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Full text of "Illustrations of Indian ornithology : containing fifty figures of new, unfigured and interesting species of birds, chiefly from the south of India"

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It is with much satisfaction that the Author has brought this 
work to a conclusion, though so long delayed by various obstacles. 
Forty-seven distinct species of Birds are represented in the fifty plates. 
The great majority of them are figured here for the first time, and 
either improved figures, or different states of plumage, compose the 
remainder of the drawings. Three of the birds are from the Hima- 
layas, and one from Ceylon — all the rest inhabit the peninsula of India. 


Plate 1. 

Nisaetus Bonelli. 

Plate 26. 


Leucocirca Albofrontata. 



Zanclostomus Viridirostris, 



Accipiter Besra. 



Picus Hodgsonii. 



Prinia Cursitans. 



Muscipeta Paradisea. 



Turdus Wardii. 



Scolopax Nemoiicola. 



Pterocles Quadricinctus. 



Phfenicornis Flammeus. 



Falco Peregrinator. 



Crateropus Delesserti. 



Muscicapa Albicaudata. 



Oriolus Indicus. 



Ardea Flavicollis. 



Lanius Nigriceps. 



Pateornis Columboides. 



Malacocircus Griseus. 



Petrocincla Pandoo. 



Vinago Bicincta. 



Pastor Blythii. 



Dendrocygna Major. 



Caprimulgus Indicus. 



Ceyx Tridactyla. 


Bucco Viridis. 
Buteo Rufiventer. 
Falco Peregrinator. 
Accipiter Besra. 
Strix Candidus. 
Brachypus Poioicephalus. 
Muscicapula Sapphira. 
Otis Aurita. 
Anas Caryophyllacea. 
Pycnonotus Xantholasnius. 
Pterocles Quadricinctus. 
Brachypus Rubineus. 
Mirafra Erythroptera. 
Dicaeum Concolor. 
Picus Cordatus. 
Scops Sunia. 
Francolinus Benulasa. 
Phyllornis Jerdoni. 
Falco Luggur. 
Anthus Similis. 
Parus Nuchalis. 
Picus Ceylonus. 
Columba Elphinstonii. 
Xiphoramphus Superciliaris. 
Indicator Xantlionotus. 


at lengtli presented to the Public, after a greater delay in the publication than the Author 
was led to expect. 

The ground-TTork and branches are from the pencil of a highly talented amateur 
Artist, and the Author here begs leave to tender his most grateful acknowledgments for his 
very valuable aid, which has contributed not a little to set off the drawings and embellish 
the work. Several of the plates, however, viz. Nos., 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 12 were printed 
off before the Author became acquainted with that gentleman. Thirty additional copies of 
these plates being afterwards found necessary to meet the increasing list of Subscribers, the 
same Officer added a ground-work to these. The colourists were instructed to paint in to 
those first printed similar to that of the additional lithographs ; but, as might have been 
expected, they have not executed this part so well as the Author could have wished, and they 
were not allowed to finish all the copies. In consequence of this a difference, more marked 
in some than others, wiU be found among the plates mentioned above ; and I trust that this 
explanation may prove sufficient to those who have the opportunity of comparing the two sets. 

The 2d No. being entirely printed and partially coloui-ed, will appear at no very 
distant interval, and the nature of its contents wiU probably make it more attractive than the 
present number. 

Should the publication of the present series of fifty bu'ds be, as there is every 
reason to anticipate, successful enough to repay the Author for the heavy expenses he has 
incurred, it wiU, immediately on completion, be followed by a second set of fifty more bhds, 
and the two series will then include a very considerable number of the unfigm-ed species 
of Peninsular India. 

A classified Index will be given with the concluding No. which will notice any 
corrections of nomenclature that may be required. 

Nelloke : November 3d, 1843. 

'Af'j-aeJjM) ^^^je/ru,ot/^ , 

J'.wUtJ- iy ^..':jii-''!^-atM/- 



GENUS N I S ^ T U S— Hodgson. 




Synon. — Niscetus niveus, Jerdon — Madras Journal of Literatui-e and Science, No. 24. 

Mhoriinghee, in Hindustani — Sahua, in Teloogoo — Rajalee, in Tamool. 

The group of rapacious birds to wMcli tUs fine Eagle belongs, was first separated 
by Mr. Hodgson, iu a paper published in the 6th volume of the Journal of the Asiatic 
Society of Bengal, and the genus is there characterized as follows : — " BiU short, at base 
as high as broad, distinguished by compression without feebleness, strongly festooned, nares 
large, vertical, elliptic, angulated and wholly lateral in esposiire— wings short, finn, fifth 
quiU longest — tail long, firm and square — tarsi elevate, but not feeble, wholly feathered — 
digits elongated, nervous, the inner fore and the hind highly developed — acropodia reticu- 
late with three or four scales next each talon — talons immense, very unequal, strong and 
acute — head usually crested." — Mr. Blyth, the zealous and able Curator of the Museum of 
the Asiatic Society at Calcutta seems to thiak that this genus is not separable fi-om Spizmtus 
of authors. Not having had an opportunity of examining any of the African and South 
American Eagles classed in that genus, I cannot attempt to decide the point, but I think 
it likely there wQl be found some shades of difference, warranting at all events a sub-ge- 
peric distinction. This I consider to be the more likely as the genus is not one of universal 


HUistrations of Indian Ornithology ; 

occurrence. Moreover, Swainson has separated the Falco cristatellus, an undoubted 
member of tliis group, from the African crested Eagles, retaining however Spizafiix for 
tlie Indian Bird, and classing the others under the genus Ilarpi/ia. Sii' W. Jardine too 
in a letter to me waiting of the present subject says ' modified characters will receive both 
this, and cristatellus.' I therefore prefer for the present retaining Hodgson's excellent 
name as being more appropriate to the habits as well as structure of the birds of tliis 
group than the name SpizcBtus. — Mr. G. R. Gray, in his Genera of Birds has put Kisivfus 
as a synonjin of Limnatus. This is of coui'se a grievous error, this latter genus being 
described as having all the claws nearly equal and small. 

The present species or large Hawk-Eagle was first described and named ])y Mr. 
Hodgson in the 5th volume of the Journal of the Asiatic Society. When I drew up the 
Catalogue of Peninsular Bu-ds in the Madras Journal, I was unawai-e of Hodgson's paper, 
and referred this bird to the Falco niveus of authors, with the meagre descriptions of which 
in the books of reference I had access to, it indeed sufficiently agrees. I have however since 
ascertained it to be distinct.* I shall now give a description of the species represented here 
taken partly fi-om my own observations, and partly from the obliging communications of 
Mr. Blyth. 

Young bird. — Plumage above pale broAvn with the shaft and tip of each feather 
somewhat darker. Beneath, imder wing-coverts and tibial plumes of a rusty white (in some 
deeply stained "ndth ferruginous) with a very narrow mesial pale brown stripe on the 
feathers, almost obsolete in some. — Tail above closely and numerously barred with brown, 
on a pale brown ground. 

Adult. — Above deep aquiline or wood bro'ma. Beneath, pure white with a dark 
brown mesial line to each feather ; broader in general in the female, and most developed 
on the belly, on which in old birds the brown hue predominates, and takes the form of 
bars. Under wing-coverts dark brown — under tail-coverts white banded brown — tibial 
plumes deep brown, freckled whitish — tail hoary grey with seven bai-s and a broad subter- 
minal one. 

An intermediate state of plumage is marked by the pale edging to the feathers 

• The name Strenuus, was printed on the Plate before I was aware that the specimeD from which 
the drawing was taken was identical ia species with grandis. 


Niscettis grandis. 

of the back, by the less development of the mesial markings of the feathers of the lower 
plumage, and by the paler tint of the tibial and tarsal plumes. 

At all ages the feathers of the nape are margined with whitish (or pale brown 
in some) and their bases are conspicuously white. Bill plumbeous, black at tip — cere and 
feet pale greenish yeUow — irides bright gamboge yellow. Dimensions — Length of a male 
26 to 27 inches — wing from flexiu-e 17| to 18 inches — tail 11 — bill straight to gape 2 — 
tarstis 3|— centre digit S^V — ^'^- claw 1-^^,,. Length of female 29 to 30 inches — wing 20^ 
—tail 12i to 13. 

The large Hawk-Eagle is dispersed over the whole continent of India from the 
Himalayas to Cape Comoriu, but cannot be said to be an abimdant species, though few dis- 
tricts are not occasionally frequented or visited by a pair of them. It chiefly affects the 
more wooded and jungly districts, and especially the neighboiu-hood of hills and mountain 
ranges. It is much on the wing, sailing at a great height; and making its appearance at 
certain spots in the district it frequents always about the same hour. It may often be seen 
seated on the siunmit of a lofty tree, or on some overhanging rock. I have observed it 
chiefly on the Neilgherries, along the range of western and northern ghauts ; also though 
more sparingly in the bare Deccan and Carnatic. The individual fi;om which the present 
drawing was taken was killed in Guindy park at Madras. 

It preys by preference on various kuids of game — hares, jungle fowl, spur fowl 
and partridges, and even on pea fowl — also on ducks, herons and other water fowl, and 
according to the testimony of Sliikarees it has been known to strike down the douk, f Tan- 
talus leucocephalus . J Most native Falconers too have stories to relate of its having carried 
off a favorite hawk. On one occasion on the Neilgherries, I observed it stoop successively 
at a spiu"-fowl, hare, and pea-fowl, each time unsuccessfully however, owing to the thick- 
ness of the jungle. A pair were also wont to resort to a village at the liHls and carry off 
fowls. Mr. Elliot too mentions " that he once saw a pair of them nearly surprise a pea- 
cock, pouncing on hiui on the ground." Great havoc was connnitted among several pigeon- 
houses on the Neilgherries by a pair of these Eagles, and indeed I heard that one or tn^o 
were completely devastated by them. The manner in which they captured the pigeons was 
described to me by two or thi'ee eye witnesses to be as follows : — On the pigeons taking flight, 
one of the Eagles pounced down fi-oni a vast height on the flock, but directing its swoop 
rather under the pigeons, than directly at them. Its mate watching the moment wheCj 
alarmed by the first swoop the pigeons rise in confusion, pounces unerringly on one of them 
and carries it off. The other Eagle having risen again eilso makes another stoop which is 

Illustrat'totis of Indian Ornitltohgy ; 

generally fatal. One of these birds shot in the act was presented to me by a gentleman, 
■H ho had been a great sufferer by them. I have not yet been fortunate enough to meet with 
the nest of this Hawk-Eaglo, but it is said by native Sliikarcos to build on steep and 
inaccessible cliffs, and to breed in January or February. 

The other known Indian species of this group are : — 1st, Niseetvs niveus. — ~d, 
N. pzilcher, Hodgson. — 3rd, N. Kieieriin ; — and 4th, N. cristatellus. A fifth species 
has been merely indicated by Hodgson as N. pallidus. I shall here give a brief descrip- 
tion of these four species from copious information afforded me by Mr. Blyth. 


Syn. — Falco niccus, Tern. — F. caligattis, Raffles I — Nis. Nipalensis, Hodgson. 

Young. — Above brown, the feathers with broad pale edgings, usually has a slightly 
developed occipital crest, sometimes found possessed of a long drooping occipital egret-Hke 
crest of two long feathers — beneath white, nearly spotless — tibial plumes white, regularly cross- 
ed with pale fulvous bands — under taU-coverts ^^-hite sj)otted ^-ith broMTi — tail brown with five 
dark bands and a subterminal one broader and more distinct, — the tipwhitish — head and nape 
usiially light fulvous with dark mesial stripes, extending by age — quills barred with blackish. 

Intermediate age — Above dark aquiline brown, with pale edgings, obsolete on the 
interscapidars — beneath white with a dark mesial stripe do■^^^l the throat and 2 lateral ones 
less defined — breast with bro^\nisli black drops on each pkime — rest of tlie plumage be- 
neath nearly all dark brown — tibial feathers and under tail feathers barred with dark bro-wTi 
and white — tad bro^^-n with an ashy tinge and banded as in the young bii'd. 

Adidt — Plumage entirely dusky black, dashed with ashy on the back — the under 
surface of the primaries anterior to theu- emargination and the xmder surface of the tail 
alone albescent — caudal bands only visible beneath — cere dark livid — irides light grey 
brown in yoimg — bright yellow in adidt — feet pale wax yellow. Length of a male about 
25 inches — expanse of wings 49 — wing 15 — tail 11 — bill at gajje 1| — tarsus 3 J. Female 
from 26 to 29| inches — exi)anse54 — wing 15f— tail 11 — ^bill \l — tarsus 4. 

This species has a larger known geographical distribution than any other of th« 
genus having been found in Bengal, the Himalayas, and Java. 

Niscetus grandis. 
2ud. NlS^TUS PTJLCHEEj Hodgsoii. 

Above deep bro'UTi, blackish ou the cro-s^Ti and occipital crest ■which is 4 inches 
long — feathej's of the nape pale at base and edges — beneath -white, tmged with fulvous — 
chin blackish — central line of tlrroat and two lateral ones also blackish — breast ivith broad 
longitudinal streaks — belly and flanks banded and mottled bro-mi and white — under tail 
coverts the same — tibial plumes distinctly banded — tarsal plumes less so — upper tail coverts 
and q^uiUs also banded — tail mth 5 dark broad bai's on a bro-svnish grey ground. Length 
of mak £9 inches — ^wing 18 — tail 13. Female 33 — wing 19 — tail 14J. 

3rd.^-NisjETUs Kienieeii, Red-bodied Hawk-Eagle. 

Syn. — Astur Kiemerii, De Sparre — Guerin Mag. de Zoologie, 1835. — Nis. aliogularis, 

Tickell— Jour. As. Society, 1842. _ , 

Above black Avith a shade of brown — an occipital crest 2 J inches long — thi-oat, 
ueck, and breast, 'pure white, the sides of the last only with black streaks — belly, flanks, 
under tail coverts, legs, under surface of wings deep rufous, streaked with black on flanks 
— tail broivii, obscurely banded — ^wings. and tad beneath albescent, with narrow bands— ^ 
eaj' coverts white at base, the rest rufous, each feather streaked with black — ^irides dark 
■ — cere M'ax yellow. The spechnen fi-oni which this description Avas taken was probably 
iu its second or third year ; the younger bird as shoAvn by some unmoulted feathers had the 
broAvn of the upper plumage only moderately dark. An apparently more advanced stage is 
described by De Sparre as quoted above. Pkunage above and occipital crest, fine black, 
with copper reflections, most apparent on the wings — secondaries and ridge of wing edged 
with clear rufous — throat wliite — cheeks mixed with white black and red — neck and breast 
white with longitudinal medial black spots, most numerous and largest on the breast and 
these mixed with rufous spots — ^belly, abdomen and sides rufous, marked with nuinerous 
and large black medial spots — under tad coverts and legs unspotted rufous — tail black 
above, albescent beneath with black band. Length 22 inches — wing 16 — tail 10 — biU If — 
tarsus 3. 

A single specimen was procuxed by Lieutenant Tickell at Chyebassa in Central 
India. The specimen described by De Sparre was said to be from the Himalayas and 
is in the collection of Prince Essling. 


Illustrations of Indian Ornithology ; 
4th. — Nis^TUS CRISTATELLUS, Elliot — Madias Jotunal of Literature and Science, No. 25. 

Syn. — Falco. cristatellus, Tern. 

Judging from analogy witli other species of this genus what is apparent- 
ly the young state of this bird is tluH described by Jardine. Above and occi- 
pital crest amber brown with pale margins to each feather, forehead white, head 
and nape ycUowish browTi, mixed with amber brown. Tidl above bro\m, Avith seven 
narrow black bars, and wliite tip. Beneath, feathers of tarsi, and ridge of the 
wings white. 

Apparently the second plumage is thus described by Lesson. 

Above bro^A-n tinted with rnfous — head and neck rufous streaked •with bro'wn, 
beneath wliite streaked with bright rufous, deejiening in the flanks, inferior coverts and 
legs. Tail brownish rayed with dark brown. 

A stUl more advanced age (Mr. Elliot's specimen) has the plumage above and 
occipital crest, fine deep brown, the latter nearly black, quills banded with dark b^o^vn. 
Tail with five bands. Beneath white, each feather with a large blackish brown drop, which 
occujiies nearly the whole feather, flanks and lower part of abdomen nearly all brown. 
Tarsal feathers of a fawn tinge, spotted with brown. 

Cere and orbits dark livid or plumbeous. Length, of male 24 inches — wing IG — • 
tail ll/o — bill to gape Ixo — tarsus 4. 

The specimen described by Jardine was said to have been taken on the coast of 
England. M. Lesson's specimen was from Ceylon, and Mr. Elliot's was procured at the 
foot of the Eastern Ghauts inland from Nellore. I may add that the description of this 
latter specimen has lieon taken partly from ^Ir. Elliot's, and partly from a drawing which 
that gentleman had taken of liis specimen. 

In comparmg the descriptions of this bird with those of Nistctus nioeus, 
it is impossible I think to avoid the sujiposition that they are identical. They arc 
about the same size and relative: dimensions. The description of the young state of 
each is nearly identical, and the more advanced state as described by l\Ir. Blyth of 
N. 71 i feus only differ from that of Mr. Elliot's specimen in such a degree, as we 
should expect in a bird of one less moult. The cere of both is described as being livid. 
It is represented very short in Mr. Elliot's drawing thus further corresponding with 
Ulceus, and lastly the geographical distribution of niveus being comparatively so extensive. 

Niscetus grandis. 

we have every reason to expect its occTu-rence in Soutliem India. I may here state that 
I observed a bird apparently of this species in higli jungle at the foot of the Neilgher- 
ries. It was seated on the summit of a high tree and had its crest raised. I was xmfor- 
tunately unable to procure it. 

In a future part of this publication I hope to be able to give a figure of the adult 
plumage of Niscetus grandis. 


^,^cfccc^zcu M^/^-a^^^^ , 

Bu*^*W^y ■ -t^^^iS^MGn^ij^oic- 




PLATE 11. 



Synon. — Blnpidura albofrontata, Franklin — Proc. Zool. Soc. 1831^ page 116. 

Mucliurrea, Hindustani. 

In tlie excellent volxune on Flycatchers by Swainson, in the Naturalist's 
Library, tbis genus was first proposed to be separated from Rhipidura ; the cbief 
distinctions being the bill more lengthened, broader at the base, and less compressed 
towards the tip, the bristles not quite so long, and the legs and feet more deve- 
loped. It appears restricted to the tropics of the old world, more especially to 
India and its Islands. 

The subject of our present plate was first described by Major Franklin, in his 
usefid Catalogue of Birds procured by him on the banks of the Ganges and the Vindhiau 
range of mountaius, which was published in the Proceedings of the Zoological Society for 
1831. It was also iacluded by Colonel Sykes ia his Catalogue of the Birds of the Diikhun, 
pubhshed in the same work, and I gave a brief account of its habits in my Catalogue of 
Birds of the Peninsula of India, published in the Madras Journal of Literature and Science. 
It would accordingly appear to have a tolerably extensive distribution over the continent 
of India, though it has not been found in Bengal, its place there being taken by the 
Rhipidura fuscoventris of Franklin, which I have not yet observed in the Peninsula, 

Illustrations of Indian Ornithology ; 

though it is included in Colonel Sykes' list. Towards the South of the Peninsula, the 
ITliite-browed Fantail is only found at all common in those districts abounding in wood, 
and it is of frequent occurrence all along the Western coast, though not found, that I am 
aware, in the dcjitlis of the forests, preferring chiefly avenues of large trees, gardens, and 
the more open portions of the jungle. In the bare Carnatic, it is only met with now and 
then in large topes or groves of trees, and extensive gardens, and still more sparingly in 
some of the patches of low jungle found in the more liilly portions of this district. Towards 
the more Northern part of the Peninsula however, as I had an opportunity of observing 
at Jaulnah, N. Lat. 20°, it is much more common and diffused, and may be seen in every 
clump of trees or garden. 

In its habits it appears to be the most active and restless of the whole family, con- 
tmually flitting about from branch to branch, snapping up an insect on the wing every 
now and then, and raising its outspread tail, and lowering its wings, whenever it reseats 
Itself on a twig. It hardly ever flies beyond a few feet after an insect, and seldom re- 
turns to the same perch, traversing in succession most of the branches of the tree, and not 
resting during even the heat of the day. I have usually seen it solitary, occasionally two 
or three in company. I have several times seen it alight on the ground, and on one or two 
occasions observed it seated on the back of a cow, and pursuing insects from this unusual 
perch. Its chief food consists of mosquitoes and other small dipterous insects, whence 
its Hindustani name. 

It has a pleasing little song, which it warbles forth every now and then, consisting 
of several notes following each other in a regiilarly descending scale. Colonel Sykes speak- 
ing togetherof this bird, and L. fuscoventris, says, " The male has a very sweet note. He 
spreads and raises his tail over his head in hopping from bough to bough." Its popular 
name in Teloogoo is Dasharee pitta, a name wliich refers to the conspicuous white forehead 
and eyebrows, Dasharee being the Teloogoo name for the white stripe, with which certain 
of the Hindoos adorn their foreheads. I was inibrmed that its name in Malayalum is 
Manatee, or Washertnan, given from the continual upraising of its tail, the washermen 
in this coimtry raising their clothes high above their heads and beating them on a stone. I 
am ignorant of any facts as to its nidification. The species is figured here for the first 
time I believe. I shall add a brief description of it, and a synopsis of the other 
Indian species. 

Description. — Plumage above and neck in front, dusky black, darkest on head and 

Leucocirca albofrontata. 

neck, and palest on the tail — forelieadj eyebrows extending to the nape, plumage beneath, 
a few spots on the wing coverts, and the tips of the tail feathers (except the two centre ones) 
white — chin and throat white mottled with black — hides dark brown — bill and legs blackish 
— ^length about 7 inches or 7 J — extent of wiags 10 — wiag from flexure Sto — hiU at gape 
T°o — at firont about tV — ^tarsusr^o — tail S/o — ^weight 6| drachms. 

The other ascertamed Indian species of tlais group are as follows : — 
1. — L. fuscoventris — jRhipidiira fuscoventris of Franklin, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1831, 
and Sykes — mentioned above. 

2. — L. pectoralis, Jerdon — New species. Description — head and cheeks black 
. — rest of plumage above dusky black - — band across the breast black white spotted, chin 
blackish — throat white — ^abdomen and iinder tail coverts whitish, tinged with fulvous- — 
feathers of the tail light dusky, all, except the centre ones, tipped lighter — bill and legs 
blackish — irides dark bro^ni — ^length 6J inches— whig 3 — tail otV — tarsus t\ — bill at front 
jV — at gape -^-a — weight 6^ drachms. 

In my Catalogue of Birds previoiisly referred to, I mention under the head of L. 
fuscoventris, that I had observed that species on the Neilgherries, though I had not pro- 
cured it. Since that time I obtained this bird and found it to be distinct and apparently 
undescribed, so I have accordingly characterized it as above. It fi-equents cMefly the 
warmer valleys at the edges of woods, and occasionally hedges and thickets. Its habits are 
much the same as those of its congeners. 
3. — L. liypoxantlia, Blyth, 

Description. — Above of the usual dusky coloru* — eyestreak, and enthe under parts 
brihiant-yellow — ^taH conspicuously white shafted with white iaterior edges to the feathers 
for their terminal half — length 4J inches. Hab. DarjeeHng. 


^^t<n^^^/i'/nuj y/^^^A^f'JM^-^ 1 

JMn£Ujy/.i//ij'. /l^i&JiMM.y'-' 







Synon. — Phcenicophceus Jerdoni, Blytli. — J. A. S. 1842 — page 1095 — ^not Ph. viridirostris,- 

Eyton— P. Z. S. 1839.. 

