
which take us into those sandy wastes that we are likely to 
meet with it. It runs with great swiftness, and when flying 
may easily be recognized by the distinct black and white 
markings on the wings. 

Upper plumage sandy colour, usually slightly tinted with 
grey towards the nape ; primaries dark brown, secondaries 
white, with dark brown blotches about the centre ; tail dark 
brown, with the two centre feathers approaching to sandy 
colour, and the exterior web of the outer feathers on each 
side white ; it has a white eyebrow ; underparts white, tinted 
occasionally with pale buff on the crop, and more or less 
spotted with dark brown on the lower part of the throat and 
crop ; beak horn-brown ; legs pale fleshy-brown ; irides broAvn. 

Entire length 8 inches ; culmen 1 ; wing, carpus to tip, .5 ; 
tarsus IS. 

Fig. Guuld, B. of Eur. pi. 168. 



136 BIRDS or EGYPT. 

100. Ammomanes lusitana (Gm.). Desert-Lark. 

The present species and its closely allied form A. frater- 
cuius, Trist., are abundant throughout Nubia, frequenting 
the confines of the desert. 
. ^ k / ■. I h3,ve before me a series of twenty-four specimens of 

_ . Ammomanes from Egypt, Nubia, Palestine, and Abyssinia, 

' ' -'^ ^ ^ J apprently, at first sight, including three races : — 1st, the paler 
one, the true A. lusitana, ranging throughout Egypt as far 
as Assouan ; 2nd, A. fraterculus, Trist., very abundant in 
Nubia and Upper Egypt, and agreeing precisely with typical 
specimens from Palestine in Canon Tristram's collection ; 
3rd, a race from Abyssinia, collected by Mr. Jesse, which is 
much darker and smaller than A. fraterculus from Palestine. 
Of these three races, the first and second, i. e. A. lusitana and 
A. fraterculus (the only two which 1 have to consider in the 
present work), appear to me to be simply subspecies or races, 
and exhibit scarcely sufficient distinction to warrant their 
separation into different species ; for when we examine a 
series collected between Cairo and Assouan, these two races 
merge imperceptibly into each other. Yet in the present 
work I have separated them imder their distinctive names, 
A. lusitana being described from one of my paler specimens 
collected at El Kab, and A. fraterculus from a type specimen 
in Canon Tristram's collection from Palestine, which agrees 
perfectly with most of my Nubian birds. 

Upper plumage pale sandy colour, inclining to cinnamon 
on the rump and base of the tail ; wings and tail pale brown, 
with sandy edgings to the feathers ; underparts cream- 
colour ; beak flesh-colour, darkest towards the culmen ; legs 
pale brown; irides brown. 



BIRDS OP EGYPT. 137 

Entire length 6*4 inches ; culmen 0'6 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
3-8 ; tarsus 85. 

Fig. Temm. PI. Col. 244. fig. 2. 



101. Ammomanes fratercclus, Trist. Tristram's Desert- 
Lark. 

Very closely allied to the last species. Abundant in 
Upper Egypt and Nubia. 

Very similar to A. lusitana, hut of a generally darker hue; 
upper plumage tinted with ash-colour ; throat rather faintly 
spotted with brown. 

Entire length 6 inches; culmen 0'5; wing, carpus to tip, 
3'6 : tarsus 0"8. 



102. Ammomanes arenicolor (Sundev.). Sandy-coloured 

Desert-Lark. 

Mr. G. R. Gray (Hand-list of B. vol. ii. p. 122) gives the 
locality " Lower Egypt " for the present species. Dr. von 
Heuglin (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 685) considers J. arenicolor, 
Sundev., to be synonymous with J. cinctura, Gould, but 
does not mention it as observed in Egypt. Professor Sun- 
devall, however, in his original description (Ofv. Kongl. Vet. 
Akad. Eorh. 1850, p. 128), says that it is found in Lower 
Egypt and Ai-abia Petrgea, having often been confounded 
with A. lusitana. 

Somewhat similar to A. lusitana, but a little smaller, and 
having not so large a bill, the colour of the tail different, and 
also the relations of the quills. 



■/,</. 



138 BIRDS OF EGYPT. 

103. Galerit A CRIST ATA (Linn.). Crested Lark. 

V y Tkis is one of the most abundant birds in Egypt. It is 

very similar to the Skylark in general appearance ; but it 
never soars very high, and has but an indifferent song. 

1 have before me for comparison one hundred specimens 
of the present species from S. Europe, N. Africa, Abyssinia, 
the River Gambia, and China ; from among this series the 
Egyptian specimens may be easily picked out by their gene- 
rally darker coloration, while some of those from Algeria and 
Palestine are the lightest in the series. Above the First 
Cataract I observed that the Crested Lark appeared lighter 
in colour than those in Egypt. 

The following description of the plumage is taken from 
live. specimens shot by myself in Egypt : — 

Upper plumage very similar to that of Alauda urvensis, 
but darker ; wings brown, feathers paler towards their edges, 
inner web of the quills marked with cinnamon-brown ; tail 
dark brown, outer feathers edged with buff: a crest on the 
head of narrow dark brown feathers, edged with sandy ; 
underparts creamy-white, shading off darker on the sides of 
the chest and flanks, and spotted with dark brown on the sides 
of the throat and crop ; two thirds of the under surface of 
the wing pale cinnamon-brown ; beak yellowish-brown, darkest 
on the culmen ; legs pale brown ; irides brown. 

Entire length Q1 inches ; culmen 06; wing, carpus to tip, 
4 ; tarsus 1. 

Fig. Sharpe & Dresser, B. of Eur. part xiii. 

G. rutila (Miill.) of Mr. G. R. Gray's ' Hand-list of 
Birds' (vol. ii. p. 119) has the locality Egypt attached to 
it. As I cannot detect any specific difference in the Crested 



BIED.S OF EGYPT. 139 

Larks from Egypt, I have followed Von Heuglin (Orn. N. O. 
Afr. p. 681) in considering this name a synonym of G. 
cristata (L.). 

104. Alauda arborea, Linn. Wood-Lark. 

Brehm mentions having met with the Wood-Lark once in 
liower Egypt in the winter. As I know of no other instance 
of its occurrence in the country, it may, doubtless, be con- 
sidered a rare straggler. 

Plumage similar to that of A. arvensis, with the following 
distinctive characters : — a clear sandy-coloured eyebrow, 
separating the top of the head from the ear-coverts; the 
wing-coverts tipped with white; outer web of the second 
tail-feather only bordered with white, and all but the two 
centre ones tipped with that colom-; spots on the throat 
richer in coloiur and more distinct. 

Entire length 7 inches; culmen 0-5; wing, carpus to tip, 
4 ; tarsus 0"9. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 167. 

105. Alauda arvensis, Linn. Sky-Lark. 

In writing upon A. arvensis I include the subspecies 
J. intermedia, as determined by Messrs. Sharpe and Dresser 
(B. of Eur. part vi.). Von Heuglin (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 679) 
regards the Sky-Lark as an occasional and not very regular 
visitor to Lower Egypt. From my own observations I cannot 
altogether agree with him, as on two occasions when I visited 
the Delta in February, and during my stay in the Fayoom m 
that same month, I found it plentiful in flocks ; so that I con- 



140 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

sider it regular in its visits and abundant in Lower Egypt 
during the early spring. I have a specimen collected at 
Alexandria in March which corresponds in every respect with 
A. arvensis from England ; the other specimens, four in 
number, which I collected in the Delta and Fayoom, ai'e the 
true A. intermedia of Swinhoe. 

Upper plumage brown, with pale edgings to the feathers, 
more especially on the back of the neck ; rump inclining to 
grey ; upper tail-coverts strongly tinted with rufous ; quills 
brown, narrowly edged with dull white ; wing-coverts paler 
than the back, and more sandy in colour ; tail bnjwn, the two 
centre feathers lighter and washed with grey towards the 
tip ; outer feather on each side white, the inner web edged with 
dusky ; the second feather has the outer web white ; cheeks 
and eyebrows sandy colour ; under surface of the body creamy- 
white, with the lower part of the throat and crop washed with 
yellowish brown and streaked with dark brown ; beak flesh- 
colour, shading into brown on the culmen ; legs flesh-colour ; 
irides brown. 

Entire length 7"7 inches ; culmen 0'6 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 4-4 ; tarsiis 0-9. 

A. intermedia, Swinhoe. P. Z. S. 1863, p. 89. 

I only separate the present form as a subspecies of A. ar- 
vensis, a mere climatic variety, similar in measurements to 
that bird but differing in plumage, yet so slightly that a 
description almost fails to point out any true distinction, 
though in a series of Larks the eye will enable one readily 
to distinguish the bird. Von Heughn (Orn. N. 0. Afr. p. 
679) has included this subspecies under A. arvensis without 
remark. It is the A. ca/ilarella of authors, but wA of liona- 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 141 

parte, who appears to have applied that name to the true 
A. arvensis of Italy. In keeping the name J. intermedia of 
Swinhoe for this subspecies, I have followed Messrs. Sharpe 
and Dresser in their admii'able work on the birds of Europe 
(part vi. Alauda arvensis, p. 6), in which they specially notice 
this Sky-Lark from Egypt. 

It differs from the typical A. arvensis in being shghtly 
smaller, and in the plumage being rather hghter in colom- 
and more grey, especially on the upper part of the back ; the 
markings are more pronounced, the spots on the chest slightly 
more distinct ; and it has a more clearly defined eyebrow. 

Eig. Sharpe and Dresser, B. of Eur. part vi. 



100. Calandrella brachydactyla (Leisler). Short-toed 

Lark. 

This Lark arrives in March, when it may be met with 
abundantly throughout Egypt in large flocks. 

Upper plumage very similar to that of Alauda arvensis ; 
wings brown, the feathers edged with sandy colour ; tail dark 
brown, the two outer featliers on each side strongly marked 
with cream-colour, and the two centre ones broadly edged 
with pale russet ; imderparts dull white without spots, and 
with a more or less distinct brown shade on the crop, and 
occasionally marked with a brown blotch on each side of the 
crop ; beak pale whitish brown, darkest on the culmen ; legs 
pale yellowish brown ; irides brown. 

Entire length 5" 5 inches ; culmen 0'4 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
3'5 ; tarsus 0'8. 

Eig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 163. 



142 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

107. Calandrella reboudia, Trist. Algerian Short-toed 

Lark. 

This species is very closely allied to C. hrachydactijla, and 
appears to be a resident in Egypt ; for Mr. E. C. Taylor killed 
some specimens in the month of January near Caii'o, out of 
a flock which he found on the desert. It is, however, of 
very rare occurrence in the country ; and I not aware of its 
ever having been met with in Upper Egypt or Nubia. 

Upper plumage, wings, and tail similar to those of C. 
hracliydactyla ; under plumage of a purer white, and distinctly 
spotted loith brovm on the centre of the feathers of the crop 
and flanks. 

Entire length 5"3 inches ; culmen 0'35 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3-3 ; tarsus 0-8. 



108. Calandrella minor, Cab. 

Von Heuglin (Orn. N. 0. Afr. p. 697) mentions the 
present Lark as a bird of passage in the spring and autumn 
in both Egypt and Nubia. 

Of this species we have examined two specimens lent 
by Dr. Peters, of Berlin, to Messrs. Sharpe and Dresser, 
for the purposes of their work on the birds of Eui'ope. 
They were sent from Egypt by Ehrenberg ; and although 
closely allied to both the foregoing species, they seem to 
diff'er from C. brachydactyla by being much smaller, and from 
both in their pale coloration and yellow bill. 

Total length 5'3 inches ; culmen 0*4 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3-7 ; tail 2'5 ; tarsus 0-85. 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 143 

109. Melanocorypha calandra (Linn.). Calandra Lark. 

The Calandra Lark occasionally passes the winter months 
in Lower Egypt ; but its appearance is of uncertain occurrence, 
and its numbers Umited. Riippell mentions it as a plentiful 
winter visitor to Egypt and Nubia ; but as I can find no 
evidence of its capture above Cairo, I am inclined to consider 
its range on the Nile to be limited to Lower Egypt. 

It must be observed that the Calandra Lark of Egypt may, 
after all, not be the true M. calandra (Linn.) ; for Messrs. 
Sharpe and Dresser (B. of Eur. part viii.) have shown that an 
allied species, M. bimaculata (Menetr.), is the Calandra of 
Abyssinia ; and as this bird extends through Palestine and 
South-Eastern Europe to North-Western India, it is quite 
possible that it passes through Egypt on its migration. In 
the work above mentioned a good figure will be seen of this 
bird, which diff'ers from the ordinary Calandra in having no 
white on the wings, but has white spots on the end of the 
tail-feathers, instead of the outer feathers being for the most 
part white. 

Upper plumage similar to that of the Sky-Lark ; primaries 
edged with white, secondaries tipped with that colour ; outer 
feathers of the tail pure white, second feather edged and 
tipped with white ; underparts white, with a very distinct 
black patch on each side of the upper part of the chest ; crop 
spotted with brown on the tips of the feathers ; flanks shaded 
with brown ; beak pale yellowish-brown, darker above ; legs 
pale brown ; irides brown. 

Entire length 7"2 inches ; culmen 0'7 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
5'2 ; tarsus r2. 

Fig. Sharpe and Dresser, B. of Eur. part v. 



144 BIEDS OF EPtTPT. 

110. Rhamphocokis Clot-Bey (Temm.). Thick-billed Va- 

landra. 

The typical specimen of this Lark came from Egypt ; yet 
it appears to be extremely rare hi the coimtry ; for I know of 
no other specimen having been procured in that locality. 

Upper plumage sandy colour, slightly tinted with ashy 
towards the head ; centres of the feathers on the head occa- 
sionally marked with dark brown ; primaries brown, edged 
on their outer webs with buff, secondaries broadly edged 
with white ; tail white, inclining to sandy colour towards the 
centre feathers, and broadly tipped with dark brown, forming 
a triangle with its apex about the centre of the tail ; two 
centre tail-feathers sandy colour, darkest towards the apical 
half; feathers round the eye white ; cheeks, ear-coverts, and 
sides of the throat black ; underparts white, tinted with 
sandy colour on the sides of the breast and flanks, and spotted 
wth brown, mostly towards the centre of the abdomen ; beak 
very stout and notched, of a pale buffish colour ; legs pale buif, 
claws short and thick ; irides brown. 

Entire length 6'3 inches ; culmen 0'7 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 4-9 ; tarsus 0"9. 



Pam. EMBERIZID^. 

111. Emberiza miliaria, Linn. Common Bunting. 

According to Von Heuglin (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. G58) this 
species is a winter visitor to Egypt, but is rarely observed in 
Nubia. I first met with it on the 4th of March, in the Fayoom, 
and afterwards foimd il :ib\indiiiit nrav Diimiettn, towards the 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 145 

end of that month, when I generally met with it in small 
flocks. 

Upper parts and ear-coverts pale brown, with a gi-eyish 
shade on the back, the centres of the feathers being dark 
brown except on the rump ; wings and tail dark brown, with 
pale edgings to the feathers ; feathers round the eye, and 
underparts, cream-colour, spotted with brown on the throat, 
chest, and flanks, mostly so on the sides of the throat and 
crop ; beak brownish flesh-colour, shading into dark brown 
on the culmen ; legs flesh-colour ; irides brown. 

Entire length 6'5 inches; culmen 0'5; wing, carpus to 
tip, S'Q ; tarsus 0"95. 

Fig. Sharpe and Dresser, B. of Eur. part viii. 



112. Emberiza hobtulana, Linn. Ortolan Bunting. 

The Ortolan is only a bird of passage in Egypt, and I am 
not aware of its having been captured in Nubia, although 
according to Von Heuglin (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 662) it is very 
plentifid in Abyssinia from September to April, and occa- 
sionally breeds there. 

I have shot it on several occasions in Middle Egypt in 
April. It arrives on its northward migration about the end 
of March, and returns through the country in the autumn. 

Male. — Head and neck yellowish grey ; throat, feathers 
round the.eyes, and under the ear-coverts pale yellow ; back, 
scapulars, and wing-coverts pale chestnut, with the centre of 
the feathers dark brown ; primaries dusky brown, narrowly 
edged with pale yellowish brown ; tail, two exterior feathers 
on each side having the apical half white, with a streak of 



146 BIRDS OF EGYPT. 

brown along the quills, remainder of the feathers dark brown, 
bordered with pale brown ; underparts pale rufous, shaded 
with yellow ; legs and beak flesh-colour ; irides brown. 

Entire length 6 inches ; culmen 0"4 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
3-6 ; tarsus 075. 

Fig. Sharpe and Dresser, B. of Eur. part vii. 



113. Emberiza c^sia, Cretzsch. Cretzschmar' s Bunting. 

This is a spring visitant, arriving in Egypt about the end 
of March, and does not appear to be abundant at any season. 
I only shot it once, near Cairo, in the beginning of April. 
The Rev. A. C. Smith {' Attractions of the Nile,' vol. ii. 
p. 232) mentions seeing it at Alexandria. According to Von 
Heuglin (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 663) it is most plentiful in the 
spring, during March and April, and in the autumn, when it 
may often be found in company with E. hortulana. It breeds 
occasionally in the Delta and near Cau'o. 

Head, nape, and crop slaty grey ; upper plumage chestnut, 
with the centres of the feathers on the back dark brown ; 
wings brown, the feathers edged with pale chestnut; tail 
brown, the feathers edged with chestnut, the end-third of the 
two outer feathers on each side white on the inner web ; in 
front of the eye, throat, under the ear-coverts, and abdomen 
chestnut ; beak, reddish brown above ; legs brown ; irides 
brown. 

Entire length 6"2 inches ; culmen 0*4 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
3-3 ; tarsus 0-7. 

Fig. Sharpe and Dresser, B. of Eur. part ii. 



BIRDS OF EGYPT, 147 

1 14. Emberiza inteemedia, Michah. Smaller Beed-Buniing. 

(Plate III. fig. 2.) 

I met with a single specimen of this Bunting (a female) in 
the reedy marsh near Damietta on the 22nd of March, and 
brought home the skin. 

Von Heuglin never observed this species himself in North- 
eastern Africa (Orn. N. 0. Afr. p. 668), but includes it on 
t*' J authority of De Selys-Longchamps, who says that it is 
found at Damietta ; so that it is evidently of rare occurrence 
in Egypt, and, as far as we know, confined to a very limited 
portion of the Delta. 

Female. — Top of the head and ear- coverts mixed rufoiis 
and sandy brown, the centres of the feathers black ; nape 
blacker ; back of the neck ashy brown ; back and wing- 
feathers dark brown, broadly edged with rufous and pale 
brown ; rump ashy brown ; upper tail-coverts rufous brown ; 
tail, outer feather, and apical thii'd of the next one white, 
with some brown along the shaft, remainder of the tail dark 
brown with pale edgings ; throat and feathers round the ear- 
coverts yellowish white, with two broad brown stripes on 
each side of the throat ; remainder of the underparts creamy- 
white, with rufous-brown streaks on the centres of the fea- 
thers of the chest and flanks ; beak and legs dark brown ; 
irides brown ; diameter of the beak 0'3. 

Entire length 5"8 inches ; culmen 0"4 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3 ; tarsus 0"8. 

Male. — Top of the head, nape, cheeks, ear-coverts, and 
throat black; under the ear-coverts, sides and back of the 
neck, and under surface of the bodv white. 



148 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

The figure is taken from my Damietta specimen, which is 
still in my collection. 

ram. FRINGILLID-ai. 

115, Passer domesticus (Linn.). Common Sparrow. 

The Sparrow is as abmidant in Egypt and Nubia as in 
Europe, and remains there throughout the year. 

Male. — Top of the head, nape, and sides of the breast slate- 
colour ; chin, throat, and region of the eyes black ; behind the 
eye a small white spot ; ear-coverts greyish-white, and behind 
them a broad band of chestnut extending over the eye ; back 
and scapulars chestnut, with black centres to the feathers ; 
rump and upper tail-coverts greenish grey ; quills black, 
edged with chestnut ; lesser wing-coverts chestnut, the lower 
row broadly tipped with white, forming an alar bar; tail 
dark brown, the feathers edged with yellowish brown ; under- 
parts pale dusky grey ; legs and beak pale brown ; irides 
hazel. 

Entire length 5'5 inches; culmeu 0*5; wing, carpus 
to tip, 3'1 ; tarsus 0'6. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 184. 

11(5. Passer Italle (Vieill.). Italiaii Sparrow. 

According to Von Heuglin (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. (330), this 
bird is to be met with in Egypt and Nubia, and extends its 
range as far south as the Blue Nile. I have never, to my 
knowledge, seen an Egyptian specimen of this Sparrow. 

Male. — Top of the head and back of the neck chestnut ; 



BIKDS OF EGYPT. 149 

cheeks pure white ; a white eyebrow ; remainder of the 
plumage similar to that of P. domes fictis. 

Female. — Resembles that of P. domesticus. 

Entii'e length 5 '5 inches; culmen 0'5 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3 ; tarsus 6. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 185. 

117. Passer salicicola (Vieill.). Spanish Sjjarrow. 

Abundant during the winter in Egypt, rarely, however, 
remaining late enough to breed. Dr. A. L. Adams (Ibis, 
1864, p. 23) says that in November and December, during 
the ripening of the dhurra, Spanish Sparrows assemble in 
enormous numbers, and do great damage to the crops ; and 
Mr. E. C. Taylor {op. cit. 1867, p. 65) says that this species 
is more abundant even than P. domesticus. This can only 
hold good in speaking of the winter months, as during three 
tours in Egypt I never met with this species later than the 
beginning of February. Von Heuglin (Orn. N. O. Afr. 
p. 632) declares that it breeds in Egypt in March, and in 
Nubia in August and September — a statement which I am 
inclined to doubt, 

Male. — Top of the head and nape chestnut, the feathers 
shghtly edged with pale brown ; remainder of the upper 
plumage similar to that of the Common Sparrow, but rather 
darker on the back ; cheeks, ear-coverts, and sides of the 
throat white ; feathers in front of and under the eye, throat, 
and crop black, those on the latter part edged with white ; 
abdomen white ; the centre of the feathers on the flanks 
black ; beak brown, paler towards the base of the lower 
mandible ; legs pale brown ; irides brown. 



150 BIKDS OF EGYPT. 

Female. — Very like that of the Common Sparrow. 
Entire length 6 inches ; culmen 0*45 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3 ; tarsus 0"8. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eiu-. pi. 185. 

118. Passer montanus (Linn.). Tree-Sparrow. 

Von Heuglin (Om. N. O. Afr. p. 633) states that this 
species comes into Egypt probably as a winter visitant. 

Both sexes are alike in plumage, and closely resemble the 
male of P. domesticus, but are smaller, and differ in having 
the top of the head chocolate, a black patch on the ear-coverts, 
and some of the wing-coverts tipped with bufiF, forming two 
bars on the shoulders. 

Entire length 5'3 inches ; culmen 04 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 2-8 ; tarsus 0-5. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 184. 

119. CoccoTHRAUSTEs VULGARIS, Pall. Hawpich. 

Dr. Cavafy has kindly written to me, informing me that 
he received a specimen of this bird from Alexandria in 1859. 
This is the only instance of its occurrence in Egypt that 
I know of. 

A narrow edging of feathers round the beak and a large 
patch on the throat black ; top of the head, cheeks, and rump 
chestnut-brown ; back and sides of the neck ash-colour ; 
back and scapulars deep brown ; most of the greater and 
the last row of the smaller vidng-coverts white, forming a 
large central mark ; remainder of the wing-feathers black. 



BIRDS OF E&TPT. 151 

with green and violet reflections ; the secondaries are square 
at the ends, and the smaller primaries end in abrupt loavy 
lines ; centre feathers of the tail brownish white, the outer 
ones black, and the intermediate ones have more or less broad 
white ends ; beak and legs fleshy brown ; irides white. 

Entire length 7 inches ; culmen O'S ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 4 ; tarsus 0"85. 

Fig. Gonld, B. of Eur. pi. 199. 

120. Eringilla ccELEBS, Linn. Chaffinch. 

I met with several specimens of this bird near Damietta in 
March; and on the 2Sth of that month I shot one, in order to 
verify the species. It is only a winter visitant to Egypt, and 
appears to be rarely seen above Cairo, and probably never 
ranges above the First Cataract. 

Von Heuglin (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 640) observes that Dr. 
Hartmann met with it at Thebes in February. This is the 
most southern point on the Nile that we have any positive 
record of its occurrence. 

Male. — Top of the head and back of the neck grey ; 
upper part of the back and scapulars chestnut ; rump yel- 
lowish green ; lesser wing-coverts white, the greater ones 
tipped with yellowish white ; outer web of the quills narroAvly 
edged with yellow, with some white at the base of all but 
the three outer ones ; remainder of the wing brownish black ; 
tail with some white on the two outer feathers, the remainder 
dark brown ; cheeks, throat, and underparts ferruginous ; 
beak and legs fleshy brown ; irides brown. 

Entire length 6 inches ; culmen 0*45 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3'4 ; tarsus 0-7. 



152 BIRDS OF E&YPT. 

Female. — Upper plumage olive, inclining to yellowish green 
on the rump ; wings dusky brown, the feathers edged with 
yellowish white ; three white bands are formed on the wing 
by some of the primaries being marked with white, and the 
greater and lesser wing-coverts being edged with the same 
colour ; underparts dusky white. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 187. 

121. Carduelis elegans, Steph. Goldfinch. 

Abundant in the Delta in winter, but I am not aware of 
its having been met with south of Cairo. I shot a specimen 
out of some large flocks that I fell in with neai- Damietta in 
March. 

Male. — Feathers round the beak and region of the eye 
black ; forehead, and a broad patch beneath the chin, crim- 
son, a black patch covering the top of the head and half 
encircling the ear-coverts, the latter being nearly white ; back 
and sides of the chest pale olive-brown ; wings black, with a 
large golden-yellow patch crossing their centres ; quills tipped 
with white ; tail-feathers black tipped with white ; under 
surface of the body white, tinted on the breast and flanks with 
pale brown ; legs and beak flesh-brown ; irides brown. 

Entire length 5 inches ; culmen 0"4 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3 ; tarsus 05. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 196. 

122. EsTRELDA MELANOUHTNCHA, Antin. Black-bUled FincL 

This bird was discovered by Antinori near Alexandria in 
1861. Von Heuglin (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 577) has not, ap- 



1 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 153 

parently, been able to identify the species, which he fancies 
must belong to the genus Euplectes, as Antinori has heard that 
it is found in spring near Jaffa in bright plumage. If it 
should be a Weaver bird, this will be, as Von Heuglin 
justly remarks, a curious circumstance, as extending the 
range of the genus Euplectes into the Palsearctic region. 

The following is Antinori's description : — " Very small 
the whole of the upper surface of the body chestnut-olive, 
underneath of an ochreous-isabelline colour ; wings dusky ; 
tail-feathers blackish, the side ones terminating in a yellowish- 
grey spot ; bill black ; feet horn-colour. Size of Amadina 
ultramarina." 



123. ^GioTHUS RUFESCENS (Vieill.). Lesser Bedpole. 

I include this species on the authority of Riippell, but 
I think it is highly probable that it is not met with in Egypt ; 
for Von Heuglin observes that he never found it in any part 
of North-eastern Africa, and I myself know of no instance of 
its capture there. 

I have not given a detailed description of this well-known 
bird. It may briefly be said that it is like the Common 
Linnet, but is much smaller, with brighter crimson on the 
forehead and breast, and having a white belly, with stripes 
on the flanks and no white on the tail. This diagnosis will 
serve for the recognition of the species should any one meet 
with the bird in Egypt. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 194. 



1 54 BIRDS or EGYPT. 

124. Serinus hortulanus, Koch. Serin Finch. 

Von Heuglin (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 647) mentions that he 
met with the Serin Finch in the Delta and in the neigh- 
bourhood of Cairo in pairs and small flocks during the month 
of March. 

3fale. — ^Forehead, breast, and rump bright lemon -yellow, 
the lower abdomen and vent white ; cheeks yellow, tinged 
with greenish ; upper surface of the body olive-green, with 
central streaks of dark brown to each feather, the flanks also 
streaked with dark brown ; bill brownish white, the lower 
mandible paler ; feet fleshy brown ; iris dark brown. 

Total length 4'5 inches; culmen 0*35; wing, carpus to 
tip, 2'8 ; tarsus 0'5. 

Female. — Much duller than the male, and having no 
yellow forehead ; breast not so bright, and streaked all over 
with brown markings. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 195. 



125. LiNOTA CANNABiNA (Limi.). Linnet. 

This is a common winter visitant to Lower Egypt, where 
it remains until the end of February. I have never met with 
it above Cairo ; but it probably ranges into Nubia, as it is 
mentioned by Blasius as occurring in Abyssinia. 

My description is taken from a female specimen, which 
I shot in the middle of February in the Delta. 

Top of the head, nape, and ear-coverts ashy grey ; centre 
of the feathers on the top of the head dark brown ; forehead 
marked with cherry-colom-ed reflections ; back, scapulars, and 
wing-coverts chestnut ; primaries black, edged with white ; 



CB 





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BIEDS OF EGYPT. 155 

upper tail-coverts white, with black centres to the feathers ; 
tail-feathers pointed and black, with white edges ; underparts 
white ; throat marked with longitudinal dusky spots ; sides 
of the chest rose-colour, inclining to cherry-red ; flanks chest- 
nut ; beak dark brown, inclining to flesh-colour towards the 
base of the lower mandible ; legs and irides brown. 

Entire length 55 inches; culmen 4; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3*2 ; tarsus 0.6. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 191. 
126. Erythrospiza githaginea (Licht.) Besert-Bulljinch. 

(Plate V.) 

This pretty little bird, rendered so conspicuous by its 
bright red bUl, is very plentiful in Upper Egypt and Nubia, 
where it may be met with in paii-s and flocks along the 
confines of the desert. It invades the cultivated land for 
its food, which consists entii'ely of small seeds, and at such 
times may be seen clustered in groups upon the mustard- 
and other plants, which wave to and fro under the weight of 
the birds as they busily peck away at the seeds. In flight 
it closely resembles the Linnet ; but its pale roseate tints 
easily distinguish it from any other Egyptian Finch. 

Male in breeding-plumage. — The feathers round the beak 
are brightly tinted with rosy red ; top of the head, ear-coverts, 
and sides of the neck delicate ashy grey, shading on the nape 
and back into soft pinkish brown ; rump and upper tail- 
coverts pink, the feathers edged with carmine ; wings brown, 
with broad pink borders to the secondaiies and wing-coverts, 
all being narrowly edged with carmine ; tail brown, with 



156 BIKDS OF EGYPT. 

similar edging towards the base of the feathers ; underparts 
pink, with the ends of the feathers carmine ; beak bright 
orange-red ; legs brownish flesh-colour; irides brown. 

In winter plumage, pink takes the place of the carmine. 

Entire length 5 inches ; culmen 0*4 ; wing, cai-pus to tip, 
3-3 ; tarsus O"?. 

The immature bird is of a general sandy colour, with the 
centre of the feathers of the wing and tail dark brown ; beak 
pale yellowish brown. 

The figures are taken from an adult male and an immature 
bird, both shot by myself on the 7th of May. 



Pam. ORIOLID-aE. 

127. Oriolus galbula, Linn. Golden Oriole. 

This bird passes through Egypt and Nubia on its spring 
and autumn migrations, but does not remain to breed in the 
country. In spring it arrives about the middle of April, 
when it is rather plentiful among the thicker-foliaged trees. 

Male. — Brilliant golden yellow, with the exception of the 
lores, which are black ; wings black ; most of the quills 
tipped with pale yellow, and a yellow spot about the middle 
of the wing ; tail black, with the end bright yellow ; beak 
red ; legs brown ; irides crimson. 

Female. — Colours duller, top of the head, back, and sca- 
pulars greenish yellow, bright on the rump ; wings brown, 
feathers edged with white ; a less amount of yellow on the 
tail ; throat and centre of the body stone grey, more or less 
shaded with yellow \ flanks and under tail-coverts yellow. 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 157 

with occasional stripes of pale dusky or brown down the 
centres of the feathers. 

Entire length 9' 5 inches ; culmen 1 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 6 ; tarsus 0"9. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 71. 



Fam. STURNID^. 

128. Sturnxjs vulgaris, Linn. Starling. 

This bird is a winter visitant, and may be found plentifully 
in the Delta up to the end of March ; it may also occasionally 
be met with in Middle and, possibly, Upper Egypt. 

General plumage deep metallic green, with purple reflections 
on the throat and back ; more or less of the feathers on the 
upper surface tipped with buff, and those on the under sur- 
face with white, according to the age of the bird ; wings and 
tail brown, with pale edging to the feathers. Legs pale 
brown ; beak brown, except in breeding-plumage, when it is 
bright yellow; ii-ides dark brown. 

Entire length 8'3 inches; culmen 1 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 4 '8 ; tarsus r2. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 210. 

129. Pastor ROSEUS (Linn.). Bose-coloured Pastor. 

Von Heughn (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 531) says that he only 
knows of a single instance of this bird's capture in Egypt, 
when a young bird was killed in a field near Cairo, on the 
25th of August, 1S64. 



IlL 



158 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

Entire head and neck purplisli black ; wings and tail black, 
with green and purple reflections ; remainder of the plumage 
pale pink ; basal half of the beak black, remainder yellowish 
brown ; legs pale brown ; irides dark brown. 

Entire length 8" 5 inches ; culmen 0*8 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 5*1 ; tarsus 1"2. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 212. 



Pam. CORVIDiE. 

130. CoRvus UMBRiNUs, Hedenborg. Brown-necked Haven. 

This Raven is very plentiful throughout Egypt and Nubia. 
It prefers desert and rocky districts to the more cultivated 
parts, and may frequently be seen near the Pyramids, on 
which it yearly builds. Like the Common Raven it nests 
both on rocks and trees, in the latter instance usually select- 
ing the crown of some lofty date-palm. It is essentially a 
desert-bird, and therefore not to be met with in the Delta. 

Entire plumage blue-black, except the feathers of the head 
and neck, which are brown almost approaching to black. 
Legs and beak black ; irides very dark brown. 

Entire length 22*5 inches ; culmen 2'6 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 15'8 ; tarsus 2"6. 



131. CoRvus AFFiNis, Riipp. Abi/ssinian Haven. 

This small species of Raven is a resident in Egypt and 
Nubia, but is rather uncommon. 1 have seen a specimen 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 159 

from Egypt in Mr. E. C. Taylor's collection, obtained by 
Mr. Clark Kennedy during his visit to that country. 

Entire plumage black, slightly shaded with brown on the 
throat. The hairy coverts to the nostrils are very stiff and 
fully developed, and directed forwards and upwards in a fan- 
shape on the sides of the beak. Beak and legs black, the 
former very stout and short ; irides brownish black. 

Entire length 19'5 to 20*5 inches; culmen 2-2 to 2'5, 
diameter of the beak I'l ; wing, carpus to tip, 15 to 15'5 ; 
tarsus 2" 5 to 2" 7. 

Fig. (head only) Schl. Bijdr. Dierk.Afl. pi. vii. 1 h. fig. 26. 



132. CoBVUS coRNix, Linn. Hooded Crow. 

This is the common Crow of Egypt, but in Nubia it is 
less plentiful. It begins breeding towards the end of Feb- 
ruary, when its nest may be procured in almost every clump 
of sont trees. 

Head, throat, wings, and tail blue-black, remainder of the 
plumage stone-grey. Legs and beak black, irides very dark 
brown. 

Entire length 18 inches; culmen 2; wing, carpus to 
tip, 12 ; tarsus 2"2. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 222. 



133. CoRvus FRTJGiLEGUs, Linn. Rook. 

Large flocks of the Common Rook may be met with in the 
Delta up to the end of March, but it does not remain to 



^ 



160 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

breed in the country. It is rarely seen south of Cairo, al- 
though upon one occasion I obsei'ved a few at Memphis ; 
this may be owing to the fact that snails and slugs, delicacies 
on which this bird delights to feed, are entirely absent from 
Upper Egypt. 

Entire plumage blue-black. Legs and beak black, irides 
dark brown. 

Entire length 18' 5 inches; culmen 2"3; wing, carpus to 
tip, 11"5 ; tarsus 21. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 224. 



134. CoRVUS MONEDULA, Linn. Jackdaw. 

Von Heuglin (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 498) observes that 
RiippeU mentions the Jackdaw as plentiful in Lower Egypt. 
I consider this evidence insufficient, and therefore give no 
description of this well-known bird. 



135. Pica caudata, Keys. & Bl. Magpie. 

According to Bonaparte the Magpie is to be met with in 
Egypt and Nubia, and Riippell states that it is tolerably 
plentiful in Lower Egypt during the winter. Von Heuglin, 
on the other hand (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 497), affirms that it was 
never seen by Hemprich and Ehrenberg, Brehm, or himself 
in the course of all their travels in North-Eastern Africa. 
There is a Magpie in the Frankfort Museum labelled " from 
Egypt;" but as this may have been a tame bird, and as 
the statements of Bonaparte and Riippell are not always to be 
relied upon, 1 feci that ] sliould not be justified in including 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 161 

the Magpie among the true Egyptian birds, and therefore do 
not describe it. 

136. Pyrrhocouax alpinus, Vieill. Alpine Chough. 

I consider the occurrence of this species in Egypt very 
doubtful ; for it is included solely upon the authority of Hassel- 
quist. 

Entire plumage uniform black ; beak yellow ; legs ver- 
milion, with the soles of the feet and claws black ; irides 
dark brown. 

Entire length 15*5 inches ; cuhnen 1 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
10-2 ; tarsus 1-7. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 218. 



Order PICARI^. 
Pam. YTJNGID^. 

137. YuNX TORQUILLA, Linn. Wryneck. 

The Wryneck is not uncommon as a spring and autumn 
visitant, but is much less plentiful in Upper Egypt and Nubia 
than lower dowa tlie Nile, where it is usually to be met with 
singly, perched upon some low hedge. 

Upper plumage grey mingled with rufous, and the whole 
delicately pencilled with dusky ; a patch of mottled black and 
rufous runs from the back of the head to the centre of the 
back ; on the scapulars there is a band of black and buff 
spots ; wings brown, the quills barred with rutous ; tail 
ashy brown, beautifully pencilled and irregularly barred with 
black ; chin white, throat buff, the whole evenly barred with 

M 



162 BIEDS or EGITPT. 

pure black ; under surface of the body white shaded with 
yellow on the flanks and under tail-coverts, and with brown 
barbed spots on the centres of the feathers. Legs and beak 
fleshy brown ; irides pale brown. 

Entire length 7 inches; culmen 0'4 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
3 '5 ; tarsus 0"8. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 233. 

ram. CUCULID^. 

138. CucuLUS CA.NORUS, Linn. Cuckoo. 

The Cuckoo arrives from the south in March, and is gone 
again by May, returning once more in August. I have shot 
it on several occasions ; but it does not appear to be very 
abundant in the country at any season. 

Upper plumage slaty grey, wings browner ; inner web of 
the quill-feathers banded with white ; tail black tipped with 
white, and with white spots along the shafts of the feathers ; 
tlu-oat slaty grey ; remainder of the under plumage white, 
barred, with dusky on the body. Base of the bill, legs, and 
irides yellow, remainder of the beak black. 

Entire length 14 inches ; culmen 0"9 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 9 ; tarsus 9. 

Eig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 240. 

139. CoccYSTES GLANDARius (Linn.). Great Spotted Cuckoo. 

This graceful bird is a resident in Egypt and Nubia, and 
may be met with abundantly in the clumps of sont trees, 
usually in pairs or small family parties. They are by no 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 163 

means shy, and will often sit motionless on a bough while one 
walks beneath the tree. In Egypt they breed at thesalno 
time as the Hooded Crow, and invariably select a nest of 
that species in which to deposit their eggs. 

Von Henglin (Orn. N. 0. Afr. p. 787) is of opinion that 
they first lay their eggs on the gromid and then carry them 
in their beaks to the nest they have selected, in the same 
manner as the Common Cuckoo does. About half of those 
that I saw even as late as May were in immature plumage. 

