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Full text of "A monograph of the Trochilidæ, or family of humming-birds"

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A MONOGRAPH 



OF 



THE TROCHILID^. 



OR 



FAMILY OF HUMMING-BIRDS. 



BY 



JOHN GOULD, F.R.S., 

F.L.S., V.P. AND F.Z.S., M.E.S., F.R.GEOG.S., M.RAY S., CORK. MEMB. OP THE ROYAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF TURIN; OF THE SOC. OF THE MUSEUM 

OF NAT. HIST. OF STRASBOURG; FOR. MEMB. OF THE NAT. HIST. SOC. OF NURNBERG, AND OF THE IMP. NAT. HIST. SOC. OF MOSCOW; 

HON. MEMB. OF THE NAT. HIST. SOC. OF DARMSTADT; OF THE NAT. HIST. AND THE NAT. HIST. AND MED. SOCS. OF 

DRESDEN; OF THE ROY. SOC. OF TASMANIA; OF THE ROY. ZOOL. SOC. OF IRELAND; OF THE PENZANCE 

NAT. HIST. SOC; OF THE WORCESTER NAT. HIST. SOC; OF THE NORTHUMBERLAND, 

DURHAM, AND NEWCASTLE NAT. HIST. SOC; OF THE IPSWICH MUSEUM; OF 

THE ORN. SOC. OF GERMANY; OF THE DORSET COUNTY MUSEUM AND 

LIBRARY; OF THE ROYAL UNITED SERVICE INSTITUTION, ETC 



IN FIVE VOLUMES. 
VOL. III. 



LONDON: 

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

PUBLISHED BY THE AUTHOR, 26 CHARLOTTE STREET, BEDFORD SQUARE. 

1861. 



[THE AUTHOR RESERVES TO HIMSELF THE EIGHT OP TRANSLATION.] 



^:i5! 






LIST OF PLATES. 



VOL. III. 



Lophornis ornatus . 

Gouldi 

magnificus 

Regulus . 

Delatti'ei . 

• Reginse . 

H dense . 

— ■_ chalybeus 

Verreauxi 

Discura longicauda 
Gouldia Popelairi . 

Langsdorffi 

■ Conversi . 

■ Lsetitiee . 

Trochilus colubris . 

■ Alexandri 

Mellisuga minima . 
Calypte Costee 

Annse 

Helense . 

Selasphorus rufus . 

: scintilla , 

Floresii . 

platycercus 

' ? Helois9e 

Calothorax Calliope 

cyanopogon 

■ pulchra . 

Mulsanti . 

decoratus 

■ Heliodori 

micrurus . 

Rosae 

Jourdani . 

Fanny 

Yarrelli . 

Thaumastura Cora 
Rhodopis vespera . 
Thaumastura Elisse 
• Evelinse . 



enicura 



Tryph^na Dupontii 
Calliphlox amethystina 
Mitchelli . 



117 

118 

119 

120 

121 

122 

123 

124 

125 

126 

127 

128 

129 

130 

131 

132 

133 

134 

135 

136 

137 

138 

139 

140 

141 

142 

143 

144 

145 

146 

147 

148 

149 

150 

151 

152 

153 

154 

155 

156 

157 

158 

159 

160 



Loddigesia mirabilis 
Spathura Underwoodi 

melananthera 

Peruana . 

rufocaligata 

scissiura . 

Lesbia Gouldi 

gracilis . 

Nuna 

Amaryllis 

eucharis . 

Cynanthus cyanurus 

smaragdicaudus 

Cometes sparganurus 

Phaon 

? Glyceria 

? Caroli . 

Pterophanes Temmincki 
Aglseactis cupreipennis 

Castelneaui 

Pamela . 

Oxypogon Guerinii 

Lindenii . 

Ramphomicron heteropogon 

Stanley! . 

Vulcani . 

Herrani . 

ruficeps . 

microrhyncha 

Urosticte Benjamini ( 

Benjamini) 
Metallura cupreicauda 

seneicauda 

Williami . 

Primolinus 

tyrianthina 

smaragdinicoUis 

Adelomyia inornata 

melanogenys 

maculata . 

Avocettinus eurypterus 
Avocettula recurvirostris 
Adelomyia floriceps 
? castaneiventns 



miss] 



isspelt Ui 



osticti 



161 
162 
163 
164 
165 
166 
167 
168 
169 
170 
171 
172 
173 
174 
175 
176 
177 
178 
179 
180 
181 
182 
183 
184 
185 
186 
187 
188 
189 

190 
191 
192 
193 
194 
195 
196 
197 
198 
199 
200 
201 
202 
203 



'^ 




LOPHOPvFIS ORFATIj^S 



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M^^7bnt'-iidelik'nW^o7v^ Imp, 



LOPHORNIS ORNATUS. 

Tufted Coquette, 

Trochilus ornatus, Lath. Ind. Orn., vol. i. p. 318. — Shaw, Mus. Leverianum, p. 130. pi. 7. — 

Gmel. Edit, of Linn. Syst. Nat., torn. i. p. 497. — Shaw, Gen. Zool., vol. viii. 

p. 345. 
Le Hupe-Col, Buff. Hist. Nat. des Ois., torn. vi. p. 18. — lb. Sonn. Edit., torn. vii. p. 165. 
L'Oiseaii mouche, dit Hupecol de Cayenne, Buff. PI. Enl. 640. fig. 3. 
LeHupecol, VieiU. Ois. dor., torn. i. p. 94. pis. 49, 50, 51.— lb. Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. Nat., 

torn. vii. p. 364. — lb. Ency. Meth. Orn., part ii. p. 565. — Drapiez, Diet. Class. 

d'Hist. Nat., torn. iv. p. 324. 
Tufted-neched Humming Bird, Lath. Gen. Syn., vol. ii. p. 784. — lb. Gen. Hist., vol. iv. p. 348. 

pi. Ixxvii. — Jard. Nat. Lib. Humming Birds, vol. i. pp. 112 & 114. pis. 15 & 16. 
Ornismya ornata, Less. Hist. Nat. des Ois. mou., pp. xl et 139. pi. 41. — lb. Hist. Nat. des 

Troch., p. 77. pi. 24. 
Mellisuga ornata, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 113, MelUsuga, sp. 84. 
LopJiornis auratus, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 83, Lophornis, sp. 1. 

ornatus, lb. Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 257. 

ornata, Less. Ind. Gen. et Syn. des Ois. du Gen. Troch., p. xli. — lb. Traite d'Orn., 

p. 285. — Gray, List of Gen. of Birds, 2nd edit., p. 19. — Reichenb. Aufz. der 

Cohbris, p. 12. 



The Lophornis ornatus does not appear to have been known to Linnaeus, for I find no mention of it in the 
12th or last Edition of his " Systeina Naturae;" a good description of it, however, will be found in the 13th 
or Gmelin's Edition ; this then appears to be the only member known at that time of a genus now comprising 
many species, which, for grace and beauty, are second to none in the great family of the Trochilidse, and all of 
which are decorated with elegant, lengthened and spangled neck-plumes, or magnificent crests ; the former 
being most conspicuous in some of the species, while in others, such as //. Regulus and L. Regince, the 
beautiful crest is the more remarkable feature. The L, omatus^ which is strictly an inhabitant of the 
lowland districts of tropical America, enjoys a somewhat extensive range over the eastern part of that 
continent, being found from the Caraccas on the north to Brazil on the south, and particularly numerous in 
all the intermediate countries, of Demerara, Surinam, and Cayenne ; it is also equally abundant on the 
island of Trinidad. Prince Maximilian of Wied states, that in Brazil he found it on dry and arid plains 
clothed with a scanty and bushy vegetation ; and such would seem to be the habit of the bird in Trinidad, 
since it there flies around the low flowering shrubs of the open parts of the country, rather than in the 
more wooded or forest districts. 

The nest is a small round cup-shaped structure, composed of some cottony material bound together with 
cobwebs, and decorated externally with small pieces of lichens and mosses. 

So great a similarity reigns among the females of many species of the genus Lophornis^ that it is very 
difficult to distinguish the one from the other, especially as the highly ornamental neck-plumes of the male 
are entirely absent in the other sex. 

The male has the head and crest rich chestnut-red ; upper surface and wing-coverts bronzy green ; wings 
dark purplish brown ; across the lower part of the back a band of white ; rump chestnut-brown ; upper tail- 
coverts bronzy green ; tail dark chestnut-red, the two central feathers bronzy green on their apical half, and 
the lateral ones edged with brownish black ; forehead and throat luminous green ; on each side of the neck 
a series of graduated plumes of a light chestnut-red, with a spangle of luminous green at the tip of each ; 
under surface bronzy green ; bill fleshy red, dark brown at the tip. 

The female has the head and upper surface bronzy green ; a narrow band of white across the lower part 
of the back ; upper tail-coverts tipped with bronzy red ; tail bronzy green, crossed near the extremity by a 
broad dusky band and tipped with buff"; lores and sides of the throat rufous; centre of the throat buflfy white, 
with a small spot of black at the tip of each feather ; an obscure band of white across the breast ; under 
surface bronzy green. 

The Plate represents two males and a female of the natural size. The pretty Orchid is copied from a 
drawing of a Brazilian species kindly sent to me by Mr. Reeves of Rio de Janeiro. 



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LOPHORNIS GOULDI. 

Gould's Coquette. 

Ornismya Gouldii, Less. Hist. Nat. des Trocli., p. 103, pi. 36. 

Trochilus Gouldii, Jard. Nat. Lib. Humming Birds, vol. ii. p. 75. pi. 12. 

Lophornis Gouldii, Less., Jard. Gen. et Syn. des Ois. du Genre Trochilus, p. xli. 

Mellisuga Gouldi, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 113, MelUmga, sp. 87. 

Lophornis gouldi, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 83, Lophornis, sp. 5.— lb. Rev. et Mag. de Zool 

1854, p. 257. 
Bellatrioc Gouldii, Reichenb. Aufz. der Colibris, p. 12. 



If, in the course of my ornithological labours, I have seldom named new birds after individuals, it is not 
that I think there are not many living naturalists worthy of such an honour, but because I consider the 
practice an objectionable one; my opinion being that specific appellations should always express some 
peculiarity pertaining to the species to which they are applied: entertaining then this view of the subject, 
I must say, that, although fully sensible of the compliment paid me by M. Lesson, in naming the present 
bird after myself, I should have been better pleased if some more appropriate appellation had been given to 
such a beautiful species ; a species, moreover, which is so rare in the collections of Europe, that few of them 
contain examples. The first specimen known, — that from which M. Lesson took his description,^ — forms part 
of Mr. Leadbeater's collection ; another single example, gracing that of Mr. Loddiges, was brought to this 
country by the celebrated traveller Burchell. Those in my own collection were obtained by the indefatigable 
collector, Mr. Hauxwell, who shot four or five males and two females near the city of Para ; these, with 
two or three more from the Upper Amazon, deposited in other collections, are nearly if not all that are 
known. It is evidently a continental species, — that is, it is never found, like its near ally the L. ornatus, 
in Trinidad or any other of the West Indian Islands. North Brazil and the banks of the Amazon, from the 
embouchure of that mighty river to its upper ramifications in Peru, are, I believe, its true habitat ; and its 
rarity with us is doubtless due to the infrequency with which those remote districts are visited by travellers 
and collectors, for there seems to be no reason for supposing that in its own particular province it is less 
numerous than its congeners. In size and structure it very closely assimilates to L. ornatus, but the neck- 
plumes, which in that species are light chestnut-red, are always pure white, and have the terminal spangles 
broader and rounder ; it is also more delicate in form, a feature observable in both sexes. Of its habits 
and manners nothing is known. 

The male has the head and crest rich chestnut-red; upper surface and wing-coverts bronzy green ; wings 
dark purplish brown ; across the lower part of the back a band of white ; rump chestnut-brown ; upper 
tail-coverts bronzy green ; tail dark chestnut-red, the two central feathers bronzy green on their apical half, 
and the lateral ones broadly edged with brownish black ; forehead and throat luminous g-reen : on each side 
of the neck a series of graduated white plumes, with a large spangle of luminous green at the tip of each ; 
under surface bronzy green ; bill fleshy red, becoming dark brown at the tip. 

The female has the head and upper surface golden green ; a narrow band of white across the lower part 
of the back ; upper tail-coverts tipped with dark bronzy brown ; tail bronzy green at the base, crossed by 
a broad dusky band, and tipped with buff; lores and throat rust-red ; under surface bronzy green. 

The figures are of the natural size, and represent the males engaged in one of the numerous aerial 
combats which so frequently occur among the species of the present genus. 



i 




LOPHOIi:?^!^ MAGr^IFICCS 



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LOPHORNIS MAGNIFICUS. 

Frilled Coquette. 

Trochilus magnificus, Vieill. 2nde Edit, du Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. Nat., torn. vii. p. 367, et torn. 

xxiii. p. 428. pi. G 36. fig. 3. — lb. Ency. Meth. Orn., part ii. p. 559. — lb. Ois. 

dor., torn. iii. pi. 8. — Temm. PL Col. 229. fig. 2. — Jard. Nat. Lib. Humming 

Birds, vol. i. pp. 119 & 121. pis. 19 & 20. — Pr. Max, Beitr. zur Nat. von Bras., 

p. 79. 

decorus, Liclit. Verz. der Doubl., p. 14. 

Colihri helios, Spix, Av. Sp. Nov. Bras., torn. i. p. 81. tab. Ixxxii. fig. 2. 
Ornismya magnificat Less. Man. d'Orn., torn. ii. p. 80. 

strumariay Less. Hist. Nat. des Ois. mou., pp. xl & 143. pis. 42 & 43, 

Lophornis strumaria, Less. Ind. Gen. et Syn. des Ois. du Genre Trochilus, p. xli. — lb. Traite 

d'Orn., p. 285. 
Mellisuga magnifica, Gray and Miteh. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 113, Mellisuga, sp. 88. 
LopJiornis magnificus, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 83, Lophornis^ sp. 2. — lb. Rev. et Mag. de 

Zool.l854,p. 257. 
Bellatrix magnifica^ Reichenb. Aufz. der Colibris, p. 12. 



The discovery of this beautiful little species of Lophornis is said to have been made by M. De Lalande, the 
celebrated French traveller, at the period of whose visit to Brazil and for some time afterwards the bird 
was very rarely to be met with in our collections ; such, however, is no longer the case, for its proper 
habitat having been ascertained, it is killed and skinned by the negroes, and the skins, bearing a certain 
market value, are sent to this country and to France in great numbers. Its native country is Brazil ; 
and the localities in which it appears to be most abundant are the provinces of Rio de Janeiro and Minas 
Geraes. M, De Lalande procured examples in the forests bordering the river Paraiba, to the north of Rio 
de Janeiro ; and MM. Quoy and Gaimard obtained others among the moderately dense vegetation bordering 
the torrents at the foot of the Organ Mountains. The notes transmitted to me by Mr. Reeves of Rio de 
Janeiro merely mention that it inhabits that province and Minas Geraes, but unfortunately give no account 
of its habits. 

The nest is a small round cup-shaped structure, composed of a rufous-coloured fungus-like substance, 
coated externally with cobwebs and fine vegetable fibres, and decorated with small pieces of lichens. 

Like the other members of the genus, this species has the sides of the neck adorned with beautiful snowy- 
white plumelets ; but these plumelets diflfer in form, being shorter and broader, and are moreover crossed 
by a band of luminous green at the extremity, instead of having a spot of that colour at the tip. 

The same difference which exists between the sexes of the other species also occurs with the present, the 
female being destitute of the conspicuous decorations of the male. 

The male has a broad band across the forehead, face and throat luminous green ; head and crest dark 
chestnut-red; upper surface and wing-coverts bronzy green; wings purplish brown; a band of white across 
the lower part of the back ; upper tail-coverts bronzy brown ; central tail-feathers bronzy green ; lateral 
ones deep chestnut-red, bordered with brownish black ; on each side the neck a series of broad white 
feathers advancing forward and meeting immediately beneath the green gorget ; each of those on the sides 
of the neck crossed at the tip with a band of luminous green ; under surface bronzy green ; bill flesh-red 
at the base, deepening into black at the point. 

The female has the head and upper surface bronzy green ; a narrow band of white across the lower part 
of the back ; upper tail-coverts tipped with bronzy red ; tail deep fawn-colour, crossed towards the extremity 
by a broad dusky band ; throat rufous ; under surface bronzy green. 

The Plate represents two males and a female with the nest, all of the natural size. 







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LOFMITR^IS RE(>FLL\S,^w.^ 



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LOPHORNIS REGULUS, Gould. 

Great-Crested Coquette. 

Trochihis {Lophomis) regulus^ Gould in Proc. of Zool Soc, part xiv. p. 89. 
Mellisuga regidus. Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 113, Mellisuga, sp. 91 
Lophomis reguhis, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 84, Lophornis, sp. 7. 
Ornysmia [Lophorinus) DeLattrei, Less. Rev. Zool. 1839, p. 19? 



For our knowledge of this fine species oi Lophomis we are indebted to Mr. Bridges of Valparaiso, who found 
it at Moscosa, on the banks of the river Paracti near Espiritu Santo, and in the Yungas of Cochabamba in 
Bolivia. It differs from all its congeners yet discovered in its larger size and niore lengthened and fuller 
crest, the feathers of which are very pointed and surmounted by an extremely small dot of dark bronzy green. 
A smaller bird of this form received from Peru, although nearly allied to the one here represented, is, I 
believe, specifically diflferent, as its crest is of a more truncate form, and has each feather terminated with a 
large spatule of dark bronze. I have also received several specimens which appear to me to belong to a 
third species ; these, which were sent from Bogota, are of a still smaller size, and have the crest-feathers 
more filiform or hair-like, and scarcely a trace of spatule or spot on the tip. Time and future research 
are necessary to determine with certainty the specific value of the birds in question, — that is, if they be all 
varieties of one and the same bird, or if they constitute three distinct species : my own opinion inclines 
to the latter view, and I moreover believe that the great Andean range is not only the native country 
of three very distinct species of this beautiful form, but that it will be found to be the head-quarters of the 
genus, and that even more species may yet be expected from the temperate parts of that rich region. 

A single example of a species of Lophomis, brought to Europe by M. De Lattre, was named after 
him by M. Lesson ; I have not yet, however, been able to find the original specimen from which that 
naturalist took his description, consequently I have had no opportunity of instituting a comparison of his 
L. DeLattrei with the examples contained in my own collection, and I am therefore unable to say to Avhich 
of the birds above mentioned it is referable. I have no doubt, however, of its being dififerent from the 
bird here represented, which, so far as I am aware, is strictly confined to Bolivia. 

The male has the crown of the head and crest bright rusty red, the feathers of the crest being much 
lengthened, carried to a point, and tipped with a minute spot of dark green ; throat and breast luminous 
green, beneath which is a series of white lanceolate feathers ; the slightly elongated feathers on the sides of 
the neck rufous, tipped with shining green ; back and abdomen bronzy green ; rump bronzy brown, crossed by 
a band of white ; tail chestnut-brown, each feather margined externally with bronzy green ; wings purplish 
brown ; bill light brown, darker at the tip. 

The female has the face and crown deep buflf ; throat whitish ; upper and under surface, and wing-coverts 
bronzy ; wings purplish brown ; rump dark brown crossed by a band of white ; tail bronzy green at the 
base, crossed by a broad dusky band, and the lateral feathers tipped with buflf. 

The Plate represents two males and a female of the natural size. The plant is the Gesneria elliptica. 




JCouIdandEfJM:M€r dd.d hlk 



LOPIIOROTS BELATTREI 



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LOPHORNIS DELATTREI, Less. 

DeLattre's Coquette. 

Ornismya {Lophoriniis) De Lattrei^ Less. Rev. ZooL 1839, p. 19. 

Mellisiiga De Lattrei, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 113, Mellisuga, sp. 85 
LopJiornis Belattrii, Reichenb. Aufz. der Col., p. 12 ; Id. Troch. Enum., p. 9. 
delattrei, Bonap. Rev. et. Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 257. 



It must be admitted by every ornithologist that the members of the genus Lophornis are among the most 
interesting of the Trochilidcs, — their diminutive size and the high degree of their ornamentation, the elegance 
of their spangled neck-plumes and graceful crests, and the richness of their metallic colouring, all combining 
to call forth our admiration, and to show that here nature has been more lavish than usual. The various 
species are very generally dispersed over the temperate and hotter parts of South America, — some being 
found in Brazil and the low countries generally, while, independently of the bird from Central America, five 
or six at least frequent the great Andean ranges, along which a distinct species is found at every four or 
five degrees of latitude. Three inhabit New Granada, one Ecuador, and two Bolivia, all of which bear a 
very general resemblance to each other, but are each distinguished by certain well-defined specific 
characters. None of the Andean birds have yet been found in Brazil ; but the low countries, as before 
stated, have their own peculiar species, which almost form a distinct section, for their neck-plumes 
far exceed in length those of the birds inhabiting the Andes ; on the other hand, these latter have their 
crests more largely developed than their neck-plumes, and some of them have very ample crests, as 
L. Regiihis and L, lophotes. The present bird {L. Delattrei) diflfers from the two last-mentioned species 
more in this respect than in any other, its crest being composed of narrow, hair-like, and thinly disposed 
feathers. 

Of the history and habits of the Z/. Delattrei^ which has been named after the celebrated traveller, 
nothing is known. The specimens in my collection were obtained at Bogota ; but I have seen others 
from Panama, which I believe to be the limit of its range in a northerly direction. 

The male has the head and crest rufous, with a minute spangle of green at the tip of some of the crest- 
feathers ; all the upper surface bronzy brown, becoming darker or purplish on the lower part of the back, 
where it is crossed by a band of white; wings dark purplish brown; throat metallic green, some of the 
rufous bases of the feathers showing at the sides of the neck ; on the breast a tuft of white feathers ; under 
surface dark golden green ; under tail-coverts and tail rufous, glossed with bronzy green on the margins 
of the latter ; bill fleshy red with a dark tip ; feet fleshy brown. 

The female has the forehead rufous ; the remainder of the head dark brown ; the body above and beneath 
dark brown glossed with gold ; the wings purplish brown ; and the tail light rufous, crossed near the tip 
with a broad zone of blackish brown, beyond which the tips of the lateral feathers are pale rufous ; the 
basal portion of the two centre feathers glossed with bronzy green. 

The figures are of the size of life. The plant is the Gesneria Seemannu 



I 




LOFHORMS REGIRiE, Ml 



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MeUmti^^fl A: IffTt^lcn/, Fnifi 



LOPHORNIS REGIN^, oouid. 

Spang^led Coquette. 

Lophornis Reginte, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xv, p. 95. 

MelUsuga regince^ Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol, i. p. 113, Mellisuga, sp. 92 

Lophornis i^eginae,, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 84, Lophornis^ sp. 8. 

regiKKB, lb. Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 257. 

Bellatrix Reginae^ Reichenb. Aufz. der Colibris, p. 12. 



As I had frequently been Informed of the existence of a species oi Lophornis with a crest, which, when out- 
spread, resembled the tail of a Peacock, it was with no ordinary sensations of pleasure I first beheld the 
lovely little bird here depicted; specimens of which arrived in Europe for the first time in the year 1847, 
through the instrumentality of M. Linden of Brussels, who received it direct from his brother, at that 
time travelling in the province of Antioquia in Columbia. Since that period several other examples have 
been received from the same source, and from the neighbouring countries ; the native locality of this 
beautiful species is therefore placed beyond doubt. 

The Lophornis Regince difl^ers from every other known member of the genus in its large, round, and 
well-defined crest, each feather of which is surmounted by a ball-like, dark bronzy-green tip, which must 
render the bird a most conspicuous and pleasing object when the feathers are fully displayed. 

The sexes exhibit the usual diflference, the female being entirely destitute of the fine crest and rich 
colouring of the male. 

I regret to add that no information has reached us respecting the habits and manners. 

The male has the crown of the head and crest bright rusty red, each feather with a beautiful dark bronzy- 
green spot at the tip ; lores, throat and sides of the neck luminous metallic green, beneath which is a patch 
of white lanceolate feathers ; back of the neck and upper part of the back shining green ; lower part of the 
back, rump, and upper tail-coverts bronzy brown ; rump crossed by a narrow band of white ; tail chestnut- 
brown, the tips and margins of the external feathers rich bronzy green; wings purplish brown; abdomen 
light metallic green ; bill fleshy at the base, dark brown at the tip ; feet brown. 

The female has the forehead and crown deep buff; upper surface and wing-coverts bronzy green ; lower 
part of the back dark or blackish brown, crossed by a band of white ; wings purplish brown ; tail buflf, 
crossed towards the apex by a broad dusky semicircular band; throat dusky; under surface bronzy green. 

The figures are of the natural size. 





LOPMORKIS TIELEKiE 



IGfwJdmMC.FIMfa: //// /f li3 



Hydlnmn/^dL Wfdb(m-\ htip 



LOPHORNIS HELENiE. 

Princess Helena's Coquette. 

Ornismya HelencE, De Latt. Rev. ZooL 1843, p. 133. 

Mellisuga HelerKE, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 113, Mellisuga, sp. 86 

Lophornis Jielenae^ Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 83, Lophornis^ sp. 4. 

helena, lb. Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 257. 

Helenae^ Reichenb. Aufz. der Colibris, p. 12. 



It will be seen that the bird figured in the accompanying Plate exhibits many extraordinary and peculiar 
features, — such a combination, in fact, as is not to be found in any other species ; it is, moreover, as beautiful 
as it is outre^ and these circumstances, combined with its great rarity, render it a highly desirable species 
to all collectors ; the small number of specimens, however, that have been transmitted to Europe, and the 
high price they bear, have confined them to but few collections. 

The native country of the Lophornis Helence is " Vera Paz near Petinck in the Republic of Guatemala," 
where I believe all the specimens that have yet been sent to Europe were obtained by M. De Lattre. Would 
that that gentleman had, prior to his sudden and untimely death, given to the world some account of the 
habits and manners of this curious bird, as well as of the many other interesting species which must have 
come under his notice during his lengthened sojourn among the Andean Humming Birds ! 

The female is so extremely rare, that, so far as I am aware, only two examples have been sent to Europe ; 
one of these is in the collection of Mr. Leadbeater, who kindly lent it to me to complete my illustration of 
the species, and to whom I am also indebted for many other similar favours connected with my various 
works. 

M. De Lattre named this species Helence, in honour of the Princesse Helene d'Orleans : " Cette noble 
princesse, protectrice des arts, qu'elle encourage et qu'elle cultive avec tant de gout, et dont la grande 
infortune rehausse le beau caractere. Puisse la Princesse Helene accueillir avec bonte cette hommage d'un 
voyageur, heureux, dans les contrees lointaines, de conquerir cette rarissime espece pour lui donner le nom 
d'une epouse et d'une mere si chere a la France ! " 

The male has the face and bifurcated crest green ; throat luminous golden green ; the luminous throat-mark 
surrounded by a series of elongated feathers, those on the sides of the neck, which are the longest, being 
buflf streaked with bluish black, while those of the centre are wholly black; from the occiput, on either side, 
three very long, narrow, pointed and hair-like black feathers ; upper surface and wing-coverts coppery 
bronze ; wings purplish brown ; rump deep bronzy brown, separated from the general hue of the upper 
surface by a narrow band of white; tail deep rufous, the central feathers glossed with bronzy green, and 
the remainder margined externally with dark brown ; chest golden bronze ; the remainder of the under 
surface white, with a spot of golden bronze at the tip of each feather ; bill flesh-colour, darker at the point. 

The female has the head, upper surface, wing-coverts and abdomen bronzy green ; throat white, with a 
spot of bronzy green at the tip of each feather; rump dark brown, crossed by a band of white ; tail buflf, 
crossed by a dusky band near the tip. 

The figures on the accompanying Plate represent a male and a female of the natural size. 



« 
« 

* 

* 
I 

i 

* 



^«^. 





L^PlL^liMS CMAiLlTBEITg,^ 



GrynZ-d-. OTtd-M^CUxchZtr. deZ-. ct. IzZh- 



minu^'^i^^'^^' 



LOPHORNIS CHALYBEUS. 

Festive Coquette. 

Trochilus chalybeus, Vieill. Ency. Metli. Orii., part ii. p. 574. — ^Temm. PL Col. QQ. fig, 2.— 

Jard. Nat. Lib. Humming-Birds, vol. i. p. 129. pi. 18. 

festivus^ Liclit. Verz. der Doubl., p. 14. No. 122. 

Ornismya Vieillotii, Less. Hist. Nat. desOIs. Mou., p. 186. pi. 64. — lb. Les Trocli., p. 37. pi. 8, 

p. 41. pi. 9, p. 44. pi. 10, p. 46. pi. 11. 
Mellisuga chalyhea, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i, p. 113, MeUisuga, sp. 90. 
Lophornis chalyheus, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 84, Lophornisy sp. 9. 
Ornismya Audenetii, Less. Hist. Nat. des Ois. Mou. Supp., p. 102. pi. 2. 
Trochilus Audenetii, Jard. Nat. Lib. Humming-Birds, vol. i. p. 127. pi. 17. 
Colihri mystax, Spix, Av. Bras., torn. i. p. 82. Tab. LXXXII. fig. 3. 
MelUsuga Audenetii, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 113, Mellisuga, sp. 89. 
LopJwrnis Aiideneti, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 84, Lophomis, sp. 6. 



The climate of the rich province of Rio de Janeiro, so favourable to the production of a luxuriant vegetation, 
would seem to be equally propitious to animal life, for in few countries of the world are the quadrupeds, 
birds and insects more varied in character, or more remarkable for their beauty, and the interest which 
attaches to them : it is in this highly favoured region that the present elegant little Humming-Bird is to be 
found, its chief abode being the districts to the southward of the capital. It is a species which has attracted 
the notice of many naturalists, especially of those whose attention has been directed to the birds of Brazil ; 
yet, strange to say, neither Vieillot, Temminck, Lesson, Jardine nor Spix have said anything more respect- 
ing it than that it is from such and such a locality ; the following brief account of it will therefore be 
read with mterest. Mons. A. Deyrolle of Paris, who has had ample opportunities of observing the bird in 
a state of nature, informs me that it is " abundant in the province of Santa Catharina, in Brazil, and is 
especially numerous in the environs of San Francisco do Sul, and at Palmitar, 30 miles from the mouth of 
the Rio San Francisco, in about 261'' of S. latitude. It does not appear to migrate, as my brother 
believes that he has met with it all the year round. It seems to be attracted to the two places above men- 
tioned, by the abundance of a tree called, in the language of the country, ^//?^77, the botanical name of which 
I am unable to give you. It is round the trunk of this tree that the bird is most commonly seen, often near 
the top ; and it would seem to live on a kind of sugar which flows from its bark ; or would it not rather 
be microscopic insects that it seeks for ? It is not very wild : the noise produced by its wings when 
flying is so peculiar, that an ear a little accustomed to it will distinguish it from that accompanying the 
flight of all the other species inhabiting the same localities. It frequents the orange-trees and the Cofeyers 
during their flowering season. It does not seem to inhabit the woodsj but to resort to all the open spots 
or clearings, especially where the Ainga trees are numerous/' 

Mr. Reeves tells me that it is found at St. Paul's, and occasionally, but very rarely, in Rio de Janeiro and 
Santa Catharina. 

It will be seen that I have made the Ornismya Aiidenetii of Lesson synonymous with the present species ; 
and as a proof that I am correct in so doing, I may mention, that, having written to M. Edouard Verreaux 
on the subject, he has favoured me with a reply, in which he says, "You could not have written to any one 
better able to answer your inquiry respecting the T. Audeneti, The example from which Lesson took his 
fio-ure and description, was sold by my father to M. Audinet in 1827: after my return from the Cape of 
Good Hope, that gentleman's collection came into my possession ; and upon reference to the specimen in 
question, I am at a loss to conceive what could have induced M* Lesson to figure it as distinct ; for 
on comparison, I find that it is nothing more than an immature example of his 0. Vieillotir which is the 
T. chalybeus of Vieillot. M. Verreaux adds, that his father had received the bird from Brazil. The 
T. mystaiV of Spix is certainly identical with the bird here represented; and although this author considers 
it distinct, and points out some features in which he beheves it to diflTer, I decidedly affirm that they 
constitute but one species. 

The usual differences occur in the sexes that are found in the other members of tlie genus ; the female 



being destitute at all ages of the ornamental ruff so conspicuous in the male, and having the tail shorter 
and more largely tipped with buff. 

The male has the forehead, line beneath the eye and the lengthened ear-coverts brilliant metallic green, 
with, in some lights, a golden lustre; back of the head, upper surface and wing-coverts bronzy green; 
across the rump a broad band of huffy white, below which is another band of chestnut-brown ; wings 
purplish brown ; upper tail-coverts bronzy green ; tail purplish bronze, each feather narrowly margined 
with black and narrowly tipped with huffy white ; throat glossy grass-green ; lengthened plumes on each 
side of the neck olive-green, with a small spot of white at the extremity of each ; under surface dark 
brown, with bronzy reflexions ; centre of the breast ornamented with a number of greyish white plumes ; 
across the lower part of the abdomen a mark of white; bill black; feet brownish black. 

The female has the upper surface greenish bronze, inclining to brown on the crown ; the under surface 
greyish white ; the feathers of the throat streaked with brown ; tail bronzy at the base, deepening into 
deep bronzy brown towards the extremity; the lateral feathers largely, and the central ones narrowly 
tipped with buff; back crossed by a band of huffy white, below which is another of chestnut-brown as in 
the male ; the wings, bill and feet are also of the same hue as in that sex. 

The Plate represents a male and a female of the natural size, on a Brazilian plant, of which a drawing was 
sent me by Mr. Reeves. 




j:(k>ifldrmd}fCfUA-h/M^^ //// ft ift^ 



LOPliORNIS YEKMEAUXL 



JlAt7/r77an/M t Wf.r/f-o7?j, hif- 



LOPHORNIS VERREAUXI. 

Peruvian Coquette. 

TrocMlus Verreauooi, Bourc. Rev. ZooL 1853, p, 193. 
Lophornis Verreaiixi, Reichenb, Auf. der CoL, p. 12. 
Bellatrix verreauxiy Bonap, Rev. et Mag, de Zool. 1854, p. 257. 



This species may be justly regarded as one of the most precious of the Humming-Birds, and it conse- 
quently ranks most highly in my estimation. It is a native of Peru, and the only specimens I have ever seen 
are in the collection of my friend M. Edouard Verreaux of Paris, after whom the bird has been named, 
as a just compliment to that gentleman's zeal for the promotion of natural science, particularly Ornithology. 
M. Verreaux has, with the utmost kindness and confidence, allowed me the use of these rarities in London 
for the purpose of enriching the present work ; and I trust that both myself and my readers are duly sensible 
of his liberality in so doing. 

The discovery of this bird will, I am sure, sufficiently bear out what I have so often said in other parts 
of this work respecting the little we yet know of the natural productions of those great ranges of mountains, 
the Cordilleras and the Andes, where, between the line of perpetual congelation and the hot valleys at 
their bases, so much diversity of country and climate occurs, that an area of a hundred leagues is almost 
equal to a continent in other parts of the globe. It is in some one of these hot valleys that in all probability 
this bird finds a congenial habitat, the confines of which it may possibly never leave : I am led to surmise 
this from the circumstance of some of the extinct volcanos having a fauna and a flora almost peculiar to 
themselves, and from the evidence afforded by the fact that the great snow-covered peaks of Chimborazo, 
Pichincha, Cotopaxi, &:c., have their sides, immediately below their snow-lines, tenanted by species not to 
be found elsewhere. How long a time must elapse before we can become acquainted with all the productions 
of the great back-bone, so to call it, of the vast continent of America, stretching along its western side from 
Cape Horn to the Rocky Mountains ! 

The bird most nearly allied to this species is the Lophornis chalybeus of Brazil ; but that bird, beautiful as 
it is, must give place to the L. Verreaum^ which, besides being more richly coloured, is adorned with a fine 
crest, — a character which appears to be common to both sexes, unless the specimen from which I have figured 
should prove to be a young male. I possess a skin from Bogota without a crest, which I have for a long 
time regarded as a female L. Verreauocl ; if this should not be the case, there is yet another fine species, the 
male of which is unknown to us. 

Forehead and patch below the eye glittering metallic grass-green ; crest, back of the neck, wing-coverts, 
and abdomen deep oil-green, darkest on the latter ; wings purplish brown ; at the lower part of the back a 
narrow band of white ; upper tail-coverts and tail deep chestnut-red, becoming darker towards the end, and 
slightly tipped with a greyish buff; throat and tuft on each side of the neck pale green, each feather of the 
latter with an oval spot of white at the tip. 

The female has the head and crest brown ; the general plumage paler than in the male ; the band across 
the lower part of the back huffy white ; the throat grey, and the tail more largely tipped with huffy white. 

The Plate represents the male in two positions and the female, all of the natural size. The plant is the 
Achimenes argyrostigma. 



I 







BISCITRA L 



^.^^■JCJJmDA. 



J,C<ju.ya.nd/ H C-Richtr^-. dd eZ lith: 



}fidlin2-a3^d-€l i, W^'ton-' Jnip 



I 



DISCURA LONGICAUDA. 

Racket-tail. 

TrocMlus longicaudus, Gmel. Edit. Linn. Syst. Nat., torn. i. p. 498. 

r Oiseau-mouche a raquettes, Buff. Hist. Nat. des Ois., torn. vi. p. 23. — lb. Sonn. Edit., torn, xvii 

p. 177.— Vieill. Ois. Dor., torn. i. p. 98. pi. 52. 
Mellisuga longicauda. Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 113, Mellisuga, sp. 55. 
Discosura longicauda, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 84, Biscosura, sp. 1. 

Biscura longicauda, Bonap. Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 256. — Reichenb. Aufz. der Col., p. 8. 
Trochilus platurus, Lath. Ind. Orn., vol. i. p. 317. — Vieill. Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. Nat., torn. vii. 

p. 370.— lb. Ency. Meth. Orn., part ii. p. 569.— Drapiez, Diet. Class. d'Hist. Nat., 

torn. iv. p. 327. — Prince Max, Beit, zur Naturg. von Bras., p. 96. 
Ornismya platura, Less. Hist. Nat. des Ois.-mou., pp. xxij, 136. pi. 40. — lb. Ind. Gen. et Syn. 

des Ois. du Gen. Trochilus, p. xxiv. — lb. Traite d'Orn., p. 277. 
Mellisuga platura, Steph. Cont. of Shaw's Gen. Zool., vol. xiv. p. 242. 
Racket-tailed Humming-bird, Lath. Gen. Syn., vol. ii. p. 782. — Shaw, Gen. Zool., vol. viii. p. 316. 

— Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. iv. p. 338. 
TrocMlus [Ocreatus) ligonicaudus, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xiv. p. 86. 
Biscosura ligonicaudus, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 84, Biscosura, sp. 2. 
Biscura platura, Reichenb. Aufz. der Col., p. 8. 



It is to be regretted that the inappropriate name of longicaudus must be retained for this elegant little bird ; 
that oi platurus, assigned to it by Latham, would be far more applicable ; but the law of priority established 
by naturalists requires that the oldest name should be the one adopted, and I have no alternative but to bow 
to their decision. 

Although the Biscura longicauda has been long known to ornithologists, no information has reached us 
with respect to its habits and mode of flight, or on any other points connected with its economy. It does 
not belong, as might be supposed, to that division of the Humming-birds, found in the high mountains of 
Columbia and Peru, to which the generic name of Spathura has been given, but is much more Intimately 
allied to the members of the genus Gouldia, which alliance is very clearly indicated by the band across the 
back, and by the form and colouring of the females. The native countries of this singular little bird are 
Cayenne, Guiana, and Demerara ; it also extends its range to the northern parts of Brazil, being found, 
according to Mr. Reeves, in Bahia, Maranahao, and Para. 

On reference to the above list of synonyms, it will be seen that I have given the name of ligonkauda to a 
bird belonging to this genus, being under the impression at the time that it was different, but I now believe 
it to be merely a local variety of this species. 

Face and fore part of the neck green, which colour is continued on the chest, where the feathers become 
larger, longer, or tuft-like and more luminous, and some of them edged with grey ; on the chin a small 
black spot ; centre of the abdomen golden brown ; lower part of the abdomen and under tail-coverts huffy 
brown ; flanks golden green ; wings purplish black ; back and upper tail-coverts green ; lower part of the 
back crossed by a band of huffy white ; tail purplish brown, with a stripe of buff down the centre of each 
feather ; the lateral feathers tapering and terminating in a large spatulate tip ; bill black. 

