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F.L.S., V.P.Z.S., ETC., ETC. 

VOL. V. 1869. 

Ibidis interea tu quoque noiiien Iiabo ! 








Aided by many hands no less willing than able, this 
volume of ' The Ibis ' presents an appearance of which 
its Editor would feel justly proud, did he not know that 
its merits are due far more to the efficient support he 
has received from his friends than to his own endea- 

A. N. 

Magdalene College, Cambridge. 
October 1869. 



Ordinary Members . 

JoHX H. Barneby-Littlet, M.A. ; Brockhampton, Herefordshire. 
Henry Buckley, F.Z.S. ; Edgbaston, Birmingham. 
Thomas Edward Buckley, B.A., F.Z.S, ; Westwood House, Be- 
John H. Cochrane ; Dunkathel, County Cork. 
Arthur William Ckichton, B.A., F.L.S., F.Z.S. ; Broadward Hall, 

Henry Eeles Dresser, F.Z.S. ; The Firs, South Norwood, Surrey. 
Henry Maurice Drummond-Hay, C.M.Z.S., Lieutenant-Colonel, 

Koyal Perth Eifles ; Seggieden, Perthshire. 
Henry John Elwes, F.Z.S., late Captain, Scots Fusilier Guards ; 

41 Portman Square, London. 
Thomas Campbell Eyton, F.Z.S. ; Eyton Hall, Salop. 
George Gooch Fowler, B.A. ; Gunton Hall, Suffolk. 
Rev. Henry Elliott Fox, B.A. ; 22 Commarket, Oxford. 
Frederick DuCane Godman, F.L.S., F.Z.S. ; 55 Lowndes Square, 

Percy Sanden Godman, B.A., C.M.Z.S. ; Borregaard, Sarpsborg, 

John Henry Gurney, F.Z.S. &c. 
James Edmund Harting, F.L.S., F.Z.S. ; 24 Lincoln's-Inn Fields, 

Rev. William Henry Hawker, M.A., F.Z.S. ; Ashford, Sussex. 
Rev. Herbert S. Hawkins, M.A. ; Rector of Beyton, Suffolk. 
Wilfrid Hudleston Hudleston, M.A., F.Z.S. ; 21 Gloucester Place, 

Portman Square, London. 
Allan Octavian Hume, C.B., Indian Civil Service ; Agra. 


Arthttr Edward Knox, M.A., F.L.S., F.Z.S. ; Trotton House, 


Right Hon. Thomas Ltttleton, Lord Lilford, F.L.S., F.Z.S. , &c. ; 
Lilford Hall, Northants. 

Aleiandeu Goodman More, F.L.S. «&;c. ; 3 Botanic View, Glasnevin, 

Edward CLoreH Newcome ; Feltwell Hall, Norfolk. 

Alfred Newton, M.A., F.L.S., V.P.Z.S., &c. ; Magdalene College, 

Edward Newton, M.A., F.L.S., C.M.Z.S. ; Colonial Secretary, Mau- 

John William Powlett-Orde, F.Z.S., late Captain 42nd (Royal 
Highland Regiment) ; Auchnaba House, Argyllshire. 

E, J. RoDES ; Exchequer and Audit Department, Somerset House. 

George Dawson Rowley, M.A., F.Z.S. ; 5 Peel Terrace, Brighton. 

OsBERT Salvin, M.A., F.L.S., F.Z.S. ; 32 The Grove, Boltons, 

Philip Ltjtlby Sclater, M.A., Ph.D., F.R.S., F.L.S., Sec. Z.S., &c. ; 
15 Lower Belgrave Street, London. 

Charles William Shepherd, M.A., F.Z.S. ; Trotterscliffe, Kent. 

Rey. Alfred Charles Smith, M.A., Rector of Yatesbury, Wilts. 

Rowland M, Sperling, Acting-Commander Royal Navy, Her Ma- 
jesty's Ship ' Racoon.' 

Henry Stevenson, F.L.S. ; Unthank's Road, Norwich. 

H. S. LeStrange, Her Majesty's Legation, Washington. 

Rev. Edward Cavendish Taylor, M.A., F.Z.S. ; Oxford and Cam- 
bridge Club, London. 

George Cavendish Taylor, F.Z.S. ; 42 Elvaston Place, London. 

Rev. Henry Baker Tristram, M.A., LL.D., F.R.S., F.L.S., C.M.Z.S., 
&c.. Master of Greatham Hospital, Durham. 

Henry Morris Upcher, F.Z.S. ; Sheringham Hall, Norfolk. 

Right Hon. Arthur Viscount Walden, F.L.S., Pres. Z.S. ; AValden 
Cottage, Chi.sclhurst, Kent. 

Rev. James Williams ; Tring Park, Herts. 

Extra - Ordinary Members. 

Edward Blyth, Hon. Memb. As. Soc. ; 21 Chalcot Crescent, 

Alfred Russel Wallace, F.Z.S. : 9 Saint Mark's Crescent, London. 


Honorary Members. 

Professor Spencer F. Baird, Assistant Secretary to the Smithsonian 

Institution, Washington. 
Doctor Edward Baldamus, Moritzzwinger, No. 7, Halle a. 8., 

Sekretar der deutschen Ornithologen-Gcscllschaft. 
Doctor Jean Cabanis, Erster Gustos am Koniglichen Museum der 

Priedrich-Wilhclm's Universitat zu Berlin. 
Doctor GusTAV Hartlaub, Bremen. 

T. C. Jerdon, Surgeon-Major in Her Majesty's Army, Madras. 
Edgar Leopold Layard, F.Z.S., South African Museum, Capetown. 
August v. Pelzeln, Gustos am K.-K. zoologischen Gabinete in Wien. 
Professor J, Reinhardt, Kongelige Naturhistoriske Museum i Kj'6- 

Robert Swinhoe, F.Z.S., F.ll.G.S., Her Majesty's Gonsul at Amoy. 
Jules P. Verreaux, Aide-Naturaliste du Museum d'Histoiro Natu- 

relle a Paris. 



Number XVII., January. 


I. Stray Notes on Ornithology in India. By Allan Home, 
C.B 1 

II. The Bird-Stations of the Outer Hebrides. By Henry 
John Elwes, Lieut, and Capt. Scots Fusilier Guards, F.Z.S. . 20 

III. On some New Species of New-Zealand Birds. By 
Walter Buller, F.L.S., C.M.Z.S 37 

IV. Notes on Birds observed near Nynee Tal and Almorah, 
from April to June 1868. By W. E. Brooks, C.E. .... 43 

V. On some new Procellariidce collected during a Voyage 
round the World in 1865-1868 by H.I.M.'s S. ' Magenta: By 
Henry Hillter Giglioli, Sc.D., C.M.Z.S., Naturalist to the 
Expedition, and Thomas Salvadori, M.D., C.M.Z.S., Assistant 

in the Koyal Zoological Museum of Turin 61 

VI. Further Notes on South-African Ornithology. By E. L. 
Layard, F.Z.S 68 

VII. The Malurhice of North-Eastern Africa. By Dr. M. T. 
VON Heuglin. (Plates I.-III.) . 79 

VIII. Notices of Recent Ornithological Publications : — 

1. English : — Gould's ' Birds of Great Britain,' parts xiii. and 
xiv. ; Sclater and Salvin's ' Exotic Ornithology,' parts vii. and 
viii. ; A. C. Smith's ' Nile and its Banks ; ' Barnard's Translation 
of Paijkull's ' Summer in Iceland ' 108 



2. Dutch : — Sehlegel and Pollen — * Recherches sur la Faune 

de Madagascar,' livr. iv 112 

3. German ; — Von Pelzeln's ' Ornithologie Brasiliens,' 
Abth. ii 113 

4. Portuguese: — Bocage on West- African Ornithology . . 117 

5. American : — Coues's " Synopsis of the Birds of South 
CaroHna" 118 

IX. Letters, Announcements, &e. : — 

Letters from Mr. Allan Hume, Colonel Tytler, Messrs. J. 
Hepburn, Van Wickevoort-Crommelin, and Gould .... 120 

Ntjmbee XVIIL, April. 

X. The Malurince of North-Eastern Africa. By Dr. M. T. 
VON Heuglin 129. 

XI. Stray Notes on Ornithology in India. By Allan Hume, 
C.B 143 

XII. Further Notes on the Birds of Morocco. By C. F. 
Ttrwhitt Dkake 147 

XIII. List of Birds obtained in Sikkim, Eastern Himalayas, 
between March and July 1867. By G. E. Bulger, F.L.S., 
F.R.G.S., C.M.Z.S 154 

XIV. Ornithological Hambles in Spain. By Howaed 
Saundees, F.Z.S 170 

XV. On a Collection of Birds from the Fantee Country in 
Western Africa. By R. B. Sharpe. (Plate IV.) .... 186' 

XVI. Note on the Species of the Genus Hirundinea, belong- 
ing to the Family Tyrannidce. By P. L. Sclater, M.A., Ph.D., 
F.R.S., Sec. Zool. Soc. (Plate V.) 195 

XVII. On some of the Bii'ds of Prey of Central Bulgaria. 

By C. Farman, C.E 199 

XVIII. Notes on some new South-African Sylviidce. By H. 

B. Tristram, M.A., F.R.S., &c. (Plate VI.) 204 



XIX. llemarks on Dr. Stoliczha's ' Ornithological Observa- 
tions in the Sutlej Valley,' By A.rthtjr Viscount Walden, 
P.Z.S. &c , 208 

XX. Notices of Eecent Ornithological Publications : — 

1. Englisli : — Sharpe's ' Monograph of the AlcecUmdce,^ parts 
ii. and iii. ; "Wallace's ' Malay Archipelago ; ' Huxley on Alec- 
toromorphce 215 

2. French : — A. Milne-Edwards's ' Oiseaux FossUes de la 
France ;' Ornithological Papers in the ' Revue de Zoologie ' . 218 

3. Italian : — Salvadori on Birds from Costa Rica, and new 
Caprimxilgidce 222 

4. Dutch : — Finsch's ' Die Papageieu,' vol. ii 223 

5. Norwegian : — CoUett's ' Norges Fugle ' 225 

6. Russian : — Brandt on the Affinities of the Dodo . . . 227 

7. American : — Coues's ' List of the Biids of New Eng- 
land' 228 

XXI. Letters, Announcements, &c. : — 

Letters from Drs. Malmgren, Jerdon, and Cunningham, 
Messrs. Brooks and Hume, Prof Reiiihardt, Dr. Giglioli, and 
Lord Walden ; Extracts from a letter from Dr. Brewer ; Death 
of Mr. Cassin ; Erratum 229 

Number XIX., July. 

XXII. Third Appendix to a List of Birds observed in Malta 
and Gozo. By Charles A. Wright, C.M.Z.S 245 

XXIII. Researches into the Zoological Affinities of the Bird 
recently described by Herr von Frauenfeld under the name of 
Aphanapteryx impericdis. By Alphonse Milne-Edwards. 
(Plate VII.) 256 

XXIV. On the Kingfishers of South Africa. By R. B. 
Sharpe 275 

XXV. Second List of Birds collected, during the Survey of 
the Straits of Magellan, by Dr. Cunningham. By P. L. 


ScLATER, M.A., Ph.D., F.K.S., and Oskert Salvin, M.A., 
F.L.S., F.Z.S 283 

XXVI. Notes on Birds of the Territory of the Trans-Vaal 
Eepublic. By Thomas Atres 286 

XXVII. On rare or little-known Limicolce. By James Ed- 
mund Harting, F.L.S., F.Z.S. (Plate VIII.) 304 

XXVIII. Notes on Mr. Lawrence's List of Costa-Rica Birds. 

By OsBERT Salvin, M.A. &c 310 

XXIX. The Strickland Collection in the University of Cam- 
bridge. By The Editor. (Plate IX.) 320 

XXX. On the Cueulidce described by Linnceus and Gmelhi, 
with a sketch of the Genus Euchjnamus. By Arthur Viscount 
Walden, P.Z.S. (fee. (Plate X.) 324 

XXXI. Letters, Announcements, &c. ; — 

Letters from Messrs. E. P. Ramsay, Swinhoe, and Gerard 
Krefft, Prof. Baird, Capt. F. W. Hutton, Messrs. W. E. Brooks, 
Allan Hume, and Boyd Dawkins, and Capt. Feilden ; Death of 
Mr. Hepburn . 346 

Number XX., October. 

XXXII. Further Notes on South-African Ornithology. By 

E. L. Layard, F.Z.S. &c 361 

XXXIII. Remarks on some species of Birds from New 
Zealand. By Dr. 0. Finsch, C.M.Z.S. &c 378 

XXXIV. On two more Collections of Birds from the Fantee 
Country. By R. B. Sharpe. (Plate XI.) 381 

XXXV. Birds observed during two Voyages across the 
North Atlantic. By George Cavendish Taylor, F.Z.S. . . 388 

XXXVI. Notes on the Ornithology^ of Italy and Spain. By 
Howard Saunders, F.Z.S 391 



XXXVII. Additional Notes ou various Indian Birds. By 

R. C. Beavan, Bengal Staff Corps, C.M.Z.S 403 

XXXVIII. On rare or little-known lAmicolce. By James 
Edmund Hartixg, F.L.S., F.Z.S. (Plate XII.) 426 

XXXIX. Notes on some African Birds. By the Rev, H. 

B. Tristram, M.A., LL.D., F.R.S., &c 434 

XL. Notes on the Bills of the species of Flamingo (Phcenico- 
pterus). By G. R. Gray, F.R.S. &c. (Plates XIII.-XV.) . 438 

XLI. Notes on the Birds-of-prey of Madagascar and some 
of the adjacent Islands. By J. H. Gurnet, F.Z.S. (Plate 
XVI.) 443 

XLII. Letters, Announcements, &c. : — 

Letters from Messrs. C. Home, A. 0. Hume, W. E. Brooks, 
E. L. Layard, and R. B. Sharpe, Sir William Jardine, and 
Messrs. P. L. Sclater, J. H. Gurney, and Swinhoe ; Announce- 
ment of Mr. G. R. Gray's ' Hand-list of Bii-ds ' and of Mr. 
EUiot's proposed Monograph of the Fhasianidce ; Delay of 
Notices of Recent Ornithological Publications 454 

Index 465 



J j Fig. 1. DryracDca marginata 94 

1 Fig. 2. iodoptera 93 

- concolor 97 

1 Fig. 2. 

flaveola 98 

C Fig. 1 . eximia 1 00 

TIT. < Fig. 2. ferruginea 135 

I, Fig. 3. Hemiptcryx oligura 136 

TV. Huhua poensis 194 

(Fig. 1. Hirundinea bellicosa 196 

Fig. 2. ferruginea 196 

Fig. 3. rupestris 198 

VI. Saxieola amotti 206 

VII. Aphanapteryx broeckii 256 

VIII. Anarhynchus frontalis 306 

TX. Campethera capricorni 323 

X. Eiidynamis ransomi 343 

Yj J Fig. 1. Nigrita uropygialis 384 

t Fig. 2. emiliae 384 

XII. Eurynorhynclius pygmaeus 432 

XIII.-XV. Bills of species of Phoenicopterus 438 

XVI. Hypotriorchis eleonorae 445 


Page Line 

215, 21, for six read eight. 

219, last of note, after " Longipennes" insert , or rather "Pahni- 

pedes " of uncertain position. 

220, 2, second cohimn, for 1869 read 1868. 
222, 24, for Ban/phtheugus read Baryphthenqus. 
225, 5, for mi read 'db^:. 

280, 8, before bird insert Madagascar. 
312, 12, for griseieps read griseiceps. 



No. XVII. JANUARY 1869. 

I. — Stray Notes on Ornithology in India. 
By Allan Hume, C.B. 

No. II. Birds' -nesting in Bareilly in the early Rains. 

" Exalted Highness, if it be pleasing to your noble tempera- 
ment and there be leisure, several birds have laid eggs in your 
Honoui-'s compound, and in the morning your Honour might 
see and take them." 

So spoke my head fowler, or Meer Shikaree, last evening. By 
caste a Karol, tall, powerful, and handsome, a better sportsman 
or a greater liar probably does not exist. 

In season and out of season, with reason and without reason, 
he lies, lies, lies. It is many years since he first entered my ser- 
vice, and we have both in the course of time conceived a certain 
fondness for each other ; but it is nearly as many years since I 
first realized the fact that he was never to be believed, and hence 
made a sine qua non of taking the first few nests, of every species 
new to me, with my own hands. 

Bareilly, where I now am, the headquarters of Rohilcund, is 
only about fifty miles south of the Himalayahs, and scarcely 
thirty from the dense fringe of jungle, swamp and forest that, 
under the name of the " Terai," skirts the southern slopes of the 

It is late in June the rains commenced about eight days ago; 

N. S. vol. v. B 

2 Mr. A. Hume on Indian Ornithulugy. 

and we are now having a few days' break of bright weather. 
Very hot and steamy it is all day ; but when in the early morn- 
ing we emerged from the house the air was inexpressibly fresh 
and cool, and every little breeze was perfumed by a huge dome- 
shaped shrub of what is called, I think, the Spanish Jasmine 
{Plumieria acuminata), that stands, in full flower, some thirty 
yards from the house. 

The rains appear to have a wonderful effect upon many of our 
Insessores. Of a vast number of species, individuals will indeed 
be found laying languidly throughout the latter part of the hot 
weather; but it is not until the rains come down that the great 
mass of the birds begin to lay in earnest. Three weeks ago 
we searched our compound pretty thoroughly ; and the only 
nests it then contained were two of Xantholcema indica and 
one of Megalcema caniceps. Both these well-known Barbets 
excavate holes in trees, and therein lay long oval thin-shelled 
eggs, which are like polished alabaster when blown, but when 
fresh, owing to the yelk showing partially through, seem of a 
delicate salmon-pink. The same peculiarity is noticeable in 
many birds that lay in holes ; it is specially conspicuous in two 
of our commonest Woodpeckers, Picus mahrattensis and Bra- 
chypternus aurantius. Both the Barbets seem to be able to find 
out branches that are decayed internally, although to the human 
eye exhibiting no external signs of this : and into such, through 
the harder outer shell of the branch, they cut a perfectly cir- 
cular hole, with the edges neatly bevelled off inside and out. 
The eggs are at the bottom of the cavity into which they have 
thus bored (and which they smooth a good deal interiorly), often 
a couple of feet below the door, and laid merely on the chips that 
they have made. Very noisy birds are the Barbets ; the little 
Xantholmna indica is known throughout the length and breadth 
of the land by its everlasting "too, too, too, too," which in 
some parts has earned it the name of " the Coppersmith," from 
the peculiar metallic ring of its single note. Pretty as it is, 
it is anything but a favourite bird amongst Europeans, as, com- 
paratively silent during the cold weather, its incessant note is 
an only too sure harbinger of the hot season. Natives view 
the matter differently ; and their poets give a conspicuous place 

JMr. A. Hume on Indian Ornithology. 3 

to this little rude musician, as one who heralds the season of 
love and marriage. The larger bird, Megalcema caniceps, is 
is even more noisy; and throughout the hot weather in Bareilly 
the early mornings are resonant with its loud cries, mingled 
with the familiar notes of what, though separated as a distinct 
species, I should call the local representative of our favourite 
Cuckoo. The cry of the larger Barbet is extraordinarily loud ; 
'* kookeroo, kookeroo, kookeroo " rings through the air, almost 
as if fired out of a gun ; and it is really wonderful how long the 
bird can keep on ejecting these notes as it does, bowing the 
whole body each time, and inflating the bare patches on each 
side of the base of the throat, seen only, by the way, when it is 
in the act of calling. 

A few weeks ago these two species of Barbets were the only 
birds that had nests in our large compound, to-day we have 
found nearly fifty. 

Not thirty yards from the house is a group of common mango- 
trees [Mangifera indica) ; and in one of these my Shikaree pointed 
out a dense clump of leaves, some fifteen feet from the ground. 
" There," he said, " is a nest of a ' Podua' and the bird is 
sitting." Neither nest nor bird could I see ; so a little clod of 
earth was thrown gently up, and with a feeble twitter and a 
little jerking flight away flew a tiny, rather long-tailed bird, 
whitish below, and, as it seemed, of a dingy hue above. It 
alighted close hy, and began dodging rapidly about, up and 
down branches and trunk, in and out of the leaves, now here, 
now there, with such unintermitting action that it was several 
minutes before I could shoot it. Once in the hand, there was 
no mistaking the Tailor-bird {Orthotomus longicauda). Sending 
a lad up, we soon had the nest. Three of the long ovato- 
lanceolate leaves of the mango, whose peduncles sprang from 
the same point, had been neatly drawn together with gossamer 
threads run through the sides of the leaves, and knotted out- 
side, so as to form a cavity like the end of a netted purse, with 
a wide slit on the side nearest the trunk, beginning near the 
bottom and widening upwards. Inside this, the real nest, nearly 
3 inches deep and about 2 in diameter, was neatly constructed 
of wool and fine vegetable fibres, the bottom being thinly lined 


4 Mr. A. Hume on Indian Ornithology 

with horsehair. In this lay three tiny, delicate, bluish-white 
eggs, with a few pale reddish-brown blotches at the large ends, 
and just a very few spots and specks of the same colour else- 
where. The eggs were all very similar in appearance and size, 
and measured '625 in. in length by '434 in breadth*. 

To the left of us rose a number of splendid trees of the sirris 
{Acacia sirissa), the favourite haunt earlier in the season of the 
common green Parrakeets {Palaoniis torquatus), who find its 
soft wood easy to bore for nest-holes. High up in one of these, 
at the end of a huge branch, I caught sight of what from below 
seemed a round bunch of fine grass inserted at the last fork : close 
at hand sat a brilliant yellow bird, here called the " Mango-bird^^ 
by Europeans, and ^'Peeluk" {i.e. the yellow one) by the natives. 
A stone sent it flying, while simultaneously from the nest, 
where it had previously remained unnoticed, darted its mate. 
Closely allied to the Golden Oriole of Europe, Oriolus kundoo 
is one of the pure yellow-headed group. Of Orioles I know 

* The nest of this bird varies much iu appearance, according to the 
number and description of leaves which it employs, and the manner in 
which it employs them ; but the nest itself is usually chiefly composed 
of fine cotton-wool, with a few horse-hairs and, at times, a few very fine 
grass stems as a lining, apparently to keep the wool in its place and 
enable the cavity to retain permanently its shape. I have found them 
with three leaves fastened, at equal distances from each other, into the 
sides of the nest, and not joined to each other at all. I have foimd them 
between two leaves, the one forming a high back and turned up at the 
end to form the bottom of the nest, the other hiding the nest in front 
and hanging down below the bottom of the nest, the tip only of the first 
leaf being sewn to the middle of the second. I have found them with 
four leaves sewn together to form a canopy and sides, from which the 
bottom of the nest depended bare ; and I have found them between two 
long leaves, whose sides from the very tips to near the peduncles were 
closely and neatly sewn together. For sewing they generally use cob- 
web ; but silk from cocoons, thread, and vegetable fibres are also used. 
The eggs also vary much. The most normal are, before blowing, of a 
delicate pink — when blown, of a still more delicate white — with pale 
reddish-brown specks and spots, always most numerous towards the large 
end, and sometimes forming there an irregular cap. In size they vary 
little, only from -594 to -687 in. in length, and from •437 to •434 in. 
in breadth. Four is the greatest number of eggs I have found in any 

Mr. A. Hume on Indian Ornithology. 5 

four very distinct groups : the first is that just mentioned, the 
second with a black crescent on the nape, the third with the whole 
head black, and the fourth with the golden or canary colour (it 
varies in different species) everywhere replaced by a rich deep 
maroon-red. The branch was cut, and we soon had the nest 
and eggs before us. The former was a most beautifully woven 
shallow purse, hung from the fork of two twigs, made of fine 
grass and slender strips of some tenacious bark bound round 
and round the twigs, and secured to them much as a prawn- 
net is to its wooden frame-work. This nest contained no ex- 
traneous matters; but other nests that we had taken during 
the previous week had all kinds of odds and ends, scraps 
of newspaper, shavings, rags, and thread, interwoven in the 
exterior of the purse, the interior always being neatly lined with 
fine grass-stems. The eggs, two in number, were very beauti- 
ful, glossy, with a delicate pink shade, pure white when blown, 
and with a number of very well marked black spots and specks. 
These two measured 1-187 in. by -812, but they vary a good 
deal both in size, number, and in shade of markings. Some 
eggs previously obtained measure as little as 1 inch by 'Zo 
In some the spots are very small and few in number, and of a 
deep red-brown instead of the normal black ; while in others, 
again, where the black spots are well marked, they are sur- 
rounded by a sort of reddish haze or halo. All the nests that 
we have found have been situated similarly, and hung in the 
same manner from between the fork of two or three twigs, as 
that found this morning. In every case the bird had chosen a 
spot where the leaves of the twigs used as a frame-work formed 
more or less of a shady canopy above it. Four eggs are the 
greatest number yet found in one nest. 

Whilst we were looking at the nest, my companion spied out 
a Crow [Cuj-vus splendens) on a nest near the very top of the 
tree. " Hallo," I said to my man, " you didn^t see that nest.'' 
" Not see that nest ? " replied he, with a look of inefi'able 
scorn. " Protector of the poor ! what is this slave's business, 
that any bird should succeed in building a nest and I not 
know of it? The truth is, I have watched it for long; but the 
Crow — may she be accursed — though the time has fully come. 

6 Mr. A. Hume on Indian Ornithology. 

will not lay therein. Only yesterday I examined it; it was 

Notwithstanding this assurance, I had a boy sent up, when 
the nest proved to contain four eggs. " Very strange/' I re- 
marked ; " empty yesterday, four eggs to-day. How is that V 
" Cherisher of the needy ! it is customary amongst Crows, when 
they perceive that the season has nearly passed, and that as yet 
they have laid no eggs, to invite on a certain day their relatives 
to lay eggs for them. Without doubt such has been the case 
to-day, and all these four eggs have been this morning laid by 
the relatives of that barren, God-forgotten black one, that has 
just flown off the nest as if the eggs were her own. Indeed, 
before the sun of your honour^s glory lit up the world this 
morning, I heard a great cawing in this tree, and, said I to my- 
self, let us see what this thing may mean " 

It would not do for one of Her Majesty's judges to be seen 
kicking one of Her Majesty's subjects about his premises ; be- 
sides, I am a patient man, or else Well, here is an ornitho- 
logical fact quite new to the world of science ; and if my Meer 
Shikaree's authority is thought good, any one is welcome to 
make use of it. 

The eggs of Corvus splendens are of normal appearance. In 
some the ground is a very pale pure bluish -green, in others 
it is dingier and greener. All are blotched, speckled, and 
streaked more or less with somewhat pale sepia markings ; but 
in some the spots and specks are a darker brown, and, as a rule* 
well defined, and there is very little streaking ; while in others 
the brown is pale and muddy, the markings ill-defined, and 
nearly the whole surface of the egg is freckled over with smudgy 
streaks. Sometimes the markings are most numerous at the 
large end, sometimes at the small ; no two eggs are exactly 
alike, and yet they have so strong a family resemblance that 
there is no possibility of mistaking them. They ai'e a good deal 
smaller than those of the common black Crow of the plains of 
India (C culminatus) , which lays earlier in the year, and measure 
from ri87 to 1-437 in. in length, and from 1 inch to 1-093 
in breadth. The Crow whose eggs we had just taken, kept fly- 
ing about uneasily from tree to tree, when suddenly out darted 

Mr. A. Hume on Indian Ornithology. 7 

at it a little bird about a twentieth of its weight, white below, 
smoke-coloured above, with a conspicuous white eyebrow, visible 
plainly as it darted after the dusky giant, whose approach it 
evidently so strongly disapproved. The flight, and the long 
fan-shaped outspread tail, left no doubt that it was one of the 
fan-tailed Flycatchers {Leucocerca aureola). 

The nest was built on a horizontal branch of a mango, a very 
delicate small tumbler-like affair, scarcely •25 in. in thickness 
anywhere, closely woven of very fine grass, and coated over its 
whole exterior with cobwebs. The interior diameter was about 
1"75 in., the depth about 1*125. Although the little bird re- 
turned and sat across it, with the bill and half the head project- 
ing in front, and the whole tail from the vent overhanging behind, 
the nest contained no eggs. However, I took a precisely similar 
one at Etawah on the 29th of March, containing three slightly 
incubated eggs, which in shape were a short oval, and measured 
•562 in. by '531 . The ground-colour was white, with many 
exceedingly minute yellowish-brown specks, which formed near 
the middle towards the large end a pretty broad nearly confluent 
zone, mingled with rather larger spots of a faint greyish-brown, 
or perhaps I ought to say, of a very pale inky hue. The white 
ground in the neighbourhood of this zone was feebly and par- 
tially tinged with buff; and altogether the egg shows a sort of 
family likeness to the eggs of many of the true Shrikes, and 
especially to those of the pretty little Lanius hardwickii^, to a 
nest of which we next turned our attention. 

Of all our Indian Shrikes this is the smallest, liveliest, and 
brightest-coloured. Sitting or flying, it is essentially a cheerful, 
bright, neat little bird. 

Individuals of this species have been laying ever since the 
middle of April ; but nests were then few and far between, 
and now they are common enough. Each species of bird seems 
to have its own nest-plan, and each genus or family its style of 
architecture ; and what to me has always appeared confirmatory 
of Mr. Darwin's views is, that representative species, in far 
distant countries, build nests so similar in design and class of 

* [Rectins L. vittatiis. Cf. IWs, 1867, p. 220.— Ed.] 

8 Mr. A. Hume on Indian Ornithology. 

materials that it is difficult to doubt that all derive their archi- 
tecture from a common ancestor. 

The nest that we had just found was precisely like twenty 
others that we had found during the past two months, — rather 
deep^ with a nearly hemispherical cavity, very compactly and 
firmly woven of fine grass, rags, feathers, soft twine, wool, and a 
few fine twigs, the whole entwined exteriorly with plenty of 
cobwebs, and the interior cavity, about 1"75 in. deep by 2'25 
in diameter, neatly lined with very fine grass, one or two 
horse-hairs, shreds of string, and one or two soft feathers. 
The walls were a good inch in thickness. It was placed in 
a fork of a thorny jujube, or ber-ti'ee {Zizyphus jujuha), near 
the middle of the tree, and some fifteen feet from the ground. 
It contained four fresh eggs, feebly coloured miniatures of the 
eggs of Lanius lahtora, which latter so closely resemble those of 
L. excuhitor that, if the eggs were mixed, they could never, I think, 
be certainly separated again. The eggs exhibit the zone so cha- 
racteristic of all Shrikes, and have a dull pale ground, not white ; 
and yet it is difficult to say what colour it is that tinges it. In 
these four eggs it is a yellowish stone-colour, but in others 
greenish, and in some grey. Near the middle towards the large 
end there is a broad and conspicuous, but broken and irregular 
zone of feeble, more or less confluent, spots and small blotches of 
pale yellowish-brown, and very pale, washed-out purple. There 
are a few faint specks and spots of the same colour here and 
there about the rest of the egg. In some eggs previously ob- 
tained the zone is quite in the middle, and in others close round 
the large end. In some the markings are clear and bright ; in 
others they are as faint and feeble as one of our modern Man- 
chester warranted-fast-colour muslins after its third visit to a 
native washerman. In size, too, the eggs vary a good deal, 
measuring from '75 in. to '906 in length, by from '562 to 'Q^7 
in breadth. 

The little Shrike had a great mind to fight for \\h penates, and 
twice made a vehement demonstration of attack ; but his heart 
failed him, and he retreated to a neighbouring mango-branch, 
whence a few minute^ after we saw him making short dashes 
after his insect-prey, apparently oblivious of the domestic cala- 
mity that had so recently befallen him. 

Mr. A. Hume on Indian Ornithology. 9 

We had now to cross the road into the public gardens to 
secure the greatest prize of the morning — the nest of the Rocket- 
bird {Tchitrea paradisi) . 

The Rocket-bird has two distinct stages of plumage. In the 
one the head, throat, and neck, with a very full crest of pointed 
feathers, is a glossy metallic blackish -green, and the rest is 
snowy-white, the feathers mostly black-shafted. The bird, from 
the tip of the bill to the end of all but the middle tail-feathers, 
is from 8 to 9 inches in length, the middle tail-feathers extending 
more than 12 inches at times beyond the lateral ones. In the 
other stage the head and neck is black, the breast and abdomen 
dull white, and all the rest of the plumage bright chestnut. 
The middle tail-feathers in this stage never, I think, exceed the 
lateral ones by more than 10 inches. 

Then we have white ones and chestnut ones without any 
elongation of the centre tail-feathers, and with every amount of 
elongation up to the limits above given. Besides these, in some 
the throat and breast are ashy, and some are particoloured 
chestnut and white. 

Now the puzzle has always been. What do these two liveries 
mean ? I cannot yet be quite certain of the matter ; but my 
belief now is that the chestnut, and not the white, is the hreeding- 
plumage. During the last two months the white plumage has 
been getting rarer, and we have been killing lots of chestnut 
birds with long tails, all males, and with the testes largely deve- 
loped. Two days ago, and again this day, we have taken nests 
with short-tailed female chestnut birds on them. 

I suspect that the breeding birds drop the white plumage 
which makes them so conspicuous, and assume the chestnut 
livery, the males alone having the middle tail-feathers elongated. 
What confirms me in this idea is, that the only two white birds 
that we recently got had the testes no bigger than pins^ heads, 
showing that they were not breeding. However, this is still an 
open question ; one thing only is certain, namely, that short- 
tailed chestnut birds were sitting on the two nests we have taken. 
And now for this second nest which we took to-day. In the 
public gardens is a large circular reservoir, dry and empty during 
the hot season, but now half full of water. On the banks on 

10 Mr. A. Hume on Indian Ornithology, 

one side are a number of sheeshum-trees {Dalbergia sissoo) ; and 
on one of the outermost branches of these^ at the very end where 
the branch hangs nearly straight downwards, and where only 
one independent twig, dissenting from its principal, persists in 
growing straight upwards, between branch and twig was placed 
a half-egg-shaped nest, a mere shell, very closely and compactly 
woven of fine grass-roots and grass, thickly coated exteriorly 
with cobwebs, among which a great number of small white empty 
cocoons had been interwoven. The nest was nowhere much 
above '25 in. in thickness ; and the cavity was about 2"5 in. in 
diameter at the margin, and 1*5 in. deep. The nest we took 
the other day was seated on the horizontal branch of a mango, 
had horsehair and a little fine tow interwoven with the grass 
interiorly, and was a trifle smaller. Exteriorly the two were 
precisely similar. 

On this nest, its head tucked close in, with only the beak pro- 
jecting in front, but with the whole tail from the vent showing 
beyond the nest behind, sat a chestnut female, whose middle 
tail-feathers were not in the least elongated. The nest contained 
three fresh eggs, precisely similar to the four which we took two 
days ago. They were white, with a very pale salmon-coloured 
tinge and numerous dull red specks and spots, nearly all gathered 
into a large patch at the broad end, where they were partly con- 
fluent, and their interspaces filled up by a haze of a paler shade 
of the same colour, as if the colouring of the spots had partially 
run. All the eggs were much of the same size and shape, and 
only varied from 1-187 in. to '875 in length, and from '5625 
to "593 in breadth. 

The full-grown bird, feathers and all, never weighs quite an 
ounce, while its whole length is sometimes close upon 2 feet; it 
flies pretty rapidly, in undulatory sweeps, its long tail waving 
behind ; and seen flitting through the dense jungle and forest 
glades of the Dhoon and Terai, where it is especially abundant, it 
is really, in its white livery, one of the most remarkable birds we 
have in India. Close to the tank is a thick clump of saul-trees 
{Shorea rohusta), the great building-timber of India, whose 
natural home is in that vast Subhimalayan belt of forests which 
I have above mentioned as passing only thirty miles to the north 

Mr. A. Iluino on Indian Ornithology. 11 

of Bareilly. Here the trees are but puny representatives of their 
giant race ; but even then, straight and well shaped, with large 
brilliantly glossy green leaves, they catch the eye at once and 
fix it pleasantly. In one of these a common Bulbul, Pycnonotus 
pusillus, had made its home. 

The nest was a compact and rather massive one, built at a 
fork, on and round a small twig ; externally it was composed of 
the stems (with the dry leaves and flowers still on them) of a 
tiny groundsel- {Senecio-) like asteraeeous plant, among which 
were mingled a number of quite dead and skeleton leaves and a 
few blades of dry grass. Inside, rather coarse grass was tightly 
woven into a lining to the cavity, which was deep, being about 
2 inches in depth by 3 in diameter. This is the common form 
of nest ; but half an hour later, and scarcely a hundred yards 
distant, we took another nest of this same species, which was 
beautifully built in a mango towards the end of one of the 
branches, where it divided into four upright twigs, between 
which the Bulbul had firmly planted her dwelling. Exter- 
nally it was as usual, chiefly composed of the withered stems 
of the little asteraeeous plant, interwoven with a few shoots 
of Tamarix diceca and a little tow-like fibre of the putsan 
{Hibiscus cannahinus), while a good deal of cobweb was applied 
externally here and there. The inside was lined with exceed- 
ingly fine stems of some herbaceous exogenous plant; and there 
did not appear to be a single dead leaf or a single particle of 
grass in the whole nest. The eggs, however, in both nests, 
three in each, closely resembled each other, being of a delicate 
pink ground, with reddish-brown and purplish-grey spots and 
blotches almost equally distributed over the whole surface of 
the egg, the reddish-brown in places becoming almost maroon - 
red. Two eggs, however, that we took out of a nest similar to 
the first in structure, but situated, like the second, in a mango, 
were of a somewhat different character and very different in 
tint. The ground was dingy reddish-pink, and the whole of 
the egg was thickly mottled all over with very deep blood-red, 
the mottlings being so thick at the larger end as to form an 
almost perfectly confluent cap. Altogether the colouring of 
these two eggs {si licet minores) reminded one of richly-coloured 
examples of that of Neophron percnopterus. 

12 Mr. A. Hume on Indian Ornithology. 

Some of the Bulbul's eggs that we have taken earlier in the 
season were much less strongly coloured than any of those ob- 
tained to day^ and presented a very different appearance. With 
a pinkish-white ground, and moderately thickly but very uni- 
formly speckled all over with small spots of light purplish-grey, 
light reddish-brown^ and very dark brown, the egg scarcely 
seems to belong to the same bird as the boldly-blotched or 
richly-mottled specimens. In size, too, the eggs of this bird 
vary very greatly ; some few are fully 1 inch in length, while 
a good many do not exceed '75 in., and in width they vary from 
•562 to "687. In shape, too, they differ scarcely less; some are 
long and perfectly oval, some nearly round, some are nearly 
alike at both ends, while some are almost cones based on hemi- 
spheres. Close to our own gate is a pretty neem-tree [Melia 
azadirachta), a species now naturalized in Provence and other 
parts of the south of France. High up in a fork, a small nest 
was visible, and, projecting over it on one side, a black forked 
tail that could belong to nothing but the King-Crow, of which the 
local representative here is Dicrurus macrocercus. Of this bird 
we had already taken, during the last six weeks, at least fifty 
nests ; and in many cases where we had left the empty nest, we 
found it a week later with a fresh batch of eggs laid therein. 
Many birds will never return to a nest which has once been 
robbed; but others, like the King-Crow and the little Shrike 
[Lanius hardwickii) above described, will continue laying even 
after the nest has been twice plundered. The very day after the nest 
has been robbed of perhaps four slightly-incubated eggs, a fresh 
one, that otherwise would assuredly never have seen the light, 
is laid, and that, too, a fertile egg, which, if not meddled with, 
will be hatched off in due course. It might be supposed that 
immediately on discovering their loss, nature urged the birds 
to new intercourse, the result of which was the fertile egg ; and 
this, in some cases, is probably really the case, Martins and 
other Hirundinida being often to be seen busy with love's 
pleasing labour before their eggs have been well stowed away by 
the collector. But this will not account for instances that I 
have observed of birds in confinement, which, separated from 
the male before they had laid their full number, and then later, 

Mr. A. Hume on Indian Ornithulogij. 13 

just when they began to sit, deprived of tiieir eggs, straightway 
laid a second set, neither so large nor so well-coloured as the first, 
but still fertile eggs that were duly hatched. But for the re- 
moval of the first set, these subsequent eggs would never have 
been developed or laid. Now the theory has always been that 
the contact of the sperm- and germ-cells causes the develop- 
ment and fertilization of the latter. . In these cases no fresh 
accession of sperm-cells was possible ; and hence it would seem 
as if, in some birds, the female organs were able to store up 
living sperm-cells, which are only applied to fertilize and deve- 
lop ova in the event of some accident rendering it necessary, 
but otherwise ultimately lose their vitality and pass away with- 
out action. 

The nest of the King-Crow that we took was of the ordinary cha- 
racter ; in fact, I have noticed scarcely any difference in the shape 
or materials of all the numerous nests of this common bird that 
I have yet seen. They are all composed of tiny twigs and the 
scented roots of the cucus-grass, neatly and tightly woven toge- 
ther, being exteriorly bound round with a good deal of cobweb. 
The cavity is broad and shallow, the bottom of the nest thin, 
and the sides rather thick and firm. In this case the cavity 
was 4 inches in diameter and about 1'5 in depth, and it con- 
tained three pure white glossless eggs, varying from 1 inch to 
1'125 in length, and all '/S in width. In the very next tree, 
however (a mango — and this is perhaps their favourite tree), was 
another similar nest, containing four eggs, slightly glossy, with 
a salmon-pink tinge throughout, and numerous well-marked, 
brownish-red specks and spots, most numerous towards the 
large end, looking vastly like Brobdignagian specimens of the 
Rocket-bird's eggs. The variation in the eggs of this species is 
remarkable : out of more than one hundred, nearly a third have 
been pure white ; and between the dead glossless purely white 
egg and a somewhat glossy warm pink-grounded one, with nu- 
merous well-marked spots and specks of maroon-colour, dull 
red, red-brown, or even dusky, every possible gradation is 
found. Each set of eggs, however, seems to be invariably of the 
same character, and we have never yet found a quite white and 
a well-coloured and marked egg in the same nest. 

14 Mr. A. Hume on Indian Ornithology. 

The King-Crows are very jealous of the approach of other birds, 
even of their own species^ to a nest in which they have eggs; 
and many a little family would this year have been safely reared 
and their ovate cradles have escaped the plundering hands of 
my shikarees, had not attention been invariably called to the 
whereabouts of the nest by the pertinacious and vicious rushes 
of one or other of the parents from near their nest at every 
feathered thing that passed by them. 

As we stood waiting for the eggs of the King-Crow to be 
brought us, a speckled female Koil [Eudynamis orientalis) sud- 
denly emerged from a group of mango-trees in our own com- 
pound, pursued by several Crows. This bird is famous in Indian 
song as the harbinger of that glad rainy season when, to quote 
the Indian poet, the sun-parched widowed earth puts off her 
withered dust-soiled weeds, and, soon to become the joyful 
mother of autumn's harvests, dons a fresh bridal robe of green. 
Throughout the rains the loudly whistled cry " Who are you ?" 
rings through every copse, and has from very early times been 
as great a favourite with the people of Hindo^tan as ever that 
of the Cuckoo was with us. When we came to inspect the 
clump of mangos out of which the angry Crows had come, we 
found in them no less than seven of their nests, and in two of 
these discovered unmistakable eggs of the Koil. Did these two 
both belong to the fugitive female, discovered when, for the third 
time, she made the attempt ? Were they the eggs of sister 
adventuresses, who had put her up to the locality as one in which 
business was likely to be done ? I confess I am not deep enough 
in the secrets of the mottled ladies, upon whom respectable 
Crow matrons doubtless look as the worst of "social evils", to 
answer these questions; but about the eggs there could be "no 
deception." These eggs (and others that we have obtained on 
previous occasions, in more than one instance two out of the 
same Crow's nest) measured from 1-093 to 1*187 in. in length, 
and from '875 to '937 in breadth. One egg had a pale olive- 
green ground, thickly blotched and spotted with two shades 
of brown, the one being somewhat purplish and the other yel- 
lowish ; the blotches and spots were entirely confluent at the 
large end. Of the other, the ground-colour was a pale sea- 

Mr. A. Hume on Indian Oi-nithulogy . 15 

green, pretty thickly blotched and spotted with olive-brownj 
some of the spots and blotches being much fainter and having 
an almost purplish tinge. Most of the blotches were gathered 
into a very broad irregular ill-defined zone round the large end. 
These were normal eggs ; and none of the thirteen that I have 
procured during the past fortnight differed much from one or 
other of them. 

At the extremity of one of the branches of these same mango- 
trees a small truss of hay, as it seemed, at once caught every 
eye. This was one of the huge nests of the Pied Pastor {Stunio- 
pastor contra), and proved to be some 2 feet in length and 18 
inches in diameter, composed chiefly of dry grass, but with a 
few twigs, many feathers, and a strip or two of rag intermingled 
in the mass. The materials were loosely put together ; and the 
nest was placed high up in a fork, near the extremity of a branch. 
In the centre was a well-like cavity some 9 inches deep by 3"5 
in diameter, at the bottom of which, amongst many feathers, 
lay four fresh eggs, four or five being the full number laid by 
this bird. The eggs are glossy and of a uniform colour, speci- 
mens from different nests varying a good deal in tint and shade. 
Some are pale blue, some a light greenish-blue ; all are without 
speck, spot, or shading ; they are rather pear-shaped as a rule, 
but nearly perfect ovals occur. In size they vary much, as the 
following measurements from the extremes out of nearly a hun- 
dred specimens show. Length from 1 inch to 1"187, breadth 
from '7o to '875, the average size being 1*093 by '812. All 
the four species of Pastors that breed hereabouts lay eggs of the 
same character ; yet those of each are clearly separable from those 
of the others, and each has its different style of nest-architec- 
ture. A fortnight ago, driving out one morning we found that 
a colony of the Bank-Mynah {Acridotheres ginginianus) had 
taken possession of some fresh excavations on the banks of a 
small stream. The excavation was about ten feet deep ; and in 
its face, in a band of softer and more sandy earth than the rest, 
about one foot below the surface of the ground, these Myuahs 
had bored innumerable holes. They had taken no notice of the 
workmen — who had been continuously employed within a ic^f 
yards of them, and informed us that the Mynahs had first made 

16 Mr. A. Hume on Indian Ornithulogtj. 

their appearance there only a month previously. On digging 
into the bank, we found the holes ail connected with each other 
in one place or another^ so that apparently every Mynah could 
get into or out from its nest by any one of the hundred and odd 
holes in the face of the excavation. The holes averaged about 
3 inches in diameter, and twisted and turned up and down, 
right and left, in a wonderful manner. Each hole terminated 
in a more or less well-marked bulb (if I may use the term) or 
egg-chamber, situated from 4 to 7 feet from the face of the 
bank. The egg- chamber was floored with a loose ne&t of grass, 
a few feathers, and, in many instances, scraps of snake-skins. It 
is not easy to discover what induces so many birds that build in 
holes in banks to select, out of the infinite variety of things 
organic and inorganic, pieces of snake-skin for their nests. They 
are at best harsh unmanageable things, not so warm as feathers, 
which are ten times as numerous, nor so soft as cotton or old 
rags, which lie about broadcast, nor so cleanly as dry twigs 
and grass. Can it be that snakes have any repugnance to their 
" worn-out weeds," that they dislike these mementos of their 
fall*, and that birds breeding in holes into which snakes are likely 
to come, by instinct select these exuvicB as " scare-snakes " ? 
In some of the nests we found three or four callow young; 
but in the majority of the terminal chambers were four more 
or less incubated eggs. These are fully as glossy as, and of a 
somewhat deeper blue (or greenish-blue," as the case may be) 
than those of the Pied Starling, and are moreover smaller; in 
length none exceeded 1*125 in., and some were only -QOG long, 
while in breadth they varied from "812 to "75 ; the average 
I take to be about 1*.062 by -781. I noticed that the tops of 
all the mud pillars (which had been left standing to measure 
the work by) had been drilled through and through by the 
Mynahs, obviously not for breeding-purposes, as not one of 
them contained the vestige of a nest, but either for amusement 

* When the snake," says an Arabic commentator, " tempted Adam, it 
was a winged animal. To punish its misdeeds the Almighty deprived it 
of wings, and condemned it thereafter to creep for ever on its belly, add- 
ing, as a perpetual reminder to it of its trespass, a command for it to cast 
its skin yearly." 

Mr. A. Hume on Indian OrnitJiology. 17 

or to afford pleasant sitting-places for the birds not engaged in 
incubation. While we were robbing the nests, the whole colony 
kept screaming and flying in and out of these holes in the va- 
rious pillar-tops in a very remarkable manner; and it may be 
that, after the fashion of Lapwings, they thought to lead us 
away from their eggs and induce a belief that their real homes 
w'ere iu the pillar-tops. 

After taking the Pied Pastors' eggs, we proceeded to look up 
the nests of two more nearly allied species, which my hench- 
man had previously discovered. The first was one of that beau- 
tiful little bird the Pagoda-Mynah {Temenuchus pacjodarmn). 
In appearance this species pleases me more than any other 
member of the Sturnidce, not excluding the gaudy Afi'ican 
Lamprotornithes or the delicate Pastor roseiis; there is some- 
thing so essentially " gentlemanly " in the look of the little bird, 
he is always so exquisitely glossy, neat, and clean, and he always 
looks so perfectly independent and so thoroughly good-hu- 
moured. In a word, this Mynah is a special favourite of mine, 
and I really felt very loath to rifle the little homestead. But it 
is not very commonly found ; so I ruthlessly sent a man up to the 
nest. This was neither more nor less than a nearly bare hole, 
worked by the birds into a decaying portion of the trunk of a 
sirris-tree ; and three beautiful very pale blue eggs were soon 
brought to me thence, amidst the noisy expostulations of the 
parents, who kept fluttering round the plunderer in his descent, 
apparently half inclined to do battle for their treasures. The 
eggs are smaller than those of either of the two species pre- 
viously noticed, and invariably of a much purer and paler blue, 
and of a more oval shape. In length they vary from '937 in. 
to 1*031, and in breadth from "687 to '75. Like those of 
the other species they have a beautiful satiny gloss, and a close 
firm grain. As far as I have seen, the Pagoda-Mynah here 
always breeds in holes of trees; but the Common Mynah [Acri- 
dotheres tristis), three of whose nests we next proceeded to visit, 
breeds indifferently in ready-made holes of trees and of walls, 
making in them a loose nest, chiefly composed of feathers and 
straw, and laying from four to five blue eggs, larger and, as a 
rule, darker-coloured than those of any of the other three species. 

N. S. VOL. V. c ^ 

18 Mr. A, Hume on Indian Ornithologj/. 

We took fourteen eggs, varying from 1"25 in. to 1"062 in 
length, and from -812 to '937 in breadth, all more or less in- 
cubated ; while in a fourth nest, in the wall of our verandah, 
we found four young ones. This was particularly noteworthy, 
because from my study-window the pair had been watched for 
the last month first laying the foundations of a future genera- 
tion, then flitting in and out of the hole with straws and fea- 
thers, ever and anon clinging to- the mouth of the aperture and 
laboriously dislodging some projecting point of mortar, then 
marching up and down on the ground, the male screeching out 
his harsh love-song, bowing and swelling out his throat all the 
while, and then rushing after and soundly thrashing any chance 
Crow (four times his weight at least) that inadvertently passed 
too near him. Never during the whole time had either bird been 
long absent, and both had been seen together at all hours. I 
made certain that they had not begun even to sit, and behold 
there were four fine young ones, a full week old, in the nest ! 
Clearly these birds are not close sitters down here; but I well 
remember a pair at Mussoorie, some 6000 feet above the level of 
the sea, the most exemplary parents, one or other being on the 
eggs at all hours of the day and night. The morning sun beats 
full upon the walls, in the inner side of which the entrance to 
the nest is; the nest itself is within four inches of the exterior 
surface, and at 11 o'clock the thermometer gave 98° as its tem- 
perature. I have often observed in the Terns {Sterna javanica, 
Seena aurantia, and Rhynchojjs alhicollis) and Pratincoles [Glareola 
lactea), which lay their eggs on the bare white glittering river- 
sands, that so long as the sun is high and the sand hot, they 
rarely sit upon their eggs, though one or the other of the parents 
constantly remains beside or hovers near or over them ; but in 
the early morning, on somewhat cold and cloudy days, and as the 
night draws on they are all close sitters. I suspect that instinct 
teaches the birds that when the natural temperature of the nest 
reaches a certain point, any addition of their body-heat is unne- 
cessary; and this may explain why, during the hot days (when 
we alone noticed them), in this very hot hole, the Mynahs spent 
so little of their time in the nest while the process of hatching 
was going on. 

One more piece of good luck yet remained for us. For weeks 

Mr. A. Hume on Indian Ornithology. 19 

I had known that our smallest Dove, the beautiful little Turtur 
hwnilis, was sitting. Everywhere the males were to be seen 
busy on the grass, but not a single lady was visible. Obviously 
the "white kid^^ was on the knocker, if only one could find the 
house ; but this had fairly puzzled us. Just as I was entering 
the bungalow and taking a last loving glance at the fair face of 
nature, so soon to be hidden from me by dingy rooms and sallow 
faces of disputatious counsel, just as I was drinking in the merry 
song of the Bulbul, soon to be drowned in the monotonous and 
everlasting pleadings purposing to show cause for and against 
everything in creation, I distinctly saw a female of the species 
fly down to her mate off the extremity of one of the lower 
branches of a huge patriarchal mango-tree. My court was to 
open at 10, and a great case (all about nothing, by the way, 
simply a vent to the feelings of two irascible bankers, who were 
too fat to turn out and fight out their mutual antipathies like 
men) was to come on — 9 o'clock had struck, I had breakfast 
to get, and I make it a rule as Judge (new brooms always sweep 
clean, my friends say) to be in my seat by the last stroke of the 
Lour ; nevertheless I ran off to the tree and began to scrutinize 
the branch. After a minute I saw the eggs, two in number, 
exactly over my head, and apparently suspended by only a ie^ 
cross threads. I got a high pair of steps, and mounted to the 
nest. It was a tiny network of grass-stems, so slightly put to- 
gether that, as just mentioned, the eggs were clearly visible 
from below. How eggs could be hatched in such a situation I 
am at a loss to understand. The slightest storm (and we have had 
several such lately) would, I should fancy, have flung the eggs 
far away; but there they were, fresh and unsullied. They were 
considerably smaller than those of our other common Doves [Tur- 
tur suratensis, T. camhayensis, or T. risorius), and distinguishable 
from the eggs of these species by a very faint creamy tinge, 
scarcely noticeable, except by contrast with those of the others. 
Taken alone, you would say they w^erepure white; placed beside 
the others, you would instantly notice in them a very faint ivory- 
like tint altogether wanting in the rest. These eggs measured 
1 inch in length by '75 and -812 in. in breadth. Thus, after a 
four hours^ journey round our gardens, my companion and I 

c 2 

20 Capt. Elwes on the Bird-Stations 

returned well pleased with our excursion, and with 126 eggs 
belonging to 13 different species, some of them treasures in 
their way. 

How the time flies ! The great bankers^ cases, double cross- 
actions, with heaven only knows how many reserved pleas, have 
come and gone, and the worthy gentlemen have, to the intense 
disgust of their respective counsel and attorneys, been induced 
by " the presence " (your humble servant) to cease fighting 
about and spending their substance on nothing, and have 
mutually made all the little concessions necessary, and signed a 
full and complete quittance and release so thoroughgoing and 
simple that I will trouble the sharpest of our attorneys to get 
up any new case out of the old material ; and I, after twelve 
hours on the bench, have sat far into the night, growing less and 
less tired every hour, scribbling this story of our morning^s birds'- 
nesting, hoping that, perhaps, some desk-tied ornithologist like 
myself, " seeing, may take heart again." 

II. — The Bird- Stations of the Outer Hebrides. By Henry John 
Elwes, Lieut, and Capt. Scots Fusilier Guards, F.Z.S. 

I BELIEVE that no part of Great Britain is so interesting, and 
at the same time so little known to ornithologists in general, as 
the Outer Hebrides, or the " Long Island," as they are called ; 
for with the exception of the late John Macgillivray, who spent 
the summer of 1840 there*, and of the late Sir William 
Milner, who visited St. Kilda and Harris in 1847 1, no one, so 
far as I know, has, within the present century, published any 
notice of the birds of those most interesting islands. 

Mr. Robert Gray, of Glasgow, however, has for several years 
been accumulating notes and observations on the ornithology 
of the West Highlands, and, it is to be hoped, will shortly 
publish a work which cannot fail to be highly valued by all 
who take an interest in the natural history of our own country. 

* " Notes on the Zoology of the Outer Hebrides. By John Macgillm-ay." 
Ann. & Mag. Nat. Hist. viii. pp. 7-16. 

t " Some Accovmt of the People of St. Kilda, and of the Birds of the 
Outer Hebrides. By W. M. E. Mihier," Zoologist, pp. 2054-2062. 

of the Outer Hebrides. 21 

The late Professor William Macgillivray, though he resided 
some time in Harris, where he, ia his younger days, was parish 
schoolmaster, does not seem to have made so good a use of his 
opportunities as might have been expected ; for he does not men- 
tion some of the most interesting birds which are found there, 
and, though living for some years in sight of St. Kilda, never paid 
a visit to that extraordinary island. This apparent negligence on 
the part of our countrymen may be accounted for by the unusual 
difficulty of travelling among these islands ; whilst St. Kilda, 
though not more than a hundred and twenty miles from the 
mainland of Scotland, is surrounded by such a stormy and 
dangerous sea, that it is very rarely visited, except by a smack 
which goes annually from Skye to bring away the produce of 
the island. I was very anxious to investigate some of John 
Macgillivray^s statements with regard to the birds of the He- 
brides, as, though they have been generally received without 
doubt, I could not help thinking that he must have been mis- 
taken in one or two points. 

First, as to the breeding of the Pink-footed Goose, which he 
stated to be of common occurrence on the small islands in the 
Sound of Harris. To mistake one species of Wild Goose for 
another is not so difficult, as is shown by the fact that even so 
good an ornithologist as Selby had previously been in error on 
this subject, having supposed the Goose he found breeding in 
Sutherland to be the Bean-Goose; and William Macgillivray 
had also called the Goose of Harris the Bean-Goose*. 

When John Macgillivray wrote his paper, he was not more 
than one-and-twenty years of age, and no doubt was but im- 
perfectly acquainted with the distinctions between the different 
species of grey Geese. Now, as Anser hrachyrhynchus had only 
been recognized by British ornithologists as a new species a 
short time before t, he may very easily have fallen into error 

* Cf. Iljis, 1865, p. 441. 

t The distinctness of this species was first established by Baillon, in 
1833 (Mem. Soc. d'emulat. AbbeviUe, p. 74). Six years afterwards Mr. Bart- 
lett described it as new, under the name of A. phoenicopiis (P. Z. S. 1839, 
p. 3) ; but later in the same year Baillon (P. Z. S. 1839, p. 124) identified 
the bird described by IVIr. Bartlett with his own. Yarrell soon after in- 
cluded it in his work (Br. B. iii. p. 64, part xxvii. November 1841). 

32 Capt. Elwes on the Bird-Stations 

about it^ more particularly as he does not say that he obtained 
specimens of the bird. 

I think that there can be little doubt that the only Goose 
which breeds in any part of Scotland is the Greylag {Anser 
erus), which is found in many parts of Sutherland, Rosshire, 
and even so far south as Jura, though in winter it is not so 
common as the Bean and White-fronted Goose. I saw a con- 
siderable number of wild Geese during the past summer in dif- 
ferent parts of the " Long Island/^ and have not the least doubt 
that they were all Anser f erus, as the light bluish-grey shoulders 
form such a conspicuous mark that I do not think any one 
who knew it could mistake an adult bird. 

The best evidence, however, in favour of this is that of a 
gentleman, Mr. J. Macdonald of Scolpig, who has resided all 
his life in these islands, where it is a common custom to rear 
Geese from eggs laid by wild birds. He assures me that none 
of these eggs have ever produced any but pure Greylags, with 
the nail of the bill white. 

The greater number of the Geese I saw were not breeding, 
and remained in pairs or flocks all May, when I saw as many 
as thirty together. These could not have been all Ganders, as 
the male Goose remains near his mate when sitting, and helps 
her to bring up the young ones, which are all hatched by the 
end of May. When the young brood is pursued by a boat, the 
mother sinks her body very low in the water, and swims away 
with the Goslings, whilst the Gander flies round with loud 

The Goosander [Mergus castor) is another bird which was 
stated by John Macgillivray to breed in the Long Island ; but 
I have no doubt whatever that he was mistaken in this case 
also, and was probably led into the error by the different stages 
of plumage of the Merganser {Mergus serrator), which is very 
common all over the West Highlands. I took the greatest 
pains to discover the Goosander, and explored in a canoe, which 
I took on purpose, every loch and arm of the sea where it was 
likely to be found, examining with a telescope every bird about 
which I had any doubt ; and as I remained two months in the 
" Long Island," I hardly think the species could have escaped 
my observation if it had been there. 

of the Outer Hebrides. 23 

I have been several times shown eggs said to be those of the 
Goosander ; but they never had that creamy whiteness which its 
eggs from Scandinavia always have ; and I never saw a speci- 
men of the bird killed in the Hebrides, though no doubt they 
occur sometimes in winter. 

There are several rocks and islets on the north and west 
coast of Scotland which are interesting to the naturalist on 
account of the myriads of sea-fowl by which they are fre- 
quented ; and as they are almost unknown, except to the fisher- 
men of the neighbouring coasts, it will be as well to mention 

First are two rocks lying about forty miles west of Strom- 
ness in Orkney, which are marked in the maps as Stack Island 
and Sule Island, but called by the Orkney men the Stack and 
Skerry. The Stack is a high rock four miles south-west of the 
Skerry, and is the breeding-place of a large colony of Gannets 
[Sula bassand). It is sometimes confounded with another Sule- 
skerry, sixty miles west of it, which I shall presently describe. 
The Stack and Skerry are very seldom visited, owing to their 
distance and the difficulty of landing. Besides the Gannets, 
there are great numbers of the common rock-birds ; and on the 
Skerry, seals are very numerous in calm weather. 

Rona is an island about three-quarters of a mile long, lying 
sixty miles north-north-east of the Butt of Lewis, and is now 
uninhabited, though it was tenanted in former days by five or 
six families, whose existence must have been far more wretched 
and lonely than that of the St. Kildians. It is surrounded by 
cliffs about three hundi-ed feet high, and is pastured by two 
hundred sheep belonging to a farm in Lewis. I was unable to 
visit this isle, as no boatmen could be persuaded to risk the 
danger of the voyage except for a larger sum than I was dis- 
posed to give. I do not think any birds would be found there 
except the common sorts, as I inquired particularly about them 
from the inhabitants of Ness, who go there every year to fleece 
the sheep. 

Ten miles west of Bona is Suleskeir, which is erroneously 
named in most maps North Barra ; and on this rock it has been 
conjectured that the Great Auk might formerly have bred. I 

24 Capt. Elwes on the Bird-Stations 

think, however, that if it had done so, it would have been men- 
tioned by Martin or Sir George Mackenzie, of Tarbat, who gave 
an account of Rona and Hirta to Sir E. Sibbald, and was, as 
well as Martin, acquainted with the Great Auk, 

Donald Monro, High Dean of the Isles, who wrote a ' De- 
scription of the Hybrides ' in 1594, gives an account of Sule- 
skeir, in which is the earliest mention of the Eider-Duck in 
Great Britain that I know of. He says, " Be sexteen myle of 
the sea to this ile [Ronay], towards the west, lyes ane ile callit 
Suilskeray, ane myle lang, without grasse or hedder, with highe 
blacke craigs, and blacke fouge thereupon part of them. This 
ile is full of wylde foulis, and quhen foulis hes ther birdes, men 
out of the parochin of Nesse in Lewis use to sail ther, and to stay 
ther seven or aught dayes, and to fetch hame with them ther 
boitt full of dray wyld foulis, with wyld foulis fedders. In this 
ile ther haunts ane kind of foule callit the colk'^, little lesse nor 
a guise, quha comes in the ver to the land to lay hir eggis, and 
to clecke hir birdes quhill she bringe them to perfytness, and at 
that time hir fleiche of fedderis falleth of her all hailly, and she 
sayles to the mayne sea again, and comes never to laud quhill 
the zier end againe, and then she comes with hir new fleiche of 
fedderis. This fleiche that she leaves zierly upon hir nest hes 
nae pens in the fedderis, nor nae kind of hard thinge in them 
that may be felt or graipit, hot utter fyne downes.^^f 

This rock is still visited annually by a boat from Ness, which 
goes in September, for the sake of the down and feathers of the 
young Gannets, at that time nearly ready to fly. Several thou- 
sands are usually killed, and are considered very good eating, 
as they are extremely fat and as large as the old ones. 

The Shiant Isles are a small group lying in the Minch, about 
six miles from the coast of Lewis. They are frequented in 
summer by immense numbers of sea-birds, especially Puffins 
{Fratercula arctica) and Kittiwakes [Rissa tridactijla), with 
which two species the sea was covered for more than a mile 
when I passed the islands in the beginning of July. There is 

* " Colk" is tlie Gaelic name now used in Lewis and Harris for the 

t 'Miscellanea Scotica.' Glasgow: 1818, vol. ii. p. 153, 12mo. 

of the Outer Hebrides. 25 

a celebrated eyrie of the White-tailed Eagle {Haliaetus albicilla) 
here, which has been used from time immemorial, and is men- 
tioned by Martin, who wrote nearly two hundred years ago. I 
think it is as perfectly inaccessible as any nest can be, owing to 
the way in which the rock overhangs, and, if the birds are not 
destroyed, wall remain in use for centuries. 

The Flannan Isles are a group of six * small islets, about 
twenty miles w^est of Uig in Lew^is, and form another favourite 
resort of sea-birds in the breeding-season, especially Puffins 
and Eiders. The Gannet, however, does not breed here, as is 
stated in some works. 

Haskeir is a small rock about twelve miles west of North 
Uistj and on it I found a large colony of Sterna arctica breed- 
ing, though at a considerable distance from their feeding- 
grounds. One of the smaller rocks near it is the resort of all 
the Cormorants for many miles, which are probably attracted 
by the solitude of the place. I found that many of their nests 
contained fresh eggs in July, though no one had landed there 
for some months ; and as there were many young ones nearly 
fledged, I presume they occasionally rear two broods. Haskeir 
is the principal resort of the great seals [Halichcerus griseus), 
which breed there in October and November, and were formerly 
killed with clubs, every year, as they lay on the rock with their 
young ones. This wholesale slaughter, to which the men of 
Uist looked forward with great eagerness, has now been stopped 
by the proprietor of that island, Sir John Orde, as the seals 
were in danger of being totally exterminated, and it is almost 
the only place where the species breeds. I noticed here that 
none of the nests of Sterna arctica contained more than two 
eggs, which was also the case in other places I visited, while 
Sterna fluviatilis, which is also common in the Hebrides, usually 
lays three eggs. 

South of Haskeir there is no great breeding-place for sea- 
birds, except the Isles of Barra, which are at the exti'cme south 
of the Outer Hebrides. Mingalay and Berneray, which are the 
two best w^oi'th seeing, surpass by far any place in Great Britain, 

* Though another name for this chister of rocks is the " Seveti Hunters," 
there are only six considerable ones. 

26 Capt. Elvves on the Bird- Stations 

except St. Kilda^ both in the magnificence of their rock scenery, 
and in the number of birds by which they are inhabited. 

In Berneray (or Barra Head, as it is generally called, to dis- 
tinguish it from the numerous other islands of the same name) 
I had the good fortune to stay for four days in the height of 
the breeding-season ; and as the only account of the place ever 
published, so far as I know, is a short notice of it by Professor 
Magillivray (Br. B. v. p. 351), a few more words about it may 
perhaps be interesting. 

The cliffs which form the south coast of the island culminate 
in a point at the south-west, on the extreme edge of which is 
built the lighthouse, at an elevation of nearly seven hundred feet. 
On both sides of the lighthouse is a deep chasm, reaching down 
to the sea ; and the whole of these rocks, for more than a mile, 
are as thickly crowded with sea-birds as they can well be. 

It was the grandest sight I ever experienced, to look out of 
the window of the lighthouse on a very stormy day and see 
oneself hanging, as it were, over the ocean, surrounded on three 
sides by a fearful chasm, in which the air was so thickly crowded 
with birds as to produce the appearance of a heavy snowstorm ; 
whilst the cries of these myriads, mingled with the roar of the 
ocean and the howling of the tremendous gusts of wind coming 
up from below as if forced through a blast-pipe, made it almost 
impossible to hear a person speak. 

The most abundant species were the Puffin, Razorbill, Guille- 
mot, and Kittiwake, which I have named in the order iu which 
they tenanted the rocks, the Puffins making their burrows from 
the top to about halfway down, whilst the Guillemots and 
Kittiwakes crowded on ledges almost within reach of the spray. 
There are only three families on Berneray besides the light- 
house-keepers ; and though they do not look on birds with the 
same interest as the St.-Kildians do, yet they kill a great number 
as food for themselves and the crews of the boats which come 
from Islay to fish for cod and ling. 

Their favourite method of fowling is quite different from that 
pursued anywhere else, and is highly successful, as I have 
known a man get six hundred sea-birds in six or eight hours. 
On a very windy day he climbs about halfway down the cliff, 

of the Outer Hebrides. 27 

and seats himself fii-mly on a projecting point of rock, armed 
with a pole resting, end downwards, across the thigh. As 
the birds fly backwards and forwards they are driven by the 
wind within a few feet of his seat, and are knocked off their 
balance by an upward blow of the pole. When this is properly 
done the neck is broken, and the birds fall, with the force of 
the wind, almost into the fowler's lap ; but they often recover 
themselves and fly away. Razorbills and Puffins form the great 
proportion of the bag ; but there are also a few Guillemots killed 
in this way, though they do not come so close as the others, 
and the Kittiwakes keep far below. I sat several times with a 
man who was killing birds in this way, and counted, as well as 
possible, the number of Ringed Guillemots which passed by. I 
found that they were in the proportion of about one to ten or 
twelve, which agrees with the observations of others on Ilanda 
Island and Ailsa Craig. I took several eggs, on which I actu- 
ally saw a Ringed bird sitting, and found they vary as much as 
the others, though more were marked with streaks than with 
blotches. I found considerable difference in the size of the 
Puffins here, one of the largest of which had a beak so big that 
at first it made me almost doubt whether Fratercula glacialis could 
be a good species, more especially when I found it was fully as 
large as a specimen from Grimsey Island, near Iceland, kindly 
lent me by Mr. Tristram. All my doubts, however, were dis- 
pelled when I saw two specimens brought back from Spitsbergen 
by a brother- officer this summer, which were at least a fourth 
larger than either of the others. 

One day I crossed over the Sound to Mingalay, where a land- 
ing is by no means easy, owing to the tremendous sea which 
rises in the narrow channel separating the two islands. To give 
some idea of the height to which the waves rise in winter, I 
may say that a green sea lately came right over an island in the 
Sound, which looked as if it must be nearly one hundred feet 
high, washing away all the sheep on it, though they had hither- 
to been considered perfectly safe. On the west side of Minga- 
lay the cliffs are even more stupendous than at Barra Head, 
rising in one place to over eight hundred feet, and are so 
smooth and perpendicular that even the Kittiwakes could hardly 

28 Capt. Elwes on the Bird-Stations 

find a resting-place. The same birds are found here as in 
Berneray, with the addition of the Stormy and Fork-tailed 
Petrels {Procellaria pelagica and P. leachi), a few of which breed 
in holes and cracks in the dry peat on the top of the cliffs. I 
did not find any eggs, but have no doubt that they do breed, 
as the natives distinguished the latter species by its forked tail, 
calling it " Gobhlan-goidhe," which expresses that peculiarity 
in Gaelic, and is used for the Swallow in some parts of the 
Highlands. We found the names of birds here, as at St. Kilda, 
very different from those used in other islands, and, on re- 
turning to the village of Mingalay, took them down from an 
old man, who had in his day been one of the best fowlers in 
the island. The Razorbill is called " Dubheanach,^' the Guil- 
lemot " Langaidh,^^ the old Kittiwake " Crahoileag/' and the 
young one (which is a favorite dish) is called " Seaigire/^ the 
Stormy Petrel is called "Amhlaig,^' and the Manx Shearwater 
" Scraib." This bird was formerly very common, and the 
young ones, which were called " Fachach,^' were so highly 
esteemed that a barrel of them formed part of the rent paid by 
each crofter in Mingalay to the Macneills of Barra. About a 
hundred years ago, however, the Puffins, which before were not 
numerous, began to increase very much, and drove the Shear- 
waters from the holes which they occupied in the cliffs; and 
now they have completely supplanted them, so that only a few 
pairs of Shearwaters are left in the island of Pabbay, which is 
next to Mingalay. The Shearwater seems to be on the decrease 
in most of its other breeding-places, though I have never heard 
any reason assigned for the circumstance. We found a few pairs 
of Black Guillemots breeding in the low caves and rocks of Min- 
galay and Berneray; but the eggs are difficult to get at. So far 
as I have seen, they are always two in number, and are placed 
in deep cracks and holes, but never in high cliffs, like those of 
the allied species. 

To pay a visit to St. Kilda (or Hirta, as it is called by the 
natives) was one of the principal objects of my tour this sum- 
mer, as this extraordinary isle, which is more celebrated for its 
birds than any other place in Great Britain, had not been visited 
by any naturalist for twenty years, and, indeed, is as little 

of the Outer Hebrides. 29 

known to most people as if it were an island in the Pacific, 
instead of a part of our own country. 

It is not the distance which makes St. Kilda so difficult of 
access (it is not more, as I have already said, than sixty miles 
from Harris) ; but the want of a good anchorage, and the never- 
ceasing swell which beats on its precipitous shore, even in the 
calmest weather, form such serious impediments to effecting a 
landing, that, in many seasons, it would be impossible to get 
there before the middle or end of June. 

An intending visitor to St. Kilda must take his choice of two 
evils : — either to go in a small boat, which, on his arrival, can be 
hauled up on the rocks, though most people would hardly ven- 
ture three-score miles into the Atlantic in such a craft; or to go 
in a larger vessel, which can lie in the bay at anchor so long as 
the wind is light, but would be obliged to put to sea immediately 
if the weather became bad, as the anchorage is very exposed and 
dangerous. I had made arrangements for a smack to take me 
there; but the spring and summer of 1868 were so unusually 
stormy that I should have failed in the expedition if it had not 
been for the kindness of Capt. Bell, of H.M.S. 'Harpy,' a 
paddle-steamer, which was going to see how the St.-Kildians 
were faring, since they had been cut off from communication 
with the other islands for nearly nine months. 

About one o'clock, a.m., on the 22nd of May, the 'Harpy* 
got under way from the Sound of Taransay, and, passing the 
Islet of Gasgeir, which is frequented by numbers of the Great 
Seal, arrived about nine pretty close under the cliffs of Boreray, 
which is five miles north of St. Kilda itself. As we pitched over 
the swells which rolled in from the west, long strings of Gannets 
kept constantly passing us on their way to the Minch. They 
have to travel in this way from fifty to a hundred miles every 
day to their feeding-ground, as the herrings do not rise near 
the surface of the water until they get inside the " Long Island.'' 
Much of the seaweed they use in their nests is also brought in 
the same manner, as the rocks of Boreray do not afford suf- 
ficient for such multitudes of birds as breed there*. 

* The insufficiency of material induces the Gannets to phmder each 
other, and Martin quaintly describes an instance he witnessed : — " One of 

30 Capt. Elwes on the Bird-Stations 

The Gannets do not breed on the Island of St. Kilda at all, 
but only on Boreray and the adjacent rocks, called Stack-an-Ar- 
min and Stack-Lii. These are two almost perpendicular stacks, 
of great height, with flattish tops, which are so crowded with 
Gannets that at a distance they look as if covered with snow. 
The ascent of these rocks would be impossible to any one but 
a St.-Kildian ; and even to him it is a matter of great difficulty, 
and can only be effected in the calmest weather. Then a boat is 
rowed as near as they dare go, and the most active man, jumping 
out with a rope, scrambles up a short distance and makes it fast 
to an iron hook, which was fixed in the rock by some of the 
ancient inhabitants, and without which it would now be impos- 
sible to ascend. Four or five of the best climbers then help 
each other up to the top, where they kill as many of the young 
Gannets as are required, and throw them into the sea. This 
generally takes place in September, when the young are very 
fat, and heavier than the old birds. They are called " Guga^^ 
by the natives, whilst the old ones have the same name (Sulair) 
as is used elsewhere, and expresses their extremely sharp sight*. 

We were unable to land on Boreray, owing to the tremendous 
swell, and were obliged to content ourselves with a view of its 
immense crags from below. It is nearly as high as St. Kilda, 
being 1072 feet, and is even more precipitous, as there is hardly 
a level spot on it. 

Until we actually entered the Bay of St. Kilda, very few 
birds, except Gannets and Gulls, were seen ; and I should not 
have known that the Fulmars were there, until I came to the 

them finding his Neighbom''s Nest without the Fowl, lays hold on the 
Opportunity, and steals from it as much Grass as he could conveniently 
carry off", taking his flight towards the Ocean ; from thence he presently 
returns, as if he made a foreign Purchase, but it does not pass for such. 
For the Owner had discovered the Fact, before the Thief had got out of 
sight, and too nimble for his Cimning, waits his Return, all armed with 
Fury, and engages him desperately ; this bloody Battle was fought above 
our Pleads, and proved fatal to the Thief, who fell dead so near our Boat, 
that our Men took him up, and presently dressed and eat him ; which they 
reckoned as an Omen of good success in the Voyage." — Voi/. to St. 
Kilda, p. 8. 

* Cf. Ibis, 1866, pp. 13, 14. 

vf the Outer Hebrides. 31 

cliffs where they breed, as they move aoout very little by day, 
being very nocturnal in their habits, like the other Petrels. 
They are very seldom seen on the coasts of the " Long Island," 
except after severe gales, or on dark foggy days, when they 
wander further away. 

Soon after we entered the bay the people began to appear; 
and some of the men came off to the steamer in a large, clumsy 
boat, the only one, however, they have in which to go to the 
adjacent isles. Some years ago Capt. Otter, R.N., who was 
employed for many years in surveying the district, got them a 
large and well-found boat, hoping thereby to encourage deep- 
sea fishing, which is totally neglected on account of the bad 
weather which so often prevails. This boat, unfortunately, in 
attempting to cross to Harris, was lost on some rocks called the 
Glorigs of Taransay, and all her crew, including seven or eight 
of the best men in the island, were drowned. This sad accident, 
together with the casualties which take place every now^ and then 
from the carelessness of the climbers, has very much reduced 
the able-bodied population of the island ; and there are not more 
than twenty men now who can pursue their occupations on the 
rocks. The population at present is about seventy, and is not 
increasing, as many of the children die of a disease which ap- 
pears to be almost peculiar to the place, and commonly carries 
them off between the fifth and eighth days. 

The men were all stout and hardy, well dressed in homespun 
cloth ; and the younger ones w^ere pleasant, merry fellows, and 
good companions during my stay, though none of them could 
speak a word of English. 

On landing we were met by the minister, Mr. Mackay, who 
appeared very glad to see any one, as may well be imagined. 
Strange to say, he did not seem to take any interest in, or to 
know much about the birds, though he has been two years 
among people whose thoughts are more occupied by birds than 
anything else, and who depend principally on them for their 
living. I showed a picture of the Great Auk, which Mr. J. H. 
Gurney, jun., had kindly sent me, to the people, some of the 
oldest of whom appeared to recognize it, and said that it had 
not been seen for many years; but they were so excited by the 

32 Capt. Elwes on the Bird- Stations 

arrival of strangers, that it was impossible to get them to say 
more about it ; and though Mr. Mackay promised to take down 
any stories or information about the bird that he could collect, 
when they had leisure to think about it, he has not as yet sent 
me any. I do not think, however, that more than two or three 
examples are at all likely to have been seen in the last forty 
years, as Mr. Atkinson, of Newcastle, who went there in 1831, 
does not say a word about it in his paper*, beyond mentioning 
the name, and neither John Macgillivray, who visited the place 
in 1840, nor Sir W. Milner, says that any specimens had been 
recently procured. I believe that Bullock was also there about 
1818; and as he had not long before met with the species in 
Orkney, there is little doubt he would have mentioned it to 
somebody if he had heard of any having been recently procured 
at St. Kilda. 

I made every inquiry about this bird on the north and west 
coasts of Lewis, and showed pictures of it to the fishermen ; but 
all agreed that nothing of the sort had ever been seen since they 
could remember. Indeed the only specimen of which we know 
for certain that has been seen in the present century is the one 
that Dr. Fleming had in 18.21, which was captured alive by Mr. 
Maclellau, of Scalpa, somewhere off St. Kilda. 

The first thing which strikes one on entering the houses here 
is the strong smell of Fulmar which pervades everything ; though 
much of the filth which formerly filled them is now cleared out, 
yet they are by no means pleasant to one who is not accustomed 
to the smell. 

Soon after landing, I started off with some of the best crags- 
men to the cliffs at the north side of the island, which form the 
principal breeding-places of the Fulmar. On reaching the top 
of Conachan, which is the highest hill in the island, we came 
quite suddenly on a precipice which, according to the measure- 
ment of Capt. Otter, is no less than 1220 feet high. The whole 
of this immense face of rock was so crowded with birds, of which 
Fulmars and Puffins made up the greater number, that the sea 
was seen far below as if through a heavy snow-storm ; indeed 
the birds which were flying in front of the cliff almost obscured 
the view for a little distance. All the ledges near the top were 
* Trans. Nat. Hist. Soc. Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1832. 

uf the Outer Hebrides. 33 

covei'ed with short turf full of holes, in which the Fulmars were 
sitting on their eggs, with the head and part of the body exposed 
outside. In some cases they were quite concealed ; but generally 
the soil was too thin for them to make more than a slight ex- 
cavation. Thousands of Fulmars were flying backwards and 
forwards, with a soft owl-like flight ; and though the air was full 
of them, hardly one ever came over the top of the cliff". 

After having admired the scene for some time, I prepared to 
descend — an undertaking which, though dangerous from the 
looseness of the rock, was by no means so difficult as in some 
places which I had previously attempted. The usual way in 
which the ropes are managed is this : one is fastened under the 
arms, and paid out by the man above as the climber descends ; 
and another is held or fastened to a stake above, and thrown 
over the cliff", so that the man who is descending can use it to 
take his weight off" the other rope. In this way two men can 
help each other so as to get almost anywhere. The natives, 
from constant practice, have wonderful judgment in selecting 
the easiest places ; and if tiiey were always careful, an accident 
would be of rare occurrence : but the younger men are too fond 
of casting off the rope and trusting to their own skill ; in this 
way three lives have been lost in the last few years. It also 
often happens that stones become dislodged and fall on the head 
of the climber, who may be unable to avoid them ; and in this 
way I had a very narrow escape while descending the cliff"s on 
the south side of the island on another occasion. 

On arriving at the first ledge, where the Fulmars were, I 
had no difficulty in collecting the eggs, which were laid in small 
holes amongst the stones, or in the turf, on a few bits of 
grass or stems of the sea-pink, which, however, were so slight 
as hardly to keep the egg from the bare ground. The birds 
were very tame, and sometimes allowed themselves to be caught 
with the hand. The eggs were quite fresh ; and all that I took 
on this part of the cliff were distinctly marked with reddish- 
brown dots and freckles, which did not appear to have been 
produced by any foreign substance, as the shell was otherwise 
clean, I cannot account for these marks in any way, as all the 
eggs from other places were spotless. 

N. S. VOL. V. D 

34 Capt. Elwes on the Bird-Stations 

After I had collected a few, I came up and got one of the 
natives to go down to show us his way of catching birds. He 
took a rod about ten feet long, with a horsehair noose at the end, 
and slipped this cleverly over the heads of the Fulmars, whose 
necks he then broke and tied them in bunches of five to the end 
of the rope. I asked him why he killed so many, as 1 only 
wanted a few ; and he said that if the egg was taken it was 
best to catch the bird also, as she would lay no more that year. 

The Fulmar when caught vomits from its mouth (and not 
from its nostrils, as is usually stated) nearly a wine-glassful of 
clear yellow oil, with minute green particles floating in it. This 
oil has a very strong smell, and when kept becomes of a dark 
red colour, like raspberry vinegar. The St.-Kildians collect a 
large quantity of this oil, by making the birds vomit it into the 
dried gullets of Solan Geese, which are hung on strings when 
full ; and a good deal of grease is also obtained by boiling down 
the young Fulmars, which are one mass of fat. 

All the Fulmars I caught on the nest were females ; and I re- 
marked that the eye is not yellow, as is generally stated in 
books, but black, or dark bi'own. The stomach is filled with an 
oily fluid, in which are the horny mandibles of some Cuttle-fish, 
and a greenish substance, which I believe is sorrel, as that plant 
grows in great abundance on the rocks, and, the people say, is 
probably taken by the birds to correct the oiliness of their diet. 
The feathers of the breast are unusually thick and close j and 
there was a bare hollow place on the stomach, of the same size 
and shape as the egg. 

After remaining a time to admire the view, which alone would 
fully repay one for the journey to St. Kilda, I returned to the 
village laden with the spoils. The whole island is covered with 
little stone hovels, which are built partly as a protection for 
the sheep during the gales, and partly to dry the turf, which 
is used for burning, as there is no real peat in the island. 
The sheep are of a peculiar sort, not unlike those which were 
kept by the crofters in most of the Hebrides before the intro- 
duction of the improved breeds, and have very fine wool, which 
is sometimes of a light-brown dun colour. This sort, however, 
is not very common; and the wool is in -great request, as the 

of the Outer Hebrides. 35 

rent is paid principally in wool and feathers. The factor of the 
island, who lives in Skye, comes every year in June, and remains 
until August or September, taking away with him all the spare 
produce of the island ; and as this is the only regular communi- 
cation with the rest of the world, the people depend on him for 
everything which they cannot make themselves. The present 
proprietor, Mr. Macleod, is a very liberal landlord, and the 
condition of the islanders has improved immensely during the 
last thirty years, so that they arc now much better housed and 
fed than most of the Hebridians. 

After visiting a few of the houses, and examining all the ob- 
jects of interest, I returned to the ' Harpy ' to deposit my birds 
and eggs, and found most of the older men collected on board 
begging for tobacco, sugar, and other things, though they did 
not seem very anxious to give us anything in exchange. 

Some of the man-of-war^s men had been collecting eggs on 
shore ; and this excited the indignation of the older men, who 
considered it in the light of stealing their property. After we 
had pacified them with some small presents of tobacco and 
sugar, I showed them the pictures in my ' Yarrell,' among 
others pointing out the Fork-tailed Petrel. This, however, 
they did not seem to distinguish by any peculiar name from 
the Stormy Petrel, which is common enough, and is here called 
" Assilag.^^ The Petrels are too small to be of any use for food, 
and are probably not much seen by the natives, especially as 
they only come out at night ; but the pictures of all the other 
birds which are found here were at once recognized, and the 
Gaelic names given. The Kittiwake, which is by far the most 
common of the Larida, is called "Ruideag;^^ the Guillemot, 
" Lamhaidh " (pronounced " Lavie "), and the PuflSn, "Bougir," 
are also in countless numbers, and, as food, are esteemed next 
to the Fulmar and Gannet. The name " Fulmar,'^ which is 
pronounced here as a word of three syllables, " Ful-a-mair,'' is 
the only case I know of, besides the Ptarmigan and Capercally, 
in which our common English name is taken from the Gaelic. 

The Shearwater [Puffinus anglorum), which is here called 
" Scrapire," is by no means plentiful, and only breeds on Soay, 
where we were unable to land, owing to the high swell ; but as 

D 2 

36 Capt. Elwes un the Outer Hebrides. 

I was anxious to get some of the Petrels, we took the ship^s boat 
and landed on Dun with some of the natives. This island, 
which forms the southern horn of the harbour, is the principal 
preserve of the Puffins, whose burrows cover the whole island, 
like a rabbit-warren. Immense numbers were sitting everywhere, 
flying up as we approached, and settling again behind us. They 
had only just begun laying; but I procured a few eggs, which, 
though quite fresh, were covered with dirt. A few Eiders were 
breeding here, though they are not numerous ; and the down is 
never collected, as the young Gannets afipord an abundant supply. 

I expected to find the Petrels breeding near the top of the 
cliff; but none were at present visible, and I think it must have 
been too early in the year for eggs. There is no doubt, how- 
ever, that the Fork-tailed Petrel does breed here, as 1 have seen 
eggs from St, Kilda, and Sir W. Milner procured the birds, 
though John Macgillivray, like myself, was disappointed in 
finding them. After searching for some time, I looked over a 
cliff and saw, far below me, a broad flat ledge on which hundreds 
of Fulmars were sitting among the stones. I descended with a 
rope we had brought from the ' Harpy,^ as none of those the 
natives had were long enough. Two of the young men followed 
me, coming down hand over hand at a tremendous pace. As 
soon as the Fulmars were disturbed from their eggs, the Black- 
backed Gulls came swooping down, and carried them off in their 
beaks, much to the indignation of my companions, who hate 
the " Farspach " (as they call Larus marinus) with a deadly 
hatred, and practise all sorts of barbarities on them whenever 
they catch them, as they are terrible robbers of eggs. The young 
men seemed determined to have every Fulmar and every egg 
they could get, as they enjoyed the opportunity of harrying the 
rock, which belonged to some one else, and probably laid the 
blame of it on me afterwards. 

All the cliffs here are divided among the inhabitants equally, 
and the boundaries are as carefully observed as if they were 
fields, so that no one can take eggs on the main island except 
from his own rock. Boreray, Soay and the Stacks are con- 
sidered common property, and are harried occasionally by a 
party dispatched in the large boat for that purpose. 

Mr. W. Buller on New-Zealand Birds. 37 

As it was now getting dark, and the wind rising fast, I thought 
it best to lose no time in getting on board again ; for though I 
was very sorry to leave the place without visiting all the islands 
of the group, yet I did not wish to be left there a month or 
more, and the weather looked so threatening that Capt. Bell 
was very unwilling to remain longer. We had much difficulty 
in getting into the boat, owing to the increasing swell, and 
after arriving on board ship were obliged to take leave of the 
people and put to sea without loss of time. Before long it was 
blowing a gale of wind from the south-east, and the weather con- 
tinued so bad for five weeks that no boat could possibly have 
landed ; so I was obliged to content myself with what I had 
already seen, and leave a more thorough examination of the 
group to some future observer. 

III. — On some New Species of New -Zealand Bii^ds. 
By Walter Buller, F.L.S., C.M.Z.S., &c. 


1. Xenicus haasti, sp. nov. 

Upper surface pale olivaceous-brown, darkest on the crown ; 
tinged on the back and on the outer margin of the quills with 
olivaceous-green ; wing-coverts black, forming a conspicuous 
triangular spot; under parts pale fulvous; bill and feet dark 
brown ; irides yellow. 

Length 3'5 in.; wing from flexure 2; tail "75; tarsus 1; 
middle toe and claw 1 ; hind toe and claw 1 ; bill, along the 
ridge '375, along the edge of lower mandible '625. 

In structure this species approaches X. longipes ; but the claw 
of the hind toe is more strongly developed, exceeding the toe in 
length. It is an inhabitant of the Alpine heights of the South 
Island ; and I have named it in honour of its discoverer, 
Dr. Julius Haast, F.R.S., who forwarded me specimens for 

J)r. Hector found it frequenting the stunted vegetation grow- 
ing among the loose mountain debris in the interior of the Otago 
Province; and Mr. Buchanan, the artist to the Geological Sur- 
vey, met with it on the Black Peak, at an elevation of 8000 

38 Mr. W. Buller on some New Species 

feet. There, where the vegetation is reduced to a height of 
only a few inches, it was constantly to be seen, fluttering over 
the loose rocks, or upon the ground, in its assiduous search for 
minute insects and their larvae. Dr. Haast has favoured me 
with the following interesting notes on its habits : — " It lives 
exclusively amongst the large taluses of debris high on the 
mountain-sides. Instead of flying away when frightened, or 
when stones are thrown at it, or even when shot at, it hides 
itself among the angular debris of which these large taluses are 
composed. We tried several times in vain to catch one alive by 
surrounding it and removing these blocks. It reminded me 
strongly of the habits and movements of the lizards which live 
in the same regions and in similar localities.^^ 



Upper parts, sides, and tail dark rufous-brown, brightest on 
the crown and hind neck; the feathers of the shoulders and 
sides centred with black. Quills dusky-black, margined with 
rufous-brown. Streak over the eye, throat, breast, and abdo- 
men pale fawn-colour; sides of the head and ear-coverts 
marked with black, Bill light brown, with the ridge black ; 
feet dark brown. 

Length 7*25 in. ; expanse 7 ; wing from flexure 2"5 ; tail 
4*25 ; tarsus 1 ; middle toe and claw '875 ; hind toe and claw 
•75 ; bill, along the ridge '5, along the edge of the lower man- 
dible -625. 

This species is larger than S. punctatus, more strongly built, 
and of handsomer plumage. The specimen from which the 
description is taken was forwarded to me by Mr. Charles Traill, 
a gentleman greatly devoted to conchology. He obtained it on 
a small rocky isle, a satellite of Chatham Island, during an ex- 
pedition there in pursuit of his favourite science, but was unable 
to give me any information respecting its habits or economy, 
though he stated that he observed it flitting about among the 
grass and stunted vegetation, and succeeded in knockiug it 
over with a stone. 

of New-Zealand Birds. 39 



Upper surface olivaceous-brown j tail and coverts bright 
rufous, with an olivaceous tinge on the two middle rectrices ; 
throat pure white ; breast and abdomen ashy-grey, darkest on 
the former; abdomen and under tail-coverts tinged with yel- 
low ; sides olivaceous-brown, washed with yellow. Bill and 
feet dark brown ; irides yellow. 

Length 11 in.; wing from flexure 5*25 ; tail 5 ; tarsus 1'25 ; 
middle toe and claw 1*25 ; hind toe and claw 1 ; bill, along 
the ridge "875, along the edge of lower mandible, 1. 

I have honoured this fine species with the name of my 
esteemed friend Dr. James Hector, F.R.S., Director of Geolo- 
gical Surveys, who has done much to advance the cause of science 
in New Zealand. 

It dilFers from T. crassirostris, not only in plumage, but iu 
its superior size and more strongly-developed bill. Its notes 
also are far more varied and musical. Its range is confined to 
the North, while T. crassirostris is found only in the South 
Island. They are, in fact, the representatives of each other in 
the two islands, and furnish another example of a remarkable 
law in the local distribution of the birds of New Zealand, many 
of those inhabiting one island being represented by closely- 
allied forms in the other, each, however, being specifically dis- 
tinct. Cook's Straits, a neck of sea only eighteen miles in 
width, completely divides the range of one set of species from 
that of the other. 


4. Platycercus alpinus, sp. nov. 

This Alpine form difi'ers from its near ally, Platycercus 
auriceps, both in size and in the tints of its plumage. Our 
three species of Platycercus present a distinct gradation in size 
and colouring. In P. pacificus the frontal spot, ear-coverts, 
and thigh-spots are deep crimson, while the general plumage 

* [May not this species be identical with tliat described in 1865 by 
Professor Schlegel (Nederl. Tijdschr. voor de Dierk. iii. p. 190) under the 
name of Otngon tanayra ? — Ed.] 

40 Mr. W. Buller on some New Species 

is dark green. In the smaller species, P. auriceps, the frontal 
band is crimson, and the vertex golden, while the general plu- 
mage is a warm yellowish-green. In P. alpinus, which is 
smaller again than the last-named species^ the frontal band is 
orange, and the vertex pale yellow, while there is an absence of 
the yellow element in the plumage, which is of a cold pure 
green, much paler on the under parts. The thigh-spots more- 
over are much smaller than in P. auriceps, and are orpiment- 
orange instead of crimson. On comparing the bills of the two 
species the difference is very manifest, that of P. alpinus being 
fully one-third less than that of P. auriceps. 

Length 8*5 in. ; wing from flexure 4*25 ; tail 4*5 ; tarsus 
•625 ; longest fore toe and claw "875 ; bill, following curvature 
•5, along edge of lower mandible *25. 

Dr. Haast, from whom I received several specimens of this 
bird, met with it in the forests of the Southern Alps, at an ele- 
vation of from 2000 to 2500 feet ; and Mr, Travers sent me 
for examination other examples obtained by him in the high 
wooded country of the Nelson Province. 

5. Nestor occidentalis, sp. nov. 

Upper surface dark olivaceous-brown, tinged with yellow on 
the wing-coverts, each feather margined with dusky-black ; 
feathers of the nape dull red, margined with yellow and black, 
and forming a narrow nuchal collar; uropygium, tail-coverts, 
and abdomen dark arterial-red, the feathers of the latter banded 
with a brighter tint ; ear-coverts pale orpiment-orange ; feathers 
projecting over the lower mandible tinged with red ; throat, ntck, 
and breast dark olivaceous-brown ; lining of wings and axillary 
plumes bright scarlet, obscurely barred with black, and tipped 
with golden-yellow ; quills and tail-feathers russet-brown, the 
former toothed with yellow on their inner vane ; bill and feet 
dark olivaceous- gray. 

Length 16-5 in. ; wing from flexure lOo ; tail 6 ; tarsus 1 ; 
longest fore toe 2*25 ; longest hind toe2'125; bill, following- 
curvature 2*25, along edge of lower mandible 1*5. 

Apart from the difference of plumage, this species is appre- 
ciably smaller than the common one, while the bill is more 
slender and has the upper mandible produced to a tiner point. 

of New-Zealand Birds. 41 

Dr. Hector discovered this bird in the densely wooded country 
on the west coast of the South Island, and he generously gave 
me the only two specimens which his collection contained. 
These differ very slightly in the details of their colouring, and 
there is scarcely any perceptible difference in their size. 


6. Gallinago pusilla, sp. nov. 

Upper surface dark rufous-brown, variegated with irregular 
spots of fulvous and black. These markings are most conspi- 
cuous on the back and scapulars, the feathers on these parts 
being margined outwardly with pale fulvous, and marked with 
a large subterminal spot of black. Under parts fulvous. Sides 
of the head and breast with numerous spots of rufous brown, 
of which there is also an irregular line from the base of the 
upper mandible to the anterior edge of the eyesj sides and 
flanks variegated with crescentic marks of rufous brown. Bill 
greyish brown ; feet pale brown. 

Length 8 inches; expanse 13; wing from flexure 4; tail 
1-5; tarsus '75; middle toe and claw 1-125; hind toe and 
claw '3125; bill, along the ridge 1*75, along the edge of lower 
mandible 1'5. 

The example from which the description is taken was for- 
warded to me by Mr. Charles Traill, with the following note : — 
" Found on a small rocky islet off Chatham Island." 

Fam. ANATID.'E. 

7. Anas gracilis, sp. nov. 

Upper surface dusky-brown, with greenish reflections; the 
feathers of the back and scapulars narrowly margined with ful- 
vous-white; the outer portion of the upper wing-coverts pure 
white, forming a conspicuous bar across the wing ; the secon- 
daries velvety black, narrowly tipped with fulvous, and a spe- 
culum of shining green occupying the outer vane of the three 
middle ones. Crown andnapeblackish-brown, minutely marked 
with fulvous-white ; throat, fore neck, and sides of the head ful- 
vous white, the latter marked with sagittate spots of brown. 

42 On some New Species of New-Zealand Birds. 

Under parts light fulvous-brown, with obscure spots of a darker 
shade, especially on the breast and sides, each feather having a 
broad central mark of blackish-brown. Throat and abdomen 
more or less tinged with bright ferruginous. Bill dark brown ; 
outer portion of the lower mandible yellow. Feet pale brown. 

d Length 17 inches; expanse 25*5 ; wing from flexure 8; 
tail 4; tarsus 1'25; middle toe and claw 1*75 ; bill, along the 
ridge 1"5, along the edge of lower mandible 1'75. 

? Length 15*5 inches; expanse 23"5 ; wing from flexure 
7-5; tail 3-5. 

As will be apparent from the above measurements, the female 
is somewhat smaller than the male. The general tints of the 
plumage are paler ; but in other respects the sexes are precisely 

The form of this Duck is remarkably slender and graceful, the 
contour of the body being almost as elongate as that of a 
Gannet. On dissection I found the skin very tender, and the 
flesh extremely delicate, with fat of a bright yellow colour. 

I obtained my first specimens (male and female) in the Orona 
Stream, near its junction with the Manawatu River, in the Pro- 
vince of Wellington. I observed that on being disturbed from 
the marsh, where they were apparently feeding, they rose high 
in the air, and came down suddenly into the creek with a rapid, 
oblique, and rather awkward flight. On the water they kept 
near to each other, and I killed both at one shot. I afterwards 
saw a pair on the wing, in one of the freshwater lagoons of the 
Upper Manawatu, the white bar being very conspicuous ; and 
more recently I obtained a fresh specimen from Hawke's-Bay 
Province*. The species is evidently rare. 

* P.S. Oct. 3, 18G8. — Referring to this species I have recently received 
the following interesting note from Dr. Haast : — " In a collection of Au- 
stralian skins just arrived from South Australia, and collected by Mr. A. 
Fuller, there is a specimen of your Anas gracilis. I looked at once in 
' Gould,' but could not find any mention of it ; consequently this bird, so 
far as Australia also is concerned, is new to science. I compared the 
skins very carefully, and there is not the slightest difference ; in fact it 
is almost impossible to say which is which. You can state this fact upon 
my authority." 

On Birds obset'ved near Nynee Tal and Ahnorah. 43 

Fam. LARIDiE. 

8. Bruchigavia melanorhyncha, sp. nov. 

Pare white; back and upper surface of wings delicate ash- 
grey. First four primaries white, variegated with black, the 
first primary narrowly margined on its outer and marked dia- 
gonally on its inner vane ; on the next the black increases, and 
forms a broad subterminal bar, which is enlarged on the two 
next, and decx-eases on the two succeeding ones, all being tipped 
with white. The fifth quill, which is ashy, has merely a sub- 
terminal interrupted bar of black. Bill black ; feet blackish- 

Length 14 inches; wing from flexure 11*5; tail 5; tarsus 
1*5 ; middle toe and claw 1*75 ; bill, along the ridge 1*5, along 
the edge of lower mandible 1*75. 

This bird may be readily distinguished from B. scopulina 
by its black bill and dark feet, those parts being blood-red 
in the other — and, on near inspection, by the different cha- 
racter of the markings on the primaries. All my specimens 
were obtained in the South Island. 

Wanganui, New Zealand, 
June 10, 1868. 

IV. — Notes on Birds observed near Nynee Tal and Ahnorah, from 
April to June 1868. By W. E. Brooks, C.E. 

2 *. Otogyps calvus. I frequently noticed this Vulture 
both at Nynee Tal and Almorah. Other Vultures were seen by 
me, but I could not be sure of the species. As far as I could 
determine without shooting them, they were Gijps fulvus, G. 
indicus, and G. hengalensis, the latter being the most numerous. 

6. Neophron percnopterus. Abundant, especially at Al- 
morah ; even at elevations up to 9000 feet the bird is frequently 
seen. I shot one or two which did not in any way differ from 
those of the plains. 

The slight differences between the African bird and the Indian 

* The numbers prefixed to the names of the species noticed correspond 
with those used in Dr. Jerdon's ' Birds of India '. 

44 Mr. W. E. Brooks on Birds observed 

{N. gingiiiianus), pointed out by Mr. Blyth in 'The Ibis' for 1866 
(pp. 233, 234), appear to me hardly sufficient to constitute 
separate species. I believe the difference to be merely the effect 
of climate, for a slight diffei'ence is generally to be observed in 
all birds common to different continents. 

7. Gypaetus barbatus. This fine bird is not uncommon at 
Nynee Tal and Almorah, more numerous at the latter place than 
the former. I never found out where they breed ; for the whole 
country abounds with fine cliffs, and to search for the nest 
would be hopeless work. Though apparently going so easily, 
the speed at which the bird flies is very great, and a distance of 
ten or twelve miles is passed in a few minutes. It has a habit 
of quartering the ground on a hill-side in search of its prey in a 
very systematic manner. The bird goes backwards and forwards, 
two or three miles at a time perhaps, and at each turn it goes 
considerably lower down, till by this means it searches the whole 
hill-side. I have noticed some of the Harriers [Circi) quarter 
their ground in a similar manner. While I was at Almorah a 
rabbit-yard was frequently visited by these birds, and rabbit 
after rabbit carried off. I only procured two specimens of the 
Lsemmergeyer, though I had many shots. These birds appear 
to carry off more shot than even Eagles. 

17. TiNNUNcuLUS ALAUDARius. Tolerably common, I saw 
a young bird taken from a nest near Almorah. The colours of 
the adult male do not appear to be so pure as those of the 
English bird. The grey of the head is darker, I think, and the 
chestnut of the back more dingy. 

20. HiERAx EUTOLMUs. I saw this little Falcon two or 
three times flying swiftly by, but I did not succeed in getting a 
shot at it. 

33. NiSAETUS BONELLii. Frequently seen, but not so com- 
mon as it is in the plains. I saw a pair make a dash into a 
fowl-yard at Almorah, whence the male emerged with a fine 
young fowl in his talons, which he carried to the bottom of a 
small ravine and there began eating it. For a time the female, 
which had followed, contended with him for a share of the spoil, 

near Nynee Tal and Almorah. 45 

but was obliged to retire. Tlie ravine in which the robber was, 
was about 1000 feet below where I was, and I descended to the 
spot gun in hand. Being in the narrow ravine I arrived unper- 
ceived within ten yards of the bird, which looked suddenly up, 
turning upon me his keen angry yellow eye. He stared for 
nearly a minute at me, and then reluctantly flew down the ravine, 
leaving the remains of the fowl. At about forty yards he fell 
dead to my charge, which had done its work too well, cutting 
off the hooked portion of the bill. It was a very white-breasted 
specimen, the black lines being narrower than in any one 
I had previously shot. It was, therefore, not a very old bird, 
as the black markings on the breast of the young buff bird are 
very faint and narrow. This Eagle breeds in the plains in the 
Etawah district, the situation chosen being generally the high 
clay cliffs of the rivers Jumna and Chumbul. Two or three 
times I have known the nest to be built in a large tree. In the 
cliffs the nest was generally about twelve or fourteen feet from 
the top of the cliff, built of sticks and twigs, two or three feet in 
diameter, and lined with a few fresh green leaves, upon which 
the eggs were laid. Whether the green leaves are renewed from 
time to time, or not, I cannot tell. Other Eagles, Haliaetus leu- 
corhyphus and Aquila fulvescens, also place fresh green leaves in 
their nests*. The eggs were usually two in number ; but twice I 
found only one. Two were white, unmarked, but all the others 
sparingly blotched and spotted with light reddish-brown, 
sometimes intermixed with blotches of light reddish-grey. The 
largest egg measures 2'958 in. by 2*167 in., and the smallest 
2*583 in. by 2*041 . I have a pair of eggs out of the same nest — 
one plain white, the other well marked. 

35. LiMNAETus CRisTATELLUS. I shot onc of thesc fine birds 
off the top of a blast-furnace, at the abandoned Ramgurgh iron- 

48. PoLiORNis TEESA. I Only saw one of these birds, which 
I shot between Almorah and Binsur. It appears to be very rare 
in the hills. 

* [The Golden Eagle does so likewise; see ' Ootheca Wolleyana,' pp. 22, 
25, and 38.— Ed.] 

4<6 Mr. W. E. Brooks on Birds observed 

56. MiLvus GoviNDA. Tolerably common both at Nynee 
Tal and Almorah, at both of which places it breeds about two 
months later than it does in the plains. 

73. Ketupu flavipes, I saw one of these birds, which had 
just been caught. 

82. HiRUNDO RUSTiCA. Commou at Almorah, where it 
breeds. I never found the nest ; but I shot a fully fledged young 

84. HiRUNDO RuncEPS. Tolerably common along the rocky 
streams in the valleys, where it breeds. 

85. HiRUNDO DAURiCA. Commou both at Nynee Tal and 
Almorah, also at Binsur, which is twelve miles further north 
than Almorah. The hill-bird is rather larger than that of the 
plains, and the red colour on the upper tail-coverts is much 
lighter in colour, being almost white at the terminal portion of 
the tail-coverts; in other words, the hill-bird answers perfectly 
to the description of H. daurica, and the bird of the plains to 
that of H. erijthropygia. I believe the slight difference to be 
merely the effect of climate; for in voice, habits, and mode of 
breeding, the birds are evidently the same. The nest is always 
shaped like half of a retort, fixed to the underside of an over- 
hanging rock or cave, generally with only one entrance ; but my 
friend Mr. Home has given me an account of one fixed to one 
of the verandah -rafters of a house, where there were two en- 
trances. In the hills I found the nest several tiuies, sometimes 
in open exposed places, at other times where the rocks were 
overgrown with wood. The eggs mostly resemble those I took 
in the plains. In the plains the bird does not breed till the hot 
winds are over, end of June or beginning of July ; but in the 
hills I found eggs nearly hatched in May. Others, at Binsur, 
Mr. Home informs me, have only just laid in the middle of 
July. The hill-bird breeding in the verandahs of houses as 
well as in caves accords with the habit of the Chinese bird, the 
true H. daurica *. A few days since, I observed a pair building 
on the underside of the arch of a bridge, a situation generally 
chosen by H. ruficeps when there is water under the bridge. 

* See Mr. S\Yinlioe's remarks, Ibis, 1868, p. 256. 

near Nynee Tal and Almorah. 47 

Only one bird of this species which I shot had the circular 
light markings on the under surface of the outer tail-feathers. 
If H. senegalensis has not the lower half of the under tail-coverts 
dark-col ouredj as stated by Dr. Bree (B. Eur. ii. p. 176), it may 
be a distinct species. What the peculiarities of H. melanocrissa 
are, I have no means of finding out ; but certainly I should say 
that H. daurica, H. rufula, and H. erythropygia are just one and 
the same bird, a little altered in size and colour by the eflfects of 
climate. I notice that the extent of the chestnut collar varies in 

I noticed a white-rumped Martin at Nynee Tal, which I did 
not procure, also two brown Swifts, the larger of which was, 
perhaps, Acanthylis caudacuta. 

100. Cypselus affinis. Very common, both at Nynee Tal 
and Almorah. The eggs I took at Almorah, about the middle 
of May, are larger and finer than those taken in the plains. 

147. PALiEORNis ALEXANDRi. Tolerably common. 

1 50. Pal^ornis schisticeps. Very numerous at Nynee Tal. 

154, Picus himalayanus. One shot at Nynee Tal, and 
another at Binsur. 

159. Picus brunneifrons. One shot at Binsur. 

161. Hypopicus hyperythrus. One shot at Nynee Tal. 

199. CucuLUS CANORUS. Commou all over the district 
around Almorah, where the country is open. I have one egg, 
taken from a nest of Pratincola indica at Almorah, another 
from a nest of Copsychus saularis. 

212. Coccystes melanoleucus. Seen a few times at Al- 

214. EuDYNAMis ORiENTALis. Commou at Almorah. 

234. Arachnechthra ASiATiCA. Seen occasionally in the 
valleys near Almorah. On the banks of a small river there, 
I found a nest of this bird being built in May. The bird lays 
in March in the plains. 

238. Dictum minimum. Two or three shot at Nynee Tal 
and Binsur. 

48 Mr. W. E. Brooks oii Birds observed 

243. Certhia himalayana. Shot at Nynee Tal and Binsur. 

248. SiTTA HiMALAYENSis. Common at Nynee Tal and 

254. Upupa epops. I frequently saw a Hoopoe at Almoi-ah 
which must have been of this species. 

257. Lanius erythronotus. Common at Almorah, where, 
from the middle to the end of May, I obtained several nests, 
which, with the eggs, resemble those taken in the plains ; but 
the bird appears to be lighter in hue, and the bay colour much 

260. Lanius hardwickii. Frequently met with in the 
lower valleys, where it breeds about the middle of May. Both 
bird and its eggs are slightly larger than those from the plains. 

273. Pericrocotus brevirostris. Seen several times in the 
well-wooded districts, where it was evidently breeding. 

280. DiCRURUs LONGiCAUDATUs. This is the common 
Drongo of the hills, and may be easily distinguished from D. 
macrocercus by its much smaller size, and by having the reflec- 
tions on the upper plumage much greener. The foot of the 
former is about half the size of that of the latter, and the under 
surface of the hill-bird is more of a dark smoke-grey than black. 
The bird of the plains, when mature, is pure black beneath, and 
the white spot at the gape is not always to be seen. 

The nest is usually fixed on the upper surface of a thin hori- 
zontal branch, about fifteen to twenty feet from the ground, at 
its junction with another horizontal branch, the nest being 
partly imbedded in the fork of the two. It is composed of grass 
fibres and roots, and lined with finer grasses and a ie.v^ hairs. It 
is broader and much shallower than that of D. macrocercus. Out- 
side it is covered with spiders' webs and small bits of lichen. 
The eggs, which are laid from the middle to the end of May, 
are four in number, sometimes only three, and measure 1 inch 
by '75 in., but vary much in size, shape, and colour. Some 
are bufi", blotched with light reddish-brown and pale purple- 
grey ; others are lighter buff (almost white, in fact), spotted and 
marked, more sparingly than the first-described, with the same 

near Nynee Tal and Almorah. 49 

two colours, but each of a darker tint ; others are white, marked 
sparingly with spots and blotches of dark purple-brown and 
reddish-brown and intermixed with larger blotches of deep 
purple- grey, the markings principally forming a zone at the 
larger end ; others, again, are pale purplish-white, spotted with 
dark and light purple-brown, intermixed with spots and blotches 
of purple-grey. The shape of the egg varies as much as the 
colouring, some being of a fine oval form, while others are quite 

288. TcHiTREA PARADisi. Common in the valleys about 
Almorah, seldom coming up to the elevation of the town itself. 
I have two mules, shot off the nest, in the chestnut plumage. 
The nest is a neat cup-shaped one, fixed to a thin branch of a 
tree by means of fine grass and spiders' webs. It is composed 
of moss, fibres, and grass, and covered thickly outside with 
spiders' web. The internal diameter of the nest is about two 
inches ; and it is lined with fine grass. The bottom of that 
now described rests on a small twig growing out of the thin 
branch to which it is bound. The eggs are three in number, 
measuring '755 in. by "625 in., bufi^, sparingly spotted with 
reddish-brown and purplish-grey, tending to form a zone at the 
larger end in nearly every instance. They are laid about the 
third week in May. 

295. Cryptolopha cinereocapilla. Numerous at Nynee 
Tal and Almorah in April and beginning of May ; after that 
time scarce, but I saw the bird occasionally near Nynee Tal and 
at Binsur. It was breeding ; but where, I never discovered. I 
once saw the parents feeding their fully grown young. 

301, EuMYiAS MELANOPs. The nest is usually placed in a 
hole in a steep bank-side at a tree-root, or hole in the wall of 
some unfrequented building, under the rafters of the verandah 
of a dwelling-house, or under the eaves of a house-roof. Once 
I found one in a small niche inside a small building (some six feet 
square) which formed a cover over a well. The floor was water 
about three feet deep ; and directly opposite the door was the small 
niche in the wall, about eight inches wide. Here the bird sat on its 
nest in full view of every native who came to draw water. The nest 

N. S. VOL. V. £ 

50 Mr. W. E. Brooks o7i Birds observed 

is composed of moss and fine fibres, and lined with hair. The 
eggs are four in number, measuring "75 in. by "5 in., and in 
colour fleshy-white, clouded and finely mottled with pale reddish- 
brown at the large end, so as to resemble some light-coloured 
varieties of that of the English Redbreast. They are laid from 
the nth to the middle of May. 

310. MuscicAPULA suPERCiLiARis. CommoH at Nynee Tal 
and Binsur where wood was plentiful. The nest I never found, 
but I shot a fully fledged young bird, which was light brown, 
with numerous yellowish-white spots, principally on the upper 
surface. The female is of a plain brown with lighter under parts. 
This bird must breed early ; for on the 3rd or 4th of June I saw 
fully fledged young. From the strict watch it keeps over an in- 
truder, this bird is as difficult to deal with as the common Stone- 

343. Myiophonus temmincki. I saw this bird several 
times, generally in rocky mountain-torrents. Its nest I did not 
discover. The song is pretty and quite Thrush-like. 

352. Oreoc(etes erythrogaster. Several times seen at 
Nynee Tal and Binsur, at both of which places it breeds. Mr. 
Home found a nest at the latter, i)articulars of which I hope he 
will himself give to * The Ibis.' The song of this bird is loud, 
sweet, and varied, hardly inferior to that of Turdus musicus. 

353. Oreoccetes cjnclorhynchus. Common at Almorab, 
and also found in the more wooded districts at Nynee Tal and 
Binsur, though preferring somewhat open places. Its song is 
soft and mellow, but not varied and impassioned like that of the 
last species. Its note of alarm is very Chat-like, reminding one 
strongly of that of the Wheatear. The place for the Stone-Chat, 
I think, should be near the Thrushes. 

On the 26th of May I shot at female of this species at Almo- 
rah, and close to where she fell was a nest in a hole of an old 
retaining wall overgrown with grass. For hours the place was 
watched, but no bird came near the partly incubated eggs. Her 
breast was bare, as if she had been sitting on eggs. The male 
I had also shot shortly before the female. The nest was very 

near Nynee Tal and Almorah. 51 

Thrush-like in form, and was placed in just such a situation 
as would have been chosen b}' a Ring-Ouzel. It was composed 
of fine twigs, roots, and coarse grass, and lined with finer grass. 
The eggs were four in number, "916 in. by "625 in., of a 
pale bufi" or salmon-colour, finely mottled, principally at the 
larger end, with very pale reddish-brown. Though they are 
not Thrush-like in colouring, being more like those of a Red- 
breast, I cannot believe that they belong to any other bird *. 

356. Geocichla unicolor. I shot two birds at Nynee Ta' 
which must be of this species; but the bird is no "Ground-" 
Thrush, but a true Turdus, more closely allied to T. iliacus than 
to any other species, and should stand as T. unicolor. .The song 
is a hurried one, delivered from the top branch of a tree, and 
somewhat resembles that of the English Missel-Thrush, not 
having much variety, and being often repeated. It is a restless 
bird, constantly flying from one tree to another during its song, 
and is shy and difficult of approach. One of my specimens is 
without spots, the other has a few faint brown ones on the upper 
part of the bfcast. They were breeding. 

361. Merula boulboul. Tolerably numerous at Nynee 
Tal and Binsur and all well-wooded districts. I never found 
the nest myself; but Mr. Home did at Bheem Tal and Nynee 
Tal. He tells me it was placed sometimes on a rock-side, Ring- 
Ouzel fashion, and sometimes in a low tree, composed principally 
of moss and lined with grass. Eggs four in number, 1*166 in. 
by 'SBS in. Ground-colour greenish-white, blotched and spotted 
with reddish-brown, veiy closely resembling those of T. torquatus 
of England. This bird breeds in April and May. I shot full- 
sized young in June at Binsur. 

405. PoMATORHiNUs ERYTHROGENYS. I saw this scvcral 
times in thin jungle near Almorah, and shot one. 

411. Garrulax albogularis. Tolerably common at Nynee 

415. Trochalopterum erythrocephalum. Common both 
at Nynee Tal and Binsur. By imitating the call-note, which is 

* IC'f. Ibis, 18G(J, p. .•374.— Ed.] 

E 2 

53 Mr. W.E. Brooks on Birds observed 

a sort of whistle, I have had a dozen of these birds within shot 
of me at a time. Mr. Home found the nest at Binsur, but the 
particulars I have not received. 

425. Trochalopterum lineatum. Common everywhere. 
The nest was generally placed in a low tree or bush, where the 
foliage was thick, and was composed of grass, and lined with 
finer grass. The eggs are three in number, 1*083 in. by "75 in,, 
of a light greenish-blue, the tint being the same of those of 
Acridotheres tristis. They are laid in the first half of May. 

444. Hypsipetes psaroides. The nest and eggs were found 
by Mr. Home on the 37th of May, near Bheem Tal. The egg 
is white, spotted with dark and light brown and grey, showing 
much more of the greenish colour than other Bulbuls^ eggs do. 
It measures '925 in. by "75 in. 

458. Otocompsa leucogenys. I found this bird numerous 
at Almorah, and procured several nests between the beginning 
of May and June. They were placed in a bush or small tree, 
and were slightly built of fine grass, roots, and fibres. Eggs 
three in number, '925 in. by '583 in., purplish-white, speckled 
all over, but more thickly at the larger end, with spots and 
blotches of purple-brown and purplish-grey. 

461. Pycnonotus PYGJSus. Common at the lower elevations 
where the country was open, and at Almorah. Nest and eggs 
the same as those of 0. leucogenys, but the eggs generally a trifle 
smaller and more inclined to a reddish-purple tint. They are 
laid about the middle of May. 

470. Oriolus kundoo. Common at Almorah. I have fre- 
quently found its nest and eggs in the plains. The former is a 
slight grass cup, suspended by the edges between the forks of a 
thin horizontal branch. The eggs are precisely like those of 0. 