Top of the head crested, and of a pale slaty-grey with finr 
dusky streaks along the shafts of the feathers ; remainder of th- 
upper plumage olivaceous brown, all the feathers of the wing 
and upper tail-coverts tipped with white ; tail bronzy black 
tipped with white ; throat buff ; under surface of the body 
creamy white. Legs slate-colour ; beak dark brown, inclining 
to yellow at the base of the lower mandible ; irides brown. 

Entire length 17 inches; culmen 1 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
8 ; tarsus 1'3. 

The females have the primaries more or less strongly 
marked with rufous. The immature birds have the top of 
the head black, primaries more rufous, and the throat yellow. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 241. 

140. Chrysococcyx cupreus (Bodd.). Bronzy-green Cuckoo. 

Herr F. Heine (J. f. 0. 1863, p. 350) states that this bird, 
which he calls Lamprococcjjx chrysocUlorus, comes into Egypt. 
This Von Heuglin (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 777) disbelieves; for, 
as he observes, it is a truly tropical species, never occurring 
in Nubia or in northern Scnaar and Kordofan, and conse- 
quently still less likely to be met with in Egypt. I perfectly 

M 2 



164 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

agree with him in considering that the present species does 
not come into Egypt, and have in consequence not described 
its plumage. 



141. Centropus ^gtptius (Gm.). Lark-heeled Cuckoo. 

(Plate VI.) 

Von Heughn (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 796) considers C. cegypi'ms, 
Gm., to be synonj'mous with C. senegalensis (Briss.); but this 
latter name cannot hold good, as it has been given by Linnaeus to 
the West- African form. I have in my collection four skins 
of C. (Egyptius from Egypt, and one of C. senegalensis from 
West Africa, and they certainly are distinct species. C. 
(sggptius is, I believe, confined to North-eastern Africa, and is 
most abundant in Lower Egypt. 

In habits it is lazy, and prefers creeping among the thick 
beds of cane and the upper branches of the more densely 
foliaged trees to showing itself in the open, and is con- 
sequently not very common in collections. 

Top of the head, ear-coverts, and nape brownish-black 
with an oily green reflection, the shafts of the feathers stout 
and polished ; back, scapulars, and wing-coverts duU brown ; 
primaries and secondaries bright rufous, tipped with brown ; 
tail and upper tail-coverts brownish black, with metallic 
green reflections ; under surface of the body pale straw- 
colour, the shafts of the feathers very stout and glossy. Legs 
and beak black, irides red. 

Entire length 18 inches; culmen TS; wing, carpus to 
tip, 7 to 8 ; tarsus 1-7. 



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BIEDS OF EGYPT. 165 

Fam. UPUPIDJE. 

142. Upupa epops, Linn. Hoopoe. 

This bird is extremely plentiful throughout Egypt and 
Nubia, frequenting the neighbourhood of villages, where it 
may be daily seen perched upon a mud wall or bough, singing 
its simple song of " Poop-poop-poop," or else strutting along 
the ground with dignified gait, stopping here and there to 
drive its beak into the earth after its insect food. It breeds 
in March and April. The Arabic name is " Hud-hud." 

Head and a highly developed crest rufous, the end of each of 
the longer crest-feathers black, some of them having a 
white bar before the black. The rufous colour extends to 
the centre of the back and over the shoulders, but is some- 
what duller ; it also extends down the neck and over the 
chest, where it acquires a pink hue ; primaries and taU 
black, each distinctly barred with pure white ; a distinct white 
bar across the rump ; remainder of the back and wings black 
barred with buff or pure white ; abdomen and under tail- 
coverts white, the flanks marked with dusky brown. Legs 
brown ; beak black, paler at the base ; irides brown. 

Entire length 12 inches ; culmen 2*3 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 6; tarsus 9. 

Eig. Sharpe and Dresser, B. of Eur. part vii. 

Fam. ALCEDINID^. 

-V 143. Alcedo ispida, Linn. Common Kingfisher. 

Very abundant in the Delta, and occasionally met with 




166 BIRDS OF EGYPT. 

throughout Egypt. I have myself seen it above Cairo upon 
three occasions, at Sioot, Koos, and Thebes. 

Head crested ; top of the head and nape black, closely 
barred with cobalt ; lores and ear-coverts light chestnut ; a 
patch behind the ear-coverts along the neck piu-e white ; 
cheeks blue ; centre of the back and upper taU-coverts bril- 
liant cobalt ; quills dusky, the outer web greenish blue ; 
scapulars and wing-coverts green, the latter spotted with 
cobalt ; tail blue ; throat white ; remainder of the underparts 
light chestnut, with the exception of a blue patch on each 
side of the upper part of the breast. 

In the male the bill is entirely black, while in the female 
it has an orange patch on the lower mandible. Legs red ; 
irides dark brown. 

Entire length 6-6 to 6*8 inches; culmen 1-55 to 17; 
wing, carpus to tip, 2 9; tarsus 0-4. 

The description is taken from five Egyptian specimens in 
my own collection. 

Fig. Sharpe, Monogr. Alced. pi. 1. 



144. Alcedo BENGALENSis, Gm. Little Indian Kingfisher. 

This species, which chiefly differs from A. ispida in the 
greater length of its bill, may occasionally be met with both 
in Egypt and Nubia. Mr. Sharpe in his ' Monograph of the 
Kingfishers,' Part ix., has described a specimen of this 
bird killed by Mr. Lord at Shoobra, near Cairo, and he re- 
marks that there is a specimen from Nubia in the Leyden 
Museum. Mr. Larking also obtained a specimen in Egypt. 
I believe it to be by no means so common there as A. ispida. 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 167 

Plumage very similar to that of A. ispida, but rather 
brighter. It is a smaller bird, and may be most readUy 
distinguished from the foregoiug by its greater length of bill. 

Entire length 5*8-6"6 inches; culmen r65-2; wing, 
carpus to tip, 2*6-2"9. 

These measurements are taken from Mr. Sharpe's ' Mono- 
graph of the Alcedinidse.' 

Fig. Sharpe's Monogr. Alced. pi. 2. 



145. Ceryle rudis (Linn.). Black and White Kingfisher. 

Abundant throughout Egypt and Nubia. It may be 
daily seen, generally in pairs, perched upon the steep bank or 
the stranded roots of some tree that has been carried down 
by the river. At times, with beak directed downwards, it 
hovers over the water, into which it darts boldly after its 
finny prey ; if unsuccessful, it will repeat the performance 
until it captures a fish, when it flies to the bank to enjoy the 
repast at its ease. Sometimes it flies slowly close over the 
surface of the water. 

It begins breeding about the end of March, when it drills 
deep holes in the steep river-banks to place its nest in. 

Head crested. The whole of the upper plumage, with the 
wings and tail pure black and white, sharply defined ; under 
surface of the body pure silvery white, with the following 
markings : — in the adult female, only one large black patch 
on each side of the upper part of the breast, which nearly 
meets in tlie centre, and a few black marks ou the flanks ; the 
male has in addition an entire narrow black collar across the 



168 BIRDS OF EGYPT. 

chest ; in not quite adult plumage some of the feathers on the 
neck and crop are narrowly edged with dull black. Beak 
and legs black, irides dark brown. 

Entire length 11*5 inches; culnien 2-3; wing, carpus to 
tip, 55; tarsus 0"5. 

Fig. Sharpe's Mouogr. Alced. pi. 19. 



Fam. COEACIAB.^. 

146. CoRACiAS GARRULA, Linn. Boiler. 

This is only a bird of passage in Egypt and Nubia, ar- 
riving on its way north about the end of April. I first 
met with it at Koos on the 26th of that month ; and two days 
later I killed three out of a party of four that I saw near 
Dendera. In the spring of the year they are not rare in 
Egypt. They are rather shy ; but, owing to a fancy they 
appear to have for certain clumps of trees, they may be easily 
obtained by waiting near where they are first seen, and then 
getting them driven back by a companion. The birds which 
I shot at Dendera were obtained in this manner, as they had 
at first slipped out at the further side of the clump and settled 
in the open fields. The food of the three that I examined 
consisted entirely of beetles. 

Head and neck bright bluish green ; upper part of the 
back and scapulars chestnut ; rump ultramarine, shading ofi" 
to green on the tail-coverts ; quills black with blue reflections, 
especially on the under surface ; base of the quills, and all 
the wing-coverts bluish-green, with the exception of a bi'oad 



BIEDS OF EGFPT. 169 

band on the shoulders which is ultramarine ; tail greenish 
blue, two centre feathers entirely dark green, the remaining 
feathers much lighter towards their ends, outer feathers tipped 
with black ; entire underparts greenish blue. Legs reddish 
brown, beak black, irides brown. 

Entire length 12"5 inches; culmen 1"2 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 7"5 ; tarsus 0*8. 

Fig. Sharpe & Dresser, B. of Eur. part i. 



/ Fam. ]V[EROPID.ffl. 

147. Merops apiaster, Linn. Common Bee-eater. 

This species arrives in Egypt about the 10th of April, and 
is then very plentifully distributed in flocks throughout the ■'^^^■^i<!^: 
country, but is not quite so abundant as M. cegyptius. The 
greater number do not remain in Egypt to breed, but pass 
northwards in May, returning again about August. They 
are seen in flocks throughout the year, and nest in colonies 
in the sandbanks. 

Forehead white in front, blending into bright emerald- 
green, which colour extends on each side, and forms a short 
eyebrow ; a black band runs from the gape under the eye and 
over the ear, under which comes a narrow faint streak of 
green ; top of the head, nape, upper part of the back, and 
part of the wing-coverts chestnut-brown, remainder of the 
back, rump, and scapulars pale yellowish-brown ; primaries 
bright green, tipped with dusky ; outer secondaries chestnut, 
tipped with dusky, inner secondaries green ; tail green, the 



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170 BIRDS OP EGYPT. 

two centre feathers long and pointed ; throat i/ellow, hovAeredi 
by a black collar ; remainder of the underparts bright bluish- 
green ; legs dark brown ; beak black ; irides crimson. 

Entire length 11 inches; culmcn 1-4; wing, carpus to 
tip, 6; tarsus 5. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eux. pi. 59. 



148. Merops iEGYPTius, Forsk. Blue-cheeked Bee-eater. 

(Plate VII. fig. 1.) 

"Vf^/iA. "^^^^ ^^ '^^^ viio%\. abundant of the Bee-eaters in April. It 

.^ . ■ , arrives in the country about a fortnight earlier in the spring 
/Ut^-t S^ tliaji j/_ apiaster, which it resembles in size, habits, and cry ; 
yet the two species are never found in one flock. During 
the day they may generally be met with perched upon the 
telegraph-wires, or feeding among the herds of cattle. I 
once observed them towards evening alight in such immense 
numbers upon a sandbank, that they made it look almost as 
green as meadow-land; they appear, however, generally to 
roost at night in the sont trees. 

Forehead white, shading off into pale blue, which colour 
extends on each side of the head, and forms an eyebrow ; 
a black band passes from the gape through the eye to the 
ear ; the cheeks are blue ; the throat russet-broicn, fading into 
yellowish-white on the chin ; remainder of the plumage 
brilliant green, except the underside of the wing, which is 
pale rufous ; legs dark brown ; beak black ; irides crimson. 

Entire length 12 inches; culmen 1'6; wing, carpus to 
tip, 6 ; tarsus 0'5. 



Plate VJ 




1. WEROPS /EGVPTIUS. 

2. MEROPS VIRIDIS. 



BIEDS OF EGYPT, 171 

149. Merops viridis, Linn, Little Green Bee-eater. /^ 

(Plate VII. fig. 2.) ^ 

This pretty little Bee-eater is a resident in Middle Egypt 
througiiout the year, but does not during the winter months 
range north of Golosaneh. They do not congregate in flocks, 
like the last two species, but are generally to be met with in 
pairs or family parties, often perched in rows on the long 
leaves of the date-palms, or on the outer twigs of the sont 
trees. In flight they look extremely beautifid, as they skim 
gracefully through the air with outspread wings, showing the 
orange colour underneath like an illuminated transparency. 
They breed in holes in the banks in April. 

In this species a black band extends through the eye ; and 
it has a partial black collar ; remainder of the plumage bril- 
liant green, excepting under the wings, where it is bright 
rufous ; the two centre tail-feathers are very much elongated ; 
legs brown ; beak black ; ii-ides crimson. 

Entire length 11 inches; culmen M ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3-7 ; tarsus 4. 



Fam. CYPSELIDJE. 

150. Cypselus melba (Linn.). Alpine Swift. 

The Alpine Swift is a j-are bird of passage in Egypt and 
Nubia, only met with in the more mountainous parts during 
the autumn and spring. 

The entire plumage is very dark brown, almost black, 
except the throat and abdomen, which are white ; beak and 
legs black ; irides very dark brown. 




172 BIRDS OF EGYPT. 

Entire length 8 inches ; culmen 0*4 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 81. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 53. 

151. Cypselus apus (Linn.). Common Swift. 

This is not the common Swift of Egypt ; nor do I know of 
any authentic instance of its having been captured there. The 
C. apus of Egyptian lists refers generally, if not invariably, to 
the closely allied species C. pallidus, which is abundant and 
the only species which 1 have met with in that country up 
to the end of April. C. apus ranges throughout Africa and 
Europe ; and as it visits Palestine, it must undoubtedly pass 
through Egypt ; for this reason, rather than upon the testi- 
mony of others, I have included it in the present list. 

Throat white, remainder of the plumage very dark brown, 
almost black ; beak black ; irides very dark brown. 

Entire length 8'5 inches ^ culmen 04; wing, carpus to 
tip, 8 ; tarsus 0"6. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 53. 

152. Cypselus pallidus, Shelley. Egyptian Swift. 

This species is very abundant throughout Egypt and 
Nubia. It has long been included in the Egyptian list as 
C. apus, from which, however, it differs in its rather smaller size, 
whiter throat, and general paler coloration, which latter cha- 
racter suggested to me the name C. pallidus as appropriate 
when I first described it (Ibis, 1870, p. 445). It may be 
distinguished from C. apus at a considerable distance ; and 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 173 

when I first shot it I at once doubted its identity with that 
bird, and found on my return that Mr. E. C. Taylor agreed 
in my view, which made me careful, on revisiting Egypt, to 
procure more specimens, and I watched in vain among the 
many that I daily saw for one dark specimen ; all were of 
the paler kind. It was not apparently breeding up to the 
beginning of May, when I last shot it. Major Irby has pro- 
cured this species from Tangier, where, he says, it arrives 
before C. apus. 

Above uniform brownish-grey, slightly inclining to white 
on the forehead and over the eye ; feathers in front of the 
eye blackish ; wing-coverts greyish brown, with an obsolete 
white edging; primary-coverts rather darker; quills dark 
greyish-brown, paler ou the inner webs, the outer web (espe- 
cially of the primaries) very dark (almost black on the last- 
mentioned feathers) ; tail greyish-brown, uniform with the 
breast ; cheeks and sides of the neck pale greyish-brown ; 
entire throat white, and under siu-face of the body dark 
greyish-brown, the feathers on the lower part of the breast 
having obsolete white tips. 

Entire length 6'5 inches ; culmen 0"3 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 6-5 to 6-7 ; tarsus 05. 



153. Cypselus parvus, Licht. Little Grey Swift. 

Von Heuglin (Orn. N. 0. Afr. p. 145) says of this species 
that it is a resident in Southern Egypt and Nubia throughout 
the year, and that he has found it breeding near Wady Haifa 
between the months of May and August. 

Tail forked, outer feather on each side very lony and 



174 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

pointed; entire plumage sooty brown, with bronze reflections 
on the upper surface ; under surface paler, especially on the 
throat ; beak and feet black ; irides very dark brown. 

Entire length 6'5 inches; culmen 0'2; wing, carpus to 
tip, 5 ; tail 4'1 ; tarsus 0-35. 



Fam. CAPRIMTJLaiD^. 

154. Caprimulgus EUROPiEUS, Linn. Goatsucker. 

This species is only met with as a bird of passage in Egypt 
and Nubia. According to Von Heuglin (Orn. N. O. Afr. 
p. 125) it passes southward through Egypt in August, and 
returns again in March and April, at which seasons it may 
generally be met with in small flocks. 

Male. — Upper parts rich ash-colour, shaded slightly with 
chestnut on the wings and with yellow on the rump, and 
beautifully pencilled with dusky ; the centre of the feathers 
streaked with black, more boldly so on the crown and sca- 
pulars ; quills dark brown, with imperfect sandy-coloured 
bars ; a white patch on the three outer primaries near their 
tips, and a bold white tip to the two outer feathers of the 
tail ; on the under surface there are two white patches on the 
sides of the throat ; throat itself and crop dusky ; remainder 
of the underparts orange-buff", barred with dusky ; beak 
black ; legs reddish brown ; irides black. 

Female. — No white spots on the wings or tail. 

Entire length 10 '5 inches; culmen 0"4 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 7*4 ; tarsus 0-7. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 51. 





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BIEDS OF EGYPT. 175 

155. Caprimulgus iEGYPTius, Licht. Egyptian Goatsucker. 

(Plate VIII.) 

This species, which ranges throiighout Egypt and Nubia, 
appears to be most plentiful in spring and autumn, when it 
is generally in flocks. Von Heughn (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 128) 
remarks that six specimens which he killed out of a large 
flight of fifty were all females. In the Fayoom, in March, 
I met with a small party of four, all of which were males, 
from which it would appear that these birds travel in flocks 
of the same sex, and do not pair until shortly before breeding. 
Those that I met with in the Fayoom were sitting on the 
bare sand ; and as they rose they frequently uttered a little 
snapping sound, and took refuge in some neighbouring 
tamarisk-bushes. 1 have also occasionally seen them flitting 
over the water towards sunset. Mr. S. Stafford Allen 
observes (Ibis, 1864, p. 236) that he found two distinct 
varieties. I agree with him that there is a considerable 
difference in the shade of colouring in certain individuals ; 
for the four which I killed in the Fayoom, though perfectly 
like each other, were much darker than my former specimen 
from Aboo-fayda, so that at first I fancied that I had two 
species ; but on comparison the markings would not justify 
their separation, although all five were males. 

Pale variety. — Upper plumage pale sandy-brown, finely 
pencilled with black ; inner web of the quills marked with 
white, and the whole of them irregularly banded with dusky ; 
tail barred with nine or ten irregular wavy streaks ; a white 
patch on the centre of the throat ; remainder of the under- 
parts pale sandy-brown, faintly, barred on the chest with 
narrow streaks of dusky ; greater portion of the underpart 



176 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

of the quills white ; legs reddisli-brown ; beak dark brown ; 
irides black. 

Entire length 9 inches ; culmen O'G ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 7 ; tarsus 0'7. 

Dark variety. — Slightly larger ; plumage rather more 
shaded with grey ; some black marks on the scapulars ; bars 
on the wuigs and tail more pronounced. 



Order ACCIPITRES. 
Fam. STRIGIDiE. 

156. Aluco flammea (Linn.). Barn-Owl. 

This species is frequently to be met with throughout 
Egypt and Nubia, generally in thick-foliaged trees or in ruins. 

Upper plumage yellow, with the centres of the feathers 
marked and freckled with grey and white, and small oval 
spots of black and white ; wings and taU banded with yel- 
lowish brown ; face and underparts white, tinted with buff on 
the chest, and finely spotted at intervals with dusky ; tarsus 
feathered about halfway down, the remainder covered with 
hair ; feet pink ; beak pale yellow ; irides black. 

Entu-e length 13*5 inches ; culmen 1"3 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 11 ; tarsus 2"5. 

The above description is from an Egyptian specimen in my 
collection. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 36. 

157. Strix aluco, Linn. Tawny Owl. 

Savigny mentions the Tawny Owl in his ' Description de 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 177 

I'Egypte,' but it appears to be of very rare occurrence there, 
and probably never ranges south of Cairo. 

Upper .plumage tawny, with the centre of the feathers 
marked with dark brown ; wing-coverts spotted with white, 
forming two irregular bands ; quills and tail brown, barred 
with darker brown ; underparts white, shaded with russet 
on the crop, and many of the feathers marked with dark 
brown stripes down their centres and barred with russet; 
legs and feet covered with creamy white down ; beak yellow ; 
irides black. 

Entu-e length 15 inches; culmen 1-2; wing, carpus to 
tip, 10 ; tarsus I'D. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 47. 

158. Nyctala Tengmalmi (Gm.). Tengmalm's Owl. 

The present species is of very rare occurrence in Egypt. 
Schlegel, however, mentions it as being found in that country ; 
and there is a specimen in the British Museum from Mr. 
TurnbuU's collection. 

In plumage it somewhat resembles the next species, but is 
more slender in form, greyer in plumage, with a white facial 
disk; it has also longer wings and tail, and more woolly 
feet ; beak and irides pale yellow. 

Entire length 10'3 inches; culmen 1; wing, carpus to 
tip, 6-8; tarsus 12. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 49. 

159. Carine meridionalis (Risso). Southern Little Oicl. 
This small Owl is extremely plentiful, both in Egypt and 



178 BIEDS or EGYPT. 

Nubia, and remains there througliout the year. It frequents 
ahke both trees and rocks, and is very partial to the small 
clumps which surround the water-wheels so abundant in 
Egypt. It breeds in March. 

Upper plumage russet-brown, spotted with cream-colour, 
which forms two irregular bands on the shoulder; on the 
quills and tail the spots form interrupted bars ; under surface 
of the body cream-colour, irregularly spotted with russet- 
brown ; beak and irides pale yellow. 

Entire length 8-5 inches ; culmen 0'8 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 6 ; tarsus 1'3. 

160. Scops giu. Scops Owl. 

This little Owl extends its range throughout Egypt and 
Nubia, where it may generally be met with in pairs or 
families. It appears to be most frequently found near Alex- 
andria and Cairo, but is nowhere plentiful. 

Head ornamented with short, thick, tufty horns ; upper 
plumage mixed dusky grey and rufous-brown ; quills and 
tail irregularly barred with white and dusky ; under plumage 
yellowish grey, with bold distinct brown blotches on the 
chest; remainder of the feathers barred with narrow wavy 
lines, and occasionally streaked with brown down the centre. 

Entire length 7'5 inches; culmen 0"8 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 60 ; tarsus 1*05. 

Eig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 41. 

161. Asio OTUS (Linn.). Long-eared Oiol. 

This bird is, I believe, a resident in Egypt ; for Dr. von 



BIEDS OP EGYPT. 179 

Heuglin (Orn. N. 0. Afr. p. 107) mentions having killed it 
at Alexandria at the end of March, at which season it would 
probably be breeding. Mr. E. C. Taylor also shot two or 
three pairs (Ibis, 1867, p. G4). 

It has long horns. Upper plumage buff, white, and grey, 
beautifully blended together, and mottled with dusky ; quills 
and tail irregularly barred ; face buff, with black round the 
eyes and towards the beak ; under plumage buff and white, 
mottled with dusky ; legs and feet covered with buff-coloured 
down ; beak black ; irides orange. 

Entire length 14 inches; culmen 1-3; wing, carpus to 
tip, 11-3; tarsus 1-8. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 39. 

162. Asio ACCiPiTRiNUS (Pall.). Short-cared Owl. 

The Short-eared Owl is only a winter visitor in Egypt, 
although it remains as late as the end of March. I have 
killed it on two occasions in the fields while out Quail- 
shooting. 

Upper plumage buff, mottled with dark brown and black ; 
feathers round the eye black ; wings and tail barred with 
brown ; under plumage buff, mottled with dark brown on the 
throat and crop, and streaked with that colour on the 
abdomen ; underpart of the wing white, excepting the tips of 
the feathers and a band near the middle, which are dusky ; 
its horns are hardly distinguishable ; beak black ; ii-ides 
orange. 

Entire length 15 inches; culmen r3; wing, carpus to 
tip, 12 ; tarsus r8. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 40. 

N 2 



180 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

163. Bubo ignavus, Forst. Eagle Owl. 

This bird appears very rarely in Egypt. Von Heuglin 
(Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 110) mentions having seen a fine old 
specimen, which was shot in the vrinter in the neighbourhood 
of Cairo. I know of no other instance of its capture in the 
country ; but the statement of such a good ornithologist is 
sufficient proof that the present species does come to Egypt, 
though probably only as a straggler. In habits it is solitary, 
and frequents rocks and ruins. 

It has very long and distinct horns. 

Entire upper plumage yellowish brown, tinted with rufous 
and mottled with black, the quills and tail irregularly barred ; 
throat white, remainder of the under plumage ferruginous 
bufi", the feathers boldly marked with black down the centre 
and barred with the same colour ; legs and feet covered with 
downy buff feathers ; beak dusky ; irides orange. 

Entire length 24 inches; culmen 1*5; wing, carpus to 
tip, 16'5 ; tarsus 2"5. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 37. 

164. Bubo ascalaphtjs, Sav. Egyptian Eagle Owl. 

This species is distributed throughout Egypt and Nubia, 
and remains there the whole year. It frequents the moun- 
tains and ruins. Perhaps the best localities to meet with it 
are the Pyramids and the rocks near Soohay. It breeds in 
March. 

Upper plumage buff, mottled with dark brown and white ; 
quills and tail-feathers barred with dark brown ; chin and 
throat white ; remainder of the underparts buff, the feathers 



■M U ' 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 181 

round the crop marked with large brown blotches ; feathers 
on the abdomen, flanks, and thighs narrowly barred with 
russet ; legs and feet covered with downy buff feathers ; 
beak black ; irides deep yellow. 

Entire length 20 inches; culmen 2-1; wing, carpus to 
tip, 15'5 ; tarsus 3. 

The above description is taken from a specimen I shot in 
the Fayoom. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 38. 



Fam. FALCONID-S]. 

165. Circus ^ruginosus (Linn.). Marsh- Harrier . -^f //t^ / 

To be met with throughout Egypt and Nubia, but far most 
abundant in the Delta and the Fayoom. 

I have a fine series of seven specimens in adult plumage, 
with grey wings and tail, from Egypt and Nubia, varying 
considerably in their coloration, which must be my excuse for 
the following long description of then- plumage. I may also 
remark that they were all males by dissection, which inchnes 
me to believe that the females do not assume this plumage 
at all ; or if they do, it must be a long time before this 
change is completed. 

Male. — Top of the head and nape of the neck white, buft', 
or russet, more or less streaked with dark brown down the 
centre of the feathers ; back and wing-coverts brown, paler on 
the edges, especially on the shoulders ; wings more or less 
washed with silvery grey; tail grey, and the upper tail- 
coverts usually marbled with white, grey, and rufous ; under 



182 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 



plumage more or less shaded with russet-brown, with the 
centre of the feathers marked with dark brown. 

A Nubian specimen in my collection is entirely of a dark 
brown colour, with the following exceptions : — Base of the 
feathers on the head white and narrowly edged with buff; 
feathers on the shoulders and crop narrowly edged with pale 
brown ; tail grey, wings washed with the same colour ; cere 
and legs yellow ; beak horn-blue ; ii'ides pale brownish 
yellow. 

Entire length 19-5 inches; culmen 1'5; wing, carpus to 
tip, 15 ; tarsus 3"4. 

Immature plumage. — Brown, with the exception of the 
head, nape, throat, a patch on the shoulders, and an irregular 
baud on the chest, which are buff-coloured. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 32. 



166. Circus cyaneus (Linn.). Hen Harrier. 

This species is not nearly so common in Egypt as C. pal- 
lichis ; but I have found it occasionally in rows of sont trees 
in Middle Egypt along with that bird. It only remains in 
the country during the winter months. 

31ale. — Upper plumage pearl-grey, slightly mottled on the 
nape with white ; primaries black ; iail-coverts pure white ; 
the outer tail-feathers incline to white, and all except the 
two centre ones have seven dusky bars on them ; throat, crop, 
and remainder of the underparts white ; cere, legs, and 
irides yellow ; beak black. 

Entire length 19 inches; culmen 1'2 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 13"6 ; tarsus 2'7. 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 183 

The description is taken from a specimen I shot at Benisouef. 
The female is so similar to that of C. pallidus, that the one 
description will answer for both species. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 33. 

167. Circus PALLIDUS, Sykes. Pale-chested Harrier. ~J^£*<(PLiA,A^\ 

This species is resident in Egypt and Nubia throughout the 3 /rtAJL/? 
year, where it may often be seen in small parties frequenting ' 
the rows of sont trees which are not uncommon in the 
neighbourhood of villages, and sometimes in company with 
C. ci/aneus. The immature bird assumes a plumage which 
has caused it occasionally to be mistaken for C. cineraceus. 

Male. — Similar to C. ci/aneus, except that the upper tail- 
coverts are white, barred with grey. 

Female. — Forehead and eyebrow buff; feathers under the 
eye white ; ear-coverts brown ; nape mottled with white, 
remainder of the upper plumage brown, all the feathers edged 
with pale brown ; upper tail-coverts white, barred with brown ; 
inner web of the primaries marked with buff and barred with 
brown ; tail hghtest towards the outer feathers, and barred 
with dark brown ; under plumage buff, with the centre of 
most of the feathers rufous-brown ; cere and legs yellow ; "^ 

beak horn-blue ; irides brown. 

Entire length 20 inches; culmen 1*3; wing, carpus to 
tip, 14-7 ; tarsus 2-8. 

Immature bird. — Upper plumage similar to that of the 
adult female, except the upper tail-coverts, which are pure 
white ; underneath it is of a uniform pale ferruginous- 
brown. 



II 
184 BIRDS OF EGYPT. ^ 

Entire length 19 inches; culmen 1'3; wing, carpus to 
tip, 14*1 ; tarsus 2*9 . i 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 34. 



168. Circus cineraceus (Mont.). Montagu s Harrier. 

Von Heuglin (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 105) calls this a bird of 
passage in Egypt ; and several other writers upon Egyptian 
ornithology have included it in their Usts, in some instances, 
to my certain knowledge, from the immature Circus pallidus 
having been mistaken for this species. I myself have shot 
three such specimens in Egypt. The Pale-chested Harrier, 
however, may easily be distinguished by the wing being 
shorter in proportion to the size of the bird than it is in the 
present species. These specimens rather closely resemble 
the female, but are without spots on the under surface of 
the body. 

Male. — Upper parts and two centre tail-feathers grey; 
primaries black ; secondaries with three dusky bars, only one 
of which is visible from above; two outer tail-feathers on 
each side white, barred with chestnut, and tipped with dusky 
grey ; throat grey ; under surface of the body white, with 
chestnut streaks on the centre of the feathers ; legs, cere, and 
ii'ides yellow ; beak black. 

Entire length 17 inches ; culmen 1 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 13'5 ; tarsus 2. 

Female. — Above brown, with the centre of the feathers 
darker, lightest on the head ; under surface pale ferruginous 
brown, with longitudinal chestnut spots on the centres of the 
feathers. 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 185 

Entire length 17'5 inches ; wing, carpus to tip, 13"5. 
Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 35. 

169. AsTTJR PALUMBARirs (Linn.). Goshawk. 

The Goshawk appears to be of very rare occurrence in 
Egypt ; and I know of no record of its having been met with 
in Nubia. On the 24th of March, 1868, my brother shot a 
fine female specimen in the sont woods near Benisouef, which 
has formed the subject of the following description : — 

General colom* of the upper plumage ashy grey ; it has a 
white eyebrow, finely mottled with dusky ; nape mottled 
with white ; quills barred with dark brown ; on the tail four 
distinct bars ; underparts white, closely barred with brown ; 
cere, legs, and irides yellow ; beak horn-blue. 

Entire length 25 inches; culmen 1'5; wing, carpus to 
tip, 14*6 ; tarsus 3"5. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 17. 

170. AcciPiTER Nisus (Linn.). Sparrow-Hawk. /^ /^ 

The Sparrow-Hawk is very plentiful throiighout Egypt and 
Nubia. 

Adult female — Upper surface of the body, including the 
wings and tail, greyish brown, with a large white patch on 
the nape ; under sm-face white, the feathers of the throat 
marked with fine longitudinal streaks ; breast and abdomen 
thickly barred with dark brown ; tail barred with dusky ; 
cere, legs, and irides yellow ; beak horn-blue. 

Entire length 14 inches. 



186 BIRDS or EGYPT. 

Adult male. — Smaller and brighter ; upper plumage blue ; 
underparts shaded with rufous on the breast, but especially 
on the flanks and thighs. 

Entire length 12 inches; culmen 0'5 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 7-2 ; tarsus 2-3. 

Fig. Sharpe and Dresser, B. of Eur. part ix. 

171. AcciPiTER GABAR (Daud.). Little Bed-billed Hawk. 

This species may probably be met with as a rare straggler 
throughout Egypt and Nubia; for Mr. Edgar Larking has 
given me the description of a bird shot by him in Upper 
Egypt which agrees precisely with the present species. 
Although he brought the specimen home, it has unfortunately 
been mislaid, so that I have not been able to examine it. 
Von Heuglin (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 74) gives Derr as its most 
northern limit on the Nile, while Schlegel says that it is plen- 
tiful near Suez. 

Upper plumage slaty grey ; quills barred with dusky, their 
inner webs white, secondaries tipped with white ; tapper tail- 
coverts and tip of tail white, with four broad black bands on 
the latter; throat pale grey; remainder of the underparts 
white, closely banded with narrow dusky bars ; cere and legs 
red ; beak black. 

Entire length 12 inches; culmen 0"8 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 7'5 ; tarsus 1"9. 

Fig. Bree, B. of Eur. vol. i. p. 51. 

172. Falco peregrinus, Linn. Peregrine Falcon. 

The Peregrine ranges throughout Egypt and Nubia. It is 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 187 

most plentiful in the winter, but probably remains occasionally 
to breed in the country ; for on the 6th of May I shot a spe- 
cimen at Aboo Fayda. 

Upper plumage slate-colour, darkest on the head and 
shoulders, and changing to grey on the rump and upper 
tail-coverts, which are barred with dusky ; feathers on 
the back and wings narrowly edged with dirty white; tail 
iDanded with grey, inclining to cream-colour on the inner 
webs, and tipped with buff. Under plumage white or cream- 
colour, streaked or spotted with brown on the crop and barred 
on the abdomen, flanks, and thighs ; cere, eyelids, and legs 
yellow ; beak horn-blue, inclining to yellow at the base of the 
lower mandible. 

Feviale. — Entire length 19 inches; culmen 1"5 ; wing, 
carpus to tip, 14 ; tarsus 21. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 21. 



173. Falco barbarus, Linn. Barhary Falcon. 

This Falcon, though a resident, is rather rare in Egypt 
and Nubia. At Edfoo on the 21st of April I saw a pair of 
Falcons which, from their small size and long pointed wings, 
I beheve to have belonged to this species ; and on the follow- 
ing day I shot a handsome male specimen on a sandbank 
near El Kab. 

To'p of the head grey, with dark centres to the feathers ; 
nape rufous ; remainder of the upper parts grey barred with 
dusky, most strongly between the shoulders ; inner web of 
the primaries barred with flesh-colour ; tail darkest towards the 
end, tipped with white and banded with irregular dusky 



188 BIRDS OF EGYPT. 

bars ; a distinct dusky moustache edged with rufous. Under 
parts creamy white, finely barred on the abdomen andflanls 
ivitJi dusky ; cere and l^ase of the bill yellow, remainder of the 
beak horn-blue ; irides brown. 

Entire length 13"5 inches; culmen Tl; wing, carpus to 
tip, 11 ; tarsus 1'6. 

The description is taken from the bird I shot at El Kab. 

Fig. Salvin, Ibis, 1859, pi. 6. 



S^ fl'l^^lyt l'^'^- I'alco lanarius, Linn. Lanner Falcon. 

X !r /A-ZAA^^-*^ This is the most abundant of the large Falcons, and re- 
j f \ mains throughout the year in Egypt and Nubia, breeding 

y/ K^JM^ M. ^ annually on the Pyramids. 

Like all the true Falcons it appears very partial to the 
neighbourhood of water ; frequently it will follow the sports- 
man on the look-out for wounded game. On the 19th of 
April I shot a female specimen in an interesting stage of 
plumage, from which my description of the immature bird is 
taken. 

Adult. — Forehead neurit/ white ; remainder of the upper part 
of the head and nape rufous finely marked with narrow black 
streaks ; moustache, feathers in front of the eye, and an eye- 
brow extending to the nape black; remainder of the. upper 
plumage dark slaty grey, with the feathers on the back and 
wing-coverts edged with buff; feathers on the rump and 
tail-coverts paler grey barred with dusky ; primaries dusky 
grey distinctly barred with cream-colom* on the inner webs ; 
tail-feathers barred and tipped with cream-colour. Under- 
parts cream-colour, streaked with brown on the crop, and 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 1S9 

spotted with the same colour on the abdomen ; cere, eyelids, 
and legs yellow ; beak horn-blue, more or less yeUow to- 
wards the base according to age ; irides brown. 

Male. — Entire length 17 inches ; culmen 1"1 ; wing, carpus 
to tip, 13'3 ; tarsus 1-9. 

Tlie sexes only differ in size, the female being larger. 

A verj' old specimen in my collection has the top of the 
head very pale ; and aU the feathers on the crop and abdomen 
have brown streaks along the shafts, broadening into spots 
towards the tips of the feathers. 

Immature. — Top of the head white, inclining to pale rufous 
towards the nape, with the centres of the feathers strongly 
streaked with brown ; moustache, feathers round the eyes, 
and nape nearly black ; remainder of the upper plumage 
uniform dusky brown ; primaries marked on the inner webs 
with cream-coloured spots rather than bars ; tail brown, two 
centre feathers without markings, remaining feathers faintly 
marked with a few smaE cream-coloured spots ; tips of the 
feathers cream-colour ; underparts white, with the greater 
part of the feathers on the crop and abdomen brown ; cere, 
eyehds, and legs greyish yeUow ; beak horn-blue ; irides 
brown. 

Entire length 17 inches; culmen \i; ^ving, carpus to 
tip, 13"5 ; tarsus 2'1 ; middle toe 1"S. 

Tig. Bree, B. of Eur. vol. i. p. 37. 

175. Falco BABTLOicus, Gumey. Re d-naped Falcon. 

Von Heuglin (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 26) calls this Falcon a 
tolerably common resident in Egypt and Nubia, frequenting 
the palm trees, mountains, pjTamids, and ruined temples. 



190 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 



Plumage nearly similar to that of F. harharus, but lighter 
and rather more rufous on the front of the head. It is the 
size of F. lanariiis, with which it is most liable to be con- 
founded, but differs from that bird in the absence of a 
whitish frontal band, the rufous feathers extending on to the 
cere and bordered behind by a broad, dark, slate-coloured 
band across the head, which separates the forehead from the 
rufous of the nape ; feathers on the back of the neck beloio the 
nu])e bordered with rufous ; a comparative absence of spots on 
the upper portion of the lower surface. Middle toe longer 
than in F. lanarius. 

Entire length 17*5 inches; wing, carpus to tip, 12'8; 
tarsus 2 ; middle toe 2. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Asia, pt. xx. 



176. Falco sakee, Schl. Saker Falcon. 

This large species of Falcon is rather rare in Egypt and 
Nubia. In 1868 I obtained two specimens — one near Kom 
Ombo, the other near Sioot. It is called by the Arabs " Saker 
el hor ; " and they train it to hunt the Gazelle. 

Top and sides of the head white, each feather marked with 
a longitudinal streak of brown ; remainder of the upper plu- 
mage slaty brown ; primaries marked with cream-coloured 
spots or bars on the inner webs ; tail marked with cream- 
colour in the form of spots on the centre feathers, inclining to 
bars on the outer ones ; underparts white, boldly marked 
with large oval brown spots ; legs and cere rather dull yellow ; 
beak horn-blue, darkest towards the tip and inclining to yellow 
towards the base of the lower mandible ; irides lirown. 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 191 

Entire length 22 inches; culmen 1'55 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 15'8 ; tarsus 2*2. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Asia. pt. xx. 
177. Falco ^salon, Linn. Merlin. /i^ ^ 

The Merlin, which is extremely abundant in Egypt in 
spring, rarely extends its range so far south as Nubia. It 
may generally be met with in clumps of sont trees, and in 
some woods near Benisouef I have seen as many as thirty 
in a day, yet I never met with a single female specimen. 
This great preponderance of males, which has also been re- 
marked by Mr. E. C. Taylor (Ibis 1859, p. 45), leads me to 
believe that it rarely, if ever, breeds in Egypt, although I 
have seen it as late as the end of April, though apparently 
not paired at that season. 