The female has the head greyish brown ; upper and under surface green ; across the lower part of the 
back a band of huffy white ; upper tail-coverts black ; wings purplish brown ; tail grey, largely tipped with 
purplish black ; a broad patch of black down the throat, bordered on each side by white. 

The figures are of the natural size. The plant is the Pitcairnia muscosa. 







.TCwvL^a/r^in^'BuMer fhl ff im 



{fOlTJ^DJA POP]BLAIiRI 



J^ilhfuifithJ ^ }in7Uyi,7mp 



GOULDIA POPELAIRI. 

Popelaire's Thorn-tail. 

Trockilus Popelairii, Du Bus, Esquisses Orn., pi. 6. 

Mellisuga Popelairii, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 113, Mellisuga, sp. 70. 
Gouldia poj^elairi, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 86, Gouldia, sp. 2. — lb. Consp. Troch. in 
Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 257. 



Were it possible to visit the planets, in search of the hidden secrets of nature, one could scarcely expect to 
find a greater number of remarkable novelties, in the way of birds, than have been revealed by the more 
recent explorations among the great Andean ranges, of which the present bird is certainly not one of the 
least interesting. Like the other members of the genus, to which the name of Gouldia has been given by 
Prince Charles Lucien Bonaparte, it is distinguished by the elegance of its form and by the beauty of its 
markings, to which in this case is added a graceful attenuated crest formed of lengthened hair-like plumes, 
two of which, as will be seen on reference to the accompanying Plate, extend for beyond the rest. 
The honour of first recording the existence of this species, is due to the Vicomte Du Bus of Brussels, 
who, when describing and figuring it some few years since in his " Esquisses Ornithologiques " above 
referred to, named it Trochilus Popelairii, in honour of the Baron Popelaire de Terloo, who had discovered 
it in Peru and enriched the Museum at Brussels with this and many other interesting objects obtained 
during his explorations in South America. The specimen from which M. Du Bus took his description 
remained for some time unique, but I have since obtained specimens procured in Peru by M. Warszewicz, 
more recently examples have been sent me from the neighbourhood of Popayan, and I am indebted to 
Mr. Mark, Her Majesty's Consul at Bogota, for a specimen collected in the vicinity of that city : it is clear 
then that the species enjoys a very wide range, extending over six or eight degrees of latitude in the 
elevated regions of Peru and Columbia. Mr. Mark tells me that the hot districts of Gramalote, an almost 
unmhabited part of the country to the eastward of Bogota, is one of the localities in which it is found ; 
M. Warszewicz killed it at a considerable elevation among the Andes of Quindios ; and M. Parzudaki, of 
Paris, informs me that it is met with in the Llanos de San Martins in New Grenada. This, I regret to say, 
is all the information I have been able to obtain respecting this little gem ; we must therefore await the 
result of future explorations for an account of its habits, actions and economy. That it is a quick flier I am 
certain, from the conformation of its wings and its general structure. 

The female offers the same difference in form from her mate that is found to exist in the sexes of Gouldia 
Langsdorffi ; but the bright red hue of her legs and thighs at once indicates her specific relationship. 

The male has the crown of the head, the shorter feathers of the crest, face and throat shining yellowish 
grass-green ; lengthened filamentous feathers of the crest black ; wings purplish brown ; upper surface, 
wmg- and upper tail-coverts golden green, across the rump a band of white expanding into a large patch on 
each flank, and overhanging the thighs, below this band the golden green deepens into blackish brown ; centre 
of the abdomen black ; flanks brown, with darker centres ; under tail-coverts greyish white ; upper surface 
of the tail steel-blue, passing into brown on the apical portion of the external feather ; the shafts of the 
middle feathers white, those of the remainder white at the base and brown for the remainderof their length ; 
on the under surface the tail-feathers are of a more lively steel-blue, and the shafts are white throughout 
their entire length ; thighs and tarsi rust-red. 

The female has the upper surface, wing-coverts, flanks and tail-coverts dark bronzy green, the bronzy hue 
predominating on the back ; rump crossed by a band of white, below which the feathers are of a darker hue 
as in the male ; chin and a stripe down each side of the neck from the angle of the mouth greyish white ; 
centre of the throat and abdomen bluish black ; tail-feathers deep steel-blue, grey at the base and tipped 
with white, the white increasing in extent as the feathers recede from the centre : thighs rust-red. 

The figures represent the two sexes of the natural size. The pretty flower. Loam picta, which, like the 
bird, is a native of the Andes, is copied with permission from the Botanical Magazine, a work of great merit 
and usefulness, whether we regard the scientific descriptions by Sir William J. Hooker and Mr. Smith, or 
the artistic figures by Mr. Fitch. 




J&oulda'TulJICIU^d^r- dd el lilk. 



GrOlTLBIA LAKOSDOJRjFFJ 



Jfidf7rfY^7/dd S^ Wa7i(m.Jrr^) 



GOULDIA LANGSDORFFI. 

Lang-sdorff's Thoni-tail. 

TrocMlus Lanysdorffi, Vieill. Ency. Meth. Orn., part ii. p. 574.— Temm. PL Col. m. fig. 1. 

— Vieill. Ois. dor., torn. iii. ined. pi. 20. — ^Valenc. Diet. Sei. Nat., torn. xxxv. 

p. 493. — Less. Man. d'Orn., torn. ii. p. 17. — lb. Ind. Gen. et Syn. du Gen. 

Trochilus, p. xxxii. 
Ornismya Langsdorffii, Less. Hist. Nat. des Ois. Mou., p. 102. pi. 26 ; Supp., p. 129. pi. 16. 

— lb. Les Troch., p. 101. pi. 35. — Jard. Nat. Lib. Humming Birds, vol. ii. p. 69. 

pi. 10. 
Colibri hirundinaceus, Spix, Av. Sp. Nov. Bras., tom. i. p. 80. tab. Ixxxi. fig. 2. 
Mellimga Langsdorffi, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 113, MeUimga, sp. 68. 
Gouldia langsdorffi, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 86, Gouldia, sp. 1. — lb. Consp. Troeh. in Rev. 

et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 257. 



This beautiful species was discovered by M. Langsdorff, the Russian Consul at Rio de Janeiro, after whom it 
was named by Vieillot, as a compliment due to the zeal displayed by him in the pursuit of natural history 
while the companion of Krusenstern, in his celebrated voyage round the world, and during his residence 
in Brazil ; subsequently, Dr. Spix, unaware of its having been already named, assigned to it the specific 
appellation of hirundinaceus. 

Mr. Reeves, of Rio de Janeiro, informs me, that during some years it is very plentiful in that province, 
and equally scarce in others : "the young birds arrive in July, but the old ones do not make their appear- 
ance until September and October, and depart again in November. I have only seen two nests ; one of 
which I gave to Prince William of Hesse, the other is in my own collection ; they are both exactly alike, 
and both were found on old dry moss-covered trees." 

That this bird enjoys a most extensive range over the interior of the country is very probable, for in a 
collection of birds lately transmitted from Quejos by Don Manuel Villavicencio, I found a specimen agreeujg 
in every particular with those received from the province of Rio. 

The female of this species, like the females of the other members of the genus, differs very considerably 
from the male. The tail-feathers are short, broad, and rounded at the end ; and the centre ones scarcely a 
quarter of an inch in length, while the outer ones are upwards of three-quarters. In all probability the young 
birds of the year assume a similar plumage to that of the female. 

The male has the crown of the head, throat and breast glittering metallic green, bounded below 
by a band of fiery orange-red ; upper surface golden green with a band of white across the rump, expand- 
ing into a large patch on each side, and overhanging the thighs ; upper part of the abdomen black ; lower 
part of the abdomen, vent and under tail-coverts clouded greyish white ; wings purplish brown ; six middle 
tail-feathers and the bases of the lateral ones deep steel-blue, the remaining length of the latter brownish 
grey, the under surface of the shafts of the whole white ; thighs greyish white, blotched with brownish 
black ; bill black. 

In the female the crown of the head and upper surface is bronzy green with a white mark across the 
rump, as in the male ; chin black ; a streak of white on each side from the angle of the mouth ; throat 
spangled with bronzy green ; central tail-feathers steel-blue fringed with white at the tip ; lateral feathers 
greyish brown at the base, passing into steel-blue towards the extremity, and tipped with white ; legs and 
thighs as in the male. 

The figures, which are of the natural size, are intended to represent both sexes. 




eOIT]LI])IA 'DOKTl^RSIo 



lereMamJIlCRiMrr drl elTMu 



NuAlituatMJTaW'Ti /?njj 



GOULDIA CONVERSI. 

Convers' Thorn-tail. 

Trochilus Conversii, Bourc. et Muls. Rev. Zool. 1846, p. 314. pi. 3. — lb. Ann. Sci. Pliys. &c. 

de Lyon, torn. ix. p. 313. 
Mellisuga Co?iversii, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 113, MelUsugay sp. 69. 
Gouldia conversi, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 86, Gouldia, sp. 3. — lb. Consp. Troch. in Rev. 

etMag. deZool. 1854,p. 257. 



This species has many characters in common with its Brazilian prototype Gouldia Langsdorffi, but may be 
distinguished by the smaller size of its body, by its longer wings, by the absence of the scarlet band on the 
breast, and by the tuft of elongated greenish feathers which spring from the centre of the chest and supply 
its place as a decoration ; the colours of the crown and throat are less brilliant and glittering ; and another 
peculiarity is also observable, namely, that when the tail is closed the lengthened lateral feathers cross each 
other near the tip, assume an inward curvature, and nearly meet again at the point. 

The temperate regions of the Andes from Bogota to Popayan is the native country of this rare species. 
It is named, says M. Bourcier, who first described it, after its discoverer, M. Convers, a French naturalist 
established at Bogota. Nothing has yet been recorded of its habits and economy. 

The female has a larger tail than the female of its near ally, but in other respects is very similar. 

The male has the head, face and throat shining grass-green ; upper and under surface, wing-coverts, 
upper and under tail-coverts dark green ; across the rump a band of white spreading into a large patch on 
the flanks ; beyond this the rump has a deep chestnut tinge ; wings purplish brown ; thighs and legs black, 
blotched with greyish ; upper surface of the tail-feathers steel-bluish black at the base, a stripe down the 
centre and the apical portions brown ; under surface of the tail steely green with white shafts. 

The female has the upper and under surface dark green, deepening into bronze on the rump, across 
which is a band of white as in the male ; throat dull green, with an obscure mark of white on each side from 
the angle of the mouth ; tail-feathers grey at the base, passing into steel-blue towards the extremity and 
tipped with white, the white increasing in extent on the lateral feathers ; thighs as in the male. 

The figures represent both sexes of the natural size. 






J/jn/fr^' ^a// Ki' B_f^//rn\ n/<i . (j Itlh 



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GOULDIA LMTITIM. 

Letitia. 

Trochilus Letitia, Bourc. Ann. de la Soc. Sci. de Lyon, May 7, 1852. 
Gouldia IcetiticB, Bonap. Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 257. 
Laetitia, Reiclienb. Aufz. der Colibris, p. 12. 



Here again I am indebted to M. Boiireier, this gentleman having kindly lent me his miique specimen of 
this, the fourth species of the genus Gouldia, and one of the most interesting of the TrocMMce. I regret to 
say, that the female is at present unknown ; in the absence, then, of that sex, I have figured the male in 
two positions on the accompanying Plate. It will scarcely be necessary to point out the distinguishing 
characters of this species, as, by even the most cursory glance at the figures given of this and the other mem- 
bers of the genus, they will at once be seen ; I may state, however, that they consist in the brilliant colouring, 
not only of the face alone, but of the entire head, in the smaller size of the tail, and in the pointed form 
of the outer feathers of that organ. The white mark on the rump is common to all the members of the 
genus. 

MM. Bourcier and Mulsant, who first described the species, state that it is a native of Bolivia, and that 
they have dedicated it " a la jeune enfant de W^\ la Marquise Delgallo, fille de I'un des Ornithologistes 
les plus celebres de I'Europe, M. le Prince Charles Bonaparte." 

Head, face, throat and breast glittering green, tinged with a golden hue on the crown, and at the sides 
of the neck and lower part of the breast; upper surface golden brown, changing to coppery brown on the 
rump, across which is the usual band of white ; first row of upper tail-coverts violet-red, the remainder 
golden green ; wings purplish brown ; tail bluish black ; flanks golden ; abdomen green, ornamented on the 
upper part with a patch of white feathers bordered with green ; vent grey ; under tail-coverts dark golden 
green, bordered with violaceous black, and narrowly fringed with fulvous ; bill brown. 

The figures are of the natural size. 




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TPvOCHiLITS COLlTBIiIS-2. 



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TROCHILUS COhlJBRlS, Linn. 

Ruby-throated Humming'-bird. 

Trochilus Colubris, Linn. Syst. Nat., torn. i. p. 191. — lb. Gen. Hist., vol. iv. p. 344. — Bonap. 

Syn. Birds of U. States, p. 98.— Wils. Am. Orn., vol. ii. p. 26. pi. 10. figs. 3, 4.— 

VieiU. Ency. Meth. Orn., part ii. p. 569. — Jard. Nat. Lib. Humming-birds, vol. i. 

p. 85. pi. 5. — Reichenb. Aufz. der Col., p. 12. — Audub. Birds of Am., vol. i. 

pi. xlvii. — lb. Orn. Bio., vol. i. p. 248. — Sagra, Voy. de Cuba, pi. 21. fig. 1. — 

Swains, and Rich. Faun. Bor. Am. part ii. Birds, pp. xxvi, xxxvi, 323. 
The Red-throated Humming-bird, Edw. Nat. Hist. &c., vol. i. p. 38. pi. 38. 
Red-throated Honey-sucker, Penn. Arct. Zool., vol. ii. p. 176. 
Mellisuya Carolinensis gutture rubra, Briss. Orn., torn. iii. p. 716. pi. xxxvi. figs. 5, 6. 

colubris, Steph. Cont. of Shaw, Gen. Zool., vol. xiv. p. 247. 

Le Rubis, Buff. Hist. Nat. des Ois., tom. vi. p. 13. — ^Vieill. Ois. Dor., tom. i. pp. 66, 69, 70. 

pis. 31, 32, 33.— Vieill. Ois. de I'Am., tom. i. pis. 31, 32. 
V Oiseau-mouche agosier dore, Vieill. Ois. Dor., tom. i. p. 89. pi. 46. 
Ornismya Colubris, Less. Hist. Nat. des Ois.-mou., pp. xvj. 151. pis. 48, 48*.— lb. Les Troch., 

p. 1. pi. i. — lb. Ind. Gen. et Syn. des Ois. du Gen. Trochilus, p. xxxiv. 
MelUsuga colubris. Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 113, Mellisuga, p. 82. 
The Humming-bird, Catesb. Nat. Hist, of Car. &c., vol. i. p. 65. pi. 65. 



Although every species of Humming-bird inhabits either the great continent of America or the islands 
immediately adjacent, the subject of the present memoir is the only one usually seen in a state of nature by 
tliose travellers who wend their way across the Atlantic to the western world. 

It was on the 21st of May, 1857, that my earnest day-thoughts and not unfrequent night-dreams of thirty 
years were realized by the sight of a living Humming-bird. To describe my feelings on the occasion 
would be no easy task ; I leave them then to the imagination of my readers rather than make the attempt. 
In like manner I shall not give any narration of my own respecting this beautiful little bird, about which 
so much has been written by Wilson, Audubon, and others, but adopt the fairer course of giving copious 
extracts from the eloquent writings of those authors, and content myself with affording some additional 
information respecting the range of the species, its disposition in a state of captivity, &c. Second only to 
the gratification of seeing this Humming-bird in a state of nature was the pleasure I derived from a 
successful attempt to bring living examples to this country ; unfortunately, their existence here was of short 
duration, but they lived long enough to prove that if other attempts be made, they will be rewarded with 
success. I have repeatedly stated in the present work, that many of the members of this family are migra- 
tory, while others are stationary, and some are restricted to exceedingly limited areas. The Trochilus 
Colubris is pre-eminently a migratory species, a great portion of its life being spent in passing from north 
to south, and vice versa. Its range may be said to extend over nearly forty degrees of latitude, or from ten 
to fifty dej^rees north, on the eastern side of the American continent ; I have received it in abundance 
from Guatemala, Mexico, Texas, the United States, and Canada, in which latter country Dr. Richardson 
observed it on the plains of the Saskatchewan, and Mr. Drummond found it breeding on the banks of the 
Elk River. The months in which the United States are favoured with its presence are May, June, July, 
August and September ; it arrives in the Southern States as early as March, and as the season advances, 
gradually passes on towards the central and northern portions of the country, including Canada and even 
some parts of the Hudson's Bay territory. It breeds in all the above-mentioned countries, and frequently 
raises two broods a year. About the middle of September the great southern migration commences, and the 
bird winters in the more genial and warmer countries of Mexico and Guatemala. This then is all that it is 
necessary to say respecting its migration, unless it be to add, that I believe its movement to and from either 
country is very gradual, and that it is probably performed in the broad open daytime only, and not by night, 
as has been suspected by Audubon. The period of my visit to America being somewhat early in the season, 
my attempts to discover a living " Hummer " in the neighbourhood of New York during the second week 
in May were futile, and it was not until I arrived at the more southern city of Philadelphia that my wish 
was gratified by the sight of a single male in the celebrated Bartram's garden, whither I was conducted by 
my friend Mr. VV. M. L. Baily, from whom I also received many other kind attentions. 

When first seen, the bird was engaged in examining the blossoms of a lofty chestnut; but its 



restlessness did not permit ine to gratify my desire for a lengthened observation, and after vainly 
waiting for some time in the hope of its returning, I continued my walk under the high trees to another 
part of the grounds, where I was again gratified by seeing my little friend dart off from within a few 
feet of me : in this shady retreat it passed from shrub to shrub, now and then perching on some bare twig 
to rest in a state of quietude, or to preen its wings before again darting' off to examine the flowers on the 
more lofty branches. The almost total absence of Humming-birds around Philadelphia proved to me that 
I was still too early for them, the lateness of the season of 1857 having retarded their movement, and 
the regularity of their arrival being evidently dependent upon the state of the trees and consequent supply 
of food ; I therefore determined to proceed farther south to Washington, where, in the gardens of the 
Capitol, I had the pleasure of meeting with them in great numbers : in lieu, then, of the single individual in 
Bartram's garden, I was now gratified by the sight of from fifty to sixty on a single tree, and had an ample 
opportunity of observing these living gems, and of noticing their extraordinary movements and aerial evolu- 
tions to my heart's content. They were more amicably disposed than they are usually said to be. Disport- 
ing round the reddish flowers of a species of chestnut termed Buck-eye, both males and females were 
busily engaged in examining the blossoms, ever and anon retiring to some shady branches for the purpose 
of rest or to plume themselves. To say that these birds, of which several hundreds were to be seen within 
the area of as many yards, were in this instance not amicably disposed towards each other, would be 
untrue ; a little brush now and then, and an occasional tilting-match between two males, certainly did 
occur, but the greater number w^ere evidently too much occupied in the search for food to waste time in 
fighting. I suspect that the pugnacity of the males so graphically described by Wilson principally occurs 
during the breeding season, when their fury is said to have no bounds. My scientific friend Dr. Baird, 
who was with me at the time, will, I am sure, confirm what I have said with regard to the numbers seen on 
this occasion. 

Having now observed the bird in a state of nature, my next object was to obtain living examples for more 
close examination, and through the kindness of Baron Osten-Sacken, the nephew of the great General, a 
member of the Russian diplomatic corps at Washington, and an excellent entomologist, a specimen was 
soon procured for me in one of the conservatories of the city, and great was my delight in taking posses- 
sion of the little captive. A small insect gauze net, about six inches in diameter, distended by a light 
hoop, was soon manufactured for its reception, and, although sadly buffeted about, the bird, within an hour 
of its capture, readily took sugar and water from a spoon held in the hand : this boldness led me to hope 
that it would soon become familiarized with its little domicile. I accordingly suspended it from a button 
of my coat, and carried it about with me wherever I went, offering it every half-hour a small bottle filled with 
sugar and water, into which it thrust its long bill through the gauze bag, and pumped up the fluid through its 
more lengthened tubular tongue. In this way it travelled with me for two days across the Alleghany Moun- 
tains, and would doubtless have continued to do well, had I not, at the end of a dusty and tremendously 
jolting ride, given it a bath to free it from the dirt which had accumulated on its tail and wings during the 
journey, from the effects of which it sickened and died. In recording my obligations to Baron Osten-Sacken, 
it must not be supposed that I am unmindful of the attentions rendered me with the same object by every 
one at Washington, including His Excellency the President, our own minister. Lord Napier, Mr. Russell, 
and others. 

A few days' travelling by way of Ohio and Lake Erie brought me to Canada. At the " Falls " the 
"Hummers" had but just arrived, and only a few males were to be seen ; at Toronto they were still fewer 
in number. At one p.m. on the 5th of June, when passing down the St. Lawrence, I observed a fine male 
cross the bows of the vessel from the southern to the northern shore near the Long Sault Rapid ; it was 
evidently migrating. In the garden of G. C. Tunstall, Esq., opposite St. Ann's Rapids, Bout-de-l'Ile, 
near Montreal, rendered classical by Moore's well-known Canadian Boat-song, the Humming-birds on 
the 8th of June were very abundant, even flitting about the lilac trees which overshadowed the porch at 
the house where, Mrs. Tunstall informed me, Moore sat and composed his celebrated song ; and I feel that 
I should be wanting in courtesy were I not thus publicly to acknowledge my obligations to this kind lady 
for permission to shoot two of these little tenants of her garden, which, when informed they were required 
for a scientific purpose, she readily accorded ; but at the same time assured me that on no other account 
would she have allowed one of these little wanderers to be destroyed, for they were by her both cherished 
and beloved. 

Having accomplished all that I could expect to do, during so short a visit, with regard to observing the 
TrocMlm Colubris in a state of nature, a strong desire prompted me to attempt the bringing of living 
examples across the Atlantic ; and upon this desire becoming known to Sidney Augustus Schiefflin, Esql, 
of Madison Square, New York, that gentleman very obligingly presented me with a pair, male and female, 
then living in his house, in perfect health, in the finest state of plumage. My greatest anxiety was to get 
them past the Banks of Newfoundland in safety, where the thermometer frequently falls below the freezing- 
point. Through the kindness of Captain Shannon, who afforded me every facility, this was achieved, and 
they reached the shores of England; one of them, however, unfortunately died as we came up the Channel ; 
the other reached London, and lived for two days at my house in Broad Street. During the voyage 
they were fed with syrup made of sugar and water, with the trifling addition of the yelk of an unboiled 
egg as a substitute for their animal food. 



"The Humming-bird," says Wilson, " makes its first appearance in Georgia, from the south, about the 
•23rd of March, two weeks earlier than it does in the county of Burke, sixty miles higher up the country 
towards the interior, and at least five weeks sooner than it reaches this part of Pennsylvania. As It passes 
on to the northward, as far as the interior of Canada, where it is seen in great numbers, the wonder is 
excited, how so feebly constructed and delicate a little creature can make its way over such extensive regions 
of lakes and forests, among so many enemies, all its superiors in strength and magnitude. But its very 
minuteness, the rapidity of its flight, which almost eludes the eye, and that admirable instinct, reason, or 
whatever else It may be called, and daring courage which Heaven has implanted in its bosom, are its guides 
and protectors. 

" About the 25th of April, the Humming-bird usually arrives in Pennsylvania, and about the 10th of 
May begins to build its nest. This Is generally fixed on the upper side of a horizontal branch — not among 
the twigs, but on the body of the branch itself. Yet I have known instances where it was attached by the 
side to an old moss-grown trunk, and others where it was fastened on a strong rank stalk or weed In the 
garden, but these cases are rare. In the woods. It very often chooses a white-oak sapling to build on ; and 
In the orchard or garden, selects a pear-tree for that purpose. The branch Is seldom more than ten feet 
from the ground. The nest is about an inch in diameter, and as much in depth. A very complete one is 
now lying before me, and the materials of which It Is composed are as follows : — The outward coat Is formed 
of a small species of bluish-grey lichen that vegetates on old trees and fences, thickly glued on with the saliva 
of the bird, giving firmness and conslstericy to the whole, as well as keeping out moisture. Within this 
are thick-matted layers of the fine wings of certain flying seeds, closely laid together ; and, lastly, the 
downy substance from the great mullein, and from the stalks of the common fern, lines the whole. The 
base of the nest is continued round the stem of the hranch, to which it closely adheres, and, when 
viewed from below, appears a mere mossy knot or accidental protuberance. The eggs are two, pure 
white, and of equal thickness at both ends On a person's approaching their nest, the little pro- 
prietors dart around with a humming sound, passing within a few Inches of one's head ; and should the 
young be newly hatched, the female will resume her place on the nest, even while you stand within a yard 
or two of the spot. The precise period of Incubation I am unable to give ; but the young are In the habit, 
a short time before they leave the nest, of thrusting their bills Into the mouths of their parents, and sucking 
what they have brought them. I never could perceive that they carried them any animal food, though I 
think It highly probable that they do. As I have found their nests as late as the 12th of July, I do not doubt 
but that they frequently, and perhaps usually, raise two broods In the same season. 

"The Humming-bird is extremely fond of tubular flowers, and I have often stopt with pleasure to observe 
his manoeuvres among the blossoms of the Trumpet-flower. When arrived before a thicket of these that are 
full-blown, he poises or suspends himself on wing for the space of two or three seconds, so steadily that 
his wings become invisible, or only like a mist, and you can plainly distinguish the pupil of his eye looking 
round with great quickness and circumspection : the glossy golden green a)f his back, and the fire of his 
throat, dazzling In the sun, form altogether a most Interesting appearance. When he alights, which he 
frequently does, he ahvays prefers the small dead twigs of a tree or bush, where he dresses and arranges his 
plumage with great dexterity. His only note Is a single chirp, not louder than that of a small cricket or 
o-rasshopper, generally uttered while passing from flower to flower, or when engaged In fight with his fellows ; 
for when two males meet at the same bush or flower, a battle Instantly takes place, and the combatants 
ascend in the air, chirping, darting and circling round each other, till the eye Is no longer able to follow them. 
The conqueror, however, generally returns to the place to reap the fruits of his victory. I have seen him 
attack, and for a few moments tease, the King Bird; and have also seen him, in his turn, assaulted by a 
Humble-bee, which he soon put to flight. He is one of those few birds that are universally beloved ; and 
amidst the sweet dewy serenity of a summer's morning, his appearance among the arbours of honeysuckles 
and beds of flowers Is truly interesting. 

" This little bird Is extremely susceptible of cold, and If long deprived of the animating influence of the 
sunbeams, droops, and soon dies. A very beautiful male was brought to me, which I put Into a wire cage, 
and placed In a retired shaded part of the room. After fluttering about for some time, the weather being 
uncommonly cool, It clung by the wires, and hung In a seemingly torpid state for a whole forenoon. No 
motion whatever of the lungs could be perceived on the closest Inspection, though at other times this Is 
remarkably observable ; the eyes were shut ; and, when touched by the finger, It gave no signs of life or 
motion. I carried It out to the open air and placed it directly In the rays of the sun, in a sheltered situa- 
tion. In a few seconds, respiration became very apparent ; the bird breathed faster and faster, opened Its 
eyes, and began to look ahout, with as much seeming vivacity as ever. After it had completely recovered, 
I restored It to liberty, and It flew off" to the withered top of a pear-tree, where It sat for some time dressing 
its disordered plumage, and then shot off like a meteor. 

" The flight of the Humming-bird from flower to flower greatly resembles that of a bee, but Is so much 
more rapid, that the latter appears a mere loiterer to him. He poises himself on wing, while he thrusts 
his long, slender, tubular tongue Into the flowers In search of food. He sometimes enters a room by the 
window, examines the bouquets of flowers, and passes out by the opposite door or window. He has been 
known to take refuge In a hothouse during the cool nights of autumn, to go regularly out in the morning, 
and to return as regularly In the evening, for several days together. 



"To enumerate all the flowers of which this little hird is fond, would he to repeat the names of half our 
American flora. From the hlossoms of the towering poplar or tulip-tree, through a thousand intermediate 
flowers, to those of the humhle larkspur, he ranges at will, and almost incessantly. Every period of the season 
produces a fresh multitude of new favourites. Towards the month of Septemher, a plant with a yellow 
flower grows in great luxuriance along the sides of creeks and rivers, and in low moist situations, to the 
height of two or three feet, and the flower, which is about the size of a thimble, hangs in the shape of a cap 
of liberty above a luxuriant growth of green leaves. It is the Balsamina noli me tangere of botanists, and is 
the greatest favourite of the Humming-bird of all our other flowers. In some places where these plants 
abound, you may see, at one time, ten or twelve Humming-birds darting about, and fighting with and pur- 
suing each other. About the 20th of September they generally retire to the south. I have, indeed, some- 
times seen a solitary individual on the 28th and 30th of that month, and sometimes even in October, but 
these cases are rare. About the beginning of November they pass the southern boundary of the United 
States into Florida." 

"No sooner," says Audubon, "has the returning sun again introduced the vernal season, and caused 
millions of plants to expand their leaves and blossoms to his genial beams, than the little Humming-bird is 
seen advancing on fairy wings, carefully visiting every flower-cup, and, like a curious florist, removing from 
each the injurious insects that otherwise would, ere long, cause their beauteous petals to droop and decay. 
Poised in the air, it is observed peeping cautiously and with sparkling eye into their innermost recesses, whilst 
the ethereal motions of its pinions, so rapid and so light, appear to fan and cool the flower without injuring 
its fragile texture, and produce a delightful murmuring sound, well adapted for lulling the insects to repose. 
This is the moment for the Humming-bird to secure them. Its long delicate bill enters the cup of the 
flower, and the protruded double tongue, delicately sensible, and imbued with a glutinous saliva, touches 
each insect in succession, and draws it from its lurking place, to be instantly swallowed. All this is done 
in a moment, and the bird, as it leaves the flower, sips so small a portion of its liquid honey, that the theft, 
we may suppose, is looked upon with a grateful feeling by the flower, which is thus kindly relieved from the 
attacks of her destroyers, 

"The prairies, the fields, the orchards and gardens, nay, the deepest shades of the forest, are all visited 
in their turn, and everywhere the little bird meets with pleasure and with food. Its gorgeous throat in 
beauty and brilliancy baffles all competition. Now it glows with a fiery hue, and again it is changed to the 
deepest velvet-black. The upper parts of its delicate body are of resplendent changing green ; and it throws 
itself through the air with a swiftness and vivacity hardly conceivable. It moves from one flower to another 
like a gleam of light, upwards, downwards, to the right, and to the left." 

When speaking of their migrations, Audubon states that " they pass through the air in long undulations, 
raising themselves for some distance at an angle of about 40°, and then falling in a curve ; but the smallness 
of their size precludes the possibility of following them farther than fifty or sixty yards without great diffi- 
culty, even with a good glass .... They do not alight on the ground, but easily settle on twigs and branches, 
where they move sideways in prettily measured steps, frequently opening and closing their wings, pluming, 
shaking, and arranging the whole of their apparel with neatness and activity. They are particularly fond of 
spreading one wing at a time, and passing each of the quill-feathers through their bill in its whole length, 
when, if the sun be shining, the wing thus plumed is rendered extremely transparent and light. They 
leave the twig without the least difficulty in an instant, and appear to be possessed of superior powers of 
vision, making directly towards a Martin or Blue-bird when fifty or sixty yards from them, before they are 
aware of their approach .... Their food consists principally of insects, generally of the coleopterous order, 
these, together with some equally diminutive flies, being commonly found in their stomachs. The first are 
procured within the flowers, but many of the latter on wing." 

The male has the whole of the back, upper part of the neck, flanks, tail-coverts and two middle tail- 
feathers of a rich golden green ; wings and tail purplish brown ; under surface of the body white tinged 
with green ; throat ruby-red, changing, according to the position in which it is viewed, from deep black to 
fiery crimson or burning orange ; bill, eyes, legs and feet black. 

The female resembles the male in her general plumage, but is destitute of any brilliancy on the throat, 
and has the tail tipped with white. 

The young birds of both sexes during the first season have the tail tipped with white, and the whole of 
the under surface dull white. The ornamental feathers on the throat of the young males begin to appear 
in the month of September (Wilson). 

The figures represent the two sexes of the size of life. 



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TROCHILIIS ALEXAKBRI 



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TROCHILUS ALEXANDRL 

Purple-throated Humming'-bird. 

Trochilus Aleccaiidri^ Bourc. et Muls. Ann. de la Soc. Sci. de Lyon^ torn. ix. 1846, p. 330 

Cassin, 111. Birds of California, p. 141. pi. 22. 
Mellisuga Alexandria Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 113, Mellisuga^ sp. 80. 
Archilochus Alexandria Reich. Aufz. der Col., p. 13. 
Trochilus alexandri^ Bonap. Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 256. 



The native countries of this modestly-coloured, but pretty species of Trochilus are Mexico, California and 
Texas, and it will be seen from the following note by Mr. Cassin, that the United States also lays claim to it as 
part of its fauna. It was through the exertions of the late Signor Floresi, that most, if not all the specimens 
which now adorn the collections of Europe have been procured, all of which were obtained in the table-lands 
in the vicinity of the celebrated Real del Monte Mines ; but that it extends its range over a vast area 
northward of the city of Mexico, in all such localities as are favourable to its existence, is more than 
probable. In its structure and in the disposition of its markings it is precisely similar to the T Coliihrh^ 
from which, however, it is specifically distinct, as will be immediately seen on an examination and comparison 
of the Plates of the two species. 

Since the publication of Mr. Cassia's figure in his "Birds of California," a doubt has been expressed by 
Prince Charles L. Bonaparte as to whether the bird there represented be not distinct from that found in 
Mexico, and, believing this to be the case, he has proposed the name of Cassini for it, — a term, however, 
which I have not yet seen in print. The propriety of this step was one of the points in connexion with 
this group of birds which it became incumbent upon me to investigate during my recent visit to the United 
States, and I can state that, upon comparing Dr. Heermann's birds, from which Mr. Cassin's description and 
figure were taken, with others from Mexico, no diflference whatever was observable ; I regret to have to 
add, that my friend Cassia's Plate gives a very indifferent representation of the bird, and as the Prince had 
this Plate only, from which to form an opinion respecting the Californian specimens, he may be readily 
excused for considering them to be distinct from those from Mexico. 

"Within the limits of the United States," says Mr. Cassin, "the Humming-bird now before the reader 
has been noticed only by Dr. Heermann, whose fine collection, made in California, contained numerous 
specimens. He detected it in one locality only, — the burying-ground at Sacramento City. There several 
pairs remained during the season of incubation, and reared their young, finding suitable food and protection 
among the flowering plants with which, with great feeling and propriety, that last resting-place of the 
emigrant and stranger has been adorned. 

"Dr. Heermann represents the nest as composed of fine mosses, lined with the feathery down of various 
seeds, and containing two white eggs. He saw this bird also at Guaymas in Mexico." 

The female of this species, like the female of T. Colubris, differs very considerably from the male in the 
total absence of the black and rich purple colouring of the throat. 

This species was named Alewandn by MM. Bourcier and Mulsant, in honour of Dr. Alexandre of Mexico, 
by whom it was first discovered. 

The male has the head dark brown ; all the upper surface dark bronzy-green ; wings purplish-brown ; 
central tail-feathers bronzy-green ; the lateral ones black, slightly glossed with green ; throat deep velvety- 
black, bounded below by a band of rich metallic purple; across the breast a band of greyish-white; under 
surface dull bronzy-grey ; bill and feet black. 

The female has the head brown ; upper surface bronzy-green ; wings purplish-brown ; central tail-feathers 
bronzy-green ; the lateral ones grey at the base, then black, and lastly tipped with white ; under surface 
greyish-white ; the throat speckled with brown. 

The Plate represents the two sexes of the natural size. The plant is the Enogoimm compositum. 




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MELJLI^ ruA tmmMA 



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MELLISUGA MINIMA. 

Little Humming"- Bird. 

TrocMlus minimus, Linn. Syst. torn. i. p. 193.— lb. Gmel. torn. i. p. 500.— Lath. Ind.Orn., vol. i. 
p. 320.— Edw. Glean., torn. ii. p. 105. pi. 105.— Shaw, Gen. Zool., vol. viii. p. 347. 
Mellivora Avis minima, Sloane, Jam., p. 307. No. xxxviii. tab. 264. %. 1. 
Polytmus minimus variegatus, Brown, Nat. Hist, of Jam., p. 475 female. 
Le plus petit Oiseau mouche, Buff. Hist, des Ois., tom. vi. p. 11. pi. 1.— PL Enl. 276. %. 1. 
rOiseau mouche a ventre gris, Vieill. Ois. dor., tom. i. pi. 53. p. 99. 
Le tres petit Oiseau mouche, Vieill. Ois. dor., tom. i. pi. 64. p. 113. 
TrocMlus minutulus, Vieill. Ois. de I'Am. Sept., tom. ii. p. 73. 
Mellisuga, Briss. Orn., tom. iii. p. 695. pi. xxxvi. fig. 1.— lb. 8vo. tom. ii. p. 29. 

Dominicensis, Briss. Orn., tom. iii. p. 702. pi. xxxvi. fig. 8. 

TrocMlus Vieilloti, Shaw, Gen. Zool., vol. viii. p. 347. 

Mellisuga Vieilloti, Steph. Cont. of Shaw's Gen. Zool., vol. xiv. p. 249. 

Ornismya minima. Less. Ois. Mou., pi. 79, fem.— lb. Ind. Gen. et Syn. des Ois. du Gen. Tro- 

chilus, p. xxvii. 
Least Humming-Bird, Lath. Gen. Syn., vol. ii. p. 788. — Shaw, Nat. Misc. vol. xii. pi. 489. — 

lb. Zool. Lect., vol. i. pi. 62.— Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. iv. p. 359. 
Mellisuga MAmilis, Gosse, Birds of Jam., text, p. 127. 
TrocMlus Catliarin(B, Salle, Rev. Zool. 1849, p. 498. 

Hylocharis nigra, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 114, Hylocharis, sp. 16. 
Mellisuga minima, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 81. 
TrocMlus niger, Gmel., Lath,, &c. ? 



In referring the above long list of synonyms to one and the same species of Humming-Bird, I know that I 
am deviating from the opinion of some writers on the subject; but after devoting the utmost attention to 
the matter, I have been unable to arrive at any other conclusion ; at the same time I am open to conviction : 
if any proofs that I am in error can be adduced before the completion of the present work, I shall be happy 
to rectify any mistakes into which I may have fallen. I may state, however, that my own view is entirely 
coincided in by M. Bourcier, a gentleman, whose long attention to, and ample opportunities for acquiring a 
knowledge of the subject, render his opinion of the highest value ; he has, moreover, given me permission 
to state that he believes the celebrated little Humming-Bird of the Loddigesian collection, formerly in that 
of Mr. Leadbeater, and earlier still in that of Mr. Bullock, to be an immature bird of the species here 
figured ; it is but fair, however, to state that this was not the opinion of the late Mr. George Loddiges, 
who considered it to be a distinct species, and the minute eg^ accompanying it to be genuine : for myself, 
I must say, that, so far as I am able to judge from an examination of the specimen through the glass- 
case in which it is deposited, it appears to me to be an immature bird of this or some other species. 

The Mellisuga minima is very generally dispersed over nearly the whole of Jamaica and the greater 
portion of St. Domingo, but has not as yet been found elsewhere ; those islands may therefore be regarded 
as its true habitat. Its small size having attracted very general observation, more has been written 
respecting this little Humming-Bird than any other known species ; the most lucid and valuable account of 
its habits and economy is that given by Mr, Gosse in his very interesting work on the " Birds of Jamaica," 
which I am sure his well-known desire for the promotion of science will induce him to excuse my trans- 
scribing from somewhat largely. After giving his reasons for believing this bird to be distinct from the 
Trochilm minimus of the older authors, Mr, Gosse says, — 

" I have ventured to give to the present species the specific appellation of humilis, from its habit of 
buzzing over the Ioav herbaceous plants of pastures, which our other species do not. The West Indian 
Vervain {Stachytarpheta~) is one of the most common weeds in neglected pastures, shooting up everywhere its 
slender columns, set round with blue flowers, to the height of a foot. About these, our little Humming- 
Bird is abundant during the summer months, probing the azure blossoms a few inches from the ground. It 
visits the spikes in succession, flitting from one to another, exactly in the manner of the honey-bee, and with 



the same business-like industry and application. In the winter, the abundance of other flowers and the 
paucity of vervain-blossoms induce its attentions to the hedgerows and woods. 

