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Nos. 1, 2 & 3. — January. 

A First List of the Birds of Upper Pegu (PI. II) ... 1 

Additions to the Avifauna of Ceylon, and notes on 

vaeious Species fot^nd theee, by W. Vincent Legge, P. A. 194 
Notes on some Birds observed in the Suliman Hills, west 
of Deea G-hazi Khan, by V. Ball, M. A. ... ... 204 

On the Breeding of Aceros nipalensis, by J. Gammie, Esq. 209 
The Swallows and Swifts of Berar, by James Aitken ... 212 
The Avifauna of Kashgar in Winter, by tbe late Dr. 

Ferdinand Stoliczka, Ph. D. ... ... ... 215 

On Dromas Ardeola, by W. Vincent Legge, E. A. ... 220 

Notes upon a collection of Birds made between Mussoori 

and Gangaotri in Mat 1874, by W. Edwin Brooks, C. E. 224 
What is a Species ? ... ... ... ... 257 

Notes — 

Arborophik Mandellii (PI. I) ... ... ... 262 

Locustella lanceolata and subsignata ... ... 203 

Brachyurus inegarbynchus, Schleg, found in tbe Delta 
of tbe Irrawady during summer ... ... ib. 

Munia pectoralis ... ... ... ... ib. 

Books and papers received ... ... ... ib. 

Nestlings of Palasornis fasciatus ... ... 264 

Cuculus micropterus in tbe Andamans ... ... ib. 

Letters to the Editor — 

Tringa albescens in Ceylon and on the west coast of 
Australia. — V. Legge ... ... ... 265 

On eggs of Leiotbrix callipyga. — J. Gammie. ... 266 

Khynchsea bengalensis breeding in December. — M. 

EORBES COUSSMAKER ... ... ... 267 

Pterocles coronatus in Southern Sindh. — F. Wise ... ib. 
Cursorius coromandelicus found in Lower Bengal. — J. 

C Parker ... ... ... ... ib. 

Pterocles alchata found in the Goorgaon district. — F. R. 

Blewitt ... ... ... ... 268 

No. 4 —May. 

Macheiramphus alcinus, W sterman ... .. 269 


Querquedula angustirostris in the Doab and Oudb, by 
A. Anderson ... . 273 

Podtceps cristattts breeding in the Plains, by A. Anderson 274 
Additional Notes on Birds collected between Mussoori 
and Gangaotri, by W. E. Brooks ... ... 275 

Kecently-describfd Species — 

Phylloscopus Tytleri, Brooks ... ... 279 

Turtur huinilior, Hume ... ... ... ib. 

Eurycercus cinerascens, Walden ... ... 280 

Aleippe collaris, Walden ... ... ... 281 

Sibia pulcliella, O. Austen ... ... ... ib. 

Poniatorbinus ocbraceieps, Walden ... ... 282 

Sternula placens, Gould ... ... ... ib. 

Porzana bicolor, Walden ... ... ... 283 

Cisticola ruficollis, Walden ... ... ... ib. 

Notes on a new Dumeticola, and on Tribuba ltjteoventris, 
Hodgson, and Dumeticola affinis, Hodgson, by W. E. 
Brooks ... ... • •• ... — 284 

Avifauna of Chota Nagpur ; Addenda et corrigenda, by 
V. Ball ... ... ... " ... " ... 288 

On Drymoipus inobnattjs, Syhes, and D. longicaudatus, 
Tickell, by W. E. Brooks ... ... ... 295 

Novelties? — 

Pitta Gurneyi (PI. Ill) ... ... ... 296 

Prionochilus modestus ... ... ... 298 

Geronticus Davisoni ... ... ... 300 

Ixus Davisoni ... ... ... ... 301 

Lyncornis Bourdilloni ... ... ... 302 

Notes on Cerchneis vespertina and C. amurensis, by li. 
Bowdler Sliarpe . ... ... ... ...303 

Notes on " The Spotted Eagle," by W. E. Brooks ... 304 

Baza Sdmatrensis, Lafresn. ... ... ... 313 

A second list of the Birds of Tennasserim ... ... 3J7 

Notes — 

Breeding of Merops egyptius ... ... 326 

Ianthsenas nicobarica identical with C. palumboides ... 327 
Ketupa flavipes and Bubo maximus from valley of 
Bhagirattee ... •.. ... ... ib. 

Adult Cerchneis amurensis from Cackar ... ib. 

Carpophaga cuprea, Jerd. distinct from C. iusignis, 
Hodgs. ... ... ... ... 328 

Tiga intermedia, Blyth, and rubropygialis, Malherbe, 
doubtfully distinct ... .. ... ib. 

Stoliczkana Stoliczkse, Hume, is Leptopoecile sophiae, 
Severtsov ... ... ... ... 329 

Letters to the Editor — 

Breeding of Palseornis sivalensis near Goojerat. — E. 
Eield ... ... ... ib. 

Buchanga albirictus. — H. "Wenden ... ... 330 

Pratincola iusignis, Caprimulgus mahrattensis & Meni- 

eeros bicornis. — C.H.T. & G.E.L. Marshall ... ib. 
Cries of Owls. — J. Eainey ... ... 332 


No. 5. — November. 


Notes on some Burmese Birds, by Eugene W. Oates, C.E 336 

On little or unknown Himalayan Oology, by A. Anderson, 
F. Z. S. ... ... ... ... ... 350 

Hypocolius ampelinus in Sind, by W. T, Blanford, F.B.S ... 358 
Notes on Ceylonese Ornithology and Oology, by W. Vin- 
cent Legge, F.Z.S. ... ... ... ...361 

Additional notes on the Avifauna of Sind, by Major A. 


Notes on a visit to the Lucknow Museum, by A. Anderson, 

Novelties ? — 

Hypotsenidia abnorinis 
Strix De Boepstorffi 
Eecentlydescbibed Species — 

Sitta nagaensis, Godwin- Austen 
Erythrosterna sordida, „ 
Paradoxornis Austeni, Gould 
Turdinus garoensis, Godwin- Austen 
Garrulax albosuperciliaris, „ 

„ galbanns, „ 

,, merulinus, Blyth... 
Trocbalopteron cineraceuni, Godwin- Austen 

virgatum, „ 

Actinodura "Waldeni, „ 

Malacocercus (Layardia)robiginnsns, ., 
Cisticola munipui'ensis, Godwin Austen 
Beguloides fulvoventer, ,, ... 
Muuia subundulata, „ ... 

Bambusicola Hopkinsoni 

GHaucornyias sordida, Walden 
Megalaima inoruata, ,, ... 

Geocichla Layardi, ,, ... 

Ducula griseicapilla, „ ... 

Megalaima Bamsayi, ,, ... 

^Ethopyga sanguinipectus, „ 
Dicaeum olivaceum, „ ... 

Ixus aunectens, „ ... 

Drymocataphus fulvus ,, ... 
Trichastoma rubiginosa, „ ... 
Actinura Bamsayi, ,, ... 

Pomatorhinus marise, ., ... 
Acrocepbalus macrorhynehus, Hume 
Ploceus megarbynchus, „ 

Caprimulgus Unwini, Hume 

Trocbalopteron simile, . „ 

Drymoipus rufescens, „ 

Sturaus nitens, 























Geocickla tricolor, Hume ... ... ib. 

Durneticola cyanocarpa, „ ... ... ib. 

Horornis erythrogenys, s > ••• ••• 410 

Horeites brunnescens, „ ... ... ib. 

Picus Westermani, Blyth ... ... ...411 

Muscicapula ciliaris, Hodgson apud Blyth ... ib. 

Calleue Hodgsoni, Moore ... ... ..a ib. 

Pomatorkinus kypoleucus, Blyth ... ... ib. 

Pomatorkinus McClellandi, Jerdon ... ... 412 

Garrulax gularis, McOlelland ... ... ib. 

Trochalopteron Fairbanki, Blanford ... ... 413 

Sibia gracilis, McOlelland ... ... ... ib. 

Trockalopteron Austeni, Jerdon ... ... 414 

Notes — 

Variation of colour of iris in tke two sexes of certain 
species .. 

Pbsenicopterus Andersoni is only immature P. roseus .. ib. 

Identifications of certain Kaskgar birds ... 415 

Occurrence at Deesa of Lanius collurio, L. ... ib. 

Glareola orientalis at Hissar ... ... ib. 

Phsenicomanes iora, is Iora Lafresuayi ... ... 416 

Ketupa flavipes, from between Mussouri and Simla ... ib. 

Position of Hypocolius ampelinus .. ... ib. 

Eallus aquaticus, L. and E. indicus, Blytk ..* ib. 

Lettees to the Editoe — 

hire, a letter quoted, Yol. II., p. 533. — The "Weitee 417 

Priority of Polihierax insignis, Walden. — P. L. 

Sclatee ... ... ... ... ib. 

Breeding of tke Raiuquail, &c. — A. Lemessueieb ... ib. 

Pterocles senegallus, on tke Runn of Uutck, &c — 
H. E. M. James ... ... ... 418 

Birds observed witk astronomical telescope at great 
elevations. — J. Tennant, R. E. ... ... 419 

Notices of some Turkestan Birds. — N. Seveetsov ... 420 


JNo. 6 — December. 

Phastanus Shawi and Phasiantjs insigni?, by J. Scully ... 433 

]Note on the genus Dendrophila, by R. Bowdler Skarpe ... 436 
Notes on the Avifauna op Mount Aboo and Noetheen 

Guzerat, by Capt. E. A. Butler ... ... ... 437 

Note on Rallina fdsca ... ... ... ... 500 

Index — 

Species described or descriminated 

Species noticed ... ... ... iv 


1. Abboetcola Mandellii, Hume .,. ... 262 

2. Anthocincla Phatbei, blyth ... ... 109 

3. Pitta Gueneyi, Hume ... ... ... 296 


The conclusion of this third volume finds our little local 
Journal of Ornithology still flourishing and its Editor truly 
grateful for the kindly, and now widely extended, support 
that he continues to receive. 

During the past year I have made an attempt, (and it 
must be admitted by no means a successful one,) to supply 
my readers, with plates of some few new or nearly unknown 
species. The object of course was to get these done, if possible, 
in India, and thus, while avoiding the risk and delay attendant 
on the transmission of specimens to Europe, to open out 
a new field for the employment of the native pupils from our 
schools of Art. 

This object 1 have entirely failed to attain ; I have met 
with no native either competent or likely to become competent 
to draw birds in a fairly artistic style and at the same time 
in life-like positions. Native colorists I have found in 
abundance, but the work of these is so slow and laboured, that 
despite the comparatively low salaries they receive, the plates 
cost double and treble what they would in Europe and are not 
nearly so well done. 

The 3rd Plate was executed in England, and all future plates 
must, I fear, for some time to come be similarly executed. A 
few years hence when our schools of Art have been longer in 
operation it may be possible to revive the attempt with success. 
Carefully prepared local Avifaunas continue to be amongst 
our leading desiderata. Stray Feathers has already, during 
its ' brief existence of little more than 3 years, furnished a 
considerable number of these, and several more are, I am happy 
to learn, in different stages of preparation. 

At the earnest request of many Indian subscribers, I have 
commenced the republication of all recently described species 
which have occurred within the limits of our Empire. These re- 
publications will be vigorously persevered in, and will be follow- 
ed by descriptions of all other species, which though not recently 
described are yet not included in Dr. Jerdon's work. I shall 
then (D. V.) publish as an extra number, as complete a list of 
the Birds of our Indian Empire as I can compile, with a refer- 
ence in the case of each species to the page in Jerdon or in 
Stray Feathers, at which it will be found described, as also to 

( 2 ) 

any passages in the latter in which remarks, tending to assist 
its discrimination from other nearly affined species, occur. 

Rough and unscientific as they avowedly are, I am assured 
that my diagnostical keys to the Osmotrerons, Arboricolas, 
Arachnotheras Black-naped Orioles, &c., have proved most ser- 
viceable to field naturalists here, and I propose, to publish a 
number more of these, embracing Tits, Goatsuckers, Phylloscopi, 
Reguloides, Abrornis and the like troublesome genera. I would 
earnestly solicit contributions of this nature from all who have 
made any such groups their especial study. 

In conclusion, I would again invite all sportsmen (even though 
no ornithologists, to favor me with notes of their experiences 
as to the habits, habitats, food and nidification of game and 
other birds that they shoot ; about which, as is only natural, 
they often possess more real knowledge, than the great majority 
of professed ornithologists. 


December 2nd, 1875. 


Vol. III.] JANUARY, 1875. [Nos. 1, 2 & 3. 

1 first fist of tk §irtos of Ipcr fop. 


The genesis of this veiy imperfect sketch of the Avi-fauna of 
the upper portion of British Pegu was in this wise. 

Captain Feilden, of the 21st Fusiliers, having heard of my 
penchant for ornithology, very kindly forwarded to me, for examin- 
ation, about the close of 1871, a collection of birds which he had 
made in the immediate neighbourhood of Thayetmyo. This 
portion of our empire was ornithologically quite a terra incognita 
to me, and many of the specimens seemed so full of interest that 
I thought it a pity to let the collection leave my hands without 
making a full list of it, and still more so to allow Captain Feilden 
to leave the country without placing on record his ornithological 
experiences in this (so far as its Avi-fauna is concerned) little- 
known tract. 

On mentioning my wishes to Captain Feilden, he not only 
most kindly allowed me to keep many most interesting speci- 
mens, but also furnished me with a number of notes in regard to 
them, which will be found in their appropriate places later on in 
this paper. 

My paper, founded on Captain Feilden's collection, was ready 
for publication by the close of 1872, when through my late valued 
friend, Dr. Stoliczka, I learnt that Mr. Oates, an enthusiastic 
ornithologist, had been for some time collecting vigorously in the 
same neighbourhood as Captain Feilden. I therefore proposed to 
Mr. Oates that with the materials I had already collected, and 
those at his disposal, we should prepare a joint paper on the 
birds of Upper Pegu ; and he, very kindly assenting to my pro- 
posal, sent me in 1873 his entire collection for examination, 
together with very full and interesting notes in regard to a great 
many of the specimens he had preserved, the vast majority of 
which he had not only carefully sexed, but measured in the flesh. 



Never having as yet visited Upper Burmah myself, I must leave 
to Mr. Oates the description of the physical features and climatic 
conditions of the tract whose Ornis we shall endeavour partially 
to enumerate. 

Mr. Oates says : " Though the Province of Pegu has been in 
the hands of the British for twenty years, its ornithology has 
been much neglected. The earlier acquired provinces of Tenas- 
serim and Arracan were, from the first, worked by numerous 
collectors, and many birds were first described from these by 
Mr. Blyth, Colonel Tickell, and others. It is true that the late 
Dr. Jerdon visited Thayetmyo some years ago, but though he 
described for the first time three or four species found near that 
station, he does not appear to have gone into the interior; nor 
would it have been easy ten years ago for any but local officers 
to travel at will out of certain beaten tracks. Even now the 
hiring of carts or coolies, and the purchase of rice from day to day 
for a large camp, are matters of no little difficulty to those who 
have habitually to travel about even in their own districts. In 
fact, travelling in Burmah is simply impossible to the man who 
does not possess an immense amount of local influence. Burmans 
in the interior care little for money, and you may be detained for 
a whole day in a village before a cartman (of whom there may 
be twenty) will take your baggage to the next village, not more 
than five miles off. 

" With the exception of transport and procuring fresh pro- 
visions, there are no difficulties to speak of in travelling about. 
The Burmese are hospitable to a degree, perfectly free from all 
caste prejudice, good-natured and polite. In the inhabited parts 
of the country, every village of any pretensions has a guest- 
house attached to it. This consists generally of one room, well 
thatched, with bamboo or boarded floor, well raised from the 
ground and generally walled in on three sides. There is nothing a 
Burman thinks more necessary to insure him a felicitous trans- 
migration in his next state of existence than doing some work of 
charity. The consequence is that the whole country is covered 
with wells, rest-houses, monasteries, and small sheds on the road- 
side where waterpots are placed every morning for the benefit of 
thirsty travellers. 

" With a couple of baggage elephants, which by the way are 
not easily obtainable, though Burmah is popularly thought to 
be a place where elephants figure largely, it is possible to traverse 
the country in any direction. My friend, Mr. Kurz, travelled in 
this manner, most energetically all over the wildest portions of 
the Pegu Hills. We continually crossed and re-crossed each 
other's paths without however meeting till we arrived at Tonghoo. 
I believe he met with no mishap till he came among Christian 


Karens, who, on account of some of his followers having 
incautiously set fire to some jungle, wanted to scalp him. With 
this trifling exception — -and they did not even do this — I have 
never heard of any traveller meeting with insult or being in 
danger. Travelling in Burmah is safer than in Europe. 

" Mr. W. T. Blanford has lately given us a list of the birds 
obtained or seen by him in the Irrawaddy Valley. 

" Captain Feilden collected vigorously at Thayetmyo, and very 
successfully ; but his duties confined him to the station and its 
immediate neighbourhood, and it is to be regretted that he had 
no opportunities for travelling in the district. 

" Small collections appear to have been made from time to time 
in Tonghoo, resulting in the description of a few new species by 
Lord Walden. 

" As observers in Burmah are now on the increase, and its 
Avi-f auna seems likely to be well investigated, it may perhaps be 
proper to explain, once for all, what is meant by the terms 
1 Burmah/ ' Pegu/ ' Arracan/ and ' Tenasserim.' 

" Burmah is a comprehensive term for the whole region 
stretching from the extreme north-east corner of Assam to the 
delta of the Irrawaddy. In breadth it varies much ; the parallel 
of latitude, passing through Mandelay, the heart of the country, 
traverses the broadest part. Here it is 500 miles broad. Its 
boundaries are Assam, Munipore, Tipperah, Chittagong, and the 
Bay of Bengal; on the east, China, Assam, and Siam. 

ft Many years ago, Burmah embraced as many petty kingdoms 
as there were large towns or men strong enough to hold their 
own. Ava, Pagan, Prome, Pegu, Arracan, Tonghoo and Mar- 
taban formed the strongest of these. Everlasting wars with each 
other, plots and intrigues, gradually reduced the number of these 
kingdoms, till in the last century Alompra, King of Ava, 
became the sole monarch of the whole of Burmah as above 

" Matters went on smoothly enough till about fifty years ago, 
when the British were compelled in self-defence to annex two 
large slices of territory. These are now known as Arracan and 
Tenasserim. Subsequently, in the second war, the intervening 
territory, now called Pegu, was also taken. These three provinces 
constitute British Burmah. 

" Arracan reaches from Chittagong to Cape Negrais, having 
the Bay of Bengal on the west and Native Burmah and Pegu 
on the east, from which it is separated by a lofty chain of 
mountains named the Arracan Hills. The western spurs lie in 
Arracan, and the eastern in Pegu. 

" Pegu stretches up from the sea to the frontier in latitude 
19° 30' N. On the west the Arracan Hills divide it from that 
province. Its eastern limits are not very clear. A south-east 


line running from the northern frontier till it meets the 
Salween River a little east of Tonghoo, and this river itself down 
to Moulmein, would to me appear to define Pegu. A consider- 
able portion of this province lying between the Sittang and 
the Salween Rivers is named Martaban, and, for administrative 
purposes, forms part of Tenasserim. Geographically, however, I 
do not think that it has any claims to be included in Tenasserim. 
In treating of the birds of this district hereafter, I shall still 
continue to look upon it as part of Pegu. 

" Tenasserim lies to the east of the Salween River and runs 
down to the Isthmus of Kraw, being separated from Siam by 
lofty ranges of mountains. Its northern apex lies at the junc- 
tion of the Salween and Me-Nium Rivers. 

" The tract of country in which the birds observed by me 
were obtained, is that portion of Pegu which lies between the 
Irrawaddy and Sittang Rivers. Its northern limit is our frontier, 
running due east and west, in latitude 19° 30' N. The southern 
limit is defined by nature, being the junction of the dry and wet 
regions of Burmah, and though this junction is nowhere abrupt 
and cannot be defined by a hard and fast line, yet a parallel 
of latitude through Poungday will sufficiently well indicate it. 
The tract thus defined is about one hundred miles square. 

" The Pegu Yoma Hills, the watershed of the two rivers, stretch 
from a point in native territory south of Mandelay to Rangoon 
in a nearly straight line. At the frontier their greatest elevation 
is about 2,000 feet (their highest point between Thayetmyo and 
Tonghoo was 1,950 feet, as ascertained by careful levelling), 
but further down, where they cross our southern limit, a few 
peaks attain a height of 2,500 feet. From this point they sink 
rapidly till they finally disappear at Rangoon. 

" The spurs which the main ridge throws out to the east extend 
about thirty-five miles, and sink into a rich belt of perfectly level 
country, ten to fifteen miles broad, which in the neighbourhood 
of Tonghoo is about 150 feet above the sea level. 

" The western spurs fall rapidly to an altitude of from 500 to 
600 feet. Many are then lost, but others straggle to the banks 
of the Irrawaddy, rising occasionally into bold masses, as in the 
Sagadoun Hills near Palow. These outlying hills, however, are 
too low to have any effect on the distribution of birds, and for the 
purposes of this paper, the country lying on the left bank of the 
Irrawaddy, for about thirty miles inland, will be termed in my 
notes ' the plains/ in contradistinction to ' the hills/ 

" The vegetation of the plains and of the western spurs to a 
height of 1,000 feet is nearly the same. Three-quarters of the 
whole country are covered with mixed forests, in which Diptero- 
carpus grandiflora is the most prominent tree, (the Eng of the 
Burmese) . These dry forests are characterized by an absence of 


undergrowth (what little there is, is very low) ; many of them 
are destitute of bamboos, and in all cases water is very scarce or 
altogether absent. Under these conditions, it cannot be expected 
that they should be favorite haunts for birds, and we accordingly 
find very few species in these dry localities. Woodpeckers alone 
abound. The soil being sandy, ants of all sorts swarm. 

" The remaining quarter of this district is either cultivated or 
covered with bamboo and scrub jungle, among which the Jujube 
tree is ever present. 

" Elephant grass grows only on some of the sand-banks of 
the Irrawaddy, and at the bends of nullahs. In nothing is the 
difference between the dry and wet portions of Burmah more 
conspicuously shown than in the distribution of this plant. South 
of Poungday it covers every available piece of ground ; it forms 
the undergrowth of all the forests ; and in the Rangoon and 
Henzadah Districts, miles and miles of ground produce nothing 
but this grass. Seated on an elephant, it is frequently impossible 
to look round you ; such is its height. There is also another point 
of difference, trivial it may seem and yet materially affecting the 
general aspect of the country. In Tharawaddy, and generally 
south of Poungday, a huge nest-hill of white-ants, from eight 
to twelve feet high, is to be seen on almost every acre of ground. 
Northwards, though white-ants are equally common, it would 
be difficult to find one hill per square mile of country ; and the 
few one meets with rarely exceed three feet in height, are com- 
paratively unsubstantial, and fail to catch the eye. These are 
two of the more salient points of difference between the dry and 
wet regions ; there are of course many others, but they need not 
here be dwelt upon. 

"To return, at an elevation of 1,000 feet, we still find the 
dry mixed forests ; but there is a large intermixure of Teak, 
straight and free from branches for thirty or forty feet from the 
ground, widely differing from the weedy tree of the plains. Large 
bamboos, growing in clumps of ten or twenty, are scattered over 
the hill-sides, and constitute the chief feature of the vegetation. 

" These bamboos really deserve special mention. Not uncom- 
monly, they attain a height of seventy-five feet, with a girth of 
twenty-four inches near the ground ; perfectly straight, they are 
also free from the small branches which render other bamboos so 
troublesome. A cabin can be made from them by a few coolies 
in half an hour; opened out flat by a few strokes of a knife, 
a capital floor can be formed over joists of the same material, and 
at any height from the ground required. The bark, cut into thin 
strips, supplies all the necessaiy binding materials. By splitting 
the bamboos in half, and arranging them after the manner of tiles, 
a neat and thoroughly rain-proof roof is made. The walls, if 
necessary, can be made in the same manner as the floor. Whole 


Karen villages are composed of houses thus built, and from top to 
bottom there is not a single nail. These houses last twelve 
months, at the end of which time the Karens move into another 
valley, make fresh houses, and cut down as many acres of valu- 
able timber as they want for the cultivation of their crops. One 
joint of a bamboo will hold about two gallons of water, and they 
are much used as buckets ; a Karen will sling- three joints from 
his forehead in returning from drawing water. The uses to which 
this large bamboo is put are innumerable, not the least curious of 
which, perhaps, is for cooking rice. It will stand fire sufficiently 
long for this purpose, and the rice thus cooked is very delicious. 
It requires nice judgment, and few Burmans learn the art. 

" On crossing the ridge and arriving at the eastern slopes, a 
very decided change is seen. For some reason or other — aspect 
possibly — most of the trees retain their old leaves till the new 
ones come out. These are the Evergreen Forests. They are not 
continuous nor universal, occurring only in large patches alter- 
nately with other patches of the same trees, which in the winter 
months drop their leaves. Water, which on the western slopes is 
very scarce, is here abundant; almost every ravine having its 
spring. Palm trees of various species are common, and the valleys 
are clothed with dense jungle, the favorite haunt of numbers 
of Plttldm and Arboricola. Bamboos are also a trifle larger than 
on the west. 

" On arriving at the foot of the hills the vegetation becomes 
still more luxuriant ; canes, palms, and creepers, cover the ground 
to such an extent as to make progress impossible without cutting 
a path. In such jungle the collector may consider himself fortu- 
nate if he retrieves one bird out of five shot. 

" The change in the birds is no less remarkable than that in the 
flora. On crossing the main ridge, only by half a mile, Irena 
puella is at once extremely common ; yet it appears never to pass 
the ridge to the westward. The same may be said of Ceyx tri- 
dactyla, two species of Arboricola, three species of Pitta, and 
many others, which are extremely abundant in the Evergreen 
Forests, but never, I believe, occur, even as stragglers, on the 
western slopes. There is no doubt but that the Evergreen Forests 
will yield many more species than are contained in our list. The 
birds which I have noted were obtained during a five months' 
survey for a road from Thayetmyo to Tonghoo. With sixty miles 
of the route uninhabited, except by a few Karens, and with a 
large number of coolies to cut jungle and carry baggage, it was 
necessary to push on as rapidly as possible. Another visit to the 
Hills last April gave good results, and has considerably swelled 
the list. The birds of the plains have been obtained during a 
lengthened residence in the valley of the Irrawaddy. But even 
here the list is, unquestionably, very far from complete. 


" There are only a few jheels, and, except in the rains, even 
these are but small. The Engmah Swamp, ten miles north of 
Poungday, varies in leng-th from two to eight miles. The swamp 
at Shwaydoun, south of Prome, is of much the same size; and 
various small jheels at Boulay complete the total. Po((ica per- 
sonata is the only noteworthy water-bird that I have yet observed 
in them. 

" The rainfall of Thayetmyo, Prome and Tonghoo, is nearly the 
same, ranging from 40 to 50 inches per annum. The rains com- 
mence about the middle of May, and continue well into October. 

" The following tables show the amount of rain which has fallen 
in Thayetmyo during the years 1862 — 1872, and the temperature 
in 1871-72, the only two years of which a register has been kept 
in the dispensary: — 

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S3 0> 




































675 13-375 

















5-3 '4-575 








625 7-55 





5 - 525 




2-125 2-575 










































... 154-85 





















































































" The above tables apply equally well to Tonghoo and Pvome. 
In Thayetmyo the cold-weather is more bracing", and the heat 
is a trifle greater in April than elsewhere. 

" The rainfall in the Evergreen Forests must be considerably 
greater than in the plains, since in March and April heavy thunder- 
storms are frequent. From the Thayetmyo register they do not 
appear to have extended to the plains. Light summer showers 
also are common, occurring chiefly during the hottest months. 
This exerts, no doubt, a great influence on the vegetation. 

" A short description of Thayetmyo and Tonghoo, two of our 
remotest cantonments in British India, may be acceptable. 

" Thayetmyo lies on the west bank of the Irrawaddy, and 
consists of a native town to the south and a cantonment to the 
north. The latter is about a mile square, regularly laid out with 
roads crossing each other at right angles and surrounded by a 
circular road. The barracks are of Teak throughout, with the 
floor raised on posts ten feet from the ground, which is paved. 
This ground-floor is perfectly open on all sides, and forms a 
mess and recreation-room, which for coolness is not to be surpassed 
by any building I am acquainted with. Little, however, can be 
said for the private residences in the station. They are tumble- 
down, wretched sheds, leaky, ant-eaten, and only kept upright 
by renewing a portion every few months. There are a few good 
houses of course, but they only serve to make the bad ones more 
wretched by contrast. The roads and compounds are thickly 
planted with trees ; the ground is undulating, and on three sides 
the cantonment is surrounded by hills, some of them high, so 
that, taken altogether, Thayetmyo can boast of being a very 
pretty station. Viewed as a military station, there is absolutely 
nothing wanting. Even racket-courts and a swimming-bath have 
been built for the comfort of the troops. The garrison con- 
sists of one wing of European infantry, one field battery of 
artillery, and a regiment of sepoys. 

" The Irrawaddy, at the frontier, is little short of a mile 
in breadth. Opposite Thayetmyo a large sandbank has formed 
of late years, detracting much from the appearance of the place. 
In the rains, however, the river becomes a mighty stream, 
obliterating all sandbanks. Steamers of five-feet draught can 
proceed at all seasons of the year up to Bhamo, 600 miles from 
the sea. 

"Tonghoo is situated in a plain on the west bank of the 
Sittang. Like Thayetmyo, it consists of a large native town 
and a cantonment, but both are much inferior in importance. 
The former was, in olden times, the capital of one of the petty 
kingdoms into which Burmah was divided. The fort, about a 
mile and a half square, still exists in tolerably good order, with 
high earthen walls and a deep moat exteriorly. In the centre 


still stands a huge pagoda, which, like those of Rangoon and 
Prome, attract many people at certain festivals and are held in 
much veneration. 

" The cantonment is of an irregular shape, well- wooded and 
traversed by many roads ; hut the general appearance of the station 
is not so neat as that of Thayetmyo. Officers' houses and military 
buildings are, however, very similar. The garrison consists of a 
wing of European infantry, a small battery of artillery (with the 
guns drawn by Burman ponies), and a regiment of sepoys. 

" The Sittang is a shallow river, unnavigable by any thing 
larger than a Burmese boat. The trip from Rangoon to Tonghoo 
occupies eighteen or twenty days under favorable circumstances ! '" 

Of the country west of the Irrawaddy, in the immediate neigh- 
bourhood of Thayetmyo, Captain Feilden says : — 

" You ask for a description of Thayetmyo. The country is one 
difficult to describe ; its general appearance is not unlike that 
of the lower ranges of the Western Ghats, where they are crossed 
by the Bombay and Poona Railway; but the hills, instead of being 
masses of rock, are a mixture of mud and gravel. 

" The country rises from the bed of the Irrawaddy (which is 
composed of whitish sand mixed with mud) in a mass of un- 
dulating ground intersected in every direction by deep ravines, 
which never appear to run for two yards in the same direction, 
but all eventually work their way into three tolerably large 
streams which empty themselves into the Irrawaddy, one south, 
one just to the north, and the third about two miles north of 
Thayetmyo. Two of these streams appear to take their rise in 
table-land, perhaps fifteen miles west of Thayetmyo, without any 
reference to the hill ranges through which one of them cuts 
its way, forming a rocky torrent, in which the Fork-tail (E: 
immaculatus) is found. The other rises far inland, running south 
of a long range of hills said to be a spur of the Arracan Moun- 
tains. A very peculiar hill, cut into two parts by the stream 
already mentioned, rises perhaps seven miles west of Thayetmyo. 
It appears to break through the undulating mass of twisting 
ravines, without affecting them in the least ; they run steadily 
up to its eastern slope, and continue their rise from the western 
slope far away into the interior. Another line of hills, running 
south-east from the southern slope of this hill, reaches the 
Irrawaddy perhaps eight miles south of Thayetmyo. 

" These hills occupy rather more than a quarter of the horizon, 
and the spur of the Arracan Mountains occupies a considerable 
space to the north, so that Thayetmyo is almost surrounded by 
hills on the land side. 

" The ravines in the hill ranges are rocky, and rock breaks 
through the crest of the hills in one or two places ; but the whole 
of the rest of the country consists of black soil, like cotton soil, 



blue and yellow clays, gravel or whitish sand, and is clothed with 
tree jungle, more or less thick, according to the nature of the soil. 
There is everywhere an undergrowth of grass, or bulbous plants ; 
the grass in favorable localities often eight or ten feet in height. 
" The size of the trees varies much with locality and the dis- 
tance from Thayetmyo, as the Burmese are always cutting and 
burning, and seldom let trees grow to any size. There are a 
great many patches of jungle partially cultivated with the bare 
trunks of the old forest trees still standing ; the trees are chiefly 
Teak, and Eng } with an immense quantity of small-sized bamboo." 


And now to return to our birds. Altogether, including all the 
species obtained or observed by Captain Feilden, Mr. Oates, and 
Mr. Blandford, I can as yet only enumerate 317 species. This 
must appear a very small number, but it must always be borne 
in mind, that this list refers strictly to the limited area already 
defined. Directly you cross the Sittang and proceed eastwards, 
directly you cross our southern line and leave dry Upper for 
moist Lower Pegu, or again directly you wander any distance 
westwards from the Irrawaddy, you at once meet with numerous 
species not included in our list. 

Still, even making all these allowances, I do not doubt that, 
including stragglers, this little block of diy, hilly country (say 
100 miles square, or 10,000 square miles in extent) will, when 
thoroughly explored, yield at least 500 species. 

As it is, it yields quite as many, looking to its extent, as any 
other division of British Burmah, so far as I am yet acquainted 
with them. In Tenasserim I can only count 435; in Lower Pegu, 
298; in Arracan, 270 species. Out of these, Tenasserim has 190 
species not included in this list ; Lower Pegu, 30 not included 
in either; and Arracan, 58 not as yet included in any of my 
lists. Many of these will doubtless be found to extend beyond 
the limits that my imperfect information at present enables 
me to assign to them; but at any rate, so far as I have 
yet investigated the question, I can only count altogether 595 
species, or say 600, which I actually know to occur in British 
Burmah. To these I might add about 100, which, I am sure, 
will prove to occur there, and which may have been sent thence, 
though I have no record of the fact. 

But what are 700 species for a country stretching over ten 
degrees of latitude, with a myriad-isled archipelago, vast rivers 
and swamps, and the most wonderful diversity of soil, geological 
formation, physical configuration and level, vegetation and climate? 

We may safely estimate the Ornis of this rich, but too little- 
utilized and only half-explored, country at one thousand species ; 
and I entertain no doubt that twenty-five years hence some future 



Editor of Stray Feathers will condemn even this estimate as 
far below the mark. 

Returning- now to the 31 7 species which I am able to record as a 
definite instalment of the Ornig of the particular tract with which we 
are dealing', it will be convenient to divide them into four classes : — 
I. — Species (which for the nonce I will call Indo-Burmese) 
common to our tract and to one or more of the following 
sub-divisions : Bengal, east of the Ganges to Goalundo, 
and thence of the Brahmapootra, Assam, and Cachar : the 
Himalayas south of the first Snowy Range, and the 
Terais, Dooars, Dhoons, &c, which fringe their bases, 
as far west as the Jumna. 
II. — Species (which for brevity — the term is not accurate — 
I will call Indian) common to our tract and to parts of 
the continent of India outside the limits above indicated. 
III. — Species (which I will call Indo-Malayan and Chinese) 
common to our tract and to one or more of the follow- 
ing : the Malay Peninsula, the islands of the Archi- 
pelago and China; but not, so far as I know, occurring 
within our limits, except in Burmah and, perhaps in a 
few cases, the Andamans. 
IV. — Species (which I will call Burmese} which I do not 
know of as occurring beyond the limits of Burmah, 
British and Independent. 
Classing the birds thus, and arranging them for the con- 
venience of Indian ornithologists according to Dr. Jerdon's 
classification, we obtain the following results : — 

III. — 



I.— Indo- 









Raftores. — 














Insessores. — 























































Everyone who has tried to arrange as regards distribution a large 
number of species like this into a few classes must be well 
aware of the difficulty one experiences in dealing with par- 
ticular species, which, happening to have a peculiar sphere or 
range of their own, do not very appropriately fall within any one 
of the classes chosen. 

Thus, amongst the large number of species that under our 
definition are classed as Indian, the following, for instance, 
might doubtless be more properly classed as Indo-Burmese : 
Chrysopldegma c/tlorolojj/ius, Microptermis phaioceps, Bringa 
tectirostris, Megalama Hodgsoni, Dic&um cruentatum, Erythro- 
sterna leucura, Pomatorhinus sckisticejjs. But of all these the 
area of distribution on the continent of India overpasses, in 
most cases considerably, the limits assigned for Class I, limits 
which, despite these exceptions, are natural, and do represent those 
of the large majority of true Indo-Burmese species. 

It is not necessary to give any separate list of the birds 
included in Class II — that includes all not contained in the three 
others ; but of those comprised in each of the latter an enumer- 
ation must be given in order to enable my readers to judge for 
themselves how far I have correctly assigned its place to each. 
If they differ on this point, they can then easily correct my 
figures for themselves. 

First, then, we have the so-called Indo-Burmese birds (as 
defined above), some of which however, extending as they do to 
Malasia, China, Central Asia, and Siberia, are only Indo- 
Burmese quoad our Indian Empire. 

20.— Microhierax cserulescens, Lin. 
45 his. — Buteo japonicus, Schl. 
62 — Phodilus nepalensis, Gray* 
82 bis.— Hirundo Tytleri, Jerd. 
102 bis. — Cypselus infumatus, Sclater. 
116.— Harpactes Hodgsoni, Gould. 
124.— Coracias affinis, McClell. 
138.— Psarisomus Dalhousise, Jameson. 
149 bis.— Palseornis bengalensis, Gm. 
152— Palseornis fasciatus, Mull. 
168.— Mulleripicus gutturalis, Valenc 
173.— Chrysophlegma flavinucha, Gould. 

* Tt is, however, still uncertain whether the Pegu bird is identical with the 
Nepalese or Malayan race or species. 



187.— Sasia ochracea, Hodgs. 
198 quat. — Xantholaema cyanotis, Blyth. 
214 bis. — Eudynamis malayana, Cab. 
233 bis.— Chalcoparia cingalensis, Gm. 
263.— Tephrodornis pelvica, Hodgs. 
271 ter.— Pericrocotus elegans, McClell. 
346.— Brachyurus cucullatus, Bar a. 
351 Us.— Cyanocincla solitaria, 31m. 
391.— Stachyris nigriceps, Hodgs. 
412.— G-arrulax pectoralis, Gould. 
413.— Garrulax moniliger, Hodgs. 
500— Ruticilla aurorea, Pall, 
538 bis. — Prinia Beavani, Wald. 
552— Neornis flavolivacea, Hodgs. 
574.— Abrornis superciliaris, Tick. 
585.— Enicurus immaculatus, Hodgs. 
630.— Erpornis xanthochlora, Hodgs. 
650.— Melanochlora sultanea, Hodgs. 
673.— Cissa speciosa, Shaw. 
702.— Lonchura acuticauda, Hodgs. 
710.— Passer montanus, Lin. 
719 bis.— Citrinella rutila, Fall. 
723.— Euspiza aureola, Pall. 
771.— Treron nepalensis, Hodgs. 
776.— Osmotreron Phayrei, Blyth. 
803 bis.-— Pavo muticus, Lin. 
903 bis.— Podica personata, Gray. 

Next we have Class III, the species which are common to our 
tract and more or less of the countries south and east ; but which 
do not occur, except in Burmah, within the limits of our Empire, 
save in the case of a very few, which have been found in the 
Andamans and Nicobars. 

23 ter.— Micronisus poliopsis, Hume. 
39 ter.— Spilornis Rutherfordi, Swinh. 


48 ter. — Poliornis liventer, Tem. 
65 bis.-- Syrnium seloputo, Horsf. 

75 quint.— Scops Lempiji, Horsf. 
101 Us.— Cypselus pacificus, Lath. 
116 ter.— Harpactes oreskios, Tem,. 

127 bis.— Pelargopsis burmanicus, Sharp. 

157 fer.- -Pious analis, Horsf. 

171 &&.— Gecinus vittatus, Vieil. 

211 6&.— Chalcococcyx xanthorhynclms, Horsf. 

280 &/$.— Dicrurus leucophseus, Vieil. 

345 fo's.— Brachyurus moluccensis, Mull. 

671 &/*.— TJrocissa magnirostris, Biyth. 

678 &/$.— Crypsirina varians, Lath. 

696 fo's— Ploceus hypoxanthus, Daud. 

795 fos.— Turtur tigrina, to. 

819 ter.— Francolinus chinensis, Osb. 

834 bis.— Turnix maculosus, Tem. 

? 927 bis.— Herodias melanopus, Wagler. 

Lastly, vve have those species which, though many doubtless do 
so occur are not as yet known to me from any localities beyond the 
limits of British and Independent Burmah, unless indeed one of 
them should be considered identical with an Andamanese species. 

These are — 

15 bis.— Polihierax Peildeni, Hume. 
57 bis.— Pernis brachypterus, Biyth. 

76 Us.— Athene pulchra, Hume. 

132 quat.— Carcineutes amabilis, Hume. 
139 Us.— Serilophus lunatus, Gould. 
147 Us.— Palseornis magnirostris, Ball ? 
163 Us.— Ynngipicus canicapillus, Biyth. 
165 Ms.— Hemicircus canentes, Less. 
165 quat.— Meiglyptes jugularis, Biyth. 
169 ter.— Thriponax Crawfurdi, Gray. 
177 bis.— Gecinulus viridis, Biyth. 


223 ter.— Arachnothera aurata, Blyth 
250 bis.— Sitta neglecta, Wald. 
254 his.— Upupa longirostris, j"«y/. 
260 bis.— Lanius hypoleucus, Blyth. 
268 Us.— Voivocivora avensis, £ly/*. 
277 bis.— Pericrocotus albifrons, Jerd. 

343 bis.— Myiophoneus Eugenei, Hump. 

344 bis.— Hydrornis Oatesi, Hume. 

345 quat.— Brachyurus cyaneus, g/#a.* 

346 ter.— Anthocincla Phayrei, jSfytf*. 
389 bis.— Alcippe Phayrei, ittptf. 
393 Ms.— Stachyris runfrons, Hume.i 
399 ter.— Pellorneum Tickellii, 7;/////>. 
399 sex.— Pellorneum minor, Hume. 
407 bis.— Garrulax Belangeri, Zm. 
439 bis.— Chatarrhaea gularis, Zfyi& 

451 bis. — Criniger griseiceps, Hume. 

452 quat.— Microta,rsus Blanfordi, Jerd. 
463 ten- Pliyllornis chlorocephalus, Wald. 
471 ter.— Orioius tenuirostris, l?/^//,-. 

569 bis.— Culicipeta tephrocephalus, ^Z«<1 
663 bis.— Corvus ? insolens, Hume. 
678 ter.— Crypsirina cucullata, Jierc?. 
683 Us.— Sturnopastor superciliaris, Blyth. 

688 bis.— Temenuchus burmanicus, Jerd. 

689 quat.— Temenuchus nemoricolus, Jerd. 
708 bis.— Passer flaveolus, Blyth. 

708 ter.— Passer assimilis, Wald. 
755 bis.— Mirafra microptera, Zta^ 
773 bis— Crocopus viridifrons, Blyth. 

* How does Mr. Gray give this from the Himalayas ? 

f But if this prove identical with S prcecognUus, Swinh., it will have to be 
transferred to Class III. 


811 ter— Euplocamus lineatus, Lath. 
824 quat.— Arborophila brunneopectus, Tick. 
824 quint.— Peloperdix chloropus, Tick. 
855 bis.— Lobivanellus atronuchalis, Blyth. 

Although some differences of opinion may exist as to my 
assignments, and some of my readers may probably consider 
that a few of the birds should be otherwise placed, still I do not 
think that these minor changes will in any way affect the main 
conclusions to which the figures above given point. 

In this dry Upper Burmah the great bulk, or at any rate more 
than two-thirds of the Ornis is Indian ; of the remaining third, 
nearly one-half are peculiar to Burmah. Indo-Burmese forms, as 
already defined, come next in importance ; while the Malayan and 
Chinese forms, that extend thus far and no further, are com- 
paratively few in number. 

Now, in the proportions that these elements of the Avi-fauna bear 
to each other, the tract we are considering stands out very distinctly 
from the adjoining regions. Whether you go east, south, or west, 
you find a diminution relatively in the numbers of the purely Indian 
and purely Burmese forms, and an increase in the Indo-Burmese 
and, except in Arrakan, in the Indo-Malayan and Chinese forms, 
the increase of the latter east of the Salween being most marked. 

Imperfectly as these various Burmese sub-regions, and more 
especially Independent Burmah northwards of the tract we are 
considering, have as yet been worked, it would be premature to 
generalize too far ; but ever since I commenced the investigation 
of this question, it has always seemed to me that this particular 
sub-region with which we are dealing possesses a special interest, 
as being probably, as it were, an outlying island, where the original 
Indian Ornis has to a great extent maintained its position, while 
the invading waves of the Indo-Burmese Avifauna passed round 
it east and west, and meeting beyond it surged onwards to the 
Himalayas, swept up their flanks, and rolled away west- 
wards, flooding their lower valleys and the dhoons and terais that 
skirt their bases, and eastwards up the valley of the Brahma- 
pootra. No doubt some of the species, which have now so widely 
established themselves throughout the country as to be accepted 
as unquestionably Indian, did not pertain to what I may call the 
aboriginal fauna, but belonged originally to the invading Ornis; 
but making every possible deduction on this account, the pre- 
ponderance of essentially Indian and western species in this small 
sub-province, as compared with what is observable in Northern 
Tenasserim, Southern Pegu, Arrakan, Tipperah, Cachar, Sylhet, 
and Assam, so far as I have yet succeeded in registering the 
birds of these, is very striking. 


I have not said anything- about genera ; I find an insuperable 
difficulty here in dealing" with these. I constantly see genera 
unhesitatingly set down as Indian, Indo-Malayan, Indo-Chinese, 
and the like, which do not appear to me to be rightly described by 
these titles, or indeed by any titles that I have yet seen applied 
to them. Nor do I find any general consensus as what should 
be considered Indian, &c. Nor again do I find, after analyzing- 
all the genera occurring within our Indian Empire, so far as I 
know them, any method of so classing them that each class 
shall represent approximately the same area of distribution 
without creating an utterly unmanageable number of classes. 
No doubt it is possible to neglect distribution, and assign the 
genus to the territorial division where, owing to its being 
represented by most species and individuals, it may be inferred to 
have originated ; but this is altogether empirical, and no two 
ornithologists would probably locate any hundred genera in the 
same way. To take now the genera included in our present list 
there are only the following, using the names in their most 
restricted sense, that I should call Indian, as having presumably 
their centre of distribution within that region, viz. : — 

Athene, Palaeornis, Hierococcyx, Xantholama, Hydrocisssa, 
Chrysophlegma, Arachneclithra, Tephrodomis ,Hemipns , Volvocivora, 
Perierocotus, Chibia, Cyornis, Culicicapa, Oreocincla, Pyctorhis, 
Alcippe, Chatarrhcea, Molpastes, Suya, Limonidromns, Erpornis, 
Sturnopastor, Acridotheres, Ploceus, Munia, Mirafra, Alaudula, 
Crocopus, Osmolreron, Pavo, Gallus, and Francolinus. 

While many of these extend far beyond the limits the title 
would imply, many will doubtless by others be denied their right 
to this title. 

But genera like these are easy. What is one to call one like 
Elanus, or even one like Coccystes ? 

In fact, even setting aside the Waders and Swimmers so 
generally cosmopolitan, not one half of the genera are so capable 
of local assignment as to throw any real light on the affinities 
of the fauna of a limited region like that with which we 
are dealing; and if those only are selected which can be 
more or less localized, the result tends rather to mislead than 
enlighten one. 

Thus, I have above enumerated all the genera, thirty-five in 
number, amongst those known to be represented in this region, 
which, according to my views, can properly be designated Indian. 
But if we take those whose head-quarters may be considered 
to be in Malayana, South-East Asia, and the Archipelago, we 
find no less than forty-four, viz. : — 

Microhierax, Lophospiza, Spizaetus, Spilomis, Polioaetus, 
Poliornis, Haliastur, Phodilus, Ninox, Dendrochelidon, Harpactes, 
Pelargopsis, Carcineutes, Ceyx, Dickoceros, Loriculus, Yungipicus, 



Hemicircus, Meiglyptes, Miilleripicus , Micropternus, Tiga, Mega- 
lalma, Ololygon, Zanclostomus, Centrococcyx, Dicceum, Arach- 
nothera, Graucalus, Artamus, Myiagra, Tchitrea {?), Bracky- 
urus, Mixomis, Timalia, Criniger, Microtarsus, Orthotonus, 
Zosterops, Crypsirina, Treron, Carpophaga, Chalcophaps. 

So if we were to judge by genera, we should assign a distinctly 
preponderating Malayan character to the Avifauna, instead 
of which a study of the species shows that it is essentially 
Indian, the fact being that numbers of genera whose head- 
quarters are further east have outlying species that, in the 
present day at any rate, are essentially Indian in every sense of 
the word. 

Again, we found, looking to species, that Indo-Burmese forms 
greatly outnumbered those from Malayana and the East, but 
only the following genera, eight in number, (and the first of these 
doubtfully so,) can be characterized as Indo-Burmese, viz. : — 

Ketupa, Psarisomus, Serilophus, Gecinulus, Chalcoparia, Culi- 
cipita, Arboricola, and Poclica. 

Lastly, we found that pure Burmese forms exceed both these 
latter classes ; and yet we have only one single Burmese genus, 
Anthocincla, to record, and that one pertaining properly to the 
trans-Ssilween country, and only occurring, I believe, as a rare 
straggler within our limits. 

There are doubtless Avifaunas in regard to which the study and 
classification of the genera they comprise is most instructive, 
but in the present ease it would not seem to help us much. 

As to the orders and tribes, it will be seen that the Raptores, 
Fissirostres, and Scansores, especially the latter, are in great 
force, being 12, 9, and 12 per cent respectively of the whole, as 
against 8, 6" 5, and 7*6 of the Indian fauna proper, as given by 
Dr. Jerdon. On the other hand, the Dentirostres are only 30, 
against 40 per cent, in India, the Conirostres only 9 against 
11*4, &c. But in the imperfect state of our knowledge as to the 
real extent of the Ornis of the tract under consideration, no 
safe conclusions can as yet be deduced from these differences. 


The following is our list : — 

2.— Otogyps calvus, Scop. 

? 3 bis.— Gyps fulvescens, Hume. 

4.— Gyps indicus, Scop. 

Captain Feilden says : " Besides the birds that I sent you, I 
observed three species of Vulture — the Black Vulture, the Tawny 
Vulture, and the Common Brown one." Probably the three 
species he refers to, are those given above ; both the first and the 
last I have seen from Upper Pegu. 


Mr. Oates remarks : " G. indicus, though nowhere in great 
numbers, is not uncommon in small parties near villages. It is 
seldom, however, that more than twenty are ever seen in one place, 
or about one carcase. Amongst these, two or three 0. calvus are 
generally to be seen appropriating all the tit-bits, and if the meal 
seems likely to run short, driving away the others. These are 
the only two species that I have noticed. I may add that vultures 
here have never anything larger than a dog to feed on. A dead 
horse or cow is a thing never seen* in Upper Pegu." 

5.— Gyps bengalensis, Lath. 

I have received a specimen from near Thayetmyo ; it occurs 
we know as far south at any rate as Tavoy. 

8. — Falco peregrhms, Lin. 

Captain Feilden says : " Though I sent you no specimen, I 
have shot the Peregrine near Thayetmyo." Mr. Oates, too, has 
sent me a specimen, a nearly two-year old bird, shot at Prome on 
the 23rd of November, but I think we may conclude that it occurs 
in Upper Pegu as a straggler only. 

15 bis.— Polihierax Feildeni, Hume. P. insignis, 

I retain my own name for this remarkable and beautiful species, 
since, so far as I can learn, (though in this I may be in error,) 
mine was the first published description. Prior to its publication 
a specimen had been exhibited at a meeting of the Zoological 
Society, with an intimation that Lord Walden intended to 
publish it under the name of insignis; but such an exhibition 
does not constitute publication any more than showing a bird to 
a party of friends and telling them you intend to name it so and 
so. Of course it does not in the least signify which of the two 
names stands, but mine under strict rule has, I believe, priority. 

It is curious that a species so very remarkable in its appear- 
ance, and so common in the neighbourhood of what has for so 
many years been a British cantonment, should have entirely 
escaped observation until the close of 1871, when specimens 
were received both by Lord Walden and myself. I considered it 
nearly allied to the Merlins — in fact, a link between the Merlins 
and the Chiqueras — and this is the situation which I should still 
assign to it. Lord Walden, however, has pointed out that it will 
properly fall under the African genus Polihierax, and I have 
adopted his correction. 

Captain Feilden says that " it is pretty common about Thayet- 
myo." Mr. Oates, writing from this latter locality, remarks : 
" Not uncommon here ; keeps entirely to the dry forests of 

* Because the people eat them themselves.— a. o. h. 


Dipterocarpus grandiflora, which cover nearly half the Thayetmyo 
District, from the Irrawaddy to the summit of the Pegu Hills. 
I did not observe it on the eastern slopes of these hills ; I 
procured a specimen lately from the Arracan Hills however." 

The following are the dimensions of this species recorded in 
the flesh by Mr. Oates :— 

Males: length, 10*5; expanse, 17; tail, from vent, 5*5; wing, 
5*5; bill, straight from gape to point, 0*75; tarsus, 155; 
length of cere, 0*1 8. 

Females: length, 10*7 to 10*9; expanse, 18 to 19; tail, 
from vent, 5*8; wing, 5' 9 to 6; bill, straight from gape 
to point, 0*75 to 0*77; tarsus, 1*5 to 1*6; length of cere, 
0-18 to 0-2. 

The cere, gape, and both mandibles as far as the nostrils, 
orange yellow; anterior portion of bill, bluish-black; eyelids 
and orbital region, orange ; iris, hazel ; legs, orange ; claws, black. 

In both sexes, the mantle is dark bluish-ashy (darkest in the 
female), and the rump and upper tail coverts pure white. 
Central tail feathers black, with a few white spots, the remains 
of three narrow transverse bars, which in younger birds are 
more or less perfect ; laterals, white, broadly barred with black. 
Quills, blackish brown, or black (the later secondaries and 
tertiaries more or less tinged slaty), with a few small white 
spots, most conspicuous on the primaries on the outer webs of 
all but the first primary, and numerous broad white bars on the 
inner webs. The chin, throat, and whole lower surface, includ- 
ing wing lining, white ; some of the feathers of the throat with 
narrow central brown shaft stripes, and those of the sides and 
tipper abdomen with broad grey brown dashes. Forehead, lores, 
and feathers round the eye, greyish white, with dark shafts; rest 
of the top, back, and sides of the head, and upper back in the 
male, pale slaty grey (each feather with a linear dark shaft- 
stripe), with traces of an albescent nuchal half collar; in the 
female, rich chestnut, extending in some specimens on to the 
shoulder of the wing. 

In some females the middle back and scapulars are strongly 
tinged with chestnut ; and in some young females, and even in 
young males occasionally, the feathers of the breast are tinged 
chestnut along the dark shaft stripes. 

Captain Feilden says {vide infra) that the female does not assume 
the chestnut head till at least the second year ; but one young 
male that he has sent me, everywhere browner and duller-colored 
than the adult has the whole nape and sides of the neck strongly 
tinged with rusty ferruginous, and the top of the head brown, 
with here and there a rusty tinge. This looks very much as 
if the young male assumed the female plumage before passing 
to that of the old male. 


Captain Feilden remarks : " The f emale, as far as I know, does 
not assume the red head till she is at least two years old. The red 
begins on the shoulders and extends gradually to the forehead. 
I have a specimen wholly red, except a small patch on the fore- 
head and another only just tinted with red on the shoulders, but 
I cannot say how long the head is in becoming entirely red. I 
fancy that the head of the male also becomes red at a still more 
advanced age, but I am not certain of this. I have a male 
with a few red feathers on the shoulders, and I saw both a red 
and a grey-headed bird following a female during the breeding 
season. I shot the grey-headed male and the female, but lost the 
other red-headed bird, which I conclude was a male. I cannot 
say whether the male or the female is the larger, as their tails 
are almost always much broken ; but in one pair that I obtained 
with unbroken tails, the male was slightly larger. 

" The food consists of insects, with an occasional mouse, snake, 
or lizzard. The ordinary note of this bird is like that of the 
White-eyed Buzzard, but of course not so loud. During the 
pairing season, its call-note is a kind of whistling hoot, which 
appeared to me to resemble f tooey/ the 'too/ very much 
prolonged. I once saw a pair meet, when they uttered a succes- 
sion of loud harsh screams, which resembled the cries of a flock 
of Red-wattled Plovers when disturbed, but before they rise. 
They pair about the last week in January. I found an unshelled 
egg in March (on dissection). I think I found an old nest in 
the fork of a tree as I shot a young bird a short distance off, but 
I only mention this as a help to others in looking for the nest. 
It resembled a small Hawk Eagle's nest both in make and 

" The habits of these birds are very peculiar, in some things 
resembling those of the Magpie. They perch exactly like a 
Falcon; but if they wish to move along a branch, they hop 
sideways, or, if the branch is pretty upright, walk up it, foot 
over foot, if I may use the expression, in the same manner as a 
Magpie. When at all alarmed they jerk their tail, and when 
much excited by the approach of any one, lower their heads exactly 
in the same way as some of the Owlets. Altogether, when moving 
about the branches of a tree, they might at a short distance be 
mistaken for a Magpie, except for the shape of the head. The 
flight is also peculiar, a few tolerably rapid strokes ending, if 
I remember rightly, in a slightly upwards jerk, then a short 
sail through the air, and then a few more strokes, and so on. 

" I have invariably found them on cleared ground in the mid- 
dle of jungles seated on trees, and once on a fallen hut. The 
only exception to this being when I have found them at a spot 
where several jungle roads meet and form an open space, or on 
low gravelly hills thinly covered with bushes, and an occasional 


tree ; their most favorite seat seems to be a dead tree barked 
by the Burmese in the middle of one of their half-cleared 
cotton fields. I once saw a pair on a tree in a dry rice field, but 
on every other occasion the ground was covered partially with 
bushes, cotton plants, &c. I have found them from the level of 
the Irrawaddy to the highest cultivated patches in the hills 
about Thayetmyo. I have never seen one in a large open space or 
in thick jungle/' 

17.— Timmnculus alaudarius, Gm. 

This is another species which Captain Feilden informs me 
that he has obtained at Thayetmyo, although he did not send 

Mr. Oates remarks : " I saw a number of these birds for the 
first time last November ; they were flying round the large 
pagoda at Shwaybongah opposite Prome, and occasionally 
perching on the summit, far out of shot. 

" The Kestril is a common bird, I find, in the Pegu plains ; 
I have seen a dozen together." 

19.— Erythropus vespertinus,Zm./ ? E. amurensis, 


The only specimen I have seen from Thayetmyo was sent by 
Captain Feilden. It is quite a young bird ; sex, not ascertained ; 
length, 11 inches; and wing, exactly 9 inches; the whole of the 
under- wing coverts, white, barred with brown. In this stage it is 
impossible, I think, to distinguish the eastern and western 
forms of the Orange-legged Hobby. (Fide Stray Feathers, 
Vol. II, p. 527.) 

Captain Feilden says : " I saw four of these birds hawking 
over a dry field in January, and a fifth early in February, seated 
on the top of a tall tree ; they appeared to be migrating. Food, 

20. — Microhierax coerulescens,Zm. ? M. eutolmos, 


Captain Feilden says : " The Red-legged Falconet occurs in 
Burmah, at any rate as far down as Rangoon. It appears to re- 
main throughout the year, as I have shot it in August, October, 
November, and February." 

Mr. Oates remarks : " Not uncommon in Upper Pegu ; I have 
procured it in January, February, August, October and November, 
but cannot say if it is migratory. Feeds'* entirely on large 

* This is certainly the general rule, but we have on several occasions found 
the flesh, and even some of the feathers, of small birds iu their stomach?. 


insects, which it catches on the wing", very much as a Bee- 
eater would. It generally returns to the same perch several 
times. The following- are dimensions and colors of the soft 
parts : — 

" Hales : length, 6*3 ; expanse, 12 to 12 - 3 ; tail, from vent, 
2'5 to 2*6; wing-, 3*8; bill, from gape to point, 0'43; tarsus, 
0-92. Females : length, 7"2 to 7*3. The bill is slaty blue, nearly 
black at tip ; cere, dark brown ; iris, pale reddish brown ; inside 
of mouth, bluish fleshy ; eyelids, bluish grey ; feet, bluish brown, 
darker on toes and yellowish on soles ; claws, black." 

Wings of females appear to vary from 4" 1 to 4* 3; wings of 
males, from 377 to 3" 97. Adults appear to have a broad frontal 
and superciliary band continued round the nape, and a stripe 
under the eye, ptcre white ; chin, bright rufous ; and whole lower 
parts, more or less tinged rufous. Immature birds have the 
frontal and superciliary band much narrower ; and this, with the 
strip under the eye, is bright rufous; the collar is rufous 
white, while the chin and whole lower parts (except lower abdo- 
men, vent, and tibial plumes, which are rufous) are pure 

In one specimen, for instance, which I take to be an old bird, 
there is a huge broad white frontal band, nearly 0*4 in breadth ; 
from this extend broad supercilia of the same color, fully 0*15 
in width above the eyes, running down unbroken, over the ear 
coverts, widening as they go, and joining* on the one hand 
the white of the sides of neck, and on the other hand a broad, 
# 4 wide, half-collar of the same color. The cheeks are the 
same color, but the chin and the upper part of the throat are 
bright chestnut. 

In another bird, a young" bird as I believe, the frontal band 
is not above 01 in width, and is pale chestnut. It does not join 
the supercilia, which again above the eye are only 005 in width 
and scarcely wider elsewhere, and are also pale chestnut, and 
which running down mere narrow lines, still of this pale chestnut 
hue, join into a very narrow (0*15 broad) rufous- white half -collar. 
Immediately under the eye there is a tiny pale chestnut patch, 
but the whole of the chin, throat, and breast, are pure silky 

Many birds, killed in the autumn as a rule, I think, are inter- 
mediate between these two well-marked stages, a little tinge o£ 
rufous only may remain on the brow, and the chin may still be 
quite white, or again the eyebrow may be quite white, and 
there may as yet be only a faint ruf escent tinge on the chin, or 
sometimes, but this, I think, is very rare ; both chin and eyebrow 
may entirely want the rufous tinge. I have only to add that 
birds from Pegu appear to be precisely identical with those 
from Kumaon, Nepal, and Sikhim. 


22.— Lophospiza indica, Eodgs. 

One immature specimen of this species was procured by Mr. 
Oates on the eastern slopes of the Pegu Hills ; latitude, 19° north. 
It is apparently identical with birds from various parts of India. 
Mr. Oates says : " I only procured one specimen, and this on the 
Pegu Hills, where it appears to be rare. It measured : Length, 161; 
expanse, 29 - 5 ; tail, from vent, 8*0 ; wing, 8 - 6 ; bill, straight from 
gape to tip, 1 - 1 ; tarsus, 2" 7. 

" Upper mandible and tip of lower, dark brown or black; remain- 
der of lower mandible, plumbeous ; cere and gape, lemon yellow ; 
eyelids, naked skin of face, and base of bill in advance of gape, 
dusky green; edges of eyelids, yellow; iris, bright yellow; 
inside of mouth, deep blue ; legs, yellow ; claws, black." 

I follow Mr. Gray in separating the Indian form from tri- 
virgatus ; I have not myself compared specimens, but judging 
from the dimensions given by Schlegel and others, our Indian 
birds must be considerably more robust. 

23 ter.— Micronisus poliopsis, Hume. 

I described this species, Stray Feathers, Vol. II, p. 235. It is 
a perfectly separable race, but whether it should or should not 
be specifically separated must, of course, remain a matter of 
opinion. I have seen specimens from Thayetmyo, Rangoon, and 
Tenasserim, and Mr. Sharpe, who had independently recog- 
nized the distinctness of this race, informs me that he has seen 
it from Siam and Cambodia also. 

Mr. Oates remarks that " the Burmese Shikra is extremely 
common from the Bay of Bengal to Tonghoo. Of ten specimens 
noted, eight had the irides yellow, and two red ; these latter are 
apparently old." 

He adds later : " I found a family of five together on the 16th 
June, and shot two. These were young. They were fully fledged 
and were able to fly as fast as the old birds. The nest appeared 
to have been on a high branch of a huge Peepul tree. A few 
fragments could be seen from below. 

24.— Accipiter nisus, Lin. 

Captain Feilden says : " I shot an European Sparrow-hawk at 
Thayetmyo." Mr. Oates, however, never seems to have met with 
this species, though he has collected in the neighbourhood of 
Thayetmyo for more than two years, and perhaps the identifica- 
tion may be doubtful. 

25. — Accipiter virgatus, Tem. 

Captain Feilden says : " I obtained one specimen of the Besra 
Sparrow-hawk at Thayetmyo." I. have seen no specimen, and 
Mr. Oates appears to have procured none. 


27 bis.— Aquila mogilnik, Gm. A. bifasciata, Gray. 

A single nnsexed specimen of the Plain-brown Imperial Eagle > 
with the buffy occipital patch just beginning to show, has been 
sent me by Mr. Oates; wing, about 22 - 5. In regard to this 
Mr. Oates remarks : " I have seen no other specimen ; this was 
given me by Feilden in the flesh." Captain Feilden remarks : 
" The Imperial Eagle in Burmah appears to me to differ from the 
Indian variety, in wanting the orange buff head described by 
Dr. Jerdon. I have seen eight or ten of these birds in a day, at 
perhaps a hundred yards' distance, on an average, and never saw any 
trace of paling on the neck or head; feet, cere, and gape, wax yellow; 
eyes, bright, sparkling brown. The feet appear to me smaller 
than in the Indian bird, and the bird throughout less strongly 
built. I have found these birds singly, or in twos and threes, 
seated on large trees growing in the long but broken expanse of 
rice fields extending from Thayetmyo to Mingdoon, enclosed by 
spurs of the Arracan Mountains. It is almost impossible to 
get these birds, as the trees they occivpy are generally single, with 
no cover near them.'" 

I suspect that Aquila amnrensis, Swinhoe, (Proceedings, Zoo- 
logical Society, 1871, p. 338,) is nothing more nor less than 
this bird.* 

28.— Aquila clanga,t Pcdl. 

No specimens of this species have been sent me, and Mr. Oates 
obtained none ; but Captain Feilden's remarks leave no possible 
doubt as to the species he refers to. 

Captain Feilden says : " The few of these birds that I have 
obtained have been all in the nearly black unspotted stage, with 
tarsi more or less white. Food, always fish or frogs, except that 
the stomach of a one-legged bird in very bad condition contained 
a bandicoot, which he had probably picked up dead/'' 

31.-~Nisaetus pennatns, Gm. 

This species must be comparatively rare in Upper Pegu. Mr. 
Oates appears never to have procured it. A single specimen sent 
by Captain Feilden is precisely similar to Indian birds. Dimen- 
sions given by Captain Feilden of males, though somewhat smaller 
than what Jerdon gives, correspond exactly with my own dimen- 
sions of males. The bird sent is the mature bird in the brown 

Captain Feilden says : " I have found these birds in the same 
line of rice fields as the Imperial Eagle, but have only obtained 

* Mr. Sharpe has since confirmed this supposition. 

t By clanga, I mean the bird which we have most of us heretofore callpe 
noma, Briss. I agree with Mr Brooks that the true ncevia is either identical 
with or very closely alied to haslata. 


them on the general parade ground at Thayetmyo. I have 
never obtained a female, but once or twice saw a much paler 
bird that must have been either the female or young-. I have 
always found them, when perched, seated in the centre of mode- 
rate-sized trees in full foliage. The stroke of the wing of this bird 
is much more rapid than is the case in the flight of the other 
eagles. This bird appears to hunt its own game down, and 
never touch carrion. The two that I shot contained a White-headed 
Myna and a field rat ; another that I hit and lost, was eating 
some other bird. These birds are tame, and can be shot by walk- 
ing past them in a careless manner ; but they are not so stupidly 
tame as the Indian variety often is. I never saw any trace of the 
Pale-head. The pale birds that I saw appeared to resemble the 
adult Tawny Eagle hi color. I never heard it utter any note." 

34.— Spizaetus caligatus, Baffles. 

Specimens sent by Captain Feilden and Mr. Oates are identical 
with others from Kumaon and other localities in the Himalayas, 
Dacca, and other parts of Eastern Bengal. Mr. Oates gives the 
following dimensions and particulars of three males : — 

I. — (I should say about three years old.) Length, 25*7; ex- 
panse, 53; tail, from vent, 12; wing, 15 - 8; bill, 
straight from gape to point, 1/76. 
Iris, orange yellow ; eyelids, dark grey ; inside of mouth, 
fleshy ; bill, black ; cere, blackish brown ; feet, greyish 
II. — (A bird of the year.) Length, 26 - 35 ; tail from vent, 12; 
wing, 16"1 ; bill, from gape to point, 1"7 ; tarsus, 4*4. 
Iris, yellowish brown ; eyelids, plumbeous ; inside of mouth, 
bluish fleshy ; cere and bill, black ; gape as far as nostrils, 
bluish black ; toes, pale yellowish green ; claws, black. 
III. — (A male, apparently young, shot in my compound in 
Prome.) Length, 26*5 ; expanse, 54 ; tail, from vent, 
12; wing, 16"1 ; bill, from gape to tip, straight, L69; 
tarsus, 4 # 2 ; cere, 35. 
Iris, brown ; bill and cere, dark brownish black, turning 
to plumbeous at the gape ; shelf, plumbeous ; claws 
black ; legs and toes, pale yellow. 
He remarks : "Having now secured three specimens, I am begin- 
ning to think that the bird is commoner than I once considered it." 
Captain Feilden says : " This seems to be a very common 
bird about Thayetmyo; every ravine in the spurs of the 
Arracan Mountains seems to contain one or more pairs, as 
well as every wooded stream in the lower ground. Their wild 
screaming (whistle) is almost always to be heard long before 
the bird is seen, as it sits on some large tree rising above the rest 
of the jungle or wheels in circles far overhead; it is one of the 


wildest and wariest of birds. One that I took from the nest nearly 
two years ago is still as wild as ever, and constantly raffles up the 
feathers of its head till they look almost like the crest of a blood- 
sucker, leaving the rest of the top of the head almost bare. It 
has also a habit of throwing" back the head, apparently looking 
for a hole in the top of its cage, and bending backwards till it 
frequently falls over. It appears to have a great desire to wash. 
When first caught, I gave it water in a sardine tin, when it stood 
over it and went through the motions of washing, although it 
was hardly fledged, and could not of course get into the water. 
This bird shows no change either in plumage, length of crest, 
the dark color of the eye, or the black cere, since I have had 
it, except that it has lost the pale tips on the back and 

' ' These birds, as far as I know, feed on Mynas, rats, and frogs. 
I have taken a young bird from the nest in the middle of May, 
and seen several young birds about the end of that month. 
These birds build the usual Hawk Eagle's nest in the fork of 
the largest and most inaccessible tree that they can find, invari- 
ably, as far as I know, overhanging the bed of a stream. 
Either numbers of these birds build and do not lay, or else they 
desert their nests on the slightest suspicion of their having been 
discovered. Of half a dozen nests that I saw building in March, 
on one of which I saw an old female engaged in arranging the 
sticks, not One ever contained either egg or young bird ; though 
I found a large egg dropped at a short distance from one of the 
nests, as if the bird had deserted the nest and not built another. 
Several pairs of birds belonging to nests in more remote parts of 
the jungle seemed all to have succeeded in rearing one young 
bird each. The Burmese state that the birds only lay one egg, 
which is pure white. Fragments of two eggs, one on the ground 
and another in the nest from which I got the bird, were white. 
While the trees are in full leaf, these birds shelter them- 
selves in the middle of some thick tree during the heat of 
the day. " 

In the quite young bird of this species, just before the first 
moult, almost the whole of the head and lower parts are white ; 
a few of the feathers of the forehead and the centre of the 
crown and occiput are brown-shafted, or have very narrow shaft 
stripes. Two or three feathers on the breast have very narrow, 
brown, shaft stripes towards the tips ; on the sides of the body 
there are some brown dashes, and the tibial plumes are very 
faintly barred transversely with pale rufescent brown. The upper 
surface of the body, tail, and wings are much as in the adult, 
except that the sub-terminal tail band is narrower and less 
conspicuous, and the white margins of the feathers have almost 


39.— Spilornis cheela, Lath. 

Birds from Thayetmyo are the true cheela, a little smaller no 
doubt than Himalayan specimens, but with wings varying- from 
18 to 19 inches in females and of the true cheela type. Further 
south this species appears to be entirely replaced by the next. 
Mr. Oates gives the following particulars of a female of the 
present species measured in the flesh : — 

" Length, 28'2; expanse, 61 ; tail, from vent, 12"8; wing, 18 ; 
bill, from gape, 2-03; tarsus, 4*05; legs, pale dirty yellow; claws, 
black; iris, bright yellow; eyelids, well clothed; naked skin in 
front of eye and shelf, pale greenish yellow ; cere, a shade 
greener; bill, plumbeous, dusky at tip; inside of mouth, bluish. 

" The commonest of the large Raptors ; extends to my know- 
ledge from the Bay of Bengal to Tonghoo. One was shot in 
Thayetmyo in trying to carry off a chicken." 

Captain Feilden says : "I shot four birds answering to 
Dr. Jerdon's Crested Serpent Eagle ; but as I never shot that bird, 
I cannot state that they are identical with the Indian bird." 

39 ter. — Spilornis Rutherfordi, Swinh. 

It is only, I believe, as a mere chance straggler that this 
species or race occurs within our limits ; its natural home is 
further east and south. 

No separate description seems necessary. I have compared 
a large series from China, Siam, and Tenasserim with a still 
larger series of cheela from Northern and Continental India, and 
I have been unable to detect any constant difference in the 
plumage, though that of the Indian bird is commonly somewhat 
more richly colored. 

In Rutherfordi the sexes differ little in size, and the following 
dimensions recorded in the flesh of four adults, two of each sex, will 
show how greatly in this respect these birds differ from cheela : — 

Length, 24-0 to 24-75; expanse, 50-5 to 56-37; tail, from 
vent, 10/5 to 11-5 ; wing, 16-3 to 17 # 25 ; tarsus, 3*5; bill, from 
gape, 1-75 to 2-0 ; weight, 21bs. to 2-51bs. The legs and feet 
are yellowish white ; the bill, dark plumbeous ; the facial skin, 
cere and irides, bright yellow. 

I have only seen a single specimen of this species obtained 
within our limits. This was shot on the right bank of the 
Sittang, about eight miles below Tonghoo, in July. 

41.— Polioaetus ichthyaetus, Horsf. 

A single specimen of this species is sent by Mr. Oates from 
Thayetmyo with the following remarks and particulars : — 

" I shot this specimen in my compound in an apparently ex- 
hausted state. It is obviously quite a young bird, and so young 


that I could not ascertain the sex. It measured : Length, 29 ; 
expanse, 62; tail, from vent, 12*25; wing", 19; bill, from gape, 
2-05; tarsus, 37; the cere was grey ; bill, greyish-blue at base, 
changing to dark brown at tip ; iris, hazel ; legs and feet, very 
pale greyish white.'''' 

This is a very interesting specimen of the true icl/tlii/aefus, Horsf ., 
which, as I have pointed out in my Eggs and Nests of Indian 
Bieds, is equally distinct from plumb ens, Hodgson, and humilis, 
Tern. It is in that particular stage of plumage which Gray and 
Hard wick figure as Haliaetus lineatus, a stage of plumage which, 
as far as my present experience goes, is not assumed by plumbem. 

The whole of the head, neck, interscapulary region and 
coverts, except the greater primary ones, are a light wood brown, 
each feather tipped with pale fulvous white, and with this color 
running more or less up the shaft of the feathers, especially 
on the head. The primaries, their greater coverts, and the 
winglet, dark brown, blackish towards the tips of the primaries. 
The greater coverts tipped with fulvous white, and the primaries 
paling to brownish white at the extreme tips ; secondaries, a 
rather darker brown than the back, obsoletely barred darker, 
and narrowly margined at the tips with brownish white. Back 
scapulars, rump, and upper tail coverts much the same color as the 
secondaries. Tail, pale dirty brown, with a broad, irregular, 
blackish band close to the tips, and another somewhat narrower 
band higher up ; the interspace is very ill-defined, and the basal 
half of the feathers densely mottled and blotched with dark 
brown. Chin, throat, ear coverts, and sides of the neck yellow- 
ish white, each feather narrowly margined with pale rufescent 
brown. Lower tail coverts, white or nearly so ; rest of the lower 
parts, pale rufescent brown, each feather with a narrow, central, 
yellowish white shaft stripe, least narrow on the breast. Axil- 
laries and lesser lower coverts along the ulna, mingled rufous 
white and rufous brown, the rest of the wing lining, (except 
the primary lower coverts,) and the basal portion of the quills, 
white. The median lower primary coverts, tinged with pale 
ruf ous ; the greater primary lower coverts also rufescent towards 
their tips, and with one or two imperfect transverse dark brown 
bands. On the lower surface of the quills, between the white 
basal portion and the brown or grey brown tips, the inner webs 
are greyish white, with four or five strongly marked transverse 
dark brown bars. The lower surface of the tail is white, becoming 
tinged with brown towards the tip. There is a broad, irregular, 
subterminal blackish brown band, and the rest of the feather 
above this is freckled, mottled, and blotched with dark brown. 

The nostrils are excessively small in this species ; in this speci- 
men they have not been plugged out with cotton, and they 
measure exactly 0"13 inch long by 0'09 wide. 


Since the above was in type, Mr. Oates has sent me the 
following additional note : — 

" A male in somewhat similar plumage to the one you have 
already described, but more robust, measured — 

" Length, 29 - 4 ; expanse, 65 ; tail, from vent, 1T5 ; wing, 18*5; 
bill, 2-05; tarsus, 3 - 8; cere, 0*5 j middle claw, straight, 1*3; 
hind claw, 1*5 - bill, dark brown; the basal two-thirds of lower 
mandible, light plumbeous ; cere, a lighter brown than the bill ; 
iris, light brown, mottled and speckled ; feet and legs, china- 
white ; claws, black ; loral region, dusky greenish ; eyelid and 
shelf, plumbeous. 

" This bird is very sluggish and flies heavily/' 

45 bis, — Buteo japonicus, Schlegel. 

A Buzzard from Thayetmyo would certainly be ranked as Buteo 
vulgaris but for its much smaller size and slightly more feathered 
tarsi. The tarsi are not feathered quite so far down, nor are the toes 
quite so short, as in another specimen of japonicus that I possess 
from Kotegurh, Himalayas; but still they differ sufficiently 
from vulgaris of Europe, of which I have six good specimens 
before me to compel me, to assign the bird to japonicus. It is 
a female, and measured in the flesh 19*5 in length; the wing", 
143; the tarsus, 2*8 feathered for 1*45; the cere was greenish 
yellow ; the irides, very pale brown ; the legs and feet, yellowish. 
It is certainly not ferox in any stage, neither is it, I think, 
desertorum ; and if not japonicus, (it is far too small for vulgaris,) 
it must be a new species, and if so, might well stand as 
burmanicus. I myself am inclined to believe that it is japonicus. 
It is useless attempting an elaborate description of the plumage ; 
so far as plumage goes, it exactly resembles some stages of 
vulgaris, but it has the outer webs of the earlier primaries, 
especially just above the emarginations, most conspicuously sil- 
vered to an extent that I have never seen in any specimen of 
Buteo vulgaris. I may add that the central tail feathers (and 
indeed all the tail feathers) are very narrow, not above 1*6 
width at the widest, and exhibit beyond the tips of the upper tail 
coverts no less than ten well-marked, dark brown, trans- 
verse bands on a mingled grey and rufous ground, the rufous 
predominating towards the tips, the grey towards the bases of 
the feathers. 

Captain Feilden says (for Mr. Oates never appears to have 
met with the species) : " I found this bird at the edge of the 
parade ground in tolerably thick-tree jungle with partially 
cleared underwood. I believe I caught a glimpse of the same 
bird eighteen months before in very thick fruit-tree jungle with 
an undergrowth of Pine-apple. The specimen killed had eaten 
insects. As far as I know, I have never seen any other specimens." 


Mr. Sharpe in the Accipitres unites this species with plumipes, 
Hodgson. He is most likely right, but at the same time it 
seems to me to differ in its shorter wing, somewhat slenderer 
and slightly less-plumed tarsi, and its more characteristically 
Buzzard head. However, although we have more specimens than 
the British Museum, neither museum has anything like a sufficient 
series to enable any certain conclusion to be arrived at. 

48.— Poliornis teesa, Frankl. 

Numerous specimens sent by both Captain Feilden and 
Mr. Oates are identical with Indian birds. Mr. Oates remarks 
that this species is " not uncommon in the Thayetmyo District. 
The food appears to be small crabs. A male measured : Length, 
1575 ; expanse, 34; tail from vent, 6 - 4; wing, 11 ; tarsus, 2*1 ; 
bill at front, 1*2. Kfemale: Length, 16' 5; expanse, 36- 5; tail, 
from vent, 7*3; wing, 11*5; tarsus, 2*56; bill, from gape, 1'8." 

A female measured — 

Length, 165 ; expanse, 36*5 ; tail, from vent, 7'3 ; wing, 11*5 ; 
bill, 1*3 ; tarsus, 2'56; cere, 4. 

This bird is fond of flooded paddy land, which it beats over, as 
a harrier does ; but, unlike the latter, it is fond of perching on 

48 ter.— Poliornis liventer, Tem.—'Pl Col. 438. 
P. pallidus, Less. 

The occurrence of this species at Thayetmyo is somewhat 
unexpected. Temminck, however, in his original description, gave 
it from Celebes, Sumatra, Java, and the continent of India. It 
does not occur certainly on the continent of India, but it occurs, 
as we now see, on the mainland of Asia, on the very northern 
frontier of the province of Pegu. It is noteworthy that from the 
Tenasserim Provinces in 1 845, Dr. Heifer sent a young speci- 
men of Poliornis barbatns, Eyton ; while now Captain Feilden and 
Mr. Oates send not only liventer, but also teesa, from Thayetmyo. 
The occurrence of three such species within one comparatively 
limited province is certainly curious. Mr. Gray (and I follow 
him) separates barbatus, Eyton, from poliogenys, and identifies 
Blyth's pygmaus, founded on Dr. Heifer's specimen (vide my 
Rough Notes, No. 2, page 291) with the former, and doubtfully 
with trivirgatus, Moore. Whether this separation be correct or 
not, we still have three distinct, though nearly allied species from 
British Burmah. 

The specimen sent me by Captain Feilden, an adult male, 
measured in the flesh; length, 14-5; wing, 10-8; tarsus, 2"6; tail, 
6; bill, from gape, 1*3. The bill was pale orange, tipped horny 
black ; orbital skin, cere, and legs, bright orange ; hides, golden 


yellow. This bird was killed at the end of the breeding- season. 
In the cold-weather, the legs, orbital skin, and cere, are paler. 

The specimen sent by Mr. Oates was also a male ; and in re- 
gard to this he has recorded the following particulars : " Length, 
15*5, expanse, 36; tail, from vent, 6-3; wing, 11-1; bill, from 
gape, 1*3; mid-toe and claw, 2*1 ; claw only, 073 ; cere, 045 ; 
bill, along culmen, 09. Fourth quill the longest, third, 02 ; 
second, 07; first 3*3; and fifth 045 shorter than fourth. 
Eyelids, well-clothed with white down. This and the upper-shelf 
yellow, with an orange tinge ; iris, yellow, rather pale ; bill and 
cere, waxen orange; the tips of both mandibles, dark-brown, almost 
black ; legs and feet, yellow ; claws, dark-brown. I only procured 
one specimen, and that at Thayetmyo. It appears to be rare." 

Captain Feilden says : " This bird I only found in a long 
line of paddy fields, extending many miles inland from Thayet- 
myo, but much broken by patches of jungle, and dotted with 
large trees standing singly, or two or three together, in the 
middle of fields. It is an extremely wary bird; I only obtained 
two quite accidentally. They are not very wild at first, but if 
they have once been shot at, it appears hopeless ever to get 
near them again." 

Captain Feilden says that this species breeds in March. For 
further particulars, see my "Nests and Eggs of Indian Birds." 

The following is a description of this species, founded on these 
two specimens: The whole head and neck all round are a pale 
earthy or grey brown ; the feathers darker shafted ; the lores are 
whitish, and the chin and throat more or less faintly streaked 
with white ; the breast is nearly uniform in color with the neck, 
but here and there with faint traces of obscure rufescent bars; all 
the feathers darker shafted ; the sides and abdomen are some- 
what more rufous, with white spots or obscure bars, and all the 
feathers darker shafted ; the tibial plumes, vent and lower tail 
coverts, and the whole under-surface •of the wings (except the 
primaries beyond the notches on the inner webs), pure white ; 
axillaries white, with numerous closely-set transverse bars of 
mingled brown, and rufous. The quills, and primary greater 
coverts, and winglet, a rich chestnut red, tipped, more or less 
broadly, with brown, darkest on the primaries, with the outer webs 
of the second to the fifth primary from about the emarginations 
more or less silvered or frosted brown ; the greater portion of the 
inner webs above the emarginations, pure white ; the red portions 
of the inner webs with a few widely-distant, narrow, dark brown 
transverse bars ; the outer webs with traces of similar bars. The 
first four primaries conspicuously notched on the inner webs, 
and the third, fourth, and fifth, somewhat emarginate on the 
outer webs. Rump and upper tail coverts, a rich, more or less 
brownish rufous; each feather, darker shafted; tail, bright chestnut, 


tipped white or rufous white, and with a moderately broad trans- 
verse sub-terminal black band on both webs; the central and 
other feathers exhibit two or three narrow, transverse, dark-brown 
bars, and a few black spots, traces apparently of these, the one 
about an inch, the other about two inches above the band just 
described, and the third just below the tips of the coverts. The 
whole of the mantle is a more or less rufous brown ; some of the 
coverts, faintly mai'gined paler, and with a somewhat pale bar- 
ring on the inner webs, and all the feathers with conspicuously 
dark shafts. The lesser and median coverts are much browner 
and less rufous, and very much as in Poliornis teesa, and are 
more or less fringed with albescent. The longest scapulars are 
brownish at the tips, bright chestnut above, and with traces of 
grey brown bars : on the lower surface of the wing the tips of 
the earlier primaries beyond the emai'ginations are grey, more 
or less tinged with rufous, and exhibit on the inner webs only, 
four or five more or less perfect transverse brown bars. The 
primaries and secondaries are narrowly margined towards the 
tips with dull white. The entire edge of the wing is white. 
The lower surface of the tail is white, tinged pinkish, and with 
the bars already described as present on the upper surface, showing 
through, more or less distinctly. 

53.— Circus melanoleucus, Gm. 

Mr. Oates and Captain Feilden both sent specimens of males 
and females of this species. Captain Feilden, who was aware 
that both belonged to the same species, says : " Sexes appear 
nearly the same size ; in fact, one male I got was larger than a 
female ; the females are extremely common about Rangoon, more 
so than at Thayetmyo, where this species is not veiy common." 
Mr. Oates says : " Not uncommon at the end of the rains, and 
during the cold- weather; frequents inundated land in preference to 
any other. Near Poungday it is often found in the large plains of 
mixed jungle and paddy land. I have never met with a female 
amongst all those I have shot." This bird is commoner in the 
Pe»u plains than in any part of Burmah I have yet traversed. 

This latter is natural enough, seeing that the female never, 
I believe, assumes the black and white plumage. Mr. F. R. 
Blewitt has dissected more than twenty black and white birds for 
me, and found them all, without exception, males. Mr. Oates, 
however, has sent me females of this species, sexed as such, but 
he did not realize that they were the females of melanoleucus 
and kept them separate as females of a species with which 
he was not acquainted. The following are his dimensions and 
remarks as to a male : — 

"Length: 17*8 ; expanse, 43; tail, from vent, 8'8; wing, 14; 
bill, from gape, 11; tarsus, 3; cere, 0'37. 


" The basal half of the bill, as far back as the cere, bluish ; 
anterior half, black ; eyelids, well clothed ; iris, bright yellow ; 
leg's, orange yellow ; claws, homy.'" 

From a large series of some thirty adult males from Raipoor, 
Sumbulpore, Sonepore, Madras, Dacca, Tipperah, Purneah, and 
Sikhim, I find that in this species the wing in this sex varies 
from 13-5 to 14'5, and the tarsus from 2*9 to 3*1. 

In the young males they are smaller. The only really adult 
female that I possess (and this is in the spilonotus plumage) has 
the wing 15*1 ; the tarsus 3 - 35. 

In regard to the females, young birds approaching the sjpilo- 
notus plumage, Mr. Oates gives the total length as 18*5, and 
18" 7 5 ; and I find that the wings measure 14" 5, and the tarsi 
3 - 15, and comparing this with the adult, it would seem that this 
species varies a good deal in size according to age. Looking, 
however, to the very large series I now possess of this bird, I am 
prepared to admit that spilonotus (with the following dimensions, 
length, 22 to 23*75; wing, 17-25 to 1775 ; tarsus, 3-37 ; mid 
toe and claw, 2 - 75) must be a distinct bird; but what I am in- 
clined to believe is, that the adult male has not yet been obtained, 
and that it will prove to be a large black and white bird much 
like melanoleucus. Anyhow, the young and the females, as figured, 
are precisely identical, so far as plumage goes, with those of 

Jerdon mentions (Ibis, 1871, p. 342) that Gould " has a specimen 
of a very large supposed male C. melanoleucus from Assam, wing 
15*5, tarsus, 3* 5 . The pale grey color extends more over the carpal 
joint than in ordinary specimens, so that the whole shoulder 
appears white. It corresponds nearly in size with true spilonotus ; 
but has the tarsus somewhat more slender, and the foot smaller 
than in specimens of that bird, otherwise it might have been 
considered the fully adult state." 

The slenderness of the tarsi and the smallness of the foot are, 
I apprehend, characteristics of the male. The same difference 
is observable between the adult males and females of melanoleucus. 
My only difficulty is, that the tarsus seems too long; in melanoleucus 
the adult females, as already mentioned, have considerably 
longer tarsi than the males. 

It must not be, however, supposed that the peculiar coloration 
about the shoulder of the wing is anything more than an 
individual peculiarity. One of the males sent by Captain Feilden 
has the wing 14 and the tarsus S'l". It is only remarkable 
in having the whole shoulder of the wing white. In most 
specimens a broad black band runs from the shoulder of the 
wing down to the black median coverts, dividing the broad white 
band consisting of all the lesser coverts along the ulna, from 
the white feathers beyond the carpal joint; in this bird the whole 


of the lesser coverts are white, only one or two black ones are 
intermingled just at the joint, the whole shoulder being- white, 
and I have other specimens from other localities precisely similar, 
and thus agreeing in this respect with Mr. Gould's bird, which, 
whether it be the adult male of spilonotus or not, cannot possibly, 
with a wing 15" 5, be an adult male of our Indian melanoleucus. 

54.— Circus aeruginosus, Lin. 

Several specimens of this well-known bird are sent by Mr. 
Oates. He remarks that it is "common on the Engmah Swamp, 
and in most of the inundated parts of the country. It often 
attemps to carry off wounded game." 

Of a nearly adult male, he gives the following particulars : — 
" Length, 19 - 8 ; expanse, 47*5 ; tail, from vent, 9*5 ; wing, 15 ; 
bill, from gape to tip, 1*4 ; tarsus, 33." 

One of the birds sent is fully adult with the silvery tail and 

55.— Haliastur indus, JBodd. 

Mr. Oates says that " this species is common about Thayetmyo, 
and occurs in immense numbers in all the tidal creeks of the 
Pegu plains.'''' 

56 ter.— Milvus affinis, Gould. 

All the specimens sent by both Mr. Oates and Captain Feilden 

belong to the smaller and darker race affinis, which occurs equally 

in Australia, Timor, Macassar, Chusan, and Saigon, and which I 

have from Madras, the Nilghiris, Raipoor, Dacca, Agra, Dehra, 

Ajmeer, and Erinpura, and which Mr. Gurney informs me he 

has seen from Nepal, Calcutta, Poonah and the Deccan. The 

following are approximately the variations in the sizes of wing of 

the three races which we have in India : — 

Affinis, wings, male, 16'75 to 17'25 ; female 17 to 17'75 
Govinda, „ „ 17"9 „ 18'5; „ 18" 1 „ 195 

Major, „ „ 190 „ 20-5; „ 1925 „ 21-5. 

Major is further distinguished by the large patch of white on 
the under surface of the wing on the basal portion of the primaries. 
Immature birds, of all the species, are smaller, and the two for- 
mer, affinis and govinda, inosculate, so that while some Indian 
specimens are absolutely identical with the Australian affinis, 
others may be met with, which it is difficult to decide whether 
to assign to govinda or affinis. 

In regard to these three species, see further Stray Feathers, 
1873, p. 160. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " This Kite is excessively common in all 
large towns and villages, and is to be met with occasionally in 



thick jungle, far away from houses. At Thayetmyo it goes away 
for about three months, leaving (in 1872) about the 20th June, 
and returning about the 15th September; during this interval 
not one was to be seen. Wings of males, 16*4, 16*8; wing of a 
female, 17*3. 

" An old monk accounted for the disappearance of the Kites 
from Thayetmyo in the rains, by saying that they went to the 
hills to worship Gaudama. 

" The Kites begin building as early as the end of November. A 
female was found sitting on her eggs on the 23rd March. The 
top of a Toddy Palm is a favorite site for the nest." 

According to Captain Feilden, there are two species in Thayet- 
myo, the common govinda, and this, the Malayan Kite ; but I 
have as yet seen no specimens of govinda from this locality. 

57 bis. — Pernis brachypterus, Blyth. 

Mr. Blyth at one time described a specimen of a Crested 
Honey Buzzard from Mergui, under the name of Pernis brachy- 
pterus in the following terms : " Color, dark hair-brown above ; 
crest, simple, broad, 2^ inches long; the feathers composing it, 
white-tipped, as are also those adjacent. Lower parts, white, 
with dark central streaks or tears on the breast and flanks." 

Now, although the Honey Buzzards sent by Captain Feilden 
from Thayetmyo have as yet no marked crests, neither of them 
being old birds, I am pretty certain that they belong to this 
species. One female measured in the flesh : Length, 23 - 25 ; the 
other was smaller, but the measurement was not recorded ; the 
wings measure 15' 6 and 148. Now in cristalus, the females 
vary in length from 26 to 28 ; the smallest wing of any female 
I have met with was 15*75, and I have one before me now 
with the wing full 18; both specimens have a very marked 
black streak running down from below the gape, and encircling 
irregularly the chin and throat. The plumage is precisely 
similar to that of cristatus, of which they appear to be only 
■ a somewhat smaller race with, when fully adult, a more 
defined crest. 

A third specimen sent by Mr. Oates, also a female, and quite 
an adult, answers precisely to Blyth's description, except that the 
crest is only 1*5 inch long ; of this, Mr. Oates gives the following 
dimensions and particulars : " Length, 23 - 7; expanse, 505; wing, 
16-0; tail, from vent, 11 -3; bill, from gape, 1*5; tarsus, 2" 1 ; 
cere, 0*5. 

" Upper, and tip of lower, mandible and cere, black ; base of 
lower mandible, gape, and region of nostrils, bluish. Inside of 
mouth, dusky blue ; iris, bright yellow ; eyelids, grey ; feet, 
dirty yellow ; claws, dark horny. This species seems to be very 


Taking the dimensions of these three females, there can, I 
think, be no doubt that the Thayetmyo race is considerably 
smaller than the Indian ; but I cannot say that it seems to me to 
be entitled to specific separation. The dimensions of the smallest 
P. cristata, Cuv., from India that I have ever measured, were : 
Length, 26 ; expanse, 55; wing, 1 575 j tail, from vent, 11*5; 
tarsus, 2*19 ; bill, from gape, 1*63 ; and this was quite an abnor- 
mally small bird. 

59. — Elanus melanopterus, Baud. 

Captain Feilden notes the occurrence of this species at 
Thayetmyo, Mr. Oates, however, appears only to have procured 
it from the Arracan Hills. 

60.— Strix indica, Blyth. 

Specimens from Captain Feilden and Mr. Oates are precisely 
identical with Indian specimens. Mr. Oates says : " Very com- 
mon in the Thayetmyo Cantonment, occupying the space between 
the ceiling and the roof of the wooden barracks. It is not 
found, I think, in thick jungles, nor, as far as I know, far away 
from the larger villages. 

" A female measured : Length, 14*75 ; expanse, 38 ; tail, from 
vent, 4-8 ; wing, 11*3; bill, from gape, l"7j tarsus, 2 - 7; cere, 0" 6." 

62.— Phodilus? nipalensis, Gray,? P.badiuSj-Hbrs/: 

Mr. Oates does not appear to have met with this species. 
Captain Feilden says : " I saw a specimen of this bird killed by a 
gunner with a stone, but could not obtain it ; it was in the pos- 
session of Captain Penny, r. a. It differed in size from 
Jerdon's description, measuring : Length, 12 # 5; tail, 4; tarsus, 3. 
The bay on the head was mixed with a few buff feathers, 
which made me suppose that the whole head of the immature 
bird might be buff.-" Jerdon's description was, I think, taken 
from Malayan specimens, which seem to be similar to the 
Ceylon bird, and which are doubtless the true badius. It is im- 
possible for the present to be certain whether this Thayetmyo bird 
was badius, or nipalensis. 

65 Us.— Syrnium seloputo, Mors/. S. pagodarum, 


Captain Feilden says : " I shot a pair of Mottled Wood Owls 
differing from the Indian ones, but have unfortunately sent them 
home." It may be considered rash to assume that these Owls 
belong to this species; but Mr. Strettell has sent me a specimen of 
this species, corresponding accurately with Temminck's figure, 


PI. Col. 525, from near Rangoon, and it is therefore not unreason- 
able to conclude that the birds from the same geographical region 
only a little further north are the same. 

72.— Ketupa ceylonensis, Gm. 

Thayetmyo specimens are quite similar to Northern Indian ones, 
but have perhaps even more white about the throat than these ; 
Ceylonese and Southern Indian birds differ somewhat, as noticed 
in Stray Feathers, 1 873, p. 431 . Captain Feilden says : " I never 
took the trouble to shoot the Brown Fish Owl at Thayetmyo, where 
it is common enough, and so cannot state positively that it is 
identical with that which I obtained at Rangoon/' Mr. Oates 
says : " Common from Thayetmyo to Tonghoo ; it keeps near 
large nullahs. The specimens I shot were not found in rocky 
ravines or broken ground, but in places where nullahs passed 
through gently undulating and well-wooded tracts." 

74.— Scops pennatus, Hodgs. 

Mr. Oates does not appear to have met with this species. One 
sent by Captain Feilden is in the grey stage, only slightly tinted 
here and there with rufous ; it is exactly similar to Indian speci- 
mens. Captain Feilden says : " The only specimen of this curious 
Owlet that I saw was seated on a low umbrella-shaped bush 
growing on the undulating table-land of low gravel hills, in which 
the two streams bounding Thayetmyo take their rise, and which 
are almost entirely covered with Eng trees. It was very tame. 
On shooting it, and holding it against the stem of the Eng tree, I 
was astonished at the exact similarity of the breast of the bird to 
one of the irregular oblong scales of the Eng bark — the same grey 
ground with minute pencillings and dashes — the same irregular 
oblong black lines on the breast that are formed by the cracks 
round the scale of the bark; in fact, if the breast of the bird had 
been skinned and flattened on the stem of the tree, I do not think 
that I could have distinguished it from a flake of the bark 
itself. This bird was a female, and measured 7'25 inches in 
length. Bill, black at the tip, dark blackish brown at base ; lower 
mandible, horny, except the gonys which is yellowish ; iris, pale 
yellow, of the shade of a young Shikera's.-" 

75 quint.— Scops lempiji, Korsf. 

Mr. Oates does not appear to have met with this species. Cap- 
tain Feilden, however, sent me two specimens. These are the true 
lempigi, the Malayan Scops Owl — the Strix noctula of Reinwardt 
figured PI. Col. 99. I have never seen this species yet from India, 
but have it from Malacca. All our Indian specimens are referable, 
as far as I have yet seen, to eight species, viz., sunia, pennatus, 


spilocephalus (gymnopodus) , Brucei, lettla, plumipes, bakhamuna 
(griseus, Jerd.^, and malabaricus, which latter is nearest to the 
true lempigi, besides which we have Balll and modestus, Wald., 
from the Andamans. 

Captain Feilden gives adults: Females, length, 8*75; wing-, 
6-6 ; Males, length 8*5 ; wing, 6 - 4; bill, yellowish at tips, turn- 
ing into plumbeous and horny at base; iris, brown, tinted 
olive; scales of feet, grey brown; feet and eyelids, purplish 
brown ; in the young bird the nostrils are said to be fleshy; 
the iris, pale brown ; and the feet, paler than in the adult. 

Captain Feilden says : " This Owl appears able to lower its 
ear-tufts ; but when alarmed, I have always seen them erected, 
standing out much like a cat's ears. They appear to live in holes of 
trees during the hot-weather, but during the rains they may be 
found seated on the shady sides of bamboo clumps, or on fallen 
bamboos partly buried in long grass. They are very tame, and 
on being disturbed do not fly out of shot, but perch on the 
sloping stem of some tree at a few yards' distance. If I am not 
mistaken, this Owl has perched within two or three yards of me 
at night, lowering and raising its head in a menacing manner, 
and uttering a short double hoot, resembling " too-hoo." 

" I have only found this Owl in or near the peculiar water- 
courses of Thayetmyo ; these water-courses resemble in shape a 
large rabbit's nest, of which the top has been broken in throughout 
its whole length. The upper crust of the soil appears to be harder 
than the lower, and as soon as the water has broken through it, 
it hollows out a large cave at the point it breaks in through this 
upper crust, and for some distance the banks of the stream are 
much undermined. The Owls appear to live in these caves, or in 
holes of trees, during the hot-weather, taking as above mentioned, 
to bamboo clumps on the edge of streams during the rains." 

76 bis.— Athene pulchra, Hume. 

I have already characterized this species, (Stray Feathers, 1873, 
p. 469,) and have nothing further here to add in regard to it. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " Possibly the noisiest of all the small 
Screech Owls. They are continually quarrelling with each other 
at night, and even in the day-time, a pair will commonly come out 
of some hole in a tree and screech away for a quarter of an hour. 

79.— Athene cucnloides, Vigors. 

Numerous specimens received from Thayetmyo from Captain 
Feilden and Mr. Oates are in no way separable from Himalayan 
ones. Mr. Blyth thought that the Burmese bird, which extends 
down to the level of the sea-shore, might be different and identical 
with the Japanese race which he named Whiteleyi. Certainly the 
Burmese birds are precisely identical with Himalayan ones. 


As for Whiteleyi, I can scarcely believe that it deserves specific 
separation ; except for the comparative fewness of the marking's 
upon the feathers of the wing and tail, it is said to be precisely 
similar to cuculoides. The main distinction, we are told, is that " the 
tail has only six narrow white bars, one terminal, and the other at 
the extreme base of the feathers, so that only four remain to con- 
stitute the conspicuous barring of the rectriees." Doubtless, this 
is the case with most of the Burmese birds ; but so also is it in the 
case of a great number of the Himalayan specimens : and as 
regards the paucity or otherwise of the markings on the flight 
feathers, this is a thing that varies more or less in every 

Captain Feilden says : " I have always found this Owl in the 
same kind of watercourses as the Scop's Owls during the hot- 
weather, but during and after the rains they perch on tall, thick, 
creeper-covered trees. I found a young bird in what I believe to 
have been an old hole of the great Black Woodpecker, about half- 
way up a moderately -sized tree/' 

Mr. Oates says this species is " common away from the Irra- 
waddy. I did not find it in the Evergreen Forests of the Pegu 
Hills, but it may occur there. 

" It comes out invariably at sunset, and sits on a tree till it is 
dark enough, for its taste. It is not nearly so vivacious as 
pulchra. Ovaria of females at the end of February extremely 
large. A male measured: Length, 8*65; expanse, 20; tail, 
from vent, 3'15; wing, 5 - 8 ; bill, from gape, 0"9. A female : 
Length, 9 - 3; expanse, 20; tail, 3*05; wing, 5 - 8; bill, from 
gape, 0*84; tarsus, l'l; cere, 022; iris, bright yellow; eyelids, 
yellowish white ; cere, brown ; bill, pale dirty green ; the tip 
of upper mandible, yellow ; legs and feet, dusky greenish yellow ; 
claws, brown. In another bird the bill was uniform, dull, dirty 
green, wanting the pale tip, and the eyelids were plumbeous." 

81.— Ninox hirsutus, Cuv. et Tem. 

Several specimens quite identical with Indian birds have been 
sent by Captain Feilden and Mr. Oates. Captain Feilden says : 
" The Hawk-Owl is not common at Thayetmyo. The note is like 
the mew of a small kitten ; it was only uttered a few times just 
before the night became quite dark. I noticed the pupil of this 
bird expanding and contracting many hours after death. A female 
measured : Length, 12 - 25 ; feet, yellowish; cere, greenish plum- 
beous ; ridge of culmen, pale plumbeous ; bill, greenish grey ; 
eyelid, purplish-black ; iris, bright yellow.'" 

Mr. Oates says : " Not uncommon here. I never heard the 
doleful cries described by Jerdon and others. A male measured : 
Length, 12'2; expanse, 28'5; tail, from vent, 5 - 5 ; wing, 8'4; 
bill, from gape, - 91; tarsus, 1*15; the iris, bright yellow; 


eyelids, plumbeous ; the edges, yellowish brown ; cere, dull green ; 
bill, bluish black ; the eulmen and tip of lower mandible, 
yellowish green ; feet, pale yellow ; claws, dark horny. 

"I shot a young one, nearly fully fledged, on the 21st May. 
These birds do not appear to come out till it is too dark to shoot 

Besides these several Owls, Captain Feilden says that he shot 
an Owl resembling the Short-eared Owl, but only about two-thirds 
of the size of that bird. I cannot conceive what this can have 
been, but ornithologists in Pegu should be on the look-out for it. 

82.— Hirundo rustica, Lin. 

The specimens sent by Mr. Oates are so excessively bad that it 
is impossible to speak positively in regard to them ; but they 
appear to belong to the somewhat smaller race commonly known 
as gutturalis, Scop. This is said to be distinguished by its much 
smaller size and broader bill. The smaller size may be admitted, 
but as to breadth of bill I am unable to see it. I have carefully 
compared two adults from Amoy, China, with a large series from 
various parts of India, Yarkand, and England, and I can perceive 
no marked difference in the breadth of the bill. The Chinese 
birds are doubtless smaller, and from what I can make out of the 
Thayetmyo specimens they belong to the smaller race, which, so 
far as I am in a position to judge, does not appear to be entitled 
to specific separation. 

82 Ms.— Hirundo Tytleri, Jerd. 

The only adult sent — a female with both wings imperfect — 
has the entire lower parts, including wing lining and lower tail 
coverts, more rufous than they ever are in the females of rustica, 
while the chestnut of the throat descends down on to the breast, 
obliterating the central portion of the pectoral band. In the 
adult males of Tytleri the lower surface is a rich chestnut bay ; in 
fact, it is concolorous with the chin and throat, or nearly so ; 
but in the females the lower parts, though much more rufous than 
in the corresponding sex of rustica, are paler than in the male. At 
present, it is rather a mystery where Tytleri, which is only seen 
at Dacca for a month or two at a time, and that often after the 
interval of some years, comes from. Mr. F. B. Simson, the late 
Commissioner of Dacca, who first pointed out the species to 
Dr. Jerdon, watched vainly for them for three successive years ; then 
they came in great numbers, and he sent me a very large 
series. A couple of months later they had entirely disappeared. 
This was in the early part of the rains. It was in June also 
that he first drew Dr. Jerdon^s attention to them. Now, 
Mr. Oates, who did not, owing to the badness of his specimens, 
distinguish the two species, remarks in regard to the Thayetmyo 


Swallows generally : " These birds are very common ; they come 
in sparingly in July, but by the 1st August they are to 
be seen in immense quantities. They stay, some of them, till well 
into May. I have never seen any indication of their nests in 
Pegu ; but as they leave us for only two months, where can they 
breed ? With regard to Tonghoo, the Rev. Dr. Mason writes 
me as follows : ' Near the close of the rains in October last (1871) 
they were seen about for a few days, but from that time to the 
4th April none were seen ; on that day we had a squall and a 
shower of rain, and they seemed to come in on the wings of the 
wind; for the squall was in the afternoon, and the Swallows 
filled my compound in the evening. From that time till the 
1st May they were constantly about my compound, night and 
morning. On 1st May we had a heavy shower and squall, as if 
the rains were about to commence, and not a Swallow has been seen 
here since. They went as they came on the wings of the wind/ ' : 
Now, Ty fieri when it comes does, I understand, breed in Dacca, 
so that I should not be surprised if these Thayetmyo birds 
went to Dacca amongst other places to breed. The bird is a 
very erratic one. This year at Tavoy it appeared in vast numbers 
on the 25th April, but had disappeared by the 7th May. 

85 bis.— Cecropis nipalensis, Eodgs. 

Only one specimen, and that not an adult, is sent ; it is 
therefore impossible to be certain what speoies this belongs 
to. I am rather inclined to believe that it will prove to be 
striolata of Temminck. The rump band is about an inch broad, 
darker -colored than in nipalensis. The feathers rather con- 
spicuously dark-shafted, much more so than in nipalensis. There is 
no trace of a rufous collar ; but then the bird is a young one, and 
the striations of the lower surface are better-marked than in 
nipalensis ; on the other hand, striolata belongs to the Archipelago, 
and one hardly expects to meet it in Thayetmyo. Besides the 
points above mentioned I should notice that the lower tail coverts 
are blackish, albescent towards their bases, and that the exterior 
tail feathers have no traces of spots on either web. Mr. Oates 
merely remarks : " I shot one on a tree in company with rustica. 
I have not been able to identify it/' 

89.— Cotile sinensis, Gray. 

One specimen only, supposed to belong to this species, has 
reached me from Mr. Oates. Two others were sent, but they were 
entirely destroyed by insects. With only one indifferent specimen, 
unsexed, and with no measurements recorded in the flesh, it is 
impossible to arrive at any certain conclusion, but my impression 
is that the Thayetmyo birds will have to be specifically separated. 


The bird appears to be smaller, the head and nape much darker, 
and the feathers of the back, rump, upper tail coverts, and the 
tertiaries more distinctly fringed at the tips with albescent 
than in sinensis. I have a very large series of this latter species 
from all parts of India, and can find nothing 1 like the Thayetmyo 
bird; if distinct, it should stand as C. obscurior, nobis. 

I at first thought that this might be the true subsoccata of 
Hodgson, but the breast-band is perhaps less strongly marked 
than in sinensis, and the rump is decidedly paler than in that 
sj^eeies, so that our bird cannot be identified with Hodgson's. 

Mr. Oates says that " this bird is very common on the banks 
of the Irrawaddy and some of the larger nullahs. It begins to 
dig its nest-hole very early in the season, soon after the 1st 

101 fo's.—Cypselus pacificus, Lath. 

This species, which occurs also in the autumn in Tipperah, 
Cachar, and Assam, appears to be an occasional visitant to 

Mr. Oates says : " This is not a common Swift. I observed a 
large flock one evening, and managed to shoot three. I have seen 
it subsequently on a few occasions, but owing to the suddenness 
of its appearance and its extremely swift flight, it is almost im- 
possible to procure specimens. Two birds, one a female, the other 
not sexed, shot at Inlay on the 25th February, measured — 

"Length, 7'25; expanse, 17; tail, from vent, 3*25 and 3*3; 
wings, 7'2 and 7*3; bill, from gape, 0*82; width of gape, 08 ; 
tarsi, 0-42 and 0'48. 

" The irides were brown ; eyelids, pinkish grey ; bill, black ; 
inside of mouth, fleshy ; feet, pinkish ; claws, dark horny." 

He adds : " Since shooting the specimens above referred to, 
I have seen this Swift several times. It may be known by its 
enormous expanse and very short tail. It is very seldom that it 
flies sufficiently near the ground to be shot. I have not heard it 
utter any cry." 

The Thayetmyo birds correspond well with specimens from 
Tenasserim and from Takow and Amoy, China. The birds vary 
a good deal in size : Length, from 6- 7 5 to 7"5 ; wings, 7 to 
7-5 ; tail, 3 to nearly 3*4. The head and nape are a more or less 
dark sepia brown ; there is a black triangular spot in front of 
the eye, and a narrow albescent line above this extending to the 
middle of the upper margin of the eye, scarcely visible, except in 
the fresh bird or in very good specimens. A white band, about 
0-4 inch in width, traverses the rump, the feathers having brown 
shafts. The rest of the back wings, tail, and upper tail coverts, 
black or blackish brown. The feathers of the back with exces- 
sively narrow, pale, margins, or faint traces of these. Traces of 


the same are generally, but not always, noticeable on the whole 
of the feathers of the head and the nape. The inner webs of 
the quills are hair brown, and the inner halves of these are notice- 
ably paler than the halves next the shafts. The exterior tail 
feathers are the longest, and exceed the central ones by a full 
inch. The sides of the head and neck are of much the same color 
as the nape, which is generally slightly paler than the crown, 
and more or less conspicuously, though still very narrowly, fringed 
paler at the tips. The chin and the centre of the throat is pure 
white or brownish white ; the feathers faintly brown-shafted. 
The extent of the white on the throat varies considerably in 
different specimens ; the chin in some birds is quite brown. The 
whole of the breast, abdomen, lower tail coverts and lower 
wing coverts, except the greater ones, are in some blackish 
brown, in others a hair, umber, or even sepia brown, each 
feather fringed at the tip with white. The greater lower coverts, 
which also show traces of similar tippings and the under surface 
of the quills and rectrices, are a more or less glossy grey 

In good specimens of adults the back, tail, and shoulder of 
the wing are almost quite black, and exhibit a decided greenish 

I here note that leuconyx of Blyth is a very different bird 
indeed. It is not, I think, as Dr. Sclater remarks, that the white 
bar on the rump is narrower, and that there is much less white 
on the throat, because these are points that vary in individuals of 
both species ; but leuconyx is altogether a much smaller bird : 
Length, 5" 8 to 6 as a maximum; wing, 5 - 9 to 6*2 also as a 
maximum ; the under surface with much narrower and less- 
marked white fringes than in pacijicm ; and lastly, the whole of 
the feet (not the claws, as has been erroneously stated) very 
pale-colored, almost albescent in some specimens. This is a 
thoroughly good species, and no one, I venture to say, who has 
examined good specimens, would ever doubt it. 