Male. — Upper plumage bright blue-grey, the centre of the 
feathers streaked with black ; a narrow edging of white 
feathers to the forehead, and a well-defined rufous collar on 
the nape ; quiUs dusky, the inner webs barred with grey or 
white ; a band an inch broad at the end of the tail dusky, the 
feathers tipped with white, and all but the two centre feathers 
barred with dusky on their inner webs ; throat white, re- 
mainder of the underparts ferruginous white, darkest on the 
thighs and streaked and spotted with dark brown on the 
centres of the feathers ; cere, base of the bill, and legs yellow, 
remainder of the beak horn-blue ; irides brown. 

Entire length 11 inches; culmen 0*7 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
8 ; tarsus 1*4. 

The description is taken from Egyptian specimens in my 
collection. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Enr. pi. 24. 



192 BIRDS OF EGYPT. 

178. Falco subbuteo, Linn. Hobby. 

The Hobby is by no means plentiful in Egypt and Nubia. 
Von Heuglin (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 34) mentions three in- 
stances of its capture in that country ; and I have a specimen 
procured for me at Damhanhoor in April. 

Forehead buff, upper plumage dark slaty grey, with a patch 
of ferruginous colour on the nape ; inner web of the quills 
barred with ferruginous buif ; a moustachial stripe, feathers 
under the eye, and ear-coverts black ; underparts buff, 
changing to rufous on the thighs and under taU-coverts ; 
crop, chest, and under wing-coverts strongly mottled with 
dusky ; cere and legs yellow ; beak horn-blue ; irides brown. 

Entire length 13 inches ; culmen 0'7 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
10-5; tarsus 1-4. 

The description is taken from my Egyptian specimen. 

Fig. Sharpe & Dresser, B. of Eur. Part iv. 



179. Falco concoloe, Temm. Sooti/ Falcon. 

Von Heuglin observes (Ibis, 1860, p. 409), in speaking 
of this bird under the name of F. horus, " I have observed 
this species rarely in the rocky deserts of Egypt and Nubia. 
A. Brehm has described a young specimen killed by myself 
in August 1852, near the so-called 'Fossil Forest,' at the 
Mokattam Mountains." In the Ibis for 1871 (p. 42) I in- 
cluded F. eleonora among the birds of Egypt on the authority 
of Von HeugUn (Ibis, 1860, p. 408), who writes of that 
species : — " Rare and only as a migrant bird in Nubia ; " 
however, in his large work on the ornithology of North- 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 193 

Eastern Africa he includes F. eleanorte from those parts as 
synonymous with F. concolor, which seems to be the repre- 
sentative of that species in the Red Sea ; for two pairs that he 
shot in the archipelago of Kakara, in 1857, appeared to belong 
certainly to F. concolor. 

Entire plumage uniform plumbeous grey, except the pri- 
maries, which are dusky, and the shafts of the feathers, which 
are dark ; cere and legs yellow ; beak horn-blue ; irides 
brown. 

Total length 14 inches; culmen 0'75 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 1175 ; tarsus IS. 

Fig. Finsch & Hartlaub, Vog. Ost-Afr. pi. 1. 



180. Falco VESPERTiNUs, Linn. Bed-legged Falcon. 

This species ranges throughout Egypt and Nubia, but is 
most abundant in the Delta. According to Von Heuglin it is 
usually to be met with in small flocks of from six to twelve in 
Lower Egypt, but singly in Nubia. It is most plentiful in 
spring and autumn. 

It feeds chiefly upon insects, and consequently is most 
likely to be met with while in pursuit of locusts in the corn- 
fields. 

Male. — Plumage uniform deep slaty-grey, lightest on the 
wings and lower part of the chest ; abdomen, thighs, and 
under tail-coverts rich russet brown ; cere, base of the bUl, 
skin round the eyes, and legs vermilion ; remainder of the 
beak horn -blue ; irides brown. 

Entire length 11-5 inches; culmen 0"7; wing, carpus to 
tip, 9'8 ; tarsus 1-1. 





194 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

The description is taken from a specimen in my collection 
from Damanhoor, shot in April. 

Fig. Sliarpe and Dresser, B. of Eur. part i. 

181. Falco TiNNtTNCDLUs, Linn. Ki'strel. 

This is by far the most abundant Hawk in Egypt. On 
one occasion I saw at least one hundred in a single clump 
of palm-trees, doubtless attracted there by the locusts, which 
were passing in dense, continuous clouds beneath them. In 
1870 the flight of locusts spread throughout the country, 
clearing whole districts of every green crop as they passed. 

Possibly it was owing to the good done by the Kestrel in 
devouring these destructive insects that the ancient Egyptians 
placed this Hawk among their sacred animals. 

Male. — Forehead buff; top of the head, nape, and ear- 
coverts grey ; back and wing-coverts rich ferruginous brown 
spotted with black ; rump and tail grey, the latter with a 
broad black band at the end, the extreme tip of the feathers 
being white ; underparts ferruginous bufi", spotted on the 
chest with black ; cere, base of the bill, and legs yellow ; re- 
mainder of the beak horn-blue ; clmos black ; irides brown. 

Entire length 13"5 inches; culmen 0"7 ; Aving, carpus to 
tip, 9 '3 ; tarsus 1*5. 

The female differs in the absence of grey on its plumage, 
being wholly rufous, with dusky bars on the back and tail. 

The young birds more or less resemble the female. 

Fig. Sharpe and Dresser, B. of Eur. part ii. 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 195 

182. Falco cenchris (Cuv.). Lesser Kestrel. 

This bird ranges throughout Egypt and Nubia. It is 
most abundant in spring and autumn, especially around 
Alexandria, where Von Heuglin says that a few pairs remain 
to breed in the walls of that town, 

I only shot it upon one occasion, in a wood near Benisouef, 
on the 29th of March. 

Male. — Top of the head, nape, and ear-coverts, a band 
across the wings, rump and tail grey ; remainder of the back 
and wing-coverts bright chestnut, without spots ; tail similar 
to that of the Common Kestrel; throat buff; remainder of 
the underparts rosy buff, with small distinct black spots on 
the chest ; cere, base of the bill, eyelids, and legs yellow, 
claws yelloioish-white ; remainder of the beak horn-blue ; 
irides brown. 

Female. — Plumage very similar to that of the Common 
Kestrel, but the claws are yelloioisli white. 

Entire length 11'5 inches; culmen 0"8 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 9 ; tarsus \'2. 

The description is taken from a male specimen which 1 
shot at Benisouef. 

Fig. Sharpe and Dresser, B. of Eur. part iii. 



183. MiLvus REGALis (Linn.). Common Kite. 

Riippell remarks of this species that it is abundant in 
Lower Egypt, while Von Heughn says (Orn. N. 0. Afr. 
p. 97) that neither he nor Brehm ever met with it there. 
I know of no instance of its capture in Egypt, and am there- 



196 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

fore of opinion that Riippell is in error, having no doubt 
mistaken specimens of 31. agyptius, which is the only Kite 
that is abundant in the country. 

Head and neck pale grey, with brown streaks down the 
centres of the feathers ; the whole of the upper surface fer- 
ruginous-brown, with dark brown centres to the feathers ; 
primaries dusky ; tail rich ferruginous-brown ; under surface 
of the body pale brown or orange, shading into rufous on the 
flanks and thighs, with the centres of the feathers dark 
brown ; cere and legs yellow ; beak horn-blue ; irides pale 
yellow. 

Entire length 26 inches; culmen I'o; wing, carpus to 
tip, 205; tarsus 2 '4. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 28. 



184. MiLVTJS iEGYPTius, Gm. Parasitic Kite. 

Arabic name " Hedaich." 

Very abundant throughout Egypt and Nubia. They frequent 
every village, and indeed any place where there is a chance of 
their obtaining offal ; and at Cairo and Alexandria great 
numbers may be seen flying over the town or perched upon 
the housetops. They are very inquisitive, and become bold 
when in search of food, often following the sportsman for a 
considerable distance ; but I have never observed them 
capture even a wounded bird, although they will occasionally 
swoop at them. They begin breeding in March, usually 
selecting a sont tree near some village for their nest, which 
appears invariably to contain some pieces of old rag. 

Adult. — Head and neck whitish grey, inclining more or 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 197 

less to pale rufous on the top of the head and nape, the 
centre of each feather marked with a narrow streak of dusky 
brown ; remainder of the upper plumage brown, with light 
edgings to the feathers ; primaries black ; tail rufous brown, 
darkest on the outer feathers, and crossed by nine or ten bars ; 
uuderparts rufous brown, the feathers marked down theii" 
centres with dusky ; tail forked ; beak, cere, and tarsi yellow ; 
irides pale yellowish brown. 

Entire length 24' 5 inches; culmen I'S ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 18 ; tarsus 2" 2. 

Immature plumage. — Tail often not forked ; top of the 
head and nape sandy colour, with the centres of the feathers 
dark brown ; remainder of the upper plumage dark brown, 
all the feathers, including the quills and tail, broadly edged 
with pale brown ; underparts pale brown, mottled with dark 
brown, mostly on the chest ; cere and legs yellow ; beak 
black ; irides brown. 

Entire length 19 to 21'2 inches ; culmen 1*5 ; wing, carpus 
tip, 13 to 16. 

The description of the immature bird is taken from fom' 
specimens in my own collection. 

Fig. Dubois, Ois. de I'Eur. pi. 14. 



185. MiLVUs MIGRANS (Bodd.). Black Kile. 

Some ornithologists include under this name both the 
Black Kite [M. migrans) and the Yellow-billed Kite {M. 
ceggptius), both of which birds are met with in Egypt ; but 
the black-billed examples are rare, excepting immature spe- 
cimens, which invariably have the beak of that colour, whether 



198 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 



they belong to M. migrans or to M. (Pffi/jjtius. So great is' 
the preponderance of the yellow-billed race, that I am not 
aware of having killed a single adult specimen in Egypt with 
a bill entirely black ; and Von Heuglin and Mr. E. C. Taylor 
make similar observations. 

This species is very similar to M. (egyptius, but has always 
an entirely black bill. The general shade of the plumage is 
blacker, the dark streaks down the centres of the feathers on 
the throat and crop are broader, and the irides, I believe, are 
invarial)ly darker than in the adult M. aggptius. 

Entire length 23-3 inches ; culmen 1-7; wing, carpus to 
tip, 18-5 ; tarsus 2-3. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 29. 



2jU/^ 



'f 



ttTTf-' 



.1 



186. Elanus CiERULEUS (Dcsfont.). Black-shouldered Hawk. 

This pretty little Hawk is a resident in Egypt, and is very 
abundant as far south as Thebes, above which place and in 
Nubia its numbers are much more limited. It generally 
frequents the sont trees ; but I have rarely observed more 
than a pair in the same clump. The food consists of insects 
and mice, which I have seen it pursuing after sunset, when 
I have been waiting for duck. Being by no means shy, its 
habits may be easily observed ; and I have seen a bird occa- 
sionally remaining perched upon the top bough of a sont tree 
for hours together, uttering at intervals a low cry to its mate, 
who is rarely far off. By this rather peculiar cry, which it 
frequently repeats while sitting on its eggs, I was attracted 
to its nest on one occasion. The eggs, though rare in col- 
lections, are by no means difficult to find in Egypt. It 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 199 

begins breeding towards the end of February, and appears 
invariably to select a sont tree for its nest, which is con- 
structed of sticks and reeds, put together with some care, 
and smoothly lined with the dried leaves of the sugar-cane. 
The eggs somewhat resemble those of the Kestrel, but are 
rarely quite as rounded in shape, and show more of the 
white ground, whUe the brown markings look like dry paint 
smeared carelessly over the surface. On the 12th of March, 
at Golosaneh, I found a nest containing four young birds. 
They were of a pale ashy colour, considerably darker on the 
back and top of the head, where the feathers were mostly 
tipped with brown, and the chest was of a pale brown. 

Adult. — The eyes are surrounded by black ; forehead and 
feathers over the eyes white ; remainder of the upper plumage 
grey, except the shoulders, which are black ; the outer 
feathers of the tail almost white ; the whole of the uuderparts 
white ; cere and legs yellow ; beak black ; irides carmine. 

Entire length 13 inches ; culmen 1 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 12 ; tarsus 1'3. 

Immature plumage. — Head and back tinted with yellowish 
brown, and the feathers of the wing and tail tipped with 
white ; chest delicately shaded with yellowish brown, with a 
few brown streaks on the centres of the feathers ; irides pale 
brown, while in the nestlings they are dark brown. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 31. 

187. Pernis apivorus (Linn.). Honey Buzzard. 

Both Hedenborg and Riippell mention this bird as being 
found in Egypt. I am, however, inclined to look upon it as 
a mere straggler in that country. 



200 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

Feathers of the head short and stiff. 

Adult. — Top and sides of the head brownish grey ; re- 
mainder of the upper pUimage brown tinted with grey ; quills 
barred with dusky black, and marked with white on their 
inner web ; tail tipped with white, and marked with the 
same colour at the base and on the inner web of some of the 
feathers ; tail crossed by four distinct dark brown bands at 
irregular intervals ; under surface of the body white, with 
the feathers boldly mottled and barred with brown ; cere 
and legs yellow ; beak horn-blue ; irides brownish yellow. 

Entire length 23 inches ; culmen 1*5 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 16 ; tarsus 2. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 16. 

188. BuTEO VULGARIS, Bechst. Common Buzzard. 

This bird is by no means common in Egypt. The only 
specimen I saw was one which I killed in a wood near Beni- 
souef on the 25th of March ; and from this bu'd I have taken 
my description. 

Upper plumage brown, with lighter edgings to the feathers, 
mottled with white on the head and neck ; tail distinctly 
marked with numerous dark brown bars ; underparts white, 
mottled with brown ; cere and legs yellow \ beak horn-blue ; 
irides brown. 

Entire length 17 inches; culmen 1-5; wing, carpus to 
tip, 15 ; tarsus 3 "2. 

Specimens vary considerably both in colour and size. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 14. 



b 

I 

s 



\— -!•"" N'w„.isSf^ 




a: 



o 

LU 

H 

m 









BIRDS OF EGYPT. 201 

189. BuTEO DESERTORUM, Daud. African Buzzard. 

In ' The Ibis ' for 1871 (p. 40) I observed that it is highly 
probable that this bird is to be found in Egypt ; but I do not 
know of any authentic instance of its capture there, though 
I fancy that I saw it in Nubia. As it is met with in all the 
surrounding countries, it cannot, in my opiiiion, fail to occur 
in Egypt. 



z^u.tJL- 



190. BuTEO FEROX, Gm. Long-legged Buzzard. 

This is the most plentiful species of Buzzard throughout — 

Egypt and Nubia. In Lower Egypt it is less frequently 
met with than higher up the Nile, and does not, I believe, 
winter in the Delta. It appears to be less abundant in some 
years than others ; for in 1870 I only met with one specimen, 
at Kom Ombo, where it was breeding at the time. This 
specimen, unlike any other that I have ever seen, had a 
brown tail distinctly barred. In 1868 it was rarely absent 
from any field where Quail were abundant; and in 1871 
I found it very plentiful in the Fayoom. It is a bird of 
lazy habits, rarely flying far, even after being shot at, but 
soon alighting again upon some mound or heap of maize- 
stalks, from which it keeps watch over the fields. I have 
found it breeding in Egypt in April. 

Specimens differ very considerably in size and coloration. 

Upper surface — top of the head varying from white to 
cinnamon, more or less mottled with brown down the centres 
of the feathers, remainder of the upper plumage bufi" or 



202 BIRDS OF EGYPT. 

cinnamou-brown, mottled with dark brown ; primaries dark 
brown, inclining to grey on the outer webs, and boldly 
marked with white or pale cinnamon on the inner webs ; 
tail buff or pale cinnamon-brown, sometimes faintly edged 
with grey on the outer feathers, and usually unbarred, or at 
most only exhibiting veiy faint signs of cross bars ; but upon 
one occasion I met with a specimen which had the tail very 
distinctly marked with a number of perfect brown l)ars ; 
underparts cream-colour, more or less streaked with brown 
or cinnamon on the throat and crop ; abdomen more or less 
of a uniform pale chestnut ; most of the underpart of the 
wings white ; legs and cere yellow ; beak dusky ; irides pale 
yellowish brown. 

Entire length 22 to 25 inches; culmen 10 to 1'8 ; wing, 
carpus to tip, 17"5 to 18 "7 ; tarsus 3' 5 to 4. 



'^ttolsAAJi 191 • CiRCAETUS GALLicus (Gm.). Skort-toed Eaffle. 

m hiii<.jjr(p^ Tolerably plentiful throughout Egypt and Nul)ia, fre- 

vOj^d , quenting mountainous districts. On the wing it may be 

mistaken for the Osprey ; but it is rather larger, and of a 

generally paler colour, while in disposition it is not nearly 

so shy. 

Head rather broad ; upper plumage ashy brown, with pale 
edgings to the feathers ; head and neck occasionally much 
paler ; inner web of the quills marked with pure white, and 
barred with dusky brown ; tail tipped Avith white, and with 
three rather indistinct dusky bars, the inner web of all but 
the two centre feathers white ; underparts white, spotted and 
barred with pale brown, chiefly on the upper part of the 



BIRDS or EGYPT. 203 

chest ; tarsus bare ; cere and legs yellow ; beak horn-blue ; 
irides yellow. 

Entire length 28 inches ; culmen 2 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 20' 5 ; tarsus 3" 5. 

The description is taken from specimens shot by myself in 
Egypt. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 24. 



192. Pandion HALiAETUs (Linn.). Osprcy. 

The Osprey is plentiful throughout Egypt and Nubia 
during the winter. In the Fayoom I found it extremely 
abundant, and not so shy as along the banks of the Nile. 
In the former locality I have often watched it hover for a 
moment over the water ; then descending on its prey with 
a splash, seldom without success, it would rise and, shaking 
the water from its feathers, fly slowly off to some suitable 
position to devour its captive. 

Feathers on the back of the head rather long ; top and 
back of the head white, mottled with dark brown ; remainder 
of the upper plumage dark brown, with pale edges to the 
feathers ; the inner web of the quills marked with white and 
barred with brown ; tail-feathers, with the exception of the 
two centre ones, pale brown, inclining to white, and with five 
or six distinct brown bars ; under plumage white, more or 
less mottled with brown on the crop, according to the age of 
the specimen ; cere and legs slaty grey ; beak horn-blue ; irides 
brown. 

Entire length 21 inches; culmen i"8; wing, carpus to 
tip, 19 ; tarsus 2"3. 



204 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

The description is taken from two specimens shot by 
myself in the Fayoom. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 12. 

193. Haliaetus albicilla (Linn.). White-tailed Eagle. 

Von Heuglin (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 52) states that this species 
is a resident in Lower Egypt, where it frequents the lakes, as, 
for instance, lake Menzaleh. It is usually to be seen in pairs 
even during the winter months, at which season its numbers 
appear to be recruited by visitors. He considers the Egyptian 
specimens to belong to a small and possibly climatic variety 
of the true H. albicilla. 

Adult. — Entke plumage ashy brown, palest on the under- 
parts ; tail pure white ; beak and legs yellow ; irides pale brown. 

The immature bird has a brown tail and slate-coloured beak. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 10. 

194. Aquila fulva (Linn.). Golden Eagle. 

This species is likewise said by Von Heuglin (Orn. N. O. 
Afr. p. 44) to visit Lower Egypt occasionally and at irregular 
intervals during the winter. 

Adult. — Head and neck rich rufous-brown ; remainder of 
the plumage dark brown ; cere yellow ; beak horn-blue ; feet 
yellow ; irides pale brown ; tarsus covered with feathers. It 
has three large scales on each toe. 

Immature plumage. — Head and neck not so pronounced 
rufous-brown ; the tail more or less barred with white at the 
base, and the feathers of the tarsi more or less white. 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 205 

Entire length 29 inches; culmen 2'7 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 23'5; tarsus 4'5. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 6. 

195. Aqtjila iMPERiALis, Bechst. Imperial Eagle. 

This fine species of Eagle is not uncommon in Lower Egypt 
during the cooler months, but is rarely met with on the Nile 
above Cairo, and in Nubia appears only as an occasional 
straggler. 

Adult. — Top of the head and back of the neck rufous ; 
back and wings dark brown, with the exception of the sca- 
pulars, which are mostly white ; tail shaded with ash-colour, 
and irregularly barred with black, the broadest bar being 
next to the buff tip of the tail ; under surface of the body 
dark brown, shading off into rufous on the abdomen ; cere 
and tarsus yellow ; irides pale brown ; beak horn-blue. 

Entire length 27 inches ; culmen 2'1 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 2r5; tail ll'O ; tarsus 3*8. 

The immature bird is much paler on the chest, which is 
distinctly striped with fulvous, and without the white on the 
scapulars. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 5. 

196. Aqttila n^vioides (Cuv.). Tawny Eagle. 

Von Heuglin (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 45) mentions this species 
as of rare occurrence in Egypt and Nubia. 

Entire plumage ferruginous-brown, with the centre of the 
feathers of the back, scapulars, and wing-coverts darker 



206 BIRDS OF EGYPT. 

brown ; quills and tail dusky brown ; legs feathered down to 
the feet ; feet, cere, and base of the bill yellow, remainder of 
the beak horn -blue ; irides pale brown. 

Entire length 24 inches ; culmen 1-8; wing 18*0; tarsus 
3-2. 



197. AauiLA N.EViA, Gm. Spotted Eagle. 

This is the most abundant species of Eagle in Egypt, but 
it is less plentiful in Nubia. During my visit to the Fayoora 
in February and March it was extremely plentiful, and was 
generally to be seen sitting still by the water's edge. I fre- 
quently found it devouring pieces of decomposing fish, which 
appeared to form its chief food in theFayoom. 

Entire plumage brown, feathers on the head and neck with 
pale edgings ; rump boldly mottled with white and pale 
brown ; tail narrowly tipped with pale brown, and very 
indistinctly barred; under tail-coverts buff, mottled with 
brown. In younger specimens the chest, back, and wing- 
coverts are marked on the centre of the feathers with cream- 
colom-ed spots. Tarsus feathered ; cere and feet yellow ; 
beak horn-blue ; irides brown. 

Entire length 24-28 inches ; culmen 2-4 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 18-5-20 ; tarsus 4. 

The descriptions are taken from Egyptian specimens in my 
collection. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 8. 

198. Aqdila Bonellii, Temm. BoneUi's Eagle. 

According to Von Heuglin (Orn. N. 0. Afr. p. 49) this 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 207 

Eagle is occasionally met with throughout Egypt and the 
Fayoom during the winter mouths ; and Antinori calls it com- 
paratively common in Egypt and Lower Nubia. I have, 
however, never met with it during my several visits to those 
countries, nor have I seen an Egyptian specimen in any 
collection. 

Upper plumage brown, with the edges of the feathers 
mostly lighter ; quills black ; tail more or less shaded with 
ash-colour, paler at the tip, and somewhat irregularly barred 
with dusky ; throat and under surface of the body white or 
pale ferruginous, with brown stripes down the centres of the 
feathers ; tarsus feathered ; cere and feet yellow ; beak horn- 
blue ; irides brown. 

Entire length 24 to 30 inches ; culmen 1-75 ; wing 19*8 ; 
tail irS ; tarsus 43. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 7. 



199. Aquila pennata (Gm.). Booted Ea^le. 

Plentiful at times in Egypt and Nubia. It arrives about 
March to breed, and leaves again in September. It appears 
to be rather uncertain in its visits ; for I never met with it 
during my last two tours in the country ; but in March 
1868, near Benisouef, our party killed three, and we saw 
several others either among the clumps of sont trees or 
beating up and down the fields, which were at that time full 
of Quail. 

Specimens often differ very considerably in the colour of 
their chests. 

Forehead occasionally white ; remainder of the head and 



208 BIRDS OF EGYPT. 

neck light brown, the centres of the feathers streaked with 
dusky ; remainder of the upper phimage dark brown, the 
feathers mostly edged with paler brown ; under plumage 
white, streaked down the centres of the feathers with brown, 
or else pale brown streaked with darker brown ; a more or 
less well-defined moustache ; tarsi feathered ; cere and feet 
yellow ; beak horn-blue ; irides brown. 

This variation in plumage, as far as is known at present, 
depends neither upon sex nor age. 

Entire length 21 inches; culmen 1-6; wing, carpus to 
tip, 15'5 ; tarsus 2'5. 

The description is taken from Egyptian specimens in my 
collection. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Em-, pi. 9. 



200. Gypaetus nudipes, Brehm. Southern Bearded Vulture. 

According to Riippell this bird is found in Egypt and 
Nubia; and Antinori says that it breeds in the Mokattam 
mountains, near Cairo. Dr. A. L. Adams mentions having 
seen G. barbatus on the Pyramids (Ibis, 1864, p. 8); and 
this specimen probably belonged to the present species, 
which does not appear to be very uncommon in Egypt. Dr. 
von Heuglin met with it on the shores of the Red Sea, near 
Suez (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 18). 

On the chin a tuft of dark brown bristles 1 inch in 
length; feathers on the face and throat short and brown, 
those on the back of the head and neck long, lanceolate, and 
nearly black ; back, wings, and upper tail-coverts paler brojvn, 
and boldly marked with dirty white spots ; quill feathers of 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 209 

the wings and tail dark brown ; the feathers on the lower 
part of the throat are marked with longitudinal brownish- 
yellow spots ; remainder of the underparts pale ferruginous 
brown ; beak dull yellow, black at the base ; legs yellow ; 
u'ides brown. 

Entire length 40 inches ; culmen 4 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 28 ; tarsus 4 ; tail 19-5, wedge-shaped. 

Fig. Riipp. Syst. Uebers. pi. 1. 



201. VuLTUR MONACHUS, Linn. Black Vulture. / '77^^ '' 

The Black Vulture ranges throughout Egypt and Nubia, //^^ t-v^«-u 
but is nowhere abundant. It may occasionally be seen on 2{'' f/t^ / ' 

the sandbanks, either singly, or, more frequently, in company /^— - 

with flocks of Gypsfulviis. 

Head and upper part of the throat covered with down, and 
ornamented with a ruff at the base of the neck ; the whole of 
the plumage dark brown, with the edges of the feathers paler ; 
basal half of the beak and a bare space on the throat bluish 
flesh-colour, remainder of the beak black ; legs bluish flesh- 
colour ; irides brown. 

Entire length 45 inches ; culmen 3*7 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 28 ; tarsus 5. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 2. 



202. VuLTUR AURiCTJLARis, Daud. Sociable Vulture. 

Von Heuglin (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 9) mentions this bird as 
plentiful in Nubia, and not uncommon in the middle and 

p 



210 BIRDS OF EGYPT. 

southern provinces of Egypt ; he observes, however, that he 
has not met with it in Lower Egypt. 

Head thinly covered with dusky-coloured down ; neck 
flesh-colour, naked, and covered with wrinkles ; at the back 
of the neck a partial collar of short stiff feathers ; back and 
wings brown ; under surface of the body paler, the feathers 
long and narrow ; legs and cere yellowish grey ; beak and 
irides brown. 

Total length 45 inches ; culmen 3'7 ; wing 31 "5 ; tarsus 6" 5. 

203. Gyps fulvus (Gm.). Griffon Vulture. 

This species is plentifully distributed throughout Egypt 
and Nubia. At Edfoo I met with several hundreds of them 
around the body of a dead camel, which they were extremely 
unwilling to quit, and allowed my dragoman to hit at them 
with his stick before they would take wing. Towards the 
end of April I observed a pair in the mountains of Aboo 
Fayda, where they were probably breeding. 

Head and neck covered with short white down ; lower 
part of the neck surrounded by a ruff of long, slender, white 
feathers, occasionally tinged with rufous ; quills and tail 
dusky ; remainder of the plumage brown, with a slight tint 
of rufous on the body ; legs hght brown ; beak slate-colour ; 
ii'ides hazel. 

Entire length 48 inches ; culmen 2'9 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 27 ; tarsus 4. 

Immature birds have the head and neck dirty white, varied 
with brown, and the rest of the plumage much lighter than 
in the adult, with white and grey markings. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 1. 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 211 

204. Neophron percnopterus (L.). Egyptian Vulture. 

Arabic " Racham." 

These birds are extremely abundant throughout Egypt and 
Nubia, where they may be daily seen feeding in pairs or 
flocks upon the offal round the villages, or slaking their thirst 
on the opposite sandbanks. 

Adult. — Head, face, and throat bare, and of a bright 
yellow colour ; wings black, with the outer web of some 
of the primaries and most of the secondaries washed over with 
silvery white ; remainder of the plumage creamy white, more 
or less tinted with pale brownish yellow on the neck and 
crop ; base of the beak yellow, apical half black ; legs flesh- 
colour; irides crimson. 

Entire length 27 inches ; culmen 3 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 18"5 ; tarsus 3'5. 

The immature bird is more or less brown all over, and has 
brown irides. 

It appears that this species does not obtain its mature 
plumage and crimson irides until the fourth year {cf. ' Nat. 
Hist, and Archeology of the Nile Valley and Maltese Islands,' 
by A. Leith Adams, p. 104). 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 3. 



Fam. COLUMBID^. 

205. CoLUMBA LiviA, Linn. Bock-Dove. 

This Dove is abundant throughout Egypt and Nubia, 
inhabiting rocks and ruins, and the dove-cots in the Arab 
villages, in a semidomesticated state. By far the greater 

p 2 




212 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

proportion of the Egyptian Pigeons have a grey rump ; and 
such birds I refer to the next species, C. ScJiimperi, although 
I consider the colour of the rump to be a rather doubtful 
mark of specific distinction, as one cannot feel sure of the 
purity of the breed of even the apparently wild race. How- 
ever, there are other distinctive marks, which, though less 
apparent, are more to be relied upon for the recognition of 
C. Schimperi from the present species. 

General plumage slate-colour ; rump white ; lower part of 
the neck and upper part of the breast Vidth a metallic green 
and purple lustre ; the slate-colom* is darkest on the head, 
neck, breast, and upper tail-coverts, and lightest on the 
wings ; primaries dusky ; basal portion of the secondaries 
and greater wing-coverts black, forming two bars on the 
wing; tail broadly banded across the tip with dusky, and 
the basal half of the outer tail-feathers white ; beak dusky, 
with a fleshy substance at the base of the upper mandible ; 
legs blood-red ; irides brownish red. 

Entire length 14 inches; culmen 0"8 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 8'6 ; tarsus 1"1. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 245. 



206. CoLUMBA ScHiMPERi, Bp. ScMmpers Pigeon. 

I unfortunately paid but little attention to the Pigeons 
during my travels in Egypt, yet I think there can be no 
doubt that there are two races mixed in the vast semi- 
domesticated flocks, and living more or less in a pm-e wild 
state in the cliffs which in some places border the river. 
The one race has a white rump, and is C. livia ; the other. 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 213 

and by far the most abundant, has a slate-coloured rump, and 
belongs to the present species. Von HeugHn (Orn. N. O. 
Afr. p. 828) does not admit the specific distinctness of these 
two races, and considers them all to belong to C. livia, which 
is, in my opinion, an error. Mr. E. C. Taylor (Ibis, 1867, 
p. 66), on the other hand, includes all the Pigeons under the 
name C. Schimperi, with the following observations : — 
" Flocks of Pigeons, perfectly wild, frequent the precipitous 
rocks that here and there border the Nile. I have frequently 
shot examples of them, and have always found them to 
possess the characteristics of Columha Schimperi, being de- 
cidedly and conspicuously distinguishable from C. livia by 
the absence of the white rump which forms so marked a 
feature in that species." I have certainly shot Pigeons both 
with and without the white rump ; the former must un- 
doubtedly be C. livia, and the latter, which on many occa- 
sions had the strongest claims to be considered pure-bred 
wild birds, I refer to the present species, C. Schimperi, as 
they were certainly not C. o&nas, a bird of whose capture in 
Egypt I entertain very strong doubts. 



207. CoLUMBA CENAS, Linn. Stock-Dove. 

Von Heuglin (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 828) observes that there 
is a specimen in the Berlin Museum considered to be 
Egyptian ; but he doubts the occurrence of this species in 
the country, and believes that the uncoloured plate in the 
' Description de I'Egypte,' though named C. cenas, may be 
referred to C. livia. 

General colour of the plumage slaty grey, a patch on the 



214 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

side of the neck metallic green, the crop tinted with claret- 
colour ; quills dusky, with a single row of black blotches on the 
wing ; a broad black band at the extremity of the tail, and the 
exterior web of the outer tail-feather edged with white. In 
adult birds the beak is yellow, with the base red ; legs blood- 
red ; irides reddish brown. 

Entii'e length 14"5 inches; culmen 0'8 ; wing, carpus 
to tip, 8'8 ; tarsus 1"1. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 234. 

208. TuRTUE AURiTUS (Linn.). Turtledove. 
(Plate X. fig. 1.) 

This Turtledove is abundant throughout Egypt and 
Nubia in the spring, and frequently breeds in the country. 
I first met with it on the 20th of April at Edfoo, when it had 
evidently just arrived ; for I afterwards saw it daOy in greater 
abundance than either T. senegalensis or T. Sharpii. Von 
Heuglin (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 840) has fallen into the same 
error as most previous writers upon the birds of Egypt, and 
has mistaken T. Sharpei for the present species. The accom- 
panying plate will show the distinctness of these two Doves. 

Top of the head, back of the neck, sides of the back, rump, 
upper tail-coverts, and outer portion of the wing-coverts 
smoky grey ; remainder of the back brown, with dark 
centres to the feathers ; scapulars and greater portion of the 
wing-coverts black, broadly edged with clear yellowish brown ; 
quiUs and tail dusky, shaded with grey ; exterior web of the 
outer tail-feather, and a broad tip to all but the two centre 
ones, white ; sides of the face shaded with sandy brown ; 



Plate X. 




i.TURTUR AURITUS. 
2.TURTUR SHARPll. 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 215 

feathers on the sides of the neck black, tipped with white, 
forming three distinct obhque bands of each colour ; throat 
and chest rich purplish pink, gradually shading into pure 
white on the abdomen ; eyelids lilac-red ; beak dusky, with a 
reddish shade towards the base ; feet red ; irides red, tinted 
with orange. 

Entire length 12 inches; culmen 0"7; wing, carpus to 
tip, 7 ; tarsus 0'8. 



209. TuRTUR Sharpii, G. E. Shelley. Sharpes Turtledove. 

(Plate X. fig. 2.) K^ 

This bird arrives in the beginning of February, and by the 
end of the month becomes plentiful throughout Egypt and 
Nubia, and may be found breeding in great numbers towards 
the latter end of March, some three weeks before T. auritus 
arrives in the country. It has long been confounded with 
the latter species, owing to the similarity of its markings ; but 
may at once be distinguished from that bird by the absence 
of any blue shading on the head and back, and from its wings 
being one inch shorter from carpus to tip. I first described 
this species in 'The Ibis,' for 1870 (p. 447), and named it 
after my esteemed friend Mr. R. B. Sharpe, the author of the 
' Monograph of the Alcedinidae ' and other ornithological 
works. This Dove I regard as a desert form of T. auritus, 
and in some respects as intermediate between that bird and 
T. senegalensis. It appears never to breed on the ground, as 
the latter bird often does, but resembles it in the habit 
of frequenting burial-grounds and sandy districts, frequently 
at some distance from trees, which is seldom the case with 



216 



BIRDS OF EGYPT, 



T. auritm. Its egg is intermediate in size, and, from tlie one 
specimen I broaglit home, appears to be of a less pure white 
than those of the other two species. In the beginning of 
April it so far surpassed in numbers its congener, T. sene- 
galensis, that sixty out of sixty-two specimens which I killed 
on an island of the First Cataract were of this species. 

Its plumage differs from T. auritm in the following 
particulars : — The head is of a pale yellowish brown, lighter 
beneath, shading gradually on the chest into rich pink, which 
again fades into white towards the vent ; under taU-coverts 
white ; the rump and upper tail-coverts broadly edged with 
yellowish brown ; the exterior web of the outer tail-feather is 
stained brownish black at a distance of about an inch and a 
half from the tip ; the two middle tail-feathers broadly edged 
with yellowish brown, and the two or three next feathers on 
each side have their white tips partially marked with the same 
colour ; beak, legs, and irides similar to those of T. auritm. 

Entire length 11-5 inches; culm en 0"7; wing, carpus to 
tip, 6 ; tarsus 0*8. 



210. TdrTUR ISABELLINUS, Bp. 

The type specimen of this species is in the Berlin Museum, 
and has been figm'ed by Bonaparte, the original describer 
(Ic. Pig. t. 102) ; yet Von Heuglin makes no mention of it 
in his great work on the ornithology of North-eastern Africa. 
The figure is indifferent ; and as I have not seen the type 
specimen, and do not know upon what authority its claims 
are based to be an Egyptian species, I shall refrain from 
further remarks, merely adding, that if the species is a good 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 217 

one, and not a variety, I doubt if its real habitat will be 
found iu Egypt. 



211. TuRTUR ALBiVENTRis, G. R. Gray. Wliitc'bellied Turtle- 
dove. 

According to Von Heuglin, this Dove is met with singly 
in Egypt and Nubia. It is the T. risorius of his ' Syste- 
matische Uebersicht ' (p. 49). 

Head, neck, and crop creamy pink, with a broad black 
collar on the back of the neck, narrowly bordered with 
white; back and scapulars brown, shaded with grey on the 
rump ; tail, two centre feathers brownish slate-colour, the 
remainder greyer, with white ends, increasing in width 
towards the exterior feathers; wings brown, shaded with 
grey towards the shoulders ; under surface of the body white, 
shaded with pink on the chest and with grey on the flanks ; 
beak, legs, and irides the same as in T. auritus. 

Entu'e length 9 inches ; culmeu 0"7 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
5"9; tarsus 0"8. 



212. TuRTUE 8ENEGALENSIS (Linn.). Egyptian Turtledove. 

This Tiu:tledove, the only species which remains in 
Egypt the vphole year, is very abundant and evenly distri- 
buted throughout the country. It is very sociable and tame, 
and not so fast on the wing as the other species. In every 
palm-grove pairs- may be seen sitting together on the long 
leaf-stems, and in the villages they may be found strutting 
along the mud walls which form the native houses. They 



218 BIRDS OF EGYPT. 

have begun breeding by the end of February, both in trees 
and on the ground by the side of banks. 

Head purphsh pink ; back, scapulars, tail-coverts, and tvpo 
centre tail-feathers umber-brown, shading into clear yellowish 
brown on the inner wing-coverts ; remainder of the wing- 
coverts smoky grey ; apical half of the three outer tail-feathers 
white, remainder of the tail, except the two centre feathers, 
slate-colour, broadly marked with black; feathers on the 
sides and front of the neck black, with broad yellowish-brown 
tips, forming a collar ; chest purplish pink, gradually shading 
into white towards the vent ; eyelids, beak, legs, and irides 
similar to those of T. auritus. 

Entire length 10" 5 inches ; cidnien 0'7 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 5'5 ; tarsus 0'9. 

Fig. Bree, B. of Eur. iii. p. 195. 

ram. PTEROCLIDiE. 