" I have sometimes watched, with much delight, the evolutions of this little species at a moringa-tree. 
When only one is present, he pursues the round of the blossoms soberly enough, sucking as he goes, and 
uow and anon sitting quietly on the twig. But if two are about the tree, one will fly ofl^", and suspending 
himself in the air a few yards distant, the other presently shoots oif to him, and then, without touching each 
other, they mount upward with a strong rushing of wings, perhaps for five hundred feet ; they then separate, 
and each shoots diagonally towards the ground, like a ball from a rifle, and wheeling round, comes up to 
the blossoms again, and sacks, and sucks, as if it had not moved away at all. Frequently one alone will 
mount in this manner, or dart on invisible wing diagonally upward, looking exactly like a humble-bee. 
Indeed the figure of the smaller Humming-Birds on the wing, their rapidity, their arrowy course, and their 
whole manner of flight are entirely those of an insect ; and one who has watched the flight of a large beetle 
or bee, will have a very good idea of one of these tropic gems painted against the sky. I have observed all 
the three Jamaican species engaged in sucking the blossoms of a moringa-tree, and have noticed that, 
whereas Polytmus and Mango expand and depress the tail, when hovering before flowers, the Immilis, on the 
contrary, for the most part erects the tail, but not invariably. 

"The present is the only Humming-Bird which I am acquainted with that has a real song. Soon after 
sunrise in the spring months, it is fond of sitting on the topmost twig of a mango or orange tree, where it 
warbles, in a very weak but very sweet tone, a continuous melody for ten mmutes at a time : it has little 
variety. The others have only a pertinacious chirping. 

" The small bushes of Lanta?ia, so common by roadsides, and always covered with orange and yelloAv 
blossom, are favourite situations for the domestic economy of this minute bird. The smooth twigs of the 
bamboo also are not unfrequently chosen. It is not an uncommon thing in Jamaica for a road up a moun- 
tain to be cut in zigzag terraces to diminish the steepness ; and to prevent the lower side of such a road 
from crumbling away, stems of green bamboo are cut and laid in a shallow trench along the edge. Shoots 
spring from every joint, and soon a close row of palisades are growing along the margin of the road, the 
roots of which, as they spread, eflfectually bhid together the mountain-side, and make the terrace perpetual; 
while, as they increase in height and thickness, they throw their gracefully waving tufts over the way, like 
gigantic ostrich plumes, aflfoixling a most refreshing screen from the heat. Such a bamboo-walk, as it is 
called, winds up the side of Grand Vale Mountain in St. Elizabeth's, and here the nests of the Vervain 
Humming-Bird are frequently met with. Being up this road, on a day in June, I found two nests attached 
to twigs of bamboo, and one just commenced. Two parallel twigs were connected together by spiders' 
webs, profusely but irregularly stretched across, and these held a layer of silk-cotton, which just filled up 
the space, about an inch square, between them. The others were complete cups of silk cotton exceedingly 
compact and neat, ornamented outside with bits of grey lichen stuck here and there. In neither of the 
other Jamaican species is the oscillation of the wings so rapid or so great in extent ; and hence with this 
bird alone does the sound produced by the vibration of the wings acquire the sharpness of an insect's hum. 
The noise produced by the hovering of a Polytmus is a whirring sound, exactly like that caused by a wheel 
put into rapid revolution by machinery; that oi humilis is a hum, hke that of a large bee. 

" The spirit of curiosity is manifested by this little bird as well as by the larger species. When struck 
at it will return in a moment, and peep into the net or hover just in one's face. The stories told of 
Humming-Blrds attacking men, and striking at the eyes with their needle-like bills, originated, I have no 
doubt, in the exaggercition of fear misinterpreting this innocent curiosity." 

M. Lesson remarks, that this species is certainly the smallest member of the family with which we are 
acquainted, and is without doubt the ''very little Humming-Bird" of travellers; that it is a native of St. 
Domingo, where it sometimes places its nest upon the branches, at others in the fork of a branch ; the 
exterior is covered with lichens, while the interior is woven of the cotton of the Bomhaoo cieha :, occasionally 
the filaments are interlaced among long spines, which gives to the delicate nest a solidity and firmness not 
otherwise attainable. The incubation of its two eggs occupies twelve days ; the young emerge on the 
thirteenth, and remain in the nest for seventeen or eighteen days. The tree which the bird mostly 
frequents i§ the Cytims cajau, Linn. 

The male has the head, upper surface of the body, wlng-coverts, upper tail-coverts and flanks dark 
shining green ; wings purplish brown ; tall deep black ; chin and throat white speckled with black ; breast 
white ; abdomen whitish, each feather tipped with green ; vent white ; under tail-coverts white, faintly 
tipped with green ; irides, bill and feet black. 

In the female the green of the upper surface is of yellower tint, and extends halfway down the central 
tail-feathers ; the whole of the under surface is pure white, and the lateral tall-feathers are largely tipped 
with white. 

The Plate represents a male, a female, and a nest with two eggs, all of the natural size. 



4 



^ ^ /^ ^ ^ ^^ ^ ' 



tf^ 







JXrCidd and If C IlichM\ M ?/ hU- 



eALYPTE C0ST.1E 



^///w^^^''^/^' ^^^^^^' ^'-^' 



CALYPTE COST^. 

Costa's Calypte. 

Ornismya Costa, Boiirc. Rev. Zool. 1839, p. 294.— lb. Ann. de la Soc. Sci. de Lyon, 1840, 
p. 225. pi. 2.— Voy. de la Venus, pi. 2.— Longuem. et Parz. Rev. Zool. 1840, 
p. 71. 

Mellisuga Costcs, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 113, Mellisuga, sp. 83. 

Selasphorus Cost(B, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 82, Selasphorus, sp. 4.— lb. Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 
1854, p. 257. 

Atthis Costae, Reichenb. Aufz. der Colibris, p. 12. 

Trochilus Costae, Reichenb. Troch. enumer., p. 10. 



Here we have a very beautiful little bird, conspicuous not only for the rich brilliancy of its head and throat, 
but for the colouring of those parts being of an unusual hue— a glittering metallic-lilac, neither easy to 
describe nor to depict, and which can only be feebly represented even with the aid of silver and the finest 
copal colours ; indeed, to acquire anything like a correct notion of its beauty, the bird itself must be seen, 
neither description nor figure giving an adequate idea of its splendour. I am indebted for numerous 
specimens of this lovely bird to the late M. Floresi, who collected them in the valleys of the Sierra Madre 
in Mexico. From thence, throughout the western part of Mexico, and in some parts of California, the bird 
is probably found. 

The first description of this bird appeared in the "Revue Zoologique " for 1839, from the pen of 
M. Bourcier, who gave it the specific appellation of CostcB, in honour of the Marquis de Costa of Chambery, 
the possessor of a very beautiful collection of birds. In the form of its tail, and in the extent of the metallic 
colouring of its head and throat, it bears a striking resemblance to the C. Annoe, but is at once distinguished 
from that species by its smaller size, as well as by the different hue of the head and neck. Of its habits 
and economy nothing has yet been recorded. 

The sexes present nearly the same differences that are observable in those of C. Afince. 

The male has the head, ear-coverts, throat, and the elongated ruflf-like feathers on the sides of the neck, 
brilliant deep metallic-lilac ; all the upper surface and wing-coverts golden green ; wings purple-brown ; six 
central tail-feathers bronzy green ; two outer tail-feathers brownish grey with darker tips ; under surface 
dull white, washed with bronzy green on the flanks ; bill and feet blackish brown. 

At a younger age the head is of the same hue as the body ; a few of the fine feathers of the throat have 
appeared ; the abdomen is bronzy green ; the apical half of the outer tail-feathers are black, and their tips 
white. 

In the female the whole of the upper surface is dull golden green ; under surface dull greyish white, with 
a few dots of brown on the throat ; wings purplish brown ; central tail-feathers bronzy green ; lateral i' 

feathers grey at the base, succeeded by deep black, and tipped with white. 

The figures are the size of life. The plant is the Logwood (Lignum Cmnpechianum). 



-^ja:- 



t- 
"% 



7^'" 
**^- 




CAUFFTE ANNzE. 



M'^rJi/^^?.W H^JJffh ^o \ dd e? hth 



Edlm^ndeU ^^^^■<^-" h' 



CALYPTE ANN^. 

Anna's Calypte. 

Ornismya Anna, Less. Hist. Nat. des Ois. Mou., p. 205. pi. 74.— lb. Traits d'Orn., p. 281. 
Trochilus Anna, Jard. Nat. Lib. Humming Birds, vol. i. p. 93. pi. 6.— Aud. Birds of Amer., 

vol. iv. pi. ccccxxv,— lb. Orn. Biog., vol. v. p. 238,— lb. Syn. of Birds of N. Amer., 

p. 170. — Reiehenb. Troch. enumer., p. 10. 
Mellisuga Anna, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 113, Mellisuga, sp. 61. 
Selasphorus Anna, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 82, Selasphorus, sp. 2.— lb. Rev. et Mag. de 

Zool. 1854, p. 257. 
Calliphlox anna, Gambel, Notes on Californian Birds. 
Attkis Anna, Reiehenb. Aufz. der CoHbris, p. 12. 
Trockilus icterocepJialus, Nutt. Man. Orn., vol. i. 2nd Edit. p. 712. 



When studying the diversified forms and colouring of the Trochilid^, I have frequently been struck with 
the fact that those districts or countries having a metalliferous character are tenanted by species of 
Humming- Birds which are more than ordinarily brilliant and glittering. This is especially the case with the 
species inhabiting Mexico and California : in illustration of this assertion, I may cite the three Californian 
species, Selasphorus mfus, Calypte Costw, and the present bird, C. Annce, all of which are unequalled, for 
the rich metallic brilliancy of certain parts of their plumage, by any other members of the family. The two 
latter, C. CostcB and C. Annw, have not only the throat, but the entire head as glitteringly resplendent 
as if they had been dipped in molten metal. Now whether there be any influence exerted by inorganic 
upon organic nature, is an enigma which will probably remain unsolved for some time to come ; certain it 
is that it cannot be explained by any of the natural laws at present known to us ; and, after all, it may only 
be one of those remarkable coincidences which so frequently occur ; still I trust I may be excused for callino- 
attention to a point which appeared to me to be of much interest. 

The very lovely bird here represented, and which has been named in honour of Anna, Duchess of Rivoli, 
ranges over the whole of the table-lands of Mexico, and throughout California to the base of the Rocky 
Mountains in North-Western America. 

I am indebted to Dr. Gambel, of Philadelphia, who has had opportunities of observing this bird in its 
native wilds, for the following interesting extract from his *' Notes on the Birds of California " : 

''A very abundant and interesting species, numbers passing the winter in California; at such times 
inhabiting sheltered hill-sides and plains, where at all seasons a few bushy plants are in flower, and afl^ord it 
a scanty subsistence. They appear, however, in greater numbers about the latter part of February and 
during the month of March ; the country is soon carpeted with flowers, and the Anna Humming Bird, revel- 
ling among their sweets, commences the duty of rearing its young. About the Pueblo, the vineyards and 
gardens are its favourite resort, forming its delicate downy nest in a small flowering bush, or some concealed 
spot about the fence. In April and May these may be found in almost every garden. 

"In other parts it attaches its nest almost exclusively to a low, horizontal branch of the evergreen oak 
(^Quercus agrifolid)^ so common throughout the country; the nest is small, being about an inch in depth, 
and one and a quarter in diameter ; it is not very thick, and is formed in the most delicate manner of pappus 
and down of various plants, held together and matted into a soft felt with spiders' webs, which latter I have 
frequently observed them collecting for the purpose, in the spring, along hedges and fence-rows, and at 
first supposed they were only searching them for the gnats and small insects which might be entangled ; but 
in a nest which I now have, the base is formed of a few dried male aments of the oak, and which, with the 



adjoining felt-like matting of pappus, is agglutinated and bound around the twig with a thick layer of spider's 
web. The eggs, as usual, are two, white and elliptical. The note resembles that of the Rufous Humming 
Bird, and is a slender chep, frequently repeated ; but during the breeding season they are very pugnacious, 
and the little combatants dart through the trees like meteors, uttering a loud and repeated twittering 
scold. It has the same habit also that has been remarked in the Rufous Humming Bird, that of ascending 
in clear weather to a considerable height in the air, and then descending with great rapidity, uttering at the 
same time a peculiar note. Its ruff too, like that oirufus, is erectile. 

''Nuttall, who brought this species from California, did not procure the male, but saw it frequently, and 
supposed it to have a yellow spot on the crown. I discovered that that which deceived him in this respect 
Avas the glutinous pollen of a tubular flower upon which it feeds, adhering to the rigid feathers of the crown, 
and making it look as if it really had a yellow head. I have also seen the bill for half its length covered in 
the same manner." 

The sexes differ very considerably in colour, the female being destitute of the fine metallic hues which 
adorn the head and throat of the male. 

The male has the head, ear-coverts, throat, and the elongated ruff-like feathers on the sides of the neck, 
brilliant metallic crimson ; all the upper surface and wing-coverts golden green ; wings purplish brown ; 
central tail-feathers bronzy green, the remainder dark brown with paler internal edges ; breast and centre of 
the abdomen grey; flanks golden green; vent and thighs white; under tail-coverts dull green, edged with 
grey; bill black; feet blackish brown. 

The female has the head greyish brown ; all the upper surface, wing-coverts, and central tail-feathers, 
golden green ; basal portion of the lateral tail-feathers grey, succeeded by golden green ; their apical portion 
being black, and the two outer ones on each side tipped with white ; wings purplish brown ; under surface 
grey, washed with green on the sides of the neck and flanks, and with a few brilliant fiery-red feathers in 
the centre of the throat. 

The Plate represents two males and a female of the natural size. The plant is the Ceanothus Jloribmidus, 



'k 




\ •:> 



'•*^r y 



*x M 



\ 



\ 



CALTPT E HELE N.f, . 



J Goi/M ayidJf (' [iichl(^-,dd eX fjc^>. 



JivJlnuiriM^ Ifdlfm-, >f 



CALYPTE HELENA. 

Helena's Calypte. 

OrtJiorhyncJmis Helenm, Lembeye, Aves de Tlsle de Cuba, p. 70. pi. x. fig. 2 
Boothi, Gundlach, MS. 



I HAVE always considered this diminutive but truly beautiful Humming Bird to be one of the gems of my 
collection, which contains an example of each sex, both of which bear the appearance of being fully adult. 
The species is a native of the Island of Cuba ; and, strange to say, while I can readily obtain examples of 
many species from the remote forests of the interior of Bolivia and Peru, I have entirely failed in my 
attempts to procure specimens of the present bird from an island comparatively near to us, and the natural 
productions of which are so much better known. Besides the two examples possessed by myself, I believe 
that another has been sent to Bremen by Dr. Gundlach, for I find among my papers a drawing of the male, 
kindly sent to me a few years since by Dr. Hartlaub : in this drawing the tail-feathers are narrowly tipped 
with black,— a character I do not find in my birds ; but as the latter are slightly imperfect, it is just possible 
my illustration may not be quite correct in this point; at the same time I would remark, that the black 
mark above mentioned may be nothing more than the deep shade which appears at the tip of the tail-feathers 
when the bird is viewed in one position. 

For the first discovery of this little gem we are certainly indebted to Senor Don Juan Gundlach, Professor 
of Philosophy at Cardenos in the island of Cuba, who in his MSS. assigned to it the specific name of Boothi, 
which name he would wish to be retained, — ^the term Heknce, by which it is known to ornithologists from 
the figure and description in Lembeye's "Aves de I'lsle de Cuba," having been previously given to another 
member of the family; as, however, the two Helenas belong to two very distinct genera, I have considered 
it best to follow all previous writers and keep the name assigned to it by Lembeye, that being the one first 
published. 

All that we know of the habits and economy of this little vara avis mhmthshna of the Island of Cuba is 
contained in the following passage, literally translated from the work of Lembeye above referred to : — 

"I have had the pleasure of seeing and killing this bird, in the company of Dr. Gundlach, who, on our 
return from this agreeable expedition, related to me the observations he had made about it. The Zunzumtto, 
he says, unites to its beauty a varied song — well-sustained, and rather powerful considering its diminutive 
body — somewhat resembling that of the Cabrero {SpindaUs pretrii). It enjoys this faculty before it attains 
the brilliant plumage of the adult. Its flight resembles that of the Colibri {Trochilus colubris), and as both 
these species have a very short tail, they cannot execute such rapid evolutions as the T. RiccordL Sometimes 
I have seen them fight, rising perpendicularly to a considerable height, and then returning to the point of 
departure to commence their song anew. They may be distinguished when they fly by the complete silence 
they keep — only the monotonous humming of their wings being heard; while the Riccordt^ under the same 
circumstances, emits a shrill cry, and the coluhrts a sweet and weak voice resembling the syllables crlc eric.'' 

I cannot close this paper without recording, as I do with much pleasure, my obligations to Frederick 
Taylor, Esq., of Liverpool, who, with the greatest liberality, presented to me the only two examples of this 
species I have yet seen : I consider myself the more indebted to this gentleman, as although himself a 
collector of the Trochilidae, he most readily parted with them to still further enrich a collection finer than 
his own. 



The male has the head, ear-coverts, throat, and pendent plumes on the sides of the neck, of the richest 
metallic crimson ; all the upper surface and wing-coverts greenish blue ; wdngs purplish brown ; under 
surface white, with the exception of the flanks, which are greenish blue ; tail deep rich greenish blue, 
becoming darker at the tip. 

The female has the head, upper part of the back and wing-coverts green ; lower part of the back bluish 
green ; wings purplish brown ; central tail-feathers dark blue, the lateral feathers blue at the base, then deep 
black and tipped with white ; under surface white, except the flanks which are washed with green. 

The Plate represents the two sexes of the natural size. The plant is the Ceanothus Lobhiarms, 



'^--''^.^^^' :■■''' 






EiASfmmxVs w^vm^o 






mt-h^kfr. de/.-- a- hik 



SELASPHORUS RUFUS. 

Rufous Flame-bearer. 

Trochilus rufus, Gmel. Edit. Linn. Syst. Nat., vol. i. p. 497.— Jard. Nat. Lib. Humming-Bii-ds, 
vol. ii. p. 71. pi. 2.— Aud. Birds of Am., vol. iv. pi, 379.— lb. Orn. Bio., vol. iv. 
p. 555. 

collaris, Lath. Ind. Orn., vol. i. p. 318. — ^Vieill. Hist. Nat. des Ois. de TAm. Sept., 

torn. ii. p. 75. 

— Sitkefisis, Rathke. 

Le Sasin, Aud. et Vieill. Ois. dor., torn. i. p. 110, pis. 61, 62. 

Ornismya Sasin, I^ess. Hist. Nat. des Ois. Mou., p. 190. pis. 66, 67.— Id. Supp., p. 121. pi. 11. 

p. 123. pi. 12. p. 124. pi. 13.— -Id. Less. Troeh., p. 117. pi. 43. 
Ruf'fiecked Humming-Bird^ Lath. Gen. Syn., vol. ii. p, 785. pi. 35. — Id. Supp., p. 135. — Shaw, 

Gen. Zool., vol. viii. p. 343. — Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. iv. p. 350. pi. 78. 
Ruff-necked Honey-sucker, Penn. Arct. Zool., vol. ii. p. 177. 
Trochilus (Selasphorus) rufus, Swains, and Rich. Faun. Bor. Am., vol. ii. p. 324. 
Trochilus ruber, Brandt, Icon. Av. Ross., tab. 1, 2. 
Selasphorus rufus, Aud, Syn. Birds of Am., p. 171. 

MelUsuga rubra, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 113, Mellisuga, sp. 60. 
Selosphorus ruber, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 82, Selosphorus, sp. I. 
CaUiphlox rufa, Gambel in Proc. of Acad. Sci. Philad., Oct. 1846, p. 111. 



Elegant in all its proportions, refulgent in the colouring of its throat, associated with the past as one of 
the many interesting discoveries of our celebrated Navigator Captain Cook, and remarkable for resorting 
to extremely high latitudes for the purpose of breeding, this little Humming-Bird has claims to our notice 
exceeding those of most of its congeners ; it is interesting too, on account of the vast extent of country 
over which it is spread, its range extending over Mexico and North America, but being, however, exclu- 
sively confined to the Western or Pacific side of that great Continent, where it represents the well-known 
Trochilus colubris, the range of which appears to be as exclusively confined to the Western or Atlantic 
portion. The great country of Mexico may be considered as its proper habitat during the months of 
winter. I have frequently received it from Guatemala, and from this its most southern limit, it is very 
abundant along the great chain northwards, through California and the Rocky Mountains to Sitka, and 
perhaps in some seasons to within the Russian territory. Captain Cook found it in abundance at Nootka 
Sound, and every traveller who has visited the mouth of the River Columbia, speak of it as an object the 
beauty of which never failed to arrest his attention while inhabiting those regions. After the summer is 
over and gone, and the powerful rays of the sun are deflected towards the more southern parts of the 
Continent, it retraces Its steps towards the congenial climate of Mexico, where Insect life is at this season 
still sufficient for its wants ; this little Avanderer, therefore, unlike many other species, which appear to be 
stationary, passes over a vast range of country, and is strictly a migrator ; and, as is generally the case 
with birds having this habit, it is only in certain seasons that it bears the fine flame-coloured gorget as 
figured in the accompanying Plate. The period when this part is most radiant is that immediately pre- 
ceding the pairing or breeding season, and in no instance have I found specimens collected in Mexico at all 
equal in beauty to those obtained in more northern climes. Exposure to light, the rapidity of flight, the 
process of constructing their nest, and the frequent combats in which these little furies are engaged, all 
doubtless tend to diminish the beauty and purity of their plumage^ perfect specimens, therefore, can only 
be obtained during their spring passage, or immediately after their arrival at their summer residence. 

This species, more fortunate than most of its family, has had some interesting accounts of its habits and 
economy recorded by various writers, which, in the absence of any opportunities for observing them myself, 
I cannot perhaps do better than transcribe in their own words, as given in Audubon's ' Ornithological 
Biography,' &c. 

''We began," says Mr. Nuttall, ''to meet with this species near the Blue Mountains of the Columbia 
River, in the autumn, as we proceeded to the west. These were all young birds, and were not very easily 
distinguished from those of the common species of the same age. We now for the first time (April 16) 
saw the males in numbers, darting, burring and squeaking in the usual manner of their tribe; but when 
engaged in collecting its accustomed sweets in all the energy of life, it seemed like a breathing gem, or 



magic carbuncle of glowing fire, stretching out its gorgeous ruff, as if to emulate the sun itself in splendour. 
Towards the close of May the females were sitting, at which time the males were uncommonly quarrelsome 
and vigilant, darting out at me as I approached the tree, probably near the nest, looking like an angry coal 
of brilliant fire, passing within very little of my face, returning several times to the attack, sinking and 
darting with the utmost velocity, at the same time uttering a curious reverberating sharp bleat, somewhat 
similar to the quivering twang of a dead twig, yet also so much like the real bleat of some small quadruped, 
that for some time I searched the ground instead of the air, for the actor in the scene. At other times 
the males were seen darting up high in the air, and whirling about each other in great anger and with much 
velocity. After these manoeuvres the aggressor returned to the same dead twig, where for days he regularly 
took his station, displaying the utmost courage and angry vigilance. The angry hissing or bleating note 
seems something like tohf f f f f sh me, tremulously uttered as it whirls and sweeps through the air, like 
a musket-ball, accompanied also by something like the whirr of the Night Hawk. On the 29th of May I 
found a nest in a forked branch of the Nootka Bramble, Rubus nutkanus. The female was sitting on two 
eggs of the same shape and colour as those of the common species, 1\ colubris. The next also was perfectly 
similar, but somewhat deeper. As I approached, the female came hovering round the nest, and soon after, 
when all was still, she resumed her place contentedly." 

Dr. Townsend's note is as follows: — "Nootka Sound Humming-Bird, TrocMlus rufas, Ah-puets-Rmne, of 
the Chinnooks. On a clear day the male may be seen to rise to a great height in the air, and descend 
instantly near the earth, then mount again to the same altitude as at first, performing in the evolution the 
half of a large circle. During the descent it emits a strange and astonishingly loud note, which can be 
compared to nothing but the rubbing together of the limbs of trees during a high wind. I heard this 
singular note repeatedly last spring and summer, but did not then discover to what it belonged. I did not 
suppose it to be a bird at all, and least of all a Humming-Bird, The observer thinks it almost impossible 
that so small a creature can be capable of producing so much sound. I have never observed this habit 
upon a dull or cloudy day." 

''The nest," says Audubon, "which measures two inches and a quarter in height, and an inch and three 
quarters in breadth at the upper part, is composed externally of mosses, lichens, and a few feathers, with 
slender fibrous roots interwoven, and lined with fine cottony seed-down." 

By many writers the Little Brown Humming-Bird of Edwards {TrocMlus ruber of Linn^us) has been 
considered identical with the present bird, but 1 am at a loss to conceive how such an error could have 
arisen, since on examining Edwards's figure it will at once be seen that it represents a bird of a totally 
different form, probably a Phaethornis, but what species it is almost impossible to determine. 

The adult male has the head brown; all the upper surface and the tail, the feathers of which are of a 
broad lanceolate form, cinnamon-brown, with a mark of dark brown down the tip of each of the tail- 
feathers ; wings purple-brown ; wing-coverts bronzy brown ; throat luminous orange-red ; breast white, 
tinged with red; under surface cinnamon-brown, inclining to white on the centre of the abdomen; bill 
brownish black ; feet brown. 

The above is the usual colouring, but I have occasionally seen fully adult males with the rich gorget, in 
which the colouring of the back was totally different, being of a golden green, and presenting so great a 
contrast as almost to induce a belief that they were of a different species. 

The female has the upper surface golden green, the head brownish ; the upper tail-coverts and the base 
of the tail-feathers rufous, the remaining portion of the tail-feathers being brownish black tipped with 
white ; under surface white, tinged with rufous on the sides and under tail-coverts, the throat having a 
roundish spot of fiery metallic red near the tip of most of the feathers ; the female also differs in having the 
tail-feathers short and rounded at the tip instead of the broad and lanceolate form of those of the male. 

The Plate represents three males and a female on the Gynoocys fragrans ; all of the natural size. 



c. .,-, 




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SKLASFMOMl^S SCJINTILLA 



7 r:k-n/ji ^ ^ If C Mckfer, aW: eC uM- 



m/Im^cddi Wa/Cmi 



SELASPHORUS SCINTILLA, Gould. 

Little Flame-bearer. 

Trochilus (Selasphorus) scintilla, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, 1850, p. 162. 



This very lovely little species, to which I have given the specific name oi scintilla, at first sight suggests the 
idea that it is merely a miniature representative of the Selasphorus rufus^ on inspection, however, it will be 
found to diflfer not only in size, but in many other particulars, especially in the form and markings of the 
tail, the general contour of which is less rounded, each feather less acutely pointed; and the outer webs of 
the lateral ones and the centres of the remainder broadly streaked, instead of being merely striated, with 
black near the point ; the upper surface too of all the specimens I have examined is golden-green, without 
a trace of the buflf colour so conspicuous in S. riifus. 

For the first discovery of this little Flame-bearer, science is indebted to that intrepid traveller and inde- 
fatigable explorer M. Warszewiez, who states that it frequents the inner sides of the extinct volcano of 
Chiriqui in Veragua, at an altitude of 9000 feet, and I believe it has not as yet been found in any other 
locality. It is not a little singular, that several Humming-Birds, the specific value of which cannot for a 
moment be questioned, should inhabit the craters of extinct volcanoes, where also are to be found corre- 
sponding peculiarities in the vegetation and in insect life : it required but little poetic imagination to suggest 
an appropriate name for this little gem of the mountains ; a living spark, as it were, of the fires which in 
bygone ages illumined the district it inhabits. 

The male has the upper surface bronzy green ; on the throat a gorget of glittering fiery red, the feathers 
of which are much produced on either side ; beneatb the gorget a band of huffy white ; Avings purple-brown ; 
central tail-feathers brownish black, margined with rusty red ; lateral tail-feathers brownish black on the 
outer, and rusty red on their inner webs ; under surface reddish brown ; bill black. 

The upper surface of the female is similar to, but not so brilliant as, that of the male ; under surface 
white; the throat-feathers are less produced, and spotted with brown on a white ground; the flanks 
are buff; the tail rufous, crossed by a crescentic bar of black near the tip, with a line of bronzy green down 
the centre of the middle feathers, a small line of the same hue bounding anteriorly the black band on the 
lateral feathers. 

The Plate represents two males and a female on the Wigaiidia Caracasana, of the natural size. 






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SEI. A S FH RFS FL ORE SI J „ 



W(i/-f€?-i CohnJ//f. 



SELASPHORUS FLORESII. 

Floresi^s Flamebearer. 



TrocJiilus floresii, Lodd. MSS, 



One of the very finest birds hi the Loddigesiau Collection was presented to the late Mr. George Loddiges 
by Mr. Floresi. The specimen is in the best state of preservation; and the bird must have been kiHed 
immediately after its moulting had been completed, when its plumage was in its greatest beauty. It 
would, indeed, be most difficult, if not impossible, to represent the colour of the head and throat by 
any artistic means at our command. In brilliancy it fully equals that of the freshly moulted males 
of Selasphorus rufus, but differs from that and all the other known species of the genus in having 
the entire crown, as well as the gorget, of the brightest flame colour. In the form and colouring of its 
tail it is a true Selasphorus, while the disposition of the colours of the body allies it to Calypte. 

I have been kindly permitted by Miss Loddiges to take a drawing of the bird ; and that lady has also 
placed in my hands the following note made by her father in reference to this species : 

"August 11, 1845. Mr. Floresi sent me a most beautiful new Humming-Bird, which I call Floresii. It 
is from Bolanos, and is nearly allied to Anna, but is much more brightly coloured ; viewed in front, it is 
nearly scarlet ; the sides of the collar are ruby-colour or crimson ; the head is bright ruby-colour ; and the 
tail is something like that oi platycercus, but has brown inner webs. Mr. Floresi says it is the only one he 
has ever seen." 

Crown and throat beautiful scarlet, with violet reflexions, the violetlhue predominating on the crown 
and the tips of the gorget ; breast and centre of the abdomen greyish white ; upper surface of the body 
and upper tail-coverts bronzy green ; flanks similar but paler ; two centre tail-feathers green with purple 
reflexions; outer webs of the lateral tail-feathers purple, inner webs deep reddish buff"; wings purplish 
brown ; bill black. 

The figures are of the natural size. The plant is the Echinocactus Visnaga. 




.^ 



5:(:; LA5P H OirS :PLATY€]E:R(rr§ 



J i'rprr'W k J/ t-' Fu^^'T'. iif/ ei Uik 



/ft('^Ka//ir:^.>- *- X-f^'^cfL /"If 



SELASPHORUS PLATYCERCUS. 

Broad-tailed Flame-bearer. 

Trochilus platycercus, Swains, in Ann. Phil., 1827, p. 441. 

Ornismya tricolor, Less. Hist. Nat. des Ois. Mou. Supp., p. 125. pi. 14.— lb. Les Troch., p. 156 
pL 60.— Jard. Nat. Lib. Humming-Birds, vol. ii. p. 77. pi. 13. 

Montana, Less. Les Troch., p. 161. pL 63, p. 163. pi. 64. 

Mellisuga platycerca, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 113, Mellimga, sp. 78. 
SelaspJiorus platycercus, Bonap. Consp, Gen. Av., p. 82, Selasphorus, sp. 3. 



In its structure, particularly in the form of its tail, this species closely assimilates to Selasphorus riifus and 
S. scintilla ; like those birds too, it is an inhabitant of Mexico, and not of Brazil, as stated by Lesson ; it 
far exceeds both its congeners in size, but is much less brilliant in colour, the gorget being purplish red 
instead of fine orange-scarlet. The thick and dense character of its plumage induces me to beUeve that 
the temperate and colder regions of the country constitute its principal habitat ; and in confirmation of 
this view I may state, that all the specimens I have seen had been collected on the great plateau to the 
westward of the City of Mexico ; from this comparatively northern latitude to the more southern regions of 
Guatemala (whence I have also seen specimens), it is in all probability very generally distributed. In 
Mr. John Taylor's collection of Mexican birds, are several specimens which had been procured near the 
Real del Monte Mines, and a beautiful specimen presented to me by the Director of the Museum at 
Basle was from the same district. Slight difljerences occur in the colouring of the gorget, some ap- 
proaching a bright geranium red, while in others it is of a purplish hue or less inclined to scarlet. In 
all probability it will be foimd that this species migrates during the summer months to California, but at 
present I have no positive evidence that such is the case. 
The usual difference occurs in the colouring of the sexes. 

The male has the head, upper surface, wing-coverts, two central tail-feathers and the flanks bronzy 
green, tinged with brown on the head; wings purplish brown ; lateral tail-feathers dark brown, with paler 
shafts and margined basally, particularly on their inner webs, with rufous ; immediately behind the eye a 
minute mark of white; throat glittering amethystine red; across the breast a broad crescent of dull bufl^^ 
white ; centre of the abdomen pale grey ; under tail-coverts brownish grey with darker centres ; bill blackish 
brown ; feet brown. 

The female has the upper surface of the same colour, and the white mark behind the eye as in the male ; 
the throat and under surface white, marked with buff on the under wing-coverts and flanks, and with a spot 
of brown near the tip of each of the throat-feathers ; two central tail-feathers bronzy green ; the next on 
each side bronzy green margined externally with rufous, and largely tipped with dull black ; the lateral 
feathers on each side are rufous at the base, and dull black for the remainder of their length, except at their 
tips, which are white ; bill and feet as in the male. 

The figures represent two males and a female on the Aristolochia macradenia, of the natural size. 




Q]E]L.'VSF]HO;Rir8 ? ME]LOISA„ 



J.dffuid ocnd/JiC Br^/^er, dd €l 2i^ 



JfuU^nva^yidd. S^- ^i'altcn. Jr/ip 



SELASPHORUS? HELOIS^E. 

Heloisa's Flame-bearer. 

Ornysmia Heloisa, Less, et De Latt. Rev. Zool. 1839, p. 15. 

Mellisuga Heloisa, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 113, Mellisuga, sp. 62 

Trijph(Ena heloisa, Bonap. Consp. Troch. in Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 257. 



This beautiful species is so directly iutermediate, both in form and colouring, between the members of the 
genera Cahthorax and Selasphorus, that it is extremely difficult to determine with which of them it should 
be placed; in its size and in its glittering gorget it offers a close affinity to the former, and in the form of 
its tail to the latter; under these circumstances, some naturalists would make it the type of a new genus, 
and should other species possessing similar characters be discovered, it may be necessary so to do, but for 
the present I content myself with placing it in the genus Selasphorus, with a mark of doubt as to that being 
its proper place. 

The Selasphorus ? Heloisce is a native of the temperate regions of Mexico. M. De Lattre, to whom we are 
indebted for its discovery, states that the examples he procured were found between Jalapa and Quatepu ; 
that the male rises very early, does not search for food after nine o'clock in the morning, seldom leaves the 
female and young, and confines himself to the forests, but does not disdain field flowers. 

The sexes differ considerably in their plumage, the male alone being adorned with a rich gorget. 

I am indebted to the late M. Damiano Floresi d'Areais for fine examples of this bird collected during his 
last sojourn in Mexico. 

The male has the head, wing-coverts and upper surface rich golden green ; wings purplish brown ; central 
tail-feathers greenish bronze, the remainder cinnamon-red at the base, to which succeeds a large oblique mark 
of black, and a nearly round spot of white at the tip; throat glittering lilaceous red, the feathers short and 
scale-hke in the centre, but lengthening on each side into prominent tufts ; below this a band of greyish 
white terminating in a point on each side of the neck; flanks deep buff; centre of the abdomen and under 
tail-coverts huffy white. 

The female is very similar to the male, but in Heu of the rich gorget has the throat spotted with brown 
on a white ground. 

The figures represent both sexes of the natural size, on a Mexican orchid. 



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:alotiiorax calliope. GoiM 



J.G^uuld oci%d'R.C.RK-ch^£r', del d- htJi 



imma^-M ^ '^'^^,- ^^ 



CALOTHORAX CALLIOPE, GouM. 

Mexican Satellite. 

Trochilus [Calothorax) Calliope, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xv. p. 11. 

Calothomx Calliope, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 110, Calothorax, sp. 11.— Bonap. 

Consp. Gen. Av., p. 85, Calothorax, sp. 2.— Reich. Aufz. der Col., p. 13.— Bonap. 

Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 257. 



For the discovery of this elegant little Calothorax, science is indebted to the late Signor Damiano Floresi 
d'Areais, a gentleman endowed with so many amiable qualities, that while his friends dwell with pleasure 
upon the recollections of the gratification they derived from his society, they as deeply and mournfully 
regret his premature decease from fever immediately on landing in the pestilential country of Panama. 
The name of Floresi will also always be held in high regard among Trochilidists for the fine collections 
of Humming-Birds obtained by him during his lengthened sojourn on the table-lands of Mexico, and from 
the circumstance of several of the species he procured being new to science ; the little Satellite figured 
on the accompanying Plate is one of them. Of the history of this species, nothing more, I regret to 
say, is known than that it was procured in the neighbourhood of the Real del Monte mines, and that it 
occasionally and very sparingly visited that region, probably during its migrations from some more distant 
locality : had it been a stationary species in that part of the country, the vigilance displayed by Signor 
Floresi in the pursuit of this group of birds would have led to the capture of a larger number of speci- 
mens ; but this not being the case, it continues so rare, that I know of not more than two or three col- 
lections besides my own which contain examples. Its diminutive size, short and square-formed tail, and 
the delicate colouring of its starry throat, render it conspicuously diflferent from every other species. The 
female bears a general resemblance to the female of Selasphoms ? Heloisa, but differs in the colouring of 
the base of the outer tail-feathers, which are grey instead of reddish-buff ; the entire tail too is shorter, and 
assumes much of the square form of that of the male sex. 

The male has the upper surface bronzy-green ; wings and tail greyish-brown ; feathers of the throat 
elongated, narrow, and of a rich pinky-scarlet, with white bases arranged in a starred form ; breast, centre 
of the abdomen and under tail-coverts white ; flanks light bronzy-green ; bill and feet blackish-brovi^n. 

The female has the upper surface golden-bronze ; wings greyish-brown ; tail-feathers greenish-grey at the 
base, the remainder black, with the exception of the two outer feathers on each side, which are tipped with 
white ; under surface huffy-white, very minutely speckled with brown on the throat, and stained with buff on 
the abdomen and under tail-coverts. 

The Plate represents a male and a female of the size of life. The plant is Gilia dianthoides. 



■MMriMMMM 



/ 




CALOTHORAX CTAFOPOGO:^^ 



y^QouM nmlJf C B.^<}hl'fj^ , t^j^l. cf Uth 



TlwllTrmrndd r^ Wh^c'' ■ -^^"F ■ 



CALOTHORAX CYANOPOGON. 

Mexican Star. 

CynantJms Lucifer, Swains, in Phil. Mag. 1827, p. 442 ? 

Ornismya cyanopogon. Less. Hist. Nat. des Ois. Mou., p. 50. pi. 5._Ib. Supp. k FHist Nat des 

Ois. Mou., pp. 117, 119. pis. 9, lO.-Ib. Traits d'Orn., p. 274.-lb. Ind. Gen. et 

Syn. des Ois. du Gen. Trochilus, p. xxiii. 
Calothorax lucifer, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 110, Calothora^, sp. lO.-Bonap. 

Consp. Gen. Av., p. 85, Calothorax, sp. 1. 
Trochilus cyanopogon, Jard. Nat. Lib. Humming-Birds, vol. ii. pi. 14. 

lucifer, Jard. Nat. Lib. Humming-Birds, vol. ii. p. 79. 