For further remarks in regard to other Swifts of this sub- 
group, viz., opus and acuticatula, vide Vol. II, p. 156. 

102 Ms.— Cypselus infumatus, Sclater. 

Mr. Oates says : " This species is very common near all villages, 
and in fact wherever the Borassus (palm) is found. I fancy it 
breeds about the middle of May. A male measured — 

"Length, 5-15; expanse, 11*1; tail, from vent, 2 '45 ; wing, 
4'6; bill, from gape, 0*54; tarsus, 0*33. 

"The bill and feet are black; the claws, dark brown. The 
eyelids, plumbeous ; irides, brown." 

This is the species which Dr. Jerdon described as Cypselus 
teetorum from specimens obtained by Major Godwin- Austen on 


the Garrow and Naga Hills. It was originally obtained in 
Borneo, and now we find it common here about Thayetmyo and 
equally so further south in Tenasserim. 

This species is very similar to C. palmar um, Gray, so common 
throughout India ; but it is everywhere much darker-colored, 
has a considerably shorter tail (that of palmarum being about 
2*7), arid is consequently shorter altogether, has a less-forked 
tail, the external rectriees projecting only about 1*1 beyond 
the central ones, instead of 1*3 to 1-4 as in palmarum, and 
has generally a slightly shorter wing. In fine specimens the 
wings, head, and tail are nearly black; the back, deep blackish 
hair-brown ; the whole upper surface with a faint greenish gloss ; 
the entire lower surface, a moderately dark sepia brown, slightly 
albescent on the chin and throat. 

104.— Dendrochelidon coronatus, Tick. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " Common everywhere throughout the 
year ; it is particularly fond of clearings in thick forests where 
a lot of big trees have been killed by fire. At Palow bungalow 
it is to be seen at all hours of the day flying over the house and 
dipping with incredible velocity to the surface of the Irrawaddy, 
which flows about eighty feet below the steep bank on which the 
bungalow is built. A female measured — 

"Length, 9'05; expanse, 15'3; tail, from vent, 5*2; wing, 
6-3; bill, from gape, 0'78 ■ tarsus, 0'28. 

" The bill was black ; eyelids, dusky plumbeous, blackish at the 
edges; iris, dark brown; legs, pinkish brown; claws, black." 

109.— Caprimulgus albonotatus, Tick. 

A male and female belonging rather to this species than the 
next, with the wing of the male measuring 8*3, and agreeing 
precisely in tint with birds from Central and Northern India, 
have been sent by Mr. Oates, who says that this and the next 
species which he did not discriminate are common on the Pegu 
Hills, where it entirely replaces asiaticus. He gives the dimen- 
sions of a male — 

" Length, 12*7 ; expanse, 24 ; tail, from vent, 6*7 ; wing, 
8*4 ; bill, from gape, 1*4 ; tarsus, 0*8. 

■■ Of this speciinen the bill was black ; the whole gape, vinaceous; 
eyelids, dark plumbeous brown ; the edges, reddish ; legs and feet, 
vinaceous brown ; claws, dark horny/'' 

I think that it is at any rate questionable how far it may 
ultimately prove desirable to separate the present and the suc- 
ceeding species. No doubt typical macrurus, with its very dark 
tint, and wing in the adult male not exceeding 7*75, does appear 
a very different bird to the huge pale albonotatus, with its 8*8 


wing ; but then pretty well every intermediate shade of coloring 
and size of wing may be met with in Eastern India ; and here, 
in the Thayetmyo District, side by side on the Western Pegu 
Hills, we find typical albouotatus, at least so far as coloration 
goes, with a wing 8*4, and the little dark-colored macrurus 
with a wing only 7' 7 inches, both being adult males ; and we have 
other birds, as from Tipperah and even from Thayetmyo, which 
might be assigned to either race. Certainly Dr. Jerdon's di- 
agnosis of there being no mottlings on the tips of the primaries 
will not assist us, since I find these on a typical macrurus from 

110.— Caprimulgus macrurus, Horsf. 

Captain Feilden sent two specimens, typical as to color, but 
rather larger than the Malayan macrurus. The males with wings 
8 inches; females with wings 7 ' 7 5 . He says : " I only found 
this in dense Bamboo jungles in the valleys." 

Mr. Oates sends a thoroughly typical macrurus from the Western 
Pegu Hills, of which he gives the following dimensions : — 

Male: Length, 11*9; expanse, 23*6; tail, from vent, 6; 
wing, 7*75. 

Captain Feilden further remarks : " This bird closes its eyes 
whilst seated on its eggs ; this must be a great protection from 
Hawks, as its great eyes are the most conspicuous things about 
it. The first time I saw this I thought the bird was dead, and 
stooped to pick it up, nearly touching it before it rose." 

112- Caprimulgus asiaticus, Lath. 

Mr. Oates says that this species " is common in the plains, but 
is not found on the hills. A male measured — 

"Length, 9*1; expanse, 18; tail, from vent, 4*4; wing, 
6 - l ; bill, from gape, 1*12 ; tarsus, 0'72. 

" The edges of the eyelids were pale buff ; the irides, brown ; 
the bill, flesh colored at the base, with a reddish tinge on the 
upper mandible ; the tip, dark brown ; feet, pinkish brown ; 
claws, horny." 

Only one specimen was sent, and that is a good deal darker in 
tint than is usual in Continental Indian specimens ; but I do not 
think it is separable. 

114— Caprimulgus monticolus, Frankl. 

Captain Feilden sent me one specimen of this species, which 
he said was the only one he had seen, and which he had obtained 
on the top of one of the highest spurs of the Eastern Pegu 
Hills. This species occurs also much further south, at Amherst 
for instance. 


116.— Harpactes Hodgsoni, Gould. 

After comparing" seven specimens from Thayetmyo, the East- 
ern and Western Pegu Hills, and the Arracan Hills, with a much 
larger series from Tipperah and Sikhim, I entertain no doubt 
that the Pegu bird at any rate is identical with that from Sikhim. 
One specimen sent me by Captain Feilden is no doubt a good 
deal smaller than the others, with a wing of only 5*6 ag*ainst 
5*8 to 6 - l, the limits within which the wings of the males of 
Hodgsoni generally seem to vary; but, comparing this with 
numerous other specimens both from Pegu and elsewhere, as 
above noticed, I find it is quite impossible to separate this small 
bird, either by reason of size or difference of color, which latter 
is really so variable that one requires a series of twenty or so 
to understand the limits within which it does vary. 

Captain Feilden says : " This Trogon is found in the densest 
jungle, always, I think, on the banks of streams ; it does not ap- 
pear to signify what the height of the jungle is, so long as it is 
thick ; or whether the stream is running through hills or plains." 

Mr. Oates says : " Common throughout both the Pegu and 
Arracan Hills; it is less common in the plains near the Irrawaddy 
and Sittang. I have generally seen it solitary or in couples, 
occasionally in a party of five or six, but all acting independent- 
ly of each other ; it is somewhat tame and allows a rather near 
approach. After catching an insect on the wing, it generally 
makes for a new perch. It is very silent. The following are 
the dimensions of several birds measured : — 

"Males: Length, 13*1 to 13"6; expanse, 17 to 17'5; tail, 
from vent, 7*6 to 8 - 15; wing, 57 to 5*9; bill, from gape, 
1*05 to I'll; tarsus, 06. 

"Females: Length, 12-7 to 12-8; expanse, 17; tail, from 
vent, 7 to 7 - 3; wing, 5 -7; bill, from gape, 1-18 to T2; 
tarsus, 0"65 to 0*7. 

" The irides are red. Jerdon says chestnut brown, but our bird 
has it distinctly red. Bill, deep smalt blue; the culmen, the tip 
of both mandibles, and anterior half of margin of upper man- 
dible, black. The smalt blue changes to brilliant purple blue at 
the gape. Eyelids and orbital skin, lavender blue ; inside of 
mouth and centre of lower eyelid, flesh color. Legs, pale pink ; 
claws, dusky at base, fleshy at tip." 

116 ter.— Harpactes oreskios, Tem. 

No specimens received from either Captain Feilden or Mr. Oates. 
Mr. Oates remarks : " I saw this bird once only in the Evergreen 
Forests. It was in company with Hodgsoni, and its bright yellow 
belly rendered it easily recognizable. They were all in a nullah, 
about twenty feet broad, overgrown with Ferns and Palms, the trees 


on either side meeting" overhead and rendering the place very 
gloomy. Trogons are always to be found in such localities, more 
especially if there should be just a gleam of sunshine through 
a small gap in the trees. Both these species of Trogous catch 
their food entirely on the wing-, never, as far as I have observed, 
returning to the same perch. I saw oreskios only once, and then 
my cartridge missed fire." 

This species certainly does occur in the Pegu Yoma Hills with- 
in our limits, but it is much more common across the Sittang 
and throughout Tenasserim, at any rate as far south as Mergui. 

The following are dimensions, colors of the soft parts, &c, 
recorded in the flesh from a very large series of both sexes : — 

Males : Length, 11-75 to 12-25; expanse, ]4"25 to 15*4; tail, 
from vent, 6-75 to 7'82 ; wing, 4'82 to 5-12; tarsus, 0'5 to 0*6; 
bill, from gape, 085 to 0"95; weight, 1*75 to 2 oz. 

Females: Length, 1125 to 11*8; expanse, 15'0 to 15'5; tail, 
from vent, 6*82 to 7*5; wiug, 4*8 to 52; tarsus, 0*5 to0'57; 
bill, from gape, 0*9; weight, 1*75 to 2 oz. 

The legs and feet are dull smalt blue, occasionally with a 
faint pinkish tinge ; the claws are bluish horny or bluish white ; 
the irides are deep brown ; the orbital skin and eyelids, smalt blue, 
sometimes very bright ; the greater part of the bill is bright 
smalt blue ; a stripe along the ridge of the culmen ; the edge of 
the upper mandible to the nostril and the tip of lower mandible, 
black or blackish brown. 

The colors of the soft parts are alike in both sexes. In the 
male the lores, forehead, crown, occiput, nape, ear-coverts and sides 
of the neck immediately behind the ear-coverts, bright olive green ; 
the chin, throat, and breast are of a somewhat similar color, but 
brighter and with much more of a golden tinge ; the entire back, 
scapulars, rump, upper tail-coverts and central tail feathers, bright 
chestnut ; the latter, tipped black. The wings, (except the lesser 
coverts, at the carpal joint and along the ulna,) black, paling to 
dark hair brown on the inner webs of the quills ; the winglet and 
all the greater and median coverts (except the primary greater 
coverts), the tertiaries and the outer webs of the secondaries, 
narrowly and somewhat closely barred with white. The second 
to the seventh or eighth primary narrowly margined on their 
outer webs with white ; a white patch at the base of all the 
quills, but the first primary, usually only visible beyond the coverts 
on the outer web, in the sixth to the eighth or ninth primaries. 

The central tail feathers have been already described ; they are 
very generally about 0*25 of an inch shorter than the next 
feathers on each side, which are longest and entirely black. The 
next pair again are also entirely black. They are about 0*25 inch 
shorter than the longest; the next pair are about (M<, the next 2*0, 
and the exterior of all 3'5 shorter than the longest. 


The exterior tail feather has the entire outer weh white, and 
rather more than the terminal half of the interior web white, 
the remainder black, the white and black meeting in a slanting 
line, so placed that there is most white towards the shaft, and most 
black towards the margins. The next two feathers are very 
similar, but have a portion of the outer webs also black. 

The abdomen is a fiery orange yellow, paling towards the vent, 
which, with the lower tail coverts, are rather pale orange yellow. 
The fourth and fifth quills are equal and longest ; the third, 015 ; 
the second about - 6 ; and the first about 2 - 3 shorter. 

The sides are something like the breast — the feathers, grey at 
their bases ; the visible portions, more or less bright, golden olive 

The female differs in having the head olive brown, with only 
a slight greenish tinge ; the interscapulary region, back and 
rump, ruf escent brown ; the chin, throat, and breast, a grey 
brown, with only a faint tinge on the two former of greenish 
olive. The abdomen and the rest of the lower parts more of a 
gamboge yellow, with only a faint orange tinge on the upper 
abdomen. The barrings on the coverts,, &c, broader 
than in the male, and buffy instead of white. 

117.— Merops viridis, Lin. 

Thayetmyo specimens do not appear to me to differ sufficient- 
ly to warrant their separation from viridis; typical viridis has 
only a moderate tinge of golden rusty on the head and nape. In 
the far west, in Sindh, this tinge is almost entirely wanting ; in 
the east, in Burmah, it is very strongly developed, and it is to 
the eastern race Hodgson gave the name ferrugiceps. I could 
easily break viridis into three races — a western, southern, and 
eastern ; but they appear to me to be clearly all one bird, and I 
have no doubt whatsoever that Linnseus's name ought to be 
retained for them all. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " Extremely common everywhere in the 
plains, except in thick forests ; not found in the Pegu Hills. The 
young are hatched in the first week in May. The following is a 
resume of the measurements of eight birds : — 

"Length, 8-95 to 9-35; expanse, 115 to 12; tail, from 
vent, 4*4 to 5 ; wing, 3-6 to 3"81 ; tarsus, 0-39 to 043 ; bill, 
from gape, 1*3 to 1*49. 

" The irides, bright red; bill, black, becoming brown at the 
gape; eyelids, smoky brown ; legs and feet, fleshy grey ; claws, 

118.— Merops Daudini, Guv. 

Specimens from Thayetmyo differ in no respect from those 
rom other parts of India. Mr. Oates remarks : "Occurs in large 



flocks all over the district, and is a constant resident. It is, how- 
ever, very uncertain in its movements, and appears to be locally 
migratory. In the rains there are comparatively few, and 
these are seen singly in the paddy fields perching on bushes. It 
breeds in all large nullahs with steep banks, and I lately came 
across a colony in the Irrawaddy ; but I have hitherto failed to 
meet with the large colonies mentioned by Jerdon. It occurs 
nearly to the summit of the Pegu Hills, but I did not find it on 
the eastern slopes. It occurs again in the plains near Tonghoo." 
Captain Feilden says : " Breeds in vast numbers on the banks 
of the Irrawaddy. The young leave the nest at the beginning 
of the rains/'' 

119.— Merops Swinhoei, JSwme. 

Mr. Oates does not appear to have met with this species. 
Captain Feilden says : "The Chestnut-capped Bee-eater is rather 
a rare bird about Thayetmyo. I have only found them during 
the rains on the banks of streams, bordered by sandy cliffs, 
capped with high trees." 

124.— Coracias affinis, McClell. 

Mr. Oates says that this species is " extremely common over 
the whole of our limits, scarce only in the Evergreen Forest. 

" I found the nest, in a hole in a tree, with the young nearly 
ready to quit the nest on the 21st May. This bird has a curious 
habit of lying in the hottest part of the day on thatched roofs 
with its wings spread out to their fullest extent." 

Unfortunately only a single specimen is sent, and that is remark- 
able for an abnormally slender bill very much hooked at the 
point, quite unlike the bill of any affinis I have from Tenasserim, 
Rangoon, Tipperah, and the Bhootan Dooai's. I can only suppose 
that this is a deformity, for this remarkable shape of bill, if 
constant, would almost warrant specific separation. 

127 Ms.— Pelargopsis burmanica, Skarpe. 

For full description of this species, vide Stray Feathers, 
1874, p. 165. 

Birds from Thayetmyo differ in no way from others from the 
Arracan Hills, Rangoon, and the Andamans. 

Mr. Oates says : " Common everywhere, both in the plains and 
hills in large nullahs." This Kingfisher hovers in the air like 
a Kestril. In fact, all the Kingfishers I know do it, but not so 
habitually as Ceryle rudis" He gives the following dimen- 
sions of males: — 

"Length, 14-3 to 15; expanse, 205; tail, from vent, 4* 6"; 
wing, 57; bill, from gape, 3-55. 


" Of a large female the length was 15*65; the wing, 615 ; 
the bill, from gape, 3 - 95 ; and at front, 3 - 35." 

" Bill, dark red, brown at tip ; inside of mouth, dark salmon 
red ; iris, dark brown ; eyelids, pinkish ; their edges, red ; feet, red, 
paler than the bill ; claws, horny/'' 

129.— Halcyon smyrnensis, Lin. 

Mr. Oates says : " This is very common, but I did not observe 
it on the Pegu Hills." I have received no specimens from 

130.— Halcyon pileata, Bodd. 

This species appears to be rare about Thayetmyo ; Captain 
Feilden apparently never met with it. 

Mr. Oates says : " I shot only one specimen, and that at Palow, 
fifteen miles south of Thayetmyo. It is extremely rare. The 
stomach contained small crabs. The male I shot measured — 

"Length, 12"1 ; expanse, 18'5 ; tail, from vent, 3*6; wing 1 , 
5*1 ; bill, from gape, 2 - 9 ; tarsus, 0*73. 

" The bill was deep, the inside of the mouth pale, red ; the iris, 
dark olive brown ; the eyelids, pinkish grey, thickly covered on 
the lower lid with white feathers, except at the edge where the 
feathers are black ; the legs, dull red ; brownish red on the front of 
tarsus and upper side of toes ; claws, dark horny." 

The specimen sent agrees well with others from the Sunder- 
bunds and other Eastern Bengal localities, the Andamans and 

132 quat— Carcineutes amabilis, Hume. 

I have already (Stray Feathers, 1873, p. 474) described this 
species, and explained my reasons for separating it from piclc/iellus. 
I am still inclined to consider it distinct ; but see also Mr. Sharpens 
remarks, Stray Feathers, 1874, p. 484. 

133.— Ceyx tridactyla, Lin. 

Mr. Oates sends a specimen from the Eastern Pegu Hills, in 
every way identical with others from the Sikhim Terai and other 
Indian localities. He remarks that this species is " not uncom- 
mon in the deep well-wooded nullahs of the Evergreen Forest. It 
is difficult to secure it, as it waits till you get near and then darts 
away bike an arrow round a corner. A specimen measured — 

"Length, 5*3; expanse, 8; tail, from vent, l'l; wing, 2 - 2; 
bill, from gape, T55 ; tarsus, 04. 

"The bill was bright red; inside of mouth, paler red; eyelids, 
well-clothed, apparently plumbeous ; irides, dark brown ; feet and 
claws, bright red. 


134— Alcedo bengalensis, Gm. 

Mr. Oates says that this species " is common in all small 
nnllahs and roadside drains, but I did not observe it on the 
Pegu Hills." 

The Thayetmyo birds, of which Captain Feilden sent numer- 
ous specimens, appear to "be a rather short-billed race, like others 
that I have from the Andamans, in which the bill at front does 
not usually exceed 1*4. 

136.— Ceryle rudis, Lin. 

Birds from Thayetmyo differ in no way that I can discover 
from specimens from various other localities in India and 

There is no possible doubt that the adult female in this species 
has a single, imperfect, very broad band, which does not quite 
meet on the middle of the breast ; while the adult males have two 
perfect bands. If, as alleged, the museums of Europe contain 
" carefully " sexed specimens leading to a different conclusion, all 
I can say is, that they were not carefully sexed. Both Captain 
Feilden and Mr. Oates say that this species is very common about 
Thayetmyo. Mr. Oates adds: "More especially in the rains, 
when it loves to perch on the telegraph wires over flooded paddy 

138. — Psarisoimis Dalhousiae, Jameson. 

Mr. Oates says : " I obtained specimens both on the Eastern 
and Western Pegu Hills. It occurs all over the hills, but is not 
by any means common ; nor do I think it is found in the plains. 
A male measured — 

" Length, 105 ; expanse, 13 ; tail, from vent, 5 ; wing, 4* 05 ; 
bill, from gape, T27; tarsus, 1"05. 

"Female : Length, 10*5 ; expanse, 12-75 : tail, from vent, 4*9 ; 
wing, 3"93 ; bill, from gape, 1*26 ; tarsus, 1*1. 

" The general color of the bill is green, the anterior half of the 
culmen bluish, the middle portion of the lower mandible dusky 
orange, and with a dusky patch on the edge of the upper man- 
dible, about one-third of the length of the beak from the gape. 
Inside of mouth, fleshy ■ iris, brown ; eyelids, greenish ; legs, dull 
greenish ; claws, bluish horny." 

I have an enormous series of this bird from the Himalayas, 
from the Dhoon eastward to the Eastern Bhootan Dhooars,but they 
all differ from the two specimens sent from Thayetmyo. In 
all Himalayan specimens, the patch behind the eye is a decided 
yellow — at times, it is true, faintly tinged with blue or green, but 
still always yellow and typically bright pure yellow. In the 
Thayetmyo birds this patch is a kind of bluish greenish-white. 


Again, in the Himalayan birds there is no white margin to 
the yellow patch at the centre of the base of the throat. Laterally, 
this exists in all specimens ; but not at the centre of the throat. 
In the Thayetmyo specimens it is very conspicuous on the centre 
of the throat. Then, again, in the Himalayan birds, on the sides 
of the head behind the black ear-coverts there is always a broad 
yellow band, often tipped with satiny white ; in the Thayetmyo 
birds this is very inconspicuous. There is a very decided blue 
tinge in the back of the Thayetmyo male, not to be found in 
any of our sub-Himalayan birds. 

I do not know whether these differences are constant, but I 
think it well to call attention to them. If distinct, I would call 
it P. assimilis. 

139 bis.— Seriloplms lunatus, Gould. 

This species may be at once distinguished from S. rubropygius, 
Horsf ., by its much blacker and more strongly-marked supercilium 
extending to the nape, by the whole front, top and back of the 
nape, being a very pale grey, tinged with dull yellowish brown, 
instead of the dark, almost iron grey of rubropygius. 

Mr. Gould remarks of this species : " In some specimens I find 
no trace of the beautiful lunate mark on the sides of the neck. 
These I had regarded as females; but as Mr. Blyth states that he 
believes the mark to be common to both sexes, I presume those 
without it must be immature birds." Both these surmises are 
incorrect; the adult male entirely wants the silvery lunate 
mark on the sides of the neck, as also the continuation of this 
across the base of the throat, which lunate mark, together with 
their continuation on the base of the throat, are the characteris- 
tics of the adult female. I must add here that, judging from a 
large series that I have examined, Mr. Gould's figure (Birds 
of Asia, Pt. V) of this species is altogether too brightly colored, 
especially where the head, nape, rump, and tertiaries are 

Mr. Oates says : " This is a very common bird on the Pegu Hills, 
but does not occur in the plains. Judging from dissection of speci- 
mens obtained in the middle of April, the birds must lay towards 
the end of this month, or early in May. They are very tame, 
and perch quite close to one's camp. When I first saw them, I shot 
six in a veiy short time at single shots ; the survivors either flew 
away on to another tree quite close by, or after a short flight 
returned to the same tree. I can quite believe Dr. Heifer's state- 
ment as to their extreme fearlessness. The contents of their 
stomachs were principally grasshoppers ; they pick up their food, 
and I never saw them chasing insects on the wing. They are 
very silent birds. Of the birds I examined, only two had the 
shining white collar, and they were both females. The females 


are, perhaps, slightly larger. The following is a resume of the 
dimensions of four birds of both sexes : — 

" Length, 6"95 to 7*25 ; expanse, 10 - 8; tail, from vent, 2'7 to 
2*9; wing, 34; bill, from gape, 09 to - 94; tarsus, 0'79 
to 0-83. 

" The bill is a light, clear blue, paler on the culmen and waxen 
orange at the gape, the base of lower mandible, the nostrils, and 
the junction of the upper mandible with the forehead. The inside 
of the mouth is a rich orange ; eyelids, greenish yellow, purer yellow 
at the angle ; irides, dark brown ; legs, greenish orange ; claws, 
light blue/' 

The sexes, as already noticed, only differ in that the females 
have a narrow white satin band running across the side of the 
neck from behind the ear coverts and meeting in front, at the base 
of the throat, where the band in fine specimens has two or three 
reduplications. The adult males want these white satin marks 

The lores and the feathers at the gape are pale brownish 
rufous ; from above the lores, almost, but not quite, from the nostrils, 
a strongly marked black stripe proceeds backwards over the eyes 
and ear coverts to the nape, broadening- posteriorly, especially over 
the ear coverts. The forehead, and the whole space enclosed 
between these black stripes, is a sort of dove grey, everywhere 
tinged, except quite on the forehead, with pale, slightly rusty, 
brown; this tinge is much fainter in some specimens than in 
others, and is always strongest posteriorly. The scapulars and 
interscapulary region, a grey brown, more or less tinged with the 
same color as the nape ; where the head and nape are faintly 
tinged, there the scapulars and interscapulary region are scarcely 
tinged at all ; and in fact they are always less strongly tinged 
than the nape and occiput. The rump, upper tail coverts, ter- 
tiaries, and a spot at the tips of the inner webs of the secondaries 
and later primaries, pale ferruginous, palest on the tertials, but 
brightening considerably on the longer upper tail coverts. The 
tail is black ; the three lateral tail feathers on either side broadly 
tipped with white. The wing coverts and the first primary, black ; 
the edge of the wing, greyish white, and a large white spot on the 
inner web of first primary near the base. The rest of the pri- 
maries and secondaries have a broad, dull, pale blue band, on the 
outer webs, broader on the fifth primary, and rising under the 
greater coverts. The rest of the outer webs "are black, except 
for a pretty broad white tipping on the third and fourth primaries, 
and a very narrow pale blue or bluish white tipping to the other 
feathers. On the inner webs, as already mentioned, the sixth and 
succeeding primaries and the secondaries are tipped with pale 
ferruginous ; above this they are blackish brown, with a huge 
white band towards their bases. The second primary is very 


narrowly tipped white, and there is a trace of this on the first ; 
and the fifth primary is bluish on the inner web. The ear 
coverts, of which the webs are much disintegrated, are inter- 
mediate in color between the lores and the crown. The entire 
lower surface is a delicate French grey, almost white upon the 
lower abdomen and lower tail coverts, and generally tinged 
slightly brownish about the chin. The tibial and tarsal plumes 
(for the upper half of the tarsus is feathered) are deep chocolate 
brown, with sometimes a white spot inside, immediately above 
the articulation. 

140.— Dichoceros homrai, Bodgs. 

Only one specimen has been sent, and this is identical with 
specimens from Sikhim, Nipal, the Dhoon, and elsewhere. Mr. 
Gray separates the birds from Tenasserim, Malacca, and Sumatra, 
as bicornis, Lin, but the latter also occurs nearly as high up as 
Tonghoo, and the present species as far south at any rate as 

Mr. Oates says : " This is a common bird in the Evergreen 
Forests going about in flocks of five or six; on the western slopes 
of the Pegu Hills, and in the plains it must be rare. I am told 
that it is common in the Arracan Hills. 

" It is extremely wary and difficult to approach, keeping to the 
tops of the highest fruit-bearing trees. The Hill Karens state 
that the nest is made in hollow trees, the female being plastered 
up during incubation. The sound it makes with its wings when 
flying is very loud, and can be heard a long way, perhaps half 
a mile off. 

" I do not think the yellow on the head and neck is entirely 
due to the secretion of the uropygial gland. It does not come 
off in any quantity when the bird is killed. 

" A male measured — 

" Length, 51" 5 ; expanse, 66 ; tail, 18*5 ; casque, along curve, 
7' 75; bill, beyond casque, along curve to point, 8*75." 

142.— Hydrocissa albirostris, Shaw. 

Mr. Oates says : " Common throughout the country, both in 
the plains and the hills." 

147 Ms.— Palaeornis magnirostris, Ball. 

I have already fully discussed this genus, and have only to add 
that birds from Thayetmyo are very similar to those from the 
Andamans, and may for the present stand under the same name. 

Mr. Oates says that this species is very common about 
Thayetmyo, and he gives the dimensions of a male as follows: — 

"Length, 205; expanse, 24'25; tail, from vent, 12; wing, 
8-5. The iris, bright yellow; cere, yellow; bill, bright vermillion, 


with the terminal one-fourth of both mandibles mellow yellow 
eyelids, pale pink, with the edges orange ; legs, orange." 

Captain Feilden says : " These birds disappear during the hot- 
weather ; towards the end of the rains they fly in great numbers 
from the direction of the Arracan Hills, and across the Irrawaddy. 
Later in the autumn, they are to be found in small flocks in the 
Teak trees, and feeding on chillies, &c, all round Thayetmyo. 
They are a very common bird, but owing to their roving habits, 
and the height at which they fly when going to their feeding 
grounds, it is not always easy to procure specimens. Their flight 
is very slow, compared with that of other Parroquets. 

148.— Palseornis torquatus, Bodd. 

Specimens sent by Captain Feilden and Mr. Oates appear 
identical with specimens from various localities in India. Both 
gentlemen say that this species is very common in the neigh- 
bourhood of Thayetmyo. 

149 &^ —Palseornis bengalensis, Gm. 

This is the smaller, Peachbloom-headed Parroquet, with the 
lower wing coverts unicolorous, or nearly so, with the breast 
(which weget from Sikhim, Assam, and Eastern Bengal) instead 
of pale greenish blue, as in purpurens, Mull, (rosa, Bodd) . 

Both Captain Feilden and Mr. Oates remark that this species 
is common about Thayetmyo alike in the plains and hills. 

? 150.— Palseornis schisticeps, Hodgs. 

One imperfect specimen of this species, or it may have been 
Finschii, was obtained by Mr. Oates on the Pegu Hills on the 
27th April. He says that the soft parts were as follows : — 

" Cere, ashy brown; upper mandible, reddish yellow; the middle, 
one- third coral red; the lower mandible, yellow; the edges, dusky." 

Mr. Oates did not discriminate this bird from the females of the 
next species, and so gives no further particulars about it ; but 
presumably it does not descend to the plains, but is a resident of 
the hills of Pegu. 

152.— Palseornis fasciatus, Mull. ? P. melano- 

rhynchllS, Wagler. 

Thayetmyo specimens differ in no way that I can discover 
from others, from Kumaon, Sikhim, Tipperah, Tenasserim and the 

Mr. Oates says : " This bird is very common here, but less so 
perhaps than the other species. I have shot them with red 
breasts in April and also in December/'' 


Captain Feilden says : " These birds disappear entirely from 
Thayetmyo during- the hot-weather. The last I saw was in 
March. At the beginning 1 of the rains, a few scattered flocks, con- 
taining birds that have lately left the nest, may be noticed 
apparently migrating, and from this time a few pairs, apparently 
breeding, are to be found about the largest trees in valleys high 
up in the hills. As soon as the rice is cut, they appear in 
immense flocks and settle on the rice-fields, walking about with 
great activity, and gleaning carefully the fallen grain. In 
captivity they will feed at night as well as during the day, and 
if they escape from their cage, run with great rapidity. I once 
took one for a rat by candle-light, as it ran from behind a box 
into a corner of the room." 

Captain Feilden gives the length : Males, adults, 14 to 14' 12 ; 
young, 12-25; Females, adults, 11' 12; young, 10-25. Irides, 
pale yellow ; in young, greyish white ; legs, olive green. 

153. — Loriculus vernalis, Sparrm. 

Birds from Thayetmyo do not appear to differ from those from 
various parts of Continental India north and south, and the 

Mr. Oates says : " Tolerably common in the plains, more so 
on the hills. A fine male, which I shot on the Pegu Hills, 
measured — 

"Length, 5-65; expanse, 10*75; tail, from vent, 1*9; wing, 
3-45; bill, from gape, 0*45; tarsus, 0*47." 

157 ter— Picus analis, Horsf.— Picus pectoralis, 

Blyth.— (Journal, Asiatic Society, 1846, p. 15.) 

Mr. Blyth when he described this species, which Dr. Jerdon says 
is identical with analis of Horsfield, was not aware of the locality 
from which his specimen came. This species appears to be one 
of the commonest about Thayetmyo. Captain Feilden considers 
that there are two recognizable varieties, one slightly larger than 
the other; in the former, the forehead and nareal tufts are 
nearly black ; in the latter, these are nearly white. I do not myself 
think it possible to draw any distinction between the numerous 
specimens sent me ; they differ, no doubt, slightly inter se in many 
little particulars, but there is no constancy in these differences. 

The males vary from 6*25 to 6- 94 in length ; the females are a 
trifle smaller. The wings vary from 3-55 in the smallest female 
to 3-9 in the largest male. Bill, at front, 075 to 0-85 ; tail, from 
vent, about 2'0 to 2-2. 

In the male the forehead and crown are crimson; in the 
female black. The feathers immediately impending the base of 
the upper mandible, in some whitish, in some dusky, and in some 



brown ; the nape and the back of the neck, black. The whole 
upper surface, including" wing's and tail, dull black, with numerous 
broad, close, transverse, white bars becoming spots on the outer 
webs of the primaries, and the tips of some of the coverts. The 
bird is somewhat like Macei, but is much smaller, and may be 
distinguished at once by having the upper tail coverts and all the 
tail feathers conspicuously barred with white ; whereas in Macei, 
the upper tail coverts, and at least the four central tail feathers, 
are unbroken black. The cheeks, ear coverts, a stripe extending 
over the posterior half of the eye and sides of the head and the 
chin, are white or nearly so, the ear coverts exhibiting a little 
dusky striation, due to the bases of the feathers showing through. 
From the gape on either side extends a gradually broadening stripe 
of black, which ultimately merges in the black of the basal portion 
of the sides of the neck, the upper portion of the sides of the neck 
being like the cheeks. The rest of the lower parts a dull, fulvous, 
or yellowish white, each of the feathers of the breast with a con- 
spicuous (when the feathers are lifted) dark brown, central, linear, 
lanceolate stripe. The lower tail coverts are delicately tinged with 
a ruddy pink, and have each a more or less conspicuous brown, 
triangular, subterminal spot. The abdomen and flanks are very 
faintly, transversely barred, or in some specimens streaked with 
pale brown. In some specimens the red feathers of the forepart 
of the head, each bear a tiny whitish spot near the tip. 

Mr. Oates says : " This species does not appear to me to be very 
common. A female that I shot in some brushwood, measured — 

"Length, 6*7; expanse, 12*1; tail, from vent, 2*2; wing", 
3*9 ; bill, from gape, 0* 97 ; tarsus, 0*72; the bill, bluish black, 
paler at the base ; irides, brown ; eyelids, purplish brown ; legs, 
plumbeous ; claws, bluish horny/'' 

As I have never been able to examine specimens from Java 
and Sumatra, I cannot say whether these birds from Thayetmyo 
are really the same as Horsfleld J s. I merely follow Gray, Jerdon, 
and others, in uniting them. How they differ from their nearest 
ally, Picus andamanensis, Blyth, I have already pointed out in 
Stray Feathers, 1874, p. 187. Further south in Tenasserim the 
present species is replaced by atratus, Blyth. 

160.— Picus mahrattensis, Lath. Picus Blanfordi 

Blyth. — (Journal, Asiatic Society 1863, p. 75.) 

Mr. Blyth, when characterizing this species, remarked : 
" Very like Picus mahrattensis of India ; but the white markings 
generally more developed, especially as shown on the wings and 
tail ; it is just barely separable as a race." I myself quite concur 
that it does not merit specific separation. I also doubt whether 
it does show more white on the wings and tail than some 
Indian specimens ; these vary inter se very much. A specimen 


from the Wynaad is very dark ; one from Kutch, again, is very 
similar to Blanfordi ; and one from Sambhur is undisting'uishable 
from Thayetmyo birds ; in the wings, there seems to be no appre- 
ciable difference. A male from Thayetmyo has the wing 4 - l ; 
so has one from Raipoor, and another from the Wynaad. A 
Kutch male has the wing only 3 '8, and another obtained below 
Simla has it 4. There is no real distinction in the length of 
the bill. A Thayetmyo male has the bill 08, two others, 0*98. 
The Simla bird, 1-05; the Raipoor bird, 0'93; the Wynaad bird, 
1 ; the Kutch bird, 0*85, (but the tip of the latter is slightly 
broken). Captain Feilden says of this species: "Male, length, 
7*12 to 7*5 • female, 6 - 25 ; iris, red; bill, bluish white, tipped 

He adds : " This bird descends a tree, tail foremost, with very 
great ease. It is found everywhere, from the compounds of 
Thayetmyo to the tops of the highest hills. " 

Mr. Oates says : " Common near the banks of the Irrawaddy, 
but I have not observed it far inland. It affects thick forests 
generally, but sometimes comes near houses. The stomach of 
one contained small beetles. I measured two specimens. 

" The one, a male; of the other the sex was not discernable. 

"The dimensions were: Length, 7*5 to 7'6; expanse, 12*7 to 
13; tail, from vent, 2' 6 to 2*8; wing, 4; bill from gape, 1*1 to 
1*18, • tarsus, 072. 

" Bill, a clear bluish plumbeous, dark on the culmen and tip of 
both mandibles ; inside of mouth, bluish fleshy ; eyelids, dark 
brown ; irides, deep red ; legs and feet, bright plumbeous ; claws, 
horny blue. " 

163 Us.— Yungipicus canicapillus, Blyth. 

Mr. Oates says: "This species is universally distributed between 
Thayetmyo and Tonghoo, but still it is not very common; it creeps 
about the smaller branches of trees. 

"The following are dimensions of males measured: Length, 
5-3 to 5-8; expanse, 10 to 10-8; tail, from vent, 1-8 to 1-85; 
wing, 3*18 to 3*35; bill, from gape, 0'7 to 0*72; tarsus, 0'55 
to 0-58. 

"Bill, dark plumbeous, paler at gape and on the greater portion 
of lower mandible ; iris, reddish-hazel ; eyelids, purplish blue ; 
feet, dusky green; claws, horn color.'" 

Of this species Captain Feilden, who considers them common 
about Thayetmyo, remarks that the birds living in dense jungle, 
and those in the outskirts of cultivation, appear to differ in 
size, and in the centre secondaries of the jungle or smaller bird 
being larger than the outer ; whereas in the large or cultivation- 
haunting bird they are of the same length. He gives the length 
of birds shot at the edge of cleanings : males, 5-37 to 5-02, and 


females, 5 ; and he says the iris in this race is greyish, reddish 
brown on the outside ; the bill, blackish ; legs, olive. Of the 
jungle bird he gives the length of adult males as from 4*8 to 
4*83; young males, 4" 62; and females, 4*83. Perhaps he has 
only sent me specimens of one race. I cannot divide those which 
he has sent me ; they are all undoubtedly eanicapillus. 

We have at least five species of this genus in India which 
belong to two sections : (\st), those with the four central tail- 
feathers unspotted black ; (2nd) , in which these feathers are black, 
more or less spotted with white. To the first section belong 
pygmceus, Vigors ; and rubricatus, Blyth. To the second, nanus, 
Vigors, gymnoptlialmos, Blyth, and eanicapillus, Blyth. The males 
of rubricatus and pygnwns may be distinguished at a glance. 
Rubricatus has a broad, nuchal, orange crimson crescent; pygmtens 
has only two small sincipital tufts, one on either side, of much 
the same color. The females are barely separable ; but those of 
pygmaus run slightly larger, and have generally the forehead 
and crown browner, while in rubricatus these parts are paler. 

Of rubricatus I have seen no specimens, except from Sikhim. 
Pygmmis I have from Kumaon, Gurhwal, the Dhoon, and the 
Mussoorie Hills. 

In the next section, nanus is distinguished by its yellowish 
brown cap ; eanicapillus, on the other hand, has a grey head more 
or less tinged with brown, as in pygnueus. These two species 
can never be confounded, because the yellowish brown head of 
nanus has no nuchal black crescent bounding it posteriorly ; 
whereas the grey or brownish grey head of eanicapillus has this, 
just as also have the heads of rubricatus and pygmceus. Gym- 
nopthalmos is close to nanus, but it averages smaller, and has the 
head a darker, purer brown, and the first five or six primaries 
either absolutely unspotted on the outer webs, or else with the 
merest trace of such spots ; whereas these latter in nanus are 
numerous and conspicuous; lastly, the under surface of gym- 
nopthalmos is unstreaked, white or yellowish-white. In all the 
other species the lower surface is distinctly striated with dark 
brown, all the feathers of the breast and upper abdomen having 
more or less conspicuous dark brown central stripes. Gym- 
noptlialmos I have only seen from the Malabar Coast and Ceylon ; 
nanus I have from numerous localities in the North- Western 
and Central Provinces ; eanicapillus I have as yet only seen 
from Tipperah, Arracan, Tenasserim, and Upper Pegu. 

The present species, eanicapillus, is much more nearly con- 
nected with pygmaus than the above remarks might possibly 
lead one to conclude. The latter is perhaps rather larger, and 
the supposed characteristic difference between the two races is 
that in pygmceus the central tail feathers and upper tail coverts 
are entirely black, while in eanicapillus, the former are white 


spotted, and the latter broadly margined with white. But 
although this distinction holds good as a rule, I have two 
specimens of pygmaus — one from Kalsi in the Dhoon, and the 
other from Barsota in Gurhwal — in which the upper tail coverts 
are conspicuously margined with white; and I have another 
of canicapillus from Tipperah with only two tiny white spots 
on the inner webs of the two central feathers, and no spottings 
at all on the next feathers on either side; and another from 
Thayetmyo, with the central tail feathers absolutely unspotted ; 
and those next to them, with only two small spots on the outer 
webs of each, while I have plenty of typical birds from both 
localities. As regards size and shape of bill and color of under 
parts these afford no criterion, so that, on the whole, all one can 
say is that, though nine-tenths of the birds can be separated at 
once by the character of the tails and upper tail coverts, here and 
there a bird is met with which, unless informed of the locality 
whence it was obtained, might be almost indifferently assigned 
to either species. 

I should add that the synonomy of this little group much 
requires investigation. The bird I have identified as nanus, 
Vigors, is the one described as Harclwickii by Jerdon. My 
rubricatns is the one of which the male is distinguished by the 
broad crimson occipital crescent, but whether this should stand 
under Blyth's name of rubricatus or Mitchelli, Malh., or semi- 
coronatus, Malh., I am not in a position to decide ; all I can say is 
that, though Mr. Gray makes out seven species within our limits, 
I know of only five, and I scarcely believe that more exist. 

165 Us — Hemicircus canente, Less. 

Though neither Captain Feilden nor Mr. Oates have obtained 
it within our limits, it has been sent thence in several collections. 
I may add that Mr. Oates procured a single specimen, a male, 
in the Arracan Hills in January, of which he notes the following 
dimensions : — 

Length, 65; wing, 3*95 ; tail, from vent, T7; bill, at front, 
0-98; tarsus, 0'7. 

Our Indian cordatus, Jerdon, is apparently little else than a 
diminutive race of this species, with less white upon the wing, 
and more marked white spotting on the forehead and crown of 
the male. In our Indian bird a fine male has the wing 375 ; 
bill, at front, 0*75; tarsus, about 0" 6. 

A similar canente has the wing, 3*9; bill at front, 09; tarsus, 
0*75. And here it may be as well to draw attention to the fact 
that in the Indian bird Dr. Jerdon says that the male has the fore- 
head and top of the head light whitish yellow, and the female 
differs from the male in having the forehead and head black 
with minute whitish spots. Now, I cannot speak with certainty 


as to the Indian birds, because, though I have a large series, chiefly 
from the Malabar Coast, the majority are not from reliable 
collectors; but in regard to the present species, canenie,M.v. Davi- 
son has recently carefully sexed some twenty specimens, in all 
of which the adult males had the head black with minute white 
specks, while the female had the cap yellowish white, thus exact- 
ly reversing what Jerdon records of the Indian birds. Jerdon 
certainly knew the birds thoroughly, and must have shot scores, 
and it is just possible that this very curious difference between 
these two nearly allied races may exist ; but I think that proba- 
bly this has been a mere slip of the pen. 

As to canente there is no possible doubt. Besides these adults 
we procured several young males, some quite similar to the 
females, and others showing the black feathers superceding the 
yellow in the crown. 

I may notice here that in the young bird not only are the bills 
very much smaller, but the entire lower parts want the greenish 
tinge conspicuous in the adult. 

Of course in the adults the bills of the males are markedly 
longer than those of the females. 

The following are the dimensions, colors of the soft parts, &c., 
recorded in the flesh from a large series. 

Males : Length, 6*35 to 6-5 ; expanse, 12*82 to 13; tail, from 
vent, 1-82 to 2-12; wing, 3-8 to 3*9; tarsus, 075; bill, from 
gape, 1 to 1*12; weight, 1*75 oz. 

Females: Length, 5-62 to 6*0; expanse, 11*45 to 12*55; tail, 
from vent, 1*5 to 1*65; wing, 3*45 to 3*75 ; tarsus, 0*62 to 0*7 ; 
bill, from gape, 0*82 to 0*92, weight, 1*25 to 1*5 oz. 

The legs and feet are dark greenish horny, dark greenish 
plumbeous, or very dark sap green, often appearing all but black ; 
the claws are blackish plumbeous or black ; the bill is black ; 
the irides are dark brown or dark reddish brown. 

In the present species the male has the whole of the lores, 
forehead, cheeks, occiput, and nape, velvet black ; the feathers 
of the forehead and in old birds those of the crown also, with 
very minute white specks at the tips ; the occipital feathers pro- 
longed into a short, full crest; the chin and throat, fulvous white; 
the front and sides of the neck, breast, and abdomen, olive brown, 
strongly tinged greenish in old birds ; flanks, vent, and lower 
tail coverts, blackish brown or almost black ; the breast and 
abdomen are much browner, and less green in young birds than 
in old ones ; the sides and back of the base of the neck, all the 
coverts along the ulna, the tertials, the edge of the wing from 
the carpal joint, and the wing lining and the rump, white, with 
a fulvous tinge, brighter and yellower in old birds; each of the 
tertials, and some of their longer coverts, with a broad black, more 
or less heart-shaped, spot near the tip; interscapulary region, 


scapulars, middle of the back, upper tail coverts, velvet black, a 
few of the feathers of the interscapulary region in younger birds 
only, and the longest scapulars, with an excessively narrow fulvous 
margin at the tips ; median coverts, similar and similarly tipped ; 
primaries, secondaries, and their greater coverts, dark hair-brown, 
almost black ; those of the secondaries margined towards the tips 
with fulvous white ; tail feathers, black. 

The white markings in the young have a browner and more 
fulvous tinge ; in the old a brighter and a yellower tinge. 

The female differs, as already mentioned, in the smaller size 
and in the conspicuously smaller bill, and also in having the 
forehead and the entire crown fulvous or buffy white. 

165 quat. — Meiglyptes jugularis, Blyth. 

The plumage of this species recalls that of Hemicircus ; but 
the peculiar spotting and barring of the throat and cheeks, and 
the red moustachial streak in the male, together with the short, 
broad, thick bill, and bowed culmen, leave me no doubt that it 
should be classed as a Meiglyptes, and I am surprised at Mr. 
Gray's assigning it to Hemicircus. 

Mr. Oates says : " I know nothing whatever of this bird, which is 
decidedly rare ; but occurring, as it does, both on the Arracan and 
Pegu Hills, it probably may also be met with on the intervening 
plains. The following are the dimensions of males : — 

" Length, 7'5 to 7*9; expanse, 13; tail, from vent, 23 ; wing, 
4; bill, from gape, 0*98; tarsus, 0'78. 

" The bill is black ; the inside of the mouth, dusky ; the iris, 
dark brown ; the eyelids, dark j)lumbeous ; the legs, dull bluish ; 
the claws, horny brown. " 

The forehead, chin, lores, and cheeks, are black, banded, or spot- 
ted with buffy yellow — and in the male there is a short, dull-red 
moustachial stripe from the base of the lower mandible. The 
crown and occiput, which latter is garnished with a full broad 
crest, the upper and middle back, the upper tail coverts, the 
tail feathers, the breast, abdomen, vent, and lower tail coverts, 
and the wings, except certain buff markings, to be described 
further on, are a deep chocolate brown, almost black in freshly 
moulted specimens : the wing lining, the sides and back of 
the neck, and more or less of the sides of the body, the 
rump, the edge of the wing at the carpal joint, the lesser 
and median coverts along the ulna, one or two broad bands on 
the tertiaries, and numerous spots on the outer webs of all the 
secondaries and primaries, (except in some specimens, the first 
two primaries), buffy yellow. All the quills exhibit large round 
spots or imperfect bars, white, or yellowish white on the inner 
webs, which vary much in number and in size, and many of 
which, especially on the later secondaries, become confluent. In 


this species, the fourth and fifth primaries are equal and long- 
est, the third a trifle only shorter, second about 0"5, and first 
about 2 inches shorter, in these respects agreeing fairly well both 
with Hemicircus and Meiglyptes. The central portion of the 
lower half of the throat is generally of the same color as the 
breast, but sometimes it also is spotted like, though less closely 
than, the upper portion of the throat. The crown and ear coverts 
are generally concolorous with the occiput and crest, but some- 
times some of the feathers of these parts exhibit very narrow, 
buff-colored bars, or tiny specks of the same color. 
I may add that the sexes differ but little in size. 

166.— Chrysocolaptes sultaneus, Sodgs. 

A large series of this species was sent by Captain Feilden 
from Thayetmyo, and three specimens were sent by Mr. Oates 
from the Thayetmyo District and the Arracan Hills. 

Captain Feilden makes three varieties out of these specimens. 
"The common one/' he says, "has the males, 12 to 125 in 
length ; the legs, nearly plumbeous ; irides, pale yellow, edged pale 
vermilion. In the second variety the males are 12" 87 to 13" 25 in 
length; the females, 125 (a young female, 12) ; legs, olive green ; 
iris, pale yellow, edged faintly with dark brownish purple ; the 
crimson on the nape of the male in this race descending lower and 
forming a faint demi-collar across the black and white ; the black 
of the female, the same. In the third variety the length is 12' 5, 
and the back is tinted red, and the gular stripe is broader."" 

I have carefully examined all these specimens, and I am 
perfectly certain that they are referable to one and the same 
species. As to dividing the Thayetmyo birds into more than one 
species, this seems to me absolutely impossible, nay more, I have 
very grave doubts as to how far it will be possible hereafter to 
retain the southern Delesserti distinct from the northern sulta- 
neus. There is no doubt that the only difference between these 
races consists in size, and that this difference is very considerable 
when typical examples of both are selected. 

The following table of nine specimens of each race taken at 
random will exhibit clearly this difference : — 

C. Sultaneus. 


Bill at front. 






Kalsi ; Dhoon. 




Markham Gran 









Kalsi j Dhoon. 


(Juv.) 1-8 




C. Delesserti. 


Bill at front. 


















Malabar Coast. 





















Contrast with these the following dimensions of Thayetmyo 
birds:— Males: (i) 1-85—6-6, (ii) 1-95—6-3, (iii) 2-15—6-4, (iv) 
1-92—6-3, (v) 1-85—6-3, (vi) 2-05— 6-35, all these from Thayet- 
myo, and (vii) 1*9 — 6*4 from the Arracan Hills. Females: (i) 
1-85—6-7, (ii) 1-8—6-3, (iii) 1-95—6-45, (iv) 1-8—6-08, (v) 

Neglecting therefore the young female from Fyzabad, the 
dimensions of the two races may be thus stated : — 

C. sultaneus ... Bill 2-0 to 2-4; Wing 6' 7 to 7"45 

C. Delesserti ... „ 1-7 to 1-9; „ 585 to 6"3, 

The Thayetmyo birds give „ 1*8 to 2-15 j „ 6-08 to 6'7. 

So far therefore, as dimensions go, the Thayetmyo birds are 
intermediate between the two supposed sj^ecies, and I prefer to 
retain them as sultaneus. 

Captain Feilden says : " This species is found wherever 
there are a number of moderate-sized trees either in clumps or 
in lines along the borders of streams. They are found at all ele- 
vations from the banks of the Irrawaddy to the highest points 
of the hills about Thayetmyo. I do not think that it feeds 
upon the ground, although I once shot one apparently on the 
ground, but I cannot be certain that it was not clinging to some 
root running above the surface, as the jungle was very thick. 
Like all Woodpeckers with chisel-pointed bills they make a loud 
whirring noise by striking a decayed part of a tree with rapidly 
repeated strokes of the bill ; no doubt the rapid vibrations have 
the effect of driving out insects concealed there. I have seen a 
pair of these Woodpeckers hawking for white-ants along with 
Drongos ; they flew a short distance, hovered in the same manner 
as a Pied Kingfisher over a fish, but more heavily and clumsily 
made half a dozen darts with their bills in different directions, 
and then returned to the tree. This continued for some time till 
I shot one of them. 

" I have also seen these Woodpeckers amusing themselves by 
throwing themselves round in the air, from the branch they are 
clinging to, to another nearly parallel to it, with a loud whirr of 
the wings ; this was repeated many times evidently for amuse- 


Mr. Oates remarks : " This species is generally distributed, 
although not very abundant numerically. I have met with it, 
both on the plains and on the Pegu and Arracan Hills. I note that 
the iris is pinkish yellow ; the eyelids, slaty brown ; bill, the same ; 
legs and feet, dusky green, yellowish on the soles ; claws, brown." 

168— Mulleripicus gutturalis, Valenc. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " This species is not uncommon in thick 
forests. It is extremely shy and difficult to approach. It 
appears to be evenly distributed from Tonghoo to the Bay of 
Bengal, occurring in parties of three to seven. It has a loud, 
but rather musical, call when flying. A female shot in the 
Arracan Hills measured 18 inches in length. A male shot in the 
Pegu Hills measured : Length, 20*5; expanse, 29; tail, from vent, 
7'6 ; wing, 9*5 ; bill, from gape, 3'08 ; at front, 2'7 ; tarsus, T6. 

" The bill was bluish white, blackish along culmen and at the 
tips of both mandibles ; the inside of the mouth, bluish black ; 
eyelids, dusky plumbeous ; iris, very dark hazel brown ; legs, a 
deep dull blue; claws, bluish horny. The stomach contained 
only black ants." 

The birds sent by Mr. Oates are identical with specimens 
from the Oudh and Nepal Terai, and again with others from 
Northern Tenasserim, and seem to call for no further remarks. 

Captain Feilden says : " This bird is unknown at Thayetmyo, 
even to Burmese sportsmen, who are generally very intelligent 
about birds. I once saw a pair that appeared to be migrating. 
I followed them for several miles, but could not get a shot. 
Their note is very peculiar. Until I caught sight of the bird, I 
thought it was that of some new kind of Bee-eater." 

169 ter. — Thriponax Crawfurdi, Gray. 

Several specimens of this handsome species have been sent by 
Captain Feilden and Mr. Oates. Mr. Oates remarks : " This is 
common in all the forests of the Thayetmyo District, from the 
Irrawaddy to the summit of the Pegu Hills. It becomes rare in 
the eastern slopes, and I do not know if it is ever met with in 
Arracan. A female I measured was: Length, 15; expanse, 25; 
tail, from vent, 5*9; wing, 8; bill, from gape, 2; tarsus, 1*4." 
Captain Feilden informs me that it is very common in the 
neighbourhood of Thayetmyo. 

The dimensions are as follows : Males : Length, 16 to 1625; 
wing, 8*1 to 8*5; tail, from vent, 6*0 to 6*5; bill, at front, 1*85 to 
1*93; tarsus, T25. Females: Length, 15 to 15*75; wing, 8*1 to 
8-4; tail, 55 to 6"5; bill, at front, 1*75 to 1-9; tarsus, 1'25. 

In the male, the whole forehead, crown, occiput, and nape, 
crimson; feathers of the nape and occiput forming a stiff 


wedge-shaped crest. A patch on each side at the base of the 
lower mandible, crimson; lores, cheeks, sides of the head, throat, 
breast, back of the neck, upper back, scapulars, wings, upper tail 
coverts, lower tail coverts, and tail, black ; the throat and sides of 
the head with numerous white speckles; the third, fourth, 
fifth, and sixth primaries, narrowly tipped pure white. The chin, 
greyish brown in some, blackish brown in others. The middle and 
lower back, the whole of the abdomen and sides, the greater 
portion of the wing lining, a greater or lesser portion of the 
inner webs of the quills towards their bases, white, in some with 
a delicate yellowish tinge ; flank feathers springing from the base 
of the tibia and the lowest of the white feathers of the rump, 
white, with a more or less cuneiform, subterminal, blackish brown 
spot. A few of the lower tail coverts immediately below the 
vent, edged white. 

The plumage of the females is precisely similar, except that 
there is no crimson patch at the base of the lower mandible ; 
the whole forehead and crown is black, and the crest is smaller; 
the coverts along the edge of the wing are black. 

This species is considerably smaller than T. Hodgsoni of 
Southern India, which is from 17*5 to 19 long, according to sex; 
has a wing of from 8 to 9, and a bill of from 2*25 to nearly 
2*5 ; the great difference in the size of the bill is very con- 
spicuous ; the feet and claws are also much larger. Both on the 
abdomen and back there is much less breadth of white ; none of 
the primaries are tipped white, and there is no white on their 
inner webs. 

In Malacca, Java, and Sumatra, another nearly allied species, 
or rather a series of races of one species, occur, viz., T. leueogaster, 
Reinw., PL Col. 501, javensis, Horsf., which is about 17 inches 
long, has a wing 9 inches, and a bill from 2*1 to £*2 in length. 
This species has the whole of the back and rump black. In the 
large size of its bill, and in the almost entire absence of white on 
the inner webs of the primaries javensis comes nearest to Hodgsoni. 

Lastly, we have T. Hodgei from the Andamans, which has been 
fully described {vide vol. II., p. 189). 

Though considerably smaller, the uniform black plumage of 
this latter species recalls martins of Europe, though that belongs 
to a separate sub -genus D/yocopus, and wants altogether the red 
moustachial stripe. Malherbe doubted the occurrence of javensis 
in the Tenasserim provinces, and possibly correctly so. In the 
Salween District at any rate of these provinces, it is Crawfurdi 
that occurs. 

Captain Feilden notes, that " the favorite haunt of this bird 
appears to be some deep valley, at the bottom of which a quantity 
of alluvial soil has been washed down, out of which a number of 
young trees, three or four inches in diameter, are growing. The 


ground must be clear of the long- grass so common in Burmese 
jungles, as this would of course prevent the bird from flying from 
stem to stem. They do not absolutely confine themselves to these 
spots; indeed they may often be seen in large tree jungle, but 
always adjoining valleys, such as I have described. I have seen 
one crossing the brigade ground at Thayetmyo. The strokes of 
the bill of this bird are very slow and loud, almost resembling the 
blows of the clah (Burmese knife). They appear to cling with the 
feet, and swing the whole body to give force to their blow. The 
flesh of this bird is very soft in comparison with that of other Wood- 
peckers. It is very easy to approach this bird before it is alarmed, 
but when once disturbed it is extremely wary. It is a toler- 
ably common bird ten or fifteen miles west of Thayetmyo, and 
about the same distance north, but from its secluded habits is 
little known. I was myself about eight months in Thayetmyo 
before I obtained one ; but having once found out their haunts, I 
hardly ever went out ten or fifteen miles without seeing or hear- 
ing them. They have two notes, one resembling that of the 
Jackdaw, but not so loud, and, if I may use the expression, with a 
nasal twang in it^ the other like that of BracJiyptermis chryso- 
notus, Lesson's Woodpecker, but of course much louder. This 
is very seldom used, only when the bird is wounded or very much 
startled ; the former note is more frequently heard. But, as a whole, 
it is a silent bird. The flight is different from that of other 
Woodpeckers ; it rather resembles that of the Roller, and is, I 
believe, perfectly noiseless. I have seen them drop from a high 
tree nearly to the ground, and then glide off just above the 
ground in the same manner as a Sparrow Hawk. As a rule, they 
are found in pans. I never saw more than two together/' 

171.— Gecinus striolatus, Blyth. 

Specimens sent by both Captain Feilden and Mr. Dates are 
identical with Indian birds from both Southern and Northern 

Mr. Oates says : " This is perhaps the commonest Woodpecker 
we have. I have shot it also below Prome. Specimens that 
I measured varied in length from 11*5 to 11*6; expanse, 16*75 
to 17*8; tail, from vent, 3'9 to 4'2; wing, 5*35 to 5*55; bill, 
from gape, 1*4 to l - 42 ; tarsus, 09 to 0'95. The iris is pink, 
with an outer ring of white ; the eyelids, bluish grey ; the upper 
mandible, blackish ; the lower, yellow, blackish at tip and dusky 
at gape ; legs, dull green ; claws, bluish horny." 

171 Us.— Gecinus vittatus, Vieil. 

Mr. Oates remarks that this species is "tolerably common 
in all thick forests from Tonghoo to the Bay of Bengal. A 


female measured ; Length, 13*1 • expanse 18 ; tail, from vent, 5 ; 
wing, 5*45; bill, from gape, 1*6; tarsus, 1*12. The whole 
upper mandible and gonys of lower mandible, blackish horny ; 
rest of lower mandible, pale yellow, except the tip which is horn 
black ; eyelids, slate color ; irides, dark red ; feet, dusky green • 
claws, horny brown." 

This species is very close to striolatus, but may be distin- 
guished at once by its much larger bill, measuring 1-3 to nearly 
1*5 at front; by its larger size, it averaging, I should say, fully 
two inches longer than striolatus, and by the conspicuous man- 
dibular stripe, beginning at the base of the lower mandible, 
composed of pale grey or greyish brown feathers, with black 
central stripes, and running down on either side of the throat 
for nearly an inch, and by the unstriated chin and throat. The 
rump also, I think, is never cpiite so bright as in striolatus. 

The following are the dimensions, colors of soft parts, &c, 
recorded from a large series of fresh specimens of both 
sexes : — 

Males: Length, 12*3 to 12-75; expanse, 17'25 to 18-25; tail, 
from vent, 4 - 5 to 5*0; wing, 5*4 to 5*82; tarsus, 1*12 to 1*2; 
bill, from gape, 1*55 to 1*62; weight, 5 to 5*75 oz. 

Females: Length, 11*9 to 13; expanse, 17'5 to 18*4; tail, 
from vent, 4*12 to 5; wing, 5*3 to 5 - 55; tarsus, 1*1 to 125; 
bill, from gape, 1*5 to 1 # 65; weight, 4'75 to 5 ozs. 

The legs and feet are dull green, or dull brownish green ; the 
claws, greenish horny, or plumbeous ; the irides, brown, or reddish 
brown ; eyelids, plumbeous, or dark grey ; lower mandible, green- 
ish, or in some chrome yellow, except a brown, or greenish brown, 
streak from the angle of the gonys to the tip, and the tip ; the 
upper mandible, blackish. 

The lower portion of the lores, brown ; the space under the eye 
between it and the mandibular streak already mentioned, and 
the ear coverts and feathers immediately round the posterior 
half of the eye, pale grey brown, faintly striated darker. The 
whole of the forehead, the upper part of the lores, and the whole 
top and back of the head, including a short but full occipital crest, 
velvet black in the female, crimson hi the male; the basal portion 
of the feathers being grey, but these not showing through nearly 
as much as they do in striolatus. The whole of the chin and 
throat between the mandibular stripes pale fulvous brown, much 
the same color as the lores, (at times slightly browner or green- 
er,) unstriated. The neck all round a sort of olive yellow 
tinged with brown, unstriated. The breast, abdomen, vent, 
and lower tail coverts, white ; each feather mostly with a nar- 
row central stripe, and two broader parallel stripes, one on 
each web at or near the margin, which would seem to be 
originally brown, but which , with the whole of the feathers on 


the breast and upper abdomen, and in some specimens on the 
entire lower surface, are strongly tinged or suffused with olive 
yellow, olive green, or greenish fulvous, as the case may be. 
The tint and the extent of its distribution vary in every 
specimen. On the lower tail coverts the brown increases very 
much in extent, so that the feathers might more properly be 
called brown with cuneiform white bars. The lower surface of 
the tail is generally dull black, browner on the exterior tail feathers, 
with very little traces of spottings or barrings. The lower 
surfaces of the quills are grey brown ; all the feathers with con- 
spicuous oval white spots or imperfect bars on the inner webs — one 
such at the base of the first primary, two or three at the base of 
the second, four on the third, and so on, till on the secondaries 
they extend almost to the tips. Wing lining mottled or irregu- 
larly barred white and hair brown ; all but the greater coverts 
commonly more or less suffused with green or olive yellow, as the 
case may be. The entire back, scapulars, rump, and upper tail 
coverts, wing coverts, except the primary greater ones, tertiaries, 
and outer webs of secondaries, and tips also of the later of these, 
a deep olive green, with a golden tinge very strong upon the 
secondaries and tertiaries, and brightening to a clear yellow 
on the middle of the rump. The winglet, primaries, and 
their greater coverts, blackish brown, each feather with numerous 
moderate-sized white spots or imperfect bars on the outer webs. 
Traces of the same on the outer webs of the secondaries very 
apparent on the first three or four, less so on the later ones, in 
all veiled, and more or less obscured by the golden olive tint. 
Tail, blackish brown ; sometimes almost spotless, sometimes with 
numerous brownish white spots or imperfect bars on the basal 
one-third or one-half, as the case may be. The basal portion 
of the tail feathers is often a dull umber brown. Tibial plumes, 
a dull earthy brown. 

172.— Gecinus occipitalis, Vigors. 

Specimens from Thayetmyo and its neighbourhood do not 
appear separable from others, from the Tipperah Hills and various 
parts of the Himalayas. 

Mr. Oates says : " This species appears to be common. I have 
observed it from Thayetmyo to Tonghoo ; it feeds frequently on 
the ground. I found both black and white ants hi the stomach of 
one. The following is a resume of the dimensions of four 
specimens, two of each sex, that I measured : — 

" Length, 12-8 to 13-2 ; expanse, 18*5 to 19-4 ; tail, from vent, 
4-3 to 5 ; wing, 5*7 to 6 ; bill, from gape, 1*7 to 1*8 ; tarsus, 0*95 
to 1-2. 

" Bill, blackish brown ; iris, dull red ; eyelids, purplish brown ; 
legs, dull green ; claws, greenish horny." 


173.— Chrysophlegma flavinucha, Gould. 

Specimens from Thayetmyo and its neighbourhood are iden- 
tical with others from various parts of the Himalayas. Mr. Cates 
remarks that this species is " found commonly all over the Pegu 
Hills, but I have not met with it in the plains. Its cry is very 
like that of the English Jackdaw. It must begin to lay about 
the end of April. The following are dimensions taken from 
several specimens. The sexes do not appear to differ in size : — 

"Length, 12-7 to 13'3; expanse, 195 to 20'3; tail, from 
vent, 5*1 to 5*2; wing, 6*1 to 6*4; bill, from gape, 1*52 to 1'77; 
tarsus, 1-09 to 1-18. 

" Bill, dusky bluish white ; iris, red ; eyelids, gape, and naked 
skin at gape, greenish blue ; legs, dusky blue ; claws, horny." 

174.— Chrysophlegma chlorolophus, Vieil. 

Specimens from Upper Pegu differ in no respect from those 
from various parts of the Himalayas. 

Mr. Oates says : " Occurs from Thayetmyo to Tonghoo, but is 
not very common anywhere. No signs of breeding on the 25th 
April. The following are dimensions taken from several speci- 
mens, the sexes not differing aj>preciably in size : — 

" Length, 10-2 to 10*7 ; expanse, 165 to 17 ; tail, 8'8 to 4*5 j 
wing, 53 to 5*5; bill, from gape, 1"1 to l - 27; tarsus, - 85 
to 0-9. 

" Iris, bright red ; eyelids, lavender ; upper mandible, black, 
except a small portion of the edges near the gape, which is lemon 
yellow ; lower mandible, lemon yellow, except the tip and margins 
of the anterior half, which are horny black ; inside of mouth, 
dusky flesh color ; legs, dull greenish ; claws, bluish horny." 

177 Ms.— Geciimlus viridis, Myth. 

In some respects this species is very similar to Geclnulus grant/a, 
but in the males the red of the crown extends in the present 
species on to the occiput and nape, and in both sexes the whole 
of the deep, dull red of the rest of the upper surface, which 
characterizes grantia, is replaced in the present species by dull 
olive green. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " I have found this species both on 
the eastern and western slopes of the Pegu Hills, but never 
in the plains, where, however, it may possibly occur. It is very 
partial to climbing about the large bamboos which grow on these 
hills. It appears to be a silent bird, and breeds, I apprehend, 
about the close of April. The sexes do not differ perceptibly in size. 
The following are the dimensions of two males and a female :— 
Length, 10-25toir2; expanse, 15'5 to 17; tail, from vent, 
4 to 4*25; wing, 5*1 to 52; bill, from gape, VIS to 1*22; 


tarsus, # 9S to 1*07. The bill is pale milk-blue, the iris, dull 
red; the eyelids, plumbeous; the feet, green; the claws, horn color." 
In both sexes the forehead is brown, with more or less of a green- 
ish or yellowish tinge at the tips of some of the feathers. In the 
male, the whole of the rest of the top of the head, occiput, and 
nape, together with the short full occipital crest, are bright red. 
In the female, these parts are olive yellow, becoming brighter and 
yellower on the crest. The lores, chin, throat, cheeks, ear coverts are 
pale brown, with more or less of an olive yellow tinge, according to 
the specimen, always most conspicuous on the ear coverts, and 
brightening to their tips, which, with the feathers immediately 
behind them, and in the male the feathers of the lower part of 
the nape (mostly hidden by the red crest), are a golden olive. 
The scapulars, interscapulary region, coverts, except the greater 
primary coverts, tertiaries, outer webs of secondaries, rump, and 
upper tail coverts and margins of the outer webs of the tail 
feathers towards their base, varying shades, according to the 
specimen, of golden olive, olive yellow or olive green, brightest 
and yellowest on the middle of the back ; feathers of the rump 
and upper tail coverts generally tipped more or less with crimson, 
but at times only rufescent. Tail feathers, dark hair-brown, 
spotless as viewed from above; winglet, primaries, and their 
greater coverts, dark hair-brown ; all but the first two primaries 
olivaceous on their outer webs, much paler on the earlier ones 
towards the tips, and in the later ones becoming much the same dull 
olive yellow as the secondaries. All the quills with large oval 
spots or imperfect white bars on the inner webs, two at the base 
of the first primary, three on the second, four on the third and 
succeeding quills. Wing lining mingled brown and white ; the 
edge of the wing, and more or less of the wing lining, tinged 
with dull olive green ; breast, abdomen, flanks, lower tail coverts, 
dull brown ; all but the latter, more or less tinged with dingy olive 
green ; traces of small, dull, white spots towards the inner margins 
of the inner webs of the lateral tail feathers towards their bases. 

178.— Micropternus phaioceps, Btyth. M. burma- 
nicus, Hume. 

Although the Thayetmyo specimens differ in many respects 
slightly from the ordinary phaioceps from Lower Bengal, Tirhoot, 
Dacca, and Tipperah (in that they are larger ; that the plumage 
is generally a lighter and brighter chestnut ; that the dark bars on 
the tertials are narrower and further apart ; the head less brown, 
the chin and throat paler, and the. pale margins to the feathers 
more conspicuous), still with a large series before me I do not 
think that these distinctions invariably hold good ; and I have 
one specimen, at any rate, from the Himalayas which is absolutely 
inseparable from my type specimen of this supposed species, and 


I therefore unhesitatingly suppress burmanicus. In most speci- 
mens the distinctions above pointed out hold good more or less ; 
but this is all that can be said, and this will not warrant a specific 
separation. The type of my supposed species was a male 
sent me by Captain Feilden, and measured in the flesh : Length, 
10 - 7 ; wing, 525 ; bill, at front, 1 - 15. 

Mr. Oates, however, has sent smaller specimens. He remarks : 
" I have observed this bird only on the eastern slopes of the 
Pegu Hills, and I think it is confined to the Evergreen Forests. 
It is not uncommon, goes in pairs, is remarkably silent, and climbs 
small trees and bamboos. The head, tip of tail, and abdomen are 
much smeared with some gum, or rather, as I fancy, with honey. 
The contents of the stomach of three specimens were black ants, 
and a small yellow bee-like insect; the latter in considerable 
quantities. It is possibly with the honey of these insects that 
the plumage gets smeared. In the mouth of one just shot I 
found a small leach. These specimens that I shot varied as 
follows : — 

"Length, 9-75 to 9*9; expanse, 15*25 to 16; tail, from 
vent, 3 to 3*15; wing, 4 - 8 ; bill, from gape, 1'2> ; tarsus, 088 
to 0-95. 

"The irides were brown ; eyelids, plumbeous ; bill, dark brown, 
nearly black, plumbeous at base of lower mandible ; inside of 
mouth, rosy fleshy ; legs and feet, greyish brown ; claws, horn 

Captain Feilden says : " The Chestnut Woodpecker does not 
appear to be confined to any particular locality. I have found 
them everywhere, from clumps of bamboos in the middle of cul- 
tivation to deep forests of the largest trees ; but on the whole, I 
think, they prefer rather open bamboo jungle. The note is not 
unlike that of Gecinus striolatus. It is difficult to learn anything 
of their habits, as they glide about among the bamboos, and rarely 
show themselves. They are stupidly tame." 

183.— Tiga Shorii, Vigors. 

A large number of specimens, in my opinion all referable to 
this species, have been sent me by Captain Feilden and Mr. 
Oates, who both want to make three species out of them, found- 
ing their distinctions partly on size ; partly on the color of the 
crest and forehead in the male ; partly on the comparative size, 
brightness or dullness of the black markings on the side of the 
head, chin, throat, and breast ; partly on the presence or absence 
of the earthy brown tint in these latter parts ; and partly on 
the size and character of the spottings or lineations on the 
black head of the females. 

After having very carefully examined all these birds, as also 
a very large series from other localities, I am bound to say that 


although, unquestionably, individuals differ inter se to a remark- 
able extent, this appears to me to be characteristic of this species, 
and I can at present discover no certain diagnosis by which these 
various birds should be separated. 

First, as to size, I find that the wings in the male vary from 
5*75 to 6-25, and the bills at front from 1*23 to 1'6; but there 
is no exact or invariable correspondence between length of bill 
and length of wing — e. g., one bird with a wing 5" 9 has a bill 
of 1*6, another with the wing 6 has the bill 1*23; two birds 
with wings respectively 5'8 and 6*1 have both of them the bills 
1*35, while another bird with the wing 5- 7 8 has a bill 1*42. 
The females have the wings equally variable, but the bills seem 
only to vary from 1 - 2 to 1*35. 

Then, as to plumage, the differences above indicated un- 
doubtedly do occur, but they occur in birds of different sizes ; 
in a word, all the differences appear to me to be individual, and 
I cannot in any way at present see my way to make more than 
one species out of them, though it is just possible that if we had 
a couple of hundred instead of fifty birds to deal with, some 
separation might be effected. 

This species, or group of sub-species, if Captain Feilden and 
Mr. Oates are correct, appears to be very common in all the dry 
forests of the Thayetmyo District. 

I may note that the specimens from the Arracan Hills are really 
different, and belong to Blytb/s species, intermedins , and have 
the wings 5*5 to 5*7, and the bills only 1*0 in front. Even 
these typical intermedins seem to grade into Shorii, so that it is 
not always easy to say where the one should begin and the other 
should end. Blytb/s diagnosis of intermedins was based upon 
diminutive size, absence of crimson tinge on the upper back, 
and the marking of the black head of the female with elongated 
white oval drops. Now in the most typical intermedins that I 
have seen, viz., a male from the Arracan Hills, the upper back is 
just as much tinged with crimson as in a huge male Shorii, with 
a wing 6'25, which I shot years ago in Kumaon. As regards the 
females, I have a huge female, the mate of the one last referred 
to, which has just the same character of long oval white drops on 
the head that the typical female intermedins from Arracan has. 
If the two are in any way separable except by size, the difference, 
I think, consists in intermedins having the mandibular band 
more strongly-marked, in having a single narrow stripe down 
the centre of the chin and throat, and in entirely wanting the 
earthy brown tinge on the throat, breast, and base of the lower 
mandible ; while in typical Shorii the mandibular stripe is less 
strongly-marked ; there are two black lines down the chin and 
throat, and the intermediate space, together with the breast, 
and the base of the lower mandible are strongly suffused with 


earthy brown. But even this diagnosis will not, I can plainly 
see, hold good invariably. I have one female before me with a 
wing of 6 and a bill of 1*25 inch; the head with small oval brown 
streaks, which, so far as the characteristics I have pointed out 
go, should be intermedin* j and I think we shall have ultimately 
to admit that the two races grade insensibly one into the other, in 
which case their specific distinctness seems questionable. 

187.— Sasia ochracea, Hodgs. 

The specimens from Pegu belong to this species, and not to 
the somewhat smaller abrornis, Temm., which entirely wants 
the pale stripe, over the posterior half of the eye and more or 
less of the ear coverts. Pegu, Tenasserim, and Arracan birds 
agree well on the whole with specimens from Hill Tij>perah, 
Darjeeling, &c. 

Mr. Oates says : c ' I shot one while pecking very hard at a 
bamboo about twenty feet from the ground. It was making a very 
loud noise, tapping incessantly for some minutes. To judge from 
appearances presented on dissection, they must breed towards the 
end of April. I observed only one specimen on the Pegu Hills, 
and should judge it to be rare, but from its size it may escape 
notice. The bird I killed, — a male, — measured : Length, 3% ; 
expanse, 625 ; tail, from vent, 0*95 ; wing, 2 ; bill, from gape, 
0'52 ; tarsus, 0*5. 

" The bill was dark brown on the upper mandible, plumbeous 
on the lower ; the inside of the mouth, dusky ; the eyelids, naked 
and very conspicuous, dusky red ; the iris, crimson ; legs, yellow- 
ish red; claws, yellowish." 

188.— Yunx torquilla, Lin. 

Captain Feilden remarks that the iris is brown marked with 
white, not blood-red as described by Jerdon. The Burmese birds 
appear to be a shade darker than Upper Indian ones, but the 
plumage of this bird is at all times very variable, so I do not 
attach any importance to this peculiarity. This species during 
part of the year appears to be very common about Thayetmyo. 

Mr. Oates says : " On the 18th September this bird came 
in in numbers. I had never observed it before. It was calling 
all clay long. This was at Boulay, a few miles south of Thayet- 

192— Megalaima Hodgsoni, Bonap. 

I class the birds from Pegu as Hodgsoni, under the assump- 
tion that there really is a distinct species, lineata, or rather that 
our Himalayan species is distinct from Vieillot's lineata. I have 
never yet seen any lineata that I could call really distinct ; and 


if , as I somewhat suspect, the Himalayan bird is not distinct, 
then of course all will stand under Vieillot's name, lineata. 

For the present, I assume that lineata is a distinct species, with 
a wing 4*5, and that it is distinguishable, as stated in the Mono- 
graph of the Capitonidse by my friends, the Messrs. Marshall, from 
Hodgsoni, by its smaller size, by the brown edgings to the feathers 
of the head and neck being deeper in color and much broader 
than in the Himalayan birds, and by the forehead being almost 
entirely brown instead of whitish as in Hodgsoni ; and I say that, 
though Blyth gives Pegu as a habitat for lineata, all the Pegu 
birds sent to me are Hodgsoni. 

If we take the true Hodgsoni from various localities, we find 
the wing varies from 5 -15 to 5*65 ; thus, taking a small selection 
of birds at random, the following are the dimensions of the 
wings : — 

Simla, 5*25 ; Kumaon, 5*65, 535 ; Gurhwal, 5-5; Dehra, 5-3 ; 
Kaladoongee, 5*4; Dacca, 5*15. 

In the Thayetmyo birds the wings vary from 5*15 to 5*4.. 
None of these, I think it is clear, can belong to the small sup- 
posed lineata, with a wing 45. Then, as to the other points of 
difference, I find that some Himalayan Hodgsoni have the fore- 
head ' ' almost entirely brown," others again have it " whitish/'' 
The same precisely is the case with the Thayetmyo birds. The 
amount of brown edgings to the feathers and the depth of the 
color of these edgings varies very greatly alike in the Himalayan 
and the Thayetmyo birds, and they are certainly not broader 
or deeper in color in the Thayetmyo than in the Himalayan birds. 
In fact, there is one Thayetmyo bird in which they are paler and 
narrower than in any single one of my large series of .Himalayan 
Hodgsoni. Further, I may note that I have a large series of 
these Barbets from Tenasserim, from Pahpoon to Tavoy, the very 
smallest of which has the wing 4-75, while in the great majority 
this varies from 4*9 to 5 "3. In these, too, some have the typical 
coloring of Hodgsoni, while in others this appears to be what is 
considered characteristic of lineata. 

On the whole, without disputing that there may be a distinguish- 
able smaller species, and that it may possibly also occur in Pegu, 
what I submit is that all the birds sent to me from Pegu are 
identical with the Himalayan bird, and must therefore, if these 
are distinct from lineata, stand as Hodgsoni. 

Mr. Oates remarks that this species is " common in the plains, 
and extremely common in the hills. Its cry is almost distressing, 
uttered as it is by dozens of them all day. Its call resembles 
' Ko-hpo ', ' Ko-hpo ', preceded, though not always, by a sort of 
screaming laugh. I do not know anything of its distribution 
west of Thayetmyo. My collectors have never brought it from the 
Arracan Hills. It is not found in the cantonments, though common 


a few miles out. A female measured : Length, 1 1 ; expanse, 
18 j tail, from vent, 3 - 6; wing", 5*3; bill, from gape, l"8b; 
tarsus, 1" 21. The feet were yellow ; claws, pale horny; eyelids 
and bare orbital skin, bright yellow ; bill, fleshy, somewhat dusky 
at the edges and paler at the gape/' 

195.— Cyanops asiatica, Lath. 

Identical with specimens from the Himalayas, Lower Bengal 
and Arracan, but averaging perhaps a little smaller. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " This species is very common on both the 
Arracan and Pegu Hills, but I have never shot it, nor even heard 
it in the forty miles of plains or undulating ground which stretch 
eastward from Thayetmyo to the foot of the Hills. It occurs in 
great numbers on the eastern slopes of the Pegu Hills nearly 
up to Tonghoo. The bird breeds, I believe, in May. It is diffi- 
cult to say whether its call should be considered to consist of 
two or three notes. 'Kotiir', 'Kotiir', represents its call pretty 
well, but often there appears to be a third indistinct note. 
The call of the smaller Barbet (cyanotis, Blyth) is distinctly two 
notes only, and is feebler and more metallic. A specimen from 
the Arracan Hills measured 9 - 8 in length, but four specimens 
from the Pegu Hills varied as follows : Length, 8" 7 to 93 ; ex- 
panse, 12 - 75 to 14; tail, from vent, 2'8 to 3"05 ; wing, 4 to 4*1 ; 
bill, from gape, 1*42 to 1'51 ; tarsus, 1'08 to 1*13. 

" The iris was reddish hazel ; the edges of eyelids, beaded dusky 
orange ; eyelids, orange brown. The inside of the mouth, dusky 
blue ; legs, pale green ; claws, greenish horny ; upper mandible, 
dark brown ; the base, greenish yellow ; the lower mandible, 
yellow, dark brown at the edges on the terminal half/'' 

197— Xantholsema hsemacephala, Mull. 

Specimens from Thayetmyo differ in no appreciable degree 
from others from all parts of India, the Malay Peninsula, and 
Sumatra. Both Mr. Oates and Captain Feilden remark that this 
species is common throughout the country. 

198 quat— Xantholsema cyanotis, Blyth. 

Mr. Oates tells us that this species is " common in the Ever- 
green Forests of the Pegu Hills. Its note is very distinct from 
that of asiatica. The bird I shot was moving about the top 
branches of a tree much as hamacephala would. It breeds, I judge, 
early in May. A male measured : Length, 6 - 7 ; expanse, 11 ; tail, 
from vent, 2-15 ; wing, 3" 2 ; bill, from gape, 1'03 ; tarsus, 0* 83. 

" The bill was black ; the inside of the mouth, bluish black ; 
eyelids and naked skin of face, dusky plumbeous; iris, dark 
brown ; legs, dull greenish yellow ; claws, black." 


The specimen from Pegu corresponds exactly with others from 
the Bhootan Dooars, Tipperah, and Dacca. This species is really 
very distinct from Duvaucelii, of which I have numerous speci- 
mens from Singapore, Malacca, and that neighbourhood. 

In the first place, the red about the face is paler, and more 
rosy ; the ear coverts are more or less of a torquoise blue, instead 
of being dusky, or blackish green as in Duvaucelii. The bristles 
of the bill, long as they are, are not nearly so long as in Du- 
vaucelii, and none of my specimens exhibit the conspicuous black 
gular band which seems to characterize the adults of Duvau- 

The adults of the present species have the lores and a narrow, 
more or less inconspicuous, line at the base of the forehead ; a 
narrow line over the eye not extending beyond it ; a more or less 
broad band over the crown ; the ear coverts and the entire chin 
and throat, a dull torquoise blue, more or less tinged greenish on 
the coronal band. The forehead, and a spot at the base of the 
lower mandible, black ; a broad line under the eye, rosy, or pale 
dull vermillion. A line under the ear coverts from behind the 
black mandibular spot, and a line over the ear coverts from 
behind the posterior angle of the eye, a dull rosy crimson ; some- 
times these lines widen out posteriorly and unite behind the 
ear coverts, sometimes they do not. The entire upper surface, 
a dark grass green. The first two primaries, and the inner 
webs of all the rest of the primaries and secondaries, deep 
hair-brown. The shoulder of the wing, tinged bluish, the 
lateral tail feathers, with a strong bluish tint. Breast, green, with 
more or less of a golden tinge ; in some specimens with more or 
less of a ruddy tint, just below the blue throat. The rest of the 
lower parts, dull pale green, with a yellowish tinge at times on the 
lower tail coverts. Wing lining and the inner margins of the basal 
portion of the quills, pale yellowish white. One specimen ex- 
hibits traces of an imperfect dark blue band near the base of the 

In younger birds, the black frontal patch is only indicated ; the 
coronal band is not defined at all, and the whole crown and 
occiput are a dull dark bluish green, or greenish blue, shading off 
gradually into the green of the back. 

199— Cuculus canorus, Lin. 

I have as yet only seen one specimen of the European Cuckoo 
from Upper Pegu. This was shot in November by Mr. Raikes 
at Prome. It is a young bird ; in the barred upper plumage, 
only the rump being pure ashy. It is rather small, the wing 
being only about 7*8 j but this is not very exceptional for a male 
of the year, although they are generally, I think, fully 8 inches. 


203.— Cuculus micropterus, Gould. 

Specimens from Pegu are identical with the bird that we call 
micropterus, Gould ; a perfectly distinct species common through- 
out Lower and Eastern Bengal, and even up into the lower valleys 
of the Himalayas in Sikhim, Bhootan, and Assam, and distin- 
guished at once from saturates of Hodgson, which I identify with 
striates, Drapiez, by its huge bill, which is fully as large as that 
of Hierococcyx sparveroides. 

Mr. Oates says that this species is " common everywhere, but 
less so in the plains than in the hills ; its note is double and very 
melodious, and answers well to that described by Colonel Tytler 
in the Ibis for 1868. It generally selects the topmost bough of 
a tree — a dead one by preference — and remains calling there for a 
quarter of an hour or more. A male I shot measured : Length, 
I3'3; expanse, 23'5 ; tail, from vent, 7; wing, 8'25 ; bill, from 
gape, 1*35; tarsus, - 92. A female measured: Length, 12*4; 
expanse, 21; tail, from vent, 62; wing, 7' 6; bill, from gape, 
1-3 ; tarsus, 089. 

" The irides are rich brown ; the eyelids, greenish plumbeous ; 
the edges, swollen and deep yellow ; the inside of the mouth, fleshy 
red ; gape, yellow ; a small portion of the upper mandible under 
the nostril, and the greater portion of the lower mandible, dull 
green ; the remainder of the bill, blackish horny ; legs, a soft, 
deep, yellow ; claws, dark horny/'' 

It will be observed that the male is the species referred to by 
Jerdon, No. 204, Vol. I, p. 328, as Cuculus striatus, Drapiez, and 
which, if it were distinct, would stand as affinis, Hay ; while the 
female is the bird referred to by Jerdon as No. 203, Cuculus mi- 
cropterus. These two numbers, 203 and 204, are the two sexes 
of the same species. It will be observed that I consider that the 
smaller-billed bird which says " Kyj)kul-puk/ia" (or " the Kyphul 
fruit is ripe "), which has been called saturatus by Hodgson, and 
liimalayanus by Vigors and Blyth, and which we got at the 
Nicobars and heard at the Andamans, is the true striatus of 
Drapiez; while the huge-billed bird which says " Bho-kutha-kho" 
is, I assume, to stand as micropterus. The true synonomy of 
these species is, and may perhaps always remain, somewhat 
doubtful ; anyhow, it will be understood that the Pegu birds are 
the large-billed ones. 

I ought here to notice that Captain Feilden mentions having 
killed two specimens of a Bay-banded Cuckoo, answering fairly 
well to Jerdon's description of Cuculus sonnerati, but measur- 
ing only 8 inches in length. This was at the beginning of the 
rains ; later he procured two more in November, one of which 
contained a nearly perfect bluish grey egg. This may have been 
the hepatic stage of tenuirostris, but I hardly think so, as 


Captain Fielden was well acquainted with that bird, and I 
therefore mention the fact to draw the attention of observers in 
Upper Pegu to the circumstance. 

207.— Hierococcyx sparveroides, Vigors. 

In Part VIII of the Birds of Asia, Mr. Gould figures a Cuculus 
strenuus, which he considers distinct from the present species. " In 
outward appearance/'' he says, " this species so closely resembles 
Cuculus sparveroides, that one description would nearly serve for 
both ; but in size it so far exceeds that bird, as well as every other 
true Cuckoo that I have yet seen, that I have no doubt of its 
being distinct." Mr. Gould's specimen was from Manilla, and he 
notes the dimensions at: Length, 155; bill, 1*25; wing, 9 - 37 ; 
tail 9. 

My museum had long been packed up, and when I obtained a 
specimen — length, 16"25 ; wing, over 9 ; and bill, 1*45 inches from 
gape — I thought I had an undoubted specimen of Cuculus strenuus, 
and notified Thayetmyo as another locality for this species. Having 
now, however, examined my whole series, I find that even the Hima- 
layan birds vary from 14 to 1525 in length; that the wings 
vary from 8*5 to 9 - 25, and the bills from 1*18 to 135; and that 
the Thayetmyo specimen, though somewhat longer, and with a 
stouter bill, has not so long a wing as some of the Darjeeling 
birds. One of the Darjeeling birds is quite as fine and large a 
specimen as the one Mr. Gould figures as strenuus, and indeed, 
except that his artist has puffed the throat out a little too much, 
might have been the specimen figured ; strenuus must therefore, 
I fear, now be relegated to the limbo of synonymes. 

Mr. Oates says : " This bird, if I have rightly identified it, is 
extremely common in the hills, but rarely found in the plains. It 
calls chiefly in the mornings and evenings, often long after dark ; 
towards sunset it utters two exquisitely melodious whistling notes, 
very different to anything contained in its usual song. A male 
measured: Length, 16*35 ; expanse, 26; tail, from vent, 8*4; 
wing, 9-1; bill, from gape, T45; tarsus, 1. The legs and feet 
were deep yellow ; gape, bright yellow ; upper mandible from the 
nostrils to the tip, deep brown, there being a narrow darker brown 
streak from the nostrils, in a line with the closed gape ; lower 
mandible, horn color, darker on the edges and tip; iris, dull 
yellow ; eyelids, bright yellow ; claws, flesh color/'' 

A specimen sent by Captain Feilden, also a male, is very simi- 
lar in size and in every other respect. 

209.— Ololygon tenuirostris, Gray. 

Mr. Oates sent a specimen, unfortunately destroyed in transit, 
which I believe to have belonged to this species, which I know 


occurs in Pegu. The specimen was so entirely destroyed in 
transit that I cannot be absolutely certain of the species. Captain 
Feilden sent specimens of this species, which are precisely identi- 
cal with those I have from Dacca. He remarks : " I believe that 
this bird remains at Thayetmyo throughout the year, but I do not 
distinctly remember it in April and May. There are either two 
varieties of this bird, or its winter plumage is much duller than 
its summer garb. Those I send you were shot in January. I 
have frequently found what I suppose to be the egg of this bird, 
in the nest of a little Tailor Bird (not the common one) , whose 
name is unknown to me." Doubtless, the Tailor Bird referred to 
was one of the Prinias, as they are all Tailor Birds so far as the 
construction of the nest is concerned. 

211 Ms.— Chalcococcyx xanthorhynchus, Horsf. 

Mr. Oates sends me a single specimen of a young Cuckoo in 
the hepatic stage, which I identify as above. The bill corresponds 
•precisely, though slightly smaller, as would be the case in quite a 
young specimen; the wings are only 3*75. The feet appear to 
have been pale fleshy, and the plumage is somewhat different 
to any stage of that species with which I am accmainted. 

The whole head and neck all round is pale, rusty rufous, with 
broad longitudinal blackish brown streaks ; the rest of the upper 
plumage is hair brown. The primaries, unspotted; the secondaries, 
tertiaries, and four central tail feathers, with a series of large 
triangular rufous spots on the marginal halves of the webs, 
imperfect bars, in fact not reaching to the shafts. The lateral tail 
feathers, coverts, scapulars, back and upper tail covers, broadly 
barred with the same dull rufous. Breast, abdomen, vent, and 
lower tail coverts, dull white, here and there tinged fulvous, and 
regularly barred with not very well-defined dull greyish-brown 
bands. This is not a nestling bird, and is certainly not, I 
think, the young of any other known Indian Cuckoo ; and if 
it does not belong to this species, it must, I think, be new. It 
was obtained at Chinzouk, and measured 6*95 inches in length 
in the flesh. This species has been already described ; vol. 
II., p. 191. 

Mr. Oates notes that this is the only specimen that he has met 

212.— Oxyloplms jacobinus, Bodd. 

This appears to be a common species about Thayetmyo, whence 
it has been sent by both Captain Feilden and Mr. Oates. The 
latter remarks : " A few may always be seen near the rifle range ; 
to the eastward, it extends to the foot of the hills, and south- 
wards I have observed it as far as eighteen miles below Prome. 


It is generally met with in pairs, but live or six may some- 
times be seen tog-ether. It appears to feed by preference on the 
ground, or on very low bushes." Captain Feilden says : " I 
rather fancy this bird lays two eggs in the same nest, as I have 
seen a pair of nestlings seated on the same branch. I have 
often seen this bird hawking moths, just as a Drongo might 
have done." 

213.— Coccystes coromandus, Lin. 

The Pegu specimens are absolutely identical with those from 
different parts of India, from the extreme south to the Hima- 

Mr. Oates says : " This species, though widely distributed, is not 
common. A male I shot measured: Length, 15*6; expanse, 1 9; 
tail, from vent, 9*8; wing, 6*45; bill, from gape, 1*3 ; tarsus, 
T09. The bill was black, the inside of mouth, rufous fleshy; 
The iris, hazel ; the eyelids, dusky plumbeous ; feet, clear plum- 
beous ; claws, bluish horny." 

Captain Feilden remarks : " This bird is the commonest 
Cuckoo at Thayetmyo ; in the thicker parts of the jungle every 
bamboo-filled valley contains one or more pairs. They arrive in 
the beginning of the rains, and the young birds do not leave till 
October. They lay in the nest of the Quaker Thrushes I be- 
lieve, as I have frequently shot the young bird from the middle 
of a brood of young Quaker Thrushes, and as far as I could see 
from the thickness of the jungle, the old thrushes were feeding the 
young Cuckoo. An egg taken from the nest of a Quaker Thrush 
that I believe to have belonged to this bird, was very round and a 
pale blue. I believe that this bird keeps some kind of watch 
over its eggs, as a pair have sometimes seated themselves near me 
uttering a harsh, grating, whistling scream very unlike their usual 
Magpie-like chatter, and I afterwards found a young Cuckoo in 
company with a flock of Thrushes that were constantly to be 
found in that bamboo clump." 

214 bis, — Eudynamis malayana, Cab. 

The Pegu bird is the larger, and much more powerful billed 
race which Lord Walden identifies with malayana of Cabanis. 
This is the same bird we met with throughout the Andamans 
and Nicobars ; and in treating of the Avi-f auna of these islands, I 
have sufficiently discussed this species; {vide Stray Feathers, 
1874, p. 192). 

Mr. Oates remarks : " The Malayan Coel is very common at 
certain seasons. Its cry is heard only from the beginning of 
March to the middle of May, and at this time it is extremely 
abundant ; but from June to February, I have never seen or shot 


a single bird. I fancy they come here only to breed. The 
oviduct of a female shot on the 12th April contained a fully 
formed egg-. On the Pegu Hills I found it sparingly in 
April. The sexes appear to be much the same size. The follow- 
ing is a resume of the measurements of four specimens of both 
sexes, by far the smallest, as well as the largest bird being 
males — ■ 

" Length, 15-6 to 17 ; expanse, 237 to 24'5 ; tail, from vent, 
7-4 to 8-15; wing, 7*8 to 8; bill, from gape, 1'52 to 167 ; 
tarsus, 1*2 to 1*5. 

" The bill is dull green, dusky at gape, and black about the 
nostrils ; the irides, bright crimson j the eyelids, pinkish brown ; 
legs and feet, plumbeous ; claws, dark horny/'' 

215.— Zanclostomus tristis, Less. 

Birds from Thayetmyo and Upper Pegu, like others from 
near Rangoon, Tenasserim, and Arracan, are undistinguishable 
from specimens procured iu the Sub-Himalayan ranges from 
Dehra Dhoon eastwards. 

Mr. Oates remarks that " this species appears to be spread 
sparingly over the whole country, but is nowhere very common. 
The following are the colors of the soft parts of a male which 
I shot in September : bill, bright green, pinkish about the 
nostrils ; bare skin round the eyes, and edges of eyelids, purplish 
red ; iris, hazel ; inside of mouth, dusky ; feet, greenish slaty ; 
claws, dark brown.'" 

217 qtiat— Centrococcyx eurycercus, Bay. 

In my brief notes on a few birds from Acheen (Stray Feathers, 
1873, p. 453), I discussed this little sub-group of Coucals which 
have the whole of the interscapulary region rufous, and I men- 
tioned that there were three noticeable races, and that the 
Thayetmyo birds belonged to the race which, if held worthy of 
specific distinction, should stand as intermedins. I also noticed 
that, though retaining Hay's name for the present, I was inclined 
to believe that the Javan and Sumatran birds would prove 
identical, in which case eurycercus must give place to bubutus, 
Horsf . I have not yet a sufficiently larg-e series from a sufficient 
number of localities to decide whether the three races, 
C. eurycercus (vel bubutus f) , C. maximus, and C. intermedins, 
do really deserve specific separation. 

In regard to the Pegu birds, Mr. Oates remarks : " This bird 
is common j I found it nearly up to the summits of the Pegu 
Hills, on the western, but not on the eastern, slopes. A female 
killed on the 11th of May, showed no signs of breeding. She 
measured: Length, 194; expanse, 235 ; tail, from vent, 100; 


wing, 7'9; bill, from gape, 1'77; tarsus, 2*55. The irides were 
red ; the eyelids, purplish brown ; bill, black ; as also the feet and 

218.— Centrococcyx bengalensis, Gmel. 

]\Ir. Oates says that " in Upper Pegu this species is, during 
nine months of the year, rather an uncommon bird ; it appears to 
like swampy ground ; grasshoppers appear to be its favorite food. 

" They appeared, however, at the end of July in large numbei-s 
round my house at Boulay. Some seven or eight would be call- 
ing at once from the tops of the highest trees. Their call is 
very peculiar, f hoop, hoop, hoop, kurrook, kurrook, kurrook/ 
The first note is almost invariably repeated three times, the last up 
to six or seven. I shot a female in the act of calling, so I fancy 
both sexes call. About the 15th September a few only were 
calling, and the bird appeared to become altogether rarer. About 
the middle of October I left Boulay to come here ^Prome) , and 
then I lost sight of them. I did not succeed in finding their 
nests. Ovaria on the 7th September, very large." 

He sends two specimens both in the striped plumage, and 
remarks : " I do not understand the great difference of size, and in 
the color of the iris, &c, in these two specimens. They were both 
females, and are very similar in plumage; the first was shot on the 
24th November; it measured : Length, 14*5 ; expanse, 18*8 ; tail, 
from vent, 8; wing, 6; bill, from gape, 1 # 2; tarsus, 1*68. This 
had the eyelids bluish grey ; the iris, umber brown. The gape, 
base of lower mandible and region of nostrils, pinkish fleshy ; 
the remainder of bill, black ; legs, plumbeous brown ; claws, dark 

" The second was shot on the 13th March ; it measured : Length, 
15*7 ; expanse, 20*6 ; tail, from vent, 8*45 ; wing, 6" 7 ; bill from 
gape, 135 ; tarsus, 1*92. This had the iris sickly yellow; bill, 
coffee brown, paler near the margin, and fleshy on part of the 
lower mandible." 

Now, I myself am disposed to believe that one of these was 
a male, but there are many points in regard to this species 
which require fuller investigation. I personally have had no 
opportunity of working out the question, but my friend Mr. 
F. B. Simson, so long Commissioner of Dacca, where this species 
abounds, and who supplied me with an enormous series of them 
in every stage of plumage, assured me that the striped plumage 
was seasonal, and not dependent upon age, as is generally 
thought. That at one season every bird shot was in the striped 
plumage, at another all were in the black and rufous plumage. 
I can offer no opinion on the subject myself, but only desire 
to draw attention to the question, as one deserving full investi- 


223 ter,— Arachnothera aurata, Blyth. 

A good many species of this genus are found within our limits, 
and though several of these occur only towards the south of 
the Tenasserim Provinces, it may he convenient to state concisely, 
how they may be most readily distinguished — 

1. Strongly and 

Lower surface 

Wing about 

A. magna, 


broadly striated. 

3-5 (m). 


A. Upper sur- 
face striated. 

on entire back. 
2. Faintly, al- 

Lower surface 

Wing about 

A. aurata, 

most or entire- 

with narrower 

3-25 (»). 


ly obsolete on 


lower back. 


3. Throat and 

Wing about 

A. modest a, 

breast faintly 




4. Throat and 

Chin and throat 

Wing about 

A. pusilla, 

breast unstri- 

white, no bright 



B. Upper sur- 


yellow about 

face unstriat- « 

5. Ditto 

A conspicuous yel- 

Wing about 

A. flaviff as- 


low ring round 


ter, Eyton. 

the eye. 

6. Ditto 

A conspicuous yel- 

Wing about 

A. chrysoge- 


low eyebrow, 


nys, Tern. 

and mandibular 


Besides these, there is A. Thayrii, Blyth, whether distinct 
from aurata or not, I cannot say ; non vidi.* 

In regard to the present species, Mr. Oates remarks : "Very 
common on the Pegu Hills, and not uncommon in the plains ; I 
lately saw a specimen on the banks of the Irrawaddy, near 
Thayetmyo. It is not met with in large quantities till the 
Evergreen Forests are reached : it has a curious habit of stretching 
out its neck when perching, to such an extent as to appear 
about to over-balance itself. A male that I shot measured : 
Length, 7*1 j wing, 3-25; bill, from gape, 1*6 ■ & female 
measured, length, 6'45; expanse, 9*5; tail, from vent, 1*7 ■ wing, 
2-95; bill, from gape, T48; tarsus, - 8; bill, black; margin of 
lower mandible, yellow ; inside of mouth and claws, yellow ; iris, 
brown ; eyelids, plumbeous ; legs and feet, waxy orange/'' 

This species is very close to A. magna, but differs apparently in 
its smaller size, sex for sex, in the greater narrowness of the 
striations of the under-surface, and the almost entire absence of 
these on the back. The shoulder of the wing is also, Mr. Blyth 
originally pointed out, somewhat brighter-colored than in magna. 

* No specimen of this appears to be in the Calcutta Museum. 


In both magna and apparently aurata the females are con- 
siderably smaller than the males, and the female magna further 
differs in just the same particulars from its male, though perhaps 
not quite to a like extent, that male aurata does. I am not 
prepared to say how this latter and female magna are to be sepa- 
rated, where the sexes have not been ascertained. 

In aurata the forehead, crown, occiput and nape, are bright, 
somewhat golden, olive green ; each feather with a somewhat tri- 
angular, black shaft stripe ; lores, cheeks, and ear coverts, browner 
and duller-colored. The rest of the upper parts, colored much like 
the head, but the feathers of the back and sides of the neck and 
upper back, with excessively narrow darkish brown shaft-stripes; 
those of the middle and lower back, and upper tail coverts are 
almost or entirely streakless. Inner webs of coverts and quills 
and tail feathers, hair brown. All the tail feathers, with a subter- 
minal dark band, beyond which all the lateral tail feathers have 
a pale patch on the inner web, more and more conspicuous as 
the feathers recede from the centre. Chin, throat, breast, 
abdomen and sides, dull white, more or less tinged with yellow 
or olive green, every feather with a narrow central shaft stripe, 
scarcely wider, as Mr. Blyth pointed out in the original descrip- 
tion than the shafts themselves. Lower tail coverts, pale yellow, 
with more or less of a brown shaft stripe, and a pale brownish 
patch a little inside the tip. Wing limn"-, white or yellowish 
white ; edge of the wing, rather bright yellow ; axillaries some- 
times the same, sometimes yellowish white. 

233 bis, — CKalcoparia cingalensis, Gm. 

Though not appai'ently obtained by Mr. Oates or Captain 
Feilden, this species was sent from Tonghoo by Sir Arthur 
Phayre, and I have received it from other localities within our 
limits. It is very common in the Tipperah District, from 
whence, as well as from Malacca, Tenasserim, Dacca, and Assam, 
I have received many specimens. 

The dimensions of this species taken, in the flesh, are as fol- 
lows : — Male : Length, 3' 7 ; wing, 2" 2 ; tail, from vent, 1*6 ; tarsus, 
0"6; bill, at front, 0"5. Female: Length, 3'8; expanse, 53; tail, 
13 ; wing, 2 ; bill, at front, 0*55 ; tarsus, 0"58 ; weight, from 120 
to 140 grains. 

Bill, black ; legs, feet, and claws, green, or dusky green. In the 
male, the whole of the top and back of the head, back scapulars, 
lesser and median wing coverts, and upper tail coverts, brilliant 
metallic green, more emerald in some, slightly more golden in 
others ; the rump, moderately dark olive green ; the ear coverts, 
a rich ruddy metallic purple, (whence Temminck's name phceni- 
cotis) , below these a narrow stripe commencing in the middle 
of the lower margin of the eye, and broadening somewhat lower 


down on the sides of the throat, bright metallic violet purple ; 
the chin and throat, dull pale ferruginous ; the rest of the lower 
parts, bright yellow ; only the upper part of the breast, slightly 
tinged with this same dull ferruginous color. The quills and 
their greater coverts, hair brown ; the latter, at least those of the 
secondaries, margined on their exterior webs with dark metallic 
green ; wing-lining, axillaries, and the inner margins of the 
inner webs of the quills towards their bases, silky white, with 
a faint yellowish tinge. Tail, black or blackish brown; the 
feathers, margined on their outer webs with bright metallic 
emerald g'reen. 

The female entirely wants the metallic colors of the male ; the 
lower parts are much as in the male, but slightly paler ; the top 
and back of the head, cheeks, ear coverts, lesser and median 
coverts, back scapulars and upper tail coverts, dull green, brighten- 
ing somewhat on the upper tail coverts ; quills and their greater 
coverts and their rectrices, hair brown ; the feathers, margined on 
their outer webs, and in the case of the tertiaries and central 
tail feathers, more or less suffused everywhere with olive green. 

234.— Arachnecthra asiatica, Lin. 

Specimens from Thayetmyo, at least those few that I have seen, 
have been remarkable by the entire absence of any greenish 
gloss in any light ; whereas Indian asiaticce are more or less 
glossed in certain lights with green. I do not know whether 
this peculiarity is accidental or constant. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " Very common about us. Birds in black 
plumage are the rule here, the so-called winter plumage being 
rarely seen. Several that I measured, varied as follows : Length, 
4'3 to 4'6 ; expanse, 6*6to6 - 9; tail, from vent, 1'35 to 1*4; 
wing, 2-1 to 2-2; bill, from gape, 0*8 to 0-82 ; tarsus, 0-57 to 0-6. 
Legs and feet, black ; claws, dark horny ; irides, hazel ; eyelids, 

236.— Dicseum cruentatum, Lin. 

Captain Feilden obtained this species at Thayetmyo. 

Captain Feilden also mentions : " A common Honey-Sucker 
with a green head, purple tail coverts and yellow breast," which 
must, I fancy, be (232) Leptocoma zeylonica, Lin. 

I may add that Mr. Blanford also got JD. cruentatum at 

250.— Sitta neglecta, Walden? 

The Thayetmyo birds that I have seen, though nearer to castaneo- 
verdris than any other which I know, are not — at least the few that 


I have seen — precisely identical with the specimens of this species 
that I have from various parts of India. They are rather larger 
than castaneoventrls, but not so large as cinnamomeoventris ; and 
if the specimens which I have received are correctly sexed, the 
coloring is nearer that of the latter species than of the former : 
for instance, the male, instead of having the chin and upper 
throat pure white, and the rest of the lower parts deep chestnut, 
has the whole chin, throat, and upper breast, greyish white, and 
the rest of the lower parts dull pale ferruginous, deepening 
towards the vent. Moreover, the lower tail coverts are not slaty 
blue, broadly fringed with ferruginous or chestnut, but are 
pale brown, broadly edged with white or yellowish or rufous 

Although in some points our birds do not agree over- well with 
his description, e. g., in the color of the lower tail coverts, I 
think I can hardly be wrong in referring them to Lord Walden's 
Nuthatch which he thus described in Ann. & Mag. op Natural 
History, 1870, p. 218:— 

" Above, pale slate color ; stripe from nostrils, through 
the eyes to nape, black ; lores, supercilium, cheeks, chin, and 
base of primaries, white ; throat, tawny white ; breast, . pale 
rufous, deepening into dark rusty on remainder of lower 
surface ; under tail coverts, white, with narrow, rusty edgings ; 
middle rectrices, uniform slate color ; wing, 3 inches ; bill, 
£ inch. 

"Three examples of this Nuthatch were obtained from the 
Karen Hills of the Tonghoo District, Burmah. It differs from 
its nearest ally, S. Hmalaijensis, J. and S., by its much stouter 
and longer bill, by the deep ferruginous tint of the under surface, 
and by the absence of a white spot on the basal half of the 
middle rectrices/" 

Mr. Oates remarks : " This species is common in the plains, but 
on the Pegu Hills it is entirely replaced by D. frontalis. Two 
males measured: Length, 5 '4 to 5*5; expanse, 9 - l to 9*8; tail, 
from vent, 1*55 to 1*7 ; wing, 3*1 to 3'25 ; bill, from gape, 
0-88 to 0-9 ; tarsus, 0-75. 

" A female measured : Length, 5*15 ; expanse, 9*3 ; tail, from 
vent, 1*45 ; wing, 2"95 ; bill, from gape, - 86; tarsus, - 75. 

"This latter was killed on the 16th March, and the ova were 
largely developed. 

" The colors of the soft parts vary somewhat. In one, the iris 
was pinkish hazel, and the eyelids bluish grey ; in another, hazel 
brown and brownish grey. In the first, the upper mandible was 
bluish black ; the basal one-fourth of culmen, bluish white ; lower 
mandible, pale blue. In others, the upper mandible from nostrils 
to tip, and tip and margins of lower mandible, dark brown ; 
the rest of the bill, pale bluish ; legs, plumbeous in the one. 


plumbeous brown in the others ; claws, bluish in the former, 
brownish horny in the others." 

253.— Dendrophila corallina, Bodgs. 

Mr. Gray makes two species, I), frontalis, Horsf., from Java, 
Sumatra, Borneo, Burmah ; and corallina, Hodgson, from Nepal, 
Ceylon, and Pegu. The former is, I understand, a smaller bird, 
with a differently colored bill ; bnt I do not exactly know how 
it is proposed to distinguish Pegu and Burmah. Used in a 
general sense, Burmah includes the Arracan, Pegu, and Tenas- 
serim Divisions ; used in a more restricted sense, it refers to Pegu 
and Independent Burmah north of Pegu. As a matter of fact, 
the Pegu birds, as well as those from Tenasserim, at least as far 
south as Tavoy, are, it appears to me, inseparable from others, 
which I have from Ceylon, the Nilghiris, the Central Provinces, 
and various localities in the Himalayas. 

Mr. Oates says : " Appears to replace our common Nuthatch 
of the plains on the PegTi Hills. It is very common, going 
about in flocks of five or six. Four males that I measured varied 
as follows : — 

"Length, 4*9 to 5*0; expanse, 8*7 to 9; tail, from vent, 
1*7 to 1-8; wing, 2*75 to 3; bill, from gape, 063 to 071; tarsus, 
0*68 to 0*70. In two specimens the irides were yellow; eyelids, 
plumbeous ; bill, coral red ; inside of mouth, red ; feet, pinkish 
brown ; claws, pale horny. 

" In two other specimens shot in company with the former, the 
bill was black pinkish at the gape and nostrils, the irides dark 
brown, and the legs brownish grey ; these latter were shot, I 
may mention, early in April, which seems early for young 
birds to be about, and on the other hand late for them not 
to have assumed full plumage; but I suppose they must be 

I myself have no doubt that the black-billed birds are young 
ones, but then the question suggests itself is frontalis, really 
distinct ? If so, can it have been young black-billed specimens 
of corallina which led to Burmah being assigned as a locality 
for frontalis ? 

It will be noticed that these Thayetmyo birds run slightly 
smaller than our Indian birds, males of which average about : 
Length, 5*3 ; expanse, 9*9; tail from vent, T9; wings, 3' 15 ; 
while the females are perhaps a trifle smaller ; but in no other 
respect that I can discover is there the smallest difference. 

254 bis. — TJpupa longirostris, Jerdon. 

Whether this species is a good one may be doubtful ; in size 
typical males equal or exceed Upupa epops, but arc more rufous, 



absolutely want even a trace of white upon the crest, which 
nigripennis, Gould, our commonest Indian Hoopoe, often has, and 
have bills incomparably larger than this latter species. I have 
seen no specimen of epops with a bill more than 2*3 inches; the 
largest nigripennis bill that I have yet noticed was 2*1 inches : the 
bill of one specimen of the present species sent by Captain Feilden 
measures 2*5 from forehead to point. The bill of the male 
Hoopoes are always longer than those of the females ; but, sex 
for sex, I believe that typical longirostris (a quite young bird, a 
female, sent by Mr. Oates, has the bill at front 2*2) will be found 
always to have a bill conspicuously longer than epops, from which, 
moreover, it is further separated by the entire absence of white 
on the crest, while from nigripennis its much greater size at 
once divides it. 