213. Pterocles ExusTus, Temm. Sinffed Sand-Grouse. 

This is the most abundant species of Sand-Grouse in the 
country, ranging throughout Egypt and Nubia ; in the latter 
locality it may be most plentifully met with on the uncul- 
tivated tracts, where the coarse halfa-grass has been recently 
cut, and on fallows. It usually keeps in small flocks, and is 
a bird of strong flight, frequently uttering while on the wing 
its loud peculiar note, which may be heard at a considerable 
distance, especially in the early morning and towards sunset, 
when they leave the more barren parts to slake their thu'st at 
the river. The localities where I met with them most abun- 
dantly were at the Fayoom, Golosaueh, Karnak, and between 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 219 

Silsilis and Kom Ombo. It breeds in April in small holes 
which it forms in the sand and lines with dried grass. 

Male. — Head, throat, back, and upper tail-coverts sandy 
colour, shaded with yellow on the face and neck and with 
brown on the back; quills and primary coverts black, the 
inner primaries and outer secondaries tipped with white ; 
wing-coverts sandy colour, those nearest the shoulder strongly 
shaded with brown, the remainder with yellow, and the 
inner ones tipped with deep brown, some of the larger ones 
having a white spot near the end ; scapulars brown, shading 
into sandy yellow towards the ends of the feathers ; tail, 
two centre feathers black, shaded with sandy colour, the 
remainder brown, barred with black and tipped with bufi'; 
a clear narrow black belt across the chest, edged with sandy 
colom', which shades into chocolate-brown on the abdomen, 
the centre of the latter being almost black ; tarsi and under 
tail-coverts buff; beak dusky ; feet and iiides brown. 

Entire length 12 inches; culmen 0'5 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 7'5 ; tarsus 0'9. 

Female. — Upper parts sandy colour, the feathers mottled 
and barred with black ; quills and larger wing-coverts similar 
to those in the male ; sides of the head, throat, and upper 
part of the chest sandy colour, mottled with black on the 
lower part of the throat and crop ; a narrow double black 
belt across the chest, the lower part of which, as well as the 
abdomen and thighs, are black, narrowly barred with sandy 
colom* ; tarsi and under tail-coverts buff. 

Specimens vary considerably in size. 

Eig. Gould, B. of Asia, part ii. 



220 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

214. Pterocles senegallus (Linn.). Senegal Sand-Grouse. 

This Sand-Grouse, which is similar to the last in habits, 
may easily be recognized by its paler colours and yellow 
throat. Though a resident in the country it is not very 
abundant, but may generally be met with during the Nile 
tour, and is often brought to the market at Alexandria. 

Male. — General plumage sandy colom- ; lores and a broad 
band encirchng the head grey ; basal portion of the scapulars 
and greater wing-coverts brown; primaries dark brown, 
washed on the outer webs with sandy colour ; tail, the two 
centre feathers elongated and dusky towards the tip, the 
remainder barred with black and broadly tipped with white ; 
upper half of the throat, cheeks, and ear-coverts bright 
yellow ; remainder of the throat and crop washed M'ith grey ; 
centre of the chest and abdomen brownish black ; tarsus 
covered with buff-coloured feathers ; feet slaty brown ; beak 
dusky ; irides brown. 

Female. — Entirely of a pale sandy cream-colour, with 
dusky spots on all the upper parts excepting the qmlls and 
tail ; primaries inclining to brown on the inner web ; secon- 
daries, except a few of the inner ones, uniform brown ; upper 
part of the throat, cheeks, and ear-coverts yellow ; remainder 
of the throat spotted with dusky ; centre of the abdomen 
dark brown ; the rest of the plumage the same as in 
the male. 

Entire length 12 inches; culmeu 0"5; wing, carpus to 
tip, '/'•2 ; tarsus 1. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Asia, part iii. 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 221 

215. Pterocles coRONATCs, Liclit. Coromtted Sand-Grouse. 

In Egypt and Nubia this species is rare, and does not, to 
my knowledge, come into the Delta. Dr. A. Leith Adams 
(Ibis, 1864, p. 27) mentions having shot four out of a flock 
at the Second Cataract ; and Mr. S. Stafford Allen also killed 
a pair at El Kab (Ibis, 1864, p. 240). 

Male. — Front of the forehead and over the eye creamy 
white ; crown of the head cinnamon, surrounded by a band 
of grey ; a black patch on each side of the beak, joining on the 
chin, and extending down the centre of the throat ; remainder 
of the upper part of the throat, cheeks, ear-coverts, and neck 
yellow, the rest of the plumage sandy colour ; scapulars and 
wing-coverts mottled with dark brown, with a pear-shaped 
spot of buff at the tips of the feathers ; primaries blackish 
brown, slightly edged with sandy colour ; tail, two centre 
feathers sandy coloixr, without elongated ends, the remainder 
with a bar of black and broad white tips ; underparts sandy 
colour, washed with grey on the base of the throat and fore 
part of the chest ; beak and feet leaden black ; irides brown. 

Entire length 10 inches; culmen 0*6; wing, carpus to 
tip, 7-7; tarsus 1*2. 

Female. — Generally paler, and without any black on the 
face and throat, and wanting the grey band ; the crown much 
paler, and the plumage generally barred with brovni on the 
crop, back, and wing-coverts. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Asia, part iii. 



222 BIEDS OP EGYPT. 

Fam. TETRAONIDJE. 

216. Francolinus vulgaris, Steph. Francolin. 

I only include this species on the authority of Riippell, 
who says that it is met with singly in the Delta during the 
winter. 

Male. — Top of the head and nape rufous, streaked with 
black ; a large patch of white on the ear-coverts ; remainder 
of the head black ; a broad rufous-brown collar, with some of 
the feathers tipped with oval black spots edged with white ; 
upper part of the back black, with white spots ; scapulars and 
wing-coverts dark brown, the feathers broadly edged with 
rufous ; remainder of the back, tail-coverts, and tail composed 
of alternate black and white transverse zigzag lines ; quills 
rufous brown, with transverse bars and spots of dusky brown ; 
chest, abdomen, and flanks black, with oval white spots, 
becoming larger on the flanks ; lower part of the abdomen 
rufous, with white edges to the feathers ; under tail-coverts 
rich rufous brown, also edged with white ; feathers of the 
thighs barred with black and white, and pencilled with 
rufous ; beak dusky black ; legs reddish brown ; irides brown. 

Entire length 13 inches; culmen 13; wing, carpus to 
tip, 6 ; tarsus 2. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 259. 

217. Ammoperdix Heyi, Temm. Hei/s Sand-Partridge. 

This species is rare in Egypt and Nubia, but is probably 
a resident there throughout the year, frequenting rocky dis- 
tricts, where it prefers running and hiding among the stones 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 223 

to taking wing. Mr. E. C. Taylor mentions his having ob- 
tained a specimen at Assouan (Ibis, 1867, p. 67). Canon 
Tristram gives a good account of its habits (Ibis, 1868, 
p. 214). 

Male. — General plumage deep sandy buff, washed with 
dark grey on the crown and cheeks; rump, upper tail- 
coverts, and centre tail-feathers sandy buff, pencilled and 
barred with brown ; lateral tail-feathers chestnut ; primaries 
brown, blotched on their outer margins with buff ; secondaries 
pencilled with black ; lores and a stripe behind the eye white, 
bordered above and below with dusky brown ; breast deep 
buff; remainder of the under surface of the body chestnut 
and white, with the sides of the feathers black ; under tail- 
coverts reddish orange ; beak orange ; legs olive-yellow ; 
irides brown. 

Entire length 9 inches ; culmen, 0'7 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 4*8; tarsus 1'5. 

Female. — Entire plumage greyish buff, mottled and pen- 
cilled with pale buff and black, and with a wash of reddish 
buff on the shoulders and back. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Asia, part iii. 



218. CoTTJRNix COMMUNIS, Bonn. Common Quail. ■-, '~Z- ■ 

A few Quail remain in Egypt throughout the year. The 
migratory birds arrive there in abundance towards the be- 
ginning of March and again in November, the greater number 
only passing through the country on their way to and from 
Europe ; but still many remain to breed. When these 
travellers have arrived in the country the fact soon becomes 



224 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

known from their peculiar call, which may be constantly 
heard from among the crops, especially in the early morning 
and towards sunset. These are the best times for shooting 
Quail ; for during the heat of the day they retire to the thicker 
crops, and are very unwilling to rise. 

Female. — Upper parts brown, shaded with rufous and grey, 
and marked with black ; a buff line extends over each eye, 
and another one down the centre of the head ; the feathers 
on the neck, scapulars, sides of the back, and tail-coverts have 
pointed streaks of buff edged with black down the centre of 
the feathers ; wings brown, with irregular narrow bars ; 
underparts creamy white, shaded and spotted with brown on 
the crop and flanks, a distinct semicircular collar of brown 
spots on the tliroat; beak brown; legs flesh-colour; irides 
hazel. 

Male in summer. — Chin and centre of throat black; the 
crop and flanks more rufous and less spotted. 

Entire length 7'5 inches ; culmen 0-5 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 4*5 ; tarsus 1. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 263. 



219. TuRNix SYLVATICA, Desfont. Andalusian Hemipode. 

This bird appears to be of very rare occurrence in Egypt, 
and probably never ranges into -Nubia. Von HeugUn (Syst. 
Ueb. p. 52) only once met with it, in a clover-field, in Lower 
Egypt. 

Upper plumage of a general sandy-brown colour ; the top 
of the head has a plain sandy-coloured central line, extending 
on to the nape, with a dusky black and rufous line on each 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 225 

side ; remainder of the feathers dusky, with sandy-coloured 
edges, and tipped with rufous ; sides of the face sandy 
coloured, with dusky tips to the feathers ; feathers on the 
back and scapulars finely pencilled with black, the centres 
stained and spotted with rufous, many of the wing-coverts 
having the centre of the feathers black, forming large spots ; 
quiUs dusky, edged with pale brown ; chin and belly cream- 
colour ; sides of the neck, front of the chest, sides, flanks, and 
under tail-coverts deep sandy orange, spotted with black ; 
beak and legs yellowish brown ; irides brown . 

Entire length 6 inches ; culmen '55; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3'75 ; tarsus 1. 

¥ig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 264. 



Order GRALLvE. 
Pam. 0TIDID-5i. 

220. Otis houbara, Gm. Houbara Bustard. 

This fine Bustard is plentiful in most parts of Northern 
Africa, frequenting the desert, and ranges, I believe, through- 
out Egypt and Nubia. I have never myself met with it 
alive, but it is not uncommon in the market at Alexandria. 

This species is distinguished by a long crest of white 
feathers and a thick ruff of long narrow ones on each side of 
the neck, the upper ones black and the lower ones white ; 
the whole of the upper plumage is sandy brown, each feather 
marked with zigzag bars of dusky colour ; primaries white 
at their base and dark brown towards their ends ; tail barred 
with grey and black ; throat white, freckled with brown ; 



226 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

some sandy-brown feathers on the chest ; remainder of the 
under surface of the body white ; beak and legs olive-green ; 
irides brown. 

Entire length 25 inches ; culmen 2'1 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 14 ; tarsus 4. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 268. 



221. Otis tetrax, Linn. Little Bustard. 

According to Von Heuglin (Syst, Ueb. p. 54) this bird is to 
be met with singly in the north-eastern portion of Lower Egypt. 

Male. — Upper part of the head and nape black, freckled 
with sandy colour ; throat, cheeks, and ear-coverts deep slate- 
coloui'; remainder of the neck black, with a narrow white 
collar descending in a V-shape in front of the throat ; a broad 
white band at the base of the latter, followed by a narrow 
one of black ; the remainder of the upper plumage is sandy 
brown, pencilled with black and grey and spotted with 
black ; upper tail-coverts and all the tail-feathers, except the 
two centre ones, tipped with white ; wings, the three outer 
primaries dark brown, the remainder white with black ends, 
which are again tipped with white ; secondaries white, with 
a narrow black bar on their outer webs ; the greater wing- 
coverts white ; underparts of the body and wings white, with 
a patch on each side of the crop of the same colour as the 
back; beak yellowish brown, darkest on the culmen and 
towards the tip ; legs yellow ; irides dark brown. 

Entire length 17 inches; culmen 09; wing, carpus to 
tip, 9*5 ; tarsus 2*5. 

Female. — No black or white on the throat, which is of the 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 227 

same colour as the back ; feathers on the crop and flanks barred 
with brown, and no white ends to the upper tail-coverts. 

Fig. Sharpe and Dresser, B. of Eur. part xiii. 

222. EupoDOTis ARABS (Liun.). Arabian Bustard. 

Von Heuglin (Syst. Ueb. p. 53) mentions this species as 
being met with singly in Egypt. 

General coloiu: sandy, all the feathers delicately pencilled 
with darker brown ; quills blackish ; the greater coverts and 
outer secondaries tipped with white, forming an oblique bar 
across the wing, some of the lesser coverts exhibiting an 
obsolete white spot ; tail greyish brown, tipped with white, 
before which is a subterminal bar of brown pencilled vrith 
sandy, and across the middle of the tail is a broad white band ; 
crown of the head and whole of the neck whitish, varied with 
minute transverse hues of blackish ; a broad black band ex- 
tending from above the eye backwards, and forming a crest 
where it joins the nape ; eyebrow whitish ; under surface of 
the body white, the outermost under wing-coverts pencilled 
with brown; vent and under taU-coverts brownish, with 
central white streaks ; bill yellowish, brownish above the 
nostril ; feet yellowish ; nails horn -brown. 

Total length 34 inches ; culmen 3'6 ; wing 14'5 ; tail 11 ; 
tarsus 8 "5. 

Fam. CHARADRIID^. 

223. Glareola PRATiM COLA, Linn. Collared Pratincole. 

This Pratincole arrives in Egypt in great numbers about 
the middle of April. I first met with it near Assouan on 

q2 



1.'U<' jrr^-'-y. 



228 • BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

the 15th of that month, and afterwards saw it in great 
abundance as I descended the Nile, sometimes on the bare 
fields, but more frequently by the sides of small pools or on 
the numerous sandbanks of the river. The flight is very 
peculiar and varied, the birds at times passing rapidly 
through the air in flocks, like Plovers, or else floating at 
a considerable height with outspread wings, or again playing 
over the water after the manner of Terns. When I first saw 
a single specimen of this bird rise from a small pool, I should 
have taken it for a Green Sandpiper, which it closely re- 
sembled in the colour of its back and flight, had it not been 
for the greater length of the pinions. Probably the larger 
portion of these flocks do not remain in the country to breed, 
but pass on into Europe, returning again in October or 
November on their way south. When I met with them, 
their chief food consisted of locusts, which were extremely 
abundant. 

Upper parts olive-brown, shaded on the nape with sandy 
colour ; quills and greater wing-coverts brownish black ; tail- 
coverts and tail, which is forked, white, the latter with a 
broad brown ending to the feathers ; throat sandy colour, 
bordered by a narrow band of white feathers tipped with 
black, forming a collar ; chest sandy colour, shaded on the 
sides with hair-brown ; remainder of the body white ; under 
wing-coverts chestnut; beak black, with some light red at the 
base ; legs dusky olive ; irides brown. 

Entire length 10 inches ; culmen 0"6 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 7"7 ; tarsus 1*2. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 265. 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 229 

224. Glareola Nordmanni, Fischer. Black-winged Pra- 
tincole. 

Von Heuglin observes (Syst. Ueb. p. 55) that this species 
is to be met with throughout Egypt and Nubia in small 
family parties in the fields, and that in October 1851 he 
found it abundant in the Eayoom and Middle Egypt. 

Very similar to G. pratincola, but easily distinguished by 
the entire underpart of the wing and axillaries being black, 
and by its having no red on the beak. 

Entire length 9 inches; culmen 0*6; wing, carpus to 
tip, 7 "4; tarsus 1'9. 

Fig. Giu-ney, Ibis, 1868, pi. viii. 



225. CuRSORius GALLicus, Gm. Cream-coloured Courser. 

This species, although a resident, is not very abundant in ^C 
either Egypt or Nubia. It is a desert bird, preferring the 
sandy wastes to the more cultivated parts, and is generally 
to be met with in small flocks, probably consisting of the last 
year's brood. I myself only found it on one occasion, on 
the 4th of February, opposite Aboo-fayda, where I had a most 
exciting chase, as I had recognized the birds, and was anxious 
to procure a specimen. They were four in number, and very 
shy ; they, however, preferred running to flying, never re- 
maining long on the wing. Finding that I could not stalk 
them in the ordinary way, I drove them towards a bush, and 
then making a long round got up to that piece of covert, and 
shot one and broke the leg of a second. This wounded bii-d 
detained the other two, and enabled me to procui'e one of 
them. The wounded one was now alone, and so shy that I 



230 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

had great difficulty in procuring it, which I finally succeeded 
in doing by walking on one side instead of directly towards it, 
when it couched on the sand, hoping to be passed unobserved ; 
and thus, after an hour's pursuit, I obtained my third specimen. 

Forehead sandy rufous ; hinder part of the crown grey ; 
nape black ; eyebrows white, extending back to the nape, 
where they join a black streak running from the eye to the 
nape ; remainder of the upper plumage sandy colour, except- 
ing the primaries and primary-coverts, which are black, the 
secondaries tipped with white, with more or less black on 
their inner webs ; the tail-feathers, all but the two centre 
ones, have black spots near the ends and their tips white ; the 
sandy colour shades off" lighter on the underparts, and becomes 
creamy white on the chin, lower part of the abdomen, and under 
tail-coverts ; beak black ; legs enamelled white ; irides brown. 

Entire length 10 inches ; culmen 1 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 6"3 ; tarsus 2-1. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Em-, pi. 266. 

226. (Edicnemtjs crepitans, Temm. Tliick-biee. 

Plentiful throughout Egypt and Nubia, in pairs and 
families, afi'ecting the more desert spots in the neighbour- 
hood of small bushes, in preference to the cultivated fields, 
while they are occasionally met with on the sandbanks of the 
river. On the first approach of danger they crouch close to 
the ground ; and when pursued, usually fly only for a short 
distance, and then run with considerable fleetness. 

Upper plumage sandy colour, the centre of the feathers 
marked with dark brown, some of the smaller wing-coverts 
having a band of white and one of dark brown on them, 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 231 

forming a distinct diagonal bar on the wing, the greater 
coverts also forming a white bar ; quills dark brown, with 
a white patch on the three outer primaries, the inner 
ones having their base and tips white ; tail white, excepting 
the two centre feathers, and barred and tipped with dark 
brown ; feathers in front of and under the eye, and a streak 
from the lower mandible under the ear-coverts, dark brown ; 
cheeks and upper part of the throat white ; remainder of the 
underparts cream-colour, shaded with brown on the throat 
and with rufous on the under tail-coverts ; lower parts of the 
neck and chest streaked with brown ; legs and basal half of 
the beak yellow, remainder of the bill and edge of it black ; 
irides yellow. 

Entire length 17 inches; culmen 1"5 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 9'5 ; tarsus 2'9. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 288. 

227. Vanellus cristatus, Meyer. Lapxoing. 

-) ■ '' .., ..- 

Very plentiful throughout Egypt up to the end of March, , -V* /^ 
at which season they pass northward, leaving but few to breed ' / 

south of Cau'o. In Nubia they are much less abundant. 

Top of the head and crest, cheeks, ear-coverts, and a broad 
collar on the cropblack ; a broad eyebrow, extending back 
to the nape and throat, white ; back of the neck ashy brown ; 
back, scapulars, and wing-coverts metallic green and purple ; 
remainder of the wing black, with a white patch near the end 
of the outer primaries ; upper tail-coverts chestnut ; tail white, 
with a broad black ending to all but the two outer feathers ; 
under surface of the body white ; vent and under tail-coverts 
rufous ; beak black ; legs reddish brown ; irides dark brown. 



332 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

Entire length 13 inches ; culmen 1 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 9 ; tarsus 1'9. 

Fig. Gould, B. of EuT. pi. 291. 

228. HoPLOPTERUS spiNosus (Linn.). Spur-winged Plover. 

The Spur-winged Plover is one of the most abundant birds 
in Egypt, where it remains throughout the year. In the 
fields and on the sandbanks it may be constantly seen, either 
sitting motionless, with head depressed and shoulders up, 
trying to elude observation, or else standing erect, and con- 
stantly moving the body with a little spasmodic jerk. Its 
cry is loud and varied, and is frequently heard. In March 
this species commences to breed, at which season I have 
found as many as thirty nests close together towards the 
point of a sandbank; it also breeds in the fields. The 
nest consists of a neat circular shallow hole in the sand, 
roughly lined with short pieces of dried reed, just sufficient to 
prevent the eggs from touching the ground. 

A sharp hlack spur on the carpal joint of the wing ; upper 
part of the head, nape, and throat black, remainder of the 
head and neck white ; back, scapulars, and inner half of the 
wing-coverts hair-brown, remainder of the wing-coverts and 
basal portion of the secondaries pure white; primaries and 
ends of the secondaries black ; tail-coverts and basal half of 
the tail white, the remainder black ; chest and sides of the 
abdomen black, remainder of the abdomen, flanks, and under 
tail-coverts white ; beak and legs black ; irides red. 

Entire length 12 inches ; culmen 1 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
8-2; tarsus 2-1. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 298. 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 233 

229. Chettusia GREGARiA (Pall.). Social Plover. 

This species is sparingly scattered throughout Egypt and 
Nubia. I only fell in with it twice between Girgeh and 
Sioot, killing one of a pair which I saw on the 9th of March, 
and one on the following day, out of a flock of eight, lower 
down the river. 

Forehead, sides of the crown, cheeks, and chin pale buff; 
top of the head and a streak from the gape through the eye 
black ; back of the neck, back, scapulars, and wing-coverts 
stone-grey ; primaries black ; secondaries white ; tail white, 
with a black mark on the feathers near the end, forming an 
incomplete bar ; throat and ear-coverts sandy colour, verging 
into stone-grey on the front of the chest, and shading off to 
black on the abdomen, which latter terminates posteriorly in 
rich chestnut ; thighs, vent, and under tail-coverts white ; 
legs and beak black ; ii-ides dark brown. 

Entire length 12 inches; culmen I'l ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 8 ; tarsus 2' 2. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 292. 

230. Chettusia ViLLOTiEi, Audouin *. WJiite-tailed Plover. 

Egypt appears to be the metropolis of this beautiful bird, 
as it is a resident in the country and very plentiful, being 
generally distributed in pairs or small flocks round the 

* Although Mr. Sharpe took especitol pains to unravel the intricate 
synonymy of this bird for the ' Birds of Europe,' and had apparently 
proved that the name of lettcura should be appHed to the species, he 
has shown me a letter addressed to him by Count Salvadori, in vrhich he 
states that in his possession is an older edition of the ' Description de 
I'Egypt,' bearing the date of 1809, in which Audouiu bestowed the name 
of ViUoicei, which accordingly stands. 



f 



2Jntif 



234 BIRDS OF EGYPT. 

marshes of the Delta, the Fayoom, and near Erment, and it 
may also be met with in Nubia. It is essentially a marsh 
Plover, and may be seen either wading in the mud or shallow 
water, or sitting stiU upon some raised bank. On rising 
from the ground it frequently utters its ciy, which consists of 
a single harsh note several times repeated. The bright 
crimson reflections on the back, which are very beautiful in a 
freshly killed specimen, fade slightly after death. 

Head and neck hair-brown, shading off paler in front of 
the forehead and round the eyes, and merging into pure 
white on the throat ; back, scapulars, smaller wing-coverts, 
and some of the inner secondaries of a delicate crimson 
shaded with brown ; tail-coverts and tail pure white ; pri- 
maries black ; secondaries, basal half of the primary-coverts, 
and the ends of the greater wing-coverts white ; the wing- 
coverts have a black bar on them next to the white, forming 
a band on the wing ; chest slaty grey ; abdomen and under 
tail-coverts buff; beak black; legs pale yellow; irides hght 
red, with a tinge of orange. 

Entire length 10' 5 inches; culmen 12; wing, carpus 
to tip, 7 ; tarsus 3. 

Fig. Sharpe and Dresser, B. of Eur. part ii. 

231. Pltjvianus iEGYPTius (Linn.). Black-headed Plover. 

This species is plentifully distributed throughout Egypt 
and Nubia, but is most abundant in Upper Egypt, from 
Sioot to Thebes, being almost invariably seen in pairs. They 
never wander far from the river-bank ; and when on the wing 
fly close over the surface of the water, frequently uttering 
their cry during flight. They look very handsome as they 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 235 

thus skim along the stream on outspread pinions, displaying 
their distinctly marked plumage to the greatest advantage. 

Top and sides of the head, nape, back, and band round 
the chest, base and tip of the quills, and greater part of the 
first primary glossy black ; scapidars, wings, and tail-coverts, 
and the whole tail excepting the tip clear grey ; a band over 
each eye meeting at the back of the head, throat, edge of the 
pectoral black band, about half of each quill, and end of the 
tail pure white; remainder of the underparts bufi"; beak 
black, with a small grey spot near the base of the lower 
mandible ; legs clear grey ; irides brown. 

Entire length 8*5 inches ; culmen 07; wing, carpus to tip, 
5*4, tarsus 1'4. 

rig. Gould, B. of Asia, part xvii. 



232. Charadrius pluvialis, Linn. Golden Plover. 

The Golden Plover only visits Egypt during the winter, 
and does not range south of Cairo. In the Delta I have met 
with it in flocks on the open ground, or by the edge of the 
marshes, and I have frequently killed specimens. It pro- 
bably arrives about September, and leaves again in March. 

Winter plumage. — Upper parts black, mottled with yellow ; 
forehead and over the eye buff ; primaries dusky black with 
some white on the shafts, secondaries barred on the edges 
with yellow ; under wing-coverts and axillary plumes white ; 
tad black, barred and tipped with whitish yellow ; under- 
parts white, shaded with brown on the lower part of the 
throat and crop, and spotted on those parts with dusky 
brown ; beak black ; legs dusky ; ii-ides dark brown. 



236 BIEDS OF EGYPT, 

Entire length 1 1 inches ; culmen 1 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
7*4 ; tarsus 1-5. 

In summer the throat and chest become black. 

Fig. Sharpe & Dresser, B. of Eur, part vi. 



233. Squatarola helvetica, Linn. Grey Plover. 

This Plover closely assimilates to the last species in its 
habits and distribution, and hke it is only a winter visitant 
in Lower Egypt. 

Winter plumage. — Very similar to that of C. plumalis, but 
of a general paler colour, and the bars and spots on the 
upper parts are dii'ty white, not yellow. The axillary plumes 
are black ; and it may further be distinguished by the presence 
of a hind toe. 

Entire length 12 inches; culmen 1-2; wing, carpus to tip, 
7-4; tarsus 1-5. 

Fig. Sharpe & Dresser, B. of Eur. part vi, 

234, EuDROMiAS MORiNELLUs (Linn.), Botterel. 

Von Heuglin (Syst. Ueb. p. 56) remarks concerning this 
species, that it is met with during the winter in Egypt and 
along the shores of the Red Sea. In 1851 he saw a large 
flock of Dotterel on the desert between Sakkara and the 
Fayoom. 

Winter plumage. — Top of the head, back, and scapulars 
brown, with sandy spots and edges to the feathers ; prima- 
ries dark brown, exterior web of the outer one strongly 
marked with white ; no other white on the primaries ; tail 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 237 

more slaty brown, with sandy tips to the feathers ; collar 
round the neck and underparts sandy brown, spotted on the 
throat and crop with dark brown ; vent and under tail-coverts 
white ; beak black ; legs olive-black ; irides dark brown. 
In summer the underparts have distinct bands of white, 
chestnut, and black, and the bird differs considerably from its 
winter plumage. 

Entire length S'5 inches ; culmen 065; wing, carpus to 
tip, 6'3 ; tarsus 1"4. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 294. 



235. Etjdromias asiaticus, Pall. Asiatic Dotterel. 

This bird is mentioned by Von Heuglin (Syst. Ueb. p. 57) 
as frequenting the coasts of the Red Sea and Mediterranean 
during the winter months. 

TFinter plumage. — Upper parts hair-brown, forehead and 
over the eye white ; primaries brown, with some white on the 
sixth and consecutive feathers; tail, all but the two centre 
feathers, narrowly tipped with white ; underparts white 
with a broad collar of hair-brown ; beak black ; legs olive- 
black[; irides dark brown. 

Summer plumage. — Pectoral band chestnut, bounded on the 
chest with a few black feathers. 

Entire length 7*3 inches ; culmen 0-8 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 5'6 ; tarsus 1'5. 

Fig. Harting, Ibis, 1870, p. 202, pi. 5. 



238 BIRDS OP EGYPT. 

236. ^GiALiTis Geoffroyi (Wagler). Large Sand-Plover. 

Although I only know of two specimens of this bird having 
been brought back from Egypt, one in Mr. E. C. Taylor's 
collection and one in my own, I do not look upon it as of 
rare occurrence in that country ; but it is doubtless absent 
from most Egyptian collections on account of its habit of 
frequenting the sandy shores of the lakes near the sea, which 
are rarely visited by the Nile tourists. I saw a flock of 
twenty of these birds on Lake Mareotis, when I obtained my 
specimen, in the beginning of February ; and towards the end 
of March, near Damietta, I again saw considerable numbers 
of a Plover, which was probably this bird ; but, owing to its 
shyness, I was unable to procure a shot. 

The specimen I obtained on the 6th of February has a well- 
defined collar of hair-brown inclining to rufous in the centre, 
showing that at that early season it has already begun to as- 
sume its breeding-plumage. 

Winter plumage. — Upper parts, with the exception of the 
forehead, pale hair-brown ; forehead and underparts white ; 
lores, under the eye, ear-coverts, and a spot on each side of 
the breast hair-brown ; primaries dusky, fifth and consecutive 
one marked with white on their outer web. 

Summer plumage. — A black band behind the white fore- 
head ; lores, under the eye, and ear-coverts black ; top of the 
head, nape, and pectoral collar ferruginous. 

Beak and legs black ; irides dark brown. 

Entire length 8*7 inches; wing, carpus to tip, 5'5 ; beak 
0"9 ; tarsus r4. 

Fig. Harting, Ibis, 1870, p. 878, pi. 11. 



BIRDS OP EGYPT. 239 

237. ^GiALiTis MONGOLicus (Pall.). Mongolian Sand-Flovef. 

I first had my attention drawn to a specimen of this bird 
in the British Museum, marked as from Egypt, by Mr. J. E. 
Harting's paper " On rare or little-known Limicolae " (Ibis, 
1870, p. 887). The mere fact of there being a specimen 
in the British Museum labelled Egypt is not very positive 
evidence as to its locality ; but I think the shores of the Red 
Sea near Suez are a likely place for this bird to be found. 
Von Heuglin (Syst. Ueb. p. 56) records it as Abyssinian, but 
he did not meet with it in Egypt. The following description 
is taken from Mr. Harting's paper above referred to : — 
" Similar both in summer and winter plumage to the last- 
described species {M. geoffroyi), but differing in size, being 
considerably smaller. The bill, also, is shorter, has the out- 
line of both mandibles straighter, and is of a dark horn- 
colour ; the iris dark yellow-brown ; tarsus dull yellowish 
grey." 

Total length 7 "3 inches; culmen 0-7 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
5 ; tarsus 1*3. 



238. ^GiALiTis PECUARius (Temm.). Afnean Sand-Plover. 

This species is plentifiU throughout Egypt and Nubia, 
frequenting similar locaUties to those of ^. cantianus and 
^. minor, and may generally be met vnth in flocks. Its 
numbers appear to vary considerably in the same locality in 
different years; for in 1870 I only met with it once, near 
Golosaneh, although I was then anxious to procure some 
specimens, while in 1868 and 1871 it was one of the most 
abundant of the small Plovers. 



240 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

I have retained tlie name pecuarius for this species, as it 
is probably this bird which Temminck has figured under 
that name (PI. Col. 183) ; but this figure is by no means a 
good one. It appears to be identical with JE. Kittlitzi of 
Reichenbach and Layard and JE. longipes of Heuglin. 

Summer plumage. — Forehead, a band from the eye round 
the nape, throat, under the wing, and tail-coverts white ; re- 
mainder of the underparts ferruginous brown, darkest on the 
chest ; top and back of the head, back, wing-coverts, centre 
of the tail, and two spots on each side of the chest dusky 
brown, the edges of the feathers tipped with rufous or hair- 
brown ; a band across the head from eye to eye, and another 
from the lores under the eye and down the side of the neck, 
and the quills black ; sixth and consecutive primaries marked 
with white on their outer web ; legs and beak black ; irides 
dark brown. 

Winter plumage. — Underparts whiter, black markings on 
the head absent, and the nape ferruginous brown. 

Entire length 6'4 inches; culmen 0*65 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 4'2 ; tarsus 1'2. 

Fig. Temm. PI. Col 183. 

239. ^GiALiTls CANTIANUS (Lath.). Kentish Plover. 

This is a very abundant Plover both in Egypt and Nubia, 
frequenting the sandy flats near water, and is apparently a 
sociable bird, as it is always met with in flocks. Owing to 
the assimilation of their plumage to the ground they frequent, 
they are difficidt to distinguish ; and their presence is often 
first made known by the sudden rising of a flock from a 
spot in the immediate vicinity. 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 241 

Winter plumage. — All the upper parts, lores, under the 
eye, and ear-coverts hair-brown, excepting the forehead and 
a ring round the neck, which are white ; all the underparts 
pure white, excepting the two spots of hair-brown on the 
sides of the breast meeting in some specimens and forming 
an indistinct collar. 

Male in summer plumage. — Top and back of the head 
rufous, which colour is separated from the white forehead by 
a black band ; lores, under the eye, ear-coverts, and a spot 
on each side of the breast black. 

Legs and beak black ; irides dark brown. 

Entire length 65 inches; culmen O^O ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 42 ; tarsus 11. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 296. 



240. iEaiALiTis HiATicuLA (Linn.). Greater Ring-Plover. 

This species is included in the ' Description de I'Egypte ;' 
and Von Heuglin (Syst. Ueb. p. 56) observes that it is to be 
met with during the winter in Lower Egypt. I never found 
the true yE. hiaticula, but have often killed JE. intermedius, 
a very closely allied form, which has frequently been con- 
founded with the present species. 

Breeding-plumage — Back of the head and all the upper 
parts hair-brown ; remainder of the plumage and a ring 
round the back of the neck white, with the following excep- 
tions : — a band over the base of the beak, lores, under the eye, 
ear-coverts, a band across the head from eye to eye, and a 
broad collar extending round the back of the neck, all of 
which parts are black ; quills dusky, fifth and consecutive 

& 



242 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

primaries marked loifh white on their outer loeh ; tail brown, 
lighter towards the base and broadly edged with white, ex- 
cepting on the two centre feathers ; legs orange ; heak orange, 
with a broad black tip. 

In winter plumage and in the immature birds the black 
markings are less distinct and occasionally all but absent. 

Entire length 7" 5 inches ; culmen 0-G ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 5 '3 ; tarsus 0'9. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Em-, pi. 296. 



241. ^GiALiTis iNTERMEDiTJS (Mcnetr."). Middle Bin ff-Plover. 

• The present species is not imcommon in Lower Egypt, 
where I have shot it on several occasions near Damietta, and 
frequently seen it. I have also received several specimens 
from a collector at Alexandria. In the Fayoom I never met 
with it, nor do I know of an instance of its capture above 
Caho. It is very closely allied to ^. hiaticula, from which 
it chiefly difi'ers in being rather smaller. 

Plumage similar to u^. hiaticula, but with only a narroto 
patch of orange on the base of the bill. 

Entire length 6' 2 inches ; culmen 0'5 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 44 ; tarsus 09. 

242. ^Egialitis MINOR, Meyer & Wolf. Little Ring-Plover. 

The Little Ring-Plover is a resident and very abundant 
throughout Egypt and Nubia, frequenting alike the river- 
banks, canals, pools, and marshes, either singly or more 
often in small flocks. 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 243 

Very similar to jE. hiaticula, but smaller. It has no 
yellow on the beak, no white patch on any of the primaries, 
the shaft of the first primary only being white. 

Entire length G5 inches; culmen 055; wing, carpus to 
tip, 4"6 ; tarsus 095. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 297. 



243. HiEMATOPus osTRALEGUS, Linn. Oyster-catcher . 

This well-known bird is of rare occurrence on the Egyptian 
coast, but may be occasionally met with on the Mediter- 
ranean and Red Seas during the winter. Mr. E. C. Taylor 
(Ibis, 1867, p. 69) and Von Heuglin (Syst. Ueb. p. 57) have 
both observed it there. 

Entirely black above, and on the throat and upper breast ; 
lower part of the back, rump, and upper tail-coverts, as well 
as the rest of the under surface of the laody, pure white ; base 
of the tail white, tip black ; lesser wing-coverts black, like the 
back ; wings lilack, with a white bar across the primaries, and 
the tips of the greater coverts white, forming a very distinct 
patch on the wing ; the innermost long secondaries entirely 
black ; legs lake-colour ; bill orange-red at the base, shading 
into yellow to the tip. 

Entire length 14 inches ; culmen 3 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
9/ ; tail 4 ; tarsus 21. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 300. 

244. NuMENius ARQUATA, Liuu. Curlcw. 

The Curlew is plentiful throughout Egypt and Nul)ia, 
where it frequents the sandbanks on the river and the marshes 

R 2 



244 BIRDS OF EGYPT. 

of the Delta and the Fayoom. I have seen it in Upper Egypt 
as late as the end of April, but found it niost plentiful in the 
Fayoom and Lower Egypt, where I have frequently killed 
specimens. 

Head, neck, and chest brownish buff, with dark brown 
centres to the feathers on these parts and on the flanks ; 
chin, upper part of the throat, and remainder of the under- 
parts white, the axillaries with a few brown marks near the 
ends of some of the feathers ; back and scapulars dark brown, 
edged with buff; wings dark brown, edged and barred with 
buff on the inner half, and with white on the outer half, 
except on the exterior web of some of the outer primaries ; 
rump and upper tail-coverts white, the latter with dark brown 
centres to the feathers ; tail white, barred with brown and 
shaded with buff; beak fleshy brown shading into dark 
brown towards the tip ; legs dusky ; irides brown. 

Entire length 22 inches ; culmen 4 to 6 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 12; tarsus 32. 

Specimens vary considerably in size, the females being 
generally the largest and having the longest bill. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 302. 

245. NuMENius pHjEOPUS, Linn. Whimbrel. 

The Whimbrel is to be met with on the banks of the Nile 
in small flocks in the winter (Von Heuglin, Syst. Ueb. p. 62). 

Somewhat similar in plumage to N. arquata, but of a 
smaller size, and diSering in the following points : — top of the 
head brown ; tail-coverts more distinctly barred with brown ; 
axillaries distinctly barred with brown ; flanks barred with 
brown, and lower part of the chest slightly so. 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 245 

Entire length 175 inches; culmen 35 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 8'2 ; tarsus 2"Z. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 303. 

246. NuMENius TENUiROSTRis, Vicill. Slender-billed Curlew. 

The present species is usually to be met with on the Nile 
during the spring and autumn ; yet, according to Captain 
Loche, it breeds there in the marshes amongst the grass. In 
habits it is shy and usually frequents the more desert flats 
by the side of large lakes. Von Heuglin mentions having 
seen a large flock in the desert near Alexandria (Syst. Ueb. 
p. 62). 

Very similar in plumage to N. arquata but much smaller 
and more mealy-looking. The chest is white, and the spots 
on the underparts are pear-shaped. It may at once be re- 
cognized from N. phaopus by its not having a dark crown, as 
well as by the colour of the axillaries and under wing-coverts, 
which are pure white. 

Entire length 148 inches j cidmen 3; wing, carpus to 
tip, 9 ; tarsus 2*3. 

Fig. Sharpe and Dresser, B. of Eur. part iii. • 



247. LiMOSA jEgocephala (L.). Black-tailed Godwit. 

The present species is a winter visitant, ranging throughout 
Egypt and Nubia, and is by no means imcommon in Lower 
Egypt and the Fayoom, where I have frequently shot it. It 
is generally to be met with in small flocks, though often 
singly, feeding in company with Redshanks, Ruffs, and other 



246 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 



Waders ; but on the 



from them. I 



g it keeps separate 
have rarely been to Sakkara without meeting with this bird 
on some of the larger pools, where, as they often retui'n 
to the same spot and are not more shy than Redshanks, they 
may easily be obtained. 