I described tMs bii-d as apparently new in my Catalogue of Bu-ds of the Indian; 
Peninsula already referred to, and ]SIr. Blyth: to whom I sent specimens so far assents to 
this that he has given it a new name, but he says, " In most particulars this bird agrees 
■with Dr. Latham's description of his Madagascar Cuckoo the Serisomuscristatus of Swauison, 
or Coucou Huppe de Madagascar of BuiTon,. which Levaillant states is also found in some 
parts of India, Dr. Latham adding, that ' I find a similar one among the drawings of Mr, 
DanieU, found in Ceylon, and there called Handee Kootah.' No doubt the present 
species is alluded to in both cases." That the species foiind in Ceylon and figured by 
DanieU may be identical with our bird, I have very little doubt, but that the Madagascar 
Cuckoo, referred by Swaiason to his genus Seriscmus (which indeed appears to have been 
created purposely for it) be the same as the species here figured^ no one, who compares the 
structure of the bill of the Green-hilled Cuckoo with that of Serisomus cristatus (as given by 
Swainson ia his Synopsis, evidently feom nature) can for a moment imagine ; and I presunre 
that Mr. Blyth has drawn this hasty conclusion without referring to the figure here alluded to: 
Mr. BLythmoreover has included this bird. in the genus Phasnicophmus of Vieillot,. though lie 


Illustrations of Indian Ornithology ; 

says of it, and a nearly allied species, 31elias tt-isfis of Lesson, " the bill is still more com- 
pressed and proportionally smaller, assuming neai'ly the same form as in Zanclostomus, 
Arherein Mr. Jerdon has even placed one of them." On referring to Swainson's definition ol' 
the two genera I am still inclined to place our present bird in the genus Zanclostomus, it may 
be as a somewhat aberrant species. 

The Green-hilled Cuckoo is dispersed over a great portion of the Peninsula of In- 
dia, though by no means common except in some few localities. It has not as yet been 
prociu-ed in Bengal, but I have little doubt that it extends into Central India. 

In the bare Carnatic and the Deccan it is chiefly to be met with in those districts 
where the land is much enclosed, as in part of the Zillah of Coimbatore, where large tracts 
of country are enclosed by thick and in many cases lofty hedges of A'arious species of 
Euphorbia, ivhich afford shelter and abundance of food to this bird. It is also to be found 
in patches of low and thorny jungle, more especially if, as is the case mth many of the 
low ranges of hills in the Carnatic, bushes of Euphorbia form a prominent portion of the 
jungle. Thi-oughout the West Coast where jungles and forests abound, it is much more com- 
mon, especially in those parts where bam^boos occur, and where numberless creepers 
entwine themselves and hang in luxui'iant festoons from almost every tree. Such is the 
peculiarly appropriate haunt of our Cuckoo, which diligently searches the foliage for various 
species of mantis, grasshopper and locust, whose green coloiu-s and odd forms though 
assimilating so strongly to the plants on which they rest, are of but little avail against its 
keen and searching eye. It is usually found single, and when observed but seldom takes 
to flight, making its way most adroitly through the most tangled breakes or hedges, and 
concealing itself on the opposite side. I was informed that its Hindustani name is ' Kiippra 
Popeya,' and in Teloogoo it is called by some Wamanah Kakee. I never heard its cry, 
and know nothing of its nidification. 

Descrijjtion, — General colour above dark greenish grey, the wings and tail glossy 
green, tail feathers tipped white ; beneath light dusky greyish, tinged with ferruginous on 
breast, and the feathers of the throat and neck dark at their bases. Length about 15 inches 
— of which the tail is nearly 10 — wing 5j — bill to forehead 1 inch— at gape 1| — tai-sus 
Iruths — weighs 2 oz. 12 drachms, 

A closely allied species to this is the Zanclostomus trietis, Melias tristis of Lesson, 
and the Phanicoplimus longicandatus of Blyth's ]\Ionograph of the Indian Cuculidce, which 
that gentleman informs me he considers identical. This species inhabits Nepal and the 

Zanchstomus viridirostris. 

Tenasseriiii provinces. It bears a very close reserablance in colour to our Penin^ar bird, 
but is much, larger, being £3 inches long, of which the tail is 16f . The only other ascer- 
tained Indian species of this genus is Zanclosiomus Sirkeer, the Eudynamys Sirkee of Gray 
and Hardwick, and Sirkee Cuckoo of Latham, which I have found, though more 
rarely, iu the same localities as the last. 


.-^ct-^^jifl' -i^i?<^-«7j 

-^"■^'■^ /,/ tfl'-yti-^/^,,^,,^;,^^ 







Synon. — Accip. minutus, Auct. ? — Ace. Dussumierii of Sytes' Catalogue 1 — Ace. fringilla- 
nWjJerdon — Catalogue No. 35? — Ace. BeSra do.. No. 34, Madras Journal, No. xxiv. 
Besra, (tlie female.) Dliotee, (the male,) in Hindustani. Vaishtapa Byaga, in Teloogoo. 
Oor cMtlee, Canarese of tlie Halapyk caste. 

At No. 34 of my Catalogue of Birds of Southern India, I very briefly indicated 
this species, from Mr. Elliot's notes, never having to my knowledge at that time seen the 
Besra, while under No. 35, I described a Hawk procured by me on the Coonoor pass of the 
Neilgherries in thick forest, which, if not identical with the Besra, is a very closely allied 
species. Since that Catalogue was published I have seen two living specimens of the 
Besra, and have procured the skin of another, and am thus enabled to present to the 
scientific world the accompanying figure and description, which latter, however, is much 
less complete, than I could have wished, as I am at present unable to give an account of the 
changes of plumage of this Hawk, so necessary to a full knowledge of the species. I trust 
however to be enabled to do so before this publication is finished. Although I suspect that 
the Besra may be the Accipiier minutus of authors, which though originally described from 
Malta, is said by Lesson to have been received from Ceylon and the Coromandel coast, yet 
as there is another small species of Sparrow Hawk (the Khandesra) also found here, I 


Illustrations of Indian Ornilhology ; 

have placed it as a distinct species for the present, till specimens have been compared ^\ ith 
those named Ace. minutus in European collections, unless the present figure and description 
be sufficient to guide Naturalists at Home in deciding the point. I think it very probable 
th at the Ace. Dussumierii of Sykes' Catalogue be no other than this species, as it agrees in 
size, whilst his Ace. Dukhunensis is apparently the F. Dussiimierii of Temniinck. 

The Besra is a comparatively rare Hawk, though weU. knoAvn, by name at least, to 
every native who takes an interest in lia\\ king. Its permanent resorts are the large and lofty 
forests of Western India, and it is only after the breeding season is over, about July, that a 
few bii-ds, usually young ones, straggle to various portions of the Eastern parts of the Peninsula, 
and there only to districts more than usually wooded or jungly. Here they remain a few 
months, and retiun again to the Western forests for the purpose of breeding. Mr. Elliot says 
that " he has only met with it in the Soonda jungles (in Canara) where it is taken young by 
a caste called Halapyks, and sold to falconers fi-om Hyderabad." I have reason to believe that 
several individuals are annually captured on certain districts on the Eastern coast, where 
from time immemorial they have been known to resort to on migrating from the Western coast. 

The Besra and other short winged Hawks, as well as occasionally the Luggur and 
some of the Falcons, are usually caught by what is called among Falconers the Do Guz. 
This is a small thin net from four to five feet long, and about tlaree feet broad, stained of a 
dark colour, and fixed between tAVo thin pieces of bamboo, by a cord on which it runs. The 
bamboos are fixed lightly in the ground, and a living bird is picketed about the middle of 
the net and not quite a foot distant from it. The Hawk makes a dash at the bird, which it 
sees struggling at its tether, and in the keenness of its rush, either not observing the net 
from its dark colour, or not heeding it, dashes into it, the two side sticks give way, and the 
net folds round the bird so effectually as to keep it almost from fluttering. 

The Besra is said to be somewhat more difficult to train than most of the Hawks, 
and it is a delicate bird, and requires great care and attention, especially during the hot 
season. It is highly esteemed among Native Falconers, and sells for a considerable price. 
It is very speedy, and particularly active and clever in jungle, which its habits, as a denizen 
of the forests in its wild state, peculiarly fit it for. It is chiefly flo^vn at the partridge, which 
it seizes in general with great ease and certainty ; also occasionally at quails, snipes and doves. 
The male or dhotee is but seldom trained and is then flown at sparrows, braliminy mynas, 
(pastor pa^odarumj and other small birds. I shall now give a description of this Hawk. 

Male, \st year. — Plumage above clear wood or hair brown, darkest on the head — 

The Besra Haivlc. 

a few of the feathers at the bend of the -wing faintly edged with riifous — ear coverts cinereous 
- — throat white with a longitudinal dusky streak in the centre — plumage beneath wlaite, with 
large brown marks, long, oval, and somewhat lanceolate on the breast, more rounded on the 
abdomen, and forming broad bars on the sides — tail with four dark brown bars on a pale 
ashy brown ground — ie§ feathers white, closely marked with small roundish brown marks — 
luider tail-coverts purewliite — bill blueish, black at tip — cere and orbitur skin pale greenish 
yellow — legs and feet pale yellowish green with a glaucous tinge — hides golden yellow, with 
an exterior circle of black — tarsus long, thin and compressed of apparently two long plates, 
one before and one beliind. Length 10 iaches — wing from flexure 6 — tail 5 — tarsus 2. 
The second quill is longer than other species of this genus — -the thkd is equal to the fifth, 
and but shghtly shorter than the fourth, which is longest. There are eight scutella on the 
posterior toe next the claw, seven on the internal, twenty -five on the centre, and seventeen 
on the external toe. 

The specimen from which the accompanying figure was taken (as well two liv- 
ing birds I have seen) was beginning to moult, and the new feathers were of a dark cinere- 
ous or slaty hue, and Native Falconers assure me that such is the colour of the upper plu- 
mage of the 5esra after its first moult and which it is said not again to change. If this be 
the case, the specimen I procured on the side of the Neilgherries formerly alluded to cannot 
well be this species, as it has the upper plumage of dark clove brown, whilst the under fea- 
thers have the usual barred character of the Hawks after their first moult. It has the lower 
plumage white, numerously and broadly barred with rufous brown, mixed with dusky brown. 
The length of this bird was about 14 iaches — wing 7i — ^tail 5to — tarsus 2,-h — middle toe 
with claw lA — tarsus thin, pale yellow, with the anterior and posterior scales each of one 
entire piece, and no lateral scales. In this specimen too the head and back of neck are dark- 
est, almost black indeed, and the tail Hght grey with four broad dark bars on the centre 
feathers and sis on the external ones, face and ears dusky, thi'oat white, with longitudinal 
medial stripe — and under tail-coverts pure white. I possess a drawing of this bird, but 
am at present unwiUing to separate it fi-om the Besra till I am more thorouglily certified 
of the changes of plumage the latter undergoes, and especially the style of the mark- 
ings of the lower plumage. Native Falconers enumerate several varieties of the Besra, some 
of which may be distinct species, others perhaps only varieties of colour. These I shall 
ahude to presently. 

Two other well ascertained species of Sparrow Hawk are found in the South of 
India, one the Accip. Dussumierii F. Dussumieni of Tenuninck, the Ace. Dukhunensis of 

Illustrations of Indian Ornithology ; 

Sykes, and probably also F. hadius figured most wretchedly in Bro\^Ti's Illustrations of 
Zoology from Ceylon. This is the Shikra of the Natives, is well known and extremely 
common, and is more frequently trained than any other bird of prey in India. It is a 
bold, though not a very speedy bird, yet will seize partridges or quaUs, and strike down 
a crow or even a larger bu-d. I see that Mr. Blyth proposes placing it in the genus 
Astur, rather than in Accipiter, owing to the shortness of its toes, but though this charac- 
ter certainly makes it an aberrant species of the latter genus, its superior length of tarsus 
would equally make it an aberrant Astur. The other Hawk is closely allied to the 
European Ace. fringillarius. It is the Basha of Indian Falconry, and has been named Ace. 
nisosimilishj hient. Tickell of the Bengal Aiuny. The Khandesra is another small species 
which I have hitherto in vain endeavoui-ed to procure, though the concurrent testimony 
of many Shikaries from all parts of the country gives me every reason to conclude that it 
is a distinct and well marked species. It was described to me as having a shade of plu- 
mage more resembling the Basha than the Besra, with the markings small and ill defined, a 
small head and eye, and a short tail — and is about the size of the Besra. It is said to be 
the speediest of all the Sparrow Hawks. I trust to be enabled to procure one before 
very long. 

In a Native work on Falconry, I saw at Aurungabad, the Besra is enumerated, 
and fom- varieties are mentioned — 1st, The Kliandesra — 2nd, The Chateesrah — 3rd, The 
SakhurtaJi, and 4th, The Besra proper — of -these I have akeady mentioned the Besra and 
the Khandesra. I have also heard Falconers speali of the Chateesrah but it appears little 
known at present, and the Sukhurtah appears unknown now. In another work sent to me 
by Mr. Blyth for perusal, the Besra is thus divided. — 1st, The Khund Besra proba- 
bly the same as the Khandesra. — 2nd, Khura Besra, perhaps the Besra proper. — 3rd, The 
Jutesura, most likely the Chateesrah. — 4th, Bhagureena — this I never heard of — it may be a 
native synonym of the Sukhurtah. — 5th, Khod. — 6th, Khur Besra. — 7th, Manik Besra. I 
strongly suspect that these three names are only different appellations for the same hawk 
which from the description given of the Manik Besra is undoubtedly the Astur Indicus of 
Hodgson, called G6r Besra in the South of India, which is also again mentioned shortly 
afterwards in the same work as the Chooryalee, a name which Hodgson in his description 
of Astur Indicus gives as its name in the Eastern Tarai. 

I trust to be enabled in the coui'se of the present series of Illustrations to give a 
di-awing of the second plumage of the Besra from a living specimen. 







Synon. — Hemilophus Hodgsonii, Jerdon, No. 213, Cat. (with coloured figure) Madras 
Jom-n. of Lit. and Science, No. xxvii, page 215. 

This fine Woodpecker is found in the lofly forests of Western India, but is by 
no means common, and I have never yet been enabled to procure a fresh specimen, as it is 
extremely wary. Native Shikarees however occasionally shoot it, and it is by no means un- 
common to see it in collections formed by Gentlemen on the West coast. Of its geographical 
distribution out of the Peninsula, I am at present ignorant. 

Description. — Head, crest, and stripe from the lower mandible crimson, lower part 
of the back and middle of the belly white, the rest of the plumage deep black, biU. black, 
legs plumbeous. Length of one specimen (the largest I have seen) 19i inches long — of 
wing 9 — tail 7 1 — tarsus 1^ — biU to front 2t'o — at gape 2to — width at base ^ inch — wing 
Trith 6th quill longest — tail much wedged. It appears to belong to Swainson's subgenus 

It appears to resemble very closely the Picus lencogaster of Temminck, which 
Horsfield identifies with his P. Jacensis, siace named P. Horsfieldii by Wagler. In none 
of the descriptions however of these species do I find any mention of the conspicuously 


Illustrations of Indian Omithologtj ; 

white back. Mr. Blyth however seems to think that my bird may be identical with lenco- 
gaster, as he has seen a specimen of this latter from the Tenasserim Coast with some white on 
the lower part of its back, — but as I have now seen some six or eight specimens of /'. 
Hodgsonii, in each of which the white back was equally developed, I am therefore led to 
conclude that it is a distinct species. I beg to repeat here that I have very great pleasure 
in dedicating tliis fine Woodpecker to B. H. Hodgson, Esq., our accomplished Resident at 
the Court of Nepal, M'hose long promised work on the Zoology of that country, I am glad to 
see may shortly be expected. 


l/A^£^-txy (u^^.^^'^ce^r^^ f 

P^^ri^ji ^y £Kfijt*t<fn4^.t>/<, 








This curiously plumaged little species of Prima was fii-st described by Major 
FranMin ia bis excellent Catalogue of Birds before alluded to. Since tbis plate was print- 
ed, Mr. Blytb bas suggested to me tbat it would be more appropriately included in tbe genus 
Cysticola of modern autbors. It appears to bave a very extended distribution over tbe Con- 
tinent of India, being found from tbe Himalayas to Cape Comorin, witbin a few miles of 
wbicb place I first prociu-ed it. I bave seen it in every district wbere I bave been and at aU 
levels up to tbe summit of tbe Neilgberries. It is only found in long grass, or corn and 
rice fields, and is a permanent resident here. On being raised it will occasionally take 
refage in a low tree or busb, if sucb sbelter happen to be close at band, but in general it flies 
slowly, in a jerking manner and with apparent difficulty for a few yards, and then drops 
down and conceals itself among tbe blades of grass or com, allovring you to approach very 
close, before it again attempts to rise. It often advances rapidly several yards fi-om tbe spot 
wbere it alighted, but whether by running on tbe ground (as its name woxdd seem to imply) 
or by hopping from blade to blade I cannot say. 

Tbe Grass TFarS^er feeds on ants, larvae of grasshoppers, and various other small 
insects. I have not succeeded in finding its nest, but bave been told that it lays its eggs on 
the ground in a tuft of grass. It is far from being an uncommon bii'd, and most Sportsmen 
whether after snipe, florikin, or quail must have flushed hundreds of them. The Hia- 

Illustrations of Indian Ornithology ; 

dustani name signifies Grass Warbler, the -n-ord Phootkee, or Pitpittee, being apiDlicd indis- 
criminately to all the small PrinicB and Syhiw, in this case however with a distinct specific 
appellation indicative of its resorts. 

Description — Plumage above of a pale ycUowish brown, largely streaked with 
dark brown — chin and throat white, the rest of the plumage beneath pale fulvous or 
rufescent — tail feathers (except the two centre ones) with a black band at the apex, tipped 
white — this is most strongly marked beneath — quills and centre tail feathers dusky edged 
with brown — ^bill brown, pale beneath — legs fleshy yellow — hides light brownish yellow. 
Length 4 to 4^ inches — wing ItV — 2 — tall nearly 2 — arsus A — extent of wings 5| — 
bni at front -is. 


.^^^^Jie^ ^UM^eu^e^, 

X ^. 

fl-^„CU /yZMc a^^'^."^^^.' 






Synon. — Musdcapa paradisi, L. — M. Indica, Stephens. — Upupa paradisea, L. — M. casta- 

nea, Termn. 

I HAVE introduced here a drawing of this well known. Flycatclier, to prove the fact 
that the Micscipeta Indica and M. paradisea of authors are one and the same species. 
This I presume has been suspected more or less by various Naturalists, for Colonel Sj'kes 
in his Catalogue of Bhds of the Dukkun* speaking of these two supposed species, says, 
" These two birds have been lately erroneously considered to belong to one species. They 
were never found, however, by Colonel Sykes (who shot manj') in the same locality, nor 
did he observe any intermediate state of plumage. The difference between the females 
of the two bhds at once decides the distinction of species." For my own part though 
I recognised the exact identity of size and structure, I never doubted that Colonel Sykes 
was correct in his assertion, until I met with the specimen, a figure of wliich is here 
given. Knowiag the interest attached to such a specimen, I sent it to Mr. Blyth for inspec- 
tion, and that gentleman in his Report of the Asiatic Society's Museum for September 1842, 
makes the following observations on it. " A particularly interesting specimen, as demon- 
strating what I have for some time been convinced of from observation of the living birds, 

* Proceedings of Zoological Society for 1832, pnge Si. 

llhisfratioiis of Indian Ornitholog]/ ; 

and especinlly their notes, that this aiul the M. Iiidica rcl casfuiiea Auctoium, are but 
different states of phimage of the same species, both sexes of which attain tlic white garb 
vith full maturity, thougli breeding before they assume this livery. In the present specimen, 
a male, which is sent for inspection and exhibition by Mr. Jerdon, the whole under parts, 
some of the upper tail-coverts, and the upper tcrtiaries of tlie wings are i)ure white, the 
last displajing the usual black markings, while the rest of tlie plumage is bright chesnut, ex- 
cept the head and neck, which are glossy green-black as usual, and it moreover docs not 
appear that this bird was moulting, but that tlie individual had thrown out this interme- 
diate garb at the last renewal of its feathers, a few of these (among the interscapularies) 
being partly white, and partly of tire chesnut hue of reputed M. castaneu. One of our 
taxidermists assures me, however, tliat he has shot a male of this species during its moult, 
in wliich the chesnut feathers were aU being replaced by white ones, and mentions particu- 
larly that one only of its long chesnut middle tail-feathers had been cast ; and that a new 
Avhite one was growing in its place. I may further add that Mr. Hodgson has akeady 
presented the Museum with white and chesnut specimens, referring both to 31. paradisea ; 
and that I have seen a ■\\lute male jiaired ^^ith a chesnut female, though more frequently 
jiairs of the same colour associate. This bird is not uncommon in the vicinity of Calcutta 
at aU seasons ; and I have seen a nest of yoimg ones which were dull chesnut, with merely 
a slight indication of the black hood."* On writing to my friend S. N. "Ward, Esrp M. 
C. S. on this subject he seems to think (and he has had good opportunity of observing 
these bu'ds) that the whiteplumagcd birds, are males in theu' breeding plumage only, and 
that they change back to their usual chesnut hue afterwards, also that the females arc al- 
ways red. That this latter is the case I have alwa}'s been led to believe (never having shot 
a wliite female) in opposition to j\Ir. Bh'th's idea that " both sexes attain the white garb 
'^^'ith fuU mati.u'ity." Fiuther investigations are still wanting to enable us to come at the 
%^'hole truth. 

This elegant Flycatcher is dispersed over the whole continent of India, but is only 
at all common in the most Avooded portions of the country, preferring dense bamboo jungle. 
It however occasionally visits gardens and groves of trees in all jiarts of the Peninsula. In 
its habits it is restless and wandering, Hitting continually from branch to branch, and often 
Avandering fi-om tree to tree. It feeds on various insects wluch it captures in the air, or oc- 
casionally snaps off a branch. Colonel Sykes says, it feeds in the ground, and chiefly on Aerv 
minute insects. This I ha\'e not i'ound to be the case as far as my opportunities of ob- 

* Jounml .^siitif Society, No, 129, page SSi. 

Muscipeta paradisea. 

serving this bird have served. I have generally seen it single, occasionally in. pairs. It 
is said to breed in bamboos. It has a loud harsh grating cry of alarm, but I never heard 
any other note. When it seizes an insect it makes a loud snap with its mandibles. 

I need not give a further description of the Paradise Flycatchei', and shall merely 
here add its dimensions. Length to end of ordinary tail about 9 inches — "wing oJg — tail 
about 5, centre tail feathers vary fi-om 14 to 21 inches or more — bill at front /^-ths — at 
gape IjVth — tarsus /oths — bill and orbits lilac blue — inside of mouth pale yellow — legs 
and feet pale blueish — iiddes dark brown. Mr. Ward informs me that he lately procured 
a white male with 3 long tail feathers. 

Its name in Hindustanee is Hoosseinee Bulhid (the white one) and Shah Bulbul 
or Sultana Bulbid (the chesnut one.) In Teloogoo it is called Tonka Peegeelee-pitta, 
which means long tailed Bulbul, and in Tamool, Walkonddlatee, which has the same 
meaning. In Malyaluin I was informed it is called by a name signifying the king of heayen. 


.'///it^/fJ /rrru/u 

f,,,i,..i '■v /.iZ/ur .Ci^AS-*l"i/t%i^' ■ 



PLATE Fill. 



I am indebted to my friend S. N. Ward, Esq. M. C. S., for the only specimen of 
this curious Thrush, I kave yet seen. It was procured by him in the table-land of Mysore 
immediately below the Segoor pass of the Neilgherries, during the cool season — I regret that 
I know nothing of its habits. 

I have dedicated it to Mr. Ward a keen and zealous Naturalist to whose researches 
I am akeady indebted for several novelties, and from whom I hope to receive shortly a 
still further accession to the Peninsular Fauna. Mr. Blyth to whom I forwarded for in- 
spection the unique specimen I possess of this Thrush, thus speaks of it in his Museum report 
for September 1842. " A remarkably coloured species from Mysore, connecting the Black- 
bird group with the Oreocinclce of Gould." 