But then my experience is, that the majority of the birds 
are not typical, but intermediate forms, which it is very hard to 
separate from nigripennis. 

As for the absence or presence of the white spot upon the first 
primary on which Dr. Jerdon lays some stress, it is worthless 
as a diagnosis of all three species ; specimens of each are before 
me exhibiting the spot on both first primaries, on one of them 
only, and lastly on neither of them. 

Mr. Oates remarks: "This species is common in the plains 
throughout the year, but is, or seems to be, most numerous in 
February and March, when I presume it breeds, because it is 
then incessantly calling." 

260 bis.-— Lanins hypoleucos, JBlgth—( Journal, 
As. Soc, Bengal, 1848, XVII, p t 249). 

This species appears to be common throughout the province of 
Pegu, and it has been sent from the northern portions of the 
Tenasserim provinces. 

Length, 7*5 to 8; wing, 2*3; tail, 3*5 to 3' 75; bill, at front, 
- 45 ; from gape, 0'8 ; tarsus, nearly 1. 

Bill, blackish brown, yellowish fleshy at gape and base of 
lower mandible. Forehead, orbital region, and ear coverts, black- 
ish ; crown, back, and sides of the head and neck, dark slaty grey 
to dull ashy; back, scapulars, rump, and upper tail coverts, deep 
maroon ; in faded specimens, ferruginous chestnut ; wdng, blackish 
to pale dingy hair-brown. Primaries and secondaries narrowly 
margined on their outer webs with white, which becomes more 
and more rufescent as the feathers approach the tertials ; tertials 
broadly, and coverts less broadly, margined with ferruginous. A 
conspicuous white speculum at the base of the fifth to the tenth 
primaries, narrowest on the fifth, and increasing in breadth to the 
tenth. The two exterior tail feathers on each side, pure white ; 
shafts, darker ; the next on each side, with the tips and generally 


more or less of the outer webs, white ; the rest of the inner webs 
blackish, or in abraded specimens dull brown ; the rest of the 
tail feathers, blackish, or, as above, dull brown, very narrowly- 
tipped with white or rufous white ; entire lower parts, pure white, 
with only a faint, rosy, or ruf escent tinge on the sides and flanks, 
scarcely visible except in good specimens. 

I do not think that this species has ever before been described, 
but Mr. Blyth (loc. cit.) pointed out that it differs from L. 
vittatm, Dum=Z. Hardwlckii, Vigors — (1<^), in having the entire 
crown nigrescent, passing gradually from the black of the forehead 
to the dark ashy of the nape, the ear coverts being uniformly 
colored with the feathers superiorly adjacent; (2nd), in having 
the rump and upper tail coverts of the same deep maroon color as 
the back and scapularies; (3rd), in the much greater develop- 
ment of the ferruginous margins of the great wing coverts and 
tertiaries ; and (4>t/i) , in having the under parts uniformly white, 
a little subdued, and tinged with a very faint bluish, but having 
no trace of rufous on the flanks and elsewhere. 

Mr. Oates says : ' ' The White-bellied Shrike is common, except 
from the end of the cold-weather to the end of July, or there- 
abouts. It apparently goes away to breed. I did not find it in 
the Pegu Hills during this interval. A specimen shot on the 
15th March was apparently about to breed. It has the usual 
habits of Shrikes, and is very fond of perching on telegraph posts 
and wires like so many other birds. It comes in abundantly 
about the 15th July; at least this was what I observed during 
two successive years. A male that I shot measured : Length, 8 ; 
expanse, 11; tail, from vent, 3*95; wing, 3*5; bill, from gape, 
0*82 ; tarsus, l'O. 

"The irides are pale reddish brown ; the eyelids, bluish grey; bill, 
black; gape and greater portion of lower mandible, fleshy grey; 
legs, plumbeous; claws, horny." 

261.— Lanius cristatus, Lin. 

Specimens from Thayetmyo are precisely similar to those 
from other parts of Eastern India and the Himalayas. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " This species is by no means common 
during the greater portion of the year, but about the middle of 
September it comes in in great numbers, and is then rather shy 
and. very noisy. It spreads at this time over the whole district ; 
and even now in November, in the large town of Prome, one is 
generally to be seen in my compound. Later on in the year (and 
I am not sure that they do not entirely disappear during the hot- 
weather and rains) I have seen but few in the district ; hypoleucos 
is the only common Shrike. A male I shot measured : Length, 
7*5; expanse, 10-6; tail, from vent, 3-6; wing, 3*45 ; bill, from 
gape, 0*89; tarsus, 1. 


" Bill at gape and the greater portion of the lower mandible, 
pale plumbeous, with a pinkish tinge ; whole upper mandible and 
tip of lower, blackish horny ; irides, dark brown ; eyelids, greyish ; 
legs, dark brown ; claws, horny.'" 

263.— Tephrodornis pelvica, Hodgs. 

Specimens from Thayetmyo are precisely identical with others 
from Nipal, Bhootan, Tipperah, &c. 

Dr. Jerdon does not notice that there is a considerable differ- 
ence in the sexes in this species. The males have the whole bill 
black ; the females have the base and gape of both mandibles 
flesh-colored. The males have a band extending from the culmen 
on either side through the lores, eyes and ear coverts, jet black ; 
and the whole of the upper part of the head inside these stripes, 
ashy grey. The females want this black stripe entirely, and 
merely have the ear coverts a little darker than the brown of the 
head, and have the whole of the top of the head unicolorous with the 
back, only the shafts of the feathers being a slightly darker brown. 

Mr. Oates remarks: "The Nipal Wood-Shrike, as Jerdon 
calls it, is not uncommon in the plains, and is very common in 
the Evergreen Forests. It goes in flocks, and has a melodious 
call. A male measured: Length, 8*1; expanse, 13*5; tail, from 
vent, 3*4; wing, 4*6; bill, from gape, 1*24; tarsus, 08. 

" The bill, black ; eyelids, dark plumbeous ; irides, a sickly 
yellow ; legs, plumbeous brown ; claws, dark horny. 

" Three females varied: Length, 8*35 to 8*7; expanse, 14*2; 
tail, from vent, 3*5 j wing, 4*5 to 4"65 ; bill, from gape, 1*15 to 
1-18 ; tarsus, 0-83 to 0-86. 

" Soft parts, as in the males, but the bill is paler, and the gape 
and base of both mandibles flesh-colored." 

265.— Tephrodornis pondiceriana, Gm. 

The specimens from Thayetmyo, of which I have received 
several, seem to average slightly smaller than those from any 
other part of India, but they are not otherwise distinguishable ; 
and as I have already noticed (Stray Feathers, 1873, p. 443) this 
species is one that varies locally very widely, and of which the 
numerous races grade one into the other from Ceylon to Sindh, 
and Sindh to Thayetmyo. 

Mr. Oates remarks: "The Common Wood-Shrike is often seen, 
but generally singly ; occasionally it seats itself in the topmost 
bough of a tree, and sings a well-connected and rather pretty 
song. This I heard at the end of April. It is generally dis- 
tributed ; but I cannot remember if I met with it on the eastern 
slopes of the hills. The white eye streak is much more developed 
in our birds here than in a specimen I have from Kutch." 


267.— Hemipus picatus, Sykes. 

Specimens, male and female, (the latter being, as already 
noticed, Stray Feathers, 1873, p. 435, the supposed capitalis of 
McClelland,) sent from Thayetmyo, differ in no respect from 
others from various parts of India, from Ceylon to Nipal. 

Mr. Oates says : " I shot a pair about ten miles due east of 
Thayetmyo, and met with it again in the Evergreen Forest. It is 
not at all common : the sexes do not appear to differ in size. Speci- 
mens of both measured: Length, 5*35 to 5'45 ; expanse, 7*6; 
tail, from vent, 2'3 to 2'4; wing, 2*3 to 2*4; bill, from 
gape, 0-7. 

" A male had the bill black ; the inside of the mouth, bluish 
black ; the irides, hazel ; eyelids, grey ; legs, plumbeous brown ; 
claws, horny. The female was similar, except that the inside of 
the mouth was dusky fleshy." 

268 bis.— Volvocivora avensis, Blyth. 

This species was originally described by Blyth (Journal, Asiatic 
Society, 1846, p. 307) under the designation of melanoptem , 
from specimens sent from Arracan by Captain Phayre. Russell, 
however, had pre-occupied this name for an Australian species, 
and Blyth changed it to the one above quoted. This has also 
been sent from Tenasserim by Dr. Heifer; and now we have it 
from Pegu, where Mr. Oates says that it is "a tolerably common 
bird. I have always found it solitary, searching for insects in 
densely foliaged trees. It extends over the Pegu Hills, and I 
procured an adult male in Pegu town on the 11th March. Speci- 
mens of both sexes measured by me varied as follows : Length, 
8*55 to 9*3; expanse, 13 to 13"6; tail, from vent, 3'9to4 - 2; wing, 
4-2 to 4-35; bill, from gape, 0*86 to 0-91; tarsus, 0*8 to 0-9. 
The bill is black ; the inside of the mouth, fleshy yellow ; irides, 
dull red ; eyelids, plumbeous ; feet and claws, black. The front 
of the tarsus in many birds has a metallic gloss." 

This species, in the case of the adult male, has the entire head, 
neck all round, breast, back, scapulars, rump, and upper tail coverts, 
pale iron grey, much paler than in melaschistos , and of about the 
same color as the back in ISykesii. The wings and tail, black, 
with a greenish metallic lustre ; the former, with most of the 
quills, excessively narrowly margined with white on the outer 
webs, most conspicuous on the second primary and on the later 
secondaries, and with the lesser coverts, especially towards the 
shoulder of the wing, tinged with iron grey ; and the tail, with 
all the feathers, tipped with white, the central pair almost 
obsoletely so, and the exterior lateral ones broadly so; the 
abdomen, greyish white, turning to pure white on the vent and 
lower tail coverts. The central tail feathers a good deal suffused 


with ashy towards their bases, and with traces of obsolete barring. 
The wing- lining and axillaries, unicolorous with the breast. 

In a slightly younger male, the abdomen and flanks are faintly 
barred greyish white ; on the lower surface of the wing there 
is not a trace of any white upon the inner webs of the quills. 

A female, whether adult or not I cannot say, differs in having the 
whole of the under parts, including the wing-lining, and axillaries, 
but excluding the lower tail coverts, greyish white, very narrowly 
and closely barred with greyish brown. The feathers at the 
edges of the eyelids are white, and the ear coverts are streaked 
with white, having narrow white central shaft streaks. The 
wings and tail are hair brown, instead of black, and devoid of 
metallic lustre. 

Another female is similar in most respects, but has the lower 
tail coverts also barred, and has a very large white patch on the 
basal half or two-thirds of the inner webs of all the primaries, 
except the first two. It also has the outer webs of all but the 
first two or three primaries somewhat broadly margined towards 
their bases with iron grey. The wings and tail are deep hair- 
brown, but the two central tail feathers are entirely a pale grey 
brown, except just at their tips. 

A young male again is very similar to the last, but has the 
lower tail coverts white, and has the rump and upper tail coverts 
faintly and narrowly barred with greyish white. There is much 
more white on the tips of all the tail feathers than in any other 
specimen ; and the four central feathers, besides the white fringe 
at the tips, have a moderately large double white spot inside the 
tips. The primaries and secondaries are conspicuously fringed 
with white on the margin of the outer web. 

These birds are very variable in their plumage, and I cannot 
at present pretend to understand all the changes. The size of the 
bill, too, is very variable ; indeed, Mr. Oates was almost disposed to 
think that his numerous specimens might include two species, but 
I have no doubt myself that all belong to one and the same species. 

270.— G-raucalus Macei, Less. 

Specimens from Thayetmyo sent by both Captain Feilden and 
Mr. Oates are identical with birds from Upper India. 

Mr. Oates remarks : "These birds are common within our limits 
and also in the Arracan Hills. They are very partial to the fruit 
of the Banyan tree ; but I have generally found insects in their 
stomachs. The males, with black lores and unhanded lower 
parts, run rather larger. Females without the black lores, and 
with, I think, generally the lower parts more or less banded, are 
perhaps somewhat smaller ; they vary in length from 12 to 13; 
expanse, 20 to 21 - 3; tail, from vent, 5*3 to 6; wing, 6'6 
to 7'1 ; bill, from gape, 1*5 to 1*6 ; tarsus, l'l to 1'2. 


" A male had the iris hazel brown ; eyelids, grey ; bill, black ; 
feet and claws, black. A female had the iris lake red, and the 
eyelids greyish white " 

Captain Feilden also noted that in some of his specimens the 
irides were brown. I do not think that it is always the 
case that there is a difference in color in the irides of the two 
sexes, as there undoubtedly is in those of P hcenicophaus pyrrJio- 
cep/ialus, and curvirostris, and perhaps others of that same group; 
I am inclined to believe that in this species the difference is due, 
as in Elatws melanopterus, to differences in age. 

271 ter— PericrOCOtuselegans, Mcdlell andSorsf., 
(Proceedings, Zoological Society, 1839, p. 156). 

As already noticed, when treating of the Andaman Minivet 
(Stray Feathers, 1874, p. 208), I believe that both the Assam 
and the Pegu birds should be referred to elegans. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " I think this bird requires to be sepa- 
rated from the Indian speciosus, the inner webs only of the 
central tail feathers being black.'" 

This distinction is possibly not absolutely constant in Burmese 
and Assamese specimens, but I cannot understand how elegans can 
ever have been confounded with either speciosus or Jlammeus . First, 
as to Jlammeus, no doubt it is of much the same size, and also that 
the color of elegans is, to a certain extent, intermediate between 
that of speciosus a,n& Jlammeus ; but then the red extends in elegans 
(as in speciosus) on to the third, whilst in Jlammeus it only extends 
on to the fifth primary. As regards speciosus, elegans is only 
about half the bulk. I do not lay very great stress upon the outer 
web of the central tail feather being entirely red in elegans, because 
I have specimens, both from the Central Provinces and Sikhim, 
of the true speciosus in which the outer webs of these central 
feathers are partly or wholly red. The points I would insist on 
are, as regards Jlammeus, the difference of the amount of red on 
the wing, and as regards speciosus, the great difference in size. 
As regards the females, the same kind of differences exist, and 
moreover the female of elegans has, like that of speciosus, a great 
deal more yellow on the front of the head than that of Jlam- 

Mr. Oates remarks : " This species is common everywhere, 
very often alone, at times in flocks of five or six. The males are, 
perhaps, a little larger than the females as a rule, but the differ- 
ences are scarcely perceptible. 

" The following is a resume of the dimensions of numerous 
specimens : — 

"Length, 7*6 to 8*1; expanse, 11 to 11-7 j tail, from vent, 
3-3 to 3-9; wing, 3*6 to 3*8; bill, from gape, 0-9 to 0-98; 


tarsus, 0*7 to 078 ; bill, legs, and feet, black ; claws, dark horny ; 
irides, dark brown ; eyelids, plumbeous fleshy ; inside of mouth, 
fleshy, almost salmon-colored/'' 

276.— Pericrocotus peregrinus, Lm. 

Pegu specimens are moderately dark birds, intermediate in 
color between those from Southern and Western India {vide ante, 
Stray Feathers, 1873, p. 177, and 1874, p. 209). This species, 
according to both Captain Feilden and Mr. Oates, is common 
about Thayetmyo. 

277 bis.— Pericrocotus albifrons, Jmta— (Ibis, 

1862, p. 20). 

I reproduce here Dr. Jerdon's original description, which is 
available to very few of my readers : — 

" Male. — Crown of the head, nape, back, wings and tail, glossy 
black ; forehead, and a wide supercilium, white ; lores and ear 
coverts, mixed white and black; chin, throat, sides of neck 
nearly meeting on the back of the neck, the greater coverts, 
tertiaries, and a band on the primaries, and the whole of the 
lower parts, white ; all the tail feathers, except the four centre 
ones, broadly and obliquely tipped with white ; the breast with 
a gorget of shining orange red, and the rump the same, mixed 
with white ; bill, black ; legs, dark brown ; irides, light brown. 
Length, 6*25; expanse, 8; wing, 2*65; tail, 3*25 ; bill, rather 
more than 0*32; tarsi, 0'56. 

" The female differs in having the parts that are black in the 
male sooty brown, in wanting the breast spot of the male, and 
in the rump being only slightly mixed with red. 

" This pretty bird is the representative in Upper Burmah of 
P. erythropygia of Southern and Central India, from which it differs 
conspicuously in the white forehead and in the somewhat paler and 
more aurora tinge of the red on the breast and rump. It is found 
usually in pairs, or in small families, chiefly in low and thorny 
jungles, not frequenting the dense forests. It is active and rest- 
less, flitting about the smaller branches, and feeding on various 
insects, which it usually picks up from a leaf or twig, now and 
then catching one in the air." 

Mr. Oates remarks : " This species is extremely local, and not 
common even in places which seem suitable to it. Apart from the 
immediate neighbourhood of Thayetmyo, it occurs, as far as I 
know, only at Palow, fifteen miles south ; northward it may be 
commoner, but the frontier is a barrier that stops all my inves- 
tigations in that direction. It feeds a good deal on the ground ; 
when flying', it always reminds me of the English Bottle-Tit. It 
is generally seen in couples. The sexes do not differ in size. 


Birds vary in length from 6*4 to 6'6 ; expanse, 8 to 8 # 3; tail, 
from vent, 3 to 3*5; wing, 2*5 to 2*6; bill, from gape, 0*53 to 
0*55 ; tarsus, 0*55 to 065. 

" The irides are dark brown, hardly distinguishable from 
the eyeballs; eyelids, grey; bill and legs, black; claws, dark 

278.— Dicrurus albirictus, Hodgs. 

Thayetmyo specimens are not to be separated from others from 
various parts of the Indian empire. Birds differ inter se in 
size, breadth, and carination of bill; in the size, presence or 
absence of the white rictal spot, in the length of the tail and 
the width of the tail feathers ; but here, as in the case of longi- 
caudatus, I see no possibility of making more than one species. 
Dr. Jerdon's longus, which is supposed to differ in wanting the 
rictal spot, cannot, it seems to me, stand. There is no part of India, 
I believe, in which specimens wanting the rictal spot may not be 
found, and between the absolute absence of the spot, and the 
presence of a large well-marked spot, every intermediate grada- 
tion may be found, from the merest indication on one side of the 
gape only. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " For many months of the year this 
species is very abundant ; but from April to September or October 
few, comparatively speaking, are to be seen, the bulk go away 
to breed elsewhere; but where do they breed ? On the Pegu Hills 
I saw none. In the cold-weather you may see a dozen together 
in your compound ; now, in August, it would be difficult to find 
two in a whole day." 

280.— Dicrurus longicaudatus, Hmj. 

Some of the specimens of this species sent from Thayetmyo 
are probably identical with Blyth's D. intermedins, which he thus 
described (Journal, Asiatic Society, 1846, Pt. XV, p. 298) — 
" D. intermedins, nobis, nova species. Also closely allied to 
D. ccerulescens, but having no white whatever on the under parts, 
which are darker than the throat and breast of D. ccerulescens, 
and have a faint steel blue gloss. The upper parts are also glossed 
with steel blue instead of steel green. Length of wing, 5 ;. of 
middle tail feathers, 3| ; and of outermost tail feathers, If inch 
more. From Penang, in general aspect intermediate to B. 
ccerulescens and D. longicaudatus." 

If these specimens really belong to this species, then I enter- 
tain no doubt that this is nothing more than one of the numerous 
forms of D. longicaudatus, — forms which I have satisfied myself 
are only partially local, vaiying quite as much with the individual 
as they do according to locality. 



Dr. Jerdon in his recent supplementary notes (Ibis, 1872, 
p. 120) remarks as follows in regard to the present and a 
supposed nearly allied species : — 

" It has been asserted that the Himalayan bird generally 
referred to under this name is distinct from the bird from 
Southern India ; and the late Mr. Beavan named it B. Waldeni, 
with which B. Jiimalayanus of Tytler is identical. I have 
recently compared specimens from the Himalayas with others 
from Southern India, and have been unable to detect any 
appreciable difference. Hodgson's name of pyrr/wps is given as 
a synonyme of this bird by Gray and Blyth, and I followed 
them. This so far appears to be correct that one drawing 
of this species in Hodgson's collection is named by him 
D. pyrrhops ; but there is another decidedly distinct bird figured 
by Hodgson under the same name, which will therefore stand as 
Buchanga pyrrhops, Hodgson, the Grey Long-tailed Drongo. 
Viscount Walden first discriminated this species. It somewhat 
resembles in coloration B. cineraceus, Horsfield, being of a 
moderately dark shade of grey, with a distinct metallic shine ; 
and the tail feathers always show the ashy grey tinge in a marked 
manner when compared with specimens of B. longicaudatus. 
The dimensions of one killed at Dacca were as follow : — 

" Length, 11; wing, 5| ; extent, 16$; tail, 5f. 

" I am not certain now whether I ever procured this atDarjeeling 
( having confounded it with B. longicaudatus) ; but the specimen 
I got at Dacca I looked upon as a pale individual of that species, 
and it was not till Lord Walden had pointed out its distinctions 
and showed me a similar specimen from the Himalayas that I fully 
recognized its claim to specific separation. ' I found it by no 
means rare at Dacca, in groves, and at the edges of jungle, with 
a strong and rapid flight, quite similar to that of B. longicaudatus, 
capturing insects in the air at a considerable distance from its 
perch. I have little doubt that it will be found to extend south- 
wards through Chittagong to Arracan; and it was probably 
seeing specimens of this race that caused Blyth to remark that 
Bicrurus cineraceus, Horsfield, in advancing northwards from the 
Malayan Peninsula, appears to grade into B, longicaudatus. 

" I may here remark that Lord Walden considers Blyth's 
B. intermedins, placed as the synonyme of B. longicaudatus, to be 
a distinct race from Burmah." 

Now, I quite agree with Dr. Jerdon that Waldeni and Mma- 
layensis are mere synonymes of longicaudatus; but I absolutely 
dispute Lord Walden's supposed species which Jerdon identifies 
with Buchanga pyrrhops, Hodgson. I have some very fine speci- 
mens from Dacca, one quite grey enough and pale enough, espe- 
cially on the under surface, and with the grey tint on the lateral 
margins of the tail feathers quite strongly enough developed 


to illustrate most fully the supposed characteristics of this new 
species ; but, on the other hand, I have another specimen from 
the same locality undistinguishable from Etawah, Simla, and 
Southern Indian specimens, and other specimens again inter- 
mediate between these ; but in size of wing-, in shape and size of 
bill, there is not one iota of difference between the grey bird and 
one of the darkest Darjeeling birds, or between it and others 
of different shades from Dacca, as well as from other localities. 
I hardly understand making a species dependent on a slight 
difference in tint in a case like this, when difference of tint is not 
even constant in all the individuals from the same locality. These 
particular Thayetmyo specimens, to which I have referred, 
are exactly similar in every respect to the grey Dacca birds, and 
illustrate, I think, clearly Mr. Blyth's remark, that Dicrurus 
longicaudaUis in passing eastwards and southwards begins to 
assimilate somewhat or approximate to Dicrurus cineraceus. 

280 bis. — Dicrurus leucophaeus, Vieil. {Vide ante, 
Stray Feathers, 1874, p. 210.) 

But besides the intermediate forms above referred to, which I 
have identified with longicaaidatus, and which any one who 
pleases may sub -divide into two species, — vyrrhops, Hodg., and 
intermedins, Blyth, both of which, as well as the true longicaudaUis, 
Hay, occur together at Dacca, and may be there shot together off 
the same tree, — there are some specimens from Thayetmyo greyer 
still than those referred to, and absolutely identical with speci- 
mens from Singapore and Malacca, except in having a somewhat 
narrower bill. 

I confess that I do not know how to deal with these Dicruri. 
Nature has drawn no hard-and-fast line between all the innumer- 
able varieties which bind together with an absolutely perfect 
chain, no single link apparently wanting, the perfectly grey, 
comparatively short-tailed, and broad-billed birds from Sumatra 
and the Straits, which I take to be leiicop/iaus, and the dark 
comparatively narrow-billed and long-tailed typical longicaudatus. 
If we compare birds from the opposite ends of the scale, nothing 
can appear more distinct ; but if we carefully collate hundreds of 
specimens from very numerous localities, the impossibility of 
drawing any but entirely arbitrary lines of separation becomes 
more and more palpable. 

If two nearly allied races are to be distinguished as distinct 
species, it appears -to me that it is not merely sufficient to define 
the types of each species, but to lay down such a definition of each 
species as shall enable observers to refer any specimen they ob- 
tain certainly and definitely to one or other species ; and this is 
what it appears to me cannot be done in the case of the four or 
possibly more races of leucop/ucus, longicaudatus, 8fc. As far as I 


can judge, define these races how you will, specimens can be 
produced in regard to which it will always be doubtful whether 
they should be referred to this or that species ; and not only this, 
but while in certain localities doubtless only a single race is 
to be procured, in certain other localities two or more of these 
supposed species will be found associated together with numerous 
intermediate forms. 

How cases like this are to be treated is a question which 
becomes daily more and more important to Indian ornithologists, 
as we collect together specimens from all parts of this vast empire. 
This is a question which, owing to the limited collections existing 
in Europe, does not appear to me to have been ever sufficiently 
considered there ; and it would be a great boon to us if philo- 
sophical naturalists at home would consider the subject in all its 
bearings, and agree upon some intelligible rule by which we 
might all be guided. I have elsewhere explained my views in 
regard to this complex problem, but what I or other individual 
colonial naturalists think or wish is of little consequence ; what is 
wanted is something like a consensus amongst the leading 
naturalists at home. The want of some recognized rule is 
becoming a serious bar to scientific progress, and has a grave 
tendency to discourage and disgust neophytes. 

Mr. Oates remarks in regard to the present birds : " Not 
uncommon. I have procured it fifteen miles south, and twenty-five 
miles east, of Thayetmyo. It has all the habits of the Common 
King-crow. I saw, a few days ago, a family of them, — two adults 
and three or four well-grown young ones ; this was at Tonyeh, 
thirty miles south of Thayetmyo, on the 26th August. Specimens 
that I measured varied as follows : — 

" Length, 10*6 to 11*5 ; expanse, 15*6 to 16*5 ; tail, from vent, 
5'7 to 6; wing, 52 to 5*4; bill, from gape, l'l ; tarsus, 0*8 
to 0-83. 

" In the adult the iris is scarlet ; the eyelids, grey ; bill, feet, 
and claws, black; and the inside of the mouth, dusky fleshy. 
In the young, the iris is wood brown ; the eyelids, smoky plum- 
beous; the gape, fleshy; and the inside of the mouth, pale 

282.— Chaptia senea, Vieil. 

Specimens from Thayetmyo are undistinguishable from Nil- 
ghiri and Northern Indian birds. Captain Feilden gives the 
length at from 8 to 8" 75. Mr. Oates says: "Not common. I 
have only seen it a few times. A male measured : Length 8*85 ; 
expanse, ]4'2; tail, from vent, 4*75; wing, 4" 75; bill, from 
gape, 1*0; tarsus, - 62. 

" Iris, pinkish hazel ; eyelids, purplish grey ; bill, legs, feet, and 
claws, black. 


283.— Bringa tectirostris, Hodgs. 

Specimens from Thayetmyo are not separable, I think, from 
Sikhim and other Himalayan birds, though they seem to be 
rather smaller and to have a slightly broader and less compressed 
bill. The whole of this family is extraordinarily variable ; and as 
I have had no opportunity of examining- Javan and Sumatran 
specimens, I do not know that these are really distinct, and only 
follow Mr. Gray in assigning to our Indian bird Hodgson's name 
above cited. 

Mr. Oates says : " I saw a few specimens in the Evergreen 
Forests, where it appears to be tolerably common ; no bird that I 
saw of this species had long tail feathers up to the end of April. 
A female I shot, which had no elongated tail feathers, and which 
was probably a young bird, measured : Length, 10*3; expanse, 
15-8; tail, from vent, 5*2; wing, 5*1 ; bill, from gape, 1'13; 
tarsus, 0-85. The bill, legs, feet, and claws were black; the 
inside of the mouth, blackish grey ; eyelids, plumbeous ; iris, rich 
reddish brown/'' 

284— Dissemurus malabaroides, Eodgs. 

I have already (Stray Feathers, 1874, p. 212) discussed the 
different species of Dissemurus. I have only to say that the birds 
from Pegu are identical with those from the Himalayas, except 
that in the case of some of the specimens that I have seen from 
the former locality both the crests and bills were slightly smaller 
than those of Himalayan specimens. A bird, however, from the 
Arracan Hills is absolutely identical with Nepalese specimens. 

Further south and east a different race, rangoonensis, Gould, 
which is, I believe, considered identical with paradiseus, L., re- 
places the Himalayan form. 

Mr. Oates says : " The Great Racket-tailed Drongo is common all 
over the country ; near some of the springs of water in the Pegu 
Hills, especially on the western side where water is scarce, I have 
seen as many as ten or twelve together close to my camp, trying 
to get a sip at a small pool of water which I and my followers 
had monopolized. It has a magnificent voice, and its song is 
very rich and powerful. It sings at all hours, but chiefly in the 
evening about sunset. A specimen I shot (sex ?) measured : Length, 
21-1 ; expanse, 19*7 ; tail, from vent, 153 ; wing, 65 ; bill, from 
gape, 1*41 ; tarsus, TOo. The iris was pink; bill, legs, and feet, 

286.— Chibia hottentotta, Lin. 

Mr. Oates says : " This is a rare bird. I procured one at Boulay, 
and lately saw another at the same place. The bird I shot was a 
male, and measured : Length, 12 - 8; expanse, 20*5; tail, from 


vent, 6 ; wing, 6- 7 ; bill, from gape, 1"62 ; tarsus, 1'09. The irides 
were pale pink ; eyelids, pinkish grey ; bill, legs, and claws, black ; 
and inside of mouth, bluish black." 

287.— Artamus fuscus, Vieil. 

Thayetmyo specimens differ in no respect, that I can see, from 
specimens from other parts of India. 

Mr. Oates says : " The Common Swallow-Shrike abounds 
throughout the plains ; it flies over the Thayetmyo cantonment 
almost every evening in large flocks high in the air, hawking after 
insects; towards the hills it disappears. Paired birds are excessive- 
ly affectionate to each other. I have seen a pair kissing and caress- 
ing each other for fully an hour. I have never found the nest, 
but I saw a pair making preparatory arrangements at the end of 
April. A male I shot measured : Length, 7*35 ; expanse, 15 ; tail, 
from vent, 2" 4; wing, 5*3; bill, from gape, 0-95; tarsus, 0-65. 

" The bill is a fine pale blue ; the tip and anterior half of mar- 
gins, brownish; irides, dark brown; eyelids, grey; legs, slaty grey; 
claws, dark horny; inside, of the mouth, black in some, bright 
yellow in others. I have not yet discovered the reason of this." 

288.— Tchitrea paradisi, Lin. 

Specimens sent from Thayetmyo are nearer paradisi than 

I cannot say that I have ever been very certain of the points 
of difference between these two species. 

Jerdon says that the differences consist in (Is*!) the smaller size 
of affinis ; (2nd) in the lengthened central tail feathers being black- 
shafted throughout their whole length, and often more or less 
conspicuously margined throughout with black ; (3rd) in the crest 
not being so long, and having the feathers composing it more 
equal ; {Mh) in the lengthened tail feathers being shorter and 
narrower ; (57/$) in the chestnut birds wanting the rich glossy black 
neck, and having the inner webs of the quills dusky, while they 
are chestnut in paradisi. 

Now, No. 5 may be ignored at once, seeing that in one stage 
of the plumage both species equally want the glossy black 
throat, and have the inner webs of the quills dusky, and again 
in another stage both species equally have the glossy black throat 
and the interior webs of the quills chestnut. Next as to the size, 
I compare a typical male affinis from Sikhim with typical male 
paradisi ; the wings in both are 3*7 ; there is no appreciable differ- 
ence in the size of the bills. As to No. 2, this distinction holds 
good in typical specimens, but at the same time I have speci- 
mens from Sikhim, shot at the same time as typical affinis, with 
the central tail feathers about 11 inches long, and the terminla 


five inches white- shafted. As to No. 3 this also holds good in 
typical specimens ; but I have specimens, some of which I should 
class as affinis and some as paradisi, in which the crests are quite 
intermediate between the typical forms. No. 4 appears to me to 
be the only criterion, and even this is not very constant. 

Now as to the Pegu birds. The tail feathers are decidedly broad- 
er than in typical affinis ; only the basal five inches or so of the 
central feathers are black-shafted ; they have no black margins ; 
the crest is more lengthened and pointed than in affinis, and 
though the tails seem to run shorter than typical paradisi, still 
the birds, as a whole, are decidedly closer to this latter than to 

Mr. Oates says : " This species is common in the hills and not 
rare in the plains. It may occasionally be seen in the cholera- 
camp hills in Thayetmyo ; the males in April are generally in the 
chestnut plumage, but a fine male shot on the 21st May, which 
was undoubtedly breeding, was in the white plumage. 

" I found the nest in the Evergreen Forests of the Pegu Hills on 
the 30th April. It is described in Nests and Eggs, Part 1" 

290.— Myiagra azurea, Bodd. 

Mr. Oates says that this species is " common throughout 
our limits. The sexes are of much the same size. The birds that 
I measured varied as follows : — 

Length, 6 - l to 6 - 5; expanse, 8"5 to 8*6; tail, from vent, 2 - 9 
to 2-95; wing, 2"8 to 2*85; bill, from gape, - 71 to 0'8; tarsus, 
- 65 to 0'75; the irides are dark brown; edges of eyelids, blue ; 
eyelids, plumbeous ; bill, dark blue, edges and tip, black ; inside 
of mouth, yellow ; legs, plumbeous ; claws, dark horny. In the 
female the bill is a little dusky/'' 

Thayetmyo birds differ in no respect from those from all parts 
of India. 

291.— Leucocirca albicollis, Vieil. 

Thayetmyo specimens agree well with others from various 
parts of India. Mr. Oates correctly points out that, whereas 
Jerdon describes fuscoventris, Frankl., which I consider to be this 
same species, as having only the three outermost tail feathers 
tipped with white, his birds from Thayetmyo have all but the 
central feathers thus tipped ; but this is equally the case with 
many Indian specimens ; in fact, the bird is very variable in this 
respect, sometimes the outer three, sometimes the outer four, and 
sometimes the outer five, pairs are tipped with white, and the 
breadth of this tipping also varies greatly in various specimens. 
Mr. Oates remarks : " This is common enough about us. The 
eyelids are grey ; the irides, deep brown ; and the inside of the 
mouth, fleshy white." 


292.— Leucocirca aureola, Less. 

Mr. Blyth (Journal, Asiatic Society, 1863, XXXII, p. 79) 
says that the Upper Pegu race l ' is a little different from the Indian 
one, being just distinguishable by having the white of the fore- 
head and supercilia not so broad, nor meeting round behind at the 
occiput ; there is also not so much white on the tail feathers." 
I have carefully examined several specimens sent from Thayet- 
myo by Captain Feilden and Mr. Oates, and they appear to me 
absolutely identical in these respects with Upper Indian specimens ; 
at the same time they do appear to me to differ slightly in having 
much less spotting on the coverts. 

Both Captain Feilden and Mr. Oates say that this species is 
common about Thayetmyo. Mr. Oates gives the following 
dimensions : — 

"Length, 6*9 to 7*15 ; expanse, 9*6 to 10; tail, from vent, 
3-5 to 3-75; wing, 3*1 to 3'4; bill, from gape, 0*68 to 0*7; 
tarsus, 0-8 to 0'82." 

295.— Culicicapa cinereocapilla, Vieil. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " I observed this bird only on the west- 
ern slopes of the Pegu Hills, where it was common. The bill 
is horny brown above, pinkish fleshy below ; the inside of the 
mouth, fleshy ; the gape, yellowish ; the irides, dark brown ; eye- 
lids, plumbeous ; legs, feet, and claws, pinkish brown." 

Pegu specimens agree well with Indian ones. 

296.— Hemichelidon sibiricus, Gm. 

Mr. Oates says that this species, of which he only sends a 
single specimen procured on the Eastern Pegu Hills, is rare with- 
in our limits. 

Great doubts exist in my mind as to the correct nomenclature 
of this and certain closely allied species. To prevent confusion 
as to what bird it is that occurs in Pegu, I may note that it is the 
species which I have figured in Lahore to Yarkand, PL 4, as 
Hemichelidon fuliginosa, Hodgson ; but I am to this day not sure 
that this bird is the true fuliginosa of Hodgson. The bird Jerdon 
gave me as one of Hodgson's specimens, and which bore Blyth's 
label, belongs, I consider, to a different species to that which I 
figured. If this be so (but in this Mr. Sharpe does not concur), 
then the present species would stand as Hemichelidon terricolor, 
Hodgson. If, on the other hand, I have rightly figured fuliginosa, 
then terricolor, Hodgson, must, I believe, merge as a synonyme of 
latirostris, Raffles (vide ante, Stray Feathers, 1874, p. 220,/. 

304.— Cyornis rubeculoides, Vig. 

I cannot say wherein Cyornis elegans, Tem., PL Col. 596, from 
Sumatra, differs from our Himalayan species; but I take it to be 


a slightly larger and decidedly brighter-colored bird. Mr. Gray, 
I see, assigns Temminck's name to birds from Pegu and Tenas- 
serim ; the specimens however sent me from Upper Pegu are 
absolutely identical with numerous others that I possess from 
various parts of the Himalayas ; on the other hand, birds from 
Tenasserim are decidedly brighter-colored, but certainly not 
larger than Himalayan examples. 

Mr. Oates says : " This species is common all over the hills, 
and I have lately received it from Arracan. I found it chiefly in 
thickly- wooded nullahs. In April it was, I think, breeding. 
The contents of the stomach were bugs and small beetles. Males 
measured: Length, 575 to 5'95; expanse, 8*5 to 9; tail, from 
vent, 2-35 to 2-5; wing, 275 to 2*8 j bill, from gape, 075 
to 0*77; tarsus, 0" 69 to 075. A. female measured : Length, 575 ; 
expanse, 8 - 3 ; tail, from vent, 2*3; wing, 2' 7; bill, from gape, 
0-66 ; tarsus, 074. 

" The bill is black ; the inside of the mouth, blackish (bluish 
fleshy in the female) ; iris, dark hazel brown ; eyelids, bluish grey ; 
legs, pinkish brown ; claws, the same." 

323.— Erythrosterna leucura, Gm. 

Pegu birds are similar to those from Sikhim and Eastern Bengal 
generally. Mr. Oates says : ' ' I met with this bird once at Yattown 
bungalow, where several were playing about in a Mango tope ; 
this was in March. I have not met with it anywhere else, except 
once at the end of December at Engmah. I do not think that it 
can be common. The sexes appear to be of much the same size. 

"Length, 5*1 ; expanse, 8 to 8'3; tail, from vent, 2 to 2*1; 
wing, 2*6, to 2*68; bill, from gape, 0'58j tarsus, - 67. 

" Iris, dark brown ; eyelids, plumbeous ; bill, dark brown, yellow 
at gape, and greyish at base of lower mandible ; inside of mouth, 
orange fleshy ; legs, very dark brown, almost black ; claws, dark 

343. — Myiophoneus Temminckii, Vig. 

A single specimen in Captain Feilden's collection was identical 
with Himalayan specimens. This is pi-esumed to have been 
obtained somewhere in the neighbourhood of Thayetmyo. Unfor- 
tunately I know nothing of the distribution of this and the next 

Mr. Oates however writes to me : " I think I am correct in 
saying that Captain Feilden's collection was made entirely at 
Thayetmyo, or at least on the west side of the Irrawaddy. The 
Arracan Hills throw out bold spurs, which reach quite up to 
Thayetmyo, forming nullahs such as a Mi/ioplioueus delights 
in. No doubt his specimen, which you refer to Temminckii was 
procured here, where only Temminckii should occur. 



" I did not discriminate Eugene! from the Arracan bird till 
you pointed out the differences between the two. I have now 
no hesitation in assigning Temminckii to the Arracan Hills, and 
generally to the whole country west of the Irrawaddy, and 
Eugene I to the Pegu Hills extending eastwards, certainly as far 
as the Sittang. 

" Perhaps therefore, Temminckil should hardly find a place 
in our list." 

343 bis. — Myiophoneus Eugenei, Hwne. 

This species has already been described (Stray Feathers, 1873, 
p. 475). It appears to be common throughout the Pegu Hills 
to Tonghoo. Mr. Oates remarks : ' ' It is generally found singly 
in rocky nullahs. Length, 13 - 1 to 13'5 ; expanse, 22*2; tail, 
from vent, 5*4; bill, straight from gape, 1*6 to 1*7 ; wing, 6*9 to 
7*2; tarsus, 2*32; the bill, orange yellow ; the region of nostrils 
and anterior half of culmen, dark brown ; iris, umber brown ; 
eyelids, straw yellow ; feet, legs, and claws, black." 

344 bis. — Hydrornis Oatesi, Hume. 

This species was characterized in Stray Feathers, 1873, p. 477, 
and we have nothing to add to what was there stated in regard to it. 

345 Us. — Brachyurus moluccensis, Mull. 

The numerous specimens sent by both Captain Feilden and 
Mr. Oates are precisely identical with specimens that I have received 
from Rangoon, Tenasserim, and Malacca. The bird reminds one 
much of Brachi/urus coronatus, but is distinguished at a glance 
by its glistening blue wing coverts. 

Mr. Oates says : " It measures : Length, 8*1 to 8 - 35 ; expanse, 
15'8 to 16; wing, 4"7 to 4*9; tarsus, 1*5 to 1*65; bill, at front, 
095 to 1*05; from gape, 1*2 to l - 25 ; tail, from vent 1*5 to 1*9. 

" The irides are dark brown ; the eyelids and a bare spot behind 
the eye, bluish lead color ; the bill, black ; legs and feet, fleshy 
pink, tinged dusky or bluish on the tarsus ; claws, pale horny " 

The lores, a streak over the eye, cheeks, ear coverts, sides of the 
head, and a broad nuchal collar, velvet black ; forehead, occiput, 
and nape, a sort of brownish fawn, varying a great deal in shade 
in different individuals, and with a dark blackish brown central 
stripe ; back, scapulars, and tertials, a somewhat dingy sap green ; 
rump and upper tail coverts, bluish green ; the feathers, broadly 
tipped with shining smalt (?) blue, so as to leave no other color visible 
until the feathers are disturbed. The tail is black, obscurely tipped 
with blue ; the primaries and their greater coverts are black, with a 
conspicuous white bar on the inner webs of the first two and on 
both webs of the other primaries, sometimes on both webs of all 


the primaries. The secondaries, dull black, paling somewhat on 
the inner webs, and broadly margined on the terminal moieties of 
the outer webs with dull greenish blue ; their lesser and median 
coverts, and the primary lesser coverts, similar to the rump 
feathers ; but the tips not always so completely hiding the ground 
color of the feather, which appears as glossless greenish spots 
amidst the glistening blue. The blue tips, both of rump and 
coverts (upper tail and wing) have the filaments a good deal de- 
composed ; chin, dusky ; throat, white, with a more or less faint 
buffy tinge ; centre of the lower abdomen, vent, and lower tail 
coverts, bright rose vermillion ; rest of the lower portions of the 
body, buff, darker on the sides of the breast ; axillaries and 
wing lining, black or dusky. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " This bird appears by fits and starts. 
A sharp gale from the south-west in May will bring them in by 
the dozen, but they disappear again a day or two afterwards. I 
have also had specimens from the Arracan Hills/'' 

345 quat- — Brachyurus cyaneus, Blyth. 

Mr. Oates says : " This bird is found commonly enough in the 
Evergreen Forests. It lives in precipitous dark ravines among 
brushwood, creeps away very cautiously when accidentally met, 
and would seldom be discovered were it not for the rustling of 
the dead Bamboo leaves as it hops away. One I flushed in a 
nullah flew up on a tree where I shot it, but, as a rule, it seldom 
leaves the ground. At times it may be found on a sunny hill- 
side, where doubtless it goes to pick up black ants. The 
stomach of one shot in such a situation contained nothing but 
these ; another shot elsewhere had eaten beetles and grasshoppers. 
The birds vary a good deal in size, but not, I think, according 
to sex. The following is a resume of the dimensions of six 
specimens, three males and three females, which I measured : — 

" Length, 8' 9 to 9*5 ; expanse, 14*5 ; tail, from vent, 2*2 to 2'45; 
wing, 4-45 to 4*6; bill, from gape, 1*2 to 1*25 ; tarsus, 1*72 to 
1-9. The bill is black; the inside of the mouth, dusky fleshy; 
the irides, dark reddish brown ; eyelids, plumbeous ; legs, dark 
fleshy pink ; claws, whitish." 

In the male the lores, and a long stripe behind the eye, con- 
tinued backwards to the nape, velvet black ; the forehead and 
crown, pale brown, with a faint greenish olive tinge ; all the 
feathers, black at their bases, with a narrow black stripe from the 
base of the culmen to the occiput ; the feathers of the occiput 
and nape, elongated, so as to form a full round crest ; the visible 
portions, dull scarlet vermillion ; some of the posterior feathers 
of the crown tinged ruddy. The back, scapulars, rump, upper 
tail coverts and tail, blue, brightest on the upper back, where in 
some specimens it becomes almost smalt blue. Quills, dark hair 


brown, paling" towards the tips. The first six primaries have a 
broad white band on their inner webs at the bases, and a narrow 
white band almost hidden by the coverts on the outer webs of 
the second to the seventh. The primaries, tinged on the outer 
webs, towards the tips, greyish. The secondaries, broadly mar- 
gined on the outer webs, except just at their bases, with dull 
blue. The tertiaries, with the whole of the outer webs and tips, 
have this same color. The first two or three secondaries often exces- 
sively, narrowly, and irregularly margined towards their tips with 
white. The primary greater coverts, dark hair brown. The rest 
of the greater coverts suffused on the outer web, and the later ones 
more or less on both webs, with much the same dull blue as the 
secondaries, palest on the earlier ones, and with the exterior webs 
of these at times excessively narrowly margined with white, in 
which there are often traces of tiny black spots. The median 
coverts, a somewhat brighter blue. In some specimens, some 
of the earlier ones conspicuously barred towards the tips with 
black and white, and all of them obsoletely barred with paler 
blue. Lesser wing coverts, hair brown, suffused towards the 
tips with dull bluish green or dull olive. The cheeks and ear 
coverts, very pale fulvous white ; many of the feathers excessively 
narroioly tipped with black. The chin and throat, white or 
fulvous white ; the feathers on each side, more or less broadly 
margined at the tips with black, as are some of the feathers in 
the centre of the chin and throat. The whole of the breast, 
sides of the neck, sides, flanks and upper abdomen, white, barred 
with black ; the last bar near the tip of each feather contracted to 
a spot ; the centre of the breast suffused with a slightly greenish 
blue ; the other parts with a pale, delicate, somewhat lavender, blue. 
The lower abdomen, vent, and lower tail coverts, dull white or 
bluish white ; some only of the lower lateral tail coverts more or 
less strongly tinged blue, and in some specimens barred. The 
edge of the wing is a dull bluish green, the wing lining mostly 
hair brown, but with a conspicuous white patch, formed chiefly 
by the median secondary lower coverts. 

In the females the color of the crest is duller and paler ; the 
central coronal stripe is less well marked. All the feathers of the 
back and scapulars are more or less broadly margined with a sort of 
dull olive green, which, owing to the overlapping of the feathers, 
is almost the only color seen, the bluer basal portions of the 
feathers only peeping through here and there. It is with this 
dull olive green, and not with blue, as in the male, that the 
secondaries, tertiaries, and coverts generally are suffused. On the 
lower surface the beautiful lavender blue tinge is wholly want- 
ing, and in the centre of the breast the somewhat greenish 
blue tinge of the male is replaced by dull fulvous. In other 
respects the sexes do not appear to differ. 


346. — Brachynrus cuculatus, Sartl. 

Pegu specimens are absolutely identical with many others that 
I have from Sikhim, where the bird is very common. 

Blyth apparently considers (Ibis, 1866, p. 374) that our Indian 
bird is distinct from the Malaccan one, and should stand under 
his name, lugricollis ; as far south as Tavoy, at any rate, all are 
of one and the same species. 

Mr. Oates correctly points out (as I have previously noticed) 
that, in describing this species, both Dr. Jerdon (Birds of India, 
Vol. I, p. 505) and Mr. Elliot (Ibis, 1870, p. 420) omit the con- 
spicuous black patch which on the centre of the lower abdomen 
surmounts the rich vermillion of the lower ventral region. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " I met with this bird in one ravine only 
in the Evergreen Forests, where I procured several specimens. I 
searched many precisely similar localities, but never again met 
with it. Two pairs that I measured varied as follows : — 

"Length, 7*3 to 7*55 ; expanse, 13'5 to 14 - 5; tail, from vent, 
1-55 to 1-65; wing, 4-25 to 4-5; bill, from gape, 1-05 to 1'08- 
tarsus, l - 6 to 1*7. 

"The bill was black; the inside of the mouth, dusky fleshy: 
irides, dark coffee brown ; eyelids, pale plumbeous fleshy ; legs, 
fleshy pink ; claws, pinkish horny. 

346 ter— Anthocincla Phayrei,* Blyth. PI II. 

Neither Mr. Oates nor Captain Feilden has obtained this 
species, but Sir Arthur Phayre obtained it somewhere in the 
Tonghoo District, and it has also occurred in the Pegu Yoma Hills, 
and must, therefore, be included in this list. Mr. Blyth constituted 
a new genus for this species, of which he thus writes : — 

" A very remarkable Thrush-like myiotherine (?) form, with 
short tail and rounded wings. The tarsi moderate or somewhat 
short, and the toes furnished with straight claws, especially that 
on the hind toe. Bill, as in the coarser-billed Oreocinclce, with 
no perceptible notch to the upper mandible; no rictal vibrissa ; 
plumage, devoid of bright colors. 

" Length about 9 # 5, of which tail barely 2 ; closed wing, 4 ; 
the fourth and fifth primaries, longest ; and the first primary, 
measuring 2 ; bill to gape, 1*5 ■ tarsi, 1*13, • hind claw, 0"56; 
color, a rich brown above, paler and more fulvous below, where 
each feather has a black spot on either web ; middle of throat, 
white, bordered laterally with black, and this again by a streak 
of black-margined fulvous white feathers below the brown ear- 
coverts ; a long supei*eilium of feathers, resembling those of the 
white moustache streak, and above this again the feathers on the 
sides of the crown, are squamate and pale-centred ; primaries and 

* The plate is taken from a drawing made by Davison from the fresh bird. 


their coverts, which are black, have an angular fulvous spot at 
the base of the first primary ; tertiaries, plain brown, like the 
back ; but the coverts of the secondaries, black, with broad fulvous 
sagittate tips ; bill, dusky; and feet and claws, pale." Obtained 
by Colonel Phayre at Tonghoo (Journal, Asiatic Society, 
1862, Vol. XXXI, p. 343). 

Now, this description and these remarks fail, I think, to convey 
an adequate idea of this very handsome, though not gaudily, 
attired Ground-Thrush. 

Mr. Blyth never saw the bird alive, and the type, which, till 
we obtained others, was perhaps unique, is and always must have 
been an indifferent specimen. The consequence was that 
Mr. Blyth was unable to notice the two perhaps most character- 
istic features in the bird. The first are the wonderful aigrettes, if 
I may so call them, projecting fully an inch backwards behind the 
occiput, giving the head a most remarkable appearance ; and 
secondly, the red tint on the lower tail coverts, indicating the 
close affinity of the bird to the other Pittce, for no one who 
sees the bird alive or even sees a really good specimen can doubt 
that this is essentially a Pitta. Its habits, its manner of holding 
itself, its haunts, are all those of the Pittce, and, different as 
they are in coloring, the Burmese have but one name for this 
and cganeus. The following are the dimensions in the flesh and 
description of a fine adult male : — 

Length, 8 - 82 ; expanse, 13*75; tail, from vent, 2*5 ; wing, 
4*12 ; tarsus, 1*25 ; bill, from gape, 1*4 ; weight, 3 ozs. The legs, 
feet, and claws are dark fleshy; the bill, black, only the lower 
mandible reddish brown towards the gape ; the irides are deep 

A velvet black stripe from the base of the culmen running 
backwards over the centre of the crown and occiput to the 
nape, where it widens out and covers the whole nape. The upper 
part of the lores, the sides of the forehead, ci'own and occiput 
on either side of the black streak, warm rufescent buff, each 
feather very narrowly margined with black and with a black 
spot on each web, forming a more or less perfect bar towards the 
bases of the feathers, of which but little is seen till the feathers 
are lifted ; the lower part of the lores, a streak under the eye, 
and the ear coverts, black ; the [feathers, mostly rufous-shafted, 
and some of them a little streaked with rufous. From the pos- 
terior angle of the eye, between the dark ear coverts and the buffy 
black-margined feathers of the forehead, crown, sides, and 
occiput, a white stripe runs backwards, the later feathers of 
which, springing from either side of the nape, are much elonga- 
ted and sharply pointed ; the whole of these feathers exhibit 
more or less perfect black bars on each web. It is the terminal 
sharp-pointed feathers that stick out behind the head something 


like the tufts of the Crossoptilon, though of course the feathers 
are of a totally different texture, being in this case stiff, sharp- 
pointed, linear, lanceolate in shape. The sides of the neck, imme- 
diately below this white stripe, and the upper back just at 
the base of the neck, black, being in fact a continuation of the 
central head streak, which, as already mentioned, broadens out on 
the nape. The entire mantle, rump, and upper tail coverts, very 
rich, rufescent, olive brown, with a sort of burnished glow 
almost golden on the upper back ; many of the feathers, but not 
very conspicuously, paler shafted ; one or two feathers of the 
upper back, nearest the black, with a distinct black fringe at 
their margins ; and almost all the feathers of the interscapulary 
region with a fainter-marked darker marginal fringe. The tail 
feathers, secondaries, and tertiaries, plain, slightly rufescent, olive 
brown, the two latter margined slightly more rufescent. Pri- 
maries and their greater coverts, blackish brown ; the former, with 
a broad buffy bar at their bases, and paling at their tips to 
much the same shade as the rest of the quills. The rest of the 
greater and median coverts, of the same tint as the tertiaries, 
broadly tipped with bright buff (with occasionally a very narrow 
fringe of black beyond this) , preceded by a broader or narrower, 
more or less perfect, black bar. 

The chin and a spot on the upper throat, pure white. From 
the edge of the lower mandible, about opposite the middle of 
the lores, a narrow black stripe descends from either side towards 
the base of the throat, slanting inwards so as to divide the 
throat into three nearly equal divisions. The whole of the 
throat between these two lines, and between these and the black 
ear coverts, pale buff ; the feathers (many of them very narrowly 
and almost obsoletely), fringed with black. 

The breast, abdomen, and sides are a warm, somewhat ferrugi- 
nous, brown ; the sides and flanks, tinged with olivaceous ; and 
all the feathers of these, as well as of the breast, exhibiting a 
more or less perfect or imperfect black bar not far from the tip. 
The bar is generally very perfect and conspicuous on the sides 
and flanks, but on the breast they are mostly reduced to double 
spots or even to a spot on one web, and very few of them are 
visible until the feathers are lifted. The lower tail coverts are 
what I should call a pale salmon vermillion ; the centre of the 
abdomen is slightly paler ; the edge of the wing and the carpal 
joint is buffy with very narrow, almost obsolete, transverse dusky 
bars. The wing lining, except the primary lower greater covei'ts 
(which are a grey brown like the under surface of the quills), 
are, like the patch at the base of the primaries, buff-colored. 

As regards the structural affinities of this bird, I must 
admit that, as Mr. Blyth says, the bill has no perceptible notch ; 
the rictal vibrissa? are also inconspicuous, but not more so, I 


think, than in BracJiyurus moluccensis. The toes and claws are 
very much on the model of this latter bird, but the tarsi are 
doubtless conspicuously shorter. The bill is longer and more 
compressed than in most of the Pitta; but, excepting the notch, 
it is almost a miniature of that of Brachyurus megarhynchus, 
except that the culmen of this latter is straighter and less 
arched than in our present species. The bird clearly belongs 
to a distinct genus, but I myself entertain no doubt that it 
must be included in the Pitt/da. 

We have attempted to convey a feeble idea of this remarkable 
bird in the accompanying plate, but we shall require a couple of 
years' practice before we can turn out much in the way of pictures. 

351 bis.— Cyanocincla solitaria, Mull. 

Following Mr. Sharpe, I, for the present, identify the birds 
from Thayetmyo with the Eastern Blue Rock-Thrush ; but I am 
myself by no means satisfied with the explanation of the changes 
of plumage in this species afforded in the " Birds of Europe." 
Mr. Sharpens conclusion is that there are two distinct species, one 
of which, the Eastern one, at one stage of its existence exhibits 
more or less of deep chestnut coloring on its lower surface, which 
it entirely loses when fully adult. My own view, I confess, is 
that there is only one true species, but that many of the mem- 
bers of this species, whose habitat is eastern, exhibit more or less 
of this ferruginous tinge as an individual peculiarity; that, 
broadly speaking, the further east and south-east you go the more 
the rufous exhibited, and the greater the proportion of individuals 
that exhibit it ; but still in all localities some individuals remain 
true to the type, showing no rufous at any stage of their existence. 

If this view be not admitted, then we must say that there are 
two species — a Western, which extends, though sparingly, to the 
extreme east ; an Eastern, confined to the east ; and throughout 
the tract of country in which the western overlaps the eastern, an 
inter-breeding of the two, producing hybrids with every degree 
of rufous in their plumage from one single feather up to the full 
amount of the Hainan birds, which are the most rufous that I 
have seen. 

First, I would premise that I have examined some hundreds 
of these birds shot in all parts of India. I have now before me 
twenty-five males in more or less of the blue plumage from the 
Khelat Hills, various localities in Sindh, Muscat, Ladakh, hills 
near Simla, near Mussoorie, Almorah, from Mount Aboo, the 
Sambhur Lake, from Goorgaon, Mynpoorie, Etawah, Saugor, 
the Nilghiris, and Coimbatore, and not one of these or of any 
that I have examined from any locality, except Eastern Bengal, 
exhibits or exhibited the faintest trace of rufous. I have one 
male from Dacca, exhibiting a faint ferruginous tinge on the 


lower tail coverts ; but I have others again from further east, viz.. 
Tipperah, in different stages of plumage, none of which exhibit 
the smallest trace of rufous anywhere. 

Of the Thayetmyo birds, one is a male in the almost perfect 
blue plumage, only a few blackish points are dimly seen upon the 
back, and the greater coverts are dimly margined with white. 
There is not a trace of rufous about this specimen. The second 
is a male, also in blue plumage, but with the whole of the feathers 
of the upper and lower surfaces, except on the head and chin, 
tipped with dull white, preceded by a blackish line. In this bird 
the whole of the lower tail coverts are mingled chestnut and 
blue. The third is similar to the last, except that the white 
tippings have almost disappeared from the upper surface ; while, 
curious to say, the chin and throat are not blue, but still retain 
the young spotty plumage. This has only a trace of chestnut in 
the lower tail coverts. This has also the faintest possible chestnut 
tinge in one or two of the under-wing coverts. The fourth is 
a female, in no way differing from dozens of other Indian ones 
that I have. 

Now, if this chestnut plumage was doffed on the birds coming 
to maturity, these quite young blue birds ought to show much 
more rufous than others more advanced ; but I have before me 
a specimen, killed at Hainan on the 29th March 1868, which is 
in perfect adult blue plumage, no single trace of immaturity, 
except tiny white tipphigs to the greater coverts, which has the 
whole lower breast, abdomen, vent, lower tail coverts, wing lining, 
and axillaries, deep chestnut. Then, I have a younger bird from 
Formosa, in much the same stage of plumage as the third male 
from Thayetmyo, in which the axillaries and wing lining are pale 
chestnut, and the whole of the abdomen, vent, and lower tail coverts 
are mottled with a comparatively pale chestnut. Lastly, I have a 
female from Amoy, identical, as far as I can judge, in every respect 
with our Indian female. 

And here I wish particularly to note that, whereas Mr. Sharpe 
remarks that the adult females are precisely similar to the males, 
I must say that, though I have shot and sexed several scores of 
these birds, I have never had the luck to meet with a female in 
the blue garb of the male, and I confess that I still think it very 
doubtful whether she ever does assume it, in India. 

In regard to these eastern and western races, and the supposed 
smaller Indian race, I can only say that if large series _ are com- 
pared, I do not believe that any substantive difference in dimen- 
sions can be established. Big and little birds, short and long 
billed ones, occur wherever the species occurs, and it seems to 
me quite unreasonable to pick out the smaller birds and convert 
them into a separate species, when all sizes, big and little, occur 
side by side. 


In corroboration of these views I may add that Mr. Davison 
has recently shot and sexed thirteen males and six females in the 
Tenasserim Provinces. Eleven of the males are in the blue, or 
blue and rufous plumage, two young" males are in the female garb, 
and all six females are in the spotted garb. If Mr. Sharpe 
was correct in saying that the adult female was similar to the 
male, it seems scarcely probable (let alone my own experience) 
that there should not amongst all these birds killed by Davison 
be one blue female, or even one female showing the slightest 
tendency to assume the plumage of the adult male. 

Then, as regards the rufous plumage, the youngest blue birds 
amongst this Tenasserim lot, everywhere on the mantle and on 
the lower surface, banded with blackish brown, fringed paler, 
exhibit scarcely a trace of rufous. Only a slight tinge of this 
color is observable on the lower tail coverts. 

As the banding begins to disappear, the rufous on the lower 
tail coverts and about the vent becomes more pronounced, in a 
further stage it has spread up the middle of the abdomen, and 
by the time that all traces of the immature banding has dis- 
appeared, the axillaries, wing lining, sides, entire lower breast, 
middle of abdomen, vent, and lower tail coverts are deep chestnut. 

Running parallel to this series, however, is another composed 
of birds shot in the same localities, in which the progress from 
the most strongly banded form up to the entirely unhanded one 
may be traced without the bird at any time exhibiting a single 
rufous feather. I cannot, therefore, avoid withholding for the 
present my assent to Mr. Sharpens views in regard to this species. 

Mr. Oates makes the following remarks in regard to this 
species : — 

" Without being a common bird, it is not unfrequently 
seen singly, more especially in the vicinity of wooden bungalows. 

" At Thayetmyo one occasionally came into my compound for 
a day or two, and then disappeared for a month or two. It will 
flit into the verandah, sit -on the post plate, and remain for a 
few minutes in perfect silence. I never heard it utter a note. 
Three birds that I shot, males, measured as follows : — 

"Length, 8*9 to 9; expanse, 14*2 to 14*6; tail, from vent, 
3-4 to 3-6; wing, 4'65 to 4'75; bill, from gape, 1-18 to 1*22; 
tarsus, 1*1 to 1*2. 

" The bill was blackish horny ; the gape and the inside of the 
mouth, yellow ; the legs, feet, and claws, black ; irides, hazel ; 
eyelids, pinkish plumbeous/'' 

355.— Geocichla citrina, Lath. 

Most of the specimens from Thayetmyo are precisely identical 
with others from Oudh, Darjeeling, Dacca, and various localities 
in Continental India. One only exhibits scarcely a trace of white 


markings on the wing, thus showing an approach to Blyth's 
Malayan species innotata. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " Though not often seen, this is really a 
common bird from Thayetmyo to Tonghoo. The sexes are of much 
the same size^ Specimens measured varied in length from 8'55 
to 8*7; expanse, 14 to 1475; tail, from vent, 3 - 2 ; wing, 4*6 to 
4' 8; bill, from gape, 1*1; tarsus, 1*33. 

" Those killed at the end of April in the Pegu Hills were appa- 
rently about to breed. 

" The bills were blackish brown ; the gape and base of lower 
mandible, fleshy ; eyelids, greenish plumbeous ; hides, dark hazel ; 
legs, feet, and claws, fleshy pink/ - ' 

371.— Oreocincla dauma, Lath. 

A single specimen sent from Thayetmyo is identical with 
Himalayan examples. 

Though unknown in the plains of India during the hot- 
weather, it occurs there as a straggler during the cold-season. 
I shot one once at Bhurrey, the point of junction of the Chumbul 
and Jumna Rivers, and Mr. Blewitt has sent it from Raipore, 
and Mr. Ball from Chota Nagpore. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " I have only seen a single specimen, 
which I shot on the 14th April, in the Evergreen Forests of the 
Pegu Hills. This was a female and measured — 

"Length, 10-35; expanse, 16; tail, from vent, 3*6; wing, 
5*5; bill, from gape, 1*23 ; tarsus, 1*28. 

" Bill, dark brown above and at centre of lower mandible, 
remainder of lower mandible, pale brown, the gape with a tinge 
of orange; inside of mouth, yellowish. Eyelids and naked sjxtt 
behind eye, plumbeous ; iris, dark hazel brown ; legs and claws, 
fleshy white, the latter with a tinge of pink." 

385.— Pyctoris sinensis, Gm. 

Four specimens which I have received from Thayetmyo are ab- 
solutely inseparable from Indian specimens from various localities. 
Some of them have bills a great deal deeper than some Indian 
birds, and one of them has a bill a good deal less deep than 
several Indian birds. There is absolutely no separating them. 
What then is Jerdon's altirostris which he described from Thayet- 
myo in the Ibis, 1862, p. 22 ? This is what Dr. Jerdon said : — » 

" Above, pale reddish brown, deepest on the wings and tail ; 
forehead and streak over the eye, hoary grey ; beneath, whitish ; 
tinged on the lower part of the breast, abdomen, and flanks 
with pale f ulveseent ; quills and tail feathers, slightly dusky on 
their inner webs; under-wing coverts, pale ferruginous; bill, 
fleshy horny ; legs, fleshy ; iridcs, dark brown, with an outer 
circle of white : eyelids, pale sulphur yellow. 


"Length, 6| inches; expanse, 7|; wing, 2§ ; tail, 3; bill, f, 
5 inch high; tarsus, 1. 

" This interesting bird is very closely allied to Clirysomma 
sinensis, for a young bird of which I at first mistook it. It 
differs, however, in some important particulars, more especially 
in the depth of the bill, in which it makes an approach to the 
Paradoxomis group. The claws are more lengthened and less 
curved than in that species. It will probably be considered 
worthy of separation as a sub-genus. I found it frequenting 
long grass in islands on the Irrawaddy River, in Upper Burmah. 

" It had partaken of ants and small coleoptera." 

Now, this description agrees perfectly with our birds, except 
that the forehead and the streak over the eyes are white and not 
hoary grey. As to the bills I have already remarked that they 
do not differ in any way constantly from those of Indian birds, 
and the same may be said of the claws. It is impossible to make 
a second species out of these Thayetmyo birds, let alone a new 
sub-genus. Can it be that a distinct species, altirostris, inhabits 
this same limited locality? Observers on the spot must solve this 
question. In the meantime all the birds sent by Captain 
Feilden and Mr. Oates are positively sinensis and nothing else. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " These birds though common are not often 
seen. They occasionally sing on a low tree with much vivacity. 
I did not observe it on the hills. Specimens measured: Length, 
6-8 to 7 ; expanse, 7'9 to 8*3 ; tail, from vent, 3*4 to 3'5 ; wings, 
2" 5 to 2*6; bill, from gape, 06; tarsus, 1*0. 

" Irides, pale orange yellow ; eyelids, deep orange ; the edges, 
tumid ; bill, black, yellowish at nostrils ; inside of mouth, yellow ; 
feet, pale orange yellow ; claws, pinkish." 

389 Ms.— Alcippe Phayrei, Blyth. 

The specimens sent by Captain Feilden and Mr. Oates are 
doubtless identical with that described by Blyth ( Journal, 
Asiatic Society, 1845, Vol. XIV, p. 601) in the following 
words : — 

" Alcippe Phayrei is most allied to A. poiocepJiala (Jerdon), 
but is distinguished by its much less rufescent hue, especially on 
the tail and its upper and lower coverts, which are devoid of 
-finch a tinge, or the upper tail coverts retain it only in a very 
slight degree. Length about 5| inches, of wing 2f, and tail %\ ; 
bill to gape, under | inch ; and tarsi, f inch. Upper parts, slightly 
f ulvescent olive brown ; the crown, ashy ; and wings, particularly 
the large alars, margined with somewhat deeper fulveseent ; lower 
parts, fulveseent whitish, whitest on the throat and middle of the 
belly ; bill, dusky above, below paler ; and legs light-colored ; 
outermost tail feather, -f Tt an inch shorter than the middle ones ; 
inhabits Arracan, where discovered by Captain Phayre." 


Alcippe Phayrei differs not only in the less rufescent hue from 
poiocep/iala, approximating in this respect more closely to nipal- 
ensis, but it has longer and slenderer bill than poiocep/iala, and 
a fortiori a very much longer bill than A. nipalensis, which is 
moreover altogether a smaller bird ; but in one respect it more 
closely resembles nipalensis, a point that Blyth appears to have 
overlooked, in that it exhibits the same sort of dark streak run- 
ning backwards on either side of the nape that nipalensis does ; 
only in Phayrei it is less strongly marked, and sometimes ap- 
pears to be almost obsolete. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " This little Quaker Thrush is not un- 
common in the Evergreen Forests. It struck me as being very 
silent. It breeds, I think, about the end of April. Two males I 
shot on the 19th April in the Pegu Hills measured — 

" Length, 6-15 to 6-25; expanse, 8-25 to 8*5 ; tail, 2-65 to 
2" 78; wing, 2*55 to 2*65; bill, from gape, 0*72 to 0*73; tarsus, 
0-84 to 0-9. 

" In the one the bill was yellow at gape, brown on upper man- 
dible ; the lower mandible also brown, but the tip yellowish ; inside 
of mouth, yellow ; iris, whitish brown ; eyelids, yellowish green ; 
feet, fleshy brown ; claws, the same. In the other, the bill, legs, 
&c, were the same ; the iris, however, was pale blue ; eyelids, 
plumbeous, yellowish at the edges." 

391.— Stachyris nigriceps, Hodgs. 

A specimen from the Pegu Hills, a female shot off the nest, 
agrees perfectly with others from Darjeeling. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " I procured only one specimen of this 
bird in the Evergreen Forests. I shot it off the nest on the 29th 
April. The nest and eggs are fully described in your Nests and 
Eggs of Indian Birds, Pt. II. 

" The female measured: Length, 5'45 ; expanse, 7 ; tail, from 
vent, 2; wing, 2-2; bill, from gape, - 73; tarsus, 0'84. 

" The bill was bluish black on the upper mandible ; pale bluish on 
the lower; the anterior half of the margins, dusky; eyelids, bluish; 
iris, orange brown; legs, pale dusky green; claws, yellowish/'' 

I am inclined to believe that in this species the bill changes 
color in the breeding season. Specimens that I have obtained 
in the cold-season had the upper mandibles pale brown; the 
lower mandibles, pale yellowish horny. 

393 Ms. — Stachyris rufifrons, Hume. 

This species was fully described in Stray Feathers, 1873, 
p. 479. I have nothing to add to what I then stated, except that, 
judging merely from the description, I cannot be at all sure that 
this is not identical with S. pmcoynitus, Swinh., from China. 


395.— Mixornis rubricapilla, Tickell. 

Pegu specimens do not appear to be quite so yellow under- 
neath as all my Himalayan specimens are ; but I believe that 
the color of the lower surface varies a good deal in this species 
according to season. 

Mr. Oates remarks : ' ' This species is found sparingly on both 
sides of the Pegu Hills. A male measured: Length, 5*4, • 
expanse, 7; tail, from vent, 2*15; wing, 2 - 3; bill, from gape, 
0-73; tarsus, 07 

" The irides are a sickly white ; the eyelids, plumbeous ; the bill, 
horny brown ; the inside of the mouth, fleshy brown ; legs and 
feet, fleshy horny ; claws, yellowish horny." 

396.— Timalia pileata, Horsf. 

Pegu specimens are very similar to birds from Tipperah, 
Dacca, the Lower Sikhim Valleys, &c; but the bills are appreciably 
smaller, and the color of the upper surface appears to run some- 
what paler : but I have only seen two specimens from Thayet- 
myo, and I do not know whether these differences are persistent, 
but I do not think so. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " This is a common bird in the plains, 
and is generally met with in pairs. I found the nest at Thayet- 
myo on the 2nd June. It contained young ones only a few days 
old. The nest was placed on the ground in the centre of a low, 
but very thick, thorny bush. 

" Two males measured as follows : — 

"Length, 7 - to 7*1; expanse, 8 - to 8*1; tail, from vent, 
3*1 to 3-5; wing, 2*6; bill, from gape, 0'73 to 0*78 ; tarsus, 09 
to 0-97. 

" The bill was black ; irides, dark red ; eyelids, dark bluish 
grey, inside of mouth, black ; legs, purplish brown ; claws, horn 

Lord Walden separates the Indian bird as T. Jerdoni, and 
offers the following remarks on this subject (An. and Mag. of 
Natural History, 1872, p. 61): — 

" Timalia Jerdoni, nova species. 

" Timalia pileata, Horsf., apud Jerdon, Birds of India, 
Vol. II, p. 24, nee Horsf. 

" A narrow frontal band extending over the eyes. The cheeks, 
chin, and throat, white. Forehead and crown, deep chestnut; 
remainder of upper surface, dark olive grey ; quills and rectrices 
above, brown, tinged with olive ; rectrices, traversed by numerous 
narrow bands of a darker shade of brown. Upper part of breast, 
white, changing to cinereous lower down ; each feather, with a 
black shaft ; remainder of lower surface, fulvous, mixed with 
cinereous olive ; under-tail coverts, cinereous olive. 


Long Undo. 

Kostr. a mar. 




T. Jerdoni , 
T. pile at a 





Khasia Hills. 

" Described from specimens obtained in the Khasia Hills. 

" This bird has hitherto been considered identical with the 
Javan T.pileata, Horsf. A comparison I have recently been 
enabled to make with authentic Javan examples has convinced 
me of their specific distinctness. True, T. pileata is a larger 
bird ; in it the bill is much more powerful, its altitude being 1 
quite double that of examples from the Khasia Hills. The 
crown of the head is bright ferruginous, not dark chestnut. The 
color of the upper plumage, wings, and rectrices is considerably- 
paler, that of the lower is pale tawny, and the ashy color of 
the black-shafted breast plumes is less intense. My deeply 
lamented friend Dr. Jerdon fully concurred with me in the 
propriety of separating the two species. 

" In the Birds of India this species is said to extend 
through the Malayan Peninsula to Java ; but I believe that it 
has never been found further south than Arracan. Neither it nor 
the Javan species has been shown to occur in the Malayan Penin- 
sula or in Sumatra. It seems to belong to that category of Javan 
forms (such as Harpactes oreskios, Crypsirhina varians, Bhringa 
remifer, fyc), which, while absent from the intermediate regions, 
Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula, re-appear further to the north 
in Burmah, some penetrating as far as Nipal." 

I fear this is not quite correct. I have seen only one Javan 
specimen, it is true, but that had the wing only 2*47, and I can 
provide Lord Walden with any number of Indian specimens with 
wings from 2-5 to 2 - 6. 

Possibly Lord Walden's supposed pileata is the male and 
his Jerdoni the female. Every one who has shot these ana 
kindred birds knows what a great difference in size there is in 
the sexes. 

Then, as to this species not occurring in the Malay Peninsula, 
I am not sure where this is supposed to commence, but 
most certainly this, H. oreskios and Crypsirhina varians all 
occur as low down as Mergui, which is hardly separable from the 
Malayan Peninsula. 

399 ter.— Pellorneum Tickellii, Blyth. 

One specimen is sent, which I suppose to belong to this species. 
Mr. Oates says : " This specimen agrees pretty well with Blyth's 
meagre description which you quote at page 299 of Stray 
Feathers for 1873. It is not uncommon on the eastern slopes of 
the Pegu Hills, frequenting brushwood and heaps of rubbish in 


the nullahs. It is very tame and slow in its movements. A 
female that I shot measured — 

" Length, 5*6 ; expanse, 7*2 ; tail, from vent, 1*9 ; wing, 2*22 ; 
bill, from gape, 0*79; tarsus, T02. 

" The bill is dusky above, pale fleshy beneath ; the inside of the 
mouth, yellow ; irides, reddish brown ; eyelids, greenish fleshy ; 
legs, fleshy white ; toes, of a slightly paler color ." 

399 sextua. — Pellorneum minor, Mume, ? P. sub- 
ochraceum, Swmh. 

Mr. Oates sends an unmistakable specimen of this species, 
and says : "This bird appears to feed on the ground in pairs. I 
have met with it very rarely, and always in thick brushwood on 
the ground. A pair I shot measured as follows : — 

"Male. — Length, 6*65; expanse, 8 - 6; tail, from vent, 2*65 ; 
wing, 2*62; -bill, from gape, 0*82; tarsus, 1*05. 

"Female. — Length, 6*4; expanse, 8; tail, from vent, 2*7 (?) ; 
wing, 2*5; bill, from gape, 0*79; tarsus, 1'0. 

' ' Primaries. — Fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth, sub-equal and 
longest; fourth, 0*05; third, 035 ; second, 0*6; and first, 1'0, 
shorter than the longest." 

I described this bird (Stray Feathers, 1873, p. 298) from 
a very indifferent specimen, which must have been a female. 
The type specimen agrees well with a specimen sent by Mr. Oates, 
except that the latter is rather more fulvous below. The 
proportions of the primaries, as given by Mr. Oates, agree very 
well with those of the type specimen. Mr. Oates has sent 
another specimen which, though it has a somewhat longer 
wing, belongs also, I think, to this same species; but the bill 
is broken, and the specimen otherwise so indifferent that I 
cannot be quite certain. Of this Mr. Oates, who seems inclined 
to consider it as distinct, remarks — 

" This is far from common. I have met with only two specimens. 
One measured: Length, 6'5; tail, from vent, 2*7; wing, 2*75; 
bill, from gape, 0*82; tarsus, 1. The irides were reddish 
chocolate; the upper mandible, dark horny, slightly paler 
towards the tip ; the anterior half of lower mandible, very pale 
horny ; the basal one-half, light yellowish ; legs, feet, and claws, 
fleshy." ^ 

The bird is very close to both rnficeps and nipalensis, but it has 
a much shorter bill than the former and a much slenderer one than 
the latter. The spotting on the breast is paler-colored, less 
in extent and less conspicuous altogether than in either 

I have recently obtained a series of more than twenty of 
this species, a considerable number of which were measured in 


the flesh. The males as usual amongst these birds run, I find, 
a good deal larger than the females. The following are the 
dimensions of both sexes : — 

Males: Length, 6-65 to 6*8; expanse, 8*5 to9'25; tail, from 
vent, 2-25 to 2*82; wing, 2-5 to2'75; tarsus, 0'95 to T05 ; 
bill, from gape, 08 to 9 f 85; weight, 1 to 1*2 oz. 

Females: Length, 6 '12 to 6 -4; expanse, 8 to 8- 25 ; tail, 
2-4 to 2-6; wing, 237 to 2*5 • tarsus, TO; bill, from gape, 0-79 
to 0-83; weight, 075 to 0-85 oz. 

In both sexes, legs, feet, and claws are pinkish fleshy ; the 
irides vary from red brown to reddish pink or light pinkish red. 
The upper mandible is dark brown, paling to the tip. The lower 
mandible yellow from base to the angle of the gonys, and thence 
to tip, fleshy or fleshy white. 

There is no donbt that this is a perfectly good and distinct 
species, but now that I find the bird common, I begin to suspect 
that this is P. subociiraceum described by that indefatigable 
ornithologist Mr. Swinhoe in the An. and Mag. of Natural 
History, 1871, p. 257. 

He says : " Like P. rufieeps, Swainson, of India, but smaller, 
with less deep bill and shorter tarse ; crown, richer rufous, with 
a distinct pale buff eye streak extending to- the nape ; breast, 
flanks, and vent, buff, leaving the belly nearly white; the 
breast streaked with a few, long, olive brown, arrow-head marks ; 
length, 5*8 j wing, 2 - 7; tail, 2-6. 

" My single specimen of this bird was collected in the Tenas- 
serim Provinces, and sent to me some years ago by Mr. Blytk. 
My P. nificeps is from Mr. Beavan's collection." 

Now, if Swinhoe had specimens of the real ruficeps from 
Southern and Central India, of course the two birds could not be 
identical; but it seems probable that he had specimens of the 
thick-billed nipalensis, Hodgs. (re-described as Mandellii by 
Mr. Blanford), in which case there would be no difficulty in 
identifying minor and sulocliraceum 

402.— Pomatorhinus schisticeps, Hodgs. 

Two specimens sent by Mr. Oates belong to this present species, 
while specimens received from a little further east in Northern 
Tenasserim are leucogaster, Gould — that is to say, smaller birds 
with shorter bills, a much less cinereous tinge upon the forehead 
and crown, and a marked, though irregular, ferruginous demi- 
collar on the nape. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " This species is common throughout 
our limits, and is the only bird of the genus I have met with 
here. It goes about in parties of five or six ; its cry is ' oo-roo- 
roo-roo-ta-rwai/, 3 repeated frequently from the middle of thick 


" Males measured : Length, 9-2 to 9*3 ; expanse, 11 to 11*4 ; 
tail, from vent, 3' 9 to 4*2 ; wing, 3' 7; bill, from gape, 1*3; 
tarsus, 1*3. 

" The bill is orange yellow; the base of the lower mandible 
and gape, dusky ■ the inside of mouth, flesh color ; iris, pale 
yellow ; eyelid and naked skin behind eye, pale lavender ; legs, 
dusky plumbeous ; claws, horny." 

407 bis. — G-arrulax Belangeri, Less. 

Specimens from Thayetmyo apjjear to be identical with others 
from the neighbourhood of Rangoon and various localities in 
Tenasserim, where this species is specially common and abundant. 

Mr. Oates says : " This is a common bird both in the plains 
and on the hills — commoner perhaps in the latter ; goes in flocks 
of from five to twenty, feeds on the ground, and has a very loud 
cheerful laugh, which it utters in chords with others on the 
slightest provocation. Their united noise is rather startling, when 
heard unexpectedly, in some dark forest. Specimens I measured 
gave dimensions as follow : — 

"Length, 11*2 to 11*8; expanse, 14*5 to 16*25 ; tail, from 
vent, 4*4 to 4-8 ; wing, 4*85 to 5; bill, from gape, 1*4; tarsus, 
1*8. The bill is black ; the gape, yellow ; the inside of the mouth, 
flesh -colored; iris, pinkish hazel; eyelids, yellowish grey ; legs, 
plumbeous; claws, pale horn color. I found the remains of insects 
and two grains of rice in the stomach of one that I dissected.'''' 

This species, though recognizable at the first glance, only differs 
from Garndax leucolophos, Hardw., in having, as Mr. Blyth 
pointed out in 1841, the whole back, wings, sides, vent, and 
lower tail coverts more or less ferruginous, which color in 
leucolophos is confined to the nape and sides of the neck, 
passing downwards across the breast, and in having the white 
of the under parts, which in leucolophos terminates abruptly 
at the lower part of the breast, continued some way down the 
middle of the abdomen. 

412.— Grarrulax pectoralis, Gould, 

Some of the Thayetmyo birds differ from Darjeeling specimens 
in having the whole upper surface somewhat paler ; the chin, 
throat, and whole space within the pectoral band, pure white, instead 
of more or less ferruginous ; in having the breast and flanks only 
faintly tinged with this color ; and lastly, in having the white tijis 
to the lateral tail feather somewhat broader. I do not know 
whether these distinctions are constant in all specimens; in 
dimension the birds correspond exactly. 

It is curious how the ear coverts vary in this species ; in some 
birds they are entirely silvery white ; in others, they are mingled 


black and white ; and in others again (and this was the form that 
Blyth long- ago separated as melanotis) they are entirely black. 
This does not appear to be a sexual difference : to the best of my 
remembrance both sexes vary equally in this respect. Is it seasonal, 
or is it due to age ? This is a problem I should like to see solved. 

There is another problem scarcely less puzzling, and that is 
the relation of the present species to moniliger, Hodgson. This 
latter is nothing but a smaller race of pectoralis j which it matches 
feather for feather; its ear coverts vary just as those of pectoralis 
do, but it is very distinctly smaller, and has a wing fully half 
an inch shorter. It might be supposed that these were different 
sexes of the same species, but this is certainly not the case ; we 
have both sexes of each race. 

If these races occurred in different localities, the matter would 
be comparatively easy ; but, as far as I know, wherever the one 
is found the other also occurs, and this is certainly the case in 
Sikhim, in the Bhootan Dhooars, in Assam, the Tipperah Hills, 
and Pegu. 

How are we to explain these two persistent differently-sized 
races, precisely similar in every other respect, living side by side, 
and yet apparently not interbreeding? At any rate, I have never 
seen a specimen intermediate in size between the two races. 

Mr. Oates says : " Within our limits this species is as common 
as Belangeri, and of similar habits. I found tbe nest of this bird 
on the 27th April. The nest I have already described in Nests 
and Eggs, Pt. II. A pair I shot measured as follows : — 

"Male: Length, 12*7; expanse, 17; tail, from vent, 5*1; 
wing, 5'7 ; bill, from gape, 1'5 ; tarsus, P95. 

" Female: Length, 12; expanse, 17; tail, from vent, 5; wing, 
5 - 7 ; bill, from gape, 1"5 j tarsus, 1*8. 

" The hides are reddish brown; the upper mandible, dark brown ; 
lower mandible, bluish horny at base and tip, darker in the middle; 
inside of mouth, bluish fleshy; eyelids and bare patch behind, 
grey ; edges of eyelids, orange yellow ; legs, light plumbeous ; 
claws, bluish white. " 

413. — Garrulax moniliger, Bodgs. 

Identical with specimens from other localities referred to in 
the preceding. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " This species is not so common as pecfc- 
ralis, but is of the same distribution. I shot one female off her 
nest on the 27th April in the Pegu Hills. The nest is described 
in Nests and Eggs, Pt. II. A pair I shot measured as follows : — 

"Male: Length, 12 ; expanse, 15*2; tail, from vent, 4*8; 
wing, 5 ; bill, from gape, 1*3; tarsus, 1*74*. 

"Female: Length, 11*2 • expanse, 14*3 j tail, 4*7 ; wing-, 4 - 6; 
bill, from gape, 1*3* tarsus, 1*72. 


" Another female measured 11'7. 

" The irides, bright yellow ; eyelids and their edges, dark dull 
purple ; bill, dark horny ; tips and margins of both mandibles, 
very light transparent horny " 

439.— Chatarrhsea Earlei, Blyth. 

Mr. Blanford obtained this species on the banks of the Irra- 
waddy, in high elephant grass, at Thayetmyo (Ibis, 1870, 
p. 466), and I have now received specimens thence, though 
neither Mr. Oates nor Captain Feilden appears to have met with it. 

439 Us. — Chatarrhsea gularis, Blyth. — (Journal, 
Asiatic Society, Bengal,1855, XXIV, p. 478.) 

This species, which appears to be common in Pegu and Upper 
Burmah, is not of course described by Dr. Jei'don, and I therefore 
transcribe Blytlv's original description : " Color, ruddy brown, 
passing to olivaceous on the hind part of the back, each feather 
having a narrow black mesial streak ; frontal feathers, narrow, 
stiffish pointed, and white, with black mesial line — these peculiar 
feathers continued over, but not beyond, the eye ; lores, blackish ; 
chin and throat, pure white, extending down the front of the 
neck ; ear coverts and sides of neck, unstreaked ruddy ; breast and 
flanks, ruddy brown, paler on belly ; and lower tail coverts, duller 
brown ; tail, dull olive brown, and conspicuously rayed across ; bill, 
dull plumbeous, yellowish towards gape ; and legs, pale brown, 
and darker on joints ; length, about 1 1 inches ; of tail, 6 inches ; 
closed wing, 3§ inches ; bill to gape, 1 inch ; and tarsus, 1J inch." 

Mr. Oates remarks : " This species is common round Thayetmyo 
and as far south as Prome, and easterly to the foot of the Pegu Hills. 
The sexes are of much the same size. A pair measured as follows : — 

"Length, 10*1; expanse, 10*4 to 10*8; tail, from vent, 5*3 
to 5*4; wing, 3*2 to3'25; bill, from gape, 1*0 to 1 # 05; tarsus, 
1-35 to 1-4," 

I have however a specimen fully as large as that of which the 
dimensions were given by Mr. Blyth. 

440— Megalurus palustris, JECorsf. 

Mr. Oates says : " Having recently procured this bird, I iden- 
tify with it two birds which I once saw at Thayetmyo in a bean 
field, on a sand-bank opposite the station.'" 

451 Ms. — Criniger griseiceps, Hime. 

I have already described this species (Stray Feathers, 1873, 
p. 478), and have nothing now to add to what I then said, except 
that it is very distinct from C. ochraceus, Moore, of which also we 
now have a large series. 


452 quat. — Microtarsus Blanfordi, Jerdon. 

This species was first discriminated by Dr. Jerdon (Ibis, 1862, 
p. 20). 

Mr. Oates remarks : " Common in the Irrawaddy Valley as far 
south as Prome, and easterly to the foot of the Pegu Hills. Its 
range is chiefly north of Thayetmyo in native territory. It has 
a harsh note, and is very irritable when approached, raising its 
crest and chattering. It is generally found in gardens and 
waste land, and is not uncommon in our cantonment. The sexes 
are of much the same size. Specimens measured — 

"Length, 7"6to7 - 7; expanse, 10 - 5; tail, from vent, 3*05 to 
3-25; wing, 3-12 to 3'15; bill, from gape, O'Sl to 0-88; 
tarsus, 0*85 to 0*93. The fifth primary is the longest ; the fourth, 
sixth, and seventh, sub-equal; the third 0'15, the second 0*55, 
and the first 1*4 shorter than the fifth. The irides are pale yellowish 
brown; eyelids, greenish plumbeous; bill, light brown, paler at the 
base of lower mandible and gape ; inside of mouth, flesh color ; 
legs, clear plumbeous ; claws, horny." 

I have specimens of this bird also from Bhammo in Upper 

The entire upper surface is a dull pale earth brown, with a 
slight olive tinge, most marked upon the rump, the margins of 
the outer webs of the quills and greater coverts, and of the outer 
webs of the tail feathers. In some specimens the head also has 
a decidedly olive tinge, and the feathers of the forehead and 
crown are slightly lengthened and faintly centred darker. There 
is no trace of this in other specimens. The lores, chin, and 
cheeks, are dull white, slightly tinged with grey or brown. The 
ear coverts are pale brown, conspicuously shafted with pure 
white, and this is the most conspicuous feature in the bird's 
plumage ; the breast and the rest of the lower parts are pale 
brownish grey, passing on the abdomen and lower tail coverts 
into very pale fulvous ; the upper abdomen is likewise, in some 
specimens, streaked with pale fulvous ; the wing lining and the 
margins of the quills on the inner webs are also pale fulvous ; 
the lower surface of the tail, pale brownish grey, often, in fine 
specimens, with a faintly fulvous tinge. 

Specimens vary a good deal in tint, according to the season at 
which they were killed ; some are much more olivaceous above 
and fulvous below. 

456.— Rubigula flaviventris, Tickell. 

This species is included in Mr. Oates's list. The only specimen 
he sent, however, was so entirely destroyed that I cannot say 
whether he had correctly identified it, or whether it was some 
distinct nearly-allied species ; however, the bird has already been 


sent by others from Pegu, and we may, I think, safely accept 
Mr. Oates's identification. He says : " This bird is very common 
in the Evergreen Forests ; dozens may be seen on the hills on 
any Banyan tree which may happen to have fruit. I believe it 
to be entirely frugivorous. 

" A female measured: Length, 7* 7; expanse, 10 - 2; tail, from 
vent, 3'6; wmg, 3 - 2 ; bill, from gape, - 72 (in another, 0*8), 
tarsus, 065. The irides were pale yellow; the eyelids, yellowish 
fleshy ; bill, dark brown ; inside of mouth, fleshy yellow ; legs 
and feet, brown ; claws, dark horny." 

Subsequently I have examined two specimens from the Pegu 
Yoma Hills. They are identical with Indian examples. 

460. — Otocompsa emeria, Shaw. 

Neither Captain Feilden nor Mr. Oates has sent this species, 
but it was obtained by Sir Arthur Phayre somewhere in the 
Tonghoo District, and I therefore include it in our list. 

Mr. Oates says : " Mr. Raikes shot a specimen at Prome which 
he showed me. It is perfectly identical with birds from Lower 
Pegu, of which I have lately procured several. The dimensions 
are much smaller than those given by Jerdon. The Burman bird 
is very common throughout Lower Pegu, and extends into our 
limits sparingly. 

" A female measured: Length, 7 - 55 ; expanse, 9G ; tail, 3-1 ; 
wing, 2 - 95 ; tarsus, \8; bill "85; iris, hazel brown; inside of 
mouth, yellow ; bill, legs, and toes, black/'' 

This would appear to be the smaller race, with shorter ear 
tufts, usually identified with monticola, McClell., but which I do 
not think can be this species, because, though I have seen 
many examples of it from Assam, I have also seen one in 
which the red ran forwards above and below the eye, so as to 
make nearly a ring round it. This I take to be monticola. It 
may be merely an abnormal form of the ordinary Assam race, 
but it gives the bird a very different appearance, although in 
other respects I did not notice (I had, however, no opportunities 
of comparing it) any differences in plumage. 

461.— Molpastes pygmSBUS, Hodgson. 

In these Thayetmyo birds I expected to meet with Blyth's 
nigropileus (Journal, Asiatic Society, 1847, Vol. XVI., p. 472) .* 

* " Pycnonotus nigropileus," says Blyth, " merely differs from P. licvmorrhous, 
in having no black on the throat and breast, which are brown, with greyish 
margins to the feathers, like the back ; and the whole nape and back are much 
paler than in P. hcemorrhous, the cap alone being black." We found this and 
chrysorrhoides, Lafr., (the Chinese form) common in Northern Tenasserim. 


• As a matter of fact, however, the Thayetmyo specimens are 
somewhat intermediate between pygmans and Blyth's bird. In 
general character of plumage it resembles P. intermedhis, Hay, 
(which is very doubtfully distinct) ; but it has the large bill and 
wing of the true pygma&us ; the black however is confined to the cap, 
and the breast is brown, narrowly edged with greyish white ; 
but the whole chin and throat are black as in pygmeeus, and 
I have no doubt that, if the whole country between Dacca and 
Mergui were to be properly worked, every intermediate stage 
of plumage between typical pygmaws and typical uigropileus 
would be met with. Chrysorrhoides, Lafr., which is the Chinese 
bird and not, as Mr. Gray makes it, identical with the Indian or 
Madras Bulbul, is very common in Northern Tenasserim, as is also 
uigropileus, and these two grade into one another. Again, the 
Madras Bulbul, pusillus, Blyth, andpygmaus, if typical examples 
be selected, are very distinct ; but between them we have 
P. mtermedius, and between intermedins and each of them again 
we have an almost unbroken series of links. 

Mr. Oates says : " This species is very common in the plains, 
but is not found on the hills." 

I follow Mr. Gray in calling this species " pygmaus ; " hitherto 
the name has been generally given as " pygteus." 

463 ter. — Phyllornis chlorocephalus, Walden. 

Lord Walden characterized this species in the An. and Mag. op 
Natural History for 1871, p. 241. 

He remarked : " The Burman representative of the Sumatran 
and Malayan Phyllornis icterocephaliis, Tem., apud Bonap., has not 
been hitherto discriminated. It chiefly differs from that species 
by possessing a much longer bill, by having the crown of the 
head green and not yellow, and by wanting the intense golden 
color of the nape. The frontal plumes are bright yellow. The 
female (perhaps the young male) has the forehead, as well as the 
crown, bright green. Bill from nostril full half an inch ; other 
dimensions as in Malaccan examples (four in number) of 
Phyllornis icterocephaliis , Tem. Described from three adult 
males and one female obtained near Tonghoo." 

Mr. Blyth says he received cochinchinensis from Sir Arthur 
Phayre from somewhere in the Tonghoo or Thayetmyo District, 
but his bird doubtless belonged to the present species, of which 
Mr. Oates also sent one specimen so entirely destroyed by insects that 
I only identified it by the dimensions which he recorded in the flesh. 

Numerous specimens subsequently obtained by ourselves 
euable me to give full dimensions and a description. 

Males: Length, 7 to 7 '4; expanse, 9- 82 to 11-0; tail, from 
vent, 2-75 to 3-0; wing, 325 to 3-39 ; tarsus, 0"65 to 07 ; bill, 
from gape, - 82 to 0*95; weight, 1 oz. 


Legs and feet, plumbeous, or dull horny blue ; claws, plum- 
beous, horny, brown at tips ; bill, black ; irides, deep brown. 

The male has the lores, the cheeks as far back as the centre 
of the eye, the chin, the upper throat, and a gradually narrowing 
streak down the centre of the rest of the throat, velvet black, 
with a very short, dull violet cobalt mandibular stripe on either 
side : a band across the forehead over the lores and eye and round 
the eye, and thence bounding the black of the throat, pale yellow. 
The rest of the forehead, and the anterior half of the crown and 
a more or less perceptible extension behind the yellow eye-band 
to the ear coverts and these latter, pale green, with only a faint 
yellowish tinge. The occiput, nape, and sides of the neck behind 
the ear coverts, green, with a strong golden tinge. On the lower 
part of the throat the pale yellow band is greatly extended, and 
gradually changes on the upper part of the breast to a golden 
green like that of the nape. Back scapulars, rump, and upper 
tail coverts, grass green, with more or less of a golden tinge 
on the upper back, and darker and purer on the rump and 
upper tail coverts. Central tail feathers, blue green; shafts, brown ; 
lateral tail feathers, dull blue ; all the feathers, very narrowly 
margined at the tips with albescent. Inner webs of primaries 
and secondaries, dark hair brown. Winglet, outer webs of pri- 
maries, and their greater coverts, bright cerulean blue, greener in 
some lights, and all slightly tinged greenish toward their tips. 
Lesser coverts, glistening smalt blue ; median and secondary 
greater coverts, outer margins of outer webs of secondaries, and 
visible portions of tertiaries, grass green, with more or less of a 
golden tinge at times. Inner portions of outer webs of secondaries, 
blue ; and more or less of a blue green tinge on parts of the inner 
webs towards their bases. Lower breast, abdomen, sides, flanks, 
vent, and lower tail coverts, bright grass green. Edge of the wing 
at carpal joint, blue. Wing lining and greater portion of the 
lower surface of the quills, except the first two primaries and 
the tips of the next two or three, pale satin brown. The coverts, 
faintly tinged with green. The tibial plumes, brown. 

It must be understood that in the head, neck, and back the 
pale yellow, the green, and the golden, run smoothly into one 
another without any hard lines of demarcation. 

The female wants the black lores, chin, and throat, the yellow 
encircling band, and has much less of the golden tinge on the 
nape and sides of the neck. The tail and wings are much less 
blue, and the shoulder patch is much smaller in extent, less 
glistening, and verditer blue. The black in the males is replaced 
by a slightly bluish green, and the mandibular stripe represented 
by a small pale bluish green patch. 

The young male seems to be exactly like the female, except 
that it wants the blue tinffe on the chin an«d the middle of the 


throat, that it generally exhibits traces of a sub-terminal brown 
band on the tertiaries, and the shoulder patch is of almost the 
same color as that of the adult male, though less in extent. 

465. — Phyllornis aurifrons, Tern. 

Messrs. Gray and Gould separate the Himalayan race as 
Hodgsoui, Gray, from aurifrons, Tern., which was originally 
described from Sumatra ; neither of them appears to have examined 
Sumatran examples, and I am therefore not prepared at present 
to separate the two races, the more so as Temminck's figure 
(PI. Col. 484-1) represents perfectly one of the many phases of 
plumage of our bird. Moreover, I have aurifrons — I mean the 
Himalayan bird — not only from numerous localities throughout 
the whole Sub-Himalayan region eastward of the Jumna, but 
from Dacca, Tipperah, and Northern Tenasserim. Now, we have 
it here from Pegu, and I have seen it from somewhere near Penang. 
All that can be said apparently of the Himalayan birds is that 
they run perhaps a trifle larger than those from Eastern Bengal, 
Burrnah, &c. 

Mr. Oates says : " This species is common in the plains. 
I did not meet with it often on the hills, and what few I saw I 
did not shoot. Specimens that I measured varied as follow : — 

u Length, 7*5 to 7*7 ; expanse, 11 to 11* 75 ; tail, from vent, 2*8 ; 
wing, 3*55to3 - 9; bill, from gape, 0*95 to l - 0; tarsus, 0'65to 
0*8; bill, black ; inside of mouth, bluish grey ; eyelids, dark 
brown ; legs and feet, plumbeous ; claws, horny." 

467.— jflEgithina tiphia, Lin. 

Here we have from Thayetmyo, killed on the 19th May, a 
typical Iora zeylonica, with the whole nape and back black, 
absolutely undistinguishable from Ceylon males in breeding 
plumage; and a second bird, killed on the 2nd June in the 
same locality, with the whole head and nape black, and the back 
yellow, fringed with black, as is so commonly the case in zeylonica 
from different parts of India. 

On the subject of the two supposed species, tiphia, Lin., and 
zeylonica, Gm., I have already (Stray Feathers, Vol. II, 
p. 459) recorded my views at some length, but as the question is 
rather important, being typical of a great number of similar 
ones, I venture to re-state in a somewhat different form my 
argument. I am entirely open to conviction. I am ready to 
change, on good cause shown, the most cherished opinion I hold 
at a moment's notice. I have not a bit more belief in my own 
infallibility than in that of my neighbour's, and am quite con- 
vinced that I make just as many, if not more, mistakes than they 
do. All I want is the truth. 


"Why I press this question is that I have paid particular atten- 
tion to it, more I think than any one else has yet done, and I want 
others to take it up also, so that it may be throughly threshed 

My contention is — 

1*/. — If you base the distinctness of the species on difference 
of habitat, then I can show typical tipkia from the 
extreme south of India, and zeylonica from Burmah. 
Nay, there is in the India Museum a specimen, a black- 
headed, partially black-backed, male, collected in the 
Wellesly Province which I pointed out to Mr. Wood- 
Mason, and which he concurred with me in pronoun- 
cing absolutely identical with another Ceylon specimen 
in the same drawer. 
Znd. — If you base the distinctness of the species on difference 
of size, then I can show equally big and equally little 
birds in both plumages. 
2,rd. — If you base the distinctness of the species on difference 
in plumage, then I say we can show every stage 
between the two typical forms. 
I confess that I am unable under these circumstances to see 
my way to making two species. 

Possibly, if the subject be throughly studied, some slight, but 
certain and constant, diagnosis may be established, and, if so, 
no one will hail the discovery with greater pleasure than 

Mr. Oates says that this species is very common, and gives 
dimensions as follow : — 

"Length, 5 to 5*3; expanse, 7*5 to 7*9; tail, from vent, 
1-8 to 2; wing, 2-3 to 2-45; bill, from gape, 0'63 to 0-65 ; 
tarsus, 0"7 to 0*82. The irides yellowish white ; bill, whole 
lower mandible, and margin of upper to within 0*1 of the tip, 
light blue ; remainder of upper mandible, black ; legs and claws, 
pale blue. In one specimen the irides were brown." 

Mr. Oates refers to another species of Iora, which varied in 
length from 55 to 5*6, and had the wings 2*4; the other 
dimensions and colors of soft parts as in the present species, 
and remarks : " Both species, if distinct, are equally common," 
and his notes show that the specimens of both were killed at 
Thayetmyo on the same date. There is no doubt that this sup- 
posed second species, of which one male is sent, were birds in the 
tijftliia plumage. 

469.— Irena puella, Lath. 

Specimens from Thayetmyo are not separable from others 
from Southern India, and the Himalayas, and the Andamans. 


They all belong to the true puella, as distinguished from malay- 
ensis, Horsf. Here I think that Lord Walden is clearly 
right. So far as I have yet seen, there is no gradation be- 
tween the two species; all the birds that I have examined, 
either have the lower tail coverts reaching to the end of the tail, 
or falling from 1*2 to 1*5 short of this. I have not as yet, how- 
ever, obtained specimens from the southern portion of the Tenas- 
serim provinces, and if from these or any other intermediate 
locality between Tenasserim and Penang we should get specimens 
with an intermediate length of lower tail coverts, then I should 
refuse to admit malayensis as a distinct species ; for the present it 
seems to me impossible not to accept it. 

Mr. Oates says : " It is only on the eastern slopes of the Pegu 
Hills that this bird is found ; in the plains and on the western 
slopes of the hills it never occurs, neither have I ever received it 
from the Arracan Hills. 

" It is extremely abundant in all the Evergreen Forests, frequent- 
ing well-wooded ravines. Jerdon states that it keeps to the 
tops of the highest trees ; this, however, is not the case in Pegu, 
where the bird seems to prefer low densely-foliaged trees. It 
does not wander much, as a rule. It has a sweet note, a kind of 
clear whistle not to be compared, however, in richness to that of 
the Common Black -headed Oriole. It is very sprightly in its 
actions, flitting from branch to branch restlessly, but never going 
far from the particular locality it has selected. I measured a 
good many ; the sexes do not differ constantly in size. The follow- 
ing is a resume of the dimensions : — 

" Length, 10 to 10*45; expanse, 15*3 to 15*5 ; tail, from vent, 
4*1 to 4*5 ; wing, 4*9 to 5*2 ; bill, from gape, 1*15 to 1*25 ; tarsus, 
0*79 to 0-87. 

" In one specimen the under-tail coverts fell short of the end of 
the tail by 1*2, in the rest by 1*25. 

" The irides are rich red ■ the eyelids, pinkish fleshy ; bill, legs, 
feet, and claws, black; the inside of the mouth, fleshy. I ex- 
amined the stomachs of many specimens ; they were all entirely 
filled with Banyan figs. Looking to the appearances presented on 
dissection, I should say that they breed during the latter half of 

471 ter.— Oriolus tenuirostris, Blyth. 

My museum happens to be rather rich in Black-naped Orioles. 
Of some of the species rarest in collections, I have, if my identifi- 
cations are correct, a very fine series, and in hopes of helping to 
clear up some of the difficulties that beset this little group, I 
subjoin a rough diagnostical key to the several species, eight in 
number, with which I am acquainted, and shall be glad to have 
any errors pointed out. 



With no, 
scarcely any, 
yellow on 
the quills. 

With the ter- 
tiaries only 
broadly, and 
very nar 
with yellow 

No yellow wing spot; occipital band ; 
1 to 1*3 wide. 

A small wing spot ; occipital band, 
0-5 to 0-7 wide. 

With much 
yellow on 
the tertia- 

With only a narrow yellow frontal 
band, or pair of frontal spots. 

With a broad black occipital band, 
0-6 to 0-7 wide. 

With narrow black occipital band, 
0-3 to 0-4 wide. 

Wing, 6 ... 

Wing, 5 - 75 
to 6-12. 

Wing, 5-25 
to 5-4. 

Wing, 6 

Wing, 5'5 
to 5-8. 

frontalis, Wall. (Su- 

la Islands), 
macrourus, Blyth. 

andamanensis, Tyt- 

ler. (Andamans). 

acrorhynchus, Vi- 
gors. (P h i 1 1 i - 

Broderipi, Bonap. 
(Sumbava, Lom- 
bok, Flores). 

Outer halves 
of the outer 
webs of the 

Entire outer 
webs of ter- 
tiaries yel- 

Wing spot 
very small 
or want- 

Wing spot 
0-3 to 0-4 

Wing spot 
very deep 
0-7*to 0-8 

Wing, 5-25 to 5-7; 
bill, very broad at 
base; T25 at front. 

Occipital band, 04 
to 0"8 ; bill, strong. 

Occipital band, 03 
to 0*4; bill, more 

hypocrepis, Wag- 
ler. (Sumatra, 

chinensis, Lin. 

indicus, Jerd. 

(Southern India, 

China, and Tenas- 

tenuirostris, Blyth. 


I do not think that we can separate chinensis and indicus. No 
doubt some of my Chinese specimens (from Mr. Swinhoe, from 
Formosa, and Fungshan) have a slightly larger bill, a somewhat 
larger wing spot, and decidedly more yellow on the tertiaries 
than any Southern Indian specimen I possess ; but in a large series 
from Tenasserim, shot at and about the same time and place, I 
can match in every respect every Chinese and Southern Indian 
specimen. As to hypocrepis, Wagler, Bonaparte says that this 
has no wing spot, but all my Sumatran specimens exhibit a very 
small wing spot. 

Mr. Oates remarks of tenuirostris : " This species is not 
uncommon about Thayetmyo, but it is not so plentiful as melano- 
cephalus. An adult male that I measured was : Length, 10"1 ; 
expanse, 18; tail, from vent, 3*85; wing, 5*9; bill, from gape, 
1-35 ; tarsus, 0-97. 

" The irides were crimson; the eyelids, grey ; the bill, pale 
pink ; the inside of the mouth, fleshy ; legs, plumbeous. 

" In a young- bird, with a streaked lower surface, the bill was 
black and the irides brown. " 

This present species, tenuirostris, was first described by Blyth 
(Journal, Asiatic Society, 1816, p. 48), but he described a 


young bird which he at the time believed had come from Central 
India. The bird is so close to indicus that it seems unnecessary 
to give a full description. It may at once be distinguished from 
this latter; [1st), by its much slenderer bill; fynd), by its much 
narrower occipital band; {3rd), by the much greater extent of 
yellow on the primary greater coverts ; [Mh) , by the much greater 
extent of yellow on the tail. On a fine adult male indicus from the 
Malabar Coast the terminal 1*5 of the inner webs of the external 
lateral tail feather is yellow ; in the same feather in tenuirostris 
the yellow extends nearly 2 inches ; about 0*4 of the tips of the 
feathers next the central ones in indicus are yellow ; in the same 
feather in tenuirostris the yellow extends to nearly an inch ; of 
course, in both instances, I refer to adult males. There is always 
much less yellow on the tails of younger birds. 

472.— Oriolus melanocephalus, Lin. 

The Black-headed Orioles from Pegu are typical melanocephalus, 
that is to say, they have the black of the chin and throat coming 
well down on the breast, and they have the yellow running 
well up the outer webs of the tertiaries. They are, in fact, quite 
similar to birds from Lower Bengal, such as one generally meets 
with there. I have already (Stray Feathers, 1873, p. 439) 
expressed my opinion as to the great difficulty that presents itself 
in separating ceybmensis from melanocephalus, and need therefore 
say nothing further on this subject here. 

Mr. Oates tells us that this species is very common about 
Thayetmyo, and he gives the following resume oi the dimen- 
sions of six specimens of both sexes which he measured in the 
flesh :— 

"Length, 8'9 to 9*8; expanse, 15 to 16*3 ; tail, from vent, 
3-35 to 3-5; wing, 5 to 53; bill, from gape, V22 to 1*38; 
tarsus, - 97 to 1*0. In an adult the irides were crimson; the 
eyelids, yellowish grey, with the edges black ; bill, pink ; the 
terminal half, dusky ; inside of mouth, fleshy ; legs, plumbeous ; 
claws, dark horny. 

" In younger birds the bill was fleshy brown, overrun with 
spots and patches of dusky pink; iris, bright red; centre of 
lower eyelid, pale yellow ; edges of both, purpurescent ; legs, brown ; 
claws, nearly black. 

1 ' In a quite young bird the bill was black ; eyelids, grey ; iris, 
hazel brown ; legs, plumbeous ; the margins of the scutse, nearly 

475.— Copsychus saularis, Lin. 

The Thayetmyo birds are very nearly true saularis ; that is, so 
far as I can judge from the males only, for I have received no 


females. Still the males have more black on the fourth tail 
feather than is usually seen on typical saularis, and probably 
the upper surface of the females would prove to be slightly 
darker than in the females of typical saularis. I have already 
explained (Stray Feathers, 1874, p. 230) how the Andaman birds 
are exactly intermediate between saularis and mindanensis ; these 
Thayetmyo birds are, I take it, intermediate between the Andaman 
birds and saularis, but nearest to the latter. The Tenasserim 
birds on the other hand are more like those from the Andamans. 
Mr. Oates remarks : " Common in the plains, but I never met 
with it on the hills. " 

476.— Cercotrichas macrourus, Gm. 

I have seen no specimens myself from Thayetmyo. 

Mr. Oates says : " On the hills this bird is very common, and 
it occurs also in the plains, but is less abundant there. It may 
frequently be heard in the Rifle- Range Nullah at Thayetmyo by 
any one who cares to go and listen to our finest songster. 

" The dimensions of males and females that I measured were as 
follow : — 

"Males: Length, 1035 tolOS; expanse, 11-75; tail, from 
vent, 5-9 to 6-2; wing, 37 j bill, from gape, 092 to 0-95; 
tarsus, 1*09 to 1*1. 

"Females: Length, 925; expanse, 11*1 ; tail, from vent, 5; 
wing, 3' 65 ; bill, from gape, 0*95; tarsus, 1*01. 

' ' The bill is black ; iuside of mouth, fleshy ; legs and claws, 
fleshy pink ; iris, dark brown ; eyelids, plumbeous. This species 
breeds with us about the end of April." 

481.— Pratincola caprata, Lin. 

Thayetmyo specimens are identical with Indian birds. 
Mr. Oates remarks that it is " common in the plains from 
Thayetmyo to the foot of the Pegu Hills." 

483. — Pratincola rubicola, Lin. 

One specimen of this was sent by Mr. Oates, shot at Wadow. 
He says it is " common in the plains only, and on waste ground 
where there are patches of dry grass and small shrubs." 

This specimen belongs to the smaller darker race, which many 
ornithologists separate as indica. In this, however, I cannot 
follow them, as any really large and carefully selected series 
sufficiently proves in my opinion that the two races grade ab- 
solutely insensibly one into the other ; of course, naturalists who 
separate them explain this on the theory that they interbreed on 
the extreme limits of their respective areas of distribution, and 
they would doubtless explain the occurrence of typical specimens 


of one race in the very centre of the area of the other by saying 
that these are mere seasonal migrants. It does not much matter, 
perhaps, how the thing- is explained ; the facts are the same. 

484.— Pratincola leucura, Blyth. 

A single specimen procured at Boulay is quite identical with 
birds from Tipperah, but they are rather darker and brighter- 
colored, and perhaps a shade smaller, than those from Sindh ; but 
the difference is not sufficient to warrant specific separation : 
indeed, is not so great nearly, though it is of the same kind, as 
that between rubicola and indica. This species is only to be 
foimd in the plains about paddy lands. 

486.— Pratincola ferrea, Hbdgs. 