475. CoPSYCHUS SAULARis. Common at Almorah and near 
all villages. The nest is formed under the eaves of houses, and 
in holes in trees ; but the bird gives a decided preference to a 
dwelling-house. Like the English Redbreast, it is a most soci- 
able bird, and appears to prefer the proximity of man. The 

near Nynee Tal and Almorah. 53 

song is a most agreeable one, poured forth from the topmost 
spray of some tree for hours together, in an impassioned manner- 
It possesses considerable variety, but the same strain is repeated 
numbers of times before the bird changes to another. I some- 
times thought that some of the musical ideas of the natives were 
derived from the song of this species; it is a great favourite 
with them as a cage-bird. The nest is formed of the materials 
described by Dr. Jerdon ; but in the hills moss is freely used. 
Eggs generally five in number, '925 in. by '583 in., greenish- 
white, spotted and blotched, principally at the larger end, with 
reddish-brown, the markings being sometimes intermixed with 
blotches of purplish-grey, so as somewhat to resemble those of 
the English Blackbird's in miniature. They are laid about the 
middle of May. In one instance a Cuckoo's egg was found in 
the nest of this bird. 

481. Pratincola caprata. Common on all open hill-sides. 
The song is pretty, and much superior to that of the next spe- 
cies. The nest is placed in a hole in the side of a low steep 
bank. In the plains I have always found the nest down disused 
wells, a small hole in the clayey side being chosen. It is com- 
posed of fine grass, roots, and fibres, and lined with hair. I 
have seen one thickly lined with human hair, the produce of 
some native hair-dresser's performance. The eggs are four or 
five in number, measuring '708 in. by '583 in., and ai'e of a 
pale whitish-green, spotted and blotched with reddish brown, 
sometimes in a zone, near the larger end. They are the prettiest 
Saxicoline eggs I have seen, and are much more boldly marked 
than those of the next species. I found the bird sometimes 
breeding on open hill-sides, or slopes covered with stunted 
bushes ; and what the situation of the nest could have been I do 
not know. The bird lays from the end of March or beginniug 
of April to the end of May. 

483. Pratincola indica. This is the commonest bird of the 
hills where the country is sparingly wooded or quite open. The 
specific name should be abandoned, as it does not in any respect 
differ from the European P. rubicola. Its notes and song, nest 
and eggs, are precisely the same. Out of a number I have shot, 

54 Mr. W. E. Brooks on Birds observed 

I can select some which are exact types of the English species ; 
others, the mature old males, attain to a finer and blacker plu- 
mage than that does, which may be the result of a climate more 
suitable to the bird. I sometimes shot quite a brown English- 
looking male from the nest. The extent of the white collar 
varies in every bird ; so do the red of the breast and the black 
of the throat. From the large number of this species which I 
have had through my hands, I have no doubt of F. indica being 
nothing more than P. I'uhicola converted into a new species. 
The throat of the female I generally found to be pale brown, not 
white. Dr. Jerdon says, " The wing, too, is somewhat longer than 
in the European bird.^' Yarrell gives the length of the wing in the 
latter as "two inches and three quarters,^^ Macgillivray "2 jg"" 
inches, Dr. Jerdon "2|;" the first and only bird which I now 
measure has the wing 2*625 in., or shorter than that of the 
English bird *. But slight difi'erence in length of wing is no 
specific mark, any more than slight difference in extent or distri- 
bution or intensity of colour. All these vary much, even in 
birds of the same species, in the same country. Mr. Blyth 
(Ibis, 1867, p. 13) says, "The voice of P. indica is notably 
different from that of the European P. rubicolaJ" With all 
deference to Mr. Blyth, who has, perhaps, done more for ornitho- 
logy than almost any one, I must say that I find the notes and 
song of the Indian Stone-Chat the very same as those of the 
English bird ; and many a day have I spent in the hearing of 
the English bird when trying to find its well-concealed nest. 
When in Scotland in 1865 I very often heard the Stone-Chat, and 
brought back with me to India a vivid recollection of its notes 
and song. However, to settle the matter beyond dispute, I shall 
send home some skins of P. indica, shot during the breeding- 
season at Almorah, and also some from the plains during the 
cold season. At Almorah the young of the first broods were 
fully fledged by the middle of April. In the hills, the cultivated 
land on the hill-sides is all terraced ; and to keep up the earth, 

* [Mr. Jenyns, perliaps the most accurate iu tliese matters of all writers 
on British ornithology, gives (Br. Vert. p. 121) the length "from the 
carpus to the end of the wing two inches six lines," /. c. 2'6 in., or less 
than Mr. Brooks's specimen. — Ed. J 

near Ntjnee Tal and Almurah. 55 

low retaining walls of dry rubble- stone are used. In course of 
time these low walls, generally only three or four feet high, be- 
come rather broken and overgrown with vegetation. It is in 
holes or hollows in these walls that the Stone-Chat delights to 
build, the situation of the nest being generally near the top of 
the wall. The nest is always more or less hidden by the plants 
which grow in all the crevices. It is generally composed of 
moss, grass, fibres, and fine roots, and lined with hairs and some- 
times feathers — in fact, just the nest of the English Stone-Chat. 
The eggs are five in number, and in size and colour exactly re- 
semble those of the English bird. They are laid from the end 
of March to June. In addition to the terraced hill-sides, the 
bird breeds on open uncultivated slopes where the ground is 
pretty well overgrown with stunted bushes which resemble the 
English blackthorn. In these places I never succeeded in find- 
ing the nest ; for the birds watched me more successfully than I 
watched them, and found me out wherever I had hidden myself. 
I have no doubt, however, that in this sort of places, without 
any broken walls or banks, the situation would be on the ground 
at the bottom of a stunted bush a foot or eighteen inches high, — 
as in England we find the nest at the bottom of a whin-bush, 
and rather at one side of the bush, the entrance being from 
above, not from the side, as in the case of the Whin-Chat. The 
bush-covered land was well frequented by Stone Chats ; but the 
majority preferred the cultivated hill-sides. The eggs vary much 
in size, and are not so handsomely marked as some of the English 

486. Pratincola ferrea. I saw a few between Almorah 
and Nynee Tal, but did not succeed in shooting one. 

517. AcROCEPHALUS AGRicoLUs. I procurcd several speci- 
mens at Almorah in April and May, but apparently they had not 
begun to breed. 

547. SuYA CRiNiGER. Commou on hill -sides where low 
bushes were numerous. One nest, found on the 19th of May, 
was suspended in a low bush, and was a very neat purse-shaped 
structure, with an opening near the top and rather at one side, 
composed of fine soft grass, of a kind which had dried green, in- 

56 Mr. W. E. Brooks on Birds observed 

termixed with the down of plants, and lined with finer grass. The 
eggs were four in number, '583 in. by '458 in., white, speckled 
sparingly with light red, but having also a broad zone or ring of 
deeper reddish-brown very near the large end. This egg is one 
of the most peculiar and beautiful I have seen. 

554. Phylloscopus tristis. This bird should, I think, be 
P. rufus ; the description is exactly that of the English bird. I 
have shot many specimens in the plains, and often heard the 
song, which, as far as I remember, is exactly that of the Chiff- 
chaff. I shot one specimen near Almorah, and saw others. 

560. Phylloscopus viridanus. I have ten or twelve speci- 
mens, shot near Almorah, which may be of this species ; but Dr. 
Jei'don's descriptions of the Phijlloscopmce are so brief that iden- 
tification is difficult. I wish he had carefully pointed out the 
distinguishing characters of these birds. 

562. Phylloscopus indicus. Frequently seen at Almorah. 

565. Reguloides superciliosus. Frequently seen on the 
way up from Kaleedoongy to Nynee Tal, in April, but I never 
met with the bird at Nynee Tal or at Almorah. It may breed 
on the Himalayan slopes before reaching Nynee Tal, or it may 
go much further north towards the snows. In the parts of 
Kumaon where I was, there were no dense pine-forests ; and 
whether this bird goes to such places for the purpose of breed- 
ing, or not, remains to be decided. I was much disappointed in 
seeing so little of this interesting bird when in the hills. I hope 
some one else may be more fortunate, and discover the nest and 
eggs. I shoot many in the plains in the cold season. 

572. Abrornis xanthoschistus. One of the commonest 
birds wherever there are trees. I found one nest only at Al- 
morah, on the 15th of May; it was placed on the ground near 
the foot of a small bush on a sloping bank overgrown with grass 
and bushes, and was a large ball-shaped structure, composed of 
very coarse grass, moss, roots, and wool, lined with hair and wool. 
There were four, pure white, glossy eggs in the nest, '583 in, by 
•416 in., much pointed at the small end. I shot the bird off 
the nest. Fully-grown young ones of this species were fre- 

near Nynee Tal and Almorah. 57 

quently met with, even before the discovery of the above-described 

583. Sylvia curruca. This bird, so common in the plains 
in the cold weather, I saw several times at Almorah, where, I 
think, it breeds. 

584. Henicurus maculatus. Common on all mountain- 
streams. Near Bheem Tal, on the 27th of May, Mr. Home 
found the nest placed in the side of a rocky watercourse. It 
was large and composed of moss and fibres. The eggs are 
three or four in number, 1 inch by "625 in., white, with a faint 
shade of green, speckled rather sparingly with rusty brown. 

I saw some Yellow Wagtails [Budytes) at Nynee Tal, but did 
not determine the species. This was in April ; and on my return 
to that place in June they were no longer to be found. 

596. PiPASTES AGiLis. Frequently seen in April and May ; 
but I think it went further north to breed. 

604). Agrodroma sordida. Breeds at Almorah and other 
places near, on lonely unfrequented hill-sides. I saw the old 
birds feeding their fully-grown young. The male has a mono- 
tonous song, much inferior to that of the English Titlark. 

606. Heterura sylvana. Very common on all the open 
hill-sides. In its habits it is quite a Rock-Pipit ; its song is a 
loud one, of two notes only, delivered sometimes as it flies, and 
sometimes from its seat on the top of a rock. Though I saw 
the old birds feeding their young, I never found the nest. 

607. CocHOA PURPUREA. Frequently met with at Binsur 
and Nynee Tal. I shot two or three. 

609. Pteruthius ERYTHROPTERUs. One shot at Nynee Tal. 

631. ZosTEROPS PALPEBROsus. Very common both at Nynee 
Tal and Almorah. The nest is generally suspended among the 
leaves of a bush, or in the lower outside branches of a tree. It 
is a neat slight little cup, an inch and three quarters in diameter, 
composed of fine roots, fibres, and cobwebs intermixed with 
souie down of plants, and lined with horsehair. The eggs^ three 
in number, are laid in the early part of May, and are '583 in. by 

58 Mr. W. E. Brooks on Birds obser-ved 

•416 in., of a very light pure blue, almost the colour of skim- 
milk, like those of the English Wheat-ear or Starling. 

634. iEoiTHALiscus ERYTHROCEPHALUS. Commou in well- 
wooded districts. This bird must breed early, for in June they 
were in small flocks. 

638. LoPHOPHANEs MELANOLOPHUs. As common as the pre- 
ceding, and frequently in company with it. It also breeds early. 

644. Parus monticolus. Several seen at Puera, between 
Nynee Tal and Almorah. I procured a male and a female. 

645. Parus cinereus. Common at Almorah. In April and 
May I found the nest two or three times in holes in terrace- 
walls ; it was composed of grass, roots, and feathers, and con- 
tained in each instance nearly full-grown young ones, five in 

647. Machlolophus xanthogenys. I shot three or four 
of this species at Puera, and afterwards found it numerous in the 
Nynee Tal woods. 

660. CoRVUS cuLMiNATUs. A Crow which I took to be of 
this species is common everywhere, but I never shot one. 

663. CoRvus splendens. Common. 

669. Garrulus bispecularis. Frequently met with in well- 
wooded districts. It breeds early, as in June many of them were 

670. Garrulus lanceolatus. More common than the pre- 
ceding. The young, just out of the nest, were met with in June. 

684. Acridotheres tristis. Not uncommon at Nynee Tal 
and at Almorah, where it breeds. 

686. Acridotheres fuscus. Common between Almorah and 
Nynee Tal, especially about Ramgurgh. In some rocky cliffs 
near the latter place it breeds plentifully in holes and cliffs of 
the rocks. All the nests had young in June, when I passed the 
place. I believe the bird also breeds in holes in trees, for I saw 
the old birds waiting with food in their bills in a well-wooded 
{)lace far away iVoui cliffs. 

near Nyriee Tal and Almorah. 59 

687. Temenuchus pagodarum. A few seen at Almorah, 
and one nest found in a hole in a tree. The eggs are pale blue^ 
and smaller than those of the common Myna. 

688. Temenuchus malabaricus. Sometimes seen at Al- 
morah. One procured. 

706. Passer iNDicus. Common at Nynee Tal and Almorah. 

724. Melophus melanicterus. Common in the open 
country. The nest is placed in the broken terrace-walls, at the 
foot of a small bush or tuft of grass. I found one in the middle 
of May on a small bank about three feet and a half high, placed 
about two feet from the ground, at the roots of a small scrubby 
bush, and composed of roots, fibres, and grass, lined with hair. 
There were four eggs ; another nest had three only ; they measure 
•75 in. by '583 in., and are of a dull white with a greenish tinge, 
thickly speckled and spotted with reddish-brown and purple- 
grey. The egg is not marked with lines, like a Bunting's. I 
shot the old birds in each instance. The song of the male is a 
monotonous one, of two or three notes only, constantly repeated. 
The dark chestnut plumage is not assumed till the second year ; 
and young males breed in their first plumage, which exactly 
resembles that of the female. 

738. Carpodacus erythrinus. This bird was common at 
Almorah in the middle of April, when I arrived there; early in 
May they all disappeared, having, I suppose, gone further north 
to breed. Seeing the birds in pairs everywhere gave me great 
hopes of obtaining the eggs, 

750. Chrysomitris spinoides. A few seen in June on the 
top of a high well-wooded mountain near Nynee Tal. I shot a 
mature male. In April this bird was common at Almorah, and 
was then moulting ; in June they were not to be found there. 

767. Alauda gulgula. Common on open ground near 
Almorah, and between that place and Binsur. It is a most 
delightful songster, quite equal to the English Sky-Lark, I think; 
and the song is sweeter ; but I do not think it soars for quite 
so long a time. The nest is placed in any little hollow partly 
overgrown with short grass ; and I saw one with a stone partly 
overhanging it. It is composed of a small ([uatitity of tine 

60 On Birds observed near Nynce Tal and Almorah. 

grass. The eggs are three or four in number, and are laid from 
the second week to the end of May. They measure '834 in. 
by "625 in., greyish-white, mottled and speckled all over with 
two shades of light brown. Both nest and eggs closely resemble 
those of A. arvensis. 

778. Sphenocercus sphenurus. One shot near Blnsur. 

793. TuRTUR meena. Common in well-wooded places. 

794. TuRTUR cambayensis. Frequently seen near Almorah, 
and one nest procured. 

808. PucRAsiA MACROLOPHA. I havc two cggs of this bird, 
given me by a friend; they measure 2'083 in. by 1'416 in., 
and are of a bufFy-white, spotted all over with lighter and darker 
reddish-brown, so as strongly to resemble those of the English 
Black Grouse. 

810. Gallophasis albocristatus. I have two eggs of this 
bird, from the same source ; they measure 1*925 in. by 1"458 in., 
and are of a dull buffy-white without spot, very like those of a 
Game Fowl. 

812. Gallus ferrugineus. Two eggs of this bird measure 
1*75 in. by 1*416 in., and are of a pale buffy-white without 

820. Caccabis chukar. Dr. Govan, of Almorah, gave me a. 
few eggs of this bird laid in confinement; they measure 1'75 in. 
by 1*25 in., and are of a pale greyish-buff, marked sparingly all 
over with very light greyish-brown, closely resembling those of 
the European C. rufa. 

855. Lobivanellus goensis is met with in the lower valleys. 

In addition to the foregoing birds I have two or three which 
I cannot make out. They may be new to the Indian list. 
One is a Prinia, with a dark ashy-grey band across the chest ; 
another is like a diminutive full-crested Bulbul, a plain brown 
little bird with a dark chestnut-brown head. I was much struck 
with the great scarcity of Eagles and Hawks in Kumaon ; I ex- 
pected to find them plentiful, but the reverse was the case. I 
once saw a Sparrow-Hawk, but could not determine the species. 

On some new Procellariidse. 61 

V. — On some new Procellariidre collected during a Voyage round 
the World in 1865-68 by H. I. M.'s S. ' Magenta/ By 
Henry Hillyer Giglioli, Sc.D., C.M.Z.S., Naturalist to 
the Expedition, and Thomas Salvadori, M.D., C.M.Z.S., 
Assistant in the Royal Zoological Museum of Turin. 

A FULL account of the ornithological collections made during 
the voyage of the * Magenta/ rich in species and specimens, 
will be communicated to the scientific world in a special Me- 
moir, at which both of us are hard at work*. Meanwhile we 
think it advisable to publish the following descriptions of new 
species of ProcellariidcE, which are as important as they are 
unexpected^ especially after the careful review of this most in- 
tricate and difficult family by that distinguished American 
ornithologist Elliot Couesf. 

The subject of this paper will be read at the meeting of 
Italian Naturalists at Vicenza on the 13th of September; yet 
as the Proceedings of that meeting will not be published for 
some time, we have thought that an English version of the first 
ornithological fruits of the voyage will not prove unacceptable 
to our English friends and to the readers of ' The Ibis.^ 


" Bill black ; tarsi and a third part of the toes, and interdigital 
membranes at their base, flesh-colour ; the distal third black ; 
irides brown. A rare species, of which I shot a single specimen 
on the 22nd of July, 1867, in the Pacific, lat. 39° 38' S., long. 
125° 58' W. (of Greenwich) . I saw it again on the 3rd of 
August, lat. 32° 23' S., long. 92° 39' W., and on the 31st of 
the same month in lat. 26° 7' S., long. 88° 50' W.^'— H. H. G. 

vE. supra intense fusco-nigra, plumis sub quadam luce pallide 
marginatisj alis, cauda, lateribus, subalaribus ac torque 
jugulari fusco-nigris ; regione anteoculari intensiore ; 
fronte albido-sericea fere argenteo colore perfusa, latera- 
liter magis conspicue; gula, pectore abdomineque albis; 
subcaudalibus lateraliter cinereo tinctis, scapis parte apicali 

* [Cy. ' Ibis' 1868, pp. 497-499.— Ed.] 

t " A Critical Review of the Family Frocdlariidce^' Proc. Acad. N. Sc. 
Philad. 1864, pp. 72-91, 116-144 ; 1866, pp. 25-33, 134-197. [ Cf. ' Ibis ' 
1867, p. 131.— Ed.] 

62 Drs. Giglioli and Salvadori 07i 

fuscis ; rostro nigro, pedibus carneis, digitis palmisque 
nigris excepta parte basali interna tarso concolori; iride 
Long. tot. 0«i-400, alse 0«i-310, caud. 0'»-l40, rostr. a fronte 
Oi"-043, tars. 0°i-038, dig. raed. cum ung. Oi"056. 

This species appears to be allied in a certain degree to Pro- 
cellaria rostrata, Peale, having a robust bill as in that species, 
although not so high at the base, being instead broader than 
high ; moreover, in our species the frontal feathers advance 
abruptly as far as the base of the nasal tubes. It differs also 
in the darker and blacker colour of the upper parts, the edges 
of each feather in certain lights being distinctly lighter, and 
wanting completely that sepia-brown tint so characteristic of 
P. rostrata {cf. Cassin, Orn. U. S. Expl. Exp. 1858, p. 412, pi. 
41). Our species, besides, has a white throat, and the forehead 
washed with silky white, which extends laterally and posteriorly 
as far as over the eyes ; this is an important diagnostic character : 
besides this last feature, it differs from P. incerta, Schlegel, in 
its much darker upper parts, in its well-marked jugular band, in 
its white under tail-coverts, and in its smaller dimensions. 

In the specific name given to our species, we wish to com- 
memorate that of the first Italian man-of-war which has cir- 
cumnavigated the globe. 


" I found this species pretty common near Trinidad Island, 
in the South Atlantic, in lat. 20° S. or thereabouts. On the 23rd 
of January, 1868, as we lay becalmed about eight miles off the 
island, many specimens were shot; unfortunately, believing it a 
well-known species, I had only two skins prepared. Bill black, 
tarsi and basal portion of the toes and membranes flesh-colour, 
the distal parts being black; irides brown." — H. H. G. 

jE. supra fusco-nigra, plumis totis pallide fere griseo colore 
marginatis, in fronte magis conspicue ; gula alba plumis 
anguste griseo-fusco-marginatis ; pectore abdomineque pure 
albis; torque jugulari, lateribus, axillaribus, tectricibusque 
alarum inferioribus nigro-fuscis ; subcaudalibus cinereo- 
nigris apicibus albicantibus ac minutissime albido varie- 
gatis, scapis nigris ; remigibus nigro-fuscis, intus basi 
albicantibus ; rectricibus nigro-fuscis ; rostro nigro ; tarsis 

so)ne new Procellariidse, G8 

carneis, digitis ac membrana intcrdigitali nigris, excepta 
parte basali interna tarso concolori ; iride brunnea. 
Long. tot. Oni-SoO, alse Om-300, caud. 0°i-140, rostr. a fronte 
0'°-029, tars. O'^-OSl, dig. med. cum ung. 0°i'048. 

The above is the description of what appears to be a fully 
adult specimen. The other one^ perhaps youngeryhas the sides 
of the head whitish, the white of the basal portion of the fea- 
thers showing itself; the gular collar is not so much marked; 
and the lower series of the under wing-coverts, together with the 
basal portion of the remiges, are decidedly white. These are the 
only appreciable differences between our two specimens. This 
species is near akin to the preceding one, but differs in being 
smaller, more slender, in having a much smaller and weaker 
bill, and, moreover, in having no trace of silky white on the 
forehead ; nor is the anteocular region darker ; besides, its under 
tail-coverts are greyish-black, and their tips bordered with 

This species appears also to have many affinities with P. neg- 
lecta, Schlegel ; but besides the difference of habitat, P. ncglecta 
being from the Polynesian islands, this last species, according to 
Schlegel, has " les tiges des remiges blanchdtres," while in ours 
they are black. 

Finally, j^. arminjoniana appears allied to P. parvirostris, 
Peale (from the Pacific), which species has all its upper parts of 
a sepia-bi'own without the least admixture of cinereous, which 
last character is conspicuous in our species, on account of the 
lighter edges of the feathers; besides, our bird has a white 
throat, while that of P. pai-virostris, Peale (Cass. he. cit. pi. 40), 
is of the same colour as the upper parts. 

We have named this species after Captain Victor Arminjon, 
R.I.N., the gallant officer who commanded the ' Magenta ' on her 
voyage, as a slight token of gratitude for the efficient manner 
in which he aided to render more complete our researches on 
the pelagic fauna. 


" This species was seen for the first time in our wake on the 
5th of August ; it followed us up to the 10th, in lat. IS'^ 4' S., 
long. 79° 35' MV., not far from the Peruvian coast. It reap- 

64 Drs. Gio;lioli and Salvador! on 


peared more numerously, following the ship's wake, during our 
cruise from Callao to Valparaiso in September. It flies very 
much like a Prion. Bill black ; tarsi light blue ; toes black, 
interdigital membranes yellowish, brownish towards the distal 
extremity; irides brown." — H. H. G. 

j^. pileo, eollo supra, dorso ac supracaudalibus pulchre cinereis, 
uropygio ac regione periophthalmica, prsesertim infra oculos, 
nigricantibus ; plumis dorsalibus obsolete albescente margi- 
natis ; sincipitis plumis albo marginatis, fronte fere ex toto 
alba: subtus omnino pure alba; lateribus pectoris vix cine- 
reo tinctis ; alis cinereo-nigricantibus, remigibus secundariis 
magis cinereis, fasciam obliquam fere constituentibus ; tec- 
tricibus alse inferioribus candidis; margine carpali ac linea 
sub margine radiali candido cinereo-nigricantibus, remi- 
gibus nigricantibus; duabus tertise partis pogonii interni 
abrupte albis, intus apicem versus fusco-nigricante margi- 
natis. Rectricibus sex mediis fere ex toto pure cinereis, 
quarta et quinta utrinque albo variegatis, extima alba po- 
gonio externo minutissime cinereo-punctata, interdum pure 
alba ; rostro nigro ; tarsis pallide cseruleis, digitis nigris, 
palamis flavidis apicem versus fuscis ; iride brunnea. 
Long. tot. 0°»-300, al^ 0'^-225-0°i-240, caud. 0'"-105-0"i-120, 

rostr. a fronte 0°i-026-0'^-029, tars. 0"i-028-0ni-029, dig. med. 

cum ung. 0«^-035-0°i-037. 

Besides these slight differences in size, there are in the four 
specimens collected slight diff'erences in colour, especially in the 
external rectrices, which are more or less spotted with greyish — 
sometimes the first is quite white. This species, although 
much smaller than JE. mollis (Gould), has a bill relatively, and 
in some specimens, absolutely longer. It is much compressed, 
and the interramal space denuded of feathers, as in Prion, with 
which this species appears to have some affinity in the coloration 
of the tarsi and the manner of flight, as already noticed. 

jE. defilippiana belongs to that group of small species dis- 
tinguished by their white under wing-coverts, and to which be- 
long JE. cooki (Gray), ^. gavia (Licht.), JE. desolata (Gm.), and 
JE. gularis, Peale* ; with this last species alone our bird has in 

* This species was incompletely described by Peale (Zool. U. S. Expl. 
Exp. 1848, p. 299, pi. 84) ; but the type specimen has been most accu- 
rately redescribed by Coues (Proc. Acad. Philad. 1866, p. 151), who, for 
want of specimens for comparison, did not consider it specifically distinct 

some new Procellariidpe. 65 

common the peculiar coloration of the remiges, the outer and 
one-third of the inner webs of which with the tips are brownish- 
black, while two-thirds of the internal webs are white, the two 
colours meeting without any gradation of tint, but presenting a 
sharp well-detined outline, and thus forming two distinct areas, 
the white area being internally bordered at its apex by 

But our species differs from JE. gularis, as described by Coues, 
in its smaller dimensions and slighter make (^. gularis being 
in size and make similar to yE. mollis), in the cinereous colo- 
ration of its upper, and the pure white of its lower parts, while 
^. gularis would be dark-coloured above and below, having 
only the under tail-coverts white. Moreover we may observe 
that jE. gularis appears peculiar to a much more antarctic re- 
gion, the only known specimen having been caught in S. lat. 
68°, long. 95° W. 

We have given to this species the name of the much -lamented 
Professor F. de Filippi, who halfway on the long voyage, un- 
dertaken with such bright hopes, on board the ' Magenta,^ fell, 
as a soldier on the field of battle, a victim to his love of Natural 
Science, at Hong Kong, on the 9th of February, 1867. 

4. jjEstrelata trixitatis, sp. nov. 

" We found this species pretty abundant around Trinidad 
Island in the South Atlantic, and I procured several specimens 
on the 23rd of January. Bill and feet deep black, irides 
brown."— H. H. G. 

jE. ex toto fuliginoso-nigra, subtus vix pallidior, remigibus ni- 

gricantioribus, basi intus pallidioribus ; fronte ac capite 

supra plumis distincte griseo-marginatis ; rostro pedibusque 

nigris ; iridibus brunneis. 

Long. tot. O'a-SSO, alee 0m-290-0m-295, caud. O'^'ISO, rostr. 

a fronte 0"^-028-0'n-031, tars. 0i^-034, dig. med. cum ung. 


from ^. mollis, although it seems to us that he was perfectly entitled to 
do so, looking to the pure white coloration of the imder wing-coverts, and 
of the greater part of the internal webs of the primaries, without any gra- 
dual transition to the hlackish -brown of the external webs, and part of the 
internal ones. 

VOL. V. N. S. F 

66 Drs. Giglioli and Salvador! on 

Another specimen, perhaps a younger bird, has the under 
parts, and especially the throat, lighter, the pure white of the 
basal portion of the feathers showing amidst the fuliginous- 
brown of the rest. 

This species belongs to that group of ^strelatee characterized 
by a uniform sooty-brown plumage, and generically distin- 
guished by Bonaparte as Pterodroma. 

Our bird dix&ev^ivova P.macrojitei-a (Smith) {Procellaria fuli- 
ginusa, Kuhl, nee Gm.) in its smaller dimensions, and in its 
relatively longer wings, which extend about 3 inches beyond 
the extremity of the tail — also in the pure white (not greyish, 
as in P. macropterd) of the basal part of the feathers which 
clothe the neck and under parts. But the main distinction lies 
in the bill, which in our species is much smaller and weaker*. 

j^. trinitntis appears to be rather smaller than Procellaria 
caribbaa, Carte (P. Z. S. 1866, p. 93, pi. x.), from which it 
may be at once distinguished by the peculiar cinereous colour 
of the rump and upper tail-coverts in the last-named species. 
It is hardly worth while noticing that our species differs from 
P. aterrima, Verreaux, in the uniform black of its feet, and from 
P. bulweri, Jardine and Selby, which is so much smallerf. 

* Three specimens of jE. macroptera form part of the Ornithological 
collections made during the voyage of the * Magenta/ and beyond doubt 
are the same as P. atlantica (Gould). 

t Having described four new species of JEstrelata^ we add a list of the 
species which now compose the genus. Those marked with an asterisk 
form part of the ' Magenta ' collections, the appended number showing 
how manj' specimens were prepared. 

a. JSsTRELATA. h. Cook:ii,aeia, Bp. 

1. ^strelata haesitata {Kuhl). 12. ^strelata cooki {Gray). 
*2. M. lessoni (Gartiot). (P. 13. JE. guvia (Licht.). 

leucocephala, Licht.) (4.) 14. JE. desolata (Gm.). 

*S. M. incerta (SchJpg.). 1.5. JE. gularis (Peale). 

4. M. rostrata (Peale). *1(3. JE. defilippiana, nob. (4.) 

*5. jE. magentfe, nob. (1.) 
*6. jE. arminjoniana, nob. (2.) <?• Pterodroma, Bp. 

7. tE. parv'irostris (Peale). *17. JE. macroptera {Stnith). (3.) 

8. JE. neglecta (Schleg.). *18. JE. trinitatis, nob. (2.) 

9. JE. solandri (Gould). 19. JE. caribbaea (Carte). 
10. JE. grisea (Kuhl). 20. JE. aterrima ( Ve)-r.). 

m. JE. mollis (Gonld). (4.) 21. M . bulweri (Jard. Sf Selbtj). 

some new Procellariidfe. 67 

5. PuFFiNUS , sp. nov. ? 

" The only specimen seen was shot on the 2nd of March, 1866, 
in the South Atlantic, lat. 43° 54' S., long. 9° 20' E. Bill 
light blue, with the culmen and apex black. Tarsi in front, 
and upper part of toes, light blue, tarsi behind, and under sur- 
face of toes, black ; interdigital membranes whitish. Irides 
brown."— H. H. G. 

P. supra ex toto cinereo-plurabeus, plumis totis angustissime 
albo-limbatis ; tectricibus alarum mediis, majoribus, ac 
remigibus secundariis albo-limbatis, fascias tres trans 
alam formantibus; subtus, tectricibus aire inferioribus, re- 
migibusque intus candidis ; capitis ac colli lateribus albo- 
cinereo-mixtis ; cauda brevi ex toto cinereo-plumbea ; tarsis 
postice nigris, antice cserulescentibus ; digitis subtus nigris, 
supra cserulescentibus, palamis albidis, unguibus nigris ; 
rostro tenui, cairulescenti, culmine et apice nigris ; iride 
Long. tot. Oi"-320, alse Qi^l^Q, caud. 0°i-075, rostr. a fronte 

0°i027, hiatus 0"^-037, tars. 0'"-040, dig. ined. cum ung. 


This species is very distinct, on account of the fine cinereous 
colour of its upper parts, from all hitherto described species, 
as enumerated by Coues in his Monograph. The only species 
with which it might perhaps be identical is Puffinus mundus 
Kuhl {Nectris munda, Banks, tab. 24) ; but the only description 
we have been able to consult, that of Bonaparte (Consp. Av. ii. 
p. 205), is far too brief and incomplete to be recognizable. The 
following is his diagnosis : — " Magnitudine Perdicis, alis cauda 
aliquantum brevioribus ; cauda brevi, cuneiformi : rostro cyaneo- 
griseo, apice nigro : pedibus cyaneis, unguibus falculatis.^' 

It is true that the above description fits our specimen in some 
parts, but certainly not in the shape of the tail, which is not 
wedge-shaped, but rounded; besides, the bill has also a black 
culmen, and the feet are not entirely blue; and then not a word 
is added about the coloration, so characteristic in this species — 
fine cinereous lead-colour above, and pure white below. 

The only way to decide this interesting question is to com- 
pare our description with Banks^s figure of his Nectris munda ; 
it appears also that since his time no one has observed specimens 

I' 2 

68 Mr. E. L. Layard on Soutli- African Ornitholugy . 

of that species ; and Bonaparte and Cones ask : " Quid Procel- 

laria mimda, Kuhl V If it should prove really new^ it may 

go by the name Puffinus elegans, nob. 

Royal Zoological Museum, Turin, 
September 12tli, 1868. 

VI. — Further Notes on South- African Ornithology. 
By E. L. Layard, F.Z.S., &c. 
In continuation of my Notes, as promised in my letter of the 
17th of December 1867 (Ibis, 1868, pp. 242-248), I beg leave 
to offer the following. The numbers prefixed to the names of 
the species refer to my ' Birds of Soutb Africa.' 

5. Otogyps auricularis. Mr. Henry Jackson has sent me 
eggs of this fine Vulture from the interior of the country, 
which differ considerably from those which are found in the 
neighbourhood of the sea-coast. They are white, with small 
distinct spots of the colour of dried blood, whereas those from 
the southern parts of the colony, that I have seen, are as de- 
scribed in my book. Mr. Jackson found that the eggs of this, 
and the next, weighed 9 oz. each. It breeds in June, as also 
does the next species. 

6. Gyps pulvus. Mr. Jackson has obtained for the Museum 
a splendid series of the eggs of this bird, and I append an ac- 
count which he has sent me of an assault on the Vultures' 
'' Krantz " in the Beaufort Mountains. 

" The South-African Museum being in want of eggs of 
Gyps fulvus from this country, I determined to try and procure 
some from a noted breeding-place of this species a short distance 
from my residence. My first attempt was made on the 19th 
October, 1866; but this proved too late in the season, all the 
eggs being hatched — though I had the satisfaction of ascertain- 
ing that most of the nests were accessible with the aid of a rope. 
I made a second attempt on the Slst August, 1867, but was 
again too late, obtaining only two addled eggs. Determined to 
be in time this year, I sent my nephew on the 30th May to see 
what the birds were doing; and he reported seven eggs visible 
from the top of the '' krantz " or precipice. Giving the birds 
three weeks longer to finish laying, I sent him again on the 

Mr. E. L. Layai'J un Soulh-African Ornithology. 09 

20th June, accompanied by an active man, and provided with 
two stout ropes (together 180 feet in length), provisions for the 
day, blowpipe and drill, and knapsacks filled with wool for the 
eggs. The following is his account of the trip : — 

" 'We started at 8 o'clock a.m., and, after about an hour's walk, 
reached a fountain. From this point a tedious climb of about 
an hour and a half brought us to the summit of the mountain, 
and we stood on the edge of the krantz. We proceeded along 
the edge, looking carefully down below for eggs, until, in about 
a quarter of an hour's time we sighted one, and forthwith pre- 
pared for a descent. The krantz, seen from a distance, has the 
appearance of a long perpendicular precipice, with few inequali- 
ties on its face ; but in reality ,it leans back considerably from 
the perpendicular, and its ledges and jutting points afford 
sufficient footing to enable one to descend almost anywhere 
with the aid of a rope susi)ended from the top. The greatest 
height of the krantz is about 550 feet, and the average about 
400 feet. The Vultures build on the ledges about one-third of 
the distance from the top; and their nests, composed of sticks, 
bushes, and grass, in the form of a shallow plate, and about two 
feet in diameter, contain one e^^ each. The cliffs about the 
nests are quite white from the droppings of the birds, and 
this is conspicuous from a great distance. The krantz runs 
about east and west, and faces south, so that for some months 
in winter the sun does not reach it. 

" ' Having fixed one end of the longest rope to a large stone, 
provided myself with a knapsack, and taken off my shoes to 
enable me to secure firmer footing, I began to descend. The 
rope proved too short, and we had to join another to it. I there 
got four eggs. They are of a dull bluish-white, some being 
slightly speckled with brown at the obtuse end, and w^eigh 9 oz. 
After blowing and packing these, we hauled up the rope and 
proceeded further, descending wherever we saw eggs that could 
be got at, until we had obtained sixteen. It was now 4 o'clock 
P.M., we had traversed about half the length of the main krantz, 
and were beginning to think of returnmg, when, on rounding 
a corner, we were agreeably surprised by the sight of a 
number of birds on the ledges below. We frightened them off, 

70 Mr. E. L. Layard on South-African Ornithology. 

and counted seventeen eggs ! Taking two knapsacks, and de- 
scending very nearly to the full length of both ropes, I found 
myself on a vast shelf, along which I could almost run. On 
this I got nine eggs, besides several more on smaller ledges, 
which I could easily gain without the rope. I filled one knap- 
sack, and was sadly put to it to get it up safely. I managed, 
however, by fastening it to the rope and drawing it up by easy 
stages, until I got it, together with other eggs gathered on the 
way up, safely to the top. It was now too late to blow them ; 
so I packed them as they were, and we started on our return 
home, which we reached at 7 o'clock p.m.' 

" Thirty-four were obtained on this occasion; but three of the 
unblown ones got broken on the way back, and of the remainder 
I forwarded twenty-eight to the South- African Museum." 

11. Aquila senegalla. Breeds in June. Eggs have been 
received from Mr. Jackson, Mr. Ortlepp, and ray son ; they are 
of a rounded-oval shape, white, and more or less spotted and 
blotched with dark red spots. Axis 2*75 in,; diam. 2"084. 

Mr. Ortlepp writes : — " A few weeks ago, a pair darted down 
on a flock of merino ewes and lambs, and only flew off after 
having despatched forty of the latter ! At the time this hap- 
pened, the sheep were in charge of a small bush-boy, in a se- 
cluded kloof, far away from the homestead. They quite disre- 
garded the boy, and were only put to flight when the unfortu- 
nate owner made his appearance with a gun." This is a most 
unusual occurrence : a single lamb is often killed by them, and 
devoured; but what occasioned this lust for slaughter exceeds 
my comprehension. 

13. Aquila verreauxi. Messrs. Jackson and Ortlepp have 
both sent eggs of this fine Eagle ; the latter writes : — " These 
birds lay about the beginning of July*, on ledges of steep pre- 
cipices, though not always, as I have heard of their nests in 
taijbos-bushes [Rhus lucida, Linn.] along the Zeekoe River. 
Eggs two. For some time after leaving the shell, the young 
birds are quite white, more like balls of swans' down than 
birds." The Museum now has five fine eggs of this bird. 

* Jiuie iu some places.— E. L. L. 

Mr. E. L. Layard on South-African Ornithology. 71 

14. Spizaetus coronatus. Mr. W. Atraore writes to me 
that this species " prefers thickets of mimosa-trees, and is very 
destructive to geese and young lambs. It makes a large nest in 
a mimosa, and lays two large white eggs, much pointed at the 
small end." 

16. Spizaetus occipitalis. Dr. Atherstone, of Graham's 
Town, writes of one which he had tame for some time, that " he 
used to walk up and down the river's bed, catching frogs, and 
afterwards was so mean as to kill our pet toads and lizards on 
our grass-plat." For the enormity last mentioned, he was trans- 
ported; and I saw him on his way to England in the mail 
steamer, mewed up in a hen-coop. It served him right ; for he 
was too grand-looking a bird to descend to such ignoble game. 

21. Haliaetus vocifer. This Fish-Hawk does not always 
confine himself to the prey mentioned by me (B. S. Afr. 
p. 17). Lately, while on a shooting-excursion on the sea-coast 
near L'Agulhas, I found a fine male example, in young 
plumage, hung on a tree with a bullet-hole through his chest. 
His crime was, that night and moaning for several days he had 
regularly carried off one of my friend Mr. Van der ByPs lambs ! 
Mr. Atmore also writes me word that they will kill lambs. Mr. 
Ortlepp sent a splendid egg of this bird, taken from a nest on 
a tree on an island in the Orange River. It is pure white, with 
a very fine grain, and is much pointed at the small end. 

44). Accipiter gabar. Le Vaillant's account of the eggs 
and nest is correct. The eggs are, axis 1*67 in., diam. 1*291. 
The nest is sometimes lined with wool. 

46. Melierax musicus. Mr. Jackson says that this spe- 
cies never lays more than three eggs, and more often only two. 
The bird is very abundant in his neighbourhood. • 

58. Bubo capensis. Mr. Atmore writes that it is " common 
in the Karroo, but rare at George. I once took a nest at 
Buffelsjaghts River in a mimosa-tree, that had been used by a 
Crow the previous year. It contained three white eggs." 

64. Otus capensis. I met with several of these Owls at 
Naghtwaght, the residence of Mr. Alexander Van der Byl, 

72 Mr. E. L. Layard on South- African Ornithology. 

near L^Agulhas ; they inhabited a dry vley, their colour resem- 
bling exactly that of the dead grass and rushes. 

74. Cypselus gutturalis. I saw the first specimen of 
this Swift on the 28th of August, this year; at the same time 
also, I saw Hirundo capensis, and two days later H. rustica. 
My son, at Swellendam, two hundred miles off, gives about the 
same dates, and adds H. dimidiata. He also says that " Atti- 
cora holomelas arrived on the 5th September, Hirundo rufifrons 
(the old pair that breed here) on the 6th, and H. capensis on 
the 8th/' 

94. CoTYLE PALUSTRis remained in sheltered places all the 
past winter, which was a mild one. 

109. Ceryle maxima*. Mr. Atniore writes : — " I once found 
one of these birds with his bill shattered, evidently against a 
stone while striking his prey in too shallow water." 

117. Mekops hirundinaceus. Mr. Ortlepp thinks this 
species does not migrate like its congener M. apiaster'. He has 
found it in midwinter (June), hawking over the Orange River. 

196. Saxicola albiscapulata, and 197. S. rufiventer. 
I have come to the conclusion that these are but male and female 
of the same species, and the origin of Le Vaillant^s figures (Ois. 
d'Afr. iv. pi. 188) of " Le Traquet a queue stride''^ and " Le 
Traquet h cul roux," of which he has wrongly numbered the 
letter-press. He probably saw, but did not obtain, specimens ; 
but afterwards becoming acquainted with the Indian species, 
and recognizing the general likeness, described that bird. 

199. Saxicola sperata. Mr. Atmore writes that "at Oli- 
phants River a pair made a nest on a hair-broom in a bed-room, 
and brought off their young," — a fact rather confirmatory of 
the supposition that this is Le Vaillant's " Traquet familier." 

209. Parus cinereus. Of this Mr. Atmore writes, " common 
at Swellendam in the mimosa-thickets : breeds in hollow 
trees. I have seen twelve eggs in a nest which must certainly 
have required all the fur off a hare to make it ! " 

* [An rectiiiy C. guttata (Bodd.) ?— Ed.] 

Mr. E. L. Layard on South-African Ornithology. 73 

210. Parus ciNERAscENs. Sent from Colesberg by Mi'.Ort- 
lepp. Le Vaillant's figures (Ois. d'Afr. iii. pi. 138) are much 
too highly coloured. 

219. MoTACiLLA CAPENSis. The yellow Wagtail mentioned 
under my notice of this species (B. S. Afr. p. 119) has again 
turned up near Cape Town. A fine example was shot by Mr. 
Duminy near D'UrbaUj twelve miles ofi". On comparing it with 
examples of M. flava from Europe, in the Museum, it seems to 
be identical, the yellow eye-brow, however, being hardly so 

220. MoTACiLLA LONGiCAUDA. Mr. Glauvillc, the curator 
of the Albany Museum at Graham's Town, informs me that a 
specimen of this bird has been lately procured near that place. 

231. Anthus lineiventris [Sundev. (Efv. K. Vet. Ak. Forh. 
1850, p. 100]. Mr. Ortlepp has procured several of these 
Pipits at Colesberg. A remarkable feature has been omitted 
from my description, owing to the imperfect state of the soli- 
tary specimen that had then reached my hands. The inside 
edge of the flexure of the wing and the under wing-coverts are 
bright yellow. 

234. CHiETOPS FRENATUS. Mr. Atmore says that this bird 
is common on all the mountains that he has ascended, and that 
it builds in crevices. The eggs are like those of Bessornis pha>- 
nicurus. I lately saw a single specimen cross the road through 
Houwhoek, a mountain-pass about forty miles from this, and 
speed up the mountain with its usual enormous bounds. 

258. Criniger importunus. According to Mr. Atmore, it 
builds near the ground, audits eggs are like those of Telephonus 
collar is. 

265. Pycnonotus aurigularis. Mr, Atmore, whose voca- 
tion as a surveyor has led him to be abroad constantly in 
Outeniqua (the locality given by Le Vaillant for it), says he never 
saw anything at all like this bird. 

281. Muscicapa grisola. My son has procured this species 
at Grootevadersbosch, near Swellendam. 

319. Laniarius silens. Mr. Ortlepp says, " found about 

74 Mr. E. L. Layard on South-African Ornithology. 

the Orange River. Its song is sweet and sustained, and it has 
also considerable powers of imitation." I saw a few pairs about 
Grootevadersbosch, but I never heard them utter any sound. 

324. Laniarius icterus. Another specimen of this grand 
Bush-Shrike is in the Museum at Graham's Town, obtained, I 
believe, in that neighbourhood. 

339. JuiDA PHCENicoPTERA. Mr. Henry Bowker says they 
breed in hollow trees or deserted Wood-peckers' nests. Mr. 
Atmore says they " do not come to the westward of the head- 
waters of the Gamtoos River." 

353. DiLOPHUs CARUNCULATUS. My brief account of the 
breeding-habits of this bird is confirmed by two other intelli- 
gent eye-witnesses. The species never seems to return two suc- 
cessive years to the same neighbourhood. 

363. Hyphantornis ocularius. A single female was ob- 
tained near Graham's Town, by Mr. Fred. Barber, who saw it 
" poking about amongst old dead leaves,- scratching and search- 
ing for insects." 

366. Sycobius bicolor. Said by Mr. Atherstone to be 
common along the coast to the eastward of the Kei River. The 
back of the head is furnished with a few elongated bristle-like 
feathers, in some instances bifurcating, resembling those of the 
Indian genus Trichophorus. 

379, Chera progne. Mr. Henry Bowker, a close observer 
of our fauna and flora, tells a story different from that given 
by my other informant. He writes " This bird seldom inter- 
feres with our corn-lands, and is mostly found on open flats. 
It builds its nest in long grass close to the ground. The 
points of the blades are drawn over and tied together at the 
top, like the framework of a native hut. The tail of the male 
in the breeding-season is not an inconvenience to him. He 
never seems to enjoy himself so much as during a high wind, 
in which he shows himself off to advantage, spreading his 
tail out like a fan. I should say the average is ten or fifteen 
females to one male." This latter statement is curious, and 

Mr. E. L. Layard on South-African Ornithologrj. 75 

accords with what I have seen of the allied Vidua principalis, 
(No. 375). One male in full breeding-dress is usually at- 
tended by from five to ten females. Can they be polygamists ? 
does the male never sit on the eggs ? and does the same thing 
prevail in Estrelda astrild, which is said to breed in com- 
munities, several hens laying in one nest, and eggs being 
hatched at different times ? 

441. Crithagra selbii. I found this species abundant 
about Saldana Bay and the Berg River, during a recent trip 
thither. Mr. Ortlepp also sends it from Colesberg. It is 
called "Dik-bec Seisje ^^ and " Berg-Seisje,^^ by the colonists. 

443. Crithagra strigilata. I cannot help thinking this 
may prove to be the female of (No. 442) C. butyracea. 

532. CoTURNTX HiSTRiONiCA. Several specimens of this 
bird have been procured not far from Graham's Town, and to 
the eastward, one of which has been forwarded to me by 
Mr. Glanville. I at once recognized it as the Quail pur- 
chased by the Count de Castelnau, as mentioned in my book 
(p. 275). 

535. Pterocles tachypetes. Mr. Atmore declares it only 
lays two eggs. Another correspondent says three. 

542. EupoDOTis LUDWiGi. Mr. Jackson affirms it only lays 
one egg. The bird is common in his neighbourhood. These 
contradictions open a curious question for mquiry. It cannot be 
that errors as to the number of eggs of birds so well known 
are wilfully made. I can only fancy that the number is de- 
termined by the ease or difficulty with which food is obtained 
in the different localities to which the birds resort to breed. 
In places where food is plentiful, it is easy to bring up a larger 
family, and vice versa. In connexion with this subject, I was in- 
formed lately that the Locust-bird, Glareola nordmanui (No. 555), 
always lays its eggs where it knows a large supply of young 
locusts may be expected, and at such a time that the young may 
be excluded when the insects are afoot. In some instances, 
owing to a mistake in their calculations, the locusts have taken 
flight before the brood was able to follow, and they have 

76 Mr. E. L. Layard on South-African Ornithology. 

been consequently deserted by the parent birds and left to 

550. CEdicnemus maculosus. I plead guilty to correcting 
a gentleman who was better informed than myself (B. S. Afr., 
p. 288, note) . CE. senegalensis (qu. CE. crepitans'^) has just turned 
up on the vast flat plateau called the Strand Veldt, the south 
coast of the continent, about L^Agulhas. It must, however, be 
extremely rare, as Mr. H. Van Breda, who forwarded the spe- 
cimen, has lived there for very many years, and never saw it 

552. CuRSORius BiciNCTUS. Mr. Atmore writes that it 
"lays only one egg [!!], on the bare ground, without even 
scratching a hole. It prefers bare, grey places by the road- 
sides. I picked up nearly twenty on my road home from the 
Nieuw Veldt, in September and October, by watching them run 
away from a small flock of sheep." 

565. Charadrius tricollaris. Mr. Chapman, the author 
of ' Travels in the Interior of South Africa,^ informs me that 
this is the bird mentioned in his volumes as living with the 
hippopotamus and warning him of danger. 

GIO. ToTANUs sTAGNATiLis. Procured at Colesberg by Mr. 
Ortlepp, and at George by Mr. Atmore, who says it is not un- 
common there. 

617. Recurvirostra AVOCETTA. The mystery of thcsc birds 
frequenting our parched inland wastes is explained ; Mr. Ortlepp 
has found them breeding on the vleys near Colesberg, and 
sends their eggs. Mr. G. C. Faure forwards it from a new 
locality, Hope Town. 

621. Tringa subarquata. On the 26th of April last, a lad 
brought a live example in full breeding-dress, captured near 
the town. 

652. Mareca capensis. Professor Schlegel (Mus. P.-B. 
Anseres, p. 4:8) gives this as a synonym oi Anas strepera, Linn. 
Surely this is a mistake? And yet he quotes ''J. Veri'eaux" as 
the source whence the specimen (number 10) was acquired in 

Mr. E. L. Layard on South- African Ornithology. 77 

1858. Both the species are in the South-African Museum ; 
and I do not see how they can be confounded. I do not think 
that A, stre'pera is found here. 

680. Stercorarius catarrhactes. I lately sent the Zoo- 
logical Society two living examples of the southern Great Skua, 
and I am anxiously waiting to know if it turns out the same as 
the northern bird, or whether, like Cypselus gutturalis and C. 
barhatus, our birds are sufficiently distinct to constitute a 
new " species.^'' 

694. PoDiCA MOSAMBICANA. A Specimen, probably a female, 
of this rare bird has been sent for my inspection by the Curator 
of the Albany Museum. It was found dead one frosty morn- 
ing on a deep pool of the Kareiga River, in the Eastern Pro- 
vince. Mr. E. Atherstone says they are still to be found on 
the Kleinmond River, further to the eastward. I at once re- 
cognized it as the bird at which I have twice shot. 

696. Plotus capensis. At the Berg River I visited a 
" rookery " of these birds. It consisted of about thirty nests 
— thick dense masses of sticks, and weeds resting on them, 
placed among the branches of some African willow^s, which 
in the breeding-season are surrounded by water, but are dry at 
other times. The eggs are much prized as very delicate food. 

730. Graculus africanus has been shot by Mr. F. Barber 
near Gi-aham's Town. 

Ere I close, let me thank Mr. Gurney for his valuable "Notes" 
on my ' Birds of South Africa.^ His corrections and sugges- 
tions have been thankfully received, and recorded for a second 
edition, should such be called for. If I ever attempt it, I trust 
I shall have an opportunity of personally testing the correct- 
ness of my synonymy and identification, by visiting the con- 
tinental museums, wherein are stowed the collections of other 
workers in South Africa, and of consulting the zoological works 
in the rich libraries of Europe. Few people are aware of the 
disadvantages under which I laboured in this far-off land, in 
want of books of reference, without collections to refer to, with 
no friend at hand to consult. 1 never, to quote my own pre- 
face, " put forth this Catalogue as complete ; . ... it is a move 

78 Mr. E. L. Layard on South-African Ornithology. 

forwards, and may serve as a foundation for the labours of 
others/^ May those who follow, having the ''foundation," 
build a more perfect structure ! I console myself with the re- 
membrance that the giants of our science, with all the ad- 
vantages which a residence in the midst of books, collections, 
and societies can give, make mistakes. If the mighty fall, 
what shall the pigmies do ? 

And now a few words in explanation of the species occurring 
beyond my limits of latitude. In 1855, when I began my 
catalogue, my intention was to stop at the Tropic of Capricorn. 
This range would have included all these. In 1865 my la- 
mented friend Andersson broached his intention of publishing 
his discoveries, and in 1866 he finally settled on his scheme. 
He then asked me to restrict my ' Catalogue ' to the Twenty- 
eighth parallel. To this I agreed, and lent him all my manu- 
script notes. We weeded out all species occurring beyond the 
prescribed limit, with the exception of those given by Sir An- 
drew Smith in his ' Report,' which we considered should be re- 
tained. I should have alluded to this in my preface ; but it es- 
caped my memory. The reasons were : — 1st. Most of the species 
were known by us to have a wide range, and were likely to be 
found, sooner or later, in my limits ; many of them had, indeed, 
already been so found, but the exact localities were uncertain. 
The late Mr. R. Moffat, whose headquarters were at Kuruman, 
but who had collected about Griqua Town and along the 
Orange River, had sent me many of them, and spoken of others 
as being found south of the Twenty-eighth parallel, for example 
Aedonpaena, Turdus obscur-us, Plocepasser mahali, Estrelda squa- 
mifrons, Pyrrhulauda leucotis (all since found near Colesberg), 
Bessornis humeralis, Crateropus jardinii, Eurycephalus anguiti- 
mens (procured by Burchell south of 28°), Pterocles variegatus 
and P. gutturalis (these last with vast powers of flight and very 
migratory), and Pno/iop5 ^a/acoma. Textor erythrorhynchus and 
Ploceus taha, I had pretty good authority for believing, had 
certainly been found in my limits. Ploceus lathami and Estrelda 
erythronota should have been omitted, with Malaconotus aus- 
tralis, Merula litsitsirupa, Alauda chuana, Cinnyris talatala, 
and Chrysoptilus bennetti ; I believed these were mostly merged 

On the Malurinse of North-eastern Africa. 79 

in some other names subsequently adopted by Sir Andrew, 
instead of those originally given, and left them in for iden- 
tification. Enpodotis rufcrista I had from many places within 
my limits, though beyond the Orange River. Passer motitensis, 
only found by Sir Andrew sixty miles north of the River, is 
certainly, taking his route, well within the limits. Hyphantornis 
tahatali, he says, occurs "between the Orange River and the 
tropic/^ and Schizarhis co?jco /or ''inland from Port Natal.^^ 

Looking at all these facts, we decided upon keeping them in 
my catalogue ; I must plead guilty to the omission of the expla- 
nation which ought to have been given. 

But my aim, with all my shortcomings, has been accom- 
plished. An impetus has been given to South-African ornitho- 
logy ; the many letters I have received from friends and 
strangers assure me of this ; and already many ornithologists in 
England and elsewhere, who barely knew that any birds existed 
in South Africa (!), are looking us up and, I doubt not, will do 
good service. I trust that an occasional page will be granted 
me in ' The Ibis ;' and I will duly chronicle all the novelties 
that come to hand, and the corrections that should be made ; 
and I will not spare my own bantling. 

VII. — The Malurinse of North-eastern Africa. 

By Dr. M. T. von Heuglin*. 

(Plates I.-ni.) 

The North-east African Malurince, among which I include 
the genera Aedon, Bi-adypterus, Catriscus, Oligocercus, and Ca- 
maroptera, are for the most part inhabitants of the tropical 
regions of the continent. In Egypt and Northern Nubia, south- 
ward to the limit of rain, there are only Drymoeca cisticola, D, 
gracilis, Aedon galactodes, and Bradypterus cettii, and in Arabia 
Petraea the somewhat aberrant Drymoeca inquieta. Southward 
from lat. 18° N., Oligocercus and Camaroptera make their ap- 
pearance, as also tolerably numerous species of typical forms 
{Drymoeca), and in the western district of the country about 
the sources of the Nile the genus Catriscus. 

* Translated by W. S. Dallas, F.L.S. &c. 

80 Dr. von Heuo:lin on the Malurinpe 


Many species ascend, in the Abyssinian highlands, up to 
10,000 feet above the level of the sea; one {Drymceca rufifrons) 
is known exclusively as an inhabitant of the coast-country of 
the Tied Sea. 

Respecting the geographical distribution of the North-east 
African forms in general, trustworthy evidence is wanting to me 
as regards most of them. Drymceca cisticola extends westwards 
as far as the Gulf of Guinea ; eastwards it inhabits most of the 
warmer parts of Asia. D. gracilis occurs also in Syria, Asia 
Minor, and, according to Mr. Blyth, in India ; and D. rufifrons, 
according to M. du Chaillu, on the Gaboon. 

All the species of Drymceca particulai-ly observed by me 
appear not to migrate, and they usually live together in pairs 
and families within small districts, which they seem to quit 
unwillingly. Their favourite dwelling-place is amongst bushes 
such as acacias, and other spiny shrubs, and the dry tall grasses 
of the steppes ; some appear to prefer the banks of the torrents 
to every other locality ; and only a few are inhabitants of the 
marsh-country and larger reed-forests. They fly unwillingly 
and not far, but show great dexterity in climbing, and slip as 
nimbly as mice through the thickets. They rarely come down 
upon the ground, and then only for a short time. Their food, 
I believe, consists exclusively of insects and their larvae and 
eggs. Most of them are remarkably fine singers. The song and 
mode of life generally somewhat resemble those of the Reed- 
Warblers. What I had the opportunity of observing with 
regard to their reproduction is cited under the different species. 

The discrimination and settlement of the species was no easy 
task ; and I regard the following memoir only as more or less 
incomplete, inasmuch as I had not the necessary number of 
specimens for comparison, and also wanted many of the most 
nearly allied species from West and South Africa, in order to 
be able to decide as to the identity or non-identity of some of 
the species. Several remarkably nearly allied forms I have 
thought it necessary to separate provisionally as species. 

Some natui-alists have attempted to split the genus Dry- 
mceca into various subordinate divisions, such as Cisticola, He- 
mipteryx, and so on. A generic division of the African forms 

of North 'Oastern Africa. 81 

belonging to this group can, however, hardly be effected ; not- 
withstanding the diflPerences in the size and form of the bill, and 
of the rectrices, and the variations in the proportions of the 
toes, all show a remarkable agreement in their general type, as 
also in their mode of life. 

Genus Catriscus. 
1. Catriscus apicalis (Lieht.) ; Cabanis, Mas. Hein. i. 
p. 43, note; Sphenoeaciis alexinrp, Heugl., Journ. fiir Orn. 1863, 
p. 166. 

Supra fuscescente cinnamomeus, occipite magis olivaceo ; su- 
pracaudalibus purius fusco-tinctis ; subtus sordide albidus, 
lateribus colli et pectoris, cruribus et regione anali ex 
olivascente rufo indutis ; remigibus pallide fumosis, notaei 
colore marginatis ; rectricibus et subcaudalibus fuliginoso- 
fuscis, apice lato et conspicue,squamatim fulvescente albido 
marginatis, his spadiceo adumbratis ; subalaribus albidis ; 
maxilla nigricante, mandibula fulvescente cerina ; iride 
umbrina ; pedibus fulvis roseo lavatis. 
Long. tot. 5" 9'", rostr. a fr. 44"', al. 2" 1"', caud. 3" 1'", tars. 
7j'", dig. med. cum ung. SV"*. 

The only bird of this species that I obtained in Central 
Africa, and the sex of which could not be determined with cer- 
tainty f, was stated by Herr 0. Finsch to be perfectly identical 
with the South-African Catriscus apicalis. On comparison with 
Lichtenstein^s original specimen, however, many not unim- 
portant differences present themselves. It is decidedly smaller 
than the South- African bird; the rectrices are broader and darker- 
coloured ; the difference in length between the second and third 
remiges is more considerable ; the fourth, fifth, and sixth remiges 
are thelo ngest, and nearly equal in length ; the first is half as 
long as the fourth. 

The bill of this well-marked form is shorter and stronger 
than in the Reed-Warblers, rather somewhat laterally compressed 
than depressed, but slightly curved, with a scarcely perceptible 
notch at the rather sharp point ; between the eye and the 
* Throughout this paper the measurements will be given in French 
inches, r = 12"; r' = 12"'. 

t [In the author's original description of this specimen (J. f. O. loc. cit.) 
it is marked " 5 "• — ^u.] 

N. S. — VOL. V. & 

83 Dr. von Heuglin on the Malurinse 

nostril there spring on each side two strong rictal bristles ; the 
middle toe, with the claw, is rather longer than the tarsus ; 
thefeet are powerful, the claws moderately long, but fine and acute; 
the hind claw is as long as the hind toe itself; the wings are 
round, not very short, but only passing the root of the tail by 
a few lines. The tail in this genus is most remarkably deve- 
loped, with a broad uropygium, exceedingly bi'oad and soft and 
somewhat dishevelled coverts, and long, very broad, gradu- 
ated, and fan-like rectrices. 

This bird lives in the widely extended and almost impass- 
able deserts at the parent-lake of the Gazelle River ; I only 
saw it there very rarely, as it is unwilling to quit its retreat, 
climbs about among the reeds like a Reed-Warbler, and endea- 
vours to conceal itself in them. Its peculiar note, distantly 
resembling the piping of Argija acacia, set me on the track of 
this graceful creature ; but it was only after days of exertion 
that I succeeded in killing the specimen described, which was 
flying at a short distance, with its tail depressed and expanded, 
over a thicket of rushes. It fell into a thicket where the water 
was scarcely a foot deep ; I had marked the place accurately, 
and with my pocket-knife I cut down the sedges as carefully 
as possible, over a space of several fathoms square, a work which 
took me nearly two hours, and in which night just surprised 
me, as I at last discovered my rare prize. In the stomach I 
found small midges. 

Found also in South Africa. 

Genus Bradypterus, Swainson. 

2. Bradypterus cettii (Marm.), Cab., Mus. Hein. i. p. 43. 

Occurs in Egypt according to Keyserling and Blasius, but not 
collected by me, though I remember having frequently in the 
spring seen in the Delta and near Cairo a bird probably belong- 
ing to this species, especially in cornfields and reed-thickets. A 
note in my note-book runs as follows: — "11 March, 1852. 
Two Sylvi(2 seen, one of them ferruginous brown with a graduated 
tail {S. cettiit), the other more of the colour oi Aedongalactodes, 
but much smaller, near Beresch (Lower Egypt)." 

Found also in Algeria (Loche, Tristram). 

of North-eastern Africa. 83 

3. Bradypterus cinnamomeus (Riipp.). 

Sylvia cinnamomea, Riipp., N. Wirbelth. Taf. 42, fig. 1. 
Salicaria cinnamomea, Id., Syst. Uebers. No. 125, b. Calamoherpe 
cinnamomea, Bp., Consp. Av. i. p. 286 ; Heugl., Syst. Uebers. 
No. 188. 

Exolivaceo rufo-umbrinus, subtus pallidior,magis olivaceo-fulvus, 
gula et abdomine medio albicantibus ; pileo, nucha et re- 
gione pai'otica olivaceo-cano lavatis ; stria supraoculari 
alteraque infraoculari et ciliis fulvescente albidis; macula 
obsoleta anteoculari nigricante; scapis regionis paroticse ex 
parte albidis ; remigibus fumosis, dorsi colore marginatis ; 
alis brevibus rotundatis ; Cauda longa, valde graduata dorso 
concolore at ex parte ferrugineo tincto et delicate fasciolato ; 
scapis rectricum fuscis; rostro nigricante corneo, pedibus 
cerino cornels ; iride pallide umbrina. 
Long. tot. 6", rostr. a fr. ^\"'-^'", al. 2" 3"'-2" 6'", caud. 

2" 5"'-2" 9'", tars. 10"'-10i'". 

This species comes nearest to the South-African Bradypterus 
hrachypterus {Sylvia hrachyptera, Vieill.), with which it agrees 
in the slender bill, general coloration, the structure of the wings 
and tail, as also in the soft dishevelled plumage. But in the 
Abyssinian species the tail is still more graduated, and the tail- 
coverts shorter. The first primary of the short, much rounded, 
wings is about half as long as the fifth to tenth inclusive, 
which are the longest ; the fourth a little shorter than the 
fifth ; the second is somewhat shorter than the longest cubital 
remiges. The feet are stouter than in S. hrachyptera, and the 
bill a little shorter and stronger. One specimen has more of a 
rusty-yellow tint than that described. 

As we ascend the high Alps of Semien, the Guna, or the 
plateaux of Begemeda, Lasta, and the Galla country, the wan- 
derer is greeted from a blooming bush of roses or Hypericum, 
or from a thicket of Erica hung with long grey beards of 
lichen, by the far-resounding, metallic-ringing song of this 
little bird, which appears to be a permanent resident in Abys- 
sinia ; at least we found it from December to the beginning 
of the summer rains. It lives, by preference, concealed in 
sunny bushy slopes, and in the bushes along icy torrents, in 
which it glides to and fro like a Willow -Wren. It more rarely 


84 Dr. von Heuglin on the Malurinse 

conies on the ground, but, when it does, hops about with ele- 
vated tail, catching insects. Its manners and movements much 
resemble those of the Nightingale, but especially remind me of 
Aedon galadodes. The pairing-time appears to occur in January 
or February; the male then sings diligently, often until far into 
the night, and begins again long before day-light, even when 
the Alpine vegetation is covered far and wide with frost and ice. 

It appears to be very nearly allied to Phlexis layardi, Hart- 
laub (Ibis, 1866, p. 139, pi. vi.). 

To Bradypterus belong also Cettia africana, Bp., Bradypterus 
hrevirostris, Sund. (ffifv. 1850, p. 103), and Salicaria affinis, 
Hodgs., all unknown to me. 

Genus Aedon, Boie. 

4. Aedon galactodes (Temm.). 

Sylvia galactodes, Temm. Turdus arundinaceus, var. /3, Lath. 
T. rubiginosus, Meyer. Aedon familiaris, Menetr. A. minor, 
Cab., Mus. Hein. i. p. 39; Riipp., Syst. Ueb. No. 125, c; 
Heugl., Syst. Ueb. No. 219; Id., Faun. Roth. Meer, No. 67, 
Brehm, Habesch, p. 289 ; Hartm., J. f. 0. 1863, p. 232 ; A. v. 
Homeyer, ibid. 1863, p. 263, 1864, p. 321. 

Called "Bulbul" in Arabic, as is Pycnonotus arsinoe. 

Supra cinnamomea, uropygio, supracaudalibus et rectricibus 
Isete rufis ; loris et stria superciliari albidis, illis medio lon- 
gitudinaliter fuscescentibus ; remigibus fumosis extus ru- 
fescente fimbriatis intus basin versus hepatico fulvescente 
limbatis, apice albido marginatis; tertiariis pallidius fu- 
mosis marginem versus rufescente lavatis, apice obsolete 
albido marginatis; rectricibus ([ medianis exceptis) ante 
apicem late album macula majore nigricante notatis ; tec- 
tricibus alse primi ordinis sordide et magis conspicue, mi- 
noribus obsoletius pallido limbatis ; genis albidis rufescente 
fulvo lavatis; gastraeo sordide albido, ex parte rufescente 
lavato, pectoris lateribus purius rufescentibus, subalaribus 
albidis ; rostro et pedibus flavescente corueis, pedibus magis 
incarnatis ; iride pallide umbrina. 
Long, rostr. a fr. 5"'-6-7"', al. 2" ll"'-3" 2'", caud. 2" 4'"- 

2"8"', tars. 9"'-llf'. 

I am not able to detect any specific distinction between Aedon 
galactodes, A. familiaris, and A. minor. Brehm says he ob- 

of North-eastei'n Africa. 85 

served A. minor in the coast-country of Abyssinia. The spe- 
cimens collected by me near ]Masana and on the Adail coast 
are, indeed, perceptibly smaller than Egyptian examples ; the 
other characters, again, suit better with A. familiaris. 

According to the dwelling-places, season, and age, the prin- 
cipal colour varies between a bright rusty and light cream-colour 
or light reddish-grey. The black spots before the tip of the 
rectrices are sometimes large, angular, and sharply defined, 
and sometimes smaller, rounded, and indistinct ; the white tips 
themselves and the light borders of the wing-coverts are some- 
times very fresh and broad, sometimes faded, discoloured, and 
worn ; in one specimen, of this species, the whitish superciliary 
streak is sharply marked, in others scarcely indicated. South- 
European examples may be on the average considerably larger 
than Egyptian specimens. A. minor, from Abyssinia, again, is 
smaller than specimens from Egypt, and the bill is also weaker. 
I give the measurements of such a bird from the Berlin Museum : 
—Bill 6" 2"'; wing 2" 10'", tail 2" 5"', tarsus 11'". On the 
other hand, the diflference in the primaries described by Dr. 
Cabanis does not occur. 

This may be a stationary bird in the districts of Southern 
Arabia, the Samher and Adel Coasts, and also probably in 
Abyssinia. On the contrary, it is a bird of passage in Egypt, 
Nubia, and East Sudan, where it usually arrives between the 
lOth and 15th of April, migrating southwards again in Sep- 
tember. It lives in gardens, reed-thickets, cotton-fields, mimosa- 
woods, hedges, and ditches, and usually shows less preference 
than the Nightingale for very shady and dense underwood; it 
also differs from the Nightingale in its song and call-note, and 
in its general behaviour. It pleases by its rather shy and yet 
lively nature, which somewhat reminds one of that of a Thrush. 
It often flutters quickly from twig to twig, up to the very top 
of a tree, constantly moving, spreading, and closing its tail ; 
soon it is seen running about briskly upon the bare ground, or 
under the bushes and dry grass, hunting for worms and cater- 
pillers ; suddenly it emits a Thrush-like cry of fear, and flies 
noisily into the bushes. The birds of each pair keep together; 
the breeding-business begins as early as the end of April. As to 

86 Dr. von Heuglin on the Malurinse 

its nesting-place the bird is not particular ; and we found the 
nest in pomegranate-, cotton-, and tamarisk- bushes, upon low 
mimosa-trees half-concealed in grass, and in thin hedges, in 
gardens, and the immediate vicinity of buildings and the busy 
noise of men, as well as in deserted solitary places, or in quiet 
mimosa-groves. It resembles that of the Blackcap, consists of 
fine grass, rootlets, horsehair, wool, and so forth ; occasionally, 
but rarely, small twigs are interwoven in it. The structure is 
slight and not very thick or artificial. The bird does not appear 
to lay more than four eggs ; and I believe that it usually makes 
two nests, even when the first is not disturbed. In coloration 
the eggs have nothing in common with those of the Nightingale ; 
they rather resemble those of certain Reed- Warblers, and of the 
Wagtails. The young, as regards coloration, are scarcely dif- 
ferent from the adults. The sides of the breast are shaded with 
rusty-reddish, and indistinctly spotted. 

Although differing in many respects, I should arrange Aedon 
next to the Maliirince. Dr. Hartmann states that he has ob- 
served Aedon galactodes in Lower Egypt still singing at the end 
of November, whilst at this season of the year the bird was 
never met with by me north of the rainy limits. 

Found also on the Gold Coast (Mus. Stuttg.), and in Algeria 
(Loche, Tristram). 

5. Aedon leucoptera (Riipp.). 

Salicaria leucoptera, Iliipp., Syst. Ueb. tab. 15 and No. 125, d; 
Heugl., Syst. Ueb, No. 220 ; Bp., Consp. Av. i. p. 286. 

Saturate cinnamomea, subtus alba, regione mystacali et pec- 
tore obsolete furaoso-canescente striatis ; hypochondriis 
Isete ferrugiueo indutis ; capite supra cerviceque cauis, collo 
laterali pallidiore ; stria anteoculari fuliginosa, altera super- 
ciliari altera suboculari et ciliis albis; stria obsoleta mystacali 
alba; alis nigricante fumosis, tectricibus et cubitalibus 
conspicue et late albo marginatis; remigibus majoribus 
pogonio interno basin versus albicantibus j subalaribus albo 
et fumoso variis, rectricibus Isete cinnamomeo rufis, scapis 
basin versus intense rufoflavis ; fascia rectricum apicali lata 
obsolete nigro-fusca, prima secunda et tertia late albo ter- 
uiinatis, })ogonio cxtcrno prinise, apicc albo excepto fumoso. 

of North-eastern Africa. 87 

albo limbato ; rostro fusco, dimidio basali maudibulae flavo ; 
pedibus pallide corneis ; iride fusca. 
Long. tot. 6i", rostr. a fr. 6\"' , al. 2" 10'", tars. 1", cauda 
2" 9'". 

The fourth primary is the longest, the third a full line, and 
the second 5 lines shorter ; the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth 
remiges scarcely shorter than the third. Tail only slightly 

Has hitherto been found only in Shoa, where this Warbler, 
which is very remarkable for its coloration, appears to be rather 
rare. ]\Iost nearly allied to Erythropyyia pectoralis, Smith, from 
South Africa. 

Genus Drymceca, Swains. 

6. Drym(eca rufifrons. 

Malurus rufifrons, Riipp., N. W. tab. 41, fig. 1. Drymceca 
nififrons, Riipp., Syst. Ueb. No. 121 ; Heugl., Ibis, 1859, p. 340, 
Faun. Roth. Meer, No. 62 ; Brehm, Habesch, No. 287 ; Hartl., 
W. Afr. p. 169. 

Fronte cinnamomeo-rufa ; pileo, nucha, collo postico et laterali, 
interscapulio et tergo cinereo murinis; alis umbrino murinis, 
tectricibus et tertiariis albido limbatis ; gutture, subalari- 
bus et subcaudalibus albis ; pectore et abdomine Isete flavi- 
cante albis ; tibialibus rubiginosis ; rectricibus fusco nigri- 
cantibus, delicate fasciolatis, extima margine laterali et 
macula majore apicali, binis sequentibus macula apicaii 
albis; rostro nigi'icante; iride ochracea; annulo perioph- 
thalmico nudo Isete rubiginoso-flavido ; pedibus rubello- 
Long. tot. 4" 6'", al. 1" 7'", caud. 2" 2*'", tars. S^'", rostr. a 
fr. 5'". 

The fifth and sixth remiges the longest ; the first about half 
as long. In this species the naked ring round the eye is very 
remarkable, somewhat swollen, and very brightly coloured, as in 
Sylvia melanocephala ; it is not mentioned by Riippell, Brehm, 
or Hartlaub. The coloration of the tail is also aberrant. 

This brisk and lively Warbler, which renders itself remarkable 
by its shrill melodies, inhabits, according to my observations, 
only the west coast of the Red Sea, from latitude 17° N., the 
bay of Tedjura, and the Somali coast, and occurs usually in 
pairs in acacia-thickets and on euphorbias and stapelias. Dr. 

88 Dr. vou Ilcuglin on Ike Malurinse 

Brehm says that he found this species very abundantly upon the 
plateau of Mensa (4000 to 6000 feet) ; but in opposition to my 
friend's statement, it is of this species that I would least of all 
assert that it is "a Sedge-Warbler in its whole being and 
nature." Its song, call-note, general mode of life, and dwelling- 
place show, in accordance with the peculiar form of the bill and 
formation of the wings and tail, that Drymceca and Calamoherpe 
are not so very nearly allied. Indeed I am inclined to think 
that Brehm had not this species before him at all. I know 
this exceedingly delicate little bird, easily distinguishable at the 
first glance by its long black rectrices from all its allies, only as 
a rare inhabitant of the coast-region ; and if it were " very 
abundant" in Mensa, its occurrence there could not possibly 
have escaped me. 

Found also on the Gaboon (Du Chaillu). 

7. Drymceca mystacea. 

DrymcBca mystacea, Riipp., Syst. Ueb. No. 123 and tab. 10; 
Heugl., Syst. Ueb. No. 167; Bp., Consp. Av. i. p. 283. Drymoeca 
affinis, Smith, 111. Zool. S. Afr. tab. 77 (?) ; Hartl., W. Afr. 
No. 166 (etNo. 167?). 

Supra ex cinerascente fulvida, alse tectricibus et tertiariis magis 
fumosis et conspicue ochraceo marginatis ; uropygio fulve- 
scenti-albido ; tectricibus caudse superioribus ochraceis ; 
rectricibus valde augustatis et elongatis pallide fuinosis, 
dorsi colore lavatis et marginatis, extimis pallidioribus, sub- 
albicaatibus, omnibus ante apicem sordide albidum macula 
obsoletiore nigricanti-fumosa notatis : subtus albicans, la- 
teraliter magis fulvescente adumbrata; ciliis albidis; loris 
et stria supraoculari pallide fulvescentibus ; macula ante- 
oculari obsoleta fumosa ; remigibus fuligiuoso fumosis, 
pogonio externo delicate rufescente fulvo, iuterno basin 
versus pallide fulvo marginatis ; rostro cerino flavicante, 
pedibus rubellis ; iride pallide umbrina. 
Long. tot. 4" 7"'-5", rostr. a fr. 4"'-4-9"', al. 1" 9i"'-l" H'", 

caud. 2" 64'", tars. 9'"-9i'". 

In many specimens the bill is more mouse- coloured, with an 
olive-greyish tint. 

This species is pretty widely distributed in North-east 
Africa; it was observed by us in Central and Southern 

of Novih-eustern Africa. 89 

Abyssinia, in Sennaar, and on the Sobat, White, and Gazelle 
Rivers. It lives usually in pairs, in bushes and dry grass, if 
possible in the vicinity of water, and ascends in Abyssinia to 
10,000 feet above the sea-level. It is particularly abundant 
about Lake Tana, and near Gondar. It is, like its allies, a 
lively, active little bird, with a loud and agreeable song. Like 
most of the Bush-wrens, this species presents two distinct rictal 
bristles on each side. 

Found also in South Africa (Smith) ; and West Africa, 
Abomey (Fraser). 

7 a. Drymceca superciliosa. 

DrymcBca superciliosa, Swains., W. Afr. ii. p. 40, pi. 2. Dry- 
moeca affinis, Smith, S. Afr. tab. 77, 1 (?). 

Simillima Drymoeca mystacece, at minor, supra magis rufescente 

tincta, uropygio subrufescenti-fulvo ; margine remigum, 

tectricum alse et rectricuin pallide rufescenti-fulvidis ; 

tibialibus magis rufescenti lavatis. 

Long. tot. circa 4i", rostr. a fr. 4i"', al. 1" 81'", tars. 7|"', 

caud. 2" 1'". 

A bird obtained by us in the month of December in Sennaar, 
now in the Museum at Stuttgart, perfectly agrees in size and 
colour with a specimen in the Berlin IMuseum marked " Dry- 
moeca gracilis" from Senegambia. But the plumage of the 
latter, which I should regard as D. superciliosa, Sw., is more 
faded, the bill somewhat shorter and stronger, and the tail about 
1'" shorter. An example in the Stuttgart Museum labelled 
'^ Malurus gracilis," from South Africa, which may be identical 
with Drymoeca affinis, Smith, is likewise not essentially dif- 
ferent from either of the above-mentioned — the wing measuring 
1" 8'8"', the tail 2" ; and I found in this South- African specimen 
only one, instead of two rictal bristles. It is possible that the 
southern and western forms coincide with Drymoeca mystacea, 
Riipp. ; and in this case the synonymy would take the fol- 
lowing form : — 

Drymceca superciliosa, Swains. (1837) ; D. mystacea, Riipp. 
(1845) ; D. affinis. Smith (1849) ; D. gracilis, Hartl. W. Afr. 
No. 167 (1857). 

90 Dr. vou Heugliu on the Malurinse 

Dr. Finsch regards Cisticola tenella,Csih.^, from Eastern Africa, 
as identical with Drymceca superciliosa. The shorter tail of the 
former, as well as its somewhat longer tarsi, seem to me to be 
against this view; moreover the rectrices are somewhat broader, 
the bill longer, the colour above lighter smoky-brown, and 
the blackish subterminal spots on the rectrices more strongly 
marked. I measure the original specimen as follows : — Bill 
nearly 5'", wing 1" 7'", tarsus 9"', tail 1" 7"'. Swainson and, 
following him, Hartlaub give the following measurements for 
Drymceca superciliosa : — 

Length 4V', bill ^", wing 1^", tarsus ^", tail 2^^", 
which, converted into French measure, gives — length nearly 
4" 3'", bill 51'", wing 1" 81'", tarsus 9'", tail 2" 2'". 

7 b. Drymceca murina, nob. 
Similis DrymceccB mystacece, paulo minor, rostro graciliori 
nigricante ; supra ex toto sordide at saturate fuscescente 
murina, pileo saturatius tincto ; tectricum alse et tertiari- 
arum marginibus ochraeeis albis ; remigibus extus delicate 
albicanti-, basin versus rufescenti-marginatis ; stria super- 
ciliari, ciliis et loris magis conspicue et magis abrupte 
albidis ; gastr?eo minus fulvescenti lavato ; area magna 
utrinque pectorali murina. 
Long. 41", rostr. a fr. 4i"', al. 1" 10"'-1" 11'", caud. I" 101'", 
tars. 74"'-8"'. 

A permanent resident in Abyssinia, met with toward the 
north as far as the Bogos country, where this form, which is 
very similar to the true D. mystacea, lives in bushes and 
tall dry grass. Riippell appears to regard it as the female of 
the preceding ; I think, on the contrary, that we must separate 
the two birds, at least provisionally, the differences in the color- 
ation of the plumage and bill being too remarkable and con- 
stant. Moreover, in all examples of the true D. mystacea 
examined by me, I find no trace of the large, although not 
sharply defined, patch upon the sides of the breast, which is 
very strikingly shown in D. murina. The bill is very dark 
smoky-brown. Specimens in the Museums at Frankfort and 

* [We cannot recollect having met with a description of this species. 


of North-eastern Africa. 91 

8. T)rym(eca clamans. 

Prinia clamans, Riipp., N. W, Atl. tab. 2, fig. a. Drymwca 
clamans, Riipp., Syst.Ueb. No. 116j Heugl., Syst.Ueb. No. 179; 
Bp., Consp. Av. i. p. 283 ; Lefeb., Abyss. Ois. p. 166. 

Occipitis plumis et tectricibus alarum nigris, conspicue albo niar- 

giuatis ; nucha pallide cana ; interscapulio, scapularibus ct 

marginibus tertiariavum Isete cinnamomeo-isabellinis; tergo 

et uropygio purius isabellinis; ciliis, loris, genis et gastrseo 

flavicante albidis ; remigibus pallide fumosis, extus strictis- 

sime albo marginatis, intus basin versus flavescenti-albican- 

tibus; rectricibus, valde elongatis et graduatis, canis, ante 

apicem latum album late et conspicue nigricantibus, ex 

toto delicate fasciolatis ; rostro Igete corneo flavicanti, 

apice nigricanti ; iride helvola ; pedibus rubello flavidis. 

Long tot. 4|", rostr. a fr. 4"', al. 1" 9V", caud. 2" 2'", tars. 

' 2 • 

Occurring in pairs in Southern Nubia, in Northern Senuaar, 
and especially in Kordofan. Like its congeners, this species, 
which is remarkable for its charming colouring, lives in thorny 
bushes intermixed with tall grass. The song and call-note 
resemble those of Drymo'ca gracilis. Also found by Lefebvre in 
Northern Abyssinia in the province of Schirie. 

9. Drymceca gracilis. 

Prinia gracilis, Riipp., Atl. tab. 2, fig. 6. Dn/moeca gracilis, 
Riipp., Syst. Ueb. No. 117; Heugl., Syst. Ueb. No. 178, Ibis, 
1859, p. 340; Antin., Cat. p. 37; Cab., Mus. Hein. i. 44; Bp., 
Consp. Av. i. p. 283. Burnesia lepida, Blyth, Ibis, 1865, p. 44. 

Supra umbrino cinerascens, nigricanti striolata ; subtus sericeo 
albida ex parte tergsei colore lavata; loris et ciliis albidis ; 
remigibus et rectricibus fumosis, illis pogonio externo ex 
rufescenti cano-umbrino marginatis ; subalaribus albidis, 
fulvescenti-tinctis; rectricibus valde elongatis et graduatis, 
macula fumoso-nigricante ante apicem album notatis ; \ 
medianis subconcoloribus, omnibus delicatissime fasciolatis ; 
rostro cerino corneo, apice et culmine magis fusco; iride 
helvola ; pedibus rubello-flavicantibus. 
Long. tot. vix 5", rostr. 41"', al. 1" 7"'-l" 8'", tars, vix 8'", caud. 

2" l"'-2" 2'". 

In many examples there is a distinct dark striation of the 
Hanks, which in others is completely effaced. 

92 Dr. von Heusliu on the Maluriuse 


Abundant, in pairs, in Egypt northwards nearly to the Medi- 
terranean, in Arabia Petrsea, Nubia, Takah, and the Bogos coun- 
try, particularly abundant along the Nile and its canals, in gar- 
dens, hedges, acacia- and palm- groves, reeds and tall grass, is 
a permanent resident and breeds in Nubia in June, July, and 
August, but much earlier in Egypt. The small, elegant, and 
rather deep nest, which is constructed of dry grass-stalks and 
rootlets and lined with the wool of plants and hairs, is placed 
low down in palm-bushes and thorny shrubs. The three or 
four eggs are 6'" to 7'" long, and 5'" in breadth, spotted and 
marbled all over, upon a white ground, with light yellowish- or 
rusty-brown, while in general a dense ring of darker spots sur- 
rounds the larger end. 

This elegant species is a very lively little bird, which ap- 
pears to quit its station very unwillingly. Thus it dwells 
harmlessly in the bushes, climbs dexterously up and down the 
grass-stalks, and glides and hops briskly through the thicket ; 
sometimes it descends upon the ground and runs about seeking 
insects among the herbage. The tail is generally carried high, 
and sometimes expanded, especially when the bird calls, or emits 
its loud, ringing and metallic song. The call-note may nearly 
be represented by " quick-quick." The males seem to be of a 
very jealous nature, and often pursue each other with cries, and 
fight whilst flying in circles. 

Found also in Syria, Asia Minor, and India. Dr. Hartlaub's 
statement that this species occurs on the Senegal rests on an error. 

10. Drymceca pulchella. 

Prinia pulchella, Riipp., Atl. tab. 35 a. Drymceca jmkhella, 
Rupp., Syst. Ueb. No. 118; Heugl., Syst. Ueb. No. 177. D. syl- 
vietta, Heugl., J. f. 0. 1863, p. 165 ; Bp., Consp. Av. i. p. 283. 

Supra ohvaceo murina, genis et gastr^o pallide subsulfureis ; 
loris striaque superciliari pallidis, aurantiaco-flavo lavatis ; 
alis dilute fuscescenti-cinerascentibus, tertiariis secun- 
dariis et tectricibus pallide subolivascenti-marginatis ; rec- 
tricibus nigricanti-fuliginosis et delicate fasciolatis, extima 
pogonio externo vix toto maculaque apicali cuneiformi albis; 
sequentibus extus albo-marginatis, apice macula triquetra 
alba plus minusve distincta notatis ; mcdianis concolonbus ; 

of North-eastern Africa. 93 

subalaribiis albidis, flavido lavatis ; rostro rubenti-flavido, 

culmine et apicc maxillae nigricante ; iride belvola ; pedi- 

bus flavo rubellis. 
Long. tot. -i", rostr. a fr. 3-8'", al. 1" 7'", caud. 1" 9i"', tars. 
$ Minor, pallidius tincta, marginibus exterioribus cubitalium 

niagis cincrascentibus. 

An aberrant form, with a rather phyllopneustine bill ; the co- 
louring also resembles that of Phyllopneuste. The fourth primary 
is the longest, the third scarcely shorter. The rather long rec- 
trices are narrow, and the tail is rather strongly graduated. 

Lives singly, and in pairs, in Southern Kordofan, Western 
Sennaar, and along the Abiad and Gazelle Rivers, generally in 
thorny bushes or upon acacias and nebeq-trees. Song and call- 
note very clear, like those of Drymceca damans. 

11. Drym(eca iodoptera, Heugl. J.f. 0. 1864, p. 258. 
(Plate I. fig. 2.) 

Supra delicatissime ex purpurascente hepatico-cinerea, pileo vix 
saturatiore, cervice purius caerulescenti-cinerea, uropygio 
et supracaudalibus Isete ochraceis, his apice rufo lavatis ; 
tectricibus alarum purpurascenti-hepaticis, Iretius purpu- 
rascenti rufo marginatis; remigibus et tertiariis cinerascenti- 
fumosis, Isete rufo marginatis, illis iutus basin versus 
pallide hepatico-albido limbatis ; rectricibus tergjeo concolo- 
ribus, exterioribus pallidius fumosis, mediaais rufescenti-, 
extimis basin versus magis fulvescenti-marginatis et ante 
apicem albicantem macula obsoleta fumosa notatis; genis 
delicate cincrascentibus ; gula albida ; gastrseo reliquo de- 
licate fulvescenti-, abdomine postico saturatius rufescenti- 
ochraceo lavato; rostro rufescenti-cerino ; iride helvola; 
pedibus rufescenti flavidis. 
Long. tot. 5"-5" 5'", rostr. a fr. 6"'i-7"', al. 1" 11|"', caud. 

2" 2'", tars. 9"'-9^'". 

One specimen of this species, which is very strongly marked by 
the striking liver-grey colour of its back and bright purple- 
red wing-coverts, as also by its long, strongly curved and yet 
powerful bill, shows no trace of dark spots at the tip of the 
tail, the feathers of which are narrow. The wings are short 
and rather acute, and do not extend much beyond the root of 
the tail. 

94 Dr. von Heuglin on the Malurinje 

Observed rarely in the forest-region of the most central parts 
of Africa, in the provinces Bongo and Dembo in April and 
August. It lives singly in dense bushes intermixed with tall 
grass, and has a loud and pleasant song. It appears to me 
nearest to Drymceca erythroptera, which, however, has a much 
shorter blackish bill and considerably longer remiges, but a 
rather shorter tail. 

Specimens in the Museums at Stuttgart and Leyden. 

12. Drymceca marginata ; Drymceca marginalis, Heugl., 

Syst. Ueb. No. 175. 

(Plate I. fig. 1.) 

Pileo et nucha Isete rufescenti-fulvis, illius plumis maculis me- 
dianis latis nitide umbrino nigricantibus notatis; cervice 
pallidiore immaculata ; interscapulio, tergo, scapularibus, 
tectricibus alarum primi ordinis tertiariisque Ipete nigris, 
late et conspicue pallide fulvo marginatis, tertiariarum 
marginibus internis magis albidis, externis et tectricum 
majorum marginibus magis rufescenti-indutis ; uropygio et 
supracaudalibus cervinis, immaculatis; rertricibus \ me- 
dianis medio lougitudinaliter fumoso nigricantibus, late at 
nee abrupte fulvo-cervino marginatis, apicem versus macula 
obsoleta nigricante instructis ; reliquis fumoso canis, pogo- 
nio externo magis cervinis, ante apicem albidum nigricanti- 
notatis ; remigibus pallide fumosis, pogonio externo (apice 
excepto) stricte rufescenti-cervino-, intus basin versus hepa- 
tico albido-marginatis ; tectricibus alee minoribus cano 
fulvis, medio fumosis ; subtus ex fulvescente sericeo albida, 
gula et abdomine medio purius albis, pectore, hypochon- 
driis, crisso et cruribus Isetius rufescenti-fulvo adumbratis ; 
loris fulvescenti-, ciliis pure albis; rostro cerino corneo, 
maxilla magis fusceseente ; iride helvola ; pedibus rubellis. 
Long. tot. 4" 10'", rostr. a fr. 5-2"'-5-6"', al. 1" 10"'-2", caud. 

2"-2" 2'", tars. 8-8"'-8-9"'. 

Like Drymceca erythrogenys, but much smaller, the bill rather 
shorter and much more curved, feet, wings, and tail considerably 
shorter, the vertex bright light-brownish rusty-yellow, with 
much broader brownish-black spots on the shafts, which disap- 
pear on the nape, where they are broadest and closest together 
in D. erythrogenys ; the bright rusty fawn-coloured margins of 
the feathers of the greater wing-coverts and tertial remiges are 
much broader and still more distinctly marked, those of the inner 

Ibis, 1869 Pl.l. 

M.T.vdh Heuolm mmt 
J, G "Keulemails JitkoQi 

MiiN.HanharL .imp . 


of North-eastern Africa. 95 

vanes of the latter broadly white or yellowish -white ; the duller 
fawn-eoloured upper tail-coverts are not streaked with black ; 
eyelids and middle of throat and belly tolerably pure white. 

Lives in pairs in the reed-thickets of the Upper Abiad and 
Gazelle Rivers and on the Lower Bahr el Djebel, from which, 
especially in the morning, we frequently heard the song and 
call-note of this bird. 

Described from three specimens differing very inconsiderably 
from each other in the Museums at Vienna and Stuttgart. Dr. 
Finsch regards I)rym(£ca marginata as identical with Drymceca 
erythrogenys, but without having directly compared the birds. 
It is impossible to confound them. 

13. Drymceca erythrogenys. 

Drtjmceca erythrogenys, Riipp., Syst. Ueb. tab. 12 and No. 125 ; 

Heugl., Syst. Ueb. No. 176; Bp., Consp. Av. i. p. 184.. D. 

bizunura, lleugl., Syst. Ueb. No. 176. 

Capite supra et cervice Isete cervino fulvis, stricte nigricante 
striolatis ; auchenio pallidiore ; scapularibus, interscapulio, 
tergo et tertiariis nigris, late et conspicue fulvo striatis ; 
uropygio fulvo immaculato ; tectricibus caudse superioribus 
rufescente fulvis, conspicue nigro striatis; rectricibus nigri- 
cante fuliginosis, subtus canescentibus, extus late fulvo 
marginatis, ante apicem fulvo albidum late nigricante 
notatis, deinde pallidioribus ; remigibus fumosis, extus 
(apice excepto) Isete cinnamomeo marginatis, intus basin 
versus sordide rufescente fulvo limbatis; stria obsoleta' 
superciliari fulva; loris fulvescente albidis; macula obso- 
leta anteocnlari fumosa; subtus fulvescente albida, genis, 
hypochondriis cruribusque Ifetius rufescente lavatis; pec- 
toris lateribus nigricante striolatis ; rostro cerino corneo, 
culmine et apice magis fusco ; iride helvola ; pedibus ce- 
Long. tot. 51", rostr. a fr. 5|"'-6"', al. 2" 4V"-2" 5i"', caud. 

2" 6'", tars. 9i"'. 

The rectrices, especially the two middle pairs, have nearly the 
whole of their outer vanes yellowish fawn-coloured, and their 
inner vanes more smoky-blackish, like the shaft, and a very 
narrow stripe along the latter on the outer vane ; the reetrices 
are sometimes washed with yellow upon the ground-colour of 
the upper surface. 

96 Dr. von Heuglin on the Malurinse 

Lives in pairs in the Abyssinian Mountains at from 5000 to 
10,000 feet above the sea-level, especially in isolated thickets, in 
wooded ravines, and torrents, sometimes also in tall grass. 
The song is very loud and variable. I have some reason to 
think that this bird may really coincide with D. luguhris (Uiipp.), 
and that it is to be regarded as the young of the latter spe- 
cies, but I have have no definite data upon this point. The 
coloration is very different, but not the structure of the tail or 
the distribution of colour upon it, especially the indication of 
the triple band at the tip. For the present I cite the two 
forms as specifically distinct. 

14. Drym(eca cantans. 

Drymoeca cantans, Heugl., Syst. Ueb. No. 174. i). lugubrist, 
Heugl., J. f. O. 1861, p. 194. 

Media ; pileo et nucha saturate umbrino rufis, immaculatis ; 
loris et superciliis latis, conspicuis, fulvescenti-albidis ; in- 
terscapulio, scapularibus et tergo fuscescenti-canis, con- 
spicue fusco-nigricante striatis ; uropygio et supracauda- 
libus ex olivaceo cano fulvescentibus, immaculatis ; tectri- 
cibus alarum cano-fumosis, pallide marginatis, minoribus 
magis cano tinctis ; tertiariis saturate fumosis, dorsi colore 
dilute marginatis (marginibus in plerisque aut rufescenti-, 
aut sordide fulvescenti-lavatis) ; rectricibus fumosis, extus, 
basin versus, magis conspicue rufescenti-marginatis, intius 
basin versus ex hepatico-fulvo limbatis, rectricibus latus- 
culis,ex olivaceo cano umbrinis,vix pallidius marginatis, |ex- 
timis apice late albis, omnibus macula anteapicali nigricante 
notatis; subtus ex fulvescente albicans, vix olivaceo lavata; 
gula purius alba ; lateribus pectoris canescente tinctis ; 
tibialibus rufescentibus ; rostro fuscescenti-corneo, mandi- 
bulse tomiis pallidioribus ; iride helvola; pedibus cerino 
rubellis, hypodactylis griseis. 
Long. tot. 5" 2'", rostr. a fr. 4-8'"-5'", al. 2"-2" 1|"', caud. 
2" 2i"'-2" 5i"', tars. 9"'. 

This species, estabhshed upon six specimens in the Museums 
at Stuttgart, Frankfort, and Vienna, is distinguished from Dry- 
mceca lugubris by the distinct whitish superciliar streak, much 
brighter brownish-rusty vertex and nape, the lighter-coloured 
and less distinct streak on the shafts of the mantle, by the 
sides of the breast and the tail-coverts being spotless, the 


M.T:vDiiHcu6]iii pmxt 



of Nurth-emfern Africa. 97 

much broader rectrices with a double apical band, by its ratlier 
smaller size and more curved but scarcely stronger bill. The 
tint varies, however, considerably. The birds, before moulting, 
which seems to take place in the beginning of the year, are 
of course less brightly marked ; the rusty-red of the vertex and 
the margins of the remiges especially then becomes more of a 
cinnamon-colour; the mantle becomes of a dingy mouse-colour 
with a slight tinge of brown and a very obsolete dark striation. 

This bird has a tolerably wide range in Abyssinia. We found 
it in Tigre and Semien, as also in the basin of Lake Tana, at 
from 5000 to 11,000 feet above the sea-level. It lives singly, 
and in pairs, in thickets on the borders of the torrents and stony 
islets, in the bushes and high grass, appears to be a permanent 
resident, and is distinguished by its excellent ringing song. 

A similarly coloured but somewhat larger bird in the Frankfort 
Museum exhibits an obsolete dark striation on the vertex, nar- 
rower rectrices, and stronger feet ; its measurements are : — 
wing 2" 5f"'; tail 2" 2'"; tarsus 10'"; but I doubt whether it is 
to be referred to D. cantans. 

According to a communication by letter from Dr. Finsch, 
Drymoeca cantans, ]i{eug\.,=D. sub?'uficapilla, Smith; but nei- 
ther the figure nor the description and measurements given by 
Smith justify this supposition. My bird is rather larger ; has a 
much more powerful bill, a whole-coloured vertex not streaked with 
brown, and a longer, much broader, and less graduated tail. The 
measurements of D. subriificapilla, according to Smith, are : — 
Length 5" (French measure) ; wing \" lOV"; tail 2" 1^'"; and 
it has blackish streaks on the sides of the breast. 

15. Drymceca concolor, nob. 

(Plate II. fig. 1.) 

Similis Drymceca cantanti, Heugl., at Isetius tincta, tergo inter- 
scapulio et scapiilai'ibus ex olivaceo saturate murino uin- 
brinis immaculatis ; tectricibus alse et tertiariis fuinosis 
obsolete et nee abrupte cinnamomeo rufescente marginatis ; 
Cauda lata conspicue rufescente lavata; genis rufescentibus; 
stria supraoculari et loris pallidioribus ; ciliis albidis. Oc- 
cipite et nucha ex olivaceo rufis, immaculatis ; genis eodem 
colore lavatis; macula anteoculari vix distincta fumosa ; 
N. S. VOL. V. H 

98 Ur. von lleiiglin o/i the Malui'inee ■ 

rectricibus latiusculis umbrino Diurinis, pogonio externo 
rufescente lavatis, infra canis ; margine angustiore apicali 
albido, conspiciie cinereo lavato ; macula anteapicali nigri- 
cante ; gastrseo albido, lateraliter olivaceo fulvescente tincto ; 
subalaribus fulvidis ; tibialibus ex olivaceo rufescentibus ; 
rostro corneo-fusco, dimidio basali mandibulse flavicante : 
pedibus cerino rubellis. 
Long. tot. circa 4|", rostr. a fr. vix 5'", al. 2", caud. 2" 1'", 
tars. 9i"'. 

Exceedingly like Drymceca cantons ; the bill rather stronger ; 
above in general much more brightly coloured, and the mantle 
without any trace of streaking, although the specimen de- 
scribed appears to have freshly moulted. The wing-coverts and 
tertials, moreover, show a perfectly different coloration : with a 
tolerably deep smoky ground, they are rather broadly (but not 
sharply) bordered with ferruginous, and exhibit no broad, dark 
spots on the shaft. 

From North-east Africa, probably from the White Nile (cer- 
tainly not from Abyssinia). In the Berlin Museum. 

16. Drym(eca flaveola, Heugl., Syst. Ueb. No. 166, and 
J. f. O. 1862, p. 289. 

(Plate II. fig. 2.) 

Supra l?ete rufo-cervina (cervice excepta) late et conspicue ni- 
gricante striata ; supracaudalibus purius rufis, obsolete 
fusco striolatis ; tertiariis et tectricibus alse late et circum- 
scripte cervino rufescente marginatis ; remigibus fumosis, 
extus cinnamomeo marginatis, intus basin versus pallide 
hepatico limbatis ; rectricibus fuliginoso canis, medianis 
cervino fulvo marginatis, omnibus apice late rufescente 
albis, fascia anteapicali 3"'-5"' late nigricante notatis ; ciliis, 
loris et gastrseo fete virenti-flavicantibus ; fronte et tectri- 
cibus alse minoribus eodem colore tinctis; pectoris lateribus 
et hypochondriis olivaceo rufescente adumbratis; crisso, 
cruribus et subcaudalibus rufescenti-ochraceis ; margine 
alari et subalaribus extimis pallide viridi-flavescentibus, 
medianis pallide hepaticis; rostro cerino, culmine magis 
fusco ; pedibus rubello cerinis ; iride helvola. 

Long. tot. 5" 4'", rostr. a fr. 5"', caud. 2" 3'", al. 2" 3|'", tars. 


This species is distinguished by the bright light-greenish- 

of North-eastern Africa. 99 

yellow colour of the throat, breast, and abdomen. The broad, 
blackish spots at the tips of the rectrices are produced down- 
wards along the shaft, somewhat like an arrow-head. 

We found this species only in the environs of Adowa, in Abys- 
sinia, upon moist places overgrown with bushes and rushes, at 
an elevation of from 5000 to 7000 feet above the sea. It climbs 
about like a Sedge- Warbler upon the stalks, or balances itself 
whilst singing or calling upon their tips. In the nestling- 
plumage the blackish striation on the vertex and mantle is more 
indistinct, and the crissum more whitish. The breeding-time 
seems to be in tlie month of November. At the beginning of 
December we found young birds of this species, scarcely able 
to fly, upon Cy/)en«-bushes on the margin of a large marsh. 

17. Drymceca robusta. 

Drymceca robusta, Riipp. (nee Blyth), Syst. Ueb. No. 123, and 
tab. 13 ; Heugl., Syst. Ueb. No. 172 ; Lefebv., Abyss. Ois. p. 89; 
Bp., Consp. Av. p. 283. 

Major; capite supra cerviceque tota Isete et saturate umbrino rufis, 
hac pallidiore, illius plumis medio late fusco nigricanti stri- 
atis ; macula anteoculari obsoleta fumosa ; loris, ciliis, stri- 
aque lata superciliari fulvescenti-albidis ; interscapulio, 
tergo, viropygioet supracaudalibus, scapularibus et tectricibus 
alse minoribus fusco uigricantibus conspicue pallide fulvo-, 
tectricibus alse minoribus et uropygii plumis magis fulvo- 
canescenti-marginatis; tertiariis nigricantibus, extus stricte 
et late rufescenti-, intus paulo angustius fulvescenti-albido 
mai-giuatis ; tectricibus alse majoribus fusco-nigricantibus, 
albido marginatis, albediue marginali plus minusve ru- 
fescenti-lavata ; remigibus fumosis, basin versus extus 
rufescenti-, intus magis hepatico-fulvescenti-marginatis ; 
rectricibus latis, truncatis, supra fumosis, medianis magis 
nigricantibus, infra canescentibus, rufescente marginatis, 
\ medianis exceptis ante apicem fulvescenti-albidum late 
nigricante notatis; genis et gastrseo fulvescenti-albidis, 
colli lateribus et hypochondriis magis ochi-aceo lavatis; 
crisso, subcaudalibus et tibialibus Isetius ex rufescente fulvo- 
ochraceis; pectoris lateribus plus minusve cano lavatis; 
rostro fusco-corneo, dimidio basali mandibulse flavido ; iride 
helvola, pedibus rubellis. 
Long. tot. 6i"-6L", rostr. a fr. .54"'-6"', ab ang. or. 9"', al. 

2" 101'", caud. 2" 5"', tars. 12"'-13"'. 

H 2 

100 Di". von Hiugliu un the Malui'inas 

The thii'd, fourth, fifth, and sixth remiges the longest; the 
first 12"'-13'", the second 3'" shorter than the tip of the 

This rare species is contained in the Museums of Frankfort, 
Vienna, Paris, and Stuttgart. The description is from five spe- 
cimens, remarkably similar in proportions and coloration, and 
all obtained from central Abyssinia and Shoa. It appears to 
be most nearly allied to Drymcsca procerula, Sund. (CEfvers. 
1850, p. 104), which seems to be distinguished by its lighter 
forehead, and the absence of rusty colour on the vertex and nape, 
as also upon the pointed reetiices. 

Drymceca robusta, like its congeners, lives generally in pairs, 
upon pastures and among the low bushes. Each pair seems 
to take possession of a tolerably wide domain ; nevertheless 
these birds lead a rather concealed and quiet life, although 
they are not shy, and when pursued endeavour rather to escape 
by hopping and gliding through the covert than by resorting 
to flight. It probably does not migrate ; yet we met with this 
species only between the months of December and May, and 
at an elevation of from 5500 to 8000 feet above the sea. 

18. Drymceca malzaci, Heugl., Syst. Ueb. No. 173. 

Similis DrymOiC(B robustcE, liiippo, at minor; rostro multo bre- 
viore et altiore, magis arcuato; pedibus gracilioribus ; albe- 
dine apicali caudse multo angustiore; pileo et cervice in 
fundo fulvescente (nee Itete rufo) fusco nigricante striatis ; 
coloribus ex toto obsoletioribus, at scapularibus, inter- 
scapulio et tertiariis jgetius fulvo marginatis ; margine 
tectricum alse primi ordinis ex canescente fulvo albida, nee 
rufescenti-lavala; tibialibus, crisso et subcaudalibus pallide 
fulvidis, nee k^ete rufescenti-ochraceis ; tergo et uropygio 
fulvo-cervinis. Notaeo fusco-nigricante, plumis conspicue et 
pure fulvo marginatis; tectricibus alse minoribus in fundo fu- 
liginoso late fulvo-cano-limbatis ; stria obsoleta superciliari, 
ciliis, loris et gastrseo fulvescenti-albidis, gula et abdomine 
mediis purius albidis: pectoris lateribus pallide olivaceo-fus- 
cescenti-, hypochondriis magis ochraceo lavatis; remigibus 
extus, apice excepto, pallide rufescenti-fulvo marginatis; rec- 
tricibus medianis saturate fumosis,reliquisobscurius fumoso- 
canis, fulvescente marginatis ; scapis rectricum pallidis ; 
jectricibus omnibus ante apicem angustiorem albidum ni- 

of XurtJi-etisteni Africa. 101 

gi'icante notatis ; rostro pallide incaniato ccrino cornco ; 
pedibus rubello cerinis ; iridc fusca. 
Long. tot. 5 1", rostr. a fr. oy , ab ang. or. 7|"', al. 2" 6'", 
caud. 2" 2'", tars. \0\"' . 

I regard this bird, of which, however, I have only one speci- 
men before me, as specifically distinct from Dnjmceca robusta : 
the much lighter bill is shorter, much more curved and much 
higher than in that ; on the vertex and nape the bright brownish- 
rusty colour is entirely wanting and replaced by tawny-yellow ; 
the nape-feathers show a pretty distinct dark striation ; the 
mantle-feathers are margined with bright tawny-ycllow ; the 
rump likewise tawny-yellow, spotless ; the much broader margins 
of the rectrices of the same colour. The white apex of the tail 
is only half as broad as in D. robusta, and the blackish spot is 
distinctly visible on the median pair of feathers. Of the remiges 
the fifth is the longest ; the fourth scarcely, and the third notably 
shorter ; the under tail-coverts reach to the tip of the first 
rectrices, while in all the specimens of D. robusta before me they 
are from 4'" to 6'" shorter. 

I obtained the bird described, which was determined to be a 
male, through the French traveller, M. A. de Malzac, who killed it 
in March on the lower Bahr el Djebel, near Djak, in the district 
of the Kidj negroes. We never met with Dnjmmca robusta in 
the region of the White Nile. 


Drymoeca lugubris, Riipp., Syst. Ueb. No. 124, and tab. ii. ; 
Heug]., Syst. Ueb. No. 164; Lefebv., Ois. Abyss, p. 89; Bp., 
Consp. Av. i. p. 283. Drymceca bizonura, Heugl., Syst. Ueb, 
No. 176. 

Similis quoad figuram Drymcecce erxjthrogeni, at caiida breviore, 
apice purius trifasciata; pileo obsolete fumoso cano, ru- 
fescenti lavato ; cervice obscuriore, obsolete fuscescenti- 
varia ; interscapulio et scapularibus fuliginoso uigi-ican- 
tibus, plumis indistinete fuscescente cinereo marginatis; 
uropygio et supracaudalibus fuscescente canis, his ex parte 
nigricante striolatis ; tertiariis et tectricibus alte nigri- 
cante fuscis, stricte et obsolete fulvescenti-albido mar- 
ginatis ; remigibus fumosis, extus basin versus magis ma- 
gisvc cinnamomeo marginatis, intus rufesccnti-fulvo lim- 

103 Dr. von Heuglin on the Maluriuse 

batis j rectricibus fusco nigris (-}- medianis pallidioribus), 
ex cano fulvescente marginatis, ante apicem albidum fascia 
nigricante, deinde basin versus fascia altera^ 5'" lata, fulves- 
cente notatis ; genis cano fulvescentibus ; stria superciliari 
et ciliis pallide fulvis : subtus fulvescente albida, pectoris 
lateribus obsolete nigricante striolatis ; rostro fuscescente 
corneo, mandibula ilavicante ; iride helvola ; pedibus ru- 
bello cerinis. 
Long. tot. 54", rostr. a fr. 6-1'", al. 2" 4^'", caud. 2" |"', 
tars. 10'". 

A species distinguished by the unspotted brownish-grey vertex 
tinged with ferruginous, especially towards the forehead, the 
dull grey margins of the mantle-feathers, and the peculiar 
marking of the tail. The ground-colour of the I'ectrices is 
smoky or smoky-black ; at the tip a rather narrow white spot, 
sometimes washed with yellowish-grey, appears ; above this a 
blackish transverse band nearly 3"' broad, and above this again 
an ochraceous band nearly 5"' broad, which is very distinctly 
marked upon the inner vane. The sides of the face are dull 
mouse-grey or ochraceous; the eyelids and superciliary streak very 
light ochreous-yellow ; the loins in some specimens are of a 
greyish tinge. 

The description is from the original specimen in the Sencken- 
bergian Museum, which was probably killed in Eastern Abyssinia. 
It lives, according to Eiippell, singly in thickets and thin shrub- 
beries on the plateau of Abyssinia. 

20. Drymceca ANTiNOEii, Salvad.,Heugl,J.f.0.1867, p.202. 
*' Drymceca ?," Antin., Cat. p. 37. 

" Major ; supra unicolore rufo-fuliginosa, subtus albida, hypo- 
chondriis et subcaudalibus isabellino rufescentibus ; rectri- 
cibus fusco-rubescentibus, lineis minutissimis indistincte 
transversim striatis ; pogonio interno atque partim externo 
apicem versus, macula nigra notato ; remigibus obscuris, 
rufo marginatis ; rostro corneo, robusto, incurvo ; iride 
" Fu ucciso da me il 10 aprile del 1861, fra i cespugli che erano 
attorno ad un piccol lago per entro la tribu degli Elwasch, fra il 
7 e 6 L. N., nello interno del Gazal.^^ — Antin. /. c. 

According to a communication from De Filippi this species. 

of North-eastern Africa. 103 

which is no longer to be found in the Museum at Turin, re- 
sembles Drymoeca rujiceps ; the bill is robust and much curved. 

21. Drymceca ruficeps. 

Malurus ruficeps, Riipp., Atl. tab. 36. Drymceca ruficeps, 
Riipp., Syst. Ueb. No. 120; Bp., Consp. Av. i. p. 283 ; Haiti., 
J.f.O. 1861, p. 110; Heugl., Syst. Ueb. No. 169; Cass.,Proc. 
Ac. Phil. 1859, p. 37(?). 

Capite supra, cervice et supracaudalibus cinnamomeis, concolori- 
bus ; loris, ciliis, stria superciliari, gastrseo et subalaribus 
albidis, isabellino lavatis ; macula anteoculari obsolete pal- 
lide fumosa; interscapulio et scapularibus migricanti-fuscis, 
lateraliter obsolete ex rufescente fulvo-albido marginatis ; 
tertiariis saturate nigricanti-fuscis, late et conspicue pallide 
fulvescente-marginatis ; reniigibus et tcctricibns alse fusco- 
fumosis, his fulvescenti marginatis, margine exteriori basin 
versus magis magisve cinnamomeo rufescenti, illis late 
fulvescenti-limbatis ; rectricibus saturate fumosis, infra 
canescentibus, pogonio externo basin versus cinnamomeo 
marginatis, | exterioribus ante apicem late album macula 
subrotundata nigricante notatis, prima pogonio externo 
vixtotoalbo; tibiis cinnamomeo lavatis; rostro Ipete cerino 
corneo, culmine et apice magis spadiceo ; iride helvola ; 
pedibus rubello flavidis. 
Long. tot. 4i"-4|", rostr. afr. 4i"'-5"', al. 2" l"'-2" 2'", caud. 

1" 8"'-l" 9'", tars. 8"'-9"'. 

The fourth primary is the longest, the third to the seventh 
nearly equal to it, the second 2'" and the first 9i"' shorter than 
the tip of the wing. The tail rather broad and much gra- 
duated, the outermost tail-feathers 7'" shorter than the middle 

This species inhabits Kordofan, the lower district of the 
Abiad, Sennaar, Takah, Abyssinia, and probably also southern 
Nubia. It lives in pairs in the bushes and dry tall grass, not 
only along the streams, but also on the steppe and in the forest- 
region. It is a very lively little bird, whose agreeable song and 
Sedge- Warbler-like call-note is very often heard. It does not 
migrate. We did not meet with this species in the coast-country 
of Abyssinia; in the mountains it probably ascends above 
7000 feet. 

104 Dr. von Heugliu on the Muluriiise 

Said also to occur on the Caaraa and Ogobia Rivers in West 
Africa (Du Chaillu) (??). 

21 flf. Drymceca leucopyga, Heugl., Syst. Ueb. No. 170. 

Similis DrymceccB ruficipiti, at robustior, rostro longiore, vali- 
diore, corneo nigricante ; pileo, cervice et supracaudalibus 
saturatius fuscescenti-rufis ; uropygio late fulvescenti- 
albido ; cauda magis obtusa^ subtus minus conspicue albo 
notata; rectricis extimse pogonio externo delicate albo 
niarginato, nee toto albo ; interscapulii plumis, scapula- 
ribus et tertiariis obscurioribus, vix nigris rufescenti-fulvo 
Long. tot. 5\", rostr. a fr. ^"', al. 2" 2^'", caud. 1" 9|"', 
tars, vix 9'". 

Whether this form is really to be separated specifically from 
Drymceca riificeps must be left for the present undecided, as I 
have not at hand the necessary number of specimens for com- 
parison. We killed it in Semien up to 11,000 feet, in Galabet 
and Eastern Sennaar, where it occurs chiefly in the savannas. 

21 b. Drymceca scotoptera, Sundev. (Efvers., 1850, p. 129. 

" Superne grisescens maculis dorsi magnis nigris; uropygio 
rufescenti-fusco. Caput superne cum cervice obscure fulvo- 
rufescens, postice obsolete fusco maculatum, GastrEeum 
immaculatum, albido fulvum, gula ventreque medio purius 
albis. Remiges extus fuscescentes, vix pallido margmatis; 
cauda minus elongata pennis superne fusco-nigricantibus, 
apice pure albis, obtusis, basin versus rufescenti fusco- lim- 
batis ; 2 mediis immaculatis; 4|-5 poll.; al. 5*2 mm.; 
t. 20; c. 45; r. a fr. 11. Affiuis D. ruficipiti, Riipp., sed 
minor; rostrum fortius, culmine sat arquato. E Sennaaria 
allata." — Sundev. /. c. 

The measurements reduced to Paris inches and lines give : — 
Wing 1" 11'", tarsus 9'", tail 1" 8'", bill from the forehead 5'". 
Not examined by me. 

21 c. Drymceca fulvescens, Sundev., (Efvers. 1850, p. 129. 

" Similis D. scotopterce ; pictura ejus omnino, sed color ubique 
magis fulvescens. Caput superne, alse extus, uropygium 
et limbi rectricum rufescenti-fulva. Dorsum fulvescens, 
maculis nigris. Gastrseum totum pallide fulvescens. Rec- 
trices apice pure alba?, subacutte. 

of Nuiih-eastern Africa. 105 

" Ala 50, tars. 21, c. 45, r. a. fr. 12, forma praecedentis. 

"Habitat in Sennaaria." — Sundev. /. c. 

The measurements reduced give: — Wing 2", tarsus 9"2"',tail 1" 
8'", bill from the forehead 5-2'". 

As regards the general coloration and structure of the tail, 
apparently most nearly allied to the next species. 

21 d. Drymoeca cordofana, nob. 

Similis D. ruficipiti, at rostro fusco longiore, magis arcuato, alis 

brevioribus ; Cauda magis graduata, pro mole longiore ; tergi 

et iuterscapulii colore obsoletiore, magis rufescente; uropygio 

postico albido. 

Long. tot. circa 4^", rostr. a fr. vix 5'", al. 1" 9^'", tars, vix 

8'", caud. 1" 8"'-l" 9'". 

Described from an old male from Kordofan, in the Museum 
of Stuttgart. I do not venture to unite this form also with D. 
rvficeps, although it is very nearly allied to it. Its bill is much 
more slender, broader at the base, with the culmen sharper and 
far more arched. Before the white tip of the first tail-feather 
there is a blackish spot, which usually appears to be wanting in 
D. ruficeps. 

22. Drymceca simplex, nob. 

Similis Drymceca ruficipiti, at pileo dorso concolore (nee rufes- 
cente), obsolete fuscescenti-striolato ; rostro longiore, al- 
tiore; alis brevioribus; supracaudalibus pallide cinera- 
scenti-fuscis (nee rufis) ; digito externo breviore. Supra 
pallide cinerasceuti-fuscescens ; pileo fuscescente striolato ; 
interscapulio et scapularibus magis conspicue funioso nigri- 
cante striatis ; remigibus fumosis, pogonio externo obsolete 
pallide marginatis ; tertiariis et tectricibus alse majoribus 
iumoso nigricantibus, rufescenti-fulvo marginatis ; uropygio 
albicante ; rectricibus medianis fuscescentibus, vix rufes- 
centi-lavatis ; reliquis magis cano-fuscescentibus, ante api- 
cem albidum, cano lavatum, nigricante notatis ; gastraeo 
fulvescenti-albido, loris, gula et abdomine medio purius 
albis, pectoris lateribus fulvescente-cano adumbratis ; rostro 
pallide incarnato corneo, culmine fusco; pedibus pallide 
fulvis ; iride helvola. 
Long. tot. circa 4|", rostr. a fr. 5'2"', al. 1" 11'", caud. 