Winter plumage. — Upper parts hair-brown, lightest on the 
head and back of the neck, and darkest towards the rump ; 
the latter as well as the upper tail-coverts white, with the 
ends of the latter black ; tail brownish black, with white bases 
to the feathers increasing in breadth towards the outer ones ; 
quills dark brown, with some white only on the inner web of 
the first four, the remainder of the quills having a broad 
white base ; underparts white, washed on the neck and crop 
with ashy brown ; beak brownish flesh-colour, shading into 
black towards the tip ; legs dusky black; irides dark brown. 

Entire length 19 inches; culmen 4"S ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 8'8 ; tarsus 3" 5. 

In summer the breast and throat become ferruginous 
brown, and the upper parts are mottled with that colour and 
black. 

Fig. Sharpe and Dresser, B. of Eur. part xiii. 



248. Machetes pugnax (Linn.). Ruff. 

The Ruif is very abundant throughout Egypt and Nubia 
from August till May, more especially in the Fayoom and the 
Delta, where it may generally be met with in large flocks, 
frequenting the flooded fields in preference to the marshes. 

Male in loinlcr plumage. — Upper parts hair-brown, the 
centre of the feathers darker ; tail-coverts white, excepting a 



BIRDS or EGYPT. 247 

few of the centre ones ; quills dark brown ; undcrparts 
white, shaded with hair-brown on the lower part of the throat, 
crop, and sides of the chest ; beak brownish black ; legs 
olive-brown ; irides dark brown. 

Entire length 12 inches; culmen 1'5; wing, carpus to 
tip, 7"5 ; tarsus 1"9. 

Female in winter. — Differs only from the male at that 
season in being smaller and in having the legs pale yellowish 
brown. Entire length 10 inches. 

In summer the male puts on the broad ruff from which 
the bird takes its name, and varies immensely in its plu- 
mage, no two specimens being exactly alike. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 328. 



249. ScoLOPAX RUSTicoLA, Liuu. Woodcock. 

The Woodcock appears to be only an accidental straggler 
in Egypt. During my last tour I heard of a specimen having 
been captured in the Delta, and am also glad to find the 
locality " Egypt " given to the species in Mr. G. R. Gray's 
' Hand-list of Birds.' 

Forehead and top of the head greyish brown, hind part 
and nape rufous, with four broad black bands ; from the 
gape to the eye a streak of deep brown ,- chin white ; on the 
side of the neck a patch of brown ; the upper parts are a 
mixture of rufous brown, black, yellow, and grey, with zigzag 
transverse lines and pencillings of black, darkest on the back 
and scapulars ; rump and tail-coverts chestnut, Avith paler 
tips and narrow transverse bars of black ; tail black, varied 
with chestnut and tipped with grey above and white beneath > 



248 BIRDS 0¥ EGYPT. 

quills dusky, with chestnut bars ; underparts greyish white, 
tinged with yellowish brown and barred with dusky pencil- 
lings ; under tail-coverts yellowish, with black triangular 
central spots ; legs flesh-coloui', tinged with grey ; beak flesh- 
colour at the base, shading into dusky at the tip ; irides deep 
brown. 

Entire length 13"8 inches ; culmen 2'8 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 7'8; tarsus 1-4. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 319. 

250. Gallinago major (Gm.). Solitary Snipe. 

This Snipe is not uncommon in Lower Egypt during the 
winter, but does not range, to my knowledge, south of the 
Delta, though it appears to me highly probable that it is to be 
found in the Fayoom. 

Top of the head black, with pale brown markings and a 
central line of the same colour ; in front of the eye a dark 
i)i'own patch ; sides of the head and throat white, speckled 
"fith dusky ; nape pale rufous with black spots ; back and 
scapulars dark brown, the feathers partly edged with rufous 
brown ; wings dusky, the greater wing-coverts edged with 
white ; tail consisting of \^ feathers, which are tipped with 
white and barred with black and chestnut ; underparts vai'ied 
with transverse triangular bars of dark brown, and shaded on 
the chest and flanks with ferruginous brown ; beak flesh- 
colour at the base, shading into dusky brown at the tip ; legs 
olive ; irides dark brown. 

Entire length 12'5 inches; culmen 2'4 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 5"5 ; tarsus r4. 

'• Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 320. 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 249 

251. Gallinago media, Leach. Common Snipe. 

The Common Snipe ranges throughout Egypt and Nubia, 
and is very abundant wherever there is suitable ground for it, 
as, for instance, throughout Lower Egypt, the Fayoom, and 
around the lake near Erment. There are perhaps few lo- 
calities better suited to this bird than the large marshes of 
Lower Egypt, where, in February, I have killed over forty 
couple in a day. By the end of that month their numbers 
rapidly decrease ; yet towards the end of March I one 
day killed twenty couple in the same marsh. Up the Nile 
at Dendera I have met with them as late as the 24th of 
March. 

Top of the head, back, and scapulars black, streaked with 
chestnut and yellow ; quills black ; wing-coverts dusky, edged 
with buff ; uuderparts white, more or less shaded with ferrugi- 
nous brown on the cheeks, throat, and upper part of the chest, 
the latter parts spotted with dusky ; thighs also barred with 
dusky ; tail, which consists of 14 feathers, black, tipped with 
white and barred with ferruginous brown ; beak brown, 
shading into dusky at the tip and flesh-colour at the base ; 
legs greenish slate-colom- ; irides dark brown. 

Entire length 11*5 inches; culmen 2"8; wing, carpus to 
tip, 4*9 ; tarsus 1'2. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 321. 



252. Gallinago gallinula (Linn.). Jack Snipe. 

The Jack Snipe has the same range in Egypt as the last 
species ; and I have likewise procured it near Dendera as late 
as the 24th of March. 



250 BIED8 OF EGYPT. 

Crown of the head black, the feathers edged with rufous ; 
a buff band extending from the beak over the eye and down 
the nape ; a brown patch in front of the eye ; cheeks white, 
with the tips of the feathers brown ; back and inner web of 
the scapulars black and rufous, with purple and green 
reflections ; outer webs of the scapulars cream-colour, forming 
two bands down the back ; wings dusky, the coverts edged 
with pale brown and tipped with white ; tail dusky, the 
feathers edged with very pale rufous ; underparts white, 
strongly mottled with brown on the throat, crop, and flanks ; 
beak pale fleshy brown, shading into dark brown towards the 
tip ; legs pale brown ; iridcs dark brown. 

Entire length 8 inches; culmen TO; wing, carpus to 
tip, 4 ; tarsus 9. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 322. 



253. Rhynch^a capensis, Linn. Painted Snipe. 

(Plate XI.) 

The present species ranges throughout Egypt and Nubia, 
and is not uncommon at times in the Delta and the Fayoom, 
where it may occasionally be met with in flocks, though 
more often singly. It remains in the country throughout the 
year, and breeds in May. It somewhat resembles the Jack 
Snipe in habits, being difiicult to flush, and in only flying 
for a short distance ; but it is slower on the wing than 
that species. 

Secondaries long in proportion to the primaries, giving 
the wings a very rounded appearance. 



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BIRDS OF EGYPT. 251 

Female. — Head and neck rufous brown, inclining to 
greenish black on the top of the head ; a buff mark extend- 
ing from the base of the beak to the crown ; a white patch 
encircling the eye, and extending backwards through the ear- 
coverts ; back and scapulars bronzy ; wing-coverts green ; 
rump, tail, and quills slaty grey, inclining to dark brown at 
the base of the outer web of the primaries, the whole pen- 
cilled and barred with wavy black lines ; the quills have 
numerous clear buff spots, forming rows when the wings are 
extended; the neck shades into black at the base, which 
colour is bordered by a clear white collar, extending round 
the shoulders ; remainder of the underparts creamy white, 
with a large dusky patch on each side of the chest next to 
the collar; beak flesh-colour, shading into dusky brown 
at the base, and into rufous brown on the culmen and 
towards the tip ; legs olive-green ; irides brown. 

Male. — Neck brownish grey, mottled with white on the 
throat; feathers round the eye and collar buff; a buff band 
down the scapulars ; some broad black bars on some of the 
feathers ; wing-coverts pale green, mottled with buff ; beak 
darker ; remainder of the plumage similar to the female. 

Entire length 9'3 inches ; culmen 2 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 5 ; tarsus 1'8. 



254. Tringa MiNUTA, Leisler. Little Stint. 

The Little Stint is a winter visitor to Egypt and Nubia, 
and is extremely abundant in some parts. It may usually be 
met with in flocks, frequenting the marshy ground, and on 
the sandbanks of the river. 



252 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

Tn?ifer plumage. — Upper parts hair-brown, the centre of 
the feathers darker ; tail-coverts dark brown, with narrow 
pale edges ; tail, two centre feathers dark brown, the re- 
mainder pale stone-grey ; wings dark brown, the coverts with 
pale edges, the greater ones tipped with white, forming a 
narrow bar on the wing; forehead and nnderparts pure 
white ; beak and legs olive-black ; irides dark brown. 

Summer plumage. — Upper parts mottled with rufous and 
black. 

Entire length 5"5 inches; culmen 0'7 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3'8 ; tarsus 0'8. 

Fig. Sharpe and Dresser, B. of Eur. part vii. 



255. Tringa Temminckii, Leisler. Tcmminclcs SH/if. 

This Stint ranges throughout Egypt and Nubia, but is not 
so plentiful as the last species, being usually met with singly 
or in pairs. 

Upper parts dusky olive, with narrow dark streaks on the 
centres of the feathers ; wings dusky black, coverts with pale 
edges, the greater ones tipped with white, forming a narrow 
bar on the wing ; underparts white, strongly shaded on the 
lower part of the neck and crop with dusky ; legs and beak 
olive-black ; irides dark brown. 

Entire length 5*5 inches; culmen 0'65 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3'8 ; tarsus 0"7. 

Fig. Sharpe and Dresser, B. of Eur. part vii. 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 253 

256. Tringa arenaria, Linn. Sanderliyig. 

This species is to be met with in Lower Egypt in small 
flocks during the winter months, according to Von HeugUn 
(Syst. Ueb. p. 63). 

Winter plumage. — Upper parts grey, with dusky shafts to 
the feathers, shading into dark brown on the rump and 
centre tail-feathers, the remainder of the tail much Hghter ; 
a small dusky spot just in front of the eye ; quills dusky 
black, much paler on the inner web, some of the smaller 
primaries having the basal portion of the outer web and a 
great part of the inner secondaries white; wing-coverts 
dusky, with pale edges, and the ends of the greater coverts 
white, forming a narrow bar on the wing ; front and sides of 
the face and all the underparts white ; beak and legs olive- 
black ; irides dark brown. 

Entire length 7 inches ; culmen 1 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 5 ; tarsus 0'9. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 335. 



257. Tringa cincltjs, Linn. Dunlin. 

We are informed by Von Heuglin (Syst. Ueb. p. 63) 
that the present species is found on the Mediterranean and 
Red Sea coasts from October till the end of May. It frequents 
shingly beaches, where it may generally be met with in 
flocks. 

Winter. — Upper parts dark brown, with pale brown 
edgings to the feathers ; base and tips of the inner secon- 
daries white ; tail dusky grey ; throat, chest, abdomen, under 
the wing, and under tail-coverts white ; neck and crop pale 



254 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

brown, spotted with dark brown ; sides of the chest like- 
wise spotted ; beak and legs black ; irides dark brown. 

In summer the upper plumage becomes more rufous and 
black, and the centre of the chest and abdomen are black. 

Entire length 6' 8 inches ; culmen 1 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 4"4 ; tarsus 0'9. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 329. 



258. Tringa subarquata, Giild. Curlew Smidpipcr. 

This species is a winter visitant in Egypt, where it is not 
very plentiful. I shot the only specimen that I saw, at 
Golosaneh, on the 8th of May, and have one other specimen, 
procured for me at Alexandria in February. Its habits are 
similar to those of T. minuta, and it may occasionally be met 
with in the same flock as that bird. 

In winter the upper parts are hair-brown, darker in the 
centre of the feathers ; wings dusky brown, with pale 
margins ; tail-coverts white, with brownish-black bars ; under- 
parts white, shaded with hair-brown on the base of the neck 
and crop ; beak, which is slightly curved downwards, black ; 
legs olive; irides dark brown. 

In summer the back becomes mottled with black and chest- 
nut, and the chest becomes rich ferruginous brown, more or 
less mottled with white and dusky according to the season. 

Entire length 8 inches; culmen 1'6; wing, carpus to 
tip, 5 ; tarsus 11. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 328. 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 255 

259. ToTANTJS CALiDRis, Linn. Redshank. 

Rare on the Nile above Cairo, but very abundant in the 
Delta and the rayoom, where it is generally to be met with in 
scattered flocks throughout the more marshy districts. On 
the wing it may easily be recognized by the amount of white 
which it displays, and especially by the white band on the 
wings, which is very distinct. Its cry, consisting of two 
short whistling notes, may be easily imitated, and is very 
effective in calling the birds round within shot. 

Upper plumage hair-brown, with a greenish shade, many 
of the feathers finely streaked or barred with dusky ; rump 
pure white ; tail and taU-coverts white, barred with dusky ; 
primaries dusky ; secondaries nearly pure white, forming a 
distinct white band on the wing, which is very apparent 
dui'ing flight; underparts white, with the throat, crop, and 
flanks more or less streaked with dark brown ; beak dark 
brown, shading off to pale reddish brown towards the basal 
half; legs transparent red ; irides brown. 

Entire length 11 inches; culmen 1-7; wing, carpus to 
tip, 6'2 ; tarsus 2. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 310. 

260. ToTANUS Fuscus, Leisler. Dusky Redshank. 

This bird ranges throughout Egypt and Nubia, but appears 
to be rather sparingly distributed ; for we only met with it 
on one occasion, near Sakkara, on the 7th of April, where we 
killed several birds out of a large flock that had been feeding 
in a small muddy pool. From these birds I have taken the 
following description : — 



256 BIRDS OF EGYPT. 

Winter plumage. — Upper parts hair-brown; lower half of 
the back and rump pure white ; tail-coverts white, with well- 
defined dusky bars ; tail dusky, with numerous white bars, 
the white on the outer tail-feathers not so pure as in T. calidris ; 
wing-coverts and secondaries edged vsdth white and barred 
with brown ; underparts white ; beak long, slender, and 
straight, slightly hooked at the point, of a dark brown colour, 
inclining to pale reddish brown towards the base of the lower 
mandible ; legs brownish red ; irides brown. 

Specimens vary considerably in plumage according to 
season, changing in summer to a deep slate-colour more or 
less barred with white. 

Entu-e length 12 inches; culmen 2'4 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 6"5 ; tarsus 2'2. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 309. 



//) • 261. ToTANUS CANESCENS (Gm.). Greenshank. 

/fo\A^ A The Greenshank is plentifully distributed throughout 

Egypt and Nubia, where it frequents the Nile banks, canals, 
and pools, usually singly or in pairs, and is rarely met with 
in the larger marshes of the Delta, where the Redshank 
abounds. Its well-known call consists of three whistling 
notes, which may be easily imitated, and will rarely fail to 
attract the bird within reach of the gun. 

Winter plumage. — Head whitish, with dusky black centres 
to the feathers on the crown ; ear-coverts and in front of the 
eye, back of the neck, scapulars, and inner secondaries greyish 
ash-colour, with a dark streak next to the shafts, and the 
edges of the larger feathers paler and barred with dark 



BIEDS OF ERTPT. 257 

brown ; wings brownish black, paler on the inner coverts and 
secondaries ; remainder of the plumage white, the upper 
tail-coverts barred with dusky ; tail, the centre feathers 
shaded with ashy, and the whole partially barred with 
dusky ; legs green ; beak dusky olive ; irides dark brown. 

Entire length 13'5 inches ; culmen 2-2 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 7-5 ; tarsus 2-3. 

Fig. Sharpe and Dresser, B. of Eur. part v. 



262. ToTANUS STAGNATiLis, Bcchst. Marsh-SancJj)Jj)er. 

The Marsh-Sandpiper ranges throughout Egypt and Nubia, 
but is not very plentiful on the Nile above Cairo, where we 
generally met with it singly or in company with the Wood- 
Sandpiper. In Lower Egypt and the Eayoom it is far more 
numerous, and in these districts I may have seen as many as 
a hundred in one day. It is by no means shy, and comes 
readily when its whistle is imitated, the cry consisting of one 
note, which is easily acquired. It is active and graceful in its 
movements ; and when it sees an intruder it will generally 
stand motionless in the water, apparently hoping to pass 
unobserved. 

Winter plumage. — Upper parts ashy grey, inclining to 
white on the forehead ; many of the feathers streaked in the 
centre with dark brown ; lower part of the back and rump 
pure white ; tail and tail-coverts white, barred with dark 
bro^\Ti ; primaries dusky ; underparts white ; sides of the 
neck and flanks sparingly marked with narrow brown streaks. 

Summer plumage — The top of the head and back becomes 
browner, ami the upper plumage is generally strongly marked 

s 



258 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

with black spots and bars ; under plumage spotted on the 
lower part of the throat and crop ; beak black, inclining 
to green at the base ; legs pale yellowisli green ; irides dark 
brown. 

Entire length 9 inches; culmen 16 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
5-5 ; tarsus 2. 

Fig. Sharpe and Dresser, B. of Eur. part i. 



a , Y 263. ToTANus ocHROPUS (Linn.). Green Satidpiper. 

This Sandpiper is abundant and very evenly distributed 
throughout Egypt and Nubia, frequenting canals and pools 
in preference to marshes, but generally to be observed where- 
ever there is water. It rarely takes long flights, but if driven 
from one pool will almost invariably fly to the nearest piece 
of water, along the edge of which it runs, constantly stopping 
to pick up some shell or worm, but always keeping a sharp 
look out upon the sportsman. 

Upper plumage dusky green, finely spotted with dull white ; 
upper tail-coverts and tail white, the latter distinctly marked 
with dusky black bars ; quills dusky ; uiiderparts white, 
spotted on the lower part of the neck and crop with dusky ; 
flanks dusky, narrowly barred with white ; beak and legs 
deep greenish black ; irides bi'own. 

Entire length 9-5 inches; culmen 1*4; wing, carpus to 
tip, 55 ; tarsus V3. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 315. 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 259 

264. ToTANus GLAREOLA (Linn.). Wood-Sandpiper. 

This Sandpiper ranges throughout Egypt and Nubia, 
where it is, properly speaking, only a winter visitant, though, 
according to Von Heuglin (Syst. Ueb. p. 62), a few remain 
in the country throughout the year. In its visits it appears 
to be somewhat irregular ; for although in 1870 and 1871 I 
found it one of the most abundant of the wading birds in 
Lower Egypt and the Fayoom, and also shot several in Nubia, 
in 1868 I did not fall in with it once, to my knowledge, above 
Cairo, and Mr. E. C. Taylor also found it rare during his 
visits. 

Upper parts dusky olive, with the feathers edged or par- 
tially barred with white or brownish white ; rump and tail 
white, the latter barred with black ; underparts white, spotted 
with dusky on the cheeks and neck, and barred with that 
colour on the sides of the crop, flanks, and under tail-coverts ; 
beak olive ; legs pale yellowish green ; irides dark brown. 

Entire length 7"5 inches; cuhnen TS ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 4"9 ; tarsus \h. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 815. 



265. AcTiTis HYPOLEUCOs (Linn.). Common Sandpiipcr. 

This species is a resident in the country and ranges through- 
out Egypt and Nubia, where it is very abundant and evenly 
distributed. It prefers the banks of the river and canals, 
where it is generally met with singly. 

Upper plumage bronzy green, feathers more or less streaked 
and burred with dusky ; quills dusky, with a white patch on 

s 2 



260 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

the inner webs ; base and tips of the secondaries white ; tail, 
exterior web of the two outer feathers and end of all but the 
centre ones white, barred with dusky ; underparts white, 
shaded and streaked with brown on the crop and sides of the 
throat ; beak dusky ; legs olive-brown ; irides dark brown. 

Entire length 7"5 inches ; culmen 1 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 4'2 ; tarsus 0*9. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 318. 



266. HiMANTOPUS CANDiDUs, Bouu. Black-wmfjed Stilt. 

Abundant both in Egypt and Nubia, but more especially 
so in the Delta, where it may be almost daily seen in small 
flocks, striding about the shallow pools which are so frequent 
near the villages, perfectly undisturbed by the presence of 
man ; for the natives never molest it. 

Top of the head, nape, a band across the upper part of 
the back, and wings black, with green reflections ; remainder 
of the plumage white, with a delicate pink blush on the 
breast ; legs pink ; beak black ; irides orange-red. 

Entire length 14 inches; culmen 2*5; wing, carpus to 
tip, 9'8 ; unfeathered portion of the leg 8. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 289. 



267. Recurvirostra avocetta, L. Avocct. 

The Avocet is a winter visitant to Egypt and Nubia, and 
is moderately abundant. I have met with large flocks of 
these birds on two occasions, — once in the Delta in February, 



BIRDS OF EGYPT 261 

when they were too shy to allow of my approach within shot, 
and on the second occasion at Golosaneh in March, when I 
obtained two specimens. According to Von HeugUn (Syst. 
Ueb. p. 63) they are very abundant on the shores of the 
Red Sea. 

Entire plumage white, except the following parts — top of 
the head and back of the neck, a band between the shoulders, 
inner part of the scapulars, wing-covcrts, and primaries, which 
are brownish black ; beak, the apical half of which is curved 
upwards, black ; legs slaty grey. 

Entire length 17 inches; culnicn 3'7 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 9 ; tarsus 3"0. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 289. 

268. Ibis iETHiopicA (Lath.)*. Sacred Ibis. 

I can find no authenticated instance of this bird having 
been seen in Egypt in modern times, although there can be 
no doubt that it once lived in that country ; for the food found 
in many of the mummied specimens consists of shells, insects, 
and reptiles now common in Egypt. Some authors imagine 
that the Ibis was brought into the country by the ancient 
Egyptians ; but this appears to me highly improbable, as it 
would be the only instance of an animal not indigenous to 
Egypt having been made an object of general worship by 
that people. 

This bird is now plentiful higher up the Nile at Khartoom ; 
and I think it probable that it may yet be found in Egypt 
proper, for it breeds at Wady Halfeh according to Von 
Hcuglin (Syst. Ueb. p. 61). 

* Ibis reJigiosa of authors. 



202 BIRDS OF EGYPT. 

Head and neck bare and black ; end of the primaries 
black, with metallic green reflections ; secondaries elongated, 
forming a plume over the tail, which is black, with purple re- 
flections ; remainder of the plumage pure white ; legs and 
beak black ; irides dark brown. 

Entire length 28 inches; culmen 5'5 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 14 ; tarsus 3'5. 

Fig. Savigny, Descr. de I'Egypte, pi. 7, fig. 1. 

269. Ibis palcinellxjs, Linn. Glossi/ Ibis. 

The Glossy Ibis ranges throughout Egypt and Nubia, 
where it remains during the year, but is not very abundant. 
I only met with it on one occasion, near El Kab, in April, 
where I saw three feeding together in a small pool, and pro- 
cured two of them. 

Top of the head and cheeks, back, wings, tail, flanks, and 
under tail-coverts bright metallic green and purple ; remainder 
of the plumage, upper part of the back, and a broad band on 
the wing-coverts bordering the shoulders bright ferruginous 
brown ; beak and legs olive-black ; irides dark brown. 

Entire length 22 inches ; culmen 5'S ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 11*5 ; tarsus 4. 

The female is similar in plumage but rather smaller than 
the male. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 311. 

270. Tantalus ibis, Linn. African Wood-Ibis. 

This bird wanders northward into Upper Egypt during the 
time of the inundations, according to Von Hcuglin (Syst. 
Ucb. p. 61). 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 263 

Entire face and pouch witliout feathers and of a bright 
scarlet ; plumage white, with a roseate shade on the body, 
strongest on and under the wings ; quills, primary-coverts, 
and tail black, with a bright metallic bronzy-green gloss ; 
beak yellow ; legs dusky olive ; irides dark brown. 

Entire length 34 inches ; culmen 8"5 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 17, tarsus 7'7. 

Fig. Wolf, Zool. Illustr., 2nd series, pi. 46. 

571. Grus cinerea, Bechst. Common Crane. 

This is a common winter visitant both in Egypt and Nubia, 
arriving in October and leaving again in March. 

During their stay they may frequently be met with in 
flocks on the sandbanks and desert spaces by the river, or 
in the wide plains of halfa grass. When on the wing they 
fly in long lines one behind the other, at even distances, 
frequently uttering their cry, which may be heard at a con- 
siderable distance. They are extremely watchful and very 
difficult to approach. 

Forehead covered with black hairs ; top of the head naked 
and red ; back of the head and front of the throat dark slaty 
grey ; remainder of the plumage pale slaty grey ; the secon- 
daries very much elongated and forming a large pendent 
plume, which covers the tail and is darkest towards the points 
of the feathers ; beak olive-green, inclining to red at the base 
of the lower mandible ; legs black ; irides reddish brown. 

Entire length 46 inches ; culmen 5 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
26 ; tarsus 10. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 2/0. 



264 BIRDS OF EGYPT. 

272. Grus VIRGO, Pall. Demoiselle Crane. 

This Crane ranges throughout Egypt and Nubia, but is 

-■-'•' ■ '-' far less plentiful than the last species and nearly as shy. 

T/ IC(^(< On the 2nd of April I met with a large flock near Beni- 

. 2 2>/ -, souef, when, after in vain trying to stalk them for more 

/ than an hour, I obtained a long shot as they flew over my 

head. I am not aware of having seen them upon any other 

occasion. 

Scapulars elongated and pointed, reaching beyond the tail. 
The plumage is ashy grey, with the following exceptions : — 
a tuft of elongated feathers behind the eye white ; sides of 
the head, throat, front part of the neck, primaries, and tips of 
the scapulars black ; beak black at the base, yellow at the 
tip ; legs brownish black ; irides reddish brown. 

Entire length 39 inches; culmen 2'5 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 25 ; tarsus 7. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 271. 

273. Platalea leucorodia, Linn. Spoonbill. 

Very plentiful throughout Egypt and Nubia. It may 
constantly be been in flocks on the sandbanks of the river 
and in the great marshy lakes of Lower Egypt and the 
Fayoom. 

Beak long and flat, much widened at the tip. 

Breeding-plmnarje pure white, excepting a long bufi"- 
coloured crest, the pouch and a collar round the crop, which 
are yellow ; beak deep slate-colour, irregularly barred with 
black and having a yellow patch on its wider part ; legs 
black; irides crimson. 

Immature birds have the beak smooth and pale brown. 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 265 

Entire length 36 inches; culincn 8'8 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, IG ; tarsus 6. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 28G. 

274. CicoNiA ALBA, Bechst. IFhite Stork, 

The White Stork visits Egypt and Nubia during migration, 
and at such times is extremely abundant. In March and 
April I have seen these birds drawn up along the river-bank 
like an army, and in such numbers that whole islands ap- 
peared white with them. 

Wings black ; the wing-coverts and remainder of the plu- 
mage pure white ; beak, legs, and the bare skin around the 
eyes and on the pouch bright red ; irides dark brown. 

Entire length 44 inches ; culmen 8 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 24 ; tarsus 9. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 283. 

275. CicoNiA NIGRA (Liun.). Black Stork. 

The present species ranges throughout Egypt and Nubia, 
but is not very plentiful. It is an unsociable bird, never con- 
gregating in flocks or associating with other species. I saw 
it occasionally on the sandbanks, but could never get within 
range, as it is extremely wary and always keeps to the open. 

Adult. — Head, neck, chest, and all the upper parts black, 
with purple, green, and bronzy reflections ; underparts white ; 
the naked space around the eyes and on the throat, beak, 
and legs vermilion ; irides brown. 

Entire length 42 inches ; culmen 7'5 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 19 ; tarsus 11. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 284. 



266 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

Fam. ARDEID^. 

276. Ardea cinerea, Linn. Common Heron. 

The Heron is to be met with throiigliout Egypt and 
Nubia, especially on the sandbanks, often in considerable 
numbers, and in company with Spoonbills, Pelicans, and other 
Waders. 

Adult. — Forehead, top of the head, neck, a tuft of long 
plumes on the crop, centre of the abdomen, and under tail- 
coverts white ; a broad black band over the eye ; back of the 
head and two long crest-plumes black ; back, wing-coverts, and 
tail grey ; primaries and most of the secondaries black ; a 
narrow line of black spots down the centre of the throat ; 
feathers on the crop and on each side of the abdomen black ; 
flanks grey ; beak and irides yellow ; legs black. 

Entire length 38 inches ; culmeu 5 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
18*5 ; tarsus 6'5.. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pk 274. 

277. Ardea purpurea, Linn. Purple Heron. 

This Heron is a resident in the country, and is very plen- 
tiful in some parts of Lower Egypt and the Fayoom. I met 
with great numbers on the desert side of Birket el Korn, 
among the thick banks of sedge that grow in the lake. 
They are not nearly so shy as the Common Heron, and 
always frequent the dense reeds ; on being disturbed they 
would rarely go straight away, but generally flew round 
over the same spot several times, so that they were easily shot. 

Top of the head, nape, and a crest of two long feathers 
slaty black ; neck rufous brown, with a black streak running 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 267 

down the back and one on each side of it ; throat white ; 
remainder of the upper phimage slaty grey, strongly shaded 
with rufous on the wing-coverts ; the ends of the scapulars long 
and narrow, and of a light rufous and pale grey colour ; quills 
browner ; tail shaded Avith olive ; feathers on the crop elongated, 
of a creamy colour, shaded with rufous and boldly streaked 
with black ; remainder of the underparts deep rufous brown, 
lighter on the thighs, and shaded on the flanks with grey ; 
centre of the abdomen and under tail-coverts black, chestnut, 
and white mixed ; a bare patch in front of the eye and beak 
yellow, the latter shaded with brown towards the culmen ; 
legs greenish yellow, with the shins and upper part of the 
toes black ; irides yellow. 

Entire length 36 inches ; culmen o'3 ; wmg, carpus to 
tip, 14'5 ; tarsus 5. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 274. 



278. Herodias alba (Linn.) Great IFIdte Heron. 

The Great White Heron is plentiful in Lower Egypt and 
the Fayoom. On lake Mareotis I have frequently observed 
very large flocks of this species wading in the shallows at a 
considerable distance from the laud ; and on Birket el Korn, 
in the Fayoom, I have seen single specimens on several 
occasions ; but, as it is a very shy bird, I was never able to 
approach within shot. I have also seen it in the collections 
of other travellers from Egypt. 

Winter. — Entire plumage pure white; a bare space in 
front of and behind the eye yellowish green ; beak yellow, 
shaded with brown ; legs olive-black, shaded with yellow 



268 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

towards the feathered part of the thigh and on the soles of 
the feet ; irides yellow. 

In the summer plumage the feathers on the back are hair- 
like, and extend beyond the tail, and the feathers on the crop 
are elongated. 

Entire length 43 inches ; culmen 5 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 16'5 J tail 7 ; tarsus 7'6. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 276. 

279. Herodias garzetta (Linn.). Little Egret. 

This graceful little bird is abundant both in Egypt and 
Nubia, and is a resident in those countries throughout the 
year. It is usually to be met with singly by the edge of the 
water, and is equally partial to both the river and pools, 
feeding almost exclusively on fish. Early in April it begins 
to put on its breeding-plumage. 

Entire plumage pure white. In the breeding-season it 
assumes a crest of two long narrow plumes ; the feathers 
on the crop are elongated ; and those on the back are long, 
extending rather beyond the tail, and are of a very peculiar 
hairy structure; a bare space in front of the eye of a 
greenish shade ; legs and leak Hack ; feet dirty yellow ; 
irides pale yellow. 

Entire length 23 inches ; culmen 35 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 11'5 ; tarsus 4. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 277. 

280. Ardeola russata (Wagl.). Buff-hacked Heron. 

This species is very abundant in Egypt, especially iu the 
Delta, where flocks may be daily seen feeding among cattle 



t 



BIBDS OF EGYPT. 269 

without the least fear of man. On the ground it is graceful, 
but looks awkward on first taking wing. It is a useful bird 
to the natives, as it causes great havoc among the locusts 
and other insects, in this respect replacing the Sacred Ibis, 
for which bird it is usually made to do duty with the 
tourist. In August it breeds in large flocks in the sont 
woods. 

Winter. — Entire plumage pure white, shaded with buff on 
the crown. 

Summer. — Top of the head and nape, crop, and back buff', 
such parts of the plumage being composed of hairs rather 
than feathers ; a bare patch in front of the eye and heah 
yelloio ; legs olive-black ; irides pale yellow. 

Entire length 20'5 inches ; culmen 2'4; wing, carpus to 
tip, 3-2. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 278. 



281. Ardeola comata (Pall.). Squacco Heron. 

The present species is distributed in small numbers 
throughout Egypt and Nubia, where it is a resident. I have 
shot it on the banks of the river near Dendera in May, and 
saw it in flocks at Damietta and in the Fayoom in February. 
Von Heuglin observes that he encountered it in numbers 
between Assouan and Dongola in June and July. 

Chin, upper part of the throat, abdomen, wings, rump, and 
tail white, shaded with buff' on the wing-coverts ; a long crest 
of wJdte feathers with black edges ; head, neck, and chest 
brownish buff, the feathers on the crown more completely 
edged with dusky black than those of the neck ; back light 



^QP' 



f^i 



270 BIRDa OF EGYPT. 

yellowish brown, shaded with purple ; a bare patch in front 
of the eyes greon ; beak black, shaded with yellow towards 
the base and keel of the lower mandible ; legs olive ; irides 
pale yellow. 

Entire length 18"5 inches; culmen 2'G ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 8'5 ; tarsus 2*2. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 275. 



282. Nycticorax griseus (Linn.). Ni(]U-lIeron. 

The Night-Heron is abundant throughout Egypt, usually 
/, in flocks, frequenting clumps of sont- and palm-trees. They 

are not shy, and are often difficult to drive out of the thicker- 
foliaged trees. When disturbed they rise awkwardly, a few 
at a time ; but when once fairly started they mount high, and 
fly for a considerable distance. 

Adult. — Upper plumage : forehead, eyebrow, and two long 
plumes starting from the head white ; top and back of the 
head, back, and greater wing-coverts black, with a bright 
metallic green lustre ; wings and tail grey ; underparts 
white ; beak black, inclining to greenish yellow towards the 
base of the lower mandible ; legs pale brown ; irides crimson. 

Immature. — Entire upper plumage ashy brown, streaked 
with pale yellowish brown on the head and neck, and spotted 
with white on the back and wings; underparts white, 
mottled with pale brown ; legs and beak greenish black ; 
irides brown. 

Entire length 21 inches ; culmen 2"S ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 12 ; tarsus 3. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 279. 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 271 

283. BoTAURUs STELLARis (Linn.). Bittern. 

Very plentiful in Lower Egypt and the Fayoom, but less 
common in other parts of Egypt and Nubia. This scarcity 
is probably to be accounted for by the absence of reeds in 
those parts. It feeds chiefly at night, and reposes during 
the day amongst the rank marsh vegetation, where it is very 
easily approached. In the Fayoom I got within a few yards 
of a flock of about twenty that were perched up in the reeds, 
reposing, as is their habit, during the day. 

Feathers on the top of the head and neck long ; crown of 
the head and nape black, a brownish-black patch extending 
from the gape under the ear-coverts ; remainder of the 
plumage sandy buff, mottled with brown, chin and centre of 
the throat palest ; back strongly mottled with blackish brown ; 
quills and primary-coverts dusky brown, irregular^ barred 
and marked with rufous buff; remainder of the wing-feathers 
and tail irregularly barred with brown ; down the centre of 
the throat the brown forms irregular lines and bars on the 
sides of the neck ; legs olive ; beak yellowish brown, shading 
into dark brown towards the culmen ; irides brown. 

Entire length 28 inches ; culmen 2"9 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
12'5 ; tarsus 3'7. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 280. 



284. BoTAURUS MiNUTUs (Linn.). Little Bittern. 

The Little Bittern ranges throughout Egypt and Nubia, 
but is of rather rare occurrence. I only shot it on one occa- 
sion, near Koos, on the 26th of April, when I met with it 



272 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

sitting motionless by the river-bank, with its neck stretched 
out in a straight line, making itself look as tall as possible. 

Top of the head and nape, back, scapulars, and tail greenish 
black ; quills black ; greater wing-coverts creamy white, re- 
mainder of the coverts sandy colour ; the rest of the plumage 
sandy brown, inchning to cream-colour on the sides of the 
chin, the lower part of the abdomen, and under tail-coverts ; 

« 

ear-coverts washed with grey ; legs olive ; beak yellowish 
brown, shading into dark brown on the culmen ; irides 
brown. 

Entire length 12 inches; culmen TO; wing, carpus to 
tip, 5*5 ; tarsus I'G. 

The immature birds have the feathers on the back and 
scapulars brown, edged with sandy colour, with some brown 
streaks on the throat ; abdomen and greater wing-coverts 
sandy colour. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 281. 



Order AN SERES. 
Pam. PHffiNICOPTERID^. 

285. Phcenicopterus antiquorum, Bp. Flamingo. 

The Flamingo is rather rare on the Nile itself, but is 
extremely abundant in the great brackish-water lakes of 
Lower Egypt, and is not uncommon in the Fayoom. On 
lakes Mareotis and Menzaleh large flocks of these birds may 
generally be seen wading far out in the shallow water. They 
are very shy and difficult to approach within gun-shot, and 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 373 

when disturbed make a great clamour with their loud harsh 
voices. On the wing they look very peculiar, as they fly 
with their long necks and legs stretched out. 

Head, neck, body, and tail white, delicately shaded with 
pink ; quills black ; scapulars bright pink ; upper and under 
wing-coverts brilliant vermilion ; legs and two thirds of the 
bill pink, remainder of the bill jet-black ; iridcs pale yellow. 

Entire length 45 inches ; culmen 5"7 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
16 ; unfeathered part of the leg 19 ; tarsus 19. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 287. 



Fam. EALLID^. 

286. Rallus aquaticus, L. Water-Bail. 

This species is a Avinter visitant, and is plentiful in Lower 
Egypt and the Fayoom, where I have frequently killed it, 
but has not been met with, to my knowledge, in Nubia. It 
frequents the sedgy districts, and when disturbed only flies a 
short distance to the nearest patch of thick covert. 

Entire upper parts brown, with dark centres to the 
feathers ; underparts uniform slaty grey, excepting on the 
flanks, sides of the abdomen, and under tail-coverts, which in 
the female are black, barred with white ; in the male the vent 
and under tail-coverts are buff" ; beak red, shading into black 
on the culmen and towards the tip ; legs reddish brown ; 
irides red. 

Entire length 10 inches; culmen 1'6 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 4'6 ; tarsus 15. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 339. 

T 



274 BIED8 OP EGYPT. 

287. Obtygometra cbex (Linn.)- Corn-Crake. 

The Corn-Crakc is a winter visitor to Egypt, where it 
may be met with singly in the clover-fields, but is not 
plentiful. 

Upper plumage and tail pale brown, with dark centres to 
the feathers ; wing-coverts chestnut ; quills dark brown, with 
a rufous shade, outer web of the first primary white ; sides of 
the head and neck yellowish brown without spots ; upper 
part of the throat and abdomen white ; remainder of the 
underparts sandy colour, shading into rufous on the flanks 
and under tail-coverts, where the feathers arc mottled and 
barred with that colour ; beak and legs flesh-colour ; irides 
pale brown. 

Entire length 10*5 inches; culmen 0"95 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 5"8 ; tarsus 1'5. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 341. 



288. PoRZANA MARUETTA, Leach. spotted Crake. 

The Spotted Crake is probably a resident in Lower Egypt 
and the Fayoom, where one or two specimens may generally 
be met with during a day's sport in the marshes. They 
frequent chiefly the low sedge, and are very similar to the 
Water-Rail in habits and appearance on the wing. 

