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No. 1.— April. 


A First List of the Birds of North-Eastern Cachae ... 1 
Observations on Ealco Henderson i, Hume, by W. E. 

Brooks ... ... ... ... ... 48 

A Note on the Nidification of Harpactes creskios, by 

C. T. Bingham ... ... ... ... 50 

Novelties — ■ 

iEthopyga, "Waldeni ... ... ... 51 

Recently-described Species, Republications — 

Picus manderinus, Gould, Var. Qod.-Aust. ... 53 

Alcippe fusca, God.-Aust. ... ... 54 

Niornis albiventris, „ ... . . ... 55 

Abrornis chrysea, Wiald. ... ... ... ib. 

Zosterops Austeni, „ ••« ... ... 56 

Alcippe magnirostris, „ ... ... ... ib. 

Stachyris assimilis, ,, ... ... ... ib. 

Drymoeca Blanfordi, „ ... ... ... 57 

Horeites sericea, „ ... ... ... ib. 

Suya erythropleura, „ ... ... ... 58 

Garrulax nuchalis, God.-Aust. ... ... ib. 

Suya khasiana, „ ... ... ... 59 


Identity of Drymocataphus fuWus, Wald., and 

Trichastoma minor, Hume ... ... 59 

Identity of Alcippe magnirostris, Wald., and 

Alcippe Phayrei, Blyth... ... ... 60 

Further remarks on distribution of Pterocles sene- 

gallus ... ... .. ... ib. 

Identity of Anorrhinus Austeni, Jerd., and Crani- 

orrhinus corrugatus, Tern. ... ... ib. 

A new Turdulus ; ? T. Davisoni ... ... 63 

Letters to the Editor — 

The Bori Bird of Sindh— H. E. M. James ... 61 

A Pericrocotus from Comilla— A. Manson ... 62 

No. 2.— June. 



Gurney ... ... ... ... ... 65 

Sunbirds ... ; .. ... ... ... 69 

Our Indtan CERTHitNiE ... ... ... 73 

Notes on the JNidificatioit of some birds in Buemah, by 

C. T. Bingham ... ... ... ... 79 

turdtnus crispifrons ... ... ... ... 87 

Our Indian Cisticolje ... ... ... 90 

hlerococcyx n1sicolok ... ... ... 96 


Siva castanicauda ... ... ... 100 

Muscitrea cyauea ... ... ... 101 

Siva sordida ... ... ... .. 104 

Authipes submoniliger ... .„ ... 105 

Ixulus bumilis ... ... ... 106 

Ixulus rufigenis ... ... ... 107 

Megalaima Davisoni ... ... ... 108 

Hypsipetes subniger ... ... ... 109 

Leioptila Davisoni .„ ... ... 110 

Hemixus Davisoni ... ... ... Ill 

Allotrius intermediua ... ... ... 112 

Pyctoris griseigularis ... ... ... 1 16 

Dendrocitta assimilis ... ... ... 117 


Anorrhinus Austeni can scarcely be identical with 

Craniorrhinus corrugatus ... ... ib. 

Polyplectron intermedins, Hume, identical with P. 

Germaini, JElliot ... ... ... 118 

Enplocamus Vielloti, (which should stand as E. 

rufus, Raffles) distinct from E. ignitus ... 119 

Salvador's genus Orthoramphus, inadmissible ... 12L 
Jerdon's name Nucifraga multirnaculata ... 122 

^Ethopyga miles, Hodgs., to stand as ^Ethopyga 

seheriae, Tick. ... ... ... ib. 

Gyps fulvus, Jerd=Gr. himalayensis, Hume, nee 

G. fulveseeus ... ... ... 123 

Larger northern crested Goshawk to stand as 

Lophospiza rufitincta, McClell. ... ... 124 

Astur soloensis, Horsf ... ... ... 125 

Spizaetus orientalis, Tern, and Sclrfeg. not a 

synonym of S. nipalensis ... ... ib. 

Dates of publication of Parts I. and II. of Hough 

Notes ... ... ti# ji m 

Edward's "little Black and Orange-colored Hawk" 

possibly represents one stage of Microhierax 

melanoleucus ... ... ... 126 


Pa 9 e - 
Falco atriceps, Hume, certainly distinct from F. 

peregrinus ... ... ... ... 128 

Tinuunculus atratus, Blyth, of Grays H. L., 

probably a misprint for T. saturatus ... 129 

Polioaetus ichthyaetus, plurabeus, and humilis ... ib. 
Polioaetus Horsfieldi, apparently Vigors' and not 

Hodgsoris name ... ... ... 130 

? Pratiueolarobusta, Tristr=V. niacrorhyncha, Stol. ib. 

Pratincola insignis ... ... ... 132 

Phylloscopus Brooksi = P. Scbwnrzii ... ... 134 

Ioras of Northern Guzerat, are nigro-lutea ... ib. 

Bubo ketupa, Eaup., not a synonym of K. fiavipes 135 
Scops griseus of Jerd. which should stand as S. 

indicus, Gin., distiuct from S. malabaricus ... ib. 

Athene cuculoides of Vigors nee Gould. ... ib. 
Turdulus Davisoni, only a very old male of T. 

sibericus ... ... ... .. 136 

Pomatorhinus Marise, Wald?=.¥. albogularis, Blyth ib. 

Pomatorhiuus olivaceus, Blyth, a good species ... 137 
Verreaux's Siphia Hodgsoni, probably identical 

with S. erythaca, Blyth and Jerd. ... ... ib. 

The Ceylon Phodilus, distinguished as assimilis ... ib. 

Suya gangetica, Jerd. Information wanted ... 138 

Su'thora daflaensis, God-Ausf. = S. munipui'ensis ... ib. 
Anous leucocapillus and melanogenys, wrongly 

figured, P. Z. S., 1876, pi. LXI. ... ... ib. 

Pucrasia castanea, Gould, erroneously identified 

with P. Duvauceli, Tern, by Elliot ... ... ib. 

Falco barbarus ? wrongly figured as F. babylonicus, 

P. Z. S., 1876 ... ... ... 140 

"Woodcocks at Bagdad and in N. Canara ... ib. 

Cisticola Tytleri, from Munipur ... ,.. ib. 

Nos. 3 & 4. — August. 

Notes on" the nidification op some Burmese Birds, 

by Eugene W. Oates, C.E. ... ... ... 141 

Remarks ots the Genus Pericrocotus ... ... 171 

Remarks upon Phasianus, insignis by D. G. Elliot, 

F.R.S.E., &c. ... ... ... ... 198 

Notk:s on Captain Ledge's paper on additions to the 

Ceylon Avifauna, by A. White, F.Z.S., &c. ... 201 

Some remarks on the Indian Species of the genus 

Yoltocira ... ... ... ... 203 

The Avifauna of Mt. Aboo and North Guzerat, Addenda, 
by Captain E. A. Butler — 

Part I. — List of species omitted in former paper ... 207 
Part II. — Further remarks upon species included 

in former paper ... ... ... 217 


Part III— Table of dates of arrival and departure 

of migratory species ... ... ... 226 

Notes on Nomenclature I ... ... ... 237 

Notes on some of our Indian Stone Chats ... ... 239 

A few additions to the Sindh Avifauna, by W. T. 

Blanford, F.B.8., &c... ... ... ... 245 

Notes on some Burmese Birds, by Eugene W. Oates, C.E. 247 

Remarks on some species of the Subgenus Lillia, Boie. 254 
A Monograph of the Cinnyrid^: or Family of Sunbibds, 

by Captain Gr. E. Shelly, &c, (first notice) ... ... 267 

Notes on Nomenclatube II ... ... ... 275 

Catalogue of the Birds in the Bbitish Museum, Vol. 

III., by R. Bowdler Sharpe, Esq., (notice by the Editor) 281 


Captain E. A. Butler, H. M.'s 83rd Regt ... ... 283 

Remarks on the genus Sula ... ... ... 304 

Additional notes on the bieds of Sindh, by Captain 

E. A. Butler ... ... ... ... 322 

Resume of becent additions to the Sindh Avifauna ... 328 

Reguloides Vibidipennis, Blyth... ... ... 330 

Novelties — 

Pellorneum ignotum ... ... ... 334 

Phylloscopus seebohmi ... ... ... 335 

Chatorhea eclipes ... ... ... 337 

Cyornis olivacea ... ... ... 33S 

Recently-desceibkd Species, Republications — 

Pellorueum pectoralis, God.-Aust. ... ... 340 

Actinura oglei, God.-Aust. ... ... 341 

Pomatorhinus stenorhynchus, God.- Just. ... 342 

Sitta magna, Wardlaw Ramsay ... ... 343 

Limicola siberica, Dresser ... ... 344 

Anthus blakenstoni, Swinh. ... ... 345 

Notes — 

Additions to the Avifauna of the Andamans ... 347 

Anecdote of Milvus govinda ... ... { 0t 

Hierococeyx nisicolor ... ... ... jg # 

JButeo plumipes ... ... t<g ^. 

The female of Pacliyglossa melanoxantha .., 348 

Young of Hypocolius ampelinus from Khelat ... 349 

Note on birds from Khelat ... 350 

Additional notes on Indian Cisticoloe ... ... ib. 

Vivia innominata from the Wyuaad, Nilgheris ... 351 
Letters to the Editor — 

Cissa speciosa, killing snakes — F. Lowis ... 352 
Additional specimens of Phodilus badius — A. W 

Whyte .,. ... ... a 

Nos. 5 & 6. — (November) December 

The Beitish Association's Eules for Zoological Nomen- 
clative, (a reprint) ... ... ... 355 

Occasional Notes prom Sikhim, No. I, by J. A. Gammie... 380 
A Ltst of Birds collected and observed on the Palani 

Hills, by S. B. Eairbank ... ... ... 387 

Notes on birds observed in the region between the 

Mahanadi and G-odavari Eivers, by V. Ball ... 410 

Eemarks on the genus Iora ... ... ... 520 

Notes on the Nidification of some Burmese Birds, by "W, 

Davison ... ... ... ... ... 453 

Coevus macrorhtnchus, of "Wagler ... ... 461 

Ornithological Notes, by W. E. Brooks ... ... 469 

Eemarks on the genus Micbopteenus ... ... 472 

Notes on some birds in Mb. Mandelli's collection from 

Sikhim, Bhutan and Tibet, by W. T. Blanford ... 482 
Novelties — 

Arachnothera simillima ... ... ... 487 

Cyornis albo-olivacea ... ... ... 488 

Hierococcyx nanus ... ... ... 490 

Pelecanus longirostris ... ... ... 491 

Recently-described Species, Republication — 

Bambusicola fytchii, Anderson ... ... 493 

Notes — 

Volvocivora culminata, Say ... ... 495 

Butalis grisola, at Simla ... ... ... ib. 

Burnesia gracilis distinct from B. lepida ... 496 
Praticcola insignis; dimensions and description of a 

Male ... ... ... ... ib. 

Chrysonotus biddulphi, Tickell, identical with C. 

snorii ... ... ... ... 497 

Occurrence of Phseton flavirostris in N. E. Cachar 498 

Cbleuasicus atrosuperciliaris, Qod.-Aust=-Q. ruficeps 499 

Brachypteryx hyperythra, male described ... ib. 

Original description of Falco peregrinator, Sundevall 500 

PTiylloscoput (Reguloides) jlavo-olivaceus, N.S. ... 504 

This number really published in December ... ib. 

Erratum ... ... ... ... ib. 

Lettebs to the Editor — 

Coracias garrula, in the Mhairwarrah Hills. — O. St. 

John ... ... ... ... 502 

On certain Eaptorial birds. — J. H. Guenev ... ib. 

Additional species from Khandalla. — E. A. Butlee 503 

A Woodcock shot at Kurrachee. — E. A. Butlee ... 504 

Species described or discriminated ... ... i 

Species noticed ... ... ... iii 


The completion of this fifth volume leaves the Editor with 
little or nothing to say to his readers by way of Preface. 

The yearly reiteration of gratitude for kindly and generous 
support, which the Editor's other, and primary, duties preclude 
his ever fully meriting, becomes monotonous. 

The hopes that he once entertained, and sanguinely expressed, 
of being able hereafter to make his journal more worthy of 
that support, have gradually faded into dream-land. He beo-in s 
to realize that in this cold practical world, mansions are not 
built without hands, and that, with the utmost efforts on his 
part, a journal like the present cannot be made even to approxi- 
mate to what it should be, whilst its Editor and Chief Contributor 
can devote to it only occasional moments, and almost the whole 
of his time and thoughts are absorbed by other and more im- 
portant matters. 

People who think poorly and write slightingly of Stray 
Feathers, have the Editor's entire sympathy. No one probably 
realizes all its shortcomings so acutely as himself, or appreciates 
more thoroughly what it ought to be, and might perhaps become 
if only the Editor could find time to attend to it, as it should be 
attended to. 

All he can say for it is, that, despite its patent feebleness, it 
is yet gradually bringing on record a mass of facts, specially in 
regard to the distribution of species, that will greatly facilitate 
hereafter the labours of others, and pave the way to some extent 
for that more fortunate individual to whom fate may concede 
the happy task (which the Editor now despairs of being ever 
able to accomplish) of writing a complete History of the Birds 
of our Indian Empire. 


December 1st, 1877. 


Vol. V.] APRIL 1877. [No. 1. 

|l foot fist of % lirbs of lort^fotmt Caclmr. 

Mr. James Inglis has, for some years past, most kindly 
collected birds for me in the north-eastern corner of the Cachar 
District, for the most part near the banks of the Barak River, 
a few miles below its junction with the Jheeree, and some 20 
miles or thereabouts due east of the statiou of Cachar. 

Altogether Mr. Inglis has presented our museum with 
specimens of 157 species, and, though this is probably barely 
one-third of the total number that occur in his neighbourhood, 
I think that, now that he has added to our former obligations 
by furnishing a brief account of the localities in which he has 
collected, together with notes on each species which I have 
identified, the list which I am able to furnish of his collections 
is sufficiently interesting to deserve early record. 

Mr. Inglis remarks : — 

" The part of Cachar in which I collected most of the few 
birds, which I have from time to time sent you, lies about 2 
miles south of Luckeepore, where the Barak emerges from the 
hills for the first time, and enters the lowlands. 

" A few of the specimens I procured at some distance from 
here ; these are noted and the places marked on the map which 
accompanies this. 

"The whole of Eastern Cachar is drained by the River Barak 
and its tributaries, the principal of which are the Jheeree, 
which forms the boundary between Cachar and Munnipore, 
and the Cheeree, which rises in the North Cachar hills. 

" These rivers rise to a great height during the rains ; the 
Barak here often rises 70 or 80 feet above its cold weather level. 
The Barak is navigable to the river steamers up to Silchar, and 
indeed some 60 miles farther up, during the rains ; with very 
little expense the rivers might be made navigable all the year 
round, as the obstructions are not very numerous, and consist 
principal^ of snags, silt, and indurated clay. I believe that 
steps will soon be taken to have the bed of the river cleared 
of all obstructions to navigation, as this province is fast rising 
into importance, and its rivers are its highways. 


"The low jungle lands and rice fields are only about 70 feet 
above sea-level, and the majority of the hills which are scattered 
throughout these low lands and adjacent to the high ranges 
vary in height from 100 to 350 feet. These again, as also the 
low lands, are thickly studded with stagnant pestilential jheels 
and old river courses, in which flourish a great variety of gross- 
feeding animal and vegetable life. These jheels vary in breadth 
from 30 yards to a mile. 

" 1 believe a good bird's-eye view of Cachar may be had from 
Nemotha, the proposed sanitarium on the North Cachar hills, 
which does not at all flatter the province, as the whole of Cachar 
is said to resemble one vast swamp. 

11 The Jujongs range of hills are the water-shed between the 
Jheeree and Cheeree, the highest peak is about 690 feet. The 
North Cachar hills are about 4,000 feet. 

" These hills or teelahs are mostly very steep and in many 
instances quite precipitous. 

" The soil is a very light, friable, yellow loam, with an average 
depth of about eighteen inches, but where the hills are steep or 
much exposed to the storms, the soil seems to be pretty well 
all washed away, whereas on level plateau land, and on 
sheltered teelahs, good soil exists in many places to the depth 
of 4 feet. 

" In some places boulders, pieces of sand-stone, and con- 
glomerate crop up, and often about 2 feet under the surface, 
regular layers of water-worn stones and pebbles are found, much 
resembling an old sea or river bed. Large masses of indurat- 
ed clay are exposed along the river banks, but as yet, no true 
rock in situ has been found in this immediate neighbourhood. 
Signs of lignite, coal, lime, and iron have been seen on the 
higher ranges of hills. 

" The soil on the low lands is a stiff alluvium, very rich and 
productive, and where not cultivated is densely covered with 
tall grasses, cane, and other jungle. 

"The annual rainfall is about 120 inches. Spring showers 
be^in about the middle of February and continue at intervals 
till about the 10th of June. These showers are generally accom- 
panied by gales of wind, and always take the form of thunder 
storms. About March we are sometimes visited by hail storms, 
which, when severe, do infinite damage to tea gardens, and even 
prove destructive to cattle. 

"The regular rains begin about the 10th of June, and begin 
to break up towards the end of September. 

" The atmosphere during the summer months is very steamy, 
and, although the temperature does not often exceed 90°, the 
amount of moisture in the air makes even this heat very 


oppressive. The maximum degree of temperature that I have 
vet noted has been 99° in the shade and the minimum 48°. 
From 1st of November to the 1st of March the climate is de- 

"Vegetation is most luxuriant. The high ranges of hills 
are clad with a great variety of fine timber trees, the most 
valuable of which are Nagussar, Coorta, J'ulna, Jarrol, Sal, 
Corral, and Chama, but lower down and all along the rivers, 
very little valuable timber remains, except on estates in private 
hands, which were taken up some 12 or 15 years ago. 

" Large tracts of fine timber and bamboos have been de- 
stroyed by the wandering tribes of Nagas and Kookis in Jhoom- 
ing {their method of cultivation), for as they only take one 
crop off the same place, they ravage a large area in a few years. 

" The first year, very few weeds spring up on land cleared 
from forest or bamboo jungle, and if the jungle tribes were 
to cultivate the land a second year running, they would have 
much more trouble in keeping their crops free from weeds, 
so rather than do a little extra weeding, they prefer to clear 
new land. Perhaps too the freshly broken land yields heavier 

" The first year or so after Jhooming very little jungle, 
except tall grasses and creepers, grow up ; the second and third 
years, trees and bamboos make their appearance, but by the 
fifth or sixth years, just wheu the trees and bamboos have 
made a little headway and succeeded in partially killing the 
rank grasses, the Nagas consider the land fit for another crop, 
and so everything is again levelled to the ground. 

lt It is almost impossible to push ones way through any 
of the virgin jungles without cutting a path. 

"With the exception of a few grand trees, none of the tim- 
ber seems to be very old. It may be that the thousands of 
creepers, climbers, orchids and other parasitic plants, with 
which almost every tree is covered, succeed in smothering and 
so killing them. Very few trees seem to be over 60 or 70 
years old. 

" The principal native product is rice, but a little sugar-cane 
is also grown. 

il The hill tribes grow a little cotton on their Jhooms and 
the Cacharees breed the tusser silk-worm. 

u Tea is as yet the only product of European enterprise in 
the district. 

" The mammals of this district include the Entellus,* Hoo- 
lock, Slow-lemur, common brown and some 3 or 4 other varieties 

* Probably this is not P. entelltas, but P. schistaceus. — Ed., S. F. 


of monkeys, one of which much resembles a baboon. Ele- 
phants, buff aloe and initna* are found where the jungle is not 
much disturbed. 

ft Sambur, parbuttia f, spotted deer, barking and hog deer, 
and two other varieties of deer are very common ; tigers, leo- 
pards, civet cats, three or four varieties of wild cats, boars, sand 
badgers $, otters, ichneumons, foxes, jackals, and wild-dogs are 
often seen. The other common animals are squirrels, martens, 
porcupines, rats, moles, scaly ant-eaters, &c. 

" Flying foxes and many varieties of bats abound. Porpoises 
are common in the Barak, also large long-snouted croco- 
diles (Gharialis gangeticus) and Hydrosauri. I have not seen 
the snub-nosed crocodile (G. palustris) here. 

" All the rivers teem with fish, such as mahseer, hilsa, 
poi, cheetal, pakaringa, batchua, and mauy other coarse fish. 

u Snakes, lizards, frogs, land crabs, and turtles, abound. The 
cobra is not very often seen, but a species of python is often 
killed, as much as 25 feet long. 

" The province is very rich in insects ; day-and night-flying 
lepidoptera are very varied and plentiful, stick insects and pray- 
ing mantes are common. The leaf insect is not rare. 

" The specimens I have hitherto sent, represent, perhaps, one- 
third of the species I have seen, but not secured. You will 
observe that I have secured but few small birds, but I 
intend this season to get hold of most of them. Of their nidifica- 
tion I know very little. The myriads of ants, centipedes, 
leeches, ticks, and other insects with which the jungles swarm 
tend to make birds' nesting the very reverse of a pleasure." 

The list is as follows : — 

13.— Hypotriorchis subbuteo, Lin. 

"I shot a female in March 1876, the only one I have ever 
come across. — J. I." 

One specimen, a female not quite adult; wing, 11*0 a rather 
unusual size. 

17.— Tinnunculus alaudarius, Bris. 

lt The Kestril is very common during the cold weather, but 
I have not seen it during the rains. — J. I." 

* Gavceus frontalis. — Ed., S. F. 

f Possibly the swamp deer. (Bucervus duvaucellii.) — Ed., S. F. 
X This is Arctonyx collaris, the bear-boar, or as Jerdon calls it the hog-badger.— 
Ed., S. F. 


Two males of the ordinary type and an excessively pale 
female with the brown bars on the upper surface and on the 
tail exceeding- the interspaces in width. 

18.— Tinnunculus pekinensis, Swinh, ? T. Inglisi, Sp, 


"On the 10th of March last, I came across 5 of these birds 
hawking over a patch of thin grass. I secured one of them ; 
I have not again seen this variety. — J. I." 

A single specimen clearly belonging to the same group as 
cenchris and pekinensis has been sent me by Mr. Inglis. It 
is a young male not fully adult, as the tail is rufescent and bar- 
red, and the head though becoming bluish is still tinged and 
washed with cinnamon. It is with some hesitation, that I refer it 
to pekinensis. I know very little of the Eastern Lesser Kestrel, 
and this specimen, possibly owing to its immaturity, entirely 
wants the supposed characteristic of pekinensis, the whole of 
the wing coverts as well as the tertiaries, scapulars, and inter- 
scapulary region being bright cinnamon. The wing measures 
9'6, which is the dimension given by Mr. Sharpe for pekinensis, 
but the tarsus is only 1*2, which corresponds better with the 
dimensions of cenchris. The claws are whitish. 

I am strongly inclined to believe that if pekinensis be really 
a good species, this specimen also represents a distinct species, 
hitherto undescribed, and if so, it may stand as Inglisi. 

It seems specially characterised by a broad bare space round 
the eyes, and by a conspicuous dark moustachal streak. 

Length, about 14*0 ; tail, 6*5 ; bill from gape, straight to point 
0'73 ; Aving and tarsus, as above ; mid toe and claw, Tl. 

The legs and feet appear to have been a very pale yellow ; 
claws yellowish horny, brownish towards the tips ; cere yellow ; 
bill blue, yellowish towards the base ; lores whitish. 

A conspicuous black or blackish moustachal streak from the 
anterior angle of the bare elipse in which the eye is situated, 
more than 0*75 inch in length ; cheeks behind this stripe min- 
•gled grey and blackish ; ear-coverts similar but darker, giving 
the appearance of a faintly indicated second stripe from the 
posterior angle of the bare elipse. Sides of the neck blue grey 
streaked blackish, and most of the feathers, especially towards 
the base of the neck, margined and tinged with chestnut ; chin 
and throat white ; feathers at the base of the throat tinged rufous 
at the tips and with a narrow black shaft stripe there. Fore- 
head, crown, occiput and nape, dirty blue grey, the shafts of 
the feathers of the anterior portion of the head darker and the 
feathers of the posterior portion with distinct but very narrow 
blackish shaft stripes ; those of the nape similar, but the shaft 


stripes more marked. The entire occiput and nape washed 
with pale chestnut. The entire wing-coverts, except primary 
greater coverts, tertiaries, scapulars, interscapulary regiou 
and upper back, rich chestnut ; the lai-ge coverts, tertiaries and 
scapulars with tolerably broad blackish brown transverse bars, 
reduced on the upper back and interscapulary region to nar- 
row arrow head imperfect bars or spots and almost entirely 
wanting on the lesser and median coverts. 

Lower back, rump and upper tail-coverts pure French grey. 
Tail pinky chestnut, with a greyish tinge, tipped white, with an 
inch broad subterminal black band, and seven or eight other 
narrow transverse blackish bars. 

Primaries and their greater coverts, and secondaries dark 
brown, almost black on the primaries. The primaries excessively 
narrowlv, the secondaries narrowbv, margined with brownish 
white; both secondaries and primaries with numerous rufous 
or rufescent white bar-like more or less triangular spots on the 
inner webs and most of the secondaries with corresponding irre- 
gular oval rufous spots on the outer webs also. 

The breast chestnut, but not so dark as the back ; each feather 
on the upper portion with a blackish shaft stripe and on the 
lower portion of the breast with a more or less oval or cordate 
subterminal blackish spot ; abdomen paler aud yellower, simi- 
larity marked. Thigh coverts aud lower tail-coverts almost pure 
white and unspotted. 

Wing lining, except the greater lower coverts, white, spot- 
ted like the lower part of the breast. Greater lower wing coverts 
white, with one or two black subterminal bars. 

If this specimen really is Pekinensis it is in a stage of plu- 
mage that has not hitherto been described. 

19.— Erythropus amurensis, Badde. 

" I secured an adult male of the Eastern Red-legged Hobby in 
February 1875. I did not again observe it till October the same 
year, when one morning I came across some hundreds of them 
hawking over a piece of land which had been lately planted Avith 
tea. I secured five of them, and on dissecting them I found 
they had been feeding on crickets, grass-hoppers, beetles, and 
small lizards. During November they were seen in hundreds 
every day gvrating at a great height all over the country ; they 
disappeared about the middle of December. This year, 1876 
they again returned, I saw about fifty of them on the 14th of 
October, and a few days afterwards they were swarming in every 
direction. When they settle, they generally chose a bare tree 
in the open, and often two or three hundreds may be seen on the 
same tree. 


u They are very difficult to approach when settling- in numbers 
but when they are feeding on white ants in the evenings, they 
become very bold and fly within easy range.. The adult male 
is easily distinguished on the wing, but such only occur about 
one in ten. 

" They again disappeared about the middle of December in 
numbers; but stray birds are yet to be seen — December 28th.— 
J. I." 

For a diagnosis of this species and the European vesper finus 
see Mr. Sharpens article (Vol. III., p. 303.) 

Unlike most of the other llaptores, it would appear that in 
both these nearly allied species the males somewhat exceed the 
females in size. 

I see that in Mr. Sharpe's Catalogue of Birds, Vol. I., p. 444, 
he gives the wing of the male vespertinus at 9'8 and of the 
female as 9*7. An adult male in my collection from Europe has 
the wing 10*05, a fully adult female has the wing barely 9*5, and 
the female all but adult has the wing 97. 

In the same work, p. 445, Mr. Sharpe gives the wing of 
the male amurensis as 90 and of the female 9 "5. Of four 
adult males three from Caohar, and one from near Rajamundry, 
Madras, the wings are 9 05 ; 9*3 ; 935 ; and 9*5. 

On the other hand, the only adult female from Cachar has the 
wing ouly 8'8, while two young males from Cachar, and one from 
Thayet Myo have the wings 9'0; 9*0; 93; two young females 
from Cachar have the wings 8 '65 and8 - 85. 

Now with reference to Mi*. Sharpe's diagnosis above referred to 
I would remark that he says of the female, " under surface 
creamy white/' This is not always correct; in the female before 
me, the chin and throat are creamy white, the whole of the rest 
of the lower surface is pale rufous or buff, possibly a shade more 
pronounced on the thigh coverts, but that is all. In his diag- 
nosis, therefore, we should read tl under surface creamy white 
to buff or pale rufous." All he says about markings, &c, 
appears correct. 

Theu again turning to his diagnosis of the young birds he 
sa y S .__« Head, dark bluish, with black shaft streaks; foreheads, 
fulvous; under surface of body, buff." None of these points 
hold good in any one of the five young birds before me. 

In all the head is brown with dark shaft streaks, and most 
of the feathers faintly margined with paler and more rufescent 
brown. The foreheads are white, with} in one specimen only, 
a creamy tinge, and the under surfaces are white, streaked and 
barred as in his diagnosis. In one specimen only there is a 
decided creamy tinge on the lower abdomen, thighs, and lower 
tail coverts. 


As for the number of bars upon the tail, eight appears to be 
the usual number excluding the subterminal band, but one has 
nine and one has ten, so that this is hardly a characteristic 
which can be relied on for a diagnosis. 

22.— Lophospiza indica, Eodgs. 

ie I have only seen this bird once. I managed to secure 
it.— J. I." 

A single specimen, a female, clearly belongs to the larger 
race; it has the wing 10 - 6 and the tarsus 2*75. An enormous 
thick tarsus too, double the size of those of true trivirgata 
from the Nilgherris and Southern India. 

A female from the Nilgherris, measured by Miss Cock- 
burn, measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 16 ; expanse, 28 ; wing, 8'8 ; tail from vent, 85 ; 
tarsus, 2 3. 

A male from the same locality measured : — 

Length, 15*25; expanse, 27 "5; tail, 7*6; wing, 8'6; tarsus 2*25, 
but considerably slenderer than in the preceding specimen ; it 
weighed also only 10 ozs. against 13 ozs. in the female. 

A nearly adult male from Kallar, Nilgherris, had the 
wing only 81 ; a young male sent me by Mr. Bourdillon 
from Southern Travancore measured : — 

Length, 15; expanse, 27*25; wing, 8; tail, 7*25; tarsus, 2*30. 

All the southern birds that I have seen belong to this 
smaller and less robust type ; on the other hand, an adult male 
from Sikhim has the wing 93. Females from the same local- 
ity have the wing 99.. 1015, 10-17, and 106. 

A female from Sumbulpore has the wing 9*7, and one 
supposed female from Tipperah has the wing 9 55. These are 
all adults or nearly so. 

A quite young female from Sikhim has the wing 10 2; 
another has the wing 10 ; and a young male has the wing 9 - 3. 

Lastly, an adult female from the Pine Forests of the Salween 
has the wing 9*9. 

The question has not yet been fully worked out, but from 
the above referred to specimens now in my museum it would 
appear that the smaller race, the true trivirgata (wing, 8 to 88) 
inhabits peninsular India whilst the larger race indica (wing, 
93 to 10"6) extends from Nepal and Sikhim eastward through 
Tipperah to Pegu and the lower Salween, and westwards 
through the Tributary Mahals as far as Sumbulpore. 

23.— Micronisus badius, Gm. 

" The Shikra is not uncommon ; it remains here all the 
year.— J. I." 


A well marked female of this species, and a young bird 
which may belong- to this or the next species. 

23 ter— Micronisus poliopsis, Hume. 

a This Hawk is perhaps more generally met with than any 
other ; it breeds during March and April. — J. I." 

A male of this species, identical with one of the Thayet 
Myo birds. It would appear that the line of junction of these 
two species or races is somewhere in this the Cachar District. 

34.— Spizaetus caligatus, Baffl. 

" This Hawk Eagle is rare here, in 4 years I have only seen 
one which I managed to kill when she was in the act of carry- 
ing off a fowl from the Morghee khanna. — J. I." 

A fine female with a tarsus over 4* ; mid toe and claw also 
rather more than 4*; and wing 17. 

Mr. Sharpe obviously considers that the adult is always deep 
chocolate brown above and below ; but this is not, I think, the 
case, at any rate with the race that we in India identify as cali- 
gatus. I have now seen a great number of specimens old and 
young, and have a large series in our museum, but we possess 
only one single Indian-killed specimen in the black plumage (ob- 
tained near Dacca) and I have only seen one such other, and this 
although I have certainly seen above fifty Indian-killed adults. 
From their extreme rarity in India, I should have been 
inclined to consider these black birds mere melanisims, did 
I not know that further south and east they are more common. 
Here in India the normal adult is dark brown above, but pure 
white below, with a very conspicuous and broad central 
throat streak, and with blackish shaft streaks to most of the 
rest of the feathers of the throat ; every feather of the breast 
and upper abdomen has a very broad, dark hair-brown shaft 
stripe extending upwards from the tip for about an inch. 
The flanks are much mottled with brown and the lower tail 
coverts are a rather lighter brown narrowly barred, or, when 
the bars have become obsolete, spotted with white. 

37.— Spizaetus Kienerii, Gerv. 

i( I was lucky enough to secure the only specimen of this 
handsome bird that I have ever met with ; I got it while on a 
fishing excursion on the Cheerie close to the Cacharee Degoon 
Ponjee, at an elevation of 2,000 feet. I cannot give you much 
information about it or its measurements. I found it perched 
on a very tall tree overhanging a precipice in the act of de- 
vouring something, but what it was I cannot tell, as it fell 
over the rock ; the bird Avould also have followed suit had he 


dropped dead, but his pinion was only broken and lie came 
down in a slanting direction ; he fought most fiercely while 
I was securing him. — J. I." 

An adult specimen. The adnlts of this species differ in one 
respect conspicuously — some have the chin, throat, and breast, 
fiiow white ; in others these parts are strongly tinged and 
overlaid with the bright ferruginous chestnut of the rest of 
the lower parts. 

Mr. Sharpe (Cat. B. I., p. 256) gives the habitat of this 
species as the Indian Peninsula, Malacca, and Borneo. I have, 
however, strong doubts whether it is this species which oc- 
curs iu the Indian Peninsula, and anyhow it must be ex- 
tremely rare there, whereas in North-Eastern India, as in Sik- 
him for instance, it is far from uncommon, and here we find 
it again in Cachar. The specimen sent is a male with a wing 
143. In the females the wings reach to 17 5. 

39 ter.— Spilornis Rutherfordi, Swinh. 

u This Eagle is not uncommon. I have generally observed 
it in plains. I have seen it throughout the year ; it subsists on 
snakes, lizards, and large grasshoppers. — J. I." 

An adult and a young female, both belonging to this 
smaller race, the female having the wing only 16-75. 

40.— Pandion haliaetus, Lin. 

" The Osprey is not uncommon on the larger rivers ; it is 
a bold fisher and often kills very large fish ; it is most com- 
mon towards the hills. I have never noticed it during the 
rains. — J. I.' 

An adult, unsexed, wing 192. 

41. — Polioaetus ichthyaetus, Borsf. 

" This Eagle is rather rare. Here it generally fishes in 
jheels. The natives say it often carries off kids and fowls. 
It is rather a slovenly bird and does not keep itself over 
clean.— J. I." 

A young specimen, unquestionably of this species, with a 
wing 19, and tarsi enormously thick, with the whole throat, 
breast, and upper abdomen in the lineated plumage, but with 
the greater part of the tail already white, though with a broad 
black terminal band, and much mottled elsewhere with 

As in the Bootan Doars and the Sikhim Terai, both this 
and the next species appear to occur in the Cachar District. 


41 bis. — Polioaetus plumbeus, Hodgs. 

" This Fishing Eagle is to be found on all the rivers ; it is 
very common all the year. — J. I." 

An old adult of this species with a wing 17, and without 
any trace of white on the upper surface of the tail, but with 
the lower surface of the basal two-thirds of the tail greyish 
white mottled with dark brown. 

No one who has compared a series of these two species 
can doubt their distinctness. Ichthyaetus must wei^h near- 
ly double what plumbeus does. 

51— Circus macrurus, S. G. Gmel. — C. Swainsoni, 

" The Pale Harrier is not common. It is found on the banks 
of rivers and some times scouring the rice fields. I have only 
seen it between December and March. — J. I." 

53.— Circus melanoleucus, Gm. 

" This pretty Harrier is extremely common from September 
to April. I have not seen it during the hot weather. — J. I." 

Numerous specimens sent from Cachar shew that this spe- 
cies is very common in that district. Amongst them are 
several young birds, which, I am sorry to say, do not greatly 
assist in elucidating the complicated question of the change 
of plumage in this species. 

And first as to whether the female ever assumes the per- 
fectly black and white plumage of the adult male. On this 
point, I see that Mr. Gurney accepts my view, that if the 
female ever does assume this plumage it is only quite excep- 
tionally, and not as a normal stage of plumage. It is not 
merely that out of more than fifty specimens dissected b^v various 
Indian observers during the last i'ew years, not one female 
has yet been detected in the black and white garb; but there 
is an independent argument derived from the fact that the 
tarsi and wings of the black and white birds average consi- 
derably smaller than those of what I take to be adult, and nearly 
adult females. Clearly, if these latter afterwards passed into 
the black and white plumage, we ought to find a fair propor- 
tion of black and white birds as big, if not bigger, than these 
supposed immature birds. The fact that nearly the whole of 
these are bigger than almost che whole of the black and white 
birds, appears to me a conclusive argument against these so- 
called immature females ever putting on the black and white 



Now I have most carefully measured the 34 black and white 
specimens that my museum at present contains with the follow- 
ing results : — 




r 296 




13 4 


2 95 









2 99 



15 specimens 

2 9 



with tarsi less ■< 




than 3 inches. 




2 9 







13 70 






13 5 





r 3 






7 specimens 




with tarsi exact- 




ly 3 inches. 


13 9 





L 3 




14 34 


| 3 07 


Arconum, Madras. 

7 specimens 

3 07 



over 3 inches less- 

{ 3 09 



than 3 1. 

I 3 08 









3 specimens 
from 3-1 to 312. 








1 specimen 3 25 

. 3-25 



It will be seer 

i that out 

of 33 speci 

mens in black and white 

plumage no less 1 

than 22, or 

66 per cent. 

have the tarsi 3 inches or 

less than 3 inches, and that 29, or 88 percent., have the tarsi less 
than 3*1, and that in only one single specimen does the length of 
the tarsus exceed 3'12. These measurements, it will be under- 
stood, have been taken with the greatest care, and verified by 
two persons, so that they may be depended upon to the 100th of 
au inch where the tarsi are concerned, and one-tenth of an inch 
where the win^s are concerned. 



Less than 31 


J 305 


31 to 312 

Above 32 



| 3 26 
j 3-28 
I 33 
| 33 

If we turn now to the state of plumage, which I believe to 
be characteristic of the female, the following are the dimensions 
of all the specimens in my museum : — 

Wing. Locality. 

14-1 Cachar. 

14-0 Thayet Myo. 

137 Dacca. 

13-8 Thayet Myo. 

140 Eaipore. 

14 - 45 Cachar. 

14*5 Sumbulpore 

14*8 Bootan Doars. 

15 - 1 Dacca. 

14-3 Gondah. 

It will be seen that whereas in the black and white plumage 
66 per cent, had the tarsi 3 or less, not one single one of what I 
suppose to be the females, have the tarsi as small as this. 

Again whereas only one single specimen in black and 
white plumage has the tarsus over 3*12 no less than 60 percent, 
of the supposed females have the tarsi over 3'2 and 30 per cent, 
have it 33 and upwards. 

It seems to me perfectly clear from these figures that the 
females do not normally assume the black and white garb. 

I will now describe what I consider to be the perfect adult 
female, and to make the description as short as possible, I will 
compare it with the adult male. 

The tail is silver grey like the male, but larger, and bears five 
or six well marked brown transverse bars ; on the upper tail- 
coverts the grey markings of the male are replaced by pale 
brown. The whole of the black of the head, back, scapulars, 
and wings of the male is replaced by a deep, slightly sooty, clove 
brown ; the feathers of the head being some of them narrowly 
margined with rufescent ; the white patch along the ulna is in 
the female a less pure white, and each feather is centred with 
clove brown ; the grey of the greater coverts, later primaries and 
secondaries is browner and less pure, and each feather has a 
conspicuous sub-terminal transverse blackish brown bar and one 
or more similar bars higher up • the tibial plumes and lower tail- 
coverts are as in the male ; the chin, throat, sides of the neck 
and breast, are clove or chocolate brown, streaked with white, 
or yellowish white, or about the ear-coverts pale fulvous. The 
abdomen, sides, flanks, axillaries, are white or nearly so, streaked, 
and in the case of the latter obsoletely barred, with chocolate 
or clove brown • the whole lower surface of the tail and of 
the quills is conspicuously barred with brown or blackish 


The bird above described, and which I take to be the perfectly 
adult female, was shot in January in the Bootan Doars, aud has 
the wing 14'8, aud the tarsus 3'3. 

I may here mention that the tarsi are measured in front 
from the nick of the tibio-tarsal articulation to the nick of the 
articulation of the mid toe. 

All have been measured in precisely the same way, but these 
dimensions are not necessarily comparable with those given 
by other writers, as, in many cases, I find that the tarsus is 
measured at the back to the sole of the foot. 

At an earlier stage the female has the tail pale brown, with 
a greyish shade, and with the transverse bars less well marked ; 
the brown of the back and scapulars somewhat lighter, and 
with less of the rich clove tint that characterises the adult ; 
the patch along the ulna and at the carpal joint is very much 
marked, and mingled with pale rufous. The feathers of the 
head are brown much more broadly margined with rufous, and 
the whole of the sides of the head, chin, throat, and breast are 
white, with more or less of a creamy or pale fulvous tinge, 
each feather narrowly streaked with brown. 

In a younger stage still there is a great deal more rufous 
buff, mingled with the head, neck, throat, and breast; there is 
much less grey on the wings, and no grey at all on the tail, 
the bars on which are much less conspicuously marked. 

I cannot positively affirm that all these are females, some of 
them are certainly so, the sexes having been ascertained by 
dissection ; I conclude the rest to be so by their similarity of 
coloring, and this view is confirmed by the constant large size 
of the tarsus. It is possible that the male also at times assumes 
this same style of plumage; but it does not always do this, 
and my own impression now is that it never does so. I have 
one undoubted young male sent from Cachar by Mr Inglis ; 
tarsus, 2 95 ; wing, 13-25. 

The whole of the head, back, scapulars, wings are an almost 
perfectly uniform umber brown, only the white bases of the 
feathers shewing through a good deal at the nape, and (and this 
is the remarkable point) t\so or three feathers of the forehead, 
two feathers on the occiput, one feather in the interscapulary 
region, and one of the lesser scapulars on either side, newly 
moulted and pure black ; upper tail-coverts and two central 
tail feathers which are still a good inch short of the rest of the 
tail, precisely that of the perfect adult, the rest of the tail 
feathers pale drab brown with four broad darker brown bars. 

Chin, throat, breast, similar to the upper parts, but somewhat 
paler, but some of the feathers of the chin newly moulted and 
black, and a whole patch of feathers at the base of the neck on 


the right side, and one similar feather on the left side newly 
moulted and black ; abdomen, vent, sides, flanks, and tibial 
plumes a deep ferruginous umber brown; lower tail-coverts 
mingled this color and white. 

Now here is clearly the male moulting direct, from a plumage 
totally different from what I have described as that of the 
female, into the perfect adult. 

I have another bird precisely similar to this last, but rather 
larger, tarsus 305 ; wing, 137, but without a single black 
feather, without the upper tail-coverts of the adult which, in 
this specimen, are white, with a great oval brown shaft spot near 
the tip, and with the whole of the tail of the young type, namely, 
pale drab brown with four broad, ill-marked, somewhat darker, 
transverse bars. 

Lastly, I have one specimen also from Cachar which absolutely 
baffles all my ingenuity to find a place for it. At first sight 
it seems to be a young female corresponding with the stage of 
the young males which I have just described. 

The upper surface is precisely similar, but, the primaries are 
beginning to show a little grey, and the feathers of the head are 
margiued paler ; the tarsus is 33 ; the sides of.the head throat, 
and upper breast, are much as in the young males, but the 
lower breast and rest of the lower parts are just like those of 
the female, in a somewhat later stage, viz., white streaked with 
a more or less rufescent clove brown. The wings and tail are 
both so much abraded as to lead to the inference that the bird 
was in bad case. Half the tail feathers are silvery grey 
without any bars, but they are not new feathers, these even are 
old and abraded ; the other half of the tail is grey brown with 
darker bars ; this half of the tail is still more abraded and all the 
feathers on this side are nearly an inch shorter than those on 
the other, but the most remarkable thing here is that there 
is just one new pure black scapular ! 

My own conviction is that this bird is a diseased female 
(I only guess the sex by the tarsus) and that no conclusions 
can be properly drawn from it, but still so little is as yet 
known of the changes of plumage which this species under- 
goes that I feel bound to record the peculiarities of this specimen. 

55.— Haliastur indus, Bodd. 

"The Brahminy Kite is very common throughout the year; 
it breeds in March and April ; it generally fixes on a mango 
or peepul tree, close to a village. — J. I/' 

58.— Baza lophotes, Cuv. 

"I came across three of these handsome birds one morning 
in November 1875 in dense forest jungle ; they were in company 


with a number of Bulbuls and King crows. I have not again 
seen them. — J. I." 

59— Elanus melanopterus, Daud. 

" The Black-winged Kite is rather rare. I have only seen 
about half a dozen in 4 years ; it frequents thin grass lands and 
when hunting hovers very like a Kestrel. — J. I." 

60.— Strix javanica, Gm. 

" I have only shot one of these Owls, but I have been told 
that it is not uncommon in the villages. — J. 1." 

72.— Ketupa ceylonensis, Gm. 

" The Fishing Owl is rather common ; it is easily known from 
its call. I caught a full-fledged } r oung bird this year on the 
15th of March ; it got to be quite tame, and ate flesh as freely 
as fish. I once surprised a pair of them feeding on the carcass 
of an alligator which I had shot a few days previously. — J. I." 

75.— Scops lettia, Hodgs. 

u One of these pretty Owls was caught by my servants in 
the bungalow in November 1874. — J. I." 

A single specimen exactly similar to some specimens from 
Sikhim, but perhaps slightly smaller. 

76.— Athene brama, Tem. 

" This little Owlet is very common, it may often be seen 
peering out of a hole in the trunk of a tree at mid-day. — J. I." 

79.— Athene cuculoides, Vig. 

" The Large-barred Owlet is very common. May be seen 
flitting from tree to tree during all hours of the day. — J. I." 

81 quat.— Ninox innominata, nobis. Vide S. F. Vol. 
IV., pp. 286 and 374. 

" I have often met with this Owl at dusk. — J. I." 
Three specimens, all belonging to the type which Mr. Sharpe, 
Cat. B. Vol. II., 156, includes under scutu'lata, Raffles, but which I 
prefer to separate, being confident in my own mind that the 
Sumatran bird will turn out to be a different and considerably 
smaller bird. All three of the specimens before me must have 
been fully 13 inches in length, and I do not believe that Raffles, 
speaking of such a bird, would have said 10 inches. 

Moreover, birds from Malacca and the Straits (as also from 
Ceylon and the Hills in South Travancore) which are most 


likely to be identical with Sumatran ones, are about 10 inches 
in length, and cannot be united with these huge Cachar birds 
unless all the Indian and Malay Peninsular races are lumped 
in one species. 1 am not sure that this would not be right, but 
if lugubris, Tick, is to be separated so too, it seems to me must be 

82.— Hirundo rustica, Lin. 

"Very common throughout Cachar. — J. I." 

This should perhaps be referred to the smaller race, 
//. gutturalis, Scop., but I confess that I am myself by no means 
convinced that the two supposed species are really separable. 
This is an adult with the chin and throat deep chestnut, and 
with the wing 45, and the tail, though apparently fully develop- 
ed, only 375. 

96.— Chaetura indica, Hume. S. F. Vol. I., p. 471 ; 
IV., p. 287. 

" This Swift is not rare, but difficult to secure ; the only speci- 
men I got I knocked down with my fishing rod over an ant- 
hill. Flies generally after a shower of rain. Generally seen in 
the vicinity of forest. — J. I/' 

The specimen from Cachar is similar to those from 
Southern India and the Andamans, and has the conspicu- 
ous white or yellowish white lore patch. It is an adult and 
has the wing 8 - 2. 

100 Ms.— Cypselus subfurcatus, Blyth. 

" At all hours of the day this Swift may be seen sailing along 
at a terrific pace. Very common in stormy weather. — J. I." 

For an enumeration of the characteristic points by which 
this species may be distinguished from the allied affinis, vide 
ante, Vol II., p. 524. 

107.— Caprimulgus indicus, Lath. 

" During the cold months, this Goat-sucker is to be found 
in quiet places. Disappears during the rainy season. — J. I/' 

114.— Caprimulgus monticolus, Franhl. 

" Extremely common throughout the year. — J. I." 

114 bis.— Lyncornis cerviniceps, Gould. 

"This handsome bird appears about the beginning of August 
and disappears at the end of the rains. Very plentiful in August 
and September. Prefers hawking along a river. — J. I" 



Three specimens identical with specimens from various parts 
of Tenasserim. 

116— Harpactes Hodgsoni, Gould. 

"This beautiful Trogon remains with us all the year. It 
breeds in May. I have never seen it except in dense shady 
jungle. All the specimens I have, have faded, and the breasts 
are now white. — J. I." 

An adult female remarkable for having the entire abdomen, 
vent, and lower tail-coverts snow-white, instead of the brilliant 
rosy color observable in normal examples. Only on the sides and 
flanks on one side are some of the feathers tinged with rosy. None 
of my very numerous Sikhim, Bhootan or Burmese specimens 
have ie faded" in this way, and the matter requires investigation. 

117.— Merops viridis, Lin. 

u The common Indian Bee-eater is very common between- 
August and April. A large number of them seem to migrate 
during the latter month. — J. I." 

The specimens from this district have an intensely bright 
orange golden lustre on the occiput and nape. 

118.— Merops philippensis, Lin. 

"The Blue-tailed Bee-eater is common all the year. — J. I." 

119.— Merops Swinhoei, Eume. 

" Is common durino- April and May ; disappears about the end 
of May.— J. I/' 

122.— Nyctiornis Athertoni, Jard. and Sell. 

tl The Blue-ruffed Bee-eater is not uncommon. It remains 
all the year ; from seeing a pair frequent a large tree last April. 
I think they breed during that month. — J. I." 

124— Coracias affinis, McClell. 

" Extremely common throughout the year. Breeds during 
March, April and May in the holes of trees. — J. I." 

Neither of the specimens sent are very typical, but they are 
nearer to typical affinis than to indica. 

126.— Eurystomus orientalis, Lin. 

" This Roller is not uncommon, but very shy. As it remains 
all the year, I presume it must breed here although I have never 
seen its nest. — J. 1." 

127.— Pelargopsis gurial, Pears. 

" This Stork-billed King-fisher is very common along slow 
running rivers and bheels ; it remains all the year. — J. I." 


The specimen sent is scarcely a typical gurial ; the cap being 
lighter than in that species ; indeed in many respects, it seems 
to approximate to what Mr. Sharpe separates as burmanicus. 
I suspect that ultimately a great number of the species of this 
genus will have to be abandoned. 

129.— Halcyon smyrnensis, Lin. 

" This King-fisher has often been a puzzle to me ; I have 
found them in the most unlikely places, in fact everywhere. 
I remember once watching, one going in for a teed on crickets ; 
he settled on a large tree in the middle of a large clearance 
and every now and then darted down like an arrow to the 
ground returning immediately to his perch with something i u 
his beak. After I had seen him at this for about | an hour, 
I stalked him and brought him down. On examination I 
found his stomach crammed with crickets. — J. I." 

133.— Ceyx tridactyla, Pal. 

''Although not at all rare, this tiny fellow often escapes 
observation. He sits so very close that I have more than once 
attempted to catch him with my hand. I once caught a pair 
in my Bungalow during the day. They affect the thickish 
jungle with very small streams running through it. — J. I.-" 

134— Alcedo bengalensis, Gm. 

tl The commonest of King-fishers, found wherever there is 
water.— J. I." 

Wing, 2*87 ; bill at front, 1"55. This appears to be fully 
adult , but the bill is very short. 

136— Ceryle rudis, Lin. 

"The Pied King-fisher is very common throughout the dis- 
trict; it always fishes on the wing. It breeds here about March 
—J. I." 

137.— Ceryle guttata, Vig. 

" This large Pied King-fisher is only to be found in the 
mountain rivers or streams. I have not observed a sino-le bird 
near stagnant or slow running water ; it is seen nearly always 
in pairs. Breeds in March. — J. I." 

A female, with the cinnamon under wing coverts, precisely 
similar to Himalayan specimens. 

Bill at front, 3; wing, 7*1. 

138— Psarisomus Dalhousiae, Jameson. 

" I shot three Yellow-throated Broadbills on the 1st Decem- 
ber 1875. Previous to that date I had not seen it in Cachar; 


it continued plentiful during the cold months, but disappeared 
about the 1st of March. This year it again returned in large 
numbers about the 10th November. 

It frequents thick jungle, and from 10 to 20 are generally 
to be seen together ; one of its most distinct calls " pee, pee, 
pee, pee, pee," can be heard nearly a mile distant. — J. I." 

140. — Dichoceros cavatus, Shaw. (Fide Vol. IV., 
p. 385.) 

" The great Indian Hornbill, although not a resident, is 
oftener seen and spoken about than any other bird in Cachar. 

" During the dry weather they are continually migrating to 
the south, and during the rains to the north. The noise majie by 
their wings attracts attention at a great distance. They mostly 
fly in 5's and 7's, but as many as 30 are sometimes seen together. 
A good shot at them can only be had by waiting patiently on 
some height, where they fly low. A windy day is most 
favourable for bagging them. They afford splendid eating 
far superior to any fowl or pheasant. — J. I." 

In some specimens the outline of the edge of the casque 
viewed from in front is nearly a half circle, in others it is 
nearly straight with only a slight central depression. 

These differences, I am satisfied, are individual and not speci- 
fic—See further Vol. IV., p. 385. 

142. — Hydrocissa albirostris, Shaw. 

" Very common, feeds on fruits, is also passionately fond 
of live fishes,* which it catches in shallow pools. The hill 
tribes often bring down young birds ; they are too easily tamed 
and soon become a great nuisance. 

"You may consider it strange that a Hornbill should 
eat fish. The way I first discovered the predilection of these 
birds for this apparently abnormal article of diet was as 
follows : — 

" I had a tame Otter, and at the same time three tame Horn- 
bills. The Otter was fed several times a day in a large tub 
containing live fish. Some of these latter, when closely pressed 
by the Otter, used to jump clean out of the tub, and these the 
Hornbills always gobbled up in a twinkling. 

" Once it happened that the Otter got hold of a fish by its 
head, while one of the Hornbills seized it by the tail. The 
struggle was very amusing; the Otter proved the stronger, and 

* Strange as this statement of Mr. Inglis' may seem, I know of a somewhat 
parallel case. Berenicomis comatus feeds habitually on the ground, greedily 
devouring lizards and the like. 


pulled the Hornbill well within his reach, he then let go the 
fish and seized the bird by the wing and would have killed it, 
I have no doubt, had we not interfered* 

" Since then, I have found the bones of fish in the stomachs 
of several Hornbills that I have shot. 

"This predilection for fish accounts for the habit these 
Hornbills have of frequenting- ' khalls ' through which small 
streams run. 

" The Nagas affirm that when these Hornbills are intent on 
fishing, they can be approached sufficiently closely to be killed 
with a stick. — J. I." 

147 — Palaeornis magnirostris, Ball. 

" Very common. Breeds throughout the summer in the holes 
of trees. — J. I." 

The specimens sent are not typical magniroitris, but they are 
nearer to this than to either eupatria of Ceylon, or siva/etisis 
of Northern India. The yellow of the throat is conspicuous, 
the head entirely wants the glaucous blue tinge, and the 
adult males are nearly 22 inches in length. Possibly these 
birds should stand as P. nipalensis, Hodgs., but the j^ellow of 
the throat seems too conspicuous and the size is large. 

148— Palseornis torquatus, Bodd. 

11 Very common throughout the year. — J. 1." 

149 bis. — Palseornis bengalensis, Gm. 

" I have only noticed this Paroquet during the cold weather 
months; it is very noisy and a great pest to the sportsman. 
—J. I." 

Precisely similar to specimens from Sikhim and Burma, 
and has the pure green under wing coverts instead of the 
glaucous bluish under wing coverts which characterise P. 
purpureus, the species of Southern, Central, Western, and 
the greater portion of Northern India. 

152. — Palaeornis melanorhynchus, WagUr. 

" The Red-breasted Paroquet is exceedingly common, in the 
evenings they may be seen flying in hundreds to their roost- 
ing places. — J. I/' 

In Blyth's Catalogue of the Birds of Burmah recently 
edited (apparently by Mr Grote, assisted) by Lord Walden, 
the Indian Parrots of this type are treated by Mr Blyth 
as belonging to two species. Of the first, which Mr. Blyth 
calls P. vibrisca, he remarks " an exceedingly common 
species in the forests of British Burma." " Westward 


common in the Terai region of the East Himalaya ; but its 
ran^e does not extend further into India." " Great numbers 
of the very young- are brought every season to Calcutta from 
Chittao-ono-, and it is remarkable that from the earliest age 
the mules only have the upper mandible coral red. In a pre- 
sumed female -which I possessed in captivity the upper man- 
dible changed from black to coral red when the bird was about 
18 months old, and I have seen numerous specimens which 
had been killed when the change was in progress. I have also shot 
red-billed and black-billed specimens out of the same flock, and 
therefore cannot admit the P. nigrirostris, Hodgson, as a distinct 
species differing only in the color of the upper mandible.''' 

Of the other supposed species which Mr. Blyth designates 
P. melanorhynchis, Wagler, he saj^s u a most closely allied species 
to the last from the Tenasserim. Provinces, if not also the 
base of the Eastern Himalaya. As seen alive, together with 
the examples of the preceding, the difference is more conspicu- 
ous from its purely white irides, whereas the other has dark 
irides. The cap has a slight tinge of verditer, but no trace of 
ruddy coloring, and the red of the breast is continued past, 
the black moustachal streak and the ear-coverts so as to form 
a half collar bordering the sides of the cap ; it also does not 
descend so far on the abdominal region, a larger portion of 
which is green than in the other. These differences are con- 
spicuous in the living birds when seen together; all hitherto 
examined have the bill black, but in the male it is probable 
that the upper mandible is coral red/' 

On this the Editor remarks : *' The facts here stated are quite 
new, I am not aware that they have ever been previously 
published. Dr. Jerdon was certainly unacquainted with them. 
Further investigation is most desireable, more especially as 
Mr. Blyth is completely at issue on many points with what has 
been averred by Mr. Hume. My own experience does not accord 
with Mr. Ely tli's opinion." 

With all deference to the learned Editor's opinion I do not 
think that all these facts are quite new. Dr. Finsch, in his 
diagnosis of melanorhynchus, lays especial stress on the narrow 
line of vinaceous red bounding the posterior margin of the 
grev cap and on the green hue suffusing the forehead and 
cheeks ; and referring to this in Stray Feathers, Vol. II. I, on 
the faith of a Sikhim specimen with a red upper mandible 
sexed as a male, stated that these differences were characters 
of the young male of one stage only of the plumage. 

I have now, however, a very fair series of this species of all 
ages and sexes before me, eighty-eight in number, from Kumaon, 
Sikhim, Cachar, Tipperah, Thayet Myo, Akyab, Kyouk-Phyou, 


Rangoon, and numerous localities in Tenasserim from Pabpoon 
at the north to Malewoon on the Patch an estuary at the 
extreme south, and again from numerous localities in the 
Andamans, and I am now in a position to state positively that 
although the young male, when nearly adult, sometimes at any 
rate if not always, assumes temporarily the distinctive plumage 
to which Mr. Blyth draws attention, still beyond all question, 
this plumage is normally that of the adult female. 

I have before me now from the various localities above men- 
tioned 33 adult males and 17 adult females. In all these, and 
these are all the adults I have by me at present sexed by dissec- 
tion, the male has the upper mandible coral, perhaps it might 
more properly be called vermilion red, the female has it 
black, with, in some specimens, a sort of brownish ruddy tinge. 

Again, the cap in the male is greyer and more lilac ; in the 
female, though it varies in intensity, there is always a more 
marked green tinge on the forehead, lores and orbital region. 
In the male the green of the back and the sides of the neck 
abuts agaiust the lilac of the head, and the feathers interven- 
ing between the green, and the tip of the black moustachal band 
are lilac, while in the female these feathers are rosy, and a 
band of the same color extends upwards behind the ear-coverts 
dividing the £reen of the sides of the neck from the lilac 
of the cap, which band, in some instances, almost extends to 
the nape. Lastly, in the male the upper part of the throat 
immediately between and below the points of the black stripes 
is distinctly suffused with purplish lilac, or bluish lilac, whereas 
this is entirely wanting in the same place in the female. In one 
female only is there a faint trace of this purplish tinge and that is 
an abnormally colored bird, for it has the baud at the side of the 
neck, with a conspicuous orange tinge. 

Now as every one of the adult males and females, the sexes 
of which have been ascertained by dissection from all these 
different localities present constantly these distinctions, I 
submit that it is conclusively proved that there is only one 
species, and that the characters on which the two species were 
differentiated are sexnal and not specific. 

Next it is to be remarked that the young male at one stage 
of its existence precisely resembles the female in plumage, but 
has the bill more or less distinctly red. It can only, however, 
be for a short time that this is the case ; for, out of 88 specimens 
there are only two such, the one from Sikhim, the other from 
the Andamans ; the latter was most carefully sexed by Mr. 
Davison with his own hands, and he drew upon the ticket the 
exact size of the two testicles as we commonly do to distinguish 
breeding from non-breeding males. 


As regards the younger birds, the case is not quite equally 
clear, either they are variable or else it may be that owing to 
the difficulty of discriminating- the sexes in very young- birds, 
some of our specimens have been wrongly sexed. This much, 
however, seems to be quite clear, viz., that both young males 
and young females when about half grown have both upper 
and lower mandibles black or brownish black. The bills of the 
males not uncommonly exhibiting more or less of a reddish 
brown tin ere. It also appears certain that the great majority 
of the youngest males have both mandibles (and not as Mr. 
Blyth says the upper mandible only) red or reddish orange and 
also that this color changes a little later into black or nearly 
black. We have numerous such very young males sexed by 
dissection, and others again somewhat older, shewing the change 
from the red to black or blackish brown, and then again others 
clearly considerably older shewing the change of this latter color 
on the upper mandible into the vermilion red of the adult. 

These are clearly the normal changes in the young male ; first 
both mandibles reddish orange or orange horny ; then both 
mandibles black or blackish brown; then the upper mandible 
vermillion red, and lower mandible blackish brown, or blackish 
horny, or horny brown. 

The first change has been actually witnessed. Mr. De Boep- 
storff says (ante Vol. III., p. 264) : — " You will remember nam- 
ing that young Palaeornis 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 
color of the bill, which was not unlike that of the same part 
the adult male change into black." 

On the other hand, I believe, that exceptions to this general 
rule occur. I saw two birds taken from the nest which had 
blackish dusky bills, one of which I at the time made out to be 
a male, but as we have procured no second example as yet of 
the quite nestling male with black bill, there may have been 
an error in this case in the discrimination of the sex. 

I may here note that I have an almost perfectly adult male 
with the lower mandible also red as Mr. Blyth remarks occa- 
sionally happens. 

As regards the young females, of which I have some twenty 
odd specimens, some of them apparently very young, I should 
have been disposed to believe, that they had both mandibles 
black ab ovo, but there is one single very young bird sexed as 
a female by Mr. Davison which has the bill colored as in the 
nestling male. It would seem, therefore, that either this parti- 
cular specimen has been wrongly sexed, or that the young 


females occasionally commence like the males with reddish 
orange bills. 

I can at present discover no constant difference between the 
plumage of the young males and young females. 

153.— Loriculus vernalis, Sparrm. 

" The Indian Loriquet is rather common ; it breeds on the hills 
about April. It is often found sucking honey from a large 
red flower in March, when as many as 4 or 5 can sometimes be 
killed at a shot. It flies at a great pace, but is not in the 
least shy.— J. I." 

163 ter— Yungipicus canicapillus, Blyth. 

" This little Woodpecker is very rare. I shot a specimen in 
March 1873, and have only seen two others since. — J. 1," 

When treating of this species {ante Vol. III., p. 61) 
I mentioned that specimens of canicapillus from Tipperah were 
somewhat intermediate between the typical canicapillus and 
pygmams, and this remark applies equally to Cachar specimens, 
which are almost devoid of white spotting on the four central 
tail feathers. For further remarks on this species vide loc. cit. 

165 bis.— Hemicercus canente, Blyth. 

u This Woodpecker is rather rare, I have shot some 6 speci- 
mens at different times of the year. On the 18th March 1876, 
I found a nest of it containing two young birds. The nest was 
in the trunk of a solitary tree in the Tea Garden about 9 feet 
from the ground. I caught the female as she came out of the 
hole. After releasing her she flew straight off to the jungle, 
but returned to feed the young quite boldly within half an 
hour.— J. I/' 

Three males, undoubtedly belonging to this the larger species, 
with black heads and minute white specklings on the forehead. 

I have already (Vol. III., p. 61) pointed out the differences 
that exist between this species and the smaller Southern Indian 
cordatus, Jerdon. At the time I drew attention to the fact 
that we had sexed a large number of the present species, and 
that in this case it was perfectly certain that the male had the 
head black with the speckled forehead, while the female had the 
greater part of the top of the head bufty white, and that this 
being so in canente, I could not believe that exactly the reverse 
was (as stated by Dr. Jerdon) the case in cordatus. 

Mr. Gould, in the XXVIIIth part of the Birds of Asia while 
quoting my remarks on the subject, says : — " From what I 
know of other Woodpeckers the P is the bird with the spotted 
crown." My knowledge, of course, is chieflv confined to the 


Woodpeckers of India and the Indo-Malayan region. In all 
these, to the best of my belief, when any difference in size 
exists, it is the male and not the female that has the larger bill. 
In all adult cordatus that I have examined, the bills of the birds 
with the speckled foreheads are conspicuously larger than 
those of the birds with the buffy white forehead and crown. 
Quite independent therefore of the almost conclusive analogy 
to be derived from the certainty we have iu regard to canente, 
this structural difference strongly confirms my contention. (See 
also Vol. IV., p. 389.) 

166 — Chrysocolaptes sultaneus, Hodgs. 

"This Golden-backed Woodpecker is among the commonest 
we have ; it remains all the year. It makes a very harsh noise 
which can be heard a long way off; it is very active ; one may 
dodge round a tree on which one is feeding several times without 
getting a sight of it. — J. I." 

I have already discussed this species when treating of the 
birds of Upper Pegu (Vol. III., p. 64.) The Cachar specimens, 
like those of Upper Burma, are too small for the true sultaneus 
and too large for the true Delesserti. 

Of a fine male from Cachar the bill measures 1*95 at front, 
and the wing 6*7. 

171.— Gecinus striolatus, Blyth. 

"The lesser Indian Green Woodpecker is very common 
during the cold weather months and also often seen in the 
rains. — J. I." 

172.— Gecinus occipitalis, Vig. 

a This Woodpecker is also common. — J. I." 

173.— Chrysophlegma flavinucha, Gould. 

" This Woodpecker is not uncommon, but only met with in 
dense jungle ; it remains all the year. — J. I." 

174.— Chrysophlegma chlorolophus, Fieill. 

" Rather rare; I have only seen it some half dozen times.— 
J . 1. 

176.— Venilia pyrrhotis, Hodgs. 

" Very rare; met with occasionally in thick Jungle.— J. I." 

177.— Gecinulus grantia, McClell. 

«Thi Sf Woodpecker is rather rare ; I have only met it in 
bamboo jungle. — J. I." 


All the preceding precisely similar to Sikhim-killed specimens. 

188.— Yunx torquilla, Lin. 

i( I have only seen this bird once. I managed to secure it ; it 
was in a patch of reeds. — J. I." 

192— Megalaima Hodgsoni, Bp. 

" This Green Barbet is extremely common all the year ; it is 
very noisy. — J. I." 

Specimens from Cachar have the wing 5 - 25, 5*35, and vary 
in the coloring of the head and neck just as Himalayan and 
Burmese ones do. ( Vide Vol. III., p. 76.) 

195.— Megalaima asiatica, Lath. 

(i The Blue-throated Barbet is rather rare ; but I have seen it 
at all times of the year. — J. I." 

198 quat.— Megalaima cyanotis, Blyth. 

" This bird is also very rare. — J. I." 

For description, vide ante. Vol. III., p. 77. We already had 
this species from the Bhootan Doars, Tipperah, and Dacca, so 
that its occurrence in Cachar was only what might be expected. 

199.— Cuculus canorus, Lin. 

" This Cuckoo arrives about the middle of March and de- 
parts during August. Tea planters welcome it from its call 
sounding like ' Want more Pekoe/ — J. I." 

209.— Ololygon rufiventris, Jerd % 

ie I shot a specimen of this bird in July 1874, the only one I 
have seen. — J. I." 

212.— Coccystes jacobinus, Bodd. 

" I have only met with this Cuckoo once, viz., May 1876. — 

A young bird of this species from Cachar in no way differs 
from young birds obtained elsewhere in India. 

215. — Rhopodytes tristis, Less. 

" This bird is very common all the year round, frequents 
thickets, generally seen in plains. — J. I/' 

217 quat. — Centropus eurycercus, Hay. 

" This bird is exceedingly common, frequenting tall reeds 
and other jungle along the banks of rivers and jheels ; breeds 
from June to September ; remains all the year. — J. 1." 


As I have already stated, Vol. I, p. 453 and Vol. III., p. 83, 
I do not at present know what to do with these several red 
interscapularied Coucals ; there are the birds from Dacca, the 
Doon, and Upper Pegu with wings of from 7*6 to 8, which 
I have called provisionally intermedins, and there are the 
others from Sindh and Sikhiin with wings from 9" to 9 '5, 
which I have called maximus ; both these races have the bills 
smaller than in what I take to be true eurycercus from Sumatra, 
and both of them have the tails decidedly green. These 
Cachar birds are similar in color, &c, to intermedins and maxi- 
mus, but have the wings about 8*5. Perhaps we may be 
able hereafter to throw these all into one species in which 
case they would stand as intermedins, or to go a step further 
and include them all under eurycercus. 

218.— Centrococcyx bengalensis, Gmel. 

"This Coucal arrives here about the beginning of June and 
departs at the close of the rains ; breeds from Juue till Septem- 
ber. Like C. eurycercus it makes its nest in a clump of tall grass 
or reeds, the nest resembles a round ball of grass with a hole 
in the side as an entrance. The eggs are generally six in 
number, round, and perfectly white. — J. I/' 

I enter these specimens under this name somewhat doubt- 
fully ; they are apparently of the same species as I have from 
Dacca. Their wings measure from 5'25 to 5'7 ; the tails are 
under 1' 0; the tarsi from 1*35 to 1*4 ; the hind claw from 
less than 1*0 to 11. In no specimen are the upper tail-coverts 
very much developed. 

225.— iEthopyga miles, Hodgs. 

" This pretty Honey-sucker is very common all the year 
but I have never seen its nest. — J. I." 

This is identical with specimens from Sikhim. 

233 bis.— Anthreptes singalensis, Gmel. (For de- 
scription vide Vol. III., p. 86). 

" This Honey-sucker is very common, but is more generally 
met with in the cold months. — J. I." 

254 bis.— Upupa longirostris, Jerd. {Vide Vol. III., 
p. 89.) 

rt Very common from January to April, at other times seldom 
seen. —J. I/' 

One specimen from Cachar is typical longirostris, bill 2'6 
at front, plumage very rufous, not a trace of a white antepen- 


ultimate band on the crest; wing, 5* 95. Another is pale, of 
the epops type, with a conspicuous pale, almost white, ante- 
penultimate band on the crest; bill, 2*25 ; wing, 5'8. I should 
certainly be disposed to call this specimen epops and very 
possibly both species should be included in the fauna of 

258. — Lanius tephronotus, Vig. 

"Very common all the year. — J. I." 

259.— Lanius nigriceps, Frankl. 

11 This Shrike is also very common. — J. I." 

261.— Lanius cristatus, Lin. 

''The Brown Shrike is not nearly so common as the above 
varieties, although far from rare. — J. I." 

269.— Volvocivora melaschistus, Hodgs. 

" This Cuckoo Shrike is rather rare ; frequents quiet 
jungle. — J. I." 

270— Graucalus Macei, Less. 

" The large Cuckoo Shrike is very common during the cold 
weather, generally seen in flocks, — occasionally met with in 
the rains. — J. 1." 

Wing, 6-9 and 6'8. 

271 ter. — Pericrocotus elegans, McClell. 

" Common during the cold months ; I have not seen it at any 
other time of the year. — J. I" 

273 —Pericrocotus brevirostris, Vig. 

" Verv common throughout the year. Always seen in flocks. 
—J. I." 

278.— Buchanga albirictus, Hodgs. 

"This Kingcrow is extremely common. It breeds all through 
the summer. It lays 4 or 5 pure white eggs on the top of a 
few grasses placed in the fork of a tree. It is very pugna- 
cious and attacks birds of all sizes if they approach it.— J. I." 

284.— Dissemurus malabaroides, Hodgs. 

" The Bhimraj is very common, frequenting thick jungle ; 
it often goes in company with other birds which it mimics to 
perfection. It lays about 4 eggs in a shallow nest made of grass 
similar to the above; it is very easily tamed. The hill tribes 


use the long tail feathers for ornamenting their head dresses. 
—J. I." 

Three specimens sent, all belong to the same race as the 
Nepal birds with enormous long crests and neck hackles. 
These are typical examples of the race that Hodgson sepa- 
rated as malabaroides. 

287.— Artamus fuscus, Fieill. 

u The Ashy Swallow Shrikes are often seen in flocks through- 
out the year. I have not seen their nests. — J. I." 

290.— Myiagra azurea, Bodd. 

" This little Fly-catcher is very rare. — J. I." 

343.— Myiophoneus Temminckii, Vig. 

" The Yellow-billed Whistling Thrush arrives about the 
middle of October aad departs during March ; it frequents 
quiet shady ravines, and the rocky banks of rivers. Not un- 
common. — J. I." 

The specimens sent are less spotted on the wing with white 
than Himalayan examples are. They thus in this respect 
approach M. Eugenei of Upper Burma, but the bills are as in 
the Himalayan birds. 

351 bis.— Cyanocincla solitaria, Mull. 

" This Rock Thrush only visits us during the cold months, 
when it is very common. — J. I." 

A single specimen sent has three or four feathers amongst the 
under tail-coverts of the chestnut color that characterizes 
this species. (See further S. F. Vol. III., 112.) 

355.— Geocichla citrina, Lath. 
361. — Merula boulboul, Lath. 

" The Grey-winged Black-bird is rather rare. It is only met 
with during the cold weather. — J. 1." 

365— Planesticus atrogularis, Tem. 

"Very rare; seen only about December and January.— J. I." 

373.— Paradoxornis flavirostris, Gould. 

" I came across two of these birds in thick reeds ; I secured 
them both. 1 got them in the month of March. — J. I." 

Precisely similar to specimens from Debroogurh and the 
Bootan Doars and Svlhet. See also as to the reed-haunting habits 
of these birds, S. F. Vol. II., p. 457. 


402.— Pomatorhinus schisticeps, Hodgs. 

" This bird is rather rare, I have seen it all the year round. — 
J. I." 

The specimen sent has the large deep bill 'of schisticeps. 

405 bis.— ? Pomatorhinus hypoleucus, Blyth. ? P. 
Iuglisi. Sp. Nov. 

"This Scimitar Babbler was very common here in the cold 
weather of 1873-74 ; 1 secured only one specimen of it ; since 
that date I have only seen it at rare intervals ; it frequents dense 
jungle with an openish bottom, and is generally found in flocks. 
—J. I." 

I have already given (Vol. III., p. 411) a description of this 
species by Dr. Jerdon, which does not, however, correspond very 
closely with either of Mr. Blyth's descriptions. Mr. Blyth says, 
J. A. S. B., 1844, p. 371:— 

" General color fulvescent, olive brown above, lower parts 
white with traces of dusky terminal spots on the breast ; streak 
backwards from behind the eye and sides of the neck, posterior 
to the ear-coverts bright fulvous, sides of the breast ashy 
with white centres to the feathers. The bill dusky, a little whitish 
at the tip and beneath the lower mandible ; legs pale ; the 
feathers of the crown a little squamose. Inhabits Arracan." 

In J. A. S. B., 1845, p. 597, Mr. Blyth tells us that the speci- 
men above described was a young one, and he thus describes 
adults received from Tipperah and Arracan : — 

" Color above olive brown, a little cinerascent on the head, 
and a rufous streak commences behind the eye, and expands 
into a patch on the sides ot the neck beyond the ear-coverts. 
Lower parts, white, margined with ashy on the sides of the 
breast; the flanks wholly ashy, with a tinge of brown; wings 
and tail a little rufescent ; the lower tail-coverts more deeply so. 
Length, 10 to 11 inches; wing, 4*25 ; tail, 4; bill to gape 
1-75 ; tarsi, 1-5." 

It will be observed that Dr. Jerdon in his description (loc. cit. 
sup.) entirely omits all reference to the rufous streak from behind 
the eye, and the patch of this color on the sides of the neck. He 
also tells us that this species likewise occurs in Assam, and has 
been sent by Hodgson probably from Sikhim. If sent by 
Hodgson, it was probably sent from the Terai or the Bootan 

The omission by Dr. Jerdon of all reference to the rufous 
on the sides of the neck, coupled with the fact that his des- 
cription is clearly an original one, taken, it is to be gathered, 
from a Sikhim example, is remarkable in so far that this 


Cachar specimen exhibits only the very faintest trace of this 
rufous patch. In fact the specimen before me has no such patch, 
only the feathers behind the eye and immediately above the 
ear-coverts and a patch of feathers on the side of the neck 
behind the ear-coverts, looked at in one light, have a slightly 
more ferruginous tinge than the rest of the feathers of the neck 
and a very few of them have an excessively minute ferruginous 
spot at their tips. Nothing of this would catch the eye, unless 
the specimen was very closely examined. It seems not at all 
improbable, therefore, that in this Cachar specimen, and in the 
specimen described by Dr. Jerdon, we have a distinct repre- 
sentative race or species. If this should prove to be the case 
the present bird may stand as Pomatorhinus (or if Blyth's 
name be adopted Orthorhimis) Inglisi. 

Blyth originally pointed out certain characteristics of this 
species, separating it from Pomatorhinus. These he subsequently, 
for the most part, withdrew, his characteristics having been 
originally taken from a young bird, but there remains the 
fact that in its broad, comparatively uncompressed, and slight- 
ly curved bill, this species, or if there are two or more nearly 
allied ones, as seems probable, these species, differ conspicuously 
from the true Pomatorhini. 

At Mooleyit at an altitude of from 5 to 6 thousand feet, 
Col. Tickell obtained apparently a third representative race, 
which Mr. Blyth treated as a variety of his hypokucus, and 
of this he says, J. A. S. B., 1855, p. 273 : — " Specimen remark- 
able for having narrow white mesial streaks to the feathers of the 
nape, chiefly towards the sides of the nape ; of which we 
can perceive no trace in Arracan specimens, and similar well 
defined, but wider streaks on the dark ash colored sides of 
the breast which are little more than indicated in the Arracan 
specimens under examination. Bill to gape, 2 - 0." 

It appears to me that this race is also distinct, and, if so, should 
stand as Pomatorhinus (or Orthorhinus) Tickelli. 

This supposed species is characterized by a bright rufous 
patch behind and below the ear-coverts, and by a long and 
conspicuous stripe of feathers running down from the top of 
the eye on either side of the occiput and nape and expanding 
into a broad patch on the sides of the neck (behind the fer- 
ruginous patch already mentioned ), all of which have conspicuous 
white shaft stripes a little tinged with ferruginous immediately 
above the ear-coverts. 

The following are exact dimensions and description of a 
male of this species (P. Tickelli, nobis) procured at Mooley- 

Length, 116; expanse, 135; tail from vent, 4*35 ; wing, 
428; tarsus, 1'6; bill from gape, l - 82; weight, 4 oz. 


Upper mandible, legs, feet, and claws, pale brown ; lower 
mandible, horny white ; orbital, skin, fleshy tinged blue ; irides, 
dark brown. 

Entire upper parts, olive brown, slightly duller on crown 
and occiput, and with a distinct ferruginous tinge on central 
tail-feathers and outer webs of quills and rectrices ; inner webs 
of both these latter, dark hair brown ; lores, whitish ; feathers 
immediately under the eye and ear-coverts, pale grey brown ; 
the feathers of the ear-coverts, faintly paler shafted ; a bright 
ferruginous patch behind aud below the ear-coverts ; a 
conspicuous stripe of broadly white-shafted feathers runniug 
backwards from above the eye on either side of the occiput 
and nape over the ear-coverts and ferruginous patch, already 
mentioned, and behind this latter spreading over the side of the 
neck. The white of these feathers above the ear-coverts and 
ferruginous patch, more or less margined with ferruginous, 
but behind this patch, pure white, with indications of dark 
margins. A few feathers of the centre of the nape with white 
shafts with faintly indicated blackish bounding lines, chin, 
throat, and most of upper breast and middle of abdomen, 
white ; a band across the breast, and the sides of the breast 
also white, but the feathers more or less broadly margined with 
blackish grey, and with here and there a faint ferruginous 
tinge ; flanks and lower tail-coverts, olive, with a faint 
ferruginous tinge most noticeable on the latter, and many of 
the feathers of the former with narrow white shaft stripes. 

The following are the measurements (from the skin) and a 
description of the Oachar specimen before me which I 
provisionally separate as Pomatorhinus Inglisi : — 

Length, 11*25; wing, 4*2; bill from gape, 17; tail, 4*3 ; 
tarsus, 1'62; hind toe and claw, 1*15; mid toe and claw, 1'35. 

The culmen and basal portion of the upper mandible horny 
blackish brown ; tip and lateral portion of upper mandible 
(except at the base) and greater portion of the lower mandible, 
pale whitey brown or greyish. 

Legs, feet, and claws, pale ; may have been fleshy ,- may have 
been greenish brown. 

Entire upper parts rich olive brown, purer brown on the 
head with a decided ferruginous tinge on the back becoming 
very conspicuous on the upper tail-coverts ; the tail 
obsoletly barred, and with a deep ferruginus tinge, and all 
webs of the quills, as are the outer margins of the outer 
tail feathers near their bases, with a lighter and yellower 
ferruginous tinge ; inner webs of the primaries, dark 
hair brown ; ear-coverts and cheeks, a dingy grey brown ; 
some of the feathers with inconspicuous lighter shaft streaks. 


The feathers behind the eye and immediately above the 
ear-coverts, and those behind the ear-coverts with a very faint 
rusty tinge, and a very few of them with an excessively 
minute ferruginous speck near the tip. The chin, throat, 
breast, and middle of abdomen, pure white ; the white of the 
lower portion of the throat and breast bounded by a dark 
sepia brown band, some of the feathers of which have 
broader or narrower white streaks down the shafts. A few of 
the feathers of the sides of the breast margined at the tips with 
brown ; sides, flanks, and tibial plumes, a paler and greyer 
sepia brown with a slight rufescent tinge on the outer side 
of the tibia; lower tail-coverts ferruginous brown, much 
the same color as the upper tail coverts, but perhaps slightly 

410.— Garrulax ruficollis, Jard. 8f Selb. 

" The Rufous-necked Laughing Thrush is very common 
throughout the year ; it affects reed jungle. — J. I." 

412.— Garrulax pectoralis, Gould. 

(i This Laughing Thrush is very common during the cold 
season. I have occasionally observed it during the rains. 
—J. I." 

The oniy specimen sent is exactly intermediate in size 
between typical pectoralis, (wing, 6) and typical moniliger 
(wing, 5.) Bill, legs, and feet are also similarly intermediate 
in dimensions between these two species, and it is a mere toss-up 
under which of the two it should be recorded. 

439— Chatarrhsea Earlei, Bly. 

" The striated Reed Babbler is exceedingly common during 
the whole year. It breeds from March onwards, making its 
nest in longish grass. — J. I." 

451.— Criniger flaveolus, Gould. 

" This pretty Bulbul arrives here about the beginning of 
October, and departs during March ; it is not uncommon. — J. I." 

The specimens sent are precisely similar to those from Darjeel- 
ino- and make no approach to the Pegu Hill race, C. griseiceps, 

456.— Rubigula flaviventris, Tick. 

" The Bhck-crested Yellow Bulbul remains here all the year, 
but is rather rare. — J. I." 


460.— Otocompsa emeria, Shaw. 

ic The Red-whiskered Bulbul is exceedingly common through- 
out the year. — J. I." 

The Red Eye Tuft in the specimen sent is very short. 

461 Ms— -Molpastes intermedius, Hay. 

u This is the commonest of all our bulbnls, Breeds during 
the rains. — J. I." 

The specimen sent is the same size as pygmmis with the 
same conspicuous brown ear-coverts, but it has the entire breast 
brown, and the black of the head does not descend below the 
occiput, and it is therefore truly intermediate between the 
Bengal and Madras bulbuls. 

463 lev.— Phyllornis chlorocephalus, TFalden. (De- 
scribed S. F. III. 127.) 

" This pretty Green Bulbul is not uncommon, being met with 
at all times of the year. — J. I." 

469.— Irena puella, Lath. 

" The fairy blue bird is not rare, although, not often met 
with ; it frequents quiet shady nooks and is very timid. I have 
often observed it feeding on a plant of the Solanum family. 
—J. I." 

In the two males sent the upper tail-coverts fall short of the 
end of the tail by 1*2 and 1*5 respectively; the lower tail- 
coverts, 1*1 and 1 # 3. 

471 tcr— Oriolus tenuirostris, Blyth. 

" This Oriole is very rare. I have only seen it a few times 
during the cold season. — J. I. " 

This species is fully described, Vol. III., p. 131. 

472. — Oriolus melanocephalus, Lin. 

" This Oriole is very common in the villages, but it is not 
often met with at any distance from cultivation. — J. I." 
A typical specimen. ( Vide ante, Vol. III., p. 133.) 

475.— Copsychus saularis, Lin. 

" Very common. Breeds during March, April, and Mav 
—J. I." 

This specimen is not quite typical j it approaches the Malayan 
C. musicus, Raffles, in having the 4th feather of the tail 
(counting from the exterior) with a broad dusky black margin to 
the inner webs and a narrow black ono to the outer webs. 


476.— Cercotrichas macrourus, Gmel. 

a I have only observed the Sbama during the cold weather. 
It is rather rare, and very timid ; it frequents only quiet shady 
jungles. — J. 1." 

483 — Pratincola indica, Blyth. 

u Very common. — J. I." 

486— Pratincola ferrea, Bodgs. 

" Although not so plentiful as the former, this Stone Chat is 
quite common. — J. I." 

497.— Ruticilla rufiventris, Vieill. 

" This species is common along the hill streams. I have not 
observed it on the plains. — J. I." 

The specimen sent, although not dated, was clearly killed late 
in March or early in April. It is in what I call the ante- 
nuptial stage ; the whole head, neck, breast, and upper back, 
black ; the only remnant of the early spring plumage, being 
a dull grey line on either side of the crown, forming an 
inconspicuous superciliary line. 

I have carefully studied a really enormous series of this 
species killed at different seasons of the year in a vast number 
of localities, and I make out six tolerably distinct stages of 
plumage, viz : — 

I — Winter plumage. Black of upper surface entirely veiled 
by ashy, rufous ashy, or brownish rufous, tips to the feathers. 
Black of breast more or less ditto. 

II. — Early spring stage. Tippings of the feathers disppear- 
ing first from breast, next from back, and lastly from the 

III. — Ante-nuptial stage. Whole head, neck, breast, and 
upper breast pure black. 

IV. — Nuptial or erythroprocta stage. Black duller ; a grey- 
ish white band across the forehead (dividing off the black of the 
base of the forehead as a black frontal band), with a grey shade 
extending backwards on to the crown. 

V. — Early autumn, or phcenicuroides stage. Broad conspicuous 
black frontal band ; throat, breast, sides of neck, pure black. 
Front of head pale blue grey, growing duller on occiput. 
Back more or less veiled with grey or rufous ashy tippings. 

VI. — -Late autumn stage. Frontal band not showing out 
conspicuously ; crown and back unicolorous. Black of breast, 
&c, more or less veiled with grey or rufous ashy tippings. 

In the early spring stage, especially towards its close, some 
specimens very closely resemble the early autumn or phoenicu- 


roides stage ; the bead still remains grey, but tbe frontal band 
and breast bave become pure black, and only a little rufous 
ashy tipping remains on tbe feathers of tbe back. 

This appears to be rather uncommon, as a rule tbe tippings 
disappear gradually, not bringing out the frontal band distinct- 
ly. It is curious agaiu that some few of the autumn birds 
do not appear to pass through the phcenicuroides stage at all, but 
resemble birds in the normal early spring stage. 

Of course, as in all species, some individuals assume any 
particular stage of plumage a little earlier, and some a little 
later, and in some the tints are pure throughout, in others 
duller, but the perfect manner in which my very large series 
when arranged chronologically falls into groups convinces me 
that the changes of plumage are normally as above indicated. 

505. — Rhyacornis fuliginosa, Vig. 

" This species is found in places similar to the above, R. 
rufiventris. — J. I." 

585. — Henicunis immaculatus, Ilodgs. 

" This Forktail is common during the cold weather ; it is 
also seen at times during the rains along mountainous streams. — 
J. I." 

594 bis. — Budytes citreola, Pall. 

"This Wagtail is common throughout the province of 
Cachar. — J. I." 

One specimen in nearly full breeding plumage, showing 
conspicuously tbe black cowl on the back of the neck. 

608,— Cochoa viridis, JSodgs. 

" This bird is very rare. I have only met with one specimen. 
In February 1874, I flushed a bird in some low cane jungle. 
It settled on a small tree and I left it there and went back to 
some men who were making charcoal. I got an old gun from 
them loaded, they said, Avitb shot. I found my bird still on the 
same tree, but I made some three or four essays before I got the 
gun to go off, but when it did go off it went with a vengeance 
dropping both myself and the bird. — J. L" 

An adult male of this comparatively rare species, wing 5"65. 

673.— Cissa speciosa, Shaw. 

" This Jay is rather rare ; it frequents low quiet jungle. In 
April last a Kuki brought me three young ones he had taken 
from a nest in a clump of tree jungle ; be said the nest was some 
20 feet from the ground and made of bamboo leaves and 
grass. — J. I/' 


674.— Dendrocitta rufa, Lath. 

u This Magpie is very common in all the neighbouring vil- 
lages, lmt I have not often seen it in the jungles. It remains 
all the year and breeds during April and May. — J. I." 

676.— Dendrocitta himalayensis, Bly. 

" This Treepie arrives at the beginning of the cold weather 
and departs about the end of March. It is rather rare. — J. I/' 

683.— Sturnopastor contra, Lin, 

a The Pied Pastor is very common all the year. It breeds 
during March, April, May, and June, making its nest on any 
sort of tree about 15 feet or more from the ground ; about 100 
nests may often be seen together. It prefers nesting on trees 
in the open fields. I do no know the number of its eggs. — 
J. I." 

A typical specimen, making no approach to superciliaris. 

684.— Acridotheres tristis, Lin. 

" The commonest of all birds here. Breeds throughout the 
summer months. It makes its nest generally in the roofs of 
houses or in holes in trees. It lays about five eggs of a very 
pale blue colour. — J. I." 

686.— Acridotheres fuscus, Wagl. 

" This Mynah is very common all the year, but I have never 
seen its nest. — J. I." 

688.— Temenuchus malabaricus, Gmel. 

" The Grey-headed Mynah is often seen in large flocks during 
February and March. It does not remain here after that date 
to my knowledge. — J. I/' 

690 ter— Calornis affinis, Bay. 

" This Tree Stare is rather rare. It breeds about April in the 
holes of dead trees ; when the young are able to fly it departs. 
It again returns about the middle of February. — J. 1." 

Identical with specimens from Tipperah. 

693.— Eulabes javanus,* Cuv. — ? JE. musicus. Wagl. 

(If distinct, E. intermedia, Hay, or possibly, suma- 
tranus, Less.) 

" This Hill Mynah is common in the hilly district. It breeds 
in the holes of trees during April, May, and June. — J. I." 

* This seems to be generally quoted as javanicus, Osbeck, but Osbeck's name is 
pre-Linnoean, as is also major of Brisson. If we lump the species probably Wagler's 
name (1827) aud not Cuvier's (1829) should stand. 


698. — Munia rubronigra, Hodgs. 

li This Munia is very common among the rains. It breeds 
in June, July, and August, making its nest in a clump of long 
grass ; it lays from six to eight small white eggs. — J. \" 

699 quat.— Munia nisoria, Tern.— ? M. Inglisi. Sp. 


" This little bird arrives about the middle of October and at 
once begins nesting. It makes its nest in the bottom of a 
clump of grass and lays as many as nine small white eggs. I 
have taken its nest as late as the 25th of December. — J. I." 

The specimen sent is nearer nisoria than to any yet described 
species ; it differs equally from punctulata, Lin, of Continental 
India, from M. sub-undulata, Godwin-Austen of the Munipore 
Valley (vide ante, Vol III., p. 398), and from the Moulmein 
and Tavoy, M. superstriata, Hume, (Vol. II., p. 48], note) 
iu the entire absence of any golden yellow, or olive yellow 
tint or tinge on the rump, upper tail coverts, aud tail. It 
agrees with the two latter in having the markings of the breast 
more rufous than in the continental species. At the same 
time it differs from nisoria in having the tail, rump, and 
upper tail-coverts a pale earth brown instead of grey, the 
coverts being narrowly fringed with brownish white. 

It is very curious our obtaining in Cachar a race so closely 
allied to nisoria, when, from the countries all round about 
this, the species that occur have more or less of the yellow 
tint on upper tail-coverts, and tail that characterize the punc- 
tularia sub-group. 

If considered distinct it should stand as M. Inglisi. 

704.— Estrilda amandava, Lin. 

u This little bird arrives about the beginning of October 
and departs in March. I have not seen its nest. — J. I." 

776.— Osmotreron Phayrei, Bly. 

" This Green Pigeon frequents thick jungle, and is very 
common ; the natives say it breeds on the hills. — J. I/' 

778.— Sphenocercus sphenurus, Vig. 

" I have only met with this Pigeon once, viz., in March 
1876.— J. I." 

780.— Carpophaga aenea, Lin. 

" The Imperial Green Pigeon is common. It breeds during 
the rains. The only nest I have seen was in a thicket about 


30 feet from the ground. It contained 2 young birds newly 
hatched. The nest consisted of a very few sticks and a few 
stiff grasses. — J. I." 

The fact of the nest containing 2 young ones is notewor- 
thy. (See Nests and Eggs, Rough Draft, p. 496, for the num- 
ber of eggs laid by other Carpophagas, &c.) 

793.— Turtur meena, Sykes. 

11 This Turtle Dove is rather common throughout the year. 
I have not seen its nest. It is often met with along the banks 
of rivers. — J. I." 

The under tail-coverts are a less dark slatey grey than in 
what I consider the typical Turtur meena. 

798.— Chalcophaps indica, Lin. 

l< The Emerald Dove is rare, I have only seen it in jungle, it 
flies at a great rate, and it is difficult to procure a bird without 
losing half of its feathers, as they are so easily knocked 
out. — J. I." 

803 quat.— Polyplectron chinquis, Tern. 

u The Peacock Pheasant is quite common all over the district. 
I have not yet obtained a female. It is very shy and seldom 
seen, but may be heard calling nearly all the year during 
the early morning. It breeds about May. The male when 
calling perches on a branch about 6 feet from the ground, 
and is easily approached by following the sound. — J. 1" 

I am very uncertain as to what specific name this species 
should bear. Two males were sent of this species ; the speci- 
mens agree precisely with those obtained iu the Bootan Doars. 
This species has also been found in various localities in 
Assam, in Sylhet and Upper or Native Burma, in the Arracan 
Youma, namely, the hills dividing Arracan from Pegu, and 
the Youma Doung, the ridge that divides Central Tenasserim 
from Siam. How far south along this range it extends is un- 
certain. Davison neither heard of nor saw it as far south as 

This bird is not included by Dr. Jerdon and has not yet been 
described in " Stray Feathers." The following is a descrip- 
tion of the male of which I have many specimens. Of the 
female I have never yet obtained a specimen and can there- 
fore say little about it : — 

Male. — Length, 25 to 28, according to length of the tail 
which varies a good deal in different specimens ; wing, 8 to 
nearly 9; tail, 14 to 17 ; tarsus, 2S to 31: bill from gape, 
12 to 1-8, 


Bill, dark horny brown on upper mandible, and tip of lower 
mandible ; ceral portion, and sides of upper mandible and greater 
part of lower mandible, fleshy yellow; bare orbital space yellow- 
ish ; irides, yellow ; legs and feet, plumbeous horny. The males 
generally have two spurs on each leg, sometimes three, some- 
times three on one leg and two on the other. The spurs are not 
very long, rarely exceeding 0*5, often much shorter. In younger 
birds they are sharp and slender, but in very old birds they 
appear to become massive and blunt. 

The chin and throat are white ; the whole of the top and 
back of the head are clad with fine disunited-webbed feathers, 
which, on the forehead and crown, especially the former, 
are elongated and erected into a brush-like crest, moi'e or 
less recurved to the front. In color these feathers are grey brown, 
very finely barred with greyish white. The nape and back of the 
neck are similar, but browner and less finely barred ; the breast 
and sides of the neck are hair brown, margined at the tip with 
a row of brownish white spots, so closely set as to form almost 
a continuous line. The rest of the feathers are closely barred 
with similar lines of spots following the same curve as the 
tip of the feathers ; abdomen and vent very similar, but with 
the spots less regularly gathered iuto bars ; back, wings, ex- 
cept primaries, scapulars, interscapulary region, rump and upper 
and lower tail-coverts and tail, brown, varying slightly in tint 
in different specimens, but being normally, what I should call 
a dull hair brown, profusely spotted or speckled with white or 
brownish white spots, having, specially on the upper tail-coverts 
and rump, a tendency to be gathered more densely about the 
tips of the feathers so as to form the semblance of a terminal 
bar there ; the spots are largest and densest on the rump and 
lesser tail-coverts, smallest on the wings. The scapulars, the 
wing-coverts, tertiaries, and interscapular^ region are all 
tipped with white, inside which is a more or less round eye, 
consisting of a narrow dark ring enclosing a metallic patch, 
purple in most lights, but in some lights green, changing to 
purple towards the tip of the feathers ; these spots are largest 
on the tertiaries where they may be 0*6 in diameter and 
smallest on the lesser wing-coverts, and some of the inter- 
scapulars, when they do not exceed 0*25. Sometimes, besides the 
the white tipping there are traces of a white band encircling 
the dark one. The tail (which when perfect has at least 20 fea- 
thers and is very much rounded, the external feather being some 
eight inches shorter than the central one) has on each feather 
at a certain distance from the tip, say two inches in the central 
feathers, and 1*25 in the exterior ones, a pair of twin oval 
metallic spots, one on each web, surrounded by a dusky black 


band and this again by a rather broader light drab brown halo, 
obsolete towards the lower margin. One of these metallic 
spots on the central tail feathers measures about 08 long by 
0*5 broad ; on the antepenultimate feather, the spots may be 
about 04 by 0'5, in fact they grow rather rounder and smaller 
as the feathers retreat from the centre. The greater upper tail- 
coverts have the tips festooned, that is to say, each of the webs 
projects in a curve beyond the shaft ; each of these bears a 
couple of eyes similar and similarly situated to those on the 
tail feathers, but smaller. In most lights the eyes of the tail 
feathers are beetle green, but it is possible so to hold them 
that they are entirely dull purple. The eyes on the upper 
tail-coverts are very similar in this respect, but are purple in 
more positions, and a brighter purple than those of the tail. 
The primaries are a plain warm brown with a few buff speck- 
lings chiefly on the outer webs of the earlier, and towards the 
tips of the later ones. 

811 Us.— Euplocamus Horsfieldii, G, E. Gr. 

" This pheasant is very plentiful along the edges of culti- 
vation and the banks of rivers. It breeds during April and 
May.— J. I." 

This is another species not described by Dr Jerdon and which 
has not yet been described in Stray Feathers. We know 
it at present as common in the Khasia Hills, Sylhet, Cachar, 
Tipperah, and Chittagong. It probably extends into the nor- 
thern portion of Arracan, but I have not yet received speci- 
mens thence. Lineatus and Vieilloti are quite distinct and 
cannot for a moment be mistaken ; the first has already been 
fully described when treating of the birds of Upper Pegu, 
(Vol. III., p. 165) ; the latter will be fully described in our paper 
on the birds of Tenasserim. But it may be convenient to give 
a brief diagnostical table of the other three species of Euplocamus 
that occur within our limits. 

Crest. Rump and upper B 


I-n ,, . -, I Greyish white, 

^rfuA X ^ 6 \ feathers sharp 

wlute - ( pointed. 
U. melanotus, * Blyth $ . ... Black. Black. Ditto. 

„ „. . ,,.. , -r.1 i f Broadly tipped ( Black, feathers 

H. Eorsfieldn $ . ...Black. [ ^ ** ^ ordinary. 

* I think the name melanotis usually applied to this species arises out of a misprint. 
Blyth himself, J. A. S„ B., Vol. XVII., p. 694, called it melanotus, remarking that it 
had " no white on rump" and so he designates it. Cat. A. S. B., 1469. The black hack 
is the characteristic of this species ; all three, on the other hand, have black ears. 
Elliot, I see, J'. Z. S., 1871. p. 138, prints it melanotis, but this, I think, is a misprint, 
and we should cither keep it as Blyth wrote it or adopt the more correct form, 


The females of the three species are much more similar, and 
they vary so much that I find it impossible to set forth their 
differences in a brief table like that above given for the males. 

Generally it may be said that the females of albocristatus are 
lighter, those of melanotics darker, and those of Horsfieldii more 
rufescent. In albocristatus the crest of the female, when fully 
developed, is generally longer and greyer than in either of 
the other two ; the tail feathers are less rufescent and much 
more boldly vermicilated. The pale tippings to the breast 
feathers and coverts contrast much less strongly, as a rule, 
than do the similar tippings in melanotus. In melanotus, the rump 
and upper tail coverts, as a rule, harmonize well with the cen- 
contral tail feathers. In Horsfieldii the former are much lighter 
and more olive, the latter darker and more ferruginous and thus 
trast together strongly. As a rule the central tail feathers of 
Horsfieldii are almost perfectly plain, and are deep ferruginous ; 
those of melanotus deep brown with a ferruginous tinge and 
feebly vermicilated ; those of albocristatus olive brown with 
only a faint ferruginous tinge and boldly vermicilated ; but 
none of these points hold absolutely good, and though by bearing 
all in mind any specimen can be discriminated at once, I have 
failed, after examining a large series, to detect any one single 
positive constant difference in the dry skins that can by itself 
be relied on to separate specimens. 

The adult male in the present species is from 23 to 24 inches 
in length. 

The wing, 9 to 9'25; the tail, from 9 to 10; tarsus, about 
3'25 ; bill from gape, 1'4 to 1*55. 

The males have one sharp spur on each leg varying in length 
from 075 to 1*0 according to the age of the bird. 

Entire plumage is black, with a rich blue gloss over head, 
neck, breast, back, rump and shorter tail-coverts, and the fea- 
thers of both the latter are conspicuously tipped with pure 

The female is a rich olive brown. The chin and throat 
white or whitish ; the feathers of the neck and sides of the head 
generally with a greyish tinge towards the tips ; the body 
and wings with a decidedly rufescent tinge ; all the feathers 
of the lower surface and the coverts of the wings tipped 
paler, in some specimens most conspicuously so, 
the feathers of the lower surface also white or brownish white 
shafted. The visible portion of the rump and all but the long- 
est upper tail-coverts a paler and more fulvous olive brown ; 
the central tail feathers, and generally also the longest of the 
upper tail-coverts, deep ferruginous. The rest of the tail- 
feathers black, sometimes margined or tinned with ferruginous, 


while sometimes parts of the outer webs of even the cen- 
tral tail feathers are blackish ; the lower tail-coverts are gene- 
rally deep brown, almost blackish in some, tinged strongly 
with ferruginous in others. The quills are brown, darker on 
the inner webs tinged with olive, or ruddy olive on the outer 
webs, always most rufescent on the secondaries and tertiaries, 
very often quite plain, at other times very finely and incon- 
spicuously speckled towards the tips of the tertiaries and some 
of the secondaries with a lighter tint ; the central tail fea- 
thers are perhaps most generally plain, but in many specimens 
they are very finely vermicilated, chiefly on the inner webs, 
where they are usually paler, with dusky. Very often the tips 
of the crest feathers are much more rufescent than the rest of 
the head. These birds are so extremely variable that no two 
of them appear to be exactly alike. 

The females are somewhat smaller than the males, but I have 
no measurements of these recorded in the flesh. 

812.— Gallus ferrugineus, Gm. 

"The common jungle fowl is very common. It breeds 
throughout the whole summer. — J. I/' 

824 bis.— Arboricola atrogularis, Blyth. 

tl This partridge is not uncommon on the hills ; it is seldom 
seen except in dense jungle. It remains all the year. — J. 1/' 

This species which we only as yet know of from the west- 
ern portions of Assam, Sy lhet, Cachar and Tipperah (though 
it is said to have occurred in Chittagong) has been already 
noticed in the short key to our eight Indian species of Ar- 
boricolas or Arborophilas (Vol II., p. 449), but it may be as well 
to give a detailed description of the species here, as it is not 
included in Dr. Jerdon's work. 

Length, 11 ; wing, 5 "5 to nearly 6; tarsus, 1*5 to 1*7; bill 
from gape, 0'9 to 1*0 ; tail, "2*25 to 2*5. Bill, black ; the legs 
and leet appear to have been orange fleshy ; a large bare or~ 
bital space, red. 

The lores and lines running from them, over and below 
the bare eye space, behind which they meet and run down 
on either side of the nape, black. A band from the base of 
the lower mandible running backwards over cheeks and ear- 
coverts white, the posterior portion often tinged buffy. The 
forehead grey. A line on either side of the forehead imme- 
diately above the black line first described runuing backwards 
with it on either side of the nape, white anteriorly, buffy 
posteriorly ; crown and occiput greyish olive, each feather with 
a black shaft streak expanding at the tip into a nail-head spot ; 


nape, rich fulvous buff, each feather with a black spot, towards 
the tip ; chin and upper throat, and sides of the neck imme- 
diately below the cheek and ear patch, black ; rest of the 
sides of the neck, like the nape. A white patch at the base 
of the throat, the feathers with oval black shaft spots ; entire 
breast French grey ; the feathers nearest the white throat patch 
with large oval shaft stripes ; lower part of the breast paler, 
centre of abdomen nearly pure white; flank feathers grey- 
ish, tiuged with rufescent olive, with white oval subterminal 
shaft spots and generally a little black beyond these ; lower 
tail-coverts olive with black subterminal spots or bars, and 
mostly broadly tipped paler. The entire iuterscapulary region, 
back, rump, and upper tail-coverts a rich, slightly greenish, 
olive, all the feathers narrowly tipped and transversely barred 
with black. The subterminal bar expanding at the shaft in 
many of the feathers of the rump and upper tail-coverts, into a 
sort of diamond shaped or arrow head patch. The lesser coverts 
mostly like the back, but often with more black about them. 
The scapulars similar, but broadly tipped with bright or deep 
ferruginous, preceded, especially in the case of the longest sca- 
pulars, with very broad velvet-black bars. The primaries and, 
their greater coverts are plain brown, slightly margined at the 
tips with fulvous. The tertiaries are ferruginous, freckled and 
vermicilated with brown, with a pale patch towards the tips 
on the outer webs and an imperfect black bar beyond this. The 
secondaries are brown like the primaries, only rather darker 
and with an increasingly wide margin to the outer webs simi- 
lar to the tertiaries. 

The tail feathers are olive brown vermicilated with black. 
The lower wing-coverts along the edge of the wing are dark 
brown, most of the rest of the lower coverts white ; many of the 
greater secondary and tertiary upper wing coverts approxi- 
mate in color and markings to the scapulars. 

I do not yet know whether the plumage in both sexes is 
precisely alike, all my specimens are similar, but they have not 
been sexed and they may be all males. 

In brunneopectus, as we know, both sexes are precisely alike. 

832. — Turnix pugnax, Tem. 

" The Bustard Quail is plentiful during the rains in grass lands. 
It breeds in June, making a very shallow cavity fo" its nest. 
It lays about 4 or 5 eggs of a brownish grey colour. — J. I." 

855— Lobivanellus indicus, Bodd. 

" The Red Wattled Lapwing is rare in this district ; a few 
stragglers are sometimes seen during March and April. — J. I." 


These specimens are true indicus and make no approach 
to the Burmese L. atronuchalis, Blyth. 

857.— Hoplopterus ventralis, Cm. 

"The Indian Spur-winged Plover is common along- the banks 
of river. I have not seen its nest. — J. 1." 

870 — Gallinago stenura, Kuhl. 

"This Snipe is extremely common, frequenting marshy lands. 
—J. I." 

873— Rhynchsea bengalensis, Lin. 

" The Painted Snipe is rarely obtained here. Out of some 500 
of the former variety which I shot last autumn I only obtained 
two female painted ones. — J. I." 

891.— Rhyacophilus glareola, Lin. 

" This Sand-piper is found wherever there is water through- 
out the season. — J. I." 

900.— Parra indica, Lath. 

i{ The Bronze-winged Jacana is quite common on jheels and 
marshes. I have not seen its nest. — J. I." 

901.— Hydrophasianus chirurgus, Scop. 

u The Pheasaut-tailed Jacana is extremely rare. I have only 
obtained one specimen. — J. I." 

905— Gallinula chloropus, Lin. 

" The Water Hen is very common. — J. I." 

907.— Erythra phcenicura, Penn. 

" Very common. — J. I/' 

924. — Ardea purpurea, Lin. 

tl The Purple Heron is very common during the rains. — J. I." 

926— Herodias intermedius, Hasselt. 

" This Heron is only seen here during the rains. — J. I." 

927.— Herodias garzetta, Lin ? H. nigripes, Tern. 

" The Little Egret is very common along the rivers and 
jheels.-J. I." 


930— Ardeola Grayi, Sykes. 

" The Pond Heron is very common. — J. I." 

931.— Butorides javanicus, Horsf. 

" The Little Green Bittern is also common. — J. I." 

932.— Ardetta flavicollis, Lath. 

a The Black Bittern is rather rare. Seen during the rains. 

—j. \r 

933. — Ardetta cinnamomea, Gmel. 

" The Chestnut Bittern arrives about June and departs at the 
close of the rains.— J. I." 

951.— Nettapus coromandelicus, Lin. 

" This Teal is common during the rains. — J. I ." 

952.— Dendrocygna arcuata, Cuv. 

" The Whistling Teal remains here all the season. I have 
never seen their nests. — J. I." 

962.— Dafila acuta, Lin. 

lt Very rare. I have only obtained one specimen. — J. I." 

964— Querquedula crecca, Lin. 

tl This Teal is rather rare. I have obtained it only on the 
rivers. — J. I." 

975.— Podiceps minor, Gmel. 

a I obtained two specimens of this little Grebe in March last 
on a small sheet of stagnant water. — J. I." 

985.— Sterna seena, Sykes. 

" This Tern at times comes up the river, but only on a 
flying visit. — J. I/' 

1007.— G-raculus pygmaeus, Pall. 

" The Little Cormorant is very common all over Cachar. 