1" 10'", tars. 9'". 

One would be led, on superficial examination, to regard the 

106 Dr. von Heuglin on the Malurinse 

bird described as a somewhat faded youug state of D. ruficeps, 
if the diflference in the proportion of the toes were not observed ; 
for the outer toe is shorter than the inner one^ while in the 
other species the contrary proportion occurs. Moreover the 
vertex and nape are not bright ferruginous, but light greyish- 
brown, with narrow, not clearly defined, but yet tolerably distinct 
smoky-brown streaks on the shafts ; the upper tail-coverts and 
margins of the rectrices are not bright ferruginous, but light 

Described from a specimen killed on the 6th February in the 
country of the Kidj negroes, on the Bahr el Djebel. 

To a form very similar to this, probably still undescribed, 
and distinguished by the peculiar striation of the breast, in the 
museums of Stuttgart and Frankfort, I give the name of 

Drymceca virgata. Pileo et nucha fusco rufescentibus, 
obsolete fusco striolatis ; interscapulio, scapularibus, tergo 
et tectricibus alse secundi ordinis umbrino canescentibus, 
conspicue nigricanti-fusco striatis; uropygio et supra- 
caudalibus eodem colore dilute uiaculatis ; tectricibus alse 
majoribus et tertiariis fumoso nigricantibus, conspicue et 
late pallide rufescenti-griseo marginatis ; remigibus satu- 
rate fumosis, pogonio externo rufescenti marginatis, interno 
basin versus hepatico fulvo limbatis; rectricibus saturate 
fumosis, conspicue rufescente lavatis, pallidius limbatis, ^ 
extimis ante apicem albidum, cano lavatum, macula nigri- 
cante notatis ; loris, genis et gastrteo sordide albidis, 
lateribus pectoris et hypochondriis sordide umbrino caues- 
cente lavatis, genis et colh lateribus obsolete rufescente 
variis, pectore fuscescente striolato ; tibialibus rubiginosis ; 
subalaribus albidis, fulvo tinctis ; rostro, ut videtur, cerino 
corneo, culmine magis fusco ; pedibus et unguibus tlavidis. 
Long. tot. circa 4|", rostr. a fr. 4i"', al. 2", caud. 2" 2'", 

tars. 7'". 

The outer toe is somewhat longer than the inner one. In the 
museum at Stuttgart as D. levaillanti, from the Cape, at Frank- 
fort from West Africa. 

23. Drym(eca eximia, Heugl. 

(Plate III. fig. 1.) 
Habitu Cisticolce schoenicola, at cauda angustiore, longiore, 
magis graduata, coloribus ex toto Isetioribus ; pileo, inter- 

Ibis. 1869 am 

T.TOn Heu^lm pmx 
G.KeuiemBtns litho6 

M & N . Harfiar t 1 mp 


of North-eastern Africa. 107 

scapulio, scapulai'ibus, tectricibus alarum et tertiariis niger- 
rimis, stricte et conspicue albido uiarginatis, marginibus 
ex parte rufo lavatis ; stria superciliari, genis, cervice, 
uropygio et lateribus corporis Isete fulvo-rufescentibus, cer- 
vicis plumis medio magis rufescenti-umbriuis; remigibus 
fumosis, primariis extus pallide rufescenti-fulvo, secundariis 
magis umbrino-rufesceiite marginatis; omnibus intus basin 
versus pallide rufescenti-fulvo limbatis ; rectricibus fuli- 
ginoso nigricantibus, scapis rufescentibus, subtus fuligi- 
noso canis, strictius albo terminatis, macula anteapicali 
nigricante, extima pogonio externo conspicue albo-, reliquis 
lateraliter lato cervino fulvo marginatis; albedine apicis 
rectricum supra cano lavata ; ciliis et loris fulvescente 
pallidis, macula obsoleta anteoculari fumosa ; genis paulo 
umbrino adumbratis; gastrseo fulvo induto^gula et abdomine 
medio pure albis ; crisso et subcaudalibus niveis ; tibialibus 
Isete rufis ; pectoris lateribus ex parte nigricante striolatis ; 
rostro cex'vino corneo, culmine magis fuscescente ; iride 
helvola ; pedibus rubello cerinis. 
Long. tot. circa 4" 3'", rostr. a fr. 4-1'", al. 1" 10'", caud. 1" 
8|"', tars. 7i"'-8"'. 

A very remarkable species, from its variegated coloration. 
With regard to its mode of life, I can unfortunately give no in- 
formation ; I found it in the month of February in reeds and 
buslies on the Upper Gazelle River. The only specimen obtained 
by me was sold by the Museum of Stuttgart to that of Berlin; 
it is an adult male. In form and marking it most resembles 
D. lineocapilla, Gould, from Australia, but has longer tarsi and 
wings, and rather shorter, narrower rectrices. Vertex, mantle, 
greater wing-coverts, and tertials deeply black, the latter rather 
brownish-black, all with white margins, partly washed with red- 
dish-yellow, which, however, in the feathers of the vertex and 
mantle only run down the sides, and do not reach the tip ; cheeks, 
lores, eyelids, nape, and rump bright rusty-red, the latter more 
rusty-yellow; the middle of the feathers of the nape indi- 
stinctly brown. Lower surface bright reddish-yellow, lighter in 
front ; middle of the neck whitish ; middle of the abdomen, 
under tail-coverts and vent snow-white. Outer and inner 
toes (without the claw) almost of equal length, the former 
perhaps somewhat shorter. It cannot be confounded with any 
other North-east-African species. 

[To be contiuued.] 

108 Recent Orniiholo(/ical Publications. 

VIII. — Notices of Recent Ornithological Publications. 

1. English. 

Mr. Gould has produced two more parts of his ' Birds of 
Great Britain', the species treated of being as follows : — 

Part XIII. August 1st, 1868. 

Kite or Glead. 
Marsli-Harrier, adult. 


Scops Eared Owl. 
Great Grey Shrike. 
Rose-breasted Shrike. 
Snow-Buntingr or Snowflake. 

Grey Wagtail, in summer. 

, in winter. 

Alpine Accentor. 
Hedge-Accentor or Hedge- 

Red-legged Partridge. 
Gad wall. 

Part XIV. September 1st, 1868. 

Wood -Pigeon or Cushat. 



YeUow Wagtail. 

Grey-headed Wagtail. 



Bar-tailed Godwit. 

Black-tailed Godwit. 
Little Auk. 
Black Tern. 
White-winged Tern. 
Whiskered Tern. 
Manx Shearwater. 

The Rose-breasted Shrike now first makes its appearance in 
the character of a British species. It is the well-known Lanius 
minor of Southern Europe. A single example was obtained so 
long ago as the year 1851 on one of the Scilly Islands, and at 
the time was taken for a common L. excubitor, under which 
name its occurrence was recorded by Mr. Rodd (Zoologist, 
p. 3300). That gentleman subsequently perceived that it was 
something better, and in the ' Journal of the Royal Institution 
of CoruwalF for October 1867 (pp. 352, 353) announced it 
under its rightful name. He also submitted the specimen to 
Mr. Gould, whose figure in the present work is taken from it. 
Averse as we are to the practice of including every stray bird 
of foreign origin among those which are really inhabitants of 
the country, a more plausible claim may be set up for this 
Shrike than for many other species, since it may very well have 
occurred before and been overlooked. In his account of the 
Spoonbill, Mr. Gould omits any notice of the fact that it for- 
merly used to breed in England (as witnessed by old Sir Thomas 

Recent OrnitholonicaJ Pxblicafiona. 109 

Browne), and in that particular differed remarkably from the 
Stork; which was never more than an accidental visitor, how'ever 
frequently it appeared. Respecting the range of the Gadvvall, 
Mr. Gould has forgotten a statement in this Journal (Ibis, 1864, 
p. 132), wherein that species was undeniably shown, on Mr. G. 
G. Fowler's authority, to breed in Iceland. In conclusion, we 
trust Mr. Gould will pardon us for directing his attention to the 
fact that he makes occasional use of the so-called " names " of 
Brisson, a practice to be condemned by every upholder of the 
system of binomial nomenclature. 

Two more parts of ' Exotic Ornithology ' * have appeared 
since our last notice of the work (Ibis, 1868, p. 335). 

In Part VII. are figured the followino; American birds : — 

Leucoptemis palliata. 
Scops flammeola. 


Chsetiira semicoUaris. 

Porzana hauxwelli. 




Leucoptemis palliata, though long ago discovered by Natterer, 
and now not unfrequently to be seen in collections, has but 
recently been formally named and described by Herrvon Pelzeln 
under Natterer's MS. appellation, which must take precedence 
of Mr. Gray's name L. polionota, also intended for this species, 
since that is unaccompanied by any description. Scops flam- 
meola is a pretty little Mexican and Guatemalan species, which 
may be "annexed" by our friends in the United States to their 
own fauna, as undoubted Californian specimens, from Fort 
Crook, exist in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution. 

Ch(Btura semicollaris is a gigantic Swift, one of De Saussure's 
discoveries in Mexico. It appears to be rare, as none of the 
many collectors who have also visited that country within the 
last fifteen years have met with it. The four species oi Porzana 
help to illustrate a group of birds upon which our friends the 
authors have lately been engaged (P. Z. S. 1868, pp. 442-470). 
Complete lists of the American species of the genera Scops and 

* Exotic Ornitliolo<iy. By Philip Luti.ey Sclater, M.A. &c., 
and OsBERT Salvin, M.A. Sec. Parts vii. & viii. Londuu : Imp. 4to. 

110 Recent Ornithological Publications. 

ChcEtura are given^ and also of that section of the Crakes to 
which Bonaparte applied the name Laterirallus. 
The contents of Part VIII. are — 

Fulica ardesiaca. 




Leucopternis semiplunibeus. 

Geotrygon chiriquensis. 
Cardinalis phceniceus. 
Pyrgisoma leucote. 

The first four plates of this part represent four out of the six 
species of Coots which inhabit the southern portion of the South 
American continent. The intricate synonymy of these birds has 
been lately worked out by the authors in the Zoological ' Pro- 
ceedings/ and additions and corrections made to Dr. Hartlaub's 
excellent memoir published in the "extra-Heft ^' of the ' Journal 
fiir Ornithologie^ for 1853. Fulica chilensis turns out to be 
Tschudi's F. ardesiaca on comparison of the types of the two 
species. F. stricklandi, Hartl.^ appears to be the same as 
Azara's " Focha," F. leucoptera, Vieill. We hope some day 
to see a figure of the wonderful species from Potosi, described 
by Prince Bonaj)arte as F. cornuta, and afterwards generically 
separated by him as Lycornis cornuta, of which at present the 
only known specimen is in the Paris Museum. The figure 
of Leucopternis semiplumbeus finishes the series of this genus ; 
and a complete synonymatic list is given of the eight spe- 
cies. In Part V. of this work {cf. Ibis, 1868, pp. 336, 337) the 
authors figured what they believed to be Geotrygon chiriquensis, 
and hoped that all difiiculty respecting that species was re- 
moved ; but unfortunately they now find that the bird there 
represented must be called G. albifacies, the true G. chiri- 
quensis, of which a figure is now given, being a distinct species, 
as shown by the recent acquisition of specimens, and also by the 
rediscovery of the type of Mr. Sclater's original description. 
Unfortunately the synonymy is not yet closed, as Mr. Lawrence 
seems to have described the same species in a recently published 
catalogue of the Birds of Costa Rica, of which we hope to give 
an extended notice in a subsequent number. 

The attractions of the Nile have already engaged the attention 

Recent Oniithulogical Publications. Ill 

of several of the most valued contributors to this Journal, and 
have lately been set forth at some length by our excellent con- 
frere Mr. A. C. Smith*. From a rigidly technical point of 
view, we might perhaps complain that the manner in which 
ornithology is treated by the author of these two handy little 
volumes is not such as to increase the knowledge of the science 
among those who use them. But who is there that has ever 
floated in a " dahabeah" who has cared for the most abstruse 
and recondite questions when lotus-eating? Such matters are 
left to be settled at home ; and these volumes are especially 
intended for the Nile-traveller during his voyage. They will, 
we hope, induce many of our countrymen who annually visit the 
ancient and mysterious river, and content themselves with 
butcheiy on its banks, to pay greater attention than before to 
the proceeds of their bird-slaughtering expeditions, submitting 
their spoils to the inspection of friends at home for proper iden- 
tification. We do not perceive any errors in Mr. Smith's deter- 
minations of species, so far as we can judge, not having 
examined his specimens ; but we venture to suggest that of his 
unknown birds (vol. ii. pp. 275-278) no. 102 may be Geron- 
ticus hagedash, and no. 103 G. calvus, while no. 108 is, with- 
out much doubt, Grus virgo. 

In conclusion we may remark that an Ornithology of Egypt 
still se fait desirer ; and very welcome such a work would be. 
Might we, without impertinence, suggest the publication of a 
Hand-book of Egyptian Zoology to the Ray Society and Mr. 
Tristram when they have completed their present undertaking 
on the Zoology of Palestine ? 

That nearly a century has elapsed since any narrative of 
travels in Iceland should have been published in Sweden is an 
excellent reason why Professor Paijkull should give to his 
countrymen a narrative of his tour in that island. But con- 
sidering the inordinate number of works of the same kind which 

* The Nile and its Banks, a journal of travel in Egypt and Nubia, 
showing their attractions to the Archaeologist, the Naturalist, and the 
general Tourist. By Rev. Alfrkd Charles Smith, M.A. London : 
18G8. 2 vols. sm. 8yo. 

112 Recent Ornithological Publications. 

have made their appearance in this country, it is astonishing 
that an English translator of his book* should declare that tne 
island and its inhabitants " are comparatively but little known 
to us." However, there would be no need to call the attention 
of the readers of ' The Ibis ' to this publication were it not for 
the fact that Mr. Barnai'd has thought fit to add to his trans- 
lation, by way of 'Appendix/ a "List of the Animals, Birds, 
Fishes, Molluscs, etc., found in Iceland ; extracted from ' The 
Voyage en Islande, par M. Gaimard.' " We generally know 
what we may expect when we find ''Birds, Fishes, Molluscs, 
etc." treated as if they were not " animals ;" and on the present 
occasion we have not been disappointed. The list Mr. Barnard 
prints is offered to his readers at third hand. He transcribes it 
(with a few errors and omissions) from the volume of M. Gai- 
mard^s series which is devoted to " Zoologie et Medecine " 
(pp. 161-166), and written by M.Eugene Robert, who gives it 
as an "extraite de Gliemann" ; and sure enough the original is 
to be found in Gliemann's work (pp. 150-1/0), which is nearly 
fifty years oldf. The absurdity of such a proceeding is mani- 
fest, and any further criticism quite unnecessary. Prof. PaijkuU, 
being a man of science, feared to tread but on his own path ; 
his translator rushes in, and most successfully displays his 

ignorance of almost every branch of zoology. 


2. Dutch. 

The supposition hazarded in our last number (Ibis, 1868, 
p. 476), that the ornithological portion of the work of Messrs. 
Schlegel and Pollen had come to an end, was premature, a Fourth 
and concluding LivraisonX having lately made its appearance. 
This contains, besides a few pages wanted to complete the ac- 

* A Summer in Iceland. By C. W. Paijkull, Professor of Geology 
at the University of Upsala. Ti'anslated by Rev. M. R. Barnard, B.A. 
&c. London : 1868. 8vo, pp. 364. 

t Geographische Beschreibung von Island, von Theodor Gliemann. 
Altona: 1824. 8vo, pp.232. 

X Recberches sur la Faune de Madagascar et de ses D^pendances, &c. 
2"^ Partie. Mammiferes et Oiseaux, par 11. Schlegel et Fran^'ois 
P. L. Pollen. Levde : 1868. Roy. 8vo. (4""' Livraison.) 

Recent Ornitholugical Publications. 113 

count of the birds collected by the Dutch naturalists, a commen- 
tary on Dr. Hartlaub's well-known and excellent little volume 
[cf. 'Ibis/ 1861, pp. 402-405), and several lists, one showing 
roughly the geographical distribution of birds in Madagascar 
and the neighbouring islands, and another the number of spe- 
cimens from that subregion possessed by the Leydeu Museum, 
amounting to upwards of 750. The commentary on Dr. Hart- 
laub disposes in a very off-hand manner of many species and 
genera of birds ; and we cannot but think that a good many of 
the conclusions at which the authors arrive are such as they 
would not reach had they more evidence before them. With all 
its imperfections, however, the work will remain a lasting monu- 
ment of the labours of Messrs. Pollen and Van Dam; and the 
plates are generally so well drawn that, unlike many monuments, 
it may always be contemplated with pleasure. 

3. German. 

The appearance of the first section of Ilerr von Pelzeln's 
account of the late Jobann Nattercr's ornithological discoveries 
iu Brazil^ has already been chronicled, and a few words of well- 
earned commendation were bestowed upon itf. We take the op- 
portunity of the issue of the second part of this work, which has 
lately been received in this country, to explain to our readers a 
little more fully its contents and objects, so that its importance 
may be more completely appreciated. 

The late Johann Natterer was, as regards the class of birds to 
which he principally devoted himself, perhaps the most energetic 
and most successful collector that has ever lived. He dedicated 
the eighteen best years of his life to the exploration of various 
parts of the great empire of Brazil, and during this period accu- 
mulated a collection of no less than 12,293 birdskins, repre- 
senting about 1200 different species. Every specimen was not 
only most beautifully prepared, but likewise provided with a 
ticket on which the locality and date of collection, sex, and the 

* Zur Ornitliologie Brasiliens. Resultate von Johann Natterer's Reisen 
in den Jahren 1817 bis 1835 dargestellt von August von Pelzeln, 
Gustos an d. k.-k. zoologischenCabinete in Wien. II. Abtheilung. Wien, 

t Ibis, 1868, pp. 226, 227. 
N. S.— VOL. V. I 

114 Recent Ornithological Publications. 

collector's number was inscribed in his own handwriting. At 
the same time a note-book was kept in which the colour of the 
iris, bill and legs, form of the tongue, contents of the stomach, 
and various other peculiarities were carefully registered, together 
with remarks on its habits and the distribution of the species. 
Natterer returned to Europe in 1835, but unfortunately died in 
the prime of life, before he had hardly commenced the publi- 
cation of his numerous discoveries, leaving his enormous col- 
lections almost untouched in the drawers of the Imperial Ca- 
binet of Zoology at Vienna. 

Until recently little had been done to render this valuable mass 
of material available for the purposes of science. But about ten 
years ago Herr August von Pelzeln, who had then lately suc- 
ceeded to the charge of this part of the Imperial Collection, 
began to work out and describe the species of certain groups 
and to publish the results along with extracts from Natterer's 
MSS.* Stimulated by the favour which these papers have 
met with from ornithologists, and urged on by their solicitations, 
Herr von Pelzeln has now undertaken the great labour of pre- 
paring and publishing a complete catalogue of all the species 
collected by Natterer, together with descriptions of the no- 
velties and extracts from the MS. notes of the deceased natu- 
ralist. Of this work we have the first two portions, containing 
the Accipitres and the Passeres down to the end of the Denti- 
rostres (according to the Grayian System) now before us. The 
catalogue gives us not only a list of the species, with descrip- 
tions of such as are new, but likewise states the exact locality 
at which each specimen was obtained. To illustrate the geo- 
graphical distribution still further, a tabular resume is ap- 
pended, in which the ground traversed by Natterer is divided 
into six principal " faunas," and the occurrence of each species 
in one or other of those " faunas " is indicated. These faunas, 
which are further illustrated by a map showing Natterer's routes, 
are as follows : — 

* Herr von Pelzeln's numerous papers in tlie ' Sitzungsbericlite ' of 
the Vienna Academy, and in the ' Abhandlungen ' of the Zoological and 
Botanical Association of Vienna, have been constantly referred to in ' The 

Recent Ornithological Publications, 115 

1. South-Brazilian Fauna — from Curitiba and Paranagua, 
which were the most southern points attained by Nattcrer, along 
the coast-district up to Uio Janeiro, and the surrounding country. 
This fauna is all in the provinces of Sao Paulo and Rio, and is 
perhaps better known ornithologically in Europe than any other 
part of South America, from the large collections of birdskins 
made near Rio, and from the works of the late Prince Max- 
imilian of Wied, Prof. Burmeister, and others. Natterer's first 
four journeys, from November 1817 to September 1822, were 
devoted to its exploration. 

2. The Central- Brazilian Fauna embraces the basins of the 
streams which constitute the headwaters of the Rio Parana. 
Natterer traversed this district, which lies within the Brazilian 
provinces of INIinas and Goyaz, in his fifth journey, in 1823 and 
1824. Herr von Pelzeln assigns the Rio Araguay as the western 
boundary of this fauna ; so that some portion of the watershed 
of the Tocantins is included in it. Natterer reached the Ara- 
guay in October 1824. 

3. The Bolivio- Brazilian Fauna. — This title is given by the 
author to the portion of the province of Mattogrosso which 
was traversed by Natterer after crossing the Araguay on his 
route to Fort Principe de Beira, on the Guapore. It embraces, 
therefore, portions of the watershed of the Tocantins, Paraguay, 
and Amazons, and includes what is generally called the "dia- 
mond-district " of Brazil. Natterer's longest sojourns in this 
district were at Cuyaba (in which city he stayed from December 
1823 until June 1825) and Villa Bella de Mattogrosso (where he 
arrived in October 1826, not finally quitting it until July 1829). 
In Sao Vicente, near Villa Bella, on the 18th of June 1826, 
Natterer had the misfortune to lose his faithful assistant Sochor, 
and after that, we believe, travelled mainly alone. From Villa 
Bella Natterer descended the Guapore to Fort Pi-incipe de Beira, 
embarking on the 15th of July, 1829, and reaching the latter 
point about the 9th of August. 

4. The Columbio-Brazilian Fauna. — According to Herr von 
Pelzeln's views this Fauna includes the whole valley of the Ma- 
deira below Fort Principe, together with the main valley of the 
Rio Negro. Natterer, as we have already stated, passed Fort 


116 Recent Ornithological Publications. 

Principe de Beira about the 10th of August 1829, and reached 
Borba, on the Lower Madeira, on the 24th of November. Hei*e, 
and in this neighbourhood, he stopped until August 1830, and 
then commenced his eighth expedition up the Rio Negro. Leav- 
ing Borba on the 25th of August, he reached Barra de Rio Negro 
on the 10th of September, and remained there about two 
months. Thence he ascended the Rio Negro to San Jose de 
Marabitaaas, the frontier fort of Brazil on the Rio Negro, which 
he reached on the 16th of January 1831. Hence excursions 
were made to the Venezuelan town of San Carlos, and up the 
rivers Xie, Ijanna, and Vaupe. Finally Natterer returned to 
Barcellos on the 23rd of August. 

5. The Guiana- Brazilian Fauna. — The author restricts this 
term (which in our opinion ought to include the whole valley 
of the Rio Negro, or at any rate its left bank) to the district of 
the Rio Braucho^ which Natterer ascended soon after his return 
to Barcellos in the autumn of 1831. At Forte do S. Joaquim, 
on the confines of Guiana, he passed six months, and returned 
to Barra at the end of August 1832. 

6. Fauna of the Lower Amazons, i. e. of the Amazons below 
Barra down to the sea-coast. Natterer did not finally leave 
Bai-ra until July 1834, and reached Para in September. The 
next year was devoted to the investigation of the district of 
Para, after which the indefatigable traveller had purposed to work 
along the Brazilian coast-provinces of Maranhao, Rio Grande de 
Norte, Parahiba, and Pernambuco, and so back to Rio. But a 
popular disturbance, which broke out in Para in 1835, caused 
him to alter his plans. His house and effects were plundered 
by the insurgents, and the fine collection of living animals de- 
stined for the Imperial Menagerie at Schoubrunn destroyed. On 
the 15th of September 1835, he embarked at Para for Europe, 
and finally quitted the scene of his labours. 

We may perhaps say that we do not quite hold to Herr von 
Pelzeln's views as regards these six " faunas,^^ though there 
can be no question of the value of the tables he has prepared to 
illustrate the geographical distribution of the species. We 
think it would have been better to have made the divisions into 
"faunas" coincide with the river-basins. At any rate, as al- 

Recent Ornithological Publications. 117 

ready remarked, the fauna of the Madeira should be separated 
from that of the Rio Negro. The former, though perhaps not 
actually divisible from the Upper-Amazonian fauna, presents us 
with many peculiar species, such as Pteroptochus thoracicus, 
Odontorhynchus cinereus, and Pipra nattereri. The latter, as 
shown by Messrs. Sclater and Salvin (P. Z. S. 1867, p. 593), is 
peopled with most of the familiar forms of the Guianan fauna, 
of which it is in fact a part. 

The first part of Hcrr von Pelzeln's * Ornithologie Brasiliens/ 
which appeared at the beginning of last year, contains a catalogue 
of the Accipitres and the Fissirostral and Tenuirostal Passeres. 
Twenty-one new species were described in it. The second part, 
which is just issued, contains the list of Dentirostral Passeres, 
with descriptions of 78 new species, besides many notes on, and 
redescriptions of, those imperfectly known. A third part is 
promised in the beginning of 1869; so that we cannot complain 
that this important work, so long delayed, when once taken in 
hand by its present accomplished editor, has been tardily per- 

4. Portuguese. 

Professor du Bocage, in the ' Jornal de Sciencias ' of Lisbon, 
continues the valuable series of articles on the ornithology of the 
Portuguese possessions in West Africa which we have before 
noticed (Ibis, 18G8, p. 345). This third paper on the subject 
consists of two lists — one of birds collected at Biballa and the 
the neighbourhood, the other of those obtained at Huilla, the 
furthest point in the interior to which the possessions stretch. 
Both these collections were formed by the indefatigable Sr. 
Anchieta, and together they contain examples, among many 
others, of five species described as new : — Nectarinia ludvi- 
censis, Drijmoeca anchietce, Hirundo angolensis, Crateropus hart- 
laubi and Gallinago angolensis. A description is also given of 
two specimens which appear to belong to the Estrelda quartinia 
of Bonaparte (Consp. Av. i. p. 461), a rare species, of which the 
only example hitherto known is in the Paris Museum and is said 
to have come from Abyssinia. The Professor agrees with Mr. 
Gurney (Ibis, 1864, p. 350, and 1868, p. 45) in maintaining 
the specific distinction of Campephaga nigra and C. xanthor- 

118 Recent Ornithological Publications. 

noides, in opposition to the opinion of Dr. Hartlaub (Orn. West- 
afr. p. 99), who considered them to be identical. 

5. American. 
The ' Proceedings of the Boston Society of Natural History ' 
contain a " Synopsis of the Birds of South Carolina " by Dr. 
Coues, a very acceptable contribution to our knowledge of the 
North-American Avifauna, as since Catesby^s time only one list 
of the birds of this State seems to have been published, and that 
list was confessedly nothing more than a compilation. Dr. 
Coues has had the advantage of making personal investigations, 
having passed two years at Columbia. He says : — 

" The birds of South Carolina, with few exceptions, are the 
same as those of the South Atlantic and the Gulf States at 
large (exclusive of certain Texan birds). These exceptions are 
the Florida Jay, and the several species, not strictly North 
American, which visit the peninsula of Florida alone, mostly 
from the West Indies. It is not probable that South Carolina is 
the terminus of the autumnal emigration of any northern species. 
The lower swampy parts of Virginia rather represent such 
terminus ; and any species which passes this boundary is likely 
to be found in winter any where in the South Atlantic States, 
exclusive, of course, of such species as pass entirely beyond the 
United States. And, although the Carolinas, in a general way, 
limit the northward extension of the few typical species of the 
South Atlantic States, the boundary may be more definitely 
placed in Virginia, along the line where the swampy changes to 
the higher country, which, as we have just seen, limits certain 
northern species in coming south." 

Two hundred and ninety-four species are enumerated by Dr. 
Coues as occurring in South Carolina ; and brief notes are 
appended to their names, containing much information on their 
distribution, particularly as regards the season of their appear- 
ance, which, coming from an authority so trustworthy, is 
eminently useful. The doctor has some remarks on the subject 
of Shrikes impaling their prey on thorns, which open a question 
of much interest. Speaking of Lanius or Collurio ludovicianus 
he says : — 

Recent Ornithological Publications. 119 

" At Columbia, where the Loggerhead is a very coaimon bird, 
frequenting the weedy streets and waste fields of the city, I 
have observed it on numerous occasions, and once witnessed the 
following : a Loggerhead was busily foraging for insects in the 
Capitol yard ; from its observatory, on the top of a tall bush, it 
pounced upon a large grasshopper, and carried it to a tree near 
by, which was full of small, sharp twigs. Planting itself upon 
one of them, with the insect in its beak, the bird thrust the 
grasshopper upon a twig, pushing the latter quite through the 
insect's body by repeated forcible movements. After the grass- 
hopper had been transfixed to the bird's satisfaction, the latter 
hopped to another part of the tree, where it remained for some 
minutes, apparently enjoying the writhings of the impaled 
insect, or at least waiting to make sure that it was firmly secured. 
This being evidently the case, the bird at length flew off, re- 
sumed its former station, and commenced to hunt for more 
grasshoppers. AVithin the next few minutes I saw it capture 
several more, all of which it ate upon the spot. 

" I have not seen any satisfactory explanation of this strange 
habit of the Shrikes ; nor am I prepared to offer any. Writers 
have drawn largely upon their imagination in treating of the 
trait. The facts at our command are conflicting, and do not 
furnish the basis for any very consistent theory as to the why or 
wherefore, or, particularly, the cui bono of such proceedings on 
the part of the bird. The commonly received doctrine, to the 
effect that Shrikes providently lay up in this way a store for 
future emergencies, is hardly tenable. In the case narrated 
above, the bird did not return to feast upon the grasshopper; 
for I purposely passed that way several days afterward, and 
saw the unfortunate insect still sticking there. Why did the 
bird impale it at all ? It was evidently hungry at the time, for, 
as above stated, it at once recommenced foraging, and captured 
and devoured several more insects on the spot; and, moreover, 
the thousands of live grasshoppers that there were within a 
radius of as many yards, rendered such special pains in securing 
that one on a twig quite unnecessary. It may be as wed lo 
confess that we do not know the reason of this habit of the 
Shrikes ; we can only say that it is ' a way they have.' " 

120 Letters, Announcements, ^c. 

We venture to invite the attention of our readers in various 
parts of the world to this subject. The cause of Shrikes' 
shambles is surely not a thing " past finding out." 

IX. — Letters, Announcements, &;c. 
"We have received the following letters addressed " To the 

Editor of ' The Ibis ' " :— 

Simlah, 3 Sept. 1868. 

Sir,— In 'The Ibis' for 1868 (page 79) Mr. Beavan gives 
Corydalla richardi as occurring at Simlah, and remarks that the 
specimens procured by him agreed well enough with Colonel 
Tytler's, Now, on examining these last, I find them to be 
examples of Agrudroma sordida. Some twenty years ago Mr. 
Blyth gave Col. Tytler an Agrodroma sordida ticketed " Atithus 
richardi " — the tickets of the two species, I suppose, having got 
exchanged owing to the ministering care of some intelligent native, 
and Mr. Blyth, before giving the specimen, having failed to see 
that all was right. This circumstance misled Colonel Tytler; other- 
wise a single glance at the hind claw would have been sufficient 
to separate the two species. In C. richardi it is from '6 to '95 in. 
in length, and nearly straight. In A. sordida it is about '35 in. 
long, and moderately curved. I have never obtained C. richardi 
in the neighbourhood of Simlah. It breeds, I know, in Ladak, 
but it has not yet occurred in any of the collections made for 
me at Simlah and in its immediate neighbourhood, although 
in the cold season I have often procured it on the plains. 

Further on (page 166) Mr. Beavan says that, according to 
Col. Tytler, Corvus intermedius breeds at Simlah in July and 
August ; but the Colonel tells me that this is a mistake, as he 
never named those months as the breeding-time. As a matter 
of fact the species lays in May and June ; and by the 10th of 
July this year the young had all flown, and every nest (and I had 
nearly a hundred searched) was empty. 

In the same volume (page 306) Herr von Pelzeln describes 
a Falcon from Kotegurh, under the name of " Falco communis, 
Gm.'', by which designation I suppose (though I am not sure) 
him to mean the species generally known as Falco peregrinus ^' . 

• [Many ornithologists, it is true, use the name F. cointnunis for F. 

Letters, Announcements ^ S^c. 121 

Now the blackish head aud nape, with the rufous base of the 
feathers showing through in places on the nape, are alone enough 
to awaken my suspicion that this specimen is an example of F. 
peregrinator ; and, as a fact, I believe we have here in Col. Tytler's 
museum the partner of this very bird, also from Kotegurh, and 
shot almost at the same time. I would remark that it is a mis- 
take to suppose that all specimens of F. peregrinator exhibit in 
an equally marked degree the rufous underplumage. I have 
one specimen, an adult male, the whole lower parts of which, 
including the chin and throat, ai'e of a pure bright (but not deep) 
chestnut. On the other hand. Col. Tytler has a fine male, an 
undoubted F. peregrinator, which has the chin, throat, and neck 
in front pure white, the ear-coverts and sides of the neck only 
having a faint salmon-coloured tinge towai'ds the tip of the 
feathers. On the breast some feathers are nearly pure white, 
others, chiefly towards the sides, have a decided, but not deep, 
salmon-coloured tinge. The middle of the abdomen alone is of 
a pure salmon-colour, the vent is yellowish, and the sides, flanks, 
thighs, and lower tail-coverts have only a faint yellowish salmon- 
coloured tinge. The head, nape, and upper part of the back are 
positively black; there are the bufi" or rufous-bufi^ patches on the 
nape, and the numerous comparatively narrow bars on the 
inner web of the first primaries. Yet as regards the rufous 
tinge, with the exception of the median patch on the abdomen, 
I have seen many examples of the true F. peregrmus more 

I should like Herr von Pelzeln to examine the under surface 
of the first primary in his bird, and see if the white bars are not 
more numerous and, compared with specimens of apparently the 
same age, far narrower than they are in any true F. peregrinus. 
Moreover I would add that his specimen, if I am correct, is the 
female of the very male bird I have just described. Falco perc- 

peregrinus ; but otliers"coiisider tlie " Falco communis indictts " of Gmelin 
to refer to the species subsequently called by Prof. Sundevall F. pere- 
grinator. This is what Herr von Pelzeln seems to have done, but our 
correspondent's remarks make the diiFerences between the species last 
mentioned and F. peregrinus so very clear that they will be read with 
interest. — Ed.] 

122 Letters, Announcements, &^c. 

grinator runs decidedly smaller than F. peregrinus. The wing 
of the male above mentioned is only 11"5 inches; and though 
Dr. Jerdon gives 13*5 as the length of the wing in a female, 
a very fine one that I shot near Lahore measured only 12*9. 

There is a specimen, as pointed out by Mr. Guvney [Ibis, 
1866, pp. 235, 236], in the British Museum which must closely 
resemble Herr von Pelzeln's bird and that which I have de- 
scribed. And there is another, mentioned by Dr. Jerdon, in the 
Asiatic Society's Museum, which is also of much the same type ; 
but in all the intense blackness (as compared with any stage of 
F. peregrinus) of the head, nape, upper back and cheek- stripe, 
the buff or rufous base of many of the nape-feathers, the more 
numerous and, compared with individuals of the same age, nar- 
rower white or rufous bars on the inner web of the first primary, 
together with the smaller size, at once separate them as F. pe- 
regrinator from the true F. peregrinus. 

If any one says that F. peregrinator is not worthy of specific 
separation, I reply, wait till you fly the bird. Work one against 
the best F. peregrinus, and mark how much greater the rapidity 
of the flight, and above all of the swoop of the " Shaheen," em- 
phatically the " Royal " Falcon of the East. If greater powers 
of flight, combined with constant distinctions of plumage, such 
as I have above noted, and difi'erence of habitat (for F. pere- 
grinator breeds freely in Central and Southern India, F. pere- 
grinus never, I believe) are not sufficient to constitute a species, 
we may at once have done with scientific nomenclature in 

ornithology. I am, &c., 

Allan Hume. 

Simla, 6tli October, 1868. 
Sir, — The several phases of plumage that the young of many 
birds assume induces me to send you a brief notice of a few in 
my collection, which may not be altogether uninteresting. I 
have shot nearly the whole of the specimens to which my remarks 
refer myself, and so feel perfectly satisfied as to their sex, which 
was in every case ascertained by dissection. 

TuRDUS HODGSONi, Lafr. ; Jerdon, B. Ind. No. 368. 

1. 6 juv., from Cashmere. Length 11*5 in., bill from gape 

Letters, Announcements, S^c. 123 

1*25, wing 6*75, tail 5*25, tarsus 1*5. Head, neck, back, 
rump, tail, aod wings rather light ashy- brown, darkest on the 
head, back, and wings, a white streak along the middle of the 
back-feathers, which are also faintly tipped with black. Back of 
the head, neck, and cheeks faintly dotted with white. Quill- 
feathers blackish-brown, edged with light brown, a white patch 
on the bend of the wing ; several of the upper wing-coverts with 
a white middle and tip ; under wing-coverts pure white, becoming 
dusky towards the under tail-coverts. Throat, breast, and ab- 
domen with the tip of each feather blackish brown, giving the 
appearance of round drops. Bill and legs brownish horn- 

2. 6 juv., from Mundhole, shot in July. Length 8*5 in., 
bill from gape 1'125, wing 5-125, tail 3, tarsus 1-25. In 
colouring very like the last, except that it is lighter and the 
markings Stre very distinct. This example was following its 
mother when I shot them both. The female is of a uniform 
slaty-brown above, devoid of all the markings that the young 
have on their back ; but the wing-feathers are edged with whitish, 
the breast-spots are more elongated, and the spots on the 
abdomen darker, larger, and more numerous. 

The resemblance which this species bears to the European 
Turdus viscivorus is very great, but there is a decided diiFerencc 
between the two species. For instance a young male of the 
European bird in my collection, to all appearance about the same 
age as No. 1, above described, is of a much lighter and more 
rufous-brown than the Indian; the head also is more considerably 
albescent, as is the upper part of the back, and both are dotted 
with blackish-brown, darkest on the back. There is also a well- 
defined dark superciliary streak, of which the Indian specimen 
has no trace. In the European bird the secondaries and some 
of the other wing-feathers are broadly edged with rufous-white, 
and the flanks are strongly tinged with rufous, which is not the 
case with the Indian species. Even in the adult female there is 
a striking difference between the two birds ; for an example from 
France of that age and sex has the edge of its wing-feathers 
white, the spots on the lower surface extend almost to the chin, 
and there is a decided rufous tinge on the flanks ; whereas in 

124 Letters, Announcements, ^c. 

T. hodgsoni the throat and chin are white^ and the rufous tinge 
on the flanks is entirely wanting. 

I have had several opportunities of observing this species, 
and have always found it on hills well covered with forest- 
trees. The moment the birds are disturbed, they utter a 
peculiar note, which appears to be taken up by others, should 
there be any more about. They are not at first difficult to 
approach, but when fired at become exceedingly wild. The 
young, while following their mother, extend and keep con- 
stantly flapping their wings, keeping up all the time an in- 
cessant calliog ; but the moment they are disturbed by a shot 
being fired at them, they conceal themselves among the branches 
and leaves, and are with the greatest difficulty discovered. 

CiCHLOiDES ATRiGULARis (Temm.) ; Jerdon, B. Ind. no. 365. 

1. c? adult., from Barrackpoore. Length 9*5 in», bill from 
gape 1, wing 5*75, tail 4'125, tarsus ]'5. All the upper 
surface uniform greyish-brown, with light edgings to the quill- 
feathers, and a few dusky streaks on the head ; chin, throat, 
and breast very dark blackish-brown, the feathers on the latter 
with light edges ; abdomen and under tail-coverts white ; flanks 
shaded with dusky; under wing-coverts chestnut; bill and feet 
yellowish-brown, upper mandible darker than the lower. This 
specimen I consider a very fair type of the species in its fully 
adult phase of plumage. 

2. 6 adult., but younger than the last, from Umballa. 
Length 9*5 in., bill from gape "875, wing5'5, tail 3*5, tarsus 
1'125. All the upper surface lighter brown tlian in No. 1 ; the 
wing-feathers margined with a lighter hue, and the upper tail- 
coverts with light edges, of which No. 1 shows no trace. The 
head distinctly marked with dark streaks ; chin whitish, with 
black streaks ; breast dark blackish-brown, the feathers with 
light edges. Abdomen and under tail-coverts as in No. 1. 

3. S, younger than No. 2, from Umballa. Dimensions 
and colouring above the same as in No. 2. Chin, throat, and 
breast whitish, with black streaks, the white on the abdomen 
shaded with dusky brown. 

4. S , younger than No. 3, but of the same dimensions. 

Letters, Announcements, ^~c. 125 

Much browner, more like the colour of the females; the mark- 
ings are less distinct; chin, throat, and breast whiter, with 
blackish-brown streaks. 

5. 2 adult., horn F'dggoo. Length 9-5 in., bill from gape '875, 
wing 5'125, tail 3'75. In colouring, this bird is very like 
No. 4; but the marks on the chin, throat, and breast are well 
defined, and not like the confused markings of a young bird. 
Again, the white in the centre of the chin and breast is purer, 
and the breast and flanks clouded with dusky-ash ; the abdomen 
also is more or less dotted like the breast. 

I think these five specimens are good typical ones of the 
several phases of plumage in which I have shot this species. 

Merula boulboul (Lath.) ; Jerdon, B. Ind. No, 361. 

1. c? adult., from Simla. Length 10'25 in., bill from gape 
1-125, wing 6, tail 4*5, tarsus 1*25. Head, neck, back, tail, 
and primaries jet-black ; rump and upper tail-coverts ashy-black ; 
scapulars and secondaries with the outer half of their feathers 
ashy- white, forming a conspicuous wing-band ; throat, chin, and 
breast black ; abdomen, flanks, and under tail-coverts ashy- 
black, with light-coloured margins to the feathers. Bill bright 
orange. This specimen is a good example of an adult male in 
perfect plumage. 

2. c? adult., from Mussoorie. In measurements agreeing 
with No. 1 ; but, from being a younger bird, the fine ash-grey, 
so conspicuous in the last, is in this of a browner hue, and the 
black, instead of being so intense, has a visible brown tinge 

3. (^ juv., from Mussoorie. Length 10 in., bill from gape 
1, wing 6, tail 4, tarsus 1*375. All the upper surface black, 
with a brown hue throughout; darkest on the head, tail, and 
primaries ; the grey wing-band shaded with brown and dark, 
mixed at the bend with a few dark feathers, which are con- 
spicuously tipped with light rufous-brown ; chin and middle of 
the throat pale rufous-brown ; breast black, with pale rufous- 
brown spots; abdomen, flanks, and under tail-coverts black 
shaded with brown. 

4. $ adult., from Dia. Length corresponding with the adult 

126 Letters, Announcements, 6fC. 

males. Whole colour a fine rich brown, lighter on the abdomen^ 
and shaded with rufous on the flanks; bill yellowish-orange. 
I consider this specimen a good type of the adult female. 

5. ? juv., from Simla in September. Corresponds with the 
measurements of No. 3. Above brown, like No. 4, only a little 
darker, with white streaks in the middle of the feathers of the 
back. The outer half of the wing-feathers more or less chestnut, 
which is bright at the tips at the bend. A whitish-chestnut 
streak from the chin to the throat more or less speckled with 
dark brown. Breast the same colour as the back, speckled 
with whitish-fawn ; abdomen, flanks, and vent dark dusky- 

There is a great resemblance between this species and our 
English Blackbird ; and its fine, clear, melodious note, early of a 
morning, reminds me much of the European bird. Several of 
them are at present in full song about my house ; and it is 
truly charming to hear the early concert of these songsters. 

I will send a continuation of these notes in my next letter, in 

the meantime 

I am, &c., 

Robert S. Tytler. 

Victoria, Vancouver Island, 
Oct. 29tli, 1868. 

SiR^ — From a note in 'The Ibis' for 1867 (page 126, note), 
I perceive that you are somewhat uncertain as to the nature of 
the bird mentioned by Lord Milton and Dr. Cheadle under the 
name of the " Booming Swallow." 

I think it hardly admits of a doubt that they refer to the 
Common Night-Hawk (CAorc^z'/es virginianus) . In fact I look 
on the description as remarkably accurate, proceeding as it does 
from persons without any pretensions to a scientific knowledge 
of ornithology. The long pointed wings, the Swift-like flight, 
the hunting after flies, indicate the species correctly enough ; 
and the strange booming noise made by the bird when shooting 
down from a height is a sound well known to all those who have 
had an opportunity of watching the Night-Hawk chasing its 
prey. So little did I consider the species a matter of doubt, 
that on reading the account I immediately marked " Chordiles 

Letters, Announcements, ^c. 127 

virffinianus" in the margin of my copy. The only error is in 
the size; but as the travellers do not appear to have shot an 
example, they might easily imagine the bird when flying in the 
air, with its great expanse of wing, to be larger than it really is : 
I may add that, though the evening, towards twilight, is the 
chief time of the Night- Hawk's activity, there is scarcely an 
hour in the day in which I have not occasionally seen it hawking 
for insects. 

I am. Sir, 

Your obedient servant, 

J. Hepburn. 

Haarlem, Nov. 27tli, 18G8. 

Sir, — The interest taken in hybrids of any species of the 
Duck-tribe encourages me to inform you of the result of my ob- 
servations on three between the Mute Swan [Cygnus olor) and 
the domestic Goose {Anserferus, var. domesticus), which came to 
maturity*. They were a male and two females. The first 
fecundated his mother and also one of his sisters. The other 
female hybrid never laid any egg. The old Goose's eggs were 
exactly like every other Goose's eggs, and the young birds were 
true Geese. The hybrid laid, at intervals of three or four days, 
a great number of eggs, which resembled very much in length 
and colour those of the Swan. They were rather thinner, 
however, and thereby seemed to be longer. The hybrid did not 
hatch any of them ; but from some which were hatched by the 
old Goose proceeded young ones, diflfering only from young Geese 
in the rather darker colour of the feet. 

I hope that my information will be welcome to you, and 

I remain. Sir, 

Your obedient servant, 


Sir, — You, like myself, have doubtless not failed to observe 
that during the last few years our islands have been visited by 
many species of birds whose natural habitat is the eastern por- 
tion of the European continent and Asia. The cause of these 
* [Cf. Ibis, 1868, p. 226.— Ed.] 

128 Letters, Announcements, H^c. 

visits seems to be totally unknown : they cannot be regarded as 
the result of migration ; for the species referred to have only 
occurred in solitary examples and at uncertain periods, but 
generally in the months of autumn, and are mostly in a state of 
immaturity. Of these visitations, that of the Syrrhaptes in 1863 
was the most remarkable, from the great number of individuals, 
and the immense distance they must have travelled before they 
arrived in Western Europe and extended their journey to the 
British Islands. Since that date solitary examples of several 
other rare species have visited us, the whole of which I need not 
recapitulate here ; but I may mention Muscicapa parva (Ibis, 
1864, p. 130), Emberiza pusilla (Ibis, 1865, p. 113), the more 
rare E. rustica, caught near Brighton, Oct. 23, 1867, and sub- 
mitted alive the same day to Mr. G. Dawson Rowley, as well as 
a second * British-killed example of Reguloides superciliosus, 
which last was obtained within a mile of Cheltenham, Oct. 11, 
1867, by Mr. J. T. White. 

I have now to inform you of the occurrence of Emberiza 
{Euspiza) melanocephala, of which avery fine old female specimen, 
in perfect plumage, is now before me. It was brought to me by 
Mr. Robert Brazener, of 23 Lewes Road, Brighton, by whom it 
was shot about the 3rd of November last, near Mr. Ballard's 
windmill, on Brighton Racecourse, while, as he stated, " it was 
following a flock of Yellow Hammers." His two sous were with 
him at the time. On an examination of the bird, a number of 
eggs were found in the ovarium. This is all the information I 
was able to obtain respecting it. 

While writing the above, the post has brought me a letter 
from Mr. T. J. Monk, of Mountfield House, Lewes, informing 
me that on the 23rd inst. a fine example of the Black-throated 
Thrush {Turdus atrigularis) was shot near that place, and is 
now in his possession. It is a male in excellent condition, and 
is, as he rightly believes, the first specimen of the species on 
record as obtained in Great Britain. 

I am. Sir, yours very faithfully, 

John Gould. 

26 Charlotte Street, Bedford Square, London, 
Dec. 30, 1868. 

• [Cf. Ibis, 1867, pp. 252, 253.— Ed.] 



No. XVIII. APRIL 1869. 

X. — The Malurinse of North-eastern Africa. 
By Dr. M. T. von Heuglin *. 

[Continued from page 107.] 
24. Drym(eca inquieta. 

Prinia inquieta, Riipp., Atl. tab. 36. fig. 6. Currucafamula, 
Hempr. & Ehr., Symb. Phys. fol. bb. Drymoeca inquieta, Riipp., 
Syst. Ueb. No. 119; Heugl., Syst. Ueb. No. 171 ; Id., Faun. 
Roth. Meer. No. 57; Bp., Consp. Av., i. p. 283. 

Supra dilute et pallide fulvescenti-cinerea, vix rufescenti-lavato ; 
pilei, cervicis et interscapulii plumis mediis nigricanti-fasco 
striolatis ; stria transoculari fusca, altera superciliari albida ; 
rectricibus nigricanti-fuscisj \ medianis pallidioribus, om- 
nibus delicate fasciolatis et dilute et pallide fuscescenti- 
cinereo marginatis, extimis apice albicantibus ; gastrseo 
albido, regione jugulari maculaque suboculari purius albis ; 
pectoris lateribus et hypochondriis diluto testaceo indutis ; 
jugulo et pectore in plerisque plus minusve-fulvescente 
striolatis ; rostro corneo-flavescente, culmine et apice magis 
fusco; iride helvola ; pedibus cerino-flavidis. 

Long. tot. 4", rostr. a fr. 4|'", al. 1" 8^'", caud. 1" 7^'", 
tars. 7"'-8"'. 

In many specimens the feathers of the breast and throat 
present dark brownish striolse on the shaft. The fourth and 

* Translated by W. S. Dallas, F.L.S. &c. 
N. S. VOL. V. K 

130 Dr. von Heuglin on the Malurinae 

fifth remiges are the longest, the third but little shorter, the 
first 8'", and the second 3 " shorter than the tip of the wing. 

This aberrant form lives in the low bushes of the rocky slopes 
of Arabia Petrsea. We met with it between 2000 and 5000 
feet above the sea-level. It appears singly and in pairs, alights 
upon the ground not unfrequently, and hops away over the 
boulders and rocks. It is a very lively and active bird, and 
reminds one in its movements rather of the Phyllopneusta than 
of the true Malurince. The song is somewhat like that of a 
Titmouse ; the cal-note also is not unlike that of Parus cristatus. 
During the morning especially, the melodious song of the males 
sounds widely through the mountain solitude of their deserted 
and lifeless abode ; during the heat of the day they are quieter. It 
appears to be a permanent resident ; nevertheless we did not meet 
with this species on the higher summits of the Sinaitic peninsula. 
It probably occurs also on the other side of the Bay of Agabah. 

25. Drymceca pachyrhyncha, Heugl. 
Drymceca valida, Heugl., J. f. O. 1864, p. 258. 
Statura obtusa, rostro brevi, valido ; cauda lata, breviuscula, 
minus graduata; supra pallide fuscescenti-cinerascens, plu- 
mis medio obscurioribus, fuscescentibus ; tertiariis et rectri- 
cibus fumoso fuscis, illis stricte sordide albicante margi- 
natis, his basin versus obscurioribus, subtus magis canis, 
ante apieem albidum fascia conspicua fuliginoso nigricante 
notatis ; remigibus saturate fumosis, extus basin versus 
rufescenti mai'ginatis, intus pallide fulvido limbatis; loris 
sordide albidis ; area anteoculari obsolete nigricante ; 
gastrseo ex fulvescenti-albido, hypochondriis ex olivaceo 
cinerascenti-, tibiis magis rufescenti indutis ; gula et abdo- 
mine medio purius albis ; rostro basi nigro, apieem versus 
magis cserulescente corneo ; pedibus rubentibus ; iride 
pallide umbrina. 
Long. tot. 5" 1'" ; rostr. a fr. H'" ,y^- 2" 5'", caud. 1" 10'", 
tars. vix. 1". 

The bill of this species, which is certainly very nearly allied 
to D. fortirostris, Jard. and Fras. (Contr. Orn. 1852, p. 60), 
and D. ncevia, Hartl. (Orn. Westafr. p. 56), is very robust, 
short, and pretty strongly arched ; the feet are long and strong, 
with the outer toe shorter than the inner one. 

of North-eastern Africa . 181 

We found this species only immediately before and at the 
commencement of the rainy season^ in the forest-region of Bongo, 
in Central Africa, where it occurs in pairs in isolated bushes 
upon clearings densely covered with tall grass. It seems also 
to like the vicinity of water ; and at the break of day the male 
ascends like a Lark into the air, and descends again in jerks 
with a loud cry, something like ^' ter-ter-ter" and a vibrating 
movement and smiting together of the wings, D. navia, from 
Senegambia, which I have not been able to compare directly 
with my birds, has, according to my measurements, a rather 
shorter bill, narrower at the base, a yellowish mandible, and 
longer remiges; the wing measured 2" 8'", and the tail 1" 8'". 
The name originally chosen by me, " Dnjmoica vulida," had pre- 
viously been employed by Dr. Peters * ; it is therefore now 
changed to D. jjachyrhyncha. 

26. Drymceca cinerascens, Heugl., J. f. 0. 1867, p. 296. 
D. semitorques, Id., ibid., 1862, p. 40 (ex parte). 

Statura D. i-uficipitis, at cauda breviore, latiore, minus graduata ; 
notseo areacjue utrinque pectorali sordide fumoso-cinera^ 
scentibus, immaculatis, pileo (nee cervice) ex cano rufe- 
scente ; loris albidis ; macula obsoleta anteoculari fumosa ', 
alse tectricibus et tertiariis dilute pallide marginatis ; re- 
migibus fumosis, extus basin versus ex cano rufescente 
marginatis, intus basin versus albicante limbatis ; uropygio 
pallide murino, supracaudalibus fumoso-cinerascentibus, 
vix rufescente lavatis ; rectricibus | medianis dorso con- 
coloribu.s, apicem versus fuliginoso adumbratis, vix albido 
marginatis, et" ex toto delicate fasciolatis ; reliquis fu- 
mosis, infra magis canis, macula latiuscula nigricante 
ante apicem conspicue album notatis, extima utrinque 
pogonio exteruo delicate albo marginata ; gastrseo ex fuU 
vescente sericeo-albo, hypochondriis cano lavatis ; tibialibus 
rufescente adumbratis ; rostro nigricante, mandibula media 
albido-cerina ; iride laete helvola ; pedibus rubellis. 
Long. tot. 4", rostro a fr. 4"'^i"', al. 2" l"'-2" 2'", caud. 

1" 5"'-l" 61'" tars. 8i"'-9|"'. 

Distinguished from D. ruficeps by the very dark- coloured, 

stronger, rather more arched and shorter bill, broader, shorter, 

* [We are not able to refer to Dr. Peters's description. — Ed.] 

K 2 

132 Dr. von Heuglin on the Malarinps 

and less graduated tail, somewhat longer third primary, and 
quite different coloration. In the female the frontal region only 
IS tinged with ferruginous. In four specimens lying before me, 
the upper surface is always quite spotless, the white tips of the 
five outer rectrices not so large as in that species ; the dark 
mark behind them, on the contrary, is more dilated. The outer 
toe is longer than the inner one. 

We killed this species in October, in the Bogos country, and 
have also examined some specimens from Sennaar which are 
quite similarly marked. 

In the Frankfort Museum there is an exactly similar bird, 
under the name of " Dnjinceca rvficeps,]v\v." ; it was obtained 
by Dr. Riippell in Abyssinia, and is somewhat smaller; the 
bill is light-coloured, slighter, and straighter, the tail more gra- 
duated, and the flanks are duller dingy-brownish-grey. Bill 
4-8'", wing I" 111'", tail nearly 1" 6'", tars. 9^"'. 

27. Drymceca cisticola. 

Sylvia cisticola, Temm. Salicaria cisticola, Keys. & Bias. 
Dnj7noeca cisticola, Gray. Cisticola schcenicola, Bp., Consp. Av. 
i.p.28G; Heugl., Syst. Ueb. No. 163; Id., Faun. Both. Meer. 
No. 60; Antinori, Cat. p. 37. Sylvia textrix, Descr. deTEgypte, 
V. tab. 4 (?). Prinia cursitans, Frankl. (?) ; Cass., Proc. Ac. Nat. 
Sc. Philad. 1856, p. 3 ; Hartl., Orn. Westafr. No. 754. 

Supra fuliginoso nigricans, plumis omnibus lateraliter fulvo-uiar- 
ginatis,marginibus plus minusve rufescente lavatis; uropygio 
et supracaudalibus purius rufcscenti-fulvis, obsolete fuaioso 
striatis; loris, superciliis, ciliis, gastrseo et subalaribus albi- 
dis, lateribus corporis fulvo lavatis ; tibialibus rufescenti- 
bus; remigibus fumosis, extus rufescenti-fulvo-, intus basin 
versus fulvo- albicante marginatis; rectricibus fuliginoso- 
atris, infra cauescentibus, fulvo marginatis, ante apicem 
album macula subrotundata nigrieante oruatis, delude pal- 
lidioribus, dimidio basali obscurioribus ; rcctrice extima 
pogonio externo stricte albido marginata ; rostro cerino- 
flavicante; pedibus magis rubellis ; iride helvola. 
Long. tot. 4" 3"'-4" 5'", rostr. a fr. 4"'-4i"', al. 1" 10'"- 

1" llf", tars. 8"'-9"', caud. 1" 5"'-l" 6'". 

The outer and inner toes of nearly equal length. The fourth 
primary is usually the longest, the tliird and fifth scarcely shorter, 

of yorth-eadent Africa. 133 

the second about 1", the iitat 9"'-]0"'. There is^ especially 
upon the iuncr vunc of the reetrices behind the dark spotj a hghtcr 
space washed with reddish-yellow, so tliat, when the tail is com- 
pletely expanded^ its apical half appears trifasciate — that is, the 
broad tip itself white, then a tolerably broad and distinct blackish 
bund, and then aj^ain a more or less striking, lighter, almost 
yellowish band. The colonr of the margins of the feathers on 
the upper surface varies between yellowish-tawny and bright 
rusty-yellow ; the striation is frequently very sharp and almost 
smoky-black, sometimes faded and dilute. 

This species is a permanent resident in llgypt, Nubia, and 
Northei'n Arabia, goes southwards to Abyssinia, and proba- 
bly also to Scnnaar, and certainly does not live among sedges, 
but chiefly in clover- and wheat-fields, in meadows and acacia 
and date-palm thickets, especially when these are overgrown 
by climbing plants and grass, in gardens, and also far from 
the cultivated land, close upon the borders of the desert. This 
lively and abundant bird is usually met with in pairs. In 
the Delta the business of reproduction begins as early as March, 
when the male may frequently be seen in the neighbourhood of 
the breeding-place, ascending in the same way as is usual with the 
Whitethroat ; they also describe circles, flying low with jerks and 
fluttering, and at the same time uttering a cry of " ter-ter-ter," 
like the geckos, Passler asserts (J. f. 0. 1857, p. 115) that this 
species builds among sedges and reeds a nest so peculiar that it 
cannot be confounded with any other (!!) : reed-stalks and sedge- 
leaves are closely woven together, and the leaves sewn together 
with vegetable silk after being pricked with the bill ; the entrance 
into the elongated purse-shaped nest is placed either above or 
below, or at the side ; the Ave eggs are shining white. All this 
circumstantial description by no means agrees with my obser- 
vations. The httle bird probably breeds in wheat- and clover- 
fields ; but I found its nests only in date-palm groves and low 
thorn hedges ; they were placed from one to two feet above the 
ground, and were from 4^" to 6" high, the deep cavity of the nests 
being 2"-2^" in diameter. The entire structure is not very thick 
and solid; the form is governed by the locality, and more or 
less approaches that of the lleed-W'arblei', but is sometimes rather 

134 Dr. von Heuglin on the Malurinse 

more bulging in the middle. The nest never hangs freely, like 
a purse-nest, but it is interwoven with leaf-sheaths, thorns, 
twigs, and even grass-stalks, and composed of fine dry grass 
and rootlets. The interior is carefully lined with wool, hair, 
and fibres. The four vividly reddish white very thin-shelled 
eggs exhibit numerous ferruginous spots and points, which are 
usually brought together into the form of a ring at the obtuse 
end so closely that the ground-colour entirely disappears. There 
are also some with a greenish-white ground and light violet and 
rusty-red points and spots. Their form is obtusely oval ; their 
length being from 6'" to 6j"', and their breadth nearly 5'". On 
the 27th June I found three nests in Central Nubia, one of 
which contained two young birds and two unincubated eggs, the 
second two incubated and the same number of unincubated eggs, 
and the third two fresh- laid eggs. Savi describes the nest 
exactly like Passler. Brehm gives no information at all about 
the nest, except that in Spain he found five light-blue eggs in 

The song of this species has never particularly attracted my 
attention. The birds live on the sea-shore and up to 6000 
feet above the level of the sea ; they are by no means shy, and 
are unwilling to quit their dwelling-place when once they have 
established themselves. Their flight is short and low; when 
pursued they endeavour to conceal themselves in the bushes, 
among which they make their way very nimbly and cleverly. 
We never saw them running upon the ground; Brehm, on the 
other hand, says that they do this in the grass ; my friend also 
remarks that the indigestible parts of the food, which consists 
of small beetles, Diptera, caterpillars, and little snails, are 
thrown up in pellets. 

Inhabits also Algeria (Loche, Tristram), Cape Lopez (Du 
Chaillu), Zanzibar (Kirk), Southern Europe, Syria and Asia 
Minor, eastward as far as India. 

* [We have before (Ibis, 1868, p. 131) had occasion to refer to the 
paper of M. Lunel (Bull. Soc. Orn. Suisse, i. pp. 9-30), in which that 
gentleman shows how the difterent accounts of the eggs and nest of this 
species which have been given by various naturalists may be reconciled. 

of North-eastern Africa. 135 

28. Drymceca ferruginea. 

Cisticola femginea, Hcugl., Syst. Ucb. No. 163; Id., J. f. 0. 
1861, p. 259. Drymceca troglodytes, Antiu., Cat. p. 38. 

(Plate III. fig. 2.) 

Minima; supra Isete cinnamomeo rufescens; subtus pallidius 
rufescens ; gula et abdomine mediis albidis ; loris et stria 
obsoleta superciliari fuscescenti-albidis ; reniigibus pal- 
lide fumoso-fuscis, intus basin versus bepatico rufescente 
marginatis ; secundariis pogonio externo tergsei colore, 
leetius ferrugineo, primariis extus delicatius eodeni colore 
marginatis ; tertiariis dorso concoloribus ; rectricibus fu- 
moso fuscis, apicem versus magis nigricantibus, lateraliter 
Isetius cinnamomeo rufo-, apice obsolete albicante margi- 
natis, I medianis dorso masis concoloribus ; tibialibus Isete 
rufis; subalaribus ex bepatico rufescentibus ; rostro ru- 
bente-corneo, apice nigricante ; iride belvola ; pedibus ru- 
Long. tot. 3" 91'", rostr. a fr. 4^1'", al. 1" 7f"-l" 9'", caud. 
1" 3V", tars. 7i"'-8"'. 

The outer and inner toes of equal length. The third and fourth 
remiges are of equal length. Before the somewhat lighter apex 
of the first four rectrices the dark spots peculiar to the genus some- 
times appear, but they are observable only on the underside. Dr. 
Finsch regards this species as identical with the much larger D. 
uropygialis, Fraser (P. Z. S. 1843, p. 17), which, according to 
the description, has a completely different coloration, light fer- 
ruginous beneath, and a black band at the tip of the rectrices. 

We found this charming little bird in the year 1853 in the 
country of the sources of the E,ahad and Dender, and afterwards 
in abundance about the Djur and Kosanga rivers, in Central 
Africa ; it is usually met with in pairs, and goes about in the 
high gi-ass of the wooded steppe, and sometimes also upon 
shrubs and dry branches. It climbs very actively, is exceedingly 
lively and restless, showing in its behaviour much resemblance 
to a Wren. The tail is frequently much elevated. The bird 
rarely comes down upon the ground ; its call-note is a loud 
buzzing chirp. Whether this species is a permanent resi- 
dent, I cannot say. According to my notes, I observed it only 
between the months of March and May. 

136 Dr. von Ilenglin un the Maluiinje 

Genus Hemipxeuyx, Swainson. 
29. Hemipteryx oligura, Heugl.* 

Cisticola brumnescens, Heugl., J. f. 0. 1862, p. 289; ''Hemi- 
pteryx immaculata, Hartl./' Sclater, P. Z. S. 1866, p. 22. 
(Plate III. fig. 3.) 

Pileo subconcolore canescenti-cervino, cervicis pluinis medio 
dilute et obsolete fuscescentibus ; macula nigricante inter 
oculum et rictnm ; notseo fuliginoso nigricante; inter- 
scapulii plumis rufescenti-fulvo-, tectricibus alarum sordide 
fulvescenti-marginatis ; uropygio Isete cinnamomeo-fulvo, 
vix fuliginoso striato ; rtctiicibus et supraceiudalibus nigro- 
fuscis, sordide at conspicuc fulvescenti-albido marginatiss, 
illis apice abrupte albido limbatis ; gastrseo genisque ful- 
vescenti-albidis ; subalaribus, hypocbondriis et tibiis Isete 
ocbraceo-indutis ; pectoris lateribus area conspicua fuligi- 
noso nigricante notatis; primariis pallide fumosis, secun- 
dariis magis fuscis, bis extus basin versus rufescente-, illis 
pogonio externo delicate et strict e albido marginatis, om- 
nibus intus basin versus bepatico fulvescente limbatis ; 
rostro fusco, mandibula pallidiore ; iride belvola ; pcdibus 
rubello cerinis. 
Long. tot. 3" 6'", rostr. a fr. 4-8'", al. 2" l"'-2" 2'", caud. 
1" 3'", tars. 9"'-10"'. 

A remarkably squat form. Bill robust; tarsi long and strong; 
the very short tail is not really graduated, the narrow, whitish 
edge of the tip is sharp, broader on the lateral than on the me- 
dian rectrices, nowhere more than 1'" broad ; there is no black 
spot before the tip of the rectrices ; their blackish-brown 
ground-colour extends uniformly from the base to the edge of 
the tip ; the upper tail-coverts are of the same colour, not di- 
shevelled, and finely but sharply margined with clear greyish- 
yellowish white; the rusty colour of the rump is sharply divided 
from them ; the fir^t primary is 13'" shorter than the tip of the 
wing, the third and fourth are the longest, although but little 
longer than the second, fifth, sixth, and seventh. 

We had only once the opportunity of observing this bird in 
freedom ; and this vias upon pasture land near Gudofelasi in the 

* [Our contributor does not state on what grounds lie supersedes tlie 
name by wliicli he first described this species. — Ed.] 

of North-eastern Africa. 137 

province of Scrawij at about fiOOO feet above the level of the sea, 
wlieie a single male was going about upon the shrubs and the 
stalks of the tall grass. Its squat form and short, almost trun- 
cate, tail attracted my attention even at a distance. There is a 
bird of this species, likewise marked as a male, in the Museum 
at Frankfort ; it was killed in Abyssinia, by Dr. Riippell, in the 
year 1832. 

The measurements of Hemipter^jx immaculata, Hartl., which, 
according to Dr. Finsch, is identical with my H. oliyura, are some- 
what less (wing 1" 9'", tail 9i"', bill 4'", tars. 9'") ; and neither 
Dr. Hartlaub nor Dr. Finsch mentions the dark spot on the sides 
of the breast. 

Inhabits also South Africa (Hartl.). 

30. Hemipteryx lonoPYGA, Ileugl. 

Similis prsecedenti, at pileo, cervice, interscapulio, tergo et tec- 
tricibus ala3 fuliginoso nigricautibus, Isete at late rufesceu- 
ti-fulvo marginatis ; uropyain (;t si/pracaudalibus rvfescen- 
tibus, nigro striolatis ; macula anteoculari niuricante vix 
distineta ; stria lata superciliari, colli lateribus et abdotnine 
fulvescenti-albidis, lateraliter Isetius fulvo lavatis ; tertiariis 
et rectricibus late et conspicue fulvescenti-albido margi- 
natis ; maxdla nigricaute, mandibula cserulescenti-incar- 
nata j pedibus et unguibas rubellis; iride helvola. 
Long. tot. 3" 8'", rostr. a fr. 44'", al. 2", caud. 1" 2" -1" 3'". 

The tail projects only 8'" beyond the closed wings. Whilst 
in HemipterijX oligura the whole of the vertex and nape is al- 
most uniformly greyish fawn-colour, this second species has the 
above-mentioned parts brownish-black with broad ferruginous- 
tawny margins, so that the upper part of the head appears 
striated, as in Drymoeca cisticola ; the wing coverts, back, and 
tertials also are blackish-brown with very broad and conspi- 
cuous, more or less vivid rusty-tawny margins to the feathers ; 
the dark-spotted feathers of the sides of the breast form, in both 
species, a pretty large dark spot before the bend of the wing. 

According to my notes, I met with this bird upon cattle- 
pastures, in March 1862, near Tenta^ in the country of the 
Wolo-Gala, and in May in the province of Dembea, between 
6000 and 12,000 feet above the sea-level. 

138 Dr. von Heuglin on the Maluvinse 

31. Hemipteryx habessinica, Hengl. 

Similis Drymcecoi cisticol<e, at Isetius tincta, alis longioribus^ cauda 
breviore, minus graduata;,rectricibus angustioribus ct absque 
maculis anteapicalibus nigricantibus ; uropygio et snpra- 
caudalibus lajte fulvo-riifescentibus, nigricante striolatis. 
Supra Iffite ochraceo-fulva, plumis medio longitudiualiter 
nigricanti-fuscis, superciliis, regione ophthahnica et abdo- 
mine ex llavicanti-fulvidis, lateraliter lajtius rufescenti-fulvo 
lavatis ; rectricibus f'uliginoso-nigricantibus, ex rufescenti- 
fulvo marginatis, apice et pogonio externo primse fulvo albi- 
dis; rostro corneo; iride helvola ; pedibus rubentibus. 

Long. tot. 4" 6'", rostr. a fr. vix 4'", al. 1" 11^'", caud. 1" 
2h"', tars. 8'". 

The less graduated and considerably shorter tail, the smoky 
black rectrices, which are scarcely paler beneath, and not washed 
with grey, and have not the characteristic dark spot before the 
whitish tip, and the somewhat longer remiges clearly dis- 
tinguish this species from Drymceca cisticola. The striation of 
the upper surface is also much narrower, with the margins of 
the feathers brighter ferruginous-yellow, and the lower surface 
of a much fresher yellowish-tawny colour. In the Museum at 
Frankfort there is a bird which belongs here as regards its pro- 
portions and the markings of its tail, and differs from mine only 
by the presence of several distinct and large smoky black spots 
upon the sides of the breast, and by the rather broader striatiou 
of the upper surface. It is marked " Drymceca erythrogeniSj 

In this form the outer toe is rather shorter than the inner 
one ; it is therefore best placed in Hemipteryx. 

We killed this species repeatedly about marshes, and on damp 
meadows in the neighbourhood of Adoa, and on Lake Dembea. 

Genus Camaroptera, Suudevall. 

32. Camaroptera brevicaudata. 

Sylvia brevicaudata, Riipp., Atl. tab. 35. fig. 6. Ficedula bre- 
vicaudata, Riipp., Syst. Ueb. No. 149. Orthotomus griseoviridis, 
Von Miill., Naumannia, 1851, iv. p. 27. O. damans, Heugl., 
Syst. Ueb. No. 179; Bp., Consp. Av. i. p. 258. Camaroptera 

of North-easteim Africa . 1 39 

brevicaudata, Hartl., Orii. Westafr. p. G2 ; Brehm, Habesch, 

Supra ex olivaceo fumosa, pileo et stria transoculari pallidius 
fuscescentibus ; superciliis pallide fulvidis ; iutcrscapulio, 
tectricibus alarum et luarginc exteriore remigum Isete 
olivaceo-virescentibus ; reuiigibus et rectricibus f'umosis, 
his olivascenti-griseo lavatis, apice albido limbatis ; uropygio 
medio albo; subtus sordide albida, pectoris lateribus oli- 
vaceo cinerascenti-, abdomine medio et hypochondriis magis 
fulvido-tinctis ; subalaribus albidis, marginem alee versus 
laete flavis ; tibiis Iffite viridi-rutis ; subcaudalibus pure 
albis; cauda latiuscula, paulo rotundata; rostro longius- 
culo, nigricante, dimidio basali mandibulse pallide corneo ; 
pedibus rubellis ; iride pallide hclvola. 
Long. tot. 4=^", rostr. a fr. 6'", al. 1" 9i"'-2" 1'", caud. 1" 
4|"'-1" 6'"; tars. 8|"'-9"'. 

The first primary about half as long as the second ; the rest 
about equal ; the fourth and fifth a little longer. 

Somewhat similar in coloration to Sylvia umbrovirens, Uiipp. 
The tail is not remarkably short j but the rectrices are rather 
narrow at the base, and somewhat darker towards the tip than 
in other parts. The whitish edge of the tip is often wanting. 

Cretschmar^s description and figure of this pretty and lively 
little bird are very defective ; Brehm^s characteristics (Habesch, p. 
288) also leave much to be desired. We found this species in 
Kordofan and Sennaar, on the Bahr el Abiad, and throughout 
Abyssinia, even to the northward in Takar, at elevations of from 
1000 to 10,000 feet above the sea. It lives singly and in pairs 
in low bushes, and glides nimbly through the most impenetrable 
thickets, either looking out quietly for its food, or fluttering 
from twig to twig, constantly opening and contracting its wings 
and tail. Its call-note may be nearly imitated by " huid" or 
^'ter"; its song is loud and pealing, resembling that of the 
Whitethroat rather than that of the little Willow-Wrens. 

It is called " Isa " among the Bogos ; and the natives, when 
engaged in business, or on a campaign, carefully observe its 
appearance, and draw omens from its meeting them on the 
right or left side of their road, and from its call-note, as to the 
issue of their undertakings. 

The coloration of the upper surface is variable. Vertex 

140 Dr. von Ileugliii on the Maluriuie 

sometimes daik smoky-grey^ with a slight olive-coloured tinge; 
interscapulium still darker, and without any trace of the 
greenish-yellow of the wings ; the sides of the abdomen also 
washed with dark grey. 

Inhabits also Senegal (Hartlaub). 

33. Camaroptera olivacea, Sundev., (Efvers, 1850, p. 103. 

Syncopta tincta, Cass., Proc. Ac. Philad. 1855, p. 325. 
Camaroptera tincta, Hartl., Orn. Westafr. No. 186. 

Saturate fumoso cana, subtus pallidior ; abdomine medio, crisso 
et subcaudalibus albidis ; abdomine ex parte obsolete et 
sordide albicante fasciato ; scapularibus, margine lato tec- 
tricum alse, et limbo exteriore remigum laete olivaceo flavis; 
subalaribus albidis ; margine alari Isete olivaceo tlavo ; 
cruribus rufescentibus ; rostro nigro ; pedibus rubellis. 
Rostr. a fr. 6'", al. 2", caud. 1" 5'", tars. 9|"'. 

Like Camaroptera brevicaudata, but the grey coloration still 
deeper, the underside a little lighter than the upper, only 
the vent and under trul-coverts whitish. The middle of the 
belly shows traces of a broad but very obsolete transverse stria- 
tion. The white in the upper tail-coverts is entirely wanting. 
The bird is on the wbole rather larger, and has the bill rather 
narrower at the base, and apparently entirely black. The shafts 
of the remiges and rectrices are whitish beneath. 

The following is the description of a specimen from the Ga- 
boon in the Berlin Museum, which diflFers not inconsiderably 
from that given by Dr. Hartlaub : — 

" Supra cinerea, alis dilute olivaceo-viridibus ; remigibus, primo 
excepto, extus late oiivaceis ; eauda dilute fusca ; axillis 
et cruribus Isete flavis, his potius eroceis ; subalaribus albo 
flavoque variis ; subtus pallide cinerea, abdomine medio et 
imo albo ; rostro nigro ; pedibus pallidis. 
" Long. 3" 8'", rostr. bh'" , al. 1" 11'", caud. 13'", tars. 9'"." 

" This differs from Nubian specimens only by the darker grey 
coloration of the lower surface of the body. Cassin gives the 
measurement of his male specimen as follows : — lengtii 4", wing 
2|", tail 1|".^' 

According to Verreaux this species, as stated by Hartlaub, 
inhabits Nubia ; but it is possible that he confounded C. brevi- 

of Xurth-easioin Africa. 141 

caudntn with it. It is found on the Gaboon (Verreaux), an<l St. 
Paul's River (M'Dovvell). 

34. Camaropteua Salvador^. 

" Orthotomm salvado.ce, Paul Wiirtemberg," HeugL, Syst. 
Ueb. No. 198; IcL, J. f. O. 18G7, p. 296. 

Pileo in fundo cinereo laste rut'o induto ; nucha, tergo et uropygio 
olivaceo viridibus ; alis caudaque saturate fumosis, tectri- 
cibus alarum, cubitalibus et rtctricibus olivaceo-viridi lim- 
batis; primariis niargine exteruo augusto albicantej renii- 
gibus intus basin versus laste fulvcscentibus; subtus alba, 
epigastrio medio fulvo induto; pectore et hypocliondriis 
cano lavatis; subalaribus albidis, fulvo indutis, margine 
alari magis viridi-tlavo ; tibiis fulvo-rufis ; rostro et pedibus 
pallidis, illo culmine apiceni versus corneo-fusco. 
Long. tot. circa 4^", rostr. a fr. 6'", al. 1" iy"', cauda 1" 5^'", 

tars. 9|"'. 

The very long bill is soinewhut depressed at the base ; the 
wings rather short and rounded, the fifth primary the longest, 
the fourtli and sixth nearly equal to it, the first about half as 
long as the second. Tail pretty much graduated, the rectrices 
narrow and produced into a sharp apex, which is of a whitish 
colour and tinged with olive-green. The upper tail-coverts 
olive-green, tinged with light ferruginous. 

Found by Duke Paul of Wiirtemberg on the Atbara and in 

Other species belonging here are : — Ccnaaroptera concolor, 
Hartl. (Orn. Westafr. No. 187), from Guinea ; and C. caniceps, 
Cass. (Proc. Ac. 1859, p. 38), from the Gamma River. 

Genus Oligocercus, Cabduis, J. f. 0. 1853, p. 109. 

35. Oligocercus micrurus. 

Troglodytes micrurus, Riipp., N. Wii-belth. tab. 41. fig 2. 
Syhietta brnchyura, Lafr., Rev. Zool. 1839, p. 258?* Oligura 
micrura, Riipp., Syst. Ueb. No. 115 ; ileugl.. Ibis, 1859, p. 340. 
Sylvietta brevicauda, Lefebv,, Ois. Abyss, pi. 6; Rp., Consp. Av. i. 

* Bouapaite (Consp. Av. i. p. 25 T) cites au Oligura hrachyptera, Lafr. 
from Sennaar. This is probably a lapsus calami, and should be O. 
bracliyura, Lafr. 

142 Dr. von Heuglin on African Malurinse. 

p. 257; Sundev., OEfvers. 1850, p. 128; Heugl., Syst. Ueb. 
No. 161. S. micrura, Hartl., Orn. Westafr. No. 188. 

Minimus; supra pallide murinus, subtus ex rufescente fulvus; 
loris fumosis ; stria supraoculari, orbitis, mento, gula, genis 
et abdomine medio albidis; rostro pallide fuscescente corneo; 
iride helvola ; pedibus rubentibus. 

Long. tot. 3", rostr. a fr. 4>"'-U^"', al. 1" ll"'-2", caud. 10'", 
tars. 6i"'-8"'. 

A charming, lively little bird, which is widely distributed in 
North-east Africa. We found it, usually in pairs, in Southern 
Nubia, Takah, the Bogos country, Abyssinia, Sennaar, on the 
White Nile, and in Kordofan, and on the coast of the Red Sea, 
southward as far as Tedjura. It lives upon tall trees and in the 
bushes, and has a song and call-note not unlike those of the 
European Nuthatch ; it does not climb, but hops and glides 
through the bushes, usually with the tail elevated. Not found 
at any considerable elevation, but in Abyssinia ascends to from 
5000 to 6000 feet. 

Whether Sylvietta hrachijura, Lafr., really belongs to Oligo- 
cercus micrurus is a question that I cannot decide. Hartlaub 
unites the two, whilst Sundevall would rather refer the Oligo- 
cercus obtained by Hedenborg in Sennaar to the first form. 
Sundevall describes it as follows : — 

" Superne cinerea, subtus sordide fulva, ventre medio mentoque 
albidis ; genis lineaque superciliari intensius fulvis. A. 
55 [=2" 8'"], t. 18 [9"'J, c. 25 [11"'], r. 11 [vix 5'"]. 
llostrum et pedes pallescentes." 

A bird obtained by Duke Paul of Wiirtemberg in Southern 
Sennaar presents a light brownish-yellow frontal margin, ocular 
region, and superciliary stripe; throat scarcely paler. Bill 
4|", wing 2" 1'", tail nearly 12'", tars. 61'". It is possible that 
two nearly allied species live in North-eastern Africa. 

Inhabits also Senegambia (Lafresnaye), Angola (Hender- 
son) (?), Damara (Andersson). 

P.S. — February 8th, 1869. Professor Newton has called my 
attention to a fact which was entii'ely overlooked by me in the 

Mr. A. Hume on Indian Orrlithologrj. 143 

classification of the MalurincE. According to him* all the true 
species of Drymoeca possess only ten rectrices, while the species 
of Cisticola have twelve. This circumstance necessitates and 
clearly establishes the generic separation of the two forms. 

I cannot but greatly regret that the Malurina within my 
reach for examination are for the most part injured by bad pre- 
paration, and consequently it is impossible for me with certainty 
to determine the number of rcctrices in all of them. 

On a further inspection of the North-east African species, I 
find only ten rectrices in Drymoeca mystacea (no. 7). 

The following have twelve rectrices, and therefore must be 
referred to the genus Cisticola: — Drymoeca rufifrons (no. 6), 
D. damans (no. 8), D. iodoptera (no. 11), D. flaveola (no. 16), 
D. rohusta (no. 17), D. luguhris (no. 19), D. rujiceps (no. 21) 
with its allies, D . pacliyrhyncha (no. 25), D.cinerascens (no. 26), 
with, of course, D. cisticola [= Cisticola schoenicola) (no. 27) 
and D. ferruginea (no. 28). 

My examples of Drymoeca gracilis (no. 9), D. ynarginata (no. 
(12), and D. inquieta (no. 24) are all injured in the tail. 

Lastly, I may mention that the species of the genera Catriscus, 
HemipteryXy and Oligocercus have twelve rectrices. 

XI. — Stray Notes on Ornithology in India. 
By Allan Hume, C.B. 

No. III. My first Nests of Bonelli's Eagle. 

About a mile above the confluence of the clear blue waters of 
the Chambal and the muddy stream of the Jumna, in a range of 
bold perpendicular clay clifi's that rise more than a hundred feet 
above the cold-weather level of the former, I took my first nest 
of Bonelli's Eagle [Nisaetus bonellii). In the rainy season, water 

* [I owe the knowledge of this distinction to the kindness of IVIi'. Swin- 
hoe, and some years ago availed mj^self of it (Proc. Zool. Soe. 1865, 
p. 48) ; but I am unable to say to whose discrimination its discovery is 
orio-inally due. Dr. Jerdon was aware of it, as the diagnostic characters 
given by him for the several genera of DrymoecincB (B. Ind. ii. pp. 164- 
187) show.— A. N.] 

141 j\Ir. A. Hume on Indian Ornithology. 

trickling from above had (in a way trickling water often does) 
worn a deep recess into the face of the cliff, about a third of the 
way down. Above and below it had merely grooved the sur- 
face broadly, but here (finding a softer bed, I suppose) it had worn 
in a recess some five feet high and three feet deep and broad. 
The bottom of this recess sloped downw^ards ; but the birds, by 
using branches with large twiggy extremities, had built up a 
level platform that projected some two feet beyond the face of 
the cliff. It was a great mass of sticks fully half a ton in 
weight, and on this platform (with only her head visible from 
where we stood at the water^s edge) an old female Eagle sat in 
state. This was on Christmas-day ! It is not many holidays a 
really working official gets in India, or at least can afford to give 
himself; and part of mine are generally spent in the open air, 
gun in hand. 

At the foot of the cliffs is a talus of rough blocks of clay that 
it will take many a flood yet to amalgamate; and up this I 
crept until I was only about sixty feet below the nest. Here, 
however, I could see nothing of the bird; I shouted and kicked 
the cliff, the men below screamed, threw fragments of kunker 
(one of which very nearly blinded me), and by various signs 
attempted to indicate to Mrs. Bonelli that a change of locahty 
was desirable. Serenely sublime in the discharge of her maternal 
duties, that lady took no notice whatsoever of the uproar below. 
Accustomed to the passage of noisy boat-crews, and, like some 
other sovereigns who sit calmly aloft, unable to realize that 
it is really against their sacred selves that the mob beneath is 
howling, the eagle never moved. Beaten at our first move, we 
changed our plan; I crept down the talus and sent up a man to 
throw down dust and small pieces of earth (we were afraid of 
breaking the eggs), in the hopes of driving her off the nest. 
Luckily the very first piece of earth hit her; then came a shower 
of sand; and concluding, I suppose, that the cliff was (as it 
often does) about to fall, she flew off the nest with a rapid 
swoop. Bang, bang, both barrels, 12 bore. No. 3, green car- 
tridge, full in the chest (as the body showed when we skinned it); 
and yet, with a half fall, like a tumbler-pigeon, through some 
fifteen or twenty feet, she recovered herself and swooped away 

Mr. A. Hume on Indian Ornithology . 145 

as if unhurt, close along the face of the cliff; a hundred yards 
further I saw a tremor; then in a moment it was clear that she 
was in the death-struggle ; she began to sink, and an instant 
after fell over and over on to a flat block of clay with almost 
incredible violence. The dust flew up from where she fell as if 
a shell had dropped there; but, as a specimen, the bird was 
scarcely injured. 

We had scarcely secured the female, after the manner of 
bird-stuffers, plugging nostrils and shot-holes, stuffing throat, 
and smoothing feathers, when we heard a shrill creaking cry, 
and saw the male coming straight for the nest with a bird 
(which turned out to be a Turtur cambayensis) in his talons. 
Coming to the nest, he seemed surprised to find it empty; he 
took no notice whatsoever of us, nor did he apparently catch 
sight of his mate stretched out with her white breast uppermost 
on the decklike platform of our barge, but he straightway settled 
himself down in the middle of the nest, and became entirely 
invisible. Again tiny stones were thrown down ; and after 
standing up, staring proudly round, and stalking to the edge, 
where he was hailed with shouts, he flew off slowly, swooping 
down to within twenty yards of where I sat, and the next 
moment dropped stone dead with only a loose charge of No. 6 
through him. He was much smaller than the female: she 
measured 29 inches in length, nearly 70 in expanse, and weighed 
close on 6 lbs. ; he was only 26 inches in length, 62 in expanse, 
and about 4 lbs. in weight. 

We had now to get the eggs, if eggs there were, because as 
yet we could only guess and surmise in regard to these. Just 
above the recess the cliff bosomed out with a full swell for some 
two or three feet, effectually preventing any one's looking down 
into the nest from above, or, except by an accidental " cannon '^ 
in the broad groove (such as my boatman had had the luck to 
make at the very first shot), from even throwing anything down 
into it. Above the swell the cliff was as nearly perpendicular 
as might be ; and it really did seem as if getting into that nest 
would be no easy matter. However, some six feet east of the 
nest passed a sort of fault or crack, which traversed the cliff at 
an angle of about 45° ; and down this, a stout rope round the 

N. S. VOL. V. L 

146 Mr. A. Hume on Indian Ornithology. 

waist, with infinite trouble and no little danger, a way was 
found after all to the nest. Once there, it was a firm platform 
of sticks, at least 5 feet by 3^, In the middle of this a circle of 
about 20 inches in diameter was smoothed over with fine green 
twigs of the peeloo {Salvadora persica) ; and on this again a 
circle of about a foot in diameter was smoothly spread with green 
leathery leaves of the same tree, on which reposed the coveted 
treasures, two fresh eggs. 

One of these eggs was bluish-white, blotched and speckled 
very feebly, but thickly, towards the larger end, with pale red- 
dish-brown. It measured 3 inches in length by 2*187 in breadth. 
The other was almost pure bluish-white, with scarcely any 
traces of markings anywhere, and measured 2*812 in. in length, 
by 2*125 in breadth. I had always felt morally certain that 
the egg figured by Dr. Bree never belonged to this species, but 
was probably only a well-coloured Neophron's; but now the 
thing was certain; no bird that laid the eggs I had in my 
hand could ever have laid an egg similar to that given in his 
' Birds of Europe.' 

A few days later, in similar cliffs, a few miles higher up, I 
found another nest. This time, however, the platform was much 
larger, and was only about six feet below the top of the cliff. 
One could look into it without the slightest difficulty ; and a wolf 
or jackal could assuredly have made his way there easily, as even 
I got down to it without help and without a rope. The platform 
of sticks was fully 5 feet in diameter ; there was the same smooth 
patch of twigs, and smaller smooth circle of green leaves, this 
time of the peepul {Ficus religiosa) ; and, as in the former 
case, on the leaves, about five inches apart, lay two fresh eggs. 
These had a bluish-white ground, blotched all over, but thinly 
and very feebly, with pale dingy reddish-brown, and they mea- 
sured, the one 3*312 in., and the other 2*562, by 2 inches. 
The eggs were, therefore, considerably less than those above 
described ; while the female, which I shot as she left the nest, 
was a much younger and smaller one than the magnificent bird 
first killed. 

Mr. C. F. Tyrvvhitt Drake on the Birds of Morocco. 147 

XII. — Further Notes on the Birds of Morocco. 
By C. F. Tyrwhitt Drake. 

Since the publication of my former uotes on the Birds of 
Eastern Morocco*, ornithology at Tangier has sustained a great 
loss in the person of M. Favier, who died suddenly in December 
1867. He was an intelligent and very hard-working naturalist ; 
and though his studies were limited to the neighbourhood of the 
town where he lived, yet during his long residence there he had 
collected a quantity of very interesting notes, which were sold 
after his death, unfortunately in my absence from Tangier ; and 
on my return thither I was unable to procure them. This I 
much regretted, as from the opportunities he had enjoyed he 
had been able to remark many birds with which I had no chance 
of meeting in the winter and springf. 

On my first visit to Morocco my observations were limited to 
the districts of Tangier and Tetuan ; but I have since had much 
greater opportunities of examining the fauna, having travelled 
through a large extent of the country — that is to say, on the coast 
from Tetuan to Mazagan, and in the interior from the town last 
mentioned to the city of Morocco and thence to Mogador. 

The country along the coast presents a great sameness in 
appearance ; the cliffs are usually low, and very frequently con- 
sist only of a bank of sand-dunes. Inland the ground rises, in 
some parts, in a series of plains backed by ranges of low hills 
till the snow-capped peaks of the Atlas are reached, as is the 
case to the south-east of Dar-el-baida and Mazagan. In other 
parts more northward it is a pasture-country, a " rolling prairie," 
as far as the eye can reach, with frequent lakes and marshes in 
the hollows. The first lake of any importance that I came to is 
that of Mulei-bou-Selham, so called from a Santon of that name 
who is buried there ; and a channel has been cut through the 
sand-hills which divide it from the sea. This was done by the 

* Ibis, 1867, pp. 421-430. 

t [Some particulars of M. Favier and of the work for the publication 
of which he had been long collecting materials, will be found in the 
' Ootheca WoUeyana ' (pp. 1-3) as furnished to Mr. John Wolley in 
1845.— Ed.] 


148 Mr. C. F. Tyrwhitt Drake on the Birds of Morocco. 

Arabs on account of some heavy and destructive floods which 
occurred a year or two ago ; and in consequence the lake is very 
shallow, with large tracts of mud flats and swamp surrounding 
it. These are the resort of countless Snipe, Dotterel et hoc 
genus omne, while the shallow waters form feeding-grounds for 
large flocks of waders and Flamingos, which last at rest appear 
almost pure white, but at the sound of a gun rise in clouds, 
showing the black and delicate rose-colour of their wings; and 
this with the sunlight gleaming: upon it has a wonderfully 
pretty effect. 

Near this place I came upon a colony of Asio capensis, which 
had taken up their abode in a patch of mallows, about half an 
acre in extent, by the side of a stream. There were some twenty 
or thirty of them sitting solemnly blinking at me till I was' 
within a few yards of them, when they lazily flapped away. 
This is the only time I ever saw them in the open country ; in 
the wooded hills to the east they are common *. 

A short distance further west, about halfway between Laraiche 
and Rabat is the Lake of Ras-dowra or Behara, which, with the 
marshes, or, rather, series of small lakes and pools, at its south- 
western extremity, cannot be less than thirty or five-and- thirty 
miles long, while in parts it is five or six wide ; it is, however, 
so intersected with promontories and studded with islands that 
it is difficult to realize its extent. 

The Arabs on the shores of this lake, which is only separated 
from the sea by a low range of hills, are mostly fishermen : 
they use canoes made of bundles of bullrushes tied together to 
form the bottom ; gunwales are made in the same way ; one end 
is then cut square, and the other is gradually fined off into a 
point which rises some two feet above the water. These canoes 
are punted along with a pole shod with horn, as the water is 
generally not more than from four to six feet in depth, but so 
choked with weeds that a paddle would be useless : a net would 
be equally so; the fishing-implements, then, in use are cane 

* [Other observers, we believe, have noticed that this species generally 
affects the open country. The late M. Favier informed Mr. Giu-ney that 
near Tangier it bred with A. brachyotus, and that the hybrids had a 
narrow yellow ring round the iris. — Ed.] 

Mr. C. F. Tyrwhitt Drake on the Birds of Morocco. 149 

spears tipped with iron. When a fish is seen, or an eel begins 
to bubble, the boatman throws in a bundle of six or seven of 
these spears, one of which is almost certain to strike the fish ; 
and if this seems a large one, other spears are driven in close to 
the first till the prey is secured. 

The numbers of wild fowl on this lake are wonderful; the 
water seems alive and quite black with them, while the noise 
they make in rising sounds like a heavy surf breaking on a 
pebbly beach. Few of these birds, however, according to the 
account of the Arabs, remain to breed : Widgeon, common 
Wild Ducks, and Coots of both species are the most abundant ; 
but the Ruddy Shell-drake is not uncommon, as well as the 
Glossy Ibis, Herons, and Bitterns. 

The districts where the Lesser Kestrel is found in this country 
are most curiously limited : the only reason 1 am able to give 
for this is that they seem to prefer a comparatively level country ; 
in fact I never found them in the mountainous parts except at 
Tangier, and then only during the March migration ; but at 
Laraiche, which is about sixty miles along the coast to the 
west of Tangier, they are not only found in summer, but they 
stay the whole year round and breed there. When 1 travelled 
down the coast I found them at every town and kasba that I 
passed, sometimes on the coast, sometimes thirty or forty miles 
inland; this continued till I came to Mazagan, where there 
were numbers ; and I saw them continually till I came to the 
village of Sidi Rahal, which lies about sixty miles south by east 
of Mazagan, on the road to Morocco. I never afterwards saw 
them, whether at Morocco, Mogador, or Safi. By this it will 
be seen that they are limited to a district extending about two 
hundred miles along the coast and some forty to sixty inland. 
They live in the holes and crevices with which every Moorish 
wall is so abundantly supplied, in perfect harmony with the 
Sardinian Starling, which has similar tastes. In the early dawn 
and just before sunset they may be seen sitting on the walls in 
rows, often forty or fifty together. In the day-time they fly 
together in small flocks of from five to twenty, feeding chiefly 
on insects which they catch on the wing, so that many of their 

150 Mr. C. F. Tyrwhitt Drake on the Birds of Morocco. 

habits more resemble those of some of the Swallow- than of the 

At Rabat I saw two birds alive in the possession of Mr. C. 
Smith, the English Vice-Consul, which were evidently some 
kind of Francolin ; but as I was unable to procure a specimen I 
cannot venture to name them : the plumage was of a dark slaty- 
grey with whitish pencillings on the back and wings ; the breast 
was of the same grey, but with a circular spot of white on each 
feather. The general colour of the plumage much resembled 
that of a Guinea-Fowl, but was perhaps a slight shade browner. 
These birds had been brought in quite young from the Zyar 
country in the preceding spring ; but unluckily these Zyars are 
one of the unsubjected tribes numbering some forty thousand 
strong, so that it is impossible to penetrate their country, which 
is to a great extent forest, as is the territory of their equally 
lawless neighbours the Zimours, who live in the forest of Mai- 
mora, to the south-east of Rabat. A species of wild ox, of a dun 
or reddish colour, is said to have existed here till recently, but 
is now said to be quite extinct. I was also told that a large 
Wood- Pigeon with a black ring round its neck is found here; 
but I never met with it myself. 

When I was in the neighbourhood of Dar-el-baida (Casa- 
blanca), hearing that Otis arabs, or, as it is called by the natives, 
the " Hobar," was to be found on the plains inland, I went up 
the country and spent several days hunting it, but was not for- 
tunate enough to obtain any. I followed the usual plan pur- 
sued by the Arabs, several of whom came out to help me : their 
way is to ride in line over the plain till a Bustard is flushed and 
to mark it down, surround it, and try to drive it to where the 
guns are posted; but though this might answer well enough 
with several guns, yet I found it useless while I was alone. 

The Arabs are always glad to shoot these birds, as they say 
there is nearly as much flesh on them as on half a sheep ; they 
told me, too, of a plan of stalking which was sometimes used 
with success. It is done thus : — A schwarry, or double pannier, 
being put on a camel, two men deposit themselves therein, one 
on each side, and guide the camel up to the Bustard, which is 
so accustomed to these animals that it does not move, and so 

Ml'. C. F. Tyrwhitt Drake un the Birds of Morocco. 15 J 

falls an easy prey to the long guns of the Arabs. These people 
certainly show good taste in their liking for Bustard^ but as a 
general rule they are not at all particular as to what they eat ; 
for I know from my own experience that they delight in the flesh 
of ichneumons, foxes, and jackals ; and, though I have never 
seen them do so myself, I have been assured on good authority 
that they take as kindly to Vultures, the flesh of which, say they, 
" comforts the stomach." I heard on one occasion of seven or 
eight Egyptian Vultures being shot in a village, the inhabitants 
of which made a sumptuous feast off them : but all this by the 
way. I find that the Grreat Bustard {Otis tarda) is also found 
in Morocco, as one was shot a few years ago near Tangier ; this 
I have on the authority of Mr. W. K. Green, British Vice- 
Consul at Tetuan, who himself shot and skinned the bird. 

I again met with the '' Hobar " in the plains of Ducala, about 
a day's journey from the town of Morocco. Numerous herds of 
gazelles are not unfrequently seen in the same place. It is a 
barren, desolate tract, where nothing seems to grow but a few 
thorny shrubs and a kind of mimosa, forming inaccessible for- 
tresses, in which numerous Ravens and some few Hawks build in 
security. On the hills the white broom grows, as it does every- 
where in this latitude — near Mogador it is almost the only 
shrub to be seen for miles. A few sheep and goats manage to 
pick up a living where, to all appearance, there is not sufficient 
herbage to support life in a rabbit ; there are, however, many 
watercourses, which, when I passed (at Easter), were dry y but 
no doubt after rain these would produce a plentiful pasturage so 
long as the water lasted. 

Within the walls of the town of Morocco there are numerous 
gardens, or rather groves, of white mulberry-, olive-, citron-, 
and other trees which in spring seem quite ahve with the gaily 
coloured Bee-eaters and Boilers ; Turtle Doves are equally abun- 
dant in the palm-groves and fruit-orchards outside the gates. 
I saw here for the first and only time in the country the Barbary 
Dove [Turtur risorius) ; the master of the fondak (or caravan- 
serai) where I was staying had two in a cage, which he told me 
had been taken from a nest in the palm-forest in the previous 
spring. I never, however, saw any wild. 

152 Mr. C. F. Tyrwliitt Drake on the Birds of Morocco. 

The only other bird I ever saw within the walls, except the 
common Sparrow, was the beautiful Cm-podacus githagineus, 
which is so tame that I have often had it fly into my room at 
the fondak, and fearlessly pick up any stray crumbs from 
within a few inches of the mattress on which I was lying. I 
never saw these birds any where else in the country, with the 
exception of a few at Mogador. 

After a stay of some little time in Morocco I set out for 
Mogador about the middle of April — at a most unfortunate time, 
as it afterwards turned out ; for I came in for very bad weather 
all the way down to the coast, rain and hail with occasionally 
bitter winds driving down from the Atlas ; so that I was unable 
to do much in the way of collecting specimens, which was the 
more to be regretted as the great plain of Morocco was to a 
naturalist one of the most interesting parts of the country I 
passed through. It has a very fertile soil, and, being well irri- 
gated by canals cut from the Tensift, almost anything may be 
grown there ; for instance, tobacco, sugar-cane, and corn of all 
sorts flourish abundantly. Some of the Arabs, too, grow a kind 
of indigo, with which the women dye their clothes. The soil 
near Morocco is a rich, heavy, red loam, which, after rain, 
becomes excessively slippery, as I found to my cost ; for the day 
I left that town a sudden storm came on at midday, the camels 
began slipping about as if they had been on ice, and one after 
another fell, which is often dangerous, as they are very apt to 
split themselves in falling, and so become so disabled as to be 
useless. Finding it impossible to go either backwards or for- 
wards, I had to resign myself to fate till the rain stopped and 
the wind had sufficiently dried the surface to enable the animals 
to go on. Further from Morocco the ground becomes very 
stony, and afi'ords good foot-hold for the camels. 

There are many birds to be found here, amongst which I 
chiefly noticed the Moorish Magpie [Pica mauritanica) as abun- 
dant. The Great Spotted Cuckoo [Oxylophus glandarius), too^ 
is very common, as are also the " Koudri " [Pterocles arenarius), 
the Crateropus fulvus (which last I invariably found on the borders 
of cultivated land, usually five or six together), the Woodchat- 
Shrike {Lanius auriculatus) , and, commoner than all, the Turtle- 

Mr. C. F. Tyrwhitt Drake un the Birds of Morocco. 153 

Dove {Twtur vulgaris), which here as well as in the " Argau '' 
forest, near Mogador, literally swarms. 

The following is a list of the birds which I had not observed 
on my former visit to the country : — 

AsTUR PALUMBARius (Linn.). I saw a specimen shot in the 
mountains near Tetuan in December ; and in May I saw a pair 
near Cape Spartel. 

Melterax polyzonus, Riipp. An example of this bird was 
shot in the neighbourhood of Mogador, which the Arabs said 
was the first they had seen of the kind. I believe this is by far 
the most northern locality whence this species has ever before 
been obtained. The specimen is now in the Museum of the 
University of Cambridge. 

Crateropus fulvus (Desf.). Between Morocco and Moga- 
dor, as above mentioned. 

RuTiciLLA TiTHYs (Scop.). I saw a few at Tetuan late in 

Carpodacus githagineus (Temm.). At Morocco and 
Mogador, as before mentioned. 

Galerita macrorhyncha, Tristram. Found on the upland 
plains towards the city of Morocco. A specimen I brought 
home has been compared by Mr. Tristram with the type of the 
species, first described by him in 'The Ibis ^ for 1859 (p. 57); 
and he says it is darker and more rufous than any he obtained 
in Algeria. It is now in the Cambridge Museum. 

Otocorys bilopha (Temm.). Found near Rabat and Dar- 

TuRTUR RisoRius (Linn.). At Morocco, as above mentioned. 

TuRTUR vulgaris, Eyton. Very common, as I have before 
said, on the west coast ; on my return to Tangier in May I found 
it there as a summer visitant. 

Francolinus ? At Rabat, as described above. 

FuLiCA CRiSTATA, Gmcl. Plentiful at the lake of Ras-dowra. 

Gallinago major (Gmel.). In one instance at Dar-el-baida, 
in another at Tangier. In March. 

154 Capt. Bulger on Birds 

Tringa minuta, Leisl. Found at a small lake near Laraiche. 

Tringoides hypoleucus (Linn.). Generally at the lakes 
and marshes. 

ToTANUS GLAREOLA, Temm. Near Laraiche. 

ToTANUs GLOTTIS (Linn.). At Rabat. 

LiMOSA LAPPONicA (Linn.). Not uncommon at Mulei-bou- 
Selham and Ras-dowra. 

NuMENius ARQUATA (Linn.) 1 Generally found at the lakes 
NuMENius PHiEOPUs (Linn.) J and marshes. 

^GiALiTEs cuRONicus (Bescke). Marshes on the west coast : 

Otis tarda^ Linn. As before mentioned, one was shot near 
Tangier, possibly a stray bird from Spain, as I never heard of it 
elsewhere in the country. 

Ardea PURPUREA, Linn. I saw a specimen killed near 

Ardetta minuta (Linn.). Rare. 

Spatula clypeata (Linn.) ^ Not rare. Usually in small 
Fuligula cristata (Linn.) J pools in the open country. 
Hydrochelidon fissipes (Linn.). Tangier, in May. 

Podiceps cristatus (Linn.) In one instance, at Agla, be- 
tween Laraiche and Ras-dowra. 

XIIL — List of Birds obtained in Sikkim, Eastern Himalayas, 
between March and July 1867. By G. E. Bulger, F.L.S., 
F.R.G.S., C.M.Z.S. 

21.* Astur palumbarius. Goshawk. 

One specimen of this bird was brought to me. 

24. AcciPiTER Nisus. European Sparrow-Hawk. 

I saw this bird frequently, but only obtained two specimens. 

* [The numbers prefixed to the names of the species are those 
which they bear in Dr. Jerdon's * Birds of India.' — Ed.] 

obtained in Sikkim. 155 

34. LiMNAETUs NivEUs. Changeable Hawk-Eagle. 
One specimen only. I did not see it in life, that I am 
aware of. 

73. Ketupu flavipes. Tawny Fish-Owl. 
I obtained two specimens, and saw a third near the Bulwabos, 
a small stream tributary to the Little Rungeet river. 

80. Glaucidium brodiei. Collared Pigmy Owlet. 

I had two or three specimens brought to me, and I have seen 
the bird myself in the forests near the station. A hollow, 
ringing sound, said by the natives to be its call, is very com- 
mon in the woods. 

109. Caprimulgus albonotatus. Large Bengal Night-jar. 

At Punkabarree (1815 feet above the sea), on the 23rd 
March, while a friend and I were were sitting outside the ddk- 
bungalow, just as it was getting dark, we heard a curious sound 
in the forest, which bore such a close resemblance to the noise 
that would be caused by a man at some distance striking a 
plank at quick and regular intervals with a small hammer, that 
my companion would scarcely believe it came from a bird. 
Presently, however, a similar sound arose from another part of 
the forest, and then a large Goatsucker, in a tree not ten yards 
distant, began emitting the same strange cry. He soon flew 
off into the air, apparently in pursuit of some insect, uttering 
a slight noise, like " tuk-a-tuk," as be left his perch. 

116. Habpactes hodgsoni. Red-headed Trogon. 

I had several specimens brought to me ; but I never saw the 
bird, and my shikar-ee declared it was very rare. He informed 
me that those he killed were from the valley of the Great Run- 
geet river, some two or three thousand feet below Darjeeling. 

124. CoRACiAS affinis. Burmese Roller. 

A pair of these birds was brought to me from the neighbour- 
hood of the Great Rungeet river ; and the shikaree informed me 
that they were very uncommon. 

. 126. EuRYSTOMUs orientalis. Broad-billed Roller. 
Two specimens from the same locality as the last. 

131. Halcyon coromandelianus. Ruddy Kingfisher. 

156 Capt. Bulger on Birds 

I only obtained one specimen of this most lovely bird, from 
the Teesta river ; and the shikaree regarded it as a great prize. 
The amethystine lustre of its plumage is wonderfully beautiful, 
rendering it, in my opinion, the handsomest of the whole 

134. Alcedo bengalensis. Common Indian Kingfisher. 
Two or three from the Great Rungeet and Teesta rivers. 

140. HoMRAius BicoKNis. Great Hornbill. 

I purchased several specimens from Lepcha hawkers at Dar- 
jeeling ; but I did not meet with the bird myself, nor did my 
shikaree succeed in securing a single example. 

146. AcEROs NiPALENSis. Rufous-uecked Hornbill. 

My shikaree was unable to obtain a specimen ; but I procured 
several from Lepcha hawkers. I also saw a number of indivi- 
duals myself, chiefly in the valley of the Little Rungeet river, 
and on the ascent thence to Darjeeling. It is a very striking- 
looking bird upon the wing ; and its hoarse and somewhat 
loud croak is almost startling when heard suddenly and un- 

155. Picus MAJOROiDEs. Darjeeling Black Woodpecker. 

Notwithstanding its name, I did not see it in a living state 
near the station ; but I had four or five specimens brought to 
me by my shikaree ; and we also obtained it during the ascent 
of Mount Tongloo, at an elevation of about 8000 feet. 

162. YuNGiPicus RUBRiCATUs. Darjeeling Pigmy Wood- 

Of this bird 1 received several specimens from the forests 
near Darjeeling. 

172. Gecinus occipitalis. Black-naped Green Wood- 

Several specimens, I believe, from the valley of the Little 
Rungeet river. 

173. Chrysophlegma flavinucha. Large Yellow-naped 

Seemingly common in the forests which extend downwards 
towards the Little Rungeet river. I saw numerous specimens, 
and obtained several. 

obtained in Sikkim. 157 

176. Venilia pyrrhotis. Red-eared Bay Woodpecker. 
Common enough near the station. 

177. Gecinulus granti^. Pale-headed Woodpecker. 

This seems to be the commonest of the Darjeeling Wood- 
peckers; at least, I saw it oftenest, and obtained more speci- 
mens than I did of any other kind. 

178. Micropternus ph^egceps. Bengal Rufous Wood- 

One specimen from the forests near the Rungmo river. 

191. Megal^ema virens. Great Barbet. 
I had several individuals brought to me by my shikaree, but 
I never saw it in life. 

196. Cyanops franklini. Golden-throated Barbet. 
This bird seems somewhat plentiful, and its curious cry is 
one of the commonest sounds of the forests. 

199. CucuLus CANORUs. European Cuckoo. 

On the 23rd April we first heard the Cuckoo near Darjeeling, 
in the khud between Tukvar and Leebong ; the old familiar 
sound was most grateful to our ears, bringing floods of recollec- 
tions in its train as it rose at intervals from the massive forests 
below the road on which we were wandering. On the 4th May 
the birds seemed very abundant, as their call was to be heard 
constantly during the day, and occasionally even at night. 

200. CucuLUS STRiATUs^. Himalayan Cuckoo. 

Of this bird I received several specimens ; it seemed to be 
quite as common as C. canorus. 

201. CucuLUS poliocephalus. Small Cuckoo. 

For the best part of three months these most noisy birds 
were constantly giving utterance to their loud, laughing cries, 
which sounded something like " pot-you-chick-chick-chick." 
We heard them first on the 2nd May ; and then, to nearly the 
end of July, the forests in our neighbourhood resounded with 
their harsh notes, whicb they utter both when flying and when 
at rest. Several resided in our immediate vicinity, and they 
seemed to be fully as noisy at night as in the daytime. Indeed 

* Cf. Ibis, 18GG, p. 359. 

158 Capt, Bulger on Birds 

the Lepchas say that, during the rains, they cry throughout 
the twenty-four hours. I found them wary, and somewhat 
difficult of approach, so that it was well on to the middle of 
May before I succeeded in getting a specimen. Our Bhotean 
servants called them (in Hindustanee, which language many of 
them speak slightly) Pawnee-wallahs, literally "water-fellows," 
having reference, I suppose, to the fact of their clamorous pro- 
pensities in the wet weather. I heard this bird on the summit 
of Mount Tongloo, 10,085 feet above the sea, one of the sum- 
mits of the Singalelah spur of Kinchinjunga. 

203. CucuLUs MiCROPTERUs. Indian Cuckoo. 

The soft and beautiful call of this bird, which sounds like 
that of the European Cuckoo doubled, " koo koo, koo koo," is 
one of the characteristic sounds of the Sikkim forest from May 
until July. During all our excursions I heard it constantly, 
and scarcely a day passed over without my seeing several indivi- 
duals. I did not observe it above 8000 feet. 

206. HiERococcYx NisicoLOR. Hodgsou's Hawk-Cuckoo. 
I only obtained one specimen of this bird ; and it was evidently 

new to my shikaree, who declared it was identical with Cuculus 
polio cephalus. It was procured on one of the spurs of Mount 

207. HiERococcYX sPARVERioiDES. Large Hawk-Cuckoo. 
I heard these birds for many days before I saw them. They have 

a loud, clear note, or rather whistle, which sounds like " oh-few," 
with a stress on the last syllable. One begins to call, and the others 
answer from the neighbouring trees, until, sometimes, three or 
four are whistling within a short distance. I often imitated the 
note, and the birds generally replied, whistling louder and more 
violently, according to the rapidity with which I answered them. 
On the 4th May, one continued calling throughout the night 
close to our house. 

210. SuRNicuLus DiCRUROiDEs. Drougo-Cuckoo. 

Of this bird T obtained three examples from the forests below 
Darjeeling, which were procured by my shikaree. 

211. Chrysococcyx hodgsoni. Emerald-Cuckoo. 

obtained in Sikkim. 159 

My shikaree brought one specimen, which, he informed me, 
was procured near the foot of Mount Tendong. It is a most 
lovely little creature, the beautiful green of its plumage having 
an exquisite golden lustre, reminding me of the brilliant dresses 
of the Humming-birds. 

213. CoccYSTES coROMANDUs. Rcd-wingcd Crested Cuckoo. 
One individual, procured by my shikaree, near Mount Ten- 

215. Zanclostomus tristis. Large Green-billed Malkoha. 
Two specimens of this bird, also brought to me from the 
valley at the foot of Mount Tendong. 

217. Centropus rufipennis. Common Coucal. 

1 have heard this bird near the Lepcha village of Simom- 
bong (5000 feet above the sea), and I think that I also saw it 
in the same locality. I had one example brought me from near 
Mount Tendong. 

223. Arachnothera magna. Large Spider-hunter. 
This bird is not uncommon near Darjeeling, in the warmer 
valleys below the station. I procured several. 

225. iETHOPYGA miles. Himalayan Red Honey-sucker. 
A pair of these birds were brought to me, I believe, from the 
valley of the Rungmo river. 

229. ^THOPYGA nipalensis. Maroou-backcd Honey-sucker. 

This charming species is not uncommon at Darjeeling. I 
have frequently seen both male and female amongst the shrubs, 
along the edges of the new cart-road. They were not at all 
shy, but allowed us to approach them very closely. In their 
habits these little creatures remind me much of the Humming- 
birds, often feeding in the same way, by probing tubular blos- 
soms, while poised on rapidly vibrating wings, the plumage of 
the male meanwhile glittering and flashing in the sunlight like 
living gems. 

231. ^THOPYGA saturata. Black-brcasted Honey-suckcr. 

Several individuals of this species procured by my shikaree. 

241. Myzanthe ignipectus. Fire-breasted Flower- pecker. 
One example from the thinned forests below the station. 

160 Capt. Bulger on Birds 

245. Certhia discolor. Sikkim Tree-creeper. 

I obtained several specimens in the forests near Darjeeling. 

248. SiTTA HiMALAYENSis. White-tailed Nuthatch. 
Somewhat abundant in the woods near Darjeeling. 

252. SiTTA FORMOSA. Beautiful Nuthatch. 
I obtained one specimen of this truly lovely bird, shot, my 
shikaree said, on Mount Tendong. 

259. Lanius nigriceps. Black-headed Shrike. 
This bird does not seem uncommon on the lower elevations. 
Several examples were brought to me. 

269. VoLVocivoRA MELASCHISTUS. Dark-grey Cuckoo- 

I did not see this bird myself; but several were procured by 
my shikaree close to the station. 

271. Pericrocotus speciosus. Large Minivet. 
I obtained several specimens of this gorgeous Shrike in the 
forests below Darjeeling. 

273. Pericrocotus brevirostris. Short-billed Minivet. 

This species is most abundant in the forests which still par- 
tially cover the beautiful spurs running down from the Jella 
Pahar mountain to the Little Rungeet River. I daily saw 
several of the males, as well as their more plainly-dressed mates, 
flitting about amongst the trees ; and I obtained nearly a dozen 

280. Dicrurus longicaudatus*. Long-tailed Hill-Drongo. 

This Drongo seems almost as abundant at Darjeeling as its 
cousin, the King-crow [D. maa'ocercus) , is in the plains. It 
was to be seen daily in the vicinity of our house, and specimens 
were easily procured. 

283. Bhringa remifer. Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo. 
My shikaree procured three individuals of this singular but 
beautiful bird from the valley of the Teesta river. Two of 

* [This species is no doubt that called by Col. Tytler (Ibis, 1868, 
p. 200) D. himalayensis, and intended to be described by Mr. Beavau 
(torn. cit. p. 407) as Buchanc/u waldeni. — Ed.] 

obtained in Sikkim. 161 

them were males, of which one only had the long tail-feathers 

286. Chibia hottentota. Hair-crested Drongo. 

Of this bird, I had also three specimens brought to me, from 
the valley of the Teesta. My shikaree regarded it as a prize, 
but evidently did not set such a value upon it as on the last. 

287. Artamus fuscus. Ashy Swallow-Shrike. 
Several specimens from the valleys below the station. 

289. TcHiTREA AFFiNis. Burmese Paradise Flycatcher. 

My companion purchased a specimen from a Lepcha hawker ; 
but I cannot say where it was procured. I did not meet with 
the bird myself, nor did my shikaree. 

291. Leucocerca fuscoventris. White-throated Fantail. 

This graceful little creature is common near Darjeeling, and 
has a weak but sweet little song. 

294. Chelidorhynx hypoxantha. Yellow-bellied Fantail. 
I saw it during the ascent of Mount Tongloo, at about 8000 
feet elevation, in the heart of the forest. 

299. Alseonax ferrugineus. Ferruginous Flycatcher. 
These birds seemed to be common near Darjeeling. 

301. EuMYiAS MELANOPS. Vcrditer Flycatcher. 

One of the most common and familiar birds of Darjeeling. 
It has a weak but sweet little song, and seems as fond of the 
neighbourhood of houses as even the English Redbreast. A 
nest was brought to me on the 1st May, which was said to 
belong to this species. It was cup-shaped, and measured two 
inches and a half across. The materials of its construction were 
grass and the slender stems of herbaceous plants, completed 
by a lining of horsehair. It contained four eggs, of a pale 
greenish blue, much and irregularly spotted and blotched with 

313. NiTiDULA HODGSONi. Pigmy Blue Flycatcher. 

I obtained two specimens of this lovely little creature near 
the station of Darjeeling. 

314. NiLTAVA suNDARA. Rufous-bcllied Fairy Blue-chat. 
I saw numbers of these, and obtained several examples. 

N. S. VOL. V. M 

162 Capt. Bulger on Birds 

315. NiLTAVA MACGRiGORi^. Small Fairy Blue-chat. 
Almost as abundant as the last. 

316. NiLTAVA GRANDis. Large Fairy Blue-chat. 

I only succeeded in getting one specimen ; it was not nearly 
so abundant as the two last mentioned. 

317. Anthipes moniliger. White-gorgeted Flycatcher. 
Specimens were obtained near the station, and I saw it on 

Sinchul mountain. 

326. Erythrosterna maculata. Little Pied Flycatcher. 

I obtained a couple of specimens of this little bird, which did 
not appear to be rare. 

327. Tesia castaneocoronata. Chestnut-headed Wren. 

I saw it in the gardens of the station of Darjeeling, and in 
the forests sloping down from Jella Pahar to the Rungmo river : 
it seemed to be abundant. I also found it pretty high up on 
the Sinchul mountain early in the season. 

344. Hydrornis nipalensis. Large Nepal Ground-Thrush. 
One specimen only of this bird. 

347. Hybrobata asiatica. Brown Water-Ouzel. 

One specimen (a young bird), from the Great Rungeet river. 

350, ZooTHERA MoNTicoLA. Lai'gc Browu Thrush. 
Apparently common, for I obtained numerous specimens. 

351. Petrocossyphus cyaneus. Blue Rock-Thrush. 

I saw this Rock-thrush several times at Darjeeling, but 
never procured a specimen, which I much regret, as it is a bird 
of special interest. 

