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Full text of "A history of the birds of Europe, not observed in the British Isles"

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A 



HISTORY 



BIRDS OF EUROPE. 



NOT OBSERVED IN THE BRITISH ISLES. 



BY CHARLES ROBERT BREE, ESQ., M.D. 



VOL. III. 



LONDON: 

GROOMBRIDGE AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW. 

31 DCCC LXII. 



CONTENTS 



THE THIRD VOLUME. 



Sombre Tit . 
Siberian Tit 
Azure Tit 
Penduline Tit . 
Black-headed Bunting 
Marsh Bunting . 
Pine Bunting 
Cretzschmaer's Bunting 
Striolated Bunting 
Meadow Bunting 
Rustic Bunting 
Yellow-breasted Bunting . 
Yellow-browed Bunting 
Little Bunting . 
Scarlet Bullfinch . 
Rosy Bullfinch . 
Desert Trumpeter Bullfinch 
Crimson-winged Grosbeak 
Serin Pinch 
Citril Pinch 
Snow Pinch 
• Alpine Serin Pinch . 



PAGE. 

1 
6 
10 
13 
24 
29 
35 
40 
44 
47 
53 
60 
63 
65 
69 
76 
81 
95 
98 
106 
110 
115 



IV CONTENTS. 

TAGE. 

Holboll's Redpole .117 

Rock Sparrow 120 

Italian House Sparrow . . . . . .128 

Spanish Sparrow . . . . . . . 131 

Grey "Woodpecker . . . . . . .136 

White-rumped Woodpecker . . . . . 142 

Middle Spotted "Woodpecker . . . .146 

Dalmatian Nuthatch . . . . . . . 151 

Wall Creeper . 158 

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater . . . . . . 162 

Black-and- White Kingfisher .166 

Oriental Chimney Swallow . . . . . 170 

Rufous Swallow . . . . . . . .174 

Crag Swallow . . . . . . . . 184 

Russet-necked Nightjar 188 

Egyptian Turtle Dove 195 

Hazel Grouse 203 

Willow Grouse . . . . . . . 212 

Pin-tailed Sand Grouse 221 

Sand Grouse 226 

Caucasian Snow Partridge 232 

Francolin 236 

Greek Partridge . . . . . . . .242 



EEEATA. 

Page 60, in head line, for "Yellow -headed Bunting," read 
"Yellow-breasted Bunting." 

Page 163, second paragraph, dele "by Mr. Taylor (ibid, p. 47,) 
as very abundant in small flocks in Egypt." 



TO THE BINDEE. 

The Binder is requested to cancel Sheet 2 A, and insert the 
one here given. 



BIRDS OF EUROPE, 



NOT OBSERVED U THE BRITISH ISLES. 



.GEANIVOEyE. 

Family PARID^E. (Bonaparte.) 

Genus Partjs. (Linnceus.) 

Generic Characters. — Beak short, straight, strong, conical, 
and compressed; edges sharp and pointed, the base furnished 
with a few stiff hairs; nostrils basal, round, and covered with 
reflected bristly feathers. Feet short, with three toes in front 
and one behind, entirely divided to their origin; hind toe 
the strongest, and armed with a long hooked claw. Wings, 
the first primary very short, the second much shorter than 
the third, the fourth, fifth, and sixth about equal in length, 
and the longest in the wing. 



SOMBRE TIT. 

Paras lugubris. 

Parus lugubris, Natteree. Temminck. 

Bonaparte, 1838. 

ScHINZ. ScHLEGEL. 

Pcecilia lugubris, Kaup. Bonaparte, 1850. 

Mesange lugubre, Of the Fbench. 

Trauermeise, Of the Germans. 
vot>. III. B 



2 SOMBRE TIT. 

Specific Characters. — Top of the head, nape, and throat 
brownish black, separated by a broad white band extending from 
the gape to the nape, and increasing in width from before 
backwards. Length five inches and three-tenths; carpus to tip 
of wing three inches; tail two inches and a half; beak from 
gape three-fifths of an inch; tarsus nine-tenths of an inch. 

The Tits are a very -well-marked family. In dispo- 
sition of colours, in form, and habit, they very much 
resemble each other, in whatever part of the world 
they are found; and yet almost every species is, by 
some author or other, placed in a separate genus. Thus 
in the present family we have the original genus of 
Linnasus, Partes; then we have Leach separating those 
with long tails into the genus Mecistura, and those 
with a beard into that of Calamophilus . Not satisfied 
with this innovation, Boie calls the last genus Mystacinus, 
and Vigors places the Little Penduline Titmouse, which 
I shall figure and describe by and bye, in the genus 
JEgithalus; while Brehm places the same bird in a 
genus created for its especial use, that of Pendulinus. 
Then we find that great innovator, Kaup, placing the 
Crested Tit in the genus Lophophanes , and the Marsh, 
Sombre, and Siberian Tits in the genus Pcecilia, 
while for the Azure Tit he creates the genus Cyanistes, 
in all of which he is followed by Bonaparte. 

This uncertainty arises no doubt from the different 
conceptions by naturalists of what really constitutes a 
genus. As I believe, with Agassiz, that genera are 
natural groups of a peculiar kind, separated from each 
other by ultimate details of structure, I shall consider 
the family of Tits as coming within this definition, and 
therefore as belonging to one genus only. It is re- 
markable how modern naturalists have lost sight of the 
thoughts, by which (it is clear, as pointed out by 

DSf ! 



fyfi:';^ 



1. SOMBRE TIT. 
3. SIBERIAN TIT. 



SOMBRE TIT. 6 

Agassiz,) our old classifiers were influenced in the 
formation of orders and genera; the consequence of 
this is that every few years we have a new nomen- 
clature, founded on the assumption that the previous 
one was based upon erroneous data. 

Upon this all-important subject the reader will find 
some excellent and judicious remarks in a paper by 
Mr. Stimpson, quoted from Silliman's "Journal/' in the 
"Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal" for October, 
1860. I will only here make one extract: — "The res- 
toration by G. It. Gray, of Boddaert's names in ornithology 
is another instance. By the discovery of a meagre 
pamphlet of the eighteenth century, only two or three 
copies of which now exist, we find ourselves forced 
to change the generic names of common birds, familiar 
as they are by long and constant usage." 

I shall have another opportunity, more appropriate 
than this, of enlarging upon this subject, in which I 
shall be able to shew that the Prince of Canino has 
changed the generic name of some birds twice or even 
three times, without in any case adding either precision 
or utility to the science. I sincerely hope that British 
ornithologists at least, will do all in their power to put 
an end to a system which merely encumbers our 
literature with useless verbiage. 

The Sombre Tit is an inhabitant of Dalmatia, 
Hungary, Greece, and Eussia. According to De Selys, 
it also occurs in Switzerland. Temminck says that it 
is never found in Austria, or in fact in any part of 
Germany. 

In the distribution of colours about the head and 
neck this bird is very similar to Parus Sibiricus, 
with which it has been indeed considered identical by 
Keyserling and Blasius, without, however, I think, 



4 SOMBRE TIT. 

either clue consideration, or comparison of specimens. 
P. lagubris is altogether a larger bird, the beak and 
tarsi are stronger and larger; and while the abdomen 
is white and the back grey brown in lugiibris, the 
former is russet, and the latter mottled with russet 
and black in Sibiricus. A reference to the two figures 
will render this quite clear. 

Temminck says it is easy to confound the Sombre 
Tit with the Nonette or Marsh Tit; but it is quite 
certain that he referred to the Parus atricapillus of 
Gmelin, which is a North American bird, altogether 
differing from our well-known Marsh Tit, with which 
the present species can in no way be confounded. 

Count Miihle, who has recorded the occurrence and 
detailed the habits of this bird in Greece, says that 
its habits are different from the other members of the 
family. It arrives in the Morea, where it appears to 
be a summer visitor, at the end of April or beginning 
of May, and locates itself in the little mountain valleys, 
where it lives solitarily, frequenting the wild-fruit trees, 
and never being found upon the more lofty ones. 
Each bird takes up its own territory, and is observed 
on the same resting-place frequently during the day. 
They are very unsociable and shy on the appearance of 
man, and seem to know if they are followed, and 
consequently are difficult to shoot. Count Miihle did 
not observe them after- September, and was altogether 
unacquainted with their nidification, the only egg he 
procured being an imperfect and uncoloured one which 
was found in a female shot in the spring. 

The adult male in breeding plumage has the top 
of the head and throat dark blackish brown, the 
rest of the upper plumage bright hair brown; cheeks, 
chest, abdomen, and under tail coverts white, with the 



SOMBKE TIT. 



flanks mottled with bluish black; the white patch on 
the cheeks extends to the upper scapularies. Beak, 
feet, and iris, brown. 

My figure is taken from an adult male kindly sent 
me by Mr. Tristram. The figure of the egg i s taken 
from Thienemann. 

The bird is also figured by Michahelles, in Sturm, 
Deutschlands Fauna, heft. 2, tab. 1; Gould, Birds of 
Europe, pi. 151, fig. 1. 



GRANIVORJE. 

Family PARIBJE. (Bonaparte.) 

Genus Parus. (Linnaeus. J 

SIBERIAN TIT. 

Partis Sibiricus. 

Parus Sibiricus, Gmelin and Authors. 

Tmcilia Sibirica, Kaup. Bonaparte. 

Mesange de Siberie, Of the French. 

Sibirische Meise, Of the Germans. 

Specific Characters. — Throat black; top of head brown; chest 
and abdomen russet. Length four inches and nine-tenths; carpus 
to tip two inches and a half; tail two inches and a half; beak 
two-fifths of an inch; tarsus three-fifths of an inch. 

The Siberian Tit, as its name implies, is a northern 
species, being found only in the boreal regions of 
Europe and Asia, visiting, during winter, some of the 
provinces of Russia. It also inhabits Lapland, where 
it was discovered nesting by the late much lamented 
John Wolley. According to this gentleman it is the 
only species which breeds in the Muonioniska district 
of Finnish Lapland. In his catalogue for 1858, four 
eggs are inserted as having been obtained at Mokhajerri, 
from a nest made with the hairs of mice. Mr. "Wolley 
remarks that P. borealis is seldom seen in Lapland, 




. 



SIBERIAN TIT. 7 

and that he doubts if it ever breeds in the far north. 
In the catalogue for 1860 five eggs are inserted, taken 
also in Finnish Lapland. It is also included in the 
Scandinavian Fauna by Nillson. M. Linden, the con- 
servator of the Museum of Geneva, states that this bird 
is also found in the SavIss Alps; but M. De Selys- 
Longchamps is of opinion that he mistook P. lugubris 
for it. 

I am indebted to Mr. Newton for the following; in- 
teresting details of this bird: — "My own opportunities 
of observing Parus Sibiricus were not sufficient to 
enable me to say in what particulars (if in any) its 
habits differ from those of the other species of the 
genus with which I am acquainted, beyond the fact 
that its call-notes are easily recognisable as distinct 
from anything else. Indeed from the information I 
have at various times received from the late Mr. John 
Wolley, I should suppose that in manners it closely 
resembles the rest of the Titmice. It is resident 
throughout the year in the district around Muonioniska, 
and as he has often assured me, was the only species 
which he found to breed there, although in autumn 
the Marsh Titmouse makes its appearance, and on one 
occasion, a solitary Great Titmouse was obtained by 
him. I am unable to give even an outline of the 
range of Parus Sibiricus in Lapland; but I do not 
remember seeing it until, in descending the river 
Muonio, Ave had entered the region of the Scotch fir, 
fPinus syhestris.J I never found a nest myself, or 
saw one in situ. It breeds in holers of trees, whether 
naturally formed by decay, or excavated by Woodpeckers. 
The nest is a mass of hair, principally from the lem- 
ming, or some of the voles, but occasionally from the 
alpine hare, mixed with a little green moss, black 



8 SIBERIAN TIT. 

fibrous lichen, and willow down. Seven appears to be 
the usual complement of eggs, but eight, and even 
nine are sometimes laid. This Titmouse seems to pay 
as little regard to the rights of priority as some orni- 
thologists do, for several instances occurred to Mr. 
Wolley's knowledge, of its dispossessing the Common 
Redstart from a convenient hole in which the latter 
bird had begun its nest. The ordinary cry of Parus 
Sibiricus is perhaps best expressed by the words 
'Pistee-tee,' pronounced in a hissing tone, and from 
this cry the bird gets its Finnish name. By those of 
the people who are inclined to superstition it is re- 
garded as a bird of bad omen, and the squirrel-shooter 
or bear -hunter looks forward to a luckless expedition 
if in starting in the morning, he is greeted by the 
notes of the busy little Pistee-tianen. 

Specimens of the Marsh Titmouse from the north 
of Europe undoubtedly differ somewhat (as is the case 
with so many other species) from those obtained in the 
British Islands, by having the colours more strongly 
contrasted. The northern race has been described by 
M. De Selys-Longchamps, as distinct, under the name 
of Parus borealis, (Bulletins de 1' Acad. Boy. de 
Bruxelles, tome x, No. 7). I have, thanks to that 
gentleman, lately had the advantage of comparing his 
type specimens with examples from Mr. Wolley's col- 
lection, and can safely say that they are in all respects 
identical. At the same time I must express my belief 
that the differences between them and our common P. 
palustris are not such as I can consider specific; and 
if I am not mistaken, M. De Selys himself is now 
of the same opinion. I feel assured that that talented 
naturalist was wrongly informed as to the locality 
whence his types were obtained. It was doubtless from 



SIBERIAN TIT. 9 

some part of tlie Scandinavian continent, and not from 
Iceland, where no Titmouse is found, that they were 
brought by the French Northern Scientific Exhibition." 

The adult male in breeding plumage has the top 
of the head and nape dusky brown; the back and 
upper wing coverts russet brown, mottled with black. 
Wings and tail dark hair brown. The throat is black, 
and between it and the top of the head is a broad 
patch of pure white, extending from the gape to the 
scapularies, and increasing in width from before back- 
wards. All the rest of the under parts are russet, 
lighter on the crop, and verging into grey where it 
joins the black of the throat. Wings and tail under- 
neath slate brown; beak black; feet lead grey; iris 
dark brown. 

The female is rather smaller than the male, having 
the top of the head and throat of a greyish brown 
tinged with russet. The young before the first moult 
are much less russet-coloured above, and of a brown 
tint, the black feathers of the throat being bordered 
with grey. 

I am indebted for the male specimen figured to the 
kindness of Mr. Tristram. The egg is from a specimen 
kindly sent me by Mr. Alfred Newton, and its 
authenticity, I need not say, may be entirely relied 
upon. 

The Siberian Tit has also been figured by Temminck 
and Laugier, in the Atlas to the Manual, with the remark 
of the author, that the russet colour of the flanks is 
deficient, and that of the abdomen and inferior coverts 
too deep. The tail ought to have been a trifle longer, 
and more tapering. BufFon, pi. enlum 708, fig. 3; Gould, 
Birds of Europe, pi. 151, fig. 2. 



10 



GRANIVORJE. 

Family PARID^E. (Bonaparte.) 

Genus Parus. (Linnceus.) 

AZUEE TIT. 

Panes cyanus. 

Parus cyanus, Pallas ; JN"ov. Comm. Acad. Peterop., 

v. 14, p. 588, pi. 23, fig. 3. 

GrMELIN. TeMMINCK. 

" cyaneus, Schlegel. Falck; Vog., v. 3, 
p. 407, pi. 31. 

" cceruleus major, Bkisson. 

" smbyensis, Sparmm; Mus. Carl., pi. 25. 

" Tcnjcescioh, GrMELiN; Syst. 

■" Latham; Ind., v. 2, p. 572. 

" " Lepech; Yoy., vol. i, p. 180. 

Cyanistes cyanus, Katjp. Bonaparte. 
Mesange azuree, 

La Grosse Mesange bleue, Op the French. 

Lasurmeise, Op the Germans. 



Specific Characters. — All the inferior parts pure white, with 
a brilliant blue patch on the middle of the abdomen. Length 
five inches and a half. 



The Azure Tit, perhaps trie most beautiful of the 
European Paridce, is an inhabitant of the north of 
Europe and Asia. It is very common in Siberia and the 




l^-^> 



A Z U 



AZURE TIT. 11 

adjacent parts of the Russian dominions, extending in 
winter through the greatest part of European Russia, 
being found at St. Petersburg, as well as on the banks 
of the Wolga, and sometimes ranging from thence into 
Poland and Prussia. According to Naumann, it is 
more frequently found in Sweden than in the north of 
Germany. An occasional specimen may be sometimes 
found in Saxony, or even in Austria, but it does not 
occur further to the south or west. 

In the beginning of autumn it migrates into warmer 
latitudes, as in winter or early spring, an occasional 
pair, or single bird only, will be found in the north- 
west. 

Naumann, who is almost the only author from whom 
we can glean anything about the habits of this 
bird, says that it does not appear to affect trees with 
pointed leaves, like the fir or pine, preferring willow 
bushes in meadows by the side of rivers and watery 
places. In winter they are found more plentifully in 
the neighbourhood of houses, and come even into 
towns. It is a lively, agile, and fearless bird, like the 
rest of its tribe, very skilful in climbing, and is seen, 
like the Blue Tit, clinging to boughs and branches. 
It is, however, readily distinguished from the other 
allied Tits by its longer tail. 

Bechstein compares its call-note to that of the House 
Sparrow, but it is softer. 

It lives on insects and their eggs, larvae, and pupee, 
which it diligently picks out from the open crevices 
of bark, and to get at which, like the Blue Tit, it 
destroys many buds, blossoms, and leaves. It is also 
fond of seeds and the kernels of nuts, upon which it 
may be seen hammering with its beak, having carefully 
fixed the object in a chink of the tree. 



\2 AZURE TIT. 

Naumann says that it never nests in Germany; in 
fact very little is known about its propagation, and I . 
am sorry that I have not an authentic egg to figure. 
It breeds in the wild regions of Siberia and Eastern 
Russia. 

The adult male has the top of the head, a large 
patch on the nape, the cheeks, throat, and all the 
inferior parts snowy white, the top of the head being 
shaded with azure blue, and there is a patch of the 
same in the middle of the abdomen. From the beak 
through the eyes to the nape is a band of very dark 
blue, which, passing round the head, enlarges at the 
nape, returns and forms a triangular patch on the side 
of the neck; back, rump, and above the wings, azure 
blue ; greater wing coverts dark blue, the border being 
clearer, and terminating in white ; middle tail quills 
azure blue, the laterals bordered and terminated with 
white. The tail long and cuneiform; feet and tarsi 
azure blue. 

The female has the top of the head grey white; all 
the blue colours less pure, and the blue band which 
passes through, the eyes is smaller in the nape. 

Figured by Temminck and Laugier ; Pallas, Nov. 
Comm. Acad. Peterop, pi. 23, fig. 3 ; Naumann, Vogel . 
Deutsch., vol. iv, pi. 95; Gould, pi. 153. 



13 



GRANIVORvE. 

Family PABIDJE. (Bonaparte.) 

Genus Parus. (Linnceus.) 

PENDULINE TIT. 

Parus pendulinus. 

Parus pendulinus, Linnjetts. Temminck et Aixct. 

" 'narbonensis, (jun.,) Gmelin. Latham. 
JEgithalus pendulinus, Vigobs. Bonapaete. 

Keyseeling and Blasius. 
Mesange Remiz, La Penduline, 

La Mesange de Languedoc, Of the Fbench. 
Gemeine beutelmeise, Of the Geemans. 



Specific Characters. — Vertex and throat white; forehead black, 
edged with ochreous; cheeks black; back rich deep russet. Length 
four inches and one-fifth; carpus to tip two inches and one-tenth; 
beak from gape two-fifths of an inch; tarsus three-fifths of an inch; 
tail two inches. 



The Penduline Tit is an inhabitant of Poland, Italy, 
Russia, Hungary, the Crimea, and France. It is also 
found in some parts of Germany. Degiand says lie has 
received the nests and eggs from the neighbourhood of 
Pezenas; that it is found in Provence only during its 
migration, and accidentally in Lorraine and in the de- 
partment of the Seine-Inferieure. M. Hardy has also 



14 PENDULINE TIT. 

obtained it in the neighbourhood of Dieppe. To these 
localities Naumann adds, Dalmatia, Scandinavia, and 
Siberia; while Count Miihle tells us that it is not rarely- 
found in the swamps of Rumelia and the Morea. 

The Penduline Tit is not only one of the most prettily 
coloured among the family, but it is altogether a most in- 
teresting and remarkable bird. Its nest is a very 
elaborate structure; and all ornithologists from the time 
of Aldrovandi, two hundred and seventy years ago, have 
been eloquent and minute in their descriptions of this 
singular domicile, and of its ingenious and skilful ar- 
chitects. 

A good deal of difference is, however, to be found 
among their descriptions, and I have therefore thought 
better to give at length the history of the process, as 
well as some of the most interesting points in the bird's 
economy, from two recent observers, one of whom, it 
will be perceived, accounts for the discrepancy in the 
descriptions of former naturalists. 

In the "Revue et Magasin de Zoologie," for 1859, 
No. 3, we have the following account by M. Moquin- 
Tandon : — 

"The Remitz or Penduline, called by various authors 
Mesange de Pologne or de Narbonne, and by others 
Mesange des saules or des marais, is without doubt one 
of the most remarkable of European birds. This bird 
displays a wonderful industry in the construction of its 
nest; no other species in France or Europe forms anything 
so elaborate and curious. 

The nest of the Eemitz is not cup-shaped like that 
of most birds, but is closed at the top more or less 
ovoid, and in the form of a bag or purse; on the side 
near the top is a small round entrance, which is pro- 
longed into a conico-cylindrical passage, either placed 



. 



*£&. 






PENDULINE TIT. 15 

horizontally or obliquely from top to bottom. It is in 
some respects like that of the Long-tailed Tit, but it 
is more delicately and skilfully built, and it is particu- 
larly distinguished from it by the manner in which it 
is suspended. This nest does not rest upon the branches 
or trunk of the tree; it is quite free, and always sus- 
pended from the upper part of the flexible branches of 
aspens, willows, tamarisks, and other trees or shrubs 
which grow on the borders of rivers or marshes. ■ This 
is why some ornithologists call the Remitz, Penduline, 
fParus nidum suspendens.J 

When the nest of the Remitz is turned on one side, 
with the opening above, it resembles somewhat a woollen 
sock both in shape and material; so much so, that the 
peasants in the neighbourhood of Nimes have given the 
bird the name of Debassayre, (stocking-weaver.) This 
little architectural chef-d'-ceuvre is more or less length- 
ened according to the age and other circumstances of 
the bird. The most ordinary form is that of a bag- 
pipe, of which the pipe has been shortened. 

M. Eequien, of Avignon, sent me from the neighbour- 
hood of his native town a nest of this form, which is 
very characteristic. It was taken on the borders of the 
Rhone, suspended to the bough of a young aspen, by 
a rather long and narrow cord. It had the following 
dimensions: — Height seventeen cents.; transverse diameter 
eleven cents; length of lobby three cents, and a half; 
diameter of opening three cents.; thickness of edges four 
millemetres. It weighed fifty-five grammes. Sometimes 
the lobby does not exist, and the nest then takes the 
figure of a wallet, an egg, or a pear, nearly like that 
of the Long-tailed Tit. 

The nest is attached and suspended with fibres of 
hemp, flax, nettles, stalks of grasses, and even with little 



16 PENDULINE TIT. 

pieces of wool and the roots of couch-grass. The length 
of the suspending rope varies very much. M. Schintz 
has figured one, which was brought to me, in 1823, 
from the environs of St. Gilles, (Garcl.) by General de 
Fregeville. It was suspended to an old aspen on the 
borders of the lesser Khone, by a cord four centimetres 
and a half long. 

Guettard has figured two nests of the Penduline, the 
cords of both being finished by a sort of buckle which 
surrounds a small branch. I have never seen this sort 
of fastening. Those I have observed were always twisted 
round a bending branch, while both assisted in sup- 
porting it as well as constituted a part of its structure. 
Thus suspended by a flexible cord, this pretty little 
cradle is gently rocked above the surface of the river 
or marsh, where the insects upon which the Remitz 
feed are found in abundance. The opening of the nest 
always faces the marsh or river near which it is built. 

The nest is composed of tufts of thistles, dandelions, 
viper grass, but above all the light and silken down 
which surrounds the catkins of willows and poplars. 
There is also found in it horse-hair and other animal 
materials, but only when vegetable substances are scarce. 
I had a nest from the neighbourhood of Pezenas, which 
was almost entirely composed of sheep's wool, and which 
had consequently a very strong smell of the grease of 
that animal. 

Having brought together the materials necessary for 
its nest, the Remitz interlaces them, felts them, gums 
them together, and thus produces a sort of thick cloth, 
very close and firm. (It is in fact a real cloth or felt.) 
This tissue is strengthened with the narrow leaves of 
grasses, fibres, and rootlets, which sometimes stick out 
of the exterior. Thus the frame-work is made. One 



PENDULINE TIT. 17 

of the nests figured by Guettard has little bits of straw 
sticking out, of which, the greater part are worked into 
the texture. The Tits now arrange at the bottom of 
the nest a small couch formed of down, feathers, and 
other very soft materials. The colour of the nest is 
generally greyish or whitish, according to the material 
of which it is made. Aldrovandi and Thienemann have 
described nests with two openings, one before and one 
behind; but in all the nests I have received I have 
only noticed one entrance. 

"We have seen that the edifice of the Remitz is 
suspended from above; the bird first makes the cord, 
which he twists round a flexible branch. This cord, 
which is more or less long and thick, is divided into 
two parts, one of which goes into one side of the nest, 
the other into the other, and it is easy to observe how 
this cord will make at first two openings, one before 
and one behind, and one of which, as the nest advances, 
the birds shut up, and complete the other into a pretty 
little door. 

The Remitz is not often seen in the north or centre 
of France, but frequently in the southern departments, 
and above all on the shores of the Rhone, Durance, 
Gar don Herault, and Lez. The male and female work 
together, and take eighteen or twenty days to complete 
the nest. This activity is surprising when the perfection 
of the work is compared with the size and feebleness 
of the birds. 

The Remitz lays four or five eggs, rarely six or seven. 
They are like those of the House Swallow, but smaller. 
They are rather elongated; the shell slender and dull. 
When just laid they are of an ivory white, and a pure 
white when blown. Great diameter fifteen millemetres, 
small diameter ten millemetres; weight when empty 



18 PENDULINE TIT. 

six centigrammes. Bechstein and Temminck made a 
mistake when they described small reddish spots as 
distributed over the shell, like the eggs of the other 
Tits. The female lays twice in the year, — in April or 
May, and again in July or August." 

The following interesting description of the nidification 
of the Penduline Titmouse given by M. Taczanowski, 
of Warsaw, is also taken from the "Revue et Magasin 
de Zoologie" No. 6, 1859 :— 

"Having had an opportunity of seeing a great number 
of the nests of the Remitz, and of making a collection 
of those variously constructed, I have been able to as- 
certain the way in which they are built, and to correct 
some mistakes , which have hitherto existed, from the 
imperfect observations which have been made upon 
them. 

The materials which form the foundation of these 
nests are the fibres of hemp, nettles, and long and slender 
filaments of the bark of different species of willows, 
which the Bemitz separates in great quantity from those 
plants when they are dry. It attaches these materials 
upon a single flexible branch above its fork. When it 
has sufficient material it begins the real substance of 
its nest, which is composed of the down of the catkins 
of the willow and poplar, and is placed below the fork 
of the branch above mentioned. It first forms an out- 
line of the nest, about three centimetres wide, into 
which it introduces at least one twig of the tree into 
each side of the nest. When this outline is sufficiently 
long, it takes the ends of the filaments and joins them 
together, so as to form the bottom of the nest. It now 
lines the two sides of the nest with doAvn, proceeding 
from the bottom to the top, until it has succeeded in 
forming a nest which has two openings. Then it lines 



PENDULINE TIT. 19 

tlie centre of the nest with softest down of the willow, 
and then closes up one of the openings. It strengthens 
the outside with a greater quantity of willow-down, to 
which it often adds tufts of sedge, reeds, and thistles, 
and then diminishes the other opening, and forms a 
projecting conduit or passage. It uses no animal pro- 
duction in this construction, which takes about four 
weeks to complete. This is the real form of these nests, 
all those with two openings being imperfect constructions, 
and the error has been perpetuated in consequence of 
the female commencing to lay eggs before the nest is 
completed, in which both male and female assiduously 
engage. If the process of sitting commences before the 
nest is finished, the work is carried on by the male 
alone. There are very few places in the kingdom of 
Poland where the Eemitz builds. The locality is generally 
some large pond covered with rushes and bushes, situ- 
ated on the right hand shore of the Vistula, and in the 
vast wooded marshes found in the neighbouring country 
of Paleria — the low and marshy part of Minsk, Volhynia 
and Grodno. There are a few which nest on the shores 
of the Vistula, but none have been found on the left 
side of the river. 

The nest is placed on different species of poplar, 
willow, and alder, situated from one to fifteen metres 
or more above the ground; lowest on the osiers, and 
highest on the poplars. They are not always suspended 
over the water; more frequently over the ground, 
but always in places surrounded by water. I have never 
found them in thickets, but in spots more or less open. 
In the thick osier grounds they are only found at the 
edges of the openings and glades. The nest is very 
easy to find when building, or when the brood is young, 
for then the parents are always at hand, and give 



20 PJENDULINE TIT. 

warning of the approach of danger by a slight prolonged 
whistling, (sifflement.) When the female sits, the male 
often goes away and gives no warning, but as soon as 
the nest is taken he appears, perches himself on the 
place it once occupied, and never ceases to bewail its 
loss." 

Count Miihle remarks that in Greece it is very diffi- 
cult to get specimens of the Penduline Tit, because it 
lives and breeds in impenetrable swampy woods, sur- 
rounded by grass land also frequently under water. He 
found the nests frequently in the winter empty, when 
the trees were leafless. 

The male bird in breeding plumage has the top of 
the head and throat white, frequently verging into grey, 
which extends to the nape and scapularies. The back 
and wing coverts rich russet, becoming lighter towards 
the rump. Forehead black, edged with deep ochreous ; 
cheeks and ear coverts black; neck and crop light russet, 
spotted with the same deep rich ochreous colour of the 
back; the rest of the abdomen light fawn-colour, the 
flanks darker; primaries clay brown; secondaries same 
colour, slightly tipped with white ; tertials brown, deeply 
bordered with greyish white, tinged with russet; tail 
of moderate length and emarginate, the feathers all more 
or less brown, bordered with greyish white; beak black; 
feet and legs lead grey; iris yellow. 

The female has the top of the head grey, and the 
black of the forehead is wanting, but there is a spot 
of ochreous brown just above the base of the beak; the 
inferior parts are of a deeper fawn-colour than those of 
the male, and the brown of the wings and tail feathers 
is lighter, and the grey border not so broad. 

The young before the first moult has the black parts 
of the forehead, cheeks, and ear coverts replaced by 



PENDULINE TIT. 21 

russet; the oclireous colour of the back is less deep than 
121 the adult; the under parts of the body are of a light 
red. 

My figure of this bird and its egg are from specimens 
kindly sent me by the Rev. H. Tristram. The nest is 
after Gould. 

It has also been figured by Buffon, pi. enl. 618, fig. 
3, and 708, the young before the first moult under the 
name of Mesange de Languedoc ; P. Roux, Ornith. Prov., 
pi. 124, fig. 1, adult male; fig. 2, head of young; Bou- 
teil, Ornith. du Dauph., pi. 31, fig. 6; Gould, B. of E., 
pi. 159; Naumann, Vogel. Deutsch, vol. 4, pi. 97, male, 
female, young, and nest; Temminck, Atlas; Vieillot, 
Faun. Franc, pi. 50, fig. 2 and 3; Albin, vol. 3, pi. 57; 
Bechstein, Naturg. Dent., vol. 3, pi. 38, fig. 2; Meyer, 
Vog. Deut., part 10. 



There are one or two other Paridce, which require 
a short notice. 

Parus Carolinensis cristatus, Brisson; P. bicolor, Lin- 
nseus and authors, was figured by Gould, pi. 152, Birds 
of Europe. It has however been omitted by Schlegel 
and Bonaparte from the European list, and is admitted 
with doubt by Degland. Mr. Gould now thinks that 
it ought to be erased, in which opinion he is joined 
by all the best modern ornithologists. 

Parus horealis, Selys; Pcecilia borealis, Bonaparte. — 
Mr. Newton's valuable remarks about this species in the 
notice of the Siberian Tit, in the last number, arc I think 
sufficiently strong to warrant my excluding it from the 
European list as a distinct species. It is so closely 
allied to our Marsh Tit, (P. palustrisj that it can 
only at the most lay claim to be considered a permanent 



22 



PENDLLINE TIT. 



variety or race of that species. I have, however, been 
favoured by Mr. Wheelwright, of Gadsjo, near Carlstadt, 
in Sweden, with some remarks about this bird, which 
I will insert. Mr. W., who has had many opportunities 
of observing this and others of our most interesting 
European species, writes to me, — 

"It so much resembles our Marsh Tit, both in habit 
and appearance, that I really think it can hardly be 
called a separate species. There are, however, the fol- 
lowing differences, which are constant: — 

Palustris. — -Head glossy silk black; cheeks and sides 
of the neck white, rather tinned with black; back 
blackish grey brown. The edge of the outer web of 
wing feathers a little paler than the back. 

Borealis. — Head walnut dull black; cheeks and sides 
of the neck clear white; back grey. The edge of the 
outer web of wing feathers nearly clear white. 

In Borealis the tail is longer and different in con- 
struction. The outer tail feather is about two and a 
half or three lines longer than the middle one, which 
is nearly as long as the longest in the tail. The outer 
feather is considerably shorter than the other. In 
Palustris, on the contrary, the outer tail feathers are 
generally of the same length as the middle ones, and 
always only about a line shorter than the longest in the 
tail. 

Nilsson is of opinion that the species are distinct, and 
Kjasrbolling agrees with him. 

If I remember right the. British Marsh Tit always 
builds its nest with moss, etc. Now the nest of our P. 
borealis is always built of the fine under bark of the 
dead alder tree. That of the Crested and Blue Tit of 
moss, and sometimes feathers. 

P. borealis is very common in the south of Sweden, 



PENDULlkE TIT. 23 

and only accidental in Denmark. They say Palustris 
goes as far north as the birch grows. It is, however, 
certainly very rare here, for all I kill are Borealis. 
The further north we go after passing Gefa, the less 
common it becomes, being replaced by P. sibiricus, which 
is very rarely killed south of Stockholm. P. cyaniis, 
according to Nilsson, is only found in the north of 
Sweden." 

P. bockhariensis , Brehm, is said to be occasionally 
seen in the north of Europe; but I believe there is no 
good authority for its introduction into the European 
list. 



24 



GRANIVOEiE. 

Family FRINGILLIDJE. (Bonaparte.) 

Genus Embertza. (Linnaeus.) 

Generic Characters. — Beak short, strong, conical, compressed, 
and sharp-pointed; the edges of both mandibles curved in- 
wards, with the commissure more or less oblique; the upper 
mandible narrower than the inferior one, and internally in 
the palate, or roof, there is a bony and projecting tubercle. 
Nostrils basal, round, and partly hidden by small feathers in 
front. Feet with three toes in front and one behind, the 
front ones entirely divided; the hinder toe carries a claw, 
short and curved: in front the claws are rather long, curved, 
and strong. The wings with the first primary slightly 
shorter than the second and third, which are the longest in 
the wing. Tail forked or slightly rounded. 

BLACK-HEADED BUNTING. 

Mmberiza melanocephala. 

JEmheriza melomocephala, Scopoli, 1768. Gmelin. 

" " Latham. Temminck. Cuviee. 

" " Keyseeling et Blasitjs. 

" " SCHINZ. ScHLEGEL. DeGLAND. 

Tanagra melanictura, Guldenstedt. 

Xanthormus Caucasicus, Pallas. 

JFri/ngilla crocea, Vieillot. 

JEuspiza melanocephala, Bonapaete. 

Bruant-Crocote, Op the Fbench. 

Schwarzkopfiger Ammer, Of the Geemans. 

Zigolo Capinero, Of Savi. 

Blaclc-lieaded Bunting, Latham, kec Bewick, vel 

Yaeeell. 



BLACK-HEADED BUNTING. 25 

Specific Characters. — The first primary equal in length to the 
second, and slightly longer than the third; primaries and tail 
light brown, the latter without any white markings. Bach and 
rump rich russet, tinged with yellow. Length six inches and a 
half; from carpus to tip three inches and three-quarters; tail 
three inches; beak from gape seven-tenths of an inch; tarsus 
nine-tenths of an inch. 



The Buntings are a very natural group, and easily 
distinguished, by their peculiar characters, from the 
rest of the family. They live in fields, woods, gardens, 
road-sides, or banks of rivers and marshes. They feed 
upon farinaceous seeds and insects. The sexes are 
always distinctly marked, the males having the most 
vivid coloration. The young resemble the females, 
except in having duller colours, and being more spotted. 
Temminck says none of the European species moult 
more than once, while the exotic species do so regu- 
larly, the colours of the male changing considerably, 
having in summer, very brilliant colours, but in winter 
the quiet and modest plumage of the female. Degland 
remarks, — "The greater number, independently of the 
usual moult which takes place towards the end of 
summer, have also in spring a change in coloration. 
This change is occasioned by the under part of the 
plumage, which is always the most brilliantly-coloured, 
being in the spring uncovered by the rubbing away 
of the edges of the feathers, which are of a duller 
tint." The Buntings nest on the ground, on banks, 
or among grass, in bushes, shrubs, or reeds. Those 
species which have the hind toe long and straight have 
been separated by Meyer, under the generic term 
Plectrophanes. The others form a very closely-allied 
and distinct family, notwithstanding which Kaup has 
divided the genus into eiffht. 



XO BLACK-HEADED BUNTING. 

Of the European species different authors vary in 
the number which they assign to that fauna. Temminck, 
in the last edition of his "Manual," describes sixteen 
species, which is the number also given by Schlegel. 
Degland adopts this list, with the exception of one 
addition, E. borealis. Bonaparte gives nineteen species, 
in five different genera. On the whole I think the 
list of Schlegel best represents the European members 
of this genus. Of these, five, and both the species of 
Plectrophanes , are found in the British Isles. 

The name "Black-headed Bunting" has been unfor- 
tunately given by modern English authors to our 
well-known bird the "Reed Bunting." As, however, 
the subject of this notice can lay claim to a much 
older title, and as I do not feel justified in creating 
a new one, I hope English ornithologists will use the 
name "Reed Bunting," first given, I believe, by Pen- 
nant, to our British species. 

The Black-headed Bunting is an inhabitant of the 
southern parts of Europe and Asia Minor. It inhabits 
the Caucasus, and is very common in Georgia, about 
Tiflis, and in Greece, and is not rare in Dalmatia, 
where it has the name of Ortolan, though a very 
different bird from that which bears this name in 
Erance. It is common throughout the Levant, and is 
sufficiently so, according to Temminck, in Istria, in the 
neighbourhood of Trieste, in the bushes and slopes of 
the hills, which border the Adriatic. It has been 
occasionally, but accidentally found in Lombardy, 
Provence, Saxony, and in Germany, in the neighbourhood 
of Vienna. 

It sings very agreeably, preferring to perch on some 
post in the open country. 

It nests upon shrubs, particularly, according to 



BLACK-HEADED BUNTING. 21 

Degland, on "the Bariums aculeatus, and not far from 
the ground. It lays from four to five whitish eggs, 
which are covered with very small spots and dots of 
a more or less ashy grey; some specimens are of a 
greenish white, with spots of a rust brown at the 
largest end." 

In a long and interesting letter, full of valuable 
information, which I have received from Dr. Leith 
Adams, from Malta, I extract the following remarks 
about the bird I am now noticing: — "Eusjriza melano- 
cephala, Bonaparte, is almost the prototype of E. 
simillima of Blythe; the latter authority fixes on the 
following as distinctions. The closed wing of simillima 
is three inches and a quarter, instead of four inches, 
and altogether it is not so large a bird. The species 
frequents southern India, and until Mr. Blythe made 
the above diagnosis, Indian authors considered it iden- 
tical with E. melanocepliala. I have seen three speci- 
mens, and could not make out any decided distinctions. 
Might not climate account for the smaller size?" 

Count Miihle says "It comes (into Greece) at the 
end of April, and I have for many years observed its 
arrival. On a clear bright morning in spring the 
hedges near • the coast are often covered with them, 
though previously none were to be seen. It builds 
and breeds on the overgrown hills, and goes away 
early in August. During the breeding time the male 
sits on the tops of the bushes, and lets its agreeable 
simple, Yellow-hammer-like song be continually heard. 
It is very stupid, and not at all shy; indeed it is 
frequently killed, by those in quest of it, with a 
stick alone. It is at the same time strange that the 
female is so seldom seen. I have only met with a 
very small number. When they first arrive the male 



~0 BLACK-HEADED BUNTING. 

lias the rust-red plumage of the head in abundance, 
but this is by degrees rubbed of." 

Brehm, in Badeker's work upon European eggs, 
says, "Very little is known about the nidification of 
this bird. Its eggs, of which it lays five, are very 
similar to those of the other Buntings. One variety is 
like that of the Snow Bunting. They are of a blue 
greenish ground, delicately marked with dark and 
reddish grey spots, mostly at the larger end. In form 
they are a longish oval, and the shell very soft and 
brittle." 

This very beautifully-marked bird has the breeding 
plumage of the male as follows: — Head, nape, and 
auditory regions deep black. The whole of the back, 
scapularies, and upper wing coverts rich dark russet, 
tinged with yellow; chin and all the inferior parts 
bright citron yellow. Wings and tail brown; the 
primaries lightly edged with grey. Beak bluish grey; 
feet yellowish brown. 

The female, according to Temminck, has all the 
upper parts of a russet grey; the throat white; inferior 
parts reddish white; under tail coverts yellow; greater 
wing coverts and the first primaries bordered with 
reddish grey, having their centres black. " 

My figures of this bird and its egg are taken from 
specimens kindly sent me by Mr. Tristram. They are 
from Greece. The egg is from a nest of four taken 
by W. H. Simpson, Esq., at Missolonghi, January 3, 
1859. 

The bird has also been figured by Temminck in his 
Atlas; Roux, Ornith. Pro v.; Guldenstedt, Nov. Com.; 
Naumann, Naturg. Neue Ausg., pi. 101, f. 2; Gould, 
Bircb of Europe, pi. 172. Eour figures of the egg 
are given in Badeker's illustrations of European eggs. 



29 



G11ANIV0R.E. 

Family FRINGILLIDJE. (Bonaparte.) 

Genus Emberiza. (Linnceus.J 

MAKSH BUNTING. 

Emberiza palustris. 
Emberiza palastris, Savi. Bonaparte. Temminck. 

ScHINZ. SCHLEGEL. 

" pyrrlmloides, Pallas. 

Caspia, Menetries. 

Schcenicula pyrrliuloid.es, Bonaparte. 

Bruant des Marais, Of the French. 

Sumpfammer, Ojf the Germans. 

Passera di padule, Savi. 

Specific Characters. — Beak short, thick, and strong, the upper 
mandible curved; as broad at the base as long. Eump grey, 
and marked with brown; under tail coverts white; primaries 
slightly bordered with russet, the first being shorter than the 
fourth. Length of a young male sent me by Mr. Gould, seven 
inches; from carpus to tip three inches and a fifth; beak three- 
tenths of an inch; tarsus one inch. 

The Marsh Bunting is an inhabitant of the south 
of Europe, being found especially in the south of 
France, Italy, and Sicily. 

It was at first described as a distinct species by 
Savi, in his "Ornitologia Toscana." Teinminck doubted 
whether it was distinct from E. schceniculus , in any- 



30 MARSH BUNTING. 

thing except the shortness, stoutness, and convexity of 
the beak, and in the greater distinctness and brilliancy 
of the colouring. Bonaparte, on the contrary, not only 
admits the Marsh Bunting as a distinct species, but 
adds another, which is said to be intermediate in 
character between this and schcenicuhis, under the name 
of S. intermedia, the E. intermedia of Michahelles, the 
E. canneti of Bream; and he places the three in a 
new genus, that of Schcenicola. Boux also denies that 
the Marsh can ever be confounded with the Beed 
Bunting; and Degland adds several points of distinction 
to those given by Temminck, which I have incorporated 
after verification in my specific diagnosis. Degland 
thinks that Temminck did not know the true E. 
palustris, but that the specimens upon which he as- 
sumed its identification with E. schceniculus were, in 
fact, larger specimens of this latter species. In a note 
which I have just received from Professor Blasius, of 
Brunswick, that distinguished naturalist places this bird 
as a variety of E. schceniculus. 