Mr. Oates procured a single specimen of this Chat — a female — 
at Prome, on the 23rd November. He gives the following 
dimensions : — 

Length, 5*95 ; expanse, 6*4; tail, from vent, 2'5 ; wing, 2 # 25; 
bill, from gape, 0-72 ; tarsus, 0*92. 

The bird occurs, as we already know, in the Arracan Hills, 
although whether as a permanent resident or a seasonal visitant 
is uncertain, and it now appears that in the winter, at any rate, 
it straggles down to the plains of Upper Pegu. 

500.— Euticilla aurorea, Pall. 

A single specimen, a female, was sent me by Captain Feilden, 
who obtained it in the cold-season in the neighbourhood 
of Thayetmyo. It was the only one, he said, that he had 

512.— Calliope camtschatkensis, Gm. 

Of this species also Captain Feilden sent a single specimen, 
killed near Thayetmyo. 

530.— Orthotomus longicaudus, Gm. 

Thayetmyo specimens are identical with those from various 
parts of India. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " This is a common bird in the plains, 
and possibly also on the hills, though I did not observe it on 
the latter. I found the nest of this species containing young 
birds in the Thayetmyo cantonment on the 1 2th August. The 
irides are reddish yellow ; the eyelids, grey ; but their edges, reddish 
yellow; the upper mandible, dark horny; the lower, pale fleshy; 
the inside of mouth, pale whitish fleshy ; legs, rufous fleshy ; 
claws, pale brown. The length varies very greatly, according 


to the development of the tail. The expanse is usually about 
5-8; the wing', 1*8 j bill, from gape, 0'63 ; and the tarsus, 
- 8 or thereabouts/' 

536.— Prinia gracilis, Frcmkl. 

Thayetmyo specimens are identical with others from various 
parts of India. Mr. Oates remarks : " I do not know anything* 
precise about the occurrence of this bird. I only shot one at 
Sakanghee. I have as yet paid little attention to these small 
warblers. The one I shot was a male. It measured : Length, 
4 - 55; expanse, 56 ; tail, from vent, 2*15; wing, 1*7 j bill, 
from gape, 0-58 ; tarsus, 07. 

" The irides were hazel red ; eyelids, grey ; bill, horny, paler at 
gape ; legs, pinkish fleshy • claws, pale pinkish horny/'' 

This, I may add, is gracilis, "pure et simple" and not the more 
rufous race, with "the tail above and wings externally uniform 
rufous or light ferruginous," from Arracan, which Blyth described 
(Journal, Asiatic Society, 1847, p. 456) as P. rufescens. 

538.— Prinia Hodgsoni, Blyth. 

A specimen from Thayetmyo, though marked a male, agrees 
perfectly with females from the Wynaad, Sambhur, and other 
parts of Upper India. The male in this species has the bill a 
good deal larger than the female, the head darker, and the 
breast band broader and darker. 

Mr. Oates says : " Common round Thayetmyo Cantonment 
in small parties. The male sometimes sits on the topmost twig 
of a bush, and sings a tremendously hearty little song. A 
male measured : Length, 4 - 3 ; expanse, 5" 8 ■ tail, from vent, 
1-75 ; wing, l - 8; bill, from gape, 0*52; tarsus, 0*75; irides, 
amber ; edges of eyelids, orange ; claws, pale horny ; bill, blackish 
brown ; inside of mouth, black." 

I may note that I think that the bills and the color of the 
inside of the mouths in many of these little Prinia and Drymoipl 
become much darker in the breeding season. The bird described 
by Mr. Oates was shot on the 2nd June. 

538 bis.— Prinia Beavani, Waiden. 

A single specimen from Thayetmyo is identical with one from 
Commillah, Tipperah, and others from the Bhootan Dhooars, 
Sikhim, and Tenasserim. Lord Waiden first described this 
species from specimens obtained by the late Captain Beavan, at 
Sconaygoon, on the Sal ween River, and who gave the colors of 
the soft parts as : " Irides, reddish yellow ; legs, fleshy ; beak, 
black horny." 


Lord Walden's original description rims as follows : — 

" It is a well-marked form, having the head and nape dull 
cinereous brown, contrasting- distinctly with the slightly ruddy 
brown of the dorsal plumage. The upper surface of the wings 
and tail is of a similar color, the outer edges of the primaries 
being edged with ferruginous. From the nostril, and extending 
over and a little beyond the eye, a bold pure white band. The 
chin, throat, cheeks, breast, and belly, pure white. The under 
wing coverts, under tail coverts, and thigh coverts and flanks, 
fulvous. The rectrices, which in the specimens sent are com- 
paratively short, are tipped with dirty white, which edges a dark 
brown terminal spot, showing through to the upper surface. 
The remaining under surface of the rectrices is pale brown, 
similar in hue to the under surface of the quills, the inner edges 
of these latter being pale ferruginous. The tail consists of ten 
feathers, which are graduated ; the first primary is about two- 
thirds the length of the second, which is considerably shorter 
than the third ; the fourth is longer than the third, and but 
slightly shorter than the fifth, which and the sixth are equal 
and longest ; the seventh is equal to the fourth. 

"Wing, 1*65; tail, 1*75; bill, from forehead, 0-5; from 
nostril, 031 ; tarsus, 0*75 ; hallux, 0'25 ; middle toe, 0-44." 

This species is nearest to gracilis, from which, if you cut off 
the heads of the birds, its body, wings, and tail would be undis- 
tinguishable ; but it differs in having a markedly longer and 
stronger bill, in the cap being a decided grey brown, while in 
gracilis it is unicolorous with the back ; and in having the loral 
eye streak, which in gracilis is feebly defined, a much purer 
white, and much more distinct and conspicuous. 

We recently measured five males obtained in Tenasserim in 
the flesh. They varied as follows : — 

Length, 4-25 to 5-0; expanse, 5-25to5'75; tail, 1*45 to 2-25; 
wing, 1*55 to 1'7 ; tarsus, 0" 75 to 0*95; bill from gaj)e, 055 
to 0-62 ; weight, 0-25 oz. 

The legs and feet varied from pale to dark fleshy, and in one 
were slightly brownish ; the claws were fleshy brown. Bill 
varied from horny brown (December to February) to black 
(end of April) ; the gape and base of lower mandible being 
paler, in some fleshy, in some bluish. The irides varied, some 
light red (end of April), some reddish or orange brown, some 
light wood brown. 

Mr. Mandelli has recently sent me numerous specimens 
obtained in Sikhim. 

539. — Cisticola schcenicola, Bonap. 

Specimens from Thayetmyo correspond entirely with many 
others from all parts of India, from Ceylon to Sindh, and Sindh 


to Dacca. As I have mentioned (Stray Feathers, 1873, p. 439), 
the plumage of this species varies very materially, as also does 
the length of the hill ; but this is the case in every locality. 
Thus, here one of the birds sent by Mr. Oates has an entirely 
streakless olive brown head, whilst another has the head bright 
pale fulvous, each feather with a broad black central streak, and 
had Mr. Oates shot a sufficient series, he would doubtless have 
obtained, as I have elsewhere, specimens exhibiting every pos- 
sible intermediate variation of coloring. I am myself persuaded 
that not a few of the new Cisticola described of late years 
are nothing but stages of plumage of one and the same species. 
I have been rather fortunate in obtaining most of the neces- 
sary materials, and I hope shortly to be able to review this 

Mr. Oates remarks that this species " is very common in all 
paddy lands in the rains." 

547.— Suya crinigera, Ebdgs. 

A single specimen from Thayetmyo agrees well with some 
specimens from the Himalayas. This is a species which varies 
much in size and in plumage, and though no doubt the males 
are always larger than the females, this is not the sole reason 
of the difference, as you get small males also. Sometimes the 
whole upper surface, the head especially, is very strongly striated 
with dark brown, and the bird has quite a ruddy tint ; at other 
times the striations are almost obsolete, and the whole upper 
surface is a dull earthy brown. I think the changes of plumage 
of this species require investigation ; it is possible that some birds 
that I have passed by as crinigera really belonged to obscura. 

Mr. Oates says : " This is not uncommon immediately round 
the Thayetmyo cantonments ; I have seen it nowhere else. It 
likes to sit on the topmost bough of a rather high tree, or less 
frequently on a shrub, and to sing a weak grating song which 
lasts for two or three minutes. A male I shot measured : 
Length, 7; expanse, 7"3; tail, from vent, 3 - 3; wing, 2-25; bill, 
from gape, 0*68; tarsus, 1*0. 

" The irides were pale brownish yellow ; the bill, black, paler at 
base of lower mandible ; the inside of the mouth, black ; eyelids, 
plumbeous ; feet, yellowish ; claws, pale horny ." 

These are scarcely the habits of Suya crinigera in the Himalay- 
as ; there they avoid towns and villages, and affect open sunny 
slopes, at an elevation of 2,000 to 4,000 feet, where there is 
some stunted scrub and a little high grass, in amongst which 
scrub and grass they thread their way, comparatively rarely 
showing themselves, except during the breeding season, and in 
some little thorny bush amongst which they build their flimsy 
little nest. 


552.— Neornis flavolivacea, Sodga ? 

A specimen sent by Mr. Oates I identify somewhat doubt- 
fully with this species ; the bill is wanting-, and both wings are 
imperfect, and under these circumstances this is not a bird of 
which one can be absolutely sure; however, I believe I have 
correctly identified it. Mr. Oates remarks that he "met a 
party of seven or eight on the 10th January at Tamagan. They 
were moving very restlessly amongst brushwood. They have a 
sharp note frequently repeated/-' 

555.— Phyllopseuste fuscata, Blyth. 

A single specimen is sent from Yattoun, Thayetmyo District, 
by Mr. Oates, who says : " I only shot one bird of this species, and 
that in a Mango grove. I carbolized the bird, and did not 
ascertain its sex ; but it measured : Length, 5 - 2; expanse, 7*8; 
tail, from vent, 2 ; wing, 2*45 ; bill, from gape, 0'54 j tarsus, 0-88. 

" The irides are brown ; the eyelids, grey ; the upper mandible, 
dusky rufous ; the lower mandible, dusky at tip only ; the remain- 
der, fulvous yellow ; gape, yellowish ; inside of mouth, yellow ; 
legs, dusky fleshy, darker on the toes ; claws, yellowish horny." 

The specimen sent agrees perfectly with others from Cachar, 
Tipperah, the Bhootan Dhooars, &c. It is entirely an eastern form, 
and I myself have never known it to occur, south of the Hima- 
layas, west of a line drawn north and south through Benares. 

561.— Phyllopseuste aflinis, Tick. 
562.— Phyllopseuste indica, Jerd. 

Both these, Mr. Blyth records, were obtained by Sir Arthur 
Phayre in the Tonghoo District. 

564.— Reguloides trochiloides, Sundev. 

One very bad specimen carbolized and without a tail, which I 
refer to this species, is sent by Mr. Oates from the Pegu Hills, 
where he shot it on the 10th April. It is, he says, the only bird 
of the kind he met with, but he has not yet worked the small 

This bird agrees perfectly in size and markings with trochi- 
loides, but it absolutely wants, except on the wing bars, the yellow 
tint so conspicuous on the whole lower surface of trochiloides, 
on the edge of the wing, on the long superciliary stripe, and 
on the cheek stripe ; but I believe this is due to the birds having 
been carelessly carbolized. I find that where carbolic acid is 
allowed to spread at all it turns all yellow feathers pure white. 
I have noticed this in many birds, and have tried experiments 
with carbolic acid which have proved the fact beyond a doubt, 


and here amongst the birds sent by Mr. Oates is an Abrornis 
swperciliaris with the whole abdomen pure silky white, bleached 
by the incautious use of carbolic acid. Now that small birds are 
so commonly carbolized, ornithologists should be on their guard 
against this change of color. I have not been able to ascertain 
that this substance affects any other color. Many people object to 
carbolized birds, but there is no doubt that if the process is care- 
fully performed, it is the only way open to the travelling 
naturalist, who has to preserve twenty or thirty specimens a day, 
of securing really perfect specimens, in which the various stripes 
and streaks about the head of many of the small, soft-plumaged 
birds — l J hjlloscopi, Meguloides, and the like — shall not be in any 
way disarranged. 

565.— Keguloides superciliosus, Gm. 

Obtained by Sir Arthur Phayre in the Tonghoo District. 

569 Ms— Culicipeta tephrocephalus, Anderson, 

A single specimen sent by Mr. Oates I refer to this species. 
In size and general appearance it differs in no way from Burkii ; 
but when closely examined it proves to have, which Dr. Anderson 
does not notice, a much smaller bill than any Burkii, and more- 
over the central head streak is pure grey, and on either side of 
the occiput from behind the eye runs another grey stripe, which, 
curving round the base of the occiput, meets at the termination 
of the head stripe. Of the great number of Burkii now before 
me, no specimen presents any such appearance, but one or two of 
them have portions of a few of the feathers of the head streak 
grey ; this difference of coloring, coupled with a conspicuous 
difference in the size of the bill, quite justifies, I think, the 
separation of the species, which Dr. Anderson first obtained in 
Upper Burmah and of which we have numerous specimens from 

Mr. Oates says : " This bird is uncommon. I met with only 
one specimen on the western slopes of the hills. It was a male, 
and measured as follows : — 

" Length, 4/8 ; expanse, 6'8 ; tail, from vent, 2; wing, 2"3 j bill, 
from gape, 0*56; tarsus, 0*72. 

" The irides, dark brown ; eyelids, plumbeous ; upper mandible, 
dark horny brown ; the edges, pale reddish yellow ; the whole 
lower mandible, pale reddish yellow ; the inside of the mouth, 
reddish fleshy,; legs, fuscous yellow ; claws, pinkish horny " 

574. — Abrornis superciliaris, Tickell. 

This is the species first described, (Journal, Asiatic Society, 
1859,p. 414) from Tenasserim, later described by Jerdon and Blyth 


from Darjeelingas albigularis (Proceedings, Zoological Society, 
1861, p. 200), and this latter name having- been forestalled, again 
described by Jerdon, in 1863, in his Birds of India, Vol. II, p. 
203, as flaviventris. Neither of the descriptions appear to me 
altogether correct. In the original one it is said that the 
cap is light ashy ; in Jerdon's, that the head is greyish ; but in 
none of the specimens that I have seen has more than the fore- 
head and anterior half of the crown been grey ; the posterior 
half of the crown and occiput are always concolorous with the 
back. Again, Jerdon says that the lores are black; but they are 
not black, they only have a dusky stripe running through them ; 
not merely are the chin and throat white, but so also is the upper 
margin of the breast. The whole of the cheeks and ear coverts 
are greyish white, only the extreme tips of the latter are 
sometimes faintly tinged with green. There is in good speci- 
mens a dusky spot behind the eye, and the ear coverts are some- 
times greyish brown instead of greyish white. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " This species does not appear to me to 
be common. I have only met with it on the western side 
of the hills — in nullahs, amongst brushwood. The birds vary 
a good deal in size. Two specimens, the smaller, perhaps 
a female, though I did not ascertain the sex, measured as 
follows : — 

"Length, 4, 4'4; expanse, 5*6, 6 ; tail, from vent, 1*55, 
1*8; wing, 1*72, 1'92; bill, from gape, 0'55, 057 ; tarsus, 
0-71, 0-78. 

" The bill is a more or less dark brown above, paler and more ov 
less plumbeous on the lower mandible ; the inside of the mouth, 
yellow, or pale orange, fleshy ; the irides, dark brown ; eyelids, 
grey or plumbeous ; legs, dusky or fleshy yellow." 

585. — Enicurus immaculatus, Sodgs. 

Thayetmyo specimens are identical with others from Sikhim. 
A very little further south-east this species is entirely replaced 
by Leschenaultii, V. 

Mr. Oates says : ' ' The Spotless Fork-tail is common in all the 
hill streams, but not in the plains, where I have never seen it. 
It appears to be equally common in the Arracan Hills. It has 
rather a pretty song which it sings off a bush. A male 
measured — 

"Length, 9*8; expanse, 12*5; tail, from vent, 53; wing, 
4; bill, from gape, - 95; tarsus, 1*22. 

" Birds from the Arracan Hills seem to be slightly 

" The irides are brown ; eyelids, well-feathered ; bill and inside 
of mouth, black ; feet and claws, pale yellow/-' 


590.— Motacilla luzoniensis, Scop. 

* A single specimen, a female with the wing 3*05, in winter 
plumage, sent me by Mr. Oates, is, I consider, clearly referable 
to this species. This Wagtail, he says, is one of the commonest 
birds about Thayetmyo. It is to be regretted that he was un- 
able to send a series, as it is not improbable that more than one 
species of Grey Wagtail occurs within our limits. 

593 ter.— Budytes cinereocapilla, SavL 

This also is said by Mr. Oates to be excessively common during 
the colder season, within our limits. He sent me a single 
typical male. As he has not yet worked up the Wagtails, it 
is not unlikely that other species of Biulytes also occur. 

595— Limonidromus indicus, Gm. 

A single specimen was obtained by Mr. Oates in the heart of 
the Pegu Hills, m dense forest, on the 13th April. Captain 
Feilden also sent this species from the immediate neighbourhood 
of Thayetmyo. 

596.— Pipastes agilis, Syhes. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " Very common in the cold-weather. It 
begins to come in about the 25th August." 

Captain Feilden also sent specimens, and remarks that they 
are very common about Thayetmyo. 

597.— Pipastes plumatus, Mull. 

A single specimen was obtained by Mr. Oates in the Pegu 
Hills, in thick jungle, on the 10th April. He did not discrimi- 
nate this from agilis, so I do not know whether the present 
species occurs in the plains also. 

600.— Corydalla rufula, Vieil. 

Sir Arthur Phayre obtained this species in the valley of the 
Sittang in the Tonghoo District. 

630.— Erpornis xanthochlora, Bodgs. 

Pegu specimens correspond exactly with others from Sikhim, 
where it is a very common bird at moderate elevations. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " This is a common bird all over the hills, 
frequenting ravines and nullahs. Two specimens, a pair, of which 
I took the dimension in the flesh, measured as follows (the 
figures first given in each case are those of the male) : — 

"Length, 4' 83, 4-63; expanse, 8-3, 8-0; tail, from vent, 
1-8, 1-85; wing, fc-65, 2*67; bill, from gape, 0-62, 0-6; tarsus, 
0-7, 0-72. 


" The irides were brown ; the bill, fleshy horny above; the edges 
of the upper mandible and the whole of the lower mandible, 
light fleshy ; gape and inside of the mouth, yellow ; eyelids, plum- 
beous ; legs, feet, and claws, pinkish." 

631.— Zosterops palpebrosa, Tem. 

Specimens sent by Captain Feilden appear to me identical 
with Indian ones. 

645.— Parus caesius, Tick. 

Specimens sent by Captain Feilden are absolutely identical 
with specimens from Southern and Northern India. 

650. — Melanochlora sultanea, JSodgs. 

Pegu specimens are identical with others from Sikhim and 

Mr. Oates says : " This species is common on the hills, 
generally in pairs, but sometimes in small flocks. The males 
seem rather larger than the females. Some males measured as 
follows : — 

" Length, 7'9 to 8-3 ; expanse, 12-5 to 13 ; tail, from vent, 3'8 
to 3-85; wing, 4'15 to 4-3; bill, from gape, 0-69 to 0'7; 
tarsus, 0'95. 

" A. female measured — 

" Length, 7*7; expanse, 12; tail, from vent, 3*45; wing, 
3'9; bill, from gape, 0*67; tarsus, # 87. 

" The bill is black ; the inside of the mouth, dark fleshy ; the 
eyelids, plumbeous ; the irides, dark hazel brown ; legs, dull blue ; 
claws, dark horny/'' 

660.— Corvus Levaillantii, Leas. 

Pegu birds are inseparable from Indian ones. One specimen 
has the bill rather more bowed than in any Indian specimen 
that I possess, resembling in this respect the Andaman birds; 
another is identical in every respect with one killed at Abbottabad 
in the extreme north-west frontier. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " This species is common in jungle, 
away from large towns, in pairs, but at times it assumes the 
habits of impudicus, collecting in large numbers, and coming 
into the house to snatch food off the table ; such is the case at 
my small house at Boulay, where impudicus is comparatively 
rare. A male measured : Length, 19; expanse, 37; tail, from 
vent, 7'6; wing, 12-2; bill, from gape, 23; tarsus, 2'3/ J 

663.— Corvus impudicus, Hodgs. 

I refer the Burmese Crow with very great hesitation to the 
same species as our Indian one. It is no doubt similar in form 


and size, but it is entirely black, with at most a somewhat dull 
appearance about those parts which in our Indian Crows are a 
pale brownish grey, or in very western examples pale greyish 
white ; and, moreover, it has, it seems to me, a somewhat longer, 
slenderer, and more compressed bill than impuclicus has ; no doubt 
the grey portions of many of the Crows from the extreme west 
and north-west of India are much purer and paler than birds 
from Sambhur, Agra, and Cawnpore, and it might be supposed 
from this analogy that as we proceeded further east these grey parts 
became darker and duller, till at last in Pegu they disappeared 
altogether ; but the little evidence which I possess on this subject 
is adverse to such a conclusion, since specimens from Calcutta 
and Dacca are identical with those from Sambhur. If in the 
course of time, as the country is further explored, every inter- 
mediate shade of coloring between, say, the Dacca and Thayet- 
myo birds is found to be exhibited in intermediate localities, 
then, notwithstanding the slight difference which appears to me 
to exist in the bill, I should quite agree to consider the Pegu birds 
a mere race of impudicus ; but if, on the contrary, no such con- 
necting links be discoverable (and I can find no record of any 
such ever having been observed), then I think that the Burmese 
bird is entitled to specific separation, and might stand under 
my name — C. insolens.* 

Mr. Oates remarks : " This Crow is very common, specially 
in large villages and towns/' 

671 bis.— TJrocissa m&gmrostris, Bli/th— (Journal, 
Asiatic Society, Bengal, 1846, Vol. XV, p. 27 : 
Gould's B. A., Pt. XIII, PL 3). 

Mr. Blyth in characterising this species or race remarked as 
follows : — 

" Resembles U. occipitalis, but is still more richly colored, 
especially on the wings, the bill much larger than in others, and 
a great naked space surrounding the eyes ; the legs and claws are 
also large and strong; length of bill to gape 1*75 ; that of U. 
occipitalis, barely exceeding T5, its depth and strength also con- 
siderably greater ; inhabits the Yamadong Mountains, separating 
Arracan from Pegu/' Subsequently Mr. Blyth doubted the 
validity of this new species, but Mr. Gould, who obtained 
an imperfect specimen from Bangkok, while carefully avoiding 
all useful details, asserts that it is decidedly different from 
U. occipitalis and every other species he has yet seen. I cannot 
of course tell what the Bangkok bird may be like. Mr. Gould 
figures it with a bill measuring 1*8 from gape to point. I dare say 

* See also Stray Featiieks, Vol. II, p. 479. 



this may be an artistic exaggeration, but even the type speci- 
men had not. so large a bill as this, and magnirostris, if so the 
Upper Burmese race from Thayetmyo is to be called, usually has 
a bill of 16 to 1*7, against 1*5, a maximum, as I think, for 
occipitalis. In good specimens there is no great naked space sur- 
rounding the eyes, and in fact, the only real differences between 
fine specimens of the two races are — (1st), that magnirostris is 
rather more richly colored, especially on the wings; and (2nd), 
that the bill averages nearly a quarter of an inch longer, is pro- 
portionally stouter, and is of a somewhat deeper and brighter 
color. Captain Feilden adds that the legs are scarlet, instead of 
the reddish orange of occipitalis, and that the irides are of different 
shades of brown, but never red. 

Mr. Oates confirms this statement in regard to the irides 
being hazel brown, and the bill and feet deep coral red ; but 
then the sole specimen sent by Mr. Oates unsexed, and perhaps 
a female, is undistinguishable, I should say, from true occipitalis, 
and it remains to be discovered whether both races inhabit Pegu, 
or whether the specimen first named by Mr. Blyth, and that 
which I owe to Captain Feilden, are fair samples of a race, or 
merely abnormally fine males of occipitalis, or whether it is only 
the males of this Burmese race, which are characterized by the 
richer coloring of the wings and the larger size of the bill. 
In favor of magnirostris being distinct, I am bound to say 
that, though I have an excessively large series of occipitalis from 
various parts of the Himalayas, many of them really superb 
birds of our own preserving, I have not one that, in regard 
to size of bill and coloring of wings, can be mistaken for the 
magnirostris sent me by Captain Feilden. I should add that a 
specimen from the Arracan Hills, apparently a young male, has a 
rather larger bill than occipitalis of the Himalayas ever has, 
but not so large as either Blyth's type or Captain Feilden' s 
bird. On the whole, it seems to me very doubtful whether this 
species can be maintained ; what is wanted is a really large and 
carefully sexed series from Pegu and the Arracan Hills. 

Mr. Oates says that " this bird, " (but whether he means the 
big-billed or small-billed race is uncertain,) " is very common 
in some localities in the plains. It likes the neighbourhood of 
villages in forest country, and may often be seen on the stages 
erected for stacking straw." 

These habits are curious, and are different to those of occipi- 
talis of the Himalayas, which I have never seen in the imme- 
diate vicinity of villages. 

673.— Cissa speciosa, Shaw. 

Specimens from Thayetmyo correspond well with others from 
Tipperah and various parts of the Sub-Himalayan Ranges from 


the Bhootan Dhooars westwards to where the Jumna debouches 
from the hills ; westward of this I have not observed it. Al- 
though it cannot be exhibited by measurements, I think that the 
bills, both of Thayetmyo specimens and others from the Arracan 
Hills, do average slightly larger than those from the Sub- 
Himalayan tracts and Eastern Bengal. 

Mr. Oates says : " Common in the Pegu Hills, and also on 
those of Arracan, but not found in the plains. I found the nest, 
and shot the female off it on 19th April. The nest and eggs 
have been described in Nests and Eggs, Pt. II. 

"A male measured: Length, 15*3; expanse, 18*3; tail, from 
vent, 7*8; wing, 5*9; bill, from gape, 1*7; tarsus, 1*7. 

"Female: Length, 14*9; expanse, 17*75 ; tail, from vent, 7 "8 - 
wing, 6; bill, from gape, T58 • tarsus, 1*8. 

•• Bill, legs, feet, and edges of eyelids, eoral red ■ rest of eyelids, 
yellowish brown ; irides, blood red ; claws, pale red ; inside of 
mouth, reddish fleshy .*' 

674.— Dendrocitta rufa, Scop, 

The Thayetmyo specimens sent belong to the somewhat larger- 
billed and darker race of tins species. Southern Indian birds 
seem generally rather smaller, paler, and conspicuously smaller- 
billed. Captain Feilden notices that the irides are dark brown. 
Mr. Oates says that the species is common about Thayetmyo, 
and he gives the colors of the soft parts as follows : — 

" Bill, black, purpurescent towards the base, and flesh-colored 
at the gape ; inside of mouth, reddish fleshy ; eyelids, grey ; iris, 
pinkish hazel ; legs and feet, black ; claws, horny ." 

678 bis,— Crypsirina varians, Lath. 

In writing of C. cuculata Mr. Oates remarks : " I once had a 
shot at a bird with a similarly shaped tail, and much the same 
size. It appeared to be jet black all over; unfortunately I 
missed it : what could it have been ? " I have no doubt that 
this was Crypsirina varians, Latham, of which I have fine speci- 
mens from the neighbourhood of Rangoon and again from various 
localities in Northern Tenasserim. When I say varians, I mean 
a bird exactly of that type. I have no Javan specimens to com- 
pare it with, and the Burmese bird may prove to differ in some 
minor particulars sufficiently to warrant its specific separation. 

Looking to what Mr. Oates says, and to its having been ob- 
tained by Colonel Phayre in Tonghoo, we shall have to add Cryp- 
sirina varians to our list of Upper Pegu birds. 

The following are dimensions recorded in the flesh, and descrip- 
tion taken from birds procured in Tenasserim : — 

Length, 12*8 to 13'5; expanse, 13*75 to 15; wing, 4-37 to 
475; tail, from vent, 7*5 to 8'25 ; feathers next the central tail 


feathers about 1'8; the next pair about 2*4; the next about 3" 8 ; 
and the external pair of all about 5 inches shorter than the central 
and longest pair; tarsus, T05 to 1*15; hind toe and claw about 
0'8 ; bill, from gape, l - to 1*1 ; from margin of frontal feathers 
straight to tip about 0*8. The sixth primary, the longest ; the 
fifth, a hair's breadth shorter ; the fourth, O'l ; the third, 035 ; the 
second, 1*0; and the first, 2" 1 shorter than the longest. Weight, 
1-75 to 2 oz. 

Bill, legs, feet, and claws, black ; irides, turquoise blue, darken- 
ing towards pupil, where it is almost ultra-marine. 

A broad velvet black band covers the base of the lower man- 
dible, the lores, and the front of the forehead. The whole of the 
rest of the bird, except the quills and rectrices, a dark metallic 
green, much the same kind of color as in Calornis, and with more 
or less of a bronzy tinge, most strongly marked on the rump and 
upper tail coverts and on the abdomen. The tibial plumes, 
vent, and lower tail coverts are a deep brown, almost wanting 
any trace of the metallic lustre. The primaries are black, with 
a slight green metallic lustre on the outer webs. The secondai-ies 
and tertiaries also black, but with the same dark green metallic 
lustre on the outer webs and tips that is exhibited by the rest of 
the upper surface of the bird, and with more of less of green 
lustre on the inner webs also. The tail, black ; the central tail 
feathers, expanded into a broad racquet shape at their tips, and 
all of them more or less suffused with a dark green metallic 
lustre, most marked towards the outer webs of the lateral feathers 
towards their bases. 

Subsequently Mr. Oates remarked : " The bird referred to as 
the one shot at unsuccessfully was undoubtedly, as you surmised, 
C. varians. An adult female in splendid plumage, which I lately 
shot in Pegu town, had the iris red with a beautiful outer ring 
or sclerotic of blue (?) ; eyelids thickly feathered, with the excep- 
tion of a small portion low down, which is plumbeous. Bill, legs, 
and claws, black ; inside of mouth, flesh color ; ovaria, minute ; 
food, entirely insects. 

" When shot it was thoroughly overhauling the outer branches 
of a Mango tree, and while doing so uttered a remarkably loud 
and disagreeable note.'" 

678 ter. — Crypsirina cuculata, Jerdon. 

Mr. Oates says : " This is a common bird for twenty miles round 
Thayetmyo ; it seems very local, but it may extend north some 
distance beyond the frontier. It goes singly or in pairs ; occa- 
sionally I have seen as many as six together ; it wanders from 
tree to tree, much as Doidroeitta nefa does. It was certainly 
not breeding on the 11th May, when I shot several specimens 


and I have no idea when it does breed. Birds that I measured 
have varied as follows : — 

" Length, 12 to 12 - 1 ; expanse, 12*5 to 12*7 ; tail, from vent, 7 
to 7*8; wing, 4" 08 to 4 - 2; bill, from gape, 0*78 to 0*9; tarsus, 
1-0 to 1-1. 

" In the old birds the irides are blue ; the eyelids, leaden ; the 
whole bill, black ; the legs and claws, dark brown ; the inside of 
the mouth, flesh color. In what Mr. Hume says are the young 
birds, the basal portion of the bill is orange, and so are the 
edges of the eyelids and the inside of the mouth/-' 

This species was first described by Dr. Jerdon, Ibis, 1862, p. 20. 

The whole of the chin, throat, cheeks, ear coverts, lores, fore- 
head, crown, and occiput, black ; the extreme tip of the chin, 
a spot at the base of the lower mandible, the lores, a narrow 
spot under the anterior half of the eye, and a narrow frontal 
band, velvet black ; the rest with a dull green metallic lustre ; 
a dull white line, narrow across the throat and widening some- 
what on the nape, sharply defines the black of the head. The 
breast, abdomen, vent, flanks and lower tail coverts, the back, 
scapulars, upper tail coverts, lateral tail feathers, tertiaries, and 
all but the greater primary coverts, a pale delicate brownish or 
dove grey ; central tail feathers, winglet, primaries, their greater 
coverts and secondaries, dull black ; the central tail feathers paling 
somewhat towards their bases, especially on their outer webs. 
The secondaries, paler, more or less broadly margined with white 
or greyish white on their outer webs and tips, and paling on the 
inner webs towards their margins ; wing lining and axillaries, 
silky, very slightly greyish or brownish white ; the central tail 
feathers, somewhat abruptly widened out on both webs towards 
the tips : three inches from the tips they are only about 0*5 wide, 
while half an inch from the tips, where they are widest, they are 
1*3 wide. They widen out more gradually on the inner, and much 
more suddenly on the outer, web. The tail feathers, ten in number, 
are very much graduated, all but the central pair normally shaped. 
The pair next the central ones are 1*4 ; the next pair, 2*5 ; the next 
pair, 3" 5; and the exterior tail feathers, 4*7, or thereabouts, 
shorter than the central ones. 

The fourth, fifth, and sixth primaries are equal and longest ; 
the third and seventh, about equal ; the second, about 0'75 ; and 
the first, about 1*75 shorter than the longest. 

The interior margins of the quills albescent towards their 
bases on the lower surface of the wings. 

In the young birds there is no hood ; the lores, ear coverts, and 
chin are blackish brown, and the . top of the head is darker 
brown. Then there is no white line round the neck ; the grey of 
the plumage is duller and dingier ; and quills and central tail 
feathers, altogether duller-colored. 


Dr. Jerdon says : " I found this neatly plumaged little Mag- 
pie not rare at Thayetmyo in Upper Burmah. It was generally 
seen singly, now and then in pairs ; wanders about a good deal 
in low jungle, and feeds on grasshoppers, locusts, mantides, and 
the like. I have seen it catching white-ants, as they issued 
from their nest in the winged state, with considerable dexterity, 
returning usually to the same perch. It breeds early, I imagine, 
for I killed young birds in June. They differ from the old 
ones in having the hood dusky ashy, instead of black. A 
native shikaree assured me that it occasionally perched on the 
backs of cattle to devour the insects that often infest them/'' 

683 bis.— Sturnopastor superciliaris, Blyth. 

Mr. Oates says : " I hope to be able to send you a skin soon ; 
I have none by me now. The bird is very common at some 
periods of the year, but it is now (1st October) two or three 
months since I saw one."" 

Fortunately, I have other specimens from Upper Burmah, and 
can describe the species. It is very close to our common Sturno- 
pastor contra; it only differs in being on the average slightly 
smaller, with slenderer tarsi and smaller feet, and withal having a 
decidedly larger bill. The whole forehead is white or yellowish 
white ; there is much more white above the eye than in contra ; 
and all the feathers of the crown have a conspicuous narrow white 
shaft stripe. I do not think that there are any other constant 
points of difference between this species and our common Indian 

684— Acridotheres tristis, Lm, 

Specimens from Thayetmyo appear quite identical with others 
from various other parts of India. 

Mr. Oates says : " This species is common all the year 
through ; it keeps near villages and houses, and only goes into 
the jungle to feed/'' 

688 bis, — Temenuchus burmanicus, Jerdon. 

This species was first described by Dr. Jerdon from Thayetmyo, 
(Ibis, 1862, p. 21) . He then said in regard to it : " This Mynah 
is somewhat aberrant, being allied in its coloring and less robust 
form to Sturnia, but approaching Sturnopastor in its red bill 
and habits. It is a ground Mynah, of familiar habits, feeding 
in the compounds and about villages in Upper Burmah, and 
breeding in holes in old trees. At the pairing season it is 
generally in pairs ; afterwards small flocks of them are seen 
together, and many consort together in the same tree. It is 
rather a silent bird, but has the usual Mynah-like call when it 
takes wing. It feeds chiefly on insects." 


Mr. Blyth remarked (Journal, Asiatic Society, 1862, p. 34-2) : 
" A fine species approaching to Acridoth&res in size, the markings of 
its wings and tail, and also in having the skin bare under and behind 
the eye. Length about 9 - 5, of closed wing, 4*5 ; and tail, 3 ; bill 
to gape, 1'25; and tarsi T25. Culmen of bill compressed and 
elevated above the nostrils. Head, cheek, and throat, white. The 
back and scapularies, pure ashy, and the lower parts, vinaeeous, 
passing to white on the lower tail coverts ; wing primaries, white 
at base ; the remainder, black ; secondaries and tertiaries with 
their coverts bronzed, and having a narrow black margin to each 
feather ; underneath, the wing is white on the anterior half, and 
dusky for the remainder ; middle tail feathers brown and black 
margined, like the tertiaries ; the rest, black ; each feather more 
largely white-tipped to the exterior. Bill, coral-colored, with the 
basal half of the lower mandible and below the nostrils, black ; 
legs and claws, bright yellow. Procured by Colonel Phayre at 
Tonghoo, also by Dr. Jerdon at Thayetmyo, and at Arracan by 
Mr. W. T. Blanford. It is also evidently the species to which 
Major Tickell directed my attention, as a White-headed Mynah, 
common about Rangoon, and which he had only observed in that 
vicinity ; but I did not chance to meet with it." 

Mr. Oates remarks : " This species is common throughout the 
year ; it is more of a Tree Mynah than the others. It is very 
fond of searching the flowers of the Cotton tree (Salmalia mala- 
barlca) for insects. I have seen fully a hundred of these birds 
on one of these magnificent trees at one time. It also feeds on 
the ground in large flocks. The dimensions of several that I 
measured were as follows : — 

" Length, '9 to 925; expanse, 14 to 14'8; tail, from vent, 2*85 
to 8-1; wing, 4*4 to 4'75; bill, from gape, ri to 124; tarsus, 
1-2 to 1*36. Irides, dark brown; about one eighth of an inch of 
the lower part of the iris, yellow, — this has been constant in all the 
specimens I have examined; eyelids and naked skin of face, slaty 
brown ; the gape, the basal hah of the lower mandible, and the base 
of the upper mandible, black ; the remainder of the bill, dull red ; 
inside of mouth, dark blue ; legs, feet, and claws, dusky orange." 

A fine specimen has the entire head, chin, throat, and upper 
breast, white. The whole of the feathers on the top and back 
of the head, elongated, very narrow, and pointed ; the white not 
pure, except at the bases of the feathers, but with a very faint 
brown tinge ; the whole of the back, scapulars, rump, and upper 
tail coverts, brownish grey, paling on the rump and upper tail 
coverts; the lesser coverts about the shoulder of the wing, darker 
o-rey ; winglet and primaries, black, the latter paling to brown at 
their tips, and with a white band at their bases, narrow on the first 
two or three primaries and gradually widening ; primary greater 
coverts, white ; the first and second have some blackish brown 


on the inner webs ; the third and fourth, nearly entirely black 
on the outer webs • the rest of the greater coverts, the median 
coverts, the secondaries, and tertiaries, hair brown, bronzed, 
the latter on both webs, the rest on the exterior webs, but 
leaving 1 on each feather a very narrow dark brown margin to 
which the bronzing does not extend ; central tail feathers, brown, 
bronzed, but more faintly than the tertials and secondaries ; 
lateral tail feathers, black ; the pair next the centre, with a white 
spot at the tip ; the next pair, regularly tipped ; the next, more 
broadly, and so on to the external pair, which have nearly the 
terminal one inch white ; the breast and centre of abdomen, pale 
vinaceous ; flanks and sides, browner and greyer ; region of the 
vent, more or less fulvous ; lower tail coverts, slightly sullied or 
yellowish white ; edge of the wing, axillaries, wing lining, and 
basal portion of primaries, pure white ; lower surface of quills, 
pale, glossy, hair brown ; the first primary is spurious, less than 
half an inch in length, the second large primary is the longest, the 
third slightly shorter, the fourth about equal to the first long pri- 
mary ; the tail is a good deal rounded ; the exterior tail feathers, 
from 0"5 to 0*75 inch shorter than the central ones. 

Mr. Oates sends one specimen obtained in the Pegu Hills, 
which he considers to belong to a distinct species, but which I 
think is merely the young of the present one. It is of precisely 
the same size, and had the soft parts colored very similarly, but 
it has the whole of the head, neck, and throat, where these are 
white or slightly sullied white in the adult, thoroughly dirty or 
suffused with a dingy grey brown tint. The interscapulary 
region is browner, and the breast, upper abdomen, and flanks 
have a somewhat deeper vinaceous tinge ; in other respects the 
birds are identical. He adds : " This Mynah is conspicuous by its 
absence from the plains of Lower Pegu, where tristis and super- 
ciliaris are both common. 

689 quat— Temeimchus nemoricolus, Jerdon. 

This species was originally described (Ibis, 1862, p. 22) by 
Dr. Jerdon in the following terms : — 

" Head, nape, face, and whole lower parts, white ; the back of 
the neck, back, and wings, ashy, tinged with ferruginous on the 
upper tail coverts ; quills, black ; secondaries, the same, edged with 
grey externally ; winglet and a spot on the greater coverts, pure 
white ; thigh coverts, tinged with rusty ; tail feathers, blackish 
on the inner web, more or less grey externally, and tipped 
with chestnut, increasing in extent from about \ inch on the 
middle feathers to f inch on the outer tail feathers ; bill, blue at 
the base, then green, with the tip yellow; irides, glaucous 
white ; legs, dull yellow ; length, 7| to 8 ; expanse, 12^; wing, 4 ; 
tail, 2i ; bill, f ; tarsus, |. 


" This is a typical Sturnia, and, like my 8. Blythii and 8. mala* 
larica, keeps entirely to the forest and to the tops of the trees. 
It has a pleasant warbling" song." 

Dr. Jerdon gave me what I understood from him were the 
type specimens of both this and the preceding species ; my 
sj>ecimens do not agree at all well with his description. In my 
bird the forehead and crown, chin, throat, and ear coverts are 
pale buffy white, slightly more buffy on the three latter ; occiput, 
similar, but slightly greyer ; back of the neck, brownish grey ; 
back, scapulars, and lesser wing coverts, greyish brown ; rump 
and upper tail coverts, fulvous or dingy buffy ; quills, winglet, 
and primary greater coverts, dark brown ; median coverts and 
secondary greater coverts, fulvous white ; tail feathers, dark brown, 
the external pair, with most of the outer web and all but the central 
pair, broadly tipped with rufous ; breast and upper abdomen, pale 
brownish white ; lower abdomen, fulvous white ; tibial plumes and 
lower tail coverts more rufescent ; wing lining and axillaries, 
white, the former tinged somewhat rufescent. 

My specimen may be somewhat faded, as it is dated Thayetmyo, 
1861-62; but Dr. Jerdon's description must, I think, be wrong 
about the winglet, and the spot on the greater coverts being white. 

Neither Mr. Oates nor Captain Feilden appears to have met with 
this species. 

693.— Eulabes javanensis, Osbeck. 

I have already (Stray Feathers, 1874, p. 254) explained the 
insuperable difficulty that appears to me to exist in separating 
javanensis and intermedia, and it will be sufficient here to say 
that the Upper Pegu birds, while they have bills a great deal 
larger than the Raipore and Sumbulpore birds, correspond in 
this respect fairly well with those from Sikhim, but have smaller 
bills than those from the Tipperah Hills and from Malacca. 

Mr. Oates says : " Very common on the Pegu Hills, and 
appears to be equally so on those of Arracan. I have heard of 
its being seen near the Irrawaddy, but I must say I doubt 
whether it ever really is found in the plains at all. 

" The sexes are of much the same size. The specimens I 
measured varied as follows : — 

"Length, 11-25 to 11-85; expanse, 19-75 to 20-5; tail, from 
vent, 3 to 3 - 5 ; wing, 6-3 to 6 - 5 ; bill, from gape, 1*47 to T53 ; 
tarsus, 1-35 to 1*42. 

" The bill is coral red, yellow at the tip ; the inside of the mouth, 
fleshy ; the irides, brown ; eyelids, well-feathered, naked skin, in 
general, deep yellow ; more or less tinged with orange on the face, 
and purer, and varying in depth of color on the lappets ; the upper- 
most corner of the lappet near the eye, tinged with blue ; legs, 
feet, and claws, yellow." 


694.— Ploeeus baya, Blyth. 

Specimens from Thayetmyo agree well with others from all 
parts of India. 

Mr. Oates says : " I never got two birds with the soft parts 
of the same color. I wish you would clear up the whole matter 
by explaining how and when the changes take place. 

" This is a veiy common bird with us. Its nest is to be seen 
everywhere just now in September. Specimens that I measured 
in the flesh varied as follows : — 

" Length, 5'6 to 6 ; expanse, 8 - 5 to 9; tail, from vent, 1*9 to 
2-2 ; wing, 27 to 2'8; bill, from gape, 0'6S to 7; tarsus, 0-8 to 

As regards the soft parts, I cannot quite explain all the changes. 
The legs and feet do not appear to me to vary perceptibly. The 
eyelids are always, I think, grey ; in the breeding season perhaps 
a little bluer, in the cold-weather a little more fleshy. In the 
breeding season the bill is black, except the gape, which is yellow ; 
in the winter it is pale, brownish, horny yellow in some, more 
dusky in others, and acquires, I think, somewhat more of a 
pinkish tinge in the spring. 

I wish to call attention here to Ploeeus megarhynchis, nobis, 
Ibis, 1869, p. 356. I have now five specimens of this bird, two 
from the terai below Nynee Tal in winter plumage, and two from 
Dacca, and one from the terai below Darjeeling, nearly in 
breeding plumage. The bird is quite distinct from baya, which 
it most resembles, and a fortiori from bengalensis, from Blyth's 
striata, which is supposed to be identical with manyar, Horsfield, 
and from hypoxanthus, Daud. In both winter and summer 
plumage it appears to resemble baya; but it is altogether a 
larger and more massive bird, with a wing from 3 to 3*2 at 
least, a bill at front 0*7 to 0"8, with an enormously stout tarsus, 
09 to - 95 in length, and, judging from my sjiecimens, I should 
say weighing quite double as much as baya. I feel almost con- 
fident that specimens of this will be found in the British Museum, 
as although baya is the common species below Darjeeling, 
I have obtained a specimen of megarhynchus also from this 
locality, and Mr. Hodgson is sure to have done the same; 
whether he ever published any name for it I cannot say. The 
late Dr. Jerdon at once recognized the distinctness of this species. 
Directly I showed it to him he said he had never seen anything 
like it ; it will probably be found to occur all through Eastern 
Bengal and the entire Sub- Himalayan region east of the Ganges. 
It was plentiful enough about Kaladoongee and Jewlee, below 
Nyneetal, in December 1866, when I shot it there, without 
however unfortunately at the time sufficiently recognizing its 


695.— Ploceus manyar, Hbrsf, 

Thayetmyo birds appear to be identical with Indian ones ; whether 
these latter, which Blyth named striatus, are really identical with 
Javan specimens I cannot say. They seem to be generally so 
considered at home, and I therefore adopt Horsfield's name. 

Mr. Oates says : " This species is scarcely less common about 
Thayetmyo than bay a. The following are the measurements of 
a female shot on 7th December : — 

" Length, 5*4; expanse, 8*3; tail, from vent, 1*85; wing, 
2*65 j bill, from gape, 0'63; tarsus, - 91. 

" The irides were brown ; the eyelids, grey ; the bill, yellowish 
horny, darker on the upper mandible; legs, fleshy; claws, pinkish." 

696.— Ploceus bengalensis, Blyth. 

Mr. Blanford states that he obtained this species at Thayetmyo. 
Four closely-allied species, therefore, of this one genus occur in 
this single locality. 

696 ter.— Ploceus hypoxanthus, Daud. 

Rangoon and Thayetmyo specimens appear to be identical 
with the Javan bird which Horsfield called philippimis, but 
which is, I believe, distinct, and more nearly allied to bay a. The 
Javan bird, says Mr. Strickland (Journal, Asiatic Society, 
1844, p. 945), "is bright yellowish above; back, striped with 
dusky; wings, dusky; each feather, margined whitish; tail, 
dusky, narrowly tipped with whitish ; beak, shorter than in ben- 
galensis ; the cheeks and throat, blackish, with a yellow streak 
dividing that on the lower jaw ; lower parts, deep yellow." 

This brief description appears to agree sufficiently well with our 
Burmese birds, but these Plocei require, it seems to me, to be 
carefully overhauled. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " In the Thayetmyo District this spe- 
cies is not common, although it is occasionally met with, but 
at Poungday in the Prome District I found it very abundant. 
The large plains of elephant grass near that town, the first in- 
dications that you are on the limits of the dry region, seem well 
adapted to the bird. I saw several dozens in one morning's ride. 
This was in June, and they were apparently building. I do not 
know if the male assumes the dull brown plumage in the winter 
months, but you certainly never see the yellow bird after October. 
It either changes plumage, or migrates southwards. Later I 
took the eggs and nest which I have described in Nests and 
Eggs, Pt. II. I shot a pair at Palow on the 19th September. 
The male measured — • 

" Length, 5-7 ; expanse, 8-5 ; tail, from vent, 2'1 ; wing, 2*6 ; 
bill, from gape, 0'6; tarsus, 0-8. 


" The bill was deep black ; the under side of the lower mandible, 
dark horny ; the inside of the mouth, dusky fleshy ; the irides, 
brown ; the eyelids, grey ; legs, pinkish fleshy ; claws, horny. 

" The female measured — 

" Length, 5-2 ; expanse, 7*7 ; tail, from vent, 1-85 ; wing, 2*3 ; 
bill, from gape, 0*54; tarsus, - 78. 

" The lower mandible and the edges of the upper were pale 
fleshy horny ; the remainder of the upper mandible, dark brown ; 
the inside of the mouth, fleshy ; the rest as in the male." 

In this species the bills are shorter and proportionally deeper 
than in any of our other Indian birds species. 

In breeding plumage the male has the forehead, top, and back 
of the neck, rump, and upper tail coverts, breast, abdomen, sides, 
flanks, and lower tail coverts a bright gamboge yellow, only the 
central portion of the upper breast just below its junction with 
the blackish throat slightly tinged with brownish orange. The 
feathers of the back and scapulars are dark brown, dusky at 
base, and broadly fringed with dark yellow. The wings are 
hair brown, all the feathers narrowly margined with white. In 
some specimens the brown is almost black, and the longest ter- 
tiary and one or two of the later secondaries are margined with 
pale yellow, instead of white. The tail is hair brown, in some 
blackish brown, excessively narrowly margined (chiefly at the tips 
and on the outer webs towards their bases) with yellowish white. 
The lores, cheeks, ear coverts, chin, and throat are black ; the 
lowest feathers of all, where the black meets the yellow, are more 
or less tipped with that color ; traces of a narrow, yellow, man- 
dibular stripe, from the inferior angle of the lower mandible, 
more apparent in some specimens than in others ; axillaries, pure 
white or nearly so ; edge of the wing and wing lining, very pale 
fulvous or buff. 

I have never myself shot this bird, and do not know there- 
fore what the non-breeding plumage of the male may be, nor do 
I know whether the female assumes the yellow plumage. The 
female shot by Mr. Oates at the same time as the male in 
breeding plumage, and which may be a young one, though I do 
not think so, is, except so far as the bill is proportionally broader 
and deeper, an exact miniature of the female Ploceus baya } and 
agrees with this feather for feather. 

698.— Munia atricapUla, VieiL 

Mr. Oates says : " This species is common ; it affects elephant 
grass and swampy places in preference/'' 

Unfortunately the only specimen sent by Mr. Oates was 
entirely destroyed. I have no Upper Pegu specimens by me, but 
examples from Tenasserim do not differ from Indian ones. 


699.— Lonchura punctulata, Lin. 

Mr. Oates says : " This is by far the commonest Munia of these 
parts, being' found everywhere except on the hills. Grass and 
paddy lands are their favorite haunts. Specimens that I mea- 
sured varied as follows : — 

"Length, 4*7 to 4 - 8; expanse, 6 - 9 to 7 ; tail, from vent, 1"6 
to 1*8; wing, 21 to 22 j bill, from gape, 0*41 to 046; tarsus, 
0-61 to 0-63. 

" Irides, deep reddish browm ; eyelids, plumbeous ; bill, bluish 
black, paler and somewhat plumbeous on lower mandible ; inside 
of mouth, dusky; legs, plumbeous; claws, homy." 

Specimens sent by Mr. Oates were unfortunately destroyed ; 
I have little doubt that the species is correctly identified ; at 
the same time Tenasserim specimens are not, as I mentioned 
(Stray Feathers, Part II, p. 480) identical w T ith Indian ones. 

702.— Lonchura acuticauda, Bodgs. 

A single specimen, a young bird, sent by Mr. Oates, appears 
identical with others from Sikhim. 

Mr. Oates remarks that it is comparatively common about 

706.— Passer indicus, J. 8f S. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " This is the common House-Sparrow of 
the country, and is very common. Although these birds breed 
all the year through, nesting operations are carried on in a very 
desultory way, except in February and March." 

708 Ms.— Passer flaveolus, Blyth. 

This pretty Sparrow belongs to the same group as cinnamomeus, 
Gould, of the Himalayas, and rutilans, Tern., of Japan. It was 
first described by Mr. Blyth (Journal, Asiatic Society, 1844, 
p. 946). 

He remarked: " With a close resemblance m its markings to 
the Common Sparrow, except that the back is net streaked, this 
pretty species is distinguished by its smaller size and predomi- 
nating yellowish plumage. The bill somewhat inclines to be 
slender, and in this respect, as well as in the absence of all 
streakiness above, some approach is shown to G-ymnoris flavicottis. 
In the male the top of the head, nape, and rump, are of a dull 
light green, inclining to yellowish on the forehead, " ( I should 
say greenish grey, with a narrow pale frontal band) ; e< the cheeks 
and sides of the forehead are tolerably bright yellow, and the 
rest of the under parts are sullied yellow : streak from eye to 
mouth, and the usual patch on the throat and f oreneck, deep black ; 
sinciput/'' (I should say broad streak from posterior angle of 


eye to nape), " mantle, and anterior third of wing", chestnut bay, 
passing- to maroon at the bend of the wing* ; there is a whitish 
bar on the wing", formed by the tips of the smaller range of 
coverts ; and the rest of the wing 1 , with the tail, is dusky, " 
( I should say pale hair brown) ; " the feathers margined with 
yellowish brown, " (I should say yellowish white) ; " bill, black," 
( in the breeding season) ; " and legs, brown. The female is nearly 
uniform pale brown above, darker on the mantle, and having 
the whitish bar on the wing somewhat narrower ; supercilium, 
cheeks, and under-parts, dull yellowish ; and bill, light brown. 
Length 5, or nearly so ; of wing 2f , and tail 2 ; bill to 
forehead T 7 g inch, and tarsi f inch ; from Arracan, where procured 
by Captain Phayre." 

Mr. Oates remarks : " This species is nearly as common as 
indicus. It is, however, more of a Bush Sparrow, generally build- 
ing its nest in trees ; one pair indeed built a nest in my house, 
but as soon as it was finished the birds left the place/'' 

708 ter. /'—Passer assimiHs, Walden. 

In the An. and Mag. of Natural History for 1870, p. 218, 
Lord Walden describes the above species, which, if a good one, is 
entitled to a place in our list. The description is so brief that 
it is impossible to pronounce positively ; but so far as it goes, it 
would apply fairly well to the young of Jtaveolus. 

Lord Walden says : " Resembles P. cinnamomeus, Gould, but 
differs by being smaller, by having a slenderer and smaller bill, 
and by having the cheeks and sides of the neck pure white, and 
the breast, flanks, and ventral region ashy grey. Wing, 2f 
inches ; tail, If, or nearly \ inch shorter than in P. cinnamomeus ; 
from Tonghoo." 

710.— Passer montanus, Lin. 

Though Mr. Oates does not appear to have observed it, several 
specimens of this species have been sent me from Upper Burmah, 
where, however, it is not, I believe, a permanent resident, as in 
Arracan and further south in Burmah, but merely a seasonal 

719.— Citrinella fucata, Pall, 

Occurs as a cold-weather visitant at Tonghoo, and hills be- 
tween Tonghoo and Thayetmyo. Mr. Oates quite recently obtained 
a specimen a good deal further south, at Wan, in Lower Pegu. 

719 bis.— Citrinella rutila, Pall. 

Also occurs as a straggler during the cold-season in Upper 
Pegu, as well as in Tenasserim, Lower Pegu, Upper Burmah, 
Assam, and the Bhootan Dhooars and Sikhim. 


This bird is not included in Jerdon, and I must therefore de- 
scribe it from a pair killed at Pahpoon on the 17th January. 

Male: Length, 625 ; expanse, 9; wing, 2*9; tail, from vent, 
2*62 ; tarsus, 0*65 ; weight, 0"55 oz. 

The female is barely perceptibly smaller. 

The bill is brown, paler on the lower mandible; legs and 
feet, fleshy. 

In the male the entire head and neck all round, back, rump, 
lesser and median wing coverts and all but the very longest tail 
coverts, bright chestnut ; most of the feathers of the throat, some 
of those of the upper parts, narrowly and inconspicuously 
fringed with a paler color ; the fringe is so narrow in this specimen 
that it is impossible to say whether it was yellow or white. The 
longest upper tail coverts are brown, tinged with chestnut. The 
tail feathers are hair brown. The exterior tail feather on either 
side has a streak about an inch long and \ inch broad, 
white or greyish white, which commences at the tip, runs 
down the margin a little way, and then turns down slantingly 
towards the shaft, where it ceases. The next feather has a minute 
greyish white spot at the tip. All the feathers have a barely per- 
ceptible greenish olive tinge at the extreme margins of the outer 
web. Winglet, quills, and primary greater coverts, hair brown ; 
tertiaries, tinged chestnut on the outer web ; the rest, margined on 
their outer webs with pale olivaceous yellow ; secondary greater 
coverts, like the tertiaries, but more strongly suffused on the 
outer webs with chestnut ; lower parts, breast to lower tail coverts, 
pale clear yellow, streaked, dashed, and tinged on the sides and 
flanks with olive green. 

The female has the lores, cheeks, ear coverts, chin, and throat, a 
slightly fulvous white, with an obscure streak of dull brown 
spots running down from the base of the lower mandible on 
either side of the throat ; the breast and the rest of the lower 
parts much as in the male, but slightly paler. The sides of the 
neck behind the ear coverts, pale chestnut. The feathers, fringed 
with greenish ashy ; and it is this color alone that is seen till 
the feathers are lifted. A narrow dark brown inconspicuous 
supercilium runs backwards from above the nostrils over the eye. 
The forehead, crown, and occiput, chestnut ; most of the feathers, 
with a blackish brown shaft spot towards the tip, and broadly 
fringed with pale, dingy yellow or yellowish white. The mantle, 
including the lesser and median coverts, the feathers mostly 
brown, broadly fringed with pale yellowish olive, and here and 
there tinged with chestnut. Rump, pale chestnut; the feathers, nar- 
rowly fringed yellowish. Upper tail coverts and tail, hair brown; 
the former fringed at the tips, the latter at the margins towards 
their bases, with pale yellowish olive or dull greenish yellow. 
The tertiaries and their own and the secondary greater coverts, 


dark hair brown, broadly margined on their outer webs, the two 
former with rufous, the latter with greenish fulvous. The rest of 
the quills, the primary greater coverts, and the winglet, a some- 
what lighter hair brown ; and all the feathers conspicuously 
margined on their outer webs, but not nearly so broadly as the 
feathers already mentioned, with greenish albescent. 

This is the only female we secured, and, though it was care- 
fully sexed, I do not feel quite certain that it was not a young 

723. — Euspiza aureola, Pall. 

Though neither Captain Feilden nor Mr. Oates appears to 
have obtained this species, I have myself seen a specimen killed 
near Thayetmyo, and Sir Arthur Phayre obtained it in the 
neighbourhood of Tonghoo. It must, therefore, be included in 
our list. 

755 bis.— Mirafra microptera, Hume. 

This species has been already characterized (Stray Feathers, 
1873, p. 483) . It is the same species as Dr. Jerdon mentions under 
the name of affmis as being common about Thayetmyo. Captain 
Feilden says : " This is certainly the commonest Lark about here." 

Mr. Oates remarks : " Very common, being seen all the year 
through in every field and on every road-side. It is so tame 
that it will hardly get out of your way. I found the nest on 
the 20th July, and have described it, as well as the eggs, in Nests 
and Eggs, Part II. 

" The dimensions of the female that I measured were as follow : — 

" Length, 5*5; expanse, 9; tail, from vent, 1*55; wing, 2*8; 
bill, from gape, 0"55; tarsus, 0*82. 

" The irides, hazel ; lower mandible and margin of upper, very 
pale pinkish fleshy ; the remainder of the upper mandible, dark 
horny ; legs, light fleshy ; claws, pinkish." 

762.— Alaudula raytal, Blyth. 

Specimens from Thayetmyo, from the sandy banks of the 
Irrawaddy and its affluents, are precisely similar to those from 
similar localities on the Ganges and its affluents. 

This bird must not be confounded with Alaudula Adamsi, nobis, 
(Ibis,1871, page 405, and Stray Feathers, 1873, page 213), which 
is the Sand-Lark of the Indus and its affluents, which is perfectly 
distinct, and, like raytal, is a permanent resident of the localities 
in which it occurs. Some one, I forget who, has been confound- 
ing Adamsi with pispoletta, Pallas; but I have specimens of this 
both from Europe and North-West India, and it is perfectly 


distinct; in fact, pispoletta is much nearer Calandrella brachy- 
dactyla, only it has a much shorter and more conical bill, and 
has the breast rather conspicuously marked with striae. 

Of the present species, raytal, Mr. Oates remarks : " This is 
a very common bird on all sand-banks, but I have never seen it 
away from the Irrawaddy ; it runs very quickly, and in poling" 
up the river in a boat they seem to like to keep up with one — 
I fancy to pick up insects which are disturbed by the falling 1 
sand. At the close of March dissection showed clearly that they 
were about to breed, but unfortunately I was away from Boulay 
in April, or I should have been sure to secure nests. The dimen- 
sions of males that I measured were as follow : — 

"Length, 5*4 to 5*43; expanse, 10'1 to 102; tail, from vent, 
1-8 to 1-85; wing-, 3*15 to 3'2 ; bill, from gape, 0'58 to 0*62; 
tarsus, 0"75 to 0"77; legs, fleshy yellow; claws, pale horny; 
bill, horny, with a tinge of green; the gape, yellowish; the tip, 
dusky ; hides, brown ; eyelids, bluish grey ; inside of mouth, 

771.— Treron nipalensis, Hodgs. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " I procured a pair on the Pegu Hills, 
where it or the next species, possibly both, for I did not dis- 
criminate them, are common. 

" A male measured : Length, 10 - 8; expanse, 16*74; tail, from 
vent, 3" 4 ; wing, 5*75 ; bill, from gape, 0*97 ; tarsus, - 95 ; spread 
of foot, 2-0. 

" A female measured: Length, 106; expanse, 17'5; tail, from 
vent, 3 - 2 ; wing, 5 - 5 ; bill, from gape, 093; tarsus, 091 ; spread of 
foot, 1-98. 

" The coloration of the soft parts in the sexes do not differ. 
The bill is bright red at the base, yellowish on the culmen, and 
bluish white on the corneous portion ; inside of mouth, reddish 
fleshy ; eyelids, bright greenish blue ; iris, blue, with a pale 
orange sclerotic ( ? ) ; legs, bright red ; claws, pale horn ; the 
bare skin of the face as in the eyelids." 

In general appearance and coloring of plumage this species 
is so close to Osmotrer&n Phayrei that I have repeatedly known 
the two to be confounded, and yet they can be discriminated at 
a glance. 

In the first place the corneous portion of the bill in 
this species is much larger than in Phayrei, so much so that 
while in this latter a considerable low, ceral space intervenes 
between the frontal feathers and the corneous portion of the bill, 
this latter in Treron runs right back to these feathers. 

In the second place Treron has a huge, bare space round the eye, 
which Phayrei has not. 

In the third place Treron has no orange on the breast. 


In the fourth place the base of the upper mandible from nostril 
to gape in Treron is bright red ; in Phayrei, blue. 

The following- are exact dimensions, as well as colors, of soft 
parts recorded at different times from a number of fresh speci- 
mens. The sexes do not differ appreciably in size : — 

Length, 10*46 to 1T0; expanse, 17 to 18; tail, from vent, 
3-46 to 375; wing, 5-62 to 5'76; tarsus, 075 to 0-9; bill, from 
gape, 0*9 to 099 : weight, 5 to 9 oz. ; average, 6 oz. 

The legs and feet vary from lake pink to coral red; the 
orbital skin is pea-green ; the irides vary from bright orange to 
yellowish red, with an inner deep blue ring more or less apparent. 
The gape and base of upper mandible to nostrils, bright red; the 
rest of the bill, pale yellowish or greenish white, tipped greenish. 

773 bis.— Crocopus viridifrons, Blyth — (Journal, 
Asiatic Society, Bengal, 1845, Vol. XIV, p. 1849). 

Mr. Blyth described this first from Tenasserim, but it is most 
abundant in Upper Burmah, about Thayetmyo. He characterized 
the species, which is after all only an intensified form of 
pAasnieopterus, as follows : — 

" Viridifrons is distinguished by having the anterior half of 
the head and the medial, (I should say basal,) portion of the 
tail of the same as bright yellowish green as the breast, 
though somewhat less fulvescent, (I should say golden^ that 
of the tail being well defined, and contrasting strongly both 
with the grey tip and also with the grey coverts impending 
the tail, so that this green appears as a very conspicuous broad 
caudal band; the throat also is not weaker-colored as in 
T. jj/ioenicoj) ferns." 

I may add that the grey of the lower parts is purer, the neck, 
as a rule, brighter-colored all round, and the lilac shoulder-patch 
generally greater in extent. 

Captain Feilden remarks that " the birds of this species living 
in single trees or clumps in clearings are larger; those in dense 
jungle, smaller." In length the larger birds vary, according to 
him, from 12- 5 to 13- 5 in length, and the lesser ones from 11 25 
to 12*12; but I remark that of six of the larger race that he 
measured five were males, while out of six of the smaller five were 
females, and I apprehend that the difference in size is due to 
sex rather than to habitat. The wings vary from about 6' 9 
to 7-5. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " This species is common throughout 
the plains during the whole year. I have, however, never found 
its nest. I have never received it from the Pegu Hills, nor 
from those of Arracan. It is essentially a bird of the plains, as 
Osmotreron Phayrei is of the hills. The two are never found 




together, nor do they ever seem to trespass on each other's 
domains. These Pigeons are gregarious, and strictly frugivorous. 
It is astonishing how they can swallow the larger fruits which 
I have found in their stomachs whole. A male measured— 

"Length, 12*8; expanse, 23; tail, from vent, 4" 9; wing, 
7'5 j bill, from gape, I/O; tarsus 1*0. 

" The iris was blue, with an outer circle of pink ; eyelids, grey ; 
soft part of bill, greenish ; corneous portion, pale bluish white ; 
feet, orange yellow ; claws, bluish." 

776.— Osmotreron Phayrei, Blyth. 

This species can never be confounded with any of the others 
of this genus which occur within our limits. 

The subjoined rough diagnostical table of all our species may 
be useful : — 

Males with 
orange on | 
the breast. 


Males with- 
out orange -j 
on the 

Strongly mark- 

B. Faint 

Lower tail co- 
verts bay or 
chestnut in 
green, & white 
in females. 

Lower tail co- 
verts alike in 
both sexes, 
similar to 
those of fe- 
male of pre 
ceding species 

Entire head 
above and below, 

, Forehead and 
crown, green; oc- 
ciput and nape, 

and occiput, deep 
grey; bill, small. 

, Forehead and 
crown, pale grey; 
occiput, scarcely 
tinged greyish. 

, Forehead, crown, 
and occiput, pale 
French grey; bill, 

, Forehead, chin, 
and throat, 
bright yellowish 
green ; occiput, 
only, grey. 

No red man- 
tle in male. 


Red mantle 
in male. 




'. viridis, Scop. 

!. bicincta, 

'. Phayrei, Bly. 

'. malabarica, 

O. chloroptera, 
Bly. ( Anda- 
mans and Ni- 

O. pompadora, 
Gm. (Ceylon, 

I have only to add to this that I have seen no second species, 
either from Ceylon or Southern India, which could stand as 
jlavogularis, Blyth, as distinct from pompadora, Gm. If Jiavo- 
gnlaris be decided to be distinct, then pompadora does not, I 
think, occur in Ceylon ; but pompadora, we know, was described 
from the drawing of a Ceylon bird, and though Mr. Gray 


retains flavogidaris as a distinct species, I myself think that 
there is no doubt but that it must be treated as a synonyme of 

Mr. Oates says : " I have procured this bird both in the 
Arracan and the Pegu Hills. As stated above, it is never found 
in the plains. It has similar habits to C. viridifrons, feeding in 
large flocks on fruits and wandering about a good deal in search 
of them. When shot, they seldom drop to the ground till their 
bodies have become cold ; their feet appear instinctively to clasp 
a branch. 

" I have no measurements of this species, except the lengths 
of two. A male from the Arracan Hills was ll'l, and a male 
from the Pegu Hills 117. 

" The buff patch on the breast and the very different bill are 
sufficient to discriminate this from T. nipalensis, and I do not 
know why I should have confounded them." 

I do not find that the sexes differ much in size ; but some 
males are bigger than any females. The following are the di- 
mensions and colors of the soft parts, which have been recorded 
at various times from numerous fresh specimens : — 

Length, 1075 to 11*75 ; expanse, 18*46 to 19*5; tail, from 
vent, 3-37 to 4-0 ; wing, 6-0 to 6-25 - tarsus, 082 to 0-95 ; bill, 
from gape, 0*82 to 1*0; weight, 4*5 to 6 oz. The legs and feet 
vary from purplish pink to lake red ; the irides have an inner 
ring, at times not very apparent, of deep blue, an outer one of 
salmon pink ; the eyelids, bluish or pale plumbeous. The bill 
is pale bluish, the basal portion darker. 

778.— Sphenocercus sphenurus, Vigors, 

At the foot of the hills near Tonghoo Mr. Oates shot a Green 
Pigeon, which he identified (and to judge from his description, 
for he was unable to preserve the skin, correctly so) with the 
present species. 

780.— Carpophaga senea, Lin. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " This species is a common bird, both hi 
hills and plains, and equally common in the Arracan Hills/'' 

793. — Turtur meena, Si/kes. 

I cannot understand why Mr. Gray unites meena with rupi- 
cola, Pall. In the first place, as already mentioned (Lahore to 
Yarkand, pp. 121, et seq.), I at one time fancied that rnpicola, 
Pall., was a Pigeon and not a Dove, and identical with rupestris, 
Bonap. In the second place, supposing rnpicola, Pall., to be equal 
to the oriental form of auriltis, which oriental form divides itself 


into two different races, gelastis, Tern., from Japan, and probably 
Eastern China, and pulchrata or vitticollis, Hodgson, from the 
Himalayas, still meena is alike distinct from all of these, and is 
constantly distinguished from all of them by its uniform grey 
under tail coverts. 

As I noticed in Lahore to Yarkand, p. 125, the grey coloring 
of the under tail coverts varies in shade, the more western birds, 
from Mahableshwar, for instance, having the coverts somewhat 
paler, and those from Tipperah and the Khasia Hills having 
them darker. The Thayetmyo birds are similar to those from 
Raipore and Sumbulpore, not quite so dark as those from 
the Bhootan Dhooars, the Khasia Hills, and Hill Tipperah, 
but a good deal darker than those from Mahableshwar and 
Mount Aboo. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " This species is generally distributed, 
but is nowhere very common. Specimens of males measured-: 
Length, 13 - 25 to 13'3 ; expanse, 21*3 to 22 ; tail, from vent, 5 - 4 
to 5-6; wing, 7*1 to 7 : 4; bill, from gape, 0'92 to 0'97; tarsus, 1-06 
to 1'15. A female measured: Length, 12*6; expanse, 20' 5; tail, 
from vent, 5'0; wing, 6 - 6; bill, from gape, 0' 98; tarsus, 1*12. 

" In a female the bill was brown, with a vinaceous tinge on 
the basal half ; the irides, orange ; eyelids, pale blue, a circle sur- 
rounding them, and their edges red ; legs, red ; claws, black : of 
a male I noticed that the inside of the mouth was black/'' 

795 bis.— Turtur tigrina, Tem. 

Thayetmyo specimens are not typical ; they are intermediate 
between sura t en si 's and typical tigrina. I have already explained 
this (Stray Feathers, 1873, p. 461, q. v.). 

On what grounds Mr. Gray unites ehinensis and tigrina I can- 
not say. Typical tigrina from Sumatra is a great deal more 
distinct from ehinensis than it is from suratensis ; every interme- 
diate link may be found between the two latter, but ehinensis 
not only entirely wants the dark shaft stripes, which even tigrina 
retains, but is a much larger bird, having, as far as my specimens 
go, a wing fully half an inch (and in many cases a great deal 
more) larger than any specimens of tigrina or suratensis, or the 
many intermediate forms that occupy the vast region lying be- 
tween Assam and Sumatra. 

Mr. Oates says : " This species is common everywhere in the 
plains ; but I did not meet with it in the hills. It seems to 
breed at all times of the year; two eggs I took measured T21 
by - 88. They are, of course, pure white. They are generally 
placed within fifteen feet from the ground in Bamboo bushes or 
shrubs. A male measured : Length, 12*5; expanse, 17*2 ; tail, 
from vent, 5*7; wing, 5" 5; bill, from gape, 0*9; tarsus, TO. 


" The bill is black ; eyelids, pale slaty, irides, reddish hazel ; 
inside of mouth, fleshy; feet, purplish red; claws, dark horny." 

796.— Turtur risorius, Lin. 

A specimen sent by Captain Feilden appeared identical with 
Indian specimens. It does not appear to be common within our 
limits, for Mr. Oates says he procured only a single specimen. 

797.— Turtur humilis, Tern. 

A specimen sent by Captain Feilden appeared identical with 
Indian birds. Mr. Oates also sent one, but it was unfortunately 
destroyed. He says : " Very common. In March these Doves 
collect in immense numbers, and, I fancy, are more or less 
gregarious when breeding-. As a rule, they are found in fours 
or fives." 

798.— Chalcophaps indica, Lin. 

Thayetmyo specimens appear identical with those from all 
parts of India, Tenasserim, the Andamans, and Nicobars. 

Mr. Oates says : " I have found this species tolerably common 
in the Evergreen Forests of the Pegu Hills. I have also seen 
specimens in a collection made at Thayetmyo and its immediate 

803 bis— Pavo muticus, Lin. 

Mr. Oates sends no specimens and gives no measurements of 
this species, but he remarks : " It is uncommon in our limits. I 
know of only three places where it is found — in a patch of 
jungle near Myohla; in the valley of the North Nawing Nullah, 
about ten miles west of the main ridge of the Pegu Hills ; and 
lastly, in the neighbourhood of the Duyindabo Police Thannah. 
This last place I know by repute only. There may possibly be 
other places where it is found. It has a great love for particular 
spots, and seldom leaves places it likes. It is likely enough to 
occur near Tonghoo along the banks of the Sittang. I failed to 
find it in any of the magnificent forests on the eastern slopes 
of the hills. Below Poungday, in the Tharawaddy Division, it is 
extremely common." 

811 ter— Euplocamus lineatus, Lath. 

Mr. Oates says : " This species is very common in the Pegu 
Hills, as common indeed as the Jungle Fowl. In the plains it is 
met with sparingly, and only in ravines and broken ground. I 
think the two Arracan birds I send you are different in coloration 


to the two Pegu Hill birds.* Cau they be hybrids between 
lineatus and Horsfieldii ? 

"Males from the Pegu Hills that I measured varied as follows : 
Length, 2675 to 277 ; expanse, 29 - 5to30*5; tail, from vent, 
11-6 to 12-9; wing, 9'2 to 9-5; bill, from gape, 1*32 to 1*37; 
tarsus, 30 to 325. The irides were reddish hazel; the exposed 
part of the eyelid, pale bluish grey ; bill, pale green, dusky 
at the tip ; the anterior half of the edges of the upper 
mandible and that part of the culmen wdiich lies between the 
nostrils are bluish grey, tinged with red in parts ; skin of 
face and lappets, deep crimson ; legs, plumbeous brown ; 
claws, pale horny ; spur, dark brown at base, paler at tip. 

" A female measured : Length, 20*1; expanse, 28 ; tail, from 
vent, 77 ; wing, 8*5 ; bill, from gape, 1*35 ; tarsus, 2*9. 

" The irides were reddish brown ; eyelids, plumbeous ; legs, 
dusky flesh color ; claws, pinkish horny ; bill, pale greenish 
horny, turning to black on culmen between nostrils." 

This species was first described by Latham (Gen. Hist, of 
Birds, Vol. VIII, p. 201), and it was figured by Jardine and 
Selby (Vol. IV, pi. 12). 

The latter plate, though as a whole very fair, fails to show the 
conspicuous white shaft stripes which characterize the whole 
lower surface. 

Specimens measured in the flesh by Davison varied as follows : — 

Male: Length, 25-5 to 30-0; expanse, 2975 to 3275; tail, 
from vent, 100 to 13*5; wing, 9 - 25 to 11*5; tarsus, 3'25 to 
3 - 62; bill, from gape, 1'5 to Too; weight, 25 to 3 lbs. 

* These birds are unquestionably Lophophorus Cuvieri of Temminck, PI. Col. 1, 
though Temminck figures a bird with an abnormally shaped bill, and with an 
even, instead of a falcate, tail. I have had no sufficientopportunities for investigating 
the matter, but Mr. Blyth was of opinion that these were hybrids between Hors- 
fieldii and lineatus, and whether we look at males or females, they do appear 
intermediate between the two species. In the males the entire lower surface is 
streakless, as in Horsfieldii ; there are no white central stripes to any of the 
feathers, some of the lateral tail feathers have nearly lost the white markings. The 
tips of the neck feathers show glossy blue-black patches, similar to those in Hors- 
fieldii, though the rest of the feathers are freckled, as in lineatvs. Everywhere on 
the upper surface the white frecklings are coarser and further apart than in 
lineatus, and all the lower back, rump, and upper tail covert feathers, though 
freckled as in lineatus, are fringed at the tips with white as in Horsfieldii. In 
the female the white stripes on the lower surface are greatly reduced in breadth, 
are huffy in color, and are almost entirely confined to the breast. The white 
arrow-head markings of the back and sides of the neck and upper back of lineatus 
are entirely wanting. Many of the coverts and the longer scapulars exhibit the 
conspicuous crescentic white tippings characteristic of Horsfieldii. In other 
respects, however, the female agrees with that of neither species. The whole 
back and wings are a more or less rich rufous olivaceous brown, everywhere closely 
freckled with blackish brown. The tail is rufous, pale on the central tail feathers, 
deep chestnut on the four exterior pairs, the others intermediate ; the chestnut 
feathers freckled on the inner webs only, the others on both webs, with blackish 
brown. As to whether these are or are not hybrids I suspend my opinion. 


Female: Length, 23 to 24; expanse, 24- 75 to 26; tail, from 
vent, 9-6 to 10-0; wing, 9 to 9*5; tarsus, 325 to 3*4; bill, from 
gape, 1*5 j weight, 2 to 2" 5 lbs. 

The legs and feet were generally pinkish fleshy or pinkish 
brown; sometimes a sort of bluish horny. 

In the male the spurs are dark at the base, whitish horny at 
tip. In the males, the bills are pale bluish or greenish horny, 
darkest at base. In the female, pale horny brown. The irides 
seem to vary a great deal ; some were brown of different shades 
usually more or less tinged with red ; others are noted as very 
pale pink or even fleshy white ; in fact, all the soft parts in 
this species seem to vary very greatly, doubtless according to 
age, season, and sex. In both sexes the facial skin is blood red. 

The male has the forehead, crown, and occiput, dull black. The 
occipital feathers, greatly elongated, so as to form a crest nearly 
2*5 inches long; the feathers, narrow. Webs, greatly disunited, 
and with a bluish-green gloss. The sides and back of the neck, 
the back, scapulars, upper tail coverts, the whole of the wings, 
and nearly the whole of the tail, black, finely vermicillated, 
with zig-zag wavy white lines — these lines much coarser, and 
wider apart on the secondaries and on the lateral tail feathers. 
The central tail feathers, white ; only the basal two-thirds of the 
outer webs, finely vermicillated with black ; the next tail feathers 
on either side similar, but more broadly vermicillated with black 
everywhere, except just at the tips and on the inner margins of 
the inner webs towards the tips. The inner webs of all the quills, 
duller and browner, as are also the whitish vermicillations ; the 
outer webs of the primaries also duller and browner, and the 
white vermicillations greyer, less well-defined, and becoming 
almost confluent. Chin, throat, and front of the neck, black. 
Breast, abdomen, vent, lower tail coverts, and tibial plumes, black, 
with more or less of a blue lustre, especially on the two first, and 
all the feathers, both of the breast and abdomen, with conspicuous, 
pure white, central, shaft stripes, varying however a good deal in 
breadth in different individuals. The sides and flanks, brown; the 
feathers, tipped blackish, and more or less powdered or finely 
freckled with white. In some specimens the feathers on the sides 
of the breast have the white stripe more or less powdered with 
black, and the whole outer webs white, vermicillated with black, 
or vice versa. 

The female has the forehead, crown, occiput, and crest, winch 
is shorter than in the male and with the webs less disunited, a 
moderately dark, slightly rufescent, olivaceous brown. The back 
of the neck, back, scapulars, rump, and all but the longer upper 
tail coverts, the whole wings, except the primaries and the winglet, 
a pale (scarcely rufescent) olive brown, darkest on the secondaries, 
tertiaries, and lower back, very uniform if looked at from a little 


distance, but when closely examined most of the feathers of the 
wing and upper tail coverts exhibiting an excessively fine powder- 
ing of dusky and more ruf escent brown ; besides this, the second- 
aries exhibit numerous imperfect paler wavy bars, very much 
broken up and wide apart, and here and there bordered with darker 
brown. The whole of the back and the sides of the neck with 
narrow white arrow-head bars, which sometimes have a darker 
brown line running along their margins. The inner webs of the 
quills a dark hair brown, a little powdered, and freckled chiefly 
towards the tips wdth dull pale rufous. The outer webs of the 
primaries, a very pale olive brown, only slightly freckled with 
darker brown ; the winglet, darker ; and the outer w T ebs more 
strongly mottled with dark brown and a very pale olive brown ; 
the longer upper tail coverts, buffy or buffy brown, very finely 
freckled, and vermicillated with dark brown ; the central tail 
feathers, buffy or rufescent white, freckled or irregularly vermi- 
cillated on the outer webs, except quite at the tips, with blackish 
brown. The remaining six tail feathers on either side with the 
outer webs most irregularly, but broadly, barred wdth black and 
white ; along the centre of the white bars run a series of black 
spots and blotches, and in the middle of the black intersj)aces 
are blotches and clouds of mingled chestnut and fulvous. The 
exterior four pairs, with the inner webs, much like the outer ; the 
next pair, with the inner w r ebs towards the tips yellowish wdiite, 
freckled and blotched with black ; and the next pair with the 
whole of the inner webs similar, and thus resembling the outer 
w r ebs of the central pair. The chin and throat, pale whity 
brown ; some of the feathers, paler centred j the basal portion of 
the front of the neck and the whole of the rest of the lower 
parts, chestnut; each feather, with a moderately broad w T hite central 
shaft stripe. The white, not very sharply defined, but freckled 
towards its edges, wdth browm or chestnut on the breast, and dark 
brown on the flanks, sides, and lower tail coverts. The flanks and 
tibial plumes are similar to the rest of the low T er parts, but have 
a somewhat browner shade ; the low r er surface of the quills and 
greater lower coverts, a pale glossy grey brow r n. The rest of the 
whig lining a sort of pale chestnut brown, each feather with a 
very narrow shaft stripe. 

Captain Feilden says : " This bird is tolerably common in the 
hills west of Thayetmyo, but appears to be unknown to any but 
Burmese. It seems to require rock and very steep hill-sides 
covered by long grass for shelter, and flat alluvial soil bare of 
grass, and covered wdth brushwood and young trees, for feeding 
ground ; in fact, its feeding ground is precisely the same as that 
of the Black Woodpecker, and I have several times lost a bird 
of each species by being undecided which to fire at. An old 
male is a most extraordinary looking bird. The tail only is seen 


moving' through the long- grass, and I invariably thought at first 
that it was some new porcupine or badger, or some animal. The 
note, too, adds to the deception, it reminded me a little of 
young ferrets. They run with great rapidity, but rise readily 
before a dog, and would not be difficult shooting but for the steep- 
ness of the hill-sides on which they are found, and the nature of 
the soil — gravel just stuck together by the material that forms 
the petrified wood so common there. This, covered by grass or 
dried Bamboo leaves, makes the footing so slippery that any 
attempt to raise my gun hurriedly generally brought me to my 
knees. These birds feed a great deal on the young' shoot of a 
kind of Orchis, which rather resembles a large Roselle flower, and 
its juicy leaves enable these Pheasants to live for some time far 
away from water ; but in the middle of the hot- weather they are 
forced to retire from the Thayetmyo Hills by the long grass being 
burnt. They return at the beginning* of the rains. They hatch 
in August." 

Mr. Oates remarks : " As already noticed, this species is com- 
mon throughout the whole of Pegu east of the Irrawaddy. Its 
limits to the south'* beyond Moulmein, and to the east beyond the 
Pounloun range of mountains, are not known with certainty. 
To the westf of the Irrawaddy it is entirely replaced by Cuvieri. 

" Lineatus is rare or common, just in proportion as the country 
is level or mountainous. In the plains or undulating portion 
of Upper Pegu it will be met with in small numbers, if the 
ravines and nullahs are sufficiently precipitous to suit its taste ; 
but in these places, at the best, only one or two will be shot in a 
long morning's work. It is not till we get to the foot of the 
hills that the Pheasants can be said to become common. Here the 
nullahs, with their pools of water and rocky beds, are particularly 
favorable to it. As we mount higher, it increases in numbers to 
such an extent that it is no difficult matter to knock over half-a- 
dozen in a morning while marching, and that without leaving 
the path. 

" This Pheasant is averse to all cultivation, and shuns even the 
yaks or hill gardens of the Karens, though these may be several 
miles from the nearest tay or village. It must have thick cover, 
even while feeding. In the mornings it comes out to feed on the 
ridges, where the jungle is a trifle less thick than in the valleys. 
At 9 or 10 o'clock it descends into the valleys, and after drink- 
ing retires into some small secondary watercourse for its midday 
siesta. At this period of the day seven or eight may be found 
together, if it is not the breeding season. When feeding, they 
go singly or in pairs. Their food is very varied. Ants, both 

* We have observed it at least as far south as Meetamyo in 14° north lati- 
tude.— A. 0. H. 

t But see what Captain Feilden says. — A. 0. H. 



white and black, are eagerly sought after ; the former are an 
especial weakness of our bird, and the only food on which it 
thrives in captivity. During the hot-weather Pheasants eat 
the fig of the Peepul ravenously ; and I have shot birds with 
nothing but this food in the stomach. 

" The breeding season begins about the 1 st March, and by the 
end of the month all the hens have commenced laying. It is 
during this month only that the male makes that curious noise 
with his wings which seems peculiar to the Kalij group. It may 
be imitated very fairly by holding a pocket-handkerchief by 
two opposite corners and extending the arms with a jerk. This 
noise, made only by the male, is undoubtedly a challenge to 
other cocks. I have frequently hidden myself near a bird thus 
engaged, and on two occasions I shot cock birds running with 
great excitement towards the sound. 

"The eggs and nest are described in Nests and Eggs, 
Part III. 

" The chickens, as soon as they are hatched, are very strong on 
their legs, and run with great speed. I was fortunate enough 
to capture portions of four broods. It is astonishing in what a 
short time, the little birds make themselves invisible. It is 
difficult to secure more than two out of one batch. It is a case 
of pouncing on them at once, or losing them. The mother is a 
great coward, running away at the slightest alarm, and thus 
contrasting very unfavorably with the Jungle Fowl, which keeps 
running round and round the intruder with great anxiety till 
her young ones are in safety. 

" The young are very difficult to rear. From some cause or 
other they become paralysed, lose the use of their legs, languish, 
and die. 

" In the chicken from the egg the top of the head is fulvous, 
albescent on the forehead. There is a stripe from the base of the 
upper mandible to the eye ; also a black line from the posterior 
corner of the eye, passing under the ear coverts, and terminating 
at the back of the head. The whole lower surface is white, with 
a tinge of fulvous ; upper neck, back, and rump, black. Two 
conspicuous fulvous white lines run from the shoulder to the 
root of the tail along the sides of the body, one on either side ; 
quills, brown, much freckled with fulvous; and the greater coverts, 
largely tipped with white. 

" The adult plumage is assumed at the autumn moult, the 
white streaks on the breast and belly disappearing with age, and 
being nearly entirely absent in very old cocks. 

" This Pheasant is not very shy ; on the contrary, it is rather 
tame ; but it has the habit of sneaking quietly away, and very 
few birds will be seen by one who does not know its peculiari- 
ties. It never takes wing unless suddenly surprised, when it 


will skim across the valley and alight again as soon as possible. 
Its only call is a low chuckle frequently uttered, both when 
alarmed and when going to roost." 

812.— Gallus ferruguieus, Gm. 

Pegu specimens are quite undistinguishable from our Indian 

Mr. Oates says : " The Jungle Fowl is extremely common, 
perhaps more so on the Pegu Hills than in the plains ; in many 
villages they are foimd up to the very fence, and no doubt they 
interbreed with the domestic Fowl, some of which are undis- 
tinguishable from the wild bird. The specimens sent were pur- 
posely procured many miles from any village ; in some cases 
twenty or thirty miles away in remote valleys. They may be 
looked upon as genuine jungle-wallahs. A male measured — 

"Length, 28*2; expanse, 29; tail, from vent, 14*3; wing, 
9; bill, from gape, 119 ; tarsus, 3*1; spur, 1"3. 

' ' The legs were purplish brown ; the claws, dark bluish horny ; 
comb, wattles, eyelids, and entire skin of the head, deep dull red ; 
irides, orange red ; bill, dark brown, reddish towards the base, and 
paler at the tip of the lower mandible." 

819 ter.— Francolinus chinensis, Osb. F. Phayrei, 

Specimens from Pegu correspond exactly with others from 
Amoy and Fokien. Mr. Oates remarks : " This species is common 
in the valley of the Irrawaddy, as low down as Prome ; south of 
this town I have never seen nor heard it, though a few may 
occur in the dry forests, called the l Engmah Indein/ 

" It frequents open places in forests, scrubby jungle, and waste 
land ; a few may be flushed occasionally in a paddy field after 
harvest, but, as a rule, it does not stay in the open country. It 
has a call which is difficult to syllabicate; but in its general 
character it resembles that of F. vulgaris, as noted in Jerdon. 
It is particularly vociferous in June and July, at which time 
it breeds. 

" It does not keep in flocks or coveys, though many are often 
found in the same neighbourhood. The call is uttered from a 
stump, and occasionally from the branch of a tree, as much as 
ten feet from the ground. The sexes do not appear to differ in 
size. Specimens that I measured varied as follows : — 

"Length, 12*6 to 13"1 ; expanse, 18 - 25 to 18*3; tail, from 
vent, 2 # 7 to 3 - 35 ; wing, 5*25 to 5*8; bill, from gape, 0-95 to 
1 • 2 ; tarsus, about 1 • 6 . 

" Of a female I have noted that the legs were a fine pale 
orange ; claws, purplish grey ; bill, dark horny brown ; the gape 


as far as the nostrils and the basal two-thirds of the lower 
mandible, being" dark fleshy yellow ; irides, pale reddish hazel ; 
eyelids, yellowish grey." 

The birds are of about the same size, and somewhat resemble 
the other Francolins of India. The following are measurements 
taken from the dried skins of males : — 

Length, 12 to 13 ; wing, 5'75 to 6'25; tail, from vent, 3 to 35 ; 
tarsus, 1*8 ; bill, from gape, 1 to 1/1 ■ female, slightly smaller. 

Male : Lores, and a stripe under the eye, ear coverts, chin and 
throat, white, often slightly soiled, or rufescent ; feathers impend- 
ing nostrils, with a stripe over the eye and ear coverts to the 
nape, another stripe from the gape or base of the upper mandi- 
ble (dividing ear coverts, &c, from throat) , black; a fulvous fawn 
streak above the black eye streak, generally meeting on the 
forehead in front, and again on the occiput; crown and occiput dark 
brown ; the feathers, more or less edged with pale fulvous ; the 
neck all round, wing coverts, sides and breast, black, with a row of 
oval white or buffy spots on each web of every feather; on the 
back of the upper neck these spots are smaller and less perfect, 
extending sometimes quite to the margins of the feathers, and 
are often tinged fulvous, the feathers of the centre of the back 
and of the upper neck being narrowly margined at the tips with 
fulvous fawn, and of the lower neck being tipped with rufous ; 
on the breast the spots are somewhat larger, very perfect, and 
purer white ; on the sides they are largest of all, and often 
strongly tinged with rufescent buff ; on the coverts the spots are 
generally a pale rufescent buff. The scapulars and interscapu- 
lary region are black, mingled with pure chestnut, the longer 
chestnut feathers of the scapulars having towards the tip on 
the outer, and in some cases on both webs, a broad black 
streak, band, or patch, containing an oval yellowish white spot. 
One or two of the tertiaries are like the secondaries, which are 
deep brown with conspicuous, pale, buff, transverse bars on the 
outer webs, and a freckling of the same color all along the 
margin ; and in the case of the latest tertiaries, a chestnut tinge 
towards the tips, and traces of freckling or barring on the inner 
webs also ; the primaries have a conspicuous row of pale, buffy 
white spots on the outer webs, and a row of very similar spots 
down the middle of the inner web, the ground color being hair 
brown, paling somewhat on the tips and the inner margins of 
the inner webs. The lower back and rump are black, very narrowly 
and regularly barred with white. The upper tail coverts are 
similar, but the black mostly replaced by fulvous brown. The 
tail feathers are black, but with a few very narrow transverse 
white bars towards their bases, in some specimens extending 
almost to the tips ; the flanks and abdomen are buffy or rufous 
white, or pure buff, with dark shafts and a series of broad, more 


or less cuneiform, transverse black bars ; the lower tail coverts are 
chestnut, most of them in some birds with a small black spot on 
each web near the tip. The wing lining- and axillaries are 
closely -barred white or fulvous white, and darker or lighter brown. 

The male has spurs from - 3 to 0*4 inch in length ; the bill, 
black; and the legs, dull, pale, brownish orange. 

The bird sent as a female, possibly a young male, is somewhat 
similar, but has the lower mandible a livid horny, has the black 
eye streak much less developed, and not prolonged to the nostrils ; 
the gape stripe also less well marked, the white of the throat, 
ear coverts, &c, generally more rufescent, and the whole of the 
feathers, which in the adult male are so conspicuously marked with 
oval spots, are here regularly and somewhat closely barred black and 
fulvous white; there is only a tinge of rufous on the shorter scapu- 
lars, and the whole back and upper tail coverts are olive brown, 
indistinctly margined paler, and pencilled with wavy speckled 
bars formed of tiny greyish white and blackish brown dots ; 
the scapulars and some of the feathers of the upper back with 
conspicuous yellowish white shafts. 

Another bird sent as a young female, but which I take to be 
the adult female, has the chin and throat white ; the lores, a 
stripe above the eye, cheeks, and ear coverts, pale rufous, with 
a few tiny brown speckles where the gape stripe in the male 
would run ; crown, occiput, and nape, dark brown, the feathers, 
everywhere margined with dull rufescent ; the breast white, here 
and there tinged with rufescent, with regular blackish-brown 
bars, which, as the feathers approach the abdomen, become more 
or less cuneiform ; the bars on the flanks and sides broader, and 
the feathers more tinged with rufous buff ; the feathers of the 
back of the neck, dark brown at the base, olive-brown towards 
the tip, with small white or rufous white double spots spring- 
ing from the shafts, which towards the tips are pale. Scapulars 
and interscapulary region and tertiaries, deep brown at the bases, 
with conspicuous yellow shafts, tipped and margined olive brown, 
freckled and pencilled inside the margins towards the tips with 
pale rufous, and with one or more irregular, narrow, transverse 
bars of the same color. Lower back, rump, and upper tail 
coverts, deep brown towards the base ( very little of which, how- 
ever, is visible until the feathers are lifted) , very narrowly tipped 
and margined greyish, and everywhere freckled and pencilled" 
towards the tips with a pale olive brown or rufescent olive. 
The wing coverts are much like the breast. 

There is generally a chestnut tinge on some of the scapulars 
towards the tips. The lower tail coverts are bay or dull chestnut, 
many of them with traces of an imperfect, cuneiform, blackish 
brown bar near the tip. The quills are as in the male, but the 
markings are somewhat smaller. 


824 quat.— Arborophila brunneopectus, Tickell, 
(Jouenal, Asiatic Society, 1855, p. 277). 

Mr. Oates says : " This bird and the next ( A. chloropus) are 
equally common in densely-wooded ravines and nullahs of the 
Evergreen Forests on the eastern slopes of the Pegu Hills. I have 
never met with the two in the same valley, each species appearing 
to occupy one stream to the exclusion of the other ;. they may 
occasionally straggle to the western slopes, but this must be the 
case rarely, as I never came across them ; in fact, the jungle is 
not adapted to them, being spare and dry. Westward, the range 
of this and the next species (chloropus) does not, I think, extend to 
the Arracan Hills, as all the many specimens of Arbor icola which 
I have procured there belong to another species (A. intermedia, 
Blyth) . As I found both brunneopectus and chloropus at the foot 
of the hills near Tonghoo, it is more than probable that they 
also extend eastward of the Sittang.* The males are rather 
larger than the females, but they do not differ, I can positively 
assert, in plumage or in the color of the soft parts. Their food 
appears to consist of hard seeds, but in one instance I found a 
beetle in the stomach of one of them. They breed, I judge, in 
May. I never heard a call in the forest which I could identify 
as proceeding from this bird or the next. I believe both to be 
particularly silent. I have occasionally seen them in the bed of 
a nullah, where they were probably either bathing or dusting 

11 Males measured: Length, 11-25 ; expanse, 18; tail, from 
vent, 2-5 ; tarsus, 1*85 ; bill, from gape, 1*0. 

"Females measured: Length, 10 to 10*7; expanse, 17'75; wing, 
5"15 ; tail, from vent, 2-4 ; bill, from gape, - 98 ; tarsus, 1*7. 

" Bill, black ; eyelids and patch behind the eye, red, more or less 
naked ; skin of throat, deeper red ; iris, dark brown ; legs and 
claws, orange ; some specimens have the legs tinged with lake. 
In some specimens the skin of the throat shows through a great 
deal more than in others." 

This species was first described from specimens sent by Tickell 
from Moulmein, and obtained by him in the mountains of the 
northern part of Tenasserim. 

Mr. Blyth at the time remarked as follows in regard to them : — 

" A. brunneopectus has the breast and flanks tawnyish brown, 
instead of ashy, with no admixture of ferruginous on the latter, 
which are spotted quite differently from those of any of the 
other species, each feather having a large rounded white spot, 

* As a fact, both extend eastward of the Salween, where (as near Pahpoon 
chloropus is very common. -Mr. Oates remarks that he has never heard the cal 
of this latter species, so I may mention that it is very like that of the Grey 
Partridge.— A. 0. H. 


a broad black terminal border, and another spot of black above 
the white ; throat, fulvous white, passing" to black in front of the 
neck, but no white below this (as in A. atrogularis) , nor do the 
black spots descend visibly upon the breast, though on turning" 
up the feathers a rudiment appears upon each of the black and 
white markings, which become so developed on the flanks; crown, 
brown, black-spotted, and passing- to whitish on the sides of 
forehead ; back and scapulars scarcely differing from those of 
atrogularis.' 3 

Although this sufficiently indicates the species referred to, it 
is hardly satisfactory or sufficient. 

The posterior half of the forehead, the crown, and occiput a 
rich olive brown, each feather with a black, more or less, triangu- 
lar spot at the tip on the shaft ; lores and a narrow line above 
and below the eye, uniting* in a triang-ular spot behind the eye, 
and a line running" backwards from the apex of this spot over 
the top of the ear coverts, widening* behind, them and more or 
less encircling them, black ; anterior half of forehead, and a line 
continued backwards over the eye (narrow immediately above it 
and widening behind it), and above the ear coverts and the 
black line already described. Chin, cheeks, and ear coverts, pale 
unspotted fulvous fawn ; the throat and neck all round, of much 
the same color, but more olivaceous on the back of the neck, and 
each feather with a more or less black triangular spot at the 
tip. Breast, unspotted olivaceous brown, with more or less of a 
ferruginous tinge ; middle of abdomen and vent white ; sides 
and flanks pale olivaceous brown, those nearest the centre of the 
abdomen with a strong tinge of the same rusty as the breast, 
each feather with a terminal black band, above which is a large oval 
pure white spot, and in a few of the feathers some black markings 
again above this spot. The lower tail coverts a more or less 
rusty olive brown, in some pale ferruginous, those nearest 
the vent tipped with white, and all with one or more imperfect, 
broad, transverse, black bands. The lower surface of the quill, 
pale satin grey ; median lower coverts, white ; lesser lower coverts, 
dark brown. The entire back, rump, and upper tail coverts, a 
bright, pale, olive brown ; the feathers, more or less black-shafted, 
and with two or three narrow, wavy, transverse, black bands, most 
conspicuous on the upper back, much less so on the rump and 
upper tail coverts, w T here, however, black, more or less, diamond- 
shaped spots on the shafts are more conspicuous ; besides the 
bars, most of the feathers are very narrowly fringed with black- 
ish or dusky. The scapulars and tertiaries, bright chestnut, with 
a huge, black, oval patch near the tip, and above that a broad 
patch, extending over one or both webs, of pale, olivaceous grey. 
The primaries, their greater coverts, and the winglet, plain 
hair-brown, the primaries only slightly freckled at their margins 


with rufous. The median coverts, the secondaries, and their 
greater coverts broadly margined, the secondaries on the outer 
webs only, the coverts more or less on both webs, with chestnut 
rufous, the coverts having- also often a pale spot at the tips ; the 
lesser coverts concolorous with the back, sometimes much more 
broadly barred with black, so that the whole shoulder of the 
wing appears of this color, and sometimes showing only narrow, 
almost obsolete, edgings of this color. The tail is olive brown, 
generally nearly concolorous with the back, with numerous 
black, freckled, wavy lines. 

The specimens vary very greatly in several respects. In the 
first place, in some birds the black spots on the head are very 
small, leaving the prevailing tint olive brown ; in others they are 
so large, becoming especially on the occiput broad tippings, as 
to leave only a few spots of the brown peeping through here 
and there; in some the barrings of the back are very broad 
and conspicuous, an eighth of an inch broad perhaps ; in others 
they are not above a twentieth of an inch wide ; in some the 
breast is only slightly tinged with rusty ; in others very strongly 
so, and in these latter specimens the whole bird above and 
below is somewhat more rufescent than the specimen I have 

I have only examined four females, but Mr. Oates vouches 
that the males are precisely similar. 

824 quint.— Peloperdix chloropus, Tickell, (Jour- 
nal, Asiatic Society, 1859, pp. 415 and 454). 

Mr. Oates remarks : " This species is of similar habits and like 
distribution to the last (A. brunneopectus) . The sexes do not 
appear to differ sensibly in size. In plumage they are absolutely 
identical. The following are the dimensions of four specimens 
that I measured : — 

" Length, 10*95 to 11*9; expanse, 19 to 20; tail, from vent, 
2-6 to 3-2; wing, 575 to 6*3; bill, from gape, 0*87 to 0*92; 
tarsus, 1-67 to 1'83. 

1 ' The irides are dark hazel brown ; bill, dusky red at base ; an- 
terior half, greenish ; eyelids and orbital region, livid rufous ; legs, 
greenish ; claws, yellow." 

This species was first obtained in the Amherst District of the 
Tenasserim Provinces. Colonel Tickell, its discoverer, remarked in 
regard to it : — 

" It appears tolerably numerous, but, as far as my observations 
go, is entirely confined to the forests on the banks of the 
Zummee River. Unlike its known congeners, it avoids mountains, 
and inhabits low, though not humid, jungles, where the ground 
merely undulates or rises into hillocks. 


" Like the rest of its tribe it is difficult to flush, and runs with 
great rapidity, jumping adroitly over obstacles, and diving' into 
impenetrable thickets for security. Early in the mornings these 
birds come out on the pathway, scratching about amongst the 
elephant's dung, and turning over the dead leaves, for insects. 
They do not appear to have any crow or call, though during the 
pairing season this may not be the case. The Karens did not 
even know the bird; but this is no proof of its rarity, for 
these people pay no attention to the living products of their 

" The sexes are precisely similar in plumage and size ; the flesh, 
rather dry and tasteless/' 

Mr. Blyth remarked : " The present species differs from 
P. Charltoni in having the interscapularies unmottled olive brown, 
crossed with numerous black rays on each feather. The super- 
cilium is more delicately pencilled, and the ear coverts are not 
ferruginous, but white, with black spots like the throat ; and below 
the throat there is a broad ferruginous band also with round 
black spots. Breast similar to the back, olive brown, with numer- 
ous blackish cross-rays, below which the under parts are ferrugi- 
nous, paling at the vent and interior of thighs. The flanks have 
no well-defined broad black bands, as in P. Charltoni, but are 
prettily mottled with dusky in a manner difficult to describe ; 
and the same remark applies to the wing coverts. Tail, freckled 
and marked with zig-zag dusky bands/'' 

The portion of the lores next the eye, and a stripe over the 
eye and ear coverts, and backwards to the nape where the two 
stripes almost meet, white, becoming fulvescent towards the nape, 
each feather more or less margined with black. The point of 
the lores, forehead, between the two stripes above mentioned, 
crown and occiput, a rich, dark, olive brown. Chin, throat, cheeks, 
ear-coverts, white; each feather, with a small, terminal, black 
spot, more or less wanting in some specimens on the chin and 
the centre of the throat ; extreme tips of the ear coverts, tinged 
ruf escent. A broad, pale, ferruginous collar round the upper neck, 
not quite meeting behind • each feather, with a black spot at the 
point ; and one or two of the lower ones, in some specimens, on 
the side of the neck, with more or less of a buffy shaft stripe 
at the tip. Lower neck all round, rich olive brown, not quite so 
dark as the crown, almost or entirely unspotted and unbarred ; 
upper breast, entire back, and scapulars, and upper tail coverts, 
a richer and somewhat more rufous olive brown, the feathers 
irregularly fringed with black or dark brown and with two or 
three narrow, irregular, wavy, freckled bars of the same color, 
and the interspaces more or less clouded and freckled. On the 
rump and upper tail coverts the ground color, so much as is visible 
of it, is perhaps buffy rather than rufescent olive, and the feathers 


here exhibit traces of a very narrow f ringe of this color outside the 
terminal black line. The tail feathers are ruf ous, freckled, and 
irregularly barred with blackish brown. The primaries, and 
their greater coverts, and the winglet, hair brown; the former, 
slightly freckled towards the tips with pale rufous; the latter, 
with freckly, irregular bars of this color on the outer webs. 
The secondaries, slightly darker than the primaries, freckled at 
the tips like these, but more strongly so, and with five or six 
irregular, freckled, rufous bars on the outer webs. The lesser and 
median coverts, longer scapulars, and tertiaries, mingled buffy 
white, pale rufous, and olive brown, irregularly barred and 
freckled, and with a few blotches of blackish brown ; a good 
many of the scapulars with narrow, buffy-wkite, shaft stripes at 
the tips. Lower breast and middle of abdomen, in some a some- 
what pale ochreous buff, in others ferruginous. Lower abdomen 
and vent, white or buffy white; lower tail coverts, colored much 
like the middle of the abdomen, several of them with one or 
more imperfect black bands. The flanks and sides are tinged with 
the same ferruginous or buff as the breast and abdomen; the 
feathers, freckled with black or blackish brown, and with narrower 
or broader, irregular, wavy, or freckled, transverse bars of the same 
color, and the feathers of the flanks with narrow buffy white 
shaft stripes towards the tips. 

I have already (Stray Feathers, Vol. II, p. 449) given a 
rough diagnostical key, which will, I hope, enable sportsmen and 
others to discriminate readily the eight species of Arboricolce, 
or Arborophllce, which occur within our limits. 

830.— Cotnrnix coromandelica, Gm. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " This Quail is very common ; indeed, 
very fair quail-shooting is to be got at Thayetmyo on the 
brigade-ground and adjacent scrub jungle." 

833.— Turnix pugnax, Tem., (Pi. Col. 60). 

These Bustard Quails vary much in plumage and somewhat 
in size, especially in depth of bill. I cannot as yet see my way to 
separate taigoor, pugnax, Sfc. The specimens now sent by both 
Captain Feilden and Mr. Oates agree, some of them exactly, with 
Malacca specimens, others with Raipoor, Madras, and Kutch 
birds, while one is closest to a Ceylon specimen. I am inclined 
to believe that if one could get together a large series from a 
number of different localities, all the different types would be found 
represented from each locality. At present I treat all the plains 
birds as belonging to a single species — -pugnax. I am inclined, 
however, to think the larger Sikhim race, plumblpes, Hodgs., 
entitled to specific separation. 


Mr. Oates remarks : " This Bustard Quail is generally spread 
over the plains, and ascends a short distance up the spurs. It 
keeps in pairs, is not very common, and is a constant resident. 
Two males measured — 

"Length, 6-15 and '6-5; expanse, 11 and 11*5; tail, from 
vent, 1-5; wing, 3'3 and 3*45; bill, from gape, 07; tarsus, 0*88 
and 0-98. 

" A female measured: Length, 6*7 ; expanse, 11*3 ; tail, from 
vent, 1*5 ; wing, 3 - 5 ; bill, from gape, 0'85 ; tarsus, 0-95. 

" In a male the irides were yellowish white ; eyelids, purplish 
grey ; gape and both margins of both mandibles, as far as the 
middle, dusky orange yellow ; tip of lower mandible, pale ; rest of 
bill, dark brown ; legs, dusky yellow on tarsus, becoming dark 
glossy brown on lower portion and toes ; claws, dusky white." 

834 bis. — Turnix maculosa, Tern. 

Mr. Blanford notes that he obtained this species (T. Blanfordi, 
Blyth, Jouenal, Asiatic Society, 1863, p. 80) at Thayetmyo. 
I have it from Kolidoo a little further south-east. 

843.— Glareola lactea, Tem. 

Both Captain Feilden and Mr. Oates sent specimens of this 
bird, and Mr. Oates says that it is " common on all sand-banks 
in the Irrawaddy ; occasionally in the evening it comes inland in 
large numbers, hawking Swallow-like after insects. I found an 
egg of this bird in a sand-bank on the 12th April. It was laid 
on the bare sand, and measured l - 03 by 0- 8. It was a pale buff, 
much blotched all over with two shades of pale yellowish brown. 
Specimens measured — 

"Length, 6*7; expanse, 17 - 2 to 17*5; tail, from vent, Z'l ; 
wing, 5-7 to 5-8; bill, from gape, 075 to 078; tarsus, 075 
to 0-81. 

" Irides, dark brown ; eyelids, dark grey ; terminal half of the 
bill, black ; of the rest, two-thirds are red, changing to yellowish 
brown at the gape ; legs and claws, black/'' 

845.— Charadrius fulvus, Gm. 

Pegu specimens are similar to those from all parts of India 
and the Andamans. Mr. Oates says that this is not a very 
common bird within our limits. 

847.— TEgialitis mongolicus, Fall. 

Is said by Mr. Oates to be tolerably common. 

850. — iEgialitis philippinus, Lath. 

I really do not pretend to understand the synonymy of these 
the smallest of the Plovers, and I think it is high time that 


Mr. Harting took mercy on the ornithological world generally 
and worked out the synonymy of the little wretches. The 
species sent from Thayetmyo is the one designated by Jerdon 
minutus, Pallas, a diminutive race of the species which he calls 
philippensis of Scop., but which Mr. Blyth says is curonicns, 
Besck., which latter Mr. Gray says is a synonym of fluviatilis, 
Bechst. I call the present species j)Mlijopmus } because Mr. Gray 
makes minutus, Pallas, a synonyme of this, but whether there are 
really two or ten of these nearly allied races, or by what names 
the two or the ten should properly stand, it is simply impossi- 
ble to decide. 

Of this present species, minutus, Pall, apud Jerdon, Mr. Oates 
remarks : " This is a common bird all through the cold-season, 
being found chiefly on the sand-banks of the Irrawaddy and 
large nullahs. It must, I think, breed with us, but I have not 
noticed it at all during the rains. 

" A female measured : Length, 6 - 25 ; expanse, 13*1 ; tail, from 
vent, 2'2; wing, 4'2 ; bill, from gape, 0'55; tarsus, barely 1*0. 

" The bill was black; the gape and base of lower mandible, pale 
yellow ; the eyelids, grey ; their edges, tumid and bright yellow ; 
irides, dark brown; legs and feet, dusky brownish yellow, darker 
on the toes and bare portion of tibia ; claws, dark horny ." 

This bird will not do ior philippinus, apud Blyth (Ibis, 1867, 
p. 164) which, he says, has a tarsus 1*12 in length, and the tail 
unhanded, with the outermost three feathers white ; all the tail 
feathers have a black band ; the two outermost feathers on either 
side, white, with the band on the inner webs only ; the next three 
pairs, pale olive brown, white-tipped, with a dark band, and the 
central tail feathers similar, but without the white tip. Then, 
again, philippinus has the crown, according to Blyth, rufescent 
brown, with a more rufous periphery, some black behind the 
white nuchal collar above, and the pectoral streak narrow or 
interrupted in front ; but there is no rufous at all upon the head of 
our small Plover, and the pectoral streak, as he calls it, is a broad 
and perfectly continuous band ; in fact, the bird is, as far as 
I can tell, in every respect a perfect miniature of our Common 
Indian-ringed Plover, fluviatilis, coronicus, or whatever its proper 
name may be, which is found everywhere up the Persian Gulf, 
all over India, and also at the Andamans, and what increases the 
difficulty is that between the two races intermediate-sized links 
appear to occur. 

854.— Chettusia cinerea, Blyth; C. inornata, Schl. 

Mr. Gray assigns cinerea, Blyth, to Bengal and inornata to 
Japan. I have seen no Japanese specimen, but from the plate and 
description in the Fauna Japonica, our Bengal bird would seem to 


be identical with the Japanese one. Anyhow the Pegu birds, 
like those from Tenasserim, differ in no respect from specimens 
from Bengal. 