Description. — General colour black — eye-streak and lower parts from the breast 
white — upper tail coverts banded black and white, all the wing feathers tipped white, 
forming a conspicuous patch on the lesser wing coverts, a streak on the edge of the 
greater coverts, and another on the end of the smaller wing feathers. Sides of the 
body banded with dusky black — tail feathers black, white tipped and edged, most so 
on the external feathers, diminishing to the medial tail feathers — irides dark brown 
— ^biH yeUow, dusky at the base above — legs, feet and claws yellow. Length 9 


Illustrations of Indian Ornithology ; 

inclies — extent 14| — wing from flexui-e 4x%- — tail 3tV — tarsus ItV to sole — bill at gape 
ItV — to forelicad fifths. "Weiglied nearly 2J oz. — thii-d quill longest — second equal 
to tlie fifth — fii'St rudinieutary — fourth very slightly shorter than the thii'd. 



^c<^^t^^A«.x Ti^ntffA/r^^a , 

R^MiU/iy-L i/*x. 0'MM'^f'''^i^' 







This bii-d, tlie solitary Snipe of Sportsmen on the NeilgherrieSj is a cold wea- 
ther -visitant to those hiUs^ and probably also to other of the elevated table-lands of South- 
ern India, as well as to the snmmit of the wooded ghauts. I have been informed that 
several large or ' solitary snipe' have been shot at times in different parts of the low country, 
which most likely were of this species. Mr. Hodgson &st described* this S?iipe as a 
Avinter resident in Nepal. Of its geographical range out of India we have at present 
no information, but it probably extends far North, and likewise towards the East. 

On the Neilgherries the solitary Snipe is by no means abundant, seldom more than 
tvs'o or three dozens being in general shot during the whole season, It frec[uents the 
sTdrts of the dense woods on the hills, generally near a swamp or marshy ground, or a run- 
ning stream, and is never flushed in the open ground, and when driven from a wood always 
seeks the shelter of a bush if no other wood be at hand. It seldom flies to any distance, 
taking advantage of the nearest aA'ailable place of reiuge. Its flight is not very rapid and 
indeed rather heavy. Though so little larger than the common Snipe, its broad wings give 
it more the appearance of a Woodcock on the wing, for which it is invariably mistaken by 
a beginner. 

• Gleanings of Science, No. 32 — and Journal Asiatic Society, Vol. -vi, page 490. 

Illustrations of Indian Ornithology ; 

Description, — I shall here contcut myself vith saying that it differs in coloring 
from the common Snipe chiefly iii the whole of the under sui-facc being barred. Other 
shades of difference will be better appreciated by comparing a common Snipe witli the 
figuie here given, than by the most elaborate description. 

Dimensions. — Length about ISj to 1.3 inches long — extent 19 — of wing 5^ — 
T. Sj — bill 2A — tarsus H — I have generally found them about 5 j ounces heavy ; Mr. 
Hodgson says, weight 7 oz. 

I shall here transcribe part of Mr. Hodgson's remarks on this bu-d. " This in- 
teresting species forms by its size, its manners, and some points of its structure, a link 
between the genera Scohjxix, and Gallinago, but deviates from both towards Rhynchcea, 
by the feebleness of its soft, bowed and sub-gradated wings which have the second quill 
longest. Its general structure is that of a Snipe, but its bUl is a "Woodcock's, and 
the legs and feet are larger than in GaUinago. It is shj-, non-gregarious, avoids the 
open cultivated country, and is only found in the haunts of the Woodcock, with this 
difference in its manners, as compared with those of Scolojmx, that it is averse from the 
interior of woods. The wings are usually fr'om f to 1 inch less than the taU, and the 
prime and tertial qudls are equal. The tarsi differ fi'om those of the common Snipe in 
that the scales, posteally are broken on the mesial line, whereas they are entii'e in that bird." 

.f^he^ATr/ftJ ffU.4i«k'f'z^/n/>^^ 

Pr^irji^ ^ .X.M»CU-^i>^'^pt^--> 








Synon. — Pterocles quadricinctus, Temminck, Pig. et Gall? Gelinote des Indes — Sonnerat 
—^Tetrao Indicus, Gmeliii — Perdix Indica, Latliam —uEnas Indicus and ^. hicinctus 
of Vieillot (according to Lesson and Wagier.) 

If the Pterocles quadricinctus of Temminck, an inhabitant of Senegambia, be 
identical witli 0Vixl.Tidi\a.n painted Rock-grouse, as is asserted in all the systematic works I have 
access to, which give both Africa and India as its habitat, than the specific name Indicus, 
long ago employed, has the priority ; but, on comparing specunens lately with Wagler's 
description, I found several points of difference, and Wagier himself says, ' Is the bird des- 
cribed by Sonnerat really to be referred to this V Had I noted this sooner, and before 
the Plate was printed, I would have been inclined to have substituted the old term Indicus, 
but as our Indian bird had been referred without any hesitation to quadricinctus by Colonel 
Sykes, as well as by all systematists, I omitted previously to compare it more accurately. 
As it is, I am now inclined to consider our present Rock-grouse a distinct species fi-om 
Quadricinctus, and it wUl of course bear the name of Pterocles Indicus. 

This handsomely plumaged Rock-grouse is to be found in suitable localities 
throughout India, but is by no means a common or abundant species. Unlike the Pterocles 
exustus, which delights in the bare and rocky plains, this bird is only to be seen in bushy and 


Illustrations of Indian Ornithology , • 

jungly ground, and prefers the neighbourhood of" low liills. It is always mot with in pairs. 
and -when flushed, rises with a low chuckling call, takes a very short fliglit and alights. It 
sometimes, if followed, runs a short distance, and it is raised again with great difliiult y. 
Its food consists of various hard seeds, and the Jfatives invariably assert that both tliis and 
the common Rock-grouse feed on gravel alone. It breeds during the hot weather laying 
two or tliree eggs of an olive colour, speckled with spots of olive brown and dusky, and of a 
long cylindrical shape, equally rounded at both ends. Its flesh is delicate and well flavoiu'cd. 
Though it docs not occur in sufficient numbers to induce the Sportsman to follow it alone, 
yet in beating the low jungles for other game, a pair or two arc occasionally flushed and 
shot. This bird and the Pterocles exustus are known to Sportsmen in India by the name of 
Hoch-pigeon, oirr present species being distinguished by the epithet ])aintcd, as inditati\-c 
of the beauty of its markings. In Hindustani they are named Burtoetur, the subject of 
our Plate being called by some Hundoyree. In Teloogoo, they are called Pdankar, and 
in Tamool, Kul Koudaree or Rock-partridge. 

Description — Male — Forehead and sinciput pure white, with a broad black band 
between. Back of head rufous yellow yviik black stripes — neck, breast and lesser wing 
coverts of a pale tawny yellow, shaded with a greenish hue. Three bands on the breast, 
the first marroon, the second pale yellowish, and the last dark chocolate — the feathers of 
the rest of the lower ijlumage banded dark chocolate brown and ])alc yellowish — plumage 
above banded dark brown and rufous yellow ; the larger wing coverts rufous yellow at the 
tip, then with a band of a dusky or inky hue, next a white one, and then another fainter 
inky one on a pale dusky yellow ground, this last inky band being sometimes edged by 
another narrow white one. Quills dusky, edged with yellow — tail banded brown and 
yellow — bin red — orbitar skin pale lemon yellow — irides deep brown — legs and feet ochre- 
ous yellow. 

Length about 10 inches — wing 7| — tail 3— extent of ^ings neajiiy 21 inches — 
weight about 7 ounces. 

I intend to give a figui-e of the Female bird in a futiu-e number of the Illustrations. 


i:/^A«e fiCf-crnc^ ^^m^?nMy^^ 

frt.>t/it/ lyLa^.^. Cl/'.^li'^'''''^'"; 








Synon. — Muscicapa Jlainmea, Temtn. P. C. 263 — M. Subfiava, Vieillot? Gobe mouche 
oranor de I' Isle de Ceylon, Levaillant ? 

Sayelee — Hindustani. 

The genus Plicenicornis was separated by Swainson, and is a very distinct and 
weR cliaracterized group of birds. I see, however, that Mr. Gray, in his Genera of Birds, 
considers Boie's genus Pericrocotus to be synonymous and to have the priority. As how- 
ever Swainson's name has now been in considerable use in this country, and as there are 
stni some doubts as to the exact identity of several of these supposed synonymous genera, 
I have for the present retained our countryman's name till a Committee of Ornitholo- 
gists has finally fixed on the name and limits of each genus, and till the names imposed 
by oui- own Naturalists, when they have a prior claim, are fully acknowledged by Foreigners. 

This handsome bird is a denizen of all the large forests of Southern India. I 

Illustrations of Indian Ornithology ; 

have seen it in Travancore, Malabar, the ^Fynaad, and the forest skirting the base ol" the 
Neilgherries on its Eastern face, but not in the Carnatic or Deccan, there being no forests 
in these districts, except liere and there on the slope, and at the base of the Eastern ghauts, 
find in tlic places where I have traversed these hills, 1 have looked in v;iin for it. Towards 
the North of the Peninsula, in the jungles of Goomsoor, its place is occupied by the 
PhcEnicorms princeps and P. hrecirosfris of Vigors, which two species appear to extend 
through Central India to the Himalayas. The PJi(Bnicornis fiammcus, though often to be 
seen in the more ojicn and cleared spaces of the jungles, is never, that I have observed 
met with away from the woods. It ascends the sides of mountain ranges to a considerable 
height, and I fancied was more numerous in the elevated region of Wynaad, than in most 
other localities. I saw it though rarely in woods on the summit of the NcUgherries, but 
only at their Northern face. It is a tolerably common and abundant species in its appro- 
priate haunts, and, from its bright and showy colours, attracts the notice of most travellers 
through the lofty forests of Western India. 

It keeps chiefly to the tops of high trees, where it may be seen usually in small 
flocks, frislcing about, picking an insect off a branch or leaf, or occasionally catching one in 
the air. The males keep up a continual whistling call. Its food seenxs to consist chiefly of 
coleopterous insects. 

The Gohe mouche oranor de I'Isle de Ceylon figured by Levaillant in his Oiseaux 
d'Afriaue, Plate 155, and named Suhfava by VieiUot, appears to me to be very probably 
this species, though I see that Lesson refers it to his genus Muscylca, and makes it synonymous 
with Gmelin's Hufiventer, while M. miniata, and M. jlammea are referred to his genus Acis 
which is the same I believe as Pheenicornis. Should this conjecture be correct, Subflaca , 
would have the priority of /?a;MOTm I suppose, unless indeed the P//. _/?a?n?/»eMs of Swain- 
son or Temminck's M. jlammea prove distinct from tlie species of Southern India, figured 
here which I suspect may be the case, as Mr. Blyth informs me that the P. Jtammeus 
figured in Swainsoii's Zoological Illustrations, appears to differ somewhat fi'om my speciinenfi 
of presumed Jlammeus. 

I can add nothing to the knowledge to be gained from an examination of the 
accompanying Plate, except by giving the dimensions of the bird which are as follows. 

Length 8 to 85 inches, — wing 3tV — tail 4, — tarsus -j-V, — bill at front Tutbs. 

Besides P. princeps, and P. bremrostris of Mgors, previously mentioned as hav- 
ing been procured by me in Goomsoor, there are others foimd on the Continent of ludisi 
which I shall briefly enumerate here. 

Phanicornis Flammeus. 

Phesnicornis roseus — Muscicajm rosea YieSlot, N. D. d'Hist. Nat. 21, p. 486. I 
had considered this bird as the young of Jlammeus or hrevirostris, although I recognised 
some peculiarities of structuie, but Mr. Blyth first pointed out to lae its distinctness. It is 
foimd in the neighbourhood of Calcutta and I obtained it ia Goomsoor, and have seen 
specimens from Malabar. 

P. peregrinus — Parus peregrinus and Parus Malaharicus Auctorum — Safli 
Sayelee H. 

This well known httle bhd is more generally spread than any of the genus, and 
instead of being confined to forests, is often to be met with in low jungle, gardens, and 
avenues in all parts of the country. 

A sixth Continental species perhaps exists in the Muscicapa erythropygia, No. 156 
of my Catalogue, though its more depressed bdl, weaker legs and feet, and the mode of 
variation in the female led me to class it as a Flycatcher, and in the same group as M. picata 
of Sykes, wrongly referred by me to M. hirundinacea of Temminck. In its colours the 
male resembles most of the species of Phcenicornis, except in having a white stripe on 
the wings, and in some of the tail feathers. The female difiers from the male in having 
ashy brown instead of glossy black, and ciaereous white, where the male has bright orange 
red. The irides also are light coloured ; but notwithstanding these sHght deviations, I am 
incliaed to agree with Mr, Blji;li, who first called my attention to the subject, and consider 
it as a species of Phcenicornis. 

Another species of this genus, the P. miniata of authors to which Swaiason, erro- 
neously I imagine, refers P. hrevirostris, is said by Lesson to have been sent from Bengal, 
but it was originally described from Java I believe, and is most probably a species peculiar 
to the Malayan countries. 

I am indebted to my friend Mr. Ward for the sketch from which this drawing was 









Synon. — Falco Shaheen, Jeidon, Madras Joiu-nal of Literature and Science XXIV. — Catal. 
No. 29. — F. Aldrovandi of tlie Supplement to my Catal., not F. Aldrovandi of Temminck 
— F. Sultaneus, Hodgson MSS. — F. Ruber Indicus, Brisson Encyclop. Method, page 129. 

Shaheen in Hindustani, tlie male Koela — Jawolum in Teloogoo, Wulloor ia Tamool. 

This fine falcon was I beKeve fii-st noticed by myself in the Catalogue of Indian 
Birds above alluded to, and the Hindustani name affixed to it as a specific one. Mr. Hodg- 
son, though he has not described it, lately sent it to the Museum at Calcutta, under the 
manuscript name of Sultaneus, which, being, as it were, a Latin translation of the native 
name, I would have adopted had I not previously had my own name printed on the Plate. 
I learn also &om Mr. Blyth, that it was long ago known to and figured by Buchanan. Mr. 
EDiot in a note to my description of the Shaheen, says, that he considered it to be the Falco 
Aldrovandi of Temminck, which is the F. severus of Horsfield, and accordingly, in the 
Supplement to my Catalogue, I referred to it under that name, statiag that the size as 
given in Griffith's Cuvier bad misled me, for that otherwise the description appeared to 

Illustrations of Indian Ornithology ; 

large falcon used by the natives, which, hoing of a more patient and docile disposition, 
will stay up above an hour. 

In the works on Falconry I have before alluded to, the name Shaheen is said to be 
that by which it is known in Persia, as well as among the Mussulmen of India. Kohee being 
the name given it by the Hindoos of the North of India, whence, iu all probability, comes 
the name of the male bird in general use, viz. Koela, or Kohela, — though it is said to be 
called Shaheen Bucha in Persia. It is said to bear the name of Lahecn in Toorkistan, and 
Kubursh in Arabic. Among the localities for it given in the Native works of falconry are 
Koordistan, Khorasan, Moultan and Cabool. Several ^-arietics are enumerated viz. the 
red, the white, the blue, and the black, but these are merely shades of difference in the 
colours and in the more or less distinctness of the markings. These variations, however, I 
may remark, are very considerable in tliis falcon, as well as in the peregrines found in India, 
and are probably in some measure owing to the long domestication, if I may so speak, of 
these birds, as it is well known that birds moulting in confinement vary somewhat in the 
shades of their plumage fiom those subject to the more vigorous actions of a wild state of life. 

Description. — I shall here content myself with giving a description of the young 
Shaheen, and a very brief account of its changes, as I am waiting for further information 
on the subject, and purpose giving in a future Plate, a figure of the adult bird, when I will 
add a fuller and more accui-ate account of its changes of plumage than I am at present enabled 
to give. 

Young Male — Plumage above generally of a dark cinereous, or dusky blackish 
hue, darkest on the head, hind neck and cheek stripe — most of the feathers are narrowly 
edged with rufous, those on the lower part of the back and rump more broadly so. There 
is some rufous on the forehead, and on the back of the head where it forms a sort of crucial 
mark. Tail paler than the rest of the body, faintly barred with rufous, and tipped the same 
— Chin and tlu'oat pale rufous yellow, unspotted — cheeks of the same tint with narrow 
dark stripes. The rest of the plumage beneath bright rufous or chesnut, with longitudinal 
dark brown markings on the centre of the body, oblong spots on the sides, and aiTow 
shaped markings on the lower part of the abdomen. Under wng coverts rufous barred 
with brown; quills, barred with rufous on thch inner webs. Bill blueish, darker at the tip 
— cere and orbitar skin pale yellow — irides dark brown — legs and feet yeUow. Length 15 
inches — ^wing U — tail 5g — tarsus nearly S— centre toe and claTV ^2 — weight lib. 

The ShaJieen Falcon. 

A young female I had alive at the same thne as the one from which the above 
description was taken, differed from the male in having the chin, throat and cheeks white, 
in the rufous edgiags to the feathers being very indistiact, and the plumage generally being 
of a darker hue. 

Length of a female 17| to 18 inches — weight lib., lOoz. 

After the first moult, the markings of the lower surface disappear, except a few on 
the lower part of the abdomen and leg feathers, the plumage above becomes more of a 
blueish tinge, and the edgings and barrings disappear — with further moultings the shade 
of the plumage above becomes still lighter, and of a slaty blue, the markings beneath 
vanish entirely, and the rufous tiut of the breast becomes paler. 

The accompanying figure was taken from a li\'ing bii-d I had for some time in 
my possession at Madras. 


J. HE Falco guttatus of G. II. Geat, recently* described in tlie Annals and Maga- 
ztne of iVa^Mr«?^«s^ry,Tol. llj page 371j appears to me tote identical witli, or at all 
events very closely allied to, my Falco Shaheen. It is from tlie Phillipine Islands. 

* May 1843. 


Cf^/et^e/^-u^ ^e^^^et./c J 

J^4ifryf,/^ Jy^/'jyrjo d.V,V?K/ />;««?, VVV 






Synon. — C. Delesserti, Jerdon — Madras Journal Literature and Science, No. 25 Catal. 

No. 88. C. Griseiceps — Delessert. 

The genus Crateropus of Swainson appears to have been first defined by M. 
Lesson as Gar/'wfoa;*, and has also, though subsequently to Swainson's definition, received 
the name of Xanthocincla from Mr. Gould. — In my catalogue of Indian Birds published 
in the Madras Journal I ventured to join these three synonyms, and I see that they have 
been generally recognised as identical ; but the name given by Lesson has been preferred, 
having been bestowed prior to the others, and the late rules acted on by Gray, Strickland 
and others have enforced this has the first law of Zoological nomenclature. 

The white breasted Babbler was first named by myself in the Catalogue before 
alluded to from a single specimen obtained by M. Delessert whilst collecting on the Neil- 
gherries, and which that Gentleman kindly lent me for inspection. Mr. Blyth informs me 
that in the Revue Zoologique, 1840 — and in the 'Souvenirs de voyage dans L' Inde' published 
by M. Delessert, subsequently to the appearance of my Catalogue, this species is described 
as C. Griseiceps. — I have never myself been fortunate enough to procure a specimen, but 
Lord Arthur Hay, a most zealous and enthusiastic naturalist has very recently obtained one, 
which he shot on the Coonoor Ghaut of the Neilgherries. 

The species of this genus appear to be chiefly confined to the wooded regions of 
Northern India, and the countries to the Eastward, and no less than 30 species are recorded 

• Traile d' OrnitholOEie— 1831— page 647. 

Illustration of Indian OrnithoJogi/. 

by Vigors, Gould, Hodgson, Blyth and others, as inhabitants of the Himalayas and neigh- 
bouring countries, whilst this and my Crateropus Cachinna7is are the only hitherto recorded 
species of Southern India. — Mr. Blyth remarks the close affinity of our present subject to 
C Gularis. 

The manners of the C. Cachinnans, the only member of this group I have myself 
observed, are something srailar to those of the other genera of this family, but much less 
social than the Malacocirci, which are apparently the most typical of the group. The 
Laughing Thrush is sometimes seen in small flocks, but often wanders about alone, though 
at no great distance from some of its species, with whom it continually keeps up a noisy com- 
munication as signal of the direction it is going, or of the abundance of food obtained. It 
inhabits the densest woods on the summits of the Neilghcrries, keeping chiefly to the 
lower branches of trees and brushwood, and feeds principally on fruit especially on the 
pleasant fruit of the Brazil cherry (Physalis tomentosa), now so abundant in most of the 
woods in the neighbourhood of Ootacamund. — It also occasionally feeds on caterpillars and 
other soft bodied insects. 

I have no doubt that our present species has some what similar manners, indeed 
Lord A. Hay informs me " that it has much the same skulling habits as the C. Cachinnans." 

The nidification of any of the Crateropi has not that I am aware been yet record- 
ed. On one occasion only I found the nest of C. Cachinnans on a bank overhanging the 
road on the top of the Nediwuttum Ghaut of the Neilghcrries— It was made of roots, grass 
and moss, and contained 4 long oval pure white eggs. I shall now add a description of the 
C. Delesserli. 

Description.— Head, and nape dusky black— rest of the plumage above dark rufous, 
growing brighter on the upper tail coverts— chin, throat and breast white, edged with grey — 
belly and vent bright rufous— Tail brownish black, brown at the base of the feathers — 
Bill dusky above — yellow beneath — legs pale reddish — Length lOf — 11 inch — wing 4f„ — 
Tail 4}— Bill (fiont) 1— Tarsus U.— Irides red. 


^iM<ie^a^'OC^ ZX^f>,^t.^^</£^Z^ 

Jr'u<tMili^.LJf<«.Q.^.K.iinaJi^e ^ 







Synon. — M. albicaudata Jerdon, Catal. No. 152. 

The genus Muscicapa, even as restricted by Cuvier, has of late been considerably 
subdivided, and when we consider the varied nature of its contents, apparently with bene- 
fit to science. 

There are in India several Flycatchers, whose prevailing tint is blue, of various 
shades and intensity, among which more or less structural differences exist. These Mr. 
Blyth divides into several groups, each of which has one or more representative in South - 
ern India. Muscicapa hanyumas of Horsfield, together with my M. pallipes. Cat. No. 149, 

and three or four species from Northern India, Mr. B. classes under the name of Cyornis f 
my M. superciliaris Cat. No. 153, together with one or two more very pretty diminutive 
species he classes as Muscicapula ;* whilst the subject of the acccompanying plate with 
M. Mela7iops, and I think also M Indigo of Horsfield, constitute his genus Stoparola. They 
differ generally from the other blue Flycatchers of India in their more stout and robust habit, 
stronger legs and feet, and in their bill being shorter, wider at the base, and more depressed, 
and perhaps also a little more hooked at the tip. 

The Neilgherry blue Flycatcher is, as tar as it is yet known, confined to the woods 
on the summit of the Neilgherries, and the forests on the edges of these hills. It occurs 
in considerable number here,frequenting the higher branches of tree3,occasionally seen single, 

• Joun. As. Soc. Vol. XH. p. 9.19. 

Illustrations of Indian Ornilholog'j. 

but not unfrequently in small parties. It is much more restless and active in its habits than 
the Indian members of the genus Butalis, the most fixed and sedentary of all, or of Cyomis, 
flitting about constantly, and changing in its position more frequently than these, indeed 
more like the Mnscipetce, Leucocircce and Muscicapa ccerulea, which last has much of the ha- 
bits of the Fan-tailed Flycatchers. None of these ho^fever are seen in groups like the present 
one,except perhaps now and then the Leucocircae. I do not remember to have ever heard the 
note of the Neilgherry blue Flycatcher. I discovered its nest twice, built in a slight hole 
on a steep earthern bank on a road side, but did not procure the eggs, both birds having for- 
saken their nests. Its food consists of various insects which it usually takes on the wing, but 
now and then snaps off a branch. 