Lucifer cyanopogon, Reich. Aufz. der Col., p. 13.— Bonap. Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 257. 
TrochUus simplex. Less. Traits d'Orn., p. 291 ?— lb. Hist. Nat. des Col., p. 86. pi. 23 ?' 



This beautiful species, so well known by its trivial name of "Mexican Star," is a denizen of the table-lands 
of that rich country Xalapa, the land of perpetual spring and of an unsurpassed climate. It was in this 
fine region that the bird came under the observation of the late Mr. Bullock, to whom we are indebted 
for all that is known respecting it, and which is comprised in the following extracts from his " Six Months 
in Mexico ": — 

"The house I resided in at Xalapa for several weeks was only one story high, enclosing, like most of the 
Spanish houses, a small garden in the centre, the roof projecting six or seven feet from the walls, covering 
a walk all round, and leaving a small space only between the tiles and the trees which grew in the centre. 
From the edges of these tiles to the branches of the trees in the garden, the spiders had spread their 
innumerable webs so closely and compactly that they resembled a net. I have frequently watched, with 
much amusement, the cautious peregrination of the Humming-Bird, who, advancing beneath the' web, 
entered the various labyrinths and cells in search of entangled flies ; but as the larger spiders did not tamely 
surrender their booty, the invader was often compelled to retreat : being within a few feet, I could observe 
all their evolutions with great precision. The active little bird generally passed once or twice round the 
court, as if to reconnoitre his ground, and commenced his attack by going carefully under the nets of the 
wily insect, and seizing by surprise the smallest entangled flies, or those that were most feeble. In 
ascending the angular traps of the spider, great care and skill was required ; sometimes he had scarcely 
room for his little wings to perform their office, and the least deviation would have entangled him in the 
complex machinery of the web, and involved him in ruin. It was only the works of the smaller spider that 
he durst attack, as the larger sort rose to the defence of their citadels, when the besieger would shoot off" 
like a sunbeam, and could only be traced by the luminous glow of his refulgent colours. The bird generally 
spent about ten minutes in this predatory excursion, and then alighted on a branch of the Avocata to rest 
and refresh himself, placing his crimson star-like breast to the sun, which then presented all the glowing 
fire of the ruby, and surpassed in lustre the diadem of monarchs. Europeans who have seen only the stuffed 
remains of these little feathered gems in museums have been charmed with their beautiful appearance ; but 
those who have examined them whilst living, displaying their moving crests, throats and tails, like the 
Peacock, in the sun, can never look with pleasure on their mutilated forms. I have carefully preserved 
about two hundred specimens, in the best possible manner, yet they are still but the shadow of what they 
were in real life. The reason is obvious ; for the sides of the laminae, or fibres of each feather, being of a 
different colour from the surface, will change when seen in a front or oblique direction ; and as each lamina 
or fibre turns upon the axis of the quill, the least motion, when living, causes the feathers to change 
suddenly to the most opposite hues. Thus the one from Nootka Sound changes its expanded throat from 
the most vivid fire-colour to light green ; the Topaz-throated does the same, and the Mexican Star changes 
from bright crimson to blue. 

"Tlie sexes vary greatly in their plumage, so much so that the male and female could not have been 
known had they not been seen constantly together, and proved to be so by dissection. They breed in 
Mexico in June and July ; and the nest is a beautiful specimen of the architectural talent of these birds : it 
is neatly constructed with cotton or the down of thistles, to which is fastened on the outside, by some 
glutinous substance, a white, flat lichen resembling ours. 

" The female lays two eggs, perfectly white, and large for the size of the bird ; and the Indians informed 
me they were batched in three weeks by the male and female sitting alternately. When attending their 
young, they attack any bird indiscriminately that approaches the nest. Their motions when under the 
influence of anger or fear are very violent, and their flight rapid as an arrow — the eye cannot follow them • 



but the shrill piercing shriek which they utter on the wing may be heard when the bird is invisible. They 
attack the eyes of the larger birds, and their sharp needle-like bill is a truly formidable weapon in this kind 
of warfare. Nothing can exceed their fierceness when one of their own species invades their territory 
during the breeding season. Under the influence of jealousy they become perfect furies; their throats 
swell, their crests, tails and wings expand ; they fight in the air (uttering a shrill noise) till one falls 
exhausted to the ground. I witnessed a combat of this kind near Otumba, during a heavy fall of rain, every 
separate drop of which I supposed sufficient to have beaten the puny warriors to the earth. 

"In sleeping they frequently suspend themselves by the feet, with their heads downwards, in the manner 
of some Parrots. 

"These birds were great favourites of the ancient Mexicans. Tliey used the feathers as ornaments for 
their superb mantles in the' time of Montezuma, and in embroidering the pictures so much extolled by 
Cortez. Their name signifies in the Indian language ' beams or locks of the sun ' : and their feathers are 
still worn by the Indian ladies as ornaments for the ears." 

I have numerous specimens of this bird in my collection, and observe that those procured in one 
locality diflfer somewhat from those obtained in another ; for instance, the examples collected by my friend 
Floresi in the neighbourhood of the Real del Monte Mines are larger and altogether more powerful birds 
than those brought to this country by M. Salle and other collectors from Cordova. Bullock speaks with 
great truth when he states that the sexes differ considerably, for it is only those persons who are conversant 
with this extensive group as a whole, who can, with any degree of certainty, pair many of the species. 

I have not yet seen this species from Guatemala ; neither has it, so far as my knowledge extends, been 
procured in Texas ; consequently Mexico Proper must be considered its restricted habitat. 

It is just possible that this bird may be the Cynanthus Lucifer of Swainson, in which case his name ought 
to have the priority, but from the curtness of his description it is very difficult to decide this point ; it is 
certainly the bird figured by Lesson under the name of cyanopogon ; I have therefore adopted that 
appellation, which, moreover, has the advantage of being appropriate, while the other is not. 

The male has the head, upper surface, wing- and tail-coverts bronzy-green ; wings purple-brown ; tail 
darker purple-brown ; chin, chest, and elongated feathers on the sides of the neck changeable deep metallic 
purple ; breast buflfy-white ; flanks and centre of the abdomen bronzy-green ; vent and under tail-coverts 
white ; bill and feet blackish-brown. 

The female has the head and upper surface bronzy-green ; wings pale purplish-brown ; four central tail- 
feathers dark bronzy-green ; the lateral feathers sandy-buflf at the base, then black, and tipped with white ; 
under surface white, stained with buff*, particularly on the flanks and under tail-coverts. 

The Plate represents two males and a female, of the natural size. The plant is the Beschorneria tuUflora. 



' / iJ \ ; 








^ 



J Cm/d and H C HiMfr del dlith. 



CALOTHORAX PU 



l^K^Cm/d. 



fial/nmnJ^l <( T^o^i"' -V 



CALOTHORAX PULCHRA, GouM. 

Beautiful Wood Star. 

Calothorax pulchra, Gould in Ann. and Mag. of Nat. Hist., 3rd ser. vol. iv. p. 97.— Sclat. i 
Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xxvii. p. 386. 



At a first glance this species might be easily mistaken for the bird known to English collectors as the 
" Mexican Star," and to the French as " Barbe-bleue,"-C«/o//5or«^ cyanopogon. On a careful comparison 
however, it will readily be seen that it is a very distinct species, inasmuch as it will be found to be much 
smaller in size, to have the thoracic patch much less prolonged on the sides, a shorter bill, and the outer 
tail-feathers of uniform breadth from the base to the tip, while in the Mexican Star these feathers are 
nearly filiform, and terminate in a sharp point. This is not so clearly shown in my figure of C. cyanopogon 
as I could wish, but the pointed form of its tail-feathers is very well depicted in the fifth plate of Lesson's 
' Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux-Mouches.' 
The native country of the Mexican Star is Xalapa and the high table-lands which surround and extend 

northward beyond the city of Mexico, while all the specimens I have ever seen of the present bird— 
C. pulchra— are from Oaxaca, a country much farther to the southward and westward. 

For the knowledge of the existence of this fine bird we are indebted to M. Salle of Paris, a gentleman 

who has travelled much, and collected with a zeal which entitles him to the thanks of every scientific man ; 

and as the health and energies of M. Salle are still unimpaired, we may hope that his peregrinations are not 

yet terminated, and that he may be the means of making us acquainted with many of the interesting 

products of the New World which have yet to be brought to light. 

As is usual with the other species of the genus Calothorax, the female of the C. pulchra differs very con- 

siderably in colouring from her mate, not having a trace of the brilliant hues which adorn the male. 

The male has a gorget of fine deep metallic lilaceous purple on the throat ; the head, upper surface, 
wing-coverts and flanks green ; wings purplish brown ; tail brownish black ; breast and centre of the 
abdomen white ; bill black ; feet dark brown. 

The female has the head dull greyish brown ; upper surface bronzy green ; throat and under surface bufl"; 
wings purplish brown ; the centre tail-feathers green ; the next on each side green, tipped with black ; the 
remainder rusty red at the base and white at the tip, the intervening space being black. 

The Plate represents two males and a female of the natural size. The plant is the EcUnocactus myrio- 
stigma. 



MBMMV^aiMHtllWWWmi 




/ f:tr,.i,i ,Aj*d n-c-nu-hit^'th-lif-fAth. 



1 ' A LO-rMfliaRAl. 'm !!l !f„5A.rNflM| 



liHitmi'tnti^f ,!< "W^*"' ^"^f 



CALOTHORAX MULSANTL 

Mulsant's Wood Star. 

Ornismya Mulsanti, Bourc. Ann. Sci. Phys. &c. de Lyon, torn. v. 1842, p. 342. tab. xx 
Mellimga Mulsanti, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 113, Mellisuga, sp. 63. 
CalotJiorax Mulsanti, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 85. 



The paucity of web on the outer tail-featliers, which forms so striking a pecuHarity in the members of the 
genus Calothorax, being carried in this species to its maximum, it is rendered conspicuously distinct from 
the whole of its congeners. Although it is one of the more recently discovered of the Trochilidce, it is 
now very common in all collections, but at the same time is rarely seen in the very perfect state repre- 
sented in the accompanying Plate from specimens in my possession. As far as my own knowledge of its 
habitat extends, I believe it to be confined to the temperate regions of Columbia ; M. Bourcier states that 
it is also found in the Yungas of Bolivia, but I apprehend he must have been misinformed on this point, for 
I have never yet seen examples from that country, and do not think it likely that it will be found there. 
The greater portion of the collections sent from Sta Fe de Bogota comprise numerous examples of this species 
in one or other of its various states of plumage ; which indeed are so varied as to prove that much remains 
yet to be learnt respecting the changes which this bird and its allies undergo from youth to maturity. 

M. Bourcier, the original describer of the species, states that he has named it Mulsanti, in honour of his 
friend M. Mulsant, so well known for his many excellent works on Entomology. 

The male has the head, upper surface, wing-coverts and flanks dark shining green ; wings purple-brown ; 
tail purplish black; chin, line below the eye, under surface, and a tuft behind the insertion of the thigh 
white ; on the throat a large inverted heart-shaped mark of rich lustrous violet-red ; bill and feet black. 

The female has the upper surface and wings similar to those of the male ; the tail sandy bufl^, crossed 
about the centre by a broad band of deep black ; throat and chest white, with a patch of dark olive-green 
on the sides of the neck ; upper part of the flanks shining green ; lower part of the flanks and under tail- 
coverts reddish buff; tufts above and behind the insertion of the thigh white; feathers of the thigh broAvn. 

I have figured this beautiful bird on one of the commonest plants of the country it inhabits, the Brug- 
mansia arborea, the flowers of which it doubtless explores during its erratic wanderings in search of its insect 
and saccharine food ; but the flowers of the various species of Mimosa appear to be those which it 
principally frequents. 

The figures are of the natural size. 




CALOTHORAX BECORATFS. GoM. 



JfJojJJriJiM-CBfrhi^ir M H l^th 



Wa.llsr(^.Cakn,Imj). 



CALOTHORAX DECORATUS, Gould. 

Decorated Wood-star. 

Calothorax decoratus, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xxviii. p. 309. 



My collection is graced with a very fine example of this bird, but by whom it was collected and whence it 
came are quite unknown to me. In size it is directly intermediate between C. Muhantl and C. Heliodori ; 
although a larger bird than the latter, the feathers of the throat are less prolonged on the sides. It would 
be difficidt to say to which of the two species above mentioned it is most nearly allied ; and it is a bird 
which might be easily overlooked in collections from New Grenada, which will most probably prove to be its 
proper habitat. Of its specific value I have no doubt. I have a specimen taken out of spirits and given 
to me by Mr. Linden, which I think will prove to belong to this species ; if so, the bird is from Antioquia. 

The following description and remarks were published in the ' Proceedings of the Zoological Society ' 
for 1860, and, as I have nothing to add thereto, they are reprinted here :■ — 

" This species might easily be mistaken for Calothorax Heliodori ; but although closely allied to that 
bird, it differs from it In several particulars — In being much larger, In having the frill In front of the 
throat not so prolonged at the sides (in which respect It more nearly resembles C. Midsanti), the two centre 
tail-feathers finer or more spiny, and the bill much longer. These comparisons have been made with fine 
specimens In my collection of all three species. 

* 

" Crown of the head, all the upper surface, and flanks deep grass-green ; throat and sides of the neck 
very lovely shining lilac ; chest grey ; wings and tail purplish brown ; bill black. 
" Total length 3 inches ; bill f ; wing If ; tail i," 
The figures are of the size of life. The plant is the Agave maculosa. 




^^ 



:f 



N, 




/ (HirUd iftul M.nHiifhlty (ui eltiJth. 



VMM TU'B :R. Al. 'til IK II.IOIM) fi 



mi 



flHui^.Ui X'H''dMn f'^ 



CALOTHORAX HELIODORL 

Heliodore's Wood Star. 

Ornismya HeUodori, Bourc. Rev. Zool. 1840, p. 275.-Ann. Sci. Phys. &c. de Lyon, torn, v 

1842, p. 308, pi. XV. male, xvi. female. 
Mellisuga HeUodori, Gray and Mitcli. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 113, Mellisuga, sp. QQ. 
Calothorax HeUodori, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 85. 



There is no Humming Bird with which I am acquainted that has so short and feeble a wing as the Calo- 
thoraw HeUodori, while on the other hand I know of no species of the smaller members of the group having 
so robust a body and so deep a pectoral muscle ; hence we may infer with a degree of certainty, that the 
deficiency in the size of the wing is compensated by a great increase of muscular force, which enables it to 
maintain a flight characterized by a vibratory action of inconceivable rapidity. It is somewhat singular 
that the small size of the wing is much more decided in the adult male than in the female or young male, 
a circumstance which it is not very easy to account for ; there is no doubt that the increased muscular power 
of the adult male compensates for the shortness of wing, but the laws which regulate muscular development 
and that of the plumage, and especially of such portions as are necessary to flight, are at present but little 
understood. Sheltered valleys and moderate elevations of the Cordilleran Andes, where the temperature 
is congenial, constitute the habitat of this little species. I have received it from Pamplona, from the 
banks of the Magdalena, and from Sta Fe de Bogota, in which latter district there is every reason to 
believe it is to be found in considerable abundance, inasmuch as but few collections are sent from that 
portion of South America which do not contain examples. 

All the tail-feathers of the males of this species, like those of Calothorax Mukanti, are slender, but 
the two external ones on each side are reduced almost to a setaceous filament ; on the other hand, the 
tail-feathers of the female and young male are quite opposite in character, as will be seen on reference 
to the accompanying Plate, which represents two adult males, a supposed young male, and a female, 
the latter surmounting a blossom of the Cereus crenatus, a beautiful Cactus, lately sent to this country 
from the district the bird frequents ; the fine blossom figured was given to me by Mr. Glendinning 
of Chiswick Nursery, to whom my thanks are due. It is not to be understood, however, that the bird 
feeds exclusively on flowers of this character, for M. Bourcier informs me that it frequents the topmost 
branches of the lofty Mimosa trees, from the abundant flowers of which it extracts its insect food. M, Bour- 
cier states that he has named this bird HeUodori after his son, in order to create in him a love of science 
and a taste for natural history. 

The male has all the upper surface, flanks and abdomen dark shining green ; wings purplish brown ; 
tail brownish black ; at the union of the flanks with the upper surface a patch of white ; throat and 
lengthened plumes on the sides of the neck violet-red, beneath which is a transverse line of greyish white ; 
centre of the breast grey ; vent and thighs white ; bill black. 

The female has the upper surface bronzy green ; lores and streak behind the eye dark brown ; under 
surface and tail deep reddish buff, the latter crossed near the tip by a band of brownish black ; tufts of 
white on the sides as in the male. "~ 

In the immature state the birds I believe to be young males have the under surface in some instances 
white, in others rufous like that of the female. 

The Plate represents two males, a female, and probably a young male of the natural size. 








J&c7</d rin^ ^'HBvrhfr?- r/</ r( hlh 



CAJLOTMOiRAX W^^J^IUJ^ . Gordd. 



m./hna^tM dT,</f^'^i J^r 



CALOTHORAX MICRURUS, GoM. 

Short-tailed Wood-Star. 

Calothorax micrurus, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, Nov. 22, 1853, reported in Athen^um, 
Nov. 26, 1853. 



The members of the genus Calothoraoc comprise some of the most diminutive of the Humming Birds, and 
the present species, as will be seen, is pre-eminently small. It differs from all its congeners in its extremely 
short and almost hidden tail ; I might say entirely hidden tail, for the upper and under tail-coverts being 
longer than the tail itself, it is only when the little creature is on the wing and the tail spread to its fullest 
extent, that it can be seen. As in some other members of the genus, the feathers of which it is composed 
are stiff and rigid, especially in the male. 

The native country of this little bird is the interior of Peru, whence M. Warszewicz brought me examples 
of both sexes. All the information he could give me respecting them was, that they were quick fliers and 
loud hummers, and that they frequented the various species of Mimosa. 

The Calothorax micrurus cannot be confounded with any species at present known, its characters being 
peculiarly its own. 

The male has all the upper surface mealy bronzy green ; centre of the throat of a glittering amethystine 
hue ; chin, sides of the throat and under surface buff, deepest on the sides ; wings purplish brown ; tail 
black ; under tail-coverts white ; bill black. 

The female has the upper surface similar to that of the male ; the under surface buff, with a speck or two 
of the amethystine hue on the throat ; and the lateral tail-feathers tipped with white. 

The figures are of the natural size, on a species of Mimosa common in Peru. 




J Go'uZoL oa-i^Ji CPuwhter. dd d Uth. 



:alot]H[orax nosiE 



EymmM^^-"^^'^'''"''^ 



CALOTHORAX R0SJ3. 

Crimson-throated Wood-Star. 

Trochilus Rosa, Bourc. et Muls. Ann. de la Soc. Sci. de Lyons, torn. ix. 1846, p. 316 
Mellisuga rosa, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 113, MelUsuga, sp. 64. 
CalotJiorax Rosae, Reich. Aufz. der Col., p. 13. 
Rosa, Bonap. Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 257. 



It cannot be said that our friends the French Trochilidists have been wanting in gallantry to the ladies 
when naming the new species they have acquired of this lovely group of birds, since, as will be seen, 
no inconsiderable number of them have been assigned appellations in honour of various members of the 
fairer portion of the community ; consequently, complaint cannot be made that lordly man has engrossed 
all the honours. Thus the name of Roses has been applied by M. Bourcier, to the beautiful little Humming- 
bird figured on the accompanying Plate, in honour of Madame Rose Duquaire. Without intending any 
disrespect to the fair recipients of such honours, I cannot refrain from recording my dissent from this 
practice of naming species after individuals ; it is true that I have done so myself in some few instances 
where it appeared unavoidable ; nevertheless it is certainly one of those modes of complimenting persons 
which will be more honoured in the breach than in the observance. The bird in question, however, is 
certainly one of great beauty, and worthy in every respect to be dedicated to the fairest lady. It is a native 
of the Caraccas, where it appears to be common, the late Mr. Dyson having obtained numerous examples 
during his visit, and others having been procured by every collector who has explored that country. 

Independently of the pure crimson colouring of its throat, which is of a deeper tint than in any other 
species, its singularly formed tail will constitute a specific character by which it may at all times be distin- 
guished : these feathers, some of which are very short, present a split and ragged appearance, particularly 
the four longest of them, namely the two next the outer one on each side ; the first or outer feather is 
extremely pointed, and not half the length of the next two, and the four middle ones are so short as to be 
almost hidden by the coverts. As will be observed on reference to the Plate, the female is totally different 
from the male both in her colouring and in the form of her tail. 

The male has the head, all the upper surface, wing- and tail-coverts, four centre tail-feathers, flanks and 
abdomen, bronzy-green ; wings purple-brown ; lateral tail-feathers purplish-brown, with a stripe of sandy- 
red down the centre of the basal half of the two longer ones ; on the chin and throat a gorget of the richest 
lu minous crimson ; across the breast a band of greyish-white. 

The female has the whole of the upper surface, centre tail-feathers, wing-coverts and flanks golden-green ; 
wings purplish-brown ; three outer feathers on each side sandy-buff, crossed obliquely by a broad mark of 
black ; under surface deep buff. 

The Plate represents the sexes of the natural size. 




JCouldamM'-3/^/dgr ddd bih. 



CALOTHORAX JOIIRDANI 



Hulirrmidelk IMm inf 



CALOTHORAX JOURDANL 

Jourdan's Wood-star. 

Ornismya Jourdanii, Bourc. Rev. Zool. 1839, p. 295. 

Jordani Bourc. Ann. Soc. Sci, Phys. et Nat. Lyon, 1840, p. 227. pis. 5, 6. 

Mellisuga Jourdani, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 113, Mellisuga, sp. 65. 
Calothorax jourdani, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 85, Calothorax, sp. 6. 

Jourdani, Reich. Auf. der Col., p. 13.— lb. Troch. Enum., p. 10. 

Callothorax jourdani, Bonap. Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 257. 

ChcEtocercus Jourdani, Gray, Cat. of Gen. and Sub-Gen. of Birds in Brit. Mus., p. 22, no. 349 



If the Calothoraoc Jourdani and C. Roses are not one and the same species, they are certainly most nearly 
allied, the principal, if not the only difference between them being a slight variation in the colouring of 
their throat-marks, which in the latter is crimson, and in the former deep lilac or piice; in size and form, 
and in the colouring of their tails, the two birds are precisely similar. This latter organ (the tail) is very 
peculiar, and differs from that of all other Humming-Birds, although there is a tendency to the same form 
among the other true members of tbe genus Calothoraoc. All the Humming-Birds I have ever seen have 
had ten tail-feathers ; in some instances, however, certain of these feathers are so extremely small as to be 
almost obsolete ; these are generally the central ones. In the present bird, and in Calothoraw Roscb, the 
outer feather is very short and sharp-pointed ; the two next on each side are much longer and of equal 
length, while the four central ones are so short as to be almost hidden by the tail-coverts. In my specimens 
of these two nearly allied species, the bill of the C Jourdani is rather longer than that of C Rosce ; but 
whether this difference be constant or not I am unable to say, having seen but a limited number of the 
former. 

The Calothoraw Jourdani has been named by M. Bourcier in honour of that very able zoologist, M. Jourdan, 
the Director of the Museum of Natural History at Lyons. It is a pity, however, that, if the practice of 
naming species after individuals, of which, as I have remarked in my account of C. Rosce^ I very much 
disapprove, is to be continued, so pretty a bird had not been named in honour of some lady who merited 
such a compliment ; still in this instance it is very well bestowed, and I have much pleasure in transcribing 
the passage in which it is conferred in M. Bourcier's own words : — 

"Le nom de cette nouvelle espece rappelle celui d'un de nos coUegues et compatriotes, M. Jourdan, qui 
vient de rendre d'importants services a la science. Cest a lui que notre ville doit I'organisation de sa belle 
galerie de zoologie, disposee d'apres sa savante classification, qui a pour base le systeme nerveux. Plusieurs 
naturalistes nous ont deja precedes dans I'hommage que nous nous plaisons a lui adresser aujourd'hui." 

The male has the head, all the upper surface, wing- and tail-coverts, four centre tail-feathers, flanks and 
abdomen bronzy green ; wings purple-brown ; lateral tail-feathers purplish brown, with a stripe of sandy 
red down the centre of the basal half of the four longer ones ; on the chin and throat a gorget of the 
richest deep lilac or puce, below which is a band of greyish white ; bill black ; feet brownish black. 

The female has the whole of the upper surface, centre tail-feathers, wing-coverts and upper part of the 
flanks golden green ; wings purplish brown ; three outer tail-feathers on each side sandy buff, crossed 
obliquely by a broad mark of black; under surface huffy white, becoming of a deeper hue on the flanks. 

The Plate represents both sexes of the size of life. The plant is the Oncidium mcurmm. 




/ 0,)id(( i^;^iUfe.KirhTer,del ^-r IiTh. 



GALOTHORAX MKI^Y 



jh 



'Mn,mdaiV"lU^'J"<!> 



CALOTHORAX FANNY. 

Fanny's Wood Star. 

Or7mmya Fanny, Less. Ann. Sci. Nat. 1838, torn. ix. p. 170.— lb. Rev. Zool. 1838, p. 314. 
TrochUus Lahrador, Bourc. Ann. de la Soc. Sci. de Lyons, 1839, p. 389. pi. viii.— De Latt. Rev, 

Zool. 1846, p. 311. 
Caloilwrax Fanny, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 110, Calotliorax, sp. 14. 
Thaumastura fanny, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 85, Thaumastura, sp. 3. 
Lucifer lahrador, Bonap. Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 257. 

Labrador, Reichenb. Troch. enumer., p. 10. 

Myrtis Fanny, Reichenb. Aufz. der Colibris, p. 13. 



That Humming Birds, like other beauties of a higher type in creation, have their ardent admirers, is evident 
from the attention which has been lavished by ornithologists upon the one here represented, to which no 
less than six generic and two specific appellations have been assigned by five authors. Of the former I 
have retained that of Calothorax ; of the latter I select the living name of Fminy, as it appears to have 
precedence over the dead one o{ Lahrador, which was given to it by M. Bourcier on account of the colouring 
of its throat resembling the hues of the spar of that name. Now where does this bird find a natural 
habitat ? Not in Mexico, as stated by M. Bourcier in the "Annals of the Scientific Society of Lyons," but in 
the districts bordering the sea, in Peru and Bolivia, where several of my specimens were collected and 
sent to me direct by M. Warszewicz. 

The Calothorax Fanny is a very beautiful species, and is rendered remarkable by the singular construction 
of its tail, which, when outspread, looks as if it had been deprived of, or had lost all its middle feathers ; 
such, however, is not the case, for, like all Humming Birds, it possesses the full complement of ten; 
the central ones must, however, be regarded as mere apologies, for, although they are perfectly formed, 
they are so short that they are nearly hidden by the coverts — a circumstance which has obtained for it the 
name of ' half-tail ' among the dealers. 

The female of this species, like the female of C. Yarrelli, differs considerably from her mate in her colouring, 
as will be seen on reference to the Plate or to the following descriptions. 

The male has the head, upper surface and wing-coverts golden bronze, becoming of a greener hue on the 
upper tad-coverts ; wings purplish brown ; tail brownish black, glossed with bronze ; lores and throat 
metallic glaucous-green, changing to blue and then to violet on the lower margin of these feathers ; across 
the breast a broad band of greyish white ; upper part of the flanks bronzy ; lower part fawn-colour ; upper 
part of the abdomen dusky ; lower part and under tail-coverts white ; bill and feet dark brown. 

The female has the upper surface and wings as in the male ; central tail-feathers of the ordinary form, 
not abbreviated as in the opposite sex, and of a bronzy green ; next on each side bronzy green, tipped with 
black ; the remainder grey at the base, black in the middle, and largely tipped with white ; all the under 
surface deep greyish buff or fawn-colour. 

The Plate represents two males and a female of the size of life. The plant is the Passifora nigreUiflora. 



I 




#/ 



4i('} 



J.G^</. and^MCJilckt^. 6^ ^ hiAy- 



CALOTMOJMX. YAIMJEILILI. 



^.yA;/^^^'« ^■^" ""'" 



CALOTHORAX YARRELLI. 

Yariell's Wood-star. 

Trochilus Yarrellii, Bourc. in Proc. of Zool. Soc, Part XV. p. 45. 



Several undescribed species of Humming-Birds in the collection of the late Mr, Loddlges, at Hackney, 
having been submitted to M. Bourcier during one of his recent visits to this country, that gentleman took 
the opportunity of complimenting several naturalists by giving their names to some of these new species : 
one of the most isiteresting of them he called Ymrcllii, in honour of William Yarrell, Esq., so well known 
as one of the truest friends of natural history, and so celebrated for his valuable works on British Fishes, 
British Birds, &c. 

That the compliment in this instance, at least, is a just and well-deserved one, will be admitted by all who 
take an interest in natural science, but especially by those who, like myself, are honoured by his friendship ; 
a happiness I have now enjoyed for upwards of twenty years ; it affords me therefore peculiar pleasure to 
perpetuate it in the present work. 

The figures in the accompanying Plate were not taken from the specimens in the Loddigesian collection, 
but from others lately received from Arica on the west coast of South America by M. Bourcier, to whom 
I am indebted for the loan of them. It is scarcely necessary for me to say that this is a species of the 
greatest rarity ; and I am sure every one will admit that it is a bird of considerable beauty, and singularly 
interesting on account of its peculiarly formed tail ; a peculiarity which no doubt influences its actions and 
mode of flight. 

I believe the true habitat of this singular bird will be the southern parts of Peru and Bolivia, and that it 
will be limited to the districts lying between the mountain ranges and the sea. 

The male has the crown of the head, all the upper surface, flanks, and four centre tail-feathers light 
yellowish green ; chest, centre of the abdomen and under tail-coverts greyish white ; on the throat a gorget 
of purplish-blue with lilac reflexions, the blue tint predominating in the centre ; wing greyish brown ; 
lateral tail-feathers dark brown ; bill and feet blackish brown. 

The female differs, in being destitute of the gorget ; in having the lateral tail-feathers grey at the base, 
black in the centre, and white at the apex : in other respects she resembles her mate. 

The Plate represents two males and a female on the Ojnmtia Salmiana, of the natural size. 




THAFMASTIURA CORAo 



Jikndi cmlUC B'.cMerdeL et lUh 



y/..//,.«n^/'i»'^'^^' 



THAUMASTURA COR^. 

Cora's Shear-tail. 

Ornismya Cora, Less, et Gam. Voy. de la Coq. Ois., pi. 13. %. 4.— Less. Hist. Nat. des 
Ois. Mou., p. 52. pi. 6.— lb. Les Trocli., pp. 109, 111, pis. 39, 40.— lb. Traits 
d'Orn., p. 275.— lb. Man. d'Orn., torn. ii. p. 82.— lb. Ind. Gen. et Syn. des Ois. 
du Gen. Troch., p. xxxii. 

CalotJiorax cora, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 110, CalotJiorax, sp. 6. 

Trochilus Cora, Jard. Nat. Lib. Humming-Birds, vol. i. p. 129. pL 25.— Tscliudi, Faun. 
Peruana, p. 39. 

Thmmastura cora, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 85, Thaumastura, sp. L_Reich. Aufz. der Col., 
p. 13. — Bonap. Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 257. 



This species has been named Cora by M. Lesson after the priestess of the Sun, so charmingly described by 
Marmontel in his romance of the Incas. It is not only a very beautiful and elegant bird, but it is rendered 
one of the most remarkable members of the entire group to which it pertains by the singular form of its 
tail, which curious structure, however, is confined to the male sex alone. The females of the Cora, the Eliza, 
the Fanny, and the Yarrelli, although very different from their respective males, are all remarkably similar to 
each other, which circumstance most clearly indicates that these birds belong to one group, or that at least 
they are very nearly allied. 

The native country of the Thaumastura Corce is Peru, over which it enjoys a rather wide range of habitat. 
It is often spoken of by travellers as occurring in abundance between the port of Callao and the city of 
Lima. Independently of this locality, I possess specimens brought from the interior of the country by 
M. Warszewicz, and one which is labelled as having been procured in one of the valleys of the Andes. 

The male has the head, upper surface and wing-coverts golden-green ; wings purplish-brown ; throat 
metallic violaceous-crimson; under surface greyish-white; tail dull black, all but the outer feather on each 
side margined on the internal web from the base to near the tip with white. 

The female has the head greyish-green; all the upper surface bronzy-green; wings purplish-brown, the 
outer feather on each side with a light-coloured shaft; two centre tail-feathers green, spotted with black 
near the end of the inner web and slightly fringed with white at the tip ; lateral feathers blackish-brown 
with white ; under surface huffy-white. 

The young males differ very considerably from the adults of either sex : as might be supposed, the rich 
colouring of the throat is entirely wanting; on the other hand the tail is similar to that of the adult, but is 
neither so long nor so distinctly marked with black and white ; the throat and under surface are dull grey, 
the former being indistinctly spotted with a darker colour. 

The Plate represents three males, a young male, and a female, of the size of life. The plant is a species 
of Mimosa, copied from a drawing kindly lent to me by M. Bourcier. 







^\ -^^ 



RHOBOPIS YESPERA 



. r/y07:/M^J(flKC.RichMr, M. ^^f h'tli 



Hulb>>€fi-cddSc'mmJ''^r 



RHODOPIS VESPERA. 

Evening- Humming- Bird. 

Ornkmya vesper, Less. Hist. Nat. des Ois. Mou., p. 85. pi. 19.-Ib. Hist. Nat. des Troch., 

p. 33. pi. vi.— lb. Rev. Zool. 1838, p. 14.— lb. Traits d'Orn., p. 273. 
TrocMlus vesper, Jard. Nat. Lib. Humming Birds, vol. i. p. 127. pi. 24. 
Calothorax vesper. Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 110, Calotlorax, sp. 13. 
Thaumastura vesper, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 85, Tliaumastura, sp. 2. 
Lucifer vesper, Bonap. Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 257. 
Rhodopis vespera, Reichenb. Aufz. der Colibris, p. 13. 
Calliphlox vespera, Reichenb. Troch. enumer., p. 10. 



It will be seen, on reference to the synonyms given above, that this species has been honoured with no less 
than seven generic names : happily, the specific appellation has been permitted to remain unchanged. 

The name of Evening Humming Bird was doubtless assigned to it by M. Lesson, from an impression that 
it only flies at that period of the day, but I do not think that its habits differ at all from those of the other 
members of the family, which generally avoid the mid-day sun, and seek their insect food in the morning and 
evening ; still the name is pretty, and there is no great objection to it. As to the bird itself, it may rank 
among the most beautiful and elegant members of its family, the lovely amethystine hues of its throat vieing 
in delicacy with any of them. Lesson states that it is a native of Chili, but as I have never seen any speci- 
mens from that country, or heard of its occurring there, I very much question if it ever goes so far south ; 
if it does, it is only to its northern confines. That it inhabits Southern Peru is certain, numerous examples 
having been forwarded to me direct from thence by M. Warszewicz and other collectors. I believe it is 
found in the neighbourhood of the Arica, or that portion of the country lying between the sea and the 
Cordilleras. It is possible that it is also to be met with in Bolivia, but of this I have no direct evidence. 
The great length of its wings, the forked form of its tail, and the smallness of its feet, all indicate that it 
possesses great powers of flight. 

The male has the centre of the throat fine amethystine red, changing on the margin to purplish blue, 
producing an iridescence it is impossible accurately to describe ; all the upper surface bronzy greenish brown, 
the brown hue prevailing on the crown ; wings purple-brown ; central tail-feathers olive-grey, outer tail- 
feathers dark brown ; rump crossed by an indistinct band of rusty red ; under surface greyish white, washed 
with dusky on the flanks ; bill and feet blackish brown. 

The female has the upper surface of a similar but paler hue than that of the male ; a wash of rufous on 
the upper tail-coverts ; two centre tail-feathers and basal portion of the lateral ones bronzy green ; the feather 
on each side the two central ones tipped with black, the remainder crossed obliquely with black, and largely 
tipped with white ; under surface greyish white. 

The Plate represents the two sexes of the size of life. The plant is the Zygopetalon Murrayanum. 




JGouMjtxmxLlLCKbohler, del. el Ul^.- 



TMAllT Ml A SllTllA ElIVISiE o 



mdbncmM^^''^'''^'^^ 



THAUMASTURA ELIZ^. 

Mexican Shear-tail. 

Trochilus Eliza, Less, et DeLatt. Rev. ZooL 1839, p. 20. 

Myrfis Elisa, Reich. Aufz. der CoHbris, p. 13. 

Lucifer elisa, Bonap. Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 257. 

CalotJiorax Elizay Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 110, Calothorax^ sp. 8, 



We have here a Humming-bird of especial beauty ; its colouring being so chaste and its form so elegant, 
that it is unsurpassed in loveliness by any other member of the section to which it belongs. It is indeed 
an object strictly in unison with the rich and fairy-like lands of which it is a native, namely Jalapa and the 
other genial provinces of Mexico. Few of the Trochilidae are more rare, and few are the collections which 
contain examples ; I, however, have the good fortune to possess a male and a female with their nest and 
eggs, all of which were procured at Cordova in Mexico by M. Salle. 

The first description of the species appeared in the "Revue Zoologique " for 1839, from the pen of 
M. DeLattre, a gentleman well acquainted with the Trochilidse, but who unhappily is now no more, and who, 
it is to be feared, contracted the disease which terminated his useful life during his pursuit of this group of 
birds, of which he obtained many new species. 

The following remarks, which are given in M. DeLattre's own words, comprise all that is at present 
known respecting this lovely bird : — 

" Cette espece, excessivement rare, a ete rencontre dans le pays appelle le Pas de Tmireau, entre la Vera 
Crux et Jalapa. Elle est tres matinale, vit en societe, et reste en repos depuis neuf heures du matin jusqua 
quatre heures du soir. Le male fait entendre en volant un bourdonnement assez fort. II se couche tard 
et lorsqu'il ne voit absolument plus. II se nourrit sur les arbres." 

M. DeLattre named this species Eliza in honour of the wife of Dr. Amedee Lefevre, Professor of Zoology 
and Materia Medica at Rochefort. 

The male has the crown of the head bronzy-brown ; sides of the head, back of the neck, all the upper 
surface of the body, upper and under wing-coverts and flanks of a rich shining golden hue ; upper tail-coverts 
shining green ; wings purplish-brown ; chin and chest beautiful metallic violaceous-crimson ; across the 
breast a broad gorget of white ; centre of the abdomen, vent and under tail-coverts dull white ; tail purphsh- 
black, all but the outer feather on each side margined internally from the base to near the tip with deep 
sandy-buflT; bill and feet blackish-brown. 

The female has the crown greyish-brown; all the upper surface golden-green; wings purplish-black; 
central tail-feathers shining green, the remainder sandy-buff at the base, then black, and white at the tip; 
under surface white tinged with buff. 

The nest is of a round, cup-shaped, but somewhat lengthened form, and is placed in the fork of a small 
upright branch : it is composed of a cottony material coated on the outside with a dark reddish-coloured 
moss, flat pieces of lichens, &c., bound together with cobwebs ; the eggs as usual are white and two in 
number. 

The Plate represents two males and a female of the natural size. The plant is the Begotiia biserrata. 




^ 



\' 



V S 



J.C' '7dM!^' H.f: Ryr/^/- c^'^/ ^^ Mh 



fALOTMOKAX ETELI2>fiE, 



v^///w^w^''' >'^^^''" '^'f 



CALOTHORAX EVELYNS. 

Bahama Wood-star. 

Trochilus Evelynw, Bourc. Proc. Zool. Soc, part xv. p. 44. — lb. Rev. ZooL 1847, p. 256 
CalotJiorax EvelyncB, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 110, CalotJiorax, sp. 9. 

EveUrKB, Reich. Auf. der CoL, p. 13. — lb. Troch. Enum., p. 10. 

CaUofhorax evillma^ Bonap. Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 257. 

TrocJiilus BaJiamensis, Bryant, List of Birds seen at the Bahamas, &c., p. 5. 