-J. I." 

A. O. H. 


wfcatxona on $alo> Pcnbcrsoni, fume. 

By W. E. Brooks. 

When Mr. Hume first shewed me the type of Falco Hender- 
soni, I observed that it was a good and most remarkable 
species. I had seen a good number of Punjab Sakers, as 
well as European examples, but this splendid Yarkand Falcon 
had a general aspect quite dissimilar to that of any Saker of 
the well-known species. To this conviction I have adhered, 
although I have been frequently assured that the bird was 
only a stage of F. sacer. 

Falco Hendersoni has been opposed by Mr Gurney and by 
Mr. Sharpe. Mr Sharpens remarks on it are to be found at 
page 419 of his Catalogue of the Accipitres. One remark I 
must here quote : — " In this state of plumage the bird (F. 
sacer) is F. milvipes of Hodgson, and F. Hendersoni of 
Hume/' I have examined Hodgson's original drawing of F. 
milvipes, and found it to be the common sacer, as far removed 
as could be expected from the affined F. Hendersoni. 

I think the question of identity of species is set at rest by 
the observations of Lieutenant-Colonel N. Prjevalsky, to be 
found in his paper, entitled. " The Birds of Mongolia, the Tan- 
gut country, and the solitudes of Northern Tibet, published 
in Ornithological Miscellany for January 1877, pp. 149-150." 
I shall quote the article at the close of this paper. 

Mr. Sharpe says, the fully adult or aged Saker is very rare, 
indeed. This being the case, how was it that all the birds 
met with by Colonel Prjevalsky, were in the Hendersoni plu- 
mage? Had the two species sacer and Hendersoni been 
identical, there ought to have been one or two birds seen in 
sacer plumage, to say the least. But, unfortunately for the 
theory of identity, there were not. This fact alone, proves the 
validity of Hume's species, far beyond the reach of any Dar- 
winian argument that can be brought to bear upon it ; and 
it also shews how worthless mere theories are in connection 
with natural history. We are all more or less fond of theory, 
and great strides can it would seem be taken, at all events 
in ornithology, with the barest possible assistance of facts. Mr. 
Darwin has proved that we are all descended from monkeys ; 
the conclusion is received, and delights the most eminent 
naturalists, but the specific value of that odd anomaly man has 
not yet, I believe, been denied ; no doubt, the descent of Hender- 
soni from sacer (or vice versa), can be equally satisfactorily 
demonstrated, but this will scarcely affect for practical purposes 
the specific distinctness of the two forms. 


The article I have referred to is as follows : — 

" 13.— Falco Hendersoni, Hume. 
" Socol Hendersona. 

" Falco Hendersoni, Henderson and Hume, Lahore to Yar- 
kand, pi. 

" The various stages of plumage, according to age and local 
variation, make it very difficult to distinguish the different 
species of Falcons ; so much so, that even the best ornitholo- 
gists differ in this respect in their opinions. To one of such 
disputed species belongs Falco sacer, which forms several varie- 
ties in eastern Europe and throughout Asia. In the regions 
of our travels, we did not observe (or at least did not obtain) 
the true Falco sacer, Schleg., which is so beautifully figured by 
Schlegel in his Traite de Fauconnerie, pi. V., and by Gould 
in his ' Birds of Asia,' Part XX. Everywhere we found 
only the species described by Hume, in ' Lahore to Yarkand' 
under the name of Falco Hendersoni. We obtained only four 
specimens ('two males and two females), of which (two males 
and one female) completely correspond with Hume's descrip- 
tion, with only insignificant differences. The second female 
which is rather } r ounger than the three former specimens (this 
is to be distinguished by the blue and not yellow legs), differs 
from them by the absence of a fully striped tail, as only in- 
complete reddish yellow bands are perceptible on the inner 
webs of the tail feathers, whilst the outer webs are marked 
with spots of the same colour as the bands. Again, the yellow 
streaks of the female F. Hendersoni are replaced in the present 
specimen by spots of the same colour. The breast is pied, on 
account of the large dark brown spots, just like the true F. 
sacer ; whilst on F. Hendersoni, as also on our three speci- 
mens, the breast is milk white, marked with narrow and tri- 
angular small spots. The bill is black at the point, and bluish 
at the base, and has only on the lower mandible a yellow 
mark, which colour is predominant on both mandibles in our 
three specimens. Consequently the young plumaged F. Hen- 
dersoni is nearer to F. sacer, which, however, is sufficiently 
developed to be separated as a species. 

Measurements : — 

Length. Width. Win^. Tail. Gape. Tarsus. Middle toe. 

<J 18-5 33 148 7-8 123 19 178 

? 225 37 166 93 127 216 20 

" Henderson's Falcon was found by us wherever we went, 
from Kiachta down to the sources of the Yantze-Kiaug ; but 
it was most numerous in winter in the Zachar country and 


about the Koko-nor, which localities abound with alpine hares ; 
and these, at least in winter, form its principal food. 

" This Falcon also attacks birds, such as Syrrhaptes paradoxus, 
usually when the latter are drinking. Once it threw itself upon 
a hare which we had started, and followed it, constantly 
swooping down upon the animal and hitting it with the beak ; 
after every blow the hare stopped and went on running- after 
a time, until we lost sight of it, and consequently could not 
tell how the attack terminated. 

" The Mongols and Tanguts do not train these Falcons for 
sport; at least we never saw it during our travels." 

The above notice of Falco Hendersoni is very interesting. 
It contains one error, which however is not important. In their 
attack, when on the wing, Falcons use the hind claw, not the 
bill. I have seen a Peregrine cut off the head of a pigeon 
with a single blow of the hind claw. 

Mr. Sharpe is, I think, wrong in his conclusion that it takes a 
series of moults to mature a Falcon. Mr Hancock has always 
contended that these birds mature at once, when they cast 
their first or nestling plumage ;* by this, of course, I do not 
mean the down, which I do not count as a plumage. 

His experiments, and very fine collections of large Falcons, 
bear out his conclusion, that variation in adult Falcons is due 
to complexion, and not to age. With Eagles, it is however quite 
different ; they take some years to fully mature. 

% ffote on tlje Unification: of |i)arp;utcs ©vcsluos. 

By C. T. Bingham. 

On the 21st February 1877, as I was on the march from the 
village of Toungdee to the village of Tagoondine on the south- 
ern bank of the Winges River in the Tennasserim Provinces, 
I was so fortunate as to find a nest of this handsome Trogon.f 

My order of march was, generally, first my guide, next my- 
self, then my interpreter, lastly my peons in single file, as 
the paths through the dense forests here are narrow. On this 
occasion, however, I had loitered behind to shoot a jungle fowl 
that had been crowing lustily some distance off the road : and 
my men were waiting for me. As I came up, I noticed some- 
thing like the tail of a bird sticking apparently out of a 

* I am not sure that I rightly understand this, but my belief founded on a very 
large series of observations is that TP.jngger, for instance, is fully 3 years old, before it 
assumes what I consider the perfect adult plumage. — Ed., S, F. 

f Davison has also taken 3 nests thi? year of this species. 


dead branch in a zimbora tree (Dillenia pentagyna) rio-bt 
over the bead of one of tbe peons. Examining it closer I 
saw it was a long-tailed bird of some kind seated in a most 
uncomfortable position seemingly in, or rather on a hollow 
in the branch, its head drawn in and its tail sticking over its 
back. As soon as it observed me watching it flew off, and 
then with a great jump of my heart into my mouth I saw 
it was a female Harpactes oreskios. I was up the tree in a 
second, telling one of my men to watch the bird : the branch 
was not 12 feet above the ground, and I almost tumbled off in 
my delight, on finding a cup-shaped hollow on the upper 
side, some three inches deep by three and a half in diameter, con- 
taining two roundish, creamy white eggs, quite fresh, laid on 
the bare wood. 

I looked round now for the bird, and saw her, joined by 
her mate, seated on a bamboo not ten yards off. Slipping down 
the tree quietly I took my gun and fired, hoping to brino- both 
down as they were seated close together, but succeeded only 
in securing the male. 

It rather surprised me to find a nest, or even to see Troo-ons 
in such open dry forest as I was going through ; and the nest 
too in a tree on the very border of the high road (though it 
is a mere pathway after all) from Maulmain to the Shan 

I cannot say whether the hollow in the dead branch was 
made by the Trogons themselves or not : the wood was rotten 
enough to be easily pecked out by any bird, but I rather sus- 
pect the cavity must have been hollowed out first by a Wood- 
pecker, and that then a portion was afterwards broken off or 
more probably fell off. 

iEthopyga Waldeni. 

Like M. saturata, Sodgs. and M. sanguinipectus, Walden, hut sides o f 
neck, maroon; entire chin and upper portion of throat, non-metallic 
black; entire crop and two narroio lines leading up thence to gape, 
metallic purple ; entire abdomen, vent, and lower tail-coverts, slightly 
yellowish olive green. 

This species is clearly distinct from saturata, and also, if Lord 
Waldeu's description (A. and M. N. H. June 1875, p. 400, 
republished, S. F. III. 402) is accurate, equally so from sanguini 



Of sanguinipectus Lord Walden says : — u All the chin, throat, 
and two streaks diverging from the throat and descending to 
the breast, metallic violet blue." Now, in the present species, 
the entire chin and the extreme upper portions of the throat are 
non-metallic black, the whole of the rest of the throat, in fact 
the crop, is metallic pui-ple, and from this two narrow streaks of 
the same colour run upwards to the gape, bounding on either 
side the dull black chin and extreme upper throat. 

Then Lord Walden says : — " The remainder of under-surface, 
pale yellow ; many of the lower breast feathers being centred 
and streaked with blood red." In the present species just the 
tipper breast below the black line that bounds the huge purple 
crop patch is pale yellow, and many of the feathers are centred 
with orange red, but the whole of the rest of the lower parts are 
olive green, albeit slightly yellowish. 

Again, Lord Walden says that, except as regards the parti- 
culars as noted by him, his bird is like saturata, but this present 
species further differs from saturata in having the sides of the 
neck up to the ear-coverts deep maroon like the back. 

I do not think it likely that Lord Walden's description can 
have erred in all these important particulars, and I have therefore, 
believing the species to be new, named it after him in acknow- 
ledgment of his valuable paper on the Sun birds of the Indian 
and Australian regions which appeared in the " Ibis" of 1870. 

This new species was obtained by Mr. Davison along with 
yE. Dabrii, Verr. and many other interesting species at Col. 
Tickell's celebrated, but hitherto little visited, collecting ground 

The following are the dimensions and an exact description 
of both sexes : — 

Male. — Length, 5'5 ; expanse, 6*4 ; tail from vent, 2*8 ; 
wing, 2 - 08 ; tarsus, 055 ; bill from gape, 0*8; weight 0"25 oz. 
Bill, black ; legs and feet, dark brown. 

Forehead, crown, occiput, nape, and extreme upper back, 
metallic blue, with a strong purple tinge ; lores, orbital region, 
ear-coverts, chin, and extreme upper part of throat, dull black ; 
entire sides of the neck as far up as the ear-coverts, back, ex- 
cept the extreme upper portion, and scapulars, maroon red ; a 
conspicuous pale greenish yellow rump-band ; upper tail-coverts 
and basal two-thirds of central tail-feathers, like the crown, but 
less purple ; terminal third of central tail-feathers and lateral 
tail-feathers, dull blackish brown, the latter distinctly paler on 
the lower surface towards the tips ; entire crop bounded on 
either side by black ear-coverts and maroon sides of the neck, 
metallic purple, with two narrow stripes of the same colour 
running upwards on either side to the gape, and thus bounding 


the black of the chin and the extreme upper portion of the 
throat; the crop patch is bounded below by a velvety black line 
about 0*13 in breadth, below this the breast is pale greenish 
yellow, the feathers obscurely centred with orange red, this 
portion of the breast is bounded on either side by a continua- 
tion of the black band already noticed ; the axillaries and 
wing lining are pure white or nearly so ; the entire abdomen 
and the lower tail-coverts are olive green, yellower and paler 
on the sides ; wings are dark hair brown, but most of the lesser 
and median secondary and tertiary coverts are tipped with 

Female. — Length, 41 ; expanse, 5'7 ; tail from vent, 1*15 ; 
wing, 1*8, tarsus, 0*52; bill from gape, 0'8. 

Legs and feet, reddish brown ; upper mandible, black ; lower 
mandible, very dark horny brown ; irides, deep brown. 

Forehead, crown, occiput, and nape, dull, rather pale, hair 
brown, the feathers excessively narrowly margined paler, giving 
a slightly squamose appearance to these parts ; a dusky line 
through the lores from the nostrils to the eye ; chin, throat, 
sides of neck, dull dusky grey, faintly tinged greenish ; mantle, 
green, the dusky bases of the feathers showing through ; rump- 
band, very pale yellow, almost white in the central portion ; 
wings and tail, blackish brown, the feathers margined with 
olive green on the outer webs ; the external lateral tail feathers, 
which are considerably shorter than the rest, tipped with 
greyish white and traces of similar tippings to the next or even 
2 or 3 next feathers ; breast, abdomen, and lower tail-coverts, 
dull greyish olive green ; axillaries and lower wing-coverts, 

SJemitlg bcscrikb Swedes. 

Picus manderinus, Gould, var. ap. God.-Aust. 

This species has for its nearest ally in these districts P. 
majoroides, but the outer tail-feathers are white with narrow 
black bars, in contradistinction to P. majoroides, in which 
they are black with broad white ones. 

Above it is the counterpart of P. majoroides : the back, 
wing, and tail rich velvety black ; spots on the wing-feathers, 
moderate ; a very large and conspicuous white wing patch 
formed by the secondary coverts ; a scarlet band on the nape ; 


a white frontal band extends through the eye to the ear- 
coverts and side of the neck, the portion near base of bill 
and the ear-coverts being pale flaxen. Beneath the chin, 
white ; throat and upper breast, earth-brown, with a pale scarlet 
o-oro-et bordering a black patch, which, commencing at the 
o-ape, widens and extends down the side of the neck, a few 
pure white feathers separating this from the earth-brown of 
the throat ; flanks, white ; the tail has the two outer feathers 
white, barred with black on inner web, the outermost has two 
spots on the white outer web, and in the penultimate this 
web is entirely white ; tips of the four outer tail-feathers 
ferruginous ; the abdomen and under tail-coverts are crimson. 
Bill, dark plumbeous, rather stouter and blunter than that of 
P. majoroicles ; legs, equal in size. 

Length, about 8 inches; wing, 5*0 ; tail, 3*68 ; tarsus, 0*85 ; 
bill at front, M7. 

Eab. — Was obtained by Mr. Wm. Robert at Gonglong, 
Munipur Hills. 

It differs from P. manderinus, Gould, in being smaller, in the 
white on the wings being more conspicuous, in being browner 
on the throat and breast, and in its whiter tail. In the speci 
men of P. manderinus in the British Museum with which I 
compared it, the outer web of the penultimate tail-feather has 
a black spot.— J. A. S. B., Vol. XLV., p. 194, 1876. 

Alcippe fusca, God.-Aust. 

Above head and nape, dull grey; back, olivaceous ochre, 
richer and more ochraceous on the rump. Tail, umber-brown, 
edged with the same colour as the back. Wing, rich ochrey 
brown ; fulvescent ochre inside as well as on the flanks and 
thio-hs. Ear-coverts, dull brown ; chin, sullied white. Bill and 
legs, horny. Irides ? 

Length,* about 5*75 inches; wing, 2 '85 ; tail, 2*7 ; tarsus, 0'87 ; 
bill at front, 0"47. 

The above dimensions taken from skin. 

jjal^ — Four specimens were obtained by Mr. A. W. Chennell 
in the Naga Hills. 

Havino- remembered to have seen a very similar bird in the 
Jardin des Plantes, I forwarded a specimen to M. Oustalet, 
who very kindly examined it and gave me the following par- 
ticulars : — It has a strong likeness to an Alcippe from Fokien 
named by M. A. David, Alcippe Hueti ; the tint of the 
head, back, and abdomen are nearly the same, but there are 
differences worthy of notice. 1st. A. Hueti has the bill decided- 
ly shorter than A. fusca. 11 millims, instead of 13, taking 


the measurement along the culmen, and 14 instead of 18, 
from the gape ; the tarsus having the same dimensions in the 
two birds. 2ndly, the chin and the upper part of the breast 
are pure grey, and not pale fulvescent (faitve clair), as in 
A.fusca. 3rdly, the tint of the flanks is less fulvescent ochre, 
more mixed with green. 4thly, the internal webs of the 
tail-feathers are scarcely darker than the external, instead of 
being blackish as in A. fusca. Lastly, the wing is shorter, 
0-65 mill, against 0'72 mill. 

M. Oustalet is of opinion that the two are quite distinct 
though closely allied, A. Hueti being nearer to A. nipalensis. 
Another close form is A. Morrisonia from Formosa, which 
differs in being more rufous above, grey-cheeked, and smaller. — 
J. A. S. B., Vol. XLV., p. 197, 1876. 

Niornis albiventris, God.-Aust. 

Above dark rich umber-brown, paler on the shoulder of the 
wing; tail and wing, of same colour. Chin, sullied Avhite, each 
feather, slightly tipped dusky ; the throat, greyish white ; upper 
breast, crossed by a band of pale rufous ; lower breast and 
abdomen, white ; flank, rufescent brown ; under tail-coverts, 
rusty ; pale rusty inside the wing. A palish circle round the 
eye. Bill, horny brown above, pale beneath. Irides? 

Length, about 4'75 inches; wing, 2*1; tail, 2*2; tarsus, 
0"87 ; bill at front, 045 ; hind toe and claws, 058; mid toe and 
claw, 0-80. 

Hab. — Sengmai, Munipur Valley. Obtained by Mr. W. 

It is very close to Niornis assimilis, Hodgson, but is larger 
and more strongly built, and of darker plumage throughout, 
for whereas the latter is of a greenish hue generally, the above 
form is rufescent. The tarsi and feet are particularly strono- 
and the mid-toe, very long. The bill is identical, as regards the 
nostrils, but is rather deeper and stronger. — J. A. S. B., Vol. 
XLV., p. 199, 1876. 

Abrornis chrysea, Wald. 

Above bright oil-green, two broad dark stripes springing from 
the forehead, passing over the head and descending down the 
sides of the neck, where they are almost black. A central 
single stripe thus formed on the head, yellowish green. A broad 
stripe, springing near the nostril and passing over the eye, and 
thus bounding the dark stripe, bright yellow. Ear-coverts 


mingled black and green. Cheeks, chin, throat, thigh-coverts, 
under tail-coverts, shoulder-edge, under shoulder-coverts, and 
axillaries, bright canary-yellow. Breast, paler yellow, shading 
to pale silky grey on the abdominal region and flanks. Quills, 
light brown, edged externally with bright greenish yellow. 
Major wing-coverts, tipped and edged with yellow. Rectrices, 
like the quills, all but the middle pair being edged on their 
interior margins with very pale yellow. Maxilla, brown ; 
mandible, pale straw-colour. Wing, 2 ; tail, 2*75 ; tarsus, 0*56 ; 
bill from forehead, 0'50. Karen hills, ? {W. R.). 

I am not sure whether this is not Reguloides fulvivenier* 
Godwin-Austen, a species founded on a carbolized example, in 
which the green and yellow may have become changed to grey, 
or altogether discharged.— J. A. S. B., 1875, Extra No. p. 106. 

Zosterops Austeni, Wald. 

Karennee, at 2,500 feet ( W. R.). 

Above, dark uniform oil-green ; underneath, light yellowish- 
green ; almost pure yellow on chin, throat, and under tail- 
coverts. A shade of black below the eye. Quills, dark brown, 
edged externally with the colour of the dorsal plumage. 
Shoulder-edge, bright yellow. Axillaries and under shoulder- 
coverts, white, tinged with yellow. Rectrices, hair brown, 
narrowly edged externally with green. Wing, 2-6 ; tail, 1*50; 
tarsus, 0*50; bill, from forehead, 0*55. — J. A. S. B., 1875, 
Extra No., p. 111. 

Alcippe magnirostris,t Wald. 

Karennee hills, at 3,000 feet ( W. R.) 

All the individuals obtained in the locality named differ from 
Darjeeling, G-aro hills, and Naga hills examples, by wanting 
the grey-coloured cheeks and ear-coverts of A. nipalensis, and 
by having the tail brown and not rufous. All the dimensions 
are greater. Wing, 2-75 ; tail, 3 ; tarsus, 0'87.— J. A. S. B., 
1875, Extra No., p. 115. 

Stachyris assimilis, Wald. 

Above cinereous olive-green. Feathers of the head, yellow, 
with brown central streaks. Cheek and ear-coverts, pale brown 
tinged with yellow. Entire under surface, dilute yellow. Quills, 
brown edged, externally with pale yellow. Rectrices, cinereous 

* Vide S. F. III. p. 398. 
■fl feel assured that this is only the true A. Phayrei (vide infra p. 60). — Ed., S. F. 


brown tinged with olive-green. Wing, 1 92 ; bill, from fore- 
head, 0-56; tail, 1'92; tarsus, 0'58. 

Karen nee ( $, ? ) at 2800 feet of elevation. Iris (c?), lake ; 
bill, lavender, pink at base of mandible ; legs, brownish yellow ; 
feet, greenish. Iris ( ? ) 3 brown ; bill, dark plumbeous, pinkish 
at base of mandible ; legs, light greenish-brown" (W. R.). — J. 
A. S. B., 1875, Extra No., p. 116. 

Drymoeca Blanfordi, Wald* 

Above, brown (darkest on the head) : with an olive-green 
tinge, which is in some very distinct on the rump. A dull, broad 
albescent stripe springing from the base of the bill, and extend- 
ing back over and beyond the eye. Ear-coverts mingled albes- 
cent and pale brown. Cheeks, wing lining, and all the lower 
surface of body, yellowish white, faintly rufescent on flanks 
and thigh-coverts. Quills, brown externally, narrowly edged 
with olive-green. In some with an indistinct rufous shade. 
Rectrices, pale brown above ; albescent underneath ; all but 
middle pair with a bold subterminal brown transverse isolated 
mark. Middle pair with a faint indication of a dark terminal 
spot. (<£) Wing, 2; tail, 2'50; tarsus, 08% ; bill from fore- 
head, 0-58. 

"Iris ( $ ), dark buff; maxilla, horny brown ; mandible, pale ; 
eyelids, yellowish brown ; legs, dull white. Iris (c?), yellowish 
brown ; bill fleshy brown ; eyelids, yellowish brown ; Tonghoo" 
{W. R).—J. A. S. B., 1875, Extra No., p. 118. 

Horeites sericea, Wald.f 

Above, uniform, rather dark, brown washed with an olive 
tint, having in some lights a ruddy tone. Under surface of 
body and wing-lining, silky white, the flanks, thigh-covert, 
and under tail-coverts, sullied with pale brown. Cheeks and 
ear-coverts, mixed pale brown and white. Space before the eye 
and superciliary ridges, sordid white. Quills and rectrices 
brown, edged with the colour of the upper plumage. Wing, 2; 
tail, 1-75 ; tarsus, 0*68; bill, from forehead, 0*60. 

" Iris ( ? ), dull brown; bill, yellow ; leo-s, fleshy white. Karen 
hills" {W. /?.).— J. A. S. B., 1875, Extra No., p. 119. 

* Should be compared with. D. fusca, Hodgs. — Ed., S. F. 

■j* This must be uncommonly close to Horeites (Pliylloscopus, apud Blanf. Err.) 
pallidipes, Blanf, J. A. 8. B. XLI, Part II, p. 162, pi. VII, 1872, which I have 
from Pahpoon, a little further south. — Ed., S. F. 


Suya erythropleura, Wald. 

Male, above rufous brown, the base of the feathers being ash 
Ou the lower back and upper tail-coverts, the rufous hue predo 
minates. Space before the eye, dark brown. A white line 
springing from near the nostril, passes back over and behind the 
eye. Ear-coverts, cheeks, chin, throat, breast, abdomen, and 
wing-lining, creamy white, strongly suffused with rufo-fulvous. 
Flanks, thigh-coverts, and under tail-coverts, bright ferrugi- 
nous. Quills, brown edged, with ferruginous. Rectrices, like 
the back. 

(<J) wing, 1-87 ; tail, 4-87; tarsus, 088; bill, from forehead, 
0-65. Tonghoo {W. E.).—J. A. S. B., 1875, Extra. No. p. 120. 

Garrulax nuchalis, God.-Aust. 

Above, top of head to nape, dark slaty grey, succeeded by a 
broad rich ferruginous collar an inch in breadth, which fades 
into the of the back. Wings and tail of a rather 
darker tint of olive, the latter tipped black ; the first four 
primaries are edged hoary grey ; the shoulder of wing has a 
rusty tinge. A narrow frontal band ; the lores with a narrow 
line over and below the eye, black ; this is continued in a 
streak of dark rusty brown over the ear-coverts ; a few white 
feathers border the black frontal band above. Chin, black, 
extending a short way down the middle of throat; breast, pale 
ashy, with a slight vinous tinge. Cheeks and ear-coverts pure 
white. Flanks and under tail-coverts dull olive green. Bill, 
black, lrides, purple lake. Legs, fleshy grey. 

Length, 10 inches ; wing, 4 - 25 ; tail, 4'6 ; tarsus, 1*7 ; bill, at 
front, 0-9. 

This beautiful species was among a batch of birds lately 
received from and collected by Mr. M. T. Ogle of the Topogra- 
phical Survey, in the Lhota-Naga hills. It is the representa- 
tive there of G. chinensis, but differs in possessing the broad 
ferruginous nape, and the neutral grey of the head is of a 
darker hue. In other respects it is identical, save in some minor 
points, such as : — the black of the throat does not extend so far 
down on to the upper breast ; the lower breast is paler than in 
chinensis, and has a vinous tinge; the under tail-coverts are pare 
olivaceous with no ochraceous tint ; and, lastly, the white of the 
cheek and ear-coverts extends in this new form further down 
the side of the neck. — A. and M., Nat. Hist., November 1876. 

NOTES. 59 

Suya khasiana, God.-Aust. 

On a careful comparison, made by myself and Lord Walden 
of Suya atrogularis of the Darjeeling hills with specimens I had 
hitherto supposed to be exactly the same found on the Khasi 
hills, the differences are so well marked that they are sufficient 
to separate them as a distinct race, to which I give the title Suya 

These differences are as follows : — 

Suya atrogularis, Moore (of which eight specimens were 

a. Is a greyer bird, Avith a decided tinge of olivaceous ; 

b. None show pure white beneath ; 

c. Thigh-coverts, pale brown. 

Suya khasiana, (fourteen examples compared), 

a. Has a general tinge of ferruginous thoughout, which is 
particularly strong upon the forehead and wing ; 

b. Generally pure white on abdomen aud centre of breast ; 

c. Thigh-covorts pure rufous ; 

d. The terminal white spots on the black feathers of the 
lower part of the neck are larger. A. and M., Nat. Hist., 
November 1876. 


I am strongly inclined to believe that Drymocataphus 
fulvus, Walden (A- and M. N. H., June 1875, p. 401; S. F., 
Vol. III., p. 403) is identical with Trichastoma minor, Hume, 
Stray Feathers, October 1874, p. 535. 

I have obtained numerous fresh specimens of my bird from 
the neighbourhood ot Mooleyit, and I find with the series before 
me that some of the specimens answer extremely well to Lord 
Walden's description. 

The dimensions are the same, viz., wing, 25 ; tail, 2*1 to 2'3 ; 
tarsus, 1*0 to 1*05 ; bill, at front, viz., from edge of feathers, 
0*55, from forehead, 0"65, from gape, 0"75 to 0'8. 

The plumage varies a good deal in different specimens. In 
some the middle of the throat or middle of abdomen, or some- 
times both, are nearly pure white, while in some the whole 
lower surface is rufous buff, or more or less pale rusty fulvous. 

When describing the species, I noticed that the tail was lono-er 
and more rounded than in Abbotti, and Lord Walden may be 
right (though without further comparison I am not prepared 
to assert that he is) in referring this species to Drymocataphus ; 
but be this as it may, I think that there is little doubt that both 
names apply to the same species. 


Alcippe Magnirostris, Wald., J. A. S. B., Extr. No. 1875, 
p. 115, (republished in the present No. of S. F., p. 56) is clearly, 
I think, Alcippe Pliayrei, Blyth, J. A. S. B., Vol. XIV., p. 601, 
1845. The measurements will be found to agree. The differences 
on which Lord Walden relies to distinguish his supposed new 
species from nipalensis, are, it will be seen, almost precisely those 
which I pointed out as distinguishing A. Phayrei. 

Lord Walden was probably misled by Blyth's remark that 
" Phayrei, wanting the dark sincipital stripes, is probably the 
young" of A. nipalensis, but this was an assertion hazarded years 
afterwards, and without the specimens to compare. As a matter 
of fact, specimens from both the Arracan and Pegu Yomas and 
parts of Tenasserim are identical, and in many specimens, as I 
pointed out long ago, the sincipital stripes are almost obsolete 
and in an indifferent specimen might be absolutely untraceable. 

Any one who will read Blyth's description and note his 
dimensions and also l'ead what I have said and the dimensions 
that Mr. Oates has given (see S. F., Vol. III., p. 116, 117) and 
then examine Lord Walden's descriptions ot his supposed new 
species, will, I feel sure, concur that this is nothing but the true 
Alcippe Phayrei of Blyth. 

Dr. Newman informs me, that the locality where he obtained 
Pterocles senegallus, referred to by Capt. Butler in his letter of 
April 4th, 1876 (Vol. IV., p. 508) is the well known Salt Source 
*' Pokurun" and not " Tookeram," as stated. 

Dr. Newman, also tells me that between Pokurun and the 
town of Jeysulmere, aud throughout the country south of 
Jeysulmere for about 20 miles, he found the Spotted Sand 
Grouse very abundant. This tract of country is hard and 
stony, but intermingled with sand. In the southern portion 
of Mulanee (of which Balmeer is the capital) about the Loonee 
and Jesol, he is pretty certain that they do not occur. The 
note of this species is, he remarks, very peculiar, it sounds like 
" Quiddle, quiddle, quiddle," something like the gurgling note 
produced by blowing through a reed, one end of which is 
immersed in water. 

At page 493 of Vol. IV., I quoted the best description I 
could find of dnorrhinns Austeni. 

I find that Mr. Blyth states J. A. S. B. extra number 1875, 
p. 69, that this species is no other than the Malayan Oranior- 
rhinus corrugatus ; if so, the species will stand tinder Temminck's 
name with galerilus, God.-Aust. nee Tern, and Austeni, Jerd., 
as synonyms. 


fetters to % €bitor. 


I was rather amused to read the note at page 506 
of Vol. IV. about the ' Bori' bird of Sind, and to find that Col. 
Haig has announced that lam 'wrong once more' in iden- 
tifying it with Euspiza melanocephala. 

Col. Haig's report on the Sehwan Taluka was written more 
than a year ago, but I had not been favoured with a copy, so 
I could not write sooner on the subject. I am glad to be able to 
assure you that Col. Haig is a better Settlement Officer than 

I first wrote my own note on the subject in the month 
of April when the Black-headed Bunting had just come in, 
and I was eye-witness to the damage even small flocks 
were capable of committing. The people of the Sehwan 
District unanimously told me that Euspiza melanocephala 
was the culprit which had ruined their fields in the year 1869. 
The reason why the bird is not more generally known by 
Europeans in Sind is that District Officers in that province 
return from the Districts to their Head-quarters in March, as 
soon as the cold weather is over, and thus escape seeing the 
" Bori" at work. 

Col. Haig seems not to have seen a Black-headed Bunting 
at all, and to have jumped at the conclusion that because 
Pastor roseus has a black head, that that was the bird 
I meant. Iudeed, he talks of " the Black-headed Bunting 
vulgarly called the " Juari Bird," which last epithet is in the 
Bombay Presidency entirely confined to Pastor o^oseus. A 
Settlement Officer need not necessarily know the difference 
between a Bunting and a Starling, but it might have occurred 
to him that it was possible that two different birds might have 
dark heads, go in flocks and devour grain. I have not seen 
Col. Dunsterville's paper on the subject, but as far as my memory 
serves me, I think he is right in saying that the Sind name of 
Pastor roseus (which is very common there in the cold weather) 
is u Waheeo." As for Ploceus manyar, you, Mr. Editor, know 
what large flocks of that species are to be found in Sind, 
and Jerdon* mentions that it is often found feeding in 
flocks with Euspiza melanocephala. It is quite possible there- 
fore that CoL Dunsterville has seen both birds in company, 
and that on the natives telling him in their vague way that 
' those are the "Boris" he attached the epithet to Ploceus which 

* Jerdon refers to Ploceus baya, which is represented in Sind by Ploceus manyar. 


he knew well, rather than to Euspiza ..which he did not know 
so well ; or it may be that the natives, not good ornithologists 
themselves, attach the name of 'Bori' to any bird which 
feeds on grain fields in flocks and^ which is difficult to 
scare, the word ' Bori' being simply the Sindi for 'deaf.' All 
I can testify is, that I made particular enquiries on the spot, 
and native opinion was unanimous in saying that it was Eus- 
piza and not Ploceus which destroyed the crops in 1869. 
However, there is a competent ornithologist in Sind now, 
Captain Butler of the 83rd, and I have no doubt before a few 
months are over the question of identification will be satis- 
factorily settled. I must say that I do not think he will find 
it ' a rare bird from a distant part of Central Asia,' and that Col. 
Haig will find reason another time to refrain from theorizing 
upon ornithological matters. I may mention that recently in 
Kattywar I met with Euspiza melanocephala about 50 
miles from the east coast, on the 29th January. The birds 
I saw were doubtless the pioneers of the flocks on their way 
from the Deccan to Sind. 

I will only add, for the information of your readers, that Col. 
Haig's " wrong once more" refers to an assertion, he credits 
me with having made at first, that the 'Bori bird' was a spar- 
row. But he misquotes me. In my original report I restrict- 
ed my accusation's to "birds" as I had not then identified the 
species. Col. Haig has attributed to me a quotation given by 
me from a report by a Revenue Officer (a native who does not 
know English and whose Clerk translated his report for him) 
that 'sparrows' had done the damage. But, for my own part, 
I intentionally refrained from acknowledging that identification. 

H. E. M. James. 
Bombay, 20;!/* February 1877. 


As Dr. Bowdler Sharpe expresses his wish for notices 
of the minivets {Stray Feathers for '76, p. 205), I send the 
following particulars of one shot at Comilla, Tipera, in February 
1876. I identified it as P. speciosus, Jerdon, 271, but it differed 
slightly from his description : — 

Length 9^ inches. 

Tail 4 

Bill | 

The red color was more fiery than vermilon : the wings had 
less red than his description gives. The tail was entirely 
red, the shafts of the tail feathers above were blackish for the 
basal two-thirds, but no trace of black otherwise on any of the 

Wing 4 inches. 

Tarsus -h „ 


tail feathers. The Bengali, name at Comilla is Suna-pakhi, i. e., 
Golden bird. 

With reference to the breeding of the Shell-ibis, Jerdon, 
No. 940, noticed at p. 21-2, 1 have found them in great numbers 
with nestlings, in October, round the Chilka hike in Orissa. One 
great breeding place is on a rocky islet covered with jungle 
at Noiri on the west side ot the lake. The name they go by 
there is Genitalia. 

A. Manson. 

Too late for full description. I have to note an apparently 
new Titrdulns, like Wardii and cardis, biit entirely black every- 
where, except only a broad satiny white supercilium. If 
really new, T. Davisoni nobis. In a collection made by 
Mr. Davison on the slopes of Mooleyit, Tenasserim. 

A. 0. H. 


Vol. V.] JUNE 1877. [No. 2. 

Uotc on futco ksevtorum attb gntco glumigcs. 

By J. H. Gurney, Esq. 

Having been much interested in the Editorial remarks 
on the Indian Buzzards, contained in the December No. 
of Stray Feathers for 1876, p. 358, I beg to offer, as in some 
degree supplementary to them, the following comparative 
measurements of Buteo desertovum and Buteo plumipes, to which 
I have added a few remarks as to the coloration of both these 
species ; the undermentioned specimens are all in the Norwich 
museum, except where the contrary is specified, and the mea- 
surements, with the exception of four quoted from Dresser's 
Birds of Europe, have been all taken by myself, the wing* 
being measured from the carpal joint to the tip of the longest 
primary, along the external surface of the wing, and with a 
flexible measure so as to allow for the slight convexity of the 
surface, the tarsus to the origin of the toes, and the bare space 
in front of the tarsus to the same point from the tip of the 
tarsal feathers : — 

Ascertained and presumed males of Buteo desertovum. 



Bare Front of 

$ South Africa... 





Presumed <$ do. ... 




c£ Mogadore 





$ (so marked by the 

late M. 

Favier) Tangiers 





S Ditto dittc 





J 1 Tangiers quoted from 




Presumed <$ Algeria 





* My measurements are not round the edge of the wing, but straight from the 
carpal joint to the tip of the longest primary, measured on the inner surface of the 
wing, this latter being pressed flat on a table. About half an inch (more or less, for it 
varies I find in different specimens) must be deducted from Mr. Gurney's measure- 
ments to make them comparable with mine. — A. O. H. 

t Must 1 should say be really females. — A, 0. H. 



Bare Front of 

34 3 





15 . 




2 10 






Presumed g Egypt 

Ditto $ in collection of 
J. H. Gurney, Junior 
£ Spain quoted from Dresser 
Presumed $ Constantinople... 
Ditto S Archangel 
Ditto $ ditto quoted 

from Dresser ... 135 26 

Ditto S sa id to be from 
Persia, but more probably 
from Erzeroum ... 14-2 2-8 17 

Ascertained and presumed females of Buteo desertorum. 

Wing. Tarsus. Bare Front of 
$ South Africa quoted from 

Dresser ... ... 15* 28 

$ (so marked by the late Sir 

A. Smith) South Africa ... 145 2 8 11 

? (so marked by the late 
C. J. Anderson) Knysna, 
South Africa ... 
$ Transvaal 
? Believed to be from Moga- 

? Tangiers 
$ ditto 
Presumed ? Algeria 

Ditto $ the Volga (two 

specimens) ... 
Ditto ? Syria 

Ascertained and presumed males of Buteo plumipes. 

"Wing. Tarsus. Bare Front of 

cJ (so marked by Mr. Swinhoe) 

Amoy, China 

Presumed $ ditto 

Ditto $ ditto 

Ditto £ ditto 

Ditto <y China 

<J (so marked by the collector) 

Cashmere ... ... 15 6 2 9 11 

S Cashmere ... ... 141* 2*9 V 

* If the primaries of this specimen are fully developed, I confess that I should 
find it difficult to accept it &s plumipes, — A, 0. H. 







2 9 





















Ascertained and presumed females of Buteo plumipes. 

Wing. Tarsus. Bare Front of 
$ (so marked by the late M. 

Jules Verreaux) Japan ... 15 3 2 6 09 
? (so marked by Mr. Swinboe) 

Amoy, China ... 152 2 7 la 

Presumed ? ditto ... 15'65 26 12 

Ditto ? Himalayas ... 1G8 29 14 

Ditto ? ditto ... 16*7 3' 12 

Ditto $ Ceylon, in the 

collection of the Marquis 

of Tweeddale ... 1Q 6 3-2 17 

None of these specimens of Buteo plumipes are in the fuligi- 
nous plumage, but one of the Himalayan examples appears to 
be passing into it from the rufous phase ; it will be observed 
that the three last specimens on the above list are unusually 
large examples of Buteo plumipes, but after careful examina- 
tion, I am of the opinion that they must be referred to that 

It may be useful to refer briefly to the figures which have 
been published of Buteo desertorum and of Buteo plumipes ; these 
are, as regards Buteo desertorum, first " LeRougri" of Le 
Vaillant, pi. 17, and the " Falco cirtensis" of L'exploration de 
l'Algerie, pi. 3, both which represent un faded adults of Buteo 
desertorum in the pale-chested phase which not unfrequently 
occurs, but in LeVaillant's plate and description the color of the 
bill is incorrectly given ; secondly, (i Falco tachardus"" of the 
first and Buteo desertorum of the second edition of Bree's Birds 
of Europe ; this figure, which is the same in both editions, also 
represents an unfaded adult, but iu the rufous-breasted phase 
which is somewhat more frequent than the pale breasted ; lastly 
the two figures iu Dresser's Birds of Europe, one of which re- 
presents a male, which Mr. Dresser describes as adult, but which 
j udgiug from the figure, I think has scarcely attained its fully adult 
dress, and has, moreover, a considerable portion of its plumage 
somewhat faded by exposure to the sun and weather ; the other 
figure in Mr. Dresser's plate represents an immature specimen 
in which the dark transverse bars on the lower flauks and 
on the tail are exceptionally distinct and conspicuous. 

Of Buteo plumipes " I am acquainted with but four figures ; 
viz., those in the Fauna Japonica," which represent the only 
two phases of plumage in this buzzard which I have seen 
from Japan and China ; Jerdon's figure of his " Buteo 
rufiventer," which resembles in the character of its markings 


the specimen represented at pi. 6 of the Fauna Japonica, 
but is somewhat darker in its general coloration, and lastly, the 
fuliginous type specimen represented in figure 1 of plate 7 in 
the first volume of Sharpens " Catalogue of the Birds in the 
British Museum." 

As far as I have observed, no stage of plumage corres- 
ponding with this fuliginous phase, nor any that is identical 
with the very pale plumage figured at plate 6 B of the Fauna 
Japonica, is ever assumed by Buteo desertorum ; pale specimens of 
this latter buzzard there undoubtedly are, but these are birds 
in faded plumage and even in this state they generally retain 
a slight tinge of rufous and never entirely resemble the pale 
phase of Buteo phmiipes, which is so frequently to be observed 
in specimens of that buzzard obtained in China ; on the other 
hand, I have never seen a specimen of B. plumipes so 
brightly rufous on the upper surface and specially on the 
tail, or with so much white on the breast, as is correctly 
portrayed in the figure of Buteo desertorum given in " L' 
Exploration de 1' Algerie." 

One phase of plumage, which is of frequent occurrence in 
Buteo plumipes, and which is represented in Jerdon's figure 
and also in plate 6 of the Fauna Japonica, is chiefly dis- 
tinguished by the upper breast being covered by a cross-patch 
or plastron of dull rufous brown differing in intensity in 
different individuals, but only variegated with slender shaft- 
marks, and also by the lower breast and abdomen being 
transversely banded with alternate brown and white bars ; I have 
once, and once only, seen a similar phase of plumage in B. 
desertorum, the specimen exhibiting it being one from the 
Volga in the Norwich museum. 

The second male of B. plumipes from Cashmere in the above 
list, more closely resembles B. desertorum than any other 
example that I have examined, not only in its small size, but 
also in its plumage ; it has the appearance of a young bird ; and 
having been killed on 9th July, was probably hatched during 
the preceding spring ; it is one of the most rufous specimens of 
B. plumipes which I have seen, and so nearly resembles in 
coloration an immature B. desertorum from Tangiers, which is 
also in the Norwich museum, that there is hardly any marked 
difference in plumage between the two birds ; the dark trans- 
verse bars on the posterior primaries are, however, more 
strongly marked in the Cashmere than iu the Tangiers bird, 
and I observe that this is ordinarily the case in B. plumipes 
as compared with B. desertorum ; the tarsi are also feathered 
lower by more than half an inch in the Cashmere specimen 
than in the buzzard from Tangiers, and taking these two 


peculiarities into account, I think I am correct iu considering 
this Cashmere example to be a small specimen of B. plumipes. 

Such close coincidences of plumage between examples of 
B. desertorum and B. plumipes are by no means common, and 
most specimens of both species, even when not characterised 
by any extremes of coloration, may be distinguished not only 
by the comparative measurements of birds of the same sex, but 
when this criterion proves insufficient, as is sometimes the case, 
by a different character of coloration and marking which, 
though not easy to define by description, is, in most cases, suffi- 
ciently perceptible when an adequate series of specimens is 
available for comparison. 

[It will be observed that Mr. Gurney accepts generally my 
contention that B. rufiventer, J erd. = B. plumipes, nee, B. deser- 
torum ; that the wings of the largest female, desertorum, measured 
as I measure them, do not exceed from 152 to 15 - 3 ; that deser- 
torum so far as we yet know does not really occur iu India, 
though one specimen from Cashmere, might perhaps be assigned 
to that species. — A. 0. H.] 


Having forwarded to Captain G-. E. Shelley, who is now issuing 
a splendid monograph of the Sunbirds, the type specimen of a 
supposed new species of Sunbird, which 1 named and des- 
cribed (S. F., Vol. III., p. 320) as Anthreptes xanthochlora, he 
informs me that it is certainly, despite the great difference in 
size, the female of A. simplex. 

He furnishes me at the same time with a sketch of the 
classification he proposes to adopt, subject, of course, to such 
alterations as the progress of his investigations may show to be 

As he authorizes me to make any use I like of this 
sketch, and as portions of it cannot fail to be useful to Indian 
ornithologists, I do not hesitate to reproduce these here. 

He divides the family as follows : — 

Sub-family I. — Neodrepanin^e (Madagascar.) 
„ II. — Nectariniin^e. 

„ III. — Promeropin^e (Africa.) 

He divides the 2nd sub-family into 11 genera, three belonging 
to the Nectarinia group {Nectarinia, Hedydipna, Antlirobaplies, 
which are all African ; three belonging to the iExHOPYGA group, 


viz., JEthopyga, Urodrepanis, and Eudrepanis ; (these two latter 
are represented by three species, U. Christina, Hainan, E. 
pulcherrima, Philippines, E. Buivenbodei, Sanghir;) two be- 
longing to the Cinnyris group, Calcostetha including a single 
species (insignis), and Cinnyris containing 71 ; Anthreptes, 
containing hypogramma, smgalensis, malaccensis, simplex and 
nine others, and the Arachnothera group, containing 
Arachnoihera , 6 species, and Arachnoraphis, 3 or 4* species. 

His large genus Cinnyris, which, I fear, will prove rather 
unwieldy, he divides into 9 sub-groups or sub-genera ; Hermo- 
timia, including 14 species from the Archipelago ; Nectarophila 
(3 Indian and one Philippine species) ; orange-banded group 
(one Philippine species, 2Ethopygajlagrans, Oustalet) ; Cyrtosto- 
mus or olive-backed Asiatic group ; Cinnyris or dark-metallic 
group, containing two Indian species, C. lotennius and C. asiaticus, 
one Palestine, (C. osea) and 14 African. The four other groups 
containing 27 species, all African. 

In the third of these groups we are specially interested, and 
the following is Capt. Shelley's key to the 8 species that he at 
present includes therein : — 

Olive-backed Asiatic group ; Cyrtostomus, Cab. In the males, 
upper parts olive ; metallic parts confined to the throat, or to the 
throat and crown. Breast yellow, orange red, or black. 
(A. — Breast yellow). 

I. — Pectoral tufts uniform in colour 
with the breast ; non-metallic 
pectoral band absent or very 
indistinct; no metallic fore- 

(a) With a loral streak and yellow 

eyebrow. frenatus,M.\x\\. 

(b) No loral streak nor yellow 

eyebrow. jugularis, Lin. 

II. — Pectoral tufts darker than the 
(a) Non-metallic pectoral band 
very distinct. 

1. No metallic forehead. 

a. Bill shorter and weaker ; breast darker ; 

pectoral tufts chrome yellow and orange; „ .,, . p,-, ,, 

sides of metallic throat blue jlammaXlllariS, bly til. 

* 1. Arachnoraphis flaviventris ; 2. Arachnoraphis robnsta=armata , and 
europygialis ; 3. Arachnoraphis Temmincki ; — A. crassirostris and A. vagans Capt. 
Shelley cannot yet determine. He omits Anthodiata aa apparently not separable 
from Anthreptes, 


p Bill longer and stronger ; breast paler ; 

pectoral tufts gamboge yellow; sides nn J nmnn l ni<t TTnn.if> 
of metallic throat green anaamaniCUS, QUffle. 

2. Forehead metallic rhizophora, Swinb. 

(b) Non-metallic pectoral band 

absent or very indistinct. 

Forehead metallic pectoralis, Horsf. 

(B. — Breast orange red, oh black.J 

I. — Pectoral tufts paler than the 


(a) Breast orange red Solaris, Temm. 

(b) Breast black zenobius, Less. 

Captain Shelley also gives a key to another genus in which we 
are much interested, viz., sEthopyga. I am not quite sure that I 
have in all respects correctly interpreted his views, and, if there 
should prove to be any error in the subjoined table, / must 
take the blame ; with all that is correct he may be justly 

Key to the genus sEthopyga* 

A. — Nape and back of neck 


I. —Chin and throat not me- 
(a) No metallic moustachal 1 eximia, Horsf. Java. 

(bj With a metallic mousta- 
chal streak 

*Mtliopyga Duivenbodei has the tail square and the wing-coverts metallic; it be- 
longs to the genus Eudrepanis, it inhabits the Sanghir Islands. 2E- chalcopogon from 
Borneo can only be siparaja. JE. lodoisice, Salvad, is mysticalis. JB. Beccarii, Salvad, ia 
S juv, of flavostriata. JE. Waldeni {ante p. 51), it appears agrees in every feather 
and measurement with the type of M. sanguinipectus with which Capt. Shelley baa 
carefully compared it. Capt. Shelley kindly sends me a correct description of the type, 
which I subjoin ; it will be seen how materially this differs from the original descrip- 
tion, re-published, S. F.. III., p. 402. 

" Description of type of JEtliopyga sanguinipectus : — 

" <? ad. above : forehead, crown and back of the neck violet shaded steel blue ; sides 
" of the head black ; upper back, sides of the neck and greater portion of the scapulars 
*' very dark red ; lower back, crossed by a narrow pale yellow band ; lowest portion of 
" the rump, upper tail-coverts, and two centre tail-feathers (with the exception of the 
" ends of the latter), steel-blue, very faintly shaded with violet ; remainder of the tail, 
" black ; the feathers partially edged with steel-blue ; wing-coverts and ends of the 
" scapulars, black ; quills, dark brown, faintly edged with olive. Beneath chin, throat 
" and crop, black, with the sides of the chin and the throat violet, shaded steel-blue ; front 
" half of the chest, pale yellow, distinctly mottled with scarlet ; remainder of the breast, 
" abdomen and under tail-coverts, pale yellowish olive ; under surface of the wings dark 
" brown, with the inner margin of the quills and the coverts white. 
" a <? type Keren Nee 14-3-74, (Wardlaw 

Ramsay) Walden Mus, Length 5-20 ; C. 0'65 ; W. 215 ; Tl. 2-80 ; Ts. 0-5. 
" b type Tonghoo hills 0-4-74 ditto ditto 5-70 070 2.20 3.2 0.607. 

" c $ Keren Nee 12-3-74. 
" P $ type of Waldeni by my measurement 550 070 215 275 057." 



l. Throat and breast yellow 2 Shelley i } Sharpe, Philippines. 

2. Throat and front of chest, red 

a Tail not red ; portion metallic. 

* Crown, upper tail-coverts and 
metallic portion of tail, green. 

** A metallic patch on ear- 

** No metallic patch on 





* Crown and upper tail-coverts, * 
green ; metallic portion of " Cur a, 
tail, blue. 

* Metallic portion of crown and 
of tail blue 

** No red eyebrow, 

nor red feathers on forehead. 

f Chin and throat without 
or with very slight yel- 
low streaks. 

++ Abdomen and under 
tail-coverts, ashy brown 

tinted with olive. , 

Bill shorter and 6 siparaja, Raffl. 


Bill longer and 7 nicobarica, Hume. 


ft Abdomen and under 8 magnified, Sharpe. Philippines. 

tail-coverts black. 

+ Chin and throat strong- 9 Jlavostriata Wall. Celebes. 

ly streaked with yellow 

** A red eyebrow and few 10 mysticalis, S. Mtill. Java. 
red feathers on forehead. 

Q Tail scarlet with no metallic 

rhtse\h C orsLpTmetSncll Temmincki, S. Mull. Sumatra. 

patch'encircling the forehead. 

II, — Chin, throat, and crown, 
metallic blue. 

(a) Upper tail-coverts andl2 ignicauda, 
tail, scarlet. 

(b) Upper tail-coverts and 
portion of tail metallic 

1. Front of beast scarlet 13 Dabryi, Verr. China and 

2. Front of breast yellow 14 GoilldicB, Vig. North-East 

B. — Nape, crown and back Burniah. 


I. — Upper half of head, 
back of neck, and throat 
metallic green. 



(a) Upper back red. 15 nipalensis, Hodgs. 

(b) Upper back preen. 16 Horsjieldi, Bly. 
II. — Upper half of head, back 

of neck, and sides of the 
throat steel-blue. 

(a) Front, of breast black. 17 saturate, Hodgs. 

(b) Front of breast yellow ,\% sanguini- Wald.\ c 3 Jjgfg^jJ 


mottled with scarlet. pectus j semn mils 

Some of my Indian readers may be both able and willing to 
furnish Captain Shelley with additional information in regard of 
the distribution, habits, notes, food, nidification, &c, of some of 
the many species of Sunbirds that occur within our limits ; it 
so, their communications should be addressed to 32, Chesham 
Place, London. 

€uv gnM&n tetljtinae. 

In 1873, Mr. Brooks published (J. A. S. B., XLII., p. 255 et 
seq.) a monograph of the Indian species of the genus Certhia. 

This paper is so excellent in many respects that I shall 
reproduce here great portions of it, but inasmuch as I differ 
greatly from Mr. Brooks as to the names that some of the 
species should bear, I shall add a few remarks in regard to 
this point and indeed some other minor ones. 

Mr. Brooks was the first to point out that in India we 
have at least five good species of Certhias iu which view I 
entirely concur. 

These are — 

1.— Certhia himalayana, Vig., which calls for no 

2.— Certhia Hodgsoni, Brooks* 

Mr. Brooks says : — 

tl I regard the four outer plain or unspotted primaries of C. 
Hodgsoni, versus the three plain ones of the English bird, 
as conclusive evidence of the distinctness of the two species. 
The much longer and straighter bill with the white lower 
mandible, and the grayer and less rufous toue of plumage 
with much whiter spotting on the back and head, should also 
be taken into account. The legs and feet of the English bird 
are also, as a rule, darker. The voices of the two birds differ ; 

* For original description, sec S. F, III., 233 n.— En. 


that of the English one being much louder and somewhat 
different in tone. The Indian species is much more silent. 
I have before noticed the conspicuous difference in the eggs. 

" This species is the C. familiaris of some Indian ornitho- 

Now as to the eggs and voice, I can say nothing. I have not 
an accurate ear for fine distinctions of sound as Mr. Brooks' 
unquestionably has, and I have seen only six eggs of the Euro- 
pean and three of the Cashmere bird, and though these bore out 
Mr. Brooks' contention, the number is far too small, in the 
case of eggs, to enable any one safely to hazard an opinion. 

But as regards the primaries, I have examined 13 English 
and European specimens of familiaris and six Cashmere speci- 
mens of Hodgsoni, and in all these Mr. Brooks' diagnosis held 
thoroughly good. 

From Europe Mr. Brooks writes to me that he has examined 
a very large series of familiaris, and that in all these also his 
diagnosis held good. 

As to the other points dwelt upon by Mr. Brooks, I attach less 
value to these, as though his distinctions seemed to me generally 
correct. I came across specimens of familiaris, which led me 
to doubt whether they could always be implicitly relied on to 
diagnose the species, irrespective of the markings on the pri- 

Now it must be admitted, that the one difference, on which 
Mr. Brooks relies, and which appears to me to be truly cons- 
tant, is a very small one ; but accepting the axiom usually 
admitted by ornithologists, that any difference, however small, 
is, if constant, of specific value, I do not see how we can 
reject C. Hodgsoni, more especially when it is usually, if not 
invariably, characterized by other marked differences in size 
and coloration, and when no true familiaris has as yet been 
obtained in Cashmere, nor, so far as I have yet been able to 
learn, any Hodgsoni in Europe. 

Mr. Brooks continues : — 

" 3.— Certhia nipalensis, Bodgs. 
Certhia discolor, Bly. 

" Any one who has examined Mr. Hodgson's drawing of C. 
?iipalensis must have seen at a glance that it represents the 
earthy brown breasted bird ; and 1 have therefore no hesitation 
in uniting both species under Hodgson's term. 

" The supposition that the brown-breasted bird could be 
identical with either of the two species next to be described 


is a great mistake, as a good series at once shews. As far as 
my own observation goes, the sexes of the Certhiince are alike 
in plumage. Even the young and old are very similar. The 
earth brown tint of C. nipalensis commences from the base of 
the lower mandible ; and the chin and throat, which are gener- 
ally protected from getting soiled in most birds, are in this 
species as dark as any part of the breast. The idea that the 
brown lower surface is merely produced by the feathers being 
soiled, is against the rule with regard to Creepers, which pre- 
serve the purity of their plumage in a remarkable manner 
even near large manufacturing towns. * The colour on the 
breast of C. nipalensis is, as Mr. Blyth remarked, a fast colour. 

" The tail of this species is more rufous than in that of 
any of the others ; in other respects the coloration of the upper 
parts is similar to that of the two species next to be described. 
C. nipalensis f has a large and rather strong bill compared with 
those of the others." 

Now in all this I agree, except as regards the nomenclature. 

I concede at once that Mr. Hodgson's drawing (original 
series,) No. 289 (pencil) 598 (red ink), labelled " Certhia 
himalayana" and below " Certhia nipalensis, Nob, 1825," and also 
" Certhia familiaris. Common Creeper, Nipalese variety," re- 
presents the brown-breasted bird. This is clear and unmistak- 
able, but this drawing was never published, and does not in 
any way affect the question. 

As far as I have been able to discover, Mr. Hodgson never 
himself published the name nipalensis with any description. 

Very early he seems to have come to the conclusion that 
nipalensis was only a variety of familiaris, and later he iden- 
tified it with himalayana, and under this name it appears in 
his own printed Catalogue of Nepalese birds, dated (in MSS.) 
Darjeeling, May 1846. 

I do not think Mr. Hodgson ever published any description 
of nipalensis, first because I can find none, nor any reference 
to any such publication in any of his notes ; and secondly be- 
cause Mr. G. R. Gray, as late as 1849, (Gen. B. Appx., p. 7, 
No. 143) only quotes nipalensis, Hodgs., on Blyth's authority, 
and so too Moore and Horsfield (very accurate, as a rule, for 
the time at which they wrote, in their synonymy), as late 
as 1858 (Cat. Mus. H.'E. I. C, 718, No. 1044) only refer for 
the authority of the- name to those passages in the J. A. 13. B., 
and Ann. N. H, in which Blyth gives the species as nipalensis 
of Hodgson. 

* I remember well an instance of this in a Creeper that used to build annually 
against the wall of Mr. W. Brackenridge*s House st Enfield in a Virginian Creeper 
and which was as purely coloured as a real rustic. — Ep, 

f i. e., discolor. — Ed. 


If Mr. Hodgson bad ever published a description of nipalen-* 
sis, surely either Gray, or Moore and Horsefield, or Blyth. him- 
self would have known of and indicated it. 

The facts appear to be these : — In 1843 Mr. Hodgson sent 
three examples of the white-breasted species to the As. Soc. 
Mus. labelled Certhia himalayana and also Certhia nipalensis, 
Hodgson. Himalayana was not known then, and Mr. Blyth 
accepted the specimens as belonging to this species. 

Two years later, Mr. Webb sent specimens of the brown- 
breasted species from Darjeeling, and Blyth at once detected 
the difference between these and the white-breasted birds pre- 
viously received from Hodgson. 

Accordingly in his list * of the Indian Nuthatches and Tree 
Creepers (J. A. 8. B., XIV., p. 579, 1845) we find (page 580) 
the following : — 

" 7. — Certhia himalayana, Vigors. P.Z.S., 1831, p. 174. 

8. — Certhia discolor, Nobis. — Distinguished by having the 
entire under parts uniform dingy brown, or very much sul- 
lied albescent (inclining in some to whitish on the abdominal 
region), and no ferruginous on the flanks, but only on the 
lower tail-coverts ; whereas in the preceding species, the under 
parts are pure white, tinged with ferruginous on the sides of 
the breast, and the flanks as well as the lower tail-coverts are 
deep ferruginous ; the upper parts also are a shade less rufous 
than in C. himalayana and the pale central spots to the fea- 
thers are more diffused (i.e., much less defined), especially 
those of the head. Upon a first view it might be thought that 
the under parts of C. discolor, are merely dirty ; but the color 
is not to be washed out, and five specimens before me are all 
quite similar, while in three Nepal specimens of the other the 
white is alike pure and the flanks deep ferruginous. It is 
indeed possible that neither of these is the true C. himalayana, 
in which case the Nepal species might be designated, C. nipal- 
ensis, Hodgson.'''' 

The italicised passage (the italics are mine) is, I believe, the 
first published indication of C. nipalensis, and by this the 
name must stand, and not by any name recorded on an unpub- 
lished drawing. 

I may add that in 1847 Mr. Blyth received the true himalay- 
ana. He _ remarks (J. A. S. B., XVI., 864) " a few bird skins, 
among which is one species new to the museum, viz., Certhia 
himalayana, Vigors, v. asiatica, Swaiusou; 'common in the 
Dehra Dhoon.' This is quite distinct from C. nipalensis, Hodgs., 

* ? Is this what Blyth refers to (Cat. Mus., As. Soc. B rds, p. 188, No. 1131.) as his 
" Mon. Ind. Certaiadffl P" Or is it his communication to the Ann. Nat. Hist. (XX., 
p. 317., November 1847) P Or did he ever publish any separate Monograph? I can 
find no trace of it. 


and my C. discolor inhabiting Sikhim, making- three Hima- 
layan species of typical Certhia." 

Following" Blytk, Mr. Gould figured and described the white- 
breasted species (July 1850) as nipalensis, giving the brown- 
breasted one as probably or possibly a mere variety, while 
again, in 1862, Jerdon (B. of I., I., p. 38) described the white- 
breasted species as nipalensis. 

Never, so far as I can ascertain, has the name nipalensis 
been connected in any published utterance with the brown- 
breasted species (except where this latter was treated as a mere 
variety of the other) until Mr. Brooks so connected it in the 
passage above quoted, and if this be so, it is needless to say 
that this third species of Mr. Brooks must stand as Certhia 
discolor, Blyth. 

Mr. Brooks continues : — 

4.— Certhia Stoliczkae, N. S. 

"This species, as far as as the upper surface is concerned, 
resembles C. nipalensis* ; but the bill is much shorter and weak- 
er, the chin and throat are fulvous, and the breast warm 
buff, increasing in rufous tone to the flanks and lower tail-co- 
verts, which are bright rusty brown ; the rump and upper 
tail-coverts, as in C. nipalensis] , are bright rusty brown, even 
brighter perhaps than in that species ; but the colour of the 
tail feathers is less rufous, particularly so as regards the shafts 
of the feathers. The long claws, especially those of the an- 
terior toes, and the large foot, are noticeable in this new spe- 
cies ; in fact it could almost be separated by the foot alone. 
Sometimes its throat alone is nearly white, but from this point 
the fulvous tone covers the lower surface" 

I agree generally in the above, the species is unquestionably 
a good one, but I would not lay so much stress on the size of 
the foot, which, though exceeding that of the true nipalensis 
{Mandellii apud Brooks), differs but little from that of the 
true discolor (nipalensis, apud Brooks). 

Mr. Brooks continues :— 

"5.- Certhia Mandell^ N. S. 

u [Note. — This is probably the Certhia nipalensis of Jerdon's 
Birds of India.] 

tl A bird of similar dimensions to the last, but with longer 
and more curved bill and smaller feet and claws/' 

" The throat and breast are bright silky white ; abdomen and 
sides tinged with brown, and flanks washed with rusty ; lower 

* i. e. discolor vera. — Ed., S. F. 
f i. e. C. discolor.— Ed., S. F. 


tail-coverts pale rusty brown ; upper tail-coverts as in the last 
bright rusty brown ; tail plain brown with the shafts rather 
rufous. In the colour of the tail being plain brown, this bird 
differs much from the last. Its principle characteristic is 
however the pure white breast instead of the buff one of the last 
species ; the upper surface of the bird is very similar." 

As I have shown, when treating of the 3rd species, this bird 
must stand as nipalensis, Hodgs. — 

The synonymy therefore of the group will, I think, stand 
somewhat as follows : — 

1.— Certhia himalayana, Vigors. 

Pro. Coram. Sci. and Corr. Zool. Soc. I., 174, 1831.— Gould. 
B. of As. Pt. II, PI. 17.— Jerd. B. of I. I., 380. 

vittaeauda, Jam. Mem. Wern. N.H. S. VII., 490 ; vide Jerd. 
Ibis 1872, 19. 

asiatica, Sioai)is. 2£cent. Birds ? ; Anim. in Mauag. 353. 

2.— Certhia Hodgsoni, Brooks. 

J. A. S. B. XLL, 74. 1872.— S. F. III., 233 n. 
familiaris, Jerd., Ibis, 1872, 19, et auct. nee. Lin. 

3.— Certhia discolor, Blyth. 

J, A. S. B. XIV., 580, 1845; XVL, 864, 1847; Ann. Nat. 
Hist. XX., 317. lUl.—Jerd, B. of L, I., 381, 1862. 

nipalensis, Ilodgs. var. ? Apud Gould, B. of As., Pt. IL, PI. 
16, {lower figure) July 1850. 

nipalensis, Hodgs.,\ern. Apud Brooks, J. A. S. B. XLII, 255. 

4.— Certhia Stoliczkse, Brooks. 
J. A. S. B., XLIL, 256, 1873. 

5.— Certhia nipalensis, Uodgs. 

Vide Blyth, J. A. S. B. XIV., 581, 1845 ; XVI., 864, 1847 ; 

Ann. Nat. Hist. XX., 317, Nov. 1847.— Gould, B. of As., 

Pt. IL, PI. 16, {upper figure) July 1850.— Jerd. B. of I., I., 381, 

1862. ' ' ' 

Mandelii, Brooks, J. A. S. B. XLIL, 256, 1873. 

The diagnosis of these species is as follows. 

Tail strongly barred ... ... himalayana. 

Tail faintly or obsoletely barred ... Hodgsoni. 


"Throat and breast, earthy olive brown, discolor. 
(Bill from forehead about 0.75, 
rather stouter and straighter) 
Throat and breast, strongly tinged 
Tail plain, ! with a warm buff. ... Stoliczka. 

unbarred. ] (Bill from forehead about 0*63, 
much shorter and straighter) 
Throat and breast, silky white, nipalensis. 

(Bill from forehead about 0.72, 
more curved and compressed) 

The habitats of these species have not yet been clearly defi- 
ned, most ornithologists not having hitherto discriminated, C. 
Stoliczkce, and Assam having been as yet very imperfectly ex- 
plored, but my museum contains specimens of 

1. Idmalayana, from 

Himalayahs. — Murree ; Rutton Pir, Cashmir ; Valley 
Cashmir ; Simla ; Kotgurh ; Ganga- 
otri, and Deralee, Valley of Bhagi- 
ruttee ; middle ranges of Hills, N. 
of Mussouri ; Nynee Tal ; Almora ; 

Sub-himalayan Murdan, N. W. Punjaub ; various 
tracts. — localities in the Dehra Dhoon. 

2. Hodgsoni. ou ly f rom Cashmere. 

3. discolor. Darjeeling ; interior of Bh. Sikhim ; 

Native Sikhim ; Nepal. 

4. Stoliczkce. Darjeeling ; interior of Bh. Sikhim ; 

Native Sikhim ; Bhootan. 

5. nipalensis. Nepal; Darjeeling; interior of British 

Sikhim ; Native Sikhim; near Shillong. 
(God. Aust. also got a specimen from the 
Naga Hills.) 

A. 0. H. 

Itotcs on tlje lUMucattoit of some bxxte m lunnalj. 

By C. T. Bingham. 

All the nests and eggs on which notes are herewith appended 
were found in the Government Teak Reserve on the Sinzaway 
chouug, a feeder of the Yoonzaleen river, which it enters about 
two days' march below our frontier station of Pabpoon in 


20.— Microhierax coerulescens, Lin. (if. eutolmos, 

On the 14tli April, I found a nest of this little falconet in a 
hole on the underside of a decayed bough of a mighty Pymma 
tree (Lagerstrcemia Flos Regina.) 

I had noticed the bird about the neighbouring trees for two 
or three days successively, and on the date above mentioned saw 
her entering the hole in question. 

On my sending up a servant who was with me, she flew out 
and perched on a low tree some thirty yards off; keeping my 
eye on her, I desired the man to enlarge the entrance of the hole 
and ascertain whether there were any eggs. In about ten 
minutes he announced that there were four. I then shot the bird 
which proved to be a female. The eggs are broad ovals, dirty 
whitish yellow, and stained by resting on the broken 
leaves, wings of dragon-flies, and bits of wood which composed 
the nest. I don't think the hole was made by the little falcon, 
but was probably an old nest belonging to a barbet. The branch 
in which it was excavated was about 30 feet from the ground. 

[The eggs are regular, moderately elongated ovals. The shell 
is very thin, and fairly close in texture, but has no appreciable 
gloss. The original colour, as I ascertained by carefully wash- 
ing a part of one egg, is a dead white, but the eggs as found 
were all suffused with a dirty yellow tint, such as is often the 
case with the very similar eggs of Centrococcyx and Taccocua, 
Held up against the light the shell appears a very slightly yel- 
lowish white. 

The eggs vary from 1*1 to 1*3 in length, and from 0'85 to 0*88 
in breadth. They are equally unlike eggs of Falco, Asticr and 
Circus. I know no Raptorial bird that lays at all similar eggs, 
but probably Baza may. As to size and shape, I can match them 
exactly with large eggs of Megalaima Franklini, or small ones of 
M. Marshalorum ; but the texture is different ; as regards texture 
and tint of discoloration, I can match them exactly with some 
eggs of Taccocua affi?ris. 

It must not be supposed that I suspect any mistake about these 
eggs ; on the contrary they only confirm our own experience in 
regard to 

Microhierax fringiliarius, Drap., in regard to which I 
quote a note of Davidson's, that I have had lying by me for 

" On the 10th or 11th of March, while passing through an old 
toungyah (clearing) I saw a falconet of the above species fly into 
a hole in a dry tree ; on sending a man up he reported the hole 
to be empt}'. 


On the 25th of March, happening to pass this tree, I saw the 
falconet fly out and settle on an adjoining tree, where I shot it. 
I then sent a man up and while he was examining the hole, the 
other falconet, which proved to he the female, flew out and settled 
close by and I also shot her ; on enlarging the hole, sufficiently 
to admit a man's hand, it was found that there Were no eggs, but 
at the bottom of the hole, which was abotit 18 inches deep, was 
a soft pad composed of flies and butterflies' wings, mixed with 
small pieces of rotten wood. On dissecting the female I found 
in her a fully formed hard-shelled egg, but unfortunately broken 
by the shot. This egg was pure white without spot or streak of 
any kind, the texture was fine and close, and when held up against 
the light it exhibited a very faint yellowish or greenish tint." 

This I may mention was near Bankasoon at the extreme south 
of Tenasserim. 

It will be noticed that both species build in holes in trees, 
line the bottom with a pad of the wings of Lepidoptera, Neurop- 
tera, and the like, and lay white eggs. — Ed. S. F.J 

2Zter.— Astur poliopsis, Hume. 

Passiug through a toungyah or cultivation clearing, belonging 
to a Karen of a village near ray camp, I noticed a hawk 
fly off a nest placed on a large branch of a Pymma tree 
( Lager strcemia Flos Regbue) which grew horizontally out at a 
height of fully 40 feet above the ground ; it (the nest) was 
rather difficult of detection, as it was placed above a large 
bunch of orchids which prevented it from being seen from below, 
and it was only by retiring to some rising ground two or three 
hundred yards off and using my binoculars that I made it out. 
After waiting for sometime, and finding the bird did not return, 
I retraced my steps to my camp. This was on the 11th April. 

Next day 1 returned, and secured the three eggs, very hard 
set they were, which the nest contained, and shot the female as 
she sat on a neighbouring tree after flying off the nest. This 
latter was very like that of A. badius, a poor affair of sticks 
very loosely put together. The eggs too very much resemble 
those of its near relative. 

[To judge from these specimens, the eggs are rather longer 
than those of A. badius. They measure 1*69 by 124, 1*7 by 
1*27 and 1'63 by 1*13 ; the average of a large series of badius 
is 1'55 by T22, and the longest I have measured was only 1*65 
in length. 

These eggs are the usual pale greyish-bluish wdiite, devoid of 
real markings, though stained and dirtied here and there. The 
shells very fine and compact, but with very little appreciable 
gloss.— Ed., S. F.l 


116ter. — Harpactes oreskios, Tern. (Vide ante, p ,20.) 

This handsome Trogon was very common in the Sinzaway 
Forest. I found on the 11th March two nests — one containing 
two young just hatched, and the other one broken egg and one 
addled one. On the 14th March I found a third nest, and on the 
15th three more, all containing young ones. Again on the 19th 
I found a nest with two fresh eggs. In all cases the nests were 
mere hollows scraped or worn away in decayed branches or 
stumps of trees. The one addled egg differs in being a longer 
oval than others I have found. 

[The eggs seem typically very broad, but slightly pyriform 
ovals ; the addled egg is longer and larger in every way and 
doubtless is abnormal. The shell is very fine and glossy, and 
is in all the eggs of an uniform very pale cafe au lait colour, 
just that of some of the Perdiculas and Microperdix : 

The addled egg measures 1'08 by 0*84; the normal eggs about 
0-93 by 0-8. 

I may here introduce a note of Mr. Gammies about the nidi- 
fication of the allied. 

Harpactes Hodgsoni, Gould. 

"On the 19th May I found a breeding hole of this Trogon in 
the Ryeng valley, (Sikhim) at about 2,000 feet. It had been 
excavated by the bird itself in a dead and much decayed tree 
stump of only four feet in height and niue inches diameter. The 
hole was 7" deep by 3'5" wide. The entrance was also 3'5" in 
diameter and was within a foot of the top of the stump. A few 
chips lay at the bottom of the hole, but there was no other nesting 
material. The stump was in a thin mixed jungle of bamboos 
and small trees, a much more open situation than I would have 
expected so shade-loving a bird to choose, but probably it con- 
cerned itself more about the softness of the nesting tree than its 
situation. In this case the stump was as soft a one as could 
have been found in the whole valley. 

The eggs were four in number and fresh. Four is, I believe, 
the full complement." 

The eggs sent by Mr. Gammie, were very Alerops-like in ap- 
pearance. Very broad, nearly spherical ovals, white and glossy, 
but the white is not quite so pure as in Merops, and on the con- 
trary has a pale creamy or ivory tinge very apparent when the 
eggs are laid, beside really pure white ones. They measured 
11 by 0-94. 

Other eggs of this species have been since sent me from Sikhim 
where they were taken in July by Mr. Mandelli. They were 
taken from a hole scooped on the top of truncated tree ; a bare 


hole devoid of liuing. This was in one of the low valleys below 

These eggs are also broad ovals, white but with a decided 
creamy tinge, the shell very fine, and with a considerable amount 
of gloss. Three eggs were found, two of them measure 1*07 and 
1-13, both by 093. 

Thus, while Hodgsoni lays four nearly pure white eggs, oreskios 
would seem to lay only two, and these of a very decided though 
pale cafe au lait colour. The eggs of the latter are, as might 
have been expected, smaller, but both species lay normally very 
broad oval, glossy eggs. — Ed., S. F.] 

127 bis,— Pelargopsis burmanica, Sharpe. 

I am rather diffident about writing a note on the finding of 
the eggs of this bird, as they were found by myself personally 
in a made nest in the fork of a bamboo growing near the bank 
of a choung, a thing contrary to the habits of all kingfishers. 
Moreover, though I fired at the bird as she flew off the nest, I 
missed her. In my own mind there is not a ghost of a doubt 
that the eggs in question belong to the above species, as I had 
a close look at the bird, as she sat on the nest, with a pair of 
binoculars, at not more than 15 yards distance. The nest was, 
as I have already said, placed in the fork of a bamboo near 
water. It was a loosely constructed shallow cup of rough grass 
roots, wholly unlined, at a height of about 4 feet from the ground. 
The eggs, three in number, are broad ovals, and glossy white in 
colour. They were found on the 10th April.'" 

[The eggs are very round ovals, pure white and very glossy. 
They measure 1-16 x l'O, 1-13 x U*99, 1*2 x 098. They 
are too small for Coracias indica, and a fortiori for Eurystomus 
orientalis, but I have not a sufficient series of the eggs of 6. affinis 
to assert that they might not have belonged to this species. 
But then G. affinis no more builds a nest such as Capt. Bingham 
describes, than do the ordinary run of kingfishers. Again, 
Nyctiornis Athertoni, the only other bird that I know of, that 
occurs in this locality, and that could, I should have thought, 
possibly have laid these eggs, also breeds in holes in trees. 

They are not pigeons' or doves' eggs — that is certain — they 
belong to the Merops, Roller or Kingfisher groups — and incred- 
ible as it may at first sight appear, I incline to believe that the 
eggs really are those of P. burmanica. No doubt some birds do at 
times go and sit upon other bird's nests, which they find unpro- 
tected by the real owners, but I never heard of a kingfisher 
doing this, and Capt. Bingham could not have been mistaken in 
the bird, which he knows well. 


The circumstance borders on the marvellous, but I think it 
cannot be rejected. — Ed., S. F.] 

142.— Hydrocissa albirostris, Shaw. 

About a mile and a half from my camp, crowning the top of 
a low hill and towering high above the rest of the trees, stood 
a giant Pymma (Lagerstrcemia Flos Regince). Ou the 23rd 
March I found a nest of the above mentioned hornbill in a hole 
in a huge decayed branch of this tree, fully 50 feet above the 
ground. To ascend the tree I had to get a ladder prepared, 
which a couple of Karens accomplished in about an hour and 
half. It was constructed of bamboo, the rungs consisting of 
tough short pieces driven into the tree and tied at their other 
ends to a couple of long bamboos, which formed the outer side 
piece of the ladder. So firm and strong did the affair look that 
I went up myself and was able to examine the nest closely. 
This was, as I have said, in the stump of a decayed branch; but 
the entrance to the hole was greatly contracted by a substance 
that looked like the bird's own dung ; on one side however an 
opening had been left — a mere slit — about 10 inches long by 1\ 
inches in breath — through which evidently, the female received 
food. After carefully inspecting the outside of the nest I pro- 
ceeded to break it open with a dah or Burmese knife I had 
taken up : and soon made a hole large enough for me to in- 
troduce my hand and arm. No sooner had I done so, however, 
than the female who was, as I feel sure, seated on the eggs, seized 
my wrist, with a grasp like that of a vice, uttering the most 
horrible cries and fluttering and struggling the while in the 
most determined manner. However with some difficulty I 
dragged her out and having ascertained with my disengaged 
hand that there were eggs in the hollow. I managed to 
despatch her by pressing her with my knee against the tree. 
I was sorry to do this but then her skin was necessary for the 
sake of the eggs. Having dropped her I proceeded to take the 
latter out; these were two in number, of a dirty yellowish stain- 
ed white color, and were resting on a few fragments of bark, 
a feather or two, and several berries in all stages of decay. 
They were, I regret to say, both cracked, evidently done in 
the struggle of taking the bird out, who by the way was 
fat as butter and in first rate feather, not looking at all 
ragged or dirty as I expected. The hollow was about 2 feet long 
by 10 inches in height, the entrance being an irregular oval in 
shape, and measuring 10 inches by 7£ inches, after the plastered 
dung was all removed. I forgot to mention that my atteution 
was attracted to the nest by seeing the cock bird feeding his 
mate : this he did by putting single berries one after another 


into the tip of her bill which was shoved out of the slit, after 
receipt of each berry she withdrew her beak apparently to 
swallow the food. I watched him for a good ten minutes with 
my binoculars before he saw me and took the alarm and flew off. 

[The eggs are of the usual hornbill type; but like those of 
Ocyceros bicornis, have the shells of a finer texture and are more 
elongated than those of Dichoceros cavatus, Aceros nipalensis 
and Rhyticeros obscurus, the only other Indian hombills whose 
eggs I possess. 

The eggs measure 1-99 x 1*31, and 2-02 by 1-4, so that 
the major is to the minor axis as 10 to 6^ to 7. In 0. bicornis 
it seems to average about 10 to 7, in D. cavafus, 10 to 7^, in 
A. nipalensis, 10 to 1\, and in R. obscurus, 10 to 7f. However 
my series is not large enough to enable me to make certain that 
these proportions hold good, but as to the fineness of the shell 
undoubtedly that of the eggs of the two former is of a much 
closer and more compact texture than that of the three latter. 

The eggs are dull white in colour, as usual much stained 
and soiled. — Ed., S. F.J 

673.— Cissa speciosa, Shaw. 

Od the 18th April I found a nest of this most lovely 
bird placed at a height of 5 feet from the ground in the fork 
of a bamboo bush. It was a broad, massive and rather shallow 
cup of twigs, roots and bamboo leaves outside, and lined 
with finer roots. It contained three eggs of a pale greenish 
stone color, thickly and very minutely speckled with brown, 
which tend to coalesce and form a cup at the larger end. 
I shot the female as she flew off the nest. 

[These eggs, as also others received from Sikhim, where they 
were procured by Mr. Mandelli on the 21st and 28th of April, 
are rather broad ovals, somewhat pointed towards the small 
end. The shell is fine, but has only a little gloss. The ground 
color is white or slightly greyish white and they are uniformly 
freckled all over with very pale yellowish and greyish brown. 
The frecklings are always somewhat densest at the large end 
where in some eggs they form a dull brown cap, or zone. In 
some eggs the markings are every where denser, in some sparser, 
so that some eggs look yellower or browner, and others paler. 

The eggs are altogether of the Garndine type, not of that 
of the Dendrocitta, or Urocissa type. I have eggs of G. 
lanceolahis, that but for being smaller, precisely match some 
of the Cissa eggs. Jerdon is, I think, certainly wrong in 
placiug Cissa between Urocissa and Dendrocilta, the eggs of 
which two last are of the same and quite a distinct type. 

The eggs vary from 1*15 to T26 in length, and from 09 to - 95 
in breadth; but the average of eight is 1*21 by 0'92. — Ed., S.F.] 


693.— Eulabes javanensis, Osb. 

[Osbeeck's name javanensis is pre-Linnsean, so is Brisson's 
name maajor, and we must adopt Cuvier's name javanus, for the 
Javan bird ; but the identity of the Indian and Javan, &c, 
form is not accepted by the Marquis of Tweeddale and others. 
Having no sufficient series of Javan specimens to compare, 
I cannot offer a positive opinion, as to the identity of these, 
but I am quite unable to separate specimens from numerous 
localities in India, Burmah, the Andamans, Nicobars, the 
Malay Peninsular, and Sumatra. Beginning with specimens 
from Sumbhulpoor and the Tributary Mehals ; going 1 north to the 
Himalayas and thence down to the Straits, there is doubtless an 
appreciable but gradual increase in the size of the bill and bird 
as one goes onwards. There is however no break in the 
sequence ; no point at which a line can be drawn (except entirely 
arbitrarily), and all appear to me to be inseparably one and the 
same species. But the Javan bird may be separable. If so, it 
seems to me that our bird must stand as E. sumatranus, Less Tr. 
d'Orn, 357, 1831, with religiosa, Raffl. nee Lin, Tr. L. S. XIII., 
303, 1822, and intermedia, Hay, Madr. J. XIIL, pt. 2, 156, 
1842, as synonymes. Wagler's name musicus (1827) appears 
in this case to be barred by including more than one species — 
Ed., S. F.] 

I saw several nest holes of this bird which was very 
common in the reserve, but none of them were accessible, and 
it was not till the 18th April that I chauced on one in a low 
tree, the nest being in the hollow of a stump of a broken 
branch. It was composed and loosely put together, of grass 
leaves and twigs ; and contained three half- fledged young 
and one addled egg of a light blue color, spotted chiefly at the 
large end with purplish brown. 

[The egg is very similar to those of E. religiosa, but what is 
very surprising, it is very considerably smaller. 

Of religiosa the egg^ vary from 1*2 to 1-37 in length, and 
from 0*86 to 0*9 in breadth, and the average of 8 is 1*31 
by 0-88. 

This present egg only measures 1*12 by 0*8; and it must, 
I should fancy, be abnormally small. 

In shape it is an extremely regular oval. The ground is a 
pale greenish blue, and it is spotted and blotched pretty thickly 
at the large end (where all the larger markings are) and very 
thinly at the smaller end, with purple and two shades (a darker 
and lighter one) of chocolate brown, the latter colour much 
predominating. The shell is very fine and close, but has but 
little gloss.— Ed., S. F.] 


ftiU'Mnus crispifrons. 

Mr. Blyth described this species, (J. A. S., B., XXI V., 269, 
1855) in the following terms : — 

" Turdinus crispifrons, nobis, n. s. Very like T. macro- 
dactylus ( Malacopteron macrodactyhwi, Strickland, v. Bra- 
chypterix albogularis, Hartlaub), of the Malayan Peninsula 
(described J. A. S., XIII., p. 382) ; but smaller and non-rufous, 
with longer, softer, and more graduated tail, aud erect, short, 
and stiff frontal plumes, which are much less developed in the 
other species; the rictal bristles are also much slighter. Leno-th 
about 7| inch ; of wing 3 to 3£ inch ; and tail 3 to 3£ inch; its 
outermost feather f inch shorter ; bill to gape 1 inch ; and tarsi 
the same. Colour deep non-rufous olive-brown ; the feathers 
of the head, neck, and back, pale shafted, and margined with 
black ; a pure white speck at the tip of the smallest tertiary, 
and sometimes to that of the next, and probably of more : 
throat pure white, marked with dark olive, but differently from 
that of T. macrodactylus ; in the latter species the feathers 
surrounding the throat are more or less broadly black-tipped ; 
but in T. crispifrons they are black medially, with white 
outer edge and extreme tip, and the dark markings are less 
abruptly defined and do not surround and circumscribe the 
throat as in the other species : lower-parts tinged with ashy, 
mingled with whitish along the middle. Bill dusky, pale 
underneath and at tip, and legs dark olive brown. ' Not 
uncommon, but very local, and confined entirely to deep thickets 
amongst rocKs.' " 

This species has hitherto been so rare in collections, that I 
myself have never, until recently, succeeded in obtaining a 
specimen. Of late, however, my collectors having discovered 
the localities which these Turdini exclusively, I believe, affect, 
endless specimens of this, guttatus, and brevicaudatus have poured 
in, and as I find that the plumage in our present species is 
subject to a most remarkable variation and one which I do not 
yet fully understand, I desire to say a few words on the subject. 

In the first place, I remark that with a few alterations and 
additions Blyth's above-quoted description represents admirably 
one phase of the plumage. 

The colour of the upper part is, however, in none of my 82 
specimens " deep non-rufous olive brown/' in every one it is a 
" clear, rather' pale olive brown," only occasionally slightly 
rufescent on the upper tail coverts and tail. The lower parts 
may be called deep olive brown. 


In no specimen, and mine are all fresh and beautiful 
ones, can I discover the smallest ashy tinge on the lower 

I would add to Blyth's description that in the stage of plumage 
he described, there is a long, rather obscure, grey streak from 
the nostrils over the eyes and ear-coverts, that the ear-coverts 
are non-olivaceous brown, white-shafted, that the wing 
lining is deep olive brown, and that it is as often buff or pale 
tawny as whitish that is mingled along the middle of the 
under surface of the body. 

But in another stage of plumage a broad frontal band, lores, 
baud above the eye, chin, cheeks, throat, ear-coverts, sides of 
neck, a broad collar on the back of the neck, and at least part of 
the breast, are snow white ; the middle of the abdomen, vent, 
and even tibial plumes are more or less mottled with this pure 
white, and the wing lining is white or nearly so. 

The birds in this plumage are absolutely identical in every 
dimension with those colored as above. Nor is this a case 
of individual albinism. There are nearly a dozen speci- 
mens like this (some, however, showing here and there a 
single dark feather in the midst of the white), and as many 
more differing only in wanting the collar, or in the white 
only just descending to the breast. 

Now the curious thing is this, my specimens are as fol- 
lows : — 

36 from Wimpong, 15 miles from Thatone, all killed on 
different dates between the 20th December, and the 2nd 
of January. 

39 from near the banks of the Toungsha Gyne R. and killed 
on the 8th, 9th, and 10th March, and 

7 from Moumenzeik near Moulmeiu, killed on the 11th 

Now every single one of the very white birds is from Wim- 

Does this white plumage indicate a local variety ? or is 
it seasonal ? 

If the former, it is not of a nature to receive specific rank, 
for 3 of the Wingpong birds are absolutely identical with 
Toungsha Gyne ones, 3 or 4 more only differ in having the 
lores, ear-coverts, cheeks, and streak over the eye pure white, 
and 5 or 6 others, in addition to this, show some white feathers 
on the forehead, or on the nape. Again several (4) of the 
Toungsha Gyne R. birds, though making no other approach to the 
white plumage, have the entire chin and throat right down to 
the breast snotv white. 



That the birds are identical in dimeusions will be seen from 
the detailed measurements subjoined.* 

The colors of the soft parts varied according to individuals, 
but not according- to localitj". The irides were red, mostly deep 
red, or rhubarb red, in a few light red ; the upper mandible 
varied from black to dark brown ; the lower from pale to very 
pale, plumbeous ; the legs, were a more or less dark brown, 
always tinged with red or purple of varying shades. 

Sex too has nothing to do with it ; of the whitest birds about 
an equal number are respectively males and females. The 
whitest of all (ami that has, besides all the other parts above 
described, the greater part of the abdomen white and several 
white feathers on the middle of the back) is, no doubt, a male. 

I think it quite possible that this variation may be seasonal — if 
it is not, then it is the most extraordinary case of local albinism I 
Lave ever heard of, since fully -%-ths of theWimpong birds are 
affected by it, and gtbs strongly so, while frds show it 
to such an extent as would, but for the connecting- links, fully 
justify their separation as a distinct species. 

* Table of dimensions of T. crispifrous from various localities, recorded from fresh 
specimens : — 











■ n 















36. Spec. (12~) 




■measured iu j 








the flesh). 
W i rupoug, 1 








7 '8 














from Tba- f 















tone ; 20th i 







... j 


9 35 






Dee. 1876 | 








to2udJany. | 

1 1 7-6 







1877. J 


(J 7-3 






!i9. Spec. (12^ 
measured in j 

7-8 10-1 




0-99, 1-25 f 








the fiesh). 1 

7-8! 10-1 




099 1-25 1 








To u n g sha 1 
Gyne River ; j 

7 7 10-0 




10 ... 1 

0-99 1-25] 








79 10-0 


3 2 








1877 to 10th ! 
March 1877J 

7-55 10-2 




0-95 1-25 








8 10-3 





1-25 L 






o*9 1 l-ia 

7. Spec. (5^ 


measured iu j 




2 65 



0-92 1-2 

the fl e sh). ! 
Moumenze- [1 
nik; Uth j 
March 1877 J 


9 9 





115 j 









9 1-1 
0-92 1-15 







0-98 1-15 



I do not think, I may add, thai it is in any way dependant 
on age, as a somewhat analogous change is, I believe, iu 
Gampsorhyiichus rufulus. There are much too many white 
Wimpong birds, to permit us to suppose that white indicates 
non-age, and if it indicated age we must have got a fair pro- 
portion of these elsewhere, whereas all the birds procured 
elsewhere are typical, except four which only deviate from the 
type in having the chin and throat unstreaked white. 

Perhaps, after all, it may be an incipient species, and the white 
fellows running about on the grey limestone rocks, may have 
the pull over their darker brethren, who will hence eventually, 
as the lawyers phrase it, cease and determine. In that case 
when the species shall be fairly established, I should recommend 
-V- for it the name of T. Darwini in perpetual memory of the great 
naturalist who first brought really home to most of us, the 
potent modifying influences of external conditions on organic 

A. 0. H. 

fax InMau Cisticote. 

Our Indian list, as usually accepted, exhibits a considerable 
number of members of the genus Cisticola (Kaup. 1829) . 

1 — Cisticola cursitatis, FrankL, Pro. Comm. Sci.&L. 
Z. S., 18SI. —Jerd. 111. In. On. pi. 6.— Sylvia 
cisticola, Tern., Man. d'Orn. 228, 1820 ; P. C. 6,— C. 
schcenicola, Bp., 1838. — Salicaria brunniceps, Tern. 
and Schl. Faun. Jap. 134 t. XX. c. 

2.— Cisticola munipurensis, God-Aust., P. Z. S., 
1874, 47; J. A. S.B., XLIII., 165, pi. IX., f. 2, 

1874— S. P. III., 397. 

3.— Cisticola homalura, Bly. 9 Cat. of B. Mus. A. S. B., 
145, No. 822, 1849 (sinedescr.) ; J. A. S. B., XX., 
176, 1851, (descr. orig.) ; Ibis, 1867, 302. 

4.— Cisticola melanocephala, Anders. P. Z. S. Feby. 
21, 1871, 212.— God.-Aust., J. A. S. B., XLIII., 
165, PI. X, f. 1, 1874.— C. ruficollis, Wald., A. and 
M. N. II., 1871, 241,— S. P. Ill, 283. 

5.— Cisticola Tytleri, Bly., J. A. S., B. (?);— Jerd 
B. of I. II., 176, 1863.— Bly., Ibis 1865, 44. 


6.— Cisticola erythrocephala, Jerd.—JBly., J. A. S., 
B., XX., 523, 1851. 

It will be observed that I assume the identity of the South 
European and Indian birds. I have only examined one of the 
former (from South Italy), but that one I was able to match pre- 
cisely, according to the best of my judgment, with a bird killed 
in the same month, in Etawah (North- West Provinces, India), 
and therefore, although Mr. Gray (H. L. 200) keeps them se- 
parate, I have not, knowing how much the bird varies, and 
how little this has as yet been recognized, thought it advisable 
to follow him in this. 

Common as C. cursilans is in the basin of the Mediterra- 
nean, India, China and Japan, I cannot discover that the great 
difference in its winter and summer plumage has as yet been 
clearly pointed out. 

Yet the birds look very different indeed in January and July, 
so much so, that Major Godwin-Austen has described the bird 
in its cold weather garb as a different species, No. 2 on our list. 

Typically in the hot season, the head is a comparatively dull, 
lighter or darker, almost uniform brown, (in some almost abso- 
lutely so, but this is an individual difference,) more or less 
feebly streaked with a paler and yellower brown or yellowish 
buff or fawn. 

The back is darker brown, the feathers edged with much the 
same color as the light streaking of the head. 

The tail spread, and looked at from above, has the central 
feathers brown, white tipped, the tipping preceded by a dark 
brown bar, and this again by a more or less obsolete barring, 
paler, at times with a rufescent tinge. The lateral tail feathers 
are darker, have broader white tips preceded by a blackish 
band, and that again by a very broad light rufous bar, usually 
much clouded with brown on the outer web. 

Typically in the cold senson, the head is very boldly striated 
black and pale fulvous, or buff; so too is the back. 

The tail, when spread, has the centre feathers uniform brown, 
broadly margined (so broadly at times as to leave only a dark 
brown shaft stripe along the middle) with pale rufous or fawn 
brown ; the lateral tail feathers are brown, white tipped, and 
darker just before the tip, but there is no rufous or trace of it. 
Looked at from below, at both seasons the tail feathers exhibit 
conspicuous greyish white and black tippings. 

These are the typical plumages ; but individual birds killed 
on the same day and at the same place, vary a little in tint ; 
some are brighter and more rufous, some duller and browner. 


Moreover in the spring plenty of intermediate forms will be 
found ; all birds do not change their plumage at the same time ; 
I have some birds still iu almost typical winter plumage, killed 
quite at the end of March, and others killed about the same 
time already much changed. 

I have the birds in both plumages from the most various lo- 
calities, Sindh, Mount Aboo, Dehli, the Sambhur lake, the Dhoon, 
Jhansi, Saugor, Ceylon, Dacca, Bhotan Dears, Cachar, Assam, 
Calcutta, Pegu, Tenasserim, the Nicobars, but every specimen 
in the typical plumage first described killed between 1st May 
and September, and all those in the second between 1st Novem- 
ber and 1st April. 

The bird is oue that varies very considerably in size ; in one 
specimen fairly measured from the frontal bone to the point, 
the bill is only 0*42, in another, (the largest I have,) similarly 
measured it is 051. No vast difference iu figures, but mak- 
ing a great difference in the look of the bill. Again iu one 
bird, a male (the males are always rather larger) from Sau- 
gor, killed in August in typical summer plumage, the wing is 
2*25, but I have females in both summer and winter plumage 
with the wing only 1*8. The average for females is about 
1"95 and for the males, 2*1, but I have specimens of both 
sexes 2'0. 

Of the 2nd species on our list I need say nothing ; it will be 
clear to any one consulting Major Godwin-Austen's description 
(re-published S. F. III., 397) and his pretty plate in the Asia- 
tic Society's Journal, that munipurensis is only the cold weather 
pliijmage of cursilans. 

Jerdon's figure represents the faded winter plumage, the 
streaks dying out on the head and back, but the tail not yet 
moulted. Temminck as his figure and description (P. C. 6, f. 
3) clearly show had before him a bird in winter or spring 

The figure in the Fauna Japonica, is of the early hot weather 
plumage; the tail has been moulted, the head has become near- 
ly uniform brown, but the back has still to grow duller. 

What stage of plumage Dr. Bree's marvellously colored plate 
(B. of E. n. o. in Brit. II. 88) may be intended to portray, 
1 am quite unable to suggest. 

I may add that I believe (though of this I am not positive) 
that the birds moult their tails at the beginning of the hot 
weather and then get their central tail feathers rather shorter 
and broader than, as well as differently coloured to, those they 
have in the cold weather after the autumn moult. 

This is what Drymoipus inornatus does, and thus it earned 
for its cold weather garb, Tickelfs name of longicaudatus. 


Cisticola Homalura, Blyth, No. 3 on our list, was thus 
described : — 

Differs from G. cursitans, Frankl., in having a stouter bill, tbe 
whole upper parts much darker and the tail subeven, ex- 
cept that its outermost feathers are \ inch shorter than the next. 
The prevailing hue of the upper parts is dusky black, with 
much narrower rufescent lateral margins to the feathers than 
in C. cursitans, the rump however being unmixed rufescent as in 
that species, and the neck much tinged with the same ; one 
specimen has some dark markings on the breast ; and another 
in first plumage greatly resembles the adults and is conspicu- 
ously different from the young of C. cursitans." (iV. B. — Only 
one specimen was preserved in the museum). 

If we turn now to species No. 4, Cisticola melanocephala, 
we find it thus described by Dr. Anderson, from specimens 
obtained in Yunan : — 

"Head black, feathers obscurely margined with rufous ; lores 
and supercilium pale rufous, faintly striated with brown ; back 
and rump black, feathers margined with rufous cinereous ; tail 
brown above, obscurely banded, cinereous below, obscurely 
banded, black spotted near the apex and tipped with pale ru- 
fous cinereous ; under tail-coverts ferruginous ; wing coverts 
brown, faintly margined with rufous, below ferruginous albes- 

ic The intense black of the centres of the feathers of this 
species and the almost entire absence of light coloured margins 
to the feathers of the head separate it from C. schcenicola. I 
have specimens of the latter bird from Central India with much 
lighter rufous about them than the ordinary run of Bengal and 
Cachar specimens, and the top of the head instead of being 
nearly uniform dull rufous brown, as in Bengal specimens, is 
bright pale rufous with narrow brownish black centres to the 
feathers, and the two colours have a tendency to dispose them- 
selves in lines. * My Cachar specimens resemble those from 
Bengal in every respect." 

Of course, Dr. Anderson did not realize that the variations he 
referred to were not due to locality but to season, but that does 
not signify ; his description of the species we are now dealing 
with gives a tolerable idea of the bird, though it overlooks the 
conspicuous unstreaked rufous or buff collar. That however is 
fully brought out in Lord Walden's description, which will be 
found, S. F. III., 283. 

Between these descriptions the reader should be able to form 
a good idea of the bird, but I would also call attention to Major 

* See Major Godwin-Austen's plate of his munijourensis. — Ed., S. F. 


Godwin-Austen's remark that " some specimens do not show the 
rufous on the neck so much as others," and to what lie says 
about the tail under his munipurensis , quoted S. F. III., 397. 

Of melanocephalus, I possess one, (the best,) of Dr. Jerdon's 
Debroogurh specimens, and a second, that he also gave me, from 
Dacca, and 1 am bound to say that but for the " nearly even" 
tail both these agree extremely well with Blyth's description of 
homalura. I b} r no means hazard the assertion that homalura 
is identical with melanocephala, and was described from a speci- 
men of which the tail was imperfect or abnormal, but I suggest 
the matter for the verification of those who have a better series 
than myself of melanocephala and homalura; of which latter I 
have none. 

Of Cisticola Tytleri as described by Blyth (unde ?) and 
quoted by Jerdon, I have never succeeded in obtaining speci- 
mens, although I have had considerable collections made in 
Dacca ; but I have melanocephala from thence, besides the one 
Dr. Jerdon gave me, and it is curious that in giving me the 
two specimens of melanocephala, one from Debroogurh, the 
other from Dacca, he assured me that, in his opinion, they were 
only the adults of Tytleri, with one of which he said he had 
compared them. I cannot find that he ever recorded this any- 
where, but on the strength of this assurance, the birds were thus 
labelled, and so stand to this day in my museum. 

I should not be at all surprised if Tytleri and melanocephala 
did prove identical, in which case the former name has prece- 
dence; and it seems to me further not impossible that homalura 
may also be identical, in which case this name would stand. 
I note that all my specimens of melanocephala have some dark 
markings on the breast, thus recalling Blyth's remarks in 
regard to homalura. 

The last on our list is C. erythrocephala, which I have only 
obtained in Saugor and of which Jerdon himself identified my 

It is, I believe, a very rare bird. I have never obtained more 
than the single specimen that I myself shot, and I have not as 
yet heard of any one else obtaining it. 

The following are the dimensions (taken from the skin) of my 
specimen : — 

Length, 4*2; wing, 193; tail, 1*7; tarsus, 0*78; bill at 
front, 0-46. 

The bill appears to me absolutely identical in size and shape 
with that of cursitans, but has the upper mandible much paler 
and the lower mandible redder than in that species. 

The wing has the 4th and 5th feathers equal and longest; the 
3rd, 0-02 shorter ; the 2nd, 02 ; and the 1st, 8 shorter. These 


are not the normal proportions in cnrsitans, in which the 2nd 
is usually mu'ch more nearly equal to the 3rd, while the first is 
smaller. But I have found one cursitans, in which the propor- 
tions of the primaries were nearly the same as in my single 
specimen of erythrocephala. 

The tail is rounded, not graduated ; the outermost feather 
is only 035 shorter than the central ones; this recalls homalura; 
but then the plumage is so utterly unlike the description of 
homalura, that one cannot believe in their being different stages 
of the same bird. 

The legs and feet are similar in size to those of cursitans, but 
appear to have been of a darker and redder colour. 

The forehead and crown are an uniform dull, orange rufous, 
or rufous orange buff, entirety unmixed with any other colour ; 
the lower throat and breast are similar, only a shade less ferru- 
ginous, or orange ; abdomen, vent, lower tail coverts, tibial 
plumes, the same, but rather paler, and a little browner, on 
the latter. "Wing lining a rather purer buff. The chin and 
middle of the upper throat a trifle paler than the breast, the pale 
or whitish bases of the feathers showing through a little. The 
nape a dark yellowish or slightly rufescent olivaceous brown. 
The sides of the neck and the ear-coverts, the colour of the 
breast more or less overlaid and tinged with that of the nape. 

The back, rump, and upper tail coverts, similar to the nape, but 
the first feebly striated with dark brown. 

The wings dark hair brown, but all the feathers so broadly 
margined with rusty olivaceous, that except on the tertiaries 
very little of the hair brown is seen in the closed wing. 

The tail is dark brown, obsoletely banded ; the feathers 
very narrowly margined towards their bases with olivaceous, 
and very narrowly tipped with pale rufescent. Looked at from 
below the feathers are similar aud show no trace of a dark 
penultimate band. 

The lores appear to be much the same colour as the crown, 
but lighter and less pure and perhaps have a faint Hue through 
them, but my specimen does not show this clearly. I believe 
erythrocephala to be a thoroughly good species. 

On the whole, therefore, although it may be that our list 
should include five species of this genus, I am much inclined 
to suspect that the number will ultimately have to be 
reduced to 3. 

A. 0. H. 


Hierococcyx nisicolor, Ilodgs. {in Bly. J. A. S. B., 
XII., 943, 1843.) 

Mr. Blj'th originally described this species imder Mr. 
Hodgson's manuscript name as follosw : — 

" Mr. Hodgson lias also forwarded an apparently distinct 
species by the appellation C. nisicolor, to which I have no hesi- 
tation in referring the young specimen from Macao mentioned 
in a note to p. 240, ante. It is closely allied to C.fugax,* from 
which it is chiefly or wholly distinguished by its much deeper 
colouring. Mr. Hodgson's example would appear to be a 
remarkably small one, and is probably a female, but the differ- 
ence of size between it and the young specimen from Macao is not 
greater than occurs in the respective series of C. canorus 
and C micropterus now lying before me. Length about twelve 
inches and a half; of wing six inches and five-eighths, and 
middle tail-feathers five inches and three-quarters ; bill to gape 
an inch and three-sixteenths. Colour of the upper parts very 
dark pure ash-colour ; throat and cheeks the same, as in C 
fug ax ; uuder-parts aud tail also as in the latter species, but the 
flanks not barred (in the specimen) : throat below the chin con- 
trasting with the dark ashy above and laterally, and the central 
marking of the feathers of the throat deep ash, like the rest of this 
colour, it being very dark on those of the fore-neck. The 
Macao specimen is moulting its tail-feathers, but has the wing 
seven inches and a half long, being probably a young male ; 
cap, with the throat, ear-coverts, and sides of the neck, very 
dark ashy, and several white feathers on the nape, as in 
some young examples of C.fugax; interscapularies dusky ash, 
very faintly rufous barred, imparting a shade of that colour 
to the parts ; scapularies, tertiaries, and wing-coverts, succes- 
sively more distinctly barred with bright rufous ; the fore-neck 
tinged and the plumage of the breast tipped with the same ; 
aud the uuder-parts longitudinally streaked throughout with 
dusky, shewing no trace of bars on the flanks : lower tail- 
coverts dull white: bill and feet as in C. fugax. 

Later, in his commentary on Jerdon's Birds of India, Ibis, 
1866, 362, Mr. Blyth remarked as follows : — 

" 206. — Hierococcyx nisicolor. 

I have now seen several examples of this bird, all from the 
South-Eastern Himalayan, and am well satisfied that it is a 
distinct race. The largest adult measured 7 inches in length 

* Mr. Blyth here refers to varius, which at that time was accepted osfugax. — 
A. O. H, 


of wing. Mr. Hodgson figures it with white irides ! Horsfield's 
only specimen of R. fug ax in the India Museum is in immature 
plumage, and quite resembles that figured as Cuculus spar- 
verioides by Von Schrenk ; Mr. Swinhoe showed me a similar 
specimen from China, and Mr. Wallace has one from Borneo, 
while Dr. Sclater's supposed H. varius from Borneo (P. Z. S. 
1863, p. 203) is sure to be no other; again, it is the Chinese 
H. nisicolor, nobis (J. A. S. B., XXX., 93) ; and I consider that 
C. flaviventris, Scopoli (founded on Sounerat's Coucou a ventre 
raye de V Isle de Panay), C. radialus, Gm., H, pectoralis, 
Cabauis, and H. hyperythrus, Gould (B. of As., Pt. VIII.), 
represent the mature plumage of the same species, which should 
accordingly stand as H. flaviventris (Scop.), from China, Philip- 
pines, Borneo, and Java, being probably, also that noticed from 
Malacca by Mr. F. Moore (P. Z. S., 1859, 459.)" 

Now I have read and re-read this passage repeatedly without 
being able to make quite certain whether Blyth meant that 
nisicolor and flaviventris were identical or not. On the whole, 
from his reference to his Chinese nisicolor and from his 
omitting the South-East Himalayahs from the list of localities 
from which flaviventris had been recorded, I conclude that he 
really considered the two distinct. 

I may here note that Mr. Swinhoe, P. Z. S., 1871,395, 
speaks doubtfully of the occurrence of the species which, follow- 
ing Blyth, he calls flaviventris in China ; but Blyth records (J. 
A. S. B.,XXX., 93, 1861) Mr. Swinhoe as having himself sent a 
specimen to him from Amoy, and in the passage first quoted, 
Mr. Blyth refers to another specimen received in 1843, from 
Macao, of which he gives the dimensions, so that this matter 
would not appear at all doubtful. 

Moore and Horsfield (Cat. B. Mus. E. I. C, 701) unite 
nisicolor with varius, and so does Cabanis (Mus. Hein. IV., I., 
29) but none of these authorities can possibly have had a series 
of both birds before them, or they could never have made such 
a mistake. 

In the first place, there is the difference in size, nisicolor being 
altogether a slighter and slenderer bird. 

Varius varies in total length in adults (in the fresh bird) 
from 1 3 in the smallest female to about 14*7 in the largest male — 
and in wing from 7 "4 to 8- 2. Young birds are often smaller. 

Nisicolor varies similarly from 10*6 to 11 '5 in total length 
and in wing from 6 '8 to 7*2. 

Then there is an essential difference in the markings ; in 
varius at every stage, except quite the young bird just out of 
the nest, the markings of the sides are transverse ; in adults, the 
abdomen, sides and flanks are all more or less conspicuously 

98 HIEllOCOCCYX nisicolor. 

transversely barred. Even iu the nestling the sides and 
flanks often exhibit arrow-head marks which are very like bars, 
and before the young bird has been 5 months from the nest, 
long before it has assumed the adult plumage, before the rufous 
tippings have been worn away from the feathers of the upper 
surface, the sides have become distinctly barred. 

Now in nisicolor, old or young, there is never any barring 
on the sides or abdomen ; the markings are always longitudinal 
and streaky. 

Then there is the difference in colour ; the upper surface 
alike in old and young is conspicuously darker in nisicolor. 
In the young of this latter the upper surface is a deep liver- 
brown, the head darker and duskier. 

In the adult it is a deep slatey blue, almost black on the 
head in freshly moulted birds. 

As a broad general rule too, the rufous on the lower surface 
in nisicolor is always deeper, and perhaps, I should say, more 
ferruginous, but this is not an absolute distinction, as I have 
one old nisicolor no deeper in colour than one particularly richly 
colored varius. 

I do not think any one comparing the birds carefully could 
unite nisicolor and varius. 

At present I only know for certain of the occurrence of this 
species in Sikhim, Bhotan, the Khasia Hills, the Hills of 
Northern Tenasserim, and the plains immediately west of these 
during the cold season. 

The following are the dimensions and colours of the soft 
parts of a fine male, killed on the Thatoue plains last 
December : — 
Length, 11*7 ; expanse, 19*75 ; tail, 6*2 ; vving, 7'0; tarsus, 0*8 ; 
weight, 4 ounces. 

The legs, feet, claws and eyelids, bright yellow; gape, greenish 
yellow, lower mandible and region of nostrils, pale green ; upper 
mandible horny black ; irides orange red. 