355. Geocichla citrina. Orange-headed Ground-Thrush. 

This bird did not appear to be uncommon. I procured 
several examples myself in the forests near Darjeeling ; and my 
shikaree got two or three more. 

357. TuRDULUs wARDi. Ward's Pied Blackbird. 
Several specimens. 

361. Merula boulboul. Grey-winged Blackbird. 
Abundant at and near Darjeeling. I sav/ it constantly, and 
obtained a number of examples. 

obtained in Sikkim. 163 

362. Merula albocincta. White-collared Ouzel. 
I obtained a pair ou the summit of Mount Tongloo, 10,078 
feet above the sea, but did not meet with it elsewhere. 

375. Paradoxornis ruficeps. Red-headed Finch-Thrush. 
One specimen, from, I believe, the valley of the Great Run- 

geet river. 

376. Heteromorpha unicolor. Brown Finch-Thrush. 
My shikaree killed one of these on the upper slopes of Mount 


382. Gramma TOPTiLA striata. Striated Jay-Thrush. 
A common bird near Darjeeling. I saw it constantly in the 
forests, and obtained a number of specimens. 

384. Gampsorhynchus rufulus. White-headed Shrike- 

Two of these birds were shot by my shikaree, one in the 
valley of the Rungmo, and the other near the Teesta. 

401. PoMATORHiNus FERRUGiNosus. Coral-billed Scimitar- 

Three specimens of this bird procured by my shikaree. 

402. PoMATORHiNus scHisTicEPs. Slaty-hcadcd Scimitar- 

There was a bird in the forests near Darjeeling with a very 
peculiar note, sounding like " rooee-co-co," which my shikaree 
assured me was of this species. 

407. Garrulax leucolophus. White-crested Laughing 

Of this curious and noisy bird I obtained several examples. 

410. Garrulax ruficollis. Rufous-necked Laughing 

This bird was brought to me by my shikaree from the valley 
of the Teesta river. 

412. Garrulax pectoralis. Black-gorgeted Laughing 

One specimen only obtained — I believe, in the valley of the 
Little Rungeet river, below Simombong. 

M 2 

164 Capt. Bulgei* on Birds 

414. Garrulax ocellatus. White-spotted Laughing 

None of the birds of Sikkim have, in my opinion, such a de- 
lightful call as this handsome species. It is not found at the 
lower elevations ; and during our ascent of Mount Tongloo I 
first heard it at a height of about 8000 feet. Thereabouts, 
and just below the summit of the mountain, it was abundant, 
and the forests were ringing with its fine, clear, and mellow 
notes, which sounded like the words " away-away-awee," whis- 
tled in somewhat rapid succession. The birds not only answered 
one another, but they replied readily to the imitation of their 

416. Trochalopterum chrysopterum. Yellow-winged 
Laughing Thrush. 

Very common at and near Darjeeling. Any number of 
specimens might have been readily procured; for it literally 
abounded in the woods and thickets along the edges of the 
various roads. 

432. Trochalopterum ph(eniceum. Crimson - winged 
Laughing Thrush. 

Of this species I obtained several individuals. It was not 
rare near Darjeeling, though apparently not found at quite so 
great an elevation as the station itself. I only saw it in the 
forests on the upper slopes of the Little Rungeet valley ; and 
the specimens procured by my shikaree were from the neigh- 
bourhood of Leebong, about 6000 feet above the sea. 

427. AcTiNODURA EGERTONi. E-ufous Bar-wing. 
Tolerably common, and I procured several examples. 

428. AcTiNODURA NiPALENSis. Hoary Bar-wing. 

Of this bird I obtained specimens during the ascent of Mount 
Tongloo. I did not see it at the lower elevations, and my 
shikaree assured me that it replaced the last species on the 
higher hills, where the latter is not met with. 

429. SiBiA CAPISTRATA. Black-hcadcd Sibia. 

This pretty bird was most abundant at Darjeeling and in its 
vicinity. I think I first heard its clear metallic whistle, which 

obtained in Sikkim. 165 

sounds like "peepee-pee pee-peeyut" rapidly and very shrilly 
uttered, about the middle of Aprd ; but by the 28th of that 
month the forests all round the Jclla Pahar mountain were re- 
verberating to its call, and the birds themselves, scarcely ever 
silent, were busily engaged in running about the trees like 
Woodpeckers, apparently in search of insects. I have heard it 
give utterance to a harsh and rather loud rattling cry, as it 
flew from one tree to another. 

444. Hypsipetes psaroides. Himalayan Black Bulbul. 

I did not see any of these birds myself; but several examples 
were procured by my shikaree near, I understand, the village of 
Ging, which is 5156 feet above the sea. 

447. Hypsipetes maclellandi. Rufous-bellied Bulbul. 
Two specimens from the forests below Darjeeling. 

448. Hemixus flavala. Brown-eared Bulbul. 

I saw this bird frequently near Darjeeling, but I never ob- 
tained a specimen. 

449. Alcurus striatus. Striated Green Bulbul. 

This bird is very common near Darjeeling. It has a clear, 
loud note, and it seems to be rarely silent. I have generally 
seen two or three together, almost always near the tops of trees. 
I did not observe them much below the elevation of the station, 
though on the upper slopes of the spurs running down towards 
the Little Rungeet river they were abundant. 

451. Criniger flaveolus. White-throated Bulbul. 
One specimen from the neighbourhood of the Great Rungeet 

456. RuBiGULA FLAViVENTRis. Black-crcstcd Yellow Bulbul. 

I obtained several specimens, chiefly from the vicinity of the 
Great Rungeet river. From a thicket on the bank, near the 
cane bridge, a nest was brought to me on the 16th May, of 
the ordinary cup-shape, made of fibres and leaves, and contain- 
ing three eggs, which my shikaree said belonged to this species. 
The eggs were of a dull pinkish hue, very thickly marked with 
small specks and blotches of brownish-crimson. 

166 Capt, Bulger on Birds 

458. Otocompsa leucogenys. White-cheeked Crested 

Two examples of this bird. 

461. PycNONOTUs pyGjEUS. Common Bengal Bulbul. 
Of this bird I obtained several specimens. 

474. Oriolus trailli. Maroon Oriole. 
Abundant at Darjeeling. 1 had several individuals brought 
to me. 

477. Myiomela leucura. White-tailed Bluechat. 
Of this bird I only received one example. 

506. Chimarrhornis leucocephala. White-capped Red- 

One specimen only. 

531. Orthotomus coronatus. Grey-headed Tailor-bird. 
A pair of these from oue of the valleys below Darjeeling. 

549. SuYA ATROGULARis. Black-breastcd Wren- Warbler. 
Of this bird I obtained several specimens. It seemed to be 
common enough^ for I saw it frequently. 

569. CuLiciPETA BURKii. Black-browed Warbler. 
Of this bird I procured one example only. 

571. Abrornis schisticeps. Black-eared Warbler. 
One specimen only. 

573. Abrornis albosuperciliaris. White-browed War- 

One specimen. 

584. Henicurus maculatus. Spotted Forktail. 

This pretty bird was common at Darjeeling, especially in the 
neighbourhood of the little mountain-streams. I saw numbers 
of them along the new cart-road. 

592. Calobates sulphurea. Grey-and-yellow Wagtail. 

One specimen was brought to me by my shikaree, which I 
believe he procured near the Great Rungeet river. I did not 
see this bird myself in any of my wanderings. 

obtained in Sikkim. 167 

607. CocHOA PURPUREA. Purple Thrush-Tit. 
I obtained two specimens of this bird, which my shikaree 
informed me he shot on Mount Tendong. 

612. CuTiA NiPALENSis. Yellow-backcd Shrike-Tit. 
One example of this bird. 

614. LioTHRix LUTEUs. Red-billcd Hill-Tit. 

This pretty little bix'd is abundant at Darjeeling. I generally 
saw them in small flock or parties. 

615. LioTHRix ARGENT AURis. Silvcr-earcd Hill -Tit. 

I had several specimens of this bird brought to me, but I 
did not meet with it myself. 

616. Siva strigula. Stripe-throated Hill-Tit. 

I did not see this species myself; but my shikaree procured 

617. Siva cyanouroptera. Blue-winged Hill-Tit. 

I obtained several examples and saw the bird myself fre- 

618. MiNLA igneotincta. Red-tailed Hill-Tit. 

This species appeared to me to be even more common than 
the last. 1 often saw it. 

619. MiNLA cASTANEicEPs. Chcstnut-headed Hill-Tit. 
Of this bird I obtained a number of specimens. 

620. MiNLA ciNEREA. Dusky-grceu Hill-Tit. 
I obtained one specimen only, a female. 

623. IxuLUs FLAVicoLLis. Ycllow-napcd Flower-pecker. 
Common at Darjeeling. 

626. YuHiNA GULARis. Stripc-throatcd Flower-pecker. 

An abundant bird in and near the station of Darjeeling. I saw 
it on the spurs below Jella Pahar, and also above 7000 feet of 

644. Parus monticolus. Green-backed Tit. 
Abundant in and near the station. 

649. Machlolophus spilonotus. Black-spotted Yellow Tit. 
My shikaree brought me one specimen from near Leebong. 

168 Capt. Bulger on Birds 

650. Melanochlora sultanea. Sultan Yellow Tit. 

I did not see this bird myself ; but my shikaree obtained three 
good examples from the lower part of the valley of the Great 
Rungeet river. It is a very handsome species, and its yellow 
crest is very striking. 

660. CoRvus culminatus. Indian Corby. 

I shot a pair of these birds on the summit of Mount Tong- 
loo, 10,078 feet above the sea. I did not see it elsewhere in 

666. NuciFRAGA hemispila. Himalayan Nutcracker. 
I obtained two individuals on the summit of Mount Tongloo, 
and I saw two others in the same locality. 

671. Urocissa OCCIPITALIS. Red-billed Blue Magpie. 

I saw this splendid bird in the forests between Darjeeling 
and Mount Tongloo, but not until we had ascended to nearly 
8000 feet. I almost always came upon them feeding upon the 
ground, but when they rose they took refuge in the upper 
branches of the tall trees. We procured two or three speci- 

672. Urocissa cucullata. Yellow-billed Blue Magpie. 

I found this species at higher altitudes than the last, where 
it seemed to take its place. It is not nearly so handsome, but is 
still a striking-looking bird, and has a strange, loud call. We 
obtained three specimens during the ascent of Mount Tongloo. 

673. CissA SINENSIS. Green Jay. 

My shikaree procured three specimens in good plumage of 
this very beautiful bird, from the valley of the Great Rungeet 
river. I understood from him that they were not found quite 
so high as Leebong, which is about 6000 feet above the sea. 

676. Dendrocitta sinensis. Himalayan Magpie. 

We saw a number of these, and obtained several specimens 
during the descent, via Simombong, from Mount Tongloo. 
They did not appear to range very high. 

677. Dendrocitta frontalis. Black -browed Magpie. 
This species was obtained by us in the same localities as the 


obtained in Sikkim. 1C9 

688, Temenuchus malabaricus. Grey-headed Myna. 
]\Iy shikaree brought me oue specimen whilst I was at Dar- 
jceling, which he obtained near the Teesta river. 

710. Passer montanus. Mountain-Sparrow. 
This bird is abundant at Darjeehng. The only Sparrow I 
saw there. 

735. H^MATOSPiZA siPAHi. Scarlet Grosbeak. 

I obtained half a dozen specimens of this splendid bird at 
Darjeeling (four males and two females), but I did not see it 
myself. I understood that it was not very rare. 

778. Sphenocercus sphenurus. Kokla Green Pigeon. 
This very handsome Pigeon was common in the forests near 

Darjeeling. We saw a number of them during our return from 
Mount Tongloo, via, Simombong, to the station. They have a 
soft and pleasant note. 

779. Sphenocercus apicaudus. Pin-tailed Green Pigeon. 
I obtained a greater number of specimens of this species 

than of the last, and, to the best of my belief, saw it quite as 

795. Turtur suratensis. Spotted Dove. 

My companion purchased a pair of these birds from a Nepa- 
lese who passed through our camp, on the summit of Mount 
Tongloo ; and we brought them down, first to Darjeeling, and 
subsequently to Bangalore, when we handed them over to the 
Lai Bagh. They were only a few days old when first procured, 
and were probably brought from Nepal. I saw two or three 
individuals of this species afterwards on the banks of the Bul- 
wabos river. 

798. Chalcophaps indica. Bronze-winged Dove. 

This lovely bird did not appear to be at all plentiful in 
Sikkim : I did not meet with it myself; and the shikuTee only 
procured two specimens for me, which he shot near the Great 
Rungcet river. 

805. Ceriornis satyra. Sikkim Horned Pheasant. 
I found it most difficult to procure specimens of this truly 
magnificent bird in Sikkim, although \vc saw them not unfre- 

170 Mr. Howard Saunders on 

quently during the ascent of Mount Tongloo, at elevations 
above 8000 feet. They were very wary, and, on being ap- 
proached, took wing and were soon lost amongst the trees. 

811 . Gallophasis melanonotus. Sikkim Kaleege Pheasant.' 
Common about Darjeeling. I have seen it in the forests 

running about and feeding on the ground. On the 26th April, 

a hen bird and four eggs were brought to me by my shikaree. 

The eggs were whitish, resembling those of the common Fowl 

very much in size and appearance*. 

813. Gallus ferrugineus. Red Jungle-Fowl. 
Two or three specimens were brought to me from the forests 
below Leebong. 

824. Arboricola torqueola. Black-throated Hill Par- 

I obtained some specimens of this handsome bird during the 
ascent of Mount Tongloo ; and the shikaree also procured them 
on Mount Tendong. 

987. Sterna javanica. Black-belHed Tern. 
Two specimens from the Great Ruugeet river. 

1006. Graculus FUscicoLList. Lesser Cormorant. 
My shikaree killed one example near the Great Ruugeet 

XIV. — Ornithological Rambles in Spain. 
By Howard Saunders, F.Z.S. 

Having been compelled to pass the winter of 1867-68 in a 
warm climate, I was enabled to carry out a long-cherished 
desire of revisiting Spain ; and, my stay there having been pro- 
longed during the spring, a few notes may not be unacceptable, 
especially as I propose to limit them to the birds observed in 
Andalucia, or, to be still more correct, to the district south of 
the Sierra Morena. Lord Lilford's remarks on the ornithology 

* [The egg tigured as that of this species (P. Z. S. 1858, Ares, pi. 149, 
fig. 2) does not, however, agree with the description given above. — Ed.] 
t Cf. Ibis, 1867, p. 181. 

the Ornithology of Spain. 171 

of the Castiles* leave me nothing to say on that subject; and 
1 will therefore commence with my arrival, on the 4th of No- 
vember, at the picturesque city of Murcia, capital of the province 
of that name, situate in a fertile vega, hemmed in by mountains 
and watered by the river Segura. 

My first care was to inspect the museum, which contains 
some fine Raptores, notably Aquila bonellii, A. pennata, and 
Circaetus gallicus, — also Anas marmorata and Fratercula ardica, 
obtained near the city. My friend Dr. Angel Guirao also 
showed me his private collection, containing specimens, taken 
on the eggs, by himself, of a curious variety of Thalassidroma 
pelagica, of a uniform sooty black, without white rump or white 
on the wings, which breeds plentifully on the Hormigas and 
other islands just without the entrance to that great inland sea 
called the Mar Menor, which extends to Carthagena. I then 
started for the baths of Archena, distant about three leagues up 
in the hills, and arrived there utterly crippled by rheumatism. 
A few baths worked wonders, and I was soon enabled to crawl 
about the rocks and prosecute my favourite study. 

Archena is situated in a gorge of the river Segura, the banks 
of which are rich with olive- and orange-groves, interspersed with 
clumps of date-palm ; around, the mountains are utterly sterile 
and brown. Close by the baths rises a " hog's-back" of rock, 
some five-hundred feet in height ; and one had only to climb to 
its summit, and, basking in the sun, enjoy the quarrels of the 
Black Wheatear [Saxicola leucura), watch the flight of the 
Crag-Martins {Cotijle rupestris), and listen to the plaintive 
whistle of the Rock-Thrush [Petrocincla saxatilis). Both the 
first and last of these were very familiar ; and I have seen them 
on the roof of the bath-establishment; but when out with my 
walking-stick gun they always managed to keep out of range ; 
and throughout my stay I was too weak to carry my double- 
barrel. The Black Redstart {Ruticilla tithys) was very abun- 
dant everywhere; and the Stone-chat (Pm^mco/a ruhicola), With. 
us so shy of habitations, was always most abundant in orchards 
and near cottages. In the open country were thousands of 
Skylarks [Alauda arvensis), as well as Woodlarks [A. arbor ea) 
* Ibis, 1866, pp. 173-187, 377-392. 

172 Mr. Howard Saunders on 

and Titlarks {Anthus pratensis) . A. rufescens I did not then distin- 
guish. Along the banks of the river. White Wagtails {Mota- 
cilla alba) and Goldfinches {Carduelis elegans) swarmed, whilst 
the little Fan tail [Cisticola schcPMicola) alternately flitted like a 
moth and sneaked like a mouse amongst the herbage. Em- 
beriza cia was not uncommon ; and Passer domesticus was as 
abundant and impudent as elsewhere. A fine male Sylvia 
subalpina baffled all my efforts to obtain it, owing to its ex- 
treme tameness ; it obstinately refused to remove to a distance 
sufficient to avoid my blowing it to pieces ; and, situated as I 
was on a narrow ledge of rock, I could not retreat. I watched 
it for the best part of an hour, never at more than fifteen paces 
from me, and found it far more lively and curious than the 
Grasshopper- Warbler [Locustella ncevia), which, after once di- 
ving iuto the recesses of a bush, rarely reappears. I afterwards 
obtained a specimen near the same locality. A native caza- 
dor brought me a Twite {Linota flavirostris) , male Cirl-Buut- 
ing {Emberisa cirlus), several Black Redstarts, Willow-Warblers 
{Phyllopneuste trochilus), Sparrows, and Goldfinches, — also a 
Water-Rail {Rallus aquaticus), but nothing rare, though both 
Baillon's and the Little Crake [Ortygometra pygmcea and O. 
minuta) are not uncommon on the Segura. I also saw one 
Kingfisher {Alcedo ispida). Thrushes were very abundant in 
the orchards ; and amongst them I noticed a few Redwings 
{Turdus iliacus) ; but the main body of the latter had not yet 
arrived. On my return to Murcia, I noticed in the market 
numbers of the Common Starling {Sturnus vulgaris) for sale, 
and was assured that, after being bled to take away the bitter- 
ness of their flavour, they were very good eating. In a cage 
was a Common Sparrow which had learnt to sing like any 
Canary, and for which the owner asked an enormous price. 

From Murcia I proceeded to Malaga, where it was my inten- 
tion to pass the winter ; and under its genial climate I gradually 
threw off my rheumatism, and became as well as ever I had 
been in my life. I lost no time in exploring the flat district at 
the mouth of the Guadalorce, the nearest branch of which 
enters the sea at about a league from the city ; but though 1 
had the run of the sugar-estates in that district, and enjoyed the 

the Ornithology of Spain, 173 

society of some of the best sportsmen of the neighbourhood, no- 
thing of rarity was brought to bag. Marsh-Harriers (C«-cM6r arugi- 
nosus) and Kestrels {Tinnunculus alaudarius) were extremely 
abundant ; and in the course of the day one was sure to see 
either Aquila bonellii or Circaetus gallicus, or both^ hunting over 
the marshes and cane-brakes ; but they always kept out of range 
even of a wire cartridge. All of the former that I then observed 
were adults ; and the Museum possesses a very fine specimen, 
also an enormous female of the latter species. The Osprey 
{Pandiun haliceetus) also was sometimes to be recognized. The 
usual bag consisted of Woodcock {Scolopax rusticola), Common 
and a few Jack Snipe { Gallinago scolopacinus and G.gallinula) , Wild 
Duck, Teal {Anas boschas and A. creccd), on the drier ground 
Lapwing {Vanellus cristatus), Golden Plover [Charadrius plu- 
vialis), and a few Quail [Coturnix communis) among the cotton- 
plantations ; but the main body of the last does not arrive till 
April. In the market, which I visited regularly, I observed abun- 
dance of Red-legged Partridge, Golden Plover, Stone-Curlew 
{CEdicnemus crepitans) ,ivom the dry watercourse of theGuadalme- 
dina, a few Black-tailed Godvvit [Limosa degocephala), and also one 
Grey Plover {Squatarola helvetica) and one Dotterel {Eudromias 
morinellus). In the market for small birds were strings of our Sky- 
lark and Great Bunting [Emberiza miliaria), mingled with a few 
Cirls and Ortolans [E. hortulana), Crested and Calandra-Larks 
{Alauda cristata and A. calandra). Sparrows were also largely 
consumed ; and from the huge piles I picked out fine specimens 
of Petronia stulta and Passer hispaniolensis. The Song-Thrush 
[Tardus musicus) was also to be seen by hundreds, and Red- 
wings by scores every morning ; but never, amongst the thou- 
sands which in the course of my residence I examined, did I 
detect a single Fieldfare {T. pilaris), nor did I ever hear its 
note when shooting. This is strange, as the Redwing, an in- 
habitant of equally northern latitudes, is almost as abundant in 
winter as the Song-Thrush. I need not, however, further specify 
the birds of little interest with which I became acquainted. 

The winter of 1867-68 was unusually severe ; and wolves 
having made their appearance in the Sierra de Gaitanes, I 
joined a shooting-party, and thus became acquainted with a 

174 Mr. Howai'd Saunders on 

fine haunt of raptorial birds. The shots and cries of the beaters 
seemed to have fetched up all the Vultures of the district to 
see what was the matter ; and at one time the air was alive with 
Vultur monachus, Gyps fulvus, and Neophron percnopterus. I 
also noticed a pair of Gypaetus barbatus, several of Aquila bo- 
nellii, and one of A. chrysaetus. But the most numerous on 
that occasion was decidedly Vultur monachus ; and the rarest was 
Neophron percnopterus. 

The severity of the season had been such that it was useless 
to go up to Granada in February, in time for working the 
Sierra Nevada, after Lsemmergeiers ; and the accounts of wet and 
bad weather in Seville kept me in Malaga longer than I had ori- 
ginally intended. On the 10th of February I took steamer for 
Cadiz, and arrived there the following day without encounter- 
ing any further novelty than the sight of hundreds of Gannets 
[Sula bassana) fishing ofi" Tarifa. On the 19th, on my way 
up to Seville, I observed several Storks {Ciconia alba) and 
large flocks of Cranes [Gi-us cinei-ea), which seemed far less 
alarmed at the train than I should have expected ; indeed one 
party allowed it to come within a hundred yards. I saw several 
specimens of Grus virgo in the flesh, and one which had been 
captured alive ; but I never succeeded in shooting one. I recog- 
nized my old acquaintance Circaetus gallicus and Harriers every- 
where. Round the grand cathedral numbers of the Common 
Kestrel were hovering, also a few of the Lesser Kestrel [Tin- 
nunculus cenchris) ; but the main body of the last does not come 
over from Africa till April. Swallows I had noticed on the 5th 
February, and now I found the House- Martins {Chelidon urbica) 
busy building their nests ; but even they were not quite the 
earliest breeders, as I heard of two eggs of Milvus ictinus taken 
near the city in January. 

To avoid repetition hereafter, I will pass on at once to Gra- 
nada, where I arrived on the 13th of March, to find the Sierra 
Nevada quite impracticable, owing to heavy falls of snow, all 
the native cazadores refusing to go at any price. 

There are here two good museums, in which, besides ornitho- 
logical treasures, I found fine specimens of Capra hispanica. 
The stufifer assured me that Vultur cinereus bred in the rocks of 

the Ornithology of Spain. 175 

the Sierra — an assertion that I was then slow to believe, but 
have since had proof of its correctness. I had also the pleasure 
of handling a tine Lsemmergeier of the year, which was brought 
in by one of the cazadores. 

Having to go through another " course" at the baths of 
Archena, I decided upon taking the little-used road across 
country to Murcia, As far as Baza there is a small dihgence, 
which starts somewhere between 1 and 2 a.m. ; and at 4o^clock 
on a March morning I found myself in the gorges of the Sierra 
Nevada, down which, on icy breeze, swept snow everywhere. At 
sunrise the scenery was superb; and any traveller who has merely 
visited Granada, without going on as far as Guadix, has little 
idea of the real beauties of that range. Neither in Switzerland 
nor the Pyrenees, not even in the Peruvian Andes, have I 
ever seen anything tiner than the back of the Sierra Nevada, 
whereas the prospect from Granada, though always beautiful, 
is surpassed by several views I could name. A pair of Lsem- 
mergeiers, accompanied, to my surprise, by a bird of the year, 
swept over us in circles for some time, and once came almost 
within a long shot, as if they knew that there was no danger to 
be apprehended from our clumsy conveyance. Here alone was 
a sufficient reward for getting up at midnight and being frozen 
afterwards. Ravens [Corvus corax) were numerous; and as we 
emerered from the defiles of the mountains, and came down 
upon the desolate tablelands, we fell in with large flocks of 
Choughs, which consisted, I believe, of both species [Pyrrho- 
corax alpinus and P.graculus) ; with regard to our own bird (P. 
graculus) I am quite certain, as I got quite near enough to dis- 
tinguish the brilliant red bill. We reached Baza at sundown, and 
after a good supper, washed down by the famous red wine of the 
district, and an animated wrangle with regard to mules for the 
next day, I retired to rest in a huge trapezium of a room. 

For the following two days (usually three days^ journey), 
there was literally no road open, though one is being made in 
places. The system here is to make a bit (of, say, three leagues), 
then leave a gap, and go on afresh ; so that the best way, even 
on mule-back, is to go across country at once. It was a regu- 
lar white fog in which we left Baza at daybreak ; and though I 

176 Mr. Howard Saunders on 

saw a pair of Ravens feeding their young in a nest not forty 
feet high, I was far too cold to obey my usual instincts and pay 
them a visit. Vast flocks of Rock-Doves [Columba livia) and 
Choughs were every moment passing over our heads from their 
roosting-places in the mountains ; and the two species of the 
latter were always distinguishable by their note. Crested Larks 
strutted along the road, scarcely taking the trouble to get out 
of our way ; and I saw one single Woodpecker, utterly out of 
place in such an arid spot ; but few birds of prey were visible, 
until we arrived at Lorca, on the evening of the second day, 
when we saw several Bonelli's Eagles, which are abundant there. 
From Lorca to Murcia runs the very fastest diligence in which 
I ever travelled ; and I was soon established in my old quarters 
at the baths of Archena. I had fully expected to find the Black 
Wheatear, Rock-Thrush, and some other birds breeding here ; 
but all my search was vain, nor could the urchins of the place 
discover an egg of any kind. I came upon a small colony of 
Crag-Martins; and the female of a pair I obtained had the 
belly completely denuded ; but though I spent hours for several 
days in succession amongst the rocks, I never could find a nest. 
I obtained my specimens on the 28th of March, and, having 
completed my treatment, returned to Murcia, where I was sorry 
to find my friend Dr. Guirao suffering from such severe 
domestic affliction as utterly to preclude conversation on ordi- 
nary topics ; I was therefore unable to procure specimens of the 
Petrel before mentioned, as well as other interesting birds which 
he had promised me. Every day was now of consequence ; and 
I got back to Malaga as soon as possible, whence I started on 
the 9th of April for a village in the Gaitanes range. 

It was quite early in the day when I arrived there ; and hav- 
ing secured the services of a certain professional hunter named 
Juan, the finest cragsman (without a rope) I ever saw, we pro- 
ceeded to examine the cliffs for Vultures' nests. He insisted 
on my being too early, as the season was fully a month later 
than usual, and, in proof of this assertion, he pointed out nest 
after nest of both Cinereous and Egyptian Vultures, all with- 
out lining, or cama. But the latter were repairing the old 
nests, and at one point a pair of Bonelli's Eagles were visible j 

the Ornithology of Spain. 177 

at that time, however, we were unsuccessful in discovering their 
abode. As we were resting, a fine Ltemmergeier sailed slowly 
over our heads ; but my man said that there was no eyry 
nearer than the gorge of El Chorro, and only one or two, at 
most, even there; the Griffon Vulture also bred in that locality. 
He knew all the eggs of the above-mentioned species well, and 
I conceived great hopes of a good harvest. 

The following day we started again for the cliffs, accompanied 
by another man with ropes, and proceeded to examine every nest 
bearing any sign of fresh lining. For a long time we were 
unsuccessful, merely causing great excitement amongst the 
Kestrels, every one of which seemed to imagine that its nest 
was the object of our search. At last an Egyptian Vulture 
flew off in such a way as to convince me that she had eggs ; and 
on descending with the rope I found two richly-marked ones 
quite fresh. All the other coverts were drawn blank ; and after 
carefully noting two nests of Rock-Thrush in course of con- 
struction, we worked back to a longitudinal fissure in which I 
was told the Eagle-Owl {Bubo maximus) bred. Scarcely had T 
" swarmed " up the rope let down from above, when I put ray 
hand on the fresh thigh of a rabbit, evidently part of the Owl's 
last repast. This showed we were on the right track ; but after 
working with the crowbar for upwards of an hour, we found that 
the ledge merely led to a labyrinth of small holes, the bottom 
of which no stick we had would reach ; so we were compelled to 
give it up. There was great excitement on our return. Of 
course my friends could not imagine what I wanted with the 
eggs ; the most sensible supposition was that they were for 
hatching out in my own country ; and one good lady said that 
as Eagles and Vultures lived an eternity, I must want to suck 
their eggs and so live to the age of Methusaleh. But when the 
precious contents which were to have conveyed immortality 
were voided on the ground, there was no way of accounting for 
my peculiar tastes. However, all were quite alive to the pro- 
priety of getting eggs at the prices I named ; and, promising to 
return in May, I started for Cordova, leaving the working of the 
Chorro to my men, as I wanted to be back in Seville, I spent 

N. S. VOL. V. N 

178 Mr. Howard Saunders on 

several days on the v/ay, productive of little but some capital 
Quail-shooting and useful information. 

In Seville I made arrangements with a noted marshman, to 
go down into the plains with him after the Bustards {Otis 
tarda) and anything else we could get — though for the marsh- 
breeders, and especially the Flamingos {Phoenicopterus roseus), 
it was too early. He at once began making excursions into 
the Marisma, and on the 20th of April came in with the news 
that the principal arrival of Bustards had taken place. Laying 
in provisions for several days, we soon found ourselves in the 
great plains to the south of the city. A promising marsh, over 
which more than a score of Marsh-Harriers were hovering, lay 
in the way; and we had not worked it long when a fine Purple 
Gallinule [Porphyrio veterum) rose heavily from under Manuel's 
feet, and next instant a shout of " Nido de Gallo-azul y tres 
huevos" brought me floundering through mud and water knee- 
deep to the spot. This was the only nest we found of this 
species ; but it is by no means rare ; it is said to breed very 
early; my own belief is that it has two broods. As for Marsh- 
Harriers, there were at least twenty nests in that single marsh ; 
one seemed to come upon them every few steps. Only one had 
its complement of five eggs two days afterwards. I had left 
one of the eggs of the Gallinule in hopes that the bird might 
lay more, and on my return I was concerned to see a ]\Iarsh- 
Harrier hover and finally settle down just over the site of the 
nest. Pushing my way to the spot, I fairly ripped the robber 
open with a charge of large shot, finding her bill still dripping 
with the yelk of the precious egg, worth more to me than all 
the Harriers together. From that moment I naturally vowed 
vengeance against Circus aruginosus, so far as Spain was con- 
cerned. Though damaged, the egg was not absolutely destroyed ; 
and, to crown all, the next moment one of the dogs got hold of 
the male Porphyrio, which is now in my collection. 

It is not my intention to extend this paper by giving details 
of our sport in Bustard-shooting on this and subsequent occa- 
sions, especially as it greatly interfered with general ornitho- 
logy. The males had separated from the females, and we 
often saw flocks of from ten to fifteen ; they were very wary. 

the Ornithology of Spain. 179 

but it was by no means difficult to crawl to within such 
a distance as to observe their habits through a glass. Even 
when away from the influence of female society, they were 
constantly swelling themselves up, ruffling their feathers in 
the manner depicted in Mr. Wolf's admirable figures in 
his ' Zoological Sketches ' and in Mr. Gould's ' Birds of Great 
Britain/ and occasionally indulging in bickerings amongst 
themselves, though I never witnessed a regular " set-to.^' 
Besides stalking Bustards, we also obtained them in a some- 
what poaching manner, by " shining '^ them at night with 
a rough kind of dark lantern. It is dangerous work, as the 
moment the light is displayed, on coming to their roosting- 
ground,they dash about in the wildest confusion; and, besides that 
twenty or thirty pounds weight charging against one is no joke, 
there is a fair chance of getting a charge of slugs or large shot 
at ten paces from one's comrades. We never succeeded in bag- 
ging a very fine old male; the heaviest female I got weighed 181bs. 
Spanish when cleaned. Of course Bustard-hunting involves 
lying out all night, and for several nights in succession. The 
main body of the Cranes had left ; but some remain to breed, 
and we had a long and unavailable stalk after a pair. The half- 
wild cattle are the greatest hindrance to the stalker, from their 
curiosity, not to say downright hostility at times. At the best, 
it is nervous work to find yourself the observed of some two 
hundred cows, each watching jealously over her calf, especially 
when you know that the said cows belong to the ganado hravo, 
and that every one of them has taken four varas in a tentadero, 
or trial of bravery, before slie was allowed the privilege of being- 
considered a vaca brava. It is true, the districts of the ganado 
hravo are limited and well known ; but if you want Bustards 
yoii must follow them up everywhex-e. 

Our provisions ran short before we could get down to the 
wooded Cotos del Key and de Dofiana ; but on the 30th April 
we made another start. Our first nest was a Black Kite's [Mil- 
vus migrans), which contained one egg quite fresh. In the 
foundation of the nest was one of a Spanish Sparrow, with two 
eggs. On this occasion I was accompanied by an Enghsh friend, 
Manuel, and two of his sons, the youngest a regular monkey at 

N 2 

180 Mr. Howard Saunders on 

climbing. The Goto del Rey, which we first entered, is princi- 
pally covered with scrub and small timber, mingled with clumps 
of large size, generally in a ring with a marshy clearing in the 

Although we saw and heard several Great Spotted Cuckoos 
[Oxylophus glandarius) about, we were unable to shoot any ; but 
by dint of examining every Magpie's {Pica melanoleuca) nest 
we came to, we secured several eggs. We next made for a nest 
of Imperial Eagle [Aquila heliaca) of which Manuel knew, and, 
on approaching the place, saw one of the old birds sitting on a 
branch of a lightning-scathed tree on the edge of one of the 
aforesaid ring-clumps, while the other bird was discernible high 
in air. On getting near enough to make out the light-coloured 
head and scapulars, the former went off; and we were soon cutting 
our way through the briars to the foot of the tree, in which there 
were two nests, both, alas ! empty and apparently old. We set 
to work to explore the clump, in which there were nearly a dozen 
nests of Black Kite, some with eggs, others building; and soon 
a shout from the lad announced the discovery of the present 
year's nest of A. heliaca. Unfortunately it also was empty. It 
was very large, but deeper than any other Eagle's nest I have 
seen, and thickly lined with rabbits' fur. I fear it had been 
robbed, as on our second visit, some days later, we did not see 
the birds, and the nest was still empty. 

A little further on, as I was descending from a Black Kite's 
nest, Manuel whispered, " Would you like to shoot a Milano 
on the nest ? " to which I replied, " Any villany ; " and, creeping 
through the brushwood, 1 perceived a nest lying out on a fork 
of a large ash, from which projected the tail of a bird, which I 
at once saw was no Kite's. I felt a slight thumping of my heart 
as I cautiously crept round to the front, and stood out to give 
myself as fair a shot as possible. OflF went the bird, and down 
came a very old female Booted Eagle {Aquila pennata) , just as I ex- 
pected. The nest was lined with green boughs, and contained two 
eggs, very hard-set. This was on the 1st of May. Taking an occa- 
sional look at a Kestrel's or Black Kite's nest, we reached an old 
colony of the Night- Heron {Nycticorax griseus), but found that, 
owing to timber-cutting, the birds had gone elsewhere, and merely 

the Ornithology of Spain. 181 

the old nests remained, to the number of several hundreds. They 
were all in bushes, at from six to fifteen feet up. As we were riding 
through a pine-wood, a large bird of prey dashed off her nest, 
and Manuel pronounced it to be "a very rare Eagle," not the same 
as the Booted by any means. We accordingly left the place, 
and, unsaddling at the nearest cover, spent upwards of two hours 
iu vain attempts to obtain the bird. The great difficulty was in 
the absence of scrub as cover, and in the number of Black Kites 
which were dashing about everywhere. I managed to observe 
the bird well through my glass, and heard it repeatedly utter a 
mewing cry. My belief is that it was a Buzzard, either Buteo 
vulgaris or B. tachardus ; but it certainly was not the Booted 
Eagle. The nest, which was plentifully lined with green boughs, 
contained two eggs — the one rather small, of a rough granulated 
texture, exactly, to my eye, like that of the Booted Eagle, the 
other slightly marked, of a more shining texture, and, in a word, 
a regular Buzzard's egg. Both eggs were considerably incubated; 
but unfortunately it did not occur to me, at the time of extract- 
ing the chicks, to examine the tarsi particularly. It has entered 
my mind that perhaps the Buzzard had taken possession of the 
Eagle's nest with one egg laid, and kept it afterwards. Other- 
wise it shows that the Booted Eagle is not singular in the use of 
green boughs as lining. 

Emerging from the large timber, in the old boles of which 
numbers of Jackdaws [Corvus monedula) had their nests, we put 
up a Bittern {Botaurus stellaris) and a Purple Heron {Ardea 
purpurea) simultaneously from opposite sides of a swamp ; and, 
trying to mark down both, got neither. A long and ineffectual 
stalk after a fine Great White Heron {Ardea alba) and a hasty 
raid on the breeding-grounds of the Pratincole [Glareola pra- 
tincola) and Stilt {Himantopus Candidas) closed that day. 

At daybreak next morning we turned our backs on anything 
like a shrub, and plodded for miles across a vast plain, starting 
numbers of Short-toed Larks [Alauda brachydadyla) from their 
nests, whose contents we were often too late to save from the dogs, 
which showed a wonderful talent for egging. Hundreds of Sterna 
hybrida wheeled round us; Buff-backed and Squacco-Herons and 
Little Egrets [Ardea coromandra, A. ralloides, and A. garzetta) 

182 Mr. Howard Saunders on 

were constantly in view, though wary ; and Storks, Pratincoles, 
Kentish Plovers {^gialitis cantiarius) , and Redshanks {Totanus 
calidris) were found near every marshy spot. A fine male 
Crane was trumpeting loudly some two hundred yards off; and 
as we were standing up in our saddles, watching for any motion 
in the reeds to indicate the presence of the female, she suddenly 
made her appearance, and soon convinced us by her movements 
that she had sneaked off the nest long ago. Stalking was use- 
less. The corpse of an immature Vultur monachus was lying by 
the skeleton of a dead mule ; and everywhere amongst the cattle 
were immature Egyptian Vultures feeding on the soft droppings 
of the calves ; hence their Andalusian name of Rejilerus. From 
information we received from some herdsmen, attended, as 
usual, by their magnificent white dogs, we gave vip any idea of 
proceeding further along this treeless waste, and bent our steps 
to the more wooded portion of the Goto de Dofiana, which we 
had now entered. At noon we were again in the midst of old 
timber swarming with Green Woodpeckers {Gecinus viridis) and 
Hoopoes {Upupa epops). The latter had not yet begun to lay. 
We were now in the cork-woods, and soon among several nests 
of Black Kites, finding also one of the Common Kite with two 
young birds. I called ManueFs attention to a large Eagle on 
the wing, to which he replied that we were going straight to its 
nest, which was every year in one or other of a clump of trees 
to which he pointed, adding that it was a very large Eagle, and 
never had but one, quite white egg. Sure enough, there was the 
nest, in a large cork-tree, on another branch of which a pair of 
Black Kites were building. The nest had evidently been used 
several seasons. It contained one white egg, as large as a Sea- 
Eagle's. The chick was ready to hatch. We could not obtain 
the old birds ; but I watched the female for a long time with a 
glass whilst one of the lads was lying in wait for her, and made 
her out to be Circaetus {/alliens, even if the naked tarsi of the 
chick had not been sufficient proof. The egg is far larger than 
one I have in my collection from Styria, but not larger than an- 
other taken by a friend of mine in the Algesiras cork-woods, 
from which he shot the old bird. A nest of the Common Kite, 
with one egg, a few more Black Kites, and a splendid male 

the Oniitholot/ij of Spain. 183 

Little Egret concluded the day. Shortly before sunset we passed 
a tree perfectly covered with Vultur monachus, Gyps fulvus, and 
Neophron percnopterus, the last looking very small by the side of 
its gigantic allies. 

Next day we were doomed to disappointment. First we found 
another nest of Circaetus gnllicus, the egg in which was hatched, 
and afterwards the whole nest had slipped and tilted the young 
bird out into a thicket of briars, round vvhicli the old birds were 
wheeling, screaming wildly. Then wc got to an estate where 
there was a small marsh. It had been worked the previous 
evening for eggs for eating, and the ground outside the house 
was strewed with fragments of those of Fulica cristata, Porphi/rio 
veterum, and some kind of Heron, jirobably Arclea purpurea, 
most of which had been thrown away, being partially incubated. 
A large wooded marsh, full of old nests of Squacco- and Buff- 
backed Herons and Little Egrets, and, as I was told, of Spoon- 
bills [Platalea leucorodia), was utterly silent ; and our only spoils 
of any value wei*e two eggs of Common Kite and two of Great 
Spotted Cuckoo. At night we got back to a hut by a good 
marsh for Stilts and Pratincoles ; and the appearance of the sky 
showed that we were in for a wetting next day. 

As soon as it was light we hastened to the marsh, filled a couple 
of baskets with marsh-birds' eggs, principally Stilts', Pratincoles', 
and Kentish Plovers', and then rode for fourteen hours in the 
heaviest rain I ever saw in Europe. At sunset it changed to hail, 
suddenly, by way of improvement. My skins were a sorry sight ; 
but, though the horses came dowui several times in fording the 
streams, comparatively few eggs were broken. We saw plenty 
of Bustards ; but it was no time for shooting. I would not 
even stop for a Stork's nest, which I had had a great desire to 

Scarcely had I got back to. Seville when I received news from 
the mountains that my men had found a nest of Bonelli's Eagle ; 
so 1 was off again, and, after about ten hours' journey, found 
myself again amongst my friends. The village had " come out 
strong " in the way of Griffon Vultures ; for it seems that the 
cazadores delayed their visit to the Chorro until most of the 
eggs were hatched, and then, thinking they might as well sweep 

184 Mr. Howard Saunders on 

the ledges clean, had carried off eggs and young indiscriminately. 
The result was, young Griffons disputing the offal with the dogs 
at every turning. But the news was not good. It had been a 
very bad year for Vultures generally (they were away in Morocco 
feeding on the Moors and Riffites ; and not a single Vultur 
cinereus had an egg that my men knew of. We went off to see 
the nest of Bonelli's Eagle, which was in a " stack " of moun- 
tains about fifteen hundred feet high, and situated some two 
hundred feet from the lowest point to which we could descend. 
We saw both birds, one carrying a Partridge in its claws — which 
looked as if they had young. Next day I sent two men round 
to the top with ropes, while I with Gabriel, brother of my man 
Juan, a first-rate cragsman, climbed, with great difficulty, and 
passing the gun from hand to hand, to within shot of the nest — 
without exception the very worst piece of cragging I ever did. 
The male bird came sailing by, a longish shot ; but I did not 
fire, imagining the female to be on the nest, which we were then 
approaching. It turned out, however, that she had been off 
when the men got to the top, and on seeing them, as she came 
back with another Partridge, had wheeled off without showing 
any concern, or betraying any consciousness of having a nest. 
The male behaved exactly in the same way. It took us some 
time to get round to the top of the rock, and then to arrange the 
ropes, at which my fellows, who were first-rate men wherever 
they could go without a rope, bungled so much that I went down 
myself. On getting to the level of the nest I found it contained 
two nearly fledged Eaglets ; but the cliff overhung so much that 
I had to ascend to get a stick to push myself off, and so swing 
in, before I could reach them. The young cowered down in the 
nest ; and even when I tied them up with my braces, they scarcely 
uttered a sound. This done, I groped about in the nest, which was 
full of feathers, and found an egg, evidently laid by some bird 
which had been brought there alive. I do not mean to say that 
it is a Fraucoliu^s egg, as that bird is not found in Spain to my 
knowledge ; but it is uncommonly like one, being deeply granu- 
lated and of the colour of that of our Perdix cinerea, which is 
as rare in Southern Spain as the Francoliu. Securing this egg, 
I mounted with my freight, which I am happy to say I brought 

the Ornithology of Spain. 185 

safely to London, and they are now in the gardens of the 
Zoological Society. As we were reposing on the summit, we wit- 
nessed a migration of Honey-Buzzards {Pernis apivorus), con- 
sisting of several hundred birds. Alpine Swifts [Cypselus melba) 
were dashing like lightning along the face of the cliff; and a pair 
of Falcons, apparently Falco peregrinus, had a nest which we 
were unable to discover. A few Cinereous and Egyptian Vul- 
tures were also visible ; but we could not find any nests with eggs. 
Several of the latter had been previously taken for me. A few 
nests of small birds, amongst them Saxicola leucura, concluded 
the day^s work ; and on the following I went back by way of 
Cordova, the market-place of which was quite gay with cages 
full of Rollers [Coracias garrula) and strings of Bee-eaters 
[Merops apiaster). The females of the latter had already taken 
up their quarters in the holes of the banks, ready for laying, and 
the males were bringing them food ; but there were no eggs as 
yet. Some females had them almost ready for exclusion. I be- 
lieve that the female Bee-eater never leaves her hole, unless dis- 
turbed, from the time she goes in to lay until she has hatched 
her brood ; and I know that when that has taken place, she is so 
besmirched with filth as to be almost unable to fly. 

I had not been back in Seville an hour when I was called off 
to a tentadero, or trial of young bulls for the ring, in that part of 
the plains watered by branches of the Guadalquivir called the Isla 
Menor. On our way we took little but some nests oiLanius auri- 
culaius, Alauda cristata, and, lower down, A.calandra; but after 
disposing of the bulls, we turned our attention to Bustards {Otis 
tarda), and in the course of the day discovered four nests — two 
with two eggs each, one with one, all fresh, and one with three, 
very hard-set. It would have given an English farmer a fit to 
see a party of men and dogs working through wheat and barley 
breast high ; but the only proprietor we saw seemed rather to 
like it, and assisted us as as lay in his power, Manuel, 
who had lived among Bustards for some forty years, told me that 
he had twice found nests with four eggs, and once a sitting of 
five 1 from which he shot the hen bird. The usual number is 
two or three. Nest, strictly speaking, there is none, merely a 
scratching in the soil. They are not hard to find, as the bird 

186 Mr. R. E. Sharpe on a Collection of 

leaves both a broad trail and a very strong scent — so much so 
that the dogs were always up first. More Harriers and a QuaiFs 
nest wound up the day. 

My last excursion was to some pine-woods, in which I found 
Caprimulgus ruficollis abundant, and obtained many specimens. 
Cyanopica cooki swarmed, breeding generally in small colonies. 
Lanius auriculatus was also abundant everywhere. We got a 
few Bee-eaters^ eggs after tremendous digging ; but, even on the 
16th of May, very few had begun to lay. Aedon galactodes was 
abundant ; but we only obtained two nests, which came utterly 
" to grief," thanks to " those boys." My very hours were now 
counted, as, in order to attend to my young Eagle, I had made 
up my mind to return home by sea in one of the Seville steamers. 
Manuel, however, made a flying excursion to the j^ajareras, 
as the breeding-place of the swamp-birds is called. They had 
not begun to lay ; but they had assembled, and on the 21st he 
came in with a huge basket containing Little Egrets, Buff-backed 
and Squacco-Herons, and Glossy Ibis, mostly in the finest 
plumage, some of the Squaccos still rather bare about the neck. 
We were hard at work skinning till past midaight, and at 6 a.m. 
I was on my way to Cadiz to join the steamer for London. 

XV. — On a Collection of Birds from the Fantee Countrij in 
Western Africa. By R. B. Sharpe. 

(Plate IV.) 

A SMALL collection of Birds formed in the vicinity of Cape-Coast 
Castle has lately been submitted to my inspection by Mr. E. T. 
Higgins, of Bloomsbury Street ; and as I believe some of the 
species contained therein to be of considerable rarity, I have 
taken an early opportunity of bringing a hst of the birds before 
the notice of ornithologists. ,. 

The only record of any collection made in the precise locality 
from which the present series comes, that I have been able to 
discover, is the small list of birds obtained by Dr. Gordon at 
Cape-Coast Castle, and recorded by Sir William Jardine in the 
' Contributions to Ornithology,' for 1849 (pp. 1-13). Dr. Hart- 

Birds from the Fantee Country. 187 

laub, however, has published (Journ. f. Orn. 1855, pp. 360, 361) 
a list of the birds collected by the well-known Heer Pel, between 
Cape Three-Points and Accra ; and as this list includes most 
of the species contained in the present collection I have thought 
it advisable to refer to it. The species, twenty-one in number, 
not hitherto recorded as having occurred in the country, have a 
dagger (f) prefixed to their names. 

1. Melocichla mentalis (Fras.) ; Hartl,, Orn. Westafr. 
pp. 58, 271 ; Drymceca mentalis, Jard., Contr. Orn. 1849, pp. 7, 
14, pi. 1. 

One specimen. This bird was obtained by Mr. Fraser at 
Accra, and at the present locality by Dr. Gordon. 

2. Stiphrornis erythrothorax, Temm. ; Hartl., Journ. 
f. Oin. 1855, p. 355 ; Id. Orn. Westafr. p. 63. 

Two examples. The type-specimens of this bird were ob- 
tained at Dabocrom by Heer Pel. 

3. Pitta angolensis, Vieill. ; Hartl., Journ. f. Orn. 1855, 
p. 360 ; Id. Orn. Westafr. p. 74 ; Brachyurus anyolensis, Elliot, 
Monogr. Pitt. pi. v. 

One specimen of this beautiful species, which was also ob- 
tained by Heer Pel in the same neighbourhood. 

t4. TuRDUs PELios, Bonap. ; Hartl., Or;i. Westafr. p. 75. 
One example. 

t5. Trichophorus gularis. Swains, j Hartl., Orn. West- 
afr. p. 82. 

Two specimens, agreeing with Swainson's description. 

6. Trichophorus indicator, Verr. ; Hartl., Journ. f. Orn. 
1855, p. 360 ; Id., Orn. Westafr. p. 84. 

Two examples, agreeing with Dr. Hartlaub^s description. 

7. Ixus ASHANTEUs, Bonap. ; Hartl,, Journ. f. Orn. 1855, 
p. 360 ; Id., Orn. Westafr. p. 88. 

One specimen in the collection. The measurements do not 
quite agree with those given by Dr. Hartlaub, as will be seen by 
the annexed. Whole length 7 inches, bill 0'65, wing 3*4, tail 3'5, 
tarsus 0"85. 

188 Mr. R. B. Sharpe on a Collection of 

8. Nectarinia splendida (Shaw); Hartl., Journ. f. Orn. 
1855, p. 360; Id., Orn. Westafr. p. 46. 

One example in fully adult plumage. 

9. Nectarinia cuprea (Shaw) ; Haiti., Journ. f. Orn. 1855, 
p. 360; Id. Orn. Westafr. p. 48. 

Two specimens, one in fully adult plumage, the other in a 
transitional stage. 

10. Nectarinia chloropygia, Jard., Ann. Nat. Hist. x. 
p. 188, pi. 24 ; Hartl., Orn. Westafr. p. 47. 

One specimen. Sent also from Elmina by Herr Weiss [fide 

11. Nectarinia CYANOCEPHALA (Shaw) ; Hartl., Orn. West- 
afr. p. 49. 

One specimen. Obtained also at Cape-Coast Castle by Dr. 
Gordon, and at Elmina by Herr Weiss [fide Hartlaub). 

12. Hirundo gordoni, Jard., Contr. Orn. 1851, p. 141, 
1852, p. 57; Hartl., Orn. Westafr. p. 27. H. melanocrisus, 
Jard., Contr. Orn. 1849, p. 4 {nee Riipp,). 

This species was originally described by Sir Wm. Jardine from 
specimens obtained at Cape-Coast Castle by Dr. Gordon. Very 
nearly allied to it is H. semirufa, Sundevall, of which I have, 
thanks to Mr. Gurney, a fine specimen from the Trans-Vaal 
territory. This differs from H. gordoni in being slightly stouter, 
though the bill is smaller. The wing, however, is much longer, 
and the rectrices broader, the white spot on the latter being 
very much larger and more distinct. The whole length of H. 
gordoni is 7 inches, the wing 4"4 ; the whole length of H. semi- 
rufa is 8 inches, the wing 5'1. 

13. Hirundo leucosoma. Swains.; Hartl., Orn. Westafr. 
p. 27. 

This species also, though not hitherto recorded from the pre- 
sent locality, has been met with at Accra by Mr. Eraser (P. Z. S. 
1843, p. 51). 

tl4. TcHiTREA NiGRiCEPs (Tcmm.) ; Muscipeta nigriceps, 
Hartl., Journ. f.Orn. 1855, pp. 355, 361; M, Orn. Westafr. p.91. 
One example. 

Birds from the Fantee Country. 189 

tl5. Bias musicus (Vieill.) ; Hartl., Oru. Westafr. p. 92. 
One specimen. 

16. Platystira. MELANOPTERA (Gmel); Hartl., Orn. Westafr. 
p. 93 ; P. lobata, Jard., Contr. Orn. 1849, p. 8. 

One example, recorded from the present locality by Dr. 
Gordon, but not since met with. 

17. Campephaga phcenicea (Lath.) ; Hartl., Orn. Westafr. 
p. 98. 

One example, a female. 

tl8. Campephaga quiscalina, Finsch, sp. nov. 

Campephaga nigra, Cassin, Proc. Acad. Philad. 1859, p. 52 ; 

Lanicterus niger, Hartl., Journ. f. Orn. 1865, p. 173 (nee Vieill.). 

" C. nitide nigra, seneo resplendens : remigibus sericeo-nigris, 

seneo-marginatis : capitis lateribus, mento, gutture et sub- 

alaribus splendide violaceo-purpurascentibus. Rostro pedi- 

busque nigris." 

Deep black with a brilliant metallic-green lustre, especially 
on the rump and upper tail-coverts; remiges and rectrices 
black, bordered externally with metallic green ; lores velvet- 
black ; throat, sides of the head and neck shining purple-violet. 

Having been unable to make out this bird, of which the col- 
lection contains a single example in very bad condition, I sent it 
to my friend Dr. Finsch, who tells me it is new, and I am in- 
debted to him for the description given above, as well as for the 
following observations : — 

" Your Campephaga seems to be undescribed ; and I therefore 
do not hesitate giving it the name quiscalina, from the Quiscalus- 
like gloss on the throat. This species has apparently been con- 
founded with the true C. nigra of Vieillot (Levaill. Ois. d'Afr. 
pi. 165), from which it differs in having the sides of the head 
and neck and the entire throat of a brilliant purplish-violet (these 
parts being black in C. nigra), in the inner web of the quills 
being without any olive-green lustre, and also in having the bill 
shorter, broader, and more conical." 

The comparative dimensions of the two species are as fol- 
lows : — 

C. quiscalina Long. tot. 7^", al. 3" 7'", caud. 3" 3'", rostr. a fr. 5'". 
C. Nigra.. „ 8^", „ 5", „ 3" 7'" „ 6'". 

190 Mr. H. B. Sharpe on a Collection of 

tl9. DicRURUs coRACiNUS, J. &E. VeiT. ; Hartl., Orn.West- 
afr. p. 101. 

Two specimens apparently referable to this species. 

20. Lanius smithi (Fras.) ; Jard., Contr. Orn. 1849, p. 8 ; 
Hartl., Journ. f. Orn. 1855, p. 360; IcL, Orn. Westafr. p. 103. 

One specimen of this fine Shrike, which was first described 
by Mr. Eraser from birds procured in the present locality, where 
it was afterwards met with by Dr. Gordon and Heer Pel. 

21. Laniarius barbarus (Linn.); Jard., Contr. Orn. 1849, 
p. 8; Hartl., Orn. Westafr. p. 107. 

Two specimens are in the collection. Dr. Gordon also ob- 
tained it at Cape-Coast Castle. 

22. Laniarius chrysogaster (Swains.) ; Jard., Contr. 
Orn. 1849, p. 8; Hartl., Orn. Westafr. p. 107. 

Dr. Gordon states that this species is rare in the neighbour- 
hood of Cape-Coast Castle ; and until the present instance no one 
else has since met with it in that place. The single specimen 
now sent agrees with others in my collection from the Gambia, 
from Cunene River [Andersson), and Lake N^gami (^Chapman). 

t23. Dryoscopus major, Hartl., Orn. Westafr. p. 112. 

A single specimen of a Bush-Shrike is in the collection, 
which I believe to be of this species. It agrees exactly with Dr. 
Hartlaub's description, with the exception of the outer tail- 
feather having the tip white, a fact not mentioned by him. 1 
cannot say to how many of the tail-feathers this white mark 
would extend, as my bird is in bad order, and has only one 
middle and one outer rectrix left. 

24. Chaunonotus sabinii (Gray) ; Hartl., Journ. f. Orn. 
1855, p. 360; Id., Orn. Westafr. p. 113. 

One specimen of this beautiful Bush-Shrike is in the present 
series. It was likewise obtained by Heer Pel. 

25. Pholidauges LEUCOGASTER (Gmcl.) ; Hartl., Orn. West- 
afr. p. 120. 

Several examples of this lovely bird, but few in adult plu- 
mage, most of them being in a transitional stage. 

Birds from the Fantee Country. 191 

26. HypiiAXTORNis textor (Gniel.) ; Javd.^ Contr. Orn. 
1849, p. 9; Haiti., Journ. f. Orn. 1855, p. 3G0 ; Id., Orn. 
Wcstafr. p. 124. 

Two specimens of this species, which has previously been met 
with in the same locality by Dr. Gordon and Heer Pel. 

27. Hyphantornis CASTANEOFUSCUs (Less.) ; Hartl., Journ. 
f. Orn. 1855, p. 360; Id., Orn. Westafr. p. 126. 

Two examples of this Weaver-bird, which has also been sent 
from the Rio Boutry by Heer Pel. 

28. EuPLECTEs FLAMMicEPS, Swains. ; Jard., Contr. Orn. 
1849, p. 9; Hartl., Journ. f. Orn. 1855, p. 360 ; M, Orn. 
Westafr. p. 127. 

This bird would appear to be common at Cape-Coast Castle. 
It was observed both by Dr. Gordon and Heer Pel ; and the pre- 
sent series contains several specimens. Some of these are in full 
breeding-plumage, others partially assuming it. 

29. EuPLECTES FRANCiscANUS (Iscrt) ; Hartl., Orn, West- 
afr. p. 128. E. ignicolor, Jard., Contr. Orn. 1849, p. 9. 

Several examples of this beautiful species in full breeding- 
dress. It was obtained by Dr. Gordon. 

t30. NiGRiTA BicoLOR, Hartl., Orn. Westafr. p. 130. 

Of this bird there are three specimens in the present collection. 
It is not included in the list of Heer Pel's birds ; but Dr. Hartlaub 
states that it is in the Bremen Museum from the Gold-Coast. 

31. Sycobius cristatus (Vieill.) ; Hartl., Orn, Westafr. 
p. 132. 

One specimen apparently referable to this species, and agree- 
ing with Dr. Hartlaub's description (/. c). 

32. Sycobius scutatus, Cass.; Hartl., Journ. f, Orn. 1855, 
p. 360 ; Id., Orn. Westafr. p. 132. 

Two specimens of this bird, which, according to Dr. Hart- 
laub's description, are male and female. This species is dis- 
tinguished from the three others mentioned in this paper by its 
crimson crissum. 

t33. Sycobius nuchalis, Elliot, Ibis, 1859, p. 393. 

One specimen, agreeing with Mr. Elliot's description. 

192 Mr. R. B. Sharpe on a Collection of 

34. Sycobius nitens (J. E. Gray) ; Hartl., Journ. f. Orn. 
1855, p. 360; Id., Orn. Westafr. p. 133. 

One example, agreeing with Dr. Gray's type in the British 

35. Vidua principalis (Linn.) ; Jard., Contr. Orn. 1849, 
p. 10 ; Hartl., Orn. Westafr. p. 136. 

One male specimen in the present collection. It was also 
met with by Dr. Gordon at this same locality. 

36. CoLiosTRUTHUs MACRURUS (Gmel.). Vidua macrura, 
Hartl, Journ. f. Orn. 1855, p. 361 ; Id., Orn. Westafr. p. 137. 

Several examples of this fine species, which would seem to be 
by no means rare in the neighbourhood, having been obtained 
by Dr. Gordon, Mr. Fraser, and Heer Pel. 

37. Spermospiza h^matina (Vieill.) ; Hartl., Journ. f. 
Orn. 1855, p. 361 ; Id., Orn. Westafr. p. 138. 

One example. This species was also obtained by Heer Pel. 

t38. Spermestes cucullata, Swains. ; Hartl., Orn. Westafr. 
p. 147. 

Two specimens of this little Finch, apparently not before re- 
corded from this precise locality. 

39. Lagonosticta rufopicta (Fras.) ; Hartl., Orn. Westafr. 
p. 143. 

One example of this species, which was originally described 
from specimens procured at the present locality. 

40. ScoTORNis CLiMACURUs (Vieill.) ; Hartl., Journ. f. Orn. 
1855, p. 360; Id., Orn. Westafr. p. 23. 

Two specimens, both apparently females. 

41. TocKus SEMiFASCiATUs(Temm.); Hartl., Journ. f. Orn. 
1855, p. 360; Id., Orn. Westafr. p. 163. 

One specimen of this fine Hornbill, also obtained on the Rio 
Boutry by Heer Pel. 

42. Merops albicollis, Vieill. ; Hartl., Orn. Westafr. p. 39 ; 
M. cuvieri, Id., Journ. f. Orn. 1855, p. 360. 

One example in a transitional stage of plumage. 

Birds from the Fantee Country. 193 

t43. EuRYSTOMUs AFER (Lath.) ; Hartl., Orn. Westafr. p. 29. 
One young specimen of this species. 

t44. Barbatula duchaillui, Cass., Proc. Acad. Philad. 
1855, p. 324; Pogonias duchaillui, Hartl., Orn. Westafr. p. 171. 
Two young birds of this interesting species. 

t45. Barbatula leucol^ma, Verr. ; Hartl., Orn. Westafr. 
p. 173. 

Two specimens. 

t46. PoGONORHYNCHUs BiDENTATUs (Shaw); PoffOJiitts bideu- 
tatus, Hartl., Orn. Westafr. p. 170. 
Two specimens. 

t47. PoGONORHYNCHUs viEiLLOTi (Leach) ; Pogonias vieilloti, 
Hartl., Orn. Westafr. p. 170. 
One specimen. 

48. Gymnobucco peli, Hartl., Orn. Westafr. p. 175. 
One specimen of this Barbet, which was originally obtained 
by HeerPel at Dabocrom. 

t49. CoRYTHAix MACRORHYNCHA, Fras. ; Gray & Mitch., 
Gen. Birds, i. pi. 97; Hartl., Orn. Westafr. p. 157. 
One specimen. 

tSO. CoRYTHAix PERSA (Linn.) ; Hartl., Orn. Westafr. 
p. 156 ; Schl. & Westerm., Monogr. Toerako's, pi. 

One specimen, which, however, only shows the least possible 
tinge of purple on the tips of the crest. 

51. Centropus francisci, Bonap. ; Hartl., Journ. f. Orn. 
1855, p. 361 ; Id., Orn. Westafr. p. 186. 

One example of this rare Cuckoo, of which Dr. Hartlaub has 
given a very good description ; and the present specimen agrees 
exactly therewith. This is one of the birds obtained by Heer 
Pel, who met with it on the Kio Boutry. 

52. Centropus senegalensis (Linn.) ; Jard., Contr. Orn. 
1849, p. 11 ; Hartl., Orn. Westafr. p. 187. 

Dr. Gordon procured this Cuckoo at Cape-Coast Castle. The 
single example in the collection is undoubtedly of this species, 

N. S. VOL. V. - o 

194 On Birds from the Fantee Country. 

and not C. epomidis, which was the only Centropus, besides C. 
francisci, obtained by Heer Pel. 

53. Zanclostomus aereus (Vieill.) ; Hartl., Orn. Westafr. 
p. 187. Z. flavirostris, Id., Journ. f. Orn. 1855, p. 361. 

One specimen. 

54. Dendromus nivosus, Swains. ; Havtl., Orn. Westafr. 
p. 183. Dendrobates nivosus, Id., Journ. f. Orn. 1855, p. 361. 
Campethera nivosa, Gray, Cat. Picida Brit. Mus. p. 80. 

One specimen of this bird, which was also procured by Heer 
Pel, is in the collection. 

55. PoLYBOROiDES TYPicus, Smith; Hartl., Orn.Westafr. p.2. 
One specimen, in a transitional stage of plumage. One leg 

in this skin has dried with the tarsus extending in a backward 
direction, illustrating exactly the curious habit which this species 
is said to possess*. 

56. HuHUA poENSis (Fraser, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1853, p. 13). 
Bubo fasciolatus, Hartl., Journ. f. Orn. 1855, pp. 354, 360 ; 
Id., Orn. Westafr. p. 18. (Plate IV.) 

Of this rare Owl there is one young specimen in the present 
collection, which exhibits a marked resemblance to Scotopelia in 
its style of plumage. The lower figure in the plate repre- 
sents this young bird ; while the upper one is taken from the 
fine specimen still living in the Zoological Gardens, which was 
figured in the 'Proceedings ' for 1863 (pi. xxxiii.). Since that 
time, however, its plumage has undergone a considerable change ; 
so that it seems desirable to refigure it, and thus give an illus- 
tration of this magnificent species in three distinct stages of 

57. Treron calva (Temm.) ; Hartl., Journ. f. Orn. 1855, 
p. 361 ; Id., Orn. Westafr. p. 19.2. 

Two examples of this beautiful Fruit-Pigeon. 

58. BuTORiDES atricapillus (Afzel.). Ardea atricapUla, 
Hartl., Journ. f. Orn. 1855, p. 361 ; Id., Orn. Westafr. p. 223. 

Two specimens of this wide-ranging species, which had already 
been met with at this same locality. 

* Cf. Gurney, Cat. Rapt. Norw. Mus. p. 14. 

Ibis 1869.P1.IV 

&Tileniaiis liti. 


Mr. P. L. Sclater on the genus Hirundinea. 195 

59. Rallus oculeus (Temm.) ; Hartl., Orn. Westafr. p. 241. 
Gallinula oculea, Id., Journ. f. Orn. pp. 357, 361. 

One specimen of this splendid Rail, which would appear to 
be exceedingly rare in collections. At present it has only been 
met with on the Rio Boutry by Heer Pel, and in Aguapim by 
Riis, while, according to Dr. Hartlaub, there is a specimen from 
the Gaboon in the Paris Museum. 

60. LiMNocoRAX FLAViRosTRis (Swaius.) ; Hartl., Orn. 
AYestafr. p. 244. Gallinula jiavirostris, Id., Journ. f. Orn. 1855, 
p. 361. 

One specimen. 

XVI. — Note on the species of the Genus Hirundinea, belonging to 
the family Tyrannidse. By P. L. Sclater, M.A., Ph.D., 
F.R.S., Secretary to the Zoological Society. 
(Plate V.) 
In the second part of his lately-published * Ornithologie Brasi- 
liens'*, Herr von Pelzeln has correctly shown that two. very dis- 
tinct species of birds have usually been confounded under the 
name Hirundinea ferruginea. One of these, the true H.ferru- 
ginea, inhabits the Guianan region, whilst the second, which Herr 
von Pelzeln (following Prince Max.) calls H. rupestris, is its re- 
presentative in South-eastern Brazil. Professor Reinhardt has 
recently most kindly forwarded to me for examination a skin of 
what appears to be a third representative species of this peculiar 
genus of Tjjrannid(B. This specimen was obtained by Professor 
Reinhardt, during his voyage round the world in the ' Galatea,' 
from Don Mariano Rivero, of Lima, along with the beautiful 
Tanager [Iridornis reinhardti^ which I figured and described 
in 'The Ibis' for 1865, and was stated to have been received 
from Eastern Peru. I was at first inclined to agree with Pro- 
fessor Reinhardt in regarding this bird as undescribed; but after 
carefully perusing Azara's original description of his " Suiriri 
rooco ohscuro " (Apunt. ii. p. 129), I feel nearly convinced that it 
is the same as the Paraguayan form upon which Vieillot has 
founded his Tyrannus bellicosus. 

* Vide mdcii, pp. 113-117. 


196 Mr. P. L. Sclater on the species 

The three species of the genus Hirundinea will therefore stand 
as follows : — 

a. Uropygio dorsoque concoloribus, fusco-nigrieantibus. 

1. Hirundinea ferruginea. (Plate V. fig. 2.) 
Ferrvginons-hellied Tody, Lath. Syn. ii. p. 662. 

Todus ferrugineus, Gm. S. N. i. p. 446; Lath. Ind. Orn. i. 
p. 267. 

Hirundinea ferruginea, Pelz. Orn. Bras. p. 113. 
H. fusca : capitis lateribus albicante mixtis : alis intus et 
speculo alari cum corpore subtus ferrugineis : cauda uni- 
colori fusca : long, tota 6*5, alse 4*4, caudse 3 poll. Angl. 

Hah. Cayenne [Latham); Rio Icjanna [Natt.]. 

Mus. Vindob. ; P. L. S. 

The Vienna Museum possesses a specimen of this bird, ac- 
quired at the sale of the Leverian Museum, which is in all pro- 
bability the original of Latham^s description. Herr von Pelzeln 
tells us that it agrees completely with Natterer's skins, which 
were obtained on the Rio I^anna, one of the upper branches of 
the Rio Negro. One of the latter has been kindly surrendered 
to me in exchange by the authorities of the Vienna Museum. 

2. Hirundinea bellicosa. (Plate V. fig. 1.) 
Suiriri roxo obscuro, Azara, Apunt. ii. p. 129, No. 189. 
Tyrannus bellicosus, Vieill. Nouv. Diet. xxxv. p. 74; Enc. 

Meth. p. 846. 

Hirundinea bellicosa, D'Orb. Voy. Ois. p. 314; Hartl. Ind. 
Azar. p. 12. 

Myiarchus ferrugineus, Cab. in Tsch. Faun. Per. Aves, p. 154. 

Hirundinea ferruginea, Sclater, P. Z. S. 1855, p. 150. 
H. fusca : capitis lateribus albicante mixtis : alis intus et 
speculo alari cum corpore subtus ferrugineis : cauda fused, 
rectricum pogoniis internis a basi usque ad partem tertiam 
apicalem ferrugineis : long, tota 8, alse 4*5, caudse 4*2. 

Hah. Paraguay, in summer [Azara) ; Bolivia, eastern slope 
D'Orb) ; Eastern Peru [Tsch. et Rivera) ; Bogota [Mus. Brit.). 

Mus. Hafn.; Brit. 

Azara's description, as already stated, seems to apply best to 
this species and not to H. rupestris ; but D'Orbigny^s agrees 
more nearly with the Brazilian bird. On the whole, hovvevei', I am 

Il)is 1869. PI V 

Keulemanslitl. M *. N HiJitot, imp 


uf the Genus Hirundinea. 197 

inclined to retain the name hellicosa for this form, until I have 
had the opportunity of comparing Paraguayan and Bolivian 

The Bogota skin in the British Museum agrees with Prof. 
Reinhardt^s Peruvian bird. 

Azara tells us that this bird makes its appearance in Paraguay 
in the spring, at the same time as Tyrannus melancholicus, to 
which it presents much resemblance in physiognomy and habits. 
Sometimes, he says, it may be seen perched upon the roofs and 
towers, and at other times crying about the porticos of the 
churches and towers hke a Swallow. 

D'Orbigny says that he met with H. bellicosa on the eastern 
slope of the Bolivian Andes, in Cochabamba, Chuquisaca, and 
Challuani, and again in the province of Chiquitos, at the Mis- 
sion of Santiago ; so that it inhabits the warm districts of his 
first and second regions of elevation. It is seen in the villages, 
where it is as familiar as a domestic bird, remaining always in 
the courts^ in the streets, on the roofs, and perching upon the 
balustrades of the corridors. Here it seeks its food, which con- 
sists of spiders and other insects. It appropriates the nests of 
the Oven-birds [Furnarius) or of the Swallows, after having 
driven out the proprietors, and appears to resort to them the 
whole year for the purpose of roosting. It is of a quarrelsome 
disposition, like other Tyrannida, and is constantly battling with 
the Swallows and Oven-birds which frequent the same kind of 
places. Its flight is horizontal, like that of the Swallows, which 
it resembles in all its habits. 

Tschudi tells us that this species is found in the coast-region 
of Peru as well as in the eastern , wood-region ; but 1 should be 
rather inclined to suppose that there is some error here, as I 
have never seen this bird in collections from Western Peru. 

As will be seen from the diagnoses, the present bird is much 
more nearly like H. ferruginea than H. rupestris, but is readily 
distinguishable from the former species by the ferruginous red 
of the tail-feathers. This colour occupies the whole of the inner 
webs of the rectrices, from their bases to within about an inch of 
their extremities, except in the case of the middle pair, in which 
it only occupies the basal third. 

198 Mr. P. L. Sclater on the Genus Hirundiuea. 

b. Uropygio ferrugineo. 
3. HiRUNDiNEA RUPESTRis. (Plate V. fig. 3.) 
Muscicapa rupestris, Max. Reise in Bras. i. p. 345 (1820). 
Platyrhynchus hirundinaceus, Spix, Av. Bras. ii. p. 11^ t. 13. 
f. 1 (1825). 

Platyrhynchus rupestris, Max. Beitr. iii. p. 977. 
Muscivora ferruginea, Biirm. Syst. Ueb. ii. p. 505. 
Hirundinea 7'upestris, Pelz. Orn. Bras. p. 113. 
" Tyrannus pyrrhophceus, Vieill.,^^ Pelz. I.e. 

H. fusca : uropygio, alis intus, speculo alari magno ct tectricum 
secundariorumque marginibus cum toto corpore subtiis fer- 
rugineis ; cauda ferrugiuea, tertia parte apicali nigricanti- 
fusca: long. tot. 6*5, alse 3'9, caudse 2*6. 

Hab. Campos of South-eastern Brazil {Max. et Burmeister) ; 
S. Paulo and llio [Natterer). 

Burmeister tells us that this bird is not found in the wood- 
region, but only in the Campos of Inner Brazil. He saw it 
continually when resident at Lagoa Santa, in the province of 

Prince Maximilian first obtained it upon the Upper Rio Bel- 
monte, afterwards in Espirito Santo and Ilheos, two districts on 
the west coast. He tells us that it has the peculiarity of frequent- 
ing rocks and walls, and is often seen sitting upon the roofs of 
the dwellings, and, where there are no rocks or buildings, upon 
an isolated branch. On the Upper Rio Belmonte, where there 
are many rocks bordering the sides of the stream, it appeared 
to be common, and was constantly seen perched on the look-out 
for insects. The Portuguese call this bird Casaca de couro or 
Gibao de couro (Leatherjacket).. 

Natterer obtained seventeen examples of this species at Ypa- 
nena, Ytarare, and other places in the provinces of S. Paulo and 
Rio. One was shot from the roof of a water-mill, and was stated 
by the natives to frequent commonly such places and the ad- 
joining dams, and to breed in holes. 

Mr. C. Farman on Bulgarian Birds of Prey. 199 

XVII. — On some of the Birds of Prey of Central Bulgaria. 
By C. Farman, C.E. 

[Continued from 'The Ibis' for 1868, p. 414.] 

Aquila CHRYSAETUS (Linn.). Golden Eagle. 
In comparison with some of the Eagles, this monarch of the 
airy realms is a scarce bird; I have observed some few indivi- 
duals in various parts — one near the head of the lower Devna 
lake, one in the Pravidy valley, and several others in the hill- 
country to the westward and northward of Shumla. 

Aquila heliaca (Sav.). Imperial Eagle. 

Of all the Eagles to be met with in this country, this is by 
far the most common, and it breeds in great numbers in all 
parts of Central Bulgaria. 

Nidification commences at the end of March or beginning of 
April, the 8th of April being the earliest date at which I have 
found the eggs (some thirty of which I have taken). I have, 
however, taken fresh eggs of this bird as late as the first week 
in May. Its favourite place for building its eyry is on an isolated 
tree, or where the trees are scattered about at some distance 
from one another, or a clump of two or three, at the most, stand- 
ing alone in the open country, but where there is little or no 

The nest is little more than a large flat platform of coarse 
sticks, about 3 feet 6 inches in diameter, and piled up to the 
height of 18 inches or 2 feet, but in some old nests much 
higher. The interior is slightly concave, arid lined with a few 
smaller twigs and a little dry grass, wool, pieces of old rag, or 
any other small rubbish that comes within their ken ; in most 
instances, however, the lining is very scanty. 

The number of eggs in a nest is generally two, sometimes 
three, never more, and not unfrequently only one. 

The Imperial Eagle, always a shy bird and difficult to ap- 
proach, is even more so during the breeding-season ; the male 
bird is always on the watch, either flying in graceful circles at 
some height above and about the nest, or seated on some neigh- 
bouring tree, whence, on the slightest appearance of danger, he 
comes swooping down towards his eyry, uttering a hoarse croak- 

200 Mr. C. Farman on some of the Birds of Prey 

iog noise, as a warning to the female, who instantly leaves the 
nest and joins her partner in his circling evolutions high up 
above their eyry. 

Owing to their great sagacity, I found it extremely difficult 
to approach within shot of them ; the way in which I ultimately 
succeeded was by riding up to them on horseback. When I 
discovered a nest I rode straight up to it at full gallop, and as 
the bird left its nest I pulled up short and shot it ; in this way 
I succeeded in securing many good specimens, and in one in- 
stance I was fortunate enough to secure both birds and their 
nest of two eggs. 

During the breeding-season, if at no other time, the male 
birds are extremely pugnacious ; and many a desperate encounter 
between them have I witnessed. On one occasion, when riding 
home to Shitangick from the works, my attention was drawn to 
a pair of these Eagles by their loud croaking and hoarse shrieks, 
which they were both uttering with as much force as their lungs 
would permit ; and I then witnessed one of the most exciting 
and desperate duels that ever took place between two birds. 
The encounter took place at from two to three hundred feet above 
the ground, and lasted a good twenty minutes. They began the 
engagement by flying round each other at some little distance, 
and every now and then one of them would make a dash in at 
the other, which avoided it in the most dexterous manner, and 
in his turn became the aggressor ; this, however, only appeared 
to be their method of " squaring-up '^ to each other; for they 
now went at it in good earnest. After separating from each 
other for some distance, one of them suddenly turned, and with 
full force dashed in at his opponent, who also turned to receive 
the attack, and uttering a hoarse croak they closed with each 
other. The melee which now ensued, in which, beak, claws, 
and wings were equally active, and of which little could be di- 
stinguished but a mass of perturbed feathers rolling in the air, 
is far beyond my powers of description. At last they clutched 
each other with such a firm grasp that, neither having its 
wings at liberty, they both came tumbling down in each other's 
embrace for a distance of a hundred feet or more, when they 
released their hold and separated for a while ; and thus ended the 

of Central Bulgaria. 201 

first round. The second round began in a similar manner to the 
first ; every now and then one of the birds would make a feint 
at the other ; they now changed their tactics, and by sailing in 
short spirals each endeavoured to get above his adversary : in 
this way they rose to a considerable height, till at last one bird 
having got well above the other, came down upon him with a 
terrific swoop ; the lower bird, nothing daunted, instantly turned 
right on its back and in a most dexterous manner received his 
enemy on his outstretched talons ; another melee then ensued si- 
milar to the first, ending in the same way by their tumbling down 
a couple of hundred feet or so in each other's embrace and sepa- 
rating as before. Thus the battle raged for nearly half an hour, 
when one of the birds having got far up above the other, made a 
fell swoop down upon his gallant enemy, striking him with great 
force at a height of about three hundred feet from the ground. 
The lower bird received him manfully, and fixing his talons well 
into him, they both came down to the ground with a heavy 
thud not ten yards from me. I jumped from my horse with 
the intention of securing these noble gladiators ; but when almost 
within my grasp, they released their hold and made off in dif- 
ferent directions. That their fight had been a desperate one, the 
blood on the spot where they fell bore ample testimony. 

Aquila n^via (Gmel.) . Spotted Eagle. 

Not uncommon in any part of the country, but most nume- 
rous in the neighbourhood of the Devna lakes and in the Pra- 
vidy valley. In its habits it strongly resembles the Buzzards, 
generally flying low in pursuit of its prey, which, if belonging 
to the feathered tribes, it strikes in the air. It seldom soars to 
any great height, although on rare occasions I have seen it rise 
to a height from which it was hardly distinguishable. They 
generally rest on trees, preferring a dead or sear bough, whence 
they watch their prey, and, when the opportune moment arrives, 
dash ofi" in pursuit, again returning to the same resting-place if 
unsuccessful. When thus engaged they will permit a very near 
approach ; and thus they are very easily shot. 

In the spring of 1865 I observed a nest of this bird placed 
on an ash-tree ovei'hanging the stream at the southern entrance 

202 Mi'o C. Farman on some of the Birds of Prey 

of the Pravidy valley : it was more neatly put together than 
most of the Eagles' nests, and was warmly and softly lined with 
the blossoms of the ash-tree; it contained one young bird just 
hatched, and two eggs already cracked by the young birds within. 
On the edge of the nest were the two fore legs of a leveret. 
Directly I descended from the tree, one of the parent birds re- 
turned to the nest, and I observed her mate sitting on an old 
dead tree a couple of hundred yards off ; this bird was intently 
watching a flock of some twenty or thirty Magpies which were 
busily engaged picking the bones of an old carcass that the Vul- 
tures had demolished. As I rode past, the Magpies took to flight, 
and the Eagle, leaving his resting-place, instantly started ofi" in 
pursuit of them j on coming up to them he singled one out, and, 
after following it through a few intricate but futile attempts to 
escape, rose slightly above his prey and with one stroke felled it 
to the ground, and, following it as it fell, reached the ground 
almost at the same moment. 

H/VLiAETUs ALBiciLLA (Llun.). White-tailed Eagle. 

Common on the coast of the Black Sea, as also on the shores 
of the Devna lakes, but most numerous during the early 

Haliaetus LEUCORYPHA ? (Pallas) . Pallas's Sea-Eagle. 

At various times during my two years' residence in this coun- 
try I have noticed an Eagle that I take to be the above-named ; 
but, unfortunately, I was never able to preserve a specimen by 
which to identify it clearly ; nevertheless I had several oppor- 
tunities of scrutinizing it pretty closely. It diflfered altogether 
from any other Eagle that frequents this country, the most ob- 
vious distinction being a white head and neck, and a white tail 
with a dark edging. In the spring of 1865 a pair of these birds 
built their nests on a gigantic elm-tree growing on the banks of 
a stream near Uvola, about thirty miles from the sea-coast, 
where the Pravidy valley opens out into a broad plain, which at 
this time of the year (April) is covered with water and pre- 
sents the appearance of a small lake. For two successive days 
I lay in wait for these birds, and tried in every conceivable way 
to get within shot of them, but without success ; so ultimately. 

of Central Bulgaria. 203 

not being able to remain longer in that part of the country, I 
had to content myself with robbing the nest of the young bird it 
contained, and leaving the parents at large. In the nest, besides 
the young bird, I found a dainty dish in the shape of the two 
fore legs of a lamb. 

Pandion haliaetus (Linn.). Osprey. 

The Osprey is here much scarcer than I had expected to find 
it ; indeed it is very rarely to be met with, but occasionally it 
may be seen on the coast and on the banks of the Devna lakes. 

In May, 1865, I observed an Osprey fishing on the stream 
that connects the two lakes just mentioned, near Geberjeng. 
It was flying at a height of about a hundred feet, and every 
now and then it hovered in the air somewhat after the manner 
of the Kestrels ; suddenly down it came, with a whizzing noise, 
like a thunderbolt, splash into the stream, making a perfect 
cloud of spray, which for the moment completely hid it from 
my view; it rose almost immediately with a large fish in its 
talons, and away it went to the neighbouring rocks, there to 
enjoy its prey in undisturbed solitude. 

BuTEO VULGARIS, Bcchst. Common Buzzard. 

Not uncommon anywhere between Varna and Rustchuk. 
In May 1865 my friend Mr. M'^Veau shot a fine male specimen 
near Karaharge; and other specimens were shot by various 
other gentlemen then engaged in constructing the Varna Rail- 

Archibuteo lagopus (Linn.). Rough-legged Buzzard^. 

Equally common with the preceding species, but most plen- 
tiful in the forest-country about Tshicklar, and in the woodlands 
lying on the right bank of the upper Devna lake. 

Pernis apivorus (Linn.). Honey-Buzzard. 

I was so unfortunate as never to see a single specimen of this 
species in its wild state ; but that it is a habitant of this country 
is clearly proved by Mr. M'^Vean having taken a nest of three 
young birds near Kialdery, at the same time shooting the old 
male, which he preserved and I afterwards examined. 

* [Is not this more likely to have been Aquila pennata ? — Ed.] 

204 Mr. H. B. Tristram on some 

MiLVUs iCTiNus (Savign.). Kite. 

A common bird all over the country, apparently more nume- 
rous during the breeding-season; I shot several at various 

MiLVUs MIGRANS (Bodd.). Black Kite. 

Not uncommon about the Devna lakes and in the Pravidy 
valley; but I seldom observed it much higher up the country. 
One specimen, a fine male, I shot as high up as Kialdery ; but it 
is rarely that they are seen north of the Pravidy valley. 

Athene noctua (Retz.). Little Owl. 

Common throughout Central Bulgaria; it breeds in the ra- 
vines between Kushetchen and Kialdery, and doubtless in many 
other similar situations. 

Bubo maximus, Fleming. Eagle-Owl. 

More or less plentiful throughout the country, but particu- 
larly so in the Pravidy valley. Nidification begins somewhat 
early, namely, about the middle of March. On the 12th of 
April, 1866, I took a nest containing two eggs and one young 
bird ; I had previously shot the female, and shortly afterwards 
procured the male also ; one of these eggs was so far incubated 
that I could distinctly hear the young bird chirping within its 
shelly prison ; I placed this egg under a sitting Goose, and in 
three days it was duly hatched ; I then carefully attended to the 
young bird, and fed it on raw meat chopped very fine. It went 
on well for about a week, when I was called away on business 
for a day or two, and had to leave it in charge of one of my 
servants. I gave him strict injunctions as to its treatment; but 
on my return I found my young Owl dead, my orders having 
been neglected. 

XVIII. — Notes on some new South-African Sylviidse. 
By H. B. Tristram, M.A., F.R.S., &c. 

(Plate VI.) 

Having had several small parcels of South-African specimens of 
this very interesting family lately intrusted to me for discri- 

new South-African Sylviidse. 205 

mination by Messrs. Layard, Gurney, Verreaux, Sharpe, and 
others, I have been somewhat appalled at the very unsatisfactory 
state of our knowledge of the group Saxicolina. It is neces- 
sary to observe that in no class of birds is a large series of spe- 
cimens so absolutely indispensable for the accurate discrimina- 
tion of species. Many of the characteristics which have been 
relied upon by closet naturalists as specific distinctions will be 
found to be merely variations of sex or age — and this in cha- 
racteristics which, in allied genera, are infallibly distinctive. 
For instance, in some dark-coloured species, the coloration of 
the head may be black, grey, or white — and this, so far as we 
can discover, simply from age, not sexual, and occurring in 
breeding birds in the same locality. This fact was brought 
prominently to my notice in the case of the North-African 
groups, both in the Sahara and in Palestine. I find it holds 
equally in the analogous species both from Scinde and from 
South Africa. I may mention, as cases in point, the variations 
in Saxicola eurymelana and S. monticola. In the same way a 
comparison of a large series will show us that the proportion of 
white and black on the rectrices is very variable in individuals 
of the same species in some of the desert groups. 

My examination of the series sent by Mr. Layard leads me at 
once to reject the specific value of Saxicola castor, Hartl. (P. Z. S. 
1865, p. 747), which appears to me to be only one of the varia- 
tions of S. cinerea, Vieillot, a species that has as many different 
phases of plumage as S. monticola, the young birds being rusty- 
brown, then blackish-brown, and finally assuming the uniformly 
cinereous plumage. 

There are, however, in all the Chats some invariable points of 
distinction ; among these I attach the chief value to the colora- 
tion of the rump, and to its extent, which appears to be invari- 
able at all ages, presenting no sexual variations in the subgenus 
DromolxEa, generally differing in the sexes of the desert group of 
the Saxicolina. 

Thus, in Saxicola monticola, we have at all ages the white 
epaulettes in the male, and in both sexes the narrow white rump ; 
but, according to age, we find specimens otherwise wholly cine- 
reous excepting their rcmiges and rectrices, others black, with an 

206 Mr. H. B. Tristram on some 

ashy head, others wholly black, some with the belly ashen, some 
black, and some with more or less white. 

Among the species before me there are four which, so far as I 
am aware, are new and midescribed. The Jfirst of these (of 
which a figure is given) I propose to name after its discoverer, 
Mr. Arnott, and subjoin its description. 

Saxicola arnotti, sp. nov. (Plate VI.) 

^ Corpus totum superne et subtus nigerrimum ; pileo plumis 
quibusdam albis interraixtis; fronte et linea superciliari 
alba; remigibus atris nee nigris ; scapularibus Ifete albis ; 
plumis longioribus apice fusco-nigris ; cauda tota nigra; 
remige primo X"5 poll., secundo 3 poll., octavum sequante, 
tertio ad septimum eequalibus : rostro, tarsis et pedibus 

Long. tot. 7'2, rostr. a rictu '8, al. 3"9, caud. 3, tars. Tl. 
Hah. Adam Kok's New Land [fide E. L. Layard). 

Saxicola atmorii, sp. nov. 

Corpus totum superne et subtus fuliginoso- nigrum ; uropygio 
tantum imo albo; remigum parte interiore fusco-nigra; 
rectricibus mediis nigris, lateralibus albis uigro terminatis, 
et extimse rectricis externo pogonio ad uuum pollicem nigro 
limbato; rostro, tarsis pedibusque nigris; remige primo 
brevissimo, secundo septimum superante, quarto longissimo. 
Long. tot. 6*9, alse a carp. 4"1, caud. 2" 75, rostr. a rict. "85, 
tarsi 1*05. 

Hab. Damara Land (C. J. Andersson). 

This bird appears to be the South-African representative 
of the Abyssinian Saxicola lugubris, Riipp., and differs from it 
in its much greater size, in having the narrow white instead of 
the broader chestnut rump of that bird, and in the much less 
extent of the black bar at the extremity of the tail. I name this 
species after Mr. W. Atmore, a diligent observer of birds, as Mr. 
Layard's pages testify. 

Saxicola modesta sp. nov.* 

Caput et corpus totum superne pallide cinereum, subtus totum 

* It is possible that this species may be identical with the Erithacvs 
schlegeli of Wahlberg (K. Sv. Vet. Alcad. Forhandl. 1855, p. 213), though 
the bird is certainly not an Erithacus, but one of the Saxicolce closely ap- 
proaching Pratinculu. 

new South-African Sylviidse. 207 

cinereo-album ; reniigibus fuscis, primo brevissimo, secundo 
sextum requante, et ad pogonium internum subito attenuate ; 
uropygio et crisso albis ; rectricibus nigris, tribus externis 
albo colore pogonio externo et apice anguste limbatis ; ro- 
stro, tarsis et pedibus nigris. 

Long. tot. 6'2 ad 6*35, aire a carp. 3*6, caud. 2*7, rostr. a rict. 
0-7, tarsi 1-15. 

Hab. Damara Land (C. J. Andersson). 

This graceful bird in its form and coloration reminds us of 
the subgenus Cercomela, of which Palestine and Cashmere afford 
us the only known examples. I cannot agree with Dr. Jerdon 
that Saxicola infuscata betrays much affinity to that group, ex- 
cepting in coloration. The white rump of S. modesta, however, 
must always mark it as belonging to Saxicola rather than to 
Ruticilla. Its nearest affinity seems to be with S.pollux, Hartl., 
which, though almost as slender in form, differs in its much larger 
size and very much darker coloration. The attenuation of the 
second primary at its tip will be sufficient to identify this species 
beyond any doubt. Superficially it somewhat resembles a spe- 
cimen of S. albicans, Wahlb., from the same region, which, 
however, is by no means so slender a bird, wants the apical 
attenuation of the wing-feather, and has its rectrices for the 
rgreater part of their length white instead of black. I should add 
that I have not been able to meet with a specimen of S. baroica, 
Smith*; but it does not appear to possess the peculiarities of 
this species, of which I have^^ue specimens before me. 

Drymceca ortleppi, sp. nov. 

D. supra pallide griseo-brunnea, flavo-brunneo lavata ; gula, gut- 

ture et linea superciliari albis; pectore et abdomine Ifetc 

flavis, remigibus brunneis castaneo marginatis ; rostro 

colore corneo ; tarsis pedibusque llavis. 

Long. tot. 6, rostri a rictu "5, alse a carpo 2*1, caudse 3"25, 

tarsi "75 poll. 

Hab, Colesberg, Cape Colony {fide E. L. Layard). 

I have named this species after its discoverer, Mr. Oitlcpp, a 

* [This species does not seem to have been described. It was men- 
tioned by Sir Andrew Smith (111. Zool. S. Afr., Aves, Ip. to pi. 28), and 
a representation of it promised, which, however, never appeared. — Ed.]. 

208 Lord Walden on Dr. Stoliczka's " Ornithological 

zealous cooperator with Mr. Layard. It bears the same relation 
to D. pallida, Smith (111. Zool. S. Afr. pi. 72. %. 2) that 
Phyllopneuste trochilus does to P. bonellii — an analogy which 
seems to be found in the whole of the Sylviad group, there 
being usually a brown and a representative yellow species. The 
tarsi are one-third shorter than in D. pallida. 

XIX. — Remarks on Dr. Stoliczka's " Ornithological Observations 
in the Sutlej Valley." By Arthur Viscount Walden, P.Z.S. 

In the ' Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal ' for 1868, 
a paper has been published, entitled " Ornithological Obser- 
vations in the Sutlej Valley, N.W. Himalayas," which deserves 
the attention and the study of the philosophical ornithologist. 
The author. Dr. Stoliczka, is a gentleman whose name is well 
known as that of a distinguished palaeontologist and geologist. 
And this, I believe, his first ornithological contribution pos- 
sesses merits more than sufficient to entitle him to a high place 
among scientific ornithologists. The accession to our ranks of 
of a recruit already so eminent in other branches of the natural 
sciences will be hailed with pleasure, and, by those who aim at 
higher objects than the mere priority of naming their species, 
with gratitude. The addition of another labourer in the but 
partially tilled field of Asiatic zoology will be welcome to the 
few, though happily increasing, workers in that much-neglected 
region of the earth's surface ; while a perusal of Dr. Stoliczka's 
paper will show that it is possible for a naturalist primarily and 
chiefly occupied with a widely differing branch of research, to 
combine a record of practical zoological observations made in the 
field with an almost rigid accuracy of nomenclature. 

An account of the collections made by Dr. Stoliczka, of which 
a translation appeared in this Journal for July last*, will already 
have enabled its readers to estimate his activity in the good 
cause. The collection there noticed was a general one of 
birds obtained in Tibet as well as in the Himalayas. The list 
I now propose noticing is confined to the species which inhabit a 

• Ibis, 1868, pp. 302-321. 

Observations in the Sutlej Valley.'* 209 

limited region of those mountains, the Sutlej Valley, and is 
therefore more local in its character. The species were col- 
lected or observed during the summer months, from May to 
October; while the authority for the winter residence of many 
of them rests chiefly on the evidence of the specimens obtained 
by shikarees employed to collect during the winter. 

One hundred and thirty-nine genera, belonging to the Inses" 
sores, are enumerated as being represented in the Sutlej Valley. 
Of the remaining eighty-nine genera, after deducting fifty which 
are common to the temperate regions of the Old World and to 
the plains of Continental India (such as Hirundo, Coracias, Me- 
rops, Picus, Corvus, Sitta, Lanius, and so forth), forty-one of the 
genera (like Palaornis, Pyctorhis, Tchitrea, Meyalama, Arach- 
nechthra, Copsychus, Thamnohia, Dendrocitta, Zosterops, and 
others) are strictly characteristic of the plains of India with their 
lower elevations. Seventeen genera are common to the mountains 
and elevated tablelands of the Himalayas, to Europe, to Central, 
and probably Northern, Asia — Certhia, Cinclus, and Tichodroma, 
for instance; seven are Himalayan genera, including, in all 
likelihood, Central-Asiatic species, Hemichelidon, Propasser, and 
a few more ; and twenty- four are genera peculiar, within the 
Indian region, to the slopes, valleys, and jungles of the Hima- 
laya. In the Central and Eastern Himalayan regions special 
genera, containing numerous species, abound ; while in the 
north-western Himalayas these characteristic genera and specific 
forms rapidly diminish, and probably cease altogether before 
the eastern bank of the Indus is reached. 

In his instructive preliminary sketch of the physical construc- 
tion of the Sutlej Valley, Dr. Stoliczka supplies us with a ready 
explanation of this apparently anomalous commingling of the 
avi-fauna of such different zoological provinces. The Sutlej, 
without making a long eastern or western circuit, like the Bra- 
mapootra and the Indus, b'reaks, in an almost direct line to- 
wards the plains, through the intervening ranges of gigantic 
mountains, cutting its way, or bursting a passage, through the 
solid rock, and jumping, in a course of 180, or in a straight line 
of 110 miles, from an altitude of 13,000 to that of 1000 feet. 
Its valley and those of its affluents thus provide an easy means of 

N. S. VOL. V. P 

210 Lord Walden on Dr. Stoliczka^s " Ornithological 

access from the plains to the elevated tablelands north of the Hi- 
malayas, and become a direct highway for birds migrating from 
the north or the south of those mountains : and although, in his- 
torical times at least, neither the nations north nor south of the 
Himalayan barrier have ever availed themselves of these natural 
advantages, either for warlike or commercial purposes, Dr. 
Stoliczka almost implies that the most feasible route to or from 
Central Asia is to be met with by following the course of the Sutlej. 
The country of the plains extends to within the mouth of the 
valley ; and there are still to be found the animals indigenous to 
the low country. Higher up, but yet in the lower portions of 
the valley, to an elevation of from 4000 to 5000 feet, many low- 
country species of birds find thoseconditionsof food and climate 
which become suspended in the plains during the great heat 
and drought of summer, and the means of forming their nests 
and rearing their young. And there also a few Central-Hima- 
layan hill-forms occur, but diminished in variety and number of 
species, having almost reached their western geographical limit 
thi'ough the action and effects of an increased latitude ; while, 
as the valley continues rising to its greatest elevation, the spe- 
cies and genera of the Central- Asiatic fauna begin to appear, 
increasing in number until, when the summit is gained, they 
almost exclusively predominate. 

In short, this valley has its beginning in the Tibetan zoolo- 
gical province, and its termination in the Indian ; is a high- 
way for birds which pass the summer in central or northern 
Asia and the winter in India ; is alternately a refuge for those 
Tibetan birds which cannot endure the rigour of a Tibetan 
winter, and for those Indian species which are unable to support 
the great heats of summer ; and is the permanent habitation 
of the declining Eastern- Himalayan hill-forms, and of those 
species which are characteristic of a temperate yet unelevated 
region in the higher latitudes of- the Old World, like Loxia, 
Pyrrhula, Carduelis, and Garrulus, and help to connect the 
avifauna of Europe with that of Hindustan. The meeting 
together in the Catalogue of the Ornis of a single valley of such 
zoo-geographical extremes as Lerwa nivicola, and Temenuchus 
pagodarum, Carduelis canicejjs and Arachnothera magna, Monti- 

Observations in the Sutlej Valley." 211 

fringilla adamsi and Xantholcema indica, is thus accounted 

Of the two hundred and eighty species collected or observed by 
Dr. Stoliczka, there are described as new, Linota pygmoia, Frin- 
gilluuda sordida, and Munia similaris. The first two appear to 
have been hitherto undescribed ; but the third is undoubtedly 
Munia undulata (Lath.)* iu first plumage. Three species, be- 
longing to the genera Fhylloscopus, Allot rius, and Hydrobata 
are noted as undetermined. From description alone, it is 
difficult to identify some of the small Warblers ; and the 
species described may possibly be new. It is said to resemble 
Fhylloscopus rama (Sykes), but to be decidedly smaller. So 
many Asiatic species have already been described closely re- 
sembling Col. Sykes's bird that Dr. Stoliczka has exercised a 
laudable caution in not adding another. The Allotrius our 
author considers to be the Fteruthius xanthochlorus of Hodgson 
(J. A. S. B. 1847, p. 448), hitherto regarded as the female 

* The synonjTiiy of this genus is in some confusion. Three original 
descriptions of a spotted Munia were published previously to 1766, — one 
by Albin, with a coloured plate (1738), from a bird said to have come 
from China, one by Edwards (174-3), with a coloured plate, said to be 
from the East ^Indies, where it is called Cowry bird, and one by Brisson 
(1760), from a specimen obtained near Batavia, in Java. Linnaeus (S. N. 
i. p. 302) quotes Edwards first, and then Brisson, omitting Albin. If the first 
reference is to be taken as having supplied the type, the Indian bird 
must stand as M. pimctidaria (L.); if the second, the Linntean title must 
be applied to the Javan bird, Fringilla nisoria, Temm. Jerdon's White- 
backed Munia (B. Ind. iii. p. 356) is clearly not Loxia striata, L., founded 
on Brisson's " Gros-bec de ITsle de Bom-bon" (Orn. iii. p. 243), which has 
the entire upper surface uniform. If not indigenous to that island, Brisson's 
type probably came from Java, where a species exists fully answering to his 
description (M. leucogastroides, Moore, Cat. E. I. Co. Mus. ii. p. 510). The 
Indian bird must stand as M. leuconota (Temm. PI. Col., Livr. 84, May 8, 
1830, descr. orig. ex Bengal). The propriety of applying the Linnsean title 
of L. malacca, foimded on Brisson's " Gros-bec de Java " (Orn. iii. p. 237), 
to Jerdon's Black-headed Munia (B. Ind. ii. p. 352), depends upon the 
identity of the Indian with the bird of Java, whence Brisson's type came. 
Linnseus included two distinct species under this title. M. kelaarti, Blyth, 
from Ceylon, first described by Mr. Blyth, with a doubt, as M. jwctoralis, 
Jerd. (J. A. S. B. 1851, p. 178), is, I strongly suspect, the same as Flocevs 
fringilloides, Lafresu. (Mag. de Zool. 1 ser. tab. 48, December 1835), ex Ceylon. 


212 Lord Walden on Dr. Stoliczka's " Ornithological 

of P. melanotis, Hodgs. (/. c), which, again, is erroneously 
identified by Dr, Jerdon (B. Ind. ii. p. 246) with Allotrius 
(Bnobarbus, Temm., of Java. The female of this conjectured 
female of another species is described for the first time by 
Dr. Stoliczka ; and if we are to accept his conclusions, Pteru- 
thius xanthochlorus, Hodgs., must resume its rank as a second 
Indian species of AUutrius. The plumage, as described, of the 
doubtful Hydrobata, notwithstanding the absence of a perfectly 
white throat and breast, seems to indicate that of a young 
Ciuclus asiaticus, Sw. In one of the earlier stages of plumage 
of this species, the underside is clothed with smoky-^jrown fea- 
thers, each of which is edged with a dusky-grey fringe. In those 
of the flanks and upper surface the fringe is fulvous, occasion- 
ally mixed with dusky-grey. The secondaries are edged with 
white, those nearest the body being completely surrounded with 
a white margin. The primaries and some of the rectrices 
are slightly tipped with white. The tarsus, feet, and claws in 
the dried skin are dirty yellow, whereas in the adult bird they 
are brown. The pale fringing of the body-feathers gives the 
plumage a scale-like or spotted aspect. In another stage, pro- 
bably that of an older bird, the edgings of the ventral regions 
and lower breast only are dusky white, all the rest being ful- 
vous, while the wing-feathers are less boldly margined with 
white, and the tarsus and feet are darker. In a third stage 
still more nearly approaching that of the adult garb, the whole 
of the plumage is coloured as in fully adult birds, save that of 
the chin and throat, in which the dusky-white fringe occupies 
nearly the whole of each feather. On the upper breast a few 
feathers here and there are tipped with dusky white, making it 
appear spotted ; and although the primaries are uniform brown, 
the secondaries still retain the narrow white margin. The legs 
are almost as dark as in the adult. Under and above each eye 
is a white mark ; and this is to be found, though less prominently, 
in birds which are otherwise in completely adult plumage. 
The bill appears to acquire increased dimensions in this species, 
even after the plumage has reached its perfect stage. Two birds 
are introduced as new to the fauna of the Indian region as 
limited by Dr. Jerdon, Tetraogallus tibetanus, Gould, and Alau- 

Observations in the Sutlej Valley." 213 

dula pispoletta (Pall.)*. But the following three species, no- 
ticed by Dr. Stoliczka, must be added : — Linota brevirostris, 
Gould, admitted, with some doubt, as distinct from L. montium, 
(Gm.), by our author and Herrvon Pelzeln (Ibis, 1868, p. 319); 
Montifringilla adamsi, Moore ; and M. hcBinatopygia, Gould. All 
three visit the valley of the Sutlej during the winter, and, 
together with Allotrius xanthochlorus, increase the list of Indian 
species by six. Emberiza stracheyi, Moore, however, is considered 
identical with E. cia, L. ; and thus the Indian list is reduced by 
one; while Corvus tibetanus, Hodgs., is regarded as scarcely 
separable from C. corax, L. ; Fregilus himalayanus, Gould, as not 
distinct from the European Chough, and Regulus himalayensis, 
Blyth, upon Herr von Pelzeln's authority, as identical with /?. 
cristatus. A hitherto somewhat dubious species, Petrocincla 
castaneocoUis, Less. (Rev. Zool. June 1810, p. 160), was redisco- 
vered by Dr. Stoliczka in West Tibet, north of Dras, and is ex- 
pected by him to be found residing in the Punjab during the 
winter. He identifies it with P. saxatilis (L.). It is remarkable 
that Lanius cristatus, L., is not included in the list of the Sutlej- 
Valley birds. The only Rufous-tailed Shrike procured is iden- 
tified as L. arenarius, Blyth, and was but once met with cast of 

* Zoog. Rosso-Asiatica, i. p. 526. It was observed by Pallas in south- 
ern Russia, and especially in the Caspian desert. He considered it to be 
the same as the bird named Alauda spinoletta by Linnaeus (S. N. i. 
p. 288), from Italy. The Liunsean name Pallas altered to pispoletta, because 
Oetti (Ucc. di Sardegna, p. 159) stated th&t pispoletta, and not spinoletta, 
was the true Florentine name for the Italian bii'd, adding that the great 
Swede had never even seen it. A. spinoletta, L., is made equal to Antkus 
aqiuiticus, Bechst., by Bonaparte (Consp. Av. i. p. 247). Eversmann 
(Add. ad Zoog. Ross-As. p. 16, 1835) refers Alauda pispoletta, Pall., 
also to Anthus aquaticus. Bonaparte, on the other hand, regarded it as a 
distinct species of Alauda, and referred Alaudula raytal (Buch.-IIam.) to 
it as a synonym. Dr. Stoliczka notes the differences whereby A. piipuletta 
is distinguished from A. 7'aytal ; and if the learned doctor's identification 
is correct, the discovery of Pallas's bird so far to the eastAvard is interesting. 
The specific title is unfortunate, founded, as it is, on the Florentine trivial 
name of a totally distinct species. Menetries (Cat. Raison. Caucas. p. 39) 
mentions that A. pispoletta is very common in the desert-plains on the 
shores of the Caspian durhig the months of April, May, and June. Later 
in the year he saw no more of it. 

214 Lord Walden on Dr. Stoliczka^s " Observations." 

Chini. In the summer it is said to be more common in Tibet. 
Hodgson's name Budytes citreoloides is adopted for the Yellow- 
headed Wagtail, upon the authority, apparently, of Mr. Blyth, 
as quoted by Dr. Jerdon (B. Ind. iii. p. 873). Wherein 
Hodgson's species differs from that of Pallas, I have failed to 
discover. Indian examples agree in every respect with the de- 
scription given by Pallas (Reise, 1776, iii. App. p. 696, no. 14) 
of his type specimen, which was obtained on the 26th of 
April (O. S.) in Siberia, and consequently had not assumed 
the full breeding-plumage. Pallas remarks that the same spe- 
cies is to be seen in Russia in spring, at the time when birds 
are migrating northwards. Dr. Stoliczka has omitted to de- 
scribe the plumage of his specimens and the exact period of the 
year he met with them. The bird to which Hodgson gave the 
names of Budytes calcaratus and B. citreoloides is rarely found, in 
India, in full black and yellow breeding-plumage ; and although 
some individuals may breed in the southern valleys of the Hima- 
layas, yet, from the scarcity of examples in breeding-livery,we may 
infer that the greater part migrate in the spring further north. 
Any how, nothing less than a comparison made between a series 
of Siberian and Indian birds can determine the question ; and 
even if the Indian bird proves to be distinct from B. citreola 
(Pall.), it will have to bear the iiiXa oi calcaratus, Hodgs. (1836), 
which has a priority of eight years over that of citreoloides^, Hodgs. 
Par us cinereus, Vieill., was observed as far north as West Tibet. 
Consequently, if we are justified in considering Javan, Cingalese, 
Western-Indian, Nipalese, Central-Indian, and Afghan indivi- 
duals as belonging to one species, the range of this Titmouse is 

* Fortunately Pallas's bird escapes having to take tlie specific title of 
sheltohriuschka, Lepechin {Iter, ii. p. 187, tab. 8. f. 1, 1775 — a work pub- 
lished one year previously to Pallas's travels), which is given as a syno- 
nym by Gmelin, Latham, Blyth, and Horsfield and Moore, Lepechin 
calls his species Der Bachstelze mit clem gelben Bauche, and adds the 
name above quoted as being that by which this bird is known in Russia. 
Gmelin (S. N. i, p. 962) latinized the Russian word without adopting it, 
and hence the origin of the synonym. In the ' Zoographia ' Pallas altered 
his title to Motacilla citririella ; and Lesson described the species (Traits, 
p. 422, 1831) under the title of M. aureocapilla. By both these authors 
the winter plumage alone is described. 

Recent Ornithological Publications. 315 

very extensive. But, judging from a comparison of specimens, 
the Javan, the Cingalese, and the race inhabiting north-western 
India are severally distinct. And whether we regard them 
merely as varieties, or refuse to rank them as separate species, 
it would be inaccurate to assert that a form identical with 
P. cinereus, from Java, also inhabits Tibet. 

With these remarks I will now close this somewhat hasty 
sketch of the results of Dr. Stoliczka^s researches, with a hope 
that it will not be long before he will find himself able to pub- 
lish further observations on the ornithology of the Himalaya 
mountains, and the regions they separate from north-western 

XX. — Notices of Recent Ornithological Publications. 
1. English. 
Our anticipations with regard to Mr. Sharpe's work*, the first 
part of which we noticed some six months ago (Ibis, 1868, 
pp. 472, 473), have been more than realized by the two parts 
which have since appeared. The author is unsparing of his 
labour ; and the draughtsman, of whose skill our present number 
will enable the reader to judge, is very successful in his voca- 
tion. Each part contains six plates, representing as many species 
of the group, with accompanying letterpress, wherein is em- 
bodied all that seems to be known respecting the birds. One of 
the species which requires especial notice is Cittura sanghirensis, 
first described by the author in the Zoological Proceedings for 
1868 (p. 271), and no doubt sufficiently distinct from C. cyanotis, 
a very rare bird in collections, and apparently limited in its 
range to the northern part of the island of Celebes, while the 
allied form seems to be confined to the much smaller and more 
distant island of Sanghir, whence its name. We must congra- 
tulate Mr. Sharpe on having at last been able to settle the doubt 
which has long existed as to what the Alcedo tridactyla of Pallas 
really was — a happy result, obtained, however, only at the expense 

* A Monograph of the Alcedinidce or Kingfishers, by R. B. Sharpe. 
The plates drawn and lithogTaphed by Mr. J. 6. Iveulemans. Part ii, 
October 1st, 1868 ; Part iii. January 1st, 18G9. London : roy. 8vo. 

216 Recent Ornithological Publications. 

of a '' cancel." Though both Ceyx tridactyla and C.rufidorsa seem 
to have been well known to the older authors, they were wont 
to regard the latter either as the female or as a variety of the 
former. Ceryle cabanisi is recognized by Mr. Sharpe as distinct 
from C. americana; and, according to him, the former, which 
ranges from Texas southward to Ecuador and Peru, has been 
spoken of under the name of the latter several times in this 

A long-expected work at last rejoices our eyes, and there are 
but few of our readers who will not, in Mr. Wallace^s company, 

be glad 

— *' to wander far away, 
On from island unto island at the gateways of tlie day." 

We are sure that 'The Malay Archipelago 'f will obtain such 
close attention at the hands of all ornithologists that we think 
there is no good reason why we should give any details of its 
contents. Even those who agree least with the co-discoverer of 
the theory of " Natural Selection " will admit, after reading his 
volumes, the unquestionable right of Mr. Wallace to be regarded 
as a naturalist-traveller of the very first class, and give him 
credit also for the desire of being accounted a naturalist-philo- 
sopher. The Darwinian school (to which belongs, we believe, 
the majority of our readers), will of course readily accord him a 
still higher position ; and indeed it will be, in our opinion, diffi- 
cult to refuse the author of this work any rank among naturalists 
to which he may lay claim. He set out from England with no 
theory — his theory was forced upon him as the only mode of 
explaining countless facts which he himself observed ; and these 
facts are now related by him in the simplest and most unaffected 
manner. There is not a chapter in either of these volumes 
which will not give rise to numerous reflections of the most 
interesting character ; and we heartily congratulate Mr. Wallace 
on the accomplishment of his task, and earnestly hope he may 

* Ibis, 1859, p. 131 ; 1860, p. 117 ; 1865, p. 472, and 1866, p. 263. 

t The Malay Ai'chipelago : the land of the Orang-utan and the Bird of 
Paradise. A Narrative of Travel with Studies of Man and Nature. By 
Alfred Russel, Wallace. London : 1869. 2 vols, small 8vo. 

Recent Ornithological Publications. 217 

long live to enjoy his well-earned fame. We wish we could say 
a good word for the illustrations of his work ; they serve to 
show, as we have for some time suspected, that wood-cutting is 
rapidly becoming one of the lost arts. 

Since some space was devoted in our last year's volume (Ibis, 

1868, pp. 85-96) to an abstract of Professor Huxley^s proposed 

Classification of Birds, it seems expedient to say a few words on 

another paper of his contained in the Zoological ' Proceedings ' 

(P. Z. S. 1868, pp. 294-319), wherein are contained the results 

of further researches made by him on the same subject. Of 

these results we can, however, only speak as briefly as possible. 

Our readers will recollect that in a letter which Professor Huxley 

did us the honour of addressing to this Journal (Ibis, 1868, 

pp. 357-362), he made use of three new names of Groups — 

Turnicimorphte, PteroclomoiyJKS and Heteromorphce — but without 

defining their limits or giving his reason for establishing their 

independence. Both these very necessary steps are taken in the 

paper we are now noticing; and without going into the matter 

with respect to the first two further than to say that they include 

respectively the Turnicida and PteroclidcB, we have to mention 

that the third, Heteromorpha, is erected for the special benefit of 

that very remarkable and hitherto puzzling bird Opisthocomus 

cristatus, a course which appears to us in every way justifiable. 

The principal features of the osteology of this form are most 

carefully described, and illustrated by numerous and characteristic 

woodcuts. With regard to its sternal apparatus Opisthocomus 

stands, so far as is known, quite by itself ; the carina is scarcely 

developed anteriorly ; and the furcula is anchylosed with the 

manubrium. Many more important difl'erences are observable in 

other parts of the bird^s structure ; and we cannot but heartily 

congratulate ornithologists on the light thus thrown upon its 

place in nature, and the learned author of this paper on his 

luminous exposition of the subject. The remainder of the paper 

is also in the highest degree interesting : though, professedly 

considering only the geographical distribution of the Alectoru- 

morphce, Professor Huxley in a few pages adduces and collates 

218 Recent Ornithological Publications. 

facts of the highest value in relation to the whole question of 
zoogeography. In a general way he agrees with the conclusions 
of Mr. Sclater^ who, as is now well known, divided the eartVs 
surface into six great zoological regions, though Professor Huxley 
thinks " it would be convenient to recognize a circumpolar pro- 
vince as distinct from the Nearctic and Palsearctic regions;" 
but on one point our two friends are diametrically opposed. 
Mr. Sclater's primary division was that of a New World and an 
Old ; Professor Huxley sees that the great frontier is latitudinal, 
not longitudinal, and declares for a North World and a South — 
ARCTOGiEA and Notog^a — illustrating the distribution of the 
two subgroups {Alectoropodes and Peristeropodes), into which he 
divides the Alectoromorphs by many like examples from other 
classes of vertebrates. There can be no doubt, we think, of the 
close resemblance in many respects between the faunas of the 
Australian and Neotropical Regions ; and in his estimate of this 
resemblance Professor Huxley seems to be right. We must not 
omit to notice that in defining the boundary between the Indian 
and Australian Regions, which he most happily suggests may 
be called after its discoverer " Wallace^s line^^*. Professor Huxley 
draws it so as to include both the Nicobar and Philippine Is- 
lands — a proposal concerning the propriety of which we should 
like to hear more. 

2. French, 

The grand work of Professor Alphonse Milne-Edwards f con- 
tinues to make good progress ; and since we last noticed it a 
twelvemonth ago (Ibis, 1868, pp. 220-222), a dozen more 
livraisons have reached us. Without fear of contradiction we 
may aver that this important and deeply-interesting work stands 
alone in the world. It is not merely the geologist or even the 
palseontologist who will find abundunce of new facts herein re- 
corded; the comparative anatomist, and hence the systematist, 
must necessarily make himself acquainted with the author's 

* Cf. Ibis, 1859, pp. 440-454. 

t Recherclies anatomiques et pal^ontologiques pour servir a I'histoire 
des Oiseaux Fossiles de la France. Par Alphonse Milne-Ed wakds. 
Liviaisons 14-25. Paris : 1868-9. 4to. 

Recent Ornithological Publications. 219 

labours. The osteological characters of the different families 
passed in review continue to be most ably treated by M. Milne- 
Edwards, in the method we before indicated ; and, so far as the 
work has proceeded, there is no family mentioned which is not 
represented at the present day. The author displays a most 
catholic spirit, and, instead of confining himself (as the title- 
page would lead one to suppose) merely to the " Oiseaux Fossiles 
de la France," wisely extends his borders to treat of fossil 
forms from whatsoever part of the world they may come. The 
systematic ornithologist will do well to study attentively the 
facts adduced and the opinions laid down by M. Milne- 
Edwards respecting the characteristics and affinities of many 
great groups of birds — the " Longipennes " {Procellariidas and 
Laridce), " Totanides" {Scolopacida and Charadriida) , "Cico- 
nides" {Ciconia, Platalea, Ibis, and their allies), "Gruides" 
{Gruidce), and " Phoenicopterides " {Phoenicopteridce), which 
last, he, like Prof. Huxley, removes from a place near the 
Anatidce. The close alliance of the Lai-ida and the large as- 
semblage of forms so commonly regarded as divisible into two 
families — Scolopacidcs and CharadriidcB, — so often placed at a 
distance from each other, can, we think, no longer be doubted ; 
and we hail with pleasure the concurrence of so high an autho- 
rity in this view, which we have long believed to be correct 
(Ibis, 1868, p. 92). The extinct species of which remains are 
figured in these livraisons are twenty-eight in number*, as 
follows : — 

" Totanides." 
Totanus lartetianus. ] 
TringagraciHs. ( Miocene. 

JNumenius antiquus. I 
Elorius paludicola. ) 

" Ciconides." 
Ibis pagana. Tertiary. 
Ibidopodia palustris. I Miocene. 
Pelargopsis magnus. j 

" Gruides." 

Grxis excelsa. 


primigenia. " Quaternary. 

> Miocene. 

'* Pkoenicopterides." 

Phcenicopterus croizeti, ) 

Gervms. I Tertiary 
Palcelodus ambiguus, f ^' 
goliath. j 

* In our former notice of this work we omitted to mention Dolicho- 
pterus viator, which, with Hydrornis natato is referred to the Group 
" Longipennes." 


Recent Ornithological Publications. 

Palcelodus crassipes. 1 

gracilipes. > Tertiary. 

niinutus. ) 

Agnopterus laurillardi. Eocene. 
Elomis littoralis, I Tertiary. 