Such being the difference . of opinion about the 
specific distinctness of this bird, let us hear what 
Savi himself says about it. I copy the following from 
his "Ornitologia Toscana," tome secondo, p. 92: — "The 
Zigolo of which I speak has been for some time in 
the hands of ornithologists. The Buntinar, of which 
there is a drawing in the 'Storia degli Uccelli,' under 
the name of Migliarino di Padule, is clearly recognised 
by the form of its beak, as belonging to this species. 
In the Museum of Turin, and in that of the Jar din 
des Plantes at Paris, it is preserved as a variety of 
Emberiza schceniculus. Signor Dott: Pajola sent it to 
me last year from Venice, describing it as a new 
species. I had long fancied it was distinct, but as 









..-:.' 





"1. MARS ' 2. MEADOW BUNTING. 

,R. RUSTIC BUNTING. 4 & 5. YBLLOYMEADED BUNTING. 



MARSH BUNTING. 81 

on examination of the distribution of colour, the pro- 
portions of its quill feathers, etc., I did not find any 
characters to distinguish it from the other species, and 
knowing then nothing of its habits, I had never made 
it known as new, and, to avoid making a mistake, T 
placed it in the Museum of Pisa as E. palustris. Since 
then, however, having been able to make some new 
observations upon the form and habits of the two 
species, I am persuaded they are decidedly different, 
and the principal reasons which induce me to form this 
opinion are the following: — 

The distinctive characteristics of E. palustris and 
E. schceniculus are the greater size of the former, its 
head larger in proportion to the rest of the body, its 
tarsi proportionally shorter and thicker, its upper 
plumage more distinct in coloration, and its beak 
differing in form and size. 

Now as these characteristics only consist in a greater 
development of parts, and a stronger degree of colour, 
it may be objected that this is owing to difference in 
age; that is to say, that the Migliarino di Padule in 
growing old may acquire the proportions and colours 
of the Passera di Padule. As far as size and colour 
are concerned, there would be no difficulty in under- 
standing this, but it is not so easy to account for the 
difference in the beak, and almost impossible to conceive 
such a change in the form and dimensions of the 
masticatory organs, and such an alteration in the other 
hones of the face and skull, in the adult age of 
animals, in whom the consolidation of bone rapidly 
occurs. But that I might have positive proof, I kept 
several Reed Buntings in my house for about a 
year, and as I had supposed no change in the form 
or dimensions of the beak occurred. Besides this, 



6% MARSH BUNTING. 

the habits of the two birds prove them to be of 
different species. E. schceniculus lives among' bushes, 
and always remains on ground far from water, feeding 
upon seeds; while E. palustris is always found estab- 
lished near water, climbing up the reeds, and feeding 
on the muddy banks of ponds. Then the two species 
are never found mixed together in the same flock. 
I have killed as many as ten in the same flock 
without finding one schceniculus , and, what is worthy 
of note, without in such a number finding one with 
the beak of the same size and form as in that bird, 
which would naturally have been the case, had they 
been varieties of the same species." 

At page 825 of the third volume, we have also the 
following interesting; account of the habits of this bird: 
— "The Black-headed Bunting is found in Tuscany 
during the summer, inhabiting watery places covered 
with reeds. A great number hatch in the marshes of 
Castiglione, so that in crossing the intricate passages 
made by the fishermen cutting the reeds, which rise 
so high as to exclude all but a small portion of sky, 
the low moaning of the wind is uninterrupted, except 
by the distant voice of the Tarabugio, (Bittern,) which 
sounds shrill over the dead water, or the continual 
croaking of the Passera di Padule, which then remains 
obstinately hidden. It has a voice similar to the 
Uena esculenta, (frog,) but it is even more sonorous." 

Count Miihle, in his "Beitraege zur Ornithologie 
Griechlands," says, "Emberiza pyrrhuloides is considered 
to be a distinct species from E. schceniculus. All the 
proportions are larger and stronger, the head much 
thicker and longer, the beak peculiarly arched, unlike 
that of any other species, the colouring of the plumage 
is much brighter, and in broader masses, the black on 



MARSH BUNTING. o3 

the head and breast much deeper. It breeds in the 
impenetrable reed beds, coming when they are green. 
When the swamps are swollen it is not to be got at, 
but later it arrives on the borders of these swamps, 
and then it is to be discovered by its contrast with 
the blood-colour of the club reed. It is very lively; 
the male clings to the joints of reeds, and utters, like 
Salicaria turdoides, its crisp song. It is not so plen- 
tiful as E. schceniculus , and goes away earlier." 

Enough has, I think, been said to prove the specific 
distinction of this bird. Of its nidification Dcgland 
tells us: — "It nests on the edges of marshes, among 
rushes, between the roots of aquatic plants. Its nest 
is composed exteriorly of the filaments of vegetables, 
dry plants, and is lined with horse-hair. Its eggs, in 
number from four to five, are of a dull white, dis- 
tinctly marbled with brown, (according to Temminck,) 
or (according to Crespon) of a white, shaded into 
greyish, and marked with a multitude of small broAvn 
spots, most numerous at the larger end." 

"In manners and habits the Marsh Bunting differs 
but little from the Reed Bunting. Its note, according 
to Crespon, is briefer and stronger. The same author 
remarks that it breaks the stems of the reeds to eat 
the pith, and that it also feeds on insects." 

The following is Savi's description: — The male in 
breeding plumage has the beak thick, compressed 
laterally, curved above and below, obtuse at the point, 
and of a black colour. It rather resembles a Sparrow's 
beak, but is shorter. Head, neck, throat, and middle 
part of breast black; there is a large white band be- 
ginning at the angle of the beak, and uniting itself 
with the white of the flanks and abdomen. Scapularies 
black, broadly margined with fulvous chesnut; the rest 



34 MARSH BUNTING. 

of tlie upper feathers ashy black, margined with 
chesnut. Flanks and abdomen white; upon the flanks 
longitudinal spots of obscure black. Primaries black, 
margined with chesnut, the lesser wing coverts having 
a broader margin of fulvous chesnut; under wing 
coverts white. The first tail feather white, with a 
large black wedge-shaped spot on the inner web at 
the base, and a smaller one at the tip; the second 
tail feather black, with a white wedge-shaped spot at 
the tip on the inner side; the other tail feathers black; 
the two middle feathers edged with brownish yellow. 
Feet rather robust, and obscurely black; claws black. 

In 'autumn the adult male has the feathers of the 
head, throat, neck, and middle part of chest black, 
shaded off to the point. The white feathers of the 
neck become so shaded towards the tip, as almost t 
obscure the white. All the upper feathers have a bay 
margin, more extended, terminating in brownish yellow. 

The female has the vertex, sides of the head, and 
neck of an obscure chesnut colour, with black spots; 
nape, back, and wings dark brown; a brown band on 
the checks terminates near the ear, the region of which 
is covered by a nearly black spot; throat and neck 
white, shaded with russet; from the angle of inferior 
mandible there is a mottled black band extending to 
the chest; chest and flanks white, shaded with russet, 
and covered with long obscure spots. 

My figure is that of a young male, kindly sent me 
by Mr. Gould. 

This bird has also been figured by Stor, IJccelli Tav., 
336, (a good figure of male;) by lloux, Ornith. Prov., 
pi. 114, male in autumn, fig. 2, head of female; Ch. 
Bonaparte, Faun. Ital., pi. 35, f. 1, male in spring, f. 2, 
female, f. 3, young; Gould, B. of E., pi. 184. 




PINE BUNTING. 



GKANIVORtE. 

Family FBINGILLIDJE. f Bonaparte. J 

Genus Emberiza. (Linnceus.) 

PINE BUNTING. 



Emberiza pityornis. 



Emberiza pityornis, 



" sco tat a, 

Passer esclavonicus, 
JEmberiza Bonapartii, 
Bruant a couronne lactee, 
Fichtenammer, 



Pallas. Itee, 1776. 
G-melin, Syst., 1788. 
Latham; Ind., 1790, et Syn., iii, 

p. 203, et p. 256, (as Dalmatian 

Sparrow.) 
Temminck; Man., 2nd. ed., 1820. 
Bonaparte; Birds, 1838. 
Keyserling et Blasitjs; Die 

Wirbelt: 1840. 
Schinz ; Eur. Faun. 1840. 
Schlegel; Eevue, 1844. 
Bonaparte; Eevue et Mag. de 

Zool., April, 1857. 
Brisson, 1760. Degland, 1849. 
Barthelemy. 
Of the French. 
Of the Germans. 



Specific Characters. — Bump, throat, and cheeks dark russet; 
top of the head, and distal half of the two lateral tail feathers 
white; the first four primaries of equal length. Length seven 
inches: carpus to tip three inches and a half; tail three inches 
and a half; beak from gape half an inch, breadth at base three- 
twentieths of an inch; tarsus four-fifths of an inch. 



36 PINE BUNTING. 

The Pine Bunting is an inhabitant of Siberia, ranging 
thence to Turkey, being found occasionally on the 
shores of the Caspian Sea. Temminck says it is found 
during the winter in Hungary and Bohemia, and ac- 
cidentally in Austria and the Illyrian provinces. Its 
real home is in the north and west of Asia, its 
occurrence in eastern Europe being considered accidental 
by most of our modern ornithologists. That it has, 
however, a real claim to a place in the European 
fauna, seems, I think, settled by the paper of Prince 
C. Bonaparte, in the "Revue et Magasin de Zoologie" 
for April, 1857, in which he describes a young male 
which was killed in the neighbourhood of Brescia, in 
Lombardy, and sent to him by M. Parzadaki, under 
the name of Emberiza scotata. This bird is described 
in the above paper under the name of Buscarla pity- 
ornis, and figured in the same number of the "Revue" 
as Emberiza scotata. 

Count Miihle says that he has often seen the female 
and young in Roumelia in the early autumn. jNTaumann 
("Naturgcschichte der Vogel Deutschlands") says the 
Pine Bunting is found in Siberia, where, from the 
Ural Mountains to the River Lena it is very common. 
"It also comes into the southern provinces of European 
Russia, into Turkey in winter, and, rarely, into Bohe- 
mia, but is never found in the middle or north of 
Germany. It loves rocky places, but not the mountains 
themselves, frequenting more the valleys between them. 
There it must be sought for near the water, on the 
banks of brooks, rivers, and lakes, where it lives among 
the sedges and low bushes. It derives its name from 
the pine woods of Siberia. It remains only a short 
time in the woods, like the Rccd Bunting in our 
timber woods." 



TINE BUXTING. 87 

The Pine Bunting is a cheerful lively bird, with a 
note similar to the other members of its family. In 
its habits, it resembles the Reed Bunting. It feeds on 
insects, and seeds of some of the mountain plants, and 
probably also on those of the reed and other water 
plants; in winter on oats, millet, etc. Of its nidification 
I am sorry to say I can add nothing. 

The male has the top of the head white, bordered 
with black, which is also the colour of the forehead; 
a band extending from the base of the beak beneath 
the eyes, a demi collar round the front of the neck, 
the centre of the abdomen, the distal half of each 
lateral tail feather, and under wing and tail coverts, 
white. Scapularies and upper wing coverts chcsnut 
brown, with longitudinal patches of black; rump russet; 
tail above dark brown. Primaries dark brown, edged 
externally with white; tertials dark brown, deeply bor- 
dered with russet; cheeks and throat deep chesnut; 
crop and flanks mottled with same colour of a lighter 
tint; wings and tail below brown; beak brown above, 
yellowish beneath; tarsi yellow; iris brown. 

In the female, according to Degland, the white 
mark on the top of the head is only slightly indicated; 
there is no russet on the throat; the upper parts are 
of a brown russet, inferior whitish; wings and tail as 
in the male. 

The young male is thus described by Prince Charles 
Bonaparte, in the "Revue et Magasin de Zoologie" for 
April, 1857:— "The top of the head, the auditory 
region, and the shoulders, bright bay; the feathers on 
the top of the head blackish in the middle, and the 
ears are edged with the same colour in an undecided 
manner. The large superciliary feathers and the 
moustache, which are spread out at the end, and so 



38 PINE BUNTING. 

nearly uniting as to form almost a circle round the 
entire cheek, are of a whitish colour, slightly tinted 
with an isabelle rose; immediately below the beak 
proceeds, as if to extend itself to the beginning of the 
chest, a long pyriform band of an elegant orange rose- 
colour, which is rarely seen in nature, and which is 
of the same tint as the Anthus riifigularis ; this band 
is completely surrounded by a black border, which is 
spread out on the sides of the neck; the upper part 
of the neck and the rump are of a nearly pure ash- 
colour; the back is variegated with black, bay-coloured, 
and whitish spots; the under parts are whitish, with 
large brownish longitudinal wedge-shaped spots; the 
lesser and greater wing coverts are, as well as the ter- 
tiary feathers, black, with reel and white external 
edges; the primaries, of which the first is about the 
same size as the fifth, are brown, unicolorous, with a 
slight edging of white at the tip. The tail is slightly 
notched; the two middle feathers, short and very 
pointed, are black along the shaft, and the first is 
edged with reddish grey, the two following on each 
side are quite black, and the two external feathers have 
a large white cuneiform spot, much more extended 
upon the last feather, of which the very narrow outer 
plumes are white, and which has ashy brown grey on 
the shaft, and a large spot on the tip." 

"It is well known that this Emberiza is also the E. 
passerina, Messerschmitd; E. albida, Blyth; E. leuco- 
cephala et Dalmatica, Gmelin, and Sclavonica, Degland. 
It is probably an older species which M. Barthelemy, 
of Pomerania, has called after me, E. Bonapartii." 

My figure is from a specimen kindly sent me by 
Mr. Gould. 

It has also been figured by S. G. Gmelin, Nov. Comm. 



PINE BUNTING. 39 

Acad. Petrop., pi. 23, fig. 3; Lepechin, Ibid, pi. 25, 
fig. 2; Gould, B. of E. pi. 104; Bonaparte, in Bevue 
de Zoologie, for April, 1857, (young male.) 



40 



GRANIVORJE. 

Family FBINGILLIDJE. (Bonaparte. J 

Genus Embeejza. (Linnceus.) 

CEETZSCHMAEE'S BUNTING. 

Emberiza ccesia. 

Fmheriza ccesia, Cretzschmaer; in Biippell's Atlas, 

(Vogcl,) pi. 10, B. 
Temminck, 1835. 
Keyserling et Blasius; Lie 

Wirbelt: 1840. 
Sciitnz; Europ. Faun., 1840. 
Schlegel; Revue, 1844. 
Degland; 1849. 
" liortulanus, Blasius ; in Lit. 

Fringillaria ccesia, Bonaparte ; Consp. Av. Eur., 1850. 

Bruant cenclrillard, Of the French. 

Graukopfiger Ammer, Of the Germans. 

Specific Characters. — Beak brown above, reddish below; rump 
russet grey; head, nape, and crop slate grey. First three pri- 
maries of nearly equal length, and considerably longer than the 
fourth. Primaries fringed on their outer web with russet grey. 
Length five inches and three-quarters; carpus to tip three inches 
and three-tenths; beat two-fifths of an inch; tail three inches; 
tarsus seven-tenths of an inch. 

Cretzschmaeh's Bunting, so called from the name 
of its first artist in Ruppell's Atlas of the birds ob- 




CRETZSCKMAER'S BDN1 



cretzschmaer's bunting. 41 

served in the North African journey of that distinguished 
naturalist, is found in the south of Europe, and is a 
regular summer visitant into Greece, appearing there, 
according to Count Muhle, early in April, and leaving 
in August. Its principal home is in Syria, Nubia, 
and Egypt. Temminck suggests that it would probably 
be found more common in the south of Europe, but 
that its similarity to E. cia causes it to be frequently 
mistaken for that bird. Its capture near Vienna, in 
1827, is also recorded by this naturalist, and M. 
Roux states that it is found in Provence, in company 
with E. cia. It has also been killed in the neigh- 
bourhood of Marseilles by M. Busonnier, as recorded 
by Dcgland. 

Count Muhle says that it is the most common 
Bunting in Greece. "After its arrival in April it is 
found in flocks among the wild and rocky hills of the 
country, in company with S. stapazina, Surnia noctua, 
and Turdus cyanus. It is seldom found in fields or 
among bushes. It hops among the rocks with great 
i ""ility, and its song is much more refined than that of 
the Ortolan. This bird (the Ortolan) first appears 
plentifully when E. ccesia has been gone some time, 
and is never found in the same localities, preferring 
bushy fields." 

"E. ccesia builds its nest, which is like that of the 
Yellowhammer, but smaller, behind blocks of stone in 
a sage plant, off the ground. It lays four to six 
eggs, which are grey blue, sprinkled with liver-coloured 
spots. It feeds its young with ground beetles and the 
caterpillars which it finds among the flowers of the 
sage." 

Of this bird in Palestine Mr. Tristram remarks, (Ibis, 
vol. i, p. 34): — "One of the most common birds of the 



42 cretzschmaek's bunting. 

more fertile districts of Palestine. Perched on the topmost 
bough of a shrub or tree, it continues its monotonous 
song through the day, and is to be seen on almost 
every bush. In its habits and actions it is very dif- 
ferent from its Algerian congener, Ember^iza Saharce, 
which it so nearly resembles in form and plumage, 
avoiding buildings, and not, as far as I am aware, 
perching on stones or walls. Its nest is placed near 
the ground, in a low bush." 

As there is a considerable difference in the above 
two descriptions, I wrote to Mr. Tristram, who oblig- 
ingly forwarded me the following explanation: — "I can 
only account for the discrepancy in the two histories, 
by the difference in the time of year. I was only in 
the Morea in winter, and in the north of Greece late 
in the spring, and I did not observe E. ccesia, so far 
as I recollect; but neither did I notice it in Palestine 
in the corn-fields, where we saw the Ortolan consorting 
with the Common Bunting and the Larks, but in the 
hill country of Judaea. It abounds in the olive-clad 
valleys and ravines to the west of Jerusalem, and I 
was struck by its habit of always perching on the 
bushes and shrubs, both on the uncultivated hills and 
about gardens. Probably when Count Muhle saw them 
they had not paired; when I fell in with them they 
were building. E. ccesia is, I should say, the commonest 
Bunting in Palestine." 

Professor Blasius, of Brunswick, in a private letter 
to me, places E. ccesia as a variety of E. hortulanus. 

The adult male in breeding plumage has the top of 
the head and a broad collar round the neck bluish 
grey; all the upper parts from the nape varied with 
dark brown and russet; throat, chest, and abdomen 
russet; primaries and tail feathers dark brown, bordered 



cretzschmaer's bunting. 43 

with russet; two outer tail feathers with a large white 
patch on the inner web of their distal extremities; beak, 
tarsi, and feet reddish brown. 

The female has, according to Degland, all the upper 
parts varied with brown and russet, having a strong- 
resemblance to the female Ortolan in breeding attire; 
the inferior parts and under tail coverts russet, with 
brown striae on the crop and chest. 

Temminck says that the male and female in autumn 
have the colours less pure, with small striae on the 
grey of head and neck; the feathers of the crop bor- 
dered with brown, and the russet red of the throat 
less pure. 

My figure and description are taken from a male 
specimen kindly sent me by Mr. Tristram, marked 
"Emmaus, Judaea, March 25th., 1858." 

It has also been figured by Roux, as a variety of 
the Meadow Bunting, in his Ornith. Prov. Atlas, pi. 
112, (male;) by Cretzschmaer, in Ruppell's Atlas, pi. 
10, fig. 6, (male in breeding plumage;) and by Gould, 
B. of E., pi. 181. 



44 



GRANIVORJE. 

Family FRINGILLIBJE. (Bonaparte.) 

Genus Embekjza. (Linnceus.) 

STEIOL ATED B UNTING. 

Emheriza striolata. 

Fmberiza striolata, Euppell; Atlas, (Vogel,) pi. 10, a. 

Temminck; Man., p. 640, 1S20. 

Keyseeling et Blasitjs; Die 
Wirbelt: 1840. 

Scheegel, 1844. Degland, 1849. 
Fringillaria striolata, Ltchtenstein; Cat. des doub. du 

Cabinet de Berlin, 1823. 

Bonapaete; Consp Av. Europ. 1850. 
Bruant Striole, Or the French, 

Gestreifter Amvner, Of the G-eemans. 

Specific Characters. — No white mark on either of the two 
outside tail feathers. Bump and outer edge of primaries russet; 
first and fourth primaries of equal length, and shorter than the 
second and third, fifth shorter than first or second. Length five 
inches and a half; carpus to tip three inches; beak two-fifths 
of an inch; tarsus three-fifths of an inch; tail two inches and 
three-quarters. 

The Striolated Bunting, one of the smallest in the 
family, is an inhabitant of Africa. It was found by 
Ruppell in Egypt, and figured in his Atlas by 




3TRI0LATBD BUNTING. 



STB.IOLATED BUNTING. 45 

Cretzschmaer. Its European localities are Spain, in 
the Andalusian provinces of which country it is said 
by Temminck to be common. Bonaparte gives Lusi- 
tania as a locality. 

In the "Revue de Zoologie," for March, 1857, it 
is placed by M. De Selys-Longchamps in the list of 
those birds admitted into the European fauna without 
sufficient authority. Temminck, however, says of it, — 
"Inhabits Andalusia, where it is sufficiently common, 
and perhaps also in other parts of southern Europe, 
which is the more probable since E. ccesia has been 
found in Greece, where it is very plentiful. The Strio- 
lated Bunting is found in winter on the coast of Bar- 
bary, and has been brought from Egypt by Ehrenberg 
and Riippell; it also appears in winter in the neigh- 
bourhood of Abukol and Schendi. It lives among the 
bushes." 

On the whole, I only admit this bird into my work 
provisionally, and as a doubtful European species, for 
whose accidental appearance we are more indebted to 
the proximity of the Spanish and African frontiers, than 
to any indigenous claim it can set up. If it should 
wander, however, and become settled in Europe, I hope 
that its likeness may be recognised from the figure 
which I give, and which is taken from a male specimen 
sent me by Mr. Tristram, marked "Nubia." 

The adult male has the head, the cheeks, nape, and 
breast of a pure slate grey, marked with longitudinal 
spots of black; above the eyes, and from the angle of 
the jaw, and base of lower mandible proceed three 
white bands; scapularies, wing coverts, and rump lively 
russet red; primaries and outer tail feathers dark brown, 
edged with russet; middle tail feathers entirely dark 
brown; abdomen, flanks, and under wing coverts light 



46 STRIOLATED BUNTING. 

russet; upper mandible and iris brown; inferior man- 
dible and feet yellow. 

The female and young, according to Temminck, 
have the head and neck of a grey russet, marked with 
brown stria?, more or less deeply shaded; all the other 
parts as in the male, but the colours less lively and 
pure. 

Figured by Cretzschmaer, in Eiippell's Atlas of 
African Birds, pi. 10, a. 



GRANIVGPwE. 

Family FRINGILLIDJE. (Bonaparte.) 

Genus Embeiuza. (Linnceits.) 

MEADOW BUNTING. 

Emberiza cia. 

Emleriza cia, LinNjEtts, S. 1ST., and Authors. 

" pratensir, Brisson, Ornith., vol. iii, p. 266, 
1760. 

" lotharingica, GmeliN; Syst., 1788. 

" harbata, Scopoli. 

Cirlus stiiltus, Aldrovandtts; Ornith, vol. ii, p. 858. 

Bruant fou on de fris, Of the French. 

Zipammer, Of the Germans. 

Zigolo Muciatto, Savi. 

Ortolan de Lorraine, Buffon. 

Foolish and Lorrain Hunting, Latham. 

Specific Characters. — Head grey, longitudinally marked with, 
black; rump russet red; primaries edged on the outside with 
grey, first and sixth of equal length, and considerably shorter 
than the second, third, fourth, and fifth, which are nearly of 
the same length, the third • being the longest in the wing. 
Length six inches and a fifth; carpus to tip three inches and 
a fifth; beak half an inch; tarsus four-fifths of an inch; tail 
three inches and a fifth. 

The Meadow Bunting is an inhabitant of a great 
part of the south of Europe, more especially Italy, 



48 MEADOW BUNTING. 

Spain, and the shores and islands of the Mediterranean. 
It occurs in the south of Germany, as far as the 
Rhine. It is stationary in some parts of Provence, 
and migratory in others: it is also a bird of passage 
in Lorraine. It is plentiful in Greece during the 
winter months, in which season it is mentioned by 
Mr. Carte as common in the Crimea, and by the 
Honourable Mr. Powys ("Ibis," vol. if, p. 138,) as 
resident, but not abundant, in Corfu. It does not 
appear to have been found in the north of Germany; 
and Temminck says it does not occur in Holland. 
Dubois informs us that it is occasionally found in 
Austria and Bavaria, and is very rare in Belgium. It 
is a bird of passage in Switzerland. It ranges through 
a great part of Asia — Syria, Arabia, and the Daouria; 
and is mentioned by Mr. Tristram among the birds of 
North Africa, ("Ibis," vol. i, p. 295.) 

Of its habits Nanmann has given us the best des- 
cription, and I am principally indebted to him for 
the following history: — The Meadow Bunting appears 
in Central Germany in March and April, and leaves 
in October or beginning of November, after which a 
solitary bird only is to be found. In Switzerland it 
is much rarer than the Cirl Bunting. It likes to live 
in mountainous places, not, however, in the wild and 
deserted parts, but among the fertile valleys. Sometimes 
it seeks out meadows, and is found among the bushes 
bordering woods, and it especially loves those "places 
which are near cultivated fields and gardens. It also 
frequents the neighbourhood of water, and lingers about 
the banks of brooks and ditches, where it sits among 
the thickest bushes, and is often seen on the ground. 

It is a lively restless bird, pecking and fighting 
with other birds, as well as with the members of its 



MEADOW BUNTING. 49 

own family. Its motion on the ground is heavy, and 
it has a quick, wavy, or jerking flight. Its habits 
altogether are very similar to those of the Yellowhammer. 

Its call-note is a short sharp f zi-zi-zi,' which some- 
times sounds like 'zip,' and hence its German name. 
The song of the male is very similar to that of the 
Yellowhammer, but shorter and clearer. Bechstein 
expresses its note as f zi-zi-zi-zirr-zirr,' others as 'zip- 
zip-zip-zai-zip-zip-zip-zi.' It is a diligent songster, and 
often sits upon the top of a rather low tree or bush. 
When kept in confinement the Meadow Bunting is 
sometimes heard to sing at night. It is a pleasant 
bird in a room, and soon becomes very domestic, and 
may be kept for several years. Bechstein had a pair 
which he kept for several years. They are very affec- 
tionate to each other, and live sociably with different 
birds in confinement, preferring the Yellowhammer. 

The Meadow Bunting feeds upon insects, grass seeds, 
oats, and millet seeds. It will also eat hemp and 
poppy seed, and in confinement become quite content 
and healthy upon this food, with the addition of a 
little bread soaked in milk; as a treat nothing is so 
welcome as ants' eggs or a mealworm. 

Naumann further remarks that they breed certainly 
in Germany, in Austria more frequently, but in Italy 
plentifully. The nest he describes as like that of the 
Yellowhammer, and the eggs similar to those of that 
bird, but they may be readily distinguished from both 
it and every other Bunting. They are roundish, short, 
and oval; dirty or greyish white, with many reddish 
and rust-brown streaks and hairs marked upon them. 
There are also shorter streaks, which the other Bun- 
tings have not. Brehm, in his description of the egg 
in Biideker's work upon European eggs, says, "It 



50 MEADOW BUNTING. 

prefers high meadows, where it is found among the 
short bushes in the neighbourhood of vineyards. It 
does not often build on the Rhine. Its nest is placed 
among the crevices of the artificial fences which sur- 
round the mountain vineyards, and generally contains 
four eggs, which have a grey whitish ground; shewing 
through it, broAvn, black, and grey lines, which often 
form a zone round the middle of the egg. These 
lines are connected together and form peculiar markings, 
by which they can be readily distinguished from any of 
the varieties of the Yellowhammer. Rarely they are 
marked with points, or round spots placed solitarily. 
They breed twice. The young birds are similar to 
those of the Yellowhammer, and, like them, are fre- 
quently bred in confinement." 

Savi says it is doubtful if they breed in Tuscany, 
but they do so freely in the ultramontane countries. 
Their nest, which is placed in low bushes, is made of 
moss externally, and with root filaments and wool in- 
ternally. Eggs four or five, with irregular zigzag lines 
and spots of black or dark violet-colour. 

Count Miihle's description, in his "Grecian Orni- 
thology," of the habits and plumage of E. cia, is 
evidently taken from another species. He himself sug- 
gests the E. fucata of Pallas, with which his description 
to a certain extent agrees. He says the bird which 
he describes as E. cia is "neither confiding nor stupid, 
bat shy, and knows how to escape the ambush of the 
hunter very skilfully. It flies up quickly, and runs 
along the goat-paths as quickly as a Lark.'''' This 
certainly is not the habit of the Foolish Bunting. 
Moreover, he remarks, "the first primary is quite as 
long as the fifth, and much longer than the sixth;" 
which measurements are quite different from those of 



MEADOW BUNTING. 51 

E. cia, as will be seen by reference to my specific 
diagnosis of that bird. 

Naumann concludes his account of the Meadow 
Bunting thus:— "The Zipammer, from its confiding 
nature is easily shot. They may be drawn in flocks 
by the Yellowhammer, as a decoy, and thus be cap- 
tured in great numbers, so that in France they have 
received the name of Fool. They are very good eating; 
they rejoice us with their song, destroy pernicious 
insects, and do no damage." 

The adult male in its breeding plumage has the 
head and neck bluish grey, with two black bands 
along the sides of the vertex, and two other narrower 
bands of the same colour, one of which passes through 
the line of the eye, and the other forming a moustache; 
these lines unite in the parotid region. The upper 
parts are bright russet, varied by longitudinal black 
stria?; rump chesnut red; the throat is white; neck 
and chest delicate bluish grey; the rest of the under 
parts are russet red, brighter on the sides of the chest 
and flanks. Wings marked with two narrow whitish 
bands; wing coverts colour of the back; primaries 
blackish, bordered with russet; tail black, with the 
middle feathers bordered with russet, and the two 
most external marked with a large white patch on the 
internal webs. Beak blackish above, grey below; feet 
and iris brown. 

The female has the head, nape of the neck, and 
body varied with russet and black; rump and under 
tail coverts bright russet; inferior parts russet red, 
with the throat whitish; front of the neck and chest 
shaded with dull grey, and spotted with brown; flanks 
of a deeper russet, and more or less spotted with 
russet brown. 



52 MEADOW BUNTING. 

The young before the first moult differ considerably 
from the adult. Top of the head and nape grey, with 
a black streak in the middle of each feather; upper 
parts of the body and wings varied like the female, 
but of a more grey russet; under tail coverts russet, 
with longitudinal spots of black; throat, front and sides 
of neck, and top of the chest grey, marked with black 
spots; the rest of chest and abdomen white, lightly 
washed with russet. — (Degland.) 

My figures of the bird and its egg are from specimens 
sent me by Mr. Tristram; the former is marked "Ksour, 
Jan. 28th., 1857," and is therefore in its winter plumage. 
The egg was from a nest of four, taken by Mr. Tristram 
near Algiers, 1858. 

The bird has also been figured by Buffon, pi. enl. 3, 
fig. 2, female or young under the name of Bruant de 
pres de France, and 511, fig. 1, male in breeding 
plumage, under the name of V Ortolan de Lorraine; 
Naumann, Naturg. Neue Ausg., pi. 104, figs. 1 and 2; 
Vieillot, Faun. France, p. 94, figs. 2 and 3; Roux, 
Ornith. Prov., pi. Ill and 112, male and female, but 
the figure marked a variety in pi. 112, is a male of E. 
ccesia; Bouteil, Ornith. du Dauph., pi. 32, fig. 6; Gould, 
13. of E., pi. 179. 



-53 



GRANIVOR^E. 

Family FRINGILLIDJE. (Bonaparte.) 

Genus Emberiza. (IAnrkeus.) 

RUSTIC BUNTING. 

Emberiza rustica. 



Emberiza rusiica, 



lesbia, 



" borealis, 

Hy-pocentor rusticus, 
Bruant rustique, 
Feldammer, 
Zigolo di Mitilene, 



Pallas; Voy., vol. iii, p. 698, 1776. 
Latham; Ind., vol. i, p. 413. 
Temminck, 1820. Bonaparte. 

ScHINZ. SCHLEGEL. DeGLAND. 

Calvi; Catal. d' Ornitli. di Geneva, 

p. 46. 
Savi; Ornitli. Tosc, vol. iii, p. 223. 
Zettebstedt; Resa i Lappm, voL 

i, p. 107. 
Cabanis. 

Of the French. 
Of the Germans. 
Savi. 



Le Mitilene de Provence, Buffon. 



Specific Characters. — Region of the rump russet; primaries 
bordered with russet, the first longer or as long as the third, 
the fourth shorter than the third; a large elongated white spot 
on the two external tail feathers; beak straight, awl-shaped, and 
slightly elevated at the point. Length nearly five inches and 
twx)-fifths. — Pegland. 



54 RUSTIC B VOTING. 

There has been some confusion among the synonymes 
of this bird. Bonaparte has made three species, namely, 
— E. rustica, Pallas, E. lesbia, Gmelin, and E. provin- 
cialis, Gmelin. Schlegel makes only two of the three, 
namely, — E. rustica and E. fucata, including among the 
synonymes of the latter, both E. lesbia and E. provin- 
cialis, and in a note, page 83, he remarks, — "This 
pretty species differs from E. rustica, by the beak, 
which is more curved, and the feet, which are more 
robust: the beak of E. rustica is straight and awl- 
shaped, absolutely like that of E. pusilla. In winter, 
and when they are young, E. fucata and E. rustica 
resemble each other very much in the plumage." Gould 
figures E. lesbia and E. rustica. Temminck describes 
E. rustica, but he also introduces E. lesbia as the 
Mitilene de Provence of Buffon, and E. provincialis as 
the Bruant Gavoue of Buffon. Degland follows Schlegel. 

It appears that amidst all this confusion there are 
two species as described by Schlegel, namely, E. 
rustica and E. fucata, but that there is really no au- 
thority for the introduction of the latter bird into the 
European list. To clear up the matter, I placed 
myself in communication with the best ornithologists in 
Europe, and I will here insert at length a letter with 
which I have been kindly favoured by Professor Blasius, 
of Brunswick, whose great knowledge of European birds 
gives a high value to his opinion upon the subject. 

"Brunswick, Jan. 12th., 1861. 

"Sir, — It seems to me that confusion among the 
species of the genus Emberiza is greater than in any 
other family of Passerines. The distinct species which 
are known to me as European, are as follow : — • 

1. — Emberiza striolata, Lichtenstein. In Africa, ac- 



RUSTIC BUNTING. 55 

cidentally in Spain. One individual, from the south of 
France, is in the collection at Vienna. 

2. — E. miliaria, Europe, E. Caspia, Menetries. From 
the original types at St. Petersburgh. 

o. — E. melanocepliala, Scopoli. Southern Europe. 
? E. granitivora, Menetries. From the original type 
at St. Petersburgh. $ Euspiza dolychonica, Bonaparte. 
From the original drawings of Bonaparte. N.B. — E. 
icterina, Eversmann. Asia. Bonaparte gives this as 
European without adducing any proof. 

4. — E. aureola, Pallas. North of Europe — North of 
Russia. 

5. — E. citrinella, Linnaeus. Europe. 

6. — E. cirlus, Linnaeus. South of Europe. 

7. — E. hortulanus, Linnaeus. Europe, (b,) Southern 
Pussia E. ccesia, Cretzschmaer. 

8. — E. chrysoplirys, Pallas. Northern Asia. Acci- 
dentally at Lisle. 

9. — E. cia, Linnaeus. South of Europe. (Z>,) Eastern 
Russia E. cioides, Brandt ; E. ciopsis, Bonaparte. N.B. 
— Bonaparte gives this variety of E. cia as European, 
without producing any proof. 

10. — E. rustica, Pallas. North of Pussia, and Boreal 
Asia. E. borealis, Zetterstedt; E. lesbia, Calvi and 
Savi; Mytilene de Provence, Buffon, pi. enl. 

11. — E. pusilla, Pallas. Boreal Pussia and Asia. 

12. — E. pityornus, Pallas. Asia. Accidentally in 
East of Europe — Greece. 

lo. — E. schceniculus , Linnaeus. Europe. E. Pallasii, 
Cabanis, original type; E. intermedia, Michahelles; E. 
provincialis , Gmelin, Bonaparte; Gavoue de Provence, 
Buffon, pi. enl. (b,) E. pyrrliuloides, Pallas. South of 
Europe. E. palustris, Savi. 

The two species, E. rustica, Pallas, and E. pusilla> 



56 RUSTIC BUNTING. 

Pallas, are perfectly distinct and unmistakeable. They 
both live and nest in the forests of Northern Russia, 
for instance, in the neighbourhood of Archangel. E. 
rustica is also found in Lapland. There are correct 
figures of the two species in the Appendix to Naumann, 
'Vogel Deutschlands,' vol. xiii, pi. 388. These figures 
were taken from individuals which I killed myself in 
the north of Russia, in the neighbourhood of Nidjing- 
Wiliki; the two species have also been taken in the 
Island of Heligoland, and in the middle of Germany. 

It is very difficult to interpret correctly Buffon's 
figures, pi. enl. 656, figs. 1 and 2. Le Gavoue de 
Provence, p. enl. 656, fig. 1, has the beak, and is nearly 
of the same colour as E. schceniculus tar. intermedia, 
Michahelles; but the figure is the type of E. provin- 
cialis, Gmelin, and is also the E. durrazzi, Bonaparte, 
that is to say E. sclicenicidus , Linnseus. I think that 
is all that can be said of this question, nearly lost to 
European ornithology. 

La Mitilene de Provence is perhaps, and will pro- 
bably be (est peui etre et elle sera probablemcnt ) an 
imperfect representation of E. rustica, Pall $ (Buffon, 
pi. enl. 656, fig. 2.) The form and contour of the 
beak, and the colour of the plumage, are characteristic 
of E. rustica; but Temminck's description, Man. d'Orn., 
iii, p. 235, is perhaps a phantom of E. fucata, Pallas. 
This is the reason why E. fucata has been considered 
a European species, but it is a very uncertain suppo- 
sition, and a presumption made upon insufficient data. 
I think it possible that Temminck wrote his description 
of E. lesbia, Man., i, p. 317, from Buffon's figure. 

The two species, E. rustica and pusilla, Pallas, live 
regularly in the north of Russia, and they have been 
taken many times in Central Europe; but E. fucata. 



RUSTIC BUNTING. 57 

Pallas, lias never been taken with certainty in Europe. 

Accept the assurance, etc., etc., 
C. R. Bree, Esq., M.D. J. H. Blasius." 

I think it will be allowed that the above letter 
from so good an authority, clears up much of the 
confusion which has been occasioned in the natural 
history of the Eurorean Buntings, by mistaking slight 
differences of plumage for specific distinctions. 

From Dr. Schlegel, of Leyden, I have also received 
along letter, from which I make the following extract: 
— "The question of the synonymes of the Asiatic Em- 
beriza killed in Europe is a very difficult one. I think 
it is almost impossible to state which species are meant 
by Buffon, but I believe that all the Asiatic Emberizce 
caught in Southern Europe belong either to rustica or 
pusilla, two species breeding as you know in Northern 
Russia, and visiting in small numbers the east of Europe. 

Emberiza fucata I believe now has never yet been 
observed in Europe: it is a species of Eastern Siberia 
and Japan, and very well characterized by its long 
Lark-like claws. I am also quite sure that the female 
and young of E. Schceniculus have often been confounded 
with one or the other of those species, although easily 
distinguished by its longer tail." 

The Rustic Bunting is, as has been stated in the 
above letter, an inhabitant of Northern Russia. It is 
mentioned by MiddendorfF as occurring in Siberia, and 
Temminck states that it has been observed in the 
Crimea. It has also been taken accidentally near 
Marseilles, one individual having been captured there 
alive, and kept in a cage for two years, by M. 
Barthelemy, the curator of the museum of natural 
history in that town. This gentleman, as quoted by 



58 RUSTIC BUNTING. 

M. Crespon, informs tis that it is in its disposition 
lively and gay, that its cry resembles that of its 
congeners, c zir-zir,' and that its song, which it kept 
up in 1838, from April to the end of October, had 
some resemblance to that of the Fauvette a tete noire. 
Its plumage became rather paler at the autumn moult. 

It was fed upon millet and hemp seed. 

In Badeker's work I find the following notice: — "It 
is a north-dwelling bird, which comes plentifully into 
Siberia, and rarely into Lapland, and builds in bushes. 
Its nest is similar to that of the Reed Bunting. It 
lays five eggs, which are somewhat smaller than those 
of the Heed Bunting. The ground colour is brownish 
grey, with violet grey spots, veined, and streaked, and 
clouded with chesnut brown." 

"The male in breeding plumage," according to Deg- 
land, whose descriptions are always accurate, "has the 
top of the head black, with a longitudinal band of russet 
white upon the median line, which terminates at the 
occiput in a small white spot; nape red russet; back, 
scapularies, and upper tail coverts, marked with black 
spots, which are edged with reddish russet; throat, front 
of neck, and middle and lower part of abdomen of a 
pure white; this colour is surrounded on the neck by 
a blackish streak, and a large collar of red russet, which 
embraces the upper part of the chest; flanks with long 
spots of the same colour; under tail coverts white, with 
some brownish spots; large superciliary band of pure 
white, which is lost in the white spot on the occiput; 
wings like the scapularies, and barred with white; tail 
brown black, with the two median quills bordered with 
russet, and the two outermost on each side marked in 
their length with a white band, the smallest on the 
second." 



RUSTIC BUNTING. 59 

"In autumn they should have, according to Tcmminck, 
the black feathers of the vertex edged with brown, and 
the median band of the same tint; on the sides and 
lower part of the neck is a row of small brown spots 
only." 

Pallas's description is the following: — "Head black, 
with three white bands, one in the middle of the vertex, 
the two others above the eyes in the form of eyebrows; 
neck and bend of the wing ferruginous; upper part of 
the body of a brown and russet tint; under parts white, 
with some russet spots on the neck; external tail feather 
on each side has a longitudinal and oblique white spot 
towards the tip." 

My figure is taken from Gould. The egg is from 
Badeker. 

The bird has also been figured by BufFon, pi. enl. 
656, fig. £, male; Roux, Ornith. Prov., pi. 109, fig. 1, 
young, fig. 2, adult; Naumann, Vogel Deutsch, Appen- 
dix, vol. xiii, pi. 388; Gould, Birds of Europe, pi. 177; 
Nilsspn, Faun. Laponica, pi. 131, female. 






CO 



GRANIVOPwE. 

Family FRINGILLIDJE. (Bonaparte.) 

Genus Emberiza. (Linnceus.) 

YELLOW-HEADED BUNTING. 

Emberiza aureola. 



Emberiza aureola, 
" Sibirica, 

" Selysii, 

Euspiza aureola, 
Easserina collaris, 
Hypocenter aureola, 
Eruant aureole, 
Kragenammer, 



Pallas et Attct. 

EvERSMANN. 

Verany. 
Bonaparte. 

VlEILLOT. 

Cabanis. Brehm. 
Of the French. 
Of the Germans. 



Specific Characters.— Occiput and rump rich chesnut brown; the 
first two primaries of equal length, and longer than the third; an 
elongated white mark on the inner web of outermost tail feather. 
Length five inches ; carpus to tip three inches ; tail two inches and 
a half; beak from gape two-fifths of an inch; tarsus seven-tenths 
of an inch. 



The Yellow -breasted Bunting of the Arctic Zoology 
and Latham is one of those northern species, especially 
noticed by Pallas, which have a common habitat along 
the borders of the two continents of Europe and Asia. 
It ranges from the Ural mountains to Kamtschatka, and 




YELLCW-HEADE] £ ..... 



YELLOW-HEADED BUNTING. 61 

is recorded by Temminck and Degland as having been 
seen during its migration in the Crimea. I do not, 
however, find any notice of its occurrence there by Dr. 
Carte or Captains Blakiston and Irby. Latham says it 
inhabits the pine forests of Katherinesburg, and that it 
is not met with on the poplars and willows in the islands 
of the Irtish and other rivers in Siberia. Middendorff 
notices its occurrence in his Siberische Reise; and 
Brehm, in his description of eggs in Badeker's work, 
has the following notice: — 

"This pretty little Bunting dwells among the bushes 
which overgrow the low meadow land of Siberia, from 
the Ural to Kamtschatka. It builds an half-globular 
nest away from the ground, of sedges, grasses, or rushes, 
and lines its inside with feathers and hairs. It lays 
five eggs of a very pretty short oval shape, the ground- 
work of which is greyish green, with grey and blackish 
veins, black brown bordered points, having round spots 
marked upon them." In the plate to which the notice 
refers, four varieties are figured, from which I have 
selected two. Middendorff also figures the egg. His 
drawing resembles most the lighter of the two varieties 
in my plate. 