It is quite true, that in the Zoological Society's copy of the 
drawings as well as in the British Museum ones, to which 
Mr. Blyth refers, Mr. Hodgson figures the iris as white, and 
we know how extremely accurate his drawings usually are,* 
still both in the specimen above referred to shot by Davison 
and in another shot by myself near Darjeeling (in the lower 
valleys below which the bird is not rare) the irides were 
orange red, thus differing from variits, of which I find that 
I have on upwards of 30 specimens recorded the irides as, 

* There is internal evidence to show that this plate was taken from a skin. 
It has on its reverse none of those special details which Mr. Hodgson always 
recorded when dealing with a fresh bird, 


''gamboge yellow," " bright yellow," " lemon yellow," u yellow." 

But uow is nisicolor, though different from varius, the same as 
hyperythrus, Gould, P. Z. S., 1856, 96 ? 

J think not. In the first place, Gould gives the wing as 
8, which is altogether too large for our Indian species, and as is 
also the wing of the young bird from Macao, referred to by 
Blyth (doubtless the same species if Mr. Gould's bird came 
from Shanghai.)* In the second place, Mr. Gould figures and 
describes the tail as with 2 cross bands besides the broad sub- 
terminal one, whereas nisicolor {adult, and Mr. Gould's bird 
is clearly adult) has four such bands, the one next the broad sub- 
terminal one often very narrow, and the first more or less 
hidden by the upper tail-coverts. 

Then again the breast and upper abdomen are never uni- 
form rufous in nisicolor ; they are always more or less streaked 
with albescent, and ashy, and in what I take to bo the oldest 
birds the sides of the neck and breast are very much streaked 
with slatey dusky. Again the lores, ear-coverts, moustache and 
chin spot are never black as in hyperythrus, but slatey-dusky, 
paler than the crown. 

But is nisicolor by chance identical with pectoralis of 
Cabanis, admittedly from the Philippines ? 

The wing of a male is given at 7*15 ; so that so far as size 
goes this would suit our bird well, but then in our bird the 
throat is never white, but always streaked or striated, the 
breast is never uniform rufous vinaceous, the markings on 
the lower surface of the quills are not vinaceous white, and 
the tail in pectoralis appears to have altogether only four 

In the absence of specimens, though fully convinced of the dis- 
tinctness of nisicolor from both hyperythrus and pectoralis, 
I cannot offer any definite opinion as to whether these two 
latter are distinct! or identical, but if Cabanis' specimen was 
fully grown, and correctly sexed, I should think it by far 
most probable that were distinct 

As regards Mr. Blyth's contention that ScopoH's name should 
be applied to these two or one species, Cabanis has, I think, 
satisfactorily shown (Mus. Hem, IV. I. 29, n) that this name 
and radiatus, 6m. (S. N. I., 420) both founded on Sonnerat's 

* Some doubt has been thrown on this, because Mr. Gould says bis bird is in 
the British Museum, and Mr. Swinhoe says the only bird of the kind there is 
labelled Manilla. 

f I see that Cabanis unintentionally exaggerates the difference in size between 
his own pectoralis (of which he gives the wing, in French inches and lines at 6" &"), 
and Gould, hyperythrus, of which he gives the wing at 7" 6", which exactly equals 
8-2 instead of 8'0, which is the dimension given by Gould. The correct equivalent 
in French inches and lines is more nearly 7" 31'". 


plate, do not apply. He thinks Sonnerat described and figured 
either a made up specimen, or Cuculus capensis, Gmel. Lord 
Walden, (Tr. Z. S. IX., pt. 2, 161) equally agrees that these 
names do not apply, but thinks Sonnerat's account and figure 
aoree well with Vieillot's Cuculus solitarius and that Gmelin's 
C. capensis, a cuckoo in hepatic plumage, can scarcely be 

A. 0. H. 

o i) t U i t s ? 

Siva castanicauda. 

Like S. strigula, but rather larger and bill considerably larger, and with 
the greater portion of both ivebs of the central tail feathers and of the 
inner webs of the next feathers, a pure rich chestnut. 

The Hill Tenasserim representative of our Himalayan Siva 
strigula is so extremely like the latter, that I, and doubtless 
others, have for long overlooked its essential point of difference. 
I noticed that they seemed rather finer birds and that they some- 
how did not look precisely the same, but it never occurred to 
me that they were distinct. 

To-day happening to have out a series of over 60 specimens 
of the Himalayan bird, from Simla, Mussouri, Almorah, Nynee- 
tal, Nepal and Sikhim, it occurred to me to compare the Moolyit 
birds with these. At once the difference was clear. 

Whereas strigula has about the basal 1 £ inches of the inner 
webs of the central feathers deep ferruginous verging on 
maroon, the Tenasserim birds have the whole of both webs of 
the central tail feathers, the inner web to within 0'5 and the outer 
to within 0*8 of the tip, pure, rich chestnut. Moreover, in the 
Moolyit birds, the feathers next the central ones have almost 
an equal portion of the inner webs and the basal portions of the 
outer webs of the same colour. 

In other respects, the plumage seems to agree, but I think 
the orange of the crown is rather more intense than in strigula. 

The following are the measurements, &c, recorded in the flesh 
of a bird killed at Moolyit, 7th February 1877 :— 

Length, 6*6 ; expanse, 8*5 ; tail, 2*9 ; wing, 2*8 ; tarsus, 
1*05 : bill, from gape, 0*75 ; weight, 0*7502. The legs and feet 
were dingy glaucous green ; the upper mandible dark brown ; 
the lower fleshy ; the irides deep brown, 


Muscitrea cyanea. 

Bead dull cohalt blue ; rest of upper parts, chin, throat and breast deep 
indigo blue; vent, lower tail coverts and more or less of INNER 
webs of four exterior pairs of tail feathers, pure white. 

I can find no record of this clearly Pachycephaline form, 
and if the bird is not new, it must, I think, have been misplaced. 

But before dealing with the species, I must explain the use 
of the generic term. 

Muscitrea is a genus of Blyths, established in February 
1847 (J. A. S. B., XVL, 121). The specimen, on which he 
founded it, was destroyed, and later he could not remember 
what the affinities of this new genus of his really were. 

The following is the passage in which he defined the genus 
and described the species which was its type : — 

" Muscitrea, nobis. Bill of moderate length, somewhat coni- 
cal, a little compressed, the upper mandible obtusely angulated, 
with the curvature of its outline increasing to the tip, which 
overhangs that of the lower mandible, and is slightly emargina- 
ted ; the extreme tip of the lower mandible also curves a little 
upwards ; gonys straight and scarcely inflated ; the nostrils 
small, with anterior oval aperture, and beset at base with short 
reflected feathers and some incumbent hairs ; a few fine hair- 
like bristles also at the gape, of moderate length. Tarsi 
moderately slender, as long as the middle toe with its claw ; the 
toes and claws suited for perching. Wings long and broad, 
reaching more than half-way down the tail, having the fourth 
and fifth primaries equal and longest, the third rather shorter, 
the second equalling the eighth, and the first about half the 
length of the third. Tail moderately developed, its feathers of 
nearly equal length. The general plumage inclines to be dense, 
and is unadorned with bright colours and glossless in the 
only known species. 

" M . cinerea, nobis. Length about six inches ; of wing nearly 
three and a half ; and tail two and a half: bill to forehead 
(through the feathers) five-eighths, and to gape three-quarters : 
tarsi three-quarters of an inch. General colour ashy-brown 
above, greyer on the head, and tinged with fulvous on the ex- 
terior margins of the secondaries ; beneath albescent, a little 
brown across the breast : bill light horn-colour ; and feet have 
probably been bluish-leaden. From the island of Ramree, 
Arracau, where discovered by Capt. Abbott/' 


Now this specimen came from Ramree. Take the following 
measurements recorded in the flesh from a specimen of Hylo- 
terpe grisola, (<$) obtained in Ramree : — 

Length, 612; wing, 34 ; tail, 2'4 ; tarsus, 0*75 ; bill from 
gape, 0"8. Legs and feet plumbeous ; bill brown. 

Then take a good specimen of the species aud compare it with 
each generic character, each specific trait, and observe that each 
and all fit in the most perfect manner. 

I venture to say that no practised ornithologist can read 
carefully the passages above quoted, with a good specimen of 
Hyloterpe grisola {Tephrodornis apud Bly. ; Hylocharis apud 
Gray) in his hand, comparing the two as he goes on, without 
admitting that the thing is a certainty, and that Muscitrea, Bly. 
is founded on the same type as Hyloterpe, Cab. 

True, it does seem odd that Blyth who, ia 1843, had already 
received a specimen of this species and designated it Tephrodor- 
nis grisola, should set to work to re-define and re-name it ; he 
ought one would have thought to have recognized it again ; but 
it was a dull grey bird, one that varies very much in shade and 
tint ; he had clearly never examined it very carefully, or he would 
not have put it in Tephrodornis, with which the bill will not at all 
accord. When turning his thoughts specially to fly-catchers, 
he got hold of a specimen, probably differing much in tint from 
the specimens he had before dealt with, and examined it criti- 
cally. He at once saw that it was a distinct type and defined 
and described it. We all kuow how pressed he was with work ; 
how he was expected to do the whole work in every branch of 
the museum Avhich contained many groups of which he had 
little knowledge. Next time he wanted the specimen it had 
been destroyed, or had disappeared, and amidst the multitude of 
specimens in all branches that he was daily examining he could 
not recall exactly what his type was. 

There is nothing surprising in this, but even if there were 
the fact remaius that here we have an absolutely accurate de- 
finition of all the generic characters, an absolutely accurate 
description of all specific peculiarities, with exact dimensions, 
every one of which fits Hyloterpe grisola to the T. 

If I am correct, Blyth' s name appeared some months earlier 
in the year than Cabanis', and Blyth's name therefore must 
stand. But this point, as also whether the other species now 
included under Hyloterpe, are really congeneric with grisola I 
must leave to ornithologists at home. 

And now for the new species. I must premise that though 
very differently colored, and considerably larger, it is to my 
mind identical in structure, alike of bill, legs, feet, wing, aud 
tail with grisola. 


To whatever genus this latter ma} r be ultimately assigned, 
(there may really be, as Bonaparte (Consp. 329) and Gray give 
it, a genus Hylocliaris, Boie of 1827, founded on S. Midlers, IJ. 
luscinia, in which case this generic name will stand) into that 
same genus must our present bird be placed. 

I only possess at present two adult males of this species ; 
they measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 7-8, 7-45 ; expanse, 12-0, 11*5 ; tail, 2-9, 2-7 ; wing, 
3-72,3-6; tarsus, 0'9, 0'9 ; bill from gape, 1-02, l'O ; weight, 
1-25 andl-2oz. 

The bill was black, whitish at the gape; the legs, feet, and 
claws pale fleshy brown ; irides deep brown. 

Lores and a narrow baud on the forehead black ; rest of fore- 
head and a broad band from forehead over the eyes, cobalt 
blue ; crown and occiput in oue specimen the same, but rather 
duller, in the other very much duller, being much intermingled 
with the colour of the back. The entire mantle deep indigo blue, 
a little brighter and inclining to cobalt on the shoulder of the 
wing. On the rump the greyish white bases of the feathers show 
through a little, but I doubt if this would be the case in life* 

The quills, greater coverts and 4 central tail feathers deep 
hair brown, all the feathers edged externally with the colour 
of the back. Four outer pair of tail feathers similar, but with 
more or less of the inner webs pure white, the outer most of 
all with only a marginal band ; the next two pairs, with nearly 
the whole inner webs, white, and the 4th with the central portion 
of the feather white, the white at the base on both webs, but 
not extending to either margin, and on the outer web, only 
occupying the basal half, while in the inner it reaches to within 
one-fifth from the tip. Chin, throat, cheeks, ear-coverts, sides 
of neck, breast and sides, the same colour as the back, but 
duller and a trifle more slatey. 

Greater portion of abdomen and flanks white, shaded and 
streaked and overlaid with slatey dusky or slatey blue. 

Veut and lower tail-coverts pure white ; tibial plumes slatey ; 
edge of wing blue ; axillaries and wing lining silky grey. 

There are two species, both obtained at no great distance from 
where this species was procured, which at first sight greatly 
remind one of it. 

First, Myiomela leucura. — This has a much slenderer bill, 
longer tail and tarsi, is much blacker and darker everywhere, 
has the vent, abdomen, and lower tail-coverts black, the white 
in the tail on the outer webs, and a more or less concealed 
white tuft on either side at the base of the throat. 

Second, Niltava grandis ; but this has a somewhat differently 
shaped bill, the whole basal portion of the upper mandible hidden 


by the projecting black velvety frontal plumes ; the tail is 
much longer ; the upper surface, especially the head and rump, 
is brighter and more purple ; the whole lower surface is black 
or blackish, and there is no white on the tail. 

Another bird something the same style of colouring is Callene 
frontalis, but this is much duller and blacker than our bird, has 
no white about it, and has of course a much slenderer bill, 
much larger legs and feet, and a shorter wing. 

It will doubtless be objected, that all the Hyloterpes, as yet 
known, are smaller and slighter birds, of brown or brown and 
yellow plumage. No doubt this is a prima facie argument 
against my having assigned a correct place to this new species, 
but all I can say is that having compared it very carefully with 
M. grisola, bill, nostrils, bristles, wings, proportions of prima- 
ries, tail, legs, feet, claws, the two appear to me to be generically 
inseparable, and that grisola is structurally closer to cyanea than 
it is to orpheus, Verr, (as figured by Jardine) or philippensis, 
Walden, as figured in the Tr. Z. S. 

One point more — I have no copy of Belanger's voyage aux 
Indes orientales, and I caunot therefore tell what Ajax diana of 
Lesson may be ; but I gather from Lord Waldeu's remarks 
(J. A. S. B. Ex. No. 1875, 101) that he considers this species 
to be nothing but the Javan Brachypteryx albifrons. At the 
same time it was said to have been obtained in Pegu, where, so 
far as we yet know, albifrons does not occur. 

Siva sordida. 

Represents S. cyanouvoptera in the Tenasserim hilts; is altogether 
duller coloured ; toants the white tip to the bastard wing, the white 
margins to the secondaries, the white and black tips to the later secon- 
daries and tertiaries and the white tips to the central tail feathers, 
and has the entire back, scapulars, secondary and tertiary coverts 
and outer webs of tertiaries, a dull earthy brown, without the faint- 
est rusty or rufous tinge, which is confined to the upper tail-coverts 
and rump, and even there is much feebler than in cjanouroptera. 

It is not without very careful comparison with very large 
series of Himalayan specimens, that in this and other cases, 
I have ventured to separate the Tenasserim forms. 

In this present case I have before me some fifty Himalayan 
cyanouropteras and not one of them makes any approach to 
the present species. The differences are doubtless small, but 
they seem absolutely constant and the birds look very different, 
although any one acquainted with the one, would at once 
identify the other as its representative. 


The following are the dimensions and colours of the soft 
parts of a male killed on the 23rd February at Moolyit, re- 
corded from the fresh specimen : — 

Length, 6 - 2 ; expanse, 8'0 ; tail, 27 ; wing, 245 ; tarsus, 089 ; 
bill from gape, 0'75 ; weight, 0'62. 

Lower mandible, legs, feet and claws, whitey brown ; upper 
mandible darker, but still pale brown ; irides creamy yellow. 

The lores and orbital space are greyish, brownish white. 

The ear-coverts pale earthy brown, the feathers finely tipped 
with pale fulvous and greyish white. 

The entire under surface is white, the sides of the throat, 
breast, sides and flanks, faintly tinged with a shade of pale 
sullied dove-brown. The wing lining, axillaries, and basal por- 
tions of the inner webs of the quills silky white. 

The entire cap, back of neck, back, scapulars, wing-coverts 
and outer webs of tertiaries earth brown, darker on the four first, 
palest on the last ; rump and upper tail-coverts fulvous brown, 
but not nearly so bright as in cyanouroptera. Quills deep hair 
brown, the outer webs of the primaries and the winglet deep 
dull blue. Some of the feathers of the forehead and over ihe 
eye, centered darker, and with a barely perceptible purplish 
tinge. Tail blackish dusky, inner webs paler, outer webs 
suffused with a blue tinge, duller and deeper than in the Hima- 
layan bird. Exterior tail feathers with whole inner webs white ; 
next pair with an 0'2 white tipping and a good deal of sullied 
white running down the inner edge of the inner web j next 
pair with an - 07 white tipping ; next with a barely perceptible 
ditto ; none to central feathers. 

In the Himalayan birds the lower surface is a pale drab. 
Of course, the first thing that occurs to one is that these 
Tenasserim birds are young ones ; but it is contrary to the law 
of chances, to suppose that of over 50 birds shot at all seasous, 
in various localities in the Himalayas, not one should be young, 
and that per contra of the Tenasserim birds, shot in February 
and March mind, not one should be adult. 

Anthipes submoniliger. 

Closely resembles moniliger, but has a larger and broader bill ; the white 
throat patch (strongly defined by a black band in moniliger) larger and 
scarcely perceptibly margined laterally by dark brown ,• the forehead 
and eye streak a much b righter rufous fulvous, and the lores (olive brown 
in moniliger) the same colour ; upper surface paler and more rufescent; 
axillaries pure white (sordid or pale fulvous ivhite in moniliger.) 

This is another Tenasserim representative form, that manv 
would scarcely consider deserving of specific separation. Still 




small as the differences are, they appear to be constant between, 
the birds of the Himalayas and the Central Tenasserim Hills, 
and such being the case, we must, I presume, accept the present 
form as a distinct species. 

The difference in the size of the bill though difficult to ex- 
press in figures, and the bright orange buff forehead and entire 
lores are very conspicuous and caught my eye the moment I 
saw the Tenasserim bird. 

The following are the dimensions of a male of the present 
species or sub-species, taken from the dry skin : — Length, 5*2 ; 
wings, 2*45 ; tail, 2; tarsus, 087; bill from forehead, 0'6; 
from gape, 0*61. The bill black, yellowish on lower mandible. 
Legs and feet very pale, probably in life fleshy white. 

A moderately broad frontal band, the whole of the lores, a 
stripe over the eye and a circle of feathers round the eye (this 
latter also is wanting in moniliger) rather pale orange buff. 
The entire upper surface a rich, somewhat rufescent olive, (some- 
what lighter and more rufescent than in moniliger), becoming 
ferruginous on the upper tail-coverts. The tail is deep ferru- 
ginous, brighter colored and more rusty on the margins of 
the* feathers. Wings hair brown, margins and visible portions 
of closed wing overlaid with a somewhat rufescent olivaceous 
tint. A satiny white patch commencing at the point of the chin 
and descending well on to the breast, (1*35 in length), something 
the shape of an inverted hare bell ; a very narrow, scarcely 
noticeable brown line bounds this patch on either side, and a 
narrow dark line below. The rest of the breast, sides and 
flanks, sides of the neck ; cheeks and ear-coverts, olive, only 
slightly paler than the upper surface, but the cheeks and ear- 
coverts, much more rufescent and with a tinge of the colour of 
the lores. Middle of abdomen, vent and lower tail coverts dull 
white. Shoulder of the wing pale fulvous ; axillaries silky white. 
I thought at first that this would prove identical with A. 
gularis, Blyth, from Arrakan, but I find that Arrakan speci- 
mens appear almost identical with Himalayan ones ; want the 
bright rufo-fulvous forehead, lores and eye streak and have the 
black gorget border fairly developed. 

Ixulus humilis. 

Entire upper parts, cheeks and ear-coverts brown, entire lower parts 
white, striated longitudinally with brown. 

Male. — Killed, Moolyit, Central Tenasserim Hills, 16th Febru- 
ary 1877 : — Length, 5*2 ; expanse, 7*8 ; tail, T8; tarsus, 0'8 ; 
wing, 25 ; bill from gape, 0*6 ; weight, 0*62 oz. 


Upper mandible black; lower mandible, pale brown; legs 
and feet, fleshy brown ; irides, red brown. 

The forehead, crown, occiput and full broad occipital crest, 
back, entire visible portions of closed wings and tail, cheeks, 
ear-coverts, a nearly uniform brown ; the upper tail-coverts 
similar, but with a slightly more olivaceous tinge. 

Lores and an obscure stripe on either side from the gape 
under the cheeks and ear-coverts, a richer and darker brown. 

Chin, throat and sides of neck and entire lower surface of body 
silky white, every where, (except on the middle of the abdomeu,) 
with longitudinal brown streaks, very narrow (as in /. flavicol- 
lis) on chin and throat and breast, broader on sides, flanks and 
lower abdomen, and occupying nearly the whole feather on lower 

Tibial feathers brown. 

Wing lining and inner margins of quills, silky white. 

A typical Ixulus, harmonizing well with Jlavicollis, occipitalis 
and the species now commonly identified as striatus. 

Now it will be observed that I have apparently assumed that 
the bird, which we obtain in the Himalayas, and which Jias 
been almost universally accepted as striatus, Blyth, is really 
that species, as also that my new species is not that species. 

As to this latter I have no doubt; Blyth's original descrip- 
tion (J. A. S. B., XXVIII, p. 413, 1859) is as follows :— 

" Ixulus striatus, nobis, N. S. A fourth species of this 
genus, affined to 1. castaniceps, Moore, P. Z. S., 1854-, p. 141, 
aud like that species with graduated outer tail feathers. Bill 
moderately stout, as in 1. occipitalis, nobis. Length about 
five inches, of closed wing 2f inches, and of tail the same ; bill 
to gape ^ inch aud tarsi f inch Colour greyish brown above, 
each feather with a white mesial streak ; below albescent 
throughout ; outermost feather f inch shorter than the middle 
pair, and largely tipped with white, as is also the next, aud the 
antepenultimate, and next within gradually less so, the outer 
four feathers successively graduating." 

Besides this independently Tickell had a few weeks previ- 
ously, (though it was not published until after Blyth's descrip- 
tion), described the same specimen (J. A. S. B., Vol. cit. 452) 
as follows : — 

Pycnonotus (Kuhl.) Nanus (Mihi.) 

Spec. male. March 2nd, 1859. Near Tretoungplee, 3,000 feet. 

Dimensions. — Length, 5fV ; wing, 2| ; tail, 2£ ; bill, T \ ; 
tarsus, f ; mid toe, f . 

Details. — Typical, crested. 

Colors. — Iris blood red brown ; bill dark horn ; legs reddish 
horn ; upper parts including a blunt crest, ashy brown. 


Each feather shafted whitish. Remiges and centre pair of 
rectiices reddish clay brown. Rest of tail dusky sepia, more 
and more tipt, white externally ; chin, throat and all under parts 
ashy white. 

The only one of the species observed." 

Now our bird, (also as will have been observed a male,) has 
a longer bill, a longer wing, a longer tarsus. Its tail is consi- 
derably shorter, and it is not graduated. 

Again the tail has no white on it. The upper surface is in 
no sense a grey brown, the feathers are not pale shafted, and 
the chin, throat, upper breast and sides are conspicuously streak- 
ed with black or dusky brown. 

Therefore, although obtained in the same district (though at a 
much higher elevation, 6,000 feet) our bird is clearly not 
Bly th's Ixiulus striatus. 

But then is the Himalayan Bird ? 

No doubt this latter has the tail much graduated and tipped 
with white, just as described, and a good many of the feathers 
of the upper surface are pale shafted and the lower surface is 
stre.akless; the dimensions of bill, wing and tail too agree, but 
the cap is grey, contrasting, as a rule, strongly with the oliva- 
ceous, not ashy brown of the rest of the upper surface, and 
the ear-coverts form a conspicuous dull ferruginous patch, 
each feather shafted paler rufescent, and the lower parts are 
brownish and not ashy white. I do not believe that these 
feathers could have escaped both Tickell and Blyth, and I 
therefore believe that we have still to find the real J. striatus of 

I cannot discover that Hodgson ever published any descrip- 
tion of the Himalayan bird, and therefore I propose for it pro- 
visionally (i. e. pending further elucidation of what Blyth's 
species actually was or is) the name of Ixulus rufigenis. 

As a guide to the real striatus, note what Tickell says of the 
reddish clay brown colour of the quills and centre tail feathers; 
not a trace of any such tint is observable in either humilis or 

Megalaima Davisoni. 

Precisely similar to M. asiatica, but somewhat smaller ; entirely wants the 
black crown band and to a great extent the narrow yellowish line 
preceding it, and has these replaced by a broader turquoise blue band, 
thus diminishing the depth of the occipital red patch; pectoral red 
patches rather larger. 

This is another representative form of the Tenasserim Central 
Hills ; just as 31. Ramsayi (which is very common at Mooly- 


it) represents M. Franklini on the higher slopes, so does our 
present species represent asiatica at Meetan and other lower 

The close connection of the two species is specially obvious 
on a comparison of the young of asiatica with the adult Davi- 
soni. In the former, although of course the red of the forehead 
and occiput is much duller and mingled more with golden 
orange, you have the black of the crown band mingled with 
dull greenish blue. In M. asiatica the blue has wholly disap- 
peared ; in Davisoni the band has widened, the black has en- 
tirely disappeared, and the blue become pure. 

The following are the dimensions, taken from skins ; — 

Length, 85; wing, 3'9; tail, 2*8; tarsus, 0*97. 

No separate description of the plumage seems necessary, 
as I have indicated in the diagnosis the only points in which 
this differs from asiatica, unless indeed that all my specimens 
want the tiny red spot at the base of the lower mandible, al- 
ways observable in fine plumaged adults of asiatica, wheu 
fresh. But many ski7is of asiatica scarcely show this, and 
possibly it might be present in the fresh Davisoni. 

Hypsipetes subniger. 

Like H. psaroides, but smaller, everytohere much darker, a dark iron 
grey, and with the interscapular?/ region black. 

Some specimens of this species run so dark that the first time 
I saw them, I at once identified them as nigerrima, Gould. But 
when I saw others by no means so black only (except on the 
interscapular^ region which is always black) a very dark iron 
grey darker than ganeesa, Sykes (nilgheriemis, Jerd.), and re- 
flected that nigerrima was a Formosan bird, and therefore less 
likely to occur in the Tenasserim Hills, I got out specimens of 
this latter and saw at once that they were entirely distinct. Our 
bird lacks the conspicuous lilac grey edgings to the quills and 
tail, and has the black replaced everywhere except on the head, 
nape and iuterscapulary region by a dark iron grey. 

The following are the dimensions and description taken from 
skins. (Males are somewhat larger than females) : — 

Length, 8*5 to 9'5 ; wing, 4*5 to 485; tail, 4'0 to 4-5; 
tarsus, 0'7 to 0"8 ; bill to forehead, TO; from anterior mar- 
gin of nostril, - 55. 

Bill, legs and feet red. 

Chin, lores, forehead, crown, occiput, crest and iutersca- 
pulary region black ; some of the longer scapulars, rump, 


upper tail-coverts, throat and breast a very dark iron grey ; 
abdomen and rest of lower parts ditto, rather paler, (but still 
far darker than the same parts in ganeesa); the lower tail-coverts 
margined with greyish white and a little fringing of this about vent 
and middle of lower abdomen. Wings and tail blackish brown, 
all the feathers very narrowly margined with dull, dark iron 
grey. Axillaries slatey dusky. 

Leioptila Davisoni. 

Like L. annectans, Bly., but with the back and wing coverts black and the 
rump and upper tail coverts mingled black and deep ferruginous 

This beautiful and interesting representative species was 
obtained by Mr. Davision, in January in the Hills north of 
Moolyit at an elevation of 6,000 feet. 

It was rare and shy, and only five specimens were procured. 
The four males measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 7-8 to 8-0; expanse, 9"6 to 9'9 ; tail, 355 to 3"7 ; 
wing, 31 to 3*2 ; tarsus, 09 to 0'95 ; bill from gape, 0'8 to 
0-85 ; weight, 1-1 2oz. 

The upper and half the lower mandible black ; rest of lower 
mandible, legs, feet and claws fleshy yellow; irides greyish 

The female measured in the skin : — 

Length, 7-25; tail, 3*0 ; wing, 3 0; tarsus, 0'92; bill from 
gape, 08. 

The plumage of the two sexes is similar. 

Forehead, lores, crown, occiput, cheeks, ear-coverts, sides and 
back of neck, back and wing coverts, jet black. At the base 
of the back of the neck a series of excessively fine minute 
white striations forming an ill-defined patch, in some specimens 
approximating to a half collar. 

Rump and upper tail-coverts mingled black and deep ferru- 
ginous maroon (quite different from the bright rusty ferru- 
ginous of these parts in annectans), the maroon greatly predo- 

Quills and tail, dull black ; quills, conspicuously margined 
on the outer webs, and tertiaries, narrowly tipped with greyish 
white ; all the tail feathers but the centre ones tipped white, 
those next the centre very narrowly, the next pair more broad- 
ly and so on, the exterior pair of all having the terminal 0*6 
to 0-7 white. 


The lower tail-coverts pale buff, far paler than in annectans ; 
the rest of the lower parts, axillaries and wing- lining" white, 
tiuged with pale buff on the flanks, lower abdomen and vent. 
The edge of the wing white. 

In one specimen, 3 or 4 of the greater secondary coverts 
have a small patch of maroon on the outer web near the tip, 
and the 2 last tertiaries have a narrow edging of this colour 
on the outer webs towards their bases. 

Structurally and in dimensions the two species appear to bo 

Hemixus Davisoni. 

Like H. flavala, and H. Hildebrandi, but with cap and back a rich 
warm brown, and much less yelloiv on the wing. 

This curious second* representative form of the Himalayan 
H. flavala was obtained near Myawadee by Mr. Davison, 
considerably south of the southernmost point to which, as far as 
we yet know, H. Hildebrandi extends. 

The four known species of Hemixus may be thus discrimi- 
nated. They are all much of the same size, but Hildebrandi is 
a little the largest, and flavala the smallest. 

Crown. Back. 

Grey Dull iron grey ... H. flavala, Hodgs. 

Blackish brown ... Brownish grey ... H. Hildebrandi, 


Warm rich brown . Warm brown ... H. Davisoni, Hume. 

Black, tinged red- Light brownish H. castaneonotus, 

dish on forehead. chestnut. Swinh. 

The first species ranges through the Eastern Himalayas, 
from a point between Simla and Mussouri, through Gurhwal, 
Kumaon, Nepal, Sikhim, Bhotan, apparently quite to the head 
of the Assamf Valley, and also occurs in the Khasiaf Hills, 
south of the Assam Valley. 

The second ranges through the northern Tenasserim Hills at 
any rate from the Karen Hills, north of Tonghoo, to close to 

The third belongs to the Central Tenasserim Hill region. 

The fourth has only been recorded from Hainan in China. 

* For the first, H. Hiledbrandi, see S. P., II., 508. 

f I am not quite sure of these localities, not having myself &s yet carefully examined 
specimens there procured. 


The following are tbe dimensions, colours of the soft parts, 
and description of a fine male, killed on tbe Toungya road to 
Myawadee : — 

Length, 8'5 ; expanse, 12-25 ; tail, 3*6 ; wing, 4*04; tarsus, 
0-6; bill from gape, 0'95; weight, 1-23. 

Bill and claws black ; legs and feet reddish brown ; irides 
crimson lake. 

The lores, feathers at base of lower mandible, under the eye, 
and under rather more than half the ear-coverts deep brown, 
almost black, but not so black as in flavala and Hildebrandi. 
Ear-coverts very pale satiny brown, a shade paler than in the 
other two species I think. 

Entire cap, back, wings, tail, a most beautiful rich full 
brown, deepest on head and mantle, slightly paler on nape, and 
with a decided grey tinge on the rump, forming a well denned 
rump band. The winglet and six first primaries and their 
greater coverts and the tail feathers without a trace of any yellow 
margins. The later primaries, secondaries and tertiaries and 
their greater coverts narrowly margined with bright olive yel- 
low. These margins are about ^rd of thetvidth of those on the 
wing of flavala, and one-half the width of those of Hildebrandi, 
giving even the closed wing a very different appearance. 

Chin and throat pure white, very conspicuously limited by the 
dark streak on either side, more so than in the other two species 
the streak being somewhat longer. 

Sides of neck, behind ear-coverts, upper breast, sides and flanks 
a delicate ash grey, rather a different shade to that of the other 
two species; middle of lower breast, abdomen, vent and lower tail 
coverts, white, with a more or less of faint ashy shade, chiefly 
in streaks and patches. 

Wing lining white, with a faint yellow tinge near the carpal 
joint, as in the other two species. 

Allotrius intermedius. 

Like A. melanotis, Bly., but has a larger bill and a deep chestnut frontal 
band, and wants the broad slatey nuchal half collar and the black band 
behind the ear-coverts. Like A. aenobarbus, Temm. but has a smaller 
bill, a much deeper chestnut frontal band, the chestnut of the throat 
descending to the abdomen and the grey supercilliary stripe prolonged 
as a wide band over the ear-coverts and completely round their ends. 

I am afraid a great many of my readers will abuse me 
heartily for making such a number of new species, differing 
only in small particulars from already well-known ones. 

I am very sorry, but the culprit is not this humble indivi- 
dual, but our great full-bosomed Mother Nature — let her bear 



the blame — her shoulders are broad enough and she recks little 
of the feeble words of us mortals. 

It is a most remarkable fact that the Avifauna of the Central 
Tenasserim Hills is specialized to a high degree. 

The question has not beeu half worked out yet, and still 
see what a list we already have of Tenasserim local representa- 
tive forms : — 


Palseornis schisticeps. 

Picus Macei. 

Yungipicus pygrnaeus. 

Gecinus striolatus. 

G-ecimilus Grantia. 

Megalaiina asiatica. 

Megalairna Fraukliuii. 

Arachnothera magna. 

iEthopyga seherire, (miles). 

iEthopyga saturata. 

Sitta cinnaniorneiventris. 

Anthipes moniliger. 

Myiophoneus Temmincki. 

Hydrornis nipalensis. 

Alcippe nipalensis. 

Stachyris ruficeps. 

Stachyris cbrysea. 

Pellorneum nipalensis (Mandellii.) 

Poinatorhinus lencogaster. 
Garrulax leucolophus. 
Trochalopteron chrysopterum , 
Achnodura Egertoni. 
Sibia capistrata. 
Hypsipetes psaroidea. 
Hemixus flavala. 

Hypsipetes McClellandi. 

Criniger flaveolus. 

Oriolus indicus. 

Cryptoloplia Burkii. 

Pteruthius erythropterus. 

Allotrius melanotis. 

Leioptila annectans. 

Siva strigida. 

Siva cyanouroptera. 

fMinla rufogularis (collaris, Wald). 

Ixulus rufiennis, Hume [striates apud 

Garrulus bispecularis. 
Urocissa occipitalis. 
Carpophaga insignis. 


Palseornis Finscbi, Hume. 
Picus ati"atus, Blyth. 
Yungipicus canicapillus, Blyth. 
Gecinus vittatus, Vieill. 
Gecinulus viridis, Blyth. 
Megalaiina Davisoni, Hume. 
Megalairna Ramsayi, Walden. 
Aracbnotbera aurata, Blyth. 
iEthopyga cara, Hume 
iEthopyga sanguinipectus, Wald. 
Sitta neglecta, Walden. 
Anthipes subnioniliger, Hume. 
Myiophoneus Eugenei,* Hume. 
Hydromis Oatesi, Hume. 
Alcippe Pbayrei, Blyth. 
Stachyris rufifrons Hume. 
Stachyris assimilis, Walton. 
Pellornemn minor, Hume ; (?) suboclmt" 

ceum> Sivinh. 
Pomatorhinus olivaceus, Blyth. 
Garrulax Belangeri, Less. 
Trochalopteron nielanostigma, Blyth. 
Actinodura Kamsayi, Wald. 
Sibia melanoleuca, Tickell. 
Hypsipetes subniger, Hume. 
Hemixus Hildebrandi, Hume. 
Hemixus Davisoni, Hume. 
Hypsipetes Tickelli, Blyth. 
Criniger griseiceps, Hume 
Oriolus tenuirostris. Blyth. 
Cryptolopha tephrocephala, Anderson. 
Pteruthius seralatus, Tick. 
Allotrius intermedius. Hume. 
Leioptila Davisoni, Hume. 
Siva castanicauda, Hume. 
Siva sordida, Hume. 
Minla dubius, Hume. 
Ixulus striatus, Blyth. 
Ixulus humilis, Hume 
Garrulus leucotis, Hume. 
Urocissa inagnirostris, Blyth. 
Carpopbaga griseicapilla,J Walden. 

and I dare say others that do not at the moment occur to me. 

* No one who possesses a good series of this and the Himalayan species, can deny 
the distinctness of the two. The largpr size, the entire absence of spots on the wings 
and the differently colored bill render Eugenei, conspicuously different. — Ed., S, F. 

f Both would, I think, stand better as " Schoeniparus." — Ed., S. F. 

j Blyth discriminated this form, J. A. S., B., XVIII., 416, 1859, but did not best<>~r 
any specific appellation on it. I followed him and abstained, as I now see wrongly from 


This list too includes only the representatives of Himalayan 
forms, and only those representatives, which, though they may 
straggle into the lowlands at some seasons, belong essentially to 
the Tenasserim Hills. Thus, to give some of the most conspicuous 
the examples, it excludes 

Astur poliopsis, Hume, the representative of A. badius. 
Carine pulchra, Hume „ C. brama. 

Thriponax Graiufwdi, J. E. Gr. „ T. Hodgsoni, 

Pitta Davisoni, Hume „ P. carulea. 

Sturnopastor superciliaris, Blyth „ S. contra. 

Then many of the Tenasserim Hill forms, though I do not as 
yet separate them, are so far distinguishable races that any one 
can tell at a glance whether any particular specimen is from the 
Himalayas or Tenasserim. 

Take Arboricola rufogularis. In 35 specimens from the 
Himalayas, 33 have a well marked black line dividing the 
rufous of the base of the throat from the grey of the breast ; in 
the other two, this line, though indicated, is imperfect. 

In 40 Hill Tenasserim specimens, 36 show not the faintest 
trace of this. Not one single specimen has the line even fairly 
well marked, but 4 show traces of it. 

In other respects the birds do not differ. 

There are several other species in which similar small almost 
(but not quite) absolutely constant differences are noticeable. 

Then again there are fully a dozen species, in which I have 
detected what appear to be constant diff evences, but which I wait 
to describe until I get really large series so as to make sure that 
the differences observable in 3 or 4 specimens, are constant in 20. 

Now, as I shall hereafter show, this extraordinary specializa- 
tion of the Tenasserim Hill Birds may be of the utmost im- 
portance, and in order that this extreme specialization may be 
clearly appreciated, it is necessary to separate as distinct species, 
those forms that constantly differ, even though in a small parti- 
cular only from well-known Himalayan, Javan, &c, species. 

And now to return to Allotrius intermedins, it will be observed 
that it is really and truly intermediate between the Himalayan 
and Javan forms. This is quite according to the rule that seems 
to obtain in this too little explored province. 

Take Pteruthius aralatus; this is half way between the 
Himalayan erythropterus and the Javan fiavicapis. It has the 
same yellow on the wing as the latter, but it has the grey back 
of the former. 

naming it. I think Lord Walden vory right in separating it under a distinct name.— 
Ed., S. F. 


But what I have to say further ou these subjects must await 
my general account of the Birds of Tenasserim, and I shall only 
add that it is to be borne in mind that the Hills of Tenasserim do 
not belong zoographically to Burmah, but are the frontiers a 
distinct province which includes part, at any rate, of both 
Siam and China. 

Allotrius intermedins. 

Male. — Length, 4*7; expanse, 7*6; tail, 1*6; wing, 2'45; 
tarsus, 0"75 ; bill, from gape, 0*55 ; weight, 0*46 oz. Lower 
mandible and edge of upper mandible pale bine ; rest of upper 
mandible black; irides, brown ; legs, feet aud claws, fleshy. 

Lores and a conspicuous frontal band, intense ferruginous 
chestnut ; forehead above this bright, gamboge yellow ; entire 
upper parts and central tail feathers, a rich yellowish olive 
green. A pure white band encircles the eye ; this band is broken 
by a black spot at the anterior angle of the eye ; it is similarly 
broken at the posterior angle by the end of a black line which 
thence runs down behind it and encircles the whole of that 
portion of the white band that is below the eye. The band over 
the posterior portion of the eye is broader there than •lsewhere ; 
thence changing rather suddenly to blue grey, it runs back over 
the ear-coverts and then turns down round their posterior tips. 
There is no collar, but just where the grey band turns down 
round the ear-coverts it throws out a little angle of grey about 
0'2 long and O'l wide at its base. This is constant in all speci- 
mens, and we have here the rudimentary indication of the broad 
blue grey collar of the Himalayan species. 

Chin, throat, middle of breast, deep chestnut streakily ex- 
tending to the upper abdomen ; sides of neck, ear-coverts (ex- 
cept their tips, which are colored like the back,) sides of breast, 
middle of abdomen, vent and lower tail coverts, intensely bright 

Wing lining, axillaries, flanks and tibial plumes silky white ; 
the sides of the breast and abdomen in some specimens faintly 
tinged with the colour of the back ; wing coverts, black ; median 
and larger broadly tipped white ; quills black exteriorly at 
their bases, changing to deep hair brown ; the primaries narrowly 
edged white ; secondaries and tertiaries, more and more broadly 
margined and overlaid with the color of the back, and narrowly 
tipped white. 

Tail, except central feathers, black, tipped white, more and 
more broadly as they recede from the centre feathers, and with 
the exterior one with fully the basal half of the outer and nearly 
the whole of the inner web white. 

I notice that the amount of white in the tail varies a good 
deal in different specimens. 


Pyctorhis griseigularis. 

Like P. sinensis, hut upper surface a deeper and more ferruginous 
red; hill pale horny brown; supercillium dull grey ; chin throat 
and upper breast pale ashy grey, rest of lower parts dull rusty. 

This is the bird to which I referred, Vol. IV., p. 505. At 
that time, following Lord Walden and Major Godwin-Austen, 
I considered that this species might possibly be P. altirostris 
of Jerdon. 

Having now carefully re-examined my specimen, I feel con- 
fident that, whatever Major Godwin-Austen's Dafla Hill bird 
may be, my bird is not Dr. Jerdon's, but distinct, and, till now, 

The following are some of the leading points of difference 
between the two species ; (relying of course on Dr. Jerdon's 
description being correct.) 

P. altirostris. P. griseigularis. 

Above pale reddish brown, Above bright, slightly brown- 
deepest on wings and tail. ish ferruginous, deepest on 

Beneath whitish tinged on crown, 

the lower part of breast, ab- Beneath chin, throat and 

domen and flanks with pale upper breast, pale ashy grey, 

fulvescent. rest of lower parts, dull rusty. 

Under wing-coverts pale Under wing-coverts pale 

ferruginous ; bill deeper than yellowish fawn ; bill, almost 

in sinensis making an approach precisely as in sinensis. 

to Paradoxorms ; claws more Claws as in sinensis. 
lengthened and less curved 
than in sinensis. 

I never yet found one of Dr. Jerdon's own descriptions so 
erroneous as this, and I feel satisfied that our Bhootan Doars 
bird is distinct from his. 

The following are the measurements, &c, taken from 
the skin : — 

Length, 5 5, (tail imperfect) ; W., 25 ; Tail (imperfect), 3*4 ; 
bill, from nostril, straight to point, 0'32 ; tarsus, 1. 

Bill, pale horny or fleshy brown, nearly white towards base 
of lower mandible ; legs pale fleshy or orange brown, the feet 

The forehead, upper part of lores and streak over the eye, 
deep reddish brown, each feather streaked with ashy grey. 
The rest of the forehead, crown, and occiput, deep ferruginous ; 
cheeks and ear-coverts paler, ferruginous ; sides of neck 

NOTES. 117 

yellowish rusty ; nape, back, scapulars, rump and upper tail- 
coverts, fairly bright rusty ferruginous, in some lights slightly 
brownish and most rusty on upper tail-coverts. 

Almost entire visible portion of closed wing bright ferru- 
ginous chestnut, rest of feathers hair-brown. 

Tail, (imperfect,) moderately dark brown, feathers margined 
strongly on outer webs, most broadly towards bases, with brio-lit 
ferruginous. Chin, throat, and upper breast, pale brownish grey 
or ashy ; rest of lower parts dull rusty; browner and lio-hter 
on lower breast, brighter and more ferruginous on flanks 
and lower tail-coverts. 

Dendrocitta assimilis. 

Very like D. liimalayensis, but tvith a larger and more massive bill 
much less compressed towards the tip ; with cheeks, ear-coverts and 
throat brown, instead of blackish dusky; sides of neck and upper 
back tinged with the brown of the back (which is paler than in 
liimalayensis,) instead of being grey. Black frontal band narrower 
in many specimens, conspicuously so. 

This is another of the Hill Tenasserim representative races. 

I have long had a couple of specimens by me, but hesitated 
to separate the race on these ; I have now a good series 
and as all the distinctions above pointed out, hold constantly 
good. I see no valid reason for not distinguishino- this form 
by a specific name. 

Although so very similar as a whole yet the comparatively pale 
brown ear-coverts contrasting strougly with the narrow black 
ring round the eye, the brown sides of the neck and entire back 
generally unicolorous with these, and the comparatively pale 
throat readily catch any practised eye. 

The throat is a dark, but clear brown, the dark portion does 
not descend so low as in liimalayensis and the entire breast is 
suffused with the colour of the back. 

ate s. 


At page 60 I stated, on Mr. Blyth/s authority, that Anorlmms 

isteni, Jerd., was no other thau Craniorrhinus corrugatus, Tern. 

Mr. Bly tli's words are : — 

" A kindred species from the Nagas was referred to A. 
u galeritus, by Major Godwin- Austen, and is named A. Austeni 
" by Dr. Jerdon, but it proves to be no other than the Malayan 

118 NOTES. 

" C. corrugatus (Tern. P. C. 520*), the head being now in the 
" possession of Lord Walden." 

Lord Walden, as Editor, passes this without comment, and 
it is to be presumed that he concurs in this identification. 

But the more I consider the question the more difficult it 
seems to me to accept this view. 

Major Godwin-Austen is a very careful describer, and his 
description will be found quoted, S. F., Vol. IV., p. 493. f 

Let any one read that description and say whether it is 
reconcilable with C. corrugatus. Both sexes of this species 
were figured and described by Temminck in the Planches 
Coloriees — the male as corrugatus, PI. 531, and the female as 
gracilis, PI. 535. 

The female is entirely black, with greenish reflections, only 
the terminal Jths of the tail is a kind of dull chestnut. 

The male is similar, except that the black of the body and 
wings and basal portion of tail is said to be duller, and that the 
whole of the sides of the head aud neck and the front of the 
latter are pale isabelline or fulvous white. 

How can Major Austen's description, above referred to, 
possibly apply to any stage of this bird ? 

It is to be hoped that Major Godwin-Austen will himself 
look into this question, and either vindicate the distinctness 
of his namesake, or explain the extraordinary difference in plum- 
acre between the specimen described by him, and the types des- 
cribed by Temminck. 

The matter is one of some importance. Frankly I do not, on 
a priori grounds, believe in the occurrence of Craniorrhinus 
corrugatus in the Naga Hills. 

It is contrary to all experience that a Malayan (Bornean, 
Sumafcran and Malaccan) bird like this should occur in the 
Naga Hills and not in the intervening Tenasserim Hills, and we 
have failed entirely as yet to obtain any trace of it in these 

At page 36 of Vol. I., I described the tail feathers of a 
Polyplectron, clearly differing alike from tibetanus and bical- 
caratum. I proposed that the bird, if new, should stand as 
G. intermedins. 

At that time I had not access to Mr. Elliot's splendid mono- 
graph of the Phasianidce. Recently studying this work, I have 
discovered that the feathers I referred to must have belonged 
to P. Germainij Elliot, Ibis. 1866, p. 56. 

* This should be 531.— A. O. H. 

f In this description there is a slight misprint. In the 4th line there should be a 
full stop after " coverts." — A. O. H. 

NOTES. 119 

Germain's Polyplectron has been heretofore known only from 
Cochin China, and it may be (for they were picked up in a 
hut in a Looshai village) that these feathers really came thence, 
but it seems almost more likely that the range of P. Germaini 
extends further than has hitherto been supposed. 

My original description of the tail feathers, with pale buff 
spots on a hair-broivn ground, somewhat more sparsely set than 
in tibetanus, with the elongated oval, emerald green eyes, so 
exactly tallies with the corresponding feathers of Germaini, 
that I am rather surprised that, when alluding to the matter in 
his letter to the Ibis of June 1873, Mr. Elliot did not point 
out that the feathers probably belonged to that species. 

Mr. G. R. Gray, in his Gen. of Birds (Vol. III., Order V. 
Galling ; Family III. Piiasianiad^e ; Genus Gallophasis ; 
the paper dated January 1845, but perhaps not published until 
1849, which date the Vol. bears) separated the Gallus Ignitus 
of Vieillot's Gal. des. Ois. (PI. 207, ^ 1825) which was also 
the Euplocamus ignitus of his brother's, 111. Ind. Zool. (II. PI. 
39, p 1834) from Phasianus ignitus of Lath. (Ind. Orn. 
Suppl., p. lxi.,? 1792) and Shaw (Nat. Misc., PI. 321) under 
the title of Gallophasis Vieilloti. 

In 1852 Mr. Gould (B. of As., p. IV., PI. 8) enunciated his 
concurrence in this separation, but failed to define the difference 
between the two species very accurately. 

In 1863, (P. Z. S., p. 118) Dr. P. L. S. Sclater clearly diag- 
nosed the two species : — 

E. Vieilloti. 

$ ; Niger, purpureo splendens, dorso imo ignescenti caslaneo ; 
lateribus albo notatis ; rectricibus quatuor mediis fulvescenti albis.* 

E. Ignitus. 

$ : Niger, purpureo splendens dorso imo igneo ferrugineo : 
lateribus pallide castaueis, nigro varus : rectr. 4 mediis albis. 

He added, " in the latter species the flanks are pale chestnut, 
varied with purplish black." 

These characters seemed very intelligible, and I believe were 
generally accepted ; but in January 1871, Mr. G. D. Elliot, in 
his Mon. Phas., (Pt. II., PI. 10, letter-press) remarked that the 
two supposed species were identical — " Vieilloti representing 
the immature bird which is always streaked with chestnut on 
the sides and has the central tail feathers brown/' 

In this, there is of course a clerical error, it being ignitus 
not Vieilloti that has the chestnut on the flanks, but setting 

* This is not quite correct, for in fine freshly-killed birds these feathers are snow- 
white.— A. 0. H. 

120 NOTES. 

this aside, I believe I cau show good grounds for believing that 
ignitus, as defined by Sclater, is no stage of Vieilloti. 

We have shot and trapped a very large series of this latter 
species in the southernmost portion of Tenasserim, over 30 
males and females of different sizes and ages, and we have 
obtained no specimen in any way approaching to the description 
of ignitus. 

But more than this ; we obtained a young male now before 
me, so young that the crest is only just beginning to show; 
that the spurs are only 0*41 long against from l'l to 1*6 in 
adults, and that the longest upper tail-coverts, though dull 
and abraded, are black and chestnut, like the females. 

Now in this bird, clearly just moulted for the first time from 
the female plumage, the moult not yet quite complete, the 
colour of the lower back is precisely as in the adult — the four 
centre tail-feathers are white, with only a narrow blackish 
shaft stripe on the basal two-thirds. The entire lower parts 
are black, only a few vanishing little spots of white on the 
middle of the abdomen, and three or four of the feathers on each 
side, (some of the feathers in fact that would later exhibit the 
white shaft stripes) with an orange ferruginous tinge on the 
shaft. Just the same colour that in some old adults may be 
observed tinging the margins of the white shaft stripes, specially 
towards their tips. 

With this bird before me it seems to me impossible that 
ignitus, with its pale chestnut flanks varied with purplish black, 
should be any stage of our bird. 

But besides this, I want to know where this stage is to come 
from ? In all these birds, as far as my experience goes, there 
are only two types of plumage, that of the female, which is 
also that of the young, and that of the male, into which the 
young males moult direct from the quasi-female garb. 

Now the flanks of the female Vieilloti are in no sense pale 
chestnut, varied with purplish black. They are blackish brown, 
each feather broadly margined with white, and in some speci- 
mens, (but by no means in all), small patches of a chestuut 
tinge here and there over lay the blackish brown, but in 
no one of 16 females before me of very different sizes, and con- 
sequently probably different ages, can the flanks by any stretch 
of language be described as pale chestnut varied with purplish 

Would Mr. Elliot then maintain that ignitus has three distinct 
types of plumage ? If not, I am at a loss to understand how 
he considers the bird with the pale chestnut flanks varied with 
purplish black to be the young of the species of which the 
male has the flanks black, more or less slashed with white 

NOTES. 121 

according to age, and the female dark brown, the feathers 
broadly margined with white, the brown portions occasionally- 
more or less overlaid here and there with a deep chestnut 

The only doubt I have in the matter is, whether Mr. Gray's 
name should stand. It is scarcely doubtful that the bird, descri- 
bed by Raffles, (Tr. Lin. Soc. XIII., p. 321, 1822) as Phasianus 
rufus is the adult female, of this species, whilst the 
bird that he describes as the female of his ignitus, (op. cit. f 
p. 320) which is Vieilloll, may be anything, and under these 
circumstances, " rufus''' being the first distinct name bestowed 
upon the species, I apprehend that in strictness this name, and 
not Mr. Gray's, must stand. 

Count Salvadort, in his admirable work on the Birds of 
Borneo (Uccelli di Borneo, p. 312,1874), separates Esacus magtii- 
rostris, Geoffr. from E. rccurvirostns, Cuv., under a new genus 
which he designates Orthoramphus, because the beak in the 
one is straight, in the other slightly recurved. 

This appears to me, with all due deference to Count Salvadori, 
to be a typical instance of the too prevalent degradation of 
generic value. 

Never were there two birds more distinctly representative 
species of the same genus. 

At a little distance the sharpest eyes could not, except for 
difference in size, distinguish the one from the other. Their 
habits, attitudes, modes of walking, rising and flying, are 
identical ; their eggs are not to be distinguished, except by the 
difference in size. The note i^ the same though, stronger 
perhaps in magnirostris. 

In fact the two birds are own brothers; the one, {magnirostris,) 
the larger, stouter billed, stronger voiced, has settled on sea 
coasts, where buffeted by sea waves and violent storms, and 
dealing with stout sea shells and strongly armoured marine 
crustaceans, it has per force developed into what we find it, 
while the other (recurvirostris,) confining itself strictly to 
sheltered banks of rivers, and feeding on delicate fresh water 
shells and crustaceans has remained comparatively feeble. 
The very difference in the shape of the bills may be directly 
referred to the different character of the food furnished by the 
different localities each affects. 

I must protest against the generic separation of these two 
species. No two species are more truly u congeners." 

122 NOTES. 

I have often wondered whether the specific name given by 
Dr. Jerdon, (B. of I. Vol., II, p. 304) for the Cashmere, or Many- 
spotted Nutcracker, viz., multimaeulata, was a mere slip of the 
pen, or had previously been used by any other writer, Jerdon 
attributes it to Gould, but Gould's origiual name was multi- 
punctata, (P. Z. S. February, 1849) and under that name he 
figured it (B. of As., Pt. l.,"pl. 17). Of course it must stand as 
nmltipunctata, but had Dr. Jerdon any authority for the name 
he uses ? 

I think that our Himalayan Red Honey-sucker, or Goal- 
parah Sun Bird, commonly known as vEthopyga miles, Hodgs, 
must certainly stand henceforth as JElhopyga seherke, Tick. 

I have been carefully re-reading- Tickell's original description 
with a series of miles before me, and this description applies 
perfectly to some specimens. In some birds the crown is 
burnished copper with green reflections, and not the typical 
emerald green. In some again, the belly and vent are dusky, 
and not green. 

Then as to the locality, it is no matter of surprise to find 
sin o-le specimens of purely Himalayan birds straying down in 
the cold season, into suitable localities, quite as far from the 
base of the Hills as Borabhum. Thus on the cliffs of the 
Jumna at Etawah, I once shot a specimen of Tichodroma muraria, 
and again in the great Bamboo clumps at Bhurey in the same 
district I shot Oreocincla dauma. Moreover, single specimens 
of this present species have been shot and sent me from near 
Allahabad, from the banks of the Soane in the Mirzapoor district, 
and from the station itself of Purneah. 

Tickell's bird must have been a straggler, and cannot have re- 
presented a distinct local species, or other examples of it must 
have been procured, by Ball, Beavan, Blewitt, aud many others 
who have collected in this enceinte. It cannot have been Vigorsi, 
because the yellow strias on the breast could never have escaped 
Tickell, and because if it had been Vigorsi, specimens of this 
latter must have turned up in the vast region intermediate 
between the ghats and Borabhum, (large tracts of the most 
suitable country of which have been exhaustively worked) in 
all of which the stragglers from the far west and south, such as 
Myiophoneus Horsfieldi, Harpactes fasciatus, Bnceros coronatus 
have been duly observed. 

I am quite aware that Dr. Jerdon thought that he had, in 
former years, obtained Vigorsi in the Bustar country, but I 
could not find out that he had preserved any specimen ; he 
certainly was not familiar with the bird of which no museum 
in India contained specimens, even I believe when he wrote his 

NOTES. 123 

work many years later ; no collection from the neighbourhood 
of Bustar that I have seen, and I have examined two, has con- 
tained specimens, and we have now worked out to a certain 
extent the range of Vigorsi, which so far as ascertained is not 
very reconcilable with its extension to Bustar. 

So far as I have traced it, Vigorsi is only found in the lower 
valley of the Tapti in Western Khandeish, in the Hills north 
of Western Khandeish, aud aloug the whole Hue of ghats from 
the Tapti, to some distance south of Makabaleshwar, but not so 
far as I have yet ascertained extending along the ghats to 
South Canara. In this limited range it is common enough, 
but nowhere in the Peninsular eastward of this has it ever 
been procured, and its appearance, 600 miles to the eastward, 
and nowhere in the most suitable intervening localities, is, to my 
mind, very doubtful. 

To sum up then, Tickell's description applies perfectly to 
miles ; there is no sort of improbability in a single straggler 
of this species occurring in Borabhum. Tickell's specimen must 
have been a straggler and not the representative of a distinct 
species ; it must have been either miles or Vigors:, and the 
description will not fit the latter, which moreover could not 
well occur there. 

It only remains to notice that Tickell's name was published 
November 1833, J. A. S. B., Vol. II., p. 577, while Hodgson's 
name, which appeared in the Indian Review, Vol. II., p. 273, 
was only published in 1837. 

In his admirable " Catalogue," (Vol. I., p. 7,) Mr. Bowdler 
Sharpe gives t( Gyps fulviis, Jerd. Birds of India, I. p. 8" as 
one of the synonymes of my Gyps fulvescens. 

This is an oversight ; Jerdon's G. fulviis is really a syno- 
nyme of my Gyps himalayensis, as is clear from his remark 
that the species he refers to " is nearly confined to the Hima- 
layan ranges in India." 

So far as we know fulvescens never occurs in the Himalayahs, 
nor does himalayensis, even as a straggler and in the cold sea- 
son, wander south of them beyond the submontane tracts. 

At the same time the description, measurements and colours 
of soft parts seem to have been borrowed, and would perhaps 
fit the true fulvus, {t The Griffon," better than our Hill bird, 
" The Roc." 

Again (op. cit. p. 8.) Mr. Sharpe gives Vultur indiciis of Tern. 
(P. 0. 26) as a synonyme of himalayensis, but the bai'e head 
and neck and general tone of coloration show to my mind 
conclusively that Temmmck's bird was really fulvescens. 

124 NOTES. 

I suspect that these two references have been by some acci- 
dent interchanged. 

At page 8, I pointed out the great difference in size exist- 
ing between the two races of crested Goshhawks that inhabit, 
respectively, the one Southern India and Ceylon, the southern 
portion of the Malay Peninsular, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, &c, 
and the other, Nepal, Sikhira, Bhootan, Assam, Oachar, Sylhet, 
Tipperah, the Tributary Mehals, Pegu and Arracan, and, the 
northern half at any rate of, Tenasserim (as now officially cons- 
tituted) . 

Mr. Sharpe in his Cat. I., 106, had in general terms referred 
to such a difference, and had remarked that if the two proved 
distinct, the larger northern race would bear the name of 
indicus. On the strength of this remark I adopted the name 
indicus in the passage referred to. 

Further consideration leads me to doubt altogether the cor 
rectness of this view. 

The bird was first described under a distinctive name, by 
McClelland, P. Z. S., 1839, 153, as Spizaetus rufitinctus, and his 
specific name must, I think, be retained. 

True his description is by no means so detailed as might be 
desired, and, if it stood alone, might perhaps be set aside. But 
Moore and Horsfield, in their Catalogue of Birds in the museum 
of the Hon'ble E. I. C, seem to have identified the very speci- 
men as trivirgatus ; that is to say the Assamese form of tri- 
virgatus, and the Assamese birds are similar to the Sikhim 
birds, in fact belong to the larger northern race. 

Even if this were set aside, which I do not think it could be, 
Gray (I write subject to correction, for I have not at the moment 
access to the work) seems to have described a Nipalese specimen, 
A. and M. N. H., XI., 371, 1843, i.e., one of the larger race, 
under the title of cristatus. 

Lastly, I have been unable to find that Hodgson ever published 
a description of indicus. The reference given for this name is 
Gray's Zool. Miscl., p. 81, 1844, but (though I have not the 
work before me) I am next to certain that this page 81 is a 
mere list of names. 

On the whole, I think, ornithologists will agree that if the 
larger Northern race be accepted (as, so far as my present 
information goes, I think it should be) as a distinct • species, 
then it should stand under MeClelland's name Rufitinctus. 

Mr. Sharpe, in his Catalogue (I., 114) gives us as references 
to Astur soloensis. 

NOTES. 125 

Falco soloensis, Lath. Gen. Hist., I., p. 209, 1821. 

Dajdalion soloensis, Horsf., Tr. Liiiu. Soc, XIII., 137_, 1822., 
&c-, &c. 

Thus clearly leading an unsuspecting- reader to the inference 
that the specific name soloensis was Latham's and not Horsfield's! 

But in the first place as Count Salvadori has pointed out' 
ci Ucelli di Borneo, p. 94," Mr. Sharpe is wrong in assigning 
1822 for the publication of Horsfield's paper in the Linn. Trans'. 
It was read at the Society on the 12th April 18.20, and must 
have been published at least as early as August 1821. 

I say this because, Latham wrote the preface of the 1st Vol. 
of his General Hist, when issuing it, at Winchester in Septem- 
ber 1821, yet about the middle of this volume he introduces 
the Soolo Falcon, quoting as a reference " Falco soloensis 
Linn Trans., XIII.. 137, Horsfield," thus showing that before 
September, he at Winchester (and H.M. mails went somewhat 
slowly in those days), had had the use of a printed copy of 
Horsfield's paper— and indeed other entries in this same Volume 
prove the same fact. 

Clearly too one has no right to quote the reference first criven 
by Mi". Sharpe. If given at all, it must stand. 

Falco Soloensis, Horsf. apud Lath., Gen. Hist., I., 209. 

And must follow and not precede the reference to the Lin. 
Trans, which were, as above shown, published before the issue of 
Latham's first volume, 

Mr. Sharpe, in his Catalogue (I., 267), gives Spkaetus orien- 
lalis, Teram. and Schleg., Faun. Jap. Av., pi. 3, as a synonyme 
of 8. nipalensis, Hodgs. No doubt the figure given does greatly 
resemble one stage of the young of that species, but at that 
stage, nipalensis has a most conspicuous crest, and ao-ain the 
feathering does not descend far enough on to the middle toe for 
nipalensis, and lastly we know that the particular specimen 
figured and described came from Japan, to which nipalensis 
does not, so far as is at present known, extend. 

Others of the nearly allied Spizaeti exhibit a very similar 
plumage, at one stage. 

It is all very well for Prof. Schlegel, who lumps cirrhotics, 
linnaetus, nijjalensis, lanceolatns, &c, to identify his orientalis, 
with nipalensis, but quite impossible for ornithologists who with 
Mr. Sharpe, recognize all these as distinct to do the same. 

At page 459, Vol. II., I stated that the 2nd part of my 
"Rough Notes" were published in February 1870. This is a 

12(3 NOTES. 

mistake ; I received my own copy in sheets as printed off, and 
on the first of these I wrote the date on which I received it, 
which accordingly now stands in my copy as the date of the 
whole part; but I find that the part as a whole was not issued 
until quite the end of March. The first part issued either at the 
end of February 1869, or during the first few days of March. 

I wish to suggest, for the consideration of Ornithologists, 
whether Edward's plate of the little black and orange-coloured 
Indian Hawk, No. 108 (Nat. Hist. Birds, Pt. III., p. 108) on 
which Linnaeus founded his Falco ccerulescens may not have 
been founded on a specimen of Microhierax melanoleucus, Bly th* 
and not upon either eutolmus, Hodgs., {bengalensis, Blyth,) or 
M. f ring Metritis, Drapiez, to one of which two species all orni- 
thologists have hitherto referred Linnaeus' name. 

The great stumbling block in the way of the former of 
these two accepted identifications is the entire absence of any 
nuchal color, both in Edwards' plate and description, while as 
regards the latter, the large size of Edward's bird, and his 
omission to indicate alike in plate or letter press the conspicu- 
ous black thigh patch, present almost equal difficulties. 

Now with one single exception (the colour of the lower parts) 
melanoleucus, fits Edwards' 1 figure perfectly. There is no collar ; 
which there is in eutolmus, there is the very narrow white 
frontal band, and narrow white line, dividing the black eye 
and ear patch from the black crown and occiput, just as shown 
in the plate. Whereas out of 70 odd specimens of eutolmus, 
not one, in which these lines are white, has them anything like 
so narrow. Then again look at the barring of the under sur- 
face of the tail in Edward's plate ; out of 60 Indian bengalensis, 
not one has the tail thus marked, the barrings instead, of as in 
Edward's figure approaching to within 0-4 of the extreme 
tip, not approaching within from 0*75 to one inch of this. 

But the tail in melanoleucus, at least in the only specimens I 
have been able to examine, corresponds closely with Edward's 

No doubt, in specimens of eutolmus from Pegu and Siam, 
the markings descend nearer to the tips of the tail, and are 
larger and more conspicuous as a rule; but in these too the 
frontal band and collar are much broader, and there are other 
differences, which lead me to believe that we shall be obliged to 
separate them specifically ; but even in these the markings on 
the tail are not of the shape and character of those represented 
in Edwards' plate. 

* Described S. F., II., 525. 

, NOTES. 127 

But then in the only specimens of melanoleucus that I have 
seen, or that have been described (I don't know of above a 
dozen specimens altogether) the under parts are white, whereas 
in Edward's figure they are bright rufous. 

Now, knowing what we do of eutolmus, it would not at all 
surprise me to learn that in one stage of plumage, melanoleucus 
was entirely rufous beneath. 

At p. 23, (Vol. III.) I have made some remarks in regard to 
the changes of plumage of eutolmus, but it may be as well 
to explain these a little further. 

The quite young bird shot in July or August, just out of the 
nest, will have the black of the upper surface less lustrous 
rather than the adult. It will have a very narrow frontal band 
and line over the e}'e, widening as it passes down the side of 
the neck, and a line under the eye, all, rather pale golden chest- 
nut. Chin, throat, breast, middle and upper abdomen, pure 
silky white; thigh coverts, vent, and lower tail-coverts, rather 
pale bright chestnut. Nuchal collar inconspicuous, the white 
feathers being tipped buffy, preceded by a dusky subterminal 

A little later, the frontal aud elongated supercilliary bands 
have increased in width and become a somewhat brighter 
chestnut. The nuchal collar has become more conspicuous and 
is now pale buff. 

Then this buff begins to fade, so too does the chestnut of fore- 
head and supra-orbital bauds, and as these grow white, a little 
tinge of chestnut rusty begins to show out on the chin and 
upper throat, and by the time collar and bauds are pure white 
the chin and upper throat are bright ferruginous. 

Then this 'colour begins to creep down the throat, while 
the vent, lower tail and thigh coverts assume a deeper ferru- 
ginous, and a shade of this colour begins to creep up the abdo- 
men and breast, and at last in the old female, we have the entire 
under surface bright ferruginous, scarcely, if at all, paler on the 
breast, but with the thigh and under tail-coverts, much deeper 
coloured. I doubt the male's ever quite reaching this same stage. 
Out of 31 females, six are in this plumage. Out of 38 males, 
none are in this stage, but 8 are in what seems the corres- 
ponding final stage for the male, in which, the breast is much 
paler, a sort of palish buff, and the upper and middle abdomen, 
though more ferruginous and more strongly colored than the 
breast, is still far from uniform with chin and throat, as the 
abdomen is in old females. 

With such changes in the case of this species, it would not 
surprise me to fiud that at one stage melanoleucus was bright 
ferruginous below, and should such prove to be the case, we shall 


128 NOTES. • 

have at last determined satisfactorily Microhierax cosrulescens, 
of Lin. ex Edwards. 

Should this be the case, the common Himalayan species will 
perhaps bear Hodgson's name of eutolmus, on the strength of 
Jerclon's description, B. of I. Vol. I., 42, 1862. I cannot find that 
Hodgson published any description of his eidobnus, but he may 
have done so. The name would seem to have appeared first, in 
Gr. Zool. Miscl. 1845, p. 81, as one of a long list, sine descr. 
And again it was mentioned \u the Gen. Birds, T. 21, (er. entol- 
mus) ; but was this name ever published together with a des- 
cription, before the B. of I. appeared ? 

Blyth no doubt, J. A. S. B. XI. 789, mentioned the species 
as " bengalensis of the old authors" and in Vol. XII., 180, 
1843, described Nepal specimens, under this name, but this was no 
original title of Blyths ; he was clearly adopting Brissou's name, 
Suppl. 20, No. 38, (nominally published 1760, but probably the 
supplement actually issued much later) which is apparently 
prelinnsBan, and anyhow is avowedly founded on Edward's 
figure, aud Linnosus' ccerulescens, of the S. N. 10th edition ; 
so that if coerulescens does not apply neither, will Bly th's bengal- 
ensis, derived avowedly as this is from the old authors/' whose 
bengalensis = ccerulescens. 

In his Catalogue, already so often referred to, I., 377. Mr. 
Sharpe gives Falco atriceps, nobis, as a synonyme of F.peregrinus, 
or as he prefers to call it, F. communis. In the absence of a 
sufficient series, it seems to me quite open to any one to uuite 
this species with peregrinator, but 1 hardly think it can be 
referred to peregrinus. 

Mr. Sharpe, at p. 378, gives a description of Falco atriceps, 
apparently an original one, and I should judge, not of atriceps, 
the characteristic of which is (see* Ibis, 1869, 356) to have 
" head, nape, cheek, stripe, cheeks and car-coverts" all forming 
one homogeneous, unbroken black cap. Hence the trivial name 
I assigned to it, (Rough Notes, I., 58,) " The Black-cap 

I have consistently from the first pointed out that it has 
narrow bars on the inner webs of the primaries, like peregrina- 
tor, which fact alone is sufficient to prove that it cannot be 
peregrinus, in which these are invariably comparatively broad. 

I see by the way that Mr. Sharpe expresses some doubts as 
to whether the Japan race might not possibly prove distinct. 
If so, it would stand, I suppose, as orientals, Gm., which was 
founded on Latham's " Oriental falcon," a young bird that flow 
on board ship near the coast of Japan. 

NOTES. 129 

Mr. Sharpe, discussing the variations in the common kestrel, 
remarks (Cat. I., 426) :— " Mr. Blyth seems to have seen a 
" similar (intensified) race from Burmah, as a kestrel is men- 
tioned on his authority by Mr. G. R. Grey (Hand-1. B. I. 23) 
under the name of tinnunculus atratus, but I have not yet 
succeeded in unearthing- Mr. Blyth's own reference/' 

I fancy atratus in the H. list is a misprint for saturatus, 
Bly., the references for which are Blyth, J. A. S. B. XXVIII., 
277, 1859 ; Ibis, 1866, 238 ; Hums, Rough Notes, 100. 

There is, I think, no possible doubt, that three quite distinct 
species of Poliocetus occur within our limits. 

P. icthy^tus, Horsf. largest ; length, up to 32 inches j 
expanse, up to 72, with in the adult the basal two-thirds of the tail 
pure white. Inhabits Celebes, Java, Borneo, Sumatra, Malay 
Peninsular, Coasts of Tenasserim, Pegu, Arracan, Chittagong, 
Lower Bengal, the Peninsular of India and Ceylon, Nepal and 
Sikhim Terai, Bhotan Doars, Sylhet, Cachar, but not, I believe, 
extending westwards of the Nepal Terai, along the bases of 
the Himalayahs. 

Note. — Specimens from Ceylon and the Peninsular of India 
seem to run smaller than those from Java and the other Islands 
noticed. A fine Ceylon female only measured 26*5 in length. 

P. plumbeus, * Hodgs. medium size. Length 22 to 25 (max.) ; 
expanse, 55 to 60; wing, 16'5 to 18'75 ; entire upper surface of 

* Hodgson never, I believe, described this species ; he only mentioned it, J. A. S. B. 
VI., May 1837, p. 367. Blyth again mentioned the name. op. cit, XI, 100, 1842, but 
only to identify it doubtingly, with blagrus. But I fully characterized the species, by 
Hodgson's name, Nests and Eggs, Pt. I. 43, 1870, and no one having intermediately re- 
cognized its distinctness it will stand under Hodgson's name. 

Mr. Sharpe remarks, Cat. I., 453 " after a careful examination of Mr. Hodgson's 
plates I have not been able to distinguish his plumbeus.... Although the uniform tail he 
figures more resembles P. humilis (which is now known to extend to Assam, and may 
therefore well occur in Nepal) there is not a specimen in Mr. Hodgson's collection 
and as all his other birds of these species are in the museum, and as he also figured 
a true P. ichthycetus ; on the same plate I consider H. plumbeus to be probably an. 
unfinished picture of the large species." 

But amongst Mr. Hodgson's original drawings are three beautifully finished figures of 
plumbeus, one devouring a Boohoo fish, which also is highly finished. Two of these figures 
show the upper surface of the tail perfectly plain and unmottled with white ; the 
third shows the lower surface, with the basal portion, mottled with white. (See also 
S. F., III., 386.) 

On the back of one of the plates he gives the dimensions of 7 different specimens : — 

F. ? . mas. fcein. foem. 

Length 110* 111-0 2 0* 111* 111*, 2-0* 111 f 

Tail 9-i 9i 11-i 9i ? 10-O 10'i 

Expanse. 48-0 4 8^ 411*, 4-8-*, 4-9-*, 4-11-0 410*, 

Showing clearly what the species he figured was even if the tail did not show this. 

In a note he says " Horsfield's ichthycetus this bird, save that his is larger." 

There is no figure of ichthycetus amongst the drawings I have, but on the face of 
one of them is a note, "756 is Horsfields or I. typicus. Home, Oct. 38," showing 
that he recognized the two species and had sent home a drawing of the true ichthycetus 
of Horsfield. 


130 NOTES. 

tail uniform asli brown. Inhabits the sub-Himalayan ranges and 
submontane tracts, (occasionally in the cold season straying 
some distance into the plains) from the borders of Afghanis- 
tan to Suddya in Assam, occurring in common with the preced- 
ing in the Nepal, and Sikim Terais, Cachar, and Western por- 
tions of Assam. 

P. humilis, Mull and Schl. smallest. Length, 19 to 22 inches ; 
expanse, 48 to 54 ; wing, 14 to 16; upper surface of tail, pale 
brown with dark antepenultimate band and white tipping. 
Inhabits Sumatra, Malay Peninsular, and Eastern shores of Bay 
of Bengal as far north at any rate as Cape Negrais. 

Mr. Sharpe says this species is known to occur in Assam. Of 
course it may ; but I have never seen a specimen from Arracan, 
Chittagong, Tippera, Sylhet, Cachar or Assam, and I should 
like to know the evidence on which the occurrence of this 
species in Assam rests. I have had supposed humilis sent me 
from Assam, but in both cases the specimens proved to be 

Mr. Sharpe, (Cat. I., 452) declares the genus Ichthyceius 
Lafr. (Rev Zool. 1839, 196) inadmissible, " as there is not 
the slightest indication of a type." 

But Blyth (J. A. S. B., XII., 304, 1843) denned Lafresnay's 
genus, as restricted to the sea eagles with smooth talons, 
like an ospreys, and classed under it Horsfieldi, Vigors 
(F. ichtht/atuS) Horsf.) and nanus, Blyth [humilis, Mull, and Schl.) 
and I should have thought that this was sufficient to give 
the genus Ichthyaetus, Lafr., a locus standi. Moreover I 
must note that though there may be no express mention of a type 
in Lafresnay's paper, still by adopting Horsfield's specific 
as a generic name, he clearly implied (in accordance with 
the practice of writers since Linuseus' time) that Horsfield's 
species was the type of his genus. 

I submit that Ichthy^tus ought to stand. 

In connection with this subject, I notice that authors gener- 
ally (e. g., Moore and Horsf. Cat. B. H. E. I. C. Mus., 52 ; Sharpe, 
Cat. I., 452 ; Salvad. U. de. B. 6, &c.) cite the specific name 
Horsfieldi, as Hodgson's, Blyth J. A. S., XII., 304 ; but Blyth 
does not cite the name as Hodgson's, and Hodgson on his own 
plate cites it as Vigors, with a note of interrogation as to 
whether that name is equivalent to his plumbeus. 

Some years ago (Ibis, 1870, 497) Mr. Tristram described 
a new Stonechat under the name of P. robusta. 

NOTES. 131 

This is what ho said of it : — 

u 1 have long had in my possession, from Mysore, a giant 
Stonechat in summer plumage, very brightly coloured, which 
had often puzzled me. I lately received from my friend 
Mr. Brooks a specimen of the same bird in winter plumage, 
given him by Mr. Jerdon, who procured it in the Sutlej valley. 
I have had the pleasure of introducing Mr. Jerdon to his old 
friend, which he at once recognized ; and it was evident the 
two specimens belonged to the same species, hitherto undescribed 
I propose to name it. 

Pratincola robusta, Sp< n. 

P. maxima, coloribus P. pastori simillima, sed intension?) us ; 
pectore intense rufo, abdomine rufo nee alb i do ; striga nuchali 

Long. tot. 595, alae 3, caudae 2*45 poll. 

It is thus very much larger* than any known species of 
Pratincola. It may be further discriminated from P. pastor 
and P. sibylla by the intensity of its rufous breast extending 
down to the abdomen without any white ; and also from these 
and from P. nibicola by the very narrow white spot on each 
side of the neck instead of the bold white patch, while in the 
breeding plumage, the black of the head and back is most 
intense. I am very fortunate to have the decided authority 
of Mr. Jerdon for describing this most interesting bird as new. 
Its size is the more remarkable when contrasted with the small 
P. indica. 

In 1872, (J. A. S. B., XLL, 238) Dr. Stoliczka described a 
presumed new Stonechat, which he obtained in Cutch under the 
name of P. macrorhyncha. 

His remarks on and description of the species will be found 
quoted, S. F. IV., 40, n. 

It will be observed, that Dr. Stoliczka's specimens were not 
sexed, and that he only presumed them to be females. 

At the time and for long after, relying solely on descrip- 
tions and having no specimens to compare, I was disposed 
to unite this supposed new species with P. Hemprichii, but 
after once examining specimens of this latter I discovered 
at once my error, macrorhyncha being a much larger bird. 

One of the types of macrorhyncha was presented to my 
museum by Dr. Stoliczka, and recently in going through a collec- 
tion of birds, presented by Capt Butler, H. M. 83rd, I at once 
recognized a female Stonechat labelled rubicola, as belon£incr to 
the same species. 

* This of course is a mistake, as poiuted out by Messrs, Marshall, S.F., III., 330 ; 
P. iusii/iiis, Hodgson, is considerably larger. — Ed., S. F. 

132 NOTES. 

This bird was a female ascertained by dissection, and was 
killed by Capt. Butler at Deesa on the 12th November 1875, 
at the time he recorded the following note on it : — 

" Length, 5-87; wing, 3-0 ; tail, 2*62; bill at front, 0*44; 
from gape, 0'75. 

" Irides, very dark brown ; legs and feet, black ; bill, 
blackish brown, horny at base of lower mandible/' 

In plumage this specimen agrees entirely with the type of 
macrorhyncha that I possess. This measures ( the skin) : — 

Length, 5*6; wings, 2-9; tail, 2-3; bill at front, 0'5 ; from 
gape 0*7. 

These birds are not at all like rubicola or indica ; they are 
altogether larger and paler ; have much longer bills, almost 
entirely want the white Aving patch. The chin and throat 
quite white, the breast with merely a very faint fulvous tinge. 
In fact the lower surface is precisely like that of females of our 
Indian rubetraoides, Brooks, killed at the same season. 

The upper surface too is very like that of rubetraoides, but 
paler still, and the striations not so broad. Of course the 
white tail of rubetraoides, (similar to that of the European 
rubetra) at once distinguishes it from our present bird. 

It has occurred to me that macrorhyncha is very probably the 
female of robusta, in which case, the latter name has precedence, 
and the species having been procured in Mysore, Northern 
Guzerat, Cutch and in the Himalayas in the valley of the 
Sutledge has a very wide distribution in India, and possibly may 
not be very rare, though usually confounded with P. indica. 

Ornithologists, especially in Southern and Western India, 
should be on the look out for this species next cold season. 

Pratincola insignis, just referred to in a foot note, is a very 
rare species in collections, and its habitat has been wholly 
mistaken — Jerdon says, B. of I., II., 127 : — 

"This species has only as yet been found in Nepal, and pro- 
bably comes from the most northern districts, perhaps, as Mr. 
Blyth hints, from Thibet." 

This is quite a mistake — Mr. Hodgson distinctly records on 
his plate that this occurs in the plains only, and both his 
specimens were obtained (on January 10th) at Segowlee a 
well-known Cantonment in the plains of the Champarun 
district, some 16 miles south of the Nepal frontier and on the 
main road to Khatmandoo. 

The male (I have never seen a female) may be recognized 
at once, independent of its size, by the amount of white about it. 
Nearly the whole of the wing coverts (excepting those at the 

NOTES, 133 

edge of the wing, a few of the lesser, some of the median and 
nearly all the greater secondary coverts, which are black,) 
together with the whole of the upper tail- coverts and rump 
and a large patch at the base of the primaries are pure white. 

Mr. Blyth, whose description Jerdon quotes, assumes that 
the bird he described was in summer dress, but his description 
accords with Mr. Hodgson's figure, and this was taken from 
specimens obtained on the 10th of January, and therefore 
presumably in winter dress. 

The following are the dimensions noted from the types when 
fresh by Mr. Hodgson — and that gentleman's manuscript note 
recorded on the plate : — 

Tip of bill to tip of tail 

... 06£ 


Bill, length of 


••• 4- 


„ width 


. . . 4 




Closed wing 

3 A 









Centre toe and nail 

... 8 


Hind ditto ditto 

... 8 



"Segowlee, January 10th, mas. pi. full. Tongue, simple, 
pure cartel., bifid ; wings plus mid tail ; £ inch less, its tip. 3-4 
quills longest, 1st small, 4th plus 2nd. Tarsi, smooth high, 
toes compressed, simply ambulatory ; laterals subequal ; central 
long ; hind large, but not depressed, shorter than either lateral, 
but with its longer claw exceeding either with theirs. Nares, 
small, oval, lateral, shaded by tiny nude membranous edge or 
scale. Is like our hill Saxicolas, but much larger and they 
have all 3 quills graduated, the 4-5 being longest, 6th nearly 
or quite equal 3rd ; so also in robin, or 416.* In big and small 
stonechats the lateral toes are unequal however trivially and 
so in Robin, and in both the nails are slender and acute, very ; 
the thumb also is big and with its nail exceeds the laterals 
and theirs and equals the central only ; in this big one the 
thumb is rather less and not equal to the mid toe only/' 

Since Mr. Hodgson's time I only know of this species having 
been obtained, on the banks of the Ganges near Cawnpoor, 
by the Marshalls and by Mr. Mandelli, in the Sikhim Terai 
and Bhootan Doars, but others may have obtained it, and if so 
I should be glad to learn the fact. 

I myself expect that the head-quarters of the bird will 
prove to be in the valley (not the Hills) of Assam. 

* Mr. Hodgson'6 116 ia Pratincola ferrea, — Ed. 

134 NOTES. 

Phylloscopus Brooksi, Hume, described from Ttmasserim, 
Stray Feathers, Vol. II., p. 505, has been kindly compared 
for me in England by Mr. B Rooks with Phylloscopus Schwarzii 
Radde, and proves, he says, as he recently suggested (S. F 
IV., p. 277) to be identical with this species. 

P. Schwarzii was described (p. 261), and figured (PI. IX, F. 
1. a, b, c), by Radde, in bis Reisen im Siidem von Ost-sibe- 
rien, 1863. 

The plate however according to my notion conveys no 
adequate idea of the bird, the coloring neither above nor below 
agrees with any one of my now numerous specimens killed 
from October to April and utterly ignores in both figures of 
the bird, its most conspicuous feature, the long superciliary 
stripe. It is as well to note that Mr. Brooks says after ex- 
amining 4 specimens in Europe, that the length of the bill is 
very variable in this species, as is also the colour of the under 
surface, which varies almost as much as does that of Locus- 
tell a Hendersoni. This is not very apparent in the specimens 
killed in Burmah during the 6 cold season months. Radde 
obtained his specimens in the autumn in Tarei-nor and in May 
in the Bureja mountains, so that his specimens should not differ 
so much from ours. 

He gives the length of his largest specimens at 5 English 
inches, ours run to 5*75, but I suppose he merely measured 
from the skin as his other dimensions, though not corresponding 
exactly with those of any of our specimens agree better. 

On the whole, after carefully re-readiug the description, I 
accept Mr. Brooks' verdict, but I cannot help wishing that he 
could have examined the types, because two very similar birds 
may visit Siberia, like Hippolais rama and caligata, and the 
specimens sent to Europe as Schwarzii, might be Brooksi. 

I notice that Ioras killed about Deesa and sent me with 
other birds by Captain Butler, all appear to pertain to Captain 
Marshall's new species /. nigrolutea (S. F. IV., 410). 

I am asked by two correspondents whether I consider this 
race really distinct. Ten years ago I pointed out to the late 
Captain Mitchell of the Madras Museum how our Etawah birds 
differed from those he sent me, and sent him specimens to 
compare. He considered them distinct, but I was doubtful 
and the matter dropped. 

I have often since thought of separating the bird, but seeing 
how closely the central Indian birds approach it, I have always 
been dubious as to its being a good species. 

The tail is the only point in which the species or races 
always differ, but I think that in this they do differ constantly 

NOTES. 135 

and failing any evidence of intermediate forms, I think that we 
must accept nigro-lutea, at present at any rate, as a good 

By some misprint, Bubo ketupa, Kaup, is given in Mi-. 
Sharpe's catalogue, Vol. II., p. 6, as a synonyme of Ketupa 
flavipes. Kaup's name really applies to K. javanensis, under 
which it is correctly given, Op. cit. p. 8. 

At page 60 of the 2nd Vol. of his catalogue, Mr. Sharpe 
describes a new species of Scops from the Eastern Ghats under 
the name of S. rujipennis. But with all deference to Mr. 
Sharpe, who is doubtless quite correct, I must say that his 
description of this species reads uncommonly like the true 
Scops malabaricus, Jerd. Madr. Jour. Sci XIII., 119, which 
is found alike on the Eastern and Western Ghats, and which Mr. 
Sharpe in my opinion wrongly unites with Scops griseus of the 
same author. I, at any rate, know what Jerdon intended by 
the two species as he went over my collections with me, and 
admitting that rujipennis is probably also distinct, certainly 
malabaricus is quite distinct from griseus. The latter occurs 
throughout the length and breadth of the land ; the former 
only in well-wooded, heavy rain-fall districts. 

Then again, surely neither the name malabaricus, (even if it 
did apply) nor griseus, could stand for the species to which the 
latter name really applies and to which Mr. Sharpe applies the 
former also. Most clearly grisetis, Jerdon, of which I have many 
specimens from Cejdon, is the Strix bakkamuna of John Reinhold 
Forsters, Zoologia indica, sp. III., p. 13, PI. III., 1795. This 
plate to my mind fixes the species— it is not bad, and it 
could not possibly have been intended to represent any other 
species inhabiting Ceylon. 

Well, this species is also bakkamuna of Lath. Ind Orn. I. 
56, 1790, and it is also (they mutually quote each other) the 
Indian eared owl of Lath.'s Syn. I. 127, and the little Hawk" 
Owl of Ceylon of Pennant's Indian Zoology, t. 3. and the Otus 
indica of Gmelin, I. 289, No. 20, 1788, by which latter name 
the species should, I should fancy, stand. 

Athene cuculoides. — The specific name of this species is 
attributed in the catalogue, to Gould, Cent. Himalay, B. pi. 4. 
No mention is made of Vigors, who first described the species, 
Pro. Com. Sci and Corr. Z. S. ; 1830, p. 8. It is just possible 

136 NOTES. 

(for I canuot find out the dates on which the committee's pro- 
ceedings were actually published) that Grould's plate may have 
appeared first, but even then the advertisement of Gould's book 
distinctly states that the nomenclature and letter press are by 

I have satisfied myself that the black Turdulus, for which 
{ante p. 63) I proposed, if really new, the name of T. Davisoni, 
can be nothing" more than an extremely old T. sibericus, Pall. 

I have never however seen or read of any specimen, either 
so dark in colour or with so little white about it. 

The most mature specimens I have seen, resembled the figure 
of the old adult in Naumanns Vog. Deutschl, (Suppl. XIII. 
t. 363) in which the body is very blue, and the whole centre 
of the abdomen, vent, and almost the whole visible portions of 
the lower tail-coverts, aud broad tips to the outer lateral tail- 
feathers were white. 

I did not therefore recognize this bird, which is almost black ; 
has no white on the abdomen, has not even according to Pallas 
" crissum albovarium" but has only narrow white tippings to 
the lower tail-coverts and outer lateral tail-feathers. The bird 
looks quite different, but there is the characteristic white bar 
on the under surftice of the wing and the white axillaries, and 
comparison satisfies me that the birds are the same. 

Ramsay got this in Karenuee, and now we get it at Mooleyit 
and it probably extends during the cold season (our bird was 
killed on the 15th February) the whole way down the back 
bone ridge of the Malay peninsular, just as it does to China 
and Japan. 

I should be very glad to understand how Pomatorhhms 
maria, Wald. (A. and M. N. H. June, 1875 ; S. P. III., 
404) differs from P. albogularis, Bly. (J. A. S. B. XXIV., 
274, 1855). 

To my idea they must be identical. 

I can discover no essential difference so far as descriptions 
go. I have numerous specimens from the locality whence 
Blyth's type came, and these answer perfectly to Blyth's indi- 
cations and to Lord Walden's more elaborate description. Lord 
Walden described a female, — wing, about 35 ; Blyth, a male of 
which the wings run from 3"8 to 39. 

So few birds, comparatively speaking, are named after ladies, 
that one grudges the loss of even one of these delicate tributes 
of affection, but still I much fear that Maria's Pomatorliinus 
must disappear into the shadow-realms of synonyms. 

NOTES. 137 

I wish to call attention to the fact that Pomatorhinus oli- 
vaceus, Blyth, J. A. S. B., Vol. XVI., p. 451, 1847, from the Ye 
district of Tenasserim, and which Blyth later united with P. 
leucogaster, Gould, is, in my opinion, a perfectly good and distinct 
species, though douhtless very closely allied to leucogaster. 

In leucogaster, (from the Himalayas) the whole upper sur- 
face is darker and greener; in olivaceus (from the Ye district) 
it is lighter and far more rufescent, the difference in the colour 
of the tails being striking. 

In leucogaster, the deep ferruginous patch behind the ear- 
coverts is continued down the sides of the body and flanks, the 
head is much greyer than the rest of the upper surface of the 
body, the frontal feathers are much edged with blackish, and 
there is only a faint trace of a rufous collar on the base of the 

In olivaceus, the deep ferruginous patch is not extended 
down the sides of the body, &c, the head is not a bit greyer 
than the body, there is very little black edging to the frontal 
feathers and from the ferruginous patch on either side, a broad 
ferruginous half-collar, almost as deep in colour as the patch 
itself, runs across the base of the back of the neck. 

Blyth's specimen can never have been a good one, and it is 
doubtless easy as I have found, when I had only one or two 
indifferent specimens to confound the two, but with a series of 
each laid out before one, it seems wonderful how one can ever 
have considered the two species the same. 

In size, the two races do not differ perceptibly. In both I 
find the wings vary from about 3*4 in the smallest female to 
3'85 in the largest male. 

In sc/usliceps, I find specimens in which the wing consider- 
ably exceeds 4. 

Without examining Verreaux's type it is impossible to speak 
positively, but so far as measurement, description, and figure 
go, his Siphia Hodgsoni (Nouv. Archiv. du Mus. VI. Bull. 34, 
1870; VII. Bull. 29, 1871, IX. pi. IV. f. 4, 1873) is nothing 
else than 8. enjthaca, Blyth and Jerd. (P. Z. S. 1861, 201. 

No doubt the description there given is most faulty, as I have 
already pointed out (S. F. Vol. II., p. 458) and this may have 
misled Verreaux who refers to Jerd. and Bly.'s Siphia erythrura 
(sic; as apparently nearly related. 

On a former occasion, (S. F. Vol. I., p. 429, Dec. 1873) I dis- 
criminated the Ceylon Phodilus and pointed out clearly wherein 
it differed from the Himalayan birds. I did not then name it, 

138 NOTES. 

because I was under the impression that Malayan specimens 
differed similarly. This, however, does not seem to be the case, 
and having now seen a second Ceylon specimen, presenting the 
same specific characters as the first, I desire to propose for it 
provisionally the name of Phodilus assimilis. 

Theke is a species to which I desire to call the attention of 
all Indian ornithologists, as I have been quite unable to make 
it out. 

It is mentioned in Blyth's commentary on Dr. Jerdon's " Birds 
of India/' Ibis 1867, 23, as follows. 

" Suya gangetica, Jerdon, in lit. sp. nov. 

" Plain brown above, rufescent on the head ; lower parts, 
much paler; throat, whitish. Wing, 225 inches; tail, 3*75 

"Common along the upper Ganges." 

I have never been able to procure a specimen, or even to hear 
of any one else who had. 

I should be very thankful for any information in regard to 
this species. 

Suthora daflaensis, God.-Aust, (S. F., IV, 490), is, it 
would seem, now admitted by its describer to be identical with 
his S. munipurensis, (S. F., IV, 216) ; at least so says Gould 
in the last number (XXIX) of the Birds of Asia. 

Mr. Howard Saunders has merited the gratitude of all 
ornithologists, by his very valuable monographic note on the 
Sterninae, (P. Z. S. 1876, 638). 

I shall notice this in detail hereafter, as there seems to me 
to be a good deal to add as regards distribution, and there are a 
good many points in regard to which I am unable to agree with 
Mr. Saunders, but at present I only desire to note, that the bird 
that he has figured, pi. LXI, figure 2, as Anous melanogenys, 
is, in my opinion, beyond all doubt, A. leucocapillus, while al- 
though the bird that he figures (pi. cit, figure, 3) as leucocapillus, 
may be one stage of melanogenys ; it differs altogether, both from 
Mr. Gray's original figure of, and from a specimen I identify 
as, the true melanogenys. 

Mr. Elliot seems to me to be in error in uniting, as he does 
in his monograph of the Phasianidaa, Pucrasia castanea, Gould, 
with Duvauceli of Temminck, P. C. 545. 

Mr. Elliot begins by saying " Duvaucel's Pucras pheasant 
was figured and described by Temminck in the Planches Colo- 
riees as long ago as the year 1834." 

NOTES. 139 

The figure, a vile thing, bears doubtless the inscription, 
u Tragopan Duvaucel, male," but in the text Temminek ex- 
plains this, withdraws the name, and distinctly states that the 
bird he figures is identical with Tragopan pucrasia, Gould, then 
recently beautifully figured by Mrs. Gould in the Cent. Him. 
B. To this plate which is unmistakeably Pucrasia macrolopha, 
Temminek refers, and he heads his text with Gould's name. 

But more than this his description shows, that whatever idea 
may be conveyed by Pretre's wretched picture, Temminek was 
describing macrolopha and not castanea. 

The characteristic of this latter is to have the sides and back 
of the neck (and perhaps in some cases the upper back also) 
chestnut like the breast. 

Now Temminek distinctly says, " le devant du cou, la 
partie mediane de la poitrine et du ventre, ainsi que les conver- 
tures du dessous de la queue sout d'un beau marron fonce ; 
la partie posterieure et les cotes du cou, le dos les fiancs et les 
cuisses sout couverts de plumes longues et pointues, a bande 
centrale noir, entouree par une teinite grise plus ou moins 
pure." This is absolutely conclusive as to the species des- 
cribed by Temminek being, as he himself declared, Gould's and 
Gray aud Hardwicke's pncrasia } i. e., macrolophus of Lesson. 
It does not matter one straw what the figure looks like — (though 
for that matter barring the head it is equally unlike every 
species of the genus) — where a description is full and explicit, 
we must go by that. 

I may notice, when dealing with this species, that Mr. Elliot 
says of castanea (Davaucelii, Tern, apxid ille) " The male has 
the head dark green, with the upper part chestnut. A long 
occipital crest formed of chestnut and dark green feathers/' For 
chestnut, read dingy fawn, or pale dull yellowish brown. Of 
course Wolf's plate gives the colour correctly. 

It appears to me a great drawback in the monograph of the 
Phasianidse, that it contains no such diagnostical table as 
would enable any one to determine at once any particular 
species. Even in the case of species so closely allied, as 
macrolophus and castanea, Mr. Elliot (aud I must add 
Mr. Gould also who is just as bad in this respect,) carefully 
abstains from any such clear and specific enunciation of differ- 
ences as might definitely fix the two species. 

This was exactly the case with Phasianus Shaioi and insignis, 
between which outsiders have as yet been able to discover no 
real difference, and I am by no means sure that I shall not soon 
be in a position to prove much the same in regard to macrolopha, 
castanea and nipalemis, different as the typical forms of the two 
first look. 

140 NOTES. . 

Was there no one at the Zoological Society, to suggest to 
the Editor, when he published, P. Z. S., 1876, 310, a lovely 
plate of a falcon, that the correct name of the species he 
was figuring might perhaps be Falco barbarus, and not 
F. babylonicus ? 

I confess that I have never seen a barbarus exactly in the 
plumage figured, about the head, but still less has one ever 
seen any such babylonicus and of these we have now seen plenty; 
but the dimensions W. 10'7, fix the species. 

The smallest wing of babylonicus and that was a young 
male, that I have ever met with, measured 11*87. 

As for Mr. Anderson who has led the P. Z. S. thus astray, 
I blush for him, he who is teaching all us poor ignorami all 
about the Raptores ! why did he not turn to S. F., I, 2 J, 
whei'e he would have found the dimensions of a male barbarus 
killed in Cutch precisely agreing with those given by him ? 

Capt. Butler writes: " Captain Bishop informs me that in 
January 1873, whilst shooting near Bagdad in Turkish Meso- 
potamia, his party bagged five Woodcocks (Scolopaos rusticola, 
Lin.) in the date groves skirting the town. There is no doubt 
whatever about the species as he showed me the tail and wing 
feathers. Mr. James, C.S., in a letter just received, also 
mentions three Woodcocks (one shot and two others flushed) 
as having been met with in the North Canara Jungles." 

With reference to what I said at page 94, about the 
possible identity of Cisticola Tytleri and melanocep/iala, and 
the occurrence of both in Dacca, I should have noticed that 
Tytleri also occurs (as well as melanocepliala) in Munipur, 
where Godwin-Austen obtained a specimen, which he compared 
with the type in the Indian Museum. He considers it " a 
very distinct species, with very pale ochre, head and breast, 
and tail black both above and below/' vide J. A. S. B., XLV., 
Pt. II, 199, 1876. 


Vol. V.] AUGUST 1877. [Nos. 3 & 4. 

Uotcs on tlje PMtatton of some Surmese Iwbs. 

By Eugene W. Oates, C.E. 

I have long been in the habit of keeping notes of the nests 
I have found in the course of my wauderings in Pegu, and the 
present seems a fitting moment to present some of them to the 
readers of " Stray Feathers/' inasmuch as Captain G. F. L. 
Marshall has not included Burmah in his recent small work on 
nesting of Indian birds. 

The present list contains information relative to the breeding 
of 96 species. In those cases where full particulars as to the 
breeding is contained in Mr. Hume's "Nests and Eggs," I have 
merely recorded the dates on which nests were found, and have 
given a reference to that work.* 

The jungles of Burmah are so vast, and my spare time so 
limited, that I cannot hope to fiud the nests of many more 
species than are here recorded. 

The numbers in brackets, following the name of the authority, 
are those of Dr. Jerdou's work and of Mr. Hume's catalogue. 

* To each species that has been fairly satisfactorily dealt with in Nests and Eggs, 
I have added a reference to this latter. 

In the case of all other species, of which. I have, since the publication of " Nests 
and Eggs," received eggs and particulars as to nidification from other persons prior 
to this paper of Mr. Oates', I have appended to his remarks the notes furnished 
by these prior contributors. 

There still remain no less than 17 species as subnoted, of which this valuable paper 
of Mr. Oates' conveys to me the first information in regard to their nidification, and I 
have to thank him, not only for this, but also for specimens of the eggs of most of 
these species, and several other rare ones. 

Coracias affinis. 
Alccdo meningting. 
l'alaBornis nipalensis. 
Centropus intermedius. 
Chalcoparia phamicotis. 
Arachnecthra fiammaxillaris. 
Buchanga intermedia. 
Trichastorna Abbotti. 
Garrulnx Belangeri. 

Ixos Blanfordi. 

Prinia Beavani. 

Corvus insolens. 

Crypsirhina varians. 

Estrelda burmanica. 

Munia subundulata (or ? M. super- 

Crocopus viridifrona. 
Graculus carbo. 

Ed S. F, 


1.— Pseudogyps bengalensis, Gm. (5). 

December bth — All nests searched on this date contained one 
young bird each. Nests placed in high Peepul trees near the top. 
Breeds abundantly in Lower Pegu. (Nests and -Eggs., p. 7.) 

2.— Halisetus leucoryphus, Pall. (42). 

Eggs may be procured here from the 28th November to 29th 
December. When the eggs are taken, the female lays again in 
the same nest. Eggs always three. I have robbed one nest 
for four consecutive years (in one year twice), and nothing will 
induce the birds to desert the nest. Abundant in Lower Pegu. 
(Nests and Eggs, p. 45.) 

3. — Butastur liventer, Temm. (48 ter.) 

March lltk. — Nest with two eggs ; more would probably have 
been laid. The nest was in a mangoe orchard in a small tree 
about 20 feet from the ground. It was composed of small 
sticks and had no defined shape. Egg lining green ; shell pale 
greenish white without gloss. Size of eggs T81 by T45 and 
1-86 by 1-47. (Nests and Eggs, p. 50.) 

4. — Haliastur indus, Bodd. (55.) 

Takes a long time to build its nest. My first eggs were 
taken on the 18th February. (Nests and Eggs, p. 51.) 

5.— Milvus affinis, Gould. (56 ter.) 

Nests commonly throughout all Pegu. Usually three eggs. 
From 3rd week in January to end of March. The nest 
answers well to Mr. Hume's description of that of govinda. 
Average of 12 eggs, 209 X 163 ; in length they vary from 
2*2 to 20, and in breadth from 1'75 to 155 ; the egg lining 
is bright green ; the shell tolerably smooth and glossless; 
ground color dull white, and all the eggs I have are marked 
and blotched with rust color, bright in the majority, but pale 
in a few. The marks are reduced to mere specks in one or 
two eggs. 

6.— Strix flammea,* L. (60.) 

January 18^/j. — Sis young birds, varying much in age, were 
brought to me. They were found in a hole iu the ground. Wtli 

* In tliia and in other cases the nomenclature is Mr. Oates'. I utterly dissent 
from Mr. Sharpe's view of the specific identity of all the Barn Owls (nearly) of the 
■world. I should therefore call this species S. javanica, Gm. 

Similarly I should call Mr. Oates' Chalcoparia phaenicotis, Anthreptes sinaalensis, 
and even if according to one school the name siagalensis be .rejected on account of 
the species not occurring in Ceylon, a rule that I am not as yet prepared to adopt 
even then Shaw's name rectirostris should probably be adopted. 


January. — Five eggs in a large bole in a Peepul tree. I took 
a sixth, perfect egg from the oviduct of the female. (Nests and 
Eggs, p. 59.) 

7.— Merops viridis, L. (117.) 

Latter end of April and commencement of May. (Nests and 
Eggs, p. 99.) 

8.— Merops philippinus, Lin- (lis.) 

On the 25th April I dug ont some dozens of nests in the 
Sittang river, all containing eggs iu various stages of incubation. 
(Nests and Eggs, p. 101.) 

9.— Coracias affinis, McClell. (124.) 

Upper Pegu. Young in nest on 21st May. 

10.— Halcyon smyrnensis, L. (129.) 

April \hth. — Nest with five eggs. 

June 3rd. — Nest with three young birds and one addled e<*g% 
Breeds iu thickly wooded ravines. (Nests and Eggs, p. 105.) 

11.— Alcedo meningting, Horsf. (135 Ms.) 

July 2nd. — Nest in the steep bauk of a ravine iu thick 
forest. Gallery about one and a half feet long, terminating iu 
a small chamber. Eggs four, laid on the bare soil ; very 
glossy and round, white ; size -78 bv -69 ; 76 by -7 ; '75 by -7 ; 
and '8 by '68' July 14th. — Nest with nearly full grown young iu 
similar situation. This bird is common iu Lower Pegu as 
also bengalensis. 

12.— Ceryle rudis, Lin. (136.) 

In Lower Pegu eggs may be taken during the latter half of 
October and first half of November. Eggs generally five. 
(Nests and Eggs, p. 1 09.) 

13.— Palaeornis magnirostris,* Ball. (147 bis.) 

I procured three hard set eggs ou the 25th February out of 
a hole of a large Cotton tree about 25 feet from the ground ; 
color pure white, much soiled with incubation and with very 
little gloss. Dimensions of these 3 eggs : — 1*4,1'35,1'37 by 1*03, 
1-01 and 1*03 respectively. Lower Pegu. 

There are several other names in which I do not concur ; he may very likely be 
right : all I wish understood is that he and not the Editor is answerable in this 
particular case for the nomenclature. — Ed , S. F. 

* It seems doubtful whether Pegu birds are not uearer P. nipalensis, Hodgson 
than magnirostris, Ball. — Ed. S. i\ 


14.— Palseornis torquatus, Bodd (148.) 

Breeds commonly throughout Pegu. I have procured eggs, 
from 28th January to 25th February. On the latter date, 
however the eggs were nearly hatched. (Nests and Eggs, 
p. 116.) 

15.— Xantholsema hsemacephala, Mull (197) 

One nest with young birds on the 14th April near Sittang. 
(Nests and Eggs, p. 131.) 
16.— Rhopodytes tristis, Less. (215.) 

June llth. — Nest seven feet from the ground in the fork of a 
leafy shrub. A mere platform of dead twigs lined with leaves, 
very loosely laid. The whole structure meagre and incoherent, 
measuring 10 inches by 6 and a few inches thick. It con- 
tained one fresh egg, very chalky and with little gloss ; color 
pure Avhite. The egg measured 1-27 by 1*0 ; Pegu. 

September 10th. — Nest in a bamboo bush about 20 feet from 
the around, of very irregular shape and unmeasurable. Com- 
posed of much the same materials as the nest described above. 
Two eggs, nearly ready to hatch off. Color originally white, 
but no°v much stained with yellowish smears. Very little gloss 
and extremely fragile. The two eggs measured 14 by 1'05 and 
1-33 by 1-05; Pegu. 

June 20th. — Nest with two incubated eggs. 
Jane 21s£.— Nest with two fresh eggs. 

The position of these was much the same as above described, 
viz., in bamboo trees. 

[Mr. Davison was, 1 believe, the first to obtain an egg of this 
species which he extracted from the oviduct of a female killed at 
Meeta Myo, Tavoy District, Tenasserim,on the 20th April 1874. 
The egg is almost cylindrical in shape, excessively obtuse 
at both ends, and very little curved on the sides. The shell is 
rather chalky, and though tolerably smooth and soft to the 
touch is entirely devoid of gloss. The color is pure white, and 
the egg measures 1*36 in length by 1*05 in width. 

In 1875 both Mr. Cripps in Sylhet and Mr. Gammie in 
Sikhim found nests and took the eggs. 
The following is Mr. Cripps' account: — 
"Sylhet, 12/A May 1875. — A female was shot off the nest; 
this was placed on a small tree (about 4 feet off the ground on 
top of a teelah in amongst tea bushes, although heavy jungle 
was alongside) in a fork where several branches oi'iginated 
and was a very slight structure, carelessly made, consisting 
of twigs over which a layer of green leaves had been placed. 
These were dry, though when I got them. The nest was more a 


scaffolding than anything else ; the chicks were half formed ; 
the egg-shells have been considerably soiled from the bird's 
droppings. On the 18th May another nest was found ; this time 
in heavy tree jungle, about 12 feet off the ground j the nest was 
the same as the foregoing, and contained only one fresh egg. 
During the breeding season this bird's call, a low sweet hoot, 
is heard every now and then. 

" On the 30th June 1875 a female, with three eggs, was brought 
to me with the nest, which was placed in the fork of a small 
tree (about 15 feet high,) where three branches met and some 6 
feet off the ground. A number of the small living twigs had 
been bent down, and over these were placed a layer of twigs 
overlaid with a layer, 1^ inch thick, of leaves which had been 
plucked green. There was hardly any egg cavity perceptible ; 
the eggs were partly incubated." 

From Sikhim Mr. Gammie writes : — 

" On the 10th May a native brought me a nest containing 
three partially-incubated eggs, aud a female of this species 
which he said he had caught on it. The nest, he said, was 
placed in the middle of a large bamboo bush, on the branch- 
lets, within eight feet off the ground. The man declared that 
he had brought me the whole of the nest, but I do not feel 
sure about this ; of what he brought, the egg cavity was little 
better than a mere depression, about 4 inches in diameter, and 
gradually deepening inwardly to about 1'25 inches in the centre. 
The body of the nest was a collection of twigs about the 
thickness of a goose quill. On the top of the twigs came a 
quantity of green tree leaves and dry bamboo leaves ; then 
a neat lining of quite green leafy twigs for the eggs to rest 
on. It was taken at Mongphoo at 3,000 feet elevation." 

The eggs obtained by Mr. Gammie, in Sikhim, Mr. 
Cripps, in Sylhet, and Mr. Davison, in Tavoy, are quite of the 
Centropus and Taccocua type. Long cylindrical eggs, obtuse 
at both ends, often not unlike in shape some of our turtle's eggs ; 
in color dead glossless white, with larger or smaller portions 
of the surface covered with dirty yellowish brown, more 
or less glazy, stains. 

Five eggs varv from 1"33 to 137 in length, and from 0'98 
to 1-05 in width.— A. O. H.] 

17.— Centropus intermedius, Hume. (217 sex.) 

August 2ith. — Nest four feet from the ground in thick ele- 
phant grass, to several stalks of which the nest was attached. 
A domed structure 18 inches in height and 14 outside diameter. 
The bottom, 4 inches thick and the walls and roof very strong 
but thin, aud allowing everywhere of the fingers being inserted. 


Composed entirely of the leaves of elephant grass, the living 
heads of the supporting stalks being bent down and incor- 
porated with the structure to form the roof. Entrance oval, 
about 6 by 4, with its lower edge about 2 inches above the egg 
chamber. Two eggs quite fresh, but the female incubating. 
Color pure white, the shell very chalky and with very little 
gloss. Eggs measured 14 by 1*18 and T3G by 1*15. 