" Ardeides.'^ 
Ardea pei^plexa. Tertiary. 

" Rallidesr 

Fulica newtoni. {Cf. Ibis, 1869, 

p. 482_, note.) 

Gypsornis ciivieri. Eocene. 

Rallus eximius. | tw 

\ Miocene. 
major. j 

intermedius. Eocene. 

clirj^stii. ] 





Elomis (allied to Limosa), Ibidopodia, Pelargopsis, Palcelodus, 
Agnopterus, and Gypsornis appear to be new genera ; and of them 
the second seems to be perhaps the most singular form. It 
only remains for us to say that with the twenty-second livraison 
the first volume of this remarkable work is concluded, and to 
wish M. Milne-Edwards all possible success with the remainder. 

It has been our hard fate on more than one occasion to find 
ourselves compelled to express but a moderate amount of satis- 
faction at the ornithological papers in the ' Revue et Magasin 
de Zoologie.' The volume for last year contains only four that 
may be regarded as original. To the first of these, by M. 
Graudidier (pp. 3-7), allusion has already been made (Ibis, 
1868, p. 223) in noticing the series of papers of which it formed 
the conclusion. The second is a brief statement by the same 
gentleman (p. 48) identifying Artamia bernieri with A. leucoce- 
phala. The third is a continuation (pp. 50-53) of M. Mar- 
chand's Catalogue of the Birds of the Eure-et-Loir ; while the 
fourth consists of some " Observations ornithologiques ^' by 
Colonel Tytler (pp. 193-199). These were contained in a letter 
bearing date 7th May 1863 (!) addressed to M. Jules Verrcaux, 
and relate to the Andaman Islands. Had they appeared at the 
time we should have nothing to say against them. As it is, they 
are now about as useful as an almanack of the same year ; for 
ornithological observations, unlike wine, do not generally im- 
prove by keeping five years ; and we think it hardly fair upon 
Col. Tytler thus to resuscitate extracts from a letter of that age, 
even if originally intended for publication. Still less fair to 
Mr. Beavau is the omission of all mention of his paper on " The 

Recent Ornithological Publications. 221 

Avifauna of the Andaman Islands," which appeared in our 
Journal for 1867 (pp. 314-334), particularly when that article 
contained a large number of Col. Tytler's notes, furnished by 
him to its author, and bringing our knowledge of the subject up 
to a much later period. A comparison of the two papers will 
show that Col. Tytler finally did not admit Cuculus striatus or 
C. varius as Andamauese species, and the same with Dicaum 
cruentatum and D. minimum. The Corvics culminatus of his 
letter is the C. andamanensis of Mr. Beavan, as this gentleman 
informs us ; the Collocalia brevirostris and C. fuciphaga, are the 
C. nidifica and C affinis respectively ; the Arachnuthera flavi- 
gastra is A, pusilla, and the Nectarinia goalpariensis probably N. 

The papers contained in our respected contemporary which are 
not original, are more numerous. They contain the conclusion 
of Professor Sundevall's remarks on Levaillant, before mentioned 
by us (Ibis, 1868, p. 103), translated by M. Olph-Galliard*, 
and a very curious note (pp. 95, 96) communicated by the same 
gentleman, relating to the occurrence in Sweden of Phalaris 
psittacula, an example of which was taken alive near Jonkoping 
in that country about the middle of December 1860 ! We 
are indebted to our kind friend Professor Sundevall for some 
further particulars of this extraordinary fact. The bird had 
crept through a fence set along the edge of the water by the 
side of Lake Vettern, into the courtyard of a weaving-manu- 
factory, where it was caught by two men and soon after died. 
The next day it w^as taken to Jagmastare Sandblad, of Tenhult, 
who has a good collection of birds. There it still is, its species, 
however, having been determined by Professor Eredrik Wahl- 
gren, of the University of Lund, who sent a notice of the cir- 
cumstance, with a description and figure of the specimen, to the 
Swedish ' Jagare-forbundets nya Tidskrift' for 1867 (p. 108). 
The figure. Professor Sundevall adds, is tolerably good. The 
remaining ornithological papers in the ' Revue ' are by M. 
Alphonse Milne-Edwards and M. Grandidier, and reprinted from 

* For separately printed copies (in which many of the errors of the 
press to be found in the original reprint are corrected) of this useful 
work we are greatly indebted to the author, and also to the translator. 

232 Recent Ornithological Publications. 

other sources. The gentleman last named has been so fortunate 
as to discover in Madagascar a perfect tibia, a femur, and several 
vertebrae, besides fragmentary remains, of jEpyornis maxima, 
which it is to be hoped will settle the vexed question of the true 
position of that remarkable and gigantic form : the tibia is 64 
centimetres in length ! Finally, we have to mention that the 
series of figures of nestling-birds is being still continued by 
M. Marchand. 

3. Italian. 

The fourth volume of the *Atti' of the Royal Academy of 
Sciences of Turin contains a paper by Dr. Salvadori on a small 
collection of birds brought from Costa Rica by Sig. Luigi 
Durando*. Twenty-three species are enumerated ; and though 
none of them are new, some have been only recently described 
by Dr. Cabanis, Messrs. Lawrence, Salvin, and others, and the 
additional information given with respect to them is often of 
value. Pheucticus tibialis, Baird {cf. Ibis, 1868, p. 115), a 
handsome species, is figured for the first time. A new genus, 
Urospatha (p. 179), is proposed for the reception of Prionites or 
Momotus martii (Spix). It difi'ers from Momotus proper (in 
which Crybelus, Cabanis, may be included) in having ten instead 
of twelve rectrices ; but in this respect it agrees with the other 
genera of Momotidce, namely, Eumomota, Prionorhynchus, Hylo- 
manes, and Baryphtheugus. To the last-named, indeed, Urospatha 
is very closely allied, and almost the only character by which it 
may be distinguished is that afforded by the spatulate ends of 
the middle rectrices. All the species in the list are included 
in Mr. Lawrence's recent Catalogue of the Birds of Costa Rica, 
of which we hope soon to furnish a more extended notice. In 
conclusion, we may remark that we think the species included 
as Picolaptes lineaticeps, Lafr., should rather be called P. com- 
pressus (Cab.). It is true that the Central- American and Mexi- 
can bird has usually been referred to Lafresnaye's name and 
description (R. Z. 1850, p. 277); but we think Dr. Cabanis 

* Intorno ad alcuni Uccelli di Costa Eica note di Tommaso Salvadori. 
Atti della R. Accademia delle Scienze di Torino, vol. iv. pp. 170-185, 
ciwi tab. 

Recent Ornithological Publications. 223 

(J. f. 0. 1861, p. 243) right in regarding the Venezuelan form 
as the true lineaticeps. 

Besides the paper just noticed. Dr. Salvadori^s kindness has 
supphed us with two others which he has contributed to the 
Eleventh volume of the ' Atti ' of the Italian Society of Natural 
Sciences. The first of these is the Italian version of the article 
on new Procellariidce which appeared in our last number {vide 
supra, pp. 61-68) ; and the second is a description of two new 
species of Caprimulgidce, on which the names Stenopsis macro- 
rhyncha and Scotornis nigricans are conferred. 

4. Dutch. 
Dr. Finsch having now completed his Monograph on the 
Parrots *, which we briefly mentioned on a former occasion (Ibis, 
1868, p. 112) it becomes our duty to give our readers a more 
extended notice of it ; and the duty is a very pleasing one, on 
account of the extraordinary pains and thorough conscientious- 
ness which the author has devoted to his subject. The whole 
work is divided into two parts, of which the first contains the 
General, and the second the Special natural history of the 
group. After a concise introduction. Dr. Finsch gives an histo- 
rical and literary survey of his subject, wherein he treats of the 
Parrots of the ancients and of the middle ages; and then follows 
an abstract of the literature relating to the group, from Aldro- 
vandi to the present time, with a few other matters. To this 
succeeds a very full account of their " outdoor -life," in which 
every aspect of their habits seems to be considered; and then a 
very well executed sketch of their distribution, which, being 
illustrated by a map, or, to speak more correctly, by five maps on 
one plate, forms certainly one of the most valuable portions of the 
whole work. After a chapter on the well-known disposition for 
wit which most Parrots display, their form and external structure 
are generally described, as well as their feathering and anatomy, — 

* Die Papageien, monograpliisch bearbeitet von Dr. Otto Finsch. 
Zweiter Band. Leiden : 1868 (London, Williams and Norgate). 8vo, 
pp. 996, pis. 2-6. 

324 Recent Ornithological Publications. 

a disquisition on their systematic arrangement, followed hy a list 
of genera and species, concluding this part of the work. 

Then begins the special part, wherein each species is consi- 
dered separately and in very great detail ; and this part occupies 
about five-sixths of the whole work. From what we have already 
said it will be gathered that no person ought in future to write 
anything on the Psittaci without consulting Dr. Finsch's Mono- 
graph. We shall content ourselves now by giving a short abs- 
tract of his systematic arrangement. He regards the gi'oup as 
forming a single family, Psittacidce, of the Zygodactyl order, and 
divides it into five subfamilies as follows : — Stringopime, Plicto- 
lophince, Sittacina *, Psittacinoe, and Trichoglossince, which may 
be rendered more familiar to English ears by the names — though 
some are barbarous enough — Kakapos, Cockatoos, Maccaws (in- 
cluding many of the species commonly known as Parrakeets), 
Parrots proper, and Brush-tongue Lories. We will not presume 
to criticise this arrangement. Like most other things of the 
same nature, it has its bad as well as its good points ; probably, 
however, the latter predominate. The separation of the genus 
Strigops (or Siringops, as Dr. Finsch would have us write it) 
from the other Parrots seems to be very proper. It will perhaps 
be remembered {cf. Ibis, 1868, p. 87) that in this form the mode 
of ossification of the sternum may possibly difi"er, as Prof. Huxley 
(P. Z. S. 1867, p. 424<) tells us, from the mode in every other 
Carinate bird ; but at any rate, the Kakapo^s want of a keel is 
an undoubted fact, and must signify a good deal. The Cocka- 
toos, too, and, one would think, the Maccaws, form each a very 
natural group; but we do not profess to give an opinion on 
Dr. Finsch's placing among the latter, rather than among the true 
Parrots, such generic forms as Conurus and Palceornis, to say 
nothing of Brotogerys and Platycercus. The advancement of the 

* It is unfortimate, we think, that our author is compelled by the very- 
strict rules of nomenclature to which he binds himself to make use of 
the name Sittace, and particularly Sittacina, when Psittacus and Psitta- 
cince also occur. Still, on his principles, there is clearly no help for it, 
though whether those principles are justifiable is another matter. Sittace, 
as Dr. Finsch rightly quotes (i. p. 34, note) from Pliny, is a word of bar- 
barous origin, just as Ara is, the chief difference between them being 
that one was latinized some fifteen hundred years before the other. 

Recent Ornithological Publications. 225 

Brush-tongue Lories to an equal rank with the groups ah-eady 
named has been very strongly insisted upon by Mr. Wallace; and 
as Dr. Finsch agrees therein, we suppose that the position will 
be now freely conceded to them. 

Our author divides the Parrots, of which he recognizes 351 
good species, besides 41 doubtful ones, into 26 genera. From 
this it will be seen that he is by no means a great maker either 
of species or genera ; indeed of the former we think he scarcely 
acknowledges all that deserve recognition. Only one species, 
Bolborhynckus luchsi (ii. p. 121), is described as new, the generic 
name of which, if it is to be used at all (being of later date than 
Mijiopsitta), should be spelt as we have done, and not Bolbor- 
rhynchus. Finally, let us say that a capital index concludes this 
most laborious and valuable work, for which Dr. Finsch deserves 
the best thanks of ornithologists in general, and of psittaco- 
philites in particular ; we only wish we had any praise to 
bestow on the plates representing Brotogerys subccerulea, B. chry- 
sosema, Chry satis guatemala, Coryllis"^ exilis, aiudDomicella fuscata 
— the less we say of them the better. 

5. Norwegian. 

A good list of the birds of Norway has long been a great 
desideratum; our friend Herr Robert Collett has done much 
towards supplying the want by publishing a catalogue of them 
with notes t, chiefly treating, as the title of the paper indicates, 
of the geographical distribution of the birds in the country, and 
prefacing it with an excellent list of authorities. As regards 
the middle and south of the kingdom, the parts which have 
come personally under the inspection of the author or his imme- 
diate friends, the information seems to be all that can be desired ; 
but as regards the north we think more is needed. Assertions, 
for instance, have been made over and over again that certain 
of the wading-birds, whose summer retreat is the puzzle of 

* Coryllis is a name whicli the author in following his very strict rules 
of nomenclature is obliged to bestow on the genus usually known aa 

t Norges Fugle, og deres geographiske Udbredelse i Landet, af Robert 
Collett. Saerskilt aftrykt af Vidensk.-Selsk. Forhandlinger for 1868. 
N. S. VOL. V. Q 

226 Recent Ornithological Publications. 

oologists (such as Squatarola helvetica, CaliiMs arenaria, Tringa 
canutus, and T. minuta), breed on the mountains of Nordland 
and Finmark. Far be it from us to contradict these assertions ; 
but we must say we think they require more particular proof 
than we have ever been able to find. Many of them have been re- 
peated so often that, until one comes to inquire into the evidence 
on which they rest, one is induced to believe that they are as true 
as they are desired to be thought. We are sorry to see what is 
certainly a mistake made by Herr Collett. He says that Teta- 
nus ochropus breeds near Bodo, and quotes the Messrs. Godman 
(Ibis, 1861, p. 87) as his authority for the statement, whereas they 
expressly declare that, though they searched every likely-looking 
locality, they did not succeed in finding the Green Sandpiper 
breeding there. Much, however, that is of value is contained in 
this paper. The fact that Carpodacus erythrinus has now been 
found breeding at Polmak on the Tana is particularly interesting 
when taken in connexion with the recent increase of its range in 
Finland, as observed by theHH.Nordmann(c/.Ibis,186l,p.lll). 
So also is the account of the inroad made by the Grey Partridge 
{Perdix cinerea) into Norway in the last century, of which we 
were not before aware, and its subsequent disappearance to re- 
new the attempt at settlement in 1811, which it has so far 
successfully accomplished that, creeping on year after year, it 
has now reached lat. 64°, or north of Trondhjem. Such a fluc- 
tuation, without any assignable cause, in the range of a species 
is worthy the attention of the students of bird- distribution. 
Anser brachyrhynchus has at last been recognized as breeding in 
the north of Norway, as it was some time ago suggested in this 
journal that it would be (Ibis, 1865, p. 514, note). Further 
proof of Anser segetum and A. albifrons breeding in the same 
district is yet, we think, required, since the latter has possibly 
been mistaken for A. erythropus {cf. P. Z. S. 1860, pp. 339-341, 
and Ibis, 1860, pp. 404-406). In conclusion, we have to re- 
mark that Herr Collett appears to give a wrong derivation for 
the name " leucorodia," since Aldrovandi, who seems to have first 
used the word, assigns as a translation of it " Albardeola'' which 
precludes the " rose-coloured^' view taken by our friend, whom we 
beg to excuse such of our criticisms as are unfavourable, while 

Recent Ornithological Publications. 227 

sincerely thanking him for a most useful contribution to the 
ornithology of his native country. 

6. Russian. 

In a paper communicated to the Imperial Academy of Sciences 
of St. Petersburg on the 11th (23rd) of April, 1867, but only 
recently published^, Professor Brandt returns once more to the 
much-disputed question of the affinities of the Dodo. His pre- 
vious investigations of this subject were made some twenty years 
previously t ; and an abstract of them was published in a " Post- 
script" to Strickland and Melville^s work {' The Dodo,' &c. pp. 
120-122), showing the author's opinion to be that "the Dodo 
was better placed as a Cursorial bird in the vicinity of the 
Plovers." It is unfortunate, we think, that Prof. Brandt's later 
remarks were made prior to the publication of Prof. Owen's 
elaborate description of the osteology of this interesting form in 
the ' Transactions ' of the Zoological Society, and are chiefly 
based on the labours of MM. Alphonse Milne-Edwards, Gervais, 
and Coquerel [cf. Zool. Record, iii. pp. 105, 106), and the paper 
of Mr. George Clark published in this journal (Ibis, 1866, pp. 
141-146). Prof. Brandt summarily disposes of the hypothesis 
of MM. Gervais and Coquerel, who follow De Blainville, and 
would ally the Dodo to the Vultures, but criticises at some length 
the Pigeon-theory, which, we believe, is the one now generally 
adopted. He lays great stress on the fact that the Dodo-bones 
found by Mr. Clark in the Mare aux Songes were in company 
with those of many water-birds, and thence argues in favour of 
the first having aquatic habits. After passing in review the vari- 
ous points presented by the authors we have named and some 
others. Prof. Brandt states that the questions which have to be 
answered are (1) whether the Dodo should stand as an anoma- 
lous form beside the Pigeons, (2) whether it would be moi'e 
conveniently enrolled among the Waders, or (3) whether in con- 
sequence of its mixed characters it should be regarded as the 
type of a peculiar order. Each of these questions, he considers, 

* Melanges Biologiques tires du Bulletin de TAcad^mie Imperiale dea 
Sciences de St. Petersbourg, torn. vi. pp. 233-253. 

t Bull. Phys. Math. Acad. St. Petersb. vii, p. Ill d mj. 


228 Recent Ornithological Publications. 

has more or less claim to be answered in the affirmative, but he 
finally aeclares himself in favour of a scheme which would di- 
vide the Grallatores into six families: — (I.) Alectoridce, inclu- 
ding Palamedea, Psophia, Dicholophus, and Otis ; (II.) Dididce ; 
(III.) Charadriidce ; (IV.) Scolopacidce ', (V.) i/eroc?M, comprising 
Ibis, Platalea, Tantalus, Ciconia, Anastomus, Dromas, Scopus, 
Balceniceps , Cancroma, Ardea, and Grus ; and, lastly, (VI.) Ral- 
lidce, with Rallus, Gallinula, Poiphyrio, Parra, Fulica, and Podoa. 
A diagram follows, which shows that the Alectoridce and Rallid<2 
are each allied to the orders Gallinacece and Nutatores respec- 
tively, and Charadriidce to the order Columbina, each of these 
groups last mentioned having a relation to Dididce, which, again, 
has affinities to the order Cursores or Strut hionida. Individually 
we do not agree with the decision at which the author arrives ; 
but the paper (as might be expected from Prof. Brandt^s great 
reputation) is a very able one, and bi'ings out forcibly several 
characteristics of our old friend Didus ineptus which certainly 
should not be overlooked, while the whole subject is treated with 
much judicial fairness. 

7. American. 

Quickly following on Dr. Coues's South-Carolina * Synopsis,' 
which we noticed in our last number [vide supra, pp. 118-120) 
comes an equally good " List of the Birds of New England " 
from the same unwearied pen *. Mr. Samuels, as our readers 
will recollect (Ibis, 1868, p. 346), has recently been over the 
same ground j but Dr. Coues remarks that the present list is 
" perhaps more needed since than before the appearance of Mr. 
Samuels's work -" and the remark seems to be true from various 
inaccuracies therein which are adduced. The Doctor is through- 
out critical (in the best sense of the term) of the labours of his 
various predecessors, of whom at least fifteen are enumerated. 
Of course the majority of his notes are chiefly of local interest 
only ', but the following passage has a more general application. 

" Within the area of New England, as is well known to those 

* A List of tlie Birds of New England, by Elliott Cotjes. (Reprinted 
from the Proceedings of the Essex Institute, vol. v. pp. 240-814.) Salem, 
Mass. : 1868. 8vo, pp. 71. 

Letters, Announcements, ^"c. 229 

familiar with the distribution of our species, are represented por- 
tions of two Faunse [the 'Canadian' and the * AUeghanian 'J 
which differ in many respects from each other. There seems to 
be a natural dividing line between the birds of Massachusetts 
and Southern New England generally, and those of the more 
northern portions of the Eastern States. Numerous species 
which enter New England in spring, to breed there, do not pro- 
ceed, as a general rule, farther north than Massachusetts ; and 
many others, properly to be regarded as stragglers from the 
south in summer and early autumn, are rarely if ever found be- 
yond the latitude of this State. In like manner many of the 
regular winter visitants of Maine are of rare or only occasional 
occurrence, or are not found at all much farther south. Again, 
many species hardly known in Massachusetts and southward, ex- 
cept as migratory species passing through in spring and autumn, 
are in Maine regular summer visitants, breeding abundantly. 
Other minor differences, resulting from latitude and physical geo- 
graphy, will readily be brought to mind by attentive consideration 
of the subject, and therefore need not be here detailed. It will 
be evident that a due regard for these important points has 
necessitated, in the case of almost every species in the list, re- 
marks elucidative of the special part it plays in the composition 
of the Avi-fauna." 

Some of our readers may like to know that remains of Alca 
impennis have been lately discovered in three New-England locali- 
ties, to wit. Mount Desert and Crouch's Cove in the State of 
Maine, and in " shell-mounds " at Ipswich in Massachusetts, 
where a humerus was found by Professor Baird in August last. 

XXI. — Letters, Announcements, &^c. 

The following letters have been received, addressed " To the 
Editor of 'The Ibis'":— 

Helsingfors, December 29, 1868. 
Sir, — Professor Sundevall, in his ' Svenska Eoglarna,' records 
the following birds, among others, as having been found in 

230 Letters, Announcements, ^c. 

South Africa by the celebrated Swedish traveller Wahlberg; 
and as these are not included by Mr. Layard in his woi*k on 
the ornithology of that country, nor mentioned by Mr. Gur- 
ney in his remarks thereon, published in ' The Ibis/ perhaps 
a notice of them will not be out of place in the pages of your 

1. Anthus arboreus. One specimen killed on the Limpopo in 
Caffreland, between lat. 35° and 26° S., by Wahlberg (Sunde- 
vall, o]). cit. p. 41). 

2. Budytes flavus. A male obtained at Port Natal, lat. 30°, 
by Wahlberg {ut supra, p. 46). 

3. Sylvia hortensis. A pair procured in Caffreland by Wahl- 
berg, between the 19th and 28th of November [ut supra, ip. 64 j 
Meves, (Efvers. k. Vet.-Akad. Forh. 1860, p. 199). 

4. Ficedula hypolais. Caffreland, 17th of March (Sundevall, 
ut supra, p. 68 j Meves, he. cit. p. 202). Perhaps identical 
with Sylvia obscura, Smith (Layard, B. S. Afr. p. 102). 

5. Caprimulgus europceus. Port Natal, 2nd of February 1840), 
J. Wahlberg (Sundevall, ut supra, p. 154). Not to be con- 
founded with C. smithi. 

All the specimens above mentioned are to be found in the 
National Museum at Stockholm. 

I take this opportunity of informing you that, during the late 
expedition to Spitsbergen, I found a pair of Strepsilas inte?yres 
on Amsterdam Island {c/. Ibis, 1865, pp. 207, 505), one of 
which was shot on the following morning by our Conservator 
Svensson. Bernicla leucopsis [cf. Ibis, 1865, pp. 499, 512, 513) 
is certainly an inhabitant of Spitsbergen. Many were seen in 
Advent Bay, and Dr. Smith killed one in the beginning of 
August. On Bear Island I found a flock of Loxia curvirostra, 
two of which I shot. 

I remain. Sir, &c., 

A. J. Malmgren. 

Sir,— In ' The Ibis' for October 1868 (pp. 495, 496) I find 
a supposed new Flamingo described by Captain Feilden as 
Phoenicopterus rubidus. I have recently seen in the Delhi Mu- 

Letto'S, Announcements, ^c. 231 

seum a fine specimeu of the undoubted P. minor, Vieill., figured 
by Temminck (PI. Col. 419) as from India. It was procured at 
Jhujjur, near Delhi, and lived for some years in the gardens 
there. It corresponds pretty nearly, both in colour and dimen- 
sions, with the Flamingo procured by Capt. Feilden, who, how- 
ever does not mention the peculiar structure of the bill, which 
diff'ers remarkably from that of P. roseus. In the presumed P. 
minor the upper edge of the lower mandible, instead of running 
nearly parallel with the upper mandible, as in P. roseus, rises 
somewhat abruptly to the angle where the bill is deflected, and is 
there quite on a level with, or almost exceeds, the upper mandible; 
and from this point it rutis down to the tip, parallel with the 
upper mandible, which is little more than a lid to it, being quite 
depressed and shallow. The colour of the bill of the Delhi bird 
(which had been stufi'ed for nearly a month before I saw it) was 
very deep red, with a bright red spot on the lower mandible near 
the tip, which is black, very closely indeed resembling the co- 
lour of the bill as depicted by Temminck, who also marks the 
peculiar structure of the bill. 

The colours of the Delhi bird correspond exactly with Capt. 
Feilden's description, except in one point. It is of a beautiful 
pale rosy colour, darker at the base of the lower mandible, the 
wing-coverts beautiful deep rosy, the feathers edged with whitish, 
and the lower tail-coverts darker rosy, and lengthened, exceeding 
(in this example) the tail ; but the uppe)' tail-coverts are not 
darker rose-colour, as is stated by Capt. Feilden of his bird, 
perhaps by a lapsus pennce. The dimensions of the stuffed bird 
are as follows: — Length about 39 inches j wing 12'5; tail 4; 
tarsus 7'5 ; middle toe 2" 75. 

This is doubtless the small Flamingo mentioned by me, in my 
' Catalogue of the Birds of the Peninsula of India' (No. 374), 
so long ago as 1840, as occasionally occurring near Jaulna (in 
the same district as Secunderabad), of which many shikarees in 
the upper provinces have frequently told me. Mr. Hume, to 
whom I had sent, previously to seeing the last number of ' The 
Ibis,' a short notice of the Delhi bird for publication in his 
forthcoming work, informs me that a correspondent of his has 
lately assured him of the occasional occurrence of a small Fla- 

232 Letters, Announcements, i^c. 

mingo at the Nujufghuru^7«ee/, near Delhi, very close indeed to 
the spot where the Delhi bird was captured. 
I am. Sir, 

Yours faithfully, 

T. C. Jerdon, 
Deputy Inspector-General of Hospitals. 
10th January, 1869. 

Sandy Point, Strait of Magellan, 
January 13th, 1869. 

Sir, — Although I have but little information to give you in 
the ornithological line, I dare say you will not object to receiv- 
ing a short notice of my movements since I wrote last. Soon 
after that I paid a visit to Santiago^ and saw the museum there, 
which interested me greatly ; and I had the pleasure of meeting 
Dr. Philippi, with whom 1 was delighted. The museum con- 
tains an admirable representation of the natural history of Chili — 
though comparatively few specimens are exposed to the public 
gaze, owing to the very small space that can be obtained for 
them. Dr. Philippi was most kind in showing me all that I 
wished to sec, and imparted to me much information on the 
botany and geology of the country. The collection of the birds 
of Chili, including those of the Strait of Magellan, is a very fine 
one; but I think I have sent you several from the Strait that 
it does not contain. 

We left Valparaiso on the 3rd of November, on our way to 
the Channels, visiting Sata, Sico Bay, Chiloe, and the Chonos 
Archipelago. At Chiloe I procured a few additional species of 
birds, including a Woodpecker, one or two small Finches, and 
one of the two species of Hamatopus which are met with in the 
Strait — the black-and-white one resembling our British bird. At 
Port Saguna, in the Chonos Archipelago, I obtained a specimen 
of the other species. I also got a few crania of Myopotamus. 
We entered the Channels on the 27th of November, and passed 
slowly southward through them, reaching Shell Bay at the 
southern entrance of Smyth^s Sound on the 21st of December. 
The following day we crossed the Strait to the northern part of 

Letters, Announcements, ^c. 233 

the Island of Desolation ; and there, in Tuesday Bay, where we 
spent a few days, my friend Dr. Campbell (to whom I am in- 
debted for the greater number of the birds I have collected) shot 
an excellent male specimen of the Dafila * of which I sent you 
a female. Should the species prove to be new, it will be a 
curious instance of one neglected on account of its commonness, 
as it is one of the most plentiful of the Anatidce or the Strait. I 
would send you a description ; but I am overwhelmed with letters 
at present, for we expect to despatch a bag by a steamer which 
passes through the Strait from Valparaiso in a week's time, and 
I must therefore content myself with waiting till I send off the 
specimens at the end of the season. We spent some time ex- 
amining the ports on both sides of the western portion of the 
Strait ; and in San Nicolas Bay (Patagonia) I got a specimen of 
a larger Grebe than any I have yet sent home. In various 
localities we saw examples of Chloephaga poliocephala, and I have 
got another specimen of it. Since we came here I have got ex- 
amples of Troglodytes magellanicus f and Hirundo meyeni, which 
were not included in my former collections, as well as a female 
specimen of Theristicus melanopis, superior, I think, to that 
which I sent before. I have preserved its sternum, which has a 
very deep keel ; and the scapulae are broad. I found the stomach 
crammed with worms and large larvse. The portion of the 
trachea below the insertion of the sterno-tracheal muscles, though 
presenting no striking peculiarity of form, had the bony rings 
anchylosed so as to form an immoveable tube. I have now be- 
tween twenty and thirty birds' skins, and have preserved the 
sterna whenever I found it practicable. Except a few Gulls, 
Petrels, and Cormorants, I fear I am scarcely likely to get any 
more species. I had hoped to have sent you before now some 
notes on the anatomy of the Steamer-Duck, which I had begun 
to prepare ; but an attack of rheumatism in my right wrist dis- 
abled my hand for a considerable time, so that I have been kept 
back in my operations. We are likely to remain in the Chan- 
nels until the month of May, and then probably return to winter 

* [Cy. Ibis, 1868, p. 189. no. 40.— Ed.] 
t [Qu. potiu.s T, honiensis, Lesson? — Ed.] 

234 Letters, Announcements, S^c. 

at Valparaiso, whence I shall despatch my specimens and write 
to you again. 

I am, &c., 

E-OBERT O. Cunningham. 
P.S. Monte Video, Feb. 10th. — A few weeks ago I had no 
anticipation of being at this port ; but the Pacific Steam Naviga- 
tion Company's ship ' Santiago ' was lost in the Strait of Ma- 
gellan on the 23rd of last month, and we brought her passengers, 
who were nearly all saved, on here. Owing to unexpected 
circumstances, it is not unlikely that I may be in England next 

Etawah, SOth January, 1869. 

Sir, — If Dr. Bree's description of Saxicola leucura (B. Eur. 
ii. pp. 119-122) be correct, it appears to me that there is no 
distinction whatever between that bird and the Indian S. leu- 
curoides. Under the head of specific characters, he says: — 
" Plumage black, or blackish, with the upper and lower tail 
coverts white ; tail white, with half of the two middle quills and 
the posterior fourth of the laterals black." Now this is exactly 
the description of the Indian bird, especially with regard to the 
amount and distribution of black and white on the tail-feathers. 
The resemblance between one of my birds and Dr. Bree's plate 
is perfect. 1 think, therefore, that >S. leucuroides, as a species, 
should be suppressed. The female is a very dusky bird, darker 
again than the female of S. picata. It could not possibly be 
mistaken for the female of S. cenanthe. There is no white line 
over the eye of the female S. leucuroides. 

I have some Wheatears in autumnal plumage, which Mr. 
Hume, to whom I showed them, pronounced to be Saxicola sal- 
tatrix. Dr. Bree, in describing S. saltatrix [torn. cit. pp. 136, 
137), does not describe the bird with sufficient minuteness to 
distinguish it from the female or young of S. cenanthe. My 
birds, above mentioned, have a black band from the base of the 
bill to the eye. Round the forehead, and extending above this 
black band, and over and behind the eye for about '125 in., is 
a white stripe. In other respects the bird is like Dr. Bree's 

Letters, Announcements, S^c. 235 

plate, but does not agree with his description when he says the 
back is " a mixture of bufif with olivaceous green." My birds are 
brownish-buff above, without any tinge of green. Are my birds 
S. saltatrix or S. cenanthe ? I am inclined to believe, the latter. 
Is S. saltatrix a good species?* I have never seen the bird; 
but the plate in Dr. Bree's work and the description strongly 
resemble the autumnal plumage of ^. cenanthe. 

Descriptions of bii'ds which closely resemble one another are 
generally too careless and indefinite to be of any use. Specific 
distinctions ought to be picked out and prominently noticed. 
For want of this, endless mistakes are made. Excessive detail 
in measurement is not wanted ; for birds of the same species 
vary so much, from the length of the whole body to that of the 
shortest claw. In fact, by extreme measurements only being 
given, I have often been led astray when my bird happened to 
be an undersized one, with perhaps an unusually short tail. I 
have sometimes noticed that the relative length of the primaries 
varied a little in the same species, and sometimes even a varia- 
tion between the right wing and the left ! 

Dr. Jerdon, in looking over a part of my collection the other 
day, pronounced two specimens which I had called Phyllopneuste 
rama, to belong to a new species. They are very much smaller 
than the average P. rama, with none of the grey tinge observable 
in the upper plumage of that bird, being much more rufous 
both above and below. I give the measurements of these two 
birds, and a short description, and have to observe that both on 
dissection proved to be females. 

The first measures, whole length, 4*3125 in. ; wing 2*25 ; tail 
nearly 2 ; bill from front -35; tarsus -6875. The other bird 
is in whole length 4*4375 ; wing 2-3125 ; tail 1*875 ; bill from 
front '35 ; tarsus *75. The entire upper plumage is a very pale 
brown, with a rufous tinge; over the eye a cream-coloured 
streak. Wing- and tail-quills somewhat darker brown, with 
light edgings ; wing-coverts also with lighter edges ; rump 
lighter in colour than the rest of the back. Whole of the 
lower parts white, or, rather, cream-colour ; flanks and sides of 
breast with a tinge of brown. Upper mandible brown ; lower 
* [Cf. Ibis, 1867, p. 94.— Ed.] 

236 Letters, Announcements, &^c. 

one brownish-white. Legs yellowish-brown; feet and claws 
rather darker brown. 

I observe that my examples of P. rama shot in April are 
nearly as rufous as the above-described small specimens. Those 
shot in the autumn and winter are much greyer, and darker. 
The usual length of P. rama is from 5 inches to 5'125 in. ; wing 
from 2-25 to 2-375. 

Although Dr. Jerdon was satisfied that the birds above de- 
scribed are distinct from P. rama, I do not think that their 
small size alone should constitute them a separate species. I 
am doubtful about it, as I have so often shot diminutive ex- 
amples of well-known species. I have, however, a single spe- 
cimen, a female, of a Pliylloscopus, which I cannot make out. 
This bird exactly resembles in size and colour P. brevirostris, 
but is entirely without any yellow under the wings ; nor is 
there any tinge of greenish yellow on the edges of the lesser 
wing-coverts. This bird Mr. Hume pronounced to be the 
English Chiffchafi^, P. rufus, because it was white under the 
wings instead of yellow. But one of the very characteristics of 
P. rufus, according to Yarrell and Macgillivray, is the having 
the " under wing-coverts primrose-yellow " and " the axillar 
feathers and lower wing-coverts pale yellow." 

My bird may be either an accidentally pale-coloured specimen 
of P. brevirostris, or it may be the new Phijlloscopus mentioned 
by Dr. Stoliczka in his " Ornithological Observations in the 
Sutlej Valley," recently published in the 'Journal of the 
Asiatic Society'*. 

With regard to Phylloscopus brevirostris, I do not myself 
believe it to be a good species ; for I have repeatedly heard it 
singing the well-known notes of the ChiffchaflF, and shot the 
bird as it sang, to make sure. I have specimens with bills as 
long as any ChiffchafF^s. The bird frequents dal-fields, and 
sings as it feeds from bush to bush. The song was subdued 
(the time being only January), but there was no mistaking it. 

I have lately had frequent opportunities of hearing the call- 
note of Reguloides proregulus. It is very different from that of 
R. superciliosus, and is extremely shrill, feeble, and tinkling. 
* [ Vide supra, p. 211.— Ed.] 

Letters, Announcements, l^c. 237 

There are two notes in the call, the second considerably above 
the first, D to F sharp ; and in uttering its call the bird keeps 
the two notes quite distinct, and not slurred into each other, 
like the call of R.superciliosus. The call of this latter bird, which 
is extremely like that of Phylloscopus viridanus, but more bell-like 
and musical, Mr.Blyth, as quoted by Dr. Jerdon (B. Ind.ii. p. 194) 
would express by the words " tiss-yip." The call-note of P. tro- 
chilus, though more mellow and musical, will give a very good 
idea of what Mr. Blyth means. The call-notes of birds being 
generally musical notes, cannot, however, be expressed in writing 
by syllables, so as to give any correct idea of the real sound. 

With regard to the notes of Gi'us leucogcramis, how the 
natives can imagine that their name, " Karekhur," or, as I 
should call it, " Care-cur,'^ expresses any one of them, I cannot 
conceive"^. The notes are all simply whistles, from a mellow 
one to a peculiar feeble shrill shivering whistle, if 1 may so 
express it. No written word will express the note of this 
species, nor give the faintest idea of it. I watched a flock of 
these fine birds for a long time yesterday as they fed in a marsh 
in company with about a dozen of G. antigone, and three of 
G. cinerea. I found it impossible to get within shot of the 
White Cranes, nor could I get them driven over mc as I sat in 
ambush; for, as soon as they take wing, they immediately 
begin to soar, and circle round and round till they attain a 
height far above the reach of any shot ; they then fly straight 
away, uttering their peculiar whistle, which, though weak com- 
pared with the call of other Cranes, can still be heard a mile off, 
or even more. It is a magnificent bird, and, I think, the most 
graceful of the group in its attitudes. The species is abundant, 
being found in large flocks ; and the eggs might be obtained 
from Russian sources. The plumage is so very compact and 
Swan-like that it must go very far north to breed, where perhaps 
its snowy plumage harmonizes with the still uumelted snow as 
it sits upon its nest. 

I am, &c. 

W. E. Brooks. 

• [Cf. Ibis, 1868, p. 31, note.— Ed.] 

238 Letters, Announcements, S^c. 

Agra, February 22, 1869. 

Sir,— In 'The Ibis' for 1868 (page 325) Mr. Tristram has 
some remarks on the difference observable in the breeding-habits 
of certain Ardeida in Algeria and Palestine, and, on Dr. Jerdon's 
authority, in India. Now the fact is that in India several 
species of Herons and Bitterns, notably Ardea purpurea, breed 
by preference in large clumps of bullrushes and reeds. On 
August 16, 1867, when Mr. Brooks and I were out in the 
Etawah district, near the Lohya bridge of the Ganges Canal, we 
came across a large heronry of the species just named. In the 
midst of a XdiVge jheel or swamp, in many places grown up with 
rushes and wild rice, in others with deep and comparatively 
clear water thickly paved with leaves of the lotus and water-lily, 
stood two large dense clumps of bullrushes. As we passed within 
about a hundred yards of these, firing once or twice at Ducks, 
we saw some thirty or forty long necks make their appearance 
among the waving tops of the bullrushes. It was quite clear that 
the owners of the necks must be standing on something well 
above the level of the water; and so we at once sent men to search 
the clumps — no easy matter, as it proved. It turned out that 
these Herons had, by bending down thirty or forty of the rushes, 
made small platforms from 18 inches to 2 feet above the water, 
and on them built nests of loose sticks. In two nests we found 
five eggs, in one four, in all the rest three, two, or one. We 
took forty-six eggs, all fresh, from these clumps ; and later Mr. 
Brooks took, I believe, a second supply. It was clear that the 
birds built among the rushes from choice, since the jheel was 
surrounded on two sides, at a distance of not more than a hun- 
dred yards, by a belt of large trees. 

Since then I have obtained other eggs of the Purple Heron 
and those of Butorides javanicus (a single nest) from a similar 
situation, as well as three nests of Nycticorax griseus from a 
reed-bed ; so I think we may fairly conclude that in India, as 
elsewhere, many of the Ardeidce breed in fens and marshes by 

It may not be generally known that small birds up to the size 
of a Lark may be perfectly preserved, with very little trouble, by 
using carbolic acid. Open the abdomen, and with a forceps 

Letters, Announcements, ^c. 239 

extract the whole of the entrails, liver, heart, and so forth; 
wipe the cavity of the body out carefully with a little cotton- 
wool, and then fill it with clean cotton-wool dipped in a satu- 
rated solution of carbolic-acid crystals, and with a stitch or two 
close the opening. Open the mouth, cut through the palate 
into the brain-pan and eye-sockets so as to ensure the acid 
penetrating to the brain and eyes, and stuff the mouth and 
throat with cotton-wool soaked, as before, in the solution ; tie 
the mouth up, and place the specimen in a paper cone to dry, as 
usual. In a short time the flesh dries hard and stiff, and never, 
from first to last, has any unpleasant smell. How long birds 
thus preserved will last I do not know ; but I have now about 
fifty by me, one of which was prepared at Simla in October last. 
By this plan the whole skeleton is retained, and by steeping it 
continually in warm water the body becomes available for dis- 
section. A novice may in this way easily preserve from fifty to 
sixty beautiful birds in a single day. The eyes sink, it is true, 
and somewhat spoil the appearance of the head ; but, with this 
exception, the specimens thus prepared are superior, so far as 
looks go, to those preserved by skinning, while neither Der- 
mestee nor Tinea will go near them. 

I remain, &c., 

Allan Hume. 

*** We have not before heard of carbolic acid being used to 
prepare birds ; but entomologists have been alive to its merits in 
the preservation of Coleoptera. Mr. John Hancock has for 
many years been in the habit of using pyroligneous acid, much 
in the same way as Mr. Hume now uses carbolic acid ; but with 
the former it is not found necessary (in temperate climates at 
least) to extract the entrails, or to perforate the brain through 
the palate, which last, since Prof. Huxley's researches, certainly 
should be left uninjured. Perhaps some of our correspondents 
in hot climates will make experiment of the properties of both 
acids, and report to us the result. — Ed. 

Copenhagen, 25 February, 1869. 
Sir,— From a passage in 'The H^is ' for 1868 (p. 484) I 

240 Letters, Announcements, ^c. 

learn that you have never had an opportunity of consulting 
Mandt's little Dissertation. As I possess a copy of this some- 
what rare tract, I can inform you that the author was never in 
Greenland. He was on board a Hamburg whaler, which, in 
1821, was fitted out to catch whales in the sea surrounding 
Spitsbergen, or, rather, in the sea between that country and the 
east coast of Greenland, — a voyage which is very often called in 
sailors' language a Greenland voyage, while the fishery on the 
other side of Greenland was known as the Davis's Strait fishery. 
I subjoin a copy of his description of Uria mandti, as it is some- 
what more detailed than the short diagnosis given by Lichten- 

" Mandt, Observationes, &c. Diss, inaug. 1822, p. 30, § 29. 

" Avium quae illis in regionibus deguut jam in prooemio men- 
tionem feci, quae quum nihil non cognitum exhibere videantur, 
hie tantum de ea quaedam subiiciam, quam 111. Lichtenstein 
tanquam novam speciem nomine designavit 

" Uriae Mandtii. 
" Humanissime mecum sequentes notas communicavit cha- 
racteristicas quibus insignitur : Rostro elongate gracili, fuligi- 
noso-atra [_sic\, tectricibus alae remigibusque secundariis apice 
et margine interno albis. 

" 1.) Longitude a rostri apice 

ad basin uariuni plu- 

matam 1' 0' 

2.) „ a basi narium ad 

verticem 1' 6" 

3.) „ a vertice ad inter- 

scapulium 4' 0" 

4.) „ ab interscapulio 

ad uropygium 4' 2" 

5.) „ ab uropygio ad 

apicem caudae 1' 10" 

G.) „ a rostro ad caudae 

apicem 12' 6" 

" Rostrum uigerrimum, iris aurantiaca, tarsi, digiti cum 
membrana cinnabarini, unguiculi atri compresso-arcuati, acuti. 

" Simillima Uriae Grylle, Lath., differt ab ea : 1) magnitudine ; 
2) rostro graciliore, obscuriore ; 3) remigibus secundariis multo 

' 7.) Longitude a flexiu'a alae 
ad apicem reniigis 
primae 6' 0" 

8.) „ a flexura alae ad 
apicem remigum se- 
cundi ordinis 4' 0" 

9.) „ tarsi 1' 2" 

10.) „ digiti medii cum 

unguiqulo 1' 8" 

11.) „ unguiculi digiti 

medii 0' 5" 

Letters, Announcements, ^c. 241 

longioribus, apice et margine interno albis; 4) cauda, tarsis, 
digitis, unguiculis, pro mole avis longioribus. 

" Obs. Speculum alae e tectricibus (ut in Grylle) compositum, 
in nostris speciminibus hine et inde nigro adspersum, a maculis 
tectricum nigris apicalibus, versus flexuram alae confertioribus. 

" Utrum prioris ptiloseos vestigia, an persistentes hae maculae, 
vix diiudicandum." 

I am, &c., J. Reinhardt. 

*;(-* Though Mandt does not seem, any more than Lichten- 
Steiuj to have perceived one of the most unfailing characters of 
this species — the almost total absence of the concealed black 
band on the wing-spot, which has been before pointed out (Ibis, 
1865, pp. 518, 519), yet there can be no doubt of his descrip- 
tion referring to the bird w'hich inhabits, so far as we know, 
exclusively the Greenland and Spitsbergen seas. The spots on 
the speculum, of which he speaks, are no doubt the remains of a 
former stage in the plumage, as he himself suggests in his last 
sentence. — Ed. 

49 Via Romana, Florence, 
March 3rd, 1869. 
Sir, — I was very much interested in Dr. Cunningham's 
letter (Ibis, 1868, pp. 486-495). On the 7th of December, 
1867, we came across the 'Nassau' lying at anchor near 
Gregory Bay; but as we were bound outwards, I missed the 
pleasure of making his acquaintance; for it would have been 
very interesting to compare notes with him. Since then I 
see he has been over the same ground as I explored in the 
'Magenta'; and on reading his letter, I find that all our 
observations coincide. We were for more than a fortnight in 
Halt Bay; and the "little Grebe" he noticed there was doubt- 
less Pelecanoides berardi, Q. & G.*, which is common, but very 

* [The collection of birds sent home by Dr. Cunningham, and, with the 
permission of the Lords of the Admiralty, presented by him to the 
Musevun of the University of Cambridge, does not contain this species. 
There is, however, an example of Podiceps rollandi, Q. & G., obtained in 
the locality above mentioned, which is, we think, probably the bird 
spoken of by him. Messrs. Sclater and Salvin have favoured us with a list 
of and some notes on this collection, which we hope to publish in our next 
number. — Ed.]. 

N. S. — VOL. V. R 

242 Letters, Announcements, 6fc. 

difficult to shoot on account of its remarkable diving powers. 
I was fortunate enough to procure three fine specimens — two at 
Halt Bay, and one at Porto Bueno in Magellan's Straits. 1 
see that Dr. Cunningham was disappointed in his search for 
Coots. I never met with any, although Captain King seems to 
have found them plentiful in some of the Patagonian channels. 
And now, leaving the interesting shores of Patagonia, which 
recall to my mind pleasant days too soon passed away, let me 
return to old Europe, whose Ornis, though so well worked out, 
always presents some interesting fact. On the 12th of February 
last a magnificent specimen of the rare Bernicla ruficollis (Pall.) 
was shot between Scarperia and Borgo San Lorenzo, twenty- 
two miles or thereabouts from Florence. It was an adult male 
in full plumage; and this, I believe, is the only well-authenti- 
cated case of the occurrence of this rare eastern Goose in Italy. 

I am, &c. H. H. Giglioli. 

Chislehurst, Kent, March 23rd, 1869. 
Sib, — In a collection of birds' skins obtained in the island 
of Java, I have found examples of Lanius superciliosus, Lath., 
and L. magnirostris, Less., thus disposing of all doubts* 
as to the existence of these two species in that island. The 
first is not materially distinguishable from my Hakodadi ex- 
ample formerly figured in this Journal (1867, pi. v. fig. 2), nor 
from Malaccan specimens which I have lately seen. This species, 
therefore, possesses a wide range, and is probably migratory. It 
is the same as " L. phoenicurus, Pall.," of Schrenck (Reisen im 
Amur-Lande, i. p. 384) ; but I have not as yet been able to de- 
termine whether he has rightfully identified Pallas's species. The 
examples of L. magnirostris in no way diflfer from Malaccan and 
Sumatran individuals; the titles consequently of L./eroa:, Drap. 
and L. crassirostris, Kuhl, must fall to the rank of synonyms. 

I am, &c. Walden. 

We have received a letter from Dr. Brewer with regard to 
some remarks which appeared in the last volume of this Journal 
* Cf, Ibis, 1867, pp. 219-222, 

Letters, Announcements, ^c. 243 

(Ibis, 1868, pp. 347, 348). Our good friend says :— " That I 
did not mention the volume and page of ' The Ibis ' was for the 
simple reason that I wrote from memory, and was unable to 
refer to the data you think I should have given. I am free to 
say, however, that even if I had had the volume at hand, I do 
not think it would have occurred to me as important to mention 
the reference or the name of the ' impertinent ' writer. As it 
was, this was simply impossible .... Had I recalled his 
name or had ready access to it, I would have mentioned it ; and 
it certainly did not occur to me that I should be suspected of 
intending any disrespect towards a journal I so highly esteem as 

" In now looking back upon our decision — for it was Prof. 
Baird's as well as my own, — when we accepted the apparently 
perfect chain of evidence which seemed to demonstrate the egg to 
be that of the Pigeon-Hawk, I am unable to see wherein we were 
hasty, or wherein we acted otherwise than any one should have 
done in our place. A perfectly trustworthy man, a sportsman, 
Mr. Cheney, of Grand Menan, who had been employed by me to 
collect eggs, produced not only the nest and eggs, but the 
parent-bird, which he had shot flying, as he supposed, from the 
nest. It was not such an egg as I expected to find it, though 
it did agree with some accounts of it. We must now suppose 
the bird thus shot to have been an unfortunate interloper, and 
not one of the parents ; but why should we then suppose any- 
thing of the kind ? Yet the possibility of this did occur to us, 
and we gave the world all the benefit of our doubts. After 
having thus gone further in this direction than there seemed to 
be any occasion, it certainly was provoking to have one who so 
plainly showed his imperfect knowledge thus claim to know 
so much and presume to lecture me for not deciding as he now 
assumes that I ought." 

We think it due to Dr. Brewer to print the foregoing extracts 
from his letter ; and we cordially accept his disclaimer of any 
intention to " cast a slur " on this Journal ; while we have also 
to thank him for the kind expressions he is good enough to use 
(in a part of his letter, which we do not print) towards * The Ibis^ 
and its Editor. 

244 Letters, Announcements, ^c. 

It is with very great regret that we have to record the death 
of John Cassin, which took place at Philadelphia on the 10th 
of January last. Among the many ornithologists whose loss has 
been deplored in this Journal, there has not been one of such 
approved scientific reputation as the last who has been taken 
from us. Born in Pennsylvania in 1813, the deceased natu- 
ralist passed the greatest part of his life in the City of Brotherly 
Love, devoting the leisure moments of a busy career to the 
study of Natural History, and especially of Ornithology. His 
labours will long live ; for such works as the ' Birds of Cali- 
fornia,' the Ornithology of the several United States' Expedi- 
tions under Gillis, Perry, and Wilkes, and his share in Prof. 
Baird's ' Birds of North America,' are enduring monuments, to 
say nothing of the numerous and nearly always valuable papers 
communicated by him to various publications, and in particular 
to those of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, of 
which he was one of the most active members. A word more 
also must be said by us : those foreign ornithologists who have 
visitedthemagnificentMuseum of which the "Quaker City" boasts 
(and both the late and the present Editor of ' The Ibis ' have 
enjoyed that good fortune) can never fail to have been charmed 
by the obliging and unpretending manner in which Mr. Cassin 
did the honours of the institution, by his alacrity in calling the 
attention of the stranger to its chief treasures, and his willing- 
ness to discuss with the best temper such questions as always 
arise when naturalists meet. We sincerely condole with our 
American brethren in general, and with the Philadelphia Aca- 
demy in particular, in the loss which, in common with them, we 
have sustained ; for the death of this distinguished ornithologist 
leaves a vacancy also in the list of the Honorary Members of 
the B. 0. U. ' 

Erratum in 'The Ibis' for 1868. 
Page 420, line l,for " veeticalis, Baird," read " cakolinensis (L.)." 



No. XIX. JULY 1869. 

XXII. — Third Appendix to a List of Birds observed in Malta and 
Gozo^. By Charles A. Wright, C.M.Z.S. 

259. Aquila chrysaetus. (Golden Eagle.) 

One specimen has been observed, of which I only succeeded 
in securing the head and neck ; but these were sufficient to 
determine the species. 

260. ? Falco lanarius. (Lanuer.) 

MM. Jaubert and Earthelemy-Lapommeraye cite Malta as 
a locality for this bird, but do not state their authority (Rich. 
Orn. Mid. Fr. p. 55). 

261. ?BuTEO LAGOPUS. (Rough-leggcd Buzzard.) 

I find in Dr. Gulia^s ' Bepertorio di Storia Naturale ' of 
Malta the following notice of the occurrence of this species 
here : — " In 1843, it was recognized by Professors Zerafa and 
G. Delicata. In 1859, I saw an individual which was killed at 

262. Parus major. (Great Titmouse.) 

An example of this species of Titmouse was taken alive in 
1866. It is the only instance I know, of any of the Parida 
having shown themselves in Malta or Gozo. Dr. Gulia has, 
indeed, stated, in his remarks on the Natural History of these 

* Cf. Ibis, 1864, pp. 42-73, 137-157, 291, 292 ; 1865, pp. 459-466. 
N. S. VOL. V. S 

246 Mr. C. A. Wright's Third Appendix to a 

islands, that Parus cceruleus arrives in great numbers in Gozo 
during the spring migration, and that individuals have been 
taken in Malta; but he is evidently mistaken. 

263. Anthus obscurus. (Rock-Pipit.) 

A single specimen has come into my hands. Yarrell also 
states that it has been met with in Malta. 

264. Emberiza MELANOCEPHAL.^ (Scopoli). (Black-headed 

A specimen was obtained in 1867, and kept alive in a cage 
for some months. Drs. Gulia and Delicata also mention having 
observed it. 

265. HoPLoPTERus spiNosus (Linnseus). (Spur-winged 

Ornithologists will be interested to learn of the capture of 
this bird in Malta. Common on the great river that flows from 
the equatorial regions into the Mediterranean, and a visitor or 
resident in Palestine, Turkey, Greece, and Southern Russia, the 
presence of the Spur-winged Plover, with the exception of a 
rare and occasional visit to Italy, is otherwise unknown in 
Europe. Its appearance in this island is therefore an event 
which, although not calculated to excite astonishment, is no 
less unexpected and worthy of remark. The particulars rela- 
tive to the subject of the present notice are few. 

On the morning of the 12th of October, 1865, I found my 
birdstuflfer waiting for me with news that he had just received 
a wounded bird of a kind he had not seen before, which he 
wished me to identify. He said he thought it might turn out 
to be a young Lapwing, We soon reached his dwelling; and I 
was delighted to find at a glance that he was mistaken, and 
that the bird was certainly no other than Hoplopterus spinosus. 
I told him to look at the carpal joints; and on doing so, 
he was much surprised to find the strong sharp spur with 
which this species is there armed. He informed me that 
the bird was given to him by a sportsman who, while Quail- 
shooting the day before, had flushed it and another together 
from a cotton-field. Its companion escaped. Of course, I 
lost no time in securing the prize for my local collection ; 

List of Birds observed in Malta and Gozu. 247 

and, with Chcetusia leucura and Charadrius longipes, it forms 
an interesting trio. On dissection it proved to be a female 
with the ovary, as might be expected at that season, very 
small. The spurs were also shorter than I have seen them 
in specimens from Egypt, where, I am informed by an eye- 
witness, they have been observed to use them as weapons of 
offence against other birds, and, doubtless, of defence also. In- 
deed a pair was once seen near the barrage on the Nile driving 
away a dog from the vicinity of their nest, making repeated 
swoops at the intruder, sti-iking at him with their armed wings, 
and uttering loud cries. It has not been met with in Algeria, 
nor is it recorded as an inhabitant of Tunis or Tripoli, probably 
on account of the absence of large rivers in that part of the 
African continent, as it is evidently a species affecting deltas 
and fluviatile banks. I should not be surprised, however, to 
hear of it being met with occasionally on the coast of Barbary, 
especially now that it has paid Malta a visit. 

I need scarcely remind the readers of ' The Ibis' that this 
bird is a claimant for the distinction of being the Trochilus 
mentioned by Herodotus as "Leech-catcher" to His Majesty 
the Crocodile on the banks of Father Nile. 

266. AcTiTURUS BARTRAMius (Wilson) . (Bartram's Sand- 

One of the most interesting captures made in Malta during my 
researches amongst its bird-fauna took place on the 17th of No- 
vember, 1865 — that of Bartram's Sandpiper. And it is curious 
that, almost simultaneously with this occurrence, another example 
of the same species was taken in England, near Falmouth, as an- 
nounced in 'The Times' of the 14th of November, 1865, by Dr. 
W. K. Bullmore*. Only two other examples have been met with 
in England, the particulars of which are given by Yarrell (Br. 
B. 3rd ed. ii. pp. 633, 634), and two more, according to Tem- 
minck (Man. d'Orn. 2nd ed. p. 650), on the Continent, one in 
Holland, and one in Germanyf. Thus six have now been 

* [C/. ' Zoologist; S. S. pp. 37-40.— Ed.] 

t [The first example taken in England was recorded in the ' Zoologist ' 
(p. 3330), by the late Hugh Reid, without the assignment of any name ; 

s 2 

248 Mr. C. A. Wright's Third Appendix to a 

obtained in Europe. As is well known, the bird is a very great 
wanderer, an example having even been captured near Sydney, 
in New South Wales, according to Mr. Gould (Handb. B. Austral, 
ii. p. 242). 

267. Cygnus olor. (Mute Swan.) 

On the morning of the 23rd of December, 1865, after several 
days of boisterous weather, word was brought to me that a flock 
of large birds had settled in Sliema Creek. One report made 
them out to be Geese, another Pelicans. They turned out to 
be Swans, a most unusual apparition in these islands. There 
could be no doubt of this. A glance at them as they floated 
majestically on the water, displaying their gracefully arched 
necks and pure white bodies in the gleaming sunshine, told at 
once that they belonged to this noble genus of birds. But what 
was the species ? Were they Whoopers ? Or were they the 
species or variety named after our countryman, dear old Bewick ? 
Or were they Mute Swans? — the so-called "Polish Swan" 
{Cygnus immutahilis) is, I believe, no longer considered to be a 
good species. My curiosity was not then destined to be satis- 
fied. Alarmed by the approach of a fishing-boat, they spread 
their broad white wings, and, slowly but steadily work- 
ing up to windward, were soon out of sight. Disheartened at 
my lack of success, I returned home, scarcely expecting to 
meet with them again, although several persons informed me 
that they had been seen about the creek for two days. 

In the afternoon, it being a Saturday, there were the usual 
amusements going on at Fort Manoel island — amilitaryband play- 
ing, pigeon-match, croquet, cricket, and so forth. Of course there 
were numerous carriages moving about, as well as equestrians and 
pedestrians, who, in fine weather, are attracted to this spot to 
witness the sports. Shouldering my gun I also took a stroll 

but Mr. A. G. More at once, and immediatel}' afterwards Mr. J. IT, 
Gurney (p. 3388), suggested that it was a Bartram's Sandpiper, as fur- 
ther investigation (p. 4254) proved it to be. Prof. Schlegel (Mus. P. B. 
Scolopaces, p. 79) enumerates among the specimens preserved at Leyden 
two : — " Male et femelle, etiquettes par feu Temminck comme ayant dte 
tues en Europe." It does not appear that any have since been recorded 
in this quarter of the globe.— Ed.] 

List of Birds observed in Malta and Guzo. 249 

that way. What was my surprise to see, notwithstanding all 
the noise and bustle around them, my friends the Swans of the 
morning quietly floating in the middle of the Quarantine 
Creek (which is scarcely two hundred and fifty yards wide), and 
seemingly as much at home and unconcerned as any tame 
Swans could be on the waters of the Serpentine. Much too far 
to expect any execution from an ordinary gun, my only hope 
was of their approaching near enough to give me the chance of 
a fair shot. There they were, ten of them, precisely the same 
number as had appeared in the morning. They kept pretty 
close together, but occasionally separated a little, gliding noise- 
lessly on the calm blue water of the creek, and presenting a 
magnificent picture. Their great size was rendered more con- 
spicuous from the contrast afforded by the proximity of some 
Crested and Eared Grebes [Podiceps cristatus and P. nigricoUis) , 
which looked mere specks by their side. Several essays, with 
a regulation Enfield rifle, were made by some persons present, 
but unsuccessfully. They did not exhibit the least alarm, pro- 
bably mistaking the splash of the bullets (as a friend of mine 
once actually did) for leaping fish. Once or twice they came 
nearer the shore, but they took no notice of a green cartridge 
and several charges of swan-shot which I fired at them. At 
length, without ostensible cause, they suddenly rose, and I per- 
ceived that they were making straight for the spot where I lay, 
partially concealed by a heap of stones. My gun was now 
loaded with No. 5 and No. 9. Aiming under the wing of one 
of the centre birds, and letting fly the large shot when they 
were about thirty yards distant, I made sure of bringing him 
down ; but such was not the case. The small shot, which I fired 
immediately afterwards, however, did the work, and down came 
splashing into the water one of these splendid creatures, hit 
in the wing. The flock consisted mostly of old birds; but 
the one I shot was a bird of the year, wanting the shining 
white plumage of adult age, the upper surface, as well as the 
neck and head, being ashy grey mixed with brown. It ap- 
peared to possess the black lore that distinguishes the Mute 
Swan [Ctjgnus olor) from the two other European species, in 
which this part is yellow at all ages ; but of this 1 could not be 

250 Mr. C. A. Wright's Third Appendix to a 

quite sure without a closer examination. " There is many a 
slip between the cup and the lip," and I had to experience the 
truth of this adage. My Swan had tumbled into Quarantine 
water ! And I had not calculated the immense risk that touch- 
ing its now contaminated body would, in the opinion at least of 
the Guardiano di Sanita, entail on the health of the popula- 
tion of these islands. I was therefore reluctantly compelled to 
leave my much-prized specimen to the tender mercies of the 
health-officers. Of course, nothing more was heard of it. Some 
sharp fellow had doubtless appreciated Swan's flesh, and carried 
it off for his Christmas dinner ! 

In my endeavours to trace the plunderer, anxious to put the 
question of the species of our visitor beyond doubt, I learnt of 
a Swan having been killed two days previously, on the 21st of 
December, at Salini, on the north coast of Malta. It was alone 
when killed, having probably separated from the main flock. 
Too late to secure the skin for my collection, the bird having 
been already plucked and trussed for the spit, it was some 
satisfaction to ascertain the species, from an examination of the 
head, which the cook, after a diligent search in the dustbin, 
presented to me. It confirmed my first impression, and enabled 
me to record, from personal observation, the Mute Swan 
[Cygnus olor) among our occasional visitors. 

I take this opportunity of remarking on a professed list of 
'Birds found in Malta/ by Mr. W. Grant, in 1866*, contain- 
ing some forty or fifty (! ! !) names not included in my cata- 
logue of 1864, nor in the appendices which have since appeared 
in ' The Ibis.' Amongst the novelties are the Grey Partridge 
{Perdiw cinerea) and three other Partridges, or Patridges, as our 
author insists upon spelling the word, as likewise Perdrix in- 
stead of Perdix, on the principle, I suppose, of compensation. 
To these are affixed the letter " R ", signifying rare. We also 
have the Francolin reintroduced, with "RR" attached to it, 
signifying, we ai'e told, very rare. Very rare, indeed, we should 
think ! Passer domesticus, a phantom which we thought had 
long since been laid (Ibis, 1864, p. 53), is once more resusci- 

* [Cf. Ibis, 1867, pp. 289, 240.— Ed.] 

List of Birds observed in Malta and Gozo. 251 

tated, the real Sparrow of Malta, as my readers are well aware, 
being P. salicicola, with an adiiiixture perhaps of P. italiae. 

In support of these forty or fifty alleged discoveries, I believe 
not one specimen is in the possession of the compiler. It is 
much to be regretted that so many species should be introduced 
into the Malta List in this unwarrantable and reckless manner, 
for, however often these mistakes may be corrected, they are sure 
to crop up again somewhere. The great absurdity, however, 
of many of them (especially our friends the Partridges) will, 
fortunately, serve to put oi'nithologists on their guard ; but 
the crowd of outsiders are apt to accept statements in natural 
history blindly ; and we may yet hear of some one telling his 
sporting friends that they may have Partridge-shooting in 

Without enumerating minor errors or sins of omission, the 
following are the most inexcusable blunders. One of the novel 
features of the list is, that nearly every species has, somehow or 
other, got a Maltese name to it — even Bartram's Sandpiper, 
the Spur-winged Plover and the White-tailed Plover, of which 
only single specimens (now in my possession) have occurred 
in Malta, and the Asiatic Golden Plover [Charadrius longipes), 
of which only two specimens have been taken (Ibis, 1865, 
pp. 462-463), are all enriched with Maltese names. The 
BufF-backed Heron and the BufF-backed Egret are given as two 
different species, under the names oi Ardea buhulcus and Egretta 
russata, with a Maltese name for each ! Tiinga canutus and 
Tringa cinerea are also given as distinct species, with different 
Maltese names. The Common Pintail Duck is put down as 
two species, under the names " Daffila caudacuta " and Anas 
acuta. The Shoveller is also in like manner multiplied as Red- 
breasted Shoveller and Common Shoveller. Two species of 
Petrel are mentioned under the names of Thalassidroma pela- 
gica and T. melitensis, long since shown to be only one. Va- 
nellus gregartus is merely a reproduction of Schembri^s mistake, 
which he himself corrected years ago, this bird never having 
been taken in Malta. To Limosa rufa is attached the letter " C '\ 
signifying that it is common, whilst only one authentic specimen 
has really been observed. Larus tridactylus, one of our rarest 

252 Mr. 'C. A. Wright's Third Appendix to a 

Gulls, is, we are informed, common ; whilst L. melanocephalus, 
the commonest Gull in the place, seen in flocks of hundreds in 
our harbours and round the coast in winter and spring, is pro- 
nounced to be rare ! Of the Shrike family we receive some 

equally trustworthy information. Lanius excubitor is given us as 
common, though I know of only one instance of this species, 
which occurred a quarter of a century ago, and was recorded by 
Schembri. The same liberality is observed towards L. meridio- 
nalis and L. cullurio ; whilst the fact is, they are all exceedingly 
rare and exceptional visitors. Many other erroneous statements 
are made as to rarity or frequency of different species; but 
perhaps the readers of ' The Ibis ' will think I have said enough 
in the way of warning. 

I must, however, append a list of the most striking of the 
pretended novelties, in order that they may not be accepted by 
the unwary until properly vouched for. Some of them will 
probably turn up some day — perhaps a few have already done 
so; but until authenticated specimens can be produced, they 
must in the meanwhile be looked on at least with an eye of 
suspicion : — 

Astur gabar (?). I think it necessary to make a note of this 
bird. I introduced it into my List with a query, on the au- 
thority of Strickland (Orn. Syn. i. p. 112). It is now intro- 
duced by our author with no mark of doubt at all, and stated to 
be a " rare "' visitor. Some day, perhaps, we shall be told it is 
common ! ! 

Aquila maritima. 

Buteo vulgaris. This species is given as common ! 

Bubo maximus. 

Perdix francolinus. 

Perdix rufa. 

Perdix cinerea. The Maltese name given for this species by 
our author is Tigiega ta Carthagini, by which the Sandgrouse 
are known ; and the only authority for the admission of Perdix 
cinerea into the Malta List was, as I have ascertained, a specimen 
in a druggist's window in Valletta, not, however, of a Partridge, 
but of a Sandgrouse; and this even was not obtained in Malta, 

List of Birds observed in Malta and Cfozo. 253 

but was brought from Tunis ! I may mention here the mani- 
festly absurd assertion of Malherbe (whose statements have more 
than once been questioned) in his Fauna of Sicily, that Perdix 
cinerea " visits that island every spring and autumn when on its 
passage from North Africa to Italy and back''*. Thanks to the 
more exact and extended researches of modern naturalists, 
everybody knows that North Africa is perfectly innocent of this 

Perdix petrosa (?). This last species has been several times 
taken; but as it is the custom to import them from Barbary, it 
is an open question whether those captured here are fugitives or 
not, as the genus Perdix is not famed for its migratory habits f- 

Totanus macularius. ] All these three are favoured with 

Tringa rufescens. > Maltese names, and stated to be 

T. maritima. ) common ! 

Tringa pectoralis also enjoys a Maltese name ; but in this 
instance our author merely states it is "RR", i. e. very rare. 
It must be borne in miud that he has no specimens to show for 
these or any of the subsequent species here enumerated ; and a 
close observation by myself for the last, I may say, twenty 
years, aided by the experience of several ornithological friends, 
has never revealed these wonders to my eyes. 

Tringa platyrhyncha. 

Tringa schinzi. 

Vanellus gregarius. Also favoured with a Maltese name ! 

Porphyria hyacinthinus. This bird is sometimes kept in a 
domesticated state for ornament ; and to the circumstance of an 
escaped captive is probably owing its introduction into the Bird- 
fauna of Malta. It is of such well-known sedentary habits 
that, even if one were actually taken here, a searching inquiry 
would be requisite before accepting it ; nevertheless we find 

* [We have been unable to find this sentence in the * Faune Ornitho- 
logique de la Sicile.' What Malherbe says (p. 154) is " Cette perdrix si 
commune en France parait n'etre que de passage en Sicile ainsi qu'en 
Egypte et sur les cotes de Barbarie," which is perhaps more erroneous. 

t [P. rufa, however, decidedly has migi-ant inclinations. — See Mr. 
Stevenson's ' Birds of Norfolk' (i. pp. 413-416).— Ed.] 

254 Mr. C. A. Wright's Third Appendix to a 

attached to it a vernacular name, and a very inappropriate 
one too. 

As evidence, on the other hand, that this sedentary bird may 
occasionally take long flights from its native marshes and rice- 
fields of South Europe and Northern Africa, I remember read- 
ing in the English newspapers a few years ago that at a meet- 
ing of the Natural History Society of Glasgow, Dr. Dewar ex- 
hibited, amongst other rare birds collected in the month of 
January 1864, in various localities in the west of Scotland, a 
Purple Gallinule {Porphyria hyacinthinus) from the neighbour- 
hood of Campbeltown ; and it was said that it bore no traces of 
having been in confinement. What will ornithologists say to 
this* ? Malta is a far more likely locality for a straggler of this 
species to turn up in, it being plentiful in the marshes of Syra- 
cuse on the one side, and of Tunis on the other. But whatever 
may be the fact, there is not, I believe, in the possession of any- 
body here an authenticated specimen to attest its claims for 
admission, even as an accidental visitor, into the Maltese Ornis. 

I had written this when a few days ago I observed in the 
Malta University Museum two freshly-stuffed specimens of 
Porphyria hyacinthinus, which I was informed had just been 
captured here. Somewhat staggered, but not altogether satis- 
fied, I instituted inquiries amongst the dealers, and ascertained 
that the two birds claimed as Maltese belonged to a parcel of 
six that had been brought over by a seaman from Syracuse ! 

Cuvier states, upon what grounds I know not, that this 
species is originally African, and has been naturalized in Europe 
on account of its beauty f- 

Anser brachyrhynchus. Possibly copied from my first list, 
into which it was erroneously admitted, and subsequently struck 

Fuligula gesneri. Said to be common ! 

Clangula histrionica ! ! 

* [We have met with several statements of this kind, but it has never 
been satisfactorily shown that the birds in question had not escaped from 
coniinement. — Ed.] 

t [It was figured by Gesner, from a drawing sent to him from Mont- 
pellier (Hist. Anim. iii. p. 776). — Ed.] 

List of Birds observed in Malta and Gozo. 255 

Mergus merganser. One of the species doubtfully allowed 
into my List in Italian, published in 1862, and afterwards 
omitted for want of satisfactory proof. But our author admits 
it without any sign of hesitation. 

Pelecanus orientalis (Dalmatian Pelican). 

Sterna stolida ! ! 

Larus atincilla. Said by our author to be common. It is 
not impossible that this American Gull may occasionally find its 
way here; but that it is common, no one will readily believe. 
My friend Mr. Howard Saunders informs me that it has been 
obtained near Palermo, and specimens were pointed out to him 
in the Museum there by Prof. Doderlein. 

Sylvia, erythrogastra. ^ 

Sylvia cairii. n • i , 

c* 7 - 7 f- All said to be common ! 

Sylvia sarda. ( 

Sylvia olivet arum. 

Sylvia hypolais. It is strange that this bird has never come 
into my hands. I have frequently met with S. icterina, with 
which it is often confounded, but never with the other. I am 
in hopes of finding it some day amongst our visitors. 

Sylvia elaica. 

Sylvia cettii. 

Sylvia locustella. 

Troglodytes europteus (?) . Rumours of this, or an allied 
species, having been seen in Malta have reached me ; but I 
have never been able to view a specimen. Our author admits 
it without any doubt. 

Saxicola saltatrix. I examined the specimen which was pro- 
bably the authority for this species. It was certainly not S. sal- 
tatrix, and I said so at the time. It was a sand-coloured 
species, and very small, and appeared to be in immature 
plumage. Our author, nevertheless, coolly informs us that this 
bird is common. 

Saxicola leucomela. We are seriously told to believe that 
this species is also common in Malta ! 

Motacilla citreola. This is a species from Eastern Russia, 
and not at all likely to be found here ; yet we are told this, too. 

is common 

256 Mons. A. Milne-Edwards on the 

Corvus cor aw. 

Linaria montana. We are told it is common ! 

Passer domesticus. Already mentioned above, but an error 
that cannot be too often pointed out. 

Emberiza citrinella. This is the last species I shall quote as 
an egregious blunder. We are not only told that it is found 
here, but that it is common too ! 

I have gone to greater length in reviewing this list than I at 
first intended, To find fault is never an agreeable task; but as 
it has been noticed in 'The Ibis/ and, in a few lines of intro- 
duction, the author promises us a " more extensive work " on 
the subject, it seems advisable, though the said work may never 
see the light, to say as much as I have in the interest of orni- 
thological truth and propriety. 
Malta, March 1869. 

XXIII. — Researches into the Zoological Affinities of the Bird re- 
cently described by Herr von Frauenfeld under the name of 
Aphanapteryx imperialis. By Alphonse Milne-Edwards. 

(Plate VIL*) 
Herr Georg von Frauenfeld has lately published two 
figures of birds from a collection of paintings on vellum pre- 
served in the library founded by the Emperor Francis I.f 

The first of these birds is a Dodo, of which the whole body 
is of a unifoi'm brownish-grey, mixed with some blue reflec- 
tions. Its body is much smaller than that of the birds repre- 
sented in the pictures of the two painters Savary ; and the beak, 
compared with the head, is much less stout. These facts incline 
me to think that the painting has been made from a young 

The second figure (PI. VII.) represents a bird altogether un- 

* [We liave to acknowledge the kindness of M. Alphonse Milne- 
Edwards in placing at our disposal impressions of this plate, which illus- 
trates his paper on the same subject in the ' Annales des Sciences Na- 
turelles' 5® s^r. x. pp. 325-346). It is a very faithful representation on a 
reduced scale of the original. — Ed.] 

t [C/. Ibis, 1868, pp. 480-482.— Ed.] 

i)i3 , 1869, PI . v.: 

,r , ,«^i-~^-^.»^«3jy -^ -^ «^^ijf » j-r «;,f -^TS^'^p-R-TnygSiKiSB*. 

I. ouveaa lilh 

Imp Beccjuel, Pans 


Zoological Affinities of Aphanapteryx. 257 

known to zoologists, and remarkable for its long, pointed and 
slightly decurved bill, the reddish colour and silky appearance 
(resembling that of an Apteryx) of its plumage, the almost entire 
absence of wings, and its stout feet, furnished with four toes, of 
which the hind toes are well developed, and rest in a great 
degree on the ground. 

This figure is the thirty -second oi the second volume of paint- 
ings. It is immediately preceded by that of the Dodo and one 
of a Cassowary, and is followed by one of a Flamingo. The 
only date which can be found in the collection is that of the 
year 1610 ; and the Cassowary which is represented was brought 
from Java by the Dutch in 1597, and given to the Emperor 
Rudolf II. by the Archbishop of Cologne. There is therefore 
every reason to believe that these birds were living at the same 
time in thelmperial Menagerie, which this Emperor and his father 
Maximilian II. kept from 1545 to 1618, in the neighbourhood of 
the castle of Elbersdorf, about a league to the eastward of 
Vienna. The Dodo, which was drawn upon vellum, was per- 
haps that which, according to De Bry, was brought from 
Mauritius to Europe by the Dutch in 1599. 

Among the explorers who visited the Mascarene Islands 
about this time, there are some who speak of certain birds of 
which at the present day we have no knowledge. Thus Pieter 
van den Broecke*, in the account of his voyage to Mauritius in 
1617, figures, by the side of the Dodo, another bird (fig. 1), with 
a rounded body, without wings, and with a long, pointed and 
decurved bill. No description agrees with this figure, which 
Strickland has reproduced ('The Dodo,' &c., p. 19t), only re- 
marking of it upon the resemblance it bears to an Apteryx. 

In 1638, rran9ois Gauche % tells us that there were in Mau- 

* XXVjaarige reyse-beschryving naer Africa en Oost-Indien. 8vo, 
Lewarden : 1617. '' Begineude Voortgangh der Vereen. Nederl. geoctr. 
Oost-Ind. Coinpagnie," vol. 2, no, xvi. p. 102, pi. 7. 

t [We are much indebted to Mrs. H. E. Strickland for her liberality in 
lending to this Journal the wood-blocks representing in facsimile this 
figure and that given by Herbert (to be mentioned presently), which 
appeared in her late lamented husband's admirable monogi-aph. — Ed.] 

X Relations v^ritables et cxurieuses de I'lsle de Madagascar. 4to, Paris : 
1651, p. 132. 


Mons. A. Milne-Edwards on the 

ntius " des poules rouges, au bee de Becasse ; pour les prendre 
il ne faut que leur presenter une piece de drap rouge, elles 
suivent, et se laissent prendre h. la main : elles sont de la gros- 
seur de nos poules, excellentes h manger/' 

Fig. 1. Fig. 2. 

Johann Christian Hoffmann*, who lived in Mauritius, as a 
preacher, from the 13th of February 1673 to the 17th of March 
1675, tells us that there existed then some red birds of a sin- 
gular form, and the size of a common fowl, called Todaersen, 
which, though deprived of the power of flight, ran very quickly, 
so that to catch them " a rod is taken in the right hand, and 
the left is wrapt in a piece of red stuff, which is thus shown to the 
birds, commonly assembled in numerous flocks. Whether the 
red colour terrifies these stupid birds, or whether it attracts 
them, they approach the fowler almost without fear, and he, 
when they are at a convenient distance, strikes and seizes one. 
The cries which the captive utters attract its companions, who 
seek to deliver it, and thus all become the prey of the fowler ^'f- 

It is evident that this passage refers to the Poules rouges of 
Cauche. Hoffmann designates them wrongly under the name 
of Todaersen, which has been often applied to the Dodo ; but 
it is probable that, in 1673, this had already disappeared from 
Mauritius, where it had become so rare that the author just 
mentioned had never seen one. 

It is impossible not to recognize the similarity between the 

* Oost-Indianische Voyage, u. s. w. 8vo, Oassel : 1680, p. 52. 
Ibis, 1868, pp. 479, 480.— Ed.] 
t ' Leopoldina/ 1868, p. 52. 


Zoological Affinities oj Aphanapteryx. 259 

flightless "red fowls" of which Cauche and Hoffmann speak, 
and the bird which has been found figured in the collection of 
paintings on vellum in the private library of the Emperor of 
Austria. These paintings are, for the most part, the work of 
the same artist ; some have evidently been executed from living 
subjects, others from stuffed animals ; and some, indeed, are the 
result of the painter's imagination. It is thought they are 
from the pencil of the celebrated Dutch miniature-painter George 
Hoefnagel, who was born at Amsterdam in 1545 or 1546, and 
died between 1608 and 1617, and was attached to the court of 
Rudolf XL as " peintre du cabinet." The attitude of the bird 
in question is so natural, that it is allowable to suppose that it 
has been drawn from the life, in addition to which, the feathers 
which correspond to the base of the wing seem to be somewhat 
in disorder. This bird presents the essential chai'acters as- 
signed by Cauche to his Poules rouges. It has the same colo- 
ration, the same form of the bill, and we also find in it the 
structure of the feathers indicated by Hoffmann. Herr von 
Frauenfeld does not hesitate to establish this relation, and gives 
his work the title of a " Newly-found figure of the Dodo, 
and of a second short-winged Bird, the Poule rouge au bee de 
Becasse." This bird is so remarkable, and offers characters so 
special, that it is easy to distinguish it by means even of a very suc- 
cinct description. The painting which now exists, and has been 
veiy skilfully reproduced in chromolithography, at the cost of 
the Zoologico-botanical Society of Vienna, makes known to us 
most of the external characters of this new Mauritian bird. 
The bill is black, very pointed, and regularly decurved ; it is 
very nearly twice as long as the cranium. The upper mandible 
is rounded above ; and near the base is seen the opening of the 
nostril, which is small and very narrow. The eye, of which the 
iris is yellowish, is situated far forwards ; behind and lower down, 
the mark of the auditory foramen is perceptible. The plumage, 
of a uniform reddish hue, has no consistency ; the feathers, like 
those of the Apteryx, have a simple shaft, and the barbs and 
barbules are long, soft, and do not adhere to each other; those 
of the hind part of the flanks are the most developed. The 
necic is pretty long, and clothed on the nape with overhanging 

260 Mons. A. Milne-Edwards on the 

feathers, so as to form a sort of cervical crest. No indication of 
wings is to be seen. The tail is rudimentary, and formed of 
short, soft, and drooping feathers. The feet are somewhat long, 
and very strong. The feathers of the legs stop short at some dis- 
tance from the heel, so that the lower extremity of the tibia is 
bare. The foot is covered with broad scutellations ; the toes, 
four in number, are cylindrical, and have no interdigital mem- 
branes, even at their base. The hallux, as I have already said, 
is well developed, and rests in a great degree on the ground. 

The zoological position which this bird should occupy was very 
difficult to determine; and Herr von Frauenfeld, after having 
compared it with the Brevipennes, the Gallinacea, and the Ral- 
lida, arrives at the conclusion that it unites the plumage and 
the imperfect wing of the Apteryx, the carriage and the bill 
of the Rails, with the feet of the GallinacecB. 

It is plain that, from an inspection alone of a coloured draw- 
ing, the systematic position of the Poule rouge au bee de Becasse 
could not be determined with greater precision ; and this ques- 
tion would have been the object of discussions similar to those 
which have taken place of late years with regard to the Dodo, 
were it not that particular circumstances allow me to complete 
now the history of this unexpected discovery, and to determine 
the place which the Poule rouge should hold in the ornithologi- 
cal scale. Among the remains collected with those of the 
Dodo from the Mare aux Songes, in Mauritius, and submitted to 
my examination by Mr. Edward Newton, are some bones of 
the foot, which appeared to me most interesting, seeing that 
they showed the existence of a new form allied to Ocydromus, 
but more of a runner than that bird. 

I had also remarked a long and curved lower mandible, 
which seemed to come from a bird having certain resemblances 
to the Rallidcs, or from an entirely unknown Wader ; but I hesi- 
tated much about referring it to the same bird as the leg-bones. 
I was employed in describing them when Count Marschall in- 
formed me of the discovery which had just been made in the 
Emperor^s private library ; and, with his kindness, so well known 
by all men of science, he sent me first an extract from Herr 
von Frauenfeld's work, and then the publication itself. I im- 

Zoological Affinities of Aphanapteryx. 


mediately recognized the remains of which I have just been 
speaking, as belonging to the species represented along with the 
Dodo, and I felt certain that this very singular bill, and the 
leg-bones, came from the same bird. 

The lower mandible (figs. 3 & 4) found in Mauritius is nearly 

Fio-. 3. Fi-. 4. 


perfect, wanting only one of the articular extremities. Through- 
out the portion corresponding to the dentary bone, it is gently 
decurved in a regular manner, so that its lower edge follows 
almost exactly the arc of a circle, having a radius of 0'"*11. In 

N. S. VOL. V. T 

2G2 Mons. A. Milne-Edwards on the 

the Curlews and Ibises the curvature is less regular, and 
betrays itself especially in the terminal portion. In Apteryx 
the mandible is much straighter. The two branches, but little 
separated from each other at the articular portion, unite at a 
great distance from their extremity and coalesce intimately, so 
as to give the whole terminal portion of the bill great firmness. 
The lower surface exhibits no trace of the original separation of 
the dentary bones. It is rounded, and presents no such groove 
as that which occupies the median line in the Ibises, and of 
which traces are still perceptible in Apteryx. The bony tissue 
in this portion is extremely close and strong ; it is only pierced 
by a few orifices, and presents nothing to be compared to the 
sponginess (so to speak) of the tip of the bill in the Godwits, 
the Woodcocks, the Curlews, Apteryx, and others — a structure 
which relates to the number of nerves and vessels meeting in 
this part, and to which these birds owe the exquisite sense of 
touch, enabling them to seek the worms which are hidden in 
the earth and mud. This fossil bill was evidently not adapted 
for such a diet, for it terminates in a sharp and strong point. 
Behind the posterior branches of the dentary there is a narrow 
but somewhat long fissure, indicating the original separation of 
the dentary from the angular and the surangular. The posi- 
tion of this fissure, placed obhquely from above downwards and 
from before backwards, furnishes us with some rather impor- 
tant characters ; in fact, this fissure, which I have called the 
" post- dentary orifice or fissure,^^ is wanting in certain families, 
such as the diurnal birds of prey. In the Passeres, properly so 
called, it exists, but presents a peculiar form, very distinct from 
that which I have just mentioned; it resembles, indeed, an ovate 
fenestra, while in our fossil it is a real cleft left between the 
difi'erent bones above named. The Passeres which have the 
bill much curved, such as Promerops, Xiphorhynchus, Falculia, 
Dendrocolaptes, Fregilus and so forth, present in this respect 
exactly the same characters as those with a straight bill. In 
the Gallinacea very considerable variation may herein be no- 
ticed : thus, while in Pavo the postdentary orifice is almost 
entirely efi'aced, it is enormous in the Grouse, and especially in 
Teirao iiro(jullus, where it is j)laeed forwards at a very great 

Zoological Affinities 0/ Aphanapteryx. 263 

distance from the articular surface. In the Scolopacida and Cha- 
radriida, the postdentary cleft has a greater resemblance to that 
of our fossil^ but it is placed less obliquely ; and to find a more 
perfect likeness this last must be compared with the bill of certain 
of the Rallid(B, and more especially with Ocydromus. The mas- 
seterian portion of these birds is narrower ; and this also has refer- 
ence to the greater shortness of the bill, which requires less 
powerful muscles for its movements, and consequently less ex- 
tended insertional surfaces. The upper edge of this surface cor- 
responding to the surangular, whereto the fibres of the temporal 
muscle are attached, is much elevated ; however, it does not ap- 
pear to possess at this point ossified tendons such as those of 
Porphyrio. Behind the masseterian surface, and in front of the 
articulation, there is a rounded and open vascular foramen. 

The articular surface is broad, but not much elevated. It 
consists, as usual, of two facets, of which the outer one, in- 
tended to be applied to the jugal extremity of the quadrate, is 
placed obliquely from without inwards. It is comparatively 
much more developed than in the Curlews, the Ibises, and 
most other Waders, and in this respect resembles that of Por- 
phyria and Ocydromus. The inner facet, which articulates with 
the pterygoidian portion of the quadrate, is subquadrilateral, 
and very much enlarged from before backwards. In the Scolo- 
pacidcE and Qharadriidce it is narrow, and turned towards the inner 
articular apophysis. The shape of these facets is somewhat 
worthy of consideration ; for it gives an idea of that of the qua- 
drate, the importance of which will not be disputed. 

The postarticular apophysis is strong, moderately projecting, 
and turned outwards. It is continued downwards with a very 
thin ridge, which there has reference to another lower articular 
apophysis. Lastly, there is an inner articular apophysis, strong, 
but placed a little in advance, a situation the like of which is not 
to be seen in any other bird. In the great group of Passeres, 
there is a postarticular apophysis, but it is short, and resembles 
a tubercle ; the inner apophysis, on the contrary, is very long, 
but there is no lower bony prolongation corresponding to the 
angle of the jaw, so that the articular extremity is extremely 
flattened. As much may be said of the GaUimicea, wherein it 

T 2 

264< Mons. A. Milne-Edwards on the 

may be seen in the development of the inner and lower arti- 
cular apophyses^ these last, in Tetrao urogallus, rising to a great 
height behind the cranium. 

In the genus Ihis, there is no lower bony projection, besides 
which, the hinder surface is deeply depressed, so as to give it a 
very peculiar appearance. The Curlews are equally destitute of 
a lower articular apophysis. 

The whole arrangement of the apophysis in our fossil much 
recalls that which is proper to the Rallidce, and, in that family, 
attains its maximum of development in Ocydromus, of which it 
may be said with certainty that, of all the representatives of 
the class of birds, it most approaches that of the very remarka- 
ble bill found in Mauritius, where we find again a strong and 
short inner apophysis, prolonged into a ridge as far as the 
lower bony projection. This is clearly marked, though a little 
more weakly than in our fossil. 

In the Coots, the articulation is arranged very nearly in the 
same manner. Among the Gallinules [Tj'ibunyx and Por~ 
phyrio) the lower apophysis projects less. In this respect 
Apteryx differs much from our fossil ; for in the first the post- 
articular apophysis is rudimentary and the lower angle is 

If, according to the structure of the bill, we endeavour to 
give an account of the habits and the food of the bird to which 
it belongs, we shall see that the absence, or at least the little 
development of the foramina, and of the channels giving pas- 
sage to the nerves and vessels, will not allow us to attribute to 
it the manners of the Ibises, Curlews, Godwits, or Woodcocks. 
This pointed bill has a very close tissue, and somewhat resem- 
bles that of Porphyrio and Ocydromus, recalling still more the 
form of the mandibles in the Oyster-catchers, and apparently 
adapted for crushing mollusks and their shells, animals on 
which this bird probably fed. 

A glance at the bone of the foot (figs. 5, 6) is sufficient to con- 
vince one that it belonged to a bird admirably adapted forwalking. 
It is perfectly balanced ; without being too massive, it is very 
stout ; the diaphysis is nearly as thick as broad, its angles are 
rounded, and the anterior metatarsal furrow is but slightly 

Zuulogical Affinities 0/ Aphanapteryx. 


Fiff. 5. 

Fig. 6. 

marked in its upper portion, while it is completely effaced be- 
low; none of the projecting lines 
which bound the insertional sur- 
faces of the extensor muscle of the 
hallux, of the abductor of the inner 
toe, and of the adductor of the outer 
toe, are to be seen. The tibial im- 
pressions are unequal, the inner 
one being more elevated and much 
stronger than the outer ; they are 
surmounted by a slightly deep im- 
pression, at the bottom of which 
open the superior orifices, the outer 
one being placed much higher than 
the inner. Within there is seen, 
bounded by two little ridges, a fur- 
row, which lodges the tendons of 
the common exterior muscles of the 
toes. The posterior surface of the 
bone of the foot is rounded, and 
traversed longitudinally by clearly 
defined intermuscular lines. The 
surface of the attachment of the 
flexor muscle of the hallux is but little marked. 

The upper articular extremity is somewhat narrow ; and the 
glenoid facets ax'e placed at different levels, that of the inside 
being higher than that of the opposite. They are separated by 
a strong intercondylian tuberosity, at the base of which a some- 
what deep depression (whereto the semilunar ligament is at- 
tached) is seen on the outside. The heel is partly broken ; 
however, it may be seen that it was but slightly projecting, and 
that it was only grooved inside by very superficial furrows. 
The digital trochlese are strong and placed at different levels. 
The median is the longest, and is broad, much arched, and hol- 
lowed by a deep groove; a very open slope separates it from 
the outer trochlea, which is much shorter and very broad. The 
inner trochlea is the smallest, and terminates on a level with the 
base of the middle one; it is much thrown back. The depth of 

266 Mous. A. Milne-Edwards on the 

the depressions hollowed out on the lateral surfaces of the tro- 
chlea shows that the toes must have been very firmly attached 
to the bone of the foot. The articular facet of the hind toe is 
large and depressed, so that the lower orifice, through which 
passes the tendon of the adductor muscle of the outer toe, is 
large ; but it is only continued on the body of the bone by a 
furrow, which is scarcely visible. 

The characters I have just described show in the clearest 
manner that the bone in question cannot come from a bird of 
prey, nor from one of the Passeres, nor from a web-footed bird. 
It must have belonged to a walking bird ; and, from its general 
form, as well as from many of its characters, it resembles that 
of the Gallinacece. Still it is impossible to refer it to this last 
group. In fact, among all the Gallinacea, without exception, 
the flexor muscle of the hallux is attached to a deeply hollowed 
surface on the inner posterior side of the heel, and is bounded 
by very prominent ridges. This character, as I have already 
said, is wanting in the tarso-metatarsus recovered from the 
Mare aux Songes. The digital trochlese of the Gallinacea are 
always much shortei', and that of the inner toe is prolonged a 
little lower than in this last. Lastly I will add that in nearly 
all the birds of this group, even in many that are deprived of 
spurs, there is always a ridge or a bony stay uniting the inner 
posterior ridge of the bone to the heel. 

If we compare the fossil metatarsus with that of the Waders, we 
see that its relative proportions, as well as its anatomical peculia- 
rities, remove it from that of the Ciconiidce, Gruid(S, Ardeida, Sco- 
lopacidce and Charadriidce, and Bustards. But we find in it great 
analogies with that of certain members of the family Rallidce, 
although it differs much from the normal form of that group. 
In these birds, indeed, the digital trochlese ai-e very close to each 
other, and the lower extremity is consequently narrow, whereas 
in our fossil the contrary arrangement is observable. The foot 
of Porphyrio is distinguished, not only by this character, but . 
also by the depth of the anterior metatarsal furrow, and by that 
of the insertional surface of the flexor muscle of the hallux. 
This peculiarity is not to be found in the Rails, the Water-hens, 
the Jacanas, or Tribomjx ; but the bone of the tarso-metatarsus 

Zoological Affiuitien uf Aphanapteryx. 267 

is always to be recognized by the little interval which separates 
the trochlea of the middle from that of the inner toe. It may 
be remarked, however, that this interval increases as the birds 
are better adapted for walking and running. Thus the inter- 
digital slope is broader in the Rails than in the Coots ; it dis- 
appears more in the genus Ti'ibonyx, and especially in Ocydromus. 
Following step by step its modifications, we pass insensibly from 
the normal form, which is presented to us in the tarso-metatarsus 
of the Rails, to a form which at first sight would appear to be 
altogether different, and is, so to speak, much more of a walker. 
The fossil we are examining furnishes us, in some respects, with 
an exaggeration of it ; for it is evidently better adapted for ter- 
restrial locomotion than that of Ocydromus, and even offers 
some resemblance to that of Apteryx. In Ocydrojnus the an- 
terior metatarsal furrow is deeper than in our fossil ; the ten- 
don of the common extensor of the toes passes under a bony 
bridge ; the heel is hollowed inside by two pretty deep tendinal 
grooves : but the general plan is the same; and it may be con- 
ceived that if the modifications which we have just followed act 
always in the same sense, they lead to the form which we find 
in the bone found in Mauritius. There is, still, an enor- 
mous difi'erence between the fossil and the tarso-metatarsus of 
Apteryx; but it can, however, be considered to be a transition 
between this last and the normal RallidcE', for what are the 
anatomical modifications which this bone presents in Apteryx ? 
The shaft of the bone is seen to be much shortened and widened ; 
the intermuscular lines are efi^aced ; the digital trochleae, hardly 
disposed according to the same plan, and separated by very 
broad slopes, are stout and rounded. The heel is but slightly 
prominent, and shows no tubular canal; it is hollowed by two 
wide furrows, between which is a somewhat projecting ridge. 
These peculiarities are of the kind which are offered by our 
fossil compared with the tarso-metatarsus of Ocydromus, or this 
last compared with its homologue in the Rails or the Water-hens. 
The examination of the osteological characters leads us to think 
that the bird from which the fossil in question came presented 
undeniable analogies with the Rails. 

In the same deposit with this lower mandible and this turso- 


Mons. A. Milne-Edwards on the 

metatarsus, several tibiae have been found which seem as if they 
ought to be referred to the same bird ; for a study of the pecu- 
liarities they offer leads to the same result as the examination 
which I have just been making of the osteological characters of 
the bone of the foot. 

The fossil tibiae (figs. 7, 8) are remarkable for the want of 

thickness of the diaphysis com- 
Figs. 7, 8. pared with the articular extre- 

mities ; the shaft of the bone 
is in fact nearly cylindrical, 
more slender below the pero- 
ncan ridge than at its lower 
extremity, and it presents a 
slight concave curvature in- 
side. The peronean ridge is 
somewhat strong, and is pro- 
longed to the upper third of 
the bone. The fibula would 
seem to have terminated a 
little below the lower third, as 
is indicated by the rugosities 
which exist at this point. 

The upper extremity is large 
and rounded, the anterior 
tibial ridge advances a good 
deal and curves outwards ; but 
it is very little elevated above 
the articular surface. The ro- 
tular ridge is but little marked, 
and the outer tibial ridge is 
prolonged outwardly in curv- 
ing round in front of the pe- 

The lower extremity is mas- 
sive ; the two condyles are very 
unequal, that of the inner side 
is narrow and advanced, that of 
the outer is broad and romuUd, the groove which separates 

Zoological Affinities of Aphanapteryx. 269 

them is of somewhat great breadth ; there are no pits below for 
lodging the posterior edge of the glenoid facets of the metatarsus, 
in the way that is seen in many of the Waders. The furrow of 
the anterior tibial muscle passes under a well-developed bony 
point ; the groove of the short peronean muscle is hardly in- 

Among the Rails, Ocydromus alone offers like peculiarities in 
the structure of the leg-bone ; and there they differ remarkably 
from the other genera of the same family ; for in them the tibia 
is relatively much more elongated, the articular extremities are 
more in proportion to the size of the diaphysis and the tibial 
ridges, and much higher and more prominent. In this respect 
there are many more differences between the structure of the 
normal Rallidce and of Ocydromus than exist between this last 
and our fossil. Indeed it is to be remarked that the tibia of 
Ocydromus is comparatively very thick and short, and that its 
extremities, particularly the upper one, are more swollen than 
is usual, without, however, being nearly so much so as in our 
fossil. The osteological peculiarities of the lower extremity are 
the same, but the diaphysis in Ocydromus is less bowed. The 
tibia of Apteryx differs much from that of the Mauritian bird : 
the direction of the tarsal articulation is quite otherwise; the 
relative size of the condyle is not the same ; the furrow of the 
anterior tibial muscle does not pass under a bony bridge, and 
remains uncovered ; the anterior tibial ridge is much less pro- 
minent, and so forth. There is, however, in the general aspect 
and the relative proportions of the bone, something which recalls 
those of the fossil, indicating that, though belonging to a bird 
of a distinct zoological group, it presents some traces of resem- 
blance to this singular genus of the Brevipennate group. 

The proportion in the length of the bone of the foot and of 
the leg is not the same as in Ocydromus or Apteryx — the tarso- 
metatarsus being notably longer, and being equal to two-thirds 
the length of the tibia. Thus, if the dimensions of the last 
bone are represented by 100, the length of the tarso-metatarsus 
would be 67, while in Ocydromus it would be only 57"5, and in 
Apteryx 54. 

Elsewhere in the family Rallidce these projjortions vuiy 


Mons. A. Milne-Edwards on the 

within very wide limits, not that one can attach a very great 
importance to these differences. This may be proved by a 
glance at the following numbers, which show the proportion of 
the tarso-metatarsus to the tibia — the length of the latter being 
taken at 100 : — 

Fossil Metatarsus G7 

Ocydromus avistralis . . »>7'5 

Tribonyx mortieri .... 64 

Aramicles cayennensis . . 72 

Metopidius africanus . . 71 

Porpliyrio madagascariensis 68 

Rallus crex 64 

aquaticus 64 

Gallinula cliloropus 62* 

Fulica atra 57 

Thus in our fossil bird the proportion of the leg to the foot 
was nearly the same as in Porphjrio, Tribonyx, and the Rails. 

To sum up, we see then that the remains the characters of 
which I have just been examining belong evidently to the bird 
which Herr von Frauenfeld has recently figured, and that they 
are sufficient to indicate clearly the systematic jjosition of this 
remarkable animal. It evidently was one of the family Rallidce, 
and there is much less difference between it and Oajdromus 
than between this last and the (true) Rails. It constitutes 
in this group one of the transitional forms so remarkable in 
the animal kingdom, and should be regarded as a Ralline the 
organization of which was adapted to an essentially terrestrial 
existence. The feathers of the wings are too slight and offer far 
too little resistance to have been of use in flight ; and, besides 
this, the wings themselves are rudimentary. The feet, on the 
contrary, show considerable strength ; but they are only slightly 
elevated, and the toes are less elongated than is usual in this 
family. This last fact gives us reason to think that this species 
had less aquatic habits than most of the Rullido!. The hind toe, 
however, is very long, as in birds which haunt muddy places 
or a soil of little consistency — although in the true Runners it 
disappears more or less completely, so as to diminish the weight 
of the arm of the lever formed by the foot. It may be seen by 
the nature of the feathers that the Poule rouge was still more 
brevipennate than Notornis; and it is also probable that the 

* [In M. Milne-Edwards's paper (Ann. Sc. Nat. id supra) llie propor- 
tional length in this species is given as " 72."— Er.] 

Zoological Affinities 0/ Aphanapteryx. 271 

sternum was still less carinate than in that bird*, and that the 
furcula either did not exist, or was reduced to a styliform state. 
We may hope that new researches to be made by Mr. Edward 
Newton in Mauritius will bring to our knowledge some of these 
interesting portions. 

Herr von Frauenfeld has proposed to regard the bird of which 
we are treating as the type of a new generic division, and gives 
it the name of Aphanaptenjx imperialis. Whether this name 
may be retained, and whether other authors have not spoken of 
this vanished ornithological form, are questions which we have 
now to examine. Several naturalists had already tried to in- 
terpret zoologically the imperfect descriptions and figures left 
by travellers who visited the Mascarene Islands towards the end 
of the sixteenth and in the seventeenth centuries; and each of 
the birds of which they have been able to suspect the existence 
had already received at least one peculiar name, even when its 
zoological relations were altogether unknown. Thus Mons. de 
Selys-Longchamps has united all these doubtful species in one 
and the same generic division, to which he has applied the 
name of Apterornis\. 

The bird figured by Van den Broecke (fig. 1) is evidently that 
which Cauche called the Poule rouge au bee de Becasse, and it 
seems to me that we may identify them with almost absolute 
certainty with the Aphanapteryx imperialis. But ought one on 
that account to replace this generic name by that of Apterornis ? 
I think not; for the celebrated Belgian naturalist has formed 
this last genus out of very heterogeneous elements, and the 
characters which he assigns to it are besides vague, and could 
be applied (as actually is the case) to birds belonging to very 
different groups. 

"The genus Apterornis" says this author, "differs remark- 
ably from the two preceding \_Didus and Pezophaps'] by its long 
bill, somewhat resembling that of the Woodcocks, but larger. 
This bill in appearance recalls that of Apteryx. These birds 
were mounted on long legs, ran fast, and differed more from 

* Prof. Owen has given a figure of tins in his '■ Anatomy of Vertebrates ' 
(vol. ii. p. 21). 
t [liBvue Zoologique, 1848, p. 293. — Teansl.]. 

272 Mons. A. Milne-Edwai-ds on the 

the Pigeons than the Dodo and Pezophaps, which they other- 
wise resembled in their wings, unfit for flight, in the want of a 
tail, or having only a rudimentary one, and in the number and 
disposition of their toes." 

As type of the genus M. de Selys-Longchamps gives Apter- 
ornis solitaria — that is to say, the Solitaire of Reunion, of which 
we have no remains. Indeed we only know it hy the accounts 
of some travellers, and especially of Carre and Dubois'^. This 
bird, whose plumage was white or tinged with yellow, may be 
perhaps the white Dodo, represented in a picture exhibited to 
the Zoological Society of London, and reproduced in a memoir 
on the subject published in its ' Transactions ' [Vol. vi. pp. 
373-376, pi. 62]. 

The second species of Apterornis of M. de Selys, which he 
calls A. carulescens, is nothing else than the Oiseau bleu of which 
Dubois gives us some particulars which I here quote : — " Oyseaux 
hleus, as large as the Solitaires, have their plumage all blue, 
their bill and feet red, and in form like those of fowls. They 
do not fly, but they run so quickly that a dog can hardly catch 
them in a course. They are very good." 

The blue colour of the plumage, the hue of the feet and the 
bill, and the rapidity with which they run would seem to indi- 
cate well a bird belonging to the group Porphyrio. Strickland 
had fully seized this idea when he said, " I should have been 
disposed to refer the ' Oiseau bleu ' to the genus Porphyrio, 
were we not told that they were the size of the Solitaire, i. e., 
of a large Goose, that the feet resembled those of a hen, and 
that they never fly." [' The Dodo ', &c. p. 59.] 

* [In a note appended to a translation of Prof. Sclilegel's paper "On 
some Extinct Gigantic Birds of the Mascaiene Islands" (Ibis, 1866, pp. 146- 
168), which was contained in the ' Annales des Sciences Natm-elles — 
Zoologie ' for 1866 (5th ser. torn, vi, pp. 25-49), M. A. Milne-Edwards 
mentioned that the MS. journal of the " Sieur D. B.", in the possession of 
the Zoological Society, had been published at Paris in 1674, and that the 
author's name was Du Bois. We have lately leamt that this fact was 
pointed out seventeen years ago by Mr. Pinkerton in ' Notes and Queries ' 
(Ist ser. vol, vi. p. 83, July 25, 1852) ; and this gentleman has been kind 
enough to inform us that there is a copy of the work in the British 
Museum ("King's Library, no. 270, h, 31 "). — Ed.]. 

Zoological Affinities of Aphanaptoryx. 273 

When Strickland wrote these lines, nothing was known of 
the Not amis (discovered in 1850), in which nearly all these 
characters are found. But when, later, Prof. Schlegel* sought 
to determine zoologically the former birds of the Mascarene 
Islands, he ranked this species in the genus Notornis. It seems 
to me that the Oiseau bleu cannot belong to any other group 
than Purphyrio ; but, on the other hand, it seems to me very- 
difficult to establish genera and species solely on the narratives 
of travellers, who for the most part attaching only a very 
secondary importance to questions of natural history, could not 
have observed very attentively the characters of species, and 
have given an account of them in an approximate manner. 
Thus all the discussions which have been raised with respect to 
the zoological place of the Oiseau bleu have been based on the 
description of Dubois ; but was this accurate ? We may doubt 
about it, because in a letter written by Brown, a Jesuit Mis- 
sionary, and published in 1724, in the ' Lettres Edifiantes^t, 
we find the following passage : — 

" Vers I'est de cette Isle, il y a une petite plaine au haut 
d'une montagne, qn'on appelle la plaine des Coffres, ou I'on 
trouve un gros oiseau bleu dont la couleur est fort eclatante. 
11 ressemble a un pigeon ramier; il vole rarement, toujours 
en rasant la terre, mais il marche avec une vitesse surprenante ; 
les habitans ne lui ont point encore donne d' autre nom que 
celui d'oiseau bleu ; sa chair est assez bonne et se conserve long- 

According to this author, not only was the Oiseau bleu only 
of the size of a Wood-Pigeon, but it was able to fly. It is 
difficult, not to say impossible, in this case to say on which side 
the truth lies, and in which of the accounts the most confidence 
should be placed. I have given this example to show what sort 

* [Versl. eu Mededeel. K. Ak. Wetensch. Natuurk., vii. p. 116 et seq. 
Translated, Ibis, 1866, pp. 146-168.— Ed.]. 

t Lettres edifiantes et curieuses, ^crites des Missions etrangeres. Nou- 
velie edition. Paris : 1781. Memoires des Indes, torn. xiii. p. 313. 

X [.Cf- 'The History of Mauritius,' &c., by Charles Grant. London: 
1801, p. 167 : the passag-e quoted by Strickland ' Tlie Dodo,' &c., p. 60. 

274 Mons. A. Milne-Edwards on the 

of reserve ought to be maintained when it is a question of making 
use, for the study of species, of the curt descriptions given by 
travellers in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. But 
whether the Oiseau bleu was a Porphyrio * or a Notomis matters 
little to the question of which we are treating here. It is any 
how plain that it belongs to quite another genus from the 
Solitaire [of Reunion] ; and if one regards this last as the 
type of the genus, it should be distinguished from the Apterornis 

The Apterornis bonasia, which forms the third representative 
of the Apterorriis of M. de Selys-Longchamps, is still more dif- 
ficult to determine exactly ; for several species are found to be 
united under this one name. Thus this specific type would 
include : — 

First, the " Hen " of which Sir Thomas Herbert has left a 
very imperfect figure (fig. 2), wherein the bill is long, straight, and 
pointed, instead of being curved like that of Aphanapteryx. 
There is no vestige of a tail, but it seems to have had extremely 
short wings. This is the bird to which Prof. Schlegel has as- 
signed the name of Didus herberti. 

Secondly, The Poule rouge au bee de Becasse of Cauche. 

Thirdly, The Gelinottes, which inhabited Rodriguez at the 
time when Leguat lived there. These are distinguished clearly 
from the preceding by their light grey colour, and by the form 
of their bill, which was straight, pointed, and red. 

Lastly, M. de Selys-Longchamps finishes the passage relating 
to his Apterornis bonasia by quoting the figure given in Van 
den Broecke's voyage (fig. 1) . 

Accordingly Apterornis bonasia includes at least three dis- 
tinct species, among which is to be found the Aphanapteryx of 
Herr von Frauenfeld ; but for this bird that specific name cannot 
be adopted, because it ought to be applied to the first species of 
which M. de Selys-Longchamps speaks — that is to say, to that of 
which Herbert has left a coarse figure (fig. 2), and of which the 
chief characteristic is a straight and pointed bill. 

* [It has already been suggested (Maillard, Notes sur I'ile de la Re- 
imion, Paris, 18G2, p. 159, and P. Z. S. 1865, p. 83G), that this " Oiseau 
bleu" was P. ntudafffiscnriensis. — Ed.] 

Zoological Affinities of Aphanapteryx. 275 

Consequently, if the Solitaire of Bourbon (Reunion), and the 
Didus herberti of Schlegel be left in the genus Apterornis, the 
Oiseau bleu as well as the Poule rouge au bee de Becasse of Caiiche 
should be separated from it, and the generic name of Aphana- 
pteryx, proposed by Herr von Frauenfeld, ought to be kept for 
the last species. But, on the other hand, it is plain that Aphana- 
pteryx imperialis (Plate VII.) is nothing else than the bird figured 
in Van den Broeeke's voyage (fig. 1), to which Prof. Schlegel has 
given the name Didus broeckii ; and this cannot give rise to any 
contradiction, since the learned Director of the Museum at Ley den 
has distinguished this species from those which had a straight 
instead of a curved bill. The specific designation proposed by 
Prof. Schlegel ought then, according to the law of priority, to 
take the place of that which has been more recently given, and 
Aphanapteryx imperialis should bear the name of Aphanapteryx 


This bird, by the side of Ocydromus, holds the place which 
that occupies by the side of the Rails ; and these relations are 
of the same nature as those which exist between Porphyria and 
Not amis ; and it belongs undoubtedly to the family Rallidce 
— conclusions which the study of its external characters would 
not have allowed to be established. 


Fig. 1, p. 258, a copy in facsimile of Van den Broecke's fifrnre. 
2, ,, „ ,, Herbert's figure. 

.3, p. 261, lower mandible from Mauritius, upper vieAv. 

4, „ „ „ ,, side view. 

5, p. 265, tarso-metatarsus from Mauritius, front view. 

6, „ ,, „ „ _ outer view. 

7, p. 268, tibia from Mauritius, front view. 

8, „ „ „ inner view. 

XXIV. — On the Kingfishers of South Africa. 
By R. B. Sharpe. 

The present paper is written chiefly with the view of correcting 
a few errors which have found a place in Mr. Layard's ' Birds 
of South Africa.^ The different criticisms upon, and reviews of, 
this work which have appeared have not touched particularly on 

276 IVIr. R. B. Sharpe on the Kingfishers of South Africa. 

the synonymy of the South-African Kingfishers ; and I therefore 
beg leave to contribute a few lines on the subject of these 
interesting birds. It will be, I am sure, the aim of every orni- 
thologist to assist Mr, Layard in making the second edition of 
his work (which it is to be hoped that the success of the first 
edition will soon render necessary) as perfect as possible ; and as 
the book gets better and better known, a great many of the 
mistakes in synonymy, unavoidable chiefly from the small 
amount of bibliographical material at the author^s command, 
will be set right. I trust therefore that, with this object in 
view, my paper may prove a not unworthy supplement to Mr. 
Gurney's excellent commentary, which has already appeared in 
' The Ibis ; ' but I cannot conclude these introductory remarks 
without expressing my obligations to my friend Dr. Otto Finsch, 
of Bremen, who has very kindly favoured me with a proof-sheet 
of the account of the Alcedinida in the forthcoming work on 
East-African Ornithology by Dr. Hartlaub and himself; and 
on his recent visit to England he examined, with me, several 
difficult questions connected with African Kingfishers, which we 
now hope to have finally settled. His intimate acquaintance 
with the Ornithology of the Ethiopian region has been of the 
utmost service to me. 

The numbers prefixed to the names of the species in the pre- 
sent paper are those of Mr. Layard's book, as I have thought it 
best to refer to the various species in the order employed by him, 
while I endeavour to correct the mistakes in the observations I 
make on each bird. 

98. Halcyon senegalensis. 

This species has been inserted by Mr. Layard on the authority 
of specimens procured by Mr. Ayres on the Monocusi River 
in Natal (Ibis, 1865, p. 265). But as Mr. Gurney has al- 
ready shown (Ibis, 1868, p. 265), the original notice is not 
properly referable to H. senegalensis, but to H. cyanoleuca (Vieill. 
Nouv. Diet. xix. p. 401, 1818), a species I had the pleasure of 
rediscovering by means of this very bird, which was kindly lent 
me by the Rev. H. B. Tristram, to whom Mr. Gurnty had given 

Mr. R. B. Sharpe on the Kingfishers of South Africa. 277 

99. Halcyon senegaloides, A. Smith, S. Afr. Q. Journ. ii. 
p. 144. 

This is also the Halcyon irrorata of Reichenbach, a name 
generally employed by the Continental purists. 

100. Halcyon swainsoni, A. Smith, S. Afr. Q. Journ. p. 

Mr. Layard, having quoted the Alceclo semicarulea of Gmelin 
as a synonym of the present bird, ought certainly to have given 
that name to the species in preference to Sir Andrew Smith's, 
which was published fifty years after. Neither is Gmelin (1788) 
the first authority for the name, as it is the A. semiccerulea of 
Forskal (Descr. An. p. 2, 1775). 

101. Halcyon fuscicapilla (Lafresn. Mag. de Zool. 1833, 
pi. 18). 

This species is the Martin-pecheur de Visle de Luqon of Son- 
nerat (Voy. Nouv. Guin. p. 65, pi. 31) = Alcedo albiventris of 
Scopoh (Flor. et Faun. Insubr. ii. p. 90). There can be no 
doubt as to the correctness of this identification, for which 
we are indebted to Professor Schlegel (Mus. P.-B. Alcedines, 
p. 31). 

102. Halcyon striolata (Licht. Verz. Doubl. p. 12). 

The South-African race of this species, to which the Natal 
bird quoted by Mr. Layavd on M. Jules Verreaux's authority is 
doubtless referable, is the Halcrjon damarensis of Strickland 
(Contr. Orn. 1852, p. 153), which, however, cannot be considered 
more than a large race of the West-African form. Mr. J. H. 
Gurney lately forwarded for my inspection a specimen of this 
bird which he had received from the district of the river Lim- 
popo, and at the same time he very kindly transmitted a speci- 
men of H. damarensis sent by Andersson from Damara Land. 
After a careful study I came to the conclusion that both these 
birds were referable to the same species ; and as Mr. Gurney 
has given them to me, I am able to subjoin their measurements, 
along with those of some other specimens^ from various localities. 

* The first six of these are in my own collection, the seventh in that of 
Mr. Monteiro. 

N.S. VOL. V. IT 

278 Mr. R. B. Sharpc on the Kingfishers of South Africa. 






^ '1 





t-: ■ cS 






<J O 





River Limpopo 

Ayres .... 



3-3 1-9 





Damara-land . . 






0-35 0-6 



South Africa. . 




3-2 1-7 

0-40 0-6 



Kiirrichaine . . 




3-1 1-6 

0-40 0-6 



Abyssinia .... 




30 1-7 

0-40; 0-6 






2-9 1-6 

0-95; 0-6 






3-2j 1-8 

0.40, 0-6 

Now from the before- mentioned proof-sheet of Drs. Hartlaub 
and Finsch, I find that their conclusions are the same as my own, 
namely, that although the South-African birds are larger than 
those from Western Africa and Abyssinia, still there are no 
points to justify a specific difference. Mr. Strickland separated 
the Damara-land bird solely on account of its larger size; but 
the phimage does not differ from that of specimens from West or 
South-east Africa. I should mention that Abyssinian specimens, 
H. chelicuti (Stanley), seem always to be fulvous-yellow beneath, 
and the stripes on the breast more distinct, though smaller. I 
had always considered the marks on the breast to indicate im- 
maturity ; but I have examined a considerable number of speci- 
mens from Abyssinia and North-eastern Africa, and they have 
all been in the above-mentioned state of plumage. It is reason- 
able to suppose that some at least of these birds were adult, so 
that I think it probable that the examination of a series of 
specimens from this locality would tend to prove their specific 
distinctness from their more southern representatives. If this 
should prove to be the case, the name H. chelicutensis which 
Drs. Hartlaub and Finsch propose as an improved reading for 
H. chelicuti, should be retained for the North-east African 
species. The West- African bird may be called either H. striolata, 
(liicht.) or H. variegata (Vieill.), both of these names having 
been published in 1823 ; and I prefer employing that given 
by Lichtenstein, as the striped plumage is peculiar to the small 
section of the genus Halcyon including the present species along 
with H. albiventris (Scop.) and H. orientalis, Peters. H. dama- 
7-ensis should only be considered a larger race of H. striolata. 

Mr. R. B. Sharpe on the Kingfishers of South Africa. 279 

As, however, the evidence of the specific distinctness of the 
Abyssinian and West- African birds is not yet entirely satisfac- 
tory, I prefer uniting them as one species under the oldest 
name H. chelicuti. 

103. Halcyon cyanotis, Swains. B. W. Afr. ii. p. 103. 
This is not a Halcyon, but a West- African species of Ispidina, 

viz. Ispidina pict a (Bodd. 1783), which specific name of course 
takes precedence over Swainson's, that not having been published 
till 1837. 

Mr. Layard follows the example of other ornithologists in 
referring " Alcyone coronata, Smith," to this species. I have 
hunted diligently to find where this specific name was published, 
but have not yet succeeded in discovering it. Sir Andrew 
Smith never remembers publishing such a name, but has most 
kindly promised to look into the matter for me. I would sug- 
gest, however, that this synonym is intended to refer to Alcedo 
quadrihrachys, which Sir Andrew remembers noticing in Natal, 
as that bird much resembles the Australian Alcyone in general 

104. Halcyon cinereifrons (Vieill. N. Diet. xix. p. 403). 
This being the Alcedo malimbica of Shaw (1811), his specific 

name should be used instead of Vieillot's (1818). It is indeed 
quoted by Mr. Layard as referable to the species ; but I suppose 
he had not the works of the two authors at hand to determine 
the question of priority. 

105. Alcedo semitorquata. Swains. Zool. 111. pi. 151. 
This species seems to be by no means rare in South Africa, 

and is also found, but more sparingly, in Abyssinia and West 
Africa. I have a beautiful pair in my collection from the 
Orange River. 

106. Alcedo cristata, Linn. S. N. i. p. 178. 

Although it seems tolerably certain that the Ispida philippensis 
cristata of Brisson* is referable to the Madagascar Corythornis, 
and not to that of the African continent, yet it can by no means 
be safely determined that the Alcedo cristata of Linnaeus refers 

* Vide Pucheran, Rev. Zool. 1861, pp. 337-341. 


280 Mr. R. B. Sharpe on the Kingfishers of South Africa. 

to the same bird, although he quotes Brisson's species as iden- 
tical. Dr. Finsch has carefully collated the synonymy for his and 
Dr. Hartlaub's forthcoming work on the Ornithology of Eastern 
Africa ; and he agrees with me that, as we can never settle the 
question with absolute certainty, it will be more to the interest of 
science to keep the two species under the names by which they 
have been generally known, viz. Corythornis vintsioides for the 
bird, and C. cristata for the Continental*. 