Description. Of a deep Indigo blue colour, paler on the lower part of the back, and 
inclining to lazuline on the forehead, and shoulders ; belly ashy blue mingled with whitish; 
under tail-coverts whitish, barred with dusky blue ; wings and tail dusky black, the feathers 
edged with blue, and those of the tail, centre feathers excepted, white at the base ; bill and 
legs black ; Irides deep brown. Length 6— 6| inches Wing 3,'. expanse of do 9^, Tail 2,^ Tar- 
sus 1th Bill at front ^th. Weighs from 12 to 14 drams,4th and 5th quills equal and longest. 

The female diflfers from the male in the more sombre and ashy tint of the plumage, 
aud the young male is spotted throughout with pale rufous. 


C?riff/e,f4 ^i>/u njij 

*./^«/ ly Ltt^/f^l/kt^tvi'MMfVi 








When I first compiled my Catalogue of Indian Birds I inserted Oriolus chinensis 
of authors as a peninsular species on the Authority of Mr. Elliotj that Gentleman having 
obtained specimens answering the description of that species in the Southern Mahratta 
country. I have since procured specimens from Malabar and Travancore, and had a 
drawing of one executed for the present work under the name of 0. sinensis. I have 
however lately seen specimens from China and Manilla in the valuable collection of Lord 
Arthur Hay, and have also compared the description of Vigors' 0. acrorhynchus , 
and Swainson's O. coronatus, and I am now compelled to conclude that our peninsular 
species is distinct from both these, and that moreover acrorhynchus refers to the true 
chinensis, and coronatus to Wagler's, hippocrepis. I have therefore given it the appellation 
of Indicus, partly because I consider that the 0. Indicus of Brisson and others may possibly 
refer to this though faultily described. 

Specimens from ManUla now before me correspond exactly with Vigors' des- 
cription of his acrorhymkus,^s well as with the original description of cW«e«*i* and that 
by Buffon oV Le Conliat an; and the figure in the Planches Enlumine^s. I am therefore 
led to believe that Mr. Vigors had compared his Manilla bird with specimens from 
peninsular India, or from some of the isle«, which he had considered at the time as true 

Ulustratiun of Iiidian OinUhidogrj. 

chincnsis. Our peninsular species differs from the Chinese one in the following particulars. 
It has a smaller bill, the secondaries are broadly margined with yellow on their external 
webs, the innermost of these and the tertiaries having the outer web entirely yellow, 
whilst in chinensis these are almost entirely black. The centre tail feathers in our bird 
are black to their tip, being only faintly margined with yellow, whilst the Chinese one 
has a broad yellow tip ; and the remaining rectrices have the black extending corres- 
pondingly further than in chinensis ; the black ocular mark extends in our bird to the 
nares, whilst in the Chinese specimens it only extends a little beyond the angle of the 
mouth ; the band too is much narrower on the nape in the Indian bird ; the feathers of the 
back have usually a greenish tinge, and the yellow throughout is less pure and bright 
than in the Chinese bird ; and lastly the tail is considerably shorter. Swainson's 0. coronatus 
from Java (as described) differs from our peninsular bird, and also from true chine7isis, in 
its smaller size, shorter wings, tail, and tarsus, and in the narrowness of the black nuchal 
band. Its bill appears to be somewhat larger than in ours, but shorter than in chinensis. 
Wagler's description of O. hippocrepis, which he considers the same as chinensis auct., 
corresponds with it in the yellow tips of the centre tail feathers, and with our peninsular 
bird in having the black ocular band extending to the nares, and in other points. As how- 
ever his specimens were obtained chiefly from Java and Sumatra, it is most probably 
Swainson's coronatus, with which indeed it agrees in dimensions pretty nearly, as will be 
seen in the accompanying table I give for the sake of comparison. 


O. Chinensis — verus vel. acrorhynchus . . 

0. Indicus — apud Jerdon 

O Coronatus Sw 

O. Hippocrepis — Wagler(german. meas.). 

















above 1 
barely 1 
r„ ths. 


The three black naped species will then stand thus. 
1. 0. chinensis L., O. cochinsinensis Brisson., Le Conliavan Buffon P. E. 570., 0. acror- 
hynchus Vigors. Hab. China, Manilla, Cochinchina &c. 

%■ 0. coronatus Sv/&ia^on,0. hippocrepis Wagler (synon. except,.), Hab. Java Sumatra, 

Illuntration of Indian Ornithology . 

3 O. Indicus Jerdon III. Ind. Orn. pi. xv. (0. sinensis on the plate) 0. Indicus Brisson. 

Hab. Continental India, 
The habits of this Oriole do not I presume differ much from those of its congeners, 
except that it appears to be more especially a denizen of the depths of the forests. It is 
certainly a rare bird. Mr Blyth has not I believe obtained it from northern India as yet, and 
I do not inow how far it may extend out of the peninsula. I need scarcely add anything 
more descriptive of this bird than what has already been said in comparing it with the 
allied species. Its biU appears to have been, like the others of its genus, of a lake red 
colour, and the feet and legs plumbeous. The female appears to differ chiefly in the less 
vivid tint of the yellow, in the greenish tinge of the back extending further, and in the 
wings and tail being of a less pure black. The other peninsular species of Oriole are 
as follows. 

1st 0. Kundoo, Sykes, (the female), and probably O. galbula of the same,0. galbula 
var. A., Latham, 0. aureus apud Jerdon Cat, No. 97, and of Blyth, probably also O. galbu- 
/oic*e*, Gould, of a list of Birds from the Punjaub and Cashmere. Comtnon Indian Oriole, 
Mango bird of Residents in India. 

This oriole is very common, inhabits the open country in groves, gardens, avenues, 
&c. It has a loud mellow note and lives chiefly on fruit, and also on soft bodied insects. I 
once found the nest of this species, it consisted of a cup shaped nest slightly made with fine 
grass and roots, and suspended from a rather high branch by a few long fibres of the same 
material apparently as the nest itself ; these did not surround the nest but only supported it 
on two sides. It contained three eggs, white, spotted chiefly at the larger end with large 
purplish blotches. 

2d 0. Melanocephalus, auct. (0. Maderaspatensis auct., and 0. Mc. Goshii, Tickell 
are young birds,) Black headed Indian Oriole, chiefly found in Southern India in and about 
forests, but also occasionally in open country, in avenues, gardens, &c. 

The orioles are called in Hindustani ' Peeluk,' a name merely signifying yellow 
bird. In Teloogoo they ara called ' Vanga pandoo,' or Brinjalfruit, the black headed species 
being sometimes distinguished by the epithet " Konda,' or Hill, Latham I see gives this 
name, somewhat misspelt, as that of his O. Maderaspatensis. The Malyalum name is Magna- 
kee, which I see Latham calls Magnalki. 

Swainson describes another black headed Oriole from India as 0. Hodsonii, but 
neither Mr. Blyth nor myself have yet met with it. 


■iTfi^ra. '/ji^ia ■, 





Synon. — A. nigra Vieill — A. picta^s.^.'i 

When I procured the only specimen of this handsome Heron that I have as yet 
obtained, I referred it to A. nigra of Vieillot, (without any hesitation) and had a drawing of 
it lithographed under that name. 1 did not then, imagine that it could have been Latham's 
JlamcoUis, either from his description, in which it is said to be of a purple brown colour, or 
from the figure in Gray and Hardwicke, where it is represented as being of a blue colour. 
Mr. Blyth however assures me that such is the case, and Wagler I see also gives these name 
as synonyms. 

The specimen from which the accompanying figure was taken was procured at 
Madras. I have never since got another, but Shikarees have told me that they know the bird, 
and that it is very rare. Mr. Blyth informs me that it has been obtained at Calcutta, and 
that he has received it from Arracan, China, and other places to the eastward, where it ap- 
pears to be much more common than here. Horsfield gives it as Javanese, and Mr. Blyth 
tells me that he considers A. picta of Raffles to be the same. Wagler also gives New Holland 
as its habitat. 

I know nothing if its habits. It is said to frequent the more grassy and weedy tanks, 
and to shun observation. It is too little known here to have a distinct local appellation. 

Mr. Blyth considers it as forming a subdivision of Butor, or the Bitterns, which 
conclusion lie came to after seeing a fresh specimen. 


llluslralions of Indian Ornithology. 

Description. Top of head, back of neck, body above, and wings .bright glossy green 
black ; beneath dull sooty black, some of the centre feathers of the abdomen partially tinged 
with buff; a stripe of golden yellow rnns from the lower mandible to the back of the neck 
about the lower third, where it is gradually lost ; chin, throat, and neck beneath, wliite, vari- 
gated with deep chesnut and black, the feathers short at first but gradually lengthening and 
becoming lanceolate ; each feather has the outer barb and tip black, edged with creamy white, 
and the inner barb chesnut ; the chin and throat want the black, and the white is of a purer 
tinge. A narrow stripe of close set feathers run from the base of the lower mandible to the 
ear-covcrts, black and chesnut coloured, the bases of the feathers being white ; the long fea- 
thers of the breast are black, edged with white on both sides. 

Length 24— 25 inches Wing 8| Tail 2|, Tarsus 2| Middle toe 2|, Bill (at front) 
3,^, at gape nearly 4. Bill appears to have been of a dusky reddish brown — Legs dark green. 

The plumage of the young bird is described as being of a saturate blue, and in a 
further stage, I presume, it gets the purplish brown tinge described by Latham. The smo- 
ky tinge described by Horsfield, with the tail deep blue, must be a bird in transition plumage. 







Synon. — L. antiguanus Gmel. ' Piegrieche d' Antigue ' Sonnerat voyage, t. 70. Indian 
Shrike of Latham, No. 31. L.nigriceps Franklin. L. tricolor Hodgs., Jerdon Catal. 
No. 51. 

When in Goomsoor some years ago I obtained a single specimen of this Shrike, 
and Mr. Blyth and Lord Arthur Hay have since procured examples from the same locality. 
At one time Mr. B. was doubtful whether the Himalayan bird was identical with this, as 
most of the specimens from Northern India had more rufous on the back than those from 
central India, but he has recently informed me that he now considers them the same. 
I have not obtained it myself, nor have I seen specimens, from any other part of the 
peninsula, and I suspect that it does not occur further South than about N. L. 20°. From 
thence it extends to the Himalayas, and Eastward to Arracan, and probably still further, 
as Sonnerat's specimens were procured, he alleges, from the Phillippine isles. The name 
' Antiguanus,^ (derived from Antigue, a province of Panay, one of these islands) being 
liable to lead to error, I have retained Franklin's very appropriate name. The black 
headed Shrike appears to be a more forest haunting species than its congeners, but 
does not otherwise, that I am aware of, differ in its habits. Like the other Shrikes it de- 
scends to the ground for its food, which consists almost wholly of grasshoppers and their 
larvae. I have not observed in any of the Indian species the reputed habit of impaling m. 
sects on thorns. 


Illustration of Indian Ornithology. 

Description, Head and hind neck black, middle of back grey ; lower back and 
rump rufous, which sometimes extends over the greater portion of the back ; wings and 
tail black, the secondaries and tail feathers (except the centre ones) edged and tipped 
wih reddish white. Beneath white ; sides of body, and under tail coverts, rufous. Bill 
and legs black. Irides deep brown. Length about 9v to 10 inches, wing .'J.^ Tail •'">, 

Tars 1,^. 

The other peninsular species of Lanius are as follows : 

1. L. lahtora Sykes, L. excubitor var C. Lath., Doodeea latora, Hind. This large 
Shrike is an inhabitant of open low jungles throughout the country, and towards the more 
northern parts of the peninsula is found frequenting bushes and low trees in the open 
plains. It never approaches villages, and is a shy, wary bird and difficult of approach, 
and perhaps is the least numerous of any of the species. 

2. L. Erythronotus, Vigors. Kufous backed Shrike. This, though occasionally 
found in the more wooded parts of the country in the Carnatic is only at all common in the 
neighbourhood of the jungles of the west coast, and is very abundant on the top of the 

o. L. Hardioickii Vigors. Bay backed Shrike of Latham. This enters gardens 
and is the most generally spread of all the Indian Shrikes. 

4. L. cristatus L. after Edwards pi. 74., L. rutilus var. A., and L. superci/toms 
var. A. of Latham; L mc/anolis Valenc ; perhaps also white cheeked S. of Latham, and 
L phoenicurus of I'allas (apud Latham.) This species, only lately accurately defined, 
escaped my notice when writing the Catalogue of Birds of Southern India, having over- 
looked it as the young of L. Hardwickii. Tt is found chiefly about hedge rows, and de- 
tached trees in the more cultivated parts oi' the country, and I am inclined to believe is 
migratory in the South of India. 

The L. tephronoius of Vigors, grey backed Strike of Latham. /-. nipalc/isi! of 
Hodgson, is not found in the South of India. 


^^t^!igtrrnlii Ci/A^>**^iru3^'> , 

Punf^ -6y LM^Ct'Jff^^'""'/''' 








Synon. — P. melanorTiyntlia Sykes, (the female,) Jerdon Cat. No. 203. 

This elegantly coloured Parroquet belongs to the division long ago characterised 
by Vigors, which seems peculiar to the Asiatic province, more especially to the continent oi 
India, and which is, with the exception of Psittaculus, the only form of this family known 
in India, and comprises several well marked species. Previously to obtaining this bird* 
I had heard from several sportsmen of a blue parroquet said to be common in the depths 
of the forests of Malabar. I first procured it at Trichoor, and afterwards in various other 
localities on the West coast, and on the sides of the Neilgherries up to a height of 5000 feet. 
As Colonel Sykes has it in his Catalogue, it probably extends along the range of western 
ghauts for some distance, but I have not heard of its having been procured in any other 

It keeps entirely to the depths of the forests, and frequents only the loftiest trees. 
Its flight is very rapid aud elegant, and it associates in small flocks. Its cry, though similar 
in character to the harsh caU. of the common Parroquet, is much more mellow, subdued, and 
agreeable. I have only once seen this bird in captivity ; it would however be a very de- 
sirable addition to our aviaries. 

I have not seen the description of P. Columboides by Vigors,which is in the Zoologi- 
cal Journal, but from Sykes' comparative description of his melanorhyncha, I have no doubt 


Ulustralions of Indian Ornithology. 

that ours is that species, Sykes' bird being the female, which appears always to retain the 
black bill, and Mr- Blyth informs me that the adult female of P. ponticerianus also has the 
beak black- 

The Hindustani name Muddengour Totah, was applied to a specimen of this bird 
by one Shikaree, but in Latham's work I see that the P. ponticerianus is known by that 
name, and I presume it was incorrectly applied in my case, as the columboides is a species 
of such comparative local distribution. 

Description. Male. Plumage generally of a light dove colour ; a black collar 
extends round the neck, widest beneath and reaching to the base of the lower mandible, 
and bordered posteriorly by a light blueish green collar; face pale green; lower part of 
back, rump and upper tail coverts also light green ; wing coverts dark green edged with 
yellowish white; shoulders blackish green; lower part of abdomen and under tail coverts 
very pale yellow green ; quills and centre tail feathers blue, the latter tipped with yellowish 
white ; the rest of the tail feathers green on the outer side, yellow on the inner side of the 
shaft, those next the centre feathers almost blue on the outer side. Bill coral red above, 
dusky beneath. Irides pale yellow. Legs and feet plumbeous. Length 15 to 16 inches. 
Wing 5| to 6, Tail 8 J to 9. 

The Female differs in having a dusky black bill, and in the plumage generally 
being more tinged with green. 

The other Indian species of Palsornis are, 1st P. Alexandri, Race Totah H. Rare 
in Southern India— Common in Ceylon — I obtained a specimen in Travancore which was 
struck by a Shaheen f Falco ShaheenJ and was dropped on my firing at it. I also found it 
breeding in the hole of a large tree in the north of the Deccan. 2d P. Torquatus, Lyber 
Totah H. Abundant over all India, feeding not only on fruit, but also very destructive to 
grain. 3d P. cijanocephalus L., P. bengalensis, erythrocephalus , and gingianus Auct. Tooeeah 
Totah H. An inhabitant of all the jungly districts of India, and also found about well 
wooded towns. It visits the open country in large flocks from .July to September. Other 
species found in the Himalayas are P. schistaceus, Hodgson, and P. ponticerianus Auct. 



'ac.tnn*ci^^ -Of^-^nu/j, 

/'/-**i^j^ /v .:./>**•./'/ 'A''^- 

. ir^' 




Synon. — Tardus griseus Latham. Thimalia grisea Jerdon Cat. No. 93. 

Among the many birds peculiar to this vast continent, there are none, in my 
opinion, so peculiarly characteristic of it, as that genus of which the species here figured, 
is by no means an inconspicuous member. The Mynas, it is true, the Parroquets, and the 
Drongo Shrikes, are spread over the same extent at least, but none of these exclusively 
Inhabit India, as these birds are at present believed to do. I have often amused myself 
in imagining that they are not inapt representatives of the Hindoos ; certainly as far as 
their frequent congregating together, and their incessant noisy chattering and gabbling, 
they agree ; and were I disposed to carry on the similitude further, it would not I think 
be a difficult task. It is not a little remarkable too that in Southern India there are several 
kinds which in some measure correspond in geographical distribution with the principal 
Hindoo races of this part of the country. We have the M. Malcobni in the country of the 
Mahrattas; the subject of the present plate nearly confined to, and at all events most 
abundant in the Carnatic, the country of the Tamools ; a very closely allied species inhabits 
Travancore and Cochin, the province of the Malyalum race ; it is probable that a fourth 
species is to be found in the Canarese districts ; one or perhaps two species dwell in the forests 
bordering the western ghauts ; another prefers the eastern ghauts, and jungles of the 
northern circars, among the Gentoos ; Ceylon possesses a distinct kind ; Bengal has at least 


Illustrations of Indian Ornithology ; 

one or two more ; and the elevated forests of the Wyiiaad, and the edges of the higher 
mountains of the Western ghauts, are the habitat of a very distinct species, somewhat allied 
in colouring to the Craieropi, which curiously enough at a higher level inhabit the same 
regions, to the exclusion of the Malacocirci, though in very limited number, whilst in the 
North of India species of the former genus abound, and descend I believe, nearly to the 

The genus Malacocircus was first defined by Swainson, in his Zoological 
Illustrations, and was founded on a species firom Ceylon. It is distinguished by its high 
and compressed bill, gradually arching from the base, soft bowed wings, large broad 
and soft t;iil, strong legs and feet, light coloured irides, usually white or pale yellow, and 
sombre and uninviting plumage. 

The white headed Babbler is found throughout the Carnatic, extending on the 
one side into the Northern Circars, and on the West into the neighbouring portions 
of the table land, to a greater or less distance. It is extremely common and abundant in the 
Carnatic, and is to be found in every hedge, avenue, and garden. Like the others of its 
genus it always associates in families of six, seven, eight or more ; even in the breeding 
season the parent birds feeding in company with their former companions. One may be 
seen suddenly dropping to the ground from some tree, and is followed in succession, though 
perhaps not immediately, by each of the flock. They hop about, turning over fallen leaves, 
and examining all the herbage around the base of trees, a very favorite spot, or on a 
hedge side, never venturing to any distance from cover, being aware of their tardy 
powers of flight. They are occasionally seen seeking insects or grain, from heaps of dung, 
whence they have received their common denomination as well from the French, (Fouille- 
merde,) as from the English, (Dirt bird,) who are on this account prejudiced against them. 
They generally feed at some little distance apart from each other, but now and then if 
a richer prize than usual is spied out, two or more will meet and struggle for it ; 
and now and then, one of them will make a clumsy flight after a grasshopper, seeking 
safety by its wings, and not unfrequentiy eluding its awkward pursuer. On being driven 
from the ground, or leaving it from choice, their hunger being satisfied, they fly up to the 
nearest tree, hopping and climbing up the larger branches, and if you happen to be 
watching them they do not stop till they have reached the top, or the opposite side whence 
they fly off in single and extended file as before. They often appear to pick insects off 

Malacocircus Griseus. 

tVie branches of trees. They are familiar, if undisturbed, feeding often close to houses, 
but if -watched or follo\yed, they become circum.spect, disperse, and hide themselves. 
Their cry is a loud slbllous or whispering sort of chatter, which they repeat all at once, 
sometimes when feeding, or when any unusual sight attracts their attention, and often with- 
out any apparent object at all. They have no song. Their flight is slow and laborious, 
performed by a few rapid strokes of the wings alternating with a sailing with outspread 
pinions. I have often found the nest of this bird, which is composed of small twigs and 
roots carelessely and loosely put together, in general at no great height from the ground ; 
it lays three or four blue eggs. I have found them breeding at all times from January 
to July, and even later, but do not know if they ever have two broods in the year. The 
black and white crested Cuckoo, (oxxjlophus edoliusj appears to select this bird to act as 
foster parent to her own progeny, and she lays a greenish blue egg. They are readily 
caught by a spring trap baited with grain, with one of their kind put in the centre as a lure. 
The Shikra or Chipka, ( Accipiter badiusj is sometimes flown at them, and causes a 
a general consternation. After the first burst of alarm and gabbling, they cease their 
chattering, separate, and disperse, and do not, like the bolder Mahratta Babbler, (M. mal- 
colmi) come to the rescue of their unfortunte companion. This latter species often mobs 
the Shikra. 

The white headed Babbler is called Keyr in Hindustani, Ckeenda or Seeda in 
Teloogoo, in Tamool ' KuUee Kooravee' or ' hedge bird,' and in Malyalum the allied 
species is called ' Kooleyan.' 

I add a brief description. General shade of plumage light brownish grey, head 
and nape yellowish white, more marked in some than in others, — feathers of the back dark, 
lightest on the shaft and the edges, rump feathers pale fawn, feathers of the chin and 
throat dark in the centre, with the base and extremity blueish white, forming a band very 
distinct from the surrounding plumage. Breast, abdomen, and under tail coverts pale 
yellowish fawn colour. Most of the feathers especially the back and rump, are much 
decomposed, and are blueish white at their base. Quills and tail brown obsoletely barred 
with darker bands, central tail feathers light at their base. Length 9 to 9§ inches. Wing 
4^, Tail 4J, Tarsus 1^, Hind toe and claw ^ths. Bill (at front) i^th. at gape about 7„ths. 
Irides pale yellow white. Bill and legs pale yellowish with a tinge of flesh color. 

The other species of Malacocircus found in the peninsula are as follows 1st M. 

Illush-ations of Indian Ornilhologij ; 

afinis, new species. This is the one before alluded to, as being very closely allied to grtseus. 
It differs most remarkably in the form of ihe bill, which is shorter, higher at the base, 
and if any thing more compressed. With regard to coloration it is very similar indeed to the 
Carnatic one. The white on the head is perhaps less pure, and the band on the tliroat less 
dark, but these are the chief points of difference. The feet and claws are however some- 
what larger in this, more especially the hind foot and claw, which is about one tenth of 
an inch longer than griseus. Length 9 to 9^, Wing 4,',, Tail 4^, Tarsus Ip,, Hind toe and 
claw -sths, Bill at front hardly ";, at gape 8 Jjths, height at base nearly ^. 

I have at present two specimens of this bird from Travancore, but they agree 
with each other very closely in the form of the bill and in the structure of the legs, 
the most essential points of difference from griseus. 

This may be the same as the Canarese variety which I long ago pointed out from 
]\Ir. Elliot's M. S. S. notes as being probably distinct from griseus, but tlicre are certain 
points of difference in the description, and it is pos^sible that this may constitute another 
species. Mr. Elliot describes the species as follows. Plumage above, chin, and throat 
brown cinereous, shaft of the feathers lighter ; head and nape whitish ; rump cinereous ; 
tail brown with indistinct darker bars ; belly whitish like the head. Irides silver white. 
Bill and legs white, Length 94 inches. Should it prove distinct 1 would propose the 
name of EllioUi. 