July 15^/i. — Nest in small bush jungle in the centre of a 
dense shrub, 10 feet from the ground. Contained two young 
birds about a week old, covered with porcupine-like quills and 
smelling most atrociously. Nest made of dead leaves and 
grass, massive and cylindrical, about a foot long and 9 inches 
outside diameter. 

August 26th. — Nest with three eggs, fresh, built near the 
top of a tree about 20 feet from the ground. One of the eggs 
had blood vessels in the inner lining, shewing that it had 
been slightly incubated, whereas the other two were quite 
fresh. Dimensions: 1 "4, 1*42, 1*4 in length by T15, 1'12, 
1.13, respectively, in breadth. 

The above three nests were found near Pegu. 

18.— Centropus bengalensis, Gm. (218.) 

Breeds commonly in Lower Pegu throughout August. The 
nest is placed about two feet from the ground in rank grass, 
chiefly between paddy fields on the bunds. It is shaped like an 
eo-o", about 10 inches high and 8 inches diameter. The entrance 
5 by 4 is placed midway between the top and bottom. It is 
composed of elephant grass, and the surrounding grasses are 
bent down and incorporated with the structure. The egg 
chamber and sides are neatly lined with thatch grass. The 
walls are everywhere about 1 inch thick. In one nest there 
was a distinct vertical slit at the back, but I failed to notice it in 

The number of eggs is either two or three, and I have found 
both numbers well incubated. Egg shell very chalky, but 
smooth to the touch and fairly glossy ; colour white. Aver- 
age of eioht eggs, 1*17 by 1*01 ; and the extreme dimensions 
are 1*18 to 1*12 in length and 1-08 to '94 in breadth. 

[From Sikhim Mr. Grammie wrote in 1875 : — 

" I have only found the nest of this Coucal up to 3,500 feet, 
but have occasionally seen it during the breeding season as 
high as 5,000 feet, so that it probably breeds up to that elevation. 
It affects dense grassy jungle, and fixes its nest, two or 
three feet from the ground, in the middle of a large Saccharum 
or other grass plant, by bending over a few of the stems to 
make a resting place for it. It is composed of pieces of long 


dry grass and bamboo leaves, put rather loosely together, and 
surrounded by the ends of the bent stems which are twisted 
right over it and partly worked in with the dry material. In 
shape it is a roundish oval, measuring externally about 10 inches 
in height by 8 inches in width. The cavity is 4 to 5 inches in 
diameter, and is lined with a few green leaves. The entrance which 
is at the side is 3 inches in diameter. 

" The usual number of eggs is three, and the breeding 
months May and June." 

The eggs obtained by Mr. Gammie are broad ovals, obtuse 
at both ends. White with a faint gloss, and a good deal 
stained here and there with dirty brownish yellow. They 
measured 1 - 15 and 1'24 in length, and 0'96 and 099 in 
breadth.— A. O. H.] 

19.— Chalcoparia phcenicotis, Tern. (233 bis.) 

This Sunbird appears to nidificate from the middle of May 
to about the end of July. On the 3rd June I found a nest 
with two eggs nearly hatched. It was suspended from a branch 
of a Mangoe tree about 20 feet from the ground and well 
surrounded by leaves. On the 25th June another nest was 
found from which the young had apparently just flown. It 
was about 8 feet from the ground. On July 6th a nest with 
two nearly fresh eggs was discovered hanging on a shrub 
about 4 feet high and on the 8th of the same month another 
quite completed, but with no eggs. It was attached to the 
extreme tip of a bamboo about 25 feet from the ground. 

The eggs appear to be always two in number. Three eggs 
measure '66, '64, and *63 in length by '46, '43 and '44 iu 
breadth, respectively. They have little or no gloss. The 
ground colour is pinkish white and the whole shell is thickly 
streaked and otherwise marked with brown, in which a purplish 
tinge is distinctly visible. The marks are very evenly distributed, 
but round the thicker end they tend to coalesce and form a 
more or less distinct ring. Very little of the ground colour 
is visible. 

The nest is a very lovely structure, closely resembling that 
of Ploceus bar/a in shape, Avith the tube cut off at the level 
of the bottom of the nest. At a short distance off, it looks 
like a mass of hair combings. Three nests are composed 
throughout of black hair-like fibres very closely woven. 
With these are intermingled numerous small cocoons, pieces 
of bark, a few twigs here and there and large lumps of the 
excreta of caterpillars. The interior is sparingly lined with 
fine grass. A fourth nest was made almost entirely of strips 
of grass, a very small quantity only of black fibres being 


used. Some huge pieces of bark, nearly as large as the bird 
itself, were suspended by cobwebs from the lower part of the 

The nest is pear-shaped, about 6 inches in height, and barely 3 
inches outside diameter at the thickest part. The upper 2 iuches 
are solid. The entrance is about half way down and measures 
1-| by 1. The bottom of the egg chamber is.about one iuch below 
the tip of the entrance, and the thickness of the walls everywhere 
is about one-third of an inch. The wonderful part of the nest is 
the verandah or portico. This springs from the upper edge of 
the entrance and extends to two or three inches below the bot- 
tom of the nest. Laterally it extends to rather more than the 
width of the nest, and the sides are incorporated with the main 
structure all the way down. It is made of the same materials 
as the other portions, is about a quarter of an inch thick, and 
very strongly woven and elastic. 

20.— Arachnechtlira flammaxillaris, Bl. (234 far.) 

I have found the nest of this bird from the commencement 
of July to the end of August. On the 3rd of the former 
month I observed a female of this species attaching a piece of 
grass to a twig. On the 8th the nest looked quite finished, 
and on the 14th I took two eggs from it. Another nest also 
with two eggs was found on the same day, and subsequently, 
during July and August, other nests were found by me. 

Two appear to be invariably the number of eggs laid. 
They have little or no gloss ; the ground colour is pale green- 
ish white, and this is nearly all covered with dashes of greyish 
ash which run one into the other at the thick end and form a 
cap. In addition, the egg is sparingly marked with fine, round 
spots of dark brownish black running at the edges like inkspots 
on blotting paper. 

All the nests I have met with have been placed in secondary 
jungle, on shrubs and bamboos, seldom more than four-feet, 
occasionally only two, and in one instance about six feet from 
the ground. 

The nest is generally pear-shaped, the upper part tapering up 
to the point of attachment. Occasionally the shape is more that 
of a long cylinder. The total length varies from 6 to 8 inches 
and it is 3 in its widest part. The entrance 1^ by 1 is centrally 
situated and is overhung by a rude porch, an inch wide and 
about 1^ long. The walls are half an inch thick, but at the 
base fully an inch. 

The materials are chiefly fine grasses mixed up with scraps 
of dead leaves, moss bark and cobwebs. The interior is entire- 
ly of very fine grass, and the egg chamber has usually a few 


feathers in it. Pieces of bark are suspended from the nest by 
obwebs, occasionally extending a foot down. 

21.— Upupa longirostris, Jerdon. (25A bis.) 

April 14th. — Young ones in a hole of a large forest tree 
about 15 feet from the ground. 

22.— Buchanga intermedia, Bl. (280 A) 

I found one nest on the 27th April on a small sapling near 
the summit j it contained four eggs. They are without gloss. 
The ground color in all is white. In three eggs the whole 
shell is marked with spots of pale purple. These are perhaps 
more numerous at the thick end, but not conspicuously so. The 
fourth egg is blotched, not spotted, with the same colour. 

The nest is composed of fine twigs and the dry branches of 
weeds. It is lined very firmly and neatly with grass. Exte- 
rior diameter 5 inches and depth 2. Egg chamber, 3£ across 
and 1£ deep. The outside of the nest is profusely covered with 
lichens and cobwebs. The eggs measure from *95 to *83 in 
length, and *71 to '68 in width. 

23.— Hypothymys azurea, Bodd. (290.) 

May 28th. — Nest with three eggs slightly incubated. (N. & E., 
p. 198.) 

24.— Pitta moluccensis, Mull. (345 Us.) 

June 11th. — Nest placed on the ground in thick forest on a 
hill side in a small patch of thatch grass, but in no way con- 
cealed from view. Oven shaped, about 10 long, 8 broad, and 
and 6 high, with a 3-inch circular hole at one end ; side of nest 
everywhere rather more than one inch thick, composed of 
large dead leaves and roots all matted together with earth. On 
the exterior there are some large sticks and twigs. Eggs five, 
(female sitting very closely, although the eggs were fresh,) hio-h- 
ly glossy, white, beautifully marbled with marks of inky 
purple and lines or scrawls, with a few dots of reddish pur- 
ple. The whole shell is very thickly covered with these marks, 
more so at the thick end than elsewhere. Size 1*15, 1*12, 1*08, 
110, 1-10, by -88, -87, -88, '88, '87, respectively. 

On the same day three other nests were found presumably of 
this species. From the remains of egg-shells near one, it was evi- 
dent that the young had flown. The other two appeared to be 
new ; one was placed on the side of a nullah on the root of a tree 
and the other on a tree trunk where the tree separated into 
three branches about two feet from the "-round. 


[The Blue-Winged Ground Thrush occurs and breeds 
throughout British Burmah, from Tongkoo to the Pag-chan 
Estuary, and from the coast of Arracan to the Kareenee, keeping 
as a rule, however, in the thin tree jungle that everywhere 
skirts the bases of the innumerable larger and smaller hill ranges 
that intersect the Province. It is not as a rule, I believe, a 
permanent resident, but suddenly makes its appearance 
between the early part of April and the end of May, arriving 
earlier at Tavoy for instance and later at Thyetmyo. It 
comes and goes in a very strange manner. One day thousands 
are to be seen, the next not a bird is to be found, but when 
the monsoon commences they settle down here and there and 
breed, laying five or six eggs, and by the cold season have all, 
or mostly all, retreated further south. Coronatus similarly moves 
in multitudes up northwards in India, about the setting in 
of the S.-W. Monsoon. 

Davison was, I believe, the first to take the eggs of this 
species. Writing from Amherst, in 1875, he remarks : 

"On the 15th July I found a nest of this Ground Thrush 
containing six very much incubated eggs, (shooting the bird 
as she flew from her nest). This nest also, like that of P. cuculata 
was placed on the ground at the root of a small tree; but it 
was built in much thinner jungle, only about 3 or 4 yards 
from a footpath, and was quite exposed to view ; it was con- 
spicuously smaller and much less roughly put together, though 
composed of exactly the same materials ^to wit, dry twigs and 
leaves and lined with fibres) as the nest of P. cuculata, but the 
roof sides, as well as foundation, were much thinner, and it 
wanted the conspicuous platform in front of the entrance 
hole of the nest of that species — the entrance in this present 
nest being almost on a level with the ground. It measured 
8 inches in diameter, 5*5 in height, the entrance 35 in 
diameter; the egg cavity 5*5 wide interiorly (and 3*5 high.) 

" These Ground Thrushes apparently sit very close, as in 
both this case, and in that of P. cuculata I walked to within a 
couple of feet of the nests before the birds leftthein." 

The eggs are in some respects of the i*egular Pitta type, very 
round ovals, glossy, and with a white ground, but they are 
far more thickly marked and richly colored than those of any 
of our other Ground Thrushes with which I am acquainted. 
The markings consist of rather small, generally irregular, often 
angular blotches, spots, streaks, smudges, and lines, thickly 
set, and to judge from the series before me, pretty uniformly 
distributed over the whole surface of the egg. They are of two 
colours — maroon red, and deep inky purple, black, or very 
nearly so, in many spots. 


The eggs vary from 1 to 1*04 in length, and from 085 to 
0-9 in breadth.— A. O. H.] 

25.— Geocichla citrina, Lath. (355.) 

May 22nd. — Nest in a shrub in a ravine near Pegu, about 
four feet from the ground, made of roots and strips of soft 
bark, the ends of some of the latter hanging down a foot or 
more. The interior lined with moss and feru roots. Interior and 
exterior diameters 4 and 5 inches respectively. Inside depth 
about 2, and bottom of nest about 1 inch thick. Contained 
3 eggs quite fresh, measuring 1"04, I/O, and 1*06 by "75, 76 and 
79, respectively. A fourth egg found on the ground near the 
nest was 1"03 by '78. 

Another nest with 3 eggs was found on the 10th June. (N. & 
E., p. 229.) 

26.— Pyctorhis sinensis, Gm. (385.) 

Breeds abundantly throughout Pegu during June. The eggs 

1 have were taken towards the end of the month. (N. & E., 
p. 237.) 

27.— Trichastoma Abbotti, Blyth. (387.) 

May 22nd. — Nest with two eggs nearly hatched, and on 23rd 
of same month another with two eggs, one of which was fresh 
and the other incubated. This bird frequents thick under- 
growth, and the nest is built at a height of about two feet from 
the ground. I have found very many of their nests, but, with 
the above exceptions, the young had flown. It is generally 
attached to a stout weed or two and consists of two portions. 
First a platform of dead leaves about 6 inches diameter and one 
deep, placed loosely, and on this the nest proper is placed. 
This consists of a small cup, the interior diameter of which is 

2 inches, and depth 1£. It is formed entirely of fine black fern 
roots well woven together aud is not incorporated with the plat- 
form on which it lies. Stout weeds appear favourite sites, but 
I have found old nests in dwarf palm trees at the junction of the 
frond with the trunk, aud in one instance I found an old nest on 
the grouud, undoubtedly belonging to this bird. Out of four 
eggs three measured - 84 by '66, # 82 by '67 aud *87 by '65. They 
are very glossy and smooth. The ground color is a pale pink- 
ish white. At the cap there are a few spots and short lines of 
of iuky purple sunk into the shell and over the whole egg, 
very sparingly distributed, there are spots and irregular fine 
scrawls of reddish brown. A few of the marks are neither spots 
nor scrawls, but somethiug like knots. The cap is suffused with 
a darker tinge of pink than are the other parts of the shell. 


A third nest found on the 10th June, contained 3 eggs, and 
differed from those above described in being very massive. It 
was composed of dead leaves and fern roots and measured about 
5 inches in exterior diameter with the egg- cup about 2\ inches 
broad and 2 inches deep. It was placed on some entangled small 
plants about % feet from the ground. Of these eggs I noted that 
before being blown the shell was of a ruddy salmon color. 
The marks are much as in the others described above. 

28.— Stachyrhis nigriceps, Eodgs. (391.) 

See " Nests and Eggs," p. 242. 

29.— Mixornis rubricapilla, Tick. (395.) 

I found a nest on the 2nd June near Pegu with 3 eggs. 
Failing to snare the bird at once, I left the nest for a short 
time and on my return found the eggs gone. I am satisfied, 
however, that the nest belonged to the present species ; for I 
caught a glimpse of the sitting bird. The nest was built on 
the top of a stump, well concealed by leafy twigs, except the 
entrance, which was open to view. It was a ball of grass with 
the opening at the side. 

28th June. — Nest in a shrub about 10 feet from the ground. 
A domed structure with an opening at the side 3 high by 2 
broad. Height of nest about 6 and outside width 4. Made 
entirely of bamboo leaves and lined sparingly with grass. 
Eggs 3, white, with hardly any gloss, sparingly spotted with 
bright reddish brown chiefly at the large end where they form 
a cap. They measure "68, *65, '66, by *51, *52, "52, respec- 

I have found numerous nests of this species, but always after 
the young had flown. They appear almost always to be placed 
in shrubs at heights of 2 to 10 feet from the ground. One 
nest, however, on which I watched the birds at work, was 
in a pineapple plant between the stalk of the fruit and one of 
the leaves, almost on the ground. (N. & E., p. 245.) 

30.— Timalia pileata, Horsf, (396 bis f) 

The nestis placed in the fork of a shrub, very near to, or quite 
on, the ground, and is surrounded in every case by long grass. 
A nest found on the 4th July, on m hich the female was sitting 
closely, contained three eggs slightly incubated. The breeding 
season seems to be in June and July. 

The nest is made entirely of bamboo leaves and is lined 
sparingly with flue grass. No other material enters into its 
composition. It is oval, about 7 inches in height and four 


in diameter, with a large entrance at the side, its lower edge 
being about the middle of the nest. 

When the bird frequents elephant grass, where there are no 
shrubs, it builds on the ground at the edge of a clump of grass, 
and I have found two nests in such a situation, only a few feet 
from each other. 

In looking for the nest a good deal of grass, is necessarily 
trodden down; the consequence is that if you do not find eo-gs, 
there is little chance of their being laid later on. I have found 
some ten nests, more or less completed, but only three eggs. 

These measure *72 by -57. The ground color is white, and 
it is thickly speckled with umber brown and sparingly with 
purplish brown and blackish brown. The spots are small and 
run one into the other in places. They are more thickly placed 
at the large end, but are everywhere numerous. The eo-o-s 
are tolerably glossy. 

[I was, 1 believe, myself the first to obtain the eggs of this 
species, but the first of my contributors who sent me eggs, 
nest, and a note on the nidification of this species, was Mr. J. C. 
Parker. Writing to me in September 1875 he said : 

" On the 14th August I took a nest of Timalia pileata on 
my old ground in the Salt Lakes. I discovered this by a 
mere accident, for I happened to see a female Prinia flaviventris 
(whose eggs I was in quest of for you) perched on the top of 
a bush inland about 10 feet from the bank of the canal, and 
from her movements 1 thought she must have a nest near at 

a Accordingly I landed, although not in trim for wading 
through a bog. Sure enough I was not mistaken; the Prinia had 
a nest, but it contained only one egg. Close by, however, I saw 
a nest, from out of which a bird new, and although I did not 
shoot it I am quite sure it was Timalia pileata. The jungle was 
particularly thick just about where I stood, indeed impenetrable, 
and I could not follow the bird, but I soon heard the male bird 
talking to his mate in that extraordinary way which these 
birds have, and which once heard cannot be mistaken. 

" The nest was placed on the spikes growing from the joints of 
a species of grass very thick and stiff, and forming a secure 
foundation for the nest. This latter is 6 inches high and 4 
inches broad. Egg cavity 2 inches, entrance hole 1£ by 2. 
The nest itself is very loosely put together with the dead 
leaves of the tiger grass twisted round and round, and lined 
roughly with coarse grass. The nest was quite open to view 
and about three feet from the ground. I suppose the birds 
never expected that such a wild swampy spot as they had 
selected would be invaded by any oologist. 


" The eggs are quite miniatures of those of Meg alums palustris, 
beino- covered all over with minute spots of a purplish black color. 
They were three in number and quite fresh. They measured 
0'7, 0*73, 0-75, in length, and they were all 06 breadth." 

Other eggs, previously obtained by myself also in the neigh- 
bourhood of the Salt Lake, Calcutta, were very similar, rather 
broad ovals with a tolerably fine gloss. The ground color pure 
white. The whole of the larger end of the egg pretty thickly 
speckled and spotted with brown, varying from an olive to a 
burnt sienna intermingled with little spots and clouds of pale 
inky purple, and similar spots and specks chiefly of the former 
color, but smaller in size, scattered thinly over the rest of the 
egg. The eggs varied from 0*69 to 0'75 in length, and from 
0-55 to 0-6 in breadth.— A. O. H.] 

31.— Pellorneum minor, Hume. (399 septus.) 

This is the Pellorneum with the rufous head and brown back. 
The other species which occurs, according to my experience, 
only in the evergreen forests of the Pegu hills, which has the 
head and back of one uniform brown, I identify with Tickellii ; 
neither of them is ruficeps, and yet Major Godwin-Austen 
quite recently, when reviewing these birds, although expressing" 
his conviction that ruficeps does not occur out of Southern 
India, wives only one species from Burmah. What then is the 
other species I have ? It agrees exactly with Blyth 'fc descrip- 
tion of Tickellii. That it has not been found again in Tenas- 
serim by Mr. Davison is no argument against its existence, nor 
is it at all wonderful that I should have refound the bird in Pegu. 
Then ao-ain as to the bird in the Indian Museum being thought 
to be the type of Tickellii; unless the skin bears a label stating 
it to have been the type, all surmises on the subject are mis- 
chievous. It seems to be quite forgotten that Mr. Blyth 
himself received two species from Burmah. The fact is that 
all alono- Mr. Blyth took the bird which Mr. Hume has named 
minor to be nothing but ruficeps and under that impression 
sent Mr. Swinhoe a duplicate. This latter gentleman saw its 
distinctness and named the bird subochraceum. How else could 
Mr. Blyth record ruficeps from Arrakan and Tenasserim ? 

But to return to our nests. 

On the 3rd May I found a nest on the ground near Pegu. 
A o-ood many bamboo leaves had fallen and the nest was im- 
bedded in these. It was formed entirely of these leaves loosely 
put together, the interior only being sparingly lined with fine 
grass. The structure in situ is tolerably firm, but it will not 
stand removal. In height it was about 7 inches, and in breadth 
about 5, the longer axis being vertical. Shape cylindrical 


with rounded top. Entrance 2^ by If placed about the 
centre. The interior of the nest is a rough sphere of 4 inches 

There were three eggs slightly incubated. The ground color 
is pure white and the whole surface is miuutely and thickly 
speckled with reddish brown and greyish purple spots, more 
closely placed at the thick end where they coalesce in places 
and form bold patches. 

Dimensions of 3 eggs *82, '81, *83, by *6, *6, and "61, res- 

On the 29th June, another nest of similar construction and 
placed on the ground in thick forest, at the root of a shrub. 
Eggs 3, '79, *8, "78, by "61, *6, and '58, respectively ; only 
slightly glossy. 

[Davison was, I think, the first by a month or so to obtain a 
nest of this species. In 1875 he gave me the following note : — 

" On the morning of the 25th March I took at Bankasoon 
a nest of this species in thick forest ; it was placed on the grouud 
and was composed externally of dead leaves, with a scanty lining 
of fine roots and fibres. It measured externally about 5 inches 
high, by about 4 wide. The egg cavity was hardly 3 inches 
in diameter. The nest was only partially domed, and was very 
loosely and carelessly put together." 

The nest contained three eggs, but these were so far incubated 
that it was impossible to blow two of them. They measured 
respectively 085, 0*82, and 0"80, in length, by 0'65, 062, and 
0-60, in breadth." 

The single egg of this species obtained by Mr. Davison is in 
shape a moderately broad oval, a little pointed towards the small 
end ; the shell is fine but has little gloss. The ground color, so 
far as this is visible through the thickly-set markings, is white, 
and it is very finely but densely stippled and freckled (most 
densely at the large end where the markings are confluent or 
nearly so) with dull brown, here and there, specially about the 
large end ; faint grey specks and spots may be traced underlying 
as it were the brown markings. 

This egg measures 0'82 by 0*62. 

The egg sent me from Pegu by Mr. Oates is of precisely 
the same size and type, but the markings are much less dense 
and are brighter colored. The ground color is white, and the 
egg is pretty thickly speckled with a reddish chocolate brown. 
Here and there a moderately large irregularly-shaped spot 
is intermingled with the finer specklings. The markings are 
rather most dense at the large end where there is a tendency to 
form a zone, and here a number of pale purplish grey streaks 
and specks are also intermingled. — A. 0. H.] 


32.— Garrulax Belangeri, Less. (407 bis.) 

Nest, in a bush a few feet from the ground, on the 8th June 
near Pegu. In shape hemispherical, the foundation being of 
small branches and leaves of the bamboo and the interior and 
sides of small branches of the coarser weeds and fine twigs. The 
latter form the egg chamber lining and are nicely curved. 
Exterior and interior diameters respectively 7 and 3£ inches. 
Total depth 3£ and interior depth 2 inches. Three eggs, pure 
white, and highly glossy, and they measure 1'14 by *87, 1*1 
by -88 and 1*03 by *86. These" three particular eggs are 
covered with minute pimples all over. 

33.— Garrulax pectoralis, Gould. (412.) 

Though I am very careful in authenticating my eggs, yet 
I have doubts whether I may not have made a mistake con- 
fusing this bird with the next. I shall however let my note 
in Nests and Eggs stand. (N. & E., p. 256.) 

34.— Garrulax moniliger, Hodg. (413.) 

In Lower Pegu chiefly in July. Average of six eggs, 1*16 
by '88 ; color, very glossy, deep blue. Nest placed in forks of 
saplings within reach of the hand, massive, cup-shaped and 
made of dead leaves and small branches ; lined with fine twigs. 
Outside diameter 7 inches and depth 4. Interior 4£ by 2. (N. 
&E., p.257.) 

35— Chatarrhcea Earlii, Bl. (439.) 

See "Nests and Eggs/' p. 275. 

36.— Megalurus palustris, Horsf. (440.) 

May seems to be the month in which these birds lay here. 
The nest is commonly placed on the ground under the shelter of 
some grass tuft. (N. & E., p. 276.) 

37.— IXOS Blanfordi, Jerdon. (452 quat.) 

Nest in a small tree, well concealed by leaves, about 7 feet 
from the ground near Pegu. A very neat cup measuring 3 
inches diameter externally, and 2j internally. The depth If 
inches outside and li inside. The sides of the nest, though 
very strongly woven, can be seen through. The materials con- 
sist" of small fine branchlets of weeds, and the inside is neatly 
lined with grass. One or two dead leaves, or rather fragments, 
are used in the exterior walling. 

The nest was found on the 25th May, and contained three 
eggs slightly incubated. The ground colour is a fresh pink, 


but with little gloss. The whole egg is covered with a profu- 
sion of dark purplish red spots, more thickly disposed at the 
thick end, but everywhere frequent. In addition there are 
some underlying 1 and much paler smears. The three eggs 
measured respectively, *75, *78, and *77 in length, by '63, '62, 
and *61 in breadth. 

Subsequently I found 5 other nests, from the 1st April to 
the 20th Juue, all similar to the one described. Eggs invariably 
3. Average size of 12 eggs '82 by '6. 

38.— Otocompsa emeria, Lin. (460.) 

This bird breeds as early as February, on the 27th of which 
month I procured a nest with two eggs nearly hatched. It 
stops uesting, I think, at the beginning of the rains. (N. & E,. p. 


39.— Pycnonotus pygaeus, Eodgs. (461.) 

Breeds abundantly from May to September, and has no par- 
ticular preference for any one month. (N. & E., p. 290.) 

40.— Pycnonotus intermedins, B.ay. (461 bis.) 

I have found only one nest of this species, on the 10th Sep- 
tember. The nest was uudistinguishable in structure and in 
materials from those of pygceus. There were two fresh eggs ; 
the ground colour pale pink with shell marks of dull purple 
and thickly splashed, especially at the cap, with bright blood 
red. They are very glossy. I have eggs of pygceus, which 
match these exactly. (N. & E., p. 291.) 

41.— Aegithina typhia, Lin. (468.) 

Nests are found chiefly in June and July, but the birds pro- 
bably lay also in May. (N. & E. p. 295.) 

42.— Copsychus saularis, Lin. (475.) 

I have found nests with eggs from the 30th of April to the 
20th May. In Burmah they almost invariably select a large 
hollow bamboo, many of which are generally to be found lyiucr 
about the verandahs and cucumber framings of the native 
houses, and place their nest about two feet inside, nearly up to 
the first joiut. They also build in holes of trees. (N. & E., p. 

43.— Cercotrichas macrurus, Gm. (476.) 

Builds in hollows of trees from 2 to 20 feet from the ground. 
The nest is a shapeless mass of leaves, sufficient to fill the hole, 
and lined with fine grass. I have fouud nests on May 27th and 


June 3rd with eggs. The number of eggs appears to be four. 
They are not unlike some of the eggs of C. saularis. Tolerably 
glossy, ground colour greenish and the whole shell is thickly 
freckled and streaked with rich brown with a tinge of rufous. 
The eggs vary in length from *89 to *79 in length and from 
64 to "-6 in breadth. (N. & E., p. 307.) 

44 — Orthotomus sutorius, G. #. Forst. (530.) 

Appears to nest from the middle of May to the end of 
August ; common throughout Pegu. (N. & E., p. 331.) 

45.— Prinia flaviventris, Deless. (532.) 

I have found the nest in May and July. In shape it is 
o-enerally oval, being pulled out at the points of attachment. 
The interior is always profusely lined with grass seeds and 
down. It is suspended between two or three stems of ele- 
phant grass at a short distance from the ground. (N. & E., p. 

46.— Prinia Beavani, Walden. (538 bis.) 

Before describing the nest I may remark that this Prinia 
has twelve rectrices and not ten, as stated in the original descrip- 
tion of the bird (P. Z. S., 1866, p. 551.) The outer pair is so 
short as to be concealed by the under tail coverts, and thus pro- 
bably escaped Lord Walden's observation. 

June 2Vth. — Found a nest sewn into a broad soft leaf of a 
weed in forest about two feet from the ground. The edges of 
the leaf are drawn together and fastened by white vegetable 
fibres. The nest is composed entirely of fine grass, no other 
material entering into its composition. For further security the 
nest is stitched to the leaves in a few places, the depth of the nest 
is about three inches and internal diameter all the way down 
about one and a half. Eggs three, very glossy, pale blue, with 
specks and dashes of pale reddish brown, chiefly at the larger 
end, where they form a cap. Size '58, "62, '61, by '47. 

47, — Cisticola schcenicola, Bonap. (539.) 

The majority of birds begin laying at the commencement of 
June, and probably nests may be found throughout the rains. 
I procured a nest on the 2nd of November, a very late date 
I imagine. It contained four eggs. This latter nest was a 
neat deep cup, thickly felted within; others, found in the 
rains, have been huge, circular balls. Perhaps this bird adapts 
the shape of the nest to the season. The ball-nest is an ad- 
mirable structure for the monsoon. (N. & E., p. 343.) 


48.— Drymoeca extensicauda, Smnh. (544 qnat.) 

See Stray Feathers, Vol. III., page 340. 

49.— Corvus Vaillantii, Less. (660.) 

These birds all begin to build about the same time and I 
have taken numerous nests at the end of January. At the end 
of February most nests contain young birds. (N. & E., p. 411.) 

50.— Corvus insolens, Hume. (663 bis.) 

Nesting operations are commenced about the 20th March. 
The nest and _ eggs require no separate description for both 
appear to be similar to those of splendens. 

51.— Cissa sinensis, Bodd. (673.) 

See" Nest and Eggs," page 421, & S. F., V., 85. 

52.— Crypsirhina varians, Lath. (678 Us.) 

This bird appears to lay from the 1st of June to the 15th 
July ; most of my nests were taken in the latter month. It 
selects either one of the outer branches of a very leafy thorny 
bush, or perhaps more commonly a branch of a banjboo, at 
heights varying from 5 to 20 feet. 

The nest is composed of fine dead twigs firmly woven to- 
gether. The interior is lined with twisted tendrils of con- 
volvulus and other creepers. The uniformity with which this 
latter material is used in all nests is remarkable. The inside 
diameter is 5 inches, and the depth only 1, thus making the struc- 
ture very flat. The exterior dimensions are not so definite 
for the twigs and creepers stick out in all directions, but 
making all allowances, the outside diameter may be put down 
at 7 or 8 inches and iiie total depth at 1 \ inches. 

The eggs are usually three in number, but occasionally only- 
two well incubated eggs may be found. In a nest from which 
two fresh eggs had been taken, a third was found a few days 

The eggs measure from 1*0 to *88 in length, and from '75 to 
•68 in breadth. The average of eleven eggs is *94 by*71. 

They are much pointed at the small end and have very 
little gloss. The ground color is greyish white and the whole ev'<r 
is thickly covered with spots and dashes of ash and yellow- 
ish brown, which become confluent at the thick end and al- 
most entirely conceal the ground color. In one egg the spots 
are much fewer and more distinct. 

53. — Sternopastor superciliaris, Bl. (6S3 his.) 

See " Nests and Eggs," p. 427. 


54.— Acridotheres tristis, L, (684) 

Commences making nest about 15th March. I have taken 
eggs as late as 17th July, but in this case the previous brood 
had been destroyed. Normally no eggs are to be found after 
June. (N. & B., p. 428.) 

55.— Acridotheres fuscus, Wagl. (686 part.) 

This bird does not appear to lay till about the 15th April. 
I have taken the eggs and I have seen numerous nests with 
young ones of various ages in the middle of May. They 
breed by preference in holes of trees and occasionally in the 
high roofs of monastic buildings. (N. & E., p. 431.) 

56.— Ploceus philippinus, L. (694..) 

Soon after the 1st of April nesting operations commence active- 
ly. Eggs may be found up to the end of July. (N. & E., p. 436.) 

57.— Ploceus manyar, Borsf. (695.) 

Commences to breed rather later than the preceding bird ; 
in fact it waits till the elephant grass, to which its nest is 
invariably attached, is high and green, which does not take 
place till the rains are well in. (N. & E., p. 440.) 

58.— Ploceella javanensis, Less. (696 ter.) 

See " Nests and Eggs," p. 442. 

A very distinct genus, as every one would allow who had 
met with the bird. 

59.— Munia rubrinigra, Hodgs. (698.) 

The nests and eggs of this bird may be found at all times 
from the 15th June to the end of September. Six appears 
to be the maximum number of eggs laid. 

The nest is placed in dense elephant grass, attached to two or 
three stems at a height of four or five feet from the ground. 
Preferentially they select very swampy land. The nest is a 
loose mass of grass, spherical, cylindrical, or heart-shaped. The 
inside is lined with finer grass, the following ends being brought 
forward to the entrance which is small and difficult to find. 
The eggs are without gloss, pure white. They measure from 
•69 to "54 in length, and from *48 to *41 in breadth, the aver- 
age of 16 eggs being *61 by '45. 

[N. &. E., p. 444.] Since Nests and Eggs w T ere published, 
I have myself taken sevei'al nests in the Calcutta Bota- 
nical Gardens, and Mr. J. C. Parker has taken many 
more in the same place, and has furnished me with 
numerous notes on the nidification of this species. 


He says : " I found a nest of the Chestnut-bellied 
Munia in the Calcutta Botanical Gardens, on the 27th 
of July 1874. The nest was fixed, as described by 
Dr. Jerdon, to the stems of long grass near the top, and 
was a very conspicuous object easily to be seen a long 
way off. The bird was on the nest, but the eggs were 
quite fresh ; and though there were only five, it is quite 
possible that had I waited more would have been laid." 
Again he writes : ic On the 13th July (1875) I took a nest 
with six eggs, and on the 20th August another with 
five eggs of Munia rubronigra in the Botanical Gardens, 
Calcutta. This year the birds do not breed in the long 
grass, probably owing to the fact of there being none to 
build in — a thorough reform in the garden arrangements 
having been carried out this year. 

" The two nests were placed, one on a species of prickly 
date palm, the other. on another species of palm, about 
six feet high, an Oreodoxa I think. 

" I could easily have secured the bird on the first nest, 
as she allowed me to approach within a few inches of the 
entrance, but I was prevented from doing so by the 
number and size of the terrible needle-like thorns that 
protected the nest on every side, a perfect forest of 
bayonets/' Lastly he says : " I went on Monday, the 29th 
September 1871, to the gardens, and I was rewarded by 
another nest and 3 eggs of Munia rubronigra. The nest 
was in a young pine tree forming one of the same avenue 
(leading to the great Banian) as that from which I took 
the last batch of 5 eggs. I would not have taken this 
nest had I known there were only 3 eggs, but as it was 
placed on the highest fork of the tree, a lad had to get up and 
bring it down, although the tree was only some 12 feet high." 

Davison writing from Mergui, on the 21st June 1875, 
remarks : 

u In a dense tangled mass of swamp grass and screw pine, I 
found, on the 20th June, a nest of the Black-headed Munia. 
The nest was most ingeniously woven in with the surrounding 
grass stems, so as to be entirely concealed, and I should cer- 
tainly not have found it had I not seen the birds (for there 
were two of them) fly out. 

u The nest is a ball of coarse swamp grass and rush, roughly 
and loosely woven, measuring about 7 inches in diameter. The 
entrance, which is at one side, measures 2*5 inches in diameter. 

" Most of the material composing the outer portion of the 
nest is still green ; the egg cavity is lined with dry grass, which 
is finer than that on the outside of the nest. 


" Comparing the nest with one of Munia acuticauda, Hodgs., 
there are many differences to be noted. It is somewhat larger 
than that of the White-backed Munia. More globular ; 
composed, both externally and internally, of coarser material, 
and notably it wants the projecting neck of fine grass stems, 
which one almost invariably finds not only in the nest of M. 
acuticauda but also in that of other species of the genus. 

1 ' The nest contained two eggs, of course pure white, but more 
elongated, and conspicuously larger thau any of the eggs of M. 
acuticauda that I took the same day. 

" This is evidently the second nest of the season, there being 
numbers of young, about which clearly have not very long 
left the nest. 

" The species appears to be only a seasonal visitant to Mergui, 
where it goes to breed, 

a When I worked in Mergui and its vicinity in November, I 
met with none of these species, but in May, on my return from 
the southernmost portion of the Province, I found the bird 
not uncommon about the sv/amps and paddy flats in small 
parties, usually consisting of a couple of adults and three or 
four young." 

A nest, which I took on the 15th August, was a large globu- 
lar structure, about 8 inches long, 6^ high, and 5 broad, 
the lower surface flat or nearly so, the upper domed, and 
with a large oval aperture, some 2^ inches high and \\ 
broad at one end. The nest was composed entirely of grass, 
rather solidly put together and had no lining. On the external 
surface, some coarse blades and pieces of flower stems, with 
the fluffy seeds attatched, had been used, but the greater 
portion of the nest consisted entirely of moderately fine grass 
stems ; the chamber was about 5^ inches long, nearly 2^ 
inches wide throughout, and nearly ?>\ inches high in its highest 
central portion. 

The eggs are very regular elongated ovals, pure white and 
glossless, and only vary from 0'58 to 0'68 in length, and from 
0-4 to 0-47 in breadth— A. 0. H. ] 

60.— Munia sub-undulata,* God.- dust. (699 Ms.) 

Breeds throughout June, July, and August. Even in Sep 
tember I have seen them carrying grass. In " Nests and Eggs, " 
p. 447, this species is mentioned under the name of punctulata. 
The breeding habits of the two species appear to be absolutely 
the same and no description of the nest and eggs is necessary. 

* This is probably not the Assam, but the Burmese form M. superstriata, nob,, 
8. F., II., 481, n. 1874.— A. O. H. 


The eggs of the present species appear perhaps to average 
smaller, being about "65 by '48. 

61. — Estrelda burmaninca, Hume. (704 bis.) 

Commences to make its nest about 15th October. I have 
taken the eggs on the 2nd November, and subsequently in the 
same month. The nest is placed near the ground in soft 
luxuriant grass. It is a spherical mass of grass about 6 inches 
outside diameter, with an opening at the side. The majority 
of the structures are lined with feathers, but a few nests are 
without them. 

Six is the maximum number of eggs, four only are fre- 
quently found. They are pure white with little or no gloss. 
They measure from '59 to '53 in length and from '46 to '42 
in breadth. The average of 10 eggs is -55 by '44 

62.— Passer indicus, J. and S. (706.) 

This bird is just as common as montanus in the neighbour- 
hood of Pegu town. At Rangoon it disappears, for I failed to 
observe it in the town. 

Breeding does not commence till December, and with few 
exceptions terminates in April or May. (N. & E., p. 457.) 

63.— Passer montanus, L. (710.) 

Breeds about the same time as indicus, but commences some- 
wdiat earlier and finishes later. (N. & E„ p. 460.) 

64.— Mirafra microptera, Hume. (755 bis.) 

See "Nests and Eggs," p. 475. 

65— Alauda gulgula, Frankl. (767.) 

I found a nest of this bird with three eggs, nearly hatched, as 
early as the 28th December. It goes on breeding till April. 
(N. & E., p. 486.) 

66.— Crocopus viridifrons, Blyth. (773 bis.) 

One egcr was brought in by my collector with the female bird. 
It was fouud in April and there were two eggs. The nest 
was reported to have been placed in a bamboo at a good height 
up one of the branches. Size of egg brought in I'll by *89 ; 
white with little gloss. 

67. — Osmotreron bicincta, Jerd, (774.) 

Nest with two hard set eggs in a thick bush about 7 feet from 
the ground. White with a little gloss; 1'06 and 109 by '87 


respectively. The nest was merely a few sticks laid together 
yke a dove's. (N. & E., p. 493.; 

68. — Turtur tigrinus, Temm. (795 bis.) 

Breeds abundantly from the 1st August to 15th March, after 
which date very few nests are to be found. 

Eggs white and very glossy ; average size of 22 eggs, 
1-1 fby -85. 

The nest is placed anywhere; shrubs, bamboos and trees 
being equally used. (N. & E., p. 506.) 

69.— Gennaeus lineatus, Lath. (809 ter.) 

See "Nests and Eggs," p. 525. 

70.— Gallus ferrugineus, Gm. (812.) 

See " Nests and Eggs," p. 528. 

71.— Francolinus sinensis, Osb. (819 bis.) 

See " Nests and Eggs" p. 539. 

72.— Turnix plumbipes, Ilodg. (833.) 

August \0th. — Nest with four eggs in bush jungle. The whole 
egg is covered with numerous small spots of yellowish brown , 
pale purple and dark blackish brown. Hardly any of the 
ground color is visible. It appears to be of a pale stone color. 
The eggs are very glossy, and two measure '93 and '9 by 
•83 and -82 respectively. (N. & E., p. 554.) 

73.— Glareola lactea, Tern, (843.) 

Commences to lay about the middle of April. (N. & E., p. 568.) 

74.— Sarcogramma atronuchalis, Bl. (855 bis.) 

My eggs have been taken between the 15th April and 15th 
May. After the latter date few eggs are to be found. 

They are placed on the ground iu grass or paddy land on 
the bare soil, a few bits of hard clay disposed round the cavity 
marking the limits of the nest. 

The number of eggs is generally four. Ground color, cafe 
au lait, thickly blotched, streaked, and spotted with deep blackish 
brown ; surface marks and paler shell ones. The marks are 
thickest at the broad end, where they often form a cap, but never 
a ring. Average of 13 eggs, 1-64 by 1*17. (N. & E., p. 576.) 

75.— Grus antigone, L. (863.) 

This bird is common in the vast plains of Lower Pegu, aud 
I procured one egg in August. (N. & E., p. 584.) 


76.— Parra indica, Lath. (900.) 

I procured a nest with four eggs on the 6th of August. 
(N. &E.,p, 591.) 

77.— Porphyrio poliocephalus, Lath. (902.) 

I procured one nest with eggs in August. (N. &*E., p. 594.) 

78.— Gallicrex cinerea, Gm. (904). 

July 17th. — One nest with three eggs. 

August 1th. — One nest with three eggs, and a fourth was taken 
from the female bird. Makes its nest in rank grass near paddy 
fields. (N. & E., p. 596.) 

79.— Gallinula chloropus, L. (905.) 

Nest with five eggs on 6th August. This is, however, one 
of my finds which is not so well authenticated as I should 
wish. (N. & E., p. 597.) 

80.— Erythra phcenicura, Forst. (907.) 

This bird always constructs its nest in trees at heights not 
below 10 feet. It selects a creeper grown tree either in paddy 
land or on the outskirts of forest. I failed to find the 
nest at Thayetmyo, because I looked for it on the ground. A 
bamboo bush, the branches of which are well entangled, is also 
much affected. The nest is merely an irregular platform of 
dead and green leaves resting on a few twigs. One nest 
found on the 10th June contained four eggs, and another found 
on the 24th of the same month contained also four well 
incubated eggs. These eight eggs measure from 1*6 to l - 43 
in length, and from 1*21 to l'l in breadth. They are almost 
without gloss, pale buff, covered profusely with spots and 
small dashes of reddish brown on the surface and paler ones 
of the same color sunk into the shell. (N. & E., p. 599.) 

81.— Hypotaenidia striata, L. (913.) 

This bird, with us, is very common in Lower Pegu, and I 
have found no less than eight nests. The breeding season 
seems to extend from about the 1st of July to the 11th October, 
on which latter date a nest of well incubated eggs was found. 

The nest is a mere pad of soft grass leaves and the outer rind 
of the elephant grass, about eight inches in diameter and one 
thick, placed in a tuft of grass always near water and raised a few 
inches above the ground. The coarse grass growing: round 


paddy fields is a favorite locality. The bird sits very closely 
and. the nest is not easy to discover. The male bird sits on the 
eggs, at least at times, and I killed one with a stick while he was 
sitting on seven eggs. 

Seven is the full number of eggs, occasionally six only. In 
length they vary from 1*43 to 1*18, and in breadth from T08 
to *96, but the average of 31 eggs is 1*34 by l'OO- some are 
almost glossless, others are considerably glossy. The ground 
color is pinkish stone, pale when fresh and darkening as incu- 
bation proceeds. The shell markings consist of blotches aud 
splashes of pale purple evenly but sparingly distributed over 
the egg, and the surface marks consist of large blotches and 
streaks of rather bright rusty brown. These marks are larger 
at the thick end than elsewhere and run chiefly in the direc- 
tion of the longer axis of the e^^. In some eggs the marks 
form a distinct cap, and the shell marks are very few. All the 
eggs are exceedingly beautiful. 

[When •' Nests and Eggs" were published I had not seen the 
eggs of the true striatus. The only eggs I had were of 

OCT •/*-*•«***• 

the Andamanese obscuriora. In 1875 Mr. Cripps sent me three 
specimens of the bird, four eggs and a broken one, and the 
following note : — 

** I cannot make out to what species these Rails belong. The 
irides in all the three specimens sent you were dark-red, and 
the legs and bills were more of a pinkish than reddish color. 
No trace of green on either bills or legs. Those two killed on 
the 8th May were a pair • the same shot wounded both while 
they were walking about a piece of weed-covered water near my 
bungalow ; an hour after the female was shot ; she laid an egg, 
which unfortunately got broken. I send it, however, to compare 
with the other four eggs which were found in a grass field close 
to water on the 22nd June ; the female was caught on the nest, 
which was a heap of grass rushes, &c, about 5 inches high 
with a slight depression in the centre. This species of Rail is 
very common here at present, but whether they remain all 
the year round I must find out." 

The eggs of this species obtained in Sylhet by Mr. Cripps 
are regular ovals of the usual Water-hen type. The shell is 
tolerably fine and compact, but they have not much gloss. The 
ground color varies from white to salmon pink. The markings 
consist of spots, specks, streaks, and blotches of maroon red, 
and smaller spots and streaks of dull inky purple or grey. 
The markings apparently, never very dense or numerous, are 
chiefly confined to the larger end. 

These eggs varied from T33 to 1-36 in length, and from 
1-03 to 1'05 in breadth.— A. 0. H.] 


82.— Ardea purpurea, L. (924.) 

The Sittang river at a place near Myitkyo takes a sudden 
turn to the west for five miles and then turns again to the east 
for the same distance, thus forming a peninsula about 5 miles 
long and 2 miles broad. The whole of this area is one vast dismal 
swamp, the chief feature of which is a gigantic reed called 
Kyu by the Burmese. This swamp in the rains becomes the 
resort of myriads of birds, the nidification of which will be 
noted below. It is possible to enter the swamp only durino- 
the highest floods, for otherwise the reeds offer too great a 
resistance to a canoe, and at the best the progress by polino- 
is not more than 200 or 300 yards an hour. What wonders 
the interior of the swamp could reveal I cannot say, for I 
have never been able to penetrate it more than half a mile. 

The numbers of nests of all sorts met with is marvellous. 
In pushing along the young fall, and eggs roll, into the canoe, 
aud in some parts there must be a nest either of a Heron, 
Bittern or Cormorant on every square yard of reeds. Three 
nest frequeutly touch each other. 

The most numerous species is perhaps the Purple Heron. 
It constructs a nest of sticks and the broken branches of the 
reeds about a foot in diameter and eight inches deep, nearly 
flat at top, and lays four or five eggs. The nest is placed 
about four feet above the water, resting on three or four reed 
stems which they or the wind have bent towards one point. 
I took eggs on the 7th July and 1st August, but cannot state 
the extreme limits of the breeding season. (N. & E., p. 611.) 

83.— Herodias alba, JO. (925.) 

Almost every tope of mangoe trees forms a breeding place 
for these birds, which commence to build nests about the 
middle of June. 

They also breed in large quantities in the swamp at Myitkyo, 
making a similar nest to that of A. purpurea, and frequently 
the two nests are in contact with a small Cormorant's next 
door. (N. & E., p. 613.) 

84— Ardeola Grayi, Sykes. (930.) 

I have taken eggs of this species as early as the 31st May, and 
some at this date were well advanced towards hatching. Most 
birds frequent trees, but a few apparently nest in the reeds at 
Myitkyo, though I did not see the nests. (N. & E., p. 619.) 

85.— Ardeiralla flavicollis, Lath. (932.) 

Breeds commonly in Lower Pegu. On 25th July found a 
nest near the top of a bamboo bush where several branches met 


and formed a strong platform. Composed merely of dry- 
stalks and leaves of coarse grass and of indefinite shape ; four 
eggs nearly hatched ; color pale green, with no gloss when 
fresh, hut becoming shiney as incubation proceeds, when the 
ground color is barely visible owing to the dirt on the egg. 
On July 26th another nest on a mass of thorny bushes in a 
paddy field : three eggs, quite fresh. Dimensions of five : 1*61, 
1-56, 1-68, 1-66, 1-61, by 1-2, 1'22, 1-25, 1-24, 1*25, respect- 
ively. (N.&E.,p. 621.) 

86.— Ardetta cinnamomea, Gm. (933.) 

Usually lays five eggs, but I have found six occasionally. Nest 
on ground in swampy places, a mere pad of green grass ; Lower 
Pegu. July 26th, six eggs slightly incubated. July 30th, five 
eoffs fresh. August 10th, four eggs fresh. August 19th, five 
eggs much incubated. 

Eggs measure in length from 1*36 to 1*21 and in breadth 
fronT 1-1 to -98. The average of 20 eggs is 1-28 by -99. The 
color is dull white without gloss and the shell is very smooth 
to the touch. Fresh eggs, before being blown, are decidedly 
pink, the contents shewing through the shell. (N. & E., p. 622.) 

87.— Nycticorax griseus, L. (937.) 

This bird breeds in immense quantities in the swamps al- 
ready mentioned. I have not taken the eggs because it was 
simply impossible, among the mass of birds, to authenticate 
the eggs properly. This bird flew off before the nest could be 
seen, whereas many of the other species allowed the canoe to 
approach pretty near before going away. July and August 
may however be considered the months in which they lay. 
The nests do not differ from those of purpurea and alba ; for I 
saw only one type of nest all the time, and many must have 
belonged to the present species. (N. & E., p. 624.) 

88— Inocotis papillosus, Temm. (942.) 

I enter this bird with doubt, for the nest may have belonged 
to I. Davisoni, Hume, which, in all probability, extends up to 
Pegu. I visited the nest at dusk and missed the bird which 
was sitting. The black Ibis, whichever species it may be, 
is rare in the" Pegu plain, and I do not see more than a 
pair in the course of a year and have never shot one. In 
Vol. Ill , p. 347, I recorded papillosus from Lower Pegu, but 
at that time Mr. Hume's new species had not been described.* 

* Judging from the size of the egg I should guess that this nest belonged to 
fajnUosHS ; I should expect Davisoni to lay a considerably larger egg. — A, O. H. 


Which of the two birds is found in Pegu must remain in doubt 
till I can shoot a specimen. 

As to the nest, it was placed on the branch of a tree about 
15 feet from the ground on the banks of a creek. It was a 
small shapeless mass of sticks and contained two eggs so near 
hatching that I could preserve only one. It measures 2 55 by 
1*8 ; it is smooth, without gloss and of a pale blue, much 
stained by the bird's feet. The nest was found on the 13th 
February. (N. & E., p. 633.) 

89.— Dendrocygna arcuata, Cuv. (952.) 

I have found nests from the 6th July to the 29th August, 
twice with 6 and once with 7 eggs. The nest is apparently 
always placed on thick matted cane brakes in paddy fields or 
on the ground in thick grass. I have never seen any indications 
of nests on trees. In all the three nests I have found the above 
number of eggs was the full complement, for the female in each 
instance, on dissection, contained no mature eggs. (N. & E. 
p. 639.) 

90.— Seena aurantia, Gray. (985.) 

See "Nests and Eggs," p. 650. 

91.— Sterna javanica, Horsf. (987.) 

See "Nests and Eggs," p. 652. 

92.— Pelecanus philippensis, Gm. (1004.) 

On the 15th October a female of this species I shot contained 
a fully formed egg,^ and on the 26th by firing a volley into a 
flock we killed eight birds, two of which yielded perfectly 
formed eggs, ready to be laid. These three eggs measure 3-03, 
3-18, and 295 in length, by 2 '05 in breadth. They are pure 
white and glossless. 

Mr. Olive, Superintendent of Police, has visited a large pele- 
canry at a place called Sein Kwa about 20 miles due west of 
Shwaygheen. I have not been able to visit the place, as in 
November you can go there neither by boat nor on horseback. 
They build, he told me, near the top of gigantic wood-oil trees 
with adjutants. (N. & E., p. 650.) 

93.— Graculus carbo, L. (1005.) 

This bird breeds in vast numbers in the Myitkyo swamp, 
placing its nest in low, apparently dead trees, which rear their 
heads 15 or 20 feet above the water. I found it impossible to 
approach the trees quite closely myself, so I sent a Burman 
who brought me a basketful of eggs iu a few minutes. From 


a short distance the nests appeared to be made of twigs ; but 
I have often seen these birds dive in the canal and fly off with 
weeds fully 5 feet long. These, no doubt, enter into the com- 
position of the nest. There were either four or five eggs in 
each nest. The egg is covered with dirty white chalky matter ; 
when this is removed the shell is a very pale blue. As incuba- 
tion proceeds the egg becomes very dirty. I took the eggs on 
the 4th October, but up to the 27th of that month I observed a 
great number of birds still carrying sticks and weeds towards 
their breeding quarters. The eggs measure in length from 2 '6 
to 2*3 in length, and from 1*7 to 1'5 in breadth. 

As no writer, whose work I possess, has thought it necessary 
to state that the white flank spot of this bird is seasonal, it may 
be well to record that in Burmah it is assumed about the 1st 
September and on the 15th December not one bird in a hundred 
retains it. 

94.— Graculus fuscicollis, Steph. (1006.) 

This bird breeds in reeds in the Myitkyo swamp alongside the 
many other birds which are found there. Although the bird is 
very numerous 1 came across only one nest with eggs, the rest 
containing young ones. This was on the 25th July. 

The nest is made of the smaller side branches of reeds, is flat 
at top, converging to a point below, about 9 inches across and 
6 deep, supported on a few bent reeds. Eggs 5, T92 to 2*15 
loner, a nd 1*27 to 1*4 broad. Color as in other Cormorant's 
eggs. (N. & E., p. 660.) 

95.— Graculus pygmceus, Pall. (1007.) 

Incredible numbers of this bird breed in the reeds of the 
Myitkyo swamps. The water is alive with the young birds 
which tumble out of the nests. They seem quite happy in the 
water and although some of the birds were certainly not more 
than a week old they dived readily on my attempting to seize 

The nest is made of twigs and is similar to, but smaller than, 
that of fuscicollis. My eggs were taken on the 26th July and 
24th August, but it must commence breeding some weeks before 
the former date. (N. & E. p. 660. 

96.— Plotus melanogaster, Penn. (1008.) 

Breeds on trees and not in reeds. It is very abundant in the 
Myitkyo swamp, where, on the 6th August, I saw some 200 
nests on a few low trees. The nests, with few exceptions, con- 
tained eggs, a few young birds a few days old. (N. & E , p. 661.) 


llenmvks on tje §c\m f ericmcotus.* 

Pericrocotus neglectus. 

Like P. brevirostris, but smaller, (L., 6o to 7 ; W., 32 to 337 ; T., 3 - 
to 3 3, against in brevirostris, L., 7*5 to 8 5 ; W., 34 to 37 ; T., 3 75 

to 4'5.) Male, coloured like eastern examples of brevirostris, but with 
the black of the throat descending further on the breast and a propor- 
tionally larger bill — Female, much darker grey above than brevirostris, 
and with chin, throat, and lower parts bright yellow as in speciosus. 

The above diagnosis will, I believe, suffice to distinguish tins 
presumably new species of pericrocotus from all other species 
known to occur within the limits of our Empire, and from any 
species as yet acknowledged and recognized from elsewhere, 
but it is just possible that it may really belong to some name at 
present taken as a synomym. 

I do not, however, think this likely, as there are not many 
syuomyms to dispose of. 

Minutus, Tern, apud Strickl,(Contr.Orn., 1849, p. 94, pi. 32, ^) 
is almost certainly Blyth's igneus, and if not, has at any rate a 
female of the same type, with orange scarlet rump and upper 
tail-coverts, and is therefore quite distinct from our bird in 
which the female is of the speciosus, elegans, &c, type. 

Flagrans, Boie apvd Bp., (Consp., 1., p. 357, 1850) whatever 
it may be, is not our bird. It has, I believe, been quite wrongly 
united with the previous (or, if they possibly differ, two previous) 
species. How the mistake was made between Bonaparte, 
Temminck, Verreaux, and Strickland I do not pretend to say, 
but either the bird figured and described by Strickland is not 
Temminck's*?m'ft2^a, or Temmiuck's minuta is not really, though 
Bonaparte says it is, identical with his "Jlagra?is, ,} Boie. 

The original and only authentic description of this latter 
species appears to be that contained in the Conspectus, loc. cit. 

" Ex Sumatra, Borneo, Similis P. peregrino ; sed colore 
nigerrimo loco plumbei et igneo loco aurantii." 

Clearly what this means is, that the bird is of the dull o-loss- 
less type, like peregrinus, only with black replacing the leaden 
grey. By no possibility could Bonaparte have here referred to 
a bird of the glossy black type such as the male of igneus. 
He had both brevirostris and fiammeus before him, and he would 
have likened it to one of these, of the latter of which the male 
is, so far as colour goes, an almost exact miniature. Nor could 

* See also Mr, Sharpe on this genus, S. F., IV., p. 205. 


he Lave been referring to the female of igneus, for in that the 
grey is not near so dark as in many southern specimens of 

Flagrans, Boie, in my opinion, is either a distinct represen- 
tative species yet to be identified in Borneo or Sumatra, or 
it may be that a race of peregrinus occurs there, which is still 
darker than the southern Indian one ; and 1 have specimens of 
this latter now before me in which the head and back are 
nearly black, and the rump and lower parts distinctly t{ igneus 
nee aurantius." 

Anyhow our present bird is not flagrans. 

Xanthogaster, Raffles, (Tr. L. S., XIII, p. 309, 1822) has been 
assigned by Moore and Horsfield, (Cat. B. Mus., B. S. C, p. 
142) et auct., to igneus, Blyth,but this of course is erroneous, as 
xanthogaster is a female of the speciosus type, while igneus has a 
female of the peregrinus tj'pe. 

Mr. Sharpe has united xanthogaster (S. F., IV., p. 208) with 
ardens, Boie, and this seems to be the general view now-a-days, 
and it is at any rate reasonable, but really this latter species 
is still more or less a myth. 

All we have on record about it in the way of original and 
authentic description is Bonaparte's curt remark : " Ex Sumatra 
Similis P.fiammece, sed minor." Such descriptions fix nothing 
until the avifauna of a locality has been exhaustively worked, 
and you are able to say it must be so and so, because nothing 
else occurs here which it could possibly be. 

That Raffles, op. cit., p. 310, gives another bird as " Turdus 
Jlammeus (Muscicapa flammea, Gmel.") which might well be the 
male of his xanthogaster, tells both ways — most likely his flam- 
meus is ardens $ , but then would he call the female a Lanius 
and the male Turdus ? It is impossible to say ; and until 
Sumatra has been exhaustively worked, it is equally impossible 
to say with certainty whether xanthogaster does equal ardens 
or not; for all we know xanthogaster may be a distinct 
and smaller species than what Raffles called flammeus, which 
latter again may be a third species, though it seems fair to as- 
sume for the present that it at any rate is the same as 

Even as to ardens, as before remarked, we have no cer- 

There is the bird I formerly identified as ardens, from 
Tenasserim and the Malay Peniusular, the male with the 

* There are a few other names that I cannot identify — Muscicapa suhflava, Vieillot, 
often given as a synonym of P. flammeus which it may be. Phoenicornis? aureo- 
pygia, Hay, Madr. Journ., No. XXXI., p. 158, from Hong Kong — the original des- 
cription of which is not accessible to me. Pericrocotus rubricinctus, Blyth, mentioned 
by Bonaparte (Consp., I ; p. 357) but which I have failed to trace. 


wing 35 and the female about 3'35. The male is very like 
flammeus, but the female belongs to the elegans type ; this is 
no doubt Lord Walden's ardens from Sumatra, wing 3 5 ; (I6is. y 
1873, p. 310.) 

But this is certainly not Salvadori's ardens (Uccelli di Borneo, 
p. 143) from Sarawak, of which he has four specimens — wings, 
3"16. Nor it is V. Pelzelns* ardens (Reise Novara. Vog., p. 80) 
which he says is like but '* conspicuously smaller" than flammeus, 
which itself often has the wing 3*6, and in which it never 
exceeds 375. 

In Salvadori, and V. Pelzeln's birds we have a second smaller 
species, to which doubtless belong Lord Walden's specimens, 
with the wing 3*10 from Malacca; and I am inclined to be- 
lieve now that this is the true ardens, as the one I at first iden- 
tified with ardens and provisionally named flammifer (S. ¥., III., 
p. 221. n.) is not very appreciably smaller than flammeus, and 
would not have been thus defined. 

Of the smaller race, the true ardens, as now I take it, I have 
a female from Johore — a very different bird, answering well to 
Ilafn , es , description, with an olive-green shade on the grey, 
and only the sides of the forehead conspicuously yellow; 
length in the flesh, 7 inches. Unfortunately both wings are 
imperfect. We shot the bird on the 18th of August, and it had 
just moulted, and the first two or three of its quills are still not 
fully grown, though in all other respects the bird is in superb plu- 
mage. I cannot, therefore, make out for certain how many of the 
earlier primaries want the yellow patch. 

This is the most important point in the sub-group to which 
this species pertains. I have now examined, for the purposes 
of this paper, nearly 350 specimens of ten species of this genus 
(Nos. 5 to 14 in the subjoined diagnosis), and I find that, in 
the same sex" of each species, the number of primaries un- 
marked with the red or yellow patch is absolutely constant. 
Mind I speak of a patch, because in several species a coloured 
hair line occurs occasionally on the next primary preceding the 
first on which the patch appears. Of course the wing must be 
perfect; 9a va sans dire ; the earlier primaries are the latest 
to be fully developed, and yet it would seem amongst the first 
to be shed ; but a careful examination of both wings, which 
are generally symmetrically deficient, (i.e., where the second 
quill has been shed on one side, it generally has been so 
on the other), and comparison with other wings of the same 
species will enable one in every case to make sure whether the 
wing is perfect or not, ( the first primary I note seems very 
often wanting), and in every perfect wing the point I have 
alluded to will be found absolutely invariable in the same sex 


of the same species in this sub-division of the Pericrocoti. 
There is not the same constancy in the sub-groups to which 
erytkropygius, pereffrinus, &c., belong. 

Until this is recognized, and Javan, Bornean, and Sumatran 
specimens of this sub-group examined with reference to it, we 
shall never have the several species which doubtless inhabit these 
Islands clearly discriminated. 

I may add, too, that it should be borne in mind that in adults 
of this genus the size of wing varies but little in the same species. 
Any considerable difference in the size should excite suspicion 
of specific difference. 

It will now be convenient to review briefly all the species, 14 
in number, belonging to the genus Pericrocotus, which occur to 
my knowledge within our limits, both with reference to this 
and other matters, which should always be noted in discrimina- 
ting the various species. 

But first I will lay before my reiders a diagnostical table, 
which will, I hope, enable the least skilful to identify at once 
any of our 14 species that they may come across, 

With a narrow white or yellowish white 

wing bar ... ... ... (1.) cinereus, or 

? immodestus, nob. 
"With a conspicuous wing spot. 
Wing spot, white. 

1. forehead black or brown ... (2.) erythropygius. 

2. forehead white ... ... (3.) albifrons. 

Wing spot colored. 

1. head unglossed grey, greyish 
brown or dusky ; no bright colour 
on forehead ; rump never yellow. 

A. Wing, 26 to 29 ; no bright coloured 
margins to outer webs of tertiaries . x 

and later secondaries near their tips. (,4. J peregl'inUS. 

B. Wing, 32 to 3'53 ; outer webs of 
tertiaries and later secondaries with . _ . 

rosy margins near tip ... ... \&.J I'OSetlS. 

2. Male — Head blackish dusky with 
a blue gloss. Female — Head, 
grey ; no bright colour on fore- 
head, but rump yellow . . . (6.) solan's. 

3. head, in male glossy black ; in 
female grey, with orange or 
yellow on forehead. 

A. No bright colored margins to outer 
webs of tertiaries and later secondaries 
near their tips. 

(a). W., 3-4, to 37. Female, chin 

and throat yellowish white or ._ . , . . 

very pale yellow ; rump yellow \< •) DreVIl'OStl'lS. 


(J). W., 3-2 to 3-37. Female, chin 
and throat full bright yellow ; /0 ■. , 

rump yellow. ... ... (o.) UCgleCtuS. 

(c). IT., 2 -8 (o 303. Female, chin 
and throat orange yellow ; rump /r . . 
fiery red ... ... (V.) IgneUS. 

B. Outer webs of tertiaries and later 
secondaries, with bright colored 
margins near tips. 

(a) Two first primaries in adult 
male, and three first in female, 
and young male without any red 
or yellow patch on outer web. 

(1)- W., 3-9 to 4-2; central 
tail feathers in male asa ,, A , 
rule black ... ... (10.) speciOSUS. 

(2). W., 3-5 to 3-8 ; central tail 
feathers almost invariably 
with more or less of outer - , . , 

webs red ... ... (.11.) elegans. 

(b) Three first primaries in adult 
male, and four first in female, 
and young male without any red 
or yellow patch on outer webs ; 
female, orange yelloio below, 
with much orange yellow on 


(1). W., 3-5 to 38. Very 
rarely a portion of outer 
webs of central tail feathers ,-, n. \ i 

red ... ... (12.)andamanensis. 

(2). W., 337 to 3-5. Outer 
webs of central tail feathers , . n v n . r. 

always red ... ... (13-) flammifer. 

(c) Four first primaries both in 
male and female without any 
red or yellow patch on 
outer webs ; female, pure 
yellow below, and little yellow ,. . . -, 
on forehead. W., 345 to 375.... (14.) tlammeUS. 

1.— Pericrocotus cinereus, La/res. Rev. Zool. VIII. 
p. 94, 1845.— 

Gould B. of As., Pfc. IX. pi. 7.— modestus, Strickl. P. Z. S., 
1846, p. 102.— 

luctuosus, Be. Fit. Cat. Mus. Mediol., 31st March, 1847.— 
motacilloides, Swinh, Ibis, 1860, p. 58. 

It is only on the authority of others that I unite the other 
names given with modestus. 

I have a considerable series (10 females and 2 males) shot 
by ourselves in November, December and February, in various 
parts of Tenasserim in the neighbourhood and to the south 
of Mergui, and at Pulo Seban and Kurroo, places about 20 
miles distant from Malacca. 

All ray specimens are more or less in the stage of plumage 
described by Strickland; not one of them show any indications 
of the pure white forehead, jet black hinder crown and occiput, 
&c, figured and described by Gould as cinereus. 


Very possibly ours are all immature. 

Our Malaccan specimens answer precisely to Strickland's 

"Above uniform cinereous; front whitish; lores black; 
remiges blackish, the medial portion of their inner webs white ; 
the 5th* to the 9th* primaries, and all the secondaries with a 
sub-basal white bar on the outer webs ; rectrices blackish, 
largely tipped with white ; chin and lower parts white. L., 8 ; B. 
at f., 0-458 ; to g., 0-75 ; W., 3*75 ; Med. Rectr., 3-5 ; Exterior 
do., 1-5 ; Tarsus, 0*66 ; Mid-toe and Claw, 0-66." 

To this I should only add that the tertiaries and later second- 
aries are generally more or less narrowly margined on their 
outer webs towards their tips with white, and the secondary 
greater coverts tipped with white. That the ear-coverts are 
nearly concolorous with the back ; that the sides and flanks are 
shaded cinereous ; and that the white of the wing bar of the 
axillaries and wing lining, are in some specimens more or less 
tinged (in one female before me conspicuously so) with yellow. 

A male has the wing 3 - 8. Three females, measured in the 
flesh, varied as follows : — 

L., 7-82 to 80; Ex., 10-62 to 1125; T., 4-0; W., 3*65 to 
3-76; Ts., 5 to 0'6 ; B. fr. g., 0*8. 

These four specimens were killed in November. 

But our eight Tenasserim specimens, also killed in November, 
December and February, all differ in some important respects 
from the Malaccan birds. 

In the first place they are smaller, the bill conspicuously so 
in most cases. 

A male has the wing 347. Seven females, measured in the 
flesh, varied as follows : — 

L., 7-5 to 7-75 ; Ex., 10-6 to 11-0 ; T., 3-75 to 3'82 ; W., 3*5 
to 3-62 ; Ts., 0-5 to 0-6 ; B. fr. g., 072 to 075. 

Then whereas the rump and upper tail-coverts are, in the 
Malaccan specimens, cinereous uniform with the back ; in all 
the eight Tenasserim specimens these parts are a pale fawn or 
whity brown, contrasting with the back and somewhat like, but 
not so brightly colored as, these parts in P. cantonensis. This 
latter, however, apparently altogether wants the wing bar in 
the male, and in the female has the whole of the upper parts 
lighter and browner ; the quills edged with yellow, and the light 
part of the tail feathers a rather bright yellow. 

Generally the upper surface of our bird is browner and less 
grey than in modestus, and the breast and sides are much 
overlaid with pale earthy brown. 

* Strickland does not couut the 6mall or bastard primary. 


I am inclined to believe that the Tenasserim birds may 
prove distinct, (in which case they may stand as immodestus, 
nobis), but I am by no means certain. I am not personally 
sure that the Malaccan modestus is indentical with cinereus of 
the Philippines, China and Eastern Siberia ; and further I am 
not at all sure that our Tenasserim species cau be united 
with either. 

Note that in both Malaccan and Tenasserim specimens 
there is no white patch on the outer webs of either of the 
first five primaries, counting" the short first one, though there is 
not unfrequently a white liue along the edge of the fifth 

I have mentioned P. cantonensis* Swinh., (Ibis, 1861, p. 42 ; 
P. Z. S., 1863, 284— Gould. B. of As., Pt. XXVI., PI. 14, of 
which R. sordidus, Swinh., P. Z. S. loc, cit, is the young), and 
I may remark that one of the females of the Tenasserim 
species agrees further with those of that species in having the 
wing bar bright yellow. The wing of cantonensis is given at 3*5. 

As far as we yet kuow our grey species, whatever its cor- 
rect name, only occurs within our limits in the extreme 
southern portions of the Tenasserim Provinces in the neigh- 
bourhood, and South of Mergui. 

2.— Pericococus erythropygius, Jerd. 

Madr. Journ., XI, 17, 1840— Gould. B. of. As., Pt. I., PI. 5. 
— Jerd. B. of. I., No. 277, I., p. 424. 

* The following are Mr. Swinhoe's original descriptions of cantonensis adults and 
young (sordidus) — 

" Adult male. — Bill and legs black ; hides deep brown ; forehead, throat, sides of 
nape and vent white ; the rest of the underparts dingy ; head, back, and scapulars 
deep brown, with a wash of grey, blacker on the former ; rump and upper tail-coverts 
light yellowish brown ; wings and tail rich hair-brown, the former edged paler, the 
latter with the stems brownish white, and more or less white on all but the two 
central rectrices ; white of under wing and wing bone with a wash of pale saffron 
the yellow being rather bright on some of the axillaries ; wing-spot dingy yellow. 

Adult female . — Rump more of a colour with the back than in the male ; upper 
parts lighter and browner ; wing spot bright yellow ; quills edged with yellow ; 
the light part of the rectrices rather bright yellow ; axillaries and wing-bar fine 
primrose yellow ; forehead narrow, dingy white, in other respects like the male. 

" Length, 7| ; wing, 3£ ; expanse, 9|; tail 3f. 

" Young (sordidus). — Upper parts greyish brown, paler on the forehead, and 
darker blue-grey on the head and hiud neck ; wings and tail hair-brown ; greater 
wing-coverts tipped with white, but no wing-spot outwardly visible ; two middle 
rectrices unicolorous, the rest more or less white ; the throat and vent white, the 
former tinged with brown ; a black spot in front of the eye ; under plumage greyish 
brown ; a dingy white bar runs across the under wing, with a faint tinge of 
primrose yellow. 

" Length, 7\ inches ; wing, 3| ; tail, 3, 7 . 

" The tendency of the female to develop the yellow tints is in this much more 
strongly shown than in P. cinereus ; so much so that Dr. Sclater declined to accept 
my identification of the sexes. But apart from any special examination of the 
sexual organs the skins carry in their plumnge their sexual stamp ; for, analogous 
to what obtains in cinereus, the male of this has a white forehead and a dark 


The Cawnpoor Flycatcher of Lath., Gen. Hist., VI., 176, pi. 

In erythropyffius, in both sexes, the extent of the white 
in the wing is variable. In some specimens there is no white 
patch on the first five ; in others none on the first six. Thirty- 
two specimens examined. 

The wings of a number of specimens varied as follows :— 

cJ's— 2-7; 2-7; 2*82; 27; 278; 2*67; 277; 2*78 ; 27. 
P's-2-7; 2-6; 27; 2'8; 272; 27; 2-69; 279. 

The Pied Minivet is essentially a bird of the moderately dry, 
fairly cultivated, plains country of Northern and Central India. 
It does not anywhere ascend the Hills, and it does not occur 
(except possibly as a straggler during the dry season) any- 
where where the rainfall is heavy and the atmosphere normally 

In Bengal I have it only from various localities in Behar. 
In the N. W. Provinces it is chiefly in the Doab districts, and in 
Benares, Azimgurh, Jounpoor, Mirzapoor, and the districts 
south of the Jumna that it is found. In Oudh and Rohilcund 
it only occurs in the southern and drier districts. In the 
plains portion of the Punjaub, in Gourgaon, Rohtuk, Delhi, and 
Umballa it is not uncommon, but it is entirely absent from the 
more desert portions of Hurriana, Bhutteana, and as far as I 
know the Trans-Sutlej Divisions generally. It has not yet 
occurred to my knowledge in Sindh, nor in the more desert 
portions of Rnjpootana, though wherever the country is a 
little less inhospitable, and there are more trees and better 
cultivation, it is not very rare even in Rajpootana. It has 
been met with in Cutch, Kattiawar, and Guzerat; I have 
specimens from the base of the hills that bound Khandeish on 
the north. 

In Jhansie, Saugor, Nagpoor, Raipoor and most of the 
districts of the Central Provinces, and in many localities 
throughout the Deccan and Hyderabad it also occurs, but 
southwards of this my museum does not attest its occurrence, 
and though Jerdon says he saw it near Segoor, at the foot of 
the Neilgherries, I have never yet obtained or seen a specimen 
from that neighbourhood. 

3.— Pericocotus albifrons, Jerdon. Ibis, 1862, p.20. 

This species has already been described (Vol III, p. 96). In 
this, as in the preceding, so far as I can judge, the extent of 
white on the wing is variable, but 1 have examined too few 
specimens to speak positively here. The wings of the only 
three birds in our museum, all males, measure 2*6, 27, 2*65. 



The Whitebrowed Pied Minivet appears to belong- essentially to 
the dry open portions of Upper Pegu and Independent Burmah ; 
like the preceding species, it is very capricious in its choice 
of localities, and is apparently, like it, never very abundant 
even in the special localities it affects. 

4.— Pericocotus peregrinus, Lin. S. N., I., p. 342., 
1766.— Jerd., B. of I., No. 276, I., p. 423.— 
Gould. B. of. As., Pt. IX, PI. 5. 

? cinnamomea, Lin., S. N., I., p. 335, 1766. 
? indicus, Sparrm., Mus. Carls, t. 50, 1787. 
malabaricus, Gm. S. N., I. 1012, 1788. 
cocciueus, Gm. S. N., I. 1015. 1788. 
The name cinnamomea, if it really applied, ought strictly 
speaking- to have precedence, but the diagnosis is absolutely 
wrong, and the description is so bad that it seems to have 
been by general consent set aside, and it is to my mind doubt- 
ful whether it does really apply. 

I have already (S. F., L, p. 178) remarked upon the extra- 
ordinary degree to which the coloring of this species varies 
with locality ; but I think it may be advisable to contrast clearly 
both sexes from say Anjango, in Travancore, and Sindh. No 
one examining these two types alone could admit that they 
belonged to the same species. 


<$ Head and mantle pale 

Chin and throat greyish 

Entire lower parts and wing- 
lining white, with a fiery 
saffron tinge on upper 
breast only. 

Dark portions of wings and 

tail brown. 
Rump and wing spot mingled 

pale yellow and pale scarlet. 


<J. Head and mantle black- 
ish iron grey. 
Chin and throat intense black. 

Entire breast, abdomen and 
sides intense fiery orange 
scarlet ; wing-lining-, vent 
and lower tail coverts 
bright orange. 

Dark portions of wings and 
tail black. 

Rump and wing spot intense 

$ . Head and mantle 
pale earthy brown. 

very ? . Head and mantle dark 
grey brown, much darker 
than these parts in the 
Sindh male. 


Sindh. Anjavgo. 

Entire lower parts pure white. Entire lower parts orange, 

albescent on chin and 
upper throat. 
Wing- spot, pale creamy Wing spot bright orange. 

Rump, grey tinged yellow ; Rump and upper tail coverts 

upper tail-coverts pale intense scarlet as in male. 

orange scarlet. 
Terminal portions of lateral Terminal portions of lateral 

tail feathers white, barely tail feathers orange scarlet. 

tinged with yellow towards 

the basal portions of the 


I am very much puzzled about these widely differing forms, 
because ornithologists generally are so utterly illogical ; in 
the present case it is usual to consider these strikingly and 
conspicuously different colored birds as one and the same 
species, because (as I gather) intermediate forms occur; but 
then as a rule every one seems to consider Thamnobia 
cambaiensis and Thamnobia fulicata, or again Coracias indie a 
and Coracias affinis, as distinct species, and yet the two forms 
in these cases are not nearly so conspicuously different as in 
the case of peregrinns, and they are equally connected by an 
unbroken chain of intermediate forms. 

It seems to me that the time has come for the great 
Doctors of the Law in Europe to issue their Futwa on this 
important point, and by adopting one rule secure something 
like consistency in our method of dealing with this very 
common contingency. 

Personally, I am for ruling that no two forms shall be con- 
sidered distinct species which are connected by a truly perfect 
and unbroken series of intermediate forms. 

I have already discussed this question in my article : a "What 
is a Species," III., p. 257 ; but until the authorities at home take 
the question up and decide it one way or another, the existing 
misleading diversity of practice will continue. A diversity 
which sadly impairs the value of generalizations, based not on 
a personal knowledge of the species, but on tables of names, 
and as it is scarcely possible for any one naturalist to possess an 
accurate personal knowledge of even half the species his 
generalizations cover, it follows that this diversity more or less 
invalidates almost every generalization. 


Still worse is the existing* diversity of practice as to what 
does and does not, or should or should not, constitute a distinct 
genus ; and no one who has carefully studied the latest and 
greatest work on the Zoological Provinces of the world, * can 
fail to have observed in any province, of which he possesses a 
special knowledge, how greatly this confusing diversity of 
generic value has vitiated the talented author's conclusions. 

But to return to peregrinus. The extraordinary diversity 
of its more exti-eme forms, and the diversity of practice that 
prevails as to the specific separation of such forms, makes it 
of some interest to try and ascertain which of the existing 
names apply to which form. 

Linnaeus' name peregrinus is clearly founded on a specimen — 
at any rate he quotes no previous authority. The diagnosis 
uropygia coccineo, corpore cinereo, subtus alio" does well 
enough for a female of the northern race, and the description 
more clearly fixes both race and sex. 

'' Cinereum, subtus totum album. Uropygium coccineum. 
Remiges fusc^e. Rectrices omnes nigrce, exceptis quatuor in- 
termediis, postice oblique luteis, ita tamen id luteus color 
prcevaleat in 5,5, non vero in 6,6." 

Cinnamomea of Lin. seems to me very doubtfully applicable. 
The diagnosis is absolutely wrong. 

" Cana, subtus coccinea, gula nigra, remigibus quatuor pri- 
mis basi rubris." 

The first four quills are not red at their bases, and the above 
can be translated in no other way. The description says the 
same, but in the description by changing the place of a comma, 
a different interpretation is open to us, more in accordance 
with the facts, and it is possible that having written the descrip- 
tion, from a specimen, the accidental omission of a comma, 
later led him when abstracting the diagnosis to forget his own 
original meaning. 

u Corpus supra canum ; Gula nigra. Cocanea sunt pectus, 
abdomen, uropygium. Remiges nigra, exceptis quatuor primis 
basi rubris, nnde macula alarum rubra, in altero Rec- 
trices nigra, sed quatuor intermedia latere oblique ru/a." 

By inserting a comma after "primis" we shall get a correct 
description, but one that is distinctly at variance with the 
diagnosis. But then I do not think that in the brightest south- 
ern specimens, the abdomen can pi'operly be called coccineus, 
and in no male ( Gula nigra) in which the abdomen makes any 
approach to this, can the upper surface be described as cana. 

* The Geographical Distribution of Animals, by Alfred Russel Wallace— 
Macmillaa & Co., Loudon. 2 vols, 1376. 


Then what about the tail ? I confess that I am not up in 
Linnsean latin. The straightforward translation seems to be 
" The rectrices are black, but the four intermediates are obli- 
quely red on the side." 

By intermediates I understand (and no other interpreta- 
tion can I believe be put upon the word) those that are in the 
middle — the 2, 4, or 6 central feathers, as the case may be ; but 
if so then the description is clearly utterly wrong. 

No previous authorities are referred to ; the description is ap- 
parently founded on some specimen, received from Governor 
Claud Loten of Ceylon, who was by no means particular ap- 
parently as to the exact locality whence his specimens were 
really derived. 

It appears to me that this description and name must be en- 
tirely set aside. 

lndicus of Sparrman, though usually assumed to apply to this 
species, probably according to Sundevall, applies to Parus bico- 
lor, Lin, and under any circumstances is too doubtful a name 
ever to be applied to either form. 

Coccineus, Gra., is founded on Pis. 48, 49, of Sparrm. Mus. 
Carls., which refer to peregrinus. I have not Sparrmau's plates 
to refer to but Gmelin's description. 

" Cinereus, pectore, maculo alarum, uropygio rectricibusque 
later alibus posterius cocci?ieis" points clearly to a male of the 
northern race, in which the throat is dark cinereous, not 
black, and only the breast is scarlet. 

Malabaricus, Gm., founded on Sonnerats " Messange de la cote 
de Malabar," and Latham's " Malabar Titmouse" is equally 
clearly the male of the southern race. 

" Griseus, sitbt us ex rubro aureus, gula nigra, remigibus 
rectricibusque nigris, lateralibus, et remigibus secundariis non- 
nulUs a basi ad medium rubescentibus. ,} 

The black throat, black wings and tail, and entire lower 
surface, u ex rubro aureus''' indicate at once the species. 

I, therefore, come to the conclusion, that if we are to be 
logical and act in regard to this species as we do in regard to 
Thamnobia, Coracias, fyc, we must separate the northern form 
as peregrinus, L., and the southern as malabaricus, Gm. 

As regards the extent of red or orange on the wing I find 
that in this species also it is not quite constant ; as in both 
sexes sometimes the first four, and sometimes the first five, pri- 
maries want the colored patch. 

I examined 90 specimens ; and then taking one-half at 
random, measured the wings and noted how many primaries 
wanted the patch — with the following results : — 




Number of Pri- 
Locality. tnaries wanting the 


of wing. 


Number of Pri- 
maries wanting the 

of wing. 

coloured patch. 

coloured patch. 

Narra, Sindh 

4* < Trace 2 6 



2 6 

on 5th. 








Elephant Pt. 



Dehra (moulting, 
















Bopyn (Tenass.) 












Atteran B. 






Yeaboo ... 












>» ••• 






jt ... 



Hills North 


J! .*• 














Mt. Harriet (Andamans) 5 







Number of Pri. % 

mariestvantingtJie * .;„„ 

coloured patch. °J wlH 9- 


Larkhana ('Sindh) 
Eta wall 
Atteran R. 

Andamans (moult- 
ing uncertain)... 
Port Blair 





2 6 




Elephant Pt. ... 
Port Blair 


Macpherson's Sts. 
Kykphou ... 






Number of Pri- _ , 
maries wanting the -*'*".?'* 
coloured patch. °J m "? 









I copy the above in detail, because the curious result appears 
that setting aside the Andaman birds, in which the number of 
plain primaries is indifferently 4 or 5, all the Indian birds but 
5 (marked with an asterisk) have five plain primaries, and all 
the Burmese birds but 2 (also similarly marked) have four. 
And out of the five Indian exceptions, one is doubtful, and in 
another I find I had noted that there was a trace ouly of a patch 
on the fifth. I much regret that at the time I did not go 
through the whole series; but I have only discovered this curious 
coincidence in writing out my notes now. 

As to distribution I have the species from almost every part 
of India, Burmah (including in this Pegu, Arracan, and Tenas- 
serim) Ceylon and the Andamans, but it is not known to occur 
in the Nicobars, and is not found, to the best of my knowledge, 
anywhere in the North- West Punjab, Trans-Jhilum in fact, and 
it neither ascends the Neilgherries nor the Himalayas. Mr. 
Sharpe and others quote it from Nepal, but it does not I believe 
occur there. As far as I can make out the Nepal habitat rests 
upon Mr. Gray's erroneous identification of Hodgson's plates 


Nos. 295, 298, Phanicornis cancha of Hodgson MSS., which 
clearly, with the white sides of throat in both male and female, 
represent Solaris. There may be specimens of peregrinus in 
Hodgson's collection, but if so, they probably came up from 
the low country at the base of the Hills or the low outer Hills, 
and were never I believe obtained in Nepal Proper. 

No doubt Hodgson's plate No. 705 Phcenicornis pusillus, 
Hodgs. MSS., does represent the present species, and on 
this on the face of it is a note by one of Mr. Hodgson's clerks 
to the effect that the species is " unknown below" and again 
" unknown in plains \" But Mr. Hodgson's own note on the 
reverse shows that all his four specimens there recorded came up 
from the " Lower Hills," and though these, as well as the Terai, 
may form part of the territory now under Nepalese rule, it is 
totally destructive of any right conception of the distribution 
of the species to include Nepal (as always understood in 
Europe) within its range. 

As already noticed we have, as I believe, in P. flagrans, Boie, 
ap. Bonap., a distinct and as yet unrecognized species of this 
same sub-group, quite distinct from igneus, Blyth, which belongs 
to a different sub-group. 

5.— PeiicrOCOtUS rOSeUS, Vieill. (Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. 
Nat. XXI, 486.) 
Jerd, B. of In., I., 422.— Hume, S. F., IV., 317.— Gould, B. 
of As., Pt. IX., PI. 6. 

affinis, McClell apud Blyth, J. A. S. B„ XV. 310, et Moore 
and Horsf. Cat. B. Mus. E. T. C. I. 141, et Goidd, he. cit. 
nee McClell. 

In this species neither sex, (and I have examined 46 speci- 
mens), ever has either the red or yellow patch on any of the 
first four primaries, though there is occasionally a narrow red 
line (or yellow, according to sex) on the margin of the fourth. 

The female has no colored frontal band, and lias the chin 
and throat entirely white (solaris has ouly the sides of the 
throat white). In the male the white is more or less faintly 
tinged rosy or greyish rosy. 

The two central tail feathers are always entirely brown or 
blackish brown, generally very narrowly tipped rosy. 

The bill is perhaps more triangular and depressed than in 
any other of our Indian species. 

Wings vary as follows : — 

^'8.-3.3; 3-3; 3-3; 3'65 ; 3'35 ; 3*47; 3*4; 3'5 ; 3*5; 
33; 3-5; 34; 3'45 ; 3-4; 3'2. 

? > s ._3-35; 345; 3-4; 3'4; 3'53 ; 33; 355; 3*5; 3'53; 


I have already, S. F., IV., p. 317, alluded to the great varia- 
tion in colour between examples of this species from the North- 
West Punjab and Tenasserim. The two birds look almost as 
different, as do Sindh and Travancore specimens of peregrinus. 
At that time following Blyth, I suggested that the richer colored 
Eastern form should, if separated, bear McClelland's name 
affinis, but I find that this name was not really applied to 
roseus, but as far as can be judged to the females of breviros- 
tris (which McClelland made the male of his species) and Solaris. 
The name is therefore one that must be entirely rejected, and 
if the Eastern race is to be separated, it must have a new name 
and might stand as P. intensior, but I personally would 
certainly not separate it. 

The Rosy Minivet is essentially a bird of the hills, straying 
however during the cold season into the plains where these are 
well wooded and watered. It is entirely unknown in the drier 
and barer plains country. Throughout the outer southern 
ranges of the Himalayas, — from the very confines of Afghanis- 
tan to the extreme head of the valley of Assam — it is not un- 
common. It equally occurs throughout the complicated Hill 
series, that commencing south of the valley of the Berham- 
pootra, under various names, e.g., the Garrow, Naga, Jaintea 
and Khasia Hills, Hill Tipperah, the Pegu and Arracan Yomas, 
the Karen Hills, &c, &c, run down along various lines, one 
of them being extended to form the backbone of the Malay 
Peninsular. On this latter range we have it as yet only about 
as far south as Mergui. 

In the cold season it is found in all the moist luxuri- 
antly-vegetated tracts which lie beneath these hills — in the 
Dhoon, the E-ohilcund, Oudh, Nepal and Sikhim Terais (never 
extending into the dry portions of Behar), the Bhotan Doars, 
Kooch Behar, Sylhet, Cachar and Tipperah, and in Arracan and 
Tenasserim. It extends far into the damp plains of Lower 
Bengal, and I have repeatedly shot it in the immediate neigh- 
bourhood of Calcutta. 

Nowhere else in India have I observed it, from no other loca- 
lities have I received it. In the many suitable localities in 
Chota Nagpoor, the Tributary Mehals, the Vindya and Sat- 
poora Ranges, the Western Ghats, the Neilgherries, Pulneys or 
Assamboo Hills, never have I myself nor any of my numerous 
collecting parties or correspondents as yet procured it. 

Yet it must, it would seem, occur in some of these, as Dr. 
Jerdon says he " procured it in Gumsoor," (a place in Northern 
Ganjam immediately south of the Tributary Mehals,) " and 
obtained it from various parts of Malabar." He adds : " Lord 
Hay informed me that he had seen it most abundant on the 


Hills dividing Tinnevelly from Travancore," in other words 
the Assaniboo Hills ; where flammeus indeed seems common, 
but whence, as yet, I have not been fortunate enough to secure 

Gould says : "The late Hon. F.J. Shore, who obtained speci- 
mens near Pokree in Nagpoor, June 2nd, and at Urkoon, June 
19th, 1832, states that it is called ' Powe/ and that it builds 
amongst the branches of trees a nest of moss, and is only seen 
during the six summer months." 1 cannot trace these localities, 
and the concluding remark is entirely opposed to my experience 
if these places are really in Nagpoor. 

6.— Pericrocotus Solaris, Blyth. J. A. S. B., XV., 
p. 310, 1846. 

Gould, B. of As. Pt. 1, PI. 4, lower figure* (of <J) only.— 
Jerd. B. of I., I., p 422, No. 275. 

flavogularis, Blyth. MSS. op. et loc. cit. note. 
affinis, Mc.Clell.yV.7i. S., 1839, the supposed ? only, 
which = ? Solaris. 

In this species, of which 1 have examined 29 specimens, there 
is no red or yellow patch on the first four primaries, but there 
is often a narrow line of one of these colours on the margin 
of the fourth. 

The red and yellow in the different sexes of this species are 
of almost the same tint as in Jlammeus. 

In both sexes the chin is white, and sides of the throat are 
grey or greyish white, the central portion of the throat being 
orange or yellow, as the case may be. 

In neither sex are there any bright coloured margins near 
their tips to the tertiaries and later secondaries. 

The central tail-feathers are always black in the male, but 
often exhibit a narrow red margin on the terminal halves of the 
outer webs. 

The female has no bright colour on the forehead, and has the 
back overlaid with olive green. 

Wings that I measured varied as follows : — 

cTs.— 3-2; 3-3; 3*4; 337; 3-2; 3'41; 3-'2 ; 3-33; 3-2; 

?'s.— 3-2; 3-4; 3-3; 3-24; 3-4; 3'3; 345 ; 33 ; 3*3 ; 
332; 3-3; 3"2. 

This species is common in Sikhim and Nepal, but I have as 
yet obtained it nowhere else, except at Moolyit, one of the 
highest of the Central Tenasserim Hills. But Godwin- Austen 

* The upper figure purporting to represent the female, represents the female of 
some other species, possibly of brevirostris, but the lower parts are rather too brightly 
colored for that species. 


obtained it in the Khasia Hills, and it probably occurs through- 
out the intervening Hills where these attain a suitable eleva- 
tion. A specimen of the species is also said to have been 
procured by Capt. Biddulph in Cashmere. I have seen no 
specimen thence, and its occurrence there is the more remark- 
able that, having wandered throughout the Hills from the Dhuj 
aud Takhil on the western frontier of Nepal to the Zojeela 
on the eastern border of Cashmere, and having had collecting 
establishments stationed for years in various localities in these 
Hills, I have never yet seen or obtained Solaris anywhere in 
this region. That this species should thus entirely skip a 
region nearly 400 miles in length, the lower and less arid por- 
tions of which are eminently suited to it, and re-appear again 
in Cashmere, is to say the least of it a most remarkable fact, 
and I can only suppose that it must occur, though very sparing- 
ly, in the intervening tract, and that by some fatality neither I 
nor any of my collectors have ever chanced to come across it. 

Closely allied to this species is P. griseogularis, Gould, 
P. Z. S., 1862, 282 ; B. of As., Pt. XVI., pi. 11, of Formosa 
and parts of Southern China. Of this {non vidi) the wing is 
given at 3*5. The essential difference seems to consist in the 
entire throat being grey, and in the dark portions of the upper 
surface being iu both sexes darker than in Solaris, and in the 
female wanting the olive green mantle patch of the latter 

Mr. Swinhoe, indeed, gives us one of the leading distinctions, 
the orange thighs of Solaris, as constrasted with " tibial feathers 
black externally, ochreous internally" of griseogularis, but as 
a fact the thighs of Solaris are not orange, but in the male 
dusky black externally and yellowish or ochreous internally, 
and somewhat similar, but lighter coloured and more tinged 
with yellow in the female. 

I should mention that the Tenasserim specimens do seem to 
make a slight approach to the Chinese form in so far that they 
have the upper surface rather darker, that the amount of orange 
and yellow on the throat is less than in Sikhim specimens, and 
that the females seem to show less olive green on the mantle. 

A fine male from Moolyit, measured : — Length, 7'2 ; expanse, 
9*8 ; tail, 3*5 ; wing, 3'26 ; tarsus, 0*55 ; bill from gape, 
0*6 ; the bill, legs, feet and claws were black ; the hides, 
deep brown. 

7.— Pericrocotus brevirostris, Vigors, P. Z. S., 

1831, p. 43. 

Gould. Cent Him. B. t. VIII. Jerd. B. of I., I. 423, No, 


affmis, Mc.Clell, P. Z. S., 1839, 157, (the supposed <J only, 
winch = ? brevirostris. 

We now have to deal with the typical sub-group ; all the spe- 
cies hitherto dealt with are more or less aberrant; and although 
in some of these we have found the number of plain primaries 
somewhat variable, in the typical sub-group we shall find it an 
absolute constant. 

I have examined 73 specimens of this species ; in these in no 
case had either male or female a red or yellow patch on the 
outer webs of either of the first four primaries, but in 7 males 
out of 46, there was a red or reddish hair line on the margin 
of the fourth primary. In every case the males and females had 
a conspicuous patch on the outer webs of the fifth and succeed- 
ing primaries. 

I have already noticed on more than one occasion the much 
greater intensity of colour exhibited by Sikhim, Assamese and 
Northern Tenasserim specimens. The colour in the male varies 
from a dull scarlet in the far west to the deepest crimson scarlet 
on the east. 

The dimensions also in this species vary more I think than 
in any other of the genus. The total length varies from 7*5 
to 8 - 5 ; the tail from 3*75 to 4'5. Wings varied as follows : — 

^' s _3.4 ; 3.7. 3-5; 3-65; 35 ; 3-63; 3-5; 3.56; 3'45 ; 
3'65; 3 6; 37. 

?'s— 3-5; 3-5; 361; 35 ; 3'67 ; 35; 3'65 ; 3-55; 3'69 ; 
3-55; 3-5; 358; 3-6. 

All the smallest birds are eastern and dark coloured. The 
female has the chin and throat pale dull yellow ; in some speci- 
mens, especially those killed in the plains in the cold season, 
these parts might more properly be designated dull white, 
tinged with yellow. 

This species abounds in summer throughout the lower better 
wooded ranges of the Himalayas, south of the first great 
snowy range, from Eastern Cashmere to Bhotan, at elevations 
of 3,000 to 7,000 feet. Westwards and eastwards of these 
limits, I have not yet personally ascertained its occurrence. 
During the cold season it is found in all the lower valleys and 
throughout the sub-montane tracts, and immense numbers visit 
the plains of the N.-W. Provinces, Oudh, the Punjaub and 
Central Provinces and Rajpootaua, and the drier northern por- 
tions of Bengal. As a rule, they avoid the very barren and de- 
sert and the very humid tracts like the plains of Lower Bengal, 
keeping to open, well-cultivated, and drained and fairly -wood- 
ed country. I do not as yet know of its occurrence in Kutch, 
Kattiawar or Sindh, but it occurs at Mount Aboo and in Nor- 
thern Guzerat. Jerdon got it, he says, at Goomsur, but this is 


I think about its extreme southern limit, and, as far as my present 
experience goes, a line drawn from the mouth of the Taptee to 
that of the Mahanuddee, represents its ordinary southern limit. 
Eastwards I have it from Shillong, Cachar, Sylhet, Tipperah, 
Chittagong, Arracan and possibly the northern portion of the 
Tenasserim Hills, but the single specimen there obtained is 
rather doubtful. Anderson says he obtained it in Upper 
Burmah and various localities en route to Yunan, but it is not 
impossible that this may be the next species. 

Pere David's brevirostris " which passes Pekin in migration, 
but does not breed in the Cheelee Province/' will doubtless, when 
critically examined, prove distinct. 

8.— Pericrocotus neglectus, Sp. nov. ^ a. /// 

I have only five specimens of this species, and all from the 
Central Hills of Tenasserim, from Moolyit, Meetan, &c. It 
is clearly a minature representative of brevirostris, and like 
it has the first four primaries in both sexes plain on the outer 

The total length varies from 6*5 to 6'8 ; the tail from 3 to 
3-25 ; the wings varied,— ^'s 325, 3*3 ; ? 's, 3*2, 3*37, 332. 

Seeing however that the Eastern form of brevirostris is smaller 
than the Western, I should not have separated these birds, though 
much smaller than the smallest Sikhim and Shillong specimens, 
merely on account of difference of size. Nor would the propor- 
tionally much larger bill have satisfied me of their distinctness, 
nor even the fact that in both my males the black of the throat 
appears to descend further on the breast than in any one of 
46 males of brevirostris, as this might be due to some stretch- 
ing of the skin in preparing it ; but when with these differ- 
ences is coupled a female of a wholly different type, with the 
upper surface of a much darker grey and with the chin, throat, 
and entire lower surface of the rich bright hue of adult female 
speciosus, a hue not approached, as regards chin and throat at 
any rate, by any one of the 27 $ brevirostris now before me, I 
could not avoid recognizing what is clearly a distinct species. 

The male is larger considerably than that of igneus (the 
females of course differ toto coelo) and is not of the flammeus 
type as igneus male is, but of the colour of eastern breviros- 
tris, and has like it the axillaries and wing lining and patch 
on the lower surface of the quills (this latter paler of course) 
red instead of as in igneus, orange yellow. 

This species we have only from the Central Tenasserim Hills. 
How far it extends I cauuot say. I believe that our single speci- 
men, a male from the Northern Tenasserim Hills, is brevirostris, 

A 1 


but it is imperfect, and I should like to see more and perfect 
specimens thence before pronouncing decidedly. 

9,— Pericrocotus igneus, Bhjth., J. A. S. B. } XV., p. 
309, 1845.— Salvacl U. di. B., 144. 

minutus, Tern. Str'tckl. Contr. Orn., 1849, 94, pi. 32. S. 

Bly th described this species as follows : — 

" P. igrneiid, uobis, Malayan P. Jlammeits, auctorum, &c., and 
probably of Temminck,* P. C, 263. Size small, barely larger than 
P. peregrinus ; the wing" measuring but two inches and seven- 
eighths, and the rest in proportion ; bill to gape five-eighths, 
and tarsi nine-sixteenths of an inch. Colour as in P. speciosus, 
except that the outer tail-feathers are less deeply red, and the 
wing band is proportionally smaller ; the forepart of the 
wing underneath, with the band as there seen, is deep yellow, 
and the axillaries are yellow, irregularly tipped with red. Alto- 
gether the red is of a shade more igneous than in P. speciosus, 
but considerably less so than in P. flammeus. The female I have 
not seen. Described from Malaccan specimens." 

The following are dimensions recorded in the flesh of two 
males of this species : — 

Length, 6*5 ; expanse, 9"25 ; tail, 3*0 ; wing, 2*95, 305 ; 
tarsus, - 55, 0'62 ; bill from gape, 0'7; weight, 06oz. 

The wings of two other males measure 2*9 and 2'87. 

In this species in neither sex is there any coloured patch on 
the outer webs of any of the four first primaries, and like both 
the two preceding (neglectus and brevirostris) there is no 
brio-ht coloured edging towards the tips to the outer webs of 
the tertiaries and later secondaries. 

To Blyth's description I should only add that some specimens 
are almost, if not quite, as fiery as many specimens of flammeus, 
and that the wing lining, axillaries and bar are always decidedly 
more yellow orange than even in that species. 

Adult females, killed at Johore, Malacca, and the Pakchan 
estuary, measured — 

Length, 63, 6'5 ; expanse, 9*2, 93; tail, 3*0 ; wing, 2'8, 
2-9, 30 ; tarsus, 0-57, 0*61, 0"62 ; bill from gape, 06, 062. 

A narrow band on the forehead, extending as a broad streak 
over the lores and anterior half of eye, chin, cheeks, throat, 
breast, sides of neck behind ear-coverts, and rest of lower parts 
bright orange, having a decided flammeous tinge on the lower 
abdomen, flanks and lower tail-coverts. 

A broad dnsky line through the lores ; forehead above the 
orange band, crown, occiput, nape, upper and middle back and 

* Only in part, at any rate I think, The male as figured is too largo, and the 
female is not of the igneus type at all. 


scapulars moderately dark brown, with an olive and grey tinge ; 
ear-coverts paler, and greyer ; rump and upper tail-coverts 
brilliant fiery scarlet, as in southern peregrinus ; wings deep 
hair brown blackish about the carpus and the wingletj wing- 
band extending on the outer webs over bases of fifth and suc- 
ceeding primaries, and all the secondaries, bright flammeous 
orange; four central tail feathers blackish brown, laterals flame- 
coloured, but with the basal l-4thor l-5th deep brown. 

Such is the female of igneus, shot in company with the male, 
and sex ascertained by dissection. 

Now though Strickland's female minutus is clearly of the 
same type, his description does not accurately represent our 
birds. It may be that he wrote carelessly, it may be that he had 
a female peregrinus of the eastern type and not the true female 
of his minutus before him, or it may be that his minutus is 
distinct, and while the males closely resemble each other the 
female differ. But I incline to the second hypothesis, as his des- 
cription of the male is very accurate, while his description of 
the female fits female peregrinus (highly colored race) perfect- 
ly. He sa} r s : " ? . Grey above ; wings and tail black, marked 
with orange yellow ; rump and upper tail-coverts orange scarlet ; 
lores, chin, and lower parts yellowish.'" 

You canuot call female igneus grey above ; it is a fairly dark 
brown with an olivaceous grey shade doubtless, but still brown, 
peregrinus is grev. Then the lores chin, &c, are yellowish in 
peregrinus, but in igneus they are bright orange, with a conspi- 
cuous dusky line through the lores. Lastly, peregrinus has no 
frontal band, while igneus has, and this though narrow so 
brightly colored that it could not have escaped Strickland. 

Writers have hitherto so lumped up and confused flagrans, 
Boie, (which, as I have already explained, is in my opinion 
a species still to be re-discovered of the peregrinus type, the 
male with head and back unglossed black), ardens of Boie 
(which has in the male the glossy black head and back and the 
second wing patch and a female like speciostis, though with less 
yellow on the forehead,) and the present species (which has in 
the male the glossy black head and back, no second wing patch, 
and a female of the peregrinus type) that it is impossible to 
make out who has been referring to what ; but if any one has 
meant to say that igneus does not in its female approximate to 
peregrinus then he is clearly wrong, as the fiery scarlet rump 
separates its female from the females of speciosus, elegans, ar- 
dens, &c, and distinctly unites it which the female of pereginus, 
though the two differ inter se as above explained. 

We have as yet only obtained igneus within our limits in the 
extreme south of the Teuasserim Provinces in the neighbourhood 


of the Pakchau Estuary, the whole northern banks of which are in 
British territory, although many maps indicate the contrary. 
Outside our limits we have procured it in the neighbourhood of 
Malacca, and in the state of Johore on the mainland opposite 

P. miniata, Tern, P. C, p. 156, belongs apparently, (non vidi) 
so far as the male is concerned to the same sub-group with 
which we have been dealing, in that the male has the whole 
head glossy black, and that there are no bright colored margins 
to the outer webs of the tertiaries and latter secondaries near 
their tips ; no second wing patch in fact, but the female is of a 
wholly different type. In fact Loi'd Waldeu suggested that the 
supposed female must be the male of another species, but 
Mr. Sharpe has pointed out (S. F., IV., p 210) that specimens 
of both sexes, collected by Mr. Wallace in Western Java, agreed 
with Temminck's plate, so that we must accept this abnormally 
coloured female as a fact. She is like the male, but with a 
frontal band, chin, cheeks, ear-coverts and sides of neck, bright 
red, the cheeks being sometimes variegated with black, and 
with the whole back red ; each feather apparently centered dusky. 

10.— Pericrocotus speciosus, Lath. 

Ind. Orn. L, p. 363, 1790; Gen. Hist., V., p. 96, 1822.— Jerd. 
B. of I., I., p. 419, No. 271.*— Gould B. of As., Pt. IX., PI. 3. 

princeps, Fig. P. Z. S., 1830, p. 22 ; Gould Cent. Himl. 
t. VII. 

We now commence with the second division of the more 
typical sub-group, viz., that in which the tertiaries and later 
secondaries have near their tips bright coloured margins to the 
outer webs, forming a second wing patch. 

To this division belong the present species, elegans, andama- 
nensis, jlammifer, the true ardens and Jlammeus and exul. 

In the present species — and 1 have examined 46 adult speci- 
mens and 9 young males — only the two first primaries in the 
adult male, and the three first in the female and young male, 
want the bright patch on the outer webs. 

The male is an intense scarlet with, where the feathers are 
displaced, a slight orange tinge. The whole of the central tail 
feathers are normally black, but rarely (in 3 out of 27 exa- 
mined) more or less of the outer webs are colored like 
the terminal portions of the laterals. The female is a clear 
full gamboge or orange yellow below, the orange of the forehead 
extending over the anterior half of crown and sometimes fur- 
ther, but varying in intensity. 

* Note that Jerdon says the central tail-feathers in the female are "light ashy grey." 
They are black or blackish brown. 


Note that when there is any fiery tinge about an apparent 
female, it is really a young- male. This is clearly shown by 
our large accurately sexed series, but native taxidermists, when 
not carefully checked, invariably take it for granted that the 
yellow birds are females and ticket them accordingly, without any 
examination of the organs. The wings I measured were as 
follow : — 

<J's.— 4-2; 4-1 ; 415 ; 4'1 ; 4'17; 4*0; 4'15; 4"0 ; 421; 
4-14; 4-0; 4-3; 4 2; 4-17. 

?'s.— 4-05; 4-03; 4*3 ; 3-9; 3-9; 3'97; 3'95 ; 4-2; 4-1. 

<?'sjuv.— 375; 3-83; 3*95 ; 4-1. 

Mr. Ball has already remarked, S. F., II., p. 401, that the 
dimensions given by Lord Walden, Ibis., 1873, p. 310, for a wing 
of this species, viz., 4*6, is contrary to experience. I may add 
that, out of my whole series of 55 birds, only two Mussouri 
birds had the wings over 42, and in these, —one male and one 
female — they were 43. 

Mr. Sharpens area of distribution of this species a Hima- 
layas and Central India'"'* is far too vague and comprehensive. 
So far as my present experience goes speciosus does not occur 
in the Himalayas westwards of the valley of the Tonse — a Hill 
affluent of the Jumna which the old Hill road from Simla to 
Mussouri crosses about half way between the two places. Cer- 
tainly from Kotegurh, nearly due north of Simla, in the neigh- 
bourhood of which I had a collecting establishment for 5 years, 
who obtained I believe every bird that occurred within a circle 
of 100 miles, summer or winter, no specimen was ever sent me, 
and I have never myself seen any specimen from any part 
of the Himalayas west of the Tonse. Eastwards, of course, if 
elegans be united it may be said to extend to Assam, but I have 
reason to believe that true speciosus only extends to Western 

Into Central India it does not, to the best of my belief, extend 
at all. In the cold season it is found in the submontane tracts 
below the Central Himalayas, as in the Dhoon, Northern 
Bijnore, Pillibheet, and the Kohilcund, Oudh and Sikhim- 
Terais and Bhotan Doars, and many parts of Eastern and 
Lower Bengal — as for instance Dacca and Jessore, in both of 
which I have shot it, and Calcutta, where Jerdon says it occurs. 
I have even specimens of true speciosus from the plains of 
Tipperah. Thence, it appears in Midnapore, Chota Nagpore, 
the Tributary Mehals, and the northern portion of the Ganjam 
District (Jerdon) and Sumbhulpoor, the most eastern of the 

* Mr. Sharpe remarks that, to judge by dimensions given by Mr. Ball, there can be 
little difference in size between Chota Nagpore and Himalayan examples — as the former 
are only, I believe, the latter on their cold weather migration this may be admitted. 


Central Provinces' districts, but west of this I have never seen 
or heard of it, and, as I said before to the best of my belief, 
it never goes near Central India. 

11.— Pericrocotus elegans, McClell, P. Z. S. 
1839, 156. 

This species is a miuatnre of speciostis. McClelland, when 
first describing it, laid much stress on the greater tl flatness 
of the crown, which brings it nearly on a plane with the upper 
mandible." I have never been able to compare fresh specimens 
of the two, and therefore cannot speak positively on the subject, 
but must confess that I have not observed any marked difference 
in skins in this respect. 

Like speciosus, the first two primaries in the adult male, and 
the first three in the female and young male, alone want the 
bright patch on the outer webs. 