With regard to the Alcedo cyanostigma of Riippell (N. Wir- 
belth. Taf. 24), Dr. Finsch was inclined to regard it as a good 
species ; but on examining the large series of specimens in my 
collection, he agreed that my determination was right, and that 
Riippell's species is nothing more than the young of C. cristata. 
In order to be sure on this point I wrote to Frankfort to request 
the loan of the type-specimen, to enable me to decide the 
question once and for ever ; but I regret that my application did 
not meet with success. I further regret this circumstance as 
this is the only case in which I have met with a refusal from 
any Museum, public or private, in England or abroad, to furnish 
me with a sight of any specimens that I required for the purpose 
of ray work. In the absence of a personal view, I must consider 
Riippell's bird to be identical with specimens from other parts 
of Africa, although I should like to see more Abyssinian speci- 
mens. I have however no doubt that this determination, in 
which Dr. Finsch entirely concurs, will prove to be perfectly 

As in the case of H. chelicutensis, specimens of C. cristata 
from South Africa are larger than those from West Africa and 
Abyssinia, but do not present any difference in plumage. I 
subjoin the measurements of several specimensf from different 
localities, but I cannot discover any characters sufficient to 
justify the separation of the South- African bird as a distinct 

* [Dr. Puclieran Qoc. cit.) is of the contrary opinion. — Ed.] 
t The first, fifth, and sixth of these are in Mr. Gould's collection, the 
fourth in Mr. Monteiro's, the others in my own. 

Mr. R. B. Sharpe on the Kingfishers of South Africa. 281 

























White Nile . . 





.. |0-2 




West Africa . . 





0-951 0-2 




Whitely . . 




0-95 0-2 



Beuguela .... 





1-00 0-2 




Ayres .... 







Natal .... 

Avres .... 




1-10: 0-2 



Cape Colony (?) 

Ward.. .. 




1-lOj 0-2: 0-46 

Mr. Gould's specimen from the White Nile has no tail and 
no tip to its beak, so that I have been obliged to measure it as 
best I could. In the measurements given in the present paper, 
I should state that all the birds are in skin, and also that the 
claw is not included in the length of the middle toe. 

107. Alcedo quadribrachys, Bonap. Consp. Av. i. p. 158. 
This beautiful Kingfisher was named quadribrachys in contrast 

to the Alcyone azurea {A. trihrachys, Shaw) of Australia, to 
which it bears at first sight some resemblance. The African 
bird, however, may at once be distinguished by its rich cobalt- 
blue back and by its having four toes, whereas Alcyone azurea 
has only three, and the back is of a uniform azure. To my 
mind, however, the African species bears a close affinity to the 
Malayan ^/cecfo asiatica of Swainson {A.menintingoi Horsfield), 
and in an arrangement of the genus Alcedo these two species 
must be placed in close proximity. The shorter beak and more 
distinct cobalt-blue bars on the head are some of the characters 
that separate A. asiatica from A. quadribrachys. 

108. Alcedo natalensis, A. Smith, S. Afr. Q. Journ. no. v. 
p. 14. 

This is an Ispidina, and distinct from the /. picta of "West 
Africa and Abyssinia, from which it may at once be distin- 
guished by a bright blue spot on the side of the neck. Other 
difi'erences are its slightly shorter and broader bill, and the 
extremely rich ultramarine of the back. Synonyms of /. nata- 
lensis are /. 7iitida of Kaup and Alcedo picturata of Schlegel. I 
have examined the type-specimen of Dr. Kaup's /. nitida. 

282 Mr. R. B. Sharpe on the Kinc/Jishcrs of South Africa. 

which is a young bird in the British Museum ; and this iden- 
tification is very satisfactory, as no one had hitherto been able 
to identify this species. Dr. Finsch, to whom I had the 
pleasure of introducing the present bird, which he had never 
before seen, very kindly compared a specimen I gave him from 
Natal with Prof. Schlegel's type of A.picturata, and has written 
to inform me that it is identical with /. natalensis. 

The species has not been recognized by any previous writer. 
Sir Andrew Smith does not seem to have noticed any difi'erence 
between it and any other species of Ispidwia, nor does he notice 
the blue spot on the side of the neck, which is the chief distin- 
guishing characteristic of the bird. Mr. Layard has apparently 
never seen the species at all, and the descriptions of neither 
Prof. Schlegel nor Dr. Kaup are particularly accurate. 

109. Ceryle maxima (Pall. Spic. Zool, vi. p. 14). 

As will be seen by a reference to the synonymy of this bird 
given in my work, the name guttata of Boddacrt (1783) must 
give way to the older one of Pallas (1769)*. 

110. Ceryle rudis (Linn. S. N. i. p. 181). 

I do not believe that any good specific characters can be 
found to separate the different races of this bird as distinct 
species. At present I can only discover a slight difference in 
size in specimens from various localities. 

The following is a list of the Kingfishers of the Ethiopian 
Region, the full synonymy of which will be given in my 
* Monograph of the Alcedinida.' 

1. Halcyou cyanoleuca (Vieill.). Ah: occ. et merid. 

2. senegalensis (Linn.). Afr. occ. et Abyss. 

3. malimbica {Shatv). Afi*. occ. et merid. 

4. dryas, Hartl. Afr. occ. 

5. senegaloides, Smith. Natal. 

6. semicserulea (Forsk.). Reg. tola ^thiop. 

7. erythrogastra (remrn.). Ins. " St. Jago " dicta. 

. 8. albiventris (Scop.). Afr. merid. 

9. orientalis, Peters. Afr. orient. 

* Vide supra, p. 72. 

On the Birds collected in the Straits of Magellan. 283 

10. Halcyon clielicutensis (Stanl.). Reg. tota ^thiop. 

11. badia, Verr. Afr. occ. 

12. Ispidina picta (Bodd.). Afr. occ. et Abyss. 

13. iiataleusis (S7mth). Afr. eui-austr. 

14. lecontii, Cass. Afr. occ. 

15. leucogastra (Fras.). Afr. occ. 

16. ruficeps, Hartl. Afr. occ. 

17. madagascariensis (Linn.). Ins. Madag. 

18. Corythornis cristata (Linn.). Reg. tota /Ethiop. 

19. cseruleocepliala (Gwi.). Afr. occ. et Abyss. 

20. \nntsioides (LJi/d. <§• Gerv.). Ins. Madag. 

21. Alcedo quadribracbys, Bonap. Afr. occ. et merid. 

22. semitorquata, Swains. Reg. tota ^tbiop. 

23. Ceryle maxima (Pall.). Reg. tota ^tbiop. 

24. rudis (Linn.). Reg. tota ^thiop. 

Of these twenty-four species, twenty-three are peculiar to the 
Ethiopian Region. 

XXV. — Second List of Birds collected, during the Survey of 
the Straits of Magellan, by Dr. Cunningham. By P. L. 
ScLATER, M.A., Ph.D., F.R.S., and Osbert Salvin, 
M.A., F.L.S., F.Z.S. 

Dr. Cunningham has already* given us a very interesting 
account of his proceedings in connection with the expedition 
for the survey of Magellan Straits, in the antarctic summer of 
1867-68. The bird-skins obtained on this occasion having been 
submitted to our examination by Prof. Newton, we beg leave to 
present to the readers of 'The Ibis^ the following list of them : — 

1. Curseus aterrimus (Kittl.) Cape Negro Nov. 29, 1867. 

2. Cinclodes patagonicus (Gm.) . . . .Ancud, Cbiloe . .May 23, 1868. 

3. Hylactes tamii, King Halt Bay April 21, 1868. 

4. Anseretes parulus (Kittl.) Sandy Point . , . .May 1867. 

5. Eustepbanus galeritus (Mol.) . . l ^^.^^^ ^p^j ^^ jgg^^ 

7. Ceryle stellata, Meyen Port Otway April 16, 1868. 

8. Picus lignarius, Mol. Cbiloe May 1868. 

9. Colaptes pi tins (Mol.) Lata Jime 8, 1868. 

* Ibis, 1868, p. 486. 

284 Messrs. Sclater and Salvin on the Birds collected 

10. Cathartes aura (i.) HasleynCove, Mes- 

seur Channel . . May 1868. 

11. Geranoaetus melanoleucus ( Vieill.) Cape Negro Nov. 29, 1867. 

12. Buteo erythronotus, Kiiig Fox Bay, W. Falk- 

land Jan. 31, 1868. 

13. Nycticorax obscurus, Licht Tyssen Islands, 

Falkland Sound. Jan. 30, 1868. 
14 Even Harbour . . . .April 28, 1868. 

15. Ardea egretta, Gm Port Otway April 16, 1868. 

16. Vanellus cayennensis {Gm.) Gregory Bay . . . .Dec. 12, 1867. 

17. Chionis alba (Forst.) Dungeness Spit . .Feb. 16, 1868. 

18. Thinocorus rumicivorus, £sch Gregoiy Bay . . . .Dec. 12, 1867. 

19. Sterna cassini, Scl. St. lago Bay . . . .Dec. 7, 1867. 

20. Lestris autarctica (Less.) Sta. Magdalena . .March 2, 1868. 

21. Larus doxamienmis, Licht Halt Bay April 24, 1868. 

22. Rhynchops melanura, Sto Aucud, Chiloe. . . .May 27, 1868. 

28. Diomedea exulans, L Chonos Arch Mar. 27, 1868. 

4. Podiceps rollandi, Q. Sf G Halt Bay April 21, 1868. 

25. Podiceps caliparius, Less Chiloe April 6, 1868. 

26. Podilymbus podiceps (L.) Chiloe Mar. 20, 1868. 

27. Phalacrocorax carunculatus ((t/h.). Sta. Magdalena . .Dec. 4, 1867. 

28. Cygnus coscoroba (Mol.) Rio Galegos ..... Dec. 23, 1867. 

29. Cygnus uigricoUis (Gm.) Elizabeth Isle. . . .Nov. 1867. 

30. Chloephaga antarctica (Gtn.) . . . .Port Otway April 16, 1868. 

31. Mareca chiloensis, Eyton Gregory Bay . . . .Dec. 12, 1867. 

32. Aptenodytes pennanti, Gray . . . . Tyssen Island . . . .Jan. 30, 1868. 

33. Spheniscus mageUanicus (Forst.) . . Sta. Magdalena . . Dec. 4, 1867. 

It will be thus seen that Dr. Cunningham^s present collection 
consists of thirty-three specimens, referable to thirty-one species. 
As regards the land-birds occurring in it (Nos. 1 to 11), they 
are all well-known Chilian species, thus confirming the views 
we have already put forward on the general character of the 
Patagonian avifauna. The same is the general case with the 
rest of the series, although these are mostly species of much 
wider distribution. 

We subjoin some remarks upon two of the species included 
in the list of Patagonian Passeres given in our former paper on 
this subject ('Ibis,' 1868, pp. 183-189). 

ZoNOTRicHiA CANiCAPiLLA, Gould, Zool. Voy. ' Bcaglc,' iii. 
p. 91 ; Scl. et Salv. Ibis, 1868, p. 185. 

Mr. Salvin has lately obtained from Mr. Gould a marked 

in the Straits of Magellan by Dr. Cunningham. 285 

specimen of this species^ which appears to us to be nothing more 
than Z. pileata in immature plumage. At the same time it is 
very possible that the two birds may be distinguishable in their 
adult dress, although we have never been fortunate enough to 
meet with specimens of Z. canicapilla. Mr. Darwin, in his 
notes on the zoology of tbe voyage of the ' Beagle', evidently 
recognizes them as distinct. 

Phrygilus GAYi (Gould) J Ibis, 1868, p. 186. 

Since we wrote our former article, we have taken Dr. 
Cunningham's example to Paris and compared it with the 
typical specimen of P. gayi in the Jardin des Plantes. It turns 
out, as we had anticipated, that the smaller species, Fringilla 
formosa of Gould, is the true F. gayi, and that these two names 
must henceforth be regarded as synonymous. Of the larger 
species (with which Dr. Cunningham's skin perfectly agrees) there 
are also two skins in the Paris Museum, marked " Chili, Gay." 
"We have therefore little doubt that this is the Chlorospiza 
aldunatii of Gay (Faun. Chil. Zool. p. 356), although it does 
not quite correspond with the description there given. We 
may remark that Gay correctly quotes Fringilla formosa, Gould, 
as a synonym of his Chlorospiza gayi. 

If this view be correct, the synonyms of these two allies will 
stand as follows : — 

(1). Phrygilus gayi. 

Fringilla gayi, Eyd. et Gerv. Mag. Zool. 1834, Ois. pi. 23. 
Phrygilus gayi, Cab. Mus. Hein. p. 134. 
Chlorospiza gayi, Gay, Faun. Chil. Zool. p. 356. 
Fringilla foi'mosa, GoulJ, Zool. Voy. 'Beagle,' iii. p. 93. 
Diagn. — Minor; colore flavo magis aurantiaco; ventre inio 
albo; long, tota 6*0, alse 3'1, caudse 2*5. 

Hab. Chili {Gay) ; Southern Patagonia {Darwin^. 

(2). Phrygilus ALDUNATII. 

Fringilla gayi, Gould, Zool. Voy. ' Beagle,' iii. p. 93. 

Phrygilus gayi, Bp. Consp. p. 477. 

gayi, Scl. et Salv., Ibis, 1868, p. 186. 

Chlorospiza aldunatii. Gay, Faun. Chil. Zool. p. 355. 

286 Mr. Ayres on Birds of 

Diagn. — Major; colore flavo magis olivaceo; ventre toto 
long, tota 6-5, alse 3-8, caudse 2'8. 

Hab. Chili {Gay) ; Southern Patagonia {Darwin and Cun- 
ningham) . 

We have not been able to refer to Lafresnaye and D'Orbigny's 
Fringilla gayi, ex Bolivia, stirps major (Mag. de Zool. 1837, 
p. 75) ; so we cannot say positively that it belongs to this 

*^* We hope shortly to have the opportunity of describing 
the eggs sent home by Dr. Cunningham. — Ed. 

XXVI. — Notes on Bh-ds of the Territory of the Trans- Vaal 
Republic. By Thomas Ayres*. 

1. (L. 6t-) Gyps FULVUS (Gmel.). Fulvous GrifFon-Vulture. 

I have a small collection from the Limpopo and the road to 
that river. I was on the whole much disappointed with the 
birds of that part of the country, there not being anything like 
the variety I expected to find ; the Raptores are very badly re- 
presented, except by the Vultures, of which most kinds are 
numerous, excepting the Pileated and Egyptian, — the GrifiFon 
being in immense numbers; I can only compare them to a lot 
of barn-door fowls. They accompany the hunters, and when 
game is shot wait patiently on the surrounding bushes and 
trees to eat up whatever offal or meat is left for them, pouncing 
upon it in scores before one is twenty yards away, and have 
much more intelligence than I gave them credit for : they 
know quite well where a camp is about to be broken up, and 
immediately collect, narrowly watching proceedings, and gra- 
dually approaching closer and closer as the oxen are being 
inspanned ; and the waggons are no sooner on the move than 
down they come, squabbling for the bits of bone lying about, or 
anything else that may be left that suits their fancy. The lions 
kill game in the night ; early in the morning the Vultures pro- 
ceed to the scene of operation, immediately followed by the 

[* Kindly communicated by Mr. John Henry Gurney. — Ed.] 
t The numbers preceded by " L." in brackets are those by which some 
of the species are distinguished in Mr. Layard's * Birds of South Africa.' 

the Trans- Vaal Territory. 287 

jackals, wolves, and Caffres, who watch the Vultures* flight, 
and are there almost as soon as themselves. I may notice that 
the Caffres are no more afraid of a lion than we are of a dog, 
and coolly drive him away from his food*, frequently with 
nothing in their hand but a small stick. The Vultures were 
breeding all along the banks of the river, placing their nests on 
the tops of the highest trees so as to be quite inaccessible ; at 
least I could find neither white nor black who would risk his 
neck at the height perhaps of a hundred or a hundred and fifty 
feet to get me the eggs, though I offered high rewards. 

[The South-African race of this Vulture, perhaps, differs 
sufiiciently from the nearly allied Northern race to be considered 
specifically distinct, in which case it should bear the name of 
Gyps kolhii (Daud.).— J. H. G.] 

2. (L. 5.) VuLTUR AURicuLARis, Daud. Sociable Vulture. 
These birds place their nests on the upper branches of rather 

low thorn trees : the nest is composed of coarse sticks on the 
outer layers, and finer towards the inner ; it is lined with more 
or less wool and coarse matted lumps of dirty hair, much of it 
probably vomited by the bird after its meals ; the structure is 
about four feet in diameter, and sHghtly concave. I examined 
two nests in the month of July, each containing one egg, which 
in both cases was much incubated : these nests were situated on 
low trees on the banks of a river in the Free State. 

3. (L.4.) VuLTUR OCCIPITALIS, Burch. Occipital Vulture. 
The nes't of this Vulture almost exactly resembles that of 

the last, and is placed in similar situations ; the birds also breed 
at the same time, and lay but one egg. 

The egg sent was much incubated, and was taken in the 
month of July. 

[The egg here mentioned was forwarded by Mr. Ayres to 
Mr. Tristram, who informs me that " it is white with a few faint 
brown cloudings, is thinner in texture than most other Vultures^, 
and decidedly more elongated, resembling rather a Condor's 
in its shape. Greater axis 3*9375 in., lesser axis 2"6875 in." — 

* Cf. Moft'at's 'Missionary Labours,' ed. 1842, p. 141. 

288 Mr. Ayres on Birds of 

4. (L. 38.) Elanus c^ruleus (Desf.). Black-shouldered 

This species appears to be equally distributed throughout 
Natal and Trans-Vaal. 

5. (L. 28.) Chicquera ruficollis (Swains.). African Red- 
necked Falcon. 

The first specimen which I obtained of this handsome bird 
was shot by Dr. Portman whilst attempting to carry away a 
tame Parrot which the Doctor had^ and at that moment was not 
ten feet outside the veranda of the house. 

A pair of these Falcons may occasionally be seen flying about 
the willow trees in Dorp ; but they are by no means plentiful. 
The sexes are very similar in plumage, but the male is rather 
the smaller. The irides are dark brown, the naked skin round 
the eye yellow, the bill blue horn-colour, but yellow at the base, 
the cere, tarsi, and feet yellow. 

6. (L. 33.) TiNNUNcuLUS RUPicoLOiDEs(A. Smith). Greater 
South- African Kestrel. 

These Kestrels are tolerably common in the open country 
surrounding Potchefstroom, and in habits and appearance they 
much resemble our Natal T. rupicolus, they are generally in 
pairs, but sometimes three or four together ; . they feed upon 
rats, mice, lizards, and various insects, especially locusts. 

Irides tawny-yellow, bill bluish horn-colour, but black at the 
tip, cere yellow, tarsi and feet dull yellow. 

7. (L. 41.) AcciPiTER POLYZONOIDES, A. Smith. Many- 
banded Sparrow Hawl<. 

Adult male : — Iris orange, bill black, but bluish at the base, 
cere and gape yellow, tarsi and feet yellow. 

Immature female : — Iris yellow. 

The colours of the eyes, tarsi, feet, bill, and cere appear to 
vary much in different individuals. Scarcely two are precisely 

8. (L. 44.) Melierax gabar (Daud.). Gabar Hawk. 
Inhabits the bush. 

Adult female : — Itis dark reddish-yellow ; bill black, base and 

the Tram-Vaal Teiritory. 289 

cere red ; tarsi and feet bright brick-red. Male and female im- 
mature. Iris yellow. 

[As the dimensions of this species are said to vary in different 
parts of Africa (Ibis, 1861, p. 74, and 1868, p. 145), I annex 
the principal measurements of a pair obtained by Mr. Ayres in 
the Trans- Vaal : — 

Wing from 
carpal joint. 



Middle toe 
and claw. 








The smaller Northern race, M. niloticus (Sundevall, CEfvers. K. 
Vet.-Ak. Forhandl. 1850, p. 132), may, I think, be accepted as 
specifically distinct. — J. H. G.] 

9. (L. 46.) Melierax musicus (Daud.). Chanting Hawk. 
Obtained in the bush-country on the banks of the Limpopo 

river, where it is the most numerous species of any of the diurnal 
birds of prey, except the Vultures. 

Immature male : — Iris yellow, bill black at the tip, base and 
cere yellow, tarsi and feet red. 

10. (L. 59.) Bubo MAcuLOsus (Vieill.). Spotted Eagle-Owi. 
The only nest I ever found of this fine Owl was placed in a 

nook on the face of a precipitous rock, and contained one young 
bird not long hatched, which was of a creamy, tawny-white 
colour, and one egg cracked and addled, the shell of which I 
send ; this I took in the month of October whilst on an explor- 
ing expedition to some very curious limestone-caves of great 
extent, some of the galleries of which are exceedingly beautiful 
by torchlight, stalactites of all imaginable shapes hanging in 
every direction. 

11. (L. 68.) Caprimulgus rufigena, A. Smith. Rufous- 
cheeked Goatsucker. 

One day in October, whilst walking with my gun amongst 
some rocky ground, the bird which I now send rose close to my 
feet, and I shot it ; on examining the spot whence it rose I 

290 Mr, Ayres on Birds of 

found an egg which was laid on the bare ground, without the 
slightest pretence to a nest. 

[The bird and egg above mentioned were sent by Mr. Ayres 
to Mr. Tristram. The bird (a female) agrees with the figure of 
the male in Sir A. Smithes ' Illustrations of the Zoology of 
South Africa^ {Aves, pi. 100), except that it wants the white 
on the tail which occurs in the male bird. Mr. Tristram 
informs me that " the egg is of a rich cream-colour, with faint 
fawn-coloured cloudings all over it.^^ — J. H. G.] 

12. (L. 83.) HiRUNDO SEMiRUFA, Sundev. Rufous-breasted 

These Swallows appear in Potchefstroom in September, in 
the spring of the year, and continue throughout the summer. 
They appear to be somewhat solitary in habits during their stay, 
and are decidedly scarce. Their flight is comparatively heavy. 

The irides are dusky, bill black, tarsi and feet dusky. 

13. Halcyon damarensis, Strickl. Damara Kingfisher. 
Obtained in the district of the river Limpopo, but shot in 

the bush many miles from water. 

[The specimen sent agrees with examples from Damara Land 
of the larger race of Halcyon chelicuti (Stanley) described by 
Strickland (Contr. Orn. 1852, pp. 153, 154) as distinct^.— 
J. H. G.] 

14. (L. 101.) Halycon albiventris (Scop.). Brown- 
hooded Kingfisher. 

Occurs in the district of the river Limpopo, but is scarce. 

15. (L. 110.) Ceryle rudis (Linn.). Black-and- White 

I found a few of these in the same district. 

16. (L. 109.) Ceryle maxima (Pall.). Great African King- 

I met with a few of this species in the Mareco district. 

17. (L. 169.) Drymceca flavicans (Vieill.). Citrin-Dry- 

This delicate little bird is common about the hedgerows in 
* [Cy. sM^^m^pp. 277, 278.— Ed.] 

the Trans- Vaal Territm-y. 291 

Potchefstrooni. Ground covered with dense masses of tall weeds 
is generally chosen by it for its breeding-place. The uest is 
made of fine strips of green grass very curiously curled and 
twisted together, attached to weeds some two or three feet from 
the ground ; it is of an oval shape, well closed in, with the 
exception of a small opening on the upperside, and is lined with 
fine white down taken from grasses and plants. The eggs, 
which are from two to four in number, vary much in colour. 

[Mr. Layard (B. S. Afr. p. 95) supposes this species to be 
identical with tbe Motacilla subjiava of Gmelin (S. N. i. p. 982) j 
but the latter being founded on a figure in the ' Planches Enlu- 
minees ' (No. 584, fig. 2) which hardly admits of satisfactory 
identification, I have preferred using the specific name pro- 
posed by Vieillot for the present species, which is well figured 
and described by Le Vaillant (Ois. d'Afr. pi. 127) under the 
name of " Le Citrin."— J. H. G.] 

18. (L. 157.) Drymceca levaillanti, A. Smith. Le Vail- 
lant's Drymceca. 

The nest of this species is attached to the upper parts of tall 
weeds, amongst the leaves ; it is composed of very fine wool and 
spiders' webs mixed with diy grass rather roughly woven to- 
gether; the inside is lined lightly with the feathery down of 
some sort of wild flowers. It is oval in shape, with the entrance 
on the upper side, and has altogether a white, light, and pretty 

The eggs vary much in colour, some being pure white with 
dark pink spots, others pinkish-white with very fine small spots 
of rather darker pink ; others, again, are pale sky-blue blotched 
and spotted with pale pinkish -brown. 

19. (L. 176.) Calamoherpe rufescens (Keyserl. & Bias.). 
Fig-eating Reed-Warbler. 

The nest of this species is a very extraordinary structure for 
so small a bird ; it is a mass of seven or eight inches in depth 
and four or five in diameter, with a small neat cup-shaped cavity 
at the top, an inch and a quarter across ; it is composed princi- 
pally of white feathers intermixed and bound together with pieces 
of cotton, wool, and grass ; the tips of many of the feathers are 

293 Mr. Ayres on Birds of 

allowed to stick out fancifully, which gives the nest an odd 
appearance as if expressly ornamented ; the inside of the cup is 
very neatly lined with fine grass and horsehair. All nests are 
not as large as the one described ; but all partake more or less 
of the same character. They are built generally amongst the 
fig-tree hedges common in the town of Potchefstroom. When 
insects are scarce the birds feed readily on the ripe figs, here 
very abundant in the autumn months. The eggs are generally 
two or three in number. It seems to me that the birds add to 
their old nest each season, which will account for the structure 
being so extremely large. 

[This Reed-Warbler is the same as that which I have before 
mentioned (Ibis, 1865, p. 266, and 1868, p. 157) as a variety of 
the British species, C. strepera, from which it in fact only differs 
in the comparative length of the first and second primaries — the 
first being from '1875 to '25 in. shorter than the second, whilst 
in the English bird it is only about "0625 in, shorter. This 
difference, though slight, appears to be a constant peculiarity of 
the South-African race, as I have found on a comparison of spe- 
cimens from Natal, Trans- Vaal, Damara Land, and Colesberg. 
— J.H.G.] 

20. (L. 215.) ZosTEROPs capensis (Linn.). Cape Zosterops, 
Occasionally seen in small companies, actively hopping and 

climbing about the hedges and trees during the winter months. 

21. (L. 219.) MoTACiLLA CAPENSIS, Linn. Cape Wagtail. 
The nest is coarsely built of rough grass and rather thickly 

lined with short hair; it is cup-shaped and generally placed in 
some crevice of a wall, or in a bank, or amongst the crannies of 
a rock, and frequently within a foot or two of some water. It 
may also often be found under the eaves of a building, or in a 
hole in the thatch. The eggs are generally four in number. 

22. (L. 240.) TuRDUS olivaceus, Cuv. Olivaceous Thrush. 
These Thrushes are common in Potchefstroom all the year 

round, but are silent and retiring in their habits, frequenting 
thickets and dense hedgerows, and occasionally uttering alow 
short chuck, very similar in sound to that of the Redwing of 

the Trans-Vaol Territory. 293 

23. (L, 237.) TuRDUs strepitans, A. Smith. Ground- 
scraper Thrush. 

Obtained at the river Limpopo. Iris double-ringed, yellow 
and red. 

24. (L. 248.) Bessornis ph{enicurus (Gmel.). Garden-Chat. 
Two eggs only are generally laid by these birds. The nest is 

placed on the ground, mostly at the foot of some tree amongst 
the hedges, in a well-sheltered spot, and frequently close to 
water, and often amongst dead and dry fallen leaves; it is cup- 
shaped, two inches and a half in diameter in the inside, and is 
built roughly of dead leaves and broad grasses, lined with horse- 
hair and long fibres not very neatly woven. The eggs are large 
for the size of the bird. 

25. (L. 319.) Mel.enornis silens (Shaw). Silent Melae- 

Iris dusky ; bill, tarsi, and feet black. 

This bird has the light wavering flight of the Flycatchers ; it 
is rather scarce at Potchefstroom, and I have hitherto only found 
it there during the winter months. It frequents the hedgerows, 
and when perched on the outer twig of some hedge it much 
resembles in appearance Lanius collaris. 

26. (L. 309.) Urolestes cissoides (Licht.). Long-tailed 

Obtained near the river Limpopo. It is also generally dis- 
tributed throughout the bush -veldt of the Trans-Vaal. It is 
solitary in its habits. 

27. (L. 313.) Prionops talacoma, A. Smith. Helmeted 

Found in the neighbourhood of the Limpopo, in flocks or 
families of from six to ten in number. 

Irides and eyelids yellow, tarsi and feet red. 

28. (L. 318.) EuRocEPHALUs ANGUiTiMENS, A. Smith, 
White-breasted Shrike. 

Found in companies of from six to ten, in tlie district of the 
river Limpopo. 

Iris dusky ; sexes similar in size and j)lnHiage. 

N. S. VOL, V. X 

294 Mr. Ayres on Birds of 

29. (L. 321.) Laniarius atrococcineus (Burcli.). Car- 
mine-breasted Shrike. 

Obtained near the Limpopo. 

30. (L. 353.) DiLOPHUs carunculatus (Gmel.). Grey 

These birds feed much upon locusts and other insects, swal- 
lowing them whole, and, in habits and motions whilst feeding, 
remind one much of the English Starling. They are only found 
at Potchefstroom during the winter months, from April to No- 
vember, when they occur both singly and also in companies 
varying in number from three up to a hundred or more. 

Male : — Iris very light brown, bill pale on the upper and pink 
on the lower mandible, the bare skin about the eye (which in 
some examples extends over the occiput) light yellow ; wattles 
about the head and chin black, tarsi and feet pale. 

Female : — Iris dark brown, bill pale, tarsi and feet more dusky. 

31. (L. 335.) Juida australis (A. Smith). BurchelFs 

Obtained near the river Limpopo. 

32. (L. 367.) EuPLECTEs taha (Linn.). Little Black-and- 
yellow Weaver-bird. 

During the winter these birds are found congregating with 
E. sundevalli, and in equal numbers ; but in the summer they 
are not found with their winter associates, and the greater 
number of them leave us, though some are occasionally met 
with in the rushy and reedy vleys, where they probably breed. 
The males are at this season exceedingly beautiful ; I can only 
compare them to butterflies ; they pufF out all their feathers and 
appear like balls of black and yellow floating slowly about over 
the grass, evidently courting their less gaudy loves hidden hard 
by among the long rushes. 

Iris dusky, tarsi and feet dusky brown, the male has the bill 
black in summer, but in winter dusky pale, darkest along the 

33. (L. 391.) Estrelda bengalus (Linn.). Purple-eared 

In November 186-1 I found this pretty species in some 

the Trans-Vaal Territory. 295 

numbers amongst the bush on the banks of the Tugela, in Natal ; 
and my brother has recently met with it on the Limpopo. 

Iris reddish-hazelj bill lilac, blackish at the tip, tarsi and feet 

34. (L. 392.) EsTRELDA MELBA (Linn.). Crimson-throated 

Obtained near the river Limpopo. 

35. (L. 408.) Passer arcuatus (Gmel.). Cape Sparrow. 
The nest of this bird is a very rough cumbrous structure 

placed in a hedgerow or low tree, and much resembles that of 
the English Sparrow; it is exceedingly well lined with feathers 
and other warm material. I found one situated in the base of 
the nest of a Rook {Corvus capensis, Licht.), in a low mi- 
mosa-tree ; in the Sparrow's nest were three young birds nearly 
fledged, and the Rook was sitting upon four eggs in the upper 

36. (L. 442.) Crithagra butyracea (Linn.). Butyraceous 

This species is common at Potchefstroom, breeding amongst 
the hedgerows, and constructing a cup-shaped nest, rather 
roughly built of twigs intermingled with fine hair-like sub- 
stances as a binding, and lined with cotton and fine wool with 
here and there a feather. It begins to lay in September. 

[I may take this opportunity of remarking that in a nearly 
allied species, C.sulphurata (Linn.), I find specimens from Natal 
considerably smaller than those from the Cape, but I think not 
otherwise different. — J. H. G.] 

37. (L. 426.) Megalophonus cinereus (Vieill.). Lesser 
Rufous-capped Lark. 

38. (L. 434.) Megalophonus apiatus (Vieill.). Bateleuse 

39. (L. 435.) Certhilauda garrula, A. Smith. Garrulous 

All these three Larks are to be found in the open country of 
the Trans-Vaal. 


296 j\Ir, Ayres 07i Bh'ds of 

40. (L. 452.) ScHiziERHis concolor (A. Smith). Dusky 

Common throughout the bush country of the Trans- Vaal ; 
the specimens sent are from the Limpopo. 

41. (L. 458.) BucoRvus abyssinicus (Gmel.). Abyssinian 

There are two or three kinds of land-tortoise in the district 
of the river Limpopo which are eaten and much esteemed by 
the natives, and also fully appreciated by the large Abyssinian 
Hornbill, which attacks the tortoise and very neatly picks every 
atom of flesh from the unhappy reptile, eating also the legs and 
head and leaving the entire shell without damage. 

I could not at first imagine what it could be which thus 
destroyed the tortoises without injuring their shell; but the 
Caffres assured me that it was the Abyssinian Hornbill during 
the summer months, when the tortoises are out in numbers. 

42. (L. 456.) BucEROs erythrorhynchus (Temm.). Red- 
billed Hornbill. 

Numerous about the river Limpopo. 

[Li the specimen sent, a female, the cheeks were dark bluish 
grey, not white as described by Mr. Layard (B. S. Afr. p. 227). 
I believe that both these variations of colour occur in South- 
African examples of this bird, but whether they are indicative 
of distinct races I am unable to say. — J. H. G.] 

43. PsiTTACUs MEYERi, Rupp. Meyer's Parrot. 

These Parrots occur near the Limpopo and throughout the 
bush-veldt of the Trans-Vaal ; they are much kept as pets by 
the inhabitants, and become perfectly tame. 

[Some specimens of this Parrot have an irregular broad mark 
of pale yellow across the crown of the head, which in other 
examples is entirely wanting; the pair sent by Mr. Ayres from 
the Limpopo, a male and female, both possessed this pecu- 
liarity.— J. H. G.] 

44. (L. 474?) Chrysoptilus bennetti, A. Smith. Ben- 
nett's Woodpecker. 

Obtained near the river Limpopo. 

[This species, to which the above specific name is assigned by 

the Trans- Vaal Terntory. 297 

Professor Sundevall (Consp. Pic. no. 180, p. 63), was included 
by nie in my list of Natal birds (Ibis, 1860, p. 213) as Campethera 
chrysura, and subsequently (Ibis, 1862, pp. 37 & 157) as Den- 
dromus smit/ii. I believe that the correct specific name of this 
Woodpecker is that which, on the authority of Professor Sun- 
devall, I have here applied to it. — J. H. G.] 

45. (L. 498.) OxYLOPHus serratus (Sparm.). Edolio- 

Appears in Potchefstroom about November, and leaves again 
before the winter sets in. 

46. (L. 524.) Francolinus swainsoni, A. Smith. Swain- 
sou's Francolin. 

47. (L. 528.) Francolinus pileatus, A. Smith. Pilcatcd 

Both these Francolins are found near the river Limpopo. 

48. (L. 537.) Pterocles gutturalis, A. Smith. Sombre 

These birds are tolerably plentiful in the neighbourhood of 
Potchefstroom toM'ards the latter end of winter and the begin- 
ning of spring, but appear to leave in summer; they are gene- 
rally in companies of from three to a dozen or so, and very 
seldom found singly : they mostly frequent bare ground not 
far from water; and I am informed that they go regularly to 
drink twice a day, however distant they may be from their 
supply. Their flight is exceedingly strong ; they rise with a 
loud whirring noise, and when on the wing they somewhat 
resemble some of the Pigeons, especially Columba trigonigera. 
On the approach of danger they crouch and lie very close to 
the ground, and it is then exceedingly difficult to see them ; 
when disturbed they do not run, but rise quite suddenly. 
Their notes, which are, I believe, only uttered on the wing, are 
short and harsh, and may be heard a considerable distance; 
they feed much uj)on the seed of a small species of tare or pea, 
and also upon bulbous nutty roots of a small species of grass, 
which they scratch up ; these bulbs have a strong, agreeable 

298 Mr. Ayres on Birds of 

aromatic smell ; and when the birds have freely fed on them 
they appear to be thoroughly scented. 

Iris dusky-brown, bill light bluish horn-colour, feet dusky. 

49. (L. 536.) Pterocles bicinctus, Temm. Double-banded 

This species occurs near the river Limpopo. 

50. (L. 540.) EupoDOTis cristata (Scop.). Kori Bustard. 
This splendid bird is not uncommon in the Trans-Vaal, living 

principally amongst the scattered mimosa bush ; it is exceedingly 
fond of the gum which exudes from the mimosa, and which 
much resembles gum arable, on which account it has received 
from the Dutch inhabitants the name of " Gum-Paauw." 

I never saw more than three of these birds together, and they 
are generally found singly, though sometimes in pairs. The 
flesh of this species is too coarse and oily to be good eating. 

Two fine eggs of this Bustard were brought me by a CafFre, 
from whose description I identified them. He stated that no 
nest whatever was formed, but the eggs laid on the bare open 
ground on a stony ridge. 

The specimen sent I take to be a young hen, as it only 
weighed fifteen pounds, and I aui told that the male bird fre- 
quently attains the weight of from thirty to forty pounds. The 
irides in this specimen were light tawny-brown; the upper 
mandible dusky, except the side edges, which, with the under 
mandible, were dingy white, which was also the colour of the 
thighs, tarsi, and feet. The stomach of this bird was crammed 
with locusts. 

[Mr. Tristram, to whom the eggs mentioned by Mr. Ayres 
were sent, describes them to me as "the most magnificent of 
eggs, very nearly as large as Cranes^, and more pointed than 
those of other Bustards, rich red all over, with richer blotches 
thickly over the whole surface.^' — J. H. G.] 

51. (L. 545.) EupoDOTis senegalensis (Vieill.) Senegal 

This Bustard lays two eggs, which I am told arc generally 
placed in the open country under shelter of some high tufts of 

the Trans-Vaal Territury. 299 

grass. The eggs of different individuals appear to vary much 
in shading and blotching. 

52. (L. 54-2.) EupoDOTis ludwigi, Riipp. Ludwig^s Bustard. 
I took the eggs of this Bustard from the top of a low stony 

range of hillocks. I happened to be at a farmstead about thirty 
miles from Potchefstroom, when a young boer told me he had 
found a Paauw's nest ; so I immediately started with him to the 
spot, rather late in the afternoon; after a smart walk of about 
five miles we came to the stony ridge; and there lay the two 
eggs, quite warm, the old bird having evidently just left the 
nest and crept away amongst the stones on our approach ; 
they were laid on the bare ground, without any appearance of a 
nest. We sat down to rest for a quarter of an hour or so, when 
my Hottentot, whom I had taken with me, suddenly, but in a 
whisper, said that he saw the bird, and pointed to a spot within 
a few yards of us ; but I could see nothing; so I handed him my 
gun, and he immediately killed the bird as she lay crouched 
amongst the stones within ten yards of us, and would no doubt 
there have lain until we left the place. 

53. (L. 551.) CuRSORius RUFUs, Gould. Burchell's Courser. 
The bird sent, which proved to be a male, allowed itself to be 

caught on its nest by a lad from Potchefstroom ; the eggs, two 
in number, were placed on the bare ground, in a gravelly spot, 
and were much incubated. 

[On reexamining the examples formerly recorded by me from 
Natal (Ibis, 1860, p. 217) under the above name, J find that 
they do not belong to this species, but to its near ally C. sene- 
galensis, Licht. I have not yet seen C. 7'ufus from Natal or 
C. senegalensis from the Trans-Vaal. — J. 11. G.] 

54. (L. 558.) HoPLOPTERUs armatus, Jard. & Selby. Black- 
and-white Spurwing Plover. 

The eggs of this Plover are generally from two to four in 
number ; the nest is simply a slight excavation on the bare open 
ground, with a thin layer of grass-roots, and is generally placed 
from fifty to a hundred yards from the edge of some swamp. 

The birds biecd in August and September, and are at this 
time exceedingly bold, darting at the heads of any cattle that 

300 Mr. Ayres im Birds of 

happen to come too near their nests, and actually driving thetn 
away by their incessant noise and annoyance. 

55. (L. 560.) Vanellus coronatus, Tenini. Crowned 

The nest of this species is precisely similar to that of the 
Black-and-white Spurwing, and is placed in similar situations; 
the eggs are from two to four in number. 

56. (L. 566.) iEciALiTis kittlitzi (Reich.). Kittlitz's 

These birds frequent the muddy flats, and run with consider- 
able swiftness, stopping suddenly and bobbing the head, as many 
of the Plovers do. They remain through the summer and breed 
in the Trans-Vaal. 

Eye large, iris very dark ; bill black ; tarsi and feet ashy black. 

57. (L. 574.) Anthropoides stanleyanus, Vig. Stanley 

Common here, and breeds plentifully, choosing situations 
very similar to those selected by Eupodotis caffra. 

58. (L. 589.) Ardetta pusilla (Vieill.). Rufous-necked 
Little Bittern. 

[The remarks of Mr. Ayres lately given by me (Ibis, 1868, 
p. 469) under the head of Ardeita minuta, were intended by him 
to apply to the present species ; and I regret having erroneously 
assigned them. — J. H. G.] 

59. (L. 591.) Botaurus capensis (Schl.). Cape Bittern. 

I first met with these birds amongst the rushes in the swamps 
surrounding Potchefstroom, where they lie concealed during the 
day, emerging from their covert towards dark to seek their 
favourite feeding-grounds ; at this time they frequently fly over 
one's head on their passage. Their flight is slow and laboured ; 
and a loud harsh " quirk " is occasionally uttered as they pass. 
When wounded they are extremely pugnacious, defending them- 
selves with great pertinacity : they throw themselves on their 
backs, and, with claws and bill (which are both exceedingly sharp 
and strong) advanced, make rather a formidable appearance, 
more especially as the fcatheis round the neck are ruffled up at 

the Trans-Vaul Territonj. 301 

this time; and few dogs care to interfere with them. On my 
first arrival in Potchefstroom I was informed by the Dutch that 
a very large snake inhabited the surrounding swamps, that many 
persons had seen it, all of whom had been alarmed, and that at 
night during the summer months it made a loud bellowing sort 
of noise, which I should surely hear. I at once determined to 
overcome the monster and immortalize myself. The noise I 
certainly heard at night and also in the daytime, and that when 
I was often a mile or two distant from the swamps. 1 gave my 
friends the bullfrogs credit for it ; but the Dutch laughed me to 
scorn for such an idea. I tried, gun in hand, several times to 
approach the spot ; but sometimes the place amongst the reeds 
was inaccessible, at others the reeds so thick that I made so 
much noise in pushing my way through them as to frighten my 
enemy, who immediately left off making the unearthly noise in 
which he appeared to delight. One day, however, I heard it in 
a comparatively open swamp, and on walking in a direct line to 
the spot the noise ceased and a Bittern flew up and alighted 
again within three hundred yards. As I could see nothing 
further, I waited and listened for the noise to recommence, con- 
sidering that the snake^s head might perhaps be under water, as 
I was standing up to my middle in it amongst the rushes. 
After waiting patiently for nearly half an hour, and watching 
carefully, I heard the noise begin again from the direction in 
which the Bittern had flown. Proceeding thither, I again 
flushed the bird ; the noise ceased. A third time the same thing 
happened ; so without doubt the Bittern makes this extraordinary 
■ noise, which may be regarded as a love-note, and that apparently 
by drawing in the air and forcing it out again. The skin of the 
neck being exceedingly loose, the bird probably has the power of 
inflating it. Tadpoles and small frogs form its principal diet. 

Iris brownish-yellow ; bill greenish, brown on the ridge ; tarsi 
and feet greenish-yellow. 

[The Cape Bittern only differs from the European Bittern 
[Botaurus stellaris) in its smaller size ; it is the " Ardea stellaris 
capensis" of Professor Schlegel (Museum des Pays-Bas, Aj'dea, 
p. 48) ; and as the comparative measurements of the two races are 
given by him, it is not needful here to repeat them. — J. H. G.] 

302 Mr. Ay res on Birds of 

60. (L. 579.) Ardea purpurea^ Linn. Purple Heron. 
This Heron chooses for its breeding-place a secluded reedy 

swamp. The nest is placed some few feet above the water (which 
is frequently out of one^s depth), on reeds bent down by the 
bird so as to meet from all directions and thus form a sufficient 
support for the nest, which is a very rough structure composed 
of dead sticks and pieces of reeds; it is two or three feet in 
diameter, with a very slight concavity. These Herons lay three 
or four eggs ; and frequently five or six pairs breed in company, 
placing their nests within a few yards of each other*. 

61. (L. 601.) Anastomus lamelligerus, Temm. African 

This is a very scarce bird here. I have procured one, a 
female, which was shot within a mile of Potchefstroom. 

62. (L. 624.) Gallinago /Equatorialis, Riipp. Black- 
quilled Snipe. 

Breeds plentifully in the swamps around Potchefstroom, prin- 
cipally in August. The bird sits exceedingly close, and the 
nests are not easily found ; they are placed or rather formed in 
a stool or clump of grass, in the centre of which the bird ti*eads 
down the finer blades, and thus forms a sufficient cavity, well 
surrounded and concealed by the outer blades, which curve over 
and afford both shade from the sun and shelter from the cold 

63. (L. 652.) Mareca capensis (Gmel.). South-African 

The specimen sent is the only one I have yet met with ; three 
flew past me one evening in August, out of which I bagged this 

Female : — Iris cinnamon-brown ; bill black at the base, light 
pink in the middle, gradually assuming a bluish tint towards 
the tip; tarsi and feet yellowish-dusky; webs nearly black. 

64. (L. 661.) Erismatura maccoa (A. Smith). Maccoa 

The specimen sent I shot in December whilst standing uj) to 
* C'f. supra, p. 238. 

the Trans-Vaal Territory. 


my middle in water and mud in a very extensive lagoon on the 
borders of the Vaal River. It kept constantly diving, and did 
not attempt to fly ; but so quick were its motions, remaining not 
a second above water, that I had the greatest difficulty in shoot- 
ing it. The belly was extraordinarily large, and the stomach 
contained water-snails. 

The irides were brown, the upper mandible black, the lower 
pale, tarsi and feet dusky ash-colour. 

65. (L. 691.) PoDicEPs CRisTATUs (Linn.). Great Crested 

This bird was brought to me alive one day in April by a 
CafFre; he stated that he had chased it amongst the reeds in 
shallow water and so caught it. It is the first specimen I have 
met with in the Trans-Vaal. 

Male, in breeding-dress : — Iris crimson ; bill dark pink, with 
the gape and ridge dusky ; tarsi and feet dusky, the latter much 
marked with pale greenish yellow. 

[I lately noticed (Ibis, 1868, p. 263) a small and short-billed 
specimen of P. nigricollis, which I had received from Trans-Vaal. 
Since then I have examined two specimens from the Cape Colony 
of very similar dimensions ; and it is interesting to find the like 
peculiarity in the specimen of P. cristatus mentioned in the 
above note by Mr. Ayres. It is certainly the smallest example 
of this species which has come under my notice ; and I append 
its measurements, together with those of a British specimen for 
comparison, and also of a specimen of intermediate size obtained 
in Walvisch Bay, Damara Land, by the late Mr. Andersson. 


Wing from 
carpal joint. 


Bill from 

S . Trans-Vaal 

5 . Walvisch Bay . . 
cT. Norfolk r.. . 









—J. H. G.] 

66. (L. 693.) PoDicEPs minor (Gmel.). Little Grebe. 
Male, in breeding- dress : — Iris and eyelid scarlet, tarsi and 
feet dusky yellowish-green, bill black. 

304 ]\Ir. J. E. Halting un rare or 

XXVII. — On rare or little-known Liniicolae. 
By James Edmund Hahting, F.L.S., F.Z.S. 
(Plate VIII.) 
Next to the interest which attaches to the discovery of new 
species, may be considered that which arises from the acquisition 
of species which are rare or little known ; and the latter term is 
perhaps no where so well applied as to certain species of Wading 
birds belonging to the group Limiculce. 

Nitzsch, in his excellent work on Pterylography, a trans- 
lation of which has lately been published by the Ray Society, 
first employed the term Limicolce to comprehend the families 
Charadriida and ScolopacidcB ; and, admitting that these families 
form a very natural and independent group, it will be convenient, 
when referring to them, to make use of the terra which he has 

I propose, as opportunity may serve, to endeavour to elucidate 
the history of certain species of this group, by shortly stating 
all the reliable information which I can collect regarding their 
true habitat, geographical range, change of plumage, and habits 
generally, and at the same time to rectify the synonymy, which 
in many instances is extremely confused and perplexing. The 
recent acquisition of a rare bird belonging to this class, from New 
Zealand, has prompted me to lay before the readers of * The Ibis,' 
in the present paper, all that is at present known respecting it. 

1. Anarhynchus frontalis. 

Anarhyuchus frontalis, Quoy & Gaimard, Voy. de I' Astrolabe, 
Zool. i. p. 252 (1830), pi. 31. fig. 2 (1833); Lesson, Traite 
d'Om. p. 560 (1831); /f/.Compl. Buffoon, ii. p. 682 (1840) ; G. 
R. Gray, Append. Dieffenbach, Travels N. Zealand, ii. p. 196 
(1843) ; Id. Voy. Ereb. & Terr. Birds, p. 12 (1844) ; Reichen- 
bach, Av. Syst. Nat. Grail, pl.xvii. (1849) ; Bonaparte, Comptes 
Rend. 1856, p. 597, no. 96 ; Harting, Pioc. Zool. Soc. May 27, 

Thinornis frontalis, G. R. Gray, Gen. B. iii. p. 545 (1848). 

Charadrius frontalis, G. R. Gray, Ibis, 1862, p. 234*; Buller, 
Essay Orn. N. Zeal. p. 16 (1865). 

* The rei'ereuce '■' Charadrius fronlalis, Eilman, Zool. 1861, p. 7460," 

little-known Liniicolse. 305 

Anarhynchus albtfrons, Schlegel, Handleid. i. p. 435 (1857). 

Hah. So far as at present known, this species, the only one 
of the genus, is confined to New Zealand. Specimens have been 
received from Chouraki Bay, and Port Lyttelton, Canterbury 

Description. — Adult (hitherto undescribed) : Bill black, mode- 
rately long, pointed, curved to one side, the extreme point turned 
slightly upwards, the nostrils placed in a long groove on each 
side of the upper mandible. Forehead and underparts, with 
the exception of the breast, pure white. Across the breast a 
narrow band of black. Crown of the head, nape, a narrow line 
from the bill under the eye to the nape, and upper surface of the 
body pale cinereous ; a narrow line of black feathers separating 
the white of the forehead from the grey of the crown. Wings 
long and pointed; primaries brownish-black, the first the longest. 
Tail of moderate length, square, cinereous, the middle feathers 
darker in colour. Legs and toes greenish- black, beneath green- 
ish-ochre, moderately long, slender. Toes united at the base 
by a membrane extending to the first joint ; hind toe wanting. 
Total length 7 inches. Bill 1*.2. Wing from carpus 4*7. Tar- 
sus 1*1. Middle toe with nail "9. [Exempt, in mus. J. E. H.) 

The young, as described and figured by Quoy and Gaimard 
[loc. cit.), diff'ers from the adult in having no black line above the 
white forehead, which is less pure ; no black band across the 
breast, and the grey feathers on the upper surface of the body 
more or less margined with a paler shade of the same colour. 
[Exempt, typ. in mus. Paris.) 

A specimen in intermediate stage of plumage has on each side 
of the breast an irregular patch of brownish-black, separated on 
the middle of the breast by white, the latter extending from the 
chin downwards to the vent, as observable in jEgialitis canti- 
anus, AS. melodus, jEI. nivosus, and others. This specimen 
shows signs of being an adult bird, and may therefore be in the 
plumage peculiar to the female, or to both sexes in winter. 
[Exempt, in mus. Brit.) 

quoted by ]Mr. G. R. Gray [ut supra) applies, I think, to another species; 
and in the course of this paper I shall give ray reasons for so regarding it. 


Mr. J. E. Hartin"- on rare or- 

The genus Anarhynchus, as the name would imply, differs 
from every other in the large order Grallatores in the remark- 
able conformation of the bill, which curves, not downwards as 
in Numenius, nor merely upwards as in Recurvirostra, but to one 
side, the extreme point being turned slightly upwards. This pecu- 
liarity, which at first sight might seem to be a deformity, or the 
result of an accident, is, it would appear, constant. When 
MM. Quoy and Gaimard in 1830 published the "Zoologie" 
of the ' Voyage de I'Astrolabe,' they referred to and described a 
single specimen which had been obtained in New Zealand and 
deposited in the Museum at the Jardin des Plantes. This spe- 
cimen, which I have seen, is an immature bird in the plumage 
above noted, and was figured (uncoloured) in the 'Planches^ to the 
same voyage, published in 1833. From this plate Reichenbach 
subsequently (1849) figured the head and leg only in his 'Avium 
Systema Naturale,' {Gj'allatores, pi. xvii.). Mr. G. R. Gray in 
his ' Genera of Birds ' has likewise figured the head and a sepa- 
rate bill Up to the present time, howeverj the adult bird has 
neither been figured nor described ; and as it differs materially 
from the type-specimen in the Paris Museum, it has been thought 
advisable here to give a plate (Plate VIII.) of it. The woodcut 
of the bill will convey, better than 
words, a just idea of the most remark- 
able portion of the structure. 

In support of the statement that the 
curvature of the bill is constant, we 
have first the testimony of MM. Quoy 
and Gaimard, who, in the work above 
cited, make the following important 
statement : " Nos chasseurs en tuerent 
plusieurs qui avaient le bee recourbe 
en haut, ct devie a droite. N^ayant 
pu les conserver tons h cause de leur 
mauvais etat, nous nous sommes con- 
tentes de rapporter les mandibules 
pour montrer que ces organes, dans 
le seul individu que nous avons dcposQ au Museum, sont bien 
dans leur etat naturel, et non le resultat d'un accident." 

little-known Limicolae. 307 

Through the kindness of M. Jules Verreaux, three of these 
bills are now before me, and they all exhibit the remarkable 
curvature above described. Mr. G. R. Gray, referring to this 
species in a " List of the Birds of New Zealand and the adjacent 
islands " (Ibis, 1862, p. 234'), took exception to J\IM. Quoy and 
Gaimard's plate, observing that " the bird is represented in the 
' Voyage of the Astrolabe ' with a deformed bill. The bill is 
perfectly straight in most specimens/' But Mr. Gray possi- 
bly overlooked the important statement of the French naturalists 
above quoted. The adult now figured was obtained in the neigh- 
bourhood of Port Lyttelton, Canterbury Settlement, and came 
into my possession early in the present year, along with some 
other New-Zealand Z/wn2Co/«. Since then 1 have been informed 
that two other examples have been received from New Zealand 
by Dr. Hartlaub, both of which exhibit the same remarkable 
curvature of bill. Here, then, are eight bills, six of which 
I have myself seen, all agreeing in shape and size ; and I cannot 
ascertain the existence of any specimen of this bird in which the 
bill is straight. It can scarcely be supposed, after all this, 
that the peculiarity is the result of an accident. 

So far as I am aware, the species now under consideration is 
the only one belonging to the genus Anarhijnchus, although 
MM. Quoy and Gaimard state that it much resembles a species 
from Porto Rico, of which an example is to be seen in the 
Museum in Paris. They refer also to a species brought from 
Cayenne by M. Frere, in which the bill is curved upwards at 
the extremity. I have not only searched the Museum in Paris 
in vain for the specimens mentioned, but M. Verreaux could not 
give me any information respecting them. It is possible that 
the species intended may have been Terekia cinerea ; but of 
this I have no means of judging, except from the mention of the 
bill being curved upwards and the small size of the bird. 

MM. Quoy and Gaimard concurred in considering Anarhijn- 
chus frontalis allied to Calidris arenaria, in which view they 
are supported by M. Jules Verreaux, who would place it be- 
tween Calidris arenaria and Terekia cinerea. Bonaparte [loc. cit.) 
assigns it a place between Terekia and Numenius. In a recent 
letter to me upon the subject JM. Verreaux says, " En somme, ce 

308 Mr. J. E. Harting o/i rare or 

genre bien caracterise, doit, ce me semble, tenir le milieu entre 
Calidris arenaria, dont il a la nature du plumage (les reniiges 
secondaires en ont la rneme forme) et de Terekia cinerea dont les 
semi-palmures sont analogues. Comme chez ces deux genres, 
les rainures du bee se prolongent assez loin, et leurs narines 
sont percees longitudiualement dans une membrane. Comme 
eux aussi, les plumes serrees s'avancent assez loin sur la base du 
bee, qui est noir ; les pieds sont egalement de cette couleur ; les 
membranes qui unissent les doigts h, leur base s'etendent jus- 
qu^^ la premiere phalange, et se continuent comme un petit ruban 
sur les parties laterales des autres phalanges a peu pres comme 
dans le Terekia; les ongles sont pointus et en gouttiere bien 
plus marquees que dans ce dernier et dans le Calidris." In 
these respects it somewhat resembles j^gialitis, particularly 
-^. geoffroyi (Wagler). 

Mr. G. R. Gray has expressed an opinion that it is nearer to 
Charadrius than to Calidris, and has referred it to the former 
genus in his last paper on the subject. In some respects it is 
related to Strepsilas, particularly in the character of the bill, 
which is without that elaborate system of nerves observable in 
Calidris, but not in Strepsilas. But I believe that its nearest 
ally will be found in another New Zealand form, Thinornis 
novce-zealandia, of which genus Thinornis, another species, T. 
rossi, has been obtained in the Auckland Islands. 

It is somewhat remarkable that since the first notice of A7ia- 
rhynchus by MM. Quoy and Gaimard in 1830, no subsequent 
writer has been able to add anything to the account then given 
of it. In 1831 Lesson, in his ' Traite d^Ornithologie,' referred to 
it in a foot-note, under the head of Calidris, considering it " une 
espece de Sanderling.'' The same author, in his ' Complement 
des oeuvres de BufFon,' subsequently (1840) copied the remarks 
of MM. Quoy and Gaimard on the subject, verbatim, without 
even being at the pains to acknowledge the obligation. In 
1843, Mr. G. R. Gray noticed the bird in an appendix to Dief- 
fenbach's ' Travels in New Zealand,^ and in the following year 
he included it in the 'Voyage of the Erebus and Terror; ' but 
in none of these instances is any information given beyond a 
reference to the previous account of the species. 

little-known Limocolfe. 309 

In 1861 Mr. EUnian in a " List of New Zealand Birds " 
(* Zoologist/ 1861, p, 7469) included " Charadrius frontalis,'' 
with some hesitation, as follows : — " Dotterel (Pohoera) Chara- 
drius frontalis, ? Lesson. Identical with English species? never 
seen inland.'^ Now, although Mr. Gray seems to have taken it 
for granted (Ibis, loc. cit.) that Anarhynchus frontalis is the 
species here referred to, I question very much whether Mr. Ell- 
man had at that time ever seen this bird — for two reasons : 
first, because he makes no allusion to the remarkable form of 
the bill; and secondly, because he calls it a Dotterel, and says 
" identical with English species ? " I believe that Mr. Ellman's 
bird was the Chestnut-breasted Plover, common to New Zea- 
land and Australia {Charadrius bicinctus, Jard. & Selb., Hiati- 
cula bicincta, Gould), and that in alluding to the "English 
species,^' he had an indistinct recollection oiEudromias morinellus, 
oripossihly of jEgialitis hiaticulOfknown as ''Dotterel" in Sussex, 
Mr. EUman^s former county. The native name, which he gives, is 
no safe guide in determining the species ; for the New Zealanders 
give the same name, " Pohoera," to at least one other species, 
Charadrius obscurus. The Charadrius frontalis, therefore, of Mr. 
Ellmau, should, I think, be expunged from the list of synonyms*. 
In 1865, Mr. Walter BuUer published an ' Essay on the orni- 
thology of New Zealand,^ in which he referred in a few words 
only to " Charadrius frontalis,^' remarking that the species 
appeared to be exclusively restricted to New Zealand. This 
paper was subsequently translated into German by Dr. Finsch, 
and appeared in the 'Journal fiir Ornithologie ' (1867, pp. 305- 
347); but neither there nor in some further researches on New- 
Zealand birds {op. cit. 1868, pp. 238-245) does the Doctor 
remark upon this species. 

At a Meeting of the Zoological Society on the 27th May last, 
I had the pleasure to exhibit the specimen of the bird which is 
here figured, together with the bills, which had been kindly for- 
warded to me by M. Verreaux ; and I took the opportunity of 
remarking that the species is so rare in European collections 
that, besides the bird exhibited, there is but one other example 

* The Charndrins frontalis of Simdevall ((Efvers. 1850, p. 100) is Fa- 
nelltffi mehinopterus of Rlippell (teste (.jwxway , Ibis, 1860, p. 217). 
N. S. VOL. v. Y 

310 Mr. 0. Salvin on Mr. Lawrence's 

in the British Museum (the history of which has been forgotten, 
but which was probably one of the treasures obtained in the voyage 
of the '" Erebus ' and ' Terror'), and one in the Museum at the 
Jardin des Plantes, Paris (which is the type-specimen figured 
and referred to in the 'Voyage de FAstrolabe'). 

It now only remains for me to add what little information I 
have been able to collect with reference to the habits of this 
curious bird. 

We learn from MM. Quoy and Gaimard {he. cit.) that, 
like most other shore-birds^ it is gregarious, frequenting the 
sea-coast in small flocks, and living probably on food similar to 
that sought by marine Sandpipers. Imitating the Turnstone 
[Strepsilas) in its search for this, its peculiar form of bill enables 
it with ease to probe the crevices of the rock or shingle and 
seize any lurking insect or small crustacean, aff'ording us, in this 
respect, a remarkable illustration of structure adapted to the 
peculiar mode of life which the bird pursues. 

XXVIII. — Notes on Mr. Lawrence's List of Costa-Riea Birds. 
By OsBERT Salvin, M.A. &c. 

About a year ago Mr. Lawrence communicated to the Lyceum 
of Natural History of New York a paper on the birds of Costa 
Rica, which was afterwards published in the form of a cata- 
logue"^, being based chiefly upon specimens in the Smithsonian 
Institution of Washington. Mr. Lawrence's own collection 
furnished additional material; and the names of some birds 
mentioned by Dr. Cabanis were also introduced, as well as others 
which were, so far as I can recollect, communicated by myself 
to Prof. Baird, in a rough list I once drew up of some of Arce's 
collections, more with the view of giving some idea of what 
we possessed in this country than with the intention of its ulti- 
mate publication. Amongst the last-mentioned species are 
some whose names were erroneously determined, others are in- 
cluded which should have been omitted, whilst some, again, are 

* [This is the Catak)g-ue before mentioned in these pages {siqyrd, pp. 110, 
222.— Ed.] 

List of Costa-Rica Birds. 31 i 

omitted which might have been added to the number. My pre- 
sent object is rather to correct the errors for which I am respon- 
sible, the specimens being now before me. At the same time 1 
shall take the opportunity of adding remarks on other species, 
either in confirmation of Mr. Lawrence's views or the reverse, 
and thus trust 1 shall render his most useful Catalogue more 
complete than it stands at present. 

I believe nearly the whole sei'ies of bird-skins contained in the 
Smithsonian Institution were collected in the line of country 
which stretches from the Gulf of Nicoya on the Pacific, across 
the tablelands surrounding San Jose and Cartago, and thence 
towards the Atlantic as far as Angostura and Tucurriqui in the 
valley of the Reventazon. Collections were also made in the 
Dota Mountains to the southward of this line ; and the Volcano 
of Yrazu (or Cartago, as it is as frequently called) was also visited, 
Mr. Lawrence has not defined the limits of the country the 
birds of which he catalogues, and leaves the south-eastern 
boundary in some obscurity, as he includes the species collected 
by Warszewiez in his journey from Chiriqui to Boca del Toro, 
but leaves out those obtained at Chiriqui by Bridges and Mr. 
Hicks. The political territory of Costa Rica does not by itself 
form a natural zoological subdivision of the fauna of Central 
America ; but by extending its limits northwards as far as the 
Lake of Nicaragua and the River San Juan, or perhaps further, 
and southwards so as to include the Isthmus of Panama, and 
perhaps that of Darien, we arrive at a section of the great Cen- 
tral-American Isthmus which contains a bird-fauna sufficiently 
peculiar to be treated as a well-defined subdivision of the bird- 
fauna of the whole country extending from Southern Mexico to 
the Isthmus of Darien. But for the present I will confine my 
notes, as Mr. Lawrence has done, to the birds of the State of 
Costa Rica, leaving a general view of the relationship of its 
birds for more special consideration. 

Mr. Lawrence's catalogue comprises the " Land-birds " only ; 
and he prefaces his list by enumerating the birds which have 
occurred in the districts adjoining Costa Rica, and which may 
therefore be found to frequent the country he has investigated. 
It does not follow of necessity that any of these birds are 


312 Ml-. 0. Salvia on Mr. Lawrence's 

actually existing undiscovered in Costa Rica ; but when a species 
has been observed both north and south of the Republic, it is 
very likely indeed that somewhere in its varied climate such a 
species may occur ; where, however, a species is only to be found 
on one side, the chances that its range extends beyond are much 
more hypothetical. Mr. Lawrence gives a list of sixty-two 
species which may occur in Costa Rica. Of these, twenty- six 
are found both further north and further south, the rest extend 
their range only to the confines of the Republic*. 


No less than five species of Catharus are found in Costa Rica ; 
and a sixth, C. griseieps, Salv., which Mr. Lawrence omits from 
his possible additions, is found in Veragua. The difference 
observed between this when compared with Lafresnaye's type 
of C. fuscata is perhaps sexual rather than seasonal. Female 
Cathari, at least of the dark Malacucichla group, are usually 
paler on the back, and have the bill darker. The bill in some 
male specimens of Catharus is orange or yellow, as in many of 
the true Thrushes. Since writing my notes on Veragua birds 
I have seen three additional specimens of Turdus obsoletus, all 
closely resembling one another, and one of which was marked 
" male." I am therefore now inclined to abandon the suppo- 
sition that these specimens are females of some black-coloured 
male of which we have not yet seen examples, and to come round 
to Mr. Lawrence's view that both sexes are coloured alike, and 
that the species must be placed near T. grayi. 


There seems to be some confusion respecting the types of 
Troglodytes tessellatus, D'Orb. & Lafr. Mr. Whitely has sent 
in specimens from Arequipa which agree well with the Paris 
specimens marked tessellatus, collected by d'Orbiguy at Tacna. 
These hardly differ from the Panama Wren. 

* It may be remarked that Pyranga hepatica of Mr. Lawrence's Vera- 
gua list is P. testacea, Scl. & Salv., and G^-allaria guntemalensis is G. 
princeps, Scl. & Salv. 

List of Costa-Rica Birds. 313 


Arce obtained specimens of Dendroeca vieiUoti at Tempate, on 
the Pacific coast. Setophaga aurantiaca, Baird, is exceedingly 
like S. verticalis, D'Orb. & Lafr. I cannot distinguish them 
with certainty. S. flammea, Cab. (J. f. Orn. 1861, p. 85), 
refers to the same species, and is not the true flammea of Gua- 
temala: I have seen the Berlin specimen. Basileuterus mela- 
notis, Lawr., described in the paper I am noticing, I do not 
know; it is said to differ from all the allied species in the 
decided black colouring behind the eye, in the superocular 
stripe being of a clear ash-colour, without any tinge of yellow or 
greenish, and in its paler lower plumage. 


I cannot distinguish between Stelgidopteryx fulvigula, Bairtl, 
of which we have a marked specimen received from the Smith- 
sonian Institution, and our Guatemalan examples of S.fulvi- 
pennis, Scl. 


The species obtained by Arce at Tucurriqui and referred by 
me to Hylophilus decurtatus (or H. cinei'eiceps) must certainly 
be the same as Mr. Lawrence's H. pusillus, whichever name be 
adopted for the Costa-Rican bird. 

The same remark applies to Cyclorhis flaviventris from the 
Gulf of Nicoya, and C. subfiavescens. There is but one Cyclo- 
rhis in Costa Rica, which must be called C. subfiavescens, Cab. 


Phoenicothraupis carmioli, described in this paper, appears to 
be a very distinct species. We have a single specimen, also 
obtained by Carmiol. As Mr. Lawrence remarks, even if all the 
three known specimens were females, they cannot be associated 
with any known species. 


Amaurospiza conculur, Cab., has not been obtained by any of 

314 Mr. 0. Salvia on Mr. Lawrence's 

the Smithsonian collectors or correspondents. We have a single 
skin, procured on the Panama railway line. 

Pyrgisoma biarcuatiim and P. kieneri both refer to the same 
species, which we have called Pyrgisuma cabanisi (see P. Z. S. 
1868, p. 324, and Exot. Orn. pi. Ixv. fig. 1). 

Young males and females of Chrysomitris mexicana have the 
rectrices dark, and are without the white mark observable in the 
male. I have some doubts as to the determination of the spe- 
cimens called C. columbiana, and think it very possible that they 
should be referred to the Central- American race C. mexicana, 
and not to the New-Granadian form, which has the rectrices of 
a uniform black. 


A family so largely represented in Mexico and Guatemala by 
a number of species, in Costa Rica contains but a single species, 
which should be called Psilorhinus mexicanus, RUpp., as it dif- 
fers from the true P. morio, Wagl., in having the lower parts 
and extremities of the rectrices white instead of sooty brown. 


Oxyrhynchus flammiceps is O. /rater, Scl. & Salv. (P. Z. S. 
1868, p. 326, and Exot. Orn. pi. Ixvi.). Picolaptes compressus 
and P. lineaticeps of Mr. Lawrence's Catalogue both refer to the 
same species, which should be called P. compressus (Cab. J. f. 
Orn. 1861, p. 243). 


Thamnophilus doliatus and T. affinis also refer to one species, 
T. affinis. Cab. Gymnocichla nudiceps is G. chirolcuca, Scl. & 
Salv., a species we have only recently separated (Proc. Zool. Soc. 
June 1869). 


The species called Platyrhynchus cancrorninus by Mr. Law- 
rence is, I think, very likely to be the Ecuadorean P. albogu- 
laris, Scl., of which Mr. F. Godman and I have specimens, 
from Costa Rica and Veragua, agreeing with Mr. Sclater's types. 
Mionecles olivaceus, Lawr., is closely allied to M. striaticollis, 
Lafr., but, having the head olivaceous instead of plumbeous, is, 

List of Costa-Rica Birds. 315 

I think, sufficiently distinct. It is also found in Veragua and 
Panama. M. assimilis and M. oleaginms must refer to one 
species ; whether M. assimilis, Scl., can ultimately be retained 
as distinct from the southern bird is, I think, doubtful. 

Our specimens of Tyi-anniscus from Costa Rica, including one 
from the Smithsonian Institution marked T.vilissimus, are con- 
siderably smaller than Guatemalan specimens, and, if anything, 
even smaller than those from Panama. Unless both races occur 
in Costa Kica the bird should, I think, be called Tyranniscus 
parvus, Lawr. 

Rhynchocyclus griseimentalis, described from Costa Rica, I can- 
not distinguish from the Guatemalan bird. We have one Costa- 
Rican specimen, and several from Veragua, all of which agree 
with one another and with our series from Guatemala. Mr. 
Lawrence must not depend too much upon the locality assigned 
to his Mexican specimen. "Mexique" has a wide signification 
sometimes ! 

Mitrephorus phaocercus and M. aurantiiventris refer to one 
species, M. aurantiiventris, Lawr. The specimens sent by Arce 
were not in good condition ; and although I recognized certain 
differences between them and Guatemalan examples of M. phm- 
ocercus, I did not feel justified in describing the Costa- Rican 

Myiarchus panamensis, must be erased from the list for the 


Tityra albitorques should be T.fraseri, Kp. (see Scl. & Salv. 
P. Z. S. 1867, p. 757). 


I feel sui'e there have been too many species of Malacoptila 
separated. The differences noticeable will, I believe, be found 
in many cases to be sexual and not specific. 

Monasa peruana is M. grandior, Scl. & Salv. (P. Z. S. 1868, 
p. 327). 


Mr. Lawrence has sent his types of Trogon concinnus to Mr. 
Gould for examination ; and it is his opinion, and I agree with 

316 Mr. 0. Salvin on Mr. Lawrence's 

him, that this supposed species has been based upon immature 
specimens of T. cal'ujatus, Gould. Mr. Lawrence describes the 
female of my T. clathratus ; but he will find it already character- 
ized (P. Z. S. 1867, p. 151). Trogoii hairdi, described by Mr. 
Lawrence, is a fine new species bearing the same relationship to 
T. venustus (Cab.) that T. puella does to T. aurantiiventris. 


Eugenes spectabilis. I do not think this species satisfactorily 
established as yet, and believe that it may prove to be E. ful- 
gens, Sw., which undoubtedly dues occur in Costa Rica. All the 
specimens of Heliodoxa jacula that have passed through Mr. 
Lawrence's hands appear to have been immature. Mr. Godman 
and I have specimens both from Costa Rica and Veragua pos- 
sessing the bright frontal and gular spots very conspicuously. 
In his remarks upon the vexed question as to the position of 
Oreojnjra custaneiventris, Mr. Lawrence overlooks the pi-esence 
in that bird of the long postocular stripe which extends back- 
wards from the eye. This character alone, in my opinion, shows 
that the bird has no near relationship to Panterpe insignis. 

Whatever name be applied to the Costa-E-ican Heliomaster of 
the H. longirostris group, it is very improbable that more than 
one is found in the country. I should, for reasons before given 
(P. Z, S. 1867, p. loo), call it H. longirostris, Vieill., while 
Mr. Lawrence prefers H. sclateri, following Cabanis. If the 
races are to be maintained as distinct, their range is anomalous. 
It is as follows : — Vieillot's H. longirostris is from V^enezuela or 
Trinidad ; Dr. Cabanis's H. sclateri, also from Venezuela, and 
according to both him and Mr. Lawrence from Costa Rica ; Mr. 
Lawrence's H. stuartce, from Bogota and Panama. I am not 
convinced that the Guatemalan H. pallidiceps is really separable; 
but as far as I can see, the head is constantly lighter in colour 
than in the more southern bird. Eupherusa eximia is probably 
the bird Mr. Sclater and I have recently separated as E. egregia 
(P. Z.S. 1868, p. 389). 

Uhamphastus approximans, Cab., if kept separate from R. cari- 

List of Custa-Rica Birds. 317 

valus, must surely be called R. brevicarinatus, Gould, the types 
of which came from Panama. Gassings reasons for keeping- 
three species are unsatisfactory, and to my mind point to a 
conclusion opposed to that at wliich he arrives — viz. that they 
should all be united. 


Asturina nitida is A. plagiata, Schl. (see Scl. & Sal v. P. Z. S. 
1869, p. 130). A. maynirostris is A. ruficavda, Scl. & Salv. 
[toin. cit. p. 133, and Exot. Orn. pi. Ixxxviii.). Accipiter pi- 
leatus is A. bicolor, Vieill. (see Scl. & Salv. Exot. Orn. pi. Ixix.). 
Rostliramus sociabilis, though, doubtless, to be found in Costa 
Rica, must for the present be erased from the list of its birds. 
We have no specimen from the Gulf of Nicoya, nor can 1 find 
any mention of the species in our manuscript lists of Arce's 


Chlorcenas subvinacea, described by Mr. Lawrence in the pre- 
sent paper, seems to be distinct from Columba niffrirostris, Scl. 
We have no specimen which we can refer with certainty to the 
true C. vivacea of Temminck, whose plate is hardly satisfactory 
enough to enable me to make a comparison. The three species, 
if there are three, are very closely allied. Geotrygon c(Eruleiceps, 
also described by Mr. Lawrence, is G. chiriquensis, Scl. (see Exot. 
Orn. pl.lxii.)*. G. custaricensis, another species of this difficult 
group, 1 do not know ; it is said to belong to the group con- 
taining G. caniceps and G. a-istata, and, I suppose, also G. vera- 
guensis, Lawr., from the neighbouring country of Chiriqui. 


Penelope purpurascens. Costa-Rican specimens in our collec- 
tion agree with others from Panama, and diifer materially from 
Guatemalan examples in having the lower part of the back and 
belly of a deep chestnut. I am not yet satisfied as to the pro- 
per designation of this bird, which may be P. crista ta, Linn. ; 
but it agrees fairly with Spix's figure of his Penelope jacuaca, and 
with the specimens in the British Museum thus named. Orta- 

* [Cy. supra, p. 110.— Ed.] 

318 Mr. 0. Salvin on Mr. Lawrence's 

lida poliocephala is O. cinereiceps, Gray, and belongs to the same 
group (with red primaries) which contains 0. garrula, Humb. 
& Bonpl. The same species has also been called . poliocephala 
by Mr. Lawrence, as well as by Mr. Sclater and myself, in our 
respective papers on Mr. M'Leannan's Panama collections, and 
by me in my list of Arce's Veraguan birds. 

Mr. Lawrence includes several species, from Warszewiez's col- 
lection, which, though belonging to the fauna, have not yet been 
found within the political limits of Costa Rica. They are : — 

1. Lampornis veraguensis, Chiriqui. 

2. Chalybura isaurce, „ 

3. MicrochcBi'a albocoronata, „ 

4. Oreopyra leucaspis, „ 

5. Ei'ythronota niveiventris, „ 

6. Sapphironia caruleogularis, ,, 

The species to be taken out altogether are fourteen in num- 
ber, viz. : — 

1. Hylophilus pusillus. 8. Milrephoi'us phaocercus. 

2. Cyclorhis flaviventris. 9. Mionectes oleagineus. 

? 3. Chrysomitris Columbiana. 10. Myiarchus panamensis. 

4. Pyrgisoma biarcuatum. 11. Heliomaster' pallidiceps. 

5. Picolaptes lineaticeps. 12. „ sclateri. 

6. Thamnophilus doliatus. 13. Trogon concimms. 

7. Tyranniscus vilissimus. 14. Rostrhamus sociabilis. 

The names of the following species should be changed : — 

Pyrgisoma biarcuatum and P. kieneri to P. cabanisi, Scl. & 

Gymnocichla nudiceps to G. chiroleuca, Scl. & Salv. 
IPlatyrliynclms cancrominus to P. albogularis, Scl. 
Rhynchocyclus griseimentalis to R. brevirostris, Cab. 
Tityra albitorques to T. fraseri, Kp. 
Monasa peruana to M. grandior, Scl. & Salv. 
Eupherusa eximia to E. egregia, Scl. & Salv. 
Asturina nitida to A. plagiata, Schl. 

„ niagnirostris to A. ruficauda, Scl. & Salv. 

List of Costa-Rica Birds. 319 

Accipiter pileatus to A. bicolor, Vieill. 
Geotrygon caruleiceps to G. chiriquensis, Scl. 
Penelope purpurascens to P. jacuaca, Spix ? 
Ortalida poliocephala to O. cinereiceps, G. R. Gray. 

I now add the names of a few species to the list of Costa- 
Rica biids which do not as yet seem to have come under Mr. 
Lawrence's notice : — 

1. Cacicus microrhynchus , Scl. & Salv. Peje (/. Carmiol). 

2. Dendromanes atrirostris (Lafr.), Angostura (/, Carmiol). 

3. Dendromanes homnchrous, Scl. Costa Rica (/. Carrniol). 

4. Xenops heterurus, Cab. Costa Rica (/. Cai'miol). 

5. Rhamphocanus rufiventris, Bp. Bebedero [Arce). 

6. Leptopogon pileatus, Cab. Valza (/. Carmiol). 

7. Serpophaga cinerea. Costa Rica (Endres). 

8. Lophornis helence, Delatt. Tucurriqui [Arce) 

9. Petasophora delphince. Costa Rica (/. Carmiol). 

10. Clais guimeti. Costa Rica [Endres). 

11. Conurus lineolatus. Angostura [J. Carmiol). 

12. Hypotriorchis rufigularis. Costa Rica (/. Carmiol). 

13. Cathartes atratus. Costa Rica (/. Carmiol). 

It will be seen that I leave Mr. Lawrence's list as regards 
numbers almost where I found it, by removing fourteen species, 
and replacing them by thirteen others. There are then 473 
species of " Land-birds " known to inhabit Costa Rica ; and if 
the remainder equal in number the A\aders and others of Gua- 
temala, the total number of birds constituting the avifauna of 
Costa Rica will reach altogether to 574 or thereabouts. If to 
these be added the species of the adjoining countries of Veragua 
and Panama, so as to include the whole of the birds of the 
southern section of the Central- American fauna, we have a total 
of 630 species. 

This brief summary will give some idea of the marvellous 
richness of the ornithic productions of this interesting and 
favoured country. 

320 The Strickland Collection 

XXIX. — The Strickland Collection in the University of Cam- 
bridge. By The Editor. 

(Plate IX.) 

Some time since, it was mentioned in this Journal (Ibis, 1867, 
p. 383) that the large ornithological collection of the late Mr. 
Hugh Edwin Strickland had been presented by his widow to 
the University of Cambridge, an assertion which may possibly 
have occasioned surprise to those who remembered that the 
author of the admirable memoir of that deeply-regretted natu- 
ralist had stated that the sister University was to be honoured 
by so magnificent a gift^. Oxford, however, soon evinced an 
indisposition to make such provision for its reception as his 
trustees (his father and widow) thought suitable; and when in 
1865 one of them died, the survivor found the rulers of that 
University still uncertain as to where room for the collection 
could be given. Thus, it may be briefly repeated, Cambridge 
became the recipient of Mrs. Strickland's generosity. At first 
it was hoped by those who had the management of the matter 
that the ordinary fund by which the University Museum is 
supported would suffice to supply the accommodation required 
for this increase to its treasures; but it speedily became evident 
that, saddled as that fund was by the expense of erecting a large 
though perfectly plain building, it would be long before the cost 
of cabinets and other fittings could be prudently incurred. 
Accordingly application was made to each College in the 
University to subscribe in its corporate capacity to this end ; 
and the appeal was answered (in many cases very liberally) by 
every College save one. The sum thus subscribed, however, was 
still inadequate to the object desired, and it became necessary 
to have recourse to the generosity of private persons, beginning 
with those who were or had been members of the University 
Thanks to the indefatigable exertions of Mr. John Willis Clark, 
the Superintendent of the Museums of Zoology and Comparative 
Anatomy, the claims of this collection as well as that of Swainson, 
which for over five and twenty years had been the property of 

* ' Memoir of Hugh Edwin Strickland,' &c. By Sir William Jardine, 
Bart., F.E.S.E., &c. London : 1858, p. cclx. 

in the University of Cambridge. 321 

the University, were so efficiently urged that upwards of ^£700 
became available for the purpose of furnishing the accommoda- 
tion necessary for duly housing these two fine collections; and 
then no time was lost in ordering cabinets in which their 
valuable contents might be properly and safely arranged. 

It was felt to be desirable that these cabinets should be built 
on the very best plan available ; and it did not require much 
time to perceive that a principle first suggested by Mr. Osbert 
Salvin, and adopted by him in his own collection, was that 
which, according to all experience, was the most suitable. This 
principle may be briefly described as follows : — Having decided 
upon a unit of size for the smallest drawer to be used, every 
other larger drawer should be as to its dimensions a multiple of 
that unit, so as to admit of the readiest interchange of drawers 
possible. The advantages of this principle, which several other 
naturalists (who had seen how admirably the plan worked in its 
inventor's collection) had followed, are numerous. It makes 
the most of the space available, and permits without trouble of 
a deep drawer being substituted in place of two shallow ones, a 
deeper still instead of three shallow ones or of two shallow 
drawers and a deep one, and of course the contrary. Further, 
by having the cabinets to consist of two stacks of drawers 
standing back to back, a drawer may be made of double length 
so as to occupy the superficial space of two ordinary ones, and 
yet not to interfere with the system, while such a drawer, if the 
unit be judiciously chosen will hold any but the skins of the 
very largest birds — the Struthiones for example. But as these 
forms are seldom, if ever, kept in the shape of unmounted skins, 
the exception is practically immaterial. In the case of the 
Cambridge Museum the superficial dimensions of the unit- 
drawer were necessarily determined by the space between the 
windows of the building. That which has been employed is 
25| inches by 17^ inches, with a depth of 3 inches; and though 
it is astonishing how few birdskins there are that, when properly 
prepared, will not lie easily on such a surface, it is not to be denied 
that even here a unit of larger superficies would have been 
found in some respects more advantageous. The abominable 
practice followed by too many bird-skinners, that of stuffing out 

3.22 The Stricklainl Collection 

the skin until it becomes of preposterous size, is a vexation to 
every collector; and neither the Strickland nor the Swainson 
collection is entirely free from these awkw^ard specimens. 
The process of disembowelment, however, judiciously and 
lovingly carried out, has restored many a " monstrum informe, 
ingens" to its natural grace, and there are very few in the 
Strickland collection which now require even the double super- 
ficies or the treble depth of drawer. 

It must be added that each drawer has a moveable glass lid, 
and each cabinet a sliding door — precautions, it is hoped, which 
will preserve the specimens from all the ills to which skin is 
heir. The cabinets themselves, mostly standing at right angles 
to the walls of the Museum, form little compartments, the 
entrances to which will be further guarded by gates of open 
work; and thus are formed small " chapels ^^ (so as to speak) 
wherein the devotees of Swainsonian or Stricklandian types 
may study with the greatest convenience the precious relics by 
which they are surrounded. 

Thus much as regards the accommodation and fittings provided 
for these collections : a i^^ words on the contents of Strickland^s 
are here required. The pious care of the partner of his life has 
not only kept them in admirable condition and order, but has 
further been extended to making an accurate catalogue of them 
arranged according to the system adopted by him in his ' Orni- 
thological Synonyms ' — the gigantic and useful employment 
in which he was engaged when stricken down in the vigour 
of manhood by death, and the manuscript of which still remains 
in her hands. A copy of this catalogue has accompanied the 
collection ; and by its means any specimen can in a very few 
minutes be found ; for the devotion of Mrs. Strickland to her 
late husband's memory did not stop at the mere placing of his 
ornithological treasures where they will be safe and available for 
consultation ; she spent many days in arranging them, so that 
the whole collection, now laid out in one hundred and eighty-twu 
of the drawers described, is in perfect order, each specimen 
with its appended label giving all the information known con- 
cerning it. 

The collection consists oi five thousand eight hundred and tivo 

Ibis 1869 Pl.D 

Wolf, del eX iitli . 

:ampethepa c.^pricorni. 

M HclT. Baji'hea-ljin^. 

in the University of Cambridge. 323 

specimens, referable to three thousand and thirty one species, and 
is thus one of the largest ever accumulated by a private person. 
As may be expected from this statement it comprehends a great 
variety of very rare and interesting forms, Chiefest among its 
treasures may be mentioned Nestor productus, the extinct Phillip- 
Island Parrot : but there are many others only inferior in value 
to this ; for here are to be found most of the types of the species 
described by Strickland in his numerous ornithological papers *. 

I have the pleasure of being able to illustrate this short notice 
by a very beautiful plate of one of these types, executed many 
years ago by Mr. Wolf for Sir William Jardine^s 'Contributions 
to Ornithology,' but never before published. It represents 
(Plate IX.) Campethera capricorni, described in that Journal 
(1852, pp. 155, 156) ; and to the kindness of that veteran natu- 
ralist, Strickland's father-in-law, I am indebted for the use of 
the stone on which the figures have been drawn ; while Mrs. 
Strickland, heretofore known to the readers of the ' The Ibis ' 
as an excellent artist \, has herself coloured the pattern-im- 
pression from the type-specimen, which until very lately was 
unique J. Malherbe, who had only seen a coloured copy of the 
accompanying plate, refused (Monographic des Picides, ii. pp. 
169, 170) to allow its specific rank, uniting it with C. bennetti 
(A. Smith) ; but Dr. Cabanis (Mus. Hein. iv. p. 123, note) and 
Mr. G. R. Gray (List B. Br. Mus. PicidcB, p. 81) rightly, as it 
seems to me, recognize its distinctness, while Prof. Sundevall, 
though not without a mark of doubt, does the same (Consp. Av, 
Picinarum, p. 64). The diagnostic remark appended to the 
original description (Contr. Orn. ut supra) is perfectly correct. 
It is there said of the species : — 

'' Near C. benneti (Smith) — [Picas guttatus, Licht. ; C. vario- 
losa, Gray) — but differs in having a stouter beak, smaller spots 
on the breast, and the rump spotted instead of barred'' 

* There is no need to give a list of these papers ; they are all enume- 
rated, and many of them reprinted, in tlie ' Memoir ' before mentioned. 

t Ibis, 1861, p. 184, pi. vi. 

X The species must still be regarded as extremely rare. Mr. Sharpe 
informs me that he has examples from Damara Land, collected by Anders- 
son, from whom Strickland obtained his. 

324 Lord Walden on the Cuculidse 

The following list of references to this species may serve to 
make this paper of some slight practical use : — 

Campethera capricorni, Strickl., Contr. Orn. 1852, p. 155 ; G. 
R. Gray, List. B. Br. Mus. Picidoi (1868), p. 81. 

Dendromus capricorni, Bonap.,Consp.Vol. Zygodactyl. (1854)* 

P- ^- .... 

Chrysopicus capricorni, Malh., Monogr. Picid. (1862) ii. p. 169. 

Ipagrus capricornis [!J,Cab. & Heine, Mus. Hein. (1863) iv. 

p. 123, note. 

Picus capricorni, Sundev., Consp. Av. Picin. (1866) p. 64. 

Magdaleue College, Cambridge, 
June 11, 1869. 

XXX. — On the Cuculidse described by Linnaeus and Gmelin, 
with a sketch of the Genus Eudynamis. By Arthur 
Viscount Walden, P.Z.S. etc. 

(Plate X.) 

Tt is now a quarter of a century since the rules for zoolo- 
gical nomenclature were promulgated by the British Association 
— a period sufficiently long to enable us to judge of their merits by 
the test of practical experience. How, then, do we now stand ? 
To what extent have these rules been accepted, more especially 
the law of priority, by ornithologists at least ? and how have 
they worked ? To these two questions I believe an answer not 
altogether unsatisfactory may be given. The spirit of the rule 
of priority has more or less influenced every recent writer. One 
or two may have grumbled, ornithological Tories shocked at the 
revolutionary tendencies of the binomial principle. Some, its 
most ardent advocates at the time, have since viewed with rather 
peevish impatience discoveries of titles older than those they had 
accustomed themselves to regard as the oldest. Yet, on the 
whole, the endeavour of most ornithologists has been to discover 
the senior title and to adopt it ; and if, now and then, the dead 
Fathers have been rather left to take care of themselves, yet, 

* Originally published in ' L'Ateneo Italiano,' no. 8, May 1854 (fide 
Carus and Engelmann, Bibl. Zoogr. p. 115). 

described by Linnfieiis and Gmelin. 325 

when modern titles have come into conflict, the right of priority 
has invariably been asserted by the living author who felt his 
claim assailed. 

But in the practical working of the rules the results are not 
as great as, after so many years of trial, we might fairlv have 
expected. For this one reason is to be found in that rule which 
leaves it optional to authors to alter the old titles they do not 
consider appropriate. Thus the door is opened for the admis- 
sion of every caprice, and confusion necessarily follows. What 
is first required is to ascertain and indisputably establish by 
universal agreement the oldest title of 3very species. When that 
is done it will be time enough to decide what titles are to be re- 
tained and which are to be rejected. But the principal reason 
why ornithological nomenclature has not reached the advanced 
position we wish it to occupy — -the position of a cosmopolitan 
language conveying definite and identical ideas to all minds, is 
because no systematic effort has as yet been made to determine 
all the species of the older authors and place their titles as a 
whole on a firm foundation. To Sundevall, Pucheran, and 
Gray we are greatly indebted for the immense labour they have 
expended on their respective endeavours to identify the species 
of Sparrman and Le Vaillant, of Cuvier, Vieillot and Lesson, 
and of Buffon, Temminck, Le Vaillant, Edwards and Vieillot ; 
while Moore and Cabanis, Hartlaub, Malherbe and Finsch have 
devoted an amount of sound labour on the nomenclature of the 
species they have to deal with, which can only be thoroughly ap- 
preciated by those who are well acquainted with their work. Nor 
must we foi'get the late Mr. Strickland and, alas ! Mr. Cassin. 
Yet the foundation of a correct system of nomenclature cannot 
be said to have been laid until the whole of the species enume- 
rated in the Xllth and Xlllth editions of the 'Systema Naturse,' 
the very corner-stone of the structure we desire to raise, have 
been either identified or disposed of. As a slight contribution 
to a work of this nature I purpose in the following pages to 
attempt the identification of the species belonging to the 
modern family of the Cuculidce described in these two editions of 
the ' Systema/ 

In the Xlltb edition twenty-two species were enumerated by 

N. S. VOL. V. z 

326 Lord Walden on the Cuculid?e 

Linnaeus under his genus Cuculus, and received titles ; and one 
species was added as a variety. Of these, three belong to other 
genera, and of the remaining nineteen titles eleven have been 
more or less satisfactorily identified, leaving eight designations 
either undetermined or wrongfully or doubtfully applied. Two 
of these undetermined titles were based on species originally 
described, one by Marcgrave, the other by Seba, at a date when 
imagination was largely drawn upon for facts. Still Cuculus 
coimutus may yet perhaps be found among the American Tro- 
gons, although C. brasiliensis, founded on Seba^s description and 
figure*, is, I very much fear, a hopeless case. The plate repre- 
sents a crested bird of a dingy carmine colour, with yellowish 
wings and tail, the bill stout, carved, and short, the feet with 
three toes in front encircling a branch. It is singular that 
Brisson, who never saw a specimen of this bird, and took his de- 
scription from Seba, should have given not only the length of 
each toe, but should also have alluded to them in pairs as anterior 
and posterior. BufFon, who termed Seba^s bird Le Couroucoucou 
(Hist. Nat. vi. p. 298), considered it a link between the Tro- 
gons and the Cuckoos, " En supposant que son indication donnee 
par Seba soit moins fautive et plus exacte que la plupart de 
celles qu'on trouve dans son gros ouvrage^^ f- 

C. dominicus, L., ex Brisson (Ornith. iv. p. 10), who described 
either from a Guianian or a Louisianian example, or else from 
one from St. Domingo in M. de Ueaumur's cabinet, thus con- 
founding the three, but not telling us from which individual he 
made his description. Dr. Cabanis (Mus. Hein. iv. p. 75), 
considers Brisson's C. dominicensis to be the same as C. ameri- 

* (Rer. Nat. Thesaurus, i. p. 102, t. 66. f. 2.) " Rostrum ejus dilute 
rubrum, breve, et incurvum est, quale Pseudo-Psittacorum. Caput, 
pariter dilute rubruui, crista ornatur saturatius rubente, ex nigris varie- 
gata. Dorsum quoque saturate rubicundum est : at dilutioreui ventris 
ruborem nounullse distinguunt plumulfe flaventes. Alas dilute rubentes 
supra investiunt pennse, flaventibus etiam aliis interstincta?. Penuas 
remiges, longam^ue caudam, saturate flavo conspicuas colore, umbra quasi 
nigricans obfuscat." 

t Conf. Columha arlfrms, Moehring, Av. Gen. 103, not to be con- 
founded with Cuculus acljlnis of the same author (C. persa L.), Hermann, 
Tab. affin. animal, p. 184. 

described by Linnreus and Gmclin. 327 

canus, h., ex Catesby (N. H. Carol, i. p. 9j t. 9) . Froin this view- 
Mr. Sclater (P. Z. S. 18Gi, p. 119) differs. I must leave it to 
others to decide between these two high authorities. 

Crotophaga ambulatoria, L., seemingly an original descrip- 
tion, can be nothing but C. aiii, L. I introduce it here, belong- 
ing as it does to the modern family of the Cuculida. 

The next six species arc from the east ; and five, if not all six, 
belong to the genus Eudijnmnis. They are ; — 

1. C. honoratus, L., ex 13riss. Orn. iv. p. 136, no. 15, dcscr. 

2. C. scolopaceas, L., ex Edw. Birds, ii. p. 59, descr. orig. 

3. C niger, L., ex Edw. p. 58, t. 58, descr. orig. 

4. C. orientalis, L., ex Briss. p. 142, no. 18, descr. orig. 

5. C. jjunctatus, L., ex Briss. p. 134, no. 14, descr. orig. 

6. C. mindcmeims, L.^ ex Briss. p. 130, no. 12, descr. orig. 
The species to which Linnaeus gave the title of honoratus was 

described by Brisson from a drawing made by Poivre of the 
living bird. Brisson says " Habitat in Malabaria, ubi honores 
ipsi redduntur." Hence the Linnsean title. No modern author, 
I believe, has confirmed this statement ; but Latham, from an 
independent source, mentions that the "Coweel'^ {C. indicus, 
Lath.) is held in veneration by the Mahometans. Vieillot (N. 
Diet. viii. p. 227) informs us that "cet oiseau, qui doit son 
nom k la melodic et ^ Fetendue de sa voix, est en veneration 
dans la presqu ile de PInde." He adds that its flesh, which is 
blackish, tender, and agreeable to the taste, is much sought after 
by those natives who, pot over nice, are rich enough to pay for 
a " Cuil,^' which is always sold at a high price. He goes on to 
quote, from the ' Essais philosophiques sur les moeurs do divers 
animaux etrangers,' this native proverb, " C'est un grand bien 
de manger le cuil, mais un grand peche de le fairc tuer." 
Stephens accounts for the superstition by supposing that it is 
because this bird " feeds on reptiles of the more noxious kinds 
and insects.^' Some of the Indian correspondents of ' The Ibis ' 
will perhaps let us know how much of all this we are to believe. 
Recent authors maintain that the Koel is frugivorous. 

There can be no doubt, after reading Brisson's description, 
that the bird Poivre figured was either a female or a young male 

z 2 

328 Lord Walden on the Cuculidre 

of the common Indian Evdynamis. Brisson, moreover, states 
that the inhabitants of Malabar call this bird "Cuil." 

The specimen which Edwards figured in his 59th plate, and 
on which Linnseus founded C. scolopaceus, came from Bengal, 
and was lent to Edwards by Mr. Daudridge, of Moorfields. I 
find some difficulty in identifying it. Dr. Cabanis (Mus. Hein. 
iv, p. 49) refers it without hesitation to the female of the Indian 
Koel ; and I would gladly concur if the account and figure given 
by Edwards left no doubt on the matter. But that author's 
description is so vague that it may be applied with more or less 
probability to other species of Cuckoos known to inhabit Bengal. 
The plate represents a bird of a general rufous or bay colour, 
while in the description the body-colour is stated to be brown. 
The figure will pass for any Cuckoo in the hepatic phase of 
plumage ; on the other hand the bill, as figured and de- 
scribed, most nearly agrees with that of the Koel. The reasons 
Edwards gives for not regarding Mr. Daudridge's bird as the 
same as C. canorus only increase our difficulty : — " This bird 
being more like the common Cuckoo than the others here de- 
scribed"^, it may be thought the same by slight observers of 
nature, so it will be proper to observe in what they chiefly disa- 
giee. First it is less by a full third part, though, by reason of 
the superior length of the tail, this bird is an inch or more 
longer than the common Cuckoo; that is white, with regular 
continued transverse lines, on the under side, from the breast 
downward ; this hath the belly and under side white mixed with 
orange, and sprinkled with black spots : that hath bright gold- 
coloured legs ; this hath them of a dirty yellow, rather inclining 
to green ; but I am more certainly convinced, who have seen 
and compared the birds together, than another can be by my 
persuading him to be of my opinion : the tail-feathers of the 
common [Cuckoo] are tipped with white, but in this there is no 
appearance of it.'' If a Eudynamis, it would seem unnecessary 
to prove that it is not the same as C. canorus. Mr. Gray (Gen. 
B. App. p. 42) refers Edwards's 59th plate to Eudynamis ori- 
entalis, meaning the common Indian Koel. 

C. niger, L., ofi'ers less difficulty. The type was likewise 
* Namely, C. perm, L., C. glandarms, L., and C niyer, L. 

described by Linnaeus and Gmelin. 329 

supplied to Edwards by Mr. Daudridge, who obtained it from 
Bengal, " where it is called in the country language Cukeel." It 
is thus described: — "The head, body, wings, and tail are covered 
in every part with deep black feathers, without any mark or 

spot of other colours; the feathers have a shining lustre 

on them.'^ This can only apply to the Koel ; and in this 
identification I am happy to agree with Dr. Cabanis (/. c), who 
was the first to point out the " ungliicklicher Missgriff," of Mr. 
Blyth in identifying C. tenuirostris^, J. E.Gray (111. Ind. Zool. 
ii. t. 34. f. i. 1833), with it. 

The next title, C. orientalis, L., has hitherto been the one 
adopted by Indian authors for the Indian Koel. Brisson ori- 
ginally described the bird on which Linnaeus founded the above 
title from a specimen in M. de Reaumur's possession, sent 
to him by Count Bentinck, who received it from " les Indes 
Orientales." The description is that of an adult male Eudy- 
namis ; but as no definite habitat is given, its identification can- 
not be demonstrated by direct proof. Yet, by implication, we 
may fairly infer, from the account Brisson gives of the indi- 
vidual on which Linnseus based his C. punctatus, that both birds 
belong to one and the same species. Now the subject of this 
last title was also obtained from the East Indies by Count Ben- 
tinck, and given to M. de Reaumur. It was a skin of a young 
male or nearly adult female ; and the description, while in no way 
agreeing with what we find in the Indian species, does tally with 
the marked characteristics which distinguish the females and 
young of E. ransomi, Bp., or at least of the group of which it 
is typical, if there is more than one species, as there is reason 
to believe. The following are the grounds for concluding that 
C. iadicus niger, Briss.(= C orientalis, L.), and C. indicus ncevius 
Briss. {= C. punctatus, Jj.) , are nothing but the same species in 
different phases of plumage — the black and the spotted. They 
both were sent to the Dutch Count Bentinck, who gave them 

* Polyphasia nigra, Jerdon (B. Ind. i. p. 333), which must staud as Ca- 
comardis passer imis (Vahl, Skr. Nat. Selsk. iv. 1. p. 57, 1797), accoixliug to 
Dr. Cabanis. Those who agree with Mr. Blyth in the generic distinction 
of this species will have to adopt the generic title of Ololygnn, Cab. 
{t. c. p. 20, note), in lieu of Polyphasia, Blyth, previously employed by 
Stephens, 1829. 

330 Lord Waklen on the Cuculidse 

to M. de Reaumur. The measurements, as given by Brisson, 
of the two are almost identical. These dimensions are much 
larger than those of any other species of Eudynamis. The length 
of the bills he states respectively as 1 inch 5 lines and 16 
lines, of the tails, 8 inches 4 lines and 8 inches, and so on. 
These reasons may perhaps not appear conclusive of the identity 
of the adult male C. orientalis with C. punctatus ; but it is 
also the opinion of Dr. Cabanis*, who has studied this group 
with gieat research. Moreover C. punctatus, L., has been re- 
ferred by Miiller, Bonaparte, and others to either one or other 
of the Koels inhabiting the Moluccan Islands ; and even if it 
be not admitted that C. orientalis, L., is the adult male of C. 
punctatus, L., there can be no doubt that it is not the Indian, 
Cingalese, Malayan, Javan, Philippine or Australian bird — un- 
less, indeed, we are to follow Professor Schlegel (Mus. P.-B. 
Cuculi, pp. 16-20), and include all individuals of the genus 
{E. melanorhyncha, MUll., excepted) under one species. 

The account of C. mindanensis, the last of the Linnsean 
species referable to Eudynamis, is also to be found in Brisson. 
That exact and trustworthy author described the species from 
a specimen in M. d'Aubry's cabinet, which came from the 
Island of Mindanao. 

During the twelve years that elapsed before Gnielin published 
his Xlllth edition of the ' Systema Naturje,' great progress was 
made in the discovery of new species of birds. A number of 
authors rose on the ornithological horizon; and from their works 
Gmelin extracted descriptions of twenty-four species (additional 
to the Liunsean) and ten varieties belonging to the Cuculida, one 
species of Crotophaga, and two species of the Cuculidce which he 
erroneously classed uuder other genera, while two species referred 
by him to Cuculus belong to other groups. But out of the 
whole number of twenty-nine species only nine can retain 
Gmelin's titles ; for the remainder are either duplicates, or their 

"* AVhen engaged some time ago in working out the synonymy of the 
species belonging to the genus Hiidynamis, I arrived at the above con- 
rlusiou before I had referred to the ' Museum Ileineanum :' and my satis- 
faction was great on finding that Dr. Cabanis had independently adopted 
ii similar view. 

described by Linnaeus and Gmclin. 331 

designations arc forestalled by previous authors, or else have 
been raised to generic rank. 

The following titles were given to doubtful species, or have 
not been correctly applied : — 

C. benrjalensis, Gm., ex Brown, 111. p. 26, t. 13. fig. inf. from 
Bengal. A Centropus in striated plumage, either a young 
male or a young female ; for the phases of plumage in this spe- 
cies, and what they denote, have yet to be investigated by 
naturalists on the spot. The figure is clearly that of the Lesser 
Ljdian Coucal, Centrojms viridis, Jerdon (B. Ind. i. p. 350). 
The true C. viridis (Scop.) must be compared before we can 
decide whether the Lidian and Philippine birds are identical. 
Prof. Schlegel keeps them separate, but, under the name of 
C. rectungids, Strickl., unites [op, cit. pp. 67-70) the Bengal 
bird with forms from many other localities which have been de- 
scribed as distinct — among them the West-African C. grilli, 

C. panayanus, Gm., ex Sonn. Voy. p. 120, t. 78, from the 
Island of Panay. A Eudynamis, a female or young male, no 
doubt the same as E. mindanensis (L.) . 

C. rnaculatus, Gm., ex Buff. PI. Enl. t. 764, from China. A 
young male, or a female Eudynamis. On the assumption that 
the Philippine bird migrates to China, and is the only species 
found in that country*, I refer this title to E. mindanensis (L.) : 
anyhow it forestalls E. chinensis, Cab. & Heine (jMus. Ilein. 
iv. p. 52). 

C. orientalis, L., var. /3, Gm., ex Buffon, Hist. Nat. Ois. vi. p. 
383, Coukeel, no. 2. A Eudynamis in full male black plumage, 
from Mindanao, and therefore E. viindanensis (L.). 

C. radiatus, Gm., ex Sonn. Voy. p. 120, t. 79, as yet not per- 
fectly recognized. The type is from Panay. Strickland, it 
is true (J. A. S. B. 1844, p. 390, note), has stated that it is a 
good species, and that he possessed a specimen from Malacca 
" exactly agreeing with Sonnerat^s description,^' except that the 

* Conf. Swinboe, Ibis, 1861, p. 46 ; P. Z. S. 1S63, p. 264. Mr. Blyth 
(Ibis, 1865, p. 32) refers tbe Cbinese bird to E. amtrulis, Swains., from 
Australia. Mr. Swinboe (Ibis, 1866, p, 131) states tbat tbe l'hilij)pino 
and tlie Siamese Ev(hiHa)ni$ are the same species. 

332 Lord Walden on the Cuculidse 

tail was not even. Dr. Cabanis {t. c. p. 29) suggests that 
Sonnerat described from a made-up specimen. Until we are 
better acquainted with the ornithology of the Philippines, it will 
be best not to hazard an opinion. Unfortunately Sonnerat 
is not to be trusted. 

C.fiavus, Gm., ex Sonn. Voy. p. 122. t. 81. The original de- 
scription is by Sonnerat, who gives the Island of Panay as the 
habitat. But Gmehn first cites " PI. Enl. 814.'^, an original 
drawing from an individual whose derivation is not known, unless 
we may assume that it was Sonnerat's specimen. Montbeillard 
(Hist. Nat. Ois. vi. p. 382) quotes Sonnerat's description word 
for word. Sonnerat's bird belongs to the group of small grey- 
breasted, rufous-bellied Cuckoos, which extend throughout the 
Indian ^Lrchipelago. Until examples are brought together from 
all localities and compared, the synonymy of the group cannot 
be deterniined. Prof. Schlegel [t. c.) regards them all as belong- 
ing to one species. Philippine specimens exist at Leyden ; and 
Dr. von Martens procured it at Manilla (Journ. f. Orn. 1866, 
p. 19). 

C. lucidus, Gm,, ex Lath. Syn. ii. pt. 2. p. 528, no. 24, t. 23, 
from New Zealand [nee Cab. t. c. p. 14). This title applies to 
the New-Zealand Lam-prococcyx only. 

C. melanoleucus, Gm,, founded on IMontbeillard's description 
of a specimen sent by Sonnerat from Coromandel, and PI. Enl. 
872, erroneously referred by Mr. Gray (Gen. B. ii. p. 464) to 
C. seiratus, Sparrm. Boddaert's title, C. jacohinus, founded on 
the same plate, takes precedence. I have failed to detect the 
slightest difference between the plumage of adult birds from 
South Africa {Coccijstes hypopinariis, Cab. & Heine, t. c. p. 47) 
and from India and Ceylon. The South-African bird, however, 
possesses a somewhat stouter bill, and a longer wing and tail. 
I have compared a large series of Cingalese individuals with 
specimens from Malabar, Candeish, Simla, and north-eastern 
India, and have found the Cingalese form slightly smaller in 
all its dimensions. It is the Ceylon Cuckoo of Latham (Gen. 
Hist. iii. p. 291). C.pica, Hemp. & Ehrenb., from north-eastern 
Africa, is doubtfully distinct. 

C. canorus, L., var 7, Gm, ex Besekc, Schr, Berl. Naturf. Ges. 

described by Linuseus and Gmeliu. 333 

vii. p. 452, seems to be nothing more than a variety described 
from Courland. Beseke's account has been ignored by tlie 
authors I have had opportunities of consulting [conf. Beseke, 
Vog. Kurl. nos. 53, 54). 

C. madagascariensis, Gm., var jB, description taken, but 
not acknowledged, from Montbeillard {t. c. p.364), who quotes 
from a note made by Commerson. This traveller found it in 
company with C. gigas, Bodd. " II a sur la tete un espace 
nu," lightly furrowed, coloured blue, and surrounded by 
feathers " d^un beau noir/' those of the head and neck silky. 
Some bristles round the base of the bill. Inside of mouth and 
tongue black. Tongue forked. Irides reddish. Thighs and 
inside of the quills blackish. Feet black. Nearly of the size 
of a fowl. Weight 13| ounces. Total length 21| inches. 
Bill 19 lines, " ses bords tranchaus.'^ The nostrils similar to 
those of gallinaceous birds. Eighteen quills in the wing. 
Wings extended, 22 inches. The outer posterior toes capable 
of being brought forward. The size of this species, together 
with its possessing a naked space of blue skin on the head, 
identifies it with Coccijzus delalandii, Temm. PI. Col. 440, from 
Madagascar (1827). 

C. punctulatus, Gm., founded on Latham^s " Punctuated Cuc- 
koo '' (Syn. i. pi. 2, p. 541. no. 39), described from a specimen 
he had received among " various other birds from Cayenne." 
Mr. Sclater considers it to be Diplopterus ncevius (L.), in adoles- 
cent plumage. 

C. ridibundus, Gm., a bird of Mexico, founded on the *' avis 
ridibunda" of the ante-Brissonian authors. Hernandez (Hist. 
Nov. Hisp. cap. clxxix. p. 49) says that before the introduction 
of the true faith it passed for a bird of bad omen. It is ap- 
parently C mexicanus, Swainson (Phil. Mag. i. p. 440, 1827). 

C. ncevius, L., var. /S, Gm., founded, but without acknowledg- 
ment, on Sonnini's " Oiseau des barrieres " (Montbeillard, op. 
cit. V. p. 412), " common in Guiana and Cayenne," is possibly 
C. navius, L., in some hitherto unrecognized phase of plumage. 
Dr. Sclater is unacquainted with it ; and it does not appear to 
have been identified by any author. If distinct, it will stand 
as C. aeplorum, Vicill., Enc. iii. p. 1343. 

334- Lord VValdeti vn the Cuculida^ 

C. duminicus, L,, var. ^, Gin., also taken from Montbeillard 
{t. c. p. 413) and without acknowledgement. Described from 
" le petit Coucou gris" of M. Mauduit's cabinet, which is 
stated only to differ from " le Cendrillard " of Montbeillard 
(C dominicus, L.) by being a little larger, having a slightly 
shorter bill, and the entire under surface white. The origin of 
Mauduit's specimen is not stated. It does not seem to have 
been recognized by any author ; nor does its description agree 
with any species known to Dr. Sclater. 

C. cayanus, L., var. 7, Gm. ex Montbeillard {t. c. p. 416), but 
unacknowledged. Lesson (Tr. d'Orn. p. 140, 1831) identified 
a Cayenne individual with Gmelin's species, and entitled it Piaya 
hrachyptera. The species had previously, and has since, received 
several different titles, the oldest of which, C melanog aster, Vieill. 
(Diet. Class. H. N. iv. p. 570), stands — unless indeed Vieillot's 
bird be not in reality Rhiaortlia chlurophaa (Vig.), with which it 
very closely agrees, the red bill excepted. Vieillot states that 
his type came from Java. 

Trogon maculatus, Gm., ex Brown, 111. p. 26, t. 13. fig. 
super, from Ceylon ; a Lamprococcyx in spotted immature plu- 
mage. Gmelin's title was altered to Chrysococcyx smaragdinus 
by Mr. Blyth (J. A. S. B. 1846, p. 53) as inapplicable, although 
Brown's figure " certainly represents a variety or incidental 
state of plumage of this species." Mr. Moore also considered 
Gmelin's designation " quite inapplicable," but rejected that 
of Mr. Blyth as previously employed by Swainson, and substi- 
tuted Chrysococcyx hodgsoni (Cat. E. I. Co. Mus. ii. p. 705, 
1856-8). Dr. Cabanis, who quotes Brown and Gmelin with 
doubt, separates Chalcites smaragdinus, Sw., generically from 
the Indian bird, and therefore restores Mr. Blyth's title. The 
name given by Gmelin appears to me quite as applicable as 
either of the two more recent ones, and I therefore shall 
retain it. Should Continental specimens differ specifically from 
Cingalese, Mr. Blyth's name would sland for the Indian 

I shall now subjoin a list of the LinnjEan and Gmeliuean 
species referred to their correct genera, with the titles they will 
have to bear. 

described by Linnaeus and Gmclin. 335 

Species enumerated under the genus Cuculus, h., in the 
Twelfth Edition of the " Systeraa Naturse" (1766) :— 

1. Cuculus CANORUS, L., " Europa.'^ 

2. C. [Eudynamis) orientalis, L., "Ind. orient." 

3. C. {Eudynamis) mindanensis, L., " Ins. Phihpp." 

4. C. {Saurothera) vetula, L., " Jamaica." 

5. C. [Coccystes) glandarius, L., " Africa septentr., Eur., 

6. C. [Centropus) senegalensis, L., " Senegalia." 

7. C. {Eudynamis) honoratus, L., " Malabaria." 

8. C. [Eudynamis) punci at us, It., "Ind. orient."=C'. orien- 


9. C. {Diplopterus) n^vius, L., "Cayania." 

10. C. {Coccygus) americanus, L., "Carolina."" 

11. C. [Eudynamisl) scolopaceus, L., '^Bengala.^^ = 6'. ho- 


12. C. {Eudynamis) niger, L., "Bengala."=C. honoratus, L. 

13. C. {Coccygus) dominicus, L., "Dominica, Ludovicia." = 
C. americanus, L. ? 

14. C. {Fiaya) cayanus, L., " Cayana." 

14 bis. C. cayamts, var. ^, 1j. = Piaya minuta, Vieill. 

15. C. (Coua) c^RULEUs, L., " Madagascaria." 

16. C. [Ui-ocissa) sinensis, L., "China." 

17. C. {Turacus) persa, L.*, "Guinea." 

18. C. ( ?) BRASiLiENSis, L., "Brasilia." 

19. C. {Coua) CRiSTATUS, L., " Madagascaria." 

20. C. {Coccystes) coromandus, L., "Cormandel." 

21. C. {Trogon"^) cornutus, L., "Brasilia." 

22. C. {Dissemurus) paradiseus, L., " Siam," 

To these must be added the species classed by Linnaeus in his 
genus Crotophaga. 

* On the true C. perm, L., see Riippell, Arcliiv fiir Naturgesch. xvii. 
i. p. 316, also Hartlaub, op. cit. xviii. i. p. 18, and Contr. Oru. 1852, for 
translation. See likewise Swainson, B. W. Afr. i. p. 225, and Verreaux, 
Rev. Zool. 1851, p. 257. The subject has been much discussed, yet not 
exhausted. The species figured and described by Albin (Birds, ii. p. 18, 
t. 19. 1738) must be regarded as the Linnaean type, and not, as has 
hitherto been done, that of Edwards. 

336 Lord VValden un the Cuculidae 

1. Crotophaga ani, L., "Africa (!), America." 

2. C. ( ?) ambulatoria, L., " Surinam." =C ani, L. ? 

Additional species incorporated by Gmelin in the Linnsean 
genus Cuculus, in his Thirteenth Edition of the " Systenia 
Naturge" (1788). 

1. Cuculus canorus, L., var. ^, Gm. = C. canorus, av. juv. 

2. C. canorus, L., var. y, Gm. = C. canorus, L. ? 

3. C. capensis, Gm., "Cap. bonse spei " = Cmcm/ms capensis, 
Muller (1776). 

4. C. onentalis,li. ,\ar. /3, Gm./' India" = C. mindanensis,L. 

5. C. (Hyeturnis) pluvialis, Gm., " Jamaica," 

6. C. [Coccyzus) minor, Gm., " Cayenna." = Cuculus seniculus, 
Lath. (1790). 

7. C. [Coccysies) serratusy Gm., "Cap. bonse spei"=C. ser- 
RATUS, Sparrman (1786). 

8. C. {Eudynamis) tahitius, Gm., "Ins. Societatis." = C. 
TAiTiENSis, Sparrman (1787). 

9. C. (Centropus) bengalensis, Gm., " Bengala." 

10. C. [Eudynamis) panayanus, Gm., "Ins. Panay." = C 
mindanensis, L. 

11. C. navius, L., var. /3, Gm., " Gu'}iinsi" = Coccyzus sep- 
torum, Vieill. = C. NiEvius, L. ? 

12. C. (Diplopterus) punctulatus,Gm.,"CayennsL?"=C, am- 
vius, L., av. juv. ? 

13. C. (Piaya) ridibundus, Gm., "Nova Hisp."=C. 7n€wi- 
canus, Sw. ? 

14. C.guira, Gm., " Brasilise silvis." = Gm'r« piririgua (Vieill.) 

15. C [Eudynamis) maculatus, Gm., "Sina." = C. minda- 
nensis, L. 

16. C. [Coccystes) ater, Gm., "Prom, bonse spei."= C. ser- 
RATUS, Sparrman. 

17. C. [Coccystes) melanoleucus, Gm., " Coromandel."=CM- 
culus JACOBiNus, Bodd. (1783). 

18. C. [Coccystes) pisanus, Gm., " Pisis." = C. glanda- 

19. C. [Coua) madagascariensis, Gm., " Madagasc." = CwcM/tts 
gigas, Bodd. (1783). • 

described by Linnaeus and Gmelin. 337 

20. C. madagascariensis, var. /3, Gni,, " Madagasc." = CocA/o- 
thraustes delalandii, (Ternm.) ? 

21. C. dominicus, L., var. y8, Gm. = ? 

22. C. caijanus L., var. y, Giu. = Piaya melanogaster 
(Vieill.),^c?e Cabanis. 

23. C. [Monasa) tranquillus, Gm., " Cdiyejmdi.'^ = Cuculus ater, 
Bodd. (1783).= C. nicer, Miiller (1776). 

24. C. {C/ielidopte7'a) tenebrosus, Gm., " Cayenna.^^ = Cmcm/ws 
TENEBROSUS, Pall. (1782). 

25. C {Phoenicnphaes) pyrrhocephalus, Gm., "Zeylon." = 
Cuculns PYRRHOCEPHALUS, Forst. (1781). 

26. C. {Leptosomus) a/er,Gm., " Wadagasc." = Cuculus dis- 
color, Herm. (1783). = Cmcm/w5 ^neus, Bodd.* (1783). 

27. C. afer, Gm., var. /3, " Madag.'' = C. .eneus, Bodd. 

28. C. indicator, Gm., '' Africa." = Indicator sparrmani, 
Stephens (1815). 

29. C. {Centropus) .egyptius, Gm.f, "^Egypto." 

30. C. agyptius, Gm. var. ft, "Ins. Philipp."= C philippensis, 
Cuv. (1817) = C. [Centropus) viridis. Scop. (1786). 

31 . C. agyptius, Gm., var. y, " Ins. Antigua." = C. [Centropus) 
viridis, Scopoli. 

32. C. [ ?) radiatus, Gm., "Ins. Vanay." =Cuculus 

FLAVIVENTRIS, Scop. (1786). 