!3nd M. Malcomi, Tkimalia 3Ialcomi Sykcs, Jerdon Cat. No. 90. Gai-rulus albi- 
frons, Gray and Hardwicke. On my pointing out to Mr. Blyth that the figure under the 
above name in Gray and Hardwicke was probably that of a Malacocircus, that gentleman at 
once agreed with me, and moreover pointed out its probable identity with jt/. Malcomi of 
which I had sent him specimens. It is possible however that the drawing may represent 
an allied species of Northern India.* This large babbler is found, though rarely and only 
in jungles, in the Carnatic, and here chiefly towards the range of Eastern ghauts ; I saw it 
atCoonoor on the Neilgherries, and M. Delessert showed me specimens from the Siiervaroy 
hills near Salem, but its chief metropolis is the North western portion of tlie Deccan or 
Table land, including the Southern Mahratta country, the Deccan of Sykes, and generally 

• 1 may here remark Uiat the late exceUei)t rules for Nomenclature drawn up bj (Jray Strickland and others do not provide 
for a case like the present, viz, whether the name attaehed to a published Jlgure hold precedence or otherwise, of a name attached 
to a published descTiptwri. On this point depends the correct fpceific name of many of the birds figured ^in Gray and llardMicko, and 
1 beg to draw the at tentiun of the above named Zoologists to it. 

Malacoctrcus Griseus. 

the Mahratta portion of the Nizam's dominions, not extending further than the boundaries 
of the trap formation, which curiously enough divides the Mahratta and the Telinga races, 
the latter commencing nearly with the granite formation which extends through the eastern 
part of the Nizam's dominions. In all the district mentioned above the M. Malcohni is as 
common as the M. griseus is in the Carnatic, being found near every village, and in every 
clump of trees. It is much more noisy than its congeners, and flies generally in larger flocks, 
twelve and fifteen being a common number. I have found the nest and eggs which closely 
resemble those oi griseus. It is called Ghoghoye in Hindustani, Gowa Seeda in Teloogoo, 
and sometimes Verree cheenda, or mad Babbler. 

3rd M. Somermllei, Thimalia Somercillei, Sykes P. Z. S. 1832, not of Jerdon 
Cat. No. 91. Thus described by Colonel Sykes. Eeddish brown ; abdomen, vent, lower 
back and tail, light rufous, the latter obsoletely banded with darker ; quills brown ; 
the feathers of the throat and breast marked in the middle with blueish, Bill and feet 
yellow. Length 9^- Tail 4i, Irides bright yellow. Found in the ghauts only (viz : in the 
more Northern portion about N. L. 17" to 20"). 

4th. M. malaharicus new species? M. Somercillei Jerdon Cat. No. 91. Now 
that I am better acquainted with the birds of this genus, and know how closely they 
approximate, I have little hesitation in separating the bird which I formerly referred to 
Somervillei. It differs from that species, as described by Sykes, in having the back of a 
cinereous brown instead of a reddish brown, and in the lower part of the back and tail not 
being rufous. In this respect Sykes' bird approaches somewhat to M. Earhi of Biyth, 
the only one I have seen with a rufous tail. Should however the description of Somervillei 
be faulty, mine may yet prove to be identical with it, as they both inhabit the western ghauts, 
though in different latitudes. My species is found in the forests of Malabar, and on the 
sides of the Neilgherries up to the very edge of the hills. I add its dimentions. Length 
9.i or so Wing i^o'^h. Tail ^. Tarsus lr„ths. Hind toe and claw fjths. Bill (at front) 
nearly roths, at gape 1 inch. 

5. M. orientalis, new species ? Another species referred by me to the Somervillei 
of my Catalogue is found in the jungles of the Carnatic, and more especially among those of 
the Eastern ghauts, where it is very abundant, whence the name I have proposed. It 
diff'ers from the last, malabaricus, in the prevalent lighter tint of the plumage, especially 
beneath, where it is almost white, contrasting strongly with the rufous tint of the other 


Illustrations of Indian Ornithohgy ; 

the tail feathers too are not so wide as in malabaricus, a similar difference existing, I find 

on comparing specimens, between griseus of the East coast and affinit of the West, which 

I had not previously observed. This bird is the Pcdda oi ^rfat-cc AVerfa of the Telingas. 

\ add its dimensions. Length 9^. Wing 4,',. Tail 4J. Tarsus hardly Ij^. Hind toe and claw ', 

Bill (at front) Tv-Qths. at gape about 1. I may state that I haave obtained many specimens 

of this species all agreeing exactly in colour. 

6th. M. terricolor Hodgson. Mr. Blyth some time ago informed me that he had 

obtained this common Bengal species from Goomsoor, and I have now before me a specimen 

from that locality in Lord Arthur Hay's collection. I obtained a specimen of this species 

when in Goomsoor some years ago, and referred to it in my Catalogue, under Somervillei, as 

probably distinct,though the form of the bill mentioned there appears to have been accidental. 

On comparing it with some specimens sent me by Mr. Blyth from Calcutta there appear 

some differences ; it is somewhat smaller in all its dimentions, more uniform in its colour above, 

and more rufous beneath, but it is otherwise so very cIospIv allied that I shall not at 

present separate it, but should it hereafter prove to be distinct I would propose the name 

of Orisscs from the name of the district. I add its dimensions. Length 9, Wing 4, Tail 4, 

Tarsus 1;^, Hind toe andclaw j^ths. Bill, at front ..ths. at gape 1 mth. 

A Calcutta specimen measures about 9 J inches or more Wing 4r„, Tail 4 i. Tars 
1;^, Bill at front ^„ths, at srape lf„th, higher than in the Goomsoor specimen. This species is 
is the Turdus Canorus of Linnaeus from Edward's figure of his Brown Indian Thrush, 
but Mr. Blyth rejects the name ' from its extreme inappropriatencss, the bird having a most 
particularly harsh voice (atch, atch) and no pretensions whatever to be musical, in the least 
degree. It is probably the M. stri(Uus of a catalogue of Bengal birds in the Ann. and 
Mag. Nat. Hist. 1843.' It is the Chatarrha-a and .SV///i Bhai-e (seven Brothers,) of the 
Bengalese. It extends into Nepal and Assam. 

7th. 3/. subrufus, Tliimalia subru/a, J eidon Catal. No. 93. T. ptrcilorhyncha 
De la Fresnaye, Kev. Zool. de la Soc. Cuv. 1840. This is a very distinct species from all the 
previous ones, allied in coloring to the Crateropi. It frequents bamboo jungles in the 
elevated region of Wynaad, and along the edges of the ^\' estern Ghauts. 1 observed it once 
at Coonoor on the edge of the Neilgherry hills. 

Besides the species enumerated above we have tlic M. strialus Swainson from. 
Ceylon. A Cingalese specimen which (Mr. Blyth remarks) corresponded closely with 

Malacocircus Griscus. 

Swainson's figure, much resembles my malabaricus, but differs in the paler and more 
cinereous hue of the feathers of the head and back, in the rufous of the lower parts being 
more uniform, in wanting the pale longitudinal central markings of the feathers of the back 
and breast, and in the very distinct striation of the tertiaries and tail. ' Length 9|, Tail 44, 
Tarsus Ij . Bill to gape 1 inch' (Blyth.) It was founded on a Ceylon species which Mr. 
Swainson identified with a bird in the Paris Museum labelled Gracula striata. It is, 
Cossyphus striatus oiDmnetA (Blyth), and Philanthus striatus of Lesson. 

It is not impossible however that the striatus of the French museum is one of 
the allied species, either terricolor, malabaricus, or orientalis, which Swainson might have 
readily enough mistaken for it. Lesson says it was from Bengal ; if so it is probably terri 
color. Mr. Strickland in his notice of Gray's Genera of Birds says ' the earliest synonym 
of malac. striatus is Turdus griseus' but that this is erroneous there can be little doubt 
after what has been stated above, though it is a mistake which might easily have occurred 
to any one. 

Another species, M. Earlei, has been described by Mr. Blyth J. A. S. 1844 
p. 369. Its colouring allies it something to M. SomerrilJei Sykes, but in form it more 
resembles malcolmi or Thimalia chatarhcBa of Franklin. It is found in heavy reed and grass 
jungle in Bengal, and extends also to Nepal, but I have not yet procured it in Southern 

Other species probably will be found in the North of India; M. Somervillei is said 
in Boyle's list to be found as far North as the plains near Saharunpore, but it is probably 

A somewhat aberrant species, intermediate to malacocircus and rnegalum-s exists in 

the Thimalia chatarhcea of Franklin, Jerdon Cat. No 94. It is the Gracula caudafa of the 

Paris museum, Thimalia caudata De la. Fresnaye, megalurus caudatus Lesson, cossyphus 

eaudatus Dumeril, and 7negalurus isabelliiius of Swainson. It certainly differs somewhat 

in form from the typical ni'ilacocirci, as well from the true megaluri. It perhaps resembles 

the former more in its habits, frequenting low bushy jungle in large flocks, and the latter 

in the tone of its plumage, and dark irides. Its note is a pleasing sort of low whistle. It 

has an extensive distribution, having been sent to the Calcutta museum from Scinde 

It is called Doomree in Hindustani from its long tail. Mr. Blyth remarks that the little 

Thimalia hyperythra Franklin, Jerdon Cat. No. 96, is ' so closely allied to Malac. subrufus 

Illustrations of Indian Orniiliologij. 

that I almost think it should be ranged with it.' It is ihe Shah Doomrce in Hindustani, 
and PM«c/ee^'i«a or Pig bird in Teloogoo, aname given from its habit of making its way 
under the bushes, never shewing itself above. 

The 2%ewa//a /«y^/cKca of Franklin, r. Horsjieldii, Jard. and Selby, .Terd. Cat. 
No. 95, has been separated by Mr. Hodgson under the name of Chrysomma. Its name in 
Hindustani is Goolal chusm, or Red eye, from the orange orbits, whence also Hodgson's 
name. I see it is described in Latham as Var. A. of the Red-eyed Bunting {Kmberiza 

In my Catalogue of Birds published in the Madras Journal of Literature and 
Science 1839, I remarked as follows under Thimalia Sotnemillci. " From the peculiar 
distribution of this truly Indian genus and the general similarity of colour. I am inclined 
to thiuk that hereafter other species may be separated, closely allied in phimage and general 
structure,yet differing in some permanent character both of structure and plumage, as well as 
in geographical distribution."' The present article shows that tliis has in a great measure 
been verified, though not so completely as I could have wished, owing as well to a 
want of specimens, as to want of observation of the species in its native haunts, and more 
rspecially its notes, which differ considerably in all those I have mvself observed. I 
hope however before this work is brought to a conclu.'^ion, to have ascertained more precisely 
the distinctness of some of the species here indicated, and shall mention the result in an 
appendix, in which all errors of nomenclature, or additional information will be inserted. 
1 am satisfied that most of them will hold to be good species, as it is well known that in 
many genera the species approximate so very closely as to be distinguished with difficulty. 



^^I^Jtf/zvW^^- ?rnzn/i^£enJ^j, 

R;.,/tJ SfJ.''!,' f/'A'tJ^ltr-nyfe 







Synon. — P. Maal— Sykes — (the female.) 

I affixed the name of Petrocincla Manillensis to the drawing of this bird, as Mr. 
Blyth had suggested to me the probability of its being that species, with which I agreed at 
once, the more readily that in Lesson's Traite P. Manillensis is mentioned as from India. 
Mr. Blyth however subsequently obtained the real Manillensis from Lu9onia, and found 
that our present is a distinct tho' very closely allied species, and accordingly Sykes' name 
will stand good. A third allied species, from Tenasserim and Darjeeling, Mr. Blyth has 
designated P. affinis. Swainson's excellent name Petrocincla will have to give way to 

The Indian blue rock thrush is extended over most of the continent of India, and 
has most probably a still more extended geographical distribution, as it is migratory here, 
retiring to the north to breed at the approach of the hot weather. Towards the south of 
the peninsula it is very rare. I have only seen it at all common on the Neilgherries — and 
now and then a single stray specimen on some rocky and jungly hill in the Carnatic. In 
the Deccan however it becomes more abundant,and there, chiefly,almost exclusively frequents 
the old walls and remains of forts so common there, eveiy village however small being 
surrounded by a high mud wall. On two or three occasions I observed it in Cantonment 
on the top of a stable or out-building. Mr. Elliot in his M.S.S. notes on Indian Birds, from 
which I drew much information in the compilation of my Catalogue of Indian Birds, men- 


Illustrations of Indian Ornithology, 

tions that he found this bird numerous on the coast from Vingorla to Cambay, frequenting 
the neighbourhood of villages and houses, and even so tame as to enter verandahs. It is in 
general a very shy and wary bird, usually concealing itself on some rock or stone, perhaps 
just showing its head, and taking flight if approached. I have often in open ground followed 
it long in vain, its rapid and undulating flights becoming more extended as its suspicions 
become roused. It feeds on the ground on coleopterous insects cliiefly. 

Its name in Hindustani is Shama, and it is said to be sometimes caged by Faqueers 
and others for its song, which is highly prized in the north of India, but its musical qualities 
appear unknown in the south, and the Copsychus macrourus appears known as the Shama 
or Shahmour in Bengal. 

Description. Male- Of a dusky blue tint throughout, many of the feathers 
dusky-tipped. Wings and tail dusky brown. Female, of a greyish brown tinge above, 
beneath paler, mottled with whiteish, and under tail coverts barred with dusky. Bill and 
legs black. Irides deep brown. Length 8 J to 9 inches. Extent 14, Wing 4r„ Tail 3 to 
SJ, Bill (at front) '^ ths.— Tarsus 1,^ th.— Weighs nearly 2 ounces. 

The P. Manillensis differs in the Male having the under parts from the breast, the 
axillaries, and under wing covcrt6,bright ferruginous,and in the female ( T. eremita of Gmelin) 
being much paler beneath. The tail is perfectly squared. It is found in Lu^onia and 
China, &c. 

P. affinis Blyth difi^crs from this last in having much less ferruginous, and in the 
shape of the tail, which has its outermost feathers nearly half an inch shorter than the 
middle ones. 
In P. Pandoo the tail is intermediate in shape to these two. 


l''e'ff.<r.Mr l/'ci-nc^ia/j 

-«UX,A«f i^Zf^f C.l'JXfJ''.: 







Synon. — V. vernans Tar. Lesson. V. bicincta Jerdon, Catal. No. 289 and V. unicohr 

No. 289 bis. 
The group of green pigeons has long been separated from the other pigeons 
by Cuvier and Vieillot, but I see that the name given by the latter author ' Treron ' has 
been adopted by Gray and others, having been first published, though Cuvier alleges that 
he first named many of these genera in the museum of the ' Jardin des plantes' but he 
did not publish them until the appearance of his ' Kegne animal,' and that in the mean time 
Vieillot adopted the genera, and gave them names of his own. The group is a very natu- 
ral one and contains a number of species, several from continental India, many from the 
Malay countries, and some from Africa. They are distinguished by their green plumage, 
thick soft bills, flat broad soles, the emarginate quills, and (the Indian species at least) by 
their blue and red coloured irides. Their habits are strictly arboreal, and they feed on 
fruit alone, never resorting to hard seeds like most of the family. 

The species of which the accompanying is a drawing was first described by 

myself in the Madras Journal. Strickland I see doubted its distinctness from V. vernans 
of the Malay countries, but Mr. Blyth who has procured both fully recognises it as a distinct 
though closely allied species,and has sent me specimens of each for comparison. Our peninsular 
bird is a rare, and by no means abundant species. I have only seen it myself on two or three 
occasions, and always in the close vicinity of the sea ; once in the Northern Circars,once in the 


Illustrations of Indian Ornithology. 

Carnatic, and once on the Malabar coast, but I have lately obtained specimens from Travau- 
core, and also from the jungles of the Eastern ghauts inland from Nellore. Mr. Blyth too has 
obtained it at Calcutta from the Botanic garden there where it breeds, and also from the 
Sunderbunds, and has received it from Arracan, and other places to the Eastward. 1 
observed it myself always in small flocks. 

The note of the green pigeons is a very pleasing full toned rolling whistle. 
Though usually impatient of confinement they will sometimes live for a long time when caged, 
and properly attended to. 

Description. Back of head and neck above blue grey ; forehead, top of 
head, face, chin, throat and belly, yellow green ; the rest of the plumage above green; 
a broad band of orange or bright cinnamon yellow on the breast, separated from the green 
of the throat by a light purple band ; lower part of abdomen and vent yellow, some of the 
feathers streaked with green ; under tail coverts entirely cinnamon colour ; tail above grey 
with a central dark band, and edged lighter, beneath almost black, with a broad whitish 
margin; edges of the greater wing coverts broadly margined with yellow. 

Length about lOj inches, wing 6, TaiM.J. Bill glaucous white, legs lake red. 
Irides smalt blue with an exterior ciixle of carmine. 

The young (or it may be the female) differs from the adult male in wanting entire- 
ly the purple and orange bands on the breast, and in the under tail coverts being mi.\cd 
with white. 

The Malayan V. vernans, of which a specimen is now before me, differs in having 
whole head, face and throat grey, in the purple band being much wider and extending round 
the neck, in the deeper tint of the orange, in the upper tail coverts being tawny and in the 
tail wanting the broad edging of white beneath &c. &c. It is also a smaller bird. I add the 
dimensions. Length about 9j, wing 5g, tail 4. 

The other species of green pigeon found in the South of India are as follows. 
1st r. chlorigaster Blyth, V. Jerdoni Strickland, V. militaris, Jerdon Cata- 
logue No. 286. This has only been recently recorded as distinct from the true militaris of 
Northern India. 

2nd. V. malabarica Jerdon n. s., V. aromatica Jerdon Cat. No. 287, and 288 
(the female). On sending a specimen of this bird to Mr. Blyth, that gentleman informed me 
that it differs from the true aromaticus of Northern India in the form of the bill and in some 

Illustrations of Indian Ornithology. 

other particulars. I have therefore given it provisionallj^ the name of malabarica from its 
habitat, which is chiefly the forests of Malabar, and the other high jungles of the western 
coast. I add what Mr. Blyth says on their_ points of difference. " The two species agree 
exactly in size and colouring of feathers, except that yours has a yellow throat in both 
sexes ; bu the form of the bill is essentially different, and there are several other distinctions. 
Tr. aromaticus verus (from Bengal andArracan) has a very much stronger bill, the corneous 
portion of which reaches back to the frontal feathers ; its colour is glaucous green with the 
soft and tumid portion at the sides of the upper mandible vermilion, forming a large and 
conspicuous spot; in your species the basal half of the hillis sok and tumid ; aromaticus 
has the eye surrounded by a naked space of a livid blue, in yours the space surrounding 
the eyes is feathered to the orbit ; lastly aromaticus has the legs and toes very bright ver- 
milion contrasting forcibly with the red of those of bicindns, whereas those of your species 
are described as ' lake.' 



GUI). ijs'SESsonES. 




Synon. — P. 3Ialabaricus Jerdon, Catal. No. 166. 

The "White headed Myna figured here was considered by me in my Catalogue to 
be the Malabaricus of Authors, which Wagler had erroneously identified with the female 
of P. Pagodarum, but Mr. Blyth some time ago suggested to me that the name Malabaricus 
more properly belonged to the grey-headed species found over all the continent of India, 
and which I had alluded to in my Catalogue as being probably distinct from the white- 
headed one. Mr. Strickland I see confirms this, and has suggested my naming this anew. 
I have therefore given it the specific appellation of Blythii after the present talented and 
indefatigable Curator of the Museum of the Asiatic Society of Calcutta. 

This bird belongs to the small division of Mynas for which Lesson has proposed 
the name Slurnia, and which is typified by the P. Pagodarum. Their make is smaller and 
lighter than that of the Common Mynas, and their habits in general perhaps ai'e more 
arboreal. Mr. Blyth remarks that they are seldom seen on the ground, but this statement 
must be qualified with regard to P. Pagodarum which feeds chiefly on the ground, and 
often among cattle like the Common Myna, although, as I long ago remarked in my 
Catalogue, when I did observe this bird in the Northern part of the Peninsula, it was only 
on trees. 

Illustrations of Indian Ornithology. 

The white-headed Myna is only found in the forests of Malabar and the more 
Southern portions of the West Coast, and here it is by no means either common or abundant. 
It frequents lofty trees on which it procures its food, consisting of insects and their larva;, 
and small shells (Bulimi) which I have found entire in its stomach. Its usual cry is neither 
so loud nor so harsh as that of most of the Mynas, and it has a very pleasing song. I dare 
say, like the others of it genus, it nidificates in holes of trees, and lays 3 or 4 greenish blue 
eggs, but I have not had an opportunity of observing this. 

Description. Whole head, neck, throat and breast, beautiful silky white ; back and 
wing coverts grey ; quills dusky black ; abdomen, sides, and under tail coverts, rufous ; 
centre tail feathers grey, tipped with rufous and dark shafted, the intermediate ones grey on 
the outer web, rufous at the tip, and black internally, tlie rufous increasing as far as the 
outer tail feathers, which are entirely rufous, except at the base. Bill blue at the base, 
greenish in the centre, and yellow at the tip. Irides blueish white — legs and feet reddish 
yellow, claws pale yellow — Length 8 to 8| inches — Wing 4i| — Tail 2,^ to o inches — Bill 
(at front) nearly ~ ths. — Tarsus 1 inch. 

It differs from the common grey-headed Myna in being larger in all its dimen- 
sions, in the colour of the head and neck, in the primaries not being tipped with grey, and 
in some other slight points. This last species, Jl/a/aianci/j verus, occurs here only in the 
cold weather I find, and is generally dispersed through the Southern part of the Peninsula, 
preferring of course the more wooded portions of the country. 


^ryr/.^lu>t-/y^^tic- '/r/^-rr 

Pri^/Mi /■„ /.'^^.('i'.A^''l"'"y^f 

ORD. .r^lT.lTORES, 





Among the many species of Duck found in this country during the cold -weatlier 
there are but few peculiar to it, the great majority being birds of extended geographical 
distribution, and ranging from the torrid regions to the limits of the Arctic circle. The 
genus Dendrocygna however appears to be peculiar to India and its isles, and contams 
several species, very closely allied indeed, but yet sufficiently characterized as distinct forms. 
Horsfield indicates other species besides his Javanica, but merely calls them varieties, 
although the natives, he tells us, distinguish them by separate names. Colonel Sykes has 
characterized the common species of this country apart from Horsfield's under the name of 
' awsm-ee,' and in my Catalogue of Indian birds I described the present species under the 
name of D. major. It appears contrary to my first supposition to be more generally spread 
than I had imagined, for I obtained specimens occasionally at Nellore, and Mr. Blyth 
has procured it at Calcutta where it appears not rare, though not nearly so common or 
abundant as the smaller species. At Jaulnah in the North of the Deccan it was as common 
as mcsuree. I have no information of its occurrence out of the peninsula of India, but it 
is probable enough that it may be one of the Javanese varieties of Horsfield. 

The Dendrocygnce are called "Whistling Teal by sportsmen in India from the sibi- 
lous cry they have, and their Hindustani name of ' Sillee' also signifies whistler. They 
are (bund in flocks of va' ious size, frequenting chiefly the smaller and more reedy and 
grassy tanks. Tlicir flight is more heavy tban that of the generality of the duck tribe, 


Illustrations of Indian Ornithology. 

and they can be readily distinguished at a distance even by the comparatively lazy flapping 
of their wings. They breed in the hot weather, laying several eggs of a dirty white colour, 
spotted all over with rusty red: these are said to be laid in a tuft of grass, but I have not 
mvself found them in situ. 

The tlesli of the Whistling Teal is in general poor, tough, and fishy, and they are 
not therefore held in any esteem for the table, though at times I believe they are more 
palateable, especially after being kept in a Tealery for some time. 

I add a description of the large Whistling Teal. 