Centre of the crown, back of the neck,back,tail, and scapulars 
olive-brown, with black centres to the feathers ; wings brown, 
without the olive shade, the carpal margin of the shoulders 
white ; remainder of the head, neck, and crop slaty grey, 
shaded with olive on the latter part ; neck and crop spotted 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 275 

with white ; back, wings, and tail spotted and streaked with 
the same colour ; abdomen white ; flanks strongly barred 
with brown ; under tail-coverts buff ; beak yellow, greenish 
at the tip, and shading into scarlet towards the base of the 
upper mandible ; legs olive ; irides brown. 

Entire length 8"5 inches ; culraen 0-8 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 4-7 ; tarsus IS. 

Fig. Gould. B. of Eur. pi. 843. 



289. PoRZANA PYGM^A (Naum.). Baillon's Crake. 

I have no other authority than that of Riippcll for in- 
cluding the present species among the birds of Egypt. 

Upper parts, including the wings and tail, olive-brown ; 
back, scapulars, and wing-coverts marked with oval and 
triangular white spots surrounded with black, and some of 
them having a black spot in the centre ; outer edge of the 
first primary white ; sides of the head, throat, chest, and 
abdomen bluish slate-colour; flanks, vent, and under tail- 
coverts black, transversely barred with white ; beak olive ; 
legs pinkish brown ; irides red. 

Entire length 05 inches; culmen 0-7; wing, carpus to 
tip, 4 ; tarsus 1 • 1 . 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 344. 



290. Gallinula chloropus (Linn.). Moor-Hen. 

The Moor-Hen is very plentiful in some parts of Lower 
Egypt and the Fayoom, but I have not met with it clse- 

T 2 



276 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 



where in Egypt, although it probably ranges throughout the 
country. 

Head, neck, and undcrparts deep slate-colour, shaded with 
dull white on the centre of the abdomen ; under tail-coverts 
white ; quills and tail brownish black ; remainder of the upper 
surface deep olive-brown ; the wings narrowly edged with 
white, and some of the feathers on the flanks having white 
streaks down their centres ; the frontal shield and beak red, 
tipped with yellow ; legs olive-green, with a red and yellow 
patch below the feathered part ; irides brown. 

Entire length 14 inches; culmen 1"1 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 7'2 ; tarsus 2. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 342. 



291. PoRPHTRio Alleni. Allen s Gallimde. 

This Gallinule, which is of smaller size and more graceful 
form than P. hyacintldnus, has been found by Mr. S. Staf- 
ford Allen in Lower Egypt ; and an immature specimen, 
which he procured near Alexandria, is now in the collection 
of Messrs. Sharpe and Dresser, who have kindly lent it to me 
for description in the present work. 

Adult. — Back, wings, and tail green ; under tail-coverts 
white; remainder of the plumage indigo-blue, inclining to 
black on the head, neck, rump, and abdomen ; beak and 
frontal shield red, tinged with orange ; irides reddish brown ; 
legs pink. 

Immatfure plumage. — Top and sides of the head clear brown ; 
back and scapulars sandy brown, with olive-brown centres to 
the feathers ; rump and tail dark brown, the feathers of the 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 277 

latter edged with paler brown ; quills dark brown, primaries 
shaded with olive on their outer webs; wing-coverts olive, 
edged with sandy colour ; chin, centre of the chest, and 
abdomen white; remainder of the underparts sandy, ex- 
cepting the flanks and thighs, which are indigo-blue ; irides 
light brown. 

Entire length 9-3 inches; culmen 1*45; wing, carpus to 
tip, 5'8 ; tarsus 2. 



292. PoRPHYRio HYACiNTHiNUS, Tcmm. Violet Gallimle. 

The present species is abundant in the Fayoom, where 
I have frequently shot it, but have never met with it else- 
where in Egypt, although it is probably plentiful also in 
some of the lakes of Lower Egypt. It frequents the thick 
beds of reeds and half-sunken bushes, and, like the Common 
Moor-Hen, is very partial to perching up in them, and if 
unobserved, will remain there motionless until the sportsman 
has passed, before taking wing. 

Back of the head, neck, and wings ultramarine, with the 
exception of the inner web of the quills ; back and scapulars 
green ; cheeks and throat bluish green ; chest indigo ; 
abdomen black ; under tail-coverts white ; legs pink ; beak 
and shield on the forehead red ; irides ferruginous brown. 

Entire length 17 inches; beak, from the underpart of the 
shield, 2*8 ; wing, carpus to tip, 9"7 ; tarsus 3'5. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 340. 



278 BIRDS OF EGYPT. 

2U3. FuLiCA ATRA, Linn. Common Coot. 

This species ranges throughout Egypt and Nubia, and is 
extremely abundant on all the lakes. 

Entire plumage dark slate-colour, shading into black on 
the neck and head ; the wings have a narrow white edging to 
them, and the secondaries are slightly washed with that 
colour towards their tips ; beak and frontal shield pure white ; 
legs dusky white, shaded ■tvith yellow next to the feathers and 
on the sides of the tarsi, the joints and soles of the feet 
shaded with black ; irides brownish red. 

Entu-e length 16 inches; culmen 1-2, with frontal plate 
2"3 ; wing, carpus to tip, 8 ; tarsus 2 •2. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 338. 

294. FuLiCA CEiSTATA, Liun. Crested Coot. 

The Crested Coot appears to be plentiful at times in 
Egypt, and extends, I believe, throughout Nubia. 1 never 
met with a specimen while in the country ; but a resident 
informed me that they are abundant dming the inundations. 

Similar in size and plumage to F. atra, but distinguished 
by having two red knobs on the white frontal plate. 

295. Cygnbs olor, Linn. Mute Sweat. 

According to Von Heuglin (Syst. Ueb. p. 65) both this 
and the next species come into Lower Egypt singly or in 
small flocks in the winter, being especially noted ui the 
neighbourhood of Damietta. 

Entire plumage white ; beak orange, with its edges, as 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 279 

well as a large tubercle next to the forehead and lores, black ; 
irides brown. 

Entire length 60 inches; culmen 3" 5; wing, carjjus to 
tip, 25 ; tarsus 4'25. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 354. 

296. Cygnus Musicus, Linn. Hooper. 

A winter visitant, like the last. 

Entire plumage white ; beak and lores pale yellow, with 
the tip and edges of the former black. 

Entire length 58 inches ; culmen 4'1 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 22; tarsus 4'25. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 355. 

297. Chenalopex ^gyptiacus (Linn.). Egyptian Goose. 

This species is very evenly distributed throughout Egypt 
and Nubia. It is a very wary bird, and difficult to shoot ; 
and will oftentimes avoid a boat by walking away from the 
river, and taking up a position from whence it can see the 
approach of danger. It breeds very early in the fields by 
the river ; for in the beginning of May I shot some fair-sized 
flappers, and while in pursuit of them the old birds tried 
their best to draw me away by feigning to be wounded, but 
still carefully kept out of shot. 

Centre of the head light brown ; upper part of the throat 
and cheeks white, the whole shading into brown on the nape ; 
forehead, region of the eye, some of the feathers on the 
throat, and remainder of the neck bright ferruginous brown. 



280 BIRDS OF EGYPT. 

ending abruptly at the base of the neck ; upper parts of the 
back, chest, and flanks ferruginous buff, darkest on the back, 
the whole finely barred with dusky ; middle of the back and 
scapulars darker, the larger feathers of the latter changing 
to chestnut ; primaries black, outer web of the secondaries 
brilliant metallic green ; wing-coverts white, with a well- 
defined narrow black line across the wing ; lower half of the 
back and tail black ; centre of the chest marked with a broad 
chocolate-coloured patch ; centre of the abdomen white ; 
luider tail-coverts bufi" ; legs deep pink ; beak brownish 
flesh-colour ; irides brown. 

Entire length 26 inches ; culmen 2 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
16 ; tarsus 3 "2. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 353. 

298. Anser ALBiFRONS, Gm. White-fronted Goose. 

This is the most abundant Goose in Egypt, where it may 
usually be met with in flocks, but does not remain in the 
country later than March. When on the wing they fly in a 
wedge-shaped flock, and frequently utter a loud harsh cry, 
which may be heard at a considerable distance. They are 
generally on the move just before sunrise and sunset, and as 
they are very regular, taking the same line of flight and 
feeding at the same spot each day, they may be most readily 
obtained by lying in wait for them. If once fired at, the 
flock generally leaves the neighbourhood altogether. 

Forehead and front of the cheeks white ; whole of the neck 
brown ; upper part of the back and scapulars darker brown, 
with paler edgings to the feathers ; remainder of the back 
and tail dusky brown, with the tail-coverts and end of the 



BIEDS OF EGYPT, 281 

tail white ; quills black ; wing-coverts grey, the larger ones 
tipped with white ; under surface of the body and tail white 
in winter, while in spring the breast becomes more or less 
mottled and banded with deep chocolate-brown ; flanks 
brown, with the feathers broadly edged with white ; legs 
and beak orange ; irides brown. 

Entire length 28 inches; culmen 1"8; wing, carpus to 
tip, 16 ; tarsus 14. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Gr. Br. part xix. 

299. Bernicla brenta, Pall. Brent Goose. 

Von Heuglin (Syst. Ueb. p. 06) states that this bird is 
found in Lower Egypt in small flocks during the winter. 

Head, neck, front of the chest, and upper parts, including 
the wings, black, with a patch of white on each side of the neck 
and upper tail-coverts ; upper part of the back, scapulars, 
and wing-coverts shaded with brown, with paler edges to the 
feathers ; vent and under tail-coverts white ; remainder of the 
underparts dusky ash-colour, each feather margined with 
stone-grey ; beak and legs black ; irides dark brown. 

Entire length 24 inches; culmen 1'5 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 14 ; tarsus 2* 7. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Em-, pi. 352. 

300. Tadorna vulpanser, Fleming. Common Sheldrake. 

The present species appears to be rarer than the Ruddy 
Sheldrake ; for it is not so often found in the market at 
Alexandria. I have met with it on two occasions — once near 
Sioot, and once in the Fayoom. 



282 BIED8 OF EGYPT. 

Head and greater part of the neck brilliant dark green ; 
remainder of the neck and body white, with the following 
exceptions — upper part of the back and chest chestnut ; pri- 
maries black ; secondaries tipped with white, and with their 
outer webs brilliant metallic green ; scapulars mostly black ; 
wing-coverts white ; tail black ; and a dark brown band down 
the centre of the chest and abdomen ; legs and beak orange ; 
irides brown. 

Entire length 26 inches; ciilmen 1"2 ; Aving, carpus to 
tip, 13 ; tarsus 2'2. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 357. 

301. Tadorna rutila (Pall.). Uuddy Sheldrake. 

The present species is rarely met with on the river, but is 
not uncommon on the lakes of Lower Egypt and the Fayoom, 
and is frequently brought to the Alexandrian market. I met 
with it twice on Lake Menzaleh, which appears to be its 
favourite habitat in the country. 

Head very pale rufous ; neck darker rufous, surrounded 
near its base by a more or less distinct black ring ; upper 
part of the back, scapulars, and the entire under surface of 
the body rich ferruginous brown ; primaries black ; outer 
web of the secondaries brilliant metallic green ; wing-coverts 
white ; upper tail-coverts and tail black ; beak and legs 
black ; irides brown. 

Entire length 25 inches; culmen \'l ; vving, carpus to 
tip, 14 ; tarsus 2'1. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 358. 



BIRDS OF EGrPT. 283 

302. Anas boschas, Linn. Common Wild Duck. 

Tlie Wild Duck is distributed throughout Egypt and 
Nubia, and is everywhere plentiful. 

Male. — Head and neck rich metallic green, the lower part 
surrounded by a white ring; lower neck and fore part of 
the breast chocolate-brown ; upper part of the back cho- 
colate-brown, with pale edges to the feathers ; scapulars 
grey and brown, pencilled with dusky ; lower part of the 
back, rump, and upper tail-coverts black, with green re- 
flections ; tail black, edged with white, except the foiu- 
centre feathers, which are curled up ; primaries dusky brown ; 
secondaries deep metallic blue, shading into black and 
tipped with white; greater wing-coverts barred with white 
and tipped with black, remaining wing-coverts brown ; ab- 
domen greyish white, shaded with yellow and pencilled with 
dusky ; legs orange ; beak yellow ; irides dark brown. 

Entire length 24 inches ; culmen 2'3 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
10-8 ; tarsus 2. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 361. 



303. Anas strepera, Linn. Gadwall. 

The Gadwall ranges throughout Egypt and Nubia, and is 
moderately abundant, frequenting the large sheets of water 
in preference to the small pools and canals. I have shot it 
in Lower Egypt, the Fayoom, and up the Nile at El Kab. 

Feathers on the top of the head and nape dusky, barred 
and edged with brown ; remainder of the head and neck dirty 
white, thickly freckled with brown ; base of the throat and 
crop dusky black, with white semicircular bars and edges to 



284 BIRDS OF EGYPT. 

the feathers; upper part of the back, outer half of the 
scapulars, and sides of the body dusky, with narrow un- 
dulating white bars ; remainder of the scapulars brown, with 
pale edges to the feathers ; back dark brown ; rump and 
tail-coverts black, with a metallic gloss ; tail stone-grey, with 
cream-coloured edges ; wings, some of the smaller coverts stone- 
grey, the greater part chestnut, some of the larger ones tipped 
with black ; primaries brown, becoming very pale on the 
inner web ; secondaries greyish brown, some with black on 
the outer web, and many with the outer web white ; centre 
of the chest and abdomen white ; beak black ; legs orange- 
brown ; irides brown. 

Entire length 19 inches; culmea TS; wing, carpus to 
tip, 11 '4; tarsus 1"3. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 366. 



304. Dafila acuta (Linn.). Pintail Duck. 

The Pintail is very abundant in Lower Egypt and the 

Fayoom, but much less common on the Nile above Cairo. 

It may usually be met with in large flocks on the lakes, or 

feeding, in company with other kinds of Duck, along the 

^jUw^' banks of the canals, and more rarely in the small pools. 

Two centre tail-feathers long and pointed ; neck long. 

Male. — Head brown, a white band commencing on each 
side of the nape and joining the white on the throat ; back 
of the neck ashy brown, almost black towards the nape ; 
remainder of the throat and under surface of the body white, 
shaded with grey on the abdomen ; back and smaller sca- 
pulars grey, owing to the feathers being evenly barred with 



BIRDS OP EGYPT. 285 

dusky and white, and the flanks coloured in the same manner ; 
the larger scapulars are black, elongated, and broadly edged 
with grey and buff ; primaries brown ; secondaries tipped 
with white, and with their outer webs brilliant metallic 
green ; wing-coverts grey, the larger ones tipped with rufous, 
forming a band on the wing ; legs black ; beak slate-colour, 
with the tip and a broad band down the culmeu black ; irides 
brown. 

Entire length 23 inches ; culmen 2 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 10'5 ; tarsus 1'5. 

The female is a pale mottled brown bird, having the tail 
pointed, but not so much elongated as in the male. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 365. 



305. Rhynchaspis clypeata (Linn.). SZ/ovel/er. 

The Shoveller is a resident in Egypt and Nubia, and is 
one of the most abundant species of Duck in the country. 
They prefer the smaller pools and the banks of the lakes and 
river, are less shy than the other species of water-fowl, and 
are therefore most frequently shot, though they are very 
inferior eating. They are very late in assuming their breed- 
ing plumage ; for I have frequently shot them in April still in 
moult. 

jBea/i~ long and widening out towards the end; head and 
neck dark metallic green ; front part of the chest and greater 
part of the scapulars white ; centre of the back brown, with 
paler edgings to the feathers ; lower part of the back, tail- 
coverts, and tail black, with green and purple reflections ; 
outer feathers of the tail edged with white ; remainder of 



286 BIRDS OF EGYPT. 

the scapulars elongated, and coloured blue, white, and black ; 
primaries brown, the secondaries having their outer webs 
metallic green ; greater wing-coverts brown, edged with 
white, the other wing-coverts blue-grey ; remainder of the 
chest and abdomen chocolate-brown ; legs orange ; beak 
black ; irides brown. 

Entire length 20'5 inches; culmen 2'6 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 9 ; tarsus I'S. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 360. 



306. QuERQTJEDULA CRECCA (Linn.). Common Teal. 

/v^y' This is the most abundant species of water-fowl throughout 

o ^ ^ y ^ Egypt and Nubia, being met with on nearly every small pool 

/ / or canal, preferring these haunts to the larger sheets of water. 

_ ' r^ 6^ Male. — Head and neck rich ferruginous brown, with a 

large patch of bright metallic green encircling the eye and 
extending over the ear-coverts down the sides of the neck, 
ending in a steel-blue patch at the back of the neck; a 
white streak passes from the beak between the green and 
brown of the cheeks ; remainder of the neck, upper part 
of the back, a portion of the scapulars, and sides of the body 
dusky, the feathers being composed of alternate narrow 
streaks of white and black ; remainder of the scapulars 
white, with a border of velvety black on their outer webs ; 
remainder of the back and tail dusky brown ; quills dusky, 
exterior web of the outer secondaries black, of the inner 
ones metallic green ; wing-coverts brownish ash-colour, the 
larger ones tipped with creamy white ; underparts white, 
spotted with black on the crop, and shaded with dusky on 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 287 

the abdomen ; under tail-coverts buff, the centre ones black ; 
beak and legs black ; irides brown. 

Entire length 15'5 inches; culmcn 1*4 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 7*3 ; tarsus I'l. 

Fig. Sharps and Dresser, B. of Eur. part i. 

307. QuERQUEDULA ciRCiA (Linn.). Garganey Teal. 

The Garganey Teal is moderately abundant throughout 
Egypt and Nubia, and is a resident in the country. We 
met with a considerable number at El Kab towards the 
end of April ; but it appears to be most plentiful in the 
Delta, for I have seen it frequently in the market at Alex- 
andria. 

Top of the head dark brown, margined by a white streak 
on each side, which commences over the eyes and joins on the 
nape ; chin black ; remainder of the head and neck rufous 
brown, finely spotted with white on the centre of each 
feather ; front of the chest pale brown, with semicircular 
black bars on each feather ; back and tail brown, often tinted 
with grey, and with pale edgings to the feathers ; quills 
brown, secondaries tipped with white, and with their outer 
webs brilliant metallic green; greater wing-coverts broadly 
tipped with white ; remainder of the wing-coverts and outer 
web of the scapulars grey, the rest of the scapulars black, 
with a clear white streak down their centres ; abdomen 
nearly white, the flanks finely barred witli black ; legs and 
beak nearly black ; irides brown. 

Entire length 15 inches; culraen I'G; wing, carpus to 
tip, 7'5 ; tarsus 1. 

Fig. Sharpe and Dresser, B. of Eur. part v. 



288 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 



308. Mareca PENELOPE (Linn.). Widgeon. 

The Widgeon is plentiful in Lower Egypt in the wintei", 
where I have shot it twice and frequently seen it, and it is 
generally to be found in the market at Alexandria. Up the 
Nile it appears to be of rare occurrence ; for I have not ob- 
served it above Cairo nor in the Fayoom. 

Forehead and top of the head huff ; remainder of the head 
and neck chestnut; back grey, owing to the feathers being 
evenly barred with black and white ; tail-coverts black, 
edged on their inner web with white ; tail dusky ; primaries 
brown ; secondaries black, with the lower half of the outer 
web metallic green ; greater wing-coverts tipped with black ; 
remainder of the wing-coverts white, except on the carpal 
bend, where they are dusky ; fore part of the chest ferru- 
ginous pink, remainder of the chest and abdomen white ; 
flanks grey like the back ; beak grey, tipped with black ; 
legs black ; irides brown. 

Entire length 21 inches; culmen r4 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 10'3 ; tarsus \2t. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 359. 



309. Nyroca leucophthalma (Bechst.). Ferruginons Duck. 

This Duck ranges throughout Egypt and Nubia, but 
is most plentiful on the large lakes of the Fayoom and Lower 
Egypt. On Birket el Korn I daily saw immense flocks of 
many thousands together far out on the centre of the lake, 
which when disturbed rose with a running flight, striking 
the water rapidly with their feet, and making a noise in so 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 089 

doing which could be distinctly heard at a couple of miles' 
distance. 

Head, neck, fore part of the chest, and sides of the body 
rich ferruginous brown ; a ring round the neck, back, wings, 
and tail dark brown ; secondaries and inner primaries shading 
into white on their inner webs ; chest white, shading into 
brown on the abdomen; under tail-coverts white ; beak slaty 
grey with a black tip ; legs olive-black ; irides white. 

Entire length 10 inches; culnien 1*8; wing, carpus to 
tip, 7 "5 ; tarsus Tl. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 3fi8. 



310. FoLiGULA FERiNA (Liuu.). Pochcird. 

The Pochard ranges throughout Egypt and Nubia, but is 
most plentiful in the Delta. It prefers open water to the 
more reedy districts, and on the approach of danger will 
rather swim out of its way than take to the wing. 

Head and neck rufous browti ; upper part of the back and 
front of the chest black; centre of the back and scapulars pale 
grey, finely pencilled with dusky ; remainder of the back and 
tail almost black ; primaries brown, secondaries narrowly 
tipped with white ; wing-coverts l)rownish grey ; underparts 
of the body dirty white, ending in black tovpards the tail ; 
legs dark slate-colour ; beak grey, tipped with black ; irides 
brown. 

Entire length 19 inches ; culmcn 2 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 8 ; tarsus 1*4. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 3C7. 



290 BIRDS OF EGYPT. 

311. FuLiGULA MARiLA (Linn.). Scaup Buck. 

This species comes into Lower Egypt in the winter, and 
remains there until May, according to Von Heuglin (Syst. 
Ueb. p. 67). It frequents the large brackish-water lakes 
near the sea, and probably never ascends the Nile ; nor has 
it been met with, to my knowledge, in the Fayoom. 

Male. — Head and neck dark metallic green ; base of 
the neck, upper part of the back and crop, rump, vent, and 
tail-coverts black ; tail dusky brown ; back and scapulars 
white, with fine undulating dusky bars ; wing-coverts dusky 
grey, pencilled with black ; primaries dusky brown ; secon- 
daries white, with broad black ends; chest and abdomen 
white, sides shaded with brown, the feathers narrowly barred 
with undulating dusky lines ; beak slaty blue, with the nail 
black; legs pale slaty grey; webs of the feet inclining to 
black ; irides yellow. 

Entire length 20 inches; culmen 1"9; wing, carpus to 
tip, 8*5 ; tarsus TS. 

Female. — Fore part of the face and a patch on the ear- 
coverts white ; remainder of the head, neck, crop, upper part 
of the back, and tail-coverts brown. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 371. 

312. FuLiGULA CRisTATA (Linn.). Tufted Buck. 

This Duck is most plentiful in Lower Egypt and the 
Fayoom, where I have occasionally shot it. It frequents the 
open water, but is not very shy. 

Male. — Head, which is crested, and neck deep greenish 
purple; remainder of the neck, front of the chest, back, 



Plate xn 







ERISMATURA LEUCOCEPHALA . 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 291 

scapulars, wings, and tail black ; primaries shading into 
white on the inner web ; vent, under tail-coverts, and thighs 
black ; chest and abdomen white ; beak slaty grey, with a 
black tip ; legs black ; irides yellow. 

The female has no crest, and is generally browner in 
colour. 

Entire length 16 inches; culmen TO; wing, carpus to 
tip, S ; tarsus 1-3. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 370. 



318. Erismatura i.eucocephala (Scop.). White-headed 

Duel: 

(Plate XII.) 

The White-headed Duck is tolerably plentiful in Lower 
Egypt ; but I am not aware of its having been met with on 
the Nile above Cairo. Its favourite liaunts are the great 
brackish-water lakes of Mareotis and Menzaleh ; and it is 
probably to be met with in the Fayoom, though I do not 
know of an instance of its capture there. It is an extremely 
good diver, and prefers to keep to the water instead of 
taking to flight, unless very closely pursued. I only met 
with it alive on one occasion, on I^akc Mareotis ; when I shot 
one on the water, believing at the time that it was wounded. 
I have also seen it occasionally in the Alexandrian market. 

The description is taken from one of my Egyptian speci- 
mens, the colour of the beak, legs, and irides having been 
noted at the time. 

Bealy swollen ai Ihe base ; (ail-ferifhers lovg, narrow, and 
^fiff; head white, all except the top, which is bhifk ; bark of 

I -1 



292 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 



the neck below the nape bhick ; remainder of the plumage 
ferruginous brown, freckled with pale brown and dusk}', 
darkest on the fore part of the chest, flanks, and upper tail- 
coverts ; lower parts of the chest and abdomen dirty white ; 
tail black ; legs black ; beak blue-grey, without a spot ; irides 
brown. 

Entire length 18 inches; culmen TS; wing, carpus to 
tip, 6 ; tarsus 1'3. 



314. GIdemia fusca (Linn.). Velvet Scoter. 

According to Von Heuglin (Syst. Ueb. p. C7) the present 
species is to be met with singly in Lower Egypt in the 
winter. 

Male. — Entire plumage velvety black, excepting a patch 
behind the eye and a bar across the wing, which are pure 
white ; beak orange, with its margin and a swelling near the 
nostrils black ; legs bright red ; irides yellow. 

Entire length 23 inches; culmen 1'7; wing, carpus to 
tip, 11 ; tarsus 1'8. 

Female. — Blackish brown, with the under surface of the 
body dirty white, streaked and spotted with brown ; on the 
sides of the head some irregular patches of brownish white, 
and a white bar across the wing ; beak dusky ; legs brownish 
red. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 377. 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 293 

Fam. PELECANID-ffi. 

315. Pelecanus crispus, Bruch, Dalmatian Pelican. 

The present species is abundant throughout Egypt and 
Nubia, frequenting the sandbanks in the river, often in large 
flocks. It appears to be more plentiful than the other species 
of Pelican, and was the only one I met with in the Fayoom, 
where I frequently killed specimens. 

Feathers on the forehead terminating in a curved line, which 
is concave towards the middle of the culmen ; entire plumage 
white, with the following exceptions : — primaries dark brown ; 
upper part of the back, scapulars, and wing-coverts stone- 
grey, with their edges more or less white ; tail-feathers brown 
and grey, edged with white ; legs and pouch flesh-colour ; 
irides greyish ivhite. 

Entire length 72 inches; culmen IS" 5; wing, carpus to 
tip, 28 ; tarsus 5'2c 

The description is taken from a specimen in my collection, 
shot in February. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 406. 

316. Pelecanus onocratalus, Linn. TFJiite Pelican. 

This Pelican is very abundant in Egypt and Nubia. On 
the 20th of April, 1870, below Edfoo, we met with an 
immense flock of several thousands, passing low along the 
river on their way north ; and although fired at several times 
they still kept streaming onwards in one continuous flock, 
without diverging from their course. Mr. Adderley procured 
a specimen out of this flock ; and as it does not agree in the 
colour of the legs with former descriptions of this species, 



294 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

I give the following notes as they were made by nie at 
the time : — 

Feathers on the forehead come to a ])oint towards the 
culmen ; pouch pure pale yellow ; legs olive-black ; irides 
crimson ; primaries black ; remainder of the plumage xohite, 
with a very faint roseate blush. 

Entire length 60 inches ; culmen 16 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 26 ; tarsus 4" 5. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 405. 



317. Pelecanus minor, B/iipp. Lesser Pelican. 

Von Heuglin (Syst. Ueb. p. 72) observes that according 
to Riippell this bird is abundant in Lower Egypt ; and 
Mr. D. G. Elliot (P. Z. S. 1869, p. 581) likewise gives the 
locality Egypt for this species. 

It is very similar to P. onocrotalus, but slightly smaller. 
The feathers oh the forehead come to a point towards the 
culmen ; crest long and pendent ; primaries black ; remainder 
of the plumage pure white. 

Entire length 55 inches; culmen 12; wing, carpus to 
tip, 24 ; tarsus 5. 

318. SuLA CYANOPS, Sundev. Masked Gannet. 

Mr. E. C. Taylor tells me that he met with a Gannet on 
the Red Sea, near Suez, which must have belonged to the 
present species, as it is the only one that inhabits those 
waters. 

Naked skin on the face and pouch slate- colour ; quills. 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 295 

greater wing-coverts, and -tail dark brown ; remainder of the 
plumage white ; beak yellow ; legs slaty grey ; irides yellow. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Australia, vol. vii. pi. 77. 

319. Phalacrocorax carbo (Linn.). Cormorant. 

The Common Cormorant is very plentiful throughout 
Egypt, especially in the Fayoom ; and I have shot as many as 
twenty in one evening during their flight from the lake to 
their roosting-place in the rocks, where I believe they breed. 
On the Nile they are more plentiful in the winter than later 
in the season. 

Entire plumage deep glossy green, with the following 
exceptions : — part of the pouch which is without feathers 
greenish blue ; a white crescent-shaped patch on each side of 
the head, covering the cheeks, joining underneath and coming 
to a point on the pouch ; feathers on the head and neck more 
or less white according to age ; centres of the feathers on 
the upper part of the back, wing-coverts, and secondaries 
paler, and of a brownish hue ; a patch of pure white on the 
flanks ; legs black ; beak black on the culmen and tip, 
shading off to yellow on the remainder of the bill ; irides 
green. The younger birds have no white on the head and 
neck, and have the breast more or less white. 

Entire length 36 inches ; culmen 3 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 13"5 ; tarsus ]'5. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Em-, pi. 407. 

320. Phalacrocorax pygm.eus, Temm. Little Cormorant. 
The only locality in which I found this bird was the 



296 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

Fayoom, where it was not uncoinmon on the desert side of 
the great lake of Birket el Korn, and I shot two specimens. 
It is a far more active bird than the Common Cormorant, and 
much more shy, but very similar in its habits ; for as I paddled 
among the reeds I frequently saw it sitting upright on the 
half-sunken bushes, or diving actively in pursuit of fish. 
It appears to be a sociable species ; for I generally noticed it 
in pairs or small flocks, possibly family parties ; but it never 
flew in company with other birds. 

The following description is taken from my Egyptian 
specimens shot in February : — 

Upper plumage black, glossed with green, with the fol- 
lowing exceptions — sides of the neck shading off to brown ; 
wing-coverts almost grey, with the ends of the feathers black, 
narrowly edged with white; underparts white, shaded with 
brown on the neck and crop ; flanks and under tail-coverts 
black ; legs black ; culmen brown ; remainder of the beak and 
bare part of the crop yellow ; irides brown (noted at the time). 

Entire length 22 "5 inches ; culmen 1*4 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 8'5 ; tarsus 1*2. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 409. 



321. Sterna caspia, Pall. Caspian Tern. 

The Caspian Tern is tolerably abundant in Lower Egypt, 
but does not, to my knowledge, extend its range up the 
Nile. Mr. E. C. Taylor tells me that he has observed it on 
several occasions at Port Said and at Damietta. 

Adult in breeding-2Jluma(je. — Top of the head, nape, and 
around the eye black ; back and wings pearl-grey ; ends of 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 297 

the quills dusky ; remaiudcr of the plumage white ; beak 
vermilion ; legs black ; irides dark brown. 

Entire length 21 inches; culmcn 2-8 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 16'5 ; tarsus 1"5. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 414. 



322. Sterna anglica, Montagu. Gull-billed Tern. 

The present species is one of the most abundant Terns in 
Egypt. Though most plentiful in Lower Egypt and the 
Fayoom, I have met with it frequently as far up the Nile 
as Sioot. 

Breedinq-plumage. — Top of the head and nape glossy 
l)lack, remainder of the upper plumage pale pearl-grey ; 
under plumage white ; legs and entire beak black ; irides 
dark brown. 

In winter the top of the head is white, streaked or mottled 
with black ; nape and in front of the eye darker. 

Entire length 14 inches; culmen TS ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 13 ; tarsus 1-35. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 410. 

323. Sterna cantiaca, Gm. Sandwich Tern. 

This Teni appears to be more confined to Lower Egypt 
than 8. anglica, and is by no means so common, though it 
cannot be considered a rare species in that country. 

My description is taken from a specimen obtained at 
Alexandria in February. 

The plumage is very similar to that of S. anglica ; the bill, 



298 BIRDS OF EGYPT. 

however, is longer and more slender, and is tipped with dull 
whitish yellow. 

Eutii-e length 15 '7 inches; culmen TO; wing, carpus to 
tip, 10*4 ; tarsus 1. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 415. 



324. Sterna media, Horsf. Allied Tern. 

This species of Sea-Swallow is plentiful in Lower Egypt, 
where it remains throughout the year, 

Stimmer plumage. — Top of the head and nape black ; back, 
scapulars, wings, and tail pearl-grey, the primaries having a 
dusky border on the inner web next to the shafts ; remainder 
of the plumage white; beak yellow; legs black. 

Entire length 16'2 inches; culmen 2"2 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 12-5; tarsus 1. 

The description is taken from a specimen shot at Alex- 
andria on the 2nd of June, 1865, by Mr. S. Staiford Allen. 

Fig. Bree, B. of Eur. vol. iv. p. 87. 



325. Sterna Bergii, Licht. Svnft Tern. 

The present species is not uncommon in Lower Egypt, 
where it is a resident. 

Top of the head white, mottled towards the back with 
black, nape entirely of that colour ; remainder of the neck 
and underparts white ; back, scapulars, and wing-coverts 
pale pearl-grey, fading almost into white on the rump and 
tail ; first, three primaries nearly black, remainder of them 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 299 

deep grey, with a white border on the inner web ; beak 
yellow ; legs black ; irides dark brown. 

Entire length 16'5 inches ^ culmen 2"3 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 13*5 ; tarsus r2. 

Fig. Cretzschm. in Riipp. Atlas, t. 13. 



326. Sterna fluviatilis, Naum. Common Tern. 

This Tern may be occasionally met with in pairs along the 
Mediterranean coast in the winter and spring, according to 
Von Heugliu (Syst. Ueb. p. 70). 

Breeding-plumage. — Upper part of the head and nape 
black; remainder of the head, neck, under smface of the 
body, and the edges of the carpal band white ; the rest of 
the plumage pearl-grey, with the first primary partially edged 
with black ; beak and legs coral-red, the former shaded with 
black towards the tip ; irides dark brown. 

In winter the head is mottled with white towards the 
forehead. 

Entire length 15 inches; culmen 1*3 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 10 ; tarsus O'S. 

Fig. Sharpe & Dresser, B. of Eur. part vii. 



327. Sterna hirundo, Linn. Arctic Tern. 

The present species is to be met with singly along the 
Egyptian coast, as stated by Von Heuglin (Syst. Ueb. p. 70). 

Tail in the adult longer than in 8. fluviatilis, and the 
tarsus always shorter. 



300 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

Summer plumage. — Upper part of the head and nape 
black ; entire plumage, including the inner webs of the quills, 
grey, shading into white on the throat, cheeks, ear-coverts, and 
towards the extremities of the tail-feathers ; the exterior web 
of the first primary and outer tail-feathers dusky ; beak and 
legs coral-red ; irides dark brown. 

Entire length 15 inches; culmen r4; wing, carpus to tip, 
11 ; tarsus 0*6. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 419. 

328. Sterna minuta (Linn.). Lesser Tern. 

This small Tern is a winter visitor, but appears to be of 
rare occurrence in Egypt ; for I have only seen one specimen 
from that country, which was shot by Mr. Baird on the Nile, 
and is now in his collection. 

A streak extending from the lores over the eye, top of the 
head, and nape black ; back and wings pearl-grey ; outer 
primaries dusky ; remainder of the plumage white ; beak 
yellow, tipped with black ; legs orange ; irides dark brown. 

Entire length 8'7 inches; culmen 1"3; wing, carpus to 
tip, 7 ; tarsus 0'7. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 420. 

329. Hydrochelidon fissipes (Linn.). Black Tern. 

Von Heuglin (Syst. Ueb. p. 71) says that this Tern is met 
with on the Nile. 

Head, neck, and breast dusky black, shading into slate- 
colour on the upper parts and on the abdomen ; vent and 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 301 

under tail-coverts white ; beak black, shaded with deep red 
towards the base ; legs dusky red ; irides dark brown . 

Immature plumage. — Forehead, cheeks, and under surface 
of the body white ; back, wings, and tail leaden grey inter- 
mingled with brown. 

Entire length 10 inches ; culmen 1 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
8 ; tarsus 0"7. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 422. 



330. Hydrochelidon nigra (Linn.). White-vnngcd Black 

Tern. 

Von Heuglin (Syst. Ueb. p. 71) mentions this Tern as not 
uncommon during winter and spring on the coasts of both 
the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. 

Summer plumage. — Head, neck, scapulars, and chest black ; 
rump, tail-coverts, tail, and vent white; wings grey, with 
white edges to the shoulders ; outer primary nearly black ; 
beak dusky black, tinged with red at the base ; legs red ; 
irides dark brown. 

Entire length 9 inches ; culmen 1 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
8-7 ; tarsus 0-9. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 423. 



331. Hydrochelidon LEUCOPAREIA (Natt.). Whiskered Tern. 

This is a very abundant species on the Nile, ranging 
throughout Egypt and Nubia. I met with small flocks on 
several occasions as far up as El Kab, and on the 1st of May 



302 BIRDS OF EGYPT. 

shot several at How. In the Delta and the Fayoom they 
are extremely abundant, and by no means shy, often flitting 
gracefully backwards and forwards over the small ponds 
close to the villages. 

Breeding-plumage. — Top of the head and nape black ; 
upper surface pearl-grey ; cheeks and throat white ; under- 
side of the wings and under tail-coverts white ; remainder of 
the under sm-face leaden grey ; beak and legs coral-red ; 
irides dark brown. 

Entire length 9"5 inches; culmen 1"2 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 9 ; tarsus 0-9. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 424. 



332. Rhynchops flavirostris, Vicill. Scissor-hilled Tern. 

(Plate XIV.) 

I first saw some of these curious birds flitting over the 
sandbanks near Edfoo on the 1st of April ; on the 4th a 
small flock passed our boat near Philae, and we met, I be- 
lieve, the same party again ten days later among the rapids 
of the First Cataract. Afterwards we saw these Terns fre- 
quently in considerable numbers, and killed several near 
Erment, where I believe they were beginning to breed on 
the sandbanks. They were not shy, and afforded me plenty 
of opportunities of watching their graceful evolutions as they 
played together. 

Mr. S. Stafibrd Allen (Ibis, lb64,p. 243) mentions having 
seen the Scissor-billed Tern once near Thebes, and speaks 
of its having been killed at Damiettii, which appears to 




CO 

a: 

a 

5 






BIRDS OF EGYPT. 303 

me very possible ; for when I met with them they had 
evidently just arrived on their migration down the Nile, and 
probably some intended to continue their jouiiiey. 

Beak verymuch flattened at the sides and much deeper than 
it is broad, lower mandible longest. 

Top of the head, nape, back, centre tail-coverts, two middle 
tail-feathers, and wings dusky brown ; forehead and re- 
mainder of the plumage white ; secondaries tipped with 
white ; inner web of the tail-feathers shaded with dusky ; 
legs and beak vermilion, the latter shading off to yellow 
towards the end ; irides bro^vn. 

Entire length 17 inches; beak, from the gape, upper 
mandible 3'1, lower mandible 3'!) to 4*4; wing, carpus to 
tip, 14 ; tarsus Tl. 

Description taken from three specimens shot by myself iu 
Upper Egypt. 



Fam. LAEID^. 

333. Larus marinus, Linn. Greater Black-backed Gull. 

According to Von Heuglin (Syst. Ueb. p. 69) this species 
is met with singly on the Mediterranean coast throughout the 
year. 

Head, neck, tail, and underparts white ; back, scapulars, 
and wings deep slate-colour ; primary coverts white, the pri- 
maries, secondaries, and scapulars tipped with white ; eyelids 
red ; beak yellow, with a scarlet patch on the lower mandible ; 
irides pale yellow. 