No doubt there is a distinction in the tails ; in that out of 26 
adult males examined, in every one the outer webs of the tail- 
feathers were red, whereas only three out of 27 speciosus had any 
red on the outer webs of the middle tail-feathers. Again, taken 
as a body, the backs of the females are somewhat darker, and the 
red of the males somewhat more flammeous. With me, however, 
the validity of the species rests in she difference in size coupled 
with distinct geographical distribution. I have picked out 
of 30 specimens, the fiuest birds, and their wings measured : — 

^'s.—ST; 8-6; 3-7; 36; 37; 377; 3"6. 
? ' s ._37; 3 75; 362; 3-5; 38; 36; 36. 

This difference, coupled with a fully corresponding difference 
in bulk, (speciosus must weigh nearly double what elegans does) , 
renders it very unlikely that the birds should interbreed in a 
wild state, and in my opinion justifies specific separation, quite 
as much as, in fact more so than in the case of Pratincola 
bicolor and caprata, Hemicircus canente and cordatus, and a 
dozen more, universally received pairs of species. I would not 
object to quash all these and with them elegans, but I object to 
the illogical way in which what is made sauce for the goose is 
not accepted as sauce for the gander, and so long as other 
similar diminutives are maintained I shall continue to uphold 

Of this species, I have specimens from the western portion 
of Assam, and thence right up to Sudya at the extreme east of 
the Province, from Shillong, (Khasia Hills), N. E. Cachar, Hill 
Tipperah, (speciosus occurs in the plains in the cold season) and 
throughout the Tenasserim Hills to the extreme south at 


In default of specimens, I cannot speak positively; the num- 
ber of plain primaries may differ, or there may be other small 
differences, but prima facie P. fraterculus, Swinh., Ibis., 1870, 
p. 244, described as a small race of speciosiis, with the wing 3 - 8, 
from Hainan, and which Mr. Swinhoe says he has seen from, 
Siam aud the Khasia Hills, can be no other than elegans. 

12 — Pericrocotus andamanensis, Tytler. Beav., 
Ibis. 1867, p. 322. 

The markings on the primaries separate this at once from 
speciosus and elegans. I have examiued over 50 specimens. 

In the adult male there is no red patch on the outer webs 
of the three first primaries ; in the adult female aud young male 
there is no yellow patch on the outer webs of the first four 

Besides this, this species differs from speciosus in its much 
smaller size. Wings that I measured of my finest specimens 
varied as follows : — 

<y's.— 3-67; 3-8; 3-6; 3-6; 3-78; 3-63; 3-6; 3-73; 365; 37. 
¥'s.— 3-5; 3-55; 3-65; 367; 3'63 ; 36; 36. 

cTs.juv.— 3-65; 3-57; 3'68. 

Again in both sexes, the red and yellow of the back goes 
less far up the back than in either speciosus or elegans. I re- 
marked this, I find, long ago (S. F., II., p. 203), but having quite 
forgotten this noted it again, now when I had my entire series 
of the three species out for comparison. 

Again in the females, the orange yellow of the lower 
parts, rump, and forehead is decidedly more orange than in 
the other two species, and the grey of the backs is usually dar- 
ker than in either. 

Very rarely in this species in the male a portion of the 
outer webs of the central tail feathers is i*ed. 

The bills in both sexes are, / now think, more than propor- 
tionally smaller than in speciosus. 

This species is strictly confined to the Andaman group. 
No specimen has ever yet been procured in any part of the 

13. -Pericrocotus flammifer, Hume. t S.F., III., 321 n. 

This species like the preceding has no colored patch on the 
first three primaries in the adult male, or in the first four in the 
female. I have seen no young males as yet. 

In colour the male approaches flammeus. The outer webs 
of the central feathers appear to be always red. In colour 
the female is more like those of speciosus and elegans^ with 


more yellow on the forehead, and of a much more orange yel- 
low below than the female flammeus. 

The wings of my specimens measure — <J's, 35 ; 3*47. $ 's, 
3-35; 3-42. 

A very fine male measured in the flesh — L., 7'5 ; Ex., 11*12 ; 
T., 31; W., 35; Ts., 0-62; B.f.g., 082. 

For the size of the birds the bills are very large and coarse, 
very much larger than in brevirostris, neqlectus, igneus or what 
I take to be the true ardens of Boie. apud Bp. 

This species is probably the P. ardens of Lord Walden 
from Sumatra, with the wing 3*5, (Ibis, 1873, p. 310,) but as 
yet we have not procured it in the southern portion of the 
Malay Peninsular, but only at Baukasoon at the foot of the 
Hills, at the extreme south of the Tenasserim Provinces. 

The true ardens I take to be the birds figured by Salvadori, 
Uccelli di Borneo, Tav II, and described by him at p. 143, 
of which he gives the dimensions of four specimens as — 

L., 6-55; T., 2*97; W., 316; Ts., 06; B., 051. 

This may possibly be the "flammeus " of Temminck in part, 
and is doubtless the bird to which Mr. Wallace referred 
(P. Z. S., 1863, p. 493) when in describing his exul, which has 
a wing of 3 - 25, he speaks of it being larger than flammeus of Tem- 
minck — the true flammeus being of course a much larger bird 
than either exul or ardens. 

We killed at Johore, the extreme southern state of the Malay 
Peninsular, a female answering to Salvadori's description, with 
the wing 3*18, but with an appreciable olive-green shade on 
the grey of the back. This differs conspicuously from the 
female of flammifer, by its smaller size, much smaller bill, 
by the olivaceous shade on the grey of the back, by the more oliva- 
ceous yellow of the rump, by the smaller extent and diminished 
brightness of the orange of the forehead, which is merely a 
frontal band extended on either side over the lores, and so far as 
the imperfect iving (the bird had just moulted 18th August, 
but the earlier primaries are not yet full grown) enables me 
to judge by lacking on only the first three primaries the yellow 
patch, and having even on the third a conspicuous yellow line. 

This is clearly a distinct species. I believe it to be the true 
ardens ; anyhow there are two species quite distinct from exul, 
igneus and minutus, Tern. ap. Strickl., and even more so from 
flagrans, Boie apud Bonap, if the latter's diagnosis is correct, 
and if not it must be rejected, so that two names are wanted. 
Those who identify the larger bird with ardens must call it so, 
and may call the smaller one, described aud figured by Salva- 
dori, loc. ciL, P. subardens, nobis. Those who agree with 
Salvadori and myself must call the larger bird flammifer and 


the smaller ardens, or perhaps xanthog aster if no distinct 
species turns up in Sumatra. 

14.— Pericrocotus flammeus, Forst. 

Penn. Zool. Ind., 25 to 15. Gould. B. of As., Pt. II., PL 4, 
Jerd. B. of I., I., 420, No. 272. 111. Ind. Orn., PI. II. 

In this species neither sex has any coloured patch (I have ex- 
amined 52 specimens) on either of the first four primaries, but 
out of 36 males two have a hair line of red on the fourth primary. 
Mr. Sharpe, (S. F., IV., p. 207,) seemed of opinion that this was 
not a constant character, but I have found* it so in 52 speci- 
mens, and I must maintain that either the wing's he examined 
were imperfect, or that the birds were not really flammeus from 
Southern India and Ceylon, where alone the species occurs. As 
far as mere colour goes, I too, like Blyth, have and have seen 
specimens of elegans, not distinguishable from others of flam- 
meus,^ though taking a lot of each species, from known localities, 
there cau be no doubt that the tint of flammeus male is more 
fiery than that of either speciosus, elegans, or andamanensis, 
from all of which the number of plain primaries in the male 
at once distinguishes it, as also from flammifer which approaches 
it nearest in tint. 

The females cannot thus be distinguished from those of the 
two last-named species, but they differ in the less extent of 
the orange or yellow on the forehead, in the darker grey of 
the back, and in the clearer and purer yellow of the lower 

Wings of this species that I measured are as follows : — 

t's— 3-6; 3 62; 37; 3'6 ; 372; 37; 3-6; 3-68; 375; 
3-73; 3-6; 37; 36. 

?'s— 3'45; 345; 3-6; 35; 365; 37; 3'6 ; 3"47 ; 3'55 ; 
3-45; 3-6; 3'6. 

I dare say that to many there will appear a great deal of 
hair splitting in what I have written about the different species, 
but I have studied the Indiau members of the group now 
carefully, with by far the largest series of properly-sexed, 

* See also ray remarks on this point, S. F., IV., p. 394. 

t I found 2 specimens of !J> elegans from Hill Tipperah, in my own collection, 
labelled flammeus by myself. 

The only clear difference in these two birds, except in the 3 plain primaries of fe- 
male elegans, and the four plain ones of flammeus, consisted in the two misnamed birds 
having a great deal more orange on the forehead than female flammeus ever has. As 
a rule the yellow on the rump is more extended and more orange, and the yellow 
generally, especially on the tail feathers, is more orange in $ elegans than in flammeus, 
but in the case of these particular two, to say the truth, very indifferent specimens 
these differences were not appreciable, and thus while a lot of typical males and* 
females from Hill Tipperah had been correctly labelled elegans, these two (I had not 
studied the primaries in those days) had gone down as flammeus, which, to a cursory- 
glance, they more resemble than they do typical elegans. 



dated, and placed specimens ever united in one collection, and 
I am confident that sooner or later independent research will 
confirm my views. 

Flammeus is essentially a bird of the Hills of Southern 
India and Ceylon. In the Hills of Ceylon, the Assamboo 
Hills, and their continuation, the Cardamum Hills, the 
Western Ghats, as far north at any rate as Khandalla, 
whence I have specimens, the Pulneys, Anamallis and Nilgher- 
ries, the bird is common, and in the cold season it may even be 
found at some little distance from the bases of these in con- 
venient jungles and on the Malabar coast to the very shores of 
the sea, but it is in no sense a plains bird, and never occurs in 
India I believe in the open country at any distance from one or 
other of these Hill series. As regards Ceylon I cannot speak. 

Nearly allied to this species appears to be P. Exul (non vidi) 
of Wallace, (P. Z. S., 1863, p. 492), from Lombock, and, if 
really identical, East Java and Banda. 

This species has a second wing spot ; it appears to have the 
coloured patch in both sexes (I go by the description) on 
all but the first three primaries. 

The wing band is described as " narrowing on the secon- 
daries and suddenly broader on the tertiaries" wherein, if this 
be correct, it differs from all the Indiau Pericrocoti. 

Its dimensions are given — 

L., 7-5 ; W., 3-25 ; T., 3*62 ; B. at front, 0-5. So that it is 
considerably smaller than the true fiammeus, though larger than 
both igneus and ardens (apud nos) one or other of which, but 
probably the latter, seems to have been the species referred to 
by Mr. Wallace as fiammeus of Temminck. 

Unnavto wpit f jjastanus insipis. 

By D. G. Elliot, F. R. S. E., &c. 

Perhaps it may seem to be rather late, and also somewhat 
unnecessary at this time, to discuss the question as to the 
existence of two species of Pheasants in Turkestan and Yar- 
kand, since M. Severstov has procured, and made known to 
ornithologists under the name of P. chry somelas , the exact 
locality of the bird described by me some years since as P. 
insignis. But as Mr. Scully, in a late volume of Stray 
Feathers, has desired to know the differences that exist between 
this bird aud the P. S/tmvi, and which induced me to describe 
them as distinct, and as the plates in my monograph do not 
seem to be s ufficient to exhibit these differences, (although 
they were dra wn by the greatest delineator of animals living, 


and who fully appreciated that he had two very distinct 
species before him), I will endeavour, as clearly and briefly as 
possible, to state the characters by which P. insignis may be 
recoguised, so that Indian Ornithologists, who may perhaps 
penetrate the localities where these splendid birds are found, 
will, through the medium of Stray Feathers, be able to 
recognise the two species without difficulty. 

I will remark, en passant, that it is very evident on reading 
Dr. Scully's article that Mr. Hume was perfectly correct in 
stating his belief that but one species was represented among 
the examples collected by Dr. Scully, ail of which were undoubt- 
edly P. Shaioi, and I am certain that, if specimen of P. 
insignis had been with them, Dr. Scully, who has a quick eye 
to detect different characters, would have recognised it at once. 

It certainly was unfortunate that the skins brought to England 
by Mr. Shaw were so much mutilated, and that the heads were 
absent, (although the entire bodies and tails of both sexes were 
entire). This caused me to suppose that insignis had no ring 
about the neck, as no white feathers were visible. This view 
was not so entirely erroneous, however, as may be imagiued, for 
although the adult male has a narrow incomplete white ring, 
yet the young male, or rather the male when not absolutely 
fully adult, as exhibited by specimens brought to London by 
Mr. Severstov, and now in Mr. Dresser's collection, is with- 
out this conspicuous mark. I am inclined to think that at 
no time does this ring become as broad and noticeable as 
it is in P. mongolicus, and very likely varies greatly in extent 
among different individuals even in adult birds, and has not 
much importance as a specific character. 

But to the differences between the two species. On placing 
them side by side, the first thing that will attract the observer's 
notice, is the size and colouration of the flank feathers. These 
in insignis are very much broader than those of Shaioi, of a most 
brilliant golden orange, with the entire end of each feather 
covered with bright metallic greeu. These feathers in Shaioi are 
golden brown, with a blue spot on the tips, more like the flanks 
of P. colcliicus, though much more brilliant. I think my plates 
do show very clearly these differences of the flank feathers, as 
do also those published by Mr. Gould in the Birds of Asia, 
Part 28, from drawings by Mr. Wolf, of P. Shawl and P. 
insignis, the latter erroneously called P. chrysomelas. 

The next point is an important one, and here I feel I 
must apologise, for although Mr. Wolf was very careful to 
exhibit the character in the drawing, I throuorh some 

• • • ^ 

inadvertence, omitted to mention it in my description. It 
will be noticed that, among the scapulars of P. insiqrds, one 


feather is drawn down over the white shoulder, so as to 
make it as conspicuous as possible. The centre of this 
along" the shaft for two-thirds its length is entirely black. 
Now I do not know another species of true Pheasant, by which 
I mean those species restricted to the genus Phasianus, that has 
this character — this part of the same feathers in all of them, 
except insignis, being white or buff, and this difference alone 
is sufficient to detect insignis at once. It was the first point 
examined by me when I saw the specimens brought by M. 
Severstov, and I found them the same as the one exhibited 
so prominently in my plate. If P. chrysomelas is distinct 
from P. insignis, it will be very difficult, I think, to define 
wherein they differ in the color of their bodies, and the 
ring on the neck is evidently not always present, as proved by 
M. Severstov's specimens. The black centres of the feathers, 
mentioned above, probably escaped Mr. Gould's attention, as he 
does not mention them in his article. 

The under tail-coverts of insignis are chestnut, tips washed 
with sliming green, those of Shawl are red. Dr. Scully's ex- 
amples did not have this metallic lustre, which might have shaken 
his view as to insignis being present among his specimens, 
though perhaps young birds may not exhibit much of it. The 
feathers of the breast of insignis are so broadly tipped with 
metallic green as to give to this part the appearance of being 
almost wholly of this colour ; that of Shawi is chestnut, the 
feathers margined with blue, but in contradistinction to insignis ; 
the general appearance is chestnut with a metallic lustre. 
The tails of the two species are totally different; that of P. 
Shawi being rufous brown with black cross bars next the shaft, 
but not on the same line on both webs, continued to the outer edge 
by a chestnut bar. The rectrices of P. insignis are reddish- 
brown, barred regularly with black ; these bars much narrower 
and more numerous than those of Shaioi. 

I think the above points are sufficient to enable any one to 
recognise the two species. That there are two M. Severstov's 
perfect specimens completely demonstrate, and causes Mr. Gould's 
effort to prove the contrary by publishing Dr. Scully's article 
entire, rather amusing, and I am the more gratified that it 
has been proved they exist, from the fact, that when I described 
them, with the exception of Mr. Wolf, not many of my brother 
ornithologists in England, I believe, thought that there were 
really two species among the specimens brought by Mr. Shaw. 

I am not indebted to M. Severstov's specimens in any way for 
the characters here given, but they are those originally observed 
in the types of my species, which are now in the collection 
of the Royal Zoological Museum at Stuttgart, Wurtemburg. 


Uotcs on Captain f cgge's paper on ambitious to t\t C^lon 


By A. Whyte, F. Z. S., &c, of Messrs. Whyte & Co., Kandy. 

I beg to offer the following remarks on a paper of Captain 
Legge's which appeared, S. F., IV., p. 242. 

78.— Glaucidium malabaricum, Blyth, 

A Small-eared Pygmy Owlet came under our notice about four 
years ago. It was of a yellowish brown color, and a o-ood deal 
mottled with white about the wings and scapulars. This 
specimen was shot by J. R. Hughes, Esq., Kitoolmulle Estate ; 
another of the same species Avas collected by H. V. Masefield 
Esq., on the 11th April this year, and we cannot say if this 
bird is G. malabaricum or not until further examination.* 

181.— Brachypternus intermedius, Legge. 

We believe the Editor is correct as regards this bird. Speci- 
mens of B. ckrysonotus vary very much indeed, and a lono* 
series of these from the Sambul district puzzled us much at 

62.— Phodilus badius, Horsf. 

The first specimen recorded from Ceylon, viz., the one pur- 
chased from us by Mr. Neville and sent to the Editor of this 
Journal, was collected by us, not far from Kandy : a second 
specimen was captured in a nest in a hole of a tree alono- 
with three young ones, in November 1876, in the North Kukul 
Korab Valley, by R. B. Hector, Esq., of Mahavema. 

A third specimen has since passed through our hands in 
February this year, from Ratota, and was collected then by 
E. G. Reeves, Esq. This Owl is a very distinct species, and 
could not be confounded with any other species of Ceylon Owl. 

265.— Tephrodornis ponticeriana, Gm. 

The Wood Shrike found in Ceylon is a migrant to the Kandy 
Hills during the N. E. Monsoon. 

* It was probably a Scops — S. pennatus. — Ed., S. F. 


357.— Oreocincla pectoralis,* Legge. 

We have never met with this Thrush, and Mr. Thwaites has the 
full merit of its discovery. Mr. Neville's bird 0. Gregoriana 
was collected by us, and the Editor's remarks as to the reliability" 
of the information procured from us, are refreshing. Both this 
bird and several specimens of Batrachostomus punctatus were col- 
lected in Ceylon, and we are sure that the Editor cannot sub- 
stantiate a single instance of our ever having misled f any one as 
to the locality in which we have collected our specimens. We 
in fact confine our work entirely to the Fauna of Ceylon, and deal 
in no foreign specimens. Our Kandy Oil bird is by no means 
very rare, and I have full notes regarding its discovery, habits, 

404 bis. — Pomatorhinus melanurus, Blyth. 

There can be little doubt, we think, that we have two species. 
The bill of the Hill bird differs much from that of the low 
country one. 

59 bis. — Baza ceylonensis,j Legge. 

This bird was discovered by us eight years ago, a pair hav- 
ing been shot by one of our collectors, not far from Kandy. 

* At the time, I wrote to Captain Legge that this supposed new species must be 
the female of Turdulus Wardi ; it seemed, however, too absurd that he should des- 
cribe, as new, so common and well-known a species, and I dismissed the idea. But 
to-day, taking out a series of females and young males of T. Wardi, and comparing 
them with the description of pectoralis, I am unable to discriminate this new spe- 
cies, and I much wish Captain Legge would point out to us clearly wherein the 
new species differs. — Ed., S. F. 

f I never imagined that Messrs. White of Kandy were in any way dishonest, or 
that they ever wilfully misled their customers, but I certainly did believe that they 
were mere dealers, who purchased any specimens brought to them that seemed likely 
to yield a profit, accepted the statements of the vendors without close investigation, 
and labelled their specimens accordingly. 

This had been repeatedly stated to me by others, but it was explicitly written 
to me, as a patent and universally known fact, by a gentlemen who was then, and 
had for some time previously been residing in Ceylon, who possessed, as it seemed, ex- 
ceptional opportunities of acquiring a correct knowledge of the facts, and who had 
apparently no possible bias in the matter. 

The letters, testimonials, and certificates forwarded to me by Messrs. Whyte, repre- 
sent a totally different view of the case. They show that Messrs. Whyte and Co. 
take a lively personal interest in Natural History, in which they have made many 
discoveries, and " are trustworthy and intelligent ornithologists, who can have no 
object in deceiving the public," and deal solely and entirely in specimens obtained in 
the island of Ceylon. 

This being so, I take the earliest opportunity of thus repairing any injustice that 
(acting on explicit and apparently reliable information) I may have done them, and 
of expressing my regret if anything I have said, (although in all good faith and 
without any idea of injuring them,) has in any way wrongfully prejudiced their 
interests. — Ed., S. F. 

% I find great difficulty in believing that this is really a new species. I cannot 
help thinking that it is only sumatrensis. If, however, really distinct from this latter, 
then I apprehend it will prove identical with my incognita, which I have been on 
the whole inclined to identify with sumatrensis, though its plumage agrees better with 
the supposed ceylonensis than with any available description of sumatrensis. — Ed., S. F. 


Since then three more specimens have been collected by us, 
one of which Captain Legge obtained from us. 

This bird puzzled us for years, as only one Baza (lojjhotes) 
had been recorded by Layard, Kelaart, Holdsworth, &c. 

Now as Baza lophotes has never since been procured in Ceylon, 
we think it not unlikely that this was the one recorded as 
Baza lophotes by former writers. When in England last year 
we brought this to the notice of Mr. Sharpe, of the British 
Museum, and also of Mr. Holdsworth. Here again Mr. 
Legge, though under a promise to quote us in the case of rare 
or new species obtained by him from us, ignores us altogether 
in connection with these late discoveries, several of which are 
in reality ours. 

Nisaetus pennatus, Gm. 

Here again is a discovery of ours made } T ears ago. Tt was 
from us that a specimen of this Eagle was obtained by Mr. 
Legge, yet without the slightest recognition of this fact. He 
says : " My specimen is an adult male, and was killed in 
the upland of Doombera near Kandy." 

This is the very specimen he had from us, and which was 
collected by ourselves. 

Petrocossyphus cyaneus, Lin. 

As stated by Captain Le^e, Mr. Thomas Farr has the 
merit of discovering this bird. We have seen no example 
except the first specimen procured by Mr. Farr at Kaduganava 
and prepared for him by us. 

Some remarks on t&e gnto Species of % $cnus 

Volvocivora neglecta. 

Intermediate in colour between V. melasckistus and V. melanoptera 
vel avensis, but much smaller than either ; wing in the largest male 
417. Outermost tail feather only, at most, 075, and generally only 
about 0*55 shorter than central tail feathers. 

There is a small race of Cuckoo Shrikes which I have only 
yet met with in the extreme south of the Tenasserim Provin- 
ces, which I cannot identify with any known species, and which 
I think it well to distinguish under the above name. I have 


numerous lovely specimens of this little species, males and 
females, old aud young. 

The following- are the dimensions recorded in the flesh of an 
old male in perfect plumage : — 

L., 8-12 ; E., 13-0 ; T., 3'55 ; W., 4-1 ; Ts., 0.76 ; B.f.g., 0-85. 

The lores are blackish dusky ; the cheeks and eai'-coverts 
are blackish slaty ; the entire upper surface of the bird, includ- 
ing- scapulars and lesser wing-coverts, the chin, throat, upper 
breast and sides of the neck, are of beautiful uniform blue grey, 
paler than in the palest female melasc/iistus, but darker than 
the male avensis. The colour is slightly darker on the crown, 
where as in other species there is a faint indication of darker 
striation, and it is slightly paler on the rump aud the upper 
tail-coverts ; the ear-coverts are duskier, but scarcely darker 
than crown or throat ; the lower-breast and abdomen and the 
wing lining are the same colour as the rump, becoming paler 
tow r ards the vent, which, with the lower tail-coverts, are pure 
white ; the wings, except the lesser-coverts, are black, with a 
distinct greenish lustre. The median and greater coverts, 
secondaries and tertiaries, are edged with the colour of the 
back ; the primaries, except the first four or five, are narrowly 
margined and conspicuously though narrowly tipped with white ; 
the tail is black ; the central tail-teathers grey for nearly half 
their length, margined with paler grey throughout, and tipped 
with nearly pure white ; the whole of the lateral tail-feathers 
are broadly tipped with pure white ; the external ones most 
broadly so to the extent of about half an inch ; the exterior 
lateral tail-feathers are scarcely - 5 shorter than the central ones, 
and the penultimate pair are only 02 shorter. 

Two old females, unfortunately not measured in the flesh, are 
precisely similar, except that the wings, which measure 3*8 and 
395 respectively, want the slaty aud white edgings and tippings, 
and also want the grey shade on the tail, while the four central 
tail-feathers have almost dropped their white tippings. In 
these two the exterior lateral tail-feathers are 06 and 0*65 
shorter than the central ones. The male first described is just 
fresh moulted ; these females must have monlted 4 or 5 months. 

The largest bird I have, an old male, has the wings 4*17 ; this 
still shews on the coverts and quills traces of the slaty edgings, 
and the white has not yet worn off the tips of the central tail- 
feathers ; the shortest tail-feathers are nearly 0*7 shorter than 
the central ones. A younger bird, sexed a female, but I believe 
a male, as it is larger than all other females (in which the wings 
are 3*8, 39, 3"95) measured in the flesh as follows : — 

L., 8-12; E., 12 75; T., 382; W., 4'0; Ts., 0-75; B.f.g., 
0-82 ; Wgt. ; 1 oz. 


This has the whole upper surface precisely like the bird 
first described, but has the ear-coverts and cheeks streaked 
with greyish white ; lores brownish dusky, aud the entire under 
surface greyish white, closely barred with greyish dusky ; only 
the vent feathers aud lower tail-coverts pure white with black- 
ish dusky arrowhead subtertninal spots. In this bird the ex- 
ternal lateral tail feathers are 0*65 shorter than the central 

It may be well now to make a brief l'eview of all the 
Indian species of this genus with which I am acquainted or 
which have been described. 

First we must take V. fimbriata, Tern., which occurs in the 
Malay Peninsula, aud with which I erroneously at one time 
identified the present species. This species agrees with neglecta 
in having a much less graduated tail than melaschistus, but it is 
a larger bird — the wing in the male being as much as 4'3 to 
4*$; it is much darker coloured, the whole head being nearly 
black, and the tail, instead of being conspicuously white tipped, 
has only a comparatively narrow grey tipping to the exterior 
laterals on either side ; the rest of the tail feathers are paler 
towards the tips, but have no regular tippings. 

Volvocivora melaschistus, Hodgs. ( lugubris, Sund. ) is 
much larger and much deeper coloured than neglecta. The 
w r ing in the adult male is often close upon 5 inches, and never 
I think in the full-grown bird less than 4*75; the exterior lateral 
tail feather is from 1*2 to 1*6 shorter than the central ones. 

V. avensis has already been described, Vol III, p. 93. In 
this species the colour, sex for sex, is alwaj^s paler than in our 
neglecta, and, a fortiori, much paler than in melaschistus. In 
this the wing varies from 4*2 to 4*4, and the external lateral 
tail-feathers are about an inch shorter than the middle ones. 

Then we have in Tenasserim, most abundant in the hills, but 
extending in the cold weather to the sea-board aud the plains 
of Pegu, a race of melaschistus, which I will, for convenience 
sake, denominate Volvocivora intermedia. 

It is very close to melaschistus, and as such I originally 
identified it, but with 24 specimens before me I find that sex 
being ascertained no specimen of it can be mistaken for a speci- 
men of the corresponding sex of melaschistus, but it is much 
the same size, and the old males are as nearly as possible the 
same colour as the females of melaschistus. 

Except as regards colour I can point at present to no unfail- 
ing and absolute diagnosis between it and melaschistus. But, 
as a rule, the exterior lateral tail feather is longer. In no 
specimen is this latter more than 1*2 shorter than the middle 
one, and as a rule it is only about one inch shorter. Usually 



there is a great deal more white upon the tail, the white tippings 
being conspicuously broader. As to size of bill I can say 
nothing, for in both this race and the true melaschistus the bill 
varies extraordinarily in dimensions. 

The dimensions in the wings of this race are as follows : — 

^' 8i _4.8; 4-8; 47; 4"45(?) ; 4-76; 4-84; 4-6; 4-8; 
4-45 (?); 4-55; 4-5. 

S ' 8 ._4-6; 4-7; 4-75(?);4'5; 4-55; 4'5 ; 4'4; 4'55 ; 47; 
4-75(?);4-7; 4-5; 4'71 ; 46. 

This is taking all the birds, old and young, together, and 
estimating the length of wings marked(?) in which the primaries 
are defective. 

I am very doubtful whether this should be considered a sub- 
species or not, but it is a very distinguishable and perfectly 
constant race, and not one single specimen of true melaschistus 
has occurred to us throughout the region in which it is so 
abundant, and it may be best therefore to characterize it by a 
distinct name. 

Then we have two species, supposed to belong to our region, 
but of which I have never seen specimens, viz. : — 

V. melanura, Haiti. J.fur 0., 1865, p. 162, of which the 
following is the original description — I having only converted 
the French inches and lines into English inches and decimals, 
and translated the latin description : 

" Very like V. melaschistus, but differing in its unicolorous 
black tail with no white tips, and in its much smaller and slen- 
derer bill. 

" Length, 9-6 ; bill, 055 ; wing, 4'92 ; tarsus, 0'83. 

? " East Indies. 

" The description is taken from a specimen in the Leyden 
Museum, which bears the inscription ' Hindoostan.' " 

This species may be a good one, but I have never met with 
it, and I have specimens of melaschistus in which almost (but 
not quite) the whole of the white tippings are absent. As to 
the bill the way in which this organ differs in different speci- 
mens of melaschistus is perfectly marvellous, and would be credit- 
ed by no one who had not picked out the extremes from a very 
large series. 

Then we have — 

V. vidua, Earth, Op. cit., p. 163. 

" Dusky bluish slate colour, a little paler below with wings 
and tail black with a slight greenish lustre ; under wing-coverts 
concolorous with the back ; tail feathers, except the two central 
ones, paler margined at the tips, the exterior pair with a small 
white spot at the tip; rump paler, hardly conspicuously banded 
paler ; under tail-coverts ashy ; bill aud feet black. 


" Length, 7-68; bill, 0*55; wing, 4*12 ; tail, 31; tarsus, 

a ? Araccan. 

" Veiy clearly indicates a distinct species. The description 
is taken from a specimen iu the Bremen Museum." 

This species, it will be observed in some respects, approximates 
to our neglecta ; but in certain points, and these important ones 
none of our specimens agree with the description ; all our speci- 
mens have the tail feathers conspicuously, and the four outer 
pairs, I may say, broadly, tipped with white ; the wing-lining 
is not concolorous with the back, but paler ; the rump is not 
banded paler in any specimen, and the under tail-coverts are 
white in all. 

Lastly, I ought perhaps to mention Folvocivora Scheerbrandi, 
V. Pelzeln, which occurs in Borneo, and might occur in the 
hilly portions of Tenasserim. I have never seen this species, 
but it is described as very like V. fimbriata, with the black 
colour of the throat and breast sharply defined and abruptly 
divided from the paler colour of the abdomen. 

A. 0. H. 

S&e Sptfamw of Utount poo anb gortlj §\\imt 


By Captain E. A. Bcjtler, H. M.'s 83rd Regiment. 
{Continued from Vol. 4,/?. 41.^ 


List of species omitted in the former paper. 

In this paper I propose, first of all, to mention all of the 
species not included in my first list (Vol. 3, pp. 437 to 500 
and Vol. 4, pp. 1 to 41) that I have met with since that paper 
was published. Secondly, to comment briefly upon some of 
the remarks contained therein, making such corrections as fur- 
ther observations have enabled me to do. Thirdly, to append 
a migratory table showing, so far as I am able, the dates of 
arrival and departm*e of all of the migratory species noticed. 

This table, although doubtless very imperfect, may, I trust, 
be found useful and act as a basis in assisting those interested 
in the subject in finally determining the exact dates upon which 
the annual migrations take place. The dates given are the 
result of my own personal observations. 


40.— Pandion halisetus, Lin. 

I was not sure of the identity of this species when my first 
paper was published (vide ante Vol. III., p. 439) but siuce then 
I have observed the bird on several occasions on the Burnath 
river, near Deesa. I only secured one specimen and that 
being in bad plumage and much mutilated, I did not preserve 
the skin. It is by no means common and usually appears at 
the close of the monsoon when there is plenty of water in 
the river. 

65.— Syrnium ocellatum, Less. 

The Mottled Wood Owl is not uncommon between Deesa and 
Ahmedabad, occurring in exactly the same localities as U. 
coromanda. It is a very noisy bird and commences to call 
usually as soon as it begins to get dusk. It has two very dis- 
tinct calls, one resembling the words "Kook, kook, kook/' repeat- 
ed sometimes, only once or twice, at other times, several times, 
consecutively with a short interval between each. This note 
is loud and clear, and can be heard at least half a mile off. 
The other call resembles the words " Oo-war-r-r, oo-war-r-r, 
oo-war-r-r," repeated also several times consecutively. This 
call can also be heard at a long distance. In the breeding 
season they utter the most hideous cries all night. 

134 ter.— Alcedo ispida, Linn. 

On comparing my Aboo King-fisher skins with specimens 
shot in the plains, I believe that some of the Aboo birds belong 
to the present species. A. bengalensis occurs at Aboo as well, 
but as many of the skins I collected were referable I believe 
to ispida, I think we may admit the species into our list. The 
bird I refer to differs from A. bengalensis in being a larger bird, 
with the white cheek patch more conspicuous, the rufous of the 
breast much more ferruginous and the blue of the back, brighter 
and less mixed with green. 

The measurements of both forms taken in the flesh are sub- 
joined for comparison : — 

Length. Wing. Tail. Bill at F. Bill at G. Expanse. Sex. Locality. 

T 275 1-62 1-5 2 <J Aboo,22-6-75. 

6 75 2-75 1'75 156 2 ? Aboo,22-6-75. 

681 2-75 162 1-56 193 ? Aboo,22-6-75. 

Irides, blackish brown ; legs and feet, dusky red. In the $ 
both mandibles black. In the ? lower mandible reddish, orange. 

A bengalensis Gmel. 

Length. Wing. Tail. Bill at F. Bill at G-. Expanse. Sex. Locality. 
662 275 15 125 168 9 5 $ Deesa,27-4-76. 

656 2 75 15 134 178 987 <J Deesa,29-4-76. 


[I think all these specimens are referable to A. bengalensis. — 
A. 0. H.] 

441.— Chsetornis striatus, Jerd. 

The Grass-Babbler is not uncommon about Deesa in the 
rains at which season it breeds. I found a nest containing 
four eggs on the 18th August 1876. It consisted of a round 
ball of dry grass with a circular entrance on one side near 
the top, was placed on the ground in the centre of a low 
scrubby bush in a grass Bheerh, and when the hen bird flew off, 
which was not until I almost put my foot on the nest, I mis- 
took her for Chatarrhcea caudata. On looking, however, into the 
bush I saw at once by the eggs that it was a species new to 
me. I left the spot and returned again in about an hour's 
time, when to my disappointment I fouud that three of the 
eggs had hatched. The fourth egv being stale, I took it and 
added it to my collection. The eggs are about the size of the 
eggs of C. caudata, but in colour very like those of Franhlinia 
Buchanani, namely, white speckled all over with reddish brown 
and pale lavender, most densely at the large end. This bird has 
a peculiar habit in the breeding season of rising suddenly into 
the air and soaring about, often for a considerable distance, 
uttering a loud note resembling the words " chirrup, chirrup- 
chirrup,'" repeated all the time the bird is in the air and then 
suddenly descending slowly into the grass with outspread 
wings much in the style of Mirafra eryihroptera. These birds 
are so similar in appearance when flying and hopping about 
in the long grass to C. caudata that I have no doubt they 
are often mistaken for that species. I have invariably fouud 
them during the rains in grass Bheerhs over-grown with low 
thorny bushes {Zizyphus jujuba, &c.) Whether they remain 
the whole year round I cannot say ; at all events if they do 
their close resemblance to C. caudata enables them to escape 
notice at other seasons. 

483 bis. — Pratincola macrorhyncha, Stol. 

Amongst the Pratincolas forwarded to Mr. Hume in my last 
batch of skins, there appears to have been a bird of this species. 
Measurements as below : — 

Length. Wing. Tail. Bill at front. Bill at gape. Sex. Locality. 

5-87 3- 2-62 C 43 75 ? Deesa, 1211-75. 

Irides, very dark brown ; legs and feet, black ; bill, blackish 
brown, horny at base of lower inaudible. 

I cannot say whether the bird is common or otherwise in 
the district whence it was procured, as I was not aware of its 


existence in that locality until Mr. Hume identified the speci- 
men referred to. — [Vide ante, p. 131. — A. 0. H.] 

593 quat— Budytes flava, Linn. 

I shot a specimen of the Yellow Wagtail at Sidhpore, 30 
miles S. of Deesa, along" the Ahmedabad road, on the 7th March 
1876. I saw others at the same time but only secured the 
one specimen. It is not a common bird and like B. melano- 
cephala prefers open moist ground to the tanks themselves. 
All of the birds, I noticed, were upon open grassy maidans in 
the neighbourhood of tanks. In the month of March the pale 
lavender head and white supercilium are vei'y conspicuous aud 
render it distinguishable at a glance from any of the other 

594 Us.— Budytes citreola, Pall. 

The Yellow-headed Wagtail is very common throughout 
the tank country, and in fact wherever there is water. Uu- 
like^aua and melanocephala it is essentially a tank species, living 
almost exclusively, I believe, in the immediate neighbourhood 
of water, along the edges of tanks, rivers, swamps, &c. It 
always seems to me to be much less terrestrial in its habits 
than the other members of this group, almost preferring, when 
flushed to perch upon some low tree or bush, or more often 
still upon a tall reed or grass stem, to settling on the ground. 
It is easily distinguished from the other species by its grey 
back, bright canary-yellow head and the black cowl which 
separates the grey of the back from the yellow of the head. 

696.— Ploceus bengalensis, Lin. 

Here I must take the opportunity of apologizing for another 
mistake, as 1 find now that the birds referred to by me, " Vol. 
Ill, p. 495," were Ploceus bengalensis. Dr. Jerdon says that the 
"nest of P. bengalensis is non-pensile and has no tubular entrance, 
or a very short one made of' grass and more slightly inter- 
woven than either of the others/'' Now the birds which I 
found breeding in the neighbourhood of Milana, 18 miles south- 
east of Deesa, last rains swarmed in every tank wherever there 
were high rushes, and the nests which abounded corresponded 
exactly with the nests of P. manyar, described in rough draft 
of " Nests and Eggs," p. 440. If, therefore, Dr. Jerdon's asser- 
tion is correct these must have been Ploceus manyar. 

At the time I certainly thought they belonged to the same 
species which proved subsequently to be P. bengalensis, but as 
I unfortunately preserved no specimens I cannot be sure ; at 
all events, as both species occur in Siudh, I think it probable 




Bill at F. 

Bill at G-. 









6 12. 






that the birds I found breeding at Milana were P. manyar, 
skins of which I have since examined in the Frere Hall 
Museum at Kurrachee, and that it is better therefore to retain 
that species also for the present in our list. 

819 bis.— Francolinus pictus, Var. 

I have lately met with a variety of painted partridge near 
Deesa, which, if not entitled to specific distinction, must be ad- 
mitted as a most interesting 1 link between F, vulgaris and F. 
pictus. It is a larger and stouter bird than pictus, with the black 
on the neck, throat, and breast much more developed, and 
lastly has an indistinct, but at the same time very unmistake- 
able, rufous collar. These are the chief characteristics, but 
as Mr. Hume has a skin which I sent him last December, he 
will doubtless be able, if necessary, to add further particulars. 

Measurements taken in the flesh as follows : — 

Sex. Locality. 
| ) Deesa, 2-8-76. 

Irides, very dark brown ; bill, black ; legs and feet, yellowish 

Measurements of F. pictus, killed in the same neighbourhood, 
are subjoined for J comparison : — 

Length. Wing. Tail. Bill at F. Bill at Gh Expanse. Sex. Locality 
1225. 55. 3 5. "93. 1. 19. $ Deesa,8-8 76. 

I shot and examined altogether about six or seven specimens, 
but regret to say only preserved one skin. They were all 
exactly alike and gave me the idea of being a cross between 
pictus and vulgaris both of which species occur in the Beerh 
from which my specimens were procured. A nest was brouo-ht 
to me at the beginning of the rains, taken in the same 
neighbourhood, which, from the size and color of the eo-o-s, I 
should say, in all probability, belonged also to this variety. 
If considered distinct, I should suggest intermedins as an 
appropriate specific title. The eggs referred to above answer 
exactly to Mr. Hume's description of the Black Partridge's 
eggs, " Nests and Eggs," Vol. III., p. 537, but were taken on 
the 5th August, which is late for vulgaris. 

[I should take this bird to be a hybrid. 

It differs from every specimen of pictus that I have seen, in 
having (1) a marked black line from the nostrils to the anterior 
angle of the eye, and again from the posterior angle backwards 
over the ear-coverts ; (2) in having a large black patch on the 
breast; (3) in having distinct traces, all round the neck, of a 
broad chestnut collar ring; (4) in its larger size generally and 
larger bill in particular ; and (5) in having the throa* densely 


spotted with black — moreover all round the neck, and on breast 
(outside the patch) and abdomen there is more black than in 
any pictus that I have seen. 

On the other hand, the bird is more of the pictus than of the 
vulgaris type, and has the lores, (below the dark line) cheeks, 
ear-coverts and the broad stripe over eyes and down the sides 
of the neck, the same uniform bright rufous fawn that pictus 
has ; the upper back as in pictus, and generally though differing 
in the particulars above referred to, the whole plumage is of the 
pictus type. — A. 0. H.] 

[850 — iEgialitis minutus, Pall, apud Jerd. 

I found specimens of this amongst Captain Butler's Deesa 
Birds.— A. 0. H.] 

861. — Dromas ardeola, Poyh. 

I shot a beautiful specimen of the Crab Plover this year at 
Mandavee on the 25th January. It was flying along one of 
the creeks at low tide when I first saw it, and passed me within 
easy shot. After flying a short distance it settled by the water 
side aud allowed me to approach along the bare sand to within 
20 yards without showing the slightest signs of alarm. On the 
wing it reminds one of the Jacanas, flying with its legs stretch- 
ed out behind, much in the same style as Metopodius indlcus. 
It is the only specimen I observed, although I remained at 
Mandavee seven or eight days. 

862.— Haematopus ostralegus, Lin. 

I see Mr. Hume mentions the Oyster Catcher, Vol. IV. p, 496, 
as found along the coasts of Cutch and Kattywar. This is 
another of the birds I found plentiful at Mandavee in the cold 
weather. At low tide auy number of them may be seen dotted 
about on the mud banks amongst the numerous other waders. 

870.— Gallinago stenura, Temm. 

The Pin-tail Snipe, so far as my experience goes, is not very 
common. I shot one on the 24th August 1876, at Mil ana, 18 
miles S. E. of Deesa and obtained a few others later on in the 
season between Deesa and Ahmedabad. I have carefully 
perused the letters in S.F. Vol. I., pp. 423 and 496, also Vol. II., 
p. 335, and Vol. IV., p. 340 ; and have carefully compared 
the species with G. scolopaciuus, and believe now that there 
is no reliable point except the lateral tail-feathers to guide one 
in separating the two species. Dr. Jerdon says G. stenura 
is smaller than G. scolopaciuus, and my measurements of the 
two species, which are appended, tend to confirm that opinion. 


Then again Mr. J. C. Parker and Mr. G. P. Marshall say « it 
is larger than the common snipe/' My specimens, I regret to 
say, were not weighed ; and so I cannot compare weights. As 
for the other supposed characteristics giren by Dr. Jerdon, 
such as richly barred, lower wing-coverts, shorter beak and 
slightly shorter tarsus and feet, I hardly believe in the 
reliability of these, as I laid three Pin-tails this season on 
a table with eighteen common Snipe, all freshly killed and in the 
flesh, and although in many instances their characteristics were 
apparent, still in other instances, I could see no difference 
between the two species whatever, except in the increased num- 
ber and attenuation of the lateral tail-feathers. Then again 
these narrow pointed tail-feathers seem to vary constantly in 
numbers. In one of my specimens there were seven on each 
side ; in another eight, and in another nine. The greatest number 
of feathers in any one specimen including the whole tail being 
twenty-four, in some there were only twenty-two. All of the 
tails I refer to, seemed to he perfect, that is to say where only seven 
and eight lateral feathers existed, I should not say that any feathers 
had been shed. Mr. Parker says that stenura according to his ex- 
perience does not frequent the same ground as scolopacmus, and 
both he and Mr. Marshall are of opinion that the flight of 
stenura is more laboured. The birds obtained by me were not 
only shot upon the same ground as scolopacinus, viz., along the 
edges of rice fields, but, in many instances, the two species rose 
simultaneously, and it was not, until I had shot the birds aud 
examined them, that I distinguished the species. As regards 
the flight, I must admit, that occasionally when solitary indi- 
viduals of stenura have risen, the flight has struck me as beino- 
more laboured and heavier than in scolopacinus, but then agaiu 
when the two species were on the wing at the same time, I did 
not observe any difference in their flight. As to the call I 
have never noticed any difference in the et sca-a-ape" of the 
two species. In conclusion, after carefully reviewing the whole 
of the facts before me, I am inclined to think that the lateral 
tail-feathers are the only safe criterion to go by in separating 
the two species. 

Measurements taken in the flesh as follows : — 

G. stenura, Temm. 

Length. Wing. Tail. Bill at F. Bill at G. Expanse. Sox. Locality. 

1087. 5-18. 275. 262. 25. 17 75. ? Deesa. 

10-62. 5-12. 2-31. 25. 2 43. 1787. ? Bo. 

10-62. 5-25. 256. 2 56. 2 46. 1725. ? Do. 

1075. 525. 2 75. 25. 25. l7o. ? Do. 

Legs and feet, greenish lead ; irides, dark brown ; bill, pale 

horny brown, darkening towards the tip. In some the tail- 

d 4 


feathers number 24, in others 22, (possibly in some only 20). 
The lateral tail-feathers vary from seven to nine on each side. 
(Mr. Marshall says six and Mr. Cripps seven. Mr. Le Messurier 
also says six. "*S. F./' Vol. III., p. 380.) 

Gr. SCOlopacinUS, Bonap. 




Bill at F. 

Bill at G-. 



Local it; 












2 87. 









2 68. 




















1112. 5-36. 2-62 287. 2*81. 17 87. ? do. 

11-5 536. 3- 2-87. 2 86. 175. ? do. 

Legs and feet, pale greenish olive ; bill, horny brown ; 
darkening towards the tip ; irides, brownish black. Fourteen 

[I must adhere to what I said, Vol. II., p. 294. 

" First as regards the bill, of course specimens of the same 
sex of both species must be compared. The females in both 
species have considerably longer bills than the males, and 
it will not, therefore, do to compare males of the one against 
females of the other. Taking a number of stenura from all 
parts of India at random, the bills in the males vary from 2'2 
to 2*4, of the females from 2*5 to 2'65 ; in scolopacinus the bills 
of the males vary from 2 - 5 to 2'6, in the females from 2*7 to 
2'9. I am, therefore, certainly of opinion that the bill of our 
present species is decidedly shorter, sex for sex, than that of scolo- 
pacinus. Then as regards the richly-barred under wing-coverts; 
in stenura the axillaries and the entire wing-lining, except the 
lower greater coverts, are invariably, to judge from my large 
series, strongly and distinctly barred with blackish brown. This, 
according to my experience, is never the case in scolopacinus. 
In many specimens there is no barring at all, properly 
speaking, on the lower surface of the wing, but even where 
the axillaries are strongly barred, the median secondary 
lower coverts are always unbarred, forming a white unbarred 
patch in the centre of the upper portion of the lower surface of 
the closed wing. I have been unable to detect a single excep- 
tion to this rule, and believe it to hold good universally." 

Now since this was written I have examined hundreds of 
both species, I might probably say thousands, for I have exa- 
mined them morning after morning for months during each of 
two cold seasons in the Calcutta market, into which they are 
both brought daily, always in scores, often in hundreds, and 
I have been uuable to detect a single exception to what I have 
above stated. 


Captain Butlers measurements ouly confirm what I say. 
All his stenuras were clearly females, and so were all his 
scolopaci?uts, except the fourth on his list, which was probably 
a male.— A. 0. H.] 

888. — Calidris arenaria, Tem. 

Mr. Hume also mentions the Sanderling, Vol. IV., p. 496, 
as obtained by Mr. James at Maadavee. 

909. — Porzana maruetta, Brisson. 

I find that the English Spotted Rail is one of the rails I 
referred to as having been probably passed over, " S. F.," 
Vol. III., p. 440. Mr. James shot specimens at Padaria, about 
7 miles north-east of Langraij, between Deesa and Ahmedabad, 
last December, and forwarded two good skins to me for identi- 
fication. It is not very common, as a rule, but Mr. James in- 
forms me that they were tolerably plentiful where his speci- 
mens were procured. Like all of the rails they affect swampy 
ground, rice fields, sugarcane fields, &c, occurring ouly in the 
cold weather. 

910— Zapornia pygmaea, Naum. 

I found Baillon's Crake very common at Milana, 18 
miles north-east of Deesa, in September, and later on in the 
season I found it in many of the tanks between Deesa and 
Ahmedabad. It is by no means shy and runs along the 
surface of the water over the lotus leaves, <fec, much like a 
Jacana. I fancy it is migratory, as it appeared to me to be 
scarce at the end of August, and in September I saw any 
number of them. Six eggs said to belong to this species were 
brought to me at Milana on the 26th September. They were 
taken by one of my own nest seekers in a small clump of 
bulrushes growing out in a tank, and the nest, which he 
pointed out to me the following day, was built in the rushes 
about three or four feet from the water and looked for all the 
world like a miniature nest of C. chloropus, being composed of 
the same material (sedge and rush) and constructed in exactly 
the same manner. The eggs are much in size and shape like 
Rain Quails' eggs, and in color correspond exactly with the eggs 
of Zapornia pygm&a described "Nests and Eggs," p. 604, viz., 
i( pale olive stone colour, thickly freckled and mottled with faint 
dusky spots, and streaks all of which are dull, inconspicuous 
and ill-defined/' At first I doubted that the eggs belonged to 
this species for the following reasons : — Firstly, of the several 
specimens I shot, only one or two had the sexual organs at all 


enlarged ; secondly, the birds did not appear in any numbers 
until the beginning of September, whereas, had they been 
going to breed, I should have thought that they would have 
arrived at the beginning of the rains ; thirdly, closely as I 
searched the tanks daily for about a month, although the birds 
were plentiful all through September, I did not find another 
nest. However, taking into consideration all the circum- 
stances under which the nest was discovered, together with 
the fact that these were the only small rails I observed in the 
district where the nest was found, and they were plentiful, that 
the man who took the nest swore that it belonged to this 
species and pointed out the birds to me himself and finally 
that the eggs agree exactly with the eggs of Z. pygmcea, I 
believe now that they are genuine. 

934.— Ardetta sinensis, Gmel. 

I found two or three pairs of the Yellow Bittern at Milana, 
18 miles south-east of Deesa, during the rains, breeding in a 
dense bed of tall bulrushes by the side of a small tank. 
They are not easily flushed, and when flushed they fly some- 
what rapidly along the top of the rushes dropping into the 
reeds again after a short flight. The following extract is taken 
from my nesting memoranda. " On the 21st August 1876 
at Milana I found a nest of the Yellow Bittern. It was built 
of sedge and rushes near the outside of an immense bed of 
tall bulrushes, in one of which it was placed about two feet 
above the level of the water. It was a small nest and not 
unlike that of a small rail, and contained three eggs, but un- 
fortunately so near hatching, that I only managed to extract 
the contents of one of them. The eggs are long and cylin- 
drical, in fact, much in shape like night jar's eggs, about 1£ 
inch in length and white, faintly tinted with pale skim milk 
blue." I think, there can be no doubt of the identity of the 
eggs as there were two pairs of the birds in the clump of 
rushes in which I found the nest, a single bird rose close to 
the nest and there was no other bird to be found anywhere 
near the tank, that the eggs could possibly have belonged to. 
On the 24th instant I found another nest exactly similar in 
every respect, but built in a clump of bulrushes growing 
quite on the outside of the bed. The bird rose off the nest 
within a yai'd of me, but there were no eggs, and when I re- 
turned a few days later the nest was deserted. I only saw 
about three pairs of the birds altogether, one of which I shot 
(c? and ?), and a fortnight later when I visited the ground 
they had all disappeared, so that probably they only remain 
here during the rains. 


956.— Tadorna vulpanser, Mem. 

The Shieldrake is another species which has turned up in 
Kattywar, at a place called Nowanugger, since my first paper 
was published. The specimen referred to was obtained by Mr. 
James (" S. F.," Vol. IV., p. 496.) 

PART 2. 

Further remarks upon some of the species included in my 
first paper. 

3.— Gyps fulvus, Gmel. 

Never having since seen a specimen of the bird entered in my 
first paper under this head, Vol. III., p. 441, I am inclined 
now to think I was mistaken in the identity, and that the species 
should be expunged from the list. 

38.— Circaetus gallicus, Gmel. 

This species is commoner in the plains than my previous re- 
marks, Vol. III., p. 446, would lead people to suppose, occurring 
sparingly throughout the whole district. 

70.— Urrua coromanda, Lath. 

This species is also much commoner than I thought, especially 
in the tank country where its well-known and remarkable call 
" Wo, wo, wo, wo-o-o-o-o ; wo, wo, wo-o-o-o-o, &c." may be 
heard in almost every large tree from the commencement of the 
rains up to the breeding reason. They breed in the cold weather 
commencing about the middle or end of November. 

86.— Lagenoplastes fluvicola, Jerd. 

I have lately met with this species about 10 miles N. of 
Ahmedabad on the Deesa road. 

87.— Cotyle riparia, Linn. 

I have not succeeded in procuring another specimen of the 
European Sand Martin, but as the species has since turned up in 
Sind {vide S. F. Vol. IV., p. 507), and as I still feel confident 
that the bird previously alluded to by me (Vol. III., p. 452) 
was correctly identified, I think the species should still remain 
on our list. 


98.— Cypselus melba, Linn. 

Although the greater number of these birds seem to leave the 
plains about the middle of September, still a few may be seen 
(usually flying very high) all through the cold weather. 

107— Caprimulgus indicus, Lath. 

As these birds appear to breed in the hot weather, and as they 
are at Aboo throughout that season, it is to be surmised they 
breed on the hill. The paragraph, therefore, at the head of p. 
455, S. F. Vol. III., commencing " of course if migratory, &c," 
should be erased. 

144.— Meniceros bicornis, Scop. 

As Mr. Hume has entered in his remarks opposite to this 
species : " occurs nowhere, so far as I know, within the whole 
plain region with which we are dealing." I may as well men- 
tion that the bird is tolerably common in the tank country North 
of Ahmedabad, occurring wherever there are large trees (Ficus 
indica, &c.) upon the fruit of which it feeds. If Mr. Hume looks 
over the skins I recently sent him, he will find a fine specimen 
which I shot last October in the compound of the Travellers' 
bungalow at Kullole, 15 miles North of Ahmedabad and on the 
Deesa road. 

[This is outside the comparatively desert region with which 
we were more especially dealing. As you approach Ahmedabad, 
you meet numerous species unknown to the desert sub-province. 
—A. 0. H.] 

219.— Taccocua Leschenaultii, Less. 

Adverting to my remarks, Vol. III., p. 461, I believe that 
the bird I refer to is T. sirkee, Grey. Mr. Hume, 
however, can easily decide the question now, as there are two or 
three good specimens in the last batch of skins I forwarded to 
him. I find too that I was mistaken in supposing that C. rufi- 
pennis, and this species migrated during the hot weather as I 
observed both birds constantly all through the hot weather 
months last year. 

Captain Beavan says (S. F. Vol. II., p. 395) " Jerdon's des- 
cription of T. sirkee is short and unsatisfactory", and I quite 
agree with him and think it would be a good thing if some 
one who knows the genus well would kindly publish in Stray 
Feathers accurate descriptions of all of the Sirkeers pointing 
out the distinctive characteristics of each species. 

[I am sorry to say that, though possessing a tolerable series 
(though by no means what I require), viz., 53 specimens from the 


following localities — Neilgherries, Anjango, Kbnndalla, Deesa, 
Aboo, Simla, Mussouri, Dehra Dhoon, Gourgaon, Eriupoora, 
Ajinere, Sambhur, Kutch, Chunar, Bareilly, Saugor, Kumaon- 
Bhabur, Chumparun, Seoni, Raipoor, and Sumbulpoor, I am 
quite unable to satisfy myself of the existence of more than two 
forms. The one, that I identify as sirkee, (to which all Captain 
Butler's specimens belong) the upper surface of which is more of 
a sandy or yellowish brown, and the whole lower surface of which 
is more or less unicolorous, and the other that I call Leschenaulti, 
of which the upper surface is more of an olivaceous brown, 
and which has the breast and sides of the neck distinctly, in 
most cases conspicuously, greyer or more olivaceous than the 
throat and abdomen. 

In both these types the colour varies extremely. Some speci- 
mens of sirkee (apud nos) are of a light yellowish sandy above; 
others are brown with a strong rufous tinge, especially on the 
head. Some specimens of my Leschenaulti are pale brown 
above with a greenish tinge, some are a regular olive green 
brownish no doubt, but still with an olive green the prevailing 
tinge of the upper surface. 

Their dimensions vary greatly, the wings from 5 to 6*5, and 
the tails and bills almost ad libitum, but I have not yet found 
it possible to combine differences in plumage with differences 
in dimensions, or even quite satisfactorily with locality. For 
instance I have typical sirkee and typical Leschenaulti, both 
from Dehra Dhoon. Still I may say that all my Leschenaulti 
are from Anjango, the Neilgherries, Khandala, Seoni, Raipoor, 
Sumbulpoor, Chumparun, the Kumaon-Bhabur, and the Dhoon, 
while all my specimens from all the other localities above named 
are sirkee. But then, as will have been observed, my series of 
this genus is an indifferent one, and I must have specimens 
from scores of other localities before I can pretend to give a 
good account of it. Unfortunately it is a bird people won't 
send. I have received chests full of Oriolus kundoo, Pitta 
coronata, Irena puella, and such like, but of dull-colored birds, 
like Taccocuas specimens, somehow but rarely come in. 

As for making out Blyth's two additional species, I must 
confess that at present I cannot. — A. O. H.] 

260 ter.— Lanius collurio, Penn. 

I observed several of these birds again last rains in the 
neighbourhood of Deesa, but was unfortunate in not shooting a 
single specimen. They only remain for a month or six weeks 
taking their departure again before the cold weather. 


268— Volvocivora Sykesii, Strickl. 

I observed a pair of Black -headed Cuckoo Shrikes in low 
bush jungle at the foot of one of the low ranges of hills about 
88 miles East of Deesa on the 25th Juue 1876. 

299 bis.— Butalis grisola, Lin. 

This is another of those European migrants, like Lanius 
collurio, which visits us for about six weeks after the rains. Up 
to the time that my first paper was published, I had not observed 
the species myself, but since then I have seen several specimens 
in the neighbourhood of Deesa and the adjoining country. 

323 bis.— Erythrosterna parva, JBechst. 

Mr. Hume was right, I believe, in entering my bird under 
this head. At all events if he has any doubt he can easily settle 
the question by referring to the skins I have since sent him. 

345.— Pitta coronata, Mull. 

I saw one of these beautiful birds in a compound in Deesa 
on the 12th June 1876. It was solitary, and as I only observed 
it on one occasion, it was no doubt an exhausted bird in course 
of migration. 

351.— Cyanocincla cyana, Lin. 

The Blue Rock-Thrush is not uncommon in the plains during 
the migratory seasons, i. e., when they arrive in September and 
•when they leave in March, but they only remain for a few days 
at each of these seasons as they pass through. 

467. — Iora zeylonica, Gmel. 

I forgot to mention in my first paper that the males of our 
Iora in the breeding season have the head and nape black and 
the back yellow edged with black, as described, Vol. II., p. 459, 
Vol. III., p. 129, and Vol. IV., pp. 411 to 413. I have never 
seen them in this district in any other plumage at that time of 
year. In the cold weather they assume the plumage of the 
females. Possibly some of the skins I have forwarded to Mr. 
Hume may prove to belong to Captain Marshall's new species, 
I. nigrolulea as he mentions a specimen from Aboo. [All are 
nigrolutea, v. ante., p. 134. The specimen referred toby Captain 
Marshall is from Anadra, in the plains below and not from Abu 
itself, where only the common species occurs. — A. 0. H.] 


562. — Phylloscopus indicus, Jerd. 

I Lave observed and shot specimens of the Olivaceous Tree 
Warbler in Deesa and again 30 miles south, during the migra- 
tory season, i.e., towards the end of March. 

582 bis.— Sylvia cinerea, Bonap. 

This species is tolerably common in the neighbourhood of 
Deesa and the adjoining country, arriving about the middle of 
August and leaving again before the cold weather. 

591.— Motacilla dukhunensis, Sykes. 

With reference to my previous remarks I am now of opinion 
that this is the only species of White -faced Wagtail that visits 
us during the cold weather. 

600.— Corydalla rufula, Vieillot. 

The Indian Tit Lark remains to breed, as I found a nest con- 
taining young ones near Deesa, on the 30th April 187(3. 

645.— Parus csesius, Tick. 

A single bird in low bush jungle at the foot of a low range 
of hills, about 18 miles E. of Deesa, 25th June 1876. This is 
the only specimen I have hitherto met with in the plains. 

646.— Parus nuchalis, Jerdon. 

The White-winged Black Tit is not of so rare occurrence as 
I thought. Since the publication of my first paper I have met 
with the species constantly in the neighbourhood of Deesa aud 
the adjoining country. 

695. — Ploceus manyar, JSorsf. 

I found what I took to be this species very common last rains 
in the neighbourhood of Milana, 18 miles S. E. of Deesa. They 
were then breeding and every rush bed swarmed with them. 
They are also very fond of building in high sarpat grass in 
moist situations. In localities where this bird is common P. 
baya is usually somewhat scarce, (vide my remarks ante under 
P. bengalensis.) 

716. — Emberiza Huttoni, Blyth. 

I find that the Grey-necked Bunting is common in the plains 
in most localities during the cold weather. It seems partial 

e 5 


to rocky ground studded with Euphorbia bushes, Euphorbia 
hedges, &c. 

799.— Pterocles arenarius, Pall. 

On the march this year between Deesa and Mandavee I 
found the large Sand-grouse very abundant all the way after 
we reached Babra, a village about 80 miles S. W. of Deesa. 

801 bis.— Pterocles senegallus, Lin. 

Since the publication of my first paper, in addition to the 
skins from Tookaram,* mentioned Vol. IV., p. 508, 1 shot one 
or two specimens of the Spotted Sand-grouse this year in 
January, when on the march between Deesa and Mandavee at 
a place called Rajoo, about 90 miles S. W. of Deesa, near the 
Ruun of Cutch. 

813.— Gallus Sonneratii, Temm. 

In my remarks ante "Vol. IV., p. 5, I should have said 
" common all along the Aravalli range in the neighbourhood of 
Mount Ahoo" I have not explored any other portion of those 
hills. The same remarks apply to the next species, Galloper- 
dix spadiceus, Gmel. 

[Since my former remarks were recorded I have ascertained 
that both this species and the Red Spur Fowl occur to a certain 
distance, N. W. from Mount Aboo in the plains country, along 
the western base of the Aravallis, being common in all the Passes 
leading from. Godwar into Meywar as far as the Deysuri Pass. 
Neither of them extend to Beaur, but stragglers have been shot 
as far west as half way between this and the Deysuri Pass. — 
A. O. H.] 

832. — Turnix pugnax, Tern. 

The black-breasted Bustard Quail is much commoner about 
Deesa than I thought, but only remains with us, I believe, during 
the rains, at which season it breeds. I found many nests last 
year in a grass Beerh about a mile from camp. 

844.— Squatarola helvetica, Lin. 

Although wandering somewhat beyond the limits of the tract 
of country I am dealing with, still, as the remarks Mr. Hume 
has kindly appended to my first paper extend to Sindh, Kutcb, 

* Should be Fokurun, vide Vol V., p. 60. 


and Kattywar, perhaps I may be excused for mentioning that 
I found the Grey Plover this year somewhat common at Man- 
davee on the coast of Cutch. 

873— Rhynchsea bengalensis, Lin. 

Referring to my remarks, ante Vol. IV., p. 15, relative to the 
separation of the males and females of this species in the cold 
weather. I may mention that it has since occurred to me that 
the females may assume the plumage of the males after breeding - , 
which would account for the number of what I imagined to be 
males found congregated separately in the cold weather. The 
young birds of the year are all in the same plumage at first, viz., 
that of the male, as I flushed several broods last rains aud verified 
the fact myself. The sentence " I have shot a large number 
of females without flushing a male" should be expunged, 
as I find on reference to my game books that all of the birds 
alluded to were in the garb of the male. This tends to support 
the suggestion I have now brought forward, and it remains to 
be decided whether the gaudy dress of the female Painted 
Snipe is seasonal or not. 

[I have little doubt that the females lose the chestnut collar 
during the winter. I find specimens shot early in December 
which have nearly lost it, others that are losing it. Specimens 
shot early in January that have entirely lost it ; none shot in 
January that show more than the faintest traces of it. All 
these specimens, however, differ from the males in having the 
dark pectoral band still strongly marked, and in having all 
the wing-coverts visible in the closed wing, green, with 
very narrow dark transverse bars. One specimen, however, 
shot in the Dhoon on the 15th of February by Dr. King, and 
sexed by him a female, is precisely similar in plumage to 
the male. This may be a bird of the previous year, but it is 
certainly a female, as its dimensions— (bill at front, 1*9 ; "wing, 
5*4; tarsus, 1 "9) — show. The males seem never to be quite 
so large as this. 

The changes of plumage in this bird, beyond what the 
sexed aud dated specimens in my museum show, are unknown 
to me, the species only appearing during the rains in those 
parts of the country which I have chiefly worked. — A. O. H.] 

876.— Terekia cinerea, Gmel. 

After reading Mr. Hume's note, a Vol. IV, p. 16," under the 
head of this species, I shot a specimen of the bird I referred 
to, and forwarded it to him for examination. As it proved 


to be Pliilomachus pugnax in dull mid-winter plumage, my re- 
marks about T. cinerea occurring inland between Deesa 
and Ahmedabad must be expunged, but the species doubtless 
occurs on the coast. 

The winter and autumn plumage of P. pugnax is so very 
different that I did not recognize the birds observed and shot 
in the cold weather as Ruffs. Hence the mistake. 

905.— Gallinula chloropus, Lin. 

The Water-hen is very plentiful in the tanks at Milana, 18 
miles S. E. of Deesa, breeding in all of the large rush beds 
during the rains. 

907.— Gallinula phoenicura, Penn. 

I found this species tolerably common also at Milana, but only 
took one nest, as most of the young broods were hatched off 
before' my arrival at the end of August. The chicks are 

908 — Porzana akool, SyJces. 

Very common at Milana, where I took any number of nests 
during the rains. These birds are closely allied to the Water- 
hens and remind one much of G. chloropus in their habits, es- 
pecially in the mornings and evenings, during the breeding 
season, when they come out into the open ground to feed, and 
walk about jerking their tails exactly in the same manner as 
that species. 

928. — Demi-egretta gularis, Bosc. 

I observed several specimens of the Ashy Egret whilst march- 
ino- this year between Deesa and Mandavee. The first I saw 
was feeding in a river bed between Summow and Ooudra, about 
18 miles S. W. of Deesa, after which I noticed it on the mud 
banks of nearly every river we crossed. It was very common 
at Mandavee, and many of the birds I saw bore evident traces 
of the immature plumage, showing white feathers in different 
parts of the body, more especially on the wiugs, which in many 
instances had at least half of the primary and secondary 
feathers pure white. 

974.— Podiceps cristatus, Lin. 

A pair of Crested Grebes were shot by a soldier in my Regi- 
ment this year on a tank between Babra and Rajoo, about 80 
miles S. W. of Deesa, and were brought to me in the flesh to 


995.— Rhynchops albicollis, Swains. 

As Mr. Hume seemed to doubt « S. F." Vol. IV., p. 32, the 
occurrence of this species at Aboo, I took an early opportunity 
of communicating- again with Dr. Newman on the subject, and 
feel quite conviuced, in my own mind, both from what he says 
and from his description of the birds referred to that the birds 
he shot were bond fide Skimmers. His description of the bill 
alone is quite sufficient to identify the species. Where they 
came from, or how they got there, is more than I can say, but 
that four were shot on the lake at Aboo is a fact I believe 
beyond all doubt. 

1005.— Graculus carbo, Lin. 

Jerdon says : " In breeding plumage the male bird assumes 
a lot of white hair like feathers ou the neck/' A female I 
procured at Kurrachee this year, in February, apparently in 
breeding plumage, exhibits the same characteristic. 





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I fancy all of the migratory Ducks leave the country about 
the end of March or first week in April, and begin to arrive 
about the middle of October, excepting Teal, which arrive much 

I noticed this season that a great many of the Waders re- 
mained at Kurrachee throughout the hot weather, but in no 
sino-le instance did any of those which remained, except only the 
Flamingos, assume the breeding plumage. My opinion is that 
these are barren birds and birds of the previous year which do not 
breed the first season. I subjoin a list of the species referred to. 

844. 8. helvetica.— 846. C. Geo^ro//i,—Si7. C. mongolicus. — 
848. JE.cantianus. — 860. C. interpres. — 861. D. ardeola. — 862. 
H. ostralegus. — 875. L. agocephala. — 876. T. cinerea. — 877. N. 
lineatus. — 878. N.phceopus. — 883. T. cinclus. — 884. T. minuta. — 
888. C. arenaria.— 897 . T. calidris. 

All of the above (and probably other species not noted) were 
common all through the hot weather, except 860, 861, 875, 876, 
and 878, and of these I only noticed an occasional straggler. 

In conclusion, I may mention that I observed a lark last cold 
weather in the neighbourhood of Deesa, which, I fancy, must 
have been the Lesser Calandra Lark (Melanocorypha bimaculata, 
Menetries.) It was common all through the cold season and 
associated in flocks with Calandrella brachydactyla, rising off 
the ground when disturbed with a fine rich lark-like note 
similar to Alauda arvensis. I am much to blame doubtless for 
not having secured specimens, but the fact is, I fancied, I 
could shoot them at any time and kept putting it off from day 
to day until, at length, I had to leave Deesa with my regiment 
in a hurry and had no time at the last to go out after them. 
However, I have no doubt that some of my successors in that 
part of the country will procure specimens of the bird I refer 
to and we shall see then whether my surmise as to the species 
is correct. 

It is very satisfactory to me after my remarks " S. F.," Vol. 
III., pp. 483 and 484 to find that Mr. Hume at length concurs 
with the opinions of Mr. Brooks and myself in uniting the two 
species Drymoipus lerricolor, Hume, and Drymoipus longi- 
caudatus, Tickell. I think there can be no doubt now that 
longicaudatus is nothing but the winter plumage of terricolor 
(Vide " S. F.," Vol. IV., pp. 407 to 410). 


potcs on Nomenclature. I. 

Very erroneous impressions seem to prevail as to the condi- 
tions under which, in accordance with the British Association 
rules, generic and specific names, previously otherwise employ- 
ed, become void. 

Yet the rule is extremely clear and simple. 

" A name should be changed which has before been proposed 
for some other genus in zoology or botany, or for some 
other species in the same genus, when still retained for such 
genus or species.''' 

This is the rule, the law in fact, binding on all naturalists 
who adopt the Code. 

No name, therefore, whether specific or generic, can be set 
aside on account of its previous application, unless such previous 
application has at the time a scientific substantive existence, i.e., 
has not passed away into the Synonymic Haides. 

At the same time, while no name not u still retained for such 
genus or species' 5 can be set aside by any one else, authors are 
advised not, knowingly, to employ terms previously used. 
The Committee say : — 

" Some authors consider that, when a name has been reduced 
to a synonym by the operations of the laws of priority, they 
are then at liberty to apply it at pleasure to any new group 
which may be in want of a name. We consider, however, that 
when a word has once been proposed in a given sense, and has 
afterwards sunk into a synomym, it is far better to lay it aside 
for ever, than to run the risk of making confusion by re-issuing 
it with a new meaning attached.' 5 

Most people would concur in this as a general rule, for the guid- 
ance of authors. Though possibly even this might require that 
certain sets of names, Brehm/s for instance, should be absolutely 
ignored, but this advice to authors confers no authority on 
others to meddle with names given, by oversight or design, in 
disregard of such advice. 

"My dears/' said the good old folks wheu I was young, "it 
is not a nice thing to run away and get married at Gretna 
Green ; you had much better not do it, &c, &c." Very good 
advice, and deserving general attention, but in no way affecting 
the validity of the irregular marriages that, from time to time, 
did, despite all good advice, eventuate at Gretna. 

So too here ; much better never use, either for genus or 
species, a previously-applied term, although this may have be- 
come a mere synomym, but if you do by accident hit upon 
such a term, no one else has the right to alter it under the 
British Association Code. 

g 7 


At page 415, Vol. I., Stray Feathers, Mr. Mandelli defin- 
ed a very distinct genus. under the name of Heterorliynehus. 

In the Ibis for 1875, Lord Walden alters this name to Spheno- 
cichla, on the grounds that Mr. Mandelli's name has been 
previously employed by Lafresnaye. 

But Ueterorhpichus, Lafresnaye, is not a name " still retained 
for any genus," being a mere synonym of Hemignathus, Licht. 

It appears to me that, according to the British Association, 
Code Lord Walden is wrong and Mr. Mandelli's name must stand. 

Mr. Mandelli was very naughty to give such a name, but 
that is his and his scientific conscience's look out, and even the 
"Autocrat of the Zoo" cannot legally set the name aside. 

In the Ibis for 1874 Lord Walden changed Blyth's name of 
tl punctatus" for our Spotted Wren, to a name of his own 
" formosus" on the grounds that in 1823 Brehm had applied 
the term "punctatus" to the common European Wren. 

Quite unaware at that time that I had the support of the 
British Association rules, (which I had not then seen) I pro- 
tested against this injustice to Blyth and said — 

" Had Brehm's name stood for the species to which it was 
applied, the proposed change would be correct ; but, as a fact, 
the name does not stand ; it has become a mere synonym, 
is dead for our purposes, and therefore the adjective punctatus 
is again available to characterize some other species of the 
genus. Blyth did thus utilize it, and his name punctatus 
should, in my opiuion, most assuredly stand." 

This I now find is the British Association view of such 
cases, but they would add " it is a pity that Blyth did not take 
a quite new title, and we advise you never to follow his example 
in similar cases, but still he having given this name, it can- 
not be now altered/' 

Not long ago both Mr. Brooks and Mr. Gould saw fit to 
alter the name of my Sturnus nitens, because that multinominal 
miscreant * Brehm had once applied the term nitens {and five 
others) to the common Starling. But here again they had no 
locus standi. They are British naturalists, bound by all patriotic 
impulses, to abide by the British Association Code, and under the 
provisions of this latter my name nitens is a good and sufficient 

But some frivolous individual may possibly object that 
I myself (S. F., IV., 512) re-named the species " ambiguus" and 
cui bono, if the name nitens would stand ? well, in the first place, 
I did not then know that I had the British Association rules on 
my side. 

* I use this merely in the literal active sense of creator of bad species. I am not 
prepared to make any grammatical defence. 


In the second place, this change was not as a protection against 
the usurpations of the favored elect, who are in a position 
to sing " 'Tis a glorious charter, deny it, &c, v but against 
certain outer barbarians who know not Strickland, neither do 
they regard the British Association. 

Outside the limits of the British Garden of Eden dwell 
(doubtless wailing and gnashing their teeth) hordes of 
Zoological bandits, ever on the watch to waylay stray and 
unprotected species, whom they either murder or else pass off 
as their own lawful offspring amongst their brother robbers. 

It was against the malevolent machinations of these 
scientific wehr- wolves that I sought by adding a second name 
to save my poor little ewe lamb of a species. No true Briton 
could honestly meddle with nitens, and even the small and 
evil intentioned remnant of humanity excluded from that 
dignified and widely embracing designation could scarcely 
trample on ambiguus. 

Is my frivolous interlocutor satisfied ? If not, let him at least 
have the grace to be silent (we have heard quite enough of 
him) and meditate on his own inexpressible stupidity. I have 
furnished him with the fullest and most soul-convincing reasons, 
but Providence has, it would really seem, created him as in- 
capable of assimilating these, as Trilobites were of digesting 
Roast Pork. 

Uotcs on some of our gnMan j&tone floats. 

There can be no confounding our Indian rubetraoides, 
Jameson, (=Jamesoni, nobis, in case continental ornithologists 
refuse to accept Jameson's name,) with the European rubetra, 
when once a series of the two species have been compared. 

Rubetraoides, (which so far as I know has never yet been 
described) has a conspicuously longer and somewhat slenderer 
bill ; has very much more white in the tail and the 2nd 
primary equal to, or, rarely, a shade longer than the 7 th, 
while in rubetra the 2nd about equals the 5th. In rubetra 
the 1st primary is very small, very narrow, and the 2nd very 
little shorter than the 3rd ; in rubetraoides the 1st primary is 
much larger, and the 2nd from jth to |rd of an inch shorter 
than the 3rd. 

I only know of rubetraoides occurring in the Punjaub, and 
during the cold season. I have never heard of its being seen 
or obtained east of the Jumna. Even in the Punjaub it is 
scarce, at least I gather this from the fact that no one but 
Jameson and myself have apparently ever procured it. 


He obtained his in the Salt Range Trans-Jheluui. I shot 
my specimens near Goorgaon, and at Bhuttoo, Durbee and 
other places in the Sirsa district, all Cis-Sutlej. 

The following are dimensions, &c, of a pair measured in the 

flesh, which I shot at Bhuttoo on the 25th November 1867 : — 

<J. — Length, 6*0; expanse, 975; tail, 2-12 ; wing, 3'0 ; 

tarsus, 07; bill from frontal bone, 0*7; from gape, 0*75. 

? . —Length, 5-5; Expanse, 912 ; Tail, 2-0 ; Wing, 2*9 j 

Tarsus, 0"93 ; Bill from frontal bone, 0'66 ; from gape, 07. 

g . — Exposed portion of 1st primary 077 long, 0'14 broad; 
2nd primary 033 shorter than 3rd, and=7th. 

$ . — Exposed portion of 1st primary 075 long, 0*16 broad ; 
2nd primary 0'28 shorter than 3rd, and slightly larger than 7th. 
In both the 3rd, 4th, and 5th quills are equal and longest. 
The male has mid toe and claw 075 ; outer toe and claw 
056 ; inner toe and claw 0*52 ; hind toe and claw 07. In both 
sexes the legs, feet and bill were black, (the bill has now faded 
to brown,) and irides brown. 

The male has a broad stripe from the nostrils over the eyes 
and over the greater portion of the ear-coverts, white, with a 
slight buffy tinge. The lower part of the lores, dusky. 

Chin, throat and entire lower parts, including lower tail- 
coverts and tibial plumes, white, with a yellowish tinge, and a 
very feeble rufescent tinge on breast and flanks. 

Wing-lining and axillaries, pure white, the former slightly 
mottled with dusky. 

Forehead, crown, occiput, nape, back, and scapulars, light 
sandy buff, striated longitudinally with hair brown. 

Rump and upper tail-coverts, white, most of the feathers 
tinged towards their tips with pale rusty buff. 

Primaries and secondaries, hair brown, margined on the outer 
webs with light buff and tipped with yellowish white, the 
primaries more narrowly, the secondaries more broadly. 
Tertiary greater coverts, or perhaps I should call them lower 
scapulars, pure white. 

Tertiaries and greater and median secondary coverts, deep 
brown, broadly margined with pale, more or less rufescent buff. 
Entire visible portion of lesser coverts, pale sandy buff. Edge 
of wing and outer w 7 ebs of earlier greater primary coverts, 
pure white. 

Tail, hair brown : all the feathers margined on the outer webs 
and the central ones on both webs, with sandy buff or light 
yellowish brown — the outer web of the outermost feather 
almost entirely of this colour. 

All the feathers, except the central pair, with almost the entire 
inner webs, white. The outermost pair have an irregular 


subterminal brown band from 02 to 0*3 wide on this web, but 
the rest have only a small patch of brown near the shaft close 
to the tip — the pair next the centre having the patch rather 

There are traces of a dark streak from the base of the lower 
mandible down either side of the throat, expanding 1 on the sides 
of the breast ; doubtless in breeding plumage this streak and 
patch are black or blackish. 

The females, though smaller, seem to be at this season 
precisely similar, except that they show the dark streak and 
patch much less. 

I have no idea what the breeding plumage may be like, and 
though the bird must breed somewhere in Central Asia, I have not 
yet noticed (though doubtless it may have been so) that it has 
been described in summer plumage thence. 

I hope these remarks will call the attention of ornithologists 
in North-Western India to this species. I may add for their 
benefit that, in the winter plumage, both sexes bear a certain 
superficial resemblance to the female P. lencura, but this has a 
shorter and much broader and more triangular bill, has no white 
in the tail, has a mere trace of the conspicuous superciliary 
band, has no white on the outer webs of the earlier primary 
greater coverts, has the rump and upper tail-coverts uniform 
pale brownish rufescent, a wing about 2 '6 ; axillaries and 
wing lining pale fulvous, instead of pure white, is not nearly 
so clearly striated on the upper surface, differs in the propor- 
tions of the primaries, (2nd=8th, 3rd shorter than 4th.) &c, 
so that there ought to be no confounding the birds. As for the 
male lencura, which has white in the tail, though somewhat less 
than rubetraoides, its black head and throat and brightish 
rufous breast, and white patches on either side at the base of 
the throat, in fact P. mdica, like head and breast, prevent its 
ever being confounded with rubetraoides. 

Macrorhyncha female is no doubt very like rubetraoides above 
and below, is much the same size, and has a very similar slender 
bill, but macrorhyncha, female, has no white in the tail, no pure 
white on the primary greater coverts, not so conspicuous an eye 
streak, a much browner rump, and no white tertiary greater 
coverts or under scapulars, as rubicola, indica, rubetra and 
rubetraoides have, &c, &c, so that this likewise should not 
be confounded with rubetraoides. 

At page 131 (ante) I reproduced Dr. Tristram's description 
of Pratincola robusta, and suggested that it might be equivalent 
to P. macrorhyncha, Stoliczka. 

At that time I was not aware that I had any specimens of 
the supposed P. robusta. 



Dr. Tristram's description is by no means a very full or satis- 
factory one, and he gives no dimensions of bill, tarsus, or toes, 
but one is left to gather that he separates the species on (1) size, 
wing 1 , 3 ; and (2) on the rufous of the breast, extending to the 
abdomen, and the narrowness of the white spot on each side of 
the neck. 

Examining my collection I found that I had two specimens 
answering well as regards plumage to Dr. Tristram's description, 
viz., one from Sikhim, wing, 3"1, and one from Syree (below 
Simla) with the wing 3*0. 

But at the same time I could not help noticing that, besides 
these two, 1 had many others in precisely similar plumage, but 
smaller, and with Captain C. H. S. Marshall's kind assistance 
I got out all the adults P. indica in my collection (125 in 
number) and measured their wings carefully with the following 
results : — 




Syree (below Simla). 

Sudya (Assam) ; Suddya (Assam). 

Sudya (Assam). 

Sudya (Assam) ; Mussouri; Pine forests of Salween, 
above Pahpoon. 

Lower Hazara. 

Kusmore (Upper Sindh). 

Sudya (Assam). 

Almorah ; Goga : Sultanpoor, (Oudh) ; Junction of 
Chenab and Sutlej ; Etawah. 

Roree (Sindh). 

Shahedulla (boundary of Kashgav) ; Kusmore, 
(Upper Sindh); Indus and Itavee junction; Nor- 
thern Sindh ; Mount Aboo ; Etawah. 

Mussouri ; Etawah. 

Thatone, (Pegu) ; Mogul-Serai. 

Kotegurh; Native Sikhim; Darjeeling ; Kotegurh ; 
Almorah ; Petoragurh ; Mount Aboo ; Sambhur ; 
Goga ; Mogul Serai; Etawah : Tipperah ; Banka- 
soon, (S. Tenasserim) ; Khyketo, (Tenasserim) ; 
Mergui, Amoy (China). 

Khagan (Cashmere) ; Etawah ; Pabyouk (Tenas- 

South Andamans. 

Kussowlee ; Petoragurh (Kumaon) ; Thatone, 
(Pegu) ; Pegu ; Tanzeik (Pegu) ; Mergui. 

Mussouri ; Northern Sindh. 

Khagan (Cashmere) ; Murree ; Verney (Cashmere) ; 
Somuda ; Kotegurh ; Simla ; Mogul-Serai ; 
Kussouli ; Mahasu (uear Simla) ; Almorah, Al- 
morah, Almorah, Almorah, Almorah, Kumaon ; 
Darjeeling; Etawah; Thatone; Rangoon; Mergui; 
Prome ; Pag-chan (extreme south of Tenasserim) ; 
Amoy (China) ; Andamans. 

Valley of Bhagirattee. 




Length of 





































notes on some of our indian stone chats. 243 

2 2-9 Sikliim; Sudya (Assam). 

2 28 Dehra Dhoon ; Etawah. 

2 275 Native Sikhim; Kusmore (Upper Sindh). 

2 273 Bohtuk (Delhi Division) ; Sukker (Upper Sindh). 

5 27 Etawah; Chunar; Caehar ; Mount Aboo ; Amoy 

2 268 Pahpoon (Tenasserim) ; Etawah. 

4 2'65 Jacobabad ; Etawah ; Etawah ; Jhansee. 

3 26 Kashmir j Wan (Pegu) ; Amoy (China), 

7 2"55 Kashmir; Almora ; Almora; Etawah; Dacca; 

Malewoon (S. Tenasserim) ; Gourgaon. 
12 2o Kotegurh; Mussouri ; Kussowlee ; Kussowlee ; Al- 

morah ; Almora; Petoragurh ; Rangoon; Male- 
woon (S. Tenasserim) ; Khyketo ; Cawnpoor ; 

1 2-47 Mahasu (near Simla) . 

1 246 ., 

1 2 45 Kojee (Sutlej Valley). 


Now the first tiling that strikes one is that out of 81 males, 
52 have the wings from 2*6 to 27, and out of 41 females, 22 
have them from 25 to 26 ; and generally it seems clear from 
these figures that the wings of the females average somewhere 
about 0"1 less than those of the males. 

In the second place, all the males with wings over 2-9, and all 
the females with wings over 2"8, are from the Himalayas or 
Snddya, at the extreme east of Assam, to which in the cold 
weather a very great number of Eastern Himalayan birds 
descend. Moreover, all these very large males are more or less 
in the plumage, which I understand to characterize robusta, en- 
tirely rufous beneath and with very small white neck spots. 

But unfortunately I have several other specimens with wings 
of 2'Q and upwards, exhibiting quite this same plumage, and 
after a long and tiring day's work, Captain Marshall and I have 
come to the conclusion that it is absolutely impossible to make 
two species out of the 125 specimens before us. 

I did think at one time for a few moments that I had 
got hold of a distinctive character. In P. indica, as a rule, 
the 2nd primary = the 7th, but in the Sikhim, 31 bird, I found 
the 2nd between the 7th and 8th ; and in the Syree 3*0 bird, 
the 2nd=8th; in a Suddya 295 bird, the 2nd was between 
the 7th and 8th ; and in a Suddya 2-92 bird, 2nd=8th; un- 
fortunately in the 2nd 2'95 Suddya bird, the 2nd was between 
the 6th and 7th; in a Suddya 2'9 bird, 2nd = 7th, and when I came 
to examine the mass of the smaller birds I found that, though 
2nd = 7th was the general rule, sometimes 2nd=Sth, and some- 
times it was between 7th and 8th, and sometimes between 6th 
and 7th. 


It is clear that with such an unbroken gradation in dimen- 
sions, as I have above exhibited, no arbitrary line can be drawn, 
and those on one side of this called one species, and those 
on the other, another. 

I cannot doubt that my Sikhim and Syree birds fully re- 
present Dr. Tristram's robusta, but after the most painfully 
minute investigation of all those details, out of which specific 
differences may often be established, I am utterly unable to 
discover any one poiut, however minute, except that of size 
whereby these two specimens may be divided from the rest. 

Now it is impossible to draw the line at 3"0, and say these 
are robusta, but the precisely similar 2*95 wing birds are indica, 
or at 2*95 and reject the 2'92, or at 2'92 and reject the 29, &c. 

All that Ave can say is, that almost all the largest birds exhi- 
bit the type of coloration, indicated by Dr. Tristram as the 
characteristic of his robusta ; that as the birds decrease in size, 
this type of coloration grows less and less frequent ; and that 
all the very largest birds are from Assam, the Eastern and 
Central Himalayas ; but it is impossible, in the face of the 
facts above set forth, to establish a species on grounds like these, 
and my conclusion is that, if I have rightly identified P. robusta 
(and this seems scarely doubtful), the form indicated by this 
name is not entitled to specific separation. 

If Dr. Tristram can point out any clear and specific diagnosis, 
well and good ; I shall be delighted to test this in my tolerably 
large series, but if he has already said, all he can in regard 
to this supposed species, it must I conceive be suppressed. 

When 1 suggested that macrorhyncha might be identical 
with robusta, I had not made out what the latter was. Now 
that I have done so, I find that what I identify as robusta has 
a bill precisely like that of indica, larger of course than the 
bills of small specimens, but of precisely the same shape. 
Macrorhyncha, on the other hand, has a much slenderer bill, very 
like that of rubetraoides and quite unlike that of indica. 

Moreover, the birds I identify as robusta exhibit the pure 
white tertiary greater coverts or under scapulars (I am in 
doubt which to call them) which characterise rubicola, rubetra, 
indica and rubetraoides, whereas these are entirely wanting in 
the two female macrorhynchas I possess. 

I therefore entertain no doubt now that macrorhyncha is a 
good and distinct species. 

Pratincola Hemprichii is characterized by a good deal of 
white, very variable however in extent, at the base of the tail. 
I examined the whole of the 125 specimens above referred to, 
to see if by chauce there was any Hemprichii amongst them, 
but found no trace of white on the tails of any one of them. 


% frfo gbbitions to tlje §inb fbifau na. 

By W. T. Blanford, F.R.S., &c. 

I had proposed to write out the notes made on the birds of 
Sind during 1 the last three cold seasons in the form of a paper 
for Stray Feathers. Time, however, has failed me, and I 
therefore give the following list of species not, so far as I know, 
previously noticed in the province. I must leave all details 
for another time. The numbers are from Jerdon and Hume's 

I. — Vultur monachus. Seen once near Rohri. 

2. — Otogyps calvus. Not uncommon in the hills, west and 
north-west of Kotri and in the lower hills of the Kirthar 
range, west of Upper Sind. I also saw it, once near Rohri. 

5. — Gyps bengalensis. Once seen near Rohri, where this 
and the two other species were all seen together, (one indivi- 
dual of each,) by the carcase of a goat. I rode within a few 
yards and clearly identified all three. 

39. — Spilornis cheela. A single individual was seen on the 
Nari Nai. 

68. — Asio accipitrinus (Otus brachyotus, Auct). A small 
flock seen (one shot) in the desert of Eastern Sind, near the town 
of Gadra, in Thar and Pakhar. 

72. — Ketupa ceylonensis. Shot on the Gaj river. 

74 sept. — Scops brucei. A pair obtained near Uraarkot. 

98. — Cypselus melba. Seen on Miagwau, a peak of the 
Kirthar range. 

160. — Picus mahrattensis. A pair shot near Umarkot in 
Thar and Paikar. There is also a pair amongst some specimens 
obtained by my collector, either at Karachi or Kotri. He asserts 
that he shot the birds at the former locality. Judging by the 
usual accuracy of his statements, it is more probable that he 
obtained the specimens at the latter place. 

197. — XantholuEma h^emacephala. The well known note 
was heard at Rohri. 

222. — Taccocua affinis (T. Sirkee, Var.) A single specimen 
procured on the Habh River on the frontier of Beluchistan. 

386 bis. — Pyutorhis altirostris. A single specimen shot at 
Mangrani between Sukkur and Shikarpur. This is the most 
interesting addition to the Avifauna of Sind, since I/i/percolius 

It will be seen on reference to Jour. As. Soc, Bengal, for 
1876, Pt., II, p. 197, that Major Godwin-Austen has ascertained 
that the type of this species is fortunately preserved in the 
British Museum, and he has identified his specimens from 



Assam by comparison. My specimen is certainly, I think, of 
the same species as the Dan 1 a bird, of which there is a specimen 
in the Calcutta Museum. Until the type was re-discovered 
I was rather disposed to share Mr. Hume's doubts of S. F., 
IV., p. 505*. 

462. — Pyononotus pusillus. Deserts easts of Umarkot. 

488. — Saxicola opistholeuca. A single specimen collected 
at Kotri or Karachi. 

490. — Saxicola morio, Ehr. (S. capistrata, Hume nee 
Gould). I think I can now shew conclusively that this is quite 
distinct from S. picata. It is excessively rare in Sind, and I 
have only shot two specimens, both killed on the same day, 
February 18th, near Cape Monze. 

492 ter. — iEooN familiaris. 

516. — acrocephalus dumetorum. 

559. — Phylloscopus nitidus. 

582 bis. — Sylvia rtjfa (S. cinerea, Auct.) 

The above four birds were obtainned for me either at Kotri 
or Karachi by the collector already mentioned. All must have 
been procured in the autumn. 

591. — Motacilla personata. Common at Jacobabad. in 


598 ter — Bcjdytes flavus. 

Both common ; the latter much more so than the former in 
Upper Sind, about March and April. 

681 bis. — Sturnus minor, Hume, S. F., I., p. 207. 
This is a good species-, perfectly distinct from S. vulgaris, 
and locally far from rare. Found common at end of March 
near Rohri. 

716. — Emberiza Huttoni. Occasionally shot in the hilly 
parts of Sind. 

718. — Emberiza Stewarti. A single specimen obtained in 
the Kirthar range, Upper Sind. 

722.— Euspiza luteola. Shot near Rohri in the begin- 
mug of April. 

756. — Mirafra erythroptera. Not rare in the desert, east 
of Umarkot, and 1 once saw a single bird a few miles north- 
west of Karachi in the Habh Valley. 

761 ter. — Melanocorypha bimaculata. Not rare in the 
plains of Upper Sind, and in the desert east of Umarkot. 

* Notwithstanding what is said about the type I adhere to my opinion. Dr. 
Jevdon never, I believe, described a bird so badly. There has been some mistake 
about the type. Very likely he got both birds, described one and sent the other 
home, without carefully comparing them. See, ante, p. 116 and infra, p. 251. — 
Ed. S. F. 

f Wrongly entered in my list as B. viridis. — Ed. S. F. 


910. — Porzana pygmcea. One specimen shot near the Man- 
char Lake. 

Besides the above I believe I once saw — 

845 bis. Charadrius pluvialis close to Karachi. It is not 
improbable that the European Golden Plover may occur in Sind, 
as I obtained it only 200 miles further west at Gluadar. C. 
fulvus, however, does occur in Sind, for I once shot a specimen 
at the Manchar Lake. Another bird which must, I think, be 
added probably as a rare straggler, to the Sind Avifauna is — 

904. GrALLiCREX cristatus, a skin of which was given to 
me by Captain Bishop, together with several birds shot in Sind 
and on the Mekran Coast. 

Besides the above, I have obtained several of the birds no- 
ticed in Sind by Mr. James and Major LeMesurier, but not 
included in Mr. Hume's original list, such as Ghatorhea Earlei, 
Gymnoris flavieollis, Emberiza striolata, Euspiza melanoce- 
phala, Alauda gulgula, Gnrsorms coromandelicus, Gallinago 
stenura, Numenius phceopus, and Detulrocygna major. 

flotcs on some Burmese |5irbs. 

By Eugene W. Oates, C. E. 

24.— Accipiter nisus, Lin. 

This bird has not before been recorded from Burmah. A 
young bird, from its size presumably a female, was obtained 
by Lieutenant Raikes, Assistant Commissioner at Yandoon, at 
the head of the Irrawaddy Delta. It is now in my collection. 
Wing, 9*6; tarsus, 233. 

[Captain Feilden, S. F., III. p. 24, recorded it from Thyet- 
myo. Davison obtained it at Moolyit on the 20th of February 
1877. For its occurrence in the Andamans, see S. F., IV., 
p. 280.— A. O. H.] 

74 Nov.— Scops sagittatUS, Cass. Sharpe, Cat., Vol 
II., p. 98. 

A superb specimen of this very rare Owl, sexed as a male, 
was procured by my Burmans at Malewoonin South Tenasserim 
on the 23rd of February. The few specimens known have 
apparently been received only in Malacca collections. 

The skin, which does not appear to be at all stretched, 
measures 11*5 in length; the wing, 7*2 ; tarsus, 1-21; bill 
from forehead to tip straight, including cere, "87 ; tail, 5'0 ; the 
outer feathers falling short of the central pair by '7 ; the 
5th quill is the longest, the Gth '1, the 4th -15, the 3rd '55, 
the 2nd 1*2, and the 1st 2*3 shorter than the fifth. 


The bill is a pale yellow, uniform throughout ; the toes, 
fleshy brown ; the claws pale horn color ; the feathers of the 
tarsus in front reach to about a tenth of an inch from the joint 
of the middle toe and behind somewhat further up ; the toes 
are perfectly naked ; the ear tufts measure 1*2. 

Mr. Sharpe's description is so minute and corresponds so 
well with my bird that any lengthy account of the plumage 
is unnecessary for these pages, more especially as the coloration 
of this Owl is distinct, and the size suffices to separate it from 

The whole upper plumage is a rather rich chestnut; the wings 
barred on the inner webs with brown, and the tail irregularly 
banded with the same. Each feather of the upper body 
plumage has small arrow head fulvous marks in the centre, and 
some wavy narrow black lines across ; the forehead, for a 
depth of nearly an inch, a broad supercilium, and the inner 
webs of most of the tuft feathers are white; the shafts of the 
feathers of the forehead nearly black ; the tips of the tufts 
and the top of the head are a darker chestnut than the back 
and without marks of any sort; long feathers on the sides 
of the neck, indicating a ruff whitish, broadly tipped with 
blackish ; lower surface light buff, the shafts of the feathers 
of the throat black, and the webs vermiculated with brown ; 
breast with dark brown small shaft spots and brown narrow 
vermiculations; belly and vent distinctly spotted, only not 
cross barred. The outer webs of the scapulars are fulvous 
white, and there are some rather large black shaft spots on the 

[Davison shot a female of this species a good deal further 
north at Meetan on the 28th of February. 

It measured in the flesh : — Length, 109 ; expanse, 235; tail, 
50; wing, 7 -4; tarsus, 1*2 ; bill from gape, 0'9; weight, 
4'74 oz. In the fresh bird the soft parts were as follows : — 

Feet and claws bluish white; bill, bluish white; cere, pale 
bluish green ; irides, deep brown. 

I don't think this is a very rare bird ; it seems to be 
commonly procured by the Malacca shikarees. — A. 0. H.] 

584 quat— Henicurus frontalis, Blyth. 

Two specimens of a Forked Wag-Tail from South Tenasserim 
are clearly referable to this species and not to Leschenaulti. 
They were procured at Malewoon or its vicinity on the 6th 

An adult, a female, has the wing 35 ; the tail, 3*7 ; forked 
to the extent of ] *6 ; bill from anterior corner of nostril to 
tip, 51 ; tarsus, 11. 


This bird has not before been recorded from Burmah, nor has 
it been described in this journal. The forehead and front of 
head, as far back as a line connecting the posterior corners of 
the eye, white. The whole plumage is black, with the following 
exceptions, these parts being white : — Lower abdomen, flanks, 
vent, rump, under and upper tail-coverts, tips of scapulars and 
of the upper wing-coverts near the body, bases of secondaries 
and tertiaries, the outer two pairs of rectrices, and the bases of 
the others, the axillary feathers and the tips of the under wing- 

The other bird, with the whole lower plumage disintegrated 
and obviously quite young, has only three white feathers on the 
front of the head. 

In both birds the bill is black and the legs pale flesh color. 

[Davison has also procured this species at Malewoon. Fur- 
ther north at Meeta Myo (Tavoy district) and thence through- 
out the Hills to the very north of the Tenasserim Provinces, we 
obtained Leschenaulti, Vieill. (coronatus, Tern., speciosa, Horsf.) 
All our specimens of this latter are, strange to say, males. All 
agree with Temminck's and Horsfield's figures of this species 
as to the extent of the white on the head, and not with Mr. 
Gould's of his supposed cliinensis ; or, as he originally called it, 
sinensis. The fact is that whether in the Javan, Chinese or 
Tenasserim birds it is only the forehead that has white feathers 
fthis Horsfield correctly shows) ; sometimes these white 
feathers are shorter, but more generally they are long, and when 
pressed back flat in skins cover the whole crown. In life the 
bird elevates them much, as shown in Horsfield's plate, and as 
there shown many of them are in ? younger specimens, 
narrowly tipped black. Sinensis, are either, as Elwes suggests, 
females, or else young birds in which this frontal crest is not 
yet developed. 

Our Leschenaulti, measured in the flesh : — Length, 1 l'O to 
11-5 ; expanse, 1275 to 13-75 ; tail from vent, 5*5 to 612 ; 
wing, 4*12 to 4*37; tarsus, 125 to l - 35 ; bill from gape, l'l to 
1-15.— A. O. H.] 

386 ter.— Pyctorhis altirostris, Jerdon. Ibis, 1862, 
p. 22. 

See J. A. S. B. 1876, Part II., pp. 74, 197, and S. F., Vol 
IV., p. 504. 

The re-discovery of this bird in three* different parts of India 
and Burmah at about the same time is curious. I shot my 
specimen on the canal bund, about 14 miles from Pegu. That 

* Four ; the same bird has been found in Sindh, — Ed., S. F. 


it is a rare bird in Burinah there can be no doubt, for I have 
shot only the one specimen now about to be described, and I am 
not in the habit of passing- birds over in the jungle. I kill 
every thing- that I cannot identify at a glance. Sinensis 
abounds here in Lower Pegu, and the two birds cannot be con- 

Mr. Hume has kindly lent me his Bhootan Dooar's specimen 
for comparison. His bird and mine agree in the most minute 
particulars, and there can be very little doubt but that the 
specimens from Assam are the same. 

I drew up the following description before skinning the bird : — 

Length 605 ; expanse, 7*4 ; tail, 3'1 ; wing, 2 - 4 ; tarsus, '96 ; 
bill from gape, *55 ; from forehead, -38 ; height through nostrils, 
•23 ; 5th, 6th and 7th primaries sub-equal and longest, 8th very 
slightly shorter, and equal to the 4th, 3rd 25, 2nd "55 and 1st 
1*0 shorter than the longest. Under tail-coverts fall short of 
tip of tail by 2, and the distance between the shortest and 
longest rectrix 1*7. 

Upper mandible, pale horn color, under one, pinkish ; 
eyelids yellow, but not tumid as in sinensis ; iris brown, 
surrounded by a pinkish ring ; inside of mouth flesh color ; 
legs brownish flesh color ; claws pinkish horn. 

Chin, throat and upper breast, greyish white ; lores and a 
conspicuous streak over the eye dirty white, the centres of the 
feathers black ; the forehead and top of head rather bright 
reddish brown, the feathers of the forehead largely centred 
with blackish ; the whole upper plumage, with the cheeks and 
ear-coverts, uuiform reddish brown, paler than the head : smaller 
wing coverts, the same, but each feather edged still paler ; 
quills brown, with a broad outer edging of reddish-brown and an 
interior edging of a paler tint ; tertiaries nearly entirely reddish 
brown, the portion next the shaft only being plain brown ; 
larger wing-coverts of the same color as the outer margins of 
the quills ; tail brown, edged with rufous, broadly externally 
and narrowly internally ; all the feathers indistinctly rayed 
across. From the breast to the vent, and the under wing- 
coverts, a warm buff, tinged with ferruginous; shafts of the 
feathers of the chin much lengthened and black ; rictal bristles 
black, 0'3 long. 

The bill scarcely differs from that of sinensis though it may 
be slightly shorter compared with its length, and may have the 
nostrils more open ; aud the terminal half of the lower mandi- 
ble more swollen and slightly more turned up. I do not think 
it can be separated generically from sinensis. They differ less 
from each other than longirostris, with its long, slender bill 
aud large nasal covering, does from either. 


Since writing the above, I find that Mr. Hume had already 
published a description of the Bhotan Dooar's specimen under 
the name of grheigularis. This name was indeed on the cover 
of the bird lent to me, but I considered it only a manuscript 
title, and consequently have not referred to it above. 

That Mr. Hume was prima facie justified in describing his 
bird as a new species no one will be prepared to deny on 
comparing his bird with Jerdon's description of altirostris, 
which must have been written from memory. 

[ I retain my opinion that neither my bird nor Mr. Oates' 
is the true altirostris of Jerdon ; the grounds for this opinion 
are fully stated, ante 116. I daresay Dr. Jerdon procured 
this bird of ours in Burmah ; I dare say he sent it home; he 
may eveu have sent it home as his altirostris, but that this is 
not the species that he actually described, I consider almost 
certain. Many descriptions contained in the B. of In. are 
doubtless not satisfactory, but these will, in every case, be found 
to be borrowed and not original, and Dr. Jerdon's own original 
descriptions are, I should say, always extremely accurate. — 
A. 0. H. 1 

390 s<?#.— Staehyrhis guttatus, Tick. J. A. S. B., 
1859, p. 450. 

See Ibis, 1876, p. 353. Turdinus guttatus, Tick. 

The acquisition of a specimen of this rare bird enables me to 
state that the species is nothing but a Staehyrhis.* In the 
form of the bill, the large process over the nostril, leaving the 

* I must dissent from this view most emphatically. Mr. Oates, according to my 
idea, is fundamentally wrong in his whole contention. 

1st. — The bill of Turdinus guttatus is in no degree like that of Staehyrhis nigriceps, 
the type of the genus. The essential character of the latter is to have the ridge 
of the culmen straight. A character exactly reproduced in Heterorhynchus Sumei, 
a species much the same size as T. guttatus, and with very similar spotting on the 
sides of the neck. On the other hand the leading character of T. guttatus is its deep 
bill with notably curved culmen. 

2nd. — The bills of Staehyrhis and Timalia are not in any sense " quite the same, " 
except for the nostrils. On the contrary in Timalia pileata, the type of the genus, 
the culmen is conspicuously curved, in Staehyrhis conspicuously straight. 

3rd. — The coloration of T. guttatus seems to me to have no affinity for that of 
Staehyris nigriceps, but its affinity for that of Drijmocataphus nigricapitatus 
is patent. 

The bills of Turdinus guttatus and Timalia pileata are strikingly like each other 
in outline, but that of the latter is much more compressed and less massive. I think 
that the bill of Mixornis rubricapilla. considerably magnified would convey the 
best idea of the bill of T. guttatus. Timalia poliocephala of Tern, is also closely 
affined to our present species. 

The .well bowed culmen and deep comparatively massive bill of guttatus separates 
it equally from both crispifrons and brevicaudatus, and from Drymocataphus, 
Malacopteron, Triehastoma, Sfc, while other differences render it doubtful whether 
it could be united with Timalia. I hope before long to furnish a review of all the 
Indian, Indo-Burmese and Malayan ( or rather Malay Peninsular ) species of this 
group, and I defer till then further remarks in regard to the true position of 
Turdinus guttatus. — Ed, S, F, 


latter merely a narrow slit ; in the length of the tail and the 
relative proportions of the reotriees and primaries it corresponds 
exactly with nigriceps, the type of the genus. The bold 
coloration of the two species is also of the same character. A 
year ago Lord Walden pointed out that the bill of the bird 
figured by Tickell appeared to be that of Timalia. Now the 
bills of Timalia and Stachyrhis are quite the same with one 
exception — a point which can hardly be shewn in a drawing of 
a small bird. In the former the nostril is quite open ; in the 
latter it is covered by a peculiarly-shaped membrane nearly 
entirely closing it. It must have been this that induced 
Hodgson to name the genus Stachyrhis orayys from the 
resemblance of the membrane to a grain of corn. Sundevall 
Meth. Nat. Av. Disp. Tent., p. 10, adopted Agassiz's change 
of the name to Strachyrhis, and since that time it seems to be 
the practice so to spell it.* Nothing can be urged in defence of 
the alteration.! 

To return to my bird. It was shot at Malewoon in South 
Tenasserim on the 29th December and is sexed as a male. The 
length of the skin is 62 ; tail, 2' 2 ; wing, 265 ; tarsus, "95 ; 
bill from gape, "94; the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th quills are sub- 
equal ; the 1st is 1*17, the 2nd # 6, and the 3rd *35 shorter 
than the longest. The tips of the outermost rectrices fall short 
of the tips of the central pair by "5; the bill is a dark bluish 
horn colour, and the legs are brown. 

The plumage is very firm, and the feathers of the neck are 
more or less lengthened. 

[We found this species very common at Meetan in February, 
and secured numerous really fine specimens. 

The following are the dimensions and colours of the soft parts, 
recorded in the flesh from a large series of both sexes : — 

Sex Length Expanse Tail from vent Wing Tarsus Bill from gape Weight. 
$ 6*5-6 9 90-93 21-2 3 27-2 9 10-105 9-0 92 M2-r3oz 

? 6 3-6 7 89-90 23 27-2'8 10 85-0 9 10-1 25oz 

The legs, feet, and claws are pale dingy green ; the lower 
mandible and edges of upper mandible are pale plumbeous ; 

* As instances of the reckless way in which some persons alter other peoples' 
names, I may mention the attempt of the late Professor Sundevall to substitute 
Sadropezus for Turdinus, Entomoletes for Chaptia and SmiJony.v for Ketupa. 

f Except, that as far as I can make out it was Hodgson himself who first in 
1844 named the genus " Cilathora" and " Strachyrhis," and it was only in 1845 
that he changed the name to " Stachyris." Whether even he had the right to do 
this will depend upon whether either of the former names were well defined, not 
implying a false proposition likely to propagate important errors and not errone- 
ous in transliteration. 

It should not be forgotten that the British Association endorsed De Candolle's 
famous dictum. " L'auteur meme qui a le premier etabli un nom n'a pas, plus 
qu'un autre, le droit de le changer pour simple cause d'impropri<;te. La priori te 
en effet est un terme fixe, positif, qui n'admet rien, ni d'aibitraire, ni de partial."— 
Ed., S. F. 


the rest of the upper mandible dull black ; the irides deep 
crimson, or crimson lake. 

The following- are the original descriptions : — 

First.— Blyth's J. A. S. B., XXVIII, 41 4, 1859. 

" Turdinus guttatns, Tickell, N. S. — This deviates a little 
from the three* species previously described, in not having tbe 
feathers darkf margined (as in most Oreocincla), while the 
speckling of the sides of the neck is peculiar. Colour is rich 
deep ruddy-brown, more rufescent on the tail-coverts and tail ; 
the throat pure white, bordered on either side with a black 
moustache, above which is a white spot; rest of the lower 
parts deep rufo-ferruginous, tinged with fuscous on the flanks 
and lower tail-coverts, and shewing a slight medial whitish 
line; loral feathers black with greyish-white lateral edo-es; 
the frontal feathers stiff as usual ; ear-coverts brown ; behind 
the eye an ill-defined streak, and behind the ear-coverts a great 
patch of feathers, each having an oval white mark set off with 
black, and other feathers thus marked across the nape ; bill 
plumbeous ; and legs plumbeous brown. " Female. — Irides 
sepia."| Length, 6 in., of wing 2| in. ; and tail t\ in.; 
the plumage extremely copious over the rump; bill to gape 
1 in. ; and tarsi 1 in." 