The male has the top of the head a rich maroon, 
and the rump is of the same colour, though more mot- 
tled; back and wings are brown, shaded with longitu- 
dinal patches of a darker tint; the upper tail feathers 
are brown; those round the base of the neck and cheeks 
deep black; throat and chest canary yellow, being 
separated by a band forming a half-circle of the same 
rich maroon which marks the top of the head; abdomen 
and flanks light yellow; under tail coverts white; pri- 
maries and secondaries the same uniform brown as the 
tail; tertials darker brown, edged with rufous; the 



6£ YELLOW-HEADED BUNTING. 

outermost tail feathers only have a slight white patch 
on the inner web; beak brown above, yellow below; 
feet brown. 

According to Degland the female has the vertex and 
crop maroon; nape and mantle dull brown, with longi- 
tudinal black spots; face blackish grey; the maroon 
band on the neck very narrow; flanks shaded with 
olive, and marked with large brown spots; the feathers 
about the carpus whitish grey. 

My figure is taken from a Siberian specimen sent to 
me by the Rev. H. B. Tristram. It has also been figured 
by Gould, but the drawing represents too large a bird. 



m 



GRANIVORjE. 

Family FBINGILLIDyE. (Bonaparte.) 

Genus Emberiza. (Linnceus.) 

YELLOW-BROWED BUNTING. 

Emberiza chrysophrys. 

Emberiza chrysophrys, Pallas; Zoog. Eoss. Asiat., pi. 84, fig. 2. 

Selts; Faune Beige., pi. 4, fig. 1. 

" Degland; Tableau des Ois. du Nord de 

la France, et Cat. des Ois. observes en 

Europe; (in the Memoirs of the Society 

of Sciences, Arts, and Agriculture of 

Lille, 1831—1845.) Orn. Eur., p. 249. 

" Schlegel; Revue. 

Bonaparte ; Consp. Avium Europearum. 
Bruant a sourcils jaunes, Of the French. 
Gelbbrauiger Ammer, Of the Germans. 

Specific Characters. — A yellow superciliary band stretching be- 
yond the auditory orifices; beak straight. First primary as 
long as the fourth. Tail very much notched; the most lateral 
feather nearly white, spotted with brown only on the upper part 
of the internal web, and the under part of the external web; 
the following quill edged with white outside. Length about six 
inches. 

This bird is an inhabitant of the north-east of Asia, 
and is occasionally found in those parts of Northern 
Europe contiguous thereto. Its occurrence in Europe, 



64 Yellow-browed bunting. 

is, however, accidental. One specimen was shot in the 
neighbourhood of Lille, in France, and is preserved in 
the museum of that town. 

Of the propagation and habits of this species I am 
sorry that I cannot refer to any authentic details. 

The following description is from Degland: — "The 
male has the top of the head black, with a longitu- 
dinal white line along the middle, which mingles 
behind with a kind of half collar of the same colour; 
a large and long citron yellow band above each eye; 
upper parts of the body ferruginous brownish grey, 
darker in the middle of the feathers, which are russet 
on their borders; inferior parts grey white on the 
neck, with a kind of breast-plate on the crop of brown 
and russet feathers; the abdomen pure grey white, 
with small spots of brown at the base of the crop and 
on the flanks ; primaries brownish, bordered with russet 
outside. Tail quills brown, three-quarters of the most 
external white, with the end brown outside; the two 
next to the external have the distal half white. Beak 
and feet brownish; iris brown." 

It has been figured by Pallas, and by De Selys, in 
the Faune Beige, (1842,) vol. i, pi. 4, fig. 1. 




LITTLE BUNTING. 



G5 



GRANIVOEtE. 

Family FRINGILLIDJE. (Bonaparte.) 

Genus Emberiza. ( 'Linnceus.J 

LITTLE BUNTING. 

Emberiza pusilla. 

Emberiza pusilla, Pallas; Voy., 1776, Zoog., 42, No. 206. 

Gmelln; Syst., 1788. 

Schlegel; Kevue, 1844. 

Degland; Ornith. Eur., 1849. 

Bonapaste; Consp. Avium Eur., 1850. 
Bruant Nain, Of the Ekench. 

Ztoergammer, Oe the Germans. 

Specific Characters. — Occiput, cheeks, and part of throat fer 
ruginous, with two distinct, deep black, irregular bands, extending 
from the base of the upper mandible over each eye, to the 
nape, where they turn round, and in some specimens form a 
more or less complete collar round the neck, mingled with white 
or fawn-colour; throat more or less white, mingled with the 
ferruginous colour of the occiput and cheeks; base of the inner 
web of most external tail feather white, that of the second the 
same, but only half as wide; first and third primaries of nearly 
equal length, the second the longest in the wing. Length of 
male five inches and three-tenths; carpus to tip three inches; 
tail two inches and a half; beak two-fifths of an inch; tarsus 
seven-tenths of an inch. Female a little less. 

The Little Bunting is the last of the closely-allied 



66 



LITTLE BUNTING. 



forms which inhabit the northern parts of Russia and 
Eastern Siberia; and it will also close my list of this 
interesting genus. It lives and breeds in the neigh- 
bourhood of Archangel, and has been taken frequently, 
according to Blasius, in Central Europe. The specimen 
from which Schlegel drew his lengthened description 
in the Revue Critique, was captured in the neighbour- 
hood of Leyden, on the 18th. of November, 1842. It 
is included by Professor Blasius and Herr Gatke 
among the birds found in Heligoland. It is- said by 
Pallas to be very common in the Daouria, and is re- 
ported by Mr. P. Swinhoe, as occurring in occasional 
flocks in Amoy (China) during the winter.— (Ibis, vol. 
ii, p. 61.) 

It is hardly necessary to enter into any discussion about 
the specific identity of this bird, after the very clear 
and convincing remarks of Professor Blasius, which I 
published in the notice of E. rustica. M. De Selys- 
Longchamps expressed a doubt, in a letter to Degland, 
about the identity of Schlegel's specimen with the bird 
described by Pallas, and referred it rather to the female 
of E. fucata. Upon this Degland remarks : — "Having 
seen in the museum of Leyden, the Emberiza pusitta 
of M. Schlegel, I cannot, with my distinguished friend, 
refer it to E. fucata; it has not the same kind of 
beak. This organ, instead of being convex above, and 
a little bent, is straight and awl-shaped, pointed, and 
slightly reversed at its tip. Its plumage is decidedly 
different." 

Bonaparte, in his "Conspectus of European Birds," 
says of this species: — "It is a good species of Siberia, 
which has been taken accidentally even in Italy; that 
of Schlegel is the true one, and neither of the two 
figures in my Italian fauna ought to be referred to it." 



LTTTLE BUNTING. 67 

Its habits are no doubt similar to those of the 
closely-allied species which inhabit the northern local- 
ities, but I am not able to add anything authoritatively 
upon the snbject. 

By the kindness of M. Verreaux, of Paris, I have 
been favoured with a series of four specimens of this 
bird, three marked Europe, and one "Mer cV Ochotysk, 
? , ?" I have figured this last specimen, and the male 
in breeding plumage. The other two specimens are 
only distinguished by the less amount of russet on the 
throat in one, and its absence in the other, which 
I presume represent the more or less perfect winter 
plumage. 

The male in breeding plumage has the top of the 
head, cheeks, and throat rich russet red, with a broad 
black band stretching from the base of the beak over 
each eye to the occiput, where it joins a collar of 
cream- colour, which passes entirely round the base of 
the neck. Upper parts of the body dark browu, 
mingled with light russet, so as to shew a mottled 
appearance of those colours on the back, with the 
broad tertials nearly brown black; primaries rich hair 
brown, with their tips tinged with russet, and the 
outer web lightly edged with cream-colour; secondaries 
same colour, edged with a band of russet externally; 
rump greyish brown. Tail brown, the most external 
quill nearly all white, the second having a wed"'e- 
shaped band of that colour on the base of the broad 
inner web, the base of the wedge being at the distal 
end of the feather. Crop and flanks cream-colour, 
thickly covered with longitudinal marks of black 
brown; abdomen grey white; under tail coverts cream- 
colour. 

Schlegel describes the beak of a blackish horn-colour, 



68 LITTLE BUNTING. 

shading off into yellowish upon the edges of the man- 
dibles, and the base of the lower; feet and claws 
slender, and of a pale yellowish horn-colour; claws 
pointed, rather bent in, and of a pale blackish horn- 
colour. 

The bird marked by M. Verreaux $ , ? No. 23653, 
is smaller than the male, but does not differ from it 
in plumage essentially, except in the absence of russet 
on the throat, the more uniform greyish white, and 
the fewer spots of the inferior parts. The colours are 
altogether less clear. 

My figure of the egg is taken from Miclclenclorff. 

The bird has been figured in Naumann's Appendix. 



69 



GKANIVOILE. 

Family FRINGILLIDJE. (Bonaparte.) 

Genus Pyrrhula. ( Brisson.) 

Generic Characters. — Beak short, conico- convex, and thick 
at the base, the sides inflated and bulging; upper mandible 
convex, deflected at the tip, and overhanging the lower one 
more or less. Nostrils basal, lateral, round, and for the most 
part concealed by bristly feathers at the base of the bilL 
Tarsus shorter than the middle toe; toes entirely divided. 
Wings short; the first three primaries tapering, the fourth 
the longest in the wing. Tail of moderate length, slightly 
rounded, or square. 



SCARLET BULLFINCH. 



Pyrrhula erythrina. 



Pyrrhula erythrina, 
Loxia erythrina, 
Erythrospiza erythrm a, 
Carpodacus erythrinus, 

Pyrrhulinota rosceeolor, 

rosea et erythrina, 
JErythrothorax rubifrons, 
Loxia cardinalis, 
, " obscura, ' 
Fringilla flammea, 
Pyrrhula Sinaica, 
Bouvreuil Cramoisi, 
Brand Posengimpel, 



Temminck. 

Pallas. Gmelln. 

Bonaparte. 

Gray. Kemp. Bonaparte. 

Dubois. 

Hodgson. 
Brehm. 

BeSEKE NEC LlNN^US. 

Gmelin. $ 

Betzius. 

Muhle; Orn. Grieck 

Of the French. 

Of the Germans. 



70 



SCARLET BULLFINCH. 



Specific Characters. — Rump red or ash-coloured; abdomen pure 
white. The first primary equal in length to the third, and 
shorter than the second. Length five inches and a half; carpus 
to tip three inches and a half; expanse of wing ten to eleven 
inches; the closed wing reaches to two inches and a half of the 
length of the tail; tarsus nine to ten lines; middle toe seven 
lines, and its claw three lines; hinder toe four lines, and its 
claw three lines. — Natjmann. 



The Bullfinches are a beautiful race of birds, and 
bow much soever our own British species is valued 
for this quality in our eyes, it is perhaps surpassed 
by the subjects of the present and following notice. 

The Scarlet Bullfinch inhabits the regions of the 
arctic circle, in the north of Europe and Asia. It is 
found in Sweden, Finland, B/ussia, and Siberia, more 
particularly near the Kivers Volga, Samara, Oder, and 
Selenga. It occurs solitarily in Courland and in Poland; 
and Naumann especially mentions having found it in the 
summer of 1819, on Sylt, one of the islands on the 
west coast of Jutland. It occurs accidentally in France, 
Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, and Central Germany, and 
has been captured at Hesse, on the Rhine. Degland 
mentions that individuals have been shot at Abbeville, 
at Tournai, in the neighbourhood of Milan, and on 
the Swiss Alps ; and Nordmann tells us, in the "Faune 
Politique," that it comes regularly in spring into the 
Botanic Gardens at Odessa, either singly or in pairs, 
and that it is common in the provinces situated to 
the east of the Black Sea. It is mentioned by Count 
Muhle as occurring in Greece, under the name of 
Pyrrhula Sinaica. 

During the summer it is essentially a northern bird, 
but in the autumn it migrates southwards. If it stays 
the winter, it is found more especially in the neigh- 



SCARLST BULLFINCH. 



SCARLET BULLFINCH. 71 

bourhood of dwellings, where it can be sheltered 
among' the shrubs. It is very fond of moist situations, 
and is frequently found among the bushes on the banks 
of rivers, lakes, and ponds, where it may be seen on 
the willows or reeds. 

Naumann has given a very complete account of the 
bird, from which I have gathered the following: — ■ 
"For several years, in the early spring, a pair of 
these birds were seen near Breslau, among the wil- 
lows and reeds of a swampy district. The male and 
female were always near together, and the former 
sung gaily. They were both killed at a single shot, 
but the female was not found. The male is now in 
the museum at Berlin. Later another pair were also 
shot. 

"This bird does not, according to my observation, 
like large thick woods. I have seen it where there 
was none at all, namely, at Sylt, in Jutland. In one 
part of this island there are no other species of trees 
but small thorn bushes. 

"In the northern narrow part of the island, where, 
between high sand downs, a narrow creek runs into 
the land, is a little thicket surrounded by a low earthen 
wall, in which is the renowned duck decoy. The 
ponds, canals, and the decoy man's house are all 
surrounded by alder trees and thorn bushes. There 
is also a thick reed-bank, about ten feet high, which 
is all the protection that the neighbouring downs re- 
ceive from the devastating north-west storms. * Altogether 
it is not more than a hundred paces in circuit. The 
Avood is quite stunted, yet it is, for such a neighbour- 
hood, a very interesting spot; and for me it became 
still more so when I myself met with a Scarlet 
Bullfinch, which I had never seen before in its free 



(» SCARLET BULLFINCH. 

state. The male came to within fifteen paces, into a 
thorn bush, and sang. It allowed itself to be observed 
freely, without any marks of fear. The female was 
not to be seen, nor the young, which had already 
(June 7th.,) left the nest. The old decoy man, who 
chiefly dwelt there, knew of the nest, and took me to 
it, assuring me that these birds had for many years 
bred there, and that they were not rare in the island. 
That they also bred in the elder and meadow thorn 
bushes near the house, and were pleasant-singing 
cage-birds. After much seeking we found no more, 
but we discovered the Common Linnet, for which they 
may probably have been mistaken by the decoy man." 

"The Scarlet Bullfinch is very confiding towards man, 
being not at all shy. The singing male remains in 
the open, like the Linnet, upon the points or tips 
of bushes, and fiys away like a shot when disturbed. 
Its call is a clear, piping, high tone, similar to f ticke, 
ticke, talk,' twice repeated in a clear and perceptible 
manner. When a part of the song has been uttered, 
as far as my observation 'extends, the whole tone is 
varied into a lonq-ish cadence." 

"When with my friends Von Woldicke and Boie 
I last approached this celebrated decoy, at Sylt, I 
heard the song at a considerable distance, and I drew 
their attention to it, that there might be no mistake. 
The resemblance of the song to some of the notes of 
the Reed Bunting, as well as those of the Linnet, is 
a remarkable fact. Both these latter birds live in its 
neighbourhood. It is a very agreeable, loud, long, 
and, with many slight pauses, unbroken song; and it 
is so characteristic, that an ear like mine, which from 
earliest youth has been accustomed to observe the song 
of birds, can distinguish it in the far distance. In a 



SCARLET BULLFINCH. 73 

neighbourhood where little can escape the eye, the 
beautifully-plumaged songster was easily recognised, 
and, as we did not like to shoot it, we placed our- 
selves at a short distance, where, unseen, we were 
able to observe it for a considerable time. It may 
be an agreeable cage-bird, but in confinement the red 
plumage turns into a permanent yellowish green." 

The Scarlet Bullfinch lives tipon various kinds of 
seeds, more especially, according to Dubois, those of 
an oily nature, as well as those of the elm or alder. 
Naumann also suggests that it feeds upon the seeds 
of the reeds, among which it likes to live. The same 
authority informs us that it nests among the woody 
plantations in the neighbourhood of St. Petersburg. 

The nest is formed of wool, dry grass stalks, and 
twigs, and lined with feathers and horse-hair. It lays 
five or six eggs, light green, spotted at the larger 
end with small black dots. 

Brehm, in Badeker's work upon European eggs, has 
the following notice of the nidification of this bird: — 
"They nest in the thick woods and bushes of Siberia, 
in Lausatia, in the neighbourhood of Galitz, in Galicia, 
and in Poland — near Warsaw, where it is found in 
swampy situations overgrown with alder trees. Once, 
in June, it was met with, paired, in Penthendorf. 
The nest is placed in a bush, and is made of moss, 
sticks, dry twigs, and sheep's wool, and is lined with 
hair and wool. The eggs are a lively blue green 
in colour, more or less marked with black or brownish 
dots and spots on the larger end. They are inclined 
to pear-shape in form, without, like the other Bull- 
finches, being sAvollen in the middle." 

The male in breeding plumage has the small feathers 
in the nostrils and around the neck, of a dull rose- 



74 SCARLET BULLFINCH. 

colour; the base of all the feathers, as well as a 
narrow streak along the shafts, of a brown red; rump, 
sides of the head, throat, front of neck, and chest, 
of a bright or rose crimson; belly and abdomen of 
a pure white; back and wing coverts ashy brown, 
tinged with a little red towards the extremity or tips 
of the feathers; quill feathers of both wings and tail 
blackish brown, bordered with reddish; tail forked, 
beak and feet brown. 

The female has all the upper parts of an ashy 
brown, with large longitudinal spots of a darker brown; 
throat and cheeks regularly spotted with white and 
brown; front of neck and all the under parts of a 
pure white, marked with large longitudinal spots of 
dark brown; middle of belly without spots. It is 
stated that the male adopts in winter the plumage of 
the female. — (Temminck.) 

The young males are not red in the first year; they 
have a remote similarity to the female of our Linnets, 
but are distinguished from them by having more of 
a greenish tint pervading the whole plumage, especially 
through the yellowish borders of the wing feathers; 
the head, under part of the neck, back, and shoulders, 
as well as the wing coverts, are brown grey, but 
something brighter on the borders of those feathers 
which are of a greenish colour; rump dirty yellow 
green; the dirty white throat has doAvn its sides small 
brownish feathers, which become larger on the upper 
part of the breast, where the ground is also brownish, 
but on the sides is shaded into brownish grev; belly 
and under wing feathers dirty white, without spots; 
the dark brown wing feathers have on the outer side 
a yellow greenish bordering, which makes them brighter; 
beak and feet are like those of the old male, but of 



SCARLET BULLFINCH. iD 

a "brighter colour, namely a dirty yellowish or brown 
yellowish flesh-colour, the tips of the claws being dark 
brown. — (Naumann.) 

In the first part of the Bulletin of the Imperial 
Society of Naturalists of Moscow, for the year 1860, 
there is an article by Alexander Von Nordmann, 
upon the birds of Finland and Lapland, in which he 
states that P. erythrina is very common in Southern 
Finland, which was not the case, according to the 
testimony of his father, thirty years ago. It builds 
every year in the Botanical Gardens at Helsingfors, 
in the tops of the maple and Carangana Sibirica. It 
arrives at Helsingfors in the middle of May, and the 
young are fledged by the 25th. of June. The nest 
is made loosely of twigs. The eggs are white, with a 
few, blackish red spots at the large end. The voice 
of the bird is loud and flute-like, easily recognised 
again when once heard. It has a call-cry similar to 
our Greenfinch. — (See "Ibis," January, 1861, p. 111.) 

The figure of my bird is from Naumann. The egg 
is from Badeker. 

The bird has also been figured by Gould, B. of E., 
pi. 206; Dubois, Oiseaux de la Belgicpie, pi. 117, (male 
and female;) Naumann, Natur. der Vogel Deutsch., 
pi. 113, (male and female.) 



76 



GP.ANIVORJE. 

Family FRINGILLID^E. (Bonaparte.) 

Genus Pyrrhula. (Brisson.) 

EOSY BULLFINCH. 

Pyrrhula rosea. 

Pyrrhula rosea, Temminck. 

Passer roseus, Pallas. 

Fringilla rosea, Of Authors. 

Carpodacus roseus, Kaup. Bonaparte. 

Bouvreuil-rose Pallas, Of the French. 

Sibirischer Posengimpel, Of the Germans. 



Specific Characters. — The vertex red, with silver- white spots; 
throat also mottled with crimson and white; rump crimson or 
yellowish white; two transverse bands of white across the wiDgs. 
Length' five inches and a half, French, (Temminck,) six inches 
and a half, German, (Naumann;) expanse of wings eleven inches 
and a half; length of somewhat notched and forked tail two 
inches and five-eighths. The wing does not reach to half the 
length of the tail; the club-shaped beak five and a half lines; 
tarsus three-quarters of an inch; middle toe and claw seven 
lines; hinder toe and claw rather over six lines; leg and toes 
covered with scales. — (Naumann.) 



The Rosy Bullfinch is described by Naumann as 
the most beautiful of our Northern European birds. 
Closely allied to the last species, it yet differs from 
it in size and ornamentation. Its beak is truite dif- 



ROSY BULLFINCH. 



77 



ferent, being narrower and more pointed, having 
more the character of that of the true Finches. The 
measurements also of the two species, which I have 
taken from Naumann, shew very important structural 
differences. 

The Rosy Bullfinch is found in Northern Asia, 
principally in Siberia — on the banks of the rivers Uda, 
Selenga, etc., visiting in the winter the eastern parts 
of the south of Europe, and occasionally it has been 
captured in Hungary. It has also, but very rarely, 
been seen in the north-east of Germany; and it is not 
improbable that it is there, but has escaped observation. 
It has also been included by Professor Blasius among 
the list of birds captured in Heligoland. 

Very little is known of the natural history of this 
bird. This may in a great measure arise from its 
being very frequently mistaken for the last. Pallas 
says, however, that it is rare even in Siberia. Nau- 
mann senior saw it free once only, and then was not 
acquainted with its name for several years after. 
Temminck, in the first edition of his "Manual," con- 
founded it with the Scarlet Bullfinch. 

The Rosy Bullfinch likes to live in bushes which 
grow near water, and occasionally comes into gardens, 
accompanied by the Snow Bunting. It feeds upon 
all common seeds, according to Naumann, and on 
the kernels of various berries. About its propagation 
nothing is known. 

The adult male has the forehead and throat of a 
silvery and shining white; vertex, neck, and body of 
a very bright crimson red, with the feathers of the 
back and scapularies black in the centre; two bands 
of a rosy white on the wings, of which the coverts 
are edged with dirty white; cheeks, lower part and 



78 ROSY BULLFINCH. 

sides of neck, and chest, crimson red; belly and under 
tail coverts rosy white; primaries and tail quills brown, 
edged with rose on the outside; beak and feet clear 
brown. 

In the young before the first moult the entire plu- 
mage is of a reddish grey, longitudinally spotted with 
brown; with two bands of reddish yellow on the wing, 
and the rump yellowish. After the first moult a little 
white appears on the forehead, and the red becomes 
more brilliant while the spots disappear: thus the 
specimen described by Pallas as having white only on 
the forehead, and with its plumage browner, must 
have been a young bird after moulting. — (Temminck.) 
The folloAving is from Naumann's account of this 
bird, which I insert to make my description as complete 
as possible. I quote from the above accurate observer's 
beautiful work on the "Birds of Germany," a work, 
which I may take this opportunity of saying, is, in 
my opinion, both for full and elaborate description, 
and for the beauty and natural expression of its illus- 
trations, perhaps unrivalled in ornithological literature. 
— "The size is that of a Mountain Finch, and larger 
than the Common Linnet, but in contour it somewhat 
resembles them both. The beak is reddish grey, the 
root of the superior mandible being yellowish; the 
round nostrils are ornamented with stiff small feathers, 
and the iris is rust brown. The brownish yellow feet 
are tolerably strong and robust; the claws, not very 
large, but sharp, are dark brown at the tip, but have 
otherwise the colour of the feet. 

"The old male has two distinct characters of plu- 
mage, — brown, and a splendid carmine red; and the 
last, with which the whole bird seems to be suffused, 
makes it one of the most beautiful of northern birds. 



ROSY BULLFINCH. 79 

The head and neck are carmine red, with a brown 
grey sparkling through it, so that the feathers (like, 
in fact, those of the whole bird,) are more or less 
dark, having a ground of grey and white, and the red 
colouring only taking possession of the tips or edges 
of the feathers. On the temples, the hinder part of 
the head, the throat, to the middle of the breast, and 
the rump, this colouring is the brightest, a deep 
brilliant rose red; and on the sides of the breast dark 
brown arrow-shaped spots on a whitish ground, be- 
coming larger on the flanks, with, on this part of the 
body, a yellow white tinge; the belly and under wing 
coverts are white, with rosy red borders. There is 
one peculiarity to be noticed, namely, that in this 
northern bird, as well as in the male of Pyrrhula 
longicaada, Temminck, which is the Loxia Sibirica of 
Pallas, the feathers of the vertex and throat have a 
silvery scaly appearance, and the barbs of the feathers, 
as well as their points, have a bright shining white 
colour. The shoulders and upper part of the back are 
dark brown, spotted with red streaks; the dark brown 
feathers of this part have borders of carmine red; the 
greater feathers of the shoulders have also white bor- 
ders. All the wing feathers have a dull dark brown 
ground; the lesser wing feathers carmine red borders, 
the greater, broad white borders, with rosy red tips. 
The greater wing coverts rosy red borders with white 
tips, forming two oblique borders of white across the 
wings. The upper tail coverts bright red, with dark 
brown arrow-spots, and the darker brown tail feathers, 
of which the outermost are merely somewhat lighter, 
have rosy red borders; the underneath wing and tail 
feathers are light brown grey; the under wing coverts 
dirty white, spotted with brown, having, at the edges, 
a tinge of rosy red. 



80 ROSY BULLFINCH. 

"In the autumn plumage, the borders of the wing 
and tail feathers are broader, shading into a brownish 
white, and in the back and shoulder the red bordered 
feathers have besides brownish white edges. The 
splendid red is there also darker, and acquires its 
brilliancy by degrees under the influence of air and 
sun. 

Probably the young male is not so beautifully red, 
and in the first year perhaps not at all so as in the 
preceding species, (P. erythrina,J and the females of 
both are certainly very similar. I have only seen two 
male stuffed specimens of this splendid bird to examine 
and compare with P. erythrina and P. purpurea, the 
Bouvreil violet cle la Caroline of Brisson." 

It has also been figured by Gould, B. of E., 207. 



81 



GEANIVQPwE. 

Family FllINGILLIDJE. ( Bonaparte.) 

Genus Pyhrhula. (Brisson.) 

DESERT TRUMPETER BULLFINCH. 

Pyrrh ula githaginea. 



Pyrrhula githaginea, 



" payreaudaei, 

Fringilla githaginea, 
" thebaica, 

PHrythrospiza githaginea, 
Carpodacus payreaudaei, 
Pucanetes githaginea, 
Serinus " 

Erythroth or ax gitlt agin ear , 
Bouvreuil-rose " 

Trompeter gimpel, 
Papageien " 
Rosen 
Egyptseher rosen-gimpel, 



Temminck Eoux. 
Bolle; Naumannia, 1858, 

p. 369. 
Aijdouin; Descr. Egypt. 

Zool. 
Ltchtenstein. 
Hemprich; Sched. Mas. 

Berolin. 
Bonaparte. 
Gray; Gren. of Birds. 
Cabanis; Mus. Hein., p. 164. 
G-loger. 
Che. L. Beehm:. 
Of the Feench. 
Cabanis. 
C. L. Beehm. 
A. Beehm. 

SCHLEG-EL. 



Specific Characters. — The small feathers all round the base of 
tlie beak rose carmine; rump, external borders of the primaries 
and abdomen a most delicately beautiful rose pink; no transverse 
bauds across the wings; the first quill feather the longest in the 



bZ DESERT TRUMPETER BULLFINCH. 

wing. Length, five inches and a half; from carpus to tip three 
inches and three-eighths; the tip of the wing reaching, when 
closed, within one-third of an inch of the end of the tail. Tail 
two inches and three-eighths long; tarsus three-quarters of an inch; 
beak from gape five-eighths of an inch; height of beak five- 
twelfths of an inch; circumference of beak at base one inch. 

This elegant bird is a native of Africa, and has only 
been known to occur in Europe with certainty in Pro- 
vence, Tuscany, and the Grecian Archipelago. It is 
found however at Malta, the bird figured in the "Icones 
Fauna Italica," having been captured there. It is seen 
in the island from December to March, and its desig- 
nation "The Trumpeter," is derived from its Maltese 
name "Trumbettier." It is mentioned by Captain Loche 
among the birds observed by him in Algeria, and is 
especially found in Nubia and Syria. A long and in- 
teresting account of its residence and habits in the Canary 
Islands, from which the following history is principally 
taken, is given by Dr. C. Bolle, in "Naumannia," for 
1858, pp. 869-393; and in Cabanis' "Journal fur Orni- 
thologie," for 1859, p. 469, a further ' account of it is 
given by Chalihl Effencli, as it was found by him in 
the desert regions of the north-east of Africa, on the 
banks of the Nile, in Upper Egypt, in the oases of 
Nubia, where it occurs in large flocks, and in Arabia 
Petrea. 

Dr. C. Bolle's monograph is a model of this kind of 
descriptive natural history, going into full particulars of 
all the habits and nidification of a most interesting bird, 
hitherto generally dismissed by authors with the brief 
remark, "Ses mceurs, ses habitudes, son regime et sa pro- 
pagation sont inconnus." 

In the early part of his account, Dr. Bolle reprobates 
the system of name-making in modern days ; the present 



'-':.:**. 



DESERT TRUMPETER RULLFTXCTI. 83 

bird being classed by various authors as an Emberiza, 

a Fringilla, Pyrrhula, Carpodacus, Erytlirospiza, Ery- 

throthorax, Serinus, or Bucanetes! 

I have preferred, however, keeping it where it is 

placed by its structural affinities in the genus Pyrrhula. 

It may be considered as the ground and desert type 

of that genus, not far removed from the two preceding 

species. 

It is truly, as Dr. Bolle remarks, a bird of the Sa- 
hara. He writes about it as follows : — "Far beyond the 
other side of the fruitful coast-line of North Africa, 
which borders southwards the Mediterranean Sea, the 
cultivated fields of the Arabs are surrounded by a margin 

of desert, where a new unexplored kingdom, with a 
scanty but strange world of plants and animals, comes 
into view. Silence, as of the grave, reigns supreme 
in the terrible Sahara, where the sea of sand has its 
waves agitated by the poisonous breath of the Simoon. 
Through this run the routes of the caravans, and its 
palm-shaded oases and wadis, which during the falls of 
winter are flooded with water, and are adorned with 
thickets of mimosas and tamarisks." 

It was in the two Canary Islands Lanzarote and 
Fuertaventura, which appear to have been divided from 
the Sahara by the sea, and bear the character of scenery 
above described, that Dr. Bolle found the Desert Trum- 
peter in great abundance, and where his observations 
upon its habits were made. 

"Whoever," says Dr. Bolle, wishes to know the 
dwelling-place of P. githaginea, must not expect to 
follow me as when I described the wild Canary bird 
into the glades of the Hesperides, through hollows rich 
in flowers, and bordered with woods of laurel. The 
Fortunate Islands are in no way similar to the ever- 



84 DESERT TRUMPETER BULLFINCH. 

green colour in which they appear to travellers who pass 
these land-marks of navigation in the height of summer. 

The Desert Trumpeter is found most plentifully in 
Lanzarote and Fuertaventura, and most sparingly in the 
great Canary Island. I found it in fact spread over 
the whole eastern part of the Canary Islands, and have 
reason to believe that it may inhabit the more western 
parts also. 

On the 1st. of April, 1856, I found it in an excursion 
to Caldeca von Bandama, on the high-road which leads 
from Ciudad de las Palmas to the Yegas, and welcomed 
it joyfully as an old acquaintance one comes upon un- 
expectedly. It is seen, but less plentifully, in the neigh- 
bourhood of the principal town, but at the time of 
migration it appears in great numbers in the harbour, 
Puerta de la Luz. I have also observed it in the 
districts of Jinamar, Carrizal, and Juan Grande, and 
nowhere more abundantly than in Arguineguin, where 
it frequents in flocks the tombs and ruins of a town 
which at one time had been plundered by the Spaniards, 
which now covers a cape or promontory with rocks and 
grottoes, and fig-trees in the back ground, and com- 
mands an incomparable panorama over the sea towards 
the peak of Teneriffe. 

It also breeds in the islands of the western group, 
since the thick growth of wood has driven it back 
there, but it has not been seen hitherto on Teneriffe, 
Gomera, Palma, or Ferro." 

"The country inhabited by the Desert Trumpeter 
must above all things be without trees, and in the hot 
regions' of the sunny coast. It prefers stony places, 
where in the noon-day the wind trembles over burning 
stones, and by the glimmer and reflected light of which 
the traveller is almost blinded. Only a little grass grows 



DESERT TRUMPETER BULLFINCH. 85 

in sixmmer between the parched and bleached yellow 
stones; and here and there at wide intervals the low 
bushes of. the taybayba, (Euphorbia balsamifera,) or 
the thorny prenanthes, only eaten by the dromedary, 
spring up. Here the Trumpeter lives— a Bullfinch with 
the manners of a Stonechat. It is always found in 
sociable little groups, when the cares of the breeding- 
season do not keep it solitary. The cheerful little bird 
dances from stone to stone, or glides about near the 
ground, but seldom can our sight follow it far into the 
landscape, for the reddish grey feathers of the old bird 
mix as closely with the colours of the stones and leafless 
stems and twigs of Euphorbia, as the isabelle of the 
young does with the pale yellow of the sand or 
chalk. 

We should soon lose it if its voice, which is one of 
its most striking peculiarities, did not guide us to it. 
Listen! A note like that of a small trumpet trembles 
through the air, and vibrates continuously; and if we 
are very attentive we shall hear just before and just 
after it two gentle light notes ringing like silver bells 
through the still desert, or the almost imperceptible 
chords of an harmonium played by unseen hands. Again 
it changes, and this time its notes resemble the deep 
croak of the green frog of the Canaries, but less coarse, 
hastily repeated one after another, and which the little 
bird will itself answer with almost similar but weaker 
sounds, like a ventriloquist, as though they came from 
the far distance. Nothing is more difficult than to des- 
cribe in language the notes of birds. They must be 
heard to be appreciated, and no one would expect to 
hear so remarkable a song from a bird in such a locality. 
The above trumpet-like tones often ending in a succes- 
sion of crowing and humming, distinguishes the habitat 



86 DESERT TRUMPETER BULLFINCH. 

of these birds. They live almost so completely in the 
uninhabitable country around, that they are always joy- 
fully welcome, and listened for attentively when silent. 
They are as the melancholy voices of the desert, or as 
the Djuns of the solitude. ' Vox clamantis in dcserto.' 

The Desert Trumpeter does not appear frequently on 
the steep rocky hills, at least I have only once met with 
it in such a situation, and that was in April, 1852. It is 
much more partial to the black lava stream of the desert, 
which, full of gaping rents and chasms, hardly permits 
a blade of grass to become green. It never settles on 
a tree or bush, like the Stonechat. In inhabited dis- 
tricts they are rather shy, yet where, as in Handia and 
nearly all the south of Fuertaventura, the silence and 
solitude of the desert is unbroken, they are very con- 
fiding, especially the young, which, when Ave meet with 
them unexpectedly seated on a stone, will peer with 
their little brilliant eyes quite into one's face. 

They feed entirely, or almost so, on the seeds either 
of grasses, which are found like a mealy kind of bread 
in their stomachs when killed, or the oily seeds of 
composite and cruciferous plants, which they shell like 
other finches, by moving them most carefully backwards 
and forwards between the mandibles of their stronsr beak. 
They will also eat tender young leaves. They cannot 
long dispense with water, and often must fly some 
miles daily to get it. Their presence in the desert is 
always a good omen for the thirsty traveller. I have 
constantly seen them flying to drink in flocks. They 
drink much at a time in long draughts, between which 
they lift up their heads. After drinking they are very 
fond of bathing. I have never seen them roll about in 
the dust like Sparrows. The breeding-time begins in 
March, and like those of most true desert birds, the 



DESERT TRUMPETER BULLFINCH. 87 

nest is well concealed, and with such foresight, that it 
can hardly ever be found, 

I have never succeeded in discovering one, though I 
have many times sought in vain, as did Brehm in 
Egypt, who writes, 'In the month of March P. githa- 
ginea is in breeding-plumage, but I have never succeeded 
in discovering any more about it. The masses of rock 
on both sides of the Nile form a very favourable nest- 
ing-place, but they extend so much that the naturalist 
cannot pursue his object with any good result.' 

I know, however, from the goatherds of Fuertaventura, 
that the Moros, as they are called there, build in crevices 
under large overhanging stones upon the ground. The 
nest has a tolerably strong texture, and is woven with 
the coarse straw of the desert grass, and lined within 
with great feathers, mostly of the ostrich and bustard, 
as well as the wool of the camel and hair of the goat. 
The number of eggs is from three to five. They cer- 
tainly breed twice, if not more frequently. The second 
moult takes place in July. Individuals quite tired have 
been seen by fishermen flying over the arm of the sea 
and the islands of the coast. These journeys shew why 
it appears yearly in Malta as a bird of passage, as this 
island makes the direct line from the Western Sahara 
and Canary Islands to the deserts of the Syrte, bordering 
on the Mediterranean. 

The Desert Trumpeter does not appear to have many 
enemies in its native home, as with the exception of 
the wild cat and a few stoats, it has no four-footed foes. 
The Horned Owl can scarcely find it under the flat 
stones, and in the cliffs which protect it. It has only 
to beware of the Kite, (Mifous regalis.J" 

Dr. Bolle was a long time before he could keep them 
alive in confinement, but he at length succeeded, and 



88 DESERT TRUMPETER BULLFINCH. 

lie gives a most interesting account of their habits.. 
He says they are peaceful and gentle, very tame and 
sociable with, each other, or with other birds. The male 
bird sings in the late autumn and winter. They love 
company, and constantly call to one another. He kept 
his birds in a room with plenty of light, and when the 
lamp was brought in they began their song. The 
tone is sometimes clear and beautiful, but with a short 
trumpet, or a prolonged drony or quaking sound, which 
appears to be the key-note of their song, and to which 
is often added various modulated tones, sometimes re- 
sembling the purring of a cat. The ( ka, ka, ka,' which 
they constantly repeat, answers, as a rule, one much 
deeper, softer, and shorter. Rarely they may be heard 
uttering a low chattering, like the little parrot; they 
will also cackle like the hen, 'kekek, kekeek,' three or 
four times in succession. Their alarm note is a loud 
'schak, schaok.' When hunted and caught they shriek 
with anguish. Their notes are almost without exception 
so full and expressive, that we wonder how such a 
small creature can produce them. The female has not 
the trumpeting tone so loud as the male has in spring." 

"In confinement the first egg was laid on the 24th. 
of April. They are four in number, rather large for 
the bird, pale sea-green, or lighter, with small spots 
and points of reddish brown, thinner at the smaller 
end, and forming at the larger end a kind of crown 
or wreath." 

The male bird has the top of the head and nape 
ashy grey. The back more or less brownish ash-grey, 
with reddish edges to the feathers; the greater wing 
coverts, pale brownish, edged with rosy red; the pri- 
maries are a glossy hair-brown, with their outer edges 
fringed with rosy pink, their tips being bordered (the 



DESERT TRUMPETER BULLFINCH. 89 

first three slightly, the rest more broadly,) with creamy 
white; in the secondaries the outer border is the 
broadest, and the cream-colour is more deeply tinged 
with rosy pink; the tail is emarginate, and the 
feathers present the same deep brown colour, broadly 
edged with cream-colour and rosy red, as the wing 
feathers, so that when the wings are closed, they form, 
with the tail, a pleasing striped appearance. All the under 
parts (more or less,) the under tail coverts, feathers round 
the beak and rump are rosy red, mingled on the crop 
and abdomen with grey. 

Dr. Bolle says that when old, the males have the 
scapularies speckled with red, and that this colour is 
much deeper on the back. In autumn the male is less 
beautiful, — the red is less remarkable, and the ashy 
grey above, changes into a dull grey brown, on which 
account, after moulting for the first time, they have a 
strongly marbled appearance. In this stage a reddish 
shade on the back is above all perceptible. The beak 
is a rosy coral colour, which Dr. Bolle says gives it in 
the distance the appearance of an exotic bird. Tarsi 
and feet rose; iris brownish black. 

The female is above brownish grey, but that colour is 
lost in the clearer tints below, which from the throat 
downwards, become exclusively whitish. The upper- 
part of the wings reddish grey. On the throat and 
immediately under the beak clear rose; tail rosy red; 
scapularies edged with rosy reel. The greater wing 
coverts and tail feathers like the male, only smaller, and 
the rose less marked; under tail coverts pale reddish 
grey; feet paler rose than the male. No bands across 
the wings of either sex. 

The plumage of the young differs somewhat from 
that of the adult. When it leaves the nest it is clear 



90 DESERT TRUMPETER BULLFINCH. 

light colour, or dull isabelle yellow, which Dr. Bolle 
says Degland wrongly ascribes to the female. This 
colour goes downwards from the throat without any 
streaks, and gradually blends into whitish.; there is no 
trace of red, not even on the almost isabelle yellow 
tint. The under tail coverts are yellowish; greater and 
lesser wing coverts, wings, and tail have a darkish 
brown colour, with a speckled grey yellow on both 
edges; beak and feet flesh-colour. (Bolle.) 

My figure of this bird is a male sent to me by Mr. 
Tristram, and marked "Biskara, 22nd. Jan., 1857." The 
egg is also from a specimen sent me by the same 
gentleman. 

The bird has also been figured by Temminck et 
Laugier, planche color, 400, figs. 1 and 2; Eoux, Or- 
nith. Prov., vol. i., supp. plate 74, bis, young male in 
autumn plumage; Gould, B. of E., pi. 208. 

The following have been by various authors admitted 
into the European list of the genus Pyrrhula: — 

1- — Pyrrhula coccinea, Selys. — The Greater Bullfinch, 
(Boucreuil po?iceau of the French,) differs in nothing 
whatever from the Common Bullfinch except in size, 
and having rather more white on the rump, and the 
band of this colour across the wings being rather broader. 
We are informed by Dubois (Oiseaux de la Belgique, 
p. 125,) that it never mixes with the common species. 
It was first introduced as a distinct race by Vieillot, 
Diet., 1817, and after by M. Le Baron Selys-Longchamps, 
in his "Faune Beige." Schlegel, however, in his "Ee- 
vue Critque," 1844, declined to admit it as a distinct 
species, having never seen it in nature. De Selys 
himself only considered it as a local race of the Common 
Bullfinch. Degland admits it into his "Ornithologie 



DESERT TRUMPETER BULLFINCH. 91 

Europeenne," with the following remarks: — The size 
of the Boitvreuil ponceau is constantly larger than that 
of the common species; there is a difference in the 
proportions of their wing primaries, in the strength of 
their note, and it is certain that they always flock 
separately." 

Bonaparte, who admits it into his "Conspectus Avium 
Europsearum," 1850, and in his "Critique," p. 27, makes 
the following remarks about it: — "I would not answer for 
this not being in reality a constant race or species, evi- 
dently that which Graba would have represented in his 
work upon northern birds." 

Lastly, Dubois admits it as a distinct species, under 
the designation of Pyrrhula coccinea, Leisler, and re- 
marks upon it: — "This bird is in many respects like the 
Waxen Chatterer, appearing only from time to time. 
Sometimes it is not seen for several years, and then 
shews itself in great numbers. These Bullfinches have 
their periodical migrations, and unite together sometimes 
in large, and at other times in small flocks before 
starting. They have been seen in Belgium in 1836, 
1840, 1846, and 1850; but in the autumn of 1855, there 
was such a number taken, that they might have been 
bought by the dozen at the game-dealers. Our learned 
naturalist M. Le Baron Selys-Longchamps, had the honour 
of being the first to figure this bird in his "Faune 
Beige," and other naturalists have followed his example. 
This Bullfinch has been long known as the Great 
Bullfinch among bird-catchers. Naturalists have con- 
founded it with the Common, although from its size 
it ought to form a separate species, and it is never 
known to join the Common Bullfinch when they assemble 
for their periodical migrations. It is distinguished by a 
more brilliant red and greater development of the white 



92 DESERT TRUMPETER BULLFINCH. 

mark on the rump, The species, according to all ap- 
pearances, belongs to trie north of Europe, but as it 
has always been confounded with the Common Bull- 
finch, it is not possible to assign it a fixed locality." 

Such is the history of this bird. I see no reason 
whatever for constituting it a distinct species any more 
than for forming different species out of the varieties 
of Parus palustris, which Mr. A. Newton has shewn to 
present at least three different forms between this country 
and Lapland, but not sufficient to constitute specific 
difference. Having seen the birds I entirely agree in 
this opinion; and the rule "which seems to obtain with 
most birds of exhibiting strongly marked and permanent 
climatic variation, must not be overlooked as it applies 
to the present one. Under any circumstances it is quite 
unnecessary that I should give a figure of this assumed 
species. 