33. C. [Cacomantis) flavus, Gm., " Ins. Panay." = Cuculus 

MERULINUS, Scop. (1786). 

34. C [Lamprococcyx] auratus, Gm., "Cap. bonse spei." = 
Cuculus cuPREUs, Bodd. (1783). 

35. C. [Lamprococcyx) lucidus, Gm., " Nova Seelandia." 

36. C. [Centropus) tola, G^m., " Madagasc." = Cuculus mela- 
norhynchus, Bodd. (1783) = Cmcm/m5 toulou, Miiller (1776). 


1. Crotophaga major, Gm., " Cayeuna." 

* This title, given by Boddaert, has hitherto been overlooked, possibly 
because he omitted his usual suffix of " mihi." As it and Hermann's 
bear the same date, and as the latter author seems to* have given his 
name incidentally, I retain that of the Dutch naturalist. 

t I admit this title on the assumption that the North-African Centropus 
differs specifically from that of West Africa, C. senegahnsis (L.). 

338 Lord AYalden's Sketch 

Species belonging to the Cucididce, but classed by Gnielin 
under other genera : — 

1. Trogon [Lamprococcyx) maculatus^ Gin., '' Zeylon." 

2. Phasianus {Geococcyx) mexicanus, Gm., ''Nov. Hispan. 

The species of the genus Eudynamis have remained in so 
much confusion, partly in consequence of the males being clothed 
in a uniform black garb, v/hile the females and young males 
assume a spotted and barred or otherwise variegated plumage, 
that I avail myself of this opportunity to offer a sketch of the 
group. It must be remembered that the adult males are only 
to be distinguished specifically by their respective dimensions, 
the relative proportions of their dimensions, and by the form, 
and in two, if not in more instances, by the colour of the bill. 
Perhaps in some species the practised eye may safely rely on the 
nature of the iridescent hues of the plumage. But it is in the 
colouring, and its distribution, of the young birds and adult 
females that the m»st distinct and palpable difference prevails. 
A superficial observer might, for instance, confound the adult 
males of E. honorata (L.) and E. ransomi, Bp., but never the 
females and young birds. 

1. Eudynamis honorata*, (L.), ex Briss. iv. p. 136, no. 15, 
" Malabaria," $ vel av. juv. 

Cuculus niger, L., ex Edw. Birds, p, 58, t. 58, "Bengala/' ^ 

? C. scolopaceus, L., ex Edw. p. 59, t. 59, " Bengala,^^ ? vel 
av. juv. 

C. indicus, Lath., Ind. Orn. i. p. 211, no. 11, ex Lath. Syn. 
Sup. p. 99 (1790), " India," S adolesc. 

C. orientalis, L. var. y, Lath., Ind. Orn. i. p. 211, "Ben- 
gala," J. 

? C. crassirostris, Steph., Gen. Zool. ix. pt. 1. p. 86 (1815), ex 
Le Vaill. Ois. d'Afr. v. p. 59, t. 214, '' Africa " (!). Bengala j . 

? a crassirostris, Vieill., N. Diet. viii. p. 229, $ (1817), ex 
Le Vaill. {I.e.). 

* I give honorata, L., precedence, as it comes first in the 'Systenia.' 

of the Genus Eudynamis. 339 

Eudijnmnis ccy/unensis, Cab. & Heine, Mus. Hein. iv. p. 51, 
note (1862), "Ceylon/' cJ ailult. 

E. orientalis, (L.), Jcrd., Birds of Ind. i. p. 342. no. 214. 

E. nigra, (L.), Cab., /. c. p. 49, " Ostindien." 

Hab. in India, Ceylon. 

The common Koel of India, the lower ranges of the Central 
and Eastern Himalayas excepted. Out of a large series of Ceylon 
specimens I have not found one that differed in the least from 
the Peninsular bird. The eastern range of this species is not 
satisfactorily determined; but I question whether it crosses the 

2. Eudynamis Malayan a, Cab. & Heine, Mus. Hein. iv. p. 52, 
'f Sumatra," 6 adult., c^ adolesc. (?) 1862-3. 

A Koel closely allied to E. honorata, as I restrict it, but 
larger in all its dimensions, and with a conspicuously longer and 
stouter bill, inhabits Nipaul and Tenasserira. The Sumatran Koel 
is likewise regarded as distinct by Dr. Cabinis, and will pro- 
bably be found to agree with the species from the localities I 
have named. Dr. Cabanis states that the Sumatran bird is 
larger, but that in all other respects it is the same as E. honorata 
as above. But a rigid comparison of a large series of specimens 
has yet to be made before the latter part of this assertion can 
be taken for granted. Indian Ornithologists might greatly 
assist us by studying and recording the phases of plumage the 
Koel passes through before arriving at maturity. 

These are the principal dimensions of the Indian, Javan, and 
Australian species : — 

rostr. a nar. al. caud. 

E. honorata (L.), Candeisli S adult 0-64 7-25 7-85 

?E. malayana, Cal)., Java c? adult 0-90 8-00 8-50 

E. cyanocephala, Lath., Queensland 0'81 8'13 8'25 

Javan examples are remarkable for the length and stoutness 
of the bill ; with a shorter wing and tail than in E. ransomi, 
Bp., fi'om Ceram,the bill is larger and deeper in the Javan bird. I 
have not seen specimens in the female or adolescent male 
plumage, nor have I been able to compare Javan with Suma- 
tran specimens ; but it is probable that the races from the two 
islands will be found to differ. From the bill being; so con- 

340 Lord Walden's Sketch 

spicuously large, I strongly suspect that Javan examples fur- 
nished Le Vaillant with the subject of his " Coucou k gros bee/' 
plate 214, in which case it would stand as E. crassirostris 

3. EuDYNAMis MiNDANENsis (L.), exBriss. iv. p. 130, no. 12, 
" Ins. Mindanao,^' $ adult., vel S adolesc. 

C. variegatus, Scop., PI. & Faun. Insub. ii. p. 89, no. 2 (1786), 
ex Sonn., Voy. Nouv. Guin. p. 120, t. 78, " Antigua," $ vel 
6 adolesc. 

C. panayanus, Gm. ex Sonn., /. c. 

C. maculatus, Gm. ex Buff. (Month.), Hist. Nat. Ois. vi. 
p. 378 ; PI. Enl. 764 : " China," ? vel 6 adolesc. 

C. maculatus, Bodd. ex Buff. PI. Enl. 764 (1783). 

C. orientalis, L., var. /S, Gm. ex Buff. (Month.) /. c. p. 383, 
no. 2, Mindanao, (J adult. 

E. chinensis, Cab. & Heine, Mus. Hein. iv. p. 52, note, " Can- 
ton," $ d. 

E. orientalis (L.), Swinh., Ibis, 1861, p. 46. 

Hab. China. Ins. Philipp. 

These titles are thrown together as synonyms of the Lin- 
nsean species, on the presumption, first, that the Chinese and 
Philippine species are one and the same, and, secondly, that 
they specifically differ from E. honorata (L.). Upon this last 
point I am not quite determined ; but, judging from BufFon's 
764th plate and Montbeillard's and Sonnerat^s description, I 
believe them to be distinct. I have failed in seeing specimens 
of the female or young male. An adult Philippine male exists 
in Mr. Gould^s collection, which possesses a stout bill, stouter 
than in E. malayana, from Tcnasserim, and deeper than in E. 
honorata. Should it prove a distinct form, we shall have the 
following not improbable distribution of the three species : — 
E. honorata to the west, E. mindanensis to the east of the hill- 
ranges which descend from Assam southward through the Malay 
Peninsula ; and E. malayana originating in the central Himalaya, 
inhabiting the slopes of the descending range, and extending at 
least all over Sumatra. 

4. EuDYNAMis CYANOCEPHALA (Lath.), lud. Om. Supp. 

of the Genus Eudynamis. 341 

p. XXX. no. 3 (1801), ex Lath., Syn. Supp. ii. pp. 137, no. 8, 
" New Holland," $ adult vel S adolesc. 

E. flindersi (Lath.), Vigors & Horsf., Linn. Tr. xv. p. 305 
(1828), ex Lath., Gen. Hist. iii. p. 308, no. 63, '' North Coast 
of New Holland," $ vel 6 adolesc. 

E. orientalis (L.), Vigors & Horsf. t. c. p. 304, "New Hol- 
land," 6 adolesc. 

E. australis, Swains., An. in Menag. p. 344, no. 189, " Aus- 
tralia," S adult. 

Hah. New South Wales, Queensland, West Australia (Gould). 

Latham^s " Blue-headed Cuckoo " must certainly have been 
a Eudynamis ; and as only one species is known to exist in 
Australia, I give the title founded on it precedence over his 
subsequent designation bestowed on a specimen obtained on the 
north coast by Captain Flinders, the type of which still exists 
in the British Museum. 

A specimen of an adult male from Queensland in my collec- 
tion possesses one bright rufous secondary quill, as observed by 
Mr. Vigors in Mr. Caley's example ; only my specimen is other- 
wise in full black livery. 

The difference between the plumage of the female and young 
of the Australian and Lidian birds {E. honorata) is very striking. 
The female of the Indian species never has the black head and 
nape, the broad dark bands from the angles of the mouth, and 
the pale and almost immaculate fulvous breast we find in the 
Australian Koel. In other respects the markings, in shape, 
colour, and combination, are perfectly different. The type- 
specimen of E. flindersi displays so anomalous a phase of colour- 
ing that I venture to surmise that it belongs to a second Aus- 
tralian species. 

5. Eudynamis orientalis (L.), ex Briss. iv. p. 140. no. 18, 
" Ind. Orient." j adult. 

C.punctatus, L., ex Briss. t. c. p. 134, no. 14, "Ind. Orient." 
2 vel S adolesc. 

E. picatus, Miiller, Verb. Nat. Gesch. Ned. Overz. Bez. Land. 
& Volkenk. p. 176, " Amboyna," S adolesc. plum. mut. [Jide 
Schlegel, Mus. P.-Bas, Cuculi, p. 19). 

N. S. VOL. V. 2 A 

342 Lord Walden's sketch 

E. picata, Cab. & Heine, t. c. p. 55, note. 
The correct title for the Amboyna Eudynamis involves a pro- 
blem in nomenclature most difficult to solve. Its satisfactory 
solution depends first upon the specific identity or otherwise of 
the Amboyna and Ceram birds, and next, if they be distinct, upon 
which of the two islands it was that supplied Brisson's types. 
Miillcr [fide Schlegel, ut supr.) gives from Amboyna E. orientalis 
(L.), E. punctata (L.), and E. picata, Miill. The old male he 
identified with the first title, the female with the second ; and he 
described as distinct a young male passing into adult plu- 
mage under the third title. Prince Bonaparte (Cousp.Av.i. p. 101) 
not only gives E. picata, Miiller, from Amboyna, in which he is 
right, but also, as a separate species, E. punctata (L.),fi*om that 
island and New Guinea. His having added this last locality 
renders it doubtful whether the specimen he had before him 
was from Amboyna or from New Guinea. And yet upon this 
turns the validity of the characters by which he distinguishes 
the Coram species. For he defines E. punctata as " similis 
j)r(2cedenti'^ [E. ransomi, from Ceram) " sed minor (Long. 14 
poll.),^' etc. We know that the New-Guinea Eudynamis is 
smaller than that of Ceram ; but it is not demonstrated as yet 
that the Amboyna Koel also is smaller. Dr. Cabanis insists 
(/. c.) that Reaumur^s specimen must have come from Ceram, 
chiefly for the reason that Brisson's dimensions are too large 
for the Amboyna race. But Dr. Cabanis is assuming that 
Bonaparte^s " kleine vierzehuzollige Art " is the true Amboyna 
species. The Ceram bird was considered distinct from the Am- 
boyna bird by Forsten ; for he entitled it Cuculus punctatus, var. 
ceramensis. Prince Bonaparte (/. c.) described the female bird 
from Ceram, Forsten's specimen, under the title of E. ransomi. 
Dr. Cabanis, as we have seen, regards the two birds as distinct 
species ; but he does not appear to have seen Amboyna indi- 
viduals. Professor Schlegel, of course, refuses to admit the spe- 
cific distinction. I have failed in seeing an Amboyna specimen, 
and can offer no opinion. But it is a matter which must be 
decided before we can determine the title of the two birds. If 
we adopt Professor Schlegel's view, both birds will stand as 
E. orientalis. The dimensions given by Professor Schlegel of 

Ibis 1869. PIX 




of the Genus Eudynamis. 343 

examples from the two localities do not strikingly differ: — 
Ceram, wing 7 inches 10 lines to 8 inches 4 lines ; Amboyna, 
wing 8 inches 1 line. 

It may be that the Amboyna Koel and the one known to in- 
habit a part of New Guinea are identical ; but I am induced to 
decide that the Amboyna and Ceram Koel differ, solely because 
Forsten considered them to be different. He is the only orni- 
thologist, besides Professor Schlegel, who,'we know for certain, 
actually compared specimens from both islands ; and, what is 
more, he procured the specimens himself. 

Our only knowledge of the comparative size of the two species 
is confined to the dimensions given by Professor Schlegel already 
quoted : it is not sufficient to warrant us in affirming that the 
Ceram bird is the largest ; and for the time the question must 
be left undetermined. Moreover, as the Dutch naturalists all 
unite in giving Cuculus punctatus, L., from Amboyna, the pro- 
bability is that Count Bentinck's specimen came from there ; 
I therefore cannot follow Dr. Cabanis so far as to refer the Ceram 
and not the Amboyna bird to C. orientalis vel punctatus, L. 

6. Eudynamis ransomi, Bp., Cousp. i. p. 101, " Ceram," 
$ vel S juv? (1850). (Plate X.) 

Cuculus orientalis, pt. Schleg., Mus. P.-B. Cuculi, pp. 18, 19, 
" Ceram/' 

E. orientalis. Cab. & Heine, t. c. p. 53. 

This is a very handsome species, and perhaps the largest of 

the genus. 

Long, rostr. al. caud. 

Bouru c? adult 0-88 8-o0 8-75 

„ $ (Jide Wallace) 0-88 8-60 8-85 

The bill is not so long nor as stout as in my Javan specimens 
{E. malayana), the other dimensions being greater. The adult 
male is entirely black with a green gloss; but the garb of the young 
birds assumes the most striking and peculiar variations, none of 
which ai*e ever to be found in E. honorata, E. malayana, or E. cya- 
nocephala. The bird here figured is either a young male or an 
adult female procured by Mr. Wallace in the Island of Ceram, spe- 
cimens from which are identical with those of Bouru. A second 
specimen has all the feathers of the chin and throat turning to 

2 a2 

314 Lord Waldcn's sketch 

black, while the remainder of the lower surface is nearly imma- 
culate rufous-buff. Another specimen has the throat perfectly 
black, as well as the head and nape. A fourth, from Ceram, is 
entirely black except the abdomen, which is deep rufous-bay, — an 
adult male, having almost completed its moult. A fifth, a male 
moulting into adult plumage, is pied jet-black and rufous-buff. 
A ])cculiarity of the Ceram and Bouru birds in adolescent male 
and adult female plumage is the regular well-defined and arched 
character of the rufous caudal btmds and their great breadth. 
Brisson notices this character in his description of C. punctatus, 
L. ; and if not possessed by the Amboyna bird, it will go far to 
support Dr. Cabanis's view. Brisson's words are "bandes trans- 
versales rousses, formant chacune un arc de cercle.^^ I have not 
observed this character in examples of Eudynamis from any other 

7. Eudynamis rufiventer. Less., Voy. de la Coquille, 
p. 620, no, 23, " Nouvelle Guinee,^' S adolesc. plum. mut. 

A single specimen of an adult male Eudynamis was obtained 
by Mr. Wallace at Dorey, in New Guinea. Bill pale-greenish. Its 
chief dimensions are : — wing 7' 75 inches, tail 8, bill from nostril 
•87. It differs from all the other species I am acquainted with, 
and I therefore enumerate it as distinct. 

Lesson described from a young male passing into adult black 
plumage. It is probable that Mr. Wallace's individual is refer- 
able to Lesson's species : at the same time the colour of the bill 
does not quite agree ; for the latter says " le bee est noir, la man- 
dibule inferieure blanchatre." 

8. Eudynamis melanorhyncha, Miiller, /. c. sp. 2, " Ce- 

This is the Eudynamis of Celebes, distinguishable from all 
others except E. facialis, Wall., by its black bill at all ages. 
Having united under one species the Kocls inhabiting the entire 
region between Ceylon and China, the Himalayas, and South 
Australia, Professor Schlegel remarks (/. c.) " C'est un faitdigne 
de remarque que cette espece, originaire de Celebes, se trouve, 
pour ainsi dire, comme perdue au milieu de ces colonies nom- 

of the Gc/rMS Eudynamis. 345 

breuses du Cuculus orientalis, repaudues depuis I'Hindoustan, 
jusqu'aux Philippines, a la Nouvelle Guiuee et I'Australie.'^ 

The black colour of a bill in this instance is admitted as a 
character of sufficient value to raise its possessor to the rank of 
a species, while characters of equal importance, as well defined 
and as persistent, are rejected in other members of the genus. 
If all the individuals inhabiting the vast region mentioned by 
the learned Professor did not differ, the restriction of this black- 
billed species to so limited an area would certainly be interesting, 
almost equal in interest to the fact of a yellow-billed. Centi-opus, 
C. chloro7-hynchus, Blyth, dwelling in a limited part of the Island 
of Ceylon, and there only, alongside of the widely distributed 
C. rufipennis, Illig. But if we allow, when discriminating species, 
other characters to have their weight, besides the mere colour of 
the bill, E. rtielanorhijncha only ojffers an instance of local restric- 
tion such as we find in many islands and even on continents. 

The plumage of the female and young male in this species is, 
as in all the species of the genus, very remarkable and cha- 
racteristic. In one individual the upper plumage is of deep 
chocolate-brown striated with black. In another, from Menado, 
in Mr. Gould's possession, the whole of the upper surface of the 
head, nape, wings, tail, and the back is dull olive-green, with a 
subdued sheen. Chin, throat, and cheeks dull smoky brown ; 
remainder of under surface and the under wing-coverts fulvescent 
rufous, each feather crossed by two or three irregular narrow 
black lines. From the angle of the mouth a slender whitish line 
descends down the sides of the neck, sharply separating the 
fuliginous throat from the olive-green head and nape. 

9. EuDYNAMis FACIALIS, Wallace, P. Z. S. 1862, p. 339, "Sula 

The only example of this species as yet obtained is the type- 
specimen in Mr. Wallace's possession. It is possible that the 
white of the forehead and throat is not constant ; but the shorter 
and differently shaped bill and smaller dimensions of the Sula 
bird are quite sufficient to distinguish it from the Celebes Koel. 
Judging by analogy, the females of the two species will certainly 
possess distinctive characteristics. 

346 Letters, Announcements, ^c. 

I possess a Koel in immature plumage, procured by Mr. 
Wallace, and marked from Flores ; whether correctly so I rather 
doubt. Its entire upper surface is rusty-brown, relieved on 
each feather by spots, centres, or bars of light rufous. The 
rufous caudal bands are more numerous, narrower, and more 
irregular than we find in E. ransomi, Bp., from Cerara. The en- 
tire under surface of the bird is dirty-white, each feather with a 
brown centre or else with two or three brown irregular transverse 
bars. The dimensions are about equal to those of E. ransomi, 
Bp. If from Flores, this specimen represents a species distinct 
from the Javan form ; but I suspect that it is the Ceram bird in 
young female garb. 

As I consider Cuculus taitiensis, Sparrm., to be generically se- 
parable from Eudynamis, this closes the species of true Koels 
known to me. It is, however, not unlikely that a distinct spe- 
cies inhabits Timor, and another form Ternate. 

XXXI. — Letters, Announcements, ^c. 
We have received the following letters, addressed " To the 

Editorof 'The Ibis'":— 

Dobroyde, Dec. lOtli, 1868. 

Sir, — I am not a little surprised to find Professor M'Coy as- 
serting (Ibis, 1868, p. 122) that the specimens of the lately 
discovered species of Pardalotus described by me were not sent 
to me until after he had published a description of them in the 
' Australasian ' newspaper of Melbourne, and thereby insinuating 
that my descriptions were taken from the single skin of a male 
bird which he sent to me on the 31st of December, 1866, while 
his description appeared on the 29th. Allow me to inform the 
readers of 'The Ibis' that the three specimens (two males and 
a female) from which I took my descriptions were received at 
the Sydney Museum about the middle of November, that my 
descrii)tions of them were drawn up, by the kind permission of 
Mr. Kreff't, very shortly after, and that, at the time Prof. M'Coy's 
specimen reached me, my descriptions had been posted by the 
mail which had left for England some ten or twelve days })re- 
viously. I am, Sir, yours, &c., 

Edward P. Ramsay. 

Letters, Announcements, S^c. 347 

Talvow, ForiHosa, lo Jan. 18G9. 

Sir, — I have lately come across Mr. CoUiugwood's ' Rambles of 
a Naturalist on the Shores and Waters of the China Seas^*, and 
have picked out thence a few things bearing on Chinese or- 
nithology which are worth recording. Unfortunately the author 
does not name all his birds ; but I think I can make out most 
of them. On the 30th of April he visited the Pratas (page 28), 
where he found " plenty of birds, and of several species, both 
sea- and land-birds," namely : — A Buzzard, probably Bufeo ja- 
ponicus, which is a winter visitant to the south of China ; a 
Shrike with an ash-coloured head and a black moustache, which 
was, without much doubt, Lanius shach ; a yellowish bird re- 
sembling the English Siskin, Euspiza sulphurata (T. & Schl.), 
a winter visitant to the south of China ; Petrocincla manillensis 
(Bodd.) or Rock Thrush — '' its stomach contained the elytra of 
beetles;" the "Blackbird" must have been Dicrurus macro- 
cercus (for Met-ula mandarina is not a migrant) ; the Swallow, 
glossy bluish above and speckled fawn-colour beneath, was most 
likely Hirundo daurica ; the bright-coloured Kingfisher, very 
like our own, was Alcedo bengalensis ; the small birds with the 
jerking flight and the chirrup of our hard-billed perchers were 
probably Emberiza personata ; Tringce of at least two species ; 
the Plover of a reddish-brown colour with orange-red legs was 
Strepsilas interpres; the Plover of a delicate mouse-coloui. with 
yellow legs was u^yialitis minor ; the Godwit, speckled grey and 
brown, with greenish legs and a recurved beak, was most likely 
Totamis glottis ; the Egret is probably Buphus coromandus. A 
Frigate-bn-d was also shot — an interesting fact, as somewhat 
explaining the occurrence of this form at Amoy (Ibis, 1868, 
pp. 52-58). 

The characteristic bird of the Pratas is the Gannct [Sula 

fusca) ; and an interesting account of its breeding-habits is given 

(p. 30). Of the birds enumerated, the Shrike, the Kingfisher, 

and the Rock-Thrush are the only ones that may be considered 


Further on, Mr. Collingwood writes (p. 118) : — " Immediately 
north of Kelung [1st June] we met with a group of three 
* [Cf. Ibis, 18(58, pp. 473, 474.— Ed.] 

348 Letters, Announcements, S^c. 

islands — Pinnacle, Craig, and Agincourt." Craig Island was 
covered with birds, and he found two Chinese egg-gatherers 
there. The birds noticed were : — " Wideawakes," probably 
Sterna fuliginosa, a species I have noticed about the Pescadores, 
but never on the China coast. These were breeding : — Another 
species of Tern, somewhat larger in size, and of a blue-grey and 
white colour, S. velox, a species which breeds regularly on Ke- 
lung Island; *' besides these there was a Sooty Petrel" — surely 
my recent discovery, Thalassidroma monorhis (Ibis, 1867, 
p. 386) ? for which it is interesting to find a locality ; Passer 
montanus, the only land-bird ; a few Gannets, Sala fusca ; and 
" on the rocks by the shore, a number of dove-coloured birds 
with white foreheads." These I cannot identify ; and it is to be 
regretted that the author did not succeed in getting a specimen. 
The white eggs he procured most likely belonged to the 
Petrel above named. The notes on the nidification of the birds 
on Craig Island are well worth reading, and I would recommend 
their perusal in the work itself. 

I have been moving from place to place so much during the 
past year, that I have not had time to put my notes into the 
form of a paper. I hope to make up for lost time when I re- 
turn to England. Since I have been here I have obtained a 
second species of Turnix. It is smaller than T. rostrata, and is 
ill many localities thereabouts much commoner. I have also 
procured a male Cuturnix sinensis, a bird hitherto only known 
to inhabit Formosa from the discovery of its eggs. 

I am, &c., 

Robert Swinhoe. 

Sir, — In your second notice of Mr. Diggles's work (Ibis, 
1868, p. 318), with reference to Casuariusjvhnsoni, you say that 
the author " fails to show in what way " it " differs from C. au- 
stralis." As I have described the bird which Mr. Randall John- 
son presented to the Australian Museum, and as Mr. Diggles 
figures it from photographs taken by me, I consider it my duty 
to explain to you why I thought myself justified in giving it any 
name I chose. That a species of Cassowary existed in the north 

Letters, Announcements, ^c. 349 

of Australia has been knovvu for years ; and that the late Mr. 
Thomas Wall was the first who actually procured a skin of it is 
also a fact not to be disputed ; but as this species had never been 
seen by persons competent to give a tolerably correct description 
of it, I was not at all surprised that the account which Mr. 
Gould furnished of a Cassowary in his ' Handbook of the Birds 
of Australia^ (vol. ii. pp. 206, 207), received secondhand from 
a member of Kennedy^s expedition, did not agree with Mr. John- 
son's specimen. 

After Mr. Carron's return to Sydney, in or about May 1854, 
he gave Mr. W. S. Wall {the former Curator of the xVustralian 
Museum) the particulars about the bird procured by his brother, 
which were subsequently published in the long-defunct news- 
paper whence Mr. Gould copied his account ; and these are totally 
incorrect if the species to which they refer is that to which I 
have applied the name of Casuarius johnsoni. They describe 
the bird as being of a " dark brown ^' with a " bright red " 
helmet, while " to the neck are attached, like bells, six or eight 
round fleshy balls of bright blue and scarlet.^' Now my bird has 
black feathers, a horn-coloured helmet, and two blue wattles. Is 
it not possible, then, that the brown, red-helmeted, and six-or- 
eifjht -wattled Cassowary is still at large ? But at any rate I 
conceive that, if any person had a right to choose a name for the 
bird given by Mr. Johnson, I had; for I gave the first correct 
description of it, on its being deposited in this museum, the 
largest in the southern hemisphere, while the specimen procured 
by Wall has been long since lost. 

With regard to your remarks on the Pitta figured by Mr. 
Diggles, to which you draw my attention, I have to say that 1 
incline to your opinion that it is a new species, and that it is my 
fault that Mr. Diggles did not describe it as such. I purchased 
the specimen from a collector who has only too often given 
wrong localities. He stated that the bii'd had been shot at Cape 
Yorkj and I thought that he had got it from a New-Guinea 
trader, but that, even if obtained at the Cape, it might be iden- 
tical with Pitta mackloti, of which I had not then seen a figure. 
Mr. Elliot's ' Monograph of the Pittidce' is not in the Museum 
library ; and the colours of Tcmmiuck's figure (PI. Col. 547) appear 

350 Letter's, Announcements, ^c. 

to be faded in our copy. There is only a black spot under the 
throat ; the checks are vinous-brown, as Mr. Diggles describes 
them (Orn. Austral, part, xiv.) ; but the colours in his plate 
are not exactly correct, the blue on the wings being too 
light, and the brown of the neck not deep enough. The band 
on the breast appears to be broader than in Temminck^s figure. 
Should this species prove to be distinct from the New-Guinea 
Pitta mackloti, I beg leave to suggest for it the name of Pitta 
DiGGLESi. I am, Sir, 

Yours respectfully, 

Gerard Krefft. 

Australian Museum, Sydney, 
29tli January, 1869. 

Washington, March 4, 1869. 
Sir, — A very interesting discovery was made last summer 
respecting the bony process on the bill of the Pelecanus tracky- 
rliynchus, or American White Pelican, by Mr. Robert Ridgway, 
a young ornithologist of much promise, attached to the U. S. 
Geological Survey of the 40th Parallel, under Mr. Clarence King. 
Happening to be near Pyramid Lake, in Nevada, a celebrated 
locality for the breeding of the White Pelican, Mr. King sent 
Mr. Ridgway there to observe their habits and collect their 
eggs. Procuring a boat, Mr. Ridgway and companion pro- 
ceeded to the breeding-ground, an island in the lake, some 
miles from the shore, and found the Pelicans nesting by the 
thousands. On their arrival all the male birds had the bony 
crest or process on the upper surface of the bill characteristic of 
the species; but as the season advanced this fell off, until, 
towards the end of their stay, not one was left attached, and 
the ground was strewn with the " centre boards,'^ as they are 
popularly termed, where they could have been gathered by the 
bushel. When the process is developed Mr. Ridgway did not 
ascertain, or how long before the season commenced. Changes 
in the plumage of the bird, not before noticed, will be given in 

Mr. King's report. 

I am, &c. 

Spencer F. Baird. 

Letters, Announcements, ^c. 351 

Auckland, 7th March, 1869. 
Sir, — I send you the description of two birds in the Auck- 
land Museum : the first, Majaqueus parkinsoni (G. R. Gray), I 
got in December 1867, on the Little Barrier Island, about sixty 
miles from Auckland ; and the second is the species mentioned by 
Mr. Gould as having been shot by him off Tasmania, and referred 
by him to Procellaria macroptera, A. Smith. I have not got 
Sir Andrew^s work here ; but I have a copy of his figure of that 
species, and I do not think it is the same as mine, as it has no 
grey on its face, and a circle of white feathers round the eye. If 
it be new, I propose that it should bear Mr. Gould's name, as, 
strange to say, he has no Petrel called after him, although he 
has done so much in working them up ; and he also appears to 
have been the first to mention this bird. 

Majaqueus parkinsoni. 

Procellaria parkinsoni, G. R. Gray, Ibis, 1862, p. 245. 

Bill stout, compressed, nasal tubes obliquely flattened, cari- 
nated. Lateral parts of upper mandible, below sulcus of lower 
mandible, and flattened portions of nasal tube bluish white. 
Unguis and gonys bluish white, with edges inclining to black. 
Culmen, lower mandible above sulcus, lower and basal upper 
part of tube, and nostrils black. Legs and feet black. Head 
and neck sooty-black : rest of body, wings, and tail very dark 
brown, lighter brown on the abdomen. Tail short, rounded, 
wings, when folded, reaching 2 inches beyond the tip. 

Length 18 inches, wing from carpal joint 13*75, tail 4'2. 
Bill from gape 2, chord of culmen 1'5 ; height at base -75, 
width '65 ; nasal tubes "5 ; tarsus 2*1 ; outer toe and claw 
2*5, inner 2*25 ; middle, with claw, 2*75, without, 2*25. 

Breeds in holes under the roots of trees, at elevations from 
1000 to 2000 feet above the sea, on the Little Bax-rier Island, 
Haurabi Gulf, New Zealand. Lays one white egg, ovoid, length 
2*8, greatest breadth 2. Sits in December. " Toa-nui'' of the 


Pterodroma macroptcra, Gould, Handb. B. Austral, li. p. 149 
{ncc A. Smith). 

352 Letters, Announcements, ^c. 

Hill compressed^ uiuch higher than broad, black. Legs and 
feet black. Upper parts of body with wings and tail sooty- 
black, some of the wing-coverts with brownish tips ; under parts 
dark brown. Forehead, cheeks, and chin silvery-grey, shading 
off gradually into the black ; the grey does not reach to the eye. 
Tail moderately long, cuneate; wings, when folded, reaching 
about half an inch beyond the tip. 

Length 16"75 inches; wing from carpal joint 13*5; tail 5, 
graduation 1*4; bill from gape 1*6, chord of culmen 1*2 ; height 
at base '7, width •6; tarsus 1'6; middle toe and claw 2*6, 
outer do. 2*5, inner do. 2"15. 

New-Zealand seas. Common. 

Obs. — On the back of the head of this specimen there are a 
few hair-like feathers with white tips projecting beyond the 
others. These may perhaps be down remaining from the young 

We have a species of Puffinus here which I have always put 
down as P. assimilis, but which I now see, from a study of Dr. 
Coues's papers on the Procellariida *, cannot be that species, 
being much too large. It is evidently very close to P. obscurus, 
and perhaps identical with it. Length 13*25 inches, bill from 
gape 1*75, wing from carpal joint 8-25, tarsus 1*5. It is ex- 
ceedingly numerous here, as is also Pelecanoides urinatrix. 

I would make some remarks on Dr. Coues's " Review" of the 
Procellarmhe : — 

Fregetta melanogastra is not confined to the tropical parts of 
the Pacific. It is found in the Atlantic, and extends down to 
43° S. I have only seen it between 35° S. and 43° S. 

Ossifraga gigantea. I can scarcely believe that the lower 
parts and neck of the adult are white ; the brown birds, like Mr. 
Gould's figure (B. Austral, vii. pi. 45), are common ; those with 
white in them rare. I have never yet seen one with white 

^strelata luesitata. I saw two birds on April 21st, 1866, in 
long. 15° 3' E. and lat. 35° 37' S., which I have no doubt were 
of this species, the colours being so well marked. 

The Acclimatization Society here has a pair of Cassowaries 
* [Cf. Ibis, 1867, p. 131.— Ed.] 

Letters, Announcements, i^c. 353 

from the Solomon Islands, which appear to me to be new, they 
are jet-black, with blue flesh on the throat and head. I have 
persuaded the authorities to make a present of them to the Re- 
gent's Park Gardens. 

We have also in the Museum what is probably a new species 
of Megapode, from Nuipo, one of the islands in the Friendly 

I am, &c., 


Etawah, 25 March, 18G9. 

Sir, — In my notes on the birds I met with in Kumaon 
[supra, pp. 43-60) I have made a few mistakes, owing to the 
great brevity of some of Dr. Jerdon's descriptions and my not 
having seen many of the birds before : — 

Dic(sum minimum (p. 47). Dr. Jerdon, on looking at these 
specimens, pronounced them to be Sylviparus modestus. 

Lanius erythronutus (p. 48) . With these birds is one Lanius 

Dicrurus longicaudatus (p. 48). I am not sure about this 
bird. It agrees better with the description of D. longicaudatus 
by Dr. Jerdon than with that of D. ivaldeni by Capt. Beavan 
(Ibis, 1868, p. 497). 

Oreoccetes cinclurhynchus (pp. 50, 51). I have seen other eggs 
of this bird in Mr. Hume's collection which agree exactly with 
those I took. The wrapper of ' The Ibis ' is about the colour 
of the ground of this bird's eggs. The mottling, of a rather 
darker shade, is very slight and indistinct. 

Merula boulboul (p. 51). The song of this Thrush is a most 
agreeable one, rather more varied than that of the English Black- 
bird, and in a higher key. 

Pratincola rubicola (pp. 53-55). If the labels were removed, 
and the Stonechats sent me by Mr. Tristram were mixed with 
my large Indian series, I do not believe any one could separate 
them again. Herr von Pelzeln (c/. Ibis, 1868, p. 309) has 
rightly pronounced the birds identical. There is not the shade 
of a diflference in winter plumage. I have not a European bird 
in summer plumage. 

354 Letters, Armouncements, S^'c. 

Acrocejjhahs agricolus (p. 55) should be. Dr. Jerdon says^ A. 

Phjlloscopus tristis (p. 56). I cannot perceive the slightest 
difference between a P. rufus sent me by Mr. Tristram and the 
Indian specimens. The bill of the Indian bird is decidedly not 
shorter. Few of mine have the bill so short as the one received 
from Mr. Tristram. I knew the song to be that of the ChifF- 
chaff when I heard it. Birds of different species might be very 
similar in plumage, but they would scarcely have the same song 

Phylloscopus viridanus (p. 56) was correctly named. I have 
since seen P. luguhris, which is a much darker bird, quite 
blackish by comparison, and the most dusky of all the Willow- 
Wrens. The tail-feathers of P. viridanus are faintly barred or 
rayed, like those of P. trochilus and P. rufus. 

Reguloides superciliosus (p. 56). Among the many skins of 
P. viridanus I found one of this bird, shot on the 29th of April, 
1868, near the top of the Kale-niiit Hill, three miles north of 
Almorah. It was a solitary bird ; and from the bleak place in 
which I found it, with hardly any cover, I should say it was on 
its journey over the hill, going further north. The few small 
scrubby bushes out of which I shot the bird were only a few 
yards in circumference, and there were no others near. In the 
plains this bird is excessively common, no bird more so. If I 
live and get to the hills again, I hope to find its nest, and per- 
haps that also of R. proregulus and other similar birds. I am 
so familiar now with the different call-notes of these birds, that, 
when I do go, hearing the birds will discover them at once to me. 
When I was there in 1868, I did not know the notes of either 
of them. I wish I had; for the birds are not always easily 
seen, as they flit about among the thick foliage of large trees. 

Turtur meena (p. 60) should be T. rujncolus. 

The birds I could not make out are: — Stachyrhis pyrrhops, shot 
in one of the valleys near Almorah ; Ixulus flavicoUis, shot at 
Nynee Tal ; and Prinia hodgsoni, shot at Almorah. 
I remain, &c., 

W. E. Brooks. 

Letters, Announcements, ^c. 355 

Agra, April 2, 1869. 

SiR^ — I recently sent to M. Jules Verreaux, for examination, 
a small box of bird -skins, in regard to which I shall address 
you later more in detail, as they include, I think, nearly twenty 
species new to our Indian avifauna ; but I wish to put on record 
the names of some few of them about which I am pretty sure: — 

Pratincola rubetra, from several parts of the Punjaub. 

Sylvia delicatula, from AVestern Rajpootana. 

Aedon galactodes, from Jodhpoor in Western Rajpootana. 
This I owe to Dr. King. 

Anthus jjratensis, from near Fcrozpoor. 

Anthus aquaticus ? from the Punjaub, west of the Sutledge. 

Alauda arvensis, from near Lahore. This I owe to Captain 

Eniberiza striolata, from the Taragurh hill, Ajmere, where it 
is said to breed. Mr. Brooks has since obtained this bird in 

Emberiza schoeniclus, from dry reedy jheels, near Badlee, thirty 
miles south of Delhi. 

I may also note that I have obtained several specimens of what 
both Dr. Jerdon and I believe to be Larus argentatus, at a jheel 
twenty miles south of Delhi, and that I have a specimen of what 
is undoubtedly, I believe (and in this Dr. Jerdon concurs), Phos- 
nicopterus minor, kindly sent me from the Delhi Museum, and 
brought from the Sambhur Lake, Jodhpoor. I ought to men- 
tion that this is, I think, the P. rubidus of Capt. Feilden * 
(Ibis, 1868, p. 496) ; but that our bird is P. minor, Temm. 
(PI. Col. 49), I have (after examining a good copy of that plate 
in Dr. Jerdon's possession) no doubt ; the shape of the bill 
alone suffices to separate this species from P. roseus. Dr. Jer- 
don first made this identification ; and I may also mention here 

* [Since Dr. Jerdon's letter (supra, pp. 230-232) was published, Capt. 
Feilden lias been so good as to send us his type-specimen, which we have 
submitted to Mr. G. R. Gray, who has kindly pointed out to us some im- 
portant characters wherein it differs from the African P. minor, Temm., 
which we believe he will shortly make public. Meanwhile we venture to 
express our opinion that P. rubidus will be found to be a very good spe- 
cies. — Ed.] 

356 Letters, Announcements, &;c. 

that he has recognized a bird in the Lucknow Musenm (which, 
however, I have not yet seen) as Philomela major. 

I also sent to M. Verreaux a Falcon allied to Falco peregrina- 
tor, which I wish provisionally to name Falco atriceps. The 
head, nape, cheek-stripe, cheeks, and ear-coverts all form one 
black patch. The rest of the upper surface pure slaty-blue, 
barred, just as in an old Peregrine, with dusky slate-colour. 
Beneath it is marked like F.peregrinator, and it has narrow bars 
on the lower surface of the primaries. 

Also a new Ploceus, which I got in the terai, much larger than 
any of our Indian species ; and though closely resembling P. 
baya, it is nearly double the weight of that bird, with a bill fully 
half as large again. Dr. Jerdon agrees with me that this is a 
new species, at any rate to our Indian avifauna ; and I name it 
provisionally Ploceus megarhynchus. 

I have numerous specimens of a species of Vulture not in- 
cluded among the birds of India either by Dr. Jerdon or by Mr. 
Blyth. It is a large bird, much bigger than Gyps hengalensis, 
G. indicus, or Vultur calvus, and resembling Gyps fulvus, but of 
a rich ruddy-bay colour with conspicuous narrow pale median 
stripes to the feathers beneath, and a short stout bill, like G. 
bengalensis. I call it Gyps fulvescens, the Bay-backed Vulture. 

I have also sent specimens to Paris of an Accipiter which 
seems to me to be quite distinct from A. nisus. This I call 
Accipiter melanoschistus — the very dark (almost black) head 
and nape, the olive slate-colour of the rest of the upper surface, 
the peculiar closeness of the markings on the lower parts, as well 
as its somewhat greater size, serving to distinguish it from the 
species just named, and a fortioi'i from A. gularis, A. brevipes, 
A. virgatus, and others. It is not Lophospiza trivirgata, though 
in the colour of the upper surface of some specimens there is a 
close resemblance between them. My new bird has, of course, 
no crest. 

Then I sent a Buzzard of a very deep smoky-brown, mingled 
beneath with dull red, the tail having conspicuous and well- 
defined greyish-white bars. I procured several specimens in the 
Punjaub. It may be an African species ; but till identified as 
such, I call it Buteo fuliginosus. 

Letters, Announcements, ^c. 357 

To a most remarkable species that I have met with in the 
intei-ior of the Hiiiialayahs, and of which I have also sent a 
specimen, I provisionally give the name of Phyllopneuste 
MACRORHYNCHA ; but it wiU have to be generically separated. 
It resembles P. raina in size and plumage ; but the bill is enor- 
mous, reminding one of Rhinochetus. 

I must also mention that I entertain no doubt of the Sa^i- 
cola so common in Upper India, and heretofore identified with S. 
cenanthe, being really S. isabellina, Riipp., S. saltatrix, Menetr. I 
have, however, another nearly allied species which may be the 
true S. cenanthe. 

I think I ought to notice that Rollulus superciliosus * is not 
very uncommon in the cold weather in the immediate neighbour- 
hood of Capt. T. Button's house at Jerepanee, Mussouri. That 
gentleman procured three specimens this year. They frequent 
high grass, are exceedingly difficult to flush, and drop again within 
three or four yards ; so that the only way to shoot them is with 
a pistol. I owe this information, as well as the specimens that 
adorn my collection, to Capt. Hutton. He further mentions that 
they are migratory, only remaining a month or so, but that 
whence they come — whether from the north or the south, from 
the interior of the hill-country or the Dhoon — he has, as yet, 
been unable to satisfy himself. 

The species of Budytes are most troublesome. I hope M. 
Verreaux may be able to do something with them ; I have sent 
him five species at least, and I have two others. It seems that 
B.flavus, B. rayi, B. auricapillus, B. melanocephalus, B. chiereo- 
capillus, and B. viridis all occur here ; but without a good series 
of European examples with which to compare ours, it is impos- 
sible to be certain. 

Lastly, Dr. Jerdon writes to me that he has found Tadorna 
scutellata common in the Burrampooter, shy and wary, keeping 
to the middle of the river, in flocks of from twenty to forty. 

Yours, &c., 

A. O. Hume. 

* [C/. Ibis, 1867, p. 313, 1868, p. 472.— Ed.] 

NT. S. VOL. V. 


358 Letters, Announcements, S^c. 

INIancliester, 20th April, 1809. 

Sir, — It may interest your readers to know that the most 
ancient record of the occurrence of the Pheasant in Great 
Britain is to be found in the tract " De inventione Sanctse Crucis 
nostrse in Monte Acuto et de ductioneejusdem apud Waltham/' 
edited from manuscripts in the British Museum by Professor 
Stubbs, and published in 1861"^. The bill of fare drawn up by 
Harold for the Canons^ households of from six to seven persons, 
A.D. 1059, and preserved in a manuscript of the date of circa 
1177, was as follows (p. 16) : — 

" Erant autera tales pitantise unicuique canonico : a festo 
Sancti Michaelis usque ad caput jejunii [Ash Wednesday] aut 
xii merulse, aut ii agausese \_Agace, a magpie (?) Ducange] aut 
ii perdices, aut unus phasianus, reliquis temporibus aut ancse 
[Geese; Ducange^ aut gallinse/' 

Now the point of this passage is that it shows that Phasianus 
colchicus had become naturalized in England before the Norman 
invasion ; and as the English and Danes were not the introducers 
of strange animals in any well-authenticated case, it offers fair 
presumptive evidence that it was introduced by the Roman con- 
querors, who naturalized the Fallow Deer in Britain. 

The eating of Magpies at Waltham, though singular, was not 
so remarkable as the eating of Horse by the monks of St. Galle 
in the time of Charles the Great, and the returning of thanks to 
God for it : — 

" Sit feralis equi caro dulcis sub cruce Chiisti ! " 

The bird was not so unclean as the horse — the emblem of 
Paganism — was unholy. 

I am, &c., 

W. Boyd Dawkins. 

Sill, — In the Natural-History Museum of Edinburgh, for- 
merly in connexion with the University, but since 1855 included 
in the Museum of Science and Art, are two eggs of Alca im- 
pennis, which have not been noticed in any published list. 

* The Foundation of Walthaui Abbey. The Tract ' De iuventione ' 
&c. By William Stubbs, M.A. Oxford and London ; 18G1. 8vo, ])p. GO. 

Letters, Announcements, ^c. 359 

In 1819, Mr. Bullock's museum and the extensive collection 
of M. Dufresne of Paris happened to be for sale, and the Sena- 
tus Academicus of the Edinburgh University voted a sum of 
.€3000 for the purchase of a selection from the former, and the 
whole of the latter. 

From the manuscript catalogue which accompanied Dufresne's 
collection, it appears that it contained 1600 specimens of birds, 
2600 shells, 12000 insects, 600 eggs of birds, 200 fossils, a 
considerable number of Radiata, and a few mammals. 

A short time ago on visiting this museum, I pointed out to 
the conservator the two eggs oi Alca impennis ; and he very 
kindly gave me access to the manuscript records of the museum, 
and all the information in regard to these eggs which lay in his 

The eggs of the Dufresne collection had remained hid away 
in drawers in the University Museum since 1819 till about three 
months ago, when they were removed by the conservator to the 
Museum of Science and Art. A large portion of the collection . 
was broken and spoilt, but the whole eggs he had taken out and 
exposed to view in glass cases ; fortunately the two eggs of Alca 
impennis remained in good condition. I searched carefully 
through the drawers in which they had lain since 1819, but 
failed to discover a single fragment of a third egg. 

I have little doubt that both these eggs came from the Du- 
fresne collection ; for though there are eggs of birds in the same 
cases, that were procured in one of Sir Edward Parry's Arctic 
expeditions, and perhaps from other sources, yet the writing on 
one of the eggs, "G. Pingouin," agrees exactly with the writing 
on the other egg of the French collection, and with that of the 
manuscript catalogue which accompanied it from Paris. 

I searched in vain through the catalogue for any list of the 
eggs, though the birds, insects, and shells are all carefully 
classified and entered. 

One of the Great Auk's eggs is still attached with glue to a 
piece of cardboard and is slightly cracked on the underside. 
It has no writing upon it ; but as the cardboard on which it is 
fastened is of the same colour and consistency as that on which 

2 B 2 

360 Letters, Announcements, ^c. 

the other French eggs are glued, I conclude it is also from the 
Dufresne collection. 

On turning to that portion of M. Dufresne's manuscript 
catalogue where his specimens of Alcida are recorded, I find no 
mention of Alca impennis or of its eggs as being in his col- 
lection. The manuscript is as follows : — 

Genre Alca. 

1. Alca arctica. Le macareux. Fr. 

2. Alca pica. Le petit Pingouin. Fr. 

3. Alca torda. Le Pingouin. Fr. 

'*' >> )) )) }) )} 

5. „ „ Le Pingouin {de terre neuve). 

I presume that "Fr." means that France was the locality whence 
four of these specimens were procured, and " terre neuve " New- 
foundland. I hence infer that, in the time of Dufresne, Alca 
impennis must have been scarce on the shores of Newfoundland, 
or he would have had a skin of it sent to him along with the 
Newfoundland Razorbill. 

It has already been mentioned (Ibis. 1861, p. 387, note) 
that Mr. Scales saw several Great Auk's eggs in 1816 or 
1817, in Dufresne's possession at Paris, one of which Mr. Scales 
obtained from him. I think I have satisfactorily accounted foi* 
two more of them. 

I am &c., 

H. W. Feilden. 

Scarborough, 21st April 1809. 

We fear that ornithology has suffered a great loss in the death 
of our correspondent Mr. James Hepburn, of Vancouver Island, 
a gentleman who had for many years past been devoting himself 
to the study, as may be seen from a passage in our last volume*. 
He had made himself well acquainted with the Pacific coast of 
North America from Mexico to Alaska, and we had been in 
great hopes of soon receiving from him much of the information 
he had thereby acquired, all of which there is reason to think 
has perished with him. 

t Ibis, 1808, p. 410. 



No. XX. OCTOBER 1869. 

XXXII. — Further Notes on South-African Ornithology. 
By E. L. Layard, F.Z.S. &c. 

With much gratification I again offer to the readers of ' The 
Ibis ' some additional notes on South-African ornithology ; I say 
gratification, because this and the two former papers which I 
have written for ' The Ibis ' are the results of observations drawn 
out by my work on the Birds of South Africa. My aim has so 
far been accomplished, and I trust that the impetus given to the 
study of our avifauna may be lasting and useful. At some future 
day I hope to gather all these new materials into a second 

10. Aquila pennata. I obtained this pretty little Eagle 
in the neighbourhood of Saldanha Bay, on the west coast. 
A kind friend residing in the vicinity has collected an exten- 
sive series of eggs for me ; and as the locality is a very fa- 
vourable one, his name will often appear in these Notes. 
Mr. J. Cotze, jun., aided by his children and his neighbour, 
Mr. Melk, procured several nests of this bird. They were 
placed in trees, very similar to those of Buteo jackal; the eggs, 
generally two, of a dirty white ground, more or less blotched 
and smeared with light reddish brown ; axis 2" 5'", diam. 
1" 10'". My son, Mr. Leopold Layard, also found a nest with 
a pair of eggs, at Grootevadersbosch, near Swellendam. 

N. S. VOL. V. 2 c 

362 Mr. E. L. Layard on South- African Ornithology. 

14. Spizaetus coronatus. Writing 12tli of April, 1869, 
Dr. Edwin Atherstone says that the taxidermist of the Albany 
Museum, Graham's Town, "has a young live S. coronatus, 
marked in a manner similar to the adult, thus differing en- 
tirely from Dr. Smith's coloured plate of the young (111. S. 
Afr. Zool. pi. 41). There is no doubt of its being a young 
bird, as it was taken from the nest, and at first was unable to 
feed itself. Its crest is usually erect." I regret to say this 
bird has since died; for I was anxious to ascertain what the 
first moult would show in the way of coloration. A magni- 
ficent example was recently trapped in the mountains near 
Fransch Hoek, about fifty miles from this, after killing several 
half- grown pigs. 

25. Falco minor. Not uncommon about the Berg River, 
whence Mr. Cotze has forwarded several eggs. It builds in 
trees ; eggs three in number, usually more or less spotted and 
stained with dry blood-colour, on a dirty cream-coloured ground, 
varying very much ; axis 1" 9'", diam. 1" 4'". Mr. Briuk, who 
resides near Mr. Cotze, has also sent several eggs of this 

31. TiNNUNCULUs CENCHRis. A ncw correspondent, Dr. 
Exton, not however collecting in the colony, but at the gold-fields 
on the Tate, writes : — " North of Sechele's I shot a specimen 
of this bird from a flock from which I also obtained T. rupicolus. 
They were harrying a flight of locusts, taking them on the wing, 
striking the insects with the foot, and then conveying them to 
their bills." 

36. MiLVus migrans*. The same gentleman writes: — "There 
are two birds connected with the name of the old chief MoziH- 
katze (now deceased), which in habits and disposition afford a 
happy comparison with his character. One of them, this Kite, 
is said by the Matabili to be * the king's bird,' and is in conse- 
quence much respected by them. One of the chief's sons ex- 
amining my specimen said ' we never kill that bird.' 

" It is remarkably bold and fearless, dashing down at your 
very feet for a stray scrap of flesh, or attempting to carry ofi* 
* I accept Mr. Gurney's rectification of my nomenclature. 

Mr. E. L. Layard on South-African Ornithology. 363 

meat hung up to dry in the native fashion. It does not seem 
very choice in its food. The stomachs of those I examined 
contained locusts and lizards ; and I have seen family parties 
dining, after the manner of Vultures, off the putrid carcass 
of an ox. They breed about the time the locust -larvae become 
developed, the young birds taking wing when the * hoppers ' are 
becoming strong oa the ground. They then congregate in 
flocks ; and I have counted between eighty and ninety hovering 
over an army of infant locusts, and have seen them in still 
greater numbers, some on the ground busily devouring the 
' hoppers,' others perched on neighbouring trees gorged with a 
full repast. The Matabili name is ' Mezwazwa.^ " 

37. MiLVus PARASITICUS. Eggs of this species procured 
by Mr. Cotze are dull white, sparsely spotted, blotched and 
streaked, generally at the thick end, with dry blood-coloured 
markings; axis 2" 3'", diam. 1" 9'". 

40. AcciPiTER TACHiRo, Mr. A. F. Ortlepp says, " by no 
means rare near Colesberg, in the timber skirting the Orange 
River. Easy of approach, feeds on small birds, beetles, and so 

48. Serpentarius reptilivorus. Contests between this 
bird and snakes have often been described ; but my friend Mr. 
Atmore furnishes evidence that the bird is not always victorious. 
He says, " if the snake bites a feather [he means the shafts of 
the large primaries: I questioned him on this point], the Secretary 
pulls it out immediately. On one occasion I saw one leave off 
fighting and run to a pool of water, where he suddenly fell 
down and died. On examining him I found the snake had 
drawn blood from the joint of the pinion." 

83. HiRUNDo GORDONi. Mr. Arnold, a gentleman who ac- 
companied Mr. Faulkner in his expedition up the Shire River, 
describes this Swallow as very abundant on that stream. I 
suspect that Wahlberg got it very far to the northward, and 
that it must be excluded from my list. 

84. CoTYLE AMBROsiACA. This bird must be removed from 
its place in my list among the Martins, and transferred to the 

2 c 2 

364 Mr. E. L. Layard on South-African Ornithology. 

Swifts. It occurred plentifully in the late Mr. Anderssou^s 
collection, which I looked over before it left these shores, and 
was obtained by him in Damaraland. I have no doubt in my 
own mind that this is the origin of Le Vaillant^s " Hirondelle 
huppe" (pi. 247). It probably occasionally finds its way 
down the west coast, to where he collected ; he saw it on the 
wing but failed to get it, and on his return to Europe fancied 
he recognized its deeply forked tail and lengthened wing in the 
Indian Macropteryx cristata. A Swallow has been named to 
me as building in the palm-trees {Borassus) about the Zambese 
River. I suspect this must be the bird meant, and that, like the 
little Cypselus batassiensis of Ceylon, it glues its nest to the 
under surface of the dead pendent leaves. 

96. CoRACiAS CAUDATA. This is the other bird to which 
Dr. Extou alludes. He writes : — " From Sechele's northwards 
C. caudata is commonly known as ' Mozilikatze^s bird,' its 
liveliness and pugnacity perhaps having given rise to the old 
warrior's interest in it. In his earlier career Mozilikatze 
claimed its feathers solely for royal use and adornment, and in 
his milder moods has been known to give an ox to the youth 
who had captured and presented one of these birds. It delights 
to perch on the topmost branch of a leafless tree, from which 
it gives forth its note of challenge ; and should a crow or hawk 
approach, it will make rapid darts at the intruder, and with 
sharp pecks and harsh screams drive off birds greatly its supe- 
rior in size and strength. Bechuana name * Le cler-cler,' 
Matabili ' Fe-fe.' " 

105. Alcedo semitorquata. My son has procured several 
of these lovely Kingfishers on the Salt-river and the Liesbeck, 
both near Cape Town. Mr. Atmore writes that it breeds in 
holes of banks. At Kykoe he took a nest with three eggs, 
white and polished in the usual manner. 

119. Irkisor erythrorhynchus. Mr. Atmore writes, 
"abundant in the head waters of the Gamtoos river, in mimosa- 
thickets," Mr. Ortlepp says, " well known in Zuurbergen, breeds 
in hollow trees, the nest having the offensive smell of that 
of other Hoopoes." 

Mr. Ji.lj.La,y?Lr([ on South-African Ornithulugt/. 365 

125. Nectarinia collaris. The true habitat of this pretty 
little species seems to be further east than the Gamtoos river, 
where Mr. Atniore, who knows it well, never met with it. 
Mrs. Barber sends it from the New-Year's river, and Dr. Edwin 
Atherstone from the mouth of the Kleinmonts river, eight 
miles east of the Kowie. 

169. Drym(eca subflava. Mr. Ortlepp has sent me seven 
specimens from Colesberg, which lead me to think that " Le 
Citrin " of Le Vaillant (pi. 127) is identical with D. pallida, 
Smith (No. 147), and that D. pectoralis, Smith (No. 146), is 
but the male. Unfortunately Mr. Ortlepp has left Colesberg; 
and T am therefore precluded from obtaining a good series of 
these birds, to set the point entirely at rest. I mention it here 
in the hope of calling attention to the subject^. 

174. Calamodyta BABiEcuLA. " La Caqueteuse," Le Vaillant 
(pi. 121, fig. 1). 

175. C. B^TicuLAf. "L'Isabelle," Le Vaillant (pi. 121, fig.2). 

176. C. RUFESCENS (Keyscrl. & Bias,). 

177. C. GRAciLiRosTRis, Hartl. I think I can clear up the 

confusion existing in the identification of the first two of these 
four species, a confusion to which I have unfortunately added by 
a lapsus calami, writing " Calamodyta rufescens," instead of " C. 
gracilirostris " (No. 177), under the head of C. hahcecula. I had 
my suspicions then that the " Caqueteuse " would prove to be 
the larger species C. gracilirostris ; and these have been confirmed 
by my shooting that bird in considerable numbers in the marshes 
formed by the overflow of the Berg River, and by Mr. Cotze 
obtaining the nest and eggs. These latter are dirty white or 
cream -colour, spotted and blotched chiefly at the obtuse end 
with brown and purple blotches ; axis 9'", diam. 6^'". Ver- 
loren Vley is about twenty miles from where I procured C. gra- 
cilirostris ; and I doubt not it is found on all intermediate beds 
of reeds. Its habits and note quite agree with Le Vaillant's 

[* Cf. supra, p. 291, Ed.] 

[t This word should be beeficata according to Professor Suiidevall (Krit. 
framst. L.V. No. 121, 2).— Ed.] 

366 Mr. E. L. Layard on Soiith- African Ornithology. 

C. gracilirostris must, I conceive, sink into a synonym of C 
babacula (Vieill.), and C. rufescens (Keyserl. & Bias.) into a syno- 
nym of C.haticula (Vieill.) ; Le Vaillant^s figures are badly drawn, 
but I feel sure they are intended for these species. 

184. Bradypterus layardi. This rare species has again 
rewarded Mr. Atmore's vigilant eye and ready hand. Early in 
this year he shot one near Forest Hall, Plettenberg Bay, the 
residence of Mr. Newdigate. He writes: — " I was looking for 
a survey station, when she flew out of some dense scrub, and I 
dropped her. In the scrub was a cupped nest shaped like 
that of No. 172 [Drymceca africand], not quite finished. I 
hunted in vain for the male, and never passed the spot without 
a search, as well as looking into every similar place; but this 
was all I saw. Its habits are exactly like those of No. 172, but 
it is even more difficult to raise from its cover ; its flight is only 
a feeble flutter.^' Mr. Atmore procured the type specimen on 
which Dr. Hartlaub founded his species and the genus {Phlexis) 
which he has formed upon it. I shall bave much pleasure in 
forwarding this second specimen to my learned friend, and Mr. 
Atmore has promised to keep a sharp look out for more. 

187. Bradvpterus SYLVATicus, Victorin. I believe this to 
be identical with No. 186, B. platyurus. I have procured a 
few of the former from some extensive beds of reeds on the 
Cape Flats, near Wynberg. Its habits accord with Le Vaillant*s 
description, as far as I saw. 

193. Saxicola bifasciata. Mrs. Barber has sent the nest 
and eggs of this handsome Chat. The former was taken from a 
hole in a kraal-wall, and is a loose untidy structure of fine root- 
lets and hair. The latter are pale and creamy-white, rather 
profusely speckled, especially at the extreme obtuse end, with 
small elongated reddish-brown specks; axis 11'", diam. 8'". 

195. Saxicola monticola. Mr. Ortlepp, from Colesberg, 
and Mr. Jackson, from Nels Poort, both send eggs of this Chat. 
They are light bluish-green, rather closely specked with red- 
brown, chiefly at the obtuse end; axis 12'", diam. 8'". Mr. 
Jackson writes : — "Among the eggs I now send you, are fourteen 

Mr. E. L. Layard on South- Afiican Ornithology. 367 

of No. 195, all from the same pair of birds, our old friends of 
last year. This makes thirty-four of the sort, all or nearly all 
from the one pair of birds !! They build in my kraal-walls ; 
and no sooner are their eggs taken than they set to work 
and make up another nest in a fresh place, finish it, and lay 
again in a very short time.'' 

198. Saxicola infuscata. Sir A. Smith describes this as the 
" rarest of the South-African Saxicolce," and " principally, if 
not entirely, restricted to the districts between the Oliphant 
and Orange Rivers, and seldom occurs far from the sea-coast.'' 
I saw it abundantly between Saldanha Bay and Mamre on the 
west coast. Mr. Jackson has it plentifully at Nels Poort, and 
Mr. Ortlepp at Colesberg. Eggs from the former are of a 
lively light verditer, much speckled with rather large dark red- 
brown spots and blotches, sometimes forming a ring at the 
obtuse end; axis 11'", diam. 8'". They are well marked and 
handsome eggs, and the nest is cup-shaped and placed in a 

204. Saxicola mariquensis. Mr. Ortlepp finds this spe- 
cies at Colesberg. 

318. ZosTEROPs LATERALIS. Mr. Ortlepp has sent two spe- 
cimens of this pretty little bird from Colesberg. Wahlberg's 
" Upper Kafiraria " is probably further to the northwards. 

221. MoTACiLLA AGUiMP. Eggs scut by Mr. Ortlepp are 
light brown, profusely speckled throughout with dark brown, 
chiefly at the obtuse end; axis 11'", diam. 7'". They were pro- 
cured on the banks of the Orange River. 

223. Anthus capensis. Eggs of this species vary much, as 
do those of all the genus ; they are usually of a whitish or cream- 
coloured ground, plentifully spotted, but chiefly in a ring at the 
obtuse end, with brown and pale purplish spots of different 
shades and sites; axis 13'", diam. 9"'. 

Mr. Atmore says it is not found anywhere on Karroo soil. 

226. Anthus soRDiDus. Foundat Colesberg by Mr. Ortlepp, 
but sparingly. 

368 Mr. E, L. Layard on South- African Ornithology. 

228. Anthus leucophrys. Nest, a cup under a tuft of 
grass. Eggs very variable, usually a cream-coloured ground, 
profusely spotted throughout, but closest at the thick end, with 
spots of various shades of brown and purple; axis 11'", diam. 


230. Anthus caffer. Eggs sent by Mr. Ortlepp are dirty 
white, spotted with dark and light brown spots of various sizes; 
axis 91'", diam. 6^'". 

Anthus chloris, Licht., Cat. 1842, sp. 49; Bonap., 

Consp. Av. i. p. 248. 

This new addition to the Cape fauna was shot near Graham's 
Town, and forwarded for my inspection by Mr. Glanville, the 
courteous curator of the Albany Museum, to whom I am in- 
debted for many very interesting specimens that have lately 
been discovered in that neighbourhood. 

244. Petrocincla explorator. Eggs of this fine Rock- 
Thrush precisely resemble those of the preceding species, P. 
rupestris; and it breeds in similar places. 

270. Platystira pistrinaria. The nest of this species, 
which eluded the researches of Le Vaillant, is one of the prizes 
that has rewarded my son's early efforts in collecting. On the 
20th of last November he discovered a nest at Grootevaders- 
bosch near Swellendam, built in a "wait-a-bit" bush, about 
six feet from the ground, cup-shaped, formed of bents and 
fibres, lined with horse-hair, and covered externally with lichens. 
The eggs, hard-set, were of a dull white, tinted with green, more 
or less spotted with pale brown dots, and surrounded at the ob- 
tuse end by a very broad band of close-set, large, brown and 
brownish-purple blotches ; axis 9'", diam. 6i"'. 

273. Tchitrea cristata. My son has been fortunate 
enough to find several nests of this Long-tailed Flycatcher. 
They resemble those of the preceding, but are larger. The 
eggs are of a rich cream-colour, spotted, chiefly at the thick end, 
with rich red spots, with here and there a dark purple one. 
These spots usually form a more or less distinct circle at the 
extreme top ; at other times they are distributed generally over 

Mr. E. L. Layard on South- African Ornithology . 369 

the whole surface. Altogether it is one of the richest-looking 
eggs I know; axis 9"', diam. 6'". 

277. TcHiTREA CYANOMELAS. Another of my son's prizes 
that escaped Le Vaillant is the nest of this very local Flycatcher. 
He has sent several specimens of the bird, both male and 
female, from Grootevadersbosch, and one nest with two eggs. 
The former is cup-shaped, covered with moss and lichens, and 
was placed in a " wait-a-bit " bush about breast-high, close to 
that of the precedmg. The eggs, of a pale cream-coloured 
ground, are profusely spotted and blotched in a band near the 
thick end with red, brown and purple ; axis 8'", diam. 6"'. They 
much resemble those of the preceding (No. 273), but are not 
nearly so rich-looking. 

301. DiCRURUs Musicus. In addition to the eggs previously 
described in 'The Ibis' (1868, p. 246), my son has sent several 
more specimens, some of which exhibit a singular variation. 
Had he not on each occasion seen the parent bird on the nest, 
I should have doubted the correctness of his identification ; but 
there cannot be any mistake, and his capture confirms another 
single egg, which was given me some years ago, as the egg of 
this species ; but as it diifered so much from those figured by 
Le Vaillant, and the donor was not an experienced collector, I 
doubted it. They are a deep rich pink (nearly salmon-colour), 
marked throughout with darker (browner-pink) spots, inter- 
spersed with purple, chiefly in the form of a ring at the thick 
end. The markings are larger and coarser than in the pale 

The nest is lightly made, but not so light and transparent as 
that figured by Le Vaillant (pi. 168). 

347. BuPHAGA AFRiCANA. This species seems common in the 
Matabili country, whence Dr. Exton has sent several specimens. 
He describes the irides of the male as deep orange-red, while 
those of the female are orange-yellow. 

359. Hyphantornis capitalis. Messrs. Henry Jackson, of 
NclsPoort, Sidney Jackson, of Brakfontein,Ortlepp, of Colesberg, 
and Cotze, of Berg River, have each of them sent/zwre white eggs 

370 Mr. E. L. Layard on South- African Ornithology. 

found in the nests of these birds. This shows over what an extent 
of country this variation extends, and that it is not confined to 
the birds breeding in this neighbourhood. 

381. EsTRELDA ASTRiLD. Mr. Atmore sends a nest of this 
httle species, with the following interesting note : — " You know 
what a funny whisp of a nest it makes, and how carefully con- 
cealed ! but how such small birds carry such large bents of 
grass is a puzzle to me. The inside is very warm and comfort- 
able ; and what may be called the framework of the nest is very 
nicely contrived, so that all the ear-ends of the grasses are woven 
together to form a pipe, where the entrance is. This nest was 
in a thicket of brambles and fern, about six inches from the 
ground ; even after the birds flew out, it required a good search 
before I could find it. There were twelve eggs in it (whether 
more than one hen lays in a nest I cannot say, but only one 
flew out) ; these were in all stages of incubation, two not at all 
set, more much set-on, and four or five had the young birds so 
large I could not blow them." I have always heard that several 
hens laid in one nest ; and this in connexion with the facts stated 
in * The Ibis ' [supra, pp. 74, 75) seems to indicate that polygamy 
does exist among birds of this family. 

383. EsTRELDA RUBRicATA. Mrs. Barber has found this 
pretty little Amadavat near Graham^s Town, and sends a nest 
and eggs, the latter pure white; axis 7'"? diam. 5^'". 

390. EsTRELDA POLYZONA. Mr. Ortlcpp writes from Coles- 
berg: — " Iris light yellow, tinged with brown. In rising utters 
a sharp chirp, then falls suddenly to the ground." 

396. Amadina alario. Eggs sent by H. Jackson and 
others much resemble those of the Cape Canary (No. 399), 
being white tinged with green, more or less spotted, blotched 
and streaked, chiefly at the obtuse end, with various shades of 
brown ; axis 8^'", diam. 6'". 

403. Fringilla striaticeps. This species, which was de- 
scribed, for the first time, from specimens sent home by me to 
Dr. Hartlaub, has been found by my son breeding at Grooteva- 
dersbosch, whence came the type specimens. Its nest and eggs 

Mr. E. L, Layard on South-African Ornithulugy. 371 

are just like those of a Crithagra, and placed in similar posi- 
tions. Its habits also so closely resemble those of Crithagra that 
I passed it over as C. sulphurata (No. 440) in winter plumage, 
until I shot one. 

Xanthodira flavigula, Sundev. ; Bonap., Consp. Av. 

i. p. 513. 

The addition of this new species to the list of our South- Afri- 
can birds is due to some gentleman near Graham's Town, 
whence it was sent for my inspection by Mr. Glanville, my 
brother curator. Mrs. Barber also has sent a second specimen ; 
and I saw it in Andersson's Damara collection, when looking 
over it previously to its transmission to England. 

438. Certhilauda coronata. Mr. Ortlepp has been for- 
tunate enough to discover the eggs of this fine Lark among the 
number of good things that he has found at Colesberg. He 
describes the nest as " a cup-shaped structure of grasses, placed 
in a tuft of grass on the ground." The eggs are a clear, pale 
cream-colour, spotted throughout with red-brown and purple, 
rather inclining to form a ring at the thick endj axis 11'", 
diam. 8'". 

441. Crithagra selbii. Eggs from Mr. Cotze exactly re- 
semble those of C sulphurata (No. 440), but are a shade larger, 
and more pointed at the thin end. The nest is the same and 
placed in similar situations. 

444. Crithagra chrysopyga. Mr. Ortlepp sends this Bull- 
finch from Colesberg, in non-breeding plumage, also from near 

445. Crithagra flaviventris. I have before [supra, p. 75) 
expressed my suspicion that C. strigilata (No. 443) might be 
the female of C. hutyracea ; and I now add that I fancy C. flaviven- 
tris is probably identical with it, or with some other of our well- 
known species of Crithagra. Crithagra (?) africana (No. 446), 
'* Le Verdier sans vert " of Buflbn, is another of these doubtful 
species. I should remark that in winter all our Crithagrce put 
on the grey livery, and only assume the bright yellow stripes and 
under parts and green upper plumage in the season of love. I 

372 Mr. E. L. Layard on South-African Ornithology. 

have noted this change in my aviary, so that I can vouch for it, 
and T feel confident that Swainson and others have described 
birds in nuptial and non-nuptial dress as different species. 

450. TuRACUS PERSA. My indefatigable correspondent Mr. 
Atmore writes me word that, though the nest of this bird still 
eludes his search, an old forester assured him that he had often 
seen them, that they were like those of Turtur semitorquatus 
(No. 510), the eggs being quite white. 

452. ScHiz^RHis coNCOLOR [cf. Ibis, 1868, p. 268). Dr. 
Exton has sent this species from the Tate and Mozilikatze's 
country, where he states it is very abundant ; and I hear of it a 
long way down the west coast towards Natal, whereyer there is 
enough timber for it. 

453. BucERos coRONATUs. Mr, Atmore writes from Geneva- 
fontein, George, March 16th, 1869 : — " My garden is now full 
of Hornbills; but as they eat nothing but locusts, I do not shoot 
them ; besides they are in bad plumage." It will interest my 
readers to know that Mr. Atmore is settled on the scene (almost 
the very spot) where Le Vaillant chiefly collected, and where the 
lovely " Narina " charmed his sight. If she decorated her 
person with the usual red clay, buchcu, and rancid fat, I cannot 
say much for the Frenchman's nose ; but " adversity makes one 
acquainted with strange bedfellows," and so does travelling in 
South Africa. 

461. PsiTTACULA ROSEicoLLis. Mr. Ortlcpp informs me 
that this species and P. meyeri are plentiful on the Limpopo, 
and are great favourites with the boers, who keep them as pets, 
along with the pretty little Galago moholi. Dr. Exton sends 
P. meijeri from Mozilikatze's country, marked with a broad bar 
of yellow across the head. Mr. Gurney also has received similarly 
marked specimens from Mr. Ay res [cf. supra, p. 296] ; and it is 
probable that the birds of the eastern coast constitute a well- 
marked race, or variety, from those of the west. 

468. Megal^ma barbatula. This pretty little Bucco is 
plentiful near Graham's Town, and on the eastern frontier. 

Mr. E. L. Layaid on South-African Ornithology. 373 

477. Indicator major. Mrs, Barber writes that this Honej'- 
bird lays its eggs in the nests of Lamodon nigrithorax (No. 465), 
M'hich is common about Highlands, near Graham^s Town. My 
friend, with whom I have been corresponding on the subject, 
gives battle in defence of her favourites, and denies that they 
will lead the hunter to a leopard or snake (c/. B. S. Afr. p. 242), 
and she accounts for persons coming on these animals (and 
others) by saying that they fall in with them accidentally while 
following the Honey-guide through the forest. However, she 
shall plead her own cause: — " Regarding the 'tiger-leading pro- 
pensities' (as you term them) of the Honey-guide, our Eastern- 
districts Court is not inclined to abide by the verdict of ' guilty' 
passed by yours of the Western districts upon the bird in ques- 
tion; neither is the explanation which I gave you 'an ingenious' 
one of my own invention, as you seem to believe or imagine. 
What I wrote to you in a former letter is the opinion of many 
old bee-hunters in this part of the country, who have no faith in 
the popular belief [that leading to the leopard is done on 
purpose]. My nine brothers, who were all brought up in this 
country, were all of them great hunters (as well as sportsmen) ; 
and during all the years of their experience in bee-hunting, and 
especially while they were living at Tharfield, where bees' nests 
were exceedingly plentiful, where they were constantly in the 
habit of following these birds, never once did the Honey-guide 
ever lead them, purposely, to any noxious animal. Many times 
in following the bird through dense woods have they started 
various kinds of creatures ; but if they did not neglect the bird 
for the purpose of hunting, she would continue her flight towards 
the bees' nest, regardless of the startled animals. One of my 
brothers once, while following a Honey-guide through a dense 
forest near the Kowie, passed directly through a drove of wild 
pigs. They were of course more frightened than he was, and 
rushed about in every direction ; but my brother, knowing the 
popular belief, and wishing to test it, took not the slightest 
notice of the wild pigs, but passed on, keeping his eye on the 
bird, which went steadily on her way, until she arrived at the 
nest she intended to show, regardless of the pigs. 

374 J\Ir. E. L. Layard on South-African Ornithology. 

" I have other reasons for not believing the story. Why 
should the Honey-guide waste her time in leading people to 
leopards, jackals, wolves, and so forth ? These creatures are 
not her natural enemies ; she would gain nothing by doing it — 
no advantage whatever; and I have ever found that in nature 
there is nothing done in vain, or in an empty purposeless man- 
ner. There is always a reason for the peculiar habits and ac- 
tions of birds and animals of all kinds ; and therefore why should 
a bird, which does not even rear her own young, and has not 
the care of a nest, fear or care about these animals ? Why 
should the Honey-guide, unlike all other animals, do this thing 
without any reason for doing it ? 

" And, again, when the bird has arrived at the nest she in- 
tends to show, there is an alteration in the notes of her voice. 
An old bee-hunter knows this in an instant, and knows when 
he ought to commence searching for the nest. Now this altera- 
tion never takes place when animals of various kinds are startled 
in passing through the forest while following the bird. Hence 
I conclude that she does not intend to show where these crea- 
tures are, or the alteration in her voice would take place.'^ 

The counsel for the defence certainly makes out a strong case 
for her clients ; and (not to mention her own) from what I know 
of the keen powers of observation of more than one of the nine 
brothers — men renowned throughout the country for their deeds 
in Kaffiir wars and hunting-fields, I am forced to say I incline, 
as chief justice sitting in review on the case, to give a verdict 
of " not guilty ;" — Honey-guide discharged with a caution ! ! 

510. TuRTUR SEMiTORQUATUs. In mentioning this species 
I forgot to notice Le Vaillant's " Tourterelle blonde" (pi. 268), 
which he avers he found on the borders of Great Namaqua- 
land, and supposes to be the origin of the European T. riso- 
rius. I do not believe in the existence of such a bird in the 
locality assigned to it by him, having failed to find it in any 
of the collections formed by Andersson, Chapman, and others 
in Otjunbinque, Damaraland, Walvisch Bay, and elsewhere, 
though the common Cape species T. semiturquatus occurred very 

Mr. E. L. Layard on South- African Ornithology . 375 

522. Francolinus nudicollis. Eggs of this species pro- 
cured by my son are precisely similar to those of F. clamator 

(No. 251). 

523. Francolinus adspersus. Mr. Chapman brought me 
eggs of this species from Namaqualand. They are very singu- 
larly shaped, appearing as if truncated at each end. The shell 
is very thick, being the twenty-fourth part of an inch, very 
dense and heavy, inside pure white and iridescent, outside very 
pale cream-colour; axis 1" 7"', diam. 13'". 

526. Francolinus levaillanti. Eggs sent by my son 
from Grootevadersbosch are rather larger and redder-coloured 
than those of F. afer (I^o. 525) ; axis 1" 8'", diam. 1" 4'". 

529. Francolinus natalensis. Specimens of this Fran- 
colin, with its eggs, have been sent by Mr. Arnott from Mahura's 
country; the latter are pale brown, immaculate; axis 1" 8'", 
diam. 1" 5'". 

533. TuRNix HOTTENTOT A. Mr. Atmorc writes: — "I have 
taken several nests of this bird ; one was on a rocky mound near 
Swellendam, the others on the Ruggens. I never saw one in a 
vley. Eggs, five in number, much pointed and very like those 
of our Ring-Dotterel, Charadrius tricollaris." Mr. Atmore is not 
far wrong in the resemblance. Some sent me by Miss A. Van- 
der-Byl are very abruptly pointed, and densely covered with 
small dark brown spots on a light grey-brown ground, closely 
resembling those of the Ceylonese Turnix ocellata; axis 11'", 
diam. 9"'. 

538. Pterocles VARiEGATus. (C/. Ibis,1868, p. 269, & 1869, 
p. 78.) This species, with its eggs, has been sent from several 
places far within the limits laid down in my ' Birds of South 
Africa.^ The eggs are a pale dull greenish-brown, spotted with 
light brown and indistinct purple, and upon this more sparsely 
spotted with dark brown. 

549. EupoDOTis AFROiDEs. Eggs, from Dr. Exton, are similar 
to those of E. nfra (No. 548). 

553. CuRSORius sENEGALENsis. A single specimen answer- 
ing in every respect to this bird was shot by Dr. Exton at Dag- 

376 Mr. E. L. Layard on South- African Ornithology. 

gaboer's-neck in the eastern Province, from a flock of C. bur- 
chelli (No. 551), with which, after a careful comparison, I believe 
it to be identical. It is the same in size ; and I conclude that its 
brighter and more developed colours are the result of more ma- 
ture age. 

574). Anthropoides stanleyanus. Mr. Ortle[)p writes : — 
" Their principal food is small bulbs. When they have the 
chance they pass the night sleeping in the water, knee-deep, and 
in the winter months are frequently found with their legs frozen 
fast in the ice." 

575. Balearica regulorum. A magnificent egg of this 
species, sent by Mr. Arnott to the South-African Museum, and 
procured in Mahura's country, is of a dull pale brown tinged with 
green, and obscurely marked, chiefly at the obtuse end, with 
faint reddish-brown confused blotches and spots with here and 
thei'e a dark mark standing out prominently; axis 3" 6'", diara. 
2" 5'". The egg of the Balearic Crane figured by Dr. Bree in 
his ' Birds of Europe ' gives a very fair idea of the egg sent by 
Mr. Arnott ; only the spots are more concentrated and fewer, 
and the ground is greener. But [cf. Ibis, 1868, p. 256) Mr. 
Ayres sends an egg which is described as white and glossy. This 
is totally diff'erent from the egg in question. The " green lining- 
membrane " is very visible in the Museum specimen when held 
to the light. 

576. Ardea GOLIATH. Mr. Atmore says he has seen this 
noble Heron at Zoetendals Vley. Mr. Arnott forwards an egg 
which I can assign to no Heron but this. It is similar to that 
of A. cinerea (No. 577), but larger; axis 3", diam. 2". 

577. A. CINEREA 



Eggs of these three Herons have 
:>been sent by Mr. Cotze, and those of 
the first by Miss A. Van der Byl. 

600. Mycteria senegalensis. Dr. Exton found this fine 
Stork in the Matabili country; and a gentleman belonging to 
H. M. S. " Petrel," who has lately been up one of the rivers 
running into Delagoa Bay, tells me saw it abundantly along its 
banks and in the marshes. 

Mr. E. L. Layard on South-African Ornithology. 377 

624. Gallinago .equatorialis. This Great Snipe breeds 
in many places in the colony. It is extremely abundant in the 
vleys formed by the sluggish waters of the river Zonder-end. 
Its eggs are of a darkish olive-green ground, much blotched and 
spotted with darker brown. Their shape is very broad at the 
obtuse end, and tapering to an abrupt point at the other ; in- 
deed they exactly resemble those of the Solitary Snipe of Europe; 
axis 1" 9'", diam. 1" 3'". 

632. Ortygometra crex. Dr. Edwin Atherstone writes 
from Graham's Town, April 19, 1869 : — " This species has been 
very plentiful this season near the coast." 

636. Corethrura ruficollis. I lately shot a male of this 
rare Water-hen at French Hoek, and my son sent the eggs and 
a female captured on the nest from Grootevadersbosch. The 
primaries are pure white, and rather sharply pointed at the small 
end; axis 1" 1'", diam. 9|"'. 

648. Chenalopex iEGYPTiACus. Mr. Atmore writes : — "At 
Gauritz River they breed on ledges of rocks, 200 feet above the 
level of the water, in company with Gyps fulvus, and appear 
quite friendly with them.'' 

649. Nettapus madagascariensis. A fine pair, male and 
female, of this lovely little Goose were killed by Mr. J. Nightin- 
gale in a small vley near Alexandria last year (1868) ; and one 
or two other specimens obtained in the colony have fallen under 
my notice. 

658. Ehynchaspis capensis. This species, called " Slop " 
by the colonists, is abundant on the Knysna lakes, Vogel Vley, 
near Wellington, and at the Berg River, whence Mr. Cotze sends 
eggs of a delicate cream-colour tinged with green ; axis 2" 2"', 
diam. 1" 6'". 

677. DiOMEDEA CHLORORHYNCHA. Called the "Pretty bird" 
by the sealers. Breeds on the Crozette Islands. The eggs 
exactly resemble those of D. melanophrys (No. 676) . 

700. Graculus africanus. Seems widely distributed over 
the whole of South Africa. It is common on the Berg River, 
N. S. VOL. V. 2d 

378 Dr. Finscb on some Birds 

and, according to Mr. Cotze, never descends to the sea. Eggs 
from him are of the usual pale blue-green, covered with chalky 
matter ; axis 1 " 7'", diam. 1" 2'", similarly shaped at both ends. 

A sealing- vessel, just returned from theCrozette Islands, brings 
up thirty-seven tuns of oil made from the skins of the Maccaroni 
Penguin {Aptenodytes chrysocome). I am told it takes the 
skins of 1400 birds to make one tun of oil ; at this rate 51,800 
birds have been destroyed for this one cargo ! A man can catch, 
kill, and strip the skins from 350 or 360 birds in a day. How 
long will the race of Penguins last ? How long before they are 
numbered, with the Great Auk, among the things that were ? 

Another vessel from the islands about Tristan d'Acunha has 
brought many live examples of the curious Gallinula nesiotis, or 
Island-hen, four of which are now running merrily about in my 
aviary, also three of the Island-Thrushes and their eggs, and 
a Finch [Hyjjhantoi'nis ?), and a lot of eggs of sea-fowl ; but of 
these I must make a further examination and report. 

Soutli- African Museum, June 18, 1869. 

XXXIII. — Remarks on some species of Birds from New Zealand. 
By Dr. O. FiNscH, C.M.Z.S. &c. 

In a large collection of birds which I lately received from Dr. 
Julius Haast, the well-known explorer of New Zealand, I was 
very much pleased to find some of the species lately described 
as new by Mr. Walter Puller, in bis ^ Essay on the Ornithology 
of New Zealand'*, or in his paper in 'The Ibis^ for the present 
year {antea, pp. 37-43). A careful examination showed me at 
once that some of those so-called new species are by no means 
new to science ; therefore it will, perhaps, be a matter of some 
interest to the readers of this Journal, as well as to ornitholo- 
gists iu general, to become acquainted with the results of my 
studies. ,. 

Platycercus ALPiNus, Bullcr, Ibis, 1869, p. 39. 

Two specimens, male and female, from the Southern Alps, 

• Translated by me in tlie 'Journal fiir Ornithologrie ' for 1867, pp. 

from New Zealand. 379 

and marked as types of Mr. Buller's supposed species, are not 
distinguishable from the old known P. auriceps, Kuhl, either 
■ in size or colouring. Mr. Buller characterizes the new species 
by the orange frontal band, and by the orpiment-orange (in- 
stead of crimson) thigh-spots ; but these slight differences are 
by no means specific, and only indicate the young bird. In my 
Monograph of the family Psittacida (vol. ii. p. 286) I de- 
scribed such a younger bird, from a specimen in the Bremen 
Museum, which corresponds in every respect with P.alpinus,B\x\L 

Nestor meridionalis (Gmel.). 

Two specimens from the west coast of the South Island, the 
same locality from which Mr. Buller described his new N. occi- 
dentalis [supra, pp. 40, 41), and most probably belonging to 
this species, I cannot distinguish from the true N. meridionalis. 
Thei'e are slight differences in the shade of their colouring, as 
well as in their size ; but it must be remembered that all the 
species of Nestor vary very much, as I have already remarked 
in my Monograph, wherein will be found a full account of this 
subject. In any case N. occidentalis needs a more minute de- 
scription of its distinctive characters before it can be enumerated 
in the list of good species. 

I take this opportunity of adding an interesting notice re- 
specting the systematic place of the genus Nestor, which Dr. 
Haast was kind enough to send me. He writes to me, " Your 
arrangement of the genus Nestor in the system is quite right. 
These birds are indeed honey -eaters ; their tongues are armed 
on the point with papillae as in the Trichoylossin(B." It is of 
great value to receive a positive statement as to the structure of 
the tongue in Nestor, the subject having hitherto been doubt- 
ful. Mr. Gould (Handb. B. Austral, ii, p. 551) declared that 
the tongue was not " furnished with a brush-like termination,'^ 
whereas the correct figure of A^. norfolcensis, given by lierr 
A. von Pelzeln (Sitzuugsb. k.-k. Akad. Wissensch. Wien, xli. 
1860, p. 322, cum tab. capit.), shows the papillse very distinctly. 
This new fact given by Dr. Haast sets all doubt at rest, and 
the position of the genus Nestor among the Trichoglossrna> 
now becomes evident. 

2 d2 

380 Dr. Finsch on some Birds from New Zealand. 

Gerygone assimtlis, Buller, Essay, p. 9. 

Mr. Buller separated this new species from G. flaviventris 
more on account of the difference in the construction of their 
nests than from any shown by the birds themselves. T there- 
fore expressed my doubts (Journ. f. Orn. 1867, p. 342) whether 
it was possible to distinguish the bird clearly. A specimen of 
G. assimilis, from Dr. Haast, convinced me at once that the 
skin of this species is not distinguishable from that of the true 
G. flaviventris. The specimen agrees in every respect with the 
description and figure given by Mr. Gray (Voy. ' Erebus' and 
* Terror/ Birds, p. 5, pi. iv. fig. 1), except that the yellow tinge 
on the belly is paler ; but the specimen is marked as a female. 

TuRNAGRA HECTORi, BuUcr, Ibis, 1869, p. 39. 

The editor of 'The Ibis' has already suggested that this 
species is probably identical with Otagon tanagra, Schlegel 
(Nederl. Tijdschr. voor de Dierk. iii. 1865, p. 190). I agree 
with this supposition ; for a careful comparison of the descrip- 
tions cannot admit of the slightest doubt as to their referring to 
the same species. 

Anas gracilis, Buller, Ibis, 1869, p. 41. 

This is undoubtedly identical with Anas [Querquedula] gibhe- 
rifrons, Salomon Miiller (Verhandelingen Land en Volkenkunde^ 
1839-41, p. 159), as the comparison of a typical specimen of 
A. gracilis received from Dr. Haast with specimens from 
Timor in the Bremen Museum shows. The species has a wide 
geographical distribution. Timor (Sal. Miiller, Wallace), Flores 
(Wallace), Celebes (Forsten), Northern Australia (Leyden Mus.), 
South Australia (Leyden Mus., Haast), New Caledonia (Ley- 
den Mus.). 

PoDiCEPs HECTORi, Buller, Essay, p. 19 ; Finsch, Journ. f. 
Orn. 1867, p. 345. 

The distinctive character of this species, from our P. cristatus 
(Linn.), was declared by Mr. Buller to be the absence of white on 
the wings and shoulders. The collection contains a Grebe which 
Dr. Haast mentions in his letter as a typical P. hectori. This 
sj)ecimen is partially moulting, as is especially shown by the fact 

Mr. R. B. Sharpe on Birds from the Fantee Country. 381 

that all the remiges are not fully grown, but are almost hiaaen 
by the tectrices. By unfolding the wings carefully one can see 
the white distributed in the same style as in our P. cristatus, 
with which the specimen agrees in every respect. I therefore 
cannot regard P. hedori as distinct from our P. cristatus 
(P. australis, Gould). 

Larus (Bruchigavia) melanorhyncha, Buller, Ibis, 1869, 
p. 43. 

If this species is not identical with the badly described Larus 
andersoni, Bruch (Journ. f. Oru. 1858, p. 102), from New 
Zealand, which Professor Blasius {op. cit. 1865, p. 384), de- 
clared to be nothing else than L. scopulinus, it certainly will 
be a good species. I, at least, cannot refer the fine speci- 
men, received from Dr. Haast under the name last mentioned, 
to any of the known species, and take it for a good species, 
distinguishable by the slender black bill, tinged with reddish 
at the basal portion, and by the great extent of white on the 

XXXIV. — On two more Collections of Birds from the Fantee 
Country. By R. B. Sharpe. 

(Plate XI.) 

Since the publication of my previous paper on the birds of the 
Fantee country [supra, pp. 186-195) I have been favoured 
with an inspection of two small collections from the same 
locality. One of these was submitted to me by Mr. Higgins ; 
and the other was sent to me by Mr. Whiteiy, of Woolwich. I 
am informed by the latter that the collection forwarded by him 
was formed in the interior of the Fantee country, on the borders 
of Ashantee and Dahomey, while the series sent to me by Mr^ 
Higgins was collected, as before, in the immediate neighbour- 
hood of Cape-Coast Castle. 

The present paper will be found to contain the names of 
many rare and interesting species ; and it is to be hoped that 
the collectors on whose labours it is based will be induced to 
continue their researches, and that ultimately we may become 

382 Mr. R. B. Sharpe on Collectiuns of 

thoroughly acquainted with the avifauna of this little-knowu 
part of the Ethiopian region. I have only to add that I am in- 
debted to my friend Dr. Finsch for the identification of the 
species of the obscure genus Criniger, mentioned in this paper, 
his recent investigations * having rendered him the best autho- 
rity on this very obscure and difficult group. I have also re- 
ferred to Dr. Hartlaub^s paper on Heer Pel's collections (Journ. 
f. Orn. 1855, p. 360) wherever any of the species had been al- 
ready obtained by him in the Fantee country ; and a dagger (t) 
is prefixed to all species believed to be recorded from this 
locality for the first time. 

61. CossYPHA POENsis, Fras. ; Hartl., Journ. f. Orn. 1855, 
p. 360 ; Id., Orn. Westafr. p. 77. 

One specimen obtained at Dabocrom by Heer Pel. 

62. Criniger LEUCOPLEURUS (Cass.). Phyllostrephusleuco- 
pleurus, Cass., Proc. Ac. Philad. 1855, p. 328. Hartl., Orn. 
Westafr. p. 89. " Trichophorus nivosus, Temm.,'' Id., Journ. f. 
Orn. 1855, pp. 356, 360; Id., Orn. Westafr. p. 84. 

One specimen. Cassin's name leucopleurus was published in 
April, and therefore takes precedence over nivosus of Dr. Hart- 
laub [ex MS. Temm.), which was not published till September. 
The type-specimen was obtained by Heer Pel on the Rio Boutry. 

63. Criniger TRicoLOR(Cass.) ; Finsch, Journ. f. Orn. 1867, 
p. 25. Trichophorus tricolor, Cass., Proc. Ac. Philad. 1857, 
p. 33. " T. icterinus, Temm.", Bonap., Consp. Av. i. p. 262 ; 
Hartl., Journ. f. Orn. 1855, p. 360; Id., Orn. Westafr. p. 83. 

One specimen of this bird, which was first discovered by Heer 
Pel in Ashantee. I agree with Dr. Finsch in substituting Gas- 
sin's name, tricolor, for the usually assigned name icterinus, 
which latter ought never to have been published ; for Strickland 
in 1844 named an East-Indian bird Criniger ictericus [vide 
Finsch, t. c. p. 34, where the full synonymy is given), and it 
would be decidedly inconvenient to have two species in the 
same genus having names intended to convey exactly the same 
meanmg, and only differing in one letter. 

" Journ. f. Orn. 1867, pp. i-36, 107, 108. 

Birds from the Fantee Countr]/. 383 

61. Criniger EXiMius(Hartl.); Finsch, Journ. f. Orn, 1857, 
p. 31. Trichophonis eximius, IlartL, op. cit. 1855, pp. 356, 360 ; 
Id., Orn. Westafr. p. 85. 

Two specimens of this fine species. 

65. Oriolus baruffi, Bonap., Consp. Av. (1850), i. p. 347; 
Hartl., Journ. f. Orn. 1855, p. 360. " O. interinedius, Temm.", 
Hartl., Beitr. Orn. Westafr. (1852), p. 46 ; Id., Orn. Westafr. 
p. 81. 

One specimen. From the dates above given it will be seen 
that this species was first described in 1850 by Bonaparte, and 
that Dr. Hartlaub's name, intermedius {exMS. Temm.), not hav- 
ing been published till 1852, must give way to that bestowed 
upon it by the Prince. This species was first discovered by 
Heer Pel in Ashantee. 

t66. Nectarinia pulchella (Linn.) ; Hartl., Orn. West- 
afr. p. 52. 

Two specimens of this bird are in the present collections, 
and this is apparently the first record of the species from this 

t67. Nectarinia anqolensis (Less.) ; Hartl., Orn. West- 
afr. p. 45. 

One specimen of this rare Sun-bird, which has never before 
been met with in the Fantee Country. 

68, Elminia longicauda (Swains.) ; Hartl., Orn. Westafr. 
p. 93. 

One specimen. Procured by Weiss at Elmina, in the Fantee 

t69. Telephonus minutus, Hartl., P. Z. S. 1858, p. 293. 

There is a specimen of this species in the British Museum, 
from Ashantee. One example only is contained in the present 

t70. Laniarius multicolor. Gray ; Hartl., Orn. Westafr. 
p. 108. 

One specimen of this very beautiful Shrike, which, I believe, 
has never been met with before from so southern a locality, the 

384 Mr. R. B. Sharpe on Collections of 

southernmost point at which it had previously been obtained 
being apparently Sierra Leone. 

t7] . Lamprocolius purpureiceps (J, & E. Verr.) ; Hartl., 
Orn. Westafr. p. 119; Id., Journ. f. Orn. 1859, p. 23. 

One specimen of this fine Glossy-Thrush, which was origi- 
nally described from Gaboon. Its appearance in the Fantee 
Country is therefore of very great interest. 

t72. Onychognathus hartlaubi, Gray, P. Z. S. 1858, p. 
291 ; Hartl., Journ. f. Orn. 1859, p. 36. 

One specimen of this extremely rare bird, of which, I believe, 
only two other examples, the types in the British Museum, are 
known to exist. Unfortunately my specimen is without its tail. 

73. Spermospiza guttata (Vieill.) ; Hartl., Orn. Westafr. 
p. 138. 

One female specimen. The specific name is altogether inap- 
plicable to the male bird. 

t74. NiGRiTA UROPYGiALis, sp. nov. (Plate XI. fig. 1.) 
N. affinis N. fusconotse, sed statura minor'e et uropygio dilute 
ochraceo distinguenda. 

This new Nigrita is certainly distinct from the true N.fusco- 
nota of Fraser, the type of which, from Fernando Po, is in the 
British Museum. A very good plate of that species is given by 
Mr. Fraser in the ' Zoologia Typica' (pi. 49); and it will be 
seen that my new bird difi'ers conspicuously by its very distinct 
cream-coloured rump, that part in the species from Fernando 
Po being of the same colour as the rest of the back. The fol- 
lowing are measurements of the two species taken from the 
typical specimens. 

Whole length. Wing. Tail. 

N. fusconoia (Fernando Po) . . 4 inches . . 2'15 1-55 
N. uropygialis (Fantee) 3*9 „ . . 2*0 1-9 

It will be observed that my new species, though generally 
smaller, has a longer tail than the insular bird. The rectrices 
also are much more glossy. 

t75. Nigrita emili^, sp. nov. (Plate XI. fig. 2.) 

Ibis,186S PI XI. 

J . G-. Ksulema/is Jith 

U SiSHaj-ihar'^ imp 


Birds from the Fantee Country. 385 

N. affinis N. cinereocapillpe, sed valde minor, et uropygio dilute 
cinereo, haud albo distinguenda. 

This new Nigrita is closely allied to N. cinereocapilla from 
Fernando Po, of which a good figure is given in Mr. Fraser^s 
' Zoologia Typica ' (pi. 48) . It will at once be observed, 
howevei', that the bird represented in the accompanying plate 
is very much smaller, and does not possess the white rump of 
the insular species. A further examination of the types in the 
British Museum confirmed my conviction as to their specific 
distinctness. The following are the measurements of the type- 
specimens of the two species : — 

Total length. Wing. Tail. 

A^. cinereocapilla (Fernando Po) . . 4*9 . . 2*7 . . 1*9 
N. emilicB (Fantee) 4-3 . . 2-5 . . 1-7 

7Q. Berenicornis albocristata (Cass.). Buceros albo- 
cristatiis, Hartl., Journ. f. Orn. 1855, p. 361 ; Id., Orn. West- 
afr. p. 163. 

Two specimens of this very beautiful Hornbill. Heer Pel sent 
it also from Ashantee. 

77. BucoRAx ABYssiNicus (Gmcl.) ; Buceros abyssinicus, 
Hartl., Journ. f. Orn. 1855, p. 361 ; Id., Orn. Westafr. p. 165. 

One specimen. Procured also at Accra by Heer Pel. 

78. Merops erythropterus, Gmel.; Hartl., Orn. Westafr. 
p. 40. 

One specimen. Not included in the list of Heer Pel's birds, 
but sent by Weiss from Elmiua. 

,79. Meropiscus gularis (Shaw) ; Hartl., Journ. f. Orn. 
1855, p. 360 ; Id., Orn. Westafr. p. 42. 
One specimen. 

80. MusoPHAGA GiGANTEA, Vieill. ; Hartl., Journ. f. Orn. 
1855, p. 361; Id., Orn. Westafr. p. 42 ; Schl. & Westerm., 
Monogr. Toerako's, pi. 12. 

One very fine specimen. 

81. Ceryle rudis (Linn.) ; Hartl., Journ. f. Orn. 1855, 
p. 360 ; Id., Orn. Westafr. p. 37. 

One female specimen is in the present collection. 

386 Mr. R. 13. Sharpe on Collections of 

t82, IspiDiNA LEUCOGASTRA (Fras.) ; Sharpe^ Monogr. Al- 
ced. pt. iv. 

One specimen. In the fourth part of my ' Monograph ' will 
be found a figure and description of this rare species, with full 
synonymy; but the locality should be strictly " Fantee/' not 
" Ashantee/' as the bird was sent me by Mr. Whitely before we 
were aware of the precise spot where the collection had been 

83. IsPiDiNA PiCTA (Bodd.) ; Sharpe, Monogr. Alced. pt. iv. 

In the collection sent me by Mr. Whitely was a young bird, 
which differed slightly from the usual young /. picta ; and 
shortly after, I found an old bird in Mr. Higgins^s collection. 
These birds differ from all the other specimens of /. picta that 
I have seen, in their smaller size, deep rufous breasts, and also 
in having a very distinct ultramarine lustre on the cheeks and 
ear-coverts. Nevertheless I must see a larger series before I 
can consider it distinct, but I think it just possible that it may 
be the bird supposed by Cassin to be the I. nitida of Dr. Kaup. 
The true /. nitida is nothing more than the young I. natalensis 
(A. Smith) ; and a figure of the type-specimen, which is in the 
British Museum, will be given in my * Monograph.' 

t84. Halcyon chelicutensis (Stanley). {Vide supra, pp. 
278, 279.) 

One specimen. 

85. PoGONiAS HiRSUTUS, Swains. ; Hartl., Journ. f. Orn. 
1855, p. 361 ; Id. Orn. Westafr. p. 172. 

One specimen in fully adult plumage. Obtained also by 
Heer Pel at Dabocrom. 

t86. Trachyphonus purpuratus, J. & E. Verr. ; Hartl., 
Orn. Westafr. p. 175. 

Two specimens, apparently not quite adult, of this fine 

t87. Dendropicus goertan (Gmel.) ; Hartl., Orn. West- 
afr. p. 179. 
One specimen. 

Birds from the Fantee Country. 387 

88. Spizaetus coronatus (Linn.) ; Hartl., Orn. Westafr. 
p. 5. 

One specimen, apparently an old male, in very bad condition. 
Although not included by Dr. Hartlaub in the list of Ileer PeFs 
birds, the specimen figured in Edwards's 'Birds' (pi. 224) was 
said to be from Accra ; so the species cannot be considered new 
to the locality. 

89. AsTUR MELANOLEUCUS, A. Smith ; Hartl., Journ. f. Orn. 
1855, p. 353; Id., Orn. Westafr. p. 12. 

Mr. Gurney kindly identified the single specimen sent, as a 
young male of this species. It was also brought by Heer Pel 
from the Rio Boutry. 

90. HuHUA LEUCOSTiCTA (Hartl.) j ''Bubo leucostictus, 
Temm.", Hartl., Journ. f. Orn. 1855, p. 354; Id., Orn. West- 
afr. p. 18. 

In the collection sent by Mr. Higgins I was delighted to 
perceive an adult and a young specimen of this splendid Owl. 
Unfortunately we possess no information respecting the colour 
of the iris, so that I have placed it in the genus Huhua provi- 
sionally, in expectation that the colour of the eye will be dark- 
brown, as in its near congener H. poensis {antea, pi. iv.). 
When I have received positive information on this point, I hope 
to be able to give a plate of this beautiful Owl. 

91. Peristera puella, Schleg. ; Hartl., Journ. f. Orn. 
1855, p. 361 ; Id., Orn. Westafr. p. 198. 

Three specimens of this beautiful Dove. It was procured by 
Heer Pel at Dabocrom. 

92. Peristera tympanistria (Temm.) ; Hartl., Journ. f. 
Orn. 1855, p. 361 ; Id., Orn. Westafr. p. 197. 

One specimen. 

93. Francolinus latuami, Hartl., Journ. f. Orn. 1855, p. 
361 ; Id. Orn. Westafr. p. 202. 

One specimen. Procured also at Dabocrom by Heer Pel. 

t94. Ardetta sturmi (Wagl. 1827). Ardea gulluralis 
(A. Smith, 1836), Hartl., Orn. Westafr. p. 224. 

388 Capt. Taylor on Birds 

One young specimen, agreeing well with birds of the same 
age, obtained by A^ndersson in Damaraland. 

95. Ardetta flavirostris (Wagl.) ; Hartl., Journ. f. Orn. 
1855, p. 361 ; Id., Orn. Westafr. p. 220. 

One specimen. 

96. Parra africana, Gmel. ; Hartl., Journ. f. Orn. 1855, 
p. 361 ; Id., Orn. Westafr. p. 240. 

One specimen. This species is apparently plentiful all over 

XXXV. — Birds observed during two Voyages ac7-oss the North 
Atlantic. By George Cavendish Taylor, F.Z.S. 

Last year I made two voyages between Liverpool and New 
York. The weather experienced was, with the exception of several 
days passed in dense fog, most favourable for the observation of 
oceanic birds, and in this respect was a great contrast to former 
voyages. I regret not being able to record the latitude and 
longitude to illustrate my remarks ; but in neither voyage was 
the position of the ship ascertained at noon, posted up, or 

I left Liverpool in the ' Scotia,^ on the 16th of May. The 
following evening about sunset we passed Cape Clear. On the 
18th there were but few birds to be seen, and none came near 
the ship. When we left the land we left the Gulls. On the 
19th, the wind was strong and cold and the sea rough. Shear- 
waters were seen, and Stormy Petrels, but the latter were not 
near the ship. The two following days the wind was strong, 
with a rough sea, and I made no observations. 

On the 22nd the weather was the same, but much colder, 
the effect probably of the arctic current ; for we were now near- 
ing the coast of Newfoundland. The birds most abundant 
were Fulmars, and in a less degree Greater Shearwaters, 
Puffinus major, easily distinguishable by their size and the 
quantity of white on the head and back. The 23rd was fiue 
and bright, and the sea had gone down. We crossed the banks 
of Newfoundland, passing the longitude of Cape Race about 

observed on the North Atlantic. 389 

10 A.M., seeing, during the day, numbers of Porpoises, and occa- 
sionally Whales. In the morning there were large flocks of 
Shearwaters, P. major. As the ship approached they would rise, 
not in a mass, but in succession, fly half a mile or so forward, and 
pitch until we again came near them. Towards evening there 
were not so many ; but throughout the day I could see flocks or 
companies of them, from twenty to one hundred, sitting here and 
there on the sea, which, being calm, was more favourable for ob- 
serving than on any previous day. Probably for the same reason 
I saw more Stormy Petrels, but they did not come near the ship; 
also three Phalaropes sitting on the water. The latter rose as the 
ship came near them, and flew straight away. No doubt there 
were many more ; but one cannot readily sight so small a bird 
at any distance, and not at all if the sea is rough. Long- 
tailed Skuas, probably Stercorarius buffoni, were also of fre- 
quent occurrence, but they did not fly near the ship. The 
next day we ran into a dense fog, which continued almost up 
to the time of our reaching New York, wh&re we arrived early 
on the morning of the 26th, and consequently my ornithological 
observations for this voyage were brought to a close. 

On the 15th July, I left New York in the ' China,^ home- 
ward bound, in some of the hottest weather I ever experienced. 
Even after dark, when we were out at sea, where there was a good 
breeze, the thermometer in the saloon on deck stood at 85"^ ; 
but this is nothing to what it was while the ship was in the 
harbour of New York. 

On the 17th, about 6 a.m., being ofi^ the coast of Nova 
Scotia, the engines were stopped for repairs ; I awoke and went 
on deck. The atmosphere was clear, and the sea quite calm. The 
ship was surrounded by numbers of Stormy Petrels — probably 
Thalassidroma ivilsoni in the greatest abundance, with a light 
brown bar across the wings and back. They flew or settled on the 
water within a few feet of the ship, stopping to pick up any- 
thing floating, or that was thrown to them. When the ship 
resumed her course they left us. 

On the 18th, we were enveloped in dense fog. Occasionally 
the ship passed through an oasis of clear atmosphere extending 
for a few miles, and then again into another thick bank of fog. 

390 Capt. Taylor on Birds observed on the North Atlantic. 

Indeed the fog-trumpet was sounding most of the time after we 
left New York. Of course, under these circumstances, when it 
is with difficulty that one can see the length of the ship, orni- 
thological observations become very limited. The air had been 
getting colder daily, and the passengers were all putting on 
warm clothes. 

On the 19th we passed Cape Race at 4 a.m. Dense fog and 
unpleasantly cold. Nothing but experience could have made 
me believe, on leaving New York, where the heat was more 
than tropical, that so short a time would produce so great 
a change. At 11 a.m. the thermometer on deck suddenly 
fell to 37°, no doubt owing to the proximity of ice. Night 
very thick. 

20th, about 9 a.m., we passed within two miles to the south 
of a large iceberg. Every one rushed on deck to see it ; but 
the atmosphere was thick and hazy, with cold rain falling, so 
that it did not appear to advantage. It was very symmetrical, 
with high peaks or pinnacles, and of a dead white — in which 
I was disappointed, for I had expected to see it more of a 
bluish tint; but this might have been owing to the absence of 
sunshine. It stood high out of the water, with sides perpendi- 
cular as a wall. There were numerous caverns and recesses, and 
a wide split or rent, which apparently would soon open and a large 
portion become detached. It was a fine sight, and on a sunny 
day would have been magnificent. We probably passed others 
during the night, but, owing to the thick fog, they were not seen. 

21st. The sea was smooth. I saw a large flock of Shear- 
waters, P. major, and occasionally small trips of them during 
the day. Hitherto I had only seen a few occasionally, and now 
and then some Fulmars ; but the Stormy Petrels were more 
abundant than they were on the voyage out, generally follow- 
ing in the wake of the ship. 

On the 33rd, when we were about 350 miles from the Irish 
coast, a pair of Curlews passed the ship, bound to the eastward. 
When I first noticed them they were at some distance, and I 
saw them through a glass. They then flew near the ship, as if 
to reconnoitre, and went rapidly ahead, flying just above the 
surface of the water. 

Mr. H. Saunders on the Ornithology of Italy and Spain. 391 

24'tb. Soon after 11 a.m. the land was sighted, the Skelhg 
Rock, 700 feet high, a breeding-station of Gannets. It has a 
very picturesque appearance, rising straight out of the sea, with 
a pointed and serrated top, and a white line like a road wind- 
ing round its western side. We passed at some distance. The 
first land neared was the Bull, the westernmost of three rocks, 
the others being called the Cow and Calf, on the last of which 
is a lighthouse. The Bull has a passage entirely through its 
base like an archway or tunnel, apparently (at the distance we 
were) amply large enough for a railway train to pass through. 
The rock itself appears like a large heap of limestone. Num- 
bers of white sea-birds were flying around, most probably Gulls 
and Gannets ; but the distance was too great to determine their 
species, even with a glass ; for although the day was fine and, 
for these stormy regions, very favourable for observation when 
near, still the atmosphere was hazy : and I consider myself most 
fortunate ; for one rarely has the chance of seeing this locality 
at all, and still more rarely in fine weather. The outward- 
bound steamers always pass in the night; and the chance is but 
small that those homeward bound pass during daylight and 
enjoy fine weather as well. And there are probably but few 
days in the year when a small vessel could reach these sea- 
bird haunts with any certainty of returning within a reasonable 
time. From here we passed along the coast past Browhead sig- 
nal-station, then between Cape Clear and the Fastnet Rock, on 
which the lighthouse is now placed, to Queenstown, arriving 
tliere at 10 p.m. Along the coast I observed numbers of Shear- 
waters, Pvffinus anglorum — being much smaller and darker in 
colour than P. major, and with sharper points to the wings. 
There were also rock-birds and Kittiwakes in abundance, and a 
few Gannets. Here my observations came to an end, excepting 
only a few Terns seen off Holyhead the following day when we 
arrived in the Mersey. 

XXXVI. — Notes on the Ornithology of Italy and Spain. 
By Howard Saunders, F.Z.S. 
Having passed the last winter and spring in Italy and Spain, 
I am enabled to offer some farther observations upon the orni- 
thology of those countries. 

392 Mr. H. Saunders on the Ornitholof/i/ 

Owing to the oft-reinarked scarcity of birds, except Magpies,' 
in France, my outward journey by way of Paris and Lyons calls 
for no observations. At Avignon there is a tolerable pro- 
vincial collection in the Musee Requien ; but although one of 
the Professors informed me that Potamodus cettii and jEgithalus 
pendulinus were two of the most characteristic birds of the 
marshy Camargue, he could give me no information as to the 
breeding-places of Lai-us gelastes and Phcenicupterus roseus, the 
latter being, I believe, a very rare and irregular breeder in that 
district. Driving from Avignon to Nimes, some Tawny Pipits 
[Anthus rufescens), a few Crested Larks, small flocks of Linnets, 
half a dozen Song- Thrushes, and one Redstart {Ruticilla jjhce- 
nicura) were the only birds I saw ; but then such a furious mistral 
was blowing as would have prevented any sensible bird from 
unnecessary locomotion. At Nimes the collection of the late M. 
Crespon is going fast to decay ; but it is still highly valuable as 
illustrating the fauna of Provence, and contains a fine series of 
birds of prey, specimens of Ph(enicopte7-us roseus and Larus 
gelastes, with the eggs of both species, taken by M. Crespon 

At Marseilles the new Museum was not yet open ; so I was 
unable to examine the Otogyps auricularis mentioned in the 
'Richesses Ornithologiques du Midi de la France/ With the 
exception of Rock- Martins [Cotyle rupestris) and abundance of 
Black Redstarts [Ruticilla tithys) along the Cornice road to 
Genoa, my note-book is, ornithologically, silent until my arrival 
at Milan. Here I visited the superb collection of the Counts 
Turati, whose complete series of nests, eggs, and down-clad 
young of the birds which breed in Lombardy is in course of 
illustration by Signor Eugenio Bettoni (c/. Ibis, 1868, p. 106). 
Although the author mentions Anthus richardi as one of the 
" characteristic species " of the Lombard plain, he must not, I 
imagine, be understood to mean that it is in any way abun- 
dant, or even constant, in that province ; for the Counts Turati 
assured me that it has never been discovered breeding there, 
and that, judging from the number of specimens enumerated as 
obtained in England, it is more common with us than with 
them. That its appearance is confined to the plains of Lorn- 
hardy is probably the author^s meaning. 

of Italy and Spain. 393 

Of course I examined the new and unique European bird 
Syncecus lodoisice [cf. Ibis, 1862, p. 380), which in my profane 
ignorance I considered a dark variety of Coturnix communis ; 
but not wishing to lower myself further in the opinion of the 
possessors of this rarity, or of its godfathers, Messrs. Jules Ver- 
reaux and 0. des Murs, 1 will limit myself to saying that 
new Australian species, or whatever it may be, was undoubt- 
edly captured alive in Lombardy, and showed no signs of having 
escaped from confinement. 

In the Palazzo Correr there is a fair local collection, and a far 
better one at Bologna. At Florence the natural-history de- 
partment is at present hardly worthy of the new capital of 
Italy, the finest collections being at Turin, which I was unable 
to visit owing to severe cold and heavy falls of snow. At Pisa, 
under the able direction of Dr. Savi, the father of Italian orni- 
thology, whose acquaintance I had the pleasure of making, the 
Museum would be an honour to any country ; and no frequenter 
of our British Museum could help blushing if he compared the 
hideously distorted objects which our authorities are pleased to 
term " type specimens " with these life-like groups from the 
hand of an Italian at once naturalist and artist. The celebrated 
groups by Mr. John Hancock, of Newcastle, are the only ones 
with which I can compare those of Pisa. Especially worthy of 
notice is a group of Hose Pastors on a fruit-tree, and a flock 
of Starlings on the decomposed head of a goat. Perhaps the 
most taking of all is a vixen fox and litter; and, for spirit, a 
wolf fighting with two sheep-dogs is unrivalled. 

But to return to Florence. The Museum possesses a mounted 
Alca impennis, for which, or for another recently purchased for 
the King, some exorbitant price was paid *. In the Zoological 
Gardens in the Cascine is an immense live Raven, labelled 

[* We have some reason for believing that the specimen in the Mu- 
seum at Florence is one of those that passed through the hands of the 
late apothecary Mecklenburg, of Flensborg, from whom it was bought 
by Heer Frank, of Amsterdam, and by him sold to Dr. Michahelles in Nu- 
remberg, whence it was transferred to its present abode. The specimen 
now in the King of Italy's collection at Veneria Reale was formerly 
Pastor Brehm's, who obtained it in 1832 from the Museum of Copen- 
hagen. — Ed.] 

N. S. VOL. V. 2 E 

394 Mr. H. Saunders on the Ornithology 

Corvus maximus, a title he well deserves. The remaining attrac- 
tions are two Bears^ two African Elephants, some Rabbits, Phea- 
sants, Pigeons, and albinisms of Cervus elaphus and C. dama, 
which looked very ghastly on a wet December afternoon. 

In the market I never found anything worthy of notice ; a 
few Mallards and Pochards, Skylarks, Thrushes, and Jays are ail 
I have noted. A single brace of Barbary Partridges {Caccabis 
petrosa) were held up for sale one day; but it is quite impossible 
to say whence they came. 

Leaving the kingdom of Italy and entering the States of the 
Church, small birds became more numerous, as did also birds 
of prey. Near Orte an Eagle, probably Circaetus gallicus, was 
observed sweeping over a wooded ravine ; and Kites {Milvus 
ictinus), Marsh- and Hen-Harriers were not unfrequent. Du- 
ring a stay of a month in Home I observed all the above species 
on the Campagna, the first being almost as abundant as the 
Common Kestrel [Tinnunculus alaudarius). One Circus cinera- 
ceus of the year, a Peregrine Falcon, two Sparrow-Hawks, and 
one common Buzzard, also came under my observation, alive or 
in the market. Nailed to a barn-door I found the dried re- 
mains of Hypotriorchis eleonorce, which, from the size, was pro- 
bably a female ; and this, with Ephialtes scops similarly cruci- 
fied, and Sti'ix flammea, completes my list of Accipitres. I 
may add that in the frescoes designed by Raphael on the ceiling 
of the Farnesine Palace, the " Bird of Jove " depicted is easily 
recognizable as Aquila bonellii in the first yearns plumage. 

Grey Wagtails, Hawfinches, Greenfinches, Linnets, Bull- 
finches, Cisalpine and Rock-Sparrows^ Buntings, Crested, Sky-, 
Wood- and Calandra Larks, Blackcaps, Starlings, Thrushes, 
Blackbirds, and large bunches of Wrynecks make up my unin- 
teresting list of the smaller birds. 

Although the Blue Rock-Thrush [Petrocinclacyanea) is al- 
ways to be found about the Coliseum, the Baths of Caracalla, 
and, indeed, any large ruin, yet I never noticed a specimen in 
the market, in which respect my experience tallies with that of 
Mr. Sclater, as expressed in his list of Roman birds, published 
some years ago (Zoologist, 1854, pp. 41 60-41 64). Black Redstarts 
and Rock-Doves [Columba livia) are the other inhabitants of 

of Italy and Spain. 395 

Roman ruins ; and along the Appian Way the Stone-Chat is 
very abundant, being considered too small for " caccia^^ by the 
natives. Rooks and Hooded Crows are abundant in the Cam- 
pagna ; and I once heard and saw a small flock of our Choughs 
{Pyrrhocorax graculus). Jackdaws are numerous in the city, and 
a small club held their daily gatherings in front of my windows 
on the Corso. In Spain I never saw one about habitations, but 
only far away in the wooded cotos. Black game {Tetrao 
fetrix) and Pheasants were frequently to be seen in the market ; 
but they came by rail from a distance. The Red Partridges in 
the market were all Caccabis saxatilis. Perdix cinerea is also 
brought in, and, even in winter, a few Quails are never wanting. 

In the celebrated mosaic from the Baths of Caracalla, a 
Barbary Partridge (C petrosa) is represented ; so that bird 
was probably considered rare by ancient Romans. Woodcock, 
Snipe and Jacksnipe, Lapwing, and Golden Plover were abun- 
dant ; and occasionally a Curlew, Heron, or Bittern made its 
appearance on the stalls, amongst Bean-Geese {Anser segetum), 
Wigeon, Mallard, Teal, Tufted Duck, Pintail, Pochard, Scaup and 
Gadwall, brought in from the Pontine marshes. One female 
Smew and one Anser erytkropus (Linn.) testified to the hard- 
ness of the winter, the most severe experienced in Italy for many 
years. Larus ridibundus and L. argentatus, the latter especially 
abundant on the Tiber, were the only Gulls I observed alive . 
but L. minutus is not uncommon in autumn and spring. 