Head and neck chesnut, darker on the top of the head, whence a dark line 
extends down the back of the neck ; chin, throat and fore neck very pale ; on the centre of the 
neck there is a broad patch of small whitish somewhat hackled feathers. Upper part of 
the back and scapulars deep brown, the feathers edged with chesnut, lower part of the back 
black, lesser wing coverts dark marroon, other wing coverts, wings and tail dusky black — 
beneath chesnut,under tail coverts and a few of the upper ones yellowish white, the feathers on 
die sides of the body elongated, chesnut on one side of the shaft, and yellowish white edged 
with dark brown on the other. Bill and legs plumbeous Irides dark brown. Length i?0 to 
21 inches— Wing 9|, Tail 2|, Tarsus 2, middle toe with claw 3J, Bill at front 1,^ at gape 2^. 

This duck appears to me to bear a greater resemblance in colouring to Horsficld's 
species Javanica vel arcuata than the common one or aiosuree, but it differs in size, in want- 
ing thelunules of the breast and neck, in the small extent of the marroon colour on the wings, 
and in this being of a much duller hue ; in the thigh feathers not being bordered with brown ; 
and in the presence of the band of small whitish feathers on the neck, and in a few other 
minor points — Sykes' species differs from Horsfield's in its apparently smaller size, in wanting 
the lunules on back of neck and breast, and more particularly in its upper tail coverts being of 
the same marroon hue as the wing coverts, besides in several other particulars, and! have no 
doubt that it is a good and autlientic species, although I see some Systematists have lately join- 
ed them. It is not improbably the smaller variety indicated by Horsfield to which the Javanese 
give the name o{ Meliwis batti, Melitcis holn^ the common name o( Jaranica, and my D. 
major may also be the Meliwis kembung alluded to as another variety. The name of Jara- 
nica must stand for Horsfield's species, it having been first described under that name, that of 
arctMta having been subsequently given as the name by which Cuvier had distinguished it in 
il.e museum of Paris. 


r^iA^tf muya^-0 J>u//'-c/il, 

Ti'nh.i. /.^/.irAfC/.'/flti-,, 








Synon. — Capr. Indicus Lath. Jerdou (Cat. No. 251.) 
The vague and imperfect description by Latham of his C. Indicus without any mea- 
surements could scarcely have led to the identification of the subject of our present plate 
had it not been for the figure in Gray and Hardwicke's ' Illustrations of Indian Zoology,' 
by which I was led in my Catalogue to refer my bird to that species ; and as Latham else- 
where describes most of the other Indian Caprimulgi, Gray was probably justified in refer- 
ing Hardwicke's figure to Latham's Indicus. The drawing however in Gray and Hard- 
wicke represents a female, and the male has not that I know been previously figured. 

This fine Nightjar has been found dispersed, though sparingly, over all India, and 
has even a still more extended geographical distribution, as Mr. Blyth has procured speci- 
mens from the East of Bengal, and even I believe from China. I procured my first specimens 
from the NeUgherries, but have since obtained some from other parts of the country, from the 
Deccan, the west coast, and even the Carnatic, but it is by no means a common species. It 
affects chiefly the more wooded portions of the country, being usually found, and more com- 
mon in forests than in the open country, and here frequenting only shady gardens and 
large groves. On the Neilgherries it remains during the day in the dense woods there, issuing 
from them about sunset, and then coming into the open ground, and perching on stones and 


lUuslralions of Indian Ornithology. 

trees, and from thence pursuing its insect prey. It is now and then flushed from the woods 
when beating for woodcock, or other game, and more than one have fallen beneath the gun 
of the inexperienced sportsman, its extent of wing and lazy flapping having caused it to be 
mistaken for the woodcock. Its flight is at times very rapid and noiseless, performed with 
but few vibrations of its wings. When roused in the day time it flies (like others of the genus) 
but a short distance, and then suddenly alights, and squats close to the ground, never that I 
know perching in the day time; when hunting it often aliglits on a branch, usually sitting in 
the direction of the branch, and not across it, its feet being not adopted for grasping firmly. 

The note of this Nightjar though somewhat like the sound of a stone scudding over 
Ice has not such a close resemblence to it as that of the common species (C. Asiaticus); it 
sounds some thing like Tew-yo-yo frequently repeated. Its chief food is moths and beetles. 

The name Nyctichelidon or Night Swallow was sometime ago proposed to be sub- 
stituted for Caprimulgus, and is a very good name, expressive at once of its habits and afli- 
nitieSjbut as the Linnoean name cannot nov? propagate any error, it has not been considered 
necessary to change it. The Hindustani name for this genus is Chippuk; sometimes it is 
called popularly Dub-chooree, or DuhJnih-chooree ; also Andhe-choorce, which names are 
given from its habit of close squatting before alluded to, the one meaning squat bird, and 
the other blind bird. Its common name in Teloogoo is ' Kuppa pitta' or Frog bird, given 
however more from the actual resemblance of the flat head and large eyes and mouth, than as 
in France the name 'Crapaud volant' from a similarity in the call. The best Telinga shikarees 
however call this bird As kappri gadoo, a name, the meaning of which I have been unable 
to ascertain. 

Mr. Blyth some time ago sent mc a specimen corresponding very closely in 
plumage, but larger in all its proportions than my Neilgherry bird, which at first he was in- 
clined to consider as distinct, but on re-examination, and comparison of many specimens 
from different part of the country he now considers as identical. My own specimens 
obtained from various localities differ much both in size and coloration, two specimens cor- 
responding exactly being seldom met with. The male has always brighter plumage than 
the female, and appears at times to have the plumage darker and blacker than usual, but 
whether this is a seasonal variety, or one dependent on age I cannot now determine. 

It is extremely difficult to describe accurately birds of the present mottled and va- 
ligated plumage, the more especially so when, as in the present instance, individual speci- 

Illustrations of Indian Ornitholog?/. 

mens vary so much. This however matters less when a tolerably faithful representation is 
given and accurate measurements are added. This species differs from the other Indian 
ones generally in the prevalent dark hue of the plumage — from Asiaticns and Monticohs 
it may be always distinguished at once by it feathered tarsi, and from 7nacrourtis by the 
dark wings and tail of the latter, and rufous breast &c. &c. I shall give no further de- 
scription but add its measurements. 

Total length from 10 to nearly 12 inches Wing 7 to 8| Tail 5 to 5| Tarsus about i^th. 
The other Indian species of Caprimulgi are as follows: — 1st C Asiaticus Latham 
common Indian Nightjar^spread over all the peninsula, taking shelter under hedges, 
among bushes, in gardens, and feeding close to houses and even entering verandahs. I am 
still (as expressed in my Catalogue) inclined to believe that the species figured in Gray 
and Hardwicke as Asiaticus differs from the common species. I obtained what answered 
to this very closely in the North of the Deccan. It differs from the common one in its lar- 
ger size, more prevalent and lighter grey tint of the plumage, and in some other trifling 
points, but I have now no specimens for comparrison. I at one time thought that it might 
be Sykes' Mahrattensis which otherwise I know not.* 

2nd. C Monticolus Franklin. When I compiled my Catalogue I had only met this 
Nightjar in Candeish, but I have since procured it in the neighbourhood of Madras, at Nel- 
lore, and other places. Mr. Blyth has also obtained it at Calcutta, so it appears tolerately gene- 
nerally distributed. I consider it to be the species described by Latham under C. Indicus 
from Sir J. Anstruther's drawings. It frequents chiefly rocky hills abounding with brush- 

3rd. C. macrourns Horsf. I obtained specimens of this Nightjar from the range of 
Eastern Ghauts, and have seen a specimen from the Malabar coast in Lord Arthur Hay's col- 
lection. It is very closely allied to the species which Mr. Blyth had considered as C. macrou^ 
rus of Hor&field, but is much smaller. Mr. Strickland however has compared the specimens in 
the India House museum from Java with Bengal specimens, and finds Horsfield's species 
much smaller, though very closely allied in plumage. The Calcutta bird will therefore stand 
as C. gavgeticns Blyth, and Mr. B. naturally concludes that my species is the ime inacrourui. 
However in this genus where the plumage is so very similar it may still be a distinct species 
from the Javanese one, and if so I would propose the name oi airipennis, and I add its di 

• Mr. Blytli has just sent me for inspection a Nightjar sent by Hodgson as C. innotatus, which he considers as Mahrattemit 
3t appears to mc tt) l»u a very pale vanity of C. Indicus with much worn and a braded plumage. 

Illustrations of hidian Ornithology. 

mensions — Length about 11 inches, Wing about 7 J, Tall o J to (i inches. I consider it per- 
liaps may be C. Asiaticus var C. Latham. 

4th. C. Mahrattensis Sykes — I am inclined to consider IVom length of the tail as given 
by Sykes that this may turn out to be C. Indicun. 1 liave a specimen from tlie West Coast 
smaller than the generality of individuals of this varying species. 1 may add that the pro- 
bability of this conjecture is strengthened by Blyth having; referred what 1 consider a mere 
variety of C. LuUcits to Sykes' Mahrattensis. 


Ctyx A((ytzc-/y/i^ ^ 

i^/«*>V^i/.y.'/^<*.^i;,Vft>*#»<e t^j 









Synon.— -d tridactyla, L. Latham and Shaw (in part). C. tridactyla, Sykes Cat., not of 
Jardine and Selby. A erithaca var. (apud Shaw) and Ked-headed Kingfisher, var. A. 
of Latham. A purpurea, Auct., Buffon P. E. 7T8.2, Ceyx pu7pweus, Juesson. Ceyx 
microsoma Burton P. Z. S., Jerdon Cat. No. 246. 

The genus Ceyx was instituted by Lacepede for the 3 toed Kingfishers which 
form a small and beautiful group. The synonymy of the species however is involved in 
some obscurity, different names having been even recently applied to the same species by 
different authors. The description of the A. tridactyla of Linnaeus (in Latham and Shaw) 
appears to correspond as nearly as possible with the bird figured here, but the name tridac- 
tyla has been applied by Jardine and Selby in their Illustrations of Ornithology pi. 55.2, 
to another species, which is decidedly the A.Madagascariensis of L., as described by Latham, 
and which is figured in the same plate of the Planches Enluminees of Buffon as our present, 
species. If Latham and Shaw are correct in their descriptions, and have faithfully followed 
Linnffius, there can I think be little doubt of the synonymy I have adopted, as I do not 
think it probable that Linneeus would have described the same bird under two different 
names ; but if these authors have misplaced the original descriptions, then the rufous species 
will stand as tridactyla, with Madagascariensis as a synonym, and our bird will be C. pur- 
piireus (Gmel.j, unless, Scopoli in the scientific names he has applied to the Birds described 

Illustration of Indian Ornithology. 

by Sonnerat should have given a prior name, and Sonnerat's bird prove identical with ours' 
as I suspect it will. 

The purple 3 toed Kingfisher is a rare bird on the continent of India. I have 
obtained it in the Carnatic, and know that it has been found, though rarely, on the west 
coast, and in the Deccan. Mr. Blyth has not, that I am aware, obtained it from the vicinity 
of Calcutta, but has received specimens from Arracan where it appears not very uncommon, 
and thence it extends southward through the Malay peninsula, and many of the Isles. 

I append a brief description. — Head and neck above of a rich sienna red, upper tail 
coverts and tail the same but, much dashed with shining lilac. A dark blue spot on forehead, 
and another of a brighter tinge over and behind the ears, this latter bordered beneath by a 
white mark. A stripe of beautiful glistening lilac from centre of eye above, extending 
over the blue spot. Back black, dashed with blue, wings black, coverts edged with dark blue, 
chin, throat and neck whitish.sides of head, and body beneath ,rufous yellow. Bill and legs red. 

Length 5 inches. Wing 2;^, Tail 1;^, Tars n, Bill (front) 1^, 

The other species of this group is the Al. Madagascanensis L., Rufous Kingfisher 
Latham No. 36., Javan Kingfisher Lath. No. 59., A. purpurea var. apud Shaw., Martin- 
pecheur roux de Madagascar, P. E. 778.1., A. iridaclyla, Jard. and Selby Ill.Orn. pi. 55.2, 
and perhaps the A. tridactyla of Horsfield. 

This is not found in the continent of India, but occurs in the south of the Malay 
peninsula, and thence extends eastward to the Isles. 

The Kingfisher described by Sonnerat in his " voyage" pi. 32, as Le Martin- 
pecheur de I'isle de Lutjon, the Luzonian K. of Latham No. 58, is perhaps the same as the 
subject of our present plate. If not, it will form a third and closely allied species. 

The New Holland 3 toed Kingfishers have been separated from Ceyx by Swainson, 
under the name oi Alcyone. Two species are described. Ist^^. azurea (Lath.), ./I. trihrachys, 
Shaw, N. M., Ceyx azureus, Jard. and Sleby, 111. Orn. 55. 1., Ceyx cyana,'Lesson, A aus- 
tralis, Sw ; and 2nd C Menitigting Lesson, Zool. de la Coquille, which would appear to be 
distinct from Horsfield's A. Meningting, and is certainly so, from the A. biru of the same 
author, which the writer of the article ' Kingfisher,' in the Penny Cyclopedia erroneously 
identifies with it. This species (from new Guinea) appears very closely allied to //. azurea. 

riate XX\': 

Leonard Htii 

r-vr Rrollnfi-r. 







Synon— 5. Viridis, L., Jcrd. Cat. No. 217 in part— Xe Barlu vert, Buff— Ze Sarlude Mahe,'P.'E. 

The genus Bncco, as at present limited, is a well marked one, and appears confined to 
India and the Eastern Isles. Green is the predominant colour, both of the upper and lower 
surface, varied, according to the species, about the head and neck, with other colours, some- 
times most brilliant. 

The present species belongs to a small group, of which there are at least three species in 
continental India, distinguished by the plain brown and white markings of the head and 
neck. They abound in all the large forests, where their loud voice Koturr, KHurr, Koiurr, 
may be heard ringing through the woods for a vast distance, throughout most of the day. 
They feed chiefly on fruit, also on insects; and, like parrots and woodpeckers, intermedi- 
ate to which they appear to be, they breed in holes of trees, laying, I am informed, three 
or four white eggs. They are almost always seen singly, a pair, however, being usually 
not being far from each other. 

The species figured on the plate is chiefly found in the woods on the Neilgherries, but also 
here and there in the forests of Malabar, chiefly in the higher portions of the Ghauts. Its 
note is hardly so loud as that of its more common congener of the Malabar forests, viz. 
B. Zeylanictis. Its flight, as indeed is that of all the species, is rapid, direct, and some- 
what undulating. It perches generally on lofty branches of trees, and on a wood being 
beaten for game, several of these may be seen winging their way over the tops of the trees 
to a more secure spot. 

I suspect that the call of this bird, or of the B. Zeylankvs, was mistaken for that of 
Nyciiornis Alherivni by the discoverer of that bird, as related in Jardine and Selby's III. 


Orn. pi. 58 ; for it is described as being exactly the call of a Bucco, whilst that of the 
Nyctiornis is a loud rolling whistle. I have also heard the call of the Bucco by moonlight 
occasionally, but never that of the Nyctiornis. 

I add a description of the Green Barbet. Head and neck above brown, sometimes 
tinged or rather edged with greenish : superciliary stripe, mark from the gape extending 
over the ears, throat and neck, yellowish white, the feathers of the lower part of the neck 
edged with brown; rest of the plumage bright green, darkest above, and paling beneath ; 
bill, and naked skin round eye, brown; tarsus leaden colour; quills brown on the inner 
web only, except the first three which are edged with green. 

Length about 8| inches, of wing 4, tail 2\, tarsus 1, bill (at front) Wths, (at 
gape) IrVths. 



■•ore I>rodia.s 

Buteo rufi:\renter 







Synon. — B. Mufiventer, Jerdon Cat. — No. 21 bis. Suppl. 

I have only obtained this species of Buzzard on the Neilgherries, where indeed it is 
very rare, as I only procured two specimens, one of which was seated on the edge of a 
swamp, and the other on a solitary tree on the side of a hill. It does not appear to fre- 
quent woods. The stomach of one I procured contained the remains of a lizard. I have 
occasionally seen one of the kind seated near the lake of Ootacamund, and a marsh in the 
neighbourhood, and fancy that it occasionally at least feeds on frogs. 

I know nothing else of its habits, nor even if it is a permanent resident on the hills. In 
plumage it is closely allied to Hodgson's fine Buteo canescens, my longipes. 

I add a brief description of its plumage. Above pale brown, each feather edged with 
rufous, especially on the head and neck; rump and upper tail coverts uniform brown ; 
tail pale rufous, with narrow brown bars, the last widest ; quills grey brown, white on the 
inner web with brown bars, except at the tip, beneath nearly pure white, forming a con- 
spicuous broad white patch on the centre of the closed wing ; cheeks and throat whit- 
ish, each feather centred rufous brown ; rest of plumage beneath bright rufous or chesnut, 
barred with white ; thigh coverts darker and not barred. Irides brown — cere and legs 

Length about 21 inches, wing 15, tail 8> bill (at gape) ItV, tarsus StV, wings reach 
nearlv to the end of the tail. 

/A/A .1 IT/// 

Leonard, liOi 

R«ve iiii|, 1,1-ij.l,, 





Syaon.—F. Sliaheen, Jerdon Cat. No. 29, and 111. Ind. Orn. PI. xii. q. t. 

At Plate XII. of the present work I gave a figiire of the male of the present fine Falcon, 
under the name of jP. Shaheen. It is only quite recently, since indeed the publication of 
Mr. Gray's list of the Raptores of the British museum, that it has been ascertained by 
British Ornithologists to have been described by Sundevall, a Swedish Naturalist who visit- 
ed Calcutta, under the name now applied to it. I am much inclined to consider that the 
figure of the Falcon in the PI. Enl. 469 was taken from a Shaheen, but this is said to have 
been European, and the Shaheen has not to my knowledge been hitherto enumerated, ex- 
cept in the Fauna of India, though I have little doubt that it extends far west, throughout 
Asia at all events. 

The present figure was taken from a living trained female in my possession, that had 
completed one moult. The subsequent changes consist in the whole of the spots on the 
lower surface gradually disappearing, and in the upper plumage becoming lighter, and 
more slaty in hue. 

Dimensions of a female are as follows : length about 18|, wing 13i, tail 6^. With re- 
ference to the addendum at the end of my first Number, I may state that the F. guttatus 
there alluded to is not the Shaheen. 

^late XXK. 


Leonari alii 









For Synon. — vide Plate IV. 

The accompanying is another representation of a bird previously figured, but in a differ- 
ent state of plumage, and has moreover the advantage of having been figured from the liv- 
ing bird, a female, after her first moult. Shikarees state that it does not vary except in 
intensity of shade from the plumage exhibited in future moults. 

I am confident that it will prove to be a distinct and well marked species. The specific 
name minutus of Latham, I believe, was originally given to a species killed in Malta, most 
probably an African one ; and the Malayan virgatus, with which it is supposed identical by 
Strickland, is a very distinct, though nearly allied species. For an account of dimensions, 
habits, &c. see Plate IV. of the present Illustrations. 





Iiiiitedij' Bceve Brotkers . 







Synon. — S. Longimemhris — Jerdon, Cat. No. 38, S. Candida, Tickell, S. Javanica 
apud Blytli. 

When I named this Owl as new, I had only met with a single specimen, which was shot 
on the Neilgherries near Coonoor. Since that time 1 have obtained other specimens, in the 
Nellore district, once in long grass when hunting for florikin, and again among long reeds 
in the dry bed of the tank at Yeroor, which had been fired to drive out some wild hog we 
were in search of. 

On comparing it again with Tickell's description I find it agrees well enough, except 
as to the tarsi, which are said to be ' denuded,' but I imagine that he only meant it as com- 
parativelj so Wi\X\ Jlammeus , and as he especially mentions the fact of its being found only 
in long grass, I have now little doubt that they are identical, and have accordingly adopted 
his name. Mr. Blyth appears to think it may have been the species mentioned by Latham 
as S. Javanica, Gm. and de Wurmb, but I doubt much if it be the original species from 
Java. It was known to Buchanan, but Mr. Blyth has not obtained it from Bengal as yet. 

The present figure was taken from a living specimen. 

I add a description. Upper plumage generally brown, mixed with yellow, and spotted 
with white. Beneath white, tinged with ochreous, and spotted with brown. Face white, 
with a dark spot at the inner angle of the eye. Quills and tail barred with buff and brown ; 
some of the secondaries blotched with white ; bill pink, legs reddish brown. Irides dark 
brown, lower part of the tarsus nearly denuded of feathers. 

Length about 17 inches, of wiug 14, tail 5;^, tars. 3 A, middle toe 2\, extent of 
wings 4G. 

The species of Owl figured by Dr. A Smith in his Zoology of South Africa as S, Capen- 
■''is much resembles this in colours and structure. 

Plate nXl. 

Leonara iiia 

PnnicdiyRccre Broflters 






S^'noa — Brachypus Poioicephalus. — Jerdon, Cat. No. 70. 

I only once procured this species of Bulbul in forest at the foot of the Persia pass lead- 
ing from Malabar into Wynaad. — It was feeding in small flocks on the tops of high trees, and 
I found had been eating berries. 

Lord A. Hay procured one specimen at the foot of the Coonoor pass, and Captain 
Roberts of the 36th N. I. showed me a drawing of this bird, which he had procured on the 
West coast. 

It is somewhat allied in colours to the Brachypus eutilotiis of Jardine and Selby, which 
it further resembles in the copiousness of its rump feathers, and Mr. Blyth has classed them 
in the same genus. 

Description. — Crown of head, occiput, and throat, bluish grey, forehead siskin green ; 
back, wings, and lower plumage oil green, lighter towards the vent ; rump feathers light 
yellowish green, broadly barred with black ; tail with the centre feathers greenish grey, 
lateral feathers black at base terminated with grey ; under tail coverts light grey. Irides 
bluish -white ; bill and legs greenish. 

Length 7 inches, wing 3, tail 2 tV tars. | inch, bill (at front) Aths. 

Mr. Blyth, in a paper in the Journal Asiatic Society for 1845, page 546, has reviewed 
all the Indian Brachipodinae, and has formed the genus Brachipodius (p. 576) for this and 
4 or 5 other species. 

Plate XXXII. 

Leonard liih. 

Rinted iy Reeve Brother*. 








The vast addition to the species of Muscicajndce made of late, especially in 
India, having required a revision of the whole group, Mr. Blyth has recently* 
adopted several new genera, to one of which the subject of the present plate appertains, 
Mr. Blyth approximates it to the Siphya of Hodgson, from which, says he, it differs 
in its small size, and feeble legs and toes. I consider that its nearest affinity is with 
the group Cyoriiis of Blyth. 

I add Mr. Blyth's description of the present bird, which was procured from 
the hill station of Darjeeling. Colour of the upper parts rich dark purplish blue, 
inclineing to ultramarine on the rump and upper tail coverts; forehead and crown vivid 
smalt blue; the lores black; foreneck and breast rich purple, with a broad median 
line of deep and bright ferruginous; flanks greyish, the belly and forepart of the wings 
underneath, with the axillaries, white; alars and tail black, edged with blue externally ; 
bill and feet black. 

Length 5 inch — wing 2^ — tail Igths — bill to gape j^g-ths — tarsus fths. 

* Journ. As. Soc. 1843, page 239, &c. 

Pf,,j., rrr/// 

HE B litiL. 

Panted WBjecre Brother » , 





Synon. — Otis Aurita — Passarage Bustard — Latham, No. 13, perhaps O. Indica ?— 
O. fulva — Sykes — 0. Bengalensis, apud Lesson — but not of older Authors — 0. 
Gularis — Do. 