2. — P. Longicauda, Temminck, P. Sibiricus, Pallas. — 
This bird was stated by Temminck to have been cap- 
tured in Hungary, and it is admitted into the European 
list by Keyserling and Blasius. It is however rejected 
by Schlegel, Degland, and Bonaparte. There does not 
appear any authentic account of its occurrence in Europe. 
It inhabits Eastern Siberia and the Altai mountains. 

3, — P. Caucasica, Pallas, Lozia rubicitta, Guldenstadt, 
is admitted into the European list by Keyserling and 
Blasius, Schlegel, and Bonaparte. The latter says of it: 
— "The Lozia rubieffla of Guldenstadt is a Carpodacits; 
but it is much more strongly formed than Erythrina, 
with which in other respects it has less affinity than 
with P. rosens, which is also much smaller." 

He then alludes to a female in the collection of M. 
De Selys, about the authenticity of which there is some 
doubt. 



DESERT TRUMPETER BULLFINCH. 98 

Degland also remarks of this bird, "This genus ( ' Coc- 
cothraustes J was established by Brisson, and only includes 
our Hawfinch. The Count cle Keyserling, Professor 
Blasius, and M. Schlegel place in this genus the C. 
Caucasicus of Pallas, Loxia rubicilla, Guldenstadt. But 
this bird was only known to the latter naturalist; it 
resembles in size, form, and coloration the Pine Bunting; 
it is not certain that it belongs to the genus Coccoth- 
raustes, and as it is only taken in the Caucasus, I do 
not include it in this catalogue, and must refer for a 
description to the "Revue" of M. Schlegel, p. 79." 

This description is that of Guldenstadt, and is very 
clear and minute. 

It appears to be intermediate between the Pine Bull- 
finch and the Hawfinch, of a soft red colour, variegated 
with white and grey. It is indigenous to the Caucasian 
Alps, delighting in the cold regions frequented by the 
Pine Bunting, especially the beds of gravelly rivers, 
where it feeds on the berries of the Hippophoes rham- 
noides. It assembles in flocks, and imitates the notes 
of the Bullfinch. There is scarcely any difference in 
the sexes. 

/'The top of the head, throat, underneath the neck, 
and chest, intense red, marbled with white acutely tri- 
angular spots and streaks; abdomen and under tail 
coverts weak rose, watered with white; tail feathers 
below rosy-fuscous. Neck above and back greyish, with 
a rosy tinge; tail feathers above rosy-fuscous. The base 
of all the feathers which lie in situ, and which con- 
stitute the greater part of all the plumage is intensely 
grey. The closed wing is an inch shorter than the 
tail; the primaries and tail quills are fuscous, indistinctly 
margined with rose; the axillary feathers colour of the 
back. The tail is three inches and six lines long; the 



94 DESERT TRUMPETER BULLFINCH. 

twelve tail feathers brassy-black, the tip of each external 
margin white, the rest shaded with rose. The thighs 
are feathered to the knee, and grey; the tarsus and 
toes, of which there are three before and one behind, 
of a black colour, claws incurved, acuminate, black, 
equal anteriorly, the hind one longest. Length eight 
inches, of wings four inches nine lines, tarsus one inch 
one line, middle toe nine lines, hind toe five lines." 

Figured by Guldenstadt, Nov. Comm. Petr. xix, pi. 
12. 

I have thought it right to give a translation of the 
principal part of Guldenstadt's diagnosis of this bird, and 
regret that I have not a specimen to figure, although 
confined as it is to neutral ground, its claims to Euro- 
pean rank are very slight. 




1 



95 



GRANIVORiE. 

Family FBINGILLID^. (Bonaparte. J 

Genus Fringilla. (Linnceus.) 



Generic Characters — Beak short, strong, convex, straight, 
and conic; superior mandible dilated, slightly bent at the 
point; the upper part depressed. Nostrils basal, round, placed 
near the forehead, behind the horny elevation of the swollen part 
of the beak, partly hid by the feathers of the forehead. Tarsi 
shorter than the middle toe. The two or three first wing 
primaries tapering, the third or fourth the longest. 



CEIMSON-WINGED GKOSBEAK. 

Fringilla coccothraustes phcenicoptera. 



Fringilla rhodoptera, 


L.ICHTENSTEIN 


Montifringilla sanguined, 


Gould. 


Erythrospiza phcenicoptera 




et Hhodopechys phcenicoptera, 


BoNAPAKTE. 


Rhodopechys phcenicoptera, 


Cabanis. 


phcenicoptere, 


LoCHE. 



Specific Characters. — Top of the head in the male black; the 
first two-thirds of the outer web of all the primaries, except the 
first, the feathers round the eyes, and the upper tail coverts, rich 
crimson. Length seven inches; carpus to tip four inches and 
three-tenths; tarsus ten lines; tail two inches and three-fifths; 
beak seven lines ; circumference of beak at base one inch and a half. 



9G CRIMSON-WINGED GROSBEAK. 

This beautiful species is closely allied to the Desert 
Trumpeter, Pyrrhula githaginea. It has been included 
with it and Fringilla obsoleta, by Lichtcnstein, in the 
genus Erythrospiza, in which arrangement he was fol- 
lowed by Bonaparte. Subsequently Cabanis placed this 
bird in a new genus, that of Ehodopechys, in which 
he Avas also followed by the versatile Prince of Canino. 
It differs, however, from the Bullfinches in the size 
and form of the beak, and belongs, I think, more 
strictly to the genus Coccothraustes , although here 
again the form of the wing is different. 

Bonaparte says of it in his "Conspectus Avium 
Europearum." p. 28: — "This elegant Erythrospiza 
phcsnicoptera, which does not differ from the Fringilla 
sanguined of Gould, from the confines of Persia and 
Circassia, claims its place in the ornithology of Europe, 
which it can always ensure by a few movements of 
its wings. It is essentially sedentary, only changing 
from plains to mountains." 

In addition to the above places, Erzeroum may be 
mentioned more particularly as a locality; in the neigh- 
bourhood of which place it is found in flocks of five 
or six. It occurs also in the southern parts of Africa. 

In its habits it very much resembles P. githaginea, 
living among rocks and stones in the desert, and 
feeding upon seeds. 

The male in breeding plumage has the top of the 
head black; the nape, back, scapularies, and wing 
coverts rich chesnut brown, cheeks, throat, and flanks, 
being a brown of a lighter shade. Wings black, with 
the first two-thirds of all the primaries, except the 
first, rich crimson, the secondaries being broadly tipped 
with very pure white; upper tail coverts crimson; tail 
black, with the exception of the most external on each 



CRIMSON-WINGED GROSBEAK. 97 

side, which are pure white; all the other quills more 
or less tipped with white. The feathers surrounding 
the eyes crimson; the crop and abdomen fawn-colour, 
with the feathers covering - the thighs white; under 
parts of the wings at the shoulders bordered with 
crimson; the rest of the upper part white, below slaty 
brown; tail, when closed, white, being covered by the 
two external feathers. Feet brown; beak yellow. 

The female has the upper part of the head brown, 
with all the other upper parts different shades of the same 
colour, only a slight vestige of the crimson colour of 
male being perceptible; the primaries and secondaries 
dark brown, the former slightly edged with crimson, 
and the latter tipped with dirty yellow. Throat, 
cheeks, crop, and flanks nutmeg brown; abdomen 
dirty-mottled white and brown. 

The figures of this beautiful bird are from specimens 
kindly sent me by Mr. Gould. The male is from 
Erzeroum. The female was also shot in the breeding 



98 



GRANIVOILE. 

Family FRIGILLID^E. f Bonaparte. J 

Genus Fringilla. (Linnceus.) 

SERIN FINCH. 

Fringilla serinus. 



Fringilla serinus, 
Pyrrhula serinus, 

Serinus flavescens, 

" brumalis, 

" hortulanus, 

" meridionalis et islandicus, 
Serin Finch, 
Serin cini, 

Gemeiner griingimpel or girlitz, 
Verzellino, 
Rapcrino, Verdolini, 

Serino d' Italia, 
Crespolino, 



Linn^us. Temminck. 

ScHLEGEL. DeGLAND. 

Keyseeling et Blasius. 
Gould. Bonaparte. 
Strickland. 
Koch. 

BoNAEARTE. 

Latham; Syn., vol. iii, p. 296. 
Of the French. 
Oe the Germans. 
Save 

Stoe. 

Of the Tuscans. 



Specific Characters. — The back olivaceous, marked with longi- 
tudinal blackish spots; vertex pale olivaceous yellow; primaries 
and tail feathers dusky brown. Length four inches and a half; 
carpus to tip two inches and seven-eighths; tarsus nine lines; 
beak four lines. 



The Serin Finch is an inhabitant of Southern 
Europe. It is found plentifully in Spain, the south 



SERIN FINCH. 1)9 

of France, in Italy, Greece, in that part of Switzerland 
which borders on Italy, and more rarely in the south 
and south-west of Germany. It is also found in 
Central Germany, in the north of France, and in 
Holland; but Naumami says it is not found in the 
north of Germany. According to Faber, it has been 
found and killed between 66° and 67° of north lati- 
tude. It has also been found in the Hertz Mountains, 
and, according to Bechstein, it is often seen in 
Thuringia. Dr. Leith Adams informs me that it is an 
autumn visitor at Malta, is common in Sicily, and 
very common at Smyrna. Naumann remarks as worthy 
of notice that the Serin Finch is not equally plentiful 
in the same country, and Schinz writes to him that 
he has never procured it in the Canton of Zurich, 
though they are common a four hoars' journey out of 
it. They are said to be plentiful in the neighbourhood 
of Heidelberg and Offenbach, but in the country be- 
tween very rare. Count Miihle says it is very common 
in Greece, in company with Finches and Linnets, 
and that its colours are in that country very bright. 
Captain Loche includes it among the birds of Algeria; 
.and Mr. Salvin ("Ibis," vol. i, p. 313,) says that it is 
common about the olive-groves of Sousa, in the neigh- 
bourhood of Turin, but rare in the more elevated 
and mountainous parts of the Eastern Atlas. 

A special interest attaches to this bird in consequence 
of its having been recently captured in England, but 
as it has not hitherto been figured as a British bird, 
it comes into my list. The account of this capture 
will be found related by Mr. Bond, in the "Zoologist" 
for 1860, p. 7105. One specimen was said to have 
been caught in a clap-net on the 20th. of June, 1859, 
near Brighton; and a second near London, in October, 



100 SERIN FINCH. 

1859, shortly after a severe storm. Mr. Rowley also 
("Ibis," January, 1861,) alludes to other specimens 
having been taken near Brighton. 

The Serin Finch is generally a migratory bird, 
quitting its summer and breeding ground in October, 
and returning the following March; but in the mild 
climate of the Rhine, Naumann tells us it remains all 
the year round. 

It lives most frequently in fruit-gardens, orchards, 
or avenues of wallnut or nut-trees, and vineyards; 
more rarely in oak and beech woods, and loves to 
dwell among willows and alders, on the banks of brooks 
and rivers, as well as in garden-trees in the middle 
of villages or near buildings. Naumann, from whom 
I am now quoting, further remarks that wherever it 
lives in summer, it makes itself known by its restless 
habits, and its custom of always singing on the sum- 
mit of the tree tops, from which it often flies down 
to the roofs of buildings. In autumn it is more retired, 
but remains long on the thick tree tops. 

It seeks its food principally on the ground, on 
which account it is often seen there, but never very 
far from trees and bushes, and still less in the open 
fields. It does not seem to like fir or pine woods. 
In its movements it is very lively and active, springing 
from branch to branch, very much like the Siskin or 
Common Linnet, and it willingly associates with these 
birds, particularly the Siskin. They are generally seen 
in pairs or small flocks, and the pairs do not seem to 
separate during the whole year, but "cling to each 
other with the utmost affection and tenderness." If 
one is accidentally separated from the other, they call 
assiduously until they are again united. 

The male is very lively in the beautiful spring 



SERIN FINCH. 101 

weather, and sings continually from the tops of the 
trees, and delights especially in flying from one to the 
other, sometimes soaring and sometimes fluttering aloft, 
and flying straight clown again like the Tree Pipit. 
In its usual flight it resembles the Siskin, moving 
quickly from place to place, and uttering its peculiar 
note, which has been compared to that of the Siskin, 
the Goldfinch, and Canary-bird. The song has much 
variation, and may be heard at the breeding-place all 
day long, and from March till far into August. It is 
a favourite cage-bird, assorting by choice with Siskins, 
Goldfinches, and Canaries, and it may, like these birds, 
be taught many performances. 

Like other Finches, the Serin feeds on seeds, es- 
pecially those grown in gardens, and it prefers the 
oleaginous to the farinaceous. Naumann mentions par- 
ticularly cabbage, hemp, and poppy, rape, turnip, 
radish, and lettuce seed, for which it lays contributions 
on the cultivator, and for which it is doubtless often 
shot and trapped. The wild seeds which it seems to 
prefer, are dandelion, hawk cabbage, chicory, the 
grasses, and even, when driven to it, oats. In autumn 
it seeks its food among the alders and birches. 

Its nest is much more frequently found on fruit 
and walnut-trees than on beech, oak, or alder. It is 
in position more like the nest of the Goldfinch than 
the Linnet, placed in a forked bough, not very high, 
or in the lowest branches; in bushes and dwarf fruit 
trees, but not in low bushes. The nest is sometimes 
like that of the Goldfinch, at others more like the 
Greenfinches, but smaller, very narrow, rounded, and 
lined with more skill than the latter. It is formed of 
small roots, woven together with old twigs, which are 
however, sometimes wanting. The inside is tolerably 



102 



SERIN FINCH. 



deep, and made soft and warm with feathers, and 
generally a large quantity of horse-hair, and single 
pigs' bristles, which secure a smooth resting-place for 
the eggs, and make, as Naumann justly remarks, one 
of the prettiest of nests. 

The eggs are about the size of the Siskins', but 
shorter and rounder, very tender-shelled, and in colour 
resembling the Linnets', having a ground of greenish 
white, with solitary dots and short streaks of a dull 
or dark blood reel, or reddish brown, forming a kind 
of wreath oftentimes round the larger end. They sit 
fourteen days, and this duty is performed entirely by 
the female, while the male often feeds her most 
tenderly from his crop. 

The late lamented Mr. Edward Tuck, of Wallington 
Rectory, near Baldock, Hertfordshire, who took a 
great interest in the progress of my work, wrote to 
me an account of his observation of this bird in the 
south of France, and promised to send me the nest 
and eggs. The fatal disease, however, which took 
him to the sunny climate of the south of France, has 
since then terminated fatally; and it is with a melan- 
choly interest I record an extract from one of his 
letters, which displayed not only considerable knowledge 
of natural history, but powers of observation, which 
would, had he been spared, have done much good to 
the science, in the pursuit of which he was so fond. 
The letter is dated June 15th., 1859: — 

"I have lately returned from Cannes, where I passed 
several months of the winter; but I am sorry to say 
nave met with very little indeed in the ornithological 
way. . . .Provence is generally a very dry and barren 
country, and you only find birds in the valleys, on 
the borders of streams. With regard, however, to the 



SERIN FINCH. 103 

Serin Finch, F. serinus, I found that some Avintered 
in Provence. I heard the song two or three times in 
December, and obtained a specimen in January. They 
begin to sing again about the middle of February. 
By the middle of March their numbers had greatly 
increased by arrivals, and they were extremely abundant 
all along the edges of the pine woods, with which all 
the higher ground of the country is covered. They 
evidently frequented the borders of cultivated ground 
more than the interior of the wood. The males were 
then in full song. From the middle of March the 
numbers gradually lessened till there were only some 
pairs left here and there breeding. 

"They build chiefly in gardens, more so than in 
pine woods. The nest is always on a pine or cedar, 
from six to sixteen feet from the ground. On the 
14th. of April I saw some young Serins out of the 
nest, but they could not fly; and on the 26th. I took 
a nest containing only two fresh eggs. On my way 
home, I stayed some days at Fontainebleau. I cer- 
tainly did not hear these birds there, though the 
gardens round the palace seemed suitable for them, and 
I was shewn the skin of one said to have been ob- 
tained there. The Serin Finch is not found in 
Madeira. I have seen it at Cintra, near Lisbon, in 
June, but they are never numerous there then." 

In Badeker's work upon European eggs, I find the 
following remarks about this bird by Brehm: — "The 
Serin Finch inhabits the south of Europe, Asia Minor, 
and North Africa. In Germany it removes in a 
remarkable manner towards the north. I saAV it at 
Nuremberg in 1130, aucl for three years at Jena and 
Dresden. It comes into the south of Germany during 
the first fortnight in April. The half-bowl-formed 



104 SERIN FINCH. 

nest is made of grass and stalks of plants, and lined 
with feathers and hairs. Many also use the catkins of 
the willow upon the under layer, whilst others are 
made almost entirely of rootlets, and some build almost 
exclusively of the clustering blossoms of the chesnuts. 
It lays in May five eggs, which are similar to those 
of F. citrinetta in size and markings. The ground- 
colour is pale green, having at the narrow end faint 
reddish grey spots, in the middle brown, while, at the 
greater end, the small streaks and dots are black brown." 

Savi's interesting account does not differ from those 
I have given. It appears in Tuscany in flocks in 
April. 

The male in breeding plumage has all the upper 
parts olivaceous, with longitudinal black markings; the 
vertex, throat, crop, and an imperfect collar round the 
neck, greenish yellow; the nape mottled yellow and 
olivaceous; the lower part of the body and flanks 
dirty white, the latter being marked with longitudinal 
brown spots. The wings are crossed with two narrow 
yellowish white bands. Primaries and tail quills brown, 
bordered lightly with dirty white; the rump is clear 
canary yellow; beak horn brown above, whitish below; 
feet and iris brown. In autumn the colours are less 
pure. 

The female has less yellow in its plumage than the 
male, more black above, and more brown spots below. 

Before the first moult the young are variegated with 
grey and yellowish, with elongated brown markings. 

My figures of the bird and its egg are from speci- 
mens kindly sent me by Mr. Tristram. 

The bird has also been figured by Buffon, pi. enl. 
G58, (male;) Eoux, Ornith. Provence, pi. 94, (male and 
female;) Bouteil, Ornith. du Dauph., pi. 34, fig. 4; 



SERIN FINCH. 105 

Gould, B. of E., pi. 195; Temminck, Atlas du Manuel; 
Vieillot, Galerie des Oiseaux, pi. 62, et Faune Franc, 
pi. 38, fig. 1; Naumann, Vogel Deutsch., vol. v, pi. 
123. 



106 



GKANIVOILE. 

Family FRINGIBBIBM. (Bonaparte.,) 

Genus Fringilla. ( Binnceus.) 

CITEIL FINCH. 

Fringitta citfinella. 

Fringilla citrinella, Linn^us. Temminck. 

" alpina, Scopoli. 

brumalis, Bechstein. 

Serinus citrinella, Boie. 

Chlorospiza citrinella, Kaup. 

Cannabina citrinella, Degland. 

Citrinella serinus sive alpina, Bonapabte. 
Venturon ordinaire, Le Venturon 

de Provence, or Gros bee Venturon, Of the French. 

Gemeiner Citronenfink, Of the G-eemans. 

Veniurone, Savi. 

Specific Characters. — Vertex and baek green; nape grey. Pri- 
maries all tipped with, ash; first and third primaries of equal 
length, and the longest in the wing; tail much forked. Length 
four inches and four fifths; carpus to tip of wing three inches; 
tarsus seven lines; beak four lines; tail two inches and three 
tenths. 

The Citril Finch is very common in the south of 
Europe — in Greece, Turkey, Italy, the shores of the 
Mediterranean, and in Provence. It is found acciden- 



I L F I N G H , 



CITRIL FINCH. 107 

tally only in Germany and the north of France, and, 
according to Temminck, never in Holland. It is by 
no means a rare bird in Spain, nor in Switzerland. 
It leaves Germany and Switzerland in October in 
flocks, and returns in March, or April. It is also 
found in those parts of Asia and Africa which abut 
on the European border. Captain Loche says it occurs 
only accidentally in Algeria. 

Thus limited to the southern parts of Europe, the 
Citril Finch is nevertheless a true Alpine bird, living 
not only among the smaller hills, but frequenting the 
highest Alpine mountains as far as the arboreal region 
extends. It is found, says Naumann, in the upper 
dark forests which are broken here and there by 
open plains overgrown with grass, and rocky precipices. 
Count Miihle says it is rare in Greece evervwhere 
except in the mountains. 

The following account of its habits is from Naumann: 
— It is a cheerful restless little bird, very active in 
its movements, and somewhat shy. It seems alwavs 
full of joy, and is constantly heard even in bad 
weather, or in the middle of alpine snoAv and storms. 
It is never known to stay long in the same place ; 
and appears in constant motion, turning its tail from 
side to side, hopping or fluttering among the boughs 
of the trees, or on the earth when it seeks its food; 
its spring is quick, its deportment fearless. In all this 
its affinity with the Siskin is remarkable. It resembles 
it also in its flight, especially that of passage. It seems 
alike indifferent to weather or temperature, and only 
departs from its mountain home, when the ground is 
frozen, and there is a deficiency of food. 

Its note is a gentle piping, described by some as 
f gu,' by others as 'qjiul' or 'qjiub.' This call is 



108 CITRIL FINCH. 

heard frequently as it flies or immediately after 
settling. The song of the male is variously described. 
Bechstein compares it to that of the Canary bird, but 
says it is not so shrill — something between a Canary 
bird and Tree Pipit. Schinz compares it to the song 
of the Siskin. It is really a loud, clear, pleasant song, 
which may be constantly heard at the breeding-season, 
from March to September. The female also sings a 
little, but not so loud as the male. 

Many agreeable qualities combine to make the male 
Citril Finch a favourite cage-bird, and it is kept by 
amateurs in great numbers. It becomes domesticated 
quickly, is easily tamed, and not difficult to keep 
even for a long time. It feeds principally on the seeds 
of firs or pines, and on those of many alpine plants, 
and also destroys buds and blossoms, though probably 
it does this, like the Goldfinch, in search of insect 
larvae. In confinement it is fed, like other Finches, 
on poppy or hemp seed, but with the last it gets too 
fat, and it must not consequently be made its principal 
food. 

It nests in the mountains of the countries above 
named, in the Tyrol, and in many places in Switzer- 
land on the southern Alpine chain. The nest is 
sometimes placed in the thick stumpy alpine firs or 
other pine trees, sometimes under the roofs of the 
herdsmen's cottages. It is cup-shaped, and very well 
and skilfully woven together. It is made of dry grass, 
with moss and twigs more or less intertwined, is 
tolerably smooth on the outside, and very beautifully 
lined with many hairs of various animals, small feathers, 
and husks of the poppy. 

The eggs are four or five in number, and in form 
and colour very similar to those of the Goldfinch. 



CITRIL FINCH. 109 

They are, however, much smaller. The ground-colour 
greenish blue, with variously-sized dots of reddish 
grey and blood red, chiefly at the larger end. 

According to M. Crespon, it will breed with the 
Serin Finch. 

The male in breeding plumage has the top of the 
head and back olive green; nape and sides of throat 
grey; rump, throat, and all the under parts citron 
yellow; wings and tail dark brown; the primaries 
lightly and the secondaries broadly tipped with ashy 
white; two oblique bars of olive green across the wings. 
Beak brown; feet reddish; iris clear brown. 

The female has the plumage browner, with less of 
yellow below, and the wing bars are whitish. 

According to Degland the young before the first 
moult have the upper parts of a russet grey, with a 
longitudinal black spot in the centre of each feather; 
the inferior parts russet white, with a number of 
brown spots, distinct, but less pronounced on the 
middle of the abdomen; wings of a blackish grey, 
with the coverts broadly bordered and tipped with 
light yellow ochre, forming two transverse bands, one 
on the middle, the other on the lesser coverts; pri- 
maries brown, bordered and tipped with grey; tail 
quills equally brown,, bordered and tipped with ashy 
white. 

My figure of this bird is from a specimen sent me 
by Mr. Tristram. The egg is from Thienemann. 

The bird has also been figured by Temminck, Atlas; 
Vieillot, Faune Franc, pi. 40; Roux, Ornith. Prov., 
pi. 90, (male;) JSTaumann, Vogel Deutsch., pi. 124; 
Boutcil, Ornith. du Dauph., pi. 35, f. 3; Gould, B. of 
E., pi. 198. 



110 



GKANIVOR^E. 

Family FRINGILLlDuF. (Bonaparte.) 

Genus Fringilla. (Linnceus.) 

SNOW FINCH. 

Fringilla nivalis. 

Fringilla nivalis, Bkisson. 

" saxatilis, Koch. 

Passer alpicola, Pallas. 

Plectrophanes fringilloides, Boie. 

Chlorospiza nivalis, Kaup. 

Montifringilla nivalis, Brehm. Bonapaete. 

Pinson de Neige des Alpes, Of the Feench. 

Alpen Schneefink, Op the Geemans. 



Specific Characters. — Wing coverts, the chief part of the 
secondary quills, and all the tail feathers with the exception of 
the two middle ones of a pure white. Length six inches and 
two fifths. 



The Snow Finch, is an inhabitant of the highest 
mountains of Southern Europe, namely, — Switzerland, 
south of France, the Pyrenees, the Appenines, and the 
Caucasus. It is found also in the Tyrolese Alps, and 
occasionally, while on its passage to the north, in 
Thuringia and Anhalt. In the north of Europe it 
is rare. It has, however, heen taken in Sweden ac- 



SNOW FINCH. Ill 

cording to Nilsson, though he only mentions a single 
capture: and it is equally rare in Siberia. It occurs 
in the high mountains of Persia, and is found in 
North America. Dr. Leith Adams informs me that it 
is common about Candahar, so that it has a wide and 
extensive range. In Switzerland it is found in the 
highest mountains in the regions of everlasting snow, 
descending to the lower parts only when driven by 
storms; and in the spring of the year it is found in 
the higher alpine valleys. In summer it still prefers the 
most desolate places, where it is seldom disturbed by 
its enemy man; such as the Usfernthal, the desert 
regions of the Gumsel and the Simplon, and in the 
neighbourhood of the convent of St. Bernard, where 
it is found all the year. 

Naumann, from whom my account is principally 
taken, says that the Swiss naturalists consider there 
are two species or permanent varieties, one living 
always in the Swiss mountains, the other in the south 
of Germany; but he does not agree with this opinion, 
considering the idea has originated in the well-known 
migratory habits of the bird. 

The Snow Finch lives during summer, and in a 
great part of the year where no trees grow; it is 
therefore seen on the ground, stones, and walls or roofs 
of buildings. It is a cheerful, restless, and vigorous 
bird, resembling in its habits the Mountain Finch and 
Chaffinch, and like them it runs and hops on the 
ground, and has a similar flight, in which its beautiful 
plumage is well displayed. It is generally considered 
a very shy bird, but the Swiss naturalists say that 
in their mountains it is less wild, though ever 
cautious. It is sociable with its kind, and is seldom 
seen alone, except during the breeding-season. When 



112 SNOW FINCH. 

startled, it flies up high, in the air, and seems to go 
far away, but it usually makes a circuit and returns to 
the same spot, where it settles upon the ground. 

Its call, which is heard during flight, is a pe- 
culiar piping, short, broken note, compared by Schinz 
to the syllables 'tri, tri, tri.' Bechstein says that its 
call is a loud and clear 'kip, kip,' like that of the 
Crossbill. It will also in confinement sing the notes 
of the Mountain Finch, and is not easily tamed. 

It lives upon seeds and insects, preferring of the 
first those that are oily, and of the latter beetles and 
grasshoppers, moths, etc. In winter its food is by 
necessity confined to the seeds of alpine plants — fir and 
pine trees, and, like our Sparrows and Finches, it 
may be seen feeding among the dung of horses, and 
it will even in inclement seasons venture into the 
cloisters of St. Bernard to pick up grains of rice or 
anything it can get. Schinz tells us they are always 
in good condition, and very fat in summer. In con- 
finement they will do well on rape and hemp seeds, 
but will also eat those of the fir, which they seem to 
like much. They also feed upon the seeds of several 
grasses. 

The Snow Finch breeds only in the highest regions 
of the highest mountains, where the growth of wood 
has ceased, and near those dreary and desolate spots 
where the snow has never melted since the mountain 
was upheaved from the bowels of the earth. Yet it 
hath pleased Him, without whose knowledge not a 
Sparrow falleth to the ground, to locate here one of 
the most beautiful of His created things; and as the 
weary traveller seeks among these wild and inhospitable 
regions the records of a past history in the world — 
and is full of that deep and indescribable feeling which 



SNOW FINCH. \1o 

the sublimity of such a solitude creates within his 
mind — he is charmed and delighted by the chirp or 
the nutter of this lonely denizen of the Alps, which 
proclaims to him by its presence there — by its adapta- 
tion to its existence — by its distinct individuality — that 
it had a special creation and a special position assigned 
to it in the great scheme of nature. 

The nest of the Snow Finch is placed on the rocks, 
between stones, in fissures of the rocks, or in holes, 
as well as in the balconies and under the roofs of the 
hospitals of the great St. Bernard and the Simplon. 
It begins to build in May, and has probably only 
one brood in the year. The nest is made of dry 
grass, stalks, and moss, and lined inside with feathers 
or hairs. It contains from four to five eggs, which 
are very similar to those of other Finches. The ground- 
colour is bright greenish, with ashy grey and dark 
green or brown irregular spots and dots. 

The young are fed upon insects, and are taken off 
into the snow, even to the highest regions, by the" old 
birds. 

The male in breeding plumage has the top of the 
head and neck of an ashy colour, running into bluish; 
back and scapularies brown, shaded with russet on the 
borders of the feathers; upper tail coverts partly white 
and partly black, with their edges* russet; the inferior 
parts are white, washed with ash on the crop and 
neck, with a large black spot on the throat; abdomen 
white; under tail coverts white, with some brown spots 
at their extremity. Wings black, with a large white 
longitudinal band formed by the wing coverts and the 
greatest part of the secondary quills; the primaries 
bordered on the outside, and tipped with russet grey; 
the two middle tail feathers black, bordered with 



114 SNOW FINCH. 

russet grey; the others white, tipped with a slight black 
spot bordered with russet; the most external feather 
on each side entirely white; beak black; feet and iris, 
brown. 

In autumn the colours of the male are browner 
above, the black mark on the neck less extended, and 
the borders of the feathers which form it ashy; beak 
yellowish, and the feet of a darker brown. 

The female does not differ from the male, except 
by the ash-coloured head, which runs into russet, and 
the absence of the black mark on the neck. 

The young before their first moult are above and 
on the sides of the head and nape of an ashy brown, 
with the feathers broadly bordered with russet; back 
and scapularies brown, with the feathers bordered with 
red; front and sides of the neck ashy white; crop, ab- 
domen, and under tail coverts of a russet white ; the white 
feathers of the wings and tail, washed with an ochreous 
red on their borders; the black feathers of the same 
parts bordered and tipped with russet; beak saffron 
yellow; feet russet brown. — (Degland.) 

Figured also by Buffon, Brisson, Wilson, Temminck, 
etc. By Roux, Ornith. Prov., pi. 89, (male in winter 
plumage;) Bouteil, Ornith. du Dauph., pi. 35, fig. 1; 
Naumann, Yogel Deutschlands, pi. 117; Gould, B. of 
E., pi. 189. 



115 



GKANIVOILE. 

Family FRINGILLIDJE. ( Bonaparte.) 

Genus Fringilla. ( 'Linnaeus.) 

ALPINE SEBIN FINCH. 

Fringilla pusilla. 

Fringilla pusilla, Gmelin. 

Passer pusillus, Pallas. 

Serinus " Beandt. Bonaparte. 

Pyrrhula pusilla, Degland. De Selts. 

Moineau des Alpes, Op the French. 

Alpensperling, Op the Germans. 

Specific Characters. — Rump grey, spotted with, blackish; abdo- 
men dirty white; primaries bordered with yellow in the adult, and 
with white in the young. Length about four inches and a half. 
— Degland. 

This species is said by Pallas to be common in the 
Caucasus and the borders of the Caspian Sea, to which 
it goes in spring from the high mountains in common 
with Fringilla nivalis and Sylvia erijthrogastra, which 
come down in winter from the alpine regions of Persia. 

The following is the description given by Pallas: — ■ 
"Forehead testaceous red; vertex black. Neck and 
back grey, with the middle of the feathers fuscous; 
•abdomen and under tail' coverts white. Feet black; 
beak fuscous." 



116 ALPINE SERIN EINCH. 

The above description is thought by De Selys-Long- 
champs to apply only to the young in the winter 
plumage. In the "Revue de Zoologie" for 1847, page 
120, this distinguished naturalist has given the following 
more extended diagnosis of the adult bird: — Top of 
the head, auditory region, and throat, of a dull black, 
with the forehead of a bright and lively red; nape, 
upper parts of the body, and upper tail coverts, grey; 
the centre of the feathers blackish, having the borders 
of a saffron yellow or grey white; the parts below dirty 
white, with longitudinal blackish spots on the flanks 
and under tail coverts, the whole irregularly washed 
with saffron yellow; wings blackish, the lesser coverts 
broadly bordered with saffron yellow; primaries slightly 
bordered with this colour, and the secondaries with 
grey white; tail blackish, with the end lightly bordered 
with grey white; beak brown; feet black. 

Figured by Pallas, Zoog., 1811-31, vol. 2, p. 28. 

I have not a specimen or good drawing of this bird, 
which I therefore am sorry to say cannot be figured. 




. : 



117 



GRANIVOR^. 

Family FHINGILLIDJE. (Bonaparte.) 

Genus Fringilla. (Linnceus.J 

HOLBOLL'S EEDPOLE. 

Fringilla Holboelli. 



Fringilla Holboelli, 
" canescens, 

" borealis, 



Linaria canescens, 
" Holboelli, 
Acantliis Holbollii, 
JEgiothus Holboelli, 
Carduelis Holboellii, 
Siserin Grisatre, 
Grauer Leinfink, 



Beehm. 

De Selys; Faune Beige. 
Schlegel; Bevue. 
Temminck; Man., 1835. 
Keyserling- and Blasitjs; 

Die Wirbelthiere Europa's 
Gould. Degland. 
Brehm. 
Bonaparte. 
Cabanis. 
Dubois. 

Of the French. 
Of the Germans. 



Specific Characters. — Bump pure white in all seasons, except 
in the breeding season, when it has in the male a rose-red tint; 
tail six cents and a half, equal about to two inches and three 
fifths. Length five inches and three fifths. — De gland. 



The Lesser and Mealy Redpoles are included in our 
British lists, both of them being frequently taken in 
this country. Mr. Gould has, however, figured a variety 



118 holboll's eedpole. 

in his "Birds of Europe/' which is considered by some 
to be only a variety of F. borealis ; and Mr. Morris, 
in his "History of British Birds," has figured the Mealy 
Redpole under Gould's name of Linaria canescens. 

As long ago however as 1842, M. Selys De Long- 
champs, in his "Faune Beige," p. 73, remarked that 
"F. borealis must not be confounded with F. canescens, 
which differs always from it, in that the whole rump 
is of a pure white above, but it has a much stronger 
make, a very long tail, and the ground colour of the 
plumage white, tinted with brown." 

This species inhabits Greenland, and is found occa^- 
sionally in Belgium and the north of France. 

M. Dubois, in his "Planches Coloriees des Oiseaux 
de la Belgique," a Avork which I have before had 
occasion to speak of with favour, has the following notice 
of this bird, which I take the liberty, with the author's 
kind permission, to transcribe: — "The Tarin D'Holboil 
is very rare, and Ave haA-e only very vague and very 
imperfect accounts about it. We are ignorant of its 
true country. It is only known that it comes from the 
north, and that it appears in Germany and Belgium. 
Nothing is knoAvn about the habits and nidification of 
this bird, but they probably do not differ from other 
species of the same genus. It is distinguished from its 
congeners by the body and beak being stronger, and 
the greater length of the wings. Many naturalists have 
made a special genus for this Tarin and the two other 
European species, but Ave cannot admit this distinction, 
as these Tarins do not differ in anything but the colour 

of the plumage The figures are taken from two 

species in the collection of M. De Selys-Longchamps." 

The male has the vertex and forehead blood-red; 
upper parts of neck and body whitish, with longitudinal 



holboll's redpole. 119 

blackish marks; rump, front of neck, and chest, rose- 
red; rest of the under parts white; ear coverts and 
throat black; primaries and tail feathers brown, edged 
with pure white; beak yellow below and brown above; 
feet and iris brown. The female is like the male, but 
without red on the neck or chest; the lower part of 
the body white, with brown streaks on the sides. 

Male and female in winter have the ground colour 
of the plumage white, tinted with brown; rump pure 
white, and the black of the ear coverts and throat 
dull. The young before the first moult are unknown. 
— (Degland.) 

My figure is taken from the male in Dubois' plate, 
which I have selected as being a good drawing of the 
specimen referred to in De Selys' collection. 

It has also been figured by Gould, Birds of Europe, 
193? 



The following members of the genus Fringilla require 
a word or two of notice: — 

Fringilla incerta, Bisso, Chlorospiza incerta, Bonaparte, 
is only the young of Pyrrhula erythrina. 

Fringilla brevirostris is not considered by Mr. Gould 
to belong to the European fauna, all the specimens 
which have fallen under his notice having been captured 
in Asia. 



1:20 



GRANIVOR^E. 

Family FRINGILLIDJE. (Bonaparte.) 

Genus Passer. (Brisson.) 

Generic Characters. — Beak short, slightly convex, and curved 
at the tip, the border of the upper mandible slightly over- 
lapping the inferior. "Wings medium size, the second primary 
the longest. Tarsi nearly as long as the middle toe; claws 
sharp and curved; tail nearly square, and of medium size. 



ROCK SPARROW. 

Passer petronia. 

Passer petronia, Schlegel. Degland. 

" sylvestris, Beisson. 

Fringillu- petronia, Linnaeus. GrMELrsr. Latham. 

" " Keyseeling and Blasius. 

" " Temminck. Schinz. Naumann. 

Coccothraustes petronia, Cuviee. Lesson. 

Petronia rupestris, Bonapaete. 

Moineau Soulcie, Of the Feench. 

Steinsperling, Of the Geemans. 

Passera Lagia, Savi. 
Ping Sparrow, Foolish, 

Speckled, and White-tailed 

Sparrow, Latham. 

Specific Characters. — The tail is large; each of the tail feathers, 
except the two middle, marked with a round patch of white on 



ROCK SPARROW. Lvl 

the extremity of each inner web; under tail coverts fawn-colour, 
with a round patch of white at the extremity of each feather. 
In the adult there is a band of yellow across the neck anteriorly. 
Length six inches; carpus to tip four inches; tail two inches 
and a half; tarsus nine lines; beak eight lines long, and one 
inch and a fifth in circumference at its base. 

The genus Passer is well marked, and has been 
established ever since ornithology was a science. Notices 
of it may be found in the writings of Gesner, Wil- 
loughby, Aldrovandus, and Ray, and it was finally 
determined by Brisson, in his "Ornithologia," published 
in 1760. Cuvier suggested the name of Pyrgyta in- 
stead, and in some few works he has been followed, 
very much against the true interests of science. 
Bonaparte, following Schlegel and others, adopts 
Brisson's genus with some restrictions, and with his 
usual fondness for converting specific into generic 
names, he has followed Kaup by placing the subject 
of the present notice in a separate genus under the 
name of Petronia rupestris. 

The Rock Sparrow is an inhabitant of the warm 
and temperate regions of Europe, namely, Spain, the 
south of France, Sardinia, and the Avhole of Italy. In 
the south of France it is very common in Anjou, the 
Pyrenees, and the Basses Alps. It is found occasionally 
in Lorraine, and several individuals are stated by 
Degland to have been captured in the neighbourhood 
of Paris, and one female at Lille, in October, 1839. 
It is rare in the north of France and Switzerland, 
and is only occasionally found solitary in the west and 
south of Germany, viz., the Rhinegau, Wether au, and 
several other places on the Rhine. Naumann says it 
has been shot in Thuringia, but not, to his knowledge 



122 ROCK SPARROW. 

in Anlialt. It is included in Savi's "Birds of Tuscany," 
but it does not appear to be a common bird there. 
Count Miihle says that it is solitary in the whole of 
Greece on the bare stone walls, and very plentiful 
throughout the Grecian Islands. Lord Lilford, in his 
description of birds observed by him in the Ionian 
Islands, ("Ibis," vol. ii, p. 187,) says that he observed 
several of these birds in the Acrocerannian Mountains, 
in May, 1857, and in Montenegro in August of the 
same year. It was found by Captain Loche in the 
three provinces of Algeria; and is included by Mr. 
Tristram in his list of the birds of Southern Palestine, 
where it is observed everywhere on the bare stony 
hills. Dr. Leith Adams informs me that it is very 
common in Sicily, occasionally visits Malta in the 
spring, and is abundant in AfFghanistan. 

According to Naumann, to whose invaluable work I 
am indebted for most of the following information, it 
is a stationary bird in mild climates and a migratory 
one in cold countries. They associate in small flocks 
rather than greater multitudes, which are at all events 
never seen in Germany. In the Rhinegau, especially 
near Wiesbaden, they are observed in autumn on fruit 
trees by the sides of the roads, and in corn-fields, in 
flocks. Brehm mentions flocks of about ten. They 
choose mountainous places for their residence, where, 
among rocks and ruins they love to dwell. In 
winter they mix with other birds, and are seen about 
the roads and villages, but it does not appear that 
they visit farm-yards. In autumn they are found in 
stubble-fields. They appear to avoid level land. At 
night they sleep in holes of walls and ruins, always 
choosing a hole with a very narrow entrance, and 
shew their sociable qualities by selecting places near 






^ , ■. »• "*■ 






- I S PA] RC '. 
I T A LIAN H U S B 3 P A R R 1 



ROCK SPARROW. 123 

each other. Brehm records having seen three of them 
enter the same hole. 

Its habits are entirely those of the Sparrow, and 
nothing can justify that reckless disregard of close 
affinities by which it has been separated from that 
genus. Though resembling most in its habits those of 
our House Sparrow, it differs from it altogether in 
one thing, — it is more distrustful of man, and is gen- 
erally a very shy bird, flying away upon the approach 
of danger, and keeping a good look-out against it. 
Its movements on the ground are like those of other 
Sparrows, but it is more active and brisker. In its 
flight it is compared by Brehm to the Crossbill. They 
are very sociable among each other, with the excep- 
tion of certain quarrels which take place like those of 
the House Sparrow, and their tone of voice is similar. 

Leisler records having seen large flocks of the Rock 
Sparrow in the Rhinegau, in 1803, where they were 
making a House Sparrow-like chattering among the 
trees. The manner of the bird is crafty, and it fre- 
quently moves its wings with a quick short movement. 
They are very sensitive to the cold of winter, and 
many are found dead during that season in the holes 
of trees. 

The usual note is a homely croak, similar to the 
call of the Mountain Finch. Brehm says it may be 
represented by 'qjiwit,' and that it is similar to that 
of the Goldfinch, and very different from that of the 
Linnets and Siskin. One note serves as a warning cry, 
another invites to settle, and a third is the signal for 
flight. A young bird begins to pipe early, and has 
a note like that of the Canary bird, in addition to 
the 'qjiwit.' When it fears clanger or its nest is ap- 
proached it calls out like the other Sparrows. Brehm 



124 ROCK SPARROW. 

compares the song to that of the Reed Bunting, 
which is not saying much for it, but it is not without 
melody. 

In confinement the Rock Sparrow is very tame and 
sociable with its kindred. Brehm brought up a young 
bird which was very confiding in its manner to him. 
It would feed out of his hand, and let him know 
by a cry or a look when it wanted food. It sung 
before it was full-grown, and was heard constantly 
in October, being loudest when the other birds were 
singing. Leisler informs us that he brought up a 
young bird, which was very docile and an excellent 
mimic, having, among other qualifications of this kind, 
learned to imitate, much to his master's annoyance, the 
cry of his Marmot. This bird, however, did not 
seem inclined to sing when people were in the room, 
but it was nevertheless very tame, comical in its habits, 
and mischievous. 