This species appears to be rare in Upper Pegu, and to be found 
only in and about one or two of the very large swamps. 
Mr. Oates says : ' ' I have met with only one specimen of this bird. 
It was shot on the 11th November at Engmah, and I arrived there 
just in time to rescue it from the cook. I dare say more will 
turnup. It measured : Length, 14*8; expanse, 32*0; tail, 4*9; 
wing, 9'8; bill, from gape, 1*68; tarsus, 3*3; legs and toes, 
yellow ; the joints and portions of the toes with a greenish tint ; 
claws, black ; edges of eyelid and lobes, with basal two-thirds of 
bill, bright yellow ; terminal one-third of bill, deep black ; inside 
of mouth, flesh color; iris, light crimson; eyelid, well-clothed, 

855 bis,— Lobivanellus atronuchalis, Biyth. 

Mr. Biyth separated the Indo-Chinese race of Lobivanellus 
indicus, Bodd, goensis, Gm., under the name of atronuchalis. The 
birds are very similar, but differ, I think, sufficiently to warrant 
specific separation. The following are the more important differ- 
ences : — (1^) , the tarsi are longer and slenderer, measuring 3*3 to 
3*5 against 2*9 to 3*1 in indicus ; the beak, too, in the present 
species is somewhat smaller and slenderer ; {2nd), the white streak 
behind the eye runs in indicus the whole way down the side of 
the neck, becoming doubtless somewhat greyish towards the 
base of the neck ; in the present species this white streak 
is only about an inch long, ends abruptly, and below this 
the neck all round is black; (3;v/), in atronuchalis the black 
descends right down to the base of the back of the neck an 
inch further nearly than it does in indicus, and it is there divided 
from the olive of the back by a broad white band, which is 
wanting in indicus ; (4>t/i), the black in front does not descend 
so far down on the breast in atronuchalis as it does in indicus. 

Mr. Oates remarks of the present species that it is extremely 
common all over the country. He gives the dimensions of a 
male as — 

" Length, 13*4 ; expanse, 27*4 ; tail, from vent, 4*25; wing, 
8 - 5 ; bill, from gape, 1*3 ; tarsus, 3"4." 

857.— Hoplopterus ventralis, Cm. 

The Thayetmyo specimens are precisely identical with those 
from all parts of Northern India and the Central Provinces. In 
designating them as above I merely follow Mr. Gray, who 
identifies malabaricus, Bodd., the name which I fancied correctly 
pertained to the present species, with b Hob us. Gm. 


Mr. Oates remarks that this species is " not very common 
within our limits ; when found, it is generally on sand-banks and 
in sandy nullahs. It has a curious habit of stretching out its head 
and hissing when it apprehends danger. A male measured : 
Length, 12'2; expanse, 24r5 ; tail, from vent, 3*5; wing, 7"9; 
bill, from gape, 1*4; tarsus, 25. 

" Bill, black ; legs, plumbeous brown." 

858. — Esacus recurvirostris, Cm. 

Captain Feilden mentions having procured this on the Irra- 
waddy in the neighbourhood of Thayetmyo. 

859.— (Edicnemus crepitans, Tem. (E.mdicus,Salv. 

Captain Feilden sent a single specimen procured in the 
neighbourhood of Thayetmyo. It is quite identical with the 
Northern Indian bird, and belongs to the somewhat smaller race 
which some ornithologists separate as (E. indictis, Salvad. 

870.— G-allinago Horsfieldii, Gray. 

Mr. Oates says : " This is the Common Snipe of the country. 
Thayetmyo is not a good place for them, owing to the want of 
paddy land and swampy ground ; but at Tonghoo everything is 
favorable, and very large bags are made. I have shot it on the 
1st September, and it stays till the 1st March. A female 
measured: Length, 10 - 3; expanse, 17'5; tail, from vent, 2; 
wing, 5-1; bill, from gape, 2*45; tarsus, 1'35." 

871.— Gallinago scolopacina, Bonap. 

Mr. Oates remarks that " the Common Snipe is comparatively 
rare; the Snipe of Burmah is the Pin-tail. Scolopacina does not 
appear till the cold-weather is well in, say in December, and then 
but few will be found in a large bag of Snipe. It stays till late. 
I have shot them in March." 

872.— Gallinago gallinnla, Lin. 

Mr. Oates remarks that "a single specimen is occasionally 
killed, but it is very far from common." 

877. — Numenms arquatus. Lin. N". lineatus, Cuv. 
878. — Numenius phaeopus, Lin. 

Captain Feilden states that he procured both these species at 

884 bis.— Tringa damacensis, Eorsf. 

This is the first specimen of this species that I have seen from 
India, conspicuous at once by its mid-toe and claw, a full inch in 


length, and by the brown shafts of all but the first primary. In 
this latter respect it corresponds with Temminckil, but differs 
from that species in wanting- the band across the chest and in 
having the tail like minuta. 

Mr. Oates remarks that this species " is very common during 
the cold-weather on sand-banks and edges of ponds, &c, in 
flocks of from ten to thirty." For further remarks in regard to 
the present species and minuta, vide Stray Feathers, 1873, 
p. 242, and p. 491. 

885.— Tringa Temminckii, Leisl. 

Mr. Oates mentions killing another small Stint with the wing 
3*75 and tarsus - 77, with the legs and feet dirty green, which 
was distinct from the preceding. The specimen had been 
unfortunately destroyed; but it can scarcely have been other 
than the present species. 

891.— Totanus glareola, Lin. 
892. — Totanus ocrophus, Lin. 
893.— Tringoides hypoleucos, Lin. 

Mr. Oates says that all these are very common in the cold- 
season, and that he has shot hypoleucos on the 14th August. 

894.— Totanus canescens, Gm. 
895.— Totanus stagnatilis, Bechst. 

Neither of these, according to Mr. Oates, are common within 
our limits, but both occasionally occur. 

898.— Himantopus intermedins, Blyth. 

Although I follow Mr. Gray in adopting Mr. Blyth's name, 
vide Stray Feathers, 1873, p. 248, I am by no means 
convinced that there is more than one species of this genus 
in Europe, Africa, Asia, Malayana, and Australia. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " At times a few of this species appear, 
but it is not a common bird. A female measured : Length, 14 - 7 ; 
expanse, 27*5; tail, from vent, 3*2; wing, 9*4; bill, from gape, 
2-8; tarsus, 4" 74. 

" Irides, red ; eyelids, well-clothed ; bill, deep black ; inside of 
mouth, dusky fleshy ; legs, lake red ; claws, black." 

900— Metopodius indicus, Lath. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " This is a very common bird in all 
jheels, stupidly tame, and always getting in the way of the duck- 
shooter. Its cry is a long continued kitten-like mew, which it 


utters when disturbed, stretching" its head and neck out to their 
full length ; the Burmans call it ( Bee ' in imitation of its call. 

" I do not think that the changes of plumage of this bird are 
well understood. I may state — {1st), the black plumage is that 
of the adult, and once assumed it is never changed ; black birds 
out-number very considerably the yellow ones in the winter 
months; (2?id), black birds are within small limits always of 
the same size, showing conclusively that they are full-grown and 
adult; (3rd) , yellow birds are in every particular smaller than 
black ones, and inter se vary also very much in size ; whence I 
conclude that yellow birds are the young, and that broods of 
two years are to be found together; (4/ 1 /), that in the summer 
months the number of yellow birds is much reduced, showing, I 
think, that the elder brood must have moulted into black 
plumage during the preceding spring (Jerdon states that, to his 
certain knowledge, they moult in the spring) . I infer that the 
bird assumes the black plumage the second spring after birth, 
and that there is no seasonal change of plumage in adults/'' 

So far as regards moulting in the spring, I find that specimens 
shot on the 4th May in the Central Provinces have not quite 
completed the moult, still showing a few red feathers on the 
head, a few rufous feathers on the nape, and a few white feathers 
about the breast and abdomen. As to the difference in size, 
I can say that sex for sex the yellow birds are very perceptibly 
smaller than the adult ; but the males always run veiy much 
smaller than the females, and of course, if young yellow males 
are compared with the adult females, the difference is very great. 
Mr. Oates gives dimensions as follows : — 

" Adult females : Length, 123 to 12-4, expanse, 24'3 to 24*7; 
tail, from vent, 2 to 2*2; wing, 7'1 to 7*2; bill, from gape, 1 # 38 
to 1*42; tarsus, 2 - 9 to 3'2; hind toe and claw, 3*5 to 3 - 75. 

" Young females : Length, 12; expanse, 24; tail, from vent, 2 ; 
wing, 7*15; bill, from gape, 1*4; tarsus, 2*9; hind toe and claw, 

" Two young yellow males: Length, 10*2 to 10*8; expanse, 20 
to 21 ; tail, from vent, 1*5 to 1*7 ; wing, 6*15 to 6*2 ; bill, from 
gape, 1*26 ; tarsus, 2*5 to 265 ; hind toe and claw, 2 •2." 

To this I may add the dimensions of an adult male : Length, 
11*5; expanse, 20- 75; tail, from vent, T75; wing, 6*2; bill, 
from gape, 1*35 ; tarsus, 25 ; hind toe and claw, 3*1. 

Mr. Oates adds : " The legs are olive green ; the claws, horny, 
transparent at the edges ; the irides, brown ; the eyelids, densely 
clothed with white feathers, their edges with black ones; shield and 
basal half of upper mandible, dull livid ; the edges, greenish-white ; 
and a spot at the base of the upper mandible fine rose-color; ter- 
minal half of upper mandible and the whole lower, a fine pale green, 
somewhat dusky at the centre and yellowish towards the base." 


901.— Hydrophasianus chirnrgus, Scop. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " I have only seen one specimen. It is a 
rare bird with us. A male shot on the 11th February, in winter 
plumage, measured : Length, H'05; expanse, 22; tail, from vent, 
3; wing, 6*7; bill, from gape, l - 06; tarsus, T96. 

" The irides were pale yellow ; eyelids, well clothed ; bill, dark 
brownish black ; the basal half of the lower mandible, bright 
yellow ; legs, dull greenish ; claws, horny/'' 

902.— Porphyrio neglectus, Schlegel. 

This, according to Mr. Gray, is the name under which our Sul- 
tana Coot should stand; certainly it is not jJoliocej)//alus, Latham, 
which has a brown back, and which has the whole head, neck, 
and lower parts, a unicolorous pale lavender blue. Specimens 
from Thayetmyo appear to differ in no respect from birds from 
Sindh and all parts of India. The only specimen sent however 
has, even for a female, a rather unusually small bill. 

Mr. Oates remarks : ' ' This species is common in the Engmah 
Swamp, and is found also occasionally in other jheels. 

" Except where found as a mere straggler, this bird is gregari- 
ous. In the Engmah Swamp fewer than twenty or thirty are 
rarely seen in one flock. At Boulay, where the bird is uncommon, 
they occur singly. They move, through bushes very cleverly, 
stepping from one branch to another very quickly and without 
much commotion. 

" A female measured — 

" Length, 17 ; expanse, 31*5 ; tail, from vent, 4 ; wing, 9'6 ; bilL, 
from gape, 1*48; from posterior margin of shield to tip, 2*55; 
tarsus, 3*6. 

" Anterior half of bill, waxen red ; basal half and culmen to near 
the tip, very dark blood red ; the region of the nostrils, whitish ; the 
central portion of shield, the same blood red as the bill ; the edges, 
bright coral red; irides, bright red; eyelids, plumbeous; legs and 
feet, fleshy red, more or less dusky on all the joints ; claws, horny/'' 

903 Us.— Podica personata, Gray. 

Mr. Oates says : " I procured one specimen on the Engmah 
Swamp. It flew up near the canoe with a heavy flight. I do not 
think the bird is rare, but being very unwilling to rise, it is often 
overlooked in the dense masses of vegetation floating on the 
water. A male measured — 

" Length, 22 ; tail, from vent, 5*8 ; wing, 10*1 ; bill, from gape, 
2*31 ; tarsus, 2*1. From the back of the shield to the tip of the 
bill, 2'3. The hind-toe has no web or lobe; the inner toe where 
the lobes are broadest was 0'88 broad; the middle toe, 0*8; and 
the outer, 0-7. 


" There are eighteen tail feathers ; the gizzard is very muscular } 
the contents of the stomach entirely shell fish, swallowed shells 
and all, the shells being found in the stomach broken into small 

" The irides, hazel brown; tarsus and toes, light green; the lobes, 
yellowish towards the edges ; claws, horny ; bill, waxen orange, 
becoming slightly yellowish towards the tip ; inside of the mouth, 
pale lilac ; eyelids, yellowish fleshy ; their edges, sickly yellow." 

I think this bird is decidely more nearly allied to Fidica and 
to Gallicrex than to any other genera. I may add to Mr. Oates' 
remarks that the tibia is bare for about 0*6; that the tarsus is 
broad and strong, not compressed as in the Grebes ; and the 
claws too are claws, and not nails as in the Grebes ; the inner 
toe claw is much the largest; the mid-toe to root of claw is 2 - 6 ; 
its claw from root to point straight, 049 ; outer toe to root of 
claw, 2'2; its claw, 0*45 ; inner claw to root of claw, 1*9; its 
claw, 0'6. 

The second and third primaries are the longest ; the first is 
1-3, the fourth 0-2, the fifth 07, the sixth 1-25, the seventh 
1*80, and the tenth 3*25 shorter than the longest. 

The tail is very much rounded, the exterior pair 2 inches, the 
next pair 1*5, the next l'l, the next 0*8, the next 06, the next 
0*3 shorter than the six central ones, which are longest. 

The whole of the front of the head, as far as a line drawn 
across the crown from a little in front of the posterior angles of 
the eyes, and a broad streak from above the posterior angle of 
the eye backwards to the nape, the whole of the lores, cheeks, 
part of the ear coverts, chin, throat, and part of the front of 
the neck, velvet black, and more or less glossy ; the width of 
the black on the front of the neck, regularly diminishing, and 
terminating in a point about 2*5 inches from the base of the 
neck. From the posterior angle of each eye a white slanting 
line runs down to the end of the black point, thus defining 
the black along its whole length. Just in front of the black 
lores there is a narrow white line dividing them from the sides 
of the upper mandible. The crown, occiput, and a broad ill- 
defined streak down the back of the neck, a sort of dusky 
greenish bluish grey. The sides of the occiput between the 
black streak and the dark greenish bluish grey band running 
down the back of the neck on the one side, and the white 
bounding line of the black of the face and the throat on the 
other, pale brown, with a sort of olive green tinge. The lower 
part of the neck in front, the sides and flanks, a sort of drab 
brown ; the latter, darker, and with the faintest possible fulvous 
or perhaps rufescent tinge; breast and middle of abdomen, vent, 
and shorter lower tail coveits, white, more or less tinged fulvous, 
faintly barred with a pale drab brown in the middle of the 


abdomen, and lesser lower tail coverts strongly and very regularly 
barred with this same brown ; longest lowest tail coverts, which 
extend to within an inch of the ends of the longest tail feathers, 
plain brown, of much the same color as the sides, unbarred and 
unspotted ; median lower tail coverts, uniform, somewhat paler 
brown, slightly barred with white towards the tips ; lower surface 
of the wing (except lesser and some of the median lower coverts, 
which are dull or light hair brown), glossy satin brown. The 
entire back and scapulars moderately dark brown, with a greenish 
tinge toward the tips of the feathers, most conspicuous on the 
upper back and interscapulary region. The upper tail coverts, 
more olivaceous, and wanting this greenish tinge ; tail feathers, 
plain hair brown, albescent towards the tips, and very distinctly, 
though obsoletely, barred. The entire wings are a warm, but 
not dark, hair brown, all the feathers becoming slightly paler 
towards the tips and on the margins of the outer webs. 

This was a male. The females, Tickell tells us, have " the irides 
straw color ; the chin, throat, and front of the neck, where black 
in the male, white, with a margin all round of black, which 
extends a little over the lores, and has the same white outer 
border as has the black mask of the male, ccetera pares." 

904.— Gallicrex cinereus, Gm. ; cristata, Latham. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " A common bird, generally distributed 
over all marshy places ; it has a loud, deep, booming call, and is 
crepuscular in its habits. The stomach is extremely muscular : one 
I examined contained green rice, rice leaves, and a small shell. 

" A male killed on the 6th June measured : Length, 17; ex- 
panse, 28 ; tail, from vent, 3*8; wing, 8'5 ; bill, from gape, 1*7 ; 
tarsus, 3*35. 

" Iris, hazel brown ; eyelids, smoky plumbeous ; frontal shield 
and base of upper mandible, deep dull red ; horn, pinkish ; the 
bill, with the above exception, is yellow, there being a red spot 
at the base of the lower mandible; inside of mouth, flesh color; 
legs, plumbeous green; claws, horny. 

" They probably breed here in June." 

905.— GaUiimla chloropus, Lin. 

Specimens from Pegu differ in no way from those we have from 
many parts of the world. 

Mr. Oates says : " This species appears to be common. I shot 
three birds in one week near my own house." 

907.— GaUiimla phcenicura, Penn. 

Mr. Oates remarks that this is very common in the plains 
of Upper Pegu. For further remarks in regard to this species, 
vide Stray Feathers, 1874, p. 300. 


911.— Eallina fusca, Lin. 

This species is probably not uncommon. Mr. Oates recently 
secured a pair. He says : " I have watched these birds for a 
long time. Close to my house there is a nasty, dirty swamp 
overrun with reeds. Just at its tail end, about fifty yards from 
my verandah, there is a small, comparatively clear, piece of 
water. Upon this piece of water these two little birds were 
to be seen every morning walking about briskly over the Lilies ; 
but whenever I attempted to get near them, they would stalk 
away into the grass. At last I managed one fine morning to 
get the male, and nearly a fortnight after the female. They 
are evidently a pair. 

" The male measured : Length, 8*55 ; expanse, 12 "2 ; tail, from 
vent, 1*75 ; wing, 3'8 ; bill, from gape, 1*0 ; tarsus, l - 4. 

" The female : Length, 7*8 ; expanse, 12 ; tail, from vent, 1*7 ; 
wing, 375 j bill, from gape, 0'98; tarsus, 1*46. 

" The stomachs contained small insects, and much gravel and 
sand. In both sexes, iris, crimson ; eyelids, plumbeous ; the edges, 
coral red. Inside of mouth was flesh color ; bill, greenish brown ; 
legs and toes, red ; the hind part of tibia and knee, fuscous. Shot 
at Boulay on the 21st September 1873.-" 

These birds are precisely identical with others from Ceylon, 
Calcutta, and various parts of Northern India. 

Dr. Jerdon says that the legs and feet of this species are 
pale green ; I cannot say that I have ever seen a specimen with 
the legs this color. The bird is comparatively very rare in Upper 
India, so that I have not seen many fresh specimens ; but all I 
have seen had the legs red or reddish. Perhaps in mid-winter 
the legs are green. I hope that some one in Lower Bengal, where 
the bird is pretty plentiful, will ascertain whether this be so 
or not; (see also Stray Feathers, Vol. II, p. 461). 

912.— Porzana ceylonica, Gm. 

A specimen from Thayetmyo is precisely identical with others 
from Ceylon, Cawnpore, and other parts of Upper India. As I 
pointed out (Stray Feathers, 1873, page 440), Blyth's species, 
amauroptera, will not stand ; it is merely the female of the present 
species. I have both supposed species, both from Ceylon and from 
Upper India ; in all cases the so-called amauroptera were females. 

Mr. Oates says : " I have only obtained one specimen, which 
was caught alive in the verandah of the house of Colonel Horace 
Browne, Deputy Commissioner of Thayetmyo, who kindly sent 
it to me." 

Fasciata, Raffles, which is so common in Malacca, Penang, and 
Singapore collections, and which we have from Amherst, though 
rather similar, is a smaller bird, has the olive of the back much 


more rufous, and has all the scapulars, coverts, and loth webs 
of primaries and secondaries more or less banded with white. 
In ceylonica a few of the smaller scapulars are in some specimens 
similarly banded, and there are white bars or traces of them 
on the inner webs of both primaries and secondaries ; but the 
banding- never extends either to the coverts or to the outer webs 
of the quills. 

913.— Hypotsenidia striata, Lin. 

A specimen from Thayetmyo is darker, and rather larger billed, 
than Indian specimens usually are, but not nearly so dark as the 
Andaman birds {vide Stray Feathers, 1874, p. 302). 

Mr. Oates says : " The specimen I send is the only one I have 
seen ; it was shot near Prome by Captain E. Swetenham, and 
kindly given to me by him." 

916.— Leptoptilos javanicus, Mors/. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " This species occurs in the plains singly 
during the rains." No specimen has been sent ; but the two species 
could scarcely be confounded. 

917.— Mycteria indica, Lath. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " This is not a common bird, but remains 
with us all the year through. A male measured : Length, 52'4; 
expanse, 85; tail, from vent, 9*4 ; wing, 22; bill, from gape, 
11-9; tarsus, 12- 7. 

" The legs and feet are coral red ; claws, dusky pink ; bill, 
black ; gular skin, dusky purple ; eyelids, dusky purple, turning 
to pink at the centre of the lower lid ; irides, bluish brown." 

Specimens from Thayetmyo and Rangoon are identical with 
our Indian ones. How far south indica proceeds, and where 
it meets the Australian austral is, I have not been able to 
ascertain. I cannot even satisfactorily make out the difference 
between the two species ; but it appears to consist mainly in the 
lower part of the back in australis being black, while it is white in 
the present species. 

920— Melanopelargus episcopus, Bodd. 

Mr. Oates says : " This species occurs in flocks in the rains, 
and is also seen in the cold-weather. A male measured — 

" Length, 36 ; expanse, 70"5 ; tail, from vent, 8*0 ; wing, 20'6; 
bill, from gape, 6 - 8; tarsus, 6 '9. 

" The irides are crimson ; eyelids and naked skin in general, 
plumbeous, becoming purplish on the throat. The bill is black, 
reddish on the anterior half of culmen, the tips of both 


mandibles, the anterior three-fourths of gonys, and nearly the 
whole of the cutting edges, except the gape ; feet, red ; claws, 
reddish horny.'''' 

923.— Ardea cinerea, Lin. 

Captain Feilden procured this species at Thayetmyo. 

924.— Ardea purpurea, Lin. 

925.— Herodias alba, Lin. ? H. egretta, Gm. t nee 

929— Bubulcus coromandus, JBodd. 

930.— Ardeola Grayii, Sykes. 

All these species are reported to be common in Thayetmyo by 
Mr. Oates, the first occurring chiefly in reedy swamps. 

926. — Herodias intermedia, V. Hasselq. 
927 ?— Herodias garzetta, Lin. 

Besides the above, all of which he enumerates, Captain Feilden 
says that he also procured these two species in the neighbourhood 
of Thayetmyo. 

927 Us /—Herodias melanopus, Wagl. 

I have considerable doubts as to the correctness of Captain 
Feilden' s identification of garzetta. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " If Captain Feilden has rightly identified 
garzetta, then this is the Heron which breeds in such vast quanti- 
ties in the Thayetmyo Cantonment. But it cannot well be this 

" I have no skins, but I have careful measurements and de- 
scriptions of three birds — 

I. $ ; L., 20-5 ; exp., 35-5 ; tail, 3*2; wing, 9'2 ; tar., 3'6. 

II. juv.;„ 20-0; „ 35-2; „ 3"3 ; „ 10-0; „ 3-5. 

III. $; „ 20-3; „ 365; „ 3-4; „ 9-8; ,,365. 

" Bill, 3-02. All three were shot on the 25th August. 

" In I, the bill, face, and iris, bright yellow ; legs and feet, 

" In II, much the same as the above ; the bill and face being 
dull yellow. 

" In III, the bill and face were neither so bright as in the 
I, nor so dull as in II ; there was also some brown about the 

" Plumage of III, which I took to be an adult male, with no 
signs of immaturity about him. Whole plumage, pure white, 


tinged with the slightest possible suspicion of fulvous on the 
following parts : — 

" The head and anterior half of neck, the back, and scapulars. 

" Feathers on head erectile, but not forming a conspicuous crest. 

" The dimensions would do for Bubulcus coromandus, but this in 
summer plumage is a very different bird. They are too small 
for H. garzetta, which moreover has the bill (according to Jerdon) 
black at all seasons. The Thayetmyo bird, of which hundreds 
may be seen in the cantonment, is a bird colored as I have 
described during the summer months, and with a yellow bill 
varying in intensity in different individuals/'' 

Looking to dimensions and to the black feet, this should be 
melanopus. The bill seems too long, the wings and tail short for 
coromandus, and then in August this latter ought to exhibit its 
conspicuous golden buff plumage; on the other hand, I am 
not aware that melanopus ever exhibits even a slight fulvous 
tinge, nor that the bill is yellow all through the year ! 

Without specimens further speculation is useless. The bird 
is certainly not garzetta, but it may be neither coromandus nor 

931.— Butorides javanicus, Borsf. 

Thayetmyo specimens are somewhat differently colored to 
Indian ones. The sides and back of the neck are more tawny, 
the back is more bronzed, and the head and crest with, I think, a 
slightly brighter metallic gloss, and that though the specimens 
sent were shot in winter. I do not know that they could be 
considered distinct (though the tarsi also seem to run longer) ; 
but still, if the differences I have pointed out are constant, the 
Pegu birds constitute a distinguishable race. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " This little Bittern is common in the 
Engmah Swamp, living in the thick brushwood on its banks. The 
irides are yellow ; naked skin, green, duller on the eyelids ; inside 
of mouth, fleshy salmon-colored; upper mandible, black, with 
a small streak of green below the nares ; gape, greenish brown ; 
lower mandible, gx-eenish yellow, more or less black along the 
edges ; legs and feet, green, except front of tarsus and ridge of 
toes, which are brownish; claws, horny; soles, tinged with 

932. — Ardetta flavicollis, Latham. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " The Black Bittern is pretty plentiful 
in swamps in the plains, and in the hills every nullah in the 
Evergreen Forests contained one or more of these birds. 

" Males measured as follows: — Length, 23 to 23*4 ; expanse, 
29 to 30-8; tail, from vent, 27 to 2'8; wing, 8-1 to 8-3; bill, 
from gape, 4 to 4*2; tarsus, 2-9. 


" Irides, pale red ; eyelids, bluish ; bill and skin of face, a dingy 
rufous chocolate, blackish on culmen and paler on terminal half 
of lower mandible ; legs, feet, and claws, black." 

934.— Ardetta sinensis, Gmel. 

A single specimen was obtained by Mr. Oates at Thayetmyo 
in August. 

937.— Nyctiardea nycticorax, Lin. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " Last Christmas there were immense 
numbers of this species in the bushes bordering the Engmah 
Swamp. I shot a good many, and they were all exactly the same 
as the specimens now sent. On going there again last June and 
July, not one was to be seen ; it is very curious that all the birds 
I saw at Christmas were young ones. I did not shoot or see a 
single one without the white spots on the wing/'' 

The specimens sent are certainly the young of this species, 
and it is curious that Mr. Oates should have met with none but 
young birds ; however, it is nothing uncommon for the young 
of migratory birds to travel in flocks by themselves without any 
adults. With us, in India, the Night Heron is everywhere, as 
far as I know, a permanent resident. 

Later Mr. Oates writes to me : " I have now ascertained 
that this bird is pretty common and a permanent resident, but I 
have never met with it since in such immense numbers as I did 
at Engmah in December/'' 

939.— Anastomus oscitans, Bodd. 

Mr. Oates has sent a head only of this species ; it is, he says, 
" a rare bird in Upper Pegu." 

943.— Ibis falcinellus, Lin. 

Captain Feilden says : " I also shot the Glossy Ibis, but I 
do not think it is common." 

Mr. Oates writes : " I once saw a large flock of what must 
have been this species flying high and out of shot." 

950.— Sarkidiornis melanonotus, Tem. 

Mr. Oates says : " Common in the Engmah Swamp in large 
flocks ; feeds a good deal on young paddy. I lately saw one in 
captivity ; it continually dived from one end to the other of its 
tank, some fifty feet in length." 

951— Nettapus coromandus, Lin. 

Mr. Oates says : " This species is very common." 


953.— Dendrocygna major, Jerdon. 

Mr. Oates says that " this species is very common, especially 
about the Engmah Swamp. On the 21st July I found a fully 
formed egg in the oviduct of a female ; flappers were about in the 
middle of October. " 

954.— Casarca rutila, Pall. 

The Ruddy Shieldrake is common in the winter months on all 
sand-banks in nullahs, &c. 

962. — Dafila acuta, Lin. 

Mr. Oates appears to have only met with this species on the 
Engmah Swamp, and even there it appears to be far from 

964.— Querquedula crecca, Lin. 

Mr. Oates says : "This is a common species in Upper Burmah." 

965. — Querquedula circia, Lin. 

A single specimen — an immature female — has been sent by 
Mr. Oates, who says this is the only specimen of the species he 
has met with. 

975.— Podiceps minor, Lin. 

Thayetmyo, like Indian, specimens are in my opinion quite 
undistinguishable from English and European ones. It is very 
common in Upper Burmah. 

985.— Sterna seena, Sykes. 

Mr. Oates says : " This species is common all the year round 
on the sand-banks of the Irrawaddy, on which it lays its eg-gs 
in the third week of March. Occasionally it is seen a long way 
from the large rivers/'' 

987.— Pelodes javanica, Borsf. 

Mr. Oates says : ' ' Very common in the Irrawaddy ; it lays 
at the end of March.'" 

995.— Rhynchops albicollis, Swainson. 

Mr. Oates remarks : " Common in the Irrawaddy River. I 
have never found anything in its stomach, except a little oil. 

" Males measured : Length, 18*1 to 18-3 ; expanse, 45 to 45*5 j 
tail, from vent, 5 to 51 ; wing, 16; bill, from gape, 4 to 42; 
tarsus, 11 to 12. 

2 x 


" The bill, bright red, becoming yellow at the tip of both 
mandibles ; irides, dark brown ; eyelids, grey ; legs, bright 
red ; claws, blackish homy." 

In regard to the food of these birds I may remark that, ac- 
cording to my experience, they feed chiefly about sunset and a 
little later. On moonlight nights parties of them have often 
passed me on the river, and I have rarely failed to find remains 
of fish in their stomachs when shot in the evening. I have 
often found their stomachs apparently empty, as described by 
Mr. Oates and Dr. Jerdon, but I think have more generally 
found some remains of fish in them, no matter at what hour they 
were shot. 

1004.— Pelecanus ? philippensis, Gm. 

Captain Feilden says he got "the Common Pelican" at 
Thayetmyo ; probably it was this species. 

1007.— Graculus melanognathus, Brandt. 
1008. — Plotus melanogaster, Penn. 

Mr. Oates says : " Both these species are common within 
our limits." 

gbbttions to tje gbtfanna of Ceglon, anb notes on toons 
^u'us fonnb t\m. 

By W. Vincent Legge, r.a. 

Since the publication of my paper, antea, Vol. Z, p. 487, 
Phodilits badius, Glareola lactea, and Onychoprion fuliginosa have 
been added to the list of Ceylon birds, vide Mr. Hume's notes, 
antea, Vol. I., p. 429, and Limnatus Kienieri, by a gentleman 
in Ceylon, who published his discovery in the Journal of the 
Ceylon Asiatic Society. I now give two additional species, 
JVeophron ginginianus and Prima Hodgsoni, in the following 
notes, and recapitulate Glareola lactea, in order to make a more 
extended notice of it than was contained in the above paper. 

The numbers that precede the names are those of Dr. Jerdon's 
work and Mr. Hume's Catalogue ; those that follow the name 
in brackets are those of Mr. Holdsworth's Catalogue. All 
measurements and descriptions of the soft parts, as is invariably 
my rule, are taken from the specimen in the flesh, except 
where the contrary is specified. 


6.— Neophron ginginianus, Daud. (1.) 

This Vulture, the most important addition for many years to 
our Ceylon Avifauna, must now take its place at the head of 
the existing catalogues, an immature example having heen shot in 
the hills some months ago by a gentleman in the Public Works 
Department. The bird in question occurred at Newara Ellia, 
our Sanitarium — which is situated at an elevation of 6,200 
feet above the sea level — during the early part of last March. 
This was during the prevalence of the north-east monsoon, the 
time of year, when, as I predicted, antea, p. 488, Vol. I. } Indian 
Raptors will be found to stray southwards to Ceylon. It was 
at this season that I procured Poliornis teesa and Errjthropus 
vespertinns, and Mr. Bligh of Kandy his interesting straggler 
Limneetus Kienieri. It is to be hoped that each successive 
season will replenish our list, now that the study of ornitho- 
logy is more zealously pursued than heretofore. 

Our Scavenger was, it appears, very tame at the time he was 
observed, and was flying about the native bazaar, when he met 
with his untimely end. Bearing in mind the habits of this species 
and its mode of frequenting the vicinity of human dwellings in 
search of its sustenance, it is not unreasonable to suppose that, as 
it has not been hitherto observed, this is its first actual appearance 
of late years in the island. But that it should have been found at 
this particular place and at such an elevation seems remarkable ; 
for, as regards its South Indian range, I presume that it is 
by no means confined to the highlands which correspond in the 
character of their Avifauna to our hills. It must be inferred, 
therefore, that it was driven southwards, in a high northerly 
wind, at a considerable elevation, and brought itself to a stand 
in the hills of the Central Province, thence making its way to 
the nearest collection of human habitations, which, probably, 
would have been Newara Ellia. 

9.— Falco peregrinator, Sund. (2.) 

This fine Falcon, so rare in Ceylon, is seen occasionally about 
the high cliffs of Fort Frederick, and is, I have no doubt, from 
the abundance of food afforded it there, a permanent resident at 
Pigeon Island. This islet is situated 14 miles north of Trinco- 
malie at about 1^ miles from the mainland. Near this place, 
about ^ mile nearer the shore, is another rocky islet, frequented 
by flocks of Columba intermedia, which furnish many a dainty 
meal for the Royal Falcon. Pigeon Island itself is rarely 
visited, except by fishermen who can only land at the south 
side, where there is a little beach backed by a tangled thicket, 
which rises gradually to the pinnacle in the centre, whence the 
northern side descends in the form of a perpendicular face right 


into the sea. This cliff, under which it is very difficult to pass, 
forms a splendid shelter for the Shahin ; for he can perch and 
roost on the shelves which jut out into the numerous crevices 
in the face of the rock, without being disturbed by any one on 
the island, who does not choose to scramble along the almost 
inaccessible rocks at its foot. I visited the spot on the 6th instant 
in search of pigeons, and, finding none, was clambering over the 
rocks on an adjoining islet, separated only at high water from 
the main portion, with the view of finding a suitable hole for a 
bath, when I espied a splendid Falcon coming along over the 
water and making for the cliff. I quickly turned back, 
reached the cliff, and got out on to an enormous boulder, where I 
enf laded the face of the cliff, having a good view of the whole 
of it, but not a vestige of a Falcon was to be seen. I then 
determined to get right underneath, and jumped across a chasm 
to a lower boulder, from which I could see every spot almost 
in the precipice, but no Falcon. I then shouted and out-shot 
three splendid fellows ; bang went the 12-bore, and of course 
missed, — I never did anything but miss first shot on such cri- 
tical occasions, and always shall — and in an instant they were 
all over the water, where it was folly to drop them ; back they 
came, dashing at the rock, and not caring a pin for my shot, 
when bang went the weapon and down came a fine fellow 
between two large rocks, where I judged him to be safe, and 
went in for several shots at impossible distances at the other two, 
who wheeled and dashed round tue summit of the rock in such 
a manner that I was sure they must be breeding. After a 
while the third bird made off, the second disappearing suddenly 
from the battle field. Thinking it was about time to pick up 
my dead bird, I made my way across, and through the water, to 
the spot where I had dropped him, when to my extreme grati- 
fication I found that he had fallen into a sluice, out of which 
the first receding wave must have carried him ! Not a sign of 
my prize anywhere, high and low, I searched, and at last gave 
up in despair, convinced that a monstrous blue rock fish had 
long since polished him off, determined that Pigeon Island 
Falcons should never fall into the hands of the ruthless soldiery! 
Getting back was a matter of squeezing myself into the 
thickness of a board, and so propelling myself up a huge cleft 
for about 15 feet, but it was accomplished, and, arriving at our 
camp under the trees on the beach, where my companion was 
hungrily waiting breakfast, the first sight that greeted me was 
a magnificent winged Shahin hanging by his knotted primaries 
(Moorish boatmen haven't much idea of the value of a bird's 
quills !) to the branch of a tree. My companion* had dropped 

* Major Sir Joliu Campbell, ll.A, 


him as he shot past, and hence his disappearence from my side 
of the island. 

A long yarn this, over the shooting of a Falcon, but I 
must be forgiven, as this is the second authenticated instance 
of a Shahin being procured in Ceylon. Layard's bird was the 
first. My specimen is a female in, what must be, nearly the 
fully adult plumage. Dimensions: length, 16'75; wing, 12*8; 
tail, 6'5 ; tarsus, 2 ; mid toe, 2*15 ; its claw, 082 ; bill, from 
gape to tip straight, 1"15 ; expanse, 38*1. 

Iris umber brown ; bill dark slate blue, changing to greenish 
at the edge of the cere, which, with the gape and base of under- 
mandible, is chrome yellow ; tarsi and feet gamboge yellow. 
The head, hind neck, and cheek-patch are almost black ; back 
and scapidars dark slate with darker mesial lines, while the 
wing-coverts are margined only with the slaty hue ; the lower 
back gradually pales into fine bluish grey, handsomely barred 
in the centre of the upper tail-covert feathers with blackish ; 
the tail is broadly tipped with buff; the throat and chin almost 
pure white gradually changing from the rufous white of the 
chest to the uniform rufous of the breast and belly. The only 
markings beneath consist of a few bars on the lower flanks and 
under tail-coverts. 

The pale rump is very conspicuous in this bird when on the 

What are the relative powers of flight of this species and the 
Peregrine as observed in India ? I witnessed, on the 12th of this 
month, a remarkable capture of a Palm Swift by the former bird. 
On the shore of Fort Frederick stands a solitary Polungra Palm, 
in which a little colony of C. palmarum breed every year. I 
was about to ascend the tree to look at the nests, and was 
watching the little troop of Swifts circling round me, when a 
Shahin Avhich has been about the cliff for the last fortnight 
dashed past me and gradually mounting higher and higher went 
away with a twisting flight for about 300 }'ards at a tremendous 
pace ; I could not see, at this moment, what he was pursuing, 
as it was just getting dusk, but he suddenly checked himself and 
shot down with meteoric swiftness almost into the sea. I per- 
ceived a poor little Swift just in front of him ; close to the surface 
of the water, it dashed along in a horizontal direction for about 
100 yards, closely pursued by the Falcon, and then twisted 
hither and thither for the space of a few seconds, the Shahin 
following its every movement until he struck it with his talons, 
and seizing it in his bill flew past me to the cliff. The whole 
chase did not last more than a minute, and though I pitied the 
poor little Cypselus, with its young clinging to the palmyra leaf 
above me, I returned home with the impression that to a 
naturalist a finer sight could not have presented itself. 


37.— Limnsetus Kienieri, De Sparre. (12 bis.) 

Mr. S. Bligh of Kandy gives an account of the shooting of 
this interesting addition to Ceylonese birds in the last number 
of the Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Asiatic Society. 

72 — Ketupa ceylonensis, Gmelin. (29.) 

All examples of the Brown Fish Owl that I have shot have the 
tarsi and feet decidedly murky sap green ; there is no yellowish 
tint, whatever, in the leg, except it be, when the specimen is 
drying, between the reticulations. Jerdon lays particular 
stress on the yellow hue, and I see Mr. Holdsworth gives the 
colour as " dirty yellow," whether or not, from a freshly 
shot specimen I cannot say. Furthermore, in Ceylon examples 
the bill is not " horny yellow," but dusky greenish grey, dusky 
brown on the culmen, at the curve in some, and with a brown 
patch on either side of it in others. Judging from four speci- 
mens that I have measured, there does not seem to be much 
difference in the size of the sexes. Length from 20 to 20'5 ; 
wing from 14'5 in a female to 153 in a male. 

105. — Batrachostomus moniliger, Layard. (44.) 

I have seen, I think, two species of this interesting genus ; 
the one, a small rufous bay brown bird, with an enormous 
mouth and shortish tail,* the other larger and of paler 
plumage, corresponding to the description given by Mr. Hume 
of his Ceylon specimen, a?itea, Vol. II, p. 354, but of much 
greater lengthf than that example. 

The former was procured in the foi'ests of the Western 
Province between Negombo and Koonegalle, and was pur- 
chased for the Local Museum in 1869. I regret to say I 
have no data of this specimen, as when I repaired to the 
Museum for the purpose of taking notes on it, I found that 
it had disappeared, having been thrown away, I suspect, by a 
careless native taxidermist, because it was not a good skin ! 

The latter I shot myself in a bamboo thicket a few miles from 
G-alle. I met with it at about 3 in the afternoon, sitting across 
a horizontal branch in the thicket, its eyes shut, and with all 
the appearance of an Australian Podargus. When I first saw 
it, I was within a few feet of it ; it did not see me, nor open its 
eyes, as if it heard anything, and I was thus enabled to slink 
away to a suitable distance before serving the ends of science by 
taking the unconscious creature's life. 

* This is apparently the true moniliger, Layard. — Ed., S. F. 
f My measurements were from the drj skin. — Ed., S. F. 


The dimensions of this bird are* : — length, 91 inch ; wing, 
4'6 ; tarsus, 0"5 ; mid toe with claw, 0*8 ; bill across gape, 1*4 
•wide ; gape to tip, 1*4. The iris was yellow ; bill greenish brown ; 
feet fleshy grey ; ends of toes darker. The general plumage above 
is sepia and rufous brown, mottled with black and white, darkest 
on the head and most rufous on the wing-coverts ; the feathers 
of the head have terminal black spot with the extreme tip white ; 
loral plumes rufous, with dark bars ; a whitish supercilium ; 
the scapulars have the outer webs whitish buff finely mottled with 
black, and having the appearance of two broad longitudinal 
stripes ; tertials mostly silvery grey, mottled dark with a ter- 
minal arrow-headed spot, followed by an extreme white tip ; 
the wing-coverts mottled rufous and black, with a large termi- 
nal white spot, bordered by a black anterior edge ; primaries 
dark brown with marginal fulvous spots and with the tips 
mottled ; tail with alternate fulvous and grey bands, the whole 
finely mottled and with a dark dividing transverse mark at 
every two bands ; beneath the throat and chest tawny, mottled 
and cross-rayed with brown and with a white band across the 
throat ; the feathers with the white spots having a transverse 
anterior black border to them ; breast paling to greyish, mottled 
brown and with a white terminal spot on the feathers at the side 
of that part ; tibial plumes fulvous, with narrow cross rays ; 
abdomen fulvous. 

147.— Palseornis eupatrius, Linn. (62.) 

The genus Palceornis is exciting particular attention at the 
present moment. I therefore subjoin a few particulars regarding 
our Ceylonese birds. 

I do not think the question of inferiority in size in our 
insular birds can be quite considered a settled matter, for 
I have seen in the Western Province of this island enormous 
birds flying high over my head and always unfortunately 
out of range ; they were, curiously enough, always single ; but 
of course this was only a coincidence, and could not be ac- 
cepted as a reason for thinking that there were two species 
of large parakeets here. Last year I shot several examples 
in a hitherto unexplored part of the south coast of the island, 
which, I am sure, were smaller than many I had seen previously 
on the wing. The wing of a male of one of these measures 
8 inches, but the tail was much abraded, and I am unable to say 
even approximately what the normal length was ; with regard 
to the mandibular stripe in this example, it is by no means 
ill-defined or narrow, measuring 0*3" at the widest part, and 
running out into a fine point on the anterior edge of the rose 

* This appears to me to be clearly B. punctatus, Nobis, S. F., Vol II., p. 354. — 
Ed., S. F. 


ring", exactly on a level with the eye. This feature is about 
the same as this in all caged examples I have seen. In a 
young male the rose ring was incomplete, not extending round 
the hind neck ; a female, immature, but apparently full grown, 
measured 15*75 ; wing, 7*4; tail from vent, 8*5; height of 
upper mandible, 0*65 ; length from nostril straight to tip, 1'17. 
Iris dingy yellow, with a darkish inner circle (our male, when 
adult, has the iris golden* yellow) ; feet, more slaty than in the 
adult. The bill is much smaller than in the males, in one of 
which latter it measures in height nearly 0'8, and in length 
from the nostril 1*35. 

Since the above was written, I have procured a male of the 
year at Pigeon Island, in ivhich the bill measures 0*8 in height, 
and the maxilla 07. There is not a vestige of a mandibular 
patch or neck ring in this example, the plumage being that of 
an adult female. It has a wing of 7*6. 

152 quat. — Palaeornis Calthropae, Layard. (65.) 

The bill of an immature female in my collection is reddish 
black. I have never had an opportunity of examining nestling 
females, so / cannot assert that their bills are red, but from the 
reddish hue in my specimen alluded to here, it is probable that 
the part in question is red when the birds are very young. The 
crown and nape in my bird are dull green, overcast with bluish ; 
there is only a trace of the black gorget and an indication of 
the bright green neck ring ; the interscapular region is over- 
cast with bluish on a dull green ground, and the back and 
rump are brighter blue than in the male (adult), with, however, 
the longer upper tail-coverts of a light green, which is continued 
along the edge of the blue region to the flanks. 

166 ter.— Chysocolaptes Stricklandi, Layard. (70.) 

This Woodpecker is abundant in many parts of the island, and 
may, I think, be considered the most numerous of our Picidce 
after B. ceylonus and B. puncticollis. It appears to have been 
until lately entirely overlooked in the low country districts, and 
thought to be quite a hill species. This is by no means correct. 
In 1872, I found that it inhabited the forests of the low hills in 
the south-west of the island, as well as the mountains of that part 
(Ibis, 1874, p. 15). Prior to that I had shot it on the banks of 
rivers in the south-east. Last year I met with it throughout 
the plains of the same district. It is likewise abundant both in 
the cocoanut groves and jungles of the north-east (vide Stray 
Feathers, Vol. I., p. 340), in the former of which I have shot 
Brachypternus ceylonus, B. puncticollis (?) and this bird within a 

* Out of more than a dozen live specimens of sivalensis, now before me, one of 
which has been six years in captivity, not one has more than a faint yellowish tinge to 
the white irides. — Ed. ; S. F. 


few yards of each other in the same compound. In the Central 
Province it is abundant at all elevations, but not so numerous at 
medium altitudes, such as 3,000 to 4,000 feet, as B. ceylonus. 

The average dimensions of adult males are : length, 11 '5 
inches ; wing, 5*8 to 5'9 ; bill at front, 1*7 to 1*8 ; females, as 
far as I can judge from half a dozen examples collected in 
different parts of the islands, are slightly larger than the other 
sex. The smallest I have has a wing- of 5*8, and the largest one 
of 6*1. Immature birds, well into the first year, are shorter 
in the bill by from 009 to - 15, and have the upper mandible 
darker about the culmen than adults. 

Judging from two examples (females) in my collection, 
which were shot in the forests between here and the central road, 
the plumage of this Woodpecker appears to fade in a remark- 
able manner, particularly as regards the head, hind neck, and 
wings. When in new feather, the black of the head in the female 
is intense black, and the spots quite circular, and much more 
perfect than in the abraded stage. In one of the above instances, 
however, the head and nape are intermingled with old light 
brown feathers, the point of the wing and tip of earlier pri- 
maries are brownish grey, and the red of the least wing-coverts 
faded into reddish grey ; a few of the pectoral feathers are also 
of an umber brown hue. In the other case, the tips of the 
nuchal feathers, those of the hind neck, point of wing and the 
primaries, as well as their coverts, are light brown, while the 
interscapular region is reddish gray. In the first instance, the 
entire head would appear to have been in a faded condition 
before any of the new black feathers sprung ; in the second, the 
black of the vertex and forehead consists of the old feather, and 
the process of fading seems to have commenced from the neck 

Were it not that these two females, as far as size, colour of 
iris,* and bill were perfectly adult, and that the peculiar ap- 
pearance of the tips of the quills and wing-coverts gave unmis- 
takeable signs of abrasion and alteration of colour, I should 
have been disposed to have regarded this coloration as im- 
mature, t 

179.— Micropternus gularis, Jerdon. (72.) 

With regard to Mr. Hume's remark, antea, Vol. 7., p. 434, re 
Mr. Holds worth's notice of the dark lower parts of Ceylon 
specimens, I would suggest that, in all probability, the latter 
gentleman took his observations from males, which are consider- 
ably darker than females, both above and beneath. This species 

* Dusky in the ytmng. 

f Doubtless the brown feathers were the remains of immature plumage. — Ed., S. F. 

2 B 


has a wider range in Ceylon than has been supposed. It is con- 
fined to no particular part of the low country, but is to 
be met with in all open forest districts. It is tolerably common 
along the river Giudurah near Galle, and in jungles on the bor- 
ders of tanks in the south coast, in similar localities in the 
district of Trincomalie, and in the forest country of the inte- 
rior of the western province. 

180 bis.— Brachypternus ceylonus, Forster. (74.) 

This species has a very wide range in Ceylon. I have found 
it in all districts that I have visited, with the exception of Jaffna. 
Mr. Holdsworth does not record it from Aripo, and therefore it 
may be absent from the north-western portion of the island. It 
is, however, to be found in the forest country between Trinco- 
malie and the northern road, and I suspect extends across to 
the western side as far as the confines of the low scrubs near 
the coast in which Mr. Holdsworth chiefly collected, and where, 
from my experience of it in the south-east, I know it would not 
be found. In this latter district it is abundant up the country 
where there is forest, but it does not affect the scrubby jungles 
along the coast line. 

280— Buchanga longicaudata, A. Bay. (111.) 

This is entirely a forest bird, as Mr. Holdsworth in his cata- 
logue affirms it, on Lord Walden's authority, to be ; it frequents 
the tops of high trees, and is fond of selecting a dead branch as 
its perch, from which it darts out on its prey. It is common 
in the Trincomalie jungles, where I have generally found it in 
the vicinity of tanks and retired valleys. I have also observed 
it in the wilds of the south-eastern districts. According to 
Jerdon, it would appear to attain a larger size on the Continent 
than here. My largest male measured 11*4 inches, with a tail 
of 6 and a wing of 5£ ; while females average about 10*8 in 
length, with a wing of 5*2. Immature birds have the terminal 
white spot to the under wing-coverts and the white bars on the 
under tail-coverts common to most of the genus. The iris in 
this Drongo-shrike is redder than in any of the others. 

B. minor is the common species at Jaffna, where it may 
be seen perched on the backs of cattle even inside the Fort. 
The immature bird has brown wings and much white edging 
about the abdomen and lower parts, besides the under tail- 
covert bars. 

281.— Buchanga ccerulescens, Linn. (112.) 

According to my observations of Ceylon examples, the upper 
surface of this species exhibits a marked distinction in the 


greenish rather than the greyish* blue of that part, from leu- 

I think the examination of a large series of both these species 
would prove the Ceylon bird to be the smaller ; both, however, 
vary much in size and length of wing. Ccendesceens is stouter 
in the bill than leucopygialis, and has a fine light edging 
at the tips of the inner primaries and secondaries which the 
latter has not. It frequents the jungles (not occurring about 
open paddy fields like our Ceylon species) in the north and 
south-east of the island, and in these localities is by no means 
uncommon. I obtained a specimen in 1868 at Colombo, on 
the west coast, but, further than this, I am not aware of its- 
occurrence in any but the above districts. 

538.— Prinia Hodgsoni, Blyth. (165 bis.) 

This Prinia, which from its confined habitat in Ceylon has 
been overlooked, must now be added to our list. I met with 
it last year in July and August in great numbers in the flat 
jungle-covered country of the south-east. It fell to my gun, 
in the first instance, in a clearing in the jungle, where it was 
affecting long grass and low bushes, and subsequently I always 
found it in such places, and along the edge of jungle roads. It 
consorted at that season in little troops of 4 or 5, consisting of 
old birds and their young broods, and I therefore procured 
without difficulty immature birds in all stages. Jerdon has 
altogether omitted the pectoral band so conspicuous in the 
adult male, and this, together with the very limited range of the 
species in Ceylon, and that, too, confined to the south, the 
habitat of most of our peculiar birds, disposed me to look upon 
it as new, but my specimens were identified by Mr. Blanford 
as Hodgsoni, and all claim to novelty on the part of the newly 
found stranger was thus put aside for ever ! 

I found that the female differed from the male in the much 
lighter colour of the upper surface and pectoral band (incom- 
plete in the young female) and in the presence of a lightish 
line surmounting the lores. The gradation in the hue of the 
iris and tarsi from the newly-fledged nestling to the adult was 
very distinct. In the former the iris was olive and the tarsi 
had a brownish anterior wash ; in birds of about two months old 
but fully grown the iris had become olive yellow and the tarsi 
fleshy yellow, slightly tinged with brown ; while in the adult 
these parts are reddish yelloio and fleshy yellow respectively. 
The pectoral band is very faint in the newly fledged nestling, 
and deepens to ashy in the bird of the year, but is neither so 
broad nor so deep as in the adult. The Ceylon bird does not 

* The young, in which the head and wings are brownish, are somewhat grey about 
the back, that colour mingling with the normal glossy hue. 


quite agree in size with Jerdon's measurements. The dimen- 
sions of several of my specimens are as below : — 

Sex. Total length. Wing. Tarsus. Bill at front. 

S 4 3 in. 1-8 0-75 45 

$juv. 4*1 1-6 07 0-45 

g 41 (tail not perfect.) 178 075 045 

gjuv. 4 32 (tail 18) 175 7 42 

? 41 1-75 07 0'42 

,J 43 185 75 0-45 

?>». 425 1-75 07 045 

843.— Glareola lactea, Temm. (224 bis.) 

Stray Feathers, Vol. I., p. 440. 

I procured this Glareola about swamps and on the shores 
of the salt pans (Leways") near the town of Hambantota* on 
the south-east coast. Natives there affirm that it is resident 
throughout the year with them, and, if this be the case, I have 
no doubt that it breeds in February or March in the great sand- 
hills near the town. I procured both old and young birds 
during my stay there, and had adult specimens sent me in 
October. Mr. Layard, who was a fellow passenger to Australia 
with me in November last, informed me that he is almost sure 
he saw Swallow plover, at times, about Point Pedro. 

Uotes m some §ivbs otebcb in ilje jklimiw SiUs, tot 
Qf §m <§tet |fi|jan. 

By V. Ball, M.A., 
Geological Survey of India. 

A few days spent on a geological tour in the northern 
portion of Beluchistan and the south-east corner of Afgha- 
nistan during last month (July), gave me an opportunity of 
making some observations on the birds of that little-known 
part of the country. Towards the end of the trip, when my 
regular professional work was completed, I had leisure sufficient 
to enable me to collect a few specimens. 

As to the character of the country in which these birds were 
found much might be said ; but I shall limit my remarks to a 
few words here.f 

* Spelt in my notes (antea, Vol. I., p. 489) Hawbantota by reckless P. Ds., who 
murdered several other words, such as sexual into several, and so forth ! W.V.L. 

N.B. — Your former article was so — well, charmingly written, that you ought to be 
thankful it ever got printed at all.— Ed., S. F. 

+ For an amount of the physical features and geological structure, reference may be 
made to my paper on the Luni Puthan Coal in the Records of the Geological Survey, 
Part III., 1874. 


The main axis of the hill system of the Suliman ran^e 
proper runs more or less north and south, and is flanked on 
both sides, but only to a small extent on the east, by subordi- 
nate ranges, which are formed of the crumpled and denuded 
folds of rolling beds of nummulitic and more recent tertiary 

The valleys running between these ranges are, for the most 
part, tolerably fertile, though there is far from being anything 
approaching to luxuriant vegetation. Wheat and other grain 
crops are said to be of excellent quality. 

But few trees are to be seen, except where there may happen 
to be a perennial supply of water. Even in such places they 
are, for the most part, species of Acacia, Zizyphus, Capparis, and 
the like, which do not require much moisture. A dwarf palm 
(Chcemarops Ritchieanum) is rather common in the vicinity of 
stream courses, and an olive (Olea feruginea, Royle) occurs 
on the steep sides and the tops of hills. 

Such being the character of the physical features and vege- 
tation, no very rich list of birds can be anticipated. . 

My collection Avas made chiefly in the vicinity of the newly- 
established sanitarium, which is on the main Suliman range, at 
an elevation of about 5,880 feet. Some of the birds noted were 
observed at lower elevations or even in the plains. These I 
shall specially distinguish : — 

6.— Neophron ginginianus, Daud. 

I did not collect any specimens of the Scavenger Vulture, 
and have, therefore, nothing particular to record regarding it 
save that it was more abundant in the Sulimans than in any 
other part of India which I have visited. This was probably 
due to the fact of the absence or extreme rarity of any of the 
species of true Vultures. So far as I saw, Ravens and an 
occasional Lammergeyer were the only other birds with which 
it had to share- the carrion. 

7.— Gypaetus barbatus, L. 

I saw the Lammergeyer twice in the Sulimans. On both oc- 
casions it was soaring about in the vicinity of the carcases of 
dead animals. As I was riding along the line of march, I had 
no opportunity of obtaining a specimen. 

17.— Tinnunculus alaudarius, Gm. 

I saw one Kestril in the highest part of the hills. The 
species must be very rare there. 


56.— Milvus govinda, Sykes. 

I shot a specimen of this bird of normal appearance at Saki 
Surwa. Owing to the extreme heat of that most infamous 
place I failed to preserve it. 

On several occasions I saw a species of Swift (Cypselus) near 
the highest points, but did not obtain a specimen. On two or 
three evenings a Caprimulgus {? C. mahrattensis) fluttered past our 
tents. I frequently saw a large Merops in the plains, and one 
or two specimens inside the outer margin of low hills. This, I 
suppose, was M. agyptius. At Dera Ghazi Khan, Coracias indica 
was common, and 1 think I saw it up to the hills, — but the first 
morning I entered them as I was riding through the Sine Pass 
my attention was drawn by an unfamiliar note, and casting my 
eyes across to the opposite bank I saw three Rollers which I had 
no hesitation in at once identifying with C. garrula* I did not 
meet with either species further in the hills. Palceornis torquatus 
was very abundant, as well as other birds to be subsequently 
mentioned, in the famous date groves which surround Dera 
Ghazi Khan, but I saw none in the hills. 

Both Colly Ho lahtora and C. vittatus occurred in the higher 
regions, but were extremely rare. Buchanga albirictus I 
saw on several occasions when passing through the low outer 
ranges, but I do not remember to have seen it on the main 
range, or even in the valleys to the west. 

Chatarrhcea caudata I saw within the hills, but not at high 
elevations ; both it and M. terricolor ? were tolerably abundant 
in the plains betw r een Dera Ghazi and the hills. 

Otocompsa leucofis, Gould, was seen in the lower ranges. 
Thamnobia Cambaiensis, if that be the true name of the Sindh 
species, was also observed. Often it occurred at tolerably 
high elevations. 

489.— Dromolaea picata, Blyth. 

The Pied Stone-shot was perhaps the most abundant bird which 
I met with in the higher regions. A nest which I found in 
the rocks on the 10th of July at an elevation of 5,880 feet con- 
tained three very young quite unfledged nestlings, which were 
probably not a week old. The nest was a veiy loose structure, 
the component parts of which (chiefly dried grass) were kept 
together by their position in a sheltered cleft of rock. 

1 noticed that these birds had very much the habits of 
Copsychus saularis. Towards evening they used to come 
about the bungalow, perching on the verandah and singing with 
a low twittering note. , Occasionally they would pick up insects 
off the ground, and sometimes capture them while on the wing. 

* For the range of this species in India, vide Vol. I, p. 168. — Ed., S. F. 


544.— Drymoipus longicaudatus, Tick. 

I obtained two specimens of a bird which Mr. Brooks consi- 
ders belong to this species. 

Small parties of it were not uncommon in the bushes at the 
higher elevations bordering water-courses. 

547 bis.— Suya obscura, Hume. 

A single specimen of a bird, quite unknown to me, proved, 
on comparison with the type in Captain Biddulph's collection, to 
be identical with the bird recently described by Mr. Hume 
under the above name. 

The general appearance of the plumage seems to me to be 
nearer Drymoipus than Suya. 

Measurements in inches : — 

Wing, 21; tail, 2-7; tarsi, 083. 

547.— Suya crinigera, Eodgs. 

The Brown Mountain Wren Warbler was common at the 
higher elevations, being generally found perched on the bushes 
of wild olive. 

604. — Agrodroma Jerdoni, Finsch. 

The Brown Rock Pipit was abundant in various stages of 
plumage on the dry grassy slopes of the higher elevations. I 
have no doubt that it breeds there, as some of the young birds 
could only fly very indifferently. 

606.— Heterura sylvana, Hodgs. 

I shot one specimen of the Upland Pipit, and saw several 
others in the highest part of the hills; but the species seemed 
to be less abundant than the preceding. 

657.— Corvus Lawrencei, Hume. 

Mr. Hume has separated the Sind and Punjab bird from the 
European, chiefly on account of its smaller size. The only 
specimen which I brought away with me is certainly very 
much smaller than any of the specimens of coram and tibetanus 
in the Indian museum with which 1 compared it. There seemed 
to me to be more difference between it and cor ax than there is 
between the latter and tibetanus. 

These Ravens occurred throughout the hills. A large flock of 
them kept up with the camp, and together with the Neophrons 
held high revels over the offal of the Dumbas (5-quartered 
sheep*) which were from day to day slaughtered by the Khans 
and their followers. 

* That is to say sheep, in which the " Dum," or tail, is so enormous, as to reckon as 
a separate quarter. — Ed., S. F. 


I also observed these birds in the plains up to Multan. At 
Sher Shah I saw a Common Crow (C. impudicus) bullying a 
young Raven, one of the old birds making no attempt to defend 
it. It would seem that no birds are safe from the attacks of 
these impudent Crows. 

Measurements in inches: — Wing, 16*25; tail, 95 ; bill at 
front, 2*3 ; tarsi, 2 - 8. 

690.— Pastor roseus, L. 

Every morning between 7 and 8 o'clock I observed a 
number of flocks of the Rose-colored Stalling flying towards 
the plains. Their destination was, I believe, the date groves 
25 miles off, which surround Dera Ghazi Khan. The dates 
were at that time getting ripe, and large numbers of Mainas 
and Parrots were attracted by them. I saw too large flocks of 
Common Starlings flying through the groves, but cannot say 
certainly that they also eat dates ; it however seems to me pro- 
bable that they do. 

Some of the Rose-colored Starlings, I was told, roost in the 
station, but the luxurious birds which I observed had. it would 
seem, their hill sanitarium to which they retired to enjoy cool 

757. — Mirafra cantillans, Jerdon. ? 

A young bird which I shot in the Chamarlang valley at an 
elevation of about 4,000 feet appears to belong to this species. 
I did not observe any others. 

769.— Galerida cristata, L. 

The Crested Lark was not uncommon in the higher regions. 
I did not observe it lower down. Possibly it leaves the plains 
during the hot weather and rains. 

788. — Columba intermedia, Stride. 

The Common Blue Pigeon was obtained in the higher regions. 
I also saw one specimen of C. livia. 

It would appear that this is the border land of the two 

820— Caccabis chukar, Gray. 

One specimen of the Chukar seemed identical in depth of 
coloration with an example of the Himalayan bird from the 
vicinity of Simla. The species appeared to be tolerably com- 
mon in the higher regions. 

* I think there may he some mistake here. I understand from Mr. Ball that he 
never saw any flocks returning in the evening, and the end of July is just when these 
birds commence returning to Western India from their breeding haunts further west. 
Where these are is still uncertain. See further on this subject, Vol. I. p. 208. — Ed. 


821. — Ammoperdix Bonhami, Gray. 

A small covey of Sesee Partridge hung about the Bunga- 
low hill. I only discovered this fact on the last day, and only 
secured one young bird, the dimensions of which fall short of 
those which have been published. 

The craw of this specimen contained a quantity of millet, 
which must, I think, have been picked up from the droppings 
of some horses, which were tethered close to the place where 
I found the birds. 

822.— Ortygornis ponticeriana, Gmel. 

The Common Grey Partridge was seen and heard several times 
in the higher valleys. 

855.— Lobivanellus indicus, Bodd. 

The Red Wattled Lapwing occurred sparingly iu some of the 
higher valleys at from 3,000 to 3,500 feet. 

Besides the above, I observed several other birds. As their 
identification is doubtful, I do not include them in this list. 

On t|e Imbinfl of %mo$ niplcnsis. 

By J. Gammie, Esq. 
Chinchona Reserves, SikJiim. 

On the 20th of May Mr. Munro, of Poomong, sent word that 
he had discovered a breeding hole of Aceros nipalensis, so next 
morning Dr. King and I went to see what could be done in the 
way of robbing the nest. 

Mr. Munro met us on the road, and conducted us to the tree 
in a hollow of which the female was sitting. 

The tree was a species of Dysoxylon, 80 or 90 feet in height, 
unbranched for 50 feet up, and situated close to a stream at an 
elevation of about 2,000 feet above the sea. A few feet under 
the lowest branch, and just above a bulge in the stem, there was 
a vertical slit which proved to be the entrance to the Hornbill's 
house. Long bamboos were cut and formed into a very primi- 
tive sort of ladder, and a Nepalee ascended. 

We stationed ourselves some distance up a steep bank, about 
20 yards from the tree, whence we could watch the struggle be- 
tween the Nepalee and bird. The male had been looking on from 
a respectable distance at the house-breaking preparations, and 

2 c 


uttering- hoarse croaks in hopes of intimidating us ; but, as soon 
as he saw the man ascending, he evidently thought discretion the 
better part of valor, for he took to flight, and was neither seen 
nor heard any more that day, but, like the bold fellow he was, 
left his better half to do the best she could under the circum- 

The opening appeared ridiculously small for the admission 
of such a huge bird, and we could see quite distinctly the 
plaster on each side of the slit. The plastering had evidently 
been done by the female from inside, and did not meet in any 
part. At the top of the slit there was a round hole left, and 
from this hole to the bottom there was a narrow slit of about 2 
inches broad down the middle. When the man neared the nest 
the old lady poked out the tip of her beak and commenced a 
loud cackling noise, which she kept up for a considerable time. 
The man stood on the bulge in front of the nest, and held on by a 
small forked bamboo which he had hooked on to the branch above, 
and then commenced the struggle between the Nepalee and 
the mother Hornbill. 

The old lady cackled and protested as well as she could 
against this unwarrantable interference with her domestic affairs. 
She opened her beak to the full extent of the opening in the tree, 
and bit manfully at the stick and u kukree" (Nepal knife) which 
the man pushed into her mouth to try to make her cease from 
reviling and move upstairs — the tree, I should say, was hollow 
for a good way up. 

The bulge was less than a foot in width, so that the man had 
a very ticklish place to stand on with nothing but a small bam- 
boo to hold on by, aud though none of us doubted the pluck of 
the bold Pahari, yet, what between the frightful noise, the awful 
looking cavern of a mouth, and the plucky way in which the 
bird fought, we were all inclined to back the old lady and give 
long odds. As it turned out, our bets would have been quite 
safe ; for after a quarter of an hour's conflict, the Pahari descen- 
ded in despair. 

A big Lepcha then went up to try his fortune, and, strange 
to say, he only gave her a single poke when up she went aloft. 
I suppose she thought, like school boys, one and one fair play, 
but one down and another at her immediately after, was too 
much of a good thing, and, no doubt, seeing other eight or ten 
people down below, had the idea that she would have to fight the 
lot one after the other, and as they were more than she could 
reasonably hope to master, it would be better to give in at once, 
so up she went, and we saw her no more. 

She was still upstairs when we left the foot of the tree some- 
time afterwards , certainly she deserved credit for her pluck, 


which after all was misplaced, for the solitary egg was addled. 
The bottom of the hollow on which the bird sat was level with 
the lower end of the opening*. In the hole there were merely a 
few of her own feathers, which I send yon. I also send the 
egg* and a sample of the plasteringf material, which looks to 
me uncommonly like the bird's own ordure. 

The entrance, after the plaster was picked away, measured 
] 7 inches in length by 4^ inches in breadth, and the hollow of 
the tree 17 inches in diameter. The height of the hollow could 
not be measured, but it must have been considerable. I am told 
that two young ones were taken out of the same hollow last year, 
and that it has been robbed every season for many years past. 
The natives also inform me that the Aceros never lays more than 
two eggs, and occasionally one only, as in the present instance, 
but that two is the more usual number. The female is said not 
to leave the nest from the time of her entrance till she comes out 
with her young ready for flight, a period of about three months. 

The male was seen to feed his mate, through the narrow open- 
ing, with Dysoxylon fruit the evening before we robbed the nest. 
At this season of the year Dysoxylon fruit seem to be their 
principal food. The uest tree was laden with fruit, and was 
probably chosen, on this account, by the lazy husband, in order 
to reduce the labor of feeding his wife and children to a 
minimum. The Lepchas and Nepalese eat both the old and 
the young of the Aceros, and pronounce them to be rather good 

* The egg is a broad oval, compressed somewhat towards one end, so as to be slightly 
pjriform. The shell is strong and thick, but coarse and entirely glossless, everywhere 
pitted with minute pores. In colour it is a very dirty white, with a pale dirty yellow- 
ish tinge, and everywhere obscurely stippled, when closely examined, with minute 
purer white specks, owing to the dirt not having got down into the bottoms of the 

It measures 2-25 by 175. — Ed., S. F. 

f <; The plaster appears under the microscope to bo almost entirely composed of 
vegetable tissue, cells, fibres, oil globules, &c, and contains no evidence of the pre- 
sence of any clay or mineral matter of any kind. The vegetable tissue looks as though 
it had been semi-digested, very many of the cells being wholly or partially emptied of 
their contents, and free granules and globules of a bright yellow oily-looking matter 

" The most abundant and characteristic forms of cells present are, 1st, small, totally 
empty thick-walled cells, scattered or still holding together in small patches; 2nd, 
very large rounded cells full of the yellow oily matter so abundant in the free state, 
and when full of a deep brown colour. Their contents may be rather of a gummy 
than oily nature, perhaps, as boiling with liquor potassae reduces the material to a 
glutinous mass of deep brown colour. There are naturally also some fragments of 
feathers, spores of fungi, &c, present in small numbers." 

This is our eminent pathologist Dr. D. Cuningham's report, and it makes it quite 
clear, I think, that the plaster is nothing but the bird's own ordure, with which she closes 
the aperture, leaving a hole large enough to admit of her protruding the whole closed 
bill, and a slit below sufficient for the play of the terminal frds. of the lower man- 
dible when she opens her mouth to be fed. The heap at the foot of the tree of rejected 
droppings daily cast out by the bird was of the same composition as the plaster, but 
contained less of the gummy globules and a larger proportion of feathers, scraps of 
wood, &c, &C.-E&, S. F. 


®je gfirallofos mi Sfoifts of getter. 

By James Aitken. 
I have never observed the English House Swallow, //. rustica 
(which is so abundant in Bombay throughout the whole cold 
season), in Berar. 

The Wire-tailed Swallow, (H. filifera.) 

This species supplies in Berar the place of rustica, which it 
so strongly resembles in its habits. It seems to be even fonder 
of water, indeed it rarely leaves it, skimming over the surface 
with a speed matching that of the Swift, its metallic colours 
flashing in the sun. It is a permanent resident, and breeds 
from February till June. The nest is a mere shallow saucer 
built under a rock or wall, sometimes even an earthy bank at 
the water side, and it exhibits in the construction all the fore- 
thought and patience of its English relative. The first nest I 
watched took four weeks to complete, a narrow layer of mud 
being added cautiously each day, and left to dry. When this part 
of the business was complete, a lining of fine grass was added, 
then one of feathers, and on this were laid three long-shaped 
ego-s, of a white colour, well spotted with dark reddish brown. 
I confess to having been guilty of the cruelty of taking two of 
these for my collection, but the faithful little bird continued 
still to sit, and I had afterwards the satisfaction of seeing the 
remaining egg hatched and the young one fledged. Long after 
they are able to fly, the young are fed in the air by the old 
birds exactly after the manner of the English Swallow, parents 
and young circling round and round, and then, with a com- 
placent twitter, clinging together for an instant, during which 
the mouthful of insects is transferred from the one to the 

The Mosque Swallow, (S. erythropygial) 

This is one of those birds which seem highly to appreciate the 
advantages of civilisation, and to think, like Cowper's cat, that men 
take a great deal of trouble to please them. In Berar they have 
almost discarded the mosques which gave them their name, and 
have betaken themselves to the culverts of the roads, which are now 
being constructed all over the country. Wherever a road is 
made, some of the culverts are sure to be taken possession of, 
as soon as the rains commence, by pairs of these Swallows, 
which may be seen darting in at one end and out at the other, 
or hawking about for flies over the pools of water at the road 
side ; their flight has, however, nothing of the extreme rapidity 


of that of the Swifts or Wire-tailed Swallows. During- the 
cold season the young" often assemble in large flocks, but 
these all disperse, or perhaps migrate, as the weather gets 
warmer, and only a few pairs remain to breed during the 
monsoon. The nest is of mud, with a prolonged entrance 
running along the wall, and is lined with coarse grass and 
feathers. The eggs are long shaped, and pure white, without 
spot of any kind. In the subterraneous situation in which the 
nest is so often placed, and with the air still further excluded by 
the long neck, it is a marvel how the young escape suffocation. 

The Cliff Swallow, {H. fluvicola.) 

The smallest of onr Swallows, and much less familiarly 
known than the other species, as it lives in colonies, and 
is strictly confined to certain localities : at Akola there 
is one of these colonies, which build their nests under a 
broken portion of a wall which stretches out into the 
Moorna ; the nests are retort shaped ; a few stand apart, but the 
majority are attached together, the tubular necks all standing 
out from the wall, and presenting a very peculiar appearance. 
With the first heavy showers of the monsoon the river comes 
down in a flood, and washes the whole place clean ; as soon as 
the rains abate, rebuilding commences, and the bustle in the 
early morning is prodigious, the birds hurrying from all quarters 
with their bills full of mud. They are much persecuted by 
sparrows, who take possession of the egg cup of the nest before 
the neck is added, and a single pair will cause several nests to 
be deserted before they suit themselves. As soon as the nests 
are finished the eggs are laid, and when hatched the birds simply 
throw the eggshells into the water instead of carrying them to 
a distance, as is done by most birds, aware, apparently, that the 
stream will carry them away. I have noticed this also in the 
case of the weaver bird. The second brood is in February, 
during which month they swarm about the nests like bees about 
a hive, while every now and then splash into the water goes 
some too fragile neck, breaking even under the light weight 
of the little owner. These breakages do not, however, interfere 
in the least with the process of incubation, but appear to be 
repaired even while the mother bird is sitting. The eggs are 
two, sometimes three, in number, of a white colour, spotted 
with faint red; I have seen some, however, pure white; they vary 
greatly both in colour and size. After the young quit the nest, 
they associate in a large flock, playing about over the surface 
of the water, and drinking frequently as they fly. The old 
birds do not by any means confine themselves to the water, but 
spread freely over the country, and sing much on the wing. 
Their flight is comparatively feeble. 


The Dusky Crag Martin, {Cotile concolor.) 

The natural habitat of this Swallow is amongst rocks, 
and on the faces of cliffs, and in such situations it may 
always be found, but it readily avails itself of the windows and 
porches of houses, even nesting among the two-storied houses 
in native towns. I have also known it make its nest on the 
side of a well. The nest is open all round, merely attached 
to the wall by one side, and is very neatly lined with feathers. 
The eggs are more round than those of any of our other Swallows, 
and are minutely speckled with brown, especially about the thick 
end ; the usual number is, I think, three. They are persecuted 
while building, and occasionally driven away by the Sparrows, 
but their open nest not being adapted to the wants of these birds, 
they do not take possession of it. Though capable, from their 
length of wing, of great speed, they are no travellers, but may 
generally be found flying about their chosen cliff or building 
in a very leisurely manner ; the young continue about the spot 
for some time, but I never saw the old ones feed them upon 
the wing after the manner of the Wire-tailed Swallows. 

The Indian Swift, (Cypselus affinis.) 

This bird is of course abundant, and its rushing flight and 
shrill cry often strongly recall summer evenings at home. Its 
habits are indeed but a feeble copy of those of the English 
bird, the same circling near their nests, always screaming as 
they pass them, and the same, assembling in numbers high in 
the air in the evening, though they fly low much more frequent- 
ly. They breed once in February, and again during the monsoon. 
The nests are probably better known than those of any other 
Indian Swift or Swallow ; they are generally built under roofs, 
sometimes in a crevice between the wall and the roof, but often 
attached to the roof itself. In the latter case the straws of 
which the nest is composed are so firmly agglutinated that it 
tears like a piece of matting ; and it is generally ornamented 
without, as well as lined within, with feathers. Two or three 
long, white eggs are laid. The young, like those of the English 
Swift, never become perchers, but take boldly to the wing when- 
ever they leave the nest, returning to it when fatigued until 
they acquire their full powers. Numbers take possession of the 
porches and verandahs, where these are high enough, of the 
cutcherries and other large buildings now erected all over the 
land, and fly backwards and forwards, building their nests, or 
tending their young, totally regardless of the crowd that may 
be moving below. It is no uncommon thing to see the top of 
an archway covered with their nests, all closely packed together ; 
but where there is ample accommodation, as in a cutcherry 
verandah, each nest usually stands apart. 


The Palm Swift, (C. batassiensis.) 

Palm trees are scarce in Berar, but wherever a solitary one 
rears its head there may be found the Palm Swift flying round 
and round it. I once, and once only, saw several of these birds 
flying about a grove of mango trees where there was not a 
palm tree within miles. As is well known, it attaches its nest 
to the leaf of the cocoanut or toddy palm, but I have never 
succeeded in procuring either the nest or eggs. 

®Ijc Jprtaw of 3tas|pr in Winter.* 

By the late Dr. Ferdinand Stoliczka, Ph. D. 

When I saw the last stragglers of Indian birds retracing 
their steps across the Karakorum towards the end of October 
last, I was more than ever anxious to learn what birds remain 
in Eastern Turkistau during the winter months. The cold 
during that time was represented by some people as being ex- 
cessive, by others as moderately mild, with the exception of a 
few really cold days. 

We arrived at Yarkand on the 8th of November, and, 
leaving it again on the 28th of the same month, reached Yan- 
gishur, Kashgar, on the 8th of December. Before giving a list 
of the birds which we observed, I shall say a few words re- 
garding the climate and physical aspect of the country round 
Kashgar, in order that it may more easily be understood how 
it is that certain birds, which we should hardly expect to meet 
here, can find sufficient comfort for their stay in winter. I 
shall then proceed with my enumeration according to the dif- 
ferent local conditions. 

The climate of the countries around is hardly so severe as 
might have been expected. There were clear sunny days 
almost the whole winter, with slight breezes, but no heavy or 
cold winds. The minimum ranged in Januaiy and February 
between 15° above and 5° below zero, F., but the days were 
tolerably warm, though in perfect shade the thermometer rarely 
rose above the freezing point. It is very often the case that 
snow begins to fall in February, though rarely more than a 
foot deep at a time. This year snow began to fall only in the 
beginning of March, and did not remain on the ground more 

* This unfinished paper was the last ever written by the author ; it was drafted with- 
out a single work of reference to consult, and wheu he was already suffering much. It 
is nevertheless with all its imperfections (which he would have eliminated in the revision, 
which in his latest letter he told me that he was about to make) one of great interest, 
and I have therefore thought it right to publish it as it stands. I have added notes and 
corrections, after a careful examination of his specimens, which are so labelled as to 
leave no doubt in any case as to what species he refers to in this paper. — En., S. F. 


than a few days, except in sheltered and shady localities. 
Kashgar lies in the western corner of Eastern Turkistan, at an 
elevation of little above 4,000 feet above the sea. To the north 
the lower offshoots of the Thianshan mountains are situated 
at a distance of about 45 miles ; while the higher ridges — 
averaging about 14,000 feet — begin about 50 miles off. To 
the west and south the low hills are about 30 miles distant, and 
the high ranges of the Pamir begin at a distance of about 
70 miles. Many of the peaks are here covered with eternal 
snow, and some rise up to, if not above, 25,000 feet. To the 
south-east towards Yarkand and towards the east, the whole 
country is an open plain, mostly a desert. About 50 miles 
east by north of Kashgar are tolerably extensive forests, and 
further on, about Maralbashi, are numerous swamps covered 
with hio-h grass. This is the hunting ground of the Tiger and 
of the Maral, a stag doubtfully identical with the Shao of 
Tibet ; Ant. gutturosa and several species of Foxes, as well as 
small indigenous Hares, appear to be numerous. 

Near Kashgar itself cultivated land is very extensive ; but 
as a rule nothing thrives well except through irrigation. For 
this purpose there are numerous canals which intersect the 
country in all directions. The rivers are fed by numerous 
springs, many of which retain a temperature above the freez- 
ing point during the whole winter, some of them with a little 
marshy ground about them. There are no forests in the close 
neighbourhood. The only large trees are near the houses, two 
kinds of poplar, P. alba and P. balsamifera. In two or three 
places a low jungle of these trees extends perhaps for half a 
mile. Along the streams and watercourses willows and 
Eleagnus bushes are not uncommon, but they merely fringe 
the water edge. 

Wherever stagnant water occurs, unless supplied by springs, 
it may be said to be frozen between the middle of December and 
the end of February ; but the flowing water of the Kashgar 
Daria is only partially frozen across the entire breadth of the 

I shall now attempt to give a short insight into the Avifauna 
of our country, somewhat in the manner in which it comes be- 
fore the observer. Let us see first what creatures we meet 
round the towns and near habitations, then proceed on to the 
fields and low jungle, and at last to the grassy swamps and the 
rivers. In conclusion, I shall add a few notes regarding the 
Avifauna of the neighbouring valleys in the hills. 

The most familiar bird near the houses is Passer montanns, 
which here replaces P. indicus. The former species is a perma- 
nent inhabitant, but some people told me that the Indian 


Sparrows come during the summer ; however, I cannot vouch 
for this statement. The next familiar birds are three crows, 
C. comix, frugilegus, and corone ; the two former are only 
winter visitants, and melanism in comix is by no means un- 
common. Both are somewhat smaller than the dimensions 
given by Jerdon of the respective species, probably taken from 
European specimens. Corone, of which I am somewhat doubt- 
ful, is a permanent inhabitant, and breeds about towns and 
villages in Eastern Turkistan. 

Another permanent resident, P. bactriana, is very common 
in the gardens about houses. Often associated with the 
crows, though more generally only met with in the open 
field, is Colancs monedula, ? daurica * which is only a winter 
guest. None of these corvine species had left Kashgar about 
the middle of March, but they evidently were preparing for a 
start. I was told they all leave by the end of that month or 
early in April. The Jackdaws very likely wander to the 
Maralbashi forest and those about Aksu. Tartur risoria\ was 
alwaj^s very common, but T. auritus, I met only on a few 
occasions. It is said to be common in Kokan. A few Mota- 
cilla, apparently alba,% used very often to visit our court-yard, 
and Tichodroma muraria was seen throughout the winter on the 
walls of houses and high river-banks, though not very com- 
monly : it is however a regular permanent inhabitant. I saw 
a few Stumus vidgaris, but it rarely remains here the whole 
winter ; it was more common near Yarkand, which is a little 
warmer, and when the cold begins to be intense, the bird seems 
to wander with many others down the desert plain in a south- 
easterly direction, re-appearing at the beginning of March. 
He is a favourite bird of the husbandman, and you see a number 
of pots and old gourds stuck up in many trees of the gardens 
ready for him to place his nest in. 

Athene noctua — or perhaps Blyth's name bactriana will have 
to be retained for this very pale bird — lives in holes of walls 
and river banks, generally it prefers the latter. At the be- 
ginning of March I saw one collecting stalks evidently for its 
nest, but I do not expect that it lays before the end of the 

Leaving our close quarters, and taking a stroll into the field, 
the first bird we meet everywhere on the road will no doubt be 
Galerita magna, a permanent resident, and unquestionably the 
most common bird in the whole of this part of Eastern Turkis- 

* The Jackdaws are similar to those from Cashmere, some of them being paler throat- 
ed than English specimens, but none of them approach closely the typical daurica. — 
Ed., S. V. 

f This is the large form that I have called Turtur Stoliczkce, S. F., Vol. II., p. 519. 
— Ed. 

J The only specimens preserved are duiJiunensis. — Ed. 

2 D 


tan. Next to it are Otocoris penicillata and Alaudula pispoletta, 
the latter a very good songster, rising in the air like a true lark. 
It and G. magna are often caged. The favourite cage-bird of 
this tribe is, however, Melanocorypha torquata. I had with great 
difficulty procured a specimen in Yarkand by purchase, but as 
a rule the people do not wish to part with the bird under two 
or three tillas ; some would not accept an}' offer at all. I was 
told that it occasionally arrived at Kashgar towards the end of 
January, and hy carefully watching the time I was successful 
in getting two specimens. The only true lark and by no means 
common is arvensis or perhaps dulcivox. It is decidedly larger 
than what is usually called triborhyncha, but there is a difference 
of half-an-inch in the length of the wings between the two 
sexes. It is said to come during the winter from Kokan. 
Towards the end of January I got a few specimens of a beauti- 
ful Montifringilla* grey, with a j-ellow spot on the breast. 
The birds were only seen during a few da} r s. 

Of young birds I got a solitary specimen of what appears to be 
Otis tetrax, a few Coturnix communis, and on a few occasions I 
saw a large Pterocles, apparently arenarius, but neither of these 
appear to be regular winter inhabitants : they are only stray 
birds which remain in favourable localities. Phasianus Shaivi 
is also, as a rule, got in the high grass in open waste ground. 
A Circus, very like if not really cineraceusrf is very often seen 
hunting over the fields, and Tinnunculus alaudarius is equally 
common. Buteo ferox is, however, much rarer, and still more 
so another species which is apparently Hodgson's plumipes. 
I have seen only a single specimen of a large vulture, apparent- 
ly fulvus, and adding the Noctua previously mentioned, a stray 
Accipiter ?iisus, and Otus vulgaris in high grass and roosting 
during the day in trees, we have about the complete list of 
Raptor es which you may find in the neighbourhood of Kashgar. 
Only on one occasion, Captain Biddulph shot a Merlin (Liihofalco 
asalon) near Yarkand about the middle of November. 

Approaching the water-courses which intersect the fields in 
all directions, and are, as a rule, lined with bushes and trees of 
Eleagnus, one is sure to meet with Turdus atrogularis, which 
feeds on Eleagnus berries. It is a common bird here during' the 
winter, but leaves for the hills during the summer. A Menda,% 
much like mandarina, is also tolerably common. 

Upupa epops looks after insects generally on paths between 
the fields and on the sands ; not many of them, however, 
remain here; it is more common about Yarkand. Among low 

* This I find from the specimens is Petronia stulta, Scop. — Ed. 
t All the specimens preserved are cyaneus. — Ed. 

j This is M. vulgaris, Ray, quite identical, it seems to me, with numerous English 
specimens that I have. 


bushes Propasser rhodochlamys, a rather paler bird than the one 
we usually call so ; a Passer of the type of P. rutilans* Japan, 
Paras cyanus, a ruddy colored lluticilla,] apparently new, and 
the ubiquitous P. montanus are sure to be found. Somewhat 
rarer are an Emberiza\ with a black throat, and the Regulus 
cristatus Avhich I have seen in the Himalayas, ? himalayensis. 
Ouce I got a couple of a Cohimba, probably cenas§ in a bit of 
forest east of Yarkand. Both Lanius excubitor\\ and L. 
arenarius are occasionally seen, but are by no means com- 
mon ; a new Sylviparus^ is rare except about Maralbashi. 
Captain Biddulph shot several there, and says that it prefers 
high grass to bushes. A few Picus(*) very like medius, but 
apparently with much less red on the top of the head, are to be 
met with near the ziarats wherever a few- large trees are to be 
seen. Generally among willow trees, a beautiful rosy-winged 
Pyrrhda,{ 2 ) of the size of aurantiaca is met with: it is a per- 
manent .resident (I got nest and eggs of it) ; another smaller 
Pyrrhula,( 3 ) of reddish brown and less rosy wings, is more 
common among desert bushes. On the edges of marshy 
ground we are sure to meet a Pipastes,(*) probably ay His or an 
Anthus,( 5 ) a new Podoces,^ 6 ) which Biddulph got first from 
Maralbashi, and an Emberiza^) of spodocephala type. In higher 
grass Suya albosuperciliaris, anew Troglodytes, (* ) much paler 
than the European bird, a new Emberizine bird,( 9 ) or either in- 
termediate between that group and the Ampellides, and a beauti- 
ful orange-colored bird( ' °) with black moustache (of both of these, 
last I got full particulars as to nidiflcation). In the middle of 
November I once got a solitary Melizophihis, (" ) very like M. 
striatus, of which Blanford, I see, remarks that it does not 
belong to that genus. Along streams I got a few specimens of 
Alcedo ispida^" 1 ). During the height of the winter it keeps 
near streams which do not freeze. 

* Passer salicicola, Vieil., is what lie has labelled as "rutilans type." — Ed. 
■j- Buticilla rufogularis, Moore, identical with specimens from Attock and Huzara, 
where it is common (as also in Afghanistan) in winter. 
J Emberiza schcenicola, Lin. — Ed. 
§ Palumbeena Eversmanni, Bp. — Ed. 
|| The specimens preserved are L. lahtora, Sykes. — Ed. 
•jf Myithalus Stoliczkce, Hume., S. F., Vol. II., p. 521.— Ed. 

(1) This is Picus leucopterus, Salvad. — Ed. 

(2) ErytJirospiza obsoleta, Licht. — Ed. , 

(3) Erythrospiza obscura, Licht ? — Ed. 

(4) The specimens preserved are P. plumatus, Mull. — Ed. 

(5) Pratensis, Lin., spinoletta, Lin, and cervinus, Pall, were all preserved. — Ed. 

(6) Podoces Biddulphi, Hume, S. F., Vol. II., p. 503.— Ed. 

(7) Emberiza horhclana, Lin. — Ed. 

(8) Troglodytes paUidus. — Ed. 

(9) Emberiza pyrrhuloides, Pall. — Ed. 

(10) Calamophilus biarmicus, Lin. — Ed. • ' 

(11) Cettia Stoliczkce, Hume.— S. F., Vol. II., p. 520.— Ed. 

(12) The specimens belong rather to A. bengalensis. — Ed. 


Let us turn now to the larger swamps and rivers both at 
Kasbgar and Yarkand. During the first half of the winter, 
Vanellus cristatus, Charadrius fulvus, Tringa minuta, Totanus 
calidris and stagnatilis, Ardetta minuta, Mergus castor, Galli- 
nago scolapacinus and solitarius, and Graculus carbo were com- 
mon. When snow fell several of them appear to have moved 
more eastwards. Among ducks, Anas boschas is the commonest 
during the whole winter, on every river that does not freeze 
on account of the strong current. Besides that I observed Quer- 
quedula crecca, Branta ruftna,* Spatula clypeata, Casarca rutila, 
Mergellus albellus, which were occasionally shot. Among 
waders Ardea cinerea, Actitis ocrophus, are common ; some- 
what less so Herodias alba, and Botaurus stellaris. Scolopax 
rustica was shot in November and December, but was not ob- 
served later. It moved probably more to the east. Fulica atra 
and Porzana maruetta aud the little grebe I only saw on a few 
occasions near tepid springs. 

In the surrounding hills the number of birds is very small ; 
as common I observed Columba rupicola, yoimgCaccabis pallidus 
or rather grceca, a Passer^ of the type of pyrrhonotus, 
Linota brevirostris, a beautiful little tit-like bird,| apparently 
quite new, a black-cheeked Accentor ,§ Cinclus leucogaster, Fre- 
gilus graculus, Pyrrliocorax alpinus, Podoces Hendersoni, Otocoris 
penicillata, Montif ring ilia Adamsi, Tetraogallus tibetanus,\\ 
Aguila chrysaetos, Gypaetos barbatus. 

I observed no Saxicola, no Pratiucola, no Swallows or Swifts, 
no Fly catchers,, no Honey-suckers and none of the Timalidas. 

§n ivomas grkok 

By W. Vincent Legge, R.A. 

Mr. Layard, in his invaluable notes on Ceylon birds (Aunals 
and Magazine of Natural History, 1854) says : — " I place this 
bird (D. ardeola) among the Terns, as I cannot help agreeing 
with Blyth in his remarks upon its affinities and position/ 7 He 
goes on to say : — " I have obtained several specimens, all at sea, 
with the exception of one, aud that was shot on^[ Calpentyn 

* Aytliya ferina, Lin. — Ed. 

•f Passer ammodendri, Severts. — Ed. 

X Stoliczkana Stoliczka, Hume, S. F., Vol. II., p. 513. — Ed. 

§ Accentor montanellus, Pall. — Ed. 

j| The specimens preserved are not tibetanus, Gould, but a pale variety, doubtfully 
distinct, of Tetraogallus himalayensis, Gray. — Ed. 

% A large inland bay or salt lagoon on the west coast, north of Colombo, a great re- 
sort of waders and wild fowl. 


An ornithologist finding Dromas ardeola, were he not pre- 
viously acquainted with it, under such tern-like circumstances, 
as Layard did, far out at sea, perhaps winging its way steadily 
up and down the coast, (it must have been flying straight from 
one place to another however ; it was not out for a cruise,) 
would, as a matter of course, look at it as having relations with 
sea-birds. It is certainly a remarkable form, and, as I imagine, 
it is found in India, as in Ceylon, on wild out-of-the-way shores 
and estuaries rarely visited by Europeans, and where its habits 
can with difficulty be studied ; the more it is searched for by 
Indian naturalists and its economy made known through the 
pages of Stray Feathers, the better and the sooner will its 
true atfinities be worked* out. 

In Ceylon, as far as my researches go, Dromas ardeola fre- 
quents the salt lagoons and numerous back waters on the north- 
east coast above Trincomalie. In the great resort of all 
waders and natatorial birds (exclusive of Anserida) on the south- 
east coast, viz., the salt lagoons of the Rattnegam district, I 
have not seen it, and this fact, coupled with the experience of 
other observers, who have found it only high up on the west 
coast, goes far to prove that it does not extend to the south of 
the island. 

The line of country to the north of Trincomalie is one long 
series of salt lagoons and large shallow lakes, lying at a short 
distance from the coast, in most instances only separated from the 
sand hillocks of the shore by a narrow strip of thick jungle, and 
connected with the sea by shallow outlets, which are crossed 
near the beach by bars and sand banks nearly high and dry at 
low water. As the shores of these waters are extremely flat, 
a large portion of them is left bare b}' the receding tide, and 
be} T ond the water line it is so shallow that Herodias, Ardea, and 
such like long-legged genera may be seen stalking along, spear- 
ing their finny prey at a distance of more than ^ a mile ; whereas 
the foreshore and grassy salt marshes, lying often between it 
and the edge of the jungle, are the resort of multitudes of 
Totanince, f Angina, Charadrince, &c. It is needless to add that 
all this region is as wild as wild can be. Here then is the 
temporary winter (?) home of nearly every species of wader 
found in Ceylon, and here Dromas ardeola, amongst them, plies 
his "' crabby'' vocation unmolested, and almost unobserved by 
naturalist or collector. 

* I don't myself think that there is very much left to be worked out as to its affinities ; 
Van der Hoeven, in his " Annotationes de Dromade ardeola, Payk," clearly showed 
from its osteology as long ago as 18C7, that the place of Dromas is next to Hamatopus, 
and it is, I think, beyond doubt that it is a connecting link between this latter genus 
and Esacus. In all their actions, in their modes of walking, standing, and flying, 
_D. ardeola and E. recurvirostris are not to be separated. See also S. F., Vol. II., pp. 
68 et seq., and 293.— Ed., S. F. 


One of the largest of these lakes, the tl Peria Karretje," ap- 
peared, from what I saw, when in the neighbourhood, to 
be the favourite resort of this bird; I found it all along its 
shores in small parties of a dozen or more, or feeding singly in 
company with other birds, and I noticed that, while flocks 
of TringincB, Totatiina, &c, fed, as they always do, along the 
edge of the water or on the recently uncovered foreshore, the 
crab plovers were always out in the water at various depths. 
When reposing, especially, they seemed to prefer standing iu the 
water, a flock, which I tried to approach one day, being so far 
out that I was at first uuder the impression that they must be 
swimming. It is a most grallatorial like bird in its whole de- 
portment, its movements, its flight, its manner of feeding, and 
in the spots which it frequents. In the distance it has pre- 
cisely the appearance of the Oyster-catcher, until scanned with 
the glass, its bill and coloration undeceive one. They walk slowly 
about ; I did not observe them running as one would expect. 
They pack very close Avhen in a flock, and are not then so shy 
as when they are alone. I never could get within shot of soli- 
tary individuals, but one day after a mighty hard bit of stalk- 
ing along slush and mud, with a belt of grass to cover the birds' 
bodies from below, though they saw me plain enough, I got a 
lucky " pot" at a pack of about 30, with that most useful of all 
shot, No. 7, and got three. One of them, that was only winged, 
gave considerable trouble in his capture, and struggled away 
at a great rate, getting out of his depth and swimming fast and 
well until I knocked him over with a second shot. His thick 
breast plumage gave him considerable buoyancy, and he sat 
high on the water. 

I did not hear their note while observing them feeding or 
shooting at them, but when a flock was being stalked they 
became somewhat noisy, the usual sign of alarm in shore birds, 
and they uttered in consonance a somewhat musical note re- 
sembling the noise of geese in the distance, which, mingled 
with the roar of the surf on the neighbouring beach, had a 
peculiarly wild and sea-shore-like sound. They have a steady 
straight-along flight, with a quick flapping of the wings, and 
keep, as I noticed, close over the water. 

The birds I procured on the Peria Karretje lake were two 
females and a male, the latter proving* from my measurements 
the larger of the two sexes, and it may not be unadvisable there- 
fore to give dimensions of both male and female : — 

S Length, not taken in the flesh ; wing, the bird was in 
moult, and the first feather therefore imperfect, but by compari- 
son of the 2nd feathers of both sexes it would be 8*5 inches ; 
tail from vent, 3*7; tarsus, 4; bare portion of" tibia, 1/5; 
mid toe with the claw, 1*85 ; outer toe, with claw, 1*5 ; 


inner toe, with claw, 1*4; bill, to gape, 3 ; at front, 2'55 ; from 
tip to angle of gonys, 1*8. 

$ Length, 16-0 ; wing-, 8*3 ; tail, from vent, 35 ; tarsus, 3*5 ; 
bare portion of tibia, 1*5 ; mid toe, with claw, 1*65 ; inner toe, 
with claw, 1*3 ; outer toe, with claw, 1*4 ; depth of web between 
mid and outer toe, 0'7 ; between mid and inner toe, 0*45 ; bill, 
at front, 2 35; from tip to gape, 2*9; from tip to angle of 
gonys, 1*75. 

From the above measurements it will be observed that 
the male is considerably the larger bird of the two,* and 
this is especially noticeable in the stout, prominently-scaled 
tarsus of the former. There is no appreciable difference in the 
plumage of the sexes. 

The bills of all three specimens in my collection are much 
scratched and marked by the claws of the crabs upon which the 
bird feeds, denoting, perhaps, many a death struggle on the part 
of the pugnacious quarry. It would be interesting to observe iu 
what manner this plover, or as I should style it Crab-catcher, dis- 
poses! °f its formidable prey, although, looking to the powerful 
bill aud strong and heavy skull the readiest conclusion is, that, 
with such weight at its disposal, it has not much difficulty in 
smashing in the backs of the shells against the ground, and thus 
gaining access to the contents of the body ; it would also appear 
to finish off with the claws, for the stomach of one of my birds 
(those of the other two were perfectly devoid of food) contained 
many small pieces and the entire " nippers" of several of the 
claws of what appeared to be the small hermit crab. I regret 
that I was unable to determine whether small Crustacea and 
marine insects form part of the sustenance of this bird ; if it 
confines itself to crabs alone, this fact will account for its local 
distribution, tolerably numerous on one lagoon and totally 
absent from another, and combined with its apparent love of 
wild and little known regions, will explain its absence altogether 
from many parts of the Ceylon Coast where one would expect 
to find it. 

The pectination of the middle claw is very remarkable in this 
bird ; it is plainly observed in the case of the male, where the 

* It is curious that in the four specimens of an old and young bird of each sex that I 
measured in the flesh there was no appreciable difference in the size of the sexes ; 
and that the old female was a shade the largest of the four, the young male coming' 
next(!), then the adult male, aud smallest of all the young female. My largest bird 
however (see Vol. II., p. 293) was in some dimensions slightly smaller than Mr. Ledge's 
male. I suspect that it will prove that in this species it is rather the individuals- than 
the sexes that differ in size. — Ed., S. F. 

f In the stomachs of those we examined there were no traces of large crabs. 
The birds seemed to have confined their attentions to small crabs, swallowed nearly 
whole. Some that we extracted, though much smashed, were still sufficiently perfect to 
permit of their being at once and unhesitatingly identified. Our birds had eaten 
nothing but one species, a reef-liver, Qonodactylus chiragra. — Ed. 


dilatation is larger than that of the female, and has three 
distinct cuts on the inner edge more than - 2 '-oth of an inch deep. 

It would throw considerable light on the true position of Dro- 
mas ardeola if its breeding habits could be accurately observed ; 
Layard, I believe, found it nesting in Ceylon, but I am unable 
to find his notes on the subject ; I think they are contained in 
one of the numbers of the Journal* of the Asiatic Society of 
Bengal, and demonstrate the egg to be quite plover-like in form. 
Taking all points into consideration, it appears, then, that the 
right position of this curious bird is among the sea shore plovers, 
Uamatopodida, those aberrant characteristics which might be 
deemed sufficient to separate it into a distinct family of its own 
(Dromadidee, Bonaparte) coming next to the former, being the 
peculiar form of head and neck, structure of bill and great 
length of tarsus, together with its remarkable partially-webbed 

ftotw upon a rollttttoit at ffivbs mak bctfora Itooort 
anb 6anjjaotri w Slag 1874. 

By W. Edwin Brooks, C.E. 

The following list does not include all the birds I saw during 
my hurried trip.f Of many common species I took but little 
note, and the total number of species to be found in the country 
through which I passed will largely exceed the number that 
I happened to come across. I scarcely halted any where to 
explore the surrounding country. Derali was the only place 
where I halted for two or three days, to see what the fine pine 
woods near the snows contained. 

The valley of the Bhagiruttee may once have been a very 
beautiful one, but owing to wholesale wood-cutting operations 
it is now a distressing sight to see almost any part of it. 

* The notice is in Sir W. Jardine's contributions to Ornithology. The egg itself 
though in a very dilapidated condition, is still in the Museum of the Asiatic Society 
of Bengal. 

It is a broad oval, somewhat compressed towards the small end, exactly the same 
shape as eggs of JSsacus recurvirostris and magnirostris and (Edienemus crepitans. 

The egg measures 2 inches by l - 4. 

In color, it is a warm drab color or cafe an lait, pretty thickly blotched, streaked, 
and spotted with deep blackish brown. 

I have seen many eggs of (E. crepitans perfect counterparts of this egg, and it is by 
no means certain that this egg did belong to D. ardeola. Layard only considered that 
he had good grounds for believing that it did, while Blyth considered that it could 
not well have belonged to any other species. — Ed., S. F. 

f I have prepared a rough sketch map to illustrate Mr. Brooks' paper, but of 
many of the places mentioned I have been quite unable to ascertain the correct 
elevation. I take, at the request of numerous subscribers, this opportunity of re-pub- 
lishing as notes to this paper, Mr. Brooks' original descriptions of several Western 
Himalayan species which are not included in Dr. Jerdon's work, and have not yet been 
noticed in Stbat Feathers. — Ed. 



ii i m ilai a a 

1/ ; . = i I,,./,. 





Wherever the traveller goes, he will see whole hill sides that 
have had their pines cut down, and instead of the most lovely 
of trees, to those who are fond of Alpiue scenery, little else is 
to be seen but hill sides studded with stumps of tree trunks, 
and here and there a miserable surviving pine. On one hill 
side beyond Derali the clearance is complete. A good part 
of the timber appears to have been removed from the spot 
where it was felled, but perhaps a greater part is found either 
in the shape of half rotten or wholly rotten prostrate trunks, 
or else in the shape of short logs which stud the river bed from 
end to end. 

Many of these latter appear to be stranded beyond the reach 
of ordinary floods, and there they remain rotting away, until 
an extraordinary flood comes which will move them. Such 
wanton and wholesale destruction of the timber of a fine valley 
is not to be met with any where else upon the face of the earth, 
I believe. As a natural result, birds have become scarce, and 
had I known the exact condition of the valley, I should never 
have dreamt of taking an ornithological trip in that direction, 
and nothing would tempt me to go again. 

High up on a hill side, a huge pine will be found, cut down 
and rotting away, for which there are no existing means what- 
soever of transport to the rivei". I found numbers of such 
trees in various stages of decomposition, and some too rotten 
even for removal as fire-wood. 

This is the sort of destruction to be regretted, for the valley 
will never again be the lovely place it once was. The age of 
fine timber growth is a by-gone one, and in this utilitarian 
one, even the smallest sapling is removed for some imaginary 

The natives of the valley have also caused much destruction 
to timber by the pernicious practice of lighting fires at the 
foot of a tree for cooking or other purposes. By a succession 
of fires the fine tree becomes quite hollowed out, and at last 
it falls, in some cases across the Bhagiruttee valley road, so 
that travelling there is by no means safe. 

The tree is frequently used as a fire place before vegetation 
ceases. I saw many putting out leaves still, that had only a 
hollow shell of a trunk at the base. 

With this explanation regarding the want of wood, my 
very meagre list of birds met with will be understood. 

The country is, moreover, not a good one for collecting birds. 
Springs of water are much scarcer than in Cashmere, and the 
river as a rule runs in a narrow gorge among rocks, a furiously 
foaming rapid torrent from which it is difficult for even a bird 
to obtain a drink. 

2 E 


Beyond a certain point, I believe Barahath, it appears to be 
devoid of fish, owing to the rapidity of the current, and perhaps 
to its icy coldness. Here and there, and especially at Derali, 
it opens out somewhat, and then we have broad shingle banks, 
where a few Wagtails and other birds of aquatic habits are 
found ; but these fine shingle beds ai'e sadly disfigured by huge 
logs of timber. Some of these had been so long stranded and 
were so rotten, that I was much tempted to cut iuto them for fire- 
wood ; but I refrained, and sent my people to gather fuel where 
they could. However, the stranded logs form convenient perches 
for Motacilla Hodgsoni and Calolates melanope, to say nothing 
of an occasional Actitis hypoleucos or Hyclrobata asiatica. Some- 
times they were the favorite resort of Muticilla (?) fuliginosa 
and Chcemorrornis leucocephala ; and thus the fiue old tree still 
answered a useful purpose. The decaying logs too harboured 
numerous insects, upon which these birds fed. 

Forty or fifty years hence, the last of the decomposing logs 
will have disappeared, and the felled trees, left where they fell, 
will also have vanished. The valley may again become to 
some extent pleasant to visit, but the fine trees are gone, and 
while the world lasts they will probably not be replaced ; 
for in most instances the clearance has been too complete to 
allow of trees being left to scatter seed. I saw no indications of 
new ones being planted. 

The country is a very poor one, agriculturally considered. 
Food is scarce, and very dear — dearer than any place I 
know of. Could any one imagine the prevailing price of the 
poorest description of meal, " Chooa-ka-atta," to be only six 
seers for the rupee, wheatmeal 4 and 5 seers only ! Such a 
thing as a fowl or an egg was not to be had after leaving 
Mussoori. Beyond Derali, even milk is not to be ob- 
tained, and for about a week I had none. Chooah-ka-atta is a 
meal made from the seed of a sort of red " sag " or spinach.* 
This I did not indulge in ; but my servants and coolies had 
often the greatest difficulty in indticing the natives to sell them 
even this miserable food. For my own use I took wheatmeal 
with me from Mussoori. This my cook liberally invaded on his 
own account, and had I prolonged my trip for another month, as I 
originally intended, I too should have been thrown on spinach 
meal as the " staff of life,'"' and such fare does not do for an 
Englishman when he is walking from 12 to 20 miles per day, 
to say nothing of digressions from the road after birds it is 

* This so called Spinach, the Anardana or Ramadana of tho natives, is the Amaran- 
thus frumentaceus of Roxburgh. It is a Princes feather, and the Amaranthus speciosus 
of gardeners is merely a variety of it. It is grown as a food crop, together with the 
Batu (C/ienopodium album), throughout the bills, from elevatioDs of four to nine or ten 
thousand feet. — Ed., S. F. 


desirable to obtain. Some villages had no other meal to sell 
but this u Chooah-ka-atta." The price of food appears to be re- 
gulated by the Tiree Rajah, and I was sometimes shewn his 
purwannah, empowering the bunniahs to sell at such exorbitant 

I took a rifle with me thinking it might be the means of 
occasionally procuring a good meal of fresh meat for myself and 
camp followers ; but large game shooting up the Bbagiruttee 
valley is a profound mistake. Sport there is a thing of the 
past. The villagers possess abundance of firearms, and are such 
keen sportsmen in their way, that no European sportsman 
going up that valley should dream of even a chance shot. 
The rifle had better be left behind as a useless encumbrance. 
Large game, however, is not the principal object of native attack, 
for the Monal (Lophophorus Impei/anus) is the most profitable 
game. For every male there is a ready sale at the godown 
below Derali, the price being Us. 2-8. 

However, the near extinction of the species will of itself cause 
the trade to be abandoned, or perhaps no enthusiastic lover of 
the trade may succeed Mountaineer, and the Monal may thus 
again become a plentiful bird. It is to be hoped it may, for a 
more lovely sight can hardly be imagined than the flight of a 
fine male in the bright sunlight. I only saw a couple fly past 
me, and I shall never forget them. 

Beyond Dangnli I saw five Thar* perched on the top of a rock, 
about 400 yards above the road. Putting up the last sight of my 
rifle, I tried a shot at them, but without result. The ball went very 
close, and they vanished. I afterwards went many miles over the 
Thar country, but never saw another. Below Banguli village, I 
saw a single Gooralf at a similar distance, and again missed. 
This was the sum total of my large game shooting. It is a 
spoiled country in almost every respect, both for the ornitholo- 
gist and the sportsman. The tourist and the artist, if they can 
be content with very slender fare and indigestible tinned provi- 
sions, will still enjoy the trip, for the main features of the country 
are still left; despite the lost trees the valley is unusually rug- 
ged and grand, and the view, as Derali is reached, is very 
charming. Up at Gangaotri wood becomes scarcer, and 
birds there became so few and far between that I resolved on 
retracing my steps at once. I have now said enough about the 
valley and its misfortunes, so shall now commence my list. 
The numbers are those of Dr. Jerdon's work and Mr. Hume's 

* More correctly, Tahr, Memitragus jemlaiciis. — Ed. 
f Nemorhocdus goral. — Ed. 


2. — Otogyps calvus, Scop. 

Seen occasionally and far into the interior, where one would 
not expect to see a plains-loving Vulture. I saw one or two 
soaring high up above Derail. 

3.— Gyps himalayensis, Hume. 

Not common. I occasionally saw this bird seated on its nest, 
where the cliffs were suitable and lofty. I noticed one nest 
above the road, but so high up that it was almost out of rifle 
shot, and at the opposite side of the narrow glen in which the 
river there runs. But for the white mark on the rock, caused 
by the dung of the bird, I should not have noticed it. On 
firing a ball near the place, the old bird fieAv off, and proved to 
be of this species. This was in May. All the nests of this bird 
which I saw were inaccessible, and whether they contained 
young or not, I could not tell ; none of them occurred below 
Barahath. The eyrie above referred to was not far from Dan- 

6.— Neophron ginginianus, JDaud. 

I noticed this species np as high as Danguli. 

7.— Gypaetus barbatus, Lin. 

Not uncommon at Mussoori. Seen again near Laliiri ; I 
also observed it near Derali. 

13.— Hypotriorchis subbuteo, Lin. 

I procured an adult female at Derali on the 20th May. 
It was flying about after sunset, and I was struck with the 
very great rapidity of its flight. One object of its pursuit was 
a Pipit (Anthus rosaceus), which it very nearly caught, as it 
flew over my tent, which was pitched in the old apricot orchard 
below Derali, and on the river bank. At this point the Hobby 
abandoned the pursuit, and flew up the hill side, perching on 
the summit of a lofty pine. I sent one of my men after the 
bird, particularly charging him to give it the right barrel, which 
was loaded with No. 5, but he gave the luckless hobby the left, 
which contained BB, one pellet of which broke its wing, other- 
wise it is not a bad specimen. This was the first Hobby I had 
ever seen in life. I have a male Hobby procured at Dhurmsala 
in May 1870. 

17. — Tinnunculus alaudarius, Briss. 

Common in all parts of the valley, and I saw several eyries. 
In tho low hot parts of the valley, as well as at Gangaotri, the 


bird is equally at home. All were of the true pale or European 
type, and not the dark toned bird that I procured in Kumaon. 
Sikhim Kestrils, which I have seen, arc also of the European type. 

24.— Accipiter nisus, Lin. 

Seen three or four times, and two procured; both being 
adult males. One near Gangaotri, 18th May, and the other 
at Suki, 22nd May. It is a scarce bird in the hills. 

32. — Neopus malaiensis, Reinw. 

A fine female was procured near Dhanolti in the end of 
May, on my return journey. This bird is not common, for it 
was the only one I saw. 

33.— Nissetus Bonellii, Tern. 

I saw a pair near Sansoo in the end of May, and obtained 
the female. Sansoo is the low part of the valley, and not far 
from Teeree. 

36.— Spizaetus nipalensis, Eodgs. 

A white breasted immature bird was seen at Derali. 

39.— Spilornis cheela, Baud. 

Was frequently seen in the lesser ranges. One was obtained 
not far from Sansoo. 

54.— Circus aeruginosus, Lin. 

I saw one about the third of May flying along the Aglar 
river, which is not far from Mussoori. 

55. — Milvus govinda, Sykes. 

{Milvus major, Hume, and Milvus melanotis, Temm. and 
Schleg.) The larger Kite, and evidently that described by 
Sykes,* is tolerably common at Mussoori. I met with it as far 
as Barahath on the Bhagiruttee. 

* I must absolutely dissent to this identification; my major may be melanotis, Tem., 
though, that is still, I think, a doubtful question, but in my opinion it certainly is not 
govinda, Sykes. 

According to Mr. Brooks' views we have only two Kites in India ; in my opinion we 
have most distinctly three, viz., affinis, Gould, comparatively rare, but more plentiful to 
the south and east, govinda, Sykes, the common Kite everywhere, and major (or 
it may be melanotis), rare, except in the hills; found in the plains chiefly in the cold 
•weather, and almost if not entirely unknown in Southern India. 