To be aware of the existence of a Hiimniing-Bird on the principal of the Bahama Islands, and to fail in every 
attempt to procure a specimen of it during a period of thirty long years, seems scarcely possible, never- 
theless such has been the case. Through the instrumentality of a friend at Liverpool, the late Mr. Swainson 
procured a male from New Providence about thirty years ago, and presented it to the late Mr. Georo-e 
Loddiges ; from that date the bird appears not to have been noticed by any traveller or naturalist until 1859, 
when it was observed by Dr. Bryant during his four months' sojourn in the neighbourhood of Nassau in New 
Providence. It will be seen from the following note that it is by no means rare on at least the principal 
island of the Bahama group ; indeed it would seem to be even more numerous than is usual with the other 
members of the group. I am very much indebted to my friend George N. Lawrence, Esq., of New York, for 
the loan of the two specimens of each sex for the purpose of the accompanying illustration, both of which 
were collected by Dr. Bryant, to whom much credit is due for the masterly manner in which he has 
described the birds of that little-known group of islands, the Bahamas. I regret exceedingly to be obliged 
to reduce the specific name oi Baha7nensis ?i^^\^xveA to the bird by this gentleman to the rank of a synonym ; 
hut I have no alternative, that of EmlyncB having been given to it some years before by M. Bourcier, 
when describing some of the rarities contained in the Loddigesian collection. 

The Bahama Wood-star may be ranked among the most beautiful members of its genus ; but few of them 
possessing greater elegance of form, and certainly none a more lovely-coloured throat. 
I append Dr. Bryant's observations on the bird, together with his description: — 

"This species of Humming-Bird is the only one found at Nassau and neighbouring islands. It is quite 
abundant there, and a constant resident. All the specimens I procured, seven in number, were killed in 
February and the early part of March ; at that time its food consisted almost entirely of a small green aphis, 
found abundantly on the West Indian vervain {V. Stachytarpheta), a small blue flower that grows in all the 
dry pastures. Gosse calls the least Humming-Bird of Jamaica the Vervain Humming-Bird, from its hovering 
round this plant ; but the name would apply equally as well to the present species. I saw nothing in its habits 
differing from those of the common ruby-throated species, with the exception that it was more quarrelsome 
in its disposition, chasing the ' fighter,' as the Tyrannus caiidifasciatus is called, whenever it came near him, 
and that its note is louder and shriller, and much more frequently uttered. Incubation commences by the 
1st of March. I saw three nests of this bird: one, found on the 3rd of March, contained two eggs partly 
hatched ; a second, April 10th, one egg ; and another in May, two eggs. The nests are all composed of the 
same materials, principally the cotton from the silk cotton-tree, with a few downy masses that looked as if 
derived from some species o? Asdepias ; this was felted and matted together, and the outside stuck over with 
bits of lichen and little dry stalks or fibres of vegetable nicitter : one now before me measures '030 in 
diameter and '033 in height externally, and the inside '018 in depth and '025 in diameter. The eggs, 
like those of all the other members of the family, are two in number, snow-white when blown, and slightly 
rosy before, and measure '012 in length by *008 in breadth. 

*'^ Description, — ^Adult male: — Above, green with metallic reflexions, slightly golden on the back, and 
with the tips of some of the feathers in some specimens bluish ; the head darker and more sombre ; wings 
brownish purple, with dull greenish reflexions in some lights; tail dark purple, almost black, also with 
greenish reflexions ; the outer feather on each side with an almost obsolete terminal spot of rufous, the next 
with the whole of the inner web bright cinnamon, the next again with the whole of the inner and the basal 
half of the outer web of the same colour, this colour then running nearly to the tip in a diagonal manner, 
leaving the part next the shaft purple ; the basal half of all the shafts, except the two outer, cinnamon ; 
throat magnificent purple-violet ; immediately below this a broad gorget of white ; abdomen green mixed 
with rufous ; thighs white ; crissum pale rufous white ; bill and tarsi black. 



" Adult female : — Upper parts less lustrous than in the male, the feathers margined more or less with 
rufous grey ; wings as in the male ; tail with the middle feathers brilliant green, the rest cinnamon, with a 
purplish-black band running from the outer feather obliquely downward and inward to the tips of the fourth 
on each side, forming a broadly-shaped mark ; between the black band and the cinnamon there is a spot of 
bright green, most conspicuous in the feather next the central ones, and growing gradually indistinct towards 
the outer ones; throat pale rufous white, the centre of the feathers darkest, and on the sides and posteriorly 
a little green ; abdomen entirely rufous ; legs and crissum pale rufous. The dimensions do not differ from 
those of the male. 

" Young male in winter : — Upper parts intermediate in brightness between the male and female ; throat 
white, with a few feathers beginning to show the violet ; tail as in the male. 

" All the males procured by me, four in number, had but eight tail-feathers ; while all the females, three 
m number, had ten. It can hardly be supposed that in four specimens, the same two feathers, and but two, 
should have been lost from every specimen. In form the tail-feathers are rather narrow, and the inner 
webs of the two outer slightly falciform or emarginated. The two outer feathers are slightly shorter than 
the next, which are the longest ; the next two again are rather shorter, and the central ones considerably 
shorter. The feathers composing the tail of the female are broader than those of the male ; the third 
from the outside is the longest; the first, second, and central one as in the male : and the fourth slightly 
shorter than the third." 

Dr. Bryant has deceived himself as to the number of the tail-feathers in the male : all Humming-Birds 
have ten ; but in some instances the middle feathers are so short as to be entirely hidden by the coverts, and 
this is precisely the case in the male of Calothorax EvelyncB. 

The Plate represents both sexes of the natural size. The plant is the Begonia heracleifolia, var. 
mgricam. 




TEAIUMASTITMA ENICHMA 



J. Gould. oji^.SCMc/i&r, del. ei> iit^. 



MOrurndd Smitvr^;finp- 



THAUMASTURA ENICURA. 

Slender Shear-tail. 

Trochilus enicurus, Vieill. Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. Nat., 2nde Edit,, torn, xxiii. p. 429. — lb. Ency, 
M^th. Orn., part ii. p. 560.— Temm. PL CoL m, fig. 3.-^ard. Nat. Lib. Hum- 
ming-Birds, vol. i. p. 145. pi. 27. 

Ornismya heteropygia, Less. Hist. Nat. des Ois. Mou., p. 72. pi. 15. 

Trochilus Swainsonii^ Less. Les Troeh., p. 167. pi. 66, female. 

Caloihorax enicurus, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 85, Calotliorax, sp. 7. 



Although Lesson and other authors have stated Brazil to be the native country of this elegant species, it 
is quite certain that Central America is its true and natural habitat, most of the specimens forwarded to 
Europe having been sent from Guatemala. I have no evidence that it is found to the south of the Isthmus 
of Panama, and that it does not extend beyond the eighteenth degree northwards is almost certain ; my own 
opinion is that its range is confined to the warmer and temperate region of Guatemala and Yucatan, where 
in all probability it is stationary or non-migratory, its diminutive wing being ill-adapted for the performance 
of extensive journeys. 

The form of this species is as delicate and symmetrical as its colours are chaste and harmoniously 
blended ; and this remark is equally applicable to both sexes, which, however, are so remarkably different 
in colouring, that their belonging to the same species might justly be doubted, if we had not positive 
evidence that such is the case. Don Constancia has kindly sent me a male and a stuffed female, sitting on 
her tiny nest, and gives me his positive authority upon the foregoing point. 

In its deeply forked and singularly formed tail, this species differs from all its congeners. The Prince of 
Canino considers the Trochilm Swainsonn of Lesson to be the female of this bird ; and in the absence of 
any proof to the contrary, I coincide in the Prince's view. 

Upper surface deep shining green, tinged with brown on the head, and with a rich bronzy lustre on the 
back and wing-coverts ; wings purplish brown ; tail purplish black, the inner webs of the two outer feathers 
sometimes narrowly margined with brown ; chin black, glossed with green ; throat deep rich metallic purple, 
below which is a very broad crescentic mark of buff; under surface bronzy green with a spot of buff on the 
flanks ; across the lower part of the abdomen an irregular band of white ; centre of the abdomen dark 
grey ; under tail-coverts greenish ; bill and feet blackish brown. 

The female has the whole of the head, upper surface, wing-coverts, upper tail-coverts, and four middle 
tail-feathers bronzy green ; wings purple-brown ; on each side of the back a patch of white ; under surface 
rufous fading into a paler tint on the chin ; two outer tail-feathers on each side rufous at the base, to 
which succeeds a broad band of black, the tip being white ; the third feather on each side rufous at the 
base, and largely tipped with black. 

The Plate represents two males and a female, on a branch of one of the fine Orchids of Guatemala. 




TEfriilKNA 



/. f'^.-jlfi /■; M^/ fVt-H(clhi*-r dfi rt fH'Jd 



r&i^ 



maUfu^^^dy^ ^' ^Ul^^ ^'^*' 



TRYPH^NA DUPONTI. 

Sparkling--taiL 

Ornismya Dupontii, Less. Coll., p. 100, Suppl. pi 1.— Jard. Nat. Lib. Humming-birds, 
vol. i. p. 131. pi. 26. 

Zemes, lb. Rev. Zool. 1838, p. 315. 

ccelestis^ lb. 

Mellisuga Bupontii, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, Mellisuga, sp. 71. 



If this species be not one of the most gaily coloured, it is certainly one of the most beautiful of the smaller 
members of the Trochilidw ; and is no less interesting from the elegance and just proportions of its form, 
than for the singularly varied style of its plumage ; similar markings of the tail exist in the Amethystine 
Humming-bird {TnjphcEna Amethystind), but while in that species they are very slightly indicated, they are 
carried to the maximum in the present bird. 

The native habitat of the Tryphcena Duponti is Guatemala in Mexico ; Mr. Skinner, of Chipperfield House, 
informs me that it is very abundant in the environs of that city, and that it frequents the gardens and even 
the liouses of the inhabitants, wherever there are flowers to attract its presence. M. Lesson states that its 
trivial French name oiZemes has been given to it from idols so called, formerly worshiped by the Mexicans 
and Haytians. 

As wdll be seen on reference to the Plate, a most remarkable difference exists, both in the form of the tail 
and in the colouring of the two sexes ; so much so, indeed, that had we not undoubted evidence of their 
being but one, they would certainly be considered to constitute two species. 

The nest figured iis a small neatly-formed round structure, attached to the side of a small branch of a 
rose-tree, immediately above the insertion of a leaf-stalk, which serves for a support, and is composed of 
vegetable fibres and a material resembling thistle-down, thickly matted over with small pieces of lichens, 
apparently attached by means of spider's w^eb ; the eggs are two in number, and of a fleshy white. 

The male has the upper surface bronzy green, with the exception of two crescentic marks of white, one 
on either side of the rump ; wings dark purplish brown ; throat rich deep blue, with the base of the 
feathers black ; across the breast a broad crescent of pure white, the points of which extend on to the sides 
of the neck; under surface and under tail-coverts green, with a bronzy hue; across the vent a band of 
white; the tail is rendered remarkably sparkling by the decided contrasts of its colours, green, dark brown, 
deep rusty red and pure white, the arrangement of which may be thus described : — two centre feathers very 
short and of a shining green, the next on each side green with bronzy reflexions ; the next on each side is 
dark brown, with two triangular spots of white on their inner webs, one near the middle, the other at the 
tip; basal half of the two lateral feathers on each side dark brown, to which succeeds, first a band of deep 
rusty red, then a broader one of white, next a broad band of dark brown, and finally the tip is white; bill 
and feet dark brown. 

Total length, 4 inches; bill,|; wing, 1^; tail, 2. 

The female has all the upper surface rich bronzy green, separated from the green of the upper tail-coverts 
by two large marks of buff* on either side of the rump; tail purplish black, glossed with bronzy green at the 
base, all but the two centre feathers w^ith a spot of white encircled with buff'at the tip; all the under surface 
light rusty red, becoming darker on the flanks and under tail-coverts ; vent white. 

Total length, 2|- inches ; bill, f ; wing. If ; tail, i. 

The figures represent three males, a female, a nest and eggs, all of the natural size. 




JJk'u/^ (Ot'^ II C lUrkar. r/d ff hOi 



CALLllPSl 



AIE1"'HT8TII^A, 



jh,??-,„a7,dfli W„mi -'"T 



CALLIPHLOX AMETHYSTINA. 

The Amethyst. 

Trochilus amethystimis, Gmel. Edit. Linn. Syst. Nat., torn. i. p. 496. — Lath. Ind. Orn., vol. i, 

p. 319.— Vieill. Ency. Metli. Orn., part ii. p. 561.— Pr. Max. Beitr. zur Naturg. 

von Bras., p. 90. — Shaw, Gen. Zool., voL viii. p. 328. — Jard. Nat. Lib. Humming 

Birds, vol. ii. p. 64. pi. 9. 
V Oiseau-mouche Amethiste, Buff. Hist. Nat. des Ois., torn. vi. p. 16. — Audeb. et Vieill. Ois. 

dor., torn. i. p. 115. 
Petit Oiseau-moucJie a queue fourchue de Cayenne, Buff. PL Enl. 672. fig. 1. 
Ornismya amethystina, Less. Hist. Nat. des Ois. Mou., p. 150. pi. 47. — lb. Les Troch., p. 90. 

pi. 30. nest, & p. 140. pi. 52 ?— lb. Traits d'Orn., p. 274. 

amethystoides. Less. Les Troch., pp. 81, 83. & pis. 26, 27- p. 79. & pi. 25 ? 

orthura, Less. Les Troch., p. 85. pi. 28. p. 88. pi. 29. 

MelUsuga ametJiystina, Steph. Cont. of Shaw's Gen. Zool., vol. xiv. p. 243. — Gray and Mitch. 
Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 113, MelUsuga, sp. 72. 

amethystdides, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 113, MelUsuga, sp. 73. 

Trochilus campestris, Pr. Max. Beitr. zur Naturg. von Bras., p. 73. 
TryphcEna amethystinus, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 84, Trypliaena, sp. 2. 

amethystina, Bonap. Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 257. 

Calliphlox amethystina, Reichenb. Aufz. der Colibris, p. 12. — lb. Troch. enuraer., p. 10. 
Amethystine Humming Bird, Lath. Gen. Syn., vol. ii. p. 787. — lb. Gen. Hist., vol. iv. p. 357. — 

Shaw, Gen. Zool., vol. viii. p. 328. 
Tryph(Ena Amethystina, Gould, in Description of T. Dap07iti. 



Two supposed species of this form have been described and figured in works on Ornithology, under the 
names of Amethystina and Amethystdides ; the former of which is said to inhabit Cayenne and Brazil, and 
the latter Brazil only. The young bird of one of them is figured under another name — ^that of ortliura ; 
hence has arisen much confusion respecting the synonymy of this species. I may state, that never having seen 
a bird from any country precisely accordant with M. Lesson's figure of Amethystdides, which is said to have 
been taken from a Minas Geraes specimen, I am unable to say whether it be or be not a species; at 
present I am inclined to consider it identical with the present bird, which opinion is in some measure 
confirmed by a remark of Mr. Reeves, that the Amethystina from Minas Geraes, though smaller, is probably 
the same, as he observes that all the Humming Birds from that province are smaller than those from Rio 
de Janeiro and have feathers of a drier texture. 

In justice to M. Bourcier, who furnished M. Lesson with the specimens from which his figures were 
taken, I append a few lines just received from him respecting Amethystina and Amethystdides : — 

*' These two species have a general resemblance, especially in the adult state, but there are well-marked 
characters in the plumage of the young and of the females; it was this which determined me, when M. Lesson 
was publishing "Les Trochilidees," to give him several examples for examination, and it was among the 
younger specimens that he fancied he had discovered a new species, to which he gave the name of 
orthiira, which however is only the young oi Amethysti7iar 

I may here be permitted to remark, that I suspect M. Bourcier must be mistaken, when he says that the 



plumage of the young and females exhibit a marked, that is, a different character, since it Is well known tlmt 
wherever species are very intimately allied, the females and youthful birds assimilate even more closely in 
every respect. 

The only noticeable circumstance in favour of Lesson's orthura being distinct is, that some of the speci- 
mens in my collection according most closely with his figure, have more lengthened bills than those which I 
believe to be females of Amethysttna, 

My figures were taken from Brazilian specimens sent to me by Mr. Reeves, who states that in Brazil the 
bird inhabits the interior of the provinces of Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, Novo Friburgo and Minas Geraes, but 
is nowhere very common, and that it frequents the gardens when the orange-trees are in flower, the valleys 
when the Marrianeira is blooming, and the forests when the flowers elsewhere are no longer inviting. It 
arrives in Rio in July, is most numerous in September and Octol)er, and departs again on the approach of 
the hot season. Its nest is invariably placed in the highest and driest trees. 

The following are the states which this bird appears to assume : — 

An adult from the neighbourhood of Rio de Janeiro has the head, all the upper surface, wing- and tail- 
coverts bronzy green ; wings and outer tail-feathers purplish brown ; four central tail-feathers washed with 
green ; throat amethystine red, bounded below by a broad band of greyish white; flanks bronzy ; centre of 
the abdomen grey, passing into the greyish buflfof the vent and under tail-coverts ; bill black; feet brown. 

An adult male from Cayenne assimilates very closely with the above in colour, but has the abdomen a 
little darker, and with less bufl^on the vent, and the under tail-coverts strongly washed with green. 

The young males, with lengthened and forked tails, have the general colouring of the body the same as 
in the adult, but the throat. Instead of being amethystine, is spotted and streaked with brown on a grey 
ground. 

The females, or what I consider to be examples of that sex, have the upper surface very similar to that of 
the male; the throat grey, sometimes uniform, while at others it is spangled with amethystine; the breast 
crossed by an obscure band of grey ; the flanks and under tail-coverts either pale or rich buflf, and the three 
outer tail-feathers brownish black, largely tipped with rich buff. 

In another state the throat is grey, sparingly spangled with amethystine, while the band crossing the chest, 
the centre of the abdomen and under tail-coverts are brownish grey, and the flanks bronzy green ; the 
feathers of the tail bronzy green at the base, crossed near the extremity with a brownish band, and slightly 
tipped with grey. This may be the fully adult female. 

The Plate represents two adult males, a young male, and a female, of the natural size. The plant is 
copied from a drawing sent to me by Mr. Reeves. 




\ 



J Co7<.lda'J'cd Ji.C i^y^hlef; (Lei ?t Ul/t 



€ ALLIPIBI LOX: MlTCllELLL 



N7^4'T,7.,trr€{A^/ ^- TTaM^'^, l^'P 



CALLIPHLOX MITCHELLI. 

Mitchell's Amethyst. 

TrocMlus MitcJielli, Bourc. in Proc. of ZooL Soc, part xv. p. 47. — lb. Rev. ZooL 1847, p. 259 
Mellisuga MitcJielli, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 113, Mellisuga, sp. 74. 
CalotJiorax MitcJielli, Reichenb. Auf. der Col., p. 13. 
Tryplmna mitcJielli, Bonap. Rev. et Mag. de ZooL 1854, p. 257. 



When M. Bourcier was in England in 1847, he solicited the privilege of minutely examining the collection 
of Humming-Birds formed by the late Mr. George Loddiges of Hackney; not only was this privilege 
granted him, but he was also permitted to describe any of the novelties contained therein. In selecting the 
specific appellations for these, M. Bourcier embraced the opportunity of dedicating the new species (ten 
or twelve in number) to the more prominent living naturalists of our country ; several of those, whose 
names have thus been handed down to posterity, associated with the beautiful gems of Nature I have 
attempted to illustrate, have since paid the debt of nature, and departed from among us. Spence, Yarrell, 
Doubleday, and Mitchell are all names familiar to every British naturalist ; the last especially so, for his 
great zeal in the promotion of natural history, and by whose premature death both science and art have 
lost one of their truest votaries. His personal friends cannot but cast a mournful look upon the many 
evidences which remain of his intellectual tastes and acquirements. 

As far as is yet known, only two specimens of the Calliphlooo Mttchelli have been procured ; of these (both 
of which are males), one is contained in the Loddigesian, the other in my own collection. The locality 
given for Mr. Loddiges' specimen is Zimapan ; my own was collected in the neighbourhood of Popayan. 

This rare bird is allied in the character of its colouring to the CalUphlow Amethystina, and in that of its 
tail to Calothoraw FannicB. 

Head, all the upper surface, wing- and tail-coverts, flanks, abdomen, and under tail-coverts dark oil-green ; 
throat, sides of the neck, and breast deep violet, below which is a broad crescentic mark of dull grey ; tail 
dark purplish brown ; on the sides of the flanks, near the back, an oblong patch of buff*; bill black ; feet 
dark brown. 

The figures are of the natural size. The plant is the Lmanthus acutangulus. 








^ 



/ 



■. K L J i 



J.(;on/r7fy?7//JfrBuMfir dd ^ lit/' 



LOBBIGESIA MIIRABIL 



Wa/fer .f Co/m, Jmjr 



LODDIGESIA MIRABILIS, Gould. 

Marvellous Huniming--Bird. 

TrocMlus mirabilis, Bourc. in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xv. p. 42. 
Loddiggiornis mirabilis, Bonap. in Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 256 
Mulsantia mirabilis, Reiclienb. Aufz. der Col., p. 12. 
OrthorhyncJms mirabilis, Reiclienb. Trocli. Enum., p. 9. 



I SCARCELY know how to comiiience my account of a Humming-Bird which has for so many years been an 
object of the highest Interest, not only to myself, but to every one who has paid attention to the TrochilidcB, 
and which I have made the type of my genus Loddlgesia, a term proposed in honour of my much-valued and 
lamented friend the late Mr. George Loddiges. This extraordinary and beautiful bird was killed by Mr. 
Andrew Mathews, a botanist, who proceeded to Peru some thirty years ago for the purpose of collecting 
any rare and beautiful plants he might discover, and who, alas for science ! like too many others whose 
enthusiasm has led them to distant lands for the like purpose, met with an untimely death. Thanks to the 
kindness ot Miss Loddiges, I have now before me the original letter from Mr. Mathews to her father respecting 
this bird, sent prior to the transmission of the specimens. In it are tolerably accurate coloured sketches of 
two Humming-Birds which he conceived to be new to science, as indeed they were at the time : one of them 
is the bird in question, the other is the Spathura Peruana. Although this letter principally relates to other 
matters, it will be as well, perhaps, to transcribe the greater portion of it. 

,,T^ c Chachapoyas, October 11th, 1835. 

" Dear ISir, 

Your esteemed favour of the 6th reached me yesterday, per post from Lima. Since I left Lima 
I have added considerably to my collections, and also in Humming-Birds— several different from the 25 
species sent you— and only wait a safe opportunity to send them from this to Lima. The two birds repre- 
sented in the rough sketches sent herewith appear to me to be new. As yet I have met but one of each, and 

1 believe them to be rare in the situations in which I shot them. The country has been in such a state of 
revolution for some time past, that it is very difficult to send large collections from this to the coast. I have 
sent two boxes of Epiphytes to Mr. Maclean at Lima, and am waiting an opportunity to forward more. But 
very few are known. Some of them are large-flowered and beautiful. Those from the Cordillera of this 
province are very hardy, but generally small-flowered. I had heard of the death of poor Douglas from Mr. 
Maclean, and regret it extremely. Science has lost one of its ablest and most indefatigable collectors. I 
can assure you that many times whilst travelling in this country my life has been exposed to imminent 
danger in the quelrados and bad roads of the Cordillera. 

" I have the nests of three species of Humming-Birds of this province. It is difficult to meet with them 
(the boys of this country are not bird-nest hunters like those of England) ; it is only by chance I run against 
one whilst out collecting. 

"With respects to Mr. William Loddiges, I beg to remain, 

" Dear Sir, 

" Yours very truly, 

^ " Andrew Mathews," 

lo George Loddiges, Esq., Hackney, London." 

" No. 1 " {Spathura Peruana^ " I shot at Moyobamba, the capital of the jirovince of Maynas ; and No. 

2 " {Loddlgesia mirabilis) " at Chacapoyas, the capital of the department of the Amazonas. The latter is 
situated in the Cordillera, but is of a mild and even temperature, its average 64° Fahr." 

Mr. Mathews's sketch of Loddigesia mirabilis is very similar to that of the bird in a sitting position 
on the lower part of my plate ; but Mr. Loddiges informed me that he had fully satisfied himself that, 



while the bird is flying, the outer tail-feathers cross each other in the manner represented in the upper figures, 
which are an exact representation of the mounted specimen in the Loddigesian collection. Mr. Loddiges came 
to this conclusion in consequence of finding that they naturally fell into this position upon the skin being 
thoroughly damped for the purpose of mounting. These feathers cross each other twice, first near the 
base, and secondly towards the middle ; consequently each spatule, as represented in the drawing, belongs 
to the feather of that side. How very remarkable is this arrangement, and how different from what is 
found to occur in any other known species ! 

It would be very interesting to see this bird on the wing ; for I have no doubt that its greatly developed 
spatules serve in some way to sustain it in the air ; and if so, this may account for the very diminutive 
size of its wings. It is just possible that, when the tail is fully spread, the spatules may be projected in 
front of the line of the head. Ornithologists will remember that several of the Caprimulgidcs possess enormously 
developed plumes— some in their wings, others in the tail. Can this, then, be a nocturnal bird— a repre- 
sentative of the Goatsuckers among the Humming-Birds? Such an idea has more than once recurred to 
me ; and if so, its rarity would be readily accounted for. 

Anxious to obtain examples of this singular bird for my own collection, I have repeatedly offered large 
sums to various persons for their procuration, but hitherto, I regret to say, without success. The specimen 
in the Loddigesian collection, which is beautifully mounted, and in the finest state of preservation, there- 
fore remains unique; I need scarcely add that the female is unknown. 

Crown of the head brilliant blue ; neck, scapularies, back, wing- and tail-coverts golden green ; on the 
throat a gorget of very brilliant green, tinged with blue in the centre, and bounded on each side by a 
narrow band of coppery red; sides of the breast and flanks dull white; the greatly prolonged shaft of the 
outer feather on each side and the large spatule at its tip violaceous black ; centre tail-feathers shining 
glaucous green, passing into brown at their tips ; bill and feet black. 

The figures are of the natural size. The plant is the /Echmea mucroniflora. 



\ 



/ 



/* 



W^J. 




S.IPATHFMA IWBEJRWOOBII 



^ C'ould m*ui B:v Richer M( > f, J'lrh 



m^Jlr^nu^Ul & W.dh'n /nif 



SPATHURA UNDERWOOD!. 

White-booted Racket-tail. 

Ornismya U^iderwoodii ., Less. Troch., p. 105. pi. 37. 

Trochihis Underwoodii, Jard, Nat. Lib. Humming Birds, vol. ii. p. 110. pi. 22. 

Fa7i-tailed Humming Bird^ Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. iv. p. 339. 

Trochihis ventilahrum^ Lath. MSS. 

Mellisuga Underwoodii, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, Mellisiiga, sp. 5Q. 



This species enjoys a range of habitat over the Columbian Andes extending from the third to the tenth 
degree of north latitude, but appears to be confined to the regions ranging between five and nine thousand 
feet above the level of the ocean ; it is abundant in the neighbourhood of Santa Fe de Bogota, and is nume- 
rous in Galipan between La Guayra and the Caraccas, Mr. Dyson informs me that when hovering before 
a flower the actions of its wings are exceedingly rapid, that it produces a loud humming sound, and that 
the large spatules at the end of the outer tail-feathers show very conspicuously, being kept in continual 
motion by the rapid movements of the bird, and the repeated closing and expanding of the tail ; its white- 
booted legs also are equally noticeable : it is strictly an inhabitant of the hills, and loves to examine the 
flowers growing in the open passes and glades of the forest for its insect food, which it procures from the 
highest trees as well as those near the ground. During flight it passes through the air with arrow-like 
swiftness, the tail being carried in a horizontal position. 

The plumage of the two sexes is widely different ; the female being entirely devoid of the rich lustrous 
green on the throat, and having only a rudiment of the white boots so conspicuous in the male : the 
structure of the tail of the two birds is also A^ery dissimilar, as will be seen on reference to the accom- 
panying Plate. 

The male has the whole of the upper surface, the abdomen, flanks and under tail-coverts bronzy green, 
becoming richer and of a coppery hue on the upper taiUcoverts ; throat and chest rich lustrous green ; 
wings purplish brown; tail brown, with the exception of the spatulate tips of the lateral tail-feathers, which 
are black with greenish reflexions ; tarsi thickly clothed with white downy feathers ; bill black ; feet 
yellow. 

Total length, 5^ inches; bill, i; wing. If; tail, 3f. 

The female has the upper surface and two middle tail-feathers bronzy green, the bronzy hue predomina- 
ting on the head and the green on the tail-feathers; wings purplish brown; lateral tail-feathers brown, the 
outer one on each side largely tipped with white, the remainder with a wash of bronzy green at their extre- 
mities ; under surface white, spotted on the sides of the breast and flanks with bronzy green ; under tail- 
coverts buflf; tarsi clothed with white feathers; feet yellow. 

Total length, 3i inches ; bill, 4^; wing, H ; tail, 1|. 

The figures represent two males and a female of the natural size, on a branch of the Passijlora ligukris. 



I 




Il\!i.|| 




PATHITRA MELAlfANTBERA, Jard 



J-Coidd cmdWM'c^^r, dd. et^^^A. 



7/rr/^^za^^£li M/lOT?:. Ir»f- 



SPATHURA MELANANTHERA, ja,rf. 

Ecuadorian Racket-tail. 

Trochilus (Spat/iura) melmianthera, Jard. Cont. to Orn. 1851, p. 111. pi, lxxx. 
Steganura melmiantJiera, Reich. Auf. der Col., p. 8. 
Discura melana7ithera , Bonap. Rev. Zool. 1854, p. 256. 



It is to Sir William Jardine, Bart., that the credit is due of giving the first description of this very distinct 
species of Spathura, which appears to take the place in Ecuador of the more generally known S. Underwoodi 
so commonly sent from Bogota in Columbia. Both these birds are hill species, and both doubtless have 
similar habits and economies. The S. melananthera differs from S, Underwoodi in beinof of a smaller size, 
and in the form of the spatules, those of the former being shorter and more club-shaped than those of the 
latter ; there is also a difference in the colouring of the spatules, those of the smaller bird frequently having 
a tinge of shining green pervading them, while the colour of those of S, Underwoodi is steel-blue ; the 
S. melananthera has also a broad black band on the throat, while the corresponding mark in S. Underwoodi 
is smaller and often almost obsolete. The greatest difference, however, occurs in the females of the two 
species ; the breast and centre of the abdomen of that sex being pure white in S. melananthera^ while the 
same parts in the female o^ S. Underwoodi are spangled with green. 

All the specimens of S. 7nelananthera I have seen are from Ecuador, whence they have been sent by Pro- 
fessor Jameson and Mr. Eraser. 

Sir William Jardine, when first describing this species in his " Contributions to Ornithology for 1851," 
says, " The last post from Quito brought us some Humming-birds which were of great interest ; among them 
was one belonging to the subgroup which has been called Spathura, and of which the beautiful species 
S, Underwoodii, with its white boots and racket-tail, has been considered typical. This species, figured 
in the only Number yet published of Mr. Gould's Monograph, is found in the neighbourhood of Santa 
Fe de Bogota, and in Galipan, between La Guayra and the Caraccas, at an elevation of from 5000 to 
9000 feet. Of the specimen lately received, Professor Jameson writes (considering it to be S, Under- 
imodii), — ' I am not aware of its being hitherto met with to the south of the equator.' Along with a true 
S. Underwoodii, Mr. Gould had enclosed a female of a Spathura with an unspotted breast, with an opinion 
that the male of the latter would prove distinct ; and on comparing the Quitian birds with these and the 
figure and description in the Monograph, there appears to be a considerable difference. The proportions 
and tints vary, and the large space of black on the chin and maxilla is very marked. We are not aware 
whether M. Bourcier has noticed it, and an examination of more specimens must decide whether it be only 
a local variety ; but meanwhile we have applied the above specific name quite provisionally, until the point as 
to species is cleared up, and give a description from the specimen before us." 

" Male, above green, bronzed on the upper tail-coverts ; wings purplish black ; tail bronzy green, the long 
exterior feathers black, the spatulate ends velvet-black, with rich green reflexions below ; chin and maxilla 
velvet-black ; centre of the throat and stretching round below the aurlculars, with the sides of the neck, 
emerald-green, forming a brilliant gorget ; belly and vent green ; boots large and pure white. 

" Female, above green, much bronzed on the whole of the crown ; tail slightly forked ; the outer feather 
tipped with white, the second with only a slight indication of it ; below pure white ; flanks green, with a few 
spots on the sides of the belly ; under tail-coverts pale sienna-brown." 

The figures represent both sexes of the size of life. The plant is the Sobraliafragrans, 




\ 



5I^TMIfE^\ PEJlCATL^ 



V Ik'MA <An<\ ff-C:Rithtt»dfl it fiii- 



mUmoc^vdd i ffWf^' -^'^ 



SPATHURA PERUANA, Go«/^. 

Peruvian Racket-tail. 

Spathiira Peruana, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc. 1849. 



This fine species is at present so rare that few examples have come under my notice ; of these, one brought 
from Peru by Dr. Tschudi is in the Museum at Neufchatel, and another, procured at Moyabamba, in the 
same country, by the late Mr. Mathews, graces the Loddigesian collection at Hackney. Dr. Tschudi 
informs me that he procured three examples of this beautiful species during his travels in Peru : the first 
between the 11th and 12 degrees of south latitude, on the mountain of Moyabamba, where it was fluttering 
around the flowers of a new species of Cactus ; the second on the road from Santa Maria de Cruces to 
Andamarca in the province of Tanja, on the banks of the little river Ancasyacu ; and the third at Chilpcs on 
the mountain of Veloe, in the province of Parma, at an elevation of more than 3000 feet : he adds that it is 
a rare species, and was not even known to the Indian hunters of Moyabamba; upon examining their 
stomachs he found them to contain the remains of small hymenopterous insects. 

The S. Peruana differs from the S. nifocaligata in the greater length of the lateral tail-feathers and 
in their terminal spatules being of a more oval shape; the ruflfs of red feathers clothing the tarsi are 
also of a larger size and of a somewhat deeper tint ; it is, in fact, a species intermediate in form between 
*S'. rufocaligata and S. Underwoodi. 

The male has all the upper and under surface bronzy green ; throat and chest rich lustrous metallic 
green ; wings and tail brown, the spatules of the lateral feathers black with green reflexions ; ruff clothing 
the tarsi rufous ; bill black ; feet yellow. 

Total length, 5 Inches ; bill, | ; wing, If ; tail, 3i. 

The female has the upper surface bronzy green, the green predominating on the two central tail-feathers ; 
lateral tail-feathers brown, the outer one on each side ti])ped with white, the remainder washed with green 
at the tip ; under surface white, spotted on the throat, sides of the neck and flanks with pale shining green ; 
ruff clothing the tarsi and the under tail-coverts deep buff; bill black ; feet yellowish brown. 

Total length, 3f Inches ; bill, f ; wing. If; tail, If. 

The figures represent three males and a female on a species of Daka from Peru, obligingly lent me by 
Mr. Cuming. 






^PATITiriRA iy[^F©CALIi:;ATA 



''. (hmid (Mii^ EC Rielitff lid 1 1 (ilh 



MM*^i^^uidl ffHlc^ ''■''^' 



SPATHURA RUFOCALIGATA, GouM. 

Red-booted Racket-tail. 

Trochihis (Ocreatus) rufocaligatits, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, Part XIV. p. 86. 

Addce, Bourc. Rev. Zool. 1846, p. 312. 

Mellisitga riifocaligata, Gray and Mitch., Gen. of Birds, Mellisuga, sp. 59. 



This new Humming-bird was procured in Bolivia by Mr. Bridges, who informed me that he found the 
species rather numerous at Sandillani in the Yungas of La Paz, but had no opportunity of making himself 
acquainted with its habits, for a knowledge of which, therefore, we must await the researches of some 
future traveller : there is little doubt, however, that they will prove to be very similar to those of its near 
allies, the Spathura Undenvoodi and S, Peruana. 

The male has the throat and forepart of the neck luminous metallic green; the plumage of the body 
bronzy green ; wings brown ; tarsi clothed with a thick ruff of rusty red feathers ; tail brown, the outer 
feathers prolonged and narrow, and ending in a broad spatulate tip ; bill black. 

Total length, 4^ inches; bill, |^; wing. If; tail, 1\. 

The female has the upper surface and two middle tail-feathers bronzy green, the bronzy hue predomi- 
nating on the head and the green on the tail-feathers ; wings purplish brown ; lateral tail-feathers dark 
blackish brown, the outer one on each side tipped with white, the remainder with a wash of bronzy green at 
their extremities ; under surface white, spotted on the throat, the sides of the neck and flanks with light 
bronzy green ; feathers clothing the tarsi and the under tail-coverts deep buff. 

Total length, 3| inches ; bill, f ; wing, H ; tail, li- 

The figures represent two males and two females of the natural size. 












%^ 



/I 



\-": 






-1. M-mJi^A''^ 




rr?xli^^v^-^ 








\2 



JIwMirmlHCPMhfrr //./ ./ hfh 



SFATHITRAV .SCLSSillJRA , OmiM 



mUimndcU: WdimAf 



SPATHURA CISSIURA, Gonid. 

Scissor-tailed Racket-tail. 

S])athura cissiura, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xxi. p. 109. — Athenaeum, Nov. 26, 1853 



Every traveller who penetrates the little-known country of Peru brings back with him evidence that much 
has yet to be learnt respecting its natural productions. The justly celebrated Warszewicz, in one of his 
hurried journeys through that interesting country, plucked, as it were, from thence two examples of the 
remarkable bird here represented. These are now in my own collection, and are doubtless male and 
female ; the male, however, is evidently immature ; when fully adult, its throat is, in all probability, of 
a finer and more luminous green. Wait we must for additional specimens, and it may be years to 
come before these arrive, and a century, perhaps, elapse before more examples of the T. mirabilis and 
other species (of which only single specimens have reached us) are obtained. We just get a glimpse, as it 
were — and that is all— of the natural productions of this fine country. In the forests to the eastward of 
the Cordillera, there is much in store for future ornithologists to examine and describe ; for my own part, 
I am grateful for what I have been permitted to see, and for what I have been allowed to perform. Feebly 
it is done, I admit ; yet 1 have not failed to exert myself to the best of my abilities in the illustration of my 
favourite branch of science — Ornithology. 

Exceedingly curious in form is the tail of this little bird, and I really would give more than a trifle to see 
a fine adult male. Will not M. Salle, who has already done so much for science, direct his attention to the 
exploration of Peru and Bolivia ? 

The Spathura cissiura is most nearly allied to S. Peruana, but differs from that, and all the other members 
of the genus, in having the outer tail-feathers webbed throughout their entire length, and, consequently, the 
spatulate tips less conspicuous. 

General plumage bronzy green; wings purplish brown; four outer tail-feathers purplish steel-black; 
under surface green, paler on the throat ; thighs thickly plumed, and of a reddish buff. 
The figures are of the natural size. The plant is the Echinocactus Leeanus. 



/ 




les:bia goijldIo 



(;^j f/,'^, mi '^ }f f }->/n],la- '/>/'? hfJi 



JMImav^hU-^alUvhnp 



LESBIA GOULDI. 

Bog^ota Train-bearer, 

TrocJiilus Gouldii, Lodd. in Proc. of Comm. of Sci. and Corr. of Zool. Soc, part ii. p. 7. 

Ornismya sylphia, Less. Rev. Zool. 1840, p. 73. 

Mellimga Gouldii^ Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 113, Mellisuga, sp. 51. 

Cynanthus gouldi, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 81, Cynanthus, sp. 4. — lb. Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 

1854, p. 252. 
Leshia Gouldii, Reichenb. Aufz. der Colibris, p. 8. — lb. Trocli. enumer., p. 5. pi. dccxii 

figs. 4615-4617. 



At the scientific meeting of the Zoological Society of London held on the 10th of January, 1832, Mr. 
Loddiges brought before the notice of the members present, a series of Humming Birds, which he considered 
to be new to science, one of which — the bird here represented — he was pleased to dedicate to myself, calling 
it Trochilus Gouldii ; subsequently it was characterized by M. Lesson as Ornismya sylphia, a name which I 
would gladly retain, did not the tacit understanding which now prevails among naturalists, that the 
appellation first given should be the one adopted, preclude me from so doing; for although fully appreciating 
the kindness of my late friend, I would rather that a more appropriate designation had been given to it, and 
regret that the law above referred to will not allow me to employ that of sylphia, which would have been 
singularly applicable, inasmuch as the form of the bird is exceedingly elegant, and its actions, according 
to report, are light and sylph-like. Although only twenty-five years have elapsed since its first discovery, 
few birds have become more common, it being literally sent in thousands from that great emporium for 
Humming-bird collectors, Santa Fe de Bogota, where it ranges over an area, of which the city of Bogota 
may be considered the centre, of about one thousand miles along the temperate regions of the Andes. In 
Ecuador and Peru its place appears to be filled by other nearly allied species. 