The Rock Sparrow feeds on seeds of various kinds, 
insects and their larvae, especially beetles, grasshoppers, 
and Naumann adds, I am sorry to say, cherries. 
Large grains of sand are often found mixed with the 
food in the stomach. It frequents ploughed fields, 
meadows, and roads, after corn-seeds, especially oats, 
which it seems to like best of the cereals. It is also 
a berry feeder. It lives in early summer on insects; 
and feeds its young, like the rest of its family, upon 
caterpillars and other larvae, together with beetles, 
grasshoppers, and moths, all of which it removes from 
the cultivated lands, very much to the benefit of the 
farmer, who rewards its relations for the same service 
in this country with a dose of poison. Naumann, 
however, expatiates upon the fondness of the Rock 
Sparrow for cherries, in search of which it will lead 



ROCK SPARROW. 125 

its young into orchards, giving them the fleshy part, 
and then cracking the stone for the kernel with its 
strong beak. When it catches large insects it bites 
off the head, wings, and legs, and eats the body in 
small pieces. It differs from other Sparrows in prefer- 
ing oily to farinaceous seeds. 

The Rock Sparrow nests in the Rhine country, 
in the neighbourhood of "Wiesbaden especially. They 
build in high fruit trees, or in the holes of ruins of 
old castles and watch-towers. They pick out a nar- 
row and deep fissure in the walls, generally pretty 
high up; they never build in woods. They will 
return year after year to the same hole, and, like 
other Sparrows, young and old sleep in them together. 
The nest is like that of the House Sparrow; there 
is a great heap of straw and stalks of grass, with 
fine rootlets and other fibres of plants, old rags, and 
thread, and it is lined with hair, worsted, wool, and 
feathers in abundance. It is always placed so deeply 
in the hole that the materials cannot be seen outside. 
It appears from the authority of Brehm that they 
only lay two or three eggs. Naumann, however, thinks 
this is a local peculiarity and not general. The eggs 
are very similar to those of the House Sparrow, but 
larger, and equally as various. The ground colour is 
a cloudy white, with ash-grey and brown dots marked 
over with streaks and spots, through which much of 
the ground colour appears. Those slightly marked 
have often greater spots, others mostly small streaks 
running over them, and the markings are generally 
most numerous at the larger end. The grey marking 
varies into brighter and darker, and the brown 
changes from yellowish to reddish grey brown, and 
even almost into blackish brown or slate-colour. 



126 rock sparrow; 

They appear only to breed once in the year. The 
old birds are very anxious about their young, and 
are in great distress when anyone approaches the nest 
which contains them, and are very careful watchers. 

The male in breeding plumage has the head light 
brown, with two darker bands on each side; all the 
upper parts more or less of the same tint, marked 
with longitudinal patches of darker brown, the borders 
of the feathers being lighter; rump and under tail 
coverts light brown, the feathers tipped with white; 
throat, crop, and abdomen tawny white, with grey 
and brown spots; a yellow band separates the throat 
from the crop ; sides of the head and neck ash-colour, 
with a brown band beneath the eye, and a white 
broad line separating the eyebrow from a similar 
band on the head. Wings the same colour as the 
back, with the coverts tipped with russet grey; the 
primaries brown, with a white patch on the middle 
of each outer web, except the first, and more marked 
on the second and third; tail feathers brown, and 
terminated, except the two middle ones, with a round 
white spot on the inner web. Beak brown above, 
yellowish below; feet russet; iris brown. 

The male in autumn has the general tints browner; 
the black spots and the whitish ones above larger; 
the scapularies, wing coverts, and primaries tipped 
with whitish; the under parts with the longitudinal 
brown spots larger and darker. 

The female differs very little from the male; the 
yellow mark on the neck is not so distinct, and all 
the other colours less lively. 

The young before the first moult resemble the fe- 
male, without the yellow mark on the neck. Degland 
says this mark is lost in confinement. 



ROCK SPARROW. 127 

My figure of this bird is from a specimen kindly 
sent me by Mr. Tristram, marked "Bethlehem, 31st. 
March, 1850." The egg is from Badeker. 

The bird has also been figured by Buffon, pi. enl. 
225, under the name of Moineau de bois ou Soulcie ; 
Roux, Ornith. Prov., pi. 75 and 76, (male and female;) 
Naumann, Vogel Deutsch, pi. 116, (male and female;) 
Bouteil, Ornith. du Dauph, pi. 88, f. 1, but not a good 
figure; Gould, B. of E., pi. 186. 



128 



GRANIVOILE. 

Family FRINGILLIDsE. f Bonaparte. J 

Genus Passer. fBrisson.) 

ITALIAN HOUSE SPARROW. 

Passer domesticus cisalpinus. 

Passer domesticus cisalpinus, Schlegel. 

" var. B, Keyserling et Blasius. 

" Italia, Bonapaete. 

" Italicus, Degland. 

Fringilla cisalpina, Temminck. 

Pyrgita Italics, Vieillot. 

Moineau cisalpin, Op the Feench. 

Italianischer Haussperling, Op the G-eemans. 

Passera Reale, Savi. 

" capannaja, Stoe. 



Characters of Variation. — Back, light chesnut and black; top of 
the head and nape maroon or brown; flanks unicolorous ; the first 
primary is longer than the third, and very nearly as long as the 
second, which is slightly the longest in the wing; wings reach 
more than half way down the tail. Length about six inches. 



It is impossible to resist the fact that the present is 
only a permanent variety of the Domestic Sparrow. I 
have endeavoured with the greatest care, by a comparison 
of specimens, to detect any real specific difference, but 



ITALIAN HOUSE SPARROW. 129 

without success. The Italian bird differs from the Do- 
mestic Sparrow in some unimportant yet permanent 
colouration, and the wings extend further down the tail 
when closed. There is also a slight difference in the 
second primary, which is relatively to the first and 
second longer than in the Domestic Sparrow. But there 
are the same general dimensions precisely; the flanks 
and abdomen are of the same unicolorous dull grey; 
the black markings on the throat and crop are of the 
same character, and defined by the white of the 
cheeks and side of the neck with a similar sharp and 
distinct outline. The habits too are precisely similar, 
and it is only as a variety under the name given it by 
Schlegel, that I admit it into this work. 

The Cisalpine Sparrow replaces the common type 
throughout the whole of Sicily. It is found during its 
migration in the south of France, and has been noticed 
by Strickland as occurring at Smyrna. Dr. Leith Adams 
also informs me that it occurs in Malta, and that it is 
said to breed with the following species. Its habits 
and propagation are precisely similar to those of the 
House Sparrow. It builds its nest in the same places, 
and of the same form, and the six eggs which it lays 
are similar in size, shape, and colouration to those of 
our well-known bird. 

Mr. Tristram remarks, (Ibis, vol. i., p. 293,) "In its 
habits this Sparrow agrees exactly with our own, in- 
habiting the roofs of houses and the rafters of sheds in 
preference to the more distant groves and gardens. I 
never found it in great communities at a distance from 
buildings ; but wherever man dwells in the desert there 
it is found his constant companion. Probably there are 
frequent instances of hybrids in the gardens where both 
species may be found together." 



130 ITALIAN HOUSE SPARROW. 

The differences between the two birds having been 
expressed in the characters of variation at the head of 
this notice, a more detailed description is unnecessary. 

My figures of the bird and its egg are from specimens 
sent me by Mr. Tristram. 

It has been figured also by Roux and Gould. 



131 



GRANIVORvE. 

Family FRINGILLIDJE. (Bonaparte.) 

Genus Passer. (Brisson.J 

SPANISH SPAEEOW. 

Passer salicarius. 

Passer salicarius, Vieileot. 

Fringilla Hispaniolensis, Temminck. 

" sardoa, Savi. 

Passer domesticus salicarius, Keyserling- et Beasius-. 

Moineau a poitrine Noir, Of the French. 

Schwarzbrilstiger Sperling, Of the Germans. 

Passera sarda, Savi. 



Specific Characters. — Top of the head deep chesnut or maroon - T 
back black, with longitudinal streaks of cream-colour; flanks 
thickly spotted with black on a dirty white ground. The first 
primary the longest in the wing, but nearly equalled by the 
second and third, and all of them longer than the fourth. 
Length about six inches; carpus to tip three inches; tarsus nine 
lines; middle^toe and claw eleven lines; beak six lines; tail two 
inches and a half. 



The Spanish Sparrow lias very strong structural 
affinities with the House Sparrow, but its ornamentation 
and habits are so decidedly different that I think there 
can be no doubt of its specific distinction. Professor 



132 SPANISH SPARROW. 

Blasius lias, however, made it a variety only of the 
Passer domestieus. 

The Spanish Sparrow is, as its name implies, an in- 
habitant of Spain, but it is also common in the south 
of Europe generally, particularly in Sardinia, Sicily, 
and Italy. Count Miihle says it is very rare in 
Greece, but when found it is not in company with 
the Domestic Sparrow, from which he considers it 
quite distinct. Dr. Leith Adams informs me that it is 
the commonest bird in the island of Malta, and breeds 
in the walls of the forts and houses. Dr. Adams also 
mentions having shot and seen it in confinement with 
a yellowish black bill, and lighter tinge of plumage, 
but in no way distinct. It is also said in Malta to 
breed with P. cisalpina, and that a hybrid is produced, 
but Dr. Adams has not been able to confirm this 
statement. Dr. Adams further adds, "I have seen 
specimens in collections made in the Western or 
Trans-Indus portion of the Punjaub, where it is known 
by the name of 'Cabool Sparrow.' I do not think it 
is found further eastward." 

It seems very common in Africa. Captain Loche 
met with it in the three provinces of Algeria. Mr. 
Tristram has recorded it as abundant in Northern, and 
Mr. Salvin in Eastern Africa. — ("Ibis," vol. i.) Mr. 
Tristram also includes it in his list of the birds of 
Palestine, and Mr. E. C. Taylor says that it is abun- 
dant in Egypt, frequenting the open country in large 
flocks, and roosting in trees. 

I shall take the liberty of quoting Mr. Tristram's 
and Mr. Salvia's very interesting remarks, from the 
Avork above alluded to. Mr. Tristram says, "The 
Spanish Sparrow, of which the Arab name is Zaouch, 
is abundant in vast flocks wherever there is moisture, 



v :^w 

***. \*j" 

«•** /* * 



1. SPA] 

3. W" !r'ED ' 



SPANISH SPARROW. 



133 



and especially among the reeds in the salt marshes. At 
Waregla and Tuggurt, where the salt lakes are never dry, 
the noise of these birds is perfectly deafening, and a 
hundred may be, and I am told have been, brought 
clown at a shot. Its habits are certainly very different 
from those of its familiar congener here, though in 
boldness and activity it rivals him. I am not acquainted 
with this bird in Spain; but in Africa, as a general 
rule, it does not affect the habitations of men, and 
always breeds near water, in vast colonies of many 
thousands." — (Page 293.) 

Mr. Salvin says in his "Five Months Bird-nesting in 
the Eastern Atlas, ("Ibis," vol. i, p. 314:)— "The Span- 
ish Sparrow is found in great numbers during the 
breedins: season, among the tamarisk thickets on the 
Chemora, and in the high sedge at Zana. The Arabs 
destroy the nests, eggs, and young wherever they find 
them, as their great numbers do much damage to the 
crops of corn. The nests are placed as thickly as 
they can stand, the whole colon}^ consisting of perhaps 
one hundred pairs, occupying only five or six trees. 
The noise and ceaseless chattering proceeding from 
one of these 'Sparrow towns' can easily be imagined; 
and, guided by the sound alone, one may walk di- 
rectly to the spot for a considerable distance. One 
Sunday morning four Arabs came to our tents, and 
gravely sitting down in a row, opened the hoods of 
their burnouses, and displayed eight hundred or a 
thousand Sparrow eggs, which they arranged in four 
heaps before them, and remained in their sitting pos- 
ture, contemplating them with evident satisfaction. We 
were rather taken by surprise, but selected the best 
for our collections, reserving the rest for omelettes." 
I have received a male and female of the bird 



134 SPANISH SPARROW. 

which Dr. Leith Adams says is very common in Malta, 
and which he has labelled Passer salicarius, Vieillot. 
Upon close comparison I could not discover any real 
specific differences between these skins and our Com- 
mon House Sparrow, P. domesticus. I wrote this to 
Dr. L. Adams, and in reply that gentleman remarks: 
— "In the absence of specimens for comparison, my 
impressions have always been that our Sparrow in 
Malta is a true type, or else a variety of the Passer 
salicarius of Vieillot, and Sir W. Jardine, to whom 
several type specimens were sent, says the same. I 
have, however, since you wrote, made a very long 
series, and sent it by a friend to Mr. Sclater, re- 
questing he will make particular enquiry into the 
subject, and publish his views in the 'Ibis.' It is 
very curious in such a central place as Malta, where 
so many naturalists have touched, that we should be 
still in doubt as to the common Sparrow of the island." 
Brehm, in Badeker's "European Eggs," says of this 
bird: — "It lays from four to six eggs, which are some- 
what smaller than those of the House Sparrow, bluish 
or greenish white, like those of the Italian Sparrow, 
often very dark at the thick end; generally oval, but 
sometimes much lengthened." 

The male in spring plumage has the top of the 
head and the nape dark chesnut brown; back black, 
streaked with cream-colour; upper tail coverts oliva- 
ceous brown; cheeks and superciliary ridge pure white; 
throat and upper part of breast deep black, while the 
lower parts of the breast and flanks are thickly spotted 
with large black markings on a white ground; middle 
of the abdomen and under tail coverts dirty white. 
The wings with a broad band of white across them, 
formed by the tips of the lesser coverts, and there 



SPANISH SPARROW. 135 

is a similar band above the carpus, extending- from the 
cheeks; the lesser coverts are the same colour as the 
top of the head and nape, the others broadly bordered 
with russet. Tail" olivaceous brown, with the feathers 
slightly bordered with ash-colour; beak black; feet 
reddish; iris brown. 

In autumn the male has the feathers of the neck 
and crop bordered with ash, like the Domestic Spar- 
row, and the white of the cheeks also more ash-coloured. 

The female has the head, top of neck, and body 
grey brown, with the feathers of the scapularies and 
the quills of the wings, fringed along their borders 
with yellowish; below, the colour is dirty white, with 
faint spots of brown in front of the neck and crop, 
and the flanks of a russet and ashy tint; beak brownish 
above, yellowish below. 

The young before the first moult resemble the 
female, only the tints arc paler, and the commissures of 
the beak soft and yellow. 

My drawings of this bird and its egg are from 
specimens kindly sent me by Mr. Tristram. The bird 
is marked "Rhodes, April 19, 1858." 

It has also been figured by Roux, Ornith. Prov., pi. 
84, (adult male;) Gould, B. of E., pi. 185. 



136 



Order V.— ZYGODACTYLI. 

Family PICID^. (Bonaparte. J 

Genus Picus. (Linnceus.J 



Generic Characters. — Beak strong, cuneiform, or rounded, and 
grooved above, about as long as the bead, straight, and 
pointed; nostrils open, oval, more or less hid by the setaceous 
feathers which cover the base of the beak. Tongue very 
mobile, capable of being projected from the mouth, armed 
with small sharp needle-like processes bent backwards and 
horny towards the tip. Feet robust and short, with three or 
four toes; claws arched, compressed, and pointed, formed for 
climbing. Wings elongated, the bastard quill short, the third 
and fourth the longest. Tail composed of quills having stiff 
and elastic shafts, ten or twelve in number, and serving as 
a prop in climbing. 



GREY WOODPECKER. 



Picus canus. 



Picus canus, 

" viridis Norvegicus, 

" Norvegicus, 

" viridis canus, 
Oecinus canus, 
Pic vert Cendre, 
Grauer Grunspeclit, 
Piccliio verde di Norvegia, 



G-melin, 1788. 
Beisson, 1709. 
Latham, 1790. 
Meyee. 

BoiE. BoNAPAETE. 
Of THE FeENCH. 

Oe the Geemans. 
Stoe. 



GREY WOOUPECKEK. 



131 



Specific Characters. — Plumage green, with the top of the head 
grey and the forehead crimson; only the middle feathers of the 
tail having transverse bands across them. Length from tip of beak 
to end of tail eleven inches; from carpal joint to tip of wing five 
inches and a half; tarsus one inch; middle toe and claw one 
inch and a quarter; tail four inches; beak one inch and a half. 

This bird, with, which I commence the interesting 
family of Woodpeckers, is essentially an inhabitant 
of the northern parts of Europe. It occurs in Nor- 
way and the north of Sweden, being only found in 
the southern parts of this country accidentally. It also 
occurs in Russia and Finland, but Mr. Wheelwright 
informs me that it has not been observed by the 
Swedish naturalists in Lapland. It is sometimes found 
in Switzerland, near Zurich, and occasionally in France, 
but never, according to Temminck, in Holland. It is 
found accidentally in Denmark. It is rare in the south 
of Germany, but in the north is more plentiful than 
P. viridis. It is in this country (Germany) a bird of 
passage, leaving in October, and returning to breed 
in March. It is mentioned by Count Miihle and Dr. 
Lindermayer among the rarer birds of Greece. Ac- 
cording to Temminck it is also found in America and 
the north of Asia, but it is not included in Bonaparte's 
list of the birds of the former: nor is the latter given 
as a locality by the same or other modern authorities. 

I am indebted to Naumann's "Naturgeschichte der 
Vogel Deutschlands" for most of the information con- 
tained in the notices of this and the following species 
of Woodpecker. 

In winter the Grey Woodpecker chooses a locality 
for its residence which is solitary, and as much as 
possible unobtruded upon by man. Each bird seems 
to have its own hunting-ground, over which it roams 

VOL. III. U 



138 



GREY WOODPECKER. 



regularly day by day. It is generally to be found 
on the same trees, and if it meets in its territory with. 
the Green Woodpecker, a battle royal is sure to ensue, 
in which the former, being the weakest, always gets 
the worst. We may therefore fairly assume, according 
to the Darwinian code, that it is gradually becoming 
exterminated. But we have no evidence of this, nor 
any marks of a happily directed divergence of form in 
the Green Woodpecker to give plausibility to such a 
supposition. 

"The trees and bushes," says Naumann, "about my 
residence are always hunted over by a Green Wood- 
pecker, which, when driven away by a shot in autumn, 
is replaced by another later. Once a female Grey 
Woodpecker came within the above hunting-ground in 
March; but it became restless, did not consort with 
the Green Woodpecker, and called unto itself a mate. 
Another time a male Grey-head came and disputed 
the rights of territorial ownership with the Green. A 
terrible battle ensued, which ended in the death of 
the intruder." 

"For a number of years I have known a pair of 
Grey Woodpeckers inhabit a large wood about two 
miles from my residence. They prefer leafy trees to 
pines, and woods in grassy mountains well watered by 
rivers have more charms for them than the hill-side 
or the mountain forest." 

The Grey Woodpecker, like our own, loves to dwell 
where there are plenty of old oaks, beeches, aspens, 
or elms standing out in their own solitary and pic- 
turesque beauty. It will remain in the same neigh- 
bourhood so long as it can obtain its favourite food — 
ants. When they fail it takes its departure, and does 
not return. It is often seen on or about old willow 



GREY WOODPECKER. 139 

stumps near woods. It also comes into the gardens of 
villages or towns in winter, but does not cling to 
buildings. It remains, Naumann tells us, much longer, 
and is seen more frequently" on tire ground than the 
Green Woodpecker, and when frightened from thence, 
it will fly away and suspend itself from a high tree, 
or take up its position on the top of the same, in 
which it differs considerably from the Green. At 
night it takes refuge in the holes of trees, to which 
it retires, like other Woodpeckers, with great caution 
in the late twilight. 

Naumann tells us that the Grey Woodpecker is a 
lively, cheerful, and impudent fellow; cautious and 
crafty withal, but not so shy as P. viridis. It is very 
restless, and always either seeking its food, or flying- 
very adroitly among the trees. It rarely, however, taps 
upon them like the "Woodpecker tapping" of our own 
country, but it has equal skill in chiseling out holes 
for its nest or nightly habitation. It is very quarrel- 
some and jealous about its food, and is not by any means 
to be allured from this by any artificial knocking or 
"tree tapping." It is less shy in the breeding season, 
and more frequently seen on the tops of high trees 
than the other Woodpeckers, where it sits crosswise, 
sunning and pluming itself, and making its whereabouts 
easily discovered by its call. 

It flies like the Green species, and its voice is very 
much the same, but rings in the ear more agreeably, 
while the tone is less shrill and sharp. It is heard 
from March to June, especially in the pairing season, 
and in the beautiful mornings of the bright sunny 
spring. The note consists of a full-toned syllable, 
'klii, klih, klih, klyh, klyh, kliik, kliik, kliik, kliik,' 
sinking deeper each time, so that the end is much 



140 



GREY WOODPECKER. 



fuller than the beginning thereof. The time is slower 
than that of the Green Woodpecker, and the tone 
fuller and less sharp, and an observant ear can easily 
distinguish one from the other. The male sometimes 
also makes a whizzing noise as it sits on a hard 
branch on the summit of a tree, violently hammering 
the same, so that the tone is brought out as f orrrr,' 
but shorter than the other allied species. This noise 
is only heard in the bird under consideration during 
the pairing season, or when the female is sitting. 

The Grey Woodpecker lives principally upon ants, 
when it can get them. When they fail it eats bark 
beetles, various larva?, and, rarely, elderberries. Among 
ants, Formica rubra and fusca are its favourites, and 
the abundance of these insects generally determines 
the choice of a summer residence. The yonng are 
fed with the eggs or pupae. In summer it lives on 
no other food, and in winter it knows where to look 
for them. 

The nest is formed about the beginning of May, 
in the holes of trees, especially oak. They are not 
so careful in the choice of a situation as the Black 
or 'Green Woodpecker. It is generally in a tree easy 
to climb, and not very high np. The eggs are six in 
number, and very like those of the Green Woodpecker. 
They are, however considerably smaller, and more pear- 
shaped in form. The egg shell is of the finest grain 
— tender and thin, so that when fresh, the yolks shine 
through the peculiarly clear and enamel-polished white. 
This effect is destroyed by incubation. The male and 
female sit by turns, and are so fearless that they will 
almost permit themselves to be caught at this time. 
The young remain a long time in the nest, and are 
fed by the old ones some time alter they leave it. 



GKEY WOODPECKER. 141 

The whole family may be seen flying about the forest 

together. 

Mr. Wheelwright describes a freshly-killed male as 
follows: — Forehead carmine red; a black streak from 
the nostrils to the eye, and a similar one on the side 
of the throat from the under mandible. Head and 
neck ash grey, with small longitudinal blackish streaks 
or spots on the crown of the head. Back and wing- 
coverts green; rump shining greenish yellow; all the 
under parts of the body pale ash grey, with a faint 
green tinge. Wing feathers dark brown, with transverse 
white spots on the inner web, and similar, but smaller 
ones on the outer web. Tail feathers blackish Q- re en 
of one colour, with the exception of the two middle 
ones, which are marked with indistinct transverse bars. 
Beak thinner than that of P. viridls, bluish brown, 
having the root of the under mandible greenish yellow. 
Iris red; legs grey green. Length twelve inches; car- 
pus to tip six inches and one eighth; tail five inches. 

The female has no red on the forehead, which is 
replaced by small brown spots; the green on the back 
has an ashy grey tinge. 

The bird which I have figured is a young one of 
the year, sent me with the egg by Mr. Wheelwright, 
of Gardsjo, Sweden. The difference in dimensions are 
those between fresh and dry skins. 

It has also been figured by Edwards, pi. 65, 
(young male;) Naumann, Yogel Deutsch., pi. 133, 
(male and female;) Sepp. Nedefl. Vogel, page 389, 
(female;) Stor, Degl. Ucc., vol. ii, pi. 177, (female;) 
Meyer, Yogel Deutsch., pi. 22, (male and female;) 
Eoux, Ornith. Pro v., pi. 59, (male and female;) Bouteil, 
Orn. du Dauph, supplement, fig. 4; Gould, B. of E.. 
pi. 227. 



142 



ZYGODACTYLL 

Family PICIDJE. (Bonaparte.) 

Genus Picus. (Linnceus.) 

WHITE-KUMPED WOODPECKER. 

Picus leuconotus. 

Picus leuconotus, Meyer and "Wolff, 1810. 

" " Temminck, 1820. 

" leucolus, Bechstein. 

" cirris, Pallas. 

Pic varie a dos blanc, Of the French. 

Weissruchiger Buntsprecht, Of the Germans. 

Picchio vario Massimo, Stor. 

Specific Characters. — Plumage varied; the rump white, and the 
upper tail coverts crimson and -white. Length ten inches and 
three quarters; from carpal joint to tip of wing five inches and a 
half; tarsus one inch; beak (upper mandible) one inch and two 
fifths; tail three inches and a half. 

The White-rumped Woodpecker is an inhabitant of 
the most northern parts of Europe and Siberia. It is 
not rare in Russia, Poland, and Prussia, extending 
through Esthonia, Courland, and Finland. It is some- 
times found in Silesia, and occasionally in the western 
and southern parts of Germany. One individual is 
recorded as having been shot in the Pyrenees, by M. 




iSiB-1 itED 



WHITE-RUMPED WOODPECKER. 143 

Ernest Delaybe. It is included in the birds of Greece, 
by Count Miihle and Dr. Lindermayer. Mr. Wheel- 
wright writes me word that it is spread over Scandi- 
navia, but appears to be more common in the midland 
districts. "They do not, however, breed with us, but 
in the thick fir forests of North Wermerland. It breeds 
also in Gothland, but is a rare winter migrant to Scania. 
It seems to prefer level tracts to stony rises. It is by 
no means shy, and often comes in winter about the wood 
fences round the houses; but in the forest it is generally 
seen high up on the top of dead trees. In manners 
and habits it resembles the Greater Spotted Woodpecker, 
and the cry is much the same. Nilsson says that they 
are seen generally in families in the autumn and winter. 
This I cannot corroborate. I never met, in our forest, 
in winter, more than two together, but if you shot 
one its partner was never far off. They breed very 
commonly in Smaland. It has not been identified in 
Denmark." 

In Germany the Wliite-rumped Woodpecker is both 
migratory and stationary. In the late autumn or 
winter it is found in the great forests, and comes 
thence into the neighbourhood of houses, fruit gar- 
dens, villages, or even towns, where it dwells very 
confidingly. 

On the wing it is very like our Greater Spotted 
Woodpecker, and its voice differs but little from that 
of any of its allied species. It feeds upon insects 
found under the bark, maggots, caterpillars, and other 
larvae. Like the Grey Woodpecker it is also very 
fond of ants and their eggs. Naumann says that one 
was shot in Silesia which was supposed to have been 
killing the bees from the hive, but, as none of these 
insects were found in the stomach, we may, I think, 



144 WHITE-RUMPED WOODPECKER. 

fairly enter a verdict of "not guilty" on this count. 

The White-rumped Woodpecker builds, like its con- 
geners, in the holes of trees, particularly oaks. It 
lays four or five clear white shining eggs. 

Although I have specimens kindly sent me by Mr. 
Wheelwright, I will let that gentleman speak for 
himself, as his description is drawn up from birds 
recently killed. Male; length ten inches and three 
quarters; expanse of wing seventeen inches; tail be- 
yond the wings. Head above, carmine red; forehead 
white, with a brown tinge. Around, and at the back 
of the eyes, a large white spot, and another below 
on the sides of the neck; throat white. From the 
under mandible a black streak extends backwards 
under the eyes, and becoming broader at the back of 
the ears, passes down the sides of the throat to the 
breast. Breast white, with a greenish yellow tinge, 
and having, as well as the flanks, longitudinal streaks 
of black; belly and under tail coverts red. Neck 
above, top of back, and lesser wing coverts glossy 
black; the middle and lower part of back white; 
outer half of greater wing coverts white; the secon- 
daries transversely barred with black and white, 
which arises from a series of white round spots, placed 
on the edges of each web at regular intervals, a sim- 
ilar effect being produced by the same means on the 
primaries, giving a barred appearance to the whole 
wing when closed. The first primary is about the 
same length as the sixth, and both are much shorter 
than the intervening four. Upper tail feathers and 
coverts coal black; the under ones cream-colour, bar- 
red with black, and becoming rufous at the tip. Iris 
nut brown; beak horn blue; legs lead grey. 

The female has the head glossy black above; fore- 



WHITE-RUMPED WOODPECKER. 145 

head white, tinged with rusty brown. The rest like 
the male, but more dull. The colours of both, 
especially the male, brighter with age. 

My figures of this bird and its egg are from speci- 
mens sent me by Mr. Wheelwright, from Sweden. 

The bird has also been figured by Bechstein, JNTaturg. 
Deutsch., vol. ii, pi. 25, figs. 1 and 2, (male and female;) 
Stor, Degli. Ucc, vol. ii, pi. 169, (old male;) Meyer, 
Vogel Deut., vol. i, pi. 11, (male and female;) Nau- 
mann, Vog. Deutsch., pi. 135, (male and female;) Gould, 
B. of E., pi. 228. 



140 



ZYGODACTYLY 

Family PICIDJE. (Brisson.J 
Genus Picus. (Linnceus.J. 

MIDDLE SPOTTED WOODPECKER. 

Picus medius. 

Picus medius, Linnjetjs. 

" varius, Beisson. 

" cyncedus, Pallas. 

Pic varie a tete rouge, Of the Fbench. 

Mittlerer BuntspecM, Of the Gebmans. 

Picchio rosso mezzano, Savi. 

Specific Characters. — Plumage varied; rump black; under tail 
coverts red; flanks rose-colour, with longitudinal streaks of black. 
Head carmine red in both sexes. Length eight inches and a half; 
expanse of wing fifteen inches. Tail three inches and a half. 

The Middle Spotted Woodpecker is found generally 
in those parts of Southern Europe, with the exception 
of Great Britain, which are inhabited by the Greater 
Spotted. In Sweden it is found in the south, and is 
even more common in Skania than its congeners Major 
and Minor. It is not found in Finland or Esthonia, 
but in Prussia Proper occasional specimens have been 
captured. It is very common in some parts of Germany, 




fll 



v Mi 





SPOTTED WOODPEf 



MIDDLE SPOTTED WOODPECKER. 147 

and tolerably plentiful in Switzerland, Italy, and France. 
It is plentiful in some parts of Siberia, and is met with 
all tlie year round in Denmark. It occurs only acci- 
dentally in Holland. 

This species has been thought by some ornithologists 
to be the young or only a variety of Picus major. But 
they are very distinct both in ornamentation and habits. 

The female has the occiput and vertex red, as well 
as the male, which is not the case with P. major. P. 
medius never remains long in pine woods, where P. 
major loves to dwell. It is a more active bird, and 
will adroitly avoid any dispute leading to a fight with 
that bird; but it will give battle to one of its own 
species. Its voice is similar, but its call-note weaker. 

The Middle Spotted Woodpecker dwells among the 
thickest foliage of the highest trees, particularly oaks, 
elms, and aspens. It is not often found on the ground, 
but like its congeners is generally seen scaling trees, 
which it will ascend even to the top bough and perch 
there. Its habitation is in the highest hole it can find, 
and it will continue to use the same tree for years if 
not driven away. It is a most assiduous "tapper," and 
may often be seen on the under side of a decayed 
bough working away; the entrance hole turned towards 
the ground. 

It is a very handsome bird, perhaps the most so of 
all the European Woodpeckers. It is restless but not 
shy, and in pairing and breeding seasons very incautious. 
It can make good use of its legs in hopping on the 
ground, or from branch to branch. It has a whirring 
wavy flight, and appears on the wing a slenderer bird 
than its ally the Greater Spotted. 

Naumann says that this bird will feed not only on 
insects but also upon many tree-seeds, and to assist in 



148 MIDDLE SPOTTED WOODPECKER. 

digesting them it may be seen picking up particles of 
gravel at the base of the tree. It is not content with 
the insects it finds under the bark, but will split off 
entire pieces, and crush the rotten wood beneath into 
holes, in its search for wood-feeding larva?, such as 
Sirex, Ceramhxjx, Bostrichus, Forficula, etc. It never 
seems to suiFer for want of food during the winter; it 
is generally in good condition, but never fat. It is 
very fond of nuts, and will carry them like a Tomtit 
into the fork of some near tree, and crack them: it 
generally swallows the kernels whole, and will eat acorns 
and beech nuts in the same way. Naumann farther 
tells us that it is a fruit-stealer, and will rob cherry trees, 
not so much however for the fruit pulp as the kernels 
of the stones, and that it will also split open fir-cones, 
and feed on the seeds when it cannot get better food. 
It does not affect the neighbourhood of water, is not 
often seen to drink, and still more rarely to bathe. Its 
stomach is larger than that of the other Woodpeckers. 
It nests in woods and sometimes in fruit gardens, 
which are overhung by woods of thick foliage. In the 
end of March or April they repair to their breeding 
places, which are easily betrayed by their restless habits 
and cries. Very soon (I am quoting Naumann) the 
male is seen chasing his mate from tree to tree, and 
among the boughs — or two males are observed having 
a battle royal — from which they frequently fly to swing 
from the highest summit of the trees. They now either 
call to their mates with a clear bright voice, or whirr 
against their rival. Their nesting place is thus easy to 
discover, as also the tree by the debris at the bottom, 
but the hole is generally hid from view, and not so 
easily found. It is not often less than twenty feet from 
the ground, and very often as high as sixty feet. The 






1. W A L L CREEPER. 
DALMATIAN NUTHATCH. 3. MIDDLE SPOTTED WOODPBi 



MIDDLE SPOTTED WOODPECKER. 149 

entrance hole is quite round, not larger than is actually 
necessary, and appears from below so small that lew 
people would believe it belonged to this bird. It is 
widened inside in the form of a ball, and extends 
downwards from the entrance seven to ten inches — 
seldom more. 

The eggs are laid on tine wood shavings under the 
walls of the very prettily-worked entrance hole. They 
are generally five or six in number, sometimes seven. 
They resemble those of the Greater Spotted, but are 
much smaller, oval in shape, tender shelled, and of 
enamelled whiteness. They are hatched in fifteen days, 
male and female sitting alternately, and the young, in 
Naumann's own words, are "blind, ugly, helpless, thick- 
headed," having, like other young Woodpeckers, a car- 
tilaginous knob upon the corner of the beak. When 
full fledged they fly round the tree in circles until 
they gradually separate into twos and threes. The old 
birds display great affection for their young. 

Mr. Wheelwright describes the old male from freshly 
killed specimens as follows: — Forehead grey; vertex 
and occiput carmine red. Throat, sides of the head, 
and neck, white, with a black band which commences 
at the gape, and gradually broadening, forms a triangular 
spot on the side of the neck. Back of the neck, back, 
and rump black; shoulders white; wings black, with 
white spots in pairs on both webs of the primaries and 
secondaries; breast white, with a yellowish, and the belly 
white, with a reddish tinge, with longitudinal black 
streaks along the sides of both; under tail coverts car- 
mine red. The side tail feathers at the end white, 
with black transverse bands; the four middle feathers 
quite black; iris brown, encircled with a whitish ring; 
beak shorter, more compressed and weaker than in P. 



150 MIDDLE SPOTTED WOODPECKER. 

major ; lead-coloured at the root, bluish, black at the 
tip. 

The female differs from the male only in having the 
colours of the head less bright, and the streak from the 
gape greyish and more indistinct. 

The young male much resembles the female. 

My figure of this bird is from Gould's "Birds of 
Europe," pi. 230; that of the egg is from Skania, 
Sweden, sent me by Mr. Wheelwright. 

This bird has also been figured by Buffon, pi. enl. 
611; Vieillot, Diet., pi. 26; Boux, Ornith. Brov., pi. 61; 
(adult male;) Naumann, Vogel Deutsch, pi. 136, (male 
and female;) Sepp, Nederl. Vog., vol. 4, pi. 637, (male;) 
Storr, deg. ucc, pi. 166, (male,) as Picchio vario sarto. 



Picus tridactylus , Linnaeus, Apterrus tridactylus, 
Swainson, Picoides Europceus, Lesson, Picoides tridac- 
tylus, Gray. — This bird has been described and figured 
by Mr. Morris, in his "History of British Birds." I 
think its claims to be considered British very doubtful, 
but having appeared in the above work, it will not 
fall within the scope of mine. 

Mr. Wheelwright says of this bird, in a private letter, 
"It is scarcely so common anywhere in Sweden as any 
of the others; but in Lapland it is the commonest of 
all the species. It comes into Wermerland in the 
winter, but does not I think breed with us. It has 
never been seen in Skania, although it has once been 
shot in Denmark. It is not shy, and prefers level to 
rocky woods." 

"In the winter all the Woodpeckers in our forests 
secrete themselves by day in holes of trees." 

"In all the Woodpeckers the colours appear to grow 
more distinct with a«-e." 



151 



Order VI.— ANISODACTYIJ. 

Family CERTHIIDJE. (Bonaparte.) 

Genus Sitta. (Linnceus.) 

Generic Characters. — Beak straight, medium size, cylindrical, 
conic, double edged at the point. Nostrils basal, rounded, and 
partly hidden by hair and short feathers. Tongue short, 
pointed, and horny. Feet with three toes in front and one 
behind, the outer being joined at its base to the middle 
one; the hind toe -very long, and armed with a long curved 
claw. Wings medium size; the first quill very short, the 
second shorter than the third or fourth, which are the longest 
in the wing. Tail composed of twelve quills, short, flexible, 
and square at the end. 

DALMATIAN NUTHATCH. 

Sitta Syria ca. 

Sitta Syriaca, Eiieenbeeg. Bonapaete. 

" neumayeri, Michaelles. 

" rvfescens, Gould. 

" rupestris, Temminck; Man. 3, p. 287. 

Sitelle de Syrie, Of the Feench. 

SyriscJie Spechtmeise, Of the Geemans. 

Specific Characters. — Flanks and under tail coverts russet, the 
latter not spotted with white; tail unicolorous slaty blue, the most 
outward feathers slightly tipped with pale russet. Length six 
inches and two fifths; carpus to tip three inches; tarsus one inch; 
beak eleven lines. 



152 



DALMATIAN NUTHATCH. 



The Dalmatian Nuthatch is an inhabitant of the 
country from which its English name is derived. Passing 
along the shores of the Adriatic we find it in the Ionian 
Islands and Greece commonly. Thence we trace it to 
Smyrna, and along the shores of Asiatic Turkey to 
Syria, where it is very common, that country also giving 
its specific and French name. Dr. Leith Adams informs 
me that it is pretty common in Affghanistan. 

The three European Nuthatches form an interesting 
illustration of the adaptation of structure to climate of 
nearly allied species. The present bird is very much 
larger and stronger than the European form. As will 
be observed farther on, its habits differ, inasmuch as it 
does not frequent trees, but rocks and ruins. The 
northern form and that which inhabits Britain are so 
closely allied to each other, that the best ornithologists 
have denied, and I think with good reason, their specific 
distinction. But the three birds have all a strongly - 
marked character in common. The coloration varies, 
but it is disposed after the same plan, the blue slate 
back, and the dirty white or russet abdomen, and the 
characteristic black mark on the side of the head of 
each. These are instances in which there can be no 
objection urged as to the possibility, or rather the strong 
probability, of a common origin. But then we have no 
evidence of the stronger bird in the south, or the weaker 
one in the north, diverging into any different forms. 
The variation is adaptive and final, and the species or 
varieties are constant. 

"Few birds," says the Rev. IT. B. Tristram, in his 
account of the Birds of Southern Palestine, (Ibis, vol. 
i., p. 27,) "have interested me more than the Dalmatian 
Nuthatch. I had good opportunities of observing its 
habits in the south of the Morea in winter, and I 



DALMATIAN NUTHATCH. 153 

encountered it again in the hill country of Judaea. 
Unlike our species it is confined to the most barren 
and rocky regions, and runs up and down the stones 
with wondrous agility, descending head downwards, and 
then by a sudden bound flying to the foot of the next 
rock, which it climbs and runs down after the same 
fashion, searching the crevices as it goes for small 
beetles, with which the stomach of those I examined 
were filled. In summer and winter alike they were 
always in pairs, never (as Sitta Muropced) in small 
flocks. The note is louder than that of our species, 
and much resembles the call of the Spotted Woodpecker." 

The following account given by Lord Lilford, in his 
descriptions of the birds observed by him in the Ionian 
Islands, (Ibis, vol. ii., p. 282,) is somewhat different: — 
"Sitta Syriaca is common in certain localities in Epirus, 
particularly amongst the stony and precipitous hills 
near Santa Quaranta, where I have frequently observed 
it in small parties of five or six, flitting about and busily 
examining the holes and crevices of the rocks. It is 
a lively and restless bird, and has a note entirely dif- 
ferent from that of the Common Nuthatch. I never 
observed this bird to perch on a tree or shrub, but 
almost invariably found them on the most exposed and 
barren hill sides." 

Mr. W. H. Simpson has also some interesting remarks 
about this bird in his "Ornithological Notes from Mis- 
solonghi and Southern iEtolia," (Ibis, vol. ii., p. 289.) — ■ 
"On the opposite side -of the same stone was a nest of 
that most eccentric bird, Sitta Syriaca; it had been 
repaired once or twice, but at that period was not 
inhabited. The nest was plastered over the mouth of 
a small cavity, and, were it not for the little round 
entrance hole, would be very difficult to distinguish 



154 DALMATIAN NUTHATCH. 

from the numerous structures of a species of ant which 
are thickly stuck over the face of the rock, and at a 
distance resemble in size and appearance the nest of 
Sitta Syriaca itself. But the greatest curiosity of all 
was to be seen under a large flat slab, which projected 
enough to afford convenient shelter during a shower of 
rain. This was a nest of Hirundo rufula, which had 
been broken at one end, and consequently abandoned 
by the bird. Meanwhile a Nuthatch had come and 
repaired the damage, possibly with the intention of 
appropriating the nest. The difference in the work- 
manship, and to a certain extent in the material, was 
very apparent when taken in juxtaposition. In shape 
the nest of Hirundo rufula is so different from that of 
any other European bird, that this proceeding on the 
part of the Nuthatch was still more extraordinary." 

I copy the following from Count Muhle's "Beitraege 
Zur Ornithologie Griechenlands," p. 50: — "This is a 
bird which by many of our naturalists is only considered 
to be an acclimatized variety of the common S. Europcea; 
but it is certainly a distinct species. It lives only on 
the rocks, never in woods, and remains willingly about 
old Venetian fortresses, where it constantly glides in 
and out of the shot-holes. When it settles upon a rock, 
it likes to suspend itself with its head downwards, and 
hops off by fits and starts. It seeks its food on trees 
that are frequented by Coleoptera, such as the bread 
fruit, or Cactus opuntia. It builds its nest on the rugged 
rock walls under the natural roof of an overhanging 
rock, usually on the east or south side — never on the 
west. It is very large outside, and skilfully built with 
clay, eleven inches long from the entrance. It is lined 
with the hair of bullocks, dogs, goats, or jackals. It 
is always on the outside woven together with the seeds 



DALMATIAN NUTHATCH. 155 

of Chrysomela graminis and Trichodes antiquus. It is 
usually so compactly made, that I was obliged to sepa- 
rate one with a chisel. This nest had been used many 
years. The bird is very lively, restless, and inquisitive. 
The young are easily tamed, and become very confiding; 
they may be fed upon bread crumbs, but in a cage 
remain always on the ground, and will not perch. The 
families remain long together, and the young are taught 
by their parents all about catching insects." 

The following interesting account of the nidification 
of this bird is translated from the Italian of the Marchese 
Oratio Antinori, and is inserted in "Naumannia," for 
1857, page 429:— 

"This pretty little bird enlivens with its cheerful 
note the highest and most lonely part of the Anatolian 
mountains, where it generally remains. Sometimes, 
however, it comes down into the plains, where it is 
especially seen on the rocks surrounding mountain tor- 
rents, or on the walls of old buildings. It builds its 
nest the last days of March, and the beginning of April; 
and for this purpose it chooses a rock or ruined wall, 
where among the projections it can be sheltered from 
the rain. It is easy to observe with what caution this 
bird makes choice of a locality, for before it finally 
resolves to build its nest in a particular spot, it places 
some of the materials, which consist of resinous sub- 
stances mixed with feathers, hair, rootlets, thread, or 
wool, in several different places. This is evidently done 
to satisfy itself, not only that it may not be discernible 
to others, but that it may be impervious to wet, and 
sufficiently firm a foundation to last many years. Indeed 
it would be quite impossible to move the nest of Sitta 
Syriaca from the place to which it is fastened, nor could 
it be distinguished from the parts to which it is attached, 



156 DALMATIAN NUTHATCH. 

were it not that the dark shades of the entrance hole 
sometimes reveal its existence. One which I recently 
found near the town of Magnesia, on a commanding 
rock, had a diameter of ten inches, and very nearly 
six in depth. The upper wall was three inches thick, 
and the sides and under wall about four fifths of an 
inch, while the depth of the neck and entrance hole 
was two inches. The weight of the whole was upwards 
of five hundred drachms, (sixty-three ounces!) allowing 
for that part of it which I could not cut away from 
the rock. It is quite clear that this bird cannot build 
every year a new nest so large and heavy, but that it 
must last a long time, even for a whole life. Eound 
the hole, which is chosen for the building of the nest, 
and also over the nest itself, is a quantity of resin, 
which is mixed with the other materials, and with earth. 
This resin it gets especially from Pistacea terehinthus 
and lentiscus. When melted by the warmth of the 
sun, it runs down and gives the nest a very firm hold 
of the rock, and will bear a great weight. 