Sykes' description is to be found at p. 81 of the P. Z. S. for 1832, and the only 
single point in this that could guide us is the length 26 inches and tail 11 inches. 
Sykes' measurements were taken from his dried skins. We all know how natives drag 
out the necks, and a bad skin of govinda might well measure 26, when the fresh bird 
is sometimes 25. Govinda varies in length from 22 to 25, and has a tail of from 11 to 
13. Major varies from 26 to 28, and has a tail of from 12 to 14. So far as dimensions go, 
then, there is nothing to lead us to conclude that govinda was the largest of our three 
Kites; on the contrary, the inference would be that it was the medium-sized one. 


56 ter.— Milvus affinis, Gould. 

The common Indian village Kite, and the species which breeds 
in the plains, while the other migrates. This bird is as common 
as the larger species at Mussoori. I sent examples of it to 
England, which Mr. Gurney declared to be identical with the 
Australian M. affinis. 

80.— Glaucidium Brodiei, Burton. 

I saw this little Owl frequently at Mussoori. 

82.— Hirundo rustica, Lin. 

_ Frequently seen, as it is at all hill stations. This bird is iden- 
tical, as far as I can see, with H. gutturalis, Scop.; and I am 
not so sure that the identification of it with the European spe- 
cies is correct. The wing is generally much shorter, and the 
bird is smaller. 

85 bis. — Hirundo (Cecropis) nipalensis, Hodgson. 

The hill species is not, I believe, H. daurica, L. The rump 
band, as a rule, is very pale, and the striation intermediate in 
boldness between that of daurica and erythropygia. The latter 
I found in Cashmere as far up as Chnngus on the Tawi river, 
but I did not see H. nipalensis in Cashmere. 

But the main point is this, Sykes describes the bird as the common Kite in the Duk- 
hun, " constantly soaring in the air in circles, watching an opportunity to dart upon 
a chicken, upon refuse animal matter thrown from the cook-room, and occasionally even 
having the hardihood to stoop at a dish of meat carrying from the cook-room to the 

Now this Kite is govinda. I have examined more than 30 specimens of Kites from 
Bombay, Matteran, Sholapoor, Sattara, and Poona, and never found one major amongst 
them, nay, when last at Bombay and Poona, I specially noticed the Kites, and while I 
thought I recognized some affinis, I can positively affirm that there were no M. major. 
This is much the case in Calcutta, where, during the last three years or more, I have 
closely scrutinized every Kite without ever seeing more than one or two major, which 
on the wing may be distinguished at once by the great white patch at the base of the 
primaries, on the lower surface of the wing. 

Everywhere in the plains, major is a bird of the jungle, very rarely approaching 
towns or even large villages, and living more on frogs, locusts, &c, than on offal. 

It is absolutely certain in my opinion that Sykes' govinda was not major, first be- 
cause it is our medium-sized Kite alone of the two larger sizes that occurs in the 
Dukhun, except perhaps as a straggler, and second, because while the medium-sized 
has, the larger has not, in the plains, the habits attributed to govinda by Sykes. 

Sykes may have killed a Milvus major, and there may be a specimen of this in his 
collection, but the bird which he described as the common kite of the Dukhun, and 
whose habits he descanted on, was the medium-sized one. 

My own impression is that very few people to this day know the real Milvus major 
with its 21 to 22-inch wing and huge pure white wing patch; large govindas, with 
mottled greyish white and brown wing patches, have, to my knowledge, been sent home 
as major, but this latter, except in particular localities, is a rare and wary bird, not 
often seen, and hard to procure, whereas if we accept the identi6cation of some writers 
(I do not refer to Mr. Brooks, who does know the bird), they are as plentiful all over the 
country as blackberries on a Devonshire hedge. 

No doubt there remains the question, are the three races specifically distinct? This 
each ornithologist must answer as he li'teth ; undoubtedly intermediate forms occur, 
but I shall have more to say on this subject hereafter in a separate article. — Ed., S. Jf, 


The breadth of the red rump band is no criterion whatever, 
and varies very much in the same species. 

92.— Ohelidon urbica, Lin. 

r saw flocks of this species at Mussoori in the end of 
April, and obtained three, which agree with the description of 
the European bird. When I returned in June they were 
all gone. 

93.— Chelidon cashmiriensis, Gould. 

I obtained one between "Sulci and Derali, where they were 
flying about in considerable numbers. This bird may be best 
described as a miniature of G. urbica. It is found in Kumaon, 
and I found it breeding in Cashmere, a little at this side of 
Ahabad serai, and also a few miles below Posiana in the cliffs 
of the " Chitterpanee" river. It is found also on the Sutlej, in 
the interior beyond Simla. 

98.— Cypselus melba, Lin. 

A few seen at Moneri. 

Cypselus ? 

At many places up the valley, I saw a small Swift 
much resembling C. affinis ; but I did not shoot any. This I 
regret now, for they were probably C. leuconyx. 

Cypselus ? 

A Swift of similar size and appearance to C. apas, was not 
uncommon about Moneri and Batwari. It was probably 
C. pekiiiensis, Swinhoe, aud the species which is common up the 
Scind valley in Cashmere. I do not believe in the identity of 
this Swiff* with the European bird, and I have never seen any 
adult English Swift with the same pale shafts to the primaries, 
and the light-toned appearance of the whole bird which is a mo- 
derate brown instead of a blackish bird. The breeding female 
that I obtained in Cashmere should not have been so pale had 
it been C. apus. Then again, the monticolous habits of the 
bird should be considered. 

100.— Cypselus affinis, Gray. 

A White-rumped Swift abounded at Mussoori and other 
places inland, but I did not shoot one. Jerdon includes it as 
Himalayan ; and it must, therefore, be a hill species, for he was a 
very accurate observer, and knew the difference well between 
the two allied Swifts. 

* It is possible that the Swift here referred to may be C. acuticauda, Bljth, which 
varies a good deal in tint, see also S. E., Vol. II., p. 156. — Ed. 


103.— Collocalia nidifica,* Latham. 

I saw great numbers one evening at Dhanolti, and shot a 
pair. In colour this bird much resembles Cypselus infumatus, 
Sclater, but it is more robust with broader quill and tail fea- 
thers ; the tail also is not so deeply forked. 

149.— Palaeornis purpureus, Mull. 

A male procured at Dhunda. Wing lining and axillaries 
verditer, as described by Mr. Hume. 

150. — Palaeornis schisticeps, Hodgson. 

Frequently seen in the lesser ranges. 

154. — Picus himalayanus, J. fy S. 

In the oak woods where the elevation was from 6,000 to 
7,000 feet. 

159. — Picus brunneifrons, Vig. 

Not uncommon about the village of Banguli. 

163. — Yungipicus pygmaeus, Vigors. 

Seen at Sansoo, and one procured. 

186.— Vivia innominata, Burton. 

Seen near Danguli. 

191— Megalaima Marshallorum, Swinhoe. 

Occurs as high up the valley as Suki. I believe that the 
peculiar cry of this bird is a compound one, in which both male 
and female take part; the latter part of the cry being the 

195.— Cyanops asiatica, Lath. 

Very common below Dhunda, on the wooded banks of the 
Bhagiruttee. Unlike the preceding, this one is comparatively 

199.— Cuculus canorus, L. 

Exceedingly common as far as Derali. 

203.— Cuculus micropterus, Gould. 

Common about Mussoori and in the oak woods beyond 
Landour. I did not hear it near the snows. 

* In my opinion certainly not nidifiea ; it is barely separable from unicolor, Jerdon, 
of the Nilgiris. I myself believe that C. brevirostris, McClell = C. infumatus, Sclater 
(S. F., Vol. I., p. 295), but should this not be the case, then the Himalayan birds 
which I have from Hazata to Sikhim must, if separated from unicolor, stand as 
brevirostris. — Ed. 


225. — iEthopyga miles, Hodgson. 

One procured near Dhiinda, aud again seen near Batwari. 

227.— iEthopyga Gouldiae, Vigors. 

I shot one near Danguli. 

234. — Arachnechthra asiatica, Lath. 

In the low warm parts of the valley. 

243. — Certhia himalayana, Vigors. 

The only Certhia* seen, even in the woods near the snows. 
It is particularly common from Bairamghati to Gangaotri. 

248.— Sitta himalayensis, J. fy S. 

Seen near Mussoori and Landour, in the oak woods. 

* The following are Mr. Brook's original descriptions of his two new.species, Certhia 
Sodgsoni and Sitta cashmirensis. — Ed. 

"Certhia Hodgsoni. 

" The Cashinir creeper is closely affined to C. familiaris, but differs in the following 
respects : — 

1. A much longer bill, which is also much lighter coloured. 

2. Not nearly so rufous in tone, specially as regards rump and upper tail-coverts. 

3. The spots on the head and back are very white, and the brown of the upper 
surface, specially that of the head, is almost black. This gives the Cashmir species a 
general grey tone, as opposed to the rufous or fulvous tone of the European bird. 

4. The English bird has the three outer primaries (including the diminutive first) 
plain brown ; and the fourth is marked with a buff patch on the outer web. In the 
Cashmir bird there are four plain primaries, and the fifth is marked with the buff 
patch on outer web. On opening the wings of the two birds, it will be found that the 
arrangement of the buff and brown of the quill feathers generally differs in position 
and extent. I have no hesitation whatever in separating the Cashmir species. It ha3 
also a lighter coloured bill and lighter feet and claws. It is found sparingly iu the pine 
woods near the snows. It was seen at Gulmurg and also at Sonamurg, where Captain. 
Cock took a few nests. The egg is much more densely spotted than that of the Eng- 
lish creeper, so as almost to hide the reddish white ground colour. Size 059 to 0'65 
long, by 048 broad ; time of laying, the first week in June. 

" I give dimensions of the two species : — 

Length of skin, 



Bill at front, ... 


Length of foot, including claws, ... 

"Mr. Blyth, Ibis for January 1867, identifies a Western Himalayan bird with 
familiaris. I think this specimen will prove to be the present species and not 
familiaris. C. Himalayana is f.«und on the south side of the Pir Panjal Mountain, 
but I did not meet with it in Cashmir Proper, where it is replaced by C. Hodgsoni." 

" Sitta cashmieensis. 

" In colouration very like S. himalayana, but the Cashmir bird is much larger, 
with the white on the tail differently distributed. The wing measures 3'3 in. The 
■white of the chin, throat, and side of the head is not abruptly defined, but shaded 
gradually into the rufous of the lower parts. Tt is very like S. europaja, but is 
distinct. The abdomen, flanks and lower tail-coverts are darker than in S. himalayana. 
There is no white edging to the under tail-coverts as in europaa and coesia. I 
procured this bird in the pine forests of Cashmir." 

2 F 

C. Bogdsoni. 

C. familiaris. 










48 4-85 



2-4 242 



24 24 



•42 -53 



•62 -6 




249.— Sitta leucopsis, Gould. 

This is a more Alpine species, and is not uncommon in the 
pine forests near the snows. I saw numbers above Derali. 

251.— Sitta cinnamomeiventris, Blyth. 

In the lower hills among the " cheer" pines this is the pre- 
vailing Nuthatch. 

257. — Lanius erythronotus, Vigors. 

Occurs sparingly as high up as Suki, where I obtained one. 

271. — Pericrocotus speciosus, Latham. 

I saw this bird below Mussoori, half way from Rajpur. 

273.— Pericrocotus brevirostris, Vigors. 

Met with as high up as Derali, and even in the pine woods 
close to the snows. I procured males in the female plumage. 

280.— Dicrurus himalayensis, Tytler. 

Frequently observed in the lower hills. This bird is also 
known as D. Waldeni, Beavan. 

282.— Chaptia senea, Vieillot. 

ijSeen near Barahath. 

288.— Tchitrea paradisi, L. 

Occasionally seen at low elevations, such as Dhiinda. 

291. — Leucocirca fuscoventris, Franklin. 

One obtained near Sansoo. 

294.— Chelidorhynx hypoxantha, Blyth. 

Is not uncommon in the pine woods above Derali, and I 
also saw it at Gangaotri. 

295.— Culicicapa (Cryptolopha) cinereocapilla, Vieill. 

Frequently seen, but not near, the snows. For the change of 
generic term vide P. Z. S., 1871, p. 381. 

296.— Hemichelidon sibiricus, Gmel. 

In the pine woods above Derali, and also near Bairam- 

298.— Alseonax terricolor, Hodgson. 

One procured near Dhiinda. This species has a longer tail 
than the Chinese A. cinereoalba, T & S = A. latirostris, Raffles, 


according to Mr. Swinhoe. Whether Mr. Swinhoe's identifi- 
cation is correct or not, I do not know. Mr. Hnme identifies A. 
terricolor, Hodg., with A. lafirostris, Raffles; but neither of these 
naturalists gives us any particulars concerning the identification. 
Have they examined the type; if not, what are the precise 
grounds for the identification ?* Blyth appeared to regard A. 
latiroslris as distinct from A. terricolor. If it cannot be shewn 
to a certainty what A, latirostris, Raffles, really was, we had 
better discard the term altogether, and distinguish the two 
birds as A. terricolor, Hodgs., and A. cinereoalba, J. & S. I 
have not seen an Indian killed example of the latter. The 
museum example thus labelled appeared to me to be A. ter- 
ricolor, but it was so ragged and old as to be almost beyond 

301. — Eumyias melanops, Vigors. 

Not uncommon about Mussoori and for a few marches 

304.— Cyornis rubeculoides, Vigors. 

Common in all the lower parts of the valley, where there is 
thick cover. It does not affect the woods near the snows. 
The song is sweet and robin-like, but less varied than that of 
the Red-breast. 

307. — Cyornis ruficauda, Sivains. 

A rather scarce bird. I obtained two ; one at Derali and 
the other near Bairamghati, 14th and 19th May. The song is 
full and sweet, but short. 

310.— Muscicapula superciliaris, Jerdon. 

Tolerably common as far as Suki. 31. cestigma is so very 
like this species, that it is often overlooked. I have one of the 
latter, obtained at Assensole, 130 miles above Calcutta. This 
was of course in the cold season. 

320.— Siphia leucomelanura, Hodgson. 

I saw a few at Derali, where I again (as in Cashmere) pro- 
cured the male in female plumage. 

* The precise grounds for identification are, that Lord Walden, Mr. Swinhoe, and 
myself have between us compared specimens from all parts of India, from Ceylon to 
Murree and Davjeeling, from Burmah, Tenasserim, the Malayan peninsular, from 
the Andatnans, Sumatra, Japan, China and Lake Baikal and tbat, as I understand, we 
are all agreed that it is one and the same species that is found in all these localities. 
I cannot admit that all cinereoalbas have longer or shorter tails than terricolor. 
Chinese specimens, sent by Mr. Swinhoe, agree perfectly with Sikffim specimens, and 
both, with Andamanese, Sumatran, and, I may add (Birds of Borneo, Salvadori, p. 129), 
Bornean ones. — Ed. 


323 ter.— Erythrosterna hyperythra, Cdbanis. 

A single one obtained near Phedi in the beginning of May. 
I did not see this species afterwards. It is not an Alpine bird. 

324. — Erythrosterna acornaus, Sodgs. 

I obtained a bird which appears to be this species near 
Mussoori, on the 27th of April. Erythrosterna pusilla, 
Blyth, is, as far as I can see, only the newly moulted autumnal 
plumage of the female of Erythrosterna maculata, TickelL* 

The light tips to coverts wear off, and the rufous rump fades 
very much, so that in summer the bird becomes quite ashy 
in appearance. 

Jerdon remarks that " in summer the male assumes a bright 
ferruginous colour on the chin and throat." He was surely 
thinking of some other bird, perhaps the female of M. sappKira. 
I have examined a good series from Darjeeling before coming 
to the above conclusion. 

343.— Myiophonus Temminckii, Vigors. 

Very common along the banks of the Bhagiruttee. I saw 
it nearly as far as Gangaotri. 

347. — Hydrobata asiatica, Swainson. 

Common on the Bhagiruttee from Bairamghati downwards. 

351. — Petrocossyphus (Cyanocincla) cyanus, Lin. 

A few seen about a rocky hill near Mussoori, opposite the 
house named " Belle vue" at that station. 

352.— Orocetes (Petrophila) erythrogastra, Vigors. 

I saw one at Landour. 

353.— Orocetes (Petrophila) cinclorhynchus, Vigors. 

Common about Mussoori, and I observed it also at Laldri 
and other places in the lesser ranges. 

356. — Turdus (Geocichla) unicolor, TickelL 

Common about Mussoori in the wooded valleys there. 

* These small Flycatchers are most puzzling, and I have been specially working them 
for the last two years, in the hopes of completing an useful monograph of them. But 
even with Hodgson's original drawings at hand, I have been utterly puzzled. I have at 
least sis undescribed species, but cannot make sure, so close are the species and so brief are 
the descriptions, which are the described and which the undescribed species. I do not 
however think that there can be any doubt as to the distinctness of E. pusilla, Blyth. 
The female of maculata, sent me with the male and nest, is grey brown, albescent beneath, 
hut with the black tipper tail-coverts and black and ivhite tail of the male. Now in 
acornaus the upper tail-coverts are fulvescent or rufous, and the tail feathers a dark some- 
what rufescent brown, with rufous brown margins. Like Mr. Brooks, I have failed as 
yet to procure any specimens of pusilla, with bright ferruginous chin and throat, but 
I have never obtained this species when breeding. — Ed. 


357. — Turdus (Cichloselys) Wardii, Jerdon. 

Not uncommon at Mussoori. Its song is a strange one, of 
two notes, and quite unmusical. 

361.— Merula boulboul, Lath. 

Found near Mussoori and in the oak woods beyond Lan- 
dour. At Kauriagalia I saw many. It is a charming 


368.— Turdus Hodgsoni, Lafres. 

Was met with from Dhanolti to Kauriagalia, and again 
up above Derali. It is a greyer bird than the European one, 
and I cannot agree with Messrs. Sharpe and Dresser in con- 
sidering it identical. Even young birds want the greenish 
tinge of the rump which marks the European bird. 

370.— Oreocincla mollissima, Blyth. 

A single example obtained above Derali. 

371.— Oreocincla dauma, Latham. 

Seen several times, and I procured one above the village of 
Banguli. I took the eggs of this bird at Gulmurg in Cashmere, 
the only nest ever taken I believe.* 

392.— St achy ris pyrrhops, Hodgson. 

Frequently met with in the lower parts of the valley. Below 
Dhunda I obtained a fully-fledged ) oung bird on the 27th 
May ; it must therefore breed rather early. Its note is a low 
soft whistle ; and on account of its skulking habits, it is very 
difficult to shoot. In note and habits, this species is very like 
Horornis palhdus, in spite of its differently shaped bill. I have 
not seen any of the other three species of Stachyris in life. 

Horornis, as a genus, has little or nothing in common with 
Dumeticola and Tribara. The notes of the Dumeticola that I 
heard in Cashmere were strictly those of a Locuslella, and from 
Locustella the genus simply differs in the unicolorous upper 
plumage and the rounded wing. 

405.— Pomatorhinus erythrogenys, Gould. 

Common about Mussoori, and I occasionally met with 
it up the Bhagiruttee valley, in the lower and warmer parts. 
The male and female call together, as in the case of Meg. 
Marshallorum, a sort of curious plural call. 

* Vide " Nests and Eggs," p. 236, where I have wrongly, it would appear, attri- 
buted to Captain Cock the taking of this nest. — Ed. 


407.— Garrulax leucolophus, Hardwiclce. 

A few seen not far from Dhiinda. 

425. — Trochalopteron lineatum, Vigors. 

Seen on many occasions about Mussoori, where it is exces- 
sively common. I also met with it as high up as Derali. 

429.— Sibia capistrata, Vigors. 

Common about Kauriagalia and Dhanolti ; seen also at 
Suki ; also near the village of Banguli, which is on the 
mountain side above Danguli. I have frequently mentioned 
Dhiinda as one of the places where species were obtained or 
seen. Dhiinda was a collection of cattle sheds only, formed of 
branches of trees and rough thatch of dried grass. Nearly the 
whole had been burnt down before I arrived there, and the 
place was entirely abandoned. It is one of the camping places 
marked on Montgomerie's Route Map, and if not rebuilt, future 
travellers may perhaps search in vain for Dhiinda. 

444. — Hypsipetes psaroides, Vigors. 

Very common as far up as Suki. 

459.— Otocompsa leucogenys, Gould. 

Frequently seen in the warm parts of the valley. 

461. — Pycnonotus (Molpastes) pygaeus, Hodgson. 

Occurs in the lower parts of the valley. The brown ear 
patch serves to distinguish this species. 

470.— Oriolus kundoo, SyJces. 

Seen in the warm parts of the valley. 

475.— Copsycluis saularis, Linn. 

Seen about Dhiinda and other places of moderate elevation. 

481. — Pratincola caprata, Linn. 

In the lower parts of the valley. 

438.— Pratincola indica, Blyth. 

Not by any means so common as it is in Kumaon. On bare 
open hills, where there are a few bushes here and there, it is 
frequently seen. The Stone Chats of the south of England 
differ considerably from those of the north of England and of 
Scotland. The former much resemble our Indian birds ; but I 
have not seen yet an exact correspondence, and am therefore 
not satisfied with the identification. The large Northumbrian 


bird that I have is most surely distinct from P. indica. I 
once held a contrary opinion, when I knew less about the two 
birds, but I am now a convert to Mr. Blyth's conclusion. I 
believe that Mr. Swinhoe also regarded the two as distinct. 
However, I am open to conviction upon good evidence, not 
mere assertion,* 

486. — Pratincola ferrea, Hodgson, 

Tolerably common about Mussoori, and found as far up as 
Derali. This bird, in its mode of nesting, eggs, habits, and 
notes, together with its song, is a true Chat with sylvine ten- 
dencies, and is far removed from the Flycatchers. 

503.— Ruticilla frontalis, Vigors. 

The only Redstart seen up the valley. From Derali to 
Gangaotri it was common. Its song is very inferior. 

* Dr. N. Severzow (Anglice, SevertzofF ) remarks (Cabanis, J. fur O., 1873, p. 359), 
" Against this Hume unites Pratincola indica with P. rubicola, as I think incorrectly, 
for the inconstancy of the diagnostic points, which he relies on, appears to me to 
depend on an inadmissible selection of these, namely, ' pure blackness' (indica) or 
' mottledness ' (rubicola) on the back. This I myself also found to be variable, and 
did not believe in P. indica until Dr. Cabinis taught me the real distinguishing points, 
which I have found to hold good in Indian, Turkistanic, Uralic, and Siberian specimens, 
even in the autumn plumage when the broad fawn colored feather borders do not allow 
the faintest trace of black to be seen on the back. These positive distinguishing 
characters are differences in marking, conditioned by the histologic differences of the 
structure of the plumage on the upper surface of the body. (Diese festen Kennzei- 
chen sind Zeichnungsunterschiede, durch histologische Structurverschiedenheiten der 
Federn am Oberkorper bedingt). 

Peatincola indica. 

S Dorso maculis centralibus nigria 
extus rotundatis, marginibus plumarum 
autumno late fulvescentibus, aestate deci- 
duis, aestate dorso nigro, plumis latis, 
rotundatis, mucronatis, uropygio candido, 
apicibus autumno rufis, aestate deciduis, 
maculis scapalibus nullis. 

? Uropygio rufo 

Pbatincola bubicola. 

(? Dorso maculis scapalibus nigrofu3- 
cis, elongatis, autumno aliquot dilutius 
fusco marginatis ; aestate, si marginea 
detriti, plumis dorsalibus angustis, acumi- 
natis ut Sturno ; TJropygium album, 
apicibus autumno rufis, maculis scapali- 
bus elongatis nigris. 

? Uropygio etiam maculato. 

" The geographical distribution of both forms, (one may take them for species or 
sub-species,) is also against their union. Por in Russia between the Dnieper and 
Volga there is a belt about 150 miles in breadth where neither form breeds . 

" Westward is rubicola, whose limit in Germany towards the east is however about 
the Elbe (Borggreve), then a northern limit from the upper Elbe to the lower Dnieper. 

" Eastward is indica, the northern limit of which rises rapidly from 50° N. Lat., 
on the River Usen, to the south of the Ural Mountains and then along their eastern 
slope to 58° N. Lat. ; in Siberia from Irtysch southwards. On the Ural River indica 
has also its southern limits, and there (about 47° N. Lat.) meets P. Hemprichi, but this 
southern limit becomes further east a western limit, naturally with a border zone 
where both occur. 

" P. Hemprichi appears geographically to force itself between rubicola, indica. and 
the South African P. pastor, and to separate them." 

As to the diagnosis, I shall have more to say hereafter; as to the geographical limits 
thus assigned, I can only say I am puzzled. Middendorf got Hemprichi on the 
Stanovoi Mountains, Radde on the middle Amoor, and if Dr. Severzow's views are 
correct, this species not only divides rubicola, indica, and pastor, but it cuts off the 
Trans-Volgan, so-called indica, from Indian indica. 

I take this opportunity of noting that I still consider, as I always have done, that 
Dr. Stoliczka'a P. macrorhyncha from C'utch is nothing but Hemprichi. — Ed., S. F. 


504.— Adelura (Ruticilla) cceruleocephala, Vigors. 

Not uncommon in the upper parts of the valley among the 
pine woods. This species does not quiver its tail as all 
Redstarts do, and its manners and habits differ from those of 
the true Redstarts. It is a Wood-chat, but differs considerably 
in structure from Pralincola. In manner and notes it put me 
much in mind of Iantliia rufilata; and the differences are so 
slight, that it might very well stand in that genus. 

505.— Rhyacornis fuliginosa, Vigors. (" Ruticilla 

Common on the Bhamruttee. 

506. — Chsemorrornis leucocephala, Vigors. 

Not uncommon from Danguli to Derail. 

507. — Larvivora super ciliaris, Jerdon. (L. cyana, 


This species was most numerous at Suki. It affects thick 
cover, and is as much addicted to hiding itself from human 
observation as Cyornis rubeculoides. 

508. — Ianthia rufilata, Hodgson. 

This bird is more numerous in the upper part of the valley 
than in the parts of Cashmere that I visited. Its call note, or 
alarm note, whichever it may be, is Robin-like, and its manners 
are much those of a Robin. I did not hear the song, if it has 
any. It is a very shy bird. Some of the males that I shot 
were (as in Cashmere) in the female plumage. These were 
also breeding males, as proved by dissection. This appears as 
if the blue plumage were not assumed after the first moult, 
supposing the Ianthia nestling to be spotted as most of these 
birds are. The changes the various Warblers are subject to, 
and the time when these changes take place, are interesting 
questions ; and we have much to learn concerning them. I 
used to think that the first moult of a Warbler produced the 
adult plumage ; but in the cases of Ianthia and Siphia this cannot 
be the case. I refer to Siphia leucomelanura, for with the 
others, in life, I am unacquainted. 

* Hodgson's name, which is cyanea, and not cyana, has, I think, precedence, and 
should stand. The nearly allied species so common in Eastern Siberia and China, 
and, as we have recently found, in Northern Tenasserim, is cyane, Pallas {^gracilis, 
Swinh). Cyane does not, I think, extinguish cyanea, — Ed. 


513.— Calliope pectoralis, Gould. 

Three examples were procured which varied much in shade. 
Specimens from Sikhim are of an unusually dark blackish* 
grey, while my Cashmere ones are a moderately dark brown. 
The Sikhim females that I have seen are also of a darker 
tone ; still, I do not think there is any specific difference. Oat 
of a fair series, hardly two birds are alike. I found each of the 
three birds solitary ; one was obtained at Derali, and two lower 
down the valley, between Barahath and Moneri, as well as I 

516. — Acrocephalus dumetorum, Blyth. 

I saw a pair of these birds in a dense rose thicket near 
Dhanolti, which is not far from Landour. This was the very 
end of May. Whether the birds bred there or not I don't 
know. The male was not singing when I passed. I made a 
good search for the nest, but without effect. All Reed Warblers 
build a cup-shaped nest, I believe ; and on this account I doubt 
the eggs procured by Captain Hutton, vide lt Nests and Eggs," 
page 327. Mr. Hume also appears to doubt them ; still it is 
possible that the habits of this bird, as it is not an aquatic one, 
may differ from those of other Reed Warblers. 

526 Ms. — Horornis pallidus, Brooks. 

I described this speciesf as Horeites, but on comparing it with 
Horornis fortipes, I find it is about the same size, and is a true 

* I have noticed that the birds which I procured in November and December, when 
they occur at least as low down as 5,000 feet, are much darker, blacker, and greyer 
than those that I have shot in the interior in summer at heights usually of above 9,000 
feet.— Ed. 

f As this species is not in Jerdon, and is now mentioned in Stray Feathers for the 
first time, I subjoin the original description as also that of Dumeticola major, Brooks. 

'• Horeites pallidus. — A larger bird than the last (H. brimneifrons, Hodgs.), but 
of very similar construction. It is found in dense jungle at lower elevations. Its 
song is a strange prolonged whistle with a sudden turn at the end ; the second strain 
consists of 5 or 6 notes in a different key; after a short silence, the long whistle is 
begun again. I have heard more than one visitor to Cashmere call this bird ' the 
whistling bird.' 

" The description is as follows: — Length, 5T5 inch; wing, 22; tail, 22; bill, -33 ; 
and from gape, - 5 ; tarsus, "9; irides hazel brown ; bill light brown ; lower mandible 
paler, except the tip ; legs, toes, and claws light fleshy brown. Whole upper surface 
dull greyish olive or rather pale olive grey ; a slight tawny tinge on the wings and 
basal half of tail, on the outer webs of the feathers. Lower back and upper tail- 
coverts rather lighter and brighter in tint than the rest of the back ; being more of a 
pale brown with slight tinge of yellow in it. A dull whitish grey supercilium. Pale 
brown streak through the eye. Cheeks and ear-coverts brownish white, mottled with 
pale brown. Chin to abdomen greyish white. Sides of breast, flanks, tibial plumes, 
and lower tail-coverts pale brownish grey; the flanks being slightly tinged with 
fulvous, and the lower tail-coverts still more so ; lining of wing creamy white. 

" This bird has none of the depth of rich colouring of the Horornis group. Its 
mode of coloration is rather like that of Acrocephalus dumetorum in faded summer 
plumage, but paler and lighter. The tarsi, feet, and claws are strong and stout. Tail 
much graduated, the outer feathers being "42 shorter than the central ones. In the 
wing the 5th primary is the longest, and a shade longer than the 6th; 4th a little shorter 

2 G 


Ilorornis. Horeites may be described as a small slender-billed 
Horornis. Structurally, the two genera are very much alike. 

H. pallidus was met with above Danguli, and was common 
at Sulci, frequenting the dense thickets on the hill side there. 
It is seldom seen, and can only be found by its most peculiar 
whistle. There is a considerable pause between this whistle 
and the second strain of the song, which latter is not a whistle 
but a sort of chattering warble, ending with an abrupt turn. 
Between the whole song and its repetition, thei'e is a longer 
pause, and if disturbed the bird is silent for some time. 

536.— Prinia gracilis, Franklin. 

Common in the lower parts of the valley, as far as Moneri. 
The forehead is generally covered with the red pollen of a 
jungle-flowering bush. 

537.— Prinia cinereocapilla, Hodgson. 

This bird was not uncommon near Dhunda, but was not seen 
beyond Barahath. It may be known by its very dark lead 
grey cap, and the generally very rufous tone of the back and 
■wino-s. Its song is quite different from that of any other Prinia 

than 6th ; 3rd equal to 8th : 2nd very short, and -48 short of tip of wing. The rictal 
bristles are distinct and almost -22 inch long. The bill has a very faint notch at the 
end like that of Horeites brunneifrons." 

"Dumeticola. majok. — Similar to D. affinis, Hodgson, but much larger; measur- 
ing from 6 inches to 63 inches ; wing, 2 28 to'2 - 3 ; tail, 2 7 ; bill at front, - 55 ; from gape, 
•75 to - 8 ; tarsus, "87 ; mid toe and claw, - 72 ; hind toe and claw, '6 ; tail excessively gra- 
duated, the outer feathers being 112 inch shorter than the central ones. The bill is 
long and compressed at the sides, generally quite black, but sometimes dark brown, with 
the lower mandible pale, except towai-ds tip. Legs and feet pale flesh colour, with the 
claws a trifle darker. Irides dark brown ; lores whitish. A cream coloured supercilium. 
Cheeks whitish, finely mottled with light brown. Chin, throat, and upper breast pure 
"White, finely spotted with dark brown on the breast. These spots are confined to the 
breast, and in some specimens they are faint or entirely wanting. Centre of belly and 
abdomen white ; sides of breast and flanks shaded with olive brown ; under tail-coverts 
pale brown, each feather being broadly bordered with dull white. Whole upper surface 
dark dull olive brown, the crown of the head being conspicuously the darkest. Prima- 
ries, secondaries, and tertials, also wing coverts with the edges of the feathers, rather 
rufescent. Lining of wing white, with a few small brown markings towards ridge 
of wing ; the tail feathers are obsoletely cross-rayed. 

" The longer, straighter, and stronger bill, and the differently formed wing, with 
tolerably large 1st primary, separate this bird from true Locustella. The upper sur- 
face is also devoid of streaks. I obtained several specimens. It ranges from 6,000 
feet upwards, even to 10,000 feet elevation, and frequents exclusively places where the 
ground cover is abundant. It is seldom seen. The song is strictly that of a Locus- 
tella, similar to that of L. Rayi, but slower and louder. By beating the cover where 
I heard the birds, I was enabled to get an occasional snap shot, and thus secured my 
specimens. They were all males. 

" For the sake of comparision, I give Mr. Hodgson's dimensions of 4 specimens of 
Dumeticola a /Jin is as recorded on the drawing of the bird. 

Tip of bill' to tip of tail ... ... ... ... 5| 6| 5 5 

Bill to gape ... ... ... ... ... T » ff j% ,»„ f 

Tail ... ... ... ... ... ... 2 2i 2 2 

Closed wing... ... ... ... ... ... 2| 2 T : V 2| 2\ 

Tarsus to sole ... ... ... ... ... | {% \% £ 

Central toe and nail ... ... ... ... ... f \\ \\ fj 

Hind do. do. ... ... ... ... ... $i A 7 9 o A. 

"The bill of the Cashmere bird is nearly one quarter of an inch longer. The tail 
and total length are also much longer." 


I have beard, and is better and more varied. There was a 
good deal of red pollen on the foreheads of those I procured. 
In the middle of May, they were very ragged, and in the moult. 
It affects trees and tolerably thick jungle occasionally, and in 
this respect differs from other Prinias. 

538.— Prinia Hodgsoni, Blytli. 

At Barahath and other similar places of moderate elevation. 

547.— Suya crinigera, Eodgson. 

Common at Mussoori and at many places beyond, but was 
not met with in the Alpine parts of the valley. 

556— Phylloseopus* magnirostris, Blyth. 

I frequently heard its song uear Danguli and again not far 
from Gaugaotri. Also on the road from Sansoo to Kauri- 
agalia in a rocky wooded glen through which a small stream 

* Subjoined is Mr. Brooks' original description of Phylloseopus Tytleri. — Ed. 

" In plumage resembling P. viridanus, but of a richer and deeper olive ; it is entirely 
■without the " whitish wing bar," which is always present in viridanus, unless in very 
abraded plumage. The wing is shorter ; so is the tail ; but the great difference is in the 
bill, which is much longer, darker, and of a more pointed and slender form in P. Tytleri. 
The song and notes are utterly different ; so are the localities frequented. P. viridanus 
is an inhabitant of brushwood ravines, at 9 and 10,000 feet elevation ; while P. Tytleri i3 
exclusively a pine forest Phylloseopus. In the places frequented by viridanus it must 
build on the ground, or very near it ; but our new species builds 40 feet up a pine tree a 
compact half-domed nest on the side of a fir branch. Eggs pure white. Captain Cock 
took the only nest obtained, shooting the old bird off the nest. Properly speaking, none of 
the notes of P. Tytleri could be called a song, but the song of P. viridanus is not at all 
a bad one, and quite Phylloscopine. I give measurements of the new bird, and also of 
P. viridanus for the sake of comparison. Here let me observe that Colonel Tytler is, 
properly speaking, the discoverer of this interesting Phylloseopus ; for four years ago 
he shot one at Simla, which, together with one of my own specimens. I have sent to 
Dr. Tristram for examination. Col. Tytler had labelled the bird Sibilatrix ajfinis ; 
while Phylloseopus ajfinis stood in his Museum as Asilus affinis. As most ornitholo- 
gists do not recognize the generic distinctions of Sibilatrix and Asilus, and as Asilus 
has been applied to a genus of insects. I have, with Col. Tytler's permission, altered the 
name of his bird to Phylloseopus Tytleri. The only question remaining is whether it 
is distinct from the Phylloscopi described by the Russian naturalists. Dr. Tristram 
identifies'P. viridanus with P. Sehwarzi, Radde ; but it is possible that he may have 
compared the Russian specimens with some of P. Tytleri. The measurements of my 
specimens are — 

P. Tytleri. 

Bill at 

Bill from 







No. 1 $ 4 76 





•76 shot off nest bv Capt. Cock. 

.,2 c? 





•76 Col. Tytler's bird. 

„ 3 $ 





"75 Cashmere. 

„ 4 $ 






„ 5 <? 






„ 6 S 






„ 7 <? 

3 27 




*75 Altnorah. 

., 8 ? 

2 32 




•7 Etawah. 



flowed. The conditions this bird requires are wooded cliffs or 
very steep rocky banks impracticable for man, and plenty of 
flowino- water below. Above a roaring torrent it is in its 
element, and sings most vigorously. The discovery of this 
bird's nest and eggs will be a great difficulty. It is very shy 
and of a retiring disposition, and the female is rarely seen. 
But for its song, the male also would generally escape obser- 
vation. The peculiarly shrill sweet song I have referred to 
before, J. A. S., 1872, p. 79. It is the most melancholy one 
that could be imagined, but of singular sweetness. 

561.— Phylloscopus affinis, TLckell. 

Is not uncommon up the valley, even as high as Gangaotri. 
This in May ; but whether they bred there or not I canuot 

562.— Phylloscopus indicus, Jerdon. 

One obtained at Mussoori, in the end of April. 

563. — Reguloides occipitalis, Jerdon. 

Common and observed as far as 
near Landour. 

Bairamcrhati. It breeds 

565.— Reguloides superciliosus, Gml. 

Tolerably common in the Alpine parts of the valley, and 
most numerous at Gangaotri. 

566.— Reguloides proregulus, Pallas. 

Common in the Alpine parts of the valley. It breeds about 
Derali, Bairamghati, and Gangaotri, in the large moss-grown 

Only one specimen was measured in the flesli, No. 1. 

P. viridanus 



Tail JBill at Bill froml 
front, nostril. 


No. 1 c? 5 



•3 27 i 

# 8 Cashtrere. 

„ 2 3 

2 55 


•32 -29 


„ 3 3 



•32 -29 


» 4 & 



•32 -30 


„ 5 3 

2 47 


•32 1 30 


„ 6 3 





•76 Etawah. 

„ 7 3 





•74 „ 

,, 8 ? 





•75 „ 


567.— Reguloides viridipennis, Blyth. 

One obtained at G-angaotri, and another near Bairamghati ; 
and doubtless it occurs in other parts of the Alpine portion of 
the valley. Its notes are so similar to those of Reg. occipitalis, 
that it is probably often overlooked. 

Reguloides viridipennis may be best described as a small 
bright-coloured Reg. trochiloides. This larger, but very simi- 
lar species, I have not yet seen from the north-west. 

569.— Culicipeta Burkii, Burton. 

One was obtained in the forests above the village of Banguli, 
at a distance of about 3 miles from the river. 

573.— Abrornis albosuperciliaris, Blyth. 

Common at Mussoori, and found at many places up the 
valley as far as Suki. I have examined a series of Abrornis 
xanthoschistos from Sikhim, summer as well as winter birds, 
and I am forced to the conclusion that the north-west bird is, 
as a rule, a much paler one and consequently that albosuperci- 
liaris is a good species, unless the difference in the tone of the 
grey is due to the damper Sikhim climate. I have not yet 
seen a newly moulted autumnal example of albosuperciliaris, 
and would remark that Regidoides superciliosus and many 
other birds from Sikhim are deeper iu tone and of purer and 
brighter colour than the same birds are in the north-west. 
I formerly expressed an opinion that the two species of very 
closely allied Abrornis were identical. In size they are alike, 
and the only difference is the shade of grey. 

It should be borne in mind that A. xanthoschistos, Hodgson, 
is quite a distinct bird from the very small one that I des- 
cribed as A. Jerdoni* (Pro., A.S., 1871). This has a very short 
wing and tail, but no wing bar as in A. poliogenys, Blyth. 
Dr. Jerdon's A. xanthoschistos, No. 572, gives dimensions 
inapplicable to the true xanthoschistos ; and he probably had a 
Jerdoni before him when he wrote his description. 

* The following is Mr. Brooks' description of Abrornis Jerdoni. — Ed. 

" The dark slaty-headed Abrornis. Dimensions— length of skin, 3-5, but the bird in 
the flesh would probably measure 375; wing, 1-82; tail, 1'57; bill at front 035 • 
from gape, about 05 ; tarsus, 072. 

" Colors similar to those of A. xanthoschistos, but the slate color of the head and 
shoulders is very dark and without the greenish tinge observed in the other species 
There is no apparent light colored coronal streak, but a greyish white superciliuru' 
lower back, bright yellow green, as are also upper tail-coverts. Upper part of wing 
vivid green. Two outer tail-feathers white on their inner webs ; the white of the 
outermost one being spotless, while that of the penultimate one is clouded with pale 
brown spots ; but that of the lower surface of the body from chin to under tail-coverts 
bright yellow ; bill and feet colored as in the other species." 


580.— Regulus himalayensis, Blyth. 

Seen a few times near Derali. This species is of purer 
coloration, and quite grey about the neck. It is, I think, quite 
distinct from Reg. cristatus. 

584.— Enicurus maculatus, Vigors. 

Found below Mussoori, in water-courses where the cover is 

587.— Enicurus Scouleri, Vigors. 

Not far from Danguli I observed a pair. I repeatedly 
saw them dive through the foaming torrent, and towards a large 
stone or rock over which the water flowed ; and it was most 
probable that their nest was under this strongly rushing water. 
How ever such a slight little bird could get through such a 
violent rush of water I could not imagine. 

589.— Motacilla maderaspatana, Brisson. 

One procured at Moneri. The back was very brown, and 
patched with grey — an unusual thing for this species. It was 
the only one I saw. 

589 bis.— Motacilla Hodgsoni, Gray. 

(M. cashmirensis, Brooks.) Found above Danguli, and near 
Devali ; one also obtained at Gangaotri. This bird is quite 
distinct* from M. luzoniensis, Scop, which has at all seasons 
much more white about the head, and is a more delicately and 
slenderly built bird, as well as being somewhat smaller as a 
rule.: the bill is conspicuously smaller. M. luzoniensis retains, 
it is said, a white throat at all seasons,f while the present species 
does not. M. luzoniensis is not found at all in the North-West. 
It is common at Patna and Dinapore in the cold season, but I 
don't think I have yet seen an example from a place so far 
west as Buxar. Being a Railway Engineer, I refer to places 
situated on the line of the East Indian Railway, and much of 
my collecting has been done from the telegraph wires along- 
side of the railway. To these wires both Budytes and Motacilla 
are very partial as perches, and I have good series of these 
birds obtained with but little trouble as I passed along the line 
from time to time. But let me return to my subject. 

If it can be satisfactorily proved that $ M. per sonata, Gould, 
retains the grey back all through the summer, then it is, beyond 
all doubt, a distinct species from M. Hodgsoni, Gray. Both 

* I hope every one will suspend their opinion on this very moot point. — Ed. 

f This, in my opinion, has never been satisfactorily established. I consider that I 
have luzoniensis in full breeding plumage, identical with what Mr. Brooks calls tho 
full summer plumage of ILudgsoni. — En. 


liave the eye set in the same small diamond-shaped patch of white ; 
in size they are the same, but we have the one alleged constant 
difference of colour of the back as the characteristic distinction. 
I am speaking of the males only, for mature female Hodgsoni 
has often a grey back, but rather darker than the grey of perso- 
nata. Mr. Gould's examples of M. personata were from the 
plains of India ; consequently they may not have been in full 
breeding plumage, as these birds leave the plains rather early in 
the spring. I procured many black-backed examples of Mot. 
hizoniensis at and near Dinapore and Patna, but I never saw the 
other species, even those procured the latest in the season with 
the diamond-shajyed white eye patch (M. personata), with even a 
spot of black on the back, nor have I yet seen an autumnal 
plains example of M. personata with even a spot of black on 
the back. Old examples of M. luzoniensis are very subject to 
parti-coloured backs ; and it is late in the spring before the back 
becomes wholly pure black. I have now before me Sikhim 
and Bhotan Dooars examples of M. Hodgsoni, obtained in Nov- 
ember, December, and January, with black backs. In autumn 
and winter plumage old examples of Al. Hodgsoni retain much 
more black on the breast than those of M. luzoniensis do. To 
show clearly the decided distinctness of the two species, a few 
very brief descriptions of birds, now before me, will be useful. 

1. 31. luzoniensis $, Dinapore, 16th December. From cen- 
tre of crown of head to tail-coverts, including the whole back, 
pure black : forehead, for more than half an inch, cheeks, ear- 
coverts, chin, throat, and upper breast, all pure white. A f in. 
gorget or crescent of black on the breast; wirig-coverts and 
rest of lower surface pure white. 

2. M. Hodgsoni <$ , Sikhim, December. Eye set in a 
diamond-shaped patch of white ; a narrow black streak under 
the eye, bounding one of the lower sides of this diamond- 
shaped eye patch ; chin white ; throat white, speckled with 
black ; from half an inch below the base of lower mandible to 
a distance of two inches from the same point, pure black ; the 
sides of this black breast portion being in communication with the 
black of the head and back ; in luzoniensis, this lower black is 
at the same season* severed from the upper black. 

3. ill. Hodgsoni, Sikhim, November, precisely resembles the 
December bird, and has the same black line from the corner of 
the mouth passing beneath the eye; this black line, bounding 
one side of the white diamond-shaped eye patch, as above stated. 

4. M. Hodgsoni, Bhootan Dooars ; precisely resembles the 
November and December birds. 

* But some birds of the same species change from the summer to the winter plu- 
mage, and vice versa, much earlier and much later than others, and I am unable to 
discover any constant structural difference between luzoniensis from China, Tenas- 
serim and Lower Bengal, and the supposed Hodgsoni from Sikhim to Cashmere.— Ed. 


5. M. Hodgsoni, Sikbinr, April. In fine summer plumage with 
the black advanced to within a sixteenth of an inch of the base 
of lower mandible, i.e., a small spot of white on the portion of 
the chin nearest the bill ; below the very narrow black line, 
which is principally an effect produced by the black continuation 
of the bill, is a short narrow strip of white. I suppose this is what 
some ornithologists call the " moustache ;" but a moustache on 
the lower lip would be an anomaly. 

M. Hodgsoni, " Sikhim, May," is just like the above bird with 
a very narrow white "moustache," rather longer than in the 
April bird. The spot of white on the point of the chin is about 
the size of a pin's head. 

M. Hodgsoni <J, Gangaotri, 18th May. A trace of the 
white moustache on one side only ; on the other side it is 
vanished : chin and throat pure black. 

M. Hodgsoni (J, near Suki, 12th May. No moustache; chin, 
throat, and breast, all pure black. 

M. Hodgsoni $ } Derali, 19th May. Only two white specks 
of moustache left on one side ; chin black. 

M. Hodgsoni #, Derali, 20th May. No moustache ; chin, 
&c, black. 

M. Hodgsoni cf, between Suki and Derali, 21st May. A 
faint trace of the moustache on one side only ; chin, &c, quite 

It will thus be seen that with the disappearance of the white 
moustache the black line from the corner of the bill also becomes 
included in the lower black of chin, throat, and breast, and 
that this white line below the bill is not a constant character- 
istic of the species.* 

M. luzoniensis, Scop. I now place before me seven black- 
backed examples of this species procured in Sikhim and in the 
plains, the latter by myself, the former by Mr. Mandelli. 

No. 1, Sikhim, Sept. No moustache nor stripe, either black 
or white from corner of mouth : from the forehead, right down to 
the black crescent on breast, all is pure white ; the white feathers 
about the bill are fuller than in the other bird, and conceal Us 
gape more. 

No. 2, Sikhim, Oct., exactly like No. 1. 

No. 3, Dinapore J 1 , 20th Nov., exactly the same. 

No. 4, Dinapore $ , 16th Dec, exactly the same ; a pure 
" White-faced Wagtail: 3 

No. 5, Patna £, 9th Feb. The same ; the black crescent in 
this one is very narrow, being only one-third of an inch broad 
in the centre. 

No. 6, Patna, 9th Feb. Identical with the last, but gorget 
on breast half an inch broad. 

* This is certain, and was pointed out, Vol, I., p. 28. — JE». 


4. 31. Ilodgsoni. (i Sikkim, March," is exactly the same 
as the others. 

No. 7, Patna ^, 5th March. Like the others, but the gorget 
mixed with a few white feathers. 

It will thus be seen how much more white there is on the 
anterior lower surface of this species than there is in the 
other bird. From base of bill to nearest or concave edge 
of the black crescent averages about an inch and a half; 
tvhile in M. Hodgsoni, the white of an October bird only 
measures five-eighths of an inch from base of bill. I have 
thus, I think, clearly established the perfect specific distinctness of 
these two Black-backed Wagtails. I only wish I could follow 
up Motacilla luzoniensis into April, May, and June ; but alas ! 
where does it go in summer ? and my materials stop short at 
March ! I may have an April bird, but my collection is in such 
disorder, it is impossible to find it now. To arrange some 
thousands of small birds is no joke ; and as yet I have not had 
time to do so. 

Here I must stop and count up my first personal pronouns. 
I am horrified to find they far exceed the number used by my 
friend Mr. Hume ; but in spite of Lord Walden's elegant example 
I find the simple, even though it may seem egotistical, plan of 
saying I, when I mean I, convenient, and less troublesome, 
and I may add less affected than a careful omission of as many 
Vs as* possible. Perfection of style like Lord Walden's is 
beyond me ; and I hope, if he ever sees this paper, he wont 
publish the result of his enumeration of my I's. Again, 
I have digressed, and must beg the critic's forgiveness ; but I 
am too old now to be taught how to avoid an I. 

I admire Lord Walden's brilliant style, sparkling as it does, 
with wit and humour, but my hornety English will, I hope, serve 
to convey my meaning, and if so, it will answer every purpose 
just as well. 

Three of our Indian Black and White Wagtails appear to 
acquire spring plumage by the black spreading up till it reaches 
the base of the lower mandible. These are M. Hodgsoni, M. 
•personata, and M. dukhunensis, Sykes. One, M. madaruspatana, 
is a well-known constant resident, larger and blacker than the 
others, and always black to the same extent ; and the fifth, 
M. luzoniensis, appears to retain a large amount of white on 
chin, throat, and upper breast, but to what extent the black 
gorget alters in April, May, and June I for one don't know. 
With reference to this black crescent or gorget, let me remark 
that the black patch is not alwaj-s of pure crescentic shape, but 
frequently, in winter birds, it is almost a circular patch, about 

* To juilgo from the case of rufula and striolata, it seems truly a case of eyes aud 
no eyes. — Ed. 

2 H 


the size of a shilling. I shot one or two M. dukhunensis the 
other day, thus marked ; and I have seen others. I should be 
sorry to distinguish a species by this circular shape of the 
pectoral patch. In J. A. S. for 1872, p. 82, I re-described M. 
Uodgsoni as 31. casJimirensis ; and I indicated its probable 
identity with 31. personata, Gould ; but this was not proved, aud 
was, I think, a mistake*. Mid-summer breeding examples of 
31. personata, with grey backs, would decide the question, and 
it is to be hoped they will be obtained before long if not already 
actually in hands. The complete history of Mr. Gould's species 
is very interesting. My present conviction is, that it is a good 
species. Females both in winter and summer, of the black- 
backed birds, are variable ; some are a dark grey, others 
lighter ; some have spotted backs, or blotched with the two 
colours rather, while others closely approach the male, and have 
nearly pure black backs. 

592.— Calobates melanope, Pallas. 

Frequently seen up the valley of the Bhagiruttee. 

At Batwari, I saw fully-grown young birds following the 
parents in the bed of a small stream, and being fed by them. 
The young, through my telescope, appeared to be plain grey and 
white, and I could not observe any yellow about them ; but 
probably the vent aud under tail-coverts might have been 
tinged with yellow. I never closely examined the nestling of 
the affined species, C. boarula, so cannot say more about the 
exact plumage of the nestling. 

The comparatively short tail of this species precludes its 
identity with C. boarida. I have the latter from Asia Minor. 

596.— Pipastes maculatus, Hodgson. 

Rather scarce up at Derali and Bairamghatti. In the pine 
woods above Derali I heard its song, which was different from 
that of P. arboreus, although of similar character. I heard the 
latter's song on two occasions when I was in Cashmere in 1871. 

P. maculatus frequents by preference open grassy glades 
among the pines, and generally high up near the snows. The 
plumage of this bird is notably f distinct at all seasons from that 
of P. arboreus. The latter never has the posterior part of the 
supercilium pure white, as in P. maculatus ; but has it always 
of a uniform fulvous tint ; nor has P. arboreus any of the strong 
greenish tiut characteristic of P. maculatus. The character of 
striation on the back is, at all seasons, utterly different in the 
two birds. The long-drawn sibilant note, something like the call 

* See also Vol. II., p. 456.— Ed. 
f See also " Nebxs aud Euus," p. 383.— Ed. 


of the Redwing ( Turdus iliaciis) , is not possessed by P. arboreus ; 
and with this observation the egotistical one dismisses the idea 
of their identity for ever ; but perhaps Lord Walden or my 
friend Mr. Dresser (both of whom I know to be very able 
ornithologists, and who have each done gigantic work for which 
I am sure I am grateful if no one else is) may think fit to unite 
these two Pipits, as the former did, or wished to do, C. strio- 
lata and C. rufula; and as the latter did all the Larks, save, 
perhaps, the Wood-lark, which escaped the wholesale fusion — 
confusion, I should perhaps have said. 

Antlms agilis, Sykes, is a term often applied to P. maculatus, 
but the reason for such a misapplication no one can tell. It is a 
fancy or sort of fashionable mistake, which there is no account- 
ing for. 

Did not Blyth declare his conviction that the type was 
P. trivialis = P. arboreus, but the specimen being an old one, he 
was not positive ? At all events there are no grounds whatever 
for applying the term to our Eastern Green Wood Pipit, which 
we don't find frequenting the ground described by Sykes. His 
words are, " Found on opeu stony lands ;* female unknown ; 
closely resembles the Titlark of Europe. Its chief difference 
is in the hind toe. ,, The total length he gives is 6%. This is 
larger than either P. maculatus or P. arboreus : probably the 
bird was one of the three barren laud Pipits, C. striolata, Agro- 
droma campestris, or C. rufula. An undersized and young 
C. striolata would answer the description well ; and the hind claw 
of these young birds is much shorter than that of the adults. 
Mr. Blyth knew the two Pipits well ; and when he did not re- 
cognize the Eastern Green Pipit in Sykes' type, we may be 
satisfied that whatever P. agilis was, it was not P. maculatus. 
The use of the term is inconvenient, and tends to confusion : 
some apply it to the Western Tree Pipit, while others apply 
it to the eastern, or Chinese Green Pipit. A similar fashionable 
error is the indiscriminate application of the term Badytes viridis 
to all the Green-backed Wagtails ! One man intends one species 
by u B. viridis" and another, another species ; but all have a very 
hazy notion of the bird they wish to indicate. Local lists 
containing such vague terms are very puzzling and compara- 
tively valueless. We have in the Indian longitude, the whole 
four Green-bached Field Wagtails, aud let each have its proper 
name, even on the score of convenience, for this lumping of 
species that clearly differ is getting beyond all bounds in this 
miserable Darwinian age. I look upon the terms " viridis'''' and 
" agilis' as convenient shelters for the undecided naturalist ; 
and behind such terms he feels safe. 

* But all about Poena, you do find maculatus frequenting " open stony ground. — " 



600.— Oorydalla rufula, Vieillot. 

Occurs in the warmer parts of the valley. I noticed it 
above Dhunda. 

604.— Agrodroma Jerdoni, Finsch. 

Breeds at and about Sansoo, where there is much open land. 
It delivers its poor unmusical song as it flies. Between sum- 
mer-faded ashy specimens, and autumnal ones in fresh plumage, 
there is much difference. 

605.— Anthus rosaceus, Hodgson. 

Was common at and about Derali, especially on open places, 
a mile or two below the snows. These places were very damp 
on account of the snow having 1 very recently melted. They 
were in flocks as late as the 19th of May, and apparently had 
not then paired. 

This bird is distinct from the western A. Cecilii, Audouin = 
A. rufogularis, Brehm = A. cervinus, Pallas. The latter I have 
seen from the Andamans and from Yarkand, kindly shewn to 
me by Mr. Hume. On reading carefully Pallas's description I am 
convinced now that his bird was the one found in Europe, and 
not Hodgson's pale Himalayan bird. The term would be 
inapplicable to Anthus rosaceus. A Maltese example of mine 
agreed perfectly with the Yarkand one. 

606.— Heterura sylvana, Hodgson. 

Rather scarce up the valley, but in suitable rugged places it 
was noticed. About Mussoori, it is not uncommon. The song 
is something like the Titlarks, but sloAver and very much 
louder. This bird does not occur in the low hot parts of the 


616. — Siva strigula, Hodgson. 

First seen near Phedi and Balah : afterwards found rather 
common near Danguli ; they were in small flocks. 

623.— Ixulus flavicollis, Hodgson. 

Seen, and one procured at Danguli. 

631. — Zosterops palpebrosus, Tcmminch. 

At Dhunda and other places of moderate elevation. Identical 
with plains' examples. 

634.— iEgithaliscus erythrocephalus, Vigors. 

Common at Mussoori, and at several other places in the 
interior, but does not occur near the snows. It is partial to oak 



638.— Lophophanes melanolophus, Vigors. 

Frequent near Landour, and found as high up as Gangaotri. 

640.— Lophophanes rufonuchalis, Blyth. 

Common at Derali, and other places of similar elevation. 
I found a nest under a large stone, in the middle of a hill foot- 
path, up and down which people and cattle were constantly- 
passing ; the nest contained newly-hatched young. This was 
the middle of May. 

644. — Parus monticolus, Vigors. 

^ Common in the oak-woods beyond Landour. 

645. — Parus csesius, Tichell (olim P. cinereus.) 

Frequently seen at moderate elevations, near Dhunda for 

647.— Machlophus xanthogenys, Vigors. 

Seen in the oak-woods of the Nagtiba range, between 
Balah and Laluri ; also in oak trees in Mussoori. 

661. — Corvus intermedius, Adams. 

Common at Mussoori, and found up to Gangaotri. The 
tail of this species is always longer than that of C. culminatus, 
Sykes, of the plains ; and it is invariably of duller plumage. 
The voice too is notably different. I shot numbers of the 
plains' bird on my return, to see if by any chance I could get 
one corresponding with the hill species, but I could not. I 
have the hill bird from Cashmere, Murree, Mussoori, Bairam- 
gati, Kumaon, and Sikliim, and they all correspond in 
having a much longer tail than the bird of the plains. 

666.— Nucifraga hemispila, Vigors. 

Frequently seen beyond Mussoori, at various elevations. 

669.- Garrulus bispecularis, Vigors. 

In the oak-woods about Kauriagalia and Dhanolti. 

670.— Garrulus lanceolatus, Vigors. 

Very common about Mussoori, and at many places further 
in the interior. It is not found near the snows. 

671.— Urocissa occipitalis, Blyth. 

Frequently seen at moderate elevations. 


676.— Dendrocitta sinensis, Latham, 

Seen occasionally beyond Mussoori. 

679.— Fregilus himalayanus, Gould. 

A few Choughs were seen at Bairamghati, probably of this 
species ; I shot one, but it stuck on the top of a huge pine, which 
my men could not climb. 

684.— Acridotheres tristis, L. 

Occurs at Mussoori, and also at places further in the 

686.— Acridotheres fuscus, Wagler. 

Is much more common than the last. Common at Mussoo- 
ri, and also seen at places beyond. The colour of the iris 
serves to distinguish the bird, apart from its darker tone. 

691.— Saraglossa spiloptera, Vigors. 

Common at this side of Dhunda, and also seen between San- 
soo and Kauriagalia. It breeds early, for I saw fully-grown 
young in the end of May. 

702. — Munia acuticauda, Hodgson. 

Obtained at this side of Dhunda in small parties. 

706.— Passer indicus, Jard. and Selby. 

Seen at Mussoori, and at several places beyond. One 
obtained at Sansoo in no way differs from plains' examples. 

708. — Passer cinnamomeus, Gould. 

Common at Mussoori, and at other places beyond. 

711.— Passer flavicollis, Franklin. 

Some seen near Dhunda, and one obtained. It is a bird of 
the lesser ranges only. 

714. — Emberiza Stracheyi, Moore. 

According to Messrs. Dresser and Sharpe, E. cia is not 
Indian. E. Stracheyi was common in the upper parts of the 

716.— Emberiza Huttoni, Blyth. 

A single female obtained a short distance above Dhunda, and 
was the only one seen. It must have been a strao-o-ler. 

724.— Melophus melanicterus, Gmelin. 

Seen in the wanner parts of the valley. 


729.— Pyrrhula erythrocephala, Vigors. 

At Danguli some were procured. 

738.— Carpodacus erythrinus, Pallas. 

Frequently seen in the upper parts of the valley. 

742.— Propasser rhodochrous, Vigors. 

Frequently seen, and a few procured at Danguli, Suki, and 

734 Ms. — Propasser ambiguus, Hume ? 

Five females of a species I am unable to determine were pro- 
cured at Suki and Derali. At the latter place they were 
congregated with numbers of Fringilauda sordida. There were 
no red males with them. I sent one to Mr. Hume. 

748.— Callacanthis Burtoni, Gould. 

In the woods above Derali, but not common. 

749.— Carduelis caniceps, Vigors. 

Common in the upper parts of the valley. 

750.— Coccothraustes spinoides, Vigors. 

This bird, not being a Siskin, I have altered the generic term,* 
vide J. A. S., 1872, p. 84. I saw some between Sansoo and 
Kauriagalia, and obtained one. 

751. — Metoponia pusilla, Pallas. 

Common from Danguli upwards. They were in flocks in 
the middle of May. 

753 his. — Fringilauda sordida, Stoliczka. 

Common on the hill side above Derali, where there was open 

778.— Sphenocercus sphenurus, Vigors. 

Common in the lower parts of the valley. 

778. Ms.— Sphenocercus minor, N. Sp.i 

Very similar in colour to the former, but altogether smaller. 
Its much shorter tail at once strikes the observer. 

* But it is not a Coccothraustes, and why not take Cabanis' name Hypacanthis.— 
See Nests and Eggs, p. 472. — Ed. 

f I have shot many of these, but do not believe them to be distinct, but only young 
birds, because two nestlings that I took in 1851 and kept for more than three years had 
scarcely attained their full size when they were killed. During their second year, 
they were much smaller, and had much shorter tails, but by the middle of the third 
year they were full-sized. Minor for all that may be a good species and may never 
grow bigger, but certainly young sphenurus would answer exactly to the above 
definition of minor. — Ed. 


Length in the flesh, of a breeding male, 11*25 inch; wing, 
6-75; tail, 4*2; bill, at front, 7 inches. Of a female, shot at 
Mussoori in 1809. Length of skin, which is not stretched, 
but is quite as long as the bird would be in life, 9 "9 inches ; 
wing, 6*5 ; tail, 4 inches ; bill, at front, *6 inches. 

The male was shot at Sansoo on the 28th of May. 

790.— Columba leuconota, Vigors. 

In large flocks near Derali, and I saw it also close to Gan- 

792.— Turtur rupicolus, Pallas. 

Common as far as Bairamghati. 

794.— Turtur cambayensis, Gmelin. 

In the low parts of the valley between Dhuuda and Sansoo. 

795. — Turtur suratensis, Gmelin. 

Found as high up as Moneri. 

796.— Turtur risoria, L. 

In the lower parts of the valley, such as Sansoo. 

804.— Lophophorus Impeyanus, Latham. 

Met with sparingly near the snows. It will soon be extinct 
in this part of the world. 

806.— Ceriornis melanocephala, Graij. 

I saw skins in the hands of the natives. Found above Ban- 
guli village, I was told. 

808. — Pucrasia macrolopha, Lesson. 

A few seen where the cover was good, but not near the snows. 

818. — Francolinus vulgaris, Stephens. 

Common in all the lower parts of the valley up to Batwari. 

855.— Lobivanellus goensis, Gmelin. 

A few seen near Dhtinda and other low parts of the valley. 
I also saw this bird near Almorah in 1868. 

867.— Scolopax rusticola, Lin. 

One seen above the village of Banguli, at a spring in the 


879.— Ibidorhynchus Struthersii, Vigors. 

At and near Derail there are large shingle beds where the 
valley opens out a little. Here one or two pairs of this rare 
and curious bird may be seen. The Crows persecute it much ; 
and, I believe, had taken the eggs, when I was there. I made a 
diligent search, but could not find either eggs or young. 

893.— Actitis hypoleucos, L. 

I saw a few pairs near Derali and similar places where 
there were gravel beds. 

958.— Anas boschas, L. 

A pair were seen on a small mountain tarn above Derali. 
The male was obtained. This was in the middle of May. 

1005. — Graculus carbo, L. 

A few seen at Barahath, perched on stones in the middle of 
the swiftly rushing stream. 

lap is n ^cctcs ? 

To those who have neither thought nor read much on 
subjects connected with Natural History in one or other of its 
branches, the definition of lt species" may appear an easy 
matter, altogether beyond controversy. 

They will say that in relation to organie life, a species is the 
minimum admitted sub-division, one in which, with the exception 
of differences arising from sex, age, season, malformations, and 
similar accidental deviations from type, all the individuals 
which compose it resemble each other in all essential points, and 
are descended from parents, and, under natural conditions, give 
birth to offspring, similar to themselves. 

A moment's consideration will show that this so-called defi- 
nition only shifts the difficulty one step further. We now 
require to define what constitutes an " essential point," and what 
amount of difference between individuals suffices to prevent 
their resembling each other in all essential points. A very 
slight study, however, of scientific classification proves that 
existing systems permit no general and precise definition of an 
essential difference, and that differences, at any rate, of form, 
colour, and size, that in one kingdom, order, tribe, and even 
family, would be generally accepted as specific are as gen- 
erally, and, as more careful investigations would show, rightly 
so, disallowed as such in another. 

2 i 


So far, therefore, this popular definition helps the practical 
observer little. It explains, indeed, what a species is in theory, 
but it does not aid him much in deciding in many cases whether 
he ought or ought not to separate any little group of organized 
beings, that he meets with, as a distinct species. He will say, 
true these do differ from the other most nearly allied similar 
groups, but is the difference in this case essential ? is it suffi- 
cient to justify a specific separation ? 

As a matter of fact, naturalists have answered these questions 
in the most contradictory manner. One has made 1,200 species, 
for instance, out of the Birds of Europe, whilst another com- 
presses them into less than half that number. As to a vast 
number of species, although there may not be absolute unanimity, 
there is at least a pretty general consensus amongst modern na- 
turalists as to their validity ; but on the other hand, there are 
hundreds and thousands of little groups or races, out of which 
probably no two naturalists in the whole world would reject 
or accept precisely the same ones as valid species. 

Men holding one set of opinions in regard to the origin of 
species would accept most of them, those holding different views 
would equally reject the majority ; but the members of each 
party would none the less differ inter se, the fact being that 
the former are not agreed as to what does, the latter as to what 
should, constitute a species. 

The amount of difference necessary to warrant specific se- 
paration has always been felt to be so entirely a matter of 
personal opinion, that it has been sought to import another 
element, viz., that of locality, into the question. Many men 
will allow a difference to be specific if observed between two 
groups found in widely separated localities, which they would 
ignore if both groups were found in the same province. 

This, however, appears to me equally unphilosophical from 
whichever point of view it is considered. 

There are of course two ways of looking at a species in the 
abstract — the one is that each is a distinct creation, the other 
that each is merely a variation, which has become permanent, 
from some pre-existing form. Under either supposition, locality 
cannot effect the question ; no matter where you find it, either 
it is or is not a variation of sufficient importance to justify 
its specific separation, or again, it is or is not a distinct 

This dogma, by the way, of each species being a distinct 
creation, is, if rightly considered, any thing but a practical one. 
It is perfectly true in one sense, but it in no way removes our 
difficulties. Every species is a distinct manifestation of creative 
energy, in other words, according to my views of the power of 
God, that prevades the universe — but so too is every individual. 


Naturalists of an older school at times seem to fancy that 
they settle the question by saying that there can be no interme- 
diate forms and no blending of species, because every species 
is a distinct creation ; but as no two individuals are precisely alike, 
it is quite clear that from their point of view each individual 
is a distinct creation, and hence, that the groups into which 
they gather bodies of individuals are more or less arbitrary 
and dependent on opinion. This difference they say is speci- 
fic, that a mere variation ; in other words, here there has been 
a distinct creation, there there has not ; but who has told them 
so ? If they contented themselves with saying, " if we could 
find out which were distinct creations, these and these only 
would we admit as species," no one could gainsay them ; but 
as a matter of fact they cannot fiud this out, there is no 
revelation on the subject, and as they can never make sure of 
what are and what are not distinct creations, or consequently 
which little closely allied groups ought, according to their 
views, to constitute species, and which only " races" or u local 
varieties," it would be only reasonable for them to admit with 
the modern school that the " species" with which we deal in 
practise are after all nothing but divisions, adopted for conve- 
nience, more or less artificial and more or less matters of 

To be logical we ought, it appears to me, to accept one of 
two theories ; either the direct constant interference of the Crea- 
tor in every detail, or the continual operation under natural 
laws of a creative energy. 

If however we could really grasp the somewhat hazy ideas 
prevalent on this subject, we should, 1 apprehend, find that the 
popular view was a sort of compromise between these two for- 
mulas, based on a notion that God interferes in the more impor- 
tant events of the world, leaving minor matters to be governed 
by natural laws. Thus, those who would stoutly maintain that 
the Blue Rock Pigeon was created as a distinct species by the 
direct action of the Almighty would scout the idea of His having 
directly intervened to produce the Fantail or the Carrier. When 
some blood-stained tyrant is hurled by an indignant people 
from his misused throne, this is accepted as the handiwork of 
God by myriads who would deem it profane to suppose that 
he had any concern with the daily slaughter of animals for 
human consumption. 

Sometimes the compromise takes another form, and the notion 
seems to be that the Creator has from time to time imparted 
successive impulses to the world or things in \t, leaving it and 
them in the interim to run on in accordance with natural laws, 
and thus through long past ages has created now this, now that 


association of animated beings. Still, as the natural platform 
gradually varied, and existing forms .slowly became obsolete, 
replacing them by others more appropriate to the cycle. 

To those who can look through the clouds of language 
into the firmament of thought, it is needless to demonstrate that 
inexorably limited as our powers of conception are, no real 
difference that we can appreciate underlies these different 
views ; the essential proposition in each is identical, and they 
stand apart in virtue only of the words in which they are 
clothed, and the varying set of inchoate ideas which each indi- 
vidual mentally associates with these. Creator, God, Creative 
Energy, Natural Laws — are all beyond our conceptive faculties. 
Each mind conjures up some more or less vague cluster of ideas, 
which represents what it understands by these words ; but no 
mind can ever arrive at a sufficiently definite and perfect con- 
ception of the powers themselves to decide whether they are all 
identical, distinct, or merely allotropic essences. 

And as a matter of fact, as might have been expected from 
these premises, no formula of words that we may adopt, as 
representing to us our abstract conception of the universal 
scheme, can, if we reason logically, affect our decision as to 
what does, or should, constitute a species. 

Those who affirm that everything progresses under the cease- 
less operation of natural laws, will at once admit that all hard 
and fast lines of demarcation must be more or less artificial, and 
all systems of classification, and even the definition of the 
minimum sub-divisions we call species, more or less matters of 

To those who hold to the direct intervention of Providence 
in every detail, it should be sufficient to point out that, as each 
individual is equally with each natural order the special work 
of the Creator, any gathering up of larger or smaller groups 
of individuals into what we call species must, as we can only 
imperfectly trace His design, be more or less arbitrary. 

To those, lastly, who hold that the Creator intervenes in 
some cases to produce markedly different forms, but in 
others allows a multitude of minor differences to arise through 
the operation of natural laws, it should suffice to remark 
that we are unable to do more than guess where He has 
intervened and where natural laws have operated, that we 
are quite ignorant of what are great and what small differences 
in His eyes, and that however anxious we may be to restrict the 
term species to those groups of individuals which have arisen 
from a distinct c/eative act, our ignorance absolutely precludes 
our doing this with any certainty. We cannot follow His 
hand, we can only conjecture, what differences may and what 


may not have arisen from a distinct creative act, and thus the 
term species here too becomes a more or less arbitrary division 
and dependent on each man's phantasy. 

Since then whatever view we take of the scheme of creation, 
species must, at any rate until our present knowledge is infinitely 
multiplied, still remain an arbitrary term, let us endeavour so 
to define it as to leave as few doubts as possible as to the exact 
limits we arbitrarily assign to it, so that it shall be moderately 
certain that referring to a common standard, what one naturalist 
admits as a species shall be admitted by others, and that what 
one rejects others also shall as a rule reject. 

A simple illustration will explain perhaps my view of our 
position in regard to this question. 

If we look at a map of the Indian Archipelago, with its com- 
plicated groups and clusters of thousands of islands, we may 
suppose either that each of these indicates a separate centre of 
upheaval, or that these are all that is left to us in a wide area 
of subsidence or submergence of what was once a compact 
continent ; or we may suppose them to be the results partly of 
elevations, partly of depressions in the crust of the earth, and 
partly of alterations in the oceanic level independent of these ; 
but adopt what hypothesis we will as to their formation, this 
ought surely not to affect our decision as to the method of 
entering on that map the names that are to facilitate our refer- 
ence to the various places and the record of our observations in 
regard to each. 

We may give each separate island big and little a distinctive 
name, we may group little clusters under one name, and give 
long promontories of the big islands separate names ; it is all a 
matter of convenience, and cannot and ought not to be governed 
in any way by our conceptions as to the manner in which the 
existing state of things has eventuated. 

For my part, for the sake of obtaining a simple and intelli- 
gible rule, that all who run may read, I would give every 
island, however small, divided off by ever so narrow a channel, 
a separate name ; but I would give no separate name to a pro- 
montory,* however long. 

I would therefore adopt the popular definition of a species 
with which I commenced, and would further define an essential 
difference to be one however small that is constant and that is 
not bridged over by intermediate links. 

This latter clause appears to be essential. So lono- as the 
promontory remains attached, I should deprecate bestowing on 
it a distinct name as if it was a separate island. Where the 

* Some acute individual will enquire what I would do with a place that is an island 
at high and a promontory at low water. I can only reply that as it is not always an 
island, I shall treat it as a promontory. 

262 NOTES. 

sea has swept away the neck of land that once united it with 
another island, it ceases for me to be a promontory, and earns 
its distinctive name. Where time has obliterated the links 
that once connected two closely alied forms, I would admit them 
as distinct ; where the links yet remain unbroken, I should desire 
to see them recognized as one species, widely as typical indivi- 
duals selected from opposite ends of the scale may differ. 

Many of course will hold a contrary opinion and say that if 
all the individuals found in A constantly differ from those in C, 
they should be considered distinct species ; but this does not 
necessarily follow ; on the contrary, if we can show that in B, 
that lies between A and 0, a perfect series of forms occur inter- 
mediate between those of A and C, then all must, according to 
my view, be considered to pertain to one and the same species. 

As regards differences that are thus bridged over, I consider 
them as justifying the recognition of a local race, but not as 
warranting specific separation. Thus Coracias affirm, to give 
the most familiar example, I consider a local race, because, though 
typical examples of this supposed species differ widely from 
Coracias indica, every intermediate link-form between the two 
races regularly and constantly occurs. 

Local races may be incipient species, may become species 
hereafter ; but just as the buds on fissiparous animalcules can- 
not be properly called distinct animals until divided from the 
parent, so neither should these local races be considered distinct 
species so long as they remain connected with each other by a 
perfect chain of intermediate forms. 

Naturalists generally may not be prepared as yet to accept 
the distinction thus drawn between a species and a local race, 
but it is, I believe, what we shall all come to sooner or later ; it 
is, I humbly conceive, the only way of dealing with the question 
that is at once logical and capable of universal practical appli- 

A. O. H. 



The accompanying — map, I fear I ought to call it, of Arboro- 
phila Mandellii, though terribly out of drawing according to my 
notion, sufficiently correctly represents the distribution and 
colors of the markings, and will enable every one, I hope, to 
recognize the bird (when met with) at a glance. I say when 
met with, advisedly ; Captain Cuttles' standing recommendation 
to make a note of, when found, would be excessively appropriate 
in the present case. We know perfectly where the bird occurs, 

NOTES. 263 

viz., in the Western Bhotan Doars ; but up to this present mo- 
ment, Mr. Mandelli's specimen, Avhich is the one figured (or 
made a figure of) in our plate, is, I believe, unique. 

At page 496, Vol. II., I noticed that I had sent home a spe- 
cimen of a Locustella that occurs in Sumatra and Tenasserim, 
which I considered to be the true lanceolata of Temminck, for 
identification, in consequence of Lord Walden's having identi- 
fied "another species, my L. subsignata from the Andamans, as 
Temminck's bird. The specimen I sent home was from Tenas- 
serim. Mr. Sharpe writes : — " As far as I can make out, your bird 
is the true lanceolata of Temminck, and Mr. Dresser, who has 
lately been working up this genus, concurs in this view." 

It is remarkable that we have not only obtained Brachjurus 
megarhjnchus, Schleg, during the summer, as high up in Te- 
nasserim as Amherst (S. F., Vol. II., p. 475), but numerous 
specimens were this year obtained in the Delta of the Irrawady. 
This species appears to be really as widely distributed as the 
nearly allied, though much smaller billed B. moluccensis, Mull, 
and it is probably the extreme similarity of the plumage of these 
two species which has led to the one remaining so long over- 

I am indebted to Miss Cockburn for a superb series, nearly 
fifty specimens I think, of a little bird which, though possibly 
common enough in the hilly portions of Southern India, 
is apparently rare in collections — I mean Mania pectoralis. 
Together with the birds, she sent me also their young, which latter 
have never yet, I believe, been described. These have the entire 
upper surface a dull uniform somewhat chocolate brown, without 
the slightest trace of the yellowish white shafts so conspicuous 
on the whole upper part of the adult. Again, the chin, throat, 
and breast, which in the adult are an uniform brown, so deep as 
to be nearly black, are in the young a pale earthy brown, 
with paler shafts, and faintly barred paler again. The rest of 
the lower parts, which in fine specimens are uniformly salmon 
colored, are in the young buffy, mottled and imperfectly barred 
with brown. Altogether the } r oung would scarcely be recog- 
nized as pertaining to the same species. 

Books and papers received. — "We have to acknowledge 
with thanks the following books, pamphlets, and papers on 
ornithological subjects, which have been kindly sent us by the 
authors during the course of the past year. 

264 NOTES. 

A Catalogue of the birds of New Zealand, by Captain F. W. 
Hutton, F. G. S., &c. 

On the Geographical relations of the New Zealand fauna, by- 
Captain F. W. Hutton, F. G. S., &c. 

Contributions to the Ornithology of Africa, by R. Bowdler 
Sharpe, Esq., F. L. S., &c. 

Catalogue of birds, Vol. I., Accipitres, by R. Bowdler Sharpe, 
Esq., F. L. S. 3 &c 

Various miscellaneous papers by R. Bowdler Sharpe, Esq., 
F. L. S., &c. 

Revision of the Ornis of New Zealand, by Dr. 0. Finsch, &c. 

Monograph of the genus Certhiola, by Dr. O. Finsch, &c. 

On a collection of birds from Eastern Asia, by Dr. O. Finsch, 

Conspectus systematicus et geographicus Avium Europsea- 
rum, by Dr. Alph. Dubois. 

]\liscellaneous papers by Dr. Alph Dubois. 

A series of papers on new and little kuown birds from new 
Guinea, by D. Adolph Bernard Meyer. 

Descriptions of new species of birds from New Guinea, by 
T. Salvadori. 

The birds of Borneo, by T. Salvadori. 

On the Geographical distribution of Asiatic birds, by H. J. 
Ehves, Esq., F. Z. S. 

Monograph of the Genus Saxicola, by Messrs. Blanford and 

Descriptions of new birds from the Naga Hills, by Major 
Godwin- Austen. 

Game, shore, and water birds of India, by A. LeMessurier, Esq. 

With reference to what I have said at pages 21 and 526 
of Vol. II. as to the colour of the bill in the quite young bird of 
Palaornis fasciatus, I beg to add the following note by Mr. F. 
DeRoepstorff : — " You will remember naming that young 
Falaornis with the black bill for me. Now, I got that bird as 
a little one before its feathers were properly grown, and its 
upper mandible was then red ; on this account I thought it 
was a male, but after a short time I found the red or reddish 
colour of the bill, which was not unlike that of the same part in 
the adult male, change into black." 

"With reference to my remarks in regard to the Cuckoos 
of the Andamans, (Vol. II., p. 191) I note now that I have 
just received a specimen of the true Cuculus micropterus, killed at 
the Andamans by Mr. A. DeRoepstorff. Both C. striatus and 
C. micropterus have therefore been correctly included in the 
avifauna of the islands of the Bay of Bengal. 


fetters to tlje Coitor. 


In my notes on Tringa salina, Pallas, and T. tninufd, 
Leisler, at page 492, Vol. I, Stray Feathers, I called attention 
to a female* of the latter having a bill of 0"78 and a wing of 39 
inches, and which was larger than the other specimens of 
that species in my collection, and put the question as to whether 
it might not be the larger race of that bird, viz., the T. albescens 
of Temminck. I now write to say, from what I have since 
observed, that the Tringa inhabiting the west coast of Aus- 
tralia appears to belong to the same species as the above exam- 
ple, although it differs somewhat in the pure white of the chest. 
Several specimens were shot at King George's Sound on the 
10th of November last by Mr. Edgar Layard's son, who with 
his father were fellow passengers of mine en route to Fiji at that 
date. I took notes and measurements from three examples, a 
male and two females, which had the wings, respectively, 4*1, 
4*2, and 4 inches (male the smallest), and the bills at front 69, 
0*73, and 0*72 inches; the middle toes with the claws of the two 
females were 0*7 and 0*76 inches ; I omitted to measure that of 
the male. The soft parts were as follows : iris brown ; bill black ; 
legs and feet blackish, having the tarsi concolorous with the 
tibia and feet, and wanting the greenish hue perceptible in Cey- 
louese specimens of P. minuta. One of the females is now in 
my possession ; there is much white about the forehead and 
region above the dark lores. This is the case with the larger 
birds found in Ceylon — the primary shafts are white about the 
centre, the first being somewhat sullied near the base, and the 
remainder very brown at that part ; the upper surface resem- 
bles that of Ceylon specimens of the larger race ; but as I have 
remarked above, the chest is pure white, having none of the 
striations or brownish grey marks perceptible on all Ceylonese 
examples that have come under my notice. This latter charac- 
teristic is the only one in which it differs from my tropical 

* This bird was procured on the south-east coast of Ceylon, a region of that island 
in which, on account of its geographical situation, south world and Australian species 
are most likely to occur. Present researches are proving this to be, as regards marine 
avifauna, the most interesting locality in Ceylon. Not only did I find there in abun- 
dance at a season — June, July, and August — when they are absent from other parts of 
the country, Glareola lactea, JEgialite* Geoffroyi, 2E. mongolicus, JE. eantianus, and 
Uimantopus autumnalis (Hass), the two latter breeding in numbers, but I also ascer- 
tained it to be the resort of thousands of Sternula placens, Gould, which were also breed- 
ing abundantly, a large species of Gelochelidon (possibly G. macrotarsa, Gould), 
Hydrochelidon indica, Steph, and another smaller species, Thal/aseus bengalensis, 
Less., P. cristatus, and last but not least an interesting little stranger which Mr. 
Howard Saunders informs me is either Sternula antillorum or an entirely new species. 
With such a list of Grallatores and Natatores resorting thither at a season when up to 
the present time they have been supposed to be absent in breeding purposes in more 
northern latitudes, what may not still be found there ! 

2 K 


examples, but nevertheless it is noteworthy that the larger birds 
from Ceylon with the very white foreheads have whiter chests 
than the smaller, or what I -consider to be true minuta. — W. V. 


I SEND you three eggs of Le'wthvix callipyga out of 
the same nest, taken at Rishap, Darjeeling, at the elevation 
of 4,000 feet above the sea, on the 17th instant. The nest is 
of the usual composition and size, is well made, and was 
placed in a shrub, at three feet from the ground, in the ordi- 
nary way. It is so unusual to find eggs of this bird at this 
late season of the year, and those now sent differ so much from 
each other in size, shape, and coloration, that I think they 
may be of special interest. One which is of the usual type 
was evidently quite fertile, but the other two, which are abnor- 
mally small and deficient in colour, were addled. They appear 
to me to be the produce of a pair that had been robbed of their 
nest and eggs once or twice this year before, (I took several 
nests from the same locality during the past breeding season,) and 
had made a desperate effort to rear a brood in spite of such ad- 
verse circumstances, but, like many other sanguine creatures, 
had attempted too much and ended in partial failure. Had they 
been contented with two eggs, both might have been good and 
of the orthodox style, but no ! they must have the regular 
number, and, owing to their repeated, and, consequently, en- 
feebled efforts, the result is one fertile egg only, and two which 
are neither of the right size and shape nor color, and addled to 
boot, — a sad warning to birds and human beings against 
attempting too much. 

I suspect that many of the eggs deficient in color are the 
later produce of birds that have been robbed one or more times 
dining the season, and have been compelled, by the force of 
nature, to make repeated efforts to multiply their species, 
though too enfeebled to produce eggs of the proper size or 
color. — J. Gammie. 

Mongphoo, 22nd October 1874. 


I have lately found Rhyncluea bengalensis breeding in 
this locality. I shot a male bird on 5th December, and on dissec- 
tion found that it was breeding : on 10th December a brace rose 
from some marshy grass, of which I shot one, which proved to be 
a female. I found a fully formed egg in it which would have 
been laid in a day or two, the shell being still soft. I had a long 


search next day in hopes of finding the nest, but without suc- 
cess. Still I think that I have found enough to warrant niv 
saying that RhyncJuea bengalensis breeds in this locality in the 
month of December. Should you consider it worthy of notice, 
please mention this fact in Stray Feathers. — M. Forbes 


Chahrajnagar, 20th December 1874. 


I shot the other day under the Erie Hill a kind of 
Sand Grouse (P. coronatus) * which is new to me. 

I have shot P. senegallus, which are common enough in 
many places, but coronatus I have only seen in one place under 
the Soorjana and Erie Hills, where we go for Ibex ; and the 
species appears little known to even old Sindhees. It is very 
like senegallus, but has a black patch on each side, above the 
bill, and another down the throat. The plumage is altogether 
lighter in shade, and their cry and flight is different from those 
of senegallus. — Frank Wise. 


Sindh, 10th December 1874. 


As some of your readers may be interested to learn 
that Cursorius coromandelicus does appear, occasionally at least, 
in Lower Bengal, in spite of Dr. Jerdon's remarks to the con- 
trary, I may state that I have now twice shot these birds 
close to Calcutta, that is to say, at Muddenpore (where there is 
a station of the Eastern Bengal Railway,) 33 miles distant from 
our city. 

When the nature of the country in that neighbourhood is 
taken into consideration, there is nothing surprising that this 
species should be found there, for nowhere I should imagine is 
the country more suitable to its habits. The whole district ex- 
tending from Muddenpore to Kanshrapara and far inland from 
the Hooghly is comparatively speaking high dry ground. Here 
and there are deep hollows, in which water collects and forms 
lake-like expanses, permanent, and not mere shallow jheels, 
and these, with the high ridges here and there dotted with fine 
trees, give a very pleasing appearance to the country in general. 
The higher parts are sparingly cultivated with such crops as 
grow well on dry soil, Tobacco, Linseed, Tilseed, &c, but a 
good deal is still grass land, and it is on these undulating 

* Fully described S. F., Vol. I., p. 224 — when I recorded its occurrence for the 
first time within our limits. My specimen was from the extreme north-west of Sindh ; 
we now have it in the same Province from a great deal further south. — Ed. 


Downs that the birds I Lave had the good fortune to meet 
with were shot. 

I have only bagged two pairs ; the first on the 23rd December 
1865, and the second in November of the present year, on both 
which occasions there were several others scattered about the 
plain. I may add that as I only visit this station at long inter- 
vals, my not having fallen in with the species more frequently 
is easily accounted for. — J. C. Parker. 


On the evening of this 29th instant, settled in culti- 
vated fields and other extensive plains bordering the Nujjeefghur 
Jheel, some 5 miles north-west of the Gurhi Patrol's post, 
Goorgaon District, I met with this (to me) new species of 
Sand Grouse.* There were several flocks, in number exceeding 
300. Their peculiar Grouse flight, added to their strange 
note, u kali kah," at once attracted my attention. But so 
very wild were they, that after an hour of severe stalking I 
only secured the specimen (male) I send you. My Shikaris, 
however, next day brought three males and one female. I have 
for nearly 30 years, at various times in the cold season, shot over 
the vast plains in the Goorgaon District, annually visited by the 
laro-e Grouse (Plerocles arenarius), but I never met with the 
present species before. And I can safely affirm that it has not 
during this long period been obtained about here by any other 
sportsman of my acquaintance. Probably, this species is one of 
the six you mentioned in your Scindh paper (I have no books 
by me to refer to) ; and if so, the fact is interesting, that from 
some unknown cause this Grouse has this season extended its 
migrations so far east. 

Another, as I think noteworthy fact, is, that a gentleman who 
accompanied me on the same dates and on the same plains 
shot a couple of the common small Grouse (P. exustus) in the 
nest plumage. I am certain they were not two months' old, and 
I state this the more positively, having during my residence at 
Pnipoor shot scores of young birds in precisely the same nestling 
plumage. There can be no doubt, then, that the common Sand 
Grouse (P. exnstus) does, at least occasionally, breed twice a 
year.f I had kept a specimen to send for your inspection, but 
unfortunately a house dog destroyed it. — 11. F. Blewitt, 
Delhi, 31^ December 1874. 

* The specimen sent is P. alehata. We have hitherto known this only as a regular 
winter visitant to the north of Sindh, Dera Ghazee Khan, Dera Ismail Kban, Hote 
Murdan, and other places west of the Indus, the neighbourhood of Attock, Peshawar, 
and Huzara, and the occurrence of this species so far east as the Nujjeefghur Jheel is 
very remarkable and noteworthy — vide S. F., Vol. I., p. 221. — Ed. 

f See Nests and Eggs, Part III. It breeds pretty well all the year round.— Ed. 


Vol. III.] MAY, 1875. [No. 4, 

l$laciH v tnmrttt3 Mm, Westerman. 

Wester man, Bijdragen tot de Dierkunde ; I., p. 29; PL 12. 
Schleget, Handl. Ois. I., PL 1, Fig. 6, p. 168 ; — id. 

Mus-Pays-bas, Pemes, p. 7. 
Sharpe, P. Z. S., 1871, p. 502. 
See also, Gurney, Trans Z. S., VI., p. 117, PL XXIX. for 

M. Anderssoni, Gum. 

I have recently received from Malewoon (which is situated 
at the southern extremity of the Tenasserim Provinces), a 
splendid adult male of this rare and interesting species. The 
specimen was shot by Mr. A. L. Hough on the 14th of March 
last, and was carefully measured in the flesh, the colours of the 
soft parts being also recorded. 

Few of my Indian readers have probably ever even heard 
of the genus to which this curious bird belongs. It was 
instituted in 1848 by Dr. G. F. Westerman for a specimen of 
this very species, which had been obtained at Malacca. {Since 
then altogether four or five specimens have, I believe, been 
received in Europe from the same locality, and a second very 
closely allied species of the same genus has been discovered 
in Damara Land, South Africa, by the late Mr. Charles 
J. Andersson, and named after that lamented ornithologist by 
Mr. Gurney (l.c.) 

The first point of interest about the bird, therefore, is that 
like Polihierax Feildeni, its only known very near ally or 
congener is African. 

But it is the structure of the bird itself that is most 
noticeable. It has a small and comparatively feeble bill, with 
the culmen, except quite at the base, pinched up into a 
sharp, almost knife-like, edge. The gape is enormous, reminding 
one of that of Podager and other fissirostral genera, and 
extends back to quite below the middle of the eye. There ai*e 
two faint sinuations on the cutting edge of the upper mandible, 
possibly analogues of the double teeth in Baza, The cere is 


270 macheiramphus alcinus, Westerman. 

very small and inconspicuous. The nostrils are long, oblique, 
pierced near the margin of the cere, and partly overhung by 
a membraneous shelf. The eyes are very large and almost 
certainly indicate crepuscular habits. The entire lores are 
densely feathered, reminding us so far of Pernis, but the 
feathers are soft and velvet-like, and not scaled as in Pernis. 
From the centre of the base of the occiput springs a moderately 
broad graduated crest of pointed lanceolate feathers, consist- 
ing, in my specimen, of 16 feathers, of which the four longest 
ai*e 3'2, 2*8 and 2 - 6 inches long. The wings have the 2nd and 
3rd quills equal and longest; the 1st and 5th are equal and 
2 inches shorter than the 2nd and 3rd. In the 1st quill the 
inner web is suddenly reduced at about 3 inches from the 
tip to less than one-half its previous breadth; a similar less 
conspicuous notch iu the 2nd, and a trace of the same in the 3rd. 
The tertials are broad and rather elongated, being a little longer 
than the 6th primary. A faint sinuation is observable on the 
outer webs of the 2nd and 3rd quills. The tail (of 12 fea- 
thers) is decidedly Milvine in its character, the feathers broad, 
and the tail as a whole slightly forked ; the outermost tail- 
feathers nearly half an inch longer than the central ones, and 
the intermediate ones graduated, so that when pulled out to its 
full width the tail is square ended. The tarsi are moderately 
stout, feathered in front for about three-fourths of an inch only, 
reticulate, but exhibiting a tendency to form an inconspicuous 
row of small hexagonal scales, on both the front and back of 
the tarsi, from -^th to -ftb up them reckoning from the foot. 
The mid toe is long, slender, and accipitrine in the character 
of its pads. The outer and inner toes, together with their 
nails, are almost exactly the same length, but the outer toe 
is much longer and slenderer, and has a very much smaller claw, 
Avhile the inner toe is much shorter and stouter and has a huge 
claw very nearly as big as that of the hind toe — in this respect 
recalling Neopus, and many of the owls. 

The claws are well curved and sharp, more or less compress- 
ed, except that of the mid toe, which has the inner side dilated 
into a knife-like edge, as in many other genera. 

This species has been supposed to be distinguished from 
M. Anderssoni by (amongst other points) the want of a dis- 
tinct supercilium ; but this can be no longer maintained, my 
present specimen having the snow-white band over and below the 
feye, absolutely and precisely as in Mr. Wolf's splendid figure of 
M. Anderssoni (l. c). Other differences are the short incon- 
spicuous crest, the much paler general tint, and the Avhite 
lower abdomen and lower tail-coverts of this latter species. 
All these may prove good points, but on the other hand it is 
easy to see that they may all be marks of nonnge, and it 

macheirampiius alcinus, Westerman. 271 

appears to me that at present the only certain permanent dif- 
ferences are the greater size of the present species (wing, 
14 - 62 in a male, against 13*91 in a female of Anderssoni) 
its larger and more sharply carinated bill, and its excessively 
inconspicuous black cere. The specimen, now before me, au 
adult male, measured in the flesh as follows : — 

Length, 180 ; expanse, 46'0 ; tail, from vent, 7*37 ; wing, 
14*62 ; tarsus, 2*5 ; bill, from gape, 1*8 ; straight from edge 
of cere to point, 0*75 ; mid toe, to root of claw, T87 ; its claw, 
straight from root to point, 0*68 ; outer toe, 1*37 ; its claw, - 55 ; 
inner toe, 0*86 ; its claw, 0'83 ; hind toe, 0-7 ; its claw, 0'87 ; 
width of gape, 1*45 ; greatest height of upper mandible, 0*4 ; 
weight, T25 lbs. 

The irides were bright yellow, the bill and claws black, and 
the legs and feet pale plumbeous ; the cere, which is barely 
traceable, has not been separately noted, but seems to have been 
black; in Anderssoni it is plumbeous, but it cannot have been 
so in this species, for Davison, who received the specimen 
in the flesh, remarks "the cere appears to be wanting," so that 
it cannot have differed in colour from the bill. The bird 
had not quite completed its moult; the great majority of the fea- 
thers are sooty black, in one light, blackish brown in another, but 
in the wings, tail, and abdomen are a few old feathers which are 
a dull dark Buzzard brown. A broad stripe of pure white, 1£ 
inches in width, occupies the whole throat and front of the 
neck, marked with a black diamond-shaped patch on the chin, 
continued as a line of black spots down the centre of the throat; 
a very irregularly-shaped snow-white patch in the middle of 
the breast. A pure white eyelid band, |th of an inch wide, 
above and below the eye, very nearly meeting at the posterior 
angle, but not meeting in front by about jth of an inch. The 
whole of the rest of the plumage the dark colour already 
referred to. The crest I have already described. The shafts 
of both quills and tail-feathers are brownish white on their 
lower surfaces. 

This remarkable genus differs, I believe, from all other known 
Raptorial forms in its sharply carinated culmen. Looking to 
its general form, its densely feathered lores, the shape and 
position of its nostrils, its feet and legs, specially the scutel- 
lation of the tarsi, its long crest, and central throat stripe, I 
have no doubt that it is intermediate between Pernis and Baza, 
but it has many lateral affinities, the kite-like tail, the slender 
hawk-like middle toe, the huge owl-like eyes, ana looking to its 
broad flat skull, huge gape, and NyctibusAikB hooked and cari- 
nated bill, I think we must accept it as what Swainson would 
have desiguated the Fissirostral type amongst the Raptores. 

A. O. R, 


€)n Cnmta nflmtg anb Curvncn grata. 

By W. Edwin Brooks. 

With the addition of two more examples of C. garrula from 
my friend Canon Tristram, I have now five* specimens of the 
English bird, and I cannot avoid coming to the conclusion that 
the Indian species is quite distinct. 

1. — I have examined fully one hundred of C. ajjinis collect- 
ed from Cashmere to Dinapore, and have examined the types of 
afinis in the Indian Museum. I notice a structural difference 
between this species and C. garrula, viz., a slightly different 
form of wing. 

The 2nd quill of C. garrula is equal to the 5th, or, as in 
two of the five examples now before me, a trifle shorter ; but of 46* 
Indian birds, also before me, 31 have the 2nd quill equal to the 
(3th, 14 have it intermediate between 6th and 7th, and one 
has it equal to the 7th. If there were no other difference, 
this structural one is quite against identity. 

2. — I also observe that the bill of the English bird is shorter 
and not so stout as that of the Indian species. 

3. — The plumage of the English bird is very much softer 
and more silky. 

4. — The ear-coverts of the Indian bird are much darker, and 
contrast very strongly with the ash grey of the head. 

5. — The upper surface, from lower neck to tail-coverts, is 
browner in the Indian bird, and more ashy in the Euglish. 

6. — The Indian bird builds its nest much higher from the 
ground than the English one, and also does not care so much 
about its concealment. 

I observe that the coloration of the tail (with regard to the 
amount and purity of the white, and the penultimate feather 
being tipped with white or not) is not specifically characteris- 
tic ; for I have a Norfolk example with the tail of typical qffi- 
nis, and numbers of Dinapore and other birds have the tail of 
typical garrula. The real differences are those I have pointed 
out. There may also be differences of note and song ; but it is 
so long since I heard the English bird that I forget. The In- 
dian species varies much in size, some being as small as any 
garrula, while others are larger ; but variation, as regards size, 
should not, in this species, be taken into account ; and I believe 
we have only one species of lesser white throat in India. 

I have not seen any Indian-killed example which corresponds 
exactly with the English bird ; and taking the points I have 

* A sixth example of C. garrula, belonging to Mr. Hume, which I have seen since 
this paper was written, has the 2nd quill a trifle longer than the 4th, which further 
confirms the position that this bird has not such a rounded wing as C. affinis. 


noticed into consideration, I think Ave may safely expunge 
C garrula from the Indian list, for it has no more right to be 
there than Phylloscopus trochilus. I know that my present 
conclusion is at variance with my former one, but I had not 
then discovered the structural difference alluded to. We might 
almost also call the very different quality of plumage a struc- 
tural difference; that of the English bird being so very silky. 
I may have been rather precipitate in generalizing upon only five 
examples of C. garrula, but others have drawn conclusions from 
a less number than five, and these five agree very well. 

>it ijje occurrence of fuerpcbula anpstirostra in % 
goab and ©iibfc. 

By A. Anderson. 

To Mr. Ross Knyvett, District Superintendent of Police, 
Futtehgurh, I am indebted for the first recorded occurrence of 
the Marbled Duck in the North-West Provinces. This new addi- 
tion to the Avifauna of this part of the country will be of inter- 
est to the sportsman as well as to the ornithologist. This 
specimen, which is now in my collection, was shot out of a flock 
of Pintails in January last at a jheel in this district. Mr. 
Knyvett informs me that since then another Duck of the same 
kind flew close past ldm, but he did not fire at it. 

On the 5 th of March I happened to be at Sandee in the 
Hurdui district (Oudh), where my shikaree shot another out of 
a flock of three : subsequently he saw two or three more, but 
owing to the expanse of the water he was unable to approach 
within shot of them. This specimen was a male, and measured 
as follows : Length, 17*3 ; wing, 7*7 ; tail, from vent, 3*5 ; tar- 
sus, 1*4; bill, straight, 1*7. 

As Mr. Hume has very recently given a detailed descrip- 
tion of the plumage (as well as habits) of this species, Stray 
Feathers for 1873, p. 262, et seq., any further details would be 
superfluous. An admirable figure too, of this Duck, will be found 
in Mr. Dresser's work on the " Birds of Europe." That author, 
however, must surely be making a mistake in giving the " total 
length as 14*6 inches," and that of a male too ! 


JoMccp ttfetfttui kul&w® in tjre |lain*. 

By A. Anderson. 

To my friend, Mr. It. Nicholson (whose good offices I had 
secured in the matter of procuring varieties for me), the orni- 
thological world is indebted for the first authentic information 
on the breeding of the Crested Grebe in the plains of India. 
I have now in my possession several young specimens of this 
Grebe, which were shot in various parts of the Doab as well as in 
Oudh, which prove beyond a doubt that they were bred in those 
localities. These examples are in a downy state, and their wing 
feathers have hardly commenced to grow. The following is 
an extract of a letter from Mr. Nicholson, dated the 31st 
January last : 

" Yes ; I shot two young Grebe in the Hurdui district, which 
I send you, and saw a great number of young birds, but 
could not get more, as I had no boat. 

" I came across these young birds on almost every jheel in 
the Hurdui district. Judging from their different stages, I 
should say that they were bred from July to October. An old 
Mullah (boatman) assured me that they laid in ' bhadonj and 
that he had, on numerous occasions, come across their eggs ; 
these he described as being white, aad rather large for the size 
of the bird. There is not the slightest doubt of their being 
the young of the Grebe, for the old birds kept swimming close 
to their young, making a queer sound, something like the noise 
from a cracked trumpet. I shot one of the parent birds as 
well, &c." 

Since the above was received, several of my correspondents 
have confirmed what Mr. Nicholson has written, by procuring 
immature birds, which ivere unable to Jly, in the larger jheels of 
the Futtehgurh district. 

The swamps in this part of the country dry up, as a rule, by 
the end of May. The Grebe must, therefore, betake themselves 
to the rivers, or perhaps they migrate to the north of Oudh, 
returning again in August and September (when the jheels re- 
fill) for the purpose of fulfilling the golden law ; the majority of 
them, however, push up northwards. 

I know of one jheel, or rather a lake (name omitted for obvi- 
ous reasons), where upwards of a hundred birds were slaugh- 
tered in the course of one week ! 

I have made arrangements to take their eggs in person next 
autumn, when I hope to be able to add some particulars on this 


SpMtiowil itotes ow givta roUectcb bcttoeen Mmmi ui 
fegaoto in glag 1874. 

(Vide ante., p. 224.) 

By W. Edwin Brooks, C. E. 

The Editor has added sundry foot notes to my paper on the 
birds observed between Mussoori and Gangaotri, some of which 
require counter- notes. 

Milvus govinda, p. 229, Vol. III., 1875. 

Mr. Hume says : " Sykes's measurements were taken from 
his dried skins." I don't think there is any reason for comiuo- 
to such a conclusion,* but would prefer taking it for granted 
that Sykes, being a good ornithologist, would not prefer the 
comparatively worthless measurements from the skin when he 
could measure in the flesh. It should be remembered he was 
dealing, not with a foreign collection, but with one made in the 
country, and, for all we know to the contrary, made by himself. 
The lengths given for other species are fairly accurate, for 
example Circus pallidas. Why should we conclude that the 
Kite is stretched when the Harrier is not. 

The disposition of the large Kite is variable. This year I 
have found them so tame that I have frequently passed within 
10 or 12 yards of them seated on the telegraph posts along- 
side of the Railway without their moving. I remember, on one 
occasion, when 1 wished a friend to see the white patch under 
the wing, that I had to direct the trolly-men to throw stones 
at the bird to make it fly. Birds are only shy when they are 
persecuted, and it would not do to infer any thing specific'from 
shyness or the reverse. I notice that Mr. Hume still retains 
the term "major,''' although Mr. Sharpe found it identical 
with the types in the Leyden Museum. 

I think we have said enough about the Indian Kites, and it 
only remains to be seen which bird Sykes's types are. There 
certainly is not an Indian species intermediate between the 
large bird and the small affinis.^ The large bird has not always 
a clear patch of white under the wing ; — sometimes this part 
of the primaries is only mottled with white. 

Hemichelidon sibiricus, Gml. 

There is one of Hodgson's specimens in the Indian Museum, 
and it is identical with the common H. sibiricus. I sent home 
examples, which were also found to agree perfectly with 

* But it really is a fact. Svkea never wrote his paper till after his return to 
EiTKorE. — Ed. 
f Well, I think; that there ?s,— Ed, 


Hodgson's types. I have seen the little Flycatcher Dr. Jerdon 
gave Mr. Hume ; and if it were mine, I would soon describe 
it as new. Hodgson's Muscicapa terricolor is not a Hemicheli- 
don, or Hood-billed Swallow-like Flycatcher, but has a bill inter- 
mediate between that genus and Butalis. The drawing gives 
a plan of the bill, and it is impossible to apply the generic 
term of Hemichelidon to this species. Flycatchers, with this 
shaped bill, are known as Alseonax. Against the identification 
of A. terricolor with A. latirostris I have only to say that 
Mr. Swinhoe identified the distinct M. cinereoalba with 
A. latirostris. The careful determination of what bird A. 
latirostris, Raffles, is, is a very interesting question, which 
probably no one will ever care to work out. Nothing but a 
reference to Raffles's types (if they exist) would settle the 
matter. I don't think that because A. terricolor has been procured 
in the same part of the world from which Raffles got his A, 
latirostris, that it is therefore identical with Raffles's bird. 

I lately re-examined the two Chinese examples of Mus. cinereo- 
alba in the Indian Museum, and they are most decidedly dis- 
tinct from any examples of Alseonax terricolor that I have seen, 
especially as regards length of tail — that of the latter bird aver- 
aging one-fifth of an inch longer. The shape of the bill is also 

I do not consider Mr. Hume's reason for identifying A. 
terricolor and A. cinereoalba satisfactory. That he, Lord 
Walden, and Mr. Swinhoe compare specimens from various 
countries and find them identical is all very well, but my im- 
pression is, that they overlooked the important difference of 
length of tail. It is also quite possible that both species occur 
in China. I have shot many ludian examples, but never got 
one with so short a tail as the Chinese ones referred to. I 
therefore, for the present, prefer to consider the two birds as 
distinct, until the types of A. latirostris and A. cinereoalba have 
been carefully examined. 

ErythrOStema leUCUra, p. 105, is an African species- 
Our Indian bird is A. albicilla, Pallas. 

CorVUS inSOlenS, Hume, p. 144, is clearly distinct from 
the Indian species. I saw this Crow at Rangoon and Moulmein. 
Even if it did interbreed with the Indian bird in its geographi- 
cal confines, it would not affect the question ; for we have 
instances on record of the Pheasant interbreeding with the 
Black Grouse. 

Even whei'e intermediate forms or races do occur, bridging 
over, as Mr. Hume expresses it, the differences between two 
species, I do not think they affect the validity of the species. 
Mr. Hume complains that it is difficult, and often impossible, 


to place an example in either one or the other of two affined 
species. My collection is a very inferior one to Mr. Hume's, 
but I have seen a good many birds in my time, and I have not 
yet met the bird I was unable to place in some species or other. 
I only refer to well-known affined species. The most formida- 
ble difficulty I know of, is to separate Winter-plumaged Dry- 
moipus inornatus from Drymoipus longicaudatus ; but I think 
I see my way out of it. This group of birds, including Prinia, 
is the one which perhaps is in the greatest confusion just now, 
and one or more species will shortly be knocked on the head. 
I don't say that I am able to do so. Mr. Hume has an im- 
mense collection of these little birds, and might clear them up, 
if he sets to work. 

Erythrosterna maculata, vide foot-note, p. 236\— The 

bird sent with the nest was not the female of E. maculata, accord- 
ing to Hodgson's and Mandelli's account of that bird ; it was 
probably an immature male. I have little doubt about 
E. pusilla being the female of E. maculata in autumnal 
plumage. Mr. Mandelli is also of opinion that Siphia tricolor, 
Hodgson, is the female and immature male of Siphia leucome- 
lanura; and I believe he is correct. The buffy tinge of the 
under parts fades more in the North-West than in Sikhim. 

PipasteS maCUlatUS. — Mr. Hume, in a foot-note, p. 251, 
says : " But all about Poona you do find maculatus frequenting 
open stony ground." To which I would reply, it is just as likely 
as that Wheatears and Sandlarks should frequent dense forests. 
The information Mr. Hume has received is decidedly not to be 
trusted,* for it is directly contrary to the habits of the bird. 
I know of no bird so fond of shade : and while P. arboreus can 
be procured among crops at some distance from trees, the 
other species, as far as my experience goes, is not to be found 
except where there are trees. It was impossible for Sykes's 
bird to have been maculatus, unless it was a wearied migrant 
that had accidently dropped upon the " open stony lauds." 
Besides no one knew the green maculatus better than Blyth, 
and he did not recognize it in Sykes's type, which to him 
appeared to be P. arboreus. The peculiar, narrow, and indis- 
tinct striation of the back of maculatus could never have escaped 
the accurate eye of Blyth ; and I have unbounded confidence 
in his conclusion that Sykes's type of agilis was not maculatus. 
Upon this subject I need not say more, and if Mr. Hume and 
others will fondly stick to the pet term of P. agilis, I cannot 
help it. They are welcome to the little pleasure, and to 
Budytes viridis, and all such-like useless terms. Some day or 
other I hope to have the pleasure of examining Sykes's 

* All I can say is that I shot it there myself.— Ed. 

2 M 


types with a tidy little series of Corydalla stnolata, C. rufula, 
P. arboreus, P. maculatus, and A. campestris of my own to refer 
to ; and, if possible, I will make Sykes's type clearly out. I 
only hope that these valuable types have been properly looked 
to all these years, and have not been reduced to dust by moths. 
In the latter case, I shall have the best of it, and not my friend 
Mr. Hume. 

Motacilla HodgSOni, vide the second foot-note, p. 246.— 
If Mr. Hume has luzoniensis in full breeding plumage identical 
with the full breeding plumage of M. Hodgsoni, then his bird 
is not luzoniensis but Hodgsoni. No two birds could be more 
thoroughly distinct than these two Wagtails.* The eye of 
Hodgsoni is invariably set in a diamond-shaped patch of white 
even in the winter season, while that of luzoniensis is not. 
The latter' has an excess of white about the face, while 
Hodgsoni and personata have the least white about the face 
of all Wagtails, except M. madraspatana. No ; whatever 
the White-faced Wagtail is, it is not M. Hodgsoni. Look how 
very different even the young birds are. 

I forgot in the proper place to note Phjlloscopus fuscatus, 
vide p. 139. I once shot one near Etawah among some 
thick babool trees on the banks of the canal. I saw many 
in jungle bordering a jheel near Dumraon. It frequents, by 
preference, the dampest of woods, where it was impossible to 
walk without getting occasionally over the shoe tops in 
water. Here Phj/lloscopus tristis was more common even than 
P. fuscatus, and I shot several in mistake for the other bird. 

I compared my examples with several sent from Sikhim by 
Mandelli, and I found them to agree perfectly, and therefore 
don't believef in the distinctness of P. fulviventer, vide " Nest 
and Eggs," p. 329. This species varies very much in the tone 
of colour, depending upon the locality and the season of the 
year. While one will be of a fine dark brown, another will 
be quite pale in comparison. 

W. E. B. 

* This is begging the question. — Ed. 

f Batfulviveitter is structurally entirely distinct; it is not a Phjlloscopus at all. — Ed. 


•gtoMg-tesctifceb Suedes. 

Phylloscopus Tytleri, Brooks (See also ante note, 
p. 243.) 

The following are the dimensions : — Length, 4'75 inch ; wino- ? 
2*3; tail, 1*7 5 bill, at front, '36; bill, from nostril, *3; tarsus, 

The dimensions of Phylloscopus viridanus are : — Length, 5 
inches ; wing, 2*5 ; tail, 2 ; bill, at front, -3 ; bill, from nostril, 
•29 ; tarsus, S. 

It will be seen from the above that P. viridanus is a larger 

In form P. Tytleri differs from P. viridanus by having a 
longer, narrower, much more ■pointed, and very much darker- 
coloured bill, the lower mandible being black-brown instead of 
pale flesh-colour. This alone is quite sufficient to distinguish 
it : the wing is shorter, but of the same form as that of P. 
viridanus in regard to proportions of primaries. The tail is 
shorter. In colour it is of a darker and richer olive on the 
whole upper parts, and does not appear to have the tail rayed ; 
that of P. viridanus is generally very conspicuously rayed. 
There is a total absence of the u slight whitish wiug-bar," 
which I have always observed to be present in P. viridanus, 
unless the bird be in very abraded plumage. 