As is the case with all the members of this genus, the sexes of the present species differ considerably both 
in size and colouring ; the female, as will be seen on reference to the accompanying Plate, being much less 
splendidly adorned than her mate. 

The male has the head green ; back of the neck, back, and wing-coverts golden green ; wings purplish- 
brown ; rump, upper tail-coverts, and all but the two outer tail-feathers, resplendent grass-green ; two outer 
tail-feathers dark brown for two-thirds of their length, the apical third glossed with green, increasing in 
brilliancy to the apex ; throat luminous grass-green ; remainder of the under surface golden green ; bill 
black ; feet brown. 

The female has the whole of the upper surface golden green ; the rump and central tall-feathers of a 
yellower green than in the male ; and the outer feathers, which are not more than half the length of the 
corresponding feathers in the male, brown, with the basal two-thirds of the outer web, the shaft and the tip 
huffy grey; under surface grey, speckled with bronzy green. 

The Plate represents the two sexes of the size of life. The plant is the Sohralta fragram. 



I 




J iTfu//Jamii/('h'H-kr^ ^Md h'/k 



LESBJlA aixlCILIS, Could. 



.•/////>////.^/v^/ & W'rMonJjJ 



LESBIA GRACILIS, Oouid. 

Graceful Train-bearer. 

TrocMlus [Leshia) gracilis, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xiv. p. 86. 
Mellisiiga gracilis, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 113, Mellisuga, sp. 53. 
Cynanthus gracilis, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 81, CynantJms, sp. 5. 

Leshia gracilis, Reichenb. Auf. der Col,, p. 8. — Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xxvi. p. 460. — Sclat 
in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xxviii. pp. 70, 94. 



This very elegant little species differs from the Lesbia Gouldi in having much narrower tail-feathers, and 
in the green colouring of the outermost of these feathers being much less extensive ; the basal portion of 
their outer webs is also much lighter, approaching to white : in other respects the two birds are much 
alike. The native country of this little sylph-like bird is Ecuador, where it appears to be very numerous. 
It was first brought to Europe by M. Bourcier ; examples have since been sent to me by Professor Jameson, 
and others have been procured by Mr. Eraser, from whose notes we learn that it is found " above Puellaro 
and Calacali, but at the latter place is not common. It is readily distinguishable from all others by the 
peculiar loud humming noise produced by the wings, and which is audible at the distance of twenty or 
thirty yards." He " did not find it near the pueblo, but at some height up one of the hills. The gizzards of 
those examined contained insects. It is diflacult to get a sufficient distance from these birds to shoot them, 
on account of their quickness and uneasiness of motion ; they would seldom be seen but for their chirping, 
and the humming noise produced by their wings." 

The female is almost as graceful as the male, the pretty green spotting of the breast contrasting beauti- 
fully with the greyish white ground-colour of the under surface. 

On looking over my collection, I find a single specimen of this bird, obtained by M. Warszewicz in Peru, 
which proves that it frequents countries south of the equator, where it doubtless represents the L. Gouldi, 
found in the neighbourhood of Bogota. 

The male has the throat beautiful shining metallic green ; the remainder of the body golden green ; wings 
brown ; outer tail-feathers bronzy brown, the bronze gradually increasing in intensity and becoming a brilliant 
spot at the tip ; basal half of the outer webs huffy white ; remaining feathers brown at the base and 
shining golden green for the remainder of their length ; under tail-coverts buff, slightly washed with green ; 
bill black. 

The female is similarly coloured on the upper surface, but has a shorter and less brilliantly coloured tail ; 
the under surface is greyish white, thickly spangled with green. 

The Plate represents a male and a female, of the natural size. The plant is the Loasa picta. 




J.GciM ocnoLM.CIUchte^; del d IM 



LESBIA KUNAo 



HuM^min^Ud Wa/i^^T. /'^ 



LESBIA NUNA. 

Nouna-Koali, 

Ornismya Nuna, Less. Supp. des Ois.-Mou., p. 169. pi. 35 ? — lb, Ind. Gen. et Syn. des Ois. du 
Gen. Trochilus, p. xvii?— lb. Rev. Zool. 1838, p. 314?, and 1839, p. 19? 



No one point connected with the family of Humming-Birds has been more puzzling to the Trochilidist 
than the attempt to identify the species intended to be represented by Lesson on the 35th plate of the 
Supplement to his * Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux-Mouches/ and to which he has given the name of Nouna- 
KoaU:^ unfortunately the typical specimen has been, I believe, irrecoverably lost, and, consequently, the 
matter can never be satisfactorily set at rest. Lesson's figure was evidently taken from a young bird, pro- 
bably an immature Cijnanthus smaragdinkaudus \ this, at least, is my own impression, — an opinion not parti- 
cipated in by my French coadjutors, since they are inclined to think that M. Lesson's plate represents a true 
Lesbia. M. Bourcier has sent me an example of a bird in a state of plumage which he considers to be that 
of the adult Nouna-Koali, but which I find to be identical with his Euchmis. My friend M. Edouard Verreaux 
has a bird in his collection which he considers to be the Nima-Koali :^ but this again differs very materially 
from M. Bourcier's Eucharis^ and, indeed, from every other known Humming-Bird. In its affinities it is 
more nearly allied to the Lesbia Gouldi than to any other ; but it is of much larger size, in which respect it 
approaches Eucharis and Amaryllis^ but again differs from them in the form of the luminous throat-mark ^ — a 
rounded gorget of brilliant green, precisely similar to the throat-mark in Lesbia Gouldi and L, gracilis \ the 
three species form, in fact, one of the three or four small sections into which the fork-tailed Humming-Birds 
appear to be naturally divided. \w one of these sections we have Phaon and Sparganurus^ to which the 
generic name of Cometes has been assigned ; in another, cyanurus and smaragdinicaudus, forming the genus 
Cynanthus ; in the third, Amaryllis and Eucharis, constituting the genus Lesbia ; and the fourth, for which 
no generic name has yet been proposed, comprising gracilis, Gouldi, and Nuna (the bird here represented). 

With the exception of a female in my own collection (procured in Peru by M. Warszewicz), M. Verreaux's 
bird, for which I retain the appellation Nuna, is the only specimen I have ever seen ; like my own, it was, I 
believe, received from Peru. It is an elegant and highly interesting species ; its form graceful in the extreme. 
I trust that no disaster may befall M. Verreaux's specimen, and that, as the type from which my figure was 
taken, it will be long and carefully preserved. 

With regard to the wdim^oi Nouna-Koali, M. Lesson says, — "Son nom est celui d'une vierge americaine 
dont le touchant souvenir restera parmi les amis de la litterature, grace a la suavite des charmes dont s'est 
plu a rembellir la plume de notre ami Ferdinand Denis." See his historical romance entitled ' Ismael Ben 
Kaizar, ou la decouverte du Nouveau Monde.' 

The male has the crown of the head, back, wing-coverts, sides of the neck, and abdomen dark bronzy green ; 
on the throat a rounded gorget of brilliant metallic grass-green ; wings purplish brown ; all the tail-feathers 
dark purplish black at the base, the apical half of all but the two outer ones luminous grass-green ; the 
outer feather on each side washed, on its apical part, with metallic green, which increases in intensity 
to the apex ; these feathers, moreover, are edged with pale brown on the basal half of the outer web. 

The female is similarly coloured to the male on the upper surface, but has a shorter and less brilliantly 
coloured tail ; the under surface is white, spangled with brilliant green. 

The Plate represents two males and a female, of the natural size. The plant is the Begonia cinnabarina. 







■ — "V 



'^'%Jk 



JOoxdd. cm^7 ECBichkr. (M d lilh 



JLE.SIBIA AMAlRiriLIbIB 



Jful/manM I TU^on, hnp^ 



J 



LESBIA AMARYLLIS. 

Train-bearer. 

TrocJiilus Amaryllis, Bourc. et Muls. Rev. Zool. 1848, p. 273.— Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, 

vol. iii. Supp. App. 30«, App. to p. 103. 
Cynantlms amaryllis, Bonap. Consp. Troch. in Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 252. 



It must, I think, be apparent to every one who has studied natural history, that in every true genus some 
one character or set of characters predominates over the rest ; and I may remark that in no department of 
this branch of science is this feature more conspicuous than among birds, where, in addition to some 
distinctive character being common to all the species of a genus, we frequently find that character carried 
in one or other of them to an extent far greater than in any of the others. In the genus Lesbia, the domi- 
nant feature is the great development of the tail-feathers, and it would appear to be carried to the utmost 
extent in the Lesbia Amaryllis, the feathers being very much longer in that species than in any other. 

The native country of this singularly graceful bird, as well as of every other member of the genus, is the 
temperate regions of the Andes, for about ten degrees on each side of the equator. The Lesbia Amaryllis 
may be said to be strictly equatorial, being most abundant in Ecuador ; its range, however, extends south- 
ward to Peru and northward to Bogota ; in all the countries within this area, wherever situations favourable 
to its existence occur, it is to be found. Professor Jameson states that it frequents the gardens in the city 
of Quito, and is so familiar a bird that it is well known to every one. Mr. Mark, Her Majesty's Consul at 
Bogota, tells me that it is equally common in Bogota ; that it was a daily visitor in the garden of his house, 
and was particularly fond of searching the flowers of the scarlet geraniums after a shower ; if not frightened, 
it would then rest itself upon the plants and shrubs close to the window ; when poised in the air with out- 
spread tail, the rapid motion of its wings made a loud humming noise. 

Like many other members of the family, this bird is very pugnacious, and frequent combats take place 
between the males whenever one intrudes into the domain of another, the contest being carried on in the 
air, and the combatants rising, falling, and continuing to fight after the manner described by Mr. Gosse 
when speaking o{ Lampornis Mango, in his interesting "Birds of Jamaica." 

The female differs very considerably from the male both in size and colouring, and in the lesser develop- 
ment of the outer tail-feathers. 

Among the numerous specimens sent to this country, young male examples may be found in every state 
of change from youth to maturity. 

The male has the crown of the head, upper surface, wing-coverts, sides of the neck and under surface 
golden green ; on the chin and throat a lengthened patch of brilliant metallic yellowish green ; wings 
purplish brown ; tail-feathers dull black, each tipped with rich greenish bronze ; basal portion of the under 
surface of the shafts of the outer feathers brownish white ; vent and under tail-coverts buff. 

The very old female has the upper surface golden green ; tail-feathers shorter than those of the male, and 
the shaft and external web of the outer one buff for two-thirds of its length from the base; down the centre 
of the throat a patch of brilliant metallic orange, on each side of which is a double row of brilliant green 
spots on a white ground ; feathers of the chest greyish white with a spot of brilliant green at the tip of each. 

In the young males the general colouring resembles that of the adult, but the throat-mark is merely indi- 
cated by a few specks of brilliant green on a° buffy-grey ground, and the tail-feathers are much less 
developed. 

The figures represent two males and a female on a species of Passi/lora, of the natural size. 




LESBIA EFCflARIS. 



mdicwIJfCBzchUrdd d M 



JhllmaMdO&.-Onhr^f 



LESBIA EUCHARIS 

Train-bearer, 

TrocJiilus EucJiariSy Bourc. Rev. Zool. 1848, p. 
Leshia EucJiaris, Reichenb. Auf. der CoL, p. 8. 
CynantJms eucharis, Bonap. Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 252. 



It may be thought by some persons that the Lesbia Eucharis and L. Amaryllis are one and the same species, 
but a comparison of the two birds will readily prove that such is not the case, and that M. Bourcier's view 
of the subject in separating them was correct. In the size of their bodies and in the length of their wings 
the two birds are very much alike ; but the tail of the Amaryllis far exceeds in length that of Eucharis ; its 
colour also is very different, particularly that of the eight middle feathers, these feathers being wholly 
green on that portion of their apical surface which projects beyond the next in succession, or all that 
portion of each feather which is not overlapped when the tail is closed. A glance at the figures on the 
Plates of the two species will at once render this clear to the reader. 

The precise country wherein this bird flies has not been satisfactorily ascertained : my own specimens, 
which, unfortunately, are not very good ones, were obtained by M. Warszewicz, I believe, in Peru; while 
''New Granada" is written on the label attached to M. Bourcier's bird now before me. I have indeed two 
males belonging to this gentleman, one of which he believes to be the adult of the Noima-Koali^ but it will 
be seen, on reference to my account of that species, that I do not coincide in that view. The only difference 
observable in the two specimens is, that a bronzy hue pervades the upper part of the body and those 
portions of the tail which are green in Eucharis ; but this difference is, I am sure, entirely due to its having 
been longer exposed to the light, that is, to a greater period having elapsed since its last moult ; with this 
exception, I find no diflference between them, either in the size of the body or the form of the markings, 
both having the same luminous gular patch that is found in the Amaryllis, but very different from the 
smaller species, the Nuna, the Gouldi, and the gracilis. 

My figure of the female is taken from one of the specimens brought by M. Warszewicz, which, it will be 
seen, very closely resembles the female of L. Amaryllis. 

The male has the head, upper surface, wing-coverts, sides of the neck, abdomen, and flanks bronzy green ; 
a gorget of luminous green on the throat ; wings purplish black ; tail deep brownish black, the eight middle 
tail-feathers largely tipped with green, and the outer one tipped with bronzy green ; these feathers more- 
over have the basal half of their outer webs of a pinky buff; under tail-coverts buff, glossed with bronze; 
bill black. 

The female is similar to the male on the upper surface, but her tail is much shorter and less brilliant, 
and the apical three-fourths of the basal portion of the web of the outer feather greyish white ; under 
surface buff, spangled with shining green. 

The Plate represents the two sexes of the size of life. The plant is the Tropwolum Smithl 




CYKAMTHUS CYAI^UMUS 



J.&ffidd/ & If. C-Hic/i-ter, del- .^ oc^. 



CYNANTHUS CYANURUS. 

Blue-tailed Sylph. 

Trochilus cyanurus, Steph. Cont. of Shaw's Gen. Zool., vol. xiv. p. 239. 
Or?iismi/a Kingii, Less. Les Troch., p. 107. pi. 38. 



The accompanying Plate offers but a feeble representation of a Humming-Bird, the beauty and elegance of 
which are in just accordance with the luxuriance of the glorious country it inhabits, namely, the temperate 
regions of the Andes, from the Equator northwards to the Isthmus of Panama, or, more correctly speaking, 
the countries of Ecuador, New Grenada and Venezuela. The vast primaeval forests, both of the Eastern 
and Western sides of the Great Cordillera in these countries, appear to be alike visited by it ; and it is 
also spread over the less elevated hills which jut out from the main range and extend eastward to the 
Caraccas ; it lives at an elevation ranging between five and ten thousand feet, among regions the botany of 
which is of the richest and most varied character, and where insect life is ever abundant. The single 
specimen which graced the Bullock's Museum, and which is now in Mr. Leadbeater's collection, was for 
many years the only one known, and it was not until within the last fifteen years, or from about 1836, that 
other examples were sent to Europe ; since then, however, it has become common, and no general col- 
lection is destitute of specimens. 

It is much to be regretted that considerable confusion exists with respect to the synonymy of this beau- 
tiful bird. I have carefully examined the figure and description of the Long Green-tailed Humming-Bird 
of the accurate George Edwards, to which the specific name oi forjicatus has been applied by many writers, 
and which is usually considered as identical with the present bird, but I can come to no other conclusion than 
that they are quite distinct. Edwards, in his description, states that " the crown of the head is blue, or 
else the bird is mostly green, . . . and the lower belly and coverts under the tail are white : " no admea- 
surements are given, but the figure is said to be of the " natural bigness," and is coloured in strict accord- 
ance with the description. He adds, that the bird was brought from Jamaica by Captain Chandler, 
of Stepney, who permitted him to make a drawing of it. In my opinion Edwards's figure has no reference 
to the present species in either of its states of plumage, but would appear to represent a species of which 
no other example has yet been seen, and which we may hope to see rediscovered whenever its proper 
locality may be again visited. There are districts of sufficient extent in the island of Jamaica yet unex- 
plored by the scientific naturalist, whereof it may be an unknown denizen, although we should rather infer 
that, like its allies, it is a continental and not an island species. Entertaining the opinion here expressed, I 
feel obliged to reject the synonyms usually applied to the present bird, and to adopt that of ci/anunis 
given to it by Mr. Stephens, and which so correctly expresses the trivial name of Blue-tail by which 
it is generally known, and which has a priority of two years over that of Kingii of Lesson. Some 
ornithologists may consider that the term cyanurus ought also to have been rejected, because it had been 
applied to two other members of this fiimily ; to which I reply, that one of the birds referred to does not, 
I believe, belong to the Trochilidce at all, mid the other is a species which I cannot satisfactorily identify, 
but which, at all events, is generically distinct from the present form. Some persons are of opinion that 
the Blue-tailed Huniming-Birds, sent so plentifully from Bogota, are referable to more than one species ; I 
have not, however, been able to determine this point satisfactorily ; almost the only difference consisting 
in the colouring of the tail, some having the apical half of all the feathers of a uniform blue, but more 
generally the eight central feathers are broadly margined with bright metallic green ; in this latter state of 
plumage I have figured the bird: another variety occurs in Venezuela, in which the outer feathers are 
blue, except at the^'tip, where they are green like the intermediate ones : these Venezuelan specimens, when 
fully adult, also have the basal half of their outer feathers more dilated, and their apical half more pointed 
than in those from other districts, and, moreover, are nearly destitute of the black line which bounds the 
brilliant green of the crown. In some examples the blue gorget is wanting; this I believe to be due to 
immaturity rather than to any other cause ; it is possible that they may be very old females, which having 
passed the period of breeding, have assumed the plumage of the male, except in this point ; but I have no 
positive evidence that such is the case : the breeding females, or the specimens sent to us as the female of 
this bird, differ so considerably, as to induce the belief that they belong to some other species, had we not 
evidence which proves the contrary : the young males of the year, or of one or two years old, are also very 
different from either; the tail in these youthful birds being much shorter and fiir less luminous than in 
the adult ; the green of the crown, though much brighter than the green of the body, is far less brilliant 
than it is in the mature state, and the gorget of blue is always wanting ; a white mark also occurs down 
the centre of the back in some individuals. 



Mr. Dyson, and all who have seen this bird in a state of nature, agree in stating, that, as its general form 
and forked tail would indicate, its flight is most rapid and powerful. 

Professor Jameson of Quito, in one of his Letters to Sir William Jardine, Bart., mentions that it feeds 
on the flowers of the Sedmn Quitense^ which plant covers the walls and house-tops of Quito. 

The adult male has the crown of the head rich shining yellowish metallic green ; on the throat a 
small gorget of beautiful shining purplish blue ; plumage of the body bronzy green, becoming of a 
browner hue on the under surface ; wing-coverts and tips of the spurious wing-feathers shining green ; the 
remainder of the wings purple brown ; two central tail-feathers rich shining metallic green ; the three next 
on each side black at the base, changing into rich blue near their apices, and broadly margined and 
tipped with rich shining metallic green, shaded in some positions with blue ; basal half of the outer feather 
on each side black, their apical halves rich deep metallic purplish blue ; a few white feathers stretch across 
the lower part of the abdomen ; under tail-coverts green ; above and behind the eye a very minute mark of 
white ; bill black ; feet dark brown. 

The young male resembles the adult, but has the whole of the colouring, especially the mark on the head, 
far less brilliant ; is entirely destitute of the gorget on the throat, and has the lateral tail-feathers much 
less developed. 

The female has the crown mark of green, but much less brilliant than in the male ; the upper surface 
and wing-coverts rich golden bronze ; a small mark of white behind the eye, and a small streak of the same 
hue beneath it; under surface rufous washed with bronzy green on the flanks; central tail-feathers shining 
green, changing to purple towards the tip; lateral feathers black, glossed with deep blue and largely tipped 
with white ; all the tail-feathers purplish black on their under surface ; throat greyish white, with a round 
spot of dull green near the tip of each feather. 
■ The Plate represents an adult male, a young male, and a female of the natural size. 

The plant introduced on the plate is a NymphcEa, of the country inhabited by the bird, and of which 
living specimens may be seen in the Royal Gardens at Kew : the figure is copied, with some alterations, 
from that published in Curtis's Botanical Magazine, a work which should be in the possession of every 
lover of flowers, replete as it is with objects of the greatest beauty and interest. 




CYRANTMiUS §Mi^EAiGBlI€.MJIlDllJS. GoiM. 



.I(mi/J.lHCFO.£/Uer, M ^ fuk,^ 



Sh&twmMI ^^^^^-' ^"f 



CYNANTHUS SMARAGDICAUDUS, Oouid. 

Green-tailed Sylph, 

Trochilus [Lesbia) smaragdinus, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, Part XIV. p. 85. 
Trochilus Mocoa, De Latt. et Bourc. in Rev. Zool., 1846, p. 311. 

Mellisuga smaragdifiis, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 113, MeUisuga, sp. 52 
CynantMis mocoa, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av,, p, 81, Cynanthus, sp. 3. 



In general structure this beautiful species is most closely allied to the Blue-tailed Sylph {Cynantlius 
cya7iurus) ; it is, however, of rather smaller size, and may at all times be distinguished by its resplendent 
metallic green tail : unfortunately nothing whatever is known of its habits and economy, but they are 
doubtless as similar to those of its ally, as the two birds are in form and structure. 

The first specimen that came under my own observation, was received more than thirty years ago direct 
from Popayan ; M. De Lattre killed it at Mocoa, " an ancient capital of the Indians, the environs of which 
are inundated for five or six months of the year, which is situated on the borders of the Anthropophagous 
nations, the Huitotos and Mesalles, and rarely visited by Europeans." Mr. Bridges found it in tolerable 
abundance in Bolivia, whence he brought numerous examples to this country. I regret to say that this is 
all that is at present known respecting it ; but from this meagre information I infer that the true habitat of 
the species lies to the southward of the equator; its range probably extending over the whole of the eastern 
dip of the Peruvian Andes, a portion of the country but rarely explored by naturalists. ^ 

In retaining my own name of smaragdicaudus for this species, I am not actuated by any desire to displace 
that of Mocoa given to it by M. Bourcier, who has contributed so largely to our knowledge of this lovely 
group of birds ; but have simply given it the preference because it so justly expresses the trivial name of 
Green-tail commonly apphed to it : I may remark, moreover, that I believe it has slightly the priority in the 
date of publication. 

The changes of plumage from youth to maturity, and the difference between the sexes, are precisely 
similar to those of the Blue-tail. The young males, as might be expected, assume the green tint on the 
tail at a very early period, but are far less brilliant than the adult ; in this state of plumage, specimens were 
brought both by M. De Lattre and Mr. Bridges : in many of them a white mark occurred down the centre 
of the back, similar to that observable in examples of the Blue-tail of the same age, but in every instance the 
gorget of blue was absent. 

The male has the crown of the head rich shining yellowish metallic green ; on the throat a small gorget 
of beautiful shining purplish blue; plumage of the body bronzy green, becoming of a browner hue on the 
under surface ; wing-coverts and tips of the spurious wing-feathers shining green ; the remainder of the 
wings purple-brown ; tail rich shining metallic green, with the exception of the basal half of the feather, 
which is black ; a few white feathers stretch across the abdomen ; under tail-coverts green ; above and 
behind the eye a very minute mark of white. 

The young male resembles the adult, but has the whole of the colouring, especially that of the crown, 
far less brilliant; is entirely destitute of the gorget on the throat, and has the lateral tail-feathers much 

less developed. 

The female has the upper surface and wing-coverts golden bronze, a small mark of white behind the eye, 
and a small streak of the same hue beneath it ; the under surface rufous, marked with bronzy green on the 
flanks ; central tail-feathers shining green, changing to purple towards the tip ; lateral feathers black 
glossed with deep blue, and tipped with white ; all the tail-feathers purplish black on their under surface ; 
throat greyish white, with a round spot of dull green near the tip of each feather. 

The Plate represents two males and a female of the natural size on one of the common plants of Peru. 




c 



TE 



Rm& 



.F§o 



J.Gonld.^ anJ. E dhcliier dd el. lil/i. 



SnUmzuidd IMZtiiTiJmp 



COMETES SPARGANURUS. 

The Sappho Comet. 

TrocUlus sparganurus, Shaw, Gen. Zool., vol. viii. p. 291. pi. 39. — lb. Steph. Cont., vol. xh- 
p. 238. — Jard. Nat. Lib. Hummmg-Birds, vol. ii. p. 112. pi. 23. 

Fire-tailed Humming-Bird, Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. iv. p. 291. 

Trochilus chrysurus, Cuv. Uegn. Anim., torn. i. p. 236. 

radiosus, Temni. in Mus. Leyden. 

Ornismya Sappho, Less. Hist. Nat. des Ois. Mou., p. 105. pi. 27 male, 28 female. — lb. Less 
Troch., p. 131. pi. 49, adult male. — lb. Man. d'Orn., tom. ii. p. 83. 

Cometes Sappho, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., part xv. p. 31. 

spargamirus, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 81, Cometes, sp. 1. 

Mellisuga sparganura. Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 113, Mellisuga, sp. 46. 

Orthorhynchus chrysurus, D'Orb. et Lafr. Syn., p. 26. 

Trochilus chrysochloris, Vieill. Ois. dor., tom. iii. ined. p. 8. 



Both Wilson and Gosse have given to the world, fresh from nature, the most charming and poetic 
descriptions of the habits of the Trochilus colubris and T. Polytmus ; and had either of these elegant writers 
had an opportunity of observing the present species in its native country, we should doubtless have been 
favoured with an account of its habits and economy in the same masterly language ; in the absence of 
which, and of any opportunity of observing the bird in a state of nature, I cannot do more than furnish all 
the information I have been able to acquire respecting it. To be, however, the pioneer in directing the 
attention of those who may hereafter fill up the voids in the history of this lovely bird, will be something 
to revert to, at all times, with satisfaction. " No combination of gorgeous colouring," says Dr. Tschudi, 
" can exceed that which is presented in the plumage of the Golden-tailed Humming-Bird, which appears 
and disappears like a dazzling flash of coloured light, and which haunts the warm primaeval forests, but 
is still more frequently found in the pure atmosphere of the ceja-girded Montanas." 

We are continually receiving fresh evidence that the richest botanical and zoological districts of South 
America are those to the eastward of the Peruvian and Bolivian Andes ; the great primaeval forests of which 
are as yet a terra incognita, and their zoological products equally unknown. It is only the outskirts of 
this fine country that have yet been partially investigated. 

I have ascertained from unquestionable evidence, that this fine species is very generally distributed over 
the great country of Bolivia, to the westward of the Cordillera, from La Paz to Chuquesaca, and that its range 
extends at some seasons as far to the southward as Mendoza. It is strictly migratory, and it is in the summer 
seasons alone that it is to be found in the countries above mentioned. The eastern parts of Peru are 
doubtless its head quarters in winter ; and it is probable that at this season it may even range as far to the 
northward as the Caracas, as travellers who have visited that part of the country speak of a large Flame- 
tailed Humming-Bird as an occasional visitant, which must either be this bird, Cometes Phaon, or a new 
species. Mr. Bridges collected numerous examples of both sexes, during his visit to the valley of Cochabamba, 
where he found its favourite food was obtained from the flowers of the scarlet Sakia;^ " the males carrying 
on a continual war with each other, and each bird appearing to possess a separate territory." 

One of the principal summer haunts, however, of this bird is Chuquesaca, in the interior of Bolivia, 
"where," says M. Bourcier, " it appears when the fruit trees of the country are in flower, and is met with 
in the greatest abundance among the flowers of the Capuli, a kind of cherry-tree : it also visits the 
orchards and the gardens of the city, during the blossoming of the apple-trees ; it is by no means shy, 
and the males, which are constantly at war, chase each other with the utmost fury, uttermg at the same 
time a sharp cry whenever one bird invades another's territory." I am indebted to Mr. Bonelli, who made 
a lengthened residence in that part of the country, for the following notes respecting it. 

" It arrives in the environs of Chuquesaqua in the months of September and October, and takes up its 
residence in the shrubberies of the city and in the gardens of the Indian cottages ; the hill sides ot the 
neighbouring country, clothed with indigenous trees and shrubs, also aff^ord it a fit place of abode ; whence 
it descends several times a day to the cultivated plains below, particularly to the fields of maize, pulse and 



other leg'uniinous plants ; the rich flowers of the larger Cacti are also frequently visited, as they afford it a 
constant and abundant supply of insect food. ^ 

''Soon after their arrival the task of incubation is commenced; and when the summer is over, both the 
old and young, actuated as it were by the same impulse, wend their way northward, to return aj^ain when 
the spring has once more gladdened the earth. 

"The nest is a somewhat loose structure, outwardly composed of interlaced vegetable fibres, slight twigs, 
moss, &c,, and frequently lined with soft hair like that of the Viscacha {Lagostomus trichodactylus)^ with 
the lower portion prolonged considerably below the bottom of the cup-shaped interior, which is about an 
inch and a half in diameter, and an inch in depth ; the total length of the nest averaging from two and a 
half to three inches. The nest is placed in situations similar to those selected for the like purpose by the 
Spotted Flycatcher {JMusicapa grisold), namely, against the sides of the gully, supported or entirely sus- 
tained by any hanging root or twig that may be best adapted to afford it security ; the part of the nest 
next the wall is much thicker, but of a looser texture than the circular portion of the true structure. The 
eggs are two in number, oblong in form, of a pure white, and about half an inch in length, by about five- 
sixteenths of an inch in breadth. 

*'The difficulty of shooting these birds is inconceivably great, from the extraordinary turns and evolutions 
they make when on the wing, at one instant darting headlong into a flower, at the next describing a circle 
in the air with such rapidity, that the eye, unable to follow the movement, loses sight of it until it again 
returns to the flowers which first attracted its attention." 

Considerable difficulty attends the collection of specimens, the rapidity with which decomposition takes 
place in so warm a climate frequently rendering the examples procured by the hunters utterly useless, by 
the time they return home : to obviate this difficulty, Mr. Bonelli, having observed that the bird frequently 
dashed far into the cups of the larger flowers, directed some of the Indian lads to touch the interiors of 
several of them with a viscid substance like bird-lime ; this was accordingly done, with the contemplated 
result ; and by this means he was enabled to obtain as many examples as he wished, and to skin them 
immediately after they were killed. As if these difficulties were not sufficient, that of their transmission 
was equally great. 

"I particularly wish to impress upon your mind," says Mr. Bonelli, "the difficulty, at present without 
remedy, of establishing a regular communication from this isolated capital of Bolivia, imbedded as it is in 
a sea of mountains, whence we are unable to forward any package, however small, for months together; 
and whence the post is conducted by a single Indian on foot." 

The sexes differ very considerably in colour, and a considerable variation in colour appears to exist in the 
YOung birds before they arrive at maturity : very young individuals of both sexes have their throats beauti- 
fully speckled with green on a bufl' ground, while in others the throat is of a uniform huffy hue, the green 
spots being entirely absent ; at a more advanced age the females have the throat considerably ornamented 
with metallic green, but never to the same extent as in the male: the young males may be always distin- 
guished from the females by their much larger size ; but, like that sex, they have the external web and the 
tip of the outer tail-feathers huffy white. 

The male has the head, neck, iqiper part of the back, wing-coverts, sides of the neck and under surface 
shining green, washed on the ear-coverts, sides of the neck and wing-coverts with bronze ; throat metallic 
green ; wings purple-brown ; back reddish crimson ; tail-feathers brown at the base, and rich glittering 
fiery orange-red for the remainder of their length, with the exception of their tips, which are deep velvety 
brownish black ; under tail-coverts brown, with purplish red centres ; bill and feet black. 

The young males have the crown of the head greenish brown ; the back mottled with green and reddish 
crimson ; the tail about two-tbirds the length of that of the adult, of a more crimson hue, the velvet-like 
tips indistinct, and the external feather white on its outer and brown on its inner web ; the throat either 
speckled with green on a buff ground, or white spotted with green, and with a few brilliant feathers in the 
centre. 

The female resembles the young male, but has the lower part of the back only of a crimson hue, 
and in some instances no trace of the luminous colouring on the throat. 

The figures represent two males and a female of the natural size. The plant is the Cantua bumfolia. 



/f 




I 



■-'J^. ■--.-' ^C7?,ch.U 



'j-hr^. 



C ©METES Ym^ME.GoiiU. 



SaJJ^rru^Mm;!^''^- 



COMETES PHAON, GouM. 

The Phaon Comet. 

Cometes Phaon, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xv. p. 31. — Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av.,p. 81, 

Cometes, sp. 2. 
Mellisuga Phaon, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 113, Mellisuga, sp. 47. 



The few lines given as an introduction to my account of Cometes sparganurus applies in an equal degree to 
this rare and lovely species, which may safely dispute for the palm of heauty with its near ally. In classic 
lore Phaon is said to have been tenderly loved by Sappho, and here certainly is an object so beautiful as to 
afford a sufficient excuse for the most frenzied passion ; but so tender a feeling would seem never to enter 
into the breasts of Humming-Birds, their general conduct appearing to be actuated by the Furies rather 
than the Loves, engaged as they are in one continuous strife with each other ; and we must regret, there- 
fore, that names conveying such tender ideas as those of Sappho and Phaon should have been given to the 
preceding and present species. 

The true habitat of this bird appears to be Peru and Bolivia, but it does not go so far to the eastward 
or southward as the C. sparganurus. Mr. Bonelli, who accompanied the Hon. Frederick Bruce in his 
journeys through South America, informs me that in the Great Table Land of the Cordillera are numerous 
ravines called Quebrados, the almost perpendicular sides of which, varying from a hundred to two hundred 
feet in depth, are overgrown with multitudinous species of plants, with which perhaps the botanist is but 
little acquainted : here, while a cold atmosphere pervades the adjacent high plains, a genial heat is con- 
stantly maintained suitable for the existence of this lovely tribe of birds ; and accordingly it is to situations 
such as these that this species resorts, on its arrival from the northward, at the approach of the rainy 
season, or the months of August and September, which may be regarded as corresponding with our spring; 
and there it is that it nidifies and rears its young. 

As the birds more frequently tenant the middle portion of the gully-sides, Mr. Bonelli was only able to 
obtain specimens with the gun, by firing at them upwards from the bottom of the gully, or downwards from 

the precipitous edge. 

"I have seldom," says Mr. Bonelli, "seen it in the vicinity of La Paz, though the two specimens 
forwarded are from that locality. Day after day have I watched one of these rovers, which, without fail, 
visited at four o'clock a flowering bed of beautiful crimson cactus, hovered for an instant at the verge of its 
invigorating sweets, then darted aloft into the heavens and vanished from sight, or fluttered in its restless- 
ness to every point of the compass in the space of a few seconds." 

Its nidification, the form and the structure of its nest, and the situations in which it is placed against the 
sides of the gullies, is precisely similar to that of C. sparganurus. Like that bird also, it is a migratory 
species, visiting these comparatively southern climes during summer, and retiring northwards towards the 

Equator on the approach of winter. 

The present is a larger species in all its admeasurements than C. sparganurus, and moreover differs in 
having a longer and more curved bill, and in having the tail of a crimson hue instead of orange-red. 

The male has the head, neck, wing-coverts and under surface brownish green ; back, upper tail-coverts 
and tail rich deep lustrous crimson, with the bases of the tail-feathers blackish brown, and their tips deep 
velvety black ; wings purplish brown ; throat rich lustrous metallic green. 

The differences between the sexes are precisely similar to those observable m C. sparganurus, except 
that in this species the central tail-feathers are of the same colour as those of the male. 

The Plate represents two males and a female of the natural size. The plant is copied from a beautiful 
drawing sent to me by Mr. Reeves. It is a Bilbergia, probably undescribed, as I have not been able to 
find it named. 




COMETES? GLYCERIA-, GoiM 



J- CouM andh C tU<hler ilei_ d Utk 



KuUmwryi^l I Wkltorv. Imj: 



\ 



COMETES? GLYCERIA, Go^ad. 

Purple-tailed Comet. 

Cometes Mossai, Gould, in Athenaeum, Sept. 24, 1853.— lb. Report of Brit. Assoc. 1853, p. 68 
Leshia glyceria, Bonap. Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 252. 



During the many years that I have given attention to the Trochilidse, I have not met with a bird which has 
caused me more thought, and I may say perplexity, than the one represented on the accompanying Plate. 
In point of affinity it is intimately allied to the members of the genera Leshia^ Cometes and Cynanthm, par- 
taking as it does, either in form or colouring, of characters pertaining to each of those genera. Sometimes 
it has occurred to me that it might be a hybrid between either two of them, but I am perfectly at a loss to 
say which two species would be likely to produce such a cross. Such an idea has entered my mind, but 
when I have again and again reconsidered the matter, it has appeared to me that it is a distinct species, and 
that it may ultimately prove to be the female or young male of some gorgeous bird with which we are at 
present unacquainted. The only example known, and which is in my own collection, was procured by 
M. Mossa, near Popayan in Columbia, and by him sent to M. Parzudaki of Paris, from whom I obtained it. 

I regret to find that some confusion exists with regard to the specific name of this fine bird. Aware of 
its interest in a scientific point of view, I exhibited the specimen to the Natural History Section of the 
British Association for the Advancement of Science, at their meeting in Hull in 1853, and suggested the 
name of Mossai as its specific appellation ; but in an after-conversation, my friend the late Prince Charles 
Lucien Bonaparte advised me to give it the name of Glycena as being a more appropriate name for so 
beautiful a bird, and this name having appeared in the Prince's and other lists of the family prior to the 
publication of the British Association Report, it is the one which must be adopted. M. Mossa being thus 
deprived of the compliment I had intended him, I beg here to testify to the value of his discovery, and to 
record my sense of M. Parzudaki's kindness in giving me the first offer of so fine a bird. 

On the tip of the hind-claw, I find a hard, agglutinated, wax-like mass which is irremoveable ; as I have 
seen nothing like it in any other member of the family, I have thought it only right to mention it. 

Head, back of the neck, wing-coverts, back and tail-coverts deep shining green ; wings purplish brown ; 
chin and throat metallic light olive-green ; sides of neck and under surface buff, with a spot of deep shining 
green on the tip of each feather ; tail dark reddish purple, passing into deep bluish green at the tip, except 
on the outer feathers, where the hue is so faint as to be scarcely perceptible ; the outer feathers also have 
the basal three-fourths of the shafts and the outer webs bufl'y white, the base of the shaft paler than the 
web ; basal three-fourths of the shaft of the next feather also buflTy white ; under tail-coverts buff, with a 
brown mark in the centre near the tip. 

The figures are of the natural size. The plant is the Enjihroduton Brasiliense. 




COMETE 



? 



CAROL I 



J. ^oui^l LcndMCJif/y^iier-. c/£^ i^lifJi^ 



M4M7)i^idel ^ Wa/ivrv, I/fip. 



COMETESP CAROLI. 

Charles's Comet. 

Trochilus Caroli, Bourc. in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xv. p. 48.— lb. Rev. Zool. 1847, p. 260 
Hylocharis Caroli, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 115, Hylocharis, sp. 44. 

Caroli, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., torn. i. p. 74, Hylocharis, sp. 9. 

CalUphlox Caroli, Reich. Auf. der Col., p. 12. — lb. Troch. Enum., p. 10. 
Avocettinus carolus, Bonap. Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 256. 



If ever a Humming-Bird perplexed the mind of the Trochilidist, it is the species figured on the accom- 
panying Plate, inasmuch as it presents the colouring of a male with the form and contour of a female; of 
its history unfortunately we know nothing ; and as all the specimens I have seen are alike, we have no means 
of determining if there exist any difference in the outward appearance of the sexes of this anomalous bird. 
It has frequently struck me that all these specimens, one or two of which are in the Loddigesian collection, 
are merely females of some splendid species of which we have not yet seen the male. If this supposition 
should ultimately prove to be correct, there still remains to be discovered a bird pertaining to this family 
of the greatest beauty and interest. Would that some enterprising collector might visit that litde-known 
country Peru, and clear up the mystery which has ever hung over this subject! By dissection alone can it 
be determined whether the birds figured on the opposite Plate are males or females. 