Having mixed together feathers and fibres with clay 
and cement out of the water, to which hairs and threads 
are sometimes added, it shapes its nest in the form of 
a flask, with a round opening of one inch and one fifth 
in diameter. The inside of the nest is more regular 
than the outside, but not very smooth, both having 
throughout a granular surface, which is covered by the 
small pieces of earth stuck one above another. The 
outer side differs also from the inner, in being covered 
with resin and a red sticky mass, perhaps taken from 
the poplar. When this is melted by the sun it not 
only makes the whole impervious to wet, but makes it 
in appearance similar to the wall on which it is placed. 
It is not possible to examine this structure without 



DALMATIAN NUTHATCH. 15T 

being struck with its beauty and adaptation. The inside 
is lined with feathers, wool, and threads. It lays five 
or six eggs." 

The eggs are larger than those of the Common Nut- 
hatch, four or five in number, slightly elongated, white, 
with pale brick-red spots, principally at the larger end. 

The male and female are alike in plumage. All the 
upper parts are of a slaty blue; the ends of the closed 
wings being rich hair brown; the throat, sides of the 
head, and chest white; abdomen, flanks, and under tail 
coverts russet; from the angle of the jaws, through the 
eyes and ear coverts, and extending to the scapularies, 
is a distinctly denned black band; tail feathers brown, 
Avith their ends slightly tipped with russet. Beak and 
feet black. 

My figure is taken from a specimen shot on February 
22nd., 1858, on Mount Taygetus, and kindly sent me 
by Mr. Tristram. The egg is from Thienemann. 

The bird has also been figured by Bonaparte, Faun. 
Ital., pi. 26, f. 2, and Gould, B. of E., pi. 235. 



I do not consider it necessary to give a figure of the 
Asiatic variety of Sitta Europeans, namely, S. Urolensis, 
Lichtenstein, S. sericea, Temminck, as I do not find 
any specific distinction between the two forms. S. 
Urolensis is found in the Caucasus and Siberia. By 
Pallas it was denominated S. Europcea, var. Sibirica. 
The only asserted difference given by authors is that 
the flanks are not rufous, as in the Common Nuthatch. 
This is very much the same as making two human 
beings of different species, one of whom had flaxen 
and the other red hair. 



158 



ANISODACTYLI. 

Family CERTHIIBJE. (Bonaparte.) 

Genus Tichodroma. (Illiger.) 

Generic Characters. — Beak very long, slightly arched, slender, 
cylindrical, angular at its base, and depressed at its point. 
Nostrils basal, naked, pierced horizontally, half closed by an 
arched membrane. Feet with three toes in front, the external 
attached at its base to the middle toe by a membrane; the 
hind toe carrying a very long claw. Tail round, with the 
shafts of the quills feeble. Wings with the first primary 
short, the second and third tapering, the fourth, fifth, and 
sixth the longest. 



WALL CEEEPEE. 

Tichodroma muraria. 

Tichodroma muraria, Illiger. 

alpina, Koch. 

phoenicoptera, Temminck. 

CertJiia muraria, Gmelin. 

TicJiodrome echelette, Of the French. 

Gemeiner Mauerlaitfer, Of the Germans. 

Picchio murajolo, Savi. 

Specific Characters. — Two round spots on the inner web of the 
first four true primaries, and one upon the fifth; the basal half 
of all the true primaries, except the first, and of the secondaries 




L I CREEPER. 



WALL CREEPER. 159 

rich crimson. Length six inches and a half; carpus to tip three 
inches and three quarters; tarsus nine lines; hind toe and claw 
one inch; beak one inch and one fifth. 



This beautiful bird, so well known to the alpine 
traveller, is common in Switzerland, Spain, and Italy. 
It is a southern bird, frequenting the rocky parts of 
the warmer countries of Europe. It is found in France 
and the south of Germany, and is not rare in the 
highest Alps in the Tyrol. It occurs also in Bohemia 
and Silesia, and is included by Count Muhle among 
the birds of Greece, and hence it ranges to India, 
being mentioned by Dr. Leith Adams as occurring in 
Cashmere, by the sides of rivers and streams in rocky 
and precipitous places. 

Tt does not appear ever in flocks anywhere, being 
generally found solitary or in pairs. When the rough 
weather of autumn sets in, it is driven from the high 
mountains, and appears about the valleys and mountain 
towns during the winter months. In the spring it 
again gradually mounts up until it settles for breeding 
purposes among the highest rocks of the mountain top. 

Wherever it is seen, Avhether in mountain, or valley, 
or town, it is always found among rocks, running up 
and down their perpendicular faces, and peering into 
every nook, cranny, or cleft for its insect food. 

In its habits the Wall very much resembles the Tree 
Creeper, being lively, restless, and shy on the approach 
of man. It clings with great tenacity to perpendicular 
or horizontal rocks. It runs upwards with great dex- 
terity, but does not, like the Woodpecker, run down- 
wards. After a short rest it flies down from the top 
of even the highest towers, and then re-commences its 
upward ramble. It does not appear to use its tail as 



160 WALL CREEPER. 

a point d'appui like its congeneric species, but goes 
with a low spring from one rough spot to another, 
until it gets to the top, when it flies down again, and 
so on for a whole day. It is not seen on the ground. 

Naumann tells us the Wall Creeper is unsociable and 
quarrelsome with its kind, and hence it is always soli- 
tary. Even the young separate early. The call-note is 
said to be similar to the Bullfinch, and it has also a 
shorter note when running up the walls, in which the 
short strophe di, didi, zaa, is often kept up with very 
little variation. Both male and female sing, and during 
the performance they raise their bodies, and move their 
wings and tail, or flutter them upon the rocks. 

It feeds on insects and their larvte and eggs, spiders, 
ants, etc., all of which it pokes out of the crevices 
with its long curved beak. 

It builds in high places which are very difficult to 
get at — in chinks of barren rocks, or in the holes of 
walls and old buildings or towers. Little indeed was 
known about the nidification of this bird until about 
ten years ago, when Nager-Donaziane, of Unsen-Thale, 
discovered the nest and eggs, and supplied his friends 
with specimens, of which a true description was first 
given by the Baron V. Konig, in "Cabanis' Journal 
fur Ornithologie," for 1855. The nest is built of an 
underlayer of soft dry stalks, mixed with moss, hair, 
soft feathers, and wool, and is lined with animals' hair. 
It lays from three to five eggs in June, which are 
either pear-shaped or more generally oval. The shell 
is slightly shining white, with small red or flesh-coloured 
spots and dots, which are most numerous at the larger 
end. They are about the same size as those of the 
Wryneck. 

The male in breeding plumage has the top of the 






WALL < 'URETER. 1(51 

head, rump, and under tail coverts, blackish grey; 
nape and back grey; cheeks, throat, and front of neck 
deep black; abdomen black; the under tail coverts tipped 
with white; wing coverts and basal half of the external 
web of the wing leathers of a deep crimson; the rest 
of the feathers blackish brown, with two large round 
spots on the internal web of the first four true primaries, 
and one on the fifth. Secondaries tipped with white; 
tail black, with the two most external quills broadly 
terminated with white, and the others more narrowly 
with grey. Beak, feet, and iris, black. 

The male in autumn and winter is of a distinct grey 
above, with a slight russet colour on the head; the 
throat and chest white, slightly tinged with the same; 
the dark parts of the abdomen are less deep than in 
spring. 

The female resembles the male in winter plumage. 

The young of the year have the primaries and tail 
quills tipped with grey, and the colours above and 
below less pure than in the adult. After the first moult 
the two sexes and the young are alike in plumage. 

My figure is taken from a skin in autumn plumage, 
killed at Geneva, and kindly sent me by Mr. Tristram. 
The egg is from a specimen sent by the same gentleman. 

The bird has been also figured by Buffon, pi. enl. 
372, fig. i. male in spring, fig. ii. male in autumn, given 
as the female. Roux, Ornith. Prov., pi. 238; Bouteil, 
Ornith. du Dauph, pi. 37, f. 4; Naumann, Vogel Deutsch- 
ands, pi. 141, male in summer and winter plumage; 
Gould, B. of E., pi. 239. 



102 



Order VII.— ALCYONES. 

Family MEROPID^E. (Bonaparte.) 

Genus Merops. ( Linnceus.) 

Generic Characters. — Beak middle sized, sharp edged, pointed, 
and slightly curved, the summit elevated and entire. Nostrils 
basal, lateral, ovoid, and open, the opening hidden by having 
feathers directed forward. Feet with the tarsus short; of the 
three toes in front the most external is united up to the 
second articulation of the middle toe, and this with the in- 
ternal up to the first articulation; the hind toe broad at its 
base; claws— that of the hind toe the smallest. Wings— the 
first primary very short, the second the longest in the wing. 

BLUE-CHEEKED BEE-EATEK. 

Merops Persica. 

Merops Persica, Pallas; Voy., 1776. 

" Savignyi, Cuvier. Swainson. 

" JEgyptius, Forskaiill. 

" superciliosus, llupr-ELL. 

Guepier Savigny, Le Vaillant. 

Guepier meridional, Of the French. 

Siidlicher Bienenfresser, Of the Germans. 

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Swainson. 



Specific, Characters. — Throat yellow; upper part of neck 
anteriorly, russet red; upper plumage various shades of green; 
superciliary ridge and a band below the eyes turquoise blue. The 




SLUE-CHEEKED BEE-EATER. 






BLUE-CHEEKED BEE-EATER. 163 

tvro middle tail feathers muck longer than the others. Length 
from tip of beak to end of long tail feathers twelve inches; carpus 
to tip, five inches and three quarters; tarsus half an inch; beak 
one inch and three quarters; tail six inches. 

The Blue-cheeked Bee-eater is an inhabitant of 
Persia and Egypt, being found especially on the 
borders of the Caspian Sea. It extends along the 
shores of the Mediterranean Sea through Tripoli, 
Algeria, and along the Atlantic coast as far as Senegal; 
while, eastward, it ranges, according to Dr. Leith 
Adams, into the north-west of India, where it is not 
uncommon. 

As might be expected, it is occasionally found on 
the European side of the Mediterranean, where, 
however, it occurs only accidentally. It was introduced 
into the European list by Bonaparte, from two speci- 
mens which were killed in the neighbourhood of 
Genes. It is also included by Count Miihle among 
the birds of Greece, while Dr. Leith Adams informs 
me that it is found (but rarely) in that neutral territory, 
Malta. It is recorded ("Ibis," vol. i, p. 27,) by Mr. 
Tristram as occurring in the valley of the Jordan in 
Southern Palestine; by Mr. Taylor (ibid, p. 47,) as 
very abundant in small flocks in Egypt; and Dr. 
Heuglin says it occurs in large flocks on the Somali 
coast of the Red Sea. — (Ibid, vol. i, p. 340.) 

In its habits the Blue-cheeked Bee-eater resembles 
the better-known species in our own fauna, Merops 
apiaster. 

The male and female have the forehead marked by 
a white band; above the eye is a band of turquoise 
blue, with a similar one below, which is, however, 
slightly mingled with white feathers; from the angle 



164 BLUE-CHEEKED BEE-EATER. 

of the beak straight through the eye is a hand of 
dark green. All the upper parts of the body green, 
more vivid on the rump, and from thence shading off 
along the long tail feathers into green russet, while the 
tips are black. The win >• primaries dark green, with 
the most internal part of the broad inner web dusky 
brown, shading off into black towards the tip; under 
wing coverts and flanks a rich chesnut, like the chest, 
while the rest of the under parts of the wing, and 
those of the tail, are glossy hair brown. Throat yellow, 
going off into a darker chesnut on the crop; sides of 
the neck, abdomen, and under tail coverts, vivid 
Scheeles green; beak black; feet horn brown. 

Temminck notices two varieties in his "Manual," 
fourth part, 1840, p. 651. The var. A, are specimens 
from Senegal, which, he says, differ in some of the 
tints of the plumage, by having the two middle tail 
feathers longer, and by having shorter wings — differences 
which are seriously recommended to species makers. 
This variety has been figured by Bonaparte, in his 
"Fauna Italica," and by Le Vaillant, pi. 6, bis. 

The other variety, B, which is that which I have 
figured, from Nubia and Egypt, has less blue in the 
green of the upper plumage, the middle tail feathers 
are rather shorter, and the wings slightly longer, 
reaching near to the end of the lateral tail feathers. 
This is Le Vaillant's Guepier, pi. 6. In my specimen, 
which was kindly sent me by Mr. Tristram, and marked 
"Egypt," the wings, when closed, do not reach to 
within an inch of the end of the lateral tail feathers. 

There is still another variety, found in Japan, the 
Merop's Javanicum of Horsfield, which is, however, 
easily distinguished by its bright blue rump. 

According to Bonaparte, Merops Persica of Pallas 



I. BLUE-CHEEKED BEE-EATER. 
3LACK-AND-WHITE KINGFISHER. 



BLUE-CHEEKED BEE-EATER. 165 

is different from the Merops Savignyi of Swainson, a 
statement which it is impossible to admit for a moment. 
The bird I have figured is in all particulars precisely 
the bird described by Swainson as M. Savignyi, the 
Blue-cheeked Bea-eater, "Birds of Africa/' vol. ii, p. 
77, pi. 7. 

Figured by Le Vaillant, Hist. Nat. Promer, pi. 6 et 
6 bis; Swainson, Birds of Africa, vol. ii, pi. 7; 
Bonaparte, Fauna Italica, pi. 25, fig. 1. 



166 



ALCYONES. 

Family ALCEDINID^. (Bonaparte.) 
Genus Alcedo. ( ' Linnceus.J 

Generic Characters. — Beak long, straight, quadrangular, 
pointed, sharp edged, and very rarely depressed. Nostrils 
basal, lateral, obliquely pierced, and almost entirely closed by 
a naked membrane. Feet short, naked above the knee; three 
toes in front, the exterior of which is joined to the middle 
toe as far as the second articulation, and this with the inside 
toe as far as the first articulation. Hind toe broad at its 
base, and its claw the smallest. First and second wing 
primaries shorter than the third, which is the longest in the 
wing. 



BLACK-AND-WHITE KINGFISHEE. 

Alcedo rudis. 

Alcedo rudis, Linnjeus. 

" ispida ex alio et nigra varia, Bhisson. 

" ispida bicinia et bitorquale, Swainson. 

" cerylevaria, Strickland. 

Ceryle rudis, Boie. Bonaparte. 

Marti n-pechear pie, Oe the French. 

GescMclcter Eisvogel, Of the Germans. 

Specific Characters. — Feathers of the occiput long and pointed; 
tail with a broad black band, tipped with white at its end; a 
broad black band across the crop, interrupted in the middle. 
Length from tip of beak to end of tail eleven inches and a half; 




.. B LA C K-.A ND-WH] i SHE R. 



BLACK-AND-WHITE KINGFISHER. 167 

from carpal joint to tip of wing five inches and a half; tail two 
inches and a half; beak two inches and a half; tarsus one third 
of an inch; middle toe and claw one inch. 



This bird is only an accidental visitor to the 
European shores. It has been observed in Turkey, 
Greece, Italy, and Spain; generally near the coast, 
on the European borders of the Mediterranean. In 
Africa it is most plentiful at the Cape and in Egypt. 
Swainson considered the Senegal species as distinct, 
and described it in his "Birds of Africa" under the 
name of Ispida bicinta, the Double-collared Kingfisher. 
It is found rarely, and only accidentally, in Algeria. 
One specimen only was seen by Mr. Tristram near 
Jordan, in Southern Palestine. It is stated by Mr. 
Taylor, in his Egyptian Reminiscences, ("Ibis," vol. i, 
p. 47,) to be abundant all the way from Alexandria to 
the First Cataract. In Asia we find it occurring in 
Turkey, Persia, India, and China. 

In its habits it resembles the other Kingfishers. Mr. 
Taylor (Op. cit.) says it is very tame and familiar in 
Egypt. "The food seems to be entirely fish. I have 
often watched it hovering over a shallow pool of water, 
and every now and then darting down and catching 
fishes, sometimes as much as three or four inches in 
length. This bird breeds in holes in the banks of the 
Nile." 

In the colony of Natal Mr. Gurney ("Ibis," vol. i, 
p. 245,) informs us, that "it frequents the lakes and 
rivers near the coast; not found in the interior. This 
bird hovers over the water before darting down, and 
if not successful flies on further, and hovers again; 
having caught a fish, it flies to a bough or post to 
swallow it." 



168 BLACK-AND-WHITE KINGFISHER. 

Mr. Swinhoe also, in his very interesting paper on 
the Ornithology of Amoy, ("Ibis," vol. ii, p. 49,) says 
that it is "very common on the river, where it is to 
be found at all seasons; it poises on the wing at a 
height above the water, and drops suddenly down to 
catch its prey. I have however seen it strike obliquely, 
when flying close to the surface of the water." 

Like other Kingfishers this bird makes a nest in the 
holes of banks of rivers, and lays four or five eggs, 
which are white, glossy, and nearly round. 

The plumage of the Black-and- White Kingfisher is 
very difficult to describe minutely, as almost each 
feather, as Swainson remarks, is varied in a different 
manner. 

The male in breeding plumage has the crown of the 
head and its crest black, with longitudinal streaks of 
white; all the rest of the upper parts are a mottled 
black and white; primaries and tail black and white; 
the white line which springs from each nostril is 
"carried over the eye and ears, and is lost in the 
variegated feathers of the crest." All the under parts 
are pure glossy white, with a broad belt of deep glossy 
black across the chest, narrowed or interrupted in the 
centre; the flanks thinly striped with black. The iris, 
beak, and feet black. 

According to Degland the female is rather less, has 
more white in the plumage, the black collar less 
extended, and sometimes there is a second, which may 
probably have caused Swainson to describe the Senegal 
species as distinct. He certainly gives no separate 
distinction of the sexes. 

Before the first moult, the white of the upper parts 
is less pure, with a number of black dashes; the 
black collar on the chest is only faintly indicated by 



BLACK-AND-WHITE WOODPECKER. 169 

black spots; the beak is sensibly shorter than in the 
adult. 

My figures of the bird and its egg are from specimens 
kindly sent me by Mr. Tristram. The bird is marked 
"Egypt, March, 1858." 

It has been figured by Bufion, pi. enl. 62, young, 
716, adult male; and Gould, B. of E., pi. 62. 



2 A 



170 



Order VIII.— CHELIDONES. 

Family HIRUNDINIDJE. (Bonaparte.) 
Genus Hirundo. ( Linnceus.) 

Generic Characters. — Beak very short, very much depressed, 
and broad at the base; upper mandible curved downwards at 
the point. Feet short, with three toes in front entirely divided, 
or united at the base only by a short membrane; claws much 
curved; wings long and pointed. 

ORIENTAL CHIMNEY SWALLOW. 

Hirundo rustica, var. Savignyi. 

Hirundo Savignyi, Leach. Stephens. 

" rustica orientalis, Schlegel. 

" Cahirica, Lichtenstein; Cat., 1823. 

" Mocourii, Audouin; Des. del'Egp., vol. 13. 

" Boissonneautii, Temminck; Man. 3, p. 652. 

Cecropis Savignyi, Boie ; Isis, 1828, p. 316. 
Horondelle de cheminee orientate, Of the French. 

Ostliche Rauchschwalbe, Of the Germans. 

Diagnostic Characters. — Under parts of the body, from, the 
crop to the base of the tail, of a dark chesnut. Length six 
inches ; carpus to tip four inches ; tail from base to end of lateral 
feather three inches ; tarsus five lines ; beak from gape to end of 
upper mandible seven lines. 

This "permanent variety" of our English. Swallow 
is found principally in Macedonia, Egypt, and Eastern 







I'.ENT AL a I MNE Y 



ORIENTAL CHIMNEY SWALLOW. 171 

Siberia. It is very common in Egypt, but is only found 
accidentally in Europe, — Spain and Greece being the 
localities noted by Temminck, M utile, Lindermeyer, etc. 

Professor Blasius, in "Naumannia," 1859, p. 254, 
has a paper upon this bird, which I will transcribe 
nearly entire, as it not only expresses all we know 
about it, but contains some useful remarks upon the 
difficult question of "species." — 

"At a meeting in Cothea we learned through Olph- 
Gaillard, that H. Cahirica, Licht., was taken by 
Nager-Donazians, at St. Gothard, and the specimen 
was exhibited. Later Laudamman Nager wrote to me 
that this is there the only Chimney Swallow, and that 
during the spring passage it is sometimes caught by 
boys with the hand. I also received specimens which 
did not differ in intensity of colour from African 
specimens. We may reasonably express surprise at an 
Egyptian species coming to St. Gothard, particularly so 
regularly according to Andermatt. In the following 
spring Baldamus found this bird breeding and pairing 
with H. rustica in Diebzig, and I have one of these 
specimens now in my possession. In the present 
spring (1859) I have also seen these Swallows breeding 
in Brunswick, and paired with the common H. rustica. 
Many specimens were brighter than the Egyptian H. 
Cahirica; otherwise they resembled them. From other 
sources I have received intelligence that among Chimney 
Swallows individuals with red brown under sides have 
been found breeding. 

Under these circumstances Ave can still affirm that 
this bird has been taken at St. Gothard; but it is not 
so clear that it is the only kind of Chimney Swallow 
which is found there. Dr. Gloger says that the very 
dark red House Swallow is verv common in Sardinia. 



17£ ORIENTAL CHIMNEY SWALLOW. 

and also in Eastern Siberia, where, according to Pallas, 
the Chimney Swallow has a remarkably rust-coloured 
under side. As the different coloured birds pair together, 
and as in the same nest there are to be found from 
normal coloured parents — both colours — it is evident 
that the varieties blend one with another, and as there 
is very little difference in the forms and habits, so it 
is not well to maintain that there is a difference of 
species. But how is this question to be viewed? For 
example as to climatic varieties? Our northern climate 
has under some circumstances produced the African 
form! No one can satisfactorily maintain that our 
northern dark rust-coloured Chimney Swallow was 
originally bred from the African! Nor can any one 
connect the one in the climate of Egypt with that in 
Eastern Siberia; far less can we deduce from the 
casual fact of the varieties pairing together, that the 
rust-colour of the Egyptian or Siberian Chimney Swallow 
is due to physical causes. The name climatic variety 
is only an arbitrary distinction." 

"Or races? But races can only be comprehended 
with certainty within the same limits as climatic 
varieties. The young will without any intermediate 
form go back to that of the parents. Nature does not 
carry out this idea precisely." 

"Perhaps sub-species? The comprehension of sub- 
species is so little established in theory, and is so 
variably demonstrated in practice, that it gives no 
bounds to capriciousness." 

"In short, are local forms one and the same species? 
But is not that a name without all philosophical or 
physiological consideration? Perhaps all the better if 
philosophy or physiology stood on weak ground. A 
distinction founded on fact is at least remembered by 



ORIENTAL CHIMNEY SWALLOW. 173 

a matter of fact.* Would it not be advisable to make 
this matter of fact certain before we dispute about an 
idea? To do this we must know where the white and 
rust-coloured SwalloAvs are known to dwell distinctly. 
How far, and in what statistic relation, the one form 
extends into the territory of the other, and in what 
relation there is a proportion between the two forms. 
We might then help each other to solve this riddle, 
and then we shall have no difficulty in being certain 
about the name." 

This paper I think clearly establishes the fact of the 
identity of the variety which is the subject of the 
present notice with the Chimney Swallow. They breed 
together. Their habits and nidification are similar. 
They only differ in the colour of the abdominal 
plumage, in having a brighter black on the back, and 
perhaps a broader black collar round the neck. 

The specimen sent me by Mr. Tristram, which I 
have figured, and the measurements of which I have 
given in my diagnosis, was killed in January, 1860, 
in Egypt, by W. C. P. Medlycott, Esq. 

The plumage above is glossy black; below dark 
chesnut, with a broad black collar round the neck. 
Each of the tail feathers has a white spot on its inner 
web, giving the appearance of a crescentic band when 
viewed from beneath. 

It has also been figured by Audouin, in plate 4, fig. 4, 
of his "Expedition to Egypt." The drawings in this 
work were done by M. Savigny, after whom Stephens, 
in his edition of "Shaw's Zoology," named the bird. 

* I append the German text of this passage : — "Oder endlich gar Localformen 
ein und derselben art? Aber ist das nieht ein Name ohne alle tiefere 
philosophische oder physiologische Bedeutung ! Vielleicht um so besser, 
wenn die Philosophic oder Physiologie auf schvvachen Fussen steht. Eine 
thatsachliche Bezeichnung erinnert doch wenigstcns an einen Thatbestand." 



174 



CHELIDONES. 

Family HIRUNDINID^E. f Bonaparte. J 

Genus Hiriindo. ( Linnceus.) 

RUFOUS SWALLOW. 

Hirundo Daurica. 



Jlirundo Daurica, Linnjeus. Savi; Orn. Tosc. 

" rufula, Temminck; Man., 3rd. Ed., p. 298. 

(excluding synonymes. 
Schinz ; Europ. Faun., vol. i., p. 250. 
(excluding synonymes.) 
" Schlegel; Bevue, 1844, p. 18 and 

51. 
" Degland; Ornith. Eur., No. 155, 

the male. 
Crespon; Faun. Merid., vol. i., 

p. 309, the male. 
Bonapabte; Eev. Crit., pp. 46 and 
47. List of birds, (portion) No. 
59. Conspect., p. 339, (excluding 
the synonyme of Buppell.) 
Jaubeet; Eev. Zool., 1854, p, 261, 

the adult only. 
De Selys-Longchamps; Bulletin 
de L'Academic de Bruxelles, vol. 
22, part 2, p. 125. 







RUF0 1 



RUFOUS SWALLOW. 175 

Hirundo alpestris, Malhekbe; Faune Orn. Sicile, 

(excluding synonymes.) 
" " Bonaparte; Intr. Faun. Ital. 

" Keyseeling et Blasius; Die 

"Wirbclthiere, No. 201, (portion.) 
" Capensis, Dueazzo; Ucc. Lig., No. 45. 

Hirondelle Rousseline, 

rousse, or rufuline, Of the French. 

Rolhliche Sehwalbe, Of the Geemans. 

Hondine di Siberia, Savi. 



Specific Characters. — Medium size. Top of the head, back, 
wings, and tail, black; the outer tail feathers for the most part 
faintly spotted with white; nape rufous, not striated; rump pale 
rufous, passing into whitish posteriorly; below the cheeks, and 
under wing coverts, russet, with very narrow brown strise, which 
are however absent in the anal region; the posterior half of the 
under tail coverts black; feet moderate size. Length about seven 
inches; closed wings four inches and four fifths; external tail 
feathers four inches; tarsi half an inch; posterior toe (without 
claw) six tenths of an inch; posterior claw about a quarter of an 
inch. 



This bird has been confounded with, several others. 
It was first noticed by Savi, in 1831, in the "Orni- 
tologia Toscana," Appendix to vol. i., p. 201, as Hirundo 
Daurica, Lin. — the Hondine di Siberia. It was after- 
wards introduced as a European bird in the second 
edition of Temminck's Manual, as identical with Hirundo 
Capensis of Gmelin, from which however it is clearly 
distinct. Temminck proposed for it the name of Mufula, 
which it retained through the many scientific difficulties 
it encountered after his time. Temminck's reasons for 
the change of name is hardly defensible. He thought 



176 



RUFOUS SWALLOW. 



that it was not right to use the word Capensis for 
a European species, and he therefore translated the 
word Rousseline, given to the Cape bird by Le Vaillant, 
into Rufula. The next difficulty it had to encounter 
was from the Prince of Canino, who, after adopting 
the name of Temminck in his "List," in 1838, applied 
the name Alpestris in his "Catalogo degii uccelli 
Europei," in 1842. In his "Revue Critique de 
P ouvrage de Docteur Degland sur les Oiseaux d' 
Europe," in 1850, he further adds to the confusion 
by describing it as a miniature Hirundo Senegalensis, 
although it is at once distinguished from that bird by 
the black apex of the under tail coverts. He also 
united it with another distinct bird, the H. melano- 
crissa, of Riippell. Schlegel, in his "Revue Critique 
des Oiseaux d' Europe," of 1S44, was the first to 
notice the confusion of the true H. rufula of Sicily 
with its congeners, namely, H. Capensis, H. alpestris, 
(Daurica,) H. Senegalensis, and H. striolata. 

Keyserling and Blasius, in "Die Wirbelthiere Europas," 
1840, describe as a European species the H. alpestris 
of Pallas, and identify it with H. rufula. Schinz, 
following Temminck, confounds H. rufula with H. 
Capensis; while Degland, in his Ornithologie Euro- 
peene," in 1849, describes the male bird with the 
omission of the important character of the termination 
in black of the inferior tail coverts; but for the 
female he again falls back, and gives a description of 
H. Capensis, in which mistake he is followed by M. 
Crespon, in the "Faune Meridionale." 
- Gould figures H. Senegalensis for H. rufula. Lesson, 
in his "Traite Ornithologie," 1831, confounds Rufula 
with both Senegalensis and Capensis. Riippell figures 
H. melanocrissa for the first time, in 1845, in his 



RUFOUS SWALLOW. 177 

"Systematische Ubersicht dcr Vogels Nord-Ost Africa;" 
and Bonaparte at oiice claims this bird as H. rufula. 
After which we cannot wonder that Blyth, Sykes, 
Hodgson, and Gray should more or less have confounded 
its synonymes. 

M. De Selys-Longchamps has removed all this 
confusion by an admirable memoir upon the Swallows, 
in the work which I have referred to in the specific 
characters. I am indebted to this memoir for most of 
what I have to say about H. rufula. 

The Rufous Swallow has been observed in Greece, 
on the Italian shores of the Mediterranean, and in the 
South of France. It is not observed in the two latter 
countries commonly, but accidentally on its passage in 
April or May, in couples or flocks more or less large. 
It has been frequently observed in Sicily. At Messina, 
according to Luigi Benoit and Cantraine, it was common 
in 1832. The Marquis Durazzo has recorded its 
appearance at Genoa; M. Crespon, at Nimes; M. 
Jaubert, at Marseilles. According to Lunel it nested 
in the neighbourhood of Avignon, in 1845 and 1846. 
He describes the eggs as white, with small reddish 
spots and points, which formed a zone at the greater 
end, which indicates that he did not get the egg of 
H. Daurica. M. Jaubert has also observed it at Mont- 
pellier, and M. Malherbe in the Cote-d'or and the 
Drome. 

Mr. Tristram remarks, (Ibis, vol. i., p. 26,) "H. rufula 
appears to be the Common Swallow of the Holy Land. 
I cannot be sure that I saw H. rustica at all, though 
possibly it might not yet (April) have returned from 
the south." 

De Selys (Op. cit.) remarks about its real country 
as follows : — "The question was formerly asked from 



178 HUFOUS SWALLOW. 

whence came our Domestic Swallows? It is now 
known they pass the winter in Africa; but this question 
may be still asked with good reason as to H. rufula. 
From whence does it depart, and what is its true 
country? No ornithologist has yet (1855) been able 
to answer this question. We only know the bird 
from its accidental appearance on the shores of the 
Mediterranean. Those who took it for H. Daurica, 
{H. alpestris, Pall.,) thought it came from Siberia, and 
this presumption might be justified by the simultaneous 
appearance in the same parts of the Mediterranean of 
many Siberian birds, such as Emberiza rustica, E. 
aureola, E. pityornus, E. pusilla, Accentor Calliope, 
etc.; but if Rufula is very nearly allied to Daurica, 
there is still a difference between them; nor has it 
yet been found in Russia, or upon the coasts of the 
Black Sea, Prince Bonaparte seemed to have settled 
the question, by claiming its identity with EC. melano- 
crissa of Abyssinia, but unfortunately we have seen 
that they are distinct." 

"H. rufula being as we may say intermediate between 
H. Daurica and H. melanocrissa, I am led to believe, 
in the absence of further proof, that its home must be 
one of the mountainous countries situated between 
Egypt and India, probably the mountains in the south 
of Armenia or Persia. I exclude for the present the 
hypothesis of Barbary, as it has not yet been met with 
in Algeria or Spain." 

"As far as we know of H. rufula, and until we can 
in a more positive manner determine the differences 
which age may introduce between this species and its 
congeners, it is distinguished from EL. Daurica by the 
exceedingly fine brown streaks on the inferior parts 
of the body, by the larger russet collar, and by the 



RUFOUS SWALLOW. 179 

russet of the rump, which passes decidedly into a 
whitish tint posteriorly. 

"It is distinguished from Melanocrissa hy the presence 
at all ages of the streaks on the under parts; hy the 
absence of the anal russet border; by the less deep 
russet of the collar; by the brighter red on the rump 
passing into white posteriorly; and by the whitish spot 
which almost always is found on the external tail 
feather." 

Since the above was written by M. De Selys, we 
have further accounts of this bird, which not only 
verify his prognostication as to the true country, but 
appear to remove all doubts as to the identity of H. 
rufula and H. Daurica. I allude to the observations 
of Mr. Tristram, before noticed, that it entirely takes 
the place of H. rustica in the Holy Land and in 
Egypt. Also to the still more important and interesting 
account given of H. rufula, by Mr. Simpson, (Ibis, 
vol. ii., p. 288,) where he describes it as inhabiting 
Missolonghi and Southern iEtolia, and further gives some 
most interesting accounts of its nidification in Western 
Greece, in the same volume, p. 386. Mr. Simpson 
describes the egg as white, which is further proof of 
the identity of this bird with H. Daurica. 

M. Ed. De Selys-Longchamps has very kindly sent 
me his Grecian specimen, which I have had very carefully 
figured; and through the kindness of Mr. Tristram, I 
am also able to figure one of the eggs taken by Mr. 
Simpson, in Greece. M. De Selys accompanied the 
specimen with some valuable remarks, from which I 
extract the following: — 

"As to Hirundo rufula, my statements are quite 
verified as to its country being the mountains of Eastern 
Asia, since Mr. Tristram (Ibis, vol. i., p. 27,) indicates 



180 RUFOUS SWALLOW. 

it as the Common Swallow in the Holy Land. It 
must, however, be added to this that it inhabits Greece 
regularly, and not accidentally. (Ibis, Oct., 1860, p. 
386, Mr. Simpson.) This observer gives valuable 
information in saying the eggs are quite white, like 
those of H. urhica. It is then more than probable that 
M. Lunel made a mistake when he said they were 
spotted. This discovery as to the eggs and that of its 
true country, confirms me in my belief that this species 
is identical with Daurica, as I had before supposed. 
I have in reality received from Siberia specimens of 
Daurica which have the nuchal collar complete, and 
as to the brown streaks below the body being more 
or less marked, they are no doubt so according to 
age, of which I have proof in its congener Melanocrissa. 
The name of Daurica ought to stand with the addition 
of a very doubtful race, which may be called Rufula 
— H. rufula? 

"Edward Newton's Swallow, (Ibis, 1859, p. 462,) 
seen between Cairo and Alexandria, in Egypt, was 
probably H. melanocrissa. M. Jaubert, of Marseilles, 
has, I believe, figured and described in his work, 
'Richesses Ornithologique, etc.,' the H. rufula of Mar- 
seilles. The work being at my country residence, I 
cannot quote it with certainty at this moment. My 
mounted specimen is without indication of sex." 

In accordance with the opinion expressed by M. De 
Selys, I have sunk the name of Rufula, and adopted 
that of Daurica, leaving it for future observers to 
determine whether there is or not a race to which the 
name Rufula may yet be given. 

In Mr. Simpson's very interesting account of some 
of the Birds of Western Greece, (Ibis, vol. ii., p. 386,) 
I extract the following about the nesting of H. 



RUFOUS SWALLOW. 181 

Daurica: — "H. rufula f Daurica) is still more singular 
in its nidification, always fixing its nest under a cave 
or projecting slab of rock. In the little Klissoura, 
and throughout the precipices of Aracynthus, there 
are plenty of these caves, in former times a convenient 
refuge for the Klephtsas; they are now for shepherds 
tending their flocks during the winter months. This 
eccentric Swallow, not satisfied with having a good 
dry cave all to himself, must needs construct a long 
passage to his nest; thus giving it the shape of a retort, 
with the upper part cut away, and the remaining 
portion glued underneath a fiat surface. The entrance 
is narrow, but the passage gradually widens till it 
finally opens into a sort of chamber, very warmly lined 
with feathers; here the little fellow and his mate are 
sure to be most snugly tucked in just after sundown, 
when they cannot see to catch any more insects. 
Escape therefore is impossible when a ruthless orni- 
thologist wishes to capture the pair for the sake of 
identifying their eggs. No more than one pair ever 
seem to occupy a cave, though the remains of previous 
nests could occasionally be traced on the roof. The 
same pair appear to return year after year, and their 
nest, unless injured by shepherd boys during the 
winter, will merely require a little touching up to 
render it again habitable. The fact of the same birds 
returning was proved by these caves being untenanted, 
where the pair had been captured during the preceding 
year. Several nests with eggs were found towards the 
end of May and beginning of June, 1859. Four seems 
about the complement; they are quite white, much 
resembling eggs of H. urbica, which could be Well 
passed off for them in collections. 

"A curious circumstance in connection with one of 



182 RUFOUS SWALLOW. 

these nests occurred to Dr. Kruper and myself, in a 
cave at the entrance to the little Klissoura. Fastened 
to the roof of this cave, (which was on the face of a 
low cliff, and not easy of access,) we espied a very 
good nest of H. rufula, (Daurica,) upon which Dr. 
Kruper proceeded to operate with a penknife, whilst 
I placed my hand over the mouth of the passage. 
Presently something that felt cold, like a dog's nose, 
began rubbing against the palm. On withdrawing the 
hand a thick snake poked his head out of the aperture, 
looked around for awhile, and then popped in again. 
He was in very good quarters, and evidently intended 
to take a lease of the premises, which just suited him, 
as he could coil himself up in the bulb of the retort, 
with his head and neck stretched out along the passage, 
in readiness for any emergency. We soon had him 
sprawling on the floor of the cave, when it became 
apparent that he had swallowed a full-grown young 
Swallow; the other three being in all probability destined 
for a similar fate. The sensations of those wretched 
little victims, lying in such close contact with their 
horrible enemy, must have been somewhat akin to those 
of Ulysses and his companion in the cave of Polyphemus. 
In the destruction of the nest two of them made their 
escape; the fourth was captured and preserved by 
Kruper, together with the first, which, on being cut 
out of the body of the snake, was found to be very 
little injured as a specimen. The walls of the cave 
were smooth and nearly perpendicular; the roof at 
least seven feet above the floor, and no cracks visible; 
how then could this monster have wriggled himself 
into such a well-stocked larder?" 

Mr. Simpson further informs us that every European 
species of Hirundo and Cypselas (except, perhaps, H. 



RUFOUS SWALLOW. LSo 

riparia,) may be found breeding in Mount Aracynthus. 
Hirundo rupestris is the only Swallow which winters 
in Greece. 

H. Daurica has the top of the head and back metallic 
black; wings and tail dull black; cheeks and auditory 
region yellowish grey; nape and lateral parts of the 
occiput russet; rump tawny red, passing into yellowish 
white on the posterior half; throat, chest, abdomen, 
under tail and wing coverts, whitish, washed with russet, 
especially on the chest and flanks, and finely striated 
with brown, more distinct on the crop and throat; the 
terminal moiety of the under tail coverts, well-defined 
metallic black; beak and feet blackish, the latter slender. 
The external tail feathers have almost always on their 
inner barb a small, whitish, oval spot, not well defined, 
and placed slightly in advance of the base of the feather, 
which is covered by the inferior coverts. M. De Selys 
informs us that M. Jaubert has a specimen which has 
a well-marked white spot on one of the great tail 
feathers, while the other is quite black. 

As I have before mentioned, I am indebted to M. 
Ed. De Selys-Longchamps for the Grecian specimen 
which I have figured. I return him my very best 
thanks for this obligation. The egg is from Mr. 
Tristram, and is marked "JE. M. 31—59. W. H. S." 



184 



CHELIDONES. 

Family HIRUNDINIDJE. (Bonaparte.) 

Genus Hirtjndo. ( Linnceus.J 

CKAG SWALLOW. 

Hirundo rupestris. 

Sir undo rupestris, Scopoli; 1768. 

" montana et rupestris, Gmelin; 1788. 

Cotyle rupestris, Boie. Bonapaete. 

Ptyonoprogne rupestris, Bonapaete. 

Hirondelle de rocker, Of the Feench. 

FehenscTiwalbe, Of the Geemans. 

Hondine montana, Savi. 

Specific Characters. — Upper parts ash grey, more or less dark 
according to age; primaries dark smoky brown; tail dark brown, 
the two upper and two most external tail feathers unicolorous; 
all the others having a large round white spot on the inner 
web. Length of tip of beak to end of long wings when closed 
six inches and a half; from carpus to tip five inches; tarsus five 
lines; beak seven lines; tail two inches and a half. 

The Crag Swallow inhabits Sicily, Sardinia, the 
Alps and Pyrenees, the north of Africa, and the eastern 
parts of Asia. It is also found in the Appenines, and 
in Tuscany, in Greece, and the Ionian Islands. We 
have also records of its appearance in Egypt and the 
rocks bordering the Chiffa, in Algeria. In India, Dr. 



CRAG SWALLOW. 185 

Leith Adams informs me that it is generally distributed 
over the Nilghiris Mountains, in Madras, and on certain 
parts of the Western Himalayas. In the Epirus we 
are informed by Lord Lilford, (Ibis, vol. ii., p. 234,) 
it is common and resident, "haunting the high and 
precipitous mountains of the interior in summer, and 
coming down to the coast during the winter months." 
In the same Journal, (vol. i., p. 46,) Mr. Taylor informs 
us that it is the most abundant of the Swallows above 
Cairo. "I found a nest of this species on the 25th. 
of January, in the grottoes of Ben-Hassan, containing 
two eggs nearly ready to hatch. Both nest and eggs 
much resembled those of the Common Swallow." 

In his "Vogel Griechenlands," p. 118, Lindermayer 
says, "H. rupestris is a resident bird in Greece, and found 
plentifully in the low neighbourhoods in winter, flying 
in large flocks over the swamps and the low level 
grounds near the sea. In summer it is only seen in 
the high mountains. I have in the early days of March, 
1845, killed many specimens in the mountains of 
Athens. Kriiper found a nest with eggs in Akarnania 
and on Parnassus." 

Count Miihle, in his "Beitrage Zur Ornithologie 
Griechenlands," page 81, says, — "In summer H. alpestris 
is only seen on high mountains, such as Taygetus, 
G5ta, Velugi, etc. In cold clear winter days it first 
approaches human dwellings, and extends solitarily 
among them, and is seen in waving flights over the 
towns, which resemble much more the Bee-eater than 
the Swallow. Here they pass the winter, for I have 
shot them plentifully in the end of December." 

From Degland I take the following: — "jH". alpestris 
is sufficiently common in Switzerland, in Savoy, and in 
the Pyrenees. I have received it from Bagnerre-di- 
vol. hi. 2 c 



186 CRAG SWALLOW. 

Bigorre and Grenoble. M. Gerbe informs me that it is 
abundant in the department of the Basses-Alpes, near 
Moustiers, and in the Var among some of the high 
mountain rocks which border the River Argent. M. 
Crespon reports it from the department of Gard; and 
it is seen in its passage in some other spots in Provence, 
Languedoc, Anjou, and the department of Isere. It 
builds among the clefts in the anfractuosities of the 
rocks, making a nest of tempered clay, small straws, 
and feathers. It lays five or six white eggs, spotted 
with red, dark rust, or brown." 

"This species flies more slowly than its congeners, and 
always in regions most elevated. It almost always seeks 
its food in an undulatory flight above the rocks it 
inhabits. It arrives in Italy and in the south of France 
before the other Swallows, and leaves last. M. Gerbe 
thinks that some individuals hybernate in certain parts 
of Piedmont, near the borders of France; because when 
the winter is not severe, it is not rare to see them 
in the months of January and February flying above 
the mouth of the Var, and at Nice above the river 
which passes through that city. As this species moults 
before it emigrates, which is peculiar to it, M. Gerbe 
also suggests that those individuals which appear in a 
season where generally they are not seen again, are 
the young ones of the last brood, and that a retarded 
moult has obliged them to remain in our climate." 

The male and female have the upper plumage ash 
grey, with the wings and tail darker. Throat light 
fawn, gradually becoming darker on the chest and 
abdomen; under wing coverts dark smoky brown; under 
tail coverts hair brown; the tail feathers, with the 
exception of the two median, and the two external, 
have an oval white spot on their inner web ; beak 




L. R.UFC 

2, EDS.SE' N ■ NIGH 



CRAG SWALLOW. 187 

blackish; iris hazel, or, according to M. Roux and M. 
Crespon, gold-colour. 