In notes and song (if the few notes it utters can be called a 
song) P. Tytleri is utterly different from P. viridanus. Its call- 
note is very peculiar, and once heard could not be easily for- 
gotten. In the localities it frequents and inhabits it is quite 
opposed to P. viridanus. The latter, during the breediuo- 
season, frequents mountain-ravines not far from the snows, 
which are covered with brushwood and small birch trees ; 
w 7 hilst P. Tytleri is a forest Phyolloscopus, frequenting the pine- 
woods below the snowy ranges. 

Turtur humilior, Hume. 

I may also take this occasion to mention that in my account 
of the birds of the Nicobars and Andamans I noticed that I 
had obtained at the latter Islands a small dove, resembling 
Turtur humilis, but as I believed different. 

* Under this title I intend gradually to republish the original descriptions of all new 
species added of late years to our Avifauna by Jerdon, Brooks, Gould, Walden, Legge, 
Stoliczka, G. Austen, Salvadori, Cabanis and others. At present, scattered as these are 
about the pages of a dozen different periodicals, English, Italian, German, they are 
practically inaccessible to the Indian Geld ornithologist.— Ed., S. F, 


I have since obtained a really good specimen which has 
convinced me that it is distinct, and I wish to take this oppor- 
tunity of characterizing it. 


Length, 9 ; wing, 5*6 ; tail, 3-3 ; bill, at front, (from 
where the feathers end), 055 ; tarsus, 075. 

? Female. — Head greyish-brown, paling on forehead ; rump 
deep slatey ; rest of upper parts, breast and middle of abdomen 
brown, with a broad black half-collar on the back of the neck, 
and a more or less vinaceous tinge on the lower parts ; wing- 
lining, sides, and flanks deep slaty-grey. 

I had no specimens to compare it with, so sent it to Mr. 
Brooks. He remarks : lt I have never seen any dove like the 
Andaman one you have sent. 

"Its characteristic points are — (1,) the broad collar; (2,) (and 
the most important) the dark slate coloured wing-lining ; (3,) 
the very brown hue. Its wing is much longer than that of T. 
liumilis $? which has a pale wing-lining and is quite a different- 
ly toned bird. It is of similar size to T. cambayensis, but has 
a much longer wing. It is very much smaller than £> risoria, 
which has a light wing-lining, and the brownest risoi*ia is quite 
pale compared with this dusky Andaman Dove." 

I hope to figure this sombre little Dove later ; in the mean 
time this will serve to call attention to it. — Pro. As. Soc, Decem- 
ber 1874. 

Eurycercus cinerascens, Walden. 

Chin, throat, breast, cheeks, and under carpal -coverts almost 
pure white ; remainder of lower surface of body white, faintly 
washed with ashy grey, the flanks being dark ashy grey ; a 
distinct white ring round the eye, formed by the minute 
feathers of the eyelids ; above ashy olive, each feather, except 
these of the uropygium, boldly centred with brown ; upper 
surface of the rectrices ashy olive like the back, the middle pair 
with a narrow dark brown central line on each side of the 
shaft ; no striations or terminal marks on the rectrices ; upper 
surface of the wing, when closed, ashy olive like the back, the 
Secondary coverts being centred with brown ; inner edges of 
the basal portion of the quill-webs underneath white, passing 
into tawny on the tertiaries. The tail consists of very broad 
feathers much graduated ; legs (in dried skin) brown. 

Wing, 2 inches ; tail, 325 ; bill, from nostril, 028 ; tarsus, 
0*75. Described from an example of a male obtained by Surgeon- 
Major Day at> Dobri, Lower Bengal, on the 27th November 
1873.— A. 8f M. N. H., 1874, No. 80. 


Alcippe collaris, Walden. 

Throat, chin, lores and a broad supercilium extending to 
behind the eye, and down the side of the neck, white ; a broad 
line extending from the nostrils over the eye, then bordering 
the white superciliary band above, and running down the side 
of the neck, black ; cheeks and ear-coverts black ; across the 
lower throat a broad ferruginous band or collar, separating the 
white throat from the dingy olive-brown plumage of the breast, 
flanks, and abdomen ; thigh-coverts and under tail-coverts 
bright ferruginous ; forehead, crown of the head, and nape 
ferruginous brown ; back, scapulars and upper tail-coverts olive 
brown with a ruddy tinge ; rectrices above liver brown ; quills 
brown, edged exteriorly with liver brown; shoulder-edo-e 
albescent, dashed with ferruginous, under coverts the same ; the 
median breast feathers nearly pure white ; bill black ; legs (in 
dried skin) yellowish brown. 

Wing, 23 inches; tail, 2'12 ; bill, from nostril, 0'36 ; 
tarsus, 0'85. 

Described from a male example obtained by Surgeon-Major 
F. Day at Sudya, Upper Assam, on the 12th of January 1874. 

This species possesses an especial interest, as it is a represen- 
tative form of the Formosan Alcippe brunnea, Gould, an aberrant 
member of the genus. — A fy M. iV. B., August 1874. 

Sibia pulchella, G. Austen. 

The bird now described as new was obtained during the cold 
season of 1872-73, when I was employed on the Boundary 
Survey of the Naga Hills and Munipiir. Other species Collected 
at the same time, and those lately described in a paper read 
before the Zoological Society, form part of a collection of birds 
I have been bringing together on the north-east frontier of India. 
Lists of these have been given from time to time in the 
" Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal/' Vol., XXXIX., 
Part 2, 1870 ; Vol. XLL, Part 2, 1872. ' 

Sibia pulchella, Nov. sp., Godwin Austen. 
Above ashy-grey, bluer on the head, the two centre tail- 
feathers umber brown, terminating (each colour § inch) in rich 
black, followed sharply by dark grey ; the outer tail-feathers 
are tipped in like manner with grey, but the black increases on 
each feather outwards, and on the last extends to its base • 
shoulders of wing blue-grey, Avith a bar of pale chocolate- 
brown coming in at the base of the black primary and secondary 
coverts; quills grey-black, the primaries edged pale hoary 
blue, the secondaries blue-grey, the last three are umber-brown, 
and the last two are edged narrowly on outer web with black. 


A narrow frontal band and lores black, extending both over and 
below the eye to base of the ear-coverts ; beueath ashy blue, 
with a vinous brown tinge upon the lower breast and abdomen ; 
bill black ; legs horny brown ; irides ? 

Length, 9 -5 inches ; wing, 4'1 ; tail, 4'85 ; tarsus, 1*3 ; bill, at 
front, 0-75. 

I shot two specimens of this very beautifully but subdued- 
colored Sibia in April last, when making the ascent of the Peak 
of Khunho, Eastern Bur-rail Range, Naga Hills, at about 8,000 
feet. The bird appeared pretty numerous, in companies of 
four to six or eight, haunting the tops of the rhododendron^ trees, 
then in full bloom, busily engaged searching for insects in the 
flowers, and their forehead, chin, and throat were covered thick 
with the pollen. 

In the general distribution of the coloration and form it 
resembles S. gracilis, extremely common in the same locality, 
but seldom seen there above 6,000 feet. — A fy M. N. II. 

Pomatorliinus ochraceiceps, Walden. 

Lores black ; ear-coverts brown, washed with ochreous ; 
supercilium (commencing at the base of the maxilla and reach- 
ing to the sides of the neck), chin, cheeks, throat, breast, and 
shoulder-edge pure unsullied white ; crown and nape bright 
ochreous ferruginous ; back and upper tail-coverts ochreous 
olive ; wings, when closed, ochreous brown ; middle rectrices 
brown, washed with ochreous, remainder, with outer webs, 
coloured like the middle pair ; inner webs pure brown ; the 
terminal portion of all the rectrices hardly tinged with ochreous ; 
abdomen, flanks, thigh, and under tail-coverts ochreous brown, 
the ventral region exhibiting a brighter ferruginous tint ; bill 
yellow, probably red in the fresh skin. 

Wino-, 3*62 inches; tail, 3'87 ; tarsus, 1'25 ; bill from nostril 
(in a straight line) 1-00. 

Hob. Kareen Hills, Burma.— A Sf M. N. B. } 1873, p. 487. 

Sterxmla placens, Gould. 

Adult male. — Bill yellow, with the apical third of both mandi- 
bles black, as sharply denned as if they had been dipped in ink ; 
forehead white, advancing over each eye to near its posterior 
anode ; lores, a narrow line above the eyes, crown and nape black ; 
upper surface of the body and wing-coverts grey ; the first 
primary slaty black on the outer web and along the inner web 
next the shaft ; the shaft itself and the outer half of the inner 
web white ; the second primary similarly but a little less 
strongly marked ; the remainder of the primaries silvery grey, 
with lighter shafts ; throat and all the under surface of the 
body silky white ; tail white ; feet yellow. 


Total length 10 inches ; bill, from the gape, 1| ; wing, 1\ ; 
tail, 4| ; tarsi, f . 

Hob. — Torres Straits.* 

Remarks. — Two specimens of this bird are now before me — 
one, a female, which has been in my collection for many years ; 
the other, a fine adult male, forming part of the collection above 
mentioned, and Avhich had lately been received at Adelaide 
from the northern territory at Port Darwin. 

I have carefully compared this species with the Stermda nereis 
of Australia, the S. minuta of Europe, and the stermda of 
India, supposed to be identical with the latter (but this, I think, 
is a question). I have also compared it with all the little Terns 
of America, both North and South. Its nearest ally seems to- 
be the European species ; but from this it differs in having 
considerably longer wings, in the snow-white hue of the shafts 
of the primaries, and in the larger and well-defined mark of 
black on the tips of the mandibles ; from S. nereis it is distinguish- 
ed by having black instead of white lores. — A. Sf M. N. H. } 1871, 
p. 192. 

Porzana bicolor, t Walden. 

Chin greyish white, passing into pure grey on the throat ; 
entire head, throat, neck, breast, abdomen, flanks, and thigh, 
coverts ashy-grey ; nape, back, uropygium, shoulder-coverts 
and scapulars ferruginous olive ; tail, upper and lower tail- 
coverts dark slate-colour, almost black ; quills above ash- 
coloured, washed with light brown, underneath pale brown ; 
under wing-coverts pale brown, tinged with ashy ; shoulder- 
edge white; quill-shafts underneath white; bill black at the tip, 
dark-green at base. Wing, 4*50 inches; tarsus, 1'50; middle 
toe, 1'50 ; hallux, 037, nails not included ; bill, from gape, 112, 
from forehead 0*87 . 

This well-marked and handsome Rail was shot at Rungbee, 
Darjeeling.— A. % M. N. B., 1872, p. 47. 

Cisticola ruficollis, Walden. 

Stripe over the eye, ear-coverts, thigh-coverts, flanks, under 
tail-coverts, and a broad baud extending from the sides of the 
neck across the nape bright rufous ; feathers of the head pale 
fulvous at base, changing to rufous at extremity, many with 
broad black centres ; dorsal feathers and wing-coverts ' black, 
with narrow fulvous edgings, those on the rump edged and 
tipped with rufous ; quills dark brown, with yellowish-rufous 
edgings ; rectrices above also dark brown, the outer webs washed 

* Has been obtained in Cejlon. — Ed., S. P. 

f Months previously to the publication of this notice, I had named this species 
P.Elwesi after its discoverer Captain Elwes, and sent a full description home to the 
Editor of the Ibis, who forgot to publish it, — Ed., S. E. 


with tawny rufous ; tips pale fulvous ; rectrices underneath 
ashy brown ; a bold black bar or spot near the end of each 
feather, which is terminated with pale fulvous ; lores, chin, 
cheeks, throat, and remaining under surface fulvous white, more 
or less tinged on the breast with pale rufous ; upper mandible 
dark brown ; under mandible yellowish at base ; legs reddish 
yellow ; bill from forehead § of an inch ; tarsus f ; tail 2| ; wing 
l-f-£. In another example the rectrices above want the pale 
terminal fringe. 

Obtained at Debroogur. 

This very distinct species, in its style of coloration, greatly 
resembles Graminicola bengalensis, Jerd. Dr. Jerdon informs 
me that it occurs all through Assam, but only in dense long- 
grass.—^. $ M. S. H., 1871, p. 241. 

Uotes (W a uefo §untcticola t aub on ftribura Iuteobentra, 
Pobgson, anb Dumeticola aftttts, Poison. 

By W. Edwin Brooks. 

Two examples of a Dumeticola, sent to me by my friend 
Mandelli as D. brunneipectus, Blyth (which latter, by-the-bye, 
appears to me only to be unspotted D. affinis) belong to a new 
species. He asks me to describe this new bird, and I therefore 
do so as 

Dumeticola Mandelli, N. Sp* 

Mandelli's Dumeticola has the upper surface reddish brown, 
redder even than Tribura luteoventris ; wings dark brown, with 
their coverts, primaries, secondaries, and tertials edged with 
rufous brown ; tail dark brown, obsoletely rayed, and having 
narrow rufous edges ; lores, and appai'ently a narrow superci- 
lium, greyish white ; cheeks and ear-coverts, light brown, the 
feathers being light shafted, giving the appearance of narrow 
light streaks ; chin, throat, and upper breast, white, shaded into 
light dusky brown or brownish grey on the breast ; the throat 
of one has a narrow brown streak or spot occupying the centre 
of each feather ; while that of the other is nearly plain white ; 
the dusky breast of each bird is shaded off into pure white on 
the abdomen ; sides of breast, and flanks, dull rufous brown ; 
region of vent pale brown, with whitish edges to the feathers ; 
lower tail-coverts, which reach to within an inch from end of 
tail, of a darker brown (non-rufous), and broadly tipped with 
dull white, locustelle-like ; under-surface of tail feathers dark 
brown ; tibial feathers light brown on outside, but cream coloured 

* I may be in error, but I bave many specimens of this species, both males and 
females, and it appears to me to be i>. brtmneipeetm, Blyth, — Ed. 


en inside of leg ; bill brown, but pale towards base of lower 
mandible ; legs, feet, and claws light brown. 


of skin. 



Bill at 


Mid toe 
and claw. 

Hind toe 
and claw. 











The tail is much graduated, the outer tail feathers being '65 
shorter than the central ones. 

From tip of bill to back of skull measures 125 inches. The 
bill is stronger, longer, and deeper than in Tribura luteoventris. 
Legs and feet of very similar character. 

The form of the wing is that of Dumeticola ; the 1st or small 
primary is about '70 in length, the 2nd is *3 short of tip of 
wing, the 3rd '08 from tip, the 4th "05, the 5th is the longest, 
the 6th is intermediate in length between 3rd and 4th, and 
from this they gradually diminish by about twentieths of inches; 
the 11th is equal in length to the 2nd. 

From Tribura luteoventris it is easily distinguished by the 
much larger and stronger bill ; also by the grey breast, and be- 
ing subject to spots on the throat like D. major, Brooks, and 
D. affinis, Hodgson. 

From D. major it is at once distinguished by its very rufous 
tone of plumage and stouter bill. 

From D. ajjinis it k distinguished by its larger size, longer 
tail, and very rufous tone of plumage. 

I should have remarked that the breast of No. 1 is of a 
light brownish grey, while that of No. 2 is ash grey. 
By the very similar form of bill, and tha upper surface of 
each bird's plumage being of the very same tone of colour, 
it is evident that they belong to the same species. 

No. 1 is from Native Sikhim, November 1873 ; and No. 2 is 
from Native Sikhim, April 1874. 

Tribura luteoventris, {Hodgson) 

I have examined six of Mandelli's examples of this species. 
The following are the dimensions : — 


Length of 





Mid toe 

Hind toe 


and claw. 

and claw. 











































2 23 






2 N 



The average colour is reddish brown above, rather darker on 
the head, but No. 6 is of a paler and more olive tone than the 
others ; there is a fulvous supercilium ; cheeks and ear-coverts 
mottled with brown and fulvous ; chin and throat white ; pale 
rufous across upper breast ; abdomen white ; sides of breast 
and flanks rufous brown ; vent and lower tail-coverts pale ru- 
fous brown, in some tipped with dull white. In the generally 
pale rufous colour of the lower tail-coverts it differs from the 
allied species ; tibial plumage pale rufous brown externally, and 
whitish on the inside of the leg ; tail reddish brown, and obso- 
letely rayed ; bill brown, pale on lower mandible, save towards 
the tip ; legs, feet, and claws, light brown. 

No. 1, Native Sikhim, June 1874; No. 2, Native Sikhim, 
April 1874 ; No. 3, interior of Sikhim, May 1874 ; No. 4, 
Sikhim, March 1872 ; No. 5, Lower Hills, Bhotan Dooars, 
February 1874 ; No. 6, Bhotan Dooars, February 1874. The 
form of the bill is exceedingly like that of D. affinis ; outer tail 
feathers '84 short of end of tail ; lower tail-coverts of the same 
length as the outer tail feathers. From tip of bill to back of 
skull 1*22 inches. 

I cannot make out any generic difference between Tribura 
and Dumeticola, and for convenience sake, it would be better to 
term Tribura luteoventris, Dumeticola luleoventris in future. 

Dumeticola aflinis, (Hodgson.) 

Eight examples of Mr. Mandelli's examined : — 


Length of 



Bill at 


Mid toe and 

Hand toe 
and claw. 










4 6 









































2 05 

2 03 












"53 evi- 
dently a 

The bill of No. 1 is black brown, and lighter on lower 
mandible ; of No. 2, all shining black ; No. 3, the same ; No. 4, 
the same ; No. 5, black, but pale at base of lower mandible ; No. 
6, all black ; No. 7, very dark brown, and light coloured on 
lower mandible, except towards tip; No. 8 the same. The 
plumage of Nos. 1 to 5 is dark rich olive brown above, with a 
rufous tinge, the general tone being much darker than that of 


the two former species; lores white; a greyish supercilium ; 
cheeks grey, mottled with dusky ; chiu and throat white, 
shaded off into smoky grey on the breast; the lower part of 
throat, sides of neck, and upper breast, clouded with black, 
and rather round spots ; flanks olive brown ; centre of abdomen 
pure white ; vent light olive brown ; lower tail-coverts the 
same, broadly edged with white; tail olive brown above, 
obsoletely rayed ; lower surface of tail greyish brown ; wings 
similar to back, but rather more rufous. 

No. 6 is of similar colour above, but has the chin and throat 
dull brownish white ; breast brownish grey ; centre of abdomen 
white; flanks pale olive; there are a few dusky spots on the 
upper breast ; No. 7 is the same. 

No. 8 is a very small bird, and appears to be a nestling of the 
year. The upper colour is the same ; chin and throat fulvous ; 
breast and abdomen brownish white, strongly mottled with 
large pale brown spots. 

It is probable that Nos. 7 and 8 may be females. The ten- 
dency to a jet black shining bill in this species is worthy of 
notice, and shews its distiuctness from the two first described. 
Mr. Hodgson's drawing of D. affinis represents the bird with- 
out spots on the throat, and it is then in the plumage described 
by Blyth as D. brunneipectus, which I think is the female 
plumage of affinis. Indeed, Hodgson's drawing is stated by 
himself to be that of a female. It represents a pair of birds, 
one of them being in outline only, and uucoloured. The egg 
is of a uniform red colour, like that of Horornis. In this res- 
pect the egg differs much from that of Locustella, which has 
the ground colour white, spotted with reddish. Dumeticola 
may be described briefly as Locustella, with uniform upper 
plumage, instead of being striated ; and with a first primary- 
much larger than Locustella, also with the wing much more 

I have seen two or three spotless examples of D. affinis* 

The close affinity of Dumeticola for Locustella is best known 
from the song of the former ; that of D. major being exactly- 
like the song of L. Rayi, but delivered more slowly. 

* So Lave I, but why fix on these as the types of Blyth's species when there is a 
a lond Jide distinct species answering on the whole quite as well to Blyth's (unfortu- 
nately all too) brief description ? — Ed. 


gbitaa of Cljotit ffejpr* 

Addenda et corrigenda. 

By V. Ball, M.A., F.G.S. 

Since my paper on the birds of Chota Nagpur was published 
in Stray Feathers I have had an opportunity of revisiting that 
part of the country and adding to the number of recorded 
species. To local correspondents, more particularly to Mr. Levin 
of Daltongunj, I am indebted for much information, partly new 
and partly confirmatory of my own previous observations. By 
these means I am enabled to add 9 species to the 304 pre- 
viously known, thus arriving at the very respectable total of 
313. Although I do not think this includes all the species still, 
as I do not see much prospect before me of having an oppor- 
tunity of adding further to the number, I think it better not 
to delay the publication of the present contribution. 

Some few changes in the nomenclature have been necessi- 
tated ; these, it is hoped, will be noted by those who possess the 
original list. 

Colonel Tickell's former connection with Chota Nagpur, and 
the uncertainty which still attaches to some of the species which 
he recorded from that part of the country, make it desirable to 
note here that (l At the meeting of the Zoological Society of 
the 1st December 1874, it was announced by the Secretary that 
Colonel R. S. Tickell, late of H. M.'s Indian Army, had 
presented to the Society's library a very finely illustrated MS. 
work in seven small folio volumes on the ornithology of India." 

Reference to this work may possibly throw some light on 
the vexed questions regarding the identity of the Spizaetus 
Zafhami, Lath., of Tickell, JEthoipyga {Nectarinia) Seherice, Tick., 
and several other birds. 

The greater part of my last season's work was in Sambalpur, 
where, as was to be expected, the birds are almost entirely of 
the same species as those found in Chota Nagpur. I have, 
however, met with a few species not included in my list : among 
these few I may mention two Owls, Otus brachyotus, G-mel., and 
Bulacca ocellata, Less., neither of which, so far as I know, has 
been seen in Chota Nagpur : also Chcetornis striatus, Jerd., 
which I found on the banks of the Mahanadi. 

Hereafter I hope to have an opportunity of adding consi- 
derably to my collection and obtaining sufficient material for a 
general sketch of the Avifauna of Sambalpur and the adjoining 
tributary states." 


305.*— Eutolmaetus Bonellii, Tern. (33.) 

Mr. Levin, in a letter dated 7th January 1875, sends a des- 
cription of a bird which he identifies, and I think correctly so, 
as the Crestless Hawk-Eagle. The specimen was obtained, in 

Uromitis filifera, Steph. (84 ) 

Mr. Levin in the letter above quoted adds, " I was strolling 
along the banks, or rather sands, of the Koel a few days before 
Christinas, when I noticed a long flight of U. filifera. (I shot 
one to make sure.) They were proceeding in small parties of 
8 to 10 or 15 steadily to westward, and I am sure at least 200 
must have passed during the short time I looked on. They 
are by no means common here, and I never saw more than 
6 or 8 at a time before. I got a nest last April in a cleft in a 
rock on the Koel near here." 

Acanthylis sylvatica, Tichell. (95.) 

I am able to confirm the editorial foot note to my remarks 
on this species, having during the past season found it locally 
abundant on the southern frontier of Chota Nagpur and in 

Cypselus affinis, Gray. (100) 

The Common Indian Swift occurs, I find, more generally in 
the division than my remarks might seem to imply. 

Merops philippensis, (118.) 

Mr. Levin has seen this bird in small parties on the banks 
of the Koel in Palamow. 

Recently (in April) I met with a large number in the vicinity 
of a river with high alluvial banks in the Sambalpur district, 
where I have no doubt they were breeding. 

306. — Alcedo asiatica, Sw. vel Beavani, Wald. 

By a most culpable oversight I omitted, Avhen alluding to 
this bird, to mention that a specimen of Alcedo obtained by 
Captain Beavan in Manbhum and labelled A. bengalensis by 
him had been shewn by Mr. Sharpe to belong to this species. 
Subsequently t Viscount Walden identified it with his new 
species A. (rtifigastra) Beavani, from the Andamans, and suo-o-est- 
ed the possibility of its having really come from the Andamans. 
By whatever name it is to be called the same species was shot 
by me in the Rajmehal hills, and I therefore see no improbabi- 

* These numbers are carried forward from the original list. The numbers in brackets 
are those of Jerdon's Manual. 
t Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., 1873, p. 487, and Ibis, 3rd series, 1874, p. 136. 


lity in its having been obtained in Manbhum, and consequent- 
ly add it to the list. 

Mr. Levin, who was my informant regarding the occurrence 
of Ceyx tridactyla, Pallas, tells me now that he has not met 
with what he supposed to be it since and thinks that he must 
have been mistaken, so that I was probably right in not includ- 
ing it. 

307.— Hydrocissa albirostris, Shaw. (141.) 

When writing of H. coronata I gave my reasons for sup- 
posing that II. albirostris might also be found to occur in 
Chota Nagpur. Last year, in December, I was able to place 
the matter beyond the region of doubt by shooting a specimen 
at Lobloi near Lanigarh in the south of the Division. It 
formed one of a small party in an old grove of mango trees. 
In the same tract of country I also met with coronata, so that 
here the two species overlap each others limits. 

Further to the south in Sambalpur coronata was very 
abundant. The measurements of two fine males of the latter 
species I give here as they were taken in the flesh, those 
previously published being from dried skins. 

A. Total lgth. 36 6"; tl. 115"; wg. 13.5"; cqe.*91' ; bill from gape 72" mid toe with claw 24" 

B. „ „ 36-5"; „ U-5"; „ 13-8"; „ 8 3"; „ „ „ 8"; „ „ „ „ 2"1" 

The very large and excessively black casque of A. made the 
bird remarkable in a flock of 6 or 7 individuals. 

Iris orange-maroon. The stomachs contained fruit only. 

Yunx torquilla, Lin. (188.) 

The Wryneck has been obtained by Mr. Levin in Palamow, 
but he says it is very rare there, as I also found to be the case 
in other parts of the Division. 

Coccystes Jacobinus, Bodd. (212.) 

The Pied-crested Cuckoo appears to have been seen more 
frequently by Mr. Levin in Palamow than by me in the other 

Taccocua affinis, Blyth. (222.) 

Mr. Levin's specimens of Sirkeer from Palamow correspond, 
he writes, as also did one of mine, with Jerdon's description of 
this species rather than with that of sirkee. His measurements 
are : Total length 16"; wing nearly 6" ; tail 8-25". 

Collyrio lahtora, Sykes. (256). 

I inserted the Indian Grey Shrike in my list with a query. 
Quite recently I received from Captain Grey, Assistant 

* 1015" measured round the curve. 


Commissioner of Lohardugga, a specimen which he shot in 
Palarnow, where he also saw some others. 

308.— Volvocivora Sykesii, S trick. (268). 

The Black-headed Cuckoo Shrike may now be added to our 
list with safety, as Mr. Levin has shot it in Palarnow. 

309.— Pericrocotus erythropygius, Jerdon. (277). 

From time to time in the Satpura Hills, Chota Naopur, and 
Sambalpur I have seen small parties of a black and white bird, 
which I could only suppose was the White-bellied Minivet, but 
until the 29th of January I had not an opportunity of con- 
firming my suspicion when I shot one (the $ ) of a pair which 
I came across on the borders of a heavy jungle in Sambalpur. 
This is one of the most interesting additions which I have to 
make to the previous list. 

Dissemurus malabaroides, Lin. 

The Bhimraj 1 found to be rather common in the extensive 
bamboo jungles which occur in the south of the division pass- 
ing thence into Sambalpur. The following are measurements 
of a female measured in the flesh : — 

Bill to tip of tail, 207" ; tail, 6'5" ; outer tail feathers, 13-8" ; 
wing, 6-4" ; tarsus, l'l"; bill from gape, 1*5"; frontal 
crest, 2-1". 

Chibia hottentotta, Lin. 

I shot my first specimen of the Hair-crested Drono-o in the 
tract of frontier jungle just alluded to. It was a male and was 
accompanied by another, presumably a female. They were 
busily engaged, when I first saw them, in sippino- the nectar 
and catchiug insects in the blossoms of Bombax malabaricum. 

Measurements taken in the flesh are: Total leno-th, 12'3"; 
wing, 6-6"; tail, 5*3" ; bill from gape, 16"; tarsus, %"; frontal 
hair like feathers, S'b-^ ; outer tail feathers, 1." longer than 
the central. 

Artamus fuscus, Vieill. (287). 

The Ashy Swallow-Shrike is perhaps not so rare as I stated. 
In November last I came across a large flock in Singhbhum, out 
of which I shot some specimens. From Mr. Levin I hear that 
he got a bird of the year in 1873, and subsequently both nest 
and eggs in Palarnow. Dr. Jerdon suggests that "it was 
probably the nest of this bird which was brought to Colonel 
Tickell as that of the Palm Swift, Cypselus batassiensis " 


Tchitrea paradisi, Lin. (288). 

That the Paradise Flycatcher does not make its appearance in 
the Chota Nagpur and Sambalpur jungles earlier in the year 
than March, may, I feel confident, be accepted as a somewhat 
remarkable fact in the migration of birds. Whence does it 
come ? During the present year until after the commencement 
of April I neither heard nor saw a single individual in Sam- 
balpur. Then, however, I saw them almost daily, and continued 
to do so during the month of May when marching through the 
Orissa tributary mehals. 

Both Captain Grey and Mr. Levin confirm my statement that 
this bird does sometimes alight on the ground. The former 
says that at one place " I had three of the chestnut birds hopping 
about on the ground round my chair and within ten yards of 
me. The white specimens appeared to be much more shy." 
Mr. Levin writes : " Those that came about my garden this year, 
sometimes, I noticed, settled on the ground and then hopped 
about for a few paces after insects. At least the young did so ; I 
did not observe the same habit in the old birds." He mentions 
Laving obtained it a young chesnut-plumaged male with white 

Muscicapula superciliaris, Jerd. (310). 

The White-browed Blue Flycatcher is perhaps not so rare 
in Chota Nagpur as I supposed. From its keeping chiefly to 
the tops of high trees it doubtless often escapes observation. 
Mr. Levin obtained it at Daltongunj. In Sambalpur I frequent- 
ly met with it. 

Myiophoneus Horsfieldii, Vig. (342) 

The Malabar Whistling Thrush occurs, I find, in the same 
tract of jungle as that which I have above alluded to in connec- 
tion with Dissemurus and Chibia. This is at a much lower level 
(below 1,000 feet) than any of the places I had previously noted 
it as occurring in. I shot one specimen in March of the present 
year in a stream in the northern part of Raigarh, where I also 
obtained Geocichla unicolor and saw Oreocincla dauma. 

Pitta coronata was extremely abundant in May in the heavy 
jungle of the tributary states included in Sambalpur and Orissa. 

Pycnonotus haemorrhous, Gm. (462). 

The Common Madras Bulbul has been shewn to be quite 
distinct from P. clirysorrlwides, Lafr., and the above name used 
by Jerdon still stands for this species.* 

* I rather question this. I think the species must staid asjcmsillus, Bly. — Ed. 


Oriolus kundoo, Sykes. (470). 

In speaking of the distribution of this bird I stated that I 
had obtained it in the Rajmehal Hills. Subsequently I found 
that my specimens from that part of the country should be re- 
ferred to 0. indicus. 

Cercotrichas macrourus, Gm. (476). 

When passing through Purulia at the end of last year I saw 
some young Shamas for sale, which were said to have been ob- 
tained in the Ajudia Hills a few miles to the south. This 
confirms Captain Beavan's informant's account that it breeds in 
the district of Manbhum. 

I shot several specimens in the northern part of Sambalpur, 
where, however, it is far from common. 

Cyanecula suecica, Lin. (514). 

The Indian Blue Throat has been seen and obtained by Mr. 
Levin in Palamow. 

Drymoipus inornatus, Sykes. 

The Common Wren Warbler has already been given in the 
addenda at the end of my list. Mr. Levin writes that he has 
obtained it in Palamow. 

310.— Budytes citreola, Pallas. (594). 

The Yellow-headed Wagtail should, I think, be formally in- 
cluded in the list. I did not do so before as I had no specimen 
by me. I find I have a note of having got one in Singh- 
bhum, and Mr. Levin writes that it was common in the Lobji 
and Koel rivers in Palamow during the cold weather of 1873-74. 

Eulabes intermedia, Say. (692). 

The Black Maina, which Captain Beavan spoke of as E. reli- 
giosa, must have been this species, as it is the one found in 
Sambalpur.* In my paper I admitted the probability of its 
being found in the jungles of Sarunda and Gangpur. Strange 
to say, on my first day's march into Sarunda at the end of last 
year a flock of a dozen of these birds flew high over my head : 
unfortunately they were out of shot range. 

Pterocles fasciatus, Scop. (800). 

The Painted Sand Grouse breeds in Palamow according to 
Mr. Levin. 

* See S. F., II., 254. 

2 o 


Hepburnia spadiceus, Gm. (814). 

Since my list was published I have seen the skin of a Red 
Spur Fowl which was shot in Chota Nagpur. The doubt about 
its occurrence may therefore be removed. Mr. Levin states 
that he has shot both Black and Painted Partridges in Palamow, 
but before entering the second in the list I think it will be 
prudent to wait for further confirmation of what would be, if 
proved, an interesting and somewhat exceptional fact. 

Microperdix Blewitti, Hume. 

Since my paper was published Mr. Hume has distinguished 
(S. F., II., p. 512,) his Raipur specimens of the Painted Bush 
Quail from the Nilghiri bird under the above name. Having seen 
Mr. Hume's specimens, and also, for the first time, one from 
Southern India, I am able to refer the Chota Nagpur and Sat- 
pura birds to this newly-separated race or species. 

311.— Coturnix coromandelica, Gm. (830). 

In the absence of specimens or any note of its occurrence 
I did not insert the Black-breasted Quail in my list. Mr. Levin 
tells me, however, that he has shot it, so I think it may safely 
be added. During the past season I shot several in Sani- 

312.— Esacus recurvirostris, Cuv. (858). 

Mr. Levin tells me that he has shot the Large Stone Plover 
in the Koel river in Palamow. During the past season I saw 
several parties of the same bird in the rocky beds of the Ma- 
hanadi aud Ebe in the Sambalpur district, so that they doubt- 
less occur occasionally in suitable localities in the larger rivers 
of Chota Nagpur. 

313— Hoplopterus ventralis, Cuv. (857). 

The Spur-winged Lapwing must be added to the list, as I 
shot it during the past season in the Brahmni river in Gangpur. 

Hydrochelidon indica, Steph. (984). 

Mr. Levin writes that the Small Marsh Tern is common on 
the Koel, as also is the Large River Tern Sterna seena. Though 
included in my list, I had not got specimens of either. 

Mr. Levin has also obtained a Pelican, which he says is far 
from rare, and which he supposes to be Pelicanus javanicus, 


©it §wmw iuitmtw, g%fo$, hu& grp^ips k\x- 
fiinuiktus, CickU 

By W. Edwin Brooks. 
Having studied these two little birds for some years, and 
having procured a large series shot during every month of the 
year, I am forced to the conclusion that they are identical, 
longicaudatus being the winter plumage of inornatus. 

When the pale grey and white inornatus moults in the autumn, 
the new quill and tail feathers are of quite a different color from 
those of the breeding plumage, when the latter is first acquir- 
ed ; the autumnal color of the quills being dark brown, with 
broad rufous edges, while the tail-feathers are dark brown, 
rufous towards the edges, and obsoletely cross-rayed. Above the 
tail appears unicolorous, but from below there is a sub-ter- 
minal dark brown or almost blackish spot visible, and beyond 
this dark spot there is a very pale brown tip. This tip is by 
no means whitish like the tip of the summer tail. The body 
plumage in autumn is much tinged with rufous, and the lower 
surface exceedingly so, especially towards the flanks aud lower 
tail-coverts. The bird is then in longicaudatus plumage ; and it 
should also be noticed that the new autumnal tail is a longer one 
than that of the breeding plumage. 

In March and April the spring moult takes place. The lower 
plumage, from chin to abdomen, becomes almost silvery white, 
while the flanks and lower abdomen, together with lower tail-co- 
verts, retain a faint fulvous tinge ; the new quill feathers are grey- 
ish brown with greyish white edges, and the new tail feathers are 
of a shade lighter greyish brown, with pale edges ; there is a sub- 
terminal dark spot, quite visible from above, and the tip of the 
feather is dull greyish white, which can also be seen from above. 
The upper plumage is greyer than in winter, or more of an 
ashy brown, the feathers of the head having their centres rather 
darker, so as to present a slightly mottled appearance. The 
bill also becomes very dark, or quite black, except towards 
base of lower mandible; and the inside of the mouth, which is 
flesh coloured or yellowish during the winter, becomes, in the 
male, of a dark purple brown color or nearly black ; upon the 
whole, a more complete transformation of a small bird could 
not take place. 

The light tips to the tail wear away, and towards the close 
of a season are not often to be observed. 

By B. inornatus I mean the bird that Mr. Hume has named D. 
terricolor as being distinct from D. inornatus of Southern India. 
I have neither seen Southern nor Western examples, but I think 


the Southern bird, to which Mr. Hume refers, must be one of 
the stages of the species that I have been considering : there is, 
however, a Western species spoken of which lines its nest. If 
such be the case, the Western bird must be distinct from the bird 
distributed so commonly over the North- West and Bengal. Not 
having any acquaintance with the Bombay bird I shall not say 
any thing more about it. In uniting the two species under con- 
sideration, I feel quite satisfied in my own mind as to the cor- 
rectness of the conclusion, and would be glad if others would 
take the subject up, and give us the result of their investigations. 

W. E. B. 

fobclttcs ? 
Pitta Gurneyi, Sp. Nov. 

Crown and occiput lazuline blue ; forehead and sides of head 
black; chin and upper throat white ; lower throat intense yellow ; 
breast and abdomen velvet black. 

Resembles most that of cyanura, but wants the white wing bars and 
blackish coronal streaks of that species. 

I dedicate this really lovely species, an inhabitant of the 
most southern portions of the Tenasserim Provinces, to my 
kind friend Mr. J. H. Griirney, well known to all ornithologists 
as the first living authority where Raptoral birds are concerned. 

No more beautiful or interesting addition to our Indian 
Avifauna has been made for many a long day, and its discovery 
is one of the results of the systematic ornithological survey 
, of the Tenasserim Provinces which for the past two years has 
been vigorously prosecuted by my curator Mr. William 
Davison and my whole staff. 

Though conspicuously different from any one of them, this new 
species is most nearly allied to P. cyanura, Gmel., {guaianus, 
P. L. S. Mull.), P. Schivaneri, Tem., and P. Boschi, B. Mull.— 
(?elegans, Lesson). 

There is the same cuneiform blue tail, the same compara- 
tively small bill, the same more or less rufous olivaceous 
tipper surface, the same difference in the sexes, an orange 
brown replacing on the head of the female, the more marked 
colours of that portion of the male, and, lastly, the female 
(though not the male) has the lower surface banded very 
similarly to that of the female of P. cyanura. 

Of the habits and haunts of this and other species I shall 
deal when presenting (as I hope to be able to do next year) 

Stria- Feathers Vol M. 

PI 111 



a complete list of the birds of the Tenasseritn Provinces ; in the 
meantime the following are the dimensions (recorded in the 
flesh) and descriptions of both sexes : — 

Male. — Length, 8*25 to 8*75 ; expanse, 13'45 to 14'0 ; tail, 
from vent, 2*05 to 2*5; wing, 4'0 to 4 - 2 ; tarsus, 1"55 to 
165 ; bill, from gape, 1*1 to 1*15 ; weight, 2 to 3 oz. 

The bill is black; the legs, feet and claws fleshy white; the 
iris very dark brown. 

The forehead, the anterior half of the crown, the lores, 
cheeks, and ear-coverts, stripe over the eye, and collar round 
back of the neck, (almost hidden by the long full occipital 
crest,) breast, abdomen, and lower tail-coverts all velvet black, 
the largest of the latter tipped with blue ; postei'ior half of 
crown, occiput, and full occipital crest glossy lazuline blue, 
much like that of Irena puella ; tail and upper tail-coverts blue, 
the latter tending to ultramarine ; primaries and their greater 
coverts dark hair brown ; rest of upper surface rufescent olivace- 
ous ; the later primaries and earlier secondaries more or less 
inconspicuously margined towards the tips with grey ; chin 
and upper throat pure white ; base of throat for a breadth of 
about half an inch intense golden yellow. Sides and flanks 
also, but in some specimens a duller golden yellow, more or less 
regularly barred with black ; thigh-coverts greyish white, obs- 
curely barred with pale brown. 

On the lower surface of the wing there is a dull white bar 
at the base of the primaries. 

Female. — Length, 7*75 to 8*12 ; expanse, 135 to 1362 ; 
tail, from vent, 2*0 to 225 ; wing, 4"05 to 4'15 ; tarsus, 1*3 
to 1*5 ; bill, from gape, P05 to 1*2; weight, 2*5 oz. 

BilV, black; gape, whitish; iris, very dark brown; eyelids 
black ; legs, feet, and claws, ding}*- fleshy white. 

Forehead, lores, crown, occiput, and nape, bright ferruginous 
orange brown ; cheeks, ear-coverts, and a broad patch behiud 
these latter black ; the feathers of the ear-coverts with pale 
orange brown shafts ; chin and throat, dull brownish white ; 
lower tail-coverts dingy black, the longest tipped with 
dull blue ; the whole of the rest of the lower surface of the 
body, brownish white, strongly tinged in places with yellow, 
regularly and closely barred with black. Both the yellow tinge 
and the black barring are in some specimens more or less obsolete 
down the centre of the lower abdomen, and the thigh- coverts 
are pale fulvous brown, faintly and obsoletely barred. The rest 
of the upper surface of the body not already described similar 
to that of the male, but slightly less rufescent. 

When dealing with a species of this genus I take the oppor- 
tunity of noting that in recent livraison of the Museum 
des Pays-Bas (dated April 1874), Professor Schlegel remarks 


of this genus u ces oiseaux aux habitudes parfaitement seden- 
taires et ne sachant guere voler, n'ont pas la faculte de se trans- 
porter dans d'autres localites du lieu qui les a vu naitre." 

Now as regards those species which I have had most oppor- 
tunities of observing, viz., moluccensis, P. L. S. Mill, (cj/anoptera, 
Tern.) and coronata, P. L. S. Miil. (bengalensis, Gmel.) these 
remarks are wholly erroneous. Both species are eminently 
migratory, neither, at any rate within our limits, are ever found 
at other seasons of the year anywhere in or near the locali- 
ties in which they breed. Both yearly travel hundreds of 
miles, to their breeding haunts, streaming up in tens of thou- 
sands of pairs, all moving at about the same time, though not in 
flocks. As to coronata, Layard and Jerdon and others have 
recorded this years ago ; as to cyanoptera we have found this 
the case during the past two years in Burmah ; they come up 
from the Malay Peninsular and flood not only the Tenasserim 
Provinces but the valley of the Irrawady, some at any rate 
getting as high as Thayetmyo, and in this migration they 
are accompanied by the nearly allied, but much larger billed 
megarhynchus. Doria, too, I see, as quoted by Salvadori (Uccelli 
de Borneo, p. 236) notices that in Borneo also they are migratory, 
no specimen having been obtained at Sarawak before October, 
though not rare there in that month, November and December. 

In this same livraison Professor Schlegel remarks that P. 
cyanea, Blyth, appears to be only the adult of P. {Hydrornis) 
nip/alensis, Hodgs. It is surprising that so eminent an ornitho- 
logist should advance such a proposition in 1874. We have 
found both species breeding and have numerous specimens of 
both from the nestling to the perfect adult and certainly no 
two allied species can possibly be more clearly distinct. * 

Prionochilus modestus, Sp. Nov. 

Sexes alike. Above dull olive green ; below olive grey, and yellowish 
white, streakily mingled. 

To the list of Prionochili, already known, percussus, Tern., 
maculatus, Tern, aureolimbatus, Wall., obsoletus, Mull, and Sehl., 
xanthopygius, Salvad., and Vincens, Sclat., we must now add the 
present dull-colored but fairly typical species from S. Tenas- 
serim. Thoracicus, I have been unable to examine and cannot 
therefore say whether it should rightly find a place in this 
genus, or be separated under Reichenbach's name of Anaimos, 
but in regard to Pachyglossa melanoxantha, Hodgson, recently 


(Ibis, 1874, p. 3) united by Dr. Sclater with this present genus, 
I take this opportunity of reiterating, that in its larger size, 
more massive body, longer tail, and much shorter, coarser and 
more triangular bill, suddenly compressed towards the tip, 
Pachyglossa is, in my opinion, quite distinct from Prionochilus. 

The following are the dimensions of the present species 
recorded in the flesh from 4 males and 5 females : — 

Males. — Length, 4-0 to 4*25; expanse, 7*35 to 7-75; tail, 
1*12 to 1*3; wing, 2-25 to 2*5 ; tarsus, 0*45 ; bill, from gape, 
04 to 0'45 ; weight, 0*35 to 0*4 of an oz. 

Females. — Length, 4'0 to 4*12; expanse, 7*0 to 7*5; tail, 1*1 
to 1*25; wing, 215 to 2-38; tarsus, 0*4 to 0'5 ; bill, from 
gape, 0*4 to 0*45 ; weight, 0*3 to 04 oz. 

The irides vary in different specimens from pale sienna brown 
to pale yellowish red, and orange. The legs, feet, and claws 
are dark plumbeous ; the upper mandible varies from pale 
horny brown to horny black. The gape is always more or less 
orange, as is also the inside of the mouth, the lower mandible 
varies, in some it is fleshy white tipped brownish, in others light 
plumbeous or blue, while in one or two specimens, shot later 
in the spring, the lower mandible as well as the gape was 

The whole upper plumage is a dark olive green, in some 
specimens precisely the shade of Dicceum concolor, Jerd., in 
others somewhat lighter and brighter; the rump and upper 
tail-coverts are slightly yellower ; the quills, coverts, and tail- 
feathers are dark hair brown, all edged with yellowish olive green. 
All the tail feathers are very narrowly tipped with white, the 
tipping on the exterior feathers of the tail being much deeper 
on the inner webs. The shoulder of the wing is white ; the 
wing lining white, mingled with olivaceous grey. There is a 
dull greenish white stripe through the lores. The cheeks, ear- 
coverts, and sides of the neck dull green like the upper parts, 
but somewhat greyer. The lower parts are white tinged with 
pale yellow. A narrow ill-defined stripe of olivaceous grey 
runs down either side of the throat from the base of the lower 
mandible. The whole of the beast is streaked, and the whole 
of the sides and flanks suffused, with this greyish olive, but 
the centre of the abdomen, the vent, the tibial plumes, and 
lower tail- coverts are pure very pale yellow or perhaps it 
should be called yellowish white. 

It is to be noted that in some specimens the yellow tinge 
f though pale in all) is much more decided than in others. 

This bird at first sight seems like a very green edition of 
Piprisoma agile, but the bill is not nearly so deep, nor is it so 
strongly compressed near the tip. The bill in the present species 
is very close to that of P. vi?icens, but is rather more compressed 


towards the tip than in this latter species ; but it lias a regular 
Prionochilus bill with the bulge at the angle of the gonys in 
the lower mandible (which is exaggerated in Piprisoma and 
only indicated in Pachyglossa) and not the nearly uniform 
unbroken curve of the lower mandible in Dicceum. 

Geronticus Davisoni, Sp. Nov. 

Like papillosus, Tern-, but very much larger ; head black with brownish 
warts on anterior portion of head only ; a broad white ring of naked 
skin across the throat and round the nape. 

It seems incredible that so large, handsome, and strongly 
characterised a species should be still undescribed, but I can 
find no mention of it in Mr. Gray's hand list, or in the lt Mu- 
seum Des Pays-Bas," and I am therefore constrained to describe 
it under the name of its discoverer, Mr. William Davison, who 
shot a couple last January on the banks of the Pakchan Es- 
tuary in the extreme south of the Tenasserim Provinces. 

Both specimens were adult males. The following are their 
dimensions and description : — Length, 32 to 32*5; expanse, 55*5 
to 58; wing, 16'5 to 17; tail, from vent, 8'25 to 8'5 ; tarsus, 
3-62 to 365 ; bare portion of tibia, 2*5 ; bill, from gape, 7*1 to 
7-2 ; weight, 3-5 lbs. to 4tbs. 

The legs and feet are coral red ; the irides bright orange ; the 
bill is very dark plumbeous, blue at base, shading to a dull 
ochraceous clay color towards the tip ; the head is black, the 
anterior portion only, covered with small brown warts, becoming 
obsolete on the crown and occiput ; a broad white band of naked 
skin encircles the neck ; it stretches across the throat beginning 
opposite the ends of the maxilla, runs up the lower margin of 
the ear apertures, and across the nape, being prolonged up- 
wards into an arrow-head point on the occiput, where it is 
strongly tinged with blue. 

The whole of the feathered portion of the neck, the breast, 
and the entire lower parts of the body, the back, scapulars and 
tertials are precisely similar to the same parts in papillosus ; 
a brown of somewhat varying shades tinged especially on the 
scapulars, tertials, rump, and upper and lower tail-coverts, 
with a metallic greenish lustre ; the wings and tail are like- 
wise precisely as in that species with the same blue and green- 
ish blue metallic lustre, and with the same snowy white patch, 
though somewhat less in extent, above the elbow joint. 

The pure white naked ring round the head or rather round 
the neck just where this joins the head makes this bird very 
conspicuous in life. Mr. Davison says that they were not 
rare but were excessively wary. Their habits appear to be 


similar to those of their Dearly-allied congener so common in 
India and Ceylon. A specimen of this latter species, procured 
in Borneo, is, I note, in the Leyden Museum, but with this 
exception, I can find no record of its occurrence anywhere in 
Malasia or the Archipelago, or indeed anywhere except in 
India and Ceylon. 

Ixus Davisoni, Sp. Nov. 

Like T. Finlaysoni, but larger (wing, 3'5) and brighter colored ; upper sur- 
face much more strongly tinged with golden olive ; no orange yellow 
streaks on forehead, but a conspicuous orange line over the lores. 

In November last Mr. Davison, amongst a number of other 
birds, obtained, while he was on a visit to Mr. Oates at Rangoon, 
sent me a specimen of an lxus, which, though allied to both 
Finlaysoni and flavescens, and especially the former, is yet quite 
distinct from these, and appears to me to be as yet undescribed. 
A single male was shot at a place 12 miles north of Rangoon, 
and not being discriminated by Davison, who mistook it for 
Finlaysoni, was unfortunately not measured in the flesh. The 
following dimensions are those of the dry skin : — 

Length, 8*0; wing, 3'5 ; tail, 3*3 ; tarsus, 08. 

Bill, legs, and feet, blackish brown ; crown, occiput, nape, and 
sides of neck dull olive green ; the feathers inconspicuously cen- 
tered and tinged with golden olive ; lores dark brown ; a bright 
orange line over the lores ; ear-coverts mingled brown and orange 
yellow ; chin, throat, breast, dull pale earth brown ; all the feathers 
of the two former, with conspicuous bright orange yellow shaft 
streaks, and those of the latter a little margined Avith olivaceous ; 
upper abdomen and flanks similar, but darker and more strongly 
tinged with olive yellow; centre of upper abdomen with streaks 
of gamboge yellow ; lower abdomen, vent, aud lower tail- 
coverts very bright gamboge yellow ; entire mantle, rump and 
upper tail-coverts dull golden olive, brightest on the two latter ; 
the bases of all the feathers earth brown, which however only 
shows though slightly on the upper back, and back of the neck ; 
quills, dark hair brown, the outer webs entirely overlaid with 
moderately bright golden olive ; the tertiaries more or less 
overlaid with the same on the inner webs, and some of the 
later secondaries with a tinge of the same on the inner webs 
at the tips ; the shoulder of the wing, the wing lining, and 
the margins of the inner webs on the lower surface of the 
quills gamboge yellow, brightest on the first ; the tail dull 
golden olive, the inner webs duller and browner, and all 
obsoletely barred in certain lights. 

2 p 


Lyncornis Bourdilloni, Sp. Nov. 

Very similar to L, cerviniceps, Gould, but conspicicouslj/ smaller and 
brighter colored. 

It is to Mr. Frank Bourdillon that I am indebted for the 
first specimen of the Lyncornis of Southern India that I have 
seen. It is a female shot on the 15th January at Kalland 
Kkauni, South Travancore. 

I have long known that we had a Lyncornis in Southern 
India, or else some very large horned Goat-sucker, but I have 
hi therto failed in obtaining a specimen. Now that Mr. Bourdillon 
has secured one, it appears to me necessary to separate it under 
a distinct name. It must, not, however be supposed that it is 
a very distinct species. It is merely a diminutive race, and it 
bears to the Burmese L. cerviniceps precisely the same relation 
that the LLemicercus cordatus found in the same jungles in 
Southern Travancore bears to the Burmese R. canente, (Less.) 

The following are the measurements recorded in the flesh 
of the female shot by Mr. Bourdillon, which is an adult in very 
perfect plumage : — Length, 14*5; expanse, 32 ; wing, 10*25; 
tail, 7*62; tarsus, 0'56 ; bill from gape, 1*45. 

I shall not attempt to describe the plumage, it is precisely 
that of cerviniceps, but only perhaps somewhat more rufescent 
and richly colored than any of the 50 odd specimens of the 
Burmese bird which we have in our museum ; but I subjoin 
the measurements recorded in the flesh of a dozen females of 
the Burmese bird to shew the marked difference that exists in 
the size of the two races. 

L. cerviniceps, ? . — Length, 15*62 to 16*5; expanse, 34*5 to 
36-25; wing, 11-37 to 1262; tail, 7*9 to 9; tarsus, 075 to 
0*82 ; bill from gape, 1*7 to 1-82. 

The males are, if any thing, a trifle larger as an average. 
I should note that amongst the females of cerviniceps some 
not fully adult specimens were measured, so that the figures 
above o-iven hardly represent (unless the minima be rejected) 
the real difference in size between the two races. 

Mr. Bourdillon says, " I am inclined to think that this must 
be a Lyncornis from the long ear-tufts, which, though hardly 
visible now, were most conspicuous when I picked the bird 
up. Indeed my first idea was that I had some kind of Horned 
Owl. The specimen was obtained in a ' hillmenV clearing on 
the banks of' the Peenaven-aur about 15 miles north of this 
(Mvnall), at an elevation of 600 feet above sea level. Irides 
dull brown ; legs and feet brownish pink; claws ashy. The 
bird was observed with 3 or 4 others of the same kind flyiug 


high some 20 or 30 feet above the tops of the tallest trees. The 
party appeared soon after sunset, and at first their flight was 
slow and heavy ; as darkness increased however they became 
more active, and invariably caught their food on the wing. 
On dissection the bird proved to be excessively fat, and its 
stomach contained several large green bugs and vellow 

ITotcs 0it Cerdmeis bcspcrtimt anb C. amurensis. 

By R. Bowdler Sharpe, f.l.s., f.z.s. etc., 

Mr. Hume having expressed a wish (S. F., II., p. 527) that 
some one should give the differences between the Eastern and 
Western Red-footed Kestrels in all their respective plumages, I 
believe I can do this from the series now in the British Muse- 
um, and I trust that it will be useful in enabling Indian orni- 
thologists to distinguish between the two species, so that we 
may arrive at their proper geographical distribution. In the 
table of Kestrels, given in the Catalogue of Birds, (p. 423) 
I have included both sexes of each species that I was certain 
of, in order to make the identification of all the plumages an 
easy matter, but in this particular table I did not introduce the 
young birds owing to my not having before me a sufficiently- 
complete series ; as, however, examples of the immature pluma- 
ges of both the Red-legged Kestrels are present in the museum, 
I will give an additional table specially with reference to the 
point mentioned by Mr. Hume. 
a. — Tail uniform leaden grey. 

a. — Under wing-coverts and axillaries bluish grey like 

breast vespertinus, £ ad. 

I'. — Under wing-coverts and axillaries pure white ; breast 

grey amurensis <$ ad. 

b. — Tail grey, banded with black. 

c. — Dorsal plumes broadly barred with blackish but not 
margined with rufous. 
a". — Under surface rufous, either uniform or with 
slight remains of blackish shaft lines vespertinus, ? . 
b". — Under surface creamy white ; the breast broadly 
streaked and the flanks barred with black; abdo- 
men, thighs, and under tail-coverts uniform pale 

rufous amurensis, ? . 

d'. — Dorsal plumes barred with blackish ; but also 

broadly barred at the tips with rufous. 

c". — Head rufous with narrow shaft-lines of black ; 

forehead whitish ; under surface of body buff, 

streaked down the centres of the feathers with 


brown ; no bars on the flanks ; tail bluish, 
shaded with buff and crossed with 11 bars of 

black vespertinus, Juv. 

d". — Head dark bluish, with black shaft streaks ; 
forehead fulvous ; under surface of body buff, 
broadly streaked with black on the chest and 
barred on the flanks with the same colour ; 
tail bluish, with about eight narrow blackish 

bars amurensis, Juv. 

I may remark that an immature specimen from Nepal has 
more than eight bars on the tail, in fact it has ten,, but these 
are much narrower than the grey interspaces, even if the other 
characters did not hold good and distinguish it at once from 
the young of C. vespertina. 

ilotcs m "%\t §|Jotteb fejle," gquito naftia. 

By W. Edwin Brooks. 
The synonyms of which are — 

A quila n^via, . . . Brisson. 

Falco N.EVIUS, ... Gmelin. 

Falco maculaTUS, ... Gmelin. 

Falco maculatus, ... Latham. 

Aquila clanga, ... Klein. 

Aquila clanga, ... Pallas. 

Aquila vittata, ... IIodgso?i. 

Aquila n^evia, ... Schioenckfeld. 
Morphno congener, ... Aldrovandi. 

Aquila minor, ... Bvffon. 

Some difference of opinion appears still to exist as to what 
bird was the Spotted Eagle {Aquila ncevia) of the old authors. 

I have repeatedly endeavoured to shew that the small Spotted 
Eao-le of Northern Germajiy, and which I identified with the 
Indian Aquila hastata, Lesson, is not Aquila ncevia; but in Stray 
Feathers, Vol. III., p. 25, under the head of Aquila cla?iga, Pall., 
Mr. Hume adds a foot-note to this effect. " By clanga I mean 
the bird which we have most of us heretofore called ncevia, 
Brisson. I agree with Mr. Brooks that the true ncevia is either 
identical with, or very closely allied to, hastata.'" Mr. Hume 
has quite forgotten what I have written, for I have endeavoured 
to shew the very opposite. He has also forgotten the extract 
from Mr. Gurney's letter quoted in Stray Feathers, Vol. II., 
p. 332, as follows : — " Writing to me recently, Mr. J. H. Gurney 
says : ' There are certainly two Spotted Eagles of different 


species which have hitherto been confounded under the name of 
ncevia, both being European. 

'The large bird (which Brooks is quite right in saying is the 
ncevia of Brisson) is, I think, identical with the Indian A. 
vittata of Hodgson. 

' The smaller bird is excessively close to, and possibly identi- 
cal with, the Indian A. hastata. 1 " 

I shall once more show that the larger species is the true 
ncevia of the old authors. 

Take first the description by Brisson, pp. 425 and 426 of his 

He gives the following synonyms : — 

Aquila nosvia, Schvvenck. 

Aqui/a clanga, Klein. congener, Aldrovandi. 

JMorphno congener, Aldrovandi, Willonghby. 

Stein adler, of the Germans. 

Rough-footed Eagle, of the English. 

The dimensions given are evidently inaccurate, and may be 
set aside in favour of the statement : " Galli sat magni cras- 
sitie est, et corpulentia." We are told that the general colour 
of the body is obscure or dusky ferruginous. This I would 
take to mean a dark brown with a reddish shade in it. Such a 
description, as regards general body colour, does not apply to 
the smaller species, which is of a much lighter brown than the 
large bird, and this brown is not reddish. 

Again, Brisson says : u Alae subtus maculis multis ovalibus 
albis, hinc inde sparsis insigniuntur.''' This is evidently derived 
from Aldrovandi, who says : " Color totius prope ferrugineus 
est, nisi quod ad extremas alas versus ventrem attinet, maculis 
multis ovalibus et hinc inde sparsis insigniretur.'"' We here un- 
derstand from Brisson that the lower part of the wings, or away 
from the bend and shoulder, is spotted with oval white spots. 
This is precisely the case with our larger Spotted Eagle. It is 
generally well spotted on the lower part of the wing, and after 
the first plumage is free from spots from the bend along the 
ridge to where the wing joins the body. In the smaller species 
(A. hastata) the peculiai'ity is, that the upper part of the wing 
is well spotted, and increasingly so in the second plumage after 
the spots are lost on the lower part of the wing. The ridge and 
bend spots are then much larger than they are in the nestling, 
and so numerous as to be often confluent. 

The w r ord " subtus," used by Brisson, I understand to mean 
the low r er part of the outside of the wing, as opposed to the 
upper portion near the bend and shoulder ; and this being the 
case, the description is inapplicable to the smaller bird, in which 
the general position of the spots is reversed. 


The next sentence to be noticed is, " Crura et pedes pennis 
restiiin tur a d principiura digitorum usque, et albis similiter 
notis sunt aspersa." The thighs of the larger bird are most 
strongly streaked with huffy white. 

The secondary and tertiary quills, of a young example of the 
larger species, are generally well barred on the inner webs, and 
their ends are broadly tipped with dull white. This is noted in 
the description. Again, " Rectrices in exortu et apice albent ; 
in reliqua longitudine obscure ferrugiueo tinguntur, et maculis 
latiusculis fuscis transversim notantur." The tail of immature 
ncevia is well barred and white at the bases and tips of the 
feathers. Not only are the bases of the rectrices white, but the 
lower row of upper tail-coverts is generally snowy white. 

Brisson's description is not a good one, but it applies 
fairly to the larger species, which Mr. Hume terms ie Aquila 

It should be noticed that one of Brisson's synonyms is Aquila 
clanga, Klein. Pallas adopts this term, and quotes Willoughby 
as the author of it. He also gives Aquila ncevia, Brisson, as 
a synonym. It is thus clear that Aquila ncevia and Aquila clanga 
are synonymous; and if the former term cannot be applied to 
the larger Spotted Eagle, neither can the latter. 

Pallas, like many other old authors, did not apparently feel 
bound to confine himself to the oldest term in use for a species. 
For example, he termed the Skylark Alauda codipeta, using 
Klein's term, which author he quotes. It is, therefore, plain 
enough that Pallas, in his Aquila clanga, only quoted an old 
existing term by Klein. In the face of Pallas's synonyms, it is 
snrelv indefensible to attempt to separate clanga from ncevia, and 
the favourite practice should be discontinued. Pallas's description, 
I may observe, perfectly suits the larger Spotted Eagle ; and 
the pointed reference to the white, so often found on the tarsus, 
conclusively fixes the species intended. 

Let us now consider Latham's description of " The Spotted 

" Falco maculatus," Latham. 

His synonyms are : — 

Morphno congener, Raii. Syn., p. 7., Will., p. 32, Id. Engl., 
63, Geui. Orn. I., t. iv. 

Kleiner Fisch Adler, Naturf, viii., s. 54. 

Aquila Clanga, Klein, Av., p. 41. 

Spotted Eagle, Gen. Syn. I., p 38. Arct. Zool. II., p. 215. 

Latham says : " Wings marked with oval white spots, which 
are larger as they are placed more downwards, and on the 
greater coverts they occupy almost the whole of the end ; the 
back spotted with pale buff colour." 


Now this sentence, and especially the remark that the hack is 
spotted with pale buff colour, most conclusively proves that 
Latham's Spotted Eag-le was the larger species; for, in imma- 
ture plumage, it has oval fulvous spots on the back, but the 
smaller species, as far as my opportunities of acquiring infor- 
mation go, has invariably a spotless back. These back spots, of 
the immature ncevia, are very perfect ovals, occupying the 
greater portion of the feather towards the apex. 

Again, Latham says : " Upper tail-coverts white." This is 
specially the case with the larger species ; the upper tail-coverts, 
or at all events the lower row, are snowy white. 

All the rest of his description is perfectly applicable to the 
larger Spotted Eagle. It is thus clear that Latham's term can- 
not be applied to the smaller bird ; because it wants the oval 
spots on the bach, to say nothing else. 

Regarding its geographical distribution, Latham observes : 
" This is found everywhere in Russia and Siberia, and even 
in Kamtschatcha, and is the most unwarlike of any of the kind ; 
has a plaintive cry, hence called planga t*nd clang a * * * 
This is supposed by some to differ in sex from the Rough-footed 
Eagle. Temminck observes that it is common in Africa, and 
particularly in Egypt." 

The smaller species appears only to be known in Pomerania, 
so it cannot be the well-known and widely-distributed bird 
described by Latham. Of course the smaller bird occurs in 
many parts of Europe, besides North Germany, and ought to 
be commoner in Southern and Eastern Europe than it is in 
Germany. It is, like A. neevia, a migratory Eagle that goes 
southward in winter. 

Let us now consider Gmelin's two species, Falco N^vius 
and Falco maculatus, vide his Systema Naturae. 

Falco n^evius, 49, F. cera pedibusque lanatis luteis, corpore 
ferrugineo, infra alas albo-maculato. 

Aquila ncBvia, Briss. Orn., p. 122, n. 4. 

Petit aigle, Buff. Hist. Nat. des Ois. L, p. 91. 

Bough-footed Eagle, Chad, onom., p. 63, n. 6. Lath. Syn. 
I., 1, p. 37, n. 14. AX/ 

Stein (idler, Frisch, Vog. t. 71. " -^"t^ 

Habitat in Europa, gliribus praefertim vieiltans. K' 

M.2Lgnitudo galli grandis ; longitudo 2 pedum cum 1 h pollicibus ; 
irides jiava; tectrices caudae secundaria albce ; ungues nigri. 

Falco maculatus, 50, F. cera pedibusque lanatis luteis, 
corpore supra ferrugineo ; subtus fusco. congener, Raj. A v. 7, n. 7, Will. Orn., p. 63. 

Spotted Eagle, Latham Syn. I., 1., p. 38, n. 15. 

Longitudo bipedalis Rostrum magnum et ungues nigri ; irides 
cinerece ; pennse scapularum et tectrices alarum apice macula ovali 


albicante insigneta ; dorsi maculis coloribus bubalini ; venter 
similibus lineis striatus. Gmel. Syst. Nat., Vol. I., p. 258. 

From the synonyms of each it is as clear as possible that 
Gmelin's Nos. 49 and 50 are one and the same species, and 
that he was not describing new species when he wrote these 
brief descriptions, but was compiling from descriptions by older 
authors. His Falco ncevius is the Aquila ncevia of Brisson, 
whose description he excessively condenses into two lines ; but 
for the synonyms, and the repetition of Brisson's erroneous total 
length, also of Brisson's expression u magnitudo galli grandis," 
Gmelin's description is so imperfect that no bird could by its 
means be recognized. 

His Falco maculatus is evidently quoted from Latham, 
not perceiving that it was the same species as No. 49. The 
longitudinal dimension is Latham's, and I may observe, is about 
the length of the bird, if not stretched out, but measured as 
it sits. Gmelin repeats the description of the oval spots on the 
wings, and of the buff oval spots on the back. This being 
the case, we may dismiss at once the idea of any connection 
between Falco maculatus, Gmel., and the smaller North German 
Spotted Eagle. 

"With regard to Pallas's description of Aquila clanga, the 
synonyms and the description leave no room for doubt as to 
the species intended ; and it would be wasting time to prove 
that Aquila clanga, Pallas, is Aquila ncevia, Brisson, Falco ncevius, 
Gmel., and Falco maculatus, Gmel. and Latham. Pallas ap- 
parently refers to the bird in a more advanced stage. 

When I had written thus far, my friend Mr. Hume kindly 
sent me Sharpe's catalogue of the Accipitres, in which he applies 
Latham's term " maculata''' to the lesser European Spotted 
Eagle. In a foot-note Mr. Sharpe says : " There is so much dif- 
ference of opinion as to which is the true F. ncevius of Gmelin that 
it is best to adopt the title of A. maculata for the species." 

Against such application I strongly protest, and I have above 
shewn that the term strictly belongs to the larger Spotted 
Eagle. Let it be remembered that Mr. Sharpe applies the name 
of the Kamtschatchau, Siberian and Indian Eagle to the 
Pomeranian one, and I think few will follow him. It may be 
interesting as a display of fancy synonymy, but hardly accords 
with my views of the accuracy desirable in ornithological 

Mr. Sharpe gives a long list of synonyms, which he considers 
belongs to the Pomeranian Eagle, and a few remarks upon them 
may be useful, should my views be admitted to be correct. 

The first synonym Mr. Sharpe gives is — 

1. — IJAigle tachete, Brisson. This term applies only to the 
larger bird. 


2. — Bough-footed Eagle, Lath. I have not seen the descrip- 
tion, but the old authors, including Pallas, apply the term to the 
larger species. 

3. — Spotted Eagle, Latham, is the English term for his 
Falco maculatus. 

4. — Falco maculatus, Latham, Gen. S. N., p. 258 (1788.) 
Using the generic term Aquila, Latham's term becomes Aquila 

Gmelin's Falco maculatus is quoted from Latham. The 
same description, much condensed and in Latin. No one will 
fail to see that it is clearly applicable only to the young bird of 
the larger Spotted Eagle. Gmelin, quoting from Brisson, 
describes the same species as Falco nczvius. Note the geogra- 
phical distribution Latham gives of his Falco macidalus, even 
to Kamtschatcha. One of Latham's synonyms is Aquila 
clanga, Klein. Is it not then easy to connect Latham's F. macu- 
latus with the larger species, the Asiatic one ? Gmelin's Falco 
ncevius, I think no one will deny, is not an original description, 
but is Brisson's one condensed. The synonymy connects Bris- 
son's Aqxdla ncevia with Aqidla clanga, Klein. Two birds equal 
to one and the same are identical, and nczvius is clanga and 
maculatus is clanga. We know that Pallas's Aquila clanga is 
not one originally described, but is a reproduction of Klein's 
species. In the face of these facts I cannot see that it is 
possible to give the term maculatus to the small Local Eagle, 
without committing a great mistake. Is it at all likely that the 
old authors knew, as a rule, that there were two Spotted Eagles ? 
I don't think there is any evidence to shew that any other than 
the larger and widely distributed bird was known to the old 

If Messrs. Sharpe and Dresser apply the term Aquila maculata 
to the Pomeranian Eagle, how about the bird being found all 
over Asia even to the extreme east ? We don't hear of the 
Pomeranian Eagle in Eastern Asia, but Latham tells us his 
Falco maculatus a is found everywhere in Russia and in Sibe- 
ria, and even in Kamtschatcha." We know that Siberian 
birds winter in India ; therefore the migratory Pomeranian 
Eagle is an Indian bird. This is the conclusion to be arrived 
at if we bestow Latham's term upon the Little Pomeraniau 
Eagle, a conclusion not at all in accordance with Messrs. 
Sharpe's and Dresser's views. 

5. — Aquila ncevia. This is the fifth synonym Mr. Sharpe 
gives; and here lollows a long list of authors who have misap- 
plied the term, and have, according to Mr. Sharpe, applied it to 
the lesser bird. 

6. — Aquila melanaetus, Savigu., 1809, was previously (1788) 
applied to the Golden Eagle. 

2 Q 


7. — Aquila planga, Bonn et Vieill, 1823. planga and clang a 
refer to the Oriental bird. 

8. — Aquila bifasciata, Brehm. Vog. Deutschl, p. 25 (1831 ex 
Hornsch nee Gray.) 

The question is, is this correctly given as a synonym by Mr. 
Sharpe ?* As I have noticed (as might be expected) some errors 
in the synonymy of the catalogue, I am not prepared to pin 
my faith to this identification, especially as others of Brehm's 
terms are clearly applicable to the little eagle in question. 

9. — Aquila pomarina, Brehm, Vog Deutschl, -p. 27 (1831). 

This appears to be a likely term for the little Eagle which is 
now in search of a name ; but I cannot ascertain, with the 
limited means at my command, whether his other term of 
Aquila subneevia may not be the prior term. The latter clearly, 
I think, refers to the lesser species ; and is a much more suitable 
term for it than Aquila maculata, which is wholly inapplicable. 
We Indian ornithologists must depend upon European ornitho- 
logists to let us know whether pomarina or subneevia is the 
correct term, depending upon which was bestowed first. 

10. — Aquila fitsca, Brehm, (1855). This is at all events a 
modern term, and was applied by Gray and Hardwick (1832) 
to Aquila hastata, not to Aquila vinclhiana as supposed by 

11. — Aquila fulviventris, Brehm, (1855). May or may not 
be the lesser bird. The more fulvous bird below is the larger 
species when immature. The equivalent of this term has been 
previously applied (1819) to Haliaetus leucoryphus. 

12. — Aquila maculata, Dresser, 1874, is the last synonym 
and a reproduction of Latham's term. I have said enough 
about the inapplicability of the term, and need not say more. 
Our safest course at present is to adopt Brehm's term of 
Aquila pomarina for the Lesser Spotted Eagle. If it should 
ever be shewn that this is a synonym of the Larger Spotted 
eagle, then we have Brehm's other term of Aquila subiuzvia. 
to fall back upon. 

It will be seen that I am assuming the accuracy of Messrs. 
Sharpe' s and Dresser's statements, that though the European 
adult bird is very close to Aquila hastata, yet there is a marked 

* This seems doubtful. In the XHIth or Supplemental Vol., (published by his 
son) of Naumann's great (but to most Englishmen too little known) work on the 
birds of Germany, Aquila fusca, bifasciata and ncevia, of Brehm, are all treated as 
synonyms of " Der grosse Schreiadler," which he calls clanga, p. 40. The plates and 
text leave no doubt that the larger species is here intended. It may be worth noticing 
that in this same volume, the adult of A. bifasciata, Gray, is figured (T. 340) as a 
2 -year old heliaca, impcrialis, or whatsoever the white scapular-patched species 
should now be called. Also, that the plates, Nos. 10 and 11, of the lesser " Schreiadler," 
which he calls ncevia (Vol. I.) so exactly represent specimens that I possess of 
hastata, that I can hardly believe that they were taken from specimens of another 
species. — Ed. 


difference in the young : the young of Aquila pomarina having 
"the nape-feathers entirely ochraceous buff, forming a patch.*" 
Such a buff-nuchal patch I have never seen in Aquila hastata. 
It would, however, be interesting to know how many of these 
young birds, with a buff nuchal patch, have been seen ? If only 
one, I would discard it as a lusus natures. If two or three are 
in existence the species is distinct from hastata ; but Messrs. 
Sharpe and Dresser at times fail in giving necessary informa- 
tion, and they expect other ornithologists to adopt their con- 
clusions without shewing the reason why. Now it is a sad 
omission not to let us know whether the buff-nape is a constant 
distinction or not, and for want of this information I am unable 
for the present to accept it as a characteristic of the youno- 
Pomeranian Eagle. It is only this buff patch in the young bird 
that prevents the abolition of one of the two species. 

I notice that Mr. Sharpe speaks of the adult male, Aquila 
pomarina, as having spots. Also of Aquila hastata he says : " I 
have never seen any adult European birds with the small white 
spots on the least wing-coverts which frequently occur in 
A. hastata. This character appears to me to be probably a 
sign of the adult plumage, and may perhaps present a character 
of importance in distinguishing A. hastata from A. ncevia." 

In this sentence Mr. Sharpe uses the term ncevia for the 
Lesser Spotted Eagle, although we are told maculata is to be 
adopted instead. 

Mr. Sharpe uses so many spots for his adult eagles that it is 
clear he does not know, that the mature Spotted Eagle is always 
ivholly spotless, no matter whether it be hastata, pomarina, or 
ncevia. The quantity of small white spots on the least coverts 
about the bend and upper ridge of the wing is very variable, 
even at the same age. One nestling hastata I lately sent to 
the Norwich Museum had these little spots profusely, while its 
companion, which I have by me now, has comparatively few, 

The Larger Spotted Eagle or true Aquila ncevia of the old 
authors and of Gmelin, Mr. Sharpe distinguishes as Aquila 
clanga, Pallas. I think, however, no reason has been shewn 
why we should depart from the well-known and most appro- 
priate name by which the Spotted Eagle has always been known, 
and I hope few will follow Mr. Sharpe in this, to my notion, in- 
defensible change of name. 

It is the common and well-known bird over almost the whole 
of the old world, while the Pomeranian Eagle appears to be a 

* This is mentioned in Naurnann's description, p. 220, '' im geneck steht ein schon 
rostgelber fleck," but I can see no trace of this in PI. 10, where the nape is colored 
precisely as in young hastata, — Ed. 


very great rarity,* so difficult to obtain that though I have 
been trying for it for several years I have only succeeded in 
getting one old rag of a skin. Is it possible that this scarce 
little Eagle can be the bird which attracted the notice of all the 
old writers ? Are we to believe that they knewf the two Spotted 
Eagles and were able to discriminate them ? I think not, and 
if so, which Eagle were the old authors most likely to come 
across, but the common one which is generally distributed ? 
Wherever the lesser one is found there will the other be also 
found and in greater abundance. 

In a recent letter Mr. Gurney gives me particulars regard- 
ing two Spotted Eagles shot in Cornwall. Lengths, 27 and 27±- 
inches, wing of the former, 20 inches, and weight 41bs. 1 oz. 
Now it is quite clear to me that neither of these birds were 
Jquila pomari?ia, but were both the large bird or true ncevia. 
I have weighed many examples of this species, and generally 
found the female to weigh from 4 to 4^1bs. An average 
A. hastata, which is the same size as Aquila pomarina, weighs 
from 1\ to 2|lbs. If this large species extends even to 
England, why should it not occur much more commonly in 
Poland and Germany ? Mr. Sharpe says, " South-Eastern 
Europe, very rarely extending into Poland and Germany." 
This is vague, and I am afraid far from accurate. If there 
are suitable marshes in Poland and Germany, it would not be 
easy to keep Aquila ncevia out of these countries except by 
exterminating the bird. J 

My impression is, that if I were to go and shoot in either of 
these countries I should get ten of ncevia to one of pomarina. 

Indian ornithologists will be glad when the value of the 
buff-nuchal patch of young A pomarina is determined ; for if 
it be not proved a constant fact, we shall lose our Indian Aquila 

I may here notice that in the list of synonyms of Aquila hastata, 
Less., 1834, the last is Aquila ncevia, Brooks, S F,, L, p. 293 

* It is not certain that it is really so rare. Mr. Brooks will remember when we 
both thought hastata to be so rare as to be almost a myth, but as soon as we had 
clearly discriminated it, we found it common enough, aud received it from fifty 
localities from Abbotabad to Calcutta. Naumann speaks of having met with more 
of the smaller than the larger species, and in another place he says, " that the larger 
Eagle appears to occur in almost the same regions as the lesser one, may depend 
chiefly on the variability of both species. This will hardly be cleared up until people 
learn to discriminate the two species better. In some localities the larger, iu others 
the lesser, is the rarest." Naumann clearly did not look upon the lesser Eagle as 
rare. — Ed. 

t Some of the older writers certainly did recognize that there wore two species. 

X Naumann, however, whose surpassing practical knowledge is indisputable, says 
that in Pornerania aud Holstcin the larger species is rare. — Ed. 


This is a mistake. I identified Aquila hastata with Aquila 
pomarina, but never with Aquila navia, which I have always 
regarded as the larger bird. I hope I shall never again be 
accused of consenting to the application of the term ncevia to 
the Lesser Spotted Eagle. 

True ncevia, or the Larger Spotted Eagle, is the subspecies (!) 
Aquila clanga, Pall., according to Mr. Sharpe. In the list of 
synonyms I notice that many of the old terms belonging to this 
well-known bird are diverted, and the synonymy, as a whole, 
appears to me deficient. 

The adult bird is described as being similar to the Lesser 
Spotted Eagle, but very much larger. Here again we must 
accept an adult bird with spots. 

The description of the young male is, I think, susceptible of 
improvement. The spots on the wing-coverts are described as 
" oval," but the buff spots on the lower back and rump are 
is triangular," — a/ue simile of such a triangle would be instruc- 
tive. The fact is the spots are invariably pure ovals. 

W. E. B. 

$a#i gumatrcnsis, Lafr.f 

I received almost simultaneously from Mr. Mandelli (a sup- 
posed female obtained in Native Sikhim), and from my curator 
Mr. Davison (an ascertained male obtained in the extreme 
south of the Tenasserim Provinces) two specimens of a Baza, 
which, although disagreeing in several important respects with 
my friend Mr. R. Bowdler Sharpe's diagnosis and description of 
that species (Accipitres, pp. 352 to 357), belong, I am inclined 
to believe, to Lafresnaye's sumatrensis. 

The main points of divergence are, 1st, size. The male, 
measured in the flesh, has the wing 13*1. The supposed female 
has the wing 13*75 — both have the crest fully 3 inches long, 
black, tipped with white ; Ind, in the throat stripe, both having 
a conspicuous chin and throat stripe, as in magnirostris ; 3rd, 
colour, both being much more brightly colored, than Mr. 
Sharpe's figure (PI. XL op. cit.), the male having the bands on 
the lower surface, intermediate in colour between those of ery- 
throthorax and magnirostris, (as shown in Mr. Sharpe's PI. X.) 
and the bands in the female, being intermediate in colour, 
between those of magnirostris and sumatrensis, as shown in the 
figures referred to. 

My idea is, that Mr. Sharpe's young female was probably a 
young male, that my female is a considerably older bird, and 
my male a very much older one, and that in this species the 


throat stripe appears with age (it is much less conspicuous and 
lighter in colour in the female than the male), and that with age, 
also, the bands on the lower surface deepen in colour and spread 
further up on to the upper breast. 

So little is known apparently of this species that even if in- 
correct my hypothesis may be pardoned. 

One thing is certain, if not sumatrensis, these specimens be- 
long to a new and unknown species,* which in that case may 
aptly stand as Baza incognita, nobis. 

The following are the dimensions and colours of the soft 
parts (recorded in the flesh) of the male, which I take to be 
adult : — 

Length, 18-5; expanse, 4O0 ; tail, 9 62; wing, 13*12; 
tarsus, 1*6; bill from gape, 1*35; straight from nostril to 
point, 0'9 ; midtoe to root of claw, 153 ; its claw straight 
from root to point, 0*66. Weight 16 oz. The double teeth in 
the upper mandible very sharply cut and conspicuous. The 
4th and 5th quills the longest ; the 3rd 0*25, the 2nd 1*15, and 
the 1st 2*75, shorter. All the first five quills distinctly emarginate 
on the inner web, the 2nd to the 6th emarginate on the outer 
webs ; exterior tail feathers - 5 shorter than central tail-fea- 
thers ; penultimate pair about 0*22 shorter than the central 

The tail has four dark bands, the 4th hidden by the upper tail- 
coverts. The terminal band is 1*65, the 2nd # 76 and the 
last visible one 0*62 broad. The first interspace is 1*15 and 
the 2nd 067 broad. 

The legs and feet were white, slightly tinged with blue ; 
the irides bright yellow ; the claws, upper and tip of lower 
mandible and cere blackish ; the base of the lower mandible 

The forehead and a broad but inconspicuous band from the 
latter over the eyes to the nape pale wliitey brown ; the shafts 
darker brown ; the crown, occiput, nape and sides of the neck 
rufescent buff, the feathers broadly centered with dark 
brown ; the crest black, narrowly and obsoletely barred, the 
feathers with pure white tips; the interscapulary regions and 

* I was at one time inclined to identify these birds with Lophastur Jerdoni, BIyth 
(J. A. S. B., XI., 464 and XV. 4) from Malacca, and it is still possible that my 
birds may pertain to this species; but he gives the wing at only 12 '5, the crest as 
only 2'25 long and dull black ; whereas in our birds the wings are 13'1 (male) and 
13 - 7 (female), the crest 3 inches long, glossy black, and with a most conspicuous 
white tip, which would never have escaped BIyth. 

Mr. .Sharpe, adopting a suggestion of Blyth's, made when the latter had probably 
never seen a skin or figure of B. Reinwardti, has identified Jerdoni with this latter, 
but I cannot, after carefully perusing the original description, concur in this view, 
since, in my opinion, the size of wing and general description point clearly to magni- 
rostris. Salvadori (Uccelli di Borneo, p. 11,) says that he believes Jerdoni and 
sumatrensis to be identical, but the absence of the pale tipping to the crest feathers 
of Jerdoni in both adult and young, seems to me to preclude this identification. 


scapulars are a rich dark brown, with a decided purplish gloss. 
All the feathers with an excessively narrow marginal rufescent 
or fulvous fringe ; on raising the feathers the rich brown with the 
purple gloss (which has I may mention in some lights a greenish 
tinge) is found to be confined to a broad terminal band ; the basal 
portion of the feathers are a somewhat pale drab brown; the small- 
est scapulars are the richest and warmest in coloring, the longest 
the dullest ; the rump and upper tail-coverts much about the 
same tint as the longer scapulars. The tail a rather pale drab 
brown with one subterminal brownish black band, and three 
other moderately dark brown bands, the third almost entirely 
hidden by the upper tail-coverts ; the quills have the outer 
webs brown, banded obscurely but broadly with darker brown, 
the inner web a rather dark drab brown at the tips and white 
at the bases with several broad black or blackish brown trans- 
verse bands ; the primaries, especially the earlier ones, are con- 
siderably darker on the outer webs and have a greyish tinge 
on the interspaces of these webs ; the tertiaries are much paler 
brown; the lesser coverts along the ulna and at the carpal 
joint are almost black ; the greater coverts are about the same 
color as the ground of the tail; the median coverts somewhat 
darker ; all the quills are white tipped, the secondaries most 
conspicuously so, and a few of the median coverts are also 
tipped in the same way. There is more or less of a purple 
gloss over the whole upper surface of the wings and tail. 

The lores and an inconspicuous band under the eye and the 
base of the ear-coverts grey, the feathers darker shafted ; the 
rest of the ear-coverts and the lateral portions of the throat 
fulvous, the feathers more or less dark shafted ; chin and 
throat pure white, or with the faintest yellowish tinge, with a 
narrow but very conspicuous black central stripe ; upper 
breast mingled white, and a pale, somewhat brownish, rufous; 
lower breast, sides, flanks, axillaries and abdomen white, with 
broad regular transverse brownish rufous bands darkest on the 
sides and flanks ; vent and lower tail-coverts white, with a 
dingy yellowish tinge, with here and there a trace of a trans- 
verse rufous band ; the wing-lining is yellowish white, with 
rufous bars and mottlings ; the lower surface of the quills 
are, at the tips, pale French grey, with black transverse bauds ; 
higher up they are white with pale greyish brown bands ; the 
lower surface of the tail greyish white, the dark bands showing 
through more conspicuously on the outer webs and less so on 
the inner webs except of the four central tail-feathers. All the 
tail feathers are tipped with drab brown, paling at the extreme 
tip almost to white. This tipping is about a quarter of an inch 
wide on the central and three-quarters of an inch on the exterior 
tail feathers. 


The supposed female was sent to me by Mr. Mandelli aa 
Spizaetus Lathami of Tickell. He was doubtless led to this 
conclusion by its long Spizaetus-like crest, but I can hardly 
think that Tickell could have overlooked the short, half-bare 
tarsi, feeble feet and doubly toothed bill, and called this bird a 
Spizaetus. Still as it has now been obtained in Native Sikhim, 
a specimen might have strayed to the hilly parts of Chota 
Nagpore, and as Colonel Tickell's specimens are now understood 
to be about to be made available for examination, it will be 
interesting to ascertain whether Mr. Mandelli's idea has any 
foundation in fact. 

The following are the measurements from the dry skin of 
this supposed female : — 

Length, 220; wing, 1375; tail, 1025 ; tarsus, 1*7 : ; bill 
from gape, 1*3 1 from nostril straight to point, 1*0; midtoe 
to root of claw, 1*7 ; its claw straight from root to point, 0'68. 
The double teeth in the upper mandible not so sharp or quite 
so marked as in the male ; the quills as in the male, but the 
3rd 0-4, the 2nd 1*2 and the 1st 32 shorter than the 4th and 5th. 
Tail much as in the male, but the two central tail-feathers are 
not quite fully grown, and are still a trifle shorter than those next 
to them. The tail with four bands as in the male, the terminal one 
1*77, the next 0*8, and the last visible one 0"63, broad; the 
first interspace 1*1 and the 2nd 0*75 broad. 

The supposed female is as a whole very similar to the male, 
but the forehead, and in fact the whole of the head, nape, and 
sides of the neck, are more rufescent and have less conspicuous 
dark brown central stripes; the mantle is a much less dark 
brown ; there is less of the purple gloss, and the marginal 
fringes of the feathers aie broader and more rufous; there 
is no grey about the cheeks, which are pale fulvous fawn ; 
the chin and throat too are fulvous white, and the throat stripe 
is brown instead of black, as in the male. 

The mottled portion of the breast extends lower down than 
in the male • the barring on the rest of the lower surface is 
paler and more purely rufous than in the male ; the quills 
and tail, both above and below, are almost precisely similar in 
the two specimens, but all the coverts in the female are lighter 
and more rufescent, and all are more or less distinctly margined 
with white at the tips. 

If these birds are really sumatrensis, the occurrence of one 
of them in Native Sikhim is well worthy of record, and if, on 
the other hand, the species be new, no apology for this notice 
is necessary. 

A. O. H. 


% Jtonb fist of ilje §ixh it faitsmtm.* 

From November last year to the end of March my estab- 
lishment have been working under Mr. Davison in the 
southern portion of the Tenasserim provinces. 

I do not think it necessary to furnish a map of the area 
worked, as this is comparatively small and may be at once 
defined as a somewhat triangular tract, bounded on the north 
by an imaginary line drawn east and west through the province, 
a little north of Mergui, east by the hills dividing Tenasserim 
from Siam, west by the sea, and on the south by the Pakchan 
Estuary which forms the southern boundary alike of the 
province and of the British Empire in this Peninsular. 

But though the area explored was small, and the time occu- 
pied limited, the results have been sufficiently important to 
require early record. 

To my list of the Tenasserim ornis, already published, and 
which included 431 species, 79 have been added, raising the 
total to 510 and of the species included in my former list on 
the authority off others, but not at that time obtained by us, 
28 have now been secured. 

Of the 79 species now added to our list, few are new to science, 
but amongst these latter are to be numbered one of the loveliest 
of that most beautiful group, the Pittidce and a most remarkable 

The rest are mostly birds already known to occur at Malacca, 
and are important as proving the extension northwards of the 
purely Malayan fauna as far at any rate as Mergui, while 
some (e.g. Berenicornis comatus) have hitherto apparently only 
been recorded from Sumatra or other Islands of the Archi- 

Another year at least will be occupied in completing our 
preliminary exploration of the province exclusive of the Mergui 
Archipelago, but as soon as the work is finished I shall endea- 
vour to present our readers with a complete list of the Avifauna 
of Tenasserim, with some account of the physical features of 
the province, the relations of its ornis to those of surrounding 
regions, and full descriptions and measurements of all species 
not included in Jerdon's Birds of India. 

For the present I must content myself with the two follow- 
ing lists, and with a very few supplementary remarks. 

Before proceeding further I desire to record the great obliga- 
tions I am under to Count Salvadori, without the aid of 
whose invaluable work on the Birds of Borneo I should never 

* For the first list see Vol. II., p. 467, et. seq. 
f Printed in italics. 

2 R 


have been able, in thi3 brief space, to work out with certainty 
the numerous forms, previously unknown to me, which are 
included in the following : — 

List of Birds now to be added to the ornis of Tenassei'im. 

57 ter. — Macheiramphus alcinus, Westerm. Malewoon ; only one 

specimen seen and obtained, (vide supra, p. 269). 
58. — Baza lophotes, Cuv. Mergui, Malewoon ; not uncommon 
in December and January throughout the south of Tenas- 

58 bis. — Baza sumatrensis, La/res. Single specimen, (vide 

supra, p. 312). 

83. — Hirundo javanica, Sparrm. (H. domicola, Jerd.) ; rare. 

85. — Hirundo erythropygia, Sykes. Pakchan, Malewoon; not 
uncommon. The smaller race identical with specimens 
breeding in the plains of India. Those from the hilly 
parts of Northern Tenasserim were identical with the 
larger Himalayan race. 

95 bis. — Chsetura coracina, S. Midi. Pakchan ; very rare. 

103 quat. — Collocalia spodiopygia, Peale. Mergui, Pakchan. 
Identical with specimens from the Andamans. With the 
conspicuous whitey brown rump ; perfectly distinct from 
Linchi, Horsf., unicolor Jerd., and innominata, nobis. 

104 bis. — Dendrochelidon comata, Tern. Common in suitable 
localities throughout the extreme south of Tenasserim. 

104 ter. — Dendrochelidon klecho, Horsf. Bankasoon, Pakchan; 

107. — Caprimulgus indicus, Lath? Single specimen, near 

115 bis. — Harpaetes Duvaucelii, Tern. Common in Southern 

Tenasserim. These are not orropheeus, Cab. and Heine, 

but have the upper tail-coverts red, and not colored like 

the back. 
131 bis. — Halcyon concretus, Tern. Malewoon; rare. 
1 35 ter. — Alcedo euryzona, Tern. Bankasoon ; rare. 
145 quat. — Anorrhinus galeritus, Tern. Bankasoon; rare. 

145 quint. — Berenicornis comatus, Rajjl. Bankasoon; not 
rare, but very wary. 

146 quint. — Rhinoplax scutatus, Bodd. Bankasoon ; rare and 
almost unprocurable being persistently hunted by the natives 

* Although I record this as indicus, I believe that it will probably prove distinct. 
It is of the same type — tarsi feathered, all but the central tail-feathers in the male 
with a conspicuous white subterminal band ; a white spot on the inner webs of the 
first four primaries, and a buffy white spot on the outer webs of the 2nd to the 4th, but 
the bird is somewhat smaller and yet has a wing larger than average (79). The tail- 
feathers are much narrower, and the white spot on the 1st primary smaller. Then the 
bird is altogether more richly colored, the central head stripe broader and more strongly 
marked, and the whole of the wings are much more rufous. 

If distinct it may stand as C. innominata. It is too small for JotaTca and (to judge 
from Wolfs figures in the Faun-Japon.) somewhat differently colored also. 


for the heads, for which there is a great demand iu Siam, 
Japan and China for carving-. 

165 quint. — Meiglyptes tukki, Less. (M. marginatus, Reinw.) 
Bankasoon ; rare. 

169 quat. — Thriponax javensis, Less. Bankasoon; not very 

176 bis. — Lepocestes porphyromelas, Bote. Not uncommon 
throughout the extreme south of Tenasserim. 

178 bis. — Micropternus badius,* Baffl. Pakchan; rare. 

185 bis. — Gauropicoides Rafflesi, Vig. Bankasoon; not com- 

190 bis. — Caloramphus Hayii, Gr. Malewoon; rare. 

211 quat. — Chrysococcyx basalis, Horsf. Moulmein ; one 
specimen only seen and obtained. It is not adult and the 
identification may therefore not be correct, but it is neither 
smaragdinus, Bly., or xanthorhynclais, Horsf. 

215 bis. — Rhodopytes Diardi, Less. Malewoon, Bankasoon, &c. ; 
not rare. 

216 quint. — Poliococcyx sumatranus, Raffi. Common through- 
out the south of Tenasserim. 

224 ter. — Arachnothera chrysogenys, Tern. Mergui ; not com- 
224 quat. — Hypogramma nuchalis, Blyth. Rare. 

231 ter. — Chalcostetha insignis, Jard? Patoe Island ; single 

232 quat. — Authreptes simplex, Mill. Tenasserim Town, Male- 
woon ; rare. 

* These are either badius, or belong to a new species. . They do not agree over 
well with any of the descriptions I can find, or with specimens from the Straits, and 
not at all with Malherbe's figures or dimensions. They certainly do not belong to 
phaioceps, Big., or gularis, Jerd. But there is so much confusion as to the members 
of this little group, and the statements of authors are so contradictory as to badius, 
badiosus, &c, that until I have time to compare a really large series of the Indian, Ma- 
layan, and Insular races, I cannot pretend to assert that these Southern Tenasserim 
birds are positively badius, Eafl. 

f If I have erred in assigning the single specimen (a female) obtained, to this 
species, I hope the error may be pardoned. No description of the female I believe 
exists, except in Sch. and Mull, v. N. G. N. O. B, a work not accessible to me. Even 
of the male I failed to find reliable dimensions. Jardine in the Naturalist's library, 
XIII., p. 263, gives the length at 36, while Mr. Gould, P. Z. S., p. 663, gives it 
as 14,75 1 

My specimen is, I should say, clearly a chalcostrfha as defined by Cabanis, with 
much graduated tail, and in size and shape both of bird and bill it agrees well with 
Temminck's figure of the male PI. Col. 138, p. 3. 

The following are the dimensions recorded in the flesh of my single female speci- 
men :— 

Length, 6'1 ; expanse, 7'25 ; tail from vent, T82 ; wing, 2 - 25 ; tarsus, - 55 ; bill 
from gape, 0"82; at front, straight, - 77; weight, 03 oz. 

The irides were very dark brown ; the bill, legs, feet and claws black. 

The lores, cheeks and ear-coverts brownish grey ; a black line from the gape to 
the anterior angle of the eye, and a minute black spot at the posterior angle ; a 
narrow white line surrounds the eye, except where interrupted by this black line and 
spot ; the forehead, crown and occiput brown, each feather margined with grey, 
so as to produce a scale-like appearance ; upper parts dark brown, all the feathers 
margined and sutfused towards the margins with dull olive green, which is the only 


232 quint. — Anthreptes ?* Pabyai. Single specimen. 

240 qui?it. — Priouochilus maculatus, Tern. Not rare in the 
extreme south. 

240 sex. — Prionochilus modestus, Hume. (Supra, p. 298). Com- 
mon throughout the extreme south of the province. 

266. — Hyloterpe grisola, Bhjth. (Hylocaris luscinia, S. Mull). 
Kolon Island, Mergui ; rare. 

273 bis. — Pericrocotus igneus, Blyth. PaJechan, &c. ; not very- 

273 quat. — Pericrocotus ardens, f Bote. Pakchan ; not rare. 

277 ter. — Pericrocotus cinereus, Lafresn. Mergui and south- 
wards to the Pakchan Estuary ; not uncommon. 

colour visible until the feathers are disturbed ; quills and their greater coverts dark 
hair brown, margined with olivaceous; longer upper tail-coverts black or blackish, 
margined with olive green ; tail black, all but the central feathers tipped white, the 
external pair broadly (for 032), and the succeeding ones less and less broadly ; chin 
and throat greyish white ; upper breast very pale grey brown ; lower breast and rest 
of lower parts, dull, rather pale greenish or olivaceous yellow, purest along the median 
line and most tinged with olive at the sides ; lower tail-coverts nearly white, but with 
the faintest possible tinge of yellow, and the feathers much disintegrated; wing lining 
white, tinged along the carpal joint with pale primrose. 

If this should prove to belong to a new species it may stand as Chalcostetha inspe- 
rata, nobis. 

* I have no idea what species this female belongs to. It is clearly, I think, an 
Anthreptes, and it appears to me to belong to an undescribed species. In general 
coloring it is very like A. simplex, Muller, except in wanting the frontal band, but it is 
very much smaller and I should say did not weigh half what that species does. I have 
no particular knowledge of this group myself, but I have compared this specimen with 
females of the following species : — asiatica, lotenia. flammaxillaris, pectoralis, simplex, 
hypogrammica, zeylonica, minima, brasiliana, malaccensis, and singalensis, and it is 
clearly not an JEthopyga. It seems to me probable that the species is new. The fol- 
lowing are the dimensions, &c, recorded in the flesh: — Length, 4'75 ; expanse, 7'0 ; 
tail, 175; wing, 225; tarsus, 05 ; bill from gape ; 06 ; at front, 05; weight, 0'27 oz. 
The bill was darkish horny brown; the irides lake red; the legs, feet, and claws pale 
reddish green ; the entire upper surface is a moderately bright yellowish olive green ; 
the quills dark hair brown margined and suffused on the outer webs with the same 
color as the back, bat slightly yellower; the entire tail feathers olive yellow with a 
brownish tinge in some lights on the median parts of the feathers ; lores dusky 
greenish ; ear-coverts pale greyish green ; chin and throat white with a greenish tinge ; 
rest of lower parts pale green with a yellowish tinge down the centre of the breast and 
abdomen, on the vent and lower tail-coverts ; wing lining and axillaries pure white, the 
latter tinged at the tips, and the edge of the wing at the carpal joint colored with pale 
gamboge ; lower surface of quills pale hair brown ; the inner margins of the inner 
webs silky white ; lower surface of tail-feathers dull olive yellow ; the 4th, 5th 
and 6th quills are sub-equal and longest, the 3rd is slightly shorter, the 2nd is 
- 3, and the 1st is 1*0 shorter; tail even, except the outermost pair, which are l - 05 - 0,/6 
shorter than the rest. If new " xanthoc hlora." (SX*~ "># 

f Though I have recorded this species as P. ardens the dimensions exceed some- 
what those given by Salvadori. (Birds of Borneo, p. 143.) J^7°, ~t> J fjM 

Even if not the true ardens it belongs to the same minimum sub-division of the 
genus, and is, I should think barely separable from ardens. There are two divisions 
of these, red, pink and orange Pericrocoti ; one in which there is no second patch 
of bright color, on the outer webs of the later secondaries towards their tips and 
the other in which this second patch appears. In the first group we have brevirostris, 
Solaris, miniatus and its diminutive ignetis. In the second we have speciosus, xantho- 
gaster,flammeus, elegans, andamanensis and ardens. In speciosus and elegans the 
red patch on the primaries extends to the outer web of the 3rd primary, but elegans 
is a 2;ood deal smaller, and as a rule has only the outer webs of the central tail- 
feathers black. In Jiammeus the red on the primaries only extends to the 5th. In 
andamanensis, and this present bird which I give as ardens it extends to the 4th : 
but this is a somewhat smaller bird than andamanensis, the wings only measuring 


280 bis. — Buchanga leucophaaus, Vieil. Bopain ; rare. 

280 ter. — Buchanga cinerascens, Blyth. Tenasserim Town and 
Malewoon ; not common. 

280 quat. — Buchanga leucogenys, Walden. Very common 
throughout the whole of the southern portion of the Tenas- 
serim province. 

282 bis. — Chaptia malayensis, Hay. Bankasoon, Pakchan ; not 

289 ter. — Philentoma pyrrhopterum, Tern. Bankasoon, Male- 
woon ; rather rare. 

296. — Hemichelidon sibiricus, Gm. Not uncommon in the 
extreme south of the province. 

344 ter. — Brachyurus cseruleus,* Rajjl. ? Base of the hills divi- 
ding Siam and Tenasserim. Not very rare. 

346 bis. — Brachyurus Gurneyi, Hume. (Supra, p. 296). Com- 
mon at foot of the hills about the southern extremity of 

from 3*4 to 3*6 against 3 - 5 to 375 in andamanensis, and the color is perhaps slightly 
different. A fine male measured in the flesh was only 7*5 long ; a similar male of 
andamanensis was an inch longer; moreover all these Southern Tenasserim speci- 
mens agree with elegans and ardens in having only one web of the central tail- 
feathers black ; but then Salvadori gives the wing of ardens at only 3*17. Lord 
Walden (Ibis 1872, p. 372) gives the wing of ardens at 3*18, but in the 
Ibis for 1873, p. 310, he gives the wing of one adult male from Sumatra at 3-5. 
Accepting this latter dimension my birds agree better with ardens than any other 
species. They have the red on the wing differently arranged from speciosus, elegans 
an&flammeus, and they are smaller than and differ in the amount of black on the 
tail from andamanensis, and appear to agree except in being slightly larger in every 
respects with ardens. If distinct and neiv, flammifer, nobis. 

* I am by no means certain that this is true cceruleus, and not a nearly allied repre- 
sentee species. 

I have been unable to find any really full and satisfactory description, but I have 
consulted SchlegeFs Museum Des Pays Bas and his Ois. Ind. Neerland in the latter 
of which three figures are given of this species, also Temminck's figure (217) and 
description in the PI. Col., also Baffles' original description in the Trans. Lin. Soc, 
XIII., 301., as also the brief abstract descriptions given by Bonaparte (Consp. Gen. 
Av., 253) and Elliot (Ibis, 1870, 412). _ 

So far as I can make out our bird is in every way larger; length, 11*62; wing, 6*37 ; 
tarsus, 2*2; bill at front, 1*55 ; against a wing of 5*85; a tarsus of 2*05; and a bill 
at front of 1*3 in the Sumatran bird. 

Standing alone this difference of size would not have attracted my attention, but 
if the descriptions above referred to are correct, then there is a very marked difference 
in the coloration of the head. In the first place, there is a marked black stripe through 
the lores ; in the second place, the chin and upper part of the throat is white, faintly 
tinged with grey ; in the third place, the forehead as far back as the middle of the eye 
the very broad supercillium continued backward to the black collar, the cheeks, 
ear-coverts and sides of the neck in front of the black eye stripe are a glaucous 
greenish grey ; all the feathers of the forehead and the supercillium as far back as 
a quarter of an inch behind the eye, are narrowly margined with black. The rest of 
the bird answers well enough to Sehlegel's description, but the delicate glaucous 
grey of the head, with the faint greenish metallic sheen on the forehead and super- 
cilium, produce an effect as unlike any of Sehlegel's figures, and a fortiori Tem- 
minck's, as it is possible to conceive. Should this species prove distinct it should 
stand as B. Davisoni, nobis. 

Whether distinct or not its occurrence in the hills, dividing Tenasserim and Siam, 
is a matter of no little interest. 

Davison only succeeded iu shooting two specimens, both adult males, and both 
precisely similar. 


391, — Stachyris nigriceps, Hodgs. Tenasserim Town; rare; a 
single specimen obtained. 

396 bis. — Tiraalia erythroptera,* Bly. Common at the southern 
extremity of Tenasserim. 

396 ter. — Malacopteron majus, Bly. Pakchan ; rare. 

39b* ier A. — Malacopteron ferruginosum, Bly. Pakchan, Male- 
woon ; not common. 

396 ter B. — Malacopteron olivaceum, Bly. Very common 
about the southern portion of the province. 

396 quat. — Drymocataphus nigricapitatus, Eyton. Malewoon, 
Sfc. ; rare. These are the true nigricapitatus, with the 
sides of the head grey, spotted and lined with white. 

447 ter. — Hypsipetes malaccensis, Bly. Pakchan ; not uncom- 

451 quat A. — Criniger tristis, Bly. (Ibis, 1865, p. 47). Banka- 
soon, Pakchan ; not rare. 

451 quint. — Tricholestes minutus, Bartl. Common throughout 
the extreme south of the province. 

452 sex. — Ixos analis, Horsf. Very common throughout the 
southern portions of the province. 

452 sept. — Ixos plumosus, Blyth. Common. 
452 oct. — Ixos brunneusjt Blyth. Common. 
452 nov. — Ixos pusillus, Salvad. Pakchan ; rare. 
466 ter. — Phyllornis cyanopogon, Tern. Bankasoon ; rather 

* Count Salvadori, " Uccelli di Borneo," p. 214, speaking of this species, remarks that 
he is convinced that two supposed species, the one with the whole head and neck grey 
and the back also grey and tinged with olive, and the other with the crown, occiput, 
nape, and back rufescent chesnut (or rather as I should say rufescent olive) are merely 
different sexes of the same species — the former being the males, the latter the females. 
The latter, the alleged females, were described by Blyth, J. A. S. B., XL, p. 794, 
under the name of Erythroptera as follows : — " Length, 5-25 ; wing, 2-25 ; tail, 2 - ; 
its outermost feathers 075 shorter than the middle ones; bill to forehead, 062; to gape, 
075 ; tarsi a little exceeding, 75. Upper parts rufous olive brown, darker on the 
head ; the wings bright rufo-t'erruginous ; forehead, sides of head, throat, foreneck, 
and breast ash colour, becoming paler towards the belly ; flanks pale fulvous brown ; 
bill dusky; legs apparently yellowish." The former, the supposed male, was described 
by Blyth, Ibis, 1865, p. 46, under the name of bicolor as follows : — " Like T. erythrop- 
tera, nobis, but dark ashy with rufous mantle wings and tail." Salvadori himself further 
describes the male as follows : — " Head, neck, all round, and breast leaden ashy; the back 
on the other hand and rump concolorous, tinged with olive; the abdomen grey, slightly 
tinged with olive ; bill horny black; feet brown ; irides red. In fresh specimens the 
skin of the head and neck blue." Of the supposed female he says: " Similar to the 
male but with back rufescent chesnut, tinged with olive, as are the nape and occiput." 

Now I cannot think that the supposed males of Salvadori really, as he says, belong 
to the same species as those described by Blyth as erythroptera. We obtained 13 speci- 
mens, two of which are not sexed ; of the remainder six are males and five females, 
and apparently all adults ; all agree perfectly and absolutely with Blyth's original 
description. Not one of them shew any tendency to approach Blyth's bicolor, or the 
fuller description of this species given by Salvadori. It is very probable that both 
species occur in the Malay Peninsula, and both may occur in Borneo (but Salvadori 
only appears to have got males) but that the two species are distinct our large series, 
in my opinion, abundantly proves. 

f I notice that Count Salvadori, Birds of Borneo, pp. 198, 199, places Ixus plmno- 
sus, Blyth, as the male, and I. brunneus, Blyth, as the female of the same species. 


473 bis. — Oriolus xanthonotus, Ilorsf. Pahchan ; not common. 

563. — Reguloides occipitalis, Jerd. Common from August to 
February in Southern Tenasserim. 

587 bis. — Enicurus ruficapillus, Tern. Pahchan, eye. ; not com- 

593 quat. — Budytes flava, Lin. Mergui, Tenasserim; common. 

601. — Corydalla striolata, Bly. Mergui; rare; single speci- 
men obtained. 

668 ter. — Platylophus malaccensis, Cab. Not uncommon 
towards the base of the hills in the southern extremity of 
the province. 

688 Temenuchus malabaricus,* Gm. Mergui ; rare. 

701 bis. — Munia leucogastra, Blyth. Common at the southern 
extremity of the province. 

703 quat. — Erythrura prasina, Sparrm. Common towards the 
extreme south of Tenasserim. 

774 bis. — Osmotreron vernans, Lin. Common. 

797 ter. — Geopelia striata, Lin. Pahchan ; common, but only 

831. — Excalfactoria chinensis, Lin. Pahchan; not common. 

848. — iEgialitis cantianus, Lath. Mergui ; not common. 

882. — Tringa subarquata, Giild. Mergui. 

884. — Tringa minuta, Leisl. Mergui; not very common, appear 
to me to be true minuta, but further comparison is needed. 

923. — Ardea cinerea, Lin. Pahchan ; not common. 

928 bis. — Demiegretta sacra, Gmel. Mergui ; not plentiful. 

942 bis. — Geronticus Davisoni, Hume. Pakchan; not rare, 
but very wary {supra, p. 300.) 

980. — Xema brunneicephala, Jerd. Not uncommon. 

983. — Gelochelidon anglicus, Mont. Mergui : rare. 

Blyth described the two species, J. A. S. B., XIV., pp. 567 and 568, and his descrip- 
tion of brunneus omits the main difference, viz. that of size. I have examined the 
types, and I find that pfamosm differs in having the coverts and the qui'ls and rectrices 
very decidedly margined with yellowish olive green, in being everywhere greener above, 
in being larger. (Length, 775 to 8 against 7 to 73 in brunneus, and wing 325 to 35 
against 3 - to 33 in brunneus), in having the shafts of the ear-coverts more conspicu- 
ously pale than brunneus, and in having the chin and throat more albescent and the 
entire lower surface a purer brown. The type specimens are old and faded, but I have 
now a good series, six of each sex of brunneus, from Tenasserim, as also a dozen (all 
but one however males) of plumosus, from the same locality, and their identity with the 
types and the distinctness of these is, to my mind, indubitable. 1 may add that I have 
also Ixos (Pycnonotus) pusillus, Salvad., op. cit. p. 200, from the extreme south of 
Tenasserim, a perfectly good species, much smaller than either of the preceding, with a 
comparatively much smaller bill. With good specimens I cannot understand any 
confusion between plumosus and brunneus, but even with the worst specimens the 
longer, much darker bill of plumosus more rapidly compressed immediately beyond the 
nostrils, ought to serve to distinguish the two. 

Whether either of these three species is simplex of Lesson, Eevue. Zool., 1839, p. 167, 
it seems quite impossible to determine. 

* These Temenuehi are true malabaricus, identical with continental Indian speci- 
mens and conspicuously different from the race or species from Northern Tenasserim, 
which I called Icucopterus. (Stkay Feathbbs, Vol. II., p. 180, note.) 


989. — Pelicanopus Bergii, Licht. 3Iergul, fyc; not rare ; iden- 
tical 1 think with birds from Muscat, the Mekran Coast, 
Sindh, Bombay, the Laccadives, the Malabar Coast, and 
the mouths of the Hooghly. 

Next I subjoin a list of those species which, though entered 
( in italics) in my first list, had not been actually procured by 
us when this latter was printed, but of which we have secured 
specimens during this past cold season. 

Of the birds herein noted I need only remark that Mr. 
Davison is probably the first European who has ever seen the 
great Argus in large numbers wild, and that though he failed to 
obtain the eggs, he succeeded in capturing chicks apparently 
not above a day old. 

40. — Pandion haliaetus, Lin. 

43. — Cuncuma leucogaster, Gm. 

48 bis. — Butastur indicus, Gm. 

54. — Circus seruginosus, Lin. 

74. — Ephialtes pennatus, Hodgs. 

75 quint. — Ephialtes Lempiji, Horsf. 
118. — Merops philippinus, Lin. (M. Daudinii, Cuv). 
126. — Eurystomus orientalis, Lin. 
128. — Pelargopsis amauroptera, Pears. 
165 ter. — Meiglyptes tristis, Horsf. 
173 ter. — Chrysophlegma puniceus, Horsf. 
173 quat. — Chrysophlegma malaccensis,* Lath. 
203. — Cuculus micropterus, Gould. 
216 ter. — Zanclostornus javanicus, Horsf. 
218. — Centrococcyx bengalensis, Gm. 
289. — Tchitrea affinis, Hay\ 
449 bis. — Trachycomus ochrocephalus, Gm. Very common 

throughout the southern extremity of the province. 
451 quat. — Criniger phaiocephalus, Hartl. Rather rare. 
468 bis. — Jora Lafresnayi, Hartl. 
532. — Prinia flaviventris, Deless. Malewoon ; rare. 
803 ter. — Argus giganteus, Tern. Not rare in the hills. 
809 his. — Euplocamus Vieilloti, G, R. Gr. Common in the hills. 
831 ter. — Rollulus roulroul, Scop. Not rare at the extreme 
south of the province. 