Second.— Tickell's J. A. S. B., XXVIII, 450, 1859. 

u 3. Sphenurid^e. — Turdinus (Blyth). guttatus (mini). Spec. 
female. March 2nd, 1859. Woods near Theethoungplee, 
3,000 feet, 

Dimensions. — Length, 6fV ; wing, 2|^ ; tail, 2£ ; bill, -f \ ; 
tarsus, l-'-y; mid toe, T 3 4 . 

" Details. — Typical. (See Appendix to Blyth 's report for 
December Meeting, 1842. Continued from Vol XII, p. 1011, 
Journal As. Soc.) 

" Plumage of front, lores, and chin stiff and setaceous ; but 
rictal bristles not much developed. 

Color. — Female. Iris sepia. Lids nude and dull smalt ; bill 
horn} r , dark on cul men, pale and livid ou crura ; legs horny; 
claws pale. 

" Crown and upper parts rich vinous olive-brown, brighten- 
ing to full vinous, rusty ou upper tail-coverts and outer webs 

* Viz. T. macrodaciylus, the type of the genus, J. A. S. B. XIII, 382, 1841 ; 
and T. crispifrons and brevicaiulatus, J. A. S. B. XXIV, 269, 1856. — Ed.. S. F. 

f Although there is no approach to the extent of dark margining observable in 
the other three species, yet in very fine freshly moulted specimens all the feathers 
of the crown and back. are excessively narrowly margined darker. This, which imparts 
a scaly appearance to these parts, is entirely wanting in some specimens, in fact 
wears off I believe. — Ed., S. F. 

X This, taken from Tickell, is probably a mistake ; all our birds without excep- 
tion, males and females, had the irides crimson. — Ed., S. F. 

H 8 


of remiges. Tail as back, obscurely barred blackish* 
feathers of crown edged f black, a few pale spots on sides of 
occiput; frontals ash, striated black." 

" Auriculars dusky, bounded beneath by a white line, which 
joins a patch of white on ramus continued to bill ; chin and 
throat pure white, separated from ramus by a black line which 
spreads into a patch on side of throat ; from top of eye down 
sides of neck and across upper back a space of acuminate 
black-edged white feathers ; all underparts from throat 
rich orange rusty, deepening into vinous brown on vent." 

I reserve further remarks on this species for our general 
account of the Birds of Tenasserim. — A. 0. H.] 

gemarfefl on some species of tlje Hitb-jjer.ius fillia, 

)te, 1859.) 

The little sub-group of Swallows, included in Boie's geuus 
or sub-genus Lillia, presents considerable difficulties to un- 
learned practical ornithologists, like myself. 

We have apparently four species (excluding hyperythra, 
which is included by Mr. Gray under Cecropis), but what 
names two out of these should bear, and whether or no they 
are distinct and as yet unnamed, are matters that I am uuable 
to decide with any certainty. 

Mr. Gray, H. L., 69, admits the following species : — 
L. daurica, L. 
L. erythropygia, Sykes. 
L. melanocrissa, liiipp. 
L. rufula, Tern. 
L. japonica, Tern, and Schl. 
L. domicella, Hartl. and Finsch. 
To which we must certainly add, though Mr. Gray includes 
the first under Cecropis. 

L. striolata, Tern, and 
L. arctivitta, Stvi?ih. 
Now what are our species? 

I may premise that in none of oar four supposed species is 
there, so far as I can ascertain, ever any white on the inner 
webs of the tail-feathers. 

Out of some 80 specimens of the smallest of our four species, 
{erythropygia, Sykes,) I detected in three, small, slightly paler, 

* More correctly " obsoletely banded darker." — Ed., ». F. 

f Very narrowly, and this only in some specimens. — Ed., S. F. 

SUB-GENUS LILLIA, (bOIE, 1859.) 255 

patches on the inner webs of the outer tail-feathers, and in about 
sixty specimens of the three larger species I found similar, still 
fainter, patches in tico specimens. 

One of our species, viz., 

L. erythropygia, Sykes. P. Z. S., 1832, p. 83, 

May be disposed of at once — its small size, coupled with its 
generally constant difference in coloration, sufficing to separate 
it from all the other Indian species, and indeed, I think, from 
all other species of the group. 

It varies in length from 6 5 to 70, (I speak throughout 
of adults,) but the usual length is 6*75. 

The wings vary from 41 to 445, but the great majority 
of specimens have them 4*2 to 43. 

The tail varies from 3-0 to 3'35, but 33 is the normal 
length in an adult full-plumaged male. 

The fork of the tail, i.e., the distance by which the exterior 
exceed the median tail-feathers, varies from 1*2 to 1'6, but 
about 1*35 seems the usual amount of forking. 

The patch on each side of the occiput is bright chestnut. 
The two patches meet behind aud form a distinct nuchal 
half collar, about 0'2 to 025 broad, in the fresh bird, or very 
good specimens. 

It is to be noticed that I speak of adults ; in this sub-group, 
the difficulties in discriminating species are increased, first 
by the fact that the general size, the colour of the occipital 
patches and rump, the striatum of this latter, the extent of the 
nuchal collar, the size and intensity of striations of the lower 
surface, all vary more or less with age ; and, secondly, by the 
extreme rarity of really good specimens, showing collar, ear- 
coverts, &c, all clearly and well. Out of over 140 specimens 
before me, not above 20 per cent, are really satisfactory in this 

The ear-coverts are chestnut, like the occipital patches, but 
duller and sometimes paler, and more or less thinly striated with 
dusky. This separates them from the other Indian species 
in which, iu adults even, the ear-coverts are a sort of pale 
sordid buff, sometimes slightly greyish in the Himalayan bird, 
densely striated with dusky. 

The rump and greater portion of upper tail-coverts are 
typically an uniform bright chestnut, without striations, not 
paling towards the tail. 

There is no exception to this in some 50 adults. In the 
young, which have not fully donned the glossy blue-black of 
head and mantle, both occipital patches and rump, &c, are 
much paler, but even then the rump, and all but the longest 


upper tail-coverts j (which are black or, in the young, dusky) 
are uniform. 

Amongst my supposed erythropygia, I found two specimens 
in which the rump, &c, distinctly paled to the tail, and were 
distinctly black shafted, but the wings 4 - 6—4 - 65 showed at 
once that they were young birds of one of the larger species 
and not erythropygia at all. 

"With due attention to the dimensions noted, (I have 
only given those that are useful for discriminating our 
species) and the remarks above recorded, there ought to be 
no difficulty in separating erythropygia at all times. 

This disposes of one of our species and one of the eight above 

The so-called L. daurica, Lin., must, I apprehend, stand as 
alpestris, Pall. The species is not included in the Xlltk 
Ed., Sys. Nat., but it is mentioned by Linuseus in the Mantissa, 
dating' I believe 1771, (p. 528), and 'in the Act. Stockh., 1769. 
I have never seen these, but I gather from Pallas, Schlegel, 
and others that Linnseus did not then confer any specific title 
but merely designated the species, as " H. coerulea, subtus 
alba temporibus uropygioque ferrugineis." It was on this 
and on Pallas's alpestris and Latham's Daurian Swallow, that 
Gin. S. N., I., 1024(1788) founded his daurica. But Pallas 
had already (1776j in his Voyages (II. App. &c, 709, No. 9. 
orig. Ed. In the French translation by Gauthier de la 
Peyronie, most commonly met with, it is III. Ap. 464, No. 11) 
fully described the species as alpestris, and by that name it 
should, I suppose, stand. 

This is Pallas' description, as finally revised in his Zoog. 
Boss. As. I., 534, 1810. 

" Size exceeding that of H. rustica, and the bill slightly 
wider; the mouth yellowish within, the tongue triangular, 
yellow, bifid ; the crown, the middle of the back, the basal 
portion of the wings, and the (upper) tail-coverts, steely black; 
the triangular space on either side, between the eyes and nape, 
occupying the temples, ferruginous, these spaces often meeting 
on the nape; ears ashy ; rump, almost to the middle of the back, 
ferruginous ; beneath the body lutescent or dingy white, lineally 
striated with black shafts; lower tail-coverts, with the points 
black with a bluish lustre; wings below yellowish white with 
dusky shafts; quills (i. <?., primaries and secondaries) 17, from 
the 10th to the 15th emarginate at the tips so as to be heart- 
shaped there ;* tail shining black, extremely forked;, the four 
middle feathers nearly equal, the outer on each side much the 

This peculiarity is more or less common to the whole group. 

SUB-GENUS LILLIA, (BOIE, 1859.) 257 

longest and for the most part with an oblong white spot on the 
inner web ; the feet somewhat larger than in other species of 
the genus, dusky ; the toes not versatile. Weight 5 to 7 
drachms, rarely more. The body, 4 - 2 ; the tail, 4*25 ; the mid- 
dle tail-feathers, 1*93; expanse, 137 ; wing 4-93 ; bill, 0'6j 
width of gape, 0-64; tibia?, 0-55/' 

It has been the custom (in which I have duly followed my 
betters) to identify our Himalayan bird with this species ; but 
in the first place to judge from some 50 specimens, our bird 
never has any white on the tail-feathers ; in the second place 
the ferruginous of the rump can hardly be said to extend almost 
to the middle of the back ; in the third place the upper tail- 
coverts cannot be said to be steely black, as only quite the 
longest in our bird are black, the rest are uuicolorous or nearly 
so with the rump. This might be passed over as carelessness 
iu description were it not that, in dealing with the lower tail- 
coverts, Pallas carefully points out that only the tips are black, 
whereas, as a fact in our bird, the lower tail-coverts are black 
for from 0'7 to 0"9, while the visible black portion of the upper 
ones is only about 0'4, very rarely 05 ; so that if Pallas had 
called either black, it would have been the lower and not the 
upper, and when he is careful to mention in regard to the lower, 
so much of which is black, that it is only the terminal portions 
that are so, a fortiori, one would think, he would not have 
called the upper tail-coverts black, without reservation, when 
so little of them is of this color. 

As to size,* I do not exactly understand how Pallas 
measured his body and tail separately ; the two dimensions, 
however, added give a total length of 8'45, against a maximum 
length in the flesh, for our birds, of 7*9 — the great majority 
of fully-plumaged adults not exceeding 7 75, and only one, 
out of some 30, (measured in the flesh) exceeding 7'8. But in 
regard to the wings there is not so much difference, as they run 
in our Himalayan and Tenasserim Hill birds from f'G to f m 8. 

Again, the tail is never shining black, but always hair brown, 
with, in the freshly moulted bird, a certain lustre, bluish to- 
wards the base and greenish towards the tips of the feathers. 

Lastly, it cannot be said of our Himalayan specimens that the 
red occipital patches often meet on the nape, because in fully- 
plumaged adults there is invariably a distinct rufous collar, not 
broad, as Mr. Swinhoe says (P. Z. S., 1871, p. 846) butdistiucfc 
and about 0*2, or iu some cases possibly 025 wide. I speak 
of course of the fresh bird ; in nine out of ten skins the collar 
almost wholly disappears. 

* Nauinaun gives (XIII., 211) the following dimensions of a specimen from the 
Altai Mountains : — Length 8 8 ; tail, 52 ; wing, 575. 


I think we may, with considerable certainty, decide that our 
Himalayan birds are quite distinct from the true alpestris, 

L. melanOCriSSa, Rupp. (System. Uber. Vog\ N. o. 
Afr. 17, t. 5, 1845) of Abyssinia might possibly occur in Sindh, 
Kattiawar or Northern Guzerat, but I have never seen it from 
India ; it is distinguishable at once by the adults having no 
striae on the lower surface, none on the cheeks and face, by its 
rufous anal band, and by the greater portion of the upper and 
under tail-coverts being black, blue glossed. It has no white 
on the outer tail-feathers. Length about 7'6 ; wing, 5 to 5*2; 
tail, 4-1, fork about 2 to 2-1. 

L. rufllla, Tem. Is a name that cannot perhaps properly 
stand. It was founded by Temrainck, (Manual d'Orn. 2nd Ed., 
III., 298, 18-35) avowedly on Le Vaillant's Hirondelle llousse- 
line, (Ois. d'Afr. V. pi. 245, f. 1.). Le Vaillant himself 
describes the species thus : — 

u The top of the head black, and the upper part of the back 
of the neck bright rufous, as is also the rump ; the mantle, 
wings and tail (which latter is very forked, and of which the 
external laterals are terminated in two narrow prolongations 
and the median ones marked interiorly with a white spot,) are 
of a shining bluish black, similar to that of our Chimney 
Swallow ; the throat, the front of the neck, and the whole 
lower part of the body, including the lower tail-coverts, are 
a light rufous, deepening towards the vent, all the feathers 
of these parts having blackish shafts ; the feet are a yellowish 
brown ; the bright chestnut ; the bill black. 

" The female is like the male, except that she has the whole 
top of the head red, and that the longer feathers of her tail are 
less prolonged thau in the male/' 

Accepting this as his text, identifying Gmelin's H. capensis 
(S. N., I./1019, No. 19, founded on Buffon's Hirondelle a tete 
rousse du Cap de Bonne Esperance, P. E., 723, f. 2) with it, re- 
jecting this name as inapplicable to a bird that had been found 
in Europe, TemmincK translated Le Vaillant's name into rufula, 
and while copying that author's description of the female, 
proceeded to give an original description of the so-called male, 
founded probably on a specimen obtained in Sicily. 

What Le Vaillant's male Ronsseline may have been no 
one knows. Sundevall thinks it was a manufactured bird, 
but he is rather fond of solving all difficulties thus. Most 
certainly it was not the bird now commoly known as rufula, 

SUB-GENUS lillia, (boie, 1859.) 259 

On tins doubtful, and perhaps mythical, male and a descrip- 
tion of a female, probably of capensis, as a basis, and avowedly 
accepting capemis of Ginelin as identical, Temminck described 
as the male the bird now known as rufitla. The species is, 
therefore, a composite one, and the name ought possibly 
to be suppressed and the species renamed after Temminck, 
L. Temmincki. 

Temminek's description of the male is as follows: — "On the 
top of the head a large bluish black cap, with polished steel 
reflexions; nape, cheeks, sinciput and little superciliary 
streak, rusty red ; hinder part of ueck, mantle and tail-coverts, 
the bluish black of polished steel ; rump bright red, turning 
to whitish isabelline towards the bases of the tail-feathers ; 
lower parts of a rufous isabelline, each feather with a narrow 
brown streak along the shaft ; wings and tail black, the latter 
deeply forked, and the lateral feathers long and subulate ; 
bill, iris, and feet, black : length 7*67. " 

Later he became aware of the muddle he had got into 
with this species, and in the Faun. Jap. (34, 1850) he and 
Schlegel remark : — 

"The species discovered in Sicily by Mr. Oantraine, and 
which has likewise been observed in the south of France, 
may bear the title of Hirundo rufula, see Temminck, Manual 
III., 298, and Schlegel, Revue Critique, p. XVIII and 41. It is 
of the same size as the Cape species, but has a smaller and 
feebler bill ; the top of the head is an uniform blue black; the 
tail has no white band; the terminal half of the lower tail- 
coverts are black ; the lower surface is a pretty shade of 
yellowish rusty and the striae are very fine and little apparent. •" 

The characteristics of this species as compared with alpestris 
clearly are — first, that it usually has no white on the inner webs 
of the outer tail-feathers ; second, that the rump instead of being 
uniform pales towards the tail-feathers to buffy white ; third, 
that the striae on the lower surface are very fine and little 

What bird Bree figures (B. of E. n. o. i. G. B. III., 174), 
length, 7 iuches (?) ; wing, 4"8, with a conspicuous white spot 
on the inner webs of the outer tail-feathers, I cannot guess ; 
certainly, if the dimensions are correctly stated not an adult 
rufula. In all my specimens of this species, the length, I 
judge, must have exceeded or been close upon 8 inches, and the 
wings exceed 5, and Naumaun (Vog. Deutschl. Suppl. XIII., 
210) gives far larger dimensions. " Length, 8"75 ; wing, 5'5 ; 
tail, 542 ; fork, 3 - 3 ; the first quill the longest, the second 0*09 
shorter and each of the rest 037 shorter than the preceding 


Neither of our larger species are rufula, both have the 
striae of the lower surface well marked, both have the rump 
band narrower, and in the fully plumaged adult uniform in 
tint and not paling towards the tail, and our Himalayan and 
Tenasserim Hill form is considerably smaller. 

I am at a loss to understand the grounds on which Mr. 
Swinhoe (P. Z. S., 1871., p. 346) remarks that he has " now no 
doubt that both Linnaeus and Pallas applied their names to 
rufula, Tern/' As Naumaun, Selys de Longchamps, and others 
have repeatedly pointed out alpestris from the Altai Mountains 
differs un variably from rufula in the greyer ear-coverts, in the 
narrower (almost obsolete) neck band, in the nearly uniform 
rump, not paling to buffy white towards the tail, and 
in the invariably much more strongly marked stria? of the 
lower parts. 

I may here draw attention to the fact that, though these birds 
are all great wanderers at other seasons, so that two and three 
species may be shot together during the autumn and winter 
(e. g., erytkropygia and our Himalayan species) they are I 
believe very true to their breeding haunts ; rufula and alpestris 
may very likely have been shot out of apparently the same 
flight in Russia or Central Asia, but I venture to predict that 
if only breeding birds from the Altai on the one baud, and the 
Mountains of Greece and Palestine on the other, be compared, 
they will invariably present the above characteristic 

L. japonica, Tem. & Schl. (Faun. Jap. 34, t. XI, 1850) 
from Japan and Amoy is a smaller species than the preceding. 
Length, 7'25 ; wing, 4*75 ; tail, 3*84 ; fork, 2'1 : in fact much 
the same size as our Himalayan birds, but with a shorter tail. 

It has a blackish triangular patch in front of the eyes. The 
under surface very strongly striated, much more so than in 
any of our Himalayan birds, and the broad rump band, which 
is more the colour of, though paler than, that of erytkropygia, has 
narrow black or blackish shaft stripes to the feathers. This 
latter is observable, though the stripes are here much finer, in 
many .young and not fully plumaged specimens of our 
Himalayan birds, but in these the rump baud is much nar- 
rower and paler ; in the young at times this band is not more 
than 05, even in the adults it never exceeds 1*0 and rarely 0*9, 
while in one specimen of japonica it is 1*1, and Mr. Swinhoe 
gives it as 1*2. 

L. domicella, Hartl. & Finsch. (O.Afr., 143) of South- 
ern and Central Africa is a minature of melanocrissa, with 
much paler lower surface, the adults distinguishable at a glance 

SUB-GENUS LILLIA, (BOIE, 1859.) 201 

from all our species by the unstriated lower surface, the bright 
rufous veut band and the large extent of black on the upper 
and lower tail-coverts. In both species the young have the 
abdomen more or less striated, and in this species, at any 
rate, have dark shafts to the rump feathers. 

L. Striolata, Tem. From Java was thus first described 
(Faun. Jap. 33., 1840):— 

"Wing, 5-5; tail, 4-95; fork, 2-2; hind claw, 0-23. 
Bill a little wider and much stronger than that of //. rustica ; 
the red of the collar and aural region very inconspicuous ; 
rump with fine black longitudinal lines ; lower tail-coverts 
blackish, but whitish on their basal halves ; the rest of the 
lower parts whitish with sufficiently well marked longitudinal 
black striaa; tail without white spots. " 

Note that by this expression, " sufficiently well marked," 
it is intended to signify very strongly marked, for a little 
further on we are told that the striations on the lower surface 
of japonica are almost as strongly marked as on that of striolata. 
Now those of japonica are very pronounced those on the throat 
and breast, being as our authors themselres say from - O25 to 
0*03 wide, and in my specimen I think almost 0033. 

Of L. arctivitta, Swinh. p. z. s., isn, p. 346, but 

little can be said. I cannot discover that Mr. Swinhoe has ever 
published either dimensions or description.* He merely says that 
the bird is of about the same size as the specimens he believes 
to he japonica (!) is more faintly and narrowly striped on the 
under parts than that species, and is distinguished from all 
other species of the group by its extremely narrow rump 
band, only 07 wide. As he neglects to mention whether this 
measurement was or was not taken from fully plumaged 
adults, as the rump band in our Himahrvan bird in adults is, 
I find, only - 8 in several specimens, and only 0"5 in young 
birds, this does not help us much. He goes on to say that our 
Himalayan bird (which he correctly designates, I believe, as 
nipalensis, Hodgson) is distinguished by its broad rufous 
nuchal collar, aud refers to Gould's plate of daurica as repre- 
senting this species. But our Himalayan bird has not a broad 
rufous collar, but one varying from 0*2 to possibly "25, and 
I very much doubt if Gould's plate was taken from a 
Himalayau specimen ; for the striping on the flanks is much 

* It is to be regretted that no full detailed dimensions and descriptions of a great 
number of Mr. Swinhoe's new or supposedly new species exist. Many of the species 
remain merely indicated but in no sense defined. 



too strongly marked for 99 out of every 100 Himalayan birds 
and the ear-coverts are rufous, which is not the case in our 
bird, and the red-eyebrow is much too broad. 

I gather, however, from the context that the rump in Mr. 
Swinkoe's bird is striated, and if it is distinctly so, in the 
adult, fully plumaged bird, this will suffice to separate it from 
our Himalayan species. 

We have now to turn to our Indian species, and first to 
take our Himalayan birds which breed everywhere throughout 
the ranges south of the first snowy range, at elevations of 
from 6,000 to 8,000 feet from Afghanistan to Bhootan, and 
which occurs during the cold season in various parts of the 
plains in Continental India and in the Northern Tenasserim 
Hills, and very possibly also breeds in these latter. 

Hodgson thus described the species, J. A. S. B., V., 780, 
Deer. 1836. 

L. nipalensis, Bodgs. 

II Cap, back, scapulars and wing-coverts, brilliant deep blue ; 
quills, tail-feathers and the longer tail-coverts above and below, 
dusky : a narrow frontal zone, cheeks, neck and body below, 
as well as the rump and lesser tail-coverts above, rusty, p^ler 
and striped with narrow lines of dusky hue on the whole 
abdominal surface ; dorsal neck more or less blotched with 
blue; rump, immaculate; bill, black; iris 1 , dull brown ; legs, 
fleshy grey ; sexes exactly alike structure typical ; tail long- 
and deeply forked ; size of H. rustica. 

" This is the Common Swallow of the central region, a house- 
hold creature remaining with us for seven or eight months in 
the year." 

In dimensions adults vary in length from 7*4 to 7"8 ; wing, 
4-6 to 4-8 ; tail, 3-7 to 4-1 ; fork, 1*7 to 2*3. The visible black 
portion of the upper tail-coverts is usually about 0*5, but 
varies from - 4 to 0'7; of the lower tail-coverts 0*7 to 0*9, 
most generally the latter. The rump band in adults varies 
from 08 to 1. In perfect plumaged adults it is usually a 
uniform fairly bright bay, unstriated ; but in many birds, 
during or after the breeding season, it pales posteriorly after 
the fashion, but not to the extent, of that of rufula. 

The lower parts are creamy white, often almost plain greyish 
white on the middle of the throat, with a pale ferruginous 
tinge on breast, rather more decided on flanks, axillaries 
and wing-lining. The occipital patches and nuchal collar (the 
latter a little varied with blue glossed feathers) are bright bay. 
J he ear-coverts are like the lower surface, in some a little more 
rufescent, and, being very densely striated with dusky, look 

SUB-GENUS L1LLIA, (boie, 1859.) 263 

much darker and duller. There is a bright blue gloss on the 
black portions of both upper and lower tail-coverts. 

All this is in adults. In younger birds the bay portions are 
lighter coloured (in quite young ones the entire rump band is pale 
isabelline) ; and the feathers of the rump have blackish brown 
shafts, not shaft stripes, but only shafts. In non-adults the 
blue gloss of head mantle, &c, is more or less wanting or im- 
perfect; in the quite young the lower surface is nearly pure 
white, and the strias are very faint on the abdomen. As the 
young grow older the striae become stronger for a time ; as 
far as I can make out they are strongest in the cold season, next 
but one after the bird's birth, after which they again grow 
somewhat feebler, though remaining always much more strongly 
marked than in erytkropyyia . 

The quills and tail are always hair brown; there is a bluish 
and greenish gloss on these when the bird has freshly moulted, 
most noticeable on the later secondaries and median tail-feathers. 
Scarcely a trace of this remains when the breeding season 

The first two primaries are subequal, usually the first is from 
a shade to 005 longer than the second ; in a few specimens I 
find the second the longest. The succeeding primaries are 
each about 3 shorter than the next preceding one. 

The difference in size, and the more marked striations of the 
lower surface, will always serve to distinguish this bird from 
erytkropygia. Even the just-flown nestling still has the 
throat and breast strongly striated, while in the corresponding 
stage of erytkropygia, the entire underparts exhibit scarcely 
a trace of any striations. 

The next species appears to me to be as yet undescribed. 
1 have received several specimens from Suddya at the extreme 
eastern limit of Assam. I propose to designate it 

L. intermedia, N. S. 

It is conspicuously larger than any of over 50 specimens 
of nipalensis with which I have compared it, and it differs in 
other particulars. 

Length, 7 7 to 8-0 ; wing, 5-0 to 5*2 ; tail, 3-8 to 4'0 ; forked 
for 1*8: a larger series may show longer tails, but it would seem 
that for the size of the bird the tail is shorter and less forked. 

The rump band from - 9 to 1 in width is a deeper bay, inter- 
mediate in shade between adult nipalensis and erytkropygia. 
It is absolutely uniform. I speak only of adults, as I have 
received no young birds. 

There is no rufous nuchal collar, though on the nape there 
is an imperfect row of red spots, about 0'05 wide. 


The whole lower parts, but especially the breast, abdomen, 
and lower tail-coverts (except of course the black tips), are 
much more rufescent than in nipalensis, and may be called a 
pale salmon buff — the wing-lining and axillaries being dull 
salmon. The striae are much as in some nipalensis, but average 
rather stronger. 

The second primary is 03 shorter than the first — a structural 
peculiarity by which, if constant, this species may be at once 
distinguished from nipalensis. 

The visible black portions of the upper tail-coverts are about 
0*5, of the lower 0'65 to 0*7. 

The ear-coverts are brownish buff striated with dusky. 
There is no trace of any white spot on the inner webs of the 
outer (or any other) tail feathers in any of my four specimens. 

This species approaches closely to the true alpestris of Pallas 
as described by him, but differs in not having the ears ashy, 
in not having the rump almost to the middle of the back, pale 
ferruginous, but having less than one-third of the back, bright 
bay, in having only the tips of the upper tail-coverts black, in 
having the wings below dull salmon colour not yellowish white, 
in having the entire lower surface not lutescent or sordid white 
but distinctly rufescent, in having the tail brown and not shin- 
ing black, and in having no white spot on the tail. 

I have no doubt that, when a series of specimens are com- 
pared, many other differences will be apparent. 

Lastly, we have a species very distinct from all our other 
Indian ones, which I have as yet only received from Cachar 
where it is a cold weather visitant, but which doubtless will 
be found equally at that season in the valley of Assam, 
Sylhet, &c. 

The nearest ally is striolata of Temminck, from which it 
differs in its smaller size proportionally more forked tail, less 
massive bill and much richer colored under parts. I pro- 
pose for it the name of 

L. substriolata, N. S. 

Length, 775; wing, 5-0; tail, 4-0 ; fork, 2-25. 

A mere trace of a rufous collar. 

Rump and all but the longest upper tail-coverts, uniform 
bright rusty rufous, or bay, each feather with a blackish shaft, 
and in the case of those nearest the black ones, with distinct 
though narrow shaft stripes. 

Rufous rump band TO to 1*1 in width. 

Longest black upper tail-coverts project 0*4 only beyond 
bay ones. 

SUB-GENUS LILLIA, (BOIE, 1850.) 265 

No white spot or mark on the tail feathers. 

Throat rufescent white ; rest of lower parts rather pale sal- 
mon buff, brightening to warm salmon colour on axillaries and 
wing-lining, every feather with a blackish brown shaft stripe 
very fine, mere shaftiues, on the axillaries, but very strongly 
marked elsewhere. The black visible portions of the longer 
lower tail-coverts, 0'65 to 07. 

Crown, mantle and tips of upper and lower tail-coverts with 
a high lustre, greener and less blue than in any other of our 
species. Wings and tail brown, but with a very marked 
greenish lustre. 

I will now add a very brief diagnostical table of the 11 
species to which I have referred, which, with the remarks 
above offered, ought to enable any one to separate full pluma^ed 
adults of any of these species as 1 understand them. 

But avowedly my knowledge is most imperfect, and my 
great object in putting forth this cursory notice is to induce 
more competent authorities at home who can command series 
of the species of which I have none or only single specimens, 
to investigate the group systematically. 

Fully tlumaged Adults. 

Rump unstriated. 

Lower surface unstriated. 

Wing, 5 to h"l ... ... melanocrissa. 

„ 4*75 ... ... domicella. 

Lower surface striated. 

Striations fine and inconspicuous, 
more or less obsolete on abdomen. 

Rump band paling conspicuously to- 

wards tail. Wing over 5'0 ... rufllta. 

Rump band uniform. Wing under 45. er//t/l?'0pi/qict. 

Striations well marked on entire 
loicer surface. 

Wing 5 — ? ; usually a white spot on 
outer tail feathers. Wing and tail 
shining black; rump band extending 
almost to middle of back ; ears ashy, alpestris. 

Wing 5-0 to 52 ; no white on tail ; wings " 
and tail brown ; rump band 09 to l'O; 
ears brownish buff, striated dusky ... intermedia 

Wing 4-6 to 4 8 ; no white on tail ; wings 
and tail brown ; rump band 8 to l'O ; 
ears clingy yellowish white or pale dingy 
rufescent, densely striated with dusky, nipalensix. 


Hump distinctly striated. 

Lower surface strongly striated. 

Wing 5 '5 ... ... striolata. 

Wing 50 to 5*2 ... ... substriolata. 

Wing 4*75 ; rump band 1*1 to 1"2 japonica. 
Lower surface more feebly and narrowly striated. 
Same size as japonica ; rump band 

only 0*7 wide ... ... arctivitta. 

As for the young birds I know too little of those of nine spe- 
cies out of the eleven to enable me to speak, but I would repeat 
that in nou-adults, no certain diagnosis can be taken from 
the streaking of the rump, the colour of the under surface, 
or the amount of its striatiou ; the first is a character common 
to the young of the majority of the species, but which only 
survives in the adults of four, and the two latter vary much 
during nonnage, and in no case are precisely those of the 

I cannot conclude without noticing that in my opinion 
the magnificent Chestnut-bellied Swallow of the Malayan Pe- 
ninsular, referred to by Holdsworth, P. Z. 8., 1872, p. 419, is 
quite distinct from hyperythra of Ceylon, and, as they are 
both very closely allied to the species ; of which we have 
been treating, (though according to Mr. Gray they belong 
to the other sub-genus Cecropis, Boie) , I shall give brief des- 
criptions of both. 

0. hyperythra, Layard. 

Length (from the skin) about 6*5 to 6*75 ; wing, 4*75 to 
5-0; tail 325 to 3'6 ; fork, 1*2 to 1*7. 

Forehead, crown, occiput, nape and mantle, shining blue 
black ; wings and tail blackish brown, with more or less of a blue 
gloss, I suspect according to season. Chin, throat, cheeks, 
ear-coverts, entire lower surface (except the terminal 0"7 to 0'8 
of the lower tail-coverts which are blue black) and rump band 
(about 0"8 wide) rusty red, more inclining to chestnut on the 
rump. The terminal 05 to 06 of upper tail-coverts blackish 
glossed blue. All the feathers of the under parts and face, with 
distinct brown shafts, very thickly set in the ear-coverts. 

Shafts of the earlier primaries brown, paling, in most speci- 
mens, conspicuously towards their bases. 

C archetes, N. S. 

Malay Peninsular (dimensions recorded in the flesh : — 
$ Length, 8*15 ; expanse, 150 ; wing, 5*55; tail, 425 ; 
fork, 2, tarsus, 065 ; bill from gape, 0'65 ; weight, r25oz. 

SUB-GENUS LILLIA, (BOIB, 1859.) 267 

? Length, 8-2; expanse, 14-25;* wing, 5-26 ;* fail, 4*5; 
fork, 2'2 ; tarsus, 0*65 ; bill from gape, 0*65 ; weight, l - 2oz. 

Bill, black, fleshy white at gape ; legs and feet, black or 
purplish black; claws black; irides deep brown. 

Forehead, crowj: occiput nape and mantle, shining blue 
black ; wings and tail black, with a strong bine gloss. 

Chin, throat, cheeks, ear-coverts, entire lower suface (except 
the terminal 1 inch of the lower tail-coverts which are shin- 
ing blue black) and rump band {about I"2 wide) deep chestnut, 
deepest on the chin throat, face and rump. The terminal 0'4 
to 06 of the upper tail coverts blue glossed black. Only 
faint traces of darker shafts to the feathers of the lower parts 
not noticeable in most specimens until closely looked into, none 
on the ear coverts. 

Shafts of the earlier primaries black, not paling perceptibly 
towards bases. 

In the much smaller hyperythra, the bill is proportionately, 
and indeed I think even actually, larger; is broader and 
much less compressed towards the point. 

I have compared six Ceylon specimens of hyperythra with 
four of archetes shot at Kuroo, 26 miles N. W. of Malacca, 
and I do not think that there can be the remotest doubt 
as to the entire distinctness of the two species. The extreme 
brilliancy of the plumage and the large size marks out this 
Malayan form as a veritable " Prince" amongst Swallows. — 
A. O. H. 

% 3lcnopap{r of tlje Ctnngrik or family of 

By Captain G. E. Shelley, &c, &c. 

We have now received three parts of Captain Shelley's 
beautiful work, and propose to give a brief review of their 

We may commence by remarking that it has been asserted 
that the title of the group would more correctly stand as 
Nectarinida, apparently because, although Nectarinida of Boie 
is junior to Cinnyrida of Vigors, Nectarinia of Illiger as the 
oldest genus, should " give the name to the larger group/ 

* First primary not fully grown. 

+ London, published by the author at the office of the British Ornithologists' 
Union, 6, Tenterden Street, Hanover Square, W. To be completed in 12 parts ; each 
price one guinea. Address the author, 32, Chesham Place, London, or the Uuards' 
Club, Pall Mall, London, or R. H. Porter, 6, Tenterden Street. 


Now this does not appear to us to be necessarily true • in the 
first place the proposition is based only upon one of the re- 
commendations, not on any rule of the British Association ; in 
the second place this latter refers clearly only to the future — 
the whole spirit of the Code is against any changes in existing 
nomenclature where that is binomial, or in the case of families 
ends in idee — the Committee say : — 

" It is recommended that the assemblages of genera termed 
families should be uniformly named by adding the termination 
idee to the name of the earliest known, or most typically cha- 
racterized genus in them." 

If no family ending in idee, exists comprising exactly that 
group of genera which it is desired to unite under one family 
name, and it becomes necessary to make what is virtually a new 
family, then unquestionably any adherent to the Code ought 
to frame that new name on that " of the earliest known or most 
typically characterized genus." 

But if a family ending in idee already exists, covering pre- 
cisely the required limits, then the law of priority, as laid down 
by Strickland, entirely bars the rejection of that and the con- 
struction of a new name, even though such existing family may 
not have been based on "the earliest known, &c, genus" ; and 
if there are two or more such families, each exactly fitting the 
space to be covered, then you must take the oldest. 

In the present case therefore if Captain Shelley means to 
define his family so as to be exactly equivalent to Vigors', he 
is correct in adopting Vigors' name. But if he intends mak- 
ing a new family differing in its exact limits from any exist- 
ing family ending in idee, then he ought to call it Neclari- 
nidee, if Nectarinia is both the oldest and at least one of the 
most typically characterized genera that he intends to include. 

Now until the work is finished, or at any rate until the 
general introduction, &c, is published, it is impossible to say 
whether Captain Shelley's Cinnyridce will be truly equal to 
Vigors ; his inclusion of Promerops made it seem as if it were 
to be so, but we understand that he intends to separate the 
Promeroyielee as a distinct family. 

To return, of that portion of the work that has appeared, we 
can express almost unqualified approval. 

The author himself has observed numbers of the species in 
life, and his original notes add much to the value of the mono- 
graph. The synonymy appears to have been with some few 
exceptions most carefully worked up, and the plates are, as 
a rule, lovely, except inasmuch as they exhibit almost every 
species as unnaturally corpulent. Most certainly the delicate 
slender-bodied Leptocoma (or Cinnyris), zeylonica, could never 


interbreed with the magnificent giants depicted by Mr. Keul- 
man's as typical examples of this sp eies. 

Doubtless, some minor errors will have to be eliminated in 
a postscriptal notice, but taking" the work as a whole, when 
we say that, so far as it has proceeded, it promises to form 
a worthy companion volume to Mr. Sharpe's alcedinid^, we 
have given it, we consider, the highest possible commendation. 

Part I. appeared 28th July 1876. 

pi. 1. Anthodiceta collaris. — The plate is interesting as showing 
that even the nestling exhibits metallic colours, which is 
not, we believe, the case in any other genus of this family. 
We note that Ant/iodiata of Cabanis. (Mus. Cab. and Hein. 
I, 1U0) is a genus which, as pointed out by Bonaparte 
(Compt. Rend., 1854, p. 265) can scarcely be adopted. 

— Anthodiceta hypodila. — We ai'e glad to see that the late 

Sir W. Jardine's Nectarinia hypodilus has been determined, 
although it replaces the better known name sub-collaris. 
A great portion of the notes in this case are the result of 
the author's own observations. 

— Anthodiceta zambesiana is described as a new species from 
East Africa. It is said to be intermediate between the 
two last closely allied species. The figures, we are told, 
have been taken from specimens in the British Museum ; 
but they have not yet appeared. 

pi. 2. Nectarinia famosa represents the adult male and 
female. We doubt if in nature the yellow pectoral tufts 
would be so fully shown. A friend, who has shot many 
specimens of this glorious bird, assures us that here too the 
thickness of the bird has been greatly exaggerated. We 
find included in the synonymy Trochilus pella (part, Africa,) 
and T. capensis, P. L. Mtiller, and Certhia tabacina, Lath. 
Captain Shelley separates the Abyssinian allied species 
under the name N. cupreonitem. The author gives a 
good description of the habits of this species from personal 

— Cinnyris microrhynchus. — This is the second supposed new 

species described by Captain Shelley from East Africa. 
It is only separable from C. bifasciatus "by its very 
small bill and smaller general" size/' and we think requires 
confirmation. Our author observes : — "It is worthy of 
note that of the many West African species of Sun-birds, 
which have been met with between the Senegal river and 
the Congo, not one extends its range to any part of the 
east coast between Cape Guardafui and the Cape of 
Good Hope." 

k 10 


— Cinnyris osiris (Finch) is recognised as a good species. 

We note that in his diagnosis our author says that this 
species is " scarcely smaller " than bifasciata, while in the 
text he says that it is constantly larger. 

pi. 3. Cinnyris zeylonica*. — The author does not recognise 

Nectarophila as of generic value, hut uses it later on for 

what he terms a "group/' 

Compared with the synonomy given by the Marquis of 

Tweeddale (Ibis, 1870, p. 37) we fiud he excludes Le 

sucrion, Levaillant, and Certhia cnrrucaria, Linn. 

The distribution of this species is not very accurately defined 
in the text. It may be generally stated that this species is con- 
fined to Ceylon, Southern and Eastern India. It does not occur 
so far, as we know, in Sindh, Kutch, Kattiawar, Rajpootana, 
the Punjab, the North- West Provinces, Oudh, Behar, the Central 
India Agency, nor in the major portions of the Central 
Provinces, though in these latter it has been observed occasionally 
near Chanda, and is common in the Raipoor anh Sumbulpoor 
districts. It does not extend into any part of British Burmah. 
It is normally a bird of the heavier rainfall and better wooded 
provinces, though it certainly occurs in the comparatively 
dry uplands of the Deccan. It never ascends any of the 
mountain ranges, to the best of our belief, to any considerable 
elevation, but is essentially a bird of the plains country. With 
this reservation its range may be said to include Ceylon, 
Travancore, Cochin, the whole Madras Presidency, Mysore, 
Hyderabad, the Bombay Presidency south of the 20th degree 
N. Lat,, the Southern portions of Berar and the Central 
Provinces to about the same latitude, Raipoor and the Eastern 
States of these provinces, Orissa, the Tributary Mehals, Chota 
Nagpoor and Lower Bengal west of the Burrumpooter. I have 
never yet seen it from any of the districts east of this, e.g., 
Chittagong, Cachar, Tipperah or Sylhet, though at Dacca, 
immediately west of this river, it is common. Nor have I seen 
it from Assam, though said to occur there, and though Godwin- 
Austen records a specimen from the Khasya Hills. 
—Anthoditeta rectirostris. — The author considers that the name 
phceolhorax, Hartlaub, 1861, must be put aside for the older 
title recthostris, Shaw, 1811, founded on Le Soui manga 
a bee droit, And. et Vieill. The type specimen is in the 
Museum of the Jardin des plautes Paris, and we are inform- 
ed agrees perfectly. We had always hitherto [e.g. ante 142 
n.) following numerous authorities, considered Shaw's 
rectirostris as equivalent to singalensis, Gm.; but having 

* Wc priut in capitals the names of those species that occur within our limits. 


looked the matter up, Ave find that whatever rectirostris 
may be, it certainty is not singalensis. 
The synonomy includes Cinnyris elegans, Vieill, Nectarinia 

fantensis, Sharpe, and N. tephrolosma, Sharpe, (Ibis, 1872, 

p. 69.) 

—Anthodiata teplirolcema. — Captain Shelley's description of 
the female differs from that given by Mr. Cassim, in fact 
in this matter he follows Sir W. Jardiue and Dr. 

—Urodrepanis christina, — This is the author's first new genus. 

It is thus shortly described: — "Similar to JEthopyga, but 

with the two centre tail-feathers abruptly narrowing into 

fine points/' 

Whether it is desirable to create new genera on such very 

minor differences is to say the least doubtful. 

pi. 4. Cinnyris mariquensis. — The author here employs 
the name mariquensis, Smith, and refers bifasciatus, Shaw 
by which it has been generally known to Jardinei, Verr. 

— Cinnyris bifasciatus. — The author shows that the name 

bifasciatus should be applied to the West African species, 

being founded upon one of Perrein's specimens from 


He also gives reasons for recognising four species nearly 

similar in plumage, but differing in size, from four of the 

African sub-regions, but many ornithologists would, we 

suspect, hesitate to adopt this view, while some would 

doubtless unite all four races under Shaw's name. 

pi. 5. Cinnyris gutturalis. — Captain Shelley recognises three 
other closely allied species, C. senegalensis from West 
Africa, C. acik and C. cruentatus from North-East Africa. 

pi. 6. Neodrepanis coruscans. — This species is here figured 
for the first time, the plate is good, and shows the peculiar 
sinuated form of the first primary. The upper figure re- 
presents the type specimen which Captain Shelley presumes 
to be the immature male, the lower represents the adult 
male. We should be much disposed to suspect that the first 
was really a female, and that the sexes will be found to be 
chiefly distinguished by the absence or presence of the 
The author forms a new sub-family Neodrepanina for the 

reception of this Madagascar species. 

Part I further includes four illustrations without letter press. 

pi. 7. iETHOPYGA dabryi. — Here the female is figured for the 
first time. 

pi. 8. Cinnyris brasilianus. — This is Nectminia Hassellii 
Temm. We have already in a separate article (Notes on 


Nomenclature, II.) expressed our concurrence in the use 
of the term " brasilianus" 

pi. 9. Cinnyris amethystinus. — 

pi. 10. Promerops cafer which can scarcely he included in 
the Cinnyridce. 

Part II appeared 29th November 1876. 

— Cinnyris kirkii. — A new species founded upon the East 
African form of C. amethystinus. It is very close to that 
species, but smaller, and the upper tail-coverts are brownish- 
black like the back, with no portion of them metallic. 

— iETHOPYGA dabryi which was figured in the first part is 

here described. It is quite refreshing to find the name 

correctly spelt, English authors having rung almost every 

possible kakographical change on it, dabrii, debrii, abrii, &c. 

We found this species not itncommon at Mooleyit in the 

Central Tenasserim Hills and shall have some remarks to make 

about it, when dealing with the avifauna of that province. 

pi. 1. Cinnyris verreanxi. — Both sexes possess bright pectoral 

tufts. The author places this bird in his " sub-metallic 

group" which appears to be nearly equivalent to Adelinus, 


Captain Shelley gives some original notes upon this rare 

and very local species. 

pi. 2. Cinnyris olivaceus. — This species is here well figured 

for the first time. 
The author places it in his a Olive group," which is nearly 

represented by Elceocerthia, Reichb. He considers its nearest 

ally Anihreptes hypogrammica ; this may be so, but both this 

species and obscums have always reminded us most of the 

Asiatic Arachnotherce. 

— Nectarinia cupreonitens. — The new species from North-East 
Africa and Senegal already referred to. The type is a male 
in the British Museum from Abyssinia. 

pi. 3. Cinnyris notatus. — 

pi. 4. Cinnyris superbus. — 

There are some original notes upon this species, as it was 

met with by the author " in the lofty forests of the Aguapiui 


pi. 5. Cinnyris johannce. — The adult male and female are here 
well figured for the first time. 
To the synonomy of this species is added Nectarinia fasciata, 

Jard. and Fraser. 

From Cinnyris superbus, u the female is distinguished by the 

striped breast, and by the under tail-coverts not being orange- 


The author met with it at Abouri during his travels in the 

Aguapim mountains, and was evidently much struck with its 


pi. 6. Cinnyris talatala. — 

The author places this bird in his u white-breasted section" 

of the u pale metallic group." 

pi. 7. Cinnyris albiventris. — The adult male and female are 
here figured and described from the type specimens in the 
Strickland collection at Cambridge, said to be in very bad 
condition. According to the author it is a well-marked 
species, which " should be arranged between C. venustus 
and C. talatala." 

pi. 8. Cinnyris afer.— 

Captain Shelley, we find, refers Nectarinia ludovicensis, Bocage, 

to this species. 

He places it in the "ashy-breasted section" of his "pale 

metallic group/' 

pi. 9. Cinnyris chalybeus. — The adult male and male in moult 
are figured. The female, which is similar to that of G. 
afer, is not figured. The author had opportunities of 
observing its habits while he was in South Africa, but he 
does not tell us much about it. 

pi. 10. Cinnyris chloropygius. — The adult male and female 
are figured. 
The author met with this bird on the Gold Coast near Cape 

Coast Castle and in the Aguapim Mountains. 

— Promerops cafer. — This species was figured in the first part. 
The author gives some original notes upon this species, which 
he frequently met with in Cape Colony. . 

—Promerops gurneyi. — There are no figures given of this or 
the following species. 

— Anthrobaphes violacea. — He considers this species to form 
" the connecting link between the African genus Necta- 
rinia and the oriental j^Ethopyga.' 1 '' 
We do not know why the author designates the genus 

Anthrobaphes, the derivation (Cab. Mus. Hein., I., 103) is 

Part III. appeared 27th February 1877. 
pi. 1. Cinnyris fuscus. — 
pi. 2. Cinnyris dussvmieri. — The adult male and female are 

here well figured for the first time. 
pi. 3. Anthreptes hypogrammica. — The adult male 

and female are figured. It is a pretty plate, but from 


the position of the female the distinguishing characters of 
that sex, the absence of the steel-blue colour on the back 
of the neck and rump are lost. 
The specific name hypogrammica, S. Mull., is apparently 
rightly chosen, as Anthreptes macularia, Blyth, was not des- 
cribed until 1843, when Blyth applied to the same species 
the fresh name of A. nuchalis. 

pi. &. Cinnyris cyanolcemus. — The adult male and female are 
here, we believe, figured for the first time. 
Indeed the female does not appear to have been previously 

pi. 5. Eudrepanis pulcherrima. — This and the next three 
species are some of the recent novelties collected in the 
Philippine Islands by Dr. Steere, (to whom we also are in- 
debted for a number of beautiful specimens) and are here 
figured for the first time. 
Of the present species only the type is known and the two 
fio-ures are drawn from the same specimen. 

The new genus Eudrepanis is here described by Mr. Sharpe 
for the first time. 

pi. 6. ^Ethopyga Shelleyi. — Named after the author by Mr. 
Sharpe ; is a lovely species. 
The female is unknown. 
pi. 7. yEthopyga magnified. — Adult male and female are 

pi. 8. Arachnothera dilutior. — The figure represents the adult 
male, the only specimen known of this bird. 
It was collected by Dr. Steere in the island of Palawan, and 
is the first instance of the genus Arachnothera being found in 
the Philippines. 
pi. 9. Cinnyris frenatus. — 

In the synonomy we find Nectarinia flavigastra and N. aus- 
iralis, Gould, referred to this widely-spread species. 

This species is included it what the author calls " the yellow- 
breasted section of the Asiatic olive-backed group/' which 
section comprises six species, all of which are described in this 
part, and their specific differences pointed out. We have al- 
ready given a key to this group, ante, p. 70. 

— Cinnyris jxigularis. — The plate of this species is not yet 

pi. 10. Cinnyris flammaxillaris. — 

— Cinnyris r/iizophora. — The plates for this and the next four 

species have not yet appeared. 
— Cinnyris peutoralis. 
—Cinnyris bouvieri — Is a new species collected by M. Petit 

at Landano, Congo, in West Africa. 


Both the adult male aud female are here described, but of the 
female the author observes : " I canuot be certaiu that it is not 
a hen of C. lifasciatus." 

tl The structure and plumage shows that it should be placed 
near G. bifasciatas, G. osea, and C. venustns, from all of which 
it is distinguished by its dark-brown breast." 


— Nectarinia tacazze. 

We understand that the present work will comprise at least 
12 parts, with 10 plates in each, so that the entire work will 
comprise not less than 120 illustrations. Of these, 30 have 
been now issued, as also the descriptions of 46 species, including 
7 new ones. 

We have been informed by the author that the reason of the 
descriptions being 1 more numerous than the plates is in order 
to equalise the number of plates in the several parts, and if 
the present proportion is kept up, it will leave apparently four 
parts for index, classification &c. ; but we suppose the author 
knows best what space will be required for this portion of the 

Over 30 species that occur within our limits will be figured, 
and no Indian ornithologists, who keep up any kind of ornitho- 
logical library f though these are necessarily but few), should be 
without this work. 

lotes on nomenclature II. 

The use by Captain Shelley, in his monograph of the Sun Birds 
of the name Cinnyris brasilianus, Grmel. (S. N., I., 474, 1788) 
for the species more generally designated Hasseltii, Tern., (P. C, 
376, f. 3, 1825) has awakened the indignation of a contem- 
poi-ary {Ibis, 1877, l%{) — ( ' such a course," we are told, being 
" altogether opposed to the Stricklandian Code of Nomencla- 

I, however, vei'y much question the correctness of this dictum, 
and am disposed to believe that a very general misapprehension 
exists as to what the so-called Stricklandian Code of Nomen- 
clature real!?/ enforces. 

The fact is, that the correct construction or interpretation of 
written documents requires some little practice and training, 
and is in a certain degree a science per se governed by fixed 
laws and proceeding on definite principles. 


Now, in this present case, an almost universal confusion 
seems to exist between what the Code enforces as regards the 
past, and what it recommends as regards the future. 

It is a generally received rule of construction that the part 
is to be interpreted by the whole, and that any doubts as to 
the letter of particular passages are to be cleared up with re- 
ference to the spirit or manifest intention of the whole docu- 

The first thing, therefore, essental to a right interpretation 
of the Code is a thorough mastery of its general intention — a 
clear realization in fact of the spirit in which it was conceived. 

I do not hesitate to assert that, taken as a whole, the essential 
features — the leading principles of the Code — are these. 

Priority is to be the rule of nomenclature ; it is of such 
importance that, except in the most extreme cases, no name 
which has priority is to be set aside, but for the future greater 
care in framing new names is recommended. 

In fact the Code virtually says : Don't meddle with your 
predecessor's work, except in the most extreme cases, but in the 
matter of your own work be careful to avoid their blunders; 
there are scores of errors that you ought to beware of, but the 
fact that others have committed these very mistakes against 
which we warn you, will in no way justify your attempting to 
set their names aside." 

The Code thus far is essentially a British one — it breathes 
a wise spirit of compromise; it is characteristic of the nation, 
iu harmony with its whole traditions and practice, and ought to 
be sacred to all English Naturalists. 

Of course Continental nations will not accept it. Compro- 
mise is, and always has been, foreign to their national character ; 
with them everything, be it a revolution, a reform, a republic 
or a despotism, must be carried out to its logical conclusion — 
they are always to our ideas in extremes. As a fact they are 
always more nearly theoretically right than we are, but they 
are very rarely as successful in practice. 

In one respect our Code is doubtless wrong ; the rejection 
of all binomial names prior to 1766 is inconsistent with the 
fundamental principle of the Code, which is, that priority is to 
be the rule, and that absolute necessity alone justifies its 
disregard. It 'was necessary to reject names that were not 
hinomial, but it was contrary to the whole spirit of the 
Code, to reject any truly binomial names, such as Briinnichs, 
many of Brissons, &c, because published prior to the appearance 
of Linnaeus' XII. edition of his Syst. Nat. 

In this respect our Code cannot possibly, I believe, stand, but 
until altered by as influential a consensus as that on which it 


is based, we English, at any rate, ought to abide by it. 
Setting this one point aside, the Code is, I believe, thoroughly 
catholic, and in all respects a credit to our country, and it 
grieves me to see English naturalists hankering" after the flesh 
pots of Egypt, and striving, under cover of a misinterpretation 
of the Code, and a confusion of its recommendations for the 
future with its rules for the past, to approximate to the practices 
of Foreign naturalists who, for the most part in nomenclature, 
as in all other matters, run, according to our sober British ideas, 
into extremes. 

And now what does the Code say in regard to such changes 
as the Editors of the Ibis advocate when they gibbet Capt. 
Shelley for the use of the name brasilianus ? 

le A name may be changed when it implies a false proposition 
which is likely to propagate important errors.'" 

Note how guarded the rule — it is not sufficient that the name 
implies a false proposition ; it must also be liable to propagate 
errors, and these errors must be important. 

Now the name " brasilianus, " doubtless, implies a false pro- 
position, but the time has long past when it could propagate any 
error — the species and its habitat being thoroughly well known, 
to science, — and the rejection of the name in such a case is there- 
fore impliedly barred. 

" If such proper names of places," say the authors of the 
Code, " as Covent Garden, Lincoln's Inn Fields, Newcastle, 
Bridge water, &c, no longer suggest the ideas of gardens, 
fields, castles or bridges, but refer the mind with the quick- 
ness of thought to the particular localities which they res- 
pectively designate, there seems no reason why the proper 
names used in Natural History should not equally perform 
the office of correct indication, even when their etymological 
meaning may be wholly inapplicable to the object they typify." 

"We must not, however, halt here — this was the major propo- 
sition, but to it were appended riders, which not to quote would 
be to do injustice to the broad and comprehensive views of the 
framers of the Code. They go on to say — 

" But we must remember that the language of science has 
but a limited currency, and hence the words which compose it 
do not circulate with the same freedom and rapidity as those 
which belong to every-day life. The attention is consequently 
liable in scientific studies to be diverted from the contemplation 
of the thing signified to the etymological meaning of the sign, 
and hence it is necessary to provide that the latter shall not be 
such as to propagate actual error. Instances of this kind are 
indeed very rare, and in some cases, such as that of Monodon, 
Caprimulgus, Paradisea apoda and Monoculus, they have 

l 11 


acquired sufficient currency no longer to cause error, and are there- 
fore retained without change. But when we find a Batraehiau 
reptile named in violation of its true affinities Mastodonsaurus, 
a Mexican species termed (through erroneous information of its 
habitat) Pints cafer, or an olive-coloured one Muscicapa atra, 
or when a name is derived from an accidental monstrosity, as 
in Picus semirostris of Linnaeus, and Helix disjuncta of Turton, 
we feel justified iu cancelling these names, and adopting that 
synonym which stands next in point of date. At the same 
time we think it right to remark that this privilege is very 
liable to abuse, and ought therefore to be applied only to extreme 
cases and with great caution. With these limitations we may 
concede that — 

"11. A name may be changed ivhen it implies a false propo- 
sition, ivhich is likely to propagate important errors" 

The upshot is therefore clear; where a name implies a false 
proposition, and where that falsity is likely to propagate impor- 
tant errors, there, and there only, can any Englishman, who pro- 
fesses to abide by the British Code, consistently or with any 
show of justice, reject the name that has priority. 

Now in the present state of ornithology, no ornithologist can 
pretend that the name brasilianus (or the similar name singa- 
lensis of Gmelin, for our common Anthreptes), can possibly pro- 
pagate any error ; the habitats of both species are too well 
known to render this possible, and no excuse therefore remains 
uuder the Code for violating in these cases the fundamental law 
of priority. 

It is quite intelligible that foreign naturalists who reject the 
Code (and rightly so, I think, so far as the exclusion of Brisson's 
Brunnich's and similar truly binomial names are concerned) 
should reject equally the name braziliamis, but that the editors 
of the Ibis should seek to found a reproach for an adherence 
to this prior name, on the Code which really enjoins this, indi- 
cates to my mind how imperfectly they have realized the really 
catholic spirit which breathes throughout this remarkable 

" Unhappy Strickland ! * * * * 

'Twas thine own Gustos gave the fatal blow 
And helped to plant the wound that laid thee low ! " 

And we may conceive our immortal naturalist folding his 
• pinions round him and sinking in celestial despair into space 
with a murmured " et tu Salvine 1" when his official living 
representative thus appeals to this, Strickland's great legacy 
to zoology, iu justification of such a violation of its first 


The fact is English ornithologists are slowly falling away 
from both the actual precepts and the principles of the Code. 
The German Faust is leading the poor English Margaret from 
the paths of virtue, and English writers, who profess to stand 
by the British Code, are becoming participants in those very 
offences which Strickland so emphatically denounced. 

" There is another source for this evil, which is far less 
excusable — the practice of gratifying individual vanity by 
attempting, on the most frivolous pretexts, to cancel the terms 
established by original discoverers, and to substitute a new and 
unauthorized nomenclature in their place. One author lays 
down, as a rule, that no specific names should be derived from 
geographical sources, and unhesitatingly proceeds to insert 
names of his own in all such cases ; another declares war 
against names of exotic origin, foreign to the Greek and Latin, 
&c, &c.-" 

Why all I said about my friend Dr. Finsch's massacre of 
the innocents, was mere milk and water to this fiery, uncom- 
promising condemnation of the systematic pillage of the species 
and genera of our predecessors that the continental system per- 
mits, aye and approves and insists on. But there were English 
ornithologists found to defend the practice ; thei'e are English 
ornithologists who use these unlawfully begotten names, one or 
two even who actually themselves descend to these impious 

The pretext of a name being hybrid has of late, on several 
occasions, been put forth even by English writers as grounds for 
throwing aside a well-established prior title, and substituting 
some truly classically compounded name. 

Poor Strickland ! could he have conceived that such things 
would be done on the pretended authority of his Code ? 

" Can he smile on such deeds as his followers have done V 
he, who never entertained even the faintest notion of settiuo- 
aside a name on account of its hybridity, but only mildly 
remarked : 

" Naturalists should be specially guarded not to introduce any 
more such terms into Zoology which furnishes too many ex- 
amples of them already?" 

But I will say no more on this subject now. For years I have 
been vainly endeavouring to obtain a copy of this Code, which 
a certain Zoological Hierarchy at home, are perpetually flingin fl- 
at our heads, as authorizing this and forbidding that. At last, 
owing to the kindness of our ornithological Aristides, Professor 
Newton, I have obtained a copy, which I shall print in extenso 
in an early number, and I find that our Hierarchy has as 
notably obfuscated the plain and simple precepts of this Code as 


in past ages did a more illustrious Hierarchy those of a still 
greater Code. 

In our case, the Prophets and the Law, hang all upon these 
two precepts : 

Thou shalt not meddle with thy neighbours' names, save 
under pressure of absolute necessity. 

Thou shalt watch carefully lest thou fall into errors such as we 
now regret in our predecessors. 

I have, in ignorance, alas ! too often transgressed the latter 
law, but I know better now, thanks to the Code, what sins 
to guard against, and having made this public recantation survive 
in the humble hope of becoming, in due time, a good codist ! 

In conclusion, it is only due to the many friends I now" 
number amongst continental ornithologists to add that, while I 
never can cease publicly or privately to denounce in the most 
unqualified terms the system so prevalent abroad of disregard- 
ing priority (on, as Strickland truly says, "the most frivolous 
pretexts") as one of " robbery and wrong/' I am not so 
intolerant as to impute the smallest blame personally to those 
•who, viewing that system as a beneficial one, work it out 
uncompromisingly to its logical conclusions. 

I would argue with them ; I would try and convince them 
that their system is one that sacrifices substance to shadow, 
important facts to sound ; that they have really no general 
Code, but are each working on their own separate modifications ; 
that they had better join us and so at least have some (even if 
not the best conceivable) absolutely fixed basis for their nomen- 
clature ; but so long as they remain unconvinced, I hold them 
entirely right in adhering to what they believe in, and while 
persistently abusing their system and reviling their acts, I 
none the less feel for them, each and all, the regard and 
respect due to brother soldiers, who, though with greater 
talents and skill and in more exalted positions, are fighting 
on the same side and in the same cause as myself. 


Catalogue of tlje itrbs in % ISnttsIj Utiiseum. 

By R. Bowdler Sharpe. 

Vol. III. Order — Passeriformes. Sub-order — Passeres. 
Group. — Coliomorphas. 

We have to acknowledge, with many thanks, another instal- 
ment of Mr. Sharpens great Prodromus. 

The present volume, embracing the families of the Crows 

(Corvida), Birds of Paradise (Paradiseida), Orioles (Oriolida), 

Drongos (Dicrnridce), and Wood Shrikes. {Prionopidre), deals 

^vith some of the most difficult and debateable groups, which 

ornithology has to systematize. 

That the subject generally, in particular the intricate and 
difficult species questions involved have been dealt with in a 
masterly manner, follows naturally from the fact that Mr. 
Sharpe is the author of the treatise. 

Nothing could be a moi-e welcome addition to ornitho- 
logical literature at the present time than this new volume ; 
and if, as we believe, very few ornithologists of the present day 
will be found to concur in all Mr. Sharpens wholesale amalgama- 
tions, this is to be attributed, perhaps, rather to his being some- 
what ahead of his time than to any shortcomings on his part. 

We ourselves have sat aghast as we perused the sauguiuary 
pages, at the countless executions amongst, what we had 
fondly deemed, the most eminently respectable species; and 
while reluctantly admitting that in most cases our judge's 
sentence, harsh as it seemed, was warranted by the record, there 
are yet some few in which our uuregenerated nature refuses 
to bow to the decree, and in which it seems to us that our author 
has permitted his pen, Cossack-like, to massacre the most in- 
nocent and irreproachable species. 

As an example of such victims let us cite Pica bottanensis 
from Bhotan and Native Sikhim, with its uniform velvet-black 
upper surface without any trace of any pale rump bar, 
and its dark Calornis-tytleri-crreen tail. How can we agree to 
merge this in Pica rusticat Perish baclriana aud leucoptera, 
but boltanehsis ! To us it seems simple murder, and doubtless 
every ornithologist will feel the same in regard to some one or 
other of the many u rubbed out" species. It is a poor species 
that has no friends ; and in this, as in other cases, the friends 
of the deceased will want to know all about it, and we fear 
Mr. Sharpe will not have an easy time of it, for the next year or 
so, after this sanguinary campaign. 

Still, though he may be wrong in some few isolated instances, 
owing to the lack of sufficient specimens, we feel certain that, 


on the whole, Mr. Sharpe is very right ; and that his refusal to 
admit any form as a valid species, which cannot he exactly 
defined and definitely separated from all other forms, is 
essentially correct. 

This is not the occasion on which to criticise details ; we 
shall have hereafter our small budget of matters wherein we 
differ from our author to submit for his consideration. Our chief 
object at present is to anuounce to all our readers the welcome 
news of the appearance of this third volume. Out of the 367 
Species described, more than one-sixth occur within the limits of 
our Indian Empire, so that, like its predecessors, the volume is 
one that even a working-field ornithologist out here can well 
afford to carry about with him. 

But while we rejoice in what we have received, and grate- 
fully congratulate our author on what he has achieved, we must, 
like the daughters of the Horse-leech, persistently cry for more, 
and urge upon him, and upon the authorities of the British 
Museum, the necessity for greater expedition in the publication 
of future volumes. 

What one man can do that Mr. Sharpe, we know, will do ; 
but having embarked on the publication of this memorable 
catalogue, which, as we have said before, will form a new and 
advanced standpoint for the operations of at least one genera- 
tion of ornithologists, it behoves the Trustees to see that it is 
prosecuted with vigour, aud that suitable assistance is afforded 
to the author. 

Situated as he now is, it has taken Mr. Sharpe three years 
to prepare Vols. II and III, dealing with about 560 species. 
At this rate the work will be complete in about 90 years, of 
which at least 80 will, so far as Mr. Sharpe is concerned, (should 
he live so long which the Trustees can hardly expect) have been 
devoted to clerical labour, which could have been equally well 
done by far less-gifted men, and a great deal of it by mere clerks. 

It is the falsest possible economy to use up our author's great 
powers in this way : having got a good man, the Trustees will, 
we hope, endeavour to do their duty to the country by getting 
the greatest amount of the highest kind of work out of him. 

With a proper staff of assistants to relieve him of all clerical 
and manual work, Mr. Sharpe could probably deal with 2,000 
species a year, and the whole catalogue might be completed, with 
appendices up to date, within 10 yeai's. 

Thus completed, the work would be alike honourable to the 
nation, the Trustees and the author; it would ensure almost 
inconceivable progress in exact ornithological research, and 
with it in the elucidation of many of the most crucially impor- 
tant zoological problems. 


We all know how the wise king who found, in the suite 
of his Royal consort, a little maiden who could spin golden 
thread out of flax, wisely took care, despite his spouse's opposi- 
tion, that no other service should thenceforth be required from 
this fairy's favourite but gold spinning, and how ultimately, 
when the old queen died, he married her. 

But the moral which lies within the clear depths of this old 
legend, that nations and their special representative bodies, 
finding exceptional men, qualified by natural gifts and special 
training for special work of a high order, should, despite all red- 
tape opposition, utilize them for this, and this only, taking care 
that their time, energies, and talents are not frittered away on 
inferior work, and that thus, in the long run, their own names 
become iudissolubly united in the roll of fame with those of the 
men whose genius they have enfranchised, is still hidden, it 
would seem, from the comprehension of even the so-called most 
highly-civilized communities. 

It remains. to be seen whether the Trustees of the British 
Museum will be content to dawdle on super antiquas vias, ob- 
livious of the spirit of the trust confided in them, or whether 
they will combine in a vigorous effort to do their duty 
by the nation ; and either by extracting an extra grant 
from the treasury, or by a better administration of their 
finances, or by raising a public subscription, provide for 
Mr. Sharpe, and other good men at the museum, that ample addi- 
tional assistance which is essential to secure to the country, and 
the world, the fullest advantage from their labours and from the 
collections under their charge. 

A. 0. H. 

gstolir, a summer Cruise in \\i §\\\i of ©man. 

By Captain E. A. Butler, H. M's. 83rd Regiment. 
On the 13th May this year (1877), at my friend the Editor's 
request, * I left Kurrachee iu the Telegraph Steamer Amber- 
zvitc/i, commanded by Captain Stiffe, and proceeded up the 
Mekran Coast in quest of the eggs of Sterna bergii, and any 
other species of sea bird that might be found breeding on the 
island of Astola. 

* Ever since my own trip to Sind and cruise in the Gulf of Oman, I have been en- 
deavouring to arrange for the visit of some competent ornithologist to Astola during 
the breeding season. Several schemes were devised, but all fell through, though last 
year as mentioned, S. F., IV , 473, through the kindness of Captain Wise and Mr. Ffinch 
of the Telegraph Department, a native boat was sent there and 3,t00 eggs of Sterna 
bergii brought back thence, of which unfortunately only 25 were preserved ! 

This year, with the transfer of my friend Captain Butler to Kurrachee, our prospects 
brightened. The Chief Commissioner, Sir. W. Merewether, who is now, I regret to hear, 
about to leave us, and to whose kindness and assistance I have in past times owed 


The island of Astola, * called also Satadip, Haft-talar, and 
by other names by different classes of natives, lies nearly in 
an east and west direction, about 24 miles S. W. of Pusni, 
and 18 miles S. of the Kalmatti Creek, and the same distance 
from the nearest land. 

From Kurrachee it is distant about 170 geographical miles, 
and from the mouth of the Hubb river, which is the boundary 
that divides Sind and the Mekran Coast, it lies a little north 
of west, and distant about 152 geographical miles. 

It is about 2,800 yards in length by 1,000 yards in width 
in the broadest part, and is surrounded by steep cliffs, the high- 
est poiuts being about 260 feet above the sea-level. The 
southern side is bleak, having the appearance of a barren rock of 
whitish sandstone. On the northern side the shoals and inlets 
abound with turtle, and here there is a low sandy cape formed 
by the meeting of the sea from the opposite ends of the island; 
many detached rocks or remnants of the island dotted about 
in the sea give it further extension. It is perfectly barren and 
has no vegetation growing upon it, with the exception of t»vo 
or three species of Salsola, probably Sueda fruticosa and Salsola 
GriffifJiii (called by the natives of Sind Laui), low succulent 
bushy plants, somewhat heather-like in growth and appearance, 

much in ornithological matters, at once promised us the loan of a small Government 
sailing vessel, not at the time in use, and Messrs. Maekinnon , Mackenzie, the Managing 
Agents of the British India Steam Navigation Company, with that liberality which 
uniformly characterizes all their dealings where scientific interests are concerned, 
acceded, without a day's hesitation, to my request that the next of their steamers that 
left Kurrachee to go up the Gulf should tow up the little sailing vessel, that the Chief 
Commissioner had promised to lend us, to Astola. 

Before, however, these arrangements could be carried out, the Amberwitch was ordered 
up the Gulf; and, through the kindness of the Chief Commissioner and the Commander 
of the Amberwitch, Captain Stiffe, it was settled that Captain Butler should have 
a passage in her, and that on her return she should call at Astola. 

I take this opportunity of thanking most cordially all those by whose kind 
assistance my long-smotheved project of a raid upon the sea-birds of Astola has at 
last bloomed out into full fruition — A. O. Hume. 

* The following is Captain Stiffe's account of this island. To him I am also indebted 
for the sketch of the island at the foot of the chart. — A. O. H. 

" Astdluh l island, called also Satahih, Haft-talar, and various other names by 
different classes of natives, is 2J miles long, east and west, by ^ mile in breadth ; it 
is table-topped, with cliffs all round and a partly detached hill at the west, and which 
is a little higher than the rest of the island. This peak is 260 feet above the sea and 
visible 20 miles. The island rises perpendicularly out of the sea, except on the north 
side, about the centre of which is a little sandy point, and at the north-west corner 
there is a sandy spit forming a little boat harbour. There are rocky ledges off both 
ends, and some detached rocks above water along the south face, but all are less than 
two cables from the cliffs, and the island may be approached on all sides to three cables. 

" There is no water on the island, which is barren, and only frequented by boats 
from Muscat, which catch fish and large numbers of turtle. 

" Sail rock. — At seven cables from the centre of the south side of Astahih is a little is- 
let or rock, 20 feet above the water, which looks like a boat under sail. It is quite 
steep-to, and a vessel has passed between it and the island, which passage however is 
not recommended." 

" ' Captain Kempthorne, I. N., says this place was a rendezvous of the Persian Gulf 
pirates, and that the remains of a look-out tower erected by them were visible in 1829." 

Striy Fcthers Vol V. 


( To Illustrate Captain Butlor's Paper.) 

Sc-ale i//' A'aatic miZe& 

<!>' ^%f. 

, • n 

) fathom. U 

fet^^Astolah V 

^^ eeo?!hu,h 

3i ")MZhiMan& 



i J{ i B J i IV fif £ >1 

>™# „^ 

jiiii ; 


Island of Astolah, from the South side 


which are scattered over a considerable portion of the plateau, 
and a few tussocks of coarse grass. We also noticed a few wild 
capers (C. Boxburghii) growing out of the cliffs on the north- 
ern side. There is no water on the island, and it is uninhabited, 
but at certain seasons of the year it is visited by Arab fishermen 
for the sake of the turtle. Hindu pilgrims also resort there 
to visit a rude shrine that exists on the summit of the tableland. 

The ascent on the northern side is steep and difficult, and 
near the summit there is a rope fastened to a rock with steps 
cut in the cliff, by which those who ascend have to pull them- 
selves up (a part of the undertaking which I personally should 
rather have avoided, as the rope looked very old and treacherous). 
The island is claimed by Mir Mandu, the Chief of Pusni. 
It is noticed by Nearchus, who calls it Oarnine. 

Geologically it is a fragment of the formation which Blanford 
calls the Mekran Coast group, supposed to be not older than the 
Miocene period. It consists of a thin crust of coarse shelly 
" breccia " abounding with all kinds of mariue shells. The edge 
of the plateau is covered in many places with huge cracks, and 
large heaps of " debris" below testify to the frequency of land- 
slips ; in fact in a geological sense, it is being rapidly consumed 
by combined denudation and the action of the waves. 

Having now described Astola and the object I had in view, I 
will give a brief account of our cruise. 

After leaving Kurrachee Harbour we steered for Jashk, one 
of the Telegraph offices on the Mekran Coast, about 520 miles 
from Kurrachee, arriving there in about four days. 

For the first two days sea sickness prevented me from doing- 
much in the ornithological line personally ; but Captain Bishop, 
1st officer of " the Amberiiitch," was kind enough to keep a 
sharp look-out and reported to ire whenever any birds were 
in sight. The only birds we saw during this part of the voyage 
were about eight or ten White Boobies (S. cyanops ?) which oc- 
casionally visited the ship, flying alongside and crossing the 
bows after the fashion of tropic birds, sometimes singly, some- 
times in pairs, and occasionally as many as three or four 
together; a few tropic birds (P. indicus), a few Noddies 
(Anous stolidus}, a few Petrels {T. wilsoni ?), about half a dozen 
Skuas (<S. asiaticus?) and an occasional S. bergii, S. bengalensis 
and Larus hempric/ni. Phalaropes (Lobipes h/perboreus) 
and Shearwaters (Puj/iuns persicts) were abundant all along 
the coast, as well as Sterna albigena and Sterna anos'thcetits, the 
latter species not appearing however until we were about opposite 
to Gwadar. 

On arriving at Jashk we anchored for a few hours, during 
which time I went for a sail round the bay in the gig shooting 



a Noddy and three Phalaropes. The former was fishing in 
company with a large flock of Terns, principally S. albigena and 
S. minuta, with a few S. bengalensis, and the latter I shot as they 
flew past the boat at long ranges. 1 also observed a few of 
Lams lambruschini in the bay, the only ones we saw during the 
trip, and these even had all left when we returned ten days later. 

In the evening, after dining on shore, we weighed anchor and 
steered for Henjam, about 120 miles further up the coast in the 
Persian Gulf. During this portion of the voyage we noticed 
S. albigena, 8. anosthatus, Pufjinus persicus, Lobipes hyperboreus, 
and an occasional pair of Sterna bengalensis. All of the first 
four species were particularly plentiful off Has Mesendom ; and, 
as we passed through the channel that separates the island 
from the mainland, a fine old eagle, that was sitting on the 
rocks, came and paid us a visit, and after sailing two or three 
times round the ship returned to shore. I did not recognise 
the species ; but, as far as I could judge, it was about the size, 
or rather larger than, Aquilavindhiana, with a whitish head, the 
upper parts including tail, brown, the latter appearing to be 
barred dusky, and the lower parts white * 

I saw another pair of the same species at Henjam on the 
following day, but unfortunately could not get a shot at them. 

We reached Henjam late in the evening, and the following 
morning, whilst Captain Stiffe was engaged in telegraph work, 
I took a stroll round the island, shooting a fine pair of Sterna 
bengalensis and a Kentish Plover (vEgialophilus cantianus), the 
latter having the testes much developed as if breeding. The only 
other birds I saw on the island were a solitary Shrike ( Lanius 
lahtora), a few Larks (Galerida cristata), a pair of " Pity- 
to-do-its" (Lobivanellus i?idicus), and the pair of the Eagles, 
I have already alluded to. On the water outside, Sterna albigena 
and Sterna anosthcetus were fishing in abundance; and occasional- 
ly we noticed Sterna minuta {?) and Sterna bengalensis. 

Mr. Scroggie, however, who resides at Henjam, imparted an 
important piece of information which I must not omit, and 
that is that one or two pairs of Houbara macqueeni were 
breeding on the island, and that about six weeks before our 
arrival, i.e., about the first week in April, a pair (<$ & ?) were 
shot there, and that he extracted a perfect egg from the oviduct 
of the female, and put it under a hen to hatch, but that subse- 
quently it was destroyed by rats. I am inclined to think that 
the greater portion of the Houbara that visit Sind in the cold 
weather breed in Persia and Afghanistan. 

Mr. Scroggie also mentioned a species of crow that I had 
never heard of before. He said that it was plentiful at Fao 

* ProbuMy Haliccctus leucogaster, immature. — A. 0. H, 


at the head of the Persian Gulf at the mouth of the river 
Shat-el-Arab, extending up the Euphrates, at all events as 
far as Busrah and Bagdad. He described the bird as having 
a white body with black head, tail, and wings. On making 
further enquiries I found that it was familiar to all of the 
Telegraph people along the coast, and Captain Bishop told me 
that he knew the bird well also, and that two were sent to the 
Zoological Gardens in London last year. At first I thought 
that the bird must be Corvus comix, but as every one assured 
me that the plumage was pure black and white, and that there 
was no grey about it, I must at present suspend my opinion.* 

After cruising about opposite to Henjam for three da}^, 
attending to the repairs of the cable, we at length accomplished 
that troublesome task and returned to Jashk, observing 
nothing new en route. As we were delayed there for about 
24 hours (25th May), I went on shore and shot four Desert 
Larks (Certhilauda desertorum) , one Kentish Plover (sEgialitis 
cantianus) and one English Swallow (Hirundo rustica.) The 
only other shore birds I noticed were the Crested Lark (Galerida 
cristata), a solitary Turnstone (Strepsilas interpres), aud a large 
flock of Flamingoes {Phcenicopterus roseus.) The latter rather 
astonished me, as I thought they had all left the country some 
time before. However these were no accidental exceptions to a 
general migration, as I noticed others in the Kurrachee Harbour 
after I returned as late as the 23rd June. 

From Jashk we went to Charbar, anchoring for a few hours. 
Whilst stores were being put on board, I sailed round the bay 
in the gig, noticing several Gulls (Larus hemprichii), a few 
Terns, Sterna bevgalensis, S. albigena, and a good sized flock of 
S. bergii. The latter were sitting closely packed upon a small 
rock about 10 yards from the shore, and being in full breeding 
plumage, I fired into them with small shot (No. 8), bagging five 
lovely specimens, four of which I preserved. I also shot a pair 
of Larus hemprichii in full breeding plumage, with the conspi- 
cuous white half collar. 

On the following day we arrived at Gwadar, but saw nothing 
new ; a few Noddies were fishing just outside the bay. 

Next day we anchored off Pusni for a few hours, and thence 
proceeded to Astola, reaching the island at about 6 P.M. 

* The crow, of which a specimen has been sent me, is clearly C. capellanus, Sclater, 
P. Z. S. 693, pi. LXVI. An albenoid form of C. comix, but quite entitled, I 
think, to specific distinction. I had heard of this crow, and assumed that it must be 
C. scapulatus which v. Heughlin says he has heard of as occurring in Arabia. Directly 
I received a specimen, vile thing as it was, I saw my mistake and described the bird as 
new under the name of C. Cappeli, after Mr. Cappel, then Officiating Director-General of 
Telegraphs ; luckily the P. Z. S. arrived just in time to enable me to withdraw the des- 
cription from the last number of S. F; but it does seem to me about the most extra- 
ordinary coincidence ever heard of that I should have named it cappeli, after 
Mr. Cappel, aud Mr. Sclater capellanus, or the Chaplain Crow. — A. O. H. 


It was too late when we arrived on the evening of the 28th 
for ornithological work, so we dined punctually at 7 p.m. and 
went on shore afterwards to turn turtle. It was a bright 
moonlight night, and the party consisted of Captain Stifle, 
Captain Bishop, and myself. As the gig approached the shore, 
we saw several huge turtles out on the sand, and we had not 
gone more than about 10 yards after landing when we dis- 
covered an enormous turtle close to the edge of the water. We 
rushed at him and seized him by the side and flippers, and 
tried our best to turn him over, but all to no purpose. He was 
too strong, and gradually forced us into the water, until we 
were knee-deep, when we thought it time to give up the 
attempt, so we let go, and off splashed the turtle in triumph. 
Soon afterwards we " pugged" another one up the beach and 
found Mm (or rather lier, as it proved to be a female full of eggs) 
comfortably seated in a large hole in the sand which she had 
scratched out to lay in. We tied ropes to her flippers and got 
half a dozen of the sailors to drag her out of the hole ; and then, 
fastening her with the ropes to a couple of oars, we carried 
her to the gig and deposited her in the bottom of the boat. 

We then observed another one lying a few yards out iu the 
water further down the beach ; and the sailors, availing them- 
selves of a moment when a receding wave left her stranded, 
rushed up, passed a rope under her, and secured it to her nippers. 
Then commenced a most amusing u tug-of-war," the sailors, 
six in number, pulling with the usual noisy u halice, chalice," 
chorus on one side, -against the sturd}' old turtle on the other. 
The turtle's side at last began to give, and the sailors to cheer 
at the prospect of turtle soup for rations the following day, 
when suddenly the rope broke, aud off went the turtle, leaving 
all of the sailors prostrate on the beach amidst a roar of 
laughter, as may be imagined, from the lookers-on. There 
were several other turtles along the edge of the water ; but, as it 
was getting late, and we had a long day on the morrow in pros- 
pect, we gave up the sport (?) and returned to the ship to turn 
in for the night. Later in the evening the sailors captured 
another turtle and brought it on board. I do not know the 
species to which these turtles belong, but they are of enormous 
size, one of those we caught weighing 344Ibs.* 

The following morning we rose at 4, a.m., reaching the shore 
just as it was beginning to get light. The cries of Larus 
hemprichii and Sterna bergii were almost deafening as we 
ascended the steep cliff side leading to the summit of the island, 
and with the exception of one or two Crested Larks ( Galerida 

* Probably CheJonia virgata, which I have seen from Astola, and which sometimes 
grows to an enormous size. — A. 0. II. 


cristataj and a solitary Swallow (Hirundo rustica), there was not 
another bird to be seen. In fact, the only other living creatures 
we saw were two species of snakes, the first a very poisonous 
viper- {Echis carinata) , three of which -we secured ; the second a 
long thin snake, measuring' about 3| or 4 feet which I could 
not identify. Two or three species of sand lizard, one of which, 
a remarkably handsome species, was, as well as I remember, 
olive brown above, and yellowish white below, with a bright 
orange stripe extending from head to tail on both sides, and in 
some specimens exhibited on the lower back and tail as well. 
Length about 8 or 9 inches. There was a tree lizard on the 
island also, but we did not secure specimens. The shore was 
strewn with the dry carcasses of turtle which had been killed by 
Arab fishermen for the sake of the oil and feeding upon these, 
when we landed in the morning, were some good-sized rats of 
a very dark color,which I did not recognise. 

The stench along the beach in consequence was intolerable. 
We brought specimens of the vipers, one of which measured 28 
inches in length, on board, and put them with three of the 
orange-striped lizards into a bottle of spirits, intending to send 
them to Mr. Blanford for identification ; but unfortunately Cap- 
tain Bishop neglected to cork the bottle securely, and in a few 
days it burst, and the reptile portion of our collection was lost. 
Notes on the two species of birds we found breeding, Larus 
hemprichii and Sterna bergii, will be found further on. 

Our trip was now virtually over, at least as far as collecting 
was concerned. We weighed anchor that evening at about 
7 p.m., reached Ormarra the following morning, and the next 
day at daybreak we arrived at Kurrachee, terminating as plea- 
sant a sea voyage as I ever made. 

I must not here forget to express my sincere gratitude to 
Captains Stiffe and Bishop, and the other officers of the Amber- 
ivitch, for their extreme kindness and hospitality on board, and 
for the valuable assistance they offered me in collecting upon 
every possible occasion from the day we left Kurrachee until 
the day we returned. 

Had the trip been made in the cold weather, we should, of 
course, have seen many more species of birds, and probably have 
secured many more good specimens ; but, considering the time 
of year at which the excursion was made, and the collection we 
brought back, viz., 93 eggs and about 30 good skins,, I think on 
the whole we were very successful. 

82.— Hirundo rustica, Lin, 

Several pairs of the Common Swallow were breeding at Jashk, 
Persian Gulf, in the verandah of the Telegraph Office on the 


24th May 1877. The nests, which were precisely similar to the 
nest of the English bird, i.e., composed of mud, open at the top, 
and thickly lined with feathers, were stuck to the sides of the 
beams which supported the roof of the verandah There were 
ten or a dozen nests in all, containing fully-fledged young ones. 
Fresh egg's were procurable, therefore, probably about the end 
of March or beginning of April. The only specimen I procured 
measured as follows : — 

L. W. T. Bf. Bg. Exp. 

7 475 362 31 059 1275 

770.— Certhilauda desertorum, Stanley. 

The Desert Lark was common at Jashk ; and, although only 
out fur a few hours, I succeeded in securing four specimens. 
The note is a clear monos}'llabic plover-like whistle, uttered 
occasionally from the top of some rising piece of grouud. In 
flight and appearance on the wing it reminds me more of the 
Hoopoes than any other family. I have noticed it occasionally 
on the maidan between Kurrachee and Clifton. Measurements 
of the four specimens obtained as follows :- 



Legs and feet China white, tinged yellow on tarsus ; irides 
brown ; bill flesh-colored below, brownish horn above. 

848.— iEgialites cantianus, Lath. 

The Kentish Plover was breeding on the bare sandy maidan at 
Jashk; * and though I failed in finding eggs, I caught a young 
bird unable to fly, apparently about ten days old, on the 24th 
May, so that fresh eggs were procurable probably about the end 
of March or beginning of April. I shot one specimen, in win- 
ter plumage however, which measured as follows : — 

Sex. L. W. T. Bf. Bg. Exp. 

<? 7. 437 1-75 062 075 1375 

Legs and feet plumbeous, dusky on the feet; irides blackish 
brown ; bill black. 

890— Lobipes hyperboreus, Lin. 

The Red-necked Phalarope was plentiful at sea all along the 
Mekran Coast, and in the Persian Gulf as far as I went ; that is, 
up to Henjam. It seemed specially abundant off Jashk, Ras 
Mesendom, and Henjam. They are, as a rule, very wild and con- 
sequently difficult to procure ; and I only managed to shoot three 

* Latitude 25°38' north.— A. O. H. 

























8 75 







specimens; measurements of which are subjoined. They were 
all just commencing- to change into the breeding plumage, with 
the red feathers of the neck partially developed. 

Sex. L. W. T. Bf. Bg. Exp. 

S 7-25 4 25 2 19 81 94 13 25 

5 775 4-25 212 0'87 094 13 75 

<J 725 425 212 87 94 130 

Legs and feet lavender blue ; irides brownish black ; bill 

972.— Mergus castor, Lin, 

As already recorded by Mr. Hume, (S. F., IV., 496) on 
Captain Bishop's authority, the Merganser is not uncommon 
along the Mekrau Coast, and in the Persian Gulf during the cold 
Aveather, some specimens at any rate occurring as late as July. 
I heard of its occurrence at Jashk, Charbar, and one or two 
other stations along the Coast. 

976.— Thalassidroma wilsoni, Tern, 

I observed Wilson's Petrel on several occasions during the 
trip along the Mekran Coast, but only secured one speci- 
men. Captain Bishop shot another, but unfortunately it was 
only slightly wounded, and rose again off the water and 
escaped. They are usually met with singly or in pairs ; but 
sometimes three or four may be seen together, and they fly 
lazily backwards and forwards just above the surface of 
the water, as Jerdon justly remarks, "much resembling Swifts 
both in general appearance, colours, and flight." They were by 
no means common anywhere along the coast, but seemed most 
numerous between Charbar and Pusni. They are very fond 
of hovering about anything floating in the water. In fact, the 
two that Captain Bishop and I shot were attracted by a heap 
of grass that was thrown overboard ; and, in company with a 
third, they remained flying backwards and forwards over it 
until we shot the two above mentioned. I never observed them 
running on the waves as described in the case of the 
Stormy Petrel (T. pelagica). My specimen corresponds 
exactly with Morris's plate and description, (Morris's British 
Birds, Vol. 6, p. 243,) and 1 have no doubt, when Mr. 
Hume receives it, as it does not appear to have been hitherto 
recorded from India, he will add the description. The pale 
yellow patch in the centre of the webs is very striking and 

The stomach contained very minute spawn. 

[Oceanites oceanica, Banks, Forst. Draw. No. 12. — Kuhl, 
Brit. Zool. Monog. Proc. 136, t. 10, f. 1. 

? Wilsoni, Keys et Bias. Wirb. Eur. II. 238, nee Bp. 


The Storm Petrel, sent by Captain Butler, the first of the 
group which. I have examined from our Indian Seas (though I 
have seen many at sea), belongs to the larger Australasian race 
of the American species which Bonaparte named Wilsoni. 

By mere chance I had by me a specimen from the Atlantic, 
of the true Wilsoni ; this is somewhat smaller than the preseut 
bird, which corresponds in size exactly with a specimen from 

The Atlantic specimen, a male, has the wing 5'8 and the 
tarsus 1*32. Our present specimen, a female, has the wing 6'25 
aud the tarsus 1*4. The bill too is larger ; but beyond this differ- 
ence in size I cannot detect any grounds for separating the 
Eastern and Western forms. 

The present specimen ( $ ) measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 7-12 ; expanse, 1637 ; tail, 30 ; wing, 625 ; tarsus, 
1-4 ; bill at front, 05; from gape, 7. Outer toe and claw, 
1-15; second quill longest; 1st, 0'3; 3rd, 0'3i> shorter. 
Longest primary 3 - 8 longer than 1st secondary. Hind toe 
obsolete; hind claw just visible as a tiny spur at the base of 
the tarsus. 

General plumage deep sooty brown, blackish on primaries, 
tertiaries, occiput, nape and tail ; secondary greater coverts 
and latest secondaries wood brown or pale hair brown, narrowly 
margined towards the tips with yellowish white; upper tail- 
coverts, flanks, and bases of some of the external lateral uuder 
tail-coverts pure white. Some few of the feathers of the lower 
middle abdomen very narrowly fringed with white ; bill dull 
black ; legs and feet polished black, with a conspicuous pale 
yellow patch in the centre of each web ; irides blackish. 

Davison observed large numbers of this species one year in 
July about the Moskaws, a group of islands off the Tenasserim 
Coast, just north of the Mergui Archipelago. They are 
believed to breed on this island, but the weather rendered it im- 
possible to lower a boat. — A. 0. H.] 

976 bis.— Puffinus persicus, Hume. 

Whether this Shearwater=P. obscuvus, Gould, or not I can- 
not say ; but, if not, it is certainly a very closely-allied species. 
It is common all along the Mekran Coast, but of a shy nature, 
and consequently difficult to procure. I never saw one on the 
wing within shot of the boat, but occasionally, when resting on 
the water, they allowed the steamer to approach within range, 
and it was in this way that I shot the only specimen I secured. 
Morning and evening they may be seen, always far out at sea, 
sailing alono- close to the water, skimming often over several 
waves with wings extended and motionless ; and then continuing 


their wandering" course for some distance with rapid strokes of 
the wing. They have a peculiar Plover-like habit, when flying 
of turning from side to side, looking dark one second, and light 
the next, as they show their white breasts and dark backs 

The measurements of the specimen I shot were as follows : — 

Sex. L. W. T. Bf. Bg. Exp. Ts. 

? 13- 787 35 12 175 27- 15. 

Legs white, with an opalescent gloss ; lower part of tarsus 
and outer toe blackish ; outer side of centre toe and under side 
of all the toes dusky black ; bill pale lavender, dusky at tip 
and on the upper mandible ; irides dark brown. 

[This second specimen of Pitffinus persicus, also a female, 
has the quills perfect, and the wing measures 7'87. The females 
in this genus run rather smaller than the males, so that in this 
latter sex the wings will certainly measure 8'0. 

This specimen is precisely like the type, except that it has 
more white on the sides, and less on the lores. There is the 
same white ring round the eye, and the same streak, but less 
well defined, backwards, from the eye. 

Mr. Blanford (Ibis, 1873, p. 215 ; Zool. Per?., 293) considers 
that he has shown that this is probably a variety of P. obscurus; 
but agrees with me that it is certainly not anglorum. Of 
this latter there is now no doubt, as I have compared speci- 

As to obscurus, my bird is certainly not the species identified 
by Yarrel as the Dusky Petrel, of which he measured 6 speci- 
mens, all of which had the wings 6 '75. 

Nor is it the obscurus of Temminck (Man. d'Orn, 2nd edition, 
808,) with the <l Bee tres grele" (for the bill is as stout as in 
anglorum,) and the tarsus 1'65, (that of both our birds being 
barely 1*5.) 

But it might for all that be the true obscurus of Gmelin 
(S. N. I. 559.). 

This was founded on the Dusky Petrel of Lath., Syn. III. 

Latham's description is as follows : — 

" Length 13 inches ; bill one inch and n half; colour black, 
with horn-coloured sides, point hooked ; in the usual place only 
two small holes serving for nostrils ; the upper parts of the 
body dusky black, the under white ; on the sides of the neck 
brown and white mixed ; the edges of the middle wing coverts 
are whitish. The legs placed quite in the vent, black, but the 
inside pale the whole length and t'ie two inner toes yellowish ; 
the webs orange ; claws black. 
'* Inhabits Christmas Island." 

N 13 


Now this description which is the sole foundation of ohscurus, 
Gmelin, might apply to many species, and indeed it has been, as 
we have seen, erroneously applied by some writers, in fact, many 
European writers, to a small, slender-billed species, but to our 
species it cannot apply. 

In the first place the length (taken from the skin, as Mr. 
Blanford remarks, so that the fresh bird must have been 14} 
is too great. In the second place the bill 1*5 is also much too 
large. Whatever species Latham's and Gmelin's oh scums really 
is, it was as much larger than our bird, as Temminck's and 
Yarrell's was smaller. 

Lastly, the edges of the middle wing coverts are not whitish. 

Every other part of the description would do for half a 
dozen different species ; in those sole points in which it is possible 
to test the description, this latter differs from our species. 

That somebody may have called specimens of pe?'sicus, oh- 
scurus, I will not for a moment dispute, but I submit that it is 
neither the true ohscurus of Latham aud Gmelin, nor the small- 
er ohscurus of Temminck, Yarrell, &c. — A. O. H.] 

977.— -Stercorarius asiaticus, Hume. 

I observed the Skua, referred to by Mr. Hume, S. F.> 
Vol., I. 268, on several occasions, but was unable to 
procure specimens. I only saw about a dozen in all, and those 
were along the Mekran Coast between Pusnee and Gwadar. 
They seemed very wild, aud would not allow the steamer to 
approach within 200 yards of them, so that I had no opportunity 
of making notes of the species. 

[Mr. Howard Saunders, in his recent excellent paper on the 
STERCORARHNiE (P. Z. S. 1876, 327), positively and without any 
note of interrogation, or indication of doubt, identifies my Sterco- 
rarius asiaticus (S. F., L, 269, 1873), with Richardson's Skua, 
(S. crepklatus, Banks, Gm. &c, apud Mr. Saunders). 

I think it is to be regretted that some European ornitho- 
logists should so confidently assign names given by others to 
supposed distinct forms, to species already well known, without 
ever even seeing, let alone carefully examining the said sup- 
posed distinct forms. 

In the present instauce Mr. Saunders is, there seem good 
reasons to believe, by no means happy in his identification. 

I have now five specimens of Richardson's Skua before me. 

Two young in the mingled brown and pale rufous buff plu- 
mage, and with the yellow legs and half feet, the terminal half 
of each foot being black or blackish. One from the coast of 
Norway, the other that of Belgium (E. Mus. Howard Saund- 
ers) ; neither are sexed. They measure ;—- Wings, 124, 125; 


bill from edge of feathers (very clearly defined in these birds), 
straight to tip, 1*14, 1*16, from gape to tip, 1"7, 1/78; tarsus, 
1-73, 1-78 ; mid toe and claw, 1-65, 167. 

Three adults, one entirely white below, except a grey band 
across the breast and with a yellowish white nuchal collar 
from Orkney, sexed a male ; two entirely fuliginous, one from Ice- 
land collected by Mr. Procter, and one from Norway. These 
measure (I give the dimensions in the order that I have men- 
tioned the specimens): — Wings, 12'0, 12'6, 124; bill in front, 
as before, 1-18, 119, M8, from gape, 1-8, 1-82, 179 ; 
tarsi, 1-77, 1'74, 1-7; mid toe and claw, 1-58, 1*65, 1-67. 

My bird is a male, immature, as it still has the striated crown 
and nape, but not very young (probably about 20 months old), 
as the chin, throat, and abdomen are white (a few stria only on 
the two first), the barring is confined to breast and flanks, the 
pale tippings have mostly disappeared from the upper plumage, 
and the legs, feet, were entirely black. Well, the corresponding 
dimensions of my bird are : — Wing, 12-85 (it was 13 full in the 
fresh bird, but as I am comparing with skins, I take the present 
existing dimensions) ; bill at front (as before from edge of 
feathers), T33, from gape, 1*94 (it was 2'02 in the fresh bird) ; 
tarsus, 181 ; mid toe and claw, 1*8. 

Let us contrast the dimensions. : — 

Mid Toe 
Wings. B. at ft. B. fr, g. Tarsi. and Claw. 

specimens of 

Ric k a r d son's 

Skua, 3 adults, 

1 certainly male. 

specimen asia- ~\ 

120— 126 1-14— 1-19 17— 182 17— 178 158— 1-67 

ticus, immature £ 1285 133 194, 181 1-8 

male. ) 

Prima facie, therefore, ours is a somewhat larger bird, with an 
appreciable longer bill and longer foot. 

Then the bill is very decidedly broader in asiaticus for the 
basal half than in any of my specimens of Richardson's Skua ,• 
the corneous portion is larger, the upper mandible is more de- 
pressed at the base, and with the lower mandible is shallower than 
my specimens of this latter bird. Again, the lower mandible is 
less feathered. In all my specimens of Richardson's Skua, the 
feathers terminate in a well-defined point exactly one inch from 
the point of the lower mandible. In asiaticus, this point is 1*15 
from the point. I am well aware that in such a case five speci- 
mens is a very narrow basis from which to argue ; I merely note 
these points for what they may hereafter prove worth. 

Then I observe that, as pointed out by Mr. Saunders, in all 
my five Richardson's Skuas, the shafts of all the earlier prima- 
ries are white alike in old and young, only brownish towards 


quite the tips. But in asiaticus the third quill has only about 
the basal half of the shaft white, and the fourth aud succeeding 
quills have only quite the basal portions white, the terminal por- 
tions being- brown. A very small point ; but if you open the 
wings side by side, the difference catches the eye at once. 

Besides this, I do not say that it is worth much ; but when a 
man has for many years been examining carefully great numbers 
of specimens of a vast number of species of all ages, he does ac- 
quire a sort of instinctive feeling on these points ; the birds do not 
seem to me to belong to the same species. 

The plumage is less dense and harsher in asiaticus, and there 
are other similar minute points that though of no importance 
singly, cumulatively incline me to believe that asiaticus is dis- 
tinct—a belief strongly confirmed by the fact that our birds 
appear to be permanent residents of the Persian Gulf and Gulf 
of Oman, and have been noticed there, not only duriug the 
autumn and winter, but also in May and June and throughout 
the monsoons. 

I need scarcely remark that our bird is too small for the 
Pomarine Skua, but I may note that it lacks the shagreen like 
backs to the tarsi which characterize that species. 

For the long-tailed Skua, all its dimensions were rather too 
laro-e ; its tarsi were black, not leaden blue, and it exhibits no 
trace of any crest. 

We must, of course, patiently await further specimens before 
expressing a positive opinion, but in the meantime, most cer- 
tainly, no sufficient evidence exists for uniting asiaticus with 
Kichardson's Skua, which latter has never been observed east 
of the Cape of Good Hope, and which even on the western 
coast of Africa is only a winter visitant. — A. 0. H.J 

981 ter— Larus hemprichii, Bonap. 

This was the only species of Gull we saw during the trip, and 
all about the coast from Kurrachee to Jashk it was more or less 
plentiful. The island of Astola, however, seemed to be its 
head-quarters, and there we found them collected in thousands, 
doubtless for breeding purposes. Unfortunately, we arrived too 
soon. There were no eggs on the date we landed (29th May), 
although for two miles the island was covered with the birds 
sitting about as tame as barn-door fowls, and uttering that pecu- 
liarly mournful cry which they keep up all through the breed- 
ing season, and cavities in the sand, looking like nest holes 
were scratched in every direction. I was greatly disappointed 
at the time at not getting a single egg, and tried to get a boat 
sent there for the eggs from Gwadar ten or twelve days later, 
but the sea got rough ; and the boatmen were afraid of getting 


caught in the monsoon, but I am making other arrangements, 
and still hope to get the eggs this year in some way or 

I may mention that in the breeding season the dark half col- 
lar of the neck is separated from the smoky brown of the back 
by a very conspicuous broad white nuchal collar nearly, if not 
quite, an inch in width, and that all the dark feathers of the 
neck, both in front and behind, are of a much deeper colour and 
more clearly denned than in the cold weather plumage. The 
bird described by Mr. Hume, ante Vol. I, p. 280, is in the 
cold weather plumage. 

[The following are the dimensions of three beautiful specimens, 
all females, preserved by Captain Butler, who is certainly in 
my opinion the most accomplished taxidermist in India : — 






B atfr. 

B. fr. g 




13 25 





43 5 





2 63 




13 62 




The birds in breeding plumage had the legs and feet pale 
yellowish drab ; the bill pale greenish drab, tipped red with 
a black bar near the tip ; irides dark brown. 

The entire head, chin, throat, and central portion of front of 
upper two-thirds of neck deep brown, with a combined tinge of 
chocolate and soot. Everywhere towards the margin of the 
area thus covered, and especially on the nape the colour grows 
deeper, and where it terminates abruptly on the nape is almost 
black ; the back and sides of the neck are covered by a pure 
white collar, very sharply denned above, and shading below into 
the grey sooty brown of the base of the neck all round and 

The entire mantle aud wings deep brown inclining to choco- 
late ; all the secondaries and all but the first few primaries ( and 
sometimes even these ) tipped white ; wing lining, axillaries, 
and sides deep brown ; middle of breast, abdomen, vent, flanks, 
upper and lower tail coverts, and tail pure white ; edge of wing 
below carpal joint whitish. 

Von Heuglin remarks (Orn. Nord. Ost. Afr. 1400) : — 

" The picture of Larus hemprichii given in the Transactions 
of the London Zoological Society ( VII., pi. 27 ) is sufficiently 
defective ; in that the colours of the bill, jaw, eyelids, iris, and 
feet are all quite wrongly given. Moreover, the white nape 
band is omitted, and the head and mantle are not naturally 

Now I give up the feet, irides, and bill, the colours of which 
in the non-breeding season I have given, Vol. I, p. 279, but as 
regards the white nape band, I beg to remark that, in my opinion, 


this is entirely seasonal, and that, so far as its absence and the 
colour of head and mantle are concerned, the plate of the Zoo 
represents fairly enough a cold weather specimen. Certainly, 
I saw thousands at that season, but not one of them exhibited 
any signs of the white nape band. — A. 0. H.] 

986 bis.— Sterna albigena, LicM. 

This was one of the commonest species we met with, being 
plentiful all along the coast from Kurrachee to Henjam, and 
associating often in numerous flocks. What I take to be the 
young bird of the year is pure white below instead of grey as 
in the adult, but 1 am not sure that the grey under surface is 
anj'thing more than seasonal. 

At Jashk I saw an immense flock of Terns fishing at the 
entrance of the bay, consisting principally of the present species 
and S. minuta (?), with a few S. bengalensis aud a solitary Noddy. 
I ran the gig through the flock to make sure of the different 
species, bagging the Noddy with an easy shot as it rose off the 
water. I have no doubt that Sterna albigena breeds along the 
coast, but probably later on as we found no eggs. 

In the full breeding plumage the white cheek patch is very 
conspicuous and assists one in identifying the species, often at a 
considerable distance. I shot no specimens, as they are common 
in the Kurrachee harbour, whence I had obtained specimens 

Measurements of a bird shot in the Kurrachee harbour as 
follows : — 












' 1-5 

2 06 

2 8 

Legs and feet bright red ; bill blackish, lake towards the 
base j irides blackish brown. 

989.— Sterna bergii, Licht. 

Nearly all of the large Sea Terns we saw were collected in 
croups on the island of Astola for the purpose of breeding, 
and I have no doubt that the few stragglers we came across 
along the coast intended going there for the same purpose 
later on. 

I subjoin an extract from my nesting memoranda describing 
the scene : — 

" On the 29th May 1877,1 landed at Astola, an island on 
the Mekran Coast, which I have previously described about 
24 inches S. W. of Pusnee. On reaching the summit, I found 
the plateau covered from one end of the island to the other with 
Lams hemprichii, which were evidently collected there for 
breeding purposes, but there were no eggs on that date, although 


what appeared to be nest holes were scratched in every direc- 
tion. These, however, may only have been dusting holes such 
as hens scratch, for I noticed the birds dusting their feathers as 
they sat and grovelled in the holes. 

Several groups of the large Sea Tern had just commenced to 
lay, and I succeeded in taking 93 eggs, all perfectly fresh. The 
birds make no nest, neither do they even scratch a nest hole. 
The eggs ( at that time only one in each nest, or rather to each 
pair of birds, for as I have said before there is no nest) are 
laid on the bare ground in the most open and exposed parts of 
the island about one foot apart, and wheu sitting the birds seem 
packed together as close as possible, without perhaps actually 
touching each other. There is no difficulty in discovering the 
eggs, as the birds, often as many as two hundred or more in a 
group, sit close with quantities of stragglers, probably the cock 
birds, flying backwards and forwards a few yards above them, 
the whole keeping up a tremendous clamouring, and when ap- 
proached they rise reluctantly off their eggs screaming and 
chattering loudly. I did not see the first group rise myself, and 
as there were hundreds of Gulls ( L. hemprichii) mixed with 
them, when I approached the eggs, I thought it best to sit down 
a few yards off, and watch the birds return to their eggs. No 
sooner had I done so, then both species began to descend 
in dozens on to the spot where the eggs (about 30) were lying. 
In a moment a general fight commenced, and it was at once 
evident that the eggs belonged to Sterna bergii, and that the 
Gulls were carrying them off, and swallowing their contents as 
fast as they could devour them. So up I jumped and ran forward 
yelling like mad, and on reaching the spot found that even in that 
short time the Gulls had destroyed upwards of a dozen. I took 
the remainder and proceeded in the direction of two more groups, 
which raised the number to 46. Other groups were collected on 
the island, but they had not yet laid, although they were sitting 
closely packed on their selected breeding grounds. Having 
now walked all over the island I returned to the Amberwitch 
for breakfast, after which I blew eggs till 3 p.m., and then 
returned to the island to see if any more birds had laid. I re- 
visited the spots where I had taken eggs in the morning, but 
found no more eggs, although the birds were all sitting on the 
same ground in groups as closely packed as they were in the 
morning before their nests were robbed. I was beginning to 
despair of getting any more eggs, when my attention was attract- 
ed by a large group of birds which I had somehow missed in the 
morning. On approaching them, they rose as usual with a tre- 
mendous clamour, leaving 47 more beautiful fresh eggs for me to 
add to my collection. This swelled the number to 93, which is 


all I got.* The space covered by the last batch was not more 
than 6 ft. or 8 ft. square. 

It seems evident that the birds lay in groups to protect their 
eggs from the ravages of Gulls and other birds. The eggs vary 
so much in coloration and markings that I shall not attempt to 
describe them in detail, but shall refer the reader to Mr. Hume's 
description, IV., p. 493. I may mention, however, that of the 93 
eggs now before me scarcely two are alike, and one beautiful 
specimen has the ground color a sort of rich salmon fawn, with 
markings exactly like Arabic characters. In fact so like that 
some natives on board the Ambenoitch, when they saw the 
eggs, said that it was covered with Arabic writing ; and, when 
we told them that these birds always wrote their names on their 
eggs in Arabic with their bills so as to know their own nests 
when they returned from feeding, they believed us ! 

It is necessary to be very careful in blowing the eggs of 
this species, as the colors run aud wash out if they are wetted 
in the slightest degree. 

[Three splendid specimens, in full breeding plumage of this 
species measured in the flesh by Captain Butler, gave the follow- 
ing results, which I record for comparison with those given of 
a large series from various localities, Vol. IV., p. 471 : — 

Sex. L. Ex. T. W. Ts. B. at front. B. from g. 

<? 215 465 812 1512 138 275 3 67 

? 210 46 8 37 1475 125 2 62 3 38 

? 20 75 46 762 1487 1*3 275 3 57 

Bill pale yellow; legs and feet black ; soles yellowish ; irides 
deep brown. 

All have the lores and a broad frontal band; the neck all round 
upper back and entire lower parts pure white ; crown, occiput and 
a broad occipital crest which entirely covers the nape velvet black. 
The rest of the upper parts very dark grey, darker and duskier 
on the quills and on the lateral tail feathers towards their tips. 
These laterals are white on the inner webs towards their bases, 
and the exterior of all have the whole outer web much paler ; 
in the male nearly pure white, but the exterior web of the next 
preceding is the darkest in the tail. — A. O. H.] 

* Since writing the above, through the kindness of G. Nash, Esq., Telegraph Depart- 
ment, who sent a canoe from Ormarra to Astola about the 19th June, I have received 
another beautiful series of eggs of Sterna bergii. They were nearly all slightly 
incubated, but not too far advanced to blow. The man who went to Astola for theso 
eggs reported that only one species {Sterna bergii) was laying on the island, and 
that the eggs were laid in groups, two or three in each nest, but never more. When 
I visited the island I only found one egg in each nest ; but then they were all quite 
fresh, so that the birds might have laid more if the nests had not been robbed. 

Strange to say Larus hemjprichii had not commenced laying, although the men 
reported that they were just as numerous as when I visited the island the month 

E. A. B. 


[990.— Sterna media, Eorsf. (= S. affinis, Bupp. 
et S. bengalensis, Cuv.) 

Captain Butler has also sent a lovely specimen of this 
species killed on the Mekran Coast, on the 20th May. 

It is a male in full breeding plumage ; the whole forehead, 
crown, occiput and crest velvet black ; legs aud feet black ; 
soles pale yellow; hides dark brown; bill orange. 

It measured — 

L. Ex. T. W. Ts. B. at front. B. from g. 

S 165 3575 60 12-25 1-1 2-19 293 

The upper parts are a delicate pale satin grey (excluding 
of course the head and white neck) ; the outer web of the outer 
tail feather nearly white ; the quills thickly silvered ; the outer 
web of the 1st primary deep dusky grey towards the base; 
the inner half of the inner web the same colour. More aud 
more of the same dark color on the inner webs of the succeed- 
ing primaries, the silvering encroaching on the dark colour as 
it increases in extent. 