According to Degland, the young before the first 
moult have the feathers of the upper parts bordered 
with russet; those of the inferior parts of a yellow 
russet, and the throat spotted with brown on a white 
ground. 

My figure is after a specimen kindly sent me by 
Mr. Tristram, marked "Kedron, near the Dead Sea, 
March, 1858." 

The bird has also been figured by Naumann, pi. 
146; Vieillot, Faun. Ft., pi. 39; Roux, Ornith. Provence, 
pi. 142; Bouteil, Ornith. du Dauph, pi. 38, f. 6; Gould, 
B. of E., pi. 56. 



188 



CHELIDONES. 

Family CAPRIMULGID^E. ( Bonaparte.) 

Genus Caprimulgus. (Linnaeus.) 

Generic Characters. — Beak very short, flexible, depressed, 
slightly curved, and cleft to beyond the eyes; superior mandible 
hooked at the point, furnished with stiff bristly hairs directed 
forwards. Nostrils basal, large, closed by a membrane, and 
partly covered by the feathers of the forehead. Feet with 
three toes in front and one behind; the anterior toes united 
as far as the first articulation by a membrane; the hind toe 
reversible; claws short, except that of the middle toe, which 
is long and serrated, so as to form a comb. Tail rounded or 
forked, composed of ten quills. Wings long; first primary 
shorter than the second, which is the longest. 



RUSSET-NECKED NIGHTJAR. 

Caprimulgus ruficollis. 

Caprimulgus ruficollis, Temminck. 

rufilorques, Vieillot. 

Scotornis trimaculatus, Swainson; Birds of 

Africa, vol. ii. 
Eugouleveiit a collier roux, Op the Feench. 

Halsbandziegenmelker, Of the Germans. 

Specific Characters. — A collar of russet extending from the cheeks 
round the back of the neck, and joining on each side in front 
to a white spot on the throat; first primary shorter than the 



RUSSET-NECKED NIGHTJAR. 189 

third. Plumage having a general rufous tint. Length twelve 
inches; carpus to tip eight inches; tarsus one inch; middle toe 
one inch; claw pectinated. Beak from gape fourteen lines ; breadth 
at base one inch; tail six inches and a half. 

The Red, or, as I prefer calling it, the Russet-necked 
Nightjar, is a native of Africa, being occasionally found 
in various parts of Europe. The south of Spain and 
France, namely, Provence, Marseilles, Nimes, and 
Montpellier, are recorded as its European localities. 
To these, through the kindness of Dr. Leith Adams, 
I am able to add Malta, where a specimen was obtained 
by Charles Augustus Wright, Esq., from whose notes 
I copy the following: — 

"In the spring of this year (1861) a native bird- 
stufFer sent me word of a curious Goat-sucker having 
been shot a few days previous, (in the middle of May,) 
at Emtalitep, a valley situate on the southern coast of 
this island. When I saw it the bird had already been 
set up, but the skin was quite fresh, and there is no 
doubt about its being a fine specimen of Caprimulgus 
rvficollis. * * In addition to the localities 

given by Degland, I know it is included in an 
unpublished list of Egyptian birds in my possession, 
compiled from various sources by Mr. W, C. Medlycott. 
As far as my information extends, it has never been 
known to visit Sicily, or any part of Italy, except 
Nice, where it has been occasionally met with. There 
appears to be no previous record of its capture in 
Malta. I am glad to say that the subject of this 
notice passed into my possession, and now occupies a 
conspicuous place among my Birds of Malta. C. 
ruficollis may be easily distinguished from C. Europceus, 
by its larger size, general rufous colouring, different 
proportionate length of primaries, two large white 



190 RUSSET-NECKED NIGHTJAR. 

spots on the throat, and the reddish collar from which 
it derives its name. C. Eurojjceus is a very common 
bird in Malta during the vernal and autumnal migrations. 
Before the capture of this species, C. ruficollis was 
unknown as a Maltese visitor." 

C. ruficollis is apparently a rare and local bird in 
Europe, except Spain. It is not mentioned by Mr. 
Salvin, in his interesting "Five Month's Bird-nesting 
in the Eastern Atlas," or in Lord Lilford's "Notes 
upon the Birds of the Ionian Islands," published in 
the "Ibis." Neither is it mentioned by Count Miihle, 
or Dr. Lindermayer, as a visitor to Greece. 

In Mr. Tristram's "Notes from Eastern Algeria," 
however, I find the following, (Ibis, vol. ii., p. 374:) — 
"As evening drew near the Red-necked Goat-sucker, 
(Caprimulgus ruficollis,) flitted about the glades, and 
the note of the Scops-Eared Owl floated on the air, 
with its plaintive 'Maroof, maroof,' from which it derives 
its local appellation." It is also mentioned by Captain 
Loche as inhabiting the three provinces of Algeria. 

Dr. D. Antonio Machado, in his "Catalogo De las 
Aves observadas en Algunas provincias de Andalucia, 
Sevilla, 1851," says of this bird, — "It inhabits the woody 
flat ground of the mountains; it appears in spring, 
and leaves again in October: very common. It has no 
nest, but places its eggs in hollows in the ground, or 
under the shelter of some shrub. It frequents the 
roads where there is much horse or mule traffic, and 
the vulgar notion is that it feeds upon the dung which 
it finds there; but it is much more probable that it is 
in search of the beetles which live among it, and which 
are its principal food. 

I have ventured to place among the synonymes of 
this bird that of Scolornis trimacalatus , as it agrees in 



RUSSET-NECKED NIGHTJAR. 191 

every important particular with the description given 
by Swainson of that bird, in his "History of the Birds 
of Africa/' — "Jardine's Naturalists' Library," vol. viii., 
p. 70: — Singularly enough Mr. Swainson seems to have 
overlooked the fact that the European Nightjar has 
three spots on the inner web of the three first primaries, 
and has claimed for his bird this exclusive character. 
Mr. Swainson gives eleven inches as the length of his 
bird, which is rather shorter than that of C. ruficollis, 
but the other and more important dimensions are the 
same. 

There is another point of difference which I cannot 
help thinking is accidental. Mr. S. says, "The first 
primary quill is half an inch shorter than the second 
and third, which are of equal length, and the longest, 
while the fourth is an inch shorter, and the fifth is 
one and one fourth inches shorter than the fourth." 

If the end of the above passage is transposed, and 
read, "While the fourth is an inch and a quarter 
shorter, and the fifth one inch shorter than the fourth," 
the whole will apply with perfect exactitude, like every 
other part of the description, to C. ruficollis. 

I have no account to offer of the nourishment, 
habits, and nesting of this bird. But they are not 
likely I think to differ much from its European and 
closely-allied congener. There is the same wide mouth, 
with its array of bristles, and the same comb to clean 
them with on the claw of its middle toe. What a 
beautiful adaptive provision is this comb. Looked at 
through a lens, the teeth of the comb are seen to be 
placed with perfect regularity, and are admirably 
adapted to their evident use — to clean the bristles, an 
act which Dr. Maclean tells me he has actually seen 
performed by our Goat-sucker. . The bristles are required 



192 RUSSET-NECKED NIGHTJAR. 

as a fence for the large mouth, out of which otherwise 
many an insect would slip away. But the bristles get 
clogged up, and the God who made this bird has 
provided it with as perfect a comb to clean them with, 
as is to be found on the table of any lady in Europe! 
I should like to know how such a provision could have 
been given by "natural selection," or "variation," or 
by any other "aid to theory," which Mr. Darwin or 
Dr. Asa Gray would assign as the means by which 
this beautiful adaptation was produced? To imagine 
that this comb on the claw of the long middle toe is 
an accidental variation, is to surrender common sense. 
Still more absurd would be the inference that such a 
variation could have been produced by successive steps 
through a long series of years. The bristles and the 
comb have a distinct relation to each other. They are 
parts of the organic structure of the being. Did they 
vary separately or simultaneously ? "Were they produced 
independently or in distinct relation to each other? 
How much more good would the Reviewers of Darwin 
do by going into questions like these, rather than giving 
us long and very often unintelligible and dull disser- 
tations, in which fine writing is more aimed at than 
sound science. The physiological part of the question, 
evidently the most important, they seldom or ever 
touch. 

The prevailing tint of the upper plumage is grey, 
more or less tinged with rufous, which is the prevailing 
colour of the wings and all the inferior parts. The 
head has the sides grey, with a broad band of rufous, 
and dark brown longitudinal spots between. The nape 
is composed of the rufous collar which gives the bird 
its name. Back and upper tail coverts and feathers 
grey, barred and striated irregularly with rufous and 



11USSET-NECKED NIGHTJAR. 193 

dark brown. The scapularies and upper wing coverts 
light rufous, mingled with grey and rich dark brown. 
The lesser wing coverts, primaries, and secondaries, deep 
chesnut, barred with darker brown. The first three 
primaries have a large white oval spot on their inner 
web, each spot from the first being slightly nearer the 
tip of the feathers. The other primaries are tipped with 
grey, and more deeply bordered at the ends Avith the 
same colour darker. 

The first primary is about half an inch shorter than 
the second and third, which are longest, The fourth 
is an inch shorter than the first, and the fifth one inch 
shorter than the fourth. Throat, cheeks, and chest, 
light rufous, with a large white spot on the former; 
abdomen still lighter rufous, finely barred with brown; 
under tail coverts fawn-colour. When closed the tail is 
grey above, divided into a cup-within-cup pattern, the 
intervals of which at the sides are fawn-colour; below 
the tail is fawn-colour, thickly barred with dark blackish 
brown, and terminating with Avhite; the three lateral 
feathers on each side have this character above and 
beloAV, Avhile the rest are dark mottled broAvn, tipped 
and edged Avith faAvn-colour. Beak black ; feet and iris 
broAvn. 

My figure is from a specimen sent me by Mr. 
Tristram, marked "Bojhar Forest, 29th. May, 1856." 

It has also been figured by Vieillot, Faun. Franc, 
pi. 62, fig. 2; Roux, Ornith. Provence, pi. 14S; Gould, 
B. of E., pi. 52. 



Cajirimidgus climatwus, the African Long-tailed 
Nightjar, is mentioned to me in a letter by M. Dubois, 
of Brussels, as having been accidentally captured in 
Europe. 

VOL. III. 2 D 



194 



RUSSET-NECKED NIGHTJAR. 



Mr. Swainson has separated the Nightjars into two 
groups. In that for which he retains the name of 
Caprimidg us , the two lateral toes of the foot are of the 
same length; in the other the inner toe is longer than 
the outer, and these he has classed under the generic 
name Scotomix, and it is to this group that Caprimulgus 
climaturus belongs. It is here I think that classifiers 
err. There is no family so well marked as a family 
as the Nightjars. In colour they so much resemble 
each other, that it is impossible to designate by this 
character alone one species from another. Why then 
divide the genus? Because some few members of the 
family have a slight difference in the lateral toes, surely 
we have no right to complicate by dividing the genus ! 
So long as their structure, habits, and ornamentation 
are similar, a slight deviation in the length of a toe is, 
with all deference to Mr. Swainson, insufficient to 
constitute generic distinction. 

The claims of C. climaturus as a European species 
are, I think, too slight to justify me in introducing it 
into this work, further than by the present notice. 




Foot of Russet-necked Nightjar, slightly enlarged. 




EGYPTIAN TU JJTLE D 



195 



Order IX.— COLUMILE. 

Family COLU31BIDJE. {Leach J 

Genus Columba. ( Linnaeus. J 

Generic Characters. — Beak of medium size, compressed; base 
of the upper mandible covered with a soft skin, through which 
the nostrils are pierced, the point more or less curved. Feet 
with three toes in front, entirely divided, and one behind. 



EGYPTIAN TUETLE DOVE. 

Columba JEgyptiaca. 

Columba JEgypliaca, Latham. 

" cambayensis, Temminck. 

" macidicollis, Waglee; Syst. Avium. 

Turtur Senegalcnsis, Bonapaete. 

Tourterelle d'Egypte, Of the Feench. 

JEgyptische Tarteltaube, Of the Geemans. 

Specific Characters. — External border of the wings black; the 
upper and middle four tail feathers unicolorous; the most lateral 
ashy at their base, black in the middle, and bluish white at their 
distal ends; no black and blue collar on the neck. Length nine 
inches and a half; carpus to tip five inches and a half; tail four 
inches and a half; tarsus nine lines ; middle toe and claw one inch ; 
beak eleven lines. 

N.B. — The above measurements are from the dry skin of the 
female specimen which is figured. 



196 



EGYPTIAN TURTLE DOVE. 



Greece is the European locality of the Egyptian 
Turtle Dove, and Asia and Africa its real home. Its 
name is derived from its frequent occurrence in Egypt; 
but it is also recorded as an inhabitant of Turkey by 
Degland, and of the Sahara in Algeria by Captain 
Loche. 

Count Miihle, in his "Ornithologie Griechenlands," 
says, "I have shot this pretty Dove many times in 
summer, when drinking with the Common Turtle Dove, 
but until the last year I had not regarded it as a 
distinct species." 

Dr. Lindermaycr, writing as late as 1860, in his 
"Vogel Griechenlands," says that he has not hitherto 
found it; but he has had the eggs sent to him which 
he had mistaken for those of the Bee-eater, until after 
due inquiry he was set right upon this point by Herr 
Baron Konig-Warthausen. The eggs came from 
Attila. He from this inferred that the Egyptian Dove 
arrives about the same time as the Common Turtle 
Dove, breeds at the same places, and goes away with 
it, by reason of which Lindermayer considers it has 
been so little, noticed. Erhardt does not include it in 
his list, nor has Kriiper discovered the eggs. There 
cannot however be any doubt about its occurrence in 
Greece, because Miihle's description of the bird is very 
exact. 

The male and female have the head, neck, and 
throat a beautiful pink, or flesh-colour, with the feathers 
under the base of the beak pure white. There is a 
distinct collar between the throat and the chest of pinky 
russet, which goes only to the nape, where it becomes 
blended with the colour of the back. From the nape 
to the rump, and to the edges of the wing coverts on 
each side, the colour is a rich lustrous russet brown, 



_/.y • - 



i'.f'w* 







.< 







1. EGYPTIAN R i V E. 
HAZEL GROUSE. ' 



COLUMBA GELASTIS. 197 

tlie scapularies being entirely of this colour, while in 
those parts at the sides which verge upon the wing 
coverts, the feathers are each bordered with a brighter 
russet. Primaries, rump, and upper tail feathers hair 
brown; upper wing coverts slate grey, lower dark 
brown; crop and chest a more vinous or darker flesh- 
colour than the head; abdomen and under tail coverts 
cream-colour; flanks and under wing coverts slate grey; 
under part of primaries light brown; under part of tail 
black at the base, then white, while the grey tips of 
the other feathers are seen beyond. 

I find marked on the label of my specimen tarsi 
and feet flesh-colour; irides yellow; bill, bluish black, 
blue at base. 

My figure is a female from a specimen sent me by 
Mr, Tristram, marked "Benyan, Dec. 1st., 1856." The 
egg is also from a specimen sent me by the same 
gentleman, marked "Y. Pv., 1857." 

It has also been figured by Temminck, in his 
celebrated work upon Pigeons, pi. 45. 



Columba gelastis, Temminck. — This is only considered 
a variety of the Common Turtle Dove — a larger bird 
with a redder- coloured abdomen. It has occurred in 
the south of Sweden; and Mr. Sclater tells us, "Ibis," 
July, 1861, that we may expect some day to see it in 
England. Without, therefore, in the absence of speci- 
mens, giving a figure, I will record here all we know 
about the bird. 

The following is Nilsson's account, copied, translated, 
and kindly sent me by Mr. Wheelwright: — "The old 
bird about thirteen to fourteen inches long; wing from 
carpal joint eight inches. On the sides of the neck a 



198 COLUMBA GELAST1S. 

black spot with four white transverse streaks. Wing's 
above blackish, with broad rusty red edges to the 
feathers, which give these parts a scaly appearance. 
Tail rounded, black, with a broad whitish grey tip, 
the Aveb of the outer feathers grey; the middle nearly 
free from the light tips. Back and upper parts blue; 
head and breast whitish grey, with a rusty tinge, 
especially in the breast; under tail coverts bluish 
white. — Stockholm Museum. 

Young. Tail black, with a broad white tip, which 
is absent on the middle feathers; wings, etc., dark 
brown, with rusty yellow tips. Black spots on the sides 
of the neck scarcely visible. — Stockholm Museum. 

This Dove, which was formerly only known in Japan, 
has of late years been met with in Sweden. In 
December, 1842, a young example was purchased in 
Stockholm in a load of other birds from Herjeaclalei, 
where it was caught in the autumn. An older specimen 
was sent down alive by a ship-builder, named J. 
Peterson, of Piteo, to the Stockholm Museum. It 
was caught in a forest tract a mile and a half Swedish 
from the town. It was kept alive in Stockholm 
some time, but died December 20th., 1853, and is 
now preserved in the Museum as one of the rarest 
and most handsome of Swedish birds. According to 
Professor Sundevall, the note exactly resembles that of 
the Turtle Dove, (consequently not laughing, as the 
name would imply,) and the general appearance of the 
two birds is so similar, that were it not for the size 
it might easily be taken for a large variety of C. 
Turtur. Professor Sundevall imagines that besides 
Japan it inhabits North-Eastern Asia, and that the 
yearling bird, -which was caught in Herjeadalei, was 
hatched in the above-named province or in Lapland. 



COLITMBA GELAST1S. 199 

In its native country it appears to inhabit rocky 
mountainous tracts." 

Dr. Leopold Von Schrenclc, in liis "Reisen unci 
Forschungen im Amur Lande," Vol. 1, Part 2, 1854-6, 
page 890, has a long account of this bird, from which I 
extract the following: — -"This is only a geographical 
variety of C. Turtur, distinguished by its greater size 
and by its darker colouring. The Amur Lande species 
resembles mark for mark the C. Turtur, and in the 
tone of its colouring most resembles the description 
given in the "Fauna Japonica," especially the wings, 
tail feathers, and upper parts; the under parts are 
brighter than in C. Turtur, and the lower breast is of a 
clear vinous reddish, without the yellowish tint; round 
the neck and upper part of the breast there is less 
brownish, and more vinous reddish grey colouring. 
The under tail coverts and the tips of the tail feathers 
are in all our specimens grey, and certainly in spring 
of a somewhat darker bluish ash grey; in the latter part 
of summer, on the contrary, they are shaded into a 
greyish white. 

"We also find in the young of C. gelastis the 
characteristic markings of C. Turtur, namely, white on 
the tail and under tail coverts passing into grey, and 
on the belly into vinous red. Besides this C. gelastis 
has all the distinctive marks of the young Turtle Dove, 
especially on the throat and crop down to the breast, 
where the colour is grey brown, with rusty yellow 
edges to the feathers, without the glossy appearance; 
also on the primaries and secondaries towards the end 
the edges are broad rust brown, and the upper tail 
coverts, as well as the two middle tail feathers, have 
a slight rust brownish " tip to each feather, passing 
into bluish grey borders in the middle of the feathers. 



200 



COLUMBA GELASTIS. 



"In the next plumage the young birds have the 
iris two colours, in a sharply-defined ring; the inner 
part brown, and the outer yellowish. Beak bluish 
grey; feet violet grey. In the old birds in summer 
I have found the iris had its outer border in a 
slender whitish ring, and the inner part red; beak 
violet grey, especially towards the base; feet violet red." 
Dr. Schrenck then discusses the opinions of other 
writers upon the specific difference of this bird. 
Temminck and Schlegel refer to the larger size of 
Gelastis, and the former to the shorter tail and 
longer wing. Middendorff also notices the larger size 
of the body, while Pallas is of opinion that the same 
difference as exists between the two in size, may 
equally be observed between the Eussio-European and 
the Dauritian examples of C. cenas and C. lima. 

The following is Dr. Schrenck's table of dimensions 
of the Amur bird: — -Male. — Length of closed wings 
seven inches three lines, tail five inches, beak seven 
lines and a half, tarsi eleven lines and a half, middle 
toe (without claw) one inch, claw of middle toe three 
lines and a half. Female. — Length of closed wings 
six inches eleven lines, tail four inches ten lines, beak 
seven lines and a half, tarsi eleven lines and a half, 
middle toe (without claw) one inch, claw of middle 
toe three lines. Young. — Length of closed wings seven 
inches, tail four inches eleven lines, tarsi one inch, 
middle toe (without claw) one inch one line and a 
half, claw of middle toe three lines and a half. 

On the whole, I think we may give C. gelastis to 
Mr. Darwin as a transitional variety. I will not, 
however, apologize for making a further extract from 
Dr. Schrenck's interesting notice. 

Dr. Schrenck goes on to remark that the Turtle 



COLUMHA GELASTIS. 201 

Dove lias spread along the shores of the Pacific Ocean 
to Dauria, and in larger numbers eastward to the 
Stanowvi Mountains and to the coasts of the Ochotsk 
Sea, (according to Middendorff,) to the neighbouring 
country of the Amoor, and (according to Temminck) 
to Japan, where it assumes its largest form, and has 
the same variety of colours which have been described 
in C. gelastis. "In the Amoor I found C. gelastis very 
common, as well at the mouths of the rivers as also 
further outwards, and on the Ussuri. It is also found, 
according to the testimony of the natives, on the 
Island of Sachalin. On the Amoor it remains in the 
hazel woods, as well as among evergreens and willow 
bushes on the islands, and, as far as I have been 
able to observe, in the neighbourhood of water. I 
have often seen them a short distance from the river, 
on the level sand and pebbles, between light willow 
branches, sitting in pairs, or in small companies of 
four to six. At first I thought they repaired to 
such places only to drink or pick up small stones 
and coarse grains of sand, but the specimens which I 
shot shew me that they find their food there as well. 
I found the crop filled with Phrygane, which is found 
abundantly, and of various kinds on the Amoor. I 
am not aware that this has ever been observed as 
the food of our Turtle Doves in Europe. 

"Quite early in the spring this Turtle Dove appears 
on the Amoor. At the Nikolajev Posten I found 
them in the spring of 1855, the end of April; and 
it also appeared at the mouth of the river about 
the 8th. (20th.) of May, when the bushes were 
covered with ice, and there was still much snow in 
the forest. 

"The moulting begins among the old birds in the 

VOL. III. 2 E 



202 COLUMBA GELASTIS. 

latter half of August, much later among the young 
ones, probably not until the old ones have completed 
their change. 

"This Dove plays an important part in the religious 
ceremonies of the inhabitants of the Amoor, as does 
also the Cuckoo." 

Further details of this interesting part of his subject 
Dr. Schrenck reserves for another part of the great 
work which is now throwing so much light upon the 
history of this interesting country. 



203 



Order X.— GALLING. 

Family TETBAONIBJE. (Bonaparte.) 

Genus Tetrao. (Linnaeus.) 

Generic Characters. — Beak short, strong, naked at the base; 
superior mandible arched, convex, and curved from its origin. 
Nares basal, half covered by an arched membrane, hidden 
by the forward feathers of the forehead; eyebrows naked, 
garnished by red papilla?. Feet with three toes in front, 
united as far as the first articulation; one toe behind, short: 
the edges of all pectinated. Tarsi feathered to the toes, and 
often even to the claws. Tail composed of sixteen or eighteen 
feathers. Wings short; the first primary short, the second 
shorter than the third, fourth, and fifth, which are the 
longest. 



HAZEL GKOUSE. 



Tetrao bonasia. 



Tetrao bonasia, 
Gallina corylorum, 
Bonasia, 

Bonasia sylvestris, 
Tetrastes bonasia, 
Gelinotte commune, 
Gemeines Haselhuhn, 
Francolino di Monte, 
Hjerpe, 



Linnaeus, 1766. 

Aldrovandus, 1599. 

Brisson, 1760. 

Bonaparte, 1838. 

Keyserling et Blasius, 1840. 

Oe the French. 

Oe the Germans. 

Savi. 

Of the Swedes. 



204 HAZEL GROUSE. 



Specific Characters. — Feathers of vertex elongated; tail round, 
with, a black fascia tipped with grey on all the lateral feathers; 
inferior parts of the tarsi and the toes naked; throat black in the 
male, yellow in female. Length thirteen inches and a half; from 
carpal joint to tip of wing six inches and a half; tail six inches; 
tarsi one inch; beak nine lines. 



According to modern views of classification we have 
now arrived at the second great division of the class 
Aces, The first division comprises all those birds, the 
young of which require attention in the nest from 
their parents, before they arrive at maturity in wing 
and limb. Hence they are called Heterophagi — those 
the young of which cannot feed themselves. We have 
gone through this sub-class, and have arrived at the 
second, or Autopliagi — those the young of which can 
more or less feed themselves from birth. The former 
sub-class comprises the Raptor es, Passeres, Sca?isores, 
and Columbidce ; the latter the Rasores, Cur sores, 
Gr alia tores, and Natatores. 

Although this work treats of only a section of the 
birds in one quarter of the globe, and though I have 
adopted as the simplest, and what I consider (with 
all its faults) the best of modern classifications — that 
of Temminck — I still do not consider myself precluded 
from noticing, from time to time, what I may think 
as worthy of observation on the great and important 
subject of scientific arrangement. 

The division to which I have alluded makes but 
little break in Temminck's arrangement. It merelv 
excludes the Columbidce from the second sub-class, and 
places them in the first. The arrangement is, I think, a 
good one. It is founded on a great natural division 
in the plan of development in birds, and which is 



HAZEL GROUSE. 205 

bea'ntifully adapted to the "circumstances of their 
existence." 

The Hazel Grouse, which, in the absence from my 
list of the genus Phasianus , claims my first notice, 
is an inhabitant of many of the heathery or woody 
mountains and plains of Europe. It occurs in the 
north of Sweden and Norway, Switzerland, Germany, 
France, Italy, the Alps, Savoy, Verona, the Tyrol 
and Siberia as far as the River Lena. In France it 
is especially found among the Pyrenees, the mountains 
of the Vosges, the Dauphine, and the Ardennes. It 
does not occur in Greece or Holland, and is not 
noticed in Dr. Machado's list of the birds of Andalusia. 
Dr. Schrenck includes it in the birds of Amoor Land. 

Mr. Wheelwright, of Gadsjo, in Sweden, living in 
the land of Grouse, has obligingly favoured me with 
some notes about this and the next species, for which 
I have to tender him my thanks; such information, 
coming from the fountain head, always being most 
acceptable. 

"The Hjerpe has never been met with in the south 
of Sweden, but is found in the woods of Dahl and 
in the south-west coast of Bohns Land. It is tolerably 
common in Oster Gothland. It is rare around Stock- 
holm, but common in the more northerly parts; 
(Nilsson remarks that this appears the more strange 
since the same bird comes in numbers into Germany, 
and even France. He thinks that if it were introduced 
it would thrive in the rocky wooded tracts of North 
Scania.) 

"The Hazel Grouse does not go so high up the 
fell sides as the Capercaillie or Black Grouse, and it 
disappears from the Norwegian fells long before we 
have reached the limits of the frost. According to 



206 HAZEL GROUSE^ 

Herr Von Wright, it is found up as high as Kengis, 
(67° 10',) and even as high as Mounioniska. It is 
common in most parts of Wermerland." 

"It frequents old thick forests, as Avell as young 
plantations of birch and pine mixed, and I think this 
is much owing to the season of the year. With us 
it is generally found in old fir forests with stony rises, 
and often at the foot of rocks in the aln and birch 
woods. In summer they appear to frequent leafy 
plantations, and with the fall of the leaf they with- 
draw into the fir forests, where they remain through 
the winter, only making occasional migrations into the 
nearest birch woods to feed on the catkins of the 
birch, which at this season forms their principal, and, 
I think, their only nourishment, for I never by any 
chance find any fir shoots in their crops, as I do in 
those of the Capercaillie. They appear always to be 
on the ground, and only fly up into a fir tree when 
they are flushed. Their flight is noisy and bustling, 
and they never go far. I never find them by any 
chance in the open, like the Black Grouse." 

"They live in a state of monogamy, and with us 
the pairing takes place about the same time as that of 
the Capercaillie or Black Grouse. The note is a soft 
rather melancholy pipe, which can be readily imitated 
by a Hjerpe whistle made of bone or quill. The 
call-note rather resembles £ li, li, titititi-ti.' The note 
of the male is stronger than that of the female. By 
this note, which we always hear from the ground, the 
sexes carry on their spring conversation, and in the 
autumn the mother uses the same kind of language to 
her young. As soon as the pairing is over the sexes 
divide. The males keep then single, and you never 
see three or four together. The female lays as many 



HAZEL GROUSE. 207 

as from nine to twelve pale yellow brown-spotted 
eggs, in a hole in the moss on the ground. She 
makes no nest. She hatches the eggs by herself, and 
has all the care of the young. As soon as the young- 
can fly the male comes back to them, and the whole 
family live together during the autumn and winter. 
They remain throughout the year in those woods in 
which they take up their abode. I never saw more 
than one family together in our forests, though in 
Finland they are said to pack. In the beginning of 
April they separate in pairs, and the breeding season 
begins, although I never took a nest in Wermerland 
till the middle of May. 

"In the north they are considered the most delicate 
of forest game, but they afford little sport to the real 
sportsman, as we generally shoot them from the perch. 
I think they are more shy and retired in their habits 
than any other of the Grouse." 

"The beak is black, thick, and convex; upper man- 
dible the longest. First primary shorter than the 
eighth, second shorter than the sixth; third, fourth, 
and fifth alike, and longest. Tail somewhat rounded. 
The crown feathers, which, in the male especially, are 
long, can be raised into a kind of crest. Over the 
eye is a small naked red spot, with small warts on 
the upper edge, but no comb. Tarsi generally only 
half, but sometimes three fourths covered with grey, 
soft, hairy feathers; the naked part grey brown, covered 
with divided half rings. Toes grey brown, covered 
with half rings, and on the sides with scales, under 
which they are fringed with combed teeth; claws pale 
brown." 

"It varies much in size. From the northern tracts 
the male is generally from fourteen inches to fourteen 



208 HAZEL GROUSE. 

inches and a half long; extent of wings twenty inches; 
tail four inches and six eighths, extending beyond the 
wings three inches and a half; tarsus one inch and a 
half." The above is Swedish measure, in which the 
inch is a quarter of an eighth shorter, and, I have 
no doubt, refers to freshly-killed specimens. The 
dimensions in my diagnosis are those of a fine male 
sent me by Mr. Wheelwright, which is figured. 

"Head above, neck, and part of the back brown or 
grey brown, with black transverse streaks; shoulders 
rusty brown, with black spots, and in the outer edge 
a long white streak. "Wing coverts grey brown, with 
white spots; back and rump ash grey, marked with 
longitudinal black streaks and small black points; chin 
and throat pure black, with a white edging. Behind 
the nostrils a white spot, and a small one behind the 
eye. Front of neck rusty brown, with a black' streak 
before the white edge of each feather. This black 
streak and the white edge is broader on the breast 
and belly, on which account it appears white with 
black or brown red transverse spots. On the sides the 
red brown colour is more apparent. Wing primaries 
dark brown, speckled on the outer web with rusty 
yellow and brown. Secondaries same, with rusty yellow 
edges on the tips. Tail feathers black, speckled with 
ash grey, and a pure black band before the tip, which 
is pale ash grey, often speckled with black. The 
two middle feathers speckled with brown and black, 
and marked with seven or eight confused black and 
ash grey transverse bands. Iris, in a freshly-killed 
specimen, brownish." 

"Summer dress. The feathers on the head and neck 
are much shorter than in winter; chin and throat are 
rather brown than black." 



HAZEL GROUSE. 209 

"The female is from an inch to an inch and a half 
shorter than the male, and has a rusty yellow (not 
black) throat. Between the bealc and the eye a red 
brown (not white) spot. Otherwise resembles the male. 

"Accidental varieties occur with paler colour, so that 
they are only brownish where the usual colour is 
black. According to Nilsson this is the Tetrao canus, 
the original of which is preserved in the Stockholm 
Museum." 

I have thought right to give Mr. "Wheelwright's 
account in fall. With the bird before me I have 
been able to verify the correctness of the description. 
Mi-. W. himself, if at all on any point in doubt, referred 
to Nilsson's excellent history of these birds in the 
"Fauna Skania." To use his own words, — "I have 
referred in part to Nilsson, and verified his remarks 
by my own experience." 

From the north-west of Europe it is interesting to 
folloAv this bird into the far-off north-east of Asia, 
where it was found in great plenty by Dr. L. Von 
Schrenck. The account is so interesting as it regards 
the geographical distribution of this species, that I will 
add a translation of Dr. Schrenck's notice, from his 
recent "Reisen und Forschungen in Amur Land." 

"The Hazel Grouse of the Amoor Land entirely 
agrees with that of Siberia and the west of Europe, 
except in having a greater proportion of ashy grey, 
and underneath the feathers more rusty brown; the 
whole length of the back is of a clear ashy grey, 
with fine dark bands and pointed marks across; the 
shoulders are partly rusty brown, and there is also a 
little upon the upper and under wing coverts; also 
round the crop there is a rusty brown among the black 
and white streaks. At the side of the breast there is 

VOL III. 2 F 



210 HAZEL GRO.tlSE. 

a lively rust-colour, which, however, is verv scanty, and 
rapidly passes into a lighter shade. 

"The Hazel Grouse is found in the whole of Amoor 
Land as far as I know it, from the southern coast of 
the Ochotsk Sea to the Bay of Hadshi, and on the 
island Sachalin, as well as at the mouth of the Amoor, 
to the sources of the river in Dauria. Everywhere, 
and at all seasons of the year, it is the most common 
of the feathered tribe. Scarcely any locality can be 
named where it is not found, yet it appears principally 
in the north of the Amoor, on the borders of rivers 
in the mixed forests of birch, aspen, poplar, alder, 
and willow bushes, and in the south principally in the 
light-foliaged woods and the underwood which grows 
along the rocky banks of the rivers. Nat unfrequently, 
also, I have met with it in winter and summer on the 
willow-grown islands, or on such shores as those of 
the Amoor, Gorin, and Ussuri. In as great numbers 
did I find the Hazel Grouse in the wildest parts of 
the Amoor Land, wdrere it was by no means shy. 
In the Nikolajev Postcn, and on the River Tyrny, in 
Sachalin, I have been able to shoot several times at 
a pair of individuals in a tree before the others flew 
away. In Sachalin, and on the Gorin, they flew up 
before us and kept in a circuit round about us. In 
summer, when the noise of our movements roused them, 
they often settled down on a tree close by the river, 
enabling ns to shoot them from our hiding-places. 
They were among the daily contents of our game-bag 
in the Amoor Land, where, as well as in the Bay of 
Hadschi and the snow-fields of Sachalin, they gave us 
as good sport as in the light and sunny oak hedges on 
the Ussuri. 

"In the summer of 1855 I found a nest with e^srs 



HAZEL GROUSE. 211 

on the borders of the Lake of Kiclsi. It was in a fir 
wood, at the foot of a tree, concealed in the moss 
and brushwood. The eggs were of the usual dark 
yellow, with many brown spots and points, and were 
hatched on the 14th. of June. On the 28th. of July 
I met with a family just fledged at Paehale, near the 
mouth of the Gorin, in the leafy underwood of a 
pine forest. The moulting of the Hazel Grouse takes 
place at Nikolajev Postcn in August and September. 
On the 23rd. of August I found the moulting far 
advanced, and every wing and tail feather freshly 
grown. It was quite concluded on the 1st. of October." 
My figures of this bird and its egg are from speci- 
mens sent me from Sweden by Mr. Wheelwright. 

The bird has also been figured by Aldrovanclus, 
Ornith., pi. 82; Stor, Degli Uccelli, pi. 2o8, (male;) 
Buffon, pi enl., 474-479; Roux, Ornith. Prov., pi. 254; 
Bouteil, Ornith. du Dauph, pi. 41; Naumann, Vogel 
Deutsch., pi. 158; Gould, B. of E., pi. 250. 



212 



GALLING. 

Family TETRAONIDJE. (Bonaparte.) 

Genus Tetuao. ( Linnceus.) 

WILLOW GROUSE. 

Tetrao saliccti. 



Tetrao saliceti, 
" lag op us, 
" albus, 
" subalpina, 

Lagopus albus, 
" saliceti, 

Zagopede des saules, 

]\forast-SchneehuJi>r, 

Dal JRipa, 

Dalrypa skogsrypa, 

Mezakana, 

JRiefsak, 



Temminck. 

LlNNiEUS. 

GrMELIN. 

NlLSSON. 

Bonaparte. 

SwAINSON. 

Of the Fkench. 

Of the Germans. 

Swedish. 

Norsk. 

Finnish. 

Lapp. 



Specific Characters. — The primaries, abdomen, and feet white 
in the adult in all seasons. Tail square, of fourteen feathers, 
and always black. First primary one inch and three eighths 
shorter than the second, which is two eighths of an inch shorter 
than the third, which is equal to the fourth, and longest, the 
fifth always longer than the second. Length of male fifteen 
inches and a half; expanse of wing twenty-four to twenty-five 
inches; from carpus to tip eight inches; tail five inches, extending 
beyond the closed wings about three inches ; beak, from forehead, 
seven eighths of an inch, — from nasal furrow half an inch; 




o 



■WILLOW GROUSE. 213 



breadth of that part of beak three eighths of an inch; tarsi 
one inch and a half; middle toe one inch and a half; hind toe 
half an inch. The female varies from half an inch to an inch 
shorter thau the male. 



The Willow Grouse is an inhabitant of the north of 
both Europe and America. Its home is, however, more 
especially in Sweden and Norway, Lapland and 
Greenland. 

In Sweden and Norway it occupies much the same 
position as the Red Grouse does in our own country. 
A question was raised in the "Zoologist," in 1858, as 
to the specific identity of the two birds, by Mr. 
Norman, of Hull, and an interesting discussion ensued, 
which, however, appeared to go against such a sup- 
position. In the present day it is more difficult than 
ever to define the character of species. Grant says 
that "species mongers" have been destroyed for ever 
by the all-powerful wand of Mr. Darwin. I for one, 
however, refuse to submit to a dogma of this kind, 
and will take the liberty of considering the Tetrao 
saliceti as a species perfectly distinct from that of T. 
Scoticus. Its affinities are more with the Ptarmigan 
than with the Red Grouse, but it is distinct from both. 

Much as I was indebted to Mr. Wheelwright for his 
notes about the Hazel Grouse, I am still more obliged 
to him for the very valuable account with which he 
has favoured me of the present bird. Living as he 
does in their own country, Mr. W.'s experience is 
valuable, and his well-known contributions to natural 
history entitle his remarks to our respect. Like the 
last contribution the present one is filled up where 
deficient from Nilsson. 

"The Willow Grouse is found in the north of 



214 WILLOW GTtOUSE. 

Scandinavia, from the very north of Finmark down to 
about 60° north latitude; it is met with in North 
Wermerland throughout the whole yeai^ but never 
further south than Lake Fryken, unless indeed they 
are driven down by snow, when an odd one may 
even occasionally be shot in Bohns Land and Upland. 
They are not met with near Christiana in the summer. 
They never go up to the real fells or such rocks 
as rise above the limits of vegetation. When we 
go down from the fell tops we find the Dal Ripa 
first in that region which is clothed with willow 
bushes and fell birch, f Bettda nana,) and especially 
in the lower tracts, where the birch (Betula alba, J 
first appears and forms low forests. Below this Ave 
rarely meet with them, and only when the young can 

In this above-mentioned sub-alpine region the Dal 
Ripa in summer is usually found in valleys, mostly by 
the side of the little becks or mountain streams which 
run among the bushes and thickets. You always find 
them in pairs or families with the male and female 
together. You not only find them, according to 
Nllsson, in the interior of the country, but even on 
the coasts and islands. They crouch among the dwarf 
birch, willow, or heather, and rarely rise till you nearly 
tread on them. Sometimes, however, they rise very 
wild, and in the spring and autumn appear to be 
most shy. They almost always are on the ground, 
and very rarely perch in a tree; but, although I have 
myself seen on more than one occasion the Willow 
Grouse, when frightened, perch in the birch trees, it 
is so rare an occurrence that many deny it. Their 
flight to me appears exactly to resemble that of the 
Red Grouse, and as they fly they utter a loud cackle 



WILLOW GROUSE. 215 

which much resembles 'crrackackackkah.' Tliey do not 
generally fly far, and when they settle they usually 
utter the note of 'kawau, kawau.' The female generally 
rises silently, or with a faint 'hjan, hjan.' As soon as 
the young birds arc hatched you see the families 
together: and in the breeding season the male is never 
far from the nest where the old female is sitting. As 
winter comes on they pack, and deep snow and hard 
frost sometimes drives them down into the regions that 
lie below the fells. 

They pair about the end of May, but sometimes as 
early as April. At about one in the morning the male 
commences his love song with a loud 'prrr-pack-prrr,' 
and a deeper 'kawau, kawau.' The female answers 
with a finer 'hjan, hjan,' and the two draw together, 
and the male is very easily shot now by the poacher, 
who is hidden behind a rock or bush, and decoys 
him within shot by an imitation of the call-note of 
the female. The bird conies on by short flights, and 
runs within shot, sometimes stands still, raises up his 
tail spread out like a fan, flaps his wings against his 
legs, throws his neck back, and answers with his hoarse 
• 'kawau, kawau.' 

The female lays ten or twelve eggs, without any 
nest, in the heather, but generally under a bush, or 
by the stump of an old fir. The male keeps watch 
while she is sitting to drive away any birds of prey 
that may approach the spot, and so bold is he at this 
time that he has even been seen to drive away a fox. 
After they are hatched, both the old ones attend the 
covey. When the young ones are frightened up they 
scream out much like young chickens, and separating 
cast themselves among the bushes or heather, and then 
sit so close that they can be easily picked up by the hand. 



216 



WILLOW GROUSE. 



In the summer the food of the Dal Eipa consists 
principally of the blades or leaves of several plants, 
such as Salix herbacea — the bleaberry, ( Vaccinum 
myrtillus,) and the young leaves or sprouts of several 
other species of willow, and especially the seed of the 
Polygonum viviparum, which on this account is in 
Norway called Ripa Grass. In autumn they principally 
live on berries, and in the winter on birch knots, and 
the stalks of the bleaberry bushes. In spring their 
chief food consists of birch knots. 

Although no doubt Willow Grouse would afford as 
good sport to the shooter as the Red Grouse, scarcely 
any one ever shoots them here in a fair manner, and 
they are principally taken in snares in the winter, and 
sent down frozen to the different towns for sale; and 
some idea of this traffic may be formed by the fact 
that a single dealer in one of the northern provinces, 
according to Nilsson, during one winter when the 
birds were plentiful, sent off about fifty thousand Dal 
Ripa. 

Beak black, short, thick, and convex; upper man- 
dible tolerably blunt, and a little longer than the lower, 
(but out of a great many which I have examined 
scarcely two are alike.) Iris dark brown; eyelids covered 
with down, the edges brown. Over the eye in the 
male a large half-round vermilion spot covered with 
small warts, and fringed upwards with a red comb, 
three or four millemetres high, dentate d at the edges. 
This spot and comb is smaller and paler in the female, 
and in both sexes is most apparent in the breeding 
season. The claws vary in form and colour at different 
seasons; in winter they are long, of an even breadth, 
tolerably straight, thin, convex above, concave beneath, 
white, and only brown at the roots. In summer they 



WILLOW GROUSE. 217 

are shorter, oblong, oval, and flat (not concave) under- 
neath. They are shed in July or August. 

The old male in summer dress. — Head, neck, breast, 
and sides, reel brown, sometimes chesnut, with black 
spots, especially on the top of the head and back of 
the neck, sometimes even with black transverse streaks 
or wavy lines on the breast; under chin for the most 
part black, with a white spot on each side. The eyelid 
white, and sometimes a white spot over the nostrils. 
Back, shoulders, over rump, upper tail coverts, and 
the innermost wing feathers, as well as the middle 
coverts, black, transversely speckled with rusty yellow 
or red brown lines. The smaller wing coverts, most 
of the wing feathers, belly, thighs, and legs, white; 
the six first primaries with brown shafts. Tail feathers 
— the fourteen black, with white edges on the tips, 
which are broadest on the middle ones; the two feathers 
which lie over them and their coverts speckled with 
black and red brown. The under tail coverts red 
brown, speckled with black, and marked with a streak 
in front of the white edge at the end; tarsi in front 
and toes on the inner half covered with , dirty white 
hair-like feathers; tarsi behind and the front part of 
the toes naked. 