Majok Franklin and Colonel Sykes in their Catalogues of the birds of 
Central India and the Decean, having pronounced the common Florikin of India 
to be a distinct species from the Black one, I entered at some length, in my Catalogue 
of the birds of Southern India, into the reasons which led me to conclude that 
the views entertained by these writers were erroneous, and showed that the Black 
Florikin was nothing more than the cock-bird in the summer or breeding plumage. 
Since that article was written, I have had considerable additional experience, and every 
thing has tended to corroborate that opinion, and I may state, not only in my own 
estimation, but in that of almost every sportsman of experience with whom I have 
conversed on the subject. Some gentlemen were at first inclined to doubt this 
change, fancying it an anomaly, but when I pointed out that many of the birds of England 
underwent a similar periodical change, and that the Golden Plover assumed every 
summer a plumage nearly identical with that of the Black Florikin, they no longer 
hesitated to concur in my views. 

My reasons for believing the Black and the common Florikin to be one and 
the same bird, may be here briefly recapitulated. 

Istly. All Black Florikin hitherto examined have been male birds. 

2ndly. The Black Floriki?! agrees exactly in size, and comparative dimensions, 
with the male of the commo7i Florikin, as described fully by Colonel Sykes, but more 
especially in the length of wing, and acumination of the primary quills, the points insisted 
on by him, and most correctly so, as the essential points of diflference from the female. 

Illustrations of Indian Ornithology. 

running or feeding. Its flesh is very delicate, and of excellent flavour, and it is 
the most esteemed here of all the game birds. Its pursuit is consequently a favorite 
sport, and from the open nature of the ground it frequents, it is well adapted for 
being hawked. I have killed it occasionally with the Luggur, but generally with the 
Shaheen, and have already (at Plate xii) given an account of the manner of hunting 
it. Should the Shaheen miss her first stoop, I have seen the Florikin accelerate its 
speed so greatly, that the falcon was unable to come up with it again under 600 
yards or so. I have seen one struck dead by the Wokhab, Jquila Vindhiana ; I 
had slipped a Luggur at it, which was in hot pursuit, though at some little distance 
behind, when two of these Eagles came down from a vast height, and joined in the chase. 
One of them made a headlong swoop at it, which the Florikin most skilfully avoided, only 
however to fall a victim to the talons of the other, which stooped almost immediately 
after its confederate, and dashed the poor bird lifeless to the ground. It had not, 
however, time to pick it up, for I rode up, and the Eagles soared off most unwillingh*, 
and circled in the air long above me. The Florikin had its back laid open the whole 
length. The Luggur on seeing the Eagles join the chase, gave up at once and returned 
to the falconer's fist. 

The Florikin is occasionally snared by some of the bird-catchers, but as this 
is a very uncertain process for catching a bird of such wandering habits, the gun is 
had resort to in general, and considerable numbers are brought into the markets in 
the districts where they abound — and fetch from half a rupee to a rupee each. 

The Florikin is called by the Mussulmans of Southern India Churz. Latham 
I see gives this name, calling it Churrus and Cirris, which indeed is much the pronoun- 
ciation of the word. In the Telinga language it is sometimes called, I am informed, 
Kdmi-ledi-pitta, but generally 7iela-nemUi, or ground Peacock ; the Mahratta name, 
Tun-mor, having exactly the same meaning, and in Hardwicke's notes (says Latham) 
the Otis Be?igalensis, also called Florikin in Bengal, and Churz in Hindustani, is 
called in Sanscrit Trlna mayara, (properly Trina mayura) which means grass Peacock. 
Its Tamool name I have already given. Its name in Canarese is Kun-nowl, which 
has much the same signification. It appears that the Bengal sportsmen apply the word 
Florikin only to the large O. Bengaletisis, since named deliciosa by Gray, and Himalayanus 
by Vigors ; and they call our bird the leek, or lesser Florikin. The origin of the word 
Florikin is not exactly known, but I have heard that either it, or Flanderkin, was 
the old English name for the little bustard of Europe. Latham gives, on the authority 
of various drawings, the Native name Oorail, which I have not heard ; Chulla Churz, Ab- 

Illustrations of Indian Ornithology. 

luk-chend, which means Pied bird, and Flercher in English. This latter is, I think, evi- 
dently of the same origin as Florikin. Others (says he) call it the Passarage Plover, which 
is the name applied to it in Pennant's Hindostan, where there is a figure of it. In one 
drawing it was called Tok-dar ; which, however, is the name of the Bustard, 0. Nigriceps. 
An indifferent figure of the Black Florikin, in a state of change, is given at Plate X. 
of the Zoology of the Voyage of Belanger. Lesson, the author of the article, says 
that he does not know a figure of the adult O. Aurita, (though it had been previ- 
ously I believe figured in Jardine and Selby's Illustrations of Ornithology) and that 
a specimen did not exist in the public collections of Paris. He also asserts its 
identity with 0. Gularis and Bengalensis of the French Museum, and of some modern 
authors, and then says, "Thus the Otis Bengalensis is evidently only the O. Aurita 
without its ear tufts (palettes). It is the Like of the Hindoos.'' I know not on 
what authority he alleges this. On referring to Latham's account of O. Bengalensis, he 
gives its height 22 inches, and weight 12 to 141b, &c. &c., so there can, I think, be 
very little doubt that the O. Attrita is not intended. Buffon too calls it (the Ben- 
galensis,) the Churge or VOutarde Moyenne des Indes, expressly because it is in- 
termediate in size between the great and little Bustard of Europe. — Latham's Black 
Headed Bustard, No. 6, is perhaps meant for our bird. 

I shall now give a short description of both male and female. 

Length of the male Lird from 18 to 19 inches — wing about 8 — tail 4 — tarsus 
barely 4 — bill (at front) l-j^ths — weight 16 to 18 oz. 

When in full breeding plumage, the head ear-tufts, neck, medial wing coverts, 
and lower plumage are deep black ; chin, lower part of hind neck, and a large patch 
on the wing, white ; the rest of the plumage dark brown, mottled with fulvous ; the 
first three quills dusky brown, the remainder light fulvous yellow, barred and mottled 
with brown. The ear-tufts usually three in number on each side, and four inches long, 
rise from the lower portion of the ear coverts. 

Irides pale yellowish, clouded with dusky. Bill dusky above, with the edges 
of the upper and all the lower mandible yellowish. Legs and feet dirty whitish yellow. 

The female measures from 19^ to 21 inches — wing 9f — tail nearl)^ 5 — tarsus 
4i— bill (at front) 1 J— weighs 20 to 24 oz. 

The prevalent color of her plumage is pale fulvous yellow, the feathers on 
the head, back, wings and tail, clouded and barred with deep brown — those on the 
head almost quite brown ; foreneck with two irregular interrupted streaks, increasing 
on lower neck, and breast, lower plumage thence being unspotted and almost white ; 

Illustrations of Indiayi Ornithology. 

hiud ueck finely speckled with brown ; chin and throat white. First three quills 
almost entirely dark brown, the subsequent ones fulvous, barred with brown ; wing 
coverts with only a few small bars of brown. 

The male in winter plumage differs from the female only in always (I believe) 
having the shoulders and part of the wing coverts partially white, and in the under 
wing coverts being dark brown, whilst in the female they arc pale fulvous, some 
lengthened feathers of the sides alone being brown in her. 

The down at the base of all the feathers is pale pink, and the feather of the 
wing when freshly moulted, have a beautiful bloom on them, partly pink, and partly 
greenish. The quills are much narrowed, and iu the male exceedingly acuminated, 
sometimes ending in a point almost as fine as that of a needle, as Colonel Sykes first 
pointed out; and this, with the smaller dimensions of wing, tarsus, Stc, will always 
point out to the sportsman the sex of the bird he has shot. Colonel Sykes also men- 
tions that the feathers of the back and scapulars are triangular at the point. 

The Florikin of Southern India has, I see, been lately placed in a new sub- 
genus of Otis, named Sypheotides by Lesson, a division, which the smaller size of the 
male, its ear-tufts, and other peculiarities perhaps would warrant us in adopting. 1 
have not seen any account of a similar diiference between the sexes of any of the 
African small Bustards, and in the European little Bustard as well as in the large 
Bustards of Europe and India, the male bird is much the largest of the two. 

I see it mentioned in YarrelFs British Birds, that the little Bustard of Europe 
also undergoes a periodical change in the breeding season, assuming a black collar on 
the neck, with a white gorget and ring. 









Syn.— -A. Caryophyllacea, Latham Ind. Orn. — Le Millouin d cou rose. — Lesson, Traite^ 

No. 40. 

I inserted this Duck in my Catalogue of Indian Birds on tlie authority of some 
Shikarees at Jalnah, who described it accurately as being a rare visitant to that neighbour- 
hood. Lesson inserts it in his ' Traite' as existing in the Paris Museum, though Swainson* 
says he had never heard of a specimen dead or alive in England. 

Since my Catalogue was published I have obtained two specimens, one from the 
Nellore district, and the other (in imperfect plumage) in the Madras Market. It must 
however be considered a very rare kind, even in the North of India, as Mr. Blyth has 
but seldom procured it. Latham says that it is common in Oude, and lives generally in 
pairs, is often kept tame, and becomes tolerably familiar. I should be glad if any 
Sportsmen would communicate to me instances of its occurrence here. 

I add a description — head, cheeks, sides, and hind neck, pale pink or rose colour ; 
the rest of the plumage of a g-lossy reddish brown, somewhat paler beneath ; speculum 
and inner webs of quills pale reddish fawn; edge of the wing white ; some of the tertiaries 
lengthened and glossy green — bill red — legs leaden. 

Length about 24 inches— Wing lOi— Tail 4— Tarsus 1^"^— Bill at gape 2i. 

* Animals in Menageries, p. 277. 







In the- second Supplement to niy Catalogue of Indian Birds just published, I 
have described; this Bird, which was brought me from the Eastern range of Ghauts dividing 
Cuddapah from the Nellore district, by some excellent hill Shikarees to whom I am indebted 
for more than one novelty. They describe it as frequenting the densest woods in elevated 
valleys, and assert that it lives chiefly on fruit of various kinds. The name they apply to 
it is Konda poda pigli, or hill bush bulbul, the name poda; pigli being always applied to Pyc~ 
nonotiis Jlavirictus (my Tricophorus virescens). 

I have not seen specimens from any other part of the country. 

Description — crown of head yellowish green ; throat and fore-neck pale yellow ; 
upper plumage ashy, tinged with green, especially on wings and tail : beneath pale ashy, 
undei" tail coverts and lower tibial plumes, yellow; tail feathers, except the centre ones, 
tipped with whitish, the external most broadly so — Bill black ; legs and feet dark plumbe- 
ous ,• irides said to be red. 

Length nearly 8 inches^ — wing 3^"' — ^Tail 3^^ — Tarsus JL^h — Bill at front ^"' — at 
gape tS,"». 

Plate XXXVl 


?'Tir.t'*d h'j i;(^7f» brotiicrS. 








A riGCRE of the male bird, with a full account of its habits, having already- 
appeared at Plate X. of the present work, I can only add here, that it is said to 
be identical with the bird from Western Africa. I have had this bird in confinement 
for a few days, and its call when alarmed was very grouse-like. 

Description. — Plumage generally ochreons yellow, (the feathers when fresh 
moulted having a strong tinge of pink) spotted and barred with dark brown ; beneath 
pale ashey, finely barred with broAvn ; quills as in the male bird. 

\.f;!ti>:-i l|' 






Synon. — Brachypus Gularis. — Gould, Proc. Zoo. Soc. — 1835. 

I HAVE only found the Ruby Throated Bulbul in Malabar, generally in open 
glades of the forest, and in the neighbourhood of water, frequenting trees and bushes 
in small flocks, and feeding on various fruits and berries. It is certainly a rare 
bird, though I have seen it in one or two collections made in Malabar and Tra- 

Sometime ago I suggested to Mr. Blyth that it may have been Gould's 
species Gularis, described from Travancore, but the description of the throat is 
omitted, probably through mistake, as the specific name is derived therefrom. Mr. 
Blyth in his synopsis of the Brachypodinse, before alluded to,* has made a new 
genus for this and Horsfield's Turdus dispar, (which closely resembles our bird) under 
the name of Rubigula. 

Description. — Head and cheeks pure glossy black ; plumage above, yellowish 
green; chin spot black; throat of a beautiful shining ruby red, the feathers divided, 
and somewhat bristly ; rest of the plumage beneath, yellow ; quills with their inner 
webs dusky, bill black, legs greenish dusky, irides light yellow. 

Length about 6 J — ^wing 3 — tail 2f — tarsus ^^^ths. 

* I. A. S. 1845, p. 676. 

Plate XXXVra 


Printed by Reeve BroUiers 

MTj-n aTvp t ■^ PVT- 








Synon. — Mirafra Javanica? Jerdon, Cat. No. 189. 

VVhkn I compiled my Catalogue I placed this Lark, though with doubt, 
as the M. Javanica of Horsfield, that bird having been included in Franklin's Catalogue, 
and as it answered tolerably well to the brief description, I think it is probably the 
variety of Latham''s Aggia Lark, No. 49, described after a drawing of Hardwicke's, 
and said to weigh 9? drachms. Since that time, however, I have thought it advise- 
able to separate it as a new species, and Mr. Blyth fully agrees with me in doing 
so, and has already described it under that name in the Journ. Asiat. Soc* 

The Red AVInged Lark is tolerably common in low jungles in the neighbour- 
hood of Jalnah, and generally through the Deccan. I never saw it south of Bellary 
nor on the West Coast, nor in the Carnatic, until a short time ago, when I 
observed it in some low jungle at the very base of the Eastern Ghats, and my 
Shikarees have procured me specimens from the hilly regions, where they say it 
abounds. It is never, that I am aware of, found in the open plains, nor does it frequent 
gardens, like the more common species, M. Affiyiis. I may remark here, that I found 
this latter the common species, M-ithin a mile or less of the spot where I first observed 
Erythroptcra in the Carnatic, but not one did I see encroaching on the ground of the other. 
The Red Winged Lark perches frequently on shrubs, whence it occasionally rises a short 
distance, and descends again with outspread wings, its bright rufous quills gliltering 

" For 1844— Page Or.8. 

Illustrations of Indian Ornithology. 

in the sun. When observed it hides itself behind a bush, and if followed, soon 
contrives to conceal itself from the sportsman. 

Description. — Above dusky reddish brown, the feathers edged with fulvous; 
beneath fulvous white, the breast spotted with brown ; feathers of the head lengthened 
and rufous ; chin, throat, and superciliary streak, white ; quills bright ferruginous on 
both webs, except at the tip, which is dusky brown ; tail dark brown, the feathers 
edged with lighter, and the outermost one white on its external web. Bill horny brown — 
irides brown — legs and feet fleshy yellow. 

Length about 5? inches — wing S^Vhs — tail 2j^ths — tarsus fths, bill at front 

This and another species are called in Teloogoo £eli jitta, the present one, 
distinguished by its smaller size, being called chinna eeli jitta. The name is derived 
from their note, which in both species is a kind of prolonged whistle. The nearly 
allied species, M. Affinis, diflers in having the quills rufous on the outer web, and 
the basal half only with a deep margin of the same, in its shorter tail, and dif- 
ferently formed bill. It is exceedingly abundant in the West Coast, and throughout 
the Carnatic, frequenting open spaces in the jungles, gardens, &c. he. Mr. Strickland 
considers that this may be the Alauda Malabarica of the older authors, described from 
Sonnerat's voyage, plate 113, fig. 1 ; and I accordingly inserted it in the 2d supplement 
to my Catalogue just published,* under that name; but having again compared the 
description, I agree with Mr. Blyth in applying this term to the crested lark, Alaicda- 
deva of Sykes, which is not uncommon on the Malabar Coast, and shall retain the 
name of Affinis, already indeed published by Mr. Blyth. 

* Madias Journal of Literature and Science, No. 31. 

P.aVc xx>a3c 

Leo»a2-d, Lith 

Prmtcdlv Reeve BroUiei-s.LondotL 








This plain coloured little bird is found in great abundance on the Neilglierries, 
frequenting mostly high trees in small flocks, and feeding chiefly on the minute insects, 
that infest flowers, occasionally receiving a portion of honey along with the insects. 
I have also found it not uncommon in the more open parts of the forests of Malabar, 
and also occasionally in jungles in the Carnatic, when a little more high and dense 
than usual. It keeps up an incessant feeble twittering, whilst feeding. It appears to 
be replaced towards the North of India by another species, Dicceum erythrorhynchum, 
the Nectarinia Minima of Tickell, and DiccBum Tickellice olim of Blyth; of which, 
however, I have recently obtained specimens from Canara. My Shikarees call this little 
bird chitloo jitta, a name which they also apply to that curious bird the Parisoma 
Vireoides of my Cat. No. 133; the Fringilla Agilis of Tickell, and Pipra Squalida of 
Burton, now made into a new genus, Piprisoma,* by Mr. Blyth, and placed in the 
Dicceum group by him; thus confirming the view of its afiinities held by my Shikarees, 
which I confess it was some time before I could recognise. 

I add a description of the Dicceum Concolor. Above brownish olive, wings 
and tail darker, beneath greenish white, irides brown. Bill dark plumbeous, legs and 
feet brown. Length about 4 inches — wing 2f g — tail 1-jV — tarsus i — bill (front) -rV ths, at 
gape ^ths. 

The bird is figured on the branch of a tree well known on the Neilgherries 
under the name of the pink arbutus, which is I believe a species of Thibaudia. 

* Journ. Ae. Soc. 1844, page 394. 


i/A:u^i C<'rc/u///if 

iU„Cf,/ /y Z,M^,^U.Kj 

TQ^J? £<€Jri lUSHJiCf 




Meart-spo tted wo odpe gker. 

Syu. — PicKS cordatus, JercIoE Cat. No. 206. — P. carnxMe, Lesso-ii, Ceatinie Zoologique 

PI. 73? 

leaiiliafl-diy Bring myself tb believe- that tbe Wootlpeek^i" figured' iii the plate^- is 
the same as th« ©ne described bv Lesson as foilows—" Thi* Woodpeeker has neither red 
nor green iii its plumage ; two colours only, black and white form its pi'iiniage ;: erest, 
liead and bind neck, deep bJne-blask. — Tbroafc and foreaeek ashy greVf reliev-ed on each, 
side by two broad wbit-e Biarks, readiing from the eommissure of the bill t» the upper part 
of tlie thorax. All the lower part of the bo^' from the bretisi ©f a deep sraoksy broiwn.'?' 
1'he uncoloured^ figure which accompanies my copy of Lessoii.'s ' Centiirie,' certainly sho-w» 
a decided similarity in the appeaa^ance of the birdy and ebaraetsr of the markings^ but as- 
suming Lessott^* description of the plumage to be eorreot, and! talking into consideration the- 
very difte-rentloealsty ®f his^bird^, I am inclined to tJie opinieii ftbat the Ficv-s ccmente from; 
Pt.'gii is a distinct speeie& from my P. cordatusr from thef6i5ests-of Malabac and Travan- 
core. The attention now bestowed, on the diserknination of species has- had the result of 
showing that several Woodpeekers^ previously eonsidered identical ffom dllFerent parts of 
liidia and Malayana, are in reality only representatives of each other iii different districts.. 

JUuat rations vf Indian Ornittwlofjy: 

Fbr example three specios, formerly considered tlie same, have been found te firm thV" 
5»roiip of whicij the Mahiy P'.rui Ladias was lhefirst(iescriberf=--vK. P. hudim vents, from' 
Alalayana, P. phaioceps, from Bengal, and 7*. f/idarix, inihi, from Southern India. In like • 
loajiner the {^roup to which the Maiay:'4> P. .'/(/a belongs Las at least Iwo r('presentiitive«t ia 
Gontincntal Indii.y; viz. P. ifiorii and intermedins. Two addilioual sj>ccies have been added 
to the Bevgahtisis group, viz. Miiropus i'nom Southern Indiii, and another from Seinde, a^ ■ 
I have lately learned from Mr. Bh th, and other instances might readily be- adduced. No\t 
ill all these cases-the distinctions thoxigJi constant, are apparently very trifling, and only ap-- 
preoiablc after ariose examination, in some cases being merely stFuctural. I am ther» tore • 
led to conclude in the absence of actusil ca«jpari8on(,of specimens from Pegu that n>y /'. 
cordatus is the continental representative of cmtente, and a distinct species. A nearly allied 
gpecies has quits recently been procui'ed by Air. Blyth from Arracan which he has named 

The hcart-gpot^ed NVx)0<]p«c4cer -s found only in the highest forests of Malabar^- 
Travancore, and Canara, frequenting high trees, usually in pairs, or sing^le. Like ^^'ool- 
peckers generally it is a wary bird, and being constfintly in mot'ion, oeciisionaUv eludes tho 
pavsuit of the naturalist. TlioHgh generally spread tliro ugh the forests of Western India, 
it is a rare bird. Collections made on the West-Coast however usually include if. 1 have 
iM)t seen it- myself from anyother past of the country, but Mr. Blyth, I think, has obtained- 
specimens from Assam or Arracan. 

Description — Male^foreliead .-"jd ''rown, c]nn, throat and checks, back, *tripe 
along the wings, and-tertiaries yellowish white, the latter tcrminatccl witli a bhick hcarl- 
shaped spot. Hind head and long octipifal, crest, nape, seapiiLirs, quills, uppi'r and under 
tail coverts, vent and taii deep black. Beneath from throat to ihe wnt dull green. On tiie 
eeiitre of the back isabrusli of dark sap green feathers, rough and bristiv, and usually 
smeared with a viscid secretion. Rill blackish — legs and feet greenish Wack — iiides brown 

The female diffci^s anLy ill having thft torehead and crown black, dotted with \t-i- 
lowirih wli.ite. 

Length under 6 Inches— \^lng tjj — Tail 1 t^* — Tarsus vkiIi— Bill (at front) is^h. 
ta -Ti'^^ long ; form peculiarly robust ; feet large ; ^vings long.. 

Plate XLI 


Miller kih- 


Reeve t i.onaon ; imp 







Synon.— /5cops sunia — Hodgson, As. Res. xix. 174. Sc. pennaia H., apud Jerdon, 2d 

Suppl. Cat. 

When I referred this bird to S. pennata of Hodgson, I did so on the ground 
of the great similarity of one of the states of plumage of this beautiful little Owl to 
an imperfect specimen of pennata kindly lent me by Mr. Blyth. Mr. Gray of the 
British Museum now refers pennata to the European Scops Owl, S. xorca, though he 
previously placed it as distinct; and on again examining this species I recognise many 
points of distinction between the two birds, viz., sunia and xorca. Mr. Blyth has 
obtained several specimens in the neighbourhood of Calcutta, all in the red state of 
plumage, and naturally doubts any change taking place, at least normally. The fact 
of this change is well established I believe in the American Scops Owl, figured by 
Wilson, and as the majority of specimens I have obtained were in the grey plumage, 
and some much more rufous than others, I am myself confident of the identity of the 
two birds. Whether, however, the red be the young plumage, as in the American 
species, or the adult, I cannot determine satisfactorily, but I suggest that it may be a 
seasonal garb, and shall endeavour to ascertain this. 

This Owl appears to be widely distributed through India. The first specimen 
I procured was found dead in my compound at Madras. I have since seen specimens 
from Malabar and Travancore, and obtained several others from the Eastern Ghats 
near Nellore. Mr. Blyth has got it at Calcutta, and Mr. Hodgson in Nepal, but it 
has not yet I believe been sent from any of the Malay Countries. It is stated to 
be quite nocturnal in its habits, and to live chiefly on insects. Mr. Hodgson's specific 

Illustrations of Indian Ornithology. 

name is derived from the native, meaning golde?!, and Telinga Shikarees called it 
Chitta Gooha. 