We have all hitherto failed to secure the eggs of this species, 
though I have had reason to believe that it breeds with anosthcetus 
in July or August. — A. 0. H.] 

992.— Sterna anosthaetus, Scop. 

We did not observe this Tern until we got about opposite to 
Gwadai*, after which it became common all along the Gulf 
of Oman, and in the Persian Gulf it was excessively abundant 
as far as Henjam, the furthest point we visited. 

It constantly came* on board at night to roost, settling up in 
the riggiug and on the life boats. In fact all of the specimens 
I preserved were captured on board at roost by the sailors. 
No other species ever settled on board during the trip. Mea- 
surements as follows : — 

Sex. L. W. T. B. at f. B- fr.g. Exp. 

S 14- 987 5 75 163 206 30- Immature plumage. 

<? 16#. 10.12 725 181 225 31-5 

Legs, feet, and bill, black ; irides, blackish brown. 

993. — Anous stolidus, Lin* 

I observed a few Noddies along the coast between Jashk 
and Pusni, about half a dozen in all. Most of them were 
skimming over the water like Shearwaters at a considerable 
distance from land (2 or 3 miles) ; but the one I secured, a re- 
markably flue specimen, which I have already mentioned 

* This is always the Tern that most commonly comes on board ships in Indian waters. 
I have had at least three times as many of this species sent me, caught on board, as 
of all other species of Terns put together. — A.O.H. 

u 14 


tinder the bead of Sterna albigena, was fishing, in company 
with a large mixed flock of S. albigena and S. minuta, (?) iu the 
Bay at Jashk, and kept dropping down and settling Gull-like on 
the water. I believe I have correctly identified the species,* 
as it does not seem to me to agree so well with the descriptions 
of either of the other species A. senex and A. leucocapilhis, S. E\, 
Vol IV., p. 480. 

Measurements as follows : — 




B. at f. 

B. fr. g. 










Legs and feet dusky vinous brown ; irides and bill blackish ; 
gape, pale yellow. 

996.— Phaeton indicus, Hume. 

We saw about a dozen tropic birds in all during our trip, but 
only noticed the species off the Mekran Coast between Ormarra 
and Gwadar. All of the birds were in precisely the same 
plumage, and corresponded exactly with the birds obtained by 
Mr. Hume {vide S. F., Vol. I., p. 287). Surely this must 
be a distinct species as suggested by Mr. Hume, S. F., Vol. 
4, p. 482, and not the young of true athereus, otherwise how 
is it we never come across birds in the adult plumage, or with 
long tails. 

From what I can gather from Captain Bishop, the birds re- 
main here all the year round ; and if, as Mr. Hume imagines, they 
breed iu the neighbourhood, surely in the breeding season, if at 
no other time, they should appear in full plumage and with 
long tails ; but Captain Bishop, who has been constantly up and 
down the Mekran Coast at all seasons for years, and has observ- 
ed the bird closely, informs me that he has never seen it in any 
other plumage. Mr. Hume procured alibis specimens in Janu- 
ary, February and March, and I procured mine (three in beautiful 
plumage) at the end of May, and as they are all apparently 
exactly alike, I think Mr. Hume is justified in provisionally 
separating the species as P. indicus. The birds were not at all 
wild crossing the bows of the ship constantly within 10 or 15 
yards. Two of the birds I obtained measured as follows :— 



Including central 
tail feathers t 


Including central 
tail feathers. 











* Certainly ; the specimen is stolidus. — A.O.H. 

t The lengths given by Mr. Hume, S. F., IV., 482, are only to end of ordinary tail 
feathers.— E.A.B. 

One not measured in the flesh had the tail 9 inches. — A.O.H. 


Legs, greyish white, fths of the foot black ; bill, orange red, 
edged dusky on both mandibles ; irides, blackish brown. 

In all of my specimens the feathers of the flanks and sides 
of the abdomen in the region of the thigh coverts are finely 
powdered with minute dusky specks. 

[ In June this year Davison came across four Phaetons in the 
Bay of Bengal in Lat. 9° N. 

All were precisely similar to Captain Butler's and my numer- 
ous specimens ; none had the tails more than 8 to 9 inches total 
length. He did not see a single bird with any longer tail 
than these. 

There seems to me scarcely a doubt left that our Indian spe- 
cies, that I have called indicus, is distinct from cetherius. — 
A. 0. H. ] 

999 6fo. — Sula cyanops, Sund. 

We saw a few White Boobies along the Mekran Coast, and I 
was fortunate enough to secure two good specimens. At first 
I took them to be piscatru, as they agree well with Jerdon's 
description, excepting in the bill aud feet, which were not red 
but lavender ; but after reading over Mr. Hume's remarks 
S. F., Vol. IV, p. 483, I have no doubt that they belong to the 
present species, having the tails, quills, and greater wing coverts 
black. Dr. Jerdon's description of piscatrix is incorrect, and 
consequently apt to mislead people* He says : "Descr; white 
the rump and upper tail coverts slightly mottled with dusky 
and the wings and tail dusky black." This description clearly 
points to <S. cyanops, as Mr. Hume, in a letter now before me 
in treating of piscatrix, remarks: "Only quills and oreater 
coverts greyish black, rest of plumage white." Then ao-aiu 
Dr. Jerdou says : " Legs and feet red." This is the case in 
piscatrix ; but, as he has described cyanops, he should have said 
u legs and feet lavender blue." However, as so little appears 
to have been recorded about these birds, I trust that Mr. 
Hume will kindly furnish accurate descriptions of the 
White Boobies " pro bono publico." My specimens measured 
as follows : — 

Sex- L. W. T. B.atf. B. fr. g. Exp. 


<$ 33- 165 7-5 4- 412 

? 32- 165 1 

gs and feet laveuder blu 
skin slate ; irides pale green. 

? 32- 165 725 406 5" 60 

Legs and feet laveuder blue; bill pale bluish horn; gular 

* See my " Remarks on the genus Sula." These birds of Captain Butler's may cer- 
tainly at present be accepted as ei/nymps ; even if not true cyanops, they belong to one 
of the species now generally iucluded under this name. — A. O. H. 


The crops of both of the birds I dissected contained flying 
fish, which seem to be the favorite food of Phaeton indicus also, 
in whose company they are often met with. 

It still remains for me to draw attention to a bird that puz- 
zles me altogether. It is a sea bird, aud occurs along the Mek- 
ran Coast, but what it can be I have not a notion. Captaiu 
Bishop knows it well, and says that the sailors call it the Whale 
bird, as it usually arrives about the time that the large shoals 
of whales appear. 

It is about the size, or perhaps rather larger, than Sterna 
minuta, and Captain Bishop says : "Skims over the water some- 
thing like Puffinus persicas." What can it be *? We did not 
see the bird during our trip. — E. A. B. 

femavhs on tjje genus Jmta. 

My friend, Captain Butler, in his charming " Summer Cruise 
in the Gulf of Oman" (p. 303), finds fault with Dr. Jerdon's de- 
scription of Suia piscatriv, and suggests that I should furnish 
accurate descriptions of the white Boobies ( ! ) 

I am afraid that in his condemnation of Dr. Jerdon's de- 
scription, Captain Butler is scarcely just. It is quite true that 
in one stage of plumage (that of the old adult as is supposed), 
piscatrix has only the quills and larger coverts black (or rather 
blackish brown powdered grey), but this is a stage presumably 
rarely seen, and ignored by several of the authors who describe 
the species,! and (always supposing two species have not been 
confounded) at a somewhat earlier stage (and this seems to be the 
stage in which the majority of adults of this species have been 
procured), the tail as well as the quills are blackish brown, so that 
we can hardly cavil at Dr. Jerdon's description in regard 
to this matter. 

As to the colours of the soft parts a very slight study of the 
literature of this genus would convince any one that, if there 
be any one point in ornithology, in regard to which no two 
authorities agree, it is in regard to the colouring of these parts 
in many of the Boobies. 

* The Whale biid of sailors is a Prion ; there are several species of the turtur type, to 
all of which this trivial name is applied. I saw several of these birds between Preparis 
and the Cocos, S. F. II, 317. To what species the Mekran Coast birds may belong it is 
impossible to say without examining specimens, and even ivith specimens, so 
involved is the synonymy, it might prove no easy task to decide what name the 
species ought to bear. — A. O. H. 

f Peale named the old adult (unless indeed two species are here confounded) rubri- 
p'eda, saying (Zool. U. S. Expl. Exp. Birds, 274, 1st Ed. 1848)—'' tail cuneiform, white 
(which distinguishes it from S. piscatrix at first siglit, its tail being black.) " 


The fact is that this genus has never I believe been properly 
worked out, and until some one is in a position to do this, we 
shall always remain in doubt as to many essential points, such 
as the true number of species, the changes of plumage, the varia- 
tions in the colours of the soft parts and the like. 

Unfortunately, what is requisite for a proper investigation of 
this small and well-marked genus, is a really large series of 
specimens from all parts of the world correctly sexed by dis- 
section, witli dates, localities, and colours accurately recorded. 

Such a series exists in no one locality ; the great majority 
of the specimens in museums (aud even these are not numerous) 
have not been reliably sexed, and in not a few cases their 
origin even is doubtful. 

The only authority to whose works I have access, who has of 
late years dealt with this genus as a whole, is Professor 
Schlegel in the Mus. Pays. Bas. Pelecani, p. 37, et seq, July 1863. 

He admits 

1. Sula bassana, Lin. 

2. Sula serrator, Banks. 

3. Sula capensis, Licht. 

4. Sula cyanops, Sundev. 

5. Sula piscatrix, Lin. 

6. Sula australis, Stepli. {fiber apud ScJd. et auct. nee Lin.) 
But besides these, other authorities keep other species dis- 
tinct, viz. — 

7. 2 A. Sula lefevrii, Baldamus. 

8. 4A. Sula dactylatra, Less. 

9. 5A. Sula variegata, Tschudi. 

10. 6A. Sula parva, Gm. 

and a careful examination of what has been put on record 
in regard to this genus, leads me to believe that it will eventually 
prove to contain even more species. 

When high authorities, like Finsch and Hartlaub on the one 
hand (Orn. Polynes. 260), and Salvadori (Ucc. di. Borneo, 
369) on the other, with the museums and libraries of Europe 
open to them, contradict each other point blank as to whether a 
supposed species {variegata) is identical with another {piscatrix), 
or absolutely distinct, and when almost every one who has 
written any thing original about Boobies (and not merely copied 
existing records), traverses or contradicts something that some 
one else has said, it would be absurd for me, in a distant colony, . 
with a meagre library, and no specimens of this particular 
group, to speak of, in my museum, to pretend to be able to put 
matters on a more satisfactory basis. 

All I can do is, following what others have written, to give 
an extemely brief sketch of the several species of the genus 


dealing somewhat more in detail with those three speoies only 
with which we are more especially concerned in India. 

The Boobies naturally divide into two sub-groups.* 

The first has only the lores, orbital region, base of aural 
region, base of lower mandible, and a stripe down the middle 
of the throat naked. 

This includes bassana, serrator (lefeorii if distinct) and 

Of this sub-group we may dispose at once, as it in no way 
concerns us : — 

1.— Sula bassana, Lin. 

This is the largest of the whole group, named from the Bass 
Rocks, a celebrated breeding place of this, the Gannet or 
Soland Goose. 

The entire plumage of the adult is white, except the primaries 
and wing let which are dull black. Wing 18*20. 

Habitat, Europe, W. Coast of Africa, North America., &c. 

2.— Sula serrator, Banks. 

Was this name ever published ; if so, where ? This is also 
australis, Gould, P. Z. S. 1840, 177, but this name cennot 
stand as Stephens, Gen. Zool. XIII, 104, 1826, described 
the Linnsean sula under this name. This species is said to be 
rather smaller than bassana (but I have a specimen with wing 
over 19), and has the whole of the quills and the four central 
tail feathers blackish brown. 

Habitat, New Zealand, Australia, &c. 

2A. — Sula lefevrii, Baldamus. 

Bonaparte and others claim this as distinct ; it is the melanura 
of many writers, but not of Temminck ; it is said to differ in 
having the whole of the quills and entire tail black, and to have 
occurred in Europe. 

3.— Sula capensis, Licht. 

This is the true melanura of Tern, and is a good deal smaller 
than the preceding; wing 1625 to 18'5 ; it has all the quills, 

* The genus has by some been sub-divided into three genera — Dysporus, Illiger ; 
Sula, Vieill ; and Piscatrix, Reich. I can see no necessity as yet for sub-dividing the 
genus, but I have only specimens (and only one or two of each) of bassana, serrator, cya- 
nops, piscatrix. and australis. and for all I know it may be right to sub-divide the genus, 
but what I fail to understand is how Bonaparte and others apply Illiger's Disporus 
to the Linnoeau sula, reserving the generic name Sula for bassana and other species. 
4~ / The genus Sula of Brisson clearly has for its type the Linnsean Sula, the Sula of 
Vieillot seems to be founded on Brisson's/wsca, which whatever it may be (and of that 
hereafter) is certainly neither bassana nor of the bassana type. On the other, Illiger's 
type seems to_have been bassana. 


the whole tail, and the greater wing coverts blackish brown. It 
differs moreover from all the preceding in having the naked 
throat stripe prolonged down much further towards the breast. 

Habitat, Cape of Good Hope, &c. 

The Second sub-group has the lores, face to angle of 
mouth, chin, and a portion of the throat defined by a curved 
line (convexity downwards) from the gape on either side, bare. 

This includes cyanops (and if distinct dactylatra) , piscatrix 
(and if distinct variegata), australis (and if distinct parva). 

With the three non-doubtful species we are more especially 
concerned as all occur within our limits. 

4.— Sula cyanops, Sundev. Physiogr. Salksk. Tid- 
skrift. 218. n. 1837. 

personata, Gould, P. Z. S. 1846, 21. 

melanops, Hartl. and Hengl. Ibis, 1859, 351, pi. X. f. 2, 

These three names * seem to be at present almost uni- 
versally accepted as synonymous, and most modern writers 
include dactylaclra, Lesson, of which more hereafter. 

But though accepted as synonymous, it must not be supposed 
that the dimensions or descriptions given of this supposed 
one species by different writers agree over well. On the con- 
trary they differ most materially, as will appear from a few 
quotations that I shall make. 

Von Heuglin (cyanops), Orn. Nord. Ost. Afr. 1481—1873 
(who includes personata, Gould ; melanops. Hartl., and with a ? 
dactylatra, Less.; and cyanops of Shelley) : — 

" White, scarcely tinged with fulvous ; quills, greater wing 
coverts, tertiaries, and tail feathers smoky black ; quills with- 
in whitish towards their bases ; bill olivaceous yellow ; bare 
skin of face and chin deep black ; irides yellow ; feet dusky ; 
webs almost black ; claws blackish horny, livid at the points. 

" Length, 30-7—31 '8 ; bill at front, 4-12 ; from gape, 
4-92; wing, 178 — 181 ; tail, 7'67— 8*77 ; tarsus 21— 2-2." 

Gould {personata), P. Z. S. 1846, 21; B. of Austr. VII. 
pi. 77. (cyanops) ; Handb. B. of Austr. II, 506 : — 

tl The whole plumage of both sexes is pure white, with the 
exception of the greater wing coverts, primaries, secondaries, 
and tertiaries, the tips of the two central and the whole of 
the lateral tail feathers, which are of a rich chocolate brown ; 
irides yellow ; naked skin of face and chin in specimen dull 
bluish black ; legs greenish blue. 

* Other supposed synonyines are, piscator, Peale. U. S. Expl. Exp. Birds, 273,1848 
nee Lin. ; bassana, Thomp. Allen. Exp. Niger, II, 175. nee. Lin. 


" Total length, 29 inches ; bill, 5 ; wing, 16*5 ; tail, 8*5 ; tarsi, 

Bonaparte {cyanops), Consp. II, 166, 1850 (including per- 
sonata, Gould, but not dadylatra) : — 

11 Smaller ; white ; quills and tail blackish chocolate; 16 tail 
feathers; face blackish blue ; bill huge, yellow ; feet plumbeous.'" 

The original descriptiou of melanops from the Red Sea by 
Hartlaub and Heugliu himself) does not exactly corre- 
spond with Heuglin's later one first quoted, of cyanops from the 
same locality, though he accepts the identity of the species. It 
occurs, Ibis, 1859, '351 : — 

" White ; slightly yellowish ; quills, scapulars, and the outer 
wing coverts and tail feathers black, all at their bases whitish 
or pure white ; the shafts white below ; the bend of the wing 
white ; bill greenish yellow, black basally, bare space round 
the eyes, and the roundly truncated bare throat patch black ; 
irides reddish yellow; feet bluish plumbeous; the webs dusk- 
ier ; nails horny black, whitish at the tips. L., 296 — 30*7 ; 
B. fr. g., 4-92 ; at fr., 4'12 ; W., 17-52— 18*33 ; tail, 8-77 ; tarsus, 
2-3 ; mid toe and claw, 4-11— 43." 

Schlegel, Mus. Pays. Bas. Pelecani, 39, July 1863 (who 
includes dactylatra with a query) : — 

" Plumage absolutely like that of S. capensis {i.e., white, th6 tail 
feathers, all the quills and greater wing coverts black) ; feet 
greenish ; bill pale yellow ; naked skin of head pale black, 
verging on violet or blue. 

"Wing 15-7— 15-43; tail, 7-12—803; tarsus, 1-85—1-94; 
4-— 4-2" 

Captain Shelley, B. of Egypt, 294, gives a description of a 
Gannet which he identifies as cyanops : — 

rt Naked skin on the face and pouch slate colour ; quills, great- 
er wing coverts, and tail dark brown ; beak yellow; legs slatey 
grey ; irides yellow/' 

Finsch and Hartlaub {cyanops). Oru. Central Polynesiens, 252, 
in which they include personata and melanops, and with a (?) dac- 
tylactra : — 

u White ; greater wing coverts, all the quills, the lateral tail 
feathers, and the tips of the central ones intense dusky 
(fuscis) ; bill pale greenish yellow ; naked portions of face 
and chin dull bluish; feet greenish; irides yellow. 

" L. 31-8 ; B., 4-2; W., 15 35— 1752 ; T. 6-57—7-67 ; tarsus, 

" Old. — Uniform white, somewhat yellowish; the quills of 
the first and second order ; their coverts and scapulars, together 
with the tail feathers brownish black ; the quills white at 
their bases on the inner webs. 


el Bill horny greenish grey, the point more yellowish horny, 
the base of the bill and the naked skin of the head blackish. 

a Younger bird (M c Kean's Isld.) — Almost like the above, but 
on the back a few brown feathers ; the rump is still almost 
uniform brown ; the upper tail coverts are white, with brown 

" Younger bird (? Texas) . — The entire upper surface nearly 
uniform brown, only on the scapulars, mantle, and rump appear 
many white feathers, most of which however still show a 
washed-out brown spot in the middle. Many of the upper 
wing coverts exhibit white tips ; so also the brown feathers 
of the foreneck. The rest of the lower parts, together with 
the lower wing coverts, pure white. 

" Bill horny brown, the edges and tip pale horny green- 
ish ; naked portion of face and throat brownish black ; feet 
dirty horny brown. 

a This specimen agrees almost entirely with the young speci- 
men of S. melatwps, figured, Ibis, 1859, pi. X, f. 2. 

" Young. — Almost uniform grey brown (Suudev). 

" Nestlings clad in white down. 

" Sexes do not differ, only the young and females are smaller. 

" Young. — Female ; face and bill for the basal half blue ; the 
terminal portion olive-coloured ; feet olive-coloured ; the webs 
dark ; iris deep yellow. 

" Young. — Bill almost to the base, olive-coloured (Sundeval, 
from fresh specimens). 

" Old. — Bill and naked portion of head bluish green ; legs 
dirty green ; iris greenish yellow (Graffe, from fresh 

They add dimensions of numerous specimens, some of which 
I have already given : — 

" L. W. T. B. at fr. B. fr. gape Trs. M. T. 

31-8— 32-86 18 6"02 4-3 53 2-53 312 Young (?) Texas. 

167 5-5 3-83 4'58 2-03 2'94 Young 

17 75 6-45 4-02 ... 2-1 294 (cyanops, Sundev.) 

19-18 10-13 4-48 5 68 2-42 33 {cyanops. Pelz.) 

15-7—17-43 7-12—8-03 442 ... 1-85—1-94 ... Schlegel. 

17.52—18-33 8-77 442 4-93 2-2 ... (melanops. Hartl.) 
To which we may add :— 

30-7—31-8 17-8—18-1 7-67—8-77 4-12 493 2-1-2-2 ... v. Heuglin. 

29 16-5 8-5 ... 5* 2-25 ... Gould. 

32 16-5 7-25—7-5 40—4-06 4'12-5 2-15— 225 295 Butler." 

If therefore we believe that these measurements all refer to 
the same species, we must admit that the wing varies from 15*7 
to 19-18 ; the tail from 5-5 to 10-13 ; the bill at front from 3"83 
to 4*48 ; and from gape from 4*58 to 5-3. Similarly, the tarsus 
varies from 1-85 to 2*53, and the mid toe in the few measure - 

* It is impossible to say whether this dimension sliould be placed in this or the 
next preceding column. Mr. Gould merely says " Bill, 5." 

p 15 



ments we have from 2'94 to 3*3, and Hartlaub gives the mid 
toe and claw at 41 1 to 4*2. 

If we contrast the recorded colours of the soft parts, we shall 
find even more striking differences : — 

Y. Heuglin 

Hart), and 





Greenish yellow 

Pale yellow 


Bare Slcin of 
Face and Chin. 

Deep black 

Bluish black ... 
Blackish blue ... 





Dusky, webs al- Yellow. 

most black. 
Greenish blue ... Yellow. 
Bluish plum- Reddish yellow. 

beous, webs 


verging on 
violet or blue. 

Slate colour ... Slaty grey 

Finsch and Pale greenish Dull bluish 

Hart. yellow. 

Sundcv. (young Basal half blue, Blue 






terminal por- 
tion olive. 

Horny greenish Blackish, 

Bluish green ... Bluish green 

Olive, webs dark Deep, (?) bright, 

Pale bluish 

Slate colour 

Dirty green .. 
Lavender blue 

Pale green. 

It has been suggested that the colouration may vary with sex 
as well as age, but in the present case, Captain Butler's speci- 
mens, male and female (both apparently in exactly the same 
stage of plumage,) differed in no single respect in the colours 
of the soft parts ; it has further been said that the females are 
smaller, but this idea also receives no confirmation from Captain 
Butler's specimens. 

It will have been noticed that, while Gould and Finsch give 
only the tips of central tail feathers as dark, others give the 
whole of these feathers thus : 

Taking the record, judicially, I think it very probable that, 
instead of one species, there will prove to be three. The true 
cyanops from the Atlantic, melanops from the Red Sea and the 
north-east coast of Africa, and personata from North Australia, 
New Guinea, and Central Polynesia. It seems probable that 
the specimens from the Keeling, or Cocos Islands, and Straits 
of Sunda are identical with these latter. 

Even if the evidence were .not in the highest degree dis- 
crepant, it should not be everlooked that probabilities are some- 
what in favour of the distinctness of species inhabiting as 
permanent residents, and breeding in these three very different 
localities, the Atlantic, the Red Sea, the Straits of Torres and 
Central Polynesia, and not occurring so far as we yet know 


throughout enormous intervening- tracts, and I hope some one 
in Europe will critically examine all the available specimens 
and see whether this is or is not the case. 

In the meantime Captain Butler's birds and Captain Shelley's 
are I think identical, but whether they are really melanops 
of Hartl. is by no means equally clear to me, though a priori 
I should think they must be. 

The colours of the soft parts and dimensions of Captain 
Butler's specimens have been above noted. 

Both are in precisely the same plumage, just passing 
apparently into the so-called adult as distinguished from the 
old, and are, as I take it, about two years old. 

The moult of the wings has been completed, that of the tail 
is in progress, that is to say, amongst full-sized, more or less 
abraded, dull brown feathers are mingled, short, growing, satiny, 
deep chocolate brown ones. 

In one bird's tail, old and new, I can only discern 12 feathers ; 
in the other, including four very short ones, there are eight on one 
side, and six on the other, so that there really probably are 16 
feathers in the perfect tail. 

The whole of the quills, longest scapulars, winglet, greater 
and median coverts, and tail, except old feathers, are a rich deep 
umber brown inclining to chocolate. 

The whole of the rest of the bird may be said to be white, 
but there is a faint creamy tinge in most of the white feathers 
of the upper surface, a good many brown feathers are mingled 
in the median rows of the lesser wing and upper tail-coverts, 
and some of the median scapulars are brown or brownish grey 
towards their tips. There are a few brown feathers on the 
flanks — and a dull pale ferruginous stain (whether natural, or 
the result of grease acquired in skinning I cannot say,) over 
the central portion of the abdomen. 

The chin, throat, breast, sides, axillaries, wing lining are pure 
white, except two or three brown feathers amongst the latter 
just below the carpal joint. 

The quills are grey or whitish towards their bases on their 
inner webs. 

In the most perfect tail the central feathers exceed the 
exterior lateral oues by 2*65. 

The distance measured straight from the tip of the upper 
mandible to the commencement of the feathers on the throat 
is exactly 5 inches in both specimens. 

4A. — Sula dactylactra, Less. Voy. Coq. Zooi. I., pt. 
2, 494, 1826, sine deseu 
Tr. d'Orn. 601, 831 descr. orig. 


nigrodactyla, Less. Bp. Cousp. II. 165, 1850. 

This species, if really distinct, concerns us little. It was 
procured at Ascension Island, and is not likely, even if distinct, 
to occur within our limits. 

Lesson's original description is as follows : — ■ 

" Plumage pure white ; wings and tail black ; tarsi yellow ; 
the base of bill encircled by a naked skin, which extends on 
to the throat in the shape of an half circle." 

Of course, this may be any thing ; but as according to Bona- 
parte the original specimens existed in the Paris museum in 
1850, it is difficult to understand how the matter of their iden- 
tity or distinctness still remains doubtful. Bonaparte, with speci- 
mens of both this and cyanops (or at any of per sonata) before 
him, said they were distinct. 

No writer who unites this species with cyanops, with a ? 
seems to have examined the types. 

If really identical with cyanops, Lesson's name has of course 

5.— Sula piscatrix, Lin. S. N. I. 217, 1766. 

Candida, Briss. On. VI, 501, 1760. 

erythrorhyncha, Less. Tr. d'Orn. 601, 1831. 

rubripes, Gould, P. Z. S. 1837, 156. 

rubripeda, Peale, U. S. Expl. Expn. Birds, 274, pi. 83, 
1st Ed., 1848. 
To these synonymes Tschudi's variegata, of which more here- 
after is commonly added. 

Brisson's original description is full and excellent : — " It is a 
little larger than the first species of this genus (sula of Lin). 
Length from tip of bill to tip of tail 33*96,* and to tip of 
claws, 27*8; bill from gape, 55 ; tail, 1095 ; foot (tarsus?), 
1*93 ; mid toe and claw, 3 - 58 ; outer, 2-11 ; inner, 2'1 ; hind toe, 
1*3; mid toe claw serrated interiorily ; expanse, 67-87 inches. 
The wings when closed reach to about three-fourths of the 
length of the tail. 

" The head, neck, body, scapulars, upper and under wing, and 
tail coverts are white, excepting the upper greater wing coverts, 
most distant from the body, which are brown. The great fea- 
thers of the wing are of this latter colour, the medium ones 
white. The tail of 14 feathers similarly white. The central 
ones longest, the laterals diminishing as they recede from the 
centre, so that the outermost on each side is 6'12 shorter than 
the central ones. The space on each side between the eye and 
bill is naked and red. The bill, the legs, and toes and their 

* Of course, in this and all other eases I have, in translating, converted French inches, 
millimetres, &c, into English inches and decimals, 


webs are also red, and the claws are reddish. Found on the 
coasts of Africa and America.''' 

I have had toexamine nearly 50 descriptions of Boobies 
during the last few days, written by naturalists, " ancient 
and modern/' but I have met with none more satisfactory 
on the whole than this praslinnean one. 

This is a fair sample of Brisson's descriptions, and this is the 
man whom English naturalists have seen fit to set aside entirely, 
except as regards such genera as Linnaeus neglected to adopt 
from him, because his nomenclature was not strictly binomial I 
Mr. Strickland and the others, associated with him, went, it 
seems to me quite beyond what was necessary in the matter 
of binomialism, when they on this account virtually ostracised 
Brisson (the great majority of whose names are truly bino- 
mial) and fixed upon the Xllth edition of Linnaeus' Syst. Nat. 
as the starting point of all specific nomenclature. 

As an ornithologist, in my humble opinion, Brisson ranks 
far above Linnasus, who, great and broad-minded man as he 
was, had not even a sufficient insight into our particular 
branch of Natural History to avail himself of much that Brisson 
had done ready to his hand. 

English ornithologists of a particular school are constantly 
carping at American and other authors, for ignoring the British 
Association Rules in regard to the point from which specific 
nomenclature is to date, but those rules are, it seems to me, 
inherently wrong, and in so far as they rejected Brisson and 
adopted Linnasus, grasp only the shadow and let go the sub- 
stance, and it is only natural that the mind of every just man, 
who takes up and studies these fathers of our science, should 
revolt against a rule that involves such injustice to one of 
the greatest and most accurate of the founders of ornithology. 

The time has not perhaps yet come for this, but most assured- 
ly these rules will have to be revised, and sooner or later our 
more liberal successors will insist on doing that justice to 
Brisson and others that English ornithologists now deny them. 

Let us now turn to the Linnaeus' description : — " Tail, cunei- 
form ; bill serrated ; body white ; all the quills and face black." 

" The upper mandible towards the base, as it were, denticu- 
lated on either side. Nostrils closed, face and orbital depres- 
sion in my dry specimens black, whether in life they are red, 
as Brisson says, I do not know."' 

But for his quotation of Brisson, with a reference to the 
passage already quoted, it would be impossible to say to what 
species Linnasus referred, and I think it extremely likely that 
he really had another species before him and erroneously referred 
to Brisson's description of candidus. However, this reference, 


erroneous or not, is all we have to fix " piscatrix/' * aud by- 
it that name is attached to Brisson's Candida in regard to which 
no doubt can exist. 

Lesson's description of his erylhrorliyncha, which he himself 
identifies with piscatrix, is as follows : — 

tl Bill rosy, with a black tip ; a little bare space round the eyes ; 
the plumage white, with yellowish reflexions ; the quills black ; 
the tail whitish or greyish ; the tarsi orange. The female is 
brownish grey, with a reddish tinge. Habitat?" 

Gould thus described his rubripes, which he considered some- 
what immature : — 

" Head, breast, throat, abdomen, and vent dingy white ; back 
and tail pinkish ; wings pale pinky, mottled with dusky grey ; 
primaries and secondaries blackish dusky ; bill yellowish fleshy, 
with the tip black ; feet bright reddish orange. 

" Length, 23 ; bill, 4 ; wing, 14 ; tail, 7 ; tarsi, P37. 

" From New South Wales." 

Then we have Peale's " rubripeda, " a name that, if intended 
to be original, is strangely near Gould's. Peale says : — 

tl Plumage of both sexes pure white, except the primaries, 
secondaries, and first row of greater wing coverts, which are dark 
brown, with a hoary surface ; tail cuneiform, white (which dis- 
tinguishes it from 8. piscator, at first sight, its tail beiug 
black) ; bill deeply serrated of a pale blue colour, margined at 
the base by a bright red and wrinkled skin ; cheeks blue ; eyelids 
green; irides brown; gular pouch intense black; feet bright 
vermilion red ; middle toe nail much flattened, curved laterally 
and deeply pectinated on the inner edge. 

" Length, 28-5 ; expanse, 59 ; bill at front, 3*2 ; from gape, 4*1 ; 
tarsus, 1*4 ; mid toe and claw, 3 ; nail, 07 ; tail, 8 - 5 ; outer 
feather, 43. 

" The young when first hatched are covered with a very white 
down ; their first plumage is entirely brown, clouded with hoary, 
but the colour soon becomes lighter about the head, neck, breast, 
and tail. The neck and tail next become white, and finally the 
whole plumage, except the greater feathers of the wings." 

So much for the original descriptions supporting the various 
names now universally accepted as synonymous. 

Bonaparte diagnoses the species, Consp. II, 166, thus:— 

u Smaller ; milky white ; quills and tail feathers blackish, 
the shafts white ; naked throat intense black ; feet red. Adult 
bill greenish, red after death. Younger birds have the throat 
fleshy, and the bill reddish ; the young has the bill red/' 

* This name was given by Linnaeus because, as he says, he thought it probable 
(I do not know ivhy) that this was the species that the Chinese used for fishing 
after placing a brazen ring rouud the bird's neck. The bird really so used is of course 
a Cormorant. 


Schlegel, Mus. Pays-Bas, Pelecani, p. 40, remarks that this 
species is distinguished " by its small size and short points to 
the wings. Wing, 145 — 15*2 ; point of the wing, 2*2 — 3*2 ; 
tail, 7-7—9-5; tarsus, 1-1—1-19; mid toe, 2-2—2-29; bill, 
3-0—3-3 ; height of bill, 1-1—1-19. 

" Perfect plumage white, with the exception of all the quills 
and the great wing coverts, which are greyish black ; bill in the 
live bird of a light blue black ; naked skin of the head flesh- 
coloured ; feet red ; immature plumage brown ; bill brownish. 

" Observed in the Indian Archipelago as far as the Straits of 
Torres ; appears to stray into the Atlantic Ocean. " 

Gould tells us (Birds of Austr. VII. pi. 79. Handb. B. of A, 
510) :— " Mr. M c Gillivrai observed that the colouring of the bill 
and soft parts varies with the age of the individual ; in the first 
stage the bill is of a delicate bluish pink, the pink tint predo- 
minating at the base of upper mandible, the bare patch about 
the eye of a dull leaden hue, and the pouch flesh-coloured, in 
the second the colouring of these parts is similar, but somewhat 
brighter, and ultimately the irides become grey, and the legs and 
feet vermilion. 

" The adults have the entire plumage buffy white, with the 
exception of the wings and tail, the former of which are blackish 
brown, washed with grey, and the latter pale greyish brown, passino- 
into grey, with white shafts. Lastly, Finsch and Hartlaub (Orn. 
Central Polynes. 256) thus define and describe the species : — 

i( Ad. white ; quills and tail feathers blackish dusky ; throat 
naked with the face and bill pale blue, the latter reddish at the 
base ; feet coral red ; irides brown ; eyelids greenish. 

Younger. — Back wings and tail dusky ash ; wing coverts 
mottled with white ; bill dusky at the tip. 

Young. — Pale dusky ashy, mottled paler below; belly 
whitish ; face and feet dingy reddish. 

" Length, 32 38; bill, 3-5; wing, 16-44; tail, 8-77; mid 
toe, 2-74. 

" From the Indian Sea, Bremen Museum. 

" Old. — Entire plumage white, only the quills, their coverts, 
and the bend of the wing dark brown, somewhat tinged with grey. 
The quills white at their bases on the inner webs. The white 
being more extended on the secondaries, the latest of which are 
entirely white. The shafts of the quills clear brown, the under- 
side white. The white feathers of the hind neck and back, 
tinged towards their tips, with pale rusty yellow, which is still 
more conspicuous on the»head. 

" Bill dark blackish red, with pale horny greenish margins, 
tip and culmen ; the naked head space dirty reddish brown ; 
the throat browner ; feet dirt}' deep red ; nails whitish. 



tl A Somewhat less advanced bird has the tail feathers still 
dark brown, like the quills, with white shafts. 

" A younger bird (Bremen Museum) has not only the quills 
and tail, but also the wing coverts, scapulars, back, mantle, and 
rump deep brown, as are also the under-wing coverts and tibial 
plumes. The rest of the plumage white, but the feathers of the 
occiput and back of neck conspicuously tipped with reddish 
3 r ellow. The wing coverts and feathers of the mantle exhibit, 
broader or narrower greyish white tippings, and look therefore 

" Bill and naked head space dirty fleshy brown ; the culmen 
deep brown, and the point black ; feet dirty orauge red." 

If we now sum up the evidence, we shall find here also 
discrepancies. First as to dimensions : — - 

L. Exp. W. T. B. fr. B. fr. g. Ts. & cl. Mid T. 

3398 67-87 10-95 ... 5 5 1-93 3-58 ... { ^c.^fric^' 

23 14 7 4 1-37 Gould(N.S W.) 

28 5 59 8-5 32 ... 14 3 ... Peale (Pacific.) 

( Schlegal (In- 

14-5-15-2 7 7— 95 3-0— 3-3 ... 11 — 1 19 ... 22— 29^ diau Archi- 

(. pelago.) 

( Scklegel(quite 

15-55 8-2 3-5 ... 1-3 ... 2 48-J young from 

(, Atlantic). 
( Finsch and 
24-1—30 8 15-7 8-59 35 4-12 1-47 ... 2-2 \ Hartl. (South 

C Seas). 
32 88 16-44 8 77 3-5 ... ... ... 2 74 „ 

14-25 684 3-3 3 94 1-38 ... 229 „ (young.) 

Then as to colours of soft parts : — 

Bill. Facial Skin Pouch. Legs $ Feet. Irides. 

Brisson Red Red Red. 

Linnaeus Black. 

Lesson Kosy, with 

black tip. 
Gould (ini- Yell o w i s h Bright red- 

mature), fleshy, tip disk orange, 

Peale Pale blue. Bright red at Intense black Vermilion, 

base of bill, 
cheek blue. 

Bonap. ad. Greenish Intense black Red. 

„ jun. Reddish Fleshy 

„ juv. Red. 
Schlegel(Boie) Light blue Flesh color Flesh color Red. 

McGilliv r a i , Bluish pink Leaden blue Flesh color. 

ad. Vermilion. Grey. 

Finsch & H. Pale'.blue, red- Pale blue Pale blue Coral red Brown, 

dish at base. 

Forster Dirty blue Pale blue. 

Philippi Bright blue ' Bright blue Carnelian red 

grey. g l- ey. 

Graffe (young) Bluish green, Greenish blue Greenish blue Bluish green Greenish yel- 
blaekish at low. 



As to plumage it will be observed that Bonaparte, Gould, 
Finsch, and Hartlaub describe the adult as having a blackish 
or brown or grey brown tail, though the latter authors describe 
what they apparently take to be an old bird with the tail white, 
but it seems clear that the bird begins by being brown every 
where, and if two species have not been confounded, (which is 
not impossible), gradually turns white everywhere, until only 
the primaries and their greater coverts are brown or dusky. 

For my own part I have very little doubt that two species 
very similar, but one much larger than the other, are here 

5A.— Sula. variegata,— Tschudi. Ericbs. Arch. 1843, 
1.390; Fauna, Peru, 55, 313; Denkschrift, der 
kais. Akad. d. Wissensch. Wien. II. 2 ; Peru- 
Reissescizz. I. 327. 

Von Pelzeln. Reise No vara, Vog. 156. 
? Brown and white Booby of Latham, Gen. Hist. X. 4U, 
? leucophsea, Steph. Gen. Zool XIII., 106, ex Lath : — 
Tschudi thus describes his species, Cab. J. F. 0. 1856, 188: — 
i! Head, neck, upper back, and the entire lower surface of 
the body dazzling white ; the wing and pinion feathers blackish 
brown on the outer webs, but white on the basal halves of the 
inuer webs ; lower back, tail, and flanks are besprinkled white 
and black. In younger birds this besprinkling extends almost 
over the entire back, the sides, and a portion of the belly. The 
bill is horny brown ; the feet black ; and the irides deep brown. 
Guano Islands, Peru." 

Von Pelzeln, loc cit, remarks that he has three specimens of this 
species, which agree well with each other, only that in one 
obviously a younger bird, the white borders of the feathers of 
the back and upper surface of the wings are very little developed ; 
in fact only feebly indicated ; while on the lower surface and 
entire under parts from the middle of the breast, the whole of 
the feathers are of a greyish brown colour, with more or less broad 
white borders, so that the greater part of the lower surface ap- 
pears to be irregularly mottled. On the crown and hind neck 
the white colour is somewhat mixed with brown. The middle 
tail feathers in the old are entirely, in a younger specimen 
at their bases, and in another specimen on the inner webs only, 
greyish white. He gives the following dimensions of these three 
specimens : — 

B. ah fr. Tr8. Mid Toe (without claw), 

3 92 183 2 56 

3.92 183 256 

411 1 83 275 

Q 16 


T. B. fr. 


8-77 4 92 


7 94(iraperf.) 492 



6'85 (do.) 5 2 


Finsch and Hartlaub say positively that Tschudr's description 
shows clearly that his bird is only the young of piscatrix, and 
that Von Pelzeln's recent endeavour to establish the distinctness 
of this species rests on equally untenable grounds. 

To whom replies Salvadori that variegata of which he has 
seen many specimens is absolutely distinct from piscatrix. 

In this conclusion, a careful comparison of measurements, 
descriptions, the black feet, and the fact that myriads of the 
bird described by Tschudi were seen, and none of piscatrix in- 
clines me to concur. 

6.— Sula australis, Steph. Gen. Zool. XIII,104, 1826. 

sula, Lin. S. N. I. 218, 1766. 

fiber j Lin, apud auct, nee. Lin. 

? brasiliensis, Spix. Av. Bras. II. 83 to 107, 1825. 

fulica, Less. Tr. d'Orn. 601, 1831. 

plotus, Forst. Descr. An. 278, 1844 

? flavirostris, Gould, apud Licht. Forst. ib. 

sinicadvena, Sioinh. Ibis, 1865, 109. 
It is inconvenient that I can find no sufficient reason for 
sub-dividing this genus, as adopting as one must Brisson's genus 
Sula, I am unable to adopt Linnaeus' specific name sula, 
which undoubtedly belongs to this species, whereas his 
other name fiber, which has of late always been assigned 
here, equally certainly does not belong here. Fiusch and 
others have already pointed this out, but as they adopt Illiger's 
genus of Dysporus for this section, they are able to adopt the 
Linnsean specific name sula, founded on Brisson's uninomial 

The next name in order of priority is Stephen's, if we except 
brazilie?isisi the application of which to this species, referring 
as it does to a quite young bird, is very doubtful. 

I said that fiber, Lin. did not apply. This is founded on 
Sula fusca of Brisson. Brisson's description of his Sula, our 
present species is as usual full and excellent, as his always are 
when he described from a specimen. 

"Length,* 31*78; bill from gape, 5 -02 ; tail, 10*7 ; tarsus, 
1*82 ; mid toe and claw, 3*3; * * * expanse, 65*7. * * 

" The head, throat, neck, back rump, the scapulars, and upper 
tail coverts ashy brown ; breast, belly, tibial plumes, lower 
tail coverts, and flanks white. #*****#** 
" The iris light grey ; naked skin of head yellow ; bill grey ; 
feet pale yellow; nails grey." 

# Compare the dimensions recorded by myself from a fresh bird, (S. F,, IV, 483.) 
L. 31 7 ; B. fr. g., 5 - l j tail, 80 (I measure from v nt, he to root), expanse, 62. 


I have described the adult of this species fully (S. F. IV, 483), 
and ouly quote this much of Brisson's description to show that 
there is not a shadow of doubt as to what his Sula was, and 
that he described our present species accurately. 

Now, besides this, Sula (uninomial, he gave no second names 
to the type of each genus), Brisson described another species 
Sula fusca also from a specimen; and in his usual careful way. 
He had both specimens before him at the same time, and the 
presumption therefore is that fusca is not the same species. 

The description, however, clearly proves that it is not. He says:— 

" Scarcely larger than a domestic duck, 

" Length, 26-28 ; bill to gape, 4-03 ; tail, 9-87; tarsi, M9 ; 
mid toe and claw, 275 ; * * * * expanse, 5696; folded 
wings extend to two-thirds of the tail" (in sula it is three- fourths). 

" Head, throat, neck, breast, belly, sides, and thighs of a 
rather light ashy-brown ; the back and scapulars a little 
darker; the longest of the latter being even ashy blackish. 

<e Rump and upper and lower tail coverts ashy white ; under- 
wing coverts ashy brown ; lesser upper wing coverts and the 
larger ditto nearest the body of the same colour, but the laro-er 
ones farthest from the body are ashy blackish. The wine 
is composed of 37 feathers of this latter colour, of which, how- 
ever, the interior webs towards their bases are lighter coloured. 
The tail consists of 14 feathers, the central pair ashy, the rest 
brownish ashy, especially on the outer web, aud the exterior 
feather on each side greyish white at the tip. The 
central pair are longest, the laterals diminish successively, 
so that the external pair are 5*65 shorter than the central pair. 
The region on each side between the beak and eye is bare skin 
and red ; the bill, tarsi, toes, and webs are also red ; the 
nails are reddish. Found on the coasts of Africa and America." 

Now whatever this may be, this is certainly not the present 
species, and this fusca is Linnaaus' fiber, and hence this latter 
name must, as has already been urged by others, cease to be 
applied to the common Booby. 

Finsch and Hartlaub think ihni fiber is a youug of cyanops, 
but in my opinion there is no question looking to dimensions, 
number of tail feathers (cyanops has 16), &c. ; that Brisson 
described a 3 r oung specimen of piscatrix, or, if my surmise prove 
correct, of the smaller of the two species now confounded under 
the name piscatrix. 

I have already described the adult of our present species 
from a fresh specimen (IV, 483), the young is an uniform 
rather dark brown, the head and neck rather paler, and accord- 
ing to Finsch (op. cit. 261) has the bill and naked throat patch 
violet black, and the feet orange brownish. 



But a young female probably about a year old tbat we 
caught on boardship, between Malacca and Penang, Lat. 2° 
25' N., Long. 101° 40' E. on the 8th of August, and of which 
the dimensions and colours were most carefully recorded at 
the time, and which I have inserted in the tables below, did 
not agree iu these latter points. 

Here also, as it seems to me, a much smaller species still 
to be noticed, has been confounded with the present species, 
and it is impossible for me to make out in all cases where 
colours of soft parts are referred to, Avhether these were taken 
from the specimens of the true axiatralis (sula, Lin.), or from 
the smaller. 

Finsch and Hartlaub quote the following : — 



ad. Pale greenish 
or reddish 
white, point 
and base 
very pale 
greeni sh 

Orbital Re- Throat Tarsi and Iris, 

gion. Pouch. Feet. 

Sky blue. Pale yellow- Pale greenish Whitish 
ish greyish yellow. silvery, 





G undlach p. 
Dohrn. all 

y. Base grey 
brown or 
green is h 
ad. Hornyyellow, Pale fleshy. Pale fleshy 
pale fleshy 
at base. 

ad. Light yellow, Yellow. 

fleshy at 

^. Dusky. 

Greenish yel- Moreofasul- 

low. phur yel- 

■». Bluish. Greenish 

Pearly white. 

Pale yellow. White. 

Dirty yellow. 
Greenish yel- 



Dirty olive 

Clear blue. 

Pale orange 
Dirty olive Dirty olive Dirty green, 
yellow. yellow. 

To which I may add {certainly of the larger species.) 

Hume. ad. ? Creamy white Pale hoary Pale hoary Pale yellow, White. 
with blu- greenish greenish greenish on 
ish tinge in yellow. yellow. tarsi, 

Hume. jnv. ? Pale glaucous Pale glaucous Paledirtyblu- Very pale, Pearly, 
blue. blue, strong- ish green. buffy yel- 

ly tinged 

Heuglin. ad. Hoary green- Yellowish, 
y. Basal por- Deep violet, 
tions tinged 
Swinhoe. imm. Pale yellow. Plumbeous. 

low, tinged 
green on 
Hoary green- Pale yellow- Pearly white. 

ish. ish green. 

Deep violet. Greenish blue 
to yellow- 
Pale yellow Pale yellow, Light pearly 
deeper than witha tinge grey, black- 
bill, of green. pning near 


As to dimension of the present species, we may quote the 
following : — 


Exp. Wing. 


Culmen. B. Jr. 


Mid toe Mid toe. 
4 el. 









9-2-10 1 


1 53-1-64 


32 9 

16 96 


4-02 493 

1 83 



30 66 

8 77-9-86 

3 84 

1-54-1 -72 





4-5 5-4 






62 16 1 


4 1 5 1 




67 1625 



As to distribution I am unable to say more than that the 
larger species seems to inhabit the tropics of both hemispheres, 
wandering more or less into the temperate zones. 

6A.— Sula parva, Gm. S. N. I. 579, 1788 |Ex. Buff. 
leucogastra, Bodd. Tabl. PL en. 57, 1788 /P. E. 973. 
fusca, Vieill apud Pelzn. Reise Novara. 15 b', nee Vie ill. 
sula et fiber, Lin apud Auct. nee Lin. 

There is no detailed description of this species which has'its 
origin in Buffon's, P. E. 973, and his brief accompanying 
remarks : — " This is the smallest of this genus that we know. 
Length, scarcely 19| inches; throat, stomach, and belly white ; 
the rest of the plumage blackish ; sent to us from Cayenne." 

On which Gmelin says: — u Black" (instead of blackish), 
beneath white (again inaccurate), face feathered (whereas the 
plate distinctly shows that the space round the eye is bare.) 
Latham follows Buffon accurately, but forgets that 18 French 
are not 18 English inches. Stephens makes the same mistake 
and repeats Gmelin's error (corrected by Latham) of the space 
round the eye not being bare. 

Nothing further seems to have been established about this 
species. The original figure shows that it was an adult, with 
very pale yellow, bill, naked skin of head and throat, legs 
and feet. 

If this stood alone I should have had less hesitation in follow- 
ing the received practice of uniting this with the larger brown 
Booby, »ula, Lin. australis Steph. But in the Reise Novara I 
find that Von Pelzeln seems to have obtained from near Rio 
Janeiro, what looks like a male of this species (Buffon's bird 
may have been a female.) 

He says, " a male, total length, 21 ; expanse, 58'06." These 
dimensions apparently recorded in the flesh by Zelebor ; rt iris 
greyish white ; feet light fleshy grey." 

This small species I should guess to pertain to the coasts of 
South America, but to occur also elsewhere in the Atlantic. 


I cannot claim to have famished much original information 
in regard to this genus, but I think I have said sufficient 
to show how much it is in need of careful revision by modern 
ornithologists to whom the museums of Europe are open. 

I have^ little doubts myself that a critical investigation of 
bills, feet, tails, proportions of primaries, and the like when 
taken along with such reliable records as exist of colours of soft 
parts in life, and localities where specimens were obtained, 
will demonstrate the existence of at least twelve separable 
species, and greatly restrict the areas of distribution of several 
of the few species now usually admitted. — A. 0. H. 

gbbitional ftotcs on *fe litis of Stnty. 

By Captain E. A. Butler. 

Species lately noticed in Sindh by myself and not apparently 
as yet recorded from that province. 

5.— Gyps bengalensis, Gmel 

I have observed the White-Backed Vulture on several occasions 
in the neighbourhood of Kurrachee, and there is a skin of a 
bird in the Frere Hall Museum that was shot in Sindh. 

353.— Orocetes cinclorhynchus, Vigors. 

I observed a Blue- Headed Chat Thrush in Kurrachee on the 
9th March this year, sitting upon a low wall near the Infantry 
Barrack. It was not at all wild, and remained near the same 
spot for about ten days, during which period I saw it on several 
occasions, but never when I had a gun with me. It was 
evidently passing through in course of migration. 

475.— Copsychus saularis, Lin. 

I have noticed the Magpie Robin occasionally during the hot 
weather in the Lyarree Gardens about two miles from Kurrachee. 
I wonder if they breed here ? 

722.— Euspiza luteola, Sparrm. 

I noticed a few pairs of the Red-Headed Bunting this year 
(1877), at Kurrachee towards the end of March, amongst some 
low scrubby bushes on the maidan between the Camp and Clif- 
ton. They were evidently migrating, as there is no cultivated 


ground within miles of the place where they were, and they 
only remained for a few days. 

272 .— Mergus castor, Lin. 

There is a fine specimen, a ? , of this species in the Frere Hall 
Museum, shot by Captain Bishop at the Manorah Point off the 
Kurrachec Harbour, and another specimen has just been captur- 
ed at the same place, now at the end of June. 

[694.— Ploceus baya, Blyth. 

A specimen sent me from Col. Haig, caught in the Kurra- 
chee Collectorate, clearly belongs to this species, and not to 
either manyar or bengalensis. — A. 0. H.] 

987 l is.— Sterna albigena, Licht. 

This Tern, already recorded from the Laccadives by Mr. 
Hume, and from Bombay by the Marquis of Tweeddale, is com- 
mon in the Kurrachee Harbour all along the Mekran Coast, 
and in the Persian Gulf, at any rate during the latter part 
of the spring and during the summer. Whether they occur 
during the cold season I cannot yet say. Mr. Hume did not 
notice them in March. 

[I have already (S. F., IV., p. 467-9) described and furnished 
dimensions of two males of this species killed on the 13th of 
February at the Cherbaniani Reef. 

The following are the dimensions of females killed by Captain 
Butler at Kurrachee on the 12th and 14th of April : — 
L. Ex. T. W. 







B. at fr. 

B. fr. , 

from margin 

of feathers. 







587 9-25 

5-25 9-37 

362 1012 

The first two specimens are coming into breeding plumao-e 
and have the entire breast, abdomen, and sides, a sort of pale 
smoky lead colour, only slightly mottled here and there with 
greyish white, and the throat aud sides of neck white, mottled 
with dusky grey. 

They had the irides blackish brown ; the bill blackish, lake-red 
towards the base of both mandibles ; the legs and feet brio-lit red. 

The heads and upper surface, as already described in the 
February specimens, so that they are still far removed from the 
full breeding plumage described, vol. cit., 469. 

The third is a young bird pure white underneath ; all the 
coverts along the ulna brown, and with the winglet and prima- 
ries browner and duller than in adults in even winter plumage. 


The whole upper back is white, and the mantle a paler and less 
pure grey than in the adult. — A. 0. H.] 

988.— Sterna minuta,* Lin. 

This Ternlet is common at the same seasons as the preceding 
in the Kurrachee Harbour and along the Mekran Coast. In 
this case also I do not know whether the bird occurs also in the 
winter ; at any rate Mr. Hume did not notice it. I found numerous 
nests on the bare maidan between Kurrachee and Clifton in 
May and June, collecting in all about 40 eggs, and subjoin a 
note from my nesting memoranda referring to its breeding 
habits : — 

"Kurrachee, 6t/i May 1877. — Noticed several of these Terns 
(S. minuta) flying backwards and forwards over the maidan 
between the Camp and Clifton. As they had only just arrived, 
and as they appeared much devoted to the spot and bent on 
matrimonial pursuits, I got out of my trap and commenced a 
search for eggs. The soil was slightly damp from the effects 
of tidal inundations, with here and there patches of hard, dry, 
incrustated ground covered with saline efflorescence, ana in 
these patches the nests, consisting of a slight depression in the 
ground scratched out by the old birds, were situated. I also 
found nests on ground cut up by Artillery Gnn Carriages, the 
eggs being deposited in the wheel ruts and in the horse's foot- 

The description in " Nests and Eggs/' Pt. III., p. 655, 
answers well to the eggs I procured, viz., pale drab with, in some 
eggs, a faint greenish tinge or greyish stone color with primary 
streaks, blotches, and spots of deep brown and secondary clouds 
and spots of pale inky lilac. The markings vary considerably 
in extent and intensity, some eggs being boldly and numerously 
marked, whilst others are marked only faintly and sparingly. 
None of the nests I examined contained more than two eggs, 
which seems to be contrary to Mr. Hume's experience, and I 
may also observe that the birds in this neighbourhood feed ex- 
clusively in salt water, being common all over the harbour and 
in the salt marshes adjoining." 

[The birds sent by Captain Butler do not belong to the same 
race as that whose nidification 1 described, and are certainly not 
minuta unless we agree to unite all the races of little Terns 
under oue name. 

I am by no means sure that this will not be found hereafter 
to be the proper course. The subject is one that I shall discuss 
at length in a separate paper on our Indian Larida, but in the 
meantime it may be as well to note, for the information of my 

* 988 ter. — Sterna Saundersi, nobis, vide infra. 


Indian readers, that, excluding S. nereis of Gould, which has 
even in the adult no black lores, but only a dark spot in front 
of the eye, five species of little Tern are admitted by Mr. 
Saunders, the latest writer on the subject. 
The distinctions on which Mr. Saunders relies to separate 

these supposed species are, so far as I have been able to seize 

them, abstracted in the subjoined table : — 

Name Shafts of outer Bump, tail-coverts, 

primaries. and tail. Bill. 

S. minuta. L. Dark ... White; ... Yellow, black at tip 

S. antillaruin, Less. Dark ... Rump and tail coverts Ditto, but more slen- 

pale grey like der and little black 

mantle. a t tip. 

S. superciliary, Vieill. ? ... Back, rump, and tail Stout as in minuta, 

darker than in the no black. 

S. sinensis, Gmel. ... White ... White, often a grey As in minuta, but per- 

shade in non breed- haps stouter. 

ing plumage. 
S. sumatrana, Baffl. Black ... Grey as in back ... More slender than in 


As regards the last, I must dissent to this application of 
Raffles' name. Bad as his description is, and he was probably 
dealing with au immature bird, " the prevailing color white 
and tail like back," and the words u a blackish crescent exteuds 
from eye to eye, round the back of the head" to mv mind fix 
the species as identical with melanauohen, Tern., the 
commonest Tern at the Andamans, Nicobars, the Straits and on 
the coasts of Sumatra. 

The other name given by Mr. Saunders for this species 
pusilla of Miiller, seems to be quite indeterminable. 

If the race is to stand as a species, it had better stand as 
S. Saundersi, that gentleman being practically, it seems to me 
its discoverer. 

There is no mistake as to the race; to it belong all the Kur- 
rachee specimens sent by Capt. Butler, and all my Laccadivc 
specimens, to it belong some Ceylon specimens and a Madras 
specimen aud a nestling from Phillor on the Sutlege. 

It has a trifle less deep bill than minuta (European) ; it has 
the shafts of the first three primaries (at least) black (the first occa- 
sionally in non-breeding plumage rather brown) ; and the entire 
rump, upper tail-coverts, and tail, (except the longest and external 
feather on either side, which is pure white) grey, unicolorous 
with the back. 

Note that this grey varies in shade according to season, beiu in- 
considerably darker in the freshly-moulted bird. 

It has in the breeding season more black on the tips of the 
mandibles than minuta ; but the most conspicuous difference 



is one not noticed by Mr. Saunders, and that is that, where- 
as in breeding plumage minuta appears to have always two dark 
primaries and true sinensis only one, Saundersi has at least 

But, if we are to make species on these grounds, we cannot 
stop here. The Common Tern of Upper India is not truly 
identical with minuta of Europe. It is very similar in size 
and colour ; it has two and only two dark first primaries, but the 
rump is greyer than in minuta ; the bill in breeding season has 
the merest specs at the tips of the mandibles, and the shaft of 
the first primary is white, or brownish white, and not as in 
minuta the same or almost the same dusky brown as that of 
the second. 

Mr. Gould has always doubted the identity of the commoner 
Indian and European Lesser Terns, and the former, as above 
defined, if separated, should stand as S. Gouldi. 

But this will not exhaust our Indian forms. There are 
birds like the preceding and with two dark primaries, but 
with the shafts of both white, aud with no black at all even on 
the extreme tip of the bill, and with the upper tail-coverts, as 
well as the rump, and sometimes the central tail feathers, grey 
aud this not in immature birds, but in males shot over the eggs 
in the Ganges at the end of April. 

And I fear that there are a good many other changes to be 
rung, and pending the review of the series from various parts 
of India now coming in, I must say I feel doubtful how far 
these small differences will prove constant, and whether a still 
more comprehensive review than / shall ever be able to make 
will not eventually lead to the union of all these forms under 
the one name minuta. — A. O. H.] 

There are two more birds to which I wish to draw attention, 
though I cannot enter them in the list at present, as unfor- 

* The following is a detailed description of Sterna Saundersi, snared on eggs, 
at Kurraehee, 10th May 1877. 

Length, 9'12 ; expanse, 1925 ; tail, 3'0 ; wing, 613 ; bill at front, 112 ; from gape, 
1'5 ; tarsus, - 6. 

Legs and feet dusky yellowish olive ; bill yellow, broadly tipped dusky ; irides 
blackish brown. 

A triangular frontal patch, the angles reaching to within - 12 of the eyes, white ; 
a very broad stripe through the lores to the eye black ; a narrow white line intervenes 
between this stripe and the upper mandible. 

The whole crown, occiput aud short full occipital crest and sides of occiput as low as 
the lower margin of the eye, velvet black ; the central 2/3rds of the lower eyelid 
white, and no black below this ; all the rest of the sides of head and neck, chin, throat, 
entire under parts, wing-lining and exterior tail feather, pure white. 

The first three primaries black with black shafts and broad white margins to inner 
webs ; their greater coverts dusky black. 

The whole of the rest of the upper surface, including wings and tail, and excepting 
parts and feathers, already described, a most delicate satin grey, contrasting in tUo 
strongest manner with the early black primaries. — A- O. H. 


tunately I have not yet procured specimens. The first is a Tern 
that occurs on the Hubb river and on the Indus, described to 
me by several persons who have seen it as a bird with a beautiful 
rosy breast. I have no doubt whatever that it is 

985 bis, —Sterna dougalli, hut time must prove the 
fact, as I have not yet seen a specimen of the bird alluded to. 

The second is Jrcna puella, Lath. There is a specimen of the 
Fairy Blue Bird ( $ ) in the Frere Hall collection at Kurracheo 
Labelled Sehwan, and as Mr. Murray, Curator of the Museum, 
assures me positively that it was shot in that neighbourhood, I 
think it right to mention the fact, although I cannot vouch 
personally for the authenticity of its occurrence in that locality, 
which must, to say the least, be altogether abnormal, — Sindh 
being alike, geographically and climatically, outside the range of 
this species. 

With reference to the remarks under the head of Cocci/stes 
jacobinus, ante, Vol I., p. 173, I may mention that the Pied- 
crested Cuckoo arrives in Sindh about the same time that it does 
in Guzerat, viz., about the last week in May, leaving again 
after the breeding season about the middle of October. It is 
common enough now (June 28th) in the gardens on the 
Lyarree river referred to by Mr. James, and surely must occur 
in other parts of Sind as well ! 

Strange to say, although I have always been on the look-out 
for Pyrrhulauda melanaucheu, especially in the neighbourhood 
of Kurrachee since the announcement of its occurrence in Sind, 
S. F., Vol. I , p. 212, and since Mr. Blanford directed my atten- 
tion to the species in a conversation I had witji him last cold 
weather, I have never yet met with a siugle specimen. It must 
therefore, I fancy, be a very uncommon bird, or else a mere 
seasonal visitaut. P. grisea is common everywhere in the 
neighbourhood of Kurrachee. 

An Alaudula* which I believe to be raytal, is very common 
at Kurrachee ; but, as it may prove to be adamsi, I have not 
included it in this list. 

Mr. Hume appears not to have met with Cursorius coroman- 
deliciis when he visited Sind; but Mr. James has procured speci- 
mens for him since. It is not rare in the neighbourhood of 

* This is unmistakably A. adamsi, with the much shorter and stouter bill, a perma- 
nent resident on the banks of the Indus and all its affluents, and occurring occasionally 
on the Jumna, the westernmost of the Himalayan born affluents of the Ganges, as 
low as Dehli, where one specimen now in my Museum was shot by Capt. Bingham. 
Quite distiuct alike from A. raj/tal, a permanent resident of the Ganges, the Brahma- 
pootra and Irrawady, and their affluents, and from the two migratory forms of 
pispoletta. — Ed., S. F. 


Kurrachee, and breeds on the open maidans during 1 the hot 
weather, at which season I observed several pairs (one pair with 
young- ones on the 6th June) that were evidently breeding, but I 
found no eggs. 

Mr. James also adds Dendrocygna major to Mr. Hume's list, 
and I may mention that a few live specimens were sent to 
Kurrachee this year from the Muuchur Lake and preserved for 
the " Frere Hall" Museum, where they are now to be seen. 

E. A. B. 

Resume of recent gbbtttons to % ^inbl] guttata. 

So many additional notes on the Avifauna of Sindh have 
appeared since I published my first account, (I. 148.) that it 
may save ornithologists, especially those now working in Sindh, 
a good deal of trouble in hunting out references if I publish a 
resume of all these additions, 54 in number. My first list re- 
corded 280 species (including Sturnus minor, of which Blanford 
has since obtained many specimens), making a total up to date 
of 334, or only 16 short of the total which I predicted (III, 378) 
for the province. 

Of the additions many have only occurred in the Thur and 
Pakhur and the country east of the Indus which I was unable to 
visit. Others only occur at seasons other than that in which I 
travelled in Sindh, and of several of these (e. g. Aedon familiaris, 
Sylvia cinerea) I predicted the occurrence long before they were 

Out of the whole 54 additions there are not 20 that I could 
have obtained in the tracts I traversed at the time I visited 
them, and I think that to get 280 out of 300 species in a seven 
week's hurried tour was not so bad after all. 

The following is the complete list of addenda, Avith the names 
of those who added them, and a reference to the vol. and page 
of Stray Feathers where they were first notified : — 
1. — Vultur monaehus, Blanford, V. 245. 
2. — Otog}'ps calvus, Blanford, V. 245. 
5.— Gyps bengalensis, Butler, V. 322 ; Blanford, V. 245. 

39. — Spilornis cheela, Blanford, V. 245. 

68. — Asio accipitrinus, Blanford, V. 245. 

72. — Ketupa ceylonensis, Blanford, V. 245. 

74 Sept. — Scops brucei, Blanford, V. 245. 

87. — Cotyle riparia, Blanford, IV. 507. 

98.— Cypselus melba, Blanford, V. 245. 


112.— Caprimulgus asiaticus, James, I. 419. 

160. — Picas mahrattensisj Blanford, V. 245. 

197.— -Xantbolaema haemacephala, Blanford, V. 245. 

222.— Taccocua affinis, Blanford, V. 245. 

269 quat. — Hypocolius ampelinus, Blanford, III. 858. 

299 bis.— Butalis grisola, Hume, IV. 225. 

353. — Orocsetes cinclorbyncbus, Butler, V. 322. 

386 bis.— Pyctorbis altirostris, * Blanford, V. 245. 

439. — Chatarrbaea earlii, James, I. 420. 

462. — Pycuonotus pusillus, Blanford, V. 246. 

475. — Copsycbus saularis, Butler, V. 322. 

488. — Saxicola opistholeuea, Blanford, V. 246. 

490.— Saxieola morio, Blanford, V. 246. 

492 ter. — iEdon familiaris, Blanford, V. 246. 

516. — Acrocephalus duinetorum, Blanford, V. 246. 

539. — Cisticola scboenicola, James, I. 420. 

559. — Phylloscopus nitidus, Blanford, V. 246. 

582 bis.— Sylva cinerea (rufa), Blanford, V. 246. 

591. — Motacilla personata, Blanford, V. 246. 

593 ter.— Budytes flavus, Blanford, V. 246. 

694. — Ploceus bay a, Hume, V. 323. 

711 — Gymnoris flavicollis, James, I. 420. 

716. — Emberiza buttoni, Blanford,Y. 246. 

716 bis. — Fringillaria striolata, James, T. 420. 

718. — Emberiza stewarti, Blanford, V. 246. 

721. — Euspiza melanocepbala, James, I. 420. 

722.— Euspiza luteola, Blanford, V. 246 ; Butler, V. 322. 

756.— Mirafra erytbroptera, Blanford, V. 246. 

761 ter. — Melanocorypba bimaculata, Blanford, V. 246. 

767. — Alauda gulgula, James, I. 420. 

834. — Turnix jodera, LeMessurier, IV. 225. 

840. — Cursorius coromandelicus, James, I. 421. 

842 bis. — Glareola pratincola, Blanford, IV. 507. 

? 845 bis. — Cbaradrius pluvialis, Blanford, V. 247. 

856. — Lobipluvia malabarica, LeMessurier III. 418. 

870. — Gallinago stenura, LeMessurier, III. 380. 

878. — Numeuius pbaaopus, LeMessurier, III. 381. 

891.— Totanus glareola, James, I. 421. 

? 904.— Gallicrex cristatus, Blanford, V. 247. 

910. — Porzana pygmasa, Blanford, V. 247. 

953. — Deudrocygna fulva (major), James, I. 421. 

972.— Mergus castor, Butler, V. 323. 

?985 bis— Sterna dougalli, Butler ,V. 327. 

987 bis.— Sterna albigena, Butler, V. 323. 

988 ter. — Sterna saundersi, Butler, V. 324. 

* I consider thia a distinct species, P. griseognlaris, V ., 116. 


It will be noted that I Jo not as yet include Irena puella re- 
ferred to by Captain Butler, V. 327. If a specimen of this species 
lias really ever occurred in Sindh in an apparently feral state, it 
must I think have been an escaped prisoner. Irenas are not 
easy to keep alive in captivity, but natives at times manage to 
keep a pair (single birds always die I think) and prize them 
highly.— A. 0. H. 

Reguloides viridipennis, Blyth. 

Mr. Seebohm, in his recent admirable monograph of the 
Phylloscopi (Ibis, 1877, p. 83), thus describes Blyth's R. viri- 
dipennis : — 

11 Bill, large ; under mandible, pale. 

Upper parts, 3-ellowish olive-green ; wing and tail, greyish 
brown, with the outside edge of each feather broadly margined 
with yellowish green; superciliary streak pale yellow. 

Head, darker-coloured than the back, with a pale mesial line ; 
underparts, yellowish white, greyer on the breast and flanks. 

Axillaries aud wing-lining, bright yellow. 

Fourth and fifth primaries longest ; third and sixth rather 
shorter; seventh, eighth, and ninth each considerably shorter 
than the preceding; second primary about equal to the ninth. 

Exposed part of bastard primary *5 to '65. 

Two distinct wing bars. 

Length of wing — male — 2*4 to 2-25 ; female 225 to 21. 

Length of tail — male — 1*9 to 1*8 ; female 1*8 to 1*7. 

Legs aud claws brown.''' 

Mr. Blyth's original description (J. A. S. B., 1855, XXIV, 
p. 275), is as follows : — 

" Phylloscopus viridipennts, nobis, n. s. A fourth spe- 
cies of the Reguloides sub-groub (J. A. S., XXIII, p. 487), 
and most nearly resembling Ph. chloronotus ; * but readily 
distinguished from that species by having the rump 
uniformly coloured with the back, also by having a longer and 
differently coloured bill, and legs of much darker hue. From 
Ph. proregulus f (Regidus modestus, Gould), it is distin- 
guished by its inferior size and much brighter colouring, the 
mesial coronal streak being as much developed as iu Ph. chlo- 
ronotus, and of a purer yellowish-white contrasting with a 
blacker shade of dusky : edge of wing considerably brighter 
yellow than in the others ; the wing-band and also the tibial 

* Blyth here really intends, R. proregulus, Pall. In those days there was a con- 
fusion about these species. — Ed., S. F. 
f Mr. Blyth here refers E. superciUiosus, Gm.— Ed., S. P. 


plumes tolerably bright yellow, the latter constituting another 
good distinction : but a further and more conspicuous distinc- 
tion consists in the wing beyond its coverts being uniformly 
green, without a trace of the PtEGULUS-like variegation seen in 
Ph. proregulus, and less conspicuously in Ph. chloronotus : 
there is no dusky patch posterior to the coverts, nor whitish 
tip or border to any of the great alars ; but the secondaries 
are broadly margined with tolerably bright green, and the 
tertiaries are merely of a duller green throughout, brightening 
on their outer edge, and are not dusky and contrasting (as in 
the other species). In brief, Ph. viridipennis may be des- 
cribed to have the upper-parts vivid olive-green, brightest on 
the margins of the wing and tail feathers ; lower parts albes- 
cent, tinged with yellow ; crown dusky mixed with green, with 
bright yellowish- white supercilia and coronal streak continued 
over the occiput ; the supercilia more yellowish anteriorly ; a 
broad pale yellow wing-band formed by the tips of the great 
coverts of the secondaries ; and the smaller range of wing- 
coverts slightly tipped with yellowish; tibial plumes bright 
yellowish; the margin of the wing pure canary-yellow ; upper 
mandible wanting in the specimen, but the lower is wholly 
yellow ; legs infuscated brownish. Length, about 4 inches ; of 
which tail, If inch; wing 2 inch; having the short first 
primary T P F inch ; the second | inch longer than the first, and 
f inch shorter than the longest primaries ; bill to gape ^ inch, 
and tarsi f inch." 

We have recently obtained several beautiful specimens of 
the true viridipennis, Blyth, from Mooleyit, where also Mr. 
Davison found the bird breeding, and took the nest and eggs, 
and I cannot help believing that a larger and distinct species 
Las been confounded with Mr. Blyth's, and that it is this larger 
and as yet unnamed species which Mr. Seebohm has described. 

In the first place, the dimensions given by Mr. Seebohm are 
far too large. In the Mooleyit birds the wings of the male 
measure 2'0; of the female 1'9 . In the second place Mr. Seebohm 
omits one of the leading characteristics of the Mooleyit birds, 
viz., that the whole of the inner web of the outer-tail feathers 
and a portion of that of the next feathers are white. 

Seeing the great care with which Mr. Seebohm's descriptions 
have been prepared, and looking to the fact that he has not 
overlooked the similar peculiarly in erochrous, presbytis, fyc, 
I cannot believe that had he had the true viridipennis before 
him, he would have omitted to notice this peculiarity. 

In many respects our bird approaches prcsbyds of Miillcr, 
but it has two distinct wing bands, though the upper one is at 
times broken and obscured. 


I will endeavour to describe our bird according to Mr. 
Seebohm's own formula. 

Bill, large ; under mandible, pale. 

Upper parts, rather bright olive green ; wings and tail, hair 
brown, the outside web of each feather broadly margined with 
olive green ; entire inner web of outer tail-feather, pure white ; 
more or less of that of the next succeeding feather also white ; 
inner webs of quills, except the bastard primary, margined 
white, the earlier ones at their bases only, the later ones almost 
to their tips ; superciliary streak from nostrils to nape pale 
yellow ; a large conspicuous dusky green spot behind the eye, 
continued as an indistinct lino under the prolongation of the 

Head very much darker colored than the back, almost black 
on the sides of the occiput, with a conspicuous broad very pale 
yellow mesial Hue. 

Under parts yellowish white, greyer on the breast and 
flanks j edge of the wing pale yellow ; wing-lining and axillaries 
white with a faint primrose tinge ; lower tail-coverts similar. 

Fourth and fifth primaries longest ; sixth sometimes shorter 
sometimes equal, in one Specimen a shade longer; third 0'05 
to O07 shorter; second 0*3 to 035 shorter, and equal to or 
shorter than the tenth. 

Bastard primary rather narrow ; exposed portion 05 to 0'55. 
Two distinct wing bars. 
Length of wing — male — 2"0 ; female 1*9. 
Length of tail — male — 1*63 ; female 1'59. 
Legs and feet (in skin) dusky ; claws rather paler. 
Now I think it will be admitted that this is not the bird 
described by Mr. Seebohm as viridipennis ; on the other 
hand this is the one Reguloides common on the upper parts of 
Mooleyit, and which breeds there, and there can therefore, I 
believe, be extremely little doubt, that it is the true viridipennis. 
The larger species described by Mr. Seebohm will, if distinct, 
require a new name. I shall not, however, propose any new 
name for it, because as I apprehend the bird described as viridi- 
pennis by Mr. Seebohm is the bird that Mr. Brooks and I 
have hitherto considered to be viridipennis, and in regard to 
which, I have always found an extreme difficulty in separat- 
ing large examples of it from small bright-colored ones of 

No doubt Mr. Seebohm has laid down a diagnosis between 
the two, based on a small difference in the proportions of the 
primaries ; but quite recently, on examining a large series of 
this group, I have had reason to fear that in the case of many 
of these species Mr. Seebohm's diagnoses, though extremely 


correct for a considerable proportion of the specimens, do not 
bold invariably good. In fact that, in most species, at any 
rate, slight variations in the proportional length of the 2nd 
and later primaries occur. 

Anyhow the distinctness from trochiloides of the form which 
Mr. Seebohm has described under Blyth's name of viridipennis 
is to me so far a matter of doubt that I should prefer to leave it 
to him to assign to it, if necessary, a new name. All I feel con- 
fident of is that his bird is not, and that the bird I have above 
described is the true Mooleyit viridipennis. 

Naturally the consideration arises how could Blyth have 
overlooked the white on the tail feathers. Doubtless it is 
inconspicuous in some specimens on the penultimate feathers, 
but it is invariably conspicuous on the outer ones. My belief 
is that in Blyth's specimen, which was manifestly a poor one, 
the entire upper mandible being wanting, the outer tail feathers 
also were missing. One of our females, shot off the nest, has 
lost both outer feathers on one side, aud nearly half the outer 
one on the other. 

It was on the 2nd of February, just at the foot of the final 
cone of Mooleyit, at an elevation of over 6,000 feet that Mr. 
Davison came upon the nest of this species. He says : — 

el In a deep ravine close below the summit of Mooleyit I 
found a nest of this Reguloides. It was placed in a mass of 
creepers growing over the face of a rock about seven feet from 
the ground. It was only partially screened, and I easily 
detected it on the bird leaving it. I was very much astonished 
at finding a nest of Reguloides in Burmah, so I determined to 
make positively certain of the owner. I marked the place, and 
after a short time returned very quietly. I got within a couple 
of feet of the nest ; the bird sat still, and I watched her for 
some time, the markings on the top of the head were very con- 
spicuous. On my attempting to go closer the bird flew off, 
and settled on a small branch a few feet off. I moved back a 
short distance and shot her, using a very small charge. 

" The nest was a globular structure, with the roof slightly 
projecting over the entrance. It was composed externally 
chiefly of moss, intermingled with dried leaves and fibres, the 
egg cavity was warmly and thickly lined with a felt of pappus. 

" The external diameter of the nest was about 4 inches ; the 
egg cavity one inch at the entrance, and 2 inches deep. 

The nest contained 3 small pure white eggs." 

A. 0. H. 

s 18 


Pellorneum ignotum, Sp. Nov. 

Like P. Tickelli, but markedly smaller, and chin, throat and upper breast 
pure white and no fulvous on lower surface; wing, 225. 

There is a small very typical and dull colored Pellorneum, 
apparently common about Dollah, near Suddya, at the extreme 
eastern end of the Assam valley, which does not appear to have 
been as yet described. 

My specimens are extremely indifferent ones, but bills, legs, 
feet, and one wing in one specimen are intact, so that there is 
no doubt, I think, as to the genus to which they should be 
referred, though the tails are imperfect. So much of these as 
remains agrees with that of Pellorneum. 
Dimensions, (in the flesh) : — 

<j. Length, 5*7; expanse, 7*5 • wing, 2*25; tail, 2*15 ; 
tarsus, 0'9 ; bill, straight from forehead, 0'6. 

In the skins, the upper mandible is blackish brown, the lower 
horny white. The legs, feet, and claws are pale horny yellow. 

The entire upper surface is a deep rather rufescent olive 
brown, much as in Pellorneum Tickelli, rather more decidedly 
rufescent on the tail and outer webs of the quills. 

The chin, throat, upper breast and centre of lower breast and 
upper abdomen are white without any fulvous tinge. 

The sides of the neck are like the back, but rather paler ; the 
sides, flanks, lower abdomen, vent and lower tail-coverts similar, 
but more and more rusty towards the lower tail-coverts. 
The wing lining is dull white. 
The inner webs of the quills are hair brown. 
The lores are pale — in one pale yellowish, in another pale 
greyish, brown. The ear-coverts are duller, perhaps a shade 
greyer than the cheeks and sides of the neck > and are faintly 
paler shafted. 

The bill, wings, and feet are typical; of the tails, T must speak 
with some hesitation, as they are imperfect in my specimens, 
which generally are so indifferent that, were the species not 
very distinct from all that are known to me, I should have 
hesitated to describe it from them. 


Phylloscopus Seebohmi, Sp. Nov. 

Bill moderately large— pale underneath ; no wing bar ; first primary of 
moderate breadth ; exposed portion, 058 ; 3rd and Wi primaries 
longest— 2nd betioeen 6th and 7th; wing in ? , 2-1 ; tail, 185 

The small size, coarse bill, very pale beneath, and entir e 
absence of any trace of a wing bar seem to distinguish this 
species at once. 

Thanks to Mr. Seebohm, after whom I have named it, I have 
had no difficulty in deciding that it must be undescribed or, at 
any rate, unknown to him, which, after the labour and research 
he has devoted to the Willow Warblers,* may prima facie be 
assumed to be the same thing. 

In size and general appearance this supposed new species 
most resembles plumbeitarsus, and appears to have had bluish 
white tarsi ; but the coloration is slightly different, as are 
the proportions of the primaries, and there is absolutely no 
wing bar. 

I have only one specimen, a female, killed at Tavoy in 
March, but this, except that the extreme tip of the bill has been 
shot off, is a singula?^ good specimen. 

I shall follow Mr. Seebohm in my description :— 
Bill, large ; under mandible pale yellowish white ; upper 
mandible, rather pale brown. 

Upper parts brown, with in places a faint olivaceous tinge ; 
rump, pale dull olive green ; upper back, paler, greyer, contrast- 
ing with darker brown of head and nape. Wings and tail, pale 
hair brown ; the quills just tinged on the margins of outer webs 
with dull olive green. A conspicuous dull white supercilium 
from nostrils to nape ; a broad brown stripe through lores and 
post occular region ; ear-coverts, brownish white. 

Head, much darker than upper back, about the same as 
middle of back. 

Under parts, white, sullied with a greyish brown tinge ; flank 
feathers (some), lower tail coverts, and wing liuiug, purer 
white ; a faint yellow tinge along the edge of the wing. 

Third and 4th primaries longest ; 5th decidedly shorter ; 
6th and 7th each successively shorter; 2nd primary a little 
shorter than the 6lh. 

Bastard primary of moderate breadth, 0*11 ; length of exposed 
portion 058. 
No wing bar. 

* Vide his monograph of the Phylloscnpi, Ibis, 1877. 


Length of wing, female, 2*1 . 
Length of tail, female, 1'85. 

Tarsi, very slender, apparently pale bluish fleshy ; feet, dingy 

This is a true Phylloscopus, typical in all details aud not in 
any way approaching the Horeites group, with their rounded 
tails and wings, huge first primary and lax, silky under 

The bird, referred to by Mr. ISeebohm, Ibis, 1877, 75, as like 
Phylloscopus tenellipes, viz., Phylloscopus pallidipes , Blanford, 
is, as Mr. Brooks long ago pointed out, a veritable Horeites, 
and independent of structural differences, which are very 
marked, is altogether differently colored to tenellipes, when the 
birds are laid side by side. 

I notice that Mr. Seebohm says of P. tenellipes that the 
only skins he has ever seen or heard of are two in Mr. Swin- 
hoe's collection. 

I have several, collected by Davison, in various parts of 
Tenasserim. Dr. Armstrong obtained one at Amherst. Mr. 
Gates' shikarees whom he sent down to Malewoon, a splendid 
collecting locality which Davison was the first to work, ob- 
tained two or three specimens. 

We have had this species for years ; and both Mr. Brooks 
and myself have, I find, separately noted on the covers of 
different specimens that the bird was unknown, and required 
description; but it was not until I received Mr. Brooks' valuable 
paper, S. F., IV., p. 276, that I identified the species, an identi- 
fication which Mr. Seebohm's exhaustive diagnosis has entirely 

Another allied species has lately turned up, viz., Reguloides 
coronala, T. and S. Mr. Oates first sent me specimens to name, 
obtained by his shikarees at Malewoon. But immediately 
afterwards Davison sent others obtained about the same time at 

The characteristic point about this species is, as stated by 
Mr. Brooks, S. F., IV., p. 275, the pale yellow lower tail- 

Of the 33 known species of Phylloscopi (including in this 
genus as Mr. Seebohm does as sub-genera, Acanthopneuste, 
Phylloscopus, and Reguloides ,) all, but eight, are now known 
to occur within our limits, viz. xanthodryas, presbytis, umbro- 
virens, sibilatvix, trochilus, gatkei, bonellii and collybita (rufa), 
:md the first of these will most probably yet be found in 


Chatorhea eclipes, Sp. Nov. 

Like C. caudata, but much larger ; the upper surface darker and more 
strongly striated ; tail more strongly banded ; feathers of breast and 
sides dark shafted. 

In the Punjab, Trans-Indus and the lower valleys of the 
surrounding' hills, occurs a very well-marked and distinct race 
of our common Chatorhea caudata — in my opinion far more en- 
titled to specific distinction than is C. huttoni, Blyth. 

This latter species was separated, J. A. S. B., XVI., 476, 
1847, in the following terms : — 

a Merely differs from M. caudatus in its larger size and the 
general paler hue of its upper parts. 

Length of wing 3' 5 ; and of middle tail feathers above 5*0. 
From Candahar/' 

Mr. Blanford, in his Zoology of Persia, figured this species, 
(PI. XIII., f. 1.; and remarked (p. 204) :— 

" C. huttoni differs from the Indian C. caudata, Dum, not 
only in the larger size and conspicuously larger bill and legs, 
but also in its colouration. It is a decidedly greyev bird, with 
narrower and rather paler striation on the head and back. The 
throat is generally pale greyish brown instead of white, and 
the rest of the lower parts are greyer and less fulvous. Speci- 
mens from Mekran are somewhat intermediate in character, 
the throat being whiter and the dimensions a little smaller than 
in the typical C. huttoni, and this is especially the case in the 
specimen which I obtained at Gwadar." 

He also gives dimensions showing : — 

Length, 9-25 to 10*5 ; expanse, 975 to 115; wing, 3*25 to 
3-5 ; tail, 4-25 to 5'0 ; tarsus, 1-15 to 1'25 ; culmen, 0°88 to 1*0. 
The males being, of course, somewhat larger than the females. 

Huttoni is the species I have obtained throughout Khelat. 
Specimens thence received are inseparable from Persian ones, 
with which I have compared them ; but Sindh specimens are 
intermediate, both in size and coloring. 

The present species, a rather small and faded specimen of 
which, as I now believe (I have not the specimen to refer to), 
I figured in Lahore to Yarkand, p. 197, PI. IX., for C. cau- 
data seems to be better separated from this latter than huttoni, 
as I have hitherto failed to obtain intermediate forms. 

The following are the dimensions of an adult female which 
I killed at Peshawar, and the only specimen I have which was 
measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 10-2 ; expanse, 9'8 ; wing, 3-2 ; tail, 5*2 ; tarsus, 
101 ; bill from forehead, 0'88; from gape 1*02. 


Males are larger, the wing in one being 3 '45, the tail, 5 "5. 

The birds are strikingly larger than in caudata — quite as large 
as any huttoni that I have seen from Khelat or Persia ; but 
whereas huttoni runs paler and greyer than caudata, the 
present species runs much darker and warmer colored. 

The bill (in winter) is dusky brown, tinged with fleshy 
yellow towards the base ; the legs and feet are pale horny ; 
the irides brownish red. 

In the freshly-moulted bird killed, say in December, the 
whole upper surface is brown, a purer warmer and less grey 
shade than in caudata, and the dark central stripes of head 
and back are much darker, and on the back broader than in 
that species. The tail, too, is very conspicuously transversely 

The ear-coverts are much darker ; the whole lower surface is 
warmer colored, more fulvous and browner on the flanks ; and all 
the breast-feathers, and those of the sides, have darker central 
shaft stripes. 

Of course birds of the same season must be compared. By 
August the birds are scarcely darker than a December 
caudata ; the greater part of the bill is horny yellow, and the 
striatums of the breast and raying of the tail have wholly, 
or to a great extent, disappeared ; but even at this season 
they are equally darker and warmer colored than caudata in 
the same abraded stage. 

I only know of the occurrence of this species in the N.-W. 
Puujaub in our own territories, Trans-Indus, and the low hills 
and valleys leading into these from Cashmere. 

Cyornis olivacea, Sp. Nov. 

Sexes alike. Upper surface rich rufescent olive, more rufescent on tail. 
Lower surface white, slightly tinged with fulvous on middle and 
olivaceous on sides of breast. Lower mandible black or blackish. 
Wing lining pure white or nearly so. Legs and feet pinkish white. 

In the extreme southern portion of the Tenasserim Provinces 
a Cyornis of the ruficauda group occurs, which appears to me to 
be undescribed. The upper surface is extremely close iu colora- 
tion to that of many females of the Burmese representative 
race of rubeculoides, but it has a much larger bill than that 
species, though smaller than that of magnirostris. The upper 
surface of the females of which is also very like that of our 
present bird. 


The following are dimensions recorded in the flesh of several 
males : — 

Length, 575 to 6 ; expanse, 9-25 to 9-75 ; tail, 2*45 to 2-75 ; 
wing-, 2-82 to 3*0 ; tarsus, 0-75 ; bill from gape, 075 to 0*82. 

Bill black ; iris brown ; legs, feet, and claws pinkish white ; 
we have by some accident no females measured in the flesh. 
A female measured in the skin : — 

Length, 5'5 ; wing, 2*75 ; tail, 225 ; bill from forehead, 0-63. 

The feet are colored as in the male, but the bills are dark 
brown instead of black. 

1 can discover no other difference in the plumage of the 

The entire cap and nape is dark olive ; the back the same 
color with a rusty tinge ; the upper tail-coverts are rather more 
decidedly rufous ; the tail rufescent olive, margined on the outer 
webs, chiefly on the basal halves of the feathers, with a more 
decided ferruginous ; the w 7 ings are hair brown ; all the fea- 
thers margined on their outer webs with the same color as the 
back, and the whole outer webs of the tertiaries of this same 
color; the lores are greyish-white, bounded above by a dark 
line ; the cheeks, ear-coverts and sides of the head are greyish 
olive ; the chin, throat, and lower parts are pure white, tinged 
on the middle of the breast, with pale fulvous, and on the sides 
of the breast and flanks with olive, sometimes mingled with 
pale fulvous ; the wing lining and axillaries are generally 
pure wdiite, in some specimens with a faint creamy or fulvous 

From rujicauda its nearest ally it differs amongst other points 
in the somewhat larger bill, the darker and richer tone of the 
upper plumage, the pure white chin, throat and abdomen, the 
black or blackish under mandible, and the pinkish white feet. In 
ruficauda the legs and feet are dark plumbeous, and the lower 
mandible pale, yellowish at base. 

From Cyornis mandelli it differs in its much longer bill, in 
its dark under mandible, in its white or whitish wing lining, 
in the less rufescent tinge on the back, in the absence of white 
round the eye, in its more powerful legs and feet, &c. 

From female magnirostris it differs in its smaller bill, more 
rufescent tone of upper plumage, white throat, and breast only 
slightly tinged with fulvous. From the female of the Burmese 
race of rabecidoides it differs by its much larger bill, pure 
white chin and throat, and only faintly fulvescent breast ; and 
of course in the matter of the sexes being entirely alike it 
differs from all species of the rubeculoides und hyacinthina types. 


^ccenUmbcscribeb species. 

Pellorneum pectoralis, God.-Aust. 

Head to nape dull dark chestnut ; back, wings, and tail umber- 
brown, the last indistinctly barred and with narrow pale tips, 
the outer primaries edged paler. Lores and frontal feathers 
pale, tipped with pale black, extending as an obscure super- 
cilium to the nape, where the feathers become broadly dingy 
white on their upper web, dark brown on the lower, those on 
the back of the neck are broadly black-centred. The ear- 
coverts are umber-brown, darker behind, forming a crescentic 
margin again bordered lighter. The chin is pure white for 
three-quarters of an inch ; a dark gorget of broadly black- 
centred feathers then crosses the upper breast, the centreing of 
the feathers becoming very large, oblong, and conspicuous on 
the elongate feathers of the sides of the neck, but paler and 
less defined on the flanks. From the gorget all beneath is pale 
rufescent ochre. The under tail-coverts are dark, bordered 
with white. 

Legs pale ochre. Irides vermilion. 

Winer. Tail. Tarsus. Bill at front. 

$ 3-f? 30" M2" 070" 

$ 3-0 3-0 1-0 063 

Hab.— Saddya, Assam (M. J. OgleV 

This species is nearest and closely allied to Pellorneum man- 
dellii, W. Blanford, described from Darjeeling, which is the 
same as Hodgson's P. nipalensis, a MS. name never published. 
It is a larger bird as regards wing, and the legs are more 
robust. The principal difference lies in the far larger extent of 
the dark streaking on the sides of the neck : the dark centred 
feathers are longer and broader than in P. mandellii, the black 
oblong spots being 04 in. by l - 3 in. in this new form as 
against (T"3 by 10, while those on the upper nape are bordered 
with white above ; the top of the head is dark chestnut, opposed 
to a dull rufous umber in the Darjeeling species. Yet the 
greatest departure is in the abrupt termination of the white chin 
succeeded by the ochraceous tint of the rest of the under parts, 
while the black centreings of the feathers are so broad and 
closely distributed as to form a decided dark gorget, whence 
they spread away down the sides of the breast. The feathers 
of the head and nape are more lengthened and fuller than in the 
other species. 


We appear to have in this genus — all near allies :* — 

1. Pellorneum ruficeps,* Swaiuson. 
South Iudia. 

2. Pellorneum Mandelii, W. Blanford. 
Sikim, and the Garo and Khasi Hills. 

3. Pellorneum pectoralis, Gr.-A. 
Eastern Assam. 

4. Pellorneum Tickellii, Blyth. 

P. minor, Hume, S. R, 1873, p. 298 ; from Tenasserim. 

P. subochraceum, Swinhoe, A. M. N. H., 1871, p. 257, also 
from Tenasserim. 

Burmah and Tenasserim. 

t I cannot help thinking that the two last names are only 
synonyms. In the list of Birds from Tenasserim (S. F., 
Vol. II., p. 476;, the very country whence Tickell sent his 
specimens to Blyth, P. minor is recorded as common, hut P. 
Tickellii as not yet obtained. Comparing specimens lately 
received from Tenasserim with the original description and with 
a specimen in the Indian Museum (also from Tenasserim) which 
there is every reason for believing to be one of the original types, 
I can arrive at no other decision but that P. minor and P. 
subochraceum are nothing else than P. Tickellii j nor is it likely 
that two distinct species whose dimensions are so exceedingly 
close are to be found in so limited an area. J. A. S. B., 
XLVL, pt. 2, p. 41, 1877. 

Actinura Oglei, God.- dust. 

Above rich umber-brown with a sienna tinge, strongly rusty 
on the head and nape, the soft feathers of the back and rump are 

* Is given in Blyth's list of the Birds of Burrnah, but I doubt if true P. ruficeps 
is found out of Southern India. — God.-Aust. 

f It is absolutely inexplicable that after Mr. Oates' conclusive note, S. F., IV., 406, 
(the correctness of which numerous specimens now exist to attest,) a good naturalist 
like Major G. Austen should make such a statement as this. 

Then he refers to our first list of the Birds of Tenasserim, showing that we had not 
yet obtained specimens of Tickellii " in the very country whence Tickell sent his speci- 
mens," overlooking the fact that Tenasserim is neariy 600 miles in length, and that 
until quite recently, we had never collected in the locality whence Tickell's specimens 

Lastly, he entirely ignores P. palustre, Jerd., of Caehar, Sylhet and Assam. (S. F., I., 
p. 4). 

As to this present supposed new species I hesitate to accept it. I have both Suddya 
and Darjeeling specimens answering perfectly to Major G. Austen's description and 
dimensions and yet clearly all P. nipalensis, Hodgs. 

This latter is a very variable species, not only in size, (the wings ranging from 2 "5 
to 3), but equally so in colour. It struck me that two of the Suddya birds were more 
rufescent and more strongly marked than nipalensis, and so they proved to be than 
the first few of the latter I took out, but I very soon found others of these, quite 
identical. One Suddya specimen is quite pale and feebly marked and matches the 
Darjeeling birds that I first took out exactly. 

I think therefore that this P. pectoralis is a very doubtful species. — Ed. S. F. 

T 19 


very finely and indistinctly crossed with narrow bars. A well- 
developed frontal band of white having the shafts of its feathers 
black, merges into a well-defined pure white supercilium and 
is continued over the back, ear-coverts and down the side of 
the neck, where the white feathers become bordered with black, 
the supercilium thus terminating in scattered spots. This white 
supercilium is bordered above with black. Lores dark, chin 
pure white, breast grey, flanks and abdomen dull earthy brown. 
Wings and tail rich umber, narrowly barred with black-brown, 
the tail having about 24 such bars. Irides crimson lake; legs 
and feet umber-brown. 

Length about 6" j wing 2-8" ; tail 2*8" ; tarsus 11" ; bill at 
front 0-60". 

The bill, which is stronger and deeper than in any other 
species of the genus, is black above, grey below. 

Hab. — Shot on Manbum Tiki, on the Tenga Pani river, near 
Saddya, at 800 ft. (M. J. Ogle). 

This is another new form for which we have to thank Mr. 
Ogle, after whom I have much pleasure in naming it. It is 
one of the most beautiful and distinct forms of the genus, its 
Avhite chin and superciliary stripe being a most conspicuous 
departure from the type of coloration possessed by the other 

Actinura Oglei, in the coloration of the head and nape, and in 
its white throat, has remarkable affinities for Turdinus gidtatus, 
Tickell, from Tenasserim. This last bird can hardly find a 
place in the genus Turdinus as exemplified by such forms as 
T. brevicaudatus and its allies. In the stout legs and feet it is 
akin to Actinura, and in the form of the nostrils it is also like 
Actinura Oglei. The principal departure to be noted is in the 
absence of barring on the wings and tail, but this is to be dis- 
cerned, though it is indistinct, and is noted by Tickell in his 
original description, when the barring was no doubt more 
apparent than it now is in the faded type specimen in the Indian 
Museum, Calcutta. In A. Oglei this barring, I notice, is far 
less conspicuous than in A. Egertoni, A Waldeni, §c. Alto- 
gether these two birds present a most instructive case of close 
generic relationship. J. A. S. B., XL VI., pt. 2, p. 42, 1877. 

Pomatorhinus stenorhynchus, God.-Aust. 

Desc. — Above pale umber-brown with an ochraceous tinge, 
richer brown on the head, a more umber tint on the tail and 
wings, a narrow pure white supercilium from base of bill over 
the eye to the ear-coverts, but not extending further. Lores 
black, passing under the eye to the ear-coverts, which are grey 


black and bounded posteriorly with rufous brown. Chin and 
upper throat pure white, breast and abdomen pale rufescent, 
flanks and under tail-coverts pale ochraceous brown. 

Bill very long, tapering, curved, and much compressed ; 
bright orange-red. Legs and feet horny grey. 

<? Length abt. 8"; wing 4" ; tail 4-4"; tarsus 1 35" ; bill at front T45" 
? ,,325; „ 39; „ 120; „ 115 

The female is thus very decidedly smaller than the male. 

Hab. — Obtained on Manbum Tilla, on Tenga Pani River, 
near Suddya at 800 ft. (M. J. Ogle). 

This beautiful Pomatorhinus, which with the preceding 
species was discovered during the past cold season, in its very 
slender and narrow bill approaches the Xiphorhamphus form 
more than any other species of this group of Scimitar Bab- 
blers. In its coloration it reminds oue of Pom. ferruginosus.* 

The claw of the inner toe is smaller than the outer, and all 
the claws are rounded off at the tip so as to have a peculiarly 
blunt gouge-like appearance. J. A. S. B., XLVL, pt., 2, 
p. 43, 1877. 

Sitta magna, Wardlaw Ramsay. 

General colour above, dark bluish slate colour; a black stripe, 
a quarter of an inch broad, on either side of the head, running 
from the base of the bill over the eye to the shoulder ; the 
upper part of the head and neck between these stripes smoky 

Wings of much the same colour as the back. Primaries 
and secondaries, dark brown ; more or less edged on the outer 
web with bluish slate. The second, third, and fourth primaries 
are slightly margined with whitish on the outer web, and, with 
the fifth and sixth, are white at the base. Under surface of 
wing, greyish brown, jet-black under the shoulder. 

Tail, with two central tail-feathers, concolorous with the back, 
remainder dark brown, almost black, outer pair broadly tipped 
with white on outer web, and margined with white on inner ; 
next two broadly tipped with white on outer, and grey on 
inner web. 

Under surface of body smoky grey, nearly white about 
throat and neck. 

* It is very much more closely affined to P. ochraceiceps, Wald, S. F., III., p. 282, 
from which, after a careful comparison of Suddya and Tenasserim Hill specimens, I 
decided not to separate it. All that can be said is that in typical specimens the upper 
surface is slightly more olivaceous, than that of ochraceiceps, and that the lower throat, 
breast and middle of abdomen are a faint rufous bulf instead of pure white, and that the 
sides and flanks are more olivaceous and duskier. But the intermediate forms I have 
lead me to doubt the validity of the species. — Ed., S. F. 


Lower tail-coverts, vent, and thighs, brilliant chestnut ; each 
feather of the former broadly tipped with white. 

Dimensions of dry skin (male): — Length, 7*3 inches ; wing, 
45 ; tail, 2'7; bill from gape, 1*3 ; bill at front, 1*0; tarsus, "95 

This Nuthatch is remarkable for its great size as compared 
with other members of the genus. 

In a small collection of birds made in January last in the 
country traversed by the recent Karennee boundary expedi- 
tion.— P. Z. S., 1876, 677. 

Limicola sibirica, Dresser. 

" Having lately had occasion to examine a large series of 
specimens of our Broad-billed Sandpiper, Limicola platyrhyncha 
(Temra.) in order to work out that species for the 'Birds of 
Europe,' I found on examining examples from Siberia and 
China that they differ constantly from our European bird 
in summer dress ; and as I find that there are in the series 
I have examined no intermediate specimens between these two 
forms, I think that the Eastern one, which has not hitherto been 
described, should be separated from our Western bird ; and I 
propose to call it Limicola sibirica. It differs in the summer 
plumage in having the feathers on the crown and entire upper 
parts very broadly margined with bright rufous, so as to give 
this colour extreme prominence, the upper parts being, in fact, 
similar in colour to those of Tringa minuta in fullest summer 
dress. In Limicola platyrhyncha, on the other hand, the general 
coloration of the upper parts is black, the margins to the 
feathers being narrow and white or ochreous white, and the 
crown is very dark. The under parts in Limicola sibirica 
are as in Limicola platyrhyncha, except that the throat is less 
spotted, the chin and upper throat being quite unspotted. In 
measurements I find no constant difference, as both species 
vary somewhat inter se ; but, as a rule, the Eastern bird has the 
wing and tarsus rather longer than in L. platyrhyncha. In the 
winter plumage the two species cannot always with certainty 
be distinguished ; but as a rule, the Eastern one appears to be 
a trifle paler than the European bird. 

With two exceptions, all the specimens of Limicola sibirica 
I have examined were obtained in China by Mr. Swinhoe. The 
following is a full description of a specimen in full summer 
plumage from China : — 

" Capite et corpore supra pulchre ferrugitieis, plumis medialitw 
nigris vix albido marginatis ; scapularibus dorso concoloribus, 
alls sicut in Limicola Platyrhyncha pictis, sed pallidioribus et 
grisescentioribus ; rectricibus centralibus nigris valde rufowargi m 


natis, reliquis griseis viv albo marginatis ; fronte el stria super" 
ciliari albis ; capitis et colli lateribus dorso concoloribus seel magia 
grises alio notatis ; corpore subtus albo, mento immaculate-, 
gutture nigrofusco etjerrugineo guttato. 

" This species appears to breed in Northern Siberia, and to 
migrate Southward into China in the autumn. How far west- 
ward its range extends I cannot positively say ; but there is a 
specimen in the Cambridge Museum, sent by Mr. Blyth and 
stated to have been obtained in " India," but no precise locality 
is given. All the other specimens from India and Baluchistan 
are referable to L. platyrhyncha. I may add that there is a 
specimen of L. sibirica in full summer dress, from Siberia, 
in the Cambridge Museum."— P. Z. S., 1876, 674. 

Anthus Blakenstoni, Sicinhoe. P. Z. S., 1863, 90. 

A. neglectus, Brooks, Ibis, 1876, 501, 1877, 206. 

" Bill, blackish brown on culmen and tip, light brown on re- 
mainder ; legs, blackish brown, paler on tarsi ; upper parts, 
light yellowish brown, grey on the nape ; crown and back 
with centi*es of feathers, deep brown ; lores, eyebrow, and chin, 
cream white ; under parts, cream white, spotted on the breast 
and streaked on the flanks with brown ; axillaries, pure white ; 
wings, brown ; feathers edged paler; coverts and tertiaries, 
broadly edged and tipped with cream white, forming a double 
bar across the wing ; tail, brown ; the central feathers, yellowish 
brown, edged paler ; the outer lateral tail-feathers, on the entire 
outer web, and great part of inner near the apex, white ; second 
lateral edged exteriorly and largely tipped with Avhite. 

" Length, 5 ; wing, 37 ; tail, 27 ; tarsi, *85."— Swinhoe. 
P. Z. S., 1863, 90. 

" Under the head of Anthus spinoletta Mr. Dresser, in 
'The Birds of Europe/ refers to a similar but smaller 
Indian Pipit, to which I gave the name of A. neglectus. 
No description was published, as there was some doubt at the 
time as to it being a good species. I have since examined 
many Anthus spinoletta myself; and the small Indian bird can- 
not be considered identical. It differs as follows: — (1) smaller 
size ; (%) shorter wing ; (3) shorter and more slender bill. In 
summer plumage the birds are very similar ; but in winter 
dress the breast spots are not large and cloudy as in A. spino- 
letta, but small and much more distinct. Another important 
distinction is the well striated back of A. neglectus. I have the 
total length in the flesh of only four examples. They were all 
exactly six inches. The bill was dark brown, and very pale 
brown at base of lower mandible ; irides very dark, almost 
black ; legs and feet brown ; soles of feet yellow. In general 


coloration it resembles A. arboreus, but is considerably paler 
and greyer ; the back striation is of similar character ; the 
breast spots, however, are not distinct, as in A. pratensis, 
but somewhat clouded and brown in colour ; they are 
also much smaller and more distinct than the spots of either 
A. obscurus or A. spinoletta. The different character of the 
breast-spots alone serves to separate this Water-Pipit from its 
affined species ; the wings and tail are coloured like those of 
A. spinoletta. The summer plumage is also similar, the breast- 
spots being replaced by a uniform dull reddish buff. The 
wino" lining and axillaries are white. 

" This Pipit frequents extensive swamps and lakes (jheels, as 
they are called) in the northern parts of India during the cold 
season • and in the spring it takes its departure for the north. 
It is extremely shy and difficult of approach. I have generally 
found it in company with Ant kits rosaceus. I have not, how- 
ever always found it at "jheels" frequented by this latter 
species, which is a far more abundant bird. Its call and alarm- 
notes are like those of Anthus pratensis. The following are 
dimensions of some examples I have by me : — 





Bill at, front. 

















2 57 
























2 55 












2 65 






2 45 





















" I have seen other males in addition to the two noted above. 
A o-knce at the above dimensions shows this Pipit to be very 
different from those of the large A. spinoletta. — Brooks, Ibis, 

1876,501. . ...•'.. 

(i My Anthus neglectus is, I find by comparison, identical with 
Mr. Swiuhoe's A. Blackenstoni. 

His description is correct as far as colour of plumage is con- 
cerned ; but the bird's legs and feet are conspicuously lighter 
in colour than those of Anthus spinoletta. My term of (i brown" 
is better thnn Mr. Swinhoe's of " blackish brown." The legs 
and feet of Mr. Swinhoe's examples, however, may have dried 
rather dark. I noted the colour from the fresh birds. The 
total length given by Mr. Swinhoe is clearly wrong; so also 
with regard to length of wing. I have shot about forty exam- 
ples ; and the greatest total length observed was 6- 3 j the long- 
est wing, 8' 4; longest tail, 2-65."— Brooks, Ibis, 1877, 206. 



In continuation of my paper IV., 279, I have now to 
record two more species from the Andamans, viz : — 

854.— Chettusia cinerea, Blyth. 

925. — Herodias egretta (Alba apud Jerd.) 

Both were obtained by General Stewart in the neighbourhood 
of Port Blair, and are contained in his last collection, which, 
though made nearly three years ago, has, owing to the case hav- 
ing been mislaid in Calcutta, only just reached me. This collection 
is a very large one, but contains no other novelties (except 
indeed one specimen of Sterna ancethceta, which though included 
in my list, II., 320, we had failed to procure) so that we may 
conclude that we have pretty well exhausted the birds of the 
South Andaman at any rate. 

A thoroughly reliable correspondent writes : — " The circum- 
stance you allude to occurred at this station in 1860, or 1861. 
A native officer asked me for permission to kill a Kite in the 
lines. This being rather an unusual request, especially for a 
Hindoo, I asked him why he wished to destroy the bird. He 
said the Kite had a nest in his Company lines from which the sou 
of a Sepoy, whose house was near, had taken the young birds. 
That this had so exasperated the parent bird that whenever 
the lad moved out of his house it swooped down and attacked 
him. I had the lad brought to me and his head and arms 
gave ample evidence of the maltreatment he had received. His 
story was fully corroborated by men who had seen the Kite 
attack him. You can make what use you like of this, but please 
do not give my name, as I do not like appearing in print." 

Referring to what I said, ante p. 97, about the dimensions 
of Hierococcyx nisicolor, I have now to note that the wings of 
six more specimens of this species recently received measured : — 


Adult 6-83 


Nearly adult 6-9 


Juv. 6*7 


Juv. 7 


Juv. 69 

In continuation of my remarks on Buleo plumipes, S. F. IV., 
p. 361, I am now able to furnish similar measurements to those 



therein given of 13 more specimens of this species which have 
been added to my museum since that paper was written, 
ten in the japonicus or variegated plumage and three in the 
uniform fuliginous plumage. 

More than half of these specimens are sexed, and the sexing 
confirms our previous suppositions : — 

No. Sex. Length of Bare portion 
*wing. of tarsusf 


' 1 










Native Sikhim 

CD-'— N 

S § 





























'Native Sikhim 

> W 


■ ? 




L io 




Near Darjeeling 


'-5 SP « 






J- 03 ^ 





Native Sikhim 



14 5 


Thibet, North of 

S |fiq 

Native Sikhim. 

a fl n— / 



Amongst these specimens was a 14th which, to a casual ob- 
server, was 'precisely similar, but a single glance at the long 
thighs and tarsi the latter bare for 2'0, showed that small as the 
bird looked, it was really ferox, and the wing, 16*9, and the 
much stronger bill and feet confirmed the fact. 

On a former occasion I pointed out (III., 299-300) the 
claims of Pachyglossa to be considered a distinct . genus alike 
from Dicaum, JPrionochilus and Piprisoma on account of its 
differently-shaped bill. I am not aware whether the female 
of Pachyglossa melanoxantha has yet been described. I 
myself have only recently seen one for the first time procured 
(as most Sikhim novelties and rarities are) hy Mr. Mandelli. 

The coloration of this female, while indicating the affinity 
of the genus with all the three above named, confirms in my 
opinion the view which I formerly took of its distinctness. 

* Wing pressed flat on a table and measured on inside straight from carpal 
joint to end of longest primary. 

■f- Measured from just within the points of the tarsal plumes on front of tarsus 
to the articulation of the mid toe and tarsus. 

NOTES. 349 

The following are the dimensions (taken from the skin) and 
a description of the female P. melanoxantha : — 

Length, 3'5 ; wing, 2*55 ; tail, 1'5 \ tarsus, 05; bill, straight 
from forehead to point, 0*43. 