Naples and its Museum of Natural History do not call for 
any special remark ; but at Sorrento I was shown a vilely stuffed 
specimen shot near the town, of what the owner called " Gran 
Duca," but it was really a Bubo ascalaphus. 

At the Island of Capri, where I remained some time, I saw 
few birds, excepting a pair of Peregrines, Rock-Martins, and 
Herring-Gulls ; but it is a place for Quails on their passage. 
The boatmen talk of a wonderful little bird, only to be seen on 
the rocks near the Blue Grotto, which I fancy must be Ticho- 
droma muraria, although their description does not tally well 
with that of the Wall-Creeper. 

My next halting-place was Palermo, where there is an excel- 
lent Museum, presided over by a most enthusiastic naturalist, 

2 E 2 

396 Mr. H. Saunders on the Ornithology 

Professor Doderlein, who will in a short time make it the richest 
collection of Eui'opean birds in Italy. The finest specimens of 
Larus gelastes, L. melanocephalus, and L. minutus are to be seen 
here ; and, to my surprise, L.a/na7/a is a regular visitant in winter 
[cf. supra, p. 255). I confess I was as incredulous as any of my 
readers can be, until I had carefully examined a series of speci 
mens*. Larus tridactylus is found, but very rarely. I learned that 
Vultur cinereus is extremely uncommon in Sicily, though abun- 
dant in Sardinia; and indeed, in spite of the similarity in 
raggedness and sparse population to Spain, yet raptorial birds 
appear to be by no means so abundant as in the latter country. 
Apart from ornithology, I cannot imagine a more delightful 
winter residence than Palermo, superior in comfort, cheapness, 
cleanliness, and, I think, in scenery to overrated, foul-smelling 
Naples. At Messina I called on Chevalier Luigi Benoit, the 
author of a well-known work on the birds of Sicily ; but find- 
ing that his collection did not contain any special rarities, and 
a violent sirocco wind rendering life unendurable, I escaped by 
the afternoon train to Catania, where one could at least gaze 
upon Etna and talk of ascending it. It was all talk after all ; 
for the " Casa Inglese " had been broken into by the snow, as 
we found when we got to Nicolosi ; and though Dr. Gemmel- 
laro did his best to send us up, the guides would not go. The 
abominable wind continued for a week, no vessels coming in 
or going out ; and the Museum, though it contained a few good 
things, was soon exhausted. Its rarities are Glaucidium passe- 
rinum, Hirundo rufula, and H. cahirica, and of course the Fran- 
colin {Francolinus vulgaris). At Palermo I was told that this 
last still existed at Terranova, on the south coast, and nowhere 
else. Of the first statement I am doubtful ; of the second I am 
pretty sure; for during a month's stay in Sicily I repeatedly 
oflFered 50 lire for a Francolino in the flesh, without success. 

* We certainly had no American specimens for comparison, and could 
only compare tlie supposed immature birds in winter-plumage with spe- 
cimens of similar age of Larus canus, L. gelastes, L. leucophthalmus, L. 
melanocephalus, L. ridibundus, and L. tridactylus, by the help of the last 
edition of Degland's ' Ornithologie Europ^enne.' The birds in question 
did not belong to uiiy of the species just named. 

of Italy and Spain. 397 

I was unable to stop at the great marshes of Lentini, about 
halfway between Catania and Syracuse ; but a friend told me 
that in all his experience he had never come across their equal 
for Ducks and Snipes. Porphyrio veterum and Fuligula rujina 
were hawked about Catania every day ; but the latter were all 
females, and only one much damaged male was brought to 
me. Anas boschas, Fuligula rufina, and F.nyroca are the three 
commonest breeding Ducks in Sicily. In the winter the Gad- 
wall and Pochard are as abundant as any. All the above men- 
tioned are also found in the marshes of the Anapo, near Syra- 
cuse; and I think that the sportsman and naturalist could not 
well have better winter quarters than the last most interest- 
ing city. There is a fair local museum there, containing, 
amongst other things, Syrrhaptes paradoxus and Otis houhara, 
killed there. The bay was full of Pochards, Divers, Great 
Crested Grebes, and Gulls, especially Lams minutus, L. melano- 
cephalus, and L. ridibundus. The last, which left on the 3rd 
or 4th of March, had scarcely a sign of the hood, whereas L. nie- 
lanocephalus had completely assumed the black head. L. gelastes 
I frequently observed on the Sicilian coast. 

From Sicily to Malta, where I had the pleasure of seeing 
Mr. C. W. Wright's collection ; and in his company I passed 
many agreeable hours : but to his ample Catalogue of the Birds 
of Malta I can add nothing ; so I pass at once to Gibraltar, where 
I arrived on the 17th of March. What a change from the com- 
paratively nonaviferous Italy ! As we drove out to the Monkey 
Battery, Kestrels were hovering along the rocks, Black Chats 
[Saxicola cachinnans) were making love in their own quarrel- 
some manner, the Blue Thrushes, also pairing, were chasing 
one another about the rocks ; over the sea an unfortunate Osprey 
was being bullied by a pair of Ravens, whilst near the signal 
station a Bonelli's Eagle or two might be seen every few mi- 
nutes. Amongst the trees of the promenade our own common 
Blackbirds, Thrushes, Bedbreasts, and Sparrows enlivened the 
scene, whilst Sylvia melanocephala scolded in every clump of 
pines, and the " bu-bu " of the Hoopoe still reminded one of 
the south. A week on the mainland of Italy would not give 
you so many birds as this two hours' drive. 

398 Mr, H. Saunders on the Ornithology 

Of course I was not many hours in Gibraltar before I made 
my way to the Signal-station, where the sergeant showed me a 
nest of Bonelli^s Eagle, from which the young had been hatched 
five or six days prior to my visit. Strange to say, about two 
days after the young were hatched they disappeared from the 
nest ; and as no one could possibly have taken them without the 
cognizance of the signalmen, it is probable that the old birds 
had removed them, annoyed by too much inspection. During 
a week I visited the station every day, having discovered that 
two more pairs of this Eagle were then making their neats — one 
in the very crag on which the battery is perched, the other in a 
projecting buttress of rock to the south. An hour after day- 
break generally found me at the station, where for several hours 
I watched these birds, now dropping down towards Catalan Bay 
to tear up pieces of scrub for their nests, and now diversifying 
their labours by a pounce upon some unfortunate rabbit, which 
was immediately carried off to some neighbouring crag and de- 
voured. The pair whose nest was in full view of the station, 
used to make an old nest their dining-room. I never saw them 
take anything but rabbits ; and it is probably owing to the ex- 
treme abundance of these animals that so many pairs of rapto- 
rial birds are found within so short a distance of one another. 
Such being their quarry, I was of course deprived of the plea- 
sure of seeing them swoop like a Falcon, as described by Lord 
Lilford (Ibis, 1861, pp. 4, 5) ; but they certainly used to skim 
over, and pick up a rabbit, with a graceful gliding flight, unri- 
valled even by the Goshawk, with which this Eagle seems to 
have strong affinities. 

One morning, when unusually early at my post (I had left 
home before sunrise), I noticed a pair wheeling round and per- 
forming antics in the air similar to those of Ravens ; this lasted 
about half an hour, after which they settled to the work of 
nest-building; then came a light breakfast on rabbits, after 
which some half-dozen journeys were made for sticks; then came 
another rabbit, after which they retired — for a digestive nap, I 
suppose. But Bonelli's Eagle was not the only attraction of this 
noble look-out ; mingled with Common Swifts, House-Mar- 
tins, and Swallows were several hundreds of Alpine Swifts 

of Italy and Spain. 399 

{Cypselus melha), and a few pairs of Rock- Martins [Cotyle ru- 
pestris), whilst everywhere the Blue Thrush attracted attention 
by its plaintive note. A pair of Egyptian Vultures were evidently 
contemplating a nest above Catalan Bay, though somewhat de- 
terred by the impudent bullying of a pair of Ravens. 

Though naturally anxious to reach Malaga, so as to visit my last 
year's eyry of Aquila bonellii in the Gaitanes mountains {supra 
p.l84),I was unable to get there till the 24th March, when I found 
a letter saying that my man had discovered this year's nest, and 
that the female was sitting very hard, scarcely leaving the nest 
at all. Starting early before daybreak the very next morning, 
I found myself before midday amongst my old friends in the 
mountains, and, with Juan, Gabriel, and another brother of the 
same distinguished family, set off at once for the Eagle's nest, 
which was situated close to that from which I took the young 
last year. As I wanted the parent bird, Gabriel (the crack shot 
of that family of marksmen) drew his charge, and after substi- 
tuting some of my powder for his own, and carefully loading 
with a single ball, rejoined Juan, who had gone round with the 
ropes to the summit of the cliff. With the remaining brother, 
whose gun was loaded with shot, I clambered to my old post of 
last year, and there waited for those on the top. At last they 
came ; we stood ready : but it took a good deal of shouting and 
several clods thrown down before the female would stir; then 
she darted out like an arrow. Both fired, but she still kept on j 
then suddenly with a sideward motion of her tail, exactly like 
a rudder when the lower gudgeon has given way, she fell like a 
stone into the olive-covered slopes below. When picked up, it 
was found that Gabriel's ball had passed completely through her 
back, nearly dividing the vertebra, which had afterwards given 
way. Juan went down and took the eggs, which are of a bluish 
white, the one fairly marked with reddish brown, the other 
almost unspotted : their shape is more oblong than that of any 
other European Eagle's egg in my collection ; and indeed 1 know 
none with which I could possibly confuse them. I have seen 
dealers' eggs ascribed to A. ncevioides which I have now no 
doubt are those of A. bonellii, as it is one of the commonest 
rock-breeding Eagles on both sides of the Mediterranean. It 

400 Mr. H. Saunders on the Ornithology 

was well that 1 had lost no time ; for on putting the extractor in 
on one side of the best-marked egg, the chick attempted to force 
its way out on the other^ and actually broke the shell ; so the 
extraction cost both time and trouble. The male Eagle was 
brought in a few days afterwards. 

During January and February the winter, even in the moun- 
tains, had scarcely been felt ; but in March cold set in, and, al- 
though I visited Granada, any expedition to the Sierra Nevada 
was again out of the question. At the beginning of April the 
trees were but just bursting into leaf, and the only nest 1 took 
was one of theCitril-finch in the avenues leading to the Alhambra. 
On my return to Malaga I paid two more visits to the moun- 
tains, where I called upon a colony of GrifFon-Vultures, obtain- 
ing many eggs and several young birds. Although we never 
passed a day without seeing at least one Gypaetus harbatus, yet 
my men did not discover its eyry till May 4th, when they took 
a young one, now in my possession, as are also two down-clad 
young of Aquila chrysaetus taken May 27th, all apparently 
hatched about the same time, unless the young Gypaetes prove of 
slower growth than the latter. Two nests of Saxicola cachin- 
nans, one of Petrocincla cyanea, and two young birds of Bubo 
maxinius, with a few eggs of Neophron percnopterus, were all I 
obtained in the mountains this year. 

My cazador, Manuel, at Seville, had not been idle ; and on 
my arrival there I sent him down to the Cotos, being prevented 
from accompanying him, owing to the indisposition of my wife. 
In the clump of trees where Aquila heliaca regularly breeds, 
but wliose nest last year was empty, he found one egg, somewhat 
incubated; in another nest of the same species, however, he found 
four eggs, which, judging from the family likeness, are all the 
produce of the same female. On blowing them, one proved con- 
siderably incubated; another, having been partially so, had turned 
bad ; and the remaining two were nearly fresh. The usual list 
of Goto birds and eggs, with a much damaged female Circus 
pallidus and two eggs, and two very black males of C. cinera- 
ceus, were the fruits of this expedition ; and subsequent ones 
produced little novelty. About this time Lord Lilford arrived 
in Seville, and took over my Manuel, whilst I proceeded to his 

of Italy and Spain. 401 

former ground at Aranjuez to take up with his Manuel and the 
faithful AgapOj aforetime mentioned in 'The Ibis' (1866, p. 183). 
Before leaving Seville I paid a visit to Jerez, and, through the 
kindness of a friend, became the possessor of several valuable 
eggs, notably some of Phoinicopterus 7-oseus. 

On arriving at Aranjuez I found that Manuel de la Torre was 
away in the Guadarrama collecting eggs of Vultur cinereus ; 
but after a few hours Agapo turned up, and we at once went 
out after Great Spotted Cuckoo [Oxylophus glandarius), \Yhic\i 
is far more abundant here than it is in the Cotos, depositing its 
eggs as there, in nests of Pica melanoleuca. The largest number 
I ever found in one nest was six j and in one nest four eggs, in 
others one or two was the number. Although I never actually 
saw the Cuckoo deposit its egg, yet I saw one fly past me which 
I feel sure had something like an egg in its gullet ; from the 
side of another nest I saw the Cuckoo go oflF, leaving a broken 
IMagpie's egg at the foot of the tree, and in the nest an egg of 
her own wet with yelk. As we came up, her bead was in the 
nest ; and she fairly backed out, which she would never have 
done if it were her habit to lay her egg in the nest as ordinary 
birds do, in which case her head would have been looking out- 
wards. It seems to me pretty positive proof that the Cuckoo 
flew to the Magpie's nest with her own egg in her mouth, deposited 
it there, took out an egg of the Magpie's, crushed it with her 
bill, and, dropping the fragments outside, returned to arrange 
her own egg comfortably in the place now vacant. If not, why 
does it constantly, I may say generally, happen that the Cuckoo's 
egg is smeared with yelk whilst the remaining Magpie's eggs 
are as constantly clean ? I also noticed that when a Cuckoo 
was near, the Magpies could hardly be induced to leave their 
nests, whereas at other times there was no hesitation on their 
part. Any one who could give a week's attention to this point 
could easily settle it by the aid of a good binocular glass, as the 
Magpies' nests are visible from a long distance, and the mode of 
deposit adopted by the Cuckoo could be easily distinguished. 

Although I had already obtained eggs of the Booted Eagle 
near Seville, it had scarcely begun breeding near Aranjuez; and 
on the 1st of May I was obliged to continue my journey north- 

402 Mr. H. Saunders on the Ornithologij uf Italy and Spain. 

wards to Madrid. Here I found Manuel with a splendid series 
of eggs of Cinereous Vulture ; and as he informed me that he 
had robbed every nest he knew of, it was useless to go up into 
the Guadarrama this year. He had also taken a nest of Dipper, 
which he considered a great rarity ; but, unfortunately, he had 
not secured the bird, so I am unable to say whether it is Cinclus 
aquaticus or C. melanog aster. I expect some skins in a few 
weeks from the province of Santander. 

During this visit I have quite convinced myself of the exis- 
tence oi Aquila navioides in Spain*, having examined various 
stuffed specimens ; and in the Due de Montpensier's gardens at 
Seville there is a magnificent live bird of this species, taken last 
year from the nest in the woods near Cordova. I was also in- 
formed that it came from a brood of four — an assertion I then 
doubted; but after the example already furnished by the Impe- 
rial Eagle, it may be true. My informant added that this species 
often netted on scrub and tussocks, but a few feet from the 
ground, after the manner of the Harriers; and considering 
its affinities with A. ncBvia, and Mr. Hudleston's experience 
of that bird's breeding-places in the Dobi"udscha (Ibis, 1861, 
p. 368), this is not improbable. In the Madrid Museum is a 
fine series of this bird ; but although Manuel knew it, yet I 
could not learn that he had ever found it breeding, and I my- 
self have never been able to recognize it in a wild state. 

As I am now preparing a list of the birds of Southern Spain, 
any further remarks would probably result in useless repetition; 
but before closing this notice I would draw attention to the 
abundance of birds in that country as compared with Italy ; and 
I refer not merely to abundance of species but of individuals. 
It would be manifestly unfair to mention the spring and sum- 
mer visitors to the former, as I have not passed those seasons 
in Italy; but compare the market of Rome, by far the richest in 
Italy, with that of Seville, and the deficiency in the former is 
most striking — all the more so because everything is considered 
caccia by the Italians, and consequently all sorts of uneatable 
birds come into the market, whereas the Spaniard, who is a 

* [See the statements of Mr. Sclater (Ibis, 1863, p. 352 ; 1865, p. 369) 
and Lord Lilford (torn. cit. p. 172). — Ed.] 

Capt. Beavan on various Indian Birds. 403 

somewhat dainty feeder, never shoots anything except for the 
pot. Yet, although the Spaniard would scorn to stalk a Chaf- 
finch or a Redbreast from bush to bush, the number of Larks, 
Sparrows, and such like exposed in the markets of Spain is 
fully tenfold more than is to be found in those of Italy ; and yet 
you see bands of small birds even in the most arid parts of Spain 
for individuals in Italy. The fertility of the soil must be pretty 
nearly equal in both countries ; and my own idea is that, whereas 
the greater part of the small birds in Spain are taken by snares 
{costillas) or in nets, the Italian, who is never so happy as 
when he can let his gun off at anything, however insignificant, 
scares the birds out of the country by his incessant popping. 
But, whatever be the reason, even the mere tourist passing through 
by railway from Irun to Cadiz could hardly help observing that 
the general complaint of the absence of birds on the Continent 
by no means applies to Spain, which is, both in species of birds 
and individuals, one of the richest in Europe. 

XXXVII, — Additional Notes on various Indian Birds. 
By R. C. Beavan, Bengal Staff Corps, C.M.Z.S. 

Having had the opportunity of making further observations 
on some of the species belonging to the groups included in my 
former " Notes '' ■^, and especially in the earliest paper of the 
series, I think that a knowledge of them may be of use to those 
interested in Indian ornithology. As befox*e, I follow the ar- 
rangement of Dr. Jerdon in his ' Birds of India,' and the num- 
bers prefixed are the same as in that work. 

84. HiRUNDo FiLiFERA. Wirc-tailcd Swallow. 

I have frequently heard from my late friend Dr. Scott that 
this Swallow occurs in some abundance about Umballah in 
certain seasons, and breeds there under culverts and road-bridges 
in that station ; but I myself never observed it there, but did so 
in the cold weather of 1866, near Morar, Gwalior, when out on 
a fishing-excursion with my brother. It is a very beautiful 

♦ Ibis, 1865, pp. 400-423 ; 1867, pp. 430^55 ; 1868, pp. 73-85, 165- 
181, 370-406 5 and (Accipitres) P. Z. S. 1868, pp. 390-402. 

404 Capt. Beavan on various Indian Birds. 

species when seen on the wing, flitting up and down the small 
streams as H. rustica does in England. 

85. HiRUNDO DAURicA. Red-i'umped Swallow. 

I noticed this species, at Simla about the end of April 
1866, now and then about the house, as if in quest of 
a place to build in ; but apparently it does not breed until 
much later ; for I found a nest which was built in the veranda of 
the dak bungalow at Eagoo on the 2nd August, 1866. It was 
then but just finished, and the female had not yet begun to lay 
her eggs. The nest is like that of H. rustica, made of mud, but 
has a funnel-shaped entrance some four or five inches in 
length, continued from the top of the nest along the angle 
caused by the meeting of the wall and the roof. The female 
keeps inside the nest; and from the continued twittering 
which she made when visited by the male, I thought at first 
that the nest contained young ; and it was not until I drove her 
out that I discovered my mistake. I observed this species at 
Simla up to September 15th, when I noticed that it was almost 
the only species visible, and still common. A specimen killed 
on the 18th June at Simla measured : — Length 6*625 in. ; 
wing 4*5 ; tail (imperfect) 3 ; tarsus "5 ; bill from front '9375 ; 
extent 11*5. Bill black ; legs dark reddish brown ; claws black. 

89. CoTYLE SINENSIS. Indian Bank-Martin. 
I observed this species in some abundance on the 1st April, 
1866, when on the march from Umballab to Kalka, and within 
some ten or twelve miles of the latter place. They had appa- 
rently done breeding at this time of year. The following are 
the dimensions of two specimens then procured : — 

Length. Wing. Tail. Extent. Tarsus. Bill from front. 
4-25 3-5 1-625 9-5 -4375 -2 

4-375 3-7 1-75 10 -4375 -25 

The wings exceed the tail by '25 to '375 in. ; the irides are dark. 

98. Cypselus melba. Alpine Swift. 

At Simla, on the 15th September, 1866, my attention was 
drawn by my friend Colonel Gott to a large flight of these elegant 
birds, which were sporting about, at some height in the air, over 
the station. This was my first acquaintance with this species. 

Capt. Beavan on various Indian Birds. 405 

of which, however, Col. Tytler has in his collection specimens 
from this vicinity, noticed in his late paper (Ibis, 1868, p. 195), 
where he also mentions Cypselus leuconyx and Acanthylis cauda- 
cuta, which are two species that did not occur to me when at 
Simla in 1866, though the former may have done so ; for I have 
a note that at Simla, on the 27th April, I observed a pair of 
Swifts which were all black, with only a white rump. At the 
time I ascribed them to 

100. Cypselus apfinis. Common Indian Swift. 

But it is possible, as I did not procure specimens, that they 
may have been C. leuconyx (Jerdon, B. Ind. i. p. 179). I may, 
however, here remark of C. affinis, that Col. Tytler procured 
specimens of this species, which I saw at Simla in 1866, from 
Mount Jacko in that station ; and I see that he notes this spe- 
cies in his recent paper [loc. cit.) . 

104. Dendrochelidon coronata. Indian Crested Swift. 

This species is that mentioned by Col. Tickell as no. 54 in his 
paper on the birds of Borabhum (J. A. S. B. ii. p. 580). My friend 
Mr. Sinclair, of the Bengal Revenue Survey, observed it plentifully 
about Maunbazar, in Maunbhoom, in February 1865. 

109. Caprimulgus albonotatus. Large Bengal Night-jar. 

My dog caught a specimen on the ground on the 27th Feb- 
ruary, 1865, Its wing was 7*125, length to the end of wing 
9 inches. The tail was pulled out by the dog. Dr. Jerdon^s 
description of this species is very meagre, not mentioning the 
colour of the breast or underparts, or the white stripe, which 
extends for "75 in. on each side from the base of the bill, until 
it meets the white neck-patch. I venture to supply the defi- 
ciency. The abdomen and under wing-coverts are transversely 
barred with rufous and black. A semicollar of rufous and black 
feathers, tipped with white, extends below the white neck-patch, 
and below this the breast is of a beautiful mottled ashy-rufous 
hue. The rictal bristles, with the bases of a pure white colour, 
form a prominent feature in this bird. The primai-ies are 
handsomely mottled at their extremities. 

I presented the eggs of this species to the Zoological Society 
of London (P. Z. S. 1864, p. 375), as well as those of two other 

406 Capt. Beavan on various Indian Birds. 

species, C. asiaticus and C. monticolus, all of which I procured 
not at Barrackpore, as there stated, but in the Maunbhoom 

110. Caprimulgus macrurus. Malay Night-jar. 

A Night-jar killed by me at Moulmein on 23rd October, 
1865, agrees tolei-ably well with Dr. Jerdon^s description of this 
species, but has no white bars on the wings, and is perhaps 
therefore a female. The primaries are mottled at their tips. 
Length 11*75, wing 7'75, tail 6-5, tarsus •625, extent 20, bill 
from front '375 in. Dr. Jerdon says of this species (apparently 
as a distinction from C. albonotatus) that the whiskers are white 
at their base ; but, as I have above mentioned, this feature is not 
a distinctive character. 

112. Caprimulgus asiaticus*. Common Indian Night-jar. 

On October 27th, 1865, a specimen of this species flew on 
board the steamer in which I then was, within sight of land, 
between Moulmein and Rangoon, in the middle of the day, 
together with a Turtur camhayensis ; both birds left the vessel 
again after resting for a short time on the shrouds. It is com- 
monly called the "Ice -bird" in India. 

114. Caprimulgus MONTICOLUS. Franklin^s Night-jar. 

A specimen procured by me on March 9th, 1865, measured : 
— ^length 10*25 ; wing 8, tail barely 5, tarsus -875, extent 
23-25 in. 

115. Harpactes fasciatus. Malabar Trogon. 

This is noted by Col. Tickell as Trogon duvaucelii in his paper 
on the birds of Borabhum and Dhulbhum (J. A. S. B. ii. p. 580). 
He there says of it : — " The solitary specimen seen was killed 
near Dam para Dholbhum. It frequents the thickest jungle at 
the bottom of ravines and dried rocky nalas, flying from tree to 
tree, with a wild querulous note like the mewing of a cat. It 
pursues and catches insects on the wing, like the Muscicapa : 
the stomach of the present specimen was crammed with them." 

* In Dr. Jerdon's description of this species (B. Ind. i. p. 197), after the 
words " the outermost feathers," in line 11 from the top, ought to be in- 
serted the words '< of the tail." 

Capt. Beavan on various Indian Birds. 407 

Harpactes orescius*. 

I procured this handsome Trogon in Burmah, on Korkarit 
Island, in the middle of the river Salween, on the 17th Au- 
gust 1865. Its dimensions were as follows: — Length 11, 
wing 4-625, tail 6*75, tarsus '5, bill from front '625, extent 13 
inches. The bill and skin of the eyes and feet were bright blue in 
colour. The head, throat and neck a greenish-yellow, extend- 
ing to halfway down the breast, where it is met by orange- 
yellow, which latter merges into bright yellow on the belly and 
under tail-coverts. The back and upper tail-coverts are of a 
rufous-maroon. The wings are banded with black and white ; 
the tail is black, with its outer feathers tipped with white, and 
some of them white for a considerable distance along their 
length. This beautiful Trogon lives in the thick forest jungle, 
where there is but little underwood and progression is easy for 
the naturalist, and is found in flocks or small parties of eight 
or ten. Each bird seems, however, to forage entirely "on his 
own hook "; it suddenly darts out from the tree it may be seated 
on, seizes an insect, and, after devouring it on a branch, sits 
there so very silently and quietly that it is next to impossible 
to see it. They are not shy ; but the colour of their plumage 
assimilates so closely to that of the surrounding foliage 
that observation is very difficult in consequence. The female 
resembles the male in plumage, but is altogether more dully 
coloured. Having previously expended all my shot, I killed 
one with a bullet ; but it was too much knocked about to pre- 

117. Merops vtridis. Common Indian Bee-eater. 

Occurs about Moulmein during the whole of the rainy season; 
but although residing there from July 2nd to October, 1865, 
I did not observe it breeding there. I mention this with re- 
ference to Dr. Jerdon's statement that " Mr. Blyth observed 
them breeding near Moulmein as late as the middle of August." 

122. Nyctiornis athertoni. Blue-necked Beetle-eater. 
I procured my first specimen of this handsome bird at Moul- 

* Cf. Lord Walden's paper on birds collected by me in the Tenas- 
serim provinces of Burmah (P. Z. S. 1866, pp. 537^56). 

408 Capt. Beavan 071 various Indian Birds. 

mein on the 21st September, 1865, in Col. Brown's garden, in 
the evening. It was seated on the dead bough of a tree which 
overhung the tank, from which it sallied forth every few minutes, 
like the ordinary Bee-eater, and returned to its perch with an 
insect. At first I mistook it for a species of Dicrurus, as its 
green plumage looked dark in the absence of sunlight. It 
allowed me to approach within easy shot, without seeming at 
all annoyed by my presence. The measurements of my speci- 
men differ considerably from those given by Dr. Jerdon : — 
Length 13*125, wing 5-125, tail barely 5, tarsus "5, bill from 
front 1'75, tail beyond wing 3'5 in., — giving a difference of "875 
in. in the whole length, and of '375 in. in the wing, which is a 
good deal. 

N. amicta, although said by Dr. Jerdon (B. Ind. i. p. 212) to 
inhabit Burmah, did not, however, occur to me in that country. 
I fancy it will in all probability be found somewhere to the 
south of Moulmein. 

124. CoRACiAS AFFiNis. Burmcse Roller. 

Tolerably common about Moulmein, but very wary and diffi- 
cult to approach. I however managed to get a specimen at 
Tonquine on the 23rd September, 1865, of which I subjoin the 
dimensions : — Length 1325, wing 7*375, tail 5*125, tarsus 
barely 1, bill 1*375 in. Legs dirty yellow, claws black, irides 
brown, bill black. 

127. Halcyon leucocephalus*. Brown-headed Kingfisher. 

Dr. Jerdon says of this species that the legs are "dull scarlet;" 
but in specimens procured by me at the Andamans, in June 
1865, they were of a bright coral-red colour [cf. Ibis, 1865, 
pp. 407, 408) ; and the lower mandible of the bill is of the 
same colour, but rather darker towards the tip. 

129. Halcyon fuscus. White-breasted Kingfisher. 

Procured by me from INIount Harriet, on the Andaman 
Islands, on June 19, 1865 (Ibis, 1867, p. 319) ; again on the 
Thatong Creek, in the Martabau district of Burmah, on the 
4th October in the same year ; and again at Solon, on the cart- 

* Cf. Lord Waldeu's paper on my Tenasserim birds (P. Z. S. 1866, 
pp. 537-556). 

Capt. Beavan on various Indian Birds. 409 

road to the plains, about thirty miles from Simla, in the N.W. 
Himalayas, at an elevation of from 4000 to 5000 feet. The last 
I shot from a tree overhanging a tank in the middle of the vil- 
lage, on the 18th October, 1866. 

130. Halcyon atricapillus. Black-capped Purple King- 

I found this species tolerably abundant about the tidal creeks 
and rivers at Moulmein in 1865. A specimen, a male by dis- 
section, was procured by me there in very fine and perfect plu- 
mage, on the 14th of September in that year. Its dimen- 
sions were as follows : — Length barely 12, wing 5, tail 3"25, 
exceeding the wing, when closed, by 2*25 ; tarsus '5625, bill 
from front 2"375 in. Irides dark brown ; bill and legs coral-red, 
the latter with a darker tinge above ; the claws brown-black. 
The breast-feathers in this specimen have slight dark fringes or 
pencilliugs on them ; the throat is a pure white, which is met 
below by a rufous semicollar. This latter colour meets on the 
abdomen, and extends thence throughout the lower parts to the 
lower tail-coverts. I shot this specimen in Col. Brown^s garden 
at Moulmein. 

132. ToDiRHAMPHUS coLLARis. Whitc-collared Kingfisher. 

In a former notice of this species (Ibis, 1867, p. 319) a 
slight mistake occurs ; the bill should have been said to be 
1*625 in. in length, instead of 1"52. 

134. Alcedo BENGALENsis. Common Indian Kingfisher. 
I procured a single specimen in November 1866, at Umbal- 
lah, where, however, it is far from common. 

140. HoMRAius BicoRNis. Great Hornbill. 

Col. Brown had one about two-thirds grown, in captivity, at 
Moulmein, in July 1865. It Hved chiefly on plantains, which it 
ate voraciously, catching them when throv/n into the air, and 
then with a gulp swallowing them down. It made a horrid 
loud noise when hungry, the voice sounding like the " hough ! 
hough!" of a troop of monkeys when they see an enemy in 
the jungles. The Burmese call this species " Oukchingce " (Big 
Hornbill), and sometimes also " Yonia." I observed several spc- 

N.S. — VOL. V. 2 F 

410 Capt. Bcavan on various Indian Birds. 

cimcns in the forest which covers Horkarit Island in the river 
Sal ween, in August, 1865. 

142. Hydrocissa albirostris. Bengal Pied Hornbill. 

I observed this species in Maunbhoom as especiallj^ abundant 
near Ambekanuggur, and in Burmah still more so, along the 
banks of the river Salween. In the latter situation I generally 
observed them in small parties of six or eight. They made a 
tremendous noise in the jungles. " Ouk-chin" is the Burmese 
name, although sometimes called " Oak- chin- ge-lay " (Little 
Hornbill) in contradistinction to the preceding species. 

144. Meniceros bicornis. Common Grey Hornbill. 

At Umballah on 16th November, 1866, 1 procured a specimen, 
the dimensions of which exceed those given by Dr. Jerdon. 
They are as follows : — Length 23-25 in., wing (not stretched 
out at all) 8'5 in,, tail 12*5, tarsus 1-7, spread of foot under- 
neath 3-25, bill from front 3°75, from gape 3-875, extent about 
29 in., the last measurement being the only one wherein Dr. 
Jerdon's dimensions exceed mine, which were taken from the 
bird in the flesh. 

147. PALiEORNis ALEXANDRi. Alexandrine Parrakect. 
Noticed by the late Dr. Scott as abundant at Umballah in 

August, 1867, but a merely temporary visitor at that station, and 
apparently arriving there just after the young birds of the year 
are flown. Most specimens are then in bad plumage. In 
what part of India does this species breed ? I never observed it 
doing so in the Maunbhoom district. 

148. Pal/Eornis torquata. Rose-ringed Parrakeet. 

This species is excessively abundant about gardens at Umbal- 
lah in the cold weather, and in March I saw one or two pairs 
breeding there in holes of trees. They are a great nuisance 
when close to a house, as their harsh shriek is peculiarly dis- 
agreeable when uttered every few seconds. Their eggs were 
hatched about the 25th March, and one of them measured 
1 inch by 1-28 in. At Barrackpore in 1864 this species was 
still pretty common u)) to 2nd September. 

Capt. Beavan on vnrious Indian Birds. 41 1 

149. Pal.'eornis ROSA. Rose-headed Parrakeet. 

In Burmah, on the 18th September, 1865, I noticed a large 
Parrakeet (which, however, might perhaps have been P. alexan- 
dri) common in flocks, with a loud and melancholy cry. It 
roosted on the islands in the Salween and Gyne rivers, near 
Moulmein. However, as I could not procure a specimen, I am 
not certain. On the 11th October, I shot one of a pair of Par- 
rakeets which I observed on the top of a high cassia tree in 
Col. Brown's garden, which I referred at the time to P. schis- 
ticeps ; but Dr. Jerdon on seeing my description said it was most 
likely to have been P. rosa. 

This specimen, by dissection a male, measured as follows: — 
length 12, wing 5*25, tail 6-5, tarsus '4375, bill from front 
•625, extent 15 inches. Dr. Jerdon, in his description of 
P. schisticeps (B. Ind. i. p. 261), says that the tip of the bill 
and the lower mandible are yellow — a statement apparently 
quoted from Horsfield (Cat. B. Mus. E. I. Co. p. 615). In my 
specimen the lower mandible is of a dark slate-colour, and the 
tip of the upper mandible barely darker than the rest, which is 
yellow, darkest near the base of the bill. The measurements 
of my specimen do not agree well with those given by Dr. Jerdon 
for either species ; nor does he mention Burmah as a habitat of 
P. schisticeps, although it is included by Dr. Mason (* Burmah/ 
&c., 8vo, Rangoon : 1860, p. 179), who speaks of it as a " Par- 
rakeet common in Nepaul, where it was found and described by 
Mr. Hodgson. It was supposed to be confined to the ' Sub- 
Himalayan region exclusively,' but it was recently shot in Pegu 
by Major Phayre." I was inclined before dissection to think 
that my specimen was possibly a female of P. rosa ; but the sex 
being male, and the fact that its mate (there were only a pair), 
seen through a powerful glass, had the same coloured head as 
this, made me consider that it belonged to the true P. schisticeps. 

150. Pal^ornis schisticeps. Slaty-headed Parrakeet. 
Specimens in the flesh from Simla measui-e as follows : — 





Bill from gape. 


Adult 17 






Young] 12-25 
^ 112-25 






2 F 2 



412 Capt. Beavan on various Indian Birds. 

In the adult the head is dark slate-colour, quite different in 
hue from that of the female of P. rasa, which has it of a very 
much lighter colour. The black edging to the lavender-colour 
on the nape is very narrow — a mere line, in fact ; and next to it 
is a patch of bright verditer-green, which gradually blends with 
the ordinary green of the back. At the base of the primaries 
is a bright yellow spot, brighter in some specimens than in 
others. The bill is as described by Dr. Jerdon, except that the 
upper mandible is conspicuously coral-red tipped with yellow, 
the legs and claws being of a dirty light yellowish-green. 

The preserved young, killed 2nd June, 1866, have merely a 
trace of the slate-colour on the head, mixed with the otherwise 
green feathers, no wing-spot, and the yellow below the tail of a 
much duller hue. The blue and yellow on the tail above are 
very slight. 

153. LoRicuLUs VERNALis. Indian Lorikeet. 

I procured specimens of this pretty little bird on the banks of 
the river Salween, in Burmah, on the 18th August, 1865, and 
noticed that the irides are white in some examples, and light- 
brown in others — probably young birds ; the bill in all was 
orange; the legs yellow. Specimens in the flesh measured, 
length 5-25 to 5-5, wing 3-375 to 3-5, tail 1*375 to 1*5, extent 
9'75 to 10*25, bill from front nearly "5 in. 

154. Picus HiMALAYANUS. Himalayan Pied Woodpecker. 

I give the measurements of a male and female — the former 
killed by myself at Mahasoo, near Sirnla, on the 2nd October, 
1866, and the latter by Col. Tytler at Simla, 21st June. 

Length. Wing. Tail. Tarsus. Bill from front. Spread foot. Extent, 
S. 9-25 5 3-45 -875 1-1875 l-87o 14-75 

§. 9-25 5 3-625 -75 1-25 1-75 13-75 

The irides in both sexes are of a reddish-brown colour, the 
bill is dark slate- or lead-colour in the female, the legs dark 
dirty-green, with lead-coloured claws. The species is not very 
abundant about Simla. 

159. Picus brunneifrons. Brown-fronted Woodpecker. 
This species on the contrary is the most abundant of its genus 
at Simla and in its immediate neighbourhood. I procured a 

Capt. Beavau on various Indian Birds. 413 

pair there on lith April, 1866, and a second female a month 
later, of which I subjoin the dimensions. 

Length. Wing. Tail. Tarsus. Bill from front. Extent. Spread foot. 

S. 8-125 4-5 3 -75 1 13-8 1-625* 

?. 7-G25 4-25 3 -6875 -875 13 1-375 

?. 7-G25 4-375 2-875 -6875 -875 12-5 

The irides in both sexes are reddish brown. The middle tail- 
feathers exceed the rest by -5, '25, and -625 respectively. 

A species of Woodpecker, procured by me in Burmah at 
Schway-goon, on the banks of the river Salween, on the 8th 
August, 1866, is referable either to Picus atratus, Blyth, or 
Yunffipicus canicapillus, Blyth [cf. J. A. S. B, xviii. p. 803), 
probably the latter, as the whole length of the former is 
in the place referred to given as 8 inches? The dimensions 
of my specimen are as follows : — Length 5, wing 3, tail 1*5, 
tarsus "5, extent 9, bill from front '625 in. The head is ash- 
coloured, the neck black with a few crimson feathers, a white 
elongated patch behind the eye, ear-coverts hair-brown, back 
banded with white and black, irides reddish-brown, wing black 
with white spots, five on each quill, lower back and rump white 
with rather confused black bars ; the breast is hair-brown with 
elongated black centres to the feathers, which are also of a pe- 
culiar hair-like texture, tail brownish, obscurely barred, bill 
horn-colouredj legs greenish. 

What, may I here ask, is the Yungipicus moluccensis from 
Malacca and Java, mentioned by Dr. Jerdon (B. Ind. i. p. 279) ? 
is it the Picus malaccensis of Latham, described anew by Mr. 
Blyth (J. A, S. B. xiv. p. 192) ? 

166. Chrysocolaptes sultaneus. Golden-backed Wood- 

Dr. Jerdon gives the length of this species as about 2^ inches, 
meaning probably 12^. I am nearly sure that I procured this 
fine species in the valley of the Great Ruugeet River, near Dar- 
jeeling, in 1860-61 ; but, as I made no notes,'! have no positive 
proof to support my supposition. 

* Dr. Jerdon gives the spread of tlie foot as 2f inches ; but that ia evi- 
dently meant, I should imagiue, for If. 




April 11, c?. 




May 10, $. 




414 Capt. Beavan on various Indian Birds. 

170. Gecinus SQUAMATUS. Scaly-bclliecl Green Woodpecker. 

This species was abundant about Simla in April 1866, and the 
plaintive call " tee-ah-tee " of the male was repeatedly heard 
throughout the pine-woods. I procured specimens of both sexes, 
of which I subjoin the dimensions : — 

Tarsus. Bill from front. Extent. 
1-125 1-75 17-5 

1-0G25 1-75 18-5 

The irides in both sexes are the same — a circle of dark pink- 
ish-red round the black pupil, surrounded by a second ring of 
light pink. The bill has the upper mandible horn-coloured at 
the base, the tip and the whole of the lower mandible being of 
a brightish yellow. I did not observe the black line on each 
side of the chin and throat mentioned by Dr. Jerdon ; the cheek- 
stripe in the male was of a mixed black and white ; the upper 
tail-coverts in the same bird are of bright glistening greenish- 
yellow, and the end of the crest, where it meets the green of 
the neck, is slightly tipped with yellow. 

On the 10th May I found the nest of this species with young 
ones; it was a round hole in the trunk of the common Simla 
cedar [Cedrus deodara), apparently dug out by the bird itself, 
and too small to admit even the small hand of a native boy, so 
that I was unable to get a sight of the young. 

Gecinus viridanus, Blyth, was procured by me at the foot of 
Zwagaben, a limestone hill, described by me in a letter to the 
Zoological Society (P. Z. S. 1866, p. 2). Length 12-5, wing 
5*5, tail 4'75, tarsus 1, bill from front V'o, extent 16 in. Irides 
dark purple, bill dark horn-colour above, greenish-yellow beneath, 
excepting the tip, which is (as usual in this genus) darker ; the 
legs and claws are of a dull gi'eeuish-yellow colour {cf. P. Z. S. 
1866, pp. 537-556). 

173. Chrysophlegma flavinucha. Large Ycllow-naped 

The late Dr. Scott noted this species from Nepaul, and ap- 
pears to have received it from his great friend Dr. Wright, who 
used to collect birds for him there — to the best of my knowledge, 
in the ncia;hbourliood of Katmandhu. 

Capt. Beavan on various Indian Birds. 415 

180. Brachypternus aurantius. Golden-backed Wood- 

Besides the localities before mentioned by me (Ibis, 1865, 
p. 411), this species was also procured by me at Ambekanuggur, 
in the Maunbhoora district of the Chota Nagpore division, in 

184. Chrysonotus intermedius. Common Three-toed 

A specimen of this species was killed by me at Kulwee, near 
Moulmein, in the Tennasserim provinces of Burmah, on a wild 
mango tree on the 7th September, 1865. Its dimensions in the 
flesh were as follows: — Length 11'25, wing 5'5, tarsus -8125, 
bill from front 1-25, expanse 14, tail 3-625, hind toe 1. Irides 
a dark reddish-brown. This specimen does not appear to differ, 
except in its dimensions, from Dr. Jerdon^s description of C. 
shorii (B. Ind. i. p. 298). 

186. ViviA iNNOMiNATA. Spccklcd Piculet. 

Dr. Jerdon says that this species is found throughout the 
Himalayas, and " in no other locality that I am aware of." But 
an observation of Mr. Blyth (J. A. S. B. 1859, p. 416) shows 
that it also occurs in Burmah. I procured a specimen at Simla 
on the 3rd July, 1866, which is now, I believe, in Col. Tytler's 
collection. The dimensions of the bird in the flesh were as 
follows: — Length 4*125, wing 2*25, tail 1*25, tarsus -4375, 
spread of foot r0625, bill from front r4375, from gape "5, ex- 
tent 7 inches. Legs light blue ; bill bluish lead-colour ; irides 
apparently brown. The tongue of this species, as Dr. Jerdon re- 
marks, is like that of a Woodpecker, having several barbs along 
the extremity, resembling in this respect many of the arrows 
manufactured by savage nations, who doubtless conceived their 
first idea of such a weapon by being struck by the form of a 
Woodpecker's tongue ; at least such is my opinion. 

191. Megal^ma viRENS. Great Barbet. 

Several specimens of this gaily plumaged bird were procured 
by me at Simla in 1866. The first specimen, killed on the 8th 
May, had the bill orange-yellow at the base, the rest being of a 
light greenish-yellow, and the terminal '875 in. of the upper 




May 8tli. 




July 1st. 




416 Capt. Beavan on various Indian Birds. 

mandible of a purplish-blue. The irides are dark brown, the 
legs a light plumbeous-green, with lead-coloured claws, and the 
soles of the feet a dirty yellow — in some dirty white, with bluish- 
horny claws ; but of course these soft colours are not likely to 
appear exactly the same in every individual killed, since they 
begin to fade so soon after death ; hence the discrepancy. The 
dimensions are as follows : — 

Tarsus. Bill from front. Extent. 
1-125 1-5 18 

1-25 1-375 16-75 

the height of the bill at the base in the latter specimen being 
•5625 in. Dr. Jerdon^s description of the call of this species is 
very good. 

197. Xanthol^ma iNDicA. Crimson-breasted Barbet. 

The dimensions of a specimen procured at Moulmein in Sep- 
tember 1865, agree fairly with those recorded (Ibis, 1865, 
p. 412*) from Maunbhoom. Length 6'625, wing 3*375, tail 
1*75, tarsus "75, extent 10*5 in. In December 1864, as I was 
passing through a tope or grove of mango-trees in Maunbhoom, 
I heard a loud " tap-tap " in one of the trees, as if a Woodpecker 
was hard at work. Being anxious to secure it, if possible, I 
tried in vain for some time to discover its whereabouts, but at 
last spied the author of the noise, clinging to the underside of 
a middle-sized bough, and pecking at the wood. I shot it in the 
act, and it turned out to be a bird of this species. The fact of the 
Barbets tapping wood with their beak is doubted by Dr. Jerdon f ; 
but in this case there can be no question about the matter. Its 
stomach, however, on examination contained only fruit and 
seeds ; but there was nothing to be found in its crop, so that it 
evidently was not feeding at the time I killed it. 

200. CucuLUS HIMA.LAYANUS. Himalayan Cuckoo. 

The following is a description of a specimen procured at Simla 

* The native name of tliis bird is " Phoonk-bussimt," ftovuplioonkna, to 
sound, and hussunt, an old woman (Jidc Jerdon, B. Ind. i. p. 313), — not 
" Phoouk Lussunt." 

t The Doctor, however {torn. cit. p. 307), says that he believes " they 
excavate holes [in trees] for themselves, though this has been doubted ; " 
if so, the process would probably necessitate some tapping. 

Capt. Beavan on various Indian Birds. 417 

on July 1st, 18G6, and regarded by Col. Tytler as the young of 
this species : — Very dark, almost black, banded with white on 
the head, nape, breast, thighs, and under tail-coverts ; less white 
on the throat and upper breast ; back, wings, upper tail-coverts, 
and tail banded with rufous, but most of the feathers have white 
edges ; bill black ; gape orange ; orbital skin, legs, and claws 
light-yellow ; the orbits appear to have been originally of a 
pinkish-brown colour; the nosti'ils are peculiar — circular, and 
raised as a kind of rim with a little detached yellow spot inside, 
which is also raised. Length of this specimen in the flesh 
11*125, wing 6'5, tail 5-45, tarsus '75, spread of foot under- 
neath, including the two outer toes, 1*875, bill from front 
•6875, bill from gape 1'0625, extent 17*5 in. In my opinion this 
was certainly not a nestling, but it may have been a bird of the 
year before its first moult. 

205. HiERococcYx vARius. Common Hawk-Cuckoo. 

At Barrackpore, on the 27th September, 1864, 1 fired at what 
I thought was a Hawk, and killed it on the wing. It turned 
out to be only a fine specimen of this species. All the small 
birds in the vicinity seemed quite scared at its presence. Dr. 
Jerdon also says that small birds often mistake this species for 
the Shikra [Micronisus badius), and pursue it under that im- 

207. HiEROcoccYX sPARVERioiDEs. Large Hawk-Cuckoo? 

A fine specimen, procured at Simla in 1866, was considered 
by me to belong to this species, though Col. Tytler referred it 
to Cuculus himalayanus. Notwithstanding that it does not agi'ee 
at all well with Dr. Jerdon^'s measurements of H. sparverioides, 
being, except in the length of the wing, a considerably smaller 
bird, I cannot help thinking that Col. Tytler was mistaken in 
his identification of this bird. Length 14-25, wing 9-0625, 
tail (slightly abraded) 6-75, tarsus -875, spread of foot under- 
neath 1-5, bill from front 1, bill from gape 1*25, extent 24 in- 
ches. The irides, fleshy orbits, and gape are orange-yellow; 
upper mandible black ; the lower yellow at its base, then green, 
and the tip black ; the legs are of a lighter orange-yellow than 
the gape. The dimensions seem to agree best with those of C. 

418 Capt. Beavan on various Indian Birds. 

varius; but this is apparently not found in the hills. Perhaps 
it is C. striatus of Drapiez ? (Jerd. no. 204) ; but Mr. Blyth 
(Ibis, 1866, p. 359) makes this the same as C. himalayanus 
(Jerd. no. 200). 

209. PoLYPHASiA TENUiRosTRis. Rufous-bellied Cuckoo. 

The specimen before mentioned by me (Ibis, 1865, p. 413) 
as killed at Barrackpore was shot there in September, not Oc- 
tober. Its stomach was filled with caterpillars and other soft 
insects. The feet were of a light yellow, inclined to greenish 
above ; the claws sharp and black ; the upper mandible and the 
tip of the lower was brownish-black, the gape and the rest 
of the lower mandible of a reddish- brown colour. This example 
was probably peculiar in its markings, the primary coverts of the 
wings being white; its length was 9'25. The dimensions of 
another specimen, shot at Moulmeiu on the 28th August, 1865, 
were as follows : — Length 8'875, wing4*25, tarsus "625, bill from 
front '625, extent 11 inches. Iridcs of a dull or brown-red colour, 
the legs yellow, with a greenish tinge on their upper parts. 

212. CoccYSTEs MELANOLEucus. Pied Crested Cuckoo. 

Three specimens were brought to me by my native shikarry, 
at Simla, in July 1866. I notice this fact because Dr. Jerdon 
does not record this species from the Himalayas. 

215. Zanclostomus tristis. Large Green-billed Melkoha. 

A specimen of this bird was procured by me at Tongwine, a 
small village near Moulmein, on the 23rd of September, 1865. 
Its dimensions in the flesh were as follows : — Length 22'375 in,, 
wing 6-25 in., tail (rather abraded) '15 in., tarsus 1*375 in., 
bill from front 1*25 in. The irides were dark brown ; the 
colour of the soft parts as described by Dr. Jerdon. 

220. Taccocua sirkee. Bengal Sirkeer. 

This species was apparently procured by the late Dr. Scott, 
at Umballah, as it is included in the list of the birds sent thence 
by him to the Montrose Museum. 

223. Arachnothera magna. Large Spider-hunter. 

A specimen of this species in fine plumage was procured by 

Capt, Beavan on various Indian Birds. 419 

me on the 14th of August, 1865, at Kyodan, on the Salween 
river, more than a hundred miles above Moulmein ; I shot it in 
the act of feeding (probably on insects) in the inside of the 
large flower of a plantain (Miisa, sp. ?). Its dimensions were as 
follows: — Length 7*5, wing 3-5, tarsus '75, tail 1'95, bill 
from front 1-7, extent 10*5 in, Theirides were dark brown, the 
bill black, and the legs bright orange- yellow, the general colour 
being a dark green, with the feathers centred with black. 

225. ^THOPYGA MILES. Himalayan Red Honey-sucker. 

I procured a fine specimen of this beautiful bird at Moulmein 
on the 1st of September, 1865. It measured as follows: — 
Length 4*875, wing 2*125, tail 1*75, tarsus -5, bill from 
front -75, extent 6*25 in. Tail not fully developed; and 
none of the feathers in it are scarlet. This spegies frequents 
flowering trees, especially the Amherstia — and also low bushes 
and annuals near the ground, when in flower. On the 22nd of 
September, 1865, 1 obtained a specimen at Moulmein, on Custus 
argxjroijlnjllus, a common weed there; I also observed it on my 
trip up the river Salween, in villages, feeding on the flowers of 
the cocoa-nut palm ; its note is a loud piping. The yellow striae 
on the breast occur in this species as well as in the next to be 
mentioned ; they are formed by the base of the scarlet feathers 
being tinged with yellow in a lanceolate shape. 

227. jEthopyga GOULDTiE, Purplc-tailed Red Honey-sucker. 

A specimen of this beautiful bird was sent to me at Simla, by 
Capt. Begbie, who shot it near Kotgurh, some fifty miles in the 
interior, on the great Hindostan and Thibet road, but, I fancy, 
low down at that place, in the valley of the Sutledge river; for 
I do not think that this species frequents high elevations, 
although sometimes in the summer found at Simla, where I 
killed a male on the 12th of August, 1866. It was in my 
garden, feeding on the flowers of Hibiscus. Length 5*875, 
wing 2'25, tail 2*875, tarsus *5, spread of foot underneath 
•8125, bill from front *5625, from gape -6875, extent 6*5 in. 
Irides brown; bill and legs dark brown, the former being 
almost black. The yellow on the breast has a few scarlet 
marks ; and the purple so-called " shoulder-tuft " is not on the 

420 Capt. Beavan on various Indian Birds. 

shoulder of the wing, as hinted by its name, but above it, on 
the lower portion of the neck. 

Nectarinia flammaxillaris, Blyth. 

A specimen, apparently a young male, of this species was 
procured by me at Moulmein, on July 10th, 1865. Tail black, 
the two outer feathers on each side tipped, with white, the second 
on the inner web only ; the back and rump dark olive-green, 
wings darker, a faint yellow streak over the eye, orange spot on 
axillaries, throat bluish purple, with a yellow edging extending 
from the base of the lower mandible; breast, belly and under 
tail-coverts bright yellow ; irides dark brown ; bill, legs and claws 
black. Feeds on flowers, seen alone or in pairs. A specimen, 
probably an adult male, killed at Moulmein, on September 14th, 
1865, has tha following dimensions : — Length 4*5, wing 2*125, 
tail 1*45, tarsus "5, bill from front '6875, extent 6*25 in. 
It has a distinct semicircle of dull brick-red on the breast, 
below the steel-blue throat; below it, again, there are a few 
black feathers; the belly and under tail-coverts are bright 
yellow. The tail has its two middle feathers black, and the 
outer three on each side tipped with white decreasing inwardly. 
Irides reddish-brown, feet and legs black. The female of this 
species is of a pale olive-green colour, with a yellow breast, and 
wants the purple throat of the male. 

Nectarinia hasselti (Temm.). 

A fine specimen of the male of this bird, which is apparently 
rather rare at Moulmein, was procured by me at Moulmein, in 
Col. Brown^s garden there, on the 30th of August, 1865 : — 
Length 3-87, wing nearly 2, tarsus -4375, tail 1*25, bill from 
fi'ont "5, extent 5 in. Irides dark-brown; bill and legs black. 
The head and nape are bright metallic golden-green ; upper 
back black, the upper wing coverts, middle of back and upper 
tail-coverts bright glistening purple, with green and blue 
reflections ; the outer webs of the tail-coverts are of the same 
colour ; from the nostril through the ear-coverts to the upper 
back the colour is black, the neck and throat being of a brilliant 
amethystine with purple reflections ; the breast and upper belly 
are dark maroon-red, the lower belly, under tail-coverts and 

Capt. Beavan on various Indian Birds. 421 

thighs dull brown ; wings dark brown ; tail underneath black. 
Its note is a low piping call. 

234. Arachnechthra asiatica. Purple Honey-sucker. 

The following are the dimensions taken of two females in 
their ashy-grey or breeding-plumage, killed in Maunbhoom on 
the 27th of March, 1865, with their nests : — 

Length. "Wing. Tail. Tarsus. Bill from front. 

4 2-125 1-25 -5 -75 

4-25 2-125 1-375 -5 -75 

They had black bills, and legs nearly of the same colour, but 
with a bluish tinge ; and there was no white on the throat ; so 
that at first I thought that they were females of Leptocoma zey- 
lonica (Jerd. no. 232) ; but after a careful comparison I 
assigned them to this species. 

Some specimens shot at Umballah, October 31st, 1866, where 
the species is abundant, were in the plumage of the Cinnyris 
currucaria, Sykes, which 1 am not aware that I observed be- 
fore in Maunbhoom. In it there is no trace of an axillary 
streak. The wings, tail, and ventral stripe are glossy purple, 
which appears to be all that is left of the breeding-plumage of 
the male. I noticed the species breeding in gardens at Um- 
ballah — I think, in February 1865. 

236. Dictum coccineum. Scarlet-backed Flower-pecker. 

Moulmein seems to be the head quarters of this species ; for I 
found it abundant there in 1865, and in July and August I 
procured several. Of three of these I subjoin the measurements 
in the flesh. It is very difficult to obtain good specimens of this 
species, as it is almost impossible to see it, among the foliage of 
the thick trees it frequents, without the aid of glasses. When 
starting in flight it utters a quick chuckling call, something like 
the ticking of a clock, but of course not so regular, and at times 
repeated more quickly. The ordinary note is " tee-tee-tee.'* 





Bill from front. 



.. 3-625 







.. 3-5 







.. 3-5 






In both the males the side of the neck is brownish ; and they 

422 Capt. Beavan on various Indian Birds. 

also have some black hairs on the head mixed with the scarlet 
feathers. The tail and wings are glossy steel-blue. 

237. Dictum cHRYSORiicEUM. Yellow-vented Flower-pecker. 

I believe that it is to this species, that a Flower-pecker pro- 
cured by me at Moulmein, in August 1865, ought to be re- 
ferred, as Dr. Jerdon saw it at the same place. I subjoin the 
dimensions: — Length 3"625, vnng 1-875, tarsus '45, bill from 
front "4375, extent 5*75 in. The bill is large and strong, with 
the upper mandible considerably curved, rather flat above near 
the nostrils, which are large. The upper mandible is pinkish- 
brown; and the tip of the lower is the same, shading underneath 
into yellow. The irides are dark brown, legs lead-colour. 

Dr. Jerdon^s description of this species is very scanty, and 
hardly sufficient for true identification. 

Dictum trigonostigma (Scop.) ? 

A specimen shot at Moulmein, September 18th, 1865 {cf. 
P. Z. S. 1866, p. 545), belongs either to this species or to the 
preceding. The following are its dimensions : — Length 3"3125, 
wing 1-875, tail '9375, tarsus barely -5, bill from front -4375, 
extent 5*75 in. Irides dark brown ; bill dark brown ; gape 
and under mandible orange, excepting its tip, which is dark 
brown orange ; legs plumbeous. Head and back ashy-green ; 
wings ashy, with green edgings ; quills brown, with ashy 
edgings ; rump orange-yellow ; upper tail-coverts dark green ; 
tail dark brown, the feathers edged with dark bluish-green; 
a tinge of yellow under the lower mandible ; throat ashy ; 
abdomen and under tail-coverts bright yellow, with a tinge of 
green under the wings; under wing-coverts pure white. 

241. Myzanthe ignipectus. Fire-breasted Flower-pecker. 

I observed this species in small parties, about the hill-roads 
at Darjeeling, where I collected specimens in 18G2. Skins were 
sent to me at Simla, in June 1866, by Capt. Begbie, from 
Kotgurh. This is apparently the first time that this species has 
been noticed from the north-western Himalayas. On the 5th of 
July in that year a specimen was brought to me in the flesh by 
my native shikarry, on which I made the following notes : — 
Length 3-625, wing 1-875, tail 1, tarsus barely 5, spread 

Capt. Beavan on various Indian Birds. 423 

of foot underneath -8125, bill from front '37, from gape 38, 
extent 5.75 in. Irides apparently dark brown; bill and legs 
jet-black ; a glossy-green line extends along the middle of 
breast and abdomen, from the vermilion breast-patch to near 
the vent. I fail in seeing the propriety of separating this 
species from Dicaum, and making it into a new genus, as has 
been done by Mr. Hodgson. Following the arrangement of 
Dr. Jcrdon, it ought, in my opinion, to be placed next to Dicaum 
coccineum, and certainly before Piprisoma. 

243. Certhia himalayana. Himalayan Tree-creeper. 
This bird is not at all uncommon in the cedar-woods about 

Simla. Specimens procured there, in 1866, have the following 
dimensions : — 

Length. Wing. Tail. Tarsus. Bill from front. Extent. 

A 5-0 2-75 2-125 -625 -75 7-95 

B 5-2 2-625 2-125 -655 -625 7-75 

C 4-.375 2-25 1-5 -5 -4.375 G-5 

D 4-5 2-25 1-G25 -5625 -5G25 G-5 

The last two are fully fledged young of the year, obtained 10th 
of May. 

In the adult the hind claw alone is equal to '375 in. in length, 
and the bill can scarcely be termed " blackish " as by Dr. Jerdon, 
but may more correctly be described as having the upper man- 
dible brown, and the lower one flesh-coloured, except at the 
tip, which is brown also; the legs are fleshy-brown. The 
superciliary streak in my specimens is fulvous-white ; the tail is 
somewhat abraded; my first specimen, killed 11th of April, 
was shot whilst feeding at the foot of a tree-stump, amongst the 
moss and grass apparently. The second, killed on the 8th of 
May, had the upper mandible dark brown, almost black ; the 
lower one was, like the first, flesh-coloured. On the 10th of May 
I shot a pair of young ones together on a deodar, in some 
crevice of which the nest had probably been ; they were fully 
fledged, but a good deal smaller than the adult bird, as will be 
seen by the above table of their dimensions; their under tail- 
coverts and under wing-coverts were of a very fluffy character. 

244. Certhia nipalensis, Nepaul Tree-creeper. 

424 Capt. Beavan on various Indian Birds. 

245. Certhia discolor. Sikbim Tree-creeper. 

Both these were procured by me at Darjeeling, in 1862. 

249. SiTTA LEUCOPsis. White-cheelced Nuthatch. 
Observed by me at Mahasoo^ beyond Simla in September 

1866, on the bark of a half decayed pine {Pinus excelsa). The 
note of this species is very peculiar, more like that of a frog or 
insect, than that of a bird. It consists of a single harsh note, 
which I can hardly attempt to syllable. I noticed specimens in 
Dr. Stoliczka's collection, some of which were procured at 
Simla [cf. Ibis, 1868, p. 807), but I have never observed the 
species there. On the 2nd of October I secured one of a pair 
which were frequenting a half-decayed pine. The dimensions 
of my specimen in the flesh were as follows : — Length S'STS", 
wing 3, tail 1*75, tarsus '6875, spread of foot 1'4375, bill 
from front '6875, from gape '875 in. The bill has the 
upper mandible and the terminal half of the lower black, the 
basal half of the lower being of a blue-lead colour ; the legs are 
black ; the irides brown. There is a white spot at the base of the 
winglet, which does not seem to be mentioned by Dr. Jerdon. 

250. SiTTA CASTANEOVENTRis. Chestnut-bcllied Nuthatch. 
I made my first acquaintance with this handsome little bird, 

when staying at Umballah with the late Dr. Scott (who had not 
previously observed it there, though Col. Tytler had), and on 
the 22nd of October, 1866, shot one in his garden. I give the 
dimensions of this specimen and of two others procured in the 
same locality a few days later. 

Length. Wing. Tail. Tarsus. Bill from front. Extent. 

5-125 2-95 1-6 -6875 -6875 8-75 

c?.. 5-125 3 1-5 -6875 -625 e'75 

$ . . 4-875 2-875 1-5 -625 -625 8-5 

These specimens were killed in a grove of tamarisk trees, 
when apparently seeking for small insects. The black line, in- 
cluding the ear-coverts, from the eyes extends to beyond the 
nape on either side, which is not exactly as Dr. Jerdon tells us. 
The primaries have a white spot underneath at their base; the 
under tail-coverts are ashy-blue, tipped with dark cinnamon- 
colour ; the two middle tail-feathers are grey, the rest are black 

Capt. Beavan on various Indian Birds. 425 

on their inner webs, with the outer webs greyish, the three 
outer pairs having a white spot on their inner webs, near 
the tip. 

251. SiTTA ciNNAMOMEovENTRis. Cinnamon-bcllied Nut- 

I am nearly sure I observed one or two of this species when 
riding from Simla to Mahasoo, on the 29th of September, 1866 ; 
but as I did not procure a specimen, I cannot, of course, be posi- 
tive on this point ; for I see that Dr. Jerdon says it has only been 
procured from the South-eastern Himalayas, and neither Col. 
Tytler in his recent paper (Ibis, 1808, p. 196), nor Dr. Stoliczka 
in his (Ibis, 1868, p. 307), includes it, so that I may be 

253. Dendrophila frontalis. Velvet-fronted Blue Nut- 

I procured my first and only specimen of this very beautiful 
little bird in Tennasserim, on the 18th of October, 1865. It 
was on my trip up Zwagabcn, a limestone mountain near 
Moulmein {cf. P. Z. S. 1866, p. 2), when we had got to our 
first resting-place, halfway up the hill, where several " poongye " 
or priests' houses are situated in a beautiful little nook on the 
side of the mountain, under the shadow of some fine large shady 
trees, under which we rested and refreshed our weary selves whilst 
ever on the look-out for something new. I suddenly spied a 
solitary example of this beautiful little gem in the tree above me, 
and was cruel enough to use my gun upon it, for the sake of 
science, but much against the wishes, not only of my companions, 
but also of the Buddhist priests by whom I was surrounded. In 
fact it did seem a shame killing such a lovely little creature 
without good reason, and I must confess to feeling something 
more than a pang of regret after using the destroying weapon. 
However, as naturalists are popularly supposed to be without 
feelings, I must not here display mine, but proceed to record 
the dimensions of my specimen (which was rather smaller than 
those given by Dr. Jerdon), viz. : — Length 4*75, wing 2*7, tail 
1*5, tarsus '5, middle toe '75, hind toe "75, spread of foot 
underneath including the claws \'5, bill from front '625, extent 

N. S. VOL. V. 2 G 

426 Mr. J. E. Harting on rare or 

8"375 in. The bill was coral-red; the irides of the brighest 
yellow, and the legs and claws of a rusty-brown colour. The 
bird was apparently solitary, and climbing the bough of a 
large tree. 

[To be continued.] 

XXXVIII. — On rare or little-knoivn Limicola?. 
By James Edmund Harting, F.L.S., F.Z.S. 

(Plate XII.) 

[Continued from p. 310.] 

Notwithstanding the vagrant habits of the species which 
compose the present group, and the increasing researches of 
naturalists in all quarters of the globe, it is remarkable that a 
bird which was described more than a century ago by Linnaeus 
should still be one of the rarest and least-known. From a pe- 
rusal of all that has hitherto been published with reference to 
this species, it would appear that those who followed more im- 
mediately in the wake of Linnseus did little else than copy his 
original description, perpetuating by so doing the erroneous 
habitat which had been assigned to the bird, and adding little 
or nothing to its history. Under the name of Platalea pygmaa 
or Eurijnorhijnchus griseus certain authors have created some 
confusion by describing birds which were properly referable to 
some other species, while the few original descriptions on record 
have all been taken from specimens which were procured in the 
winter plumage. For a long time the true habitat of Eunjno- 
rkynchus was unknown ; and even at the present day its precise 
geographical range remains undetermined. 

In the present paper I propose to set forth all the trustworthy 
information which I have been able to obtain concerning this 
remarkable bird, to point out the localities whence authentic 
specimens have been procured, and especially to direct atten- 
tion to the summer plumage, which hitherto, so far as I am 
aware, has neither been figured nor described. 

The synonymy will stand as follows : — 

Utile- knuwti Limicolse. 427 


Platalea jJijgnKea, Linn. Mus. Ad. Frid. ii, Prodr. p. 26 (176i); 
Id. Syst. Nat. i. p. 231 (12 ed., 1766) ; P. L. S. Mullcr, Linn. 
Natursyst. ii. p. 363 (1773) ; Herm. Tab. Aff. An. p. 135 (1777); 
Gmel. Syst. Nat. i. p. 615 (1788) ; Lath. Ind. Om. ii. p. 669 
(1790); Id. Gen. Hist. B. ix. p. 7 (1824); Donndorif, Orn. Beytr. 
i. p. 942 (1794); Thimberg, K. Vet. Ac. Handl. (Holm.) 1816, 
pp. 194-198, pi. vi.; Shaw, Gen. Zool. xi. p. 645 (1819). 

" Eurynorhynckus griseus, Nils./' Temm. Man. d'Orn. ii. p. 594 
(2 cd. 1820) ; Nilsson, Orn. Suec. ii. p. 29 (1821); Cuvier, Reg. 
An. i. p. 528 (1829); Id., Griffiths ed., iii. p. 383 (1829); 
Lesson, Tr. d'Orn. p. 562 (1831); Id. Compl. Buffon, ix. p. 432 
(1837) ; Hartlaub, R. Z. 1841, p. 5. 

Eurynorhynchus pygmaius, Pearson, J.A. S.B. v. p. 127 (1836); 
Id. As. Bes. xix. p. 69, pi. ix. (1836) ; Bonap. Comp. List, p. 49 
(1838); Id. C. R. xliii. p. 596 (1856); Hartlaub, R. Z. 1842, 
p. 36 ; Id. J. f. O. 1859, pp. 325-329 ; Lafresnaye, R. Z. 1842, 
p. 402, pi. ii.; Schlegel, Rev. Grit. p. 97(1844); Id. Handleiding, 
i. p. 436, pi. vi. fig. 73 ; G. R. Gray, Gen. B. iii. p. 580, pis. 152 & 
156. fig. 6 (1845); Reichenbacb, Av. Syst. Nat. Grail, pi. xiii. 
(1849) ; Sclater, P. Z. S. 1859, p. 201; Hartlaub, J. f. 0. 1859, 
pp. 325-329 ; Cabauis, torn. cit. pp. 327, 328, notes ; Id. op. cit. 
1860, pp. 299, 300; Lilljeborg, torn. cit. p. 299; Von Pelzeln, torn, 
cit. pp. 460, 461; Svviuhoe, P. Z. S. 1863, p. 317; Id. op. cit. 
1864, p. 272; Jerdon, B. Ind. iii. pp. 692, 693 (18(34); Blyth, 
Ibis, 1867, p. 169; A. Newton, torn. cit. pp. 235, 236, note. 

Ewynorliynclius orientalis, Blyth, Ann. & Mag. N. H. xiii. 
pp. 178, 179 (1844); Id. Cat. B. Mus. Calc. p. 270 (1849); 
Swinhoe, Ibis, 1867, pp. 234, 235. 

Hab. Mouths of the Gauges, and east coast of Bay of Bengal 

* It seems unnecessary to follow the various spellings or misspellings 
to which this generic name has been subject, such as Eurhinorhynclms 
Eurinorhynchus, Eurynorynclms, Eurinoryncus, Eurmoi-inchus, Eurino- 
rhyncKS, Eiirinorinctcs, Eurinorhyncus, and so forth; for there can be 
little doubt, notwithstanding Dr. Cabanis's remark (J. f. 0. 1859, p. 328, 
note), that, as originally printed, Prof. Nilsson's is the true orthography : — 
Eurynorhynchus : th. eiipvvco, dilato ; pvyxos, rostrum. The same may bo 
said of Tlatdea and PlatalcBci for Platalea, and pyymca for pyynicca, to say 
nothing of yrisceus for yriseus ! 

2 G 2 

428 Mr. J. E. Harting on rare or 

[Blyth, Jerdon); Edmonstone's Island, Saugur Sand [Newcomhe 
teste Pearson) ; Saugur Island (teste Hartlauh) ; Chittagong 
(/. E. Bruce, Chapman teste Blt/th); Arracau [Lloyd teste Pear- 
son) ) Amherst in Tenasserim {O'Reilly teste Blyth) ; Amoy 
{Swin/ioe); Behring's Straits, N. E. Asia [Barroiv teste Sclater). 

Description [Adult in winter). — Bill black, longer than the 
head, flat, dilated considerably at the extremity in a rhomboidal 
shape. Tongue broad and smooth. Forehead, cheeks, throat, 
and underparts pure white ; crown, nape and sides of neck, back, 
wings, and upper tail-coverts dusky brown, each feather mar- 
gined more or less with pale grey. Wings long and pointed ; 
shafts of the primaries white; first quill-feather the longest. 
Tail short, rounded, consisting of twelve feathers, the two middle 
feathers the longest and darkest in colour. Legs and toes black, 
moderately long, slender, three toes in front, one behind, mar- 
gined along the sides ; a slight membrane connecting the base 
of the middle and outer toe on each foot. Total length 6 inches ; 
bill 1 inch; wing, from carpus, 3'7 ; tarsus 0*9. (Exempl. typ. 
in Mus. Upsal. fide audi, citt.) 

Adult in summer (hitherto undescribed). — Bill as above. Head, 
neck, breast, and back ferruginous ; the feathers of the head, 
nape, and back with dark brown centres ; those of the throat 
and breast slightly margined with white. Underparts, from 
the breast downwards, becoming gradually whiter towards the 
tail. Primaries somewhat darker than in winter. Legs and toes 
black. (Exempl. in Mus. Acad. Oxon.) 

The earliest notice of this species is to be found in an octavo 
catalogue usually appended to his 'Museum Ludovicse Ulricae 
Reginse Suecorum,^ &c., published by Linnseus in 1764 ; but en- 
titled ' Museum Adolphi Friderici Begis Suecorum,^ &c., ' Tomi 
secundi Prodromus '*. He, no doubt from the form of the bill, 
referred this species to the genus Platalea j but that he did so 
with hesitation is shown by the following remark : — " Mirum 
parvara adco avem, quse minimat omnium nobis notarum Gral- 

• This promised seconr/ volume never appeared ; the first, in folio, which 
is well known, was published in 1754. 

t Only one very small species of Tringa (T. pusUla) was known to 
Liuuajus even in 17G6, and that apparently on Brisson's authority. 

little-known Limicolae. 429 

larum est, dari in genere, ubi altera species maxima; simile 
exemplum iion novi/' A comparison, however, shows that 
beyond this resemblance it has really no connexion with Pla- 
talea. Its affinities, as pointed out by Cuvier and Tem- 
minck, are certainly with the genus Tringa. Bonaparte, in 
his 'Tableaux paralleliques des Echassiers,' has placed it be- 
tween Calidris arenaria and Tringa platyrhyncha', but while 
assenting to the generic relationship claimed for it, I venture to 
demur only to the species near which it has been placed. The 
Tringinee may be conveniently divided into two large groups — 
the one comprising those species which adopt a rufous plumage 
in the breeding-time, the other those which assume a blackish 
dress at the same season. It will be found, on separating a series 
in this way, that the species thus brought together have other 
characters in common besides the peculiar seasonal change of 
colour. Taking into consideration, therefore, not only the 
structure but likewise the character of the nuptial plumage, the 
conclusion at which I arrive is, that the species now before us 
should be placed between Ereunetes petrificatus, Illiger, and 
Tringa subarcuata. At the same time, it differs sufficiently from 
both to justify the course which Nilsson adopted in forming 
for its reception the new genus Eurgnorhynchus. In this genus 
it at present stands alone. 

Gmelin, Latham, and Shaw all followed Linnseus in their de- 
scription of this bird; and, indeed, until the year 1836 it does 
not appear that any other than the original type- specimen 
existed'^. It is very doubtful whether Bancroft, who in 1769 
published an ' Essay on the Natural History of Guiana,' was ac- 
quainted with this bird, although under the name of Platalea 
he describes (p. 171) a small species of the group Limicolte. We 
may consider his remarks from two points of view. In treating 
of the ornithology of Guiana, he may have included Platalea 
pygmcea in his list of species only because Linnaeus had erro- 
neously supposed that its habitat was Surinam. On the other 
hand, if we give him credit for having described such species 

* According to Prof. Lilljeborg, in 1860 this specimen was still in the 
Museum fit Upsala {cf. Journ. f. Orn. 1800, p. 299). 

430 Mr. J. E. Harting on rare or 

only as he had himself observed, we must conclude that he 
mistook some other bird for that to which he refers. Dr. 
Hartlaub has expressed an opinion that Bancroft's bird was 
probably the Ereunetes of lUiger; but I do not think that such 
a conclusion is justified by the author's description. Bancroft 
remarks (/. c), " Here is also the Platalcea of Linnccus, with a 
flattish bill, dilated, orbiculated, and flat at the point. It is 
of the size of a Sparrow : the upper part of its body is brown, 
but the lower is white; and it has four toes palmated.'' From 
this last statement I should infer that the bird was most proba- 
bly Phalaropus fulicarius in winter plumage. 

In the Transactions of the Academy of Sciences of Stock- 
holm for 181Q [I.e.) the Swedish naturalist Thunberg published a 
full description of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper under the title of 
Platalea pijymcea^; and subsequently Nilssonf, in his 'Orui- 
thologia Suecica' (^-c.), founded on this bird the new genus 
Eurynorliynchus, at the same time bestowing the specific name 
oi griseus, which more recent investigation has shown to be ap- 
plicable to this bird in the winter plumage only. Here, again, it 
seems necessary to correct a mistake which has been made by 
several authors in attributing to Nilsson the paper which ap- 
peared in the 'Transactions' above mentioned, Nilsson's obser- 
vations having been published five years later in his ' Ornitho- 
logia Suecica.' 

licsson has included this species in his various works, but 
his notions respecting it seem to have been very vague. In 
his ' Manuel d'Ornithologie ' he remarks (/. c), "Get oiseau nous 
semble etre le Tyran hec en euiller," referring to a genus (7)/- 
rannus) which is as unlike it as well can be! In his 'Traite' 
[I.e.) he says, "Du nord de Pancien et du nouveau continent ; tres 
rare en Europe ; le museum en possede un individu tue pres de 

* "Platalea jyygmcsa xidfive beskrifven, med iigur, af C P. Thunberg." 
t It would seem as if Nilsson bad previously communicated bis in- 
tention of founding tbis genus to Temminck, since the last-named natu- 
ralist mentioned it (id sttpnl cii.) in bis work published in 1820, while 
Nilsson's second volume, containing tbe description, did not appear till 
1821, Cuvier or bis printer put " Wilson " for " Nilsson ; " and tbis error 
has been freqwently copied. 

little-known Limicolae. 431 

Paris"'^ ; and the last-mentioned remark is repeated in his 'Com- 
plement des oeuvres de Buffou ' [L c) . Three years only after this 
statement appeared, Dr. Hartlaub searched the Museum in Paris 
for the specimen referred to, but without success ; and I myself 
more recently have likewise been unable to find it there. Dr. 
Hartlaub is of opinion f that Lesson must have mistaken some 
other bird for Eurynorhynchus, and that it was an error to 
suppose that this species had ever been killed in France J. When 
we call to mind the occasional appearance in Western Europe 
of many other eastern species, it cannot be asserted that the occur- 
rence of Eurynorhynchus py(j7naus in France is impossible. At 
the same time, it may be confidently stated that up to the 
present time there is no evidence to show that this species has 
been found even in Europe. 

In 1836, Mr. Pearson, who w'as then Curator of the Asiatic 
Society^s Museum at Calcutta, published in the 'Asiatic Re- 
searches' (/. c.) an able description of the Spoon-billed Sand- 
piper from a specimen in the winter plumage, which had been 
procured on Edmonstone's Island, Saugur Sand, and presented 
to the Society's Museum by Mr. Newcombe ; and he very pro- 
perly took this opportunity of restoring the specific name which 
had been bestowed by Linnaeus. Subsequently Mr. Blyth§ 
<!xpressed a doubt whether this specimen was identical with the 
bird described by Linnaeus, and in consequence named it provi- 
sionally Eurynorhynchus orientalis. He has, however, lately 
informed me of a change in his views ; and recent investigation 
shows that there is no ground for supposing that there is more 
than one species of this genus. Mr. Pearson illustrated his 

* It was probably on tlie strength of this assertion that Bonaparte 
introduced this species in his ' Comparative List of the Birds of Europe 
and North America ' (/. c.) as a Em-opean species. 

t Revue Zoologique, 1842, p. 30, 

X M. Jides Verreaux has recently informed me that no specimen of 
Eurynorhynchus ever existed in the Paris Museiun, and that the bird to 
which Lesson referred under the name of Eurynorhynchus yrisetis, and 
subsequently under the name of Erolia varia, Vieillot, is nothing else 
than a Trinya subarcuata with the hind toes cut off, and the bill remodelled 
with the aid of some warm water ! 

§ Ann. & Mag. N. H. 1844, xiii. pp. 178, 179. 

432 Mr. J. E. Hartins on rare or 


description with a representatiou of the specimen to which he 
referred ; and this places its identity beyond a doubt. It may 
here be convenient to notice the figm'es which have ah'eady been 
pubhshed of this very remarkable bird. Commencing with that 
of Thunberg in 181G, Mr. Pearson's is next in order of date. 
A thii'd was given by Lafresnaye in the ' Revue Zoologique' for 
1842, to illustrate a valuable notice of the bird by Dr. Hartlaub, 
which had appeared in the same journal the same year^. 
These three figures are little more than outlines, and afford no 
idea of the distribution of colour. In 1849 Mr. G. H. Gray 
published his valuable ' Genera of Birds/ and here for the first 
time we find a well-executed plate by Mitchell of Eurynorkynchus 
pygmceus in the winter plumage. Reichenbach in the same year 
engraved the head and bill in his work as above quoted ; while the 
latest figure, so far as I am aware, is that given by Prof. Schlegel 
in the plates to his ' Handleiding.' 

Since these illustrations have all been taken from specimens 
in the winter plumage, and as the nuptial dress has never yet 
been figured, the accompanying plate (Plate XII.), it is believed. 


will be very acceptable to ornithologists, while the woodcuts of 
the bill, from sketches made from a freshly-killed bird by 
Mr. Swinhoe (Ibis, 1867, pp. 234, 235), will convey an accurate 
idea of its singular proportions. The specimen from which 
the plate is drawn by Mr, J. G. Keulemans was obtained in 
Behring's Straits, on one of the Arcnie expeditions, under Capt. 

* This figure is stated to have been copied from an original drawing 
by Natterer of the type-specimen at Upsala. 

little-known Limicolae. 433 

Moore, in H.M.S. 'Plover/ It was exhibited by Mr. Sclater, 
on behalf of the owner, Mr. John Barrow, F.R.S., at one of 
the Zoological Society^s Meetings in 1859; and Mr. Barrow 
has recently presented it, with the remainder of his collection, 
to the New Museum at Oxford, where it may now be seen. 
I am not aware of the existence of any other example in this 
stage of plumage. In the case of so rare a species a list 
of the specimens which are at present known to exist will, 
doubtless, be interesting to many. I have therefore been at 
some pains to collect the following information : — 

1. Ihe type-specimen of Linnseus, locality unknown, but said 
(no doubt erroneously) to have been from Surinam, was in the 
Museum at Upsala in 1860 {cf. Journ. f. Orn. 1860, p. 299). 

2. One from Edmonstone^s Island, Saugur Sand, presented 
by Mr. Newcombe to the Museum of the Asiatic Society at 
Calcutta in 1836 (Journ. As. Soc. Beng. v. p. 127). 

3. One met with in Arracan by Capt. Lloyd in 1836 (Asiatic 
Researches, xix. p. 71). 

4. One obtained in the Calcutta Bazaar 1840 (Ann. & Mag. 
N. H.xiii. 1844, p. 178). 

5. One from Saugur Island, mouth of the Ganges, in the 
Derby Museum at Liverpool. Purchased by the late Earl 
Derby from Mr. Leadbeater, about the year 1840 (Rev. Zool. 
1842, p. 6). 

6. 7. Two procured in 1846, at Amherst, in Tenasserim, by 
Mr. E. O'Ryley (Cat. Birds Mus. As. Soc. Calcutta, p. 270). 

8-11, Three specimens in spirits, and one skin, sent by Mr. 
J. E. Bruce from Chittagong 1856 (Journ. As. Soc. Beng. xxv. 
p. 445). 

12-23. Twelve killed at two shots (!) by Mr. Chapman in 
Chittagong (Journ. f. Orn. 1859, pp. 326, 327). 

24. One in summer plumage from Behring's Straits, by the 
expedition under Capt. Moore in H.M.S. 'Plover^ (Proc. Zool. 
Soc. 1859, p. 201). Now in the New Museum at Oxford. 

No specimen of this bird is to be found either in the British 
Museum or in the Museum of the Jardin des Plantes at Paris. 
Those who have had the opportunity of observing the habits of 
the Spoon-billed Sandpiper assert that it frequents the mud-flats 

434 Rev. H. B. Tristram on African Birds. 

at the mouths of rivers, and the sands of the sea-shore, where it 
consorts with various species of Tringfe, and obtains from the 
surface the abundant harvest of food which is always left by a 
receding tide. 

Of its nidification nothing is yet kuosvn ; but, us the same 
may be said of Tringa canutus, Tringa suharcuata, and other 
Limicola, we can only look wistfully towards that large tract of 
continent in Northern and North-eastern Asia still unexplored, 
and dream of the oological treasures which are surely there 

XXXIX. — Notes on some African Birds. 
By the Rev. II. B. Tristram, M.A., LL.D., F.R.S., &c. 

Among the many rarities in the last collection (alas ! that we 
must say the last) sent home by the late Mr. Andcrsson from 
Damaraland and Ovampoland is one novelty, a very pretty 
little Lark, distinct from any which I can ascertain to have been 
described from South Africa, and to which I propose to give 
the name of 


M. capite Iscte castaneo-rufo ; dorso fusco, plumarum parte 
media nigricante : scapularibus fusco-nigris, castaneo ter- 
minatis : primariis nigricanti-brunneis, rufo extcrne liin- 
batis : rectricibus fusco-nigris, duobus mediis castaneo- 
fuscis, pogonio cinnamomeo : corporc subtus (gula, abdo- 
mine) albo, in lateribus rufo-tincto, et collari pectorali 
cinnamomeo : utrinquc macula brunneo-nigra jugulari : 
linca postoculari et supcrciliis albis : rostro carneo : pcdi- 
bus et tarsis pallide brunneis. 
Long. tot. 5-2, rostri a rictu 0*5, alje 3"15, caudaj 2"2, tarsi 
0*65, hall. c. ung. 0-5, poll. angl. 

The type specimen w^as shot by Mr. Audersson at Otjim- 
binque, Damaraland, I3th March, 1865, and is marked by 
him doubtfully as " Alauda spleniata, Strickl, ? " On referring 
to Strickland's description of that species (Contrib. Ornith. 
1852, p. 152), it is evident that they are very different, and 
that Strickland's bird is identical with Megalophonus cinereus 

Rev. H. B. Tristram on African Birds. 435 

(Vicill.)'^ { — Alauda ruficapilla, A. Smith = ^. mficcps, Riipp.). 
Strickland observes that his A. spleniata is allied to RiippelPs 
A. ruficeps ; but that (Neue Wirbelthiere, pi. 38. fig. 1) has a 
blacky not a rufous, patch on each side of the breast. I suspect 
this arises from a little overcolouring in the plate ; for in some 
of ray specimens of M. cinereus the rufous patch blends into a 
brown-black spot at the top, just as in this little new species. 
It is possible that A. ruficeps, Riipp., may be distinct ; but 
A, spleniata, Strickl., and M. ruficnpillus, A. Smith, must 
merge in M. cinereus (VieilL), a very inappropriate name, 
which I would gladly reject but for the inexorable claims of 

Megalophonus under ssoni is nearly allied to M. cinereus in 
coloration, but differs in its proportions, and bears a relation 
to it similar to that which M. africanoides does to M. africanus, 
and M. chenianus to M. sabota. The rufous colour, however, 
is continuous, and not interrupted as in M. cinereus, and 
the spots of brown black on each side of the neck are very 

The range of this bii'd is considerable, as Mr. Blanford has 
procured it in Abyssinia. His specimen is slightly more rufous 
on the flanks than mine. 

Mr. Andersson forwarded the nest and eggs along with the 
skin. The eggs are very sparsely spotted, for a Lark's, with 
russet on a greenish-white ground, and are smaller than those 
of any other South-African Lark. In their pale and sparse 
coloration they resemble the eggs of Certhilauda africana. 

If I may be permitted to add a few other remarks on some 
African birds, I would observe that, among the birds in Mr. 
Blanford's Abyssinian collection is a specimen of my Certhilauda 
salvini (Ibis, 1859, p. 57). Dr. Finsch has pronounced it to be 
the type of a new species ; but I have, along with Mr. Gurney, 
compared it with my type, and we are both agreed as to its 
identity. At the same time, I do not think my species is more 
than a local race. Dr. Finsch would distinguish the Abyssinian 
bird also by the thickly-spotted breast. This is a most variable 
character in Certhilauda desertorum and 0. salvini alike ; and 
[Qu. (Gmel.) ?— Ed.] 

436 Rev. H. B. Tristram on African Birds. 

in my series I find specimens varying from a thickly-spotted 
gorget to one almost plain. 

Mr. Gurney has kindly been examining my African birds 
with me; and his valuable assistance enables me to make some 
rectifications in synonymy, and to extend the boundaries of the 
range of some species. 

The range of Phasmoptynx capensis must now be extended to 
Asia, for it has recently been procured by Mr. Wyatt on Mount 
Sinai in young plumage. Its range is thus from the Cape to 
Spain and Arabia. 

Hirundo albigularis, Strickl. (Cent. Orn. 1849, p. 17, pi. xv.), 
with which H. albigula, Bp., and H. rufifrons, Less. (no. 85, La- 
yard, B. S. Afr.), are synonymous, must probably be put down 
as a synonym of H. ruffrons, Yieill. (no. 80, Layard), which, 
however, has been incorrectly described by Stephens as having a 
black throat and breast. This is the only difference in the 
descriptions, and seems to have arisen from a mistake of Le 
Vaillant's. Specimens from Messrs. Layard, Andersson, and 
Ayres are all identical ; and no one appears ever to have seen 
the Swallow with a black throat. 

There have been two species confounded under the names of 
Cotijle palustris, Steph. { = Hirundu paludicola, Vieill. = C. palu- 
dibula, Riipp.) — one from the north, the other from the south of 
Africa. The northern bird, which I have obtained by the Dead 
Sea, and received from Egypt and Abyssinia, is perfectly distinct 
from the southern, having, like C. rupesfris and C.fuligula, a 
large white spot on the inner web of each of the rectrices, 
except the outer and middle covering pairs. It is larger 
than the southern bird — which has no white spots on the 
rectrices, and has also the throat and breast darker brown, 
gradually blending into pure white on the abdomen, while the 
northern bird has the whole under surface of a uniform dirty 
white colour. 

It is curious that the distinction has not been before noted. 
I only discovered it on receiving specimens of the South-African 
bird. As the original description undoubtedly refers to the 
South-African species, I should propose, in preference to taking 
a new name for the northern species, to assign to it Riippell^s 

Rev. H. B. Tristram on African Birds. 437 

Cohjle paludibula, tbougli the tiescription is imperfect. In that 
case, this name C. paludibula sliould stand for C. palustris in 
the various notices of this Martin by Mr. Taylor, myself (P. Z. S. 
1864, p. 443; Ibis, 1867, p. 363), and others in Northern and 
Eastern Africa. 

There is some confusion about Anthus sordidus, Rupp. Mr. 
Blyth has adopted the name for an Indian species, which appears 
to be perfectly distinct {cf. supra, p. 120). Through the kind- 
ness of Mr. Blanford I have just had the opportunity of 
examining six specimens from Abyssinia, whence came Riip- 
pell's type, and find them clearly distinct from the South- 
African, East-African, and Indian birds. 

Mr. Layard treats Anthus sordidus, Riipp. (no. 226, Layard), 
as identical with Corydalla sordida, Blyth, and Anthus (jouldi, Era- 
ser. But a typical specimen oiA, gouldi, Eraser, from the Gaboon, 
shows its distinctness from either the Indian or the Abyssinian 
bird. I fear I shall have to crave pardon from the goodnature 
of my old friend Mr. Layard, if I not only assert the distinct- 
ness of bis three synonyms, but also raise a doubt as to whether 
any one of the three has yet occurred within his limits. May 
it not have been A. coffer ? One specimen, kindly sent me by 
Mr. Layard, is certainly the latter, though called A. sordidus. 
I have A. caffer again from the Transvaal territory. 

The history of A. sordidus being recorded from Natal is, that 
Mr. Gurney, on Mr. G. R. Gray's authority, included A.gouldi in 
the first list of birds sent by Mr. Ayres fx'om Natal (Ibis, 1860, 
p. 208). But A. gouldi being not a synonym, and possibly the 
bird having been A. caffer (the large race), it may not be abso- 
lute heresy to question the occurrence of Riippell's bird in 
South Africa. It will also be interesting to compare Anthus 
calthroj)(2, Layard, with A. brachyurus, Sund. Anthus chloris, 
Licht., however, is an addition to Mr. Layard's list, having 
been procured at Cape Town by Andersson*. 

Turning to a very different group of birds, I am unable to 

separate Butorides atricapilla (Afzel.) (no. 587, Layard) from 

B. javanica (Horsf.) as found on the mainland of China. 

Mr. Swinhoe's specimens from Eormosa are considerably larger, 

• [Cf. supriH, p. 3G8.— Ed.] 

438 Mr. G. R. Gray on the Bills 

but differ in no other respect from B. atricajnlla as sent 
by Mr. Ayres from Natal. Mr. Guruey also agrees with 
me in the opinion that B. atricapilla is identical with B. 

XL. — Notes on the Bills of the species of Flamingo (Phoeni- 
copterus). By G. R. Gray, E.R.S. &c. 

(Plates XIII.-XV.) 

From the days of Linnaeus (1758) down to those of Latham 
(1824) it was supposed that only two species of Phosnicopterus 
existed ; and one of these was considered to inhabit both the Old 
World and the New. The European bird was regarded by Bon- 
naterre, in 1790, as a variety of the American one ; but in 1820 
Temminck proposed to separate the European bird as a distinct 
species, under the name of P. antiquorum, leaving the American 
one as P. ruber. The correctness of this separation, however, was 
doubted by Latham in his ' History of Birds,* in 1824. Another 
species, not mentioned by previous authors, was added in 1797 
by Geoffroy St.-Hilaire, who described a small one under the 
name of P. minor from West Africa, which made the third species 
then (that is, prior to 1820) known, viz. P. ruber, L. 1758, P. chi- 
lensis, Mol. 1782, and P. minor, Geoffr. 1797. Since then the 
genus has been increased by the discovery of five other species, 
about the distinctness of which there exists much diversity of 
opinion. In the hope of putting an end to these doubts, I have 
been induced to collect together the following notes and to have 
drawn the accompanying plates of the bills of Flamingos of 
different localities. They will, I hope, assist in exemplifying 
their peculiar conformation, and may be regarded as representa- 
tions of their specific characters, so that the subject of each of 
them may become in future an acknowledged species. 

The general characteristics of the formation of these singular 
bills have so often been described by authors, that it is un- 
necessary to repeat them here ; and I will at once endeavour 

• [Cf Suiidevall, GEfvers. K. Vet. Ac. Furbaudl. 1849, p. 1G3, and 
Sclirenck, Reis. Amur-Laude, i. p. 437. — Ed.] 

Ibis 1869 PI ML. 



Yz Na.t si;-.i 

W Wr ,t nil 

ILis 1869 PI JN. 







'A lAesLinip. 

]bi3 1869 PJ XV 




N at svz e 

W Wcr.L imp 

of the species of Flamingo. 439 

to point out the difFcrences of conformation that exist among 
them by taking the bill of the Mediterranean species as the 
typical form. 

This is exhibited in Figure 1, which shows certain characters, 
viz. : — the posterior margin at the base of the lower mandible 
narrowed and straight; the lateral margin beneath arched 
for a short distance from the base, the apex of the arch angu- 
lated in front ; between these lateral basal arches the space 
or mentum is naked, with the feathers of the neck advancing 
slightly forward in the form of a point. This last character 
is also found in the three next species. Figure 2 represents the 
bill of a very old Indian example, which is considered to be a 
variety of the former ; but there are several slight differences in 
it : for instance, the angulation beneath the lower mandible 
appears stronger, and its tip seems less swollen. A young 
specimen in the British Museum, from the Cape of Good 
Hope, has the bill of a very similar form — so much so that 
I am induced to consider it the same as the Mediterranean 

Figure 6* shows the differences that exist in the form of the 
bill of the West-African species, which has been considered 
by some authors only a variety of P. antiguorum : but it is 
shorter and consequently more robust in appearance ; the cul- 
men near the base is somewhat swollen, and then slightly con- 
cave towards the bend ; it is not apparently augulated beneath 
the lower mandible, but is rather swollen about the middle of 
the lower surface; the lateral margins of both mandibles are 
straight and thereby less arched on the basal half than in the 
Mediterranean example. The frontal plumes advance in the 
form of a point on the forehead, while in the typical example 
they are rounded in front. 

Figure 5 is a representation of a new species from the Gala- 
pagos. The bill is somewhat slender in its general appearance, 
the culmen at the base is transversely grooved, and the naked 
space beneath the basal part of the lower mandible is large, with 
the apex of the lateral arch angulated. These characters at once 
point out the differences between it and P. ruber, from which it 
* [Cy. Ibis, 18G5, p. 65 Ed.] 

440 Mr. G. R. Gray on the Bills 

also differs by the uarrowness of the posterior margin of the 
lower mandible. 

Figure 4 shows the more slender form of the bill of the Chi- 
lian species. The basal portion of the culmen is shorter than 
the apical part from where it bends to the tip ; the posterior 
margin of the lower mandible is narrowed and straight, and the 
apex of the arch of the basal portion of the lower surface is but 
slightly angulated. These characters and the quantity of black, 
which extends from the bend to the tip, at once distinguish this 
species from the preceding ones. 

The following species differ from the former by the mentum 
being feathered. 

The first two (Figures 3 and 8) may be distinguished from the 
other two by the peculiarity of the lateral margins of the lower 
mandible. It is much arched and ridged, with the inner side 
along the ridge dcflcxed inwards and wider than the width of 
the upper mandible, so that when closed the latter is partly con- 
cealed by the parallel ridge, this concealment being assisted by 
the flatness of its upper surface ; the base of the culmen to the 
bend is shorter than from the latter to the tip ; and the nostrils 
also vary from those of the former division, the nasal groove 
being short and broad. 

Figure 3 differs from Figure 8 by the posterior margin of the 
lower mandible being very narrow and then slightly curved to 
the lower surface, tlius giving an appearance of angulation. 
Figure 8 has, on the other hand, the posterior margin of the 
lower mandible obliquely straight and broad to the surface be- 
neath ; the lateral edge of the lower mandible has a prominent 
longitudinal channel on the basal half, from which spring several 
less prominent ramifications that proceed upwards to the lateral 

These two species may, from their singular bills, be arranged 
as a separate subgenus under the name of Phoeniconaias. 

Figure 7 exhibits the bill of the Florida species (kindly sent 
me by Professor Baird), which is robust in its general form ; the 
culmen is straight, from the frontal plumes to the bend, and 
the basal and apical halves appear to be about equal in length ; 
the lateral posterior margin of the lower mandible is for its 

of the species of Flamingo. 441 

greater length obliquely straight, and then suddenly curved to 
the lower surface. The bill is largely covered by a membrane 
round the base, which extends narrowly round the eyes. 

This species may constitute a distinct subgenus under the 
appellation of Phoenicurodias. 

Figures 9 and 10 represent the curiously formed bill of the Fla- 
mingo of the Peruvian Andes. It is comparatively short and ele- 
vated, WHth the culmen and lateral margin greatly arched from the 
base to the tip ; the posterior margin of the lower mandible is 
curved to the under surface without any sign of an angulation ; 
the lateral surface that runs parallel to the lateral margin of the 
lower mandible is very much swollen on the sides, so as to give a 
rather wide and flattened surface when viewed in front. The 
upper mandible is remarkably narrow throughout its length, and 
rests, when closed, between the swollen sides of the lateral mar- 
gins ; the base of the bill is furnished with a narrow membrane, 
which widens and expands to the eyes in a somewhat trian- 
gular form. 

Prof. Philippics figure of the bill is rather different from the 
one here represented, as the culmen and lateral margins are 
comparatively straight, which give rise to a doubt, at first sight, 
whether it could ever have been meant for the same species. 

This remarkable bird is also noticeable for not possessing a 
hind toe, which is found in all the other species : it was therefore 
formed by the late Prince C. L. Bonaparte into a separate sub- 
genus under the name of Phoenicoparrus. 

The following list will best exemplify the species at present 

Phcenicopterus, Linn. 1748. 

a. Phcenicopterus. 

1. Phcenicopterus antiquorum. (PI. XIII. figs. 1, 2.) 

P. ruber, pt., Linn. S. N. (1758) i. p. 139. 

P. antiquorum, Temm. Man. d'Orn. (1820) ii. p. 587. 

P. roseus, Pall. Zoogr. (1831) ii. p. 207. 

P. eurnpaus. Swains. Classif. B. ii. p. 364. 
Naum. Vog. Deutschl. t. 233 ; Gould, B. Eur. pi. 287. G. R. 
Giay & Mitch. Gen. B. pi. clxiii. (P. ignipalliatus\) 

N. S. VOL. V. 2 H 

442 Mr. G. R. Gray on the Bills of the species of Flamingo. 

Coasts and islands of the Mediterranean Sea. Volga, Ural, 
Kirghis Desert. N. Africa, Lower Egypt, Cape Verd, &c. 
Var. P. ruber, Sykes, P. Z. S. 1832, p. 159. 

P. roseus, var., Blyth, Oat. Miis. Calc. p. 299. 
P. antiguusl, Blyth. 
P. blythi, Bp. Consp. Av. ii. p. 146. 
Throughout India, Ceylon. 
Var. P. erythrceus, Layard, B. S. Afr. p. 345. 
Cape of Good Hope. 

2. Ph(enicopterus eri:thr^us. (PI. XIV. fig. 6.) 

P. erythraus, Verr. Eev, Zool. 1855, p. 221. 
P. roseus, /3, Bias. 
West Africa. Madagascar ?, Mosambique ? 

3. Ph(enicopterusglyphorhynchus*, sp.n. (PI. XIV. fig. 5.) 

4. Phce^jicopterus ignipalliatus. (PI. XIV. fig. 4.) 

P. ignipalliatus, Geoffr. & D'Orb. Mag. de Zool. 1832, t. 2. 
P. chilensis, Molina, Hist. Nat. Chili (1782), p. 214? 
P. chilensis, Popp. 
Chili, and, apparently, different parts of the south of South 

b. Phoeniconaias. 

5. Phcenicopterus rubidus. (PI. XIII. fig. 3.) 

P. minor, Jerd. Cat. No. 374 ? {nee Geoffr.) 
P. rubidus, Feilden, Ibis, 1868, p. 496. 
P. roseus, pt. ?, Jerd. B. Ind. ii. p. 775. 
Fifty miles from Secunderabad. 

6. Phcenicopterus minor. (PI. XV. fig. 8.) 

P. minor, Geoffr. St. Hil. Bull. Soc. Philom. ii. p. 97. 
P. parvus, Vieill. Anal. p. 69. 
PI. Col. 419; Gal. des Ois. t. 273. 

West Africa. Cape of Good Hope ; Damaraland ; Tulbagh, 
S. Africa. 

* The characters of the bill already gjven will serve to distinguish this 
new species. 

Mr. J. H. Gurney on the Birds-of-prey of Madagascar. 443 

c. Phcenicorodias. 

7. Ph(enicopterus ruber. (PI. XV. fig. 7.) 

P. ruber, Linn. S. N. (1758) p. 139. 

P. americanus, Svv. Classif. B. ii. p. 364. 

P. ignipalliatus, pt., Tschudi, Faun. Per. 
Catesby, Carolina, t. 73, 74; Wilson, Am. Orn. pi. 66. fig. 4 ; 
Hist. Nat. dc la isla de Cuba, t. 29. 

Bahamas, Florida, Mexico, Jamaica, Cuba, St. Domingo. 

d. PhoBnicoparrus. 

8. Ph(Enicopterus andinus. (PI. XV. figs. 9, 10.) 

P. andinus, Phil. Reise Andenvviiste Atacama, t. iv. 
Peruvian Andes, N. Chili, Bolivia. 

XLI. — Notes on the Birds-of-prey of Madagascar and some of 
the adjacent Islands. By J. H. Gurney, F.Z.S. 

(Plate XVI.) 

The Editor of ' The Ibis^ having some time since called my at- 
tention to the important and interesting conclusions with respect 
to certain Birds-of-prey arrived at by Prof. Schlegcl and M. Pol- 
len in their ' Recherches sur la Faune de Madagascar et de ses 
Dependances,' of which mention has been made on several occa- 
sions*, I have now the pleasure of making a few observations 
on the Accipitres of Madagascar and the neighbouring islands ; 
and in doing so I must especially express my best thanks to my 
friend M. Jules Verreaux for his kindness in procuring for me 
the opportunity of examining the specimens of Madagascar 
Birds-of-prey preserved in the Museum of the Jardin des Plantes 
at Paris, and for giving me the assistance of his judgment and 
long experience in forming an opinion respecting them. 

1. Falco MINOR t, Bonap. South- African Peregrine Falcon. 

MM. Schlegel and Pollen {op. cit. pp. 30, 31) state that a 

Falcon which they consider to be specifically identical with the 

* Ibis, 1868, pp. 224-226, 476, 477 ; 1869, pp. 112, 113. 

+ The '■'■ F. pereyrinoides,'''' of Temminck's 'Planches Coloriees' (No. 479) 
is certainly, for it has tlie rufous nape, F. barbarus, Linn., and not the 
present species, of which it is often quoted as a synonym. 

2 H 2 

444 Mr. J. H. Gurney on the Birds-of-prey 

Earopean bird has been obtained in Madagascar, and also on 
the island of Nossi-be, and that one of the Madagascar specimens 
was the type of F. radama, Verreaux. The measurements they 
give of the Nossi-be bird, which is said to have been a female, 
appear to me to agree more nearly with those of F. minor and 
F. melanogenijs than with those of F. peregrinus (or F. communis, 
as MM. Schlegel and Pollen term it) ; and in this opinion I am 
confirmed by a remark of M. Grandidier (Rev. Zool. 1867, 
p. 319), who says that the Madagascar Peregrine Falcon only 
differs, like that of South Africa, from our common Falcon of 
Europe by being a little less in size. It would therefore seem 
that F. radama should rather rank as a synonym of F. minor, 
or of F. melanogenys, than of F. peregrinus. MM. Schlegel and 
Pollen appear to consider that the Madagascar Falcon is iden- 
tical with F. melanogenys ; but they do not admit the latter as a 
species distinct from F. peregrinus. 

My own view is that both F. melanogenys and F. minor are 
specifically distinct from F. peregrinus — the size of the Austra- 
lian and South- African Falcons being always less, and the trans- 
verse dark bands on the abdomen in adult specimens being always 
narrower and usually nearer together in them than in the adult 
F. peregrinus. The question whether F. minor and F. melanogenys 
are specifically distinct from each other is a more doubtful one ; 
and I incline to the opinion that no well-defined difference really 
exists between these two southern forms. 

An example of F. minor was procured by the late Dr. Dicker- 
son* on the island of Joanna, one of the Comoro group, as re- 
corded by Mr. Sclater (Ibis, 1864, p. 298), and is preserved in 
the Norwich Museum. This specimen being partially in imma- 
ture plumage, and its sex not having been noted, I have felt 
some doubt whether it is a male F. peregrinus or a female F. minor ; 
but, from the character of the transverse markings which are 
beginning to appear on the lower parts, I believe it to be the 
latter, and that its identification by Mr. Sclater {ut supra cit.) 
was correct, notwithstanding the doubt expressed by MM. Schle- 
gel and Pollen [op. cit. p. 31) . 

* This gentleman's name has been several times wrongly spelt " Dick- 

Ibis. 1869. VI. XVI 


K <fc N HaiiTia.rt nitip. 


of Madagascar and the adjacent Islands. 445 

The two Falcons from Madagascar in tlic Museum of the 
Jardin des Plantes, under the name of F. radama, are, like the 
Joanna example just mentioned, also in immature plumage, with 
their sexes unrecorded ; but M. Verreaux now agrees with me in 
regarding them as young females of F. minor. 

2. Hypotriorchis ELEONORiE (Gen^). Eleonora^s Falcon. 
(Plate XVI.) 

The Norwich Museum possesses the example of a Falcon 
formerly recorded in this Jounial (Ibis, 1862, p. 267), under the 
name of Falco radama, as having been taken at sea off the east 
coast of ]\Iadagascar. I have the testimony of Mr. Edward 
Newton that this specimen closely resembles the example pre- 
served in the Museum of St. Denis, the capital of Reunion, and 
described, under the name of F. radama, by M. Maillard in his 
work on that island*, as having been obtained there, which tes- 
timony is also confirmed by a comparison of the description with 
the Norwich birdf. But further comparison also shows that this 
last, which is the subject of the accompanying plate (Plate XVI.) 
by Mr. Wolf, agrees completely with a specimen of H. eleunorie 
in a similar stage of plumage from the Greek archipelago ; and it 
therefore appears that the species last mentioned extends its 
range to Madagascar, and occasionally also to Reunion, a fact 
of which MM. Schlegel and Pollen do not seem to be aware. 

3. Hypotriorchis concolor (Temm.). Grey Hobby. 

MM. Schlegel and Pollen {op. cit. p. 31) record two Mada- 
gascar examples of this species preserved in the Museum of the 
Jardin des Plantes, a third in that of Leyden {op. cit. p. 165), 
and two others in the possession of Messrs. A. and E. Newton 
which were taken at sea off the coast of Madagascar, and are 
both in immature plumage, as is also a third specimen in the 
collection of those gentlemen, which was procured in Mada- 
gascar by the late Mr. Gerrard. The bird in this plumage is 

* ' Notes sur I'ile de la Reunion ' (Paris : 1862), p. 100. Cf. Ibis, 1863, 
pp. 103, 104. 

t Since these remarks were written I have been informed by M. Ver- 
reaux that the Curator of the Reunion Museum has recently visited that 
of Paris, and has expressed his opinion that the Falcon in the former much 
resembles the two Madagascar specimens in the latter, which I believe to 
be immature females of F. minor, as already stated. 

446 Mr. J. H. Gurney on the Birds-of-prey 

figured by MM. Schlegel and Pollen {op. cit. pi. xii. fig. 1) ; but 
among the representations of it in its adult state which have been 
published I may mention that in Gould's ' Birds of Europe' and 
that (with the egg) in Ilemprich and Ehrenberg's ' Symbolae 
Physicse ' (pi. 19) under the name of Falco schistaceus. 

The Falcon from the Zambesi in the Norwich Museum which 
I formerly described (Ibis, 1866, p. 127) as an immature speci- 
men of H. concolor, appears on further examination not to belong 
to that species, but to be a young male of Erythropus amurensis 
(Ibis, 1868, pp. 41-43). 

4. DissoDECTEs zoNiVENTRis (Pctcrs). Petcrs's Falcon. 
MM. Schlegel and Pollen mention {op. cit. p. 165) that the 

Leydeu Museum has recently acquired two examples of this 
species, hitherto known only by a single specimen which was 
obtained by Dr. Peters at St. Augustine's Bay in Madagascar, 
and deposited in the Berlin Museum, but has since been 
unfortunately lost^ though happily a coloured drawing* of it is 
preserved, from which was taken the description contained in 
Dr. Hartlaub's ' Ornithologischer Beitrag zur Fauna Mada- 
gascar's' (p. 17). Dr. Hartlaub there remarks that in form 
and colouring this bird forcibly reminds ns of the genus Avicida ; 
but it is a genuine Dissodectes, to which genus it was assigned 
by Mr. Sclater (Ibis, 1864, p. 308), with comparatively short 
wings and a double-toothed upper mandible. Both the speci- 
mens at Leyden, which by Prof. Schlegel's kindness I have 
examined, are males, and were obtained in north-eastern Mada- 
gascar by M. Van Dam. They agree exactly with Dr. Peters's 
drawing except that, not being fully adult, the markings are 
rather less distinct and the white spaces between them rather 
dusky. The wing from the carpal joint measures 8*75, the tail 
5'5, tarsus 1"5, and the middle toe, without the claw, 1 inch. 

5. TiNNUNCULUS NEWTONi, Gumcy. Newton's Kestrel. 
This species appears to be the only Kestrel hitherto found in 

Madagascar, and is stated by MM. Schlegel and Pollen {op. cit. 

* [We have to mention with pleasure our indebtedness to Dr. Peters, 
who at our request some time since most obligingly lent this drawing to 
us. From it an excellent copy in facsimile was made by Mr. Smit, and 
this has been at our contributor's disposal for the present paper. — Eb.] 

of Madagascar and the adjacent Islands. 447 

p. 32) to occur also in the neighbouring islands of St. Mary, 
Nossi-be, and Nossi-falie. 

6. TiNNUNCULUs PUMCTATUS (Temm.). Mauritian Kestrel. 
This Kestrel seems to be peculiar to the island of Mauritius, 

though MM. Schlegel and Pollen state {op. cit. p. 34) that it 
appears to wander occasionally to that of Reunion*. 

7. Spizaetus OCCIPITALIS (Daudin). Occipital Hawk-Eagle. 
MM. Schlegel and Pollen [op. cit. p. 35) refer to one example 

of this African species seen, but not obtained, near Nossi-falie. 

8. AcciPiTER FRANCisc^t, A. Smith. 

9. AcciPiTER MADAGASCARiENSis, Vcrrcaux. 

MM. Schlegel and Pollen state {op. cit. p. 36) that the two 
species above mentioned are not really distinct, and that the 
first name has been applied by ornithologists only to those male 
specimens in which the under parts are of a pure white or nearly 
so, while the second name has been attached to female birds, or 
to those males more or less resembling the female in plu- 
mage from having the breast and abdomen transversely barred 
with brown or rufous markings, the intensity of which varies 
greatly in diflPerent individuals. After a comparison of specimens 
of both the so-called species in the Norwich Museum and in the 
collection of Messrs. A. and E. Newton, as well as an examina- 
tion of the large series in the Museum at Paris, I confess I feel 
doubtful as to whether this identification is or is not correct ; 
but I lean to the opinion that the two are distinct, as, if other- 
wise, the adult male birds difi"er greatly in the colouring of the 
pectoral and abdominal portions of their plumage, and more so 
than seems to be probable in the same species. 

Both these Hawks are natives of Madagascar ; and the white- 
breasted form {A. fi-anciscce) occurs also in the Comoro islands, 
whence one of two examples obtained by the late Dr. Dickerson, 
and now in the Norwich Museum, was described and figured in 

* I do not iuclude in this list any notice of T. gracilis of tlie Seychelles, 
on account of the great distance of those islands from Madagascar. 

t This would seem to be the right mode of spelling the name of this 
species, which Sir A. Smith conferred in honour of Lady Frances Cole 
(S. Afr. Q. Journ. 2nd ser. p. 280). 

448 Ml-. J. H. Gurney on the Birds-of-prey 

the former series of this Journal (Ibis, 1864, p. 298, pi. vii.). 
The sex of these specimens was not ascertained ; but, from the 
circumstance that one of them is sHghtly larger than the other — 
the dimensions of both were recorded [he. cit.) — it may be sup- 
posed that they were a pair. If, however, the view of MM. 
Schlegel and Pollen as to the specific identity of A. francisca 
and A. madagaseariensis be correct, the disparity in size between 
the two sexes is much greater than that which exists between 
the two Comoro specimens, which must therefore in that case be 
both males. The authors just mentioned, in their work, give 
(pi. xiv.) three figures of A. madagaseariensis, apparently repre- 
senting two females, one adult the other immature, and an adult 
male with transverse abdominal bands. 

10, AcciPiTER LANTZi, Verrcaux. Lantz's Sparrow-Hawk. 

I have had the pleasure of examining an immature male spe- 
cimen in the Museum at Paris of this the most normal of the 
Madagascar Sparrow-Hawks, which was originally described and 
figured by M. Jules Verrcaux (Rev. Zool. 1866, pp. 353-355, 
pi. xviii.), and since by MM. Schlegel and Pollen {op. eit. p. 35, 
pi. xiii.). It appears to have hitherto been found in Madagas- 
car only. 

11, AcciPiTER MORELi (Pollcu). MorcPs Sparrow-Hawk. 
Of this Hawk, which was obtained by M. Lantz on the east 

coast of Madagascar, the Museum of the Jardin des Plantes 
contains two specimens — an adult male from Madagascar, and an 
immature female from Mayotte. It is figured by MM. Schlegel 
and Pollen (pi. xiii. fig. 3). M. Jules Verrcaux informs me 
that he considers the Nisus polleni of M. Grandidier (Rev. Zool. 
1867, p. 85) to be identical with A. moreli. 

12, AcciPiTER BRUTUS (Pollcn). Mayotte Sparrow-Hawk. 
This small species appears to be confined to the island of 

Mayotte ; the only examples of it that I have seen are, one in 
the Norwich Museum, received in exchange from the Museum 
at Leyden, and one in the Museum of the Jardin des Plantes. 
It is described and figured by MM. Schlegel and Pollen [op. cit. 
p, 38, pi, xii. fig. 2). 

of Madagascar and the adjacent Islands. 449 

13. Haliaetus vociFEROiDES, Des Murs. Madagascar Sea- 

After examining three examples of this Eagle preserved in the 
Museum of the Jardin des Plantes (one of them having lived, 
as I am informed by M. Jules Verreaux, for five years in the ad- 
joining menagerie), I concur in the opinion of MM. Des Murs 
and Verreaux, and also in that of MM. Schlegel and Pollen, 
that it is a good and distinct species, which, I think, fills a place 
intermediate between H. vocifer and H. macm. It has been 
figured by M. Des Murs in his ' Iconographie ' (pi. vii.) and 
also by MM. Schlegel and Pollen [ujj. cit. pi. xv.) — by the two 
latter under the name of H. vociferator, an alteration of nomen- 
clature for which I am unable to account. 

I may add that some years ago Mr. Edward Newton gave to 
the Norwich Museum the head of a Sea-Eagle which had been 
killed in Mauritius. It is probably to be referred to the present 
species, which accordingly may be regarded as an accidental 
visitor to that island. 

14. BuTEG BRACHYPTERUS, Von Pelzeln. Madagascar 

Some interesting details of the habits of this species, which 
was figured in the former series of 'The Ibis ' (186.2, pi. viii.), 
are given by MM. Schlegel and Pollen [op. cit. p. 45), from the 
observations of the gentleman last named. It appears to be 
found only in Madagascar. 

15. MiLVUS ^GYPTius (Gmel.). Yellow-billed Kite. 

This Kite is frequent in Madagascar, and MM. Schlegel and 
Pollen [op. cit. p. 44) mention that it is also very common in the 
island of Mayotte. It occurs as well in Joanna, where it w^as 
met with by the late Dr. Dickerson, as recorded in ' The Ibis ' 
for 1864 (p. 298). 

16. MiLVUs MIGRANS (Boddacrt) . Black Kite. 

This Kite also occurs in Madagascar. An example killed on 
the Hivondrona, 8th September 1862 (Ibis, 1863, p. 337), by 
Mr. Edward Newton, was presented by him to the Norwich 
Museum ; and his and his brother's collection contains a second 

450 Mr. J. H. Gurney on the Birds-of-prey 

specimen — a nestling, but nearly full-fledged, obtained at 
Pomony in November 1863. 

17. Baza maDj^gascariensis (A. Smith). Madagascar Pern. 
This species is figured by MM. Scblegel and Pollen [op. cit. 

pi. xvi.) ; but it seems to me that the plumage in which it is 
there represented is immature, and that the bird in its adult 
dress has not yet been obtained. I am not disposed to con- 
cur in an opinion expressed to me by M. Jules Verreaux, that, 
when the adult of the Madagascar Pern is procured, it will 
prove to be specifically identical with the African B. cucu- 
luides; for in the first the bill and feet are decidedly larger. 
I formerly thought (c/. Ibis, 18G8, p. 143) that the Mada- 
gascar bird might be distinguished from that of Afi-ica by its 
broader rectrices ; but I find, on examination of the specimens in 
the Paris Museum, that this is not a constant character, and 
therefore reliance must not be placed on it. 

18. Pernis apivokus (Linn.). European Honey-Pern. 
The British Museum contains a specimen of a Pernis which 

formed part of the collection of Sir Andrew Smith, and is labelled 
as having been procured in Madagascar. I believe this bird 
to be an immature example of P. apivorus, as it only differs (so 
far as I can perceive) from the ordinary appearance of that species 
in its immature dress in having a somewhat unusually elongated 
and attenuated upper mandible. This, however, 1 do not regard 
as a sufficient specific distinction, as I have observed a difference 
in the comparative robustness of the bill in various European 
examples of P. apivorus, and as the bill in this species is, as a 
rule, considerably less robust than in P. cristatus. 

The description of Pernis madagascariensis, given by Sir. A. 
Smith (S. Afr. Q. Journ. 1834, p. 285), appears to me not to 
refer to the specimen in the British Museum, but to an example 
of the species I have previously mentioned under the name of 
Baza madagascariensis. 

19. Circus maillardi, Verreaux. Maillard's Harrier. 
This Harrier was first described in M. Jules Verreaux^s notes 

to M. Maillard's work on Reunion, before mentioned (pp. 160, 
161), and both sexes of it were figured in 'The Ibis ' for 1863 

of Madagascar and the adjacent Islands. 45 1 

(p. 163, pi. iv.). It is a native of Reunion ; but an adult male ex- 
ample was also obtained by Dr. Diekerson in Joanna (Ibis, 1864', 
p. 298), which is preserved in the Norwich Museum, where is 
also deposited a second adult male from the same locality, as well 
as a female and a young male procm'ed in Reunion, and presented 
by Mr. and Mrs. Felix Bedingfeld. The Paris Museum contains 
several specimens from Reuni