Crown, wing-coverts, and upper surface dull greenish bronze, becoming of a greener cast on the lower 
part of the back and upper tail-coverts ; wings purplish brown ; four middle tail-feathers bronzy green, the 
remainder black with violet reflexions, the outer one with a stripe of dull or huffy white along the apical 
portion of the outer web ; behind the eye a small spot of white, and a small streak of buff from the angle 
of the mouth ; throat red ; under surface pale bronzy green, each feather slightly fringed with grey ; on 
each flank near the back a tuft of white ; vent and under tail-coverts huffy white, with a streak of brown 
down the centre of each feather ; bill black. 

Some difference appears to occur in the colouring of the throat, that part being much more scarlet in 
one of the specimens than in the others. 

The figures are of the size of life. The plant is the Gonenia iitriculata. 



I 



^s^ 




'T KROFMAI^E S TEMMINT K 



y. Coniti ,n,f( H'CHfchUr //// // fith 



/M/7.^-^V'^'^-^'''^''"" ^"'^' 



PTEROPHANES TEMMINCKI. 

Temminck's Sapphire-wing*. 

Ornismya Temminckn, Boiss. Rev. Zool. 1839, p. 354. — Mag. de Zool. 1840, Ois. pi. 14 

Trochihis cyanopterus^ Lodcl. MS. 

Mellisuga Termninckii^ Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, Mellisuga^ sp. 10. 



This is perhaps without exception one of the finest species of the family yet discovered ; it has been named 
after the Father of living ornithologists, M. Temminck, and is in every way worthy of bearing so distin- 
guished a name ; the brilliant colouring of its wings renders it conspicuously different from all other known 
species. The more elevated regions of the Cordilleras of Columbia constitute its native habitat, and 
numerous are the specimens that have of late years been sent from Bogota. I have several examples in my 
collection which were procured by M. De Lattre, in the neighbourhood of Pasto : as the sexes of the 
specimens obtained by this gentleman were ascertained by dissection, I have been enabled to figure with 
undoubted certainty the adults of both sexes, as well as the young of this magnificent bird, the lower figure 
in the Plate representing the adult male, the middle one the female, and the upper one the young. 

The adult male has all the upper surface and the lesser wing-coverts deep grass-green, becoming lighter 
on the rump; a small spot of white immediately behind the eye ; under surface dark luminous grass-green ; 
tail glossy olive-green ; wings shining deep blue, showing conspicuously both on the upper and under sur- 
face ; all the feathers margined, and the primaries largely tipped with dull brownish black ; bill black ; feet 
brownish yellow. 

Total length, 6f inches ; bill, 2l; wing, 4^; tail, 3; tarsus, -^. 

The female, with the exception of the throat which is brown, has the body similar in colour to that of the 
male, but less brilliant ; tail glossy olive-green, except the outer feather on each side, which is brown with 
an indistinct lighter mark down the outer web ; wings purplish brown, except the spurious wing and under 
part of the shoulder which is blue ; bill black ; feet brownish yellow. 

Total length, 6i inches; bill, 2f ; wing, 4i; tad, 2f; tarsus, iV- 

The young of both sexes has the crown of the head brown ; the upper surface, flanks and under tail- 
coverts green ; wings purplish brown, except the shoulders, which both above and beneath are blue ; four 
middle tail-feathers green ; three next on each side blackish brown, with green reflexions on the shafts ; 
the outer feather on each side blackish brown, with a broad stripe of greyish white down the centre ; the 
shaft at the base pure white; throat, chest and centre of the abdomen deep reddish buflf; bill and feet as 
in the adult male, but of a browner hue. 

The figures represent a male, a female, and a young bird, of the natural size, on the Tacsonia moUis- 
sima, which beautiful plant is indigenous to the tropics of New Grenada, growing at a height of nine to ten 
thousand feet above the level of the sea, and which occupies an extensive geographical range at the eleva- 
tions above-mentioned. Humboldt found it about Santa Fe de Bogota, and Mr. Lobb in the woods near 
Quito : my figure and the above particulars respecting this plant are taken from Curtis's '' Botanical Maga- 
zine," vol. i. Third Series, Tab. 4187. 



V 




b 



f^k'lj/r/,f??JJ{fP,r7t:f-rTdr'l^:i?f?A. 



A&L.EArTIS CLTFvEIPENKISo 



IfuUmcmdel d WaUon, Imp 



I 



^ 



AGL.^ACTIS CUPRIPENNIS. 

Shining* Sun-beam. 

Trochilus cupripennis, Bourc. et Muls. Rev. Zool. 1843, p. 71. — ^Ann. de la Soc. Sci. de Lyons, 

1843, p. 46. 
Mellisuga cupripennis, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 112, Mellisuga, sp. 25, & vol. iii. 

App. p. 5. App. to p. 112. 
AglcEactis cupripennis, Bonap. Consp. Gen, Av., p. 73, Aglmactis, sp. 1. — Reichenb. Aufz. der 

Colibris, p. 9. 

— cupreipennis, Bonap. Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 253. 

Uelianthea cupripe?mis, Reichenb. Troch. enumer., p. 6. pi. dccxxxvii. figs. 4689, 4690. 



Undoubtedly the greatest living naturalist of the age is Baron Humboldt : in calling this eminent man a 
naturalist, let it not be supposed that I wish in any way to detract from his other even higher qualifications 
of a geognosist, a linguist, and a clear-sighted politician ; but to the appellation of a great naturalist he is 
clearly entitled by virtue of his ''Aspects of Nature," — a work which will live long after this Nestor of 
science has quitted the world about which he has so ably written. Now it so happens, that those parts 
of the vast Andean ranges so prolific in beautiful Humming Birds, form the theme of the work above 
alluded to, and the subject of many passages in his *' Personal Narrative " and his " Cosmos." Humboldt 
could not, therefore, have failed to observe the bird here represented, as well as many other equally rare 
and beautiful species ; yet, strange to say, not one was collected by him, nor for nearly thirty years after 
his return were Trochilidists aware of the existence of these lovely Andean birds. Humboldt was the 
scientific pioneer who opened up these fine regions, but, his mind being attracted to higher objects, he 
did not direct his attention to the birds, though he must have seen them. The path once trodden, and the 
way to these vast ranges of mountains shown, collectors were soon upon the track and reaped a rich harvest 
in every department of natural history, but in none more than in ornithology. The native countries of this 
fine species are Columbia, Ecuador, and Peru, particularly their temperate regions, where civilized man is 
naturally tempted to roam, and where the bird, from its large size and glittering colour, must be an object 
of great attraction and interest. Although but a few years have elapsed since its discovery, it has now 
become very common, and is to be found in every collection. It has always been a great favourite with 
myself, and doubtless its light brown colouring and the lovely hues of its glittering back have rendered it 
equally charming to others. 

It forms a typical example of the genus AglceactiSy the members of which are all remarkable for the 
lengthened plumes which spring from the chest, and for the rich hues which adorn the back not being 
perceptible until the bird is viewed from behind, or reversely to the direction of the feathers. 

The sexes are very similar in general appearance, but the female is at once distinguished by the entire 
absence of the fine colours on the back, which form so conspicuous a feature in the opposite sex. 

The Trochilidae are known to evince a decided partiality for the flowers of certain trees and shrubs ; they 
do not, however, confine themselves to these exclusively, but occasionally pay their devoirs to any that may 
be in bloom : in this way the various species of Cactus^ as well as other plants of more humble pretensions, 
are visited by them : but it must not be concluded, that because I have figured this species on the Cereus 
MacDonaldicB, it is more frequently resorted to than any of the numerous other fine flowers which occur in 
its native wilds ; it is more likely that it is only one of those which it occasionally visits. 

The male has the head and nape, and the back when viewed in the direction of the feathers, of a velvety 



blackish brown ; when viewed in the reverse direction, the centre of the back appears of a luminous 
purplish crimson, changing* into a more coppery hue on the lower part of the back, and into grass-green on 
the rump ; wings light purplish brown, except the outer web and shaft of the external feather, for which 
the basal three-fourths of their length are bright rufous ; two centre tail-feathers rufous at the base, bronze 
for the remainder of their length ; the lateral tail-feathers rufous, broadly margined externally and tipped 
with bronze ; line over the eye, all the under surface of the body, under surface of the wings, thighs, and 
under tail-coverts dark rufous, with the exception of a few feathers depending from the lower part of the 
chest, which are pale buff; bill blackish brown, apparently flesh-coloured at the base of the lower mandible ; 
feet purplish brown. In some specimens the throat is much clouded with dark brown ; and I may remark, 
that specimens from Peru are generally somewhat smaller than those from Ecuador and Columbia, 

The female is very similar, but is without the luminous colouring on the back. 

The Plate represents two males and a female of the natural size. 




-<;?. 



I! 



\-- ■■It- ■'^'■ 




J-Gaald oorbdM. G lUchier d-el. e^ li^h 



AeL.dEA€TlS CASTELFEAITI 



}{ull-mooy>M I r^lio^/lr>f 



AGLiEACTIS CASTELNAUI. 

Castelnau's Sunbeam. 

TrocMlus Castelnaudii, Bourc. et Muls. Rev. Zool. 1848, p. 270. 

Castelnaui, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. iii., Supp. App. p. ^Oa, App, to p. 103. 

Aglaeactis castelnaudi^ Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 73, Aglaeactisj sp. 4. — Reich. Aufz. der 

Col., p. 9. 
Agl(jeactis castelneaui^ Bonap. Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 253. 



Two specimens of this extremely fine species of Aglceactis are all that are known ; these were collected 
in the neighbourhood of Cusco by the celebrated and intrepid traveller, Count Castelnau, during his 
travels in Peru. One of these specimens graces the gallery of the Jardin des Plantes at Paris, the other 
my own collection ; the latter is probably a female, and the former a young male : whenever the fully adult 
bird is discovered, it will doubtless prove to be an object of the greatest beauty. 

Its large size, the resplendent purple colouring of the back, and the great number of broad, elongated 
and pendent plumes of the breast, certainly render it the most ornamental species of the genus. It is 
allied to Aglcsactis cupripennis and A, Pamela, which, combined with the A. caumatonotus, form one of the 
best-defined genera of the family. 

This species has been named by MM. Bourcier and Mulsant in honour of its discoverer. 

The male has the general plumage of a dark bronzy-brown, mottled with patches of a lighter hue about 
the sides of the head, neck and throat ; lower part of the back and upper taiUcoverts beautiful lilaceous- 
purple ; wings bronzy-brown ; on the centre of the chest a number of pendent white plumes ; tail rufous, 
glossed with bronze on the central feathers and the margins and tips of the remainder; under surface 
bronzy-brown, fading into buffy-red on the under tail-coverts ; upper mandible black ; under mandible 
flesh-colour ; feet brown. 

The supposed female is very similar, but has only a trace of the fine lilaceous-purple on the rump and 
upper tail-coverts. 

The figures are the size of life. The plant is the Tacsofiia molltsshna. 



3e»»»" 




J, GouMmJ.JfC.Iizeht^' M ct MJi 



^GL.EACTIS PAMELA o 



IlyUnm-ndel ^- nVAltm, Ir'f 



^^ 



AGL^ACTIS PAMELA. 

Pamela^s Sun-beam. 

OrthorhyncJms Pamela, D'Orb. et Lafres. Syn., p. 29. no. 14. — D'Orb. Voy. dans TAmer. Merid., 

Ois., torn. iv. p. 375. pi. 60. fig. 1. 
HylocJiaris Pamela, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 114, Hylocharis, sp. 13. 
Aglaactis pamela, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 73, Agl(Eactis, sp. 2. — lb. Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 

1854, p. 253. — Reiclienb. Aufz. der Colibris, p. 9. 
Helianthea Pamela, Reiclienb. Troch. enumer., p. 6. pi. dccxxxiii. figs. 4691, 4692. 



As far as is yet known, this magnificent species is exclusively confined to Bolivia. It was first discovered 
by M. D'Orbigny, and a figure and description of it will be found in his ''Voyage dans rAmerique." In the 
extent of the lustre of the upper surface it far exceeds all the other members of the genus, the entire back 
heing covered with glittering metallic-green feathers, as if encased in a coat of mail ; it is also rendered 
very conspicuous by the tuft of feathers which springs from the chest. 

Fortunate indeed may be considered those travellers who have seen this fine bird in a state of nature. 
M. D'Orbigny states that he only saw two examples, but Mr. Bridges procured numerous specimens during 
his travels into the interior of Bolivia ; and it was from this gentleman that I procured the fine series which 
grace, and may be considered the gems of, my collection. Hardy in its constitution, this species braves 
with impunity the fierce blasts of the bleak mountain-ranges among which it dwells, at an elevation more 
than double the height of the loftiest mountain of the British Islands. Here, amid alpine plants, and with 
the uninterrupted rays of the sun imparting additional lustre to the glittering feathers of its back, it must 
form a truly gorgeous object. Like the A. cupripennis, the back feathers of this bird receive the rays of 
light in an opposite direction to that required to show the beauty of nearly all other birds, it being only from 
behind that they appear brilliant. 

I have much pleasure in adding the following short notes on this species from the work of M. D'Orbigny 
above referred to, and the pen of Mr. Bridges : — 

" We met with this species," says M. D'Orbigny, " in the 17th degree of south latitude, at the upper limit 
of bgneous vegetation, near Tajesi, in the province of Yungas, on the eastern side of the Cordillera of La 
Paz, in Bolivia ; we also met with it on the summit of the mountains in the province of Ayupaya, near Palca- 
Grande ; and we believe that it is confined to those mountainous regions, at an altitude of about 3500 metres 
above the level of the sea. As yet we have only seen two specimens, which renders it probable that it is 
very rare ; but it must be mentioned, that it is impossible to remain for any length of time in the localities it 
inhabits." 

Mr. Bridges states that it " is found at Unduave, and in the Yungas of Cochabamba ; far up the mountains, 
near the limit of vegetation, at an altitude of 10,000 feet. It procures its food from the flowers of a species 
of Ahtrcemeria'' 

As is the case with A, cupripennis, the female is not so fine as the male ; the general colouring of 
her body not being so deep, the back having only a slight trace of the brilliant green, and the breast-tufts 
being shorter. 

The male has the head, neck, upper part of the back, upper and under wing-coverts, and all the under 
surface, dark velvety brownish black; on the centre of the chest a tuft of long pendent black feathers tipped 
with white ; wings bronzy purplish brown ; lower part of the back, rump, and upper tail-coverts velvety 
brown when viewed in front, and of glittering metallic grass-green when viewed from behind ; tail dark 
chestnut, each feather narrowly edged externally and more broadly tipped with bronzy brown ; bill and feet 
blackish brown. 

The Plate represents both sexes of the natural size. The plant is the Dipladema acuminata. 



e^ 




D) X Y T o G o i^ ■ G t[t:e miNu 



J ^f'/f/// .M.,/ }f (■ fii.-kti, ,iil itlUh 



mM'HfiH'^^' I ii'tH'x ''*«/'' 



OXYPOGON GUERINL 

Guerin's Helmet-crest. 

Ornismia Guerinii, Boiss. Rev. Zool. 1840^ p. 7- 
Trochilus parvirostj^is^ Fras. Proc. of ZooL Soc, Part VIII. p. 18. 
Ornismya Guerinii^ Lodd, in Proc. of Zool. Soc^ Part XL p. 122. 
Oooypogon Guerinii, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, Part XVI. p. 14. 
Mellisuga Giierifiii, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, Mellisuga^ sp. 30. 
Warrior, of the dealers in specimens of natural history. 



This fine species of Humming Bird is a native of the higher regions of the Columbian Andes, where, 
judging from the abundance in all the collections of specimens that are sent from Bogota, it must be 
very common : although it is not adorned, like many of the Humming Birds, with bright metallic colours, 
the beautiful lengthened crest and throat feathers render it a showy and conspicuous species. Dissection 
alone can determine whether the crestless birds represented in the Plate are adult females or youthful birds; 
I think it likely that they will prove to be the latter. The middle figure on the upper part of the Plate 
represents I believe a young male of the year, but I should not be surprised if we hereafter learn that fully 
adult females possess a similar style of plumage ; in all probability, however, the black feathers of the crest 
are always wanting in that sex. 

The adult male may be thus described : — Head and chest brownish black, with a narrow line of white 
down the centre, joined on the forehead to two narrow lines of white, which proceed thence along either 
side of the base of the bill; on the centre of the throat is a similar lengthened tuft of white feathers, down 
the middle of which is a line of rich shining green ; black of the head bounded on the sides and in front by 
a broad mark of huffy wdute ; upper surface, wing-coverts and two central tail-feathers bronzy green, the 
latter with the basal two-thirds of their shafts white ; lateral tail-feathers coppery bronze, with a stripe of 
white down the centre, which increases in extent as the feathers recede from the centre, until on the outer 
feather it becomes of a broad spatulate and incurved form ; wings purplish brown ; under surface light 
olive-brown, with bronzy reflexions on the flanks ; under tail-coverts light olive-brown ; bill and feet 
blackish brown. 

Total length, A.\ inches ; bill, i; wing, 2|-; tail, 2| ; tarsus, \. 

The birds which I consider to be females resemble the male in colour, but are altogether less brilliant, 
are much smaller in size, have the throat and crest feathers much less developed, and moreover have no 
black feathers in the crest. 

Total length, 4 inches ; bill, \ ; wing, 2f ; tail, 2i, tarsus, t- 

The young are similar, but smaller and less brilliant ; they are also entirely devoid of the lengthened 
feathers of the head and throat, and have on the sides of the throat numerous spots of olive-brown, which 
nearly meet in the centre. 

The figures are of the natural size ; the two in the fore-ground engaged in one of those conflicts which 
so frequently occur with all the species of this family. 



\ 




7 ^^fnf^f [*.y!fi MrRCciaer dd stbieh. 



OXYFOGOI^" IJIIjD'E:^!^] 



8uSjntant01 4 li'utfi'ii htif 



OXYPOGON LINDENI 

Linden's Helmet-crest. 

Ornysmia Lmdenii, Parz. in Rev. Zool. 1845, p. 253. 
Oxypogon Lindenii, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, Part XV. p. 14. 
Mellisuga Lindenii, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, Mellisuga, sp. 31 
Black Wariior, of the dealers in specimens of natural history. 



For our knowledge of this fine species we are indebted to the researches of Monsieur J. Linden of 
Luxemhourg, whose name it bears, and who discovered it in the province of Merida in the Republic of 
Venezuela. It is very nearly allied to the Omjpogon Guerini, but is readily distinguished from that species 
by its much larger size and darker hue, by having a mere indication of the stripe of green down tbe throat, 
and by the shafts only of the lateral tail-feathers being white. Having solicited M. Linden to furnish me 
with some information respecting this interesting species, he has obligingly transmitted to me the following 
remarks : — 

*' I met with this species for the first time in August 1842, while ascending the Sierra Nevada de Merida, 
the crests of which are the most elevated of the eastern branch of the Cordilleras of Columbia. It inhabits 
the regions immediately beneath the line of perpetual congelation, at an elevation of from 12,000 to 13,000 
feet above the level of the sea ; Messrs. Funck and Schlim found it equally abundant in the Paramos near 
the Sierra Nevada, at the comparatively low elevation of 9000 feet. It appears to be confined to the region 
between the 8th and 9th degrees of north latitude. It occasionally perches upon the thinly scattered 
shrubs of this icy region, such as the Hypericum, Myrtus, Daphne, arborescent Espeletias, and towards the 
lower limit on Bejarias, but most frequently upon the projecting ledges of the rocks near to the snow. Its 
flight is swift, but very short; when it leaves the spot upon which it has been perched, it launches itself 
obliquely downwards, uttering at the same time a plaintive whistling sound, wbich is also occasionally 
uttered while perched; as well as I can recollect, I have never heard it produce the humming sound made 
by several other members of the group, nor does it partake of their joyous spirit and perpetual activity. 
Neither myself nor Messrs. Funck and Schlim were able to discover its nest, although we all made a most 
diligent search. Its food appears principally to consist of minute insects, all the specimens we procured 
having their stomachs filled with small flies." 

The adult male has the head and lengthened crest black, with a narrow stripe of white feathers down 
the centre, joined on the forehead by two narrow lines of white, which proceed along either side of the 
base of the bill ; down the centre of the throat is a similar lengthened tuft of white feathers, in the middle 
of which there is a faint indication of the rich shining green mark so conspicuous in 0. Gtienm\ black 
of the head bounded on the sides and in front by a broad band of white ; upper surface, wing-coverts and 
two centre tail-feathers bronzy green, the latter with a narrow line of white down the basal portion of 
the shaft; lateral tail-feathers coppery bronze, with the basal portion of the shafts white, which is some- 
what broader on the outer feather on each side than on the others ; under surface of the tail bronzy purple; 
wings purplish brown ; under surface olive-brown, with bronzy reflexions ; under tail-coverts bronzy green, 
narrowly edged with white ; bill, feet and eyes brownish black. 

Total length, 5^ inches; bill, 4; wing, 3; tail, 2^-; tarsus, -[V. 

The female has the head and upper surface coppery brown ; tail as in the male, but not so rich in colour, 
and with a broader mark of white on the lateral feathers; throat mottled with white and co])pery brown 
feathers ; flanks coppery brown with greenish reflexions. 

Total length, 4^ inches; bill, i; wing, 2i; tail, 2; tarsus, \. 

The figures represent two males and a female of the natural size, on a flowering branch of Bejaria 
coarctata. Hooker. 



f^ 



hi 




MAMPJHKDMICJROE 



T 



ITEIEOPdD €. 



J' GcaZd., and.S' CM^itT. del tt hik 



m>JU<xn£d- IMl^iT' , htp 



RAMPHOMICRON HETEROPOGON. 

Columbian Thorn-bill. 

Ornismya heteropogon, Boiss. in Rev. ZooL, 1839, p. 355. — lb. Mag. de ZooL, 1840, Ois 

pi. 12. 
Trochihis coruscus, Fras. in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part viii. p. 15. 

Mellisuga Jieteropogon, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 112, Mellisiiga, sp. 28. 
Ramphomicron heteropogon, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 79, Ramphomicron, sp. 2. 



The high lands of the great country of Columbia, from Venezuela to some distance to the northward of 
Santa Fe de Bogota, are the natural habitat of this fine species. It is there very generally spread over the 
temperate regions of the country, never ascending to the snow-capped hills, nor descending to the hot 
plains below, but frequenting the warmer valleys, where a luxuriant vegetation teeming with insect life 
affords it a never-ceasing supply of nourishment. Its comparatively short and feeble bill points out that 
minute insects constitute its principal food ; and as its structure is so similar to the other species of the 
genus, we may infer, that, like them, it tranquilly flits about among the low shrubs in secluded valleys, and 
does not ascend to the loftier trees, as do many of the TrochiUdcB, 

Of all the Humming-Birds sent in collections from Santa Fe de Bogota, the present species occurs in 
the greatest abundance ; and it must indeed be very numerous in the districts resorted to by the wholesale 
collectors of that city. These specimens are either captured in nets, or killed with the blow-pipe by the 
Indians. Considerable variation occurs in the size of specimens from different localities. The Venezuelan 
examples, particularly those from Pamplona, are much larger, and have the luminous throat-mark more 
extensive than in those from Bogota ; the colder climate of which place, due in a great measure to its 
elevated position, appears to prevent the birds from attaining the size and brilliancy of their more luxu- 
riantly situated brethren. I have reason to believe that the old females have the beard-like appendage, 
though less strongly developed than in the male, inasmuch as among the numerous examples sent to 
Europe very small specimens so dressed frequently occur. If this supposition be correct, the latter style 
of plumage will doubtless be found in the very old females of the other species of the genus ; but this is a 
point which can only be ascertained by dissection. 

The young of the year of both sexes are totally devoid of the luminous gorget, the under surface being 
of a uniform colour ; or if the uniformity be broken, it is only by a few speckled markings, like those that 
occur in the young of R. Herrani, R. mkrorhyncha. Sec. 

Forehead and crown of the head deep shining green ; upper surface and wing-coverts rich greenish 
bronze ; wings purplish brown ; tail deep bronzy brown ; down the centre of the throat a series of pendent 
plumes, the upper portion of which is shining metallic green, tinged on each side with orange, and the 
lower portion deep metallic purplish lilac ; sides of the neck and under surface bronzy green, fading into 
pale brown on the lower part of the abdomen ; across the vent an irregular mark of greyish white ; under 
tail-coverts buff, with bronzy centres ; bill black ; legs purplish grey ; soles of the feet yellowish ; claws 
dark purplish brown. 

Two males, and a female or a young bird of the year, are figured on the accompanying Plate, from 
Pamplonan specimens received from Mr. Linden. 




MAMFMOMICRON STAWLIEYK 



GmU and- S-C Richie: d^- el htk.'. 



mimande^lWa^f^ri'. finp. 



RAMPHOMICRON STANLEYI. 

Stanley's Thorn-bill. 

TrocJdlus Stanleyi, Boiirc. et Muls. in Ann. de la Soc. d'Agr,, &c. de Lyon, May 24, 1850. 



So largely have our collections been enriched of late years with additional species of this lovely group of 
birds, that I believe I am right in affirming that only fifteen years prior to the present period (1852), not 
a single species of the restricted genus Ramphomicron was known to the Ornithologists of Europe. This 
may have arisen in a great measure from the scanty knowledge we then had of the productions of the 
great Andean range, particularly that portion bordering on the Equator, from the circumstance of some 
of the species being apparently confined to very limited areas, and to the fact of many of them inhabiting 
localities wherein no one could have imagined that such delicate creatures would be found, and where! 
consequently, they were never sought for. The species figured on the accompanying Plate is a remarkable 
illustration of the case in point, the bird being, as I have reason to believe, confined to the inner sides 
of the great crater of Pichincha in Ecuador, where it was discovered by the French Trochilidist, 
M. Bourcier, whose account of his ascent of the mountain and discovery of the bird is so admirably 
detailed, that it is only an act of justice to him to give the account as nearly as may be in his own words. 
Before doing so, however, I would remark that this bird, which is of no ordinary interest, possesses cha- 
racters so peculiarly its own, that it cannot for a moment be confounded with any other species. 

The dark and lugubrious colouring, relieved alone by the narrow metallic streak down the throat, indi- 
cates, on the one hand, the kind of situation in which it would probably be found ; and on the other, its 
short and feeble bill points out that minute insects constitute its food, and that a corresponding diminutive 
flora doubtless clothes the situations which the bird frequents. 

The present makes the fifth species of the well-defined genus Ramphomkron, and although not the most 
highly coloured, it is not the least interesting in the eyes of the true Naturalist. In the blue colouring of 
its back it is nearly allied to R, mkrorliyncha ; while in the form of its beard or throat-mark it reminds 
one of the well-known R. heteropogon. As is the case with those species, the female diflfers from the male 
in wanting the brilliant throat-mark ; and the young birds are mottled on the throat with white. 

M. Bourcier has dedicated this species to the son of the Earl of Derby, as a tribute of respect to his 
Lordship, and to his noble grandfather, who devoted a long lifetime to the pursuit of Natural History, and 
contributed so largely and so munificently to the advancement of that branch of science. 

The following account by M. Bourcier of his discovery of this beautiful species, as given in a letter to 
his friend M. Mulsant, will be read with interest : — 

"A few days ago, accompanied by two Indians, I attempted an ascent of the mountain Pichincha, a 
volcano so called, situated about three leagues and a half to the west-north-west of the city of Quito, but 
which is not usually reached until after a seven or eight hours' march. Part of the journey may be easily 
performed on horseback, but on attaining a certain elevation you are compelled to quit your horses, and 
let them await your return : fortunately the uninhabited position permits of your tethering them without 
fear of robbers. From this point the ascent became very difficult, as we had continually to climb over the 
heaps of pumice-stones with which the steep sides of the mountain were strewn. But how can I describe 
to you the magnificent picture which, after having surmounted these obstacles, met our delighted gaze ? 
Picture to yourself two crater-formed cavities, separated by a trachytic wall, from the bottom of which 
opens nearly forty mouths vomiting smoke. We were at a height above the level of the sea corresponding 
with the summit of Mont Blanc, without a trace of vegetation around us; it was the desert in its majesty 
and its silence. The Condor alone, the King of these elevated solitudes, hovered above these desert 
places, his eternal domain. At our feet were immense gullies, of which the distcince disguised their 
vast depth. They had been formed without doubt by the dreadful eruptions of which history and tradition 
have preserved the most unhappy remembrances. Unfortunately we had proceeded in the direction of the 
most abruptly elevated point, and were obliged to make a detour of three quarters of a league to find a 
more gradual ascent ; nevertheless, it was still from 400 to 500 metres. This delayed my arrival at the 
middle of the desert circle, and prevented me from approaching near to these breathing-holes, which perhaps 
preserve the country from fresh eruptions of the volcano, and from exploring with ornithological views 
a country too rarely visited. Then think of the troubles and dangers to be encountered before being repaid ! 
To descend these steep declivities, one is obliged to support oneself on one's hands, and occasionally to slide 
over the surface. Often the calcined accumulations on which you tread pulverize under your feet, causing 
those around to lose their equUibrium and draw others after them, the falling masses frequently menacing 
the life of the traveller. After four hours of fatigue alleviated by the hope of pleasures to come, we arrived 
at the wished-for destination, and found ourselves in a crater of a circidar or rather slightly oval form, sur- 
rounded by a kind of wall of trachyte of a uniform elevation, except on the western side, where it is cut 
down for the passage of the waters, which falling into the Esmeralda, carry their tribute to the Pacific 



Ocean. In this sort of enclosure arises an elevated cone, from whence are emitted numerous jets of sul- 
phurous acid, and from whence escapes, accompanied hy a slight noise, a watery vapour. In some of these 
breathing-holes the sulphur is condensed into crystals ; and in many places the ground is covered with 
pulverized pumice or black cinders, which renders one fearful of approaching them. The earth presents 
crevices the depth of which the eye dares scarcely measure, and some of which must be at least 200 metres 
deep ; they gather the rain and snow-waters, and become the beds of rivulets which flow westward. Tliese 
ravines or quehrados, as the Indians call them, frequently obliged us to make lengthy detours, and to waste 
a considerable amount of time. The sides of those of moderate depth were carpeted with verdure and 
ornamented with various shrubs. Here it was that I had the pleasure of discovering the Trochilus Stanleyi, 
a lovely species, which rifles flowers of the C/mguiragn imigyiis, a plant so named by the illustrious Humboldt, 
of which it appears to be an ardent lover conjointly with T. pkhincha, with which species it is continually 
at war. 

" I found that it would require a week completely to explore these wilds ; but how were we to 
carry the necessary provisions ? and how could I hope for fine weather at such an elevation for an 
entire week ? On the present occasion I had been favoured in this latter respect beyond my hopes ; to a 
magnificent day succeeded a beautiful night, during which the moon, at its full, lent a fairy charm to the 
scene. Wrapped in our ponchos, a kind of cloak of the country, we awaited the return of day ; recli- 
ning upon stones and sheltered by a rock, in spite of the inconvenience of the position, we enjoyed the 
pleasures of a deep sleep upon this menacing soil, which in a moment of caprice might launch us into 
eternity. The next day unexpected troubles attended us ; in order to regain the rocks which formed the 
barrier to the enclosure, we were obliged to pick our way along a sandy soil, in which we sank up to our 
knees ; and in order to creep along this quicksand, which continually yielded to our feet, we had to support 
ourselves by rocks, which as frequently broke away beneath our fingers. Arriving at last, after many long 
and weary hours, on the highest elevation of this impracticable ground, ^ve found ourselves in the Paramos 
mountains, used for the pasturage of cattle. Here the winds blew at once with such violence, and a blast 
so keen, that I twice essayed to continue my route before I could muster courage so to do. We now took 
again to our horses, with which we soon gained the woody slopes, clothed with various species of Datura, 
and the rich plains which lead to the city. On re-entering Quito, all my troubles were forgotten, while 
the pleasure of having made a new discovery remained impressed upon my memory, coupled with a vivid 
recollection of the interesting scene in which it had occurred." 

Head, sides, and back of the neck and wing-coverts greenish bronze ; back and rump deep violet blue ; 
wings purplish brown ; upper tail-coverts and tail dark bluish green ; down the centre of the throat is a 
series of scale-like feathers, broad at the chin and gradually tapering to a point on the breast, the upper 
part of which is of a brilliant metallic emerald green, which passes into the amethystine blue, tinged on the 
margins with red of the lower portion ; under surface dark sooty-brown washed on the flanks with bronze ; 
under tail-coverts of a greyish white, with a streak of steel-blue down the centre of each feather ; bill and 
feet black. 

The female differs in having no trace of the brilliant gorget. 

The Plate represents two males and a female of the natural size on the Siphocampylus giganteus. 






^-. 



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V"^V 







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ff^' 



'^ 7 



4t^V 






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ILAMPHOMICROF VITLCAKI. ^oi^i. 



JGouMa.nd./iCRich?£r. ddetdi^A. 



Wkll^^ - d Cohrz , Ir?y?. 



RAMPHOMICRON VULCANI, Gould. 

Southern Thorn-bill. 

Mamphomicron Vulcani, Gould in Jard. Cont. to Orn. 1852, p. 135. 



The single specimen I possess of this curious bird was brought to this country by M. Warszewicz, and was, 
I believe, collected during his last journey into Bohvia ; but of this I am not certain. It is doubtless a 
mountain species, and probably inhabits, like the Ramphomicron Stanleyi, the shrubby sides of the interior of 
some extinct volcano. It is perhaps more nearly allied to that species than to any other, but differs from it 
in the colouring of its luminous throat-mark. The acquisition of only a single specimen of this species 
tends to confirm the opinion I have elsewhere expressed that many new species of Humming-Birds will yet 
be discovered among the towering Andes. 

The following is a copy of my original description of this bird, published in Sir William Jardine's 
'Contributions to Ornithology' for 1852. 

" Head, sides, back of the neck and wing-coverts greenish brown ; back and rump deep violet blue ; 
wings purplish brown ; upper tail-coverts and tail dark bluish green ; down the centre of the throat a series 
of scale-like feathers, broad at the chin and tapering to a point on the breast, the upper part of which is of 
a brilliant metallic emerald-green, passing into steely amethystine blue ; under surface dark brownish grey ; 
under tail-coverts greyish white, with a streak of steel-blue down the centre of each feather ; bill and feet 
black. 

" Total length 4i inches ; bill tV ; wing % ; tail 2|. 

" Remark. — Nearly allied to R. Stanleyi, but of a much smaller size ; greyer on the breast, and the lower 
part of the beard steely amethystine blue, with little or none of the reddish tinge seen in that species." 
The figures are of the natural size. The plant is the Sida Pichinchensis. 



1 



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\ 



18AMiE>:iI©MIC]R®lT MEiRiaiiiMI 



Gou-LcC a.?i.-£ ^ C Jlzc^ii&'', del. eZ.. cuA,-. 



SidLm.a;nMl i Mlio-n^Jrnf- 



I 



RAMPHOMICRON HERRANI 

Herran's Thorn-bill. 

Trochilus Herrani, De Latt. et Bourc. in Rev. ZooL, Sept. 1846. 
Calothorax herrani, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 85, Calothorax, sp. 3. 



It Is not more remarkable than it is true, that some of our most eminent ornithologists entertain a kind of 
antipathy to the beautiful TrochUidcB ; while others, charmed by their elegant forms, brilliant metallic deco- 
rations and interesting habits, regard them with a feeling akin to admiration ; I feel certain, however, that 
the course of time and a better acquaintance with the subject, will lead the former class into the ranks of 
the latter, and that these lovely birds will become universal favourites. The rarer species are but little 
known and understood, and doubtless many of great beauty yet remain to be discovered. It is but very 
recently that the brilliant bird figured on the accompanying Plate has been sent to Europe, and surely the 
discovery and acquisition of objects such as this must tend to weaken the opinions of those who regard the 
entire group as uninteresting: for my own part, I consider this addition to our stores to be replete with 
interest in every sense of the word ; its elegant form, fine bold rounded purple tail, rufous crown and rump, 
yielding in colour only to that of its fiery beard, rendering it the finest species of the genus yet discovered. 

The female was first obtained by M. Delattre at Pasto, in New Grenada, but I believe the discovery of 
the male is due to M. Bourcier, who procured several examples in the primeval forests of Ecuador. A fine 
specimen of the former sex has also been sent to me by M. Warszewiez, from the Cordillera of Quindios in 
Columbia ; the true habitat of the species would therefore seem to be the great ranges of the Andes, near 
to the Equator. Its fine colours indicate that it is a native of warmer regions than those frequented by any 
other member of the genus. The colouring of the sexes is very similar, with the exception of the female 
being destitute of the beard-like appendage so conspicuous in the male. 

M. Bourcier informs me that " It flies but little, and Is very tranquil In Its own habits, but Is continually 
pursued and attacked by the other species of Hummlng-BIrds frequenting the same locality. Its flight is 
short and easy, as it skips from branch to branch to explore the flowers of the small shrubs, from whicli It 
obtains Its Insect food. It remains motionless during the day, and Is only to be met with in the evening or 
very early In the morning. I made diligent search In all the mountainous districts called Paramos, used for 
the pasturing of cattle. In the hope of finding additional examples, but In vain ; I am therefore led to con- 
clude that It does not exist beyond the chain of mountains whence the river Madelalne rises. I am Inclined 
to think that the female Is destitute of the beard." 

This fine bird has been dedicated by MM. Delattre and Bourcier to General Herran, formerly President 
of the Republic of New Grenada, a gentleman of rare attainments, who evinced the greatest friendship for 
Europeans, and an ardent desire to promote In his own country the useful and natural sciences. 

Down the centre of the crown from the bill to the occiput a stripe of rusty red, tinged with golden on Its 
posterior half; sides of the head dull black; plumage of the upper and under surface dull bronzy green, 
with an Indistinct band of buffy-white across the lower part of the abdomen ; wings purplish brown ; rump 
and upper tail-coverts deep bronzy rufous ; two central tail-feathers plum-colour, the remainder purplish 
black, the two outer ones on each side largely, and the third on each side slightly tipped with white ; 
feathers of the chin small, scale-like, and of a brilliant metallic green, below which Is a series of larger 
elongated pendent feathers of a brilliant fiery metallic red, bounded on either side with deep velvety black ; 
under tail-coverts huffy white ; bill black ; feet blackish brown. 

In the female or young bird, the mark on the crown Is broader and of a uniform dark rust-red ; upper 
surface, wings and tail as In the male, but less brilliant, especially on the rump ; throat pale buff", with a 
spot of shining green at the tip of each feather. 

The Plate represents two males and a female, or young bird, on a plant of the coimtry in which the bird 
Is found. 




\ 




■'XS 



]mmpmo_micbd:m" mificefs. rGouZd.; 



J {^^uZd- n7u7,_S I SvJUer. iM- el ki/v. 



M/.llma7u^^.S WalfMri... /rnfi. 



RAMPHOMICRON RUFICEPS, Gould. 

Red-capped Thorn-Bill. 

Trochilus ( — ?) rujiceps^ Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xiv. p. 89. 

Mellisuga ruficeps, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 112, Mellisuga, sp. 29. 

Ramphomicron ruficeps^ Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 79, Ramphomicron^ sp. 3. 



With the exception of Ramphomicron microrhynchus, this is the least species of the genus with which I am 
acquainted; it is most nearly allied to R, heteropogon, but may at once be distinguished from that species 
by its red crown and by the nearly uniform hue of the gorget or throat-mark. A single specimen only 
graces my collection ; the discovery of which is due to Mr. Bridges, who brought this and numerous other 
treasures from the interior of Bolivia. The only other species of Ramphomicron with a red crown is the 
beautiful R. Herrani^ but with this bird the R. rujiceps can never be confounded. 

Mr. Bridges informed me that the specimen above alluded to was found by him at Unduave, in the 
Yungas of La Paz. 

Crown deep rusty red; throat lustrous bronzy green; upper surface green; under surface brownish 
green ; tail pure bronze ; wings purplish brown ; bill black. 



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if #' / 



lEAMFMOMjECMm MICMBMMTNaLi, 



./^M .xnxlECR'chter. fM- ei izt/i^- 



JluJI/ruxndd &, Ji^zMn^Jmp. 



RAMPHOMICRON MICRORHYNCHA. 

Thorn-bill. 

Ornismya microrhyncha, Boiss. in Rev. Zool. 1839, p. 354.— lb. Mag. de Zool. 1840, Ois., 
pi. 16. 

Trochilus brachyrhyncJms, Fras. in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part viii. p. 16. 