The entire upper surface a very dusky olive green, slightly 
clearer on rump and upper tail-coverts ; wings and tail hair 
brown, darkest on quills aud tail ; most of the larger and medi- 
an coverts, secondaries, and tertiaries very narrowly and incon- 
spicuously margined on the outer webs with yellowish olive ; 
two outer tail-feathers on either side with a white patch on 
the inner webs near the tips ; lores dusky ; a broad irregular 
stripe covering chin, middle of throat, and middle of breast 
dull, slightly yellowish or fulvous white ; sides of throat, 
cheeks, ear-coverts and sides of head, the same colour as the 
back, but rather lighter ; sides of breast similar but greyer ; 
sides and flanks similar, but the former yellower, the latter 
greener ; middle of abdomen, vent, lower tail-coverts dull 
pale yellow ; axillaries and wing lining, white ; the lining 
a little mottled with greyish brown. 

A narrow nearly white line from middle of gonys to gape ; 
lower mandible above this and upper mandible blackish ; lower 
mandible below this horny brown ; legs and feet black. 
(These colours are taken from the dry specimen, and may not 
be correct). 

Mr. Blanford (S. F., Ill, 358) has already, in these pages, 
described the adult male of Hypocolius ampelinus from the 
Hills, dividing Sinclh from Khelat. 

I will now describe a young bird of the same species, shot at 
Nal in Khelat, at an elevation of 4,020 feet, on the 26th April. 

The specimen has been carbolized. 

Length, 9'0 ; wing, 3"8 ; tail, 4*2 ; tarsus, 0'?5 ; mid toe 
aud claw, 1*0 ; closed wing falls short of end of tail by 2'8; 
bill from forehead, 0*85 ; from edge of feathers, 0*6 ; outer 
tail feathers, 03 shorter than longest. 

First primary excessively narrow, exposed portion about 
058 ; third primary longest; second and fourth equal, each 005 
shorter than third ; fifth aud succeeding primaries, each about 0"1 
shorter than the preceding one. 

The entire upper-surface, a pale greyish earth brown, a 
shade darker on the crown, preceptibly paler and clearer on 
upper tail-coverts ; terminal half inch of tail-feathers darker, 
a sort of hair brown ; inner webs of quills, a pale hair 
brown ; the primaries near their tips, paler, margined for 
about half an inch in length on outer webs, so as to produce 
the effect of a pale subtermiual band in the closed wing. 


350 NOTES. 

The entire lower parts, including wing lining, lower tail- 
coverts, &c, pale greyish isabelline. 

Bill, blackish horny ; legs and feet, yellowish fleshy ; claws, 
pale horny brown. 

I hope next year, with Dr. Duke's kind assistance, to be 
able to submit a tolerably complete list of the birds of the 
dominions of His Highness the Khan of Khelat. 

At present including all the species that Mr. Blanford, 
Captain Butler and myself obtained on the Mekran Coast and 
along the Western frontier of Beloochistan, and those obtained 
in the low lands Cthe Kutchee) and the high lands of Khelat, 
Quetta, &c, by Major Sandeman, Dr. Duke, &c, I can only 
number 170 species. 

Of these the only ones requiring early notice are : — 
(1). Hypocolius ampelinus, which I have already just 

(2). Sitta neumayeri. — These are typical and identical with 
specimens from Macedon, aud are not the smaller Persian form, 
described by Blanford, Ibis, 1873, p. 87, under the name of 
rupicola. See, also, Blanf. Zoo. Pers., 225, pi. XV. f. 2). 

(2>). Carine bactriana, Hutton. The Highlands of Khelat 
are a continuation and zoologically form a part of those of 
Afghanistan. The small owl of Quetta, &c, is therefore, un- 
questionably, bactriana of Hutton. This owl has the feet fully 
feathered — it is apparently, therefore, identical with plumipes of 
Swinhoe, P. Z. S., 1870, 448, and will supersede that and all 
other names for that species. — (See also Sharpe, Cat. II., 137). 

Since my paper on the Indian Gisticolce, {ante p. 90), in 
which I suggested the identity of homalura, melanocephala and 
Tytleri, was in type, I have received two more of melanocephala 
and six of Tytleri, all killed in the same grass patch near 
Suddya in Assam, on the same and two or three successive 

I remark first that two of the specimens of Tytleri and one 
of melanocephalus have the tails precisely as described by Blyth 
in the case of homalura. 

Blyth, however, says that the bill in homalura is stouter than 
in cursitans. Well, the bills vary in both species, and you may 
easily pick out a melanocephalus, with a bill stouter than that 
of some cursitans, but taking five or six of each species I can- 
not see that the bills differ at all. 

With this sole exception, melanocephala, or rather some 
melanocephalas, agree absolutely with Blyth's description of 


homalura, and the difficulty of the tail being removed, I person- 
ally entertain little doubt that the two names represent the 
same species. 

Then I observe that structurally, there is, so far as bills, pro- 
portions of primaries, tarsi and feet are concerned, not the 
slightest difference between Tytleri and melanocephala. As 
regards length of wings, I think that those of Tytleri run a 
trifle longer. Take the following dimensions : — 

G. melanocephala.— Wings, 175 ; 1-73; 1*68; 1'83 ; 1-75. 

C. Tytleri— „ — 1-8 ; 1-8;T81; 1"8; 1*77 ; 1*8- 

But now a curious fact has to be noticed ; clearly these two 
forms are not seasonal stages of the same birds, the great 
majority of my specimens having been shot at the same time. 

Still their absolute structural identity and both having al- 
most always occurred in the same places from Dacca to Sud- 
dya, strengthens the suspicion that, following Dr. Jerdon, 
I expressed in my paper already referred to, and the note- 
worthy point is that all my Tytleri are males, and both my 
sexed specimens of melanocephala are females. 

Now, is it possible that the two forms represent the two sexes 
of one and the same species ? 

I must leave this point to be elucidated by further investiga- 

I may add that I have recently received a specimen of C. 
erythrocephala, (which is the second I have seen) from the Revd. 
Mr. Fairbank, killed by him at an elevation of 6,000 feet on 
Mount Nebo, in the Palnis, where he tells me that be saw two 
other specimens of this same species. The specimen is a male, 
and has the wing, 1*98. It agrees in plumage entirely with 
my other specimen fully described, ante p. 94. 

Mr. John Darling, Junr., has just sent me a specimen of 
Vivia inno??iinata, Burton, (Jerd. B. of I., I., 300) shot and 
skinned by himself on the 8th of the present month, (July) 
in the Wynaad. 

This species was formerly considered exclusively Himalayan, 
and Dr. Jerdon remarks : — 

"This bird is found throughout the Himalayas and in 
no other locality that I am aware of." 

Pere David, however, obtained it in Kokonor ; we have ob- 
tained it from the Tenasserim and Khasia Hills, and here we 
find it in the Wynaad, a fertile valley elevated about 2,500 
feet above the sea, and lying between the Nilgheris and those 
portions of the Western Uhats, overlooking Canuanore, 
Calicut, &c. 


fetters to tye Gbitor. 


I should be glad to know whether the Green Jay of 
Jerdon, Cissa sinensis, known here as the Sirgoom, is supposed 
to be in the habit of killing snakes. I did not kuow it myself 
till the other day, when I witnessed an occurrence which may 
be of interest to you. I was walking aloug a road with 
jungle on both sides, and my attention was attracted by 
the cries of a bird ahead of me. I looked and observed one 
of these Green Jays screaming and pecking at a large snake in 
the middle of the road, which was trying to make its escape, 
but whichever way it turned the bird met it, striking with its 
wings aud beak ; at last the snake lay quite still in the middle 
of the road, when the bird perched on its neck and commenced 
digging its beak into the snake's head. I then walked up 
closer, and the bird flew into a bush just beside me, where it 
remained screaming. As soon as I approached the snake it 
raised itself in a threatening attitude, and seeing it was not 
dead I withdrew again, and as soon as I was a few paces 
distant, the Jay flew out and attacked the snake again. As 
soon as the bird came, the snake seemed to reconcile itself to 
its fate, and after a few feeble attempts to escape, again lay 
still, on which the bird again perched on its neck, and con- 
tinued pecking away at the top of the snake's head till it was 
dead. In the end, the bird dragged the body of the snake 
away into the jungle. I went and examined the snake and 
found the top of the head completely broken. While I was 
examining the body of the snake the bird remained in the 
jungle at hand, but did not continue screaming as it did 
the first time, I scared it away. I showed the snake to a man 
who was passing, and he knew the name of the reptile and 
said it was poisonous. The snake was about three feet long. 
I may add that a lot of cattle coming along the road, the 
opposite way to which I was going, had all stopped, and 
when I got there were clustered together in the road looking 
on. The villagers asserted that the Jay would eat the snake, 
and from the bird dragging the suake off the road, this seems 
likely enough. How the combat began I don't know, but it 
would seem as if the Jay attacked the snake seeing it cross 
the open. I was quite unaware of any such propensities in 
this bird, and have narrated 'the incident to you in case it 
should be of interest. 

Can you tell me if there are any grounds for supposing that 
either Snipe or Woodcock breed in this country ? I have shot 


Snipe, as late as 10th April, iu Dinajpur, not a stray one but 
several iu one nullah, and I flushed a Woodcock here the other 
day, 14th March : the season for migration having 1 passed these 
birds must remain in this country for the rains, and certainly 
in the case of Suipe where they are to be found several together 
I think they breed here. Has the question ever been mooted ? 

E. Lowis. 
20th March 1877. 

[I have known the Green Jay (Cissa speciosa) to kill and eat 
lizards, but never before have had any record of its actually 
killing a snake. But most of these corvine birds will kill 
and eat any moderate-sized reptiles and any small mammals, 
or even fish I believe, that they can seize. 

As to Woodcocks, they certainly breed freely in the Higher 
Himalayahs ; they do not breed in the Nilghiris, where how- 
ever they are common in the cold season. Whether they ever 
breed in the Chittagong or Tippera, or Naga, Garrow or 
Khasia Hills, I do not know for certain, but I greatly doubt 

I should hai'dly consider the season of migration for Wood- 
cock to close before the 15th April. 

The Pin-tail Snipe may breed in Eastern Bengal and the 
Burmese countries. I have no certainty of the fact, but I 
believe it to be the case. 

As for the Common Snipe, it breeds sparingly in the Hima- 
layahs, as for instance in Cashmere ; but I have never had the 
slightest reason to believe that this species breeds any where in 
India, except in these hills. Some birds of this species are very 
late in leaving us. In North- Western India, I have killed 
them in the plains as late as nearly, if not quite, I have no notes 
to refer to at hand, the end of April. — Ed., S. F.J 


Since I addressed* you on the subject of Captain Legge's 
Ceylon paper, another instance of the capture of Phodilus 
assimilis, Hume, has come under my notice. 

Mr. Weldon of Dickoya, to whom this new specimen belongs, 
remarks in epist ; tl This bird was caught by a cooly in a tree 
in the day time on my estatef and is the second of the kind he 
has caught here. It was put on a perch in a dark room, but 
refused to eat, and died after two or three days' confinement." 

* Vide Supra, p. 201.— Ed., S. F. 


The following is a description and measurements of the above 
taken while in the flesh : — 

? adult, Dickoya Estate, Dickoya, Ceylon, July 1877. 

Length, \\\ inches; wing", 8i ; expanse, 27^; tail, 3^; mid- 
toe and claw, 1^ ; tarsus, 2 ; feathered to base of toes which 
are covered with a few diffuse, white bristly hairs. 

Iris, dark brown ; bill, greenish white, with a dash of dark 
brown on edge of upper mandible, and dark spot on the 

Feet, pale whitish green. Claws, pale ash ; ridges of the scuta? 
of the toes of a darker green than the prevailing color. 

Face and forehead, dull white, with the exception of a dark 
brown band or disc surrounding, the eye. A white band extends 
from ear to ear under the chin. Outside of this a band of 
brown completes the face. 

Occiput and nape, dark chestnut, with a prominent dull white 
spot on back of head ; all the feathers having a terminal black 
spot. The remainder of the upper parts or entire mantle, of 
a light pale fulvous chestnut, the feathers being spotted, some 
with one black spot, others with several like, and white spots 
along the shafts. Tail, a lightly darker hue, with 9 dark brown 
bands. The interscapular region is also of a slightly darker 
hue than the rest of the mouth. 

Outer margin of all the wing-feathers light chestnut ; inner 
web, greyish ash with 10 dark brown or black transverse bands. 
False wing-feathers, white with black bands, chest and abdomen 
and entire under parts, fulvous white, with small dark brown or 
black spots. Tarsus without spots. 

This is the fourth specimen of phodilus ( adult), so far as I 
know, recorded from Ceylon, and these have been found in the 
localities widely apart, viz., Ratotta, Kandy, Dickoya and 
Rakwana. In Mr. Hector's case the Paunt was captured with 
three young ones in the nest. 

A. W. White. 


Vol. V. NOVEMBER 1877. Nos. 5 & 6. 











Reform of the Nomenclature of Zoology was a subject which 
occupied much of the time of the late Hugh E. Strickland.* 
It was his object that this reform should be brought forward 
under the auspices of the British Association, and at a meeting 
of the Council of that body, held in London upon 11th Febru- 
ary 1842, it was resolved — "That with a view of securing 
attention to the following important subject, a committee, con- 
sisting of Mr. C. Darwin, Professor Henslow, Rev. L. Jenyns, 
Mr. W. Ogilby, Mr. J. Phillips, Dr. Richardson, Mr. H. E. 
Strickland (reporter), Mr. J. 0. Westwood, be appointed, to 
consider of the rules by which the Nomenclature of Zoology 

* See Memoirs of Hugh Edwin Strickland, by Sir W. Jardine, Bart., p. clxxv. 


may be established on a uniform and permanent basis ; tbe 
report to be presented to the Zoological Section, and submitted 
to its committee at the Manchester meeting."* 

This committee met at various times in London, and the 
following gentlemen were added to it, and assisted in its 
labours : W. J. Broderip, Professor Owen, W. E. Shuckard, 
G. R. Waterhouse, and W. Yarrell. An outline of the pro- 
posed code of rules was drawn up and circulated, and many 
valuable suggestions were received from eminent zoologists at 
home and abroad. The u plan" was further considered by the 
committee during the meeting at Manchester, " and the 
committee, having thus given their best endeavours to maturing 
the plan, beg now to submit it to the approval of the British 
Association under the title of — ' Series of Propositions for 
rendering the Nomenclature of Zoology uniform and per- 
manent.' "f 

The propositions were printed in the Reports of the British 
Association, and a grant of money was voted to print copies for 
circulation. The rules thus laid down were very generally 
adopted by zoologists, both in this country and abroad ; but 
having been only printed in the volumes of the British Associa- 
tion, " Annals of Natural History," and " Philosophical Maga- 
zine/^ or depending on private circulation only, it was deemed 
advisable that greater publicity should be given to them, and 
at the meeting at Oxford in 1860 it was resolved, that " The 
surviving members of the committee appointed in 1842 — viz., 
Mr. C. Darwin, Rev. Professor Henslow, Rev. L. Jeuyns, Mr. 
W. Oo-ilby, Professor Phillips, Sir John Richardson, Mr. J. 0. 
Westwood, Professor Owen, Mr. W. E. Shuckard, and Mr. G. 
Waterhouse — for the purpose of preparing rules for the es- 
tablishment of a uniform Zoological Nomenclature, be re- 
appointed, with Sir W. Jardine, Bart., and Mr. P. L. Sclater. 
That Sir W. Jardine be the Secretary, and that the sum of 
£10 be placed at their disposal for the purpose of revising and 
reprinting the rules. "§ 

From the difficulty of bringing such a committee together, 
nothing was done since the time of its appointment ; but the re- 
solution and a grant of money were again renewed at the late 

* Report of Twelfth Meeting of British Association, held at Manchester, June 1842, 
p. 105. 

f Eeport of Twelfth Meeting, 1842. p. 106. 

X At the Scientific Congress held in 1843 at Padua, the late Prince C. L. Buona- 
parte submitted to the meeting an Italian translation of the "British Association's 
Code of Rules," which was generally approved of. A French translation of the report 
appeared in the scientific journal " L'Institut," in which paper much stress was laid 
ou the importance of the measure. A review of it was also printed in the " American 
Journal of Science." 

§ Reports of the British Association, held at Oxford, 1860, p. xlvi. 


meeting in Newcastle, as follows : — That Sir W. Jardine, A. Jl. 
Wallace, J. E. Gray, C. C. Babington, Dr. Francis, P. L. 
Sclater, C. Spence Bate, P. P. Carpenter, Dr. J. D. Hooker, 
Professor Balfour, H. T. Stainton, J. Gwyn Jeffreys, A. New- 
ton, Professor T. H. Huxley, Professor Allman, and G. Ben- 
tham, be a committee, with power to add to their number, to 
report on the chauges which they may consider it desirable to 
make, if any, in the rules of nomenclature drawn up at the 
instance of the Association by Mr. Strickland and others, with 
power J to reprint these rules and to correspond with foreign 
naturalists and others on the best means of insuring their general 
adoption.— £15." 

Accordingly the rules, as originally approved of, are now re- 
printed, and zoologists are requested to examine them carefully, 
and to communicate any suggestions for alteration or improve- 
ment on or before 1st June 1864, to Sir William Jardine, 
Bart., Jardine Hall, by Locherby, N. B., who will consult with 
the members of the committee, and report upon the subject at 
the next meeting of the British Association appointed to be 
held at Bath. 

Jaedine Hall, 8th Sept. 1863. 

Series of Propositions for rendering the Nomenclature of 

Zoology uniform and permanent. 

[Reprinted from the Report of the British. Association for 184-2.] 


All persons who are conversant with the present state of 
Zoology must be aware of the great detriment which the 
science sustains from the vagueness and uncertainty of its 
nomenclature. We do not here refer to those diversities of 
language which arise from the various methods of classification 
adopted by different authors, and which are unavoidable in the 
present state of our knowledge. So long as naturalists differ 
in the views which they are disposed to take of the natural 
affinities of animals there will always be diversities of classifi- 
cation, and the only way to arrive at the true system of nature 
is to allow perfect liberty to systematists in this respect. But 
the evil complained of is of a different character. It consists 
in this, that when naturalists are agreed as to the characters 
and limits of an individual group or species, they still 
disagree in the appellations by which they distinguish it. A 
genus is often designated by three or four, and a species by 
twice that number of precisely equivalent synonyms ; and in 
the absence of any rule on the subject, the naturalist is wholly 
at a loss what nomenclature to adopt. The consequence is, 
that the so-called commonwealth of science is becoming daily 


divided into independent states, kept asunder by diversities of 
language as well as by geographical limits. If an English 
zoologist, for example, visits the museums and converses with 
the professors of France, he finds that their scientific language 
is almost as foreign to him as their vernacular. Almost every 
specimen which he examines is labelled by a title which is 
unknown to him, and he feels that nothing short of a continued 
residence in that country can make him conversant with her 
science. If he proceeds thence to Germany or Russia, he is 
again at a loss ; bewildered everywhere amidst the confusion 
of nomenclature, he returns in despair to his own country and 
to the museums and books to which he is accustomed. 

If these diversities of scientific language were as deeply 
rooted as the vernacular tongue of each country, it would of 
course be hopeless to think of remedying them j but happily 
this is not the case. The language of science is in the mouths 
of comparatively few, and these few, though scattered over 
distant lands, are in habits of frequent and friendly intercourse 
with each other. All that is wanted, then, is, that some plain 
and simple regulations, founded on justice and sound reason, 
should be drawn up by a competent body of persons, and then 
be extensively distributed throughout the zoological world. 

The undivided attention of chemists, of astronomers, of 
anatomists, of mineralogists, has been of late years devoted to 
fixing their respective languages on a sound basis. Why, then, 
do zoologists hesitate in performing the same duty, at a time, 
too, when all acknowledge the evils of the present anarchical 
state of their science ? 

It is needless to inquire far into the causes of the present 
confusion of zoological nomenclature. It is in great measure 
the result of the same branch of science having been followed 
in distant countries by persons who were either unavoidably 
ignorant of each other's labours, or who neglected to inform 
themselves sufficiently of the state of the science in other 
regions. And when Ave remark the great obstacles which now 
exist to the circulation of books beyond the conventional limits 
of the states in which they happen to be published, it must be 
admitted that this ignorance of the writings of others, however 
unfortunate, is yet in great measure pardonable. But there 
is another source for this evil, which is far less excusable, — the 
practice of gratifying individual vanity by attempting, on the 
most frivolous pretexts to cancel the terms established by ori- 
ginal discoverers, and to substitute a new and unauthorised 
nomenclature in their place. One author lays down, as a rule, 
that no specific names should be derived from geographical 
sources, and unhesitatingly proceeds to insert words of his own 


in all such cases; another declares war against names of exotic 
origin, foreign to the Greek and Latin ; a third excommuni- 
cates all worcls which exceed a certain number of syllables ; a 
fourth cancels all names which are complimentary of indi- 
viduals, and so on, till universality and permanence, the two 
great essentials of scientific language, are utterly destroyed. 

It is surely, then, an object well worthy the attention of the 
Zoological Section of the British Association for the Advance- 
ment of Science to devise some means which may lessen the 
extent of this evil, if not wholly put an end to it. The best 
method of making the attempt seems to be to entrust to a 
carefully-selected committee the preparation of a series of rules, 
the adoption of which must be left to the sound sense of 
naturalists in general. By emanating from the British Asso- 
ciation, it is hoped that the proposed rules will be invested with 
an authority which no individual zoologist, however eminent, 
could confer on them. The world of Science is no longer a 
monarchy, obedient to the ordinances, however just, of an 
Aristotle or a Linnseus. She has now assumed the form of a 
republic ; and, although this revolution may have increased the 
vigour and zeal of her followers, yet it has destroyed much of 
her former order and regularity of government. The latter 
can only be restored by framing such laws as shall be based in 
reason, and sanctioned by the approval of men of science; and 
it is to the preparation of these laws that the Zoological Section 
of the Association have been invited to give their aid. 

In venturing to propose these rules for the guidauce of all 
classes of zoologists in all countries, we disclaim any intention 
of dictating to men of science the course which they may see 
fit to pursue. It must of course be always at the option of 
authors to adhere to or depart from these principles ; but we 
offer them to the candid consideration of zoologists, in the hope 
that they may lead to sufficient uniformity of method in future 
to rescue the science from becoming a mere chaos of words. 

We now proceed to develope the details of our plan ; and, 
in order to make the reasons by which we are guided apparent 
to naturalists at large, it will be requisite to append to each 
proposition a short explanation of the circumstances which call 
for it. 

Among the numerous rules for nomenclature which have 
been proposed by naturalists, there are many which, though 
excellent in themselves, it is not now desirable to enforce.* 
The cases in which those rules have been overlooked or departed 

* See especially the admirable code proposed in the " Philosophia Botanica " of 
Linnaeus. If zoologists had paid more attention to the principles of that Code, the 
present attempt at reform would perhaps have been unnecessary. 


from are so numerous and of such long standing, that to 
carry these regulations into effect would undermine the edifice 
of zoological nomenclature. But while we do not adopt these 
propositions as authoritative laws, they may still be consulted 
with advantage in making such additions to the language of 
zoology as are required by the progress of the science. By 
adhering to sound principles of philology we may avoid errors 
in future, even when it is too late to remedy the past ; and the 
language of science will thus eventually assume an aspect of 
more classic purity than it now presents. 

Our subject hence divides itself into two parts— the first con- 
sisting of Rules for the rectification of the present zoological 
nomenclature, and the second of Recommendations for the im- 
provement of zoological nomenclature in future. 



[Limitation of the Plan to Systematic Nomenclature^ 
In proposing a measure for the establishment of a permanent 
and universal zoological nomenclature, it must be premised 
that we refer solely to the Latin or sj^stematic language of 
zoology. We have nothing to do with vernacular appellations. 
One great cause of the neglect and corruption which prevails 
in the scientific nomenclature of zoology, has been the frequent 
and often exclusive use of vernacular names in lieu of the Latin 
binomial designations, which form the only legitimate language 
of systematic zoology. Let us then endeavour to render 
perfect the Latin or Liunasan method- of nomenclature, which, 
being far removed from the scope of national vanities and 
modern antipathies, holds out the only hope of introducing into 
zoology that grand desideratum, an universal language. 

[Law of Priority the only effectual and just one,] 

It being admitted on all hands that words are only the con- 
ventional signs of ideas, it is evident that language can only 
attain its end effectually by being permanently established and 
generally recognised. This consideration ought, it would seem, 
to have checked those who are continually attempting to subvert 
the established language of zoology by substituting terms of 
their own coinage. But, forgetting the true nature of language, 
they persist in confounding the name of a species or group with 
its definition ; and because the former often falls short of the ful- 
ness of expression found in the latter, they cancel it without hesita- 


tion, and introduce some new terra which .appears to thera more 
characteristic, but which is utterly unknown to the science, aud 
is therefore devoid of all authority.* If these persons were to 
object to such names of men as Long, Little, Armstrong, 
Golightly, &c., in cases where they fail to apply to the indivi- 
duals who bear them, or should complain of the names Gougli, 
Lawrence, or Harvey, that they were devoid of meaning, and 
should hence propose to change them for more characteristic 
appellations, they would not act more uuphilosophically or in- 
considerately than they do in the case before us ; for, in truth, 
it matters not in the least by what conventional sound we agree 
to designate an individual object, provided the sign to be em- 
ployed be stamped with such an authority as will suffice to make 
it pass current. Now, in zoology, no one person can subse- 
quently claim an authority equal to that possessed by the person 
who is the first to define a new genus or describe a new species ; 
and hence it is that the name originally given, even though it 
may be inferior in point of elegance or expressiveness to those 
subsequently proposed, ought, as a general principle, to be per- 
manently retained. To this consideration we ought to add the 
injustice of erasing the name originally selected by the person 
to whose labours we owe our first knowledge of the object ; and 
we should reflect how much the permission of such a practice 
opens a door to obscure pretenders for dragging themselves into 
notice at the expense of original observers. Neither can an 
author be permitted to alter a name which he himself has once 
published, except in accordance with fixed and equitable laws. 
It is well observed by Decandolle, " LVauteur merae qui a le 
premier dtabli uu nom n'a pas plus qu'uu autre le droit de le 
changer pour simple cause d'impropriete. La priorite en effet 
est un terme fixe, positif, qui n'admet rien, ni d'arbitraire, ni 
de partial/' 

For these reasons, we have no hesitation in adopting as our 
fundamental maxim, the "law of priority," viz., 

§ 1. The name originally given by the founder of a group 
or the describer of a species should be permanently retained, 
to the exclusion of all subsequent synonyms (with the ex- 
ceptions about to be noticed.) 

Having laid down this principle, we must next inquire into 
the limitations which are found necessary in carrying it into 

* Linnceus says on this subject, " Abstinenduin ab bac innovatione quse nunquam 
cessaret, quin indies aptiora dctegerentur ad infinitum." 


[Not to extend to authors older than Linnaus.~] 

As our subject matter is strictly confined to the binomial 
system of nomenclature, or that which indicates species by 
means of two Latin words, the one generic, the other specific, 
and as this invaluable method originated solely with Linnaeus, 
it is clear that, as for as species are concerned, we ought not to 
attempt to carry back the principle of priority beyond the date 
of the 12th edition of the " System a Naturae." Previous to 
that period, naturalists were wont to indicate species not by a 
name comprised in one word, but by a definition which occupied 
a sentence, the extreme verbosity of which method was pro- 
ductive of great inconvenience. It is true that one word 
sometimes sufficed for the definition of a species, but these 
rare cases were only binomial by accident and not by principle, 
and ought not therefore in any instance to supersede the 
binomial designations imposed by Linnaeus. 

The same reasons apply also to generic names. Linnaeus 
was the first to attach a definite value to genera, and to give 
them a systematic character by means of exact definitions ; 
and therefore, although the names used by previous authors 
may often be applied with propriety to modern genera, yet in 
such cases they acquire a new meaning, and should be 
quoted on the authority of the first person who used them 
in this secondary sense. It is true that several of the old 
authors made occasional approaches to the Linnaean exactness 
of generic definition, but still these were but partial attempts ; 
and it is certain that if in our rectification of the binomial 
nomenclature we once trace back our authorities into the 
obscurity which preceded the epoch of its foundation, we shall 
find no resting-place or fixed boundary for our researches. 
The nomenclature of Ray is chiefly derived from that of Gesner 
and Aldrovandus, and from these authors we might proceed 
backward to iElian, Pliny, and Aristotle, till our zoological 
studies would be frittered away amid the refinements of clas- 
sical learning.* 

We therefore recommend the adoption of the following pro- 
position : — 

§ 2. The binomial nomenclature having originated with 

Linnaeus, the law of priority, in respect of that nomenclature, 

is not to extend to the writings of antecedent authors. 

[It should be here explained that Brisson, who was a con- 
temporary of Linnaeus and acquainted with the i Sj T stema 

* " Quia longo oevo recepta vocabula commutaret hodie cum patruiu?" — Linnccus. 


Naturae/ defined and published certain genera of birds which 
are additional to those in the twelfth edition of Linnaeus's 
works, and which are, therefore, of perfectly good authority. 
But Brisson still adhered to the old mode of designating 
species by a sentence instead of a word ; and, therefore, while 
we retain his defined genera, we do not extend the same 
indulgence to the titles of his species, even when the latter are 
accidentally binomial in form. For instance, the Perdix rubra 
of Brisson is the Telrao rufiis of Linnaeus ; therefore, as we in 
this case retain the generic name of Brisson and the specific 
name of Linngeus, the correct title of the species would be 
Perdix rufa.] 

[Generic names not be cancelled in subsequent subdivisions.] 

As the number of known species which form the ground- 
work of zoological science is always increasing, and our 
knowledge of their structure becomes more complete, fresh 
generalizations continually occur to the naturalist, and the 
number of genera and other groups requiring appellations is 
ever becoming more extensive. It thus becomes necessary to 
subdivide the contents of old groups, and to make their 
definitions continually more restricted. In carrying out this 
process, it is an act of justice to the original author that this 
generic name should never be lost sight of ; and it is no less 
essential to the welfare of the science, that all which is sound 
in its nomenclature should remain unaltered amid the additions 
which are continually being made to it. On this ground we 
recommend the adoption of the following rule : — 

§ 3. A generic name, when once established, should never 
be cancelled in any subsequent subdivision of the group, but 
retained in a restricted sense for one of the constituent portions. 

\Generic names to be retained for the typical portion of the 
old genus.] 

When a genus is subdivided into other genera, the original 
name should be retained for that portion of it which exhibits in 
the greatest degree its essential characters as at first defined. 
Authors frequently indicate this by selecting some one species 
as a fixed point of reference, which they term the " type of 
the genus." When they omit doing so, it may still in many 
cases be correctly inferred that the first species mentioned on 
their list, if found accurately to agree with their definition, 
was regarded by them as the type. A specific name, or its 
synonyms, will also often serve to point out the particular 

w 22 


species which by implication must be regarded as the original 
type of a genus. In such cases we are justified in restoring 
the name of the old genus to its typical signification, even 
when later authors have done otherwise. We submit therefore 

§ 4. The generic name should always be retained for that 
portion of the original genus which was considered typical by 
the author. 

Example. — The genus Picummia was established by Tem- 
minck, and included two groups, one with four toes, the other 
with three, the former of which was regarded by the author 
as typical. Swaiuson, however, in raising these groups at a 
later period to the rank of genera, gave a new name, Asthenu- 
rus to the former group, and retained Picumnus for the latter. 
In this case we have no choice but to restore the name Picum- 
7iiis, Temm., to its correct sense, cancelling the name Asthenurus, 
S\v., and imposing a new name on the 3-toed group which 
Swaiuson had called Picumnus. 

[ When no type is indicated, then the ori/jinal name is to be kept 
for that subsequent subdivision ivhich first received it.~\ 

Our next proposition seems to require no explanation : — 

§ 5. When the evidence as to the original type of a genus 
is not perfectly clear and indisputable, then the person who 
first subdivides the genus may affix the original name to any 
portion of it at his discretion, and no later author has a right 
to transfer that name to any other part of the original 

[A later name of the same extent as an earlier to be wholly 

When an author infringes the law of priority by giving a 
new name to a genus which has been properly defined and 
named already, the only penalty which can be attached to this 
act of negligence or injustice, is to expel the name so introduced 
from the pale of the science. It is not right, then, in such 
cases to restrict the meaning of the later name so that it may 
stand side by side with the earlier one, as has sometimes been 
done. For instance, the genus Monaulus, Vieill., 1816, is 
a precise equivalent to Lophophorus, Temm., 1813, both authors 
having adopted the same species as their type, and therefore, 


when the latter genus came in the course of time to be divided 
into two, it was incorrect to give the condemned name Monau- 
lus to one of the portions. To state this succinctly, 

§ 6. When two authors define and name the same genus, 
both making it exactly of the same extent, the later name 
should be cancelled in toto, and not retained in a modified 

This rule admits of the following exception : — 

§ 7. Provided however, that if these authors select their 
respective types from different sections of the genus, and 
these sections be afterwards raised into genera, then both 
these names may be retained in a restricted sense for the 
new genera respectively. 

Example. — The names (Edemia aiuZ Melanetta were originally 
co-extensive synonyms, but their respective types were taken 
from different sections which are now raised into genera, dis- 
tinguished by the above titles. 

[No special rule is required for the cases in which the later of 
two generic names is so defined as to be less extensive in sig- 
nification than the earlier, for if the later iucludes the type of the 
earlier geuus, it would be cancelled by the operation of § 4 ; 
and if it does not include that type, it is in fact a distinct 

But when the later name is more extensive than the earlier, 
the following rule comes into oepration : — 

\_A later name equivalent to several earlier ones is to be cancelled.] 

The same principle which is involved in § 6 will apply to § 8. 

§ 8. If the later name be so defined as to be equal in extent 
to two or more previously published genera, it must be can- 
celled in toto. 

Example. — Psarocolius, Wagl., 1827, is equivalent to five or 
six genera previously published under other names, therefore 
Psarocolius should be cancelled. 

If these previously published genera be separately adopted (as 
is the case with the equivalents of Psarocolius), their original 
names will of course prevail ; but if we follow the later author 
in combining them into one, the following rule is necessary : — 

* These discarded names may, however, be tolerated if they have been after- 
wards proposed in a totally new sense, though we trust that in future no one 
will knowingly apply an old name, whether now adopted or not, to a new genus. 
(See proposition q. infra.) 


[A genus compounded of two or more previously proposed 
genera whose characters are now deemed insufficient, should retain 
the name of one them.] 

It sometimes happens that the progress of science requires 
two or more genera, founded on insufficient or erroneous cha- 
racters, to be combined together into one. In such cases the 
law of priority forbids us to cancel all the original names and 
impose a new one on this compound genus. We must there- 
tore select some one species as a type or example, and give the 
generic name which it formerly bore to the whole group now 
formed. If these original generic names differ in date, the 
oldest one should be the one adopted. 

§ 9. In compounding a genus out of several smaller ones, 
the earliest of them, if otherwise unobjectionable, should be 
selected, and its former generic name be extended over the new 
genus so compounded. 

Example. — The genera Accentor and Prunella of Vieillot not 
being considered sufficiently distinct in character, are now united 
under the general name of Accentor, that being the earliest. 
So also Cerithium and Potamides, which were long considered 
distinct, are now united, and the latter name merges into 
the former. 

We now proceed to point out those few cases which form 
exceptions to the law of priority, and in which it becomes both 
justifiable and necessary to alter the names originally imposed 
by authors. 

[A name should be changed when previously applied to another 
group which still retains it.~\ 

It being essential to the binomial method to indicate objects 
in natural history by means of two icords only, without the 
aid of any further designation, it follows that a generic name 
should only have one meaning, — in other words, that two genera 
should never bear the same name. For a similar reason, no 
two species in the same genus should bear the same name. 
When these cases occur, the later of the two duplicate names 
should be caucelled, and a new term, or the earliest sjmonym, 
if there be any, substituted. Wheu it is necessary to form 
new words for this purpose, it is desirable to make them bear 
some analogy to those which they are destined to supersede, as 
whei'e the genus of birds P lector hynchus, being pre-occupied in 
Ichthyology, is changed to Plectorhamphus. It is, we conceive, 
the bouuden duty of an author, when naming a new genus, 
to ascertain by careful search that the name which he proposes 


to employ has not been previously adopted in other departments 
of .natural history.* By neglecting this precaution he is liable 
to have the name altered, and his authority superseded by the 
first subsequent author who may detect the oversight, and 
for this result, however unfortunate, we fear there is no remedy, 
though such cases would be less frequent if the detectors of 
these errors would, as an act of courtesy, point them out to 
the author himself, if living, and leave it to him to correct his 
own inadvertencies. This occasional hardship appears to us to 
be a less evil than to permit the practice of giving the same 
generic name ad libitum to a multiplicity of genera. We sub- 
mit, therefore, that 

§ 10. A name should be changed which has before been 
proposed for some other genus in zoology or botany, or for 
some other species in the same genus, when still retained for 
such genus or species. 

\_A name whose meaning is glaringly false may be changed."] 

Our next proposition has no other claim for adoption than 
that of being a concession to human infirmity. If such proper 
names of places as Covent Garden, Lincoln's Inn Fields, New- 
castle, Bridgewater, &c, no longer suggest the ideas of gardens, 
fields, castles, or bridges, but refer the mind with the quickness 
of thought to the particular localities which they respectively 
designate, there seems no reason why the proper names used 
iu natural history should not equally perform the office of 
correct indication, even when their etymological meaning may 
be wholly inapplicable to the object which they typify. But 
w r e must remember that the language of science has but a 
limited currency, and hence the words which compose it do not 
circulate with the same freedom and rapidity as those which 
belong to every-day life. The attention is consequently liable 
in scientific studies to be diverted from the contemplation of the 
thing signified to the etymological meaning of the sign, and 
hence it is necessary to provide that the latter shall not be such 
as to propagate actual error. Instances of this kind are indeed 
very rare, and in some cases, such as that of Monodon, Gapri- 
mulgus, Paradisea apoda and Monoculus, they have acquired 
sufficient currency no longer to cause error, and are therefore 
retained without change. But when we find a Batraehian reptile 
named in violation of its true affinities Mastodonsaurus, a 
Mexican species termed (through erroneous information of its 
habitat) Picus cafer, or an olive-coloured one Muscicapa atra, 

* This laborious and difficult research will in future be greatly facilitated by the 
very useful work of II. Agassiz, entitled " Nonienclator Zoologicus." 


or when a name in derived from an accidental monstrosity, as 
in Picus semirostris of Linnaeus, and Helix disjnncta of Turton, 
we feel justified in cancelling these names, and adopting that 
synonym which stands next in point of date. At the same 
time we think it right to remark that this privilege is very 
liable to abuse, and ought therefore to be applied only to ex- 
treme cases and with great caution. With these limitations we 
may concede that 

§ 11. A name may be changed when it implies a false 

proposition which, is likely to propagate important errors. 

\_Names not clearly defined may be changed."] 

Unless a species or group is intelligibly defined when the 
name is given, it cannot be recognised by others, and the 
signification of the name is consequently lost. Two things are 
necessary before a zoological term can acquire any authority, 
viz., definition and 'publication. Definition properly implies a 
distinct exposition of essential characters, and in all cases we 
conceive this to be indispensable, although some authors main- 
tain that a mere enumeration of the component species, or 
even of a single type, is sufficient to authenticate a genus. 
To constitute publication, nothing short of the insertion of the 
above particulars in a printed book can be held sufficient. Many 
birds, for instance in the Paris and other continental muse- 
ums, shells in the British Museum (in Dr. Leach's time), 
and fossils in the Scarborough and other public collections, 
have received MS. names which will be of no authority until 
they are published.' 3 *' Nor can any unpublished descriptions, 
however exact (such as those of Forster, which are still shut 
up in a MS. at Berlin), claim any right of priority till publish- 
ed, and then only from the date of their publication. The 
same rule applies to cases where groups or species are pub- 
lished, but not defined, as in some museum catalogues, and in 
Lesson's " Traite d'Ornithologie," where mauy species are 
enumerated by name, without any description or reference by 
which they can be identified. Therefore, — 

§ 12. A name which has never been clearly defined in some 

published work should be changed for the earliest name by 

which the object shall have been so defined. 

[Specific names, when adopted as generic, must be c7ianged.~\ 

The necessity for the following rule will be best illustrated by 
an example. The Corvus pyrrhocorax, Linn., was afterwards 

* These MS. names are in all cases liable to create confusion, and it is 
therefore much to be desired that the practice of using them should be avoided in 


advanced to a genus under tbe name of Pyrrhocorax. Tem- 
minck adopts this generic name, and also retains the old 
specific one, so that he terms the species Pyrrhocorax pyrrhoco- 
rax. The inelegance of this method is so great as to demand 
a change of the specific name, and the species now stands as 
Pyrrhocorax alpiuus, Vieill. We propose, therefore, that 

§ 13. A new specific name must be given to a species when 
its old name has been adopted for a genus whicb includes that 

iV.JS. — It will be seen, however, below that we strongly ob- 
ject to the further continuance of this practice of elevating 
specific names into generic. 

[Latin orthography to be adhered to~] . 

On the subject of orthography it is necessary to lay down 
one proposition, — 

§ 14. In writing zoological names, the rules of Latin or- 
thography must be adhered to. 

In Latinizing Greek words there are certain rules of ortho- 
graphy known to classical scholars which must never be depart- 
ed from. For instance, the names which modern authors have 
"written Aipunemia, Zenopliasia, poiocephala, must according to 
the laws of etymology, be spelt yEpymemia, XenopJiasia, and 
pceocephala. In Latinizing modern words the rules of classic 
usage do not apply, and all that w T e can do is to give to such 
terms as classical an appearance as we can, consistently with 
the preservation of their etymology. In the case of European 
words whose orthography is fixed, it is best to retain the origi- 
nal form, even though it may include letters and combinations 
unknown in Latin. Such words, for instance, as Woodwardi. 
Knighti, Bullocki, Eschscholtzi, would be quite unintelligible if 
they were Latinized into Vudvardi, Cnicliti, Bullocci, Essohi, 
&c. But words of barbarous origin, having no fixed ortho- 
graphy, are more pliable, and hence, when adopted into the 
Latin, they should be rendered as classical in appearance as is 
consistent with the preservation of their original sound. 
Thus the words Tockus, aiosnree, argoondah, hundoo, &c, should, 
when Latinized, have been written Toccus, ansure, argunda, 
cimdu, &c. Such words ought, in all practicable cases, to 
have a Latin termination given them, specially if they are used 

In Latinizing proper names, the simplest rule appears to be to 
use the termination-?^, genitive-i, when the name ends with a 


consonant, as in the above examples ; and -ius, geu.-ii, when it 
ends with a vowel, as Latreille, Latreillii, &c. 

In converting Greek words into Latin the following rules 
must be attended to : — 

Greek. Latin. Greek. Latin. 

ai becomes se. 6 becomes th. 

ei „ i. <p „ ph. 

o; terminal, us. 
ov „ urn. 

ov becomes u. 
01 „ ce. 

v » y- 

When a name has been erroneously written, and its ortho- 
graphy has been afterwards amended, we conceive that the 
authority of the original author should still be retained for 
the name, and not that of the person who makes the correc- 














The above propositions are all which, in the present state of 
the science, it appears practicable to invest with the character 
of laws. We have endeavoured to make them as few and 
simple as possible, in the hope that they may be the more 
easily comprehended and adopted by naturalists in general. 

We are aware that a large number of other regulations, some 
of which are hereafter enumerated, have been proposed and 
acted upon by various authors who have undertaken the difficult 
task of legislating on this subject ; but, as the enforcement of 
such rules would in many cases undermine the invaluable 
principle of priority, we do not feel justified in adopting them. 
At the same time we fully admit that the rules in question are, 
for the most part, founded on just criticism, and therefore, 
though we do not allow them to operate retrospectively, we are 
willing to retain them for future guidance. Although it is of 
the first importance that the principle of priority should be 
held paramount to all others, yet we are not blind to the desir- 
ableness of rendering our scientific language palatable to the 
scholar and the man of taste. Many zoological terms, which 
are now marked with the stamp of perpetual currency, are yet 
so far defective in construction that our inability to remove 
them without infringing the law of priority may be a subject of 
regret. With these terms we cannot interfere, if we adhere to 
the principles above laid down ; nor is there even any remedy, 


if authors insist on infringing 1 the rules of good taste by intro- 
ducing into the science, words of the same inelegant or unclassi 
cal character in future. But that which cannot be enforced by- 
law may, in some measure, be effected by persuasion ; and 
with this view we submit the following propositions to natu- 
ralists, under the title of Recommendations for the Improvement 
of Zoological Nomenclature in future. 

[The best names are Latin or Greek characteristic words.] 
The classical languages being selected for zoology, and 
words being more easily remembered in proportion as they are 
expressive, it is self-evident that 

§ A. The best zoological names are those which are derived 
from the Latin or Greek, and express some distinguishing 
characteristic of the object to which they are applied. 

[ Classes of objectionable names.] 

It follows from hence that the following classes of words are 
more or less objectionable in point of taste, though, in the case 
of genera, it is often necessary to use them, from the impossibi- 
lity of finding characteristic words which have not before been 
employed for other genera. We will commence with those 
which appear the least open to objection, such as 

(a.) Geographical names. — These words being for the most part 
adjectives, can rarely be used for genera. As designations of 
species they have been so strongly objected to, that some 
authors (Wagler for instance) have gone the length of sub- 
stituting fresh names w 7 herever they occur ; others {e.g. Swain- 
son) will only tolerate them where they apply exclusively, as 
Lepus hibernicus, Troglodytes europceus, &c. We are by no 
means disposed to go to this length. It is not the less true 
that the Hirundo javanica is a Javanese bird, even though it 
may occur in other countries also, and though other species of 
Hirundo may occur in Java. The utmost that can be urged 
against such words is, that they do not tell the whole truth. 
However, as so many authors object to this class of names, it 
is better to avoid giving them, except where there is reason 
to believe that the species is chiefly confined to the country 
whose name it bears. 

(b.) Barbarous names. — Some authors protest strongly against 
the introduction of exotic words into our Latin nomenclature ; 
others defend the practice with equal warmth. We may 
remark, first, that the practice is not contrary to classical 
usage, for the Greeks and Romans did occasionally, though 
with reluctance, introduce barbarous words in a modified form 

x 23 


into their respective languages. Secondly, the preservation 
of the trivial names which animals bear in their native coun- 
tries is often of great use to the traveller in aiding him to 
discover and identify species. We do not therefore consider, 
if such words have a Latin termination given to them, that 
the occasional and judicious use of them as scientific terms can 
be justly objected to. 

(c.) Technical names. — All words expressive of trades and 
professions have been by some writers excluded from zoology, 
but without sufficient reason. Words of this class, when care- 
fully chosen, often express the peculiar characters and habits of 
animals in a metaphorical manner, which is highly elegant. 
We may cite the generic terms, Arvicola, Lanius, Pastor, Ty- 
r annus, Regulus, Mimas, Ploceus, &c, as favourable examples of 
this class of names. 

{d.) Mythological or historical names. — When these have no 
perceptible reference or allusion to the characters of the object 
on which they are conferred, they may be properly regarded as 
unmeaning and in bad taste. Thus the generic names, Lesbia, 
Leihts, Remus, Corydon, Pasiphae, have been applied to a 
Humming bird, a Butterfly, a Beetle, a Parrot, aud a Crab 
respectively, without any perceptible association of ideas. But 
mythological names may sometimes be used as generic with 
the same propriety as technical ones, in cases where a direct 
allusion can be traced between the narrated actions of a person- 
age aud the observed habits or structure of an animal. Thus 
when the name Progne is given to a Swallow, Clotho to a Spi- 
der, Hydra to a Polyp, Athene to an Owl, Nestor to a grey- 
headed Parrot, &c, a pleasing and beneficial connection is esta- 
blished between classical literature and physical science. 

(e.) Comparative names. — The objections which have been 
raised to words of this class are not without foundation. The 
names, no less than the definitions of objects, should, where 
practicable, be drawn from positive and self-evident characters, 
and not from a comparison with other objects, which may be 
less known to the reader than the one before him. Specific 
names expressive of comparative size are also to be avoided, as 
they may be rendered inaccurate by the after discovery of ad- 
ditional species. The names Picoides, Emberizoides, Pseudolus- 
cinia, rubeculoides, maximm, minor, minimus, &o. } are examples 
of this objectionable practice 

(f.) Generic names compounded from other genera. — These are 
in some degree open to the same imputation as comparative 
words ; but as they often serve to express the position of a 
genus as intermediate to, or allied with, two other genera, they 
may occasionally be used with advantage. Care must be taken 


not to adopt such compound words as are of too gi*eat length, 
and not to corrupt them in trying to render them shorter. The 
names Gallopavo, Tetraogallus, Gi/paetos, are examples of the 
appropriate use of compound words. 

(g.) Specific names derived from persons. — So long as these 
complimentary designations are used with moderation, and are 
restricted to persons of eminence as scientific zoologists, they 
may be employed with propriety in cases where expressive or 
characteristic words are not to be found. But we fully concur 
with those who censure the practice of naming species after 
persons of no scientific reputation, as curiosity-dealers (e.g. 
Canheti, Boissoneauti) , Peruvian priestesses {Cora, Amazilia) 
or Hottentots {Klassi). 

(h.) Generic names derived from persons. — Words of this class 
have been very extensively used in botauy, and therefore it 
would have been well to have excluded them wholly from zoolo- 
gy, for the sake of obtaining a memoria tec/mica by which the 
name of a genus would at once tell us to which of the kino-- 
doms of nature it belonged. Some few personal generic names 
have, however, crept into zoology, as Cuvieria, Mulleria, Rossia, 
Lessonia, &c, but they are very rare in comparison with those 
of botany, and it is perhaps desirable not to add to their number. 
(i.) Names of harsh and inelegant pronunciation. — These words 
are grating to the ear, either, from inelegance of form, as Hu- 
hxia, Yuhina, Craxirex, Eschsclioltzi, or from too great length, as 
chirostrongylostinus, Opetiorhi/nchus, brachypodioides, Thecodon- 
fosaurus, not to mention the Enaliolimnosaurus , crocodilocepha- 
loides of a German naturalist. It is needless to enlarge on the 
advantage of consulting euphony iu the construction of our 
language. As a general rule it may be recommended to avoid 
introducing words of more than five syllables. 

(k.) Ancient names of animals applied in a wrong sense. — It has 
been customary, in numerous cases, to apply the names of ani- 
mals found in classic authors at random to exotic genera or 
species which were wholly unknown to the ancients. The 
names Cebus, Callithrix, Spiza, Kitta, Struihus, are examples. 
This practice ought by no means to be encouraged. The usual 
defence for it is, that it is impossible now to identify the species 
to which the name was anciently applied. But it is certain 
that if any traveller will take the trouble to collect the verna- 
cular names used by the modern Greeks and Italians for the 
Vertebrata and Mollusca of Southern Europe, the meaning of 
the ancient names may in most cases be determined with the 
greatest precision. It has been well remarked that a Cretan 
fisher boy is a far better commentator on Aristotle's 'History of 
Animals' than a British or German scholar. The use however 


of ancient names, when correctly applied, is most desirable, 
for " in framing scientific terms, the appropriation of old words 
is preferable to the formation of new ones/'* 

(I.) Adjective generic names. — The names of genera are in all 
cases essentially substantive, and hence adjective terms cannot 
be employed for them without doing violence to grammar. The 
generic names Hians, Criniger, Cursorius, Nitidula, &c, are 
examples of this incorrect usage. 

(m.) Hybrid names. — Compound words, whose component 
parts are taken from two different languages, are great defor- 
mities in nomenclature, and naturalists should be especially 
guarded not to introduce any more such terms into zoology, 
which furnishes too many examples of them already. We have 
them compounded of Greek and Latin, as Dendrqfalco, Gymno- 
corvus, Monoculus, Arborophila, flavigaster ; Greek and French, 
as Jacamaralcyon, Jacamerops ; and Greek and English, as 
Bullockoides, Gilberlsocrinites. 

(n.) Names closely resembling other names already used. — By 
Rule 10 it was laid down that when a name is introduced, 
which is identical with one previously used, the later one should 
be changed. Some authors have extended the same principle 
to cases where the later name, when correctly written, only 
approaches in form, without wholly coinciding with the earlier. 
We do not, however, think it advisable to make this law im- 
perative, first, because of the vast extent of our nomenclature, 
which renders it highly difficult to find a name which shall not 
bear more or less resemblance in sound to some other ; and, 
secondly, because of the impossibility of fixing a limit to the 
degree of approximation beyond which such a law should cease 
to operate. We content ourselves, therefore, with putting forth 
this proposition merely as a recommendation to naturalists in 
selecting generic names, to avoid such as too closely approxi- 
mate words already adopted. So with respect to species, the 
judicious naturalist will aim at variety of designation, and 
will not, for example, call a species virens or virescens in a genus 
which already possesses a viridis. 

(o.) Corrupted words. — In the construction of compound 
Latin words, there are certain grammatical rules which have 
been known and acted on for two thousand years, and which 
a naturalist is bound to acquaint himself with before he tries 
his skill in coining zoological terms. One of the chief of these 
rules is, that in compounding words all the radical or essential 
parts of the constituent members must be retained, and no 
change made except in the variable terminations. But several 

* Whewell. Phil. Ind. Sc. v. i. p. lxvii. 


generic names have been lately introduced which run counter 
to this rule, and form most unsightly objects to all who are 
conversant with the spirit of the Latin language. A name 
made up of the first half of one word and the last half of ano- 
ther, is as deformed a monster in nomenclature as a Mermaid 
or a Centaur would be in zoology ; yet we find examples in 
the names Corcorax (from Corvus and Pyrrhocorax) , Cypsnagra 
(from Cypselus and Tanagra), Merulaxis (Merula and Synal- 
laxis), Loxigilla (Loxia and Fringilla), &c. In other cases, 
where the commencement of both the simple words is retained 
in the compound, a fault is still committed by cutting off too 
much of the radical and vital portions, as is the case in Bucor- 
vus (from Buceros and Corvus) , Ninox (Nisus and Noctua) , &c. 

(p.) Nonsense names. — Some authors having found difficulty 
in selecting generic names which have not been used before, 
have adopted the plan of coining words at random without any 
derivation or meaning whatever. The following are examples ; 
Viralva, Xema, Azeca, Assiminia, Quedius, Spisula. To the 
same class we may refer anagrams of other generic names, as 
Dacelo and Cedola of Alcedo, Zapornia of Porzana, &c. Such 
verbal trifling as this is in very bad taste, and is especially cal- 
culated to bring the science into contempt. It finds no prece- 
dent in the Augustan age of Latin, but can be compared only 
to the puerile quibblings of the middle ages. It is contrary to 
the genius of all languages, which appear never to produce new 
words by spontaneous generation, but always to derive them from 
some other source, however distant or obscure. And it is pe- 
culiarly annoying to the etymologist, who, after seeking in vain 
through the vast stoi'e-houses of human language for the 
parentage of such words, discovers at last that he has been pur- 
suing an ignis fatuus. 

(g.) Names previously cancelled by the operation of§ 6. — Some 
authors consider that, when a name has been reduced to a 
synonym by the operations of the laws of priority, they are 
then at liberty to apply it at pleasure to any new group which 
may be in want of a name. We consider, however, that when 
a word has once been proposed in a given sense, and has after- 
wards sunk into a synonym, it is far better to lay it aside for 
ever than to run the risk of making confusion by re-issuing it 
with a new meaning attached. 

(»•.) Specific names raised into generic. — It has sometimes been 
the practice in sub-dividing an old genus, to give to the lesser 
genera so formed, the names of their respective typical species. 
Our Rule 13 authorizes the forming a new specific name in such 
cases ; but we further wish to state our objections to the prac- 
tice altogether. Considering as we do that the original specific 


names should, as far as possible, be held sacred, both on the 
grounds of justice to their authors and of practical convenience 
to naturalists, we would strongly dissuade from the farther 
continuance of a practice which is gratuitous in itself, and which 
involves the necessity of altering long established specific 

We have now pointed out the principal rocks and shoals 
which lie in the path of the nomenclator ; and it will be seen 
that the navigation through them is by no means easy. The 
task of constructing a language which shall supply the de- 
mands of scientific accuracy on the one hand, and of liter- 
ary elegance on the other, is not to be inconsiderately under- 
taken by unqualified persons. Our nomenclature presents but 
too many flaws and inelegancies already, and as the stern law 
of priority forbids their removal, it follows that they must re- 
main as monuments of the bad taste or bad scholarship of 
their authors to the latest ages in which zoology shall be stu- 

[Families to endhildss, and Subfamilies in inae.] 

The practice suggested in the following proposition has been 
adopted by many recent authors, and its simplicity and con- 
venience is so great that we strongly recommend its universal 

§ B. It is recommended that the assemblages of genera 
termed families should be uniformly named by adding the 
termination ida to the name of the earliest known, or most 
typically characterized genus in them ; and that their sub- 
divisions, termed Subfamilies, should be similarly constructed, 
with the termination hies. 

These words are formed by changing the last syllable of the 
genitive case into idee or ince, as Strix, btrigis, Strigida, Buceros, 
Bucerotis, Bucerotida, not Strixides, Bucerida. 

[Specific names to be written with a small initial.'] 

A convenient memoria technica may be effected by adopting 
our next proposition. It has been usual, when the titles of 
species are derived from proper names, to write them with a 
capital letter, and hence when the specific name is used alone 
it is liable to be occasionally mistaken for the title of a genus. 
But if the titles of species were invariably written with a small 
initial, and those of genera with a capital, the eye would at 
once distinguish the rank of the group referred to, and a 
possible source of error would be avoided. It should be further 


remembered that all species are equal, and should therefore 
be written all alike. We suggest, then, that 

§0. Specific names should always be written with a small 
initial letter, even when derived from persons or places, and 
generic names should be alwa} 7 s written with a capital. 

\The authority for a species, exclusive of the genus, to be follow- 
ed by a distinctive expression.] 

The systematic names of zoology being still far from that 
state of fixity which is the ultimate aim of the science, it is 
frequently necessary for correct indication to append to them 
the name of the person on whose authority they have been 
proposed. When the same person is authority both for the 
specific and generic name, the case is very simple • but when 
the specific name of cne author is annexed to the generic name 
of another, some difficulty occurs. For example, the Muscicapa 
crinita of Linnaeus belongs to the modern genus Tyrannus 
of Vieillot; but Swainson was the first to apply the specific 
name of Linnaeus to the generic one of Vieillot. The question 
now arises, Whose authority is to be quoted for the name 
Tyrannus crinitus ? The expression Tyrannus crinitus, Linn., 
would imply what is untrue, for Linnaeus did not use the term 
Tyrannus; and Tyrannus crinitus, Vieill., is equally incorrect, for 
Vieillot did not adopt the name crinitus. If we call it Tyran- 
nus crinitus, S\\\, it would imply that Swainson was the 
first to describe the species, and Linnaeus would be robbed 
of his due credit. If we term it Tyrannus, Vieill., crinitus, 
Liun., we use a form which, though exprassing the facts correct- 
ly, and therefore not without advantage in particular cases where 
great exactness is required, is yet too lengthy and inconvenient 
to be used with ease and rapidity. Of the three persons con- 
cerned with the construction of a binomial title in the case 
before us, we conceive that the author who first describes and 
names a species which forms the ground-work of later o-enerali- 
zations, possesses a higher claim to have his name recorded 
than he who afterwards defines a genus which is found to 
embrace that species, or who may be the mere accidental 
means of bringing the generic and specific names into contact. 
By giving the authority for the specific name in preference to 
all others, the inquirer is referred directly to the origiual des- 
cription, habitat, &c, of the species, and is at the same time 
reminded of the date of its discovery ; while genera, beino- 
less numerous than species, may be carried in the memory, 
or referred to in systematic works without the necessity of 
perpetually quoting their authorities. The most simple mode 


then for ordinary use seems to be to append to the original 
authority for the species, when not applying to the genus also, 
some distinctive mark, such as (sp.), implying an exclusive 
reference to the specific name, as Tyrannus crinitus (Linn.) 
(sp.), and to omit this expression when the same authority 
attaches to both genus and species, as Ostrea edulis, Linn.* 

§ D. It is recommended that the authority for a specific 
name, when not applying to the generic name also, should be 
followed by the distinctive expression (sp.) 

[New genera and species to be defined amply and publicly.] 

A large proportion of the complicated mass of synonyms 
which has now become the opprobrium of zoology, has 
originated either from the slovenly and imperfect manner in 
which species and groups have been originally defined, or 
from their definitions having been inserted in obscure local 
publications which have never obtained an extensive circulation. 
Therefore, although under § 12, we have conceded that mere 
insertion in a printed book is sufficient for publication, yet we 
would strongly advise the authors of new groups always to 
give, in the first instance, a full and accurate definition of their 
characters, and to insert the same, in such periodical or other 
works as are likely to obtain an immediate and extensive cir- 
culation. To state this briefly 

§ E. It is recommended that new genera or species be amply 
defined, and extensively circulated in the first instance. 

f" The names to be given to subdivisions of genera to agree in 
gender with the original genus.] 

In order to preserve specific names as far as possible in an 
unaltered form, whatever may be the changes which the 
genera to which they are referred may undergo, it is desirable, 
when it can be done with propriety, to make the new sub- 
divisions of genera agree in gender with the old groups from 
which they are formed. This recommendation does not, how- 
ever, authorise the changing the gender or termination of a 
genus already established. In brief, 

§ F. It is recommended that in subdividing an old genus in 
future, the names given to the subdivisions should agree in 
gender with that of the original group. 

* The expression Tyrannus crinitus (Linn.) would perhaps be preferable from its 
greater brevity. 


\Etymologies and types of new genera to be staled.] 

It is obvious that the names of genera would in general be 
far more carefully constructed, and their definitions would be 
rendered more exact, if authors would adopt the following 
suggestion : — 

§ G-. It is recommended that in defining new genera the 

etymology of the name should be always stated, and that one 

species should be invariably selected as a type or standard of 


In concluding this outline of a scheme for the rectification 
of zoological nomenclature, we have only to remark that 
almost the whole of the propositions contained in it may be 
applied with equal correctness to the sister science of botany. 
We have preferred, however, in this essay to limit our views to 
zoology, both for the sake of rendering the question less com- 
plex, and because we conceive that the botanical nomenclature 
of the present day stands in much less need of distinct enactment 
than the zoological. The admirable rules laid down by Linnreus, 
Smith, Decandolle, and other botanists (to which, no less than 
to the works of Fabricius, Illiger, Vigors, Stvainson, and other 
zoologists, we have been much indebted in preparing the pre- 
sent document), have always exercised a beneficial influence 
over their disciples. Hence the language of botany has attained 
a more perfect and stable condition than that of zoology ; and 
if this attempt at reformation may have the effect of advancing 
zoological nomenclature beyond its present backward and ab- 
normal state, the wishes of its promoters will be fully attained. 

(Signed) H.E. Strickland. J. S. Henslow. 

John Phillips. W. E. Suckhard. 

John Richardson. G. R. Waterhouse. 

Richard Owen. TV. Yarrell. 

Leonard Jenyns. 0. Darwin. 

W. J. Broderip. J. 0. Westwood. 

June 27th, 1842. 

[I understand that subsequent to this reprint of 18(33, above 
reproduced, some few slight modifications of the above rules 
were agreed upon. What these modifications were I have failed 
as yet to ascertain, but as soon as practicable I will reproduce 
these also.— Ed., S. F., October 1877.] 

y 24 


Stoional gotea from ^iMjim.— So. 1. 

By. J. A. Gammie. 

In sendiug a few notes from this part of India, I would draw 
attention to Hooker's Himalayan Journals, which contain an 
admirable account of Sikhim. Although the author spent but 
part of two years in it, and labored under the great disadvan- 
tage of having had no previous knowledge of the customs or 
language of its inhabitants, the information he amassed is, in 
many respects, almost exhaustive, . and in every way trust- 
worthy. After twelve years' uninterrupted residence in Sikhim 
I can but admire the book the more. For the fulness and 
correctness of its information, it is beyond all praise, and I 
would strongly recommend intending visitors to this part of 
the world to procure it. 

Unfortunately, in consequence of Doctor (now Sir Joseph) 
Hooker's time having been fully taken up with the Botany, 
Geography, Meteorology, &c, of the district, very little is 
said about its birds." 

In all essential matters the information collected, more than a 
quarter of a century ago, stands perfectly good to this day ; but in 
some respects a gradual change has taken place. The country side 
had not then been cleared of its virgin forests for Tea and Cinchona 
plantations, and was but thinly inhabited by Lepchas, who sub- 
sisted partly on the few crops raised on small clearances — to be 
abaudoned as soon as exhausted for virgin soil — and partly on 
roots, &c, collected in the jungles. Now, there are Tea planta- 
tions in every direction, from the Rungeet to the far side of 
the Terai, and very little virgin forest remains under 6,000 feet 
elevation ; while the population, now chiefly Nepaulese, has 
become almost dense, and is either employed on the plantations 
or in raising crops for sale to those so employed. The present 
system of native cultivation, though far from perfect, is very 
much in advance of that in vogue six or eight years ago, and 
is another illustration of the truth of the old adage — 
" Necessity is the mother of invention." 

A few years ago, when land was but little valued, this or that 
particular spur was spoken of as the place that was, and alone could 
be, ploughed, but now almost every native cultivator has his plough 
and pair of bullocks, and ploughs most impossible-looking places. 
Their plough is certainly a primitive looking affair, but a good 
ploughman makes fair work with it on ordinary slopes, while on 
the steeper slopes an English plough could not possibly be used. 
Land is now in much more request, and when a native gets 


settled down on a ploughable piece, he cultivates it year after 
year, builds a much better house than formerly, wears more 
clothing — even shoes in winter — and bedecks his wives and 
children with large quantities of jewellery. 

A few years ago the (for that time) well-to-do ryot was rather 
proud of his clumsy Nepaul umbrella of painted cloth and cane 
ribs, but now he must have an English one, and nothing less than 
a twelve-steel-ribbed one will suffice. In nothing, perhaps, can 
the native's prosperity be easier traced than in his style of 
umbrella. From his mat one to the painted, then to veritable 
" Sairey Gamps," and so on to the present twelve-ribbed stage. 
The painted ones are rather a loss to the ornithologist, for on 
them were often displayed beautiful pictures of what are, even 
to this day, " new and undescribed " species, I might say 
genera, of birds ! 

The Tea Industry has certainly been a great benefit to 
the native. Many of them did not think so, and made 
a rush across to British Bhootan where the Tea planter is 
not allowed to follow ; but except those situated whence thev 
can take their produce to market they would only be too glad 
to have Tea planters near them again, and many long to o- e t 
back to their old quarters. They say, " we can grow plenty 
of stuff, but without purchasers it is of no use." Their wants 
and little comforts had increased so insensibly, though surely, 
that they did not know their lives had been made more comfort- 
able until they got back to the same sort of position they 
were in before the planter appeared on the scene and bettered 
their condition in spite of themselves. It is still no uncommon 
thing to hear Europeans, who ought to know better, talkino- 
of the ruinous system of cultivation — or rather non-cultivation, 
the natives have of taking one or two crops only from the 
same piece of land, and then moving on to fresh ground. This 
system — and a bad one it was — used to be carried on, but since 
some years back it has become an impossibility owino- to the 
increase of population and scarcity of laud. The change has 
been so gradual that many residents are scarcely aware it has 
taken place. In many parts there are hundreds of acres on 
end, cultivated year after year with good results. 

This radical change — from virgin forests to large tracts of 
cultivated laud — is causing great alterations in the nature of the 
vegetation, and, no doubt, equally great changes among the birds, 
insects, &c, which it will be interesting to watch. These beino- 
constantly on the move, an increase or decrease in their numbers 
are not so readily noticed. The smaller plants fall much more 
under every-day notice than do the larger trees, many of which 
run great risk of becoming extinct, as the majority of 


them in the young state require shelter and shade, while 
the smaller growing plants, as a rule, only require their 
bigger neighbours to be cleared away to enable them to 
spread in every direction to the complete suppression of 
the giants' progeny. Take for instance the grass known 
among planters as Seeroo or Ooloo (Saccharum spontaneum ?) 
In a virgin forest it is one of the rarest plants, but clear away 
the trees and keep their seedlings down for a year or two by 
fire and cattle, and the grass will spring up as if by spontaneous 
generation — which appears to be believed in by several of 
the would-be, wise and scientific advisers of Tea planters — to 
the exclusion ever after of almost every thing else. Mauy small 
plauts that are now quite common were extremely rare twelve 
years ago. I remember finding my first plant of the elegant 
Davallia tenuifolia, and for years rarely saw another, but now 
it is abundant along the sides of the Cinchona roads. A visitor 
to Darjeeling cannot fail to observe the beautiful, large masses 
of the European Club-moss (Lycopodium clavalum) along the 
steep banks of the cart road ; but let him walk into the forest 
beyond the opening made for the road, and he will find how 
rare a plant it naturally is : and many other plants the same. 

These changes in the distribution of plants take place so gra- 
dually that people constantly living in the place are apt to 
overlook them. As regards insects, there may still be as 
many species of moths and butterflies as formerly, but the de- 
crease in the number of individuals, even in my short time, is 
remarkable. Hooker, in writing of them, says : (c They sat by 
thousands — such an entomological display cannot be surpas- 
sed." There is now nothing to equal this description, and 
Hooker always rather under than over estimates. Snakes, on 
the other hand, are getting more abundant year by year, but 
their greatest enemy, the land crab, is scarcer, which may ac- 
count for the increase. Crabs do not thrive in the grassy jungles 
which have taken the place of the forest trees, but snakes do, 
the latter thus gaining a double chance of multiplying. 

It is amusing to watch a crab trying to draw a snake that has 
partly got into its hole. He catches it by one "hand" quite 
close to the hole and holds it tight till it yields a little, when he 
clutches it in front with the other, and so on, till the snake 
either yields altogether or breaks. Usually the crab has to be 
satisfied with the tail-end on which he makes a hearty meal, 
tearing it in pieces and handing the morsels into its out-of-the- 
way mouth in a very ludicrous manner. Those with an un- 
fortunate — for themselves — prejudice against snakes may think 
that snake-killing is the particular mission of the crab to the 
warmer slopes of the Himalayas ; but I hope, and believe, that 


it lias a better part to play in the economy of nature than that 
of destroying our mauy charming" species of harmless snakes. 

Every one must have observed the great increase, if not 
change, in bird-life after a few trees have grown up in'places 
where no trees were before. The former superintendent of the 
Poomong Cinchona Plantation planted a quantity of Crypto- 
meriajaponica about his house, and when they got up to about 
twenty feet in height the number of birds about them was 
surprising. Birds appear to have a particular affection for fir 
trees. Domestic fowls will perch iu them in the day-time in 
preference to any other kind of tree ; often, indeed, they would 
not rest at all were it not for the pleasure of being among the fir 
branches. I formerly thought that the reason of this preference 
was that the resinous smell kept away troublesome insects, but a 
few months ago I saw two jungle cocks feeding iu a certain 
spot in the valley of the Teesta, and as my curiosity was excited 
on seeing them return to the same spot in a few seconds, I 
searched, and found they had been feeding on fleshy seeds with 
a strong resinous smell ; so, perhaps, fowls and other birds have 
a fondness for resinous substances. Be the reason what it 
may, fir trees have a special attraction for birds. 

Since we got up trees and large bamboos round the Cinchona 
Bungalows at Mongpoo, the increase in the number of birds is 
amazing. Many people object to trees and bamboos near their 
houses under the idea that they shelter mosquitos and other iu- 
sects, but as far as my experience goes these prefer sticking 
among, or near the leaves to coming into the houses. We have 
not more mosquitos now than we had when we were comparative- 
ly bare, but even were there many more — which I by no means 
admit — the large flocks of Pericrocolus speciosus that visit us 
daily are, alone, sufficient to recompense us for numerous bites, 
and to rejoice the heart of any lover of birds. 

We have a few old trees with dead tops, which, when we first 
came to the place, I thought, in my consummate ignorance, should 
be cut out as useless and unsightly, but we soon saw that the 
birds considered the dead tops to be the most useful parts of the 
trees by a long way, and we wisely left them alone. Now we 
are daily repaid a thousand fold. Iu the spring mornings and 
evenings that lovely songster, Copsgchus saularis, pours forth its 
sweet song from the dead tops. At this season (September) it is 
pretty to see the long rows of Artamus fuscxis seated on them 
in the evenings, as close together as they can pack, occasionally 
one or two dropping out of the ranks for a short sally after 
insects, and sometimes altogether taking a flight for a minute 
or two, keeping up a continual, pleasant, twittering noise. 
Collyris nigriceps often regales us with a pretty, though rather 


feeble, song from these dead tops, and many other birds are 
regular frequenters of them. The moral of all this is : never 
cut away a dead tree top if you wish to do the birds a good 
turn. Man is far too ready to take it for granted that every- 
thing in this world has been made for his sole use and benefit 
and to act in a cruel and inconsiderate manner towards what 
he is pleased to call the lower members of the animal kingdom, 
Not very long ago I heard a high official, of an imaginative 
turn of mind, wonder why there should be inaccessible raviues 
filled with trees where they could be of no earthly use that he 
could see, quite overlooking the evident fact that the world was 
not made for the exclusive use of mankind. I was not so 
rude as to say so, but I thought " were you a Hornbill, or Bear, 
or Monkey, or even a wild Pig, you would wonder why there 
should be any other sort of places." These inaccessible spots 
now provide more food, and safer breeding places for many 
birds and other animals than all the gentle slopes put together. 
Our first pair of Mynahs (Acridotheres tristis) made their 
appearance about five years ago. They, and their progeny, 
have bred with us every year since, and now there are one or 
two good-sized flocks of them. To my great disappointment 
they shun our house, which is on a -dry ridge ; and keep near 
another house about half a mile distant. It has a stream near 
it which may be the attraction. Its occupier was very proud 
of his Mynahs, and though he knew how disappointed I was 
that none of them would come our way, would, every time 
I went across, say with a most tantalizing smile of exultation, 
" You see the Mynahs stay with me." But this was endurable 
compared with his crowing about a one-legged Motacilla luzo- 
niensis which took up its quarters about his house. There it 
stuck, mouth after month, without moving forty yards away, 
and never once came near us. It was a lovely specimen, as 
plump as it could be, and not a feather out of place, and so 
tame. It would pick up bread crumbs and rice — rather 
unusual for a Wag-tail, I think — from under our feet. 
At night it perched on the ledge of a warm chimney. It 
really was a treat to see the little creature hopping about 
so nimbly on its one leg, and looking so comfortable and 
contented. How I envied its possessor, to be sure ! I would 
sometimes point out our Minivets, Spider-hunters, Swallow 
Shrikes, &c, when he came our way, but he would, with 
the most superior air, say, " Oh ! Ah ! they are very fine, but 
you, should just come over and see my one legged Wagtail/' 
and then I could but swallow my envy and mortification as best 
I could, and admit the inferiority of our possessions. It stayed 
on till well into the rains, long after all its tribe had left for 


their breeding- quarters, and we hoped it would always remain, 
but one morning it was missing, and has never returned. 

Que pair of our Myuahs, at least we claim them, went across 
the valley this year to a Tea planter on the next ridge. He is 
a Pigeon-faucier, and had a cot of eight holes nailed up against 
his house for his pigeons to breed in. The one pair of Mynahs 
drove out all the pigeons, built a nest in every hole, or rather 
stuffed them full of grass, to keep full possession I suppose, and 
brought up a fine brood in one of them. The pigeons were 
very much afraid of them and never ventured near. The plan- 
ter did not like to see his pigeons ousted in this unceremonious 
manner, but, as he said, he admired the impudence of the 
Mynahs too much to drive them away. Mynahs may do great 
good to Tea planters in keeping down grasshoppers, which often 
do much inqury to young Tea plants. 

Centropus bengalensis has increased largely of late. Among 
grassy scrub, up to 3,500 feet, it is now abundant, where, only a 
few years ago, it was rarely to be found. In the earlier part 
of the rainy season its odd, monotonous notes are to be heard 
in every direction. I am not sure that the male calls, but 
have shot the female — as I found by dissection — when 
calling. It has a call of a double series of notes : whoot, 
whoot, whoot, whoot ; then often a pause of four or five seconds, 
kurook, kurook, kurook, kurook. The " whoot" is quite ven- 
triloquistic, sounding as if it came from a distance of six or 
eight yards from the bird. Before calling, it seats itself about 
five feet from the ground, then you see it draw its neck and 
body together, slightly puffing out its body feathers, raising 
its back and depressing its tail, and for every " whoot" there is 
a violent throb of the body as if the bird was iu great pain, at 
the same time the motion of the throat is scarcely perceptible 
and its bill is closed. Then, as if greatly relieved, it stretches 
itself out, the feathers fall smooth, and with open mouth and 
throbbing throat comes the " kurook " without the slightest 
attempt at ventriloquism. When searching for the caller one 
must take no notice of the " whoot " but wait for the " kurook." 
It feeds almost entirely on grasshoppers, and frequents the open, 
scrubby tracts only. I have never once seen it in larger forest. 

Geocichla citrina is another bird that has become common in 
the shady Cinchona plantations. Until a year or two ago, I 
never saw it except near the bottoms of our warmest valleys, 
and in the Terai, where it is abundant, but this year we have it 
in large numbers up to nearly 4,000 feet. 

We have a patch of plantains and a few plants of Passi- 

flora edulis near our house, which are great attractions to Arach- 

nothera magna. At first they were rather shy, but lately they 


have got bold euough to feed within a few yards of us. Jerdon 
says he a found it at Darjeeling from the level of the lowest 
valleys to about 3,000 feet only, generally frequenting- high trees, 
and picking various insects off the flower, buds and leaves." 
This account is a mistaken one, as is also his description of 
the nest. It occurs up to 6,000 feet, generally frequenting the 
the wild plantains and smaller trees, and picks insects* out 
of the open flowers, as might be guessed from the length and 
formation if its bill. "When the passion flowers are open, they 
hunt them over several times a day, but plantain flowers are 
their favorite hunting grounds, and deftly do they insert their 
bills in one flower after the other, now and again pausing in 
search to give tongue to their sharp " tirik/' " tirik."" It is 
not a very abundant bird anywhere, but as it is of a solitary 
disposition, and never moves from one place to another without 
uttering its peculiar, and unmistakeable call, it is, perhaps, 
oftener seen than many birds that are very much more nu- 
merous. A pair are about our compound this September, 
feeding a fully-fledged Cuckoo, (C. micropterus) quite strong 
on the wing, but evidently too lazy to forage for himself so 
long has he can get this foster-parents to feed him. It looks 
absurd to see the little creatures feeding a great bird like this 
Cuckoo. They appear to have hard work in keeping him 
satisfied, but are evidently proud of their charge. My friend 
Mandelli insists that we have two species of Arachnothera in the 
district, and he is usually right in his assertions. 

A marked instance of how rapidly animals increase in num- 
bers under extra favorable circumstances occurred in Sikhim in 
1867-68 when one of the small hill bamboos, flowered and 
seeded simultaneously all over Sikhim, as is its habit to do about 
once in five and twenty years. The increase in the number 
of rats, caused by the extra amount of food, was something 
marvellous. The seeds yielded by the large masses of bam- 
boos were more than sufficient food for them, and as long as 
they lasted, the increase went on at an alarming pace. When 
that food-supply ceased they descended in such legions on the 
maize fields that on every cornstalk, almost, might have been 
seen several rats. After the remnant of the corn crop had 
been harvested, the legions of rats diminished as suddenly as 
they had increased. So rapid, at these times, are both the 
increase and decrease that the natives have the idea that they 
come up the river beds from the plains to eat the bamboo 
seed, and afterwards take their departure by the same route, 
which is, of course, absurd. Birds, as they breed fewer times 
in the year, cannot increase so rapidly as the rats did ; but 

* It is for the nectar rather than the insects that the spider-hunters chiefly yisit the 
flowers. — Ed., S. F. 


then many of the great changes made in the vegetation 
by large clearances, are permanent, instead of being temporary, 
as in the case of the seeding of the bamboo, which give those, 
whose food-supply has been permanently increased by the 
changes, the better chance in the long run ; and a correspond- 
ing disadvantage to those whose food-supply has been for 
ever diminished. If Tea planters would only study ornithology, 
or any other branch of natural science, they would soon dis- 
cover fqr themselves how quickly changes in the nature of 
the vegetation affect the distribution of different animals, and 
such knowledge would be very suggestive of the causes of the 
multiplication of the insect pests which affect their tea bushes, 
and might lead them on to think of either preventatives or 
cures. The utter nonsense that has been published about tea 
pests of late by empirics could have never for a moment been 
listened to by men with the slightest knowledge of animal 
or vegetable physiology ; but I must not enter into Tea subjects 

% fist of girbs rollcrtcb anb ofcmbeb on tje plant fills. 

By Rev. S. B. Fairbank, D.D. 

Eleven years ago the state of my health required me to 
leave ray home in the Dakhan and seek its restoration by a 
sojourn of some months at a mountain sanitarium. 

Providence kindly sent me to Kodaikanal on the Palani Hills. 
1 was allowed to stay there for ten delightful months, and 
came away with the assured opinion that the climate of the 
Palani Hills is as near perfection as that of any spot, at least, 
in India. 

It may have been exceptionally fine that year. It was 
continual Spring. Rain fell in every month, and just about 
as we needed it. Not less than three inches and not more 
than eight inches of rain fell in each of those consecutive 
ten months. At our house, which we called Rose Cottage, be- 
cause it was always embowered in roses, the thermometer did 
not fall below 50 tf , nor rise above 75°. We needed a fire every 
evening and had a cosy wood fire in an open fireplace. 

During some years there are months when no rain falls, 
and sometimes there are storms with high winds and heavy 
rain. Some tell of cold snaps when ice is formed on the sur- 
face of the lake. That year we had ice at Christmas, but 
only enough to make ice cream to accompany the strawberries 
that were just then most abundant. The ice grew in stalks, 

z 25 


like crystal mushrooms, just under the surface of the ground, 
in a cold wet place beside the lake. 

One needs occupation when the clouds gather thick around 
the tops of the hills and stay there all day. I preferred to 
use such days for running down to lower levels with my gun 
and collecting box. Even when ' the weather is fine, the 
collector is generally off down the hill sides, because the variety 
he seeks is greater there. The Palani Hills above 5,000 
feet would be much improved were there more forast upon 
them. The surface is covered with grass, and trees are few 
and for between. Kodaikanal, the umbrella grove, or as some 
prefer to pronounce and translate it, Kodikanal, the grove 
of creepers, was a fine collection of large trees on a steep hill 
side, three quarters by one quarter of a mile in extent. Many 
of the old Cinnamon (C. iiiers), Olive {Eleocarpus oblongus) , 
Jambul, {Syzigium) and other fine trees have been felled ; and a 
thicket of underwood, in some places almost impenetrable, has 
grown up through the whole grove. Additions have been made 
by planting Bluegums, Wattle trees and other Acacias intro- 
duced from Australia. The Acacias are now naturalized and 
the older Bluegums produce fertile seed. One of three Blue- 
gums in our yard, that were fourteen years old from the seed, 
measured nine feet four inches in circumference, a yard above 
the ground and appeared to diminish but little in girth for 
twenty feet. There it branched into four parts, each a fine 
tree. The others were nearly 9 feet in girth. One of the 
Acacias (A. melanoxylon) rivals the Bluegums in the rapidity 
of its growth and the straightness of its stem ; but its wood 
is not as durable as that of another Wattle tree which usually 
refuses to grow straight. It is easy to make a grove of 
Wattle trees anywhere on these hills above six thousand feet, 
and probably they will flourish much lower. The site for a 
grove of Wattle trees should be one where they are to be allow- 
ed to remain permanently. For it is most difficult to eradi- 
cate some of them when once established. Every twig of the 
roots of A. dealbata for instance will send up a shoot, and each 
shoot will strive to become a tree. 

There are some fine natural- groves besides the Kodaikanal, 
although most of the surface of the Upper Palanis is covered 
with grass, with only here and there a few scattered Rhodo- 
dendron trees (R. arboreum). 

Descending from Kodaikanal towards the east, at about 
the 8th milestone, we reach what is now called the Neutral 
Saddle. This is a low ridge dividing the waterflow, and 
uniting Permal-malai, the monarch of the Palani Hills, which 
rises to the north, with Palmalai which rises to the south of 


this pass. There was once a village here called Kowaji, but 
it was deserted many years ago when cholera swept away the 
population of the hill villages ; and now, without an oid in- 
habitant for a guide, it would be hard to find its site. Colonel 
Law, who marked the trace for the new road and is superin- 
tending its construction, has built a small house on the Saddle 
and planted Gum trees and other trees around it. When the 
road is opened a village will naturally grow up there. 

From Mount Permal and the Neutral Saddle to the east, 
lie the Lower Palanis. Entering them from the west, one 
finds that thin jungle begins to dispute possession with the 
grass. Scattered trees grow on the sides and on the tops of 
the low hills. For ten miles, however, excepting narrow strips 
along the streams, the trees are small. After that in Pani- 
kadu, Tandigudi, Periur, &c, excepting the clearings for 
plantains, coffee and agriculture, the surface is covered with 
large trees. Some of the trees are immense. Even the slopes 
of the Lower Palanis that descend to the plains, though they 
are often very steep and in some places precipitous, (as are 
the slopes of all the Palanis.) are covered with a thin 
growth of small trees. The new road descends regularly from 
Panikadu to the plain and will be carried from the base of 
the hill to Battagundu which is eleven miles from Amanaikanur, 
the nearest railroad station. The grade in no part exceeds 1 
in 17, and is usually less than that. After reaching the general 
level of the Lower Palanis, the new road winds along the 
spurs of the long hill that stretches on east from Permal, some- 
times descending for half a mile, but on the whole ascendino- 
till, within about ten miles of Kodaikanal, the grade begins to 
ascend regularly and continues to do so until the top of Mount 
Nebo is reached. 

The zig-zag bridle path now in use for ascendiug the east 
side of the Palanis to Kodaikanal, begins at " the Tope," 
which is five miles north-west from Periakulam and 12 miles 
east from Kodaikanal. Its turns are too sharp to allow of carts 
going up. The few wheeled vehicles now in use at the Sani- 
tarium were brought up in pieces by coolies. 

The new road is ready for use as far as Shemiganur, or about 
four miles. When the rocks that encroach on it at some 
places shall have been removed, and two bridges shall have 
been built, it will be ready for use four miles further, to the 
Neutral Saddle. The lower part is as yet a mere bridle path, 
and in some parts of the first climb, a great deal of blasting 
will be required to carry the road past precipitous patches of 
granite that crop out and monopolize the hill side. Years 
may elapse before the road will become passable for carts. 


I followed the trace up. Leaving the South India Rail- 
road at Amanaikanur, I travelled by Bandy, seventeen or 
eighteen miles, passing through Battagundu, to the base of the 
hill. From there coolies took my luggage and I went on 
afoot. It was hard work for the coolies, as frequently we had 
to climb up or go down around masses of granite that had not 
been blasted sufficiently to allow of our following the line of 
the trace. The trees on the hill side were small and scatter- 
ing, and but few of them were in fruit, so we found but few 
birds till we reached the large trees beside the river from 
Panikadu. There was here and there a black headed Oriole 
(0. ceylomnsis) , or a small flook of cat birds (Malacocircus 
malabarieus) . Soon after reaching the large trees a number of 
birds quarrelling attracted my attention. One was bright 
colored and wishing particularly to make a more intimate ac- 
quaintance, though he was so high up that I had little expec- 
tation of bringing him down, I fired at him. Being wounded 
he fell towards me and I was delighted to see he was a Trogon 
(Harpacfes fasciatus). I stood ready to lay hold of the prize. 
But having a little use of his wings he took a slant down the 
hill side and went down so far that all our efforts to find him 
proved vain, and at last the search was reluctantly given up. 
This was the first failure to retrieve a valuable specimen from 
being unable to find it in the bushes and grass of the hill sides, 
but it was not the last. In some places, for all the care taken 
to shoot birds only when they would fall in accessible places, 
not half of those shot were found. 

After leaving the river in the stunted jungle on a hill side, 
I obtained two males and a female of Irena puella and a 
Tephrodornis sylvicola and they were the only specimens of 
those species that I secured dnring my stay on the Palanis. 
I shot two others of the same Wood Shrike, but they fell 
among high grass, and every effort to find them proved unavail- 
ino-. I also observed Irenas frequently afterwards, but always 
at such a distance that they were off across some gorge to 
another high tree half a mile away, before I could get 
within range. 

From the Panikadu River to the Neutral Saddle the trace 
is so well cleared that there is a fair bridle path. It winds 
along through the scattered jungle and the high grass, pass- 
ing now and then through a small grove of large trees 
that is watered by one of the several streams that flow across 
it. Birds are not abundant among the stunted trees. But they 
are the home of Artamus fuscus, Picus mahrattensis, Yungipicus 
gymnopthalmns, Megalaima viridis, Hemipus picatus, Lepfocoma 
minima, Muni a punctulaia, Drgmoica inornata, Dumelia al- 


bogularis and so on, and the groves by the streams shelter 
Criniger ictericus, Hypsipetes ganeesa, Eulabes religiosa and the 
larger Woodpeckers. Where there is cultivation, Acridotheres 
tristis, Turtur suratensis, with possibly a few Turtur cambayensis, 
and Perdicula erythrorhyncha are to be found. There was 
another Quail which I did not obtain, but supposed it to be 
Perdicula cambayensis. 

A party of friends welcomed me at the Neutral Saddle. 
They came down for a picnic and for climbing Permal. In 
the evening we started for Kodaikanal and soon reached the 
grove that covers the steep hill sides and fills the gorge through 
which the Warrebaki River flows. This river is formed from 
the stream flowing from "the Lake" and another from Shemi- 
ganur and receives frequent brooks from the hill sides. It 
flows toward the north along the western base of Mount 
Permal and joins the Shunmoga River near the town of Palani. 
It often tumbles over the rocks in cascades and by them you 
may hear and see Myioplionus Horsfieldi, though he dashes 
away at the slightest warning. In this grove also Tro- 
chalopteron Fairbanki, Merula simillirna, Eumyias albicaudata, 
and Ochromela nigrorufa are found, and it seems to be their 
lowest limit. As we passed, a noisy flock of Hypsipetes ganeesa 
flew across the road, often stopping a moment on the tops of 
high trees and then hurrying on. Th ree or four Pericrocotus 
flammeus glittered on a tree down the hill side. A few Hirundo 
javanica were hawking by a high bank and some Pratincola bicolor, 
and Pipastes montanus were singing in the grass above it. All 
this gave pleasant promise for future collecting, and I reached 
Kodaikanal in the best spirits. 

I was allowed only a five weeks' stay this time on the Palanis, 
and did not have as good success in collecting as I expected. I 
found it difficult to retrieve the birds shot in the groves, because 
of the thick underbrush and the dead leaves. On the hill sides, 
even when the spot where a bird fell was carefully marked with 
the eye, it often proved impossible to find it among the high 
grass and bracken. Still I send a list of such species as I pro- 
cured, or certainly identified, during one or other of my 
visits of these hills as a contribution to our knowledge 
of the Avifauna of Southern India, hoping that it may be of 
some little use until some one obtains the materials for a more 
complete one. 

List of Species. 
2.— Otegyps calvus, Scop. 

Observed rarely at the base of the hills. 


4.— Gyps indicus, Scop. 

As in preceding. 

6.— Neophron ginginianus, Lath. 

Observed up to 5,000 feet elevation. 

17.— Cerchneis tinnuncula, Lin. 

Observed at Mount Nebo, 7,000 feet elevation, till tlie middle 
of June. I think the Kestrel resides permanently ou the top 
of the Palanis. 

32. — Neopus malayensis Reinhw. 

Observed three at different places in the Lower Palanis at 
about 4,000 feet, beating back and forth through the valleys. 
They were circling slowly, just above the tree tops, but in no 
instance came near enough to allow of a shot. 

39 fo's.— Spilornis melanotis, Jerd. 

Observed only one pair. They were high in the air, but 
their loud peculiar cry which can be heard for two miles at least, 
could not be mistaken. 

55.— Haliastur indus, Bodd. 

Abundant about tanks and ponds near the base of the Hills 
and observed up to 4,000 feet. 

56.— Milvus govinda, Sykes. 

I did not notice one above 3,000 feet, though they were 
common at the base of the Hills. 

72.— Ketupa ceylonensis, Gm. 

A pair in the grove on the top which is called the Kodaikanal 
began their moaning calls each evening soon after sunset; but, 
I was unable to find them. I shot one in the same grove, in 
April 1867. 

* 83— Hirundo javanica, Sparrm. 

Obtained on the top, and also at Shemiganur, 5,500 feet. 

Kodaikanal, 2\st June. — Length, 4*8 ; wing, 4'0; expanse, 
10'5 ; tail, 20 ; tarsus, 0-4 ; bill from gape, 0*6 ; weight 044 oz. 
Iris very dark ; bill black ; feet reddish black. Wings extend 
when closed, 7 beyond end of tail. 

* At Mr. Fairbank's request I have filled in and corrected the nomenclature through- 
out the list, and in the case of species to which a * is prefixed I have examined the 
specimens and have verified or corrected the identifications. I have also corrected 
the names in the preceding introduction to correspond. — Ed., S. F. 


100.— Cypselus affinis, Gray. 

Observed at 3,000 feet a dozen or so, hawking just above the 
tree tops. Bat the bird is evidently rare about the Palanis at 
this season. 

102.— Cypselus batassiensis, /. E. Gr. 

Observed about Palmyra trees in Periakulam, near the 
Eastern base of the Hills. 

104.— Dendrochelidon coronata, Tick. 

Obtained the only one seen, at the Eastern base. It was 
young and the feathers of the head and back were mostly 
dull grey or ashy. A few shining greenish blue feathers of the 
adult plumage had begun to show themselves. 

* 112.— Caprimulgus asiaticus, Lath. 

Obtained one specimen on the Eastern base, and it was the 
only Night-jar I saw during my five weeks' stay on the Palanis, 
nor did I hear their calls in the night. I am at loss to ac- 
count for this paucity of Night-jars. 

* 115.— Harpactes fasciatus, Gm. 

While on my way up by the trace of the new road, at 3,500 
feet, I shot a Trogon, but he struggled in falling and went so 
far down the hill side that we were unable to find him. The 
next I saw was a female at the Eastern base of the Hills. She 
was sitting on a branch near the ground, and remained so entirely 
motionless that I looked sharply to be sure that it was a bird 
at all. The examination convinced me that it was a Trogon, 
and 1 took such care to avoid another failure, that her tender 
skin was much torn by the shot. I saw but one more and 
bagged him. He was sitting quietly on a high tree, at about 
5,000 feet. He fell down plump. But the place was steep and 
covered with large dry leaves. One would think, on lookino- at 
his glowing rosy red breast and white-edged tail and blue bill, 
that he must be easily found. But three of us looked for a 
long time among the leaves and were about to give up the 
search as strangely in vain, when he was found a little beyond 
the limits in which we had expected to find him. He lay back 
up and looked very much like one of the leaves. I think that 
practice would teach one to find Trogons, and to distinguish 
them, even when sitting motionless in the dark shade, simulat- 
ing dry leaves; and then they would seem more plantiful. 

$ Shemiganur, 1st June. — Length, 12*5 ; wing, 5*0 ; expanse 
16*0 ; tail, 7'0; tarsus, 0*6 ; bill from gape, 1*1 ; weight, 2'4oz. 
Bill and orbit delicate small blue ; feet a lighter but similar blue ; 


iris dark reddish-brown, when the bird was skinned. I carelessly 
omitted to note the color of the iris when the bird was shot. 

? Vengayam Parry, 2Sth May, — Length, 12*0 ; wing, 5"0 ; 
expanse, 15*75; tarsus, 0*6; tail, 7*0; bill from gape, TO; 
weight, 2"5oz. 

117.— Merops viridis, Lin. 

Plenty at the base of the Hills and in the adjacent plains. 

118. — Merops philippinus, Lin. 

I found this bird abundant in October 1866, by the town 
of Palani, near the North base of the hills. During this visit 1 
observed them only once. They were on some dead trees in 
a coffee plantation at Periur. 

119.— Merops leschenaulti, Vieill. 

This bird was common in 1866, on the Eastern side of the hills 
at 2,000 or 3,000 feet, but this year I saw it only once, and the 
one I shot falling among high grass, was not recovered, though 
I had carefully marked the spot where it fell. 

122.— Nyctiornis athertoni. Jard and Selb. 

In December 1866, I obtained this bird at the head of the 
Kambam Valley which skirts the Palanis along their south- 
eastern base. I also observed a pair at Periur on the Lower 
Palanis iu March. But this year I was unable to find it 

123.— Coracias indica, Lin. 

There were rollers still, about the Eastern base of the hills 
when I came away in the end of June. This surprised me, as 
the bird leaves the Dakhan before the middle of April. 

127.— Pelargopsis gurial, Pears. 

On two occasions this bird dashed by me as I was working 
my way through thickets by a stream at the Eastern base. It 
was probably the same individual, and both times I was unable 
to flush it again. 

129. — Halcyon smyrnensis, Lin. 

Observed at Periur in the Lower Palanis. 

144. — Ocyceros bicornis, Scop. 

In October 1876, I obtained the Irawache, as the Tamil people 
call it, in the avenues by the town of Palani. I had not time this 
year to visit Palani and did not fiud the bird anywhere else. 


145.— Tockus griseus, Lath. 

In 1867, at the Eastern base of the bills I bagged a Tockus 
from a small flock that was on a low Ficus tree. They were 
scrambling along 1 the branches and feeding on the fruit. The 
specimen was sent to America. I was not then aware that grey 
Hombills are somewhat mixed up and need careful discrimina- 
tion. I made special efforts this year to find the bird again ; 
but they were vain. I did not observe a Hornbill of any kiud 
during the five weeks I was ranging the hill sides and search- 
ing the groves, ever on the wa'teh for them. 

148. — Palaeornis torquatus, Bodd. 

Common around the base and sometimes ascending the hill 


149.— Palseornis purpureus, P. L. 3. Mall. 

More common on the hill sides, up to 4,000 feet, than P. 

151.— Palaeornis columboides, Jerd. 

Often seen and oftener heard on the Lower Palanis and 
along the hill sides. But as they particularly affect the highest 
trees and remain but a short time on a tree, it is not easy 
to secure specimens. I intended to make them a specialty till 
I had secured several good specimens. But whenever I saw or 
heard them something else claimed precedence, and at last I 
came away with only one poor skin. 

153. — Loriculus vernalis, Sparrm. 

At the Eastern base I noticed them several times on the wing, 
and once seeing a bright coloured one feeding on a tree, I 
wasted the last cartridge I had with me in a vain attempt to 
secure him. I was the more vexed at the failure because I 
did not see another and was desirous of getting one to show 
that it was really vernalis I had observed. However the bird 
is so peculiar as to be at once recognized on the wing, and one 
who has once seen it hanging to a bambu, head down, its ruby 
rump-patch in its green setting shining in the sunlight, will 
be sure to know it when seen afterwards in a similar posi- 

* 160.— Picus mahrattensis, Lath. 

I took but a pair, as we have them in the Dakhan. They 
were not uncommon up to 5,000 feet. 

B I 


* 164 bis.— Yungipicus gymnopthalmus, Blyth. S. 

F., III., 60. 

Obtained one and saw another at Maclmr on tbe road 
between the Lower Palanis and Kodaikanal. 

$ Maclmr, \4tth June. — Length, 4'7 ; wing, 2 '9 ; expanse, 9*3 ; 
tail, 1*4; tarsus, 06; bill from gape, 07; weight, 0*5oz. 
Iris dark; orbit purple ; bill greenish dusky ; feet olive. 

* 166 bis.— Ohrysocolaptes delesserti, Malh. S. F., 

III., 64. 

This fine bird ranges the Palanis from top to bottom, and is 
so noisy as to be easily found. Its skin, however, is so tough 
that it will often survive the best directed shot and go off 
apparently unharmed. Then in a little while it will begin ham- 
mering and cackling again on some old tree a quarter of a 
mile away. Perhaps 181 may be more abundant among the 
large trees of the Lower Hills, but on the whole this is the 
most common Woodpecker on the Palanis. 

* 171.— Gecinus striolatus, Blyth. 

Obtained but one at 4,000 feet. 

5 Periur, lbth June. — Length, 10'2 ; wing, 5'0; expanse, 
160; tail, 4*0; tarsus, 1*0; bill from gape, 1*4; weight, 3*4oz. 
Iris dark red (when skinned) ; legs dusky blue; upper mandible 
almost black, lower, dusky horny. There are twelve rows of 
small white spots across the wing when expanded, and I do not 
understand why nothing is said of this in Jerdon's description.* 

* 175.— Chrysophlegma chlorophanes, Vieill. 

Obtained a male near Periur. 

181.— Brachypternus puncticollis, Malh. 

Abundant on the Lower Palanis, in the heavy forest. 

* 194 bis.— Megalaema viridis, Bodd. 

This Green Barbet is found in the groves on the top of the 
Palanis and also among the trees at their base. It was parti- 
cularly abundant in June among the large trees of the lower 
Hills, as several kinds of trees were loaded with fruit. This 
Barbet much resembles the one we have called M. virdisi 

* Jerdon says tbe upper surface resembles tbat of squamatus, and in tbe descrip- 
tion ot tbat species, the spots on tbe outer webs of tbe primaries are referred to.— 
Ed , S. F. 


which lives at Mahabaleshwar and Kandala. But its dimensions 
are larger.* 

Kodaikanal, 12th June. — Length, 9"1 ; wing, 4*2; expanse, 
135 ; tail, 32 ; tarsus, 1*15 ; bill from gape, 15 ; weight, 
2"9oz. Iris hazel ; feet olive with sole ochre yellow; bill dusky 
yellow horn color. 

? Machuv, \3th June. — Length, 9*4; wing, 4'1 ; expanse, 
14-0 ; tail, 3'2; tarsus, 12 ; bill from gape, 1*5; weio-ht, 

197.— Megalsema haemacephala, Mull. 

Common at base and up to 4,000 feet. I do not remember 
to have ever heard the Coppersmith in the groves on the top of 
the hills. 

205.— Hierococcyx varius, Vahl. 

Common at the base and on the hill sides. The Natives, who 
eat game, regard this as excellent for food. So I tried one, 
but found it intolerably strong flavored. As it eats lizards as 
well as insects ; one ought not to expect it to be good eating. 

214— Eudynamys honorata, Lin. 

Observed a few times. It is not as common as 205. 

* 216.— Zanclostomus viridirostris, Jerd. 

Obtained a female only, of the four I saw at different times 
in the thickets at the Eastern base of the hills. 

* 217.— Centrococcyx rufipennis, III. 

Took one at the base and observed it up to 5,500 feet. 

* 224. — Arachnothera longirostra, Lath. 

Obtained a pair near Periiir at 4,000 feet. I saw no others. 
The bill of this species is proportionally very long and its tongue 
is extensile like that of a Woodpecker, and can be forcibly 
thrust out 2 or 3 inches beyond the tip of its bill. 

This enables the bird to gather insects in flowers that have 
long tubular uecks. The measurements of the male and female 
were alike, as follows : — 

c? and $ Tandigiidi, Lower Palanis, 16th June. — Length, 
60; wing, 2*8; expanse, 8 - 2 ; tail, 1"8; tarsus, 0'7 ; bill from 
gape, 1*4; weight, 0*45 oz. Upper mandible leaden black; lower 
mandible dusky leaden ; iris dusky yellow ; feet dusky leaden. 

* They do notjseem to me a bit larger. See table of measurements of wings of this 
species from all parts of Southern India. — S. F. , IV., 391. — Ed., S, F. 


These dimensions, excepting the length of the bill, are uniformly 
larger than those given by Jerdon. 

* 232.— Cinnyris zeylonicus, Lin. 

Obtained a pair at the Eastern base of the hills and observed 
a few others. Probably they are more abundant around gardens 
in the plain. 

[Specimen of a young female, undoubtedly of this species, 
measured in the flesh as follows : — 

Length, 3*9; expanse, 6 - 2 ; wing, 20 (in the skin, 1*95); 
tail, 1'3 ; tarsus, 065 ; bill from gape, 06 ; weight, 038 oz., 
and had the bill dusky black ; the gape reddish ; the legs and feet 
blackish olive. It has the whole upper surface brown with an 
olive green tinge ; quills light hair brown, for the most part 
very narrowly tipped and margined towards the tips with 
brownish white, and the central and basal portions of the outer 
webs of all but the first few primaries, more broadly margined 
with olive brown ; upper tail-coverts blackish ; tail blackish ; 
the exterior feathers on either side paler brown and tipped with 
brownish white. 

Entire under parts pale, slightly greenish yellow, a little 
brighter on the breast ; wing lining white. 

I have never seen a specimen of this species exactly in this 
stage. This one was shot on the 6th June at Periakulam, 

The bird is no bigger than a S. minima, the bill is just the 
game length as in adults of that species ; the wing is not longer 
than that of a fine adult of minima, and but for the coarser 
character of the bill, which is not near so attennuted towards 
the point, and for the white tippings to the outer tail-feathers, 
any one would, I think, rather assign it to minima than to 
zeylonica. — Ed., S. F.] 

* 233.— Cinnyris minimus, Sykes. 

I found this species common from 4,000 feet elevation to 
the top of the hills. They were in their summer dress. The 
males lacked the glossy greeu cap and amethystine throat and 
neck. Their caps, napes, and a little of the back were colored 
olive green. But the color was a little brighter than that of 
the same parts in the female. The throat and neck were yellow 
with an olive tinge, brightening into a purer yellow on the 
breast and abdomen. The scapulars and the back between the 
wings were bright maroon red. The rump was covered with 
glossy metallic amethystive just as it is in the nuptial dress of* 

* The time at which the breeding plumage is assumed varies much in differeut 
localities.— Ejd., S. F. 


February and March, and the wings and tail were brown as at that 
time. The female too in her summer dress retains the sanguine 
red patch on her rump that she has in her nuptial moult. The 
"males of other Nectarines seem to mostly monopolize the bright 
colors. But the female of this species possesses the red patch 
throughout the year. 

234.— Cinnyris asiaticus, Lin. 

Common at the base of the hills and on the plains. 

* 235. — Cinnyris lotenius, Lin. 

I obtained but one, a male, at the Eastern base of the hills, 
and did not see another during my stay. 

* 238.— Dicaeum erythrorhyncha, Lath. 

Common in the adjacent plains and sometimes observed on 
the hill sides. 

* 239.— Dicaeum concolor, Jerd. 

A kind of Loranthus has found most congenial quarters on 
one of the Wattle trees {Acacia melanoxylon) that has become 
naturalized at Kodaikanal. It has become so abundant in 
certain localities* as to greatly injure and even kill the trees on 
which it is parasitic. Where it most abounds I found Dicceum 
concolor in considerable numbers — gathering its food from the 
tubes of the Loranthus flowers. It seemed to confine its atten- 
tions entirely to the parasite. In my notes 1 find the measure- 
ment of two specimens, but both are females, and all the items 
are identical. 

? Kodaikanal, at 7,000 feet, 2>\st May. — Length, 3-6 ; wing, 
2*1; expanse, 6*3; tail, 1-0; tarsus, 0-55; bill from gape, 
0-5; weight, 0'25 oz. Iris, dark brown; bill, plumbeous ; feet, 

* 253.— Dendrophila frontalis, Horsf. 

This pretty bird is found wherever there are trees on the 
Palanis. I obtained it at the bottom and on the top. 

254.— Upupa epops, Lin. 

One Hoopoe that I shot was of this species, but some that I 
only observed seemed so small that I do not hesitate to add. 

255.— Upupa nigripennis, Gould. 

Observed on the Lower Palanis. 

* Even more so on ths Nilgheris, where it is plaving havoc with all the finest 
A, melanoxylons — Ed., S. F. 


* 257 bis.— Lanius caniceps, Blyth. 

This bird lives through the year on the top of the Palanis 
and breeds there. 1 found a uest with five eggs when there 
in 1867, but have not the notes then made about it. The 
dimensions of two birds that I measured in the flesh are a little 
different from those given in Jerdon's Birds of India. 

Sheminganur, 1st June. — Length, 9 -3 ; wing, 3*8 ; expanse, 
120; tail, 50; tarsus, 1;2 ; bill from gape, 0'9; Aveight, 
l*5oz. Bill and feet plumbeous black. 

$ juv. — Kodaikdnal, 9tk June. — Length, 9; wing, 3'8 ; 
expanse, 11*5; tail, 5"0 ; tarsus, i'2 ; bill from gape, 1*0. 
Upper mandible, black ; lower mandible black at tip, with basal 
half dusky ; feet, olive black. 

* 264.— Tephrodornis sylvicola, Jerd. 

Obtained only one, as two others I shot were lost in the high 
grass. They were on the stunted trees of the west part of 
the Lower Palanis at 4,500 feet. 

[*265.— Tephrodornis ponticeriana, Gm. 

Amongst the specimens received from Mr. Fairbank was a 
young specimen of this species procured on the 7th of June on 
the east of the Palanis towards their base. — A. O. H.] 

267— Hemipus picatus, Sykes. 

Obtained one on the Lower Palanis in the thin jungle, but 
observed very few. 

268.— Volvocivora sykesii, Striokl. 

Obtained only one, a male, at Periur. 

270.— Grraucalus macei, Less. 

The only one I saw near Periur was on a high tree, and did 
not fall to my shot, nor allow me a second opportunity. 

*272.— Pericrocotus flammeus, Forst. 

Found from the bottom to the top of the hills, usually affect- 
ing high trees and fond of mounting a little above them so as 
to spread out and fully exhibit their gorgeous plumage. 

<$ — Neutral Saddle, 1st June. — Length, 8*1; wing, 4'0 ; 
expanse, 11*3 j tail, 4'0; tarsus, 0'7 ; bill from gape, 09 ; 
weight, 0'92 oz. Bill and feet black ; iris hazel. This is noted 
doubtful, as the color was not noted till the bird was skinned. 

$ — Neutral Saddle, 1st June. — Length, 8*1 ; expanse, 1 l'O ; 
wing, 3-8; tail, 4*0; tarsus, 07 ; bill from gape, 0-85 ; weight, 
0-92 oz. 


276.— Pericrocotus peregrinus, Lin. 

Less abundant than 272, and I did not observe it above 5,000 
feet elevation. 

278.— Buchanga albirictus, Hodgs. 

Common at the base of the hills, and in the adjacent plains. 

281.— Buchanga ccerulescens, Lin. 

Obtained in the Lower Palanis, and seen on the hill sides iu 
other places. 

* 282— Chaptia senea, Vieill. 

This is the most common of the Drongo-shrikes at the base 
of the hills, and up to 5,000 feet. 

*285.— Dissemurus malabaricus, Scop. 

I observed several adult birds of this species, though I failed 
to ba2 one. I obtained a pair of young oues with their crests 
fairly developed; but their long tail-feathers had not appeared. 

287.— Artamus fuscus, Vieill. 

Obtained in the thin jungle at 4,500 feet on the Lower 

288.— Muscepeta paradisi, Lin. 

Observed a single young one at the base of the hills. But 
they are said not to be uncommon at some seasons of the year. 

292.— Leucocirca aureola, Vieill. 

Found up to 4,000 feet. 

295.— Culicicapa ceylonensis, Sw. 

Obtained in the Kodai grove at the top, where it is com- 
mon, as well as in groves lower down. 

*297 — Alseo