304 BIRDS OF EGYPT. 

Entire length 30 inches; cuhnen 3"5 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 20 ; tarsus 3'1. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 430. 

334. Larus fuscus, Linn. Lesser Black-backed Gull. 

This Gull ranges up the Nile into Nubia, where I fre- 
quently saw it in small flocks, generally towards sunset, 
passing northward in April. On the 24th of that month, 
near Erment, I shot a specimen out of a small flock, ap- 
parently the same that I had seen on several consecutive 
evenings during our retiu-n journey down the river. I have 
taken my description from this specimen. 

Entire plumage pure white, except the back and wings, 
Avhich are deep slate-colour, with the primaries black ; a large 
white spot on the first primary near the tip ; ends of the quills 
and greater scapulars white ; legs and beak yellow, with the 
base of the gape and a spot on the lower mandible vermilion ; 
irides pale yellow ; eyelids vermilion. 

Entire length 23 inches ; culmen 2*3 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
17; tarsus 2-5. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Em", pi. 431. 



335. Larus LEUCOPHiEUS, Licht. Mediferranenn Hernnc/- 

Gull. 

This Gull is a very abundant resident in Egypt and Nubia. 
I believe it to have been the species of which I saw flocks oc- 
casionally in Nubia, apparently migrating northward in April. 
Von llcughn (Syst. Ueb. p. G9) probably refers to this species 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 305 

under the name of L. argentatus, which he declares is met 
with singly along the Nile up to Kartoom. 

This bird is very similar to L. argentatus, from which it 
differs in the grey back being a shade darker, and in the legs 
of the adult being yellow. 

Entire plumage white, excepting the back, scapulars, and 
greater part of the wings, which are grey ; the greater part of 
the primaries black, with white tips and a white spot on the 
outer one ; scapulars and secondaries tipped with white ; 
beak yellow, with a scarlet patch on the lower mandible ; legs 
bright yellow ; irides pale yellow ; eyelids scarlet. 

Entire length 22 inches ; culmen 2'4 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 17 ; tarsus 2 "5. 

Immature birds have the legs flesh-colour. 



336. Larus argentatus, Briinn. Herring-Gull. 

Von Heughn (Syst. Ueb. p. 69) says that this Gull is very 
abundant on the Mediterranean coast, and is found singly 
up the Nile as far as Kartoom. 

Similar to L. leucopheeus, but the grey on its plumage is of 
a paler tint, and the legs in the adult are flesh-colour. 

Entire length 22 inches ; culmen 2-4 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 16'5 ; tarsus 2"5. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 434. 



337. Larus canus, Linn. Common Gull. 

I only met with a single specimen of this Gull, on the 27th 
of February, near Damietta. According to Von Heughn 

X 



306 BIEDS OF EGYPT, 

(Syst. Ueb. p. 69) it is to be found singly on the Mediterra- 
nean coast in the winter. 

Winter plumage. — Head white, with fine dusky streaks on 
the upper part ; neck, rump, tail, and underparts white ; 
back, scapulars, wing-coverts, and secondaries pearl-grey, 
with a white edging to the shoulders and white tips to the 
greater wing-coverts and secondaries ; primaries black, with 
white tips, excepting the outer two, which have a white 
patch near their ends ; beak yellow, shaded with grey to- 
wards the base; legs yellow; irides brown. 

The following measurements are taken from the specimen 
I shot in Egypt : — 

Entire length 16-3 inches; culmen 1"3; wing, carpus to 
tip, 14 ; tarsus 1'9. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Em\ pi. 437. 

33S. Larus cachinnans. Pall. 

According to Von Heuglin (Syst. Ueb. p. 69) this Gull 
is to be met with on the Red Sea and near Damietta. 

From an examination of specimens, in which I have been 
assisted by Mr. Howard Saunders, who is making an es- 
pecial study of the Laridas, this species appears to be per- 
fectly identical with Larus leucopheeus {antea, p. 304), and 
I have, therefore, not given a desciiption of the bird. 

839. Larus gelastes, Licht. Slender-hilled Gull. 

This Gull ranges throughout Egypt, and is probably a 
resident in the country. Mr. E. C. Taylor (Ibis, 1867, p. 72) 
mentions that his party procured a specimen out of a small 







1- 
X 

I- 

X 

o 



to 

a: 

< 



J 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. • 307 

flock they saw near Keneh, in Upper Egypt. This is the 
most southern point on the Nile that I am aware of its 
having been met with. 

Head, neck, tail, outer border of the wing, and greater 
part of the first four primaries white ; outer web of the first 
primary, inner border of the first four, and ends of all black ; 
remainder of the upper plumage pearl-grey; underparts 
white, beautifully shaded with pink ; beak and legs coral- 
red ; irides very pale yellow. 

Entire length 16 inches; culmen I'G; wing, carpus to 
tip, 11-5 ; tarsus 1'9. 

Fig. Bree, B. of Eur. vol. iv. p. 98. 



340. Larus ichthyaetus. Pall. Great Black-headed Gull. 

(Plate XIII.) 

This fine species ranges throughout Egypt and Nubia, and 
is far from uncommon. In the Fayoom I met with it daily 
on Birket el Korn, and frequently shot it in full plumage in 
February, and have also noticed it as high up the Nile as 
El Kab. It is likewise abundant on the coast of the Red Sea 
and Mediterranean. 

Entire head and upper part of the neck black, with a small 
white patch above and below the eye ; remainder of the neck, 
upper part of the back, tail-coverts, tail, and under surface of 
the body white ; back, scapulars, and greater part of the 
wing-coverts pearl-grey ; primaries white, with a large patch 
of clear black near the ends of the feathers and on the outer 
web of the first one, the smaller ones being grey, with white 
tips ; the outer secondaries white, the inner ones grey tipped 



308 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

with that colour ; beak yellow, with a broad red patch 
crossing it, and a black bar near the tip ; gape and eyelids 
vermilion ; legs yellow ; irides dark brown. 

Entire length 25 inches ; culmen 3 ; wing, carpus to tip, 
19 ; tarsus 1-9. 



341. Larus leucophthalmus, Licht. White-eyed Gull. 

The present species is to be met with on the Egyptian 
coast, but does not appear to be at all plentiful. 

Head, nape, and throat black, with a small white patch 
above and below the eye ; a white border to the black on the 
neck, shading into dusky ash-colour on the back and sides of 
the chest ; back and scapulars ashy brown ; tail-coverts and 
tail white ; wings dusky brown, with white tips to the 
secondaries ; remainder of the underparts white ; beak red, 
tipped with black ; legs brownish red ; irides white. 

Entire length 15*5 inches; culmen 1"8; wing, carpus to 
tip, 12'5 ; tarsus l"?. 

Fig. Bree, B. of Eur. vol. iv. p. 95. 



342. Larus melanocephalus, Natt. Mediterranean Black- 
headed Gull. 

This species is moderately plentiful in Lower Egypt, espe- 
cially in the neighbourhood of Alexandria, but is, according 
to Von Heuglin (Syst. Ueb. p. 69), only a winter and spring 
visitant. 

Sumvier phimage. — Entire head deep black, with a small 
white patch above and below the eye ; back and wings pearl- 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 309 

grey ; primaries tipped with white, and the outer web of the 
first one black for three quarters of its length ; remainder of 
the plumage white, with a delicate pink blush on the chest ; 
beak, eyelids, and legs coral-red ; irides dark brown. 

Mr. Howard Saunders (Ibis, 1872, p. 79) has given some 
remarks on the distinctions between this species and the 
common Black-headed Gull, which may be useful to my 
readers : — " In the adult plumage this species is distinguish- 
able at a glance from L. ridibimdus ; and even immature birds 
of the former show a stronger bill and somewhat larger tarsi ; 
still the best distinction exists in the first primary. In young 
L. melanocephalus that portion of the inner web which lies 
next to the shaft is smoke-coloured on both upper and under 
sides, whereas in L. ridibundus it is white, as is also the 
shaft. This holds good until L. melanoce'phalas has lost all 
colour on the inner web of the first primary, when the dark 
edging of the same feather in L. ridibundus forms a still more 
marked distinction. A further peculiarity of this species is, 
that although it assumes the black head in its second spring, 
when it commences to breed, yet it does not acquire the full 
white primaries until the third spring." 

Entbe length 15 inches; culmen 1-3; wing, carpus to 
tip, 11-3 ; tarsus VI. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 427. 



343. Larus ridibundus, Linn. Blach-headed Gull. 

This Gull is extremely abundant in Lower and Middle 
Egypt, where it remains the whole year ; but I know of no 
instance of its capture in Nubia. During March 1870, when 



310 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

there was a plague of locusts in the land, we met the present 
species far up the river in large flocks, busily engaged in 
devouring these insects. 

Adult in hreeding -plumage . — Head and throat dark brown, 
with a small white patch above and below the eye ; neck, 
upper part of the back, tail-coverts, tail, and under surface of 
the body white ; remainder of the back, scapulars, secon- 
daries, inner primaries, and greater part of the wing-coverts 
pearl-grey ; carpal bend of the wing, outer wing-coverts, and 
greater part of the four outer primaries white ; the outer web 
of the first primary, the tips of all, and part of the inner 
web of the larger ones black ; legs, beak, and eyelids brownish 
red ; irides dark brown. 

In winter. — The head white, a dusky patch in front of 
the eyes, and often some dusky feathers on the back of 
the head. 

Entire length 15 inches; culmen 1*5; wing, carpus to 
tip, 12"5 ; tarsus 1'6. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 425. 



344. Larus minutus. Pall. Little Gull. 

This species is to be met with in the Delta, and I one day 
saw it on Lake Mareotis in great numbers. On the large 
lake of the Fayoom I also believe that I saw a pair in company 
with L. ridibundus. 

My description is taken from a specimen obtained at 
Alexandria on the 28th of February. 

Winter plumage. — Back and wings pearl-grey, with the tip 
of the quills white ; remainder of the plumage white, the 



BIEDS OF EaTPT. 311 

breast suffused with a pink blush ; beak brownish red ; legs 
vermilion ; irides brown. 

In summer plumage the head is black. 

Entire length 10'4 inches; culmen 0*9; wing, carpus to 
tip, S'8 ; tarsus 0"9. 

Fig. Sharpe and Dresser, B. of Eur. part iv. 



Fam. PROCELLARIID^. 

345. PuFFiNus KuHLii, Boie. Cinereous Shearwater. 

This is probably the species intended by Von Heuglin 
(Syst. Ueb. p. 68) under the name Nectris macrorhyncha, 
Heugl., which, he says, is not rare on the Mediterranean coast 
of Egypt. 

Upper sm'face ashy grey, the feathers slightly edged with 
lighter grey, especially on the rump, the head darker ; wing 
dark brown, the greater coverts decidedly lighter margined ; 
quills and tail blackish brown, with a slight shade of grey; 
under surface of the body entirely white, with an appearance 
of ashy grey on the sides of the face and neck ; bill yellowish, 
darker on the lower mandible, inclining to bluish a little way 
off the tip ; feet yellowish, web lighter yellow, outer toe 
darker. 

Total length 20 inches ; culmen 2'05 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 12-8; tail 5-3; tarsus 1-95. 

Fig. Kuhl'sProc. t. 11, 12. 



312 BIED8 OF EGYPT. 

346. PuFFiNUs ANGLORUM, Tenim. Manx Shearwater. 

Von Heuglin (Syst. Ueb. p. 68) calls this bird rare on the 
north coast of Egypt, where he mentions that he found a 
specimen that had been washed up by the tide. 

We know that this bird is extremely plentiful throughout 
the Mediterranean, where it is resident ; and after carefully 
comparing a specimen from Malta with others from Ireland 
(aU in the collection of Mr. Howard Saunders), it is difficult 
to admit the specific distinction of P. Baroli, Bonelli, and 
P.yelkouan, Acerbi, names which have been applied to the 
Mediterranean bird. 

Above sooty black, underneath entirely black ; the sides of 
the face as far as the upper part of the breast shaded with 
grey ; bill black, under mandible somewhat lighter ; feet 
yellowish ; outer toe blackish. 

Total length 13 inches; culmen 1-35; wing 9"2; tail 3"7; 
tarsus 1"6. 

Eig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 443. 

Pam. PODICIPID-ffil. 

347. PoDiCEPS CRiSTATUs (Linn.). Great Crested Grebe. 

This Grebe is rare in Egypt ; yet 1 have certainly seen it on 
two occasions in the Fayoom, and believe that I have also 
observed it on the Nile near Keneh. In habits it is ex- 
tremely shy, diving at the first glimpse of danger, so that it 
is very difficult to approach, especially as it usually frequents 
the open sheets of water. 

Breeding-plumage. — Top of the head and ear-tufts dusky ; 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 313 

round the neck a broad frill of chestnut, edged with black ; 
cheeks and throat white ; upper plumage dusky brown, with 
a white bar across the wings ; underparts silvery white, 
becoming ferruginous brown on the flanks ; legs olive-black ; 
beak dusky ; irides red. 

In winter the ear-tufts and frill are absent. 

Entire length 21 inches; culmen 1-9; wing, carpus to 
tip, 72 ; tarsus 2*2. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 388. 



348. PoDiCEPS NiGRicoLLis, Suudcv. Eared Grebe. 

This is probably the bird referred to by Von Heuglin 
(Syst. Ueb. p. 68) under the name P. auritiis, Briss., which, 
he states, is to be met with in Lower Egypt during the 
winter. 

Feathers behind the eye and ear-coverts elongated, and of 
a light chestnut-colour ; remainder of the head, throat, and 
upper parts, including the wings, olive-black; secondaries 
white ; under surface of the body silvery white, shading into 
chestnut-brown on the sides ; beak black ; legs olive ; irides 
red. 

Entire length 12 inches; culmen 0'9; wing, carpus to 
tip, 5 ; tarsus TG. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 391. 

349. PoDiCEPS GRiSEiGENA, Bodd. Red-neckecl Grebe. 
According to Von IleugUn (Syst. Ueb. p. 68) this species 



314 BIEDS OF EGYPT. 

comes into Lower Egypt in the winter, where it is met with 
singly. 

Summer plumage. — Tufts on the head, upper part of the 
head, and back of the neck black j remainder of the upper 
parts, including the wings, olive-black, the secondaries white ; 
chin and sides of the head white ; neck chestnut ; remainder 
of the under surface of the body white, shading into dusky 
black at the vent ; beak olive-black, shaded with yellow at the 
gape ; legs dusky olive ; irides red. 

Entire length 17'5 inches; culmen 1"7 ; wing, carpus to 
tip, 7"9 ; tarsus 12. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 389. 



350. PoDiCEPS MINOR (Linn.). Little Grebe. 

The present species is plentiful in Lower Egypt and the 
Fayoom, where I have shot it on several occasions, but have 
never observed it on the river. 

Front of the face, upper part of the throat, and the whole 
of the upper plumage olive-black ; wings brown, with a large 
portion of the secondaries white ; ear-coverts and front of the 
neck rich ferruginous brown ; uuderparts white, shaded with 
dusky on the crop, sides, and vent ; beak olive-black, shading 
into yellow at the tip and gape; legs olive ; irides brown. 

Entire length 10 inches; culmen 0'9; wing, carpus to 
tip, 4 ; tarsus 1'4. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 392. 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 315 

351. CoLYMBUs SEPTENTRioNALis, Linn. Bed-throated Diver. 

Von Heuglin (Syst. Ueb. p. 68) mentions that he once 
observed this species in Lower Egypt in the winter. 

Summer plumage. — Forehead, sides of the head, and neck 
slate-colour, with a ferruginous brown patch down the centre 
of the throat ; back of the head and hinder part of the 
neck black, streaked with white ; remainder of the upper 
parts dusky, more or less spotted with white ; underparts 
white ; beak and legs black, the latter tinted with olive ; 
irides red. 

Entire length 22'5 inches; culmen 2; wing, carpus to 
tip, 11-5 ; tarsus 2' 5. 

Fig. Gould, B. of Eur. pi. 395. 



Order STRUTHIONES. 
Pam. STRUTHIONID^. 

352. Struthio camelus, L. Ostrich. 

A perfect monograph of the Ostrich has been published 
by Drs. Finsch and Hartlaub in the ' Vogel Ost-Afrika's,' and 
I translate from thence the following particulars as to its 
occurrence in Egypt : — " They are no longer found on the 
plains of El Mograh, between Cairo and Suez, where Burck- 
hardt met with wild Ostriches in 1816. Von Heughn looked 
in vain for it both on the Libyan plains and in Central Egypt ; 
but a very trustworthy hunter, Prince Halim Pacha, assured 
liim that he had found fresh-disturbed breeding-places of the 



316 BIED8 OF EGYPT. 

Ostrich a few days' journey distant from Cairo. Formerly it 
was often referred to as occuri'ing there. Pocock states that 
it inhabited the hilly desert to the south-west of Alexandria. 
Sonnini often saw fresh tracks in the desert of Bahireh ; and 
Minutoli observed flocks of from ten to fifteen individuals 
on the route from Alexandria to Suvah and Dernah." 



BIRDS or EGYPT. 317 



CONCLUDING REMARKS. 

Having reviewed in the foregoing part of this work all 
the different species of birds that have been included in the 
Egyptian lists by former writers, as well as those that have come 
under my own observation, it will, perhaps, be of service briefly 
to determine the value of the evidence on which they have 
been inserted, and the true claim to specific distinction of 
the more closely allied species. In the former pages I have 
included over 350 birds as having some feasible claim to be 
considered inhabitants of the Egyptian district, bounded 
on the north by the Mediterranean, on the south by the Second 
Cataract, and on the east and west by the Arabian and 
Libyan deserts. 

Earn. TuRDiD^. — Among the Thrushes, Tardus viscivorus 
has probably never occiured in Egypt ; for no traveller on the 
Nile more recent than Riippell records it from that country. 
T. torquatus, I have little doubt, is met with in Lower Egypt. 
The true Pycnonotus nigricans (Vieill.) never could have come 
to Egypt, as stated by Von Heuglin (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 399). 
The bird referred to by him is doubtless P. xanthopygius, the 
Palestine form, differing only from P. nigricans in the absence 
of a red eyelid ; and for that reason I have included it in my 
work under the name of P. xanthopygius. 

Fam. Stlviid^. — Saxicola philothamna has almost crept 
into Egyptian lists on account of Mr. E. C. Taylor's S. erg- 
thropygia having been referred to that species ; but the latter 
bird is apparently referable to S. mwsta, Licht. S. xantJio- 
melana is an undoubtedly good species, with which S. FinscJii 



318 BIRDS OF EGYPT. 

is identical (vide supra, p. 74). 8. homocJiroa, of which 
I have only seen females, may, I think, only be a sexual or 
seasonal plumage of S. deserti. S. lumens and ^S*. leucomela of 
Von Heuglin's large vpork are doubtfully separable; while 
his S. syenitica is probably only a stage of S. Ieuc02iygia, 
depending on the age of the specimen. Pratincola Hem- 
prichii is mentioned as Egyptian for the first time by Von 
Heuglin (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 339). It may have been re- 
marked by some of my readers that although many species of 
Warblers are included in my previous list, several still hold 
their claim to being Egyptian birds upon rather unsatis- 
factory evidence. This, I think, arises from the nature of 
the Country, the diyness of the climate, and the great absence 
of bushes, which are especially unfavourable to birds of this 
family, and cause their numbers to be limited, while it does 
not entirely exclude their occasional occurrence. Thus we 
find ButiciUa seminifa, naturally a very local species, only 
collected in Egypt by Hemprich and Ehrenberg, though, ac- 
cording to Canon Tristram, it is not uncommon in Palestine. 
Again, our Hedge-Sparrow, Accentor ^nodularis, has only 
been observed by Von Heiiglin. Bradypterus Cettii appears 
a somewhat doubtful Egyptian species, although I fully 
believe that it does occur there. Pseudoluscinia fiuviatilis is 
included upon still more uncertain authority ; but as both 
these last species are found in Palestine, one may naturally 
conclude that they do visit Egypt. Calamodyta aquatica is 
stated by Von Heuglin to be common at times in company 
with C. schoenobcenus; but I have never met with it, although 
I have taken some pains to search for it. C. melanopogon is 
perhaps more abundant in the Nile Delta than in any other 
part of its range, yet it has been strangely omitted by Von 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 319 

Heuglin in his work ; and this has rather shaken my con- 
fidence in his remarks iipon the Calamodytce, as I think he must 
have confounded it with some of the more nearly aUied species. 
Calamoherpe arundiiiacea, the Reed- Warbler, probably escaped 
my notice owing to its being a bird of passage ; although 
during my tours I have spent about two months at difi'erent 
times in February and March in the marshes of the Delta. 
C. palustris is a bird which neither myself nor Von Heughn 
ever met with ; but it is included as a bird of both Egypt and 
Nubia upon the authority of Riippell and Lichtenstein ; the 
determination is, however, in my opinion, open to question. 
Acrocephalus pallidus of Von Heuglin (Orn. N. O. Afr. p. 294), 
said by him to be a resident both in Egypt and Nubia, puzzles 
me as to what species it should be referred. I do not know 
of an Acrocephalus to which the name of pallidus could be 
applied ; and he especially remarks that it is not the Hypolais 
pallida of Gerbe. I have referred it, in a footnote (p. 100), 
to Hypolais eltsica. 

Of the three species of true Acrocephalus, A. turdoides 
appears to me of doubtful occurrence j A. arahicus. Von 
Heuglin, I only know from his description (Orn. N. O. Afr. 
p. 289) ; but it seems to me to be probably a good species 
and to occur in Egypt. 

Hypolais olivetorum has been collected by Mr. Rogers 
near Alexandria. I mention it here as it is new to the 
country. H. elesica is a common Egyptian and Nubian 
species ; it is included by Von Heuglin under a collective 
specific name, H. languida, of which he recognizes five sub- 
species, and includes his Acrocephalus pallidus, which a few 
pages previously he referred to a different genus. Owing to 
this apparent indecision of the author I have refrained from 



320 BIRDS OF EGYPT. 

adding H. pallida, Gerbe, to the Egyptian lists, although it 
is probably the species which Von Heuglin considers to be 
found in Egypt, but which I could only include upon his 
authority, no positive instance of its capture in that country 
being recorded. I may remark, however, that it is a War- 
bler very likely to occur there. Phyllopneuste hippolais, the 
Melodious Willow- Warbler, appears to have good claims as 
an Egyptian species ; while P. Eversman7ii, though mentioned 
by Mr. G. R. Gray in his ' Hand-hst of Birds ' (vol. i. 
p. 215) as Egyptian, has not been observed by Von Heuglin 
as occurring in any part of North-eastern Africa. 

Curruca orphea is undoubtedly Egyptian, and likewise 
C. atricupilla and C. hortensis, although they are all of rare 
occurrence. C. melanocepliala : the Egyptian race of Black- 
headed Warblers I have kept under this name, as I cannot 
find that they differ sufficiently from the European specimens 
that I have examined to justify their separation; yet Von 
Heuglin (Orn. N. 0. Afr. p. 303) has separated them from 
the European species under the name of Sylvia mclano- 
cephala minor. There appears to me to be a slight differ- 
ence ; but I should wish to see a large series before consider- 
ing them distinct, for I think perhaps the differences are 
accidental. MelizopMlus sardus is included upon very posi- 
tive authority, though Mr. Sharpe informs me that he still re- 
quires proof as to its occui'rence out of the island of Sardinia. 
I am not surprised to find MelizopMlus provincialis as a 
migratory species in Egypt ; but I should have expected to 
find Sylvia conspicillata included by Von Heuglin among the 
birds of North-eastern Africa, as it is a Ukely bird to occur in 
that region. 

Fam. NECTARiNiiDiE. — One beautiful species of this tropical 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 321 

family comes within the scope of my present work, and is far 
from being uncommon above the First Cataract. 

Fam. Certhiid^. — This family has only been represented 
in the preceding pages by one species, the Wall-creeper, 
Tichodroma muraria ; and the authority upon which that bird 
has been included is so far from convincing, that I do not 
hesitate to express my doubts as to its occurrence in Egypt. 

Fam. Laniid^. — Of this family I have included six species, 
three of which are plentiful ; two, Lanius minor and L. col- 
lurio, are rare ; the other, L. excuhitor, notwithstanding Von 
Heuglin's very positive assertion, appears to me a species so 
extremely unlikely to be found in Egypt, that I cannot con- 
sider it to be an undoubtedly Egyptian bird. 

Fam. MusciCAPiD^. — The three species of Flycatchers are 
only met with during their migrations. 

Fam. HmuNDiNiD^E. — Cotyle rupestris has been included 
upon the authority of Brehm ; but is, in my opinion, not to 
be met with in Egypt. C. minor appears to me a very 
doubtfully good species ; the other Swallows, except Hirundo 
rufula and Chelidou urbica, are extremely abundant. 

Fam. MoTACiLLiD^. — Amongst the Wagtails, Motacilla 
sulphurea is perhaps the rarest species in Egypt, while M. vidua 
is almost exclusively confined to the neighbourhood of the 
First Cataract. Of the Yellow Wagtails, I have recognized 
three species as Egyptian ; for they are, in my opinion, 
specifically distinct, Budi/tes flava and B. cinereocapilla being 
more easily distinguished when alive than when viewed as 
skins in a collection. 

Of the Pipits, Anthus pratensis'is far from common, though 
undoubtedly Egyptian. A. Baalteni is included for the first 
time as Egyptian in this work. If properly identified, it is 

Y 



322 BIRDS or EGYPT. 

doubtless only met with as a straggler, and is interesting as 
being the most northern point at which the bird has yet been 
met with. 

Fam. Alaudid_«. — I have included twelve species of Larks, 
although I consider some to be of very doubtful specific value. 
Ammomanes liisitaiia and A. fraterculus appear to me to be 
only local varieties, imperceptibly blending into each other 
towards the confines of their respective ranges. A. arenicolor, 
though included upon somewhat meagre data, I look upon as 
very probably Egyptian. Galerita rutila, mentioned by Mr. G. 
R. Gray (Hand-list of Birds, ii. 119) as Egyptian, I have not 
included, but have only remarked upon at the end of 
G. cristata, as I think the specimen from which the locality 
" Egypt " has been taken may prove to be only G. cristata, 
or else have a wrong locality marked on it. Again, I am 
inclined to doubt Brehm's authority when he includes Alauda 
arborea as Egyptian. Alauda intermedia, Swinhoe, the common 
Egyptian form of A. arvensis, is a good instance of a constant 
race or subspecies. Calandrella reboiidia appears to me 
a somewhat similar constant subspecies of C. hrachydactyla, 
while I cannot find any good specific distinction between 
C . pispoletta and the last-named bird. Mdanocorypha calandra 
is probably only met with as a straggler ; and the remarkable 
desert form BhampJiocoris Clot-Bey, though undoubtedly 
Egyptian, is extremely rare. 

Fam. Emberizidjs. — Among the Buntings I have only to 
mention Emheriza intermedia. I have retained this name 
as determined by Von Heuglin ; but the only specimen I 
know of from Egypt being a female, I cannot feel certain 
of its distinctness from E. pialustns. 

Earn. Eringillid^. — Passer Italia; and P. montanus are 



BIEDS OF EGYPT. 323 

both included upon Von Heuglin's authority. Coccothraustes 
vulgaris is here mentioned for the first time as Egyptian, and 
its claims rest upon good authority. I am very sceptical as 
to the Lesser Redpole, JEgiothus rufesccns, ever having been 
met with in Egypt. Estrelda melanorhpicha, included upon 
the authority of Vou Heuglin, is the only instance we have 
of a species of this genus being found in the country. 

Fam. Sttjrnid^. — Pastor roseus is of very rare occurrence, 
for I only know of a single instance of its capture. 

Fam. CoRViD^. — I have included Corvus monedula and Pica 
caudata upon very unreliable authority ; in fact, in my opinion, 
they have probably never been met with there in a wild state. 
As regards Pyrrhocorax alpinus, though there is no reason 
why this bird should not be found in Egypt, the only autho- 
rity we have for its occurrence is most unsatisfactory. 

Fam. CucuLiDiE.— Although Herr F. Heine distinctly tells 
us (Jom-n. f. Orn. 1863, p. 350) that Chrysococcyx cupreus 
is found in Egypt, I think we may feel quite certain that it never 
by any chance ranges into that country. 

Fam. Alcedinid^. — Alcedo hengalensis is, in my opinion, 
rather a subspecies (A A. ispida than specifically distinct. 

Fam. Meropid^. — Merops viridis -. this includes M. viri- 
dissiimis of authors ; for I can find no difi'erence between the 
Egyptian and Indian specimens, unless it be in the generally 
slightly longer tail of the former bird. 

Fam. CYPSELiDiE. — Cypselus apus I have never met with in 
Egypt, although it must undoubtedly come there. The bird 
usually referred to this species from Egypt is C.pallidus, which 
1 first described (Ibis, 1870, p. 445). C. parvus I hkewise see 
no reason to doubt being found in Upper Egypt and Nubia, 
though I have not seen a specimen of it from those parts. 



324 BIRDS OF EaTPT. 

Fam. STRiGiDyE. — Strix aluco, the Tawny Owl, is included 
on the authority of Savigny, who mentions it in his ' Descrip- 
tion de I'Egypte.' Njjctala Tengmalmi appears to be very 
rare, but is, I think, undoubtedly Egyptian ; nor can we 
doubt Bubo ignavm being met with out there after the 
very positive evidence of Von Heuglin (Orn. N. 0. Afr. 
p. 110). The other six species of Owls are not uncommon 
in Egypt. 

Earn. FalconidjE. — Among the Harriers, I am very scep- 
tical as to Circus cineraceiis ever having been met with in 
Egypt. Accipiter gahar I have no doubt is found, but is cer- 
tainly of very rare occurrence in that country, though probably 
more plentiful in Nubia. Among the true Falcons, Von Heuglin 
includes Falco babi/lonicus, which he calls tolerably common 
in Egypt and Nubia. It is a rare and not very well-known 
bird ; so I think it may have been confounded with F. lana- 
rius, as a similar error has caused F. cervicalis to have been 
included by some authors in the Egyptian lists. Besides, 
Von Heuglin has on several occasions confounded F. concolor 
with F. eleonores, which mistake he has corrected in his large 
work ; so that F. eleonorcB no longer holds a place as an 
Egyptian bird. The absence of this Falcon, I think, may be 
accounted for by there being no cliffs on the Mediterranean 
coast ; and towards the Red Sea it is replaced by F. concolor. 
Of the remainder of the Falcons in my list I have specimens 
from the country in my own collection. Of the Kites, 
I feel certain that Milviis regalis has never been met with in 
Egypt, although Riippell goes so far as to call it common 
about Alexandria. M. aggptius and M. migrans are con- 
sidered by some ornithologists to be varieties of the same 
species ; but I do not agree in this theory. Pernis apivorus 



BIEDS OP EGYPT. 325 

has probably been met with in Egypt, though it is open to 
doubt. Buteo deserforum is also probably Egyptian, but 
I can find no positive evidence of its having occurred there. 
Haliaetus albicilla opens up a subject for investigation 
whether it be the true H. albicilla, a small subspecies, as Von 
Heuglin asserts, or a new species. I include Aquila fulva, 
A. navioides, and A. Bonellii upon Von Heuglin's authority. 
The immature A. imperialis has been occasionally mistaken 
for A. ncBvioides ; and I do not feel certain that Von Heuglin 
may not have fallen into this same error. 

Gi/paetus nudipes, I think, may be safely considered to be 
the only representative of that genus in Egypt. 

Fam. CoLUMBiDiE. — Columha livia and C. ScJiimperi, I 
believe, are both plentiful in Egypt and Nubia, while I think 
there are good reasons to doubt C. oenas being found there. 

Turtur Sharpii is not only distinct from T. auritus in 
plumage and measurements, but decidedly so in its habits. 
T. albiventris is included on the authority of Von Heuglin, 
and I have no doubt he is correct. T. isabellinus rests on the 
authority of Bonaparte (Ic. Pig. t. 102). As I only know it 
from the figure, I am unable to decide its claims to a place 
in the Egyptian avifauna ; but it appears to me very possible 
that the locality may have been wrongly given to the speci- 
men which formed the subject of that plate. The type is in 
the Berlin Museum. 

Eam. TetkaonidjE. — The Francolin appears very doubtfully 
Egyptian, being only included upon Riippell's list, which is, 
perhaps, the most untrustworthy authority we have upon 
Egyptian birds. 

Turnix sylvatica, the Andalusian Hemipode, is a wide- 



326 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 



spread species, so that its occurrence in Egypt is not sur- 
prising. 

Fam. OxiDiDiE. — Otis tetrax barely claims a place in the 
present work, as it appears only to be met with in the desert 
east of Port Said. Eupodotis arabs is included solely upon 
Von Heuglin's note (Syst. Ueb. p. 53). 

Fam. CHARADRiiDiE. — Eudroimas morinellus and E. asi- 
aticm are entered on Von Heuglin's authority. jEpalitis 
mongolicus bases its claim upon a specimen in the British 
Museum. One cannot always rely on a labelled museum 
specimen ; but it is not an unlikely bird to find its way into 
Egypt by the Red Sea. jE. hiattcula is included upon the 
authority of Savigny's ' Description de I'Egypte,' and Von 
Heuglin (Syst. Ueb. p. 56), where the latter author also 
recognizes j^. intermedins; yet I think that it may pos- 
sibly prove to be identical with the latter species, which 
I have frequently killed iu Egypt without ever meeting with 
the true ^. hiaticula. 

Fam. ScoLOPACiDiE. — Numenius tenuirostris is undoubtedly 
Egyptian ; and N. ph(eopus, though included upon less autho- 
rity, is, in my opinion, also met with there. Scolopax rusti- 
cola is, though rare, undoubtedly to be found in Egypt. 
Tringa arenaria and T. dnclus are both stated by Von Heuglin 
to be Egyptian. 

Fam. Tantalid^e. — Ibis asthiopica breeds at Wady Halfeh, 
and has therefore a right to a place in the present work, 
although it does not appear to wander into Egypt proper. 

Tantalus ibis is only an occasional visitor. 

Fam. Rallid.e. — Ortygometra crex, the Corn-Crake, is 
found in Egypt, according to Von Heuglin ; and this appears 



BIRDS OF EGYPT. 327 

very probable. Porzana pygniaa is also a likely bird to be 
met with, but rests solely upon Riippell's statement. Por- 
phyno Alleni has undoubtedly occurred ; and I think that there 
need be no hesitation in admitting Fulica cristata. 

Fam. Anatid^. — Cygnus olor, C. musicus, Bernicla brenta, 
Fuligula mania, and Q^demia fusca are included upon the 
authority of Von Heuglin ; the others I have shot myself in 

Egypt. 

Fam. Pelecanid^. — Pelecamis minor is undoubtedly 
Egyptian, as is also Sula cyanops, which is here included for 
the first time. 

Fam. Larid^. — Among the Terns I have included Sterna 
flimatilis, S. Mriindo, Ilydrochelidon fssipes, and H. nigra, 
upon the authority of Von Heuglin. S. nilotica of the latter's 
' Systematische Uebersicht,' p. 71, 1 refer to S. anglica ; while 
Mr. G. R. Gray, in his ' Hand-list of Birds ' (iii. p. 119) con- 
siders S. nilotica as the oldest name for this species ; but 
that name is anterior to 1766, and cannot be employed. 

Zarus marinus, included upon Von Heughn's authority, is 
probably correct. L. argentatus and L. affinis of that author's 
first list I beheve to be nothing else than L. leucoplicBus, the 
Mediterranean Herring-Gull; for I much doubt the true 
Herring-Gull of the Atlantic ever visiting Egypt. L. cachin- 
nans of Von Heuglin's list I believe to be only a variety of 
L. leucophaus, of very doubtful specific value. 

Fam. PROCELLARiiDiE. — Nectris macrorhyncha of Heuglin 
is probably synonymous with Puffiniis KuJilii, Boie, which 
is the older name. This, as well as P. anglorum, have fair 
claims to be Egyptian birds, though the latter would appear 
to be of very rare occurrence. 



328 BIEDS OF EGTPT. 

Fam. PodicipiDjI;. — Podiceps nigricollis, P, griseigena, and 
Colymhus septentrionalis are included upon Von Heuglin's 
authority. 

With the exception of some two or three species of which 
I have seen undoubted Egyptian specimens, all the remaining 
birds included in the present work have been collected by 
myself in that country. 



INDEX. 



Abyssinian Raven, 158. 
acacioe, Crateropus, 69. 
Accentor, Hedge, 87. 

modularis, 87. 
Accipiter gabar, 186. 

nisus, 185. 
accipitrinus, Asio, 179. 
Acrocephalus arabicus, 97. 

stentorius, 95. 

turdoides, 96. 
Actitis hypoleucos, 259. 
acuta, Dafila, 284. 
Aedon galactodes, 85. 
^Egialitis cantianus, 240. 

Geoffi-oyi, 238. 

hiaticula, 241. 

intermedins, 242. 

minor, 242. 

mongolicus, 239. 

pecuarius, 239. 
JEgiothus rufescens, 153. 
asgocephala, Limosa, 245. 
tegyptiacus, Chenalopex, 279- 
aDgyptius, Caprimulgus, 175. 

Centropus, 164. 

Merops, 170. 

Milvua, 196. 

Pluvianus, 234. 
ifiruginosus, Circus, 181. 
iesalon, Falco, 191. 
setbiopica. Ibis, 261. 
affiuis, Corvus, 158. 
African Sand-Plover, 239. 

Tawuy Pipit, 133. 

Wood-Ibis, 262. 
Alauda arborea, 139. 



Alauda arvensis, 139. 

cantarella, 140. 

intermedia, 140. 
alba, Ciconia, 265. 

Herodias, 267. 

Motacilla, 126. 
albicilla, Haliaetus, 204. 
albifrons, Anser, 280. 
albiventris, Turtur, 217. 
Alcedo bengalensis, 166. 

ispida, 165. 
Algerian Short-toed Lark, 142. 
AUeui, Porphyrio, 276. 
Allen's GalUnule, 276. 
.\llied Tern, 298. 
Alpine Chough, 161. 

Swift, 171. 
alpiims, Pyrrhocorax, 161. 
Alueo flammea, 176. 
aluco, Strix, 176. 
Ammomanes arenicolor, 137. 

fraterculus, 137. 

lusitana, 136. 
Ammoperdix Heyi, 222. 
amphileuca, Saxicola, 72. 
Anas boschas, 283. 

strepera, 283. 
Audalusian Hemipode, 224. 
auglica. Sterna, 297. 
anglorum, Putfinus, 312. 
Anser albifrons, 280. 
Anthus campestris, 134. 

cervinus, 131. 

plumatus, 130. 

pratensis, 131. 

raalteni, 133. 



330 



INDEX. 



Aiithus spinoletta, 132. 
antiquorum, Phoenicoptunis, 27 
apiaster, Merops, 169. 
apivorua, Pernis, 199. 
apus, Cypseliis. 172. 
Aquatic Warbler, 92. 
aquatica, Calamodyta, 92. 
aquatieus, Eallus, 273. 
Aquila Bonellii, 206. 

fulva, 204. 

imperialis, 205. 

naevia, 206. 

nsevioides, 205. 

pennata, 207. 
Arabian Bustard, 227. 

Sedge Warbler, 97. 
arabicus, Acrocephalus, 97. 
arabs, Eupodotis, 227. 
arborea, Alauda, 139. 
Arctic Tern, 299. 
Ardea cinerea, 266. 

purpurea, 266. 
Ardeola comata, 269. 

russata, 268. 
arenaria, Tringa, 253. 
arenicolor, Ammomancs, 137. 
argentatus, Larus, 305. 
arquata, Numenius, 243. 
arsinoe, Pycnonotus, 67. 
arundinacea, Calamoherpc, 94. 
arvensis, Alauda, 139. 
ascalaphus. Bubo, 180. 
Asiatic Dotterel, 237. 
asiaticus, Eudromias, 237. 
Asio accipitrinus, 179. 

otus, 178. 
Astur palumbarius, 185. 
atra, Euliea, 278. 
atricapilla, Curruca, 105. 