Mellisuga microrhyncha, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 112, Mellisuga, sp. 32. 

Ramphomicron microrhyncha, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 79, Ramphomicron, sp! 1. 



In the accompanying Plate, I have vainly attempted to illustrate this very lovely species, which (strange as 
it may seem) always conjures up in my mind a remembrance of the glow-worm, whose evening torch so 
charmingly illumines the dark lane-sides of our own country ; for indeed in its plumage, a gleam of intense 
lustre is contrasted with the tone of the general plumage. The glow-worm shines in the dark, but this bird, 
on the contrary, is most glorious in the glare of the sun ; when its throat, opposed to bright light, becomes 
transcendently brilliant ; the surrounding dark colouring tending to render it more conspicuous : the beau- 
tiful violet-coloured back, relieved by the dark hue of the wings, and the black tail, all combined Avith the 
utmost harmony, and in the most elegant form, render this bird an object of no ordinary interest. As its 
name implies, the bill is remarkably small, and in fact, there is no species yet discovered that has this organ 
so diminutive : how minute then must be the insects upon which it feeds, how small must be the flowers 
from which they are obtained, and how active must it be to procure a sufficient supply of these microscopic 
creatures for the sustenance of life ! M. Bourcier informs me that it is a migratory species, and that in 
Ecuador, where he had killed many specimens, he had seen it obtaining its insect food from the low composite 
plants,' with open daisy-like tufts of yellow flowers, growing on the hill sides at an elevation of from eight to 
twelve thousand feet, to which it seemed to be so partial, that wherever he found these plants, there he was quite 
certain to find the bird also. M. Bourcier adds, that a great number may be killed before adult males in full 
plumage are procured, and that the preparation of specimens for the cabinet is very difficult, from the readiness 
with which the feathers are detached from the skin. It is usually met with in small companies ; flies very gently, 
and never rises far from the ground. From Ecuador, which I believe to be its most southern limit, it is 
found far to the southward of Santa Fe de Bogota, and doubtless inhabits all the districts between these 
distant localities. It will be seen then, that, like its congeners, it is strictly an Andean species. Although 
now very common in our collections, it is only within the last few years that the bird was discovered and 
sent to Europe. 

The adult male has the head, all the upper surface and wing-coverts rich dark shining purple ; wings very 
dark purplish brown ; tail velvety black ; on the throat a large gorget of the most luminous metallic 
yellowish green ; under surface bronzy green ; across the vent an irregular band of buff; under tail-coverts 
dull bronzy green, edged with buff"; bill black ; feet dark brown. 

The female has the whole of the upper surface bronzy green ; the throat white with a spot of bronzy 
green at the tip of each feather ; the remainder of the under surface white, washed with bronzy green on 
the flanks ; vent deep buff ; under tail-coverts similar to, but darker than those of the male ; tail purplish 
bronzy black, the two lateral feathers on each side tipped with white ; a white mark in the centre of the 
back in some instances. 

It is not yet, I believe, clearly ascertained if the adult female ever has the gorget; in all probability 
she has not, or at all events not until after her capability for reproduction has ceased. 

In some specimens we find the purple of the upper surface mottled with shining green ; the throat-mark 
only partially developed, the lower part of the abdomen, and the margins of the under tail-coverts white, 
and the outer tail-feather only tipped with that colour : the birds in this state, I believe, are males of the 
second year assuming the adult plumage. 

The Plate represents two adult males, a female, and a young bird of the year, on a species of Mimosa of 
the country, a plant very generally resorted to by the Trochilidcs. 




M 



-X: 




FIROBTM'TI IBE¥Jx\MI[MI. 



fOrithiafttU/f'Htr/tftr. lif/ft hJ/i 



■f(i(iiriHtM/(/': i}W//^'rf A///' 



UROSTICTE BENJAMINI. 

White-tip. 

Trochilus Benjamini Bourc. Compt. Rend, de FAcad. des Sci., torn, xxxii. p. 187. 



This beautiful species, one of the late discoveries in this lovely tribe of birds, differs in so many parti- 
culars from every other member of the family, that I have been constrained to give it a new generic title, 
and have selected that of Urostkte as indicative of the conspicuous white terminations of the four central 
tail-feathers ; in nearly every other instance it is the outer feathers that are thus marked, and not the central 
ones, and it is the circumstance of the latter being thus decorated in the present bird which renders it so 
remarkable. 

For a knowledge of this fine bird we are indebted to M. Bourcier, who discovered it during his resi- 
dence in Ecuador as the French Consul General for that Republic ; and who has named it Benjammi, after 
the eldest son of Mr, Leadbeater, a name so well known to all naturalists. M. Bourcier states that 
it inhabits the warm regions in the environs of Gualea; and I have received several examples from Quito, 
through the hands of Professor Jameson, who procured them on the western side of Pichincha. 

The sexes offer a marked difference, as will be seen by the following descriptions : — 

The male has the general plumage of the body, both on the upper and under surfaces, green ; behind the 
eye a conspicuous projecting tuft of white ; throat luminous green, below which is a gorget-shaped mark of 
deep reddish violet ; wings dark purplish brown ; tail bronzy purple, the four central feathers largely tipped 
with white ; bill black ; feet brown. 

The female has the upper surface green, inclining to bronze on the head ; the white tufts behind the eye 
less conspicuous ; all but the two central tail-feathers tipped with white, and the throat and abdomen white, 
with a spangle of shining green at the tip of each feather. 

The young male is dark bronzy green above, dark green below; has the throat rufous, and the four 
central feathers with an oblong patch of white near the tip. 

The Plate represents two males, a young male and a female of the natural size, on a species oi Sedum, 
grown by Sir William Jardine, Bart., at Jardine Hall, from seeds sent to him by Professor Jameson of 
Quito. 




ffXi^ riii 



rALLITRA CITPREICAITDA, Goidd 



~ (^cdd. ^^/ul/fC HirAl€'r ddeZ I^/A 



MxZ&r?^7ui€l / ^^^fe^ ^ 



METALLURA CUPREICAUDA, Gould. 

Coppery-Tail. 

Trochilm (— ?) cupricauda, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xiv. p. 87. 

Mellisuga cupreocauda, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 113, Mellisucja, sp. 43 

Metallura cupreicaudus, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 75, Metallura, sp. 1. 

cupreicauda, Reich. Auf. der Col., p. 8. 

Aglaactis cupreicauda, Bonap. Rev. Zool. 1854, p. 253. 



This large and extremely fine bird is distinguished from all the other members of its genus by its greater 
size, the dark colouring of its breast, and the lustrous coppery hue of the under surface of its tail. Mr. 
Bridges is almost the only person who has brought specimens of this bird to Europe. With one exception, 
all the examples in my collection were procured by him. These were part of the acquisitions he secured 
dunng an expedition into Bolivia, which, although not, perhaps, remunerative in a commercial point of 
view, increased his reputation as the discoverer of the many new and interesting objects, both in zoology 
and botany, he brought with him on his return to Europe. Mr. Bridges states that he found this fine bird 
engaged in extracting its insect food from the flowers of a graceful species of the genus Loranthus. 

But few species of the Trochilidae are so scarce in our collections as the present bird ; and it would 
doubtless well repay any naturalist who would devote a series of years to the exploration of the rich 
country of Bolivia for the acquisition of fine examples of this and the many other interesting birds which 
there abound. Mr. Bridges mentions that he found this species in the Valley of Palea, near Tacna. It is, 
I believe, strictly a mountainous species, but is never found so high as the line of perpetual congelation. 

Not possessing any examples of the female of this species, I am unable to give a description of that sex. 

Throat lustrous bluish green ; behind the eye a small spot of greyish white; crown of the head, neck, 
back, and all the upper surface dark lustrous purplish brown ; wings the same, but lighter ; under surface 
of the tail rich fiery and very luminous copper colour ; its upper surface, in one light, rich purplish copper 
colour, and in another greenish ; bill black. 

The figures are of the natural size. The plant is the Cntasetum naso, var. 




AIETALLITRA _.ENEICAU»A, GouU. 



J.Goui.da7?.(^^C'BzcM6r. (££ ^Mi- 



J/c^r^m^J' d Wa,rtMn, ^ 



METALLURA ^NEICAUDA, Gould, 

Brassy Tail. 

TrocMlus ( — ?) ceneocauda, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xiv. p. 87. 

Mellimga ceneocauda, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 113, Mellisuga, sp. 44 

Metallura aneicaudus, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 75, Metallura, sp. 2. 

cBneicauda, Reicli. Auf. der Col., p. 8. 

AglcBactis mieicauda, Bonap. Rev. Zool. 1854, p. 253. 



The Metallura (Eneicauda is next in size, and also in rarity, to the Coppery-tailed species, of which latter 
quality the hest evidence consists in the circumstance that neither of these species has received a second 
specific name. It was first brought to this country by Mr. Bridges, who obtained it at Unduave in the 
Yungas of La Paz in Bolivia. I believe I may say that of this species I have both males and females in my 
Collection, and that they are accurately depicted on the accompanying Plate. In this fine bird we have 
additional evidence of the riches of the Yungas : pestilential woods, however, I fear they are ; otherwise 
they certainly would be more often visited. It cannot be supposed that during so hurried a visit and so 
short a stay as that made by Mr. Bridges, he could have obtained more than a tithe of the birds of these 
thickly-wooded regions. There are, doubtless. Humming-birds, Toucans, Trogons, and additional species 
of every other Andean group flying therein, examples of which have never yet been sent to Europe ; what a 
field therefore is open for Mr. Wallace or Mr. Bates, should they determine to continue their explorations ! 
The entire under surface of the tail of the male of this species is of the richest metallic brassy green, 
while on the upper side it is washed with blue or purple in different lights. The same general colour per- 
vades the tail in the female ; but the three outer feathers on each side are tipped with grey, the outer one 
rather largely, the next less so, and the third very faintly. The female also wants the green on the throat ; 
and her under surface is mottled with green and buff in lieu of the richer and purer green of the male. 

The male has the throat luminous metallic green, under surface mingled green and brown ; behind the 
eye a small spot of greyish white ; upper surface green, wings purplish brown ; under surface of the tail 
luminous brassy green ; upper surface of the tail metallic brown, changing in some lights to deep blue or 
purple ; bill black. 

The figures are of the natural size. The plant is the Callania Andinamarcana. 




METAILLITRA WILLIAMI. 



J.Coi<.ldandECRir7ir^7: d^^ ^/ IzlA 



J{u2l7?z.{mddJ^ fe<^'7?> ^^ 



METALLURA WILLIAML 

Purple-Tail. 

Trochilus TVilliami, Bourc. et De Latt. Rev. Zool. 1846, p. 308. 

Mellisuga Williami, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 112, Mellimga, sp. 38. 

Metallura Williami, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 75, Metallura, sp. 5.— Reich. Auf. der Col., 

p. 8. 
William, Bonap. Rev. Zool. 1854, p. 253. 



The rich and little known country of Popayan, in New Grenada, is the favourite residence or habitat of this 
rare species, which is in every respect a true Metallura, and which, even with the most careless glance, 
cannot be confounded with any one of the already known species. In size it is intermediate between M. 
maragdinicollis and M. (Eneicauda ; but it differs from those, and every other species of the genus, in its 
sombre or obscure style of colouring, and particularly in the deep and peculiar violaceous blue colouring 
of the tail. 

With regard to any difference in the plumage of the sexes, I can say but little. The specimen in my 
collection, which is supposed to be a female, has the entire under surface mottled with green and buff; in 
other respects she is similarly clothed to the male. 

This species has been named in honour of Mr. William S. Wilson of Paris, brother of Dr. T. B. Wilson 
of Philadelphia, who has so largely enriched the fine collection of natural history in the Academy of Sciences 
of that city. 

The male has the head and the whole of the upper and under surface and wing-coverts deep green, a 
very small spot of greyish white behind the eye ; on the throat the green is lighter and brilliant ; tail sordid 
purplish green above, beneath deep violet ; bill black. 

The female is very similar, but has no trace of the bright green on the throat. The description of this 
sex is necessarily imperfect, as I have only an indifferent specimen to describe from. 

The figures are of the natural size. The plant is the Madeania punctata. 





METALLTORA PRIMOLTNU S . _^, 



ona. 



m 



J-Cf)7iCd.andKCMch:f^.?\ ddetkk. 



Waller & Cok?tJrff 



METALLURA PRIMOLINUS. 



Primoli's Humming--Bir(l. 



Metalhira primolina, Bourc. in Rev. et. Mag. de Zool. 1853, p. 295; Reichenb. Aufz. der 
Col., p. 8. 

primolinus, Bonap. in Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 253. 

primulina, Reichenb. Troeh. Enum., p. 5. 



TJrolampra primolina, Cab. et Hein. Mus. Hein., p. 68, note. 



I HAVE been obliged to figure tbis bird from imperfect materials, tbe only specimen known being in 
a very indifferent state of preservation. It is contained in the collection of M. Bourcier, of Paris, and, I 
feel assured, is a female, and perhaps an immature one; but if so, I am confident that it is the female of a 
species quite distinct from any other that has yet been discovered. This is one of the reasons which have 
induced me to attempt its illustration, as by this means collectors may be incited to seek for more perfect 
specimens. Another reason for my so doing is, that I wish to comply with the desire of my late, highly esteemed 
friend Prince Charles Lucien Bonaparte, that the species should be named after his grandson, the infant son 
df Count Primoli, and that it should be figured in my work. I have deferred to the w^ishes of the Prince, 
and impatiently await the arrival of additional examples. 

The MetallurcB are a group of Humming-Birds which has always interested me ; and their richly luminous 
and ample tails cannot fail to elicit feelings of admiration in every one. The species are somewhat numerous, 
and they are all closely allied; yet each possesses certain prominent characters by which the ornithologist 
may readily discriminate the one from the other. They inhabit the great Andean range of mountains from the 
northernmost parts of New Granada to Bolivia and Peru ; those inhabiting the last-mentioned countries are 
the largest and the most gorgeously attired. 

The M. Primolhms is about the same size as the M. Williami, but differs from that species in the greater 
length of its bill and in the more luminous green colouring of the under side of the tail. It is said to 
be a native of Peru. 

Crown of the head and upper surface dull bronzy green; under surface mottled bronzy green and buffy 
grey, the latter colour occupying the basal portion of the feathers ; wings purplish brown ; tail extremely 
luminous, shining green on the under surface and bronzy green and purplish blue on the upper, the three 
lateral feathers on each side slightly tipped with brownish grey ; bill blackish brown, paler on the under 
than on the upper mandible ; feet dark brown. 

The figures are of the natural size. The plant is the Thibaudia Pichinchenm. 




XV 




lETALLURA TYRIAFTHIKA, 



J. 6m6d^nd.K^.7^77'^ ; de^^Z- ^/^ 



J/i^2^^72^z^d I m/.fm, T^^^p 



METALLURA TYRIANTHINA. 

Tyrian-Tail. 

TrocUlm tyrianthimis, Locld. in Proc. of Comm. of Sci. and Corr. of Zool. Soc, pt. 11. p. 6. 
Ornismya Allardi, Bourc. Rev. Zool. 1839, p. 294.— lb. Ann. Sci. Phys. &c. de Lyon, 1840, 
p. 226. pis. 3, 4. 

PauUnw, Boiss. Rev. Zool. 1839, p. 354.— lb. Mag. de Zool. 1840, pi. 13. 

Trochilm Allardi, Jard. Cont. to Orn. 1850, pp. 81-9, 151. pi. 55. 

Mellisuga tyrianthinus, Gray and Mitcb. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 112, MelUmga, sp. 36. 

Metallura tyriantlmia, Reicb. Auf. der Col., p. 8. 

tyrianthinus, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 75, Metallura, sp. 4.— lb. Rev. Zool. 1854, 

p. 253. 



The Metallura tyrianthina was first described by the late Mr. George Loddiges in the " Proceedings of the 
Committee of Science and Correspondence of the Zoological Society of London " for the year 1832 ; it 
afterwards received the name of Allardi from M. Bourcier in 1839, and that of PaulincB, in honour of 
Mademoiselle Pauline Barthod, from M. Boissonneau, in 1840. It is without exception one of the 
commonest species of the genus, and enjoys an extremely wide range of habitat, extending over at least 
15 degrees of latitude, being abundant all along the Andean ranges, from the Gulf of Darien to Ecuador. 
It appears to be especially numerous in the neighbourhood of Santa Fe de Bogota, a large number of 
examples being contained in every collection sent from that country. It has been figured by Sir William 
Jardine in his "Contributions to Ornithology" for 1850, where he has also given some interesting 
notes furnished to him by Professor Jameson of Quito, and M. Bourcier, which notes I take the liberty of 
extracting : — 

" Professor Jameson gives the western declivity of Pichincha as the habitat of this species, and states 
that ' it feeds generally on the flowers of a blue lupine, and that its habits resembled more those of an insect 
than one of the feathered tribe.' " 

" This species," says M. Bourcier, " is scattered over all the mountains of New Grenada and Ecuador ; 
it is met with on all the woody mountains, and also in the valleys (feeding from the flowers of all the 
different kinds of plants and orchids) visited by other species of the TrocMlidcs. It braves the cold, and is 
one of the Humming-birds which is found on the flowers of the last shrubs which are met with in the high 
regions of the Paramos (cold mountains covered with grass, which separate the surrounding rocks of 
sand covered with snow from the other spots clothed with wood). 

"This Humming-bird has a rapid flight ; it lives solitary, and makes its nest in ravines, among groups of 
plants, shaded from the sun and rain ; like the other species, it lays two white eggs. 

" The female is red under the belly, without any fine colour on the throat. The young are covered with 
a blackish plumage. I never heard this species utter a cry." 

The sexes difl^er considerably in colour, the female being much less gaily attired than her mate ; she is 
also somewhat smaller in size. 

The male has the upper and under surface and wing-coverts dark dull bronzy green ; a small spot of white 
behmd the eye ; down the throat a lengthened mark of luminous green, bounded on each side by blackish 
brown ; wings purplish brown ; tail rich purplish bronze ; bill black. 

I he female has the plumage of the upper surface golden-bronze; tail bronzy purple, lighter than that of 
the male, the lateral feathers tipped with greyish white ; no trace of the green gorget, the throat and the 
whole of the under surface being mottled with light grey, reddish, and here and there reflexions of o-reen • 
behind the eye a spot of white. 

The figures are of the natural size. The plant is the Ceanothus LohUanus. 





'\l ' ^ Ks 




ETALLURA SMARAGBWICOLLISo 



JQmMamUf.€.H^J?li^l£i^^l el &^k 



.MfJ^/zfi^^ I /fe^ 



METALLURA SMARAGDINICOLLIS. 

Violet-Tail. 

Orthorhynchus smaragdinicollis, D'Orb. et Lafr. Syn., p. 31. No. 23.— D'Orb. Voy. dans I'Am^r. 

Merid., torn. iv. p. 375. atlas, Ois., pi. 59. fig. 2. 
Mellisuga smaragdinicollis. Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 112, Mellisuga, sp. 42. 
Metallura smaragdinicollis, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 75, Metallura, sp. 3.— Reich. Auf. der 

Col., p. 8.— Bonap. Rev. Zool. 1854, p. 253. 



At a first glance this species has a close resemblance to the M. tyrianthina ; but on a further examination 
it is found to be more beautiful, and it certainly is very much more rare in the collections of Europe ; the 
two species are in fact representatives of each other on either side of the equator, the present bird being 
found solely in Peru and Bolivia, while the M. tyrianthina is as exclusively an inhabitant of the high ranges 
north of the line. The beautiful violaceous tail of the present species will at all times distinguish it from its 
northern representative, this feature occurs in both sexes ; in other respects their colouring is very similar. 
The discovery of this fine bird is due to the researches of M. D'Orbigny, who has published the following 
short note respecting its habitat, habits, &c. : — 

" This species inhabits the woody and rather warm mountains of the eastern dip of the Cordilleras, from 
the 17th to the 18th degree of south latitude, principally in the environs of the hamlet of Cajapi, near 
Yanacache, in the province of the Yungas, and in Palea, in the province dAyupaya in Bolivia. At no part 
is it common. Like most of the species inhabiting these regions, it lives more on the larvse and the 
nymphalides of the small species of Hemiptera, than on the pollen of flowers." 

The Metallura smwagdimcollis is one of the species procured by Mr. Bridges during his sojourn in 
Bolivia ; it was also obtained by M. Warszewicz in Peru ; from both these gentlemen I received examples. 

The male has the head, all the upper surface and wing-coverts dark green ; behind the eye a small spot 
of greyish white ; down the centre of the throat an oblong mark of luminous green ; wings purplish brown ; 
tail reddish violet with green reflexions above, and reddish violet beneath ; under surface of the body bronzy 
green ; bill black. 

The female is golden or bronzy green above, and buflf, glossed with green, beneath ; wings purplish brown ; 
tail violet-purple, the lateral feathers tipped, and the centre ones slightly fringed at the end with greyish 
white ; a small spot of greyish white behind the eye, and no trace of the gorget. 

The figures are of the natural size. The plant is the Dictyanthus Pawni. 




ADELOMYIA I^ORFATA, (jodl. 



J. (k'ulcl miol.Jf C RrcJdcf' dd. ef Mh 



K7dlmMHd.ell r^UoriJnvjJ 



ADELOMYIA INORNATA, Gould. 

Purple-throated Adelomyia. 

Trochilus ( ?) inornata, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xiv. p. 89, 

Mellisuga inornata, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 112, Mellisuga, sp. 34 
Ramphomicron inornatus, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 79, Ramphomicron, sp. 6. 
Adelomyia inornata, Bonap. Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 253. 
Metallura inornata, Reichenb. Aufz. der Colibris, p. 8. — lb. Troch. enumer., p. 5. 



I 



I FIRST became acquainted with this species in the year 1845, when Mr. Bridges returned from his expe- 
dition into the interior of Bolivia, and published a description of it, with its admeasurements, in the 
" Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London " for the year following. Since then I have received 
specimens from Peru, where they were procured by M. Warszewicz. 

In its affinities the Adelomyia inornata is intimately allied to the A. melanogenys, but differs from that 
bird in the blue colouring of its throat and the darker tints of its general plumage, particularly of the under 
surface ; there is also a more marked difference in the colouring of the sexes than occurs in that species, 
the female wanting the brilliant colouring of the throat. 

Mr. Bridges collected his specimens at Sandillani, near the Yungas of La Paz ; Bolivia and Peru may 
therefore be considered the native country of the species, which there represents the A. melanogenys of the 
more northern regions. There would seem to be no richer district in the whole of South America than 
these Yungas, yielding, as they have done, so many rarities both in birds and other branches of natural 
history, and where many others doubtless remain yet to be discovered. 

The male has the whole of the upper surface bronzy green ; lores rufous ; stripe over the eye buff"; 
patch under the eye black ; under surface brown, with bronzy reflexions on the flanks ; feathers of the throat 
tipped with purplish blue ; wings and tail bronzy, all the feathers of the latter tipped with buff*; bill black. 

The female diflfers in having all the upper surface of a more golden hue, and the under surface buff', 
with speckles of brown on the throat. 

The figures are the size of life. The plant is the Passiflora Tucamansis, 




X 



"^^S. 



ABELOMITA MlELAWO-G^EIfYS 



J^&oiild (^cn^ /f C Ti/i^ter M e^. MA 



Jhi&mfjM A Waih'n. /m// 



ADELOMYIA MELANOGENYS. 

Black-eared Adelomyia. 

TrocMlus inelanogenys, Fras. in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part viii. p. 18. 

Sahinoi, Bourc. et Mills. Ann. de la Soc. Sci. de Lyons, 1846, p. 323.— lb. Rev. Zool 

1846, p. 316. 
Mellisuga Sabmce, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 112, Mellisuga, sp. 33. 

melanogemjs, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 112, Mellisuga, sp. 35. 

Ramphomicron sabinae, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 79, RampJiomicron, sp. 5. 

melanogenys, lb., Ramphomicron, sp. 7. 

Adelomyia sahina, Bonap. Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 253. 
Metallura Sabinae, Reichenb. Aufz. der Colibris, p. 8. 



It will be seen on reference to the accompanying Plate that this little species has no metallic or fine 
colouring to recommend it to our notice ; indeed it is one of the most plainly coloured birds of the whole 
family. Among continental naturalists it is generally known as the ' Sabine ' {Trochilus Sahina; of Bourc. et 
Mnls.) ; but it had been characterized in this country six years previously by Mr. Fraser, under the name 
of TrocMlus melanogenys, which name having the priority is, as a matter of course, the one adopted. The 
dispersion of this bird over the great country of Columbia appears to be almost universal ; its range also 
extends to Ecuador, and even to the confines of Peru. It is very frequently sent in collections from Bogota ; 
I have received it also from the Caraccas, among other birds collected there by Mr. Dyson ; from the Napo, 
through Don Villavicencio ; Quindios, through M. Warszewicz ; and Quito, through Professor Jameson. 
In all these countries it dwells in the temperate regions, rather than in the high mountainous districts or 
the hot plains below. 

With respect to the outward appearance of the sexes, there is really so trifling a difference in the colourino- 
of their plumage that it is impossible to distinguish the male from the female without having recourse to 
dissection. 

The specific name of melanogemjs is scarcely appropriate, since the dark colouring is almost entirely 
confined to the ear-coverts, and does not extend on to the cheeks as it would lead one to infer. 

Head, upper surface, wing- and tail-coverts golden green ; ear-coverts dull black ; behind the eye a bufl^y 
white line ; under surface ochreous white, washed with rufous on the flanks ; feathers of the throat with 
a spot of dull black at the tip of each ; wings purplish brown ; two central tail-feathers bronzy brown ; 
the lateral ones of the same hue at the base, passing into dull black, and with a large roundish spot of 
ochreous white at the tip of each ; bill black, except at the base, where it is white or flesh-colour ; feet 
apparently olive-brown. 

The figures are of the natural size. The plant is the Siphocampylus Orbignianus. 




"% 




'\: 



iCaddandKCJMier, dei et M 



ABELOMYIA MACITLATA, ^ould. 



WcJterkCohnJrrf. 



ADELOMYIA MACULATA, Gould. 

Spotted Adelomyia. 



In the letterpress accompanying my plate of A. melanogenys, I stated that the range of that species extended 
"from the Caraccas to Ecuador and Pern," but I find that the birds ranging over these countries are 
referable to two very distinct species. Those from the Caraccas, from which my figures were taken, are 
much smaller in size and have much broader tail-feathers than those from Ecuador. The question then 
arises, which of the two should bear the specific name oi melatiogenys} This unfortunately I have no means 
of determining; I have therefore thought it desirable to give a name to the bird inhabiting Ecuador. 
That the A. maculata ranges widely I know ; for I have seen examples from Ecuador, Peru, and the banks 
of the Napo. There appears to be no outward difference in the sexes, at least I find no perceptible 
variation in the colouring of the great number of specimens now before me. If it should ultimately 
prove that the terms melanogenys, SahincB, and rnaciilata are all one and the same species, then a new 
name must be proposed for the little bird collected by Mr. Dyson in the Caraccas. If, on the other hand, 
the term melajiogenysh^ allowed to stand as the specific designation of that bird, so much the better; as, by 
that means, much confusion will be obviated. 

It will be observed that, although any brilliant colouring is denied to the under surface of most of the 
members of the genus Adelomyia, the green of their backs and upper surface is more than usually lustrous. 

All the upper surface shining bronzy green ; wings deep brownish purple ; two centre tail-feathers 
greenish purple glossed with bronze ; the remainder of the same hue on the outer webs and across the inner 
vveb near the tip, the basal portion of the inner web and the tips of both webs being buffy white ; under 
surface mingled buff and bronzy green, assuming a spotted character on the throat. 

The figures are of the natural size. The plant is the Abutilon hwgne. 




.WOCETTINITS EFRYPTEHrS. 



JCdid/ n/rdll.d 7{.fchtfr_ elil ^IrM 



MuMnuiNM^ Wiim. Jm 



AVOCETTINUS EURYPTERUS. 

Purple-tailed Avocet. 

Trochihis eurypterus, Lodd. in Proc. of Comm. of Sci. and Corr. of Zool. Soc, part ii. p. 7. 

Polytmus euryptera, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 109, Polytmus, sp. 88. 

Trochihis Georginoi, Bourc. in Proc. of Zool. Soc, part xv. p. 48. 

Polytmus Georginoi, Gray and Mitcli. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 109, Polytmus, sp. 89. 

Belattria georgina, Bonap. Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 253. 

Avocettinus eurypterus, Bonap. Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 256. 

Avocettula euryptera, Reichenb. Aufz. der Colibris, p. 6.— lb. Troch. enumer., p.l. pi. dclxxix 

figs. 4485, 4486. 
Georginae, Reichenb. Aufz. der Colibris, p. 6.— lb. Troch. enumer., p. 3. 



It has for a long time been a question with me, whether the Trochilus Georgina of M. Bourcier, and the 
T. eurypterus of Loddiges, were not really one and the same species. To clear up this doubt, I obtained 
the loan of M. Bourcier's typical specimen in order to compare it with that of Mr. Loddiges, and I find that 
they do not differ suificiently to warrant their being considered as distinct. Loddiges' bird is a trifle larger 
than M. Bourcier's, has the spots on the breast a little stronger, and the middle tail-feathers somewhat 
broader, and that is all ; I am consequently obliged to sink the name of Georgince into the rank of a 
synonym. Loddiges' specimen, which was from Popayan, formed part of a small collection I received 
direct from that country in 1831, and which, together with other novelties, I had the pleasure of presenting 
to my late friend, from whose pen a description of it will be found in the " Proceedings of the Committee 
of Science and Correspondence of the Zoological Society of London" for 1832. The collection being 
unaccompanied by notes of any kind, no account could then be given of the species ; nor in the interval of 
twenty-five years, Avhich has since elapsed, have we been able to obtain any positive information respecting 
its habits and economy, and but little as to its natural habitat. The bird still continues extremely rare. All 
the specimens known so closely resemble each other in size and colour, that no marked difference can be 
perceived. Their style of plumage favours the idea of their being immature, but I believe the contrary to be 
the case, and that the species is one of those in which but little difference occurs in the outward appearance 
of the sexes, and in which the young are clothed in a plumage similar to that of the adults from a very 
early period of their existence. 

I consider that Prince Charles Bonaparte had good grounds for separating this bird generically from the 
more common Awcettula recurvirostris, there being in my opinion but little affinity between them. 

As I have already said, we are totally unacquainted with the habits and economy of this species ; and 
respecting the bird itself, we only know that the first specimen was received from Popayan, and that the 
others have been found from time to time in collections sent from Santa Fe de Bogota. In all probability 
the bird is a native of the high lands of the Andes, and obtains its insect food from the flowers of the smaller 
alpine plants, the extreme shortness and feebleness of its bill, when compared with the size of the body, 
leading to such an inference. 

Head deep bronze, passing into the golden green of the back and wing-coverts ; lower part of the back 
and upper tail-coverts brighter green ; wings purplish brown ; two centre tail-feathers bronzy green ; the 
remainder purplish black glossed with bronze, and the lateral feathers tipped with grey; centre of the throat 
and abdomen grey, with a spot of greenish brown at the tip of each feather ; sides of the neck and flanks 
golden green ; vent and under tail-coverts rusty red ; bill blackish brown, except at the base of the under 
mandible, which appears to be flesh-colour ; feet, which are very large, purplish flesh-colour. 

The figures are the size of life. The plant is the Ipotncea Platensis. 



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^VTOCETTULA RECURTIROSTMS, 



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AVOCETTULA RECURVIROSTRIS. 

Fiery-tailed Avocet. 

TrochUns recurvirosfris, Swains. Zool. lU., vol. ii. pi. 105.— Jard. Nat. Lib. Humming Birds, 

vol. i. p. 80. pi. 3. 
Mellisuga? recurvirostris, Stepli. Cont. of Shaw's Gen. Zool., vol. xiv. p. 248. 
Ornmnya recurvirostris, Less. Hist. Nat. des Ois. Mou., p. 129. pi. 37.— lb. Supp., p. 166. ^\. 34. 

—lb. Traits d'Orn., p. 284. 
Campylopterus recurvirostris, Swains. Class, of Birds, vol. ii. p. 330. 

mjloclmris recurvirostris, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 114, Hylocharis, sp. 11. 
Curve-hilled Humming Bird, Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. iv. p. 358. 
Avocettinus recurvirostris, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 75, Avocettinus, sp. 1. 
Avocettula recurvirostris, Bonap. Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 256.— Reichenb. Aufz. der 

Colibris, p. 6.— lb. Troch. enumer., p. 3. pi. dclxxix. figs. 4485-4489. 
Ornismya avocetta. Less. Supp. Hist. Nat. des Ois. Mou., p. 145. pi. 24. — lb. Les Troch., 

p. 74. pi. 23. — Jard. Nat. Lib. Humming Birds, vol. i. p. 78. pi. 2. 
Avocettinus lessoni, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 75, Avocettinus, sp. 2. 



The earliest record of the existence of this interesting bird will be found in the second vokime of 
Swainson's " Zoological Ilkistrations," where a unique specimen, purchased by him at the sale of Bullock's 
celebrated Collection, is figured and described. He states that Bullock had received it from Peru ; 1)ut all 
the specimens that have come under my notice have been collected in Cayenne and Demerara, and these, 
with the immediately adjoining countries, constitute, I believe, its true habitat : this may not, however, be 
the limit of its range, and it is possible that it may visit the distant country of Peru, but I think it very 
unlikely that it does, and apprehend that Bullock must have been misinformed as to the locahty in which his 
specimens were procured. In the absence of any positive information respecting the habits and economy of 
this species, or the peculiar adaptation of its singularly-formed bill, Swainson has ventured upon the follow- 
ing hypothesis, which I repeat, without being able to verify or deny it in any particular: — 

" The extraordinary formation in the bill of this beautiful little creature is without parallel in any land- 
bird yet discovered, and presents in miniature a striking resemblance to that of the Avoset. It is almost 
impossible to conjecture rightly the use of this singular formation ; but it appears to me not very improbable, 
that the principal sustenance of the bird may be drawn from the pendent Bignonice, and other similar 
plants, so common in South America, whose coroUae are long, and generally bent in their tube : the nectar 
being at the bottom, could not be readily reached either by a straight or incurved bill, though very easily by 
one corresponding to the shape of the flower." 

At least three very distinct states of plumage characterize this species. In the fully adult, the o-reen 
breast and the fiery under surface of the outer tail-feathers are the conspicuous features. In younoer 
males, even after the bird has acquired the green on the throat, the tail is greenish or purplish black, with 
the three outer feathers tipped with white. In the females or young of the year (it is uncertain which), 
the throat and centre of the abdomen are black, bounded on either side by a streak of white ; in this state, 
too, the outer tail-feathers are tipped with white. 

I may remark that the Avocettula recurvirostris is by no means a common bird in the collections of Europe, 



and a long time will probably elapse before we are made acquainted with the peculiar purpose for which 
its curiously-formed bill is adapted. 

M. Bourcier considers that the Ornismya awcetta of M. Lesson is the young of this species ; in which 
opinion I coincide ; but I believe that the specimen from which M. Lesson's figure was taken had the tail 
of some other species surreptitiously appended to it instead of its own. 

M. Bourcier informs me, that the Amcettula recurmrostru is found in Cayenne, that it is rare there, and 
that the chasseurs only meet with it in the interior of the great forests, where it lives isolated. 

The male has the whole of the upper surface, abdomen, and under tail-coverts golden green ; throat and 
breast shining emerald-green ; down the centre of the abdomen a stripe of black ; wings dark purplish 
black; thighs white; two centre tail-feathers greenish blue, the remainder coppery brown, margined on the 
basal half of the external web with bronzy green ; under surface of all the tail-feathers rich, shining, fiery 
copper colour ; bill and feet blackish brown. 

At a younger age the colouring of the body and wings is very similar, but the tail is bronzy purple, 
tipped with white. 

In another state, which may be that of the female or a young bird of the year, the centre of the throat 
and abdomen is brownish black, bounded on each side from the angle of the mouth with an irregular streak 
of white; the tail dark purple, glossed with green, and the lateral feathers, particularly the outer ones, 
largely tipped with white. 

The figures represent a fully adult male and a female, or young bird of the year, of the size of life. The 
plant is the Tweedia verakolor. 



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ABELOMTIA IFLORICEFS, Govll 



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ADELOMYIA FLORICEPS, Oouid. 

Blossom-crown. 

TrocJiilus ( ?) floriceps, Gould in Proc. of ZooL Soc. 1853, p. 62. Reported in Athen^um, 

1853, p. 481. 
Adelomyia Jloriceps, Bonap. Rev. et Mag. de ZooL 1854, p. 253. 
Metallura floriceps, Reichenb. Aufz. der Colibris, p. 8. 



This pretty little species, to which I have given the trivial name of Blossom-crown, is an inhabitant of 
the great conntry of Columbia, and is one of the most recent discoveries made in that rich region. The 
single specimen sent to me by M. Linden of Brussels had, I believe, been collected by his brother-in-law in 
the neighbourhood of the Auruaco Village of San Antonia, on the Sierra Nevada de Santa Martha, in 
lat. 10° 40', long. 72°, at an elevation of 5000 feet ; and, so far as I am aware, is the only one that has yet 
been procured. It appears to be fully adult, and has all the characteristics of the male sex. In giving a 
figure of it thus early in my work, I am desirous, first, to make it generally known ; and secondly, to 
call the attention of collectors who may visit Santa Martha to the circumstance that examples of it are 
among the desiderata of our cabinets. 

I have placed this bird provisionally in the genus Adelomyta, because in its structure and colouring, except 
in its lilaceous crown, it more closely assimilates to the A, melanogenys than any other member of the 
family. 

Forehead huffy white, passing into a beautiful deep peach-blossom hue on the crown ; throat grey, passing 
into the rufous of the abdomen; wings purplish brown; middle tail-feathers bronzy; lateral tail-feathers 
bronzy at the base, passing into purplish black, and largely tipped with buff; bill black; feet apparently 
light brown. 

The figures are of the size of life. The plant is the Lisianthus acutangulus. 










ADEJLOIIYIA? CA8TAHEIYEE^TRI8 , 6^^?//^, 



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ADELOMYIA? CASTANEIVENTRIS, Gould. 

Chestnut-bellied Adelomyia. 

TrochiMs ( ?) castaneoventris, Gould in Proc. of ZooL Soc. 1850, p. 163. 

Metallura castaneiventris, Reichenb. Aufz. der Colibris, p. 8. 



Examples of this new species of Humming* Bird are, I believe, to be seen in my own Collection alone. 
They were shot by M. Warszewicz, on the Cordillera of Chiriqui. One of the four specimens sent me 
by this gentleman has the crown of the head metallic green, a very rich chestnut-red pervading the whole 
of the under surface, and the outer tail-feathers tipped with buff; the three others have no metallic 
colouring on the crown, have the chestnut hue of the under surface paler, and the three lateral tail-feathers 
tipped with white. These differences induce a belief that the three latter are not identical with the former, 
but constitute a distinct though nearly allied species ; and if this opinion should hereafter prove to be correct, 
then the term castanewentris must be retained for the bird with the metallic crown and buff-tipped outer tail- 
feathers. I regret that the few specimens I possess do not admit of my determining the point, and I would, 
therefore, strongly urge collectors to visit the native country of the bird, as I feel assured that their 
.researches would be amply repaid, not only by additional examples of this species, but by the discovery of 
many others, as a richer field for the naturalist does not exist between the Isthmus of Panama and Mexico, 
and numerous species, yet unknown to us, live in the neighbourhood of the Volcano of Chiriqui. 

I have provisionally placed this bird in the genus Adelomyia, with a mark of doubt as to the propriety of so 
doing, for, although the uniform chestnut colouring of the under surface is not found in any other member 
of that genus, an approach to it is observable in the A.florkeps, while in the form of its bill and tail it very 
nearly resembles, not only that species, but also A. melanogenys. 

The specimen of the true castanewentris which graces my Collection, was killed at an altitude of 6000 feet • 
the three others above mentioned were obtained 2000 feet higher. 

Crown of the head metallic green ; upper surface green ; wings purplish brown ; tail dark bronzy green, 
crossed near the tip by a broad band of black ; the lateral tail-feathers tipped with buff, which increases 
in extent as they recede fi'om the central ones ; all the under surface reddish chestnut ; bill black. 

The figures are of the natural size. 



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