Female in summer. — Head, neck, breast, and sides, 
rusty yellow, with black spots or transverse streaks; 
these are especially thick on the upper parts, so that 
the head above and sometimes the back of neck 
appears black, with rusty yellow spots. Back, shoul- 
ders, upper tail coverts, and the two or four 
middle tail feathers, black, and speckled with rusty 
yellow or pale yellow transverse streaks; belly, wings, 
tail, and legs as in the male; under tail coverts pure 
white. 

VOL. III. 2 G 



218 



WILLOW Ci ROUSE. 



The male in summer dress differs from the female on 
account of its rather larger body and black chin, which 
in the female is rusty yellow; red brown colour on the 
neck and breast, where the female has only rusty 
jrellow and black, and by the altogether different under 
tail coverts. Sometimes the red brown in the male is 
so dark as to appear nearly chesnut, or black brown 
in very old males, but in the younger birds the colour 
is lighter yellowish red brown, like the female, so that 
the head and neck above are black, with small red 
brown spots. Throat, sides of the head, front of the 
neck, and breast, yellowish brown, with small black 
transverse streaks; but the female is always distinguished 
from the male through many or few red brown feathers 
on the throat and breast. It is according to Nilsson's 
experience that the males are more seldom met with 
in pure summer dress than the females. Both moult 
in July and August, when the speckled feathers are 
shed and others come in their places; and Liljeborg 
notices that this species even has an autumn dress with 
finer rusty yellow watering. 

The young, just before the autumnal moult, from 
specimens taken from the 9th. to the 16th. of July, 
about six or seven inches long; beak brown; claws 
grey; the naked pale red spot over the eyes has 
already obtained its little dentated comb; legs covered 
with dirty grey brown hair-like feathers down to the 
very claws. Head above brown red, with a black 
spot on the crown, and a brown streak along the 
back of the neck. The upper parts of the body 
speckled with red brown and black, with white spots 
on the shoulders; breast and sides rusty yellow, with 
black transverse bands. Wing feathers grey brown, 
the outer finely — the inner ones more thickly — speckled 



WILLOW GROUSE. 219 

with rusty yellow. Tail with black and rusty yellow 
wavy transverse streaks. 

By degrees the young become like the mother, as 
the brown wing feathers in August are changed for 
white, and the black tail feathers shoot out. The 
white wing feathers grow in this manner: — The outer 
ones of the first and second order come at one time; 
the third and fourth brown wing feathers are shed 
last in the young birds, generally after the middle of 
August. In this or the foregoing month the old birds 
shed their tail and wing feathers, and in the same or 
beginning of the next month the horny covering on 
the claws. 

Male and female in winter dress. Beak black; eye 
spot smaller and paler; the fourteen tail feathers black, 
with white edges on the ends, very broad on the 
middle ones. The shafts of the five or six first wing 
feathers brown. For the rest, the whole of the 
plumage is snow white; tarsi and toes thickly covered 
with bushy feathers, like hair, which, similar to the 
foot of a hare, lie even on the sole of the foot. 

The transition from summer to winter dress takes 
place at different times in different places and seasons, 
but generally in September and October. In the 
middle of the last-named month we see some white 
Bipa, and some speckled, on account of some of the 
summer feathers remaining. In the end of April or 
May the spring moult takes place, and even in the 
beginning of June we find occasionally winter feathers 
remaining. During the period of transition we see 
speckled birds with more or less white feathers among 
the speckled ones. 

The spring moult comes on in this way: — The 
coloured feathers first appear on the head and neck, 



220 WILLOW GROUSE. 

next on the back, last on the breast; and this tallies 
exactly with Hearne's observations in North America." 
My figure of this bird is that of a female shot by 
Mr. Wheelwright from the nest in June, 1860. It is 
therefore in the real breeding plumage. The egg 
figured was taken out of her nest at the same time. 

The bird has also been figured by Buffon, pi. enl. 
129, (female in breeding plumage, f. 2 head of female 
taking on the breeding dress;) Bouteil, Ornith. du 
Dauph., pi. 42, f. 1; xSTaumann, Vogel. Deutsch., pi. 
159; Temminck, Pig. et Gall., vol. iii, pi. 11, figs. 1, 
2, 3; Frisch, pi. 110 et 111, (in winter plumage, and 
commencement of moult;) Gould, B. of E., pi. 255. 






2.'21 



GALLINyE. 

Family TETUAONIDJE. (Bonaparte.) 

Genus Pterocles. ( Temminch.J 

Generic Characters. — Beak medium sized, compressed, slender 
in some species; upper mandible straight, but curved near the 
point; nostrils basal, half closed by a membrane, covered by 
the feathers of the forehead, open below. Feet with short 
toes, the under one hardly developed and articulated high up 
the tarsus; the three front toes united to the first articulation, 
and edged with a membrane; the front of the tarsi covered 
with small very short feathers, the rest naked. Claws very 
short, the hind one sharp edged, those in front obtuse. Tail 
conical; in some species the two middle feathers are elongated 
in a thread-like manner. Wings long, terminated in a point, 
the first primary the longest. 



PIN-TAILED SAND GROUSE. 



Pterocles alchata. 



Pterocles alchata, 
" setarius, 

Tetrao alchata, 

" caudacutus, 

" chata, 
JEnas cata, 
Gang a cata, 
Chata-Flughuhn, 
La Grandule, 



Stephens. 
Temminck. 

LlNNiETJS. 
GrMELIN. 

Pallas. 

VlEILLOT. 

Of the French. 
Of the Germans. 
Savi. 



&%% PIN-TAILED SAND 110 USE. 

Specific Characters. — Tail conical, and the two middle feathers 
prolonged to a thin point. A broad rufous band bordered with 
black, darker in the male, separates the chesnut-coloured throat 
from the pure white abdomen. Length, from tip of beak to the 
end of the long, thin, tail feathers thirteen inches, the latter 
extending three inches beyond the shorter feathers of the tail. 
From carpus to the end of the long pointed wing eight inches 
and a half; beak eight lines; tarsi one inch and one fifth; 
middle toe and claw one inch. 



This most elegant and beautiful of birds claims 
Spain and the Pyrenees as its principal European 
locality, for which, reason it was named by Brisson La 
Gelinote des Pyrenees. It is also found in Sicily and 
the Levant, the plains of Crau in Provence, and 
accidentally in the northern parts of France. Its real 
home however is in the sandy plains of Africa and 
Asia, where it ranges from the three provinces of 
Algeria, through the Great Sahara, to Egypt, Syria, 
Persia, and thence to the burning sands of India, 
being common, as Dr. Leith Adams informs me, in 
Afghanistan. 

In Eastern Africa we are informed by Mr. Salvin, 
(Ibis, vol. i, p. 352,) that he only found this bird in the 
extensive sandy plains, — the Harakta. In the north of 
Africa, however, Mr. Tristram (Ibis, vol. ii, p. 70,) 
says that it is far more abundant, and continues to 
occur in vast flocks in winter, in the M'zab and 
Touarick, where the next described species, P. arenarius, 
is not found. 

The Pin-tail Sand Grouse occurs in sandy plains 
and uncultivated grounds, avoiding as much as possible 
the habitations of men. M. Crespon however tells us 
that he succeeded in taming it in confinement, and he 
had specimens in his aviary for several years, and 






: *ujp^L #*•*&» 




1. PIN-TAILED SAND &R( 

2. S A N D G B, OUSB. 



PIN-TAILED SAND GROUSE. %%6 

even bred them. The male appeared very attentive to 
its mate, whose voice it readily responded to in 
syllables resembling 'kaak, kaak, kaak, ka, ka, ka.' 

In the desert however it is very wild. Mr, Tristram 
says, "except during the breeding-season it is very 
difficult of approach; and when packed in winter it is 
vain to attempt to get a second shot, unless well 
mounted. Its flight is stronger and more vigorous 
than its congeners; and its sharp-pointed long wings 
give it all the appearance of a Plover. It is very 
garrulous when on the ground, and often betrays itself 
by its call-note, long before it can be distinguished by 
the eye from the surrounding sand." 

According to Eversmann its voice resembles that of 
Havens and Crows. It makes no nest, but scrapes a 
hole in the sand, in which, according to Mr. Salvin, it 
deposits only three eggs, which are laid in May, and 
the young are hatched in about the second week of June. 
Degland says it lays four or five, Tcmminck two or 
three eggs. The egg is described by Mr. Tristram as 
perfectly elliptical in all the five species he possesses 
of the genus Pterocles. It is of a much richer fawn- 
colour than that of P. arenarius, "covered and sometimes 
zoned with large maroon-red blotches." 

That which is figured — a specimen kindly sent to 
me by Mr. Tristram — is one inch and nine tenths long, 
and three inches and nine tenths round the middle. 
It was taken by his own hand. 

Mr. Tristram says that the Pin-tail Sand Grouse is 
very bad eating, the flesh, like that of its congener, 
being both poor and dry. Mr. E. C. Taylor, however, 
does battle upon this point, (Ibis, vol. ii, p. 199,) where 
he says that it all depends upon the cook, and that 
iii Egypt he found the two species of Sand Grouse, 



224 PIN-TAILED SAND GROUSE. 

P. exustus and P. Senegdlensis, "very good eating, the 
flesh, of the thigh especially being peculiarly white and 
tender. However our Dragoman was an artist of no 
ordinary culinary skill." 

It is almost a pity, however, to talk about anything 
so sensuous as a dinner off a bird so beautiful as the 
Pin-tailed Sand Grouse, Mr. Tristram, whose experience 
as a practical ornithologist is very great, says, "I 
think, on close inspection, there is scarcely a bird in 
nature which surpasses the male P. alchata in richness 
of colouring or delicacy of pencilling''-— a fact which 
I am sure my artist will verify with his usual skill. 

The adult male has the head, nape, and back, a 
beautiful rich dead olive green, more or less shaded 
with darker, each feather being edged narrowly with 
black or blackish. The upper tail coverts rich fawn, 
finely barred and pencilled transversely with black. 
The greater wing coverts lighter olive green, with a 
more decidedly marked black border, while the lesser 
wing coverts are of a rich maroon, distinctly bordered 
with white. Primaries grey, with black glossy shafts; 
secondaries grey, bordered with white; tertiaries dark 
brown, with white inner webs, and also distinctly 
edged with white. Tail feathers grey, barred with 
dusky, and shaded with fawn-colour on the outer web, 
while the extremity of each feather for about half an 
inch is pure white; the long filiform middle tail 
feathers partaking of the olive green colours of the 
back, Avhile below they share with this aspect of the 
tail feathers their rich dark brown. Side of the 
head and a band across the crop, upwards of an inch 
broad, rich dark fawn-colour, the latter being edged 
above and below by a line of black, which separates 
it above from the light olive greenish brown neck and 



PIN-TAILED SAND GROUSE. 225 

below from the pure white of the abdomen, flanks, 
and under tail coverts; shewing- in a marked manner 
the sharply-defined colours in contrast, which gives to 
this bird a peculiarly beautiful appearance. The throat 
is black, sometimes as in my specimen, which is in 
autumn plumage, mottled with white. The tarsi are 
thickly clothed with short white feathers, which, like 
the colours of the other parts, are sharply contrasted 
where they terminate with the horny brown of the 
toes; beak horny brown; claws black. 

The female differs from the male considerably. The 
head, nape, back, and upper tail coverts, are clearly 
barred with black and fawn-colour, broader on the 
back, and narrower but more thickly on the tail coverts. 
The throat is white, the collar round the neck lighter 
and more mottled with brown, while the band across 
the crop between the two black lines is much broader, 
and lighter in colour. The side of the head is mottled 
like the back of the head and neck. The white tips 
to the tail feathers are smaller, and the finely-extended 
middle tail feathers rather shorter. In other respects 
like the male. 

The young of the year resemble the female, but 
are smaller. The crop shaded with greyish and russet, 
with spots and brown zigzags. 

My figures of the male and female of this bird are 
from specimens kindly sent me by Mr. Tristram. 

It has also been figured by Brisson, Ornithologia, 
vol. i, pi. 19, male and female; Buffon, pi. enl., 505 
male, and 506 female; Roux, Ornith. Prov., pi. 247, 
adult male, pi. 248, fig. i, female adult, fig. ii, head of 
female of the year; pi. 249, fig. i, young just after 
leaving nest, and ii, male of year; Gould, pi. 258. 

VOL. III. 2 H 



226 



GALLING. 

Family TETRAONID^. (Bonaparte.) 

Genus Pterocles. (Temminck.) 

SAND GEO USE, 

Pterocles arenarius. 

Pterocles arenarius, Temminck. 

Telrao arenarius, Pallas. 

Perclix Aragonica, Latham. 

JEnas arenarius, Vieillot. 

Ganga unibande, Of the French. 

Bingel-Jlughuhn, Of the Germans. 

Ganga, Savi. 

Specific Characters. — Only one band across the thorax; abdomen 
black. Tail wedge-shaped, and without any elongation of the 
middle feathers. Length of male thirteen inches; carpus to tip 
nine inches; beak eight lines; tarsus one inch and a quarter. 

The Sand Grouse inhabits the south of Europe, 
more especially Spain. It occurs also in Sicily, and 
occasionally in Italy and Germany; more rarely still 
in New Russia and the Caucasus. It is found only 
accidentally and as a straggler in Greece. Like the 
preceding species it is a bird of the desert, and is at 
home in the sandy plains of Northern Africa and 
Eastern Asia. In the Eastern Atlas Mr. Salvin tells 
us it occurs in the same localities as P. alchata, but 



SAND GROUSE. 227 

is also found about Djendeli and Madracen, where that 
bird is not found. Mr. Tristram says that though less 
abundant than Alchata, P. arenarius occurs universally 
throughout the Sahara, excepting in the extreme south, 
where it is replaced by P. Sencgalus. Dr. Leith 
Adams informs me that it occurs plentifully in Persia, 
Afghanistan, and Northern India, where it is known 
to English sportsmen either as Sand Grouse or Rock 
Pigeon. He further adds, "It frequents dry arid 
wastes, and is usually met with in flocks; although in 
request as a game bird its flesh is tough, and devoid 
of good flavour. The call is a rough guttural sound, 
resembling 'tuturuk' repeated." 

The following interesting account of the Sand Grouse 
is taken from Mr. Tristram's paper on the "Ornithology 
of Northern Africa," (Ibis, vol. ii, p. 69:) — "There is 
much of the Plover character in the flight and manner 
of this tribe; and the first time I observed a covey on 
the wing I took them for some large Plovers until 
within shot. The nocks of this species are generally 
smaller than those of its congener, though all the class 
appear to be more or less gregarious, even in the 
breeding season, several generally nesting close to each 
other. The P. arenarius is not so wary as P. alchata, 
perhaps from its upper plumage assimilating more closely 
to the sand in colour; but when alarmed it crouches 
to the ground, carefully concealing its dark breast, and 
does not take wing until approached very closely. 
Then it suddenly rises to a considerable height, and 
flies often to a great distance. These birds chiefly 
feed towards sunset, when their call-note, resembling 
that of a Partridge, may be heard incessantly until 
after dusk. As if to shew that in some respects they 
are a link between Galllnce and Columbiclce, they never 



228 



SAND GROUSE. 



lay more than three eggs, this "being- the invariable 
number of the genus. These are of a character most 
unlike that of any other gallinaceous bird with which 
I am acquainted, being extremely elongated, compressed 
in the centre, and exactly the same size at each end — • 
in fact perfectly elliptical. The eggs are placed two 
in a line, and the third lengthways outside them in 
a depression in the sand without any nest. The bird 
in sitting, as I have observed, lies on one side spread- 
ing out one wing to cover the eggs, thus presenting a 
grotesque lop-sided appearance; but it is a posture 
for which the deep keel of her sternum admirably 
adapts her." 

"The flesh of the Sand Grouse is extremely white,, 
but very poor and dry, without any flavour. We never 
discovered any mode of cooking by which it could be 
rendered tasty, or even palatable. I have seen both 
the common species thrive Avhile in captivity, and almost 
domesticated in the courtyards of Arabs' houses." 

The egg which I have figured is one taken by Mr. 
Tristram, and kindly sent to me. It measures one inch 
and nine tenths long, and four inches and one tenth 
round the middle. 

Captain Irby, in a valuable paper in the "Ibis," vol. 
iii, p. 235, on the "Birds observed in Oudh and 
Kumaon," says that two or three large flocks of P. 
arenarius were seen near Hurdue in January 1860, 
and many killed. He quite confirms the statements of 
Dr. Leith Adams and Mr. Tristram, about the uneatable 
character of the Sand Grouse. "Both species," says 
Captain Irby, of the Indian Sand Grouse which I 
have tasted are uneatable, and in this respect certainly 
tend to confirm what the natives say, 'that they live 
upon sand.' " 



SAND GROUSE. £29 

Without of course falling in with the native statement 
above made, it is quite clear from Mr. Taylor's note, 
as quoted in the last notice, that difference of food has 
much to do (as well as the skilful Dragoman) in 
making the flesh of these birds eatable. 

The adult male has the top and sides of the head 
and nape russet grey. The back and upper tail coverts 
have a mottled appearance, representing a scries of 
spots of a sandy ochreous colour surrounded by a ring 
of black. If a separate feather is examined, it will be 
found that the extremity is ochreous, and the base paler, 
the two colours being separated by a dusky band. 
The wins coverts are the same, but are terminated 
with rich ochreous, which gives a broad band of that 
colour across the wing. The long strong pointed wing, 
which when closed, extends beyond the tail, has the 
primaries dark grey with glossy black shafts, the third, 
fourth, fifth, and sixth slisrhtlv bordered at their distal 
ends with light russet. Secondaries unicolorous smoky 
grey, lightly bordered with white. 

The throat and sides of the neck are occupied by 
a broad dark ochreous-coloured collar, faintly sheAvn 
at the nape, and bordered in front below with a 
broad black band; the neck and crop have a slight 
lavender tint, gradually going off into the mottled russet 
of the back: this is separated from the pink coloured 
feathers of the upper part of the abdomen by a narrow 
well-defined black band, edged with white, which goes 
right across the thorax; the middle and lower part of 
the abdomen and flanks are brown black with a tinge 
of sepia. Under tail coverts white; tail feathers, below 
and above, russet, bordered with black and tipped 
with white, except the two middle ones. Tarsi covered 
with smaller pink feathers in front, and with a kind 



230 SAND GROUSE. 

of shagreen skin behind, which is continuous with that 
on the soles of the feet. The beak bluish horn colour. 
Feet yellow. 

The female differs from the male, in having the 
upper parts of a light fawn-colour, thickly pencilled 
with black in transverse striae. Lighter and fewer 
bands on the wing coverts, which terminate with 
ochreous yellow, but much paler than in the male; 
throat and under wing coverts yellowish white, the 
breast in colour and markings like that of a hen Pheasant, 
and the black line, which is broader than in the male, 
is succeeded by a band of about half an inch wide 
of yellowish white. The rest of the abdomen black. 
Under tail coverts whiter. 

My figures, male and female, are from specimens 
kindly sent to me by Mr. Tristram; they are marked 
Laghouat, November 1856, and therefore in winter- 
pi umage. 

The bird has also been figured by Temminck and 
Tangier pi. col. 354 and 860; Gould, Birds of Europe, 
pi. 257; and Naumann pi. 15-3. 



Of the beautiful and elegant Three-toed Sand 
Grouse, Syrrhapics paradoxus, an excellent figure and 
description has been given in the "Ibis," vol. ii, p. 
105, by Mr. Moore, the keeper of the Free, Public, 
and Derby Museum, Liverpool. This paper was read 
at the meeting of the British Association at Aberdeen, 
in 1859. It records the appearance of this bird for 
the first time in England, or even in Europe. One 
specimen was shot in Wales, out of a flock of three, 
on July 9th., 1859. Another was captured in Norfolk 
about the same time, and is recorded by Mr. Currie, 



SAND GROUSE. 231 

("Ibis," vol. i, p. 472.) A third specimen was shot 
near Hebro^ in Jutland, on the 23rd. of July, 1859; 
and a pair were observed in the Dunes near Ley den, 
one of which was shot in September, 1859. 

As there is a full account of the capture of this bird, 
and its history, with a plate by Wolf executed in 
the first-rate style of excellence, for which the "Ibis" 
is justly celebrated, I do not feel called upon to 
include it in this work. If any bird is seen in Europe 
for the first time, and not figured, it will still fall to 
my net, though observed in these isles. I regret not 
to have the opportunity of including in my work the 
beautiful SyrrJiaptes paradoxus, so called from the 
entire absence of a spur or hind toe, and also remarkable 
for the aberrant character of the beak. 



232 



GALLINJE. 
Family PERDICIDJE. ( Bonaparte J 

Genus Tetraogalltts. f Gray. J 

Generic Characters, — Beak much shorter than the head, broad 

at its base; upper mandible arched near the point, compressed, 
the commissure waved or undulated. Nostrils pierced in a 
semicircle at the base of a swollen cere, and surrounded by 
the feathers of the forehead. "Wings subacute, the second and 
third primaries being the longest; tail large and rounded. 
Tarsi short and stubby, equal in length to the third toe, 
broadly shielded with scales; toes united by a slight membrane; 
the hind toe is short, and does not touch the ground; claws 
middle sized. 

CAUCASIAN SNOW PAKTKIDGE. 

Tetrao-g alius Caucasians* 

Tetrao-gallus Caucasicus, Geay. Bonapaete. Schlegel. 

Caspia, Gould. 

Tetrao Caucasicus, Pallas ; Zoog., ii, p. 76, Wo. 225. 

Telraogalle da Caucase, Of the Feench. 

Ka ale asis dies Alpenliuhn, Of the Geemans. 

Specific Characters. — Upper plumage grey. The feathers of the 
upper wing coverts and middle of the back broadly bordered with 
ochreous brown on their outer web. The long feathers of the 
flanks edged on both webs with still darker ochreous brown. 
Front of the neck marked with the brown horse-shoe, like the 
Grey Partridge. Length twenty-one inches and a half; carpus 
to tip eleven inches; tarsus and middle toe and claw each two 
inches and a half; beak one inch and a half long, and circum- 
ference at base two inches. 



CAUCASIAN SNOW FARTTlIDCiE. 233 

For this species and four or five others known as 
"Snow Partridges" or "Snow Pheasants," Dr. Gray has 
established the Genus Tetrao-g alius, signifying that it 
is intermediate between the Grouse and Pheasant or 
Partridge. I think, however, that the subject of the 
present notice might have very Avell stood at the head 
of the genus Perdix leading us from Phasianus to the 
Francolins, and thence to the typical Partridges. As, 
liowever, it is the rule among ornithologists to group 
birds of similar structure and habits under a number 
of different genera, it is not for me to complain. 

The Caucasian Snow Partridge inhabits that neutral 
ground, half of which is in Europe, and the other in 
Asia — the Caucasian Range. As its naine implies, it 
is found there among the wild and desolate mountains 
wbich are covered with perpetual snow. It is there- 
fore difficult of access, and we find very little recorded 
of its babits or nidification. 

The Snow Partridge, living on neutral ground, must 
of course be classed among those birds more or less 
common to the continents — Europe and Asia. 

Mr. Gould in his "Birds of Asia," mentions that he 
was informed by Prince Charles Bonaparte, that "there 
were reasons for believing that this bird occurs within 
the confines of Europe; he did not, however, mention 
the locality in which it has been observed." 

But surely if the bird is found in the Caucasus, or 
as one of its names implies, on the borders of the 
Caspian, its European locality is sufficiently indicated. 
Mr. Gould further remarks "I had also been told by 
an officer of one of Her Majesty's surveying ships 
employed in the Mediterranean, whose name I cannot 
recollect, that he himself had observed a bird of this 
form among the mountains in the island of Candia, 
vol in. 2 i 



234 CAUCASIAN SNOW PARTRIDGE. 

where, however, it was very rare, and only to be 
seen on the peaks of the hills; as this is a point of 
some interest in the history of the birds of this genus, 
I would beg to direct the attention of travellers to 
the subject." 

Mr. Gould also inserts an extract furnished him by 
Mr. G. E. Gray, taken from one of the St. Petersburg 
"Transactions," which is as follows: — 

"This species builds on the highest summits of the 
rocky mountains of the Caucasus; it prefers altogether 
the regions of snow, which it never quits; thus when 
we desired to acclimatize the young chickens of this 
Partridge on the plains of Kahetia, they did but 
survive the spring. 

It runs on the rocks of the ledges of precipices 
with great agility, and rises with a cry on the least 
danger, so that the most skilful sportsman cannot 
approach within shot, except under cover of mists. 

They live in societies of from six to ten individuals, 
becoming the inseparable companions of the goat, on 
the excrement of which they feed during the winter 
months. 

In autumn it grows very fat, and its flesh resembles 
that of the Common Partridge. In the crop of this 
gallinaceous bird I have found a great quantity of 
sand and of small stones, mixed with all kinds of 
seeds of alpine plants." 

In the "Ibis," vol. i, p. 116, the Editor gives an 
extract from the journey of one Herr Kotschv into 
the Cilician Taurus in Asia Minor, in which this bird 
is incidentally mentioned as being found in company 
with the steinbock on the Taurus mountains. He calls 
it "a noble bird with a fine-sounding call." As this 
is more than half way from the Caucasus to Candia, 



CAUCASIAN SNOW PARTRIDGE. 235 

the statement adds strength to that of Mr. Gould. 
The male has the top and sides of the head and 
nape what I have called Partridge grey. Scapularies 
and all the rest of the upper parts the same colour, 
finely dotted with light brown, and marked on the 
wing coverts with broad longitudinal markings of what 
I may also call Partridge brown, being similar to the 
well-known horse-shoe colour of our Grey Partridge. 
Primaries of pure white, with about an inch and a half 
of their distal extremities, dull brown; the secondaries 
having their general colour the same, but the brown 
parts larger, and the outer web the same dotted 
grey as the upper parts. Throat and sides of the 
neck white, the two parts being separated by a broad 
band of Partridge brown, forming a double horse-shoe 
of that colour. From this double horse-shoe to nearly 
the middle of the abdomen, is a broad band of three 
inches and a half, of colours apparently borrowed from 
the French Red-legged Partridge, but not so distinct, 
being dirty white with black transverse markings across 
the feathers; the rest of the abdomen grey brown. 
The long feathers of the flanks a lighter grey, broadly 
edged with the characteristic brown above described. 
Under tail coverts white; tail feathers rufous below, 
and the same colour above, but thickly spotted with 
small black dots. Beak horn colour; the strong 
thickly scaled tarsi and toes reddish brown; the claws 
strong and obtuse. In my specimen, which is a male, 
and obtained by Mr. Tristram, from Circassia, there is 
no vestige of a spur. 

The bird has also been figured by Gould in his 
magnificent work, the Birds of Asia. 



236 



GALLING. 

Family PERDICID^F. (Bonaparte.) 

Genus Pekbix. ( Brisson.J 

First Section.— FRANCOLINS. 

Generic Characters. — Beak short, compressed, strong, naked 
at the base; superior mandible arched, convex, and much 
curved near the point. Nostrils basal, lateral, half closed by 
a membrane, arched, and naked. Feet . with three toes in 
front and one behind, those in front united by a membrane 
up to the first articulation. Tail composed of fourteen or 
eighteen feathers, short, wedge-shaped, and turned towards the 
ground. Wings short, the three first primaries the shortest, 
the fourth and fifth the longest, the fifth generally the longest. 

FRANCOLIN. 

Perdix Francolinns. 

Perdix francolinus, Latham. Temminck. Vieillot. 

" Cuvier. Lesson. Schinz. 

" " schlegel. 

Francolinus, Brisson. 

Tetrao francolinus, Linn^us. 

Francolinus vulgaris, Stephens. Bonaparte. 

Chcetopus francolinus, Swainson. 

Attagen francolinus, Keyseeling et Blasius. 

Francolin a collier roux, Of the Feench. 

Gemeines Spornfeldliuhn, Of the Geemans. 

Francolino, Savi. 



FRANCOLIN. 2-37 

Specific Characters. — Upper tail coverts and tail beautifully 
marked with black aud white, (male,) or with broader bands of 
grey and white, (female.) A red collar round the neck of the 
male, bordered on the back below with another band of black 
feathers and round white spots. Under tail coverts in both sexes 
dark red. Length of male thirteen inches; carpus to tip six 
inches ; tarsus two inches ; middle toe and claw one inch and 
three quarters ; beak one inch and three tenths. Female eleven 
inches and a half long. 

The Francolin inhabits the south of Europe, especially 
Sicily, Malta, Cyprus, Sardinia, Naples, the Grecian 
Archipelago, and Turkey. From thence it ranges 
through the whole of Asia, and the vast prairies and 
marshes of the north of Africa. With the exception, 
however, of Sicily and the Grecian Archipelago, the 
Francolin is becoming a rare bird in Europe. Savi 
tells us that in the sixteenth century they were common, 
as game birds, in Tuscany, and that special laws were 
enacted by the Tuscan princes for their preservation. 
Now, however, they are only recorded very rarely 
there; Savi himself has never met with a specimen, 
although he has known sportsmen who have killed 
them in their youth. 

The Francolin lives, like other Partridges, in coveys, 
and remains constant to the locality where it is bred. 
It loves humid woods and marshy grounds, and, 
according to Savi and other writers, it perches on 
trees during the night. M. Malherbe, however, denies 
that the Francolin perches. He says it lives solitarily 
in Sicily, in moist plains near a brook, or in the 
middle of a bed of rushes; that they keep much on 
the ground, but will fly a good distance when hunted, 
and their capture requires skill and perseverance. The 
natural timidity of the bird makes it difficult to tame 
in confinement. 



238 FRANCOLIN. 

During the breeding season the male bird, morning 
and evening, utters a sonorous note, c tre, tre, tre;' 
and there is an adage in Sicily, among the peasantry, 
that this cry indicates its value to be three taris, a 
sum equivalent to one franc and twenty-five centimes. 

In India the Francolin or Black Partridge is very 
common. Captain Irby ("Ibis," vol. iii, p. 236,) says: 
— "This handsome Partridge is found in great numbers 
in all grass jungles near water, and is particularly 
numerous on the banks of the Gogra, Choka, and 
other large rivers. Good sport is to be had with them 
in November, in the hulde or turmeric fields. This 
Partridge was common in Kumaon in April, May, and 
June. Its call was to be heard wherever there was 
any cultivation." He further adds, when describing 
the Grey Partridge, ( ' Perdix ponticerianaj that its 
flesh is dry, and scarcely eatable, being a degree worse 
than that of the Black Partridge, (the Francolin.) 

M. Malherbe, however, says that in Sicily it is "un 
gibier exquis," and that it is so much sought after at 
all seasons, that it is becoming more and more rare. 
Captain Irby says that in India the Francolin will 
take refuge in trees when flushed, but rarely. 

The Francolin nests on the ground underneath some 
bush, where it scrapes a hollow, which it fills with 
dried leaves and stalks, and in this nest it deposits 
from ten to fourteen eggs, which are of a pale grey 
yellow or white, and either unicolorous or having large 
brownish, almost invisible spots marked npon them. 

From a paper on the nidification of European birds, 
in "Naumannia," for 1853, p. 419, by Balclamus, I 
translate the following about the egg of the Francolin: — 
"Two eggs in my collection, and many others in the Paris 
collections, from Cyprus, differ materially from that 



PRAN CO LI N. 
! 



FRANCOLIN. 239 

figured by Thiencmann, pi. 7, fig. 8. This figure has 
the length, and almost the breadth of one figured as 
Perdix saxatilis. Figs. 5, a, b, which Thienemann 
figures of the Francolin's egg, is forty millemetres long, 
and twenty-nine millemetres broad, (Saxatilis being 
forty by thirty.) This in my opinion is too large. 
My specimens are much more nearly the size of those 
of P. cinerea. In the grain of the shell they also 
resemble the egg of P. petrosa. They have a somewhat 
granular surface and an isabelle white ground colour, 
and no spots." 

The following are the measurements given by 
Baldamus of the five European Partridges, and the 
dimensions of their eggs: — Perdix Grceca, (Saxatilis.) — 
Length of bird from thirty-two to thirty-five centimetres ; 
egg, greater diameter from forty-three to forty-five 
millemetres, lesser from twenty-two to twenty-three 
millemetres. P. petrosa, (Barbary in B. lists.) — Bird 
thirty-one to thirty-two centimetres; egg, greater diameter 
thirty-nine to forty-one millemetres, lesser twenty-nine 
to thirty-one millemetres. P. rubra, (Red-leg.) — Bird, 
thirty to thirty-one centimetres; egg, greater diameter 
forty to forty-one millemetres, lesser thirty to thirty 
millemetres and a half. P. cinerea, (Grey Partridge.) 
— Bird, thirty centimetres ; egg, greater diameter thirty- 
three to thirty-five millemetres, lesser twenty-five to 
twenty-six millemetres. P. francolinus. — Bird, thirty 
centimetres; egg, greater diameter thirty-three to thirty- 
four millemetres, lesser twenty-five to twenty-six 
millemetres.* 

The figure of the egg of the Francolin in Badeker's 
work is in accordance with this description of Balda- 

* Ten millemetres are one centimetre, and to bring centimetres 
into English inches, multiply by two and divide by five. 



240 FRAXCOL1N. 

mus, but, singularly enough, the description, which is 
by Brehm, falls into the error of describing what the 
plate does not exhibit, namely, that the egg is larger 
than that of the Red-leg or French Partridge. In 
the absence of an authentic specimen, I give a copy 
of Badeker's figure of this egg. 

The male has the top of the head and nape a 
light rufous, with longitudinal stripes of black; forehead 
and sides of the head, with the exception of a large 
oval patch of white extending from the eyes backwards, 
black. The dark rufous collar of the neck having 
some of its feathers tipped with an oval black spot 
with white edges, and a broader band of black feathers 
marked conspicuously with pure white round spots, 
occupy the upper part of the back; below these 
bands the scapularies are well marked out with dark 
brown feathers, broadly edged with light rufous; the 
rest of the back, upper tail coverts, and tail feathers, 
most delicately pencilled with transverse zigzag lines of 
black and white. The upper wing coverts are marked 
out like the scapularies, while the long tertials are richly 
marked with light rufous transverse bands, on a black 
brown ground, the rufous more distinct on the outer 
webs. The primaries and secondaries rich rufous, with 
transverse bands or spots of dusky brown, more or 
less distinct. The throat and breast are pitchy black, 
separated by the rich dark rufous collar round the 
neck; the sides of the chest and all the lower part 
of the abdomen black, with oval white spots, which 
become larger on the flanks and shaded with rufous; 
bottom of abdomen light red, edged with white, while 
the rich rufous of the neck is repeated on the feathers 
of the under tail coverts, which are also fringed with 
white. The feathers on the thighs are barred with 



FliANCOT.IX. • 241 

black and white, mingled with pencillings of rufous. 
Tail below dark brown, with their basal halves barred 
with white. Beak black; legs and feet orange red; 
tarsi armed with a spur. 

The female is a much plainer-marked bird. The 
forehead, and a faint trace on the back of the neck, 
red; top of the head hair brown, with darker longi- 
tudinal shades; scapularies and wing coverts dark 
brown, with light brown edges; the rest of the back 
and upper tail coverts "partridge grey," beautifully 
marked and pencilled with darker transverse bands of 
brown and white. Primaries black brown, with russet 
spots and transverse bands; the secondaries marked in 
the same way, but the colours lighter, and the bands 
broader. The throat creamy white, going off into 
yellow on the neck; sides of the head rufous, finely 
spotted with black about the ear coverts; chest and 
abdomen cream white, with triangular bars of black, 
and more or less tinged with rufous on the sides and 
flanks; lower part of abdomen dirty white; under 
tail coverts dark rich russet, with slight bars of black 
and yellow, and covered on their basal aspect on each 
side by two or three feathers of a yellowish white, 
barred with black; tail feathers dark brown, lightly 
barred with wavy bands of white. 

The young after the first moult resemble the adult. 
The males have the spur rudimentary. 

My drawings of these birds, male and female, are 
from specimens procured by Mr. Tristram, in Cyprus. 

The bird has also been figured by Brisson, pi. 27, 
fig. 2, in which it may be remarked that this accurate 
observer has omitted to give the spur on the tarsus 
of his figure, which is a male; Buffon, pi. enl. 147, 
(male and female;) Gould, pi. 259. 

VOL. III. 2 K 



242 



GALLING. 

Family PEBDICIDJE. (Bonaparte.) 

Genus Pehdix. (Brisson.) 

GREEK PARTRIDGE. 

Perdix Grceca. 

Perdix Grceca, Gesner; Icones Avium, p. 64, 1553. 
Brisson; 1760. 

" rufa, Linn^tts. Yieillot. 

" saxatilis, Meyek et Wolff. 

Bartavelle Grecque, Of the French. 
Stein-rothehuhn, Rot-huhn, 

or Weltsch-Raeb-hun, Of the Germans. 

Coturnice, Sati. 

Aoker-Hoena, Of the Swedes. 

Specific Characters. — Throat and upper part of the front neck 
white or cream-coloured, which is separated from the unicolorous 
dove-coloured cross by a black band, broader at the sides, which 
extends from each eye. The central tail feathers extend for 
three quarters of an inch beyond the under tail coverts. Length 
thirteen inches and a half to fifteen inches; carpus to tip six 
inches and a half; tarsus two inches, middle toe and claw rather 
longer; beak three quarters of an inch. 

The bird which I have now to notice has been 
well known for three hundred years as Perdix Grceca, 
or the Greek Partridge. It is closely allied to the 




GREEK PARTRIDGE. 



GREEK PARTRIDGE. 243 

Red-leg, or French Partridge, but is at once dis- 
tinguished by its larger size, and by the absence of 
the mottled plumage below the black mark in the 
neck. The older ornithologists — Gesner, Willughby, 
and Belloni — acknowledged this affinity by designating 
Perdix Grceca as Perdix major or Rufa major ; while 
Ray, Linnaeus, and Albin all referred it to Perdix 
rufa, the latter even figuring the Red-legged Partridge 
for this bird. In the present day we do not find 
ornithologists confounding the two birds, as they are 
universally considered specifically distinct. There are, 
however, other varieties or races which are considered 
by modern naturalists as probably distinct also. Mr. 
Tristram has sent me two skins, one from the Morea, 
a male, which may be considered typical; and another, 
a female, a smaller bird with a rufous throat, which 
was obtained from Crete. But I cannot, after careful 
examination, find anything which age, or sex, or 
difference of food might not account for. Mr. Tristram 
says he thinks they represent two distinct species, 
one inhabiting the hills, the other the plains. 

Dr. Leith Adams writes me word he is quite 
confident that the Perdix chukar (Gray) of India is 
identical with this bird. I will give an abstract of 
his letter: — "These two are identical. P. chukar 
frequents the Himalayas from Nepaul to the mountains 
of Persia in the west. I have seen and examined 
specimens from all these countries, including Afghanistan 
and Chinese Tartary. P. Grceca is common on the 
hills and mountains of south-eastern Europe. It is a 
common bird during the winter months in the markets 
of Constantinople, where I procured several specimens, 
which I have carefully compared with Himalayan 
specimens of P. chukar, and I cannot observe any 



244 



GREEK PARTRIDGE. 



difference. Mr. Blyth, (T. A. S., xviii, p. 53,) states 
that 'P. Grceca only differs from P. chukar of the 
Himalayas, Afghanistan, etc., in, having a purely white 
throat, and in the ferruginous of the ear coverts being 
less marked.'' According to my experience (having 
examined many skins) these points, although pretty 
general, are not universal in the birds killed in 
Turkey. I have seen several exactly similar in all 
respects with P. chukar." 

According to this opinion the smaller of the two 
birds sent me by Mr. Tristram from Crete, is equal 
to the P. chukar of Gray; and it follows, I think, 
if this is so, that P. Grceca and P. chukar are one 
and the same species, for surely we cannot maintain 
for a moment that the difference of colour in the 
throat is sufficient to constitute specific difference. Mr. 
Tristram, however, does not consider that his smaller 
specimen is sufficiently deep rufous, for he remarks, — 
"T never saw the white throat from India, or the 
rufous one from Western Europe. Turkey and Syria 
are debatable ground held by both varieties." 

I have not been able to get a Swiss skin for com- 
parison. As Mr. Tristram observes, however, the 
question is one of "race," or of eastern and western 
varieties of the same species. M. Bouteille, as quoted 
by M. Degland, has succeeded in obtaining a hybrid 
between P. Grceca and P. rubra, the males being more 
like the former, the females more like the latter. 
Both had the black collar of the Greek Partridge and 
the black spots which follow it in the French 
Partridge, but smaller and less numerous. The feathers 
on the flanks of the male were more like those of 
Grceca, in the female more like rubra. 

The Greek Partridge is found, as its name implies, 



GREEK PARTRIDGE. 245 

in Greece and the islands of the Archipelago, in 
Italy, Sicily, Switzerland, and Turkey. Thence it 
spreads into Syria, being replaced in Persia and 
India by the form known as P. chuJcar. It is found 
in some parts of Germany and France, and among 
the mountains of the Jura, the Alps, and the Pyrenees. 
Specimens from Japan are, according to Temminck, 
exactly like those found in Europe. Lord Lilford, 
("Ibis," vol. ii, p. 238,) says it is the Common 
Partridge of the Epirus and the Ionian Islands, but is 
not very abundant in Corfu, where it is only met 
with on the ridge of San Salvador. He further 
remarks: — "The Greek Partridge haunts the stony hill 
sides, never, as far as my own observation goes, 
descending to the plain. It is not easy to make a 
good bag of these birds, even in localities where they 
are numerous, as the coveys disperse on being disturbed, 
and on alighting each bird takes a line of its own, 
and sets off running to the nearest covert, which, in 
these parts, generally consists of thick evergreen shrubs, 
from which it is very difficult to flush them. In the 
Ionian Islands they are most abundant in Cephalonia, 
Santa Maura, Kalumo, Petula, Arkudi, and Meganisi. 
The flesh of this species is, to my taste, far superior 
to that of either of its congeners, P. rubra or P. 
petrosa." 

The habit above mentioned by Lord Lilford, of 
frequenting stony and rocky places, is doubtless the 
reason why Meyer thought it right to alter the name 
of this bird, from that which it had possessed for 
centuries, to that of Perdix saxatilis, a most uncalled- 
for and unjustifiable innovation. 

The Greek Partridge scrapes a hole near a rock or 
stone, which it fills with stalks and leaves, and in 



246 GREEK PARTRIDGE. 

this it lays from ten to twenty eggs, which are 
somewhat larger than those of P. rubra. The shell is 
hard and shining, and is either unspotted pale yellow, 
or brownish yellow with violet brown dots and spots, 
according to Badeker. The shape of the egg is oval. 
JSTidification commences in May, and the female sits 
twenty -three days. 

The adnlt male has all the upper plumage dove- 
coloured grey, with a beautiful shade of purplish 
glossy pink on the scapularies and sides of the chest. 
The primaries are of a rich brown, with a light brown 
patch near the end of the quill on the third to the 
ninth inclusive, gradually getting smaller; the second, 
third, fourth, and fifth primaries are about equal, and 
the longest in the wing. Head, throat, and chest have 
been described in the specific diagnosis. Centre of the 
abdomen presents a conical surface of rich fawn-colour, 
flanked above on each side by beautifully-marked 
feathers of a pure dove-coloured grey, with a bar of 
light fawn-colour- between two other transverse bars of 
rich umber brown, at the end of each feather: these 
latter markings being broader on the sides of the 
abdomen, and narrower on the flanks proper. Under 
tail coverts russet; tail feathers rich dark russet. The 
margin of the eyes, iris, and beak, a beautiful red; 
legs and feet same colour, but paler; bottom of the 
feet dirty yellow; the tarsus of the male is furnished 
with a well-developed, but obtuse spur, situated about 
the middle. 

The female resembles the male, but is smaller and 
without spurs; the grey is less lively; there is less 
white on the throat; and the black band and the 
markings on the flanks are smaller. 

The young after the first moult are more grey, and 



GREEK PARTRIDGE. 247 

less shaded with, pink above, and are pencilled and 
spotted irregularly with brown and whitish. 

In some varieties the white is less pure, or even 
fawn-coloured. 

My figures of this bird and its egg are from specimens 
kindly sent me by Mr. Tristram. The male bird with 
white throat, the typical P. Grceca, is from the Morea. 
The female bird with the rufous throat, which I have 
figured for comparison, is from Crete. It is the bird 
alluded to before. 

The bird has also been figured by Brisson, Ornith., 
pi. 23, f. 1; Buffon, pi. enl. 231; Roux, Ornith. Prov., 
pi. 259; Kaumann, pi. 164; Bouteil, Ornith. du Dauph., 
pi. 42, fig. 2; Gould, B. of E.; Temminck, Atlas du 
Manuel; Vieillot, Faun. Franc, pi. 109; Bonaparte, 
Fauna Ital. 



END OF VOL. III. 



B. FAWCETT, ENGRAVER AND PRINTER, EAST LODGE, DRIFFIELD. 



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