Muscicapa, 119. 
auricularis, Viiltur, 209. 
auriculatus, Lanius, 117. 
auritus, Turtur, 214. 
Avocet, 260. 
ijvocctta, Eecurvirostra, 260. 

Babbler, Egj-ptian Bush, 69. 
babylonicus, Falco, 189. 
Baillon's Crake, 275. 
barbarus, Falco, 187. 
Barbar}' Falcon, 187. 



Barn-Owl, 176. 

Bee-eater, Blue-checked, 170. 

Common, 169. 
— Little Green, 171. 
bengalensis) Alcedo, 166. 
Bergii, Sterna, 298. 
Berniela brenta, 281. 
_ Bifasciated Lark, 135. 
Bittern, 271. 

Little, 271. 
Black and white Kingfisher, 167. 
Black-billed Finch, 152. 
Blackbird, 66. 
Black-cap Warbler, 105. 
Black-headed GuU, 309. 

Plover, 234. 

TeUow Wagtail, 130. 

Warbler, 107. 
Black Kite, 197. 

Redstart, 83. 
Black-shouldered Hawk, 198. 
Black Stork, 265. 
Black-tailed Godwit, 245. 
Black Tern, 300. 

Vulture, 209. 
Black-winged Pratincole, 229. 

Stilt, 260. 
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, 170. 
Blue Rock-Thrush, 70. 
Blue-throated Warbler, 85. 
BonelHi, Aquila, 206. 
BoncUii, Phj-llopneuste, 101. 
Bonelli's Eagle, 206. 

Warbler, 101. 
Booted Eagle, 207. 
bosohas, Anas, 283. 
Botaurus stellaris, 271. 
brachydactyla, CalandreUa, 141. 
Bradypterus Cettii, 89. 
Brent Goose, 281. 
brenta, Berniela, 281. 
Bronzy-green Cuckoo, 163. 
Brown-necked Raven, 158. 
Bubo ascalaphus, ISO. 

ignavus, 180. 
Budytes cinereocapilla, 129. 

flava, 128. 

melanooephala, 130. 
^'Buft-backed Heron, 268. 
Bulbul, White-vented, 67. 

YeUow-ventcd, 68. 



INDEX. 



331 



Bullfinch, Desert, 155. 
Bunting, Common, 144. 

Cretzsehmar's, 146. 

Ortolan, 145. 

Smaller Heed, 147. 
Bustard, Ai-abian, 227. 

Houbara, 225. 

Little, 226. 
Buteo desertorum, 201. 

vulgaris, 200. 
Buzzard, Common, 200. 

Honey, 199. 

Long-legged, 201. 

cachinnaus, Larus, 306. 
cseruleus, Elanus, 198. 
cassia, Emberiza, 146. 
Calamodyta aquatica, 92. 

melanopogon, 93. 

schoenobfenus, 91. 
Calamoherpe arundinacea, 94. 

palustris, 94. 
Calandra Lark, 143. 
calandra, Melanocorypha, 143. 
Calandra, Thick-billed, 144. 
Calandrella brachydactyla, 141. 

minor, 142. 

reboudia, 142. 
calidris, Tetanus, 255. 
camelus, Struthio, 315. 
campestris, Anthus, 134. 
candidus, Himantopiis, 260. 
canescens. Tetanus, 256. 
cannabina, Linota, 154. 
canorus, Cuculus, 162. 
cantarella, Alauda, 140. 
cantiaca. Sterna, 297. 
cantianus, .^Egialitis, 240. 
canus, Larus, 305. 
capensis, Ehyuchsea, 250. 
Caprimulgus aegyptius, 175. 

europffius, l74. 
carbo, Phalaorocorax, 295. 
Carduehs elegans, ] 52. 
Carine meridionalis, 177. 
caspia. Sterna, 296. 
Caspian Tern, 296. 
caudata. Pica, 160. 
cenchris, Falco, 195. 
Centropus aegyptius, 164. 
CerthUauda desertorum, 135. 



cervinus, Anthus, 131. 
Ceryle rudis, 167. 
Cettii, Bradypterus, 89. 
Cetti's Warbler, 89. 
Chaffinch, 151. 
Charadrius pluvialis, 235. 
Chat, Desert, 74. 

Hemprich's Stone, 82. 

Hooded, 78. 

Mourning, 77. 

Stone, 81. 

Whin, 81. 

White-rumped, 79. 
Chelidon urbica, 125. 
Chenalopex tegyptiacus, 279. 
Chettusia gregaria, 233. 

Villotoei, 233. 
ChiiF-chaff Warbler, 102. 
Chimney-Swallow, 120. 

Oriental, 121. 
chloropus, Gallinula, 275. 
Chough, Alpine, 161. 
Chrysocoecyx cupreus, 163. 
Ciconia alba, 265. 

nigra, 265. 
cinclus, Tringa, 253. 
cineraceus. Circus, 184. 
cinerea, Ardea, 266. 

Grus, 263. 

Sylvia, 111. 
cinereocapilla, Budytes, 129. 
Cinereous Shearwater, 311. 
Circaetus gallicus, 202. 
circia, Querquedula, 287. 
Circus aemginosus, 181. 

cineraceus, 184. 

cyaneus, 182. 

paUidus, 183. 
Cisticola schoenicola, 97. 
Clamorous Sedge Warbler, 95. 
Clot-Bey, Ehamphocoris, 144. 
clypeata, Rhynchaspis, 285. 
Coccothraustes vulgaris, 150. 
Coccystes glandarius, 162. 
ccelebs, Fringilla, 151. 
Collared Pratincole, 227. 
collaris, Muscicapa, 120. 
collurio, Lanius, 117. 
Columba livia, 211. 

cenas, 213. 



Schimperi, 212. 



z 2 



332 



IKDEX. 



Colymbus septentrionalis, 315. 
comata, Ardeola, 269. 
Common Bee-eater, 169. 

Bunting, 144. 

Buzzard, 200. 

Coot, 278. 

Crane, 263. 

GuU, 305. 

Heron, 266. 

Kingfisher, 165. 

Kite, 195. 

Quail, 223. 

Sandpiper, 259. 

Sheldrake, 281. 

Snipe, 249. 

Sparrow, 148. 

Swift, 172. 

Teal, 286. 

Tern, 279. 

Wheatear, 71. 

Wild Duck, 283. 
communis, Cotumix, 223. 
concolor, Faleo, 192. 
conspiciUata, Sylvia, 109. 
Coot, Common, 278. 

Crested, 278. 
Coracias garrula, 168. 
Cormorant, 295. 

Little, 295. 
Corn-Crake, 274. 
comix, Corvus, 159. 
coronatus, Pterocles, 221. 
Corouetted Sand-Grouse, 221, 
C'orvus affinis, 158. 

cornix, 159. 

fnigilegus, 159. 

monedula, 160. 

nmbrinus, 158. 
Coturnix communis, 223. 
Cotyle minor, 124. 

obsoleta, 123. 

riparia, 124. 

rupestris, 122. 
- Courser, Cream-coloured, 229. 
Crag-SwaUow, 122. 

Pale, 123. 
C'rake, Baillon's, 275. 

Corn, 274. 

Spotted, 274. 
Crane, Common, 263. 

Demoiselle, 264. 



Crateropus acacife, 69. 
Cream-coloured Courser, 229. 
crecca, Querquedula, 286. 
crepitans, Gidicnemus, 230. 
Crested Coot, 278. 

—Lark, 138. 
Cretzschmar's Bunting, 146. 
crex, Ortygometra, 274. 
crispus, Pelecanus, 293. 
cristata, Fulica, 278. 

Fuligula, 290. 

Galerita, 138. 
cristatus, Podiceps, 312. 

VaneUus, 231. 
Crow, Hooded, 159. 
Cuculus canorus, 162. 
Cuckoo, 162. 

Bronzy Green, 163. 
.- Great Spotted, 162. 

Lark-heeled, 164. 
cupreus, Chiysococcyx, 163. 
Curlew, 243. 

Sandpiper, 254. 

Slender-billed, 245. 
Curnica atricapilla, 105. 

hortensis, 104. 

melanocephala, 107. 

orphea, 104. 

Kiippelli, 106. 
curruca, Sylvia, 106. 
Cursorius gallicus, 229. 
cyana, Monticola, 70. 
Cj'anecula suecica, 85. 
cyaneus. Circus, 182. 
cyanops, Sula, 294. 
Cygnus musicus, 279. 

olor, 278. 
Cypselus apus, 172. 

melba, 171. 

paUidus, 172. 

parvus, 173. 

Dafila acuta, 284. 
Dalmatian Pelican, 293. 
Dartford Warbler, 108. 
Demoiselle Crane, 264. 
• Desert-Bullfinch, 155. 
— Chat, 74. 
_Lark, 136. 
deserti, Saxicola, 74. 
desert orum, Butco, 201. 



INDEX. 



333 



desertoram, Corthilauda,' 135. 
Diver, Ked-throated, 315. 
domesticus, Passer, 148. 
Dotterel, 236. 

Asiatic, 237. 
Dove, Egyptian Turtle, 217. 

Rock, 211. 

Sharpe's Turtle, 215. 

Stock, 213. 

Turtle, 214. 

White-beUied Turtle, 217. 
Drymoeca gracilis, 98. 
Duck, Common Wild, 283. 

Ferruginous, 288. 

PintaU, 284. 

Scaup, 290. 

Tufted, 290. 

White-headed, 291. 
Duuhn, 253. 
Dusky Redshank, 255. 

Eagle, BoneUi's, 206. 
Booted, 207. 
Golden, 204. 
Imperial, 205. 
Short-toed, 202. 
Spotted, 20f). 
Tawny, 205. 
White-tailed, 204. 
Eagle Owl, 180. 
Eared Grebe, 313. 
Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, 72. 
Egret, Little, 268. 
Egyptian Bush-Babbler, 69. 
Eagle Owl, 180. 
Goatsucker, 175. 
Goose, 279. 
Swift, 172. 
- Turtledove, 217. 
Vulture, 211. 
elaeica, Hypolais, 100. 
Elanus caeruleus, 198. 
elegans, Garduelis, 152. 
Emberiza caesia, 146. 
hortulana, 145. 
intermedia, 147. 
miliaria, 144. 
epops, TJpupa, 165. 
Erismatura leucocephala, 291. 
Erithacus rubecula, 87. 
prythropygia, Saxicola, 76. 



Erythrospiza githaginea, 155. 
Estrelda melanorhyucha, 152. 
Eudromias asiaticus, 237. 

morinellus, 236. 
Eupodotis arabs, 227. 
europaeus, Caprimulgus, 174. 
eurymelajna, Saxicola, 73. 
eversmanni, Phyllopneuste, 103 
excubitor, Lanius, 114. 
exustua, Pterocles, 218. 

falcinellus. Ibis, 262. 
Ealco aesalon, 191. 

babylonicus, 189. 

barbarus, 187. 

cenehris, 195. 

coneolor, 192. 

lanarius, 188. 

peregrinus, 186. 

saker, 190. 

subbuteo, 192. 

tinnuuculus, 194. 

vespertinus, 193. 
Falcon, Barbary, 187. 

Lanner, 188. 

Peregrine, 186. 

Red-legged, 193. 

Red-naped, 189. 

Saker, 190. 

Sooty, 192. 
Fan-tail Warbler, 97. 
ferina, Fuligula, 289. 
Ferruginous Duck, 288. 
Fieldfare, 65. 
Finch, Black-billed, 152. 

Serin, 154. 
fissipes, Hydrochelidon, 300. 
Flamingo, 272. 
flammea, Aluco, 176. 
flava, Budytes, 128. 
flavirostris, Rhynchops, 302. 
fluviatilis, Pseudoluscinia, 90. 

Sterna, 299. 
Flycatcher, Pied, 119. 
Spotted, 118. 
White-collared, 120. 
Francolin, 222. 
Francolinus vulgaris, 222. 
fraterculus, Ammomanes, 137. 
Fringilla coelebs, 151. 
frugilegus, Corvus, 159. 



334 



INDEX. 



Fulica atra, 278. 

cristata, 278. 
Fuligula cristata, 290. 

ferina, 289. 

marila, 290. 
fulva, Aquila, 204. 
fulvTis, Gyps, 210. 
fusca, ffidemia, 292. 
f'uscus, Larus, 304. 

Totaniis, 255. 

gabar, Aceipiter, 186. 
GadwaU, 283. 
galaotodes, Aedon, 85. 
galbula, Oriolus, 156. 
Galerita cristata, 138. 

rutila, 138. 
gallicus, Circaetus, 202. 

Cursorius, 229. 
GaUinago gaEinula, 249. 

media, 249. 

major, 248. 
Gallinula chloropus, 275. 
gaUiniila, GaUinago, 249. 
Gallinule, Violet, 277. 

Allen's, 276. 
Gannet, Masked, 294. 
Garden Warbler, 104. 
Garganey Teal, 287. 
garrula, Coraoias, 168. 
garzetta, Herodias, 268. 
gelastcs, Larus, 306. 
Geoffroyi, ^gialitis, 238. 
githaginea, Erythrospiza, 155. 
giu, Scops, 178. 
glandarius, Cocoystes, 162. 
Glareola Nordmanni, 229. 

pratincola, 227. 
glareola, Totanus, 259. 
Glossy Ibis, 262. 
Goatsucker, 174. 

Egyptian, 175. 
Godwit, Black-tailed, 245. 
Golden Eagle, 204. 

Oriole, 156. 

Plover, 235. 
Goldfinch, 152. 
Goose, Brent, 281. 

Egyptian, 279. 

White-fronted, 280. 
Goshawk, 185. 



Graceful Warbler, 98. 
gracilis, Dymoeca, 98. 
Great Black-headed Gull, 307. 
Great Crested Grebe, 312. 

Grey Shrike, 114. 

Sedge Warbler, 96. 
. — Spotted Cuckoo, 162. 

White Heron, 267. 
Greater Black-backed Gull, 303. 

Ring-Plover, 241. 
Grebe, Eared, 313. 

Great Crested, 312. 

Little, 314. 

Eed-necked, 313. 
gregaria, Chcttusia, 233. 
Green Sandpiper, 258. 
Grey-headed Yellow Wagtail, 129. 
Grey Plover, 236. 
Grey Wagtail, 127. 
Griffon Yulture, 210. 
griseigena, Podiceps, 313. 
griseus, Nyctioorax, 270. 
grisola, Muscicapa, 118. 
Grus cinerea, 263. 

virgo, 264. 
Gull-billed Tern, 297. 
GuU, Black-headed, 309. 

Common, 30.5. 

Great Black-headed, 307. 

Greater Black-backed, 303. 

Herring, 305. 

Lesser Black-backed, 304. 

Little, 310. 

Mediterranean Black-headed, 
308. 

Mediterranean Herring, 304. 

Slender-billed, 306. 

White-eyed, 308. 
Gypaetus nudipes, 208. 
Gyps fulvus, 210. 

Hasmatopus ostralegus, 243. 
Hahaetus albiciUa, 204. 

Pandion, 203. 
Harrier, Hen, 182. 

Marsh, 181. 

Montagu's, 184. 

Pale-chested, 183. 
Hawfinch, 150. 
Hawk, black-shouldered, 198. 

Little Red-billed, 186. 



INDEX. 



335 



--Hawk, Sparrow, 185. 
Hedge Accentor, 87. 
helvetica, Squatarola, 2.36. 
Hemipode, Andiilasian, '224. 
Hemprioliii, Pratincola, 82. 
Hemprich's Stone-Chat, 82. 
Hen Harrier, 182. 
Herodias alha, 267. 

garzetta, 268. 
Heron, Buff- backed, 268. 

Common, 266. 

Great White, 267. 

Night, 270. 

Purple, 266. 

Squacco, 269. 
Herring-Gull, 30.5. 
Heyi, Ammoperdix, 222. 
Hey's Sand-Partridge, 222. 
hiaticula, ^gialitis, 241. 
Himautopus caudidus, 260. 
Hirundo Riocourii, 121. 

rufula, 122. 

rustica, 120. 
hirundo. Sterna, 299. 
Hobhjr, 192. 
homochroa, Saxicola, 75. 
Honey Buzzard, 199. 
Hooded Chat, 78. 

Crow, 159. 
Hooper, 279. 
Hoopoe, 165. 

Hoplopterus spinosus, 232. 
horteusis, Curruca, 104. 
hortulana, Emheriza, 145. 
hortulanus, Serinus, 154. 
Houbara Bustard, 225. 
houbara, Otis, 225. 
House-Martin, 125. 
hyacinthinus, Porphyrio, 277. 
Hydi'ochelidon fissipes, 300. 

leucopareia, 301. 

nigra, 301. 
Hypolais elaeica, 100. 

olivetorum, 99. 
hypolais, PhyUopneuste, 103. 
hypoleucos, Actitis, 259. 

Ibis, African Wood, 262. 

Glossy, 262. 

Sacred, 261. 
ibis, Tantalus, 262. 



Ibis ffithiopica, 261. 

faloinellus, 262. 

religiosa, 261. 
ichthyaotus, Larus, 307. 
ignavus. Bubo, 180. 
Imperial Eagle, 205. 
imperialis, Aquila, 205. 
intermedia, Alauda, 140. 

Emberiza, 147. 
intermedius, vEgialitis, 242. 
iaabcUinus, Turtur, 216. 
ispida, Alcedo, 165. 
Italiae, Passer, 148. 
Italian Sparrow, 148. 

Jackdaw, 160. 
Jack Snipe, 249. 
Kentish Plover, 240. 
Kestrel, 194. 

Lesser, 19-5. 
Kingfisher, Black and White, 167. 

Common, 165. 

Little Indian, 166. 
Kite, Black, 197. 

Common, 195. 
.- Parasitic, 196. 
Kuhlii, Puffinus, 311. 
lahtora, Lanius, 115. 
Lanius auriculatus, 117. 

coUurio, 117. 

excubitor, 114. 

lahtora, 115. 

minor, 115. 

nubicus, 116. 
lanarius, Palco, 188. 
Lanner Falcon, 188. 
Lapwing, 231. 
Large Sand-Plover, 238. 
Lark, Algerian Short-toed, 142. 

Bifaseiated, 135. 

Calandi-a, 143. 

Crested, 138. 

Desert, 136. 

Sandy-coloured Desert, 1 37. 

Short-toed, 141. 

Sky, 139. 

Tristram's Desert, 137. 

Wood, 139. 
Lark-heeled Cuckoo, 164. 
Larus argentatus, 305. 

cachinnans, 306. 



336 



INDEX. 



Larus canus, 305. 
fuscus, 304. 
gelastes, 306. 
ichthyaetus, 307. 
leucophthalmus, 308. 

leucophaeus, 304. 

marinus, 303. 

melanocephalus, 308. 

minutus, 310. 

ridibundus, 309. 
Lesser Black-backed Gull, 304. 

Grey Shrike, 115. 

Kestrel, 195. 

Pelican, 294. 

Eedpole, 153. 

Tern, 300. 

Whitethroat, 106. 
leucooephala, Erismatura, 291. 
loucomela, Saxicola, 78. 
leucopareia, Hydroclielidon, 301. 
leucophaeus, Larus, 304. 
leucophthalma, Nyroca, 288. 
leucophthalmus, Larus, 308. 
leucopygia, Saxicola, 79. 
leueorodia, Platalea, 264. 
Limosa cegocephala, 245. 
Linnet, 154. 
Linota cannabina, 154. 
Little Bittern, 271. 

Bustard, 226. 

Cormorant, 295. 

Egret, 268. 

Grebe, 314. 

Green Bee-eater, 171. 

Grey Swift, 173. 

Gull, 310. 

Indian Kingfisher, 166. 

Red-billed Hawk, 186. 

Ring-Plover, 242. 

Stint, 251. 
livia, Columba, 211. 
Long-legged Buzzard, 201. 
lugens, Saxicola, 77. 
luscinia, Philomela, 88. 
luscinoides, Pseudcluscinia, 89. 
lusitana, Ammomanes, 136. 

Machetes pugnax, 246. 
Magpie, 160. 
major, Gallinago, 248. 
Philomela. 88. 



Manx Shearwater, 312. 
Mareca penelope, 288. 
mania, Euligula, 290. 
marinus, Larus, 303. 
Marsh-Sandpiper, 257. 
Martin, Sand, 124. 

House, 125. 
Marsh-Harrier, 181. 
maruetta, Porzana, 274. 
Masked Gannet, 294. 

Shrike, 116. 
Meadow-Pipit, 131. 
media, Gallinago, 249. 

Sterna, 298. 
MediterraneanBlack-headedGull,308. 

Herring-GuU, 304. 
melanocephala, Budytes, 130. 

Curruca, 107. 
melanocephalus, Larus, 308. 
Melanocorypha calandra, 143. 
melanopogon, Calamodyta, 93. 
melanorhyncha, Estrelda, 152. 
melba, Cypselus, 171. 
Melizophilus provincialis, 108. 

sardus, 108. 
Melodious Willow Warbler, 103. 
Menetries's Wheatear, 72. 
meridionaHs, Carine, 177. 
MerUn, 191. 
Merops aegyptius, 170. 

apiaster, 169. 

viridis, 171. 
merula, Turdus, 66. 
metallica, Nectarinia, 112. 
Middle Ring- Plover, 242. 
migrans, Milvus, 197. 
miliaria, Emberiza, 144. 
Milvus segyptius, 196. 

migrans, 197. 

regalia, 195. 
minor. Jilgialitis, 242. 

Calandrella, 142. 

Cotyle, 124. 

Lauius, 115. 

Pelecanus, 294. 

Podiceps, 314. 
minuta. Sterna, 300. 

Tringa, 251. 
minutus, Larus, 310. 
Missel-Thrush, 05. 
modularis. Accentor, 87. 



I 



INDEX. 



337 



moesta, Saxicola, 76. 
monacha, Saxicola, 78. 
monachus, Vultur, 209. 
monedula, Corvus, 160. 
Mongolian Sand-Plover, 239. 
mongolicus, ^gialitis, 239. 
Montagu's Harrier, 184. 
montanus. Passer, 150. 
Montioola cyana, 70. 

saxatilis, 70. 
Moorhen, 275. 
morineUus, Eudromias, 236. 
Motacilla alba, 126. 

sulphurea, 127. 

vidua, 126. 
Mourning Chat, 77. 
muraria, Tiehodroma, 113. 
Muscicapa atricapilla, 119. 

coUaris, 120. 

grisola, 118. 
musicus, Cygnus, 277. 

Turdus, 66. 
Mute Swan, 278. 

noevia, Aquila, 206. 
naevioides, Aquila, 205. 
Nectarinia metaUica, 112. 
Neophron percnopterus, 211. 
Night-Heron, 270. 
Nightingale, 88. 
Nightingale, Thrush, 88. 
nigra, Ciconia, 265. 

Hydrochelidon, 301. 
nigricoUis, Podiceps, 313. 
nisus, Accipiter, 185. 
Nordmanni, Glareola, 229. 
nubicus, Lanius, 116. 
nudipes, Gypaetus, 208. 
Numenius arquata, 243. 

phaeopus, 244. 

tenuirostris, 245. 
Nyctala Tengmahni, 177. 
Nycticorax griseus, 270. 
Nyroca leucophthalma, 288. 

ohsoleta, Cotyle, 123. 
ochropus, Totanus, 258. 
(Edemia fusca, 292. 
QidicnemuB crepitans, 230. 
cenanthe, Saxicola, 71. 
oenas, Columba, 213. 



Olivaceous "Warbler, 100. 
olivetorum, Hypolais, 99. 
Olive-tree Warbler, 99. 
olor, Cygnus, 278. 
onocrotalus, Pelecanus, 293. 
Oriental Chimney-Swallow, 121. 
Oriole, Golden, 156. 
Oriolus galbula, 156. 
orphea, Curruca, 104. 
Orphean Warbler, 104. 
Ortolan Bunting, 145. 
Ortygometra crex, 274. 
Osprcy, 203. 

Ostralegus, Hsematopus, 243. 
Ostrich, 315. 
Otis houbara, 225. 

tetrax, 226. 
Otus, Asio, 178. 
Owl, Bam, 176. 

Eagle, 180. 

Egyptian Eagle, 180. 

Scops, 178. 

Short-eared, 179. 

Southern Little, 177. 

Tawny, 176. 

Tengmalm's, 177. 
Oystercatcher, 243. 

Painted Snipe, 250. 
Pale Crag-Swallow, 123. 
Pale-crested Harrier, 183. 
Palestine Redstart, 84. 
PaUid Shrike, 115. 
palUdus, Circus, 183. 

Cypselus, 172. 
palumbarius, Astur, 185. 
palustris, Calamoherpe, 94. 
Pandion haliaetus, 203. 
Parasitic Kite, 196. 
Partridge, Hey's Sand, 222. 
parvus, Cypselus, 173. 
Passer domesticus, 148. 

Italise, 148. 

montanus, 150. 

salicicola, 149. 
Pastor, Rose-coloured, 157. 

roseus, 157. 
pecuarius, .lEgialitis, 239. 
Pelecanus crispus, 293. 

minor, 294. 

onocrotalus, 293. 



338 



INDEX. 



Pelican, Dalmatian, 293. 

Lesser, 294. 

White, 293. 
penelope, Mareca, 288. 
pennata, Aqiula, 207. 
percnopterus, Neophron, 211. 
Peregrine Falcon, 186. 
peregrinus, Falco, 186. 
Pernis apivorus, 199. 
phaeopus, Numenius, 244. 
Phalacrocorax carbo, 295. 

pygmseus, 295. 
Philomela luscinia, 88. 

major, 88. 
Phoenicopterus antiquorum, 272. 
phoenicura, EuticOla, 82. 
Phyllopneuste bonellii, 101. 

eversmanni, 103. 

hypolais, 103. 

rufa, 102. 

sylvicola, 101. 

trochilus, 103. 
Pica caudata, 160. 
Pied Flycatcher, 119. 
Pigeon, Schimper's, 212. 
pilaris, Turdus, 65. 
Pintail Duck, 284. 
Pipit, African Tawny, 133. 

Meadow, 131. 

Red-throated, 131. 

Tawny, 134. 

Tree, 130. 

Water, 132. 
Platalea leucorodia, 264. 
Plover, African Sand, 239. 

Black-headed, 234. 

Golden, 235. 

Greater Ring, 241. 

Grey, 236. 

Kentish, 240. 

Large Sand, 238. 

Little Ring, 242. 

Middle Ring, 242. 

Mongolian Sand, 239. 

Social, 233. 
- Spur-winged, 232. 

White-taUed, 233. 
plumatus, Anthus, 130. 
pluvialis, Charadrius, 235. 
Pluvialis cegyptius, 234. 
Pochard, 289. 



Podiceps cristatus, 312. 

grisoigena, 313. 

minor, 314. 

nigricoUis, 313. 
Porphyrio Alleni, 276. 

hyacinthinus, 277. 
Porzana maruetta, 274. 

P3'gmiEa, 275. 
pratensis, Anthus, 131. 
pratincola, Glareola, 227. 
Pratincola Hemprichii, 82. 

rubetra, 81. 

rubicola, 81. 
Pratincole, Black-winged, 229. 

CoUared, 227. 
provincialis, Melizophilus, 108. 
Pseudoluscinia fluviatUis, 90. 

luscinioides, 89. 
Pterocles coronatus, 221. 

exustus, 218. 

senegaUus, 220. 
Puffinus anglorum, 312. 

Kuhlii, 311. 
pugnax, Machetes, 246. 
Purple Heron, 266. 
purpurea, Ardea, 266. 
Pycnonotus arsinoe, 67. 

xanthopygius, 68. 
pygmsea, Porzana, 275. 
pygmseus, Phalacrocorax, 295. 
Pyrrhocorax alpinus, 161. 

Quail, Common, 223. 
Querquedida circia, 287. 
crecca, 286. 

Raalteni, Anthus, 133. 
Rail, Water, 273. 
Rallus aquaticus, 273. 
Raven, Abj^ssinian, 158. 

Brown-necked, 158. 
reboudia, CalandreUa, 142. 
Recurvirostra avocetta, 260. 
Red-backed Shrike, 117. 
Red-legged Falcon, 193. 
Red-naped Falcon, 189. 
Red-necked Grebe, 313. 
Redpole, Lesser, 153. 
Redshank, 255. 

Dusky, 255. 
Redstart, 82. 



INDEX. 



339 



I 
I 



Redstart, Black, 83. 

Palestine, 84. 
Red-throated Diver, 315. 

Pipit, 131. 
Reed Warbler, 94. 
regalis, MilvTis, 195. 
religiosa, Ibis, 261. 
Rhamphocoris Clot-Bey, 144. 
RhynehKa capensis, 250. 
Rh3Tichaspis clypeata, 285. 
Rhynchops flavirostris, 302. 
ridibundus, Lams, 309. 
Ring-Ouzel, 67. 
Rioeourii, Hirundo, 121. 
riparia, Cotyle, 124. 
River Warbler, 90. 
Robin, 87. 
Rock-Dove, 211. 
Rock-Thrush, 70. 
RoUer, 168. 
Rook, 159. 

Rose-coloured Pastor, 157. 
roseus. Pastor, 157. 
rubecula, Erithacus, 87. 
rubetra, Pratiucola, 81. 
rubicola, Pratincola, 81. 
Ruddy Sheldrake, 282. 
rudis, Ceryle, 167. 
RueppeUi, C'urruca, 106. 
rufa, PhyUopneuste, 102. 
rufescens, ^giothus, 153. 
Ruff, 246. 

Rufous SwaUoTV, 122. 
Rufous Warbler, 85. 
rufula, Hirundo, 122. 
rupestris, Cotyle, 122. 
RiippeU's Warbler, 106. 
russata, Ardeola, 268. 
rustica, Hirundo, 120. 
rusticola, Scolopax, 247. 
Ruticilla phoenicura, 82. 

semirufa, 84. 

tithys, 83. 
rutUa, Galerita, 138. 

Tadoma, 282. 
Sacred Ibis, 261. 
saker, Falco, 190. 
Saker Falcon, 190. 
salicicola, Passer, 149. 
saltatrix, Saxicola, 72. 
Sanderling. 253. 



Sand-Grouse, Coronetted, 221. 

Senegal, 220. 

Singed, 218. 
Sand-Martin, 124. 
Sandpiper, Common, 259. 

Curlew, 254. 

Green, 258. 

Marsh, 257. 

Wood, 259. 
Sandwich Tern, 297. 
Sandy-coloured Desert-Lark, 137. 
Sardinian Warbler, 108. 
sardus, Melizophilus, 108. 
Savi's Warbler, 89. 
saxatUis, Monticola, 70. 
Saxicola amphileuca, 72. 

erythropygia, 76. 

deserti, 74. 

eurymelfena, 73. 

homochroa, 75. 

leucomela, 78. 

leucopygia, 79. 

lugens, 77. 

moesta, 76. 

monacha, 78. 

oenanthe, 71. 

saltatrix, 72. 

syenitica, 80. 

xanthomelaena, 74. 
Scaup Duck, 290. 
Schimperi, Columba, 212. 
Schimper's Pigeon, 212. 
schoenicola, Cisticola, 97. 
schoenobaenus, Calamodyta, 91. 
Scissor-biUed Tern, 302. 
Scolopax rusticola, 247. 
Scops giu, 178. 

Owl, 178. 
Scoter, Velvet, 292. 
Sedge Warbler, 91. 
semirufa, Ruticilla, 84. 
Senegal Sand-Grouse, 220. 
senegalensis, Turtur, 217. 
senegaUus, Pterocles, 220. 
septentrionalis, Colymbus, 315. 
Serin Finch, 154. 
Serinus hortulanus, 154. 
Sharpe's Turtledove, 215. 
Sharpii, Turtur, 215. 
Shearwater, Cinereous, 311. 

Manx, 312. 



340 



INDEX. 



Sheldrake, Common, 281. 

Ruddy, 282. 
Short-eared Owl, 179. 
Short-toed Eagle, 202. 

Lark, 141. 
Shoveller, 285. 
Shrike, Great Grey, 114. 

Lesser Grey, 115. 

Masked, 116. 

Pallid, 115. 

Eed-backed, 117. 

Wood-chat, 117. 
Singed Sand-Grouse, 218. 
Sky-Lark, 139. 
Slender-billed Curlew, 245. 

Gull, 306. 
Smaller Reed-Bunting, 147. 
Snipe, Common, 249. 

Jack, 249. 

Painted, 250. 

Solitary, 248. 
Sociable Vulture, 209. 
Social Plover, 233. 
Solitary Snipe, 248. 
Song-Thrush, 66. 
Sooty Falcon, 192. 
Southern Bearded Vulture, 208. 

Little Owl, 177. 
Sparrow, Common, 148. 

Italian, 148. 

Spanish, 149. 
Sparrow-Hawk, 185. 
Spectacled Warbler, 109. 
spinoletta, Anthus, 132. 
spinosus, Holopterus, 232. 
SpoonbUl, 264. 
Spotted Crake, 274. 

Eagle, 206. 

Flycatcher, 118. 
Spur-winged Plover, 232. 
Squacco Heron, 269. 
Squatarola helvetica, 236. 
stagnatilis, Totanus, 257. 
Starling, 157. 
stellaris, Botaurus, 271. 
Btentorius, Acrocephalus, 95. 
Sterna anglica, 297. 

Bergii, 298. 

cantiaca, 297. 

caspia, 296. 

fluviatiUa, 299. 



Sterna hirundo, 299. 

media, 298. 

minuta, 300. 
—Stat, Black-winged, 260. 
- Stint, Little, 251. 

Temminck's, 252. 
Stock-Dove, 213. 
Stone-Chat, 81. 
Stork, Black, 265. 

White, 265. 
strcpera. Anas, 283. 
Strix aluco, 176. 
Struthio camelus, 315. 
Sturnus vulgaris, 157. 
subalpina, Sylvia, 109. 
Subalpine Warbler, 109. 
subarquata, Tringa, 254. 
subbuteo, Falco, 192. 
suecica, Cyanecula, 85. 
Sula cyanops, 294. 
sulphurea, Motacilla, 127. 
Siinbird, Yellow-breasted, 112. 
Swallow, 120. 

Rufous, 122. 
Swan, Hooper, 279. 

Mute, 278. 
Swift, Alpine, 171. 

Common, 172. 

Egyptian, 172. 

Little Grey, 173. 

Tern, 298. 
sylvatica, Turnix, 224. 
Sylvia cinerea. 111. 

conspicillata, 109. 

curruca, 106. 

subalpina, 109. 
sylvicola, Phyllopneuste, 101 . 
syenitica, Saxicola, 80. 

Tadorna rutila, 282. 

vulpanser, 281. 
Tantalus ibis, 262. 
Tawny Eagle, 205. 

Owl, 176. 

Pipit, 134. 
Teal, Common, 286. 

Garganey, 287. 
Temminckii, Tringa, 252. 
Temminck's Stint, 252. 
Tengmalmi, Nyctala, 177. 
Tengmalm's Owl, 177. 



INDEX. 



341 



tenuirostris, Numenius, 245. 
Tern, AUied, 298. 

Arctic, 299. 

Black, 300. 

Caspian, 296. 

Common, 299. 

GuU-billed, 297. 

Lesser, 300. 

iSandwich, 297. 

Scissor-billed, 302. 

Swift, 298. 

Whiskered, 301. 

White-winged Black, 301. 
tetrax, Otis, 226. 
Thick-billed Calandra, 144. 
Thick-knee, 230. 
Thrush, Blue Eock, 70. 

Missel, 65. 

Nightingale, 88. 
_ Eock, 70. 

Song, 66. 
Tichodroma muraria, 113. 
tinnunoulus, Falco, 194. 
tithys, Kuticilla, 83. 
torquatus, Turdus, 67. 
torquilla, Yunx, 161. 
Tetanus calidris, 255. 

cancscens, 256. 

I'uscus, 255. 

glareola, 259. 

ochropus, 258. 

stagnatilis, 257. 
Tree-Pipit, 130. 

Sparrow, 150. 
Tringa arenaria, 253. 

cinolus, 25.3. 

miniita, 251. 

subarquata, 254. 

Temminckii, 252. 
Tristram's Desert Lark, 1.37. 
trochilus, Phyllopneuste, 103. 
Tufted Duck, 290. 
turdoides, Acrocephalus, 96. 
Turdus merula, 66. 

musicus, 66. 
pilaris. 65. 
torquatus, 67. 
viscivoi-us, 65. 
Turnix sylvatica, 224. 
- TurtledoTe, 214. 
Turtur albiventris, 217. 



Turtur auritus, 214. 
isabeUinus, 216. 
senegalensis, 217. 
Sharpii, 215. 

umbrinus, Corvus, 158. 
Upupa epops, 165. 
urbica, Chelidon, 125. 

VaneUus cristatus, 231. 
Velvet Scoter, 292. 
vespertinus, Falco, 193. 
vidua, MotaciUa, 126. 
VieiUot's Willow Warbler, 103. 
Villota3i, Chettusia, 233. 
Violet GaUinule, 276. 
virgo, Grus, 264. 
viridis, Merops, 171. 
viscivorus, Turdus, 65. 
vulgaris, Butco, 200. 

Coccothraustea, 150. 

Francolinus, 222. 

Sturnus, 157. 
vulpanser, Tadorna, 281. 
Vultiir auricularis, 209. 

monachus, 209. 
Vulture, Black, 209. 

Egyptian, 211. 

Griffon, 210. 

Sociable, 209. 

Southern Bearded, 208. 

Wagtail, Black-headed Yellow, 130. 

Grey, 127. 

Grey-headed Yellow, 128. 

White, 126. 

WTiite-winged, 126. 
Wall-creeper, 113. 
Warbler, Aquatic, 92. 

Arabian Sedge, 97. 

Black-cap, 105. 

Black-headed, 107. 
—Blue-throated, 85. 

BoneUi's, 101. 

Cetti's, 89. 
— Chitf-chaff, 102. 

Clamorous Sedge, 95. 

Dartford, 108. 

Fan-tail, 97. 

(Jarden, 104. 
— Graceful, 98. 



342 

Warbler, Great Sedge, 96. 

Melodious Willow, 103. 

Olivaceous, 100. 

Olive-tree, 99. 

Orphran, 104. 

Eeed, 94. 

Eiver, 90. 

Eufous, 85. 

Euppell's, 106. 

Sardinian, 108. 

Savi's, 89. 

Sedge, 91, 

Spectacled, 109. 

Subalpine, 109. 

VieiUot's Willow, 103. 

Willow, 103. 

Wood, 101. 
Water-Pipit, 132. 

Eail, 273. 
Wheatear, Common, 71. 

Eastern Black-eared, 72. 

Menetries's, 72. 
Whimbrel, 244. 
Whin-Chat. 81. 
Whiskered Tern, 301. 
White Pelican, 293. 

Stork, 265. 

Wagtail, 126. 



INDEX. 



White-bellied Turtledove, 217. 
White-coUared Flycatcher, 120. 
WTiite-eycd Gull, 308. 
White-fronted Goose, 280. 
White-headed Duck, 291. 
White-rumped Chat, 79. 
White-tailed Eagle, 204. 

Plover, 233. 
Whitethroat, 111. 

Lesser, 106. 
White-vented Bulbul, 67. 
White- winged Black Tern, 301. 

Wagtail, 126. 
Widgeon, 288. 
Willow Warbler, 103. 
Wood-Chat Shrike, 117. 
Woodcock, 247. 
Wood-Lark, 138. 
Wood-Sandpiper, 259. 

Warbler, 101. 
Wryneck, 161. 

xanthopygius, Pycnonotus, 68. 
xanthomelaena, Saxicola, 74. 

YeUow-breasted Sunbird, 1 12. 
Yellow-vented Bulbul, 68. 
Yunx torquilla, 161. 



1 



THE END. 



Printed by Tavioe .vjic f EAKCis, Ecd Liun Court, Fleet Street. 



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1681 ^