* I note that Dr. Sclater remarks, (P. Z. S., 1863, p. 211,) when writing of Venilia 
{Gallolophus) malaccensis that" Malherbe figures the present bird (Picidce, II., PI. 76) 
but calls it wrongly miniata." This is, I think, a mistake. Malherbe figures the back 
as red (not as greenish as in malaccensis) and in his description, (p. 117), says, " le doa 
est d'un rouge vif, ondule" de rouge blanchatre" 

On the other hand, Malherbe figures the hinder part of the crest as yellow, whereas 
in the Javan birds the whole crest, as well as the back, is said by Dr. Sclater to be red. 
I however, have seen a specimen bought at Singapore (but brought probably from 
some of the Islands) corresponding in all respects with Malherbe's figure and 
description, and I conclude that his bird, as well as the specimen I refer to, were either 
varieties of miniata or else belonged to another nearly allied race. 



831 gtiat. — Caloperdix oculea, Tern. Banhasoon ; very rare. 
903 bis. — Podica personata, Gray. Margui ; rare. 
916. — Leptoptilus javanicus, Horsf. 
920. — Melanopelargus episcopus, JBodd. 
922. — Ardea sumatrana, Raffl,. 

Let me now take the earliest opportunity of noting promi- 
nently that having this season obtained a series of males I believe 
that, different as the birds appear, Orthotonus nitidus, nobis, 
(Stray Feathers, Vol. II., p. 507) are the females of 0. flavovi- 
ridis, Moore, and that my species should, therefoi'e, probably be 
cancelled. It is very curious that all the birds we got last 
year in the northern half of the province were females, entirely 
wanting any trace of black or grey on the throat or breast, 
while all that we obtained this year at the extreme south were 
males answering to Moore's description. 

I ought, I think, with reference to what I said at p. 181 
antea, to draw special attention to the fact that all the Irenas 
obtained in the extreme south of the Tenasserim province are 
in some respects intermediate between the Indian form and the 
Malayan one, viz. puella, Latham (indica, Hay,) and cyanea, 
Begbie (= malayensis, Moore). These two species or races 
differ, as is well known, in the length of the upper and under 
tail-coverts ; taking average specimens (they all vary a great 
deal) from (1), Kullar at the foot of the Nilghiris ; (2), Mergui 
Southern Tenasserim ; (3), Singapore. The following differences 
in the proportions of the upper and lower tail-coverts are 
observable : — 


Distance by which 
upper tail-coverts fall 
short of end of tail. 

Distance by which lower 

tail-coverts fall short 

of end of tail. 

Kullar ... 

Mergui ,,. ... 

Singapore ... 





In the matter of color also there is a difference. The Kullar 
birds are a deeper and purpler blue, the Singapore birds are 
paler and brighter blue, while the Southern Tenasserim birds are 
intermediate in color between the two. 

It may be useful to notice that the Crows obtained at the 
extreme south of the Tenasserim provinces have larger bills and 
are larger birds than any that I have ever obtained from any 
part of continental India; as regards the bills, these are of 

2 s 

32 G n-otes. 

precisely the same size as those of the specimens which I shot 
at the Nicobars, while the wings are perhaps somewhat longer 
(in an adult male 13*7 5). 

It is probable that these should be assigned to macrorhynchus, 
Temminck, but as I have already remarked (S. F., Vol. II., 
p. 243, and Lahore to Yarkand Ornithol., p. 85), I do not 
myself see how these Bow-billed Corby s are to be separated ; 
they differ solely in size, and every gradation of size seems to 

A. 0. H. 


It will be remembered that the only nesting place of the 
Stilt that I have yet been able to discover in Upper India is 
at the Sooltanpoor Salt Works, some 30 miles south of Dehli. It 
is curious that in the neighbourhood of these Works, Lieutenant 
C. Bingham has discovered that Mevops JEgyptius breeds in num- 
bers. This gentleman has kindly sent me specimens of both 
eggs and birds, and he remarks that, while occurring at the 
close of the hot season and beginning of the rains everywhere 
about Dehli and the country south thereof, they are literally 
in hundreds about Sooltanpoor, where he failed to notice a 
single specimen of M. philippensis. 

In the autumn of 1871 Captain G. F. L. Marshall shot a 
number of young birds of this species in the Allygurh and 
Mynpooree districts, and we then thought that these must be 
exceptional stragglers, but subsequent information shows that 
large bodies of this species invade Sindh in April, and pass 
thence right through Rajpootana reaching as far north and east 
at any rate as Dehli. Throughout this whole tract they breed 
during the end of April, May, June and July, according to 
season, and during the autumn parties, chiefly composed of 
young birds, are to be met with throughout the Doab, if not 
also in Oudh and Rohilcund. I have now received a large 
series of these birds (mostly young ones, but two sent by Lieute- 
nant Bingham are old adults) from Sindh, Sambhur, Dehli and 
Sooltanpoor and the Doab, and having compared these with 
Le Vaillant's plates, 6, 6 bis and 16, and Swainson's plate in the 
Birds of Western Africa ( together with his description) it 
seems to me clear that all Le Vaillant's 3 plates represent 
stages of this same bird, for I have specimens corresponding 
well to each, and that although his plate is bad, the bird des- 
cribed by Swainson is also the same. The bird figured by Bree 
as Merops persica, Pallas, is also the same bird. Plate No. 6, 

NOTES. &27 

of Le Vaillant, is an adult male, obtained about the breeding 
season. No. 6 bis is a female (alwa} T s distinguished by less 
white on the forehead and a less extent of chestnut on the 
throat) about a mouth before the breeding time. No. 16 is 
the young of the year. 

A SERIES of Carpophaga palumboides, received from the 
Nicobars, confirms the view I recorded, Vol. II., p. 498, that 
Janthanas nieobarica, Walden, was merely a stage of plumage 
of my bird. This series comprises two adult males, with heads 
not only much whiter than the type, but whiter even, I think, 
than the figure in the Ibis. Two adult females, which have 
somewhat less white on the head than the type, and two which 
are Lord Waldens, nieobarica, and which are to my mind clearly 
less mature specimens of palumboides. Any how we have now 
typical examples of both forms, and forms intermediate between 
these from both Andamans and Nicobars, and I confess that I 
am at present quite unable to admit the validity of .7. nieobarica. 

At page 266, Vol. II., I mentioned that Moungking de- 
clared that there was another large fruit pigeon, greyer than 
bicolor, with a large red naked space round the eye, it is 
clear now that the species referred to was palumboides, which, in 
the adult male, has the head very white and the bare eye 
space red. 

Mr. Frederic Wilson, better known as Mountaneer, recent- 
ly sent me two superb specimens of Ketupa flavipes from the 
valley of the Ganges, or as it is there called the Bhaghiratti, 
high up in the Himalayas, not very far from Gangaotri. 
To the best of my knowledge this species has never previous- 
ly been obtained any thing like so far west. He also sent a 
noble specimen of Bubo maximus, (not the pale form I have 
hitherto obtained, but one as highly colored as European 
specimens) and several Eagles of the chrysaetus type from the 
same locality. I say of the chrysaetus type, because having 
now more than a dozen specimens from the interior of the 
Himalayas, I cannot but think that they are somewhat 
different from the Golden Eagle of Scotland and France, with 
which I have compared them ; but of this I shall write 

A splendid adult male of the Red-legged Hobby, sent me 
from Cachar by Mr. J. Inglis, enables me to make certain that 
the species we obtained in Eastern India is amurensis. So 
far as I know, this is the first adult male obtained in India of 
which we have any record, and according to my experience 
the bird is quite the rarest of our Indian Raptores. 

328 NOTES. 

Dr. Jerdon, B. of I., II., 458, remarks that the irides of spe- 
cimens of Carpophaga insignis from the Himalaya are hoary 
grey, while those of examples from the south of India are 
red brown. He also remarks, loc cit, that he was " at one time 
inclined to consider the southern birds as distinct from the 
Himalayan ones, and the fact of the irides being colored 
differently would favor the supposition, but without further 
examples of both" to compare he could not separate them. 

I entertain no doubt that the southern bird P. cuprea, Jerdon, 
is a perfectly distinct species from the Himalayan insignia, 

In the first place, the southern birds average smaller ; the 
wiugs of Himalayan specimens average, I find, about 10" ; those 
of birds from Travancore about 9". 

In the second place, the whole lower surface in insignis is a 
pale cold grey, without a trace of vinous, and the wing lining is 
much the same color. In cuprea the lower surface is a warm 
vinous grey, and the wing lining is a dark brownish slatey. 

In the third place, the upper back and interscapulary region, 
lesser scapulars, and median wing-coverts have in insignis a 
strong vinaceous purple tinge ; this is entirely wanting in 

In the fourth place the rump in insignis is gi'eyer, and in 
cuprea more olivaceous. 

Other minor differences, which I need not here dwell upon, 
are observable on a close comparison of a good series of speci- 
mens from north and south. It is sufficient here to say that 
I entertain no doubt of the distinctness of the two species. 

I have been comparing a large series of the Burmese Tiga or 
Chrysonotus intermedins, Blyth, with three or four specimens of the 
supposed rubropygialis, Msdhevbe, from Southern Travancore, and 
I confess my inability to distinguish the two species. Jerdon 
says that rubropygialis is much smaller than intermedins, 
and has the black spots on the head of the female still rounder 
than in this latter, but as a matter of fact neither of 
these differences appear to hold good. A male of rubropygialis, 
measured in the flesh by Mr. Bourdillon, was : — Length, 11 ; 
expanse, 165 ; wing, 5*62; tail, 4 ; tarsus, 0'87 ; bill from, 
gape, 1*4. This was shot at My nail, Southern Travancore. 

A fine male of intermedins, shot at Tenasserim on the out- 
skirts of the town of that name, a specially fine specimen, 
measured in the flesh, Length, H'12 ; expanse, 18 • tail, 
4'25 ; wing, 5*75 ; tarsus, 0*85; bill from gape, 139. 

These two specimens are absolutely identical, except that the 
head of the southern bird is of a deeper and duller red. 


Then as regards the head of the female, the shape of the 
spots is variable in all the species of this genus, but as a rule 
both in intermedins and rubropygialis they appear to be usually 
linear and not round at all. 

As for Malherbe's specimen with the wing only 4f, it was 
clearly immature. Out of five rubropygialis the smallest has a 
wing of 5*2 ; and this also is about the minimum of intermedius. 
I may add that intermedius from Arakan, Moulmein, Tavoy, 
and the Pakchan Estuary are identical with those shot in the 
immediate neighbourhood of Tenasserim town, and that in 
Pegu and further north there seem to be traces of intermedius 
grading into Shorii, Vigors. 

I have no undoubted specimens of the Sumatran species by 
me, nor have I at present available for comparison any speci- 
men from the Straits, and I am unable therefore to say whether 
these latter differ, but I am very decidedly of opinion at present 
that the southern Indian rubropygialis and the Burmese inter- 
medius are identical. 

Having at last obtained a copy of N. A. Severtsov's 
Vertikalnoe i horizontalnce raspredlenie Turkestanskikh jevotnikh, 
published in the Izviestia impera torskavo obstchestva lionvetelei, 
estestvoznania anthopologii i ethnograpkn, (vide Stray Feathers, 
Vol. II., 514). I regret to say that I am not much wiser than 
I was before. It is written entirely in Russian and printed in 
the Russian character, and though 1 have attacked the language, 
I have not yet made sufficient progress to understand two conse- 
cutive sentences. I have, however, discovered one important 
point from the plates to wit that my Stoliczkana stoliczkos, has 
already been named by Severtsov, Leptopmcile sophice. I don't 
think that publications in Russian should count ! 

fetters to tje tibita. 


I do not know if there is any record of Palceomis 
sivalensis (alexandri apud J erd.) breeding in these parts, but 
I do not see any mention of it in your " Nests and Eggs/' so I 
write to let you know that this morning I found a nest of a 
pair that had built in a hole in an old ' Bakhain' tree. 

There were four well-grown young birds, quite unmistake- 
able Alexandrines, about two weeks' old. 

I saw the old male sitting outside the hole and the old female 
came out as the boy was swarming up the tree. I regret I 


did not find the nest in time to procure the eggs, but I hope to 
be more fortunate next year. — F. Field. 
Goojrat, Punjab, 29th March 1875. 


On the 8th instant I saw a King Crow (Buchanga 
albirictus) sittiug on a telegraph wire with a lizard about 6 
inches long in its claws, pecking away at it, just as you see 
a hawk eating a large lizard or a mouse. 

The lizard — one of those delicate, fragile, light-colored little 
fellows which one sees running about in long grass — was not 
qiiite dead, though he had ceased to struggle violently. The 
bird appeared to be pulling the lizard's intestines out in a 
most deliberate manner. — Henry Wender. 

Sholapoor, Deccan, January \lth, 1875. 


While shooting on the low alluvial land of the Ganges, 
about six miles above Cawnpore, on the 17th of February, 
we were fortunate enough to secure a specimen of a very 
large Bush Chat. We came across it in a patch of long grass ; 
the bird was solitary, in fact we did not see any other Chats 
during the whole day. As soon as we had handled the speci- 
men we came to the conclusion that we had obtained a new 
or very rare species of Pratincola, it being nearly double the 
size of our common Pratincola indica or rubetra (whichever 
it may be) . It is unfortunately in a transition state of plumage. 
In measurement and colouring however it accords sufficiently 
well with Jerdon's meagre description of Pratincola insignis, 
to induce us to identify it with that species. Its size alone 
precludes it from being P. Hemprichii or any other described 
species of this genus. Dr. Tristram apparently ignores the 
existence of such a bird as P. insignis, for at page 497 of the 
Ibis for 1870 he describes a Giant Stone Chat from Mysore and 
the Sutlej Valley, which he says is very much larger than any 
known species of Pratincola. The dimensions of this species, 
which he names P. robusta, are : — Length, 5"95 ; wing, 3 ; tail, 
2-45; or less than half an inch smaller all round than Hodgson's 
P. insignis. If the bird that we have is not Hodgson's bird it 
ought to be called P. robustior, but we do not think there can 
be any doubt as to its identity, as the description in Jerdon, 
(the only one we know of,) is scarcely sufficient ; we append 
full details of the specimens now in our possession. 

Pratincola insignis. — Sex <$ ; head aud back umber brown, 
darker in the former with the feathers pale edged; rump and upper 


tail-coverts pale ferruginous ; tail dark brown with narrow pale 
tippings ; the third tail feather from the centre on one side only 
has a large white spot on the basal half of the inner web. There 
are indications of similar spots coming on the other feathers ; 
wings the same colour as the tail, with a broad white patch on 
the centre of all the primaries (except the first) and the 
secondaries forming a most conspicuous wing bar very different 
to the wing spot of P. inclica. The under parts are sullied 
white, the bi'east being washed with rufous. 

Length, 6'5 ; wing, 3*5 ; tail, 2*4; tarsus, 1*1. 

Some months ago we noticed the occurrence of 6. maha- 
vattensis in Bundlekund. We have now received a well-marked 
specimen of this Goatsucker shot by Mr. Dale, C.S., near 
Cawnpore. It was found among the clumps of rank grass upon 
the dried up borders of a large jheel. It sat so closely that it 
was only after beating three times through a small patch of 
jungle with eight beaters that Mr. Dale succeeded in flushing 
it. Two were seen, but only the male secured. We have care- 
fally compared this and the Bundlekund specimen with all the 
allied species, and have come to the conclusion that if they are not 
C. maliarattensis, with which we identify them, they belong to 
a species as yet undescribed. The measurements are identical 
in both. Length, 9*1; wing, 6*8 ; tail, 43 ; expanse, 21*5. 
It belongs to the group with bare tarsi, and the two outer tail 
feathers tipped white. 

In his description of Meniceros bicornis Doctor Jerdon omits to 
mention the difference in plumage between the adult males and 
females and immature birds. 

The description given only applies to the adult male, and is 
even in this case slightly incorrect. He mentions that all the 
primaries are tipped with white, and the first three have a white 
streak. From a large series now before us we find it an invari- 
able rule that the two first primaries are blackish brown 
throughout. It is the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th primaries that 
are broadly tipped with white, and have a brownish white streak 
on the outer webs. The head, face, and tail get blacker with age. 

In the female and immature birds the first six primaries and 
sometimes the 7th want the white tips entirely, while on all, but 
the first two, the whitish streaks are much more developed and 
conspicuous than in the adult male. The casque also is lower 
and more depressed lacking the sharp pointed horn. 

The specimens we have examined are from Umballa, the 
Dhoon, Alighur, Muttra, Cawnpore, Bundlekund and Mysore, 
most of them collected and carefully sexed by ourselves. — 
C. H. T. and G. F. L. Marshall. 

332 letters to the editor. 


In the last issue of Stray Feathers, recently to band, appeare 
a particularly interesting account of the Wood Owl (Syrnium 
indranee, Sykes), from the pen of W. Vincent Legge, Esq., 
R.A., of Ceylon, in which he refers to certain local ornithologists 
who have credited this species with uttering the most diabolical 
screams, which he scouts as a libel on his evidently-favorite 
bird, and I think rightly so. Perhaps I may be able to throw 
some light on this apparently-obscure point, which will not be 
devoid of interest to that gentleman and others. 

The reason why the Cingalese differ so widely as to size of 
the bird which makes the sounds alluded to above, is, I sur- 
mise, because they probably, in common with the Bengalis, 
regard the notes of two different genera of the family Strigidae 
with terror, — the one large in size, and the other small. Both 
these birds I have many years ago shot now and again while 
in the act of giving forth their discordant sounds, for the con- 
flicting statements of the natives regarding them was puzzling 
in the extreme, and no one, either European or Native, to 
whom I applied as likely to afford me information on the subject, 
could give me ought save the most vague and contradictory 

During the close of the cold season and commencement of the 
warm weather, I have here frequently been awakened very late 
at night from a sound sleep by cries which closely resembled 
those of two infants in distress, heard alternately from different 
places out of doors. On enquiry of the native guard, in the 
verandah from whence proceeding the noise, the invariable reply 
was, that evil spirits were abroad in the form of owls, and he 
dreaded to molest them in any way, lest their ire should be 
aroused against him, and he be inflicted with illness. When I 
was disposed to leave the bed rather than suffer a continuance 
of the disagreeable sounds, I used to take down my fowling 
piece, and follow the dh'ection of the cries (greatly to the 
horror of the guard, who followed me most reluctantly at a 
respectful distance), and having discovered the bird calling out, 
brought it down with a shot. This was the large-sized Owl, 
which I take to be the Indian Screech Owl (Strix indica, 
Blyth), but I must candidly admit that I have never identi- 
fied it by comparing it with undoubted specimens of this species. 
The natives designated the bird Bhutum Pecha (no doubt from 
Bhut, signifying "demon," "ghost," etc.), which I have trans- 
lated as " Groblin-Owl," so if I am wrong in the scientific 
denomination I have assigned to it, the Editor will be able 
probably to set me right. The horrible cries uttered 


by the pair were, evidently, their amorous calls, and doubtless 
sounded to them as sweet music, — chacun a son gout. 

The natives consider the sharp, regular, monotonous notes 
of the Grey Scop Owl, (E. griseus, Jerdon), prolonged for 
several consecutive hours with only very short intervals, and 
•well described by Mr. Hume in Rough Notes, (p. 402), to por- 
tend certain death to some one of the inmates of the house near 
which they are heard, and as coincidences are not altogether 
rare, I have known the prediction to be verified more than 
once. This bird I have also shot while repeating its never- 
varying echoing sounds, though not without considerable 
difficulty, as the small size of the bird allowed of its bein* 
easily screened by the foliage of the tree on which it perched, 
and a random flying shot fired low in a dark night is usually 
both dangerous and unsuccessful. 

En passant, that the cry of the Owl bodes death was an erro- 
neous idea entertained in England in the time of Shakespeai'e, 
for the Bard thus alludes to it in his famous tragedy of Julius 
Caesar ; Cassa, one of Brutus's confederates, in enumerating 
the strange occurrences that preceded Caesar's death, (Act I, 
Scene III), says : — 

1" the bird of night did sit 

" Even at noon-day upon the market place, 
" Hooting and shrieking. When these prodigies 
" Do so conjointly meet, let men not say, 
" These are their reasons, they are natural ; 
" For, I believe, they are portentous things 
" Unto the climate they point upon.' ; 

I may add, that both the Owls here mentioned are to be 
found in Ceylon ; the Indian Screech Owl is well known 
throughout India, Burmah, Ceylon, and probably Indo-Chinese 
sub-region, apud Blyth; and the Grey Scop Owl is included 
among the Ceylonese birds by Mr. Hume, under the synonym 
of E. bakhamuna, Forst, vide Stray Feathers, Vol. I, p. 432.-— 
H. James Rainey. 

Khulna, Jessor, Lower Bengal, Jidy 11th, 1874. 

[A correspondent, who neither signs nor dates his letter, writes 
about Rhynehops albicollis. Anonymous contributions cannot 
be published' — JEd.] 


Vol. III.] NOVEMBER, 1875. [No. 5. 

Uotcs jok some Duvmcsc girta. 

By Eugene W. Oates, c.e. 

I shall confine the present notes to those birds which are not 
jet entitled to a place in the Avifauna of the tract already 
dealt with by Mr. Hume, viz., Upper Pegu, comprised between 
the Irrawaddy and Sittang Rivers, and the frontier and the 
latitude of Poungday. Nor do I wish to anticipate any of the 
information which Mr. Hume will shortly give us relative to 
the birds of Tenasserim, met with by Mr. Davison. I shall 
therefore exclude from this list those birds, the names of which 
are printed in ordinary type in the list at page 467 of Vol. II., 
li Stray Feathers." 

42.— Haliaetus leucoryphus, Pall. 

The Indian Ring-tailed Fishing Eagle is a common bird along 
the banks of the Sittang River and the network of tidal creeks 
which intersect the country on the western side up to the Pegu 

In a fine adult male, the iris was dusky yellow ; the cere 
and gape, light plumbeous ; bill, dark plumbeous ; lower eyelid, 
pale greenish, the upper one, bluish ; legs and toes, dull 
white ; claws, black. 

The dimensions were : — Length, 32'0 ; expanse, 80*0 ; tail, 
12-2; wing, 23-0; tarsus, 4-03 ; bill from gape, 2-65; differ- 
ence between the longest and shortest tail feathers, '7 ; these 
dimensions are all greater than those of males given by Mr. 
Hume in his " Rough Notes." 

I took three young from a nest on the 17th January. The 
eldest one was a huge fellow seemingly about 10 or 12 days 
old, while the youngest one was very small and appeared to 
be only three or four days old. The third one was inter- 
mediate in size to the other two. 

43.— Haliaetus leucogaster, Gm. 

Seen once, flying over the Rangoon Cantonment, by Mr. 
Davison and myself. 


126.— Eurystomus orientalis, L. 

One specimen was brought to me from the Arrakan hills, and 
it also occurs, rarely, elsewhere in Pegu. 

139 quat— Oymbirynchus affinis, Bl. 

This bird appears to be abundant on the Arrakan hills from 
Cape Negrais up to at least the 19th deg. N. Lat. 

In plumage and size affinis is very similar to the Malayan 
species, which Count Salvadori has separated as malaccensis. 

In malaccensis the white spots on the tail are confined to the 
inner webs, and on the 4th and 5th pairs, counting from the 
outside, are nearly obsolete ; the belly is washed in places with 
rich aureous ; the wing spot is indistinct, being much hidden 
by the coverts ; the tertiaries are plain black ; and the rump 
shews no indications of pale transverse lines. 

In affinis, on the other hand, the white spots on the tail- 
feathers are larger, extending ou the 3 outer pairs to both webs. 
On the 4th and 5th pairs the amount of white on the inner 
webs is considerable ; the belly is either uniformly red or 
washed with pale silky white ; the wing spot is conspicuous, 
being below the coverts and well exposed to view. Each 
feather of the tertiaries has a longish, narrow spot of red at 
its extremity. These spots appear to be invariably three in 
number, and, curiously enough, the one on the uppermost fea- 
ther is on the inner web ; while, in the other two, it is on the 
outer. The rump shews, in every specimen I have examined, 
indistinct transverse lines, nearly obsolete, of black. 

I can discover no other differences in plumage. The following 
are the dimensions of three skins of affinis : — Wing, 3*5 to 
3-63 ; tail, 2-9 to 3-1 ; tarsus, -85 to -87 ; bill, from forehead 
to tip straight, '71 to "77. For the sake of comparison I also 
give the dimensions of three skins of malaccensis similarly 
measured : — Wing, 3*85 to 3'95 ; tail, 3*5 to 3*6 ; tarsus, *8 to 
•93 ; bill, -87 to -92. 

The length of one affinis, measured in the flesh by my collector 
with a piece of thread which he brought home to me, was 8" 15. 

To keep to the excellent rule of " Stray Feathers" of des- 
cribing a bird which is mentioned in its pages for the first time, 
I append a short description. Rump bright red, with indis- 
tinct cross lines of black. With this exception, the whole 
upper surface, the lores, the chin, throat and broad pectoral 
band are deep black. The space between the throat and the 
pectoral band, the cheeks and ear-coverts, the breast, belly, 
under tail-coverts and flanks are a rich vinous red ; the thighs 
black ; the tail black, with white spots on the outer five pairs 
of feathers ; the wings also black with a conspicuous Avhite 
spot, and the inner webs chiefly white ; the tertiaries with red 


spots near the tips ; under wing-coverts, yellowish white ; edge 
of wing, golden yellow; the scapulars with some of the outer 
webs pure white, narrow and sharply pointed. 

344.— Hydrornis nipalensis, Eodg. 

One bird, similar to Himalayan specimens, w r as brought to 
me from the Arrakan hills, where it was shot in January. 

384.— Gampsorynchus rufulus, Bl. 

One specimen was brought in to me from Nj^oungyo, better 
known as Mountjoy, on the Arrakan hills in June. 

448.— Hemixus flavala, Sodg, 

One specimen, also from Mountjoy. Mr. Hume examined 
this and the preceding two species, and declared them all to be 
undistinguishable from Indian specimens. 

514.— Cyanecula suecica, Lin. 

This bird is frequently seen in the grass-covered plains sur- 
rounding Pegu up to, at least, the 1st of May. On this date 
I procured a female. The blue of the throat and breast is 
very pale, but the buff patch is large and bright. It is in this 
specimen nearly surrounded by a broad black line which takes 
the form of a triangle, the base of which is the pectoral baud 
and the apex on the gullet where, however, the two sides do not 
quite meet. The pectoral band is comparatively narrow, and 
there is hardly a trace of rufous below it. It measured : — 
Length, 6 - 0; expanse, 9*0; tail, 2*1; wing, 2*7; bill from 
gape, *75 ; tarsus, 1*15 ; the ovaries were still small. 

A male, shot on the 10th of April, has not quite finished 
his moult, but the blue and buff are nevertheless brilliant. The 
tips of the feathers on the buff patch are whitish. The pec- 
toral band very broad and deep black, while the rufous below is 
very indistinct and fails to catch the eye. The dimensions 
were : Length, 6'15 ; expanse, 8'7 ; tail, 2'3 ; wing, 2"8 ; tarsus, 
1"U4 ; bill from gape, "7. 

In both birds the iris was dark brown ; the eyelids, plum- 
beous ; the bill, black ; the gape and inside of the mouth, 
yellow ; the claws, dark brown ; and while in the female 
the legs were dark purplish black, in the male they were 
dusky flesh-colour. 

515bis. — Acrocephalus orientalis*, Schleg. A. magni- 
rostris, Swinhoe. 
The Eastern Reed Thrush, as Mr. Swinhoe terms it, is 
exceedingly common throughout the plains of Pegu from the 
Sittang to the Pegu river and from Kyeikpadein to Myitkyo. 
Outside these limits I have not observed it. 

* Thus iik'utilied by Mr. Hume. 


It arrives in great numbers about the 15th of November and 
stays in undiminished quantities till the 31st May at the least. 
On its first arrival it affects bamboo bushes, thick clumps of 
grass and patches of weeds ; but as the season progresses, and 
the Peepul trees come out into leaf, their haunts become chiefly 
arboreal. It is very strange that a Reed Warbler should take 
to trees at all, but it does in this instance; and I have shot, 
and can always obtain, more specimens in Peepul trees at a 
height of 30 or 40 feet from the ground than in other locali- 
ties. Its motions are slow and awkward, and it keeps chiefly 
to the thicker secondary branches. Its note is very harsh and 
it is uttered very often, betraying the presence of the bird 
at once. 

There appears to be but one moult a year, which takes place 
in April and May. In these two months specimens are hardly 
worth preserving. Up to the day of departure the generative 
organs of both sexes are extremely small. On their arrival 
here in November the plumage is very perfect. 

The food consists entirely of insects and caterpillars. From 
their frequentiug Peepul trees, I thought at one time that they 
might occasionally eat a fig, but 1 do not now think they ever 
do so. Certainly I have never found any fruit in the stomach. 

The sexes do not differ either in size or in plumage. The 
following are the extreme measurements of numerous birds :— 
Length, 7*2 to 8'05 ; expanse, 9"4 to 107 ; tail from vent, 
2-5 to 3-1; wing, 3-15 to 3-36; tarsus, 1*12 to 1-21; bill, 
from gape to tip, '97 to 1*03 ; the closed wings fall short 
of the tail by about 20; the toes reach to a little beyond 
the tip of the tail ; the under tail-coverts fall short of the tip 
of the tail by *95 ; the difference between the longest and 
shortest rectrix is "65 ; the third . primary is the longest ; the 
fourth is '03 ; the fifth '13 ; the second -12 ; and the first, which 
is very minute, as minute indeed as in A. brunnescens, 1*95 
shorter than the longest. 

The inside of the mouth, throughout the seven months it 
stays with us, is a rich salmon color ; the gape, the lower 
mandible and the edges of the upper, pale flesh color ; the 
remainder of the upper mandible, dark brown ; the ej'elids are 
clear plumbeous ; the iris, rich olive brown ; the legs and toes, 
leaden blue ; the under part of the latter, pale yellowish ; the 
claws, pale horn color. 

The following description is taken from a very perfect spe- 
cimen shot in November. The sexes, as already stated, do not 
differ : — 

Four stiff black bristles, about '3 long, spring from either 
side the gape, and half a dozen soft, hair-like, webless feathers 
spring from the nape and exceed the ordinary feathers of the 


bead by *15 ; the lores, the feathers of which are stiff and 
point forwards, are mixed brown and yellowish ; a pale fulvous 
supercilium extends from the nostrils to a little past the eye ; 
the small plumes clothing the edges of the eyelids are rather 
paler fulvous than the supercilium ; the whole upper plumage 
from the base of the bill to the tail-coverts, olive brown, with a 
strong fulvous tinge pervading all and strongest on the rump 
and tail-coverts ; the ear-coverts and sides of the neck conco- 
lorous with the upper plumage, but the shafts of the first 
conspicuously paler. 

The throat and chin are pale cream color ; the cheeks the 
same, but with the shafts lengthened, hair-like and black ; the 
lateral feathers of the chin pi-esent the same peculiarities ; 
from the chin to the upper breast, silky white in some lights, 
pale creamy in others, with short longitudinal striations of pale 
brown few in number in the centre, but increasing at the sides 
of the breast and neck where they run into each other and are 
lost in the uniform brown of those parts ; the color of the breast 
becomes darker laterally ; the lower part of the breast and the 
sides of the body pale brown, the latter parts strongly tinned 
with pale buff; the abdomen pale creamy white; and the 
under tail-coverts clear, pale buff; the thighs, on the outside, 
are of much the same color as the sides of the body, but as 
the feathers are dark brown for their basal two-thirds there 
are signs of bars where they fail to overlap each other. On 
the inside of the thighs this is not the case. Under wino-- 
coverts, pale buff, brighter near the edge of the wing. 

The rectrices are brown, with greyish white tips equally 
conspicuous on both the upper and under sides, and the outer 
webs are margined very finely with fulvous brown. 

The primaries and secondaries are dark brown, tipped with 
fulvous white and margined exteriorly with fulvous brown and 
interiorly with white ; the tertiaries are also dark brown, but 
more broadly margined on the outer web ; the upper coverts are 
very broadly margined with fulvous, so much so that when 
the feathers are lying in their proper places very little of the 
central dark brown portion is visible. 

517. — Acrocephalus agricolus, Jerdon. 

The only specimen of this, which I have been able to procure, 
was shot near Wan in the Pegu plains. It was a male and 
was hopping about the clumps of elephant grass near the canal. 
Of it, Mr. Hume, who has seen the specimen, says that it is 
less rufous than Indian examples generally. 

It measured : — Length, 5*3; expanse, 6'6 ; tail, 2'4 ; wino- ? 
2'1 ; tarsus, '9 ; bill from gape, '7 ; the iris was pale yellow; 
eyelids, plumbeous ; the upper mandible, dark brown ; the 


lower, fleshy yellow ; the inside of the mouth, orange yellow ; the 
legs and claws, pinkish brown ; the soles of the toes, yellow. 
It was shot on the 21st March. The fourth aud fifth quills are 
subequal and longest, and the first falls short of them by 1*18. 

532.— Prinia flaviventris, Delessert. 

The Yellow-bellied Wren Warbler is very abundant through- 
out Lower Pegu in suitable localities. In the plains between 
the Sittang and Pegu rivers they are constant residents, breeding 
freely from May to August and September. In Rangoon 
also all round the Timber Depot at Kemandine, and in the 
low-lying land between the town proper and Monkey Point 
they are very numerous. 

As in other Warblers, that I have examined, of this group, 
the iuside of the mouth, during the breeding season, is black. 

544 quat.— Drymoipus extensicauda*, Swmhoe. 

The Broad-tailed Wren Warbler is perhaps the commonest 
bird of the Pegu Plains. From Myitkyo on the Sittang, and 
possibly from further north, down to Rangoon, it is to be found 
in all the low tracts covered with grass. 

It is an amusing little bird, always on the move. Perched 
on the summit of a stalk of elephant grass it gives out its 
monotonous song, consisting of one note repeated some twenty 
times.; then, with its ample tail held at right angles to the back, 
it skips away to the bottom of the next tuft only to reappear 
shortly on the summit with its persistent little song. These 
birds seem hardly able to regulate their flight. They seldom 
fly more than 20 yards, and in this short space they appear in 
eminent peril of turning sundry somersaults, for the bill on 
these occasions points to the ground, while the tail, bent well 
over the back, is nearly horizontal. 

Where it occurs, it is a constant resident and breeds from 
May to August. I have found the nest in the middle of 
May, but it is not till July that the bulk of the birds lay. 

The nest is never more than four feet from the ground, and is 
attached either to two or more stalks of elephant grass ; or to 
the stem of a low weed ; or to the blades of certain tender 
grasses which grow in thick tufts. There is little or no at- 
tempt at concealment. The materials forming the nest are 
entirely fine grasses, of equal coarseness or fineness throughout, 
gathered green and so beautifully woven together that it is 
almost impossible to destroy a nest by tearing it asunder, 
although it may be looked through. In shape it is somewhat of 
a cylinder, with a tendency to swell out at the middle. Its 
length, or rather height, for its longer axis, being invariably 

* As identified by Mr. Hume. 


parallel to the stalks to which the nest is attached, is generally 
upright, is from 6 to 8 inches, and its extreme width 4. The 
entrance is slanting and placed at the top of the nest, one side 
of which is produced an inch or two above the lower edge of the 
entrance. The thickness of the walls is very small, seldom 
reaching half, and generally being only a quarter of an inch. 
Occasionally the nest is almost globular, but the back of the 
entrance is in every case produced upwards some inches. 
There is no lining at all. 

The eggs never exceed four, and frequently are only three, 
in number, and the female does not commence sitting till the 
full number is laid. She deserts the nest on the slightest pro- 
vocation, and if a nest, with only one or two eggs, is found and 
the fingers inserted, it is useless to leave the eggs in hopes of 
getting more. She will lay no more. I have tested this in, at 
least, ten cases. 

In shape the eggs are regular ovals, slightly pointed at the 
smaller end. In length they vary from *55 to '62, and in breadth 
from '42 to '46, and the average of a large number is "58 by *44. 
The ground color is pinkish white in some, pale green or bine in 
others, and the egg is covered, chiefly at the large end, with spots 
and blotches, of all shapes and sizes, of dark purplish — and 
reddish — brown. Some of these are half washed out, while others 
are very dark and well defined. A few eggs have only these paler 
marks on them ; others, by far the majority, have both. In 
addition, some seventy-five per cent, of the eggs have fine, 
narrow, irregular lines scrawled over the egg, chiefly over the 
large end, but occasionally extending to the smaller. All the 
eggs have a fine gloss. 

The sexes do not differ appreciably in size. The total length 
varies enormously according to the development of the tail. 
The following are the dimensions of various full-plumaged birds 
of both sexes : — Length, 575 to 6 - l ; expanse, 59 to 6-6 ; 
tail, 2-8 to 3-15; wing, 1-8 to 2"02 ; tarsus, -8 to -9; bill, 
•59 to "65 ; there are 10 rectrices, and the different pairs fall 
short of the central ones by *3, '65, *9 and 1*5; the central 
feathers are about "4 broad, and the whole tail very massive. 
The 4th, 5th and 6th primaries are sub-equal and longest ; the 
1st -7, the 2nd -3, and the 3rd -15 shorter. 

The gape and lower mandible are pale flesh color ; the upper 
mandible dark brown, and the tip of the lower somewhat 
brownish ; the inside of the mouth flesh colour ; the iris nut 
brown ; the eyelids plumbeous ; the edges yellowish brown ; 
the legs and toes pinkish brown ; the claws pale brown. 

The whole upper plumage, including the scapulars and the 
lesser upper wing-coverts fulvous brown ; the feathers of the 
forehead and upper part of the head conspicuously dark-centred, 


and those of the back and coverts faintly so ; the upper tail- 
coverts rufescent ; the lores, a broad streak over eye ; the 
space under the eye, the chin, throat, flanks, breast and 
under tail-coverts a warm creamy buff. The ear-coverts 
mingled brown and pale buff ; the sides of the neck con- 
colorons with the upper portion ; two conspicuous bristles 
on either side of the gape, black ; the under wiug-coverts and 
the edge of the wing, as the flanks ; the belly and abdomen 
nearly pure white ; the winglet and the greater upper wing- 
coverts dark brown conspicuously edged with yellowish brown. 
The primaries dark brown, narrowly edged, on the outer web 
only, with yellowish brown ; the secondaries and tertiaries the 
same', but with a broader edging ; the inner webs of all 
the quills are edged with buff. This edging is narrow and short 
on the first primary, but it broadens and lengthens progressively 
up to the last secondary, and becomes nearly obsolete on the 
tertiaries ; the tail is brown, each feather striated with close 
indistinct fine lines of a darker shade, about "1 apart. All the 
feathers tipped white, and on all but the central pair there is a 
subterminal dark spot, more conspicuous from below than above. 

584 bis. — Enicurus guttatus, Gould. 

One specimen was procured on the Arrakan hills (Pegu side) 
by Mr. Raikes's collector. It seems a typical example, for the 
spots on the back are quite round. 

704.— Estrelda amandava, L. 

This bird, though very abundant, is very local. It appears 
to be confined to the tract of low country surrounding Pegu. 
Its limits, according to my experience, appear to be the Pegu 
River and the Rangoon and Tonghoo road on the west ; the 
Sittang River on the east ; the Paghain Creek on the north; 
and the Pyne Kyoon Creek on the south. 

It abounds wherever it is met with, is a constant resident, 
and associates in numerous flocks, feeding entirely on very 
minute grass seeds. 

738.— Carpodacus erythrinus, Pall. 

A male was procured in January on the Arrakan hills; 
precise locality unknown. 

767. — Alauda gulgula, Franklin. 

There is a Skylark in the Pegu plains, the song- of which, as 
far as my recollection now serves me, is in no way inferior to 
that of the common English bird. It is common within those 
limits which I have assigned to Estrelda amandava. It seems to 
be a constant resident, though, of course, in the rains it is not an 
easy bird to get, and I cannot state positively that it does not 


go away for a few months. It very possibly docs so, for from 
June to October the whole country which it frequents in the dry 
weather is covered with two or three feet of water, rendering 
even rice cultivation possible only in a few limited tracts. I 
have shot it during all the months of the dry weather. It 
breeds commonly, but I have not been able to find the 
finished nest. On the 26th April I observed a pair build- 
ing ; the female collecting the materials and carrying to the 
nest, while the male walked about near her, occasionally rising 
a few feet into the air with a short song. The male, like the Eng- 
lish bird, soars singing till it is nearly, if not quite, out of sight. 

I give the dimensions of numerous birds : — Males — Length, 
6*5 to 6 6 ; expanse, 11*3 to 12'0 ; tail, from vent, 0, 2 to 
2*35 ; wing, 3'45 to 3 - 5 ; tarsus, *98 to 1 03 ; bill, from gape, 
"65 to *75; hind claw, '53 to '6o. Females. — Length, G'05 to 6 - 5 r 
expanse, 11*0 to 11*5 ; tail, 21 to 22 ; wing, 31 to 3 - 3 ; tarsus, 
1-02 to 1-06 ; bill from gape, -61 to 76 ; hind claw, -51 to '55. 

Looking to the measurements given by Messrs. Sharpe and 
Dresser of A. gulgula in their ' Birds of Europe,' the Pegu 
bird, while it has a much shorter wing, has a tarsus nearly one- 
tenth of an inch longer, and occasionally rather more. 

It is curious that a Lark, if identical with any Indian race, 
should occur in a limited area in the Sittang valley and not be 
found in any portion of the extensive Irrawaddy valley lying 
between India and the Sittang River. Of some birds I seut to 
Mr. Hume, he writes : — ci I call these A. gulgula. If you 
like you may make a new species of them ; Brooks would, 
I consider that they ought to stand as A. gulgula.'''' 

Though, no doubt, merely a variety of gulgula it will be con- 
venient to give the Pegu bird a name to distinguish it from 
the numerous other varieties ; and having regard to its very 
limited locality immediately round the town of Pegu, I will 
term it peguensis* 

811 ter. — Euplocamus Cuvieri, Temm. 

I have never myself shot the Arrakanese Silver Pheasant, 
but I have now seen some six specimens, and in all of them 
the characters which distinguish it from lineatus are constant. I 
cannot think it is a hybrid f between Horsfieldii and lineatus. If 
it originally sprung from a cross between these two species, it has 

*Theso Indian Larks are just like the Brambles and Willows (Ruins, Salix) that wo 
used to squabble over at home iu my boyhood. It would be well if Mr. Oates had pointed 
out the precise points of difference on which he relies. Those referred to, viz., small dif- 
ferences in the size of wing and tarsus, are worthless, as he would sec at once after 
examining fifty specimens from any one locality in India. — Ed., S. I\ 

f Vide ante p. 166 — and as to iuv views in regard to so-called hybrids, see page 
460, vol. IL— Ed. 

2 U 


now, at all events, established itself as a pure species. Lineatus 
occupies exclusively the country east of the Irrawaddy aud this 
river, seldom less than a mile broad, would act as a boundary 
which no weak-winged bird, like a Pheasant, would care to cross. 
I have, unfortunately, never seen a Thayet Myo killed specimen 
of a Pheasant, but it will, I think, turn out to be Cuvieri. Captain 
Feilden shot two, but in those days, when we lived together in 
Thayet Myo, neither of us knew of the existence of two species 
closely allied. If he has the specimens still he could easily tell 
us which of the two birds the Thayet Myo ones are. 

824 ter.— Arborophila intermedia, Blyth. 

The Arrakanese Hill Partridge appears to be the only one 
found in that province. All the specimens I have seen came from 
that portion of the Arrakan hills lying west of Prome. It ex- 
tends quite to the foot of the range on the Pegu side, where a 
specimen was shot by my friend Captain Swetenham near the 
24th mile of the military road leading across the mountains 
from Prome to Tonghoo. I should judge it to be veiy common 
everywhere. Unfortunately I never shot it myself, and conse- 
quently I am uuable to give measurements in the flesh and the 
colors of the soft parts. 

My collector sexed two birds he preserved, a male and a 
female ; and I have seen numerous unsexed individuals which 
could hardly have been all of one sex. From the examination 
of these I am pretty certain that the males and females do not 
differ in plumage. 

The following are the dimensions of the two sexed individuals 
referred to above, the first measurements being those of the 
male : — Wing, 5*7, 5"5 ; tarsus, 1*5 ; middle toe and claw, 2'0, 
1-8 ; bill, from from forehead to tip, "7, *65 ; the 4th and 
5th primaries are sub-equal and longest ; the 3rd is from *1 
to -15, the 2nd "25 to *5, and the 1st from '6 to *9, shorter 
than the longest primary. The under tail-coverts reach nearly 
to the tip of the tail. 

The coloration of the plumage is intricate and difficult to 
describe. The throat and under side of the neck, for a distance 
of 1^ inches from the gape, are black. Below this there is a 
bright rufous patch which brings us to the breast. This and the 
upper part of the belly are an uniform dark grey, though, 
viewed in certain lights, the margins, of the feathers appear to 
be paler. The ear-coverts, the cheeks, under the eye and the 
sides of the neck, as far down as the base of the rufous patch, 
are black. The bases of the feathers are however rufous and 
shew through conspicuously, giving these parts a mottled ap- 
pearance ; the front of the head, as fur back as a line con- 


necting the eyes, pale grey ; the top and back of the head rich 
hair brown, each feather with a narrow mesial line of black. 
These lines gradually increase in size, and on the upper side of 
the neck become large terminal drops, above which are narrow 
crescentic marks of pale buff, causing the tips of the feathers to 
present something of the appearance of eyes. The lores, and a 
very broad supercilium, extending well over the ear-coverts and 
having a tendency to meet its neighbour at the back of the head, 
greyish white ; each feather has a central line of black, and these 
marks, in well preserved specimens, have a tendency to fall into 
three or four very narrow and somewhat parallel bands, giving 
the head of the bird a most delicate appearance. 

The shoulders, back, rump and upper tail-coverts glossy 
olive brown, each feather obsoletely edged darker, and, on the two 
latter portions of the plumage, with a small central lanceolate 
spot of black. 

The sides of the body are rich chestnut, each feather with a 
large pure grey patch in the middle, within which again there 
is a long and narrow white streak ; the lower part of the 
abdomen is greyish white ; the flanks and thigh-coverts 
are very pale buff with large black spots ; under tail-coverts, 
black at base and white at the tip ; the rectrices are olive 
brown, mottled and shot with black ; and the outer two or three 
pairs are faintly tipped with white. 

The primaries are brown, narrowly edged and tipped with 
pale buff ; the secondaries have a very broad edging on the 
outer webs and a narrow one at the tip ; the tertiaries, scapu- 
lars and wing-coverts are an indescribable mixture of rich 
chestnut, pale fulvous and deep black, the latter colour assuming 
the form of large transverse Oval spots near the tip of the 
feather ; the under wing-coverts are dark brown, tipped with 
dirty white near the edge of the wing, pure white near the 
body and brownish-grey lower down where the stronger feathers 
shew out. 

831.— Excalfactoria chinensis, L. 

The Blue-breasted Quail is common in many parts of the 
Pegu plains. I first met with it in June, and throughout the 
rains it continues to be common. I am iuclined to think that 
it comes to Lower Pegu at the beginning of the rains, and leaves 
as soon as the business of breeding is over, but I am not in a 
position to state this positively. All I can say is, that I have 
never seen it in the dry weather. A male in June had the 
soft parts colored as follows : — Iris, red ; bill, bluish black, 
rather paler at the gape ; legs, bright yellow ; claws, horn 
color ; eyelids, plumboous ; inside of mouth, flesh color. 


873.— Rhynchaea bengalensis, L. 

The Painted Snipe is uncommon in Barman according to my 
experience. I met with four or five once at Wan, 12 miles 
east of Pegu, late in the evening and shot one. It was a male 
and measured : Length, 10 ; expanse, 18*0 ; tail, 16 ; wing, 
5-25; bill, from gape, 194; tarsus, 187 ; middle toe and claw, 
1-75 ; rectrices 14 in number. 

The iris wns olive brown ; the e} T elids covered with down ; 
basal half of bill olivaceous, the terminal half reddish brown, 
turning to pure brown at the extreme tip ; inside of mouth 
flesh color ; legs, deep olive color ; claws, black 

Lieutenant Wardlaw Ramsay wrote to me some time ago 
that he had found the nest of this bi id near Tounghoo. 

875.— Limosa segocephala, L. 

Numerous flocks of this bird are to be seen during the cold 
weather on the mud flats of the Sittang River at low water. 
It is the true cegocephala with pure white axillaries. 

I have succeeded in shooting only two birds. The difference 
of size between individuals of the same flock is very startling. 

In April, and for what I know perhaps throughout the year, 
the basal half of the lower mandible is light flesh colour, and 
that of the upper, dark brown ; the terminal halves of both are 
dark brownish black ; the legs and toes are dark sooty brown ; 
the claw r s black ; the iris dark brown ; the inside of the mouth 
flesh color. 

The mud-banks at the mouth of the Wan Creek, on the 
western bank of the Sittang at the village of Gway biuzate, 
are perhaps the best place in all Burmah for waders and sea- 
birds. Godwits, Curlews, Terns and Gulls are all numerous as 
soon as the tide falls each day, and in the immediate vicinity 
immense flocks of Pelicans are generally to be met with. These 
latter are very wary and require careful stalking. Altogether 
this place is a most delightful one for a few hours' shooting. 
All boats proceeding to Tounghoo are obliged to anchor here 
for some time, varying according to circumstances, to allow the 
formidable Sittang bore to run by. 

915.— Leptoptilos dubius, Gm. 

Though not so common as javanicus, the Adjutant is to be met 
with all the year round throughout the plains of Lower Pegu. 
At the end of the rains, when swamps are drying up and fish 
can be taken in bucketsful, it associates in large flocks, and, 
with Pelicans, is a special object of aversion to all the fishermen 
of the district, who after paying Government large rents for 


fisheries are obliged to submit to the heavy tolls levied by these 
voracious birds. No ordinary amount of frightening will drive 
them away. In a fishery, not more than three acres in extent 
and a seething mass of fish, I have seen what I computed at the 
time to be not less than 200 Adjutants of both species and. a 
far greater number of Pelicans. 

941.— Threskiornis melanocephalus, L. 

The White Ibis is tolerably numerous in the plains intersected 
by tidal creeks. In the hot weather it goes in rather largo 
flocks, but in the rains it is found in pairs. I have not been 
able to find the nest. A male, shot on the 1st of August, had 
the long plumes of the tertiaries only half grown. The testes 
were very large ; the iris was brown ; the inside of the 
mouth, dark bluish-black ; the bill, black ; the lower eyelid, 
flesh coloured ; its edge, the upper lid, and the whole head and 
neck dark bluish black ; legs and toes, glossy black ; claws, 
dull black. 

942.— Geronticus papillosus, Tern. 

This bird is rather rare ; a pair only being occasionally seen 
in some half dry tank or water-course in the Pegu plain. 

980. — Larus brunneicephalus, Jerdon. 

This Gull is not at all uncommon in the Sittang River, during 
the winter months. 

A female, obtained on the 7th April in winter plumage, and 
a male shot on the 13th of the same month in summer plu- 
mage, had the iris stone yellow ; the bill, legs, inside of mouth 
and the edges of the eyelids, deep red ; claws, horny black. 

In addition to the above sea birds, I have obtained in the 
Sittang a huge Gull and a Black Tern with long and deeply fork- 
ed tail. These I cannot identify, and I have not yet been 
able to send them to Mr. Hume for examination. 

982.— Sterna caspia, Pall. 

On the 3rd of June there was a brisk gale of wind and rain 
in the Sittang River near Kayasoo, and a pair of these fine 
Terns passed my boat. I shot them both. They are the only 
birds of this species I have seen. 

Both the birds were males still in winter plumage, that is to 
say, the whole head was streaked black and white. The testes of 
both were very small and possibly they were in immature 
plumage. They measured : Length, 20 ; 20"2 ; expanse, 40*5 ; 


tail, 54, 5'5 ; wing, 159, 154 ; tarsus, 1*78, 1 -68 ; bill from gape, 
37, 3'85 ; the bill was orange, the subterminal portion bluish 
brown, and the tip yellow ; the inside of the month, orange ; 
iris, very dark brown ; legs, toes and webs, black; claws, 
black above, white below. 

984. — Sterna hybrida, Pall. — Ilydrochelidon indica, 
Steph. apud Jerdon. 

I identify with the above a Tern which is very numerous in 
the Sittano- River and neifrhbonrino- waters from the beo-imiino- of 
the cold weather to the end of the hot, or from November to Ma}'. 
I have not yet been able to send specimens to Mr. Hume for 
identification.* It is by far the most abundant Tern in Lower 
Pegu, with the exception of S. aurantia. 

* I take the opportunity of reproducing (vide infra) from the Ihis, two of the late 
lamented Capt. Beavan's descriptions of supposed new Terns, of which I have never been 
able to make auything, vis., Stemula Jerdoni, and Gelochelidon innotata.— 

" 988.— Sternula minuta, Little Tern. 

" Should it, however, be a new species, I would proposo for it the name S. Jerdont, 
although perhaps it may be S. orientalis, Licht., or that mentioned by Mr. Gould 
(P. Z. S., 1855, p. 50). 

" It agrees tolerably well with Dr. Jerdon's description of S. minuta ; but all the 
dimensions are much larger. I procured this specimen in Burmah at Thatong, near 
Moulmein, but on the Martaban side of the river, on 1st October 1865. Its dimensions 
were as follows: — Length, 13 inches ; wings, 10; tail, 4 - 37, the outer tail-feathers 
exceeding the rest by 1 inch ; bill from front, 1*62 ; tarsus, - 75 ; irides deep brown, 
nearly black ; wing extending -75 inch beyond tail. This species is found in consider- 
able numbers on the Thatong creek ; and some (probably adult birds) have the head 
pure black. In the present specimen it is pearly grey, slightly tinged only with black, 
which becomes more conspicuous on the nape, and extends as a black line across the 
eye and ear-coverts. The bill is yellow, tipped with black, and the feet a deep orange 
with black claws. After reading my M.S. description of this bird, Dr Jerdon told 
me, it was allied to S. javanica, but was utterly unknown to him. 

Another species of Tern, procured in Burmah, also near Thatong, is unknown to 
me ; and as I am unable to refer it correctly to any known species, I will provisionally 
assign to it the name of 

" Sterna innotata, % S. 

" Its position is somewhere between the genera Gelochelidon and Oni/clioprion, as 
characterized by Dr. Jerdon. Its spcciQc characters are as follows : — Bill black ; feet 
dull dark red ; tail not forked, but nearly square in flight ; wings long, and exceeding 
the tail by 2 inches; forehead white ; head and nape brown, slightlv mixed with white; 
a white line extends from the base of the bill under the eye to behind the ear-coverts. 
The under parts are pure white, the back and tail-coverts being a light grey colour, 
which is also the colour of the tail, but it is tipped with brown ; the scapulars are 
grey, also tipped with brown ; the primaries are white, with brown on either side of 
the shafts, the tips tinted with the same colour. The outermost part of the inner 
webs of the secondary quills are pale grey; and the tertials are brownish grey, 
with white shafts, and hoary, or pale grey on their outer webs. The toes are only 
partially webbed. The irides dark brown. Dimensions as follows : — Length, 9*5 inches; 
wing, 8'4; tail, 3; tarsus, - 81 ; bill from front, 1'12. This species was procured on 
October 4th, 1865, on the Thatong creek, not far from the sea, and within tidal influ- 
ence. I believe that Dr. Jerdon saw my M.S. account of this species in 1866, but 
did not at the time refer it to any known species." 

It is understood that the types passed into Lord Waldcn's possession. I wish ho 
would tell us, or get Mr. Howard Saunders to tell uSj what they really are. — Ed., S. F. 


Common as the bird is, I find I have the measurements of 
one specimen only — a male shot on the 14th March. It is still 
in winter plumage. The length is 10*8 ; tail, 35 ; wing, 9 - S ; 
tarsus, - 87; bill from gape, 1*75; the tail is forked to the 
extent of half an inch ; the bill is dark blood-brown ; the 
inside of the mouth, flesh color ; iris, dark brown ; legs and toes 
dark blood red ; claws dark brown. 

988.— Sternula minuta, L. 

The present bird is quite as common as the preceding in the 
Sittang River and adjacent streams, and is a permanent 

The following are dimensions of three specimens, two being 
males and the third not sexed : — Length, 8"6 to 8'9 ; expanse, 
19-5 to 20; tail, 2*25 to 2-8; wing, 6-6 to 7-1 ; tarsus, '7 to 
•75 ; bill from gape, 1*6 to 1*72; middle toe and claw, "79 to 
'8 ; the tail forked to the extent of from *6 to 1. 

The coloration of the soft parts varies a good deal. Two 
birds shot on the 15th April, and still in winter plumage, have the 
whole bill dark brown changing to a darker shade at the tip ; the 
irides are very dark brown ; the eyelids greenish, plumbeous ; 
tarsus and toes, reddish brown ; the claws black. Another bird 
shot on the same day, in summer plumage, has the bill yellow, 
with a quarter of an inch of its tip black ; the legs and toes pale 
orange and the other parts as above. Numerous specimens 
shot later on, in June, vary a great deal, specially in the color 
of the bill. 

1005.— Graculus carbo, L t 

The Large Cormorant is very abundant all the year through 
in the streams of the Pegu plain, not however frequenting 
either the Pegu or the Sittang Rivers. I have seen the bird in 
no other part of Burmah. 

I was never familiar with the bird in Europe, but I 
always thought that the white spot on the flanks was, accord- 
ing to all authors, a distinguishing characteristic of this 
bird. Now I shoot dozens of these birds on each of my 
marches (for my boatmen and followers think them excellent 
eating) and I have never seen a bird with a white spot till very 
lately. Whatever may be the case elsewhere, here certainly 
it is my impression,* that the white spot is donned at the 
commencement of the breeding season, say about the 1st of 

* Surely this is a well-known and universally acknowledged fact.— Er>. ; S. F. 


September, and is lost again a few months later. On first 
meeting with the bird I thought 1 had come across a new 
local species, for it has fourteen rectrices, and according to 
Professor Schlegel this number is possessed only by carbo and 
two African species. If not carbo, therefore it must be an unde- 
scribed species, for the African birds would not be likely to 
occur in Southern Burmah. Subsequently, however, white 
spotted birds turned up. 

The following are the dimensions of three fine males : — 
Length, 32 to 32*7 ; expanse, 51 to 52 ; tail, 6'8 to 7*5 ; wing, 
13-3 to 13-6 ; tarsus, 2-3 to 2'4 ; bill, from gape, 3*85 to 3'95 ; 
outer toe and claw, 38 to 4*0. 

The under surface of the plumage, from the throat to the 
vent, varies in individuals from glossy black to pure white, and 
every possible combination of the colors occurs. 

Iris, bright green ; pouch and under the eye, bright gam- 
boge yellow ; eyelids and in front of eye, dusky yellow ; the 
culmen and on either side, dark brown ; the tip and margin of 
the upper mandible, together with the whole lower one, light 
pinkish horny ; legs, toes and claws deep glossy black. 

1006.— Graculus sinensis, Shaw. 

This Middle Cormorant is as common as carbo, and the two 
consort together, and with melanognathos, most amicably. I 
have found it only in the Pegu plains. It has 12 rectrices. 

<Dn little u \\wh\m\ itmalaiinit Mm foit| ftotcs on 
i&e §irte. 

By Andrew Anderson, F. Z. S. 

Having recently returned from a two months' tour in 
Northern Kumaon, I am anxious to present the readers of 
tl Stray Feathers" with an account of the more interesting 
portion of my oological discoveries in this grand country. A 
full history of all my doings in the Alpine tracts of this provinco 
must be deferred to a more convenient season ; meanwhile, as 


an indication of the field, this country offers to the ornithologist, 
I may mention, en passant, that even in this brief period no less 
than 250 species of birds came under my observation. 

516.— Acrocephalus dumetorum, Blyth. 

On the fifth day after leaving Naini Tal — ever mindful of 
my friend Mr. Brooks' parting advice to me (in reference to the 
part of the country which required to be investigated) " avoid 
the lower hills as the plague" — I reached Takula, which is the 
first march beyond Almora on the road to the Pindari glacier, 
late on the evening of the 10th of May. It rained heavily all 
that night, so that I was obliged to halt the next day, my tents 
being far too wet to be struck, and the distance to the next 
halting place necessitating a start the first thing in the morning. 

Takula is at an elevation between 5,000 and 6,000 feet ; 
it is beautifully wooded with a small mountain stream flowing 
right under the camping ground, and the climate is delightful. 
All things considered, I was not sorry at having an opportunity 
of exploring such productive looking ground ; and before it was 
fairly daylight the next morning operations were commenced 
in right earnest. To each of my collectors I apportioned off 
a well-wooded mountain slope, reserving for my own hunting 
ground (as I had not yet got my hill-legs) the water-courses 
and ravines in the immediate vicinity of my camp. 

Not more than 20 yards from where my tent stood, there 
is a deep ravine clothed on both banks with a dense jungle of 
the larger kind of nettle {Girardinia heterophylla,) such nettles 
too ! the hill-dock (Rumex 7iepalensis), and wild rose trees. 
Wending my way through this dark, damp, and muggy nullah 
to the best of my ability, I came upon the nest of this interest- 
ing little bird ; it was placed in the centre of a rose bush, at an 
elevation of some two feet above the bank and about four feet 
from where I stood, but yet in a most tantalizing situation inas- 
much as it was necessary to remove several thorny branches 
before an examination of the nest was possible. 

The act of cutting away the branches alarmed my sombre 
little friend (I knew that the nest was tenanted, as the bill and 
head were distinctly visible through the lateral entrance), and 
out she darted with such a " ivhir " that any thing like satis- 
factory identification for a bird of this sort was utterly hopeless. 
The nest contained four beautiful little eggs, so that to bag 
the parent bird was a matter of the first importance ; all my 
attempts, however, first to capture her on the nest and next to 
shoot her as she flew off, were equally futile, her movements being 
rapid and erratic as forked lightning. And here let me give a 
Avord of advice to my brother ornithologists : Never attempt to 
shoot a wary little bird in the act of leaving its nest, as you only 

2 W 


run the risk, and mortification I may add, of wounding perhaps 
an unknown bird, in which case she will never again return to 
her nest, but lie in ambush for her with outlying scants, and 
make certain of her as she is returning to her nest. She "will first 
alight on a neighbouring tree, then on one closer, coming nearer 
and nearer each time ; finally, she will perch on the very 
tree or bush in which the nest is built, and while taking a look 
round to see that all is well before making a final ascent, you 
have yourself to blame if you fail to bag her. All this sounds 
very cruel, but if a bird must be shot for scientific proposes, 
it is surely preferable to kill it out right than to let it die a 
lingering death. Thus it was that I eventually succeeded, even 
at the expense of being devoured alive by midges and mos- 
quitoes ; but then was not the satisfaction of feeling that I had 
become the happy possessor of authentic eggs of Acrocepha- 
lus dumetorum in itself sufficient to repay me for my hill 
excursion ? 

I cannot, however, pretend to lay claim to originality in the 
discovery of the breeding habits of this bird, for Hutton's des- 
cription* of the nest and eggs taken by him so fully accords 
with my own experience that it is but fair to conclude he was 
correct in his identification. I would add, however, with re- 
ference to his remarks, that the nest above alluded to was more 
elliptical than spherical, being about the size and shape of an 
Ostrich's egg ; that it was constructed throughout of the largest 
and coarsest blades of various kinds of dry grass — the egg 
cavity being lined with grass bents of a finer quality, and that 
it was domed over, having a lateral entrance about the middle 
of the nest. The whole structure was so loosely put together 
as to fall to pieces immediately it was removed. 

The eggs, four in number, are pure white, beautifully glossed, 
and well covered with rufous or reddish-brown specks, most 
numerous at the obtuse end. Owing to its similarity to a num- 
ber of eggs, particularly to the Tit-mouse group, it is just one 
of those that I would never feel comfortable in accepting on 

It was a remarkable coincidence that the very day I took 
this nest my post brought me Part IV. of the P. Z. S. for 1874, 
containing Mr. Dresser's interesting paper on the nidification of 
the Hypolais and Acrocephalus groups ; and if I understand him 
rightly, he is certainly correct in his surmise as to the eggs of 
Acrocephalus dumetorum approaching those of the Hypolais 

My good luck, as regai'ds the Lesser Reed Warbler, did not 
end here, for on the following day, at Bagesur, at an elevation 

* Nests and Eggs, Kough draft, p. 327. 


of only 3,000 feet I again encountered a pair of these birds, 
finding their nest on the banks of the Surjoo. The position, 
shape, and architecture of this nest were identical with the one 
I have above described, but the eggs unfortunately had not 
been laid. The little birds, on this occasion, were quite fearless, 
hopping from stem to stem of the dense undergrowth which 
throughout the Bagesur valley fringes both banks of the river, 
every now and again making a temporary halt for the purpose 
of picking insects off the leaves, with an occasional "tchick" 
which Hutton resembles to the "sound emitted by a flint and 
steel," but all the time enticing me away from the site of their 
dwelling place. In this way they led me a wild-goose chase 
several times up and down the river-bank before I was able to 
discover the whereabouts of their nest. 

596.— Anthus maculatus, Hodgson. 

Pushing on as quickly as possible for the region of the snows, 
I arrived at Dhakuri Benaik, which is at an elevation of nearly 
11,000 feet, on the 15th May. This was reputed to be almost a 
sure find for Woodcocks, and it was marked off in my chart 
as one of the chief places to be visited. Great, however, was 
my grief when I was obliged to quit the place without ever 
flushing a bird, notwithstanding that I employed an additional 
staff of coolies, and offered most tempting rewards for even the 
sight of one.* 

But though I had here to take temporary leave of the Wood- 
cocks, I did not leave Dhakuri empty-handed, for the very last 
piece of cover I drew, out flew a Pipit from a tussock of long 
grass, under the shelter of which was placed the nest which 
contained four hard-sett very black-looking eggs of the much 
disputed (by European Ornithologists I should add) Indian or 
Green-backed Pipit, Anthus maculatus. The nest was deeply 
placed in the damp, almost wet, ground; and it was a large 
massive structure of green moss, lined internally with fine 
grass stems. The bird, during the time I was engaged in 
examining the nest and eggs, stood motionless on the grassy 

* I may mention that Mr. Buck, C. S., met with the Woodcock and Solitary Snipe 
at this very place a few years ago ; their absence from such fine ground as I went over 
is probably attributable to the constant heavy rain which occurred during the whole 
period I was in the interior. Captain (now Colonel) Irby, in his paper on the birds of 
" Oudh and Kumaon" (Ibis for 1861.) says the Woodcock is common in Kumaon" 
I should like to know if Captain Irby recorded this statement from personal experience, 
or on merely hearsay evidence. It is very strange that during my two months' 
sojourn in the interior, and I devoted my utmost euergies to the acquisition of this 
bird, I should have come across only one solitary example. 

[The Woodcock is very common in the lower valleys of Kumaon during the cold 
season. In the Lat-ka-panee, below Almora, I shot three one morning (17th Novem- 
ber) and I have known as many as six shot in a morning below Lohughat. — Ed.] 

f These eggs were on the point of hatching, but I saved them by means of carbolic 
acid. It may not be generally known that small eggs can be preserved in this way by 
making a largish hole and inserting pieces of cotton wool tightly rolled into small 
pills well saturated with the acid; they should thus lie stuffed /<> the utmost, and then 
allowed to dry. Eggs prepared in this way, i.e., when they are too far incubated to 
admit of being blown, never gu bad. 


slope, not more than ten yards from where she had been flushed, 
eyeino- me all the while with out-stretched neck, and remained 
iii that position till I shot her. 

These eggs are very large for the size of the bird, much more 
so than the usual run of the eggs of kindred species (Anthus 
arboreus and A. pratensis), and larger than a second sitting of 
fresh eggs which I obtained later on. On the same day several 
more old birds and two fully-fledged young ones, while in the 
act of beiug fed by their parents, were brought to bay. 

I next encountered the same species in great abundance at 
Furkia, on the banks of the Pindar, close under the glacier, at 
an elevation of 12,000 feet. My camp here was pitched on 
solid ice, and it snowed heavily during the night; it was indeed 
an " abode of snow." Here I saw Aquila chryscetits, gyrating 
over the snow-capped peaks, and Pi/rrhocorax alpinus for the 
first and only time : Chaimarrornis leucocephala, Ruticilla full- 
ginosu, Enicurus Scouleri and Eydrobata asiatica were my con- 
stant companions, and were to be seen enjojang themselves on the 
spray-covered boulders in the foaming torrent, while my Paharees 
shared the same cave with Columba leuconota, and amused 
themselves by catching Marmots {Arctomys Ziemachalanus.) 

Here, with the snow lying several feet deep on the ground, I 
found my second nest of Anthus maculatus ; it contained three 
callow young, but as the nest-architecture differed very mate- 
rially from the first one, and as the parent birds were so 
terribly wild, I was necessitated to have the sitting bird noosed 
on the nest ; shooting it was quite out of the question. This 
nest was composed entirely of grass bents, a very shallow 
saucerlike affair without the addition of any moss or warm 
materials, as in the first one. 

The third and last nest, containing four beautiful fresh eggs 
of the same dark type as the first clutch, was taken at Bepulla 
on the 14th of June; this one, as regards position, size, and 
materials, was exactly similar to the second one above described.* 

To sum up : Anthus maculatus affects by preference the 
more open grassy mountain slopes in the immediate vicinity of 
woods, at elevations from 7,000 to 12,000 feet; these open 
glades in Northern Kumaon are thinly covered with trees, and 
overgrown with beautiful, thick, soft, velvetty grass about a 
foot high, with occasional tussocks, especially in the neighbour- 
hood of sheep pens, sufficiently dense and high to afford cover 
to a hare. This at any rate during the breeding season is, par 
excellence, the abode of both Anthus maculatus and A. rosaceus, 
which are the only two species of Pipits to be met with at so 
high an elevation. f 

* This account entirely confirms mine, see Nests and Eggs, llough draft, p. 383. 
— En. 

f I procured a very fine series of Anthus rosaceus; they were about to breed, but 
I must have been too early for them. 


The birds on these undulating meadows, at times stretching 
away for miles, and covering the crest of some of the highest 
spurs, are extremely lively and very difficult to approach. 
You have frequently to go on all fours, taking advantage of 
every hollow and irregularity on the ground before you can get 
within shooting distance of them, and by the time you have bag- 
ged three or four you are completely done up, notwithstanding 
the thermometer registers only 50°. Once flushed, they become 
doubly wild, and at the first approach of danger rise perpendi- 
cularly almost out of sight, with a series of jerky flights, at 
times poising themselves in mid-air, very much after the fashion 
of the Sky Lark. 

In its nidifieation it resembles Anthus arboreus ; the nest, as 
I have already mentioned, is generally constructed of dry grass 
blades, and it is well concealed under a tussock of over- 
hanging grass. The eggs, however, are very different from 
those of the sister species, and resemble very dark varieties 
of Anthus pratensis ; in short, they are very like Hewitson's 
second figure of the Meadow Pipit's egg, a variety which that 
author says is seldom met with. 

Although I explored many miles of good ground where these 
birds were plentiful, I procured only three nests ; the conclu- 
sion to be arrived at is that the majority of them are late breed- 
ers, say from the latter end of June to all July. 

Mr. Brooks, who has been so good as to examine my series of 
this bird, pronounces them, one and all, to belong to the 
typical Anthus maculatus. The chief specific characters of 
this species, as has now so frequently been pointed out, consist 
in the narrow, ill-defined striations on the back, which is an 
olive green color, and in having the posterior half of the super- 
cilium pure ivhite. I never once came across Anthus arboreus, 
which would appear to summer much further north, probably 
from Thibet to Yarkand. * 

506.— Chaimarrornis leucocephala, Vigors. 

Whilst at Furkia (vide infra.), I was so fortunate as to fall 
in with two nests of Chaimarrornis leucocephala and one of 
Ruticilla fuliginosa which may just as well be included in the 
present notice, the more so, as I can find no allusion to the 
nidifieation of the former in any of the ornithological works to 
which I have access. 

I do not know of any better instance of the importance of 
Oology as an element in the classification of birds than the 
eggs of these two species, and I might almost add, of Eni- 
curus macula/us. Alike in their habits, the situations they fre- 

*A11 the Pipits which were procured in the Yarkand expedition (See ''Lahore to 
Yarkand, p. 226) have been referred by Mr. Hume, to this species, viz., Anthus arbo- 


quent, and the style of nest architecture, the perfect similarity 
in the coloration of the eggs of these two species of Redstarts 
indicate a close alliance with each other.* 

Both nests of the White-capped Redstart were taken by 
myself on the 20th of May, from a high precipitous moss-co- 
vered bank which overlooked the boiling rapid (Pindar), very 
much to the horror of my quasi-shikuree " Kheima," who pro- 
fessed to be my guide and keeper, but in realty was the most 
arrant humbug I ever met. The nest of this bird is very like 
that of the European Robin, and is composed outwardly of 
green moss roots and fibres, the egg cavity being profusely 
liued with goat's hair ; its natural position is in a hollow of a 
bank on the side of a stream, the entrance being sheltered by 
overgrowing moss and ferns. 

The eggs are three in number (I allowed ample time for a 
fourth to be laid) ; and as they are so very like giant specimens 
of the eggs of Rut/cilia fidiginosa, as described by Captain 
Cock and Mr. Brooks,t and the exact counterpart of those taken 
by myself, any further description is almost superfluous. The 
ground color of both sets is greenish-white, profusely covered 
with rufous or reddish-brown spots ; the markings in one 
clutch have a tendency to become confluent at the larger end, 
somewhat in the form of an irregular cap ; in the other the 
spots and blotches are larger and more equally diffused through- 
out the surface. 

867.— Scolopax rusticola, Linn. 

On the 30th of June I turned my face towards the snows 
in another direction, determined to consider my expedition a 
failure so long as the discovery of the breeding haunts of the 
Woodcock which was one of the chief objects of my expedition, 
still remained uuachieved. After two days' stiff marching I 
pitched camp at a place called Kerao, at an elevation of some 
10,000 feet, over and against Namick, which is celebrated for 
its salt springs. 

Here m} luck culminated ; and I have probably to thank my 
fellow traveller, Dr. Triphook (an ardent sportsman, and quite 
o-ame to fag all day with his rifle or my collecting-gun as the 
case might require) for not only the most beautiful clutch of 
Woodcock's egg I have ever seen, but the first that have as yet 
been taken in this country. J 

We were following up a huge wounded Presbytis schistaceus 
(I was anxious to campare it with the Central Indian form) 

*Hodgsnn was apparently aware of the affinities of these two birds, as he classed 
Buticilla fuliginosa with 'Chahnmarrornis. Mr. Hume, I notice, has removed the 
former from the genus Rnticilla,'ar\d made it the type of his new genus Nymphceus. 

f Of. " ^rst and Eggs." p. 323. 

J I think both Mr. Wilson, (Mountaineer) and Captain Duff have separately found 
these eggs, the former in the neighbourhood of Gungaotri, the latter in Kullu .— Ed. 


through a dense undergrowth of Ringalls, when a Woodcock 
rose close to us, dropping again almost immediately, and dis- 
appearing in the cover. A diligent search revealed the long- 
looked-for prize, four eggs, which were deposited in a slight 
depression in the damp soil, and embedded amongst a lot of 
wet leaves, the thin ends pointing inwards and downwards into 
the ground. 

The eggs found (I could see they were hard-set), I told 
Triphookl had no intention of leaving the place without bagging 
the bird. It was raining heavily and bitterly cold with the 
thermometer down to 40- ; but fortunately for us before we had 
had time to make ourselves comfortable under an adjoining tree, 
the bird flew back in a sort of semicircle, alighted, and ran on 
to her nest. No sooner down than she was off again, frightened, 
as I subsequently learnt, at one of our dogs, but which at first 
thought alarmed me not a little as I imagined she was removing 
her eggs.* After having satisfied myself that my suspicions 
were unfounded, it was decided that, as I had done my duty 
in finding the nest, shooting the bird should devolve on Triphook, 
and right well he did it, considering all the disadvantages which 
militate against having a snapshot in dense cover and in a thick 
mist. I never do anything but miss on such critical occasions ; 
at any rate I would rather some one else make a mull of it 
than myself ! 

The eggs, as before mentioned, are a most beautiful set ; in 
consequence of the advanced state of incubation it was a full 
month before they were made into good specimens ; a week later 
and the chicks would have been hatched. They are far darker 
and redder than the usual run of Woodcocks' eggs, all four re- 
sembling the second figure in Hewitson's work, and in the charac- 
ter of their mailings they are not unlike richly coloured specimens 
of some Tern's eggs. They are remarkable for the roundness 
of their- form, and in having none of the pyriform or pear- 
shaped character which distinguished the eggs of all the allied 

Owing to the perplexing variations in the size, weight and 
color of individual examples, I recorded the following from the 
freshly killed bird : Length, 13* 2 ; wing, 7*5 ; tail from vent, 
3 - 3 ; tarsus, 1'5 ; bill, 3"3. It will be seen that accord- 
ing to the dimensions given both by Yarrell and Jerdou 
the present specimen is a very small one ; and this, considering 
that the females average larger than males, makes it all the more 
remarkable. The distinguishing mark between the sexes of the 
Woodcock, pointed out by the Revd. W r . T. Bree (" Loudon's 
Mag. of Nat. History, " Vol. III., p. 147], viz., that "the front 

* I have undoubted proof of a wounded Esacvs recurvirostris lemovirg her eggs. 


or outer edge of the first quill-feather of the cock bird is marked 
alternately with dark and light spots of a somewhat triangular 
shape, while in the hen the corresponding feather is without spots, 
and in lieu of them presents a uniform light coloured stripe 
extending the whole length of the feather, " will not hold good as 
regards my specimen, which though an undoubted female, has 
the first primary marked exactly as he says it is in the male bird. 
In reference to this supposed sexual difference Yarrell remarks 
(" British Birds," Vol. III., p. 16) " the triangular marks on 
the outer web of the first quill-feather are rather indications of 
youth than of sex, and are obliterated by degrees." Again Mr. 
J. H. Grurney, junior, has the following note on the same subject 
(" Zoologist'" for 1870, p. 2345) :— 

" Ornithologists have long ago decided that the markings ou 
the outer web of the first quill in the Woodcock are no criterion 
of sex : I have dissected several, and it does not hold good." 

The ovarium of my specimen contained three impregnated 
eggs, the largest being about the size of an ordinary pill, so that 
the present brood would hardly have been able to shift for them- 
selves before the mother would be incubating again ; it is evident 
therefore that in India, as in Europe, the Woodcock has a double 

In vain we hunted all we knew for more birds during the 
remainder of our sojourn in this bleak and inhospitable country, 
but without seeing another ; and here ends my narrative of the 
first and only timber doodle {slium-titar as it is there called) that 
we saw during a two mouths' excursion in Northern Kumaon. 

A. Anderson. 

i jpcoltus ampcUnus m JHnfr. 

By W. T. Blanford, f.r.s. &c. 

So many African birds have been found in Sind that an addi- 
tion to the number is not surprising. On the 6th of March last 
a bird was brought to me by my collector, which was not merely 
new to me, but which puzzled me greatly, for I could not tell 
the genus nor even the family to which it should be referred. It 
had a shrike-like bill, but no vibrissas, and it proved on exami- 
nation to be frugivorous. Altogether it recalled to my mind 
the curious Burmese Magpie, Crypsirhina cucullata, more than 
any other bird I knew, but still it was not a Magpie. 

The spot where the bird was killed was amongst the lower 
hills on the eastern flanks of the great Kirthar range, which 
forms the boundary between Sind and Kelat. I was encamped 


on the Mazarani Nai, due west of Larkana. The man who 
brought me the bird said that he found it solitary on a stony 
hill side. 

After a time the idea dawned upon me that I had seen a 
figure in the Ibis which somewhat resembled my bird, and 
when I had an opportunity of comparing the skin with the 
plate of Hijpocolius ampelinus (Ibis, 1868, PI. V) I had no diffi- 
culty in identifying the two. The only differences are 
that the Sind bird is greyer, especially on the head, where in 
the figure the colour is pale isabelline, the head being repre- 
sented as pale above as it is below on the chin and throat. This 
difference may be due to age or to the state of the specimen. 
In the Sind skin too the tips of the first two primaries 
are more or less dusky, not white, but this may very possibly 
have been overlooked by Bonaparte and Von Heuglin. 

Hypocolius ampelinus was first named by Bonaparte in his 
" Conspectus" from skins in the Leyden Museum, which skins 
were supposed to have been brought from California. Von 
Heuglin subsequently obtained from the coast of Abyssinia, near 
Mosowah, a female skin, to which he gave the name of Ceblepyris 
isabellina, but of which he published no description. Subsequent- 
ly Hartlaub appears to have identified Heuglin's specimen with 
Bonaparte's species, and Heuglin gave a full account and a figure 
of the bird in the Ibis, in which he stated that the Leyden 
Museum specimens, like his own, were really, from Abj r ssinia.* 

The bird must be very rare, for it escaped both Mr. Jesse and 
myself, and the Italian party, Messrs. Antinori, Beccari and 
Issel, who have since collected on the Abyssinian coast, have not 
met with it. Besides the types the only specimens of which I 
can find any notice are that obtained by Heuglin, and one skin 
in the Turin Museum presented by Botta, the Collector of the 
Leyden specimens {Ibis, 1870, p. 539). 

Hypocolius is a very curious form. I have already remarked 
that I felt very doubtful as to its affinities, and both Bonaparte 
and Heuglin appear to have been equally puzzled. 

Bonaparte in his "Conspectus" gives as usual no definition of 
the genus ; he merely says of it : Genus forsan ad volucres 
spectans ; medium quasi inter Colios et Cotingas. The Volucres of 
Bonaparte were the Pici of some authors ( Scansores and Fissiros- 
ires of others) the non-passerine group of the insessorial order. 
He placed the genus in the family Ampelidce, next to the genus 
ampelis. Heuglin in the Ibis referred it to the Campephaginc?, 
but in the " Ornithologie Nord Ost Africa's" he placed it in a se- 
parate sub-family Ampelince with the Campephagince in the Ampe- 

•This however is not certain. All that is known is that the skins were obtained by 
a traveller named Botta, who had been in North-eastern Africa. Even Houglia'a 
specimens were not obtained by himself, but sent to him from Mosowah. 

2 x 


lida. That it has affinities with Ampelis is probable, there being 
some similarity in tbe colouration, while the form of the bill 
agrees fairly. Gray in the Hand List actually makes it a sub- 
genus of his Collyrio, close to Lanius erythronotus, L. vittatus 
and L. hypoleucus. In this I cannot at all concur, the smooth 
gape alone shews the difference, and the thick muscular gizzard 
differs greatly from a shrike's. I think it very probable that 
IJypocolius is allied to Ampelis, and it may have some affinities 
with the Campephagince, though I feel doubtful of this, but I do 
not think it allied to either Dicrurus or Lanius. 

The principal structural peculiarities of IJypocolius are the 
following : — Head subcrested ; the bill is stout and distinctly 
hooked, almost like that of a Shrike, but the gape is entirely 
devoid of rectal bristles ; tail of 12 feathers long, rounded at 
the end ; under tail-coverts long ; wings rather long and pointed ; 
the first primary rudimentary, the third (or second long,) pri- 
mary the longest, the second equal to the fifth ; tarsi rather short ; 
middle toe long ; lateral toes nearly equal, but the outer slightly 
the longer; claws long, moderately curved. The following is a 
description of the species with the synonymy. 

IJypocolius ampelinus. 

Bonaparte, I., p. 334. Heuglin, Ibis 1868, p. 181. PI. V. 
Salvadori, Ibis, 1870, p. 539. Heugl. Ornith. N. 0. Af. I., 
p. 421, No. 364. Nachtrage, p. xci., No. 379. 

Ceblepyris isabellina, Heugl. Sitzungs her. K. Akad. "Wien, 
xix, p. 284. 

Collyrio (IIypocoli?is) ampelinus, Gray, Hand List, I. p. 392. 

Upper parts generally ashy grey, with a slight rufous tinge 
on the head, which is more marked on the frontal portion where 
the feathers are rather lighter and more isabelline in tint ; 
feathers above the nostrils, lower part of the lores, all round 
the eye, and a band round the nape black, so that there is a black 
ring all round the head, except in the centre of the forehead ; 
ear coverts dark silver grey, looking black in some lights in 
the preserved skin; primary quills black witJh rather long white 
tips, the tip on the first long primary being wholly, and on the 
second partially, dusky ; outer secondaries black with grey 
edges, the black diminishing in amount until it disappears com- 
pletely on the feathers near the body ; tail feathers all of the 
same colour as the back with black tips about three quarters 
of an inch long ; chin and throat isabelline ; breast grey, like 
the back ; abdomen and lower tail-coverts pinkish isabelline ; 
under wing-coverts light grey ; legs flesh coloured ; bill horn 
coloured, dusky towards the tip. The bird was not fresh 
enough when I saw it for the colour of the iris to be noted. 
Length, before skinning, 1025 inches ; wing, 4-2 ; tail, (from in- 
sertion of central feathers) 4-75; tarsus, 1 ; mid toe and claw, 


Q'95 ; wing, short of end of tail, 3'6 ; outer tail feathers half an 
inch shorter than the outer ; culinen, (point of bill from rise of 
skull) 0"85 ; bill, from front, 0'58 ; from gape, 0*9. 

On dissection the stomach was found to be extremely mus- 
cular, and its contents Ber [Zizyplms) fruits. The coeca were 
rudimentary, not T 'o " lcn long. 

The female is described by Heuglin as slightly smaller, isa- 
belline grey in colour, with an olivaceous tinge, darker above 
than below, wanting altogether the black marking on the head, 
and having much less distinct black tips to the tail feathers. 
The ends of the primary quill feathers, the two first excepted, 
blackish with white margins. 

It is to be hoped that more specimens of this very rare bird 
will be obtained. The discovery will aid in showing how very 
cautious it is necessary to be in describing new for supposed 
new birds from Western India, they being so likely to prove 
known African forms. 

W. T. Blanford. 

Uotes on Cegloncse Ornitljologn aiib ®oXo^ t foitlj nbbitions 
to tlje Jpifauna of X\z Islaitb. 

By W. Vincent Legge, f.z.s., &c. 

The following notes contain new discoveries in Ceylonese 
oologv, which, although matter for the second edition of" Nests 
and Eggs of Indian Birds," ought, I think, to have first 
publication in an Ornithological Journal like Stray Feathers. 
The numbers prefixed to the different species are those of Mr. 
Hume's list. Those which follow the name of the authority are 
those of Mr. Holdsworth's catalogue. 

8. — Falco peregrinus, Gmeliu. (1). 

A fine female shot on the west coast at Putlam on the 15 th of 
February last year ; the gentlemen, a member of the Oeylon 
Civil Service, who shot it, informs me that it frequented the 
vicinity of his compound for several evenings, flying a.oout and 
apparently hawking after insects in the twilight — curious beha- 
viour for a Peregrine, but this is an age of advancement and en- 
larged ideas, and if Peregrines choose to catch moths instead 
of pigeons what can it matter to us ! The district, however, 
of Putlam is not one in which a Peregrine would be looked for ; 
it is flat, and, like all the north-west coast, covered with low 
scrubby jungle. I do not know if any previous instance of the 
actual shooting of F. peregrinus has been published. Layard, if 
not mistaken in his identification of it, speaks (An. Nat. Hist., 
1854) of its breeding in a Palmyra near Jaffna, and I myself 


saw it on the cliffs of this Fort in October 1872, (Stray Fea- 
thers, Vol. L, p. 486.) The present example equals North-world 
birds in size, having a wing of 14-6 ; tail, 7*8 ; tarsus, 2 ; mid 
toe from joint, 2'3 ; its claws straight, from above, 0'83. It is 
evidently fully adult, though perhaps not very old ; there are 
faint fulvous edgings across the back of the neck ; the throat 
and foreneck quite unmarked ; the mesial drops present on the 
chest, at the side of which the feathers are tinged with isabelline ; 
the spottings down the centre of the breast are arrow shaped, and 
the barrings of the thigh and under tail-coverts pointed at their 

18. — Cerchneis amurensis, Badde, (4 bis.) 

Erythropus Vespertinus, Stray Feathers, Vol. I., p. 487. 
The Redfooted Falcon which I spoke of loc cit, must, lam sure, 
be referable to this species. The specific characteristics are in 
accordance with those pointed out by Mr. Gurney {Ibis, 1868), 
and the plumage is similar to that described by Mr. Sharpe, 
Cat. Accipitres, p. 445, as belonging to the young. Its occur- 
rence so far south as this is very interesting, and it may 
not, therefore, be out of place to give the measurement 
and general description of the example in question, shot at 
Trincomalie, as noted, loc cit on the 6th December 1872. ? Juv. 
Length, 122; wing, "9; tail, 4*75; tarsus, 1-2; mid-toe, 
1- ; claw, 0"4 ; bill from gape straight, 0*8. Iris deep brown; 
cere and basal half of bill, with eyelid and anti-orbital skin 
orano-e, apical portion brownish leaden ; legs and feet orange ; 
lores and cheeks, a narrow supercilium, widening out behind 
the eye, and short moustachial streak blackish brown, paling 
somewhat on the ear-coverts ; above cinereous brown, darkest on 
the hind neck, paling on the rump into ashy brown ; the feathers 
mostly with conspicuous pale edgings, which are ashy on the 
latter part, giving it a grey appearance ; quills dark brown, the 
secondaries and inner primaries with whitish tips and margins, 
and the whole with broad transverse bar-like spots not 
reaching to the edge, on the inner webs ; tail grey, darkening 
towards the tip and with twelve narrow brownish bars ; beneath, 
the chin and throat and side of the neck, reaching up beyond 
the ear-coverts, pure white ; chest, breast and flanks whitish, 
with laro-e central drops of dark brown almost covering the 
feather on the chest and changing into bars on the lower flank ; 
abdomen, thigh, and under tail-coverts almost white, a faint 
tinge of rufous scarcely perceptible. 

41.— Polioaetus iclithysetus, Horsf. (15). 

The Fish Eagle of Ceylon deserves, I thiuk, special notice, 
inasmuch as though it has been assimilated with the Indian 


form, P. {chthyatus, it appears to me to be intermediate between 
that and P, humilis ; as regards size and soft parts, it comes 
rather close to the latter — the largest female that I have measur- 
ed having a wing of 18*25, and the largest male one of 17, 
and the iris of the adult being bright clear yellow, tinged with 
fleshy colour in some and beautifully speckled or mottled with 
brown in others, but never wholly brown as given by all writers 
for ichthyatus. It is very common in the east and north-east 
of Ceylon, affecting all estuaries of large rivers and salt 
lagoons ; and every tank in the far interior possesses its pair, 
waking the traveller in the early morning long before day 
break with its extraordinary call or shout. 

A female, which I killed out of the nest to the north of Trin- 
comalie, measured as follows : — Length, 26*5 ; wing, 18*25 ; tail, 
10 (with a terminal black band of 3) ; tarsus, 35 ; mid-toe, 2*3; 
its claw straight, 1*2; claw of inner toe, 1*4; bill from gape 
straight to tip, 1*95 ; height of mandible at anterior edge of nostril, 
0*7. Iris bright yellow, finely mottled with brown ; bill and cere 
dark horn ; gape, and lower part of cere adjacent to it, pale bluish 
leaden ; tarsi and feet whitish with a bluish tint. As regards 
the colouring of the head and throat, they are cinereous grey, 
the vertex being washed with brown, and the upper parts as well 
as the breast are as in descriptions of Indian examples. The 
light parts of the interscapulary region are dark shafted, and 
the bases of the white thigh feathers blackish. 

December is the breeding season, and one young one only, for 
the most part, is reared. The nest is an enormous structure, 
generally built in the fork of a tree close to the water. The 
nestling is clothed with white down, the head and hind neck 
feathers coming out buff, and the scapulars and wing-coverts 
brown, with conspicuous buff tips and terminal centres. 

At four months the plumage of the offspring which I reared of 
the above example was complete and was as follows : — Iris hazel 
brown ; bill dark brownish horn, bluish about gape ; the lower 
mandible lighter than the upper ; cere brown ; legs and feet fleshy 
white ; forehead, throat, face and above the eye, greyish burr, 
which colour forms the apical and central portion of the light 
chocolate brown feathers of the crown and hind neck ; back and 
■wings sepia brown, tipped with fulvous grey and with the termi- 
nal part of shaft white ; the lesser wing-coverts are conspicuously 
light, the greater coverts having also light bars on the inner webs ; 
quills blackish brown, the innermost secondaries tipped fulvous, 
and both primaries and secondaries crossed on their inner webs 
with light bars, showing white on the under surface; 
lesser under wing- coverts light tawny fulvous ; the greater, 
white, barred black and tipped fulvous, forming, when the 
wing is expanded, two dark bands ; base of the tail white 


(this is concealed by the upper tail-coverts), remainder blackish 
brown, mottled to within two inches of the tip with greyish ; 
a little above the subterminal band is an indication of a narrow 
band or bar ; the tips of all the feathers are tipped with fulvous 
grey ; beneath, the neck and breast, together with the flanks 
isabelline or reddish grey, with white mesial lines and buff 
grey tips ; the elongated abdominal feathers are whitish clouded 
and mottled with darkish grey ; under tail-coverts white, 
washed with light tawny. 

The habits of this bird, which died at 6 months in my 
aviary from an accident, were very interesting ; from the very 
first, he exhibited the greatest rapacity, and was extremely 
querulous or noisy when under the influence of hunger. 

57.— Pernis ptilorhynchus, Temm. (23.) 

I procured two examples of this bird in the Fort here 
durino- last November, and a third was got about the same time 
by a "gentleman in the Western Province. One of my birds 
was frequenting the trees in front of the officers' quarters when 
it was shot, and the other was flying about with some Kites 
near the barracks. The Honey Buzzard is evidently a straggler 
to Ceylon in the cooler season, and it has not fallen to the lot of 
many to observe it, hence the reason of its being overlooked as 
a Ceylon bird until Mr. Holdsworth published it as such in his 
catalogue. My specimens appear to be both immature, but they 
differ very considerably : that which is doubtless the younger 
of the two has the forehead, sides of the vertex above the eye, 
and cheeks white with dark shafts ; the lores are blackish grey ; 
the vertex occiput and crest tawny brown with darker centres 
and black shafts, the feathers being white at their bases ; the two 
longest crest feathers are much the darkest having the central 
patch almost black ; they are tipped broadly with white, the dark 
shaft continuino- to the apex, the hind neck is whitish washed 
with pale tawny, and looks as if it had faded from a darker hue ; 
the entire under surface and under wing-coverts are pure white, 
with about half a dozen of the throat feathers dark shafted, as also 
three' or four of the elongated lower flank plumes ; the tail has 
four black bands (including the apical one) the interspaces 
beino- filled in with alternate smoky bands and wavy whitish 

cross rays. . . 

The head of the second specimen is in general appearance 
blackish brown, the white forehead and broad supercilium being 
absent the feathers are edged yellow brown, and the crest feathers, 
which are not so long, almost wholly black and untipped with 
white ; the lores and cheeks immediately below the eye are blackish 
grey the ear-coverts are concolorous with the head, and the hind 
neck' deep brown broadly edged with yellow brown. This part 


though darker has the same character of plumage as in the 
light specimen ; a black line commences below the cheeks and 
widens out on tbe sides of throat, crossing it from where a narrow 
mesial streak runs up to the chin ; the chin, throat, under surface 
and under wing-coverts are white with dark shafts and 
longitudinal drops, very narrow on the centre of the breast and 
widening into patches on tbe flanks and abdomen ; on the 
chest below the black gorget there is an extensive brown patch. 
This latter is of the same hue as the under surface of a pre- 
sumably adult bird which I examined in 1872, shot in the 
Central Province, showing, as I take it, that the adolescent 
under surface commences on the chest. 

81.— Ninox hirsuta, Temm. (33.) 

This Owl frequents the jungles round tanks in this part of 
the island ; it has been, until lately, considered both rare and 
restricted in range as regards Ceylon, but it is neither the one 
nor the other. It is plentiful in the south-west and also in the 
jungles at the foot of the Badulla hills ; I have no doubt it 
will prove equally so in the forests of the Eastern Province. 

153 bis. — Loriculus indicus, Qmelin. (66.) 

I have lately met with this species in jungles of this dis- 
trict ; it is not uncommon in the interior, but it has not been 
observed before in the northern half of the island, having been 
supposed, in common with many other peculiar Ceylonese forms 
(all of which I have lately procured in the wilderness of forest 
to the eastward of Trincomalie) to exist only in the west and 
southern part of the country. 

164 Us. — Yungipicus gymnopthalmos, Blyth. (68.) 

This little Woodpecker is found sparingly all through the 
northern central part of Ceylon. It has until now only been 
recorded from the west and southern half of the island. Is it 
quite certain that it has been found in Southern India* ? 

196 bis.— Megalaima flavifrons, Cuv. (76.) 

The eggs of this Barbet have been at last thoroughly identified. 
Mr. Mac Vicar, a gentleman in the Public Works Department, 
found two nests in the Western Province in the beginning of 
last May. This is the breeding season of all our Ceylon Barbits. 
The holes were bored in dead branches of the Jack Tree about 
20 feet from the ground, and the eggs laid on the bare wood 
at the bottom of the cavity. They were two in number, pure 
white, smooth and glossy, and of a slightly pointed oval shape. 
They measured respectively 106 by '82; 1*13 by 08 ; 1*13 

* Quite so I think, I have numerous specimens from different localities in Travan« 
core undistiuguishable from others from Ceylon. — Ed., S. F, 


by 08 ; I'll by 0'8. The identification of the birds was 
complete as they were seen and shot. 

212.— Coccystes jacobinus, Bodd. (86.) 

An egg ready for expulsion was found in a bird of this species 
killed last November at Puttalam, Western Province. It is now 
in the museum of the R. A. Society of Ceylon, and is of a 
pale sky blue color, measuring 0'95 by 0'74. Mr. Holdsworth, 
P. Z. S., 1872, p. 432, supposes it to lay in the nest of Mala- 
cocercus striatus, and Layard found a young bird under the care 
of a pair of these Babblers. 

214.— Endynamis honorata, Linn. (88.) 

The eggs of this species have been identified for the first time 
in this island, during the present year. In May three batches 
were found near Bolgodde, in the Western Province, all in 
nests of C. culminatus. In one nest there were 4 crows and 
four koels' eggs, in another 5 crows and 3 koels, and in the third 
2 crows and 4 koels. The parasite eggs varied in character 
considerably, and two nests contained two types. The smallest 
measured 1'2 by 09, and were of a pale green ground color, 
spotted rather thickly with longitudinally directed markings 
of olive brown over numerous blotches of pale bluish grey ; 
the darker spots being somewhat confluent at the obtuse end ; 
the largest ranged up to 1'38 by l'O, and these were of an olive 
brownish grey, marked all over, mostly at the larger end, with 
reddish brown over numerous spots of bluish grey ; at the 
obtuse end these expand into blotches. Other eggs were of an 
olivaceous green, blotched and spotted with two shades of olive 
brown over numerous smaller spottings of bluish grey ; the 
markings are sparse at the small and confluent at the obtuse 
end. I have long known the koel to be resident in Ceylon, 
though a want of knowledge of the range of birds here has 
induced some to consider it migratory. 

298.— Alseonax terricolor, Hodgson. (122.) 

I notice that the existence of a second species of Alseonax in 
India is doubted, Mr. Hume making A. latirostris do duty for 
the above. In Ceylon there is undoubtedly a flycatcher of this 
genus most distinct from latirostris and answering to Jerdon's 
A.ferrugineus, Vol. I., p. 460 — a bird which he considered identi- 
cal with Butalis muttui, Layard. From the description, Jerdon 
evidently considered this distinct from terricolor, and if this 
latter is not to be allowed why is the former to be suppressed 

* But who proposes to suppress ferrugineus ? and what bearing have Mr. Legge'g 
remarks, upon the question of the distinctness or identity of Hodgson's Himalayan 
turriculor, and lialllea' Sumatrau latirostris? — Ed., S. F. 


The following is a description of a male example of this species 
which I procured eight miles from Trincomalie, in forest on the 
26th of last January. Length, 5*5; wing, 2*8; tail, 2*2; tarsus, 
0*55; mid-toe, 04; its claw straight 019 : bill to gape, 0*75. 
Iris hazel ; bill, upper mandible dark brown with pale tip ; 
under mandible fleshy yellow; legs and feet pale yellow, 
claws light reddish grey ; lores, a circle round the eye 
and just beneath the gape white ; the orbital circle incomplete 
above the lores ; head and upper part of hind neck dark olive 
brown, changing into the rusty olivaceous of the back, which 
becomes ferruginous on the rump ; wings dark brown ; the 
coverts and tertials rather conspicuously edged with yellowish 
ferruginous ; the quills have a fine edging of the same, as like- 
wise the tail, which is of a lighter brown ; chin and throat 
white, bounded on each side by a dark check patch ; the chest is 
brownish, edged fulvous, and the breast and under tail-coverts 
white ; the flanks light yellowish brown, and the under wing- 
coverts edged with the same color as the upper. 

In the absence of Mr. Layard's specimen it is impossible to 
say whether this is Butalis muttui, A. ferrugineus apud Jerdon. 
If new I should propose to style it A.jlavipes, but in the mean- 
time something must be done towards finding out what B. 
muttui really was. 

372 ter.— Oreocincla spiloptera, Bhjth. (135.) 

In 1873, I discovered this Thrush affecting the low country 
forests between Trincomalie and Anoradjapura and secured its 
nest and eggs, which latter have not yet been published that 
I am aware of. The Ceylon Spotted Thrush up to this time had 
only been known from the upland districts, but since this date 
it has been found to be common in the Western Province low 
districts, as many as four having been shot in one morning 
within 12 miles of Colombo. The nest, which I found near a 
stream in some fine forest 15 miles from Trincomalie, was 
built in the fork of a small sapling about 3^ feet from the 
ground, and resembles that of a Blackbird iu structure, having 
a loose exterior of small twigs with a lining of grasses. The 
interior was tolerably well finished and rather deep. The eggs 
were two in number, of a bluish green ground freckled and 
spotted, mostly at the obtuse end, with light red and reddish 
grey over lilac grey spots. 

390 bis.— Alcippe nigrifrons, Blyth. (137.) 

After finding hundreds of the curious dry-leaf structures, 
mentioned in the Ibis, 1874, p. 19*, entirely void of contents, 

* The eggs supposed here to belong to this bird, I have since identified as those 
of Dwnetia alboyularis, called also Batechia by the Singhalese. 

2 Y 



and having come almost to the conclusion that they were built 
as roosting places, I at last came on a newly-constructed one 
containing two eggs, on the 5th of January last ; the bird was 
in the nest at the time, so that my identification of the eggs was 
certain. The nest of this Babbler is generally placed in a bram- 
ble or straggling piece of undergrowth near a path in the jungle 
or other open spot ; it is about 3 or 4 feet from the ground, and 
is entirely made of dead leaves and a few twigs ; the leaves are 
laid one over another horizontally, forming a smooth bottom or 
interior. In external form it is a shapeless ball about 8 or 10 
inches in diameter, and has an unfinished opening at the side. 
The birds build with astonishing quickness, picking up the leaves 
one after another from the ground just beneath the nest. When 
fresh the eggs are fleshy white, becoming pure white when 
emptied ; they are large for the size of the bird, rather stumpy 
ovals of a smooth texture and spotted openly and sparingly with 
brownish red, over bluish grey specks ; in one specimen the 
darker markings are redder than in the other, and run mostly 
in the direction of the axis. Dimensions : 074 by 0.56 
and 0-74 by 0*55 ; this is the first record of the breeding of 
Alc/ppe nigrifrons. 

437 bis.— Layardia rufescens, Blyth. (143) 

The nest and eggs of the Ceylon Rufous Babbler have been 
identified this year. Mr. MacVicar of the Ceylon Asiatic 
Society, took a nest at Bolgodde, in the Western Province, on 
the 22nd May last ; it was placed in some creepers against 
the trunk of a tree a few feet from the gi'ound ; it resembled the 
nest of Malacocercus striatus, and contained two fresh eggs very 
similar to those of this bird. They were deep greenish blue and 
smooth in texture; oval, somewhat pointed at the small end, and 
measured 0*92 by 074 and 0.95 by 075. 

456 bis. — Rubigula melanictera, Gmelin, (148.) 

In April 1873, I received from a friend three eggs of this 
bird, but I was unable to identity them until lately, having had 
an opportunity of comparing them with a Clutch taken last 
year in the Western Province, and about which there was no 
doubt. In the latter case the nest was fixed on the top of a 
small stump, and was a loose structure of grass and bents ; in 
shape rather a deep cup and contained two eggs of a reddish 
white ground color, profusely speckled with reddish brown 
(in one example confluent round, the obtuse end, in the other 
distributed over the whole surface) over freckles of bluish grey. 
Dimensions : 079' by 0'58, 078 by 0'57. My nest was made of 
grass on a foundation of dry leaves and herbaceous stalks loosely 
lined with fine hair-like tendrils of creepers ; the eggs were of a 


reddish white ground, thickly covered throughout with brownish 
red and dusky red spots becoming somewhat confluent round 
the obtuse end. In form they are regular ovals, and measured 
0-78 by 0-6; 0-79 by 0-59 ; 6-79 by 0;58. 

507.— Larvivora cyanea, Hodgson. (161.) 

This " Chat " is found in the jungle of the North while 
passing southwards to the hills on its migration. I procured a 
male in the month of October 1872, a few miles from 

515 ?— Calamodyta brunnescens. ? N.Sp. (163bis.) 

In my note on A. brunnescens, Stray Feathers, 1873, p. 439, 
I mentioned that certain differences existed between the bird 
I shot at Jaffna at the season when our Indian migrants are 
with us (and which by the bye corresponds exactly with tho 
fine plate in " Lahore to Yarkand") and that which I procured 
at Hambantotta. Further research has proved the latter variety 
to be resident in Ceylon, breeding in June and July. Looking 
to this circumstance, its differences in dimensions and in 
certain points of plumage which I did not fully go into in 1873, 
and to the fact that C. stentoria retires altogether from the 
south of India in the breeding season, I think I shall not err in 
characterising our bird as a distinct species, which, if really 
new, I propose *o call C. meridionalis. 

Since procuring it at Hambantotta in 1873, I find that it is 
an inhabitant of the north-eastern districts as well, being very 
local and only found in tanks entirely overgrown with reeds and 
other impenetrable vegetation. I have found it in two localities, 
the one a tank near Trincomalie, which is literally a vast bed 
of gigantic rushes attaining a height of 8 or 10 feet, the other 
the celebrated Topare or Pollnanera tank covered with lotus 
and other swamp-loving vegetation. Should similar spots exist 
elsewhere it will, doubtless, be found in them. It is very difficult 
to shoot, rarely showing itself, and when traced even to a 
detached clump of rushes, impossible to drive out, even by 
trampling all over them. 

I have as yet procured only three examples ; two males and 
one female. Dimensions as follows : — 

Length Wing Tail Tarsus M. toe Its claw straight H. toe Claw st. Bill at front 

(? 785; 3 35; 3; 118; 07; 31; 43; 45; 78 

<y 33 _ 11; 07; 32; 0-4; 04 ; 08 

? 3 — 10; 06; 3 ; 04; 38; 72 

(the last two in bad moult, and therefore length and tail not 
taken) . 

Soft parts. — Iris brownish or olivaceous }'ellow ; bill, 
upper mandible dark horn, lower with the base fleshy and terminal 
part brownish ; gape, mouth and tongue orange ; legs plumbeous 


grey ; feet darker. The bill is longer and stouter than that of 
my Cal. stentoria, which likewise has not the inside of the 
mouth orange * ; the tertials are longer than those of the latter 
bird, falling short in the closed wing of the primaries by 0'6 
against 0*7 in the latter. 

Lores,, dark, surmounted by a light streak ; head and 
above olivaceous brown, paling on the rump and quite wanting 
the rusty f hue which pervades Cal. stentoria ; feathers of the 
back pale edged; wings and tail dark brown; the quills and 
lateral rectrices pale edged ; beneath the throat is whitish, 
darkening into greyish on the neck, which with the chest is 
striated, each feather having a fine mesial line ; centre of the 
breast greyish white, wanting the fawn hue present in Cal. 
stentoria; flanks greyish brown, without the fulvous wash of the 
Indian bird ; abdomen and under tail-coverts whitish ; under 
wing-coverts pale fawn white. 

The female appears to want the striae on the chest, but is 
similar in other respects. 

The nest of this species, which I found on the 25th June last, 
w r as situated about 5 feet from the water, and was built into the 
fork of one of the tall seed-stalks of the rush, resting only 
against the three branches of the fork, but worked round the 
stems of the flower, which sprung from the same point. The 
structure was composed of various fine grasses and a few rush 
blades, and was lined with portions of the flower divested of the 
seed matter ; this was the most singular point in the construction 
of the nest ; in shape it was a well-formed and rather deep 
cup, measuring 2^ inside diameter and 2 in depth. There 
was unfortunately but one egg laid at the time — U"89 by 0*67, 
of a pale green ground, boldly blotched with blackish, over 
spots and markings of olive and olivaceous brown, under which 
there are again small clouds and blots of bluish grey. The 
black markings are longitudinal and are most abundant towards 
the obtuse end. 

The song of this Warbler is the usual harsh warble of the 
family, beginning with measured notes and breaking into varia- 
tions ; it has also a " chet" and a " churr" note when threading 
its way through the reeds. After taking the nest the tank dried 
up, and the reeds were burnt by herdsmen, and I then revisited 
the spot for the purpose of getting specimens ; singularly enough, 
though there were plenty of birds tenanting the few remaining 

* This is seasonal. From the specimen sent me I am not at present disposed to 
concur in the distinctness of this supposed new species. I have compared this speci- 
men with a large series of continental ones. It does not differ structurally; the 
si,:c of the bill varies a good deal in different examples. As to the plumage, it is 
merely the faded August plumage. I have a July Cashmere specimen exactly like 
the Ceylon bird.— Ed., S. F. 

f Tins again is seasonal. — Ed. 


clumps, their song had entirely ceased, the only indication of 
their presence being an occasional " churr" proceeding from 
the dense cover out of which it was next to impossible to 
drive them. 

760.— Pyrrhulauda grisea, Scop. (203.) 

This Little Lark is resident throughout the year in all the 
eastern and north-eastern parts of Ceylon, and also in the dry 
district of the north-west coast. I found it breeding this year 
near Trincomalie in May and June. It commences to build at 
the latter end of April, chosing the barest parts of open wastes, 
commons, dried up paddy fields, &e. Three nests, which I found 
on the Esplanade, were constructed in holes scooped in the 
ground, with the surface of which the top of the structure was 
flush. They were very loosely put together of dry grass, 
stalks aud roots, bits of rag and pieces of thread and cotton 
with no particular lining. Round the edge of the nest was 
placed a neat little circle of small pieces of tile and brick, which, 
in this case, must have been gathered in from some little 
distance, as the ground, hard by, was quite bare. Two was the 
number of eggs in these and other nests found. Some were 
uniform pointed ovals measuring 0'8 by 0*55 and 0"8 by 0-53, 
and of a greenish white ground, freckled all over with minute 
spots of yellowish brown, olive brown and slate colour, with 
some larger markings of the same, forming a zone round the 
obtuse end. Four other eggs were much smaller, very much 
resembling those of Sylvia rufa, at home ; they were somewhat 
stumpy at both ends, of the same grounds as the above, and more 
sparingly spotted with larger spots of yellowish brown and 
bluish grey over minute specks of brown. They measured - 75 
by -54 ; 0*73 by 055 ; 0'71 by 0-52, and 073 by 53. 

Another nest, found in July in the same district, Avas neatly 
made of fine grass similar to that of Alaucla gulgula. It con- 
tained two young covered with fulvous down. 

842.— Glareola orientalis, Leach. (224 ter.) 

I first procured this interesting addition to our Avifauna at 
Minery Tank, " Ceylon's Inland Sea," on the 10th of July last, 
and a few weeks afterwards discovered it to be abundant on 
the flat lands surrounding the great tank at Kandelay. They 
appear to breed at both localities, — my first example a female had 
very distended ovse and the Kandelay birds all had young or eggs 
— most probably the former, as it was so late in the season. I 
obtained a perfect series from the young female to the fully adult 
male ; these latter had a length of from 9'3 to 9 '% and the 
wing from 7 - 5 to 7*3; an old female had a wing of 7'5, and a 
young one of 7*2. The young of both sexes had the buff 
part of the throat, which was almost white, streaked with black, 


and the bills bad much less red at the base of lower mandible 
and along the commissure than the adults ; the chests which were 
darker than those of the adults, were edged with fulvous ; the 
breast not so rufescent and the chestnut of the under wing- 
coverts much duller and almost absent under the primaries. 
There is a visible difference between the plumage of adults of 
different ages. A very old bird has the throat more buff, the 
black gorget broader, and the white inferior edge conspicuous; 
the lores darker, the chest lighter and the breast deeper ; the 
under wing-coverts brighter and more white at the bases of the 
marginal feathers of the carpus. 

I always flushed these birds out of the rank mossy vegeta- 
tion growing on the dried upshores of the tanks; they 
would fly off, and then, wheeling round high in the air, would 
fly back, poising themselves over my head and uttering their 
pleasant sounding note compounded of the chirrup of a Swallow 
and the cry of a Tern. I imagine their nests were in the grass 
as they appeared to take no notice of me while I was traversing 
sandy and bare localities close by. I was however most pro- 
bably too late for eggs, and they may have had young con- 
cealed in the grass. Unless some one has found the eggs of 
this Plover this year it would appear that eggs have as yet never 
been procured, and in searching for them one has no material 
to work upon. 

848.— iEgialitis cantianus, Lath. (227.) 

This year again I have found a good many nests of this bird 
watchino- the hen from the nest, and shooting her when there 
■was not a single other bird near, and I find them all in the same 
plumage as that sent to Mr. Hume and which he says is a 
young bird.* Out of a number shot this year only one male 
has a narrow post-frontal black band. 

850. — iEgialitis minutus, Pallas? (228 bis.) 

I have just obtained a Ringed- Plover, new to our Avifauna, 
but in the present state of the synonymy of these little Plovers 
will not undertake to say what it is. The Ringed-Plover, 
which Mr. Holdsworth lays down as M. dubius, and which as far 
as my experience goes, stays with us until the middle of May, 
and then leaves for the north, returning in September, has a 
black bill of from '55 to "6 and a wing of from 43 to 4*65. 
There is no yellow at the base of the under mandible ; the legs 
and feet are yellow, and the eyelid, which is not fleshy, is yellow. 
During the time it is with us it has the lores, cheeks and ear- 
coverts, a pectoral band encircling the back of the neck blackish 

* I cannot answer for these birds, they may belong to a distinct species, but the 
particular, specimen sent to me, was an immature cantianus. — Ed. 


brown ; there is no post-frontal black- band ; the tertials are very 
long, in good feather much exceeding the primaries in the 
closed wing, and much exceeds the present bird in size. This 
little Plover, I