I shall now give descriptions of the different states of plumage — 1st. The 
uniform rufous as figured. In this the whole of the upper parts are bright ferruginous, 
a few only of the feathers with black shafts. Scapulars white, tipped with black — 
feathers of the ruff also edged with black — beneath white, much tinged with rufous 
on the breast, least so on the under tail coverts, the feathers with a black central 
stripe, and cross markings — quills and tail obscurely dark banded. 2d. Another state 
differs from this in having the central black streak and cross markings fully developed 
on all the feathers, and the quills and tail darker banded. A third state has the 
ground colour of a beautiful pale grey, but with the markings as in the last, here 
and there generally a little rufous still discernible, especially on the wings and tail — 
as also on the aigrettes and ruff. 

Length 65 inches to 7 — the wing is S^^^ths, and the tail is 2i%-ths — tarsus ^ths. 

I shall notice here that this old established generic name Scops has been 
lately changed at home for Ephialtes, the former being now applied to the crowned 



MiVtec Htk. 


ReeTe ' LoncLan) 








Synon. — Perdix benulasa, Val., P. Hardwickii, Gray, Hardw. 111. Ind. Zool. F. nivostis, 
Ad. Delessert, Curria Partridge* LB,tha.m — Jitta Kodee, Teloogoo. 

The male of this very handsome' Spur-fowl has been figured twice, firstly 
by Gray in Hardwicke's Illustrations of Indian Zoology, and afterwards by Delessert 
in the Magasin de Zoologie — but the hen-bird has, I believe, not yet been described. 
Mr. Blyth I see gives benulasa Val. as the prior specific appellation. 

In Southei'n India I have only found it in the Jungles of the Eastern Ghats, 
and in some of the spurs that jut out from the Ghats, both above and below. M. 
Delessert got it from the neighbourhood of Pondicherry. I got many specimens from 
the Ghats inland from Nellore, and I have been told that it is found near Bellary, 
Cuddapah and Hydrabad. Further north I never saw it from Goomsoor, and it is 
unknown in Bengal and the Himalayas. General Hardwicke procured it in the North 
West of India I believe. 

It associates in small flocks, keeping to the low shrubs and brushwood, and 
seeking its food among fallen leaves and low herbage. I kept several individuals of 
this species alive for some time, and found that it is a most pugnacious and quarrel- 
some bird. It carries its tail erect like the Jungle fowl, to which the natives invaria- 
bly assert its affinity, as well as that of F. spadiceus ; and Mr. Blyth places them 
in his genus Gallo perdix, retaining Francolinus for the common Partridge of India, 
F. ponticerianus, and the Black Partridge of Bengal, F. communis, which are much 
more allied to Partridges, and in which the hens are not usually spurred as in Gallo 

Ilhistrations of Indian Ornithology. 

I have found that both the spotted and common Spur-fowl feed much on 
insect food in the wild state, especially on the larv.t of two or three kinds of wood 
bug (Rediivius) so abundant in most of our Jungles. 

Description. — Plumage generally of a dusky greenish brown, paling beneath, 
and inclining to fulvescent on the breast and abdomen. Top of head dark brown, 
with deep ferruginous streaks, of which latter colour are the face, superciliary stripe 
and chin, some of the feathers of this portion being centred with pale buff, which 
colour forms a marked streak extending from the base of the lower mandible to the 
ear. Bill horny brown. Legs cinereous. 

Length about 12? inches — wing 6 — tail 5 — tarsus 1^. 

The Cock-bird differs in having the whole head and neck black with numerous 
white spots, the back and feathers of the* leg fine chesnut also white spotted, each 
spot surrounded with glossy black, lower part of breast and abdomen buff, black 
spotted, lower tail coverts, wings, and tail brownish, the former slightly streaked white. 

Plate XL HI 

Millei- litli 

Rt-fVL- l.aiiOt.ii I iini 

r\[\.{ )H( ii':ii ;; .1 !•. hi x iiii 






Synon. — C. cochinsinensis, apud Jerclon, Cat. No. 72. Phyllornis Jerdoni, Blyth Jour. As. 
Bengal 1844, page 392, and 1845, page 564. 

It is somewhat remarkable that a species so extensively distributed, and by 
no means uncommon, and of which specimens must have been frequently taken home, 
should only within the last three years have been discriminated from its congeners. 
The cause of this is to be found partly in the great similarity of plumage of the 
birds of this very natural genus, and partly in the carelessness (till of late years) of 
Naturalists in unravelling synonyms. As Dr. Roxburgh received from some Critic 
on his magnificent work on Indian Plants most unmerited censure for figuring the 
Roxburghia gloriosoides, which name the ignorant writer attributed to Roxburgh himself, 
I beg to observe that I am indebted to Mr. Blyth for the honor of having this bird 
named after myself. 

The genus was first defined (in England) and the known species recorded 
in Jardine and Selby's Illustrations of Ornithology. It appears, however, that Phyllornis 
of Miiller has the priority, and must therefore hereafter be adopted. 

The genus is peculiar to India and the Malayan provinces, and has been the 
cause of some discussion as to its place in the natural system. Mr. Blyth, among 
others, places it, along with Jora, as a particular sub-family of Melipkagidce, peculiar 
to Southern Asia and its Islands, and Mr. Gray places it in his Meliphagince. Mr. 
Blyth, however, allows that it conducts to the Bulbuls, Brachypodmce, in which family 
it is placed by Swainson ; and it will be seen from the heading of this article, that I 
adopt this view, to which I am led partly by the habits of the bird, and partly by 
the geographical distribution. Its possession of a pencilled or brushed tongue, of 

Illustrations of Indian Ornithology. 

whic'li it does not make typical use, appears to me i-allier an analogical character, and 
its other alliances heing confessedly with the Brachypodinae, I have preferred placing 
it there. 

The subject of the present article is spread over great part of the Continent 
of India, wherever there is a sufficiency of woodland. It is extremely common in 
all the Western provinces, and in the Jungles of the Eastern Ghats, but is rarely 
met with in the open country of the Carnatic, Mysore or Hydrabad, and there only 
in the vicinity of well wooded towns. It is usually to be met with in pairs, flitting 
about the extreme branches of trees, examining the leaves for various insects, after 
which it occasionally takes a short flight of a foot or two, or searching for some 
suitable fruit. It has a somewhat varied note, its usual call being, as Mr. Blyth 
remarks, not unlike that of the King Crow (Dicrurus macrocercus,) though softened 
down and mellowed, and occasionally is very agreeable. I have seen a nest and eggs 
of this species in possession of S. N. Ward, Esq. It is a neat but slight, cup-shaped 
nest composed chiefly of fine grass, and was placed near the extremity of a branch, 
some of the nearest leaves being, it was said, brought down and loosely surrounding 
it. It contained two eggf-, white with a few claret-coloured blotches. Its nest and 
eggs, I may remark, show an analogy to that of the Orioles as mentioned in a previous 
article, Plate XV., which is also a representative among the true Thrushes of the 
Meliphagous or Tenuirostral tribes. The Orioles being by some, though not so generally, 
assigned to the Meliphaghidce, this may seem an additional proof of the correctness 
of those who would place our bird in the same group, but I only see in it another 
proof of the universality of the principle of Representation, which pervades every 
tribe throughout the animated world. 

Description. — Male, of the beautiful pale green colour prevalent throughout 
the genus. Face, chin, throat and gorge black, surrounded with a zone of pale 
yellowish green. Moustache, shining smalt blue. Shoulder-spot, shining azure blue. 
The female diff'ers in having the parts that are black in the male of a light bluish 
green, and the moustachial streak azure blue. 

Length from 7 to 7? inches — wing 3^— 'tail 2f — tarsus nearly ^ths. Irides 
pale brown. Bill dusky. Legs cinereous. 

The only other species met with on the Peninsula of India is the C. Malabar- 
icus, (Lath.,) C. ccesmarhynchos, apud Tiekell, C. aurifrons of my Cat. This species 
is much more rare than the last, preferring the vicinity of lofty Jungles, and is only 
to be found about the Western Coast, and some of the denser portions of the Jungles 

Illustrations of Indian Ornithology. 
of the Eastern Ghats. It is nearly allied to the C. aurifrons of Northern India. 
A fourth very beautiful species, C. Hardwickii, J. and S,, C. Cwvirostris, Sw., C. 
cyanopterus, Hodgs., C. chrysogaster, McL. and H., and C. auriventris, Deless., is 
found in the Himalayas and Eastern India. 

Three species are found in the Malay Peninsula and isles, viz., C. Sonneratii, 
J. and S., C, cyanopogon, T,, and C. cochinsinensis, Lath. 







Synon. — F. juggur — Gray — Haidwicke's 111. Ind. Zool. 2 — 26. F. thermophilus, Hodgs., 

Gray's Zool. Misc. 

I HAVE already in these Illustrations figured two states of plumage of a 
fine Falcon, (the Shaheen,) and I now give a drawing of another equally large, much 
more common, and held in less estimation by the Natives. Whilst the Bhyree (F. 
peregrinus,) prefers the sea coast and the neighbourhood of lakes, rivers, and Avet 
cultivation, and the Shaheen (F. peregrinator) delights in hilly and wooded regions, 
the Luggur, on the contrary, frequents open dry ])laius, and vicinity of cultivation. 
It makes its nest in some lofty tree, generally one standing alone among some grain 
fields, and lays four eggs. In a wild state it preys on a great variety of small birds, 
often snatching up a chicken, even in the midst of a Cantonment. It is trained to 
hunt Crows, Paddj--birds, Partridges and Florikin; and, it is said, has been trained 
to kill the Heron, A. cinerea. 

In hawking Crows, C, culminatus chieflj-, it is slipped from the hand ; and 
the Crow, when aware of its danger, uses every artifice to escape, taking refuge among 
cattle, horses, vehicles, and even entering houses. I once had a Luggur whose wing- 
feathers were burnt off by a washerman's fire, close to which the Crow was attempting 
to take refuge when it was struck. After Paddy-birds (Ardea huhulcus) it is also 
slipped from the hand, and as this bird is always found on the plains feeding among 
herds of cattle, it affords considerable sport by its dexterity in diving among and under 
the cattle, and the venturotis Hawk is occasionally trodden under the feet of the cattle. 
When the quarry is a Partridge or a Florikin the standing gait is used as described 



E.eeve < London) imp- 


Illustrations of Indian Ornithology. 

under the head of the Shaheen, (Plate XII.) Luggurs, as well as Shaheens, are always 
.caught after they have left the nest and have had some instruction by their parents, 
our native Falconers considering them better than when taken from the nest, contrary 
I believe to the opinion of our English Adam Woodcocks. The Luggur appears to 
inhabit the whole continent of India — and is enumerated among the Hawks used in 
Scinde by the late Sir A. Burnes. I add a description of the Luggur and of its changes 
of plumage. 

The young bird, as represented in the accompanying Plate, is throughout of 
an earth-brown colour, except the superciliary stripe, cheeks, chin, throat, and under- 
tail coverts, which are of a pale yellowish white colour, more marked in some individuals 
than in others, and in some of a purer white. The quills are darker than the rest 
of the plumage, and the tail has sometimes an ashy tinge. The head is usually, though 
not always, paler, sometimes quite rufous, and the feathers edged with creamy white, 
and the forehead is generally of this latter tinge. In the second year the brown feathers 
of the upper plumage are paler and with more of an ashy tinge throughout ; beneath, 
the feathers of the neck and breast are snow white, with a central brown mark. In 
the third year still more of the breast, and part of the abdominal feathers become 
white, with a brown spot, this mark on the upper portion of the breast being now 
nearly obliterated; the feathers of the back too are now quite cinereous. In the fourth 
year the breast becomes quite white unspotted, a few brown spots still remaining on 
the abdomen^which disappear nearly with the next moult. In all the head is paler, 
sometimes rufous with a few dark lines. The leg feathers also always remain brown. 
The upper plumage is pale cinereous, usually edged with light brown, and the nape 
and hind neck always continue brown. The quills have at all ages their inner webs 
studded with large white spots. In the young bird the cere orbits and legs are light 
cinereous blue, which afterwards changes to yellow, pale at first, brighter with age. 
Irides deep brown. 

Length of a female 19 inches — wing \5\ — tail 8 — tarsus 2 — centre toe with 
claw 2f — weight ftli. The male bird is considerably smaller, but there is not such 
a difference between the sexes as in the Peregrine and the Shaheen. 

The Hindustani name of this Falcon is Luggur for the female, and Juggur 
for the male. In Teloogoo it is called Luggadoo evidently the same word. 

Besides the Shaheen, Luggur and Besra, already figured in the present Illustra- 
tions, the following Hawks are known to, and used by native Falconers. 1st. The 

Bhyree, Falco peregrinus. An abundant visitant to our coasts during the cold season. 


Illustrations of Indian Ornithology. 

2d. The Turoomtee, F. chicquera, a permanent resident, 3d. The Bax, Astur palum- 
barius, rare in the South of India. 4th. The Gorbesra, Astur indictis, also rare. 5th. 
The Basha, Accipiter fringillarius, a cold weather visitant to hilly regions. 6th. The 
Shikra, Ace. Dussumierii, abundant throughout India— and lastly, the Khandesra, pro- 
bably the Ace. virgatus-^verj rare, and said only to be found on the East coast. 

Plate Xl.V, 


Rceve ( London. ) unp. 








The group of Larks, and Titlarks, is one of the most difficult to define of 
all the feathered tribes, their plumage being in general so extremely similar, that 
without accurate measurements and comparisons of allied species, numerous mistakes 
are unavoidable. Mr. Blyth has lately, in one of his excellent papers in the Journal 
of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, revised all the Indian species ; and Mr. Gray, in his 
list of Hodgson's birds, has also enumerated several. The subject of our present article 
is certainly one of the rarest of all. It is not enumerated among Hodgson's birds, 
but I see that Lord A. Hay has lately obtained it at Jummoo in the North West 
Himalayas. My first specimens were procured at Jalna, in the neighbourhood of low 
hills on a bare plain. I have since, on several occasions, seen it on the Segoor Pass 
of the Neelgherries, among rocky ground about 4,000 feet high, and have little doubt 
that it will eventually be found to frequent rocky hills throughout the table land of 
India. I presume that it is a resident here, for I lately procured a specimen in what 
is evidently its nestling plumage on the Segoor Ghat. 

Description.— Plumage above generally of a dusky olive brown, the feathers 
edged with pale ferruginous, darkest on the margins of the wing feathers; beneath, 
and superciliary stripe also pale ferruginous, streaked on the neck and breast with 
brown; outermost tail-feather with the outer web and tip rusty white, and the next 
tipped with the same only. Irides brown. 

Length 8 inches — wing S^ths — tail 3|— tarsus rather more than an inch— bill 
tP forehead j^jths— hind claw nearly iV*^^s. 

Illustrations of Indian Ornithology. 

This species differs abundantly both in habits and structure from A. Richardi, 
(which equals it in size,) and is one of the best marked species of the group. Richard's 
Pipit frequents chiefly marshy ground, and wet paddy-fields, and in such localities is 
more abundant in Southern India than I previously imagined. Other Pipits found in 
the Peninsula are as follows — J. maculatus, Hodgs.; J. arboreus, of Indian writers, 
very abundant as a cold weather visitant; A. striolatus, Blyth, placed by Mr. Gray in 
his list as a s3'nonyni of A. rufescens of Europe. This species appears also to be 
only a cold weather visitant. I found it abundant on plains near Ncllore sprinkled 
with bushes of Euphorbia, on which the Pipit frequently perched. A. malayensis, 
Eyton, A. agllis, Sykes, and Jerdon Cat., A. pallescens, apud Sundevall. A most 
abundant and common species throughout all India. A. rufuhis of apud Jerdon, Cat. 
No. 192., lately obtained by Mr. Blyth near Calcutta— and lastly, A. montana, Jerdon, 
olini A. rufescens, Cat. No. 191 — only seen on the Neelgherries, where tolerably common. 

Plate XLVl. 


MiUr^r iirh 

S.eeve < Londloa ) imp 








I OBTAINED this unexpected addition to the fauna of Southern India from 
the Jungles of the Eastern Ghats, and the Shikarees who brought it to me stated that 
it inhabits the highest portion of the hills in thick forest, and lives in pairs. They 
said it was very rare, and I have not succeeded in obtaining any other specimens 
beyond the pair first procured. 

Description. — Above, and a broad mesial stripe from throat to vent, black; 
cheeks, sides of neck, of breast, and of belly, under-tail coverts, spot on nape and 
band across wing, white; tertials broadly margined externally and tipped with white; 
outermost tail-feather white, except its inner border, the next with the outer web and 
portion of inner web white, and the third with the outer web white at tip and for 
most of its basal half. Bill black. Legs plumbeous. 

Length 5 inches — wing 2f ths — tail 2 — tarsus fths — bill 5 inch nearly to gape. 

The other Pari of Southern India are P. cinereus, V,, P. atriceps, T., abundant 
on the Neelgherries; and P. aplonotus, Blyth, P. xanthogenys, apud Sykes and Jerdon — 
only lately discriminated from the allied P. aianthogenys of the Himalayas. This is 
abundant in Coorg, on the slopes of the Neelgherries, and indeed all along the range 
of the Western Ghats. P. melanolophus I have only seen in Goomsoor. 







Synon. — P. ceylonus, Forst., P. negledus, Wagler. 

I HAVE figured this interesting species of Woodpecker from the island of 
Ceylon, where it was procured by Lord A. Hay, and where it appears to be not uncom- 
mon, replacing (says Mr. Blyth) the common P. bengalensis of the Indian continent, 
to which it assimilates in structure, belonging to the same division Brachyptermts. 

Description. — Above of a dull crimson colour, brighter on the head and crest 
— beneath white, with brown markings; streak from the eye and two narrow stripes, 
one from above the gape, and the other from the edge of the lower mandible, dark 
brown. Bill yellow. Legs cinereous. 


IHler lith 

Reeve (lorLclorL) imp. 



MUlcr lith, J\ec_ve- ' i.ouaon i imp 








Synon. — Ptilinopus ElpJiinstonii — Sykes — C. pulchricoUis, Hodgs. ? ? 

This handsome Pigeon I have only hitherto found in the dense woods on 
the summit of the Neelgherries, hut as Sykes found it in the woods of the Western 
Ghats, I have no doubt that hereafter it will be ascertained to inhabit all the higher 
parts of that range of mountains. It is found single, or in small parties of four 
or five. It in general keeps to the woods, living on various fruit and berries, but 
occasionally it descends to the ground to procure various seeds and shells (Bulimi) 
which I have frequently found in its crop. I am unacquainted with its call and 
nidification, though it certainly breeds on the Neelgherries. Colonel Sykes, its original 
describer, makes it a Ptilinopus, but it is clearly (as Mr. Blyth ingeniously imagined 
from its mode of coloration alone, for he had not seen a specimen) a true Columha 
of the subdivision Palumbus or Cushat, Mr. Gray in his list of Hodgson's specimens 
presented to the British Museum, makes the C. pulchricoUis of that gentleman a 
synonym of this Pigeon, which however I cannot assent to, on comparing the bird 
now before me with Mr, Blyth's copious description of pulchricoUis. I add a 
description of Elphinstonii, which name I may mention was given in honor of the 
Governor of Bombay, the Hon. Moimstuart Elphinstone. Head, neck and plumage 
beneath ashy, the neck and breast glossed with green; a large nuchal mark black, 
the feathers tipped white ; plumage above of a copper colour glossed slightly with 
purple and green. Quills and tail dusky black. Bill red, yellowish at the tip. Feet 
lake coloured. Irides yellow. 

Length about 15 inches — wing Sj — tail 6. 







Synon. — Xiphirhynchus superciliaris — Blyth, J. A. S., 1842, p. 173. 

Mr. Blyth defines his genus Xiphirhynchus, afterwards changed to Xipho- 
rhamphus on account of the first being preoccupied, as follows — Allied to Poma- 
torhinua, but the bill much longer and more slender, and very thinly compressed 
througliout its length, widening only at the extreme base, and describing a considerable 
incurvation. Plumage, wings, and tail as in Pamaforkimis, but the toes and claws 
rather more slender and elongated. I think that these characters hardly allow its 
separation from Pomatorhinus, being merely more finely expressed. This bird is 
"reported to be a pleasing Songster," but this is at variance with the known habits 
of most of the familj-. It inhabits Darjeeling. 

Desci-iption. — Above uniform brown, the quills and tail dusky ; beneath 
rufo-ferruginous ; crown, occiput, and sides of the head, dark cinereous with a narrow 
superciliar)- white line extending to the occiput; throat whitish, streaked with grey; 
breast obscurely spotted with dusky ; shoulders and tibial feathers dark grey ; bill 
dusky; legs brown. 

Length 85 inches — wing 21 — tail 3f — bill 1| in a straight line — tarsus 1 — 
hind toe and claw 1. 

The female differs in being slightly smaller, and in the colouring of the under 
parts being not so bright. 


XIPKOi;A:y[ ?\\ \\ s si! i'j-:ium.j ,i ap:t 








I CONSIDER the discovery of this bird at Darjeeling as one of the most 
interesting among the numerous novelties Mr. Blyth has had occasion to describe 
during his sojourn in India.* The only recorded species belong to Africa, and the 
interest attached to their peculiar habits has been recorded by several travellers in 
that country, and has I believe been confirmed by recent writers. For the informa- 
tion of such as have not had an opportunity of becoming acquainted with these 
peculiarities, I may here mention, that the common African Honey Guide (Indicator) 
is said to direct the negroes by a peculiar cry or whistle to the tree where the bees 
have taken up their residence, advancing before them by longer or shorter flights 
according to the greater or less distance of the object of pursuit. As it approaches 
the tree, its flights become more limited, its whistle is repeated at shorter intervals, 
and at last, having brought its associates to the desired spot, it hovers over it for a 
moment as if to mark it out distinctly, and then quietly takes up a station at a 
little distance, waiting the result, and expecting its share of the booty, which it 
never fails to obtain. It would be interesting to know if our Indian Honey Guide 
has similar habits with its African congeners, and it is hoped that some resident 
at Darjeeling will endeavour to obtain some information on this subject. 

I add a description of our bird. 

Plumage generally of a dusky brown, tinged with green on the crown and 
back of the neck ; forehead and throat pale yellow ; rump fine golden yellow ; beneath 
ashy with dark streaks ; the lower tail-coverts blackish ; tertiaries margined with 
white. Bill horny brown. Legs dusky. 

Length 6 inches — wing Sfths — tail 2% — tarsus 5. 

» Vide J. A. S., Bengal, 1842, page 166. 



Pastor Blythii, - . . 

- Plate 22 

Nisaetus Bonelli, 



Mirafra Erythroptera, 



Buteo Rufiventer, 



Anthus Similis, - _ - 



Falco Peregrinator, 




Palaeornis Columboides, 



Falco Luggur, - - - 



Picus Hodgsonii, 



Accipiter Besra, 




Picus Cordatus, 



Strix Candidus, 



Picus Ceylonus, ... 



Scops Sunia, 



Bucco Viridis, 




Zanclostomus Viridirostris, 



Lanius Nigriceps, 



Indicator Xanthonotus, 



Phaenicornis Flammeus, 

- _ . 


Dicaeum Concolor, 



Brachypus Rubineus, 



Ceyx Tridactyla, 

<■ M 


Brachypus Poioicephalus, 



Caprimulgus Indicus, 



Pycnonotus XantholaemuS; 



Phyllornis Jerdoni, 

» • ~ 



Oriolus Indicus, 

_ ^ 


Vinaga Bicincta, 



Petrocincla Pandoo, 



Columba Elphinstonii, 
Francolinus Benulasa, 



Turdus Wardii, 

« • 


Crateropus Delesserti, - 



Pterocles Quadricinctus, - 
Otis Aurita, _ _ . 



Malacocircus Griseus, 



Xiphoramphus Superciliaris, 




Parus Nuchalis, 



Ardea Flavicollis, ... 



Prinia Cursitans, 



Scolopax Nemoricola, 



Muscipela Paradisea, 



Leucocirca Albofrontata, 

_ . . 



Muscicapa Albicaudata, 



Anas Caryophyllacea, 



Muscicapula Sapphira, 

. ■ - 


Dendrocygna Major, 



S £^U^ 

